ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

"Where Your Experience In Christ, Makes You A Member"

133 3rd Avenue,  P.O. Box 245,  Onalaska,  Washington  98570     (360) 978-4161      FAX (360) 978-6941  
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AUGUST SERMONS

August 1, 2010

  AFTER FAILURE THERE IS HOPE

 SCRIPTURE READING: I John 2:1-6

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: I John 2:1-2 (NLT)

     My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely.  He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

INTRO: What happens when after we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and we find ourselves back in sin?

    One of the great messages of the Church is that after failure there is hope.

    One of satan’s favorite tricks is to deceive us into believing that once we fall back into sin there is no more hope.

    Many Christians have wallowed in discouragement and despair because of satan’s lies.

   But there is forgiveness with God as long as there is true repentance. 

Psalm 130:1-8 (NLT) From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord.  Pay attention to my prayer.  Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?  But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.  I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him.  I have put my hope in his word.   I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.  O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love and an overflowing supply of salvation.   He himself will free Israel from every kind of sin. 

ILL: David & Peter 

Psalm 51:1-3 (KJV) Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:12 (NLT) Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.  

   The difference between David & Peter and Saul & Judas, David and Peter repented while Saul and Judas did not. 

   This does not give us a license to sin. 

Romans 6:1-2 (NLT) Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  

I. AFTER FAILURE THERE IS HOPE. 

NOTE: John writes that we should not sin, but if we do sin there is hope in Jesus Christ. 

I John 2:1-2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father.  He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

   A. THERE IS HOPE BECAUSE JESUS INTERCEDES FOR US. 

NOTE: God does not want us to sin but He knows that we are weak and are subject to fail. 

Psalm 78:38-39 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.  

Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.  

   Jesus became man that He might understand our weakness and what we go through. 

Hebrews 2:17 (NLT) Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.  

Hebrews 4:15 (NLT) This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.  

   Because Jesus understands our weakness He intercedes on our behalf before His Father. 

Romans 8:34 (NLT) Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.  

Hebrews 7:25-26 (NLT) Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.  He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has now been set apart from sinners, and he has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.  

   B. THERE IS HOPE BECAUSE JESUS ALONE PLEASES GOD. 

NOTE: When Jesus pleads our case before the Father, there are certain pleads He DOES NOT use. 

  • He does not plead our righteousness.
  • He does not plead our labor.
  • He does not plead reputation.
  • He does not plead our innocence.

   God is holy and only that which is holy can stand before God. 

   Jesus is the only one who has not sinned and therefore, He alone pleases God. 

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT) This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. 

   C. THERE IS HOPE BECAUSE JESUS PROVIDED THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE. 

Hebrews 9:19-28 (NLT) For after Moses had given the people all of God's laws, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God's laws and all the people, using branches of hyssop bushes and scarlet wool. Then he said, "This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you."  And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the sacred tent and on everything used for worship.  In fact, we can say that according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified by sprinkling with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. That is why the earthly tent and everything in it—which were copies of things in heaven—had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.    For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven.  Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal.  If that had been necessary, he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us.  And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time he will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him. 

CONCLUSION: Do not allow satan to defeat you through his lies about the lack of hope when you fail. 

   Put your trust in the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ and allow Him to deliver you from satan’s grasp. 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

AUGUST 8, 2010

 WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT NECESSARILY WHAT YOU GET

SCRIPTURE READING: I SAMUEL 16:1-13

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Luke 6:37 (NLT) Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.  

INTRO: One of the problems found in Christianity, is that too many Christians think their spiritual life only involves their relationship with God and does not concerned their relationship with others. 

   Our relationship with God is reflected by our relationship to others. 

   How we teat one another reveals how deep and sincere our relationship with God is. 

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  

John 15:12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.  

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.

   In our text Jesus gives us three instructions on how we are to teat one another; two negative and one positive. 

I. WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE ONE ANOTHER. 

   How often do we miss judge people and things by their appearance?  

ILL: Making Judgments (Os Hillman) 

   People have often made incorrect judgments about Christianity.

  • Some see it as a life that is empty.
  • Some see it as a fairy tail.

 

   How often have we made snap judgments only to regret them later? 

