Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's Here! It's Here!!

Good Monday Morning To You!

At long last it is here again. We’ve patiently waited and endured the long cold winter. I can’t believe its here --- I’m like a kid at a carnival. I’m overwhelmed, overjoyed, and possibly overacting. What is here? Daylight Savings Time! O.K. Maybe its not worth all the hype I just gave it, but actually I do like it. I like having all those daylight hours. I’m not a morning person. During the morning hours I essentially function on auto-pilot. I’m at my best between the hours of 3:00pm and 10:00pm, so having that extra daylight time makes life a bit sweeter.

I remember as a kid, though, when DST first came out, it kept my Dad’s sleeping cycle really messed up. I don’t know whether it was the extra daylight, or what it was, but it messed with him big time. As the years progressed, I do not know whether Howard Cooper got used to it, or just quit complaining, but he sure hated it. I like it, so I guess that is one place where we differed.

Yesterday was another super day at Friendship Harmony. I hope you do not get tired of me saying that all the time, but I’ve got to report the truth to you. Our day started with another fine class with Bro. Burt Nelson. He is teaching obscure verses of Scripture. The morning service was very uplifting. Our pianist, Sister Birdsong, sang the song “When They Ring Those Golden Bells” as well as I have ever heard it sung. Her husband Ken is our music director. He typically leads us in the first verse of a song, then while we sing verse two, he plays his trumpet. Wow! Today he did something a little different. He accompanied us by playing the melody on verse 2, then on verse 3, he harmonized. I wish you could be here for a Friendship Harmony Baptist service. Tremendous!!! After the service we performed the most sacred of all Baptist religious acts --- the carry in meal. Our ladies (and some of the men) out did themselves. We’ve got cooks that would make Mr. Food sit up and drool. The meal was good and the fellowship was awesome. After the meal, we were not finished. We caravanned to the home of two of our members for a baptismal service. We congratulate Sister Gert on her baptism, and thank Gwen and Jim for the use of their pool. They made sure the water temperature was perfect. It was a fine service. Of all the things I do as a Pastor serving in an official capacity, baptizing someone is my favorite. It would suit me just fine if the LORD would allow me to baptize every week. There are still four more awaiting their baptism. Both gentlemen have had recent surgeries and are not yet cleared by their doctors. Their wives want to wait and be baptized with their husbands. What a blessing!

Yesterday I preached the concluding message in my “What If”… series. The title was, “What If … There Really Is A Devil?” I confessed to my group that while prepping for this message, I suffered a bout of horrible depression. Each time the LORD calls upon me to talk about that slimy ol’ serpent, it depresses me. Some of it is fighting a spiritual battle with him as I’m sure he’d rather I just say nothing. Some of it likely stems from concentrating on his evil schemes and watching people fall victim to his prey every day. I hope if you were there, the sermon was an encouragement to you. If you were or were not, below are the notes. Feel free to use them for your personal Bible study. Call me if you have any questions or send an E-mail; I’ll assist you wherever I can. Do keep in mind this is not an exhaustive study on this topic. If you want to study deeper, contact me and I can recommend some useful material to you.

What If… There Really Is A Devil?
Various Scripture
What If Series ABy Victor Cooper

If there really is a devil, then…

I. you have an enemy. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
A. adversary = opponent, one who opposes; his very name means adversary
B. The enemy is out to destroy.
C. Job was opposed. Read Job 1:6-11
D. Paul was opposed. 2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

II. You have a formidable opponent. Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
A. You must be properly outfitted in order to fight satan.
B. You must be trained in order to fight the devil.
C. You must realize who he really is. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
D. You are in a wrestling match, want it or not!
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
E. Some theologians believe that satan wrecked God’s
original creation.
Quote: Genesis 1:2 the earth was without form and void -- or in "confusion and emptiness," as the words are rendered in
Isa 34:11. This globe, at some undescribed period, having been convulsed and broken up, was a dark and watery waste for ages perhaps, till out of this chaotic state, the present fabric of the world was made to arise
— Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

III. you have a champion. 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

A. Jesus is the over comer. John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
B. Be cautious not cocky. Though believers should place their confidence in God, they should not be careless. Christians in conflict are to be on the alert, made strong and steadfast by Christ Himself.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.

IV. You clearly see a defeated foe. Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
A. Are you a born again, forgiven child of God?
1. If not Jesus says you are, “… of your father the devil.”
John 8:44a

Remember: If Satan is not your enemy, he is your father. If Jesus is not your Savior, He is your enemy. Please do not take that with you to your grave! Turn your life over to Christ today. It will make satan your enemy, but his days are numbered and he is destined to lose. Do not lose with him!

Have a terrific week. Be sure to enjoy the extra daylight tacked on to the end of our days. Stay well and happy. I look forward to seeing you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!


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