Sermon notes – 6/17/18 – “Let’s Talk to Joseph”

“LET’S TALK TO JOSEPH” – Genesis 39

CWBC – 6/17/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we are together today to worship the Lord Jesus!

How many of you guys own a truck? Most guys at some point in their life have a truck or want a truck. It’s just sort of in our blood. The 1st truck my family had was a 1972 GMC long wheelbase pickup truck. Looked sort of like this one.

gmc

Back then, it was the Cadillac of pickup trucks. It had automatic transmission, power steering, A/C, even had an AM AND FM radio (slide bar back & forth). Had a 400 4-barrel engine in it. Daddy put glass packs on it & my brother, Tim, put some custom rims on it. It was a fine truck!

 Back then, it was normal for kids to ride in the back of pickup truck. How many of you did that on a regular basis?

  • When our little league baseball teams would win a game, we would all jump in the back of the coach’s pickup truck & holler “We beat the Mets” all the way across town to the Quickie hamburger joint on Hwy 61. It was especially fun if you got behind the mosquito truck!
  • We would ride on the tailgate all over town all the time.
  • We even went all the way across Arkansas on a family vacation w/ my 2 brothers & me riding in the back of that 72 GMC, sitting in folding lawn chairs w/ our heads over the side of the truck like hound dogs.

I’ve been wanting a truck for a long time. The first week I got here as pastor, Jim got his new truck & rubbed it in!

I finally bought one about 6 weeks ago – a 2014 Toyota Tacoma. Love it. Lord willing, may be the last truck I will ever need.

When you get in it & start it up, a warning sound makes a dinging sound to remind you to buckle your seat belt. Dings 1 time – You’ve got a decision to make. Waits a minute to see if you’re going to buckle up. If you don’t, then it dings 8 times followed by 50 dings. Then it stops. That’s all the warning you get. You’re on your own after that. It’s up to you. You’ve got to make the decision. You’ve been warned. You know the potential consequences. It’s up to you. It’s your decision.

Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Gen. 39 (page 33 in pew Bible)

Genesis 39 (ESV)

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

39 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

 

EXPLANATION – 

 The story of Joseph is an amazing story! Twists & turns – deception & lies – abuse – temptation – suffering – royalty – redemption & reconciliation – it’s got it all. It’s got everything that your favorite Netflix series has, except that series probably doesn’t end w/ God being glorified.

Back up & get a running start into our passage for today. Turn to Genesis 37.

  • HIS BROTHERS HATED HIM: 37:1-11 – Joseph, the 17 yr old son of Jacob. He was his father’s favorite son & Jacob made no secret of that. Gave Joseph the coat of many colors which set him apart from his other brothers. That didn’t set well w/ those brothers & Gen. 37:4 says, “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him & could not speak to him peacefully.” The Hebrew word for “hated” means….THEY HATED HIM! Saw him as their enemy!
    • Then to make matters worse, Joseph had these vivid dreams & was able to interpret these dreams. Basically, what his dreams meant was that one day his brothers would be bowing down to him. What do you think that did to his relationship w/ his brothers? V. 8 – “So they hated him even more for his dreams & for his words.”
  • HIS BROTHERS ATTACKED HIM: Gen. 37:12-24
  • HIS BROTHERS SOLD HIM: Gen. 37:25-28
  • HIS BROTHERS LIED ABOUT HIM: Gen. 37:29-35
  • HE WAS SOLD TO POTIPHAR: Gen. 37:36

Talk about a dysfunctional family!

 But things began to turn around for Joseph when he got into Potiphar’s possession. Look at the verses we read from ch. 39.

R.C. Sproul: “Despite this favor, life must have been difficult for Joseph in Potiphar’s service. After all, he was a young single man far away from his home. His family had basically forsaken him, and he missed the company of at least his father, if not also his brothers, despite their malice (see 45:1–15). All this would make the best of us vulnerable and apt to compromise our integrity, and Joseph had a perfect opportunity to abandon the narrow path when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him.” (https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/seduction-resisted/)

Let’s look at this portion of the story. Almost has a Lifetime movie feel to it – “The Boss’ Wife.” Young, good-looking man who has been abandoned by his family. Lonely rich woman w/ power preying on his vulnerabilities.

SHE SAW HIM – v. 7a And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph…”

SHE SPOKE TO HIM – v. 7b – “…Lie w/ me.” Tempting, sensual. But more to it. She owned him & could flirt & tempt all she wanted. But she also could command him to do this. And he was supposed to obey.

SHE STAYED AFTER HIM – v. 10a“…she spoke to Joseph day after day…”

 SHE SLANDERED HIM – v. 11-18 – When he continually rebuffed her sexual advances b/c of this commitment to God & to Potiphar, she made up a story & lied about him trying to seduce her! Got him throw into prison.

APPLICATION – 

You better run, bro!

“FLEE” – v. 12b – “But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.”

6 verses in ESV have the word “flee” in them. – 2 in OT, 4 in NT

  • Psalm 139:7
  • Proverbs 28:1
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14
  • 2 Timothy 2:22
  • James 4:7

Whether in Hebrew in OT, or Greek in NT, all of them have same meaning & implications: “Run away, chase away, disappear, escape, put to flight, get safety, be gone, become invisible, avoid”

Joseph would tell us we need to RUN! 

Run b/c of the consequences

Run b/c of your commitments – to your family, but ultimately, to God

Run b/c of your calling – You are called to live a holy life – 1 Peter 1:16 – God says, “Be holy b/c I am holy.”  

Our calling is to glorify God in all that we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

 CONCLUSION – Back to my pickup truck & the seatbelt warning system. God has given us His warning system, too:

  • His Word
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Our conscience
    • Charles Stanley: “The Holy Spirit, along w/ a divinely informed conscience, guides believers. In order to keep that internal guidance system healthy, we should continually meditate on Scripture.”
  • The Church
Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 6/10/18 – “Let’s Talk to Elijah”

“LET’S TALK TO ELIJAH” – 1 Kings 18:20-40

CWBC – 6/10/18

Jon Daniels

 INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad that we are here to worship Jesus together today!

 

How many of you know what the Medal of Honor is? The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Only 3,497 Recipients in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have been awarded this acknowledgement of extraordinary achievement in military service.

