Please click on the date below to go to that Sunday's sermon notes.
|<< Previous 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 Next >>|
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | March 2, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 03/02/14
A Prayer for One Another
INTRODUCTION: Love is meeting needs. Prayer is one way to meet needs. If you were to ask someone to pray for you, what would you ask them to pray? Would it be for a new car? A better job? Less friction in your marriage? What do you as a Christian want others to pray for you? Better yet, what can you pray for another believer that will get to the heart of her needs? Is there something more you can pray than a general “bless him” or “help him”? Paul would say that there is a prayer of petition that you can pray that will meet the needs of fellow Christians. Writing from prison, Paul voices a prayer for his faithful friends in Ephesus in Ephesians 1:15-19. Like Paul, when you pray for a Christian, pray that God will enlighten the believer to understand his or her spiritual relationship with Christ.
PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO INCREASE.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (17).
- The ability to understand spiritual truth is a God-given ability.
- The Christian receives, tests and communicates spiritual truth through his spirit.
- The Holy Spirit strives to increase your knowledge of Christ, God and eternal life.
The spiritual capacity for wisdom and revelation can increase through prayer.
PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION TO INCREASE.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (18).
- A Christian has spiritual eyes.
- “Enlightened” here means “saving knowledge.” The more “saving knowledge” you receive, the more light you have to see by.
You have been enlightened and you can continue to be enlightened day by day.
PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE TO INCREASE.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (18-19).
- Spiritual capacity and insight are worthless without the proper content to meditate upon.
- “the hope to which he has called you” – The Christian hope is a certain, glad confidence in better things to come based in God’s calling.
- “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” – God has riches, an inheritance, a future kingdom to give to his people. Saintly fellowship points to a future reality.
- “his incomparably great power for us who believe” – A future awaits you? How will you make it? God will supply the power.
Pray that you have a knowledge that sets its eyes on a future hope and strives for that hope through the present power of God.
During this Season of Lent, use Paul’s prayer as a guide to pray for one another. Use the insert in your bulletin to pray for others and our church for the next 40 days.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 23, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 02/23/14
Praise to the Holy Spirit
INTRODUCTION: Ephesians 1:3-14 is a doxology, a hymn of praise to the Trinity. After Paul’s greeting to the Ephesian church (1:1-2), he sings a hymn of praise with three verses – Praise to the Father (1:3-6), Praise to the Son (1:7-12), and Praise to the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Each verse ends with a similar phrase, “to the praise of his glorious grace” or “for the praise of his glory.” Today we come to the third verse of praise to the Spirit. The Father initiated our salvation. The Son gave his life for our salvation. Now Paul praises the Holy Spirit for guaranteeing our salvation. The Holy Spirit seals our salvation the moment we put our faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior.
WHAT IS THE INDIVIDUAL’S ROLE IN SALVATION?
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” (Eph. 1:13).
*Salvation is for all people. “And you also were included in Christ…”
*Faith comes by hearing the word of truth in the gospel. “when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.”
- Romans 10:17 – “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
- Romans 10:9-13 – “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved… for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Everyone must believe in the Good News about Jesus to be saved.
WHAT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE IN SALVATION?
“When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).
*The Holy Spirit authenticates our salvation. “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit...”
- The Holy Spirit is a person and personal – “the promised” one (Joel 2:28; John 7:39; Acts 2:16).
- The Holy Spirit seals us:
- He indwells us (John 14:17)
- He empowers us (Acts 1:8)
- He regenerates us (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5)
- He baptizes us (1 Corinthians 12:13)
*The Holy Spirit guarantees our salvation. “the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
- The seal is a sign of ownership (God’s possession) –
- The seal is a sign of eternal security – “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
- The seal is a down payment on our inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22).
The Holy Spirit makes us children of God, marks us as children of God, and maintains us as children of God until we enter God’s eternal home.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 16, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 02/16/14
Praise to the Son
INTRODUCTION: Ephesians 1:3-14 is a doxology, a hymn of praise to the Trinity. After Paul’s greeting to the Ephesian church (1:1-2), he sings a hymn of praise with three verses – Praise to the Father (1:3-6), Praise to the Son (1:7-12), and Praise to the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Each verse ends with a similar phrase, “to the praise of his glorious grace” or “for the praise of his glory.” Today we come to the second verse of praise to the Son. Paul praises the Father for what he has done for us in the past. His praise of the Holy Spirit will be for what the Spirit will do for us in the future. Paul’s praise for the Son is for what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing for the believer in the present. In Christ, we have redemption, revelation and restoration.
CHRIST CONTINUES HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION.
In him [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding… (Ephesians 1:7-8).
- We have redemption through his blood. This is the legal positional side of salvation otherwise known as justification.
- We have forgiveness of sins. This is the experiential side of salvation, the release of guilt and the practice of freedom.
- We have grace from God with wisdom and insight. We can now understand God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
CHRIST COMPLETES HIS WORK OF REVELATION.
He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10).
- Mystery in New Testament terms is a plan of God hidden from human reason that must be divinely revealed. It is an open secret. Here, Jesus Christ is the mystery revealed.
- God has providentially worked all things to the right time to reveal Christ. Jesus Christ is the steward of God’s house and God’s purposes for this world.
- God’s ultimate goal is to gather all things under Jesus Christ’s lordship and authority at the exact time he has chosen.
CHRIST CONCLUDES HIS WORK OF RESTORATION.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:11-12).
- The goal of predestination is that we become God’s heritage.
- God wants our lives to reflect him and bring praise to his character. We are to bring honor to the family name.
We praise the Son because in him we have redemption, revelation and restoration.
Have you been forgiven?
Do you understand that God wants you to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Are you willing to let God the Father restore you and make you part of his family?
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 9, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 02/09/14
Praise to the Father
INTRODUCTION: Paul wrote the Letter to the Ephesians around AD 60. The theme of Ephesians is that God wants the body of Christ, the church, to unite together under the head of the church, Jesus Christ the Lord. After Paul’s greeting to the Ephesian church (1:1-2), he sings a hymn of praise with three verses – Praise to the Father (1:3-6), Praise to the Son (1:7-12), and Praise to the Holy Spirit (1:13-14). Each verse ends with a similar phrase, “to the praise of his glorious grace” or “for the praise of his glory.” Paul says that God the Father is worthy of our praise.
HE HAS BLESSED US WITH SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS.
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 blessings are from above in heaven.
- The blessings are found in the person of Christ.
HE HAS CHOSEN US FOR HIMSELF.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph. 1:4).
- He chose us in Christ as our Representative before Creation.
- He chose us to be set apart for God’s purposes and faultless in our behavior.
HE PREDESTINED US TO BECOME PART OF HIS FAMILY.
In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Eph. 1:5).
- God’s plan from the beginning was to adopt us into his family.
- We become part of God’s family by a spiritual new birth (1 Peter 1:3, John 3:3-8)) and by adoption (Galatians 4:4-7).
- We are adopted when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord.
- God did this because it pleased him and he wanted to do it.
HE POURED OUT HIS GRACE BECAUSE OF HIS GREATNESS.
--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves (Eph. 1:6).
- He wants us to celebrate his favor and gifts through his Son Jesus.
- The best response to grace is to receive it as a free gift from God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Christians of all people have reason to rejoice:
--We have everything we need in Christ.
--We were chosen by God to serve him and become part of his family.
--We have salvation and spiritual gifts through the free gift of God - - Jesus Christ.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | February 2, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 02/02/14
INTRODUCTION: Paul came to Ephesus with Aquila and Priscilla on his first missionary journey but did not stay very long (Acts 18). On his second missionary trip he stayed in Ephesus three years and had a fruitful and eventful ministry (Acts 19). His successful ministry incited a riot and Paul left Ephesus for Macedonia. Paul called the Ephesian elders to meet him north of Ephesus on his way back to Jerusalem and said goodbye (Acts 20).
Paul uses a typical greeting for the time to introduce his letter. This letter is believed to have been written in Rome around AD 60 while Paul was in prison. He also wrote Colossians and Philemon about the same time and had the letters delivered by Tychicus (Eph. 6:21). The theme of Ephesians is that God wants the body of Christ, the church, to unite together under the head of the church, Jesus Christ the Lord.
THE WRITER: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…”
*His title – “Paul, an apostle” means “a sent one.”
*His authority – “by the will of God.” See Acts 9:15 for Paul’s call and authority.
THE READERS: “to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus”
*Paul writes to the “holy people in Ephesus” - literally “to the saints” or “holy ones” or “set apart ones.”
*The saints live in a local place: “in Ephesus.” Christianity is not “pie in the sky” but rather “down to earth.”
*The saints are “faithful in Christ Jesus.” The church consists of only true believers who live in obedience by faith in a local setting.
THE GREETING: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
*The usual Greek opening was “Rejoice!” but Paul replaces it with “Grace.”
*Paul wants readers to know the free, loving favor of God (grace) and the serenity and wholeness (peace) that results from it.
*The Father and the Son extend this grace and peace equally and eternally.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 19, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 01/19/14
The Sacredness of Life
INTRODUCTION: This is Sanctity of Life Sunday. This day has been set aside to recognize the plight of the unborn in the USA. Nearly 55 million abortions have taken place since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling was passed by the Supreme Court. Pro-life and Sanctity of Life have become synonyms in the battle against abortion. But does sanctity of life refer only to ending abortion? Does sanctity of life have a larger meaning that applies to more than the termination of a pregnancy? The Judeo-Christian tradition built upon biblical principles teaches that all of life is sacred. God has conferred upon human beings a special status that is based in the sacredness of life. Made in the image of God, every human is sacred and worthy of respect. Every Christian has the calling to maintain the sacredness of life at every level of life and living.
WHAT IS THE SACREDNESS OF LIFE?
*There are two competing world views in every culture. One view leans toward that which destroys and brings death. The other view is one that protects and uplifts life. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
*The Christian view is that life is sacred because humans are made in the image of God and all of life has been consecrated by God as good. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27-31).
Christians have a divine mandate to uphold and defend life at every stage of living.
HOW DO WE SUPPORT THE SACREDNESS OF LIFE?
*Support the sacredness of life at the beginning of life and birth. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:13-17).
*Support life in daily living:
- In the way we treat others. “A new command I give you: Love one another (John 13:34).
- In basic care for others in need (healthcare, food equity, shelter, immigration issues, prison reform, etc.). “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
- In economic justice and fair wages. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). ---“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you…You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you (James 5:1-4).
- In the way we care for the environment. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).
*Support life in the matter of capital punishment. “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) vs. (Gen. 9:6).
*Support life in matters of war.
“Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7) compared to
“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).
*Support life in end of life issues and death (euthanasia, hospice, assisted suicide, life support technology, living wills). “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15).
Pro-life means you work to see life flourish at every level of living.
[note: this sermon was preached in two parts on January 19 and 26]
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | January 12, 2014
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 01/12/13
Mission 2014: Share Your Life
1 Thessalonians 2:8
INTRODUCTION: Relationships are vital to the life of the church and our own personal spiritual development. We are not on this journey alone. That is why we are declaring the year 2014 the Year of Fellowship for Parkview Baptist Church. Our goal is to be like the early church in Acts: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer” (Acts 2:42). Our Mission in 2014 is to Share Your Life with others. Our verse for the year is 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” Our Mission Statement: The members of Parkview Baptist Church will look for ways to personally involve themselves in the lives of fellow church members and people in the community in order to build lasting relationships that reflect the love of Christ. Let’s examine how we can complete this mission.
SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
*Relationships are more important than anything else in this life:
- Share your faith. “They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household’” (Acts 16:31).
- Share your time with your family. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
- Share your love. “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:2).
SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY.
*Build relationships through fellowship. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
*Practice genuine love and hospitality. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:5-9).
SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY.
*God wants us to bless the community not curse the community.
Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper’” (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
Peter: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12).
Paul: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).
*Our lives should be uncontaminated by the world and reflect the compassion of Christ. In other words, we need to be spiritually minded and socially minded. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
Commit to Mission 2014: Share Your Life
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | December 29, 2013
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville,FL 12/29/13
“Looking for Jesus”
Introduction: The Wise Men were seeking Jesus: “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 star represented the birth of a great king. Whether these were alignments of astrological charts or the observance of an unusual star in the night sky, the Wise Men traveled to see the newborn King. Although they eventually found him, they encountered obstacles *on their journey to find Jesus. Their persistence to find the King paid off. Likewise, let nothing stop you from claiming Jesus Christ as your King.
DO NOT LET THE HYPOCRITES STOP YOU!
*The scribes and the priests knew the prophecy but missed the birth. They had a religious tradition but did not live up to the spirit of the law. “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).
Do not let religious hypocrites keep you from finding Jesus.
DO NOT LET EVIL INFLUENCES STOP YOU!
*King Herod tried to deceive the Wise Men. He lied to them in order to mislead them. 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 (2:7-9).
Do let Satan trick you into thinking there is something better than Jesus.
DO NOT LET POSSESSIONS STOP YOU!
*The Wise Men brought gifts to the King. They were willing to give up their wealth as an act of worship. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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 (2:10-12).
Do not let the world or riches keep you from finding Jesus.
The Wise Men left where they were and went to find Jesus.
Are you looking for Jesus?
Are you willing to leave where you are in order to find him?
Do not let anything keep you from claiming Jesus Christ as your King.
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | December 22, 2013
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville,FL 12/22/13
God’s Gift to You
Introduction: Joseph was in the royal line of King David but he was a simple carpenter from Nazareth. Herod was king in Judea. Caesar Augustus was the emperor of Rome. Israel was under Roman occupation. God had seemingly abandoned his people. The voices of the prophets were silent. No king from David’s line seemed likely to ascend the throne. But God stepped in as Matthew 1:18-25 shows. God remembered his people and honored his promises to David. God cares and has his own way of doing things. God loves you and me and wants to give us the opportunity to receive his gift of love today. God’s gift gives us his presence, his person and his provision.
GOD GIVES US THE GIFT OF HIS PRESENCE.
*The birth of Jesus fulfilled prophecy. “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).
*Matthew quotes Isaiah and uses the term Immanuel to describe the newborn king. Immanuel means “God with us.” “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).
*Psalm 46 clearly shows the Hebrew understanding of the term. Immanuel is used as a refrain of hope for Israel in a crisis situation. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress (Psalm 46:7, 11).
The Psalmist describes God presence “with us”:
- Verses 1-3, God is with us as our protection.
- Verses 4-6, God is with us as our peace.
- Verses 8-10, God is with us as our providence.
The birth of Jesus Christ shows us that God is present with us!
GOD GIVES US THE GIFT OF HIS PERSON.
*God is with us in human form. He knows what we are going through. The apostle John says it this way: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Matthew writes: 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… 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…” (Matthew 1:18-21).
*The term used to describe this new child is “Jesus” or “Savior.” God is with us and he will help us. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Matt. 1:21).
Jesus’ birth reminds us that God has visited his people to set them free.
GOD GIVES US THE GIFT OF HIS PROVISION.
*The angel makes it clear that Jesus comes as a spiritual redeemer and not a political or military deliverer. “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” (1:21).
- “he’ – emphatic “he and no other” – “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).
- “will save” – preserve and deliver, rescue – Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
- “from their sins” – Jesus mission is personal not political. “Sins” means “missing the mark.” “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23). “From” means that Jesus will remove us out of the situation. He will rescue us and give us a new life.
- “his people” – anyone the Father has chosen for himself. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Jesus Christ came to save you from your sins. He paid the penalty for your sin on the cross and he rose again to give you eternal life.
Are you willing to receive the gift of God’s presence, person and provision today?
by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | December 15, 2013
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville,FL 12/15/13
Introduction: The birth of Jesus reminds us that God always does things that we do not expect. We would expect the Savior to be born in a palace to parents of wealth and fame. Yet he was born in a stable to parents who had little recognition. We would expect an elaborate state function with parades and parties to announce the birth of a king. Yet only the shepherds and a few wise men knew of the birth of the baby Jesus. God often uses the ordinary to bring about the extraordinary. The good news is that God can use you in his kingdom work and eternal purposes. He is looking for people of faith.
GOD USES UNLIKELY MEANS TO BRING ABOUT HIS PLANS.
*God used ordinary pregnancies to accomplish his divine goals. Yet Elizabeth was old and Mary was a virgin when they became pregnant. 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 (Luke 1:39-40).
Look for God to act in unexpected ways. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Is. 55:8).
GOD CHOOSES UNLIKELY PEOPLE TO BRING ABOUT HIS PURPOSES.
*God chose to use ordinary women to advance his kingdom. 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 1:42-45).
God uses the humble people the world thinks are useless and unimportant to bring about great things. “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27).
GOD USES ORDINARY FAITH TO BRING ABOUT EXTRAORDINARY PROMISES.
*Mary recognizes that the Lord is fulfilling all his promises to Israel through her simple act of faith. “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name’” (Luke 1:46-49).
*Mary’s Song shows the greatness of God’s mercy and the severity of his judgment:
“His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:50-53).
*Mary’s Song rejoices in the God who keeps his covenant with Abraham and protects his faithful people Israel:
“He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors” (Luke 1:54-55).
God is always faithful to his word. He is looking for people of faith to believe his promises and do his will. Mary believed and God worked:
The angel answered [to Mary], “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her (Luke 1:35-38).
Are you willing to let God use your ordinary life to do extraordinary things?
|<< Previous 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 Next >>|