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Archive for July, 2005

Leaping Into the Unknown World of Faith

30 Jul

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Leaping Into the Unknown World of Faith
People tend to be afraid of the unknown. When I was little I was afraid of diving off of a springboard. I didn’t really understand how to do it, or how the diving board worked so it was scary to me. I had heard stories of people getting hurt from diving improperly so it was scary to me. 

How did I learn to dive off a springboard? First I was told how to do it while my teacher helped my dive from my knees off the side of the pool. Next she helped me dive from a standing position, poolside. I felt quite accomplished when I was able to dive off a solid diving block. Then it was finally time to try the bouncy springboard. I walked out to the end and dove in, then I bounced on the board to get the feel. I looked at the board to understand how it worked and finally I was able to run, bounce up in the air and plunge headfirst into the pool! From that time forward I’ve loved diving off a springboard. Before I could have the courage to dive I had to know something about it but before I really knew what diving was I had to experience it.

That’s how our spiritual walk goes. God starts us out easily and the more we learn of Him and get to know Him the more we are able to do. But we will never fully understand everything about God so we have to be willing to trust Him enough to just dive in! That’s when we really start knowing God.

Romans 11:33-36 caught my eye this week. Through this passage we will experience God’s greatness and hopefully gain the confidence in Him that we need to dive in. Then we’ll hear His diving instructions.

For more check out the PDF handout and listen to the sermon in real audio format.

 
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Getting Out of the Coffin

23 Jul

Listen 12kbpsPresented July, 23          Listen 16kbpsPresented July, 23
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Listen 12kbpsPresented August, 6 @ Springview    Listen 16kbpsPresented August, 6 @ Springview


Getting Out ofthe Coffin

Loud wails filled the air as the funeral procession slowly walked out through the gate of the city of Nain. Though most of the wailing was being produced by paid mourners the pain in the hearts of the crowd following the coffin was real. There walking just behind the pallbearers was the deceased’s poor, widowed, mother. Her only son lay in the traditional open coffin (or bier) made of wickerwork shrouded in folds of linen. After her husband had died he had been all she had left. Now he was gone too. It seemed that sorrow must be her lot for the rest of her life. It is unclear why such a large crowed attended the casket. Perhaps this young man had been well loved and respected in his town. Or maybe they just felt sorry for his widowed mother since, in her culture, women just had to have a man to care for them and now she had none. Whatever the reason this funeral was a large event and now the sad procession made their way to the burial ground to lay their loved one to rest. Click here to learn how to choose life.

The city of Nain “is not mentioned elsewhere, either in the Bible or in secular sources, but is generally identified with the modern Nein, on the northern slopes of a mountain overlooking the broad plain of Esdraelon to the north. Nein is situated about 25 mi. southwest of the site of ancient Capernaum and about 5 mi. south of Nazareth. There is but one approach to the village, along a steep and rocky path (see DA 318) [sic] that comes in from the east. About half a mile east of the village is a rock-hewn burial ground still in use today.—SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 5, p.757

As the funeral procession traversed that rocky path to the burial ground they met up with another large group of people coming from the other direction. At the head of this crowd was a rabbi (or spiritual teacher) named Jesus. When the two groups met Jesus saw the widow and knew her situation. He knew that her heart was breaking. And not only hers, It seemed that the only one in the group that wasn’t sad was the dead man, who obviously didn’t know anything was going on.

After comforting the mother Jesus touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped short in astonishment. By touching the coffin Jesus risked ceremonial uncleanness (see Numbers 19:11). But Jesus was about to do a lot more than become ceremonially unclean to bring eternal life to mankind. He was about to take on all the guilt and sins of the whole world—become “sin for us”—bearing our guilt and uncleanness to the cross so a little ceremonial uncleanness wasn’t a big deal to Him.

Although this man was dead and had no clue what was going on Jesus spoke to him commanding him to arise. Even death itself cannot defy God’s word so the man sat up in the coffin fully alive and started talking as if nothing had happened. I imagine that Jesus helped the man out of his coffin as He presented him alive to his mother. After their original shock at this experience the crowd recognized that they had had supernatural power visit their town and their wailing turned into joyful praises, glorifying God. (Story is found in Luke 7:11-17)

The Bible tells us another story about people who got out of their coffins filled with new life. But unlike the above story this is a continuing story with chapters still being written to this very day. For more about this story please read the PDF handout and newspaper article or listen to the sermon in Real Audio format.

 
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Stewardship of Conduct

16 Jul

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Stewardship of Conduct

This is the fourth and final message in a series on the Biblical concept of stewardship. We have found that everything really belongs to God. He just loans it to us to use for His purposes. As Christians we have been bought at the highest possible price, the Blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:20) Therefore not only does everything we own belong to God but we ourselves also belong to Him as well. If we belong to Him than we are to be faithful stewards of our conduct—the way we live and what we do.

There are two major aspects of stewardship of conduct that we will look at in this sermon.

1. How We Represent God 2. Using Our Talents for God

  • Do we act like a follower of Jesus or do we bring shame on His name?

  • Are we edifying the Body of Christ with our talents or just drawing attention and money to ourselves with them?

For more please read the PDF handout and listen to the sermon in Real Audio format.

 
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Your Money, What God Says About It

02 Jul

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The Faithful Steward><font size=06/25/05

The topic of money can sometimes bring out the worst in a person. It seems that like Jacob of old we are born with our hands outstretched trying to grab more, more, more (Genesis 25:24-26). Even from a young age we see selfishness manifest. The concept of stewardship that we have been talking about for the past few weeks goes directly against our sinful fallen nature. But God in His infinite wisdom knew that the best way for us to learn to trust Him is through our money.

According to Biblical stewardship all money and possessions fall into one of three categories:

  • Tithes
  • Offerings and
  • Remaining Principle
  • For more please read the PDF handout and listen to the sermon in Real Audio format.

    NOTE: Due to technical difficulties the first 9 minutes and 38 seconds of the audio is poor quality.

     
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