A CRYING MESS

by Brett Petrillo
Bursting into tears.  Weeping.  Sobbing.  Tears of joy.  Crying fit.  Crying our eyes out.

However we say it, we all do it; some just do it more than others.  According to statistics, “Women cry five times as much as men. Women cry 64 times a year as compared to 17 times a year for men” (Health Central).  As true as this may be, there are plenty of strong, manly men who could give these statistics a serious run for their money. 

No matter who, why, or how much we do it, crying typically isn’t a very enjoyable experience.  Usually crying is an outward sign of our inward pain.  This is exactly why the words of Revelation 21:4 are so appealing, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

What a uniquely wonderful reward stacked upon so many others (Revelation 21).  Without a doubt, this is something we can look forward to in heaven.  Let’s be sure to live in a way to ensure our names are in the “book of life” so we will never again have to worry about shedding tears of sorrow (Revelation 21:27).

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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RESPONDING TO MATERIALISM

RESPONDING TO MATERIALISM

INTRODUCTION 

A. We live in a very materialistic society

1. As evidenced in our popular culture (music, TV, etc.) 

2. As expressed in the desire for an affluent lifestyle 

B. Materialism is dangerous foe to the Christian

1. The deceitfulness of riches can render the Christian fruitless… Matthew 13:22

2. The desire for riches can ensnare the Christian, leading him astray… 1 Timothy 6:9-10

C. What can we do as Christians, and as the church? Consider God’s use of Isaiah… 

1. Sent to a corrupt and materialistic society… Isaiah 1:21-23

2. Offering that which truly satisfies… Isaiah 55:1-3

D. Today, Jesus has a similar response, which we can offer to a world that is starving for what truly satisfies…

DISCUSSION

A. JESUS’ RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM

1. Exposes the Deficiency of Riches…

a. Many think of “the good life” in terms of material prosperity 

b. Jesus taught there is more to life than material possessions 

1) Man’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions… Luke 12:15 

2) As illustrated in the parable of the rich foo… Luke 12:16-21 

c. Jesus taught the insecurity of riches…Matthew 6:19-20 

1) They are susceptible to corruption 

2) They are open to theft 

d. Jesus taught the danger of riches… Matthew 6:21-24 

1) They can dominate our affections

2) They can blind us to the true light 

3) They can prevent us from being able to serve God 

e. Thus the message of Jesus is one of correcting our misconceptions; riches do not make one happy! 

2. Extends the Truly Abundant Life…

a. Jesus offers a life filled with peace… John 14:27 

1) Peace with God through justification… Romans 5:1-2 

2) Peace with man through reconciliation… Ephesians 2:14-16 

3) Peace with self through supplication… Philippians 4:6-7 

4) The peace Jesus offers “surpasses all understanding” … Philippians 4:7 

b. Jesus offers a life filled with love… John 15:9 

1) Love patterned after the Father’s love for the Son… John 15:9 

2) Love that can be fervent, yet pure between brethren… 1 Peter 1:22 

3) Love that can be extended even toward enemies… Matthew 5:43-45 

4) The love Jesus offers “passes knowledge” … Ephesians 3:9 

c. Jesus offers a life filled with joy… John 15:11

1) His commandments, His promises, all are designed to impart joy… John 15:11 

2) A joy that can abound in any circumstance… Philippians 2:17-18; 4:4; 1 Peter 1:6 

3) The joy Jesus offers is “inexpressible” … 1 Peter 1:8 

3. By offering such peace, love, and joy, perhaps we can appreciate why Jesus said He offers an “abundant” life… John 10:10 

4. To communicate this response to a materialistic society, Jesus calls upon His church. While it certainly entails proclaiming the gospel, let me suggest some additional thoughts about… 

B. OUR RESPONSE TO MATERIALISM 

1. Exemplify Jesus’ Response as Individuals…

a. As individuals we must possess the peace, love, and joy Jesus offers 

1) Which comes through heeding His words… John 15:10-11 

2) Which comes through spending time in prayer… Philippians 4:6-7 

3) If we fail to spend the time necessary in such activities, how convincing can we be that we have a more “abundant” life to offer?

b. As individuals we must not depend on material things for true happiness 

1) If poor, learn the secret of contentment… 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Philippians 4:11-13 

2) If rich, trust not in riches but be quick to help those in need… 1 Timothy 6:17-19 

3) Being content and willing to share goes a long way toward demonstrating that Jesus’ response to materialism really means something! 

