God Calls: Will I Go?

Sunday Sermon Series God Acts: How Will I Respond?

Genesis 12:1-9

God called Abram to leave the city of Ur and go to a land he would show him (Genesis 12:1). When God calls you, go often comes before show (Hebrews 11:8).... God talks to people. Not always audibly, but He does talk to us and call us to go on missions. Abram was called to leave the city and be a tent dweller. God called him to travel to a place He would show Abram. We would often prefer to be shown where we are going first, but God expects us to obey unconditionally. 

God promised Abram (Genesis 12:2-3): 

  1. I will make you into a great nation… Abram's wife was sterile but God promised that his offspring would become a great nation. 

  2. I will make your name great… Men had tried to make great names for themselves such as when they tried to build the tower of babble, but they failed. God would promise and succeed in making Abram's name great. 

  3. I will bless those who bless you…. This can be seen throughout history. Nations that have supported Israel have been blessed and those who have done evil to Israel have suffered. 

  4. All peoples on earth will be saved through you. (Psalm 147:19-20; Matthew 1:1-2; Galatians 3:7-8).... Abram is one of the ancestors of Jesus. He is in the genealogy of Christ. 

Abram obeyed (Genesis 12:4-9).... God called and Abram obeyed. The first thing he did on each leg of his journey was to set up an alter and worship God. He left behind the false gods that were popular in the city and devoted himself to the LORD. 

Where might God be calling you to go?... First, you are called to leave the darkness and come into the light. Give your life to Christ and experience the salvation He offers to all of us. Second, He calls us to go on mission. Below are some great ways to do this. Look them up and pray about whether God is calling you to be part of any of them. Some are specific to our church or area, but your local church should also have great opportunities to serve locally. Sometimes God calls us to serve groups of people, but other times He tells us to go talk to an individual. When we hear that call or feel that tug, we should respond and obey. That may end up being a life changing moment in that person's life or in ours. 

  • NT365 (imb.net)

  • Go2Years.net

  • 2022 FBC mission trips to Guatemala or Denver

  • theJesustent.com

  • Oakley Ministry Center meals (Missions Wall)

How Can We Experience Revival? The Pattern of Revival under King Josiah

Sunday Sermon

2 Chronicles 34-35

Biblically and Historically, revival begins with God's people. Moral and spiritual renewal starts with God's people. There's not really an example of revival in the New Testament, because there was no need, but there's some in the Old Testament. Today we look at how young Josiah was used by God to bring about a great revival in Judah. Judah had gone through years of decline and Josiah's father was assassinated when Josiah was only 8 years old. 

Revival begins when we seek God (2 Chronicles 34:3a). Around the age of 16, Josiah began to seek God. Jeremiah 29:13 also reinforces this idea. Revival can only begin when God is our focus. 

Revival gains momentum when we purge our lives of idols (2 Chronicles 34:3b-7). Around the age of 20, Josiah tore down the idols his grandfather put up. He purged the land of idols. Our idols may not be asherah poles or golden figurines, but we have our own idols. An idol is anything that takes our focus from God. The pursuit of 

Revival takes root when we rediscover the Bible and begin to obey it (2 Chronicles 34:8-32). Around the age of 26 Josiah ordered the temple to be repaired. While cleaning the temple, they found a scroll called The Book of the Law, which we believe is Deuteronomy. He listened to the words from it and was convicted and repented. He also had it read in front of all the people. Today we are almost too familiar with the Bible and we don't give it the time or attention it deserves. When revival comes, there is a renewed interest in the Bible and a desire to obey it. 

Revival achieves its goal when we return to right patterns of worship (2 Chronicles 35:1-18). Still around age 26, Josiah had sacrifices made in an attempt to make up for all the ones that were missed. The people hadn't observed the passover properly in a long time, but this time they did. It caused the people to seek to worship God. When we return to right patterns of worship, it makes people want to worship. 

Revive Us Again

Sunday Sermon

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6, NIV)

Every so often we all need a good revival in our Christian walk. Maybe the pandemic has made you need a revival. Or maybe something this summer has caused you to need a revival. 

Four examples of physical revival that illustrate our need for spiritual revival: 

Samson (Judges 15:18-20). When you have no strength, you need refreshment…. Samson was one of the judges for the Israelites, a leader of his people. One time he used the jawbone of a donkey to achieve a great victory. Afterwards, he was exhausted and called out to God. God provided a drink and that drink revived Samson. Sometimes we just need a refreshment to regain our vigor for the Lord. 

An Egyptian (1 Samuel 30:11-12). When you have no activity, you need nourishment…. David and his men came upon this man and they gave him food and drink. Afterwards, he was revived. Refreshment isn't always enough. Sometimes we need more comprehensive nourishment such as being involved in a connection group. Receiving that nourishment can bring back our desire to serve the Lord. 

A boy (1 Kings 17:17-23). When you have no breath, you need resuscitation…. Elijah stayed in the house of a widow and her son. While he was there, they never ran out of food despite the famine. Some time after that, the boy stopped breathing. Elijah returned and prayed for God to bring the boy's breath back. The boy was revived and lived. Sometimes our lives reach the point where they look no different than the rest of the world. There is no sign that we are different, that we are alive in Christ. When that happens we need CPR, we need resuscitation. 

A corpse (2 Kings 13:20-21). When you have no life, you need resurrection…. While burying a body, the people digging the grave saw bandits coming and just threw the body into the grave of Elisha. When the corpse touched Elisha's bones, the corpse was revived. Some have never received the life that Jesus offers. If that's you, you need to be resurrected. By accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, you can go from spiritually dead to spiritually alive (Ephesians 2:1-5). 

Do you see yourself in any of these examples? Do you need refreshment, nourishment, resuscitation, or resurrection? Call out to God. He will provide. 

The Day of Atonement and the Death of Jesus

Sunday Sermon

Leviticus 16

The Day of Atonement in the Old Covenant can help us understand what the death of Jesus means in the New Covenant.

“Atonement” comes from two English words (at + one) and means to be reconciled to God by covering sin. … How can we do this? God gave the Israelites instructions on how to be atoned. They were to build a tent where the priest would go to be near to God. It had a Holy Place and a Most Holy Place. 

The only person who could enter the Most Holy Place was the high priest, and he could enter only one day a year. He first sacrificed a bull for his own sins (Leviticus 16:1-2, 6, 12-14). Two goats were selected. The first goat was killed as a sacrifice for the people’s sins (Leviticus 16:7-8, 15). The second goat was called a scapegoat. It was sent away into the desert (Leviticus 16:20-22, 26-28). … God gave instructions for how to worship Him and expects them to be followed. When the high priest would go into the Most Holy Place, he had to follow a set of instructions to atone for his sins and the sins of his family. The punishment for sin is death. As sinners, we all deserve death, but God gave the Israelites a way to transfer that punishment to animals. This illustrates how serious sin is. It is no joking matter and not something to be proud of. 

Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the Day of Atonement: Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 9:11). Jesus is our sacrifice (Hebrews 9:12-15) Jesus is our scapegoat. … We no longer need bulls or goats to take our punishment because Jesus has taken the punishment for us already. 

How should we respond? (Hebrews 10:19-27) … Draw near to God. Since Jesus was our perfect sacrifice, our sins have been atoned for and we are reconciled to God. We have the opportunity to draw close to God.

Called to be Different

Sunday Sermon

Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 1:13-25

Peter is writing to believers facing persecution under the Emperor Nero. They are called to live a different life in Christ while the Roman culture valued different ideals and philosophies. 

  1. Pursue Holiness (v13-16). … God is holy and we worship a holy God. He is separate from sin. The Greek word for "holy" is "Hágios." Hágios means: holy, set apart, different, pure. Peter tells us that being holy takes preparation and planning. It isn't something that just happens. A concerted effort needs to be made. Plan to pursue holiness by surrounding yourself with people who will help, by learning about God, by reading the Bible all on a regular plan. We aren't called to fit in with the world; we are called to be holy, to be different. It's easy to fall into the temptation to fit in, which is why a plan is needed to pursue holiness. Satan has a plan to keep us from pursuing holiness, but if we follow our own plan, we can avoid his temptations and pursue holiness. One of Satan's greatest lies is that the most important thing in life is to satisfy our own desires and pursue happiness or gratification at all costs. That's not God's will for us though. God doesn't exist to serve us. We exist to serve Him. 

  2. Live Fearfully (v17-21). … We should have a reverent fear, a deep respect and admiration, for who God is. This is a fear that, instead of paralyzing, pushes towards holiness. It keeps us from doing things that would displease God. This fear also pushes us towards salvation. It leads us to hope and faith in the holy God. This reverent fear makes us want to know Christ. And knowing Christ is how we become holy. It modifies our behavior from the inside out. For more on this reverent fear, see Proverbs 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Philippians 2:12.

  3. Love Deeply (v22-25). … God calls us to love one another deeply. We are called to love, encourage, forgive, support one another. John 13:34-35 is where Jesus Himself tells us to love another, that the world would know us because of that love for one another. 

My Strength, My Song, My Salvation

Sunday Sermon

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation Exodus 15:2 (CSB)

Many years before this verse, God had promised to Abraham that his descendants would live in a specific land, but that it would take four hundred years for it to happen. Between the promise and its fulfillment, quite a few things happened. The Israelites grew to rival or even outnumber the Egyptians in Egypt. So the Egyptians enslaved them. Eventually God would raise up Moses to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land. God used different plagues to get Pharaoh to let his people go. When they left, the Egyptian army pursued and the Israelites were stuck between a body of water and an army. God would part the waters so the Israelites could cross and then let the waters fall back to normal as the Egyptians tried to cross, wiping them out. This is where this verse comes in. Moses wrote a song about the event and this is part of that song. 

  1. The LORD is my strength. 

1 Samuel 30:6; 2 Timothy 4:16-17 … We aren't strong enough to get through this life on our own all the time, so we need help. The best help comes from the LORD. 

  1. The LORD is my song. 

What does this mean? Psalm 118:12-14 ... It's the reason we do things. Songs are full of passion and joy and sadness and other emotions. Songs inspire. Songs give us focus. With the LORD as our song, our passion aligns with His, we are inspired by His character, words, and acts, and our focus is on His will. 

  1. The LORD has become my salvation. 

Isaiah 12:2; Revelation 15:2-4 … God will get us through the scrapes and close calls, but He also offers the ultimate salvation, a salvation from an eternity separated from Him. Our biggest need in life is for a savior to rescue us from our sins and their ultimate consequence. That is what the LORD offers to us all. Have you accepted His offer? 

Gifts for Father’s Day

Sunday Sermon Holidays

The Bible says you should give your father two things:

  1. Give your father obedience (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20 Romans 1:28-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-4). … Children should show obedience to their parents with the exception being when a higher authority  (such as God's law) contradicts them. The New Testament lists disobeying parents with other sins that may seem more serious than it, but apparently it is a serious sin. 

  2. Give your father honor (Ephesians 6:2-3 Mark 7:9-13). … We all know this commandment. We are to show respect to our parents even if they are bad parents. This is also the first commandment with a promise that tells us if we honor our parents, all other things being equal, we will have long lives. Apparently there was a loophole people would use and the religious leaders allowed that let the people neglect their responsibility to care for their parents. Jesus spoke out against this and reaffirmed the importance of honoring our parents. 

The Bible says fathers should give their children four things:

  1. Give your children your presence (Proverbs 27:8). … One of the biggest factors for how children grow up is the presence of a father. Children who grow up without a father are more likely to turn to crime, commit suicide, and get pregnant as a teen. The presence of a father has a large impact on children. Separating doesn't help a marriage. Separating doesn't help the children. 

  2. Give your children boundaries (Genesis 2:16-17; Proverbs 29:17). … Boundaries are good. They allow for just discipline and show children right from wrong. Our Heavenly Father has set boundaries for us, so our earthly fathers should too. 

  3. Give your children warmth (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). … Boundaries are important, but they need to be balanced with warmth. It's important to not always be harsh and cold. Sometimes a father needs to show his love to his children. Laugh with them. Hug them. 

  4. Give your children Jesus (Ephesians 6:4). … Without Jesus, all the other gifts that fathers give their children are like dust in the wind. Children need physical food, but they also need spiritual food and the father is tasked with providing both. If you aren't much of a talker, then lead by example. Go to church, volunteer, read your Bible, pray. And do it all where your children can see and learn. 

What Does It Mean to Confess “Jesus is Lord”?

Sunday Sermon

When we baptize people into the church family, we ask people to confess "Jesus is Lord."

Romans 10:9-10 is one of the places we see this happen in scripture. But what does it really mean?

It means two things:

  1. Jesus is boss. Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:20-22; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26; Colossians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 7:39 … There is one place where the word "lord" is still used in our modern language, "landlord." If you have a landlord then you must get their permission before doing anything to alter the building. They get the final say in any changes. Consider Jesus to be our "lifelord." Jesus is already Lord of all and in charge of everything. However, us humans are quite rebellious and don't always submit to Him as we should, like a tenant breaking the rules laid out by the landlord. When we confess Jesus is Lord, we are saying we are putting our entire lives under Him. Everything we do is for Him. We work our jobs for Christ. We manage our money for Christ. We put Christ above our relationships. 

  2. Jesus is God Adonai —> boss, master —> Lord Yahweh —> name of God —> LORD Exodus 3:14-15; Psalm 8:1; Acts 2:22-25, 32-36 … "Adonai" and "Yahweh" are two Hebrew words found in the Old Testament. "Yahweh" is the name God told Moses when Moses asked His name. "Adonai" is a title similar to "boss" or "master" and was what the Jews would say in place of "Yahweh" out of respect for God. In the New Testament, mostly written in Greek, there is only one word translated as Lord. It is used to quote both "Adonai" an "Yahweh" from Old Testament scriptures and combines the two. Jesus is not just Lord. He is LORD. He is boss and He is God.

Under Construction!

Sunday Sermon

I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, CSB).

Who is working in your life? God (John 5:17). … God is working in our lives. He even works while we rest. 

What is the good work He is doing in you? Salvation. … God rested from creation but not from all work. He still works on our redemption. He immediately saves us from Hell when we become bel;ievers, but he continues the work of sanctification in us as we live. 

When did He start this good work in you?

  1. When you believed (Ephesians 1:13). This is when we are immediately saved from Hell. The work of salvation and sanctification starts here. 

  2. Before you believed (John 16:8-9; 6:44). … The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. This is what leads people to believe in Christ for salvation. The Spirit convicts and draws people towards Jesus before they believe. 

  3. Before creation (Ephesians 1:4). … God knew us before the world was even created. 

How long will He work in you? Until he completes it on the day Jesus comes back (Philippians 1:6). … God always finishes what He starts. He has started a good work in you and He will finish it. we aren't finished yet and will still make mistakes, but the day of completion is coming. 

Do you have to work, too? Yes (Philippians 2:12-13). … We should cooperate with the work that God is doing in us. 

Legacy: Mission: We Have a Purpose

Sunday Sermon Series Legacy

Acts 11:19-30

BIG IDEA: Every Christian has a role to play in the mission of God.

The church at Antioch is used as a model in these verses. Antioch was a center of religious activity during this time period. It was a big city just a few miles south of Jerusalem and there were many different deities worshiped there. Antioch was the first place that followers of Christ were called "christians" and it was meant as a way to mock them. But the church thrived there. 

Four roles in the church

  1. A passion for evangelism (Acts 11:19-21). … We don't know the names of these people doing mission work, but what we do know is they were passionate about Jesus. Passion for evangelism begins with a passion for Christ. They were also willing to engage different cultures. These people weren't from Antioch. They had to travel to get there and had to adapt to a culture that wasn't their own. They also would have had to have trusted in God's guidance. 

  2. A ministry of encouragement (Acts 11:22-24). … Barnabas is known as the son of encouragement. He was generous and invested in people. He earned his nickname by being encouraging and that encouragement led people to Jesus. Everyone could always use some encouragement. Who can you encourage this week? Pray about it and encourage that person. 

  3. Intentional discipleship (Acts 11:25-26). … Barnabas knew his strengths. He was a good encourager and evangelist but he knew a great teacher was needed, so he went and got Paul. Ironically, one of the more prominent pursecuters of Christ followers has become the greatest teacher among them. The reason those people in verse 19 had scattered was because of Saul (now called Paul) and people like him. 

  4. A heart of generosity. (Acts 11:27-30). … Generosity isn't all about money. Money is helpful for funding ministries, but without people to do the work, the ministry is mute. One of the greatest forms of generosity is to give ourselves. 

Of these four areas, where are you involved in the mission of God? 

Evangelism — Encouragement — Discipleship —Generosity.

Of those same four areas, where can you grow in faithfulness to the mission?