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  
info(at)onalaskachurchofgod(dot)com

 

 

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SERMONS FOR JANUARY 2013

JANUARY 6th

 THE RESTORATION OF OUR NATION

 SCRIPTURE READING: II CHRONICLES 7:12-16

SCRIPTURE TEXT: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

     If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 INTRO:  As we enter into 2013 what is it that you would like to see happen in our nation?

v  Military superiority

v  Financial stability

v  Industrial predominance

v  The greatness it once had

    Our nation is in serious trouble.

 v  Moral and physical bankruptcy

v  Influenced by a corrupt media

v  Entertained by a sinful and violent amusement industry

v  Laws the call evil good and good evil

 

   What our nation needs more than anything else is a spiritual awaking and revival.

    The Church should be like a thermostat; influencing the morality of the nation.

    Instead, the immorality of the nation is influencing the morality of the Church.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 NOTE: Our nation must once again be restored to a Godly nation.

 Psalm 33:12 (KJV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…

 Psalm 144:15 (KJV) …happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

 NOTE: The answer to this dilemma if found within our text.

I. THE SECRET FOR OUR NATION’S RESTORATION LIES IN THE CHURCH.

    If my people, which are called by my name…

 A.    THE QUESTION WE MUST ASK OURSELVES IS, “ARE WE GOD’S PEOPLE.”

      NOTE: As God’s people we must accept Him as our Savior and our Lord.

    God as our Savior saves us from our sin; God as our Lord gives us the ability to live a victorious Christian life that will influence those around us.

    There are too many who have asked God to be their Savior but have not made Him Lord of their lives.

    They want the blessings of Salvation but not the responsibility of living a life of obedience and service.

 B.    HAVE WE TAKEN THE NAME OF CHRIST FOR OURSELVES?

    Often times the bride will take the name of the groom.

 2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV) Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    When we take the Name of Christ, (Christian) we must assume the responsibility of living a life that honors Him.

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.

 II. GOD REQUIRES THE CHURCH TO DO THREE THINGS.

  shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…

      A. WE ARE TO HUMBLE OURSELVES

 NOTE: The spirit of humility is very important in the life of the Believer.

 Micah 6:8 (NLT) No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

    Pride is the opposite of humility.  Pride was the very first sin.

 Isaiah 14:13-14 (KJV) For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    Pride is when we stand in our own strength, humility is when we acknowledge our need for God.

 James 4:10 (NLT) When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

       B. WE ARE TO PRAY AND SEEK GOD’S FACE

 …and pray, and seek my face…

NOTE: The only hope for our nation is a mighty move of God’s Spirit and the only way it will come is when God’s people seek Him with their whole heart.

 Joel 2:17 (KJV) Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

 Deuteronomy 4:29 (KJV) But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

 Jeremiah 24:7 (KJV) And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

       C. WE ARE TO REPENT

 …and turn from their wicked way…

   Do Christian still need to repent?

 NOTE: Five of the Seven Churches in Revelation were called to repent.

 Proverbs 28:13 (KJV) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

    It is not until we acknowledge our sins that we can seek God’s forgiveness for the sins of our nation.

 III. GOD’S PROMISE TO RESTORE

…then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land…

       A. HE WILL HEAR OUR PRAYER

1 John 5:14-15 (KJV) And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

      B. HE WILL FORGIVE OUR SIN

 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.

       C. HE WILL HEAL OUR LAND

 NOTE: The people of Nineveh repented and God held back His judgment.

 Jonah 3:9 (NLT) Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will have pity on us and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us."

 CONCLUSION: For the restoration of our nation to take place it must begin in the heart of the Believer.

 Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) Search me, O God, and know my heart;            test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

   Are we willing to do what we must do in order to see our nation restored?

JANUARY 20th

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT FROM GOD?”

 SCRIPTURE READING: MARK 10:46-52

 SCRIPTURE TEXT: Mark 10:51 (KJV) 

     And Jesus answered and said unto him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

 INTRO: Blind Bartimaeus lived in the world of darkness with no hope of ever seeing the light of day.

    The world held out no hope for him.

    Bartimaeus blindness is like the spiritual blindness of those who have never had a contact with the God of light.

    Like blind Bartimaeus we often sit in darkness begging for help from a world that cannot help.

    The story of Blind Bartimaeus reveals to us the secret of receiving what we so desperately need.

    If we are seeking help, regardless how difficult, there are certain things that we must do in order to receive the help we need.

I. THERE IS NO HOPE OUTSIDE THE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST.

NOTE: Blind Bartimaeus set in darkness until Jesus passed his way.

 Mark 10:46 (NLT) And so they reached Jericho. Later, as Jesus and his disciples left town, a great crowd was following. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road as Jesus was going by.

   A. BARTIMAEUS HAD A NEED BEYOND THE ABILITY OF THE WORLD TO MEET.

 NOTE: Bartimaeus was surrounded by people who were unable to meet his need.

   All of a sudden there was something different about the crowd.

   B. JESUS WAS PASSING THROUGH JERICHO.

 NOTE: Things take on a different aspect when Jesus comes on the scene.

 Mark 10:47 (NLT) When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus from Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

   Why was Bartimaeus’ attitude changed when he heard that Jesus was passing his way?

 ·         How had he heard about Jesus?

 Romans 10:14 (NLT) But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

    It is the Believer’s responsibility to talk about Jesus to those who live in darkness whenever the opportunity is present.

·         His belief in Jesus brought him hope.

 NOTE: For us to receive anything from God we must have faith.

 James 1:6-8 (NLT) 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.

 ·         Blind Bartimaeus sought help from Jesus.

 NOTE: There were those who tried to keep him from Jesus.

 Mark 10:48a (NLT) "Be quiet!" some of the people yelled at him… 

    There will always be those who seek to keep us from Jesus.

 o   The unbeliever

o   Those who lack faith

o   Those who only have concern for themselves

 

II. BLIND BARTIMAEUS ONLY SOUGHT JESUS HARDER

 Mark 10:48b (NLT)But he only shouted louder, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

    Many times it takes effort and determination on our part to receive from God that which we are seeking.

 Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV) And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 Luke 11:5-10 (NLT) Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this illustration: "Suppose you went to a friend's house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You would say to him, 'A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.' He would call out from his bedroom, 'Don't bother me. The door is locked for the night, and we are all in bed. I can't help you this time.'  But I tell you this—though he won't do it as a friend, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you what you want so his reputation won't be damaged.

    "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.

    His need was so great he would let nothing or no one stand between him and Jesus.

 NOTE: What hinders us from seeking Jesus with our whole heart?

 III. JESUS HEARD HIS CRY.

 Mark 10:49 (NLT) When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, "Tell him to come here." So they called the blind man. "Cheer up," they said. "Come on, he's calling you!"

    A. Blind Bartimaeus put his beggarly clothes aside and went to Jesus

 Hebrews 12:1 (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.

 NOTE: What is it that we have to put aside to come to Jesus?

 IV. JESUS ASKED, “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?”

 Mark 10:51 (NLT) "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked.  "Teacher," the blind man said, "I want to see!"

NOTE: Jesus knows what we need but we must be willing to confess our need to Him.

 V. BARTIMAEUS FOLLOWED JESUS.

 Mark 10:52 (KJV) And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

 NOTE: To our shame often there are those who come to Jesus for help, but once they receive the help they continue to go their own way.

 CONCLUSION:  

·         What is it that you need from Jesus

·         Are you willing to seek Him in spite of those who would seek to discourage you?

·         Are you willing to lay aside the things that hinder you from coming to Jesus?

·         Are you willing to confess to Him what you need?

·         Are you willing to following Him?

 

JANUARY 27th

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

 SCRIPTURE READING: JOSHUA 24:14-18

SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 1:8 (GW)

      A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can't make up his mind about anything.

 INTRO: Life is filled with choices.  Some seem very large while others seem to be quite insignificant.

   Yet all choices we make effects our future.

    Joshua challenged Israel to make a choice: “Who will you serve?”

 Joshua 24:15 (KJV) …choose you this day whom ye will serve…

    We as Believers are presented with the same choice.

 I. ISRAEL’S DILEMMA

 Joshua 24:14 (NLT) "So honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone.

NOTE: This challenge was not given to an ungodly people, but to the Children of God.

    A. ISRAEL’S HISTORY

·         They were the promise seek of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.

·         They enter into Egypt through Joseph.

·         They were made slaves by Pharaoh

·         Moses came to deliver them from Egypt

·         They were led by a cloud and pillar of fire

·         They crossed the Red Sea

·         They were give the Law of God

·         They were fed with Manna and quail

·         They drank the water from the rock

·         They experienced many miracles during their wandering in the Wilderness

·         They cross the Jordan River

·         They conquered many enemies.

    Why then did they still have idols that they needed to get rid of?

    The Children of Israel were presented with a decision:

 ·         Serve the gods their ancestors served

·         Serve the gods of Canaan Land

·         Serve Jehovah

 

Joshua 24:15 (ASV) And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.

 II. THE BELIEVER’S DILEMMA

 NOTE: How does this relate to us today?

    We as Believers are given the same choices.

    Many Believers have experienced Salvation, Water Baptism and Spirit Baptism and still battle with idols in their lives.

    These idols hinder us from serving God with a whole heart, and lead us into Convenient Faith.

    Convenient Faith will never lead us to spiritual victory.

    Convenient Faith will always cause us to waver between serving God and appeasing our own desires.

    If you play both sides long enough you will most likely end up choosing the things of the world over the things of God.

 Luke 16:13 (GW) "A servant cannot serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth."

    A. THOSE WHO TRIED TO SERVE TWO MASTERS

 ·         Samson had a problem with lust (Judges 13-16)

·         Gehazi had a problem with greed (2 Kings 5)

·         The rich young ruler had a problem with wealth

 Matthew 19:21-22 (KJV) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

 NOTE: This is problem that many Believers contend with; we are so blessed that our possessions begin to crowd out God.

 ·         Demas had a problem with the things of the world

2 Timothy 4:10a (GW) Demas has abandoned me. He fell in love with this present world and went to the city of Thessalonica…

NOTE: When we get our eyes on the things of this world (not necessarily evil things) we begin to lose sight 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 in you.

 III. THE BELIEVERS SOLUTION

    A. GOD MUST TAKE FIRST PLACE IN OUR LIVES

 Exodus 20:1-5a (NLT) Then God instructed the people as follows: "I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. "Do not worship any other gods besides me.

"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish.  You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god…

 ·         Even above our loved ones.

 Matthew 10:32-38 (NLT) "If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven. "Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword.  I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!  If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

 ·         Above that which we own.

 Matthew 19:29 (KJV) 

    And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

NOTE: We cannot allow our relationship with others, family or friends, or with our possessions to adversely affect our relationship with God.

 NOTE: Sometimes the choices we make are very difficult.

 ILL: THE SACRIFICE OF A SON

    After a few of the usual Sunday evening  hymns, the church's pastor slowly stood up,  walked  over to the pulpit and,  before he gave his sermon for the  evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening.

   In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service.

   With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

   'A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the pacific coast ' he began.  'When a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore.  The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized.'  The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

   The aged minister continued with his story, 'grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line.  He only had seconds to make the decision. The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also, knew that his son's friend was not.  The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves.  As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!'  He threw out the life line to his son's friend.  By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night.

   His body was never recovered.

   By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's mouth.

   'The father,' he continued, 'knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend.

   How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only Begotten Son that we could be saved.  Ii urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line He is throwing out to you in this service.'

   With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room.

   The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal.

   Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side.

   'That was a nice story,' politely stated one of them, 'but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian.'

   'Well, you've got a point there,' the old man replied, glancing down at his worn bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face...he once again looked up at the boys and said, 'it sure isn't very realistic, is it?  But, I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me.

   You see...I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend.'

 CONCLUSION: If Christ put us first should we not be willing to put Him first.

 

Hebrews 12:1-2 (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.

 

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