Sermon Storeroom

A blog archiving sermons preached at

Maple Avenue Christian Church

Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024


Colossians 1:15-23

March 31, 2024

I want to ask you a personal question,

“Have any of you ever struggled with being color blind?”

I am not color blind, though some people think I may have a touch of it, I don’t. 

Anyway, for some people, being color blind can be a real struggle.

I want you to check out this guys reaction.

This is a man who has struggled with being color blind all his life, and he receives a pair of glasses that corrects his color blindness.

Can you imagine having a brand new perspective, a completely different way of seeing things?

Do you suppose he is still as in awe as when he first put the glasses on? 

Or, do you think, maybe he has gotten use to all the colors? 

A lot of things amaze us at first, and then get boring later, not because they’re boring, but because they become routine.

  • You get a new job, it’s amazing, it’s the job you’ve always wanted, you buy a new outfit for your first day, you get there 30 minutes early because you are so eager and then in a few months or maybe as long as a few years that job becomes routine. 
  • You get a new car, it’s awesome, you want to go around and pick up all your buddies us and drive them around, you wash it every day, and keep it spotless inside and out, but over time it’s just a car and it becomes your new routine to just put gas in it and wash it if it hasn’t rained in a while. 

It’s called hedonic adaptation.

Cassie Holmes, professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management says, “We humans have a powerful propensity to adapt after continued and repeated exposure. Seeing the same thing, doing the same thing, or being with the same person again and again lowers its impact on our emotional experience. Put simply, we get used to things over time.” 

It helps us when we’re in pain. 

We adapt to hard things and they become normal. 

But there’s a downside: we also start to adapt to things that are amazing and they become blah. 

We lose our amazement at what’s truly amazing.

It’s one of the greatest spiritual dangers we face. 

Because it’s possible to see the beauty of Jesus, and be captivated by it, only for that beauty to become routine, and for us to begin to fill that place in our lives where only Jesus belongs with lesser things. 

That’s exactly what happened with the church we’re going to talk about today.

When this letter was written, Colossae was a small, agricultural city with a diverse population that had seen better times.

But the good news of Jesus had reached that town. 

A church had started. 

But that church had a problem: they had a high view of Jesus, but they were tempted to start to hold on to things that had nothing to do with Jesus. 

In other words, their view of Jesus started to become obscured by other things. 

They wanted to add some Jewish legalism, ritualism, and mysticism to their faith in Jesus.

We do that too. 

As a church, we’re committed to a high view of Jesus. 

He’s everything to us. 

But I also recognize that it’s easy to start to let other things crowd in and obscure that view of Jesus. 

Actually, nothing is more common than the danger to lose our view of Jesus and start to let other, lesser things crowd in, causing us to miss the beauty of something far greater, far more glorious than we can imagine.

And so Paul says, let me tell you about Jesus.

Today’s sermon is an attempt to get rid of our hedonic adaptation and take a fresh look at Jesus so we’re amazed again. 

As well as introduce those of you who don’t hold a high view of Jesus, meaning, Jesus is not your Lord and Savior because you have refused to surrender your life to him.

But I am hopeful that through the power of the Holy Spirit you will be amazed either for the first time or again.

Years ago in Chicago, a famous evangelist named D.L. Moody said, “I am going to make Jesus Christ so attractive that men will turn to him.” 

He knew that giving people an accurate view of Jesus would accomplish more than anything else he could do. 

That’s what I want to do today too.

Colossians 1:15-23

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

On this Resurrection Sunday,


The first thing Paul does in our passage is to describe who Jesus is.

And so, who is Jesus?

That really is the question, isn’t it? 

It’s like Paul is saying that we need to take a fresh look at who Jesus is, because seeing him for who he is changes everything.

I like Paul’s approach here. 

He doesn’t begin with the false teachers and the dangers they face. 

Nothing wrong with that approach; in fact, Paul does that in other letters. 

But in this case, it seems that Paul has decided that the main issue is that they’ve forgotten how glorious Jesus is. 

Their primary need is to take a good, hard look at who Jesus is, because once they do, that will solve a bunch of other problems.

It’s like Paul is saying, “Let’s deal with the most important issue here. 

Once we take a fresh look at who Jesus is, it will start to sort out a lot of the other problems we face. 

Until we get this right, nothing else will really matter.”

So who is Jesus? 

Take a look at who Jesus is, because seeing him just may be what we need. 

Many of our biggest problems are solved by seeing who Jesus really is. 

Sometimes what we really need is to see the glory of Jesus.


The supremacy of Christ is a doctrine surrounding the authority of Jesus and His God-nature. 

In the simplest of terms, to affirm the supremacy of Christ is to affirm that Jesus is God.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines supreme as “highest in rank or authority” or “highest in degree or quality.” 

In essence, there is none better. 

The supreme of something is its ultimate. 

Jesus is the ultimate in power, glory, authority, and importance. 

In our passage this morning, Paul makes it plain that Jesus is over all things. 

Christ is called “the image of the invisible God” and “the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15). 

The word firstborn may seem confusing. 

In the Greek language this is the word πρωτότοκος

It does not imply that Christ was created (as in the doctrine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses). 

Instead, the term firstborn refers to a position of authority

To be “firstborn” was to hold an honored position. 

Paul immediately goes on to explain Jesus’ role in creation: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). 

This means that Jesus is not created but is Creator. 

He is God.

Paul goes on to say, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” (Colossians 1:17–18). 

Paul highlights multiple areas in which Christ has authority—over creation, over the Church, over death, and finally “in everything.” 

Christ is both before all things and encompasses all things (“in Him all things hold together”). 

Therefore, Christ is supreme.

This doctrine is essential to our view of and worship of Christ. 

The supremacy of Christ affirms that Jesus is fully God. 

He is not simply a man greater than the rest but is truly above all creation, as only God can be. 

Jesus is unlike any other, supreme over all. 

Christians are called to be like Jesus, but this is through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:12–13, Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

The supremacy of Jesus teaches us that He is not simply a spiritual being above the rest. 

Paul tells us that through Him all things visible and invisible, in heaven and on earth, i.e., spiritual and physical, were created (see Colossians 1:16). 

Hebrews 1:4 calls Jesus superior to the angels. 

This truth negates any tendencies toward angel worship. 

Jesus created the angels and is above them. 

We are explicitly told He is greater than they. 

Therefore, we need only worship Jesus. 

Similarly, that Jesus created the things of earth means that creation is not worthy of our worship. 

Jesus is supreme over both the physical and spiritual realms, thus giving both arenas importance while still remaining sovereign over them.

When we understand the supremacy of Christ, we have a more accurate view of Him. 

We more fully understand the depth of His love; we are more able to receive and to respond to His love. 

Theologians believe that Colossians was written, in part, to combat heresies rising in Colossae. 

It seemed fitting to Paul to affirm the supremacy of Christ in order to quash these misled beliefs. 

He affirmed Christ’s supremacy, His lordship, and His sufficiency for us. 

The supremacy of Christ is central to an accurate view of His Person, His work, our status as believers, and the Kingdom.

So, Paul is saying, there is nobody above Jesus. 

Nobody ranks higher than him. 

He is supreme. 

When it comes to God, Jesus shows us what God is like. 

When it comes to creation, he’s over all of it. 

He’s the highest over everyone and everything. 

Nothing and nobody is better than Jesus.

See Jesus’ supremacy. 


This truth that Jesus is supreme over all is essential for our salvation. 

God is infinite and, therefore, our sin against Him is an infinite offense. 

In order to atone for this offense, the sacrifice must be infinite. 

Jesus, as God, is infinite and is the only sacrifice worthy of God to redeem us to Him.

The fact that Jesus is supreme excludes us from saying that He is only one of many ways to God. 

He is not just a good moral teacher whom we may choose to follow; rather, He is God, and He is over all. 

Jesus said about himself in one of my favorite passages, John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus’ supremacy also makes it evident that we cannot atone for our own sins. 

In fact Hebrews 10:4, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” 

Jesus both fulfilled and replaced that system. 

Salvation is not based on works as Ephesians 2:4-9, But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

I want to share with you a very touching video with film director, Brian Ivie, it is his testimony. 

Brian directed the film, The Drop Box, and while making the film he surrendered his life to Jesus after witnessing the compassion of a South Korean pastor who cared for abandoned babies, who were left in the Drop Box. 

Here is his story.

It was not Brian’s working in himself, but the work of God on him that lead him to salvation. 

If you are here today and you are sitting there saying, what do I need to do to be saved then listen to Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” 

God has already done all of the work. 

All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers. 

The Apostle Peter explains to us in Acts 2:38, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Then Paul says in, Ephesians 2:8-9, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. 

Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). 

God is offering you salvation as a gift. 

All you have to do is accept it. 

Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).

We are going to have our elders and staff and prayer team members available to you this morning, because I am sure some of you are having questions, like, is it really that simple? 

They are here to encourage you and help you. 

Maybe you are here this morning and you have become routine in your relationship with Jesus, you have lost your vivid perspective and that is a terrible place to live. 

The same elders, staff and prayer team members are here for you also. 

We are to celebrate the fact that Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, and we are to surrender to Him and live for Him. 

Do you have a RENEWED OUTLOOK of Jesus today? 

Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024



Daniel 3 & 6

March 24, 2024

Uncompromising faith is believing and acting on God’s Word, no matter what the circumstances. 

It’s putting absolute confidence in God’s exceeding great and precious promises and doing what He says even when it looks like it may cost you your life. 

Even when you look like a crazy person to the world.

Uncompromising faith is the kind of faith you can see in action, for instance, in the book of Daniel, four men show us what uncompromising faith looks like. 

I believe we need more uncompromising faith in our churches and culture. 

God wants men and women, boys and girls to stand unashamedly with him, uncompromising in their faith with Him. 

Jab 2:

Daniel and his three friends,Rack, Shack, and Benny, you may know them by their formal names (Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego)…Rack, Shack, and Benny…paint an inspiring picture of uncompromising faith. 

Time and again, they faced situations where trusting and obeying God could literally put an end to their lives. 

Yet, they repeatedly stayed true to His WORD. 

They withstood the world’s pressure and refused to compromise.

You may remember their story: When they were just teenagers they were taken as Jewish captives from Judah to Babylon. 

There in Babylon they were exposed to an extremely immoral culture. 

Immediately, they began to be confronted with challenges to their faith.

The first challenge to their faith is found in Daniel 1:5, The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.

These foods were forbidden by the Old Covenant laws of God. 

Yet Daniel and his friends were told they had to eat them for three years to qualify to stand before the king.

To refuse would jeopardize their entire future.

Listen to Daniel 1:8, But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

 Instead, he asked the man in charge of the king’s servants for healthier foods that would line up with God’s WORD.

“My job is to fatten you up!” the man argued. “If I don’t, I’m going to look bad to the king. It might cost me my head!”

Right here is where Daniel put his first stake of no-compromise in the ground. 

Holding fast to his covenant with God, he said in Daniel 1:12-13, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.”

The man in charge agreed, and by the end of the 10 days, Daniel and his friends had proved that believing and obeying God doesn’t cost—it pays! 

Daniel 1:15, At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

Have you ever been in a situation when you have had to make a decision to either compromise your faith or stand strong in it? 

Most of us have never been in that situation, but many people are. 

Many people live the reality of Daniel and Rack, Shack, and Benny. 

This morning we are going to look at two stories in the book of Daniel that both teach us to


The first is in Daniel 3:13-18 and the second is in Daniel 6:

Daniel 3:13-18

Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

For their refusal to obey the king’s decree to bow down to the idol, three charges were brought against them. 

  • They paid no heed to the king and his commands
  • They did not serve the king’s gods 
  • And they refused to worship the golden statue the king himself had set up

The penalty for their actions was death. 

Their response to the king was profound:

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:15-18).

We cannot but be astonished by their faith in the one true God. 

Can’t you imagine all the people bowed down looking at these three and thinking, man, are yall crazy or what, just bow down and save yourself a lot of trouble? 

Crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with him. 

At the very outset, their response in the moment of trial confirmed three things: 

  • Their unswerving conviction of the God of the Bible. 
  • Their confidence in the God who is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. 
  • And their faith as revealed by their reliance upon the only One who had the power to deliver them from evil. 

Their acknowledgment of God over the world’s most powerful king resulted in God’s supreme power being revealed to unbelievers. 

Their faith demonstrates that God is able to deliver us from our own problems and trials.

As believers, we know that God is able to deliver. 

However, we also know that He does not always do so. 

Romans 5 tells us that God may allow trials and difficulties in our lives to build our character, strengthen our faith, or for other reasons unknown to us. 

We may not always understand the purpose of our trials, but God simply asks that we trust Him—even when it is not easy. 

We also know that God does not always guarantee that we will never suffer or experience death, but He does promise to be with us always. 

We should learn that in times of trial and persecution our attitude should reflect that of these three young men: “But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:18). 

Without question, these are some of the most courageous words ever spoken.

Jesus Himself said in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” 

Even if Rack, Shack, and Benny had to suffer a horrible, painful death in a burning oven, they refused to abandon God and worship an idol. 

Such faith has been seen innumerable times throughout the centuries by believers who have suffered martyrdom for the Lord.

I want to share with you, Harikiran’s story that I read in Voice of the Martyrs.

Though predominantly Hindu, India is also home to one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. 

One bold evangelist is making sure they hear the gospel, despite persecution from both Muslims and Hindus.

Harikiran was born into a Hindu family, but he came to know Christ at age 15 after his sister-in-law was healed from a lengthy illness. 

When modern medicine and witchcraft had failed to improve her condition, she and her family accepted a pastor’s invitation to visit his church. 

They soon came to know Christ, and Harikiran’s sister-in-law quickly recovered. 

“From that day,” he said, “we decided to follow Jesus.”

In his eagerness to share the peace and healing his family had experienced, Harikiran began telling others about his new Christian faith. 

As a result, he has faced many challenges over the past couple of decades as he has continued to tell others about Jesus. 

He has been arrested three times, jailed for a week, beaten, and harassed by a mob of Hindu activists. 

But none of these difficulties have hindered Harikiran from sharing the gospel. 

“If we save one woman or one man,” he said, “it will be worth it. Not a single person should be without God.”

Do we have that kind of desire?

Do you think to yourself, every man, woman, boy and girl should be with God? 

Are you willing to endure jail, beatings, and harassment to share the Gospel? 

Many people are not willing to endure the inconvenience of missing their favorite TV show to share with others. 

Crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with him. 

Nebuchadnezzar was astonished that the fire did not consume Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 

He was even more amazed when he saw not three, but a fourth person with them Daniel 3:25, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

The point here is that, when we stand uncompromisingly with God there may be those times of fiery persecution, but we can be assured that He is with us.

Jesus left us this promise in Matthew 28:20, And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. 

He will sustain us. 

He will ultimately deliver us. 

He will save us … eternally.


Crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with him. 

If we are put before the fiery furnace, we can reveal the One who can deliver us from it. 

Remember the powerful, yet encouraging words, of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Our hope when experiencing illness, persecution, or pain lies in knowing that this life is not the end—there is life after death. 

That is His promise to all those who love and obey Him. Knowing that we will have eternal life with God enables us to live above the pain and suffering we endure in this life (John 14:23).

The next story we read is in Daniel 6:21-22

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

Let me give you a little background to this statement by Daniel.

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den, involves Daniel, a prophet of the true and living God, who defies King Darius’s decree that the people should pray only to the Persian king for thirty days. 

Daniel, an otherwise law-abiding man, continues to pray to Israel’s God as he has always done. 

Evil men, who instigated the decree in the first place in order to entrap Daniel, of whom they were jealous, report him to Darius. 

The king is forced to put Daniel into a den of lions where he would be torn to pieces. 

King Darius is greatly distressed about having to punish Daniel, and he says to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you” (Daniel 6:16). 

God does indeed rescue Daniel, sending His angel to shut the mouths of the lions so they do not harm him. 

Daniel is removed from the lions’ den the next day, much to the relief of the king.

One of the chief lessons we learn from this narrative is gleaned from the confession of King Darius himself found in Daniel 6:26, “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.” 

For only by faith in such a God could any man have “shut the mouths of lions” (Hebrews 11:33). 

As with Daniel, the faithful Christian must understand that God is sovereign and omnipotent and His will permeates and supersedes every aspect of life. 


Psalm 18:30, “As for God, His way is perfect.” 

If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. 

This may seem crazy to the world, but crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with Him. 

It is true that we can’t expect to understand God’s mind perfectly, as He reminds us in Isaiah 55:8-9. 

Nevertheless, our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to His will and believe that whatever He ordains will be for our benefit and His glory. 

In Daniel’s case, “no wound was found on him, because he had trusted his God” (Daniel 6:23). 

There is more to learn from this remarkable story that makes it relevant to our postmodern culture. 

Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:13-14 to “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him.” 

Daniel not only followed this principle, he exceeded it by distinguishing himself as one with “exceptional qualities” (Daniel 6:2-3). 

Taking this lesson further, we read that submission to our political authorities “is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk as foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15). 


  • Faithfulness
  • His outstanding work ethic
  • And integrity 

Made it next to impossible for his adversaries to find “grounds for charges against him” (Daniel 6:4). 

Instead, they found that “he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” 

The world now, as it did then, judges us not by our faith but by our conduct (James 2:18). 

How many today could stand such a scrutiny as did Daniel on this occasion?

The story ends badly for Daniel’s accusers, just as it will for those who accuse and persecute Christians today. 

King Darius, on the other hand, recognized the power of the God of Daniel, turned to Him in faith, and commanded the people of his kingdom to worship Him (Daniel 6:25–27). 

Through the witness of Daniel, his faith, and the faithfulness and power of God, an entire nation came to know and reverence the Lord. 

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.”

Crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with him. 

  • Who brings a Bible into a public school?
  • Who shares a gospel even when the world calls him a fool?
  • Who’s not afraid to go against culture?
  • Who’s not afraid of being canceled and labeled, one of those?
  • Who sees the world as a mission field?
  • Who talks to Jesus like He’s real? 
  • Who believes the words in red? 
  • Who says He’s coming back again?

I’ll tell you who:

Crazy people that’s who because they trust in Jesus 

Following Him wherever He leads us

Kingdom Seekers, walk by faith believers

Crazy people trust in Jesus and stand uncompromisingly with him.

Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024



1 Samuel 17:1-58

March 17, 2024

Boldness can sometimes seem crazy to the world. 

Like the boldness and courage of the firefighters who ran into the Twin Towers on 9.11. 

We celebrate those brave heroes, who put others before themselves and many of them knew going in that they would not make it out. 

That is boldness. 

The world may think it’s crazy to run into a building being consumed by jet fuel, but not them, they were truly bold. 

So, I want to thank all the men and women who serve in these extremely bold occupations like our military, firefighters, police officers, corrections officers and the like. Thank you. 

Your choice of jobs may seem crazy to the rest of the world, but you are truly bold.

As Christians we are to be bold as well, but our boldness looks a bit differently. 

A bold Christian isn’t afraid to live by God’s standards, as stated in His Word, regardless of what other people think, say, or do. 

This is the boldness that comes from a relationship with Christ, resulting in courage, strength, and purpose as we humbly spend time studying God’s Word and seeking God in prayer.

It means we are not afraid to voice what is morally right according to God’s Word and not the Worlds opinion. 

We all love true stories of bold faith.

The man who calmly quit his job because his boss put him in a position to either quit or compromise his beliefs.

The woman who shared the gospel overseas at the potential cost of her life.

The college student who took a stand for Christ among classmates and a professor eager to ridicule her.

We often marvel at these examples and respond with phrases like, “I wish I was bold like that”, “that takes some kind of bold faith”, or other similar reactions. 

It’s almost like we’re saying that kind of boldness is an exception to what we expect to see in ourselves and fellow believers. 

But what if these are not supposed to be the exceptions?

The Bible makes it clear that faith in Christ is a continual calling out of our comfort zone. 

How many of us are living in our comfort zone?

We are told to rejoice in trials (James 1:2), expect persecution as part of a godly life (2 Timothy 3:12), and especially as we follow Jesus (John 15:20). 

This morning as we look at the life of David we are going to see boldness in action. 

A boldness that looks crazy to the world. 

1 Samuel 17:34-37

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” 


David teaches us two things in this passage, more, but two things I want to look at and then one thing to apply.


Now with this being said there are a couple of things we need to guard against so that we live as though God is our true source of strength. 

You see, Satan is going to attack us on at least two fronts and I want to point those out this morning, because these two enemies can lure us away from relying on God as the true source of our strength.

First, is our Pride

Our boldness is not to come from some inner strength that we muster up by pumping ourselves up, no, that’s the way the world does it. 

Our boldness to stand up to adversity, oppression and the like comes from the strength of God. 

And to our world, that looks crazy. 

Goliath was bigger and stronger than anyone in the Israelite Army. 

Our enemy is bigger and stronger than us. 

But God is bigger and stronger than the enemy. 

So, trust God’s strength and be bold in it.

If you try and defeat Satan’s attacks on a daily basis in your own strength, I can tell you for sure that you will not succeed, you will fail. 

That’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. 

Remember how Satan tempted Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:2-5, The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan was appealing to their own pride of strength…YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD. They forgot that they were already like God, created in His image. 

Satan loves for us to rely on our own strength and not the strength of God. 

And Satan tried to do the same thing to Jesus in Matthew 4. 

Jesus has fasted for 40 days, so he’s hungry right? 

And Satan tempts him to turn stones into bread, doesn’t sound like a big deal right, oh yeah, Satan is wanting Jesus to do this in his own strength and not rely on God’s strength. 

Now, I have just confused some of you and your are thinking, wait, isn’t Jesus God? 

So how is him turning stones to bread not relying on God’s strength. 

The Apostle Paul reveals that to us in

Philippians 2:5-7, In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,

    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing

    by taking the very nature of a servant,

    being made in human likeness.

So, Jesus knew he needed to rely on God’s strength not his own strength. 

David knew he needed to rely on God’s strength not his own strength. 

Do you know that you must rely on God’s strength not on your own strength? 

So, the first thing Satan tries to do is to get us to not rely on God’s Strength and he tempts us to rely on our own strength.

Second: Is our Weakness

Trusting God’s strength means you don’t worry about your own weakness. 

We all have weaknesses right? 

Of course we do, none of us are perfect, but we can’t let our weaknesses paralyze us from doing what God has prepared us to do. 

And we see that in David’s story here. 

David comes to Saul and volunteers to fight Goliath. 

Saul tells David, “You can’t, you’re only a boy and Goliath has been fighting since he was your age.” 

Saul looks at David and immediately pinpoints his weaknesses. 

David is young, too young even to join Saul’s army. 

David is inexperienced. 

He lacks the training and combat experience that Goliath has.

But David doesn’t let that deter him. 

In fact, David is the one encouraging Saul in this situation: “Don’t let anyone lose heart on account of this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:32).”

You see, when you’re trusting God’s power, you don’t have to worry about your weakness. 

Saul was quick to point out David’s weaknesses right? 

There are people who are quick to point out our weaknesses to and that can cause us to lose heart, am I right? 

How many times have you had people come to you and just encourage your socks off and you are having a great day and then all of a sudden, one person comes a long and makes that one negative comment and it just flushes all those positive comments down the toilet? 

That can be hard to recover from can’t it? 

And Satan knows this and so he does all he can to whisper our weaknesses in our ears and sometimes he uses other people to do this. 

The Apostle Paul battled this also, so you’re not alone. 

Paul is considered by many scholars to be one of the most profound of all Biblical writers and he was considered this in his day as well and so there was the temptation for Paul to boast and become conceited. 

So Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Many explanations have been put forward about whether Paul is referring to a physical, spiritual, or emotional affliction—or something else entirely—has never been answered with satisfaction. 

Since he was not talking of a literal thorn, he must have been speaking metaphorically. 

Some of the more popular theories of the thorn’s interpretation include temptation, a chronic eye problem, malaria, migraines, epilepsy, and a speech disability. 

Some even say that the thorn refers to a person, such as Alexander the coppersmith, who did Paul “a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14). 

No one can say for sure what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was, but it was a source of real pain in the apostle’s life.

I personally tend to lean toward a person, a messenger of Satan…

What God is teaching Paul in this, what David had learned as a youth, and what we can learn is this: God’s strength is made perfect in weakness because He delights in taking situations where human strength is lacking to demonstrate the greatness of His power. (Write That Down).

God’s denial of Paul’s request for healing turned out to be a blessing in the apostle’s life. 

One commentary explains that the thorn “kept Paul from imagining himself as a spiritual superman, and revealed to him the reality of his human mortality and weakness despite his extraordinary revelations. The ‘thorn’ also kept Paul pinned close to the Lord, in trust and confidence.” 

The same can be said of David. 

His small stature, his youth, his inexperience all these things made him rely on God and kept him pinned close to the Lord, in trust and confidence. 

How about you, are you remaining close to the Lord, in trust and confidence through your weaknesses? 

It’s like this. 

Imagine you have an 800-pound crate and a forklift. 

And you need to lift that crate up and put it on a truck. 

If you’re trusting in your own strength, you’re in trouble. 

But as long as you use the forklift, you don’t need to worry about your weakness in relation to the crate. 

It’s the same way with God. 

We’re all weak compared to the enemy. 

But as long as you’re trusting God’s strength, you don’t need to worry about your weakness.

GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE OF STRENGTH and crazy people trust in Jesus. 

Second: We need to remember that: THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD (45)

Look at 1 Samuel 17:45, David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

David shows us clearly that his boldness doesn’t come from himself it comes from the Lord. 

Too many times in life we are trying to fight our battles through our own tactics. 

Instead we need to learn to seek God’s tactics for the battles we are going to have in life.

Yes, David’s was a physical battle, but it was also a spiritual battle. 

Goliath was insulting David’s God and threatening God’s people Israel. 

What David said in verse 45 is perhaps one of the greatest statements in all of the Bible. 

Ray Fowler says, “Here’s where we see David’s heart for God on full display.”

This is where we all fall in love with David, and so will all of Israel.

Notice David’s zeal for God’s honor again. 

Let your zeal for God’s honor outweigh any fears you may face.

Well, David is facing Goliath, and David is not intimidated in the least. 

He has no fear. 

Goliath comes against him with sword and spear and javelin, but David comes against Goliath in the name of the Lord Almighty, whom Goliath has defied. 

David is confident of victory. 


Because the battle is the Lord’s. 

Let God get all the honor. 

Let the whole world know that the Lord, he is God. 

Let everyone know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves. 

For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of the Philistines into Israel’s hands. 

Now that’s faith!

I love what Chuck Swindoll calls this part of the story. 

He doesn’t call it “David and Goliath” or “David and the Giant.” 

He calls it “David and the Dwarf!” 

David sees Goliath not through his own eyes, but through God’s eyes. 

And in God’s eyes Goliath is a puny dwarf who’s going down. 

Look at verses 48-50, As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 

The battle is over before it barely begins. 

This is a knockout punch in the first round, on the very first punch! 

Reminds me of all the Mike Tyson fights back in the 80’s.

Man, I’d rent the fight and it’d be over before a minute had gone. 

Anyway, David triumphs over Goliath without a sword in his hand. 

Trusting God’s strength, David triumphs over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone. 

I like what A.W. Pink says here: “One stone in the hand of faith was worth more than all the Philistine’s armor on the giant of unbelief.”

We read in 2 Chronicles 20:15: “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” 

You can apply that to any situation in your life. 

Do not be afraid or discouraged whatever you are facing this morning. 

For the battle is not yours, but God’s, THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD and crazy people trust in Jesus.

So, you may be wondering, how does all this battle and fight language apply to me today, if I go out and take a stone and a sling and throw at sink the stone in the forehead of those who defy God, of which there is no shortage of people who defy God today, I will go to prison. 

Is that God’s will for me? 

NO! I will say it again NO! 

Don’t go out and take a sling and stone and hit people in the head who defy God.


As Christians we are to put on the full armor of God so that we will be ready for battle. 

It doesn’t look like much to the world, but we don’t dress for the world. 

We dress for success, not to impress. 

And Goliath was not very impressed with David. 

Look at 1 Samuel 17:41-44, Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” 

Goliath wants to fight a champion, a worthy opponent. 

So, when he sees that David is only a boy, he despises him. 

First, he insults David; then he curses him; then he threatens him. 

This is now the third person who has tried to discourage David from fighting Goliath. 

First, David’s older brother Eliab falsely accused him of wrong motives. 

Then Saul told him he was too young, that he couldn’t do it. 

Now Goliath curses him to his face.

In the eyes of the world, David was Crazy for trying to take on Goliath. 

But once again, David is not dissuaded, and neither should we. 

You need to be prepared for battle. 

You need to put on the full armor of God.

So, what is the armor of God? 

God tells us through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:14-18: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” 

How do you prepare for spiritual battle? 

Seven things – with truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God and prayer. 

That’s God’s armor. 

This armor is not recognized by the world, but it is essential to winning our spiritual battles.

David approaches Goliath, and Goliath keeps coming closer to David. 

Goliath’s shield-bearer goes before him.

But do you know who goes before us? God 

The Lord went before David. 

And that makes all the difference.

The world may think we are crazy, but  the Lord will go before us if we are wearing the full armor of God, because crazy people trust in Jesus. 

Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024



Genesis 6:9-7:24

March 10, 2024

One of the things you have probably noticed if you have walked with Jesus for a little while, is that people look at us like we are a little bit different. 

The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18,

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

We follow a God we have never seen.

We pray to a God we have never heard.

And on faith we put all the weight of this life in this God we have never seen that we know is real.

To the world that looks more than a little crazy. 

Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith.

This chapter looks at the faith life of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and others.

These are people who stepped out in faith to follow God wherever He was leading them. 

Imagine coming home from work one day and there in your neighbor’s backyard is him sweating away building this giant boat that is bigger than a football field. 

And you go over and say, watcha doin? 

And he says, God told me to build this boat, so I am building this boat.

What are you going to think about your neighbor, you’re going to think, “That guys crazy.” 

All the people we would consider heroes in the Bible, the things they would do, the steps they would take, following a God they had never seen, the world sees that as CRAZY. 

I believe we need more crazy people, don’t you? 

We need some people to start loving people like crazy, serving like crazy, giving like crazy and being the people that God needs us to be to reach the people that God loves. 

It’s going to take us stepping out of the ordinary and doing stuff somebody might just call crazy. 

Maybe it’s time you get crazy!”

Crazy people trust in Jesus

Followin’ Him wherever He leads us

Crazy people are Kingdom seekers, and walk by faith believers

I hope and pray that describes the men and women of MACC, does this describe you? 

To live by this kind of faith a person must be obedient. 

The person we are going to study today, Noah, was that obedient servant. 

Noah knew and teaches us that


Genesis 6:9-14, 22, 7:1-9,13-16

9This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

7:1 The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah.

13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark… 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

Noah’s neighbors didn’t take him seriously. 

When the ark was built, the only people who boarded it were Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their son’s wives——eight people in all. 

Nobody else wanted to be aboard that ark. 

There was no water anywhere nearby. 

There was no weather pattern that indicated that a flood was about to cover the earth. 

So people ignored Noah and thought he was a religious fanatic or an outright lunatic and they just didn’t care about his message.

Quiz: Do you know the two biggest problems of our day?

The biggest problems in our world today are ignorance and indifference. 

Now, I can only imagine how Noah must have felt at times. 

I mean, when people are constantly saying all kinds of bad things against you, sometimes you just want to crawl in to a deep hole and stay there. 

But Noah knew and teaches us that



Noah was not really crazy, but he must have seemed crazy to the people around him. 

When the whole world is wicked, goodness looks odd. 

When almost everybody ignores God, then someone who pays attention to God’s Word seems crazy. 

Noah lived in a world where insanely sinful behavior had become so common that it seemed normal. 

From the time of Adam to the time of Noah, the size of earth’s population shot upward, but the moral character of the people plummeted downward. 

Listen to Genesis 6:1-4, When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Here was a spiritual disaster so serious that God decided to take drastic measures. 

But what exactly happened?

 What does the Bible mean by “the sons of God“ marrying “the daughters of men? 

There are two different ways to understand this.

One view is that fallen angels married humans and had children with them. 

Elsewhere in the Old Testament, the phrase “sons of God“ clearly refers to angels (Job 1:6; 15:8; 38:7). 

For this reason, many ancient Jewish and Christian teachers took “the sons of God“ in Genesis to be fallen angels. 

These demons took physical form, mated with human women, and did some genetic engineering to produce the Nephilim, sometimes translated as “giants.” 

They became known as heroes for their fierce courage and superhuman exploits. 

In this view, the mating of humans with supernatural beings produced giant bodies, giant minds, giant actions, giant fame, and gigantic wickedness. 

If demons found a way to mingle with humans, they were carrying rebellion against God to new extremes, and God made up his mind to stop it.

A different view is that “the sons of God” were men from the godly line of Seth, and “the daughters of men“ were women from the wicked line of Cain. 

Genesis 4 describes Cain and his evil offspring, and Genesis 5 describes the godly line from Adam through Seth to Noah, so Genesis 6 may be saying that these two separate lines began to intermingle. 

God does not permit people from godly families to marry outside the family of faith, but these sons of godly families chose to do so anyway. 

They saw some good—looking women from ungodly families and decided that a woman’s looks and a man’s desires matter more than God. 

The children of such marriages were heroic, even gigantic in some ways and became famous, but morally they were monsters. 

When the only line of people faithful to God intermarried with the wicked and became like them, God began a countdown to destruction.

Which view is correct? 

Is Genesis describing the mingling of demons and humans, or the intermarriage of a once godly line with the ungodly? 

I don’t know if I can answer that definitively, however, what I can say definitively is that sin was running rampant and God was disgusted with it. 

Jesus says that the world before his Second Coming will be like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37). 

Are we living in such a time? 

I read an interesting article by George Barna in the Christian Post and I want to share some of it with you today. 

Millions of uncommitted Christians are causing a "catastrophic decline in biblical worldview in America" because they have been poorly discipled in their faith and often don't know how to pass on biblical values to their children.

Just 2% of parents with children under 13 were found to have a biblical worldview, while 94% had embraced syncretism.

Syncretism is described as a "hodge-podge mixture of competing and often conflicting worldviews."

22% of parents of preteens in America are born-again Christians, and only 8% of them hold a biblical worldview.

Barna’s research shows that just 36% of 13 and 14-year-olds believe that God exists and is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe, while only 1% of preteen children possess a biblical worldview.

"A majority of the youngest teens (61%) either believe Jesus Christ sinned while He was on Earth or hold open the possibility He did." 

"Not even half (45%) believe that God created the universe. 

And an overwhelming majority believe that there are no absolute, objective truths."

Barna encouraged parents who want to develop a biblical worldview in their children to first "understand that this is their primary task in life — to raise their children to know, love, and serve God with all their heart, mind, and soul. No other life task is more important."

But you know what, the world finds that crazy…

No doubt that’s what people said about Noah. 

In a time when demons dominated more and more people, when even people with godly roots fell in love with wickedness, Noah didn’t fit. 

But sometimes it’s better not to fit, it’s better to let the world think you are crazy and obey God.

Look at 6:22, 7:5, 7:9, and 7:16…it says, Noah did all the Lord commanded him. 

Noah was obedient when evil seemed normal. 

Crazy people trust in Jesus

Followin’ Him wherever He leads us

Crazy people are Kingdom seekers, and walk by faith believers




It may feel more comfortable to fit in with everybody else. 

But what if everybody else is on the wrong track? 

What if everybody else is doomed? 

When the Bible describes God’s pain and rage at human wickedness, it uses the language of human emotion. 

But no words can fully express how God’s heart reacts to evil. 

God does not wink at human evil or say, “That’s okay. I don’t mind.“ 

No, when God sees sin, he thunders, “That’s not what I created people for. If that’s what they’re going to be like, I’m going to wipe them out.” 

God didn’t just “hate the sin and love the sinner.”

He decided to wash the earth clean.

Man, I know this isn’t popular, we want to think of God as a condoning grandpa, but he is not, yes he is fully love, and perfect love at that, but he is also 100 percent justified in his judgment. 

And you know what, he doesn’t need our permission to carry out his judgment. 

He doesn’t need our approval, though many Christians I believe, believe that. 

Have you ever heard preachers or Christians apologize for God’s wrath, because it doesn’t fit into our cultural ideas that everybody deserves to win. 

After Genesis gives a grim description of human sin and God’s wrath against it, the tone abruptly changes with two words: But Noah. Genesis says:

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

This is the account of Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth (6:8—10).

What a contrast between Noah’s family and the rest of the world! 

But Noah! 

The world was under God’s wrath, but Noah was under God’s grace. 

The world was rotten, but Noah was righteous. 

The world was wicked, but Noah was blameless. 

The world was godless, but Noah walked with God. 

Noah didn’t do all of this because he was naturally so good. 

Noah had a sinful nature like everyone else. 

The Bible says that when God looked at humanity before the flood, he saw “that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time“ (6:5). 

And even after the flood, when Noah and his offspring were the only humans left, God said that of humanity that “every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood“ (8:21). 

Noah had a fallen nature that tended toward sin. 

On his own Noah would have been as rotten as anyone else.

But Noah wasn’t on his own. 

Noah had God. 

The Bible says that Noah found favor, or grace, in the eyes of the Lord. 

It was God’s amazing grace that accepted Noah and made him different. 

Noah lived by faith in God’s grace. 

This enabled him, in spite of his sinful nature, to be right with God and righteous in his conduct. 

This made him “blameless,“ a man who served God with integrity and dealt with his own faults honestly and promptly. 

Noah wasn’t perfect, but he was blameless in the sense that sin did not dominate him or keep the upper hand over him. 

Nobody could deny the power of holiness in him. 

By himself Noah was as weak and wicked as anyone, but “Noah walked with God.” 

Noah may have seemed crazy for being so out of step with other people, but he was in step with God, and that was all that really mattered.

That’s all that really matters for you and me as well. 

On our own, we’re as bad as anyone else. 

Even the most devoted follower of Jesus Christ has to admit, as the apostle Paul did in Romans 7:18, For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Church Reformer Martin Luther said, “Without the Holy Spirit and without grace man can do nothing but sin and so goes on endlessly from sin to sin.” “This knowledge of our sin is the beginning of our salvation,” in that “we completely despair of ourselves and give to God alone the glory for our righteousness” in Christ.

If you think you don’t need God and are fine the way you are, you will keep getting worse, as the people in Noah’s time did. 

But if you recognize your sin, give up on yourself, and seek God’s grace in Christ, you will find favor with God, as Noah did, we call this repentance. 

You are weak, but God is strong and can keep you from living a life of sin. 

Your greatest need is not to be like other people but to have a closer walk with God, to know God is with you.

The closer you walk with God, the more you will seem like a misfit to people who don’t know God. 

But that’s okay. 

Moses wrote in Exodus 23:2, “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” 

And David said, in Psalm 1:1, Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

Crazy people trust in Jesus

Followin’ Him wherever He leads us

Crazy people are Kingdom seekers, and walk by faith believers


So, what does it look like to be a crazy person standing up for God in today’s world. 

I believe it looks like, Adam Zajac, the father of an 11 year old son who was exposed to pornographic literature in the public school library.

Adam’s 11-year-old boy made a statement at a school board meeting in Maine by reading from an explicit book he said he took from his middle school library.

The excerpt he read recounted a sexual interaction between a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man.

His father, Adam Zajac, also addressed the board during the Windham Raymond School District meeting on February 14, telling attendees that his son had also been asked by the librarian if he wanted a graphic novel version of the book.

The access of children to certain books has become a divisive issue in America, with some parents encouraging the exposure of children to increasingly modern sexual concepts, and others complaining they are being prematurely sexualized.

The book featured in the Maine meeting was Nick and Charlie by bestselling 28-year-old British author Alice Oseman, which tells the story of a high school relationship.

Her popular book, Heartstopper, which was recently turned into a Netflix series, tells the story of the same pair beginning their relationship aged 15 and 16.

After the boy delivered the passage, his father came to the lectern.

'I'm that kid's father. That's my son, 11-years-old and went to his library and found it by the entry door of our library. This is the smut that he is finding, alright?' said the boy's father.

'I don't care whether it's gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever the terms are for all of this stuff – it doesn't need to be at our school. It doesn't need to be at my 11-year-old's library,' he added.

Deemed crazy by a lot of people with secular worldviews, Mr. Zajac takes a stand.

I am not sure whether Mr. Zajac has a Biblical worldview or not, but at least he is taking a stand.

Which a lot of us aren’t even willing to take a stand. 

Noah was not the last woodworking preacher whom people thought was crazy. 

Jesus was a carpenter who preached the kingdom of God and called for people to repent. 

Jesus said that he would judge the world and that he himself was the only way to be saved. 

Jesus warned people to get ready. 

But many rejected Jesus and his message. 

Some religious experts said, “He…is raving mad. Why listen to him?” (John 10:20). 

On at least one occasion, even Jesus’ own family said, “He is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). 

Jesus seemed crazier than Noah had seemed.

Maybe the gospel of Christ as Savior and Judge sounds crazy to you. 

How could a poor, despised man be the Son of God? 

How can this person getting nailed to a cross be the only way for people to be saved? 

How can faith in the crucified Christ and in his blood poured out for your sins be the only way for you to survive on Judgment Day? 

It may sound crazy, but it is the ultimate wisdom. 

In a world gone crazy with sin, God may sound foolish, but his apparent foolishness is our only hope. 

Jesus died to save all who trust him, and he is coming again to judge the world. 

Don’t scoff at this, and don’t be intimidated by those who do scoff. 

Believe the gospel. 

Build your life on Christ. 

He is the only ark of safety. 

Crazy people trust in Jesus

Followin’ Him wherever He leads us

Crazy people are Kingdom seekers, and walk by faith believers

DNA: Crafted To Serve One Another
Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024

DNA: Crafted To Serve One Another

Ephesians 4:7-13

March 3, 2024

What do you believe is the greatest miracle of God?

