Weekly Messages

If you would like to listen to a message from the Archives, please email us at 4lwmchurch@gmail.com and let us know the date and title of the message and we will be happy to email you the MP3 audio file.

Saturday
Oct062018

Oct 7, 2018

MEASURING YOUR WORTH IN GOD’S EYES - Luke 15:11-31

“There was a man who had two sons” (Luke 15:11).

Who’s the subject of that sentence?   The man. His sons are the object. This is a story of the prodigal father. It’s about a father who is extravagant and recklessly wasteful with his love for his children. If you study this story carefully you’ll figure out that it can tell you more about God than you’ve ever dreamed. 

For years I read this story thinking the son was the center of the attention. Yes we can learn a lot from him. The story of the prodigal father is a story told in 5 scenes.

Scene 1: is set on the family homestead. It’s about the father dividing his property between his two sons.

Scene 2: covers what happens to the younger son who runs to a faraway land to escape father’s house.

Scene 3: describes the interaction between the father and the younger son when he returns home.

Scene 4: picks up with the older son in the field.

Scene 5: is about how the older son returns. Or does he?

Scene 1: “Not long after that, the younger son got together all that he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth on wild living” (Luke 15:13).
Scene 2: Luke 15:13 “He squandered his wealth in wild living”
Scene 3: Luke 15:20 “But while he was still a long ways off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him”.  That’s how the Father feels about us. As His children. He has compassion on us.
The second thing the father does is he kisses his son. The third thing the father does is call for a robe to be put on his son. Fourth thing the father does is call for a ring. Finally, the father says, “Bring the fatted calf and kill it” (Luke 15:23).

The father loves all his children so much that He is willing to do whatever it takes in order to bring us home. Will you come home? Will you let him love you? Will you let him have a close relationship with you? Here’s the great thing about God. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. It doesn’t matter what you’ve become. The Father is always waiting 'For you to come home'.

Sunday
Sep232018

Sept 23, 2018

WHAT MATTERS TO GOD?  Luke 15:1-11

Have you ever asked yourself: “What’s really important to God?”

If you study the Bible you’ll soon figure out that it says God is on an all-out search for two kinds of people. All of us fit into one of these two categories. 

The first category of people that God is searching for: The fully committed.  God is searching for those who are willing to lay everything aside to chase after Him. Those who will do anything/go anywhere for just a chance  to serve Him as Lord.

The second kind of people God is searching for: The kind of people we read about in Luke 15

READ: Luke 15: 1-11

Luke 15 is the record of Jesus telling 3 stories; The parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.

If you read Jesus’ parables you’ll see that normally, when He tells a parable. He tells the story and then explains i before telling another parable. But Luke 15 is different. Jesus doesn’t pause to explain. He launches right into the next parable and then the next. Why? Look at Vs 1–3 again, Jesus tells 3...lost sheep/lost coin/lost son. These stories are so rich and carefully woven that we don’t have time to unpack them all the way this week.

In story one, how many sheep does the shepherd have? One hundred. And what happens to them? One wanders off. One gets lost. He leaves the other 99 in the open country. He doesn’t corral them for the night. He leaves them in potential danger to go and find the one that’s lost. When he finds the sheep, what does he do?Puts it on his shoulders and brings it home. What does he say to his friends?  “Rejoice with me.” Why? Because he’s happy. So happy he throws a party to celebrate.

Who’s the star of the second parable? A woman. Who’s Jesus talking to as he tells this parable? Men. Pharisees. How did Pharisees feel about women? They thought they were third-class citizens. What does the woman have that’s of value to her? Ten coins. How many sheep did the shepherd have? One hundred. How many coins did the woman have? Ten Jesus is reducing the proportions isn’t he? This woman has 10 silver coins. She loses one and she panics. She scours the house until she finds it. What does she do when she finds it? She throws a party. Why? Because she’s happy.

Jesus then tells His 3rd story. (We didn’t read it this week but we will next week). It’s the story of a father who has two sons. Notice the progression:  100 sheep, 10 coins, 2 sons.  He’s lowering the proportions. One of the 2 sons gets lost but eventually turns up again. When he does his father runs to him. When the son is found the father throws the party of all parties to celebrate his return. Why? Because he’s happy.

