Planting the Seed

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Planting the Seed

Well today is our second message in a series of six messages. We are doing six weeks of small groups and the focus really and theme is Growing In Jesus. That’s our whole theme over these next six weeks. We are studying 2 Peter; the book of 2 Peter and I hope you are all in a small group. We have books and materials ready for you and if you want to be in a small group just talk to them out there in the foyer or see me or Bill or somebody and we will help you get into a small group. We would love to do it.

Now I want to take, this illustration I am going to give you comes directly out of your book on page 90. This is this week’s reading. And I am doing this to um if you didn’t get to read it I want to entice you to read it. Here is the illustration. If I ask you the question, really and truly what is life all about? What is it all about? What is the meaning here? What are we going through all of this? Well in your book it starts this way, they asked Lee Iacocca who most of us know was a leader in the car industry and he helped the Chrysler company sort of revive their sales back in the 1980’s; very popular man, well-known business man. So he is asked the question what is life all about? Lee Iacocca said here I am in the twilight of my life still wondering what it is all about. He says I know this fame and fortune is for the birds.

Now another person was asked, this is Gary Carter who was inducted into the major league Hall of Fame; major league baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, and in his acceptance speech he shared this, he said this. “Above all I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A great verse that spoke to me while I was writing my speech and kind of explains what it is all about, what life is all about to me, comes in Psalms 118.” You may want to make note of that Psalms 118. “It goes this way. I love you Lord. You are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my Savior. My God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, and my strength, and my salvation and my stronghold. I will call on the Lord who is worthy of praise.” And then it says “I praise you Lord my God my best friend for giving me the ability, the desire to love, the guidance that has brought me here today without you I would be nothing.” That’s the Hall of Famer. That was his speech. And when I read this its interesting Ginny and I have scripture throughout our house. Some of you have been there. We have crosses. We have Bibles. And in my bathroom is this very scripture that we just read and I read it often. What is life all about? Well today we are going to talk about this. Would you take out your sermon notes with me? Today we are going to be talking about Planting the Seed. Now planting the seed is talking about answering this question today. What is life about? Considering you are the seed where will you plant yourself? That’s what we are talking about.

I want you to open your Bibles to the book of 2 Peter, chapter 1. Just open it up. It’s right there in front of you. You have the pew Bible. You are going to use your Bible but everybody have a Bible because I only have partial scriptures up here today and so we will be reading from your scriptures. Now who has the pew Bible? What page are we on? 1205 if you’re looking in your Bible just turn to 1205 and you’ll be right with us. We’re in the book of 2 Peter and this is what this message is about. Would you read this with me? Depend on the Lord for everything. Okay this is the first thing you do is write, fill in this note in your sermon notes here. Depend on the Lord for everything. If you’re planting your seed, if you want to plant yourself in something, this is where you plant it. You want to plant it in the Lord who you depend on the Lord for how much? Everything. Not a few things. Not the tough things. Everything.

Now here is our scripture that goes with it. I have this up here. Would you read this with me? His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness ... 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV) Okay I want to read that again. His divine power has given us how much? Everything we need for what? Life and godliness. We are going to talk about godliness today and we are going to talk about life. What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of life? When you get to the end of your life, what will you talk about? What will you think about? What will you be proud about? What will you be happy about? You know what excites you? What kind of things come into your mind? Let me answer my own question by this I think the older I get the more I think about my wife and my kids and my grandkids. Is that kind of what you guys think about too? You think about people about who are closest to you; the loved ones. That’s who you think about. Life is surely about them and aren’t we blessed to have parents, brothers and sisters, kids, wives, husbands, friends. It’s wonderful.

Now I want you to have your Bibles open. We’re going to read, now I want to go from here to your Bible. I’m looking at 2 Peter. I’m looking now at chapter 1, verse 3. Now we are going to repeat a little bit of this verse but you haven’t read all of it. I’m going to read all of it now. In verse 3 in your Bible it says His divine power has given us how much? everything we need for a life and godliness now here we go through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Okay hold it right there. Wow! We have a knowledge. We have information. We have a sense and God has put his love on our hearts. God is in our hearts. Amen. And he has put his information not only about him but he wants to have a friendship with us and a relationship with us. That’s the hard part. And when I think of Jesus and when I think about my Lord, I think of my closes friend. I talk about the Lord all the time with the Lord and there are good times and bad times.

Last week I told you I think all of us may be going through a pruning time. This is a little time of pain. This is when God is saying hello. Remember what I’ve taught you? Walk in this way. I know he is doing that with me and helping me to grow in new ways. He actually is so good to us that if we didn’t get it right when he led us down a particular path guess what? He gives you a second chance so you’re going to get to do that over again. Have you ever done something or somebody came to you and you said man I could have talked about Jesus? I could have said something about my Lord to that person but I didn’t do it. Ever happen to you? And the Lord says you will get a second chance. So we learn by pruning. The pruning is what happens.

Now I want to give you a context of our scripture today. The folks that lived when this was written lived in a Roman colony. It was basically what we call Turkey today. In these cities up in Turkey they called is Asia Minor. They called it Asia. That’s what they called it. And these were occupied by Rome; the strongest nation around but there was a Greek influence. People spoke Greek. They spoke Latin and they spoke if you were Hebrew Aramaic. But basically everybody spoke Greek and that is the language of the New Testament. That is going to be important in just a little bit. The brothers and sisters though who were Christians and lived in that environment were under constant, constant bombardment and temptation to sin. They walk out their front door and boom! It starts right there. This place was a you might say a hot bed of sin.

You know sin is like entering into things, doing something that we know we ought not to do. And the way it is connected with us is that we have certain desires in our heart and when we see that sin it kind of connects with us and then the definition remember? This is the definition of sin. Remember what it is? I know more than God. That is the definition of sin. I know more than God. And it is kind of like oh I can do this. I can go by there. I can eat that, drink that, see that or involve myself in it when we know what’s going to happen because sometimes we say I am smarter than God. That won’t get me. The brothers and sisters were completely engulfed by that. In fact as I am talking about it, does this remind you of any place you live? I mean right here in our society 24/7 there is a lot of temptation around here, isn’t there? You see it on the news, on the billboards, magazines, on the Internet. It’s all there.

So the Apostle Peter is writing to them and he is saying to them basically here is the sermon now basically Peter is saying to them you guys are saved by the grace of God. You’re going to be with the Lord. When the Lord comes, you’re going and I’m saying that to you too. Now you’re in. In other words, you’re in the family okay. Isn’t that good? Say amen. That’s good. That’s a good thing. Now the Lord through Peter is saying there is something God wants you to do and that is he wants us to cooperate with him.

Now the cooperation is the same kind of cooperation you would like to have with your children. When you say to your children, you know what be sure and eat those vegetables. Why do you want kids to eat their vegetables? You want them to be healthy and strong. You’re not doing it because you hate them. You’re not doing it because you’re trying to punish them. No. And don’t we hope that our kids cooperate with us? I got one amen. Can I get another one? Amen. Okay we do want them. When you say to the kids you know just have one piece of candy. Don’t have five. Is it because you hate them? You want them to cooperate with you so their teeth won’t rot out and you know they won’t get sick. There are a lot of reasons. And when we say to the kids you know I really prefer that you don’t hang around with her or him. It’s not because you don’t dislike those kids. It may be because their influence on the kids and that’s why you say it to them. In the same way God is saying to us there are some vegetables I want you to eat. Watch out hanging around with those folks over there okay. Does God hate us? Does he want to make our life miserable? No he doesn’t. No. And so Peter because he is a servant of God writes by influence of the Holy Spirit you know. It’s not dictated by the way. It’s through Peter’s words.

Now look in your Bibles again. Verse 3. Look at it again. It says His divine power now by the way, whose power is it? It’s not your power. It’s not my power. It’s God’s power. This is the word dynamite; duetimus. I love this word. Don’t you? Dynamite. The dynamite power of God. Here it goes. Look in your Bibles . . . has given us everything we need for a godly life and what else? Do you see the word godliness there? What does godliness mean? Ask your neighbor what does godliness mean? Go ahead. What did your neighbor say? How many huhs did you get? Huh? Well let’s take it from the top. Does God love you? Does he care about you? Does he want the best for you? Okay that’s godliness right there man. We got it. We nailed that one. Okay so the divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through this is how he does it through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. That’s how he talks to us. He speaks to us through his goodness and his glory.

Now this is talking about this. God’s power is unstoppable. Nobody can stop God. Right? God is saying I am going to give you gifts. I am going to give you power and nothing, no one including the enemy of everybody can stop it because it is God’s power. In other words, there is power for everybody. See. Now it can’t be defeated. It can’t be frustrated. God’s power is going to go through and those in God’s family is going to go through and when he comes we’re going to say man it was because of God and his power that we are here today. Amen.

Okay so what has happened is that at the cross of Christ our enemy was defeated utterly and completely okay at the cross 2,000 years ago. We live in the in between times. We live between the cross and the second coming. We’re living right in between. But wait a minute who won the war? Christ has already won the war. It’s over. He has won. Then you say why am I tempted? Because we are in the in between times. When God decides he is going to come, he decides okay. So we are on the side of the victorious conqueror. He is the conqueror. He is the one that gave himself on the cross for us so we can live victoriously. You don’t have to live with one foot in sin and one foot not in sin you might say. There are some things that we are doing we know we ought not to do and God is bringing it to our attention today you know. He wants us to live victorious lives and we’re going to do it.

Now I want you to look at verse 4 now. We’re ready to look at verse 4. Are you in verse 4? Now when it says . . . now listen . . . this is for you Bible students. Through these now when you see the words “through these” you have to ask yourself what these is he talking about. He is talking about the glory and goodness. So it could read this way. Through the glory and goodness he has given us his very great and precious what? promises, so that through them you may what? participate okay what is that word again? Participate. That doesn’t mean spectator does it? It means participate. Now some of us can go and participate in soccer. Right? And there are some who observe. Right? There is the participants and there is the people who kind of observe; the watchers. This one says that we need to be on the field playing because it says through them you may participate in the what? Wow! the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. God has given us the power.

Now write this down on your notes okay. 1 Corinthians 10:13. 1 Corinthians just write 1 C o-r, 1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 13. This was a verse that Ginny and I . . . this was our first memory verse huh Gin. No temptation has taken you that is not common to man. And God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted this is what I love he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. But when the temptation, he will give you a way of escape. Isn’t that an amazing scripture? That is an amazing scripture. So in other words what temptation are you in today? Now look it. Temptation takes all forms, many forms. It could be something you want in your heart. You know you’re not supposed to do but you want it you know. Okay that is temptation. There are all sorts of these things. There are the sins of omission; the things we should do and the sins of commission; the things that we do do. All right. We should be doing some stuff. We’re not doing it. And we’re doing something we shouldn’t do it. Okay. But we’re talking about here today that God is giving us the opportunity to participate with him in the divine nature and that’s pretty good. And what that does is it gives us strength. When we participate with the Lord, we’re like the kids. You know eat your food. Eat your vegetables. Don’t talk to him or her you know. Kind of do what I ask you to do. We cooperate. It’s for our good. Amen.

I heard a great story. Kylie Bisutti is a model for Victoria Secret. How many of you know Victoria Secret? Okay men. Come on. I should have every man’s hand up. Don’t do that. Come on now. Come on. Huh. Me and Ginny are in the mall, we’re walking and here are these huge pictures of models on the windows you know when you walk by in the mall and these huge pictures of women you know what I am talking about. They need to put on their blouse basically and some other things. Well Kylie Bisutti was a young woman of 19 years old who saw an advertisement to come and to participate in a selection process that Victoria Secret was looking for a super model basically. 10,000 young girls showed up; 10,000. Can you imagine that? And they put them through the process and at the end Kylie was selected and she became one of the models for Victoria Secret, and she worked for them and basically she enjoyed her job. Her job was basically modeling lingerie. But she herself in the article I was reading says lingerie is not clothing. Can I get an amen on that? But what happened to her is that she became more and more uncomfortable with modeling lingerie. You see she says I am a Christian. And as she read her Bible, the Holy Spirit spoke to her and she became more convicted than ever. She says my body should only be for my husband. And that I don’t want she says I don’t want to be a role model, she is a role model by the way, I don’t want to be a role model to young girls modeling lingerie. I want to be a role model to young girls of choosing the right course. And so she quit her job. Now she is going to continue to model but it is going to be clothes. The real thing. The real deal you know. She says it is pretty crazy because when she was growing up she really wanted to be one of these models you know on the run way and she got to do that. But what happened was she read her Bible, heard sermons, read devotional books, the Holy Spirit spoke to her and she became part of the divine nature and said you know what I can’t participate in this anymore. I am going to quit and she did.

See what the Bible is talking about is that we need to make choices that internalize things that the Bible talks about. When you read something in the Word of God, a lot of times it is possible to read it, and say boy that is great and I hope other people can do that you know. That’s a good idea. We want to be able to read it and say the Lord is speaking to me. This is what I need to do. Maybe some of us need to quit a job. I don’t know. See. But God is calling us to his divine nature. He is calling us with his divine power. In other words, he is not just asking us to do something we can’t do. He is asking us to do something that he is empowering us to do. Amen. Absolutely. And this girl, Kylie’s eyes were opened, and she was convicted, and she responded to God’s call. So that is the kind of cooperation that Peter is talking about here. We have a knowledge of God. We have the divine power of God and we can be part of that divine nature okay.

So point one. I am going to go back here. This is the point one. Depend on the Lord for everything. In other words, never leave the house without the Lord. Never think that you are going to go somewhere oh I will be okay. I’m strong. No you’re not. None of us are strong. We are all weak. In fact, it is better to weak than strong. The Bible says when I am weak, then I am strong. That’s where strength comes in and we don’t want to leave home without the Lord okay and without the consideration, the internalization of God’s Word in our lives. See it is not just coming here and oh Pastor Mitch yeah we have to listen to another sermon. Okay hope it is short. Anyway, it’s not just about that. It’s about the influence that God has on our hearts. Isn’t it? Really. And becoming his people and living in a victorious life. So depend on the Lord for everything.

Here we go with the other thing. I love this point. Can you read this? Live lavishly with the Lord. What does lavishly mean? Huh. Keep it coming. Keep pouring it in here. Let me have it. Give me some more of that. Lavishly. Generously. With a lot of generosity. Live with a lot of generosity with the Lord. And what you are going to find here now here is what you’re going to find in the scripture before you even get to it is the amount of lavish living that you and I do is totally dependent on us. Not God. It’s all there for us. The divine power is there. The lavish living depends on our reception of it okay. Look what the Bible says. Would you read this? For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith ... 2 Peter 1:5 (NIV) Now when the Bible says For this very reason in other words, God is giving you his divine power. He has invited you to come and be a participant in the divine nature, and he has guaranteed it with himself. That is the invitation basically. That is point one; invitation.

This is point two. For this very reason, because of the invitation of God, make every effort to add to your faith. Now there is going to be a list of things in your Bible and I want you to look at that list of things here. If you have your Bibles open to verse 5, it says For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith what? goodness; and to goodness, what? knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, what? perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Now the Bible does this. The Bible gives us lists of things like this. And the reason the Bible was written this way is because people didn’t have text books in the 1st Century. They didn’t. And so the Bible writers made it easy to memorize something like this and you can memorize it. And then you can go through the day kind of reflecting on it and thinking about it. And these are words that really you and I are familiar with. We are familiar with these words because if you look at goodness, it backs up rather in verse 5. I’m going to verse 5 again. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith by the way, what is faith? Remember what faith is. Faith is being sure and certain. Just write that down. Faith is sure and certain. Sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. That comes from Hebrews 11:1. So write that down; Hebrews 11:1. So when we are talking about faith, faith has to do with things we are sure and certain about. We are absolutely certain about it. See. We’re not, see when it says being sure of what you hope for, by the way, in the Bible when you are hoping for something, it is as if it has already happened. See in our society we hope that we will have a good day. We hope someone might come over or give us a call. We hope because we don’t know. But when the Bible talks about hope it’s like it has already happened so you can be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. That is pretty impressive. Isn’t it? Hebrews 11:1.

Now the Word says . . . add to your faith goodness. Now I want to stop at goodness a minute. Now goodness is not being goody two-shoes. Oh you’re so good you know. I want to be like you. You’re so good. See that is being fake. You don’t want to be fake. We’re not going to be plastic. We’re going to be real. Goodness really this is what goodness is. Goodness is the courage to practice what you learned in the Bible. That’s what goodness is. Goodness is courage to practice what you learned in the Bible. Put it to use. It’s kind of like this way kids eat your vegetables. So goodness is eating your vegetables. Putting to practice what you know is the right thing. That is what goodness is. Cause really the Bible says there are how many good people? None. There are none good. No not one. So that is why I had to define goodness in case you got the idea here is good. Now you’re good. We love you. You know I love you right. The Lord loves you. And when he says goodness though he is talking about courage. See that is why you need me so I can kind of define these words for you. If we were reading out of the Greek, it would be no problem.

Now goodness you get knowledge. We know what knowledge is. Knowledge is getting that information and not only the information but the relationship with God. God is with us. Don’t you feel God in your life and in your heart? Don’t you feel him? He is there with us and guiding us. That’s what knowledge is.

Knowledge goes to self-control. That makes sense. When you know the Lord, he is in your heart and you have self-control. What is self-control? What is self-control? Yeah we know. It’s actions. It’s like knowing when to say yes and knowing when to say no. Knowing when to take it and when not to take it. Knowing when to go there and not to go there. Right? Self-control is just knowing and it is based on your knowledge of the Lord and the Bible.

Then self-control goes perseverance and perseverance means don’t give up. Never give up. You never, never give up. You keep trying. There is another huge temptation that I want to tell you about. A lot of times when I talk about temptations is doing stuff. There’s another temptation too. When things happen to us. If we get sick or if we lose our job or if something beyond our control is happening to us there is a temptation to go hey where is God? What is God doing about this? Believe me this is one of God’s promises to you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. If you are going through something, you know that God is with you. Amen. He is not doing it to you. He is there with you. Bad things happen because we live in an evil world. This is an evil place. This is a bad place. We don’t like it. That’s why we are just passing through. God doesn’t do stuff to us. He is here to save us, and redeem us and we’re going to get past that temptation. So we need to persevere. You never, never ever never give up. Tell your neighbor never give up. Go ahead. Never give up ever.

So when you have perseverance then you’ve got godliness. What is godliness again? Remember we defined it. Yeah. You’ve got courage. You love people. You care for people. You are kind to people. It’s kind of nice. Even the lady at the market. Every time you get her as a checker it is like oh I got her. Say something nice to her. You know maybe she needs a little love you know.

When you have godliness, then you can go to brotherly love. This is the word Philadelphia. That’s your Greek word for the day. Philadelphia. So brotherly kindness is just we’re your brothers and sisters we have to love and we need to love one another.

And when we can do brotherly kindness, then you can go to agape and then you can really love God and others like you should. See it is real progressive. Isn’t it? It’s really made for us to understand it and apply it to our lives.

I found this. I hope you don’t mind. I’m such a nerd when it comes to words. Sorry. But I want to show you something. Now if you take your Bibles, and we’re in here and we’re looking at the passage in verse 5. In fact, I think I have it on the screen. Yeah. In verse 5 you see where it says look at your Bibles For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith okay. I want you to if it’s your Bible, I want you to circle the word “to add.” See those two little words “to add?” If you have your Bible, circle it. I have it up here. See where it says make every effort to add okay I am going to talk about the Greek word “to add.” Are you there? Is it okay? Alright here we go. The word actually “to add” means to equip. It means to equip. And when you equip somebody, and we’re talking about yourself now, yourself, when you equip yourself, you want to do it lavishly.

Let me tell you a story. In the Greek the Greeks use the word that we have here “to add” and it meant a person who was get this a choreographer. Now you know a choreographer teaches dance routines but it also has the word chorus. Now in the Greek days when the Greeks society and culture was expanding and huge, there were great guys like Sophocles and Euripides, these are people who wrote plays, stage plays. When Ginny and I visited Israel in the town of Caesarea, they have this huge amphitheater. It is a shell shaped thing. It looks like the Hollywood Bowl, and literally hundreds maybe thousands of people can sit there and listen to what is happening on the stage. So the Greeks were really good about giving us stories and plays and things like that.

Now these stories and plays were so important to the society that certain individuals would become the choreographer. It means more than just a dance routine. These were wealthy people who would actually pay for all of the staff who would be needed to be in a particular play; just one play, one play. That person would sometimes would have to up their wages so they could come to the rehearsals. They had to learn their lines. They had to learn the music. These plays a lot of times the whole chorus, the whole group of people would speak in unison and they would talk about the characters and make a comment. That’s how they would project their plays so it took a lot of people to put on one of these plays. In fact, it was, it has been estimated that if you were a choreographer you were the person funding this it would cost about $120,000 to do one play. And actually the price goes up from there depending on how we calculate certain things in their money to our money but there is a pretty good sum. Isn’t it? So people in the community felt so strongly about the messages of these plays they were willing to spend their own money to keep it going. So that person would get people together kind of like a producer. Hire all the people, all the actors, give them their lines, go through it, run through it so once a year they could have the play.

Now here is what I am getting to. When the producer would provide for their costumes, and for the settings, and crowns and all that he could get the $5.00 costume or he can get the $50.00 costume. What this is talking about is that every time they got the $50.00 costume. They could have gotten the $3.00 shoes or the $30.00 shoes they got the $30.00 shoes. This person was extravagant. He was lavish. He didn’t mind spending his money because he believed in what he was doing. See. And so the message to us is when you think about these moral and ethical issues, goodness, and kindness, and godliness, and brotherly love it is meant to add to your life lavishly. See. Not the $5.00 shoes but the $50.00 shoes. If you’re going to talk about your life in Christ, do it in a way that brings glory to God. Don’t be cheap.

Now what comes to mind is a story of Ebenezer Scrooge. How many know Ebenezer Scrooge? I love the book. I love the story. So Ebenezer Scrooge is a wealthy man. He is so wealthy and everybody doesn’t like him. They kind of hate him. Every night he goes home to this huge mansion. Opens the door. Locks it and when you go in, there is basically nothing in the mansion, a piece of furniture here and there. Mostly what’s in there are bugs, spiders, spider webs, mice because he is a skinflint. He doesn’t keep his place up. So when he walks upstairs he is going to have a little something to eat for the night. In his bedroom he’s got a bed, a chair and a small table and he sits by a fire that he only puts a couple of pieces of coal in there because he is a skinflint. He is not lavish.

We have a choice in our lives. Sometimes we are like Ebenezer Scrooge. Do you really take on self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly love? Do you really expose yourself to it and try to let yourself be that kind of person or are you like Ebenezer? And then the first Ghost of Christmas Past is this big real tall man whose got this big spread. Do you guys remember the story? And he has all the presents there, and all of this food, and there is so much gaiety and laughter, and it is great man. That’s how we should be with these items I talked about. See. The Bible is saying and Peter is saying don’t be skimpy. Don’t be scroogeish. When it talks about faith, and knowledge, and self-control, and perseverance in your life lavish these things in your life. Be glad for them.

Now turn it around if you say to your kids, eat your vegetables and they did. Don’t talk to that boy or girl out there, and they did will they be better people? It’s pretty quiet in here. Will they be better? How about us? If we apply these things to our lives, what’s going to happen to us? We’re going to see things differently. We’re not going to be goody two-shoes. You know a real genuine Christian is just a normal person.

By the way, I am going to tell you something. This woman that I talked about and I started off Kylie, she is in the news because she made a decision to leave lingerie because she felt morally it was wrong. Now five weeks from now is she going to you know and we find out that she fell down and she did something wrong, was her testimony today was nothing but lies? No. Because we got to listen what I’m saying is that when we are Christians, we’re going to live, and when you live, you make mistakes. We all do. That’s not what I am talking about. We are going to make mistakes but in the process we learn from there, we grow from them and we look at what God has given us in terms of understanding, his divine nature, his divine power and we become different people.

Now look at verse 10. Almost done now. It says in verse 10. You all there in your Bibles? It says Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. You are called by God. You are in the family. You are in. Okay you are saved by the grace of God. Not by what you do but you do need to do something. Look at what it says. For if you do these things, you will never ever what? fall, and you receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That time is coming. Amen! It is good stuff huh. You can share this. It’s okay with me. Share anything you want. Take it all. Share it. Talk about it. The Lord loves us and he is good all the time. Isn’t he? All we need to do is to say yes Lord to the offer on the table today.

Now I am going to pray in just a minute but I want you to take out those cards in front of you; those little cards. Take out everybody take out one of those pew cards and because you just can’t hear a sermon like this and walk away. You need to say Pastor Mitch I am going to be working on this. Now but my prayer need this is what I am looking for today. Prayer needs. What is your prayer need? Write your prayer need down. Say I am feeling a little weak. Just write your name up there. I am not going to call you weak. Hello weakness. Yeah this is Pastor Mitch. Yeah what are you weak about? No. If you’re weak, you’re just telling the truth. Tell me where you need some help. Just say what is your prayer need today. When you heard this sermon, what comes into your heart and life? Write your name on there. Write your telephone number down and write the prayer down. You can flip it on the back side and write your name. Now put those in the offering plate when it comes by. