Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Parting with Christ for the Pleasures of Life

July 31, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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The Folly and Danger of parting with Christ for the Pleasures and Profits of Life


by


George Whitefield


(1714-1770)

Matthew 8:23-34 – “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought [him] that he would depart out of their coasts.” Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Parting with Christ for the Pleasures of Life…

Genesis 13:13-18

July 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD. The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” Then Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD.

This week, we will be taking a look at a smaller passage of scripture in the life of Abram. Before we do though, let’s recap. Continue Reading Genesis 13:13-18…

Genesis 13:2-12

June 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold. He went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land. So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.” Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere–this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah–like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar. So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.

Today, we’re going to continue following Abram as he follows God. Abram has been called out of Ur of the Chaldees, away from his family. He has followed his father Terah to Haran. There, Terah died and Abram continued on his own, with his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot. They traveled to Bethel and then south through the Negev. A severe famine caused them to move into Egypt and live there for a little while.

As they entered Egypt, Abram had told his wife that she was to tell everyone that she was his sister (which we saw is actually true) so that they wouldn’t kill him and take his wife. The Egyptians told Pharaoh of Sarai’s beauty and he took her to be his wife. Because of her beauty, Pharaoh gave Abram livestock and servants. But, God struck Pharaoh and his household with “great plagues” because of this. Pharaoh seems to know why the plagues came and Who brought them. He rebuked Abram, gave Sarai back to him, and sent them out of Egypt.

Now, Abram is rich in livestock, silver, and gold. He retraces his steps through the Negev and back to Bethel where he built the altar. As he reaches this place, Abram must have remembered calling out to God and been reminded of Who it was that had blessed and protected him. We also see that Lot has been blessed because of Abram. He too has flocks and herds and tents. This brings about a problem for nephew and uncle. The land that they are both dwelling on cannot sustain both of them. Both of them had so many possessions that it brought strife between their herdsmen as they fought for grazing land. We find out that the Canaanite and the Perizzite are dwelling in the same land. In these stressful conditions, Abram approaches Lot with a request. His desire is to be at peace with his nephew, so he asks Lot to separate from him. Abram, being the elder one, should have had the choice of land, but he instead gives that to Lot.

When Lot looks up, he sees that the valley of the Jordan is well-watered. The text says that it was as well watered as the garden of the Lord. It doesn’t say in the text, but I can’t help but wonder if this view of the valley was enhanced by Lot’s desire to increase? Just a thought. In the end, Lot moves to the valley of the Jordan. But, he doesn’t stop there. He takes his tents as far as Sodom.

Meanwhile, scripture says that Abram settled in Canaan. It is interesting that it is only now that God’s command is obeyed. You might be asking what I’m talking about. Let’s take another look at it:

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; (Genesis 12:1)

God told Abram to go forth out of his country, which he did. But, he also told him to go away from his relatives and his father’s house. This would include his nephew Lot. Now that Lot is gone, God can begin to work with him and prepare him for what’s to come.

This brings to mind something that I want to ask you. Has God commanded something of you? If so, have you obeyed completely? Or, is there still something that you need to get rid of/let go of so that He can work in you? Prayerfully ask the Lord to show you what the case may be and He will show you. Just be ready to obey…

Next week, we’ll see how God adds to His promise! Hope to see you there!

A buried treasure

November 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Think of something precious to you. Not someone, some thing. Maybe this is a ring that has been handed down in your family for generations. Maybe this is a tool your grandfather gave you. It may be something from a loved one who is no longer here. Whatever it is, think about it. Could you describe it to me? What color is it? How big is it? What is it made of? Does it have any distinguishing features? Do you remember the day that you got it? Where you were? What was going on when you got it?

For most of us this exercise comes pretty easily. As humans, we hold on to those things that we hold dear. The things that are most important to use have a prominent place in our hearts. Now, think back on that object that is precious to you. See yourself holding it (if possible). Now imagine that you took the item outside; somewhere in your backyard. And you dug a hole, dropped that precious object into it, covered it back up with dirt, and tamped it down. Continue Reading A buried treasure…

The Proverbs 31 Man

November 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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The type of woman that I expected to marry when I was younger (and unsaved) is completely different from what I would look for today. After I got saved, any time someone brought up the subject of marriage, the “proverbs 31” woman was the template of the type of woman that Christian men should look for. The problem is they’re really hard to find. One reason for this is that many women (and men) who are in the church aren’t saved. They can’t be the “proverbs 31” woman because they don’t have the source of her strength. The second reason that “proverbs 31” is hard to find is because I don’t know that we’re supposed to be looking for her. While it would be amazing to find someone like this, the truth is that they are maturing and are at different levels in their spiritual walk and to try and fit them into the “mold” isn’t fair to them.

I thought about this and something struck me. All the focus seems to always be placed on the woman. While she has an important part in the family, she’s not the only one. The majority of verses found in Proverbs 31 do focus on the woman and the amazing things that she does for her family. But, there are some verses that have to do with the husband and they are often overlooked and usually aren’t talked about. Looking at scripture, the woman isn’t the only part of the family and it is important that Christians not only realize this but live it out.

So, let’s look at the few verses that mention the husband:

Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.

The husband of the Proverbs 31 woman has a heart that trusts in her. He shows her grace and knows that she will do what is best for her and her family. Because he trusts his wife, he can focus on the things that he needs to do to support his family. Because of their deep, trusting relationship, the husband carries that deep love they share and it helps drive him on.

Pro 31:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

While this just mentions the husband in passing, it still speaks some important things. The man has a wife who does him good. This can only happen when the man fulfills his duties as a husband and treats his wife like a woman of God. Their relationship is lasting because she will do her husband good all the days of her life. There is no wavering in the love they have for one another and it shows in how they act and react to everything that happens.

Pro 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.

The gates were where all the important business of the city took place. The judges passed sentence on criminals. They decided the minutest disputes with wisdom and honor; and this husband was a part of all of the business. He displayed wisdom and this allowed him to sit among the elders. This is not something that happened lightly (unlike today).

Pro 31:28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”

Here is one thing that I feel safe in saying many husbands don’t do much of. The husband of the woman praises her. Just like her work and love carry him in trials, so his praises carry her. Regardless of anything, his love for her causes him to tell her that while many other wives have been good to their husbands, she has done so much more than they and he wants her to know that. Because of the husband’s treatment of his wife, the children they have together follow his lead and bless their mother for the person that she is.

The portrayal of the husband that is found in Proverbs 31 (if it’s looked for) shows some things that many people overlook. I hope that the husbands who name the name of Christ strive to look like the man found in Proverbs 31. I hope that they treat their wives like this man does and the women strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. The men and women who belong to Christ need to live out the truth of marriage in front of their families, their churches, and those in the world. It shows them all how Christ loves His bride and rejuvenates fellow believers by reminding of this love so they can endure.

Is this how your marriage looks? Are you the husband of Proverbs 31 (or 1 Peter, or Ephesians, or Colossians)? If not, let me encourage you to love your wives like Christ loves the church. Are you the wife of Proverbs 31? Are you striving to take care of your family? I’m not talking about making extra money. I’m talking about raising your kids and nurturing them. I’m talking about raising them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. If not, let me encourage you to strive to be more like the bride of Christ and live in truth.


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