Monday, November 17, 2014

Youth Camp Preaching : Who we believe we are

Many people have been led into believing that once you are saved, that’s it…! Once you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, there’s nothing left to do but just sit back and wait for Jesus to return… Many folks believe that once saved, we won’t have to worry about no more pain… No more heartache… No more rough times… In other words, we believe that we are immune to trials and tribulations…

But I came to bust your bubble… I’ve got to let you know that just because you’re saved doesn’t mean that you won’t go through… Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you won’t experience hard times… Just because you’re saved doesn’t mean you won’t experience some midnight hours…! If you don’t believe me, just ask Job… Just ask Paul…
Many times, we get tricked by the enemy into believing that we are invincible… But we must understand that we are nothing and nobody within ourselves… The Bible says that, “all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isa 64:6)…” In the sight of God…!
(Problem) Many have been taken on the belief that they are a product of their own selves… In other words, “You are who/what you because of your own power… You are who/what you because of your own ability… You are who/what you because of who your parents are… You are who/what you because of your education… You are who/what you because of your position in the community…” But the truth of the matter is you are who/what you are because of God…! 
You see before you even had the sense to know who you were or what you wanted to be, God had already predestined (ordained, predetermined) your life… In fact He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… (Jeremiah 1:5)” (Point) God knew you before you knew you…!
(Problem) Because we’re so hung up on who we believe we are… Often times we find ourselves trying to conform to our so-called beliefs without regard to if our beliefs are in the will of God…! And because you’re so busy conforming from believe to believe, and transforming from one thing to another… You’ll find yourself trapped in a state of amnesia, because you’ve lost tack of who you are supposed to be at the present time…! (Rom 12:2) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
You see you must understand that it’s a mind thing… And until you change your thinking to God’s way of thinking… Until you change your mindset into a Godly mindset… Until you change your beliefs and believe in what God says… You will be stuck in the constant state of a spiritual identity crisis…! 

(Tell somebody…) “If you want to overcome a Spiritual Identity Crisis… Don’t worry about who the world thinks you are… Don’t worry about who you believe you are… But stand on and rest in…”

Living in a world...

We live in a world that is full of people who are lost… We live in a world where many believe that they simply don’t fit in… We live in a world were many people are searching for a sense of belonging to someone or something… We live in a time were many are simply experiencing what I want to call an identity crisis…! 

We live in a time where many people, both in and out of the body of Christ are experiencing an identity crisis… In other words, we don’t know who we are…! We’ve lost our identity… We don’t know who or what we are… And so consequently, we struggle everyday with this concept of being carnal chameleons one day and super-spiritual saints the next… Today we’re saved and tomorrow we’re slip-slidin’away… We’ve lost our identity…! And as a result we’re walking around like spiritual zombies trying to find life in any and everything around us…! (Discovered) Because of our identity crisis, we are faced with a very unfortunate dilemma that we must deal with… There are some issues that arise due to our lack of ability to know who we really are that we must deal with… In light of our identity crisis, we must deal with the pre-conceived opinion of…

Crucifixion : Death on the Cross

Of all the forms of death that are conceivable, crucifixion has been most feared throughout history. Death on a cross was saved for the worst of criminals and those committing treason. Death on a cross constituted the greatest of shame, humiliation and disgrace especially among the Jews.
-Deut 21:23 ...(for he that is hanged is accursed of God;)
-Gal 3:13 ...Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:....

Ø  But Jesus took the shame and humiliation of the cross and turned it into an instrument to glorify God...
-Hebrews 12:2 ...for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising (thinking nothing of) the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. The early Christians had to do the very same thing, they gloried in the Cross of Christ.

Ø  Today people glory in their wealth, social status, fame, knowledge and often times Christians glory in their gifts, talents and positions in the church but like Paul we must glory only in the cross of Christ...
-Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD...”

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Youth Camp Preaching : Who the world thinks we are

It’s no secret of what the world really thinks about those who live for Christ (TV, newspaper, etc)… It’s no secret that the world thinks that we are nothing more than second-class citizens… That we’re nothing more than freaks, fanatics, and frauds… The world thinks that we’re nothing more than extremists, trying to get some attention… They believe that we are bible-toting, tongue-speaking renegades, who only want to put on a spectacle for others to see…They believe that the church is nothing more than a social club, were we gather from week to week to compare clothes, hairstyles, and trends… The church is nothing more than a place for those who are in everybody else’s business to gather to share notes and swap stories…! They feel that the only difference between them and us is that they’re meeting in the clubs, and bars, but we’re meeting in the church!

And as a result of their thoughts about us, our witness becomes ineffective…! We can’t tell them anything, because they see us doing the same thing…! We can’t tell them not to do something because we’re doing everything… And because this spiritual identity crisis has been going on so long, it does not matter what we do to try and show them different… They’re not buying it…! 

Because so many have been hurt, rejected, and made fun of by the church, they refuse to hear anything that we have to say... 

The world thinks that we’re just putting on a show, pretending to be something that we’re not… (2 Timothy 3:5) Many folks “have a form of godliness but they deny its power…” In other words, they’re faking and shaking and it causes a detrimental effect on the entire body of Christ… Likewise I discovered that many people try to live up to what the worlds thinks… “The world says I should…” 

And because this, many of are in the midst of a spiritual identity crisis… Because we’re on trying to be Who The World Thinks We Are… But I’ve also discovered that we get caught up in…

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Conduct a Baby Dedication Service

Dedication Biblical Authority: Matthew 19:13-15
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Address to the Congregation
The family is a divine institution ordained of God from the beginning of time. Children are a heritage of the Lord committed by Him to their parents for care, provision, protection, and spiritual training. It is good when parents recognize all of these obligations and responsibilities and make every effort to fully carry them out. In this act of dedication FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME acknowledge these responsibilities and come before us today to dedicate themselves and CHILD’S NAME to God and his will for their lives as a family.
At BLESSED HOPE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH, INTL., we dedicate children rather than baptize them. Just as Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord and Joseph and Mary dedicated the infant Jesus to the Lord according to Jewish custom, we believe dedication more closely follows the biblical pattern than baptism, of which we have no precedent of an infant or child being baptized in the Bible. Thus, this dedication ritual does not impart faith or forgiveness of sins to CHILD’S NAME. Rather, it is FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME’S public acknowledgment that CHILD’S NAME is a gift from God to them, and that they have a spiritual responsibility for the Christian nurture and training of this child.
Address to the Parents
FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME, you have brought CHILD’S NAME before us today to publicly dedicate her to the Lord. I have a series of questions to ask you, and please affirm your desires by answering each of them, “WE WILL.”
Ø  Will you accept your God-given responsibility to raise CHILD’S NAME in a Christ-centered home?
Ø  Will you teach and discipline her in your home so that you are not solely dependent on the church or school system to impart biblical knowledge and spiritual values to CHILD’S NAME?
Ø  Will you not assume that your careers or peer approval are the highest goals in life; but rather what will advance the cause of Christ?
Ø  Will you not make your life’s choices based on secular trends or material gain, but rather will you make your life’s choices based on what will benefit and strengthen the faith of your family?
FATHER’S NAME as her earthly father, will you give CHILD’S NAME the time and attention and affection that show the true nature of her Father in Heaven?
MOTHER’S NAME, as her earthly mother, will you give CHILD’S NAME the special attachment she craves from you and the special nurturing touch that you are uniquely gifted by God to give her?
Address to the Godparents (optional)
GODPARENT FATHER’ NAME and GODPARENT MOTHER’S NAME, you have accepted FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME’s request for you to be godparents to their child. I have a series of questions to ask you, and please affirm your desires by answering each of them, “WE WILL.”
In accepting this role, will you regularly pray for FATHER’S NAME, MOTHER’S NAME, and CHILD’S NAME?
As close relatives to this family, will you conduct your lives in a way that reinforces the biblical values that CHILD’S NAME is taught in his/her home?
If in the future FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME are not able available for CHILD’S NAME, will you do everything in your power to help him/her follow Christ?
Address to the Congregation (standing)
Congregation, will you as the community of faith support FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME and CHILD’S NAME by the Christian love and example you set by your lives? If so, please say, “We will.”
Prayer of Dedication

Conclude the charge with a prayer of dedication. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Illustration about salvation

Suppose you have a friend named Jim who tells you, "I am going to buy you a $50,000 automobile as a gift." He drives up in front of your house with that brand-new automobile. Suppose you were to say to him, "Jim, I can’t let you do that. It is just too great a gift. Here is a quarter. Here is twenty-five cents; let me help pay for this thing." And so Jim pays $49,999.75, and you pay a quarter. Now you are driving the car down the road, and someone says, "That is a nice car you have there." You say, "Yes, my friend Jim and I bought this car." That would be an insult to Jim, would it not? We must remember that we cannot take any praise or credit for our salvation. None whatsoever! It is all of God.