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Archive for February, 2013

Tonight at Harvest Orange County

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

Giants.

We all face them each and every day.
By “giants” I mean seemingly insurmountable problems and issues.
It might be a fear, an addiction, a threat.
This “giant” looms larger every day and you wonder if you can ever fell it.
Tonight at Harvest Orange County I want to look at one of the most well know stories in all of the Bible.
The story of David and Goliath.
This is a part of our series that I am calling The Greatest Stories Ever Told.
We will look at how David defeated his giant, Goliath, and also find out how to defeat ours in my message that I am calling “Dealing with Giants.”
The service starts at 7:00 PM, PST.
So, if you are in the Orange County area, please join us.
If you can’t do that, watch the live webcast at www.harvest.org

Is Your Life Like a Decaf Low-Fat Latte?

Monday, February 25th, 2013 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

Did you know that Christians will one day be judged?
Don’t panic, this is not a judgment about whether or not we get into heaven. (Fact is, this judgment will actually take place in heaven.) This is about the rewards you will receive.

Luke 14:14 says, “Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you” (NLT). And in Revelation 22:12, Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work (NKJV).

What exactly will be judged?

2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
The “bad” spoken of here is not something that is ethically or morally evil. The word for “bad” means “evil of another kind.” Another way to translate it is “good-for-nothingness.” It speaks of worthlessness. The wasting of one’s time, energy, and life in general. Is that what you’re doing with your life right now? Just wasting it on nothingness?

Jesus said, “If salt has lost it’s saltiness,what good is it?” Not much.
It’s like a coke that has lost its carbonation. Or a decaf, low-fat latte.Why bother?

The Bible speaks of how the quality of every man’s work will be tested: “Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely” (1 Corinthians 3:12–15 MSG).

At the judgment seat of Christ, each of us will have to give an account of what we did with the life, gifts, and calling that God gave to us. So what are you not doing that you should be doing?

Let’s use the gifts, talents, and resources that God has given us to do His work while we still have the opportunity.

Heavenly Oscars?

Sunday, February 24th, 2013 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

The Oscars are on tonight.
There may be a global audience of 40 million people watching around the world.
We will all wait for those words: “And the Oscar goes to. . . ”
Personally I am rooting for Les Miserables for Best Picture.
Did you know there will one day be a “heavenly” awards-type ceremony too?
It will not be about acting but about more about being real, as in being a real follower of Jesus Christ.
This is called the Judgment Seat of Christ.
It is not a judgment about who gets into heaven (fact is, this even happens in heaven!)
This judgment, or giving out of rewards, is about how faithfully you served the Lord as a Christian.
To find out more, check out my message today at Harvest Riverside and Orange County: “The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
You can also watch the live or archived webcast of this message as well at www.harvest.org.

This Sunday at Harvest Riverside and Orange County

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

I have good news for you.
Jesus Christ is coming again!

It’s mentioned over 1,800 times in the Old Testament and 300 times in the New Testament.Statistically, one verse in 25 mentions the Lord’s return. It is referred to in 27 Old Testament books and 23 New Testament books. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are 8 prophecies on the second coming!One thing is clear in the Bible–Jesus Christ is coming again!

C.H. Spurgeon said, “The sound of his approach should be as music to our ears!”
In fact, your very reaction to the imminent return of Christ is a good barometer of your spiritual health.
If it is something that brings joy and excitement to your heart, that is a good thing. If it something that brings dread and despair, then that’s a bad thing.

Join us tomorrow at Harvest Riverside and Orange County as we talk about the second coming of Jesus Christ to our planet. To find out more, or watch a LIVE WEBCAST, go to www.harvest.org

The Best Pizza I Have Ever Had

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 Posted in sermons | 1 Comment »

Yes, I thought that headline would grab your attention.
When we led our last trip to Israel we stopped in Rome, Italy and found a wonderful little homey Italian restaurant that I talk about in the video link posted below.
It’s a funny thing, because last Sunday in my message that I called “Beauty and the Beast” I was talking about heaven.
I mentioned in heaven we will eat at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and it was my hope that they have Italian food in heaven!So to illustrate I showed this video.
Instead of walking out of church and talking about heaven, everyone wanted pizza!
Hmmm.
Anyway, here is a link to that video.
Ciao bella!

Tonight at Harvest Orange County

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

We will sometimes say, “Now that’s a person after my own heart!”

What do we mean by that?
We are saying that person is a lot like us.

Now, imagine if you will, God Himself saying that about a person.

In fact He did, and that person’s name is David ,the greatest king in Israel’s history.
But WHY was David a man after God’s heart?

Surely he was not a perfect man, as we all know about his fall into sin with Bathsheba.

But there were so many redeeming qualities in his life we can and need to learn from.
So that’s what I want to talk about tonight at Harvest Orange County from our flyover of the Bible
“The greatest stories ever told.”

My topic tonight is “David: The Man After God’s Own Heart” from 1 Samuel 16.

Home!

Monday, February 18th, 2013 Posted in sermons | No Comments »

My granddaughter Allie is only 2, but she is a little homebody.

She will come to visit Cathe and me and will be so excited (we have lots of toys and fun things for the grandkids to do), but without warning, Allie will just say “home” and walk out the door!

Have you ever felt that way? Like everything this world offers just leaves you cold? We each have a longing deep inside of us for “home.”

This world is not our home, but it is our location at present. One day, we will truly go home.

The Bible says of our lives on earth, “We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace” (1 Chronicles 29:15 NLT).

When you become a Christian, you become a citizen of heaven, your real home. Philippians 3:20 says, “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior” (NLT).

We long for something that this earth can never deliver on. That’s why we will always be a bit “out of tune” with this world and all it celebrates—because we, as followers of Jesus, know there is something more. Much more.

Heaven should draw us, engage us, pull us in its direction. We should long for it. As Augustine wrote, “You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.”

Thus we see this world for what it is: empty, temporal, and passing.

E.M. Bounds said, “Heaven ought to draw and engage us. Heaven ought to so fill our hearts and hands, our conversations, our character, and our features, that all would see that we are foreigners, strangers to this world. The very atmosphere of this world should be chilling to us and noxious, its suns eclipsed and its companionship dull and insipid. Heaven is our native land and home to us. And death to us is not the dying hour, but the birth hour!”

Today at Harvest Riverside and Orange County

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 Posted in sermons | 1 Comment »

Everybody loves a good mystery, right?
That is my topic today at Harvest Riverside and Orange County. “Mystery Babylon.”
She will play a pivotal role in the last-days scenario.
But who or what is Babylon?
Why should I even care?
The answers may surprise you.
Join us today or watch our webcast live to find answers.

Bond, James Bond.

Friday, February 15th, 2013 Posted in sermons | No Comments »

A 1964 Aston Martin sold a little while back.
It has a 282 horsepower engine and can go 145 miles per hour.

The price? 4.6 million dollars!
Why so much? It was the car that James Bond drove in the films “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball.” It has some unusual options: guns that poke through the taillights, a license plate that rotates, and best of all, an ejector seat on the passenger side! Of course, none of those features actually work.

So why so much money for the car? Because James Bond, or more specifically Sean Connery, drove it in those classic films. You see, the value is not so much in the car itself, but in the one who used it.

The same goes for you. Your “value” in God’s eyes has nothing to do with your own merit, or talents, or resources. Your worth is comes from the fact that Jesus Christ is living inside you, which makes you infinitely more valuable than an Aston Martin!

An honest assessment of the 12 men that Jesus called to be His disciples shows us that they were far from perfect. In fact, they had many flaws—just like you and me. That is not to say these were not dedicated, gifted men. But Jesus did not call them because they were great; rather their “greatness” was the result of the call of Jesus.

In 1 Corinthians 1:26–28, Paul reminds us, “Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of ‘the brightest and the best’ among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these ‘nobodies’ to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’?” (MSG).

The disciples’ greatness was not because of who they were as individuals;
it was because of the One who called and used them.

Saints and Sinners

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

The 12 men that Jesus called were a rough-cut crew. But these are men we call saints today.

Over time, we have venerated them. Forever enshrined in stained glass, they are like superheroes from the Bible—no flaws, shortcomings, imperfections; they are the spiritual elite.

And how could they not be? These saints spent three concentrated years walking and talking with, and following Jesus.

But what exactly is a saint?

A little girl was asked in her Sunday school class what a saint was. Thinking of those stained glass pictures, she said, “They are the people the light shines through.”
Is that not what all of us are called to be? We are to “let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works . . .”

So, what is a saint? A saint is a true believer.

That means that if you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, you are a saint. . . and so am I! “Saint Greg” What do you think?

But who exactly were these saints? These apostles that Jesus called? These men who changed the world? The more we get to know these men, the more human we see they are.

Sometimes we think of them as one-dimensional characters, perched on pedestals. But any honest look at their stories in the pages of Scripture would reveal otherwise.

They weren’t scholars. They weren’t religious sages. The fact of the matter is, they were quite ordinary. They were hopelessly human, remarkably unremarkable. But they were available and obedient to the Master’s call.

This is just one of the reasons that I know that the Bible is the Word of God! It is a completely honest book. It gives us our heroes “warts and all,” and I for one appreciate that.

That does not discourage me, but quite the opposite. It gives me hope as a flawed person.
Despite our flaws, God can use you and me. I hope that encourages you today.