Thursday, January 17, 2008

When God Opens A Door

We concluded a quick exposition on the life of Joseph entitled the promotions of God with our look at Genesis 41. At this point in our text we discover that Joseph had been locked into prison because Potiphar's wife desired Joseph to lay with her which he promptly refused. She told her husband that he tried to force himself upon her and Potiphar sent Joseph into prison. While he was there, he met the chief cupbearer and baker of the present Pharaoh of Egypt and he interpreted dreams for them. He tells the cupbearer the only payment that I want is for when you get back to the house of Pharaoh, remember me. Chapter 41 begins with the words after two whole years Pharaoh had two dreams that not one of his counselors were able to interpret, but the cupbearer finally remembered Joseph and he was brought to Pharaoh to interpret his dreams. Joseph tells Pharaoh that one of his dreams meant that Egypt will have 7 years of plenty and the other means that Egypt will have 7 years of famine, and he tells Pharaoh that he must put someone responsible over the food so that during the 7 years of plenty, he would store up food so that when the famine comes they will have enough food to hold them through it. Pharaoh says in verse 38, can we find a man like this, in whom has the Spirit of God and he appoints Joseph over his entire house. God looks at what is on the inside of a man to determine whether or not he will open a door of influence in the life of that man. Here is the sermon outline:

Text: Genesis 41:37-43

Thesis: who we are on the inside will determine who God will allow us to be on the outside

I. Great Ascension
-verse 40

II. Great Authority
-verse 41

III. Great Association
-verse 42

IV. Great Admiration
-verse 43

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sermon Series on Joseph

Happy New Year! As our church left 2007 behind and looking forward to the joys of 2008, I was really stumped on what to preach for the first sermon of the new year. This was because we are getting ready to relocate our ministry at the end of this month, and I really want to save that message for our initial service in the new building. So I have been interested in doing a study on the life of Joseph for my own private devotion, and I was led to look at a period in Joseph's life that seemed to mirror the life of our church at this present time, in dealing with the thought of benefits of the promotion of God.

But I found out something exciting, when I was doing my work on Genesis 39, I discovered that I could not do an exposition on chapter 39 without telling the rest of the promotion story. So I was led to preach a series entitled When God Promotes. We began this series at Genesis 39 which I tagged the Secret to Success. Here is the sermon outline:

Title: Secret to Success
Text: Genesis 39:1-6

Thesis: Man's ability to succeed in this world is the direct result of the favor that God has on our lives

I. Condition Does Not Determine Your Personality
-verse 1
-slavery does not determine who you are

II. Condition Does Not Determine Your Potential
-verse 4
-slavery does not determine where your destiny is

III. Condition Does Not Determine Your Productivity
-verse 5
-slavery does not determine what you will be able to accomplish

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Watch Night Service 07

On last night we celebrated the Church of Jesus Christ's annual Watch Night Service with a joint worship celebration between the First Mount Zion Baptist Church and the New Hope Baptist Church, where I was honored to be asked to preach the final message of the year for both congregations. My Pastor, Joe A. Carter is presently on sabbatical from the New Hope Church while he is dealing with a bout of stress and anxiety that has actually caused him to miss the last few months of preaching at his church. Words cannot express how honored I felt for him to ask me to be the preacher for the evening when in past years during Watch Night at New Hope, he has brought some of this country's greatest pulpiteers such as: Dr. Joel Gregory, Dr. Eddie McCree and the one and only Dr. C. Eugene Overstreet just to name a few. So for him to ask me to stand on that level of platform when far more experienced and established personalities have been there and are more qualified to "pinch hit" for him, lets me know that the favor of God is great and unfair, but it will work in its own sovereign way.

The Lord led me to deal with an issue that has been plaguing both Pastors and pew all throughout 2007, and that is how do we deal with bad situations. All this year, the church has been dealt one blow after another trying to kill our effectiveness and stifle the growth and development of God's church. But I am grateful that the bible, the complete Word of God, gives us every answer to every question that we face in this life. So the Lord took me to Psalms 46:1-4 and allowed us to take a glimpse of how we are able to handle bad times when they show up in our lives.

This Psalm, though written by an unknown author, deals with a celebration in the Temple because the Lord had just defeated their enemy the Assyrians who attacked Israel following their wicked leader named Sennacherib. This Psalm was sung in the Temple as a celebratory song praising and thanking God for his deliverence in the worst of times. Here is the sermon outline:

Title: Help in Bad Situations

Thesis: our ability to rise above our bad situations rest totally in our complete confidence in a God who can

Transitional Statement: what proof do we have that we serve a God who can

I. God is Our Personal Rescue
-verse 1...God is our refuge and strength
a. We will find our safety with God
-God is our refuge
b. We will find our survival with God
-God is our refuge and strength

II. God is our Powerful Resource
-verse 1...a very present help in trouble
a. he is sufficient
a. he is immediate

III. God is our Permanent Resistance
-verses 2-3...therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea...though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah

a. Though our fears sticken us
-therefore we will not fear
b. Though our foundations shake us
-though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea...though waters roar and be troubled...though mountains shake with swelling

Happy New Year

May the Lord bless you...may the Lord keep you...may the Lord make his face to shine upon you...may the Lord be gracious unto you...may the Lord lift his countenance upon you...that is to give you his hand of favor...may the Lord give you peace and may this peace be with you throughout the year 2008.