Monday, October 29, 2007

The Open Door

Yesterday we were able to continue our series on the I AM's of Christ entitled He's All We Need, with an exposition of the fourth expression of Jesus in John 10:1-10 when Jesus said to the Pharisees I AM the door. For this statement from Jesus was birthed in chapter 9 of this book, for he has just healed a blind man who had been taken to the Pharisees who condemned the man and excommunicated him the city because they believed that his condition is caused by a sin on his part. Jesus tells the people that the Pharisees are not their masters nor should they allow themselves to fall under their influence. In order for them to understand what he is trying to say, Jesus uses the imagery of shepherds and sheep to get them to grasp this concept. In verses 7-10, Jesus deals with illustration that when shepherds wanted to a place to keep their sheep at night, they would put them in a low walled enclosure that had a small entrance and in order to keep thieves and robbers out and the sheep from wandering, the shepherd would lay across the entrance and literally become the gate for the sheepfold. That's what Jesus has done for us, he has literally become our gate that keeps us protected in and keeps the robbers out. Here is the sermon outline:

Thesis: in a world that is spiraling into darkness and degradation, and we as believers are looking for a way out, Jesus Christ offers himself as our entrance into a better life.

I. Gate of Salvation - verse 9

a. Exclusive Declaration
b. Inclusive Invitation

II. Gate of Security - verse 9

III. Gate of Satisfaction - verse 10

Monday, October 22, 2007

Speaking @ Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church

On yesterday, I was fortunate to be able to preach the morning message for the 23rd Pastoral Anniversary of Dr. W. Louis McDowell who is the founder and Pastor of the Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Passaic, NJ. Mt. Pilgrim is a wonderful church that Dr. McDowell organized 23 years ago in an old, dilapidated church that had only 9 pews inside of it. Dr. McDowell and the few members that he began with, paid $10,000 for the downpayment of the building, and presently they have over 500 members, with ownership of most of the buildings in the general area that surrounds the church. Dr. McDowell has an awesome view on ministry, which is expressed in the participation of the members in the ministries of the church. Their youth ministry is second to none, with numerous praise dance teams and their choirs are incredible. Going to this church was just as much a benefit for me as it was for them with the exposition that the Lord gave me to deliver to them. I was inspired in the fact that God is able to move a small people into the blessings of being a great people, and with our church in the process of moving to a newer location, we need the Lord to do for us what he has done for Mt. Pilgrim and Dr. McDowell. I am praying for the continued growth and development for the ministry of Mt. Pilgrim and Dr. McDowell.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Light in the Midst of Darkness

We continued our series on the seven I AM's of Christ, which is our study of those accounts housed in the book of John. We examined the second I AM that is found in John 8:12, when Jesus said I AM the light of the world, whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of fire. For the Israel people were in celebration during what is called the Feast of the Tabernacles, which was a celebration of their exodus out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. They would take four Jewish candelabras and place them upon the four corners at the highest point on the walls, and this would illuminate the entire temple. At the end of the celebration, they would turn out the lights which made the temple dark because they were still awaiting the coming of the messiah. The next morning Jesus was teaching in the temple, and the scribes and pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus rebukes them by saying he that is without sin let them cast the first stone. It was this that Jesus tells them that they highlighted this woman's sins and neglected their own sins, and just like the darkness of the temple without light, so is this world dark without the light of Christ. Here is the sermon outline:

Thesis: in a world stumbling in darkness, Jesus Christ offers himself to us as our guiding light

I. Ransom of the Light

-whoever follows me

II. Reason of the Light

-will not walk in darkness

III. Reward of the Light

-but will have the light of life

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Preaching @ New Hope Baptist Church

On last night, I had the expressed privilege to preach the opening service for my Pastor, Joe A. Carter's 14th Pastoral Anniversary at The New Hope Church, Newark, NJ. This was an honor of the highest magnitude for me, as I am his first son in the ministry, and for me to finally preach during this grand celebration is without a doubt a great highlight in my ministry. Having said that, this was also the most nervous that I have ever been since my initial sermon almost 10 years ago. I had to really talk to the Lord for direction as I wondered what do I say to the man whom the Lord has used to pour into me to develop my preaching and pastoral ministry? The answer is that I didn't say anything to him, but I attempted to let the Word of God say something about him. The Lord showed up and showered his power on that place. Here is the outline:

Title: Approved By God
Text: I Thessalonians 2:4

Thesis: Whenever God calls a leader, he sends them through a series of tests to prove that their faithfulness is genuine

I. Faithful in His Message - verse 4

-entrusted with the gospel

a. confidence in the face of discord - verse 2
b. did not compromise in the ferver of his declaration - verse 3

II. Faithful in His Methods - verse 4

-not to please men

III. Faithful in His Motivation - verse 4

-rather to please God

a. did not propogate his fame - verse 5 - words of flattery
b. did not perpetuate his fortune - pretext of greed
c. please the father - verse 4

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Living Bread

We continued our series on the 7 I AM's of Jesus Christ this past Sunday during our 10:00 AM worship service as we looked at the first I AM that our Lord's Gospel According to John records in John 5:35-40 when Jesus says that I AM the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. We dealt with the fact that the Jews challenges Jesus to provide them manna from heaven just as Moses did in the wilderness. Jesus replies to them that manna is not a food but it is a person, the same person who provides life to humanity. His name is Jesus. For he is our living bread. Here is the sermon outline, I pray that it is as much a blessing to you as it was to our church.

Thesis: Jesus Christ is the universal and fundamental source that sustains us day by day in our spiritual lives.

I. Desires Will Be Satisfied - verse 35

II. Destiny Will Be Secured - verse 37

III. Deity's Will is Supreme - verses 38-40

a. Origin of His Will - verse 38
b. Objective of His Will - verse 39
c. Outcome of His Will - verse 40

Monday, October 1, 2007

He's All We Need

I began a new sermon series on the I AM's of Jesus Christ yesterday entitled He's All We Need. I was led to begin this series because our church is at a point in our history where many of our members have begun to let our present condition get them to the point where they feel that it doesn't matter what they do, it will never be enough for us to make it up the rough side of the mountain. They have begun to act as if nobody cares about us and nobody will come to our rescue. Well the Lord has instructed me to tell the people through this series of sermons that we don't need people to show up to help us, for in our times of distress, God is all that we need. So in us knowing that he is all we need, I began this series on the I AM's of Christ found in the Lord's Gospel according to John. However, before I could deal with the book of John, I needed to introduce this series with the first time we see the words I AM in scripture, found in Exodus 3:14. Here is my sermon outline:

Title: Remedy For Our Inadequacy

Text: Exodus 3:13-15

Thesis: when we recognize our shortcomings as his servants, our success as his servants rests solely in our complete trust that God will make up the difference

I. Trust in the Evidence of God's Existence

-verse 14 - I AM
-means the self-existent one
a. scripture states it
b. scenery suggests it
c. sprit senses it

II. Trust in the Presence of God's Personality

-verse 14 - I AM WHO
-God's personality comes not from anyone
-we as humans are a combination of our parents
-God's personality comes from himself
-his personality to different things to different people

III. Trust in the Awesomeness of God's Authority

-verse 14 - I AM WHO I AM
-because of his sovereignty he has power to do anything and everything
-and his authority rests in who is is