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Doing Change God’s Way (Part 3)

Holistic Change

Introduction

  • Resolutions Require Change, but it is Hard to Change.
  • Doing Change God’s Way
  • Last week we discussed the four stages of repentance; today we will discuss holistic change.

I.  We are More than “Ghosts in a Shell.”

  • Plato thought of the Soul as Imprisoned in the Body.
  • Descartes thought the Soul was what Distinguishes Humans.
  • Negative Implications of Body/Soul Dualism:
    • Confusion of Soul/Body with Good/Evil.
    • Confusion of Life after Death with Life after Life after Death.
    • Confusion of the True Nature of Salvation.
    • De-emphasis of the Body.
    • De-emphasis of the Resurrected Body.
    • De-emphasis of Christian Virtue.
    • De-emphasis of Christian Mission.

II.  We are Fully Integrated Beings.

  • Soul, Spirit, Body, Heart, etc. Integrated into a Holistic Being.
  • We Cannot Separate a Specific Part that is “Me.”

III.  We Need to See Change as a Holistic Process.

  • Jesus as our Guide…
  • Jesus grew    Intellectually    Physically     Spiritually     Socially
  • Love God with all Your    Heart    Soul     Mind     Strength

Conclusion

  • Applications
  • Change is not Simple.
  • Change Involves the Whole Person in Every Dimension.
  • Include Multiple Aspects of Yourself in Every Change.
  • Are You Doing Change God’s Way?

The current lesson series is intended to help us make necessary changes in our lives. I have planned these messages to coincide with our New Year’s resolutions.  You may have given up on resolutions, but that’s my point.  Change is difficult, but God has provided in his word a path to real change and the Scripture is full of practical principles.  The series is entitled, Doing Change God’s Way.

Sunday, my lesson will involve how we can pursue Holistic Change. We have been incorrectly taught a soul/body dualism that confuses the nature of our existence. We often see issues as either physical or spiritual and approach their resolution in the same way.  However, we are holistic beings – body, mind, soul, spirit, etc. and each aspect of our being affects the whole.  There are spiritual aspects of physical change and physical aspects of spiritual change.  I’ll say more on Sunday.

I hope you will join us!  Joey

By | 2022-01-14T00:04:46-07:00 January 14th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Doing Change God’s Way (Part 2)

What Is Repentance?

Introduction

  • Resolutions Require Change, but it is Hard to Change
  • Doing Change God’s Way
  • Last week we saw that God Demands, Grants, and Welcomes Repentance. This week: What is Repentance?

What is Repentance? Five Words:

What is Repentance? Three Elements:

  • An Intellectual Element: A Change of Mind
  • An Emotional Element: Regret/Remorse
  • A Volitional Element: A Change of Will/Life

What is Repentance? Four Stages

  • A True Sense of Your own Guilt and Sinfulness before God
  • An Understanding of God’s Mercy in Chris
  • A Hatred of Sin and Turning from it to God
  • A Persistent Endeavor to Live a Holy Life of Obedience

Conclusion

  • Applications
    • Have you Turned to God in Genuine Repentance?
    • Are there Lingering Sins from which you Need to Repent?
    • Feeling Bad is NOT Enough.
    • External Change is NOT Enough.
    • True Repentance is Inside Out.
  • Are You Doing Change God’s Way?

Repentance is more than feeling bad about what you have done.  Sure, remorse is involved, but repentance goes beyond regret.  The NT word used most often to describe it means to “change your mind.” When we truly repent, we change the way the think about sin.  We change the way we want to live. Instead of serving ourselves, we choose to serve God.

The Scripture also makes it clear that true repentance (changing our mind) results in a changed life.  John the Baptist spoke of producing “fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).  The Thessalonians turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Th 1:9).

Change, God’s way, is revolutionary.  Perhaps that’s why we struggle with our resolutions; we haven’t tried doing change God’s way.  This is the theme of my lesson series this Jan/Feb.  I hope you will join us!

Have a Happy New Year!  Joey

By | 2022-01-07T11:51:38-07:00 January 7th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Doing Change God’s Way (Part 1)

Repent or Perish

Introduction

  • Resolutions Require Change
  • It’s hard to Change
  • Doing Change God’s Way

I.    God Demands Repentance

II.   God Grants Repentance

III. God Welcomes Repentance

  1. He Wants All Saved (2 Peter 3:9)
  2. He Rejoices (Luke 15:7)
  3. He Dwells with the Contrite (Isaiah 57:15)

IV.  Conclusion

  • Applications
    • You Cannot Stay Where You are and Go with God.
    • All of our Brokenness Originates in our Sinfulness.
    • God has Provided a Means for you to Change
    • God Welcomes You When You Repent.
  • Are You Doing Change God’s Way

How are you at keeping New Year’s Resolutions?  If you’re like me, you probably never get past the end of January with most of them.  Some of us have given up on resolutions altogether figuring that they are wasted effort inviting failure.

However, such thinking can be unproductive. Change is a necessary part of life and should be a serious part of our regular evaluations of life.  In a spiritual context, Jesus commands, “Repent… or perish” (Luke 13:3).  That can also be true in other areas of life.

The Bible says a lot of about repentance (change).  Perhaps, we haven’t tried doing change God’s way.  This will be the theme of my lesson series beginning January 2, 2022.  I hope you will join us!

Have a Happy New Year!  Joey

By | 2021-12-31T17:10:26-07:00 December 31st, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

God Always Has A Remnant

A remnant is defined as a small surviving group of people.  It is sometimes defined as something left over. At other times it is defined as a leftover piece of fabric remaining after the rest has been used up or sold.

During the days of the Prophet Isaiah, God gave Isaiah a vision of Israel. The vision was told by Isaiah in Isaiah 1:1-9. Isaiah said the nation had become “a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.’ Isaiah went onto say in  verse 9, “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a SMALL REMNANT, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.”

In the book of Malachi the final book of the Old Testament we read in Chapter 3

16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who  esteem His name. 17 “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” 18 So you will  again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

The New Testament tells us in Romans 11:5, “Even so then, at this present time, there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

Never throughout the long history of Israel and what we find recorded in The Bible did 100 percent of the nation worship God, there was always a faithful Remnant …

Remnant in The Bible is always a two-sided word. In the first instance it speaks of disaster and loss ahead.

But there is promise found in it too. It will not be a total catastrophe, for there will be a divinely preserved remnant.” Gods People are His Remnant!

The remnant is preserved by God himself God always has a Remnant that have not bowed the knee to Baal. Who are Circumcised at The Heart.

God’s remnant are those who stand on God’s word and not the word of man, politicians, the media and hirelings.  They believe God’s Word is true today, yesterday and forever. Political  correctness is not part of the character.

God still has a remnant today. Are you part of God’s Remnant?

Michael Kamplain

By | 2021-12-25T21:42:44-07:00 December 25th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Joy To The World!

The Gospel of Luke gives the most detailed story of the birth of Christ and also the most detailed prescription for joy. Luke wants us to see that the story of the world meeting Jesus in the flesh is a story of the world finally finding full joy in God.

It begins with the birth of John the Baptist. The angel said to Zechariah:

Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. . . and he will go before him to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. (Luke 1:13–17)

What is the significance of God coming to us and being with us? In this very act we see God’s powerful and engaging love. God was not content to love us from a distance. He desires to be with us … to be involved in the details of our lives. We also see Jesus’ birth as an act of God initiating this loving relationship.

And this loving relationship is for everyone – let earth receive – it’s for the poor, rich, young, old, all genders, all ethnicities, all the earth! God wants to be with you, wherever you are.

I like what this writer said about how many of us feel around the holidays:

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I will say, Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

There’s a couple of ways to respond when you encounter joy.

One way is to act like so many of the antagonists we see portrayed in our favorite Christmas movies.

You can be a joy-killer.

One of the most popular Christmas characters is Ebenezer Scrooge, who tried to steal Christmas (and joy) from everyone around him, even those closest to him. Listen to the response Scrooge gave when his nephew announced that he was getting married because he had fallen in love:

“BECAUSE YOU FELL IN LOVE?!” GROWLED SCROOGE, “AS IF THAT WERE THE ONLY THING IN THE WORLD MORE RIDICULOUS THAN A MERRY CHRISTMAS.”

Whether it’s Scrooge, the Grinch, or Mr. Potter, whenever they encountered joy they actively tried to steal, kill, and destroy it. And it’s true that you and I have an enemy that the Apostle John refers to as a thief with the same mission to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10)! Jesus also came to share his joy with us (John 15:11)!

Another way to respond to joy is to share it! Repeat the sounding joy! “For you, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands” (Psalm 92:4).

What about you? Are you a joy-killer or a joy-sharer?  Some of us naturally share in others’ joy and invite others into our joy, but for others this takes some effort.

What are some ways you can share joy? Be intentional, especially during this season, to invite others into the goodness of the joy of the Lord.

By | 2021-12-18T22:14:02-07:00 December 18th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Word Became Flesh – He Is Coming!

He Is Coming!

Jews, in the first century, were primed and ready for the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament begins with the triumphal annunciation that, indeed, he is here.  While Matthew and Luke gives the details of the virgin birth and the babe in a manger, John ops for a more theological approach.

John 1:1-2, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was with God in the beginning… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent, a time of

*Expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas… For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
*Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

In the past two weeks we have studied Israel’s longing for the Messiah. We learned that the Old Testament told a story that was left unfinished at the ending of Malachi. Israel longed for the victorious return of her God, true release from exile, and the Davidic King, the Messiah, who would usher in God’s Kingdom and eradicate all evil and injustice. However, at the end of the O.T. none of this had happened – until Jesus was born.

Last week we examined Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2 from the perspective of the political intrigue and messianic fervor that gripped the Jewish people. It was into this setting that Jesus was born.  Strangely, though, John had this to say about his coming,

John 1:10-12  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–.

Jesus was not the Messiah the Jews expected. They wanted a military leader, but he destroyed the power of evil and sin by his suffering and death. Their rejection, however, introduced the gospel to the Gentiles.  Now, ALL, Jew and Gentile alike, can be God’s children through faith in Jesus.  Moreover, Jesus’ resurrection continued God’s plan to create a new humanity; his ascension to the right hand of God inaugurated his rule over a restored creation.  This rule will be fully consummated when he comes again.

I’ll say more in my lesson.                           

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-12-09T20:33:45-07:00 December 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Word Became Flesh – He Is Here!

He Is Here!

Our current series is entitled, The Word Became Flesh. It is taken from John 1, where John describes the coming of the Almighty.  He does not record the singing angels or visiting Magi as did Luke & Matthew, but he does share its theological equivalent – The Word Became Flesh.

Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent.  I know we do not follow the liturgical calendar – except, perhaps, in a general way, in sermon planning.  This is what I am doing in this series. Advent is observed as a time of

*Expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas… For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
*Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

Last week I discussed Israel’s longing for the Messiah. We learned that the Old Testament told a story that was left unfinished at the end of Malachi. Israel longed for the glory of the Lord to flood the earth. They longed for the Davidic King, the Messiah, who would usher in God’s Kingdom, eradicate all evil and injustice, and flood the world with righteousness and justice. They longed for the true end to their exile when God would finally forgive their sins and return them to their rightful place as the “light of nations.”

However, by the end of the O.T., none of this had happened.  Four hundred years pass and expectation reach a fever pitch. History, around this time, is full of would-be Messiahs either claiming the title or being so called – Judas Maccabeus, Simon of Peraea, Athronges, Judas of Galilee, Menahem ben Judah, and Simon bar Kokhba, to name a few.  These were either military movements or rebellions and most were put down soundly. It was into this setting that Jesus was born,  “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son… (Galatians 4:4).

Matthew 1:21-23   She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

Luke 2:9-11  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

I’ll say more in my lesson.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-12-04T15:31:34-07:00 December 4th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Word Became Flesh – Israel’s Hope

Israel’s Hope

Sunday, November 28, is the first Sunday of Advent. We, in the churches of Christ, normally do not follow the liturgical calendar as do many religious groups – except, perhaps, as a general guide to lesson planning. However, it is helpful for us to learn what others do and why they do it to enrich our own Christian walk.

  • *Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.
  • Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
  • Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday…. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive. Christians of these denominations observe the season through practices such as keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, among other ways of preparing for Christmastide, such as setting up Christmas decorations
    *Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent

Beginning Sunday, I will preach a series of three sermons on the coming of Jesus entitled, The Word Became Flesh. I will discuss Israel’s longing for the Messiah. Next week I will speak about the birth of Jesus as the answer to that longing. Finally, in two weeks, I will talk about the second coming of Jesus as the culmination of Israel’s hopes.

The Old Testament ends with its story unfinished. God had promised release from exile, to return to his temple, to destroy evil, and to set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed, but none of that had happened. Well, they had physically returned from Babylon, but they were still a subjugated people. Evil, pagan influences controlled the world. God’s kingdom was a longed for reality that had not yet materialized. Israel longed for the promised Messiah, who would set all things right.

  • Daniel 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

I’ll say more in my lesson.

Have a Great Week! Joey

By | 2021-11-27T20:38:15-07:00 November 27th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Becoming a “Thanksgiver” at Thanksgiving

Becoming a “Thanksgiver” at Thanksgiving*

Introduction

  • “Don’t Forget to say Thank You.”
  • Why do we Forget to say Thank You?
    • We are too Busy.
    • We have a sense of Entitlement.
    • We have not been properly Trained.
  • Our Text this AM Regards a Group of People who did Not say Thank You to Jesus.

I. Jesus’ Kindness

II. The Leper’s Thankfulness

  • Why Did Only One Leper Return? Were they not Grateful?
  • Being Grateful is an Emotion, Being Thankful is an Action.
  • Moral: Turn Your Grateful into Thankful.

III. Becoming a Better Thanksgiver.

  • Be Specific
  • Be Honest
  • Make it Public
  • Make it Tangible

Application

  • Turn Your Grateful into Thankful this Week
    • Tell Someone Here Today how thankful you are for them.
    • Tell those at your Workplace how thankful you are for them.
    • Take a moment before you leave on you holiday trips to thank God for the Family, Funds, and Fun.
    • Let everyone around your thanksgiving table Give Thanks.
  • Express Your Thanksgiving to God Today by Responding to Him.
*Outline courtesy of Chris Rappazini

Becoming a Thanksgiver

I ran across this sermon outline online and I thought I would share it with you.  We celebrate Thanksgiving with family gatherings, great meals, and of course, football; however, do we take time to be actual “thanksgivers” on this day?

I have tried to be a thanksgiver, but I know I often fail.  It is not that I am not grateful, I am.  However, there is a difference between being grateful and being thankful.  Gratitude is an emotion.  Thanksgiving takes gratitude to the next level by moving into the realm of action.  Thanksgiving expresses gratitude in tangible ways. Luke 17:11-19 recalls the 10 lepers Jesus healed. I’m sure all ten were grateful, but only one was thankful.  I can think of no other reason to include this story in the Bible except to emphasize taking gratitude to the level of active thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:15   Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-11-19T23:25:39-07:00 November 19th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Fruit Of The Spirit – Self-Control

Self-Control (Egkrateia)

Introduction

  • Today we will Discuss Self-Control.
  • Definitions
    • KJV translates it as “temperance;” NIV, “self-control.”
    • Greek – Egkrateia, “self-control,” lit., “take hold of.”
      • It is not used Frequently in the NT.  (Ac 24:25; 2 Pe 1:6; 1 Co 7:9; 1 Co 9:25; Ti 1:8)
      • It is not used Frequently in the LXX (Greek OT).  It is used to describe self-restraint, self-control, & self-discipline in matters of physical pleasure & emotion.
      • Classical Greek: “the mastery of pleasure and desires.”
      • It describes one who is in full control of himself so that he can restrain himself from every evil desire.
    • The Apostolic Fathers have a Great Deal to Say…

I.     It is a Gift of God.

II.   It is One of the Pillars of the Christian Life.

III.  It is an Ally of the Christian Life.

IV.  It is the Way to Save the Soul.

V.    It is the Mark of Christian Love.

VI.  It is the Support of the Christian Church

Applications:

  • Self-Control Must Be Exercised in Every Aspect of Life: Physical Appetites – esp., Sexuality; Emotion; Spending; Habits; & Decisions.
  • Self-Control is a Behavioral State, but How do we Attain it?
  • Philosophy – Logic
  • Religion – Denial of Pleasure
  • Common Sense – Willpower
  • Psychology – Habit
  • The Bible – The Holy Spirit

The exclamation, “Get ahold of yourself!” usually followed by a slap to the face is a common TV and movie trope. It is the response to someone who has lost control of their emotions and is panicking or acting hysterical.  While we certainly would not recommend a face slap as a strategy to help someone regain control, the exclamation is a literal translation of egkrateia, (self-control) our eighth fruit of the Spirit; it means to “take hold of” or “get ahold of” oneself.  It is used to describe self-restraint, self-control, & self-discipline in matters of physical pleasure & emotion. Self-control is necessary for winning the prize at the end of our race.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (RSV)   Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air;  27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

The Spirit helps us to gain self-control.

Have a Great Week!  Joey

By | 2021-11-12T11:00:23-07:00 November 12th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments