Mike Martin - Northeast Baptist Church

Palm Sunday, March 29, 2015

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Palm Sunday is the day that we remember the Lord Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
1. It’s the beginning of the Lord’s Passion Week.
2. It leads up to Christ’s Crucifixion.
3. It’s a time of reflection upon how much Jesus loves people. He wants all people to experience real peace. At the end of Luke’s record of the Triumphal Entry, he notes, “And when He drew nigh, He saw the city and wept over it,” (Luke 19:14).
4. But for me, the Triumphal Entry is a reminder of the fact that Jesus is King, and He is Lord.

Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday is the day that we remember the Lord Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
1. It’s the beginning of the Lord’s Passion Week.
2. It leads up to Christ’s Crucifixion.
3. It’s a time of refection upon how much Jesus loves people. He wants all people to experience real peace. At the end of Luke’s record of the Triumphal Entry, he notes, “And when He drew nigh, He saw the city and wept over it,” (‭Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭41‬),
4. But for me, the Triumphal Entry reminds me of the fact that Jesus is King, and He is Lord.

Sermon, Sunday, August 29,2014

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The Second Coming of Christ was:
-Recorded by the Old Testament Prophets,
-Taught by Jesus,
-Shared by the angels, and
-Believed by the apostle and other first century believers.

New Testament writers wrote to Christians who were waiting for the Second Coming.

2 Peter 3:1-4 reminds us of mockers who will make fun of Christians’ beliefs.
Hebrew 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. We are to come together and encourage one another while we wait for His return.
James 5:7-20 commands us to:
-Patiently wait.
-Strengthen our hearts.
-Not to grumble or complain about one another knowing that Jesus is standing and ready to return.
-Follow the examples of the faithful prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord in the Bible.
-Endure to the end.
-Don’t be indecisive in your belief.
-Faithfully Pray for one another.
-Sing!

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

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James ch. 4

In this particular chapter James reminds us of a continual struggle within the life of a Christian. He identifies these fightings as quarrels and conflicts, lusts and envies, murders, and adulteries.

The writer reminds us that our sinful nature effects our relationship with God. First, we cannot even pray because we (our fleshly nature) asks with wrong motives. While we should be praying for “God’s will be done” in our life, in our home, and in our world; we ask for our will to be accomplished in these areas. Second, our friendship with the world is hostility toward God; this friendship has caused us to become enemies with God. Jesus simply said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches)” Matthew 6:24.

James has already told us in 3:15 that characteristics such as jealousy, selfish ambition, arrogance, and lying do not come from above but rather they come from influences of the earth, the natural man inside each and everyone of us, and demons. The apostle Paul describes our struggle like this in Romans 7:18, 19, 20, 24, and 25: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me……. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on one hand I myself with my mind am serving God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

Both James and Paul agree, as Christians, we have a spiritual battle going on inside of us. We have influences from the world around us; we have our own selfish fleshly nature pulling at us; and we have all of Hell trying to convince us to move further away from God.

With all of these forces at work in and around us, we have to make a choice. Will we continue to be hostile toward God, or will we yield to Him?

In James 4:5, we are told that God is jealous for us. Wow! What an concept, God is jealous for me. He loves you and me so much that He is jealous for us.

Imagine it like this. A young man falls in love with a beautiful young lady. Eventually, they get married. He is madly in love with her. He does his absolute best to try and please her. He goes to work every day. He works hard, and he scrimps and saves until he can buy her a nice but simple home. He gives her a car, jewelry, etc. Even though he gives her the best that he can, he can never satisfy her worldly desires with his affections of love.

She decides to find comfort in the arms of another man. One who will give her the things that she wants, and in return, she satisfies his fleshly desires.

The husband loves his wife so much that he still tries to get her attention. He pleads with her to stay, but she ignores his pleas and goes to her lover.

One day, the lover decides that she is not what he wants. So, he beats her, abuses her, and sell her into slavery. All the while her husband is looking for his wife because he still loves her.

The day he finds her, she is has been beaten and bruised, she feels ashamed and abused by the world that she loved, and she sitting on the auction block. The man looks at his wife. He looks beyond the scabs and the wounds, and sees the young lady that he fell in love with earlier in life. The bidding starts, and he is the only one who makes an offer. His offers is for more than the auctioneer is asking.

You see, this man was jealous for his wife, and that’s how God is with us. Even though we’ve been beaten up by the world that we abandoned God for because of our own selfish desires; and now we feel guilty and ashamed; God sent His Son to pay the price for our sin.

James 4:5-10 provides us the instructions that we need to grow in our relationship with God. We are commanded to submit to God; resist the devil; draw near to God; clean our hands and our hearts; be miserable, mourn, and weep (for our sinful condition and the condition of our world; we are to have a broken and contrite heart); and we are to humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord.

The reality is that all of us struggle. We struggle every day. What we need to do is hold our hands up and say, “God I surrender my selfish will and desires to You.”

The last verse (James 4:17) says, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Sunday, August 31, 2014

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James 3:13-18

God wants us to be wise and have understanding. We are taught in Proverbs 9:10 that “The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 3:13-15 says, “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For it is more profitable than silver, and it’s of more gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her.”

Wisdom and understanding begin by acknowledging who God is and what He has done for us. Once you and I recognize the fact that God is holy and that we are not; we come to understand that we are separated from Him; and the only way that we can bridge that gap between us is by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior; our wisdom and understanding begins at that moment.

The sad truth is that many are trying to gain wisdom and understanding in other ways.

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and see if this is not where our world is today. Those who don’t believe find the preaching of the cross to be foolishness. And, those who profess themselves to be wise are fools; they find themselves focusing all of their attention on the things that God has created rather than the Creator. 1 Corinthians 3:25 says, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” The same passage goes on to say in verse 27 that “God has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the week things of the world to shame the things which are strong.”

James encourages believers in chapter 3 verse 13 to show their God given wisdom and understanding (that comes only from a relationship with Him trough Christ). We are to show it through our actions of good behavior, and our good deeds. In other words, don’t just say, “I’m a Christian.” Live like a Christian! I like the example of St. Francis. He said, “preach the gospel and if necessary use words.”

Talking to the church, James teaches church members not to be jealous; not to have a selfish ambition; not to be arrogant; and not to lie. The writer goes on to tells us that these traits don’t even come from God. Instead, they come from worldly influences, fleshly desires, and demons. In others words, if we possess these types of characteristics, then we are giving Satan a foothold in our lives.

James notes that when our lives are filled with envy, selfish ambition, arrogance, and lying then our lives will be filled with disorder, and every evil things too. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:3 that God is not the author of confusion (Satan is), instead God gives us peace.

Notice that in James 3:17-18 he reminds us that Godly wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentile, reasonable, full of mercy, good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy.

If you are demonstrating anything other than Godly wisdom and understanding in your life, then it’s time for a change.

If you are not a Christian, then it’s time to accept the facts that you have been foolish and week, and that you need God. In other words, admit to God that you are a sinner, ask for His forgiveness, and invite Christ into your life. If you make this decision, then you need to me or another Christian know so we can help you.

If you are a Christian, then you need to ask God for His forgiveness.

Once you have surrendered your will to His, then I would encourage you to put on the Armor of God. Read Ephesians 6:10-20. Prayerfully study God’s word, preach the gospel (if necessary use words), and pray for others to be faithful ambassadors for Christ.

August 17, 2014

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James 2:14-18

Living for Jesus is to be a way of life for every Christian.

It is to be applies in everything that we do. It should describe our character. It is to be demonstrated in the way we talk, the way we get along with others, and in the way we care for and pray for others.

For a Christian, the way we live begins with a relationship with God through our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. “We love The Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.” And, the author of the book of James goes on to remind us of the second great commandment according to Jesus. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

James 1:27 reminds us of our responsibility to care for those who are week such as the orphans and the widows. He begins chapter two telling us not to show favoritism.

Now, in 2:15-16, James shares an illustration of a brother and a sister in Christ who need benevolent help. They need food and clothing. The writer asks us, ” What good is it if we simply say ‘go in peace, be warm and be filled’ and we do not give them what is necessary'”?

James wants us to show our faith. But, so did Jesus. The Lord said, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You? ’ “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” (‭Matthew‬ ‭25‬:‭34-40‬ HCSB)

Understand that what we as Christians do, we do out of a gratitude for what Christ has done for us. He suffered and died on a cross, was buried in a tomb, and then He was raised from the dead for you and me. Therefore, I owe Him my life, so I live for Jesus in all that I do.

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