2. Exemplify Jesus’ Response as A Congregation… 

a. The value of a congregational demonstration cannot be taken lightly 

1) Jesus stressed the value of brotherly love and unity – Jn 13:35; 17:20-21 

2) His church illustrated the value of congregational love and joy… Acts 2:46-47; 6:7 (in light of 6:1-6) 

b. We should make sure that our fellowship and worship demonstrates… 

1) The love we have found in Christ (e.g., by the way we greet one another) 

2) The joy of being Christians (e.g., by the way we praise God) 

3) The peace Jesus made possible (e.g., by the way we work together) 

c. We should be careful as a congregation not to fall into a materialistic trap 

1) By placing too much concern over such things as: 

a) The physical facilities in which we meet 

b) The physical appearances of the members or visitors 

2) Not that is wrong to have comfortable facilities or to look nice 

a) But that should not be our primary concern 

b) But not to the neglect of truly important matters (like saving souls)! 

3) Otherwise we could be guilty of being like the Laodiceans… Revelation 3:17 

a) Who thought they were “rich, wealthy, and have need of nothing” 

b) Who were unaware they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” 

CONCLUSION 

A. The rampant materialism in our society provides us with an opportunity…

1. For materialism leaves one in a state of spiritual malnutrition 

2. Therefore often ripe for the true feast Jesus has to offer 

B. What does Jesus offer?

1. Rest for a weary soul… Matthew 11:28-30 

2. Rivers of living water for a thirsty soul… John 7:37-39 

3. Which He provides through His cleansing blood and life-quickening Spirit… Acts 2:38-39 

C. But if those trapped in materialism are going to believe such is possible…

1. We need to make sure that we are offering the “abundant life” as a viable alternative 

2. Both individually and as a congregation of God’s people! 

D. Are we experiencing the peace that “surpasses all understanding,” the love which “passes knowledge,” and the joy that is “inexpressible”?

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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THE PERMANENT RECORD

Columnist Bob Green of the Chicago Tribune has a theory about what’s wrong with the world. He blames it on what he calls the “Death of the Permanent Record.”

He recalls that grade-school children once lived in fear of having their bad behavior noted on The Permanent Record. Because of this, people learned in their youth to stop before they did something deceitful or unethical. They didn’t stop because they were so good but for fear of having their actions written down.

Today, according to Bob Green, people have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a permanent record. In fact, they believe no one has a right to keep track. Green says that with today’s emphasis on our rights of privacy, if a school child were ever threatened with something going on his permanent record, he would probably file suit under the Freedom of Information Act and gain possession of his files before recess.

Behind Green’s humor is an excellent point. Where there is no fear of a lasting record, people tend to do what they think they can get away with. The problem for mankind, however, is that a permanent record does exist – and it is kept by God. “But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27). Friends, the Almighty keeps record! Will you be in the Lamb’s book of life?

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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PSALM 23

The Lord is my Shepherd … That’s Relationship!
I shall not want … That’s Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures …  That’s Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters … That’s Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul … That’ s Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness … That’s Guidance!
For His name sake … That’s Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death … That’s Testing!
I will fear no evil … That’s Faithfulness!
For Thou art with me … That’s Protection!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me … That’s Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies … That’s Hope!
Thou annointest my head with oil … That’s Consecration!
My cup runneth over … That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life … That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord … That’s Security!
Forever … That’s Eternity!

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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SUFFERING SHIPWRECK OF THE FAITH

SUFFERING SHIPWRECK OF THE FAITH

1 Timothy 1:18-20

INTRODUCTION

The Christian is engaged in warfare

  1. It is a good warfare… 1 Timothy 1:18; cf. 1 Timothy 6:12
  2. It is a spiritual warfare… Ephesians 6:10-12
  3. It is a battle for “the” faith… Jude 3
  4. One that requires faith and a good conscience on our part… 1 Timothy 1:19

It is possible for Christians to do poorly in this “war”

  1. 1 Timothy 1:19
  2. By rejecting their faith and conscience
  3. Suffering shipwreck concerning the faith
  4. Such was true of two men mentioned by Paul
  5. 1 Timothy 1:20
  6. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

Could this be true of us today?

  1. Might we become guilty of “Suffering Shipwreck of The Faith”?
  2. Indeed, we can suffer shipwreck, first…

DISCUSSION

BY REJECTING ONE’S FAITH

What is faith?

  1. Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true
  2. Its primary idea is trust
  3. A strong conviction or trust in something
  4. Hebrews 11:1

It is a strong conviction or trust in Jesus:

  1. Who Jesus is…
    • That is what He claimed
    • That is truly the Son of the living God… John 8:24
  2. What Jesus did…
    • That He died on the cross for our sins
    • That His death is truly a sufficient propitiation or sacrifice for our sins
  3. What Jesus said
    • That He alone provides the way to eternal life
    • That He alone is the way to God, the Father… John 14:6-7

How do we develop proper faith?

  1. Comes through the Word of God
    • Romans 10:17
    • John 20:30-31
  2. Strengthened through fellowship with other Christians
    • Hebrews 3:12-14
    • Hebrews10:24-25
  3. Confirmed through obedience… John 7:17
  4. But, faith can be destroyed…
    • Weakened by neglecting the Word of God!… Hosea 4:6
    • More likely to turn to unbelief by forsaking fellowship with other Christians!… Hebrews 3:12-14
    • Becomes a dead faith in the absence of works!… James 2:20-23, 26
  5. When you neglect the Word of God, forsake fellowship with brethren, and cease to do the will of God, you reject your faith, and make shipwreck of the faith.
  6. One also suffers shipwreck of the faith…

BY REJECTING ONE’S CONSCIENCE

What is the conscience?

“that process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former, and to avoid the latter.” – Vine

Our conscience cannot always be reliable

  1. Paul had served God with a good conscience throughout his life… Acts 23:1
  2. Even at a time when he was persecuting Christians!… Acts 26:9-11
  3. Our conscience is like a clock, which works properly only if set correctly
  4. Even so, God desires that we have a good conscience… 1 Timothy 1:5; cf. 3:9

How do we develop a proper conscience?

  1. A good conscience is made possible through Jesus’ blood
    • Old Testament sacrifices and ordinances were insufficient… Hebrews 9:9; cf. 10:1-4
    • The blood of Jesus can cleanse one’s conscience… Hebrews 9:14; cf. 1 Peter 3:21
  2. A good conscience is maintained by obedience to God’s will
    • Failure to do what we know is right is sinful… James 4:17
    • Conduct with godly sincerity makes for a good conscience… 2 Corinthians 1:12

But, a good conscience can be destroyed

  1. Much harm can be done to our conscience
    • We can violate our conscience, which is sinful… Romans 14:22-23
    • We can defile our conscience, leading to unbelief… Titus 1:15
    • We can sear our conscience, leading to apostasy… 1 Timothy 4:1-2
  2. Whenever we ignore or violate our conscience, we are in dangerous territory!
    • A guilty conscience soon leads to a hardened conscience
      • E.g., once our conscience is hardened regarding attendance
      • …it is more likely to become hardened against doing what is right in other areas
    • Can we say what the writer of Hebrews did?… Hebrews 13:18
      • “…for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably”
      • If we make it a habit not to attend all the services of the church, can we really say “we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably”?

CONCLUSION

The Faith (the gospel) is designed to develop and nurture one’s faith and conscience…

  1. The gospel makes known what to believe and provides evidence… John 20:30-31
  2. The gospel provides the means to purify our hearts and conscience
    • Hebrews 9:14
    • 1 Peter 3:21
  3. If we reject faith and a good conscience, then the Faith suffers shipwreck in our lives!

Note how Paul felt as he came to the end of life… 2 Timothy 4:7

  1. That was because he strove to have a good conscience… Acts 24:16
  2. That was because he lived by faith… Galatians 2:20

Are you fighting the good fight?

  1. Are you keeping the faith?
  2. Or have you suffered shipwreck by rejecting faith and a good conscience?
  3. If so, then come back to the Shepherd of our souls!
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LET IT FLOW THROUGH

There was a beautiful lake that lost its zesty freshness. The water formerly had been clear. It was alluring to animals and people alike. But it became covered with a green scum. The farm animals became ill from drinking the water. Finally someone came by the lake who understood the problem. Debris collecting from the hard spring rains had stopped up the dam and prevented the free flow of water, not into the lake, but out of the lake. The spillway was cleared, and soon the lake was fresh and clean again. The flow in and out was necessary to keep the water pure!

Doesn’t the same principle apply to you and me as human beings? The blessings of life flow to you and me, but we fail to realize that most of these blessings are not meant just to flow to us, but through us, for the good of others around us, especially for those in need.

Remember, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith” (Gal. 6:10). “All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Mat. 7:12). May our blessings always flow through to others.

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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WHERE THERE IS HOPE THERE IS LIFE

A few years ago the psychology Department of Duke University carried on an interesting experiment. They wanted to see how long rats could swim. In one container they placed a rat for which there was no possibility of escape. He swam a few moments and then ducked his head to drown. In the other container they made the hope of escape a possibility for the rat. The rat swam for several hours before finally giving up. The conclusion of the experiment was just the opposite of our common conclusion. We usually say, “As long as there is life, there is hope.” The Duke experiment proved, “As long as there is hope, there is life.”

Beloved, we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and stedfast and entering into that which is within the veil; whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb. 6:19-20). That is why our Hope declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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A PATTERN FOR THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED

A PATTERN FOR THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED

1 Timothy 1:12-17

INTRODUCTION

Are you someone who has contemplated becoming a Christian, but wondered…

  1. Would God forgive you for the terrible things you’ve done?
  2. Could you live the kind of life God desires of you?

There is a man who serves as an example for you…

  1. Of the grace and mercy that is available for you
  2. Of the faith and love that you can have in Jesus

His name is Paul, and in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 he describes how his own conversion is “A Pattern for Would-Be Christians.”

DISCUSSION

PAUL GIVES US A PATTERN FOR THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED BY DEMONSTRATING THE GRACE OF OUR LORD

Note Paul’s former life…

  1. He was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent (violent) man… 1 Timothy 1:13
  2. Approved of the death of Stephen… Acts 7:58; 8:1
  3. Making havoc of the church in Jerusalem… Acts 8:3
  4. Persecuting Christians even to Damascus… Acts 9:1-2
  5. Persecuting even to the point of imprisonment and death… Acts 22:4
  6. Enraged against Christians, compelling them to blaspheme… Acts 26:9-11
  7. His goal was to destroy the church of God… Galatians 1:13
  8. He was indeed “chief” of sinners…1 Timothy 1:15

Yet the grace of the Lord was “exceedingly abundant” and he obtained mercy! … 1 Timothy 1:14, 16

  1. What about your life?
  2. Yes, you have committed sin
    • Romans 3:23
    • James 2:10
      • Perhaps you are a good, moral person like the Eunuch, Cornelius, or Lydia
      • Perhaps you are a murderer and blasphemer like Paul was

In either case, Jesus came to into the world to save sinners… 1 Timothy 1:15

  1. The grace of the Lord is exceedingly abundant… 1 Timothy 1:14
  2. The Lord is long-suffering
    • 1 Timothy 1:16
    • 2 Peter 3:9

Will you not let Paul’s pattern move you to obediently believe on the Lord for everlasting life? … 1 Timothy 1:16

  1. There is no sin too great, no crime so heinous, that cannot be forgiven by the grace of the Lord!
  2. The conversion of Paul serves as evidence that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, you can be saved. 

PAUL ALSO GIVES US A PATTERN FOR THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED BY DEMONSTRATING THE FAITH AND LOVE IN JESUS

Note Paul’s service to Christ…

  1. The Lord put Paul into the ministry… 1 Timothy 1:12
  2. To bear witness to what he had seen… Acts 26:16
  3. To turn people from the power of Satan to God… Acts 26:18
  4. He became a pattern of the faith and love that is possible in Christ… 1 Timothy 1:14
  5. He cooperated – was obedient – with the grace of God… 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
  6. Striving to be the best he could be… Philippians 3:12-15
  7. Learning contentment, finding strength… Philippians 4:11-13

Paul provides the example of a life of faith and love that leads to peace… Philippians 4:9

What about your life?

  1. If you are already a Christian
    • Are you experiencing the faith and love that is Christ?
      • Faith that comes from the Word of God?… Romans 10:17
      • Love that comes by being taught of God? … 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
    • Are you following the pattern of Paul?
      • Cooperating with the grace of God to turn from sin?
      • Ever pressing onward toward spiritual maturity?
      • Faithful to whatever ministry the Lord places upon you?
  2. If you are not yet a Christian
    • Why not take the step of faith like Paul did?
      • He did what the Lord commanded him – Acts 22:16
      • He started anew, walking by faith and not by sight… 2 Corinthians 5:7
    • Why not accept the love that is available in Jesus?
      • The love of God, your heavenly Father… 1 John 4:10-11; 5:2-3
      • The love of Jesus, your wonderful Savior… John 15:9-10

Will you not let Paul’s pattern move you to grow in faith and love? … 1 Corinthians 11:1

CONCLUSION

Note that Paul was moved to respond to the grace of the Lord in two ways…

  1. He thanked Jesus Christ… 1 Timothy 1:12
  2. He praised God… 1 Timothy 1:17

Shall we not respond to the grace of God in the same way?

  1. Thanking God by rendering obedience to the gospel of Christ?
  2. Praising God by growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ?

Then perhaps the Lord can also use us as “A Pattern for Would-Be Christians” … 1 Timothy 4:12

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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MOTIVATION

Have you ever felt that you just didn’t have the heart for something?

Late one night, a man had gone to a party and had too much to drink, so he decided it would be best to walk home. He found a shortcut through a poorly lit cemetery and, in the darkness, stumbled into an open grave. He tried to climb out but the walls were too slippery. Again and again he fell back into the grave. Finally, in exhaustion, he settled in a corner to wait for sunlight.

A few minutes later, another man in the same condition was cutting through the cemetery and fell victim to the same grave. He, too, tried desperately to climb and claw his way out, and he was equally unsuccessful.

As he was about to give up in hopeless resignation, he heard a voice from the darkness of his pit: “You may as well give up. You’ll never get out of here.”
But he did – with lightening speed!

Spiritually speaking, fear can motivate us to do the things we think we do not have the heart or the desire to do. The Hebrew writer declared, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Shouldn’t the fear of meeting the Almighty in the Judgment cause one to want to be prepared for this day? Shouldn’t it motivate us to want to be faithful unto the Lord? “The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling hath seized the godless ones: Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire? who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isa. 33:14). My friends, “fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).

Think About It!

Have A Great Day!

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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WE NEED LAUGHTER

The average child laughs 400 times a day.

The average adult laughs 15 times a day.

What happens in life that makes adults lose their laughter?

Do we quit laughing because we are old, or do we get old because we quit laughing?

Inspiration says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Pro. 15:13).

Tom Moore
http://www.fromthepreacherspc.org
http://www.harrisandmoore.org
http://www.parkheightscoc.com

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”

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