The Birth of Christ: Joseph Was a Believer (Part 2)


When a Sermon lingers in my mind, I know the Lord is trying to tell me something.  I felt compelled to share the Pastor’s Sermon on this blog on this Christmas Eve weekend.  A fuller sense of the Sermon I described in Part 1 yesterday is provided in this post.  

While focused on Joseph, the importance of believing as Christians was expressed as well by Dr. Coates in the Advent Sermon at his DC area church.

Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Delman Coates Ph.D., Senior Pastor.

  • Sermon theme: Standing on a Promise
  • Scripture: Genesis 3:15 (God’s promise), Matthew 13:20.

Below are key points in that Sermon on December 10, 2017:

  • “Joseph believed, Mary conceived (Immaculate Conception), and Jesus Christ achieved“.
  • “Faith is an attitude”.  Believers like Joseph had this attitude.
  • Don’t trust what you see, trust what God said”.
  • Stand on God’s promises, not doubt.  “If you hear God’s voice, know he’ll ‘pay the invoice’ “.
  • God’s ways aren’t always our ways, so believe that ‘some how, some way’ he’ll deliver on his promise. Therefore, don’t worry about time. Trust he’ll make a way.
  • The first promise of the Redeemer lies in Genesis 3:15.
  • I’m acting as if it is so, even though it ain’t so, in order for it to be so“.

Merry Christmas from 66 Assurance Way

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The Birth of Christ: Joseph Was a Believer

I’m acting as if it is so, even though it ain’t so, in order for it to be so.


As part of a well-crafted, well-delivered Advent Sermon in Clinton, MD recently (12/10/17), we were told that Joseph believed, Mary conceived, and Jesus achieved. As the first part of a three-part Sermon Series, at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Delman Coates Ph.D. spoke on how Joseph was shown to believe.

The Black Baptist church has a membership of over 8,000 members. The choir sung as powerfully as their Pastor would later preach.  The Senior Pastor, Coates, gave a Sermon that was well received and, I suspect, remembered long after the congregants left the sanctuary.

  • Sermon theme: Standing on a Promise
  • Scripture: Genesis 3:15 (God’s promise), Matthew 13:20.

The third (11:45 am) worship service, which I attended with my three siblings, ended with the words which led this post. As Coates uttered them he realized, based on the reaction of those in attendance, that he had hit a nerve. He masterfully repeated them several times. It pulled together everything he had stated earlier in his Sermon – on the second Sunday of 2017 Advent. Only in the DC area for the weekend, I regret I will not be able to hear the other two parts of the Series!

What are the words that a Christian disciple who, like Joseph, believes in God should meditate on?

  • I’m acting as if it is so, even though it ain’t so, in order for it to be so.

Merry Christmas from 66 Assurance Way

God is love, yes God is love (1 John 4)


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 4: 7 – 21 NIV


God is love. 3 words.

If you observed the sad 2017 events in this nation at Charlottesville (white supremacist rally), Sulphur Springs TX (church shooting), and Las Vegas (mass shooting), you’d wonder if some people have lost sight of this fundamental guiding principle of believers. If you observed the nagging presence of ugly white supremacy and situational male supremacy (sexual harassment), God is love seems far afield. Sadly.

Love, don’t hate, others. 1 John 4 of the Bible conveys this concept very well. In a world where this concept was universally practiced there’d be no racists, mass shooters, bullies, or violence. God is love; abhor hate.

 


Photo credits:

Holding hands – Joe Brusky/flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

God is love –  The High Calling/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Love sculpture – Via Tsuji/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

It’s Never Too Latte For The Lord! (Assurance)


Want a grande Blessing from the Lord?  It’s not a ‘tall order’ for Him to make a way for you!  The power belongs to God.  He presides . . . even when our political leaders, bosses at work, or friends disappoint us.

While it may seem too latte (too late) at times, trust God will be right on time.

God’s grace, his unmerited favor, is sufficient.  While you may have bold prayer requests, trust that the Lord can do more than you can ask or imagine – a blessing may be just around the corner.   While what he delivers may not be ‘exactly what you ordered’, it may be exactly what He feels you need – for the moment.

  •  You can get a refill!  He’s not a one-blessing God.

So the next time you’re enjoying an espresso at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop), meditate on what you need to express in your prayers to your Heavenly Father.

  • Meditate on the benefits of praising Him in advance.  Know, as his child, it ain’t over until God says it is over.  Remember, the Lord’s words NEVER come back to him void. Never.

So praise the Lord and enjoy your latte. Thank you, thank you Jesus.  

Lastly, never forget this one truth: It’s never too latte for the Lord!

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3: 8-9 NIV

  • Hallelujah, salvation, and glory.  

66 Assurance Way


Photo credit: jpellgen/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

66 Assurance Way: 4 years and Counting


On September 21, 2013, I published the first post for this blog4 years ago.. Why that day?  That was the five-year anniversary of my joining the church I am now a member of in Central NC (Oak Ridge First Baptist Church, in the Greensboro NC metro area). I’ve published exactly 555 posts so far . . . and I feel like I have more to say and share. Smile.

Frankly, with the natural storms of the last month or so, along with the political and racial turmoil I feel this country has gone through since last November, I almost forget this blog’s anniversary!

  • I’m been meditating on a blog entitled Grace and Race, which I will publish when I settle on the words that I feel are the best God will allow me to write and share.
  • I will soon share another NC church sign I recently saw that says a lot in just a few words.  My last post featured a wise Greensboro church sign: 7 Days Without Prayer Makes One Weak.
  • A follow-up to the September 1st post “Jesus: He’ll Do It For You, Suddenly” is on the drawing board.
  • I think you might enjoy a scripture that the Holy Spirit pointed me to yesterday, from a Wednesday evening Sermon my Pastor (Dr. Rev. James A. Webster) gave 8 days ago, entitled: “Step Aside and Watch God Work!

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”.  And he said, “Here I am.”  Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”

Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”  And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 

Exodus 3:1-5,13-14 NKJV



  • Thank you for all who follow this blog – or who have liked or commented on a post on 66 Assurance Way in the last 4 years. In the year ahead, be sure to ‘step aside and watch God work’. To God be the glory!

Greg Silverthorne, 9/21/2017

66 Assurance Way

7 Days Without Prayer Makes One Weak


Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For the third or fourth time in last year or so, this church -about one mile from my home in Greensboro NC- has put a smile on my face!

As we learned in the New Testament verse above, the ineffectual, unfervent prayer of an ungodly man availeth little.  In Luke 11 Jesus teaches us how to pray and reminds us of the doors he can open if we simply ‘ask’.  A praying Christian need not be weak, but should ‘renew their strength’ by waiting on the Lord.

  • Prayer does change things. Don’t go a whole week without praying to your personal Savior.  I am a living witness to answered prayers! Please strive to make prayer and praise a regular part of your spiritual life.

Pray for those impacted by Hurricane Irma and Harvey.  Pray for those killed or injured in the Charlottesville VA rallies last month (and their families). Pray for the 800,000 Dreamers (immigrants) whose DACA protection is now at risk.


But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strengthThey shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. 

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

 



Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer (Luke 11)

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. ”He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.And lead us not into temptation.’ ”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacityhe will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Luke 11:1-10 (NIV)


 

Be Righteous, Be Delivered (Psalms 34)


The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34:17-19 (NKJV)



These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 (NKJV)


 Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way