Sunday, October 16, 2011

His Mercy Endureth Forever

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 136:1

Psalm 136 has twenty six verses; all of which end with the phrase, "His mercy endureth forever."

This Psalm was used in responsive form. The scribe or priest would sing the first part of the verse, and the congregation would respond with, "His mercy endureth forever."

Consider the mercy of God?

Mercy is God giving us what we do not deserve. Grace is God not giving us what we do deserve. We understand that we are sinners. We understand God is a Holy and Righteous God. He is a just God! But as one female comedian used to say of her driver's license picture, "You don't need justice, you need mercy.

It is God's mercy that saves us from our sin.

Titus 3:5 says "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

I cannot be good enough to get to Heaven. Thank God, in His mercy Christ purchased my salvation.

Hebrews 9:12, "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

It is because of God's mercy that hears and answers our prayers.

Psalm 69:13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

It is because of his mercy He provides for us.

Psalm 136: 25 says, "Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever."

Without God's mercy we have nothing!

Without God's mercy we can do nothing!

Without God's mercy we are nothing!

A just God, a righteous God, a holy God is little comfort to a sinner. It is His mercy that allows us as sinners to come boldly to the Throne of Grace.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

God's mercy endureth forever. He never runs out. There is no quote you will exceed. There is mercy for the sinner, for the backslider, for the Christian who needs that extra touch of grace. Remember, His mercy endureth forever

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amazing Grace and John Newton

July 24th marks the Birthday of John Newton, composer of the greatest song ever written; Amazing Grace. This was "Amazing Grace Sunday" at Hope Baptist Church. We shared with our church the story of this great man of God.

John Newton

Born July 24, 1725. John Newton followed in his father’s footsteps, working on merchant ships in the Mediterranean. He began his first voyage at age eleven. Years later he began working on slave ships. For nine years he was involved in the slave trade, but during this time God began to work in his life. After years of struggling with a life of sin He trusted Christ as his Savior.

In 1764 Newton became an Anglican Priest and was appointed to the Church at Olney, England. There he met William Cowper, a poet and collaborated with him on many hymns composing the “Olney Hymnal” which included great hymns such as, “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” and “Faiths Review and Expectation” which would become the great hymn, “Amazing Grace.”

Newton wrote years later about the horrible condition of slavery and the slave trade. His friend William Wilberforce, brought about the Parliamentary Slave Trade Act of 1807. Newton died December 21, 1807 and was buried in Olney. His epitaph reads:

"John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy."

Facts about Amazing Grace

  • There are approximately 30,000,000 references to the song on the Internet.
  • It was written in 1779 by John Newton
  • The sixth stanza first appeared in Harriett Beacher Stowe’s book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The actual origin of the verse is unknown.
  • The original hymn is unknown. The tube most familiar today is the tune, “New Britain” assigned it by composer William Walker in 1835
  • Internet source, “All Music” lists over 6000 versions of the song
  • It was first recorded a Capella in 1922 by the Sacred Harp Choir.
  • One of the most popular recordings was in 1947 by singer Malahia Jackson. It became an anthem for the civil rights movement in the 1950’s
  • In 1970 Judy Collins’ recording of Amazing Grace made Billboard Magazine’s “Hot 100”
  • It was performed or recorded by Folk singers Alan and John Lomax, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Sam Cook, The Byrds, The Lemonheads, Elvis Presley Skeeter Davis, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart and the Amazing Rhythm Aces to name a few.
  • It has become world wide, the most recognizable song of any genre in the world.
  • the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, senior Scottish regiment of the British Army, recorded an instrumental version featuring a bagpipe soloist accompanied by a pipe and drum band.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, 
That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now am found,
 Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
 And Grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that Grace appear
 The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares 
I have already come;

'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far 
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me. 
His word my hope secures. 

He will my shield and portion be,
 As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, 
And mortal life shall cease,

I shall possess within the veil,
 A life of joy and peace.

(Written later: anonymously)

When we've been here ten thousand years 
Bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days to sing God's praise
 Than when we've first begun.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Bring Them In

(Preached on Sunday Morning, June 12, 2011 at Hope Baptist Church of Bettendorf, Iowa)

Luke 14:21-24 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Lu 14:23* And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

We sing the old hymn:

Hark, 'tis the Shepherds Voice I hear,

Out on the mountains dark and drear'

Calling the sheep who've gone astray,

Far from the Shepherd's fold away.

Bring them in, bring them in!

Bring then wondering ones to Jesus!

This is more then just a great old song; it is a Biblical mandate.

Intro: Three parts to the Lord's command

1. Go

2. Compel

3. (Purpose) "that my house may be filled."

Bring Them In

1. Everyone can go

Mark 16 - go ye

2. Everyone must go

If not me, them who? If not now, then when?

3. They are out there

"and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind."

The poor

Ps 34:6* This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Isa 25:4* For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

The poor have nothing to offer. You will not gain materially reaching the poor. But as one Pastor taught me, "Jesus went to the poor; the rich came to Him." In His sermon in the mount in Matthew 5 Jesus began with, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." When it comes to God, none of us have anything to offer Him that would make Him richer.

"Evangelism is just one beggar telling other beggars where to find Bread."

The Maimed and the halt

Isa 61:1* The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Eze 34:16* I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

People are wounded. People are hurt and hurting. God's people have the remedy. Would a doctor withhold medicine from the sick?

The blind

Isa 42: 5-7 ¶ Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isa 42:16* And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

Mt 11:5* The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Mr 10:51* And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

4. The alternative is horrible

Lk. 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Conclusion: We are compelled to go. We are compelled to bring them in. You don't really have to go far to find someone who needs Christ. Go find them!

Bring them

Compel them

That my house might be filled!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Therefore Have I Hope"

"Therefore have I hope"

Preached at Hope Baptist Church, June 5th, 2011)

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

(Lamentations 3:21-23).

INTRO: Lamentations is a one-of-a- kind Book. The prophet Jeremiah lived in the time of the Kings in Isreal. Zedekiah was a wicked evil king during the life of Jeremiah.

11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.

(2 Chronicles 36:11-12).

In judgement the Bible says God "stirred up the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia"... and waisted Isreal...

Lamentations is a book of mourning after the judgement of God fell on Isreal.

Imagine the sorrow of Jeremiah...the anguish....the frustration with the wickedness of his day...Yet, in this passage Jeremiah makes this statement..."I have hope.." How can a man of God in these deplorable circumstances have hope?

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed."

1. We can be saved only because of God's mercy.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

2. We can have your prayers answered because of God's mercy.

Ps 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Da 9:4* And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

3. Our sins are forgiven because of God's Mercy.

Ps 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

Mt 9:13* But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

4. We can walk with God because of His mercy.

5. We can face trials by His mercy.

Ps 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

We have seen history transpire this year.

We have seen our gov't. rocked in scandal.

We have seen terrorist attacks on Americans; on foriegn soil and here at home.

We have seen all sorts of natural disasters.

Major diseases (ie. AIDS, herpes. new strains of hepatitus) are at epidemic purportion.

Crime, violence, poplitical unrest.

Pastor what is the answer to what seems like a hopeless situation? "My hope is in Thee." My hope is in God's mercy!

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

My hope is not:

A. In government

B. In my recourses

C. In luck

D. In this world

1.My hope is in my anchor.

Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

2. My hope is in the past.

Ps 78:38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

3. My hope is in His promise.

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

4. My hope is in the Salvation.

1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

In our darkest hour there is hope. The hope given us in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1 Cor. 15; ,3, 4

Today is Easter Sunday. This day has been called the Prince of Sundays. It is called that because is it on this day that we commemorate the resurrection of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. How important is the resurrection? Why is it significant that Christ died for our sins, then rose again? Some theologians and scholars have down-played the importance of the resurrection. So, what is the resurrection? What is its importance?

The resurrection is the key to all we as born again Christians hold dear. The resurrection is key to our salvation. Without the resurrection we have a savior on the cross. Without the resurrection we have a King in the grave. Without the resurrection our hope lies in a crypt; our confidence rests in a coffin. Our defence is in one who is defeated, and our protection in one held captive.

How can the dead offer life to the living? How can the tomb hold the key to redemption? Truly, outside of the cross of Calvary we must toil and sacrifice to a vengeful God with little hope of mercy. And truly, outside of the resurrection we must bow to a religious system that relegates our relationship with God to little more than ancestor worship. Without blood there is no remission, and without the victory there is not spoil.

But, as the angel in Luke 24 ; 2 asked;

"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen."

He is risen. These words turn a cross into an alter. These words turn a sacrifice into a Savior. "He is risen!" These words shake the gates of Hell, open the windows of Heaven, bring peace to the cursed Earth and make the grave into a pleasant place to wait for the resurrection.

"He is risen" turns wrath to mercy.

"He is risen" turns death to life.

"He is risen" turns judgement to grace.

"He is risen" turns fear into hope.

Because of the resurrection we can look to the cross and be saved by One Who conquered Hell for us. Because of the resurrection we can face the grave holding the Hand of One Who defeated death and the grave. Because of the resurrection, Hells dread is turned to Heavens hope.

In that we now have the confidence given us by the resurrection of Christ, we rest in the confidence of our resurrection in the last day. Easter Sunday is our day! It is resurrection Sunday! Rest in it; joy in it; celebrate in the day of His resurrection. The glory of the cross and the hope of the resurrection is in Him.

"He is risen."