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Quotes of Author: Randy_smith

1.
The Gospel makes us realize that we are far worse than we ever believed, but God’s love is far greater than we ever imagined. In the Gospel we realize the depths of our sin so we might better understand the greatness of God’s forgiveness. We see God’s holy hatred toward sin, but His incredible mercy in Christ toward the sinner. If God is God, he must inherently oppose that which opposes Him. Unless evil is dealt with, there can be no good news. The bad news is inherently part of the good news!

The Gospel makes us realize that we are far worse than we ever believed, but God’s love is far greater than we ever imagined. In the Gospel we realize the depths of our sin so we might better understand the greatness of God’s forgiveness. We see God’s holy hatred toward sin, but His incredible mercy in Christ toward the sinner. If God is God, he must inherently oppose that which opposes Him. Unless evil is dealt with, there can be no good news. The bad news is inherently part of the good news!      

Reference:   Sermon, Luke 3:15-20, February 25, 2018.


2.
Water baptism does not save us. Water baptism is only an outward picture of what Christ has miraculously done in our hearts. Water baptism after salvation has its place. Pastors take care for that. It’s external and natural. But the primary and initial baptism we need is by the Holy Spirit. It is internal and supernatural and that must be taken care of by Christ (see Luke 3:16).

Water baptism does not save us. Water baptism is only an outward picture of what Christ has miraculously done in our hearts. Water baptism after salvation has its place. Pastors take care for that. It’s external and natural. But the primary and initial baptism we need is by the Holy Spirit. It is internal and supernatural and that must be taken care of by Christ (see Luke 3:16).      

Reference:   Sermon, Preparation for Greatness, Luke 3:15-20, February 25, 2018.


3.
Sensible, reasonable men are approachable. They are not defensive when confronted. You can discuss things with them without the conversation becoming personal, confrontational, aggressive or argumentative. They think with their biblically informed head and not their fleshly driven feelings. They are able to see beyond their side of the situation. They have as their primary goal the glory of God, even if that comes in their humiliation. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and demonstrate the fruit of self-control.

Sensible, reasonable men are approachable. They are not defensive when confronted. You can discuss things with them without the conversation becoming personal, confrontational, aggressive or argumentative. They think with their biblically informed head and not their fleshly driven feelings. They are able to see beyond their side of the situation. They have as their primary goal the glory of God, even if that comes in their humiliation. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and demonstrate the fruit of self-control.    

Reference:   Sermon, Men of Character, Titus 2:2, June 17, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Reasonable
4.
A sensible or reasonable spirit (Tit. 2:2) is a by-product of years of walking with the Lord. I’m thankful for the older sensible men in my life who have helped me see events and people through the eyes of God. Men who know the wise and controlled way to respond to a situation. Men of reason. Men of discernment. Men led by the Spirit and not their fleshly impulses. They are men that realize that they do not always have the answers and that every situation is not “black and white.” They are sensible.

A sensible or reasonable spirit (Tit. 2:2) is a by-product of years of walking with the Lord. I’m thankful for the older sensible men in my life who have helped me see events and people through the eyes of God. Men who know the wise and controlled way to respond to a situation. Men of reason. Men of discernment. Men led by the Spirit and not their fleshly impulses. They are men that realize that they do not always have the answers and that every situation is not “black and white.” They are sensible.    

Reference:   Sermon, Men of Character, Titus 2:2, June 17, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Reasonable
5.
I am always impressed with the dignity our Savior displayed in the final days of His earthly life. Silent in speech during ridiculous charges. Fearless and courageous in the face of torture and death. Control of all His emotions. Love for others in His most desperate hours. Honoring the Father’s will without hesitation.

I am always impressed with the dignity our Savior displayed in the final days of His earthly life. Silent in speech during ridiculous charges. Fearless and courageous in the face of torture and death. Control of all His emotions. Love for others in His most desperate hours. Honoring the Father’s will without hesitation.    

Reference:   Sermon, Men of Character, Titus 2:2, June 17, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Dignity
6.
Dignified individuals have put the childish ways of gossip and complaining and faultfinding behind them. They are seen in the church as people of respect, not only because of their inherent age, but also because of their Christian maturity. They are individuals of integrity and character above reproach. They avoid pursuing, being consumed with the triviality of life. They are serious, not entertained by the offbeat humor of modern sit-coms. They live their days in the light of eternity, knowing how to manage their appearance and time and money and energies that reflect the true priorities of life of God, family, church and career. Their love for God and people is so evident that others respect them and naturally come to them for counsel. A dignified person has nothing to disgrace his or her character in the sight of man or God. When people look at your personal life, family life, financial life, church life, professional life, do they see a person of dignity?

Dignified individuals have put the childish ways of gossip and complaining and faultfinding behind them. They are  seen in the church as people of respect, not only because of their inherent age, but also because of their Christian maturity. They are individuals of integrity and character above reproach. They avoid pursuing, being consumed with the triviality of life. They are serious, not entertained by the offbeat humor of modern sit-coms. They live their days in the light of eternity, knowing how to manage their appearance and time and money and energies that reflect the true priorities of life of God, family, church and career. Their love for God and people is so evident that others respect them and naturally come to them for counsel. A dignified person has nothing to disgrace his or her character in the sight of man or God. When people look at your personal life, family life, financial life, church life, professional life, do they see a person of dignity?    

Reference:   Sermon, Men of Character, Titus 2:2, June 17, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Dignity
7.
If we really want law and order in our country, it needs to start with respecting those in charge of administering law and order! Leaders should be respectable, but either way we are called by God to respect those who have authority over us (Rom. 13; Tit. 3). You can’t trash the rulers and then expect to have any respect for following the rules!

If we really want law and order in our country, it needs to start with respecting those in charge of administering law and order! Leaders should be respectable, but either way we are called by God to respect those who have authority over us (Rom. 13; Tit. 3). You can’t trash the rulers and then expect to have any respect for following the rules!      

Reference:   Sermon, A Biblical Response to School Shootings, Jeremiah 17:5-10, February 18, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Authority-Human
8.
How has our country tolerated hate toward others? We laugh at the crude put-downs and call it comedy. We treat others rudely with insensitivity to their perspective and called it debate. We destroy other’s property in the streets and call it justifiable anger or justifiable celebration. We demonize our opponents and call it free speech. We gossip and slander others and call it news. We attack people of faith in the most vicious ways and call it liberation. We kill babies and call it choice.

How has our country tolerated hate toward others? We laugh at the crude put-downs and call it comedy. We treat others rudely with insensitivity to their perspective and called it debate. We destroy other’s property in the streets and call it justifiable anger or justifiable celebration. We demonize our opponents and call it free speech. We gossip and slander others and call it news. We attack people of faith in the most vicious ways and call it liberation. We kill babies and call it choice.    

Reference:   Sermon, A Biblical Response to School Shootings, Jeremiah 17:5-10, February 18, 2018


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Hate
9.
My friends, according to the Bible, every person is a special creation of God, personally stamped with His image. Our Lord’s response is to love all people and treat them in a way we would like to be treated. It’s to respond with good for evil, blessing for insult; love extended to those we deem offensive and opposition.

My friends, according to the Bible, every person is a special creation of God, personally stamped with His image. Our Lord’s response is to love all people and treat them in a way we would like to be treated. It’s to respond with good for evil, blessing for insult; love extended to those we deem offensive and opposition.    

Reference:   Sermon, A Biblical Response to School Shootings, Jeremiah 17:5-10, February 18, 2018.


10.
We fear so much today simply because we do not fear God.

We fear so much today simply because we do not fear God.    


11.
According to Nielsen Research, parents spend 3.5 minutes with their children each week in meaningful conversation. The average child watches 1,680 minutes television each week. Throughout that television time, the average child will witness 8,000 murders before he or she finishes elementary school and they will witness 200,000 violent acts.

According to Nielsen Research, parents spend 3.5 minutes with their children each week in meaningful conversation. The average child watches 1,680 minutes television each week. Throughout that television time, the average child will witness 8,000 murders before he or she finishes elementary school and they will witness 200,000 violent acts.    

Reference:   Sermon, A Biblical Response to School Shootings, Jeremiah 17:5-10, February 18, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Television
12.
Repentance is the desire and ability to turn from sin. We cannot have Christ and Satan. So true believers will want to please God. They will be convicted by the Word of God. They will have a general brokenness over their sin. They will desire to turn from it. They will be able to turn from it. That’s repentance. It’s a gift that God gives His children. It initiates salvation and then continues throughout our life of salvation.

Repentance is the desire and ability to turn from sin. We cannot have Christ and Satan. So true believers will want to please God. They will be convicted by the Word of God. They will have a general brokenness over their sin. They will desire to turn from it. They will be able to turn from it. That’s repentance. It’s a gift that God gives His children. It initiates salvation and then continues throughout our life of salvation.    

Reference:   Sermon, Fruits of Repentance, Luke 3:1-14, February 11, 2017.


13.
Flattery is sinful because it strongly appeals to our prideful tendency to be affirmed by man.

Flattery is sinful because it strongly appeals to our prideful tendency to be affirmed by man.  


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Flattery
14.
Jesus, the incarnation of love and truth, knows there is nothing more loving than telling people the truth.

Jesus, the incarnation of love and truth, knows there is nothing more loving than telling people The Truth.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Heart of True Religion, Luke 6:1-16, May 20, 2018.


15.
What does in mean to be spiritually poor? It means to be humble. It means to understand that you have no merit to offer to God. It means to understand that all you deserve is hell.  It means to understand that you are spiritually bankrupt. It means to understand the unfathomable riches of Christ that by God’s sovereign grace have been accredited to your account. It means to boast not in yourself, but in Christ. It means emptying yourself of all your pride that the Holy Spirit might fill you with all of Christ… The humble pursuit of spiritual poverty is the path to true happiness. Empty of self, filled with the Holy Spirit and His fruit of joy.

What does in mean to be spiritually poor? It means to be humble. It means to understand that you have no merit to offer to God. It means to understand that all you deserve is hell. It means to understand that you are spiritually bankrupt. It means to understand the unfathomable riches of Christ that by God’s sovereign grace have been accredited to your account. It means to boast not in yourself, but in Christ. It means emptying yourself of all your pride that the Holy Spirit might fill you with all of Christ… The humble pursuit of spiritual poverty is the path to true happiness. Empty of self, filled with the Holy Spirit and His fruit of joy.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Road to Happiness, Luke 6:12-26, May 27, 2018.


16.
We are far too easily appeased and far too frequently deceived. As humans, we often pursue our inner desire for happiness in the superficial, sugar-coated sin morsels, temporary trinkets of the world. In this pursuit, we are not satisfied and God is not glorified. This is a radical call for faith. Contrary to the world’s pursuits and our internal cravings, we need to believe that doing it God’s way (according to His words in the Bible) will not only bring Him the greatest glory, but also bring us the greatest joy. We need to believe that our highest joy and God’s greatest glory do not compete, but are rather tethered to each other as one unified pursuit.

We are far too easily appeased and far too frequently deceived. As humans, we often pursue our inner desire for happiness in the superficial, sugar-coated sin morsels, temporary trinkets of the world. In this pursuit, we are not satisfied and God is not glorified. This is a radical call for faith. Contrary to the world’s pursuits and our internal cravings, we need to believe that doing it God’s way (according to His words in the Bible) will not only bring Him the greatest glory, but also bring us the greatest joy. We need to believe that our highest joy and God’s greatest glory do not compete, but are rather tethered to each other as one unified pursuit.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Road to Happiness, Luke 6:12-26, May 27, 2018.


17.
What are the changes from “bad tree” to “good tree,” “put off” to “put on” regarding our speech? Foul language to wholesome speech. Complaining to trusting the Lord. Criticism to edifying remarks. Gossip to prayer. Deception to speaking truth. Angry words to kind words. Trivial blabbering to meaningful speech. Worldly philosophy to biblical truth. Praising self to praising God. It is words that resemble the heart changed by the Holy Spirit. Words that are thus loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.

What are the changes from “bad tree” to “good tree,” “put off” to “put on” regarding our speech? Foul language to wholesome speech. Complaining to trusting the Lord. Criticism to edifying remarks. Gossip to prayer. Deception to speaking truth. Angry words to kind words. Trivial blabbering to meaningful speech. Worldly philosophy to biblical truth. Praising self to praising God. It is words that resemble the heart changed by the Holy Spirit. Words that are thus loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.    

Reference:   Sermon, Following is Becoming, Luke 6:43-49, July 1, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Communication
18.
You have heard of the “Golden Rule.” Rules like this have been floating around long before the time of Christ. There were some that advocated, “Balanced Reciprocity.” That is, do good to others so they might do good to you. Good for good. Treat others well because it will come back to benefit you. Karma. Give to get back. Then there was “Negative Reciprocity.” That is, do not treat others in a way you would not what them to treat you. We may tell our kids, “Would you like it if someone took your lunch money?” Or, “How would you feel if a person said those things about you?” Or, “Wouldn’t you be sad if you were the bus driver and kids acted that way.” Our Lord’s teaching in verse 31 goes beyond both of these. It’s a new imperative that was unheard of at the time, even in the teachings of Judaism. This command would have been bizarre to Luke’s Gentile readers. Unlike the other two rules I mentioned, the “Golden Rule” is positive. This one expects no reward in return from other humans it serves. People are not business deals! Treat others in a way you want them to treat you. So it’s not, “Just don’t pick on that kid, but rather sit with him when he’s alone at the lunch table because that is what you would want if you were in his shoes.”

You have heard of the “Golden Rule.” Rules like this have been floating around long before the time of Christ. There were some that advocated, “Balanced Reciprocity.” That is, do good to others so they might do good to you. Good for good. Treat others well because it will come back to benefit you. Karma. Give to get back. Then there was “Negative Reciprocity.” That is, do not treat others in a way you would not what them to treat you. We may tell our kids, “Would you like it if someone took your lunch money?” Or, “How would you feel if a person said those things about you?” Or, “Wouldn’t you be sad if you were the bus driver and kids acted that way.” Our Lord’s teaching in verse 31 goes beyond both of these. It’s a new imperative that was unheard of at the time, even in the teachings of Judaism. This command would have been bizarre to Luke’s Gentile readers. Unlike the other two rules I mentioned, the “Golden Rule” is positive. This one expects no reward in return from other humans it serves. People are not business deals! Treat others in a way you want them to treat you. So it’s not, “Just don’t pick on that kid, but rather sit with him when he’s alone at the lunch table because that is what you would want if you were in his shoes.”    

Reference:   Sermon, Enough Evidence to Convict?, Luke 6:27-36, June 3, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Golden_Rule
19.
Love, bless and pray for your enemies. You want to be like Jesus? You want to stop evil from spreading? You want to turn your enemy into your friend? You want to see evidence of the Holy Spirit in you? You want to root out all bitterness in your heart? You want to put aside the defeating victim attitude? Then show the humility of Christ, take the moral high ground and, Romans 12:21, “Overcome evil with good.” Don’t be natural. Be unnatural. It’s hard to hate someone when God gives you a supernatural love for that person.

Love, bless and pray for your enemies. You want to be like Jesus? You want to stop evil from spreading? You want to turn your enemy into your friend? You want to see evidence of the Holy Spirit in you? You want to root out all bitterness in your heart? You want to put aside the defeating victim attitude? Then show the humility of Christ, take the moral high ground and, Romans 12:21, “Overcome evil with good.” Don’t be natural. Be unnatural. It’s hard to hate someone when God gives you a supernatural love for that person.    

Reference:   Sermon, Enough Evidence to Convict?, Luke 6:27-36, June 3, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
20.
As it pertains to temperance (Tit. 2:2), we are talking about someone who is sober in thought, even-keeled and moderate. Young people tend to be emotional and impulsive, but the mature saint should have learned stability, consistency and balance. Men who lack temperance are seen bouncing in and out of ministry, constantly changing jobs. Life is a continual roller-coaster of extremes, overreactions, unstable relationships, inconsistencies and faithless living. On the contrary there is a steadiness to a temperate man. He prays and waits on the Lord to save making a foolish or rash decision. He doesn’t overreact to problems. He is self-controlled. He recognizes the hills worth dying on. He thinks before he speaks. He avoids false excitement but also refuses to be paralyzed by sorrow.  He wisely controls his money, feelings and words. He is not tossed here and there by every comment he hears off the lips of another. He knows how to ride out the storms of life.

As it pertains to temperance (Tit. 2:2), we are talking about someone who is sober in thought, even-keeled and moderate. Young people tend to be emotional and impulsive, but the mature saint should have learned stability, consistency and balance. Men who lack temperance are seen bouncing in and out of ministry, constantly changing jobs. Life is a continual roller-coaster of extremes, overreactions, unstable relationships, inconsistencies and faithless living. On the contrary there is a steadiness to a temperate man. He prays and waits on the Lord to save making a foolish or rash decision. He doesn’t overreact to problems. He is self-controlled. He recognizes the hills worth dying on. He thinks before he speaks. He avoids false excitement but also refuses to be paralyzed by sorrow.  He wisely controls his money, feelings and words. He is not tossed here and there by every comment he hears off the lips of another. He knows how to ride out the storms of life.    

Reference:   Sermon, Men of Character, Titus 2:2, June 17, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Self-Control
21.
I am secure in Christ. His presence and His approval is all that matters. Therefore I can make it my ambition to live out by grace perfecting holiness, not what I want to be but what I already am and who I will practically be for an eternity in heaven. I will not be continually defeated by a wounded ego, but will be at peace devoting the rest of my days not to the vain emptiness of self-love that lives for the sinful and the temporary. I know I am already loved by God. I can get out of the way and seek with God’s love now in me to spread of that love back to God and others. I will not use people to meet my needs, but realize my needs are met in the sufficiency of Christ and seek to bless the needs of others instead as Christ lives His life through me.

I am secure in Christ. His presence and His approval is all that matters. Therefore I can make it my ambition to live out by grace perfecting holiness, not what I want to be but what I already am and who I will practically be for an eternity in heaven. I will not be continually defeated by a wounded ego, but will be at peace devoting the rest of my days not to the vain emptiness of self-love that lives for the sinful and the temporary. I know I am already loved by God. I can get out of the way and seek with God’s love now in me to spread of that love back to God and others. I will not use people to meet my needs, but realize my needs are met in the sufficiency of Christ and seek to bless the needs of others instead as Christ lives His life through me.      

Reference:   Sermon, My Identity in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7, July 22, 2018.


22.
It is a shame that the word “saint” has been hijacked by the Catholic Church. In the original Greek the word simply means “holy.” In Christ you are perfectly clothed with His holiness. In that sense you are a saint. That is how you are seen in the eyes of God. How many of you who profess Christ see this as your identity? You don’t if you are trying to find your acceptance from other people. You don’t if you are seeking to earn God’s favor. And you don’t if your life isn’t seen as one that is practically becoming more holy (or more “saintly”) over time. Your position is saint. You are not trying to become a saint. Your identity is Christ. It begins here and everything flows from that reality for the believer.

It is a shame that the word “saint” has been hijacked by the Catholic Church. In the original Greek the word simply means “holy.” In Christ you are perfectly clothed with His holiness. In that sense you are a saint. That is how you are seen in the eyes of God. How many of you who profess Christ see this as your identity? You don’t if you are trying to find your acceptance from other people. You don’t if you are seeking to earn God’s favor. And you don’t if your life isn’t seen as one that is practically becoming more holy (or more “saintly”) over time. Your position is saint. You are not trying to become a saint. Your identity is Christ. It begins here and everything flows from that reality for the believer.        

Reference:   My Identity in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7, July 22, 2018.


23.
The goal of our Christian life is to find so much beauty in Jesus Christ, happiness in Jesus Christ that the Sirens of sin don’t stand a chance. We are created for pleasure. Sin holds out for us a promise of pleasure. So we must fight its promise with a greater promise. We must understand the superior happiness that comes from doing it God’s way and not pursuing the temporary and toxic pleasures of sin.

The goal of our Christian life is to find so much beauty in Jesus Christ, happiness in Jesus Christ that the Sirens of sin don’t stand a chance. We are created for pleasure. Sin holds out for us a promise of pleasure. So we must fight its promise with a greater promise. We must understand the superior happiness that comes from doing it God’s way and not pursuing the temporary and toxic pleasures of sin.    

Reference:   Sermon, Rejoice! God is Pleased, Psalm 16:11, August 6, 2018.


24.
We must understand that sin is a desire. We don’t fall into sin. We may be tempted, but sin is a personal choice we make and one to which we are responsible. Simply put, we sin because we want to sin. We believe sin will bring us greater pleasure, greater joy than obedience.

We must understand that sin is a desire. We don’t fall into sin. We may be tempted, but sin is a personal choice we make and one to which we are responsible. Simply put, we sin because we want to sin. We believe sin will bring us greater pleasure, greater joy than obedience.  

Reference:   Sermon, Rejoice! God is Pleased, Psalm 16:11, August 6, 2018.


25.
We pursue our pleasure in God because it is the wisest pursuit to bring us the greatest pleasure, but we also pursue our pleasure in God because it’s the greatest way we can bring Him the most glory!

We pursue our pleasure in God because it is the wisest pursuit to bring us the greatest pleasure, but we also pursue our pleasure in God because it’s the greatest way we can bring Him the most glory!  

Reference:   Sermon, Rejoice! God is Pleased, Psalm 16:11, August 6, 2018.


26.
God made us to pursue our joy. Joy is even a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Therefore I believe the pursuit of joy it is a good drive within us. I believe there is no problem with pursuing our happiness so long as our pursuit of happiness is in the pursuit of God’s glory. In other words, the problem is not with the passion, but rather the problem is with the paths to happiness that we often choose.

God made us to pursue our joy. Joy is even a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Therefore I believe the pursuit of joy it is a good drive within us. I believe there is no problem with pursuing our happiness so long as our pursuit of happiness is in the pursuit of God’s glory. In other words, the problem is not with the passion, but rather the problem is with the paths to happiness that we often choose.    

Reference:   Sermon, Rejoice! God is Pleased, Psalm 16:11, August 6, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Joy-Pursuit_of
27.
You see, the home is the greenhouse to protect and nurture our children. And when it is done right, children come to appreciate and trust their parent’s instruction. After time they come to understand that their rules are intended for good. They begin to see the parallel that the same applies for the rules God gives to us as well. They understand these rules come from a loving spiritual Father that desires our lives to be blessed. Consequences result when children disobey their parents. Consequences always result with people disobey God.

You see, the home is the greenhouse to protect and nurture our children. And when it is done right, children come to appreciate and trust their parent’s instruction. After time they come to understand that their rules are intended for good. They begin to see the parallel that the same applies for the rules God gives to us as well. They understand these rules come from a loving spiritual Father that desires our lives to be blessed. Consequences result when children disobey their parents. Consequences always result with people disobey God.    

Reference:   A Word to Children and Parents, Ephesians 6:1-4, June 18, 2017.


28.
It’s evident when a society turns its back on God. Many necessary traits of a civilized and orderly democracy go out the window. One of them is the loss of the concept of honor and respect. How does that come about? Take the belief that you evolved which makes life without honor, add it the self-esteem movement that teaches you only to honor yourself, add to that no moral absolutes whereby your end goal will justify your dishonorable means and then throw away divine accountability to honor because you believe you are the final say defining right and wrong.

It’s evident when a society turns its back on God. Many necessary traits of a civilized and orderly democracy go out the window. One of them is the loss of the concept of honor and respect. How does that come about? Take the belief that you evolved which makes life without honor, add it the self-esteem movement that teaches you only to honor yourself, add to that no moral absolutes whereby your end goal will justify your dishonorable means and then throw away divine accountability to honor because you believe you are the final say defining right and wrong.  

Reference:   A Word to Children and Parents, Ephesians 6:1-4, June 18, 2017.


29.
There can be no wisdom apart from a relationship with Christ. Remember how the Queen of Sheba came from far away to hear the wisdom of Solomon. However Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 12, “The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” (Mt. 12:42). Others spoke of God’s wisdom; Jesus is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; 30)! Others spoke of truth; Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6)! Others proclaimed God’s forgiveness; Jesus brought God’s forgiveness by His death (Col. 1:22). Is it any wonder why Paul could say in Colossians 2:3, “In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

There can be no wisdom apart from a relationship with Christ. Remember how the Queen of Sheba came from far away to hear the wisdom of Solomon. However Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 12, “The Queen of the South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here” (Mt. 12:42). Others spoke of God’s wisdom; Jesus is the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; 30)! Others spoke of truth; Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6)! Others proclaimed God’s forgiveness; Jesus brought God’s forgiveness by His death (Col. 1:22). Is it any wonder why Paul could say in Colossians 2:3, “In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


30.
God in His grace grants us His wisdom often through four sources: prayer (Jas. 1:5), Bible reading (Psm. 19:7), wise counsel (Pr. 12:15) and godly relationships (Pr. 13:20).

God in His grace grants us His wisdom often through four sources: prayer (Jas. 1:5), Bible reading (Psm. 19:7), wise counsel (Pr. 12:15) and godly relationships (Pr. 13:20).    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


31.
We must not think as the eastern religions do, that God can be used to attain wisdom apart from a relationship with Him. We need first to realize that the essence of all godly wisdom is a fear of the Lord. Meaning this, the foundation of all true wisdom is respecting God for being God (Pr. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; Job 28:28; Ecc. 12:13)!

We must not think as the eastern religions do, that God can be used to attain wisdom apart from a relationship with Him. We need first to realize that the essence of all godly wisdom is a fear of the Lord. Meaning this, the foundation of all true wisdom is respecting God for being God (Pr. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; Job 28:28; Ecc. 12:13)!    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


32.
Don’t forget that God is the source of wisdom. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Pro. 2:6). And though the book of Proverbs relentlessly calls us to pursue wisdom, we must remember that wisdom remains a divine gift. If we are to seek the wisdom that leads to joy and life and satisfaction and success and meaning, we must turn to God, as He is the source of all true wisdom. Seeking for wisdom is seeking for God, these two pursuits are one and the same and must never be separated (Gen. 41:39; Rom. 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:10).

Don’t forget that God is the source of wisdom. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Pro. 2:6). And though the book of Proverbs relentlessly calls us to pursue wisdom, we must remember that wisdom remains a divine gift. If we are to seek the wisdom that leads to joy and life and satisfaction and success and meaning, we must turn to God, as He is the source of all true wisdom. Seeking for wisdom is seeking for God, these two pursuits are one and the same and must never be separated (Gen. 41:39; Rom. 16:27; 1 Cor. 3:10).    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


33.
Wisdom is the application of knowledge leading to God’s glory and a life of blessings.

Wisdom is the application of knowledge leading to God’s glory and a life of blessings.    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Wisdom-Human
34.
Often indifference to our Creator’s wise guidelines reveals a heart that is simply disinterested in its own happiness!

Often indifference to our Creator’s wise guidelines reveals a heart that is simply disinterested in its own happiness!    

Reference:   Am I Wise or Foolish? Proverbs 1:1-7, August 27, 2017.


35.
Biblical steps for receiving reproof: 1. Preliminary- Make it your passion to strive for godliness (1 Tim. 4:8)! Seek conformity to Christ as your primary goal (Rom. 8:29)! Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)! Therefore when reproof comes, you will welcome it in gratitude with a humble spirit and teachable heart, eager to implement Spirit-driven biblical change for the glory of God. 2. During the time together – pray before sharing the concern (Phil. 4:6), listen carefully to the rebuke (Pr. 18:13), ask questions to clarify the matter (1 Cor. 14:33) and thank the person for his or her concern (Eph. 1:15-16). 3. Be careful not to justify your sin (Lk. 16:15), blame others (1 Sa. 25:24), including the person coming to you (Gen. 3:12) and judge the individual’s motives (Jas. 4:12). 4. After the time together examine your life in the Spirit with the truth in God’s Word (Psm. 26:2) and take necessary actions for reparation by confessing any revealed sin to God (Psm. 32:5), seeking forgiveness from those you may have injured (Gen. 50:17) and developing a plan for repentance (Ac. 26:20).

Biblical steps for receiving reproof: 1. Preliminary- Make it your passion to strive for godliness (1 Tim. 4:8)! Seek conformity to Christ as your primary goal (Rom. 8:29)! Be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18)! Therefore when reproof comes, you will welcome it in gratitude with a humble spirit and teachable heart, eager to implement Spirit-driven biblical change for the glory of God. 2. During the time together – pray before sharing the concern (Phil. 4:6), listen carefully to the rebuke (Pr. 18:13), ask questions to clarify the matter (1 Cor. 14:33) and thank the person for his or her concern (Eph. 1:15-16). 3. Be careful not to justify your sin (Lk. 16:15), blame others (1 Sa. 25:24), including the person coming to you (Gen. 3:12) and judge the individual’s motives (Jas. 4:12). 4. After the time together examine your life in the Spirit with the truth in God’s Word (Psm. 26:2) and take necessary actions for reparation by confessing any revealed sin to God (Psm. 32:5), seeking forgiveness from those you may have injured (Gen. 50:17) and developing a plan for repentance (Ac. 26:20).    

Reference:   Who Am I to Judge? Proverbs 27:5-6, August 6, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Reproof
36.
Biblical steps for giving reproof: 1. Preliminary- Realize that you are not on the sin patrol! It is your responsibility to look for the good in others and seek ways to edify your brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Thes. 5:11). Confronting others should only occur when the sin is brought to your personal attention (1 Cor. 5:1-5), not news that you received from another. Also, be sure that it is a biblical sin and not just an issue of preference! 2. Pray for the offender hat God would give him or her awareness of the sin (Psm. 119:18) and that God soften his or her heart to the truth in your rebuke (Psm. 51:17). Pray also for yourself that God will use you as a mouthpiece for His glory (Rom. 12:1) and the other’s good (Heb. 10:24). That He will rightly prepare your heart (Psm. 139:23). Have you sinned against the offender (and God) regarding this matter by demonstrating gossip (2 Cor. 12:20), bitterness (Heb. 12:15), judgmentalism (Mt. 7:1-2) or lack of forgiveness (Eph. 4:32)? Is your spirit right with God prior to the confrontation by demonstrating proper motives (1 Cor. 4:3-5), self-examination (Mt. 7:5), humility (Gal. 6:1, 3) and gentleness (Gal. 6:1)? 3. Confront him or her with the Word (Heb. 4:12). Initially go in private (Mt. 18:15). Take the offender to specific Bible passages that directly address the situation (2 Ti. 3:16-17). Explain/reason/dialogue where necessary (Pr. 25:15). Point him or her to Christ for forgiveness and repair (1 Jn. 1:8-9). Restore the relationship if necessary (Mt. 5:24). Pray together (Jas. 5:16). 4. Offer assistance – bear his or her burdens (Gal. 6:2), prayer (1 Sa. 12:23), accountability (Pr. 27:17) , encouragement (1 Thes. 5:11), counseling (Pr. 27:9) and tangible help (1 Jn. 3:18).

Biblical steps for giving reproof: 1. Preliminary- Realize that you are not on the sin patrol! It is your responsibility to look for the good in others and seek ways to edify your brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Thes. 5:11). Confronting others should only occur when the sin is brought to your personal attention (1 Cor. 5:1-5), not news that you received from another. Also, be sure that it is a biblical sin and not just an issue of preference! 2. Pray for the offender hat God would give him or her awareness of the sin (Psm. 119:18) and that God soften his or her heart to the truth in your rebuke (Psm. 51:17). Pray also for yourself that God will use you as a mouthpiece for His glory (Rom. 12:1) and the other’s good (Heb. 10:24). That He will rightly prepare your heart (Psm. 139:23). Have you sinned against the offender (and God) regarding this matter by demonstrating gossip (2 Cor. 12:20), bitterness (Heb. 12:15), judgmentalism (Mt. 7:1-2) or lack of forgiveness (Eph. 4:32)? Is your spirit right with God prior to the confrontation by demonstrating proper motives (1 Cor. 4:3-5), self-examination (Mt. 7:5), humility (Gal. 6:1, 3) and gentleness (Gal. 6:1)? 3. Confront him or her with the Word (Heb. 4:12). Initially go in private (Mt. 18:15). Take the offender to specific Bible passages that directly address the situation (2 Ti. 3:16-17). Explain/reason/dialogue where necessary (Pr. 25:15). Point him or her to Christ for forgiveness and repair (1 Jn. 1:8-9). Restore the relationship if necessary (Mt. 5:24). Pray together (Jas. 5:16). 4. Offer assistance – bear his or her burdens (Gal. 6:2), prayer (1 Sa. 12:23), accountability (Pr. 27:17) , encouragement (1 Thes. 5:11), counseling (Pr. 27:9) and tangible help (1 Jn. 3:18).    

Reference:   Who Am I to Judge? Proverbs 27:5-6, August 6, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Reproof
37.
Why does a healthy church reprove one another according to the Word of God? 1. It is commanded in the Bible. 2. It demonstrates love for one another. 3. It provides for Christians what they should desire. 4. It is a test of our spiritual maturity, humility. 5. It reconciles strained relationships. 6. It protects the purity, example and testimony of the church.

Why does a healthy church reprove one another according to the Word of God? 1. It is commanded in the Bible. 2. It demonstrates love for one another. 3. It provides for Christians what they should desire. 4. It is a test of our spiritual maturity, humility. 5. It reconciles strained relationships. 6. It protects the purity, example and testimony of the church.    

Reference:   Who Am I to Judge? Proverbs 27:5-6, August 6, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Reproof
38.
Our mouths are not factories trying to manufacture proper speech, but rather fountains in which proper speech overflows from hearts that are being transformed by the Spirit. As Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Mt. 12:34).

Our mouths are not factories trying to manufacture proper speech, but rather fountains in which proper speech overflows from hearts that are being transformed by the Spirit. As Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Mt. 12:34).  

Reference:   How Powerful Are Words? Proverbs 12:13-22, September 3, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
39.
Although the tongue is capable of great destruction, the tongue in and of itself is not the ultimate culprit. The ultimate culprit is the heart! The tongue is simply a conduit, or pipeline from the heart. Therefore proper speech reveals a good heart while improper speech reveals a bad heart. Our words reveal our heart and our heart reveals our true master, our true allegiance and our true citizenship. It’s that simple!

Although the tongue is capable of great destruction, the tongue in and of itself is not the ultimate culprit. The ultimate culprit is the heart! The tongue is simply a conduit, or pipeline from the heart. Therefore proper speech reveals a good heart while improper speech reveals a bad heart. Our words reveal our heart and our heart reveals our true master, our true allegiance and our true citizenship. It’s that simple!  

Reference:   How Powerful Are Words? Proverbs 12:13-22, September 3, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
40.
We often think wisdom is demonstrated by speaking many words; however according to the Bible wisdom is often shown by our silence.

We often think wisdom is demonstrated by speaking many words; however according to the Bible wisdom is often shown by our silence.  

Reference:   How Powerful Are Words? Proverbs 12:13-22, September 3, 2017.


41.
I like the way John Piper once put this along the lines of fearing God and perseverance.  “Fearing the Lord means fearing to run away from Him. It means fearing to seek refuge and joy and hope anywhere but in God.  It means keeping before our eyes what a fearful prospect it is to stop trusting and depending on God to meet our needs.”  He who does not fear God has called a peace treaty with sin. But he who does fear God, battles sin and fervently continues in the daily quest for holiness.  So fearing God enables us to obey Him, mature spiritually and faithfully persevere until the end.

I like the way John Piper once put this along the lines of fearing God and perseverance.  “Fearing the Lord means fearing to run away from Him. It means fearing to seek refuge and joy and hope anywhere but in God.  It means keeping before our eyes what a fearful prospect it is to stop trusting and depending on God to meet our needs.”  He who does not fear God has called a peace treaty with sin. But he who does fear God, battles sin and fervently continues in the daily quest for holiness.  So fearing God enables us to obey Him, mature spiritually and faithfully persevere until the end.


42.
Naturally, the sluggard begins the day by staying in bed when he should be starting his work. Proverbs 6:9, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” Next the sluggard will invent any reason to prevent working. Proverbs 22:13, “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets!” Rather than beginning his work he simply pacifies himself with his preposterous excuses and return to his bed. Proverbs 26:14, “As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.” Once the sluggard finally rolls out of bed, he is even too lazy to provide for his needs to survive. Proverbs 19:24, “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” Though the sluggard may be too lazy to eat, often, due to his slothfulness, he has no food to eat. Proverbs 20:4, “The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.” Eventually, his laziness leads to a lack of food, a lack of food to deteriorated health, and deteriorated health to death. Proverbs 21:25, “The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work.” His neglect of responsibilities is evident in his health, but also in the care of his house. Proverbs 24:30-31, “I passed by the field of the sluggard, and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense; and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.” His life is simply a selfish pursuit of his laziness. Though he may wish a nobler lifestyle, steps are never taken to accomplish his goal because he’s a dreamer. Proverbs 13:4, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing.” He thinks his life is okay, but unfortunately he is greatly deceived. Proverbs 26:16, “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer.” What the sluggard really needs is stern rebuke of wisdom. The slug is compared to another animal, one that is very industrious. Proverbs 6:6-11, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest’ – and your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man.”

Naturally, the sluggard begins the day by staying in bed when he should be starting his work. Proverbs 6:9, “How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” Next the sluggard will invent any reason to prevent working. Proverbs 22:13, “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets!” Rather than beginning his work he simply pacifies himself with his preposterous excuses and return to his bed. Proverbs 26:14, “As the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.” Once the sluggard finally rolls out of bed, he is even too lazy to provide for his needs to survive. Proverbs 19:24, “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, and will not even bring it back to his mouth.” Though the sluggard may be too lazy to eat, often, due to his slothfulness, he has no food to eat. Proverbs 20:4, “The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing.” Eventually, his laziness leads to a lack of food, a lack of food to deteriorated health, and deteriorated health to death. Proverbs 21:25, “The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, for his hands refuse to work.” His neglect of responsibilities is evident in his health, but also in the care of his house. Proverbs 24:30-31, “I passed by the field of the sluggard, and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense; and behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.” His life is simply a selfish pursuit of his laziness. Though he may wish a nobler lifestyle, steps are never taken to accomplish his goal because he’s a dreamer. Proverbs 13:4, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing.” He thinks his life is okay, but unfortunately he is greatly deceived. Proverbs 26:16, “The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer.” What the sluggard really needs is stern rebuke of wisdom. The slug is compared to another animal, one that is very industrious. Proverbs 6:6-11, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest’ – and your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man.”

Reference:   What is a Spiritual Discipline, Proverbs 6:6-11, September 10, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Laziness
43.
When it comes to the slothful, the Bible pulls no punches. It is a hideous offense that discredits our testimony, displays our selfishness, dismisses our spiritual responsibilities and mocks the nature of our Creator to whom we are to emulate.

When it comes to the slothful, the Bible pulls no punches. It is a hideous offense that discredits our testimony, displays our selfishness, dismisses our spiritual responsibilities and mocks the nature of our Creator to whom we are to emulate.      

Reference:   What is a Spiritual Discipline, Proverbs 6:6-11, September 10, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Laziness
Work
44.
Was Jesus the pawn in Caesar’s hands or was Caesar the pawn in God’s hands to accomplish God’s prophetic purposes in bringing the Messiah to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy (Mi. 5:2-5)?

Was Jesus the pawn in Caesar’s hands or was Caesar the pawn in God’s hands to accomplish God’s prophetic purposes in bringing the Messiah to Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy (Mi. 5:2-5)?    

Reference:   Sermon, Any Room For Jesus? Luke 2:1-7, December 17, 2017.


45.
The focus is on the baby! But the focus is not on a baby, but again who this baby is and what He will become. The Christmas story is about wonder (Lk. 2:19, 51). You see, if He were born to Caesar Augustus in a palace there is not much left to the imagination. But we are called to intense faith to believe that somehow this child is Lord and will be Messiah and Savior (Lk. 2:11). The narrative makes it clear that for this to happen it must be the hand of God with Whom nothing is impossible (Lk. 1:37).

The focus is on the baby! But the focus is not on a baby, but again who this baby is and what He will become. The Christmas story is about wonder (Lk. 2:19, 51). You see, if He were born to Caesar Augustus in a palace there is not much left to the imagination. But we are called to intense faith to believe that somehow this child is Lord and will be Messiah and Savior (Lk. 2:11). The narrative makes it clear that for this to happen it must be the hand of God with Whom nothing is impossible (Lk. 1:37).

Reference:   Sermon, Any Room For Jesus? Luke 2:1-7, December 17, 2017.


46.
You see, when it comes to the birth of Christ, it’s hard to find anything to brag about other than the birth of Christ! Stinky stable (and not a warm hospital), wooden manger (and not a beautiful crib), insignificant parents (and not reputable people), notorious town (and not the religious city of Jerusalem), dangerous journey (and not a bed for Mary), Roman dictatorship (and not servant leadership), swaddling cloths (and not fresh linens). It is mostly bad so that we might not miss the good.

You see, when it comes to the birth of Christ, it’s hard to find anything to brag about other than the birth of Christ! Stinky stable (and not a warm hospital), wooden manger (and not a beautiful crib), insignificant parents (and not reputable people), notorious town (and not the religious city of Jerusalem), dangerous journey (and not a bed for Mary), Roman dictatorship (and not servant leadership), swaddling cloths (and not fresh linens). It is mostly bad so that we might not miss the good.  

Reference:   Sermon, Any Room For Jesus? Luke 2:1-7, December 17, 2017.


47.
So does God really want our focus on a cute, adorable baby or does He want our focus on who that baby is and what He will become? That’s why the text is silent regarding Jesus’ physical appearance. Yet at the same time, the text is also careful not to undervalue the greatness of His arrival, but to present His arrival in a way where nothing within the narrative will distract from His glory.

So does God really want our focus on a cute, adorable baby or does He want our focus on who that baby is and what He will become? That’s why the text is silent regarding Jesus' physical appearance. Yet at the same time, the text is also careful not to undervalue the greatness of His arrival, but to present His arrival in a way where nothing within the narrative will distract from His glory.

Reference:   Sermon, Any Room For Jesus? Luke 2:1-7, December 17, 2017.


48.
Nativity scenes and Christmas cards make the birthing place of Jesus like something out of a “Tennessee Made-for-Television Christmas Special” with Garth Brooks sitting on a bale of hay strumming some of our Holiday favorites in a clean barn with domesticated animals and seats for the children to drink their hot chocolate. Clearly this was not the case for Joseph and Mary. The conditions were crude. We can assume animals were present, but the text never confirms it. Animals probably were at some time housed there since Jesus was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals. The whole place smelled not only from animal droppings, but also from poverty, scandal, insignificance, helplessness, humiliation and embarrassment.

Nativity scenes and Christmas cards make the birthing place of Jesus like something out of a “Tennessee Made-for-Television Christmas Special” with Garth Brooks sitting on a bale of hay strumming some of our Holiday favorites in a clean barn with domesticated animals and seats for the children to drink their hot chocolate. Clearly this was not the case for Joseph and Mary. The conditions were crude. We can assume animals were present, but the text never confirms it. Animals probably were at some time housed there since Jesus was placed in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals. The whole place smelled not only from animal droppings, but also from poverty, scandal, insignificance, helplessness, humiliation and embarrassment.

Reference:   Sermon, Any Room For Jesus? Luke 2:1-7, December 17, 2017.


49.
Faith is belief. Faith is trusting God for the forgiveness that He has offered us in Christ. Faith is believing this message that we can be saved from His judgment though the means He has provided. Faith is rejecting our own goodness and trusting in God’s goodness for salvation.

Faith is belief. Faith is trusting God for the forgiveness that He has offered us in Christ. Faith is believing this message that we can be saved from His judgment though the means He has provided. Faith is rejecting our own goodness and trusting in God’s goodness for salvation.    

Reference:   Sermon, What is the Gospel According to Proverbs? Proverbs 20:9, September 24, 2017.


50.
The Gospel is “Good News,” but we can’t get to the good news until we talk about the bad news because apart from the bad news we will see no need for the good news. Awareness of our sinfulness is the motivation to seek the cure of forgiveness found only in Christ.

The Gospel is “Good News,” but we can’t get to the good news until we talk about the bad news because apart from the bad news we will see no need for the good news. Awareness of our sinfulness is the motivation to seek the cure of forgiveness found only in Christ.    

Reference:   Sermon, What is the Gospel According to Proverbs? Proverbs 20:9, September 24, 2017.


51.
No one wants to listen to a babbling fool or a person that just wants to talk about himself or a person that can’t take a hint that the other individual wants the conversation to end. None of us want to be a part of a conversation like that! Yet sadly, that might very well characterize the Gospel outreach of the church. Offend with the Gospel, not your lack of manners. Don’t turn the “good news” into “boring news!”

No one wants to listen to a babbling fool or a person that just wants to talk about himself or a person that can’t take a hint that the other individual wants the conversation to end. None of us want to be a part of a conversation like that! Yet sadly, that might very well characterize the Gospel outreach of the church. Offend with the Gospel, not your lack of manners. Don’t turn the “good news” into “boring news!”  

Reference:   Sermon, Effective Evangelism, Proverbs 11:30, October 8, 2017.


52.
When sharing the Gospel, listen carefully to the person! You are not talking to a robot. Your words are not a prerecorded message. This is an individual with a soul created in God’s image. Show the person dignity. They are not a personal challenge viewed simply as a convert to be won or a prize for our evangelism trophy case. Listen to them and try to genuinely enter their world. Love them! Learn their heart and then speak Christ as the solution. Never alter the core message, but learn to package the Gospel in a customized way for each individual. Probe them. Emphasize with them. Question them to understand them. This is love, investment in a human being however short of long that interaction might be, drawing out their worldview, beliefs, struggles and fears and then presenting Christ as the answer who has overcome sin.

When sharing the Gospel, listen carefully to the person! You are not talking to a robot. Your words are not a prerecorded message. This is an individual with a soul created in God’s image. Show the person dignity. They are not a personal challenge viewed simply as a convert to be won or a prize for our evangelism trophy case. Listen to them and try to genuinely enter their world. Love them! Learn their heart and then speak Christ as the solution. Never alter the core message, but learn to package the Gospel in a customized way for each individual. Probe them. Emphasize with them. Question them to understand them. This is love, investment in a human being however short of long that interaction might be, drawing out their worldview, beliefs, struggles and fears and then presenting Christ as the answer who has overcome sin.  

Reference:   Sermon, Effective Evangelism, Proverbs 11:30, October 8, 2017.


53.
Use self-control! Here are two pitfalls that most of us fall into in this regard. One is we let the individual take us off the main point. Maybe it’s the scoffer: “What about those who never heard the Gospel?” “Where did Cain get his wife?” Maybe it’s the person that just wants to share unrelated stories. You need self-control to prevent yourself from going down rabbit trails that will take you away from the four core elements of the Gospel (God-Man-Christ-Response). Second, you will need self-control to avoid getting emotional, angry, discouraged, frustrated or offended. Oftentimes these conversations can get very sensitive. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and produce the fruit of self-control even if the other person has lost his. Don’t let their spirit dictate your spirit.

Use self-control! Here are two pitfalls that most of us fall into in this regard. One is we let the individual take us off the main point. Maybe it's the scoffer: “What about those who never heard the Gospel?” “Where did Cain get his wife?” Maybe it’s the person that just wants to share unrelated stories. You need self-control to prevent yourself from going down rabbit trails that will take you away from the four core elements of the Gospel (God-Man-Christ-Response). Second, you will need self-control to avoid getting emotional, angry, discouraged, frustrated or offended. Oftentimes these conversations can get very sensitive. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and produce the fruit of self-control even if the other person has lost his. Don’t let their spirit dictate your spirit.  

Reference:   Sermon, Effective Evangelism, Proverbs 11:30, October 8, 2017.


54.
Apart from God doing something in an unbeliever’s heart, don’t expect them to understand the message, applaud your efforts, agree with your logic or accept your Bible verses. It’s important to keep that in mind!

Apart from God doing something in an unbeliever’s heart, don’t expect them to understand the message, applaud your efforts, agree with your logic or accept your Bible verses. It’s important to keep that in mind!  

Reference:   Sermon, Effective Evangelism, Proverbs 11:30, October 8, 2017.


55.
You need to believe it is essential that others hear the Gospel because the eternal destiny of an individual’s soul is hanging in the balance. Being convinced of this reality, combined with our love for others, compels us to share the message of salvation.

You need to believe it is essential that others hear the Gospel because the eternal destiny of an individual’s soul is hanging in the balance. Being convinced of this reality, combined with our love for others, compels us to share the message of salvation.    

Reference:   Sermon, Effective Evangelism, Proverbs 11:30, October 8, 2017.


56.
If we are focused on rule keeping, if we are focused on earning God’s acceptance through our efforts, if we are focused on trying to meet the convictions and standards of others, God becomes a gloomy killjoy and the vibrant relationship we desire with Him becomes dull, distant and difficult to bear. As we spin the plates of legalism, our Christian walk increasingly becomes a burden with the continual addition of another plate. And to keep the plates spinning, we’ll focus more on the plates, our legalistic rulebook, than our intimate and exciting and joyful walk with the living God.

If we are focused on rule keeping, if we are focused on earning God's acceptance through our efforts, if we are focused on trying to meet the convictions and standards of others, God becomes a gloomy killjoy and the vibrant relationship we desire with Him becomes dull, distant and difficult to bear. As we spin the plates of legalism, our Christian walk increasingly becomes a burden with the continual addition of another plate. And to keep the plates spinning, we'll focus more on the plates, our legalistic rulebook, than our intimate and exciting and joyful walk with the living God.


Author: Randy Smith
57.
Likewise we have warning lights that God uses to get our attention when we are not trusting Him. How about anxiety? “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down” (Pr. 12:25). Anxiety is a sign we are not trusting God for the events in our lives. How about the fear of man? Are people bigger than your God? Are you trusting in people, even your church shepherds more than the Great Shepherd? “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted” (Pr. 29:25). How about a lack of joy? Trusting God results in abiding in the Spirit which produces spiritual fruit like joy. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Pr. 17:22). Isn’t it God’s desire to bear much spiritual fruit through you (Jn. 15:5, 8)? Is that happening?

Likewise we have warning lights that God uses to get our attention when we are not trusting Him. How about anxiety? “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down” (Pr. 12:25). Anxiety is a sign we are not trusting God for the events in our lives. How about the fear of man? Are people bigger than your God? Are you trusting in people, even your church shepherds more than the Great Shepherd? “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted” (Pr. 29:25). How about a lack of joy? Trusting God results in abiding in the Spirit which produces spiritual fruit like joy. “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Pr. 17:22). Isn’t it God’s desire to bear much spiritual fruit through you (Jn. 15:5, 8)? Is that happening?    

Reference:   Sermon, How Do I Balance Work With Grace?, Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9, 20, September 17, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Faith-God-in
58.
So we discipline ourselves for godliness, but trust in His grace. We strive to live our Christian life, but find our rest in Him. We labor to the point of exhaustion, but realize His yoke is easy and His load is light. Examine yourself regularly to stay balanced. We live Gospel-centered lives – trusting His grace and sovereignty for salvation and trusting His grace and sovereignty for daily living as well.

So we discipline ourselves for godliness, but trust in His grace. We strive to live our Christian life, but find our rest in Him. We labor to the point of exhaustion, but realize His yoke is easy and His load is light. Examine yourself regularly to stay balanced. We live Gospel-centered lives – trusting His grace and sovereignty for salvation and trusting His grace and sovereignty for daily living as well.      

Reference:   Sermon, How Do I Balance Work With Grace?, Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9, 20, September 17, 2017.


59.
God enjoys using your hard work for ministry, but your hard work and your ministry must not be your god. What God wants is you!

God enjoys using your hard work for ministry, but your hard work and your ministry must not be your god. What God wants is you!    

Reference:   Sermon, How Do I Balance Work With Grace?, Proverbs 16:1, 3, 9, 20, September 17, 2017.


60.
We learn throughout the years that God is faithful. You know when God gave new exhortations to the Israelites; often He reminded them of His faithfulness during the Exodus. He wanted the Jews to realize that He could be trusted in the present because of His faithfulness in the past. The same principle applies to our lives as well. The more we see His faithful hand shaping the events of our lives in the past, the more we realize that He can be trusted in the present. In hindsight, we can recall the situations when God either removed a trial or gave us sufficient grace to endure the trial. We can recall the good ways He has shepherded us along life’s journey. He has never disappointed us. Through experience, we learn that God keeps His Word and never fails on His promises. We learn that He is good. We learn that God can be trusted.

We learn throughout the years that God is faithful. You know when God gave new exhortations to the Israelites; often He reminded them of His faithfulness during the Exodus. He wanted the Jews to realize that He could be trusted in the present because of His faithfulness in the past. The same principle applies to our lives as well. The more we see His faithful hand shaping the events of our lives in the past, the more we realize that He can be trusted in the present. In hindsight, we can recall the situations when God either removed a trial or gave us sufficient grace to endure the trial. We can recall the good ways He has shepherded us along life’s journey. He has never disappointed us. Through experience, we learn that God keeps His Word and never fails on His promises. We learn that He is good. We learn that God can be trusted.

Reference:   Sermon, Wholehearted Trust, Proverbs 3:5-6, December 26, 2004.


61.
God does not so much enter a story that is already under progress. He is the one that is always writing the story and moving the players according to His sovereign will.

God does not so much enter a story that is already under progress. He is the one that is always writing the story and moving the players according to His sovereign will.

Reference:   Sermon, He Will Be Great, Luke 1:26-38, November 12, 2017.


62.
Single Christian women, I trust you want to be more like Christ. Therefore it only stands to reason that you will seek to marry a man that will assist and aid you in the process. Because after marriage, the greatest spiritual influence in your life will be your husband. Your sanctification is your responsibility, but it should also be his as well (see Eph. 5:25-27).

Single Christian women, I trust you want to be more like Christ. Therefore it only stands to reason that you will seek to marry a man that will assist and aid you in the process. Because after marriage, the greatest spiritual influence in your life will be your husband. Your sanctification is your responsibility, but it should also be his as well (see Eph. 5:25-27).    


63.
Our Divine Husband through the Holy Spirit has the primary goal of progressively making us more holy, making us more like Himself. Men, that is how we are called to best love our wives as Christ loves the church. Men, we should be in full cooperation with the Holy Spirit to be used as a tool to see our wives become more holy, as a result of us, not in spite of us. Here are some practical thoughts: Bringing her to the Word. Giving her time to be in the Word. Discussing what she is learning from the Word. Bringing her to church. Finding answers for her biblical questions. Protecting her from the world’s contamination. Doing nothing that might lead her to sin. Carrying her spiritual burdens. Making and explaining decisions on the basis of Scripture. Praying for her. Maintaining a positive spiritual atmosphere in the home. Commending her for the biblical traits you see in her. Encouraging her in her spiritual growth. Keeping your critiques only to spiritual issues and sharing them only in love. Setting a godly example.

Our Divine Husband through the Holy Spirit has the primary goal of progressively making us more holy, making us more like Himself. Men, that is how we are called to best love our wives as Christ loves the church. Men, we should be in full cooperation with the Holy Spirit to be used as a tool to see our wives become more holy, as a result of us, not in spite of us. Here are some practical thoughts: Bringing her to the Word. Giving her time to be in the Word. Discussing what she is learning from the Word. Bringing her to church. Finding answers for her biblical questions. Protecting her from the world’s contamination. Doing nothing that might lead her to sin. Carrying her spiritual burdens. Making and explaining decisions on the basis of Scripture. Praying for her. Maintaining a positive spiritual atmosphere in the home. Commending her for the biblical traits you see in her. Encouraging her in her spiritual growth. Keeping your critiques only to spiritual issues and sharing them in love. Setting a godly example.  

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 1, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


64.
When a husband and wife walk in the Spirit and fulfill their core roles, they complement one another, bring unity to their marriage, joy to their hearts, a reversal of the fall and proof they are being recreated by Christ.

When a husband and wife walk in the Spirit and fulfill their core roles, they complement one another, bring unity to their marriage, joy to their hearts, a reversal of the fall and proof they are being recreated by Christ.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 1, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


65.
The following go without saying, but I will say them anyway in regards to the way we are commanded to love our wives. This is a call to be filled with the Spirit (verse 18). This is a call to give everything and withhold nothing. This is a call to make your wife’s submissive role something she delights in. This is a call to sacrifice regardless of your wife’s attitude. And as I said last week to the wives, this is a call to ultimately obey God with a command He has placed upon you, men. This is a call to fulfill the topic sentence of chapter 5. Verses 1 and 2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” This is a call to confess your sin in this area daily.

The following go without saying, but I will say them anyway in regards to the way we are commanded to love our wives. This is a call to be filled with the Spirit (verse 18). This is a call to give everything and withhold nothing. This is a call to make your wife’s submissive role something she delights in. This is a call to sacrifice regardless of your wife’s attitude. And as I said last week to the wives, this is a call to ultimately obey God with a command He has placed upon you, men. This is a call to fulfill the topic sentence of chapter 5. Verses 1 and 2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” This is a call to confess your sin in this area daily.  

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 1, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


66.
So men, what is your role? Not easy, but simple to understand! Just love your wife as much as Jesus loves the church. Christ’s love for the church is the model for us. So here is what comes to mind when I consider Christ’s love for the church. Jesus Christ, God Almighty in the flesh – fully God, without sin, worshiped continually by the angels in heaven. Yet at a point of time, motivated solely by obedience to the Father and love for hell-bound rebels, He would leave the glory of heaven, become man and live among us – the Creator becoming one with His creation. And rather than receiving the praise and acceptance He deserved, the very people He came to love would reject Him. His closest would deny and betray Him. His enemies would mock, reject, threaten and torture Him on a cross. The Son of God would die a physically, emotionally and spiritually horrifying death. All of it done that He might forgive our sins, call the church to Himself, present her to the Father without fault and enjoy an intimate spiritual marriage with us for all of eternity. That’s the spirit of how we are to love our wives.

So men, what is your role? Not easy, but simple to understand! Just love your wife as much as Jesus loves the church. Christ’s love for the church is the model for us. So here is what comes to mind when I consider Christ’s love for the church. Jesus Christ, God Almighty in the flesh – fully God, without sin, worshiped continually by the angels in heaven. Yet at a point of time, motivated solely by obedience to the Father and love for hell-bound rebels, He would leave the glory of heaven, become man and live among us – the Creator becoming one with His creation. And rather than receiving the praise and acceptance He deserved, the very people He came to love would reject Him. His closest would deny and betray Him. His enemies would mock, reject, threaten and torture Him on a cross. The Son of God would die a physically, emotionally and spiritually horrifying death. All of it done that He might forgive our sins, call the church to Himself, present her to the Father without fault and enjoy an intimate spiritual marriage with us for all of eternity. That's the spirit of how we are to love our wives.  

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 1, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


67.
When you and your wife got married, God in a mysterious way made the two of you one flesh (Gen 2:21; Eph. 5:31). In other words, since you are now one, hurting her only hurts yourself. And loving her shows respect for your natural and God-given desire to maximize your own joy. “He who loves his own wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). Men, the Bible teaches that pursuing your private pleasure at the expense of your wife will destroy your highest joy. Remember this, you can’t hurt wife without hurting yourself.

When you and your wife got married, God in a mysterious way made the two of you one flesh (Gen 2:21; Eph. 5:31). In other words, since you are now one, hurting her only hurts yourself. And loving her shows respect for your natural and God-given desire to maximize your own joy. “He who loves his own wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). Men, the Bible teaches that pursuing your private pleasure at the expense of your wife will destroy your highest joy. Remember this, you can’t hurt wife without hurting yourself.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


68.
So specifically based on what we already know, how do we, how can we nourish and cherish our wives (Eph. 5:28-30)? Here are some practical thoughts: Be sensitive and responsive to her needs. Let your actions and words show her respect. Pay attention when she talks to you. Demand the children honor her. Use gentle and kind words. Plan times alone together. Speak well of her to others. Accept her feelings. Be humble and submit to the authorities in your life. Tell her that she is beautiful. Sacrifice for her. Encourage her especially in her steps toward godliness. Take care of yourself. Be romantic. Tell her you love her. Be available if she has a need. Pray for her regularly. Be a gentleman. Lead the family spiritually. Take the lead on difficult decisions. Ask her opinion before making decisions. Learn what makes her feel special. Be faithful and loyal.

So specifically based on what we already know, how do we, how can we nourish and cherish our wives (Eph. 5:28-30)? Here are some practical thoughts: Be sensitive and responsive to her needs. Let your actions and words show her respect. Pay attention when she talks to you. Demand the children honor her. Use gentle and kind words. Plan times alone together. Speak well of her to others. Accept her feelings. Be humble and submit to the authorities in your life. Tell her that she is beautiful. Sacrifice for her. Encourage her especially in her steps toward godliness. Take care of yourself. Be romantic. Tell her you love her. Be available if she has a need. Pray for her regularly. Be a gentleman. Lead the family spiritually. Take the lead on difficult decisions. Ask her opinion before making decisions. Learn what makes her feel special. Be faithful and loyal.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


69.
Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.

Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


70.
Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.

Men, can we ask for a better object lesson? As we nourish and cherish our own bodies (Eph. 5:29) and as Christ nourishes and cherishes His body, the church (Eph. 5:29), we should nourish and cherish our wives! Yes, we all fall short. Yes it takes the much selflessness and effort and grace. But the expectation from Scripture is clear as to how we should love our wives.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


71.
There is nothing supernatural about loving yourself.  Jesus Christ did not deny Himself and give up Himself to make us learn to love ourselves more. He needed to die because we already love ourselves too much!  We are experts at putting ourselves first.  And those who do it the best are usually the unhappiest. Jesus died that we might be forgiven from our idolatrous self-love find our identity in Him, an identity of true joy, purpose and satisfaction.

There is nothing supernatural about loving yourself.  Jesus Christ did not deny Himself and give up Himself to make us learn to love ourselves more. He needed to die because we already love ourselves too much!  We are experts at putting ourselves first.  And those who do it the best are usually the unhappiest. Jesus died that we might be forgiven from our idolatrous self-love find our identity in Him, an identity of true joy, purpose and satisfaction.    

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Self-Love
72.
Do you know why the promotion of self-love is not stated in the Bible? Because it’s not wholesome and because we already do it! Look at verse 29 of Ephesians 5. “For no one ever hated his own flesh.” There you go, right from the Bible. “No one ever hated his own flesh.” We all already love ourselves. We, verse 29, “nourish and cherish” our bodies. We all think of ourselves more that we think of others. We all pursue what’s in our best interest, even if it means, the crazy belief that we’ll be happier if we take our own lives to the pain of all those who love us.

Do you know why the promotion of self-love is not stated in the Bible? Because it’s not wholesome and because we already do it! Look at verse 29 of Ephesians 5. “For no one ever hated his own flesh.” There you go, right from the Bible. “No one ever hated his own flesh.” We all already love ourselves. We, verse 29, “nourish and cherish” our bodies. We all think of ourselves more that we think of others. We all pursue what’s in our best interest, even if it means, the crazy belief that we’ll be happier if we take our own lives to the pain of all those who love us.  

Reference:   The Husband’s Core Role – Part 2, Ephesians 5:25-30, May 14, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Self-Love
73.
It is important to note that that though most of the attack on believers seems to come through humans, we must see the devil as the ultimate force behind it all. It’s easy to get frustrated and even resentful toward others who oppose the cause of Christ, but they must not be seen as the primary cause or the primary enemy. People are only prisoners of war being used like puppets in the hands of Satan. People are to be loved as deceived as they may be. They are the mission field that needs to be set free from their bondage as they exist entombed in their false beliefs. Our enemy is not the liberal media or the gay community or the atheist or even the devil worshipper that lives down the street. Our enemy is the devil himself. We struggle not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12).

It is important to note that that though most of the attack on believers seems to come through humans, we must see the devil as the ultimate force behind it all. It’s easy to get frustrated and even resentful toward others who oppose the cause of Christ, but they must not be seen as the primary cause or the primary enemy. People are only prisoners of war being used like puppets in the hands of Satan. People are to be loved as deceived as they may be. They are the mission field that needs to be set free from their bondage as they exist entombed in their false beliefs. Our enemy is not the liberal media or the gay community or the atheist or even the devil worshipper that lives down the street. Our enemy is the devil himself. We struggle not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12).

Reference:   The Believer’s Spiritual Armor – part 1, Ephesians 6:10-13, July 9, 2017.


74.
Interestingly, we are not commanded to win the overall victory. Christ already did that at the cross and He will consummate it at His return when the devil is thrown into the Lake of Fire. We are simply told to hold our ground against the continual assault of the devil’s schemes and “stand firm” (Eph. 6:11, 13-14).

Interestingly, we are not commanded to win the overall victory. Christ already did that at the cross and He will consummate it at His return when the devil is thrown into the Lake of Fire. We are simply told to hold our ground against the continual assault of the devil’s schemes and “stand firm” (Eph. 6:11, 13-14).

Reference:   The Believer’s Spiritual Armor – part 1, Ephesians 6:10-13, July 9, 2017.


75.
The devil hates you. He lost you to God and he fiercely wants you back. He wants to see more than anything you fall way from the Lord. He is your “adversary.” He is, 1 Peter 5:8, “a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Yet we are promised we can be victorious when we do things God’s way. And doing things God’s way is laying hold of His resources and being “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” And though Satan will try to convince you this is not the case, let’s always keep in mind that He is the “father or lies” (Jn. 8:44).

The devil hates you. He lost you to God and he fiercely wants you back. He wants to see more than anything you fall way from the Lord. He is your “adversary.” He is, 1 Peter 5:8, “a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Yet we are promised we can be victorious when we do things God’s way. And doing things God’s way is laying hold of His resources and being “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” And though Satan will try to convince you this is not the case, let’s always keep in mind that He is the “father or lies” (Jn. 8:44).    

Reference:   The Believer’s Spiritual Armor – part 1, Ephesians 6:10-13, July 9, 2017.


76.
Christians often spiritually fail for one of two reasons. Either they deny the reality of spiritual warfare or they try to win the battles in their own strength.

Christians often spiritually fail for one of two reasons. Either they deny the reality of spiritual warfare or they try to win the battles in their own strength.

Reference:   The Believer’s Spiritual Armor – part 1, Ephesians 6:10-13, July 9, 2017.


77.
Narrow-minded Christians or is Jesus Christ the ONLY way to heaven? 1. Our fundamental problem with God is our sin. It separates us from His love. In His holiness He is obligated to judge it – now and eternally. ONLY Christ died for the removal of our sin and subsequent forgiveness. 2. Jesus taught it – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; NO ONE comes to the Father, but through ME'” (Jn. 14:6). 3. Of every religious figure, ONLY Christ rose from the dead in the Resurrection and proved His victory over death, the devil and sin.  4. If there were any other way to heaven, why would God send His only Son to die an excruciating death on a cross? “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law [doing good works], then Christ died needlessly” (Gal. 2:21). 5. The Bible teaches it – “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Ac. 4:12). Is The ONLY Savior YOUR Savior – evidenced by your confession and lifestyle (Lk. 8:21)?

Narrow-minded Christians or is Jesus Christ the ONLY way to heaven? 1. Our fundamental problem with God is our sin. It separates us from His love. In His holiness He is obligated to judge it - now and eternally. ONLY Christ died for the removal of our sin and subsequent forgiveness. 2. Jesus taught it - "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; NO ONE comes to the Father, but through ME'" (Jn. 14:6). 3. Of every religious figure, ONLY Christ rose from the dead in the Resurrection and proved His victory over death, the devil and sin.  4. If there were any other way to heaven, why would God send His only Son to die an excruciating death on a cross? "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law [doing good works], then Christ died needlessly" (Gal. 2:21). 5. The Bible teaches it - "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Ac. 4:12). Is The ONLY Savior YOUR Savior - evidenced by your confession and lifestyle (Lk. 8:21)?  


78.
Ten biblical benefits of fearing God in the life of the believer: 1. Fearing God leads to wisdom (Pr. 1:7; Job 28:28). 2. Fearing God leads to joy. (Pr. 28:14; Psm. 112:1; 115:13). 3. Fearing God leads to safety (Psm. 115:11; Pr. 14:26). 4. Fearing God leads to life (Pr. 14:27; 19:23). 5. Fearing God keeps us from evil (Pr. 16:6; 8:13). 6. Fearing God leads to His instruction (Psm. 25:12). 7. Fearing God leads to His love (Psm. 103:11). 8. Fearing God leads to His compassion (Psm. 103:13). 9. Fearing God leads to His mercy (Lk. 1:50). 10. And fearing God leads to His favor (Psm. 147:11).

Ten biblical benefits of fearing God in the life of the believer: 1. Fearing God leads to wisdom (Pr. 1:7; Job 28:28). 2. Fearing God leads to joy (Pr. 28:14; Psm. 112:1; 115:13). 3. Fearing God leads to safety (Psm. 115:11; Pr. 14:26). 4. Fearing God leads to life (Pr. 14:27; 19:23). 5. Fearing God keeps us from evil (Pr. 16:6; 8:13). 6. Fearing God leads to His instruction (Psm. 25:12). 7. Fearing God leads to His love (Psm. 103:11). 8. Fearing God leads to His compassion (Psm. 103:13). 9. Fearing God leads to His mercy (Lk. 1:50). 10. And fearing God leads to His favor (Psm. 147:11).    

Reference:   Should Christians Fear God? Proverbs 15:31-33, August 13, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Fear_of_God
79.
The unbeliever should fear God when he hears of the severity of God’s judgment and run to the asbestos covering of Jesus Christ who bore God’s wrath in the individual’s place. You see, the solution to the fear of God is the love of God that sent the Son of God!

The unbeliever should fear God when he hears of the severity of God’s judgment and run to the asbestos covering of Jesus Christ who bore God’s wrath in the individual’s place. You see, the solution to the fear of God is the love of God that sent the Son of God!  

Reference:   Should Christians Fear God? Proverbs 15:31-33, August 13, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Fear_of_God
80.
Fearing God is reverence for Him that leads to delightful obedience resulting in peace, joy and security.

Fearing God is reverence for Him that leads to delightful obedience resulting in peace, joy and security.    

Reference:   Should Christians Fear God? Proverbs 15:31-33, August 13, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Fear_of_God
81.
According to the Proverbs, wisdom begins with fearing God, increases with the fear of God and is proven by fearing God.

According to the Proverbs, wisdom begins with fearing God, increases with the fear of God and is proven by fearing God.  

Reference:   Should Christians Fear God? Proverbs 15:31-33, August 13, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Wisdom-Human
82.
Any anti-God relationship that is built on greed and jealousy and self-will is doomed to implode on itself. Quite often enemies unite around a common enemy, but once that enemy is removed, the relationship ceases. Just observe countless church-splits. Think of Pilate and Herod who “became friends that very day” in their common hatred of Jesus (Lk. 23:12). Relationships built on the deeds of the flesh will fail. They will also be judged because they are in opposition to God

Any anti-God relationship that is built on greed and jealousy and self-will is doomed to implode on itself. Quite often enemies unite around a common enemy, but once that enemy is removed, the relationship ceases. Just observe countless church-splits. Think of Pilate and Herod who “became friends that very day” in their common hatred of Jesus (Lk. 23:12). Relationships built on the deeds of the flesh will fail. They will also be judged because they are in opposition to God  

Reference:   Sermon, The World’s Crushing Defeat, Revelation 18:1-24, March 20, 2016.


83.
God’s primary purpose of marriage is to image forth Christ’s marriage to the church (the bride of Christ) (Eph. 5:32). That’s why everything we see as it pertains to marriage falls within this paradigm. God hates divorce – Malachi 2:16 – why? Because Jesus would never divorce His church and the church would never divorce Jesus. Couples are “one flesh” in marriage, why? Because we are one in union with Christ. Men lead their wives, how? Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Wives follow their husbands, why? Ephesians 5:24, “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Why no adultery? Would we cheat on Christ by running after other gods? Why no fornication? Do we share intimacy with Christ before we come to Him in spiritual marriage? Why no polygamy or homosexuality? Because marriage reflects the union between Christ and the church – one man, one woman. In a nutshell, our marriages are to show the world the Gospel. When people observe our loving and committed relationships, they are to see Jesus and the church.

God’s primary purpose of marriage is to image forth Christ’s marriage to the church (the bride of Christ) (Eph. 5:32). That’s why everything we see as it pertains to marriage falls within this paradigm. God hates divorce – Malachi 2:16 – why? Because Jesus would never divorce His church and the church would never divorce Jesus. Couples are “one flesh” in marriage, why? Because we are one in union with Christ. Men lead their wives, how? Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Wives follow their husbands, why? Ephesians 5:24, “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Why no adultery? Would we cheat on Christ by running after other gods? Why no fornication? Do we share intimacy with Christ before we come to Him in spiritual marriage? Why no polygamy or homosexuality? Because marriage reflects the union between Christ and the church – one man, one woman. In a nutshell, our marriages are to show the world the Gospel. When people observe our loving and committed relationships, they are to see Jesus and the church.  

Reference:   Sermon, A Blessed Invitation, Revelation 19:1-10, April 10, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
84.
That means that God is more than Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. That means there is an organized family time around the Word. That means you are living as a good example of Christ. That means you are committed to spending quantity time with them instructing and disciplining as commanded in Scripture both in the formal and informal situations that repeatedly come your way. That means you are adorning the Gospel by showing them love and forgiveness and joy and a strong marriage with your spouse. That means that you are listening to them more than you are speaking to them to hear what they are hearing and process what they are processing about life in an effort to help them to see everything from a biblical worldview.

That means that God is more than Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. That means there is an organized family time around the Word. That means you are living as a good example of Christ. That means you are committed to spending quantity time with them instructing and disciplining as commanded in Scripture both in the formal and informal situations that repeatedly come your way. That means you are adorning the Gospel by showing them love and forgiveness and joy and a strong marriage with your spouse. That means that you are listening to them more than you are speaking to them to hear what they are hearing and process what they are processing about life in an effort to help them to see everything from a biblical worldview.  

Reference:   Sermon, Five Essentials from Psalm Five, Psalm 5:1-12, August 14, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
85.
Nothing is more important in the life of your child than to be sure that his or her soul is with the Lord. Can you even imagine the thought for a second, parent, that your child could be separated from you one day eternally in hell? So much energy is devoted to college choices and career pursuits and athletic, artistic and academic accomplishments and wedding plans and the list continues. And all of this is important, but nothing is more important than the spiritual soul of your child.

Nothing is more important in the life of your child than to be sure that his or her soul is with the Lord. Can you even imagine the thought for a second, parent, that your child could be separated from you one day eternally in hell? So much energy is devoted to college choices and career pursuits and athletic, artistic and academic accomplishments and wedding plans and the list continues. And all of this is important, but nothing is more important than the spiritual soul of your child.  

Reference:   Sermon, Five Essentials from Psalm Five, Psalm 5:1-12, August 14, 2016.


86.
So parents, where are your teenagers with the Lord? I am not asking if they come to church or even profess Jesus. The demons believe in Jesus and thousands of unbelievers will be attending churches all over America this morning. I am asking you where is there heart with the Lord? Do they have an interest to read their Bibles? Are they engaged in a ministry at the church? Are they reading any Christian literature or listening to any Christian music? Are they posting anything about their faith on social media? Have they memorized Scripture lately? Do they enjoy being with other Christian teens? Would they come to church without your prodding? Are they telling any of their friends about the Savior? As Jesus said, the fruit reveals the nature of the tree. Based on the fruit, is Jesus Christ really number one in their lives?

So parents, where are your teenagers with the Lord? I am not asking if they come to church or even profess Jesus. The demons believe in Jesus and thousands of unbelievers will be attending churches all over America this morning. I am asking you where is there heart with the Lord? Do they have an interest to read their Bibles? Are they engaged in a ministry at the church? Are they reading any Christian literature or listening to any Christian music? Are they posting anything about their faith on social media? Have they memorized Scripture lately? Do they enjoy being with other Christian teens? Would they come to church without your prodding? Are they telling any of their friends about the Savior? As Jesus said, the fruit reveals the nature of the tree. Based on the fruit, is Jesus Christ really number one in their lives?  

Reference:   Sermon, Five Essentials from Psalm Five, Psalm 5:1-12, August 14, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Parenting-Teens
87.
Through prayer, are you asking the Lord to reveal sin in your heart? Is God showing you sin as you study the Bible? Are you grieved over your sin? Are you more grieved over your sin than angered over the sins of others around you? Do you hate your sin? Do you hate your sin not primarily because of the consequences, but because you love God? Are you confessing your sin? Are you turning from your sin with the sufficient grace God provides?

Through prayer, are you asking the Lord to reveal sin in your heart? Is God showing you sin as you study the Bible? Are you grieved over your sin? Are you more grieved over your sin than angered over the sins of others around you? Do you hate your sin? Do you hate your sin not primarily because of the consequences, but because you love God? Are you confessing your sin? Are you turning from your sin with the sufficient grace God provides?  

Reference:   Sermon, Five Essentials from Psalm Five, Psalm 5:1-12, August 14, 2016.


88.
It’s shallow thinking to always equate disagreement with hate. Much disagreement we have with others is because we care. Just ask any parent!

It’s shallow thinking to always equate disagreement with hate. Much disagreement we have with others is because we care. Just ask any parent!  

Reference:   Sermon, My Response to the Responses Regarding Orlando, Luke 13:1-5, June 19, 2016.


89.
Christ solved the problem of discrimination. Through the shedding of His blood, He made us understand that we are the same in essence. That God looks not at these superficial externals and therefore neither should we. That we all deserve of hell, but in response to His marvelous grace we who deserve only hell can be made alive and brought together in His spiritual family under the loving bonds on one heavenly Father.

Christ solved the problem of discrimination. Through the shedding of His blood, He made us understand that we are the same in essence. That God looks not at these superficial externals and therefore neither should we. That we all deserve of hell, but in response to His marvelous grace we who deserve only hell can be made alive and brought together in His spiritual family under the loving bonds on one heavenly Father.  

Reference:   Sermon, Meet a Man of God, Ephesians 3:1-13, December 4, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
90.
Do we really understand grace? Do we really understand that all we have with God was not deserved, but an unmerited favor of God’s love and mercy toward His enemies fully at Christ’s expense on the cross? Can we love and accept those who might not deserve our love in the way that Christ chose to love and accept us? Do we allow ourselves to really be gripped with God’s grace so that we might though His heart and His power love others that are different than us just as He does? Do we understand how much God wants His family to be unified? Do we view people the same way He views people – not looking at the shallowness of externals, but rather looking at the heart? This attitude boasts in the cross!

Do we really understand grace? Do we really understand that all we have with God was not deserved, but an unmerited favor of God’s love and mercy toward His enemies fully at Christ’s expense on the cross? Can we love and accept those who might not deserve our love in the way that Christ chose to love and accept us? Do we allow ourselves to really be gripped with God’s grace so that we might though His heart and His power love others that are different than us just as He does? Do we understand how much God wants His family to be unified? Do we view people the same way He views people – not looking at the shallowness of externals, but rather looking at the heart? This attitude boasts in the cross!  

Reference:   Sermon, Don’t Divide What Christ United, Ephesians 2:11-22, November 27, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Unity
91.
Do we divide over preferences, convictions, interest, age, gender or skin color? Do we divide over unresolved conflict, jealousy or bitterness? Is there a spirit in us of elitism that views ourselves better than anyone in the church?

Do we divide over preferences, convictions, interest, age, gender or skin color? Do we divide over unresolved conflict, jealousy or bitterness? Is there a spirit in us of elitism that views ourselves better than anyone in the church?  

Reference:   Sermon, Don’t Divide What Christ United, Ephesians 2:11-22, November 27, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Conflict-Church
92.
Someone once said we are all brought to the same level at the foot of the cross. The cross pours contempt on our pride and screams to us that reconciliation with God was entirely the work of Jesus. The cross screams to us that God justifies all His children with the same infinite love. The cross screams to us that we are all adopted into the same spiritual family in the same way with the same privileges. The cross screams to us that the sins of disunity such as discord, hatred, bitterness, strife, divisiveness, malice, jealousy, envy, disgust, indifference, unforgiveness have all been shattered by the cross and are therefore unacceptable amongst God’s redeemed. The cross teaches us that the grace that saves us results in grace that transforms us to live more like Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace” Himself. And the cross teaches us to join Paul in his never-ending refrain of boasting only in the cross (Gal. 6:14). And with our eyes on the cross, we strike a deathblow to our pride which fuels our divisions.

Someone once said we are all brought to the same level at the foot of the cross. The cross pours contempt on our pride and screams to us that reconciliation with God was entirely the work of Jesus. The cross screams to us that God justifies all His children with the same infinite love. The cross screams to us that we are all adopted into the same spiritual family in the same way with the same privileges. The cross screams to us that the sins of disunity such as discord, hatred, bitterness, strife, divisiveness, malice, jealousy, envy, disgust, indifference, unforgiveness have all been shattered by the cross and are therefore unacceptable amongst God’s redeemed. The cross teaches us that the grace that saves us results in grace that transforms us to live more like Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace” Himself. And the cross teaches us to join Paul in his never-ending refrain of boasting only in the cross (Gal. 6:14). And with our eyes on the cross, we strike a deathblow to our pride which fuels our divisions.  

Reference:   Sermon, Don’t Divide What Christ United, Ephesians 2:11-22, November 27, 2016.


93.
Why can we rejoice in our persecution according to Matthew 5:10-12? 1. Because God told us and we can trust Him at His word even when we must walk by faith and not by sight. 2. Because those who receive persecution and respond this way are identified as citizens in God’s kingdom (Mt. 5:10; cf. Ac. 14:22). 3. Because suffering for Jesus is an unspeakable privilege of having fellowship with the One who suffered so much for us (Phil. 3:10; Ac. 5:40-41, 16:25; Heb. 11:24-25). 4. Because persecution strengthens believers. Throughout history the church is always the strongest when it undergoes persecution. God knows that persecution moves us to leave our comfort zones, be able to better defend our faith, have greater missionary zeal, be more dedicated to personal and group prayer and count the cost with greater intensity. 5. Because persecution results in reward in heaven. To those persecuted, Jesus promised in verse 12, “For your reward in heaven is great.” Only God can take our reproach and dishonor and turn it into praise and glory.

Why can we rejoice in our persecution according to Matthew 5:10-12? 1. Because God told us and we can trust Him at His word even when we must walk by faith and not by sight. 2. Because those who receive persecution and respond this way are identified as citizens in God’s kingdom (Mt. 5:10; cf. Ac. 14:22). 3. Because suffering for Jesus is an unspeakable privilege of having fellowship with the One who suffered so much for us (Phil. 3:10; Ac. 5:40-41, 16:25; Heb. 11:24-25). 4. Because persecution strengthens believers. Throughout history the church is always the strongest when it undergoes persecution. God knows that persecution moves us to leave our comfort zones, be able to better defend our faith, have greater missionary zeal, be more dedicated to personal and group prayer and count the cost with greater intensity. 5. Because persecution results in reward in heaven. To those persecuted, Jesus promised in verse 12, “For your reward in heaven is great.” Only God can take our reproach and dishonor and turn it into praise and glory.  

Reference:   Sermon, And Now The World Responds, Matthew 5:10–12, April 27, 2008.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Persecution
94.
Based upon the teaching of the Bible and over twenty years of full-time pastoral ministry, I have to say that three sins are particularly deadly to the unity of the church: excessive complaining, gossip and false teaching. The church must personally avoid these and reprove those who exercise them in their desire to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

Based upon the teaching of the Bible and over twenty years of full-time pastoral ministry, I have to say that three sins are particularly deadly to the unity of the church: excessive complaining, gossip and false teaching. The church must personally avoid these and reprove those who exercise them in their desire to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).  

Reference:   Sermon, A Gift from God – part 2, Ephesians 4:7-13, January 22, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Unity
95.
Why do we in the church oftentimes only see our superficial differences? Why can’t we see each other as we are, ultimately alike – redeemed by the blood, united with Christ, loved by God, adopted into the same family?

Why do we in the church oftentimes only see our superficial differences? Why can’t we see each other as we are, ultimately alike – redeemed by the blood, united with Christ, loved by God, adopted into the same family?  

Reference:   Sermon, A Gift from God – part 2, Ephesians 4:7-13, January 22, 2017.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Unity
96.
We must never expect God to do the things He has never promised to do. For instance, God has never promised to always heal your infirmities, provide a spouse and/or children, exempt you from suffering or make you wealthy. God gives us His promises according to His will. We are in no position to force our will upon Him and expect Him to comply and then express our disappointment that He let us down when He, according to our own estimation, fails to come through. It’s not “name it and claim it.” It is “read it and believe it.”

We must never expect God to do the things He has never promised to do. For instance, God has never promised to always heal your infirmities, provide a spouse and/or children, exempt you from suffering or make you wealthy. God gives us His promises according to His will. We are in no position to force our will upon Him and expect Him to comply and then express our disappointment that He let us down when He, according to our own estimation, fails to come through. It’s not “name it and claim it.” It is “read it and believe it.”  

Reference:   Sermon, The God Beyond Imagination, Ephesians 3:20-21, December 18, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: God-Promises
97.
It’s not about our worthiness to receive these promises; it’s about the integrity to God to always keep His word. If God would fail to keep His promises, He would have more to lose than you.

It’s not about our worthiness to receive these promises; it’s about the integrity to God to always keep His word. If God would fail to keep His promises, He would have more to lose than you.

Reference:   Sermon, The God Beyond Imagination, Ephesians 3:20-21, December 18, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: God-Providence
98.
But God thrives for His glory in working through the impossible. In His love and mercy, He chose a way for people to be reconciled to Him. God would not accept people’s works as a gift to Him, but rather accomplish the works He requires of people and then then give people salvation as a gift.

But God thrives for His glory in working through the impossible. In His love and mercy, He chose a way for people to be reconciled to Him. God would not accept people’s works as a gift to Him, but rather accomplish the works He requires of people and then then give people salvation as a gift.  

Reference:   Sermon, The God Beyond Imagination, Ephesians 3:20-21, December 18, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Salvation-Gift
99.
It’s like the ridiculous line I remember hearing in high school. “How do you know you won’t like drugs until you try them?” Well, maybe I take seriously the scientific research that shows their effects on your body. Maybe I’ve read about and have seen the broken lives of people that get hooked on that stuff. Maybe I don’t need an artificial stimulant to find enjoyment in life. I’ve never tried to drive through Manhattan blindfolded, but I don’t anticipate doing it anytime soon!

It’s like the ridiculous line I remember hearing in high school. “How do you know you won’t like drugs until you try them?” Well, maybe I take seriously the scientific research that shows their effects on your body. Maybe I’ve read about and have seen the broken lives of people that get hooked on that stuff. Maybe I don’t need an artificial stimulant to find enjoyment in life. I’ve never tried to drive through Manhattan blindfolded, but I don’t anticipate doing it anytime soon!  

Reference:   Sermon, Godlessness Meets God, Revelation 17:1-18, March 13, 2016.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Temptation
100.
According to Revelation 17, the world is the great harlot’s who rides on the back of Satan and makes it her goal is to spiritually prostitute people away from God, offering them the spiritual wine that intoxicates their affections and makes them dull to the things of God.

According to Revelation 17, the world is the great harlot’s who rides on the back of Satan and makes it her goal is to spiritually prostitute people away from God, offering them the spiritual wine that intoxicates their affections and makes them dull to the things of God.  

Reference:   Sermon, The World’s Crushing Defeat, Revelation 18:1-24, March 20, 2016.