On June 30, 2019 I preached at Soutside Baptist Church in Florida. Here is the transcript of my sermon below.
Psalms 46 is a song of celebration for Jerusalem as the special city of God; or as some call it a “hymn of Zion” or a “Zion Song”. This is another very familiar Psalm for many people especially those brought up in the Lutheran denomination. It was the inspiration behind Martin Luther’s timeless hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” which was written in 1529. It became known as the “Battle Hymn” of the Reformation as it was the song that helped gathered support for the cause of the Reformation.
Not only is this Psalm the inspiration behind the beloved hymn of Luther but is also one that has been held dear to many believers throughout history. I actually was surprised as to how many people told me this was one of their favorite Psalms of all time. I guess it should be no surprise it is held in such high regard after reading through these 11 inspiring verses as they show the reader how great, mighty and trustworthy our God is.
Psalm 46 resembles in content and structure Psalms 48; 76; 87; and 122 as they too are called “Zion Songs”. The song is broken down into three sections and are as follows
1.God is our security and might
2.God protects with His presence
3.Peace comes from God
This is a hymn written by the choirmaster for the chief musicians (Sons of Korah) of the Temple. “According to Alamoth” is probably a musical term and was intended to be for the female or soprano voice. We are not precisely sure what the occasion for writing this Psalm was but some believe it was written after Jerusalem was spared from imminent destruction from the Assyrians under the guidance of Sennacherib. You can read the account in 1 Chronicles 32 but the short story is God sending an angel to destroy all the warriors, commanders and officers of the Assyrian army thus saving Jerusalem.
Verse 1a – “God is our refuge and strength” = YHWH was Israel’s source of power, and security. Over the centuries they had witnessed God’s hand and favor for them in battle and they had absolute faith in God. They were secure in the fact that He would keep Israel safe and would be their source of victory in battle.
Verse 1b – “Present help in trouble” – When times got tumultuous, tense and dangerous God was present and made his presence known. He was a help that could be found when He was sought after.
Summary of Verse 1
God is not only a refuge and strength for Israel but is also our source of security and power. In this world we need to a place of safety and a source of strength to live the life of a believer and God is that source. As believers we must have an absolute trust and faith in God to be our strength, our provider, our deliverer etc. Do you trust God? Is He your source of strength? Is He your place of solace?
Verse 2 – 3: Since God is the refuge and strength and his presence was with the Israelites in the hard times they had no need to be afraid. Their confidence was in God and God alone. Their confidence was in Him when they were faced with attacks from their enemies, they were confident when natural disasters hit them, they were even confident when they were faced with what seemed to be impending death.
Summary of Verses 2 – 3
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his inaugural speech, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Yet as Christians we can respond by saying we have no one and no thing to fear period. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out all fear.” Jesus Christ is our perfect love and in him there is no fear. Through his death, resurrection and ascension he has set us free from fear. We are no longer to have a paralyzing fear of anything that man; beast, nature or spiritual being can do to us.
Verses 4 – 7: God Protects With His Presence
Israel’s confidence and lack of fear came in the fact that the Temple “the holy habitation” was in Jerusalem. The Temple was a symbol of God’s presence among the people. Because Jerusalem was God’s special city He was expected to protect her. As the Israelites looked to the Temple, they felt secure because they were reminded that God was there among them, dwelling in their midst. There was a wall around the city that was built for protection but the people of Jerusalem didn’t put their complete trust and faith in the wall, they instead put their absolute faith and trust in God.
However the Temple was not always the symbol of God’s presence because as time passes on people began to place a false sense of security in the Temple. They began to view the Temple as their source of power and favor and placed it above the presence of God. They worshiped the created thing and not the Creator. The Bible is pretty clear telling us God will not take the back seat to anything or anyone including the Temple. The irony here is the people began to worship the Temple and not the God of the Temple. This edifice became the God and soon it went from being a Holy dwelling of God to a place of abhorrent evil and idolatry. Read Ezekiel 8 and 10 to see how God viewed the Temple at that time… The evil practices and idolatry that was going on in the Temple resulted in God’s presence “leaving the building” and eventually the Israelites are led into captivity.