For now, let’s just summarize the first 2 stories.

Let’s look at 4 key points.

(1) In each of the stories it involves something lost. A sheep is lost -a lost coin -lost son.

(2) In each of the stories what is lost really matters to the hero of the story.

(3)  In each of the stories when what was lost is found, the hero is so happy he or she throws a party.

(4) In each of the stories the hero is someone who wouldn’t really be admired by most religious leaders.

The 1st hero is a shepherd, a 2nd class citizen. The 2nd is a woman, a 3rd class citizen. The 3rd is a father. A father who lifts his robes in order to run and save his son.

Put those 4 things together and what do you have? You have Jesus, standing in front of a group of religious men who think they have figured out what really matters to God. They see themselves as the fully committed. So in their mind and thinking they (and only they) matter to God.

Jesus is so upset with their thinking that He tells them not one, not two but three parables back-to-back, as if to say, “Your idea of who matters to God and who doesn’t is so far off that I am going to clear this up for you once and for all.

What he’s saying to them: There are 2 kinds of people that God longs for and searches for:

1. The fully committed.

2. Those who are lost.

The fully committed are not proud self-conscious or religious types who think that the most important thing is their religious life. He’s really saying 2 things.

1st: Lost people matter to God so much that He’s on an all out search to find them. Every time a lost person is found all of heaven rejoices...God rejoices.

2ndly: The fully committed are those who understand this and rejoice with God when He finds what is lost so much so that they join in the search as well.

•Only the fully committed change their spending habits so they can pay their tithe and fund ministries that reach lost people.

•Only the fully committed stay up late, dreaming of ways to reach out to their lost friends and neighbors.

•Only the fully committed look out of eyes that see as God does, thinking first about others and then about themselves.

•Only the fully committed…

The hard part about this story for us many times is that we think we are fully committed. We want to be, Right. The problem we think we are serving him fully. But are we really? Are we really willing to follow Him where ever He leads? To follow Him into the homes of the broken. To follow Him into lives that have never known him.

I pray you’ll decide -to build relationships with your neighbors and coworkers praying for them  and watching for openings to invite them to church. I pray that you will see God as a God who is on an all-out search for those who are outside of his family. Will you do those things?

There are 2 types of Christians in the world today. The casual and the committed. Which one are you? Which one do you want to be?

Wednesday
Sep192018

Sept 16, 2018

Created for Significance: WHAT’S MY PURPOSE? Luke 14:1-24

Read Luke 14:1–6

Jesus looks at all the fellows looks down at this guy in need, and says, “Okay, I get it.

Can you see the scene? All the religious leaders are hanging out, one sick guy out front and way out front is Jesus.

Read Luke 14:7–11

In Jesus’ day, the pecking order was a lot more blatant. The more important you were the closer to you sat to the host.

Read verses 12–14

We can never allow ourselves to become Pharisees. We can never become a church where status is more important loving the broken.

There is much to learn from Luke 14 

1. God’s Word is powerful. He speaks to us through it if we are willing to listen and consider the truth He will show us who we are.

2. Prayer is powerful. A little two-sentence prayer changed my heart and my sense of direction and God’s calling

3. It’s easy to become a Pharisee. To get to the place in our life where you think you know what the rules are and then start living as if the rules matter more than people do.

4. It’s easy to get fuzzy on the purpose of life.

5. God always wants outsiders invited to his party. Are you willing to let God’s Word into your life? Will you set aside a time each day to read it and to listen for what God might be saying even when it’s hard to hear. Are you willing to pray? Are you willing to pray that little prayer when your life isn’t perfectly aligned with God’s purposes?

6. God’s purpose is to fill heaven with people from all walks of life. God has and wants more for all of His children when it comes to our commitment to Him to knowing Him, to following Him, and advancing His kingdom.

We should live our lives in such a way that we live it in pursuit of God’s will. Because, you were created for significance.

Saturday
Sep082018

Sept 9, 2018

Made For Mission: Bring Someone With You.

God’s calling on your life is always bigger than your lifetime. He is inviting you to join Him in his activity where He’s already working.

Read Luke 8:40-42  Jairus meets Jesus and His disciples. His description as the synagogue leader was a big deal. In that culture think city council member or even mayor of that area. This could be a really big opportunity for this small start up movement led by Jesus. If a synagogue leader were to become a follower he might influence the whole city and even the surrounding region. 

Read Luke 8:42b-48  Jesus stops on his way to a big ministry opportunity to talk to someone that everyone else ignored. Based on Old Testament Law the people would believe that this woman’s disease would permanently make her unclean and anything she touched would become unclean as well. People know about this woman. She has a reputation. As she pushed her way through the crowd to get to Jesus picture what she most likely have to endure? She was probably shoved to the side given dirty looks. Yet in all this the woman is relentless to get to Jesus. It pays off and her whole life is changed in a moment. You have no idea when God wants to use you. You’re greatest impact will probably come at a time you’re least expecting it.

If you walked in here today and you’ve been carrying around baggage, a prayer request for what seems like forever, then learn the lesson from this woman.  Don’t give up. Run to Jesus. There is always hope. He can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime.

So, how do I do that? I want God’s calling on my life to be bigger than me. Bigger than my lifetime. Bring someone with you. As you go live the mission you were made for don’t go alone. Bring someone along for the ride. This may be the single greatest leadership lesson we learn from the life of Jesus.  Jesus intentionally brought people with him.

Matthew 28:19-20 “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The command is clear “As you go” - through your life intentionally share Jesus with the people you meet then disciple them in their faith. Jesus ends by promising -that he will be with us always, to the very end of the age.

Read Acts 9:36-42 Peter healed Tabitha almost the same way that Jesus had healed Jairus’s daughter. Many people came to believe in Jesus all throughout Joppa simply because Jesus took Peter with him. God is a “connecting the dots” kind of God. We have no idea what God wants to do through us and when He wants to do it. God’s calling on your life is bigger than your lifetime.

What is God calling you to? Who can you bring with? Who in your life does not know God? Who can you invite to chase after Him with you.

I challenge you to live for God this way. Let God change other’s lives/and yours.

Thursday
Aug232018

Aug 26, 2018

Made for Mission: “WHO IS MY MISSION?”

We are in week four of our Made for Mission series.

Week 1 - We are all Called. 
Week 2 - What’s my Mission?

Week 3 - What’s my Message? Today: Who is my mission?

John 4:7-14 “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would haveasked Him and He would have given you living water. “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

As we seek to answer “Who’s my mission?” It’s interesting -how different people in this scene apparently saw this woman. How the woman saw herself–Samaritan woman. (Shame over her past.)

The disciples passed her by on the way. Never talk to her when they return.

How Jesus saw her

1) She was worth it.

-Worth going out of His way to meet her.

-Worth crossing social barriers.

2) She was persistent.

-You might say, where do you see her persistent?

-Check out what happens.

The very woman that people had cast aside comes back into the village, convinces them to meet her new friend and Savior Jesus. Think about this, this was the very woman that the disciples passed by without ever saying a word too. It never crossed their minds to share with them, yet this woman sees people that desperately need to meet a Savior. You have no idea what is inside people. So who is your mission? Jesus was teaching us a lesson.

We have to see opportunities that other people don’t. We have to be able to move ordinary conversations into ones that bring up our faith. Sharing our faith is not a duty to feel guilty about but should be something we love to do every chance we get. The 2nd lesson we learn from Jesus to the Samaritan woman is….“God has strategically placed you where you’re at to reach one or some.”

What does that look like for us? God has intentionally and strategically placed you in your family, friendships, neighborhood, workplace, to reach out to those you are already doing life with. Our prayer should be “Lord I don’t ask you for much today, but would you give me your heart for the lost.” What if you posted that on your bathroom mirror or on your steering wheel or on the cover of your Bible or somewhere you look all the time. You ask “Who is my mission?”   Jesus says “Everyone is your Mission

Tuesday
Aug142018

Aug 19, 2018

Made for Mission: “Whats my Message”

Week three of our series titled, Made for Mission.

2 weeks ago we kicked it off by saying that “We are all called”.

Then last week we said:"What's My Mission?"

Today we will spend time answering the question “What’s my message?” What do I actually say while living on mission.

If you are already a Christian then this is the very heart of following Jesus. This part of your mission is not natural it’s something that you must be intentional about or you’ll miss what you were made for.

Just because someone has rejected God before doesn’t mean they will this time. The average person who receives Christ has already had 17 unique spiritual encounters. You have no idea where you fit in and the impact your words are making. God is far more concerned with your obedience than your impact.

You never know when you’re going to have an opportunity to share Jesus so you better be ready at all times.

Read Luke 8:32- 33 “A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission.” “When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.”

Anything apart from Jesus ultimately leads to death. The man gets to see right in front of him where the voices in his head were leading him the whole time…death. The truth is, Satan hates you and has a horrible plan for your life.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give you life and life to the full.”

So the man asks the question, “Jesus, what do you want with me?”

1) I want to know your name.

2) I want to help you.

Think about it, everyone else wanted to bind him and keep him away but Jesus came to free him. He cared infinitely more about the man than the mess he’d just created. To Jesus, this man’s life was a big deal. Jesus showed that he cares even if things are messy.

3) I want a relationship with you.

As the man sat at Jesus’ feet, what do you think they talked about? I’m just guessing but don’t you think the man probably asked, “So who are you and how can I be saved?”

Jesus believed that this one demon possessed guy was worth it. You are worth it. The person you’ve been working up the nerve to share Jesus with is worth it.

What’s my message? Some of you are sitting her today saying “What’s my message?” It’s simple: Share how God’s goodness has change your life. Its not rocket science. It’s not theological. It’s not hard. It’s being real with people. What did Jesus do and how has He personally impacted your life. That’s the message we are supposed to be ready with. You have no idea the impact God wants to make through you. Jesus took the craziest most insecure guy and used him to start a revival.

“I can’t do this.”  “I’m shy.” “I can’t talk with people about God”. “This is just not my thing. Stop saying I can’t and Say God can.

Today is an incredible opportunity to be bold and share the gospel with those who haven’t heard about Jesus yet. It’s a day to notice the unnoticed. To allow God to allow divine interruptions. Today, would be the day to ask God to break your heart for what breaks His and to have your heart beat for the things that He is passionate about. To tell God, I can’t give You much today but I give you today. It’s not my day, it’s Yours. Use me however you want. I am Yours.

Wednesday
Aug082018

Aug 12, 2018

WHAT’S MY MISSION?

We are in week 2 of Made for Mission. We said last week that every person has been called by God for a mission. You are not an accident or fluke but you are God’s masterpiece created for a purpose.

With this mission you’ve got some options. Some people ignore their mission in life. Other’s will flirt with their mission. Some will every once in a while accidently live out part of their purpose but only for a short time. Then life gets busy and they fall back into the daily grind of everyday life. Then there are some who will actively live the mission God made them for. They find it because God’s not hiding it from them.

Jesus was a man on a mission. He resolutely set out to lay down His life for the sake of others salvation. With great intention and courage He knew where he was going and that his life was bigger than himself.

Jesus made it clear that the mission of those who would follow him was the same as His. Followers must lay down their lives on a daily basis for the sake of others. This isn’t just a one time event, this is the mission of our lives on a daily basis, from now till Jesus returns. Our mission is way bigger than ourselves.

God doesn’t just invite you to -come to church on Sundays. He invites you to join Him in His  mission where He is already at work. God’s mission needs to be our mission.

I think one of Satan’s most powerful tool to get Jesus follower’s off mission is the weapon of DISTRACTION.

Did you know: The average person checks their cell phone 110 times a day. That works out to 9 times an hour.

Can we all agree, we live in a distracted culture? If Satan can’t make you bad he will make you busy. However he can get you off the mission that you were made for, he’s winning.

Read Luke 9:57-62 

1. The distraction of Comfort
  Many times in life we grow the most when we are uncomfortable and needing to trust Jesus. Our world is  obsessed with safety and comfort. What happens when the distraction of Comfort comes in conflict with the Mission of Jesus? What happens when comfort becomes a bigger deal in your life than Christ? 
2. The distraction of Commitment
   Jesus promises that if we place His Kingdom first in our lives then He will take care of all the other things we love to stress about. While many of the commitments you’ve made may be really good and honorable Jesus still tells us that His mission must come first.
3. The distraction of Competition
  The mission that God has called us to must be seen as a reward and not a regret. He wants you to step forward into His calling, His confidence and His joy, not looking back in uncertainty and anxiety.

