Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning July 28th, 2019.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning July 7th, 2019.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 30th, 2019.
Life is like a race. Every day when our feet hit the ground, we are pressing toward a goal, a prize. There is something we want to achieve - obtain the prize. As Christians, in our race, we need to run in such a way that others see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. So let’s talk about that… the race set before us…
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
We are called to run a good race, to obtain a prize that is ETERNAL. Whatever God calls us to be or instructs us to do, there is most likely a story (sometimes many) that help us from His Word. In today's study, we find an ordinal hero, a strong runner - Caleb.
Numbers 13:1-33 NIV
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” 3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites. 4 These are their names:from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua son of Zakkur; 5 from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat son of Hori; 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 7 from the tribe of Issachar, Igal son of Joseph; 8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun; 9 from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti son of Raphu; 10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel son of Gemalli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur son of Michael; 14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi son of Vophsi; 15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel son of Maki. 16 These are the names of the men Moses sent to explore the land. (Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.) 17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
>Ran the same race as all the other, but not like all the others.
>Why did he get the prize?
Let's take a closer look: Numbers 13:1-14:9
Numbers 14:1-9 NIV
1 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
What Caleb saw, experienced, & received was the same as everyone else.
>His faith was unmovable and strong
>He ran to get the prize (Joshua 14:6-15)
Numbers 14:6-15 NIV
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” 13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,
Did you catch that? - Caleb received his reward … 45 years later. There is much that we can draw from in this today and spend all day talking about it. But simply put, as Caleb we need to be
In the right race - on the path set before us by God (God’s path)
Courageous – not afraid of the giants.
Obedient – followed God “wholeheartedly ”
Faithful -he believed God’s promises
Persistent -he never gave up
Our closing prayer:
God, help us remember who we are in You.
Help us know and embrace Your purpose and give us the strength to do it. Lord, work in us so that others may see You and know Your love and glorify You, oh Lord. Amen
Did you catch that? - Caleb received his reward … 45 years later.
>There is much that we can draw from in this today and spend all day talking about it. But simply put, as Caleb we need to be:
1. In the right race - on the path set before us by God (God’s path)
2. Courageous – not afraid of the giants.
3. Obedient – followed God “wholeheartedly ”
4. Faithful -he believed God’s promises
5. Persistent -he never gave up
Joshua 14:6-15 NIV
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’ 10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)Then the land had rest from war.
Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning June 23rd, 2019.
Matthew 6:9-10 NIV
9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Do we give a second thought to the internal war going on inside of us?
Explore Galatians 5 for more on this idea.
1 Peter 2:11 NIV
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
Let's look at 4 areas of our will that stand in opposition to God's will.
1. My will says: comfort above all
God’s will says: Christ above all
Luke 22:42-44 NIV
42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Matthew 6:24 NIV
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
2 Timothy 3:12 NIV
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
1. My will says: comfort above all
God’s will says: Christ above all
Familiar territory: the comfort zone and the status quo
Jonah 1:2-3 NIV
2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
Genesis 12:1-4 NIV
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
3. My will says: the world’s approval
God’s will says: reject sin
James 4:4 NIV
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.
Galatians 6:1 NIV
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
4. my will: a faith that costs me nothing
God’s will: a surrendered life
Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.Like one from whom people hide their faceshe was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our painand bore our suffering,yet we considered him punished by God,stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.
Mark 10:28 NIV
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 16th, 2019.
When you read the Bible you find that it has a great deal to say about fathers. You will find many teachings, many instructions and many words of wisdom for guidance.
One particular action done by a father has recently struck me and has had a powerful effect on me.
Genesis 21:33 NIV
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.
Before we can really understand Abraham's motives for planting a tree, we need to hear the back story.
Genesis 12:1-9 NIV
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;I will make your name great,and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,and whoever curses you I will curse;and all peoples on earthwill be blessed through you.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
Abram(ham) went to Egypt for a while during a great famine but later returned with Lot his nephew. They had to part because of how large their flocks were growing then:
Genesis 13:14-18 NIV
14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” 18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.
So let's kinda summarize:
God makes a covenant with Abraham
God gives Abraham land.
Abraham plants a tree.
This is an important fact because it reveals that Abraham truly trusted in God and His provision. His faith was revealed in his action. He just didn’t say he believed, he responded in God’s goodness by passing on the blessing to future generations. To better understand this, we have to investigate the tamarisk tree.
What are the interesting characteristics about the tamarisk tree that set it off from other trees? Why would you plant one in the desert?
It appears that Abraham did not simply plant any tree upon arriving in Beersheba. He planted special tree to bring comfort and relief to the one who would live in the harsh desert environment. To a Bedouin or a Jew of the Middle East, the saying is this, “you don’t plant a tamarisk tree for yourself, you plant it for your grandchildren to enjoy”.
So what is Abraham saying in planting this tree?
>God, I so totally believe you, I’m going to plant a tree…even though I don’t have a place to bury my wife…or for me to be buried!
>This is my land and for generations to come, my family is going to be here.
>I’m going to plant a tree my grandkids will sit under because this will be our land!
As we think about Abraham’s blessing of planting a tamarisk tree for his offspring, we have to ask ourselves the question,
How much of what we do in life is done for just ourselves? Our comfort, our profit, our satisfaction?
Do we do anything to bless or plant a seed for the generations that are to come?
Is there anything that you are currently involved in that will outlive you?
We need to plant seeds of faith. A Godly heritage of walking with God is greater than any earthly possession.
Fathers, you are called to be the spiritual leader in the family. You, dad, set the spiritual direction of your family.
I have found that if a father walks with God, most likely his wife and children do as well. Let Jesus Christ be the center of your life and plant seeds of faith… your family needs to:
>Hear you pray, see you pray.
Life is full of challenges, struggles, desert places. Your children need you to plant seeds of “How you deal with these moments.” This conveys to them your dependance on God. It instills hope and security. It shows them that you know how to step out of the heat of the daily challenges, the issues of the day and take refuge.
>They need to see you and hear you worship God,
>They need to see you and hear you read the Bible.
>They need to see you and hear you be compassionate and share God’s love with others.
>They need to be part of your walk with God. They need to see you walking “in step” with the Bible.
>They need to be recipients of the fruit that comes from God through your life: See Galatians 5:22-25
Galatians 5:22-25 NIV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Walking “in step” with God is like this… we open our eyes to His Word, learn His ways, we see how walk in step and align ourselves to it, making corrections along the way, we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, nudge us in place… the Church is important in this as well, we are encouraged and strengthened as we watch how other believers walk in faith, aligning themselves to God’s word and ways. We listen as well, we listen to the Word, to the voices of men and women who help, admonish, and challenge. Sometimes even nudge us to WALK in step with God as they walk with God…
Abraham knew the harshness of the desert climate. He knew that other generations would have to face the same heat, trials and desert challenges. So he planted the tamarisk tree to bless them and give them some relief.
What are you planting, growing and working on that will help and bless your family for generations to come?
Repent if needed, pray and respond. God empowers you, as you put your faith in Him. Go plant your Tamarisk tree.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 9th, 2019.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning June 2nd, 2019.
The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, and empowered through hard times and places, in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine, and find encouraging insight for our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.
This morning I want to look at the nature of the Apostle Thomas, as much as we can, from the three times He is mentioned in John.
Was he, Thomas the DOUBTER or Thomas the DOER?
I. Thomas Willing to Risk His Life (John 11:1-16)
1. The first time that we see Thomas mentioned is found in the passage about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
John 11:1-16 NIV
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
The disciples have a good point here. They tell Jesus, hey that isn’t such a great idea.
“Let us go back to Judea.”
>Vs 11:8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
>The Disciples: “You know there are people out there who are trying to kill you.”
>Jesus insist that they still go.
Vs. 16 is key: Thomas speaks out… “Let’s go too – and die with Jesus.”
Thomas, the one who we always refer to as doubting Thomas, makes the bold statement “I am willing to follow with you, Jesus, even if it means death.”
What can we learn from this?
>First of all Thomas was not just a doubter.
>Thomas was willing to put in all on the line.
>In his mind there was a strong chance that he would be killed if he went to Judea.
Thomas was willing to risk death to follow Jesus
Do you have that same passion to follow Jesus?
Do you have that same desire to follow Jesus?
Do you have the same boldness to follow Jesus?
Thomas confronts us with this...
>He was willing to put life, his goals, his future in God’s hands and follow Jesus at all cost.
>Are we willing to obey even unto death? He did... and we should too.
II. Thomas was willing to ask the questions that we all were wondering (John 14:1-6)
John 14:1-6 NIV
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
>This is a very important moment. Jesus has just washed the Disciples to show them how to serve. Then He tells them how He is going to die. Now He is comforting them with these words…
>Let us be honest, if this was the first time you heard about all this you would be confused too.
>I can see the disciples sitting around and shaking there head and pretending they understand what Jesus was talking about.
I get that look from time and time when I am preaching, I don’t think you understand what I am saying but you smile and nod anyways.
Here we see Thomas saying to Jesus: I don’t get it. I am confused. Help me understand.
>Notice Jesus did not rebuke Thomas
>Jesus did not make fun of him for his honest question
>Jesus used a different way and expanded on some things to answer the questions that Thomas had.
>The rest of the disciples in their mind I am sure they were saying thank you Thomas for asking that question
What can we learn from this?
>You know one of the biggest misconceptions that we have been taught is questions are wrong.
>Honest questions are not sin.
>To want better understanding of a situation is not a sin.
>Sometimes we just don’t understand… life, a situation, a hard spot we are in…
Be willing to ask God the questions, be willing to examine things, figure out what exactly is going on.
III. Thomas Willing to Accept the truth (John 20:24-29)
John 20:24-29 NIV
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas gets a bad label here in John 20:24-29, but we have to understand what was going on before:
Mark 16:1-13 NIV
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Did you catch that? None of the disciples believed Jesus was alive. But Thomas was the one that got tagged “DOUBTING.”
>When they were together Thomas was not there.
>Where was Thomas? The Bible does not say.
But when Thomas gets the news, He is like the rest. Thomas did not want to blindly accept what his fellow disciples said. He wanted to make sure that everything was correct.
So the Lord showed up, and showed him.
Thomas then makes one of the most overlooked statements in the Bible….in verse 20:28 “My Lord and my God”
a) This statement is amazing, it’s actually incredible
b) Thomas declares exactly who Jesus is - “My Lord and My God”
What can we gain from this story?
>First of all, understand that doubt is not sin. It is not sin to doubt. If it were, Jesus would have said why are you sinning against me, he did not say that.
>We all wrestle with doubt from time to time.
>Notice something here, Thomas never doubted Jesus, he doubted his fellow disciples.
>Once Jesus showed him, he believed and admitted it.
Doubt should lead us to ask sincere questions. Our own mind and the way we are wired leads us to make conclusions, summaries and search for understanding. The human psyche demands meaning.
>1 + 1 = ________ You just had to answer it, didn’t you.
>Roses are red, violets are blue, you love me and I love ______. Again you just had to answer it didn’t you…
To doubt the resurrection is not that uncommon. Dead people rarely get up and are alive again.
It is hard to make faith fit in with the painful realities of life. This occurs when: a loved one dies, we loose our job, marriage falls apart and your struggling to make sense of it. It’s hard when your kinds are chasing after things you know are harmful, it’s hard when you feel like you are barely treading water because of all the stuff, the pressure, the pain.
God wants help us in these times, and in these places. I always think of Psalm 46 in these times. It’s then that I realize that God is God, God cares for me, and God listens to me.
I hope I have made a good case to stop calling Thomas, “Doubting Thomas.”
>Thomas was no where near doubting as he was willing.
1. He was willing to risk his life and follow Jesus...
2. He was willing to Ask some really hard questions..Those questions caused him to trust so much He went to the other side of the world for Jesus. (India)
3. He was willing to accept the truth.. In the end He was so committed to the truth that he planted countless church’s (some say he planted more churches than Paul.)
I think we need to be more like Thomas.
>Be willing to follow Jesus at all cost.
>Ask God the hard questions.
>Be willing to accept the truth when confronted with it.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 26th, 2019.
The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, and empowered through hard times and places, in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine, and find encouraging insight for our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.
Today we will look at David. Not the good stuff, but the bad side of David. Fighting Goliath was "faith in action" and God was victorious. But what about when man isn't walking in relationship with God anymore and really messes up? What does REPENTANCE look like? Let's look at this part of David's life today and see what God has for us.
2 Samuel 11:1-27 NIV
1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 6 So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house. 10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” 12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.” 16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died. 18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ ” 22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.” 25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.” 26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.
>David sees Bathsheba on roof
>David pursues her, commits adultery, she’s pregnant
>David has her husband, Uriah, killed
>David marries Bathsheba
>God is not pleased with David
2 Samuel 12:1-31 NIV
1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ” 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” 15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” 19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. 21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” 22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah. 26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.” 29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30 David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.
>David is confronted about his sin.
>There are two very significant phrases I want to point out in this story:
1. verse 7 “You are the Man”
2. verse 11 “I have sinned against the Lord”
I think that we all get to that point in our faith at one time or another – it might not be as disastrous a sin as adultery and murder, but at some point we hear the words “you are the man” and they strike deep with in us – we look at ourselves and are horrified at what we’ve done, who we’ve become.
At that point we are ready for repentance – turning our hearts back to God. In the story, David says “I have sinned against the Lord.” But in the Psalms we find out that those words were just the beginning: true to form, David wrote a song to sing out his grief, shock, and his desire to return to God. We have this song in Psalm 51 – the words, not the music. And it teaches us how to respond when we are drawn into repentance.
Psalm 51:1-2 NIV
1 Have mercy on me, O God,according to your unfailing love;according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:3-6 NIV
3 For I know my transgressions,and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinnedand done what is evil in your sight;so you are right in your verdictand justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Psalm 51:7 NIV
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Titus 3:5 NIV
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Psalm 51:8-9 NIV
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sinsand blot out all my iniquity.
Psalm 51:10-12 NIV
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presenceor take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvationand grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
This promise is fulfilled in Jesus and the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Titus 3:4-7 NIV
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
NOTE: The heart of this Psalm is in verse 12: RESTORE – it is not about ducking the lightning bolt, it is about relationship – David’s relationship with God is so precious to him – he can’t bear to lose it.
Psalm 51:13-15 NIV
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,you who are God my Savior,and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord,and my mouth will declare your praise.
Once David is freed from the bondage of sin and shame, his heart desire is to reveal the love and the forgiveness he received. Imagine experiencing something that renewed your joy and you saw others around you without joy, without hope… wouldn’t you share? help them? David commits to declaring God’s praise.
Psalm 51:16-17 NIV
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;a broken and contrite heartyou, God, will not despise.
>God doesn’t want the ritual of a one whose heart is unclean. He wants a broken heart.
God is not too impressed with sacrifice or extravagant giving if it is just there to cover a heart that is far from him.
Isaiah 1:11 NIV
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord.“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,of rams and the fat of fattened animals;I have no pleasurein the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
You can’t buy God off – you can’t give enough to him to make it all go away… he already owns everything – you can’t give him what he already owns! What he wants is your surrendered will. He wants a life that brings Him glory.
Psalm 51:18-19 NIV
18 May it please you to prosper Zion,to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,in burnt offerings offered whole;then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Verse 18 and 19 are the responses of the righteous - not the sinner. For the righteous, God delights in their offerings. For the sinner, God doesn’t want their outward sacrifice but their repentance as a sacrifice.
God wants RESTORATION.
This is repentance – a focus on God and his mercy, a focus on healing the broken relationship, a brokenness over who you are and what you have done.
The good news is that God does not leave us to wallow in our guilt – he wants a restored relationship as much as we do: even more than we do!
1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Where is your life at today? Are you holding on to sin and excuses? Have you come to terms with that sin? Can you honestly say “I am the man,” "I am the one"… "I am a sinner" or "I am sinning."
Where is your relationship with God?
Jesus is waiting to lead you to the Father, pray, call out to Him today and meet His kindness and love. He is waiting… He wants to forgive us and purify us. He wants our lives to reveal His love and our hope.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 19th, 2019.
The Bible is full of ordinary people that God has walked with, encouraged, empowered, and placed in hard places in order that His name be made great. These were ORDINARY people. But with God, they did extraordinary things. Their lives have been recorded for us to see, examine and find encouraging insight in our daily lives. In this series we will look at many ordinary people who God used.
But first, we must embrace the method for learning about these people. God reveals His relationship in His way, in His story, in His Book. God loves to reveal through story. Simple stories, complex stories, long stories, short stories. That is very eastern. These stories are not a form of entertainment but for gaining knowledge. Stories teach. It is not so much about information transfer, but an invitation to join... Join the story.
As you hear a story you are drawn into the action, the characters, identifying with someone. God wants us to join the great story, not just simply know the story or what the story means.
To start this series, we are going to look at the story of Joshua.
So let’s go to Joshua 1 and read a bit of God’s interaction with Joshua…
Joshua 1:1-7 NIV
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
This is a pivotal time in Joshua’s life. Moses is dead and God has just tapped him and said, you’re up…
How was this a challenging position to fill?
In order to fulfill God’s plan, Joshua is told that God was with Him
>Joshua 1:3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.
>Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
>Joshua 1:6 - 7 - Joshua is told twice to be strong and courageous (once of those times (very) courageous - vs 7.
God is calling Joshua to walk by faith and not by sight.
As I have looked at Joshua’s life, I see a few things that I feel we need to glean from… I am sure there is more but these are key.
1. He knew God was with Him
-Joshua heard the cries from captivity
-Joshua saw God bring Moses the deliverer
-Joshua saw the 10 plagues
-Joshua saw how God delivered Israel from captivity
-Joshua saw how God parted the Red Sea and rescued Israel
-Joshua was there when God gave Israel water from a bitter brook, the rock and quail and manna to eat in the wilderness.
A significant moment that Joshua knew God was with Him:
Exodus 17:8-16 NIV
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
Why tell Joshua? (verse 14) Could it be that God wanted Joshua to know and understand how he was victorious in battle? I believe so…The result: Joshua saw God working in the life of His people to deliver them, provide for them and protect them. (All faith builders)
Where have you seen God work in your life? Most of the time, we don’t acknowledge God’s provision properly, but sure long for it when it’s not there.
A faith-builder for us, look back over your life, ask God to help you see and remember those moments of deliverance, provision and protection.
Another thing that made Joshua strong and courageous:
2. He spent time in God’s Presence
-As Moses assistant (Exodus 24:12-18)
-At the Tent of Meeting (Exodus 33:7-11)
Exodus 24:12-18 NIV
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.” 13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.” 15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. 17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 33:7-11 NIV
7 Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. 8 And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. 9 As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
All of this had great effect on Joshua - what he had seen God do, what He had heard God say. He knew God was with Israel.
Joshua was confidant in his knowledge that God was with them (him). We hear this in his words to Moses after they had been sent out to spy the land they were promised. 12 spies were sent out - only 2 had a good report - Joshua and Caleb. (Numbers 14:6-9)
Numbers 14:6-9 NIV
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Sadly, the people continued to rebel against God, so God punished them all. Even Caleb and Joshua had to walk through it… After forty years, Moses dies, and the whole of that rebellious generation except Joshua and Caleb died. Then, Joshua is chosen to lead.
God is calling him back to his earlier faith... "Be strong and courageous" (as you were). In order to stay strong and courageous, God gives Joshua clear commands: (Joshua 1:7-9)
Joshua 1:7-9 NIV
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God gave Joshua 3 things here to do in order to have the right results:
2. STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH
3. PUT GOD's WORD IN, SO GOD’s WORD COMES OUT
To do this: Joshua must meditate on it constantly.
Define: Meditate (haggah)
Result - Overcome fear because of strength
Result - Overcome discouragement because of knowledge. (you know - “God is with you.”)
Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we find strength and courage in the issues of daily life. We too can have strength and courage - it is given when we realize God is with us, He has given His Holy Spirit to be our guide, teacher, and encourager. The Holy Spirit gives us rebirth and renewal into a new and glorious purpose (Titus 3). We have God’s living word that we can learn, embrace, live in and live out. His words need to be our words, His Word gives us guidance and sets out the right path for us to walk on. He empowers us by the Holy Spirit to walk this path and gives us the Body of Christ. Strength and Courage are ours - today. Join His story... live in the strength and courage He gives in order that you reveal His love and life to those around you. Then you lead them like Joshua into a land flowing with God's blessing.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 NIV
14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning May 12th, 2019.
God is making it very clear that we’re to pass on the things that He has taught us to the next generation. We hear this time and time again…Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, (Psalm 78:4)
We’re NOT to keep our wonderful experience of learning God’s truth to ourselves. We are to share what we’ve learned with the next generation. Until we plug our life into God’s plan for caring for others, including the next generation, we’re missing out on some of the greatest joys for which God created us.
You don’t have to be a biological parent to do this. Every adult needs to be aware of his or her responsibilities to the next generation. Anytime you’re around somebody younger you have a chance to positively influence him or her and you need to take advantage of that opportunity. Whether it’s a child here at JOY, or a neighborhood child that needs an older person in his or her life, or someone in your family, God wants you to share your knowledge, wisdom and experience.
So, how do we do this? How do we effectively communicate and convey the spiritual truths that God has shown us to the next generation? God’s Word places an emphasis in several areas.
1. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE.
Proverbs 16:16 NIV
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,to get insight rather than silver!
The Book of Proverbs, which was originally written for the next generation, says that it’s better to have knowledge and wisdom than money. It’s better to be spiritually smart than to have material possessions.
>We must get this settled in our own minds if we’re going to pass it on to the next generation.
We need to teach them that everything belongs to God.
Psalm 24:1-2 NIV
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seasand established it on the waters.
The earth belongs to the Lord and WHAT in it? Everything!
When we help the next generation settle this issue their lives become much less complicated, much less stressed.
How do we get the next generation to see that wisdom and knowledge are better than silver and gold?
>We teach them from a very young age to see themselves as stewards, managers, of the things that belong to God.
>We teach them not to worry as much about “whose cookies are they?” as gaining spiritual knowledge.
The next generation needs to know how to live more than they need to know how to make a living.
2. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS CHARACTER AS A MORAL COMPASS.
Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
Character is a word that describes morals and ethics and integrity. It’s about learning how to be the right kind of person and how to do the right kind of thing, especially in tough situations.
Every generation needs character. Living without character is like trying to find your way around Atlanta with a map of London. Many members of the next generation will be following the wrong map unless we instill biblical principles in their lives.
Two great ways to pass character on to the next generation:
1. Protect their minds from evil thoughts.
Proverbs 15:14 NLT
14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge,while the fool feeds on trash.
The old adage is “Garbage in – garbage out.” If we want to keep the next generation innocent regarding evil, so that they can mature in what is good, then we must help them feed on the truth and not on trash. (teach media discernment)
2. Don’t protect them from difficulty.
Romans 5:3-4 NLT
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Maturity doesn’t come with age. It comes with responsibility. Some people are mature at 17 while others aren’t mature at 37. Why? Sometimes because they haven’t taken on responsibility. They can’t learn responsibility if we protect them from difficulty.
The key to these two character promoters is balance. If you go too far to either extreme you encourage an imbalance in character development. The next generation will be confronted with unwholesome ideas and suggestions. Our job is to help them filter through the lures of our culture without over-sheltering them.
If we’re too strict – the spirit of the next generation is shattered. That’s why the Bible says,
EPHESIANS 6:4 AMP
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
That’s good advice for every adult interested in training the next generation. We don’t want them to become bitter and resentful. So we don’t want to come down too hard on them. We show them respect.
But we also don’t want to be too permissive. Then they’ll not have boundaries so they end up being involved in behavior that is harmful to them and to others.
Pray for wisdom to find balance…
3. THE NEXT GENERATION NEEDS CONVICTIONS, VALUES TO LIVE BY.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.
Convictions are the values you live by, something you won’t give up for peer pressure. It take courage and strength to live by faith and not by sight.
One of the many great biblical illustrations of conviction comes from the Book of Daniel. We remember how Daniel was thrown into the den of lions because he wouldn’t worship the king’s idol. That was conviction! But his determination to live by conviction began much earlier in his life.
Daniel 1:8 NIV
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.
Daniel was a next generation Jew, probably a teenager, when taken captive to ancient Babylon. But he didn’t give up the tenets of his belief system just because he was in a foreign land and ungodly people were in control. That took courage, strength… that’s conviction. You make up your mind that you’re going to do what God says and you live by that whether or not it's always easy.
Do you remember what happened to Daniel? God promoted him and others respected him because he was a person of conviction! Kings wanted to know what Daniel thought. He became their advisor.
Convictions produce passion, and passionate people change the world. It isn’t the person who lives a willy-nilly life and does what is easy all the time that rises to influence and success in life. It’s the person who has the courage to live by their convictions!
If children don’t have convictions, they’ll be captivated by the four main values of our culture:
a. Pleasure – “I want to feel good.”
b. Possessions – “I want to have a lot of stuff.”
c. Prestige – “I want other people to envy me.”
d. Power – “I want to be in control.”
How do we effectively pass our convictions on to the next generation?
Convictions must be modeled. They are more “caught” than “taught.”
Titus 2:6-8 NIV
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
If you’re passionate about your convictions then the members of the next generation that you influence will pick up on that passion. If your life exhibits an honest reflection of what you say you believe in, they will know the true value of convictions.
Our behavior has an enormous influence on the behavior of the next generation. If we want to direct the behavior of future generations we must look at our own behavior.
So let’s close this message by doing just that. Let’s look at our own behavior.
How are you doing in some of the main areas that it takes to leave a legacy for the next generation? Not just moms, since this is Mother’s Day, but all adults. Ask yourself…
1. Am I sharing wisdom and knowledge with the next generation?
2. Am I teaching character to the next generation?
3. Am I modeling convictions for the next generation?
Don’t feel down if you are doing so good… that’s why we come here… engage God in His word, take what is good and make it better, take what we’re struggling in and get stronger. Thank God for breath, for each breath represents another opportunity. An opportunity to sow a good seed: to teach, instill, persuade, instruct, correct, love, nurture and leave a lasting legacy.
Ask God for strength, He’ll give it…
Ask God for wisdom, He’ll give it…
Ask God for peace, He’ll give it…
Audio from Associate Pastor Josh Carpenter on Sunday morning May 5th, 2019.
Galatians 6:7-9 NIV
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
For every want, there are wont's.
Galatians 6:9 NIV
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
For every area of life we want change in, there are actions that will sabotage that change.
Change our thinking: Instead of: "I want to change, BUT..."
Lets try: "I want to change, SO..." I won't do this thing anymore
Four major areas of "want":
1. I want to grow closer to God.
Luke 9:23 NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
I won’t live as if my faith should cost me nothing.
Matthew 19 (The Rich Young Ruler) & Genesis 12 (Abram's Call)
2. I want less stress in my life.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I won't look to myself as the Lord of my life.
The right type of foundation for wind and waves:
3. I want a stronger marriage.
Proverbs 20:6-7 NIV
6 Many claim to have unfailing love,but a faithful person who can find? 7 The righteous lead blameless lives;blessed are their children after them.
I won't feel embarrassed to seek God with my spouse.
Don't even wait until you get home. Husbands pray for your wives, and wives pray for your husbands before you leave today!
4. I want my children to make godly choices.
Psalm 78:1-8 NIV
1 My people, hear my teaching;listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable;I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known,things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants;we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them,even the children yet to be born,and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors—a stubborn and rebellious generation,whose hearts were not loyal to God,whose spirits were not faithful to him.
I won't allow the church to be the primary discipler of my children.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 28th, 2019.
Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning April 14th, 2019.
Throughout history events and inventions have shaped the way we live. We are all affected by them… many things are so ingrained in our life that we don’t give it much thought to what it was before the event, before the invention.
Here’s a case in point…electricity.
We don’t give it much thought, we just have become use to having it. We don’t give it much thought of what life was without it. But life without it was very, very different.
What would life be without electricity?
In 1879, the great American inventor Thomas Edison was finally able to produce a reliable, long lasting electric light bulb in his laboratory. By the end of the 1880’s, small electrical stations based on Edison’s designs were in a number of US cities.
Now, we don’t give light bulbs much thought until we have to change one that is blown or the power goes out from a storm…
An even greater event - One event in history has changed everything… beyond what we can hardly even comprehend: Jesus’ resurrection.
Let’s look at this a little closer today.
Before Jesus’ resurrection - Here’s the truth of the how bad it was:
1. Sinful man is cutoff and alienated from God
Romans 5:6 NIV
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:6 NLT
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Romans 5:12 NIV
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
Verse 5:18 says we were condemned. (doomed, lost)
The sentence of judgment came from God in Genesis 2:16-17
Genesis 2:16-17 NIV
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
>We faced despair, condemnation, hopelessness, which leads to have fear in life and be helpless in the face of death.
>We were alone and in chaos.
2. Our sinful behavior made us the enemy of God
Romans 8:8 NIV
8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
In Romans 8:8 Paul says that if we live in the realm of the flesh, we cannot please God. For the flesh is hostile to God.
Colossians 1:21 NIV
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
What a really sad condition… man is destitute.
I love these two passages that show an interruption in the chaos… One starts with a “But Then”, and the other starts with a “But Now”…
These are significant moments - For in them, we hear the good news of how Jesus changed everything:
Romans 5:8-9 NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
Jesus reconciled us to God.
Colossians 1:21-22 NIV
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—
Let’s look at these "But then, but now" history changing moments:
Luke 23:26-Luke 24:12
As a result of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection... everything changed.
2 Corinthians 5:16-18 NIV
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
The significance of His resurrection is incredible. He is the first fruits of those to be raised from the dead, ensuring that we will be raised, too (1 Cor. 15:20-23; Rom. 6:4-5). The power that raised Jesus from the dead, the Holy Spirit, is at work in us now (Eph. 1:17-20). The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies. Rom. 8:10-11)
Communion: 1 Cor. 11:23-26
Zakar - remember so that you live in and live out what has been given