Sunday, May 25, 2014

Only Luke Is With Me

Temple Baptist Church - 5-25-2014
2 Timothy 4:6-11
A. In Paul’s last epistle, he sets forth his:
1. Paul’s Life’s Work – Vs. 6-7 He faithfully finished the work that God called him to do. Paul served God in spite of fault and failure as long as he lived. Certainly his life was “Christ.”
Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
2. Paul’s Earnestly Contending – Vs. 7 He fought a good fight … kept the faith. Paul remained fixed in the Old Paths of the scripture while “earnestly contending” for the faith once delivered.
Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
3. Paul’s Eternal Reward – Vs. 8 Paul rested in the faithfulness of the Lord as he set forth in his epistles to the Hebrews.
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
4. Paul’s Companions – Vs. 10-11 Paul had several close friends and companions in labor during his ministry: Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Tychicus, Trophimus, Demas, and Luke. God always had someone there for the great apostle!
B. Now, in the end of his life, Paul mentions several men and their affect upon his life and ministry.
1. Demas who forsook him for the love of the world. I will deal with him in more detail later.
2. Crescens who departed to Galatia to continue the work that Paul was no longer able to do. Paul was faithful to continue to check on the spirituality of the works he started and now place their safe keeping into the hands of able men.
3. John Mark who was returning and would be profitable in these last perilous days of Paul’s life. He, in his youth, had forsaken Paul and Barnabas. Later in his life, Barnabas took John Mark “under his wing” and now, he returns profitable!
4. Luke, Paul’s faithful companion who remained by his side.
C. The Work of The Ministry Is Bitter Sweet!
2 Corinthians 6:1-10 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
a. It Is A Needful Work – Souls are at stake
b. It Is A Hard Work – There are many heartaches and trials
c. It Is A Worthwhile Work – “making many rich”
D. Tonight, I want to take a look at a special man, Luke!
1. Not much is said about him but he was a godly physician, faithful servant of the Lord, and a special friend to the Apostle Paul. The last verse that mention Luke was verse 10, “Only Luke is with me!” What phrase; what a wonderful testimony of the love and faithfulness of this man.
2. Luke evidently joined the Apostle Paul at Troas and was with him for the rest of his life.
a) Luke was with Paul when he went to Jerusalem.
b) Luke was with Paul when he was imprisoned for 2 years in Caesarea.
c) Luke was with Paul when he was shipwrecked.
d) Luke was with Paul when he was in prison in Rome.
e) Luke was with Paul when he was martyred.
3. Luke was later honored to write two great books of the New Testament: the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts.
4. What a comfort and an encouragement Luke must have been to Paul! You love and be there for God’s man and your reward will be great, I promise you. I learned long ago to love what God loves!
1. Luke Was A Friend When Paul Needed One! Sometimes people do not want to be around the man of God because of the reproach of Christ.
a. Standing On The Scripture Brings Reproach.
b. Standing For Separation Brings reproach.
c. Standing Against Sin Brings Reproach.
2. Luke Was A Help When Paul Needed Help. Too often and in too many churches, God’s man makes a mistake and he is done.
a. God’s Men Make Mistakes.
b. God’s Men Are Human.
3. Luke Was An Arm To Lean On When Paul Was In Trouble. Paul spent most of his saved life in trouble. When God’s men stand right, their popularity wanes quickly. The bible says to beware when all men speak well of you because you have probably compromised in some areas.
a. A Friend Loveth At All Time.
b. A Friend Sticketh Closer Than A Brother.
4. Luke Was A Comfort When Paul Sorrowed. The life of God’s man is one that is acquainted with grief. That was the one of the descriptions given to our Lord in Isaiah 53. As the “under shepherd,” God’s man follows in the path of the Great Shepherd.
Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
2 Corinthians 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2 Corinthians 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
5. Luke Was Faithful To Paul When All Else Forsake Him. Luke Was There When The End Was Near - 2 Timothy 4:11. What a great testimony to the faithfulness of a godly servant of the Lord! I look forward to meeting such a man one day.