  • Creation of the World 
  • Flooding the entire World?
  • Drying up the flood?
  • The ten plagues on Egypt?
  • The birth of Christ?
  • The resurrection of Christ?
  • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in mankind?

The greatest miracle I believe is the redemption of men and women, boys and girls, the “whosoever” of John 3:16 by grace through faith. 

Did God say salvation is a greater miracle than creation?  Yes, I believe He did.

At creation God created something from nothing…but at salvation he changes the very nature of man from sinner to saint.

He brings life into us though we were dead in our sin.  

And God created us and recreated us in Christ for the purpose of serving His Kingdom.  

Notice with me in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” 

See we were created to serve God.

Or the way we say it MACC,


Now look at Philippians 2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant.”  

What should our attitude be as we are recreated in the image of Jesus – servant?  

God is preoccupied with His people serving others.  

It is truly a marvelous work that God performs…and that is what I want us to consider this morning.  

Remember one of our biblical core values is:


and we believe that when we are serving God and others we are Transforming People Into Christ Likeness. 

But in all of this serving talk there is a question that comes to my mind.  

Why do we serve?  

Our desire is to equip and assist you in discovering your spiritual gifts, that you might find God’s purpose for you as a member of His Body

Ephesians 4:7-13

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,

    he took many captives

    and gave gifts to his people.”

9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


Why do we serve?  


Do we have any charismatic people here this morning?  

Raise your hand if you are charismatic, it shouldn’t be a problem if you are charismatic. 

Honestly, we should all be charismatic, why? 

Look back in vs. 7 the word grace it is the word χάρις [charis /khar•ece/] it is where we get the word charismatic and we usually apply it to our Pentecostal brothers and sisters in Christ but this word means that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.  

Let me ask you again are you charismatic?  

Some of you are and it is written all over your faces, but some of us are not and that too is written all over our faces.  

Some of us couldn’t pry a smile out of our faces with a crowbar.  

Have you ever noticed those folks who look like they are constantly sucking on a lemon?

All wrinkled face, did you know it takes more effort to frown than to smile…

When we begin to understand and live as God has created us and recreated us, which is to live in a way that our eyes are no longer focused on ourselves but preoccupied with others created in the image of God our Father then we experience true joy.  

We experience the gift of grace.  

And once we have experienced the gift of grace we then become grace givers.  

We have become grace receivers, I believe, for the express purpose of being grace givers.

So if you are not a grace giver and only a grace taker you have not the right perception of God’s grace in and on our lives.  

There is nothing more enjoyable in life than extending grace to others by doing what it is God has called you to do and doing it for him.  

Look also at the word apportioned in vs. 7 and measure in vs. 13 they are the same word μέτρον [metron /met•ron/].  

In Ephesians 4:7 métron expresses the diversity of the gifts that God gives to his people, while in Ephesians 4:13 it is then used for the fullness that the gifts are meant to achieve.

All of this means that God has created us to express graceful joy through the diversity of the gifts that he has given us so that we can achieve God’s goal for His church which is unity in the Body of Christ.

Let me say it this way, working together in joyous harmony through the way God has wired us and encouraging one another brings the unity in Christ that is the underlying desire in every human heart. 

We serve because of God’s Grace.  

Why do we serve?  


Now the gifts list that Paul mentions here is a list comprised of leadership gifts.  

Notice in vs. 8 that after Jesus ascended on high, he gave gifts.  

The word for gifts here is the word δόμα [doma /dom•ah/] and literally means a present.  

So looking at this in context, after Jesus ascended to the Father He presented gifts of people who were called and gifted to lead and train the rest of the Body of Christ.  

So, unintentional ministry is to come to a halt.  

We are to be trained and equipped for ministry.  

Look at vs. 12 see the word prepare it is the word καταρτισμός [katartismos /kat•ar•tis•mos/] it is better translated equipping or getting people ready, training people for work.  

As we understand our gifts we must understand how to use them and that we are to use them for the benefit of others and the kingdom.  

Do you hear it? We are crafted to server one another…

It is also important to note that the word “some” is used to denote mankind.  

Therefore both men and women are gifts to minister to the Body of Christ. 

There are four gifts that Paul talks about here.

I won’t spend a lot of time on them, but I do want to touch on them.

  1. Apostle: one who establishes and strengthens the church.  The word means “one who is sent with a commission.” Jesus had many disciples, but He selected 12 Apostles. A disciple is a “follower” or a “learner,” but an apostle is a “divinely appointed representative.” The Apostles were to give witness of the Resurrection (Acts 1:15–22), and therefore had to have seen the risen Christ personally. There are no apostles today in the strictest New Testament sense. These men helped to lay the foundation of the church—“the foundation laid by the Apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20), and once the foundation was laid, they were no longer needed. Of course, in a broad sense, all Christians have an apostolic ministry in that we have witnessed through the truth of the Word that Christ is resurrected. And we are sent with a commission, the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus’ last words to his apostles and to us, Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  1. Prophet: one who speaks forth the message of God.  We commonly associate a prophet with predictions of future events, but this is not his primary function. A New Testament prophet is one who proclaims the Word of God (Acts 11:28; Eph. 3:5). Believers in the New Testament churches did not possess Bibles, nor was the New Testament written and completed.  Paul suggests that the gift of prophecy had to do with understanding “all mysteries and all knowledge” (1 Cor. 13:2), meaning, of course, spiritual truths. The purpose of prophecy is “edification, encouragement, and consolation” Paul said it like this in 1 Corinthians 14:3, 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
  1. Evangelist: one who is called to preach the Gospel.  All ministers should “do the work of an evangelist,” but this does not mean that all ministers are evangelists (2 Tim. 4:5). The Apostles and prophets laid the foundation of the church, and the evangelists built on it by winning the lost to Christ. Of course, in the early church, every believer was a witness (Acts 2:41–47; 11:19–21), and so should we be witnesses today. But there are people also today who have the gift of evangelism. The fact that a believer may not possess this gift does not excuse him or her from being burdened for lost souls or witnessing to them, because we are commissioned to seek lost people. 
  1. Pastor/Teacher: one who feeds and shepherds the believers and instructs them.  Pastor means “shepherd,” indicating that the local church is a flock of sheep (Acts 20:28), and it is his responsibility to feed and lead the flock (1 Peter 5:1–4, where “elder” is another name for “pastor”). He does this by means of the Word of God, the food that nourishes the sheep. The Word is the staff that guides and disciplines the sheep. The Word of God is the local church’s protection and provision, and no amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other religious substitutes can take its place.  

It is important to understand that these are not titles but functions.  

Though these are nouns they are to be lived out as verbs.  

A word of caution is wise here, some will excuse themselves from serving because they have assigned a title to someone else and then they see themselves as relieved of responsibility.  

I consider Chuck Sackett a good friend of mine and he wrote a wonderful article in Christian Standard back in June of 2008.  

He accurately describes the hazards of assigning titles to people, the noun replaces the action.  

Chuck says, “That’s really the problem with nouns, it’s hard to keep them from becoming separatist, divisive.  After all, if I was ‘The Minister,’ what was everyone else supposed to do?  It didn’t take them long to figure it out: they were ‘to be ministered to.’”

The role of a “minister” is to equip and train up and challenge the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry of the church. Like:

  • Christmas Eve Dinner (Dawn and Kelly)
  • Thanksgiving Bags (Ashley Swedell, Babbette Bice, and Steph Kerr)
  • Haiti Meal Pack (Missions Team)
  • Education Hour (Steve Clements, Andy Farwell, Bruce Eidson, and Christina Farwell)
  • Children’s ministry (Amy Morris, over 60 volunteers)
  • Youth Ministry (DJ Goble)
  • Small Groups (Christina Farwell)
  • Greeting (Doors – Wally, Section Host – Abby and Nancy, Greeters – Kathy Hamm and others) 

These are the gifts of those who are to equip the body of Christ to do the work of ministry.  

The interesting thing about these gifts is that they help others recognize their gifts and then encourage people to use the gifts God has graced them with.  

We serve because of God’s gifts.

Why do we serve?  


God desires to be glorified through his followers, you and me.  

And one of the ways he desires to be glorified is through unity.

Circle the word unity in vs. 13 it is the word ἑνότης [henotes /hen•ot•ace/] and it means a state of oneness.  

It is literally saying that we believe one in the same way.  

And I find it interesting that as Paul has been laying out the fact that we are all so different and each of us has a different gift we are still to maintain unity.  

And that unity comes through giving glory to God by serving others and in this case it is by equipping the rest of the body, because we are crafted to serve one another. 

Paul sets an initial goal for our works of service. 

We are to build up the body, “until we all reach unity in the faith … and become mature.”  

The first ministry of believers is to other believers, crafted to serve one another.

It is vital that we “grow up into Him” if we are to be a valid expression of Jesus in this world. 

The whole body “grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

This is sometimes hard to accept. 

We look at the world and are burdened by the need for evangelism. 

We look at the poor and are burdened by the need to establish justice. 

We look at the suffering and are impelled to comfort and to care. 

So sometimes we slip into the trap of organizing the local church to undertake one or more of these tasks. 

We program evangelistic efforts and buy more buses. 

We commit ourselves to an active social welfare involvement. 

All too often we lose sight of the fact that the first function of the body is to build itself.

Don’t misunderstand: this does not mean we become internalized.  

This focus on building one another up is not “selfish;” it is essential. 

Only as we grow toward maturity together can we respond fully to Jesus as He directs us to serve in the world. 

Only a strong and healthy body can carry out the tasks assigned to it. 

Our effectiveness in communicating the Gospel and the love of God to the world around us depends on our growth toward maturity. 

This kind of growth takes place as we—members together of one body—build each other up in love, each part doing its own ministering work together with other believers.  

What breaks my heart is that our churches today are filled with forty and fifty year attendees that are still infants in their faith and the unity is absent because there has been no maturity.  

I believe one of the best ways to glorify God is when the church functions in unity, taking care of each other, looking out for each other. 

Francis Chan, about a gang member who left the church, give this video your attention please.

And Paul is clear that there are a variety of gifts in which we can have and must share within the body and the world and even though we are different in our gifts we should all work toward one goal, glorifying God through His grace imparted on our lives.  

The reason we serve is because God saved us to change us and to use us as agents of change in our community and our world.

As a church we want to give you as many opportunities as possible to serve in the church and to serve outside the church. 

We believe in this so strongly that we actually hired a Discipleship Minister, Christina Farwell, she is doing an amazing job and I am so encouraged by all that she is doing, but she can’t make any of you serve, neither can I and we understand that.

That’s why we have been praying since the first of the year for God to put it on people’s hearts to serve in the church and in our community. 

Take some time after our service and stop by the adult ministries table, Christina has put together a flier for you so that you can see all the areas we need help in…and if you aren’t serving you aren’t growing.

When we are about the business of serving God and His Kingdom, we won’t have the energy or time to spend in the Devil’s playground of complaining and negativity. 

Don’t be caught in the Devil’s playground, be found...


DNA: Cultivated To Live A Life Of Prayer
Sermon Storeroom
April 2, 2024

DNA: Cultivated To Live A Life Of Prayer

James 4:1-10

February 25, 2024

How comfortable are you with prayer?

Watch this clip from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (stop at 1:23):

When it is time to pray at dinner or the end of a small-group meeting, someone is usually designated to do it, and everyone else is secretly relieved when they don’t have to say the blessing. 

We’re probably afraid of messing up like Aunt Bethany!

As a matter of fact, the area of discipleship most Christians struggle with most is prayer. 

According to one recently published estimate, a typical Christian spends about three and a half minutes each day in prayer. Full-time Christian workers average about seven minutes per day. 

When I first read that I was amazed but when I thought about it a little bit I believed it, I accepted it, and I even understood it a little bit because we are such an independent culture in our relationships even in our relationship with God.   

And so we find it difficult to pray.  

We live in a culture in which some of our most intimate conversations take place in a public forum i.e. facebook, twitter.  

So it makes sense that as we as a people lose the art of communicating with each other why wouldn’t we lose the desire and art of communicating with God.  

What things make it difficult for you to spend quality time in prayer?

  • Too busy or tired
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Don’t know what to pray about
  • Don’t feel like it
  • Feel guilty
  • Not convinced it makes a difference

Perhaps the basic cause of our weakness in prayer relates to how we view God. 

We may have no genuine awe for the One “who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth” (Isaiah 51:13). 

God seems more like a superhero from Marvel Comics, whittled down to human size. 

If we aren’t captivated by God, prayer is simply an arduous task.  

So, what is this strange and mysterious activity that churched people seem to talk about all the time, that the Bible talks about over 750 times…What is prayer?

I want to share with you some thoughts from others about what prayer is. 

  • Jim Cymbala says, “Prayer is the opening of the heart so we can receive all these good things that God has for us every day. It's like sitting down at a table that God has prepared for us. He says, 'I have everything you need today - all the grace, all the wisdom, all the provision that you need - but sit down at the table and eat. Don't be so rushed and so busy and try to live without My supply.'”
  • Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline, “Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life.  Of all the spiritual disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father.  Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us.”  
  • John Piper, “Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God.”  
  • John McArthur, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of omnipotence.”  
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”

So, hopefully as we spend time together today talking about our core value:


We won’t fall into the 3-7 minute trap that many Christians have fallen into and we will understand our need to live inter-dependently on God.  

Cultivating a life of prayer means that our prayers impact our lives and to do that we must develop an attitude of prayer or what I call “prayerittude” 

This morning I want us to look at how we CULTIVATE A LIFE OF PRAYER or “prayerittude” in our lives based on what James teaches us.  

James 4:1-10

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

The first thing we must do in developing a prayerittude is:


We must humble ourselves in our praying so that we stay in step with God you see when our praying is wrong, our whole Christian life is wrong. 

It has well been said that the purpose of prayer is not to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.  

And God’s will for man is not fights, quarrels, killing, or coveting.   

God’s will for man is to work together in harmony and unity to advance His Kingdom.  

James is writing this letter to the Jewish Christians who are scattered all over the known world. 

Now remember that these people have probably been Jesus followers for about 14 years or so.