There are lots of things in our lives that are competing with God’s mission. Making money, Being healthy, Being successful in the world’s eyes, having everything you want, having your kids turn out perfectly. Many of these things are great but do they ever compete with God’s mission of walking with him no matter the cost.

Jesus is not about creating a following. He is about making followers. Simply saying that you will follow him is not enough. Are you willing to lay down your own comforts, your other commitments or the things that compete for your time to chase after/follow Jesus?

Ask yourself:

“God, do I have any distractions in my life that I need to let go of today?”

-Are there any comforts that I have made more important than You (Christ)?

-Are there any other commitments that I’ve been saying, “but first,” before I can fully follow Your (Christ’s) call on my life?

-Is there anything competing that might be good but have become more important than my calling to know You (Christ) and make You known?

Let's leave them at the altar. At the Feet of Jesus. Leave this place - Truly living for Him.

Tuesday
Aug072018

Aug 5, 2018

Made for Mission: We are Called! - Matthew 9:9-12

Over next couple weeks we will be seeing how we are “Made for Mission. I believe the invitation that God is going to give us, has the potential to to transform for our lives. Just like Paul.

I believe that God has a mission for your life but we all have decisions of what we want to do about it. We can ignore it. We can flirt with it, sometimes temporarily join God in what he’s made us to be. We can also LIVE ON MISSION.

Matthew 9:9 “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man namedMatthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” He told him, and Matthew got up and followed Him.”

You are called by God! He has chosen you to be an active part of His mission. Since you’re called you need to start asking some big questions.

  1. Those in the business world—why did God make me good @ business?

  2. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, ask yourself: What role do I play in the advance of the mission as I raise my kids? 

What if you started seeing your job as an actual calling from God.

Matthew 9: 10 “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.”

For some there is this fear that if I say Yes to God then Jesus may move me to Africa or Antarctica. That could happen but so often God says, “let’s just start with where I have you now.”

When your on mission for God

-You’ll look at your finances differently.

-You’ll look at your possessions differently.

-You’ll look at life differently.

-You’ll look at relationships differently

Matthew 9:11 “When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Here is a third way God begins to transform us when we move from sitting to following.  God will transform how I respond to ridicule.

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Jesus faced all kinds of ridicule so wouldn’t you expect that if you’re following Him you’d get the same.

Matthew 5:10-11 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of Righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

You have no idea the impact God might want to make through your life. There is no greater joy in the journey of following God.

You’ve been called by God and Made for a Mission.
Thursday
Jul122018

July 15, 2018

Get Me To Jesus - Mark 2:1-12

In the midst of the chaos -the craziness and the confusion of life, what people need more than anything is hope.  Well, there is good news for you today because no matter where you’ve been, where you are or where you are headed to there is a better way there is hope and His name is Jesus Christ.

Who or what do you think of when you think of the word or meaning hope?

We live in a world that many maybe even those we know have felt hopeless, helpless, lost, unwanted, unloved, not good enough and or worthless. These are the exact lies that Satan tries to instill in your mind to believe and penetrate your heart with so you feel there is no hope.

John 10:10a “The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy”

Steal – to steal your joy, your hope, you from your blessings.

Kill – the wages of sin is death Romans 3:23.

Destroy – the enemy wants to either keep you from having a relationship with Christ if you do not haveone or destroy it if you do have one.

The devil may think he is in control but we really know who is in ultimate control-God!

READ: Mark 2:1-12

What do you need healing from? A bad attitude, broken relationship(s), addictions, physical healing, mental healing and or spiritual healing? Whatever you need healing God is able to do it, TODAY!

Mark 2:1-3

v1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.

v2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.

v3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.

Imagine for a moment if this was you paralyzed or not able to move and you heard about a man named Jesus that the power, ability and authority to heal. You would do whatever it takes to get to Jesus wouldn’t you?

You should do whatever it takes to get to Him, today! He can fix the unfixable, mend the un-mendable. He can fix all areas of your life and put all the broken pieces back together and make you whole again.

Mark 2:4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Three things Jesus did here;

1. Saw their faith – note it says their faith, not just the man sick. These men were very faithful as well.

2. Spoke to the man – remember in the midst of Jesus preaching the word, He stops and turned His attention to the one’s that needed Him at that very Moment.

3. Forgave him of his sins. Notice he did not physically heal the person at that time, but forgave him of his sins.

You may have come to church for one thing but God is telling you -through His Holy Spirit that the first thing you need to do is repent and ask forgiveness of your sins and then God can heal you. Repentance comes before restoration.

Mark 2:12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The man does four things:

1. Listens to Jesus, immediately gets up before all of the witness’

2. Obeys Jesus, picked up the very thing that he was bound to. Notice the very object that was carrying him he is now carrying

3. Went where Jesus told Him to go to his own House

4. The most important part, the crowd witnesses a miracle and were amazed Because of that, they glorified God

Saturday
Jul072018

July 8, 2018

How to Faith the storms of life - Mark 4: 35-41

We all face storms in life. -The question is 'Do you have the ability to faith the storms of life?'  Faith is more than a noun - It’s also a verb.

Not only does God know/understand our storms/trials...He also gives us a way to faith the storms of life.

'Jesus and His disciples were planning to cross the Sea of Galilee. They started out on a three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough. The tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless Lord the disciples would be lost.'

You can see some disciples who were fighting against the storm, their focus was the storm. But there were some of the disciples gathered around Jesus, their focus was the Savior. Which leads me to a question, “When you face the storms of life, do you fearfully focus on the storm, or do you faithfully focus on the Savior?

Five lessons On how you can faith the storms of life:

I. You can be close to Jesus and still encounter storms

1 Peter 4: 12,16 says “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you…if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name”

II. Jesus permits storms to test our faith

3 of the ways God tests our faith.        

  A. The pressure test        

   B. The people test        

   C. The persistence test

III. Storms force us to cry out to Jesus

1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

IV. Jesus will either calm your storm or calm you

V. If Jesus is in your boat, you know you’ll make it through the storm

In the midst of the storm -the disciples had forgot what Jesus said. He said, “Let us go over to the other side.” Once the Creator of the Universe makes up His mind that He’s going to the other side -there was nothing in heaven or on earth that would have sunk that boat.  Good news is, Jesus has promised us His followers that we’ll make it through every storm as well. God never promised that we’d live a storm proof life. He just promises to be with us  in the midst of the storm.

Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Sunday
Jul012018

July 1, 2018

4th Of July: Declaration Of Dependence - Deuteronomy 8:6-14

On Wednesday the United States will be celebrating a crucial moment in the history of our nation... the signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams signed he said, "Whether we live or die, sink or swim, succeed or fail, I stand behind this Declaration of Independence. And if God wills it, I am ready to die in order that this country might experience Freedom."

Just 14 months before the Declaration of Independence was written armed conflict actually broke out in the Battle of Lexington & Concord between colonial Minutemen & British army troops. Patrick Henry, the fiery patriot from Virginia gave his famous speech before the Virginia Convention....."Three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, & in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the Destiny of nations, & who will raise up friends to fight our battle for us. The Battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. It is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission & slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! … I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."

What we often forget is that in declaring their independence from England our forefathers made an equally bold “Declaration of Dependence” upon Almighty God.

They Declared their Dependence upon God. But we weren't the first nation to do that. At another crucial moment in history as the people of Israel were preparing to enter the land that God had promised to them Read Moses told them, in Deuteronomy 8:6-14

The 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with these words: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Again, the closing words of their Declaration solemnly states: "With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence (that's God), we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes & our sacred Honor."

It is important that we remember this clear declaration of their dependence upon God In a world we live in today it seems that we have begone not only to ignore -but even to eliminate any acknowledgement of the deep & abiding faith of our Founding Fathers and of the God who gave this nation its birth & its greatness.