The Sea of Impossibility

Temple Baptist Church - 5-25-2014
Exodus 13:17-14:29
A. Last week, we looked at the seas found in the bible.
1. By way of application, seas are a type of troublesome times in the lives of God’s children. Life is hard at best and we are continually going into, going through, or coming out of the valleys of life.
2. Seas are not all the same in depth, width, or turbulence. So it is with our problems. Most problems are short lived and, though they may be hard, we can easily handle them but, on occasion, problems are over our heads and beyond our ability to handle. I call these “seas of impossibility.”
3. I often say, “Do the best you can and trust God with what you cannot.” Easy to preach but hard to live! There are times when only the Lord can help.
B. In chapter 13 of the Book of Exodus, Moses has delivered the children of Israel after 430 years of bondage. In chapters 13 and 14 of Exodus, we find possibly the greatest miracle ever performed by the invisible Jehovah God!
1. The Lord is leading His people with the Pillar of Smoke and Fire and the bible says that they came out of Egypt with a “high hand.” They are excited but not expecting the challenge to come.
2. The easy route from Egypt is to the north and takes just a few days to travel but the Lord is leading them to the southeast towards the Red Sea. “But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”
3. Notice that God’s people were “harnessed.” Their leading was not a matter of choice but providence.
Psalms 77:19-20 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (20) Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
C. Israel is being led to a place between two mountains with the Red Sea before them.
1. Pharaoh has harden his heart once again and is not behind them with his army. The situation is desperate and impossible! Pharaoh said, “They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.”
2. The people were afraid and complained but God was in control! There are several things I want us to see this morning that will help us in our seas of impossibility!
1. The People of the Sea.
a. God’s Children. Psalms 77:20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (God loves His children and wants the best for then.)
b. God’s Enemies. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
2. The Person of the Sea. “The LORD shall fight for you!” (14:14) God created the seas before He ever formed man. God knew what was ahead of Israel when He led them “harnessed” before it. God knows and God provides.
Psalms 121:1-8 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
3. The Providence of the Sea.And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way.” (13:21) I do not know all I know about the omniscience and providence of God but I believe that He controls our lives and, therefore, our destinies! God knew before He ever created the world that Israel would one day stand at that precise place because it was the “hand of God” that led them there. It was a place of God’s choosing. God brought Israel out of Egypt to bring them into the land of promise. It is not always the way of comfort! It is often the harder way! It is often the long way! It is not the way of our choosing! It is often the only way! When you have no choice, you can make no wrong decision!
4. The Protection at the Sea.And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.” (14:19) God kept the army of Egypt at bay!
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
5. The Power of God over the Sea. Exodus 14:16, 21-22 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea … (21) And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (22) And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
6. The Purpose of God in the Sea. (14:22) God delivered His children and destroyed His enemies. I will not pretend to know everything about problems but I have learned a few things in my years.
a. Problems hurt!
b. Problems do not always come out the way we want them.
c. But, God’s presence is always with us.
d. God always loves us before, during, and after them.
e. And, it will be alright!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Seas of Life

Temple Baptist Church - 5-18-2014
Psalm 107:23-31
A. There is much said in the Bible concerning the sea. The word “sea” is found 400 times in the Bible while the word “seas” is found 25 times and the words “great waters” is found 16 times. A total of 441 references.
B. The seas and oceans of planet earth are vast in their proportion to land.
1. 71 percent of earth’s surface is covered by water and 96.5 percent of that is made up of oceans and seas. 140 million square miles!
2. The volume of these bodies of waters are 310 million cubic miles! An estimated 25 million species of life possibly live there.
3. The highest mountains on planet earth are to be found there. Mauna Kea, a mountain in Hawaii, from its base in the Pacific Ocean to its peak (10,000 meters) is 1,152 meters taller than Mt. Everest (8,848 meters).
4. The Marianas Trench is over 36,000 feet deep!
C. The seas or oceans of planet Earth are vital to its ecology. Ecclesiastes 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. (Salt is a cleansing agent and when rivers run into the sea, the pollutants remain in the sea and fresh water is evaporated and brought back to show by clouds. I call the oceans and seas the earth’s septic tank.)
D. The seas, in the bible, are a type of trouble or trials. I want to look at these verses for a few minutes in order to make applications of spiritual truths concerning the seas of life or troublesome times.
1. We “land lovers” sometimes go down to the coast and look out over the ocean with little realization of the size and power that makes it so great. As we have seen, the oceans and seas are vast beyond our comprehension. Just look at the futile efforts of our best technology to find a plane that went down over the Indian Ocean.
2. Those who “do business” in these great waters have “seen it all!” I am not talking about the vastness of the seas but the power: the suddenness and intensity of great hurricanes, currents, and 100+ foot waves with unbelievable power. We get a glimpse as an occasional hurricane comes in and we retreat inland to the safety of distance where these great storms die but, in the great waters, they draw their strength!
3. Four times in verses 8, 15, 21, 31, we find the words:Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” The central message of this Psalm is that God is good all of the time. Until we are in the power of the storm, we never pay attention to the “works” of the Lord in our lives. We take the good times for granted and look to Him when in great waters. No, He does not always keep His people from problems but He is always good to His people in their problems!
1. Seas are Importance Places – vs 23 - “go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great water.
a. Seas Are Prepared Places – Vs. 23 “sea … great water!” God created the seas and knows every part of it like the “back of His hand!” He made and knows every mountain and every valley in the seas.
b. I believe that God knows every trial that we will face in our lives. It is not that God creates troubles and problems but I believe that He controls their limitations.
c. It is not that God creates sinfulness nor does He condone it, but I believe that God still controls its limitation!
2. Seas are Busy Places – vs 24 – “see the works of the LORD”
a. Seas Are Purposed Places – His Plan! Psalms 77:19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (His purpose is to deliver the children of God! God does not purpose that we be destroyed and He will show up on time to deliver. When we get to the end of life and look back, we will see the hand of God in our lives.)
b. His purpose is to destroy the enemies of God! Exodus 14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. (As God destroyed Egypt; as God destroyed Haman; God will destroy those who oppose Him and refuse to get right. Egypt could have been spared if, at any time, they had turned around but God hardened their hearts and they continued until they perished.)
c. His purpose is to purify the saint and bring praise and glory to God! Exodus 14:21-22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (22) And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. (In the sea, God is still God! Just let God be God, trust Him with all that you have, and He will be glorified.)
3. Seas are Powerful Places – vs 24 – “his wonders in the deep”
a. They are Turbulent – vs 25-26 – “and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (26) They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths” (When I think of the turbulence of the seas, I think of 100+ foot waves and hurricanes that so often plague shipping routes and shorelines. Life is turbulent at best. Thank the Lord for the great calms that sometimes affected the sail ships but they seem to be rare, especially the older that we get.)
b. They are Fearful – vs 26-27 – “their soul is melted because of trouble. (27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man … at their wit’s end”
Mark 4:35-38 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. (36) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. (37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
c. They are Purging - Jude 13a Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; (I liken the ever churning of the oceans to the agitation of a washing machine. The polluted waters of the earth are purified in the raging brine of the seas and the sun evaporates fresh water from the surface and bring fresh water back to the land in the form of rain.)
4. Seas are Controlled Places – vs 28-30 – “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (29) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.”
a. The Lord gives peace in the Sea - Mark 4:39-41 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
b. The Lord gives deliverance from the Sea - Psalms 114:3-4 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. (4) The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
c. The Lord sets the bounds of the Sea - Jeremiah 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
5. Seas are Reflective Places – vs 31 – “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (During the storm, we go through a myriad of emotions which are common to most of us. But, after the storm, we can get help if we will just accept the sea and properly reflect back upon it.)
1. In the beginning of the storm We Find Confidence “God Will!”
2. In the midst of the storm We Find Confusion “God Hasn’t!”
3. In the depths of the storm We Find Complaining “God Won’t!”
4. In the length of the storm We Find Contemplation “God has turned His back on me”
5. In the end of the storm We Find Consideration – “God has been here and done it before”
6. In the reflection of the storm We Find Confidence – “God has done it before and God will do it once more”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother’s Day – 2014

Temple Baptist Church - 5-11-2014
Genesis 2:18-25; 3:20
A. Happy Mother’s Day! I love, appreciate, and pray for all of you mothers. I thank the Lord for being raised with both a mother and a “Mom!” Hilda Elizabeth Hamby Johnston was a very special lady who love her Lord and loved her family. I have no bad memories concerning my parents. I had a great mother-in-law that treated me like I was one of her children. When my mother died in 2005, I told my second mother that as long as she lived, I still had a Mom.
B. An unfortunate thing has happened in our day: women have become “lost souls!” I am not referring to being spiritually lost because many saved women have lost their purpose in life. Today’s worldly, independent woman has no concept of why God created her. God made the woman for the man! This may sound chauvinistic to many but it is a biblical truth to be explored this morning.
C. This brings to mind an old song, written in 1955, called “Love and Marriage.” This song set forth a principle that is biblical and to be followed. Its principle has long since been forgotten as men and women now choose to have pre-marital relationships as well as rejecting the divine institution of marriage to live together.
“Love And Marriage”
Translation in progress. Please wait...
Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can't have one without the other

Love and marriage, love and marriage
It's an institute you can't disparage
Ask the local gentry
And they will say it's elementary

Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one without the other
D. I want to be both a blessing and a help to you mothers and mothers-to-be. I want to look at 4 things simple things that will show what God wants from His special creation: woman. The worldly woman will not like this message but the godly woman will.
1. The Woman’s Purpose.
a. To compete her husband’s life.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (To be there WITH him and to be there FOR him. Listen to what the Lord said to the believer: Hebrews 13:5b ”for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” I believe this shows the importance of the woman’s position in the marriage. I know this does not go well with the feminists but it is what God said!)
b. To share her husband’s life.
Genesis 2:21-24 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; (22) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (23) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (This shows the woman’s sharing of her husband’s life. The woman was taken from a rib in Adam’s side: she is not a doormat to walked upon but chosen to walk by his side: to be loved and adored.)
b. To bear her husband’s children.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Psalms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
2. The Woman’s Privilege.
Proverbs 31:1-5 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. (2) What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? (3) Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. (4) It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: (5) Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
a. The law of the mother. Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: (Commandments, caution, and counsel.)
b. The faith of the mother. 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (No mention of Timothy’s father here as his example came from his mother and grandmother. A faith that was visible. Not a word of faith alone but a faith with deeds.)
c. The message of the mother. 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (Here we find the teaching of Timothy’s childhood that brought him to Christ. Paul may have been is spiritual father [1 Timothy 1:2] but it was the women in his life that laid the foundation of the holy scripture within him.)
3. The Woman’s Power.
a. The example of teaching. Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
b. The instruction of teaching. Titus 2:4-5a That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, (5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home (to cook, clean, and guide) , good, obedient to their own husbands, (What a wonderful listing of what a godly woman should be. What God intended her to be. It is a far cry from today’s independent, career orientated woman.)
c. The result of teaching. Titus 2:5b that the word of God be not blasphemed.
4. The Woman’s Praise.
a. The praise of her children. Proverbs 31:28a Her children arise up, and call her blessed;
b. The praise of her husband. Proverbs 31:28b her husband also, and he praiseth her.
c. The praise of the Lord. Proverbs 31:29-30 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. (30) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
d. The praise of men. Proverbs 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.