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Learning to Love and Live Truth. During the sermon he brings out three important aspects of the Bible: It is true, it is understandable, and it is valuable.
What if the Gospels did not end with the resurrection? “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith!” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
At the end of history there is a scene where Jesus, The Lamb of God, is standing triumphant and victorious. He was the Lamb that was slain, but now He is alive and He is receiving praise from angels and people from all languages and nations for His great suffering. The great question for today is, “has Jesus, our redeemer, received the reward of His suffering from our lives?”
Prayer is a privilege, not based on or own merit, but on our redemption through the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. Prayerlessness is pushing God to the margins of our life. Praying without ceasing means being always ready to pray, as well as planning times of prayer. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray all that is consistent with His name and character. All kinds of prayer are valuable: praise, gratitude, repentance, lament, and petition.
There are times when even a devout follower of God can feel abandoned by God. The writer of Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 feels spiritually overwhelmed. He is cut off from corporate worship and is taunted by those who despise God. He begins to preach to himself, “Hope in God…” reminding himself to put his confidence in God, his rock and salvation. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts…
Psalm 96 was written for the day of celebration when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem. David expresses exuberant joy that is based on the knowledge of God and repudiates the idols of the surrounding nations. He worships in awe and longs for others to become worshippers in the same way. When we give to the Lord, we acknowledge that all we have is already God’s, honor Him with exuberant joy, and give back to God for the sake of the nations.
Are we living out our faith in such a way that we bear the repercussions of living and sharing the Gospel? Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail, but they were able to worship and praise God because they expected to suffer persecution, and they knew that their situation and served to advance the cause of Christ. Their concern for the new believers at Philippi and their commitment to the advance of the Gospel was the outpouring of a life tuned to the will of Christ.
We were created to live a life of praise. Praise is our chief end and is our highest priority and privilege. The Song of Moses at the Red Sea in Exodus 15 is an example of how praise should be our response to the salvation, character, uniqueness, and promises of God.
In Psalm 145, David is resolved to live a praise saturated life every day. His praise is fueled by great thoughts about God. When we extol God, we elevate Him to a high place in our thinking and view Him as glorious. In response to God’s transcendence, David humbly praises God for His attributes and His acts.
God shows His sovereignty in both suffering and success. He is doing great things that we are not able to comprehend. As we stop to consider what God is doing, we can step out and take faith filled risks.
A life of praise starts with knowing the God who is worthy of our praise. The Psalms are preoccupied with God and can teach us many truths about Him. As we read the Psalms, we should ask ourselves, “What does this psalm teach me about God?” In Psalm 100, we are told to worship the Lord with wholehearted joy, reverence, and gratitude.
In this first message in the new sermon series, “A Life of Praise,” Pastor Mitchell Gregory examines Luke 1:46-55. Mary’s song of worship upon receiving the angel’s news that she will bear Jesus, the Messiah, teaches us much about how to live a life of praise. Mary praised God in the depths of her soul. Her praise flowed from a mind and spirit saturated with scripture. She praised God for His power, holiness, mercy, and faithfulness.
What can we learn from the genealogy of Jesus found in the first chapter of Matthew? This sometimes overlooked list reveals that God is omnipotent, working out His purposes in history. God is also faithful to fulfill His promises. No one has ever trusted Him in vain. Finally, the genealogy shows God’s grace. Jesus was willing to be born through a line of sinners to come int the world and redeem us. Jesus, the Christ, is the messiah, the one anointed by God to pay the penalty for our sin and bring us peace with God.
“Thanks be unto God for His indescribable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15) Jesus is God’s love gift to a dark and gloomy world. In Isaiah 9:6-7, each of the names of Jesus reveal a priceless gift from God to us. He is our Wonderful Counselor – our source of divine wisdom. He is Mighty God – to be revered. He is Everlasting Father who loves us, and finally, He is our Prince of Peace bringing peace by having our guilt removed when we trust Him for salvation.
Pastor Gregory surveys the cross and reminds us of what Jesus meant when he said “It is finished.”
The Gospel is the good new to all who will believe and receive God’s forgiveness, deliverance, and salvation. The Gospel comes from God, who desires to give people grace for the glory of Jesus’ name and for our good. It is not a plan, but instead it is a person: Jesus Christ, who shares God’s nature and was sent to redeem.
What biblical realities motivate us to see the worthiness of witnessing? Sharing the Gospel matters for the sake of God’s glory. 2 Corinthians 5:11 calls us to lovingly warn and persuade others because of the grim reality of hell, the glorious guarantee of heaven, and the call of our God who is infinitely worthy of praise.
Earnest prayer is critical to the success of the Gospel. Pray that the Gospel will spread rapidly and be honored. Ask for God-arranged encounters and clarity of speech. Pray to overcome spiritual paralysis caused by fear. The apostle Paul prayed for each of these things in his letters the churches, and the evidence that God answered Paul’s prayers is found in the book of Acts.
Christ’s command is that we are to be His witnesses, energized and equipped by the Holy Spirit. We are called to make visible the love and holiness of God, for the authenticity of our testimony rests on how we love one another and pursue holiness. We must also resolve to speak the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation.
The “big picture” of the book of Acts is the demonstration of what it means to be a Holy Spirit empowered witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 1:1-11 bookmarks two significant events on God’s calendar: the Ascension of Jesus into heaven and His glorious future return. Our lives fall between these two events. As we await His coming again, all believers are promised the empowerment of the Spirit for the heralding of the Gospel, even in the face of opposition.