Watch out that we don’t forget God. History has show us that not only nations but also individuals need to heed that warning. The greatness of a nation is not measured by its military power or national wealth. Righteousness & justice should be the determining factors. Solomon, the wisest of men, said: "Righteousness exalts a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34. What’s happening in the United States today? To a great extent our culture has become all about success, status, & security.

Our real freedom comes in Christ. So when we stand back -& look at this land of the free we begin to ask, "Is there any real freedom anywhere?" But thank God, as Christians we have a greater freedom than any constitution can give us. We have the freedom that is offered in Christ Jesus.

There is a word for freedom in the N.T. It is the word, "redemption." "Redemption" means "to be set free." It means that we have been bought with a price that we have been freed of our bondage & now we are really free.

If you really are a patriot, if you are truly concerned about America, if you truly want God to bless her, then live a life in harmony with the will of God. May we as individuals, reaffirm our dependence upon God so that as we, "looking to Jesus the author & finisher of our faith," we might experience the freedom He gives not only from worry, doubt & fear, but also from all those sin we have in our lives.

Sunday
Jul012018

June 24, 2018

HOW TO GUARANTEE A HAPPY DAY - Psalm 103

Have you ever had -one of those days where your spouse, your mom, or your friends would say you “got up on the wrong side of the bed”? Nothing went right for you maybe your attitude was a little bad, maybe you felt like a black cloud followed you around? Lets look at the Psalms on how to guarantee you'll never have a day like this again.

Psalm 103 is part of a pair of psalms. In Hebrew, it continues right into Psalm 104 as if the two are actually one song. They’re both Psalms of Praise. Everybody say, “Praise the Lord.” Psalm 103 says it’s a psalm of David.

How to never again have a terrible day? There are three simple steps.

1. Start your day with God, not yourself (v. 1).

2. Start your day with praise, not requests and not regrets (v. 2a).

3. Start your day by remembering what you’ve got not what you’ve not (v. 2b).

David starts with a simple command to himself. He says, “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” He’s telling himself what to do: praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the depth of being. With everything inside him. So if the first thing you think about is praising God, then you can’t at the same time think about all the challenges you’re about to face.

David lists five ways God has been good to him:

1. He forgives me (v. 3a).

2. He heals me (v. 3b).

3. He redeems me (v. 4a).

4. He encircles me (v. 4b).

5. He satisfies me (v. 5).

David says, “The Lord forgives [present tense] the Lord forgives all my sins.” How many of my sins does he forgive? All of them. He forgives when I ask. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

David starts by telling us to do something that we aren’t naturally inclined to do which was think about someone other than ourselves. He tells us to think about God, first thing. That’s verses 1–2: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”

David Says:

1. Start your day with God.

2. Start your day with praise.

3. Start your day by remembering what you’ve got, not what you’ve not.

So if I have a bad day I need to remember.......The Lord has established his throne in heaven and His kingdom rules over all. So what can a day do to me? What can a person do to me? What can separate me from His love?  NOTHING

That’s why scripture says: That neither death nor life, Neither height nor depth neither the present nor the future nor anything else in all creation can separate me from the love of God Which is in Christ Jesus!

Sunday
Jul012018

June 17, 2018

GOD SONG: “HOW GOD WANTS TO BE WORSHIPED” - Psalm 100

Psalm 100 starts with a very simple word. SHOUT for joy to the LORD. What’s the first word here? Shout.

The psalm starts by telling us that we ought to:• shout to the Lord • worship the Lord • do it with joyful singing

• know that it is He that has made us.

Psalm 100. Verse 3 says, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of his pasture.”

Why worship the Lord?:

1. Because He is God (v. 3).  The First Commandment says, “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.” The psalmist also says we worship God because he made us.

2. Because he made you (v. 3b).

3. Because we are his people (v. 3c). 

4. Because he is good (v. 5). 

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

How God wants to be worshiped: 

1. Loudly (v. 1) “SHOUT to the Lord, all the earth!”  Psalm 29:3 says, “The God of glory thunders!”

2. Through service (v. 2) “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

3. In church (v.2b) “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with Praise.”

How to prepare for a worship service:

1. Come ready. 

2. Start with thanksgiving. 

3. Leave changed. 

In Ezekiel 46:9, God says this to His people about worship: “When the people of the land come before the LORD at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which he entered, but each is to go out the opposite Gate.”

Thursday
May312018

June 3, 2018

GOD IS ALWAYS SPEAKING - Psalm 19 

Let take a look at Israel’s iTunes. Let’s start w/history lesson this morning.

The book of Psalms:

-The longest book in the Bible.

-Psalms means songs of praise.

-It has 150 chapters.

-Is divided into five collections: Chps. 1–41; 42–72; 73–89; 90–106; 107–150.

-It was written over a period of one thousand years.

-It was written by people from all walks of life from kings and priests to farmers and peasants.

-It’s said to be the oldest piece of literature in the Bible.

-Psalms is usually the book we turn to in times of trouble.

Psalm 19 is a wisdom psalm.

In Psalm 19 -we’re going to be reminded that God also loves to speak to us. And that he’s always speaking to us. And not just in one way but in two ways.

1. God speaks to us through nature.

Go outdoors tonight and look at the stars. You’ll get a sense of God’s presence. Listen and you’ll hear him.

Because creation exists there has to be a creator. God is always speaking. All of creation points to the Creator. Look at creation and you find the Creator.

“The heavens declare the glory of God.” When David set out to write a song about his God he decided to writeabout the God he knew. A God who spoke to him all the time, everywhere, through nature. But nature is not the only way God speaks.

2. David describes a God who spoke to him personally and privately, through Scripture.

God speaks to us through Scripture. God wrote us a manual, a guide if you will, so we’d know how to live in it. Scripture is God’s special revelation to us. It tells us things we could never know about God unless He did something to reveal them to us.

READ: vs10 - "If you will keep its commands you will avoid a lot of pain. And if you will practice what it tells you to do you will reap eternal rewards." The more you do what Scripture says the closer you will live your lifeto the way God designed it.

Of all the books you’ll read in this life and all the games, instructions and experiences you’ll absorb, only Scripture will endure forever. Scripture gently but firmly tells us what is right and what is wrong and encourages us to do the right thing. It teaches us how to live. God’s advice never loses value. If you have Scripture you can learn how to live a successful life. Scripture is one of our greatest possessions.

If we listen carefully....It’s the voice of God saying, “You don’t really want to do that. It’ll hurt you, and it’ll hurt others. Stay back. Stay away. Stop. Don’t go there.”  Or on the positive side; It will tell you “Be sure and love your neighbor. Be generous. Tithe. Serve. Pray. Invite people to church, invite them to Christ. Be like Jesus. Act like Jesus. Think like Jesus.”

Scripture will transform you into the person that when I get to heaven,  I will hear from the Father “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

God’s always speaking. He’s longing for us to carry on a conversation with Him. Don’t rush through life missing out on growing your relationship w/Him.

Thursday
May312018

May 20, 2018

“Church on Fire” - Acts 2: 1-4

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost was the day God set His Church on fire. The day God sent His Holy Spirit to fill His people.

What are the characteristics of a church on fire?  Read: Acts 2: 1-4

1. A church on fire is: A Church filled with the power of God.

We need power to fulfil God’s purpose. We need God’s power, alone. We can accept no substitute. We cannot depend upon man-made excitement to get the job done or programs, promotions, publicity or a worship full of fluff. We need the power of God -God alone.

I Cor. 2:4-5  “My message and my preaching was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

2. A church on fire is: A church filled with prayer.

Prayer will lead to growth of some kind. Doesn’t always mean growth in numbers...But Spiritual growth!

Eph. 5:18 “…be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your heart to the Lord.”

3. A church on fire is: A church filled with unity.

Worked toward the same goal. Locked arms together toward a common goal. Scripture says: “and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  There was no social status...No church position, no clicks, no looking/judging at each other.

To be on fire for God we must willing to join hands in unity and to serve Him -Through prayer/His power.  Don’t ever minimize your importance to this body of Christ. There is something for all to do. Just be faithful! Always try to be what God intended you to be. It’s not by accident that God set LWM here in Versailles all those years ago. He brought us here to make a difference for Him...be a church on fire for Him - to change lives in the world around us. That’s why we are here! And when we forget that, we lose our fire!