Monthly Archives: April 2016

Congreso youth challenged to become changemakers

A New York minister challenged Hispanic Texas Baptist young people to make change happen in the world by living differently than the world.

Source: Congreso youth challenged to become changemakers

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

1 Peter

1PeterArtwork

This was the last sermon of a 9 week journey through 1 Peter. What an awesome part of our New Testament!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

City Church Del Rio

Living Life in Humility, 1 Peter 5:1:11

Introduction—Today, as we complete our series through the book of 1 Peter, I want to recall to mind some of the great passages of this epistle.

1 Peter 1:3-43 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.

1 Peter 1:15-1615 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:2323 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Peter 2:2-32 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:24-2524 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 Peter 3:15-1615 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 4:8-10Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:1616 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

1 Peter 5:6-7Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:1-11

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

  1. God is looking for humble leaders, verses 1-4
  2. In church, the need for leadership is great. As a pastor, I am always on the lookout for who might be a good fit for a place of service that we have as an opening or possible ministry either currently or down the line.
  3. I want someone who fits the description that Peter has laid out here. Someone who is humble
  4. Verse 1—Peter says I need you to come along side me. You have been a Christian now for long enough, it is time to be in partnership for Kingdom work.
  5. Elders are peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. They are the preaching and teaching leaders of the church.
  6. City Church will be an elder-led church when we finalize everything in our by-laws and constitution.
  7. For those of you who are here reading this text, you may be saying to yourself, I am glad I’m not an elder or shepherd or overseer, the 3 different types of ministers. But I say that if you have anyone under you care, this still applies if you remove the word elder and place you name in the sentence.
  8. You see, you can’t just get out of doing the will of God because this may not be directly addressing you, but it does indirectly address you.
  9. Verse 2, as leaders, we are to watch over the people in our lives because we get to, not because we have to. We do it because God wants us to not so we can gain some sort of credibility with God, but we do it with eagerness.
  10. In verse 3, Peter says that you should not take advantage of the position God has placed you in. He calls it lording over them. This is what I would call taking advantage of someone. No one is placed you your life to be your servant.
  11. Verse 4, one of those verses that always remind us that we will be accountable to God for they way we treat people. If we are ungodly and unChrisitian to those under our care, don’t expect Jesus to come in and tell how great you are for treat others poorly. Instead, be humble, willing, and eager to serve and please God, so He can say, well done good and faithful servant.
  12. All of us should be on a place to leadership not just in the church but in our families. We should pursue it with all humility.

Illustration—Hudson Taylor, who was a missionary to China, was scheduled to speak at a Large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.”

Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”

We should be so humble as to live our lives in the same manner.

Application—Are you a person of humility? Are you at a place where you are struggling to be humble? It is hard to be humble in today’s context, because society has asked you to prop yourself up and place yourself on full display for the world to see you. We scream to the world, “look at me, look at me.” Humble yourself before the Lord today.

  1. Living your life in humility means waiting for God, verses 5-7

5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

  1. Verse 5, Peter is speaking to you who are young. Believe it or not, you can learn from those that are older than you.
  2. Sometimes we may not look like we know what we are doing, but we do. Sometimes.
  3. In the act of humility, we are to clothe ourselves in humbleness toward each other. That means, we are to get dressed in humility everyday so that when those people come against you, talk about you, or don’t even like you, you are ready to be a humble servant.
  4. I have said this before, but the same thing applies when we dress ourselves with the full armor of God. Peter says to dress yourself with humility.
  5. We are told why it is very important to be a person of humility. God doesn’t like proud people or boastful people. He opposes them.
  6. But if you are humble, God will show you favor.
  7. Do you want favor from God? Then live your life in humility.
  8. Verse 6, Peter’s great testimony of this entire letter, to me, is summed up in this verse 6.
  • Peter knew first hand how to be boastful and proud. He messed up a lot. He was always opening up his mouth only to stick his foot in it. So when he writes this verse for us, he manes it with all his heart.
  • Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. In the Old Testament, God’s hand represented both discipline and deliverance. We are to expect both as we live in humility. We need the deliverance of God, but we also need His discipline.
  • The reason we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God is for Him to lift us up in His due time.
  • I don’t know about you, but when we live in God’s timing, our lives are so much better. We are in total alignment with our Creator.
  • Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

9. Verse 7 is a verse that can give you all the peace you need from God. Give God all your anxiety because He care immensely for you. He cares deeply for     you.

10. He cares a lot about you and your situation or circumstance. All means-all of your anxiety, all of your worries, and all of your woes. Give it to the Master who cares for you.

Application—Are you waiting for your due time? Are you anxious? Please give it to God today, and see if He doesn’t care for you. Humble yourself before the Lord today.

  1. Living your life in humility will allow you to take a stand, verses 8-9

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

  1. Verse 8 is a challenge to us be on guard and awake. Too many times we (the church) are caught sleeping and unaware of what is going on in the world.
  2. Satan is the master at devouring Christians. What I mean by that is this: It seems when times are tough, Satan wins. We back away because it is too controversial to take a stand for fear of __________, you fill in the blank.
  3. Verse 9, gives us the confidence we need to stand.
  • We resist Satan. The way we do that is by making sure we are deliberately placing things in our lives that are ungodly. Media, movies, and music. I call those the 3 m’s. If you can refrain from getting involved in those three things that can be very harmful, you are resisting. There are some movies, media, and music that are what I call neutral, they neither are godly or satanic. There are just for entertainment, and there is nothing wrong with good, clean, entertainment. We need to to relax at times, so this can be a form of that.
  • We stand firm in our faith. We don’t compromise just because someone is offended at Jesus. Remember, it is Jesus they are holding a grudge against.
  • We have confidence knowing that we aren’t alone in our stance. The worldwide body of Christ is also suffering with us, but as we stand together, we gain our strength.

Illustration—Curt Schilling fired from ESPN for his stance against anyone of any sexual orientation using whatever bathroom they choose based on their feelings of who they are.

Application—Are you living a life that stands for something? Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord today.

  1. Living your life in humility brings great results, verses 10-11

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

  1. Lastly, as you live a life of humility, you will experience great results!
  2. In verse 10, Peter sums up his epistle: In the end, God, who is rich in grace, will restore you to give you strength, a firm stance, and steadfast.
  3. This verse is a promise of diving aide. You have Jesus by your side as you journey through life. He is in the restoration business. He will take something that world has discarded and make it fresh and new again.
  4. Verse 11, reminds us to always give all the credit to God. Let everyone know that it is all Him that gives us the power to carry on!

Application—If you aren’t getting the results that God wants you to have, don’t quit. Don’t give up. He will restore you! He will give you the strength to stand! Surrender your life to Him today!

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Next Future Church Staff Position: Pastor of Community Evangelism

From Thom Rainer’s blog:

Do you wish you could know the future?
Frankly, I am content with enjoying the blessings of today. I don’t need or want to know the future.

But I can see trends emerging and patterns developing. For that reason, I can say that the next new church staff position will be the pastor of community evangelism. For some it will be a full-time position. For others it will be part-time. And still others will have lay volunteers handling this responsibility.

The title may not be precise, but it will be close. Why am I confident about making this prediction? Allow me to offer five reasons.

1. Local evangelism is not vibrant in most churches. More churches have done okay with evangelism to “the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But most churches are pretty bad at reaching “Jerusalem.” For that reason, churches will look to some one to lead in local evangelism.

2. Most community ministries are not intentionally evangelistic. I am grateful more churches are intentional about providing ministries to and in local communities. However, I am concerned many of those ministries are not intentionally evangelistic. One of the roles of the pastor of community evangelism is to make certain all of these ministries are infused with an intentionality to share the gospel.

3. Churches need someone who can coordinate and lead efforts in social media and blogs. Because of the clear outreach opportunity available on social media, I can see these responsibilities falling under the responsibility of the pastor of community evangelism. This staff person or volunteer will need to understand contextual language of social media.

4. One person is needed to lead evangelistic strategies in the church. I know of some churches that build their evangelistic strategies around three high attendance days a year. It takes someone with strategic ability and a persistent work ethic to pull off three of these efforts every year. Indeed, any coherent strategy will take a good mind and hard work.

5. Prayer ministries may be a part of these evangelistic strategies. Most prayer ministries languish in churches because they do not fit neatly in any part of the organizational structure. The pastor of community evangelism could bring prayer ministries into his or her area. It would be a natural and exciting fit.

The church positions in highest demand today are worship pastors followed by children pastors. I anticipate the pastor of community evangelism will be a close third, perhaps even second in the near future.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to culture change

4 RESPONSES TO CULTURAL CHANGE By Ed Stetzer • April 10, 2016 16Feature-4-Responses-to-Cultural-Change-0411
Ed Stetzer: “The message of the gospel is necessarily countercultural and offensive to the human heart.”

As followers of Christ, we won’t always fit into the world in which we live. In fact, we’ll often find ourselves going against the flow of popular culture in certain areas of life. It’s necessary for us to have a solid biblical foundation to stand on in the midst of a rapidly shifting cultural landscape.

We need to know how the eternal Word of God shapes our understanding of current issues and how we can share the gospel compassionately and courageously with the people around us.

Here are four possible responses to cultural change.

1. We conform.

We start compromising what we believe and the way we act in order to appeal to and appease the surrounding culture. We may even genuinely believe that doing so is both loving and strategic, hoping that people will be attracted to Jesus through a less offensive form of Christianity and will ultimately be saved. However, we have to realize that our goal isn’t to make following Jesus easier. The message of the gospel is necessarily countercultural and offensive to the human heart.

2. We check out.

The opposite extreme is to secede from culture, distancing ourselves so completely that we never have any interaction with the world around us. Again, the intent may seem honorable and sincere because we want to remove even the appearance of evil and the temptation of sin. But Jesus specifically prayed that his Father wouldn’t take his followers out of the world but protect them while they were sent into it (see John 17:15-16).

The world around us desperately needs the life-changing power of the gospel. Forming an isolated, insulated subculture may feel countercultural, but it isn’t an appropriate response.

3. We combat.

This approach is antagonistic and defensive. While the intent begins moving in the right direction, refusing to give in to or give up on the world around us, it misses the heart of Jesus. This response sees culture as an enemy to be defeated instead of people to be saved. Our desire must not be to prove ourselves right or to force our way on the world around us. Instead, our goal is to show Christ to be true and worthy. Just as wrong as running away from our culture is driving people away from the church. Countering culture doesn’t mean attacking it.

4. We counter.

Countering culture means engaging culture with conviction and compassion. We stand firmly on the truth of God, empowered by the Spirit, to extend the love of Christ to the world. Our desire isn’t to conquer but to redeem. It matters what we do, how we do it and why we do it.

The heart of every Christian should burn with desire for God’s glory. We can’t sit back and remain silent while God isn’t glorified and people are on a path that ultimately leads to self-destruction. We must ask God to make his name known and loved in our culture. That desire should drive not only our personal prayers but also our public lives on a daily basis.

A wrong response to culture is more than unhealthy or unhelpful. Engaging our culture is literally a matter of life and death.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Marriage Life Group

Love-Does-Web.jpg

As we prepare for the summer, we will be starting a new marriage 5 week study entitled Love Does buy Bob Goff. Life Group begins April 20, and continues thru May 18.

  1. April 20-I’m with You
  2. April 27-Free to Fall
  3. May 4 -Audacious Love
  4. May 11 -Be Not Afraid
  5. May 18-Follow Me

Book are $12 order by April 13

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under marriage

The Best Marriages are The Best Friendships!

I received this email from Jimmy Evans’ Marriage Today. I thought I would share with you. Very insightful.

The best marriages are built upon a foundation of good friendship. Before anything romantic happens, friendship needs to be present. You have to have good will toward each other. That’s what friendship means.

There are seven steps to becoming best friends with your spouse:

Be faithful. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Good times are great, but going through hard times together can truly strengthen a relationship.

You can’t just be your spouse’s friend when it’s convenient. Your friendship is forged during times of adversity. That’s when you learn to trust each other. That’s when you pay the most attention. A friend loves at all times.

Believe in each other. You’ll never be friends with someone who doesn’t believe in you. One of the reasons God created marriage was to bring humans to their full potential. That’s one of the things men and women do for each other.

One day we will stand before Jesus and give an account of what we’ve done for our spouse. Have you brought him or her to their full potential? Find out why God created your spouse and then help him or her get there. When you have two people in a marriage who believe in each other, you become best friends.

Embrace each other’s differences. A friend who rejects you will not be your friend for very long. Compatibility is based on character and values, not on sameness. That means your husband or wife may be very different from you.

Will you celebrate those differences or reject them? Do you spend your time training your spouse to become more like you? Or praising him for being unique?

Be real and transparent. Friendship means being honest. Your spouse needs to know your heart, your thoughts, and your perspective. And you must allow your spouse the same right. Closing parts of yourself off from your spouse can build a barrier against intimacy and trust.

Be a safe place. Every husband needs to be his wife’s refuge, and vice versa. Your best friend is the person you call when something great or terrible happens. Why? Because they are safe. Because you depend on them. Because you know they’re going to celebrate good news and be encouraging when you’re facing bad news.

Be fun and creative. Remember, “a man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Having fun in marriage dramatically improves your relationship. In fact, one of the danger signs in a marriage is when a husband and wife stop having fun together. Husbands and wives need to enter into each other’s worlds and spend time laughing, playing, and enjoying each other’s company.

Bear each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2 says carrying each other’s burdens fulfills the law of Christ. A friend will not sit by and watch another friend do something without offering to help. It should be the same within marriage. Serve each other. Help each other. Don’t stand back and watch your spouse suffer.

The healthiest marriages are built on a foundation of friendship. It makes everything else easier, but you have to work at it. If you’re not best friends with your spouse now, then decide to become that. Ask God to bring you closer as you pursue these steps together.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7

Pastor Larry

Leave a comment

Filed under marriage

Gossip in the Church

Thom Rainer listed on His blog

The nine ways gossip destroys a church are:

  1. It’s evil.
  2. It’s idolatrous.
  3. It’s self-centered.
  4. It’s divisive.
  5. It’s often deceptive.
  6. It harms reputations.
  7. It destroys trust.
  8. It indicates hypocrisy in the church.
  9. It risks God’s judgment

Gossip is a destroyer of unity in the church. It can begin as a sampled seed and grow into a huge mustard plant. Many times we say things that we never intend to start a fire with, yet it happens. Words are said, and the forrest fire begins. It is difficult not to gossip because we have become so accustomed to wanting the “latest scoop” about the “latest juice.”

The next time you want to spread a little information on behalf of someone, don’t. Use your God instincts and choose the high road. Think about the source you received your information from before you begin that spark that leads to destruction.

Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,

Pastor Larry

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized