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A Letter Against Compromise

September 3, 2020 | Revelation 2:12-17 | exposition

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We rarely dive into the deep end of sin. We tend to slide into the shallow end, slowly inching ourselves deeper until it’s over our heads and we start drowning. No one sets out to be an addict or an alcoholic, they make a series of compromises that lead them there. No one plans on being unfaithful in their marriage, divorce was never the plan, but they make a series of compromises that lead them there. No one decides to reject Jesus in order to put money or material things or some other pursuit their god, but they make little compromises that lead them there.
We tend to do better with big challenges, but it’s the little compromises that erode our lives and our souls over time.

That’s what was happening in the church of Pergamum, compromise was eroding their faith. But Jesus had a word for them. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told John to write a letter to seven churches in Asia Minor. To the church of Pergamum, Jesus told John to write a letter calling them to uncompromising faith. We can have uncompromising faith.

A Letter to the Suffering

August 23, 2020 | Revelation 2:8-11 | exposition

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Are you facing suffering today? There are many aspects of human suffering, or pain in the broader sense. There is psychological suffering: depression, anxiety, loneliness, grief from a death, a divorce or a broken friendship. Maybe that’s where you are today. You have emotional pain. Then, there is physical suffering: sickness, injury, declining health, sleep deprivation, even the pain of hunger, thirst and shelter for the impoverished. And the minute we put suffering into these two categories of psychological and physical, we have to understand that one affects the other. The pain of the body affects the mind, and the suffering of the mind affects the body. We all want to avoid suffering don’t we? But isn’t suffering and pain inevitable in this life? And since it is, wouldn’t you like help in how to face suffering when it comes?

That’s where the believers in Smyrna were. They were suffering tribulation and poverty and Jesus sent a letter to help them face it. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told John to write a letter to the church of Smyrna to help them with the suffering they were facing. We can receive Christ’s help when we face suffering.

A Letter on First Love

August 16, 2020 | Revelation 2:1-7 | exposition

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Jesus wrote a letter to His churches. The first letter went to the church of Ephesus. It was a love letter. He wanted to know why they no longer loved Him as they did at first. Isn’t that amazing? That the Lord Jesus would care whether we love Him or not? Don’t we all need to hear this today? You may be listening today and you feel lonely and unloved. You may wonder whether the Lord is even aware of your situation. Does He even care?

Hear this: Jesus loves you. And he wants to know whether you love Him back. In Revelation chapter 2, Jesus told John to write a letter to the church of Ephesus, calling them to always put their love for Him first. We can answer Christ’s call to put our love for Him first.

A Letter of Revelation

August 9, 2020 | Revelation 1:1-20 | exposition

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The apostle John recorded how the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him while he was exiled on the isle of Patmos and told him to a write letter to the seven churches of Asia Minor on His behalf. That’s what the book of Revelation is, it’s a letter from King Jesus to His Church containing what He wants believers to know about Him, the Church and about the future events in the world and in heaven leading up to His return.

In the first chapter of Revelation, the apostle John described how believers might receive the blessing of the revelation of Jesus Christ. We can receive the blessing of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Have You Rejected the True King?

March 29, 2020 | 1 Samuel 14:47-15:35 | exposition

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You may not yet understand how you have rejected God as your True King, but I’m sure you know how rejection feels. You love someone and they betray you or leave you. They act one way to your face, but another behind your back. They say they love you back, but they don’t mean it. Or someone has rejected you for a place on a team, a part in a play, or a position of employment. Rejection hurts! And that’s how God feels toward us.

As we conclude our 1 Samuel study, we’ll see that our rejection grieves the Lord. nclude our 1 Samuel study, we’ll see that our rejection grieves the Lord.
BODY: In 1 Samuel 15, the LORD rejected Saul from being king of Israel because he had rejected the Word of the LORD God who is the true King over all. Saul represents all of us. For all humanity since the time of Adam has been in rebellion against God as its true King. We can recognize that we have rejected God as our True King, so that we may repent and follow Him as our True King.

What Have You Done?

March 27, 2020 | 1 Samuel 13-14 | exposition

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Sometimes we make a mess of our lives and don’t know how to clean it up and we don’t want to admit it’s our fault. How we respond to the mess we make with our lives matters to God.

In 1 Samuel 13-14, although the newly anointed King Saul was regal in appearance and enjoyed popular support, he soon demonstrated a fatal flaw–– he foolishly rebelled against God’s Word and made trouble for himself and his nation. We have the same fatal flaw as Saul. When we rebel against God’s Word, we make trouble for ourselves and others.

Taking the Witness Stand

March 15, 2020 | 1 Samuel 12 | exposition

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If you’re trying to sit in the judge’s chair today, then it’s impossible not to live the life of a hypocrite. It’s always easier to see the wrong in others. But God’s Word is like a mirror. When we look into it, we see our sin and our hypocrisy. It makes us stop judging and instead look for an attorney for our own mess! Or it causes us to turn away and try to hide. Yet, in hiding we continue to suffer from the consequences of our sin: broken relationships, making excuses, never being real, always covering up for the ugliness underneath.

Which seat will you sit in today? Will you listen closely as we call our first witness…

In 1 Samuel 12, the prophet Samuel called the people of Israel to bear witness that they had sinned greatly by asking for a human king when the LORD God was their King, making it clear that how they responded to this truth would determine their future as God’s people. We too have rejected God as King and how we respond to this truth affects our future. What questions must be considered in rightly responding to God as King?

Search for the Heart’s Desire

March 8, 2020 | 1 Samuel 9-11 | exposition

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God is our Creator and He has made us for Himself. The throne in our hearts was built for Him. No other will satisfy our heart’s desire. So we keep on searching. That’s what’s going on in our Scripture text today. We will see a son searching for his father’s donkeys, a prophet looking for a prophesied prince and a people searching for a king like the other nations.

In 1 Samuel 9-11, the LORD answered Israel’s desire for a king, anointing a Benjamite named Saul to rule over them and save them from their surrounding enemies. We can understand that the LORD answers our heart’s desire for its true King today.

Worshiping the True King

March 1, 2020 | 1 Samuel 7:2-8:22 | exposition

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Sometimes we try to put ourselves in the throne that belongs to God, but often we put someone or something else there.

Samuel is old and it’s election year. But they want a new kind of government. They want one like the other nations. They want a human king instead of God. In 1 Samuel 7-8, even though the LORD had established Samuel as His prophet and judge over Israel, they still continued to fail at worshiping God as their true King. In the same way, we often fail to worship God as our true King.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

February 26, 2020 | 1 Samuel 4:1-7:2 | exposition

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Since the beginning, humanity has continually struggled against God in a kind of game of thrones. Yet, when we reject the Lord as King and put ourselves on the throne, we experience much sorrow and defeat in life. But this sorrow can be God’s grace to lead us to follow Him and to give Him the glory that is due Him. That’s what happens to Israel in our sermon today. Both the priests and the people don’t give God the glory due Him, so that they are defeated by Philistine raiders, and the Ark, which represents the throne of God, is lost!

In the book of 1 Samuel 4:1-7:2, the LORD deposed the house of Eli and disciplined Israel so that they might learn to give God the glory that was due Him. We can learn to give God the glory that is due Him.