Buying What’s Already Yours

Hosea had the humiliating experience of having to buy his wife Gomer back from her adultery (Hosea 3:1-3). Think of buying back what is already yours! Yet that is what God did for us.

Gomer never again left her husband. How could she, after love like that? I am a weak brother indeed if after looking at Calvary and being brought home to God’s house, I am not loyal and grateful. —Glyn Evans

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No Excuses

This is Jim Thorpe. Look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field. On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were stolen. Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can. That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock. Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day. This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back. So what if life hasn’t been fair? What are you going to do about it today? Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, failed business, don’t let it stop you from running your race. You can experience more in life if you’ll get over the excuses and get on with living. You can have reasons or you can have results…but you can’t have both.

#noexcuses

By Toni Lamb Forsyth

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I am the Light of the World – Jesus

View the sermon HERE

Or, the entire service HERE

Sermon Notes:

 

Opening: Ever come down the stairs in the dark?  I should’ve counted… Light guides and protects…  Missed the last step… Guides my step and protects my backside…  Guides my eye – where to step [exposure]; Protects my ignorance – unknown. By exposure.

Introduction:

Series: I AM statements… All in John.  John’s regular use of light – PHOS. Uses in John’s Gospel      23; Uses in the NT      73

Key Text: John 8:12 (NIV)

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me [“whoever becomes my disciple.” Adherent] will never walk in darkness, but will have [possess, have, hold] the light of life.” “the light that shows people how they may live.”

 

Who He is… LIGHT. What we are to do… FOLLOW.  What we then become… LIGHT or REFLECTORS

 

3 Action Steps from this verse: KNOW the LIGHT.  FOLLOW the LIGHT.  BE the LIGHT.

 

Worship Song.  Here I am to Worship… “Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see…”

Jesus Christ is LIGHT, He is the Active Power that dispels darkness – light of truth, dispelling darkness of falsehood; wisdom/ignorance; holiness/impurity; joy/sorrow; life/death [things don’t grow in the dark –light promotes life and growth].

The more immediate context of our verse John 8:12 is chapter 7 – and the Feast of Tabernacles [Feast of Lights].  Teaching, division and disputes ch. 7-12…

Setting and Context:  Festival of Tabernacles [Feast of Lights] – remembering God’s provision during 40 years of wondering in the wilderness… Guidance via Pillar of Fire.

Festival and Dawn.  Exodus 13:21-22 “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Part of the context is developing the reaction from the religious leaders who knew that Jesus was saying he was God and the Messiah based on prophesy in OT Isaiah 42 + 49 – “make my servant, my chosen one, upon whom I put my Spirit, a light for the nations [world]…”

Nearly the last verse of OT… Malachi 4:2 (NIV) “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays…”

When Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms in the temple he sang:  “… because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death.” (Luke 1:78–79)

Glorified Christ in Rev. 1 – “His face was like the sun shining in all it’s brilliance.”

Reaction – Prove it!  Never enough proof when selfish agendas are the priority.

Jesus claims escalate the animosity towards him by the religious leaders. “I am the light of the world.” The emphatic ἐγώ means I and I alone, I and no other. I, I indeed! Does the exclusivity of Jesus and his claims escalate you? Humbling

Look at the strong reaction in v. 13… WHY?  John 3:19 (NIV) “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

 

  1. Know the light.

 

What is Light, it’s impact/influence – what does it do?

Light exposes things – No secrets… Women of earlier verses… The woman didn’t come to Jesus but her dark deeds were exposed. Even when your secrets are exposed, Jesus offers forgiveness.

Light overcomes / dispels darkness – Hubble, no place universe where light doesn’t penetrate darkness… Black holes… Darkness does not consume light.  Open door house, light goes out; darkness doesn’t come in…

Light is a guide, Shows the way… would you rather have a map or a guide? Family Olympics at Bethany Beach – blind folded… I’d rather be guided by the light of the sun than the instructions of man…

Light brings order out of chaos… Genesis 1:3–5, God has always been about using light to separate darkness. God speaks into the chaos and brings order.  Darkness often signifies chaos and evil.  Light signifies life, illumination, vision… Do you have life, been illuminated, have a vision?  Comes from Jesus, the LIGHT of the world.

Light causes fear to those content/comfortable with their sin… John 3:19–21 (NIV)

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Are you afraid?  Ps 27 says THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND SALVATION, SO WHY SHOULD I BE AFRAID… IS HE YOUR LIGHT?  Your Salvation?

I am THE light, not A light… many illumination options… what lights your path…

Do YOU know the Light?  Matthew 7:21–23 (NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

So, now we know that Jesus is Light… Is that enough?  Know Cal Ripken, Ray Lewis… Know about, vs. Know them personally

 

You know about them, but do you KNOW them?

Hobbit from Lord of the Rings…

 

John 8:24 “ if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” Inherited sin… Believe = confidence, trust, faith, commitment…

 

To know intellectually vs. apprehend/trust.  Who He is, What He’s Done…

Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker, especially owed his celebrity and fortune to his idea to cross the Niagara Gorge (on the Canada–US border) on a tightrope, 1,100 ft (340 m) long, 3.25 in (8.3 cm) in diameter and 160 ft (49 m) above the water, near the location of the current Rainbow Bridge. This he did on 30 June 1859, and a number of times thereafter, often with different theatrical variations: blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelette,[3] or standing on a chair with only one of its legs balanced on the rope

 

Blondin/Chair/Demons. Who He is [John 1:1, 4-5, 14; and restated over and over]… What He did…His Mission Statement – John 12:46 (NIV) “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

 

Believes!  What does that mean?  Linguist with Wycliff Bible Translators [Natalie]

 

John 12:36 (NIV)

36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

 

Do you KNOW Him, the Light?  Trust Him today!

 

  1. 2. Follow the light… If you’ve got it, use it!

Having the light is good, following it is better!

 

Chainsaw, what’s that noise?, don’t carry a flashlight and not turn the light on – you will trip.

 

To KNOW God is to be justified; to FOLLOW Him is to be sanctified.  There is more!  1 John 2:6; Phil 1:6.  Receiving Christ is not a finish line, but a starting line.

 

Where he leads me I will follow, feeds/swallow –; Festival – Pillar of fire: You stop, I stop; you go, I go… Prov 3:5-6

 

The word follow is used of a slave following a master, a military term of following a leader, a student following a teacher. It is used to following the law.

How does He lead us:  Word, Spirit, People… Must saturate yourself in Word, Eccl 12; Hid my heart. Lamp unto my feet.

Leads me Follow; Feeds me Swallow.

Will you follow Him into a dessert?  Hosea 2

How does he lead from HERE to THERE?  Big decisions…

 

He’s the Leader / GuideLight is a guide, Shows the way… would you rather have a map or a guide? thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, don’t carry a flashlight and not turn the light on – you will trip.

 

Psalm 119:105 (NIV) Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

 

Photography – overexposure. God offers just the right exposure.  Doesn’t blind us like a spot light [Frederick – shine the spot], just enough light to take the next step. [Lights down]

 

How does He lead?  Word, Spirit, People

 

Follow, safety motorcycle in rain truck lights.  Lamp / Light unto my path – not spotlight… 1 step at a time [give us this day our daily bread] Dependence.

 

Inner harbor fireworks return trip. Motorcycle ride back in the rain, Proverbs 3 5 and 6.  Be a disciple, go along…to follow (a leader) v. — to accept and follow the leadership, command, or guidance of.  Follow = obey, be a disciple… Vision of BCC – To be a multicultural body of fully devoted followers of Christ moving forward in unity & love to reach our community, our culture & our world for Jesus Christ.

 

We must stay close to the light… Camping, campfire or need latrine at night.

 

He’s the Master – To follow is to submit to the master… Who’s in charge?

John 12:26 (NIV) 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

 

James 1:1 (NIV) “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” Brother! Vs. Slave, doulos – at times translated Bondservant… 126 times in NT, theme?

 

He Illuminates – Part of following Jesus means that we allow him and even beg him 2 expose our darkness.

 

Psalm 139:23–24 (NIV)

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

To Follow is to Imitate… school Leader or Follower?  Followers try to imitate…

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NIV) “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” WWJD

 

  1. Be the light or reflect the light. John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” HAVE, not just SEE but Posess!  Now let it shine!

Only communicable trait in the I AM statements… bread, way, truth, life, vine, gate…

Philippians 2:15 (NIV) “…you will shine among them like stars in the sky”

Matthew 5:14–16 (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

This Little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine hide it under a bushel no I’m going to let it shine. Coach George in the hot tub. Dispel darkness… Cordish language 1st and 2nd.

 

Ephesians 5:8–9 (NIV) 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

 

How are your reflectors? Dirt bike reflectors…

 

If Light dispels Darkness, YOU can dispel darkness… People come at you Dark, give ‘em Light.  Karate – soft on hard…

 

We can interpret circumstances correctly, and help others. James 1, Rom 8:28. Everything takes on the new light with the illumination of Jesus! Difficulties, death, tragedy. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints… The light illuminates everything for us so that we see it accurately. God sheds light on tragedy and death to allow us to see his Divine purposes.  Light helps us see with our eyes and see with our hearts the better story. People who are the light help others have a new perspective. We are naturally encouragers because we see God working where they may only see circumstances. God is too wise, loving, powerful…

2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV) 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

  

Colossians 1:13–14 (NIV)

13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

KNOW the LIGHT.  FOLLOW the LIGHT.  BE the LIGHT.

 

 

 

 

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Inviting Others to Become Followers of Jesus

In his excellent book “Jesus Christ, Disciplemaker”, Bill Hull discusses 4 progressive steps to following Jesus…

Come and See
Come and Follow Me
Come and Be with Me
Remain in Me

How can we “be with”, and then “remain”? How can we invite those we know to take the first, or next, step?

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Want Revival?

Revival is anything but pleasant; it is a searching, searing time when God’s holiness burns hotly against our sins. It is knowing that God is a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29); knowing God’s “terror” (2 Corinthians 5:11, KJV); and crying out, “Woe is me” (Isaiah 6:5).

Revival has one chief aim – the removal of sin and the purifying of the believer.

Revival itself concerns two parties, God and His people. The message of revival is: What are you doing about your piled-up sins? Revival is a sign that, because of His thinning patience, God has moved His people to confession. But it also means something else: God loves us so much that He is anxious to put us back into a right relationship with Himself. In revival, God says, “I love you, so get rid of your sins.”. -Glyn Evans.

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One White Man’s Resolution regarding Racial Reconciliation in America

I had the honor of presenting my perspective on Racial Reconciliation at Bridgeway Community Church on Sunday, October 14th, 2018.  Listen to the entire presentation on YouTube HERE.  Or, on Facebook HERE.  Podcast download HERE.

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Racial Reconciliation from a White Man’s Perspective

I had the honor of presenting my perspective on Racial Reconciliation at Bridgeway Community Church on Sunday, October 14th, 2018.  Listen to the entire presentation on YouTube HERE.  Or, on Facebook HERE. Podcast download HERE.

I’ve shared a few thoughts and images from the presentation below, including my personal resolution.

I’m late to the party when it comes to this topic, humbly standing on the shoulders of my teachers: David Anderson, John Perkins, Craig Garriott, and Robert Gelinas.  I speak not as an Expert Witness, but only a Witness – offering my perspective.

Is there a problem?  We have a 250 year legacy of slavery from 1619-1865.  And, then a century of extreme mistreatment leading to the Civil Rights movement.  And, today we still have inequitable access to education, culture, justice, and income.

The problems are many, and not the thrust of this presentation… Let’s think solution.

Solutions are based on the principles of the Bible, here are some informative verses to support multiculturalism, equality, and reconciliation…

2 Corinthians 5:17–18 (NIV) 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” [= “to reestablish proper friendly interpersonal relations after these have been disrupted or broken”]  God broke down the walls, and we resurrected them… Not subtraction by reduction, but additional by enhancement and enrichment…  Better together…

Ephesians 2:14-16, 18 (NIV)

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jew/Gentile] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, [we are compatriots, better yet – family – we are better together – Enhances Life, Enriches, Broadens] 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

 

Galatians 3:26–28 (NIV)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Racial Reconciliation must include Confession.

Nehemiah 1:6 (NIV) “let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.”  Wait a minute! 605-445 BC. Nehemiah confessed the sins of his ancestors that occured 160 years earlier.  In America, we are only 153 years removed from slavery… – 1865-2018.  Moreover, what of the ongoing oppression AT LEAST through the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, and we’ve demonstrated that we STILL have inequities and differentiating favor and access today.  I wish to acknowledge and take responsibility for the favor I’ve been entitled to in America as a white man.

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