Emmanuel Baptist Church Podcast

Sermons presented at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Jefferson City TN by Dr. Sonny Strange

The Podcasts

September 15, 2013                                                                           

 

Giving’s Up To You

Genesis 14:17-20

 

Synopsis: How do you determine the amount of your contributions to charities?  In particular, how do you determine the amount of your contributions to the church?  As you know there are many options vying for or even competing for your gifts.  So how do you decide?  What is the mandate for believers?  As you can tell, I am full of questions today, but I do want to help you find some answers.  Let’s begin, in the beginning (Genesis 14) with the story of Abram, the “father” of the faith.

      Abram was returning to the valley of Sodom and Gomorrah from his great victory.  He knew he had been blessed.  Abram was loaded down with the spoils of war when he metMelchizedek the high priest and king of Salem.  Following worship and a blessing Abram gave Melchizedek a tithe (ten percent) of the spoils.  How did he arrive at that amount and why did he give anything?  Answer: He wanted to.

      If giving is up to you then you decide what you want to do and do it.  Christians are not under the law although some would like to think they are.  Is ten percent too much or not enough?  Should you go by what everybody else is doing or is there a better way to determine your response?  I think the simple answer is blessing.  Give, like Abram, according to your blessings.  Paul tells us about the believers have been blessed beyond measure (Galatians 4:4-7) by the High Priest of our Faith Jesus Christ.  He gives us a simple plan on how to live out of our blessing (Galatians 5:16-18).  

 

Scripture Text (The Message & NAS): Genesis 14:14-20; Galatians 4:4-7, 5:16-18

 

Scripture Reading: Genesis 14:14-16

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_15_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45pm EDT

September 8, 2013                                                                             

 

Everybody Knows!

Luke 18:9-14

 

Synopsis: Jesus taught in parables.  Part of the reason has to do with how we learn.  “Stories” are a very effective way to communicate truths.  Jesus used stories to help us understand truths we often don’t want to hear.  He wasn’t the first to use stories in this manner (Psalm 78:1-8).  In fact there are many examples in the Old Testament.  Parables force the hearers to see and understand truths from a different perspective.  God’s!

      “Everybody Knows!”  Have you ever heard those words spoken at your gossip fence?  Most everybody knows how this works.  People are stereotyped according to their actions or the actions of others with whom they share some particular identity.  Stereotypes are often imprinted on family members or relatives because of the actions of others.  Racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic prejudices all come about as a result of what “Everybody Knows.”  Maybe you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover”, but it seems everybody does.  Jesus taught us not to judge people on the actions of others.

      It may not be surprising that people like stereotyping other people, but what amazes me is that many of those people don’t particular mind fulfilling the role others have projected on them.  Here again, Jesus taught us not to act like other people say we should, but to be faithful to what God the Father knows about us. 

      Jesus wants us to realize that God the Father does not see or judge people as other people do.  That is the lesson drawn from His parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). 

 

Scripture Text (NLT): Psalm 78:1-8 NLT & NRSV; Matthew 13:10-17, NRSV; Luke 18:9-14, NLT.

 

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_8_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

August 18, 2013                                                                                

 

Servants All

Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Synopsis: Jesus choose, appointed, selected, ordained twelve out of the number of disciples to be apostles (Mark 3:14-16).  That made them special…right?  Well, the in sight of those around them…maybe, but Jesus used them to teach God’s lesson that all were servants (John13:12-17).  

      Churches often have “ordination” service to “ordain” people in the church for particular ministries to the body.   Whoever would be leaders in the church must be servants to all finds meaning in a word located in the dictionary between ordain and ordination.  That word is “ordinary.”  All Christians have the same mission (Ephesians 4:11-13).  It doesn’t matter what your individual assignment, gifts, callings, position might be in the church.  Your ethnic diversity doesn’t affect your assignment any more than you socioeconomic standing or sexuality (Galatians 3:26-29).  Every believer is called, gifted, ordained by God the Father to minister to others in the church until all come to maturity in Christ Jesus.  All believers are called to be ordinary, because all are designated to be servants.

      Have you found your place of service in the body of Christ?  If not, why?  Maybe you are not looking, immature, lazy or …  Time is what you are wasting.  You only have a short time to fulfill your calling.  Better get started.

 

Scripture Text (NLT): Mark 3:14-16a; John 13:12-17; Ephesians 4:11-13; Galatians 3:26-29

 

Scripture Reading: John 13:12-17

Direct download: ebc_podcast_8_18_13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT