APRIL 8, 2012
“ARE YOU ON A FRUITLESS SEARCH?”
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 24:1-12
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Luke 24:5 (KJV)
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces
to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the
living among the dead?
INTRO: We are all on a search, seeking to find that
which will fulfill our lives and give us a purpose.
Do you remember in the late 60’s and 70’s, how
people were searching to find themselves?
What are you searching for and where are you
searching to find meaning in your life?
Augustine said, “We all have a God shape box in our
lives and only God can fill it.”
I. SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG THING IN THE WRONG PLACE.
A. SEEKING PHYSICAL FULFILLMENT IN
Genesis 25:29-34 (NLT) One day when Jacob was
cooking some stew, Esau arrived home exhausted and
hungry from a hunt. Esau said to Jacob, "I'm
starved! Give me some of that red stew you've made."
(This was how Esau got his other name, Edom—"Red.")
Jacob replied, "All right, but trade me your
birthright for it."
"Look, I'm dying of starvation!" said Esau. "What
good is my birthright to me now?"
So Jacob insisted, "Well then, swear to me right now
that it is mine." So Esau swore an oath, thereby
selling all his rights as the firstborn to his
younger brother. Then Jacob gave Esau some
bread and lentil stew. Esau ate and drank and went
on about his business, indifferent to the fact that
he had given up his birthright.
NOTE: Satan seeks to have us find fulfillment in
Satan temped Jesus to satisfy His physical hunger
over spiritual truth.
Matthew 4:1-4 (NLT) Then Jesus was led out into the
wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by
the Devil. For forty days and forty nights he ate
nothing and became very hungry. Then the Devil came
and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change
these stones into loaves of bread."
But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People
need more than bread for their life; they must feed
on every word of God.' "
B. SEEKING TO FIND
FULFILLMENT IN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD.
NOTE: Even Believers can get caught up in seeking
the things of this world above the things of God
2 Timothy 4:10a (NLT) Demas has deserted me because
he loves the things of this life and has gone to
We must live in this world but we can not allow the
things of this world to attract us away from the
things of God.
1 John 2:15 (NLT) Stop loving this evil world and
all that it offers you, for when you love the world,
you show that you do not have the love of the Father
C. SEEKING FULFILLMENT IN DEAD
NOTE: Any religion, Christian or otherwise, that
does not lift up Jesus as the Son of God and the
only way to Salvation, is a false religion.
There are many religions that appease the mind but
fail to change the heart.
John 14:6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the
Father, but by me.
II. SEEKING FULFILLMENT IN THE RISEN CHRIST.
Mark 16:6-7 (NLT) but the angel said, "Do not be so
surprised. You are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene,
who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised
from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his
body. Now go and give this message to his
disciples, including Peter: Jesus is going ahead of
you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he
told you before he died!"
NOTE: The fulfillment of life is found in our
relationship with Jesus.
Without knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior,
our life is empty and void.
NOTE: Paul the great apostle found this to be true.
Philippians 3:7-15 (NLT) I once thought all these
things were so very important, but now I consider
them worthless because of what Christ has done.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with
the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
I have discarded everything else, counting it all as
garbage, so that I may have Christ and become
one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness
or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ
to save me. For God's way of making us right with
himself depends on faith. As a result, I can
really know Christ and experience the mighty power
that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it
means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so
that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection
from the dead!
I don't mean to say that I have already achieved
these things or that I have already reached
perfection! But I keep working toward that day when
I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for
and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and
sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am
focusing all my energies on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies
ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race
and receive the prize for which God, through Christ
Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
I hope all of you who are mature Christians will
agree on these things. If you disagree on some
point, I believe God will make it plain to you.
CONCLUSION: Satan has many ways to get us to seek
the things that are dead, but let us seek He who is
living and can give us true life.
APRIL 15, 2012
“IT’S OKAY TO COME HOME”
SCRIPTURE READING: Luke 15:11-24
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Luke 15:24 (NLT)
for this son of mine was dead and has now returned
to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the
INTRO: The story behind “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around
the Old Oak Tree”.
John Kord Lagemann, The Reader’s Digest, Mar. 1961,
There are many times we may need to return home.
Following a fight with our spouse. Following a
disagreement with a friend. Following a broken
promise Following a moral or spiritual failure (sin)
Coming home can sometimes be very difficult.
We must acknowledge and confess our wrong. We must
seek forgiveness We must rely on the mercy of the
one we offended.
I. THE PRODIGAL SON LEFT BY HIS OWN CHOICE.
NOTE: When we drift away from God it doesn’t matter
the reason, it’s by our choice.
How often we seek to blame others for the choices we
ILL: Adam and Eve in the garden.
A. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO LEAVE
NOTE: Almost all of us have stayed away from God at
one time or another. We may not have entered
into sin but we have allowed our soul to grow cold
towards the things of God.
1. Gradually over a period of time
in a spirit of indifference or spiritual laziness.
Ecclesiastes 10:18 (NLT) Laziness lets the roof
leak, and soon the rafters begin to rot.
2. Gradually over a love for the
things of this world.
