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Author Archives: Anthony

About Anthony

Christian-Husband to a beautiful and loving wife-Father of 5 wonderful children-Teacher/Preacher at New Life-Elder-Pilot

Sermon Notes

I’d like to share what I took away from last Sunday’s sermon. Daniel preached about the first three main themes as he began his overview of the first part of Ephesians.

The first main point is that we get to worship and praise the One True God. It is an awesome honor and freedom that we serve the God of all gods. Isaiah 45 states, ‘There is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; There is none besides me”. God is eternal, immortal, wise, and to be one of His own and to bring honor and glory to Him is an awesome privilege, not a task. The second point is that a real spiritual world is all around us. We as Christians know this intellectually, yet we forget it as we live our daily lives. Ephesians 6 talks about our struggles aren’t against flesh and blood, rather against principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness. If God is for us, who can be against us? But, we must realize we are in a fight, not against your neighbor, but against Satan and his forces. “In Christ” was the third and biggest point Sunday for me. “In Christ” is a stupendous reality. Do you realize that: IN CHRIST

-you were given grace before the world was created

-you were chosen by God before creation

-you are loved with an inseparable love

-you are redeemed and forgiven of your sins

-you are justified before God

-you are a new creation

-you have been seated in heavenly places

-your promises are YES and AMEN

-you are being sanctified

-you have eternal life

In Christ is a wonderful truth. Union with Christ Jesus is the only ground of true joy, and it is free.

As we continue our study of Ephesians, let me invite you to look at our reading plan of this book. It seems like over kill to begin with, but as we continue to read and study this part of God’s word, I know we will be blessed in our daily lives and begin to see that all things good are “IN CHRIST”.

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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Bible, Life, Other, Sermons

 

Culture vs. Bible

I have always known that the world and the Bible doesn’t mix. Most times they are like oil and water. But I haven’t really considered that the culture we live in today is opposed to Biblical fellowship.

The Bible is clear on the way we are to “do” church. By that I mean, the book of Acts along with many other passages show us what a Biblically functioning church is to look like. The church is where no one fights alone, no one sits alone, and no one stands alone. We are a community of faith that is closer than family. All the “one another’s” in the Bible are to be acted out, not just memorized. Christian fellowship isn’t a matter of choice, it’s a matter of obedience. Jesus prayed for us in the last hours before dying for our sins. He prayed that we be one, that we would live in unity. Why did He pray this? So that the world would see us and then believe that He was God’s son. We are to cry when members of our church family cry, and rejoice when they rejoice. All this sounds easy in theory, yet you know like I do, often times it is hard to live out daily.

The world has different views and values concerning fellowship. It seems they have abandoned the values once held by most. Words like independence, control, comfort, and ME dominate their attitudes. They don’t want to be held accountable. They don’t want to submit. Words such as citizenship and tradition aren’t in their vocabulary.

So looking at these two views on fellowship, I have to ask you and myself some questions. Has the culture of today influenced my values? Am I willing to subject my life to the body of Christ? Am I too independent, thinking that I always know best? Do I live my life according to what the Bible shows me to live? The “church goer” in me screams all the correct answers to these questions, but am I “Christ Like”?

It may be that we have taught so much on ones personal love relationship with Christ, that we have neglected teaching on the fellowship of Christ. Yes, you have a personal, one on one relationship with Jesus and that is the foundation of our belief, yet that isn’t an end. God is not only in the business of saving individuals, He is  concerned in forming a people, a community of believers. Our spiritual gifts and the love of God isn’t meant to be hoarded, but rather shared in a body so that the world may see Jesus.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Church, Community

 

Worshipping Who?

I would like to bring together two ideas of current events. We are preaching a sermon series on “Why Church?”. What is the purpose of our church? We have concluded that all churches should have the same purpose. We are to DCOW, right? Discipleship, Community, Outreach, and Worship are the four purposes of all Bible believing churches. Daniels latest message was on worship. We are to worship God, not just on Sunday morning, not just during the praise and worship music, but rather we are to worship God 24/7. Daniels questions in his last blog got me to thinking. The questions are elementary at first glance. What do you have to worship God about? Why do you worship God? What do you have to worship and praise God for? These and the other questions kinda slid through my mind without any real answers.

After some thought, I had to ask myself another important question. Who do I worship? Who do you worship? Your answer and mine is, “God, of course”. What if we would record every word spoken from us today. Record the whole week while we are at it. Now, listening to the playback, let me ask again. Who do we worship? All the complaining, bellyaching, critical, discontented, dissenting, fretting, grumbling, lamenting, moaning, murmuring, resentful, weeping and whining that we would hear! Now I know we would hear some true worship as well, but would it be proportional?

My point is this. Daniel preached on worship Sunday. It is the Christmas season. Can these two thoughts be linked? Read Matthew 2:1-2.

 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,  2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to WORSHIP Him.

Friends, just as the wise men had to seek after Jesus, we must as well. We have to purposely seek after Him daily. We must watch our negative speech and attitudes and be mindful to bring honor and glory to God our Father each day. Each moment of each day! If we aren’t careful, we will be doing just the opposite. We will give credit to the enemy and not our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us worship the true King!

“It is a wonder how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow-men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.” Helen Keller

 

 

Pray for Daniel

That got your attention huh? You are expecting me to tell you he is sick, he lost his job, or maybe his wife gave him a black eye. Lots of times when we request prayer for someone, we Christians care more for the “gossip” than we do the actual prayer request don’t we?

But do pray for Daniel. He has the awesome privilege and responsibility to preach this week on WORSHIP. I am so excited about this sermon series.  He covered Outreach last week in his sermon, Worship will be this week, and then we will cover the other two purposes of the church, Fellowship and Discipleship.

Daniel not only uses his musical gifts to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior on Sunday mornings, he realizes that it isn’t a one time a week event. He and I both want to share with you that often times there is a disconnect between the God we worship on Sunday morning and the God we follow during the week. Friends, worship matters! It matters because God is the only One worthy of our praise. It matters because worshipping God is the very reason that we were created.

Worship isn’t primarily about music, techniques, songs, and emotion. Worship is about our hearts. It’s about what and who we love more than anything else.

My prayer today is that Daniel will be encouraged. I pray that he will bring forth God’s word in a way that only the Holy Spirit can empower. I pray for my heart. I pray for the heart of those in attendance this week, that we will be able to receive His word.

 
 

I don’t hate them Daniel…….

Or do I? We watched a video Sunday with Penn Jillette speaking. He is an atheist but tells of a man who gave him a Bible and told him of the love of Christ. Penn, although not converted yet, respects the man for sharing his beliefs. If a Mack truck is going to hit you, says Penn, will I not push you out-of-the-way of harm? Penn goes on to ask, “how much do you have to hate someone to not share Jesus with them, if in fact that is what you believe”. Likewise, in Daniels blog Monday, one of his discussion questions ask the same question. I have to ask myself. Do I hate my friends and family whom I don’t share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with? Do I hate those in my circle of influence if I don’t tell them of the wonderful love of God? If I just invite them to church, is that OK?

When I hear Penn or Daniel ask the question, “how much do you have to hate…”, I want to scream. “NO! I don’t hate them! I don’t hate anyone.” Well, if that is a true statement, why don’t I share Christ? If it isn’t hate, then what is it? It is just that I am too busy. It’s not a priority. I have other agendas. There is so much to do and so little time. I have work, kids, a wife, a handicapped mother, school, church, sports, and so many other things that are screaming for my attention. It is not a priority right now in my life.

Wait a minute! I’m too busy with….what is that C word I used? Church? I am too busy with church? That’s an excuse for not showing the love of God and sharing the good news to others? Church? Seems that I am conflicted. Seems that I need to refocus my priorities.

Perhaps another reason I don’t share is that I don’t truly see the relevance of church in my own life. Yes, I attend most Sundays, but it really isn’t all that life changing. During the week, I don’t see Christ at work in me or around me. Church is just something I do.

Priorities. That is what it come down to. If I am too busy with anything, not to share Christ, then I am too busy. If I don’t see God at work around me, then I am too busy. If church isn’t relevent to my life, then I need to ask why.

Let me encourage you to evaluate your priorities. The greatest command is to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor. These two need to be your priority. Once Christ is first in your life, you can’t help but to share his love with others.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Church, Church Growth, Other, Sermons

 

Thanksgiving?

Pretty funny huh? These turkeys look like turkeys, they are the size of turkeys, they have feathers like turkeys, yet they sound like what? Cows.

I wonder how many times I look like a Christian, yet I sound differently. So many times it is easy to fall into a critical spirit and do a lot of complaining.I often find fault with everyone, except myself, of course. On this Thanksgiving eve let me encourage you to guard your spirit and think upon the things that only bring glory and honor to our Lord and Savior. Psalm 100 is always a great passage to read to remind me of just how good God is to me.

Psalm of Thanksgiving.

 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Other

 

Football Stories

 

Can the Carolina Panthers find another way to lose? I bet they can! I was so disappointed in their loss Sunday. Even though we were winning with less than 2 minutes on the clock we were able to allow our opponents to not only score a touchdown but to also get the 2 point conversion to tie the game. We lost in overtime. Anyway, let’s put a spiritual spin on a football story.

Imagine that we are TV sportscasters standing on the sidelines of a football game to give the play-by-play.

 The team nearest us is standing together, heads bowed in prayer, with the coach in the center. Suddenly they give a great cheer, and the coach trots out onto the field by himself. The players go sit on the bench. “What’s going on?” we ask as we stick a microphone in front of a 250 pound guard. “What’s the coach doing out there?” “Oh, he’s going to play today.” “All by himself?” “Sure, why not? He’s had a lot more experience and training than the rest of us. We’ve got a lot of rookies on this team, and we might make mistakes. Anyway, they pay the coach well (HA). We’re all here to cheer and support him–and look at the huge crowd that’s come to watch him play!” Bewildered, we watch as the opposing team kicks off. The coach catches the ball. He valiantly charges upfield, but is buried under eleven opposing tacklers. He’s carried off half- conscious…  You think that’s ridiculous? But isn’t it the picture many of us have of the church? The members expect the minister to do the preaching, praying, witnessing, and visiting because he’s paid to do the Lord’s work and he’s better trained. But listen to God’s Game Plan. According to Ephesians 4:11-12, Christ has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers “to prepare God’s people for works of service.” God gives leaders to the church, not to do all the work, but to help all of God’s people to do it! Lay people are not there simply to pay pastors and evangelists to do the Lord’s work. Rather, pastors, evangelists, and teachers are to equip the so-called lay people to be ministers! Your pastor is meant to be a kind of playing coach. His main function is to help you as a Christian discover your spiritual gifts, develop them, and use them to build up the Body of Christ.

I thank God daily for you guys at NLFF. You truly know that God has gifted all of us to be ministers. Let’s all recommit to be salt and light to a hurting world.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Other

 
 
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