5 Commitments To Protect The Fellowship Of The Church

This past Sunday Pastor Roger shared Five Commitments through which we can better protect the fellowship of the church.  They are listed below as well as his other sermon points and scriptures referenced.

5 Commitments To Protect The Fellowship Of The Church
 
1) Love God
2) Love Others
3) Spiritually Grow
4) Serve Others
5) Share Christ
 
Sermon Notes and Scriptures from 2/8/2015 Sermon

I. PROVIDING FELLOWSHIP

1. Support
2. Encouragement

II. PROTECTING FELLOWSHIP

 1. Selfishness
 2. Pride
 3. Resentment
 

1 Corinthians 1:9

Acts 2:42

Psalm 133:1

Proverbs 6:16-19

Hebrews 10:24-25

James 4:1-2

Philippians 2:4

Proverbs 13:10  

Proverbs 16:18

Colossians 3:13



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The Holy Spirit and Salvation

The Holy Spirit and Salvation

The Holy Spirit and Salvation
(The work of the Holy Spirit in bringing lost people to Jesus)
During a Billy Graham crusade in London, England, a Russian official came to one of the services. He spoke no English. When Billy Graham gave the invitation this Russian official came forward to receive Christ as his savior. The trained Russian speaking counselor for Billy Graham asked him how, knowing no English, he had understood enough of the message to respond. The Russian said, “When I entered this place, I was overwhelmed with a longing for God. Tell me, how can I find Him?”
That is nothing less than the work of the Holy Spirit bringing lost men and women to Jesus Christ. Many think that the Holy Spirit does nothing in our lives until after we’re saved. Yet, if it were not for the holy spirit working in our livesbefore we accepted Christ, we would have never accepted Christ.
What then is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of an unbeliever?
I.        HE BRINGS CONVICTION
Let me break this into 2 simple parts so that we all can understand it
          1.       He tells us of our sin
John 16:8-11… “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;  of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
The word “conviction” or “reprove” in KJV means to reveal, to bring to light, to expose.
2 Corinthians 4:4 says that the devil has blinded the spiritual eyes of an unbeliever. One of the primary things the devil does is to blind us about our sin. It’s the Holy Spirit that opens our spiritual eyes, he brings to light our sin.
Notice vs8…”in regard to sin.” Do you see that the word“sin” singular, one? What one sin does the Holy Spirit expose in our life as he leads us to salvation?  Is it your worst sin? Is it adultery, drunkenness, which one? The one sin is the sin of unbelief. (vs10) The Holy Spirit exposes our sin, the sin of unbelief.
But that’s not all the Holy Spirit does in the life of a lost person
          2.       He tells us what we need to do
See when the Holy Spirit brings conviction, he brings to light our sin of unbelief and summons us to repentance. He reveals to us our sin and then points us towards Jesus, towards repentance and faith.
What I mean by all that is this. That desire in your heart to be saved was put there by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like a giant magnet that draws you to Christ. The desire in that Russian’s heart to know God was put there by the Holy Spirit.
Let me illustrate that by my own salvation. I was going to church as a teenager where most of the youth group was lost or those that were saved didn’t act like it. At that time in my life I knew I needed to get saved, I was under conviction. The Holy Spirit had exposed my sin of unbelief. One Sunday night, I went to my uncle’s church where he was serving as youth minister. There I saw a group of young people that were alive in Christ, excited about Jesus. I wanted what they had, which was Jesus. Before that night I knew I needed to get saved, but now I wanted to get saved. That’s how the Holy Spirit brings conviction. He exposes our sin and then points us towards the Savior.
I must warn you that you can resist the Holy Spirit. That desire in your heart will not always be there. The more you say no the more your heart hardens. Your heart can become so hard and calloused that it no longer desires to be saved. That is why the Bible says that “today is the day of salvation.”
But not only does the Holy Spirit bring conviction but also,
II.      HE REGENERATES OUR SPIRIT
Consider several passages:
          1.       Our Problem
Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins
We all, before meeting Jesus were dead in our sins. Spiritually dead, possessing no spiritual life, no connection with God.
          2.       Our Need
That’s why Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3 that he “must be born again.” We’re spiritually dead and we need to be “born again”
          3.       Our Solution
Titus 3:5… “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” The word “renewing” means regeneration and it is actually a compound word that literally means “birth again” or as Jesus would say, “born again”
It is the Holy Spirit that cleanses and causes the new birth. It is the Holy Spirit that renews, regenerates that which is spiritually dead. A spiritually dead person does not need to walk an isle and rededicate their life nor do they need to reform and turn over a new leaf. A spiritually dead person needs to repent and allow the spirit of the living God to give them new birth! It is through the power of the Holy Spirit and only through the power of the Holy Spirit that makes the spiritually dead come alive.
What does the Holy Spirit do in bringing unbelievers to Christ? First, he convicts, then he regenerates, and next,
III.     HE SEALS OUR SALVATION
Ephesians 1:13 … “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
This one verse gives the entire process of salvation.  You heard the gospel, believed the gospel, and then were sealed by the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be sealed with the Holy Spirit?  Think of how a seal was used in the bible.  In Jeremiah 32, we find Jeremiah buying a piece of property.  The deed was signed and then sealed, making Jeremiah the new owner of that property.
After the crucifixion of Jesus, his body was placed in a tomb and the opening covered with a rock.  A seal was placed over the rock.  The only way to get into the tomb was to break the seal.  Under Roman law, if you broke that seal it would cost you your life.
A seal was used in Bible times as proof of ownership and to provide security. The Holy Spirit operates in the same fashion.  The Holy Spirit living in your life is proof that you belong to God.  With the blood of Christ he has bought you. He now owns you.  The Holy Spirit living in your life also provides protection and security.  It is impossible for you to ever lose your salvation because no one has the power to break God’s seal.
IV.     HE GUARANTEES OUR SALVATION
Ephesians 1:14… “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory”
The Holy Spirit in your life is God’s down payment on your salvation.  The word guarantee or deposit is an interesting word.  In Paul’s day it meant engagement ring.  A fitting illustration, don’t you think?  Christ is the Bridegroom and His church is the Bride.  We know he will come and claim His bride because he has given us his Spirit as the engagement ring.
It also means earnest, as in earnest money, like a down payment on a house. When you want to put an offer in on a house you are asked for some earnest money. It proves you are serious about your offer. What happens if you back out on your offer and no longer want to buy the house? You lose your down payment, your earnest money.
It’s the same way with salvation. If the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life is God’s earnest money, what would happen if God were to back out on your salvation? If you were to lose your salvation then God would lose His down payment, He would lose the Holy Spirit.
Wait a minute, the Holy Spirit is God, God can’t lose God. Exactly! The presence of the Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee of salvation!


