Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


 June 18, 2017
The Father of Spirits
“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9)
 
In these days when parents are urged by special interest and political groups not to discipline their children, and children’s rights are championed at the expense of parental authority, it is comforting to read in Scripture that the normal response to parental discipline is reverence. Thankfully, even most secular “experts” today recognize the child’s need for parental guidelines, reinforced by physical discipline as appropriate.
 
But this passage is primarily discussing the role of chastening father that God plays in the lives of His spiritual children. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord . . . for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. . . . But if ye be without chastisement . . . then are ye . . . not sons” (vv. 5-8). This discipline is “for our profit” (v. 10) and “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (v. 11) in our lives. The natural response should be both “reverence” and “subjection” (v. 9).
 
In our text, God is identified as the “Father of spirits,” reminding us that God is Creator. “The LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him” (Zechariah 12:1). He who created all things, including the spiritual side of mankind (Colossians 1:16), recreated each spirit at the time of salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17Ephesians 2:10; etc.). His wise and timely chastening is “for our profit” and has as its goal “that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).
 
On this day of special honor for fathers, let us not forget to honor our heavenly Father. JDM

h/t:  J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH
 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

June 11, 2017
The Discipline of Patience
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)
 
Patience, or endurance, is part of the development that produces the experience that brings hope and assurance to those who are the twice-born (Romans 5:3-5). Patience is a discipline—a “work” that is necessary for our growth. Although such discipline never seems pleasant at the time, it is administered by our loving heavenly Father, who focuses His work on our spiritual maturity (Hebrews 12:5-8).
 
Our text contains several key aspects that promise victory through the process of learning patience. Wisdom is granted liberally as we ask for it during the testings that produce the “perfect work” (James 1:4) of patience. As those who love the Lord endure the testings that will surely come, the endurance practiced will produce a “crown of life” (James 1:12) as an eternal testimony to our patience.
 
Psalm 37 outlines the principles for gaining patience during this life. First, “trust in the LORD” (Psalm 37:3) and follow His leading in everything you do (Proverbs 3:5-10).
 
Second, delight in the Lord—get excited about Him (Psalm 37:4). That trait is amplified often in Psalm 119 (Psalm 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 174). Then, commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37:5), becoming like a branch attached to the vine (John 15:4-7).
 
Finally, rest in the Lord (Psalm 37:7) and wait on Him (Psalm 37:34). That doesn’t mean just “hang around.” It means to be a fully prepared servant, waiting for his master’s orders to implement. The “profitable” servant (Luke 17:10) learns what his master wants and stands ready to respond to the needs of the Kingdom.
 
Patience is never obtained through bored indifference. HMM III

h/t:  HENRY M MORRIS III, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

June 4, 2017
The Family of a Disciple
“Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Luke 18:28-30)
 
Unfortunately, this and parallel passages have been wrongly used all too often to justify the abandonment of responsibilities to family in the name of following Christ.
 
But Christ is not here advocating repudiation of family. Instead, He insists that our allegiance be to Him and to His will. Nothing must be allowed to usurp His rightful position of supremacy in our lives. While it is true that for some a life unencumbered by family duties may result in more efficient ministry (1 Corinthians 7:1-9, 25-38), family relationships and responsibilities are of great importance to Him (vv. 10-24; see also many other passages).
 
Consider the case of Elisha. God had instructed Elijah to train Elisha to take his place as prophet (1 Kings 19:16). Finding Elisha plowing in his father’s field (i.e., family duties) with 12 yoke of oxen, “Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him” (v. 19).
 
Elisha knew immediately that he was facing a dramatic change in his life. He did not refuse, argue with, or try to alter the call, but he did recognize a responsibility to his parents. “Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee” (v. 20). Elijah agreed. To solidify his determination to leave, Elisha immediately sacrificed a pair of oxen, using as fuel the plowing instruments he had been using. He was, in effect, making a clean break with his former life, yet honoring and respecting his parents. “Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him” (v. 21). JDM

h/t: J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Sermonette

May 28, 2017
The Builder of the House
“He who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:3-4)
 
Perhaps the single greatest category of evidence for supernatural creation is in the nature of the creation itself, which everywhere shows such intricate design that it could not have come about by random chance. Consider the earth: Its size, mass, distance from the sun and moon, rotational wobble, chemical makeup, etc., are critical within very narrow limits. Any significant deviation in any of these, or other characteristics, would make life impossible.
 
But inorganic molecules, planets, and galaxies are simpler by several orders of magnitude than even the tiniest living organism. The marvelous genetic code that regulates life, growth, and reproduction is so unthinkably complex, so obviously designed, that it would take a “willingly . . . ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5) mind to conclude a naturalistic origin for it. Life at every stage and at every level of investigation shows symmetry in its order, purpose in its function, and interdependence between its parts; all of these are clear marks of design by an intelligent designer.
 
The evidence speaks so eloquently that even “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20) if they choose not to believe and therefore to merit and face His wrath (v. 18).
 
“All things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16). Mankind can take no pride in it nor rebellious solace in the idea of naturalistic origin, for “thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). JDM

h/t: J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


May 21, 2017
Be Content
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)
 
The English word “content” can bring up thoughts of indifference and mild temperament. Modern usage tends to give “content” a negative connotation, as though such an attitude has little ambition or drive.
 
Not so of the Greek term that the Holy Spirit chose for this passage. It is composed of the pronoun for “self” and the noun for “sufficiency.” Both in Scripture and in secular Greek literature, the word demands an ability to conquer whatever circumstances that may oppose one’s purpose or goal and to continue through in spite of difficulties.
 
The context of our text is a prime example. Paul had experienced hunger and satisfaction. He knew what it meant to be obscure and to be a celebrity. There were times when he had more than enough resources to accomplish what he understood God had called him to do, and other times when resources were very scarce. In whatever state he found himself, Paul had learned to be self-sufficient.
 
Our problem is that we often are looking only at the physical and circumstantial issues and have not learned that our Lord Jesus provides grace that “is sufficient for thee: for [His] strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The resources of the omnipotent Godhead are enough for us to “be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
 
The self-sufficiency of the twice-born rests on the eternal fact that God “worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). HMM III

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS III, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH
 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Sunday Sermonette


May 14, 2017
The Mother of Us All
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3:20)
 
Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was called the mother of all “the children of promise” (Galatians 4:28), and the wife of Noah was the mother of all post-Flood mankind, but Mother Eve, alone, was “the mother of all living.” “Adam was first formed, then Eve,” Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:13, and so-called “Christian evolutionists” have never yet been able to explain God’s unique formation of Eve’s body in any kind of an evolutionary context.
 
Eve, as our first mother, experienced all the great joys and great sorrows that all later mothers would know. She evidently had many “sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4) and probably lived to see many generations of grandchildren. With Adam, she had even known paradise, but sin had entered their lives when they rebelled against God’s Word, and God had to say, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children” (Genesis 3:16). The greatest sorrow was no doubt when Cain slew Abel, and as with another mother whose Son’s innocent blood was shed many years later, it was like a sword piercing her own soul (Luke 2:35).
 
Nevertheless, as near as we can tell, after her first great sin, Eve trusted God’s Word henceforth and received His forgiveness and salvation. Later, as the mother of Seth, she taught him and her grandson, Enos, about the Lord and all His promises. “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).
 
Most Christian believers are looking forward to seeing their own mothers again someday—restating their love and appreciation for all they did in bearing them, and in caring, teaching, and praying for them. But it will be a wonderful experience to meet our first mother, also, as well as Sarah, Hannah, Mary, and all the other godly mothers of old. HMM

h/t: HENRY M MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Sermonette


May 7, 2017
He Counted Me Faithful
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1:12)
 
The testimony of a changed life is perhaps the best evidence that God is alive and active today. The fact that at salvation a dead slave to sin is given life and a new nature comprises the only rational explanation for one who lives in victory and power after a lifetime of defeat.
 
Take Paul, for example. Our introduction to him is at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58), after which his ardor for the Jewish traditions and hatred of Christianity caused him to wreak “havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). This was not just casual opposition, for he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). He was a “blasphemer, and a persecutor [not only of Christians, but of Christ Himself—Acts 9:5], and injurious” (1 Timothy 1:13).
 
However, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [Paul] am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15), he said. Paul “obtained mercy” (v. 13), not receiving the punishment he deserved, through “the grace of our Lord [which] was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 14), even though he was not even seeking God (Acts 9:1-5).
 
To a greater or lesser degree, God has worked that same work of grace in each life that now belongs to Him. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, but each of us has done or has been capable of equally heinous acts. Through His grace, we are not only rescued from addiction to sin, but rehabilitated and empowered and given, as we see in our text, missions to accomplish that are of eternal significance. Let us “thank Christ Jesus our Lord” with Paul. JDM

h/t: J D MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH