God's Rest: Time (Mark 2:23-28)


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Mark 2:23-28 (ESV) One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. [24] And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” [25] And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: [26] how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” [27] And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. [28] So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

Accept Christ’s Gift of the Sabbath

v.28 “So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath”

Genesis 2:3 “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Exodus 31:12–13 “keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.”

John 9:16 “Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.’”

Matthew 12:6-7 “I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Enter into God’s Rest

v.27 “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Colossians 2:16-17 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”

Hebrews 4:8-11 “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. [9] So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, [10] for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. [11] Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”

By Saying NO

By Saying YES

Prioritize Your Time


John 5:16-17 “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I am working.’”

Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”

Ephesians 5:15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

Christ’s Authority: The Visible Creation (Mark 1:29-2:12)


Christ’s Authority: The Visible Creation (Mark 1:29-2:12)
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Come As You Are: Sick (Mark 1:29-34) ·v.30 “Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.”
·v.32-33 “That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door.”

(Mark 2:17) And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Seek God’s Authority Over Sin (Mark 1:35-39) ·v.37 “Everyone is looking for you.”
·v.38 “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

The Centurion’s Faith - (Matthew 8:9-10) “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.”

Desire Cleansing: Spiritual More Than Physical (Mark 1:40-45)  ·v.40 “If you will, you can make me clean.”
·v.41 “Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’”

(2 Corinthians 4:16) So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Value Forgiveness More Than Feet (Mark 2:1-12) ·v.5 “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
·v.9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?”
·v.10-11 “’But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ he said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’”
·v.12 “so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”

(2 Corinthians 4:17-18) For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Christ’s Authority: The Invisible Creation (Mark 1:21-28)


Christ's Authority: The Invisible Creation (Mark 1:21-28)
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Do Not Rebel Against His Authority
  • Demon: v.24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”
  • Angel: Exodus 23:21 “Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him”
  • Diotrepehes: 3 John 1:9 “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.”
"We need not so much to possess the message,
but to rather let the message possess us” R. Kent Hughes

Be Overwhelmed by His Authority
  • v.22 “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.”
  • v25-26 “But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him”
  • Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Be Filled by His Authority
  • v.27 “And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’”
  • Colossians 2:8-10 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”
  • Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Display His Authority
  • v.28 “And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.”
  • Matthew 28:20 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
  • Mark 3:14-15 “And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.”
  • Titus 2:15 “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

Fatherhood: The Warrior Dad (Joshua 1:5-9)


Fatherhood: The Warrior Dad (Joshua 1:5-9)

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. [6] Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. [7] Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. [8] This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. [9] Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:5-9 ESV)

Trust in God’s Presence in Your Life & Battles
  • v.5 “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you”
  • v.9 “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”
  • “When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ [14] And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.’” (Joshua 5:13-14)
Lead Your Spouse
  • v.6, v.7, & v.9 “Be strong and courageous”
  • v.6 “for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them”
  • “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28 ESV)
Protect Your Family
  • v.7 “being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you”
  • “And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:42)
Focus on God’s Path
  • v.7 “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
  • “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
  • “and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)

A Believer’s Photo ID (Mark 1:1-11)


A Believer’s Photo ID (Mark 1:1-11)

“Baptism is an outward, physical symbol of the inward, spiritual conversion of Christians.” - The ESV Study Bible

Where & When?

  • Acts 2:41 “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”
  • Acts 8:36-38 “And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.”
  • Acts 16:33 “and he was baptized at once’
Who?
  • Mark 1:2 “I send my messenger before your face…”
  • Matthew 3:14 “John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’”
SFBC’s Statement of Faith: The Baptist Faith & Message
  • “Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.” www.sbc.net/bfm
Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 3:23; Acts 2:41; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12.

What about baptism? Why is it so important?

The Meaning
  • Matthew 3:15 “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
  • Mark 1:10-11 “when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Message
  • Mark 1:4, 5 “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins… confessing their sins”
  • Mark 1:8 “I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”
The Mission
  • “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Romans 6:3-5
  • Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
“Upon your profession of faith, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit. Buried with Jesus by baptism into His death, raised to walk in newness of life”

Motherhood: From Fairytale to Reality (Luke 1:26-28)


Motherhood: From Fairytale to Reality

A Glimpse into Mary’s Life as the Mother of Jesus

Mary was not….
  • A mediator between God & men
  • To be worshiped, enshrined, or idolized
  • A perpetual virgin
  • Sinless (Immaculate Conception, 1854)
  • Bodily ascended into Heaven (Assumption, 1950)
Mary was…

A Mother in Tough Circumstances: Luke 1:26-38
  • “But she was greatly troubled…” v.29
  • “Do not be afraid, Mary…” v.30
  • “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” v.34
  • "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife” (Matthew 1:20)
  • “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother…’and a sword will pierce through your own soul also’”(Luke 2:34-35)
  • “And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.’ [49] And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?’ [50] And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.” (Luke 2:48-50)
Favored & Blessed

  • “you have found favor with God” v.30
  • “For nothing will be impossible with God.” V.37
  • “that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”(Matt.1:20)
  • “For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed [49] he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:48-49)
Trusting & Obedient
  • “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” v.38
  • “My soul magnifies the Lord, [47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47)
Raising Her Son to Love & Obey God

  • And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (Luke 2:22)
  • And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)
A Sinner, yet Christ-focused: John 2:1-5

  • “When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” [4] And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” [5] His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” v.3-5
A Disciple First, A Mother Second: Matthew 12:46-50

  • “And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! [50] For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” V.49-50
  • “his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51)
Loved & Cared for by Her Son: John 19:25-27

  • “but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ [27] Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
Loved & Cared for by Her Husband: Matthew 1:18-25

  • “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19)
  • “knew her not until he had given birth to a son.” (Matt.1:24)

The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)


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The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)

[10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV)

BE STRONG in the Lord
  • Who?
  • Whose?
  • “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”(1 John 4:4)
PUT ON the whole armor of God
  • Why?
  • you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil
  • we do not wrestle against flesh and blood
  • but against: the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places
“8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

What?
BELT: Truth
BREASTPLATE: Righteousness
SHOES: Gospel of Peace
SHIELD: Faith
HELMET: Salvation
SWORD: Word of God

How?
“7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:7-8)

Journey to the Cross: The Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)


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A Journey to the Cross: The Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (English Standard Version – ESV)
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  [3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. [6] Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. [8] Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. [9] For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. [10] But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. [11] Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Remember the Gospel
  • “Now I would remind you, brothers” (v.1)
  • “of the gospel I preached to you, which you received”(v.1)
  • “in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (v.1-2)
Center your life on the Resurrected Christ

Humble yourself before God

  • “one untimely born” (v.8)
  • “I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (v.9)
  • “by the grace of God I am what I am” (v.10)
  • “his grace toward me was not in vain” (v.10)
Live & Share the Gospel

  • “I delivered to you…what I also received” (v. 3)
  • “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the Grace of God that is with me” (v.10)
  • “so we preach and so you believed” (v.11)
  • “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (v.58)

Satan's Deception

"There are many ways in which Satan, ‘the god of this world,’ seeks to deceive us. Just as he did with Eve, the devil tries to convince us to rely on ourselves and to try to get our needs met through the world around us, rather than trusting in the provision of our Father in heaven."
Dr.Neil T. Anderson in The Bondage Breaker. p.21.

Discipleship & Mental Discipline

"Discipleship requires mental discipline.  People who will not assume responsibility for their thoughts cannot be disciples." Dr. Neil T. Anderson in Victory Over the Darkness, p.223.

"But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'” (Matthew 16:23)

Identity & Worth - Marriages & Families

“When we look to our marriages and families to find our sense of identity and worth, they become potential enemies.  When we look to God to discover who we are and why we are here, then our marriages and families become the primary instruments God uses to conform us to His image.” Dr. Neil Anderson in The Christ Centered Marriage, p.73.

Our Parents' Sins

“We are not guilty of our parents’ sins; but because they sinned, we will have to live with the consequences of their sins and will likely live the way we were taught by them unless we repent.” Dr.Neil Anderson, Discipleship Counseling, 145

“We are not guilty because of our parents’ sins. Yet because they sinned, we are vulnerable to what they have taught and modeled for us.”  Dr.Neil Anderson, Discipleship Counseling, 332

Nehemiah 9:2 "And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers."

Daniel 9:16 "O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us."

Ezekiel 18:19-20 "Yet you say, 'Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?' When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself."

Freedom & Truth

"We experience freedom when we choose to believe God,  then act on the basis of the truth regardless of our feelings”

“I was free to choose.  I learned that I could say yes to sin or no to sin, but I quickly discovered that I didn’t feel dead to sin.  Many times I felt very alive to it;  but the truth is based on what God says, regardless of my feelings.”
Freedom from Addiction by Neil Anderson and Mike & Julia Quarles, 142-43

"So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. [13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. [14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."  (Romans 6:11-14 ESV)

A Journey to the Cross: The Cross


A Journey to the Cross - Part 4 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/

Christ on the Cross IS…
COSTLY
-looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the CROSS, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
-And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a CROSS. (Philippians 2:8)
-It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the CROSS of Christ. (Galatians 6:12)

OFFENSIVE

-But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the CROSS has been removed. (Galatians 5:11)

DEBT-CANCELING
-And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the CROSS. (Colossians 2:13-14)

POWERFUL
-[17] For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the CROSS of Christ be emptied of its power. [18] For the word of the CROSS is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18)

PEACE-MAKING
-For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the CROSS of Christ. [19] Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. [20] But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:18-21)
-and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his CROSS. (Colossians 1:20)
-and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the CROSS, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:16)

LIFE-CHANGING
-But far be it from me to boast except in the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)
-He himself bore our sins in his body on the TREE, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. [25] For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)

A Journey to the Cross: The Word


A Journey to the Cross Part 3 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
A Journey to the Cross: The Word - Source, Substance, Solution
http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/

Christ is the Source
- (v.1) In the beginning was the Word
- (v.2) He was in the beginning with God
- (v.3) All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made

Christ is the Substance
-(v.1) the Word was with God and the Word was God
-He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:3)

Christ is the Solution
-(v.4-5) In him was life, & the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness & the darkness has not overcome it.
-(v.14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth

We Point to the source
-(v.7) He (John the Baptist) came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light

We Reflect the substance
-(John 5:35) He (John the Baptist) He was a burning & shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

We Show the solution.
-(v.16) from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
-(Matthew 5:16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

A Journey to the Cross: The Gospel


A Journey to the Cross - Part 2 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/

A Journey to the Cross: The Worst News & The Greatest News!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV)

THE WAGES OF SIN: SLAVES OF SIN – FREE FROM GOD
•for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
•as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’ (Rom 3:10-12)

IS DEATH:
•Then he will say …Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)
•And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:43)

BUT!!

THE FREE GIFT OF GOD:
•And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness (Romans 4:5)
•For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

IS ETERNAL LIFE: FREE FROM SIN – SLAVES OF GOD
•But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)
•and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:15)
•so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD:
•if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
•Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
•there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

The Suicide Deception

“Suicide is the final expression of control over one’s own life.  The deception is the belief that death is the solution, the escape or the end of everything.”

From Dr. Neil T. Anderson's, Discipleship Counseling, page 323

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)

Bitterness vs. Forgiveness

“Bitterness is to the soul as cancer is to the body.” (268)

“We forgive in order to heal. . . . Forgiveness is a hard choice that includes (1) allowing God to surface the name of every offending person with their painful memories, (2) agreeing to live with the consequences of the other person’s sin without seeking revenge, and (3) letting God deal with the offending person in His way and His time.” (266)


From Dr. Neil T. Anderson's Discipleship Counseling

"[26 ] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27 ] and give no opportunity to the devil. . . .  [31 ] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32 ] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  (Ephesians 4:26-32 ESV)

A Journey to the Cross: Prayer & Fasting


A Journey to the Cross - Part 1 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
A Journey to the Cross:


Prayer & Fasting

Fasting: “A Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes” – Donald Whitney

Preparing for Ministry: The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)

Why fast? from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

  • To Strengthen Prayer
  • To Seek God’s Guidance
  • To Express Grief
  • To Seek Deliverance or Protection
  • To Express Repentance or Return to God
  • To Humble Oneself Before God
  • To Express Concern for the Work of God
  • To Minister to the Needs of Others\
  • To Overcome Temptation & Dedicate Yourself to God
  • To Express Love and Worship to God

How do I fast?

  • Normal Fast – fasting from all food, not from water
  • Partial Fast – limitation of your diet
  • Absolute Fast – fasting from all food and all water
  • Supernatural Fast – requires God’s supernatural intervention to survive
  • Private Fast - in a way not to be noticed
  • Congregational Fast – united focus
  • Other than food - “a voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity” - Richard Foster

Prayer

“Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing.” - E. M. Bounds


Preparing for the Cross: The Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)

Why pray?

  • Communication with the God you love!
  • Interceding for one another
  • Dependence on God
  • Thanking God for His work and provision
  • Prayer makes a difference
  • Loving obedience
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:18a)

How can I pray?

  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • A - Adoration
  • C - Confession
  • T - Thanksgiving
  • S - Supplication
  • The Psalms
  • Scripture
  • Prayer lists
  • Operation World
  • Facebook
  • News
  • 3” x 5” Card in your bulletin – The Lost by name
“The life, power, and glory of the church is prayer…without it, the church is lifeless and powerless” – E.M. Bounds

http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/

The Purpose of Life - Part 2


The Purpose of Life - Part 2 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
The Purpose of Life – Part 2

Part 1 Recap: The Purpose of Life is to be Connected to Jesus in SALVATION

1) Be connected to the TRUE vine
2) Know that God is in CONTROL
3) Do ABIDE in Christ & prove to be His disciple

The Purpose of Life is to be Connected to Jesus in SANCTIFICATION

What is Sanctification?
“A progressive (increasing) work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more like Christ in our actual lives” – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

What is FRUIT?
• CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER - (Galatians 5:22-24) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23 ] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24 ] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
• CHRIST-DIRECTED PRAISE - (Hebrews 13:15)
• CHRISTIAN LOVE
• CHRIST-HONORING BEHAVIOR
• CHRIST-CENTERED KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, & UNDERSTANDING
• CHRISTIAN-CONVERTS

A fruit-bearing believer (John 15:1-17)
• IS PRUNED (DISCIPLINED): v.2
• IS DEPENDENT (NOT INDEPENDENT) v.4
• GLORIFIES GOD & VALIDATES RELATIONSHIP - v.8
• IS HUMBLE – v.16
• IS LOVING - v.17

A fruit-bearing church (Acts 2:42-47)
(Acts 2:42-47 ESV) “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43 ] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44 ] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45 ] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46 ] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47 ] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

• I – Individual responsibility of believers
• F – Fellowship – building relationships
• S – Service – demonstrating Christ’s love in practical ways
• W – Worship – glorifying God with our voices and hearts
• E – Evangelism & Missions – speaking the Good News
• P – Prayer – communicating with God
• T – Teaching – learning and sharing the wisdom of God

http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/

Physical Suffering

"To eliminate a fear object in your life, all you have to do is remove one of its attributes.  For instance, physical death is no longer a legitimate fear object for us, because God has removed one of the attributes.  Although death is still imminent, it is no longer potent because 'death is swallowed up in victory' (1 Corinthians 15:54)" - Dr. Neil T. Anderson in Discipleship Counseling:  The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ (p.51)

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

Mental Illness - Secular vs. Spiritual Approaches

“”Ma’am, do you believe in evolution?’  Startled, she said, ‘Of course not.’  I continued, ‘You mean to tell me that you don’t accept the scientific explanation for the origin of species?’  Again she assured me that she did not.  Then I asked her, ‘Do you accept without question the psychiatric explanation of mental illness?’  ‘Yes, I do,’ she answered.  …Although she did not buy into the scientific theory of evolution, she was willing to place her trust in secular psychiatry and psychology and dismiss the possibility that he son could have a spiritual problem. Secular psychiatry can alleviate some suffering related to the natural realm, but without the aid of divine revelation, how can secular psychiatry and psychologists give us an adequate understanding  of who we are and why we are here, explain the nature of our problems and describe a wholistic answer?”  Dr. Neil T. Anderson in Discipleship Counseling: The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ (p.43)

The Purpose of Life - Part 1


The Purpose of Life - Part 1 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
The Purpose of Life – Part 1
Be Connected to Jesus in Salvation

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. [2 ] Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. [3 ] Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. [4 ] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5 ] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. [6 ] If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. [7 ] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8 ] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. [9 ] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. [10 ] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. [11 ] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:1-11 ESV)

The Vine - BE connected to the __________ vine
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
  • And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The Vinedresser - KNOW that God is __________

  • Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
  • The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. (Psalm 89:11)
The Branches – DO __________ in Christ & prove to be his disciple

  • for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5b)
  • Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)
  • For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)
  • The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
  • Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20)
http://www.southforkbaptistchurch.com/ - Join us at 11:00am for Worship on Sundays in Hodgenville, KY!

Bible Verses About Death and Heaven

The below Bible verses are a set that were helpful to my family and my mother as she passed away from cancer.  I was reminded of them recently by the deaths and dying of others I know and care for...

If you know a Christian who is in the process of dying, consider sharing these verses with them.  If someone you know is dying, and you are unsure of their salvation, ask them about their beliefs and don't hesitate to share the Gospel of Christ!
  • Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
  • Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
  • Philippians 4:6-8 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
  • Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Matthew 6:20-21 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Matthew 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?
  • Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
  • John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
  • Revelation 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
  • Revelation 7:13-17 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
  • Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
  • Luke 20:36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.
  • Isaiah 25:8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
  • Romans 8:17-18 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
  • 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
  • Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
  • John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • 2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
  • Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
  • John 17:24 "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
  • Philippians 1:23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
  • Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
  • Hebrews 10:34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
  • Daniel 12:13 "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance."
  • Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
  • 1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
  • 2 Timothy 4:6-8 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
  • Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
  • 1 Chronicles 29:15 We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.
  • Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
  • Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.
  • Job 8:9 for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.
  • Job 9:25 My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy.
  • Job 14:2 He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.
  • Job 14:5 Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
  • Psalm 39:5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Selah
  • Psalm 89:47-48 Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men! What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave ? Selah
  • Psalm 90:9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.
  • Psalm 102:3 For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.
  • Psalm 102:11 My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
  • Psalm 102:23-24 In the course of my life he broke my strength; he cut short my days. So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations.
  • Ecclesiastes 6:12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?
  • Isaiah 38:12 Like a shepherd's tent my house has been pulled down and taken from me. Like a weaver I have rolled up my life, and he has cut me off from the loom; day and night you made an end of me.
  • James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
  • 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • 1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
  • Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
  • Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  • John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • Ecclesiastes 8:8a No man has power over the wind to contain it ; so no one has power over the day of his death.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die
  • Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
  • Hebrews 9:27-28 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
  • Proverbs 14:32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.
  • Romans 14:8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
  • Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
  • 1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.
  • 2 Samuel 22:5-6 The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
  • 2 Chronicles 32:24 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign.
  • Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • Psalm 44:22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
  • Psalm 68:20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
  • Psalm 89:48 What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave ? Selah
  • Ecclesiastes 7:1-2 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
  • Isaiah 25:8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
  • Isaiah 38:1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."
  • Isaiah 38:10 I said, "In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death and be robbed of the rest of my years?"
  • Isaiah 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
  • John 5:24 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
  • John 8:51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." (speaking of Spiritual death…i.e. eternal life in heaven)
  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
  • Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
  • Philippians 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
  • Hebrews 2:15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death
  • Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Missionary Churches - Active Workers vs. Idlers - John Nevius (1886)

"There is a great army of active workers at home, as well as idlers. ...In the early history of the Church, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, Christianity spread chiefly through the voluntary zeal of ordinary church members, and the work of the Apostles consisted mainly in superintending and organizing the companies of Christians thus gathered.  Their zeal was so great that persecution could not repress, but only intensified it.  If there is not that zeal and effort in the Church at home, it is much to be deplored.  Perhaps the want of it is due in a great measure to growing habit of leaving work for Christ to be done by those who are paid for it.  Where such an idea prevails, whether at home or on missionary ground, it tends to paralyze the power of the Church for good." - John Nevius, life-long missionary to China, 1886 - in The Planting and Development of Missionary Churches (p.35)

Change - Human Instruments vs. the Holy Spirit

"Human instruments, apart from the Holy Spirit, cannot change dead hearts, obstinate wills, evil imaginations, perverted understandings, and biased judgments." - J.B. Lawrence, The Holy Spirit In Missions (64). 

Quoted in J.D. Payne's Discovering Church Planting (68)

Persecution - Richard Wurmbrand

"Persecution has always produced a better Christian - a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian. Communist persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands. These people cannot understand how anyone can be a Christian and not want to win every soul they meet."


Richard Wurmbrand

Billy Graham - Q & A Interview

Billy Graham just conducted an insightful interview with Christianity Today on the following questions.
  • What advice would you give to people who are aging?
  • What would you say to children who have aging parents?
  • If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?
  • What are the most important issues facing evangelicals today?
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article...

On aging:
  • But God has a reason for keeping us here (even if we don't always understand it), and we need to recover the Bible's understanding of life and longevity as gifts from God—and therefore as something good. ... So part of my advice is to learn to be content, and that only comes as we accept each day as a gift from God and commit it into his hands. Paul's words are true at every stage of life, but especially as we grow older: 'Godliness with contentment is great gain' (1 Tim. 6:6)."
  • "As we grow older we should focus not only on the present, but more and more on Heaven. ... If we know Christ, we know we have 'an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you' (1 Pet. 1:4). ... Heaven gives us hope, and makes our present burdens easier to bear."
  • "So the first thing I'd say to those whose parents are growing older is to be prepared for it, and to accept whatever responsibilities it brings you.  Then be patient with them."
On ministry and evangelism:
  • "I'd spend more time at home with my family, and I'd study more and preach less. I wouldn't have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn't really need to do... Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything."
  • "I also would have steered clear of politics. ... looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now."
  • "But the most important issue we face today is the same the church has faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ? In other words, will we give priority to Christ's command to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become inner-directed or outer-directed? The central issues of our time aren't economic or political or social, important as these are. The central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature, and our calling is to declare Christ's forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this."


Christian Quotes on Suffering

"Jesus promised the disciples three things---that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble." G.K. Chesterton


"No character is ultimately tested until it has suffered." Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Christian, remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity." Charles Spurgeon

"They gave our Master a crown of thorns. Why do we hope for a crown of roses?" Martin Luther

"God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child's garments." William Gurnall

"Whomever the Lord has adopted and deemed worthy of His fellowship ought to prepare themselves for a hard, toilsome, and unquiet life, crammed with very many and various kinds of evil." John Calvin

"God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain." C.S. Lewis

"A Christian is someone who shares the sufferings of God in the world." Dietrich Bonhoffer

From http://christianquotes.org/tag/cat/35/0/34

Quote - Billy Graham

"If I had it to do over again, I'd spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love Him and adore Him and (am) looking forward to the time we're going to spend together for eternity." - Billy Graham

Quote - Billy Graham

"Spend more time in study and prayer.  That's the secret of successful evangelism.  If you neglect that, you've neglected the very heart of God's call to you." - Billy Graham

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