This is the sermon for Sunday morning, November 2nd, 2008. Attached is also the video that will be played before I preach the sermon.
What a powerful news story. Isn’t it neat that in the midst of ugly election campaigns, and all the bad news about our economy and other things, we see some good news. How many of you noticed the smile on the woman’s face that bought back the foreclosed house of the other woman? You can tell she didn’t worry about the money she spent, or even if the other woman would pay her back or not, but she found pleasure in meeting this woman’s need. And in finding pleasure in doing this, she wound up pleasing the distressed woman whose house was foreclosed.
Let me ask a question of all of us this morning, “Is pleasure, or finding things that please us individually always a bad thing? I mean, sometimes in churches and other Christian functions you can hear many a minister, or person just rail and rail against pleasure. You might have heard something like, “well, don’t live for pleasure, because living for pleasure is a sin!” Well is living for pleasure a sin?
I guess it all boils down to how you define pleasure or what you find pleasure in.
Pleasure defined is, “the state or feeling of being pleased; enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking; gratification; delight.”
We need to understand something this morning. I don’t believe that pleasure is wrong, neither do I think the pursuing of pleasure is wrong either. God created this desire for us to have pleasure in our lives.
The problem is not having pleasure, but what ultimately pleases us.
In this morning’s sermon our main point is: Christ-followers are discovering that we should receive ultimate pleasure in living, and seeking to please our Lord.
God has some wonderful things to say about pleasure in Psalm 16. So this morning, we are going to go through this Psalm, verse by verse, so just allow the Lord to speak to you as we do.
1. We should find pleasure in the fact that the Lord is our refuge.
Psalm 16:1 ISV – Keep me safe, O God, for I take refuge in you. 2 I said to the LORD, “You are my master, I have nothing good apart from you.”
In the video, we saw the woman whose house was foreclosed going to the auction, just as a way of closure and to say goodbye to the house.
I’m sure she had some wonderful memories there. I’m sure that living in that house pleased her. She was definitely going through a distressful difficult circumstance. And then someone showed up, not intending of being a refuge, but becoming a refuge for this sad lady. She was pleased to meet her need, not matter the cost.
I know that many of you here this morning are going through some difficult circumstances as well.
You wonder if maybe God has abandoned you. Things seem to just pile up on you all at once. Know this one thing this morning: Christ Jesus is a strong refuge that we can run too. He is our master, meaning He is in control and any good that we do have we don’t receive apart from Him. Please get this, during time of sorrow and pain, take pleasure in the fact that the Lord is your refuge, then run to Him and ask Him to keep you safe.
Let’s look at the next two verses of Psalm 16.
2. Find pleasure in the fellowship of other believers.
Psalm 16:3-4 ISV – 3 As for the saints that are in the land, they are noble, and all my delight is in them. 4 Those who hurry after another god will multiply sorrows; I won’t present their drink offerings of blood, nor will my lips speak their names.
When we come together, it is more than just to study Scripture, sing a few songs and pray and then go home.
Another aspect that we tend to miss is that we also come together to fellowship with one another. In my opinion, fellowshipping with one another is just as important as our fellowship with the Lord. How can I say this? Well a couple of reasons.
First off, it is not God’s design or plan for us to be lone ranger Christians. His desire is for us to edify one another, encourage one another, strengthen one another and correct one another in His love. The life we live and share is one that we must live together.
Another reason that we should find pleasure in fellowship with other believers is because it is Scriptural.
Acts 2:42 ISV – They continually devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to times of prayer.
Hebrews 10:23-25 ISV – 23 Let us continue to hold firmly to the hope that we confess without wavering, for the one who made the promise is faithful. 24 And let us continue to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day coming nearer.
Let’s be honest for a moment. We live in a day and time that people will make all kinds of excuses for either not being in church, or not fellowshipping with one another.
Let’s look at a few of these excuses.
• I’m a quiet person and I’m uncomfortable around others.
• I don’t like the music or the preaching in the church service.
• I’d rather have discussion type sermons that preaching type sermons, so I won’t come to the Sunday morning service while someone is preaching.
• My only day off is Sunday and I like to spend time with my family.
• Someone has offended me, or they don’t like me, or we have conflict.
All those are excuses, nothing more. Church and Christian fellowship isn’t about any of those things listed.
Let’s ask these set of questions based off of Hebrews 10.
• How can you hold on firmly to the hope you have without fellowship with fellow believers? You can’t.
• How can you stimulate one another to love and good deeds if you are not going to church or fellowshipping with other believers? You can’t.
• How can you encourage another believer to hold on as times get closer to the second coming without church and fellowship? You can’t.
The bottom line is Church, we should find pleasure in one another, especially during the times we live in.
Let’s look at the next thing we should find pleasure in.
3. Find pleasure in the Lord and His provision.
Psalm 16:5-6 ISV – 5 The LORD is my inheritance and my cup; you support my lot. 6 The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me; truly, I have a beautiful heritage.
Rejoice over the fact that the Lord is your inheritance, not your circumstances. Those whom He loves He also promises to provide for.
Notice the phrase “boundary lines.”
That got me thinking. I believe that this might be saying that God has boundaries, or limits that your problems and circumstances cannot cross. There is a point He will declare, “You cannot cross this line.” And while there are boundary lines that circumstances cannot cross, our God crosses all barriers and boundary lines to provide for His children. No matter how bad it might be, it could always be much worse. God could remove His hand completely; but He chooses to sustain you because of His unconditional love toward you.
Remember the video. That woman did nothing to deserve to get her house bought back. The lady who bought back the house for her did so unconditionally, all because she was moved with compassion, and showed love to a woman who was a stranger too her.
In like matter, God doesn’t provide for us because we deserve it or because we fulfill some requirement He expects. He chooses to provide for us out of His character, not ours. He loved us first, while we were yet sinners. We don’t deserve His love, but He unconditionally gives it to us.
So find pleasure in the Lord and His provision this morning.
4. Find pleasure in His counsel and His constant Presence.
Psalms 16:7-8 ISV – 7 I’ll bless the LORD who has counseled me; indeed, my thoughts have corrected me during the night. 8 I’ve set the LORD before me continually; because he’s at my right hand, I’ll stand firm.
How does the Lord counsel us?
1. Through His Word.
2. Through Prophetic preaching.
3. Through the encouragement and love and wisdom of others.
4. Through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
Notice the Psalmist says, “My thoughts have corrected me during the night.”
Have you ever had the Lord speak to you while asleep? I have. When you go to bed, begin to pray this prayer, “Tonight Lord, speak to me while I sleep. Correct me and establish my ways.” Then when He does and you wake up, be sure and write down what He has spoken to you so that you do not forget.
Also notice the Psalmist set the Lord before him continually. His thoughts were on the Lord.
Make it your goal to have the Lord the first thing on your mind when you wake up, think about Him throughout the day, or when a struggle occurs, and then close the day with Him on your mind. Practice this. When you do this, you will have the same testimony as the Psalmist; you will stand firm.
5. Find pleasure in God’s unspeakable joy.
Psalms 16:9-11 ISV – 9 Therefore, my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, and my body will dwell securely. 10 For you won’t leave my soul in Sheol, you won’t allow your holy one to experience corruption. 11 You cause me to know the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures forever.
God is not going to leave you in the grave that your life may be in now. He is not going to allow you to experience corruption, or to fall away to ruin spiritually. He has caused you to know the path of life through His word. His presence is full of joy. At His right hand He has pleasures forever more.
In light of all these facts, find pleasure in the times that God just pours out His joy on you. Cherish those times as more important than wealth and anything else you might seek or desire.
God created you and I to experience pleasure. In light of this, find your pleasure in the Lord as your refuge, in other believers and the friendships you experience and the word as it is preached, in the Lord and His provision, In His counsel and the Lord’s constant presence, and finally in His unspeakable joy.
There is a world out there seeking temporary pleasures. It is time that they see people who are not a member of the “frozen chosen,” but are pleasure seekers – seeking the only eternal pleasure there is: Jesus Christ and His presence and ways. Let’s give them a reason to be envious of Faith United Church. Not envious of our programs, music, or preaching ability; but envious of the fact that we are living to find pleasure in Christ and by finding pleasure in Him, pleasing Him.
This is the Wednesday night sermon for October 29th, 2008.
Everyday Wisdom part 10
We are continuing our series in the book of Proverbs entitled, “Everyday Wisdom.”
In my years of living on this earth, I’ve discovered that life is full of contrasts and contrasting phrases. Phrases like, “You either in or out; its either black or white; your either hot or cold.” These phrases are used to show the difference between events, people, or things.
I’m sure that you’ve probably heard many phrases like these spoken as well, plus a few others. Have you ever wondered what contrasts are anyway?
Well the definition for contrasts is, “To show differences when compared; to set in opposition in order to show or emphasize differences.”
You may be wondering what contrasts have to do with Proverbs 12. Well, everything actually; because the entire chapter is full of contrasts. Solomon contrasts the way of the wicked and the way of the upright and wise.
Proverbs 12 contrasts the way of the righteous/wise and the way of wicked this way: Those who walk the way of the righteous/wise find favor with God; those who walk the way of the wicked are foolish.
1. The words of the wicked deceive; the words of the upright deliver.
Proverbs 12:6 NET – The words of the wicked lie in wait to shed innocent blood, but the words of the upright will deliver them.
Wicked people not only try to destroy by actions, but even their words set up an ambush to destroy and deceive.
They may use smooth talking words and flattery as an ambush to get what they really want, and that is their way at whatever cost. In our days, people will do whatever is necessary to exalt themselves, even to the point of tearing others down. What they say may sound appealing and pleasant at first, but they are just laying a trap, an ambush. And if you are not discerning and asking the Spirit of the Lord for wisdom, you can get caught up in their trap before you know what has hit you.
In fact, Proverbs has a warning for believers not to even envy them or long to be with them.
Proverbs 24:1-2 NET – 24:1 Do not envy evil people, do not desire to be with them; 24:2 for their hearts contemplate violence, and their lips speak harm.
How will the words of the upright or righteous deliver?
By Acquiring Truth. In Hebrew “Acquire” means, “To buy, to invest in.” The one truth we have in this world is God’s Word itself, so invest your life into it.
Proverbs 23:23 NET – Acquire truth and do not sell it – wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.
John 17:17 NET – Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.
By quieting yourself to listen to God’s truth.
Ecclesiastes 9:17 NET – The words of the wise are heard in quiet, more than the shouting of a ruler is heard among fools.
C. Let’s look at our next set of contrasts.
2. The thought out plans of the righteous leads to good decisions; the advice of the wicked brings deceit.
Proverbs 12:5 NET – The plans of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
These plans of the righteous in Hebrew are thought out plans.
The righteous are not just flying by the seat of the pants, but they have thought through what they say, and what they are planning to do. This thinking through also involves prayer and seeking the face of the Father. They have sought out the counsel of God’s Word concerning situations. They have sought out the counsel of other trusted believers as well. They test and try everything before decisions are made – these lead to good decisions.
The wicked may receive counsel, but they do not receive counsel from God’s Word, nor do they truly seek the wisdom from the Father in private prayer, nor do they seek the advice of the godly.
The counsel of the wicked cannot be trusted, it only brings deceit.
3. The words of the wicked cuts like a sword; the words of the wise bring healing.
Proverbs 12:18 NET – Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing.
To speak recklessly is to speak without thinking, just saying what you feel, not worrying about the consequences.
In fact, in Hebrew “to speak recklessly” also means, “To speak rashly, thoughtlessly, and carelessly.” It is to speak words out of hurt and anger. They are like thrusts of a sword. They cut and hurt the intended victim. Sometimes these victims are people who are already hurt, and the continued thrusts causes more and more pain.
The words of the wise on the other hand do not cut like the thrusts of a sword, but they are intended to bring healing.
Because their words are thought out, prayed over, received counsel from God’s Word and other believers, their words are faithful and true, gentle and kind, uplifting and encouraging, thereby, their words bring healing.
4. The wise put off their old way of life and put on the new man created in God’s image.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NET – 4:22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 4:23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 4:24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.
As Christians we have been redeemed and freed from living the old way we lived before Christ.
We have been redeemed and taught by Christ through His word to put on the new man created in God’s image. This is done by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus.
Our thinking is no longer of the impure variety, but the pure.
As we have looked at the contrasts between the upright/wise and the wicked, do you see some areas that you need growth in? Then I’d encourage you to grow in those areas. Remember, we’ve been redeemed and freed from our old way of thinking. God has and is continuing to renew our minds. We are now a new creation, created in God’s image of righteousness and holiness that comes from His truth.
In light of this speak words that bring deliverance and healing; words that are not rash and thrusts through like a sword and hurt and damage, but words that are thought out, planned, prayed about, under the authority of God’s word and counsel and tested with the counsel of other believers.
There are many people in the word today that need the upright and wise to begin speaking words of life in their situation. Let us take up this challenge from this sermon and be the words of Christ in our world of darkness today.
In honor of my Dad’s memory of passing on to glory this day, I thought I would share a sermon that he preached at First Assembly of God, Dumas Texas on August 1st, 2004.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
The center part of the book of 2 Thessalonians is actually the text that I have read to you tonight, in which the Apostle Paul admonishes the church of Thessalonica to stand firm.
And the theme of standing firm I believe is good encouragement for the modern day church, and for us as individuals as well.
Is God’s Word revelant today or is it not? So then the message of standing firm was not just a message that was needed in the church of Thessalonica, but it is a message that is needed by you and I today.
For a few moments I want to deal with some of the things that we need to stand firm in.
First of all, we need to stand firm doctrinally.
One reason is because we are living in a time of great deception. The enemy is a master of taking truth and twisting and corrupting it, causing people to be deceived.
Ephesians 4:14 NLT (1st ed.) – We are no longer like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.
It seems that in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles down through the years that many have been more prone to accept deceit and spiritual untruths than some from more traditional Christian churches. And they have done so on the basis of accepting scriptural truth which has been taken out of context and which sounds good to the ear.
We Pentecostals should be just as scripturally established and grounded as others.
John 16:13 – when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.
If we will search the scripture diligently the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the deep things of God from His Word. He is the revealer of truth. Jesus said in John 5:39 that we should search diligently the scriptures. That means, we are not to casually read over them, but that we should sincerely search them…seeking to understand spiritual truth.
Know what you believe, and be certain that what you believe is thoroughly founded on the truth of God’s word, and then stand firm in what you know and believe.
Next, stand firm in suffering.
Never harbor thoughts of throwing in the towel when the going gets tough.
I have always admired those who have simply took a deep breath, and through shear determination made up their minds that they were going to stand firm regardless of the bleak circumstances they found themselves in.
Church when trials and tests come our way, whether it be physical or something else that brings us suffering – stand firm! Remember Jesus never said that life here was going to be easy. In fact He warned in John 16:33 – In this world you will have tribulation.
Instead of mumbling and complaining because of the suffering you may be facing, use it as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
James 1:3-4 – Know you that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Let me encourage you, no matter what you are faced with in life to stand firm. Then you will experience the strengthening of your faith, and a fullness of the joy of the Lord.
3 years ago today, my Dad passed away. He was truly a man of God.
He loved the Lord, his wife, his children and grandchildren, and the church he pastored.
He never did see me go back and pastor another church like I’m currently doing. This does make me sad, I really could have used his wisdom he developed with over 40 years in the ministry.
I don’t even try to walk in his shoes. There is just no way that I could ever do him justice. And really, while I’m Jerry Trammell’s son, I in no way am my Father. I am my own individual. All I can do is offer up myself as a vessel to the Lord, and have Him use me in amazing ways, as I stand in awe of His amazing grace toward me everytime.
Dad, you will always be missed by your family and loved ones in this life, but oh, the joys that await us in heaven when we will all see each other again and bow before our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is days like today that I really look forward to this time with anticipation.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
I just love to hear Paul Washer preach. He is very convicting and preaches a no compromise message.
Here is a sermon he delivered at the Deeper Conference in Atlanta Georgia this year (2008).
I just perchased the new study bible that was released this week, the ESV study Bible.
I love the English Standard Version. It is one of my favorites, so I was really looking forward to this study bible.
Well so far it hasn’t disappointed me at all. Some very good textual notes, plus all the articles. I’m a nerd I suppose and I will read every article in the book.
I’m really looking foward too the online version of this. I will start using it in my morning devotional time. I listen to it being read at the same time that I read the bible for my devotions, and the new online version of the ESVSB has the recorded reading on it.
One thing though, it is huge! It would be hard to drag around to church, so I’d just suggest reading it at home for devotionals, which is my plan anyway. It would be too bulky to take up to the platform with me to preach.
I would highly recommend it.
I just got back from the South Central Foursquare convention.
I’m not a member of the Foursquare movement, but I’m looking into being credentialed by them, so I was invited to the convention.
It was very good. Jack Hayford preached in the first two sessions, and then Glenn Burris preached last night.
It was good to actually set back and hear and sermon as opposed to delivering a sermon like I do all the time it seems.
They seemed to hit some things that I struggle with, so I was blessed.
This is the Wednesday night sermon for Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008.
EVERYDAY WISDOM PART 9
Benefits to having right standing with God.
We are continuing our series in the book of Proverbs, “Everyday Wisdom.”
I have right standing with God. That is an amazing thing to say and sometimes it can be quite difficult. How did I ever obtain this position? It wasn’t works of righteousness on my account because I’m not a righteous person by nature. It is not because I was born into a family of preachers. I have right standing with God because Jesus purchased it for me, the Father, out of love drew me to Christ, and the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin. I now life my life trusting in the finished work of Christ. It was all about what He has done for me, not what I have done for Him. But with His imputed righteousness, I have received benefits.
Have you ever thought about what it means to have right standing with God? Is it about what you do for Him, or is it about what He has done for you? Well, if you study the New Testament, you see it is Christ that has done the work to make us righteous through His shed blood. We trust in His sacrifice for our sins. We are made new creatures by the Holy Spirit.
While being declared righteous through Christ is the ultimate benefit, we also receive other benefits as well.
Let’s explain Proverbs 10 a little bit. This is the second portion of the proverbs of Solomon. These were the ones that were added to the book sometime after his death. These go from Proverbs 10-22:16. Whereas in the first 10 chapters the proverbs were long sayings written to his sons, these are a collection of short sayings of contrast that Solomon taught to the people. These primarily deal with right and wrong choices.
We cannot cover completely everything that Solomon wrote, nor are we even going to deal with the comparisons. We are going to look at the benefits of walking right with God, especially in light of the cross of Christ.
1. Wise children bring delight to their parents.
Proverbs 10:1a ESV – A wise son makes a glad father…
True Godly wisdom does not necessarily come with age. It comes from walking with Christ and having Him direct your path. When children receive wisdom from the Lord by becoming Christ-followers and beginning to be obedient to His word, this delights Christian parents. Children like these do no become burdens.
This is why it is so important to share your faith with your children. Always encourage them to follow Christ, be open to help them and pray for them in every way. Encourage them to seek some other believers their own age that can help and support them in their walk with the Lord.
2. Wise people will be preserved during times of hunger.
Proverbs 10:3a ESV – The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry…
This doesn’t mean that during difficult times that the righteous won’t experience some difficulties. This means that God will be our source of supply during those difficulties. He will preserve us and care for us.
David spoke this truth at the end of his life.
Psalm 37:25 ESV – I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
Let’s look at what Jesus had to say about this subject.
Luke 12:29-32 ISV – 29 Stop concerning yourselves about what you will eat or what you will drink, and stop being distressed. 30 For it is the Gentiles who are concerned about all these things. Surely your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, be concerned about His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you as well. 32 Stop being afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
3. Wise people will walk in security.
Proverbs 10:9a ESV – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely…
When God saves us, He gives us a desire to be obedient to Him. As we study His word, we long to obey what it says. In this obedience comes this security. This security means that we cannot be snatched out of God’s hands.
John 10:27-29 ESV – 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
He doesn’t let us slip through His fingers, but He holds onto us tightly.
There is so much more that we could study, but we are going to stop right there.
The young do not have to wait until adulthood before they can become wise in God. They can begin this walk at a young age, and when they do, they will please their parents. During hard times, trust in the Lord, He promises that you will not go hungry. You may not get your desires and wants, but you will get what He promises you need. And finally, know that your security is in Him, not in the situations we go through.
I believe that hard times can be some of the best times to witness for Christ. It can show a world that is panicking that our trust is not in the economy or the government, but it is in the one true God, with whom through Christ we have a relationship with. What would happen in our community if they saw a group of believers living and acting differently during difficult times? They may possibly come and ask us what is so different. Let’s trust God, no matter what life may throw our way.