Making Every Effort to Respond to God’s Promises

Our theme for 2016 is “Making Every Effort to Respond to God’s Promises.” On the first Sunday of the year we looked at 2 Peter 1:1-11. Verse 4, And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
 
God has made numerous promises to the followers of Jesus Christ. His promises are amazing and life changing. Do this quick exercise. Put two columns on a piece of paper or create a document on your electronic devise with two columns. Label one column my sins and the other God’s promises. Fill in the two columns…..Now look over the columns. It is my guess that you know more of your sins than you know of God’s promises. THIS CAN CHANGE. God wants you to identify, understand and respond to His promises. He made us promises so we would live by them and not according to our sinful nature (vs 4).


Friend of God

Proverbs 3:32b, he (God) offers his friendship to the godly.

One of the benefits of the Cross of Jesus Christ is that Jesus’ followers are friends of God. The Bible records people that were God’s friends; e.g., Lazarus, John 11:3, Abraham, James 2:23 and Moses, Exodus 33:11a.

Romans 5:10-11 state that our friendship with God was
restored by the death of Jesus, and that we should celebrate that God calls us His friends.

Two things that keep us from living like we are friends of God are: 1) church hornets and 2) difficult circumstances.

Church hornets are people that use their words to destroy their fellow church friends (Proverbs 11:9).

Trying circumstances can cause us to believe that God does not care about us. Job 29:4 speaks about this truth.

We must allow Romans 5:10-11 to speak louder than the church hornets or difficult circumstances.

God offers us His friendship to us. May we not disrespect Him by not believing that we are His friends,

Pastor Greg



Fools Are As Fools Do, part 1

Proverbs 27, You cannot separate fools from their foolishness,

A contemporary way to say this is that Fools are as Fools do. People that do foolish things are foolish. A pattern of doing foolish things results in the one being a fool.

1. Fools commit actions that destroy themselves. Proverbs 6:32, But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.  See Proverbs 1:32b, 10:21b, 11:3, 11:17, and 29:1 for other ways fools destroy themselves.

2. Fools are not teachable. Proverbs 12:15, Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. See Proverbs 10:8 and 28:26 for other insights about unteachableness.

3. A Fool’s temper and/or anger controls her or him. Proverbs 14:29, People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. See Proverbs 12:16, 14:17a, and 29:11 for additional insight about temper/anger.

Jesus can transform a fool into a wise person. Transformation requires a willing heart, a humble attitude, and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

 



Loyalty and Kindness = Favor with God and People

Proverbs 3:3-4, Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverbs 3:3-4 is one of my top 20 favorite passages. It is clear and straight forward. Loyalty and kindness grant me favor with God and people. An added bonus is that I will earn a good reputation.

As a pastor, I have concluded there are two main reasons Christians are not kind. 1.) We do not have the desire or ability to be kind. 2.) We think others do not deserve our kindness. God has a solution for these problems.

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Kind Words are Sweet to the Soul

Proverbs 16:24 reads, “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” God has designed the human body to absorb words that are spoken to us by others. Good, loving, truthful and kind words impact a person for the good; whereas, negative, evil, unkind lies have a negative impact upon people. God has called us to be His spokespeople. We are to have his disposition and use our words the way He intended them to be.

Look at this short list of the positive affects truthful words have upon a person.

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Fear of the Lord

The Bible is clear that to fear the Lord is the foundation of knowledge and wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7—Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 9:10—Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment

The Bible is also clear that to fear the Lord is a life-giving fountain. What I have noticed over and over in my life and in the life of others is that fearing someone or something results in imprisonment. Fearing people, situations, circumstances, the past, the future, etc., results in limiting oneself and limiting God’s destiny for them.

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10 Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 9:1 (NLT) reads, “If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.” This year is dedicated to understanding and living by God’s wisdom. Wisdom is the path to a successful life. Over a two week period, we looked at 10 benefits of wisdom.

They are:

1. A successful life, Proverbs 1:3

2. A long and satisfying life, Proverbs 3:1-2

3. Healing and strength for our bodies, Proverbs 3:7-8

4. A life lived in peace, Proverbs 1:32-33

5. Rescued from our own negative schemes, Proverbs 1:29-31

6. Safe from Evil People, Proverbs 2:12-15

7. Safe from Immoral People, Proverbs 2:16-19

8. Receive Favor from God, Proverbs 8:35-36

9 A Life Filled with Joy, Proverbs 8:321-34; 29:3a

10. Safe from Mockers, Proverbs 15:12

We are encouraging our people to read one chapter of Proverbs for the day of the month it is, e.g., on the 5th read chapter 5. Proverbs 19:8a, “To acquire wisdom is to love oneself.”

God bless,

Greg



Lessons God Taught Me During Mom’s Death Journey

God was never silent to me during the last 5 months of mom’s life. He taught me several truths and lessons. His voice was active. His peace guarded my heart and mind. He allowed my soul to be at rest throughout mom’s journey.

Here are five truths that He revealed to me from the Bible.
1. God never abandons His people. Psalm 71:18
2. God’s timing is perfect in death. Isaiah 57:1
3. The family of the godly stands firm when death occurs. Proverbs 12:7
4. God cares deeply when His people die. Psalm 116:15
5. God’s transformation of His people has no limits. Romans 8:27-30



Storm Foundation

Our current sermon series is designed to help us understand and live God’s promises.

You are encouraged to read through the Bible in a 60 day period to discover the many promises. There are guides on the literature table. Please see Jacqui or Deborah to join them in this quest.

www.365promises.com is an online resource that paraphrases Bible promises for everyday life.

Today, we looked at Storm Foundation. Our main texts are Proverbs 1:20-33 and Matt 7:24-27.

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Compassion, Forgiving and Provider God

God is our Father and He has placed His Spirit into our hearts that calls out to God as Father.

The great opportunity each follower of Jesus has is to discover from the Bible who God is and is not. We must be disciplined not to allow our human experiences with dads/fathers to be placed upon God. We must let the Bible define God.

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