Medal of Honor Citation: Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Intelligence Sergeant with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy at Camp A Shau, Republic of Vietnam from March 9 to 12, 1966. When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars. Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several comrades to safety. As the hostile fire subsided, Sergeant First Class Adkins exposed himself to sporadic sniper fire while carrying his wounded comrades to the camp dispensary. When Sergeant First Class Adkins and his group of defenders came under heavy small arms fire from members of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group that had defected to fight with the North Vietnamese, he maneuvered outside the camp to evacuate a seriously wounded American and draw fire all the while successfully covering the rescue. When a resupply airdrop landed outside of the camp perimeter, Sergeant First Class Adkins, again, moved outside of the camp walls to retrieve the much-needed supplies. During the early morning hours of March 10, 1966 enemy forces launched their main attack and within two hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins was the only man firing a mortar weapon. When all mortar rounds were expended, Sergeant First Class Adkins began placing effective recoilless rifle fire upon enemy positions. Despite receiving additional wounds from enemy rounds exploding on his position, Sergeant First Class Adkins fought off intense waves of attacking Viet Cong. Sergeant First Class Adkins eliminated numerous insurgents with small arms fire after withdrawing to a communications bunker with several soldiers. Running extremely low on ammunition, he returned to the mortar pit, gathered vital ammunition and ran through intense fire back to the bunker. After being ordered to evacuate the camp, Sergeant First Class Adkins and a small group of soldiers destroyed all signal equipment and classified documents, dug their way out of the rear of the bunker and fought their way out of the camp. While carrying a wounded soldier to the extraction point he learned that the last helicopter had already departed. Sergeant First Class Adkins led the group while evading the enemy until they were rescued by helicopter on March 12, 1966. During the thirty eight hour battle and forty eight hours of escape and evasion, fighting with mortars, machine guns, recoilless rifles, small arms, and hand grenades, it was estimated that Sergeant First Class Adkins killed between one hundred thirty five and one hundred seventy five of the enemy while sustaining eighteen different wounds to his body. Sergeant First Class Adkins’ extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces and the United States Army. (http://themedalofhonor.com/medal-of-honor-recipients/recipients/adkins-bennie-vietnam-war)

Ever faced a situation that like that? A situation that seemed completely overwhelming to you? Scared you to death? Odds completely against you?

Man Cave Conversations continue as we talk to Elijah today.

 Open your Bibles or your Bible app & turn to 1 Kings 18:20-40.

1 Kings 18:20-40 (ESV)

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down.31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,”32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs[a] of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

APPLICATION – 

Face your enemies, bro!

How do we do this?

If we were talking to Elijah, he may tell us these things we need to do to face our enemies like he did:

RECOGNIZE YOUR ENEMIES

Elijah may have faced 850 flesh & blood people on that mountain, but they were not his actual enemies. His enemy was the one who those 850 prophets of Baal & Asherah represented: They represented Satan & all that he throws at the people of God.

Same true for you & me. Our enemies are not the people we deal with every day. Our enemy is Satan himself & all the demons that are under his command. Our enemies are the schemes & plans & devices & traps he uses against us every day to trip us up, to distract us from the things of God, to get our focus off of God’s plan for our lives & tempt us w/ the temporary sinful pleasures of this world.

REALIZE HOW FOOLISH YOUR ENEMIES ARE

The antics of the false prophets was so foolish & fruitless. Didn’t matter what they did or how crazy they acted, their god was not going to answer b/c they HAD no god! Their false god had no power over them except what they allowed it to have. What an incredibly foolish thing to do & incredibly foolish way to live!

And yet, how many times do we do the same thing? Even though Satan & his demons are powerless against us b/c of Christ in us, we foolishly allow him to control us & direct us in directions that are completely opposite of how a Christ-follower should live.

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST

The pagan prophets spent hours foolishly crying out to their gods. Hour on end. Crazy antics. Probably immoral, perverse activities. Blood everywhere. Exhausted.

Then Elijah spoke to God. Simply. Plainly. Profoundly. Trustingly.

3 simple requests:

  1. Let them know that YOU are God.
  2. Let them know that I am YOUR prophet.
  3. Turn their hearts back to YOU.

Elijah knew who his God was & he knew who he was as God’s man. You & I need to know those same things.

First & foremost, you are a child of God IF you’ve place your faith & trust in Christ alone for your salvation. B/c of that, you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you to give you everything you need to face your enemies.

You are a worshiper of God.

You are a person of faith.

You are a person of prayer.

When the enemy of doubt shows up, remember who you are in Christ. Remember the promises of God’s Word.

When the enemy of lust shows up, remember that God has called us to a holy life & we must put sexual immorality & lust to death.

When the enemy of bitterness shows up, remember that God warns us to not allow bitterness to take hold & develop into a deep root in our lives.

When the enemy of grief shows up, remember that God says that weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

When the enemy of confusion shows up, remember that God has a plan for your life, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give a future & give you hope.

When the enemy of fear shows up, remember God’s might.

When the enemy of worry & anxiety shows up, remember that God tells to not be anxious about anything, but to pray about everything.

REJOICE IN GOD’S VICTORY OVER YOUR ENEMIES 

God will come through for you. It will be in HIS time & in HIS way, but He will come through for you. When all the odds are stacked against you – when there seems to be no way out – when it seems that Satan & his forces have truly won – God will come through.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: “My Biggest Enemies” – sheet of paper – homework – Get alone w/ the Lord sometime today or this week. Don’t wait too long, or your enemy will come & steal this away from you. He will make sure you get really busy, or really distracted, or really upset & angry about something.

Pray & ask the Lord to reveal to you what your enemies are that your #1 enemy is using against you to draw you away from the Lord. Write them down. As the Lord keeps revealing, you keep writing. May have to get another sheet of paper. Keep going until you sense that you’ve written down everything that the Lord wants you to write down.

Then get down on your knees & give this list to the Lord. Claim the promise that these enemies do not have dominion over your life. Claim the promises of God from His Word of who you are in Christ – “More than a conqueror.” Claim the promise that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Thank God for the victory is that is YOURS RIGHT NOW in Christ. Then go burn that list. No, it’s not going to be the fire that falls from heaven that burns up that list. But, just like that fire burned up the sacrifice on Mt. Carmel in a powerful demonstration of the power & victory of Almighty God, this fire that you set will be a demonstration to you of the power & victory of Almighty God in YOUR life. How many of you will commit to doing this? Raise your hands.

FACE YOUR FEARS, BRO!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 6/3/18 – “Let’s Talk to Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego”

“LET’S TALK TO SHADRACH, MESHACH, & ABEDNEGO” – Daniel 3

CWBC – 6/3/17

Jon Daniels

 

INTRO – (10 mins) – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we are together to worship the Lord Jesus today!

We are starting a new series today entitled, “Man Cave Conversations.” Most of us know what a man-cave is. It’s a room or a place that dedicated to all things masculine. It could be at your home, or it may be your deer camp. It is usually outfitted with the finest recliner money can buy & the finest TV money can buy. The sound system is usually ready to play some 70’s rock & roll, or some Willie Nelson & Hank Williams, Jr., depending on your taste in music. The walls are normally adorned w/ deer heads, large-mouth bass, & maybe a mallard duck. There will usually also be décor in the room that will let a visitor know which sports team is regularly watched on the big screen TV. There may also be pictures of classic sports cars – depending on whether you are a Mopar man, or a Chevy man, or a Ford man, you may have a pic of a 69 Dodge Charger on the wall, or a 68 Corvette, or the 68 Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt. There may be some military memorabilia in the man-cave. There may be a pool table in there, along w/ a refrigerator to keep the drinks cold, & its own AC system so you can keep it as cold as you want to without having to hear someone complain about it.

And inside the man-cave, the conversations that happen are directed toward subjects & issues that directly affect a man’s life, ranging from sports teams to hunting to work to hobbies to kids to wives, & maybe even the Lord. So today, we start our “Man Cave Conversations” for the next 4 weeks.

 

When was the last time you took a stand on something that you felt strongly about? Here’s a video of someone who did just that – Kelvin Cochran, fire chief of Atlanta FD, who was fired for publishing a Christian Bible study book that gave support to the biblical definition of marriage (between a man & a woman).

Cochran’s termination went to a US District Court where it was upheld as the Judge ruled that b/c of Cochran’s position as fire chief, his views might cause “public erosion of trust in the fire department.”

Sometimes, our taking a stand will cause us to suffer, or cause others to suffer. We have to decide if it’s worth it. Are we willing to bear the pain of our decision to take a stand for what we believe?

Right now, there’s another case that the US Supreme Court will rule on that involves a bakery owner in Colorado who refused to design a wedding cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Jack Phillips, the owner of the bakery, is a devout Christian & took a stand on his faith & on biblical principles. And that stand has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court now. That upcoming decision will have ripple effects throughout all of our society.

 

The Bible is full of men & women who took a stand for the Lord when it was necessary. 3 young men in the Old Testament did just that – Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego.

In 1973, kids’ musical came out – “It’s Cool In the Furnace.” We sang it when I was in children’s choir at IBC. Still remember some of the words to the songs.

“Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, lived in Judah a long time ago. They had funny names & the lived far away, but they set an example we can follow today.”

Even though this story has been portrayed in a children’s musical, we must not see in a childish way. One commentator said this about this biblical story: “…many of us have heard this story so often in Sunday School that we may have lumped Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

My goal is to challenge your childhood perception of this favorite and familiar story. We must see this event as history, not fairy tale. We must feel the heat of that fire and smell the smoke of that ancient furnace.” (Bob Deffinbaugh, https://bible.org/seriespage/4-faith-and-furnace-daniel-31-30)

Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Daniel 3.

Daniel 3 (ESV)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits[a]and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

The Fiery Furnace

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared[b] to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king.

 

EXPLANATION – Not unusual for ancient kings to set up statues as Nebuchadnezzar did here. This one was massive – 90 feet tall (9-story building). We don’t really know whether it was a statue or “image” of himself, or of a pagan deity, or something else. All we know is that it was a massive statue, overlaid w/ gold, set up by Nebuchadnezzar. The king’s edict commanded that this statue was to be worshiped by all the people at a prescribed time when the music began to play. The edict also prescribed the awful punishment to be carried out against anyone who did not bow down & worship this statue: they were to be thrown into a fiery furnace & burned alive. Some commentators say that this furnace, a smelting furnace used for the gold for the statue, would have had a temperature of approx. 1800 degrees. It probably would have been right there close to the statue so all the people could see its blazing flames & smell the smoke billowing from it as a stark reminder of what would happen to them if they did not obey the king’s orders.

But there were 3 men, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, who did not obey the king, did not bow down to the statue, & did not participate in the idolatrous time of worship. And true to his word, Nebuchadnezzar brought them in, confirmed that the charges were true, &, in an out-of-control fit of rage, threw these guys into the furnace (which had been heated 7 times as hot as normal – so hot, that it killed the soldiers who escorted S, M, & A to the furnace).

There’s one simple application point I want to make based on this story:

 

APPLICATION – 

Don’t bow down, bro!

Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego show us that, if you are going to be a real man of God, you can’t bow down when it comes to your faith & the things of God.

Idol worship was not an option for them, & it’s not an option for you.

We don’t bow down to statues overlaid w/ gold, but so many of us bow down to other idols in our lives – our possessions, our pleasures, our work, our wealth, our hidden sins, our health & fitness.

We worship whatever we give our mind’s attention & heart’s affection. Only Jesus can occupy the throne of our heart!

There was a high price for them to pay, & there’s going to be a price for you to pay.

v.15 – Nebuchadnezzar told them bluntly & plainly that they would pay with their lives if they did not bow down.

  • Kelvin Cochran lost his job as Atlanta fire chief.
  • Jack Phillips lost most of his business & revenue at his bakery.

Are you & I willing to pay the price for not bowing down. Jesus said in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” 

Their God came through for them, & your God will come through for you! Why? BECAUSE HE’S THE SAME GOD!

v. 24-25 – Nebuchadnezzar saw 4 men walking around in the fire, & the 4th one looked like “a son of the gods.” KJV says the 4th man looked like “the Son of God.” Why did the man look like the Son of God? BECAUSE IT WAS THE SON OF GOD! Jesus came to them in the fire.

Isaiah 43:2 – “…when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…for I am the Lord , your God, the Holy One of Israel, your SAVIOR.” JESUS comes to us in the fires of adversity in our lives & walks with us!

The greatest man who has ever lived, paid the highest price that has ever been paid, when He took the strongest stand that’s ever been taken, to show the greatest love that has ever been shown – JESUS!

 

So….DON’T BOW DOWN, BRO!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 5/27/18 – “God, Help Me!”

“GOD, HELP ME!”

CWBC – 5/27/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we are together to worship the Lord Jesus today!

 We live in a great nation. In spite of all of our difficulties & struggles, I still believe that the United States is the greatest nation in the world. We owe such a debt of gratitude to all of those who have served our nation in every branch of the armed forces. And on Memorial Day, we remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice for our nation, the sacrifice of their very own life in the name of freedom. An unknown author said, “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies w/ the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” We thank God for our nation’s service personnel, & on this weekend, we thank God for those who gave their lives for our freedom. As it has been said many times before, “Freedom isn’t free!”

 But America is sick. America is wandering away from God. America is in desperate need of God’s help. The Church in America is in desperate need of God’s help; which means that you & I are in desperate need of God’s help.

The good news for us as God’s children today is that we have all the help we need, & that help comes from our God. Last Sunday, Russ preached his first sermon at Easthaven. Preached from Ps. 62. Shared that sermon w/ us this past Wed night in REFRESH. Encouraged us to wait patiently for the Lord to work. Ps. 62:2 – “[God] alone is my rock & my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” Fortress – a strong, fortified place of protection from the enemy, like a castle w/ cannons stationed on the walls.

One of the greatest, most well-known hymns of our faith is Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” It was written in the early 1500’s & was based on the Psalm we are looking at today, Psalm 46. Most historians believe that Luther wrote this hymn as the black plague was approaching, killing hundreds of people in its wake. If there was ever a time when someone needed the help of God, it was Martin Luther at this time.

There is a great plague sweeping across our land & our lives today, too. It’s the black plague of sin. We are all affected by it & infected with it. Its symptoms show up in our lives & in our society in a multitude of different ways.

  • It shows up in every form of media you can think of
  • …in every family in some form
  • …in the decimation of marriages
  • …in churches & denominations
  • …in governments & the corporate world
  • …in the lives of women & in the lives of men
  • …in our schools & on our college campuses
  • …in the inner city & in the suburbs
  • …in urban areas & in the country

This black plague of sin brings trouble into all of our lives. And there’s only one place we can look for the help we need.

Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Psalm 46.

Psalm 46 (ESV)

God Is Our Fortress

To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth.[a] A Song.

46 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

 

EXPLANATION – Scholars are not unanimous, but many relate this psalm to the time when King Hezekiah of Judah was surrounded by the army of Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Forty‑six towns and villages in Judah had been sacked. Over 200,000 residents had been taken captive, along with much spoil. And now, Sennacherib & the Assyrian armies have shown up & surrounded Jerusalem. At least 185,000 troops surrounded Jerusalem, and it looked like only a matter of time before the city fell. Sennacherib had mocked Hezekiah, who was a godly king w/ a deep faith in God.

So, proud Sennacherib showed up, ready to defeat Hezekiah & overrun Jerusalem. But he didn’t think about the fact that Hezekiah’s God is the living God who will not be mocked. Hezekiah prayed, God spoke, and in one night the angel of the Lord defeated Sennacherib by killing 185,000 of his soldiers (2 Kings 18‑19; 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 36‑37).

I love what Pastor Steve Cole says about this Psalm:

“Whether out of that situation or some other, Psalm 46 was written out of the crucible of extreme adversity from which God had provided deliverance. It relates to anyone who is in a time of trouble, or to anyone who will face trouble, no matter how extreme, in the future. It tells us that

When trouble strikes, God is sufficient to get you through.

No problem, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual, is too big for our God. If we will learn to take refuge in Him and lean on Him alone for strength, then with the psalmist we can face the most extreme crises with quiet confidence, because God is with us and He is sufficient. But we would be in error if we thought that God insulates us from problems.” (https://bible.org/seriespage/psalm-46-our-sufficient-god)

APPLICATION – Here’s what we need to remember today:

When trouble strikes, God will ALWAYS help us get through it.

So, question: When trouble strikes your life, where do you turn? When a crisis comes into our lives, we turn to that person or thing that we trust the most.

  • The alcoholic turns to the bottle.
  • The drug addict turns to their drug of choice.
    • Met a waitress at Cerami’s. Recovering addict. Strong Christian. Involved at Pinelake. She posted a video on FB in response to a friend of hers who had been sober for 8 years. Friend is married & has 2 kids. But got in a difficult place & turned back to crystal meth.
  • Worldly person turns to worldly wisdom.

What about you & me? Where will we turn? To whom will we turn? Will you turn to friends & family? Will you turn to your place of addiction – Shopping? Eating? Porn? Gambling? Drinking?

Or will you just shut down? Go into hiding? Will you just be frozen into doing nothing, paralyzed by fear, or guilt, or indifference?

Psalm 46 gives us clear guidance on what to do when trouble strikes in our lives, no matter what form it takes or where it comes from.

  • It may come when natural disasters strike – v. 2-3
  • It may come when enemies strike & siege – v. 4-6
  • It may come when wars strike & ungodly leaders rule – v. 8-10
  • Or it may come from a ton of other places.

But, no matter where it comes from or when it comes, we must turn to the Lord FIRST. Our first cry should be, “God, help me!” Why?

 

ONLY HE IS OUR REFUGE & STRENGTH, OUR VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE – v. 1 – It makes no difference what the trouble is or where it comes from – God is there for you.

  • “refuge” – a place of shelter
  • “strength” – might
  • “help” – assistance that arrives & comes to you when you need it – NIV says, “ever-present help” – I like to say, a “never-absent help in trouble.”

That’s our God! If you belong to Him, that YOUR God! And ONLY He is these things.

  • ONLY GOD is your refuge! Not a flimsy lean-to shelter, but God!
  • ONLY GOD is your strength! Not the strongest man in the world who can bench press 1102 lbs, but God!
  • ONLY GOD is your help! Not assistance from the government or someone else, but God!

 

ONLY HE IS THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF JACOB & OUR FORTRESS – v. 7, 11 – It makes no difference what the trouble is or where it comes from – God is there for you!

  • “the Lord of hosts”“hosts” refers both to all of the created things in the universe, & also to all the angels of heaven (remember the shepherds at Jesus’ birth – Luke 2:13 – “And suddenly where was w/ the angel a multitude of the heavenly host”). “Lord of hosts” means that He is the Ruler over all of the billions of planets, stars, & galaxies, & He is the Supreme Commander & Lord of all the armies of heaven.
  • “God of Jacob” – Why Jacob when Jacob was such a conniving, deceiving schemer? B/c this points to the GRACE of our God, & lets you know that you can depend on Him to help you even if you’ve failed Him. That doesn’t give us permission to just go out & intentionally sin & fail. But it lets us know that His help is not dependent on our strength & success, but on His GRACE.
  • “fortress” – stronghold, an unassailable place, a place that is not open to attack or assault.

 

ONLY HE IS GOD – v. 10 – It makes no difference what the trouble is or where it comes from – God is there for you!

  • “God” – Elohim – God of strength & power – the infinite, all-powerful God – Creator, Sustainer, Supreme Judge of the world.
  • El Shaddai – God Almighty
  • El Elyon – God Most High
  • El Roi – the God who sees
  • Yahweh – the Lord God, the self-existent one
  • Yahweh-Maccadeshem – The Lord your sanctifier who forgives all your sins
  • Yahweh-Rohi – …your Shepherd who cares for you
  • Yahweh-Shammah – …who is always present & never leaves you or forsakes you
  • Yahweh-Rapha – …your healer
  • Yahweh-Tsidkenu – …our righteousness
  • Yahweh-Jireh – …our Provider
  • Yahweh-Nissi – …your banner who gives you victory in battle
  • Yahweh-Shalom – …your peace
  • Abba – Father, “Daddy”
  • Alpha & Omega – He is A to Z – complete

 

CONCLUSION Do you know what happens when we cry out, “God, help me!” in our time of distress & trouble? Peace is what happens! Peace that ONLY GOD can give. Peace that passes all understanding & comprehension. Not the peace that the world offers, but the peace that ONLY GOD gives. This peace comes only to the children of God! So, we need to:

  • Be saved!
  • Be still! – Stop what you are doing.
    • A well-trained soldier will ‘freeze’ instantly if he hears some sound that he is not expecting. It takes long hours of training to enable him to ‘freeze’ quickly enough to save his life. That’s how it is with the one who would ‘be still’ in the Lord when the unexpected happens…
  • Be sure! – Deepen your faith by drawing from Him daily as your resource; by drinking from Him daily; & by declaring His praises regularly w/ His people.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 5/20/18 – “Ladies: What Does the Bible Say About YOU?”

“LADIES: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT YOU?”

CWBC – 5/20/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Good morning! I’m so glad we are together today to worship the Lord Jesus!

 Read a story of a little girl who came home & told her mother what she had learned at Sunday School concerning the creation of Adam and Eve: “The teacher told us how God made the first man & the first woman. He made the man first. But the man was very lonely with nobody to talk to him. So God put the man to sleep. And while the man was asleep, God took out his brains, & made a woman of them.”

That’s not quite right, but we are going to think about what the Bible says about women.

Women have always been greatly used by the Lord in His work. Let me briefly tell you about 3 of them:

Lottie Moon – Born Charlotte Digges Moon, December 12, 1840, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Lottie rebelled against Christianity until she was in college. In December 1858, she dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at First Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia. She then spent 40 years sharing the Gospel in China. Died at the age of 72 from illnesses due to the demands of her missionary work.

Bertha Smith – A little less than 5 years after Lottie Moon died in 1912, Bertha Smith – or “Miss Bertha” – was appointed to serve as a missionary in China. She spent 42 years serving in China & Taiwan as missionary. Known as the “Woman of Revival,” she was right in the middle of a great revival that broke out among the people there as she fervently sought the Lord. She was a called a “soul-winning machine!”

Elisabeth Elliot – Born in Belgium to missionary parents. Moved to US where she went to Wheaton College. While there, Elliot met her future first husband, Jim Elliot. After graduation, and for five years before their engagement, Jim and Elisabeth served in different parts of Ecuador.

In 1953, Jim and Elisabeth married in Quito, Ecuador and continued their work in that nation. Jim had wanted to enter the territory of an unreached tribe and so chose the Aucas, a fierce group whom no one had succeeded in meeting without being killed. After discovering the location of the tribe, Jim and four other missionaries entered Auca territory. After a friendly contact with three of the tribe, they were speared to death.

After the death of her husband, and now alone with her 10-month-old daughter, Elisabeth continued to live among and minister to the Quichua tribe. During that time she met two Auca women who lived with her and taught her the tribe’s language. She then went as a missionary to serve the tribe that killed her husband.

Open your Bible or your Bible app to Proverbs 31:29-31.

29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

EXPLANATION –  

How does the world view women? How does the Bible view women?

The first thing we must do as we look at this issue is to establish our standard for our beliefs. What is going to be your standard? The world’s ever-changing, ever-evolving philosophy? Or the never-changing, eternal, perfect Word of God? Are we going to believe what the world says about women, or are we going to believe what God says about women? You’ve got to decide for yourself who you are going to believe, where you are going to get your beliefs, & how you’re going to live your life based on those beliefs.

Everywhere we look in our world, we see how women are used & abused in more ways now than at any time in history. We also see how many women are choosing to listen to the voices of the world & are ruining their lives, destroying the lives of their families, & unraveling the moral fiber of our society.

  • The porn industry has victimized women & turned them into nothing more than objects to be leered over by perverse, lustful eyes.
  • Sex trafficking is a huge problem in our nation & in the world w/ women being bought & traded as slaves.
  • The abortion industry, which touts itself as being a champion of women’s rights, has “freed” women to murder their unborn children at a horrifying rate of 3,000 per day in the USA.
  • Spousal abuse & domestic violence is a huge crime problem in our nation w/ 1 out of every 4 women experiencing domestic violence at some point in her life. A woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds in our nation.

In contrast to these sickening things that women experience in our society, we find the shining truth of God’s Word breaking through. Biblical womanhood is a powerful, truth-filled, grace-filled concept that each of you ladies needs to grab onto. Drop your anchor deep into what the Word of God says about you. As Christine Caine said at a Women of Faith Conference, “You’re still here. You’re still alive. You’re still fighting. There’s still hope. There’s still a destiny. There’s still a future. Do. Not. Give. Up! – which leads to our application point for this message:

APPLICATION – 

God wants you to KNOW the truth of who you are, & LIVE the truth of who you are.

Ladies, there are many wonderful truths that the Word of God says about you. Today, I want to focus on 4 of them:

You are BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of God! – So many people, both women & men, are caught up in their physical appearance. Their whole lives are dominated by their looks, their bodies, their outward appearance to others.

  • In 2004, Dove commissioned a study that interviewed women around the globe asking them what they thought about beauty. Only 2% of the women described themselves as beautiful.
  • TV commercials & infomercials that tout diet plans, meals plans, fitness equipment, & skincare products dominate advertising.
  • Fitness centers are everywhere providing you w/ any kind of exercise you want to do.
  • Children & teenagers – & even some adults – are bullied & ridiculed b/c of physical appearance issues.

There’s certainly nothing wrong w/ trying to take care of yourself physically. In fact, it’s something that we ought to do as children of God. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 – 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

But, TRUE beauty is not external beauty, but the inward work of God within you. Prov. 31:30 in NLT says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 – Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Are you spending so much time, money, & energy on the external things that you are neglecting the internal things that are truly precious & beautiful to God?

 

You are COMPASSIONATE w/ the love of God! – Speaking of external things, women usually like clothes. Like to shop for clothes. Outlet malls are considered heaven on earth for many women, & hell on earth for many men!

Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong w/ wearing nice clothes as long as you are living within your means, able to tithe & give to your church, & your clothes are modest & honoring to God. Please try not to be a stumbling block to your Christian brothers!

But, there are some other clothes that you need to be wearing – the garments of grace that are found in Colossians 3:12-14 – 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion…” As a chosen woman of God, who is holy [set apart by God to live a life of purity & be used by God] & dearly loved [loved by God w/ His unconditional agape’ love], you are called & commanded to clothe & cover yourself w/ the compassion of the Lord Jesus. This blouse of compassion that you’re wearing is more precious & worth more than anything that Gucci or Kate Spade will ever sell.

So what is this compassion that you possess & are to wear? The biblical word for “compassion” means “to have mercy, to feel sympathy & have pity.” Our church would be so much less caring & compassionate if it weren’t for the Godly women in this body of believers who live out the compassionate heart of God all the time.

 

You are BOLD in the things of God! – While it’s true that sometimes, women are needed to express the softer side of Christianity within the church, that’s not to say that women are not to be bold in the things of God. When we look at some of the women in the Bible, we see a strong, fierce boldness that comes from a deep faith in the Lord.

  • In the OT:
    • The bravery of Esther as she rescued her people from being destroyed
    • The faithfulness & hard work of Ruth
    • The leadership of Deborah, Israel’s only female judge
  • In the NT:
    • The righteousness of Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother)
    • The encouragement, hospitality, & disciple-making of Priscilla, & the obedience & salvation of Lydia in the early Church
    • The commitment of Mary, the mother of Jesus – “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

All of these women, each at different places & points in biblical history lived a bold life of faith in God.

I’m astounded at the boldness that I see in many Godly women in our church & in the Body of Christ around the world. Here’s one right here – Tillie Burgin – Exec. Dir. of Mission Arlington for past 32 years.

 

You are CREATED to do the work of God! – From the very beginning of time, God has made it clear that women are equal to men in every way. While there are clear Biblical distinctions when it comes to the places of service & leadership for men & women in the home & in the church, women are created to do the work of God just as men are. Listen! The Great Commission is not just for men! The Commandment is not just for men! Acts 1:8 is not just for men!

  • Women are called & commanded to share the Gospel!
  • Women are called & commanded to make disciples!
  • Women are called & commanded to love God & love others!
  • Women are called & commanded to be on mission for the Lord in our world!

 

CONCLUSION – Let me remind you again of our application point for today:

God wants you to KNOW the truth of who you are, & LIVE the truth of who you are.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 5/13/18 – “Strength & Courage for Today”

“STRENGTH & COURAGE FOR TODAY”

CWBC – 5/13/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO –  Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad that we can be together today to worship our Lord Jesus Christ!

Continuing sermon series for the women of our church FAMILY today. I still want to remind you that I am certainly not claiming to be an expert in this area. Women are unique, complicated beings w/ their own set of issues & struggles. Heard about one woman who was struggling with the reality of her age, asked a friend, “I don’t think I look 40-years-old, do you?” Her friend answered, “No, but you used to!”

I am truly astounded at the strength & determination & influence of women in our world. Of course, today is the day set aside to celebrate the influence of mothers in our lives. Forbes article: “Think you can put a price on motherhood?” A yearly survey by Salary.com called the annual Mom Salary Survey attempts to put a salary on the work of American mothers. First, they broke down motherly duties into the following 10 categories: Day Care Center Teacher, CEO, Psychologist, Cook, Housekeeper, Laundry Machine Operator, Computer Operator, Facilities Manager, Janitor, & Van Driver. Then they studied how many hours moms work in those categories & what the family would have to pay for outsourcing that duty. According to the 2012 survey, they determined the following:

  • The average stay-at-home mom should make an annual salary of $112,962 (based on a 40-hour per week base pay plus 54.7 hours a week of overtime);
  • The average working mom should make an annual salary (just for her “mom” role) of $66,969 (based on 40-hours of mothering duties & 17.9 overtime hours per week).

But it’s not just mothers. It’s women. You are amazing. The Church would be so weak & so ineffective without your commitment & your participation. We are so thankful for you today. And today, I want to help you find more of the strength & courage you need (& that men need, too) to face the challenges of our day.

Open your Bibles or open your Bible app & turn to Joshua 1:1-9 (p. 178).

 

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

EXPLANATION – The Book of Joshua continues the story of the Israelites after they came out of bondage in Egypt. The book chronicles the approximately 20 years of Joshua’s leadership of the people after Moses anointed him at the end of Deuteronomy.  So let’s talk about this man, Joshua, for a moment. He’s one of the most significant people in the OT, & there are several things that he is noted for:

Second in command to Moses – He is best known as Moses’ second in command who takes over and leads the Israelites into the Promised Land after Moses’ death. Moses had been the powerful prophet & leader of the children of Israel. The book of Deuteronomy ends w/ these words in 34:10-12 – “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (Deut 34:10–12).

Many times, there is a downturn when a great leader passes from the scene. But, in God’s sovereign plan, He had Joshua waiting, ready to move into his place of leadership. And he stepped up to the plate to carry out what God had for him to do. Deut. 34:9 – “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

Strong leader – Joshua had already proven himself as a strong leader while Moses was still alive. Numbers 13-14, God commanded Moses to send 12 spies into the land of Canaan & bring back a report. 10 spies said the land was beautiful & bountiful, but that there were giants in the land & that the children of Israel should not move forward. Only Joshua & Caleb said that the people should go in & possess the land. Only these 2 men believed that God was truly able to protect His people & deliver the land into their hands.

Strategic military commander – The first few chapters of Joshua tell of his preparation for the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6. He worked hard as the military commander of the armies of Israel, building them up, inspiring them, & preparing them to do battle against their enemies.

Solid faith – But the only reason that Joshua was such an effective leader of the people & such a effective commander of the armies is b/c of his deep belief that God was on their side. He listened to God. He obeyed God. He followed God. He led as God told him to lead. It was his solid faith that set him apart as the strong leader & man of God that he was. He wasn’t perfect. But his faith shows us that, when we trust the Lord & follow His leadership, He will take us into the Promised Land of His salvation, blessing, & rest.

Joshua 1:1-9 sets the stage for Joshua’s leadership among the people.

APPLICATION – 

The Lord Himself is on your side no matter what you are facing.

The Problem – v. 1-2a – Moses is dead. That’s a problem. He’s been the powerful & effective leader of the people for a long time & led them out of Egypt. He brought the 10 Commandments down from Mt. Sinai. He faced down Pharaoh on behalf of the people of God. He parted the Red Sea. He heard from God & told the people what He had said. And now he’s gone. It’s time for Joshua to step up.

Death brings its own unique set of problems into our lives. Some of you are having a problem today b/c death has taken your mama away from you, & Mother’s Day is an annual reminder of that fact in your life. Your mother’s death has left a big void in your life that no one else can fill. The problem of grief is weighing heavy on your heart today.

Or maybe Mother’s Day is a reminder to you the difficult relationship that you had or maybe still have w/ your earthly mother. We are all sinners & are all imperfect in many ways. But maybe your mama made your life hard in some ways that were truly unfair & hurtful. Maybe there were unrealistic expectations or comparisons. Or maybe she was involved in some outright immoral behavior. Or maybe she abandoned you, or left your father for another man, putting a scar on your heart that is still there.

Based on the text messages that I received from you as I prepared to preach this series, many of you women have faced & are facing a myriad of problems in your lives. These problems come in all sorts of shapes & forms, & affect many different people in your lives.

  • Worry is a problem for many of you
  • Feeling overwhelmed w/ life
  • Trying to have a perfect life for your family
  • Feeling like a failure at times
  • Heartbreak of a struggling child
  • Dealing w/ drama in our lives & in our kids’ lives
  • Struggling w/ all the changes that go on in your life & your family’s life
  • Brokenness due to sin & betrayal in your family
  • Rejection & insecurity are both issues
  • How to realize that you can’t be SuperWoman

Some of these problems have been coming for a long time; some have come upon you suddenly. Some of these problems are caused by other people or by some of the societal issues we are dealing w/ in our day & age; some of these problems are your own doing.

The simple, sobering reality of life is that problems come to all of our lives. Some of these problems are unique to women, some unique to men. But all of us will face problems in our lives.

But b/c He loves you SO much, God has given you EVERYTHING you need to face those problems. Here are 3 specifics to face your problems that God gives you right here in these verses:

The Promises of God – What did God promise to Joshua after the death of Moses?

  • He would give them the land – v. 2-4
  • He would be w/ them always – v. 5a, 9b
  • He would never leave them nor forsake them – v. 5b

Aren’t those same promises true for us today as God’s people? He may not give us land or territory like He gave Joshua & the children of Israel, but hasn’t He promised us that He will give us whatever we need & meet whatever need we have (Phil. 4:13)? Hasn’t He promised us that He will be w/ us always (Matt. 28:20)? Hasn’t He promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5)?

His promises are one of our most formidable weapons to use against the problems & fears that we face in our lives. Bianca Olthoff, creative director for women’s Propel Conferences, wrote this in a devotional: “What are God’s promises to you? God isn’t speaking in Morse code, communicating in confusing ways you have to work hard to discern. His Word is right there before you. It is ‘alive and powerful’ (Hebrews 4:12) and God will speak through the pages of Scripture. You can fully embrace and rely on the truth you find there.” (https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/devotions/2016/refining-fire/trust-gods-promises.html)

Get into God’s Word. Find His promises. Write them down. Memorize them. Meditate on them. Believe them!

Here are 5 to get you started. Jot these down & begin memorizing & meditating on 1 of these this week:

  • Joshua 1:9
  • Isaiah 40:31
  • Galatians 6:9
  • Proverbs 31:30
  • Isaiah 66:13

Bianca Olthoff concluded her devotional w/ these thoughts: “On your desert journey, you will be tempted to forget or question God’s promises. In those moments, trust this reality: The Lord may delay fulfilling his promises, but he will never deny them.”

The Precepts of God – If the promises of God are what give us our inspiration, the precepts of God are what give us our instruction. Look at v. 7-8. The Lord makes it abundantly clear to Joshua that the ONLY way that he would be able to lead the people rightly & honor the Lord consistently was to live a life of obedience to the Word of God. Look at the intensity of God’s instructions to Joshua. He is SERIOUS about Joshua’s obedience. And He is serious about OUR obedience, too! Beth Moore: “We must remember that bending the knee is ultimately a matter of pure obedience,” stresses Moore. “You may never feel like giving your circumstance, hurt, or loss to Him; but you can choose to submit to His authority out of belief and obedience rather than emotion. Obedience is always the mark of authentic surrender to God’s authority.” (https://www.christiantoday.com/article/evangelist-beth-moore-says-true-peace-comes-in-situations-that-are-completely-surrendered-to-christ/87492.htm)

Priscilla Shirer shared her story of the balance beam in her gymnastic class.  Before her coach would give her any further instructions, such as twists, turns, leaps, he made sure her alignment was correct on the balance beam.  She waited for his okay to continue. He would stand at the end of the beam and check her posture, making sure her whole body was aligned correctly so no injuries would occur.  When it was correctly aligned, he would then give her further instructions, the next move.

Think about this imagery: Listening, obeying, waiting for the next bit of instructions.  Obedience is where it starts, Priscilla said. Aligning ourselves to the voice of God and then moving on His instructions, His commands.  The question is this, “do we really want to hear from God?  Have we postured our heart in a state to say yes Lord?”

Priscilla asks these questions:

  • Are we off balance in any way in our life?
  • Do we need to be realigned?
  • Is there an area of fear, pride, ego, intimidation in our life?
  • Is there an area we need to loosen our grip on?
  • What keeps us from being fully engaged in obedience?

(http://faithgirlsconnect.blogspot.com/2017/09/revised-edition-discerning-voice-of-god.html)

The Presence of God – Joshua 1:9 concludes w/ a wonderful statement that will go w/ us all the way through our lives – “the Lord your God is w/ you wherever you go.” Joshua needed to know this b/c he had many battles & many difficulties ahead of him. He may not have known all that he would face, but the Lord did.

And the same is true for you today.

  • For those of you who are moms, God knows what is ahead of you & He says to you today, “I will be w/ you wherever you go.”
  • For those of you who are not moms but will be one day, He says to you, “I will be w/ you wherever you go.”
  • For those of you women who are facing some difficult situations in your life right now, He says to you, “I will be w/ you wherever you go.”
  • For ALL of us, as we walk through life, He says to us, “I will be w/ you wherever you do.”

The Lord Himself is on your side no matter what you are facing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sermon notes from 5/6/18 – “And We KNOW…”

“AND WE KNOW…”          

CWBC – 5/6/18

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad that we can be together today to worship our Lord Jesus Christ!

Wanted to begin series for women today. Probably ought to entitle series, “I Have No Idea What I’m Talking About!” But I was drawn this week to this verse, my favorite verse in the Bible, Rom. 8:28. Applies to ALL of us, both men & women. And when I read back through the many responses I got to my text several weeks ago to the women of church, asking them what they would like to hear in a sermon series directed to them, I realized that we ought to start w/ this foundational verse, b/c it will undergird EVERY need that you women have in EVERY area of your life that you put in those texts – self-image, marriage, kids, security, future plans, dealing w/ worry & anxiety, the comparison battle, priorities, crazy schedules, etc. So, ladies, we begin this series today for you by laying this foundation for your faith found in Romans 8:28. I know some of the things facing the 3 main ladies in my life, & Rom. 8:28 speaks to everything they’re facing. I know some of the things that some of you other ladies are facing, & Rom. 8:28 speaks to everything YOU are facing. There are some of you that I have NO idea what you are facing. But I can PROMISE you that Rom. 8:28 speaks to everything YOU are facing, too.

How many of you have ever been in a place or a situation in your life where you couldn’t see any way out of it? You may be in that kind of place right now.

  • A bad job situation
  • NO job situation
  • A scary health situation
  • A difficult family situation (REFRESH prayer needs this past Wednesday night were HEAVY w/ family issues!)
  • An anxious financial situation
  • A life-altering decision situation
  • A situation caused by your sin
  • An uncomfortable friendship situation 

We’ve all been there at different times in our lives, &, if we live much longer, we will be in some of those situations again.

Craig Reid story – Died in car wreck. Horrible tragedy for that family, for our church, & for that community. But since that day, March 1, 2007, the Lord has allowed me to tell Craig’s story many times, calling God’s people to a deeper walk w/ Him, & calling lost people to faith in Christ.

Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Romans 8:28. I’m going to read it from a few different translations.

  • ESV – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
  • NASB – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
  • AMP – “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
  • PHILLIPS – “Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.”

EXPLANATION – You probably know that the book of Romans is where we get the majority of our doctrine & theology in the NT. Martin Luther said, “This letter is truly the most important piece in the NT. It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well.”

This book was written by the Apostle Paul at the end of his 3rd missionary tour. He stopped on the outskirts of the city of Corinth to take a much-needed break from his work & travels. Spent 3 months in the villa of a friend named Gaius. Sometime around AD 56, he wrote the book of Romans. His purpose in writing this book was to outline & compose a written systematic presentation of the doctrine of justification by faith. He did this so that, in case his enemies caught up to him & killed him, there would be a written explanation of the Gospel that could be spread around to the first century churches where it could be preached & preserved for ages to come.

Smack dab in the middle of this book towers this life-changing, life-altering, faith-emboldening verse, Romans 8:28. As Robert Morgan wrote, “Romans 8:28 is the basis for true optimism.” (The Promise, p. 29). Why? He writes this:

“When you look behind the curtain of Rom. 8:28, you see the machinery of Trinitarian involvement. The whole Godhead is involved in this – Father, Son, & Holy Ghost. It is a promise signed & sealed by each member of the Trinity.

  • God the Son guarantees Rom. 8:28 by His blood purchase of justification. It’s part of His glorious redemption. Precisely as He redeems our souls from death, He redeems our sin, mistakes, situations, & sufferings for our good.
  • God the Spirit guarantees Rom. 8:28 by His earnest prayers on our behalf as He fervently intercedes for us w/ omniscient wisdom & according to the Father’s will.
  • God the Father guarantees Rom. 8:28 by His omnipotent providence that rules & overrules every situation in our lives. Responding to the blood of Jesus & the prayers of the Spirit, He providentially works all things for our benefit & His glory.

And THAT’S why Rom. 8:28 is the basis for true optimism.”

APPLICATION – 

The truth of Romans 8:28 will carry you through anything & everything you will ever face in your life – PERIOD!

“In Christ, we have an ironclad, unfailing, all-encompassing, God-given guarantee that every single circumstance in life will sooner or later turn out well for those committed to Him.” (Rob Morgan)

There’s that one word there in this verse that bring such a sense of peace, comfort, & assurance, & that’s the word “All.” “All means all, & all that all means!”

  • No exceptions

This one verse will radically transform the way you view ALL of the circumstances of your life!

Let’s take the word “all” & apply it to the truths of this verse:

A.L.L.

A – ABSOLUTE: IT’S AN ABSOLUTE

 In a world that shuns & ridicules those of us who believe in the absolutes of God’s Word, this verse is a refreshing breeze blowing through our hearts.

  • Not some magical formula
  • Not a spiritual panacea that makes all of our problems disappear
  • Not a religious rabbit’s foot we rub for good luck

The truth is that you ARE going to have problems in this world – LOTS of them. Going to come in every imaginable & unimaginable way.

  • Families getting ripped apart
  • Death invades all of our lives
  • Financial struggles & anxieties affect all of us
  • World is going crazy in every place
  • No one immune
  • Want to go somewhere & disappear sometimes & make it all go away. But that ain’t going to happen.

Hate to bust your bubble about something: Folks say, “Well, God is not going to put more on you than you can stand.” WRONG! The verse that they pull that from is 1 Cor. 10:13. That verse doesn’t mean that we won’t be overwhelmed with trouble. It means that God won’t allow us to get into tempting situations where there is no way out. He will always provide us with the power to withstand temptation.

“With temptation, we have a choice, but with suffering we often don’t have a choice.” (www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle#oQYVGZbwmH2ZWzGi.99)

But when it comes to the tough times in life, He will absolutely let us get in way over our heads so that we will realize that we cannot make it & we must rely on Him!

That’s when the absolute truth of Rom 8:28 erupts from the pages of Scripture & crashes into our circumstances! It’s true no matter what we are facing, or what we are dealing with RIGHT NOW & ALWAYS! It is an absolute that will not change no matter what. Nail it down into the center of your soul & go to it every time you need it.

B/c it’s an absolute, the Scriptures that say, “Do not worry” & “Don’t be anxious” & “Fret not” & “Fear not” & “Rejoice always” & “Consider it joy when you encounter trials of various kinds” are all true! Why? Because of the absolute truth that ALL things work together for good to those who love God & are called according to His purpose.

L – LIFE: IT TOUCHES OUR ENTIRE LIFE

Think of the most joyful thing you’ve ever experienced in your life – What comes to mind?

Think of the most difficult thing you’ve ever experienced in your life – What comes to mind?

Rom. 8:28 touches every one of those things that you named. As Rob Morgan wrote, “Rom. 8:28 is all-inclusive, all-powerful, & always available…It isn’t a mere platitude but a divine promise.” (p. 3-4)

  • Don Bozeman – Southside Baptist Church – diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension in his late 40’s & passed away at 50 yrs. of age. At his funeral, Bro. Don’s best friend, Gary Bowlin preached the funeral message. At Bro Don’s request, Gary preached a Gospel message & gave an invitation. Bro. Don’s niece gave her life to Christ. Interestingly, she then passed away shortly thereafter in her late 20’s.

You will never wear it out no matter how many times you quote it & apply it & stand on it in your life. In fact, that’s EXACTLY what God wants us to do with it.

L – LOVE: IT’S B/C GOD LOVES US & WANTS THE VERY BEST FOR US

Rom. 8:28 isn’t some cheap promise. In order for it to be true, Jesus had to suffer & die & rise again. He showed us the truth of Rom. 8:28 in the most amazingly loving way ever. He suffered immensely & died to redeem us & set us free from our sins. And that redemption spills over into every corner of our lives.

God showed us how much He loved us by sending Jesus to pay the price for our sins. He wants to have a relationship with everyone & proved that by giving His only Son. In fact, Rom. 8 is the chapter that teaches us the truth of the victory that is ours through Jesus by the Holy Spirit who lives in each of us. If our God loves us that much, then He certainly can be trusted to continue showing His love to us through Rom. 8:28.

Let’s break this verse down as we close:

It’s the knowledge this verse gives us – “We know” – We don’t have to doubt or wonder or be uncertain. We KNOW!

It’s the God this verse talks about – “that God causes” – He is the Sovereign God over all the universe. He is in control of everything.

It’s the circumstances this verse touches – “all things” – Back to ALL MEANS ALL! Take it to bank! THIS VERSE APPLIES TO WHATEVER IS WEIGHING HEAVIEST ON YOUR HEART RIGHT NOW!

It’s the process this verse shows us – “work together” – We many not be able to see how the different pieces of the puzzle are coming together, but when God is the one at work, we can trust that they will be in the right place in the right time according to His perfect will & purpose.

It’s the end result this verse assures us – “for good” – Puritan Thomas Watson wrote: “To know that nothing hurts the godly is a matter of comfort; but to be assured that ALL things which fall out shall cooperate for their good, that their crosses shall be turned into blessings…this may fill their hearts with joy until they run over.”

It’s the people this verse applies to – “to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Robert Morgan said this about these 2 phrases:

  • “Loving God is the ultimate purpose of the soul.”
  • “All things DO work together for good – that’s God’s promise. But why & to what end? Not merely for our happiness but for His honor – that Christ might be seen & glorified in us.”

CONCLUSION – What thing falls under “ALL THINGS” in your life? What’s most pressing in your life right now?

  • Keeps you awake at night
  • Causes a knot in your stomach, maybe even right now
  • Brings you to the point of tears sometimes

Let’s take that thing to Him today! Come to this altar right now w/ that thing & take it to Him!

The truth of Romans 8:28 will carry you through anything & everything you will ever face in your life – PERIOD!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment