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Living Upside Down and Inside Out

Upside Dowm

upside dowmWhen I was a pre-teen, my father rented a single engine plance and hired a pilot.

He wanted us to see Daytona Beach, Florida (our home town) from up in the air.  We flew over the beach, the speedway, the high school I would later attend.  We flew all over the city.

It was an awesome experience.  The think I remember best, however, was when the pilot made sure we were all buckled in securely.  Then he cranked up the engine and flew in a loop.  We got to see the world “upside down.”

Years later I heard Ken Medema sing, “The world looks different to you when you are flying upside down.”

The KINGDOM OF GOD was the central topic of Jesus preaching and teaching.  This KINGDOM is full of surpises, reversal, and unusual instructions.  If you buy into what Jesus was saying and live your life in response to it – it will look like an upside down, inside out way of living.

Click the PLAY button now to watch the video of the Marh 4, 2012 sermon at the Patterson Avenue Baptist Church, titled: PLAY:  Living Upside Down and Inside Out!”

 

Upside Dowm

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End of the World, Again…

I  find it incredible how some preachers manage to distort the Gospel. The word Gospel means ”Good News” and good news is supposed to make you feel better. But  the way some preachers explain the Gospel can leave you feeling hopeless and  lost.

Fear  is, of course, a motivator, and it’s possible to manipulate scripture into an intimidating doomsday message. That can certainly get some attention – at least, for a time. Predicting the end of the world can turn into quite the lucrative business. But when prophecies ultimately fail, do we hear those preachers apologize? No, we hear justifications and excuses as they try to maintain their authority by reigniting fear.

Remember Y2K? As the new millennium approached, there were dire predictions that many older computers could not process the date change from 1999 to 2000. This, it was suggested, would lead to catastrophic failures, and a world crisis. Many leading preachers jumped on that prophecy bandwagon. Computers crashing would signal the beginning of the tribulation, they warned. Some went as far as selling rations and water purifiers – encouraging people to stockpile propane and withdraw cash from their banks.

When the fateful moment arrived very little actually happened. The worst reports I recall were that 150 slot machines at a Delaware racetrack stopped working. In Australia, two bus ticket machines stopped working. The worst damage occurred in Germany where 20 million bankcards became unusable. The world as we know it kept going, no apocalyptic predictions came true. The doomsayers were shown, once again, to be false prophets.

The latest end-of-the-world obsession concerns the Mayan Calendar that ends a 144,000-day cycle this year on Dec. 21, the day of the winter solstice. The number 144,000 sounds biblical, so the doomsayers are once again out there warning us to expect something drastic to happen. Unfortunately there will be some who will be taken in by it. Fear, it seems, is never far away.

All this totally misses the point and the purpose of prophecy. As the angel explained to John in Revelation 19:10: “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (NIV 1984). And the testimony of Jesus is good news – of his  salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life. This means that the Gospel is the true prophetic word.

So then, does the Gospel deny or overlook the “bad news” of our sin, the power of evil and its tragic consequences? No, it assumes it while never giving it center stage – never lending it the upper hand – because Jesus himself is the first and the last word. Through his life of obedience, his crucifixion, his resurrection, his ascension – once and for all – evil ultimately has been conquered, sin is forgiven; death itself has been overcome. New life is at hand.

Hearing and receiving the Gospel urges us to repent of our unbelief – in the truth and reality of who Jesus is and what he has done. It is through repentance that we experience the faith, hope, and love of our Savior. The Good News of Jesus, the Gospel; his prophetic testimony should never leave us quivering with fear. Instead, we are filled with great hope and peace that transcends our own understanding.

(From Joseph Tkach, GCI Executive Director)

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It’s Time…(the Kingdom of God is Near)

It’s the First Sunday of Lent (February 26, 2012) at the Patterson Avenue Baptist Church.

The text for the sermon on this Sunday is based on Mark 1:9-15.

The Gospel of Mark paints a fast paced, always moving, never setting down roots picture of Jesus.  It this text, at the start of his ministry, Mark brings together several months of Jesus early ministry, tying them all up into a neat little bow with a simple message and call to action.

“The Kingdom of God is near…repent…believe the good news.”

There is no time for contemplation.  There is no excuse for the paralysis of analysis.  God is doing a BIG thing.  The Kingdom is a BIG thing and it demands a BIG and IMMEDIATE response.

Guess what?  The Kingdom of God is still on the move.  God is STILL doing something BIG in our world and God is still looking for a BIG and IMMEDIATE response.  In fact, it is such a big thing that anything less than BIG and IMMEDIATE makes no sense.

Watch “It’s Time” right now by clicking this link.  Share any comments or reflections when you are finished.  I welcome all comments and insights.

And remember:  “The Kingdom of God is near…repent and believe.”

 

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Get to Steppin

Free

The sermon at Patterson Avenue Baptist Church this AM (February 19, 2012) tells about four stooges (we called them Mo, Larry, Curly,  and Shemp) who bring a friend (we called him Joe) to Jesus.

Old Joe is paralyzed.

The story begs the question:  “What paralyzes you?”  What holds you down, what holds you back, what keeps you in check?

The answer is simple.  The thing that holds us back is sin – or rather the feeling that sin is bigger than grace – beyond God’s ability to forgive.

IT’S NOT!

Before healing happens – forgiveness is give.  The man is set free, set at liberty.  The thing that paralyzes him is destroyed.  Then (and only then) does Jesus heal him.

Because he is set free, he can “get to steppin.”  He can MOVE, serves, free, set at liberty.

Watch “Get To Steppin” when you click this link now!

 

Free

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4 Responses to “Get to Steppin”

  1. JMN says:

    you need to have an ezine list to publish links and information when you have a new sermon or a resource to suggest.

    • Ayman says:

      Joshua Cehulik is from the Temple Baptist Church of Powell, TN; and he did a wonderful job in our seicvre. If you missed it the seicvre, you can go to our media blog and select the December 15th seicvre or click on this link December 15th Service.

  2. BN says:

    Love this sermon. Hope it gets a lot of plays.

  3. Bill says:

    I know my site has nothing to do with the content on your site. But I did watch your video and found it interesting

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The Spirit of Truth

Holy Spirit

The night Jesus was arrested, one of the things he talked about with his disciples was the Holy Spirit. He referred to the Holy Spirit with a word that was translated into Greek as parakletos, a word that conveyed the sense of “advocate,” “friend” or “supporter.”

Parakletos was the word used for a person who would stand beside you in court to support
you and your cause, to speak up for you, to hearten you.

“When he comes,” Jesus said in John 16:8-11, “he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted” (John 16:8-11, The Message).

The godless world is wrong about three things, Jesus said: sin, righteousness, and judgment. But the Holy Spirit would expose those errors.

So how is the godless world wrong about sin? The world thinks sinners can atone for their own sins by doing works of goodness. But now that Jesus has come to forgive all sin and reconcile all things to God, the only kind of sin that can remain is the sin of not trusting
in him who takes away all sin. There is no sin Jesus hasn’t forgiven. But if we don’t believe that, we’ll keep carrying the burden of guilt even though we don’t need to.

And how is the world wrong about righteousness?

The world thinks righteousness is human virtue and goodness. But now that the Son of God has lived a perfect, obedient life in our place and as one of us, human righteousness can only be defined as the gift of God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself is our righteousness, not our good works.

How is the world wrong about judgment?

The world thinks that people who suffer in this world are sinners under God’s curse, and that people who are healthy and wealthy are the only ones under God’s favor. But now that the Son of God has destroyed the works of the devil, judgment can only be defined only as condemnation of the evil god of this world, not as condemnation of those Jesus came to save.

Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would bring the truth about sin, righteousness and judgment. To be forgiven of sin, to be judged righteous, and to be freed from condemnation are all gifts of the Father through Jesus Christ. They are not something we
earn, or something we deserve. We experience them only by trusting the One who gives them to us.

In Jesus Christ and only in Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to the Father and share in Christ’s righteousness and Christ’s relationship with the Father. In Jesus, we are the
Father’s beloved children. The gospel is indeed good news.

From Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.

Holy Spirit

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