Sermons Archives: October 2017

6 things you need to remember when you feel anxious.

Posted on Oct 23, 2017 | Download

Anxiety is a monster. It can cripple us or make us act in ways that we would never otherwise act. It can cause us to believe the most incredible of lies, and can even keep us from the things we care about the most. Anxiety has the ability to make you forget the things you know to be true. Here are 6 things you need to remember when anxiety takes over.   1. YOU DON’T KNOW THE FUTURE. Fear and anxiety almost always have to do with the future. Where will the money come from? What will the doctor’s test results say? Is he/she going to leave me? Will my position be a part of the company’s downsizing? What makes anxiety so powerful is the thing that should conceivably make it powerless. That is, the future is unknown. We don’t know what’s going to happen. Yet we act like prophets, predicting a gloomy future. We convince ourselves that particular events will take place which, in reality, rarely do. Usually we turn out to be far more pessimistic than prophetic. That’s why Jesus tells us, “Don’t worry about these things, saying [to yourself], ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs,” (Matt. 6:31-32).   2. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. When we become anxious we forget that there are people who care about us and will not abandon us to do it all alone. Whether it is your family, your church, or your community, you are not alone. There are people you can talk to who love you, who will listen to you and who truly want what’s best for you. Above all, you have a Heavenly Father who promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,”(Hebrews 13:5).   3. GOD HAS NEVER FAILED YOU. Anxiety makes us forget all the ways God has come through in the past. When we have been in need, God has always provided. Why do we still not trust Him? We must remember God’s faithfulness in the past. May we declare with faith, “I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread,” (Ps. 37:25).   4. GOD IS BOTH GOOD AND SOVEREIGN. Most of us tend to gravitate toward one or the other. God is either good or sovereign. But can He really be both? For those of us who have an easier time believing God is sovereign and is able to keep bad things from happening to us, it’s easy to sometimes doubt His goodness because He doesn’t always keep bad things from happening. For those of us who trust that He is good, it’s hard to reconcile that with His sovereignty because, if He doesn’t want bad things to happen to us then He must not be powerful enough to stop them. But God is both sovereign and good. He is in complete control of your life and He works all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). You may go through difficulty, but He will be with you. "He will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deut. 31:6).   5. GOD HEARS YOU. It’s hard to have faith when it seems like so many of our prayers go unanswered. Is God even listening? But I wonder how often it is that our prayers actually are answered and we are just not paying attention? Some of the most encouraging seasons in my faith are the seasons when I have used a prayer journal. You write down your prayers in a journal, and leave space to come back later and write down the answer. Sometimes it isn’t that prayer doesn’t work, but that we forgot what we prayed for. So when God does answer our prayer we aren’t even paying attention. Keeping a prayer journal gives you tangible proof to look back on and remember that God hears you when you pray. Unfortunately, we often still have doubt even when our prayers are answered. In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis says that even when God does answer our prayers, “[We can] see some of the physical causes which led up to it, and therefore ‘it would have happened anyway,’ and thus a granted prayer becomes just as good a proof as a denied one that prayers are ineffective.” But our God does hear us. And He encourages us to, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).   6. THERE IS VALUE IN SUFFERING. Even if what you fear does happen to you, there is hope in the hurt. It’s easy to talk about the value of suffering when you are not currently suffering. But when a hard season comes, it’s often all but impossible to be confident that there is anything of value here. But there is always promise in the pain. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us,” (Romans 5:3-5). We don't rejoice for our sufferings but we can always rejoice in our suffering, because God is always working in the background to use it to make us more like Him and bring us closer to Him. Suffering in itself isn’t good, and it certainly isn’t enjoyable. It hurts. But suffering has value because it often bears such wonderful fruit in our lives that we are, in a sense, thankful for it after we have come through it.   This article appeared first at KennethEugene.com.

Babylon’s Blend

Posted on Oct 18, 2017 | Download

This article was adapted from the REACHING THE REMNANT sermon series. CLICK HERE to listen to the whole sermon. Have you noticed how weird music has gotten? Why is it filled with so much sex and occultist content? Why not the supernatural and sports, or sex and food? Why this ‘mixture’ of weirdness? Revelations 17 and 18 speaks of a spirit that will be at work in the last days known as ‘the spirit of Babylon’. She is called The Great Harlot who, “having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality”, will be judged by God for making the nations “drunk on the wine of the passion of her immorality.” Revelations 18:6 says, “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.” This mixture goes all the way back to the Tower of Babel. That Which Has Been… In Genesis, chapters 10 and 11, we read about a man named Nimrod who led the first organized rebellion against God. The Lord had commanded Noah in Genesis 9 to: “Be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Nimrod, who’s name means ‘rebellion’ or ‘we shall revolt’, decided to settle in the land of Shinar and make a name for himself by building a great city and a tower that could reach above the clouds. This sounds eerily similar to what Lucifer said in his heart in Isaiah 14! In this story, we are also told that Nimrod ‘became a mighty one upon the earth’ and that he was a ‘mighty hunter before the Lord’. In Hebrew, ‘Mighty Hunter’ was an expression used to describe ‘one who hunts men to enslave them’ and the word used for ‘become’ means ‘to defile, to pollute oneself ritually; sexually’. Could it be that Nimrod gained his power and influence through sexual abuse and rape? Since the word for ‘before’ means ‘face to face’ and is used to describe being in God’s presence, it stands to reason that as an act of rebellious defiance, Nimrod began conducting rituals involving sex right in front of God. Perhaps the tower was not a tower at all, but rather a temple where Nimrod ‘mixed’ sex and the supernatural, thereby establishing the first ‘false religion’ — later to be called the worship of Bel — famous for extremely explicit sexual rites. By the way, Genesis 11 tells us that Babel means ‘confusion’, but comes from the root word balal which means… “to mix”. This mixture of “sex and the supernatural” is seen in various places in scripture. In Daniel 5, Belshazzer, the Chaldean King of Babylon, seems to be familiar with this ritual since he ‘tasted the wine and called in his wives and concubines and began to worship false gods’. This may be why Daniel ‘made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank’.  Let’s RECAP…  Nimrod: Led the 1st unified rebellion against God. Established the 1st “kingdom” the world had ever known. Introduced the 1st organized “false religion”.  … Is That Which Will Be Do these things sound familiar? Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 together describe the time of the end when ‘the man of lawlessness’ will: lead a final rebellion against God. set up a ‘one world’ government upon the earth. draw worship away from God and unto himself. Nimrod seems to prefigure the Anti-Christ, who will rise up in the last days to hunt and harm God’s people. The Apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote: “Little children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) Maybe this is why sex and the supernatural are being mixed so heavily into today’s music. Perhaps it is a sign of the times; a precursor to what is ahead for the world? After all, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, did tell the people not to bow down and worship his image until they heard the music play! (Dan. 3:5) The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13:11 to ‘understand the occasion; to discern the time and to wake up from our sleep.’ The Apostle Peter reminds us that, “the end of all things is near. Therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer,” (1 Peter 4:7).  Nimrod has not stopped hunting God’s people. The spirit of Babylon is still at work today. The Great Harlot is mixing greater amounts of sex and the supernatural than ever before and is offering it without measure to our children in this last hour. Let us be of sober spirit! May we refuse to ‘drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality, for she will be paid back double according to her deeds, in the cup in which she has mixed.’ Let us remember that ‘the Lord God who judges her is strong’!  And Let us not shrink back to destruction but rise up with faith like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who saw, heard and even felt the music, but didn’t bow down! This article was adapted from the REACHING THE REMNANT sermon series. CLICK HERE to listen to the whole sermon.

10 Virtues That Will Help Our Kids Overcome

Posted on Oct 11, 2017 | Download

10 Virtues That Will Help Our Kids Overcome.   This blog post comes from this past week’s sermon, Reaching the Remnant ~ wk4 ~ Decorated With Sprinkles.   Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were “…10 times better than all those around them.” Not only did they not succumb to the pressures of the worldliness around them, but their influence has also reached from generation to generation and still impacts us today. This is what we want for our children. Here are 10 virtues that will set your children apart from the world and set them up to have great influence to the world around them!   1. HUMILITY Let’s teach our kids how to value others above ourselves and call-out behavior that is rooted in pride. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.   2. RESPECT Let’s teach our kids how to honor their elders and peers by interacting with kindness and call-out every ill-mannered behavior. Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.   3. PATIENCE Let’s teach our kids the value of waiting, and call-out whining about not getting what they want when they want it.   James 4:1-2 What causes conflicts and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from the passions at war within you? You crave what you do not have.   4. FORGIVENESS Let’s teach our kids that holding on to grudges harms them more than it does their offender, and call-out any unwillingness to extend grace. 2 Corinthians 2:7 You should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.   5. COMPASSION Let’s teach our kids how to help and encouragement those who are hurting and call-out judgmental behaviors that keep them from reaching out with love. Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.   6. DILIGENCE Let’s teach our kids to treat every task as an opportunity to please God and call-out every form of laziness and negativity toward hard work. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men.   7. CONTENTMENT Let’s teach our kids how to have peace and joy when life is not exactly how we hope it to be and call them out when they complain about their situation. Philippians 4:11-12 I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.   8. HONESTY Let’s teach our kids to tell the truth even when it hurts and to call-out every type of deceptive behavior. Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.   9. GENEROSITY Let’s teach our kids to freely give of themselves and their treasures and call-out stingy and selfish behavior. Proverbs 11:24-25 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.   10. COURAGE Let’s teach our kids to face their fears head on and call-out them out when they are letting their emotions rule their decision. Joshua 1:9 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.   PRAYER: God, I pray these virtues over my children today. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would override my flesh and empower me to live out these virtues myself and instill them into the heart of my kids. Thank You for Your faithfulness and that Your Word always accomplishes what it goes forth to do. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of my family’s hearts ever please to You! Amen