2 Timothy 4:10a (GW) Demas has abandoned me. He fell
in love with this present world and went to the city
3. In a moment of being hurt,
anger or disappointed.
ILL: Peter’s denial. Matthew 26:73-75 (GW)
After a little while the men standing there
approached Peter and said, "It's obvious you're also
one of them. Your accent gives you away!"
Then Peter began to curse and swear with an oath, "I
don't know the man!" Just then a rooster crowed.
Peter remembered what Jesus had said: "Before a
rooster crows, you will say three times that you
don't know me." Then Peter went outside and cried
4. Yielding to a temptation of
ILL: David & Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11
NOTE: Once we yield to the first sin, the second sin
comes much easier.
II. THE PRODIGAL SON SOUGHT TO RETURN HOME.
Luke 15:17-20a (NIV) "When he came to his senses, he
said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food
to spare, and here I am starving to death! I
will set out and go back to my father and say to
him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and
against you. I am no longer worthy to be
called your son; make me like one of your hired
men.' So he got up and went to his father…
NOTE: There were two steps the Prodigal had to make.
Even as he choose to leave his home, he had to chose
A. HE HAD TO RECOGNIZE AND ADMIT
Psalm 51:3-4 (GW) I admit that I am rebellious.
My sin is always in front of me. I have sinned
against you, especially you. I have done what
you consider evil. So you hand down justice
when you speak, and you are blameless when you
B. HE HAD TO GET UP
FROM WHERE HE WAS AND RETURN TO HIS FATHER.
Isaiah 55:7 (KJV) Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him
return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon
him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
NOTE: Can you imagine the fear that thoughts that
must have gone thought his mind as he headed home.
The shame he felt How would his father’s servants
react How would his elder brother react How would
his father react
Because of these fears it is sometimes very
difficult for us to make the decision to return
III. THE FATHER’S RESPONSE.
Luke 15:20-24 (NLT) "So he returned home to his
father. And while he was still a long distance away,
his father saw him coming. Filled with love and
compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and
kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I
have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no
longer worthy of being called your son.'
"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.
NOTE: The father was waiting and ready for his
returned and forgave him.
When we return to the Lord we do not need to fear
that He will reject us, but we can come in
confidence knowing that He will forgive and restore
Psalm 130:3-4 (NLT) 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
Micah 7:18-19 (NLT) Where is another God like you,
who pardons the sins of the survivors among his
people? You cannot stay angry with your people
forever, because you delight in showing mercy. Once
again you will have compassion on us. You will
trample our sins under your feet and throw them into
the depths of the ocean!
1 John 1:9 (NLT) But if we confess our sins to him,
he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse
us from every wrong.
NOTE: We must not allow the negative reaction from
others to keep us from returning home.
CONCLUSION: It’s okay to come home!
Jeremiah 33:8 (KJV) And I will cleanse them from all
their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me;
and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they
have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed
APRIL 22, 2012
“THE BELIEVER’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS EVIL”
SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 97:1-12
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Psalm 97:10 (KJV)
Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the
souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the
hand of the wicked.
INTRO: We sang this morning, “O How I Love Jesus”.
How much do we really love Him?
There are many ways of showing our love for God, one
of them is our attitude towards evil.
“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil”
How often we say we love someone and then do the
very thing that brings them pain and sorrow?
We can do the same thing to God.
We must love the things that God loves and hate the
things that God hates.
The use of the word evil is often confusing: evil as
an unpleasant state of our circumstances; and evil
as a wrong condition of our will; calamity or wrong
God often uses calamities to direct and shape our
lives, and to bring punishment to wrong doing.
Isaiah 45:7 (NIV) I form the light and create
darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I,
the Lord, do all these things.
We should not hate that which is used to fulfill
James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 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
On the other hand the evil of wrong doing we must
hate even as God hates.
We cannot truly love God without hating what He
Our hatred for evil must begin with hatred for the
evil in our own lives.
It’s much easier to hate the evil in someone else
Often times the hatred we have for the evil in
someone else’s life is the very evil residing in our
We are to be careful to hate the wrong doing, but
not the wrong doer.
I. THE BELIEVER’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS EVIL
A. A BELIEVER IS TO FORSAKE EVIL.
Job 28:28 (NLT) And this is what he says to all
humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to
forsake evil is real understanding.' "
NOTE: When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He
cleanses us from all sin; we are then to keep
ourselves from sin by forsaking it.
1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
B. A BELIEVER IS TO BE
NAUSEATED BY EVIL.
Job 1:1 (KJV) There was a man in the land of Uz,
whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and
upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
NOTE: Eschew is a strong term, applying to something
found unpleasant in the mouth, and therefore to be
Evil should make the believer sick to their stomach.
C. WE ARE TO ABHOR EVIL.
Romans 12:9 (KJV) Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is
NOTE: The word abhor means to detest, loathe,
despise, to be repulsed by and even to be revolted
II. THE KIND OF HATRED THE BELIEVER MUST HAVE
NOTE: Hate and love are the two strongest emotions
we have, as we are to love God with all our heart,
mine and spirit, so are we to hate evil.
Mark 12:30 (KJV) And thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this
is the first commandment.
A. WE MUST HATE ALL EVIL NOT PICK
B. WE MUST HATE EVIL
C. WE MUST HATE EVIL AND NOT JUST
BE ANGRY AGAINST IT.
NOTE: Anger may fade over a period of time but our
hatred for evil must never fade.
D. OUR HATED TOWARDS EVIL MUST
ALLOW REPROOF AND ADMONISHMENT FOR THE EVIL IN OUR
III. THE BELIEVER’S ACTION TOWARDS EVIL.
A. THE BELIEVER MUST SEPARATE FROM
2 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV) "Therefore come out from
them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no
unclean thing, and I will receive you."
2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT) Run from anything that
stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes
you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and
peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call
on the Lord with pure hearts.
NOTE: There are too many believers who think they
can let evil hang around without if affecting them.
B. THE BELIEVER MUST
James 4:7 (GW) So place yourselves under God's
authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away
The believer cannot tolerate any evil for one evil
leads to another.
C. THE BELIEVER MUST FIGHT AGAINST
NOTE: Our battle against evil is not a physical
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.
NOTE: We are not alone in our battle against evil.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him,
standing firm in the faith, because you know that
your brothers throughout the world are undergoing
the same kind of sufferings.
CONCLUSION: Our battle with evil will only end when
we reach Glory, so let us be faithful and hate that
which is evil (displeasing to God) but let us love
those that practice evil, for at one time we
APRIL 29, 2012
“THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES”
SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN 21:15-19
SCRIPTURE TEXT: Mark 16:7 (KJV)
But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that
he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see
him, as he said unto you.
INTRO: There are those who will never give someone a
There may be times when we are asked to give someone
a second chance and it may be very difficult to do
God is the God of second and many more, chances.
We have all failed in our walk with God, some of us
There have been great men of faith who have been
given second chances by God.
Acts 13:22 (KJV) And when he had removed him, he
raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom
also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David
the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which
shall fulfil all my will.
NOTE: David was called a “Man after God’s own heart”
yet he needed a second chance.
David had done great things for God and Israel.
He defeated Goliath He sought God for advice and
direction He led Israel against her enemies. He
brought the Ark into Jerusalem He sought to build a
Yet he committed adultery and murder.
God gave David a second chance after David had
There are those who need another chance after they
have fallen into sin.
Galatians 6:1 (NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, if
another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who
are godly should gently and humbly help that person
back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall
into the same temptation yourself.
God gives us second chances even when we sin.
1 John 2:1 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to
you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does
sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our
defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
NOTE: God gave Elijah a second chance after Elijah
had given up and wanted to die.
1 Kings 19:4 (KJV) But he himself went a day's
journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down
under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself
that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O
Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my
Almost all of us have become discouraged in our
Christian walk and have been tempted to give up.
Psalm 13:1-2 (NLT) O Lord, how long will you forget
me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day? How long
will my enemy have the upper hand?
Because of the difficulties in our lives, we wonder
is it really worth it, to try and live a Christian
life while the ungodly prosper?
Psalm 73:13-16 (NLT) Was it for nothing that I kept
my heart pure and kept myself from doing wrong?
All I get is trouble all day long; every morning
brings me pain. If I had really spoken this
way, I would have been a traitor to your people. So
I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
God gives us a second chance even when we want to
Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT) The Lord gave this message to
Jonah son of Amittai: "Get up and go to the great
city of Nineveh! Announce my judgment against it
because I have seen how wicked its people are."
But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction
in order to get away from the Lord. He went down to
the seacoast, to the port of Joppa, where he found a
ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and
went on board, hoping that by going away to the west
he could escape from the Lord.
NOTE: Has God called you into some kind of service
for Him but you have tried to run away from His
Romans 11:29 (NLT) For God's gifts and his call can
never be withdrawn.
God gave Jonah a second chance after Jonah had
Jonah 3:1-2 (KJV) And the word of the Lord came unto
Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto
Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the
preaching that I bid thee.
God blessed Jonah with a great revival.
Matthew 26:69-75 (NIV) Now Peter was sitting out in
the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You
also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he
denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're
talking about," he said. Then he went out to
the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to
the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of
Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath:
"I don't know the man!" After a little while, those
standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely
you are one of them, for your accent gives you
away." Then he began to call down curses on himself
and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered
the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster
crows, you will disown me three times." And he went
outside and wept bitterly.
NOTE: Peter had been the leader among the disciples:
His great confession
Matthew 16:15-16 (KJV) He saith unto them, But whom
say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and
said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living
He walked on the water
Matthew 14:29 (NIV) "Come," he said. Then
Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water
and came toward Jesus.
He fought for Jesus in the garden
John 18:10 (KJV) Then Simon Peter having a sword
drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and
cut off his right ear. The servant's name was
NOTE: God gave Peter a second chance after Peter had
Mark 16:7 (KJV) But go your way, tell his disciples
and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee:
there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
John 21:15 (KJV) So when they had dined, Jesus saith
to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me
more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou
knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my
CONCLUSION: It doesn’t matter why you have wander
away, God is still the God of second changes.