413 - The Importance of Baptism

August 17, 2017

Baptism has fallen out of favor in the church today.  Many people are confused about baptism. And since there seems to be such a wide diversity of opinion about what baptism means and how important it is, many in the church have relegated it to an archaic, antiquated ritual and not much more.  And that is a grave mistake.  Why?  Because baptism is your first act of obedience as a Christian.

Many in the church who call themselves Christians have not been baptized according to the New Testament baptism.  That may include some of you who are listening to this podcast.  But think, if we are unfaithful to the first command of obedience to our Lord who saved us, it makes it much easier to disobey His other commands.  Does this describe you?

The question we ask today is why don't people get baptized?  And there are at least five reasons: ignorance, pride, indifference, rebellion, or because they are simply lost.  In this message we will look at each of these in detail.

Are you confused about baptism and why it seemed so important in New Testament times but not so much today?  If that describes you, then keep listening.

The following is a study on baptism.

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364 - Why Did God Choose to Save You?

September 26, 2016
Great question.  Why did God choose to save each of us?  Was it because He wanted to make our life better?  And, if so, what does "better" mean?  And "better" from whose perspective?  His?  Or ours?  Maybe He chose to save us to give our life purpose and meaning.  And what would that purpose be?  And whose purpose are we talking about?  God's?  Or ours?

See the problem?  When we view the purpose of our salvation from how it affects us, we tend to become self-centered and inner-focused.  But it's not about us, it's all about Him.  Totally for Him and Him alone.

Want to discover the true reason God chose to save you?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on total surrender.

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338 - Take this Job and Love It!

March 6, 2016
In Colossians 3 we find the hands-on practical teaching of Paul that hits us right where it hurts: in our job, our profession, and in our sense of value and self-worth.  No area of our life is more open to hurt and confusion for a man that what he does for a living.  In fact, most men identify themselves by their jobs and not by their families or heritage or faith.

Colossians 3:22 reads:

Bondservants (doulos – a slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other), obey (or, to listen, to be obedient, to submit, to conform) in (what) all things (who) your masters (defined as) according to the flesh, (in what way) not with eyeservice (or, service performed only under the master’s eyes, for appearance sake), as men-pleasers, but in sincerity (or, singleness, faithfulness, purity) of heart, fearing (or, being terrified or frightened) God.

Intrigued?  Want to find out more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:22-4:1.

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328 - Your True Nature = Your First Thought

November 15, 2015
Believe it or not, your first thought about something is a telling indicator of your core nature.  It's your knee-jerk reaction that shows what you are made of and who you belong to— the god of this world or the One you claim as your Lord.

Ask yourself this:  When you're faced with a problem or an inconvenience, what’s your first thought?

Is it, how does this problem affect me?
Or, is it how does this problem affect my family, or others, or the ones I love?

Is your first thought about you?  Or is it about the welfare of others?

Your answer may be a key indicator as to your true nature.  And your true nature is the single, most important indicator as to whether or not you're saved.  Confused?  Maybe a bit angry?  Good.  Then keep listening to find out what you need to do.

The following is a study on Colossians 2:11-15.

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316 - What Happens When We Want More Than Jesus

July 30, 2015
When Philip uttered the words, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” (John 14:8), he probably didn't fully understand the implications of what he was asking.  Actually, his words went more like this:

"Lord, show (or, put on a demonstration, to point out, to present in sight) us the Father, and it is sufficient (or, it will satisfy, we will be content) for us" (John 14:8).

This was not Moses begging God to reveal His glory (Exodus 38:18).  No, this was the disciples wanting more than Jesus.  They wanted to trust a visible manifestation of something more than simple faith in Christ.

Have you ever done the same?  Have you longed for the Lord's power or blessing or answered prayer or a miracle more than the Lord Himself?  

If so, keep listening.

The following is a study on John 14:7-9.

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263 - Hey God, I’ve Got a Problem with You

September 28, 2014
Often we find ourselves, like the people in Malachi's day, lodging a complaint against God.  Why?  Because He didn't do things the way we thought He should.  Because we don't like the situation we are in.  Because we want more than what He has sovereignly given us.  Because He didn't meet our expectations.

Just like spoiled, selfish children.

But the granddaddy of all complaints is found in Malachi 2:17 where the people accuse God of blessing evil and ignoring good:  "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them."  Or, "Where is the God of justice?"

Want to see how God responds?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:17-3:5.

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262 - Trying to Discredit Jesus

September 24, 2014
When we go to court and the prosecutor has a key witness ready to testify against us, we basically have only three options of things we can do.
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One, we can make the witness disappear, much like Don Corleone in the Godfather.  Or, two, we can try to discredit the witness by digging up dirt on his past sins that would impugn his testimony and character.  In other words, we would put the witness on trial.  And if that didn't work, three, we could hire Madison Avenue lawyers to find a technicality, a loophole, to get us off.

This is exactly the course of action the Pharisees plotted against Jesus, to no avail.  Why?  Because He was always one step ahead of them.

Want to find out more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 8:12-20.

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232 - The Timeless Message of Haggai, Part 1

March 18, 2014
After 14 years of doing nothing the Lord finally sent the prophet Haggai to confront the apathy and laziness of His remnant.  First, the Lord rebukes them for their excuse.

Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: "This people says, 'The time has not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.'"

Really?  But the Lord responds to their excuse this way.

"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?"

In other words, you can't find the time to build My house but you have plenty of time to build your own house.  

Sound familiar?  I thought so.  Keep listening for more of Haggai's message to us today.

The following is a study of Haggai 1:1-15.
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196 - Sin That is Hard to Forgive and Impossible to Forget

January 27, 2013
Psalm 51 is the greatest of all the Psalms of repentance.  In it, David pours out his heart to the Lord, begging that he not suffer forever the consequences of his sin.  And God forgives David's sin, but the consequences remain.

The Psalm begins with this short introduction:

To the Chief Musician.  A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone to Bathsheba.

Ah, now we know the setting of the sin... the all-too-familiar story of David and Bathsheba.  But, as with most of Scripture, there is much more to this story than we might think.

Want to see a bigger picture of Psalm 51?  Keep listening.

The following is a study on Psalm 51.
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162 - The Great Paradox: Slavery = Freedom

October 3, 2011
The Christian life is full of some strange, yet Biblical paradoxes.  Consider the following:

Salvation is both free and costly.
To find your life you must lose it.
Those who are last will be first.
The least among men is the greatest.
Those who give will receive.
Those who are humble will be exalted.
God is Three yet One.

And the granddaddy of them all...

True freedom comes only through slavery.  Really?  Oh, yes.  It is the most marvelous paradox of all.  Listen and find out why.

The following is a study on being a Slave.
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