ILL: Two strangers come to church the same day, one in a nice three piece suit and the other is work clothes. 

   Almost every one of us has made these kinds of judgments. 

   God has given us a prim example in the choosing a king for Israel. 

   Saul was head and shoulders above all the others. 

1 Samuel 9:2 (GW) He had a son named Saul, a handsome, young man. No man in Israel was more handsome than Saul. He stood a head taller than everyone else.  

   David on the other hand was just a shepherd boy. 

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.  

   We must be careful not only in our judging of people but also in judging the circumstances we find ourselves in.  

   When we view things from the eyes of humanity we often have a distorted view. 

ILL: Moses (In Egypt, in the desert in the wilderness) Elijah hiding in the cave. 

Genesis 50:20 (NLT) As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.  

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.  

II. STOP CRITICIZING OTHERS.

NOTE: One of the things many Christians are good at is criticizing others. 

  This is where church splits come from. 

   This is a tendency past down to us from the Children of Israel who were always criticizing Moses and God for the circumstance they found themselves in. 

Numbers 21:5 (GW) And criticized God and Moses. They said, "Why did you make us leave Egypt—just to let us die in the desert? There's no bread or water, and we can't stand this awful food!"  

   We will most likely have the spirit of criticism when we see thing though the natural eye instead of the spiritual eye. 

2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.  And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

   When we view things from spiritual eyes our need of criticism will cease. 

III. WE ARE TO FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER. 

NOTE: Forgiveness in the key to a blessed life. 

   There are far too many Christians who dwell in misery and failure because of their refusal to forgive. 

   Un-forgiveness will rob us of the peace and joy that God longs for us to possess.

   When we fail to forgive, bitterness, resentment and even hatred take up residence in our heart and life. 

   Forgiveness releases us from the bondage of bitterness and resentment. 

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT) Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Colossians 3:13 (NLT) You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.  

   We must remember that we did nothing to deserve God’s forgiveness. 

   God offered His forgiveness before we repented. 

CONCLUSION: How we react towards others is how we will be reacted to. 

Luke 6:38 (NLT) If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you."

 

AUGUST 15, 2010 

WHEN FAITH IS NOT FAITH 

SCRIPTURE READING: HEBREWS 11:1-6 

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

   What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.

INTRO: Just what is meant by having Faith? 

   If you were to ask people in America; do you believe there is a God? 

   Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? 

   Many people believe that believing there is a God and believing that Jesus is the Son of God construes faith. 

   They often use the following Scriptures to validate their belief. 

Romans 1:17 (NLT) This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life." 

Galatians 3:11 (NLT) Consequently, it is clear that no one can ever be right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."  

   There is a vast difference between belief and faith. 

   A lot of people believe but lack faith. 

James 2:19 (NLT) Do you still think it's enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!  

   Belief does not require commitment but faith does. 

ILL: Glen Coffee of San Francisco 49ers 

   Faith that seeks to stand alone is not faith but rather belief. 

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  

NOTE: For faith to be faith it must inspire action. 

   People will see our faith for more by what we do than what we claim to believe. 

   There are seven attributes of Faith that make Faith Faith. 

  1. FAITH WILL PRODUCE OBEDIENCE.

 NOTE: Faith not only believes the promises and judgments of God but seek to live accordingly.

 ILL: Because Noah had faith, he built an ark.

Hebrews 11:7 (NLT) It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about something that had never happened before. By his faith he condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God's sight.

   Abraham’s faith was shown by his obedience.

Hebrews 11:8-9 (NLT) It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.  And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise.

 Hebrews 11:17-19 (NLT) It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God's promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac,  though God had promised him, "Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted."  Abraham assumed that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

NOTE: Lack of faith will bring disobedience.

 Numbers 14:1-4 (NLT) Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. "We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!" they wailed. "Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let's get out of here and return to Egypt!"  Then they plotted among themselves, "Let's choose a leader and go back to Egypt!"

 Hebrews 3:12 (NLT) Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.

 Hebrews 4:11 (NLT) Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.

  1. FAITH WILL ENDURE TRIALS.

 NOTE: Faith will provide the strength and courage to endure and go through the trials of life, because we know that we can trust God to be with us in spite of our circumstances.

 James 1:2-4 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.

    When a person of Faith faces a trial they do not draw back but face it head on.

    Their Faith tells them that God will deliver them in His time, and that they will be better for the trial.

 Job 23:10 (NLT) But he knows where I am going. And when he has tested me like gold in a fire, he will pronounce me innocent.

 James 1:12 (NLT) God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

 2 Peter 2:9 (NLT) So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment.  

  1. FAITH WILL OVERCOME TEMPTATION.

 

NOTE: Faith knows that temptation is not sin but yielding to it is sin. 

James 1:13-15 (NIV) When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  

   Faith recognizes that man can not overcome sin in his own strength but God is there to help him have victory over sin. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Hebrews 2:18 (NLT) Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.

CONCLUSION: We must seek to replace our beliefs with faith.

 

AUGUST 22, 2010

 WHEN FAITH IS NOT FAITH II

 SCRIPTURE READING: HEBREWS 11:1-6

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

    What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.

 INTRO: Correcting a mistake.

 Acts 17:10-11 (NLT) That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the synagogue.  And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.

 A lot of people believe with their head but lack heart experienced faith.

   Is there is a difference between head belief and heart experienced faith? 

   Head belief does not require commitment but heart experienced faith does. 

   First three attributes of Faith. 

  1. Obedience
  2. Endurances in trials
  3. Victory over temptation

   Four more attributes of Faith. 

1.  FAITH WILL NOT BE DOUBLE MINDED (waver). 

James 1:5-8 (NLT) If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.

 NOTE: When we face trials and temptations we often do not know how or have the strength to overcome them that is when Faith steps into action.

    Faith does three things: 

  • Faith acknowledges its need

Matthew 5:3 (GW) "Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

   Unless we acknowledge our need for God’s intervention we will continue to struggle in our own strength and fail.

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  

  • Faith asks God for help

 NOTE: Two things keep us from asking God for help. 

            1. Pride

 Proverbs 16:18 (GW) Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall.

             2. Unbelief

 James 4:2 (GW) You want what you don't have, so you commit murder. You're determined to have things, but you can't get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don't have the things you want, because you don't pray for them.

 

AUGUST 29, 2010

FAITH DOES NOT DEVELOP FAVORITISM

 SCRIPTURE READING: JAMES 2:1-10

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 2:1 (NLT)

    My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?

 INTRO: One of the most difficult things for us to do, even as Christians, is keep from developing favoritism.

    There are several different criteria we use to form our likes or dislikes toward others. 

  • Outward appearance

 ILL: HIS NAME IS BILL

    His Name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes.  This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.  He is brilliant, kind of esoteric and very, very bright.  He became a Christian while attending college.

   Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church.  They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there.  He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair.  The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat.  The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat.  By now people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.  Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!)  By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. 

   About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.  Now the deacon is in his eighties, had silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch.  A godly man, very elegant, very dignifies, very courtly.  He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, “You can't blame him for what he's going to do.  How can you expect man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?” It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.  The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane.  All eyes are focused on him.  You can't even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking, the minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.  And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor.  With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone.  Everyone chokes up with emotion.  When the minister gains control he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember.  What you have just seen, you will never forget."

It is the story told by Rebecca Manley Pippert in her book, "OUT OF THE SALTSHAKER." 

  • Wealth or lack there of
  • Education
  • Race

 ILL: MOMMA AND THE WHITE MAN

    The first time I saw a white man, I was in church in our Alabama parish in the middle of August and it was very, very hot. The preacher rambled on, his fire and brimstone sermon seasoned with an occasional Hallelujah from our sweaty congregation. I was daydreaming about the Sunday feast that we would have after church. This was a reward for sitting through 2 hours of preaching.

   But that Sunday everything changed for me. In the middle of his Bible-thumping, fist clenched exuberance, the reverend stopped. The silence caught me by surprise and at first I thought maybe he knew I wasn't listening. I looked at the pulpit; to see him standing there with an expression of disgust, staring at the back of the church as if the devil himself had just entered...I turned to see.

   There, leaning against the front doors of our church, our pure-black church was a drifter, a skinny, disheveled, white drifter. This man, this invader of our sacred space, stood before us in all his unholiness. His ragged clothes seemed to hang on him and his face looked pasty and sunken, like a man waiting for death. Worst of all, he had entered our church barefoot, his blistered, bloody feet staining our holy wood floor.

   We were still. He walked down the center aisle with slow, deliberate steps. His legs looked fragile and weak and his hunched back made him look as though he carried the world on his shoulders.

   "Pardon me, Reverend", he said as he removed his hat and seated himself in the front pew. The preacher looked around the congregation and then at Mr. Jackson, our layman, who barely acknowledged the man before turning away. Looking down at the bloody floor, the reverend shook his head. He glanced at the drifter for just a second and with a roll of his eyes, picked up where he had left off.

   The man glanced at the stained floor and bowed his head, ashamed. I was confused by the preacher's reaction. I had never really listened to the Sunday sermons, but bits and pieces I had picked up had taught me that God wanted us to be kind to others. And yet here, in the place that this preacher called "God's house," I was witness to a stranger in need being passed over.

   Then, to my right, Momma rose. Clutching her good Sunday kerchief, she walked straight to the church's christening bowl. The reverend stopped speaking. Taking the pitcher of water that the reverend himself had been drinking from during his sermon, she stepped down to the front pew. "Be not ashamed, my brother," said Momma, kneeling in front of the man. I leaned forward and watched as she filled the christening bowl with the water, and then, dunking her kerchief, she bathed the man's feet. I could see the man's face as he began to cry.

   Engrossed in the miracle that I had just witnessed, I had forgotten about dinner by the time Momma returned to her seat. I had seen Momma through different eyes that day. Like Rosa Parks walking to the front of the bus, Momma had challenged the racism that surrounded her. Like Susan B. Anthony, taking charge when it was necessary, Momma had showed me the strength of a woman's actions. And, like the Good Samaritan helping a stranger in need, Momma had gone to the aid of another in need of kindness.

   That hot Alabama Sunday, Momma showed me not only who she was, but who I was. In one day, she set a lifelong example, paving a road for her only daughter to walk down proudly. As an African American, as a woman, as a Christian.

   This mother taught a lesson by example that could not be taught any other way. Isn't that the way God expects us to teach others. Yes, we use words, but we add conviction and power to the lessons with the way we live our lives.

Received from Stories of Encouragement

  • Religion
  • Personalities

   I. SHOWING FAVORITISM REVEALS THREE THINGS ABOUT US. 

  • A judgmental spirit

 NOTE: A judgmental spirit will reject those whom we consider not good enough or is unworthy of God’s grace.

 Luke 7:36-50 (NLT) One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat.  A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume.  Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

    When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, "This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!"

    Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you."

    "All right, Teacher," Simon replied, "go ahead."

     Then Jesus told him this story: "A man loaned money to two people—five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other.  But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?"

     Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt."

    "That's right," Jesus said.  Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn't offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You didn't give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in.  You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.  I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love."  Then Jesus said to the woman, "Your sins are forgiven."

     The men at the table said among themselves, "Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?"

    And Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." 

  • A spirit of pride

 NOTE: A spirit of pride says that we are better than others and that God blesses us because of our goodness.

 Luke 18:9-14 (NLT) Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else: "Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery,  I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.'

   "But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'  I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored." 

  • A lack of love

NOTE: When we show favoritism for one and prejudice against another it reveals a lack of love on our part.

 1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

NOTE: The word hateth is the Greek word mis-eh'-o; from a primary misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less :- hate (-ful).

 John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 II. GOD DOES NOT SHOW FAVORITISM. 

 James 2:1 (NLT) My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people more than others?

 NOTE: Our faith in God will give us a desire to be like God.

 Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

 1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

 NOTE: In the sight of God we are all the same.

Colossians 3:11 (NLT) In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

 Galatians 3:28 (NLT) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus.

 NOTE: It breaks the heart of God when His children allow their differences to divide them from one another.

 Psalm 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

 Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

CONCLUSION: May we allow the Love of Jesus Christ so fill our hearts that there will be no room for favoritism.

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