Sermons by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder

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THE BLESSING OF PEACE - The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   12-21-14
 
The Blessing of Peace
Luke 2:8-20
 
INTRODUCTION:  The Christmas story speaks of God’s true peace. It dramatizes the normal ups and downs of human relationships. Christmas is a time of blessing. We said last week that the blessing means that I have significance. I am needed. I am wanted. I have identity and worth. Christmas brings us hope, God’s love and joy. Christmas also promises the blessing of peace.  The angels declared to the shepherds the night Jesus was born, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). What kind of peace were they describing? Who will receive this peace?
 
GOD PROMISES US PEACE AT CHRISTMAS.
 
*The Jewish people greeted one another with the Hebrew word “shalom.” Shalom means “Completeness, welfare, prosperity, friendship, peace.” The Greek word for shalom was “eirēnē.” This word for peace means “tranquility, harmony, safety and the way that leads to salvation.” The Greek translation of the Old Testament uses “eirene” for peace.
 
*The angels pronounced an “eirene” peace that would unite people and bring personal, inner tranquility to humanity: “on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
 
*God’s peace would come through a savior born in Bethlehem. “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
 
*The birth of Jesus brings a heavenly peace to the world.
 
GOD BLESSES THOSE WHO RECEIVE HIS PEACE.
 
*The Psalmist wrote that the wicked would fade away but God would give peace (shalom) to the meek. “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace” (Psalm 37:11). The meek were the
humble and gentle people that trusted God through all circumstances.
 
*Jesus quotes Psalm 37 and says that the meek are blessed. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). God blesses those of a humble spirit who receive his truth and salvation.
 
*Jesus the Messiah offers us his peace, the same peace the angels spoke about. “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 14:27).
 
*The peace of Jesus transforms us to live lives of peace so that we are recognized as children of God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
 
*God’s favor rests on those willing to receive his peace.
 
WE CAN ACCEPT GOD’S PEACE AT CHRISTMAS.
 
*We receive God’s gift of peace though faith in Jesus. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1).
 
*We become children of God when we believe Jesus is the Savior and receive him as the Son of God. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12).
 
*We can experience God’s salvation and peace as we humbly (meekly) commit our lives to him. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7).
 
Will you receive God’s peace and salvation this Christmas?
 
All you need to do is pray and ask him to be your Lord.

THE BLESSING OF JOY

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   12-14-14
 
The Blessing of Joy
Matthew 1:18-25
 
INTRODUCTION:  The Christmas story dramatizes the normal ups and downs of human relationships. Christmas is a time of blessing. We said last week that the blessing means that I have significance. I am needed. I am wanted. I have identity and worth. Christmas brings us hope and God’s love. Christmas also brings the blessing of joy.
What is joy? Rick Warren has defined joy as “the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” The Blessing of Christmas affirms this definition of joy.
 
CHRISTMAS BRINGS…
 
THE JOY OF UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS.
 
*God gave Zechariah and Elizabeth a child in their old age.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord” (Luke 1:11-15).
 
*Christmas provides a time for us to review God’s grace and gifts during the past year. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
 
THE JOY OF SHARED EXPERIENCES.
 
*Mary and Elizabeth rejoiced together in their unusual pregnancies.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to
her!”(Luke 1:39-45).
 
*Christmas is a time to celebrate life together. Christmas is a time to show compassion and care. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).
 
THE JOY OF GOOD NEWS.
 
*The angel proclaimed a joyful message to world-weary shepherds.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:8-12).
 
*All of us like to receive good news! Christmas is a time to share the good news of salvation. 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 wants to bless you with joy!
 
Look around and find unexpected blessings this Christmas…
 
   Share experiences with family, friends, and those in need and…
 
      Tell others the Good News that Christ has come!
 
 
 

THE BLESSING OF LOVE - The Second Sunday in Advent

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   12-07-14
 
The Blessing of Love
Matthew 1:18-25
 
INTRODUCTION:  The Christmas story dramatizes the normal ups and downs of human relationships. From the excitement of sharing a family birth to the challenges of marriage conflict to the fear of physical harm and rejection, the Christmas story deals with the real life situations that each of us face. Christmas also reveals the remedy to life’s normal trials. Christmas is a time of blessing. We said last week that the blessing means that I have significance. I am needed. I am wanted. I have identity and worth. Christmas brings hope. Christmas also brings the blessing of love. God’s love is revealed at Christmas and demonstrated in Joseph’s response to Mary’s pregnancy. Joseph had a choice to make – bless or curse.
 
HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN SOMEONE HURTS YOU?
 
*Joseph faced an embarrassing personal and hurtful situation.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).
 
*Joseph was a good man and knew the Law of God. He had every right to have her stoned (Deut. 22:23) but he chose to have mercy (maybe she was violated and called for help) (Deut. 22:26). Joseph decided to divorce her quietly without public shame. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:19).
 
*Joseph chose to respond to injury and perceived unfaithfulness with love and mercyLove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

The best response to harm is to bless someone with love. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Col. 3:13).
 
GOD GAVE US THE BLESSING OF LOVE AT CHRISTMAS.
 
*God revealed to Joseph that Mary’s child would be the savior of the world. But after he had considered this, 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).
 
*Joseph confirmed his love for Mary by trusting God’s word and by taking Mary home as his wife. When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus (Matthew 1:24-25).
 
*God demonstrated his love for us by sending his son to save and forgive us even when we had rebelled and hurt him by our choices.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
 
*God gave us the blessing of love at Christmas by sending us a savior. We can receive the blessing of love at Christmas when we welcome Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  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).
 
Are you willing to receive the blessing of love at Christmas?
 
Are you willing to give the blessing of love at Christmas?
 

THE BLESSING OF HOPE - First Sunday in Advent

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   11-30-14
 
The Blessing of Hope
Matthew 1:20-23; Mark 13:26-27
 
INTRODUCTION:  The birth of Jesus brings hope to a world torn by conflict. Christmas brings the blessing of hope. 
 
THE BLESSING
 
*The blessing means that I have significance.  I am needed. I am wanted. I am important and precious. I have identity and worth.
 
* Many people never experience the blessing from their family. Esau sought the blessing from his father Isaac. “When Esau heard his father’s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me—me too, my father!’  But he said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing’” (Genesis 27:33-35).  
 
* The good news is that we can find the blessing even if our family of origin did not give us the blessing. We need to stop looking for the blessing in all the wrong places. Other sources can give us the blessing: friends, the church, God. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
 
* The celebration of the birth of Jesus is recognition of the Blessing of Christmas. God has blessed us by sending his Son Jesus. “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).
 
THE HOPE
 
*We celebrate the Advent Season at Christmas. Advent means “coming.” The Christmas season offers the opportunity to participate in the first coming and to prepare for the second coming of the Messiah. The Advent text for today is about the hope of the Second Coming. “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:26-27).
*We have hope at Christmas. God sent us his son. The prophecies were fulfilled. But after he had considered this, 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).
 
* We have hope in times of trouble because Jesus is coming again. God fulfilled the promise of the first coming. God is with us through the blessing his son Jesus. “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Gal. 3:14).
 
*Christmas brings the blessing of hope. The Spirit of Christmas overcomes the clashes of life because we have the blessing of hope.
 
Will you receive the blessing of hope this Christmas?
 
Will you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
 

IMPACT: SEEKING GOD'S BEST - A Study in the Life of Joseph

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   11-23-14
 
Joseph: A Work in Process*
Genesis 37 - 41
 
INTRODUCTION:  Things go well when we follow directions. Joseph was part of a greater process begun by God to save his people. The big picture became clear as he was faithful in the small things. He finally saw how his trials and troubles were used by the Lord to bring about salvation and reconciliation. Joseph’s life was a work in process. We are all a work in process when it comes to God’s plans. We just need to follow His directions in the process.
 
PLANNING + COMMITMENT  = PROCESS
 
*For Joseph the process was extremely important
 
*God was preparing Joseph for the special task of interpreting Pharaoh’s dream.
  • It started when Joseph obeyed his father, and left home to find his brothers.
 
  • Under Joseph’s leadership and Gods’ direction, a plan was devised to provide food for a country during a famine. 
 
  • Countless people were fed, and Joseph’s family was reunited.
 
  • The success of the process was the grain.
 
FAITHFULNESS IS NEEDED FOR THE PROCESS TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
 
*Faithfulness and commitment are key words in the process.
 
*The process as Baptists includes everyone giving to their local church and then sending forth money though the Cooperative Program to impact lives throughout the world.
 
*The genius of the Cooperative Program is that we can all work together by serving, going and giving.
 
WE MUST BE OBEDIENT TO GOD’S PLAN.
 
*God has given us a plan.  It starts with knowing JESUS.
 
John 14:6-7 – Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
 
*Prayer is essential in the process.  James 5:16 – “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
 
*Our giving to missions through the Cooperative Program works.
 
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
 
*Our tithes and offerings are making a difference locally and throughout the world as lives are reached for the glory of God!
 
Joseph said,
And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Genesis 45:5-7).
 
You are a work in process to help others for the glory of God!
 
*Sermon adapted from Impact Stewardship materials (FLBC).
 
 
 

IMPACT: SEEKING GOD'S BEST - A Study in the Life of Joseph

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   11-16-14
 
Joseph: A Man of Progress*
 Genesis 37:20-28; 39:16-20; 43:27-30
 
INTRODUCTION:  The United States of America has long been known as a nation of progress. Many of the practices and customs that were brought to the shores of the new land by our forefathers were successful in the early days of America’s existence. Yet what seemed to distinguish the early settlers was their ability to adapt to the new and often hostile environment and find new and better ways to provide for their families. Change became a way of life and change for the better became the goal of this brave new generation. Because of these and a myriad of other similar changes, we have become known as a nation of progress! Forward growth requires a faith commitment. Faithfulness today will yield fruitfulness tomorrow.  Joseph faced many adversities and threats to his very existence. Yet he learned with the help of his faith in God to adapt and change. He was truly a man of progress!
 
WE OFTEN ASK, WHAT ELSE COULD HAPPEN?
 
*Joseph had opportunities to demonstrate his faith, he was…
 
  • Thrown into a pit by his brothers (Genesis 37:24).
 
  • Sold to slave traders (Genesis 37:28).
 
  • Falsely accused by his master’s wife (Genesis 39:16-19).
 
  • Thrown in jail by his employer (Genesis 39:20).
 
  • Seemingly lost to his father (Genesis 43:27).
 
  • Separated from his younger brother (Genesis 43:29-30).
 
*Circumstances become the opportunity to shape our character.
 
HOW WE RESPOND REVEALS OUR TRUE CHARACTER.
 
*Joseph’s response showed his character.
 
  • Obeyed his earthly father’s instructions.
  •    Remained close to God - The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. (Genesis 39:2-3).
 
  •   Ran from evil - No one is greater in this house than I am. My
      master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you
     are  wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin
     against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day,
     he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her (Gen
    39:9 - 10).
 
  • Gained favor with the guards in the prison.
 
  • Continued to do what God had chosen him to do.
 
  • Acknowledged to Pharaoh the source of being able to interpret dreams - “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” (Genesis 41:16).
 
  • Progressed in his faith and in the level of his responsibility.
 
LEARNING FROM JOSEPH:
 
  • Life is not fair.
 
  • You never know what a day may bring.
 
  • Something good can be mistaken as evil.
 
  • Wherever you are, be a friend.
 
  • Don’t give up!
 
Joseph’s obedience shaped his life for God to use.
 
Forward growth requires a faith commitment. Faithfulness today will yield fruitfulness tomorrow. 
 
GOD WANTS TO GROW US TO THE TASKS BEFORE US!

*Sermon adapted from Impact Stewardship materials (FLBC).

IMPACT: SEEKING GOD'S BEST - A Study in the Life of Joseph

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   11-09-14
 
Joseph: A Man of Power
Genesis 41
 
INTRODUCTION:  We are confronted daily with images of suffering and hunger in our world. War, disease, poverty and political persecution fill our TV screens and websites. We are tempted to look away and conclude that we cannot do something to alleviate suffering or make any real change in this world. It is easy to conclude that one person cannot make a difference. Yet the Bible has many examples of people who used what they had to make a difference in the world. Jesus used a young boy’s loaves and fishes to feed a crowd. Jesus pointed to the widow and her two small coins as the supreme example of sacrificial giving. Joseph did not seem like someone who would save his family from starvation while he was in the bottom of a cistern. Yet God was able to use him to save a nation and his family. God gave him the power and the possibility to bring change. Real power brings positive change. A person of power is an agent of change! In Christ, you and I can make a difference in this world!
 
POWER IS NEVER REAL POWER UNTIL IT LIFTS OTHERS UP!
 
*Joseph moved from being hopeless to being helpful.
  • His brothers rejected him and sold him as a slave.
  • He was a slave in Potipher’s house and blessed his master.
  • He was betrayed, sent to prison and blessed the prison captain.
  • He interpreted the baker and cupbearer’s dreams (Gen. 40).
  • After two years, Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dream. So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:14-16).
 
*Christ brings contentment in our circumstances so we can bless others. Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-13).
 
POWER IS NEVER REAL POWER UNTIL WE FORGIVE!
 
*Joseph was placed in a position of power after being in prison.
“So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck” (Genesis 41:41-42).
 
*When we have been wronged, we have the power to forgive or to condemn.  “Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them…Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. Then he remembered his dreams about them…” (Genesis 42:6-8).
 
*God’s grace gives us the power to pardon. Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).
 
POWER IS NEVER REAL POWER UNTIL WE GIVE!
 
*Joseph recognized God’s providential work to save a nation and his family. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph…do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Genesis 45:3-7).
 
*The ultimate expression of gratitude for God’s blessings is to bless others in return. When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land’… So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts… and he also gave them provisions for their journey (Genesis 45:16-22).
 
*God wants us to give generously so he can bless us even more. Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
 

IMPACT: SEEKING GOD'S BEST - A Study on the Life of Joseph

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   11-02-14
 
Joseph: A Man of Promise*
Genesis 37 – 39
 
INTRODUCTION:  Several years ago, the Peanuts characters were seen almost everywhere. For a number of years Charlie Brown and Lucy had a stronghold on Christmas television programming. Millions of children grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. Of course, most of us developed an affinity for these lovable, but fictional characters. Even Linus and his famous blanket were seen as icons of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Linus was credited with a number of pithy statements that eventually were placed on pictures and plaques. One such statement could well be used as an introduction to the biblical character, Joseph. Linus told the cast of this famous comic strip, “There is no heavier burden than great potential.” This was true of Joseph. Let’s examine Joseph, a man of promise.
 
GOD MADE ALL OF US WITH GREAT POSSIBILITIES.
 
*All of us have great potential and big challenges. Joseph was:
 
  • A special son. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him (Gen. 37:3).
 
  • A hated brother. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more…But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams” (Gen. 37:4-20).
 
  • A trusted servant. Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there…[T]he Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field (Gen. 39:1-5).
  • A betrayed friend. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house…When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him (Gen. 39:11-21).
 
*Joseph was a man with great promise, but many gifted people spend their lives never reaching their potential. Joseph realized his gifts must be acted upon, and he let God develop his life through commitment and obedience.
 
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOSEPH:
 
*When you are
 
  • Given a giftUSE IT!
 
  • Given an opportunityACT ON IT!
 
  • RejectedLEARN FROM IT!
 
  • Tempted by Sin – RUN FROM IT!
 
*Joseph would not have been a blessing to his family and his people had he:
  • Ignored the Word of God in his dreams.
 
  • Chosen to let circumstances control his life.
 
  • Let rejection determine his worth as a man.
 
  • Given in when tempted by sin.
 
We all have great promise. We must use our gifts wisely while there is time. We will make an impact for God’s Kingdom when we do.
 
*Sermon adapted from Impact Stewardship materials (FLBC).
 

DARE YOU TO MOVE: A Study in the Book of Exodus - Exodus 35-40

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   10-26-14
 
Dare You to Move: Moving to Victory
Exodus 35-40
 
INTRODUCTION:  The sermon series Dare You to Move has challenged us to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. We have asked you to move forward spiritually as individuals and as a church. As we conclude this series, the Israelites are poised to enter the Promised Land. They have a new nation, new laws and a renewed spirit. Are they willing to enter into final victory? What would that take? How should they move forward into victory? Exodus 35-40 reveals God’s final call to victory for Israel. The Lord also calls Parkview Baptist Church to move forward into new territory and spiritual victory. How do we do that?
 
MOVING FORWARD DEMANDS GIVING PEOPLE.
 
*The Lord’s work needs funding. Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the Lord has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering…” (Ex. 35:4-5).
 
*God expects voluntary offerings from his people. God does not coerce or manipulate. Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments (Ex. 35:20-21).
 
*Generous people are happy people. Moses had to stop the Israelites from giving to the work of God. They found great satisfaction in giving. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary… said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done” (Ex. 36:3-5).
 
*Paul said in New Testament times,  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35).
 
Giving people move the Lord’s work forward.
 
MOVING FORWARD REQUIRES GIFTED WORKERS.
 
*God’s work needs laborers with spiritual gifts and skills.  Moses said,
“All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded…See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel… and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs …And he has given both him and Oholiab…the ability to teach others. (Ex. 35:10-34).
 
*God gives a diversity of gifts and skills so a variety of tasks can be done and many workers can be involved in the cause.  And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair...All those who were skilled among the workers made the tabernacle (Ex. 35:26- 36:8).
 
*God’s work advances when God’s people use their gifts in his service.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
 
Spirit-filled, gifted people progress the work of the Lord.
 
MOVING FORWARD COMPLETES GOD’S MISSION.
 
*When God’s people use their skills and gifts and give generously to God’s work, the Lord will bless them and move them forward to victory. The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them (Ex. 39:42-43).
 
*God’s Spirit and Presence move his people forward when they obey his call and purpose at each moment in their history. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle…In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels (Ex. 40:34-38).
 
*Jesus promises to go with us as we complete his vision for us. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
 
“God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply.”

DARE YOU TO MOVE: A Study in the Book of Exodus - R & R Exodus 32-34

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   10-19-14
 
Dare You to Move: R & R
Exodus 32-34
 
INTRODUCTION:   When military personnel get a leave, they take time for a little R & R.  When people take a vacation, they talk about the need for some R & R.  We know the term R & R to mean “rest and relaxation.” God gave his people the weekly Sabbath and yearly Sabbath festivals to provide them with physical and spiritual rest (Ex. 31:12-18).  It was Israel’s version of R & R. But the people of Israel rejected God’s plan. As soon as Moses was out of sight, the people began to rebel. God had to take them through a time of Rebellion & Restoration to bring them back to himself. Is your relationship with God a time of Rest & Relaxation or Rebellion & Restoration? The Lord wants us to be his faithful people walking in the joy of his Presence.
 
WE GO THROUGH TIMES OF REBELLION.
 
*We rebel when we
 
  • Reject authority. When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him” (Ex. 32:1).
  • Reject moral standards. When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry (Ex. 32:5-6). See also Romans 1:18-24.
  • Reject God’s commands. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt’” (Ex. 32:7-8).
  • Reject the Lord as GodAaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Ex. 32:2-4).
 
*Rebellion is choosing my way over God’s way.
 
GOD BRINGS US BACK BY A PROCESS OF RESTORATION.
 
*Restoration begins with prayer and intercession for the rebel. But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God…“Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people” (Ex. 32:11-12).
 
*Restoration recognizes there are consequences and punishment for sin. Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him…The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died…And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made (Ex. 32:25-35).
 
*Restoration requires confession and repentance. The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”  So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”…When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people (32:30-32; 33:1-5).
 
*Complete restoration restores the presence of God and gives us a fresh vision of God’s glory and goodness. Moses said, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”  The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Ex. 33:13-19).
 
*Restoration brings me back into the favor and presence of the Lord.
 
Have you experienced God’s restoration for your rebellion against him? Jesus said, “Come unto me… I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
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