A Child Who Honors His Mother

A Child Who Honors Mom

Exodus 20:12

Roger Tidwell

HappyMothersDay_Fireflies_std_t 

In an area just outside a small town was the town’s garbage dump. When this dump was full a developer bought it with plans of building a new subdivision on top of this dump. First, dirt was brought in and smoothed over. Then roads were laid, trees were planted and houses began to spring up. It wasn’t long before this new subdivision was full. You could never tell this was once a dump. Several years later however, the soil began to give way. Roofs began to sag, walls began crack and the foundation began to crumble. Pretty soon every family had to move out. The old timers of that town just shook their heads because they knew what had happened. Those homes had been built on garbage.

 

Today the home and the family are in trouble. Families are crumbling; homes are being destroyed because many of the families of today have the garbage of the world as their foundation and not the word of God.

 

When the bottom falls out of your family you had better check your foundation!

 

Since this is Mother’s Day, if you had to find just one verse to use as a foundation for a happy and spiritually healthy family, what would you choose? Now remember, it has to have something to do with Mother. How about this one, Exodus 20:18? “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

 

I am reminded of a bachelor who wanted to get married, but every time he brought a prospective wife home his mother criticized her unmercifully. Well, he didn’t know what to do and he was talking to a friend one day, and the friend said, “Why don’t you go find someone who is just like your Mother.” He said, “That’s a good idea.” So he looked and he looked until he found what someone just like his mother. She looked like his mother, she walked like his mother, she talked like his mother; she even thought like his mother. He called his friend and said, “Well, I’m going to take her home today, I’ll let you know how it goes.” So he took her home. The next day his friend called him up and said, “How did it go?” The bachelor said, “Terrible.” The friend said, “Why?” He said, “Well, my mother loved her, but my father couldn’t stand her.”

 

When you study the Ten Commandments you will discover that these commandments can be broken into two groups. The first part of the commandments deal with our relationship with God, these are called the vertical commandments. The second groups of commandments deal with our relationships with others; these are called the horizontal commandments. This morning we are going to look at the fifth commandment and learn what our responsibilities are and see what it takes to properly honor our mothers.

 

Number one, you can honor your mother

 

I.          BY THE LIFE YOU LIVE

It’s really very simple, your life will either honor or dishonor, your parents. Therefore you are to live a life of obedience to your parents. Do you want to please God? If so then consider Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” So that tells me there is a great blessing for those who obey their parents … they please the Lord. But do you realize there is also great danger in disobeying your parents.

 

I am amazed at how God looks upon the sin of disobedience to parents. God gives a list of sins, the most terrible, horrible, hurtful, sins that you can think of and in the list he mentions the disobedience to parents. Romans 1:28-32 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

 

God says in the Old Testament that if you’re disobedient to your parents, you could be put to death. That’s how God felt about this sin and still feels about this sin though today he does not demand death because we’re living under different time. Obedience brings a tremendous blessing. It is well pleasing to the Lord. Disobedience to parents is a terrible, horrible sin.

 

Let me give you another important verse, Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

 

God said honor father and mother that you’ll live a long life. Hey folks, you want to shorten your life? Dishonor your parents. Perhaps you ought to put a sign over the door of your child’s bedroom that says something like this … Warning, disobedience to your parents may be harmful to your health! That’s what God is saying. Someone might say, “what if my parents are not right?” “What if my parents tell me to do something wrong?” Well, this scripture says children obey your parents in the Lord. Obviously, if your parents tell you to do something that goes against the word of God, you ought not to do it.

 

See, little children are not wise enough to make choices as to what is right and wrong. They have to depend upon their parents. When I was a little I couldn’t understand why my parents did certain things. I couldn’t understand why my dad would take a nap when he didn’t even have to. Or I couldn’t understand why my mom didn’t buy all the candy she wanted. Or why my parents would sometimes just sit in the house and talk when they could go out and play. We don’t understand things from a parent’s perspective.

 

II.        BY THE HELP YOU GIVE

You’re to help your parents. Now, there’s a serious problem in our country and that is the care of the old and sickly. The more pagan a society gets, the less that society cares for the aged and the infirmed. In some pagan societies when people get old in age they’re just turned out of the society, turned out of the village to wander in the jungles until they die. And something like that could happen in America as America becomes more and more pagan.

 

Let me tell you something that may surprise you. You cannot use your commitment to God, your service to the Lord as an excuse not to help your parents. You can’t say, “I’m so busy at church that I cannot help my parents.” The Bible says this in Matthew chapter fifteen, beginning in verse three. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and in Matthew 15:3-11 we find, “He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—  then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.  Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:  Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” They were saying, “I took what I was going to give to my parents and I gave it to God. What I was going to give to you I just felt led to give to somebody else. I did something nice and religious with it.”

 

So what’s the application to us in 2013? God says that any man, any woman, any boy, any girl in this church today worshipping God who doesn’t take care of their parents is a hypocrite. God says… their heart is far from Me, In vain do you worship me. Maybe you say, I don’t have time for my parents, but boy, I’m sure a big church worker. That doesn’t impress God, not at all. You say, well, my parents are a bother. I have to carry them around, I have to change their clothes, it stinks, I have to feed them, they slobber. Hey folks, they changed you, they bathed you. You slobbered on them, you spit up on them.

 

III.       BY THE LESSONS YOU LEARN

Proverbs 1:8-9 says, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.”

Now, he’s not talking about chains of bondage, he’s talking about chains of ornament like a gold chain. These verses say, For they … meaning the instruction and teaching from your parents.

 

Have you ever noticed that the older we get the smarter our parents get. Isn’t that true? When I was sixteen, I thought my parents were really out of it. At nineteen, just out of high school, I felt that I had passed them so far they’ll never catch up to me. At twenty two they were just out of sight somewhere back there. When we are young like that we think we know everything.

I moved to FBC Howe when I was 32 and somewhere about that time my parents started getting smarter again! The older you get the smarter your parents will get.

 

You say, “well, my parents are not as smart as I am.” Hey folks, that doesn’t have anything to do with it. Suppose you’re going on a trip and you and your parents are driving to California. They left two days before you did. While you are in Fort Worth and they’re already in Phoenix. They call you up and tell you to avoid a certain construction site and how to bypass that area. They tell you about a wonderful motel to stay at along the way. They share where there is a really nice restaurant to eat at along the way. In that made up situation, that didn’t mean they are smarter than you are or that you are smarter than they are. It just means they’ve been a little further down the road than you have. They’ve seen things and experienced things you had yet to see or experience. From their experience your parents could warn you and prepare you for the detours and they could share valuable information needed for the trip.

And it’s the same way in life. Our parents have been a little farther than the road than their children. They can give warnings, information and instructions about the bumps and detours of life. The Bible says to learn from your parents is like an ornament of grace around your neck.

 

Here’s a little something to think about … it’s a little article called “The Meanest Mother.”

 

Surely mine was the meanest mother in the world. While other kids ate candy for breakfast I had to   have cereal, eggs and toast. While others were enjoying pop and candy or lunch I had to eat a sandwich and fruit. I was not alone in suffering. My sister and two brothers had the same cruel mother had. She insisted on knowing where we were all the time. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing and if we said we’d be home in an hour that meant an hour or less, not more.
When we were young and disobeyed this tyrannical mother of ours would strike us with a switch. Imagine! And now you begin to see how really mean she was, but even this physical brutality was not the worse. We had to be in bed early, get up early, we never got to sleep till noon like our friends. While they slept we worked. I mean my brother, my mother broke every child labor law there is. We were not yet sixteen when we had to wash dishes, make beds, help cook and all sorts of cruel things.
Surely that meanest mother must have lain awake nights thinking up mean things for us to have to do. She demanded that we tell the truth even if it hurt and sometimes it hurt like everything. By the time we were teenagers life became increasingly unbearable, our dates were not allowed to toot the horn and bring us running as other girl’s dates did. My cruel mother embarrassed us by insisting that our dates come to the door and get us. And when some of our friends got to date when they were twelve, my cruel mother refused to let us date until we were fifteen and then only for school functions.
My sister and brothers and I finally got away from my mother and could do as we please, but by now we were helplessly warped and twisted in our behavior. We grew up taking bathes and tithing to the church and we never learned not to. None of us ever had the opportunity other young people have to wreck school houses or burn flags or smoke pot. Each of us went to school and learned, went to work and earned, each of us got married once and still is.
It’s a rut, we’re going in the same direction in which we’ve been pushed and my meanest mother in the world pushed us in this, into this bathing and learning and earning and giving and living and loving. Mine was the meanest mother in the world.

 

We need more mean mothers, amen, mothers who mean business for God!



Getting The Bible Into Our Life

GETTING THE BIBLE INTO OUR LIFE

Roger Tidwell

bible-reading

In a small Arkansas town, there was an elderly lady who lived near the school.  This lady had a beautiful assortment of flowers in her front yard.  There was a group of high school boys who drove around in an old Chevy pickup.  Occasionally, just for meanness’ sake, they would back their truck up into this elderly widow’s flowerbed and destroy many beautiful flowers with their mud and snow tires.  We called it “peeling out” in those days.  They were “peeling” flowers for fun.  Well, everyone in town knew that this widow had a semiautomatic pistol which her husband had left her.  She would always come out on her porch and wave the pistol at the old truck.  This was not a deterrent because everyone also knew that she did not know how to use the pistol.  Some of the officials from the sheriff’s office took her one day to the city dump and taught her how to load and fire her pistol.  No one knew this but her and her helpers. She patiently waited for a few weeks.  Late one evening, here they came in the old black truck.  Just as they were driving across the sidewalk into the yard, she pumped three .45-caliber slugs into the tailgate of the truck.  Needless to say, she never had a problem with a truck in her flowerbed again.  She had the weapon all the time; but because she had not learned to use it, she was repeatedly plagued.  When the “enemies” learned that she knew how to use what she possessed, she was freed from the problem.

That sounds a lot like us today.  We have in our possession the powerful word of God, the Bible and yet we don’t know how to use it.  With the powerful word of God, we have the weapon needed to defeat Satan and be spiritually victorious, yet we don’t know how to use it.

The Bible is an amazing book.  That book you hold in your hand this evening is indeed an amazing book.  It has one author and yet it has 40 people from every walk of life who were involved in the writing of the Bible.  Shepherds, kings, fishermen, and farmers.  It has 66 books in it and yet it is one book.  It was written by these 40 authors over a period of 1600 years on 2 continents in 3 different languages.  Yet, it is still just one Book.  It is a book which has one main teaching and it is a book which has one central personality, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We need to learn how to use our Bible the way Jesus used the Bible. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus whipped the devil by using just the book of Deuteronomy!

In Psalm 119:17-20, you find what we should all do with God’s Word.

VS 17 – Live your Bible

VS 18 – Learn your Bible

VS 20 – Love your Bible

You do those things and your life will be revolutionized! You’ll become more and more like Jesus!

 

But how do we, as God’s children “get” the Bible into our lives? How can we properly apply it to our daily life?

 

Here are six things to do with your Bible that will help get the Bible into your life.

 

1.      HEAR IT

Hear the word as much as possible. Here it on Sunday’s, on the radio or the internet. Expose yourself to the teaching of God’s word.

 

2.      READ IT

Just read it. Read the Bible more than your read magazines, newspapers and your email.

 

3.      STUDY IT

What’s the difference between reading it and studying it? When you read it, you just hold the Bible in your hand, but when you are studying it, you usually have a pen, a highlighter and a separate sheet of paper where you write down insights and locate verses that connect other verses together—you go a little bit deeper when you study God’s word.

 

4.      MEDITATE ON IT

That means think about it. The Bible says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the way of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)

Let the word of God saturate your mind and your heart.

 

5.      MEMORIZE IT

Why should you memorize the Bible? So you can brag about how many scriptures you can quote? No. The Bible says in Psalms 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” The more of the word you hide in your heart, the less likely you are going to be to sin, because the Word will be there ready and prepared.

 

6.      QUOTE IT

Of course you can’t quote it if you haven’t memorized it; you can’t memorize it unless you meditate on it; you can’t meditate on it unless you study it; you can’t study it unless you read it.

 

If you want to become skillful in God’s Word and have the Word of God change your life, try doing those six things.

 



What Is The Purpose of Music In The Church?

 March 10, 2013 Sermon Notes

Jonathan Coleman

What Is The Purpose of Music In The Church

Exodus 15

There are some of us in this room that would define ourselves as being “musical, and then there are those, that would never use the term “musical” in the same sentence as themselves.  However, regardless of how you view your relationship with music, it is undeniable that music has a huge role in the life of the church.  Even if we were to take someone who has never been to a church service and have them evaluate what we do on Sunday morning, they could conclude that a majority of our time is spent with a preaching teaching the bible and singing songs.  These two elements of worship services seem to dominate our time on Sunday Mornings.  Therefore if we give almost 50% of our time on Sunday morning, we must think that there is some validity to having music in our worship services?  But what is the point?  What is the purpose?  Is it merely to entertain?  Is it merely to prepare our hearts for the main course of the sermon?  And what about those of you that don’t define yourselves as being “musical”, why should we make you endure the pain and agony of congregation singing?  I hope that through this brief time I can answer some of these questions and offer why I think that congregational singing is so imperative that everyone participate in that it outweighs whether you are “musical” or not.

 

When we think of the word “Worship” we might have as many different definitions as many of us as there are in this room.

  • Some of us may think of worship as something that is our lifestyle, a way that we live;

        [1 Cor 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.]

        [Romans 12:1 – 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice,       

        holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.]

 

  • Some may think of worship as something that is private that occurs in our homes, between us and God alone

       [Ps. 5:3; Ps 119:164; Dan 6:10; Mark 1:35];

  • While some of us may think of worship as something that occurs between God’s people, corporately, as they are gathered on Sundays and Wednesdays

      [Ps. 111:1; Ps 149:1; Corinthians 14:23; Acts 2:46].

 

Each of these definitions of the word worship is right and biblical, however for the purpose of this talk we will focus on the third style, which is congregational worship, or the gathering of the people of God to worship Him corporately.

 

 

To first understand the purpose of why we sing corporately, lets refresh our memories on the purpose of we gather corporately.

1. Commonality – we gather together corporately for commonality.  

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any hafd need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 2:24-47

 

These believers gathered for commonality, think about the thing that binds us in a church, its not our age, our children, our love for baseball/football/basketball; the one thing that each of us has in common in this place is that God has redeemed us from our sins; therefore we gather together, having that in common.  Not only do we gather because of commonality we also gather together to encourage one another.

 

2. Encourage/Edify/Build Up – we gather corporately to encourage one another.  

9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Living a Christian life is hard, that is no secret.  Therefore we gather corporately to encourage one another in our daily Christian walk, to maintain our integrity and character in hard choices and encourage one another in discouraging times.

 

3. Celebrate – We gather corporately to celebrate the goodness of God and His salvation to us

1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:1-3

 

When we gather corporately, it is a no-brainer that we are here to celebrate.  We are here to pour out ourselves in telling God how good He is.

 

 

Take a moment now and think about the three purposes we just mentioned for the purpose of gathering corporately:  Commonality, Encouragement, and to Celebrate.  How is each of those celebrated in the life of the church?  Sure commonality,  encouragement, and celebration can be achieved individually , but a way that we can also express this all together corporately, is through song.

Bob Kauflin, who is a gifted minister of music that I look up to, worded it this way in his book “Worship Matters”,

The truth is, we can study our Bibles, read Christian books, sing worship songs, pray, and commune with God in the privacy of our own homes. And we should. But we’re easily deceived by our sinful hearts. God has so designed the church that it’s impossible to grow in godliness and know the fullness of his grace apart from the church. That’s humbling. It flies in the face of our self-sufficient and self-reliant tendencies. That’s why we need the church. It also gives us an opportunity to be a means of support and encouragement to others.

 

 Let’s think about how we celebrate commonality in the life of the church through song.  

  1. Commonality – we gather together corporately for commonality.  

In the life of the church, the baptist church in particular, at no other time in the life of the church, apart from the music, are we saying the same text, and the same time, with the same voice.  Let me say that again, In the life of the church, the baptist church in particular, at no other time in the life of the church, apart from the music, are we saying the same text, and the same time, with the same voice.  Think about that, this is huge, this is an imagery of the unity of the church that Paul was speaking of in Ephesians to the church at Ephesus.  When we sing songs in the life of the church such as The Churches One Foundation or Nothing but the blood, we are celebrating what it is that unifies us, the cross of Jesus Christ.  What a beautiful picture of the unified church does music paint!  We are not saying that we are gathered because of our common age, race, love for a particular sport, or our socio-economic place in life, we are celebrated that we are a diverse people who are unified through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Music Unifies us and allows us to celebrate our commonality.  

Let’s look now to Exodus 15.  I’m sure we’re all familiar with the context here, Moses had just freed his people from the Egyptians and while being chased, God did an amazing thing, He parted the Red Sea to let Moses and His people through, and then swallowed up the Egyptians.  This was a huge thing, the God of Israel had just rescued Israel from the hand of the Egyptians; they had just gone through a life-changing event of being saved. Therefore they had commonality of being saved from God.  What was their response?  The Israelites with Moses gathered in singing a song to the Lord recalling their commonality.  Do you think in this moment that any one was worried if they were “musical”?  I would make a case that they did not, they were so grateful and filled with gratitude, and astonished, that they worshiped congregationally through a song of commonality of the salvation they had just experienced.

1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. 2 The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name.

4 “Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea, and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 5 The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6 Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. 7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble. 8 At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said,’I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’ 10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? 12 You stretched out your right hand; the earth swallowed them.

13 “You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode. 14 The peoples have heard; they tremble; pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia. 15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed; trembling seizes the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. 16 Terror and dread fall upon them; because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone, till your people, O Lord, pass by, till the people pass by whom you have purchased. 17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain, the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established. 18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.”

Exodus 15:1-18

 

My last church that I was at previously was an amazing blessing from God.  I begin there when I was only 21 years old and moved to Texas with no family, no friends, and no idea of the splendor of Texas.  Oddly enough the group in my church that I had the most in common with was our widows class who called themselves the Rachel class.  These ladies adopted me as their “grandchild”; I spent every Sunday afternoon with them for almost a year and a half going out and eating lunch after our services and coming back and playing “spinner” dominos.  Initially what bound us was our commonality through we each had no families to go to on Sunday afternoons and enjoyed each others company; I loved these ladies and still do, they still call themselves my “Texas Grandmothers” and adopted my daughter as their “great-grandaughter”.  My relationship with them was amazing.  However what was even more amazing was during these Sunday afternoons that we spent together I had the opportunity to have conversations about why they loved the hymns that they loved and what texts where dear to their heart and why.  It was amazing!  As an arrogant 21 year old who thought new music was the only way, I begin to see how these older women were giving Glory and Worshipping the Father in a deep way through these texts, it gave me a whole new insight and love for the old hymns.  I led a blended worship service at my last church, so this set a whole new president for the direction in which I planned our worship services.  No longer did I have an agenda to “move to newer music”, but my agenda was for us to “keep the old music” and pair it with the new music to show our unity in Christ through our diversity of styles and text  So when we joined together singing texts such as The Old Rugged Cross or Nothing But the Blood I had a whole new insight to the bond that I had with these sisters in Christ; I was not singing these texts alone, but these were statements of faith that I was joining in proclaiming in unity with my sisters and brothers in Christ.

 Music Unifies us and allows us to celebrate our commonality.  

Second let’s think about how we encourage, edify and build each other up in the life of the church through song.  

2. Encourage/Edify/Build Up – we gather corporately to encourage one another.  

Let’s read Ephesians 5:18-20:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ephesians 5:18-20

 

Paul writing to the church at Ephesus here is telling the church how they should operate, finds it important to include this passage saying that the church is to be filled with the Spirit addressing one another in hymns and spiritual songs.  So we see that songs are not just for our singing to God, but also for reminding us the goodness and the faithfulness of God.

Life is hard, we get discouraged, and it is easy to forget the goodness of God in the valleys of life.  When we sing songs like Great is Thy Faithfulness, and How Great Thou Art, we may be addressing God, but we also may in the same breath be addressing one another, saying be encouraged remember that God has been faithful! So think about this before you withhold yourself from the singing because you aren’t “musical”.  God doesn’t require you to be musical to encourage your brother and sister in Christ.

 

Natalie and I have not been married long, but early in our marriage it was a financial challenge each month just to make sure we had food on the table.  Natalie was working at a Payless shoe store making 7 dollars and hour, I was mowing lawns for the school making 7 dollars an hour, plus working at a church part-time doing music, as well as going to school part-time and paying for it out of my pocket.  Money was tight.

After we had only been married for six months we found out that we were expecting our daughter, Mackenzie.  This was a HUGE unplanned event, in fact it was so unplanned that we called our doctor to ask how this had happened since Natalie was on medication to prevent pregnancy, she said, “Congratulations, you’re the 1%, now quit taking the pills”.  You could say that we were worried, scared, and frightened.  We could barely provide for ourselves, and now God was entrusting us with another life?  (I wish I had time to share the testimony through this time, and it is amazing how God provided, but I will save that for another time.)

That Sunday I had to stand up and lead the music, and I had so many emotions going through me that I was not sure I would be able to, I needed some encouragement.  We had a text that we used to sing at my last church a lot called, Before the Throne of God Above, the second verse hit me like a lightening bolt when we sang it,

When Satan tempts me to despair 

And tells me of the guilt within 

Upward I look and see Him there 

Who made an end to all my sin 

Because the sinless Savior died 

My sinful soul is counted free 

For God the just is satisfied 

To look on Him and pardon me 

To look on Him and pardon me 

I had to stop singing, the congregation was encouraging me through the singing of this text, I thought to myself, if God can take someone like me, with all my sin, and He can give His son to die and pardon me from my sins, then I know He will provide and take care of this child that He had given us.  You’ve seen my daughter hopefully, and she’s a healthy child, God did provide, He did take care of us.

God Uses Music to allow us to Encourage One Another

 

 

 

Third let’s think about how we celebrate in the life of the church through song. 

3. Celebrate – We gather corporately to celebrate the goodness of God and His salvation to us

Look at Psalm 95:1-6

1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

Psalm 95:1-6

We see here that music is of course for us to celebrate.  We sing texts such as Victory in Jesus and Nothing but the blood celebrating that God has redeemed us!  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need to be excited about what God has done in my life, it is hard to do that individually to yourself, but when we gather together on Sunday’s we can celebrate through song corporately telling God (vertically) and each other (horizontally) How Great He Is.

 

God Uses Music To Allow Us To Corporately Celebrate Him

 

I stated the claim in the beginning that I think congregational singing is so imperative that everyone participate, that it outweighs whether you are musical or not.  Take a moment and think about the life of the church in our worship services, At no other point in the life of the church do we say the same text, at the same time, with one voice.  So our music time is bigger than whether you are musical or not, it is your time in the worship services to affirm with all your brothers and sisters in one voice “hey I have victory in Jesus!”, or it is the point in time in the worship service where we can remind our brothers and sisters in Christ with one voice “Trust in God” “He is Faithful”.  Therefore in my mind when you withhold yourself from singing in worship services, it is not doing anyone any favors from refraining from hearing your voice, it is actually causing them harm because they need to know that you affirm that “Jesus Saves” they need to know that you with your brothers and sisters believe in this Gospel message.

So disagree with me if you will, but I state my case that the purpose of music in the life of the church is VASTLY IMPORTANT, it is how we state our commonality, for us to encourage and build one another up, and for us to celebrate the goodness and greatness of our redemption in Christ. Music is the visual and audial representation of our unity of the body through Christ.  

God Allows Music to express Our Unity and to celebrate our commonality.

God Uses Music to allow us to Encourage One Another

God Uses Music To Allow Us To Corporately Celebrate Him

 



Praying For Revival

 Roger Tidwell

Praying for Revival

Psalm 85:1-7

howtopray

Psalm 85 is a prayer for revival.  The writer of this Psalm looked back and he knew what God had done in the past.  He began to look to the future and the possibility of God sending revival.  Revival, a real revival, a God sent revival!

I don’t know of a greater need before us today.  As a country, as a community, as a church, our greatest need is revival.

As I look at our nation I see only three possibilities.

  • Number one, the judgment of God.

Twenty years ago, people were saying that our nation today is ripe for judgment. Today, I believe we are experiencing that judgment. A verse that you need to remember says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.”  Our nation is forgetting God.

  • A second possibility is that Jesus may return.

There are the return of our Lord may be very near and our prayer ought to be the same as John in Revelation 22:20  “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

  • Still a third possibility is for America to experience a great revival.

We need a sweeping, cleansing, purifying revival to move across our land.  Our cry should be the same of the Psalmist, “Will you not revive us again?”

 

I don’t know whether or not revival will come to our nation.  But I do know if churches today want to experience revival then they can.

What is revival?  I asked the church staff for their answers and here is what they said …

 

Wes – revival occurs when we collide with God’s glory. We die to sin and self and begin living passionately for the Lord.

Elisha – revival is the reigniting of your passion to live every moment for the cause of Christ.

Jonathan – revival is a period of time in which Christians have a renewed conviction of sin, a renewed awe of the holiness of God, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience.

Angela – an awakening of our souls, a time of repentance of sin and the renewing of our faith.

Roger – it’s you getting right with God.  As a Christian, it’s returning God in repentance and commitment.   

 

Charles Finney, said one time, “Revival is a new beginning of obedience to God.”

I believe that from time to time God’s people need a new experience with Him — a new experience of His glory. Keep in mind that revival is something that can only happen to God’s people. Revival is not something that can take place with lost people for revival is living again. It is a rekindling of fires that have burned low. It is something that can only happen among God’s people. So revival is a new experience of the presence of God among His people.

A biblical definition of revival is:

2 Chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

I. Source of Revival

The writer recognized that the true source of revival was God.  In these six verses we find him saying, “You showed favor; you forgave and covered their sins; you set aside your wrath, O God restore us again,” and then the question is asked, “Will you revive us again?” 

The prophet Habakkuk prayed, “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years.”  Listen to the breaking heart of Isaiah, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.”

 

See revival is something God does; you can’t work up a revival.  We can do the physical preparation for revival but we can’t bring revival.  We plan a series of meetings, invite a preacher and song leader but that’s not revival.  We can organize and publicize but we cannot bring revival.  If real revival comes, it is something God does.

As you and I consider the seriousness of our day, our prayer ought to be “Will You send revival, Oh Lord?” 

Our country is in serious trouble. Do you know where our hope is? It’s not in the government.  It’s not in the military.  It’s not with the economy.  Where is our hope?  Our hope is not with the politicians.  We don’t need to give our hopes to either one.  Our only hope is in God!

Where is the problem in America?  It may not be where you think it is. It is right here in this room.  “Wilt thou not revive us again.” God’s people. Revival must come from God for only He can solve the serious trouble we are in today.

 

II. Opportunity of Revival

“Will you not revive us again?”  The emphasis is upon the word “us.”  Though it is God and God alone who sends revival, there is some personal responsibility.  God wants to work in your life.  God wants to speak to your heart.

That’s the neat thing about God.  If you are the only one in the church who needs revival, you can get revived.  Likewise, if you are the only one in the church who desires revival, you can get revived.  And don’t think that every person has to get right with God before God send revival.  But if just a few people will get right with God, then God will move in.  If you today will say “O let the revival start in my life today,” then revival will come.

But it’s not automatic; to have revival God’s people have to meet the conditions of revival.  There are certain steps laid out in the Bible and they are best put together in 2 Chronicles 7:14

        

1.  Humble Yourself

This first condition is certainly not an easy one to meet.  It’s not easy to admit to ourselves and to God that we are not where we ought to be with Him.  Was there ever a time when you were more committed than you are not?  Was there ever a time when you loved Christ more than you do now?  If so, you need a revival.  So humble yourself, come before God and admit you are not where you ought to be.

2. Pray

Revival never comes without prayer.  The reason churches are not revived and people are not revived is prayerlessness. Now you can see why all the emphases I am putting on prayer.

        

3.  Seek God’s face

That is, you need to become interested in God again.  That takes laying aside your desires, your plans, and your entertainment so that you can seek God.

4. Repent

Revival is turning away from things that displease God.  Repentance is usually a result of praying.  As you pray, God brings to your mind things in your life that ought not to be there. Things like …  bitterness, resentment, habits, anger, secret sins, public sins.  As God brings these to your attention, you confess and repent of these sins. But keep in mind,  you must be willing for God to work you over if revival is to ever come to your life.

Everyone says they want revival.  We want to feel the presence of God; we want to see our building full and people getting saved.  But there will never be revival, a mighty movement of God until you meet these four conditions.

But if you are willing to meet God’s conditions for revival, then pay particular attention to the result.  “That your people may rejoice in you.”  When revival comes to a church, then that church becomes a happy church full of love and joy.

The fellowship so sweet, the singing is from the heart and there is hunger for the Word of God. When revival comes .. the work of God that once trickled will become like an overflowing river.

Your assignment for today, create your own definition of revival, find scripture to match it and then begin praying for it.

Will your prayer today be, “Oh Lord, will you revive us again and let it begin with me!”

 



Praying for Your Leaders

 Roger Tidwell

Praying For Your Leaders

Exodus 17:8-13

PrayFor

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.  And Moses said to Joshua, “Chooseus some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”  So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

 

 

 

The future promises great things for our church and if we begin to consistently and specifically pray for the church staff, our church would take off and never look back. Here’s the one thing I want you to learn, I want you to learn to pray for your staff.  The greatest thing you can do for your pastor, ministerial staff and your church as a whole is to learn how to pray for your staff.

 

I absolutely cannot emphasize enough the importance of praying for the church staff. Please understand the attack Satan puts on ministers.

A great illustration of someone praying for their leader is found in Exodus 17:8-13.   Aaron and Hur serve as an example of supporting their spiritual leader.  As Moses needed their physical support, ministers need your prayer support.

Looking at this passage we see that there are several reasons to pray for you pastor/church leader. Aaron and Hur serve as our example.

 

1.      Godly leaders come under attack (vs 8)

The story opens with Moses and the children of Israel under attack by Amalek and the Amalekites. I’ve learned this in the ministry … that Godly leaders, Godly movements and churches doing the will of God come under attack.

Satan watches for just the “right time” to attack Christian leaders. Usually he attacks after victory or when the leader is tired.

In this story both had happened.

–> After a victory

In vs 1 we see the need for water and then in vs 6 we find God working a miracle by providing water from a rock. So after the miracle, the victory, in vs 8 we see that Israel was attacked. What happens many times after great spiritual victories? The enemy attacks.

–> When the leader is tired

Think about the things that would make a pastor tired? Look at what Moses as a leader had to put up with? Back in vs 1 we find that the people had been complaining for the lack of water. Then in vs 2-3 people began to complain and grumble, in fact in vs 4 Moses thought they were going to kill him. I am sure Moses was tired … physically, emotionally and perhaps even spiritually.Then the attack came. When did Amalek attack, when did the enemy attack? It was after a tough time.

Many times the attack comes after a great victory. Godly leaders come under attack.

 

2.      Godly men cannot win the battle alone (vs 9)

Pastors cannot do what needs to be done by themselves. It’s a team effort. I need you and you need me. The church is described as a body.

We also need God’s help. What kind of church would we be if we didn’t have God’s help? I heard a long time ago someone saying, “You don’t need God’s help to grow a church.” The more I pastor the more I realize that’s true. But we do need God’s help to become the church that glorifies God!

Moses had Joshua, Aaron and Hur. He needed their help and would not have succeeded without their help. Your staff needs an Aaron, a Joshua, in our lives, because leaders often come under attack and we can’t win the battle all by ourselves.

 

3.      Godly men are able to inspire people (vs 9-10)

Pastors and ministers are high visible people. When the pastor is successful then everyone is inspired to be successful. Opposite is true. When the leader fails, everyone fails. Moses climbed to the top of the hill in order that … for two reasons

  1. He could see the people: insight (Overview of the battle)

One of the major tasks of a Pastor is to be able to see the big picture, that’s insight.

 

2. The people could see him: inspiration 

The people saw Moses, he was with them, he was part of them, and he inspired them. Moses could have done his job in the tent, but he couldn’t see the big picture and he couldn’t inspire the people

–>The number 1 motivation principle: People do what people see!

As you pray for your staff, pray that we can see the big picture so that we can give insight and inspire others.

 

4.      Godly leaders influence the lives of their people (vs 11)

Leadership is really influence. A leader is responsible for three things …

–> Pray for his people

I do many things as a pastor.  Sometimes I am a counselor, a teacher, a preacher, an administrator and so on. But I realize I can only do 2 things that can influence everyone in the church. (1) Preach and (2) Pray. Pray for my prayer life and pray for the prayer life of your staff. If prayer is one of the greatest things you can do for your staff, then prayer is one of the greatest things your staff can do for you.

–> Model Commitment

This is what Arron and Her are doing. They are showing the Israelites the importance of calling on God.

–>Lead them to victory

When you pray you know where the victory comes from. That’s why I want prayer to be at the very center of everything we do here at FBC Howe. As our church grows, we ought to grow on our knees.

 

5.      Godly leaders are human (vs 12a)

Moses was very human, his hands got heavy. Moses wanted to keep his arms stretched toward heaven, but he couldn’t. Preachers and ministers are very human.  Sometimes people tend to think that the pastor cannot sin or does not sin. So remember, your staff is human, pray for us.

 

6.      Godly leaders plus prayer equals victory ( vs 12-13)

This is the only way the pastor/leader will have victory and the only way the church will have victory. If you do not pray for your staff there will be no victory… in your life or in the church.

Notice, nowhere in these verses do we see Moses asking for help. They just did it. Don’t wait to be asked to do something and don’t wait to start praying for your staff.

As the saying goes, the future is as bright as the promises of God. Our future is bright and God promises to answer prayer. All I need now is your help. Can I count on you?

Counting FT and PT staff, we have five on our staff. I’ve asked each for five requests. I’m asking you to pray for these five things every week. You can pray one for each of us each day, or one staff member a day. Just pray.

 

How You Can Pray For Your Staff

Roger

1.    True humility – The opposite of humility is pride and the Bible says that pride goes

before a fall. To me true humility is a total dependence upon God.

2.   Divine guidance – I don’t want any agenda bur God’s agenda, no plans but God’s plans.

3.   Strength– I’m easily fatigued and worn out, both physically, mentally and spiritually.

4. A burning desire for God and His word

5. The be a Godly husband/father

 

Wes

1.  That I would relentlessly pursue holiness.

2.  That I would lead a ministry that truly exists to make disciples.

3.  That I would seek God’s wisdom in leading a ministry that challenges and empowers others to share the Gospel without fear.

4.  That I would love Elisha and my kids the way that Jesus loves the church.

5.  That I would be obsessed with the glory of the Lord and unhindered by the opinions of man

 

Jonathan

1.      Pray to guard my family from Satan and for me to be the Godly leader of our household that I need to be.

2.      Pray that I would continue to be obedient to Gods leadership of His church.

3.      Pray that I would not fall into the temptation to please man versus pleasing God.

4.      Pray for our forthcoming baby, that he would continue to be healthy, for a smooth pregnancy, and a smooth

delivery.

5.      Pray that I would not worry about tomorrow but that I would continually trust in Matthew 6:26.

 

Angela

1.      That God will give me the ability to equip children to be passionate followers of Christ as they come to know Him as their personal savior, making their faith their own.

2.      Wisdom and Discernment: on how to move the children’s ministry forward and to learn from past mistakes

3.      Endurance and Patience:  to wait on The Lord when I have to go through various trials

4.      My family: Protection of our minds, bodies, and emotions from any kind of evil or harm.

5.      Continuous growing of our faith:  From God’s Word being planted in my family’s hearts so that our faith will grow daily and direct our lives.

 

Elisha

1.      Continued passion/excitement

2.      Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and courage to follow through with action

3.      Tendency towards discouragement

4.      Protection against enemy attack

5.      A humble spirit

 



Praying For Your Children

 Roger Tidwell

Praying For Your Children

Parental duties are many, as all parents know.  You are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and three hundred sixty-five days a year.  As a parent you are for your family, the doctor or nurse, the counselor, the cook, the referee, the accountant, maid and a dozen other things.

All of those functions and duties are needed and necessary.  However, have you ever considered that, your greatest duty is that of the priest?  The priest in the Old Testament was one who spoke to God on behalf of others.  Your most important role, function and duty as a parent, is to be a priest for your children.  As a parent and grandparent the most important thing you will ever do for your children is to pray for them.

I am afraid the most important duty as a parent is also the most neglected duty.  Parents, even grandparents, do not fail your children by failing to pray for them.

Have the heart of Samuel, the priest who said in 1 Samuel 12:23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

How do you want your children to turn out as adults?  What about all the pressures and problems children face today?  Parents, grandparents, your children and your grandchild need your prayers.  They need your prayer support and they need to know they have your prayer support.

_ David gives us a good example of how to pray for your children.

2 Samuel 12:16 “David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.”

Notice the heart of David … “he pleaded with God.” David was doing some serious praying!

1 Chronicles 29:19 “And give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all these things, and to build the temple for which I have made provision.” Here we see a great example of a parent praying specific prayers for his child.

From these two verses we learn to (1) pray for your children with a burden on your heart and (2) pray specific requests  for your children.

I want to give your four prayers to pray for your children and grand children.

 

Number one, pray for their

 

I.       PATH OF LIFE

Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” This passage talks about the path of life.  When I say the path of life I am talking about God’s will.  Your child is not an accident and your child/children are special to God.  God has a plan and a purpose for every child.  You as a parent need to pray regularly that your child find, know and obey God’s will for their life.  That is true success!

         1.      Call to Salvation                   

I am a big believer in praying scripture, so when praying for the salvation of your children/grandchildren pray this passage … John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.

The biggest and most important decision your child will ever make is trusting Jesus to save them, so pray, pray and then  pray some more.

Billy Sunday once said “The tragedy of my life is that although I’ve led thousands of people to Jesus Christ, my own sons are not saved”

         2.      Call to Service

Parents, grasp the fact that God has a call upon the life of your child.  God may call your child to serve him as a teacher, a nurse, a business man or even as a preacher or missionary.  As parents, I know you have big plans for your children.  Well, God has bigger plans.  When you pray for their path, for them to know and do God’s will for their life, you are also praying for their happiness.  So, pray for your children,  that they would find God’s perfect path for their life.

Here is the scripture to pray here …

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

II.     PARTNER DURING LIFE

Regardless of their age, pray for the partner God has for them.  Pray for their spouse.  Pray that your children not only find the right path, but also the right partner.

_ Daughters

For your daughters, pray that God would bring into their lives a Jesus man.  Pray that God would bring into their lives men that love God and that will love them with the love of God.  You want what is best for your children and God’s mate is God’s best for them. Pray that God would bring into their lives a man that will provide for them and be their spiritual leader. Also pray that your girls will have a quiet and gentle spirit.

_ Sons

Pray that your son will love God with all he has because the more you love God the more you will love your wife. Ask God to begin molding them to be the spiritual leader for his home.

Parents, as you pray for their partner, here is the scripture you need to pray and claim for your children …

2 Corinthians 6:14  Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

Here’s what that verse says.  God doesn’t want your children marrying unbelievers.    Before marriage the Christian thinks they can convert their spouse.  What usually happens is the Christian gives in and gives up the Christian life.

Best advice I can give to teens as they date or prepare to date, don’t anyone you wouldn’t marry.

Here are two other scriptures to pray …

_ For the Daughters

1 Peter 3:4 “rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

_ For the Sons

Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”

III.    PURITY IN LIFE

Pray for the purity of your children …  1 Thessalonians 5:23   And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we get closer to the return of Christ, the Bible tells us there is going to be less purity in the world.  God does not expect your children to be perfect, but they are to be blameless, so pray for their purity.

IV.    PROTECTION THROUGH LIFE

Just as God put a hedge of protection around the life of Job, pray that God would put a hedge of protection around the life of your children.

Here is the prayer of protection I used to pray for my two girls.  As Denise would get out of my car going to school, I prayed that God would protect her and Adrianne in three ways.  Use this or adapt this, but here is what I pray.  I pray that God would protect them from the

1.  Evil one

2.  Evil people

3.  Evil influences

Folks, Satan is after my children and he isn’t going to get them without a fight, a prayer fight.  If my kids stray from the word of God, the will of God and the ways of God, it won’t be because their daddy didn’t pray for them.

 



Praying For The Lost

 Roger Tidwell

Praying for the Lost

Psalm 142:4

3Capture

 

We have been discussing in staff meetings the last several weeks on growth, church growth. A huge challenge for every church in this area, including ours, is growth.

A CHURCH GROWS THREE WAYS …

A church grows by what we call “transfer growth” when people who are members of other churches come and join our church.

Another kind of growth called “biological growth” in which the children of current members come to know the Lord and are baptized.

The third kind of growth is called “conversion growth.” That’s where children, teenagers and adults who really have no church background are brought to Christ by their friends and family members and become part of the church.

I suppose there are a variety of ways to grow a church, but one thing I’ve learned about church growth is that whatever you do to get people here, you have to do to keep them here. Not that is anything wrong with good, honest promotion of the church and its ministries.

 

I’ve also learned certain growth principles that rarely if ever change.

80% RULE

One principle we have to be aware of is the 80% rule. That is you can’t put people where is there is no space for them. And when a church hits 80% of its capacity in parking, worship attendance or Bible class space, then that church stops growing.

GREETING PEOPLE

Another principle we need to be aware of is our greeting. Within the first few minutes of someone visiting our church they have already decided if they like us and if they might come back.

PRESCHOOL AND CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES

Still another is in the Preschool and Children’s ministries. Families with young children expect nice, clean facilities with top notch ministries for their church or they will go elsewhere.

Though all of those principles are true and valid they primarily deal with the first two ways of growth … transfer growth and biological growth. The issue for growth through conversions is critical. How is the best way to grow a church through conversions? Or simply put how can you and I win lost people to Christ?

The best way is through prayer, so the question is, how do you pray for those who do not know Jesus as their savior? This is important and not just for growth, but because you have lost people in your family that need to know Jesus. Our lost friends at work, school and neighborhoods need to hear about Jesus.

May no one ever say about this church what David said in Psalm 142:4 “Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul”.

 

 

We must all learn how to pray for those who do not know Jesus as their Savior.

What does prayer/praying mean?

Prayer is simply communicating with God, just as a child communicates with his father.

If we are going to pray for lost people to be saved we have to know …

What does it mean to be lost?

To be lost means to be without hope of salvation, it means someone is spiritually dead. They are like someone drowning, they need to be saved.

What do we need to be saved from?

Lost people need to be saved from sin. Sin  is what separates us from God. Jesus died for our sin.

How many ways are there to be saved?

Only one way and that is through Jesus.

In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Acts 4:12 says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Here are nine things to pray as you pray for people to come to know Christ as Savior.

NINE THINGS TO PRAY WHEN WE PRAY FOR SOMEONE LOST

1)        Their name, God answers specific prayers

2)        That God would convict them of their sin John 16:8

3)        That God would remove the spiritual blindness 2 Corinthians 4:4

4)        That God would help them understand Ephesians 1:18

5)        That God would draw them to Himself John 6:44

6)        That God would bind Satan from them Matthew 12:19

7)        That God would reveal Himself and what Jesus has done for them

8)        That God would send someone to share Christ with them

9)        That God would give me the opportunity to share with them