The Thanksgiving Chair
Hello Members and Friends of TSM,
I have three questions for you to consider. How often do we sit in the seat of thanksgiving throughout the day? What does it mean to "give thanks in all circumstances?" And who are we teaching to say thanks along with us? Watch this video located at: http://www.sermonspice.com/product/50051/thanksgiving-chair
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18
Message from October 26: Watch Out For The Zombies!
Bible verses about potential zombie invasions in prophesy such as Zechariah 14:12, Ezekiel 37:10 and Revelation 11:11, In the end none of these verses seem to really be talking about zombies when you look at the context. However as I started to look at texts about being really alive this is when I discovered that except for Christ, we are all zombies. Here are three points I would like you to consider.
1. We are all zombies. Ephesians 2:1 says “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, “
3. We need an antidote. There’s another part to this Zombie problem and antidote that I would like to bring to your attention. Apparently Zombies like to feed on brains. This is why they keep attacking the truly alive. In a spiritual sense, this is what the Evil One wants also, to take control of our minds and he will do this anyway that he can through a million different types of distractions from Hollywood to Hunting to Harping on some grand political cause,
Your TSM Family
Message from October 12: The Good News About the Bad News
Well I have some bad news, and then some even worse news.
The heart of the sickness seems to lie in the attitude or a disposition that we all are predisposed to have called selfishness. This is the attitude that I have to satisfy #1 first
A man named Paul described the problem this way, ironically in a letter to these same people in the Roman Empire.
“18 For kthe wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can bemknown about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, nhave been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they obecame futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 pClaiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and qexchanged the glory of rthe immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Whether we say we believe in “a Higher power” or not, we all really worship something. If it is not God or wealth or power it may be reason or logic which is really placing our own abilities to think things through as our god. This high opinion of ourselves leads to the problems we see today. The truth of matter is that we are “gods” in our own eyes and our selfish natures can lead us to do things that given the right resources and circumstances are very harmful.
Paul was a Hebrew born in Tarsus, a Roman province in Cilicia. He belonged to a group of strict religious leaders called the Pharisees and zealously persecuted the early Christians, being instrumental in putting many to death. He thought he was doing right and in the name of religion committed murder.
So am I any different than Paul? You might say, “No, because I haven’t hurt anyone”, but given the right circumstances, if I gave into road rage, I’m thinking that I could do a lot of damage
A Puritan theologian, Richard Baxter had this to say about selfishness and the commandment against coveting:
"The Tenth Commandment is variously conjectured at by various expositors: some say it speaks against inward lust and the sinful thoughts of the heart; but so do all the rest in the true meaning of them, and must not be supposed to forbid the outward act only, nor to be in any way defective. Some say it forbids coveting and commands contentment.
There is some truth in both of these, but the plain truth is, that the sin forbidden is selfishness, as opposite to the love of others."
But what would you call him if he was happy that's his neighbor's wife was prettier than his, that his house was bigger, that his livestock were sleeker, that his income was higher, that his TV was bigger and that his car was flashier? You call that man.unselfish.
The Tenth Commandment, therefore, forbids selfishness in all its forms: envy, covetousness, discontentment, unthankfulness, and so on.
Not every Law of Israel carries over to the people of the New Covenant, but this one surely does, for the Lord and His Apostles often attacked covetousness and urged its opposite, that is, living for others rather than yourself.
He concludes with the following:
Baxter is honest enough to say that Christians and non-christians are under its power too Listen to a Calvinist sermon and hear the preacher go on and on about the depravity of man, the corruption of his understanding, the ruin of his will, and what a worm and vile garbage he is! But then offer a word of criticism and the preacher is highly offended! But if man is depraved and his understanding is corrupt and if he's a maggot, why would he be so fussy about maybe, just maybe, being wrong on some minor point?
Every one is subject to selfishness-including you and me! This means we have to watch against it more closely than the sins that don't affect us much.
So back to this sickness.....
The good news is that there is Someone who does have the power to counter-act this sickness. Paul had an experience that convinced him there is a cure to this sickness. Read about it in the book of Acts, chapter 9 in the Bible. His cure was not in tradition, a formula, a way of living, but in a person and a relationship with this person.
In my life, I'm still working on the cure. I have my doubts some days, but also my victories. Knowing Jesus has made my life better. Every day, I receive countless blessings that I honestly don't deserve and many times don't recognize or appreciate. Would I still have this by not living as a Christian? Maybe for a while, but eventually, it will and has caught up with me. When I see my "dark side" and where it would lead except for the grace of God, I know that I need Jesus.
I want to challenge you to examine your values and put them to the test comparing them to the Bible. This challenge is for both "believers" and "unbelievers". We are all a product of this culture and have been sold a bill of goods. Take some time to getting to know about Jesus by reading the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and then, even if it seems strange, talk to Jesus as you would a friend asking Him to reveal Himself to you and I want to venture to say, He will and He can do it in a transformational way so that you can address the sickness that is in all of us and be set free!
Your TSM Family
Message from October 5: God's Chisel
This is a sermon about sanctification. That's a big word for having a friendship with God. This is a life-long process where God starts with a new Christian and ends with a mature Christian with the same character traits as Jesus. In John 15: 1 - 8 Jesus tells the parable of the vine and the branches. The parable teaches us that we must have a relationship with Jesus if we are to accomplish anything good. It's through this relationship that we get faith. Faith is another big word for that friendship with God. The friendship is the foundation. When you get that right, the faith and the sanctification come so naturally it's like grapes growing on a grape vine. A relationship with God is just like a relationship with a spouse. You need quality time together and good communication. For this, we need some time each day when we can talk to God and read his love letters to us (The Bible). The more you get to know God, the more you trust Him--that's faith.
God respects our desire to get to know Him. He knows the difference between someone who really wants to carry on a conversation and someone who prays like he's reciting poetry. He knows the difference between someone who reads the Bible as if it were a love letter written to him and the person who is just putting in time. In John 15:26 and John 16:8 & 13, Jesus promised to send us the Helper, otherwise known as the Spirit of Truth or the Holy Spirit. He will "talk" to your mind as you read and pray. This "voice" is God's chisel. He will ask us if He may remove sins from our lives. Sins are things that get between us and God. They prevent us from getting closer to God.
Even baby Christians who have just started their relationship with God have tremendous power at their disposal. In Philipians 2:13, it says that "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for his good pleasure. God gives you the power to say yes to his chisel and no to Satan's temptations. Without this day-to-day relationship with God, you are powerless to resist Satan's temptations. Without this relationship with God, you can be nothing more than a good actor. You might look good on the outside, but without God on the inside, you are just a white washed tomb with a rotting corps on the inside.
Jesus told his followers to go the second mile, but first He said follow me. This is the only way it works. First comes the relationship with God and then comes the good works--the fruit. Faking it until you make it doesn't work. Change for the better has to start on the inside. When people look at you, do they see Jesus? How else is the world to see Christ if not through Christians? Eat the Word of God and grow strong and grow up. You've stayed the same for far too long. That is God's word to me, how about you? God is all powerful. God's electrical outlet is there at your fingertips. Insert the plug into the outlet. You probably won't see sparks or fireworks. You probably won't hear thunder. God speaks in a still small voice. He moves like a gentle wind. But you will "see" God and others will see God in you.
To see how this process may work go to this link to God's Chisel Video by the Skit Guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg
Your TSM family