Verses 4 – 7 refers to Jerusalem but also reference the New Jerusalem of Revelation. We know this because there is no river that flows through Jerusalem today, but Revelation 22:1 speaks of a river that runs from the throne of God that is the abundant life giving water that flows through the streets. Plus Jerusalem did fall to the Babylonians and the New Jerusalem will never fall and the presence of God will never leave.
Summary of verses 4 – 7
We do well to understand that God is still a protector of His people. However His favored nation is not one specific location. His favor lies in His people... believers. As Western Christians we sometimes place our future and current security in having a mighty army, a strong nation, and at times a decent and fairly stable economy. Thus we can begin to have a false sense of security in these things. We must realize that our protection and security comes from God and God alone. He is here among us we do not have a physical Temple that is made with hands where God dwells on this earth. Jesus tells us that the physical dwelling place for God has passed; we are now His temple. Corinthians tells us our bodies are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He is present in us we are protected from any powers, principalities and eternal death. We can take great strength and comfort in this.
Let me also note (as a side note) since God is present in His children let us not fall under the false precepts of the church edifice as the Holy place of God. Sure the church building can serve as a reminder that God is with us but it is not THE place where you go to be in God’s presence. It is the place you come to be with other people who have Christ in them. Certainly his presence is here because we are here. This building is just a shell. It is a shelter from the terrain. It’s a place of memories and history but it is not the dwelling place of God.
I need to make myself very clear right here and right now. Attending this place Sunday after Sunday (or even on occasion) does not save you. I don’t care if you have come here or another church your whole life or just started… church attendance is not your salvation. It is not the place where God is and you go to meet him. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to be assured an abundant life here and in eternity. You will get no brownie points from God for being present at church. Then why attend? I will leave that for another sermon but let me tell you this, it is good when God’s people do assemble together to worship in one place in one mind and in one body.
Verses 8 – 11: Peace comes from God
God is a God of peace. The song invites the people to see that God is the God of peace. He brings peace by destroying the tools of destruction… “”he breaks the bow and shatters the spear…” The Jews sought peace in all areas of their lives. They knew with all the death, destruction and war around them that peace was only able to come if God was the initiator of it.
The Psalmist then writes… “Be still and know that I am God.” I know many of us take this to mean, “calm down, relax and trust God”; which it does in the English rendition. However the original language suggests this is synonymous to “Cease and desist!” or “STOP what you are doing”, it is the referee whistle to put to end the turmoil around and pay attention. Only when they do this is when they can realize that God is God and He will be exalted or lifted up among the nations and in all the earth. True peace cannot happen until we stop, listen and acknowledge God as God.
Summary of verses 8 - 11
We are really no different than the ancient Israelites, we still want peace and we want to see wars ended. This cannot happen without God being the initiator. On a personal level we basically want peace in our own lives. None of us desire to be in constant turmoil and conflict. We often get caught up in trying to right wrongs, seeking justice or accusing someone of hurting us and we try to mend things in our own power. We can learn a great deal from looking at the context of Psalm 46:10 and stop trying to do things in our own strength. This verse doesn’t necessarily mean to be quiet or calm as much as it means “stop meddling and relax. Allow God to do his work.”
When we are faced with, turmoil, anxiety, despair, worry and etc let us take comfort in these words… “Be still and know I am God.” Jesus tells us in the gospels that worry and anxiety do nothing to help us so “relax (this is really what the words “be still” literally mean), stop doing what you are doing and trust me to take care of this.”
As we close today may this also be a Psalm of celebration for us as believers. May we celebrate and rejoice in the fact that God is our source of power and security; God is our protector from evil; and He is our peace. Let us take great comfort and security in this Psalm and know that God is God and He is worthy of all our praise. So let us trust Him as our God to be all of these things to us.
On June 9, 2019 I preached at Soutside Baptist Church in Florida. Here is the transcript of my sermon below.
Introduction to the Psalms
The book of Psalms is broken down into 5 books and consists of 150 Psalms written by dozens of authors written over a 1,000-year span. Contrary to popular belief David did not write all the Psalms, but He did write the majority. Many note the author at the beginning of each Psalm. The Psalms are songs, prayers or poems offered to God that express a wide range in not the full range of human emotions. For example, there are Psalms that express joy, faith, happiness, anger, frustration, thankfulness, despair, loneliness, fear, grief and the list goes on and on. They represent a list of emotions that vary from the positive to the negative and they are unified by one element; the one and only God.
