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JULY 10, 2011








    And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.


INTRO: Why do bad things happen to good people?


Job 1:8 (NLT) Then the Lord asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil."


   Job was a righteous man who was experiencing a time of great difficulty and stress.


   He was searching for why this was happening to him.


Job 28:12 (KJV) But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?


   Job wanted to know why this was happening to him.


   When we experience times of difficulties as Job, we too cry out for wisdom and understanding.  Why we are facing this pain and suffering?


   There are two sources of wisdom; the false wisdom of this world and the true wisdom of God.




NOTE: Satan always seeks to counterfeit the things of God.


1 Corinthians 3:18-19 (NLT) Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, "God catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness."

NOTE: The wisdom of this world is based on human reasoning and emotions and is often influenced by Satan.


James 3:14-15 (NLT) But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don't brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil.


NOTE: Job’s friends relied on human reasoning to give answers for Job’s troubles.


   Too often we reason as Job’s friends did about why others are going through times of difficulties.


John 9:2 (NLT) "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "Why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"


NOTE: When we place our trust in the wisdom of this world above the wisdom of God, it will destroy us.


Proverbs 7:21-27 (NLT) So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him.  He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.

    Listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words.  Don't let your hearts stray away toward her. Don't wander down her wayward path.  For she has been the ruin of many; numerous men have been her victims.  Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.


   The wisdom of man is always subject to error.




NOTE: Job was asking two questions: where does wisdom come from, and where is understanding?


Job 28:20 (NIV) Where then does wisdom come from?          Where does understanding dwell?

   The source of all true wisdom is found in the Fear of God, and understanding is found in obedience to God.


Job 28:28 (NIV) And he said to man, The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.




  • To fear God as a child fears his father’s displeasure.

  • Hold in moral reverence.


   The more we know of God the more we will reverence Him and the less we will fear Him.


Jeremiah 9:24 (KJV) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.


NOTE: Paul put aside his worldly wisdom that he might know Christ.


Philippians 3:7-8, 10 (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… 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,


   As we know more of God our questions will change from; “Why is this happening to how will this bring glory and honor to God?”


   The more we know of God the greater our understanding will be on how we can please Him.


   The more we know of God the less we will want to displease Him.


   Seeking to know (Fear) God should be our driving desire.


NOTE: God is a jealous God.


Exodus 34:14 (KJV) For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:


   When we seek the wisdom of this world over the wisdom of God we are inviting God’s wrath.


Proverbs 2:3-5 (NLT) Cry out for insight and understanding.  Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure.  Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.





NOTE: It is through the knowledge of God’s Word that we gain understanding.


Psalm 119:104 (NLT) Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.


   As we obey God’s Word we are cleansed through His Word.


Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


CONCLUSION: To know God is to love (reverence) God, to (love) reverence God is to obey God.


Matthew 7:24-25 (NLT) Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock.


Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV)  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.



JULY 17, 2011








    It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.


INTRO: The story of the prodigal son and Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones has certain similarities.


   Both depict a feeling of despair and hopelessness.


   They both could look back and see what once was but was no longer.


   Israel was devastated, Babylon had come in and destroyed everything that was dear to them.


   They were living in captivity with no hope on the horizon of deliverance.


   The Prodigal Son remembered the fine food, fancy clothes and comfortable home he lived in.


   Now he sits in a pig pen longing to eat the pig’s food.


   Than God asked Ezekiel a question; Ezekiel 37:3a (NLT) Then he asked me, "Son of man, can these bones become living people again?"


NOTE: The answer Ezekiel gave, Ezekiel 37:3b "O Sovereign Lord," I replied, "you alone know the answer to that."


   Instead of deciding for ourselves what is possible and what is not, let’s let God decide.


   Both these stories depict those who once were serving God but have turned away from God.


   God asks us the question: can these become living people again?"


   Is there any hope for the backslider?

   To man it may seem to be hopeless but not to God.


   God searches out the lost sheep.


Ezekiel 34:16 (KJV) I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.


Luke 15:3-6 (KJV) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 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.


   God invites the backslider to return.


Revelation 3:14-22 (KJV) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


NOTE: What is necessary in order that the backslider returns to God?





Ezekiel 37:4-6 (KJV) Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.


   It is our responsibility to share the message of reconciliation not condemnation to those who have strayed from the fold.




Romans 1:16 (NLT) For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—Jews first and also Gentiles.


   The Word of God has the power to bring life to old bones.


Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.




Psalm 107:20 (KJV) He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.


   The Word of God can restore that which sin has taken away.


Joel 2:25 (NLT) The Lord says, "I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts, the cutting locusts, the swarming locusts, and the hopping locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.




NOTE: It is the Spirit of God that giveth life.

Ezekiel 37:9-10 (KJV) Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.


Genesis 2:7 (KJV) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


NOTE: Without the Holy Spirit in our lives we are like walking zombies, the living dead.


2 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV) Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.


CONCLUSION: The Prodigal Son came to himself, repented of his sin and returned to his father.


Luke 15:14-18 (KJV) And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,


   His father restored unto him full sonship.


Luke 15:22-24 (NLT) "But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet.  And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began.


JULY 24, 2011








Four men came to him carrying a paralyzed man.


NOTE: This story is often share as a man who wanted to see Jesus but was able because of his condition so he had his four friends take him to see Jesus.


   I want to look at this as a man who was brought to Jesus regardless of whether he wanted to come or not.


   God loves us and will use any method necessary to bring us to Him.


Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV) The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.


   I want us to think back to when we came to Christ, did we come willingly or did we come kicking and screaming?


   I came kicking and screaming.


   I had no desire for the things of God.


Exodus 23:28 (KJV) And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.


   As God sent hornets to drive out the inhabitance of Canaan, He will also send hornets to bring us to Him.


   We often experience things that at the time we do not recognize them as friends that are drawing us to God.


   I wish to introduce you to four of these friends.




Psalm 119:67 (KJV) Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.


Psalm 119:71 (KJV) It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.


Jonah 2:2 (KJV)  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.


Isaiah 48:10 (KJV)  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.


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




NOTE: Blessed is the man whose conscience is alive and well.


Hebrews 13:18 (KJV) Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.


Psalm 38:4 (KJV) For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.


Psalm 51:2 (KJV) Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.


John 16:8 (KJV) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:


Acts 2:37 (KJV) Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?


NOTE: Those who no longer have a conscience are unable to sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit.


1 Timothy 4:2 (KJV) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;



NOTE: God often uses certain events in our lives that direct our steps towards Him or to fulfill His will.


ILL: The story of Ruth. Ruth


      The story of Naaman. II Kings 5


      The story of Esther. Esther


Esther 4:14 (NLT) If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What's more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?"




NOTE: God often has to bring us to a place of desperation before we turn to Him.


ILL. Jacob when facing Esau.  Genesis 32


   This was the turning point in Jacob’s life.


   The woman with the Issue of Blood.  Mark 5:25-34


   When we come to the realization that God is our only hope we will turn to Him.


John 6:68 (KJV) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.


CONCLUSION: Let us not grow weary when we face adversity, conviction, difficult circumstances that lead us to desperation; God is there waiting for us to give it all to Him.



JULY 31, 2011








    For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.


INTRO: One of the grave dangers we face as Christians it that of self-confidence.


   As Christians we should rejoice in what we have accomplished through the Grace of God, but we must never forget it is only through the Grace of God not ourselves.


   This psalm may have been written during the time of Babylonian captivity.


   The Psalmist strengthen and encourage himself by remembering what God had done in the past.


Psalm 44:1-2 (NLT) O God, we have heard it with our own ears our ancestors have told us of all you did in other days, in days long ago: You drove out the pagan nations and gave all the land to our ancestors; you crushed their enemies, setting our ancestors free.   


  • The deliverance from Egypt.

  • The crossing of the Red Sea.

  • The provision of Manna, quail and water while in the wilderness.

  • The crossing of Jordon.

  • The defeat of Jericho.

  • The possessing of the Promised Land.

  • And many others times of God’s intervention.


   We as Christians can also gain courage and faith in the time of trouble, by remember what God has done.


Isaiah 51:1 (KJV) Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.


NOTE: It is good for us to remember where God has brought us from.


   There are two things in this portion of Scripture the Psalmist wanted his readers to know.




Psalm 44:3a [NLT]   They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory…


NOTE: There was nothing in the people themselves to secure them success, the Lord's favour alone did it, and it is ever so in our case, our hope of final glory must not rest on anything in ourselves, but on the free and sovereign favour of the Lord of Hosts.


   When we place our confidence in our own abilities we are not longer relaying on God.


Isaiah 31:1 (KJV) Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!


Jeremiah 17:5 (KJV) Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.




Psalm 44:3b-8 (NLT) It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them.  You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people.  Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.   I do not trust my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me.  It is you who gives us victory over our enemies; it is you who humbles those who hate us.  O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.


ILL:  David won the victory against Goliath because he did not put his trust in the weapons of man but rather in the power of God.


1 Samuel 17:45-47 (KJV) Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.


NOTE: It is God’s hand that actively fights for us, it is God’s arm that powerfully sustained us with more than human energy, and it is His divine presence that inspired us with dauntless courage.


   When Satan seeks to overwhelm us, let us look to God for deliverance and not to the arm of flesh.


Isaiah 59:19 (KJV) So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.


Hosea 1:7 (KJV) But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.


Exodus 14:13 (KJV) And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.


   Salvation and deliverance from sin is altogether of the Lord.


Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.


CONCLUSION: We have victory over Satan and sin because God loves us and He has given us the victory through His great power.


Deuteronomy 7:6-8 (NLT) For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.  "The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!  It was simply because the Lord loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.


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