Indispensable

Do you have someone in your life you cannot imagine living without? Maybe a parent, spouse, close friend, teacher, or even a mentor. This person is important because they help keep you balanced as a person. They listen to what you are saying, they lead you in the right direction, and they set a great example for you to follow. We come into contact with many different people every day; however, there are few people who have such a significant influence in our life.

It is comforting to have an indispensable person in your life; however, have you ever wondered if you are an indispensable person in someone else’s life? Are you pouring yourself into someone else? Are you someone others can depend on? Are you helping raise up the next generation of Christians leaders? We were never meant to spend all our lives being led around like a child. There comes a time when we must step up, take the lead, and begin to develop disciples for the kingdom of God.

In Acts 9.36-43, we see the story of Tabitha, who was an indispensable Christian saint. Her life is a great example to follow if we are to live an indispensable life.

Please click the following link to play or download yesterday’s sermon, “Indispensable.”

Power through Persecution

I have read some of the ways early Christians were persecuted. They were whipped, beheaded, flayed, stoned, crucified, dipped in oil and set on fire, fed to wild animals, imprisoned, and countless other acts of torture I cannot even begin to imagine. What depth of faith one must have to choose an agonizing death rather than recant their faith in Jesus as The Christ.

It is because of the power of the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the first believers to strengthen their faith that Christianity was able to not only endure, but also to turn the entire world upside down. Over the last two thousand years the fires of Christian faith have consumed lives on every continent. It has established cities, countries, and nations. It has changed lives, marriages, and homes.  Even today, persecution fans the flames of faith into an inferno which melts the hardest of hearts.

This Sunday as we study Acts 8.1-3 we will see there is power in persecution. Will you please join us at Living Oaks Baptist Church Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we worship Jesus and study His Word.

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A Killer Message!

I have been preaching God’s Word for over twenty years. I have preached all over the United States, Brazil, and London. I’ve preached messages that were meant to challenge, change, and convict those listening. Sometimes I have been soft-spoken, while other times I just cleared a spot and pitched a fit (that’s preacher talk for “I got loud!”). I try not to plan how I am going to preach, but I spend a great deal of time on what I am going to say. I want to make sure the message God has laid on my heart is what comes out of my mouth.  There is nothing worse than spending several hours preparing and then laying an egg on Sunday. My greatest desire is to be obedient to the task.

In Acts 6.8-7:60, we can read a killer sermon by Stephen, one of the first deacons.  I say “killer sermon” because after he had finished preaching, those listening took him outside and stoned him to death. They didn’t kill him because he was an inexperienced preacher, was too boring, didn’t use enough illustrations, or spoke too long. Nope, they killed him because he was right! Everything Stephen said was 100% correct, and they didn’t like it–so they literally killed the messenger!

This Sunday as we take a closer look at Stephen’s message, we will examine what he said, what caused such a reaction, and how this applies to us today.

I hope to see you at 10:45 a.m. this Sunday morning at Living Oaks Baptist Church.

Faithful Giving

We have been working our way through the book of Acts.  This week we will be looking at the story of Ananias and Sapphira from chapter five. In this sermon we will examine a few principles of faithful giving.

I hope to see you Sunday at Living Oaks Baptist Church at 10:45 during our morning worship service!

Seismic Prayer

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"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken..." (Acts 4.31a) ESV

In Acts 3:1-4.22, we see the story of Peter and John healing a man who had been crippled from birth.  Leaping with joy and praising God, this man stood with the disciples as they proclaimed the truth of how Jesus had healed him.  As the crowd gathered around, the Temple Police stepped in and arrested Peter and John.  The next morning they were brought before the Sanhedrin. After hearing the disciples story, the rulers threatened them to never speak in the name of Jesus again or risk severe punishment.

After being let go, the disciples and their new convert went back and told the church everything that had happened.  How God had used them to heal a man who had been crippled for forty years, preached to the crowd which led to 5,000 men being saved, were arrested, proclaimed Jesus to the Sanhedrin, were threatened by the religious leaders, and then set free.

This Sunday, we will look at the conclusion of this narrative in Acts 4:23-31 and examine the believers’ Seismic Prayer which shook the house in which they were meeting.  I hope to see you at Living Oaks this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. as we worship God together.

First Fruits

I have never had much of a green thumb, so planting a garden has never been at the top of my list.  As you can guess, my knowledge of horticulture is very limited; however, I am well aware that when you sow a certain type of seed, that is what you can expect to reap.  If you plant lettuce, you’re not going to get cucumbers, and if you plant carrots, you’re not going to get peas.

It is just common sense that you will reap what you sow.

This same truth applies to that which we plant within our hearts. In Galatians 6.7-8 the Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  Whenever we place our faith in Jesus, He sends His Spirit to lead and guide us into a new life.  If fact, the Bible says that we are a new creation in Jesus.

This Sunday, we will be examining the First Fruits of Salvation as found in Acts 3.1-11.  This will be a wonderful study of some of the fruit that will sprout up within those who commit their lives to Jesus.  After the morning service, we will have our annual Thanksgiving meal.  This is always a wonderful time for our church family and special guests to sit down together.  I hope you will honor us with your presence Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. for our worship service and then stay for our Thanksgiving meal.

I hope to see you this Sunday at Living Oaks Baptist Church.