Emmanuel Baptist Church Podcast

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

The Podcasts

Guest Speaker Norman Eskridge

Direct download: ebc_podcast_9_17_17.mp3
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Homecoming at Emmanuel! Guest Speaker: Reverend Tim Collins

Direct download: ebcpodcast_8_13_17.mp3
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August 27, 2017 Commissioning: Romans 12:1-8 HELP! Isaiah 51:1 Synopsis: Do you ever need a little “HELP!” as you go through your day? Sure you do, unless of course you have a misguided ego. Where does your help come from? Believers know their help come from the Lord and other believers. “If it had not been for the Lord who was on our side …” Psalm 124:1-5, ESV, “they would have swallowed us up alive…” In verse 8, Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Isaiah (51:1-6) wrote to the people of Israel to “look to the rock from which you were hewn …” So believers have the strength of the Lord with them and the fellowship of other believers to also encourage and help in prayer and other ways as needed. God has blessed the body of Christ with all the parts necessary to support and help one another. It would have been enough for God to save us, but God did not stop there. In fact, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has never stopped providing help to those who believe. Too all of those who have helped the body of Christ in this place we say “thank you.” To all of those who have made commitments to help in the year ahead we commission you for service in Jesus’ name. Remember, “We are one in Christ Jesus or we are nothing.” Text (ESV): Isaiah 51:1-6; Romans 12:1-8 Scripture Reading: Psalm 124:1-5

Direct download: ebcpodcast_8_27_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

Mercy Bound

Isaiah 56:6-8

 

Synopsis: I open my message today with a short reading from Psalm 133.  “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”  That is a beautiful though in any age, but I think, in today’s unless and uncertainty, it presents a contrasting vision for us as we gather for worship.  Let us take a deep breath of the Spirit and be refreshed in God’s love and in the embrace of our Savior and fellow pilgrims.

      Unity is not easily established or maintained.  In fact, it takes a very powerful force to bring people together and keep them from falling apart.  It is a common human trait.  One only needs to read a little of the story of Exodus or 1 Corinthians to realize that the trait is well established in the community of believers.  It is glorious when it happens like it did with Aaron, the first high priest of the people of Israel.  That unity produces blessings, “even life forevermore.  I’m talking about being “Mercy Bound.”  

      In Mercy Bound I am talking about being tied up in mercy (Mercy Bound) as well as heading toward mercy (Mercy Bound).  Isaiah said it was not just for those of the blood line of Israel, foreigners were included too (Isaiah 56:6-8).  The conditions of being mercy bound are the same for all.  The /Apostle Paul affirmed the same (Romans 11:1-2, 29-32). There were those in Jesus’ day who thought the offer of mercy was limited (Matthew 15:21-28), but the Gentile woman whose daughter was sick found mercy too. 

      Aaron was the high priest mentioned in Psalm 133 who served as a figure who brought the people of the exodus into unity in worship.  We have found an even greater on that Aaron.  His name is Jesus.  He is ready to bind all who believe in mercy now and forever.  Come!  Join the group of believers who are “Mercy Bound.”

 

Text: Psalm 133:1-3, NIV; Isaiah 56:6-8, NLT; Romans 11:1-2, 29-32, NLT; Matthew 15:21-28, NIV;

 
Direct download: ebcpodcast_8_20_17.mp3
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July 30, 2017 Tricking the Trickster Genesis 29:15-28 Synopsis: Jacob was a “trickster” from the beginning. He rode out of his mother’s womb holding on to the heal of his larger, stronger twin brother Esau (Genesis 25:23-26). That is how he got his name (heel grabber). Then Jacob got Esau to sell him His birthright for a bowl of lentil or red stew (Genesis 25:27-34). Next (Genesis 27) Jacob, with the aid of his mother, tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing that Isaac intended to give to Esau. Shortly after that trick, with his brother making plans to kill him, Rebekah sent Jacob out of the country to her brother’s family to find a bride. I have very little doubt that Rebekah sent Jacob off with a warning, “Watch out for Laban.” Jacob, the “Trickster,” met his match in his uncle Laban and it costs him. Jacob worked seven years and then seven more to earn Rachel as his wife. Tricking the trickster revealed the truth about him. The one thing Jacob had that he never lost was his love for Rachel. The Lord Blessed Laban during all those years that Jacob served him for the have Rachel. He didn’t want those blessings to end, but this time Jacob turned the table on the trickster. Jacob made a deal with Laban to take only the weak and speckled animals for his wages in caring for Laban’s herds. As a result, he left a very rich man. You and I all know people who found out that Satan is an evil trickster. They thought they could make a deal and get what they wanted only to find out that the “Trickster” had tricked them. Don’t be fooled. The secret to taking down “The Trickster” is to keep your eyes on the eternal treasure God has already prepared for all those who believe (Matthew 13:44; 6:19-21). Text (NLT): Genesis 29:15-28, Matthew 13:44; 6:19-21 Scripture Reading: Romans 8:26-28, NLT

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_30_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

July 9, 2017                                                                                       

 

Rebekah’s Charm

Genesis 24:67

 

Synopsis: Stories, we all love them and whether we realize it or not we find our identity in them.  There are all kinds of stories and some like one type more than other types.  The kind of stories a person enjoys says more about the person than the they realize. 

      There are some folks who like long stories like novels and biographies.  While others prefer the Reader’s Digestapproach of using short stories.

      Some stories are true stories and may even follow a historical narrative approach while other stories are pure fiction. There are stories that make us laugh and stories that make us cry.  Some have a way of getting under our skin and thus make us aware of things about ourselves that we may or may not like.

      My text for today comes from the last verse Genesis 24, but I want to call your attention to the whole chapter.  It’s a sad funny charming story really.  Simply put, it is the story of Abraham send his servant off to find a bride for his son Isaac and Rebekah was waiting at the end of his journey.  She said yes!  It’s a love story unlike most, but this lady was not like most.  It is, without a doubt, a faith story.  It’s a story of comfort and hope and a very simple statement of what marriage can and should mean.  It is a story of fulfilment. 

 

Text (NLT): Genesis 24

 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:28-30

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_9_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

July 2, 2017                                                               Lord’s Supper

 

Let Freedom Ring!

Romans 6:14

 

Synopsis: Labeling the National Holiday of July 4th as Independence Day is somewhat misleading.  Yes, it marks the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain but that didn’t make it so.  The fledgling “would be nation” had to struggle through years of battles against better trained, better supplied and better equipped forces.  The colonies did not succeed independently but united.  In 1768, eight years before signing of the Declaration of Independence, John Dickinson wrote The Liberty Song in which he called for raising funds for the struggle.  His song included the phrase, “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.”  Indeed, independence from Great Britain was achieved on the basis of interdependence.  The phrase “United we stand, Divided we fall” should continue to be heard above the booming of fireworks on the 4th of July.

      We have gathered to day as a declaration of unity.  We are one in Christ Jesus or we are nothing.  There are many forces in our world that try to enslave us, but none are more powerful than God’s grace.

      We come as one this morning to The Table of Remembrance to acknowledge once more the source of our unity, Jesus Christ.  We are one in Christ Jesus or we are nothing.

 

Text (NLT): Romans 6:12-14, 15-19, 20-23; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

 

Direct download: ebc_podcast_7_2_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

June 4, 2017                                                         Pentecost Sunday

Appalachian Outreach Week, June 5-9

 

A Universal Language

John 7:37-39

 

Synopsis: There are many things in this world that divide us.  Language is one of them.  People and nationalities are identified by the language they speak.  Even within the same language there exists a wide variety of dialogues and accents.  People even change the meaning or use of words according to various regional understanding.  Today is Pentecost Sunday.  On this day, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the church as it was gathered in the Upper Room.  That event birthed the church and drew a large crowd of people from those who were in Jerusalem for the festival of Pentecost.  They were from various parts of the world and spoke different languages, but on that day the preachers spoke and the people heard the message in their own language.  Yes, that was a miraculous sign!  The presentation of the Gospel brought people together.  The love of God as illustrated in Christ Jesus is and will always be a “Universal Language.” 

      Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,

rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37b-38, NIV).  Today, we celebrate that initial outpouring and the river of living water that continues to flood the world through the lives of believers.  Paul identified that “Universal Language” as “agape.”  We translate it as “love,” or “charity” but it is demonstrated than translated.  The Holy Spirit poured out into the lives of believers become a mighty rushing river of living water made available to “anyone who is thirsty.”  All the thirsty recognize the love of God’s when it is spoken.

 

Text: John 7:37-39, NIV; Acts 2:1-12, CEV; 1 Corinthians 13:3-13, NIV

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 104:31-35

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_4_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21pm EDT

May 21, 2017

 

In Defense of Grace

1 Peter 3:13-17

 

Synopsis: A couple of weeks ago my sermon was titled “It’s a Gracious Thing.”  Today I want to continue talking about grace drawing from what Peter might have called “In Defense of Grace.”   My opening question is “How can you defend what you cannot define?”  Certainly, our definition of grace has a direct impact on what we are willing to do in offering our “apologia” for our faith. 

      The way believers live their lives presents the loudest defense of grace possible.  Simply put, Jesus said “If you love me, obey my commandments.”  He also promised His disciples that He would send an “Advocate” to stand with them. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is the difference maker. 

 

Text (NLT): Psalm 66:16-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21; Acts 17:22-31

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 66:16-20

Direct download: ebc_podcast_5_21_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

June 18, 2017                             VBS Commissioning: Submerged

Father’s Day

 

A Faithful Response

Matthew 9:35-38

 

Synopsis: Today is Father’s Day and that is reason enough to preach about the need for “A Faithful Response.”  Today we gave all the men in the church a multiple purpose pen.  The functions of the pen serve as a reminder they need to be on the “level” with those around them and “measure” up to the standard of faith.  They need to tighten up where they are to lacks in their demeaner and loosen up their control as they give their life and concerns over to God.  Then they will be ready to make their mark on others.

It’s not just a man thing.  All of us need to LOOK around and see the needs of others; LISTEN to the cries of others hurting as well as the voice of the Spirit of Christ calling us into action; and we need to INVESTIGATE the ways and means we can respond.  We start that process by the simple PRAYER: “What can I do?”  Then we PREPARE to do what you can and PARTICIPATE: Do what you can.

Something to think about: If you look around and see something that needs to be done, then maybe you are the one to get it done.

 

Text (ESV): Psalm103:13-18, NLT; Matthew 9:35-38; Exodus 19:2-8

 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:35-38

Direct download: ebc_podcast_6_18_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

May 7, 2017                                                                    Senior Day

 

It’s a Gracious Thing

1 Peter 2:19-25

 

Synopsis: “Grace” is a simple word, but it’s meaning is not easily explained.  It is a word that is better illustrated than analyzed.  It takes a lot of stories to bring grace to life. 

      In secular Greek, grace is simply “what delights,” but Peter uses it in the context of suffering, even suffering wrongfully, without cause.  “Because Christ suffered for you.”  I have a little plaque in my office that reads “Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve.”

      Peter’s primary audience in the first century were servants and slaves.  There were as many as 60,000,000 slaves throughout the Roman Empire at that time.  They fulfilled many roles in day to day life, but they were always considered property.  Peter was calling them to look beyond their life circumstances to realize their heavenly position in Christ Jesus.

      Remember: very few people ever look up the meaning of grace.  The only grace some people will ever know is what they see illustrated in you.  Believers of every age and station of life are charged with finding their own way of expressing grace in every situation.

 

Text: 1 Peter 2:19-25, ESV

Direct download: sermon_5_7_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm EDT

April 30, 2017                                                                                   

 

Echoes of Praise

1 Peter 1:17-23

 

Synopsis: I open my message today with Psalm116:1-4.  The bottom line for the reading is “Please, Lord, save me!” and then begins the Echoes of Praise.  Praise is what we offer back to God in response to all that the Lord has done for us. 

      What kind of praise is acceptable to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?  It must be genuine, sincere, heartfelt expressions of gratitude expressed through “word, gift, and deed” individually and collectively.  That is why true praise of God is offered through worship, service, gifts and fellowship.  That is the only way the church will ever be identified as the body of Christ.

So let the praise begin and let it continue to echo through expressions of your life.  That is the criteria by which God will judge the genuineness of your faith.

 

Text (NLT): Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 116:12-14

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_30_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

April 16, 2017                                                                         Easter

 

This Is The Day

Jesus Called My Name

Psalm 118:24

 

Synopsis: I opened my time with you today with the prayer from Psalm 118:21-24, NRSV.  This is the day that theLord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Yes!  Praise the Lord!  And what a day it is.  We have been anticipating its arrival for weeks.  Our excitement has been building throughout Holy Week and now it is here.  This is the day we call Easter.  This is the day the Lord has made.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not our doing.  This is what God has done and has promised to do for all who believe.

      This is the day, Mary would later recall, Jesus called my name (John 20:1-18).  What a wonderful way to remember that first Easter morning.  She went early to the tomb not expecting to hear anything, but what she heard changed her mourning into rejoicing.

      Jesus came out of the grave as the first fruit of the resurrection.  Believers of every generation continue to live in the hope of everlasting life in Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:1-4)

      This is the day Jesus is calling your name.  Can you hear Him?  Are you listening?  It is personal.  Not brash nor angry but rather soft and filled with compassion.  He calls to you so that you will know that he is alive.  He calls to you so that you will know the way of salvation is prepared for you. 

 

Text: Psalm 118:21-24, NRSV; John 20:1-18 CEV; Colossians 3:1-4, CEV

Direct download: ebc_podcast_4_16_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

April 2, 2017 

 

All Dried Out and Ready for Life

Ezekiel 37:3

 

Synopsis: It’s a contradiction.  Things that are all dried out are not ready for life…right?  Life on this planet is based on water and yet all good gardeners know the seed they buy to plant are all dried out and ready for life.  All they need is to be planted, watered and get some good sun and a new plant will emerge from the old.

      Ezekiel’s prophecy starts with out with a valley full of dried out bones.  They looked hopeless!  And then there is the question, “can these bones come back to life?”  Ezekiel knew that the only one to answer that quest was the Lord God (Ezekiel 37:1-14).  This is a resurrection promise and story.  New life was not to be found in the dried bones but in the life of the Spirit.  I believe that this story has much more to tell us if we will speak to the “wind” the Spirit of the Life-giving God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      Let’s follow this analogy and apply it to the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:17-44).  Jesus spoke to the “wind” and called forth Lazarus.  What a story!  What an image!  Surely, those who saw Jesus put to death on the cross felt the pain of the question, “can he live again?”  But that was Friday.  Sunday brought a totally different image. 

      Maybe you feel like you are “all dried out,” but that doesn’t mean you are hopeless.  It just means you need the life of the Spirit to bring new life in you so that you will be “ready for life.”

 

Text (CEV): Ezekiel 37:1-14; John 11:17-44

Direct download: ebc_podcst_4_2_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm EDT

March 5, 2017                                                First Sunday of Lent

 

Who Says?

Romans 5:12-19

 

Synopsis: Today is the First Sunday of Lent.  Now the celebration of Lent is not big in our faith tradition so let me put this another way.  Six weeks from today we will be celebrating Easter.  It is the time for our annual celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the eternal hope that is brought to life in Him.  On the Hebrew calendar, it was the time when People of Israel celebrated the Passover and remembered how God delivered them from bondage in Egypt.  We always celebrate Easter on a Sunday even though the Hebrew calendar shifts the day of their celebration of Passover.  Why Sunday?  It is not arbitrary choice.  Jesus rose to life on the first day of the week and that is why we continue to worship every week on Sunday.  Every week we gather in celebration of the resurrection, but Easter is our annual remembrance and time of worship.

      Psalm 32:5 gives us a directive that will work for everyday and especially for these weeks leading up to Easter.  Our adversary doesn’t want us to hear them or put them into practice, but we don’t have to listen to the devil.  Hear the word of the Lord for God’s word is the word of life.

 

Text: Psalm 32:5-6, ESV; Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, NLT; Romans 5:12-19, NLT; Matthew 4:1-11, NLT

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 32:1-7

Direct download: ebc_podcast_3_5_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41pm EDT

February 5, 2017                                                                              

 

A Soup-er Sunday

Isaiah 58:6-7

 

Synopsis: We like for worship to be the way we like it.  We want certain hymns and a particular style of music.  We want the temperature to be comfortable as well as the seating and of course everything has to work smoothly.  The sermon needs to be uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, comforting, Scriptural, up to date … did I leave out anything?  So, speaking personally, “What does it take to make a “Super Sunday?”  I guess it all depends on who you are talking to. Maybe, we should talk to God.

      Do you know the difference between having a “Super Sunday” and having a “Soup-er Sunday?”  Besides the difference in spelling, I think the big difference is that one is dearer to the heart of God than the other.  We may all tune into the Super Bowl for ball game this evening, but I am convinced that the Soup-er Bowl of Caring is tuned into the hearty of God.

 

Text (NLT): Isaiah 58:6-7; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Isaiah 58:1-12; John 4:23; Matthew 5:13-20; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Direct download: ebc_podcast_2_5_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

January 29, 2017                                                                              

 

What’s He Talking About?

Matthew 5:1-12

 

Synopsis: Have you ever been in a meeting where you were not connecting with the presentation?  Yes, I know you say that every Sunday morning, especially during the sermon time.  Maybe you dozed off and missed a key point or you missed the transition that would have tied it all together.  Instead, you turned to the person next to you and asked, “What’s he talking about?”    

      There is a list of Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) presented at the first of the Sermon on the Mount.  I think Jesus must have used a lot of different beatitudes in various different sermons, each making a particular point.  However, we often miss their point or fail to understand their meaning because we approach them from our carnal mind set or logic and as a result we miss the blessing. 

      Part of our problem is that we are not accustomed to hearing Jesus’ kingdom language.  We need to get use to it. We need it.  Jesus knew that if we would change the way we look at the world we could change the way we experience it.  We have a lot of work to do.

 

Text (NLT): Matthew 5:1-12; Psalm 37:10-11; Revelations 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, 22:14 (ESV); 1 Corinthians 2:14;

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 15

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_29_17.mp3
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January 22, 2017                                                                              

 

Foolish

1 Corinthians 1:18

 

Synopsis: The title of my sermon comes directly from 1 Corinthians 1:18. I believe Paul’s statement is a transitional statement, but more importantly, I believe it to be a theme for his call to unity among believers in Christ Jesus.

      One thing I have learned in life is that you don’t have to be a “fool” to do “foolish” things.  Sometimes very “smart” people get caught up in the “foolishness” trap.  It can happen to anybody and I will go as far as to say it happens to everybody.  So, how would you fill in the blank in this statement: “Foolish” is what we are when we ____.

      If you take a look at the cover of your bulletin you will notice the theme title of “A Call to Unity.”  And then if you turn to the order of worship and scroll down to my message title you will read “Foolish.”  One might think that it is “foolish” to call the church to “unity.”  Paul didn’t believe that and neither do I.  In fact, Paul’s message to the Corinthians is clear.  He believes that divisions in the church if “foolish.”  God has united you with Christ Jesus.  That’s the “wisdom” of God. 

 

Text (NLT): 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:19-31; 1 John 4:20-21; Galatians 3:26-28; Matthew 7:26.

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:7-9

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_22_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Guest Speaker Dr. Robert Young

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_15_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:54pm EDT

January 8, 2017                                                                                

 

Taking Care of Business

Matthew 3:13-17

 

Synopsis: What does the phrase “Taking Care of Business” mean to you as you embark on your 2017 journey?  At the start of Jesus’ ministry he came to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  John protested but Jesus insisted on “taking care of business.”  When he came out of the water His Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit affirmed Him.  He had a mission to take care of and was careful to take care of the details related to that mission.

      Believers are not any different, at least that is what Peter said, “And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)  Believers need to take care of business.  Believers need to follow up on their profession of faith and do what Jesus did and commanded us to do, be baptized.  It is not a matter of membership. It is a matter of obedience and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  Believers are called to be disciples but rarely pause long enough to find out what that means.

      As we journey through the days of 2017 let us be sure we take care of business “Honor the Lord” in all we do.

 

Text (NLT): Matthew 3:13-17; Isaiah 42:1-9; Acts 10:34-43; Ephesians 5:1-2

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 29:1-2

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_8_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EDT

YES

January 1, 2017                                                     New Year’s Day

 

YES

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

 

Synopsis: Happy New Year!  YES!  2016 is in the books…well, almost.  Today we start a new week and a new calendar year.  We can look back and see what has happened, but we are not able to do that for what lies ahead.  The Preacher of Ecclesiastes (3:1-13) gives us a pretty good summary or brief overview of the potential headlines that will appear.  Does that thought frighten you? 

      Yes, there will be some very frightening things happen during the days of 2017.  One of those days might mark the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Praise the Lord, that is if you are ready for His appearing.  That will be a very frightening day if you are not ready.  Eternally so! 

      We just celebrated the birth of the prince of peace so let me leave you with a word of peace form Him (John 16:31-33).  His word is backed up but many witnesses throughout Scripture and you and I can add our own words of witness too.  Come what may the Lord is our shepherd (Psalm 23). So I am encouraged to look for God in everything (Psalm 8, NIV) and I encourage you to do the same.

 

Text (NLT): Ecclesiastes 3:1-13; Matthew 25:31-33; John 16:31-33; Psalm 23:1-6; Psalm 8, NIV

 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 8

Direct download: ebc_podcast_1_1_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT