Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Where Do You Stand

This is the message I preached on July 12th from our series on Commitment:

Text: Exodus 32:24-28

Thesis: God blesses those who will stand for him not in moments of calm but rather in times of chaos

Transition: How do we know we are standing on the side of the Lord

I. Public Allegiance To God

-Moses comes off the mountain and sees the people worshipping this golden calf...he gets angry, stands at the gate and asks in verse 26...who's on the Lord's side, come to me
-and all the sons of Levi gathered around him
-in moments of chaos and confusion, God is looking for somebody who will publically acknowledge who He is

How do we acknowledge the Lord

1. Through Our Witness
2. Through Our Ways
3. Through Our Works

II. How We Behave in Strange Circumstances

-the people were frustrated because Moses had spent too much time on the mountain for their taste
-they didn't know what had become of Moses, so in their frustration, they ordered Aaron to make them a god out of gold
-and when Moses came off the mountain looking for a faithful people, only the sons of Levi stood in strange circumstances

III. Who Are You Connected To

-Moses shows up and asks who is on the Lord's side...verse 26 says that only the Levites turned towards Moses
-this is impressive when you consider that all the Levites were doing was living up to their names
-in Genesis 29, Leah wanted to gain the love and affection of her husband Jacob, so in her desire to connect to her husband, she conceived a son and named him Levi, which means to be attached
-God is looking for somebody who is willing to attach themselves to Him

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Stuff

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted and I really felt like I have missed something. I love to write, and the fact that I didn't for a few week save for my sermons, has really enticed me to get back on the horse and ride again.

We had a long day and night yesterday in worship, but it was an equally outstanding day as well. I was somewhat concerned about the attendance on my way to worship because summer months in the Northeastern United States are tough as most of our members are heading south for the summer.

While our attendance was off, our worship was not! Our Musical Director, Kadeem Turner's grandfather passed this week so he was in Richmond, VA, please keep his family in your prayers, his fill in did a stand up job as his replacement and the worship was really good.

We continued our series on commitment entitled Commitment is Not An Option, with the first of three messages from I Kings 17 which I am labeling the Serving God Chapter, with an exposition on verses 1-7 entitled Serving God in A Dry Season. The Lord really blessed my attempt at biblical exposition, and I pray that the congregation was encouraged and inspired to serve God even when the place you have been sent to serve has dried up. God be praised for the Word!

I will post the outlines from the last three weeks messages in the subsequent days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Choice To Serve

Text: Joshua 24:14-15

Thesis: once we come to a clear understanding of who God is to us, we must respond with a desire to faithfully serve the Lord will all that we have

I. Renewal of the Servant

-verse therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness
-in order to truly serve the Lord there must be a renewal or a change in our hearts

1. possess a respectful heart...therefore fear the Lord...fear means to reverence the Lord
-we have no problem being respectful to the world, but fail to be respectful to the Lord

2. possess a resilient heart...and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness...sincerity means uninhibited and without limitations
-must not let anyone or anything keep us from being faithful servants to the Master

II. Requirement of the Servant

-verse 14...put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord
-obedience is essential in being a faithful and committed servant of the Lord

1. obedient in spite of our past...put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River
-faithful service is not bound by actions of yesterday but rather look towards the joys of the future

2. obedient in spite of our pressures...verse 15...and if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord
-people will try to make us believe that we are wrong to be committed in our service to the Lord
-Joshua said that no matter the pressures, we must choose this day whom we will serve

III. Resolution of the Servant

-verse 15...choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord
-Joshua said he is resolved that no matter what god you serve, both he and his entire family are committed to serving the Lord

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday Stuff

It always feel good to be back home from preaching on the road to being back in the pulpit that you have been handed to be a good steward over it and the people of God. I am happy to be back at the First Mount Zion Church!

All week long, I had been real excited about returning back to First Mount Zion, because I was starting a new series on commitment and I was really chomping at the bit to begin.

Due to the 4th of July holiday, our crowd was off, but there was a real good spirit of worship in the house. Penny did her usual outstanding job of leading our Sunday School, and Jamal really blessed the house during the music ministry portion as he led us in singing that great hymn standard of the church, Holy, Holy, Holy.

We began this new series on commitment, with an exposition out of Joshua 24:14-15, which I labeled A Choice To Serve. This man Joshua, appointed by God to complete the assignment of his father in the ministry Moses had not yet done, lead the children of Israel into the promised land, at the end of his long journey, was distressed because the people began to possess a spirit of indifference and indecision towards the things of God.

For there were some of the people who were faithful to the Lord and did whatever they could to advance his Kingdom. There were others who were among the people but not of the same ideals or love for the Lord , in fact they did everything they could to convince others to turn away from the Lord God. But there was another group, who refused to stand on either side of the equation. Those very people are who Joshua turned his attention to when he starts to give them a history lesson in verse 3 that it was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that had always been there for them. He says that since the Lord has always been good to them, they had to make a choice as to whether they serve man or they will serve the Lord. He tells them, they can serve the gods that their fathers served on the other side of the River, or they can even serve the gods of the Amorites in whose land they dwell, but as for him and his family, they will serve the Lord. God is asking that same question to the church today, will we serve the world or will we serve the Lord. Just like the songwriter said, I've decided to make Jesus my choice!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Starting A New Series

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted a blog entry. On last Sunday, I was blessed to be the guest preacher for the 44th Church Anniversary of the Messiah Temple Baptist Church, Chicago, IL where my good friend Dr. Keith B. McGee serves as the Pastor.

My assignment was to preach the 8 AM worship service, where the Lord led me to preach an exposition that I did at the First Mount Zion Church during our series on the book of Ezra, A Prayer For Revival, found in chapter 9 and verse 9. The Lord really blessed my feeble attempt at biblical exposition and I am so glad that he showed up.

The 11 AM worship preacher was another good friend, Pastor Romell Williams of the Lilydale Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago, in which he preached a great exposition out of Acts 5:17-42, which he labeled the message, The Confirmation of Opposition. He presented an outstanding look at Gamaliel, whom we have always given a good review, but Pastor Williams said that his wisdom was really foolish. Great look by a great preacher!

I am beginning a new series this week on our commitment as children of God, in which I have called the series, Commitment Is Not An Option. I do believe that the one of the key issues that have plagued the Christian Church is our inability to be totally committed to the Lord Jesus. We go to church when we feel like it, we tithe when we feel like it, we serve whenever we feel like it. All the while, we ask the Lord to keep us safe, to wake us up every morning, to give us gainful employment, to pay our bills, yet we won't give him what we owe him. I would suggest that God is tired of our non-commitment, but is challenging us in this day and time, to sell out for the Master. Bishop Hezekiah Walker sings a song that says, I am souled heart is fixed and my minds made up, no room, no vacancies, I'm all filled up...the Spirit lives in me and that's the reason I'm souled out!

Please pray for our church's time together in our worship of the Word. Have a safe Independence Day!