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MAN PROPOSES, GOD DISPOSES

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/28/18
 
“Man Proposes, God Disposes”
James 4:13-17
 
INTRODUCTION John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15 ESV). John seems to indicate that “worldliness” is an attitude of mind and a focus on things. A focus on the world damages our love relationship with God. What gets our attention gets us. James reminds us that we are either self-dependent or God-dependent. Our lives are ultimately in the hands of God. The mystic Thomas a Kempis coined the expression “Man proposes, God disposes.” Solomon said it this way, “The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NASB).
 
MAN PROPOSES: WE CAN MAKE OUR PLANS.
 
*Self-dependence and over-confidence are foolish because they ignore God and leave him out of the planning. Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money” (James 4:13).
  • Travel
  • Business
  • Time
  • Profit
 
*Over-confidence is presumptuous. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14).
  • The future is unknown.
  • Life is uncertain.
 
*Self-dependence is marked by arroganceAs it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil (James 4:16).
  • Pretentious boasting (refusal to do God’s known will).
  • Boasting is evil because it leaves out God.
 
Self-dependent over-confidence ignores God, presumes on tomorrow, and boasts about personal plans and achievements.
 
 
GOD DISPOSES: THE LORD DETERMINES OUR STEPS.
 
*God-dependence is wise because it puts God first in our preparations. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15).
 
*Wise people are aware of life’s uncertainty. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14).
 
*Our relationship with God reveals God’s purposes and plans. We can plan according to God’s will and way as we listen to his Holy Spirit. The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established (Proverbs 19:21 NRSV).
 
God wants us to follow him daily and not just a master plan.
 
PRINCIPLE: To know right and not to do it is sin.
 
*Our sins of omission are just as wrong as our sins of commission.
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them (James 4:17).
 
*Jesus told the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats to illustrate this principle:
 
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me’ (Matthew 25:41-43).
 
Our lives are ultimately in the hands of God, so we should line up our heart and our plans with God’s purposes and plans.
 
 

A GODLY LIFE

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/21/18
 
“Everything We Need for a Godly Life”
James 4:5-12
 
INTRODUCTION: The traditional enemies of the Christian life are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Each foe tries to disrupt our spiritual lives and keep us from following Jesus. John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15 ESV). John seems to indicate that “worldliness” is an attitude of mind and a focus on things.
A focus on the world damages our love relationship with God. The remedy for worldliness is God’s grace.
 
GOD HAS A REMEDY FOR WORLDLINESS.
 
*Principle: God desires a relationship with us. “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?” (James 4:5).
 
*God gives us the grace to follow him and reject worldliness. “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’” (James 4:6).
  • God’s grace is greater than our sin.
  • We must humbly receive God’s grace and turn from our love of the world.
 
*The opposite of worldliness is godliness. Godliness is taking on the likeness of Christ, reflecting the image of God. God gives us the power to obey his Word and to change our desires. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4).
 
GOD’S GRACE LEADS US TO SUBMIT TO HIS AUTHORITY.
 
*We must yield to God’s leadership in our lives. Godliness recognizes that there is no other authority except God’s authority.  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
  • Yield to God’s control.
  • Resist the devil so he will flee.
 
GOD’S GRACE INSPIRES DEVOTION.
 
*Develop a spiritual walk with God. Take time to be with him like you would your family or friend. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom (James 4:8-9).
  • Come close to God, and God will come near to you.
  • Confess your sins.
  • Purify your heart with undivided loyalty.
  • Repent (change your ways).
 
*GOD’S GRACE ENCOURAGES HUMILITY.
 
*Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet (Message). Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:10).
  • Cooperate with the Lord.
  • He will lift you up, encourage and help you.
 
GOD’S GRACE PROMOTES BROTHERLY LOVE.
 
*When you criticize and judge, you proclaim yourself as Judge. You set yourself up as the eternal Lawgiver. God gives us the grace to bite our tongue, forgive others, and truly respect our neighbor. Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12).
  • Brotherly love is revealed in your speech.
  • Brotherly love is reflected in your attitude.
  • Brotherly love is represented in your actions.
  • Brotherly love is realized by your treatment of your neighbor.
 
God’s grace truly gives us everything we need for a godly life.
 

Love Not the World

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/14/18
 
“Love Not the World”
James 4:1-6
 
INTRODUCTION: The traditional enemies of the Christian life are the world, the flesh, and the devil. Each foe tries to disrupt our spiritual lives and keep us from following Jesus. John wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15 ESV). John seems to indicate that “worldliness” is an attitude of mind and a focus on things.
A focus on the world damages our love relationship with God. James writes, “anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4). James says that this worldly frame of mind creates conflict and division. John divides worldliness into three categories and James provides examples of each. What are the characteristics of worldliness that we can avoid and what is the remedy for restoring our relationship with God?
 
John writes: “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).
 
WORLDLINESS CRAVES PHYSICAL PLEASURES.
 
*Worldliness is marked by quarrels and conflicts. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (James 4:1).
  • Its source is a desire for pleasures in the flesh.
  • It results in internal war and strife.
 
WORLDLINESS DESIRES EVERYTHING IT SEES.
 
*Worldliness is consumed by lust (covetousness) and envy. “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight” (James 4:2).
  • It is a desire for what you do not have.
  • It results in murder.
  • It is a desire for what you cannot obtain.
  • It results in fights and quarrels.
 
WORLDLINESS BOASTS IN PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS.
 
*Worldliness is self-dependent and self-centered. “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).
  • Worldly people do not pray and ask God for help.
  • When they do pray, it is for wrong sinful motives.
  • God does not answer their requests.
 
*Worldliness indulges in spiritual and physical adultery. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
  • Worldly people make friends with the world system.
  • Friendship with the world creates hostility toward God.
  • Principle: Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
 
GOD HAS A REMEDY FOR WORLDLINESS.
 
*Principle: God desires a relationship with us. “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?” (James 4:5).
 
*God gives us the grace to follow him and reject worldliness. “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble’” (James 4:6).
  • God’s grace is greater than our sin.
  • We must humbly receive God’s grace and turn from our love of the world.
 


 

MISSION 2018: SHARE HIS LOVE

PARKVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH
THE MISSION 2018: Share His Love
 
PURPOSE:    Evangelism

VERSE:           This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:10-14).

MOTTO:        Share His Love

OBJECTIVE:   We will tell others by word and action that God loves us all and sent his Son Jesus to forgive our sins and to be our Savior.

Goals:            We will Share His Love in our…

Community
*Open our church for Morning Prayer to the community to pray for the Ravi Zacharias Open Forum
*Provide evangelism training in everyday apologetics through RZIM trainers
*Pray the 5 BLESSings prayer for 5 people, 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 5 weeks.
*Invite our friends and neighbors to attend the Ravi Zacharias Open Forum with us at the O’Connell Center on January 25, 2018.
*To build fellowship in our church family, we will have monthly or quarterly potluck Sunday meals
*To promote in-depth Bible Study and fellowship, we will encourage the development of home groups
City
*Participate in the new Habitat Interfaith Build
*Recommit to GROW outreach and local evangelism
*Expand our Wednesday night Food Ministry to include Christ-based life skill classes
*Expand our Children and Youth programs
* Hold evangelistic events and revivals and share the gospel with those who do not know Jesus
*We will teach English and provide a nursery to our neighbors, immigrants and internationals who live in our city and county through the International Learning Center
World
* We will provide short-term mission opportunities for mission service locally and globally
*Assist our sister church in Puerto Rico with supplies and equipment to help with their recovery efforts
*We will train and prepare for disaster relief response teams
Additional outreach goals as the Spirit leads:
 

The Titles of Christ Declare Peace

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      12/24/17
 
“The Titles of Christ Declare Peace”
Isaiah 9:1-7
 
INTRODUCTION: The prophet Isaiah is quoted or referred to over 190 times in the New Testament. The New Testament writers saw Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Isaiah foresaw a coming King who would carry the government on his shoulders and rule with justice and equity. Messiah’s titles reveal his status and his nature. He would reign on David’s throne forever and rule with peace. Messiah governs the world and rules our hearts with peace. Isaiah gives four titles that describe the coming King in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
 
MESSIAH LEADS AS A WONDERFUL COUNSELOR.
 
*Wonderful-Counselor means he will speak with divine wisdom. His teaching would be anointed by the Spirit. He will fulfill God’s plans.
 
*Jesus was filled with the Spirit at his baptism and affirmed as Gods Son. Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22).
 
*Jesus preached in the power of the Spirit like no one else before him.
  • Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18).
  • People were amazed at his teaching: The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law (Mark 1:22).
 
*After his ascension Jesus sent his Holy Spirit, the Comforter or Counselor, to help us. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. (John 14:16-17).
 
MESSIAH COMES AS ALMIGHTY GOD IN THE FLESH.
 
*Messiah, the Mighty God, would be God in the human form and would be born like any child. He alone can carry out God’s plan of salvation for humanity. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the
government will be on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6)
 
*Isaiah and Matthew call Jesus “Immanuel”:  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Matthew 1:22-23).
 
*John saw Jesus as the Logos or Word of God that became a human being. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory (John 1:1, 14).
 
MESSIAH IS BY NATURE THE EVERLASTING FATHER.
 
*Everlasting Father literally means “Father-forever.” Messiah, like a father, has loving concern for those in his care. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:13).
 
*Jesus fulfilled the will of his Father in heaven. His character and compassion were one with the Father. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
 
*Jesus humbled himself and fulfilled God’s purposes. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8).
 
MESSIAH RULES AS THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
 
*Messiah would rule in the royal line of David and establish an eternal kingdom of peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, (Isaiah 9:7).
 
*The witnesses to Jesus’ birth were told of his royalty and lasting kingdom:
  • Mary was told Jesus would reign on David’s throne forever
  • The Wise Men asked, “Where is the one born King of the Jews?”
  • The angels announced to the shepherds a Savior who would bring peace (Luke 2:1-20).
 
*Jesus wants to be born again in our hearts so we can have his forever peace. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord (ruler) Jesus (Savior) Christ (Messiah) (Romans 5:1).
 

The Characteristics of Christ Create Joy

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      12/17/17
 
“The Characteristics of Christ Create Joy”
1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Selections from Isaiah
 
INTRODUCTION: The prophet Isaiah is quoted or referred to over 190 times in the New Testament. The New Testament writers saw Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Isaiah saw the coming Messiah would be filled with the Spirit and usher in a new age of wisdom, justice, righteousness, holiness, deliverance and peace (Isaiah 11). Messiah would bring redemption, forgiveness and salvation (Isaiah 53). The Apostle Paul saw all these traits fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Believers “are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our
righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). We find the recipe for joy in the Messiah.
 
JESUS IS THE WISDOM OF GOD FOR US.
 
*The coming Messiah would possess the Spirit of wisdom and spiritual discernment. “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:1-3).
 
*The Good News of Jesus Christ is “for us wisdom from God” (1 Cor. 1:30). In Jesus we have the power and wisdom of God for joyful living. “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24).
 
JESUS IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
 
*The coming Messiah would provide righteousness and justice for the poor and oppressed. “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist” (Isaiah 11:3-5).
 
*The Good News tells us that Jesus the Messiah is the one that makes us right with God if we put our trust in him. “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).
 
JESUS IS OUR HOLINESS.
 
*The coming Messiah would live a life of compassion, meekness, and sinlessness. He would exemplify holiness and sanctification and perseverance in suffering. “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted… He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth… He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:4, 7, 9).
 
*We are to live our lives in the same spirit of holiness and godliness that Jesus lived. Peter quotes Isaiah and writes: When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:23-25).
 
JESUS IS OUR REDEMPTION.
 
*The coming Messiah would set his people free by dying in their place, becoming a sacrifice on their behalf, and forgiving their sins. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all…After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities… For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:4-12).
 
*Jesus redeems us from our sins and makes us right with God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).
 

MESSIAH'S MISSION SPELLS LOVE

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      12/10/17
 
“The Mission of Messiah Spells Love”
Isaiah 53
 
INTRODUCTION: The prophet Isaiah is quoted or referred to over 190 times in the New Testament. Isaiah looks forward to the coming Messiah with hope and anticipation. In a day when his nation faced conflict and eventual exile, Isaiah saw a bright future led by the coming Redeemer. The New Testament writers saw Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote that Jesus declared that his mission would be to set people free and demonstrate God’s love (Luke 4). John wrote that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Messiah shares God’s love with a loveless world.

MESSIAH’S LOVE BRINGS…
LIGHT OVER DARKNESS.

*Messiah enlightens those blinded by spiritual darkness. “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:1-2).

*Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus began his ministry in Galilee and began to preach “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:12-17). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

OVERPOWERING JUSTICE TO AN UNFAIR WORLD.

*Messiah is the righteous Judge and Lawgiver who judges the world with fairness and impartiality. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:3-4).

*Jesus called himself the Lord of the Sabbath. He healed the sick and cared for the broken in opposition to the ceremonial Sabbath laws of the Pharisees. Matthew said this fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1-4). Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill…This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations…A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope” (Matthew 12:15-21).

VICTORY OVER EVIL.

*Messiah came to set people free. He was the liberator. “I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7).

*Jesus declared that his mission was to bring in the year of Jubilee. Slaves were to be released, property restored, and families reunited. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:16-19).

ETERNAL LIFE AND FORGIVENESS OF SIN.

*Messiah would be the suffering servant who would bear our burdens and take the punishment for our sins. “Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted…We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is. 53:4-6).

*Messiah saves and heals us from our sins and now intercedes for us before God. Through the Savior we are healed, forgiven and made right with God. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed…Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:5-12).
 

Isaiah's Christmas Contemplation on the Coming Messiah: Immanuel Brings Hope

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      12/03/17
 
“Immanuel Brings Hope”
Isaiah 7:14
 
INTRODUCTION: The prophet Isaiah is quoted or referred to over 190 times in the New Testament. Isaiah looks forward to the coming Messiah with hope and anticipation. In a day when his nation faced conflict and eventual exile, Isaiah saw a bright future led by the coming Redeemer. The New Testament writers saw Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. As we enter this Christmas season, we want to look at Isaiah’s Christmas Contemplations on the Coming Christ. Isaiah foresaw that God would enter this world as a human being born in the royal line of David and would bring hope and salvation to a world of darkness. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
 
THE MESSIAH’S BIRTH IS UNIQUE.
 
*The historical context: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).
 
*The prophetic importance: An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
 
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Matthew 1:20-23).
 
*The theological significance: God has entered his creation as a little baby through a supernatural birth. God is truly present with us. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Matthew 1:23).
 
THE MESSIAH’S FAMILY WILL BE ROYAL.
 
*God promised King David that “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). Isaiah saw that the Messiah would come from the family of David.  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit (Isaiah 11:1).
 
*Joseph was in the royal line of King David. Jesus was born a King into the family of David: Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah (Matthew 1:16).
 
An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
 
THE MESSIAH’S ANOINTING WILL BE DIVINE.
 
*The Messiah will be empowered by the Spirit. His kingdom will be spiritual and bring peace and hope to the world.
 
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord
                                                            (Isaiah 11:2).
*Jesus Christ declared his mission and purpose in Luke 4: The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:17-19).

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin into David’s royal family and empowered by God to bring in an eternal, spiritual kingdom of hope and salvation. He is truly God with us. Has he made a difference in your life?
 

THE INVITATION

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      11/26/17
 
“The Invitation”
Luke 14:15-24
 
INTRODUCTION: In Luke 14, Jesus told a parable about God’s invitation to his family meal. Jesus was eating dinner with a prominent religious leader and noticed that people were competing for the best seat at the table. Jesus challenged the guests to invite the disadvantaged to dinner next time so that God would reward their generosity. “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Jesus replied: ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests…’” (Luke 14:15-16). Everyone is invited to God’s banquet table.
 
DON’T MISS DINNER.
 
*The feast is ready to eat. “Jesus replied: ‘A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready’” (Luke 14:16-17).
 
*Excuses are not acceptable. “But they all alike began to make excuses…” (Luke 14:18-20).
  • Business activities: “The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me’” (18).
  • Possessions, hobbies and sports: “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me’” (19).
  • Good things including family and friends: “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come’” (20).
 
*The family expects you to be there. “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry” (Luke 14:21).
 
INVITE ALL YOUR NEIGHBORS.
 
*There is room at the table for more. Invite your neighbors who cannot repay you. Share your table with the disadvantaged and underprivileged.   “Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame’” (Luke 14:21)

EXTEND THE INVITATION TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE
 
*There is still room at the table. Move out of your comfort zone and reach out to those who are different and distant. “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full” (Luke 14:22-23).
 
*Warning: If you miss the banquet, you miss everything. “’I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet’” (Luke 14:24).
 

TESTS THAT PROVE OUR FAITH: The Evidence of Wisdom

“Tests that Prove Our Faith: The Evidence of Wisdom”
James 3:13-18
 
INTRODUCTION: Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). The way we speak reflects our inner spiritual state and who is in control of our lives. James warns teachers that they will be judged more strictly by what they say and teach (3:1). Therefore, we need to examine what we are being taught. How can we discern what is true from what is false? What is genuine from what is counterfeit? What is wise counsel or foolish advice?  What is divine wisdom or worldly wisdom? James gives us a checklist of traits that shows if a person is trustworthy or bogus in James 3:13-18. Wisdom is known by the results it produces.
 
GODLY TEACHERS COMPARED TO UNGODLY TEACHERS.
 
*The practical and trained teacher is marked by good behavior and a gentle spirit. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (13).
 
*The counterfeit and self-serving teacher creates division and strife. He or she is jealous, ambitious, arrogant and deceptive.  “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth” (14).
 
EARTHLY WISDOM CONTRASTED TO HEAVENLY WISDOM.
 
*The traits of false and counterfeit wisdom expose their source. “Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (15-16).
 
  • Earthly (limited to earth, earthbound)
  • Natural (unspiritual, sensuous, or animal life)
  • Demonic (demon-like)
  • Jealous and ambitious motivation
  • Results in disharmony and cruel evil
 
*Genuine wisdom begins with purity and comes from above.  “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure…” (17).
 
*James organizes the six characteristics of heavenly wisdom into three categories:
 
  • Attitude: The attitude of the wise person is peaceable, gentle, and reasonable – “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive…” (17).
 
  • Action: The wise person puts the words of Jesus into action by being compassionate and doing kind deeds – “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then…full of mercy and good fruit…” (17).
 
  • Assessment – The wise person is fair and unbiased in making decisions or settling disputes and highly respected for it in the community. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then…impartial and sincere (17).
 
*People of heavenly wisdom are peacemakers and they reap a harvest of righteousness. “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (18).
 
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