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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SERMONS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST, 2013

AUGUST 11, 2013

“OUR SHEPHERD’S PROMISE OF RESTORATION”

SCRIPTURE READING: EZEKIEL 34:11-16

SCRIPTURE TEXT: Ezekiel 34:13 (GW) 

    I will bring them out from the nations, gather them from the countries, and bring them to their own land. I will take care of them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land.

INTRO: The Children of Israel were in deep distress.  They had been taken out of the Promise Land and were scattered throughout the land of Babylon.

Ezekiel 34:11-12 (KJV) For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 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.

NOTE: Throughout the Scriptures the Children of God are likened unto sheep.

   Sheep have a tendency to wander and become lost.

   They have been led astray by their leaders, both political and spiritual.

Jeremiah 50:6 (KJV) My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray; they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.

   The first two promises that God gave His people;

            1. He would seek and search of those who were lost.

            2. He would deliver them from their captivity.

I. THE PROMISE OF RESTORATION

NOTE: The third promise was that He would restore them to the place He had prepared for them.

Ezekiel 34:13 (GW) I will bring them out from the nations, gather them from the countries, and bring them to their own land. I will take care of them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land.

NOTE: We must remember that this promise is not only for the nation of Israel but it is to everyone who has wandered away from God.

   Because of our sin we all have wander away from the place God has prepared for us.

Isaiah 53:6 (KJV) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

   A. GOD CREATED MAN TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV) Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

   God and man had sweet fellowship until sin entered the picture.

Genesis 3:8 (KJV) And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

   B. SIN BROKE MAN’S FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

Isaiah 59:2 (NIV) But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

   Sin will always keep us from having the right relationship with God.

   C. THE THREE STEPS WE MUST TAKE TO BE RESTORED.

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

   In order for us to be restored to our proper relationship with God, the sin problem must be taken care of.

1.     We must acknowledge that we are a sinner.

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

1 John 1:10 (NIV) If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

NOTE: We cannot compare our sinfulness with some ones else’s.

2.     We must confess our sins to God.

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.

3.     We must ask God to restore us.

Psalm 51:12 (NIV) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

   D. GOD HAS PROMISED TO RESTORE US TO THE PROPER RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM

Jeremiah 3:22 (KJV) Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.

Isaiah 57:18 (NIV) I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,

Hosea 14:4 (NIV) "I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.

NOTE: In spite of our sin, God is anxious to restore us to the proper relationship with him.

Micah 7:18-19 (KJV) Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

CONCLUSION: We will not experience the fullness of this promise until we are in His presence throughout eternity.

AUGUST 18

“OUR SHEPHERD’S PROMISE OF PROVISION AND REST”

Ezekiel 34:14-15 (KJV) I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.  I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.

INTRO: The fourth and fifth promises of our Shepherd are: good provisions and rest.

Psalm 23:2 (KJV) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

NOTE: There are four requirements for sheep to lie down:

1.     Freedom from fear

2.     Freedom from internal strife

3.     Freedom from outside irritations

4.     Freedom from hunger and thirst

   Only the Shepherd can provide relief from these anxieties.

I. FREEDOM FROM FEAR

NOTE: Sheep are helpless to defend themselves.

   We are helpless against the attacks of Satan; we need our Shepherd to keep us safe.

Ø  Free from the free of Satan’s attacks

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

Isaiah 41:10 (KJV) 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.

Ø  Free from the fear of difficult circumstances

Isaiah 43:1-3 (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.  For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

   There is no fear in the heart of the Believer who knows and trusts in the Love of God.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:18 (KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

II. FREEDOM FROM INTERNAL STRIFE.

NOTE: Sheep will not lie down as long and there is internal friction.

   The Butting order.

Ezekiel 34:17-22 (KJV) And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?  And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

    Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.  Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

Proverbs 6:16, 19b (NLT) There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests…a person who sows discord among brothers.

NOTE: Internal strife is cause by:

Ø  Pride

Ø  Selfishness

Ø  Gossip

Ø  Backbiting

Ø  The spirit of discontent

1 Timothy 6:6 (NLT) Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth.

NOTE: When the sheep sense the presence of the Shepherd the strife ceases.

   When our eyes are upon the Shepherd we will not be bothered by the negative people around us.

II. FREEDOM FROM OUTSIDE IRRITATIONS

NOTE: Sheep will not lie down if they are bothered with parasites and insects.

NOTE: We all have things that bug us; little irritations that keep us from finding rest.

2 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT) Even though I have received wonderful revelations from God. But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.

   The Shepherd will provide oil and medicine that will combat the things that irritate the sheep.

   Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit

John 14:16 (NLT) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT) Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

IV. FREEDOM FROM HUNGER

NOTE: Sheep will not lie down when they are hungry.

   Good pastures do not come easily; it takes work by the Shepherd to ensure that His flock dwells in green pastures.

   God will break up the hardness of our hearts; remove the stones and weeds from our lives so that we can feed in green pastures.

   A hungry, ill-fed sheep is ever on the move, never finding rest.

Psalm 63:5 (KJV) My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Psalm 103:5 (KJV) Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 107:9 (KJV) For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

CONCLUSION: God longs to lead us into green pastures, but we must allow Him to be our Shepherd

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) A Psalm of David.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.


						

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