Randy Smith

Quotes of Author: Randy_smith

1.
Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire not, to do as Jesus says in Scripture; we short-circuit the whole process by failing to show Christ to the world, by failing to acknowledge Him as our Lord and frankly by showing less reverence and faith than the demons. Will we submit to His authority in all things, despite the personal cost, to reveal to this world that Jesus is truly Lord? The Kingdom will come for all to see and acknowledge, but it has begun and is shown to all by Him ruling in the hearts of His children.

Friends, if we cannot, or maybe I should say desire not, to do as Jesus says in Scripture; we short-circuit the whole process by failing to show Christ to the world, by failing to acknowledge Him as our Lord and frankly by showing less reverence and faith than the demons. Will we submit to His authority in all things, despite the personal cost, to reveal to this world that Jesus is truly Lord? The Kingdom will come for all to see and acknowledge, but it has begun and is shown to all by Him ruling in the hearts of His children.    

Reference:   Why Should I Obey God? Luke 4:31-44, March 25, 2018.


2.
If Jesus needed prayer and the Holy Spirit to empower Him during temptation (Lk. 3:21-22; 4:1), what does it say about our abilities to be successful in the spiritual fight if we fail to have either?

If Jesus needed prayer and the Holy Spirit to empower Him during temptation (Lk. 3:21-22; 4:1), what does it say about our abilities to be successful in the spiritual fight if we fail to have either?    

Reference:   Like Father, Like Son, Luke 3:21-38, March 4, 2018.


3.
It is so diabolical! So many people, so often in my own life, convinced they are right when there are so grossly deceived. I see people falling for Satan’s lies hook, line and sinker! Somehow they believe that they will be happier if they disobey God as if Satan really has our best interest in mind. He comes as an evil foe with malicious suggestions and at times an angel of light speaking the Word of God. He works through our desires and human weakness and doubts. Yet remember this, he is always lying, always seeking to destroy and always opposed to God.

It is so diabolical! So many people, so often in my own life, convinced they are right when there are so grossly deceived. I see people falling for Satan’s lies hook, line and sinker! Somehow they believe that they will be happier if they disobey God as if Satan really has our best interest in mind. He comes as an evil foe with malicious suggestions and at times an angel of light speaking the Word of God. He works through our desires and human weakness and doubts. Yet remember this, he is always lying, always seeking to destroy and always opposed to God.    

Reference:   Like Father, Like Son, Luke 3:21-38, March 4, 2018.


4.
There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – His good character. For example: Why do we tell the truth? Because Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6) and Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because God created marriage to reflect and promote His marriage between Christ and His bride (the church) – (Eph. 5:32). The Christian life is not about keeping “outdated and arbitrary rules” (as portrayed by society). It’s not about “following my religion.” It’s about following a Person. We follow that Person by acting like Him. The commands in the Bible tell us how to act like God, as opposed to acting like those who oppose Him.

There is a foundation for all of God’s commands – His good character. For example: Why do we tell the truth? Because Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6) and Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because God created marriage to reflect and promote His marriage between Christ and His bride (the church) – (Eph. 5:32). The Christian life is not about keeping “outdated and arbitrary rules” (as portrayed by society). It’s not about “following my religion.” It’s about following a Person. We follow that Person by acting like Him. The commands in the Bible tell us how to act like God, as opposed to acting like those who oppose Him.  

Reference:   Sermon, Christ in the Parent – Part 1, Psalm 78:4-8, July 14, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
5.
Of course all good parenting must point out error. We know the Law is a tutor (Gal. 3:24) and children with soft hearts will experience guilt. They will want the guilt removed. The solution to that must not be achieved in parental or self-inflicted punishment. The solution is to flee to Christ for grace and mercy.

Of course all good parenting must point out error. We know the Law is a tutor (Gal. 3:24) and children with soft hearts will experience guilt. They will want the guilt removed. The solution to that must not be achieved in parental or self-inflicted punishment. The solution is to flee to Christ for grace and mercy.  

Reference:   Sermon, Christ in the Parent – Part 1, Psalm 78:4-8, July 14, 2019.


6.
The best family devotionals are when dad leads, but has the least amount to say, gets everyone involved, engages hearts, encourages interaction and processes life with the family using the Word of God. Even the Puritans would say to keep our family devotionals “Sweet, savory and short!” Don’t bore and exasperate your children with the Bible and then expect them to love God’s Word. A wise parent knows the right time and right length to teach the Bible – formally or informally (Dt. 6:6-7). And he or she also knows how to listen during those times more than they speak.

The best family devotionals are when dad leads, but has the least amount to say, gets everyone involved, engages hearts, encourages interaction and processes life with the family using the Word of God. Even the Puritans would say to keep our family devotionals “Sweet, savory and short!” Don’t bore and exasperate your children with the Bible and then expect them to love God’s Word. A wise parent knows the right time and right length to teach the Bible – formally or informally (Dt. 6:6-7). And he or she also knows how to listen during those times more than they speak.  

Reference:   Sermon, Christ in the Parent – Part 1, Psalm 78:4-8, July 14, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Worship-Family
7.
Jesus clashed most with religious people, specifically the Pharisees. There was always storm when they were together. Religious people preach salvation by works. Jesus preached salvation by grace. Religious people are into the outward appearance. Jesus is into the heart. Religious people sent Jesus to the cross for their egos – pride. Jesus went to the cross for our salvation – humility.

Jesus clashed most with religious people, specifically the Pharisees. There was always storm when they were together. Religious people preach salvation by works. Jesus preached salvation by grace. Religious people are into the outward appearance. Jesus is into the heart. Religious people sent Jesus to the cross for their egos – pride. Jesus went to the cross for our salvation – humility.  

Reference:   Sermon, Christ in The Parent – Part 1, Psalm 78:4-8, July 14, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Religion
8.
Peacemaking suggestions when seeking conflict resolution with another: Pray before, during and after the time together (1 Thes. 5:17). Get together and talk about the matter face-to-face (i.e. not an email). Be sure to go to the individual in a loving and reasonable and gentle manner (1 Cor. 4:21; Eph. 4:2; 1 Tim. 6:11). Make sure your heart is right. Make sure you have removed the log from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from your brother’s (Mt. 7:3-5). Go seeking to believe the best, hear the other side of the story (Pr. 18:17). Attack the problem not the person, value the relationship more than the issue. Deal with one problem at a time. Find common ground – I hope as Christians you both want God’s glory and unity – start there (1 Cor. 10:31)! Add how you may have contributed to the problem – people will always listen to how you might have wronged them (Pr. 28:13). Be prepared to extend and receive forgiveness if appropriate (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). Seek to fully reconcile the relationship and put the matter behind you.  Remember, there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

Peacemaking suggestions when seeking conflict resolution with another: Pray before, during and after the time together (1 Thes. 5:17). Get together and talk about the matter face-to-face (i.e. not an email). Be sure to go to the individual in a loving and reasonable and gentle manner (1 Cor. 4:21; Eph. 4:2; 1 Tim. 6:11). Make sure your heart is right. Make sure you have removed the log from your own eye before you seek to remove the speck from your brother’s (Mt. 7:3-5). Go seeking to believe the best, hear the other side of the story (Pr. 18:17). Attack the problem not the person, value the relationship more than the issue. Deal with one problem at a time. Find common ground – I hope as Christians you both want God’s glory and unity – start there (1 Cor. 10:31)! Add how you may have contributed to the problem – people will always listen to how you might have wronged them (Pr. 28:13). Be prepared to extend and receive forgiveness if appropriate (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). Seek to fully reconcile the relationship and put the matter behind you.  Remember, there is a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.    

Reference:   Sermon, Zealous for Peace, Romans 14:19, May 19, 2019.


9.
Escape responses focus on “me” and make me a “peace-faker.” Attack responses focus on “you” and make me a “peace-breaker.” But peacemaking responses focus on “God” and make me a “peace-maker.”

Escape responses focus on “me” and make me a “peace-faker.” Attack responses focus on “you” and make me a “peace-breaker.” But peacemaking responses focus on “God” and make me a “peace-maker.”    

Reference:   Sermon, Zealous for Peace, Romans 14:19, May 19, 2019.


10.
When we seek to run away from our conflicts through the escape tactics, we fail to trust God and prefer the other individual. These “natural” responses are unbiblical, unloving, unproductive and unacceptable.

When we seek to run away from our conflicts through the escape tactics, we fail to trust God and prefer the other individual. These “natural” responses are unbiblical, unloving, unproductive and unacceptable.  

Reference:   Sermon, Zealous for Peace, Romans 14:19, May 19, 2019.


11.
Personal benefits when conflict with others is handled properly: It has increased my tenderness to the pain and affliction of others. It has broadened my outlook that life is not as black and white as I often think. It has helped me to listen better and understand good perspectives that might differ from mine. It has encouraged me to search the Scriptures and be able to better articulate my beliefs. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my faith in God and in His Word. It has taught me to work harder to be a more effective communicator to express my feelings. It has helped me consider other people more important than myself. It has helped me understand that relationships are more important than the conflict and compromising (when biblically appropriate) is more important than being right. It has increased my love for unity. It has manifested the love and power and forgiveness of God both received and extended. It has taught me that my desires and plans do not lie at the center of the world. And in many cases, when resolved correctly, it has even strengthened the specific relationship.

Personal benefits when conflict with others is handled properly: It has increased my tenderness to the pain and affliction of others. It has broadened my outlook that life is not as black and white as I often think. It has helped me to listen better and understand good perspectives that might differ from mine. It has encouraged me to search the Scriptures and be able to better articulate my beliefs. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and increased my faith in God and in His Word. It has taught me to work harder to be a more effective communicator to express my feelings. It has helped me consider other people more important than myself. It has helped me understand that relationships are more important than the conflict and compromising (when biblically appropriate) is more important than being right. It has increased my love for unity. It has manifested the love and power and forgiveness of God both received and extended. It has taught me that my desires and plans do not lie at the center of the world. And in many cases, when resolved correctly, it has even strengthened the specific relationship.    

Reference:   Sermon, Zealous for Peace, Romans 14:19, May 19, 2019.


12.
Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the words of our Savior when He said anger in our hearts toward another is murder in His eyes (Mt. 5:21-22). Think about this. If we have the attitude that we want someone out of our family or out of our church because of our own interpersonal conflict, are we not participating in the spirit of murder? Oh we may never pull the trigger, but are we seeking to eliminate people through more civilized means.

Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the words of our Savior when He said anger in our hearts toward another is murder in His eyes (Mt. 5:21-22). Think about this. If we have the attitude that we want someone out of our family or out of our church because of our own interpersonal conflict, are we not participating in the spirit of murder? Oh we may never pull the trigger, but are we seeking to eliminate people through more civilized means.      

Reference:   Sermon, Zealous for Peace, Romans 14:19, May 19, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Murder
13.
All false religion is based on works to achieve God’s favor. And when you base it on works you will either use God’s Word as a means to obtain God’s favor or ignore God Word and create your own expectations. Both are deadly because both short-circuit God method of grace.

All false religion is based on works to achieve God’s favor. And when you base it on works you will either use God’s Word as a means to obtain God’s favor or ignore God Word and create your own expectations. Both are deadly because both short-circuit God method of grace.  

Reference:   God Hates Heartless Religion – Part 2, Luke 11:45-54, June 2, 2019.


14.
People say to me, isn’t Christianity about following (implied: outdated and meaningless) rules? No! It’s about following Jesus which means living according to His nature so that our relationship with Him will be strong and our lives will be blessed. Don’t buy the lie! Not following Him is slavery. Following Him is liberation. Those weighed down with the most anxiety, guilt, shame and fear in life are those who are following Christ the least. External rules are a burden. There is no power to obey them. Rules do not change a heart. Our Lord changes our hearts. He gives us grace-empowerment. He provides purpose in doing it His way.

People say to me, isn’t Christianity about following (implied: outdated and meaningless) rules? No! It’s about following Jesus which means living according to His nature so that our relationship with Him will be strong and our lives will be blessed. Don’t buy the lie! Not following Him is slavery. Following Him is liberation. Those weighed down with the most anxiety, guilt, shame and fear in life are those who are following Christ the least. External rules are a burden. There is no power to obey them. Rules do not change a heart. Our Lord changes our hearts. He gives us grace-empowerment. He provides purpose in doing it His way.  


15.
Don’t be greedy for the temporary and trivial things of this world. Find your joy in life in what really matters: Salvation from hell. The necessities to live. The opportunity to serve others. A strong marriage. A loving family. A good church. That’s the meaningful stuff that will warm your heart. And greed in those areas is actually good and furthers more joy. Pursue more; just pursue it in the right domains. Abundant life does not come in abundant possessions (Lk. 12:15). Pursue the abundant life that Jesus promised (Jn. 10:10).

Don’t be greedy for the temporary and trivial things of this world. Find your joy in life in what really matters: Salvation from hell. The necessities to live. The opportunity to serve others. A strong marriage. A loving family. A good church. That’s the meaningful stuff that will warm your heart. And greed in those areas is actually good and furthers more joy. Pursue more; just pursue it in the right domains. Abundant life does not come in abundant possessions (Lk. 12:15). Pursue the abundant life that Jesus promised (Jn. 10:10).    

Reference:   Sermon, Greed’s Graveyard, Luke 12:13-21, June 16, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Greed
16.
Like a dog chasing its tail, we are running around chasing someone else who will always have more. And in the process of our misplaced priorities, we are empty, others are unloved (often in our family) and true God is ignored. Greed is a foolish investment. Plenty to live on, but nothing to live for.

Like a dog chasing its tail, we are running around chasing someone else who will always have more. And in the process of our misplaced priorities, we are empty, others are unloved (often in our family) and true God is ignored. Greed is a foolish investment. Plenty to live on, but nothing to live for.    

Reference:   Sermon, Greed’s Graveyard, Luke 12:13-21, June 16, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Greed
17.
Our Lord says to be on your guard against “every form of greed” in Luke 12:15. The way I see it, greed is the interlocking component that cements so many other sins together. If the heart is self-focused, looking for status in worldly stuff, it will be materialistic. More is always equivalent with success – admiration from others, joy in possessions, fulfillment in things.  Thus a materialistic heart will be produced. The heart will always want more. Greed is then the result. The comparison game will begin. The result will be more sins like boasting (because we have more) or coveting, jealousy and envy (because we have less) – leading to a general attitude sins like discontentment and ingratitude and selfishness. All this concludes (and comes full circle) with the worship of a false god, the chief sin of idolatry (notice the connection in Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).

Our Lord says to be on your guard against “every form of greed” in Luke 12:15. The way I see it, greed is the interlocking component that cements so many other sins together. If the heart is self-focused, looking for status in worldly stuff, it will be materialistic. More is always equivalent with success – admiration from others, joy in possessions, fulfillment in things.  Thus a materialistic heart will be produced. The heart will always want more. Greed is then the result. The comparison game will begin. The result will be more sins like boasting (because we have more) or coveting, jealousy and envy (because we have less) – leading to a general attitude sins like discontentment and ingratitude and selfishness. All this concludes (and comes full circle) with the worship of a false god, the chief sin of idolatry (notice the connection in Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5).    

Reference:   Sermon, Greed’s Graveyard, Luke 12:13-21, June 16, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Greed
18.
The problem with greed is not so much seen in our possessions, but rather what is possessing our hearts.

The problem with greed is not so much seen in our possessions, but rather what is possessing our hearts.    

Reference:   Sermon, Greed’s Graveyard, Luke 12:13-21, June 16, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Greed
Possessions
19.
Testing God is a lack of faith. It’s blasphemy for the created to demand that the Creator prove Himself to be worthy of our trust. True faith is not testing God, but trusting God, knowing that He is not obligated to prove His power and love at every turn.

Testing God is a lack of faith. It’s blasphemy for the created to demand that the Creator prove Himself to be worthy of our trust. True faith is not testing God, but trusting God, knowing that He is not obligated to prove His power and love at every turn.    

Reference:   Overcoming the Devil’s Best, Luke 4:1-13, March 11, 2018.


20.
Satan tempts (to make us weaker), but God’s goal is to test (to make us stronger) and oftentimes we are tested by God permitting Satan to tempt us. In the Bible (Luke 4) we see Jesus being tested by God as He is led by God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Satan tempts (to make us weaker), but God’s goal is to test (to make us stronger) and oftentimes we are tested by God permitting Satan to tempt us. In the Bible (Luke 4) we see Jesus being tested by God as He is led by God into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.    

Reference:   Overcoming the Devil’s Best, Luke 4:1-13, March 11, 2018.


21.
If you want to raise a Pharisee, just follow these simple steps (sarcasm!). 1. Make the Christian home all about rule-keeping (do’s and don’t’s), but never explain to them why we should follow God’s Word. 2. Add your own rules to God’s Word and make them more important than God’s Word. 3. Strictly enforce the rules on your children, but give yourself a pass. 4. Show your children nothing about grace, forgiveness, mercy and love. 5. Preach at them until they are blue in the face (bore them with the Bible) and never listen to what they have to say about God’s Word. 6. Make Jesus a burden rather than a blessing – make God’s Word a bondage rather than a liberation. 7. Give them no opportunity to think spiritually for themselves. 8. Fail to guide them in a spiritual worldview – teaching them how to process life with the Bible. 9. Praise their externals regardless of their motives. 10. Teach them to obey only because they have to and not because they should also want to as God’s commands come from a loving and trustworthy Father. 11. Make your disciple punishment rather than correction. 12. Demand self-reformation, rather than pointing them to Christ-transformation by grace. 13. Teach them to obey you as God rather than to obey God by obeying you. 14. Use Scripture and church as punishment. 15. Never pray for them. 16. Correct them more than you encourage them. 17. Beat your kids into external conformity, often to simply make yourself look good and do nothing to shepherd their hearts.

If you want to raise a Pharisee, just follow these simple steps (sarcasm!). 1. Make the Christian home all about rule-keeping (do’s and don’t’s), but never explain to them why we should follow God’s Word. 2. Add your own rules to God’s Word and make them more important than God’s Word. 3. Strictly enforce the rules on your children, but give yourself a pass. 4. Show your children nothing about grace, forgiveness, mercy and love. 5. Preach at them until they are blue in the face (bore them with the Bible) and never listen to what they have to say about God’s Word. 6. Make Jesus a burden rather than a blessing – make God’s Word a bondage rather than a liberation. 7. Give them no opportunity to think spiritually for themselves. 8. Fail to guide them in a spiritual worldview – teaching them how to process life with the Bible. 9. Praise their externals regardless of their motives. 10. Teach them to obey only because they have to and not because they should also want to as God’s commands come from a loving and trustworthy Father. 11. Make your disciple punishment rather than correction. 12. Demand self-reformation, rather than pointing them to Christ-transformation by grace. 13. Teach them to obey you as God rather than to obey God by obeying you. 14. Use Scripture and church as punishment. 15. Never pray for them. 16. Correct them more than you encourage them. 17. Beat your kids into external conformity, often to simply make yourself look good and do nothing to shepherd their hearts.    

Reference:   Sermon, God Hates Heartless Religion – Part 1, Luke 11:37-44, May 26, 2019.


22.
Recently I listened to a great sermon by Paul Tripp as he spoke about the need to shepherd our children’s hearts. When the heart is ignored and we concentrate only on the externals, he compared it to a child that has everything he needs and wants in his backyard, but has his face pressed up against the fence desiring the junk in the neighbor’s yard. Legalistic parents just try to build higher fences. Christian parents shepherd the orientation of the heart.

Recently I listened to a great sermon by Paul Tripp as he spoke about the need to shepherd our children’s hearts. When the heart is ignored and we concentrate only on the externals, he compared it to a child that has everything he needs and wants in his backyard, but has his face pressed up against the fence desiring the junk in the neighbor’s yard. Legalistic parents just try to build higher fences. Christian parents shepherd the orientation of the heart.    

Reference:   Sermon, God Hates Heartless Religion – Part 1, Luke 11:37-44, May 26, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
23.
Legalism is adding your rules to the Word of God. And when your rules are added to the Word of God, these traditions almost always become more important than the Word of God itself. God is ignored. Self-righteousness is nurtured. Unity in Christ is shot because the focus now becomes our new rules. Our gaze is upon those who follow them the best or preach them the loudest.  

Legalism is adding your rules to the Word of God. And when your rules are added to the Word of God, these traditions almost always become more important than the Word of God itself. God is ignored. Self-righteousness is nurtured. Unity in Christ is shot because the focus now becomes our new rules. Our gaze is upon those who follow them the best or preach them the loudest.    


Author: Randy Smith
24.
How would we feel if we pray on Wednesday nights for revival, but it comes to a church down the road? How would we feel if another church is baptizing more converts? How would we feel if the decrease in our ministry might be needed for great success elsewhere in the church? I can provide countless examples, but the point is clear. Are we in this for ourselves – Grace Bible Church, our family our own identity, own kingdom – or are we solely about the Lord’s glory and ultimately His kingdom? Pride is all about me and my circles. Humility is all about Christ and being content if He receives all the glory, even if that means my actions are unappreciated or overlooked.

How would we feel if we pray on Wednesday nights for revival, but it comes to a church down the road? How would we feel if another church is baptizing more converts? How would we feel if the decrease in our ministry might be needed for great success elsewhere in the church? I can provide countless examples, but the point is clear. Are we in this for ourselves – Grace Bible Church, our family our own identity, own kingdom – or are we solely about the Lord’s glory and ultimately His kingdom? Pride is all about me and my circles. Humility is all about Christ and being content if He receives all the glory, even if that means my actions are unappreciated or overlooked.      

Reference:   What God Desires in You, Luke 9:37-50, February 3, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Kingdom_of_God
25.
There are no specific churches or denominations in God’s kingdom. If you are saved, you are on God’s team. God’s children are your teammates. Support each other. Encourage each other. Rejoice when God is working, even if it’s not under the banner of your ministry or your church or your country. The prideful competitive spirit often sees the enemy not as demonic forces, but rather other believers because they can steal your fanfare. The humble God-honor spirit sees those who do not oppose as being with us and (as Jesus said) “for us” (Luke 9:50).

There are no specific churches or denominations in God’s kingdom. If you are saved, you are on God’s team. God’s children are your teammates. Support each other. Encourage each other. Rejoice when God is working, even if it’s not under the banner of your ministry or your church or your country. The prideful competitive spirit often sees the enemy not as demonic forces, but rather other believers because they can steal your fanfare. The humble God-honor spirit sees those who do not oppose as being with us and (as Jesus said) “for us” (Luke 9:50).    

Reference:   What God Desires in You, Luke 9:37-50, February 3, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Kingdom_of_God
26.
When God works in a Christian’s heart, our primary attitude toward unbelievers is not rejection, frustration or exultation over their destiny. It’s compassion. It’s being able to see them as an image bearer of God (regardless of how they look or what they may do) lost in this world and on the road to an eternal hell. And that is our motivation for evangelism. It’s because God has given us a heart for all humans and in that love we are compelled to get them the message of Jesus so they may be saved from hell. After all, that was God’s love toward you before you accepted Christ, right?

When God works in a Christian’s heart, our primary attitude toward unbelievers is not rejection, frustration or exultation over their destiny. It’s compassion. It’s being able to see them as an image bearer of God (regardless of how they look or what they may do) lost in this world and on the road to an eternal hell. And that is our motivation for evangelism. It’s because God has given us a heart for all humans and in that love we are compelled to get them the message of Jesus so they may be saved from hell. After all, that was God’s love toward you before you accepted Christ, right?  

Reference:   Sermon, Christ the Divider, Luke 10:1-16, February 17, 2019.


27.
Do you see why Christians can face death with peace? They are not so much “leaving behind” as much as “going to.”

Do you see why Christians can face death with peace? They are not so much “leaving behind” as much as “going to.”  

Reference:   Sermon, Reason For Hope, Hebrews 11:8-16, March 17, 2019.


28.
The anticipation of a joyous event in the future can oftentimes be as good as experiencing the actual event itself.

The anticipation of a joyous event in the future can oftentimes be as good as experiencing the actual event itself.  

Reference:   Sermon, Reason For Hope, Hebrews 11:8-16, March 17, 2019.


29.
What is a sin? It’s a violation against God’s character when we disobey a command of His. Who sins? We all do and we do it on a daily basis. What happens when we sin? We often have natural consequences, but primarily we store up God’s judgment against ourselves. What does that result in? The violation of God’s commands results in God’s eternal judgment. Is there any hope? Yes, Jesus Christ lived the perfect life, died for our sins on the cross, conquered sin through the Resurrection and offers forgiveness to those who receive Him by faith. To what degree am I forgiven when I come to Jesus? Complete forgiveness because Christ died for all your sins – past, present and future.

What is a sin? It’s a violation against God’s character when we disobey a command of His. Who sins? We all do and we do it on a daily basis. What happens when we sin? We often have natural consequences, but primarily we store up God’s judgment against ourselves. What does that result in? The violation of God’s commands results in God’s eternal judgment. Is there any hope? Yes, Jesus Christ lived the perfect life, died for our sins on the cross, conquered sin through the Resurrection and offers forgiveness to those who receive Him by faith. To what degree am I forgiven when I come to Jesus? Complete forgiveness because Christ died for all your sins – past, present and future.

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


30.
In a strange way, God’s good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17) abundantly lavished on our lives have not created a greater heart for the Giver, but rather have given us a greater love for lesser gifts.

In a strange way, God's good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17) abundantly lavished on our lives have not created a greater heart for the Giver, but rather have given us a greater love for lesser gifts.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


31.
Hallowing God’s name at its most basic level is not saying God’s name in vain – a violation of the third commandment (Ex. 20:7). God’s name followed by the curse word. But even the notorious and ever-popular “Oh My…” Now we even tritely use the letters “OMG” as if the name of the Holy One can be taken as a figure of speech, a point of exclamation or a throw-away comment in our forms of entertainment.

Hallowing God’s name at its most basic level is not saying God’s name in vain – a violation of the third commandment (Ex. 20:7). God’s name followed by the curse word. But even the notorious and ever-popular “Oh My…” Now we even tritely use the letters “OMG” as if the name of the Holy One can be taken as a figure of speech, a point of exclamation or a throw-away comment in our forms of entertainment.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: God-Name
32.
On one hand we have to say that the kingdom has already arrived. Didn’t both Jesus and John the Baptist say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17)? If the kingdom represents God’s reign, it has indeed arrived. God told us in Colossians 1:13 that He has already, “Rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son?” I would like to believe that Jesus is reigning on the throne of each heart of each person that has received Him as their Lord. As Christians it’s His will over our self-will. It’s His lordship over our self-governance. It’s ultimate submission to Him as King over our self-reliance. It’s an invisible reign that is manifested in our loyalty to King Jesus. It’s the tiny mustard seed, as Jesus said, that will grow to be a massive plant. The King as a spiritual kingdom. Yet as Jesus reigns in our hearts we desire to see Him reign over the entire world – a physical kingdom. We long for the day when sin is not in, but rather when righteousness prevails. We long for the day when, Philippians 2, “Every knee will bow…and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).

On one hand we have to say that the kingdom has already arrived. Didn’t both Jesus and John the Baptist say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17)? If the kingdom represents God’s reign, it has indeed arrived. God told us in Colossians 1:13 that He has already, “Rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son?” I would like to believe that Jesus is reigning on the throne of each heart of each person that has received Him as their Lord. As Christians it’s His will over our self-will. It’s His lordship over our self-governance. It’s ultimate submission to Him as King over our self-reliance. It’s an invisible reign that is manifested in our loyalty to King Jesus. It’s the tiny mustard seed, as Jesus said, that will grow to be a massive plant. The King as a spiritual kingdom. Yet as Jesus reigns in our hearts we desire to see Him reign over the entire world – a physical kingdom. We long for the day when sin is not in, but rather when righteousness prevails. We long for the day when, Philippians 2, “Every knee will bow…and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).    

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Kingdom_of_God
33.
The same Greek word can be translated “temptation” and “test.” They are a world apart and context determines which translation to use. Satan is the one who tempts us to sin. God is the one who tests us to righteousness. Satan wants to destroy us. He wants to weaken our faith. He wants us to spiritually fail. On the other hand, our Lord is forever testing us. His goal though tests, often in the form of trials, is to make us spiritually stronger, refine our character and increase our faith. Part of the test at times is overcoming the temptation. It is the Lord in His sovereignty who sends test. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt. 4:1). However, it is during these tests that Satan finds His greatest opportunity to tempt us. So when the heat in life is turned up, will we trust God and walk by faith in His commandments or will we listen to the “father of lies” and sin? The prayer here is that the Lord will help us pursue righteous actions as we emerge from the test spiritually victorious.

The same Greek word can be translated “temptation” and “test.” They are a world apart and context determines which translation to use. Satan is the one who tempts us to sin. God is the one who tests us to righteousness. Satan wants to destroy us. He wants to weaken our faith. He wants us to spiritually fail. On the other hand, our Lord is forever testing us. His goal though tests, often in the form of trials, is to make us spiritually stronger, refine our character and increase our faith. Part of the test at times is overcoming the temptation. It is the Lord in His sovereignty who sends test. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt. 4:1). However, it is during these tests that Satan finds His greatest opportunity to tempt us. So when the heat in life is turned up, will we trust God and walk by faith in His commandments or will we listen to the “father of lies” and sin? The prayer here is that the Lord will help us pursue righteous actions as we emerge from the test spiritually victorious.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


34.
Forgiving others is the evidence we truly understand and have received God’s forgiveness.

Forgiving others is the evidence we truly understand and have received God’s forgiveness.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


35.
Why are we called in “The Lord’s Prayer” to ask for what appears to be additional forgiveness? One, because sin destroys. Confession helps our soul heal from the guilt we incurred. Two, because every sin we commit, though it does not forfeit our salvation, breaks fellowship with our heavenly Father. Three, because our forgiveness came at a great cost – the death of God’s very Son. Therefore we ought to take sin seriously and carefully recognize the specific areas we are falling short. Four, because true believers are committed to repentance. Confession of sin is important because without acknowledging the error of sin, we will never take the necessary steps toward what God ultimately desires, which is repentance (turning from the sin altogether).

Why are we called in "The Lord's Prayer" to ask for what appears to be additional forgiveness? One, because sin destroys. Confession helps our soul heal from the guilt we incurred. Two, because every sin we commit, though it does not forfeit our salvation, breaks fellowship with our heavenly Father. Three, because our forgiveness came at a great cost - the death of God's very Son. Therefore we ought to take sin seriously and carefully recognize the specific areas we are falling short. Four, because true believers are committed to repentance. Confession of sin is important because without acknowledging the error of sin, we will never take the necessary steps toward what God ultimately desires, which is repentance (turning from the sin altogether).  

Reference:   Sermon, The Model Prayer-Part Three, Matthew 6:11-15, Sunday, July 27, 2008.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Sin-Confession
36.
Prayer is yearning to see not my will, but God’s will done. Prayer is about aligning myself with Him. Prayer is about knowing that God has ordained all things – not just the end, but also the means by which it comes about. And it’s about knowing that my prayers are part of those means.

Prayer is yearning to see not my will, but God’s will done. Prayer is about aligning myself with Him. Prayer is about knowing that God has ordained all things – not just the end, but also the means by which it comes about. And it’s about knowing that my prayers are part of those means.  

Reference:   Application of the “Lord’s Prayer,” Luke 11:5-13, April 7, 2019.


37.
When did Christ defeat Satan? Well, it was predicted immediately after the fall in the third chapter of the Bible, when it says Christ will “bruise [Him] on the head” (Gen. 3:15). 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (cf. Jn. 12:31). We see this victory ultimately happen through His Passion when our Savior defeated the devil and dealt Him a mortal wound. Hebrews 2:14, “That through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Colossians 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” And then He, 1 Peter 3:22, ascended to “the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” The war is over. The mission is completed. Satan is defeated. And while he still, 1 Peter 5:8, “Prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” his ultimate defeat is guaranteed. Romans 16:20, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

When did Christ defeat Satan? Well, it was predicted immediately after the fall in the third chapter of the Bible, when it says Christ will “bruise [Him] on the head” (Gen. 3:15). 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (cf. Jn. 12:31). We see this victory ultimately happen through His Passion when our Savior defeated the devil and dealt Him a mortal wound. Hebrews 2:14, “That through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Colossians 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” And then He, 1 Peter 3:22, ascended to “the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” The war is over. The mission is completed. Satan is defeated. And while he still, 1 Peter 5:8, “Prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” his ultimate defeat is guaranteed. Romans 16:20, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”      

Reference:   Sermon, What Really Makes you Rejoice? Luke 10:17-24, February 24, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Satan-Outcome
38.
It seems so many in the church today want to talk about their experience. True disciples should be talking more about their commitment.

It seems so many in the church today want to talk about their experience. True disciples should be talking more about their commitment.    

Reference:   Sermon, Single-Minded Devotion, Luke 9:51-62, February 10, 2019.


39.
It’s said people today will not settle for a no-nonsense approach to discipleship. Maybe the church has failed because don’t trust our Lord’s words and don’t talk this way enough. Maybe this is what people really want. It is not some superficial religion with emotional ecstasy or countless man-made rules or trite worship. Where is the fulfillment in more of the world with an outward veneer of religion? The world can provide that better than us. That does not meet the human soul in its desperate condition for true satisfaction that only comes from a confrontation with the living God.

It’s said people today will not settle for a no-nonsense approach to discipleship. Maybe the church has failed because don’t trust our Lord’s words and don’t talk this way enough. Maybe this is what people really want. It is not some superficial religion with emotional ecstasy or countless man-made rules or trite worship. Where is the fulfillment in more of the world with an outward veneer of religion? The world can provide that better than us. That does not meet the human soul in its desperate condition for true satisfaction that only comes from a confrontation with the living God.    

Reference:   Sermon, Single-Minded Devotion, Luke 9:51-62, February 10, 2019.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Discipleship
40.
Strong Christians refuse to make it about themselves and the engagement in petty battles. It’s not about personal vendettas, but winning the war for Jesus. Weak people get easily offended and use their energy to defend their wounded ego. Their will and their kingdom now becomes more important than God’s will and kingdom. And when Christians get there, they are in the flesh and being used by the devil. They are defeated.

Strong Christians refuse to make it about themselves and the engagement in petty battles. It’s not about personal vendettas, but winning the war for Jesus. Weak people get easily offended and use their energy to defend their wounded ego. Their will and their kingdom now becomes more important than God’s will and kingdom. And when Christians get there, they are in the flesh and being used by the devil. They are defeated.

Reference:   Sermon, Single-Minded Devotion, Luke 9:51-62, February 10, 2019.


41.
What are some traits that mark an Olympian? 1. They have a “whatever-it-takes” attitude. They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. 2. They have a plan to push forward when they encounter obstacles. They know facing adversity is part of being successful. 3. They have strict accountability. 4. They consider “very good” (or worse, “good enough”) to be “bad.” They are driven to perform at an elite level. 5. They set high goals for themselves. Motivation is keeping your eyes on the goal. 6. They are humble to know others can provide advice to make them better. 7. Levels of priorities are set and their life stays in-tune with those priorities. The same single-minded devotion expected from an Olympian is the same single-minded devotion our Savior expects from His followers. Yes, the fruit of sacrifice and self-denial will be different. Yes, the goals and rewards are different. And yes, the source of strength is different. However, the traits that mark an Olympian that I mentioned earlier could also apply to the traits that mark a disciple of Jesus Christ. If anything, we should be more motivated (see 1 Cor. 9:24-27a).

What are some traits that mark an Olympian? 1. They have a “whatever-it-takes” attitude. They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. 2. They have a plan to push forward when they encounter obstacles. They know facing adversity is part of being successful. 3. They have strict accountability. 4. They consider “very good” (or worse, “good enough”) to be “bad.” They are driven to perform at an elite level. 5. They set high goals for themselves. Motivation is keeping your eyes on the goal. 6. They are humble to know others can provide advice to make them better. 7. Levels of priorities are set and their life stays in-tune with those priorities. The same single-minded devotion expected from an Olympian is the same single-minded devotion our Savior expects from His followers. Yes, the fruit of sacrifice and self-denial will be different. Yes, the goals and rewards are different. And yes, the source of strength is different. However, the traits that mark an Olympian that I mentioned earlier could also apply to the traits that mark a disciple of Jesus Christ. If anything, we should be more motivated (see 1 Cor. 9:24-27a).      

Reference:   Sermon, Single-Minded Devotion, Luke 9:51-62, February 10, 2019.


42.
Salvation is not a decision; rather it’s a faith commitment to follow Jesus.

Salvation is not a decision; rather it’s a faith commitment to follow Jesus.    


43.
When we love money, we bring upon ourselves unnecessary sorrows that are inherited consequences of this sin. Grief, guilt, dissatisfaction, remorse, lack of fulfillment, worry, disregard and despair are some of the many wounds caused by the sword of money love.

When we love money, we bring upon ourselves unnecessary sorrows that are inherited consequences of this sin. Grief, guilt, dissatisfaction, remorse, lack of fulfillment, worry, disregard and despair are some of the many wounds caused by the sword of money love.  

Reference:   Purchasing Pain, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, October 14, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Money-Deception
44.
Contentment is simply acknowledging that God has given me enough. It is understanding that all of which I have is a gracious and sovereign gift from His hands. It is accepting what the Lord has entrusted to my care with an attitude of gratitude.

Contentment is simply acknowledging that God has given me enough. It is understanding that all of which I have is a gracious and sovereign gift from His hands. It is accepting what the Lord has entrusted to my care with an attitude of gratitude.  

Reference:   Purchasing Pain, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, October 14, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Contentment
45.
Money is a self-defeating pursuit. In my efforts to find contentment in money, I actually become more discontent if I love money. The more I believe money will satisfy my needs, the more I will depend on money, only to realize that I never have enough. As long as there is always a new item to purchase, I will never be satisfied or content with what I possess.

Money is a self-defeating pursuit. In my efforts to find contentment in money, I actually become more discontent if I love money. The more I believe money will satisfy my needs, the more I will depend on money, only to realize that I never have enough. As long as there is always a new item to purchase, I will never be satisfied or content with what I possess.  

Reference:   Purchasing Pain, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, October 14, 2018.


46.
If I look to money as my source of satisfaction, I am no longer looking to God. Money has replaced the living God as the primary affection of my heart. And the moment I depend more on my money is the moment my money has become my god. The First Commandment teaches us that the glorious God will not permit other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3). Money is clearly one of America’s greatest idols.

If I look to money as my source of satisfaction, I am no longer looking to God. Money has replaced the living God as the primary affection of my heart. And the moment I depend more on my money is the moment my money has become my god. The First Commandment teaches us that the glorious God will not permit other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3). Money is clearly one of America’s greatest idols.    

Reference:   Purchasing Pain, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, October 14, 2018.


47.
You see, doing good in dependence on God does just the opposite of paying Him back. All Christian labor for Him is a gift from Him. Good deeds when done as a pure act of His grace do not pay back grace, but borrow more grace from Him. Without God’s grace we would not and could not serve Him. Therefore, even our service does not put Him in debt to us, but rather puts us deeper in debt to His grace. And that is where God wants us to be throughout eternity.

You see, doing good in dependence on God does just the opposite of paying Him back. All Christian labor for Him is a gift from Him. Good deeds when done as a pure act of His grace do not pay back grace, but borrow more grace from Him. Without God’s grace we would not and could not serve Him. Therefore, even our service does not put Him in debt to us, but rather puts us deeper in debt to His grace. And that is where God wants us to be throughout eternity.

Reference:   Sermon, Does God Owe or Own You? Luke 7:1-10, October 21, 2018.


48.
For the Christian, it’s all about understanding God’s amazing grace and then responding with an eternal attitude of gratitude. It’s God’s grace that motivates us and it’s God’s grace that empowers us to obey Him – obedience not to earn His grace, but obedience that flows from His grace and demonstrates His grace to ourselves and others.

For the Christian, it’s all about understanding God’s amazing grace and then responding with an eternal attitude of gratitude. It’s God’s grace that motivates us and it’s God’s grace that empowers us to obey Him – obedience not to earn His grace, but obedience that flows from His grace and demonstrates His grace to ourselves and others.  

Reference:   Sermon, Does God Owe or Own You? Luke 7:1-10, October 21, 2018.


49.
What moves God is not our supposed goodness or trophies of righteousness, but rather our desperation and cry to Him for grace. If we could earn it, grace would no longer be grace. Grace by its very definition is giving us what we do not deserve. If we were entitled to God’s favor, it would be a wage that we are due. But since we have merited nothing from God and God being God owes us nothing, we see His favor both in salvation and the blessings that follow all as a token of His undeserved grace to the praise of His glory.

What moves God is not our supposed goodness or trophies of righteousness, but rather our desperation and cry to Him for grace. If we could earn it, grace would no longer be grace. Grace by its very definition is giving us what we do not deserve. If we were entitled to God’s favor, it would be a wage that we are due. But since we have merited nothing from God and God being God owes us nothing, we see His favor both in salvation and the blessings that follow all as a token of His undeserved grace to the praise of His glory.  

Reference:   Sermon, Does God Owe or Own You? Luke 7:1-10, October 21, 2018.


50.
The more I trust in my self-righteousness, seen by God as “filthy rags,” the more my sense of “deservedness” or entitlement will actually keep me from knowing Christ. Hell comes from pride leading to merit leading to divine entitlement. Heaven results from unworthiness leading to desperation leading to grace and mercy.

The more I trust in my self-righteousness, seen by God as “filthy rags,” the more my sense of "deservedness" or entitlement will actually keep me from knowing Christ. Hell comes from pride leading to merit leading to divine entitlement. Heaven results from unworthiness leading to desperation leading to grace and mercy.  

Reference:   Sermon, Does God Owe or Own You? Luke 7:1-10, October 21, 2018.


51.
The world is the system of every age, the philosophy that opposes the things of God. The world is forever brainwashing, seeking to squeeze people into their mold. If the Bible calls for something, most often the world will be against it. The world will persecute people that oppose its standard. Nobody opposes the world more than Jesus. In biblical times confessing Jesus would put you out of the synagogue. Now confessing Jesus will put you out of the good graces of politics, Hollywood, the press, academia and personal acquaintances.

The world is the system of every age, the philosophy that opposes the things of God. The world is forever brainwashing, seeking to squeeze people into their mold. If the Bible calls for something, most often the world will be against it. The world will persecute people that oppose its standard. Nobody opposes the world more than Jesus. In biblical times confessing Jesus would put you out of the synagogue. Now confessing Jesus will put you out of the good graces of politics, Hollywood, the press, academia and personal acquaintances.    


52.
Jesus had to be our Immanuel to be our Savior and once He becomes our Savior He becomes our Immanuel.

Jesus had to be our Immanuel to be our Savior and once He becomes our Savior He becomes our Immanuel.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Presence and Purpose Of God In Jesus, Matthew 1:21-23, December 23, 2019.


53.
John began his epistle by saying, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life” (1 Jn. 1:1). There was a time when God’s people cried out for a word from their Creator (400 years of silence), now they heard from the living Word Himself in face-to-face dialogue. There was a time when no one could see the face of God without dying (Ex. 33:20), but Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9). There was a time when touching the ark improperly resulted in death (2 Sa. 6:6-7), but now John reports that God was touched with his own hands.

John began his epistle by saying, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life” (1 Jn. 1:1). There was a time when God’s people cried out for a word from their Creator (400 years of silence), now they heard from the living Word Himself in face-to-face dialogue. There was a time when no one could see the face of God without dying (Ex. 33:20), but Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9). There was a time when touching the ark improperly resulted in death (2 Sa. 6:6-7), but now John reports that God was touched with his own hands.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Presence and Purpose of God in Jesus, Matthew 1:21-23, December 23, 2019.


54.
Though still set apart, retaining all His holiness and deity, God in His infinite wisdom became a man that first Christmas morning and chose to dwell intimately and personally amongst His creation. The God who created stars larger than our earth’s orbit and ten million times brighter than our sun, created the womb where He would grow and the manger where He would lay. The God who dwelt in perfect glory through eternity past would be wrapped in swaddling cloths to share space with barnyard animals. The God who deserved every right to born in a palace to royal people, humbled Himself and chose Bethlehem and a poor betrothed teenage couple named Mary and Joseph. Most humiliating was the fact that God, though without sin, took on human flesh with all its weaknesses and problems and chose to dwell among sinners.

Though still set apart, retaining all His holiness and deity, God in His infinite wisdom became a man that first Christmas morning and chose to dwell intimately and personally amongst His creation. The God who created stars larger than our earth’s orbit and ten million times brighter than our sun, created the womb where He would grow and the manger where He would lay. The God who dwelt in perfect glory through eternity past would be wrapped in swaddling cloths to share space with barnyard animals. The God who deserved every right to born in a palace to royal people, humbled Himself and chose Bethlehem and a poor betrothed teenage couple named Mary and Joseph. Most humiliating was the fact that God, though without sin, took on human flesh with all its weaknesses and problems and chose to dwell among sinners.  

Reference:   Sermon, The Presence and Purpose of God in Jesus, Matthew 1:21-23, December 23, 2019.


55.
If you want God’s empowering grace you must have a humble heart. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6). First this means that you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and second it means that you admit you have room to grow and need God’s strength, His help to succeed. Run to God for that grace to battle sin and not away from Him in your sin.

If you want God’s empowering grace you must have a humble heart. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6). First this means that you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and second it means that you admit you have room to grow and need God’s strength, His help to succeed. Run to God for that grace to battle sin and not away from Him in your sin.      

Reference:   Sermon, Are You Committing Adultery? James 4:4-6, September 9, 2018.


56.
God displays righteous jealousy (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2) that desires faithfulness from His spouse. If God cared not for His people, there would be no jealousy. But it is because He values an intimate relationship with His bride, the church, He is deeply grieved when we pursue other lovers. True love is rightfully jealous. God loves His people so much that He wants us totally for Himself in an exclusive relationship. He will not stand for spiritual adultery.

God displays righteous jealousy (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2) that desires faithfulness from His spouse. If God cared not for His people, there would be no jealousy. But it is because He values an intimate relationship with His bride, the church, He is deeply grieved when we pursue other lovers. True love is rightfully jealous. God loves His people so much that He wants us totally for Himself in an exclusive relationship. He will not stand for spiritual adultery.      

Reference:   Sermon, Are You Committing Adultery? James 4:4-6, September 9, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: God-Jealousy
57.
A toxic person wants to be your functional god. They want to make you more nervous about letting them down than you should be about letting God down. They will manipulate in a way that oftentimes you do not realize what’s happening. They wish to be lord over your life. You will find yourself centering your priorities, thoughts and actions around their agenda. Christ has come that we might ultimately serve Him. John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” As a Christian, you are now free from the slavery to sin and even the slavery to sinful people. Christ strengthens and builds up. Toxic people (antichrists) weaken and tear down through their controlling tendencies.

A toxic person wants to be your functional god. They want to make you more nervous about letting them down than you should be about letting God down. They will manipulate in a way that oftentimes you do not realize what’s happening. They wish to be lord over your life. You will find yourself centering your priorities, thoughts and actions around their agenda. Christ has come that we might ultimately serve Him. John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” As a Christian, you are now free from the slavery to sin and even the slavery to sinful people. Christ strengthens and builds up. Toxic people (antichrists) weaken and tear down through their controlling tendencies.    

Reference:   Important, but Rarely Considered, 2 Timothy 3:1-7, January 6, 2018.


58.
If we are not following our Lord’s commands, it’s impossible to say He is our Lord. And if He is not our Lord, it’s impossible to say He’s our Savior.

If we are not following our Lord’s commands, it’s impossible to say He is our Lord. And if He is not our Lord, it’s impossible to say He’s our Savior.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Radical Call to Discipleship, Luke 9:23-27, January 20, 2018.


59.
Coming to Christ means I die to self. It’s allowing Christ to reign as Lord in my heart and desiring to see Him live His will through me. It’s death to the relentless but never-satisfying quest for affirmation. It’s freedom from the vain need to promote self. It’s separation from fight to find personal worth and identity. Fighting less for my rights. Decreasing so He increases in me. It’s finding approval in Him and realizing the true fulfillment in living for His glory. Death to self so life might live within us. When the pride goes so does the selfish agendas and the traits like the bitterness, the jealousy, the unforgiving spirits, the critical attitudes. Christ reigns resulting in joy and peace. Eyes are opened to new horizons. Curse is reversed. Life is restored.

Coming to Christ means I die to self. It’s allowing Christ to reign as Lord in my heart and desiring to see Him live His will through me. It’s death to the relentless but never-satisfying quest for affirmation. It’s freedom from the vain need to promote self. It’s separation from fight to find personal worth and identity. Fighting less for my rights. Decreasing so He increases in me. It’s finding approval in Him and realizing the true fulfillment in living for His glory. Death to self so life might live within us. When the pride goes so does the selfish agendas and the traits like the bitterness, the jealousy, the unforgiving spirits, the critical attitudes. Christ reigns resulting in joy and peace. Eyes are opened to new horizons. Curse is reversed. Life is restored.    

Reference:   Sermon, The Radical Call to Discipleship, Luke 9:23-27, January 20, 2018.


60.
I tried to get my mind around the arguments from the so-called “pro-choice” position. Most of them could seem very defensible from the surface. Who am I to determine a woman’s “reproductive rights?” What’s wrong with removing meaningless tissue? Why not stop a pregnancy when you can spare a child the pain of entering this world disabled or subjected to a life of poverty? Why would any humane person willingly deny women access to “health care?” But when you dig just a little below the surface, you see how ridiculous these claims become. A baby with a face and heartbeat, sensitive to pain (early in the pregnancy) is not meaningless tissue. Taking a person’s life is not “health care.” It’s just the opposite. Personal reproductive rights are between a woman and God, but don’t ask me to fund it in any way with my tax dollars. For a moment leave out the Bible. Leave out what science says about DNA. Leave out a picture from an ultrasound. Can we please just get back to simple common sense?

I tried to get my mind around the arguments from the so-called “pro-choice” position. Most of them could seem very defensible from the surface. Who am I to determine a woman’s “reproductive rights?” What’s wrong with removing meaningless tissue? Why not stop a pregnancy when you can spare a child the pain of entering this world disabled or subjected to a life of poverty? Why would any humane person willingly deny women access to “health care?” But when you dig just a little below the surface, you see how ridiculous these claims become. A baby with a face and heartbeat, sensitive to pain (early in the pregnancy) is not meaningless tissue. Taking a person’s life is not “health care.” It’s just the opposite. Personal reproductive rights are between a woman and God, but don’t ask me to fund it in any way with my tax dollars. For a moment leave out the Bible. Leave out what science says about DNA. Leave out a picture from an ultrasound. Can we please just get back to simple common sense?

Reference:   Sermon, The Radical Call to Discipleship, Luke 9:23-27, January 20, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Abortion
61.
Toothaches and noisy neighbors and broken dishwashers are not “crosses.” The Bible would call these trials or “thorns.” Crosses are the pain and shame and persecution we face for being a loyal follower of Jesus Christ. Willingness to carry your cross stems from the self-denial and is the ultimate test of your loyalty to follow Him (see Luke 9:23).

Toothaches and noisy neighbors and broken dishwashers are not “crosses.” The Bible would call these trials or “thorns.” Crosses are the pain and shame and persecution we face for being a loyal follower of Jesus Christ. Willingness to carry your cross stems from the self-denial and is the ultimate test of your loyalty to follow Him (see Luke 9:23).    

Reference:   Sermon, The Radical Call to Discipleship, Luke 9:23-27, January 20, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Cross-Bearing
62.
We all are created to be worshipers. We will all worship something. Apart from the worship of God, the worship of all other objects is dangerous.

We all are created to be worshipers. We will all worship something. Apart from the worship of God, the worship of all other objects is dangerous.


63.
If we are living our lives productive physically and emotionally as God intended we should never feel guilty about taking a break. Sometimes a nap or day off or vacation is the best thing we can do. We need the solitude to recharge and reflect. We retreat not in defeat, but we retreat in order to come back stronger and refreshed. Even when the Gospel needed to be proclaimed, Jesus and His disciples took time away from the crowds (Mk. 6:31; Lk. 9:10).

If we are living our lives productive physically and emotionally as God intended we should never feel guilty about taking a break. Sometimes a nap or day off or vacation is the best thing we can do. We need the solitude to recharge and reflect. We retreat not in defeat, but we retreat in order to come back stronger and refreshed. Even when the Gospel needed to be proclaimed, Jesus and His disciples took time away from the crowds (Mk. 6:31; Lk. 9:10).  

Reference:   Sermon, Proclaim! Luke 9:1-11, December 9, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Recreation
Rest
64.
Desperation can endure any difficulty as long as it has hope. Desperation will look under every rock possible for hope. It will pore over the Internet and empty its pocketbook or wallet just for a glimmer of hope. It will consult every false teacher in this world and experiment with every opportunity just for a ray of hope. Enduring, all-sufficient hope is the promise Jesus offers us when we place our trust in Him.

Desperation can endure any difficulty as long as it has hope. Desperation will look under every rock possible for hope. It will pore over the Internet and empty its pocketbook or wallet just for a glimmer of hope. It will consult every false teacher in this world and experiment with every opportunity just for a ray of hope. Enduring, all-sufficient hope is the promise Jesus offers us when we place our trust in Him.    

Reference:   Sermon, Power to Subdue – Part 2, Luke 8:40-56, December 2, 2018.


Author: Randy Smith
Topics: Despair
Hope
65.
The bottom line is that we are all hardwired to reject the complete and freely given righteousness of God in a desire to establish our own righteousness (Rom. 10:3). Like Adam and Eve, we search frantically for fig leaves to cover our spiritual nakedness. We think we need to do stuff or rest on our past spiritual achievements to receive God’s love. Deceived by our pride and our feelings, we rob glory from Jesus Christ and seek to find a false sense of peace in our own adequacy.

The bottom line is that we are all hardwired to reject the complete and freely given righteousness of God in a desire to establish our own righteousness (Rom. 10:3). Like Adam and Eve, we search frantically for fig leaves to cover our spiritual nakedness. We think we need to do stuff or rest on our past spiritual achievements to receive God’s love. Deceived by our pride and our feelings, we rob glory from Jesus Christ and seek to find a false sense of peace in our own adequacy.  

Reference:   Grace Lesson, Battle Tested.


66.
According to the Bible, all humans are born in sin (Psm. 51:5) and enslaved to sin (Rom. 6:6). We have willfully rebelled against God and have fallen short of His righteous standard (Rom. 3:23). We are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1). Our best religious deeds are polluted in His sight (Isa. 64:6). In and of ourselves we are without any hope of heaven (Eph. 2:12). We deserve the wrath of God in hell (Rom. 2:5).

According to the Bible, all humans are born in sin (Psm. 51:5) and enslaved to sin (Rom. 6:6). We have willfully rebelled against God and have fallen short of His righteous standard (Rom. 3:23). We are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1). Our best religious deeds are polluted in His sight (Isa. 64:6). In and of ourselves we are without any hope of heaven (Eph. 2:12). We deserve the wrath of God in hell (Rom. 2:5).  

Reference:   Grace Lesson, Battle Tested.


67.
We are blessed when we are able to see our sinful depravity. The curse is on self-righteous people who believe they are already acceptable before God. Therefore they will never come to Him for grace. Yet when we see our sins and the unacceptability we have before a holy God it then drives us to Jesus Christ, not for merit, but for His mercy.

We are blessed when we are able to see our sinful depravity. The curse is on self-righteous people who believe they are already acceptable before God. Therefore they will never come to Him for grace. Yet when we see our sins and the unacceptability we have before a holy God it then drives us to Jesus Christ, not for merit, but for His mercy.    

Reference:   Sermon, What Just Happened? Luke 7:36-50, November 4, 2018.


68.
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.


69.
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.


70.
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
71.
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
72.
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
73.
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
74.
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
75.
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
76.
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.


77.
We fear so much today simply because we do not fear God.

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


78.
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
79.
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.


80.
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
81.
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.


82.
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.


83.
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.


84.
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
85.
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
86.
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
87.
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
88.
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.


89.
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.


90.
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.


91.
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.


92.
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.


93.
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
94.
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.


95.
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.


96.
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.


97.
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.


98.
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.


99.
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.


100.
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