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March 26, 2018, 12:35 PM

Easter Week: Monday



Yesterday was Palm Sunday and we focused in on the Triumphal Entry.  Such elaborate worship.  Such exact timing.  Such a wonderful plan.  Everywhere you look in the story of the Triumphal Entry, you see the Hand of God at work.  

The entire event is a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9.  The Messiah was no accident.  It was not a case of Jesus being in the right places at the right times.  Jesus, The Christ, The Messiah, was God's intentional and specific plan to bring about the forgiveness of sin.  And the Triumphal Entry, backed by the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, was God's deceleration to everyone present that "everything you've seen, everything you've heard, everything you've experienced in the last 3 years of Jesus's ministry is Me showing you that He is my Promised One.  He is my Plan.  He is the Messiah.  Believe in Him." 

There were two reactions that day: the Awestruck Worshipers and the Anger Driven Pharisees.  Often times we float somewhere between those two places.  Where are you at in your relationship with God?  

 

Questions to Ponder

  • Where can you see God's Hand at work in your life? 
  • Where are you at in your walk with God? Closer to Worship or Anger? 
  • Have you come to the point where you realize that Jesus is and always has been God's plan for your life? 



July 12, 2017, 12:20 PM

Jesus Is Interrupting You



In John chapter 5 verses 1 through 18, we find Jesus interacting with a lame man at the pool of Bethesda or Bethsaida or however. The man has been lame for 38 years. We don't know how old he is. It is possible that he is only 38 years old and has been lame for his entire life. It is also possible that at one point in his life he knew what it was like to be strong. To run and jump. But has since come down with this affliction. Either way, at some point in dealing with this handicap for 38 years, I imagine he has come to terms with the fact that this will be his life. He will always be lame. He has one hope, but that hope isn't really a hope.

 

You see, his hope is that somehow he will be able to be healed by being the first person in this pool at a certain time. But, since he is lame, he will never be able to be the first person in the pool.  Therefore, he will never actually be able to be healed. No matter what he does, the joy that he truly seeks will always be just out of reach.

 

Then on this day, Jesus asks him a big question. Jesus asks: “Do you want to be healed?” I know what you are thinking. Of course Jesus, of course he wants to be healed. Who doesn't want to be healed?

 

But If you read the story, there is one word that jumps out at you. It jumps out because it is nowhere in the man's answer. That word is Yes! The man doesn't say Yes I want to be healed. Instead, he begins to give all the reasons that have caused him to give up hope. All the reasons why God won't heal him. All the reasons why his life is a lost cause.

 

Let me tell you what we often do. We often put God in a box, and we say: “If God is going to take action in my life, it will be like this __________.” When we do that, we limit God and eliminate faith. When that happens, we have no choice but to allow our circumstances to determine our hope. When our circumstances determine our hope, then the truth is that we have none.

 

This guy is in a situation where he has a God that is powerless (or simply doesn't care) and a hope that is nonexistent.

 

Somewhere in his 38 years, this man had lost hope. Somewhere in his 38 years this man had begun to believe that the pain of hope was worse than the pain of brokenness. He had succumb to the manageable pain of a hopeless broken life.

 

But, luckily for him and for us, Jesus interrupts him. Jesus interrupts his pain. Jesus interrupts his hopelessness. Jesus interrupts his brokenness. Jesus interrupts him and says: “Do you want to be healed?”

 

Jesus interrupts you today with the same question? Do you want to be healed? Do you want to be made whole? The first step toward the life of joy and hope that we all want, is to begin to trust Jesus with our pain. Will you say yes to Jesus today?

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July 8, 2017, 7:15 PM

Importance of Planting Seeds


A lot of times we can discount the importance of planting a seed. Of course, I'm talking about spiritual things and not gardening. In gardening it is easy to see the importance of planting seeds. Without seeds, there wouldn't be much to harvest in a garden. But, perhaps the same is true in spiritual matters. Perhaps that is why Jesus used seeds as a metaphor for the gospel. 

Whether we are talking about gardening or spiritual matters, there is nothing really exciting about planting seeds. When gardening, planting seeds leaves you hot, tired, thirsty, and hungry. None of those describe the goal of growing a garden. Similarly, when we plant spiritual seeds we are often left feeling unsuccessful and deflated. In both cases, the harvest is joyful; but the work is... well... it's work.

We sign up for mission trips, or step up and share the gospel, or volunteer for VBS in order for the opportunity to win someone to Christ. We want to experience the joy of having an impact on someone's life. But, that is not always the end results of our work. Sometimes we are left hot, tired, thirsty, and hungry with no spiritual fruit to show for our efforts. 

So, is the hard work of planting spiritual seeds worth it? I think so, and I we can see it in our story from today:

Originally Jesus had preformed his first sign at Cana, then left there and went to Capernaum (see John chapter 2). We don't know what he did in Capernaum, but we are lead to believe that it was something. Something got the attention of the official. Whither it was the sign at the wedding that a server latter brought up. Or if it was a miracle done in Capernaum that John doesn't mention. We know that Jesus was in Cana, then Capernaum, then some other places. And now he is back in Cana and an official from Capernaum is there asking for help. 

I think that we can see here in the first four chapters of John, that Jesus planted seeds that were not harvested until later. So, what does that mean for us? It means that we need to be more serious about the business of planting spiritual seeds. So have that conversation with the co-worker. Sign up to help. And, do not grow weary in doing good. 

 




June 17, 2017, 4:44 PM

Who is Jesus - The Book of John


Today we start a summer long journey though the book of John. We are going to approach this sermon series a little different than ones in the past. What I really want to try to do is bridge what I call the gap between Sunday and Monday. I want to make this sermon series a take home event for your family. So, to do that, we are going to try to engage our church body with the Word of God in several different ways. 

In a 24/7 economy and a technology driven world, we have both the challenge and opportunity to engage the church body in several different way. I say challenge because on any given Sunday we have church members all over the United States. I say we have the opportunity because technology gives us the ability to be connected all the time. So here are some of the ways that we will try to stay connected this summer:

1.) Blogs...  Blog is really just a fancy way to say that we will be writing out some of the sermons instead of preaching them. Through Facebook and our church website (www.deshabaptistchurch.com) we will be putting out short devotional thoughts or typed out sermons on different parts of the book of John. This will allow us to cover more ground in the short time span of summer. I also hope that it will allow us to study the Bible on a more regular basis as a church. 

2.) Question Box... I have placed a question box in the foyer area. Maybe you have questions about a certain passage that didn't get answered in a sermon. Maybe you have questions about how something from one sermon affects another part of the Bible. Maybe you are struggling with something and are looking for answers from scripture. So fill out a question card and put it into the box. You can also email me your question. We will work through them the best we can. We will post an answer, but keep the question anonymous.

3.) Transparency... You might be thinking that transparencies are old technology, but that isn't what I mean. One of the things that I think widens the gap between Sunday and Monday is that we don't let our real life and our spiritual life have honest conversations with each other. I always want to model the effort to be honest about the areas of life where I struggle to let the way I believe dictate the way I live. We can't effectively engage the scriptures until we are willing to honestly engage them. 




June 10, 2017, 9:16 PM

Vacation Bible School Wrap-Up



 

We wrapped up a great week of VBS this past Friday night. Every year, VBS is a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of late nights, and a lot of coffee the next morning. But, every year VBS is worth it. 

This year we went with a new theme. Our theme was Superheros. I think the kids had a lot of fun with it. I know I did. The point of a superhero is to save those that can't save themselves. A superhero is someone that give you hope. A superhero is someone you can believe in. 

As the week went on, we searched the Bible for a Superhero that can save the whole world. Samson was a promising figure, but he himself needed God to save him. Deborah was a promising leader as well, but she did not have an answer for the chariots of iron. David was perhaps the most promising hero of the Bible. He was brave. He was noble. He was smart. But he had great failures that cost him and the people he was supposed to save greatly.

But, we found our superhero in Jesus. Where Samson was weak, Jesus stood strong. Where Deborah had no answer for her enemy, Jesus conquered our biggest enemy. Where David failed, Jesus succeeded. Jesus was the hero that could save us. 

Some of our highlights:

80+ people between Kids and Helpers

7 students stood and came forward during the invitation.  3 of which prayed to receive Christ. 

$1335.50 dollars raised for our mission offering. The girls raised the most, so of course I got a pie in the face.  You can see details on Facebook. 

This year our missions offering went to support Nicole Yeoman and her family. They are missionaries in the Philippines. Nicole went to High School here in Batesville and graduated with Brandon Weaver. She came and spoke to our Youth last summer before moving her family to the Philippines. Recently, her and her husband put out a request for prayer and support. They needed funds for more reliable transportation and for Bibles in the native language of the people they are working with. They also wanted prayer for safety. There were some terrorist attacks near where they live and minister. 

Nicole and her husband Chris have moved their family to the front lines of a spiritual war. They are the hands and feet of Christ in a difficult and sometimes dangerous place. The money that we raised this week will supply approximately 100 Bibles. We pray that this will help multiply their ministry. 

I am really thankful for the great enthusiasm and love that our church approaches children's ministry with. There are too many people to name that helped out in one way or another. Nothing happens at the church because of one person. It always takes a team and great teamwork. I am thankful to be a part of a church with such a willing spirit and such great teamwork. I'm one proud pastor. 

 

 


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