Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder
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by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | March 15, 2015
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 3/15/15
Introduction: Values are caught or taught. Values are those underlying principles that are the foundation for everything we do. Sometimes those values are spelled out and written down. Other times those values are unspoken guidelines that govern the way we do things. Values determine our behavior. We may say we believe certain things but our behavior shows what we really believe. What we value determines what we do. We all have values that guide and govern our lives. We may not even be aware of those values, but when they are threatened or questioned, suddenly we become defensive or angry or very vocal. Individuals have values. Families have values. Organizations have values. Churches have values. We need to examine our values because values guide our decisions and actions. What are some of the core values of Parkview Baptist Church? We believe in the Trinity but what values emerge from that belief that influence our actions? Jesus restated some core values to his disciples in John 14. Let’s see them.
GOD, THE FATHER, LOVES US AND IS ALWAYS AT WORK AROUND US.
*God loves us and sent his Son as proof of that love. For 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).
*God is doing his kingdom work and invites us to join him in his work just like Jesus did. Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father…The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work” (John 14:8-10).
*We must always be sensitive to what God is doing around us and then join him in that work.
THE LORD JESUS IS THE HEAD OF HIS BODY, THE CHURCH.
*Jesus is the only way to be connected to the Father. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
*The Father has made Jesus the supreme authority over all creation and the church through Christ’s victory on the cross. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:15-20).
*Jesus does the work of his Father and we follow Jesus. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:11-14).
*Jesus is our boss and shows us our part in his church. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:4-5).
THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES US IN WHAT WE ARE TO DO.
*The Holy Spirit does what Jesus wants done. “If you love me, keep my commands. 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. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17).
*The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and communicates to us. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:26-27).
*The Holy Spirit leads, guides and directs the church to do God’s will. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God…The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children…In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:14, 16, 26-27).
*We must move with the Spirit.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 22, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 2-22-15
Where Do We Go from Here?
INTRODUCTION: The Bible uses the theme of life as a journey. The writer of Hebrews describes the Christian life as running a race. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). We are concluding six weeks of the Daniel Plan. Where do we go from here? God did not bring us this far just to start the race; he wants us to finish the race. Let’s see how we can complete the five essentials of the Daniel Plan. Let’s keep running the race and set some goals.
MAKE FAITH CENTRAL TO YOUR RACE.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Heb. 12:1-2).
I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
· Build spiritual habits into your routine.
· Share your faith in Christ with others.
CHOOSE FOOD THAT ENHANCES YOUR HEALTH.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
· Maintain healthy food choices and encourage each other.
DEVELOP FITNESS PLANS THAT BUILD YOUR STRENGTH.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
· Find an exercise that you enjoy and start moving.
CHANGE YOUR MENTAL FOCUS.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
· Protect your brain through prayer, exercise, sleep and good nutrition.
· Renew your mind through Bible study, meditation, stress reduction and an attitude of gratitude.
· Develop a Christian mind and worldview through personal goals, a balanced schedule, and on-going learning.
CONNECT WITH FRIENDS FOR CARING SUPPORT.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
· Become part of an on-going small group.
· Spend time with other Christians.
· Serve the Lord with a team of committed believers.
God did not bring us this far just to start the race; he wants us to finish the race.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 15, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 2-15-15
BECOMING WHO GOD MEANT YOU TO BE
“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!” Psalm 139:14 (NLT)
“A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.” Eccles. 7:18 (MSG)
FIVE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE MY IDENTITY:
“Life is like a hand of poker. You have to play the cards you’re dealt.”
1. My chemistry.
“You remember that it was because of an illness that I came to you the first time, preaching the Good News” (Gal 4:13 NCV).
2. My connections.
3. My circumstances.
4. My consciousness.
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NCV).
“What I have always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come to be” (Job 3:25 NLT).
5. My choices.
FIVE WINNING CHOICES:
1. I can choose to get healthy.
“You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (Psalm 119:73 LB).
2. I can choose to deepen relationships.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear”
(1 John 4:18 NIV).
“Let love be your highest goal” (1 Corinthians 14:1a NLT).
“I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love” (Ephesians 3:17 NCV).
3. I can choose to trust God no matter what happens.
“God knows us far better than we know ourselves... That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him” (Romans 8:27-29 MSG).
“I will praise the Lord no matter what happens” (Psalm 34:1 LB).
4. I can choose what I think about.
“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:2 NLT).
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).
5. I can choose Jesus as my savior.
“When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17 LB).
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 8, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 2-8-15
THE GOD FACTOR—GOD’S POWER IN YOUR LIFE
The Awesome Power of Faith
What kind of person does God bless? What kind of person does God use? It is people who are not afraid to trust God completely. That is what I call the faith factor. God blesses people who are not afraid to trust Him completely. When you do that it produces enormous power in your life. The Bible tells us there’s a direct connection between faith and power. “Jesus did not do many miracles of power in His hometown, because of their lack of faith” (Matt. 13:58 Amp). In the Bible Abraham is called the father of faith. Why is he the father of faith? “Abraham’s faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God’s promise; instead his faith filled him with power...” (Rom. 4:20 GN). Today we’re going to look at four ways that you grow in faith so that God’s power can be more evident in your life.
1.FAITH IS CHOOSING AND BELIEVING GOD’S DREAM FOR MY LIFE.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Prov. 29:18 (NIV)
*Dreamers dare to ask. “God, by His mighty power at work within us, is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.” Eph. 3:20 (LB)
*Dreamers believe God’s promises. “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” Jer. 32:27 (NLT)
*Dreamers dream big. “Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Ps. 2:8 (NIV)
2.FAITH IS BEING WILLING TO RISK FAILURE.
“They risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Acts 15:26 (NAS)
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)
“The fear of human opinion disables.” Prov. 29:25 (MSG)
“Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.” Gal. 6:4 (NIV)
- FAITH IS EXPECTING God TO BLESS AND USE ME.
“I expect and hope that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now... to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die.” Phil. 1:20 (NCV)
“I believe I shall enjoy the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 (NAB)
“According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matt. 9:29 (NIV)
“Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence
of things we cannot see.” Heb. 11:1 (GW)
4.FAITH IS NEVER GIVING UP.
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.”
Psalm 31:24 (MSG)
“My life hangs in the balance, but I will not give up obedience to
Your Word.” Psalm 119:109 (LB)
“Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up.”
Prov. 24:16 (CEV)
“Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will
reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” Gal. 6:9 (LB)
“Then the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, ‘Lord, I
believe! Help me with my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (KJV)
Are you ready to believe?
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 1, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 2-1-15
WEEK 4: THE GROUP FACTOR
We Are Better Together
INTRODUCTION: We need each other. God says that the key to happiness is not independence but inter-dependence. We belong to each other. We need community in our lives. God wired you to go through life not as a solitary individual but in community. “Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.” (Rom. 12:5b NLT). Today we are going to focus on love and relationships. We’re going to look at why we need each other.
I NEED OTHERS TO WALK WITH ME.
“Just as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him...” Col. 2:6-7 (ESV)
“It is not good for man to be alone.” Gen. 2:18 (NLT)
“Let us not give up the habit of meeting together… Instead, let us encourage one another.” Heb. 10:25a (TEV)
- Community is God’s answer to: LONELINESS
“When you gather, each one of you be prepared with something useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight… Take your turn, with no one person taking over. That way… you all learn from each other.” 1 Cor. 14:26, 30-31(Mes)
“As each part does its work, it helps the other parts grow, so Christ’s whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Eph. 4:16 (NLT)
“Open your homes to each other without complaining.” Peter 4:9 (TEV)
2. I NEED OTHERS TO WORK WITH ME.
“God made us to do good works, which He planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” Eph. 2:10 (NCV)
“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together.”
Eccl. 4:9 (NCV)
- Community is God’s answer to: FATIGUE
“Every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” Gal. 6:10 (MSG)
3. I NEED OTHERS TO WATCH OUT FOR ME.
“Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.” Ph. 2:4 (TEV)
“Keep being concerned about each other as the Lord's followers should.” Heb. 13:1 (CEV)
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Eccl. 4:12 (NLT)
- Community is God’s answer to: DEFEAT
“If one person falls, another can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.” Eccl. 4:10 (NLT)
4. I NEED OTHERS TO WAIT AND WEEP WITH ME.
“You should be like one big family, full of sympathy toward each other...” 1 Peter 3:8a (LB)
“If one member suffers, all suffer together.” 1 Cor. 12:26 (ESV)
- Community is God’s answer to: DESPAIR
“Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep.” Rom. 12:15 (TEV)
“Encourage each other and strengthen one another.” 1 Th. 5:11 (GW)
5. I NEED OTHERS TO WITNESS WITH ME.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.” John 13:35 (NLT)
“The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.” 2 Tim. 1:7 (LB)
- God’s answer to fear is COMMUNITY.
“...You are working together and struggling side by side to get others to believe the Good News.” Ph. 1:27b (CEV)
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 25, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 1-25-15
GOAL SETTING: Setting Goals in Faith*
WHY I NEED TO SET PERSONAL GOALS
- Goal setting is a spiritual discipline.
“God plans to bring all of history to its goal in Christ. Then Christ will be the head of everything in heaven and on earth!” Eph.1:10 (GW)
- Goals focus my energy.
“I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.” 1 Cor. 9:26 (NCV)
“Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” Eph. 5:16 (NLT)
- Goals stretch my faith.
“According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matt. 9:29 (NIV)
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Rom.14:23 (NIV)
- Goals build my character.
Paul: “I do not claim that I’ve already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving toward the goal for which Christ Jesus has won me to himself.” Phil. 3:12 (TEV)
“Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.” Eph. 4:13 (CEV)
- Goals give me hope.
Job: “I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.” Job 6:11 (NLT)
“The plans I have for you are plans to prosper you, not to harm you. They are plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 (NIV)
WHAT KIND OF GOAL DOES GOD BLESS?
- Godly goals, the kind that God blesses, bring glory to God.
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31 (NIV)
“We make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” 2 Cor. 5:9 (NIV)
2. Godly goals are motivated by love.
“Everything you do must be done with love.” 1 Cor. 16:14 (NLT)
“Let love be your highest goal.” Cor. 14:1 (NLT)
3. Godly goals fulfill one of God’s purposes for your life.
“Do not use any part of yourselves to sin or to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God… and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes.” Rom. 6:13
Paul: “I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step.” Cor. 9:26 (NLT)
4. Godly goals are set in faith.
“Without faith it is impossible to please God...” Heb. 11:6 (NIV)
5. They are achieved with God’s power.
“We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.” Prov. 16:9 (MSG)
“You will NOT succeed by your own strength or power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” Zech. 4:6 (NCV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6 (NLT)
*from the Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 18, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 1-18-15
PRINCIPLES FOR LASTING CHANGE
What It Takes to Really Change*
INTRODUCTION: What does it really take to change? Romans 12:1-12 is the classic text on what it takes to change.
- DEDICATION: COMMIT MY BODY TO GOD.
Rom. 12:1 (NIV)
1st LAW OF CHANGE: Change is my choice.
3 WAYS TO OFFER YOUR BODY AS AN
ACT OF WORSHIP:
- By cleansing my body. “Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates the body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)
- By caring for my body. “No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his Body, which is the church.” Ephesians 5:29 (NLT)
- By controlling my body. “Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4 (NIV)
“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT)
- CONCENTRATION: REFOCUS MY MIND.
2nd LAW OF CHANGE: To change my life I must change my
model. “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; and be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
- EVALUATION: HUMBLY ASSESS MY CURRENT STATE.
“… Be honest in your estimate of yourselves.” (NLT)
3rd LAW OF CHANGE: I can only manage what I measure.
- COOPERATION: GET GROUP SUPPORT.
4th LAW OF CHANGE: Change requires community. “In Christ, there is no difference or division between Jews or Gentiles, free people or slaves, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus!” Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
- AFFIRMATION: FILL MY LIFE WITH LOVE
- MOTIVATION: NURTURE MY ENTHUSIASM.
*from The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 11, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 1-11-15
God’s Prescription for Health: What God Says about My Body*
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
INTRODUCTION: We’re going to look at God’s prescription for physical health. The truth is you already know what to do. This is not rocket science. But what I want to do today is to focus on the motivation. The why. Why do you not stick and do I not stick with get-in-shape programs? The reason why is, if you don’t have the right motivation, you will not stick with it. You’ve got to have the reason. When you figure out the why in your life, God will always show you how. So what does God say about my body? Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 to see the classic answer.
- GOD EXPECTS ME TO MANAGE MY BODY.
“Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food – but God will destroy both.” 1 Cor. 6:12-13a (NIV)
- MY BODY IS GOD’S PROPERTY.
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” 1 Cor. 6:13b (NIV)
- MY BODY WILL BE RESURRECTED AFTER I DIE.
“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” 1 Cor. 6:14 (NIV)
MISTAKES WE MAKE:
- We rely on willpower instead of God power.
- We have the wrong motivation.
- We try to change on our own.
- MY BODY IS CONNECTED TO THE BODY OF CHRIST.
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ
himself?…Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man
commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” 1 Cor. 6:15a & 18 (NIV)
- THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES IN MY BODY.
- JESUS BOUGHT MY BODY ON THE CROSS.
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Cor. 6:20 (NIV)
“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV)
“ You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws.” Psalm 119:73 (LB)
“These instructions are not mere words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land…” Deut. 32:47 (NLT)
“Keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity… Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with the first part of your wealth, the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing.” Prov. 3:1-10 (NIV)
*Trusting God is good for my health. “I said to myself, “Relax, because the Lord takes care of you.” Psalm 116:7 (NCV)
“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Prov. 14:30 (NIV)
*Confessing my sin is good for my health. “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. …My strength evaporated... Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them… and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Psalm 32:3-5 (NLT)
*Giving generously is good for my health. “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Pr. 11:25 (NIV)
*Having fun is good for my health. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Prov.17:22
*material used from The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 4, 2015
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 1-04-15
Mission 2015: Fit 4 Fifteen!
INTRODUCTION: Our overriding purpose-driven objective for 2015 is Worship. Our motto for the year is Fit 4 Fifteen. We will build our objectives on Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” Our objectives for the year 2015 will be Healthy Bodies, Healthy Souls, Healthy Spirits, and Healthy Minds. Goals help us reach our objectives. We will aim to establish good habits in each of these areas of living. We want to be healthy in all areas of our lives in 2015. A healthy person is a whole person. A whole person has fitness in body, soul, spirit and mind. We want our church in 2015 to be filled with healthy, happy and whole people.
HEALTHY PEOPLE ARE PURPOSE-DRIVEN.
*Jesus quoted the Shema to answer the lawyer’s question: “What is the greatest commandment?” “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4-5).
-He added the second commandment from Leviticus 19:18. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31).
*Our purpose in life is to love God first and then to love others as much as we love ourselves. How do we do love God in this way?
HEALTHY PEOPLE LOVE GOD WITH THEIR HEART.
*The heart (kardia) is the center of our physical and spiritual life. It is the inner part of the human being’s life that connects with God.
*We need to connect our spirits with God in 2015 through spiritual disciplines, prayer and worship. I challenge you to commit fifteen minutes with God a day in 2015. Call it 15 in 15:
- 5 minutes in Bible reading
- 5 minutes in Reflection
- 5 minutes in Prayer
*Resources: https://www.youversion.com; www.BibleGateway.com; www.rbc.org; Our Daily Bread; Open Windows;
HEALTHY PEOPLE LOVE GOD WITH THEIR SOUL.
*The soul (psyche) is the personality, the living essence of a human being and includes the mind, the will and the emotions. The soul is connected to the body but lives on after a person dies.
*We develop our souls in relationship with others. The best way to grow personally is to love others through service and ministry. I challenge you to serve in one of our ministries at Parkview this year: Ronald MacDonald House, the Food Ministry, GRACE Marketplace, Habitat for Humanity, and other church ministries.
HEALTHY PEOPLE LOVE GOD WITH THEIR MIND.
*The mind (dianoia) is the mental, understanding and reasoning faculty of the human being. It processes our feelings and thoughts.
*We can be transformed by renewing our minds (Rom. 12:1-2).
We can study and learn and think through the issues of life through Bible study, Discipleship training, life classes, and skill training. I challenge you to join a small group study this year.
HEALTHY PEOPLE LOVE GOD WITH THEIR STRENGTH.
*Strength (ischys) refers to power and might and ability. It means using my body, soul, and mind in the most effective way possible.
*We need our entire being healthy to serve God in 2015. I challenge you to start the New Year Fit 4 Fifteen emphasis right with our six week Daniel Plan that centers on faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. Join a group today and begin the New Year right.
A Fit 4 Fifteen commitment:
- I will get fit in my spirit through the 15 in 15 daily quiet time.
- I will get fit in my soul by serving in at least one ministry.
- I will get fit in my mind by a small group study this year.
- I will get fit in my body by joining the Daniel Plan emphasis.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | December 28, 2014
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 12-28-14
The Blessing of Vision
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas story dramatizes the normal ups and downs of human relationships including distractions. Sometimes the distractions of this world keep us from seeing what God is revealing to us. We have said that Christmas is a time of blessing. Christmas brings us the blessings of hope, God’s love, lasting joy and inner peace. Christmas also brings us the blessing of vision. We can discover the true nature and person of God through his son Jesus Christ. We have clarity and we have purpose through the revelation God gives us at Christmas. The Magi followed God’s vision and discovered the King. They overcame all distractions.
THE MAGI SAW A STAR.
*God used the configuration of a star to get the wise men’s attention. After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-2).
*The Magi followed the star and God’s promptings.
THE MAGI HEARD THE WORD OF GOD.
*Signs point the way but scripture gives a clear message.
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel’”(2:3-6).
*God leads us through the Holy Scriptures. “from infancy you
have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
THE MAGI BELIEVED THE PROMISE.
*The Wise Men trusted the prophecy was true and proceeded to Bethlehem. Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed (Matthew 2:7-10).
*Faith hears the word of God, believes it and acts upon it.
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead (Hebrews 11:1-2 TLB).
THE MAGI BOWED TO THE KING.
*The Magi offered themselves first and then offered gifts to the newborn King. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route (Matthew 2:11-12).
*Wise men and women still seek him. Are you willing to bow in faith and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and King? All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, “The message is as near as your mouth or your heart.” And this is the same message we preach about faith. So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others (Romans 10:8-10).
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