A Place Of Grace
1-5-2020
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        Congregational Meeting

        January 27, 2017 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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        Chili Cook-off

        January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
  • Song gem dust
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        Chili Cook-off

        January 26, 2020 - 12:00 PM - 12:00 PM
  • Song gem dust
  • Song gem dust
  • Song gem dust
  • Acts 1:1-8 opens up the book of Acts and lays out for us not only the progression of Acts, but also God’s plan. In these opening verses we are introduced to all three persons of the Godhead… Father Son and Holy Spirit:
    Acts 1:1–8 NASB95
    The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
    The ongoing theme through our study in Luke and Acts has been, “I Will Build My Church”.
    As we went through Luke the primary focus was on Jesus
    This work of building up the church is a work NOT just of Jesus Christ but involves the work of all three persons of the Godhead.
    In Acts we see each of them and their unique yet unified roles and work in the building of the Church...
    God the Father is referenced over 400 times
    God the Son is referenced almost 300 times
    God the Holy Spirit is referenced over 70 times…
    In that we also have to realize that this boo is called Acts or the Acts of the Apostles… in which the Holy Spirit dwelt as well.
    Let me draw your attention to our churches doctrinal statement on this topic...

    The Godhead

    We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and each having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; II Corinthians 13:14).
    Deuteronomy 6:4 NASB95
    “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
    2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB95
    The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
    Today I want to briefly introduce you to the person of God The Father...

    God Is...

    Invisible to man… But His works are very visible, His character is clearly seen… Exodus 33:20
    Exodus 33:20 NASB95
    But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!”
    He is relational… creator of man for relationship… Genesis 3:8
    Genesis 3:8 NASB95
    They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
    He is still seeking to walk among us be with us… Leviticus 26:12; Psalm 139:1;7
    Leviticus 26:12 NASB95
    ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
    Psalm 139:1 NASB95
    O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
    Psalm 139:7 NASB95
    Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    He is to be feared Proverbs 1:7; Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 Peter 2:17
    Proverbs 1:7 NASB95
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 NASB95
    The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
    1 Peter 2:17 NASB95
    Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

    God Is...

    WHY have a reverent fear of Him???… Because He is HOLY, All POWERFUL, All KNOWING; He is EVERYWHERE PRESENT
    A wonderful definition is found in Acts 17:23-28 our God is… One who desires TO BE KNOWN!!!
    Acts 17:23–28 NASB95
    “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

    God Is Working!

    He has had a plan from the beginning… Acts 2:17
    Acts 2:17 NASB95
    And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;
    It was God’s Word going out to the world… Acts 4:31; Acts 6:7
    Acts 4:31 NASB95
    And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
    Acts 6:7 NASB95
    The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
    It is absolutely AMAZING to watch God work… We may not see Him, but we see His work clearly Romans 1:20
    Romans 1:20 NASB95
    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    Even those who oppose Him understand that His work cannot be stopped! Gamaliel’s advice Acts 5:38-39
    Acts 5:38–39 NASB95
    “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
    We see God doing the work of dealing with SIN… Acts 10:15;28; 11:17-18
    Acts 10:15 NASB95
    Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”
    Acts 10:28 NASB95
    And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
    Acts 11:17–18 NASB95
    “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
    We have seen just a glimpse of who God is, at best scratched the surface on what He was doing in Acts, BUT so what… what does that mean for the church in 2020?

    God Is Unchanging!!!

    Malachi 3:6 states this characteristic concerning God...
    Malachi 3:6 NASB95
    “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
    All that God Is… remains true today, His Power, His plan, His Word!
    Culture changes
    Politics change
    Peoples ideas of right and wrong change
    BUT… who God is, what He is doing NEVER changes
    Now how He works may look differetnt
    God is STILL WORKING today, and He still uses His people!
    He is relational… and is still seeking relationships with lost sinners
    He is still doing the work of cleansing sinners!
    The power of God’s Word is still changing lives… Romans 1:16-17 I will close with this verse!!!
    Romans 1:16–17 NASB95
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
      • Acts 1:1–8NLT

      • Deuteronomy 6:4NLT

      • 2 Corinthians 13:14NLT

      • Exodus 33:20NLT

      • Genesis 3:8NLT

      • Leviticus 26:12NLT

      • Psalm 139:1NLT

      • Psalm 139:7NLT

      • Proverbs 1:7NLT

      • Ecclesiastes 12:13NLT

      • 1 Peter 2:17NLT

      • Acts 17:23–28NLT

      • Acts 2:17NLT

      • Acts 4:31NLT

      • Acts 6:7NLT

      • Romans 1:20NLT

      • Acts 5:38–39NLT

      • Acts 10:15NLT

      • Acts 10:28NLT

      • Acts 11:17–18NLT

      • Malachi 3:6NLT

      • Romans 1:16–17NLT

  • Song gem dust
  • Song gem dust
  • We are in the Gospel of Luke… today we are going to tackle most of one of the largest chapters in the Bible (80 verses!) We are going to be looking at the events of a man by the name of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth:
    He is a priest
    They are said to be considered righteous in the sight of God
    I am so glad God is watching!
    An angel will visit him
    God will work a miracle
    In the end this priest will prophesy and praise God…
    BUT FIRST! Let’s rewind and go back 400 years...

    Malachi

    Holman- “Malchi rebuked God’s people for specific violations of the covenant, such as laws concerning sacrifices, divorce, and tithes, but he also prophesied the coming of the Messenger who will set things right.
    At first glance it would appeared God had been silent or forgotten for 400 years after sending Malachi to the people and declaring His promise...
    Feelings of forgotten as a nation
    Zacharias forgotten as a priest (will God speak again?)
    Elizabeth forgotten as she is barren no children
    When in reality, God had not forgotten, but was DOING what he promised!
    & declare what God will do in the coming future...
    Malachi 3:1 NASB95
    1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.
    Malachi 4:4–6 NASB95
    4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. 5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
    The world stage had to be set… made ready for His Messenger who would come:
    Daniel had prophesied the things that would occur before the Messiah would come
    Alexander the Great would come in… create one language Greek
    His empire would be divided four way among his generals
    Eventually Rome would take over the world… roads being developed for transportation!
    God had not forgotten… On the contrary, He was remembering His promise, fulfilling His Word! In fact His promises… THE PROMISE goes all the way back to the beginning!

    God’s Promise

    The Seed of the woman would deliver a death blow to Satan
    Genesis 3:15 NASB95
    15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    We see the three sons of Noah and there is a blessing passed to Shem
    Genesis 9:25–27 NASB95
    25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
    Through Abraham’s seed all men would be blessed this is made clearer in Genesis 15
    Genesis 12:3 NASB95
    3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
    Abraham had many sons… Yet Issac is the one God’s blessing was with.
    Isaac had two sons yet the blessing (Promise) was with Jacob… The God of Abraham, Issac & Jacob.
    Jacob had 12 sons… Jacobs name is changed by God to Israel (one who wrestles with God)
    God’s blessing of promise is passed from Jacob to Judah in Indicating the One to come would be royal, a ruler King.
    Genesis 49:10 NASB95
    10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
    From the line of Judah comes a man who was anointed king by the name of David… in and God Promises this...
    2 Samuel 7:16 NASB95
    16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”
    The Hebrew word: mashiyach, meaning “the anointed” gradually became a title for the Promised Savior-King Messiah!
    God did NOT forget… He had been working all along in even the smallest of details!
    NOW… back to Luke.

    We Can Take God at His Word!

    Setting:
    Priest had their turns to serve in the temple… this was Zacharias’ time
    Selected to go in and offer incense (prayers) to God… Usually on behalf of the people of Israel
    Luke 1:11–17 NASB95
    And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
    I don’t think this man was praying for a son… too old.
    Praying for the people, felt forgotten, feeling the oppressions of the Romans, whatever it was GOD HEARD!
    Wow! the angel states the Zacharias’ son will fulfill the prophecy of Malachi
    Your son will prepare for the Promised Messiah
    It Is Time! The Messiah is coming!!!
    What God says WILL HAPPEN!
    Moody- Zacharias ought to have been focusing on the divine “promise” of the message, not the human “problems” of the message.
    Did you miss it? Do you doubt God due to human limitations?
    The Promise of the scriptures was being fulfilled and this is Zacharias’ response…
    Luke 1:18–20 NASB95
    Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
    Several lessons here:
    Be careful when you ask God to prove it or for a sign!
    This was good news, not intended to create a problem
    The last words he could hear was the promise, his last words were questioning God
    God has a time table and a plan, He is NEVER late and always stays true to His Word

    God’s Hand Working Deserves Praise

    “ His Name is John”
    These are the words Zacharias would write on a board for the questioning crowd…
    Wait a minute… Zacharias, he’s not going to carry your name?
    NO this baby boy would carry something much greater… the message that the Messiah has come repent!
    His Faith to obey and listen loosed his tongue… He begins to prophesy for all there to hear and share!
    Luke 1:67–79 NASB95
    And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant— As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old— Salvation from our enemies, And from the hand of all who hate us; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    Look at the people’s response to all they heard and had seen…
    Luke 1:65–66 NASB95
    Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
    Darrel Bock- The story’s close indicates that the Lord’s hand was with him. Luke is saying, in effect, “Be assured, Theophilus or any other reader of my account, that God was in these most unusual events.” When God’s hand is mentioned, usually an opportunity for deliverance is around the corner!

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