Wholly Devoted?

In I Kings 8:61 Solomon challenged the people of Israel: “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as this day.” Solomon’s admonition to them was to be “WHOLLY” devoted to YHWH. This is significant. Continue reading

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When They Sin

In I Kings 9 Solomon spoke a prayer of dedication for the newly constructed temple in Jerusalem. In :46 he prayed regarding his people: “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) …”. This is a very wise and understanding prayer. And the word “WHEN” is a key. Solomon knew that it was not a matter of “IF” the people of Israel would sin, but “WHEN.” We are all born sinners by nature, and as long as we live, we are still prone to sin. Thus it is not “if” we will sin, but “WHEN” — even for the best of us.

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Promise Breakers

In I Kings 8:25 Solomon prayed: “Now therefore, O LORD, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’” This was a fine and appropriate prayer which Solomon prayed. God could be counted on to keep His promises to David and the succeeding generations. The problem was, Israel would not. Continue reading

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Sermon: Romans 1:4 “The Meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus” for FBC Paul’s Valley, 4-20-14

When we were serving in Louisiana one of our church members was coaching a kids baseball practice just before Easter one year, and he announced that they weren’t going to have practice or a game that weekend because it was Easter. He thought he would take this opportunity to share with the kids, and he asked them what Easter was about: some of the boys immediately yelled: “Eggs!” The coach said, no, there was something else. “Easter baskets” another boy called out. “No, there is something more special”, he answered. “What is it?” He saw a boy from the church waving his arm, so he figured he would get it right, and he called on him. His answer? “I know — chocolate bunnies!”

We need to make sure that we remember what it is that we are celebrating this weekend: not bunnies or chocolate or eggs, not spring weather, food, or even family, as good as some of those things are. What we are celebrating is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We find one of the best references to the Resurrection of Jesus in Romans 1:4, where Paul writes:

:4 “Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I almost gave this message the title: “So What?” I had a seminary professor tell us once that we should look at every passage and ask, “so what?” — NOT in an irreverent or sarcastic way, but as a means of asking, “What does this mean to my life? What should I do in response to this?” As we come together this Easter Sunday, we should ask that question: “So What?” So we are marking the resurrection of Jesus from the grave — so what? What is the significance of that? What does it mean to us, and how should we respond? Let’s look together for a few minutes at this passage, and what it tells us about what the resurrection of Jesus from the dead means to us: Continue reading

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Because …

In Psalm 9:4 David prays: “For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.” The word “for” here is an important one. Just as in English, the Hebrew word “qi” is a small word, but it has great significance. It can be translated “for”, or “because.” Like the word “therefore”, it points the reader of this verse back to the ones previous:

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In You

In Psalm 9:2 David writes: “I will be glad and exult in You.” It is significant that he does not just say, “I will be glad and rejoice” — but, “I will be glad and rejoice IN YOU.” Those last two words are significant.

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Conditional Promises

In I Kings 3:14 God gave the newly crowned King Solomon a conditional promise: “IF you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, THEN I will prolong your days.” Notice the “IF … THEN”: “IF” he walked in God’s ways, “THEN” God would prolong his days.
It was not a “blanket promise” that Solomon could claim no matter what; he had to keep his part, then he could be confident that God would do his.

Many of God’s promises in scripture are conditional in the same way. God does indeed promise to do something — IF we will do something first. Some examples include: Continue reading

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