“Well Done” (The Last Days, part 6)

In this devotional series, we’re taking a look at Matthew 24 & 25 to see what Jesus teaches us about his return and the end of the current age of history. Today, we’ll consider Matthew 25:14-30.

Matthew 25 records Jesus telling three parables about his return. The first in 25:1-13 reiterates the truths at the end of chapter 24–we don’t know when Jesus is going to return, but we should live each day prepared, seeking to do his will while we still have breath on this earth.

Then in 25:14-30, we come across what is often called “the parable of the talents,” which tends to be quite familiar to followers of Jesus. Jesus told the story of a rich and powerful man who had three servants. To each he gave various talents, a measure of money in which one talent was worth about 20 years wages of the common laborer. The man then went on a journey to return at a later time.

Two servants took what they were given and earned more back for the master. The last servant, however, hid the talent in a hole in the ground and did nothing with it. When the master returned he called the servants to himself and found out what they had done.

The first two received high praise: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!” (25:21, 23).

The third servant did not fare well. He was called evil and lazy and he was stripped of all he had and tossed into the “outer darkness.”

The point of the story expands on the idea that Jesus will return and we won’t know when. The emphasis here, however, is the faithfulness we show in the meantime.

God gives a variety of “talents” to each of us. These may include our experiences, education, money, influence, time, etc. These are resources that God has given us to use in the world to love him supremely and love others deeply. The question is: What do we do with them?

A follower of Jesus will see his or her life and the things of life as an opportunity. This opportunity isn’t to make a name for ourselves but to magnify the fame of Jesus. It is an opportunity to tell the story of the great love he showed us in dying for our sins, and to tell the story of the great hope and joy we can have trusting in his return. It is also an opportunity to look around at the various needs others around us have and figure out ways to meet them as tangible demonstrations of God’s love.

Living our lives in such a way, trusting in Jesus and loving others as he has loved us, will lead us to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

All scripture references taken from the Christian Standard Bible. For the previous part of this series, click here: https://fbcadrian.com/2018/07/26/no-one-knows-the-day-or-hour-the-last-days-part-5/

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Sunday 08.12.18 (the art of praying well)

This Sunday we’ll continue our Art of Prayer and Fasting series with our second look at prayer from Romans 8:18-30, and see how even though we’re weak in prayer, we can still pray well with a reliance on the Holy Spirit. Then on Sunday evening, we’ll continue our Follow Me video study. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Follow Me study

Sermon Notes
The Art of Praying Well ~ Romans 8:18-30

  • To pray well, keep in mind the truth that through Jesus God has destined you for eternal glory (8:18-25)
  • To pray well, understand that you are weak in prayer and trust the Holy Spirit to shape your prayers before the Father (8:26-27)
  • To pray well, shape your prayers around the realities of eternal glory (8:28-30)

Songs for Worship
Open the Eyes of My Heart
Sweet Hour of Prayer
I Love You, Lord
I Need Thee Every Hour
Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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Sunday 08.05.18 (learning to pray)

This morning, we start a new series, The Art of Prayer and Fasting, and we’ll take a look at Luke 11:1-13 and see how Jesus teaches us to pray. Then, tonight we’ll continue our video series Follow Me by David Platt. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Follow Me study in Youth Room

Sermon Notes
Learning to Pray ~ Luke 11:1-13

  • Pray as worship (11:1-4)
    • Pray in praise to God, your Father
    • Pray for the Gospel to spread and Jesus to return
    • Pray for the daily needs of yourself and others
    • Pray for forgiveness and a forgiving heart
    • Pray for spiritual protection and strength
  • Pray with persistence (11:5-10)
  • Pray with trust (11:11-13)

Songs for Worship
Praise Him, Praise Him
Have Faith in God
10,000 Reasons
Take Time to be Holy

the art of prayer and fasting (sermon series)

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Sunday 07.29.18 (Jesus and the tent)

This Sunday we’ll wrap up our series in Exodus by taking a look at the construction of the tabernacle in 40:1-38, and we’ll see how Jesus is the better Tabernacle that allows us to intimately experience God’s presence. Then on Sunday Night, we’ll begin a new video series–Follow Me by David Platt. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Video Study in Youth Room

Sermon Notes
Jesus and the Tent ~ Exodus 40:1-38

The sermon in one sentence: The Tabernacle was a large tent where people could experience God’s presence, but from a distance; Jesus is our better Tabernacle that allows us to experience God’s presence intimately.

  • The Old Testament Tabernacle
    • Its design displayed separation (40:1-8, 16-33)
    • Its funishings and workers displayed holiness (40:9-15)
    • Its existence displayed God’s presence (40:34-38)
  • Jesus as our better Tabernacle
    • Jesus ended the separation between us and God (Hebrews 10:19-22); therefore, draw near to God through the Bible, prayer, and worship
    • Jesus purifies us from sin and makes us holy (Hebrews 9:21-28); therefore, pursue practical holiness by repenting of sin and striving for godly virtue
    • Jesus ushers us into God’s presence (Hebrews 12:22-24); therefore, be thankful and exalt God as supremely worthy

Songs for Worship
Holy, Holy, Holy
Nothing But the Blood
King of Glory
Inside Out
Without Him

No One Knows the Day or Hour (The Last Days, part 5)

In this devotional series, we’re taking a look at Matthew 24 & 25 to see what Jesus teaches us about his return and the end of the current age of history. Today, we’ll consider Matthew 24:32-51.

Every year, it seems, someone comes out with a new prediction–a day and hour about when the world will end. Some base it on calculations they’ve done through supposed secret Bible codes, some base it on what they perceive as certain heavenly signs like eclipses, and some base it on things like the Mayan calendar.

Yet, when it comes to such predictions, Jesus says that making them is futile. Jesus said in Matthew 24:36, “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows–neither the angels of heaven nor the Son–except the Father alone.” So, at least during his time on earth, not even Jesus was told the day and hour by the Father. If Jesus didn’t know, then we can be sure that whatever new book predicting the end that hits the shelves isn’t worth reading.

But this mystery surrounding the time of Jesus’ return should not lead his faithful followers to spiritual apathy or laziness. Jesus does say that we can see by certain signs, presumably the increasing birth pangs from earlier in the chapter, that the end is getting closer. But apart from this, we don’t know if it will be in our lifetime or in a hundred lifetimes from now.

So, heeding Jesus’ words, what do we do while we wait?

First, we live life as normal. Jesus compares his return to the flood of Noah, where people continued on with life as usual until the flood unexpectedly hit (at least unexpectedly for those outside of Noah’s family). They ate, drank, and married “until the flood came and swept them all away” (24:37-39). Now, at first glance this might seem like a reason to not “live life as normal,” but we must consider what Jesus said next:

This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding grain with a hand mill; one will be taken and one left. (24:39-41)

The “taken and left” indicates the difference between those going with Jesus into eternal joy and those without Jesus going into eternal judgment. But when one is taken and one is left, both are doing everyday things. So, we don’t live in fear or anxiety. We don’t separate ourselves from society to live in some compound. We go about life as normal. But…

Second, we live life as normal but expectant. Jesus next says to “stay alert” and “be ready.” He then gives the illustration of a servant put in charge of a house while the master is away. Jesus said, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes.” (24:45-46)

Jesus gave us a job in this life: We’re to use our talents, resources, and experiences to love God supremely, love others deeply, and seek to make more disciples of Jesus. So, as we go about our daily lives, we are also to be people who happily worship God and live blamelessly, strive to meet needs, tell others about Jesus, and help other followers of Jesus grow in their faith.

In this way, we make ourselves ready for the return of our Savior-King, no matter when the day and hour will be.

All scripture references taken from the Christian Standard Bible. For the previous part of this series, click here: https://fbcadrian.com/2018/07/23/the-world-will-know-the-last-days-part-4/

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The World Will Know (The Last Days, part 4)

In this devotional series, we’re taking a look at Matthew 24 & 25 to see what Jesus teaches us about his return and the end of the current age of history. Today, we’ll consider Matthew 24:23-31.

In his book, The Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse, Jason Boyett details several end times predictions made throughout history, as well as claims by different figures to have been the returned messiah. That such people have come and gone should not surprise us. Jesus warned his followers that “false messiahs and false prophets” would arise saying things like “See, here is the Messiah!” or “Over here!” Jesus even warned that some would have the ability to do a variety of “signs and wonders.”

And what does Jesus say about all of this?

“Do not believe it.”

Their claims are false, because Jesus detailed that his return will not be a secret event that only a handful know about. He is not coming back to a wilderness compound and then sending out his followers to say to others, “Come with us to the place where the messiah is!”

Jesus’ return will be a visible, earth-shaking event. The world will know.

Jesus compared his return to lightning that “comes from the east and flashes as far as the west.” We’ve seen lightning like that in an overhead thunderstorm. Flashes of lightning can even make the darkest midnight seem brighter than the sunniest noon. Jesus went on to say that his return will be accompanied by cosmic realities–signs in the sky. And “all the peoples of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Then add to this trumpet blasts and the gathering together of God’s people.

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul had to correct a heresy that Jesus had come back and the church there had missed him. Jesus’ words assure us that the event will not go unnoticed.

This gives us confidence to reject any claim by anyone that Jesus has returned. Even if the person making the claim is able to astound with fake miracles and displays of power. Jesus will not contradict himself and his return will be visible for all to see.

All scripture references taken from the Christian Standard Bible. For the previous part of this series, click here: https://fbcadrian.com/2018/07/19/troubles-and-distress-the-last-days-part-3/

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Sunday 07.22.18 (generosity)

This morning, we’ll take a look at Exodus 35:4-29 and reflect on the topic of generosity. Then this evening, we’ll wrap up our video study on Philippians. We hope to see you there!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Philippians Study in youth room

Sermon Notes
Generosity ~ Exodus 35:4-29

The sermon in one sentence: God generously gives us all things through Jesus and he calls us to be generous toward others.

  • Defining Generosity: Generosity is freely and happily giving of our resources (money, time, possession) for the benefit of others
  • Generosity is a response to God’s grace (35:4-9, 20-29)
    • Recognize God’s great generosity toward you
    • Give to needs in response to God’s prompting
    • Position yourself to give more abundantly
  • Generosity helps meet the needs of the moment (35:5-19)
    • Generosity considers the need and gives accordingly (35:10-19)
    • Generosity gives from the resources on hand (35:5-9; 1 John 3:17-18)

Songs for Worship
Wonderful Words of Life
Freely, Freely
Peace Like a River
Glorify Thy Name
I Love You Lord
Take My Life and Let It Be