Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 6/21/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Being a Secret Christian, taken from Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18. Here is a brief outline of the message:

Hypocritical vs. authentic righteousness: “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (verse 1)

I. Giving in secret (2-4)
   A. The wrong way to give:
      • To be honored by other people (“with trumpets”)
         – already received their reward in full
   B. The right way to give:
      • In secret (“left hand / right hand”)
         – your Father will reward you

II. Praying in secret (5-8)
   A. The wrong way to pray:
      • To be seen by other people (“synagogues and street corners”)
         – already received their reward in full
      • Meaningless repetition (“babbling like pagans”)
         – think they will be heard because of their many words
   B. The right way to pray:
      • In secret (“go into your room, close the door”)
         – your Father will reward you
      • Simple, direct petitions (see the Lord’s Prayer: vv. 9-13)
         – your Father knows what you need before you ask him

III. Fasting in secret (16-18)
   A. The wrong way to fast:
      • To show other people (“look somber … disfigure their faces”)
         – already received their reward in full
   B. The right way to fast:
      • In secret (“put oil on your head and wash your face”)
         – your Father will reward you

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Worship at Emanuel AME Church after the Massacre

Kate Shellnutt reports on the first Sunday of worship at Emanuel AME church following the shooting incident earlier this week:

Rev. Gillison welcomed members, guests, and media, saying, “This is the day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Tucked away in the back row of the balcony, part of me wondered, “Rejoice? Right now? On this day?” I was overruled by the 500-plus crowd below, who shouted along with him.

It kept coming. Prayers thanking God for his blessings. For waking them up this morning. A reading from 1 Thessalonians: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (5:16-18, KJV). They literally sounded the trumpet, making a joyful noise with praise anthems and soloists walking the aisles until the cordless mic started cutting in and out.

“Many hearts are broken and tears are still being shed, but through it all we are reminded we serve a God who still cares,” Gillison told the congregation, the first of several messages coupling the tragedy with a testimony of God’s faithfulness. (Source: CT)

Related post: Relatives of Church Shooting Victims Address Charleston Shooter in Court [Video and Transcript]

Relatives of Church Shooting Victims Address Charleston Shooter in Court [Video and Transcript]

This is a powerful video as relatives of the church shooting victims at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston address Dylan Roof, the shooter, in court. (Transcript follows below.)

Nadine Collier, the daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance: “I forgive you. You took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again. I will never, ever hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgive you. And I forgive you.”

Anthony Thompson, representative for the family of 59-year-old Myra Thompson: “I forgive you and my family forgives you. But we would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent, confess, and give your life to the one who matters the most: Christ. Because he can change your ways no matter what happens to you. And then you’ll be okay.”

Felicia Sanders, mother of 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders: “We welcomed you Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautiful people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I’ll never be the same. Tywanza Sanders was my son. But Tywanza Sanders was my hero. Tywanza was my hero. But as we said in the Bible study, we enjoyed you, but may God have mercy on you.”

Alana Simmons, grand-daughter of 74-year-old Daniel Simmons: “Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof, everyone’s plea for your soul is proof that they lived in love and their legacies will live in love. So hate won’t win.”

Sister of 54-year-old Cynthia Hurd: “On behalf of my family for not allowing hate to win, for me I’m a work in progress, and I acknowledge that I am very angry. But one thing … she taught me is that we are the family that love built. We have no root in hatred, so we have to forgive. I pray God on your soul, and I also thank God that I won’t be around when your judgment day comes. May God bless you.”

Related post: Sunday Worship at Emanuel AME Church after the Massacre

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 6/14/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Radical Love Over Hate, taken from Matthew 5:43-48. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The Pharisees taught: “Hate your enemy.” (43)
   A. Terrible misreading of Scripture:
      1) Limited the term “neighbor” to their fellow Israelites
         – cf. Luke 10:30-37
      2) Used God’s hatred for evil to allow personal animosity
         – Deut 7:2; Psalm 139:21-22
   B. The Old Testament actually taught:
      1) Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:17-18)
      2) Do good to your enemy (Ex 23:4-5; Proverbs 25:21)

II. Jesus taught: “Love your enemies.” (44-48)
   A. Pray for those who persecute you (44)
   B. Live as children of your heavenly Father (45)
   C. As Christians we should do more than others (46-47)
   D. Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (48)

Three applications:
   1) Only God can give you the surpassing righteousness you need to enter heaven (2 Cor 5:21)
   2) Only God can help you love your enemies (Romans 5:5)
   3) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 6/7/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Radical Love Over Revenge, taken from Matthew 5:38-42. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The Old Testament taught justice – “eye for an eye” (38)
   A. Excessive punishment was prohibited (Deut 19:16-21)
      1) The punishment fit the crime
      2) Evil was restrained
   B. Personal revenge was forbidden (Deut 32:35; Romans 12:19)
      1) Let the courts do their job
      2) God will repay

II. Jesus taught radical love over revenge (39-42)
   A. Do not resist an evil person (39a)
      1) Spoken to individuals in their personal relationships
      2) Different set of Scriptural commands for those in authority (Romans 13:1-4)
   B. Four examples of radical love over revenge:
      1) Personal insults: turn the other cheek (39b)
      2) Lawsuits: Let him have your cloak as well (40)
      3) Forced actions: Go the second mile (41)
      4) Requests: Give to the one who asks (42)
         – cf. Psalm 112:5; Proverbs 3:27, 11:15; 2 Thess 3:10

Three applications:
   1) Practice mercy rather than justice (James 2:13)
   2) Go beyond what is required (Matthew 5:47)
   3) Trust God with the results (1 Peter 2:23)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/31/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Honest to God, taken from Matthew 5:33-37. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Promises, promises (33)
   A. Old Testament teaching on keeping oaths (Lev 19:12, Num 30:2; Deut 23:21-23)
   B. Legal loopholes and manipulation of oaths (Matthew 23:16-22)

II. Don’t swear at all (34-36)
   A. Oaths actually weaken the truth
   B. God is always witness to what you say

III. Keeping it simple (37)
   A. Your “yes” or “no” should be sufficient
   B. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44)
   C. Public oaths are not forbidden by Scripture:
      1) God permits and takes oaths (Deut 10:20; Heb 6:16-18)
      2) Jesus took an oath in court (Matthew 26:63-64)
      3) Paul calls God as his witness (Romans 1:9; 2 Cor 1:23)

Three applications:
   1) Be truthful in your speech (Proverbs 12:22)
   2) Be careful what you promise (Ecclesiastes 5:2,5)
   3) Be faithful in following through (Psalm 15:1-5)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/17/2015

Last Sunday’s message was called Finish the Work, taken from 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The grace of giving (1-7)
   A. Give sacrificially to the needs of others (1-4)
   B. Give yourself first to the Lord (5)
      – Romans 12:1
   C. Learn to excel in this grace of giving (6-7)

II. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (8-9)
   A. Your giving reflects the sincerity of your love (8)
      – John 3:16
   B. Jesus was rich yet for your sake became poor (9)
      – 2 Corinthians 5:21

III. Advice about what is best (10-15)
   A. Finish what was started (10-11)
   B. Let each one give according to their means (11-12)
      – 1 Corinthians 16:1-2
   C. The blessing you give to others will return to you (13-15)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 5/10/2015

Today’s message was a Mother’s Day message called Sarah – The Laughing Mother, taken from Genesis 18:12, Genesis 21:6, and Proverbs 31:25. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The laughter of disbelief (Genesis 17:15-22, 18:9-15)
   A. God always keeps his promises (17:15-22)
      – Joshua 23:14; Psalm 145:13; Hebrews 6:18
   B. Nothing is too hard for the Lord (18:9-14)
      – Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:34-38
   C. There is nothing funny about disbelief (18:15)
      – Hebrews 3:12-19

II. The laughter of blessing (Genesis 21:1-7)
   A. God’s blessing is undeserved (1)
      – Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Ephesians 2:8-9
   B. God’s blessing comes in his time (2-5)
      – Psalm 30:5; Galatians 4:4
   C. God’s blessing brings true and lasting joy (6-7)
      – Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 10:22

