Sermons

Discover the Joy of Leaving Laodicea Behind
341:  The Resurrection Story in Philemon

341: The Resurrection Story in Philemon

There is a passage in the letter to Philemon that sums up the entire Easter, or Resurrection Day message. It tells the timeless story of Christ in a letter from Paul (representing Christ), sent to Philemon (representing God the Father) who was the one wronged, about Onesimus (representing you and me) the guilty, runaway slave, that Paul calls his son in the faith,"that is, my own heart" (Philemon 10).

If then you count me as a partner (or, companion, partaker, comrade, one who shares in everything), (then) receive him (how) as you would me. But if he has wronged you (or, hurt, damaged, injured, to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin against) or (what) owes anything, (then) put that (or, reckon) on my account - Philemon 17-18.

What a wonderful Resurrection story found in Philemon. Do you want to know more? Then keep listening.  
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340:  A Man Abandoned to God

340: A Man Abandoned to God

In our church culture the mantra is bigger is better.  Bigger churches, bigger congregations, bigger likes on Facebook, bigger budgets, bigger, bigger, bigger.  But there are some in the Kingdom of God who are faithful with small, but vital things.  These are the saints that labor behind the limelight, in the shadows, as unsung heroes, doing what a faithful servant does.. And one of those great saints is a man named Tychicus. We find his name mentioned in only five places in the New Testament.  But oh, what we can learn from this great man of God.  
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339:  Being Vigilant in Prayer

339: Being Vigilant in Prayer

One of the most convicting statements about prayer is found in the last chapter of Colossians.  Here the Lord, in Colossians 4:2, says:

Continue (or, to persevere and not faint, to endure, to wait or tarry, to be in constant readiness) earnestly (or, to adhere to one, to be devoted to one, to be steadfastly attentive) in prayer, (how) being vigilant (or, to arise, arouse, to watch, to refrain from sleep, to remain fully awake) in it (in prayer) with thanksgiving (or, thankfulness, gratefulness, profound gratitude).

Which raises a few questions: How is your prayer life?  Do you continue earnestly in prayer?  Are you devoted to prayer?  Vigilant in prayer?  Does your prayer life show you are "redeeming the time" given you by the Lord?  Or does it show just the opposite?  And, if so, what are you prepared to do about it? Want to know more?  Then keep listening.  
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338:  Take this Job and Love It!

338: Take this Job and Love It!

In Colossians 3 we find the hands-on practical teaching of Paul that hits us right where it hurts: in our job, our profession, and in our sense of value and self-worth.  No area of our life is more open to hurt and confusion for a man that what he does for a living.  In fact, most men identify themselves by their jobs and not by their families or heritage or faith. Colossians 3:22 reads:

Bondservants (doulos – a slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other), obey (or, to listen, to be obedient, to submit, to conform) in (what) all things (who) your masters (defined as) according to the flesh, (in what way) not with eyeservice (or, service performed only under the master’s eyes, for appearance sake), as men-pleasers, but in sincerity (or, singleness, faithfulness, purity) of heart, fearing (or, being terrified or frightened) God.

Intrigued?  Want to find out more?  Then keep listening.  
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337:  What is the Prayer of Faith?

337: What is the Prayer of Faith?

Some of the most wonderful yet confusing verses in the entire New Testament are found in the last chapter of the book of James.  Do you know what these verses mean:

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful?  Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much - James 5:13-16

Are you suffering?  Do you know those who are sick?  Do you know what the prayer of faith is and what is involved in calling for the elders and having them anoint you with oil?  Are these verses somewhat confusing to you? If so, then keep listening.  
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336:  Tough Words to Fathers and Children

336: Tough Words to Fathers and Children

In Colossians 3 the Lord confronts us with a checklist that deals with the proper attitudes we are to have in our most cherished relationships: wife to husband and husband to wife, children to parents and fathers to children, and employers to employees and employees to their employers. In this lesson we're going to look at some of the tough words the Lord has to say to both fathers and their children about their relationship both to Him and to each other.

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. - Col. 3:20-21

To find out more, just keep listening.  
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335:  The Power of Persistent, Overcoming Prayer

335: The Power of Persistent, Overcoming Prayer

During His last week with His disciples, Jesus said the following regarding a fig tree that He cursed:

“Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.  And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing (or, to have faith in, to think it’s true, to place confidence in, to entrust), you will receive" - Matthew 21:21-22.

Do you believe what Jesus said?  Do you take His words at face value or have you reduced them to some type of parable or story not to be believed literally?  And what does Jesus mean by "believing"?  How does faith impact our prayers? Keep listening, for the answer to these and other questions may astound you.  
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334:  Put On, Put Off, and Put to Death

334: Put On, Put Off, and Put to Death

In Colossians 3 we see the commands to put off, put on, and put to death various aspects of our life.  Consider the following:

"put to death your members” – 3:5 “you yourself are to put off all these” – 3:8 “put off the old man with his deeds” – 3:9 “put on the new man who is renewed” – 3:10 “put on tender mercies” – 3:12 “above all these things put on love” – 3:14

You would do well to carefully examine what about you is to be put to death (or, to mortify, kill, make dead, to deprive of force and vigor, to render powerless, impotent) and what we are to put on (or, to sink into, to clothe oneself, to be enveloped) and to put off (or, renounce, throw off, lay aside or down, to cast away). Want to know more?  Then keep listening.  
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333:  Are You Chosen, Holy and Beloved?

333: Are You Chosen, Holy and Beloved?

There are three words that Paul uses to describe each of us: elect (or, chosen), holy and beloved. He uses these descriptive words in the first part of Colossians 3:12.

Therefore (based on the previous verses), as the elect (or, chosen, picked out, one selected) of God (or, by God), (defined as) holy (hagios - set apart, sanctified, consecrated, a saint, a most holy thing, its fundamental idea is separation and devotion to the service of God, sharing in God’s purity and abstaining from earth’s defilement) and beloved (agapao – to be dearly loved, esteemed, to delight in).

Does this describe you?  Do you see yourself as chosen by God, holy in His sight, and beloved above all?  I sure hope so.  But if not, then keep listening.  
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332:  The Deeper Things of God

332: The Deeper Things of God

You know, there's more to our life in Christ than most of us realize.  And that's because most of us are satisfied and content with far less than what God has planned for us.  Consider one of the primary purposes of acquiring wisdom:

A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, (why) to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles - Proverbs 1:5-6.

The climax, the zenith of wisdom is to be able to understand an "enigma" (or, a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand, also a riddle, a symbol or parable, a discourse requiring an interpretation) and the words of the wise and their "riddles" (or, difficult questions, perplexing sayings, statements with double meanings, or dark or obscure utterances).  It is the ability to comprehend the deep, dark sayings of the Lord. The hidden truths, the obscure meanings of His Words. Yes, that is our inheritance in Him via His wisdom.  So how are you doing in the wisdom arena?  To find out more, keep listening.  
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