Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Becoming Fishers Of Men



Mark 1:16-20

The Lord Jesus Christ called 4 simple Galilean fishermen from 2 fishing boats.

He invited them to come and follow Him.

When He did, they left their nets and boats behind to follow Him as His disciples.

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His call to them was simple, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”

This call changed their lives forever!

They were transformed into some of the greatest fishers of men the world has ever seen!

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If we are going to become fishers of men, we must:

Follow The Right Person

These men left everything to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

They learned the truth that God doesn’t want anyone to perish.

They learned that the Lord Jesus came to die for sinners.

They learned that the Gospel message is to be preached everywhere to everyone.

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Finish The Right Preparations

James and John were busy getting their nets ready to cast.

If we are going to be effective as fishers of men, we must be sure of our own salvation.

We must know what the Lord has done for us and how to share them with people.

We must pray and be ready for the Lord Jesus to use us when He allows opportunities to witness to come our way.

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Find The Right Process

Peter and Andrew were casting their nets when the Lord Jesus Christ found them.

They were casting those nets all over the place trying to gather in some fish!

We are to share the gospel message everywhere we go!

We are to use every situation as an opportunity to talk to someone about the condition of their soul.

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Fish The Right Places

Peter and Andrew were casting their nets into the water.

That’s where the fish live!

We have got to go where people are!

We must go into the world where the lost lives are and share the Gospel with them!

We are to get the message out into the world!

We preach the Gospel in the church, but we must preach the Gospel in the world if we would see people saved!

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Furnish The Right Patience

The Lord Jesus said to Peter and to Andrew, “I will make you to become fishers of men.”

That statement is in the future tense.

It would take some time before we are to become fishers of men.

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Let us get ready and go after the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let Him show us where to fish and go to it!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Beginning Of The Gospel



Mark 1:1-8

Mark’s desire was to present the Lord Jesus Christ as a servant.

His first sentence plunges us immediately into the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Mark called the Lord “Jesus Christ, the Son of God”.

The Lord has a human name called “Jesus”.

It reveals the fact that He came into the world to save lost sinners.

The Lord is also called “Christ”.

He will deliver His people from their enemies.

The Lord is also called “the Son of God”.

He is God in the flesh.

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We will begin by considering the ministry of John the Baptist.

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John And His Mandate (2-3)

John the Baptist came to this world with a divine mission.

He was to clear the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He preached and appealed to the people, calling on them to repent because the Lord Jesus Christ was coming to deliver them.

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John And His Methods (4-5)

John’s Preaching

John came telling men of the need for repentance.

He came confronting sin and calling on people to repent.

He called on them to change their minds regarding sin.

He called on them to clean up their lives in preparation for the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He told the people that their repentance would result in God’s forgiveness!

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John’s Practice

John baptized the Jews.

These people were being baptized because their sins had been forgiven.

They went to John and were immersed into the river Jordan to declare publicly that their lives had been changed by the power of God.

They were baptized to give glory to the God Who had forgiven their sins and made them whole.

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John’s Power

These people made a break with their past and were changed by the power of God.

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John And His Manner (6)

His Fashion

John did not wear fine robes.

He dressed like a man of the desert.

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His Food

John lived on what the Lord had provided.

He was satisfied with the basics of life.

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John And His Message (7-8)

The Message Of A Humble Servant

When John talked about the Lord Jesus Christ, he became very humble.

He told the people that compared to Jesus, he was a nobody!

He wasn’t even worthy to do the job of the lowest household slave.

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The Message Of A Holy Savior

John also told the people that when the Lord Jesus Christ came, He would do a spiritual work in their hearts.

He would baptize their souls with the Holy Spirit.

He would take them, wash their sins away in His blood, and give them a new life.

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John the Baptist was pointing the people to a Savior Who could save their souls, forgive their sins and change their lives.

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John preached a simple message about a wonderful Savior named Jesus.

He preached a simple message about the need for the people to deal honestly with their sins.

He preached a message that those people needed to hear.

He preached a message that we need to hear as well.

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Let us come to the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, and call on Him by faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will save our souls, forgive our sins and change our lives.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The 7 Steps Toward Godly Living



2 Peter 1:1-15 (NIV)

The Apostle Peter Gives Us 4 Great Blessings Of “These Things” (8-11)

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(1) "These Things" Guarantee Our Fruitfulness

If "these things" are found in our life, then we will never be barren. We will always be fruitful for God’s glory. We will be a witness and a soul winner for the Lord Jesus Christ.

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(2) These Things Guarantee Spiritual Discernment (1:9a)

When "these things" are active in our lives, we will be able to see the tricks, traps and temptations of the Devil. We will be able to see the needs of others and not be blinded by our own selfish interests.

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(3) These Things Guarantee Us Absolute Assurance Of Salvation (1:9b)

"These things" promise us that we can have assurance of salvation. They promise us that we can get to the place where we never doubt again!

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(4) These Things Guarantee That We Will Never Fall Again (1:10)

These things, if practiced in our lives, will keep us from falling. These things promise us a fall free life.

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What are "these things"?

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These Things Are The 7 Steps Toward Godly Living (5-7)

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(a) Goodness (1:5)

We must live by the Bible and live morally pure lives.

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(b) Knowledge (1:5)

We must have a sound knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity and apply them to our lives and living them out.

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(c) Self-Control (1:6)

We must control ourselves and do as the Lord pleases! We must control our tongues, our tempers, and our temptations.

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(d) Perseverance (1: 6)

We must not be swerved from our devotion to God even by the greatest of trials. We must not allow the slightest little wind to blow us off course.

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(e) Godliness (1:6)

We must yield our every action and attitude to the fear of the Lord. We must spend our days serving God. We must strive at every turn to please the Lord God and Him alone.

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(f) Mutual Affection (1:7)

We must practice the second Great Commandment (Matt. 22:39). We must not bicker and fight with people.

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(g) Love (1:7)

We must live out that self-sacrificing, never-ending, all-encompassing love that the Lord Jesus Christ exhibited when He came to the earth to die for sin.

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These things are to be practiced as a whole and every one of them is to be active all the time. God wants us to have them all operating in our lives all the time.

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Now, we know what "these things" are and what they can do for us. Let us make sure that all of them are present in our lives today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why Do Christians Suffer?



Peter 1:6-9 (NIV)

The apostle Peter had given the Jews in exile several reasons for rejoicing:
  • They have a Living Hope. (1:3)
  • They have a Lasting Inheritance. (1:4)
  • They have a Long-term Salvation. (1:5)
  • They have a Longed for Final Reward. (1:6)

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The apostle Peter then taught them about their trials and why Christians must suffer.

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Reality of Christian Sufferings (1:6)

Christians are to be a rejoicing people.

We are to rejoice in spite of our troubles.

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But being saved is no hedge from trouble!

Christians are not immune from all kinds of trials.

These trials hit us from every side and often with devastating consequences.

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Realignment of Christian Sufferings (1:7)

When troubles come, they concentrate their power against our faith in the Lord.

Satan wants to do all that he can to make Christians doubt the power of God to meet their need.

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The apostle Peter spoke of the refining process that gold goes through.

When it is subjected to the flame, the impurities and dross in the gold come to the top.

The result is far purer gold than that which was present before!

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The same is true in the life of the believer.

When Jesus allows us to go through the furnace of affliction, it serves to remove from our lives things that were not needed and it brings into a closer and purer relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Our trials are working for our good (Rom. 8:28).

We may not see the benefit today.

But when we stand before the Lord in Heaven, and we are rewarded for our walk with Him and for the sufferings we endured below, it will be worth it all.

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God knows best.

He will not let us crash and burn.

He just allows what He does to strengthen our faith and to grow us up in Him.

If the Lord doesn’t challenge us, we would never grow!

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Reliability of Christian Sufferings (1:8)

As we weather the storms of life and see God come through time and again, we can actually learn to develop a spirit of praise as we journey toward Heaven.

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We will find that our unseen Savior will see us through every trial!

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The Lord Jesus ever abides with His own.

When we face trials, He goes through them with us.

He will never leave us nor forsake us .

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His grace is always sufficient for every need.

This ought to cause us to be filled with unspeakable joy.

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The apostle Peter gave us hope regarding the overcoming of life's difficult times.

Let us not lose hope.

Let us rejoice in all our trials.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Church Elder Is Not Violent



Titus 1:7d

Church elder must not have a quarrelsome or combative nature.

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Someone who is constantly quarreling and always in conflict is always in sin.

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Argumentative people are showing that they always put their own wants, lusts, and desires above others.

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Every argument begins when both parties want to assert their own idea and have things their own way.

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The man appointed as a Church elder should not be one who gets in fistfights.

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Adam and Eve's son Abel was the victim of his brother Cain's violence.

Cain was angry and struck him dead.

This was a man to whom the Lord spoke personally.

This was a guy who was a believer.

And yet, he did not master sin, and the result was murder.

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Hitting is possible for any of us.

It is such a possibility for anyone that God dedicated much of Exodus 21 to outlining penalties for those who hit.

That chapter includes the commandment: He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:12)

There are terrible consequences for hitting.

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Sometimes it seems like people are asking for it.

When they tailgate us, are obnoxious in their behavior, or belligerent in their demeanor, it is as if their mouths are begging to be punched.

But wisdom dictates that we must refrain from getting into it with the fool.

It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel. (Prov. 20:3)

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Jesus also taught us, "Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:5)