III. The laughter of faith (Proverbs 31:25; Genesis 15:6)
   A. Faith laughs at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25)
      – Hebrews 1:6
   B. Faith in Christ is credited to us as righteousness (Gen 15:6)
      – Romans 4:18-25

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/26/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called How to Ruin Your Love Life, taken from Matthew 5:27-32. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The real meaning of adultery (27-30)
   A. Lust – the attitude behind the act (Matthew 15:19; 2 Peter 2:14)
   B. Response – extreme measures: get rid of anything that causes you to sin (Colossians 3:5-6)

II. The real meaning of divorce (31-32)
      – see Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 19:3-9
   A. What God joins together, let man not separate.
   B. A certificate does not necessarily mean you are divorced.
   C. Divorce is permitted but not commanded after adultery.
   D. We should always work towards reconciliation.

Applications:
Marriage is a lifelong commitment of sexual faithfulness:
   – Adultery breaks the commitment of sexual faithfulness.
   – Divorce breaks the commitment of lifelong faithfulness.
Therefore:
   1) Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 119:9)
   2) Watch your eyes (Job 31:1; Psalm 101:3)
   3) Honor your marriage (Malachi 2:15-16)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/19/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Will the Real Murderer Please Stand Up?, taken from Matthew 5:21-26. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. The real meaning of murder (21-22)
   A. Anger – the attitude behind the act (Proverbs 16:2; 1 John 3:15)
   B. What about Jesus?
      1) Angry at sin
         – Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 21:12-13; 23:16-17; Ephesians 4:26
      2) But did not retaliate when personally offended
         – 1 Peter 2:23, Luke 23:34

II. The importance of reconciliation (23-24)
   A. Example: offering gift at the altar (Isaiah 1:11-15; Jeremiah 7:9-11)
   B. The principle: must reconcile first (Psalm 66:18; 1 John 3:20-21)

III. The urgency of reconciliation (25-26)
   A. Example: adversary taking you to court
   B. The principle: do not delay (Ephesians 4:26-27; Romans 12:18)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

8 Things You Need to Know About Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court

One week from today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about gay marriage. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. There simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.
  2. The question before the Court is not whether government-recognized gay marriage is good, only whether it’s required by the Constitution.
  3. The Constitution is silent on which vision of marriage is correct, so We the People have authority to make policy.
  4. The Constitution does not require a new vision of marriage.
  5. Everyone is in favor of marriage equality. Disagreement is over what consenting adult relationship is a marriage.
  6. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children.
  7. Redefining marriage to make it a genderless institution fundamentally changes marriage.
  8. There is no need for the Court to “settle” the marriage issue like it “settled” abortion. Allow democracy to work on the best policy.

 
From Ryan T. Anderson at The Daily Signal. (Click here to read Ryan’s elaboration on each of these points.)

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 4/12/2015

Sunday’s message from The Sermon on the Mount series was called Surpassing Righteousness, taken from Matthew 5:17-20. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets (17)
   A. He fulfilled the demands of the law:
      1) He lived a perfect life of obedience to the law (Heb 4:15)
      2) He took the law’s punishment for our sin (Gal 3:13)
   B. He fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies:
      – Luke 24:25-27, 44; John 5:39-40
   C. He revealed the true meaning of the law:
      – “I tell you …” (throughout Matthew 5); Romans 13:9-10

II. Jesus affirmed the continuing authority of the law (18-19)
   A. The word of God stands forever (Is 40:8; Matt 24:35; 2 Pet 3:18)
   B. Every part matters (2 Timothy 3:16; John 10:35)
   C. We must practice and teach all of it (Matt 28:20; John 14:15)

Note: What about the civil and ceremonial laws in the Old Testament?
   – separated Israel from the nations around them
   – provided specific applications for the nation of Israel
   – pointed to Christ and fulfilled in his death on the cross

III. Jesus proclaimed the need for a greater righteousness (20)
   A. The righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law:
      1) was self-serving (Matthew 23:5-7)
      2) was partial (Matthew 23:23)
      3) was external only (Matthew 23:25-28)
   B. The greater righteousness:
      1) was testified to by the law and prophets (Romans 3:21)
      2) is credited to us by faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9)
      3) is worked in us by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:4)
      4) will get you into the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:20)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.