The Gathering at La Junta Baptist
Sunday, March 31
  • I Will Call Upon The Lord
  • My Life Is In You
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • Blessed Be Your Name
      • Matthew 16.13NASB95

      • Matthew 16.14NASB95

      • Matthew 16.15NASB95

      • Matthew 16.16NASB95

  • Disciple: A Legacy of Faith
    Introduction
    · In our society, children have become disposable.
    · Christians must voices who advocate for the life and the health of children.
    · How can we—as a church—do that?
    The church—above all other organizations—should be concerned about investing in future generations. If we give the kids over to the dictates of human society, we should not be surprised when they become solely focused on self with no view of God.
    On the other hand, if we fail to teach them how to engage society, we should not be concerned if the church returns to the days of the monastery where the Great Commission is all but lost.
    Children are a model for discipleship (1-4)
    When Jesus was asked about the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, He did not respond by pointing to a well-known evangelist. He did not respond by pointing to a sports hero or a superstar who was famous.
    When Jesus was asked about the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, “He called a child unto himself” and he pointed the attention of his hearers to the child.
    For Jesus, the model disciple was not your favorite television preacher. For Jesus, the greatest disciple is the child.
    He then turns to the qualities of the child that he expects the adults to emulate. First, one can only be like a child through the miraculous conversion of the Spirit of God.
    Jesus says “unless you are converted.”
    It is important to note here that Jesus is not simply referring to the attitude of the child. “If you would have the attitude of this child then you can go to the kingdom of heaven.” Have you ever seen a child’s attitude when they don’t get what they want!
    Rather, Jesus is pointing to the *real* dependence that the child has for someone else to care for them.
    Babies don’t feed themselves. Have you ever let a 4 year old boy make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich unsupervised? It doesn’t go well!
    The child is completely dependent upon someone else to care for them.
    Jesus is saying that if you will would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, you must recognize that you are completely dependent upon God.
    As we think through the life of young David Martins—we get a picture of how truly dependent upon God we actually are.
    The weeks in which David remained in the hospital. Absolutely dependent. The challenging hours of each day when mom and dad had to say “goodbye” to go their home while David remained behind.
    Little David has already taught us a great lesson: We are to be so dependent upon God that we recognize that—apart from Him—we have no life. And… We are to be so in love with God that our temporary separation from Him in this world is painful.
    Do you know God that way? If not, take a lesson from the message of David’s life. Trust God. Long for God. Wait for God.
    Then, you will be a good disciple.
    Children are a motive for discipleship (5-7)
    We tend to make a lot of decision based on the future. Parents raise their children with the desires that their child will excel so that they are able to go to college.
    Learn math. Learn science. Learn the arts. Excel so that you can go to college.
    Be a stellar athlete so that you can receive a scholarship to a good school.
    We focus on our retirement. Work hard. Save money. Start a retirement account so that you can travel and enjoy your twilight years.
    We try to look through the tunnel of the future in order that we can be prepared for the things to come. And there is nothing wrong with that.
    says “A wise man thinks ahead. A fool doesn’t and brags about it!” [The Living Bible].
    says “A wise man saves for the future.”
    There is nothing wrong with making preparations for the future. It doesn’t reflect a weak faith to be prepared.
    But how many of us will prepare for our futures—and even the futures of the coming generation—when it comes to success. But we give very little regard to the future integrity of the Gospel. We prepare very little for the generational-stewardship of the Gospel.
    There are at least two reasons that we should want to see children come to the know the Lord:
    1. The Gospel is valuable. It must be protected. It is the treasure that is contained within jars of clay.
    2. Children are valuable. says “Children are a gift of the Lord.”
    Because the Gospel is valuable and children are valuable we must ask ourselves one question:
    What is the heritage that we are leaving to those who will come behind us?
    Carl Henry wrote “Churchgoers who hope to turn the tide must first pray earnestly for spiritual revival in their own churches, that is, for an outpouring of God’s Spirit that purifies our priorities and restores the full joy of the gospel, and reinforces its imperative,” [Henry, “The Uneasy Conscience 45 Years Later” in Vital Speeches of the Day, 480].
    We must learn that investing in the next generation involves teaching them to cling to the unchanging imperatives of biblical commands while giving them freedom to break away from traditions that our not rooted in the Word of God.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we have taught them to cling to the traditions that are not rooted in Scripture while we have broken away from the imperatives of the biblical commands. And then—when they reject unbiblical traditions—we fear that they have rejected the Gospel.
    I don’t care whether they sing the Old Rugged Cross or the Wonderful Cross.
    It matters not to me whether my children and grandchildren worship to a piano or a guitar. Whether they worship to a harp or a drum-set. I don’t care whether they attend Bible study in a church building or in a church members home.
    What matters to me is that they worship Jesus Christ—the only One who is able to save our souls from the condemnation of God.
    What matters to me is that they are rooted and grounded in the Word of God. What matters to me is that they are led by the Spirit and not by the culture.
    One of the reasons that churches all across the nation—including this one—must get more serious about evangelism and discipleship is because we are going to leave a heritage to those who are coming behind us.
    Those who sleep in cribs will one day fill our pews. Those who crawl on floors will one day run for office.
    The question is “what heritage will we leave?”
    Will we leave of heritage of “church when it is convenient?” Will we leave a heritage of “prayer during emergencies?” Will we leave a heritage of the Bible as a “good book,” but not the Word of God?
    Will we leave a heritage of half-hearted, lukewarm, lackadaisical, lazy Christianity?
    Or will we leave a heritage of Spirit-filled, hot-hearted, Bible-immersed, evangelistically-driven, worshipful dependence upon God?
    If we make the wrong decision, it will not be us who suffers. It will be those—like David—who are coming behind us.
    It depends not so much on the words that you say as it does on the example that you set.
    Children are a Gift from the Lord (10-14)
    Children are not to be treated with disrespect—as a nuisance. They are to be cherished. Loved. Nurtured.
    The church does not see children as does the world.
    The famed atheist-philosopher Stephen Hawking wrote that “The human race is just a chemical scum on an average size planet, orbiting round a very average-sized star, in the outer suburb of one a of a million galaxies.”[1]
    Church should not be for them a place of terror. But a place of delight. A place of joy. A place of peace. A place of security.
    Church ought to be a place where they hear laughter. They see smiles. It ought to be the most encouraging place on earth—second only to their own homes.
    [1] From Rowan Williams, Being Human: Bodies, Minds, Persons, 20.
  • Introduction
    Weighs you down.

    Forgiveness is to be grace-induced

    · God calls us to do the impossible. He calls us to forgive those who have done unmentionable harm to us. Sometimes our anger is understandable.
    o Marriage counseling with young couple. She was angry. I understood. “Flush it down the toilet.”
    · This command is connected to the prayer before because this kind of forgiveness is only possible through God’s grace acting within us.

    God has a greater plan for us.

    · Forgiveness is only possible when we recognize that there is a greater plan for us. When we fail to forgive we have become more consumed with man’s acts against than God’s plans for us.

    God has a greater plan beyond us.

    when we recognize that there is a greater plan for us. When we fail to forgive we have become more consumed with man’s acts against than God’s plans for us.
    · Forgiveness is only possible when we recognize that there is a greater plan beyond us.

    Forgiveness is to be unlimited

    · What is the extent to which we are to offer forgiveness? Well, what is the extent to which God has forgiven you? How many times has God extended to you forgiveness.
    Matthew 18:21–22 NASB95
    Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
    ·
    · Some say “I forgive you. But I can’t forget.” I am glad that God doesn’t operate that way. That’s not forgiveness. That’s self-protection. That is trying to make yourself feel superior—I forgive you—while keeping something in reserve in case you need to defend yourself—but I won’t forget.
    · Yet God equates His forgiveness with forgetting.

    Forgiveness is to be unqualified

    · What are the sins that we are to forgive?
    · We try to justify our unwillingness to forgive based upon the other person’s particularly heinous sin. “Well you don’t know what they did to me. You don’t know how they harmed me.”
    · There is only one sin that the Lord will not forgive us for: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
    Luke 23:34
    Luke 23:34 NASB95
    But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
    · But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.[1] []
    Three reasons why we should forgive.
    · Not forgiving others demonstrates a lack of thankfulness that God has forgiven us.
    · Not forgiving others harms ourselves more than those against whom we are angry. It has been often said “Holding resentment in order to hurt the other person is like drinking poison and hoping that *they* die.” [attributed to many people].
    · Not forgiving others harms our relationship with the Lord. [parable of unforgiving servant].
    o Illustration:
    o Peter asks “How many should I forgive?”
    o Jesus essentially says that our forgiveness should be unlimited.
    o A king who wanted to collect what was owed to him from the slaves.
    o One slave owed 10 thousand talents.
    o Couldn’t pay, so the slave fell to the ground and said “Have patience with me and I will repay everything.”
    o The king was compassionate and let him go.
    o The same servant goes and demands for those others who owed him money to pay. When one of them could not pay, the servant had him thrown into prison.
    o When the king heard that the very same servant whom he had forgiven was unwilling to extend the same forgiveness to others, the king was angry and said “You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have also had mercy on your fellow slave, in that same way that I had mercy on you?”
    Conclusion and Invitation
    Colossians 2:13–15 NLT
    You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
    13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed* the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. [2]
    a ;
    b ;
    [1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), .
    * 2:15 Or he stripped off.
    [2] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), .
      • Matthew 18:21–22NASB95

      • Luke 23:34NASB95

      • Colossians 2:13–15NASB95

  • Only Trust Him
  • The Greatest Thing

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