Archives from October 2017

God Cares for You

Sunday Sermon

We live in a world that is increasingly becoming automated. This automation makes certain tasks easier, but it also keeps us from having as much personable interaction as we had in the past. This can sometimes make us wonder if anyone cares for us. We post on social media and wait for people to react to it. Our belief that anyone cares for us too often depends on people responding to our posts. Without those likes, some people feel no one cares for them. The Bible tells us differently. The Bible tells us God cares:

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

There will probably be times in your life when you question whether God really cares for you (Mark 4:35-38). Jesus calls you to exercise our faith when you come to situations you have never before encountered (Mark 4:39-40). … Sometimes we feel alone in the world. The universe is massive beyond measure and we are minuscule in comparison. That can lead to a feeling of loneliness and insignificance. The we ask: How could God care for someone so small? … The disciples asked Jesus if He cared for them. The answer is that our past experiences should tell us that He cares. We should be able to transfer our faith from past experiences to new experiences.

The indisputable evidence that Jesus cares for you is that He died for you (John 10:11-15). … Jesus is our Shepherd. In this passage He links Himself to Psalm 23. The Shepherd protects the sheep from predators. The Shepherd cares for His sheep and is concerned for them. … Jesus stood between us and the wolf. He died so we wouldn’t have to. He knows us an an intimate level. He knows your name, your past, your feelings, thoughts, needs, and desires. How can He know all of that about you and not care about you? He does care and He died for you as evidence of His great love for you and for everyone. Cast your anxieties and burdens upon Him. Let Him help you carry them.

The New Word Keeper



Welcome to the new Word Keeper! Word Keeper experienced some difficulties with our past host, so this is the new site!

It's going to take some time to get as many former posts as possible onto this new site, but we're going to try to put many of them on here This site also has a long ways to go before it's complete, so please be patient while I get it to where I want it. 

The Scope of our Salvation

Sunday Sermon

This is an overview of what the Bible says about Salvation. Salvation is not something that just happens in moment in your life; it is more of a process. We’re going to look at the parts of that process in this sermon.

6 steps:

Step 4: Saved (Acts 16:31): Born Again (John 3:3): Justified (Galatians 2:16). … This is where many of us start to learn about salvation. However it is not the first step of the process. … Some people will say they’ve always been a Christian, but that is not an accurate statement. There is a moment for all of us where we are “saved”. It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember that moment. What does matter is what you believe now.

The roots of salvation:

Step 3: Conviction (1 Thess 1:5): Draw (John 6:44): Call (1 Cor 1:9). … God might be calling or drawing you to Him right now.

Step 2: Jesus (1 Peter 1:18-20) … God knew we would need a savior and planned to send Jesus before He even created the universe.

Step 1: Predestination (Ephesians 1;5; Acts 13:48): Elect: Chose … This is a tricky topic. The Bible teaches predestination, but it also teaches the responsibility of individuals to accept the Salvation offered. 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us God wants everyone to come to knowledge of the truth. 1 Peter 1:2 seems to connect predestination with the foreknowledge that God would have.

Beyond conversion:

Step 5:Sanctified (2 Thess 2:13): Grow (1 Peter 2:2) … This is after the moment of Saving and continues throughout our life. We are to grow in our salvation. When we are justified, we are declared righteous and saved from the penalty of sin. When we are sanctified, we become righteous and are saved from being slaves to sin. This process takes time though.

Step 6: Glorified (Colossians 3:4) … This is where salvation is completed. Every bit of us will be saved: our souls and our bodies.

In Romans 8:28-34 Paul ties all of these together.

We looked at these steps or stages out of order first. Here they are in order.

Predestination, Elect, Chose … God’s foreknowledge of everything makes those who accept Salvation the “elect”

Jesus … Jesus came to Earth and died as the final sacrifice for our sins.

Conviction, Draw, Call … The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and we are drawn or called to salvation.

Saved, Born Again, Justified … We accept the forgiveness offered and are saved from the penalty of sin as new creations (born again) who are declared to be justified.

Sanctified, Grow … After accepting the salvation, the process of sanctification begins. This is where we grow in our faith and knowledge and work our way to becoming more righteous.

Glorified … Our souls and bodies become glorified and our salvation is complete.

Nehemiah: Be Faithful to the End

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 13

This is the last chapter of Nehemiah and the last sermon in this series. The purpose of the series was to answer this question: What does God want me to do with my life?

The first half of the book tells us God has work for us. We saw in those chapters that we will face obstacles when we do God’s work. We learned that prayer and preparation are important in doing God’s work.

In the second half of the book we saw that God wants us to assemble. God wants us to come together.

Nehemiah returned to his job in Persia. Later he came back to Jerusalem. He found that spiritual conditions had declined in his absence:

  • The temple was defiled (Nehemiah 13:7-9). … A man, a non-believer even, moved into the temple. He was living there. Nehemiah threw him out and put the temple back i order. The people did not keep their commitment from chapter 10.

  • Tithing was neglected (Nehemiah 13:10-13). … The temple was understaffed because the people were not tithing, which probably led to the man being able to live there. They neglected their commitments from earlier.

  • The Sabbath was not observed (Nehemiah 13 15-21). … The people did not honor the Sabbath again, just as their ancestors, and against their commitments.

  • Marriage was compromised (Nehemiah 13:23-26). … The people ignored God’s commands on marriage and their own commitments as they married foreigners, just as their ancestors.

What does this teach us about faithfulness in our lives?

  1. Your spiritual life will tend to decline without continual attention. … The second law of thermodynamics is true materially and spiritually. Without maintenance, it will fall apart.

  2. It is more difficult to restart your spiritual life than to continue it. … You can restart, but it’s hard. The law of inertia applies to our spiritual lives too, making it easier to keep momentum than to start or stop or restart.

  3. Leaders can set the tone for your spiritual life in a group. … In this book we see that while Nehemiah is there, everything goes well. When he leaves though, it all falls apart until he returns.

  4. We need the Gospel to enable us to be faithful (Romans 8:3-4). … Nehemiah 13 might be the last book, chronologically, in the Old Testament. The book of Malachi probably comes before Nehemiah’s first return to Jerusalem or just before his second return. Then, 400 years later, we get the New Testament, the Gospel. Nehemiah shows us our inability to keep the law on our own. We can’t keep the law good enough to earn our own way to Heaven. That’s where the Gospel comes in (Romans 8:1-4).

Like Nehemiah, Jesus has gone away, and He is coming back. He wants to find us faithful (Matthew 24:12-13, 45-46).

Nehemiah: Ordinary

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 11-12

Let’s review a little: Nehemiah used to be a cupbearer to the king of Persia. Persia was the controlling empire at the time and the capital was lavish. Nehemiah probably had it pretty nice. Then God calls him to help rebuild Jerusalem, a broken down city that requires months of work to rebuild just the walls. Nehemiah may have been tempted to return to the lavish life in Persia, but he found something special in Jerusalem. He found God’s presence and God’s work.

Big Idea: God is building churches made of of seemingly insignificant people who live ordinary lives, but change the world.

Point One: God uses ordinary people who surrender their control (Nehemiah 11:1-2). … At this point, Jerusalem is not safe. The rebuilt walls make it a fresh target. The people who live in the city don’t have as much as land in an agricultural society. Jerusalem offered very little to its inhabitants, but the people who volunteered to live there wanted to be part of what the city meant. This was the Holy City. This was where God’s presence was supposed to live on Earth. They made a sacrifice to live in the city. They sacrificed their control; the control of land and of safety.

Point Two: God uses ordinary people who surrender their eternity (Nehemiah 11:3-24). … The men who were to live in the city were men of courage and of valor and of faithfulness. They were men capable of protecting their family. They were men willing to make sacrifices for God. … We were made for joy. We get joy from worshipping and serving God, as these men did. … There are two lists of names for our final eternal destination. Do you know which list you are on? Are you going to have eternal joy in Heaven or eternal suffering in Hell? Here are a couple questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ to save you from your sin? … Have you been saved?

  2. Are you a member of a local church? … Being involved with a local church may not be a requirement for salvation, but it is important for our growth as Christians.

Point Three: God uses ordinary people who surrender their resources (Nehemiah 12:44-47). … The people saw the importance of worship and were willing to invest in it. They gave of their farms and of their income so that the people could worship.

Nehemiah: Renew Your Commitments to God

Sunday Sermon Series Nehemiah

Nehemiah 9:38; 10:29-39

Lots of people are indecisive. They struggle to make decisions about life, and sometimes it’s just time to fish or cut bait. Decisions must be made. That’s where the Israelites are now in our study of Nehemiah. They have to decide  who they are. They chose to renew their covenant with God. … Today we take the Lord’s Supper as a renewal of our covenant as well.

Nehemiah 9:38; 10:27-28 … The Israelites did this publicly and unashamedly. They signed a binding agreement. This is not something to take lightly.

Basic Commitments (Nehemiah 10:29) … Their basic commitment was to follow the Word of the Lord. Here are basic commitments you can make today:

  • I want to become a follower of Jesus and be baptized.

  • I want to join First Baptist Church (or whichever church you attend).

  • I renew my commitment to Jesus as Lord of my Life.

Separation/Holiness (Nehemiah 10:30) … The Israelites decided to separate themselves from the outside world in ways God commanded them long ago. Here are ways we can separate ourselves from our world today:

  • If I marry, I will choose a person who shares my faith.

  • I will not view anything that pleases God.

Rhythms of Worship (Nehemiah 10:31) … The Israelites decided to follow the patterns God specified in the Old Testament. Here are some patterns we can follow so we honor God consistently:

  • I will gather with my church family for worship each week unless providentially hindered.

  • I will join and attend a Connection Group (Sunday School class).

  • I will participate in the Christian Development Program on Wednesday nights.

  • I will seek to pray and read my Bible daily. I will do this with my fam`ily.

Stewardship (Nehemiah 10:32-39) … The Israelites once again decide to follow God’s law, even with their time and hard earned resources. Here are ways we can do this too:

  • I will give a tenth of my income to God through the church.

  • I will give to special offerings:

    • Missions

    • Finish the Race

    • Other:

  • I will give my time as a volunteer in a ministry in my church.

Maybe there is some other commitment you need to make. Whatever commitments you need to make, put it in writing and sign it. Make a binding agreement with God like the Israelites did.