John Calvin articulated well when he wrote, “I may truly call this book an anatomy of all the parts of the soul, for no one can feel a moment of the spirit which is not reflected in the mirror. All sorrows, troubles, fears, doubts, hopes, pain, perplexities and stormy outbreaks by which the hearts of men are tossed have been depicted here to the very life.” C.S. Lewis writes, “Most emphatically the Psalms must be read as poems; as lyrics, with all incense and all formalities, the hyperboles, the emotional rather than the logical connections, which are proper to lyric poetry.” What both men are saying is the Psalms are meant to speak to the heart more than the brain. We are not merely meant to read them as intellectual observations as much as we are to see the raw emotion as they speak to our heart and souls. Many Psalms leave little doubt as to how the writer is feeling at that moment.
There are five types of Psalms represented in the Bible.
These Psalms do reflect or stir a certain emotion and can be easily applicable in our lives today. However, we do need to be careful in reading, interpreting and applying certain Psalms to our everyday life (allowing our emotions to get the best of us). We need to pay attention regarding imprecatory Psalms which call down curses on the wicked because many of them were written specifically for the Jews and were appropriate only for the Jews but were not intended for believers of this Church age.
With this background, we now turn our attention to Psalm 8.
Introduction to Psalm 8
Is there something that has literally taken your breath away? Has something ever left you completely speechless when you encounter it? Have these things ever caused you to sit back and truly ponder the awe-inspiring things of this life? There are several things that come to mind for me… Sitting at the falls of Niagara I am reminded of the majesty of creation. Standing atop the multicolored formations of the Badlands in South Dakota I am awestruck at the beauty of God’s creation. Traveling along “The Rim of the World highway” in California and looking down the mountains into the valley literally takes my breath away.
I remember one evening shortly after I moved to the country in Wisconsin I went outside of our townhouse and looked up at the night sky. My jaw dropped as I gazed up into the sky and saw what seemed like an infinite array of stars that spanned the heavens for as far as the naked eye could see. I stared at the sky and I was reminded of how small I am in comparison to the massive universe that we live in.
I imagine that what I experienced this evening was like the thoughts and insights of a shepherd boy named David, the Psalmist for today’s passage, as he sat in the fields at night and pondered God, the universe (the heavens) and the meaning of life. I am convinced his words mirror the thoughts of millions of people as they search and ponder the purpose of life and seek answers to life’s most puzzling questions.
I can imagine this young shepherd David had many nights to watch over his flock to stargaze and ponder the questions of life. I would imagine that even as the King of Israel David was even more amazed at the mighty hand of God and his infinite glory as He kept watch over him and the nation of Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if David asked God, “Why me? Why did you choose me of all people to be the leader of your nation? Who am I that you would choose me?” There were probably times when he asked God, “Why do you even bother with humanity? We keep letting you down and yet, you remain faithful.” His list of questions, I am sure, was lengthy at best.
Today we are going to look at one of those questions David had as we look at Psalm 8. It is uncertain when this Psalm was written, some speculate it was after David slew the giant Goliath, others say it was penned as he was in the fields watching his flock at night. Truth be told we have no clue as to when it was written, all do know is this is a hymn or Psalm of praise and adoration to God. It was intended to be a song that would help humanity celebrate the privileged place God has given to us in the created order. It is a Psalm that expresses wonder and awe at the majestic and magnificent nature of God.
The Psalm opens with “O LORD, our Lord” and this is a proclamation of the majesty of God's name and his authority over his life and over the nation of Israel.
LORD – YHWH (Yehovah) All capital letters is the proper name for God. In God’s name, his nature is revealed. In Exodus 3:13 -14, Moses meets the LORD on Mt. Sinai and says, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ What should I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God’s name is who He is; the Existing One; the One without beginning or end; the One who was not created, but has always been; the One who is I AM.
Lord – (awdone) – Capital “L” and lower-case letters is a reference to God’s position. Sovereign Master, general recognition of superior, king.
So, another way to read this first verse is “O Eternal One (YHWH) our sovereign master (Lord)…”
“how majestic” – (adeer) – Famous, great, excellent, glorious. The response of the psalmist to God is adoration and awe. To one who does not believe or know God His name instills fear and trepidation. His name is a power that is visible and is on display for everyone to see.
