We are continuing on with our Bearing Fruit Sermon Series and the title of the message today is A Ministry with No Regrets. A Ministry with No Regrets.
In Washington State, an Everett High School Senior is suing the school district for being suspended three times in which he says was unconstitutional. A man by the name of Michael Leo, an Everett High School student was handing out tracts on this final time and they suspended him for a third time at his high school. I have to take you back to the story because it happened on a number of occasions.
The first time it happened, Leo was at a bonfire and he got up and started preaching the gospel. He began sharing the Ten Commandments and he started handing out tracts. Some of the teachers told him to be quiet, which he did, and then about twenty minutes later, he started sharing the gospel again and they told him that he is going to be suspended. He gets back to school and he is suspended for preaching the gospel.
On another occasion, he goes to a volleyball game and he is handing out tracts again at the volleyball game and the principal of the school, Kathy Woods, approaches him and says to him, you need to stop telling people about Jesus because you are breaking the law by proselytizing students. Leo, confused, responded with this question. ìIf you allow me to hand out tracts and talk about Jesus, then I am breaking the law? And she said, with a resounding response, Yes. Read More
Dr. Billy Graham is an example of what a godly father, husband and preacher should be like. Over his tenure as pastor-preacher, as an evangelist, he has avoided the scandals that have plagued so many televangelists through the years. And as you can imagine, God has enlarged his territory on a massive level.
It was reported in Time Magazine a couple of years ago that Billy Graham had the privilege of speaking in person to 200 million people. Wrap your mind around that. And through the internet, radio and television, he has spoken to approximately 2 billion people.
When I went to seminary, I studied his preacher extensively. Having a preaching degree and studying sermons, I decided to write my dissertation in my PhD on a critical examination of the use of the public invitation. And so I looked at Billy Graham's sermons a lot.
So I was overjoyed, as you can imagine, when I got a call from Dr. Don Wilton about traveling to the ranch in North Carolina to visit Billy Graham at his house. And so, as you can see from this picture, what an amazing time we got to have with him. We read scripture to him. We talked about evangelism. He heard my testimony and he responded and at the end of it, he said, "Praise God."At the end of our time, Dr. Wilton looked at Rob and myself and he said, "Would you boys pray for Dr. Graham?" Talk about intimidating. How do you prayer for Billy Graham? It humbled us as we got an opportunity to pray for this man. Read More
Growing up as a boy in New Orleans, I wanted to be like Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. I did everything I could to imitate his moves. After school every afternoon, I would go into the living room. I would press Play on our VCR of Michael Jordan’s Playground which was a movie with a collection of his moves and I would watch Michael Jordan perform one of these moves. I would press “pause” on the VCR. I would run outside. And as best as I could as a 6'6 uncoordinated white boy, I would attempt to perform the moves. Now they worked great in the driveway, not so good in game, if you can imagine. Thankfully, I did not imitate Michael Jordan's moves off the court.
As a Christian, I have often thought about the men who have invested in me, though. I have thought about how they have displayed love to other people. I thought about how they ministered to people. I thought about how they preached the Word of God, their quiet time with God, their prayer life with God.
And I want to show you today that if we are not careful as Christians, we could follow and mimic the false teachings of our society unknowingly. I want to ask you today, who are your role models? Who are you looking up to? Who are you following? Who are you mimicking unconsciously or consciously in the Christian life? Read More
Walter Lewis Wilson was a doctor. He later became a pastor. He was a doctor who was a Christian who felt like his efforts in evangelism were not very fruitful. And so he started to wonder what he could do to change that. And one day a missionary from France had visited his home and it posed a question for him that he thought about often. And the question to him was this, Who is the Holy Spirit to you? And he responded and he said, He is the third person of the Godhead. He is a guide. He is a teacher. He is the third person of the Trinity.î The French missionary said, No, that is not what I asked you. Who is the Holy Spirit to you? And he said, Well, He is nothing to me. We don't have a relationship. In fact, I can get on just fine without Him.
Well, that response haunted him for the next year. On January 14, 1914, he visited a church. A pastor by the name of James M. Gray was preaching. He would go on to be the President of Moody Bible Institute. Gray was preaching on Romans Chapter 12 Verse 1. He said you know the verse, Therefore, present your bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him. Have you noticed, the pastor said, that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies to. It is not to the Lord Jesus because He has His own body. It is not to the Father because He remains on His throne. God gives you the indescribable honor to present your bodies to the Holy Spirit because He needs a dwelling place on earth.
Wilson said after the message, he went home to his house. He laid prostrate on the ground and he begged for the Lord's forgiveness. He said to the Lord, I am sorry for treating You as a servant for so many years. When I wanted you, I called upon You. Now I give you this body, from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes, my lips and my mind. God, you may send this body to Africa or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is your body from this moment on. Read More
Apple has mastered the art of targeting young people with great products. Now if you are an older adult, you are probably immune to the drawing power of Apple. But if you are around the age of 40 or under, born at a time of Atari, Sega Genesis or Nintendo, you know the influence of Apple as persuading. In fact, they come out every year as the CEO does and he gives you 101 reasons why you need to buy the new iPad, iPhone, Mac Book Pro, Mac Book Air, iPad Air or the iWatch which will be manufactured and shipped in the Spring of 2015, just in case any of you were wondering. What Apple realizes is if they can get you younger to buy into their technology, they are more likely to keep you as a lifelong customer.
And friends, what I want to show you today for some of you are younger than others, but I want to show all of us today the benefits of surrendering your life and following the path of God as you live. And the earlier you buy into the benefits and surrender your life to God, the better it will be for you. And I want to do that from the book of Proverbs Chapter 3. And what you will see is that Solomon shows us that when we follow God, we will have a prosperous life. He is not talking about prosperity just in monetary terms, although God does bless us monetarily. Amen? If we put God first in our finances, He blesses us. Read More
Dr. Howard Hendricks, former professor at DTS, told the story of a small town in Texas where a school burned to the ground with the loss of more than 200 lives, because the building didn’t have a sprinkler system. The principle began to rebuild the school after the initial shock had passed. They called in the leading company in fire prevention equipment to install a sprinkler system. When the new school was opened for public inspection, the principle pointed out the new sprinklers in each room, to remove fears of another disaster. The school operated without a problem for a number of years, then they needed to add on to the existing structure. As work progressed, they made a startling discovery. The new fire extinguishing equipment had never been connected to the water supply! They had the latest in technology and equipment, yet it was useless.
Sadly, many believers attempt to live the Christians life separate and apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to show you the absolute necessity of abiding in Jesus in order to bear fruit that remains long after you are gone. Read More