Most of them were probably in Jerusalem at Pentecost when Peter and the other disciples spoke to them in their own language (Acts 2) and 3,000 of them repented and were baptized in to Christ on that day. 

Now they are back in their home countries with the purpose of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people in their homeland.  

But their actions as a church in their community do not reflect the will of God done through mankind.  

Instead they are fighting and bickering and those outside the church notice this and they are repelled by this type of behavior, it probably mirrors very much of the governmental system of the day.  

And James reminds them that if they are prideful they are not modeling Christ in anything especially in their praying…and so James starts talking about being humble. 

Humility seems to be the overarching attribute in Cultivating A Life Of Prayer. 

James, in rapid fire fashion, points this out over and over again in this passage.  

 Notice that James says in:

  • vs. 2, “you do not have because you don not ask God.”  
  • and in vs. 3 when you do ask you ask with wrong motives 
  • in vs. 4 he calls them an adulterous people 
  • in vs. 6 he quotes Proverbs 3:34, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  
  • In vs. 10 he says, Humble yourselves before the Lord.  

Our primary attitude in our prayer life needs to be humility.  

The funny thing about humility is that when you think you have it, it has just slipped through your fingers.  

But in order to have an effective prayer life with God we must be humble.

This word humble that James uses is the Greek word ταπεινός [tapeinos /tap•i•nos/] it is an adjective meaning it describes the person the word means lowly, not rising far from the ground…it means to look at yourself accurately, objectively, not to think of yourself more than you think of others.  

So, the attitude or prayerittude that we must develop is one of humility, but how do we do this?  

Well, James is a how to book and in vs. 7-10 he explains how we are to do this by laying out the actions and in our language we call them verbs and the verbs he uses are:  

Submit, Resist, Come, Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Wail, Humble.  

Now I am not going to go through all those.  But I do want to point out a couple of things as we discuss how we develop humility in our lives and humble ourselves before God as we Cultivate A Life Of Prayer or prayerittude.  



Submit is the Greek word ὑποτάσσω [hupotasso /hoop•ot•as•so/] and it means to put under or to subject to.  

It is a military term meaning to put oneself in the proper rank.  

If you have ever served in the military or ever watched a military show you have undoubtedly noticed the rank that different soldiers wear.

If the private tries to act like the General there is going to be problems.  

In your own workplace, if the employees try to act like the employers there is going to be trouble and I don’t care where you work that don’t work.  

If the child tries to act like the parent, in my house there is trouble in deed.  

And when the parent acts like the child and there is more and more of that as parents try to be their children’s best friends instead of their parents and that leads to big trouble too.

To submit unto God is to completely surrender unto him.

Unconditional surrender is the only way to complete victory. 

If there is any area of the life kept back from God, there will always be battles. 

Many people are willing to do anything except what God asks, because His way requires humility. 

It requires an acknowledgement that we are dependent on God, that we are indebted to Him, obligated to Him; that we can never repay Him for His blessings to us. 

It’s like people who refuse to let you give them anything without giving you something equivalent back. 

Everything has to be a "quid pro quo," so they never feel obligated to anyone. 

So we bargain with God, make sacrifices, give money, etc. etc. 

But we refuse to do the one small thing that God requires. 

In reality, that one small thing is the biggest, most difficult thing that God could possibly ask of us. 

Because it requires us to humble ourselves and come to God, hat in hand, asking His mercy and grace.

When we submit to God we resist the devil… Warren Wiersbe says, “Satan needs a foothold in our lives if he is going to fight against God; and we give him that foothold. The way to resist the devil is to submit to God.”



How do we do this? 

By confessing our sins and asking for His cleansing. 

“Wash your hands you sinners and purify your hearts you double-minded.” The Greek word translated purify means “make yourself morally pure.” 

This parallels the idea of “spiritual adultery” in James 4:4. 

A.W. Tozer has a profound essay in one of his books, entitled, “Nearness Is Likeness.” The more we are like God, the nearer we are to God. 

I liken this to a married couple, you know most married couples are together so much that they start to imitate one another, picking up each others habits, but couples that have been together a long time they actually start to look alike, I feel sorry for my wife.  

As God graciously draws near to us when we deal with the sin in our lives that keeps Him at a distance, we start to look more and more like Him.  

And here is the twist, people are going to be repelled that don’t won’t to change and repent.  

Those who realize that they are desperate for God will want to draw near to you and as they do through prayer you can help them draw near to God.  

Psalm 145:18, The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

I have a story I want to share with you that illustrates this point I believe perfectly.  

Jim Cymbala, Deepening Your Ministry Through Prayer and Personal Growth, 

One Sunday in our church services, a choir member—a former drug addict who was HIV positive—told how she came to Christ. She described in raw detail the horrors of her former life. A street person named David stood in the back, listening closely.

The meeting ended, and I was exhausted. After giving and giving, I had just started to unwind when I saw David coming my way.

I'm so tired, I thought. Now this guy's going to hit me up for money.

When David got close, the smell took my breath away—a mixture of urine, sweat, garbage, and alcohol. After a few words, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a couple of dollars for him. I'm sure my posture communicated, Here's some money. Now get out of here.

David looked at me intently, put his finger in my face, and said, "Look, I don't want your money. I'm going to die out there. I want the Jesus this girl talked about."

I paused, then looked up, closed my eyes, and said, "God, forgive me." For a few moments, I stood with my eyes closed, feeling soiled and cheap. Then a change came over me. I began to feel his hurt, to see him as someone Christ had brought into the church for that moment.

I spread out my arms, and we embraced. Holding his head to my chest, I talked to him about his life and about Christ. But they weren't just words. I felt them. I loved him. That smell—I don't know how to explain it—it had almost made me sick before, but it became beautiful to me. I reveled in what had been repulsive.

I felt for him what Paul felt for the Thessalonians: “We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.  We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”  God put that kind of love in me.

God can put that kind of love in you as well as you submit and draw near to him.

One more thing James tells us as we CULTIVATE A LIFE OF PRAYER a prayerittude:


Did you know that it is possible to submit outwardly and never humble yourself inwardly.  

God absolutely hates the sin of pride 

Proverbs 6:16-17, There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

As James is writing to these Christian Jews around the world he is reminding them that they must be humble first before the Lord.  

These Jesus followers are not so by action and traditional rituals, but by word and deed.  

Becoming a Christian is more than undergoing a ritual. 

It’s more than identifying with a denomination. 

It’s more than membership in a church. 

It’s more than being a "good person."

Being a Christian is nothing less than humbling ourselves before God, putting God at the very center of our lives, putting ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, asking about every decision "What should I do to glorify God in this circumstance?" and making those decisions as if they mattered, because they do.

This is not subjecting ourselves to a life of misery, boredom, and deprivation. 

It is rather opening ourselves up to a life of joy and peace and happiness. 

"Blest are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness. They shall have their fill." 

Jesus told us that he came that we might have life, and have it abundantly and we have it abundantly through his humble work on the Cross…Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for him.  

When we truly understand the depth of God’s love for us, we will be humbled.  

And our soul will hunger and thirst to be in prayer with Him.  

To understand that the creator of this universe set out to create me because He longed for my fellowship is mind boggling. 

I was formed at His direction, and this undeserving creation, was given the Gift of God's son. 

The son of God, the King of Kings came to this earth because of my sin and laid down His life in my stead! 

Wow, now that's humbling!!! I know no other love like that!

When we understand this and embrace this our only appropriate response is to submit and draw near to him in humility.  

DNA: Commanded To Be Whole-Life Stewards
Sermon Storeroom
February 19, 2024

DNA: Commanded To Be Whole-Life Stewards

(1 Timothy 6:17-19)

February 18, 2024

Now, I’ll admit that this is probably a strange word to some of your ears and to others, it is a word you know and understand, but you don’t like and still to others it is an exciting word. 

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines stewardship this way: the office, duties, and obligations of a steward, it also says: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something.

Stewardship is a topic that is very near and dear to the heart of Jesus, as a matter of fact, did you know that Jesus taught more on this topic than either Heaven or Hell.  

He taught more on this topic than love or fear.  

This was a topic that Jesus cherished because he looked at life through an eternal lens. 

The reason I believe Jesus spent so much time talking about stewardship is that as Jesus, God incarnate, God walking in a suit of flesh, living in his creation with his created beings knew how much we struggled with the concept of stewardship.

Biblical stewardship starts with the very first verse of the Bible. 

Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

As the Creator, God has absolute rights of ownership over all things, and to miss starting here is like misaligning the top button on our shirt or blouse—nothing else will ever line up. 

Nothing else in the Bible, including the doctrine of stewardship, will make any sense or have any true relevance if we miss the fact that God is the Creator and has full rights of ownership. 

It is through our ability to fully grasp this and imbed it in our hearts and minds that the doctrine of stewardship is understood.

The biblical doctrine of stewardship defines a man’s relationship to God. 

It identifies God as owner and man as manager. 

God makes man His co-worker in administering all aspects of our life. 

The apostle Paul explains it best in 1 Corinthians 3:9, For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Starting with this concept, we are then able to accurately view and correctly value not only our possessions, but, more importantly, human life itself. 

In essence, stewardship defines our purpose in this world as assigned to us by God Himself. 

It is our divinely given opportunity to join with God in His worldwide and eternal redemptive movement (Matthew 28:19-20). 

Stewardship is not God taking something from us; it is His method of bestowing His richest gifts upon His people.

This is why Jesus taught about this topic more than any other. 

What we have is not ours, it’s God’s and we are to use it however He instructs us, including giving. 

When Jesus talked about the concept of stewardship, it included giving. 

The cost of living is rising at rapid rates.  

I don’t have to tell you that, you know that.  

We notice it when we pay at the pump, or check out with our groceries.  

We feel the crunch on our wallet when we purchase clothes or shoes.  

For some people this winter is scary to them because they are not sure if they will be able to heat their homes.  

And if that is you, please talk to one of our elders or staff at the end of our service, because we have a benevolence ministry that may be able to help you.

With the cost of living on the rise it seems almost absurd for us to discuss the concept of giving, but stewardship is God’s economy.

I really want us to be good stewards of everything God has entrusted us with. 

Now, when I say everything He has entrusted us with I am talking about more than just our finances, I am talking about our time, our talents, our service for the Kingdom, the way in which we use everything for God’s glory, and we have talked about several of these in our other sermons in this series like being Created to Worship God, Commissioned to Seek Lost People, Growing in Christ, Caring for One Another, in the next couple of weeks we will be talking about our stewardship of prayer and service. 

But today as we talk about whole-life stewardship we are going to focus on the primary topic that distracts so many from God, as a matter of fact, this is often replaces God in many peoples lives and I am talking about money. 

So, I really want us to be good stewards of everything God has entrusted us with.

Because we are...


As we look at stewardship I want to look at it a little bit differently than what we have looked at in the past.  

I want us to look at it from the perspective of being rich

Many of us don’t believe we are rich, and so some of us are going to shut down and say, this doesn’t apply to me. 

But, here is the truth of the matter, The global median daily income was only $2.95 in 1990. By 2019, that median reached $7.56, and while this might not seem like a lot, it’s a huge relative increase.

This a study conducted by Jack Flynn in an article entitled: Average Global Income [2023].  

How many of us blow $10 on unnecessary items in a day; like Starbucks, McDonald’s.  

If you have a job making minimum wage in Illinois it only takes you one hours to make almost 100% more than some people will make all day.  

2022: The World Bank updated the global poverty line from $1.90 to $2.15 per day.

2023: About 9.2% of the world’s population, or approximately 719 million people, are living on a daily income of less than $2.15.

I hear people all the time talking about how poor they are…if you eat tonight or today either in a restaurant or in your home whether you eat a steak or a bologna sandwich you are blessed.  

Each day, 25,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, die from hunger and related causes. 

Some 854 million people worldwide are estimated to be undernourished, and high food prices may drive another 100 million into poverty and hunger.

I hear people talking about how poor they are while they have clothes on their backs Americans spent  177.2 billion on clothing.

I hear them saying it while sitting in their car Americans spent 110 billion on cars in one year. 

We are not poor we just don’t know how to handle our wealth and the reason we don’t know how to handle our wealth is because we may not know that we are rich. 

There is a really cool website called: 

I played around with it a little and I put in the average household income of a person living in Macomb, IL which is, $33,588. 

I believe that is way low, because that encompasses our college students, if it were just residents I believe that would be higher, because we are talking household income. 

But let’s just stick with the $33,588. 

If that is your income and you are a husband and wife with one child you are in the richest 13.5% of the global population.

Let’s double that and say you have a household income of $67,176, husband, wife and 2 kids…you are in the richest 6.7% of the global population, your income is 8.8 times the global median.

Now, let’s say you make 100,000 household, husband, wife, 4 kids…you are in the richest 5.8% of the global population and your income 9.6 times more than the global median. 

Sometimes I think we say we are poor just because someone else has more toys than we do. 

We do not have the inalienable right to such things as big screen TV’s, new/old cars, or the biggest house on the block we don’t have a right to cable or cell phones.  

The problem is a lot of people think they are entitled to what everyone around them has this is that love of money and that is why Jesus taught so much about stewardship and in doing so he addressed the issue of money.  

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus teaches that nothing is gained by winning the world (the material riches of the world) if the soul is lost. 

In Mark’s Gospel Jesus teaches that wealth can become an obstacle in hearing the Gospel message. 

In Luke, Jesus addresses the issue of wealth because his Gospel teaches the reversal of earthly order.  

Paul addresses the issue of wealth and money and Paul teaches it based on the “fullness of goods.”  

And Paul’s teaching seems to focus on the responsibility of wealth or at least it does in the passage we are going to look at this morning and we need to look at this because


1 Timothy 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

The word command that Paul uses in vss. 17 & 18 is the Greek word παραγγέλλω [/par•ang•gel•lo/] and it means to instruct, declare or give a charge to.  

The charge or command that Paul lays on Timothy here is a charge in the name of Christ and is traced back to God’s saving work in Christ.  

Because this is a command there is a responsibility…Paul is saying command those who are rich to be responsible with their riches.  

God’s Word declares precisely how we are to live with our riches

- First we tithe (explain)

- We give offerings (explain)

- We live within our means (no debt)

- We live to give to others expecting nothing in return

- We give with a Kingdom purpose (Ralph Doudera, “Wealth Conundrum, Centipede/quarter).   

Here is the first charge of responsibility


We are not owners; we are stewards. 

If we have wealth, it is by the goodness of God and not because of any special merits on our part. 

The possessing of material wealth ought to humble a person and cause him to glorify God, not himself.

Look there in vs. 17 and circle the word arrogant if in the NIV or conceited in the NASB it is the Greek word ὑψηλοφρονέω [hoop•say•lo•fron•eh•o/] and it means to literally be high minded.  

I like the way my grandmothers generation used to say, don’t be so uppity.  

That is Paul’s command to Timothy and in turn Timothy’s command to the people of Ephesus.  

Why would Paul make such a command?  

Because of the location of Ephesus it was one of the wealthiest cities in the world at that time.  

It was a city of commercial trade with a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, a true melting pot. 

It would look a lot like our New York City today.  

This is why Paul might make this command because people can become distracted by their wealthy.  

So what does it look like to be humble with your riches?  

Part of being humble with your riches is not flaunting them in front of others.  

I am not saying don’t share your riches I am saying don’t flaunt them.   

- Boy, some people want you to know just how much they have.  

- They want you to ask them how much they make.  

- They want to impress you with the wads of cash.  

- They like the attention.

Most of you know that I am not really a big baseball fan, but I really appreciated one Cardinals player a few years ago, David Eckstein.  

Though he was a very wealthy individual he was not arrogant in his wealth.  

He used the internet at the public library to save money, he drove his early 90’s Honda Accord that his sister gave him when he was in High School.  

Some of us are arrogant even when we may not be considered wealthy.  

I grew up for a number of years in a 4 room house, my mom married and we were like the Jefferson’s, we were movin’ on up.  

My dad died and it took everything we had for medical bills and funeral expenses and then we were movin’ on down.  

Back to the same 4 room house, not 4 bedrooms, 4 rooms.  

We had plenty.  

Our house was filled with guys from my football team nearly every night for supper.  

But I didn’t want my girlfriend to see where I lived.  

I didn’t think she would like me if she knew where I lived, that wasn’t very fair to her, but I was arrogant in that. 

Another responsibility we are to have in regards to wealth is:


People can be rich yet poor. 

Externally a man may appear to be rich but internally he may be poor. 

This is a common thing in the world.  

People put their trust in wealth and not God and when this happens they are never satisfied.  

- Some may have all the money needed for a bed - but can't sleep.

- They can buy books - but not intelligence.

- They can buy food - but not appetite.

- They can buy nice clothes and jewelry - but not beauty.

- They can buy a house - but not a home.

- They can buy medicine - but not health.

- They can buy fun - but not happiness.

- They can buy sex – but not love.

James talks about this idea of being responsible with our wealth as well listen:

James 5:1-5, Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.

Nothing material in this world will last forever. 

The seeds of death and decay are found in all of creation. 

It is a great mistake to think there is security in wealth.

Riches are uncertain. 

The money market fluctuates from hour to hour, and so does the stock market. 

Add to this the fact that life is brief, and we cannot take wealth with us, and you can see how foolish it is to live for the things of this world.

Jesus said in Luke 12:20, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

Trust in God not your wealth. 

Another responsibility we are to have in regards to wealth is:


That is right…enjoy.  

There are a number of people I know that are riddled with guilt because of their wealth.  

Missionary friends, PNG, where going to build a hut like everyone else, the people of the area encouraged them to build a house, they could afford it and not neglect their Kingdom contributions or service.  

God doesn’t want us to feel guilt if he has blessed us with wealth, instead he wants us to live responsibly with that wealth.  

But, God does not want us to be preoccupied by our wealth…that is to say that we cannot put it before Him.  

Also, enjoying our wealth does not mean developing a lifestyle of self seeking pleasure, self-satisfaction, self-gratification or self-indulgence in the pleasures of the world.  

Instead continue to develop a lifestyle of self-denial.

Enjoy what God gives us. 

One final thought on how to live when we are rich, which is to live responsibly is this:



We should use our wealth to do good to others; we should share; we should put our money to work. 

When we do, we enrich ourselves spiritually, and we make investments for the future. 

Are we using whatever it is that God has blessed us with in order to do ministry for His Kingdom?  

I want to leave you with one practical application to implement in your life. 

And I want to preface this with these words from the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

The word heart in the Greek means the seat of desires, passions, appetites, and the like, it is what drives or motivates a person to action.  

That is the heart and so how do we develop the heart of a giver.  

Well, it is a battle, It is the initial battle against the selfish self that says, “get, keep, and take.”  

Those deep-seeded desires and emotions do not just superficially go away.  

They must be slaughtered.  

At first, I think giving may require determination, obligation, and even the gritting of teeth.

While we never hope giving will remain such, I think it is OK for you start where you are emotionally.   

Craig Ford, Former Missionary to PNG wrote a wonderful article on the topic of heartfelt giving and I want to share with you some thoughts from that article.  

- Perhaps you give because someone said that you should give.  

- Perhaps you give because you feel guilty when you don’t. 

- Perhaps you give because a spouse is forcing you. 

- Perhaps you give because of fear. 

Then the advice I have for you is simple.  


Start where you are, and let God form you through the act of giving start right by tithing and being obedient to it.  

A tithe is your first 10% from your gross income…so, if you make $1,000/wk, your tithe would be $100/wk. 

Quick exercise, write down what you make and figure out your tithe. 

If you attend church here on a regular basis, you should be tithing, because it is a part of your worship, we are commanded to be whole-life stewards. 

We would never tell someone, don’t sing, don’t fellowship, don’t listen to the Word, but for some weird reason we feel like we have to apologize and tell people they don’t have to give. 

I heard that someone, I don’t remember who, told someone else, here, hey don’t feel like you have to put anything in the black box, you don’t have to do that. 

Listen, that worship and we should never encourage someone not to worship. 

And tithing is a commitment to the Lord, and it is obedience to God’s Word, so please never tell someone, “you don’t have to do that.” 

It all belongs to God and look at what it cost him…God is rich and it cost him his richest and most cherished treasure of all…His only Son.  

This is the cost of living…when you are rich.  

And this is what it means to be a WHOLE-LIFE STEWARD. 

DNA: Called To Care For One Another
Sermon Storeroom
February 12, 2024

DNA: Called To Care For One Another

(John 13:34-35)

February 11, 2024

Show of hands, how many of you know the name Tertullian?

It’s not a real popular name, it’s not like everybody names their first born son after him.

Tertullian lived and ministered in the early years of the third century AD.

He was one of the greatest of the early church fathers and was actually the first man to use the word “Trinity” to describe the nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

He lived and wrote at a time when opposition to Christianity and the Church was intensifying.

Although Tertullian was an apologist, which is to say he devoted himself to defining and defending the Christian faith against its critics, he was quick to point out that it wasn’t any particular theological or philosophical argument that would ultimately persuade pagans of the truth about Jesus.

Rather it was the seemingly inexplicable love that Christians had one for another that initially baffled and finally captivated non-Christians.

In one memorable statement, Tertullian said this:

“It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. ‘See,’ they say, "[see] how they love one another, . . . How they are ready even to die for one another!’ No tragedy causes trouble in our brotherhood, [and] the family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us. One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another. All things are common among us [except] our wives[1]. (Apologeticus 39).

Can we with honesty say the same thing today?

I wish we could, but I doubt it.

I don’t think our love for one another has quite the effect on the non-Christian world today as did the love that Christians had for one another in the time when Tertullian lived. And that is profoundly sad.

Today we come to one of the most famous declarations ever to have come from the lips of Jesus.

And yet, despite its fame, despite the ease with which most people can recite from memory such words, I wonder how faithful we have been in putting it into practice.

I’m talking about John 13:34-35.

Before we dive into this I want you to notice something Jesus says.

Our responsibility to love one another is a “commandment,” not a suggestion or good advice or one among many options from which you can choose.

Jesus is commanding us to do something.

We are subject to the authority of Jesus Christ.

We are not the masters of our own lives.

We are not free to live however we please.

In fact, he will later declare that obedience is how it is known if one genuinely believes in Jesus and truly loves Jesus:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

“You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).

So, if you bristle at the idea that Christians are saved by grace but still must obey the commandments of Christ, this passage in John 13 will bug you.

Of course, Jesus isn’t saying that by keeping his commands you receive salvation.

He’s saying that if you have received his salvation, you will keep his commands!

Jesus calls us to a life that values others, serves others, and loves others.

Not only does he call us to live this way, he modeled it for us.

Yet many Christians fail to actually live this way and look no different from the world around them.

And I believe the meaning of John 13:34-35 is a powerful reminder and challenge to follow the example of Christ.

John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Fellowship with one another is the natural result of a healthy relationship with Jesus.

It follows that, in the church, every Christian is


In John 13 Jesus is getting increasingly closer to the cross; his time is coming and things are intensifying.

In the verses prior Jesus is sharing a meal with his disciples.

He’s once again predicting his death and Judas’ betrayal.

In John 13:30 Judas leaves to go betray Jesus.

Now Jesus shifts gears; he begins to explain to the remaining disciples what he expects during his absence.

The disciples don’t really understand the gravity of the moment.

But in the coming days they will begin to understand exactly what Jesus came to do and how everything is about to change.

And the meaning of John 13:34-35 will take on a whole new life for them.

These words that Jesus says should carry with them some weight.

We should lean in on what he’s saying because it’s important that we understand AND live out this command.

To help us better understand the John 13:34-35 meaning we are going to break down these two verses to see what they can teach us today.


The commandment of God that his people are to love one another is not new.

Everyone in that day was familiar with Leviticus 19:17-18. There God spoke to the children of Israel and said: 17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. 18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

The Old Testament Law carries a similar heart, but what’s new is that Jesus is about to up the requirement.

And He’s going to do so by leading by example.

Clearly the “newness” of the command to love isn’t in the command itself.

It is instead in the pattern or standard or model of our love for one another.

It is the “way” in which we are to love that is different due to the coming of Jesus Christ.

Never in the history of mankind had God appeared in human flesh and demonstrated his love for sinful and broken people by sacrificing himself on a cross so that they might live forever.

Love may well have been required prior to the coming of Christ.

But love to the degree and in the same fashion as was seen in the self-sacrifice of Jesus for his church is altogether new.

Quite simply it has changed loving forever.

Jesus is introducing us to a new way of living and entering into what God has for us.

So, what is this new command?


Love one another as I have loved you…

Love is something John talks a lot about in his Gospel, especially at the end.

The Greek words for “love” appear only 11 times in John 1-12, but in chapters 13-21 we find them 43 times.[2]

The specific words Jesus uses in our verses this morning are the Greek words ἀγάπη and ἀγαπάω.

Both of these words, according to the Greek New Testament, pertain to Christian love.

ἀγαπάω means to show or prove one’s love; to place first in ones affections.

ἀγάπη means to show concern or interest.

For John, ἀγάπη is the principle of the world of Christ which is being built up in the cosmic crisis of the present.[3]

This isn’t any kind of love; Jesus tells us we are to love as he loved.

Remember he’s about to go to the cross, the greatest act of love.

And it’s to this extent that we are to love those around us.

Jesus displayed his love for us by going to the cross.

Therefore we are to love those around us with the same sacrificial love.

That is being called to care for one another, through our love for each other.

Today Christians are known for a lot of things.

But our love is not normally at the top of the list, unfortunately.

But the meaning of John 13:34-35 challenges this.

It’s our sacrificial love that should be the distinguishing characteristic for followers of Jesus.

Let’s just pause and reflect on this question for just a moment: What is love?

Love is being willing to confront the hard things and heart issues in order see that person restored back into a right relationship with God and others!

We follow a God that gave up his life, not because we deserved it, but because we needed it.

But today many of his followers would rather give people what they deserve.

We’ve got some work to do.

I’ve got some work to do in that area myself.

If you are a follower of Jesus then people should be able to look at how you love and know who you follow.

We love because we were first loved.

So, the logical question we need to ask is, HOW DID JESUS LOVE HIS DISCIPLES?

First, he loves his own by SPENDING TIME WITH THEM.

Quality time is one of the five love languages.

Jesus spent a ton of quality time with His disciples.

Jesus has spent three years with these men, and he is now just hours from the end of this life on earth with these friends.

In spite of knowing that Peter — one of his closest companions — would deny him, Judas would betray him, and Thomas would doubt him, Jesus drew them all close with his words and bared his heart.

It’s possible to put on an act in public and fool some.

But you and I know we can’t fool our friends, at least not for any length of time.

The twelve knew him the best.

They had ministered together, shared all their meals, slept side by side, and suffered the hardships of traveling together.

A person’s real character comes out in those circumstances.

What had the disciples seen of Jesus’ character, what had they observed over the three years?

They had heard him preach and teach from Sidon to Jericho, had seen the miracles, the feeding of the multitudes; they had seen him walk on water, speak to the elements and watch them come under his control; he demonstrated again and again that he was the Lord over all creation.

They knew what it was like to work all day together in the heat of the Middle-Eastern sun, and then for Jesus to stay up all night praying.

Some of them had seen Jesus transformed in a marvelous and supernatural way.

They had seen visitations from historic (dead) people.

They had heard Jesus defend his Messiahship and dumbfound the most brilliant minds of Israel.

Jesus, out of his love for them, spent time with them, teaching them who he was.

See if you can relate to this next one: he loves his own by BEARING PATIENTLY WITH THEIR STRUGGLES AND STUMBLES AND STUPID RESPONSES.

Not one among the twelve was ready or prepared for leadership when he called them.

But Jesus was committed to helping them grow up spiritually.

He didn’t let his own frustration with their immaturity undermine his determination to love them well.

At one point several of them got into an argument about which of them was the greatest (Luke 9:46).

Instead of taking their cues from Jesus and learning from his humility, they became competitive and played the game of one-upmanship, arguing about who was more important and who would sit closer to Jesus in the coming kingdom.

Listen to what Jesus said in response in Luke 9:48, Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

On another occasion, after Jesus had been rejected by the Samarians, James and John asked Jesus in Luke 9:54, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

Jesus was disappointed by their immaturity and probably more than a little offended.

The text says that “he turned and rebuked them” (9:55).

But his “rebuke” was motivated by love and a desire that they learn from their mistakes.

He didn’t kick James and John out of the twelve and start looking for their replacements.

His love for them was incredibly patient.

And who can count the number of times that Peter said something ill-timed, or downright stupid?

I identify with Peter a lot, I have what Peter had, foot in mouth disease, sometimes.

Add to this the fact that Peter would deny him three times and the others would run away scared when he needed them most, and you can get a sense for the depth of Christ’s love for them.

He didn’t love them because of their flawless behavior, his love was to draw them out of their flawed behavior.

Finally, he loves his own by TEACHING THEM THE TRUTH

Even when it might be hard to grasp or be offensive to their sensibilities, Jesus taught truth.

He never hid things from them but clearly instructed them on what being his followers entailed: persecution, slander, imprisonment, rejection, perhaps even martyrdom.

Our world today has a terrible problem with love.

They think they know what it means.

It seems as though our culture has hijacked the definition of love.

The idea of love is that you never do or say anything that might be upsetting or offensive to another person.

You never do or say anything that might get in the way of them expressing their own personal desires in however they choose.

To love someone is to affirm and approve whatever it is that they believe about themselves or choose to do with their bodies or their money or their lives as a whole.

In our world today it is virtually impossible to say, “You are wrong, but you are loved.”

To tell someone they are wrong, they are misguided, they are in danger, they are in the process of destroying their lives both for now and for eternity, is to hate them.

To love them is to give them unqualified, unconditional approval and affirmation.

Jesus never did that.

He always spoke and acted with the best interests of his people in mind.

And often those best interests are served only by his speaking harsh things, things we prefer not to hear, things like:

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

John 3:18, Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:36, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, [now that sounds very loving; but Jesus doesn’t stop there; he goes on to say]; but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Let’s step outside of John for one of the most disturbing and sobering passages of Scripture.

Matthew 7:21-23, 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

True love is teaching people truth through a Biblical Worldview.

Really this command is simple.

It’s really easy to understand.

But man is it hard to live out.

Loving people is hard.

They are difficult and messy.

But let’s not forget… we are too.

And despite our own brokenness Jesus still loved us and went to the cross for us.

When we love people, particularly difficult and messy people, we are showing those around us that the love of Christ is in us.

It’s how we set ourselves apart from the world.

If you love one another the world will know that you follow Jesus.

I want to end by looking at 3 practical ways you can love one another as Jesus loved you.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a way that the world will start knowing you by your love.


When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he gave two: love God and love others.

There’s a reason Jesus listed love God first.

You cannot give away what you don’t have.

If we want to love those around us then we need to first understand the love that God has for us.

Our love for God is shown by how we love those around us.

And if you want to live out the meaning of John 13:34-35 then you need to live in God’s grace.

You need to understand what God has done for you so that you can do the same for others.


Maybe the primary way to live out the meaning of John 13:34-35 is to serve.

If we want our love to be visible then we have to serve people.

We have to place others over ourselves.

If Christians stay centered on themselves and their own needs they will leave Jesus behind.

They will miss out on the incredible life that God has and will fail to make any meaningful impact.

The heart of the Gospel centers around service.

If you want to live out this verse seek ways you can serve the people around you.

It doesn’t have to be something huge; often small gestures make big impacts.

In a world that is increasingly self-centered a selfless people will stand out.

Some ways you can live this out at MACC:

  • Haiti Meal Pack
  • Thanksgiving Bag Giveaway
  • Christmas Eve Dinner
  • Mission Macomb
  • Meal Ministry (from hospitals)
  • Funeral Dinners
  • Prayer Team
  • Prayer Chain

How is God calling you to care for one another?

[1] Tertulian, Apologeticus chp. 39.

[2] Goodrich & Kohlenberger, NIV Exhaustive Concordance,

[3] Quell, G., & Stauffer, E. (1964–). ἀγαπάω, ἀγάπη, ἀγαπητός. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 1, p. 52). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

DNA: Challenged To Grow In Christ
Sermon Storeroom
February 5, 2024

DNA: Challenged To Grow In Christ

(Colossians 2:6-7)

February 4, 2024

In our home we have a measuring board that I created and put up because when our kids were younger they were fascinated with how tall they were.

They wanted to see how much they had grown.

I convinced them that if they wanted to grow tall, then they needed lots of sleep...they fell for it for a while, which was nice.

Have you ever noticed how we are often times preoccupied with growth.

When a baby is born, we announce the percentile of its birth, the height and weight.

Kelly did an amazing job of putting together growth books, starting when they were babies and right on up.

We know that growth is healthy and so we are concerned with it.

I find it fascinating the way God created all of creation.

I read a story about a young man who dives for exotic fish for aquariums.

He said that one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark.

That got me curious, because sharks are huge, I mean the average length of a shark is around 8 feet long.

I don’t know about you but that is an awfully big aquarium.

But in the article the young man explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium you put it in.

Sharks can be six inches long yet be an adult.

But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.

That is like what happens to some Christians.

If we are not intentional on continuing to grow in our relationship with Jesus then we will stunt our growth.

We will never reach the full capability of what Christ has in store for us.

Jab 3:

In our passage this morning the Apostle Paul challenges the church in Colossae with continuing to grow in Christ.

The Apostle Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote this letter to the believers in Colossae, located in the southwest region of modern-day Turkey.

Epaphras, a disciple of Paul, founded the church in Colossae.

Now, this church was under constant pressure from the numerous religious philosophies abounding in the first century world.

Colossae seems to have become a center for Gnosticism.

Gnosticism is a hybrid religion and philosophy that mixed Christian, Jewish, and some pagan teachings.

It was and still is a very dangerous teaching.

So, Paul wrote this letter because there was this group of teachers called Gnostics (which means “knowledge”), on the surface that sounds really good, right!

I mean you don’t want to learn from on unintelligible teacher, you want to learn from a teacher with knowledge, right!

Well the problem was, the Gnostics claimed to have supernatural knowledge necessary for salvation, this was this synthesizing of world views, which is still prevalent today and we have even seen it make its way into the church.

Contrary to common belief, Gnosticism is alive and well in our twenty-first century.

It survives the eons of time exceedingly well because of its uncanny ability to morph and mutate, to disappear and to materialize.

Gnostic thinking is basic to the “human potential movement” because it focuses on man and his problems, man and his needs, man and his happiness.

Taking up the mantra of Enlightenment thinking by making “man as the measure of all things,”

Gnostic thinking would postulate that human tragedy is not the result of sin, but only ignorance.

The answer to life’s plight and inequities is therefore found in knowledge.

Evolutionary thinking would prefer to find man in his next stage of development, free from the oppressive bonds of religion and open to the fresh winds of self-awareness, human reason, and discovery as man discovers new vistas of “human potential.”

Immediately at hand is Gnostic thinking that whispers to the anxious enquirer, “Search your heart; seek the truth deep within your soul. You are the truth because God is in you.”

Isn’t that an attractive world view?

I mean who doesn’t want to be their own truth…and so we see today the increasing rise of people who fall into the camp of relative truth verses absolute truth.

Here at MACC, we do not believe in nor teach a relative truth, we teach absolute truth and absolute truth comes from the Word of God.

And so, Paul wrote this letter to warn against the subtle arguments and false teachings that threatened to undermine the Colossians’ faith.

And here at MACC we keep this in the forefront of our teachings because we know that false teachings are constantly being introduced and we must guard against them.

So we say it like this,


Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Right off the bat we know that Paul is talking to Christians, because he says, “as you received Christ Jesus as Lord...

That’s pretty clear is it not?

If you have not received Jesus as Savior and Lord, then you might think, well this doesn’t pertain to me.

So a lot of time non-Christians kind of shut down, but if you are here this morning and you have yet to surrender your life to Jesus as Lord and Savior, I want to encourage you to listen closely because I believe God has prompted you to be here for a reason.

Being a Christian is a life-long, day in day out, journey with Jesus.

So, if you are thinking about asking Jesus to be your Savior, you need to know that He will also be your Lord, which means continued growth in Him.

Next Paul says, “continue to live your lives in Him…”

This means that if you are not careful you could be led astray.

Do you hear it? I hear Paul saying, “I challenge you to grow in Christ!”

Because if we are not growing we are not healthy, we will be like the shark.


God initiated a love relationship with us through Jesus.

John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God invites us into relationship with himself and in turn, we experience growth as a natural byproduct of a healthy relationship with Him.

We are commanded in Scripture to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). This growth is spiritual growth, growing in faith.

At the moment we receive Christ as our Savior, we are born again spiritually into God’s family.

But just as a newborn baby requires nourishing milk for growth and good development, so also a baby Christian requires spiritual food for growth.

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (1 Peter 2:2-3).

Milk is used in the New Testament as a symbol of what is basic to the Christian life.

But as a baby grows, its diet changes to also include solid foods.

With this in mind, read how the writer of Hebrews admonished the Christians.

Hebrews 5:12-14, “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

Paul saw the same problem with the Corinthian believers; they had not grown in their faith, and he could only give them "milk" because they were not ready for solid food (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

The analogy between a human baby and a spiritual baby breaks down when we realize how each baby matures.

A human baby is fed by his parents and growth is natural.

But a baby Christian will only grow as much as they purposefully read and obey and apply the Word to his life.

Growth is up to them.

There are Christians who have been saved many years, but spiritually they are still babies, they are 6 inch sharks.

They cannot understand the deeper truths of the Word of God.

Which brings me to the next thing I want to talk about this morning:


A Christians diet should consist of a steady feeding on The Word of God!

Daily, we should all be in God’s Word.

Psalm 119:105, Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Do you want to stumble in darkness or walk in the light?

If you are not in God’s Word daily, you are going to stumble around in darkness, but if you get in the word of God, the word will illuminate your path.

Rob Harrison, I love his holy habit.

Rob is a body man, that means he fixes cars and he is exceptional at it, but he does something that I have started doing.

He opens his Bible to a passage and he reads that passage any time he walks by his Bible for that day.

What a great practice.

Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Do you hear how powerful the Word of God is?

I know some people say, I fall asleep when I read the Bible.

Listen, before you read it, pray asking God to reveal himself more and more and pray asking for the Lord to help you see where the particular passage needs to be applied in your life.

Get in the Word with others if you can.

Our staff starts every morning at 8am in the Hospitality Room, we read a chapter of Scripture together and then different staff lead us in a devotion on that chapter, we try to keep to 20 minutes and then we pray, we pray for those of you in our congregation, we pray for our families, we pray for world events, we pray that our work would glorify God.

These things are important to me and the rest of our staff.

This is the first church I have ever served at where we start our day off like that.

Many churches do it on the day they have their staff meeting and then that’s it.

But we do this each day Monday-Thursday and then Friday through Sunday we are on our own.

The truths taught in the Bible are rich food for Christians.

Peter wrote that God has given us everything we need for life through our (growing) knowledge of Him.

This week I have some homework for you.

Read carefully 2 Peter 1:3-11 where Peter lists character qualities that need to be added to our beginning point of faith in order for maturity to take place and to have a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let those soak in.


First Scripture that pops in mind is James 1:22, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Do what it says.

Does anyone ever struggle with this, like we get it most of the time, but there are times, we just mess up and we don’t do what it says.

I mean the challenge is simple…do what God’s Word says, but the application can be hard at times.

Well, that’s no excuse, we are to do what the Word of God says, even if it’s unpopular, even if it’s hard, even if it means persecution.

The Apostle Paul addresses this point blank in Romans 2:13, For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Paul is saying that this should be our normal behavior that spills over into everything we do, at home, at work, at school, in traffic, on the golf course, the ball court or field.

Knowing that growth begins with grace and that our growth is dependent on the Bible and prayer and that full devotion to Jesus is our normal behavior all this manifests itself in my final thought for today:


The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The word transformed is the Greek word μεταμορφόω this is were we get our English word metamorphosis.

And a metamorphosis is a process.

It is a growth process in which the old dies and the new comes to life.

Think of the butterfly, the caterpillar dies so that the butterfly lives.

As we become more like Christ our old nature dies and a new nature emerges.

Paul said in, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The word “therefore” refers us back to verses 14-16 where Paul tells us that all believers have died with Christ and no longer live for themselves.

Our lives are no longer worldly; they are now spiritual.

Our “death” is that of the old sin nature which was nailed to the cross with Christ.

It was buried with Him, and just as He was raised up by the Father, so are we raised up to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on works, and our former opinions, habits and passions.

Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification.

The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self.

The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.

The new has come, full of life and the glory of God.

The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh.

Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different.

We see the world differently.

The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived.

The whole face of nature seems to us to be changed, and we seem to be in a new world.

The heavens and the earth are filled with new wonders, and all things seem now to speak forth the praise of God.

There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind.

The things we once loved, we now detest.

The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever.

We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

We are growing and that means we are becoming like Christ as He transforms us from the inside out.

So, how do we help you grow here at MACC?

First, and I may be biased in this, but I believe we do a pretty good job preaching the Word each week.

That is paramount to our Vision and Mission as well as this core value.

But as I have always said, if the Sunday sermon is all you are getting then you are malnourished.

If this is the biggest meal you have, then you are malnourished.

That is why we provide additional opportunities for you to grow in your knowledge and relationship with Jesus in his Word.

It’s why we are preoccupied with helping you develop a Biblical Worldview, not a Christian worldview, that is so open to suggestion anymore, but a Biblical worldview is the way we view the world through a Biblical lens.

So, to help in that we provide EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.


  • Jesus 101 (Roger Smith)
  • How to Study Your Bible (John Deckard)
  • Cover to Cover (Kenlyn Deckard)
  • Blue Print for Life (Bruce Western)


  • Bible (Bruce Eidson)
  • Family Life (Andy Farwell)
  • Topical/Discipleship (Steve Clements)

LiFE Groups

Women’s Precepts

Overseeing all of this is Christina Farwell, our Discipleship Minister.

We are providing you with opportunities but we can’t make you grow, you have to desire that and work at that.

Some of you may be comfortable limiting your growth to an aquarium and growing no more than that six inch shark, but we hope and pray that all of you want the ocean so you can grow in Christ as much as possible.

There is a list of resources at the Adult Ministries table for you to pick up to use to help you as you are CHALLENGED TO GROW IN CHRIST.

DNA: Commissioned To Seek Lost People
Sermon Storeroom
January 30, 2024

DNA: Commissioned To Seek Lost People

(1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

January 28, 2024

Welcome, my name is D.J. Goble and I am the Youth Minister here at MACC!

I hope you are as excited to be here today as I am so we can worship together as a church family.

Show of hands, how many of us in here this morning are competitive?

Now for those that tried to raise their hands first, I know are telling the truth!

Now, ask a spouse or a friend if they think you are competitive?

Same answer?

In my family we are competitive about some things, not all things.

Now, when it comes to games we are competitive.

Throughout most of my time in high school and college, one game or sport that I got really competitive with was cornhole. My Dad got really into cornhole, and got really good at cornhole. Throughout practicing to get better, he made me go out there with him. He was always the unbeatable force. 

"Cornhole board in San Diego" by ChrisEdwardsCE/ CC0 1.0

Well my competitive side got the better of me, because I went away to college and realized that I was pretty good at cornhole compared to all of my other friends. And the competitiveness came out when I came home to visit one weekend and called him out.

And I won!!! …kidding, he beat me

His competitiveness outshined my competitiveness

And I haven’t even gotten into the competition that takes place during family game nights. For most people family game night means a nice relaxing evening of playing simple games with family. 

Well for my family, it means a chaotic night of trash talking, flexing on others when we win, and getting to call out grandparents for cheating just because they beat you at a game of euchre 

Or when we quit halfway through a trivia game because whichever team has my mom on it has an unfair advantage

The reason we are competitive is that we like to win, am I right.

Well if that is you, then you are in good company.

In our passage this morning the Apostle Paul uses the word win 5 times.

Now the word win in English is ambiguous.

You can win a prize, and you can win an argument.

What does Paul mean by win — win all these people?

If you win a prize, you gain it: “I’ve got it. I have it. Mine!”

If you win an argument, you defeat somebody.

What’s Paul’s meaning?

There’s no doubt what his meaning is.

It’s on the face of it, but it’s even more clear in the original language.

He means, “I win a prize. I gain a prize.”

Κερδαίνω is the verb for win.  (Ker-dah-ee-no)

It’s almost always translated gain (except for here and one other place), like in Matthew 16:26: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

That’s Κερδαίνω, the word win here.  (Ker-dah-ee-no)

So his point is, “I want to GAIN Jews.

I want to GAIN Gentiles.

I want to GAIN the weak.

I DON’T want to GAIN money. 

I DON’T want to GAIN power and rights.

The gospel has assured me that I get great gain in fully enjoying Christ, so what can I add to that?

More enjoyers of Christ for me to enjoy.”

What does that even mean?

Paul tells us what he means by the reward of gaining people in 1 Corinthians 9:23:

“I do it all for the sake of the gospel [here comes the purpose statement], that I may share with them [that is, with all those people that I gained] in its blessings.”

So he wants to gain more and more people so that he might share in the gospel blessings with them.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Paul desires to share the Gospel with others so that others may share the joy of the Gospel and in turn share the Gospel with even more people.

This is what our second Core Value means (These Core Values that can be found on the wall in the Atrium as you walk in): WE ARE COMMISSIONED TO SEEK LOST PEOPLE.

As we seek lost people we must make sure we are telling them about Jesus and that they are following Jesus. 

Because in our culture and in our church cultures we have people more concerned about following their pastors or ministers than they are about following Jesus.

We have some who are more concerned about the music and lights and the show than they are about Jesus.

We have some who are more concerned with being able to say, I attend a mega church rather than I follow Jesus.

Or say I attend this certain church or this church or this one rather than I follow Jesus.

So, I want to tell you why this idea of winning is so important.

We are engaged in a great Spiritual Battle.

Satan is doing all he can to draw people to himself in the guise of the church.

And many people have become disciples of a church or a pastor and not Jesus.

Matthew 16:24, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

What Jesus is saying is if we want to be his disciple then He must be the example we follow. 

The Apostle Paul calls us ambassadors for Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:20, We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

So, since Christ is our example and we are his ambassadors I want to look at the life of Jesus and see how he teaches us to live a life of seeking lost people and winning them to him.  

I believe seeking lost people happens best as we honor Jesus by living our faith story, verbally, non-verbally, locally and globally, and by building relationships focused on sharing the love of Christ.

No one did this better than Jesus and there are several things we can learn from the life and ministry of Jesus and use in our lives as we too share the Gospel with others. 

When it comes to sharing our faith, which is what it means to seek lost people, we can easily become a bit tight-lipped.

It is scary for a lot of people!

We worry about what the person will think of us?

Will they think I'm judging them for their life choices?

What if they ask a question I don’t know the answer to?

What if their image of me changes?

Will they make fun of me?

All these questions can go buzzing around our head just as we approach the subject.

So, we need help to know how to go about this and no one did this better than Jesus, so let’s see what we learn from Him as we seek lost people to win them to Christ.


Matthew 4:18-22, 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here, we do need to invite people to come and be a part of our church, I mean the church is the bride of Christ, but too many times we simply invite people to church and never invite them to a relationship with Jesus and there's the rub.

Folks, I believe we all know this, but simply attending a church service will not get you into heaven, we need to be surrendered to Jesus.

However, Christians who do not attend, I think you are playing a dangerous game, there is a reason that the Scriptures say, continue to meet together…We need each other, accountability, encouragement, exhortation, and other reasons.

Back to my point, we must invite people to a relationship with Jesus and not just a religious church service.

A few years back my dad had the perfect opportunity to put this plan into action. When my dad was growing up, he had little to no relationship with his grandpa. As many of us may know, a relationship with a grandpa can be very special. Well my dad had found out through someone else in his family that his grandpa had been diagnosed with cancer. 

Most people in this situation would have said, “good riddance”, right, because my dad didn’t even have a personal relationship with him. But one of my dad’s closest friends spoke up and told him that he had a special opportunity to speak to him about a relationship with Jesus. So my dad went over to his house, having not seen him for several years, knocked on his door and invited him to a relationship with Jesus. Notice what I said here, he didn’t invite him to a relationship with himself or with the church he was attending, but he put aside all bitterness towards him and invited him to a relationship with JESUS

These disciples had been steeped in religion from the time of their birth, but Jesus was inviting them to something much deeper, much more meaningful. 

He was inviting them unto himself. 

Folks let’s take a lesson from Jesus and don’t just invite people to church, because church can’t save them, invite them to Jesus, and encourage them to start coming to church:

-        so they may connect with God and others in church

-        so they may grow in God with others in church

-        so they may serve God and others with the church

-        so they can share the message of the Gospel and invite others to Jesus and the church. 

Jesus invites us into a relationship not a religion.

Something else Jesus teaches us as we seek lost people is that:


Jesus offered an unchanging message, but He delivered it uniquely to each person and situation.

For Jesus there was no one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to, seeking lost people, to reaching and sharing the Gospel with people.

We see the time that Jesus asked for a drink of water from the Samaritan woman at the well, and through that introduced her to the living water.

With Zacchaeus, he called out to him and asked to stay at his house. That simple acknowledgement changed Zacchaeus’ life.

There were even the men who were walking on the road to Emmaus, who didn’t recognize him until Jesus broke bread. A simple act to some, that referenced something important about the Gospel that we share in every week through Communion or breaking bread with one another.

And several examples of Jesus sharing the Gospel with people through miracles. These miraculous things would happen and these people would go into town to tell everyone about what they just saw occur.

Or the one that we’ll talk about in closer detail this morning which is the woman caught in adultery. 

This woman was caught in the act of adultery and these teachers of the law brought her to Jesus, don’t story book this, this woman was drug through town probably half naked, maybe completely naked, and the man she was with wasn’t even rebuked. 

And in the midst of the hostility directed toward her, Jesus defends her, not her actions, but defends her.

How many of you are ready to defend people whose actions detest you?

Like my dad when put aside all the things that his grandpa did or more so didn’t do in his life that he detested

These leaders are ready to stone her and under the law rightfully so, but Jesus defends her…

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:6-7),

So, in essence what Jesus is saying is hey if you don’t have any sin, then be my guest. 

Some of us have acted like these teachers of the law and the Pharisee’s and been judgmental over people’s sins, when we need to be like Jesus. 

Donnie has been saying and praying for years and years that we would be a messy church, filled with people like this woman and then be able to minister to her.  

But Jesus turns to her and says, I don’t condemn you, leave your life of sin… 

Jesus planted a seed, maybe someone else watered it, but God makes it grow, we don’t know, but I doubt that there was harvest at this time.

Sometimes we are going to encounter people who have been so mistreated by the religious uptight and they need to be defended, not their actions, but they need to feel the love of God.

Listen, this is why I am not a big fan of canned presentations of the Gospel, instead we need to understand where someone is in life and share the unchanging Gospel in different ways, maybe focusing on different elements at different times, and maybe all we ever do is plant a seed in someone’s life and someone else waters that seed, but if we don’t plant that seed then there maybe nothing to water. 

We plant the same seed every time, but the soil is always different which means the manner in which we plant must be soil specific. 

Each person is different and each encounter we have with people as we share the Gospel is unique. 

We are commissioned to seek lost people and every person is at a different place in life and at a different place in their relationship with Jesus.

So, Jesus teaches us that we need to make sure we are inviting people to a relationship not a religion, that each time we share the Gospel each encounter is unique and:


The Gospel message has to be shared audibly. 

Throughout the centuries it has been attributed to St. Francis of Assisi for saying, Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words.

We have no solid proof that he actually said that, so whoever said it was wise. 

Many Christians have jumped on that quote with both feet, but they have completely misinterpreted it as to mean that they don’t have to engage in conversation with others.

I believe this is a gross misunderstanding of what was meant.

Yes, the actions of our daily living should be attractive to others in such a way that they are curious about what makes us different…remember we are not to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).

And when we live differently than the world, not in some weird way, but in a Christ-like way, people will talk to us and we must be prepared to engage in conversation with them, because we don’t want people following us, we want them following Jesus.

I will let you down, the elders will let you down, our staff will let you down…we are not Jesus, but he never lets you down.

So, as we live our lives we must be prepared to proclaim the Gospel as we seek lost people.

Preach the Gospel.

The word proclaim is the Greek word λαλέω and it means to speak…to say words to someone else.                                                    (la-le-o)

I know there is much controversy around Mark Driscoll but what he wrote in his book A Call to Resurgence drives this point home when he says, “In many church congregations, the church favors showing the gospel and abandons speaking the gospel altogether.  The problem is, the gospel cannot be shown; it must be spoken.  Love, grace, mercy, justice, and the like can be shown with works.  The gospel of Jesus Christ, however, must be spoken with words, because the gospel of Jesus Christ is not about our deeds but rather Jesus’ deeds: his sinless life, substitutionary death, burial, and bodily resurrection for the salvation of sinners.”  Then Driscoll goes on to talk about what happens without the Gospel being spoken.  He says, “Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, you may still have morality, spirituality, and charity, but what you don’t have is Christianity.  Real Christianity result in these things but cannot be replaced by them.”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is about what Jesus has done and it must be spoken…

As you seek lost people, share with them what Jesus has done in your life, people cannot refute your personal testimony…

If you need some help with how to shape your personal testimony please visit the Adult Ministry table right outside the worship center as Christina has prepared a resource that you can use to build your testimony

He takes us from sin to salvation, from darkness to light, from despair to joy and that has to be explained. 

We are commissioned according to Matthew 28:18-20 to share the Gospel with others as individuals…  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have an obligation to Jesus to share what Jesus has done for us and what he can do for others. 

I am thankful for people like my dad who audibly share the Gospel with people like his grandpa, because he was expected to pass away very soon, and God prompted my dad to share with him not about his church, or about himself, but about his Savior.

Imagine if he hadn’t been faithful and shared the message of the Gospel.  

His grandpa could have entered a Christ-less eternity.  

Imagine all the people God brings in your path each day, start looking at those as opportunities to share the Gospel and stop praying for God to bring opportunities to you, he is, share where you are.  

We have thousands and thousands of people in this community who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, and Jesus is giving you countless opportunities to share. 

So, open your mouth and share as you seek lost people. 

Jesus teaches us to invite people into a relationship not just a religion, that every encounter is unique, and that we must proclaim the Gospel. 

Please look at verse 22 with me again.

22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

What does Paul mean here when he says to save some?

Well, he doesn’t mean that he’s the Savior.

He doesn’t mean he’s the means of people’s salvation.

What does he mean?

Romans 5:9: “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Or 1 Thessalonians 1:10: “Jesus . . . delivers us from the wrath to come.”

Being saved, means first and fundamentally — that God, by means of the substitution of Christ bearing our condemnation, saves us from God. 

And you must understand that in order to understand the Gospel.

We are saved by God from God.

We’re saved by the love of God from the wrath of God.

Christ was sent by God to reconcile us to God and lead us out of wrath.

In 1 Corinthians 9:23, Paul says, 23 I do all this for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share in its blessings.  

Meaning, “I want to share with what happens when they hear the verdict in the courtroom, ‘not guilty,’ and they run out of the courtroom and do handsprings down the sidewalk in front of the court, saying, ‘I’m not going to be executed! I’m not going to be killed! I’m not going to be spending eternity in hell! I am free!’”

“I want to be there,” Paul said. “I want to share in that. I want to watch that happen all over the world with Jews and Gentiles.”

Do you?

If it only happens to one person in your life, it will be one of the sweetest moments of your life to have a person thank you and watch them come into the enjoyment of no condemnation forever.

We are commissioned to seek lost people.

As you build relationships with people, build them with eternity in mind and it will cause you to want to share the Gospel. 

Let’s Honor Jesus by living our faith story, and sharing verbally, non-verbally, and by building relationships focused on sharing the love of Christ so that we may win as many as possible.