“is your name” – reputation, glory, fame. The name of God is an extension of himself.
David acknowledges that God’s fame and reputation are visible for all to see throughout creation. Even in Romans 1:20 the Apostle Paul acknowledges the visible glory of God for all to see. The glory and splendor of the invisible God can be seen throughout creation. God has revealed himself to us through creation, this is called general revelation. When we look around, we don’t see creation as God, but we see God and his attributes in creation.
“You have set your glory…” – Splendor (magnificence), majesty, vigor (strength)
The planets, the stars, the seemingly limitless universe give only a partial view of how very great God really is. Yet sophisticated men shrug off the evidence as if it didn’t exist. God is exalted above them all and to know his glory is to know him as he really is at the core of his being.
As the psalmist looks up into the sky he is in awe of the beauty of God’s creation. He looks at the night sky and is in wonder of the creative work of God’s hand. They all belong to God and are a result of God’s handiwork. He gives God credit for all that is around him. The beauty that surrounds us is authored by God and to give anything other than Him credit is plagiarism.
David realizes the “smallness” of man in comparison to the expanse of the universe. He is in awe to know that in our “smallness” God still remembers us. He is not a distant God who is far off. God doesn’t just acknowledge us, but we are on his mind and He thinks about us.
No branch of science proclaims God’s greatness and man’s insignificance more eloquently than astronomy. The simple fact that distances must be reckoned in light-years (the distance that light travels in a year) illustrates the point. Light travels 186,000 miles per second, and there are 31.5 million seconds in a year, so light travels roughly six trillion miles in a single year! Yet some stars are billions of light-years from the earth. No wonder we call such computation astronomical.
One would almost imagine that God is too busy running the universe that he would have the time to take part in any of our lives. Sometimes we have the tendency to think of Him as a busy and distant father who is so involved in his work of running the “big things” that he has little time for His family (children). David knows better though; God is not too busy for us. We are always on his mind.
“son of man” – emphasizes the frail mortality of the human. David’s question is, “Why does an infinite God even care about mortal man?” The answer is found in Jesus… Jesus referred to himself as the son of man. In fact, this term is Jesus' favorite self-designation, and it indicates the true meaning of his identity and ministry:
“care for him” – This means pay attention, to visit, to look after. God cares so much for humanity that he became human, the lowest of humans and gave his life as a ransom so we could forever be in fellowship with our loving Creator.
“You have made him…” Talking about humanity. We are created by God. We are not an afterthought or an accident of nature, but we are a beautifully crafted creation of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
“a little lower” … in the created order we are created a little lower than the divine beings. This is a position of distinction and honor. God has placed humanity in the highest position of honor over all earthly creatures. We are a little lower than heavenly beings, but God has put us in a place of honor. If we are not in awe of the fact that God cares for humanity, then certainly it is awe-inspiring to know that we are exalted to a place of honor.
“crowned with glory and honor” … God has placed on our heads the right to be his Kingly representatives. We have the honor of bearing the image of God since we are made in his likeness. We represent God… Let that sink in a bit. I would imagine this would help you determine how you live your life here on earth.
“You have given him dominion…” God has appointed humanity to have authority and rule over His creation. This does not mean abusive, careless and dictatorial authority but as one who is lovingly and carefully tending for someone else’s belongings. (Genesis 1:26-28)
If it wasn’t enough to be thought of and cared for by God, and placed in a position of honor, we are also given charge to care for His creation. He has entrusted us with all He has created.
I am truly amazed by God and this Psalm reflects my heart. In the scope of the eternity, the universe and even this small sphere we live on called earth we may seem so small and insignificant. Regardless of how we may feel God doesn’t see us as this way. He sees us as His beautiful children, whom He has loved so much that He sent His son Jesus to the earth to redeem us from the shackles of sin, and as a result, He has entrusted everything to us. He has done this not because we are worthy, but because He is good.
On the many evenings when going outside and looked up at the sky and saw a full moon with millions of stars spread across the sky and my only thought was, or sit at an evening sunset at the beach this Psalm comes to mind... “When I consider your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” I am constantly in awe when I consider God and his handiwork. I am blown away when I think about how the God of this universe and all of creation has you and me on his mind and He has invested everything in us because we are His children. When I think of these things, I can’t help but respond in praise and worship as David does at the beginning and the end of this Psalm… “O LORD our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
My challenge to you today is to take some time this week and go out in the evening and look up to the heavens and consider how great our God is! Thank Him, praise Him and give Him the worship He deserves because He has entrusted you with his wonderful creation and He has crowned you with glory and honor because you belong to Him.
 MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (Ps 8:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (Ps 8:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
On June 2, 2019 I preached at Palmetto Presbyterian Church in Florida. Here is the transcript of my sermon below.
It’s Better Than Winning the Lottery!
Acts 3:11 – 26
Have you ever wished you could win the lottery? Maybe you believe that if you could only win the lottery all your troubles would be gone. I’m sure some of you have thought this and maybe you even believe it. But is winning the lottery all it’s cracked up to be? Is money really capable of making you happy? Hear the stories of three individuals from an article on THEPENNYHOARDER.COM titled “From Rags to Riches to Rags Again: 21 Lottery Winners Who Lost Everything” and see for yourself…
David Lee Edwards split a $280 million Powerball jackpot with three others, a win that came while he was unemployed and living in his parents’ basement. After taxes, he received a lump sum of $27 million. He bought a $600,000 house, a $1 million fleet of cars, a $78,000 watch, a $1.9 million jet, 200 swords and other medieval weapons, and a $4.5 million fiber-optics installation company. He also married a woman 19 years younger than he was.
Within a year, he had spent $12 million. The house was soon lost to foreclosure, his wife was arrested for stabbing a boyfriend, and David died at age 58 in 2013.
Sharon Tirabassi, of Hamilton, Ontario, won $10.5 million in 2004. She treated friends to vacations in Cancun, Las Vegas, California, Florida and the Caribbean. She got married and bought a house for $515,000 — and got a $360,000 mortgage loan rather than paying all cash. She bought numerous cars, including one that cost more than $200,000, and gave millions of dollars to family and friends.
By 2007, half of her money was gone. By 2008, with her husband in jail for a DUI, Tiribassi lost their home. Now, to pay the rent and support her kids, she takes the bus to her part-time job.
Lara and Robert Griffith won £1.8 million ($2.1 million today) in the Lotto in 2005. They bought a home for £670,000 ($790,000), along with a Lexus 4×4 and a Porsche convertible. Robert paid for his band to have a record made, and Lara splurged on designer handbags. They set up a beauty salon business.
Then, six years later, Roger disappeared with the Porsche and Lara discovered suspicious emails on his computer. He denied having an affair, but the marriage ended, the money was gone and now Lara is an employee at the salon they used to own.
Money, it can be a blessing and it can be a curse. I am sure the crippled man in our passage today would have been one who would agree that money does not bring true happiness.
Read Acts 3:1 – 10
In Acts 3:1 – 10 we meet a crippled beggar (we do not know the name of this individual) who was handicapped from birth. We read that he would daily sit at the temple gate called “Beautiful” and beg for money. Pastor and author R. Kent Hughes wrote in his commentary on Acts, “His begging post was one of the best spots in the entire city because (of its location). It was the perfect place to solicit funds.” He continues, “Judaism considered almsgiving a meritorious art. So, the man’s position at Israel’s religious center would profit him well.”
Everything started off as a regular day for the crippled beggar until three o’clock in the afternoon where his life would be forever changed. As the Apostle’s Peter and John approached this man, Peter tells the beggar to look up at him. As the beggar looked at the Apostle in anticipation to receive a gift, Peter says, “I have no silver or gold”. Upon hearing this I am sure these were words that the beggar did not want to hear, but when the Apostle says, “…but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” He is forever changed at that very instance.
At this point the author and physician, Luke, describes in detail the miraculous event that takes place as the man is completely restored to health. Luke writes that he “jumped to his feet and he began to walk.” At this very moment he did something he has never done in his life. He began to stand and walk on his own. He then ran and jumped and praised God for this miracle. He was elated! When the onlookers saw what was happening, they were all amazed.
The crippled man got more than he bargained for on this day. What started out as a regular day where the man was hoping for some spare change, ends up being healed of a lifelong handicap.
What is Happiness?
This healing account recalls the topic of happiness. What constitutes happiness? Where does one find true happiness? Is it found in money, power, sex, love or circumstances? No! True happiness is found in Jesus Christ. If you were able to go back two thousand years and interview the crippled beggar, do you think he would say, “Well on the day I met Peter and John all I wanted was some money, but instead I was healed of my lifelong handicap. I wish those guys would have just given me money.” I would have been much happier! I he would say that. At this point in this man’s life, I believe he could have cared less about money, what he found this day was far greater than a few coins of silver and gold.
Is this true for you? Is your happiness rooted in things like money, power or status? Or is there a void in all of us that can only truly be satisfied by Jesus Christ alone? Nothing can bring true peace and joy than a life devoted to Jesus Christ. So today I want to make sure that everyone who hears this message understands to have true happiness in Jesus Christ and what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
Read Acts 3:11 - 26
In Peter’s second sermon since Pentecost he responds to the people’s amazement by taking the focus off himself and directs it to Jesus Christ. He stresses the importance of knowing that Jesus was the one responsible for the miracle. Peter clearly presents the Gospel message by proclaiming this Jesus is also the same man who died on the cross for the sins of the world and He was raised again by the power of God. Peter spoke about repentance and about Jesus who was both the Son of God and fully man, He is the Messiah spoken of in prophecy.
Peter tells the onlookers about the Gospel of Jesus, it is important for us to understand that this truth still applies to us today. Jesus Christ is both man and God and He gave His life for you, so you would not have to face the penalties of death. He died and He rose from the dead to show that He had indeed conquered death for our benefit. We need to repent of our sins and believe in faith that Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior and God. Without Jesus we don’t have Christianity and to be a Christian you need to have a personal relationship with Him.
Peter also addresses the issue of sin. We are all sinners, according to Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This is something that we cannot change. Sin is a disease we are all born with. However, in verse 24 of this same chapter it says, “…and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We are sinners by birth, but we are declared righteous by Jesus to those who believe and put their trust in Him. Sin and repentance are big issues. We must all deal with our sin issues; this is all a part of being a Christian. James Montgomery Boice writes, “We need to realize that we are all to blame for the death of Christ in one way or another. Even though we were not there at the time Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, it was our sin that took him there.”
But we are not forever condemned as Peter talks of repentance. We may be guilty of sin, but we also know that God will always forgive us if we repent and flee to Jesus who is our refuge from sin. Repentance is more than feeling sorry for what you did. Sorrow is not repentance. Repentance is feeling sorry enough to quit doing what you are doing wrong and turning your back on it and turning to Jesus. Peter makes it clear that we all need to “repent and turn to God.” Repenting and turning to God go hand in hand, you can’t do one without the other.
Lastly, Peter’s sermon speaks about forgiveness. Because of our past sins most of us live our lives carrying a heavy load of guilt. We may get stuck in the past and start thinking that what we did could never be forgiven by anyone, especially a Holy God. The truth is just the opposite. People may never forgive but God will always forgive if we truly repent. Only God is capable of forgiving sin and He will forgive willingly if we confess, repent and seek forgiveness. We may live our lives in guilt, but God wants us to be free from the guilt of past sins. Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” God has forgiven you of your sins.
Peter’s sermon is the Gospel message. Trusting Jesus Christ, confessing, repenting and seeking forgiveness in Jesus Christ is the only way to finding true happiness. So often we go looking for ways to make ourselves happy. So often we tell God what would make us happy (a little more money, a new car, understanding parents, a new job, a bigger house etc.) but God knows that these will not bring true happiness. We may think that silver and gold will make us happy, but when we see that God has far greater plans and purpose for us, and it is exceedingly more valuable than anything we could ever imagine.
Today, if you have never sought a personal relationship with Jesus Christ would you consider it today? Do you feel a little tugging at your heart that is telling you that it’s time to stop clinging to the sin in your life and turn it all over to Jesus Christ? If you say yes, then know this is the Holy Spirit calling you to Jesus this very moment. Jesus wants you to repent and He is eager to forgive our sins. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how long you have been a member of a church, or how many church or denominational committees or fellowship groups you belong to. Jesus wants you to enter into a relationship with Him and to forever submit your life to Him.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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