Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church - Reverend Michael T. Williams, Pastor



Rev. Michael T. Williams, Pastor


“TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH”
Matthew 13:22-31 KJV
22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
 
God has given to every man and woman a measure of faith.  In this passage of scripture, we see Peter's faith in action.

Peter is often described as impulsive.  Many times he spoke without thinking.  He even told Jesus what to do.  His impulsiveness sometimes got him into trouble.  Like Peter, we oftentimes have good intentions but the outcome is less than perfect.  Peter would do something great then turn around and mess it up.  However, he was among those in Jesus’ inner circle. 

Peter and the other disciples were on the boat when Jesus came walking on the water.  Peter had the courage to get out of the boat and walk to meet Jesus. 

When we are in our comfort zone, we don’t grow.  When Jesus stretches us out of our comfort zone we will never be the same.  If you want to grow, you must be willing to fail.

Peter waited for a confirmation from Jesus to bid him to come.  While walking on the water, the wind and the waves became boisterous. Then Peter prayed, “Lord, Save Me.”  We must put our pride aside and ask God for help.  You must have faith when you come to Jesus.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  Seek the Lord when you have a problem that you need him to solve. Amen! (February 21, 2016)

 



"The Conversion of the Tax Collector"

St. Luke 19:1-10
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 
 
 
In this passage of scripture, we are introduced to Zacchaeus, a tax collector.  The tax collectors worked for the Roman government.  The Roman government oppressed the people.

The people knew that the tax collectors overcharged them and pocketed the excess money.  Whenever the people did not have enough money for their taxes, the tax collectors would take their possessions.  Therefore, the tax collectors were despised by the people.  We must be honest in our practices.

One day Jesus passed through Jericho.  Because of his small stature, Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of this man, Jesus.  Zacchaeus had no idea that he would have a personal encounter with the Lord and it would be life changing.  When you need something from the Lord, you will go to whatever lengths necessary to obtain it.  When Jesus saw Zacchaeus, he told him to come down as he wanted to go home with him. 
Jesus comes to the common man.  We should not be concerned about notoriety.  Come to Jesus as you are – he is looking for the meek and lowly.

The presence of the Lord Jesus in Zacchaeus’ house transformed the atmosphere.  Jesus did not speak of Zacchaeus’ deeds but Zacchaeus began to confess his deeds to Jesus and promise to pay back all he stole with interest.

Confession is good for the soul.  If we humble ourselves, God will exalt us.  The time was right for Zacchaeus’ salvation.  The time is right for yours too. Amen! (February 7, 2016)






"The Joy of Christmas"

St. Luke 2:8-18
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.


Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.  We must choose to keep the joy in Christmas.  Happiness depends on what is happening but joy comes from within.  Take the focus off of ourselves and look for someone to bless.

The Lord has given us the garment of praise for our heaviness.  When we praise God, our load is lightened. 

Is there room in your heart for Jesus?  Is your agenda too full of things that prevent you from reading the Word of God or praying?  The joy of Christmas is Jesus!  Therefore, choose Joy!




"Consequences of Sin"
Romans 5:12-15 (KJV)

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
What is sin?  Sin is missing the mark.  To use an analogy of a bow and arrow: every time you miss the bulls eye - that's sin.

The wages of sin is death.  It is the consequence of not obeying God.

Adam was the first man and through him all sin entered the world.  Many churches are predominantly female because men have not taken their rightful place in the church.

We are justified by faith because when God sees us He sees the blood of Jesus.  The law cannot save us.  We must accept what Jesus has done for us.  If we sin, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ.

We should be like a smoke detector when it comes to sin.  We should be sensitive to our sins.  The devil tries to fool us to believe that one sin may be bigger than another sin.  However, there are no big sins or little sins.  When we sin, we place ourselves under the judgment of God.  Just like the flood during Noah's time when God judged His people.

Sometimes we develop the habits of the people we associate with. Subconsciously, we start behaving like the people we surround ourselves with.  Therefore, as a Church family, we should come to Bible study and church and be around the people who we fellowship with.

If the negative consequences of what we are doing wrong are greater than the benefits we are receiving, then we should stop doing what we are doing.  The same thing that got us in trouble will get us out.  The first man, Adam, got us in trouble; the last man, Jesus, got us out of trouble.  A tree (in the garden) got us in trouble; the tree (the cross), got us out of trouble.  A woman (Eve) got us in trouble; a woman (Mary) got us out of trouble.

There are no insurmountable problems.  Jesus is a problem solver.  Jesus will make a way for us to overcome sin. (September 20, 2015)



"The Power of Praise"
II Samuel 6:5-14

5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.
6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
8 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.
9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?
10 So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
11 And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household.
12 And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.
13 "And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.
14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod."

The Ark of the Lord was important to Israel.  However, David became displeased with God when God smote Uzzah for steadying the Ark of the Lord during transport to the City of David. Therefore, the Ark of the Lord was left in Obededom's house until David heard that Obededom's house was blessed because of the Ark of the Lord.  Then he went to retrieve the Ark of the Lord from Obededom's house with gladness.  He danced before the Ark of the Lord and made sacrifices unto God.

Praise is not just an emotion.  We praise God because of who He is and not because of what he does for us.  God is good by nature. We have witnessed David's praises through the numerous psalms that he wrote during some of the most difficult times in his life.

Our greatest work can come out of difficulty if we have the right attitude. We must learn to praise our way out of difficult situations.
We must learn to praise God even when we are uncomfortable.  If you don't know how to praise God, you will text, play video games, or allow your mind to wander when your pastor is preaching.  Amen! 






"Who is the Holy Spirit?"


John 14:25-31

"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence."
 
 
The Holy Spirit is not an it, but a He.  He is the third person of the Trinity: God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit has been here from the beginning.  Jesus explains in these scriptures that it is expedient (advantageous) for him to go away as the Father has promised to provide Believers with the Holy Spirit after his departure.

We are the Church; the called out ones.  The ones Jesus died for.  The prince of the power of the air, the devil, will come to attack the church.  Therefore, Jesus says that he will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit produces fruit.  Galatians 5:22 and 23 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith; Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  It is through the fruit that we recognize him in us.  The Holy Spirit controls us.  In the Old Testament, he came upon the people to do a work.  Now, in the New Testament, he lives in us.  The Holy Spirit is with us on our jobs, in our homes, and everywhere we go.  The Lord told us to be witnesses, not go witness.  The Holy Spirit empowers us.  He helps us to pray.  Romans 8:26, states, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  The Holy Spirit helps us in our worship.  John 4:24 states, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”  Do not quench (grieve) the Holy Spirit but let him have his way.  Amen. (March 1, 2015)


"How Great Is Your Faith?"
St. Luke 7:1-9

1Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

All of us have a measure of faith.  We may not all have the same level of faith.  As such, we must not condemn someone because their faith is not at the level of ours.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

In St. Luke 7:1-9, the centurion soldier had 100 men under his command.  He understood authority.  To be in authority, you must be under authority.  His servant was dear to him and his well-being was of concern to him.  When the centurion heard of Jesus, he sent word for him to come and heal his servant.  The centurion's faith moved Jesus.

As Believers, we have this confidence in God: if we pray, he hears us.  It is essential for us to experience pain and suffering as it makes us sensitive to the needs of others.  Some of our burdens are placed on us to keep us from being wayward.  We may feel as if God does not hear us when we pray or care about us.  But by faith, we must continue to pray and believe that God will hear and answer us.  Faith moves God and prayer will bring you through your adversity.
(December 7, 2014)




“The Goodness of God”
Psalm 107:1-9
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

In this text, the Psalmist deals with Israel and the goodness of God in their lives.  God brought Israel through the Sinai desert.  They wandered and found no city to dwell in.  They complained and God delivered them.

Psalm 90:2 states, “…from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”  We do not realize the fullness of God’s goodness until something distressing happens to us.  We must ask ourselves the question, how do I express thankfulness to God? The Word of God tells us that we must be thankful in all things.  God is worthy to be praised.

To appreciate God’s greatness, we need only look at his creation.  God is good and he is worthy to be praised.

(November 16, 2014)








"THE NAME OF JESUS"
Philippians 2:5-12 KJV
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
 
The only way we will know the mind of God is to study the scriptures.  Unlike the portrait of Jesus in the above scriptures, we like the trappings that go along with being an important person: recognition, luxury hotels, limousines, etc. Jesus left his splendor in glory and came to earth for us to get to know him.  He took on the form of a servant.  His primary purpose for coming to earth was to die.  We, that are Believers, know that He is the answer to all of our problems.

As we see in today’s text, God gave His Son a name that is above every name.  You can call the names of popular people, both past and present, but they are unable to answer or help you.  There is no other name that can deliver us like the name of Jesus.

Do you ever wonder what others think when they hear your name?  Does your name evoke a positive or negative response?  The Word of God tells us that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father. There is no other name like the name of Jesus. (Sunday, July 6, 2014)

 


"The Offering of Isaac"
 
Genesis 22:1-12 KJV

1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.


How would you feel if the thing you have prayed for was taken away from you?  Abraham had to deal with the thought of losing his son Isaac.

Sometimes following God does not make sense.  Therefore, we cannot follow God with our intellect.  We must trust and obey God.  

At the age of 75, Abraham was called out of the land of the Chaldeans.  He obeyed God and left his home and went where God led him.  God promised Abraham a son, but it was 25 years before the promise was fulfilled.  Abraham was 100 and his wife, Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born.  The birth of Isaac was a miracle.  Now that Abraham had the promise, God was asking him to give it up.  God will test us and help us pass our tests if we ask him.  

What are you sacrificing for the Lord?

(Excerpt from sermon on May 4, 2014) 




"Jesus, The King of the Jews"

St. Mark 15:1-14
And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.
And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.
And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
And they cried out again, Crucify him.
Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.


Today's message deals with the characteristics of a king.

Jesus was different from all earthly kings.  We know that a king is never voted into office like a politician.  If we ran for a political office, we would have to rely upon the votes of the people.  Jesus was born a king.

Herod and Augustus were worried about who Jesus was as they heard he was being called a king.  If you have to announce your position or your authority, then you have a problem with confidence.  If I have to tell everyone that I am the man of the house, then most likely I am not the man of the house.

Jesus did not have to talk about his authority and tell people who he was.  Who he was manifested itself.  In other words, Jesus exercised his authority.  Many marveled that they never heard anyone talk like Jesus talked.  He spoke with authority.

Jesus was King of kings and Lord of lords.  Jesus was not what people expected, therefore, some doubted his ability to deliver them.  Like Jesus, when you have the power, you do not have to flaunt it.  The power you possess will be demonstrated. 
(Excerpt from message delivered on Sunday, April 6, 2014)





"God Can Turn It Around"
II Kings 20:1-6
1) In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2) Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
3) I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
4) And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
5) Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
6) And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.


When you have been in a situation beyond your control and it turned around for you, you can truly say God did it.

In Second Kings chapter 20, God miraculously healed King Hezekiah.  Hezekiah was a good king.  He was one of the best kings of Judah.  His father worshiped idols but Hezekiah refused to follow in his father's footsteps.

Just like Hezekiah, we are not responsible for the situations we are born in. However, we have the opportunity to choose our own path.  We must create a larger vision of ourselves. When people are desperate they will do anything. You must have a vision of where you want to be.  Like Hezekiah, if you want long life, there are certain things you have to do.

First, Hezekiah turned his face to the wall.  In other words, he focused his attention on God.  Next, he prayed a fervent prayer to God for his healing. Then he reminded God of His promises.

We must never forget that God is faithful concerning His promises.  When we pour our hearts out to the Lord, He will hear us too.

(Excerpt from sermon on March 2, 2014)




"Prayer"
St. Matthew 6:5-8

5 "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."

Just as our bodies need proper exercise, sleep and diet, we also need regular prayer.

The following are five things that prayer will do for you:
1.  Through prayer, God will provide for your every need;
2.  You will develop an intimate relationship with God;
3.  You will become more productive in every area of your life;
4.  You will have peace in the midst of pressure; and
5.  You will develop a passion to obey God.

Jesus did not say if, but when, you pray do not be like the hypocrites who do it for show.

Prayer is our communication with God.  It demonstrates our reliance on God.  Jesus recognized the need to pray to the Father.

We must have a time and place to pray.  When we pray, we should be specific about our needs.

Remember to take time to pray, have a place to pray, and a purpose for prayer.  Amen!
(excerpt from January 5, 2014 sermon on Prayer)




“Have You Helped Anybody Lately?”

St. Luke 10:29-36 KJV
"But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"

All of us can think back to two or three years ago when we did something for someone else.  But the question is, can you think of something that you have done lately?
 
In this text, we observe a conversation that Jesus had with a lawyer.  This lawyer had a mindset that he knew everything.  So, Jesus uses a parable to help him to understand that no matter what you think you know you can always learn something.

The setting for this parable was Jericho.  Jericho was known for its crime.  The city had a lot of places for people to hide.  St. Luke writes in this text of a man who was beaten, robbed and left for dead.  A priest and a Levite saw the man but did not offer any help.  A Samaritan stopped and cared for the man.  The man left for dead received help from an unlikely source.
 
God creates situations to see if we really love and care about people.  If we become too comfortable and complacent God can’t use us.  We sing the song, “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior[1]” but we tend to pass people by that need our help.  Are you willing to make a sacrifice to help somebody else?
(Excerpt from Sunday's message dated November 17, 2013)
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[1] Francis J. Crosby, Lyrics and William Howard Doane, Music.




"Christian Stewardship"
St. Matthew 25:14-30 KJV

14 "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. Please click here to read remaining scriptures... 

In today's sermon, I'll start by telling you what stewardship is not. Stewardship is not accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as savior, joining the Church and giving money.

Stewardship is defined as to house or to arrange.  The biblical concept of stewardship is manager.  It is management of whatever God has entrusted to you.

In St. Matthew 25:14-30, the master of the house entrusted his money to five servants.  He wanted to see how the servants would manage his money. The talents in this text were a sum of money.  One talent equaled the sum of a $1,000.

As servants of God and stewards of his resources, we need to know how to become good managers.  First, we must acknowledge that God owns everything.  Then we must be careful who we allow to influence us. As a farmer does not sow into infertile ground, we too must not attach ourselves to individuals who are unproductive.

What kind of manager are you?

(Excerpt from Sunday's sermon, November 3, 2013)



"I’m Just Waiting On The Lord"

Isaiah 40:28-31 KJV reads,: 
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
 
What are you waiting for the Lord to do for you?

Wait means to look for or hope for something.  While waiting, we must continue doing the Lord’s work.  Don’t complain while you wait.  We need to be busy helping others.  When we do this, we focus less on our own problems.

Israel was in captivity 70 years.  During this time, they probably had become discouraged.  But, they never gave up hope or lost their faith.  Like Israel, we become discouraged when we think God has forgotten us.  Remember that there are no hopeless situations just people who lose hope.

God is a restorer of our faith.  On Calvary’s cross, Jesus paid it all.  All of our sins were placed on him.  If you cry unto the Lord with an earnest and sincere cry, he will hear you.  Whatever you are waiting for don’t give up hope.
(Excerpt from Sermon on Sunday, October 20, 2013)






"The Difference Between the Creature and the Children of God"

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”   II Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Everyone is not a child of God.  All of us were born in sin and shaped in iniquity.  No one is born saved.  All of us are creatures of God but not all of us are children of God.

At the creation of Adam, we all became creatures of God.  In Adam, all died.  In Christ, we are all alive.  What is the distinction between creatures of God and children of God?  We all have things in our past that we regret.  If we are to display the characteristics of a Christian, we must restrain ourselves from acting on instinct.  We need to find out what God has created us to do.

We become the children of God through regeneration.  Regeneration is a spiritual renewal, a rebirth.  It signifies a change in our heart and our mind.  “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.”  There is a difference in the way we think.  “…Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind...” Romans 12:2
(Excerpt from message of August 18, 2013)

"I'm In The Lord's Hands"

Jeremiah 18:1-6
You are either in the Lord's hands or satan's - there is no middle ground. Once you choose a side, you reject the other.  At birth, God determines your talents and abilities.  What God has blessed you with should be used to glorify Him.
 
Jeremiah was God's prophet.  He was called to serve God's people.  He was consecrated and set apart to hear from God.  God will break the will of those he uses before they do his will.   Our parents used to tell us that they would break us from our bad habits.  God will warn his people before something happens.  The people were stiff-necked and rebelled against God as they worshiped idol gods for years.
 
Jeremiah cared about God's people.  He delivered his messages with tears. God sent Jeremiah down to the potter's house with a word for his people.  We are all vessels of clay to be molded by God.  The people heard the word from God that Jeremiah delivered but they did not heed the word.  Judgment was brought against the people.  They spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon. When you turn from your way and turn to God, he will turn away the judgment he intended. God uses nations to restrain other nations.  All of us should have restraints on ourselves.  The more of God's word that we have on the inside of us helps us to be better people.

(excerpt from July 21, 2013 message)



"God Answers Prayer"

This Psalm demonstrates that God answers prayer.  David reflects on the goodness of God.

In Psalm 142, David was being pursued by Saul.  Saul was trying to kill David because of David's popularity with the people and he stood in the way of Jonathan's (Saul's son) ascension to the throne.  David was a man after God's heart.  God protected David as he hid in a cave.  David had 400 men with him but he was afraid of Saul.

David cried out unto the Lord.  As David, we must learn to praise God in whatever situation we are in.  We must spend time with God and be honest in our prayers.  We must not allow our prayers to become robotic.  We must not regurgitate what we have heard others say.  We must be sincere with God. Just as God delivered David, he will deliver us from all of our distresses. Amen.

(Excerpt from the Sunday morning message on July 7, 2013)





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