Love Your Enemies

An unregenerate person is an enemy of the gospel of God (Rom. 11:28). We who were once included in that number have been translated from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13). This merciful intervention of God was accomplished through the faithful proclamation of the gospel by Christ’s church and the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Will you faithfully carry on this work of love and mercy among His enemies? The sermon outline is as follows:

1. Making the most of every opportunity
2. Speaking the truth in love
3. The goal is faithfulness to God’s calling of love, not success

Until The Fullness Of Thy Kingdom Come

Whether you realize it or not, every day you are involved in a clash of kingdoms. The kingdom of this world is being confronted and confounded by Christ’s victorious kingdom. Those delivered from the kingdom of darkness by His grace are now instruments of that grace. Though our life battles are intense and at times we feel overwhelmed, remember that Christ reigns and overcomes all His opposition. Do you trust Him and rest in His grace?  The sermon outline is as follows:

  1. The Son of God goes forth to war
  2. God’s Word clarifies and directs our thinking
  3. God’s Word corrects and instruction us in right living

Devotional Thought – Spiritual Greatness through Childlike Humility

Here is another great comment found in the devotional Day By Day By Grace by Bob Hoeksma for Friday October 2nd.

DBDBGAt that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)”Our God is great. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatnessis unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3). Since we were created to know our great God, we have a yearning to find true greatness. The counterfeit path to greatness for the world, the flesh, and the devil is through self-exaltationI will be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14). The heavenly path to find spiritual greatness is through childlike humility.

The disciples asked Jesus who had truly found greatness in His kingdom. “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'” No doubt, to their amazement, he placed a little child in the middle of them. “And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them.” How could this small child give insight into their query? Jesus’ words must have been staggering for them to receive. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

In the first place, no one can even enter into the Lord’s kingdom without having a change of mind from the natural perspective of fallen humanity. We have such a self-sufficientself-exaltingviewpoint on life and how to find greatness. In order to become a child of God, we must be willing to adopt the Lord’s perspective. Instead of us being capable of developing spiritually significant lives on our own, we must take the place of a humble, inadequate, needy child, looking to the Lord of life to give us eternal life. Then, in order to grow in spiritual substantiality, we must be willing to continue in a daily walk of childlike humility. “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatestin the kingdom of heaven.”

This teaching had to fall like a stinging indictment upon their hearts, since their motivation in asking was based upon their repeated arguments over which of them was the greatest in His kingdom! “Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest…But there was also rivalry among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest (Luke 9:46 and 22:24).

“O, great and awesome Lord, I confess that I have often sought greatness through the self-exalting paths of this fallen world. Many times, I have compared myself to others, thinking that would make me the greater. Lord, I repent. I want to walk before You day by day as a humble, needy, dependent child of the great King of kings, Amen.”

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On

God has decreed that the Gospel will overturn the status quo of the world. Thus we hear the charge to this day that those who live and preach the Gospel “have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). In reality what is happening is that the world is being turned right side up. Jesus Christ is Lord and He goes forth to conquer both His and our enemies. The amazing thing is that He is pleased to do so through us, His beloved people.

The sermon outline is as follows:

  1. Christ overcomes the chains of the wicked one
  2. Christ overcomes the chains of this world
  3. Christ overcomes the rulers and authorities of this world

Christ Leavens the Earth

The Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33). Christ accomplishes this expansion of the kingdom by calling and sending representatives whom He empowers and guides by the Holy Spirit. We are those who have benefited from their ministry and are called to be involved with this kingdom expansion project. What is your part? Are you aware of it and how are you doing in fulfilling it? Remember what the Apostle Paul declared “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). The sermon outline is as follows:

  1. Pray the Lord of the harvest for more laborers
  2. Attempt great things for God
  3. God brings the increase

Christ Works All Things Together For The Good

The ABC’s of Christianity (Adversity Builds Christ-like character) assumes the sovereign good pleasure and will of God to work out all things according to His eternal decree and purposes. Bad things don’t just happen, “indeed, all things come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand” (H.C. Q. #27).  Do you truly believe this? If so, how should it be evident in your life and especially in your conversation? If not, why not?

The Sermon Outline is as follows:

  1. The Church as the Guardian of the Truth renders a just judgment
  2. The Churches rejoice in the Truth and receive further teaching of the Truth
  3. Even division and separation are so guided by the Lord as to further promote the Truth

Rise Up, O Man of God

God declares to all true believers in Jesus Christ; “You were once darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). We praise Him that He continually raises up faithful servants to hold forth the glorious light of the gospel to a lost and dying world. Are you trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation? If so, then He calls you to hold forth that light to those lost in darkness. Will you answer His call?

The outline is as follows:

I. Remember from whence you came (v. 17-19)
II. Remember what you have been taught (v. 20-21)
III. Live what you profess to believe (v.22-24)

The Guardian of the Truth

God has revealed absolute Truth in creation and through His special revelation, the Bible. He has also entrusted to the church the responsibility of guarding His Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). Each individual church has this responsibility as well as the broader assemblies such as classis (regional) and synod (national). Praise God that the declaration of His sovereign grace has been promoted and protected down through the ages and we enjoy its benefits. At the same time we are called to be faithful to continue fulfilling this responsibility until our Lord Jesus returns.

Grace Despised and Rejected

The amazing grace of God, who could find fault with it? Unfortunately many do to their own destruction. Opposition comes in many directions. Some will dismiss it outright saying “It is impossible.” Others will declare that “It is not fair!” Still others will either simply ignore it or attempt to silence the messenger of grace. What about you? What is your response to the wonderful grace of God revealed in and through the Lord Christ Jesus?

Speak the Truth in Love

Though our Lord Jesus Christ was despised, rejected, ridiculed, shamefully mistreated, and murdered by wicked men, yet it brought about the greatest good to the world. The good news of salvation has been despised, rejected, ridiculed, and opposed since it was first proclaimed. Those saved by the grace of the gospel through the work of the Holy Spirit should not be surprised or overwhelmed by the opposition, but rejoice that Christ is delivering those who oppose themselves (2 Tim. 2:25) unto the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Trust him who is still working through you and Speak the Truth in love.