Sunday, July 8, 2012
Set your breakfast on the table and let’s eat and chat. My favorite breakfast is fried eggs, bacon and biscuit and gravy. I don’t like just any biscuits; I like mom’s. Everybody that knows her knows she makes the best home made biscuits around. They do not come from a tube, or a freezer bag. They are hand mixed, and “hand squashed” as Christian comedian Jerry Clower used to say. I like good gravy, but on occasion I like red-eye gravy. I had planned to ask mom to make some last month when I was in Cincy to see her, but my cardiologist got wind of it and threatened bad things if she did. For those of you who know what red-eye gravy is, you perfectly understand. For those of you who don’t, Google it. It’s definitely country eatin’. I Googled it to make sure it was there, and they linked me to Wikipedia.
After last week’s blog, many at church asked me if I brought my gun with me. Several asked, “Did that really happen?” The answer is yes it actually happened, but no I did not bring my gun to church. I really did have a stare down with a vicious critter with a loaded .41 by my side. I’m definitely a good shot. I could shoot the tail off a no-see-um at twenty five yards, but fortunately I did not have to. For those of you who might not have read last week’s Monday Morning blog, stop here and scroll down and read it. I’ll say no more, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
I was also asked by a very dear friend and colleague about the planned video outreach. He is as excited about it as I am, and has pledged some financial support. As I’ve said, the Lord has burdened my heart about reaching out through the internet to broadcast the morning message. The exact details are still being worked on, but the next step is purchasing the necessary equipment. We need a digital video camera with good sound capabilities. The cost is somewhere in the $300-$500 range. I wish more of you would come along beside us in this venture. If you could, send a check for any amount to Friendship Harmony Baptist Church; 2296 Date Street; St. James City, Florida; 33956. On your check mark “video.” The quicker we get the camera, the quicker we go online. If we receive more than we need, we will be able to upgrade our computer equipment to be more video friendly. I’m told Apple laptops are the way to go. For now, though, we need that digital video camera. I’m not used to asking for money like a radio preacher, but how else would you know? Besides, for those who donate, you become part of it, and God will reward you for it. In my life I’ve discovered you cannot out give God. Please pray about your gift and send it very soon. We need to reach all we can. Right now Monday Morning With Pastor Vic is reaching 9100 homes. I believe with the adding of good quality video, we can far exceed that number.
It sounds like a broken record, but yesterday was another great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good, and the service was exceptional. We sang a congregational song called, “Count Your Blessings.” We sang it “Gratitude style.” That is where you sing a verse then the director stops and calls upon someone to share a blessing. The second verse is sung and then someone else is called on. The song continues that way until the last verse is sung and the director asks if anyone has a blessing to share. Not only is it a good testimony time, but since no one knows who will be called on, everybody starts thinking about received blessings. It’s a fine way of worship.
The morning message came from Jude verses one and two. We looked at Jude’s statement of mercy, peace, and love. We discovered that he didn’t just list these, but did so in a specific order. Mercy is first, followed by peace. You can have no real peace outside God’s mercy. Love then follows peace. You cannot truly love if you have no peace. The sermon notes are below. I hope they are a blessing to you. When we go video, you’ll be able to actually see and hear the message and follow with the notes. Hopefully that becomes a reality soon.
Mercy, Peace, and Love
Encouragement From Jude Series 7/5-7/12
By Victor W. Cooper
Intro: Jude, the half brother of Jesus, writes a short letter of encouragement and warning. He is warning about false teachers and wrong doctrine. False teaching has been a threat to the church since the days of Jude, and his words are still relevant today.
A. Not receiving from God that which one deserves.
1. In our sin we deserved punishment.
2. God’s punishment is eternal Matthew says it is a place of darkness. Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
3. He also says it is a furnace of fire. Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
(a) The logical question becomes, “Doesn’t a fire give off some light? How can it be a place of total darkness if fire illuminates?”
(b) The answer is a phenomenon known as black fire
Cited by www.firetactics.com/BLACKFIRE.
Black Fire -- This term has only recently been officially recognized. This describes a situation where HEAVY, dense, black smoke is being emitted by a fire. This smoke will be of high velocity, turbulent, high volume, and extremely dense. It will also be hot. For all practical purposes, this is a dense superheated cloud of fuel that is too rich to ignite. The smoke may be doing as much damage as fire. It can (but not always) be a sign of eminent flashover. Old time fire fighters have known of this for years.
4. Luke also gives a ghastly picture.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
B. Our sin had to be judged. God’s righteousness would allow for nothing less.
C. A believer’s sins were placed on Christ and He bore the punishment. That is mercy
D. It is also grace; receiving from God that which one does not deserve - forgiveness, and a future with Jesus Christ.
II. Following mercy is peace.
A. You cannot have peace without mercy. You cannot have peace when your soul is stirred with sin.
B. Paul tells us that in our sin we were an enemy to the cross. Philip. 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
C. A sinner might be thinking, “I don’t see myself as God’s enemy.”
D. You might not, but God does.
Romans 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
E. God’s people are promised peace.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.
1. David testified that he had peace.
Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
F. The Bible calls it an unexplainable peace. Philip. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
III. After mercy and peace comes love. You cannot love if you have no peace. You can have no peace if you have not received God’s mercy.
Definition of love: Doing right by someone.
A. You can love God.
1. How can one do right by God?
2. Two ways: by trusting Him and following Him.
Hebrews 11:6 /Ezekiel 20:19 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. / I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
B. You can love fellow believers. Jude 1:21-22 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:
1. Note the progression; love for God, then love for others.
2. An unrighteous lawyer agreed.
Luke 10:27-28 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  And he said untohim, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Note: Jesus told him his answer was right!
REMEMBER: Pity says, “I feel sorry for you.” Compassion (v22) says, “I feel sorry for you and here is what I can do to help.”
C. You can love the unsaved.
Remember, love means doing right by someone.
Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
A. You can love someone without liking what they do, or even liking them for that matter.
B. Modernists say you should never scare someone into Heaven. Jude begs to differ.
1. A sinner needs to be reminded of the reality of Hell.
2. False teachers will tell you that hell is not real. Jesus warned about Hell more than He taught about Heaven.
Conclusion: Have you received God’s mercy? Is there peace in your soul? Do you love in the Biblical manner, by doing right by others? It starts with mercy. You must take that step before you take the next.
Thank you for allowing me to spend these few minutes whoever you are. One of my greatest joys is meeting with you through this blog. I hope it blesses you as much as it does me. Stay safe and well this week, and I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!