ONALASKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD

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

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MARCH SERMONS

MARCH 6, 2011

 ARE YOU FACING A TRIAL OR TEMPTATION?”

 SCRIPTURE READING: James 1:1-15

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

 INTRO: The Christian walk following salvation is seldom easy.

    Once we accept Christ as our Savior we will face trials and temptations.

   What is the difference between facing a trial or temptation?

    Temptation comes only from Satan.

 James 1:13-14 (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.

    The devil sends temptation to defeat and destroy us.

   Trials and testing come from God to help us grow and make us strong.

    The trials and testing that come into our lives take on many shapes and intensity but they are all to make us more like Christ.

 Philippians 3:7-11 (NIV) But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

ILL: Streams in the Desert March 4,

    Words of a blacksmith.  “When I am tempering a piece of steel, I first heat it, hammer it, and then suddenly plunge it into this bucket of cold water.  I very soon find whether it will take temper or go to pieces in the process.  When I discover after one or two test that it is not going to allow itself to be tempered, I throw it on the scrap heap and sell it for a cent a pound when the junk man comes around.

   “So I find the Lord tests me, too, by fire and water and heavy blows of His heavy hammer, and if I am not willing to stand the test, or am not going to prove a fit subject for His tempering process, I am afraid He may throw me on the scrap heap.”

 Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

 Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

 Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

 Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

 1 Peter 4:12,13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

 NOTE: We need to consider the six E’s there are in the trials God sends us. 

  1. ENJOYMENT.

James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  

NOTE: Three reasons we can rejoice in times of trials: 

    • God is using this to bring about good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

    • God will be with us throughout this trial.

 Isaiah 43:1-2 (KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  

    • God will give us the victory over this trial.

 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  

  1. ENLARGEMENT.

James 1:3-4 (NIV) Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

NOTE: When we come to Jesus we are like a new born baby.

   God does not want us to remain a baby in Christ but longs for us to mature and grow in Him.

 Hebrews 5:12-14 (NIV) In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!] Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.] But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

 NOTE:   He sends testing and trials to help us mature in His grace.

 Ephesians 4:12-13 (NIV) to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Hebrews 6:1 (NIV) Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

 CONCLUSION: We will know we are reaching spiritual maturity when we stop asking “Why this is happening to us” and begin to ask, “How can this bring glory and honor to God.”

  

MARCH 13, 2011

 THE E’s OF TRIALS AND TESTING

 SCRIPTURE READING: James 1:1-15

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

INTRO: Once we accept Christ as our Savior we will face trials and temptations.

    What is the difference between facing a trial or temptation?

    Temptation comes only from Satan.

 James 1:13-14 (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.

    The devil sends temptation to defeat and destroy us.

    Trials and testing come from God to help us grow and make us strong.

    “The meaning of trials and testing are not only to test worthiness, but to increase it: as the oak is not only tested by the storms, but toughened by them”

·          Streams in the Desert Aug. 3

  1. ENJOYMENT.

 James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

 NOTE: Three reasons we can rejoice in times of trials: 

    • God is using this to bring about good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  

    • God will be with us throughout this trial.

Isaiah 43:1-2 (KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

    • God will give us the victory over this trial.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

  1. ENLARGEMENT.

 James 1:3-4 (NIV) Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

NOTE: God uses the trials and testing of our lives to make us strong and more productive for His honor and glory.

  1. ENLIGHTENMENT.

 James 1:5-8 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

 NOTE: It is through the trials and testing of life that brings us to a deep knowledge of Who God is.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

    The more we know and understand about God, the more we will trust Him in difficult circumstances.

  1. ENDURANCE.

 NOTE: The key to receiving all the benefits of the trials and testing we face is endurance.

 James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

 NOTE: Are we willing to endure the trials and testing of live or do we seek ways to escape?

 Galatians 6:9 (NLT) So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

 Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.  Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up.

 James 1:12a (KJV) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:

 James 5:7-8 (NIV) Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.

 Revelation 3:11 (NLT) Look, I am coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.  

  1. ENTHRONEMENT.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  

2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

 CONCLUSION: When we are facing trials and testing we must put our trust in the Wisdom and Love of God.

    We must rest in the truth that He knows what is best and He loves us enough to allow us to face these trials and testing in order to make us more like Him.

 Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

  

MARCH 20, 2011

 JESUS, OUR SHEPHERD

 SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 23:1-6

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 INTRO: Everyone of us has a shepherd, the question we need to address is, “Who is our Shepherd”?

    We either have Satan as our shepherd or Jesus is our shepherd.

    What are the responsibilities of a shepherd? 

  • They are to provide good pastures

  • They are to provide clean & quite waters

  • They are to lead the sheep into fresh pastures

  • They are to protect the sheep from all kinds of harm

  • They are to keep the sheep healthy

  • They are to constantly keep watch over the flock

    What kind of shepherd is Satan?

   Satan seeks to destroy his sheep.

   Satan brings sin, sickness, heartache and death to his sheep.

 James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    What kind of shepherd is Jesus?

 NOTE: Jesus is a loving and caring shepherd.

 Ezekiel 34:16 (GW) I will look for those that are lost, bring back those that have strayed away, bandage those that are injured, and strengthen those that are sick. I will destroy those that are fat and strong. I will take care of my sheep fairly.

 Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

   A. TO THE SHEEP THAT ARE LOST, He is the seeking Shepherd:

 Ezekiel 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

    B. TO THE SHEEP THAT ARE IN NEED, He is the providing Shepherd:

 Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

   C. TO THE SHEEP THAT ARE HURTING, He is the comforting Shepherd:

 Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    D. TO THE SHEEP THAT ARE BRUISED, He is the healing Shepherd:

 Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

 Psalm 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;


   E. TO THE SHEEP FILLED WITH ANXIETY, He is the peaceful Shepherd;

 John 14:1, 27 (NIV) Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

   F. TO THE WANDERING SHEEP, He is the guiding Shepherd;

 Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

 Psalm 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

 Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

 Isaiah 58:11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

   G. TO THE SHEEP FILLED WITH FEAR, He is the protecting Shepherd;

 1 Kings 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

2 Kings 6:16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

 Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

 Matthew 10:31 (NIV) So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

   H. TO ALL HIS SHEEP,

  • Good Shepherd.

 John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

  • Great Shepherd.

 Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

  • Chief Shepherd.

 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

 CONCLUSION: If you have not made Jesus your shepherd than you are still the sheep of Satan.

  

MARCH 27, 2011

WHERE DOES OUR OBLIGATION LIE?”

 SCRIPTURE READING: Romans 8:1-17

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Romans 8:11-12

    And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation--but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

 INTRO: Life is filled with obligations.

   What does it mean to be under an obligation and how did we get there?

    An obligation is a requirement to take some course of action, whether legal or moral.

    Three different ways we come under obligations:

  1. We place ourselves under obligation by contract or promise.

  2. We are placed under obligation by a greater power.

  3. We are place under obligation through gratitude.

NOTE: We are only going to consider the second two ways we come under obligations.

 I. WE ARE PLACED UNDER OBLIGATION BY A GREATER POWER.

NOTE: We are all under the obligation of Satan and sin. 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  

   Those who fail to acknowledge their sins are under obligation to Satan and sin. 

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  

   Because of sin in our lives we become obligated to Satan and sin, sin controls us. 

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  

   We seek to control the sin in our life. 

Genesis 4:7 (GW) If you do well, won't you be accepted? But if you don't do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you must master it."  

   We cannot control the sin in our lives. 

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?  

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  

   We are involved in a spiritual conflict.  

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)  

Ephesians 6:12 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.

NOTE: How then are we set free from out obligation to Satan and sin? 

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

II. WE BECOME OBLIGATED THROUGH GRATITUDE.  

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

NOTE: Do we sense a feeling of obligation towards God for all that He has done for us?

   A. THOSE WHO FEEL NO OBLIGATION TO GOD.

NOTE: There are those who have no or very little sense of obligation towards God for all He had done for them.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    People who fail to acknowledge God’s blessings in their lives do not feel grateful to God for their blessings, and therefore they fail to feel obligated to God.

 Deuteronomy 8:10-13, 17-18 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied… And thou say in thine heart, my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

   B. REASONS WE SHOULD FEEL OBLIGATED TO GOD.

  1. We are no longer under the condemnation of sin.

 Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 Psalm 130:3-4 If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

 Psalm 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

 Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

  1. We have a different mind set.

NOTE: We view things differently that we did before. 

Romans 8:5-6 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  1. We have been made a child of God.

Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  

1 John 3:1-3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  

CONCLUSION: Let us be grateful for all the gifts God has given to us and let us serve Him with our whole heart. 

Psalm 103:1-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

 James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

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