Sunday, September 30, 2012

Down By The Old Mill Creek

Good Monday Morning To you!

Several folk commented on my story about Theodore the rooster. I was asked if it was a true story. Indeed it was. We had a pet chicken smack dab in the middle of Cincinnati. I really wasn’t able to do justice to the part about mom not being able to go outside to hang her laundry. It was side-splitting hilarious! I can still see mom throwing her laundry up in the air and running all over the yard with this rooster chasing her, flapping his wings and squawking as he flapped. To this day whenever mom eats a piece of chicken, she has a victorious smirk on her face.

I was asked to recount some other stories about my childhood. I remember another adventure Johnny Miller and I shared. We were in Vacation Bible School at the Presbyterian Church Johnny attended, and decided after the classes, we were going to go down to the Mill Creek to play. Martha Miller, and Alene Cooper had told their boys, Johnny and Vic, that they were not allowed to play by the creek. Johnny and I had gone there before, so we figured what our moms didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them. To plan our escapade, we snuck into the furnace room of the church. Mom and Mrs. Miller were upstairs in the sanctuary doing some kind of work. The furnace room was in the basement, so we were no where near our moms. We made our plans. Mom and Mrs. Miller went home, and Johnny and I told them we were going to ride our bikes. We did ride them too --- right down to the Mill Creek. Mill Creek was a dirty, polluted creek that was as close to being an open sewer as existed in the United States. Where we played was secluded. You could be down by the creek and never know a large metropolitan city was nearby. We were pleased with ourselves, until we got to our spot. There stood Martha Miller and Alene Cooper. It was easy to tell that they were not happy, and it was confirmed when they spoke. As bad as that was, we both knew when our dads got home from work, things would likely go from bad to worse.

I don’t recall how we were punished. Mom’s favorite punishment was to take the TV away from me for two weeks. Mom always said, “Two solid weeks.” I hated that word “solid.” It makes me cringe to this day!

When we asked our moms how did they know, their answer was, “Moms just know those kinds of things.” Many years later after I was married with kids of my own, mom revealed how she knew. Johnny and I had figured that since we planned our foul deed inside a Church, surely God must have told them. We worked off that theory for years. Mom told me that she and Mrs. Miller had heard every word we said. She told me that they were up at the altar of the sanctuary working, and that there was a vent that allowed air from the furnace room to circulate into the auditorium. We were standing right under that vent, while they were standing right beside it. We had told them, detail by detail, exactly what we’d planned to do. Johnny Miller and Vic Cooper were to have many more adventures, but never again did we plan any orneriness. Sometime I’ll tell you about the time Johnny won a baby kitten on the Skipper Ryle television show. That was an adventure by itself. As a side note, John Miller and I are still friends and we communicate from time to time. Neither of us live in Ohio any more, but the memories of those care free days will forever be locked in our minds and hearts. They were great times!

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony, I began a four part series called “Peripateo.” Have you ever heard of that word? If you ask any of the folks who were at Friendship Harmony yesterday, they could tell you. Peripateo is a word from the Koine Greek that translates to “walk.” However, it means just a bit more. It means “to walk to prove that you can.” I gave the illustration of Miss Bessie’s follow-up visit to her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Jugan. Bess was sitting on the exam table and told Dr. Jugan to stand over by the door. She got down off the table, left her walker standing by itself, and walked over to him. She walked to prove she could. That’s peripateo.

That is how Christians are to walk. We are to walk proving that we can walk the believer’s walk. It proves it to the world, and it proves it to us. Below are the notes. I do hope you find them beneficial. If in looking at the notes you ever have any questions, or desire clarification, just call me or e-mail me at

Peripateo ©
Deut. 5:33
“Walking” Series 1 of 3 By Victor Cooper

Intro: The title of this series seems strange to a modern hearer, but the word peripateo comes to us from the Koine Greek. It is one of the words meaning walk. It means to walk about to prove that you can.

I. Walk in the ways God has commanded.
A. To walk in them one must know them, not simply be acquainted with them.
1. It comes from Bible reading.
2. It comes from Bible study.
3. It comes from talking to God.
4. It comes from listening to God.
(a) “Be careful here: before you get to listening, get to learning.” Pastor Victor Cooper

II. Walking in God’s ways prevents sin. Psalm 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
A. It is the blessing of obedience.
Bible Knowledge Commentary The psalmist delighted in the fact that those who walk in wholehearted obedience to the Law are blessed (vv. 1-3). This prompted him to wish that he were more obedient in view of God’s commands to follow His laws (vv. 4-6). So the psalmist vowed to give thanks as he learned more about God’s statutes (vv. 7-8)

III. Sin is prevented because one is walking in the light.
A. Walking in the light is commanded. Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
B. Jesus is the Light of the world. John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
C. Jesus said walk while you can. John 12:35a Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you:

IV. Not walking in God’s ways invites God’s wrath.
Leviticus 26:21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
A. God is not speaking to the world, but to His own.
B. God wants His own walking with Him in sweet communion. Example: Enoch.
Genesis 5:23-24 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: [24] And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
C. Not walking in God’s ways brings confusion.
John 12:35b for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Quote: God won’t make you serve Him, but He’ll make you wish you had! Pastor B. J. Thomas circa 1995
Conclusion: Walking with God is a commandment, but as we have seen is a pleasant one with grand benefits. Walk with God so that, as our text verse says, “…it may be well with you…”

Have a good rest of your week. For those of you traveling south to be with us, stay safe. We look forward to seeing you soon. To all of you, I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Heaven's Dictionary

Good Monday Morning To You! Welcome to the first full week of Autumn - or Fall as we always called it. Here in southwest Florida, it still seems like summer. Basically we only have two seasons; a hot summer, and a not so hot summer. Having been born and raised in southwest Ohio, I learned very quickly that I do not like cold, snow, or ice. To me, ice is what you use to drink a good cold glass of Pepsi. Other than chilling a drink, I see no beneficial reason for ice. As I read in my Bible about that celestial city, I see no mention of cold, ice, or snow. That tells me they are not there! That for me draws a loud, “Hallelujah!”

Speaking of Heaven, allow me a moment to tell you about a dream I once had. I dreamed I had entered the gates into Heaven. A very nice young man, who appeared to be in his early thirties, met me and led me to a building that looked like a library. He was wearing a crisp suit with a shirt and tie. His shoes were shined and looked to be new. He took me inside, and indeed it was a library. It was large and spacious, and he told me to be seated at a wooden table. On the table was a large book. He said, “Make yourself comfortable and feel free to browse through that book.” He then turned to leave and said, “I’ll be back shortly.”

The book looked like a dictionary, so I decided to look up some words that were familiar to me. I looked for “cancer.” It was not there. I looked for “death,” but again, it was not there. By this time, I decided to look for some Biblical words. I turned to the “S” section and looked for sin, sorrow, and Satan. Once again those words could not be found in that dictionary! I looked for “poverty“, “heartache“, and “war,” but once again, words that had been so much a part of my life were not there.

As I sat with a perplexed look on my face, my young guide came and sat at the table beside me. He said, “the words you are searching for cannot be found in this book. This is a dictionary of the words used here in Heaven. The former things are passed away and do not exist here.”

He took the book and told me to look. He opened it and I saw the word, “grace.” He turned further and there was the word, “mercy.” “Love” was there, as was “joy,” and “peace.” I saw the word, “blessing,” and “gentleness.” As a smile came across my face, I turned to speak to my new young friend. Suddenly he began to change right before my eyes. He had on a robe and sandals. He had a bright, yet peaceful glow about him. He held out his hands to me. They were nail scarred. It was Him! My guide was Jesus! It made perfect sense, because He had been since the day I received Him as my Lord and Savior. He said, “Forget those things which are behind. Behold, I make all things new.” He took me by the hand and said, “Follow me. I’m going to show you some things you never dreamed possible, and some people you haven‘t seen in a long while.”

I woke up at that moment, and never was able to finish my Heavenly tour. However, I was left with a peace that I could not put into words. I knew one day I would finish that tour. As a child of God, I have His assurance that this is so. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” As the old song says, What a day, glorious day that will be.”

At Friend Harmony yesterday, we had a terrific day. The attendance was very good, and a warm loving spirit permeated the service. It started with our Sunday School lesson being led by one of my dearest friends in the ministry, Rabbi Jim Pickens. Rabbi Pickens is a retired messianic Rabbi, and is a true student of the word; I am blessed to be able to call him my friend. The song service was very uplifting. We are now singing to recorded CD’s, and that is working out quite well. I finished our Victorious People series with the message, “Victorious Over Sorrow.” I must admit, this was my favorite of the four. When I stop to think about how much our enemy, sorrow, torments us day and night, it’s enough to be depressing and cause more sorrow. Even Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1) However, as we also discovered, there is hope. Below are the notes. I hope they are a blessing to you.

Victorious Over Sorrow ©
Job 14:1
Victorious People Series 4 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: In this four part series, we have examined how believers are victorious over Satan, sin, self, and sorrow. No believer needs to live a defeated life. We are a victorious people so lets start believing it and living it.

Our text verse from Job sounds bleak and hopeless,
but as we shall see, we can live with a foe that will
one day be eliminated!
I. Sorrow is inescapable. Psalm 38:17 For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
A. Sorrow is part of the curse. Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
B. A pop song from the 60’s said, “No where to run to, No where to hide.” This perfectly describes our relationship with sorrow.
C. The weeping prophet, Jeremiah lamented, “Why was I ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame. Jeremiah 20:18 NLT

II. Sorrow is hard to conquer. Proverbs 14:13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
A. Solomon is saying that even in the most joyous of times, sorrow is lurking just under the surface.
B. Our text verse says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. Job 14:1
C. Sorrow is hard to conquer because it’s so consuming.
Psalm 102:4 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread.
1. The psalmist might be saying, “I am consumed with sorrow to the point that I have lost my appetite and cannot eat.”
2. The psalmist might be saying, “I am consumed with sorrow to the point that I do not have time to eat.”
3. It is likely some of both!
Quote: “We must take time out to eat, sleep, work, and rest. Sorrow never takes a break. It’s a bit difficult to defeat an enemy like that, but it can be done!” Pastor Victor Cooper

III. Sorrow can be overcome. Psalm 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
A. It involves praising the Lord in both good and bad circumstances.
B. It involves calling out to the Lord.
Psalm 25:16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
C. It involves an answer from the Lord. Isaiah 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
D. An answer is assured because, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Cor. 1:9

IV. Sorrow will cease. John 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
A. Our victory over sorrow is assured because Jesus is the Great Overcomer.
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.
Quote: Such a saying as this [John 16:33] is worthy to be carried from Rome to Jerusalem upon one’s knees. Martin Luther
B. Sorrow is the big loser! Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Conclusion: Take heart dear believer, our two greatest enemies, death and sorrow, will one day be triumphantly eliminated by our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Once again, I hope the notes are helpful to you. I believe the influence of Friendship Harmony reaches far beyond the shores of Pine Island, in Lee County, Florida. Let me make one quick announcement. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1:00 p. m. at The Island Grill, our ladies will have their luncheon. The Island Grill is located in the Winn Dixie Shopping Plaza on Stringfellow Road. If you are in the area, you are cordially invited. Sorry guys, its for ladies only. I tried once to claim executive privilege and crash the party, but my status impressed no one. I know you ladies will have a fine time. I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Theodore The Chicken

Good Monday Morning To You!
The other day I told Bess about a pet chicken we had when I was a kid. He was a rooster named Theodore. My younger brother named him after a member of his favorite band --- Alvin and the Chipmunks. I believe to this day that is still his favorite group. Now I’m sure many of you who grew up in the country had farm pets. Some of you might even have had a pet chicken. This is not strange for a country child. I, however, am a city boy. I grew up in Cincinnati, often living inside city limits. A pet chicken was a bit of a rarity.

Theodore was no ordinary chicken; he had a very colorful beginning. When I was a kid, we lived near a dime store called Ben Franklin’s. Every year at Easter, we would go there and they had colored little baby chicks for sale. There were red ones, blue ones, green ones, and yellow ones. Theodore was a bright yellow baby. Usually these birds only lived a few days then died. It was later determined that the dye used to color them was poisonous to them. The practice was stopped years ago, and I fully support the decision. However, occasionally a chick would live, and Theodore did.

We lived in a village inside Cincy called Elmwood Place. Elmwood Place would remind you of Andy and Barney’s Mayberry. We had a big house and a big yard. Theodore ruled the yard. Dad, Greg, and I could move freely around the yard, but not Mom. Theodore had her number. If she stepped outside, he’d chase her back in. If she came out to hang laundry, Theodore would run her all over the yard. It was one of the funniest sights I have ever seen. Here is this grown woman, running all around her yard, in plain sight of the neighbors with this chicken chasing after her squawking and flapping his wings.

Mom wasn’t the only one Theodore kept at bay. The poor mailman was ran off each time he even walked by on the sidewalk. Most mailmen have stories they can tell about being chased by dogs, but not at 403 Oak Street. At our house, our guard chicklen was on duty. I asked Mom the other day where Theodore stayed at night. I know she was not about to share her living room with poor Theodore. She said he stayed on the back porch at night. Early in the morning, the milkman would come and deliver our milk. He sat the milk inside a milk box very close to Theodore, but I do not recall our pet chicken ever giving him any problems. He only tormented Mom, the mailman, and my best friend Johnny Miller’s pet cat, Tabby.

Tabby was a beautiful long hair solid white cat. Tabby, we called her Tebby, was as gentle a cat as you’d find anywhere. Tabby would come next door into our yard on occasion, and Theodore would go to war. Nobody ever told Theodore that cats ate birds and that he was one. Fortunately for him, no one ever told Tabby either. He would latch onto her tail and start pulling out the hairs. Tabby would go back home, and Theodore would stay in his yard. He was good about that.

We never needed an alarm clock. Theodore would crow at the top of his lungs every morning. The neighbors didn’t need alarm clocks either. So what is the point to my story? Absolutely nothing! I just thought I’d share it with you.

Yesterday at Friendship Harmony was really good. We tried something new: we sang to CD recordings of hymns. Karan Berry had been so gracious in coming to play for us, but we were keeping her from the church where she and her son attend. Hopefully, someone from the congregation will step forward and play the piano, but until then, the recorded music worked pretty well. People seemed to enjoy it, and the tracks were easy to sing to. It was also Fellowship Dinner day. Our ladies put a fine meal out for us. I do believe they just keep on getting better and better! Good fellowship, good food, and a great service at Friendship Harmony! (My last sentence is an incomplete sentence on purpose, so don’t any of you English teachers write and fuss at me.)

I preached part three of my three part series on Victorious People. We looked at Victory Over Self. I said that self is the toughest enemy we must defeat. Here are the notes. I hope they are of benefit to you.

Victorious Over Self ©
2 Cor. 2:14; Various
Victorious People Series 3 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: In this four part series, we are going to see how believers are victorious over Satan, sin, self, and sorrow. No believer needs to live a defeated life. We are a victorious people so lets start believing it and living it.

In order to be victorious over self,
One must first be victorious
Over Satan, and over sin.

I. What a self centered life looks like.
A. It is a life that has all the answers.
Numbers 12:2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
1. It was motivated by pride.
2. It was motivated by envy.

B. It is a life that calls attention to itself --- even over God.
1. “Look at me!” Daniel 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
New Testament example --- Luke 12:16-20 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: [17] And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? [18] And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. [19] And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. [20] But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Illustration 11195. Roosevelt’s Drive
Theodore Roosevelt, sometimes known as Roosevelt the First, was a President who knew his value; he did not cheapen himself by underestimating it. “Father always had to be the center of attention,” said one of his children. “When he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bride. When he went to a funeral, he was sorry that he couldn’t be the corpse.” Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
2. God is placed under self. Deut. 8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

II. The self centered life will ultimately fail.
A.. Lucifer learned that lesson. Isaiah 14:13-15 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
B. Edom learned that lesson. Obadiah 1:4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.
1. Edom was descended from Esau, making Edom and Israel family. That made their treachery against Israel worse.
2. Self exultation makes the fall further and harder.
Pastor Victor Cooper
C. The Church of Laodicea will learn that lesson Rev. 3:14-17 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; [15] I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. [16] So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. [17] Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
D. “Self” is often more difficult to defeat than is Satan.
1. People are willing to fight Satan. He’s a natural enemy. However, they are not willing to fight themselves.
Pastor Vic Cooper
III. Self can be defeated. 2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
A. “…that you … may abound…”
1. You can do it because the grace to do so comes from Christ.
B. Paul told the Romans it was called being a living sacrifice.
1. Sacrificed animals were dead, thus they had no choice.
2. A living sacrifice does have a choice.
Radio preacher Steve Brown says that the trouble with most living sacrifices is that they keep jumping off the altar.
C. When self is at its weakest, Christ’s strength is at its strongest.
2 Cor. 12:9-10 (ESV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1. Paul is saying not to shun weakness, but to embrace it!
(a) When was the last time you heard a politician bragging about their weaknesses?
2. At our weakest point we are at our strongest --- as long as it is through Christ’s strength.

I do hope you will have a good and joyous week. This coming Sunday I will conclude the Victorious People Series with the message, Victorious Over Sorrow. We have all had sorrowful events in our lives, but I want you to know you can have victory in spite of sad circumstances. For those of you who are beginning to make your way down to Florida for the winter, be safe as you travel. We don’t want anything to happen to you. Whether you’re here or not, I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Victory Over Sin

Good Monday Morning To You!!!
I’m excited! I have redeemed myself in the kitchen! Last week I lamented (that’s a theological word for weeped and wailed) over my Alfredo sauce failure in the kitchen. I know what happened: I was distracted by the phone, and got in a hurry. Be that as it may, I ventured into the kitchen with a new recipe; onion casserole. I have totally returned to my culinary expertise. My casserole was awesome! It was so good, that I’ll be taking it to Church next Sunday for Fellowship Dinner. I expect people will be lined up waiting for some. I think the ladies in the kitchen will have to ration it out so that everybody gets some. I was going to preach on gluttony this coming Sunday, but now I think I’ll not. Actually the upcoming message will be part three in a four part Victorious People series. The title is Victory Over Self. Now do you see where gluttony fits in?

Sunday was a tremendous day at Friendship Harmony. We’ve never had a “ho-hum” service, but some are exceptional. To me, yesterday was. The congregational singing was so joyous -- it made the preaching much easier. Currently, I am having to lead the singing and it is very hard for me. During Sunday’s service all I had to do was announce a page and the group simply took off and sang. Friendship Harmony can really sing! Someone asked me one day if we sang praise and worship songs. I replied that indeed we do. We sing the traditional, tried and true songs from the hymnal, and when we sing, we are praising and worshipping. I knew what the individual meant, but I wanted them to know that “praise and worship” is not a style of music, but is a heart response to considering the good things of God. The style of music is irrelevant. It can be traditional, modern, country, or even Gregorian chants. The point is what is in the heart of the one singing. If true love for Jesus is there, then it truly is praise and worship. Pray for our Church to be blessed with someone who would be willing to lead our music. It would add much to the service.

Yesterday’s message was Victory Over Sin. I mentioned three kinds of sin: sins of commission, sins of omission, and sins of ignorance. I stated that sins of ignorance were still sins that we are accountable for, but not necessarily rebellious. Sins of commission are the wrong things done, while sins of omission are the failure to do something. An example I used was borrowing money from a friend and promising to repay on a certain date then purposely not making good on that promise. That is not something you have done, but something you have omitted. Commission and omission are rebellious in that they are done purposely in plain sight of God.

The sermon notes are below and available for you to use for your personal Bible study, Sunday School or Small Group lesson. Preachers may also use these for their own sermon prep.

Victorious Over Sin ©
2 Cor. 2:14; Various
Victorious People Series 2 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: In this four part series, we are going to see how believers are victorious over Satan, sin, self, and sorrow. No believer needs to live a defeated life. We are a victorious people so lets start believing it and living it.

In order to be victorious over sin,
One must first be victorious
Over Satan!

Definition: The underlying idea of sin is that of law and of a lawgiver. The lawgiver is God. Hence sin is everything in the disposition and purpose and conduct of God’s moral creatures that is contrary to the expressed will of God (Romans 3:20; Romans 4:15; Romans 7:7; James 4:12, 17).
The sinfulness of sin lies in the fact that it is against God, even when the wrong we do is to others or ourselves (Genesis 39:9; Psalm 51:4).
New Unger’s Bible Dictionary

I. You do not have to sin! 1 Cor. 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
A. You are not in this fight alone. “Common to man.”
B. God’s provision is three fold:
1. God is faithful; trustworthy. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Conversation means lifestyle.
(a) When did God ever say this? In Joshua 1:5-6 God told Joshua, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. [6] Be strong and of a good courage…
2. He will not allow Satan to throw more at you than you can bear.
(a) David called the Lord his “Shield,” 14 different times in the book of Psalms.
(b) Solomon said, “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
3. He will provide a way out; a way of deliverance.
(a) Some in Corinth were not looking for a way out -- they were looking for a way in!
(b) They desired the ease of indulgence rather than the trial of endurance.
(c.) They were looking for the justification of sin. The Bible never condones sin. Not ever!

II. We are a delivered people. That makes us a victorious people.
A. Scriptures deliver us from sin.
Psalm 17:4 / Psalm 119:11 Concerning the words of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. / Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
B. The fear of God delivers us from sin.. Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
1. The problem with most believers is that they do not fear God. They see Him as a kindly old grandpa that wouldn’t lift His hand to anybody.
2. If you feared God, you would only do the sins of ignorance.
C. The Holy Spirit delivers us from sin.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
1. Reprove: convince, convict. This even brings the sins of ignorance to light.
D. Jesus delivers us from sin.
1 John 3:5,8 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. [8b] For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Conclusion: As believers we are victorious over sin because we are victorious over Satan. Now go out and live like a triumphant soldier, not a whipped pup.

I hope a great week ahead is planned for you. I trust you will do all you can to make it so. For those of you getting ready to come back to Florida, we’ll see you soon. Three of our folk are already back, and we are looking forward to seeing the rest of you soon. Until then I’ll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Dismal Failure

Good Monday Morning To You!!

If you read the mid week edition last week, you know we survived the storm very well. What a difference a week makes. It has been hot and dry for the last several days! I’d like to see it stay this way for a while, but God knows what’s best.

Do you like to cook? Occasionally I like to venture into the kitchen and try new recipes. I get most of mine from Mr. Food because his are not too difficult. Two weeks ago I made Alfredo sauce. It was every bit as good as Olive Garden’s. Yesterday, I made it again. Did you ever have one of those experiences in the kitchen when you did everything as you had before and it miserably failed? Today you would have thought I was trying to invent Alfredo flavored wall paper paste. Did you ever have one of those experiences in the kitchen where you were hungry for something, but once it was made you didn’t want it? My answer to both questions is a resounding yes. When I finished cooking my Alfredo glue, and put it on my angel hair spaghetti, it literally nauseated me. How about some of you cooks letting me know if you have ever experienced this. I take a daily injection called Victoza, which totally zaps my appetite, but usually I can still eat. Maybe that was the culprit, but I doubt it. Let me hear from some of you.

Yesterday we started a new sermon series at Friendship Harmony called “Victorious People.” The four messages are victorious over Satan, sin, self, and sorrow. I had planned a single sermon with four main points, but it seemed to expand to the point where doing that would not adequately do justice to the topic, or Scriptures, so it turned into a four part series rather than a four point message. This week we looked at “Victorious Over Satan.” The notes are below --- I hope they are of benefit to you.

Victorious Over Satan ©
2 Cor. 2:14; Various
Victorious People Series 1 of 4 By Victor Cooper

Intro: In the next four weeks we are going to see how believers are victorious over Satan, sin, self, and sorrow. No believer needs to live a defeated life. We are a victorious people so lets start believing it and living it.

I. Our victory over Satan was prophesied long ago.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
A. This world became Satan’s domain at man’s fall.
1. Three times John calls him the prince of this world.
John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11
2. The Ephesians were told he is the prince of darkness.
Eph. 6:12
3. Paul told the Corinthians that Satan is the god of this world. 2 Cor. 4:4

II. Satan’s defeat was prophesied in Genesis (3:15) and confirmed in the New Testament. Romans 16:20a And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
A. The one to bruise his head is Christ.
1. A head wound is fatal; a heel wound is only crippling.
(a) A snake’s venom is in its head. A crushing head wound would release venom into the snake.
2. A bruised heel is believed by some theologians to mean that Christ‘s greatest creation, humanity, would be crippled by sin.
3. Others believe that Christ’s death would be temporary (like a heel injury), while Satan’s would be permanently terminal.
4. While both positions are theologically true, Pastor Vic believes the better of the two explanations is the second. The explanation follows.
B. Paul’s use of the word “bruise” indicates a complete crushing.
1. Note: Nothing is said here concerning a wound, even superficial, to God’s people.
2. JFB Commentary …as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, they are "shortly" to receive their discharge, and have the satisfaction of "putting their feet upon the neck" of that formidable enemy—symbol familiar, probably, in all languages to express not only the completeness of the defeat, but the abject humiliation of the conquered foe.
3. This is why Pastor Vic believes Satan has dealt a wound to Christ ( the cross) while Christ has dealt him a mortal blow, (the resurrection).

III. We can be victorious over Satan’s temptations.
Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
A. I can hear it now: “Of course he was defeated, he tangled with Christ.”
But --
B. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. “
John 14:12
C. If Jesus defeated him, we can defeat him because, “ 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. “ 1 John 4:4

Conclusion: As believers we are victorious over Satan because he is a defeated foe.
11098. Devil’s Viewpoint
A modernistic preacher announced in defending his liberal theological position, “I’m not afraid of the Devil.”
“That is not what matters so much,” one of his acquaintances replied. “Let me ask you a more important question: Is the Devil afraid of you?”
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations

My dear friend, as you make your way along life’s highways, do stop and realize that Satan travels those roads too. If you’re stuck in a rut or bogged down in the mud, the devil will be only to happy to assist you. Resist him! Reject him! Rebuff him! Remove him! (I see a future four point sermon here.) Believe me when I tell you, its better to drown in life’s seas than to ride in Satan’s boat.

Have a good and a safe week. I’m going to try a new recipe tomorrow. Its called onion casserole. With the exception of my daughter Amanda who lives in Arizona, all of us Coopers love onions, so this could be the find of the century for us. I’ll let you know when I see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!