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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!
*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).
*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).
*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.
*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.
*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?
*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.
*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.
*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 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.
*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).

DARE YOU TO MOVE: A Study in the Book of Exodus - Exodus 24-31

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   10-12-14
Dare You to Move: Power Source
Exodus 24-31
INTRODUCTION:   Too often Christians begin with enthusiasm but falter on the way and end crushed and broken. How can we maintain the joy we received at conversion? How do we retain the zeal and passion of our salvation experience? God led the people of Israel to Mt. Sinai and established a covenant relationship with them (Ex. 24). Sacrifices were made, the law was read, and the people made their profession of faith (Ex. 24:1-7). Moses sprinkled the people in the blood of the covenant and took the elders up the mountain to eat in the presence of the Lord (Ex. 24:8-14). The people saw the glory of the Lord and bowed in awe (Ex. 24:15-18). The Lord gave Moses the means for God’s people to continue to experience his presence. The Lord provides the way for us to practice his presence and to continue to experience his power.
*The first thing God told Moses to do after making a covenant with Israel and giving them the Law was to provide a place of worship for the people to commune with their God. “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” (Ex. 25:8).
*The place of worship is
  • A place for giving. “The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give…” (Ex. 25:2-7)
  • A place for God-connection. “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them” (Ex. 25:8).
  • A place for gathering.Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” (Ex. 25:9).
*While we build meeting places today, we should never forget that Jesus “tabernacled among us” (John 1:14) and that his followers are “the temple of God” (2 Cor. 2:16) and our bodies “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19).
*The Old Covenant “set apart” or sanctified a sanctuary, priests and sacrifices as a means of receiving forgiveness. The articles and structure of the tabernacle symbolized God’s law and grace. “Have them make an ark of acacia wood…Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you. “Make an atonement cover of pure gold…Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites (Ex. 25:10-22).
  • The priests represented the people and offered sacrifices to God for the forgiveness of sin. “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord…After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests” (Ex. 28: 29-41).
  • Sacrifices were offered as sin offerings but the Day of Atonement was the annual sacrifice for the sins of the nation. “Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the Lord” (Ex. 30:10).
*In the New Covenant, Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Hebrews 7-8) and our atoning sacrifice. “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:10-14).
*Since the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7), we can now serve him as the forgiven people of God. “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
*We must depend upon the Holy Spirit and use the gifts God has given to us. “See, I have chosen Bezalel... and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs (Ex.31:2-4).
* We must take time for rest and the celebration of God’s creation and
presence. “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you” (Ex. 31:13-14).*Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

DARE YOU TO MOVE: A Study in the Book of Exodus - Exodus 19-24

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   10-05-14
Dare You to Move: Road Rules
Exodus 19-24
INTRODUCTION:  The Hebrews were set free from Pharaoh’s bondage. They were physically free but internally slaves. God had to bring them through a process to develop a new spirit and attitude of faith and trust. God had to reset their “default” button to get them to accept their true nature as God’s people. They suffered the harsh desert and bitter waters (Ex. 15). They celebrated manna and meat and water from the rock (Ex. 16-17). God gave them victory in battle and wise counsel in making decisions (Ex. 17-18). They were ready to affirm their relationship as God’s people. The Lord led them to Mt. Sinai to establish a covenant with them. He then gave them rules for the journey, road rules to guide them in the right path. God gives us road rules for our journey centered on love for God and for our neighbor.  Exodus 19-24 spells out the road rules.
*God forms a covenant relationship of grace with Israel and makes them his chosen people. “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’”
(Ex. 19:5-6). God does the same for followers of Jesus (1 Peter 2:9-10).
*God’s grace comes before his law. God gives us ten universal principles that will bring us abundant life.
God first establishes the four boundaries of a loving relationship with him:
  • Road Rule 1 – Make God your number one commitment. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).
  • Road Rule 2 – Allow no substitutes for God. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Ex. 20:4-5).
  • Road Rule 3 – Use God’s name in the right way. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…” (Ex. 20:7).
  • Road Rule 4 – Take time to rest and know God. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God” (Ex. 20:8-10).
*These laws express our loving gratitude to God for his grace and rescue.
*The family is the basic unit of society. The family is the place where we learn to love God and each other. If the family unit is broken, God still provides a church family to give us support and encouragement.
  • Road Rule 5 – Learn to love God and others through your family. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12).
*We are made in the image of God. We honor God by treating others with respect. When we violate the image of God in others, we destroy the structure of community and society.
  • Road Rule 6 – Respect life. “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13).
  • Road Rule 7 – Respect marriage relationships. “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).
  • Road Rule 8 – Respect another person’s property. “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).
  • Road Rule 9 – Tell the truth and promote justice. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16).
  • Road Rule 10 – Be satisfied with what you have and don’t long for what your neighbors have. “You shall not covet…” (Ex. 20:17).
*These laws guide us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Chapters 21-24 give specific cases where the ten commandments are applied.
Jesus summarized the road rules with this statement:
Jesus replied:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:37-40)

DARE YOU TO MOVE: A Study in the Book of Exodus - Exodus 12

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-21-14
Dare You to Move: Unstuck
Exodus 12
INTRODUCTION:  We need to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. God invites us to go with him. Jesus invites us to follow him. We are stuck and we need to move. But when we decide we no longer want to be stuck, we can expect resistance. That’s why we need a savior. We need someone to deliver us, to rescue us, to fight the battle for us.
God delivered his people from Pharaoh through the death angel passing over the land. God can deliver us from the circumstances, failures, sins, addictions and relationships that keep us stuck. He will set us free so we can move forward. Exodus 12 describes the Passover and Israel’s rescue.
*God promises to save us. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord” (Ex. 12:12).
*God prepares us for salvation. “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household…Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast…This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover” (Ex. 12:2-11).
*God will judge the unprepared but pass over those who are ready. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (Ex. 12:12-13).
*God rescues us today through 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 blood of the sacrificial lamb was the sign of God’s salvation.
“Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down’” (Ex.12:21-23).
*The blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross is our mark of salvation.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Christ], 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” (Col. 1:19).
“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7).
*The traditions of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are lasting observances the Jewish people commemorate to celebrate God’s rescue. “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come... When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.” (Ex. 12:17-27).
*The Lord’s Supper is our way of remembering what Jesus did for us to deliver us. “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

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

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-14-14
Dare You to Move: Way Out
Exodus 3-11
INTRODUCTION:  We need to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. God invites us to go with him. Jesus invites us to follow him. We are stuck and we need to move. Prosperity and comfort make us stuck. Past sins and failures make us stuck. God hears our cries of desperation but we need to move. When we begin to move, we can expect resistance. Exodus 3-11 shows the struggles that the people of Israel went through to get out from under the bondage of Pharaoh. They experienced resistance to their desire to move. When you decide you want to no longer be stuck, you can expect resistance. You can expect the …
*Fear is a natural response to change. Moses looked at his own abilities and became afraid. God promised his presence for the task. 

“The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering…So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, ‘I will be with you…I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Ex 3:7-14).
*Change requires effort. The Israelites experienced difficulty and doubted they could escape their pain and slavery. God gave them signs of his presence.

Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped...The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Ex.4:29-31, 5:19-21).
*Critical conditions do not give the proper perspective. We have to see
things from God’s perspective to understand the situation.

Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all”… God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord… Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God…Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. (Ex 5:22-23; 6:2-9).
*Satan does not want us to follow the Lord and move out of our bondage. Satan will oppose every positive step we take to obey the Lord.

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said” (Ex.7:8-13).
*We must resist the Devil and continue to move forward. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:10-11)
*When we want to get unstuck, God will fight for us and deliver us. It may take time but we will overcome through the power and might of our Lord. God used ten plagues to force Pharaoh to free Israel: Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Livestock, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of Firstborn (Ex 8-11).
*The Lord always provides the way out. 

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people)” (Ex. 11:1-2).

Dare You to Move - A Study in the Book of Exodus

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   09-07-14
Dare You to Move: Stuck
Exodus 1-2
INTRODUCTION:  “I dare you to move...Tension is here/Between who you are and who you could be/Between how it is and how it should be” (Switchfoot, Dare You to Move). We need to move from where we are to where God wants us to be. God invites us to go with him. Jesus invites us to follow him. Exodus 1-2 shows us some people who were stuck. They needed to move. They needed to no longer be stuck. God dared them to move. Are you stuck? God dares you to move too.
*The Hebrew people were content, successful, and spiritually untested.
Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them (Ex. 1:6-7).
*Spiritual dullness and personal ease can lead to sudden snares. Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us.  Come, we must deal shrewdly with them”… So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor…” (Ex 1:8-11).
*Moses had murdered an Egyptian and failed to deliver his people. He ran from his past and settled into a safe but unfulfilling life.  When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock… “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” (Ex 2:15-22).
*Individuals and families can get stuck.  Are you stuck spiritually? Are you stuck in a job or a marriage or a habit that seems more like slavery than the freedom you thought it would bring to you?  Have you lost your vision…hope…faith? Are you bound by fear or guilt? Does the past haunt you? Is your attitude so bad you need an adjustment?  Are your finances out of whack? Is your family in chaos and you don’t know the way out? Are you stuck?
*Churches can get stuck. Are we more worried about what people wear than we are about their eternal destiny? Are we more concerned about the type of songs we sing than we are about lifting a song of praise to God in worship? Are we so stuck in the way we do things that we cannot make room for the Holy Spirit to disrupt our agendas and our orders of worship?  Do we fret about the church finances but don’t increase our giving? Do we complain about the attendance but never invite or bring another person to church? Do we substitute our work on church committees for personal growth and spiritual development?  Are we comfortable with the way things are while staff and church leaders beg for volunteers and workers? Are we stuck as a church?
*God loves us and longs to honor his relationship with us. God will rescue us when we get desperate for help and cry out to him. During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them (Ex. 2:23-25).
Are you stuck? Only God can set us free.

The 3 C Triangle

Gregory Magruder   Parkview Baptist Church   Gainesville, FL   08-31-14
The 3 C Triangle**
Acts 2:37-47
INTRODUCTION:  Santa Fe College and the University of Florida have had their convocations this week. The leadership gathered the faculty and students to challenge them to reach new goals and to work together to build a successful school year. Convocation means “to call together.” I am calling us together today to rally us to our cause, to remind us of our common purpose and goals. I want us to remember our reason for being. Why are we here? What are we called to do?  The 3 C Triangle of Growth will show us why we are here and what we need to do. The 3 C Triangle shows us how we can move people into our fellowship and become committed followers of Jesus. The 3 Cs of Contact, Connections and Consistency will lead us to grow. Acts 2:40-47 describes the 3 C Triangle at work.
*Principle: The more people you reach, the more people you retain. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:37-41).
*Our motivations for outreach are the Great Commandment and the Great Commission:
  • Love God and Love Others - Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-40).
  • Make Disciples – Jesus said, “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).
*The basic functions of the church spring up from the two commandments:
Evangelism, Discipleship, Fellowship, Ministry, Missions and Worship.
*A healthy church constantly looks for ways to make contact with others.
*Principle: Connected people stay. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need (Acts 2:42-45).
*The process of growth requires Making Disciples, Maturing Believers, and Multiplying Ministries. People will stay when they connect to a small group and make lasting friendships. People will stay when they serve a common cause. People will stay when someone cares for them.
*A healthy church helps people connect and build relationships.
*Excellence breeds loyalty. Regular, reliable and stable programs create an atmosphere of trust and commitment. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:46-47).
*The steady process of growth will lead to Numerical Growth, Spiritual Transformation, Ministry Expansion and Kingdom Advance.
*A healthy church consistently brings people in, builds them up, trains them for service, and sends them out.
Let’s agree together this year at Parkview Baptist Church to contact people, connect them to small groups and consistently provide them with opportunities to be renewed and to serve.
**based upon Kingdom-Focused Church Model and Process (Mims)
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