Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Truly Thankful"

Eph.5:20, "giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ..." (ESV)
This morning I was overcome with joy and a heavy burden as I prepared my sermon for this Sunday. I have been lead to preach a series of messages on the "Atonement of Jesus Christ" from the Old Testament through the New Testament. Beginning perhaps in Genesis, with God covering Adam and Eve with a skin from a slain animal to Christ on the cross bleeding and dying. I want our people to see how precious the atonement is and to get real close and personal with the pure hell Christ went through and not to forget it!
I have been meditating for a couple of days on exactly how to introduce the "Atonement of Christ." Well, I thought it would be good to know why we stood in need of an atonement. In other words, was the death of Christ necessary? As I pondered in the scriptures the Lord lead me to His Sermon on the Mount. Here Jesus instructs His disciples on how the Law was misinterpreted in Matthew 5:20-48 by the religious Pharisees. Jesus says, "you have heard it said...but I tell you." Wow! What Holy Spirit conviction.
I was brought to tears sitting in my office studying. Jesus gives 6 illustrations of why the Law can not save nor will it ever save a lost soul. I was overwhelmed of my sinfulness before a holy God who demands perfection because He is perfect. There is not an excuse nor does God lower His standards due to my sin. God broke me about self-righteousness as he does all His children. As I was studying, I was caught back when I thought I was good enough and I had done enough to please a holy God. Matter of fact I thought it was my right for God to accept me, what self-righteousness and pride. Which by the way God hates (Proverbs 8:13).
I was reminded how often we think we have all of this Christianity figured out, when in fact we are so blind. God reminded me again today, I am not accepted by Him through my own merits. I am accepted by a Holy God through the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on my behalf...he was my "penal substitutionary atonement." I rejoice Christ died in my stead...where I should have been nailed to the cross for my sins...there He stood condemned for me...and I say...Hallelujah, what a Savior! That is what makes me "Truly Thankful."
So this Thanksgiving season, be reminded to give thanks for the most important gift..."that Jesus died for our sins in accordance to the scriptures and he was buried and he rose the third day in accordance with the scripture" (1 Cor15:3-4).

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The Cost of Following Christ"

Luke 9:23 "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Being a follower of Jesus Christ has some serious expense to it. The verse I have just quoted reminds one of the seriousness of being a follower of Christ. Luke gives a glimpse of what Christ and His disciples discussed as He discipled them.
In chapter 9 of Luke's gospel, Luke gives the narrative of Jesus sending out the disciples to preach the gospel and heal the lame. He tells the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand, then Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. Jesus then foretells He must suffer many things, be rejected, killed, and rise the third day. Luke also writes the account that Jesus gives His disciples, if they are truly going to follow Him they will have to die as well.
The cost of following Christ is a cost many do not consider. In modern Christianity, the message is, "follow Jesus He will give you a better life now." When in fact, coming to Jesus may cause you much suffering and pain. Luke writes of three necessities in following Christ:
-1- You will have to "deny yourself." This is not the message of the majority of modern day preachers we hear on television.We hear, "Jesus loves you" (and He does), Jesus wants us to be wealthy, He wants to bless you, He wants to have a good life now." The only problem is a person can be healthy, wealthy, and be happy; die and go to hell. This is the opposite of what God's word teaches. When a person is saved by the grace of God, He has been chosen to die to himself. I remind our congregation all the time, this is not about us, it is all about Him! Therefore, we must "deny ourselves."
-2- Notice secondly, Jesus tells His disciples to, "take up their cross." This would be equally known to us, if Jesus said, "take up your electric chair." The cross in Luke's day was an instrument of torture, shame, suffering, and death. Another words Jesus says, "if you want to follow me you are going to have to die to yourself." Again, we hear little of this type of Jesus today.
-3- Thirdly, Luke tells us of how often one must deny himself and die. He says "daily." In order to walk with the Savior one must die to himself daily. One must put the bridle on his fleshly desires and lusts. This is not easy seeing we still carry this sinful flesh around as believers. But it can be achieved as the Holy Spirit lives and dwells in all His children. "...For he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
As you study the deaths of the disciples who followed Jesus it begins to make sense what Jesus was teaching in Luke 9. For all the Apostles died a martyrs death, for being a follower of Christ. What about Jesus Himself? He died a shameful death for sinners. So the next time you here a preacher say, "if you want a better life come to Jesus." Be for certain he say does not understand "the cost of following Jesus." Following Christ requires an awful
more than most would presume! To God Be the Glory!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Brothers Who Dwell In Unity"

Psalm 132:1, "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity."
For many of you who know me and my family, God has gifted us with three beautiful boys. (I know they would not like to be known as beautiful)! Of course, brothers as they grow bigger and stronger they become more competitive against one another. It begins to be personal and they start to become argumentative and physical toward one another. Thus, revealing their sinfulness and their need of forgiveness from their sin toward God and their brother.
My wife and I have been reading together in our devotion time together, the new book by Dr. Stuart Scott and Martha Peace "The Faithful Parent."As we were reading the book the other day I told her I wished we would have known before we became parents of how biblical discipline worked. Their book is a great read and deals with the subject of disciplining your children from the time of birth all the way to adulthood. I truly believe for a parent to love their children there MUST be discipline.
Proverbs 13:24 "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him."

We h
ave been disciplining our children in the word of God. So when they leave the nest they would make a difference in the world for Christ's sake. But our first desire is for them to come to know Christ. I believe as we plant the gospel seeds in their hearts day after day through family devotions and worship, God is honored and glorified.
I am praying and teaching them as a father, to love your brothers and to treat each other with respect for they are your brothers and the bible says, "Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity." I teach them not just because it is the right thing to do, but it brings great glory to the One who created them. Ultimately this is what life is all about, To Bring Glory to God!