God on Trial

Untitled design-3.png

When you stop to consider the events of this Wednesday about 2,000 years ago, it is mind-blowing that the creator and sustainer of life was put on trial by His own creation for sins He had not done. In the late hours of Wednesday, Jesus Christ was put on trial as a criminal. By Thursday He would be hanging on the cross. There he would take upon Himself the wrath of God for your sin and mine. While all Israel celebrated the passover in Jerusalem, just outside the city, on a hill called Golgotha, Jesus would become THE final passover lamb.

About a year ago, I preached a sermon series through the Gospel of Mark. I thought that I would share the sermons related to the events of the Passion Week beginning today.  On this day, I encourage you to meditate on your Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday—God on Trial (Keynote)

Thursday—Viewing Calvary (Keynote)

Sunday—His Resurrection calls us to Total Abandonment (Keynote)

Timeline of the Passion Week

WHLH-30-God on Trial.004.jpeg

Useful Apps

#Inpire14.png

“There is an app for that.” While that certainly seems to be true, I have found some apps to be especially helpful. Here are some of them!

YouVersion—website

Here is one I use on a daily basis. This app enables me to have a plan for reading or listening through the Bible. I also love its ability to create church events on it for free. We are testing it our with our Acts series

Hoopla—iOS/Android

This is an app that I have been using for about a year. Essentially it is your public library at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. This gives you access to TONS of digital content for free. I have been blessed to listen to many Christian audio books from great preachers and writers in the past and present. 

Swapp—website

This is an app that I have been watching for a couple of years and seems to be making great improvements. It is a soulwinning management app. Recently testing it for our church’s outreach.

Commission—iOS/Android

Ever wish you could pull up a tract on your smartphone and use it to give the Gospel? Well, now you can. You can even keep a prospect list on it! It is a fantastic Gospel tool.

Abiding Radio—how to listen

What you listen really influences you! Many times Christian radio does not sound so Christian. I have enjoyed listening to this internet radio station through their app. Give it a try! You will find the music to be Christ-centered and spiritually nourishing. 

Our Purpose

 

vision-night

This year, at Grace Baptist Church, we are our learning our purpose and priorities. More than anything, we want to accomplish the purpose that Christ has given us to accomplish. In Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This is a huge, monumental undertaking! However, as one man said, “Through God’s power, our faithfulness is always possible.” We have a purpose and we must faithfully engage in that purpose.

This past Vision Sunday, I was excited to reveal our public church purpose statement. Our purpose is to engage in the complete fulfillment of the Great Commission of Christ through the power of the Spirit to the glory of God. 

During this first quarter of the year, I am preaching and teaching our priorities—how we will accomplish our purpose. I believe that accomplishing such a God-sized purpose requires that we plan and prioritize. You can listen to the message at our website, facebook or podcast.

Real Strength

Strength_Sun_Rocks.jpg

What do you immediately think of when you hear the word “strength?” Perhaps you think of working out and building up muscle mass and endurance. Maybe you think about emotional strength  found in a loving support system of friends. Some may equate strength as not showing any emotion in the midst of crisis. There are many concepts that come to mind.

I want to ask another question. Where does real strength come from? Would you consider and meditate on the thought that Daniel gives us?

Daniel 11:32 “…the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. “

Real strength comes from a personal relationship with God. A relationship that secures eternal life. One that bears you up through trials and distress. More yet, this strength enables you to do exploits, what seemed to be impossible before.

Let’s seek real strength in a daily, dynamic relationship with  God.

As He Did Afortime

BibleIn the wake of the ruling that has been passed down from the highest court in our land, I want to point attention to a biblical character that gives an excellent pattern for Bible believing Christians. Daniel was unashamedly a follower of the one true God. He openly loved Him and sought His guidance daily. Daniel was so open, that those who worked closely with him knew his habits of prayer. When the new law was handed down from the king saying that the citizen could only pray to the king and no other god, Daniel’s co-workers knew that he would continue to pray to the God of Heaven.

Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Before we look at today’s ruling from the Supreme Court and bunker down, lets remember what Daniel did. He continued walking with God and seeking Him daily as he did aforetime. What do Bible believing Christ followers need to do today?

  1. Seek God
    Don’t react publicly until you have sought God privately. Take time to pray today. Pray for God’s grace to stand and shine for Him. Pray for other believers to remain steadfast. Pray for our leaders to come to trust and follow Jesus. Pray for a revival of the fear of God in our country. You cannot go wrong in seeking the Supreme Ruler of All first.
  2. Share Jesus
    Continue to witness for Christ. If you have not been an open witness, seek God’s forgiveness and begin right away. Jesus needs you to stand and shine for Him in the midst of spiritual darkness. Don’t allow fear and cultural trends to mute your witness for Jesus. He is the answer to all the chaos!
  3. Show Christ’s Love
    As you witness, remember to speak the truth in love. Christ always showed compassion to those that were against Him. Let the love of Christ be most evident in your voice and eyes as you proclaim Jesus Christ. Remember, there is not a single person alive on planet earth that is beyond the reach of His love. Let Jesus love them through you.

Technology and Christian Homes

Teens-and-Technology-blankIt is very clear that technology is not going to go away. Children and teenagers growing up now need parents to both protect and direct them in the Godly use of technology. The fact is they will be using technology daily as adults and the principles that they learn now will help them live Godly while using technology. Here are a few suggestions.
  1. Use a family policy. 
    Every family with teens should have a carefully thought through and written set of guidelines regarding the use of technology. As with any guidelines, what is not inspected should not be expected. Be sure that you establish adequate accountability such as parents should have open access to all devices and accounts. By the way, open accountability ought be modeled by mom and dad. Teens ought to see that their parents are practicing what they preach.
  2. Use your computer’s existing features.
    Both Apple and Windows come with parental controls as a feature. You can set up allowed apps, sites people and time limits. Here are instructions for Mac and Windows. If you have Android devices, you can use an app called Kids Place. Apple devices have a built-in feature called restrictions.
  3. Use an internet filter.
    While parental controls limit access, filters filter content. There are two that I have discovered to be great options— Covenant Eyes and Safe Eyes. Each are full service filters. Each come with a monthly cost (which are cheaper than lifetime scars). I would encourage you to take the time and research a filter that is best for you and your family’s devices.
  4. Develop the heart. 
    One man said in relation to the internet, “The best filter is the heart.” While parental controls and filters will make it harder to stumble on or intentionally view junk on the internet, the heart is what determines to do right or wrong. If a man, woman or teen has a heart for God and righteous living, they will not seek out the dark side of the internet. No filter is completely fail proof, but coupling a right heart and a good filter will insure internet safety.

    Proverbs 4:20-27 My son, attend to my words;
    Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
    21 Let them not depart from thine eyes;
    Keep them in the midst of thine heart.
    22 For they are life unto those that find them,
    And health to all their flesh.
    23 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
    For out of it are the issues of life.
    24 Put away from thee a froward mouth,
    And perverse lips put far from thee.
    25 Let thine eyes look right on,
    And let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
    26 Ponder the path of thy feet,
    And let all thy ways be established.
    27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
    Remove thy foot from evil.