Over the past year there has been a fascinating, and yet heartbreaking story developing down on Lake Whitney, just about an hour south of us. Several years ago some absolutely beautiful homes were built on a high cliff overlooking the lake. However, a year ago a large crack developed near the edge of the cliff … a crack that ran right under the foundation of one home, causing the owners to have to move out. As the cliff crumbled parts of the beautiful house began to fall into the lake far below. Soon they had to deliberately set the house on fire before the whole thing fell into the lake. Now another home is threatened by the same crack. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Sermon Manuscripts’ Category
Let’s open our Bibles today to Acts 16. One of the leading figures in the New Testament is a man named Timothy. We’re first introduced to him here in Acts 16, but he’ll show up in some very important places later in Acts and the letters of the Apostle Paul as Timothy becomes a member of Paul’s missionary team. Two of the letters of the NT are addressed directly to Timothy who, at that point, is probably the pastor of the church in Ephesus. So here is a man whom God used in a powerful way in history; and we learn the factors that shaped his life. Read Acts 16:1-3. (more…)
Find the book of Ruth in the OT. It comes right after Judges and just before I Samuel. This is one of the most tender and heartwarming stories in the Bible. I’m continuing the series entitled “Home/Hope,” but the next couple of weeks I’ll be talking about the hope we find in God’s word for parenting. Today, “What Girls Need Most.” As we watch Ruth’s life unfold here in this little book we see what it takes for a girl and a woman to take her place in God’s glorious purposes. After all, that’s what we should desire most for our girls. There are four chapters to the book of Ruth and in Ruth’s life (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles to Romans 12:9. This morning I’m talking about the importance of prayer in our marriages and families, and tonight we’re going to practice the importance of prayer in our church as we gather for our Evening of Prayer and Praise at 5:30 in the Great Room. We will spend time praying for our Supreme Court as they are preparing their ruling on the definition of marriage. We’ll also pray over individual needs, so if you have a prayer need, please fill out the prayer request card in your worship guide and put it in the offering basket at the end of the service. The Scriptures instruct us to gather to pray with God’s people, so let’s be faithful as we come together to praise God and pray to God together. Now I’ll read Romans 12:9-12, then we’re going to focus just on v.12. (more…)
God has something huge in mind for marriage. It’s not just that He wants for husbands and wives to live together in unity and happiness. God has bigger things in mind. He wants to use the marriage between two believers as a giant screen to display the glory of the Gospel of His Son Jesus Christ. Through the union of a Christ-following man and woman under the Lordship of Jesus Christ God intends to communicate the Gospel that Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins and give us a new life. At its roots, sin is selfish. So the work of God in saving us will make us increasingly more loving and selfless in our relationships with other people, most importantly our mates and our children. (more…)
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION – The place where I sometimes work out has an indoor rock climbing wall that may be 40-50 feet tall. Sometimes I’ll stop and watch the climbers as they move up the sheer face of the rock wall, clinging to and or getting a foothold on little outcroppings as they make their way to the top. Obviously, the higher they go the greater the risk if they lose their grip or footing. Inevitably there will come a point in the climb where, if they are going to keep going higher, they will need to take the risk of lunging for an outcropping that is just out of their reach. But, if you’ve ever watched indoor rock climbing, you know that they usually have a safety system that includes a harness that is connected to a rope that is secured through a carabineer in the ceiling to a person called a belayer on the ground. The climber is freed to take risks way up the wall because they know they are secured by a rope to the belayer below. If they lose their grip, they’ve entrusted themselves to another for their safety. (more…)
ILLUSTRATION – A few months ago I was looking at my next door neighbors, Butch and Sandra Gautier’s, yard and noticed how green it was. I looked at my yard and wondered why it seemed to be struggling. Maybe you’ve heard the old proverb that says, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” In the harsh winter we had a couple of years ago I lost a big part of the grass. The ice sat on top of the grass for a couple of weeks and it just froze it out. Last summer I tried to coax it back, but it just never seemed to recover. The guy who helps with my yard told me that there were several problems. One was the trees had grown up so thick so that there was no sunlight getting through to the grass. The trees needed to be pruned. The ground had become so hard that the roots had a hard time catching on. The ground needed to be tilled up and some better soil brought in. Then some new sod could be laid in the places to jump start the yard. And finally, I needed to keep it well-watered so the roots could take hold. The more I heard the more depressed I got. It sounded too much like hard work to me. (more…)
ILLUSTRATION – When we lived in New Mexico our children were little and we lived in a home that we liked a lot with one exception. We could never get rid of the mice. No matter how many traps I set I could never conquer the little rascals. One evening we had some guests over to our house and as we sat in the den a mouse ran over the foot of one of our guests, stopped and looked around at us and kept on running. You can imagine that this made things quite interesting with a wife and two daughters. One day I was playing golf with some buddies and I happened to be on a tee box next to the parking lot when I noticed Nan’s car drive up. Nan jumped out of the car and said, “I’ve had enough of the mice. They’re running around like they own the place. I’m taking the kids to Vera’s house (Vera and Sonny were like grandparents to our kids), and we’ll come home when you get rid of the mice.” (more…)
The Book of James says that we are not to merely listen to the word. We need to do what it says. The Bible is like a spiritual mirror that helps us see ourselves the way we should. If we listen to the Word but do not do what it says James says we’re like a person who looks at themselves in a mirror and sees something that needs to be changed, but then goes on their way without correcting it. Soon he or she forgets what they look like. However if we continually look into the mirror of the Word of God and don’t forget what we see there but actually act on it we will receive a blessing.
My desire in this series of messages called “Home/Hope” is to help us hold up the Word of God as a mirror for our lives and for our marriages and parenting. We have to live our lives in alignment with what we see in that wonderful mirror of God’s Word. All of God’s Word applies to our homes, not just the passages that specifically mention marriage or parenting. (more…)
The only power that can overcome a million weaknesses and hurts in our homes … the only hope we have of forgiving and being forgiven … is in the love of God through the Cross of Jesus Christ. That’s the thread that will run through a new series I’m beginning today entitled “Home/Hope.” Open your Bibles to Genesis 1. While you’re turning, men I want to encourage you to pick up your ticket for the Men’s Steak Night on April 30. Our speaker Dr. Bob Reccord has spoken to men’s groups all over the nation. You will be challenged and helped. Make this investment in your skills as a husband and as a dad.
Today along with the Scripture I’m going to use a diagram that we have used before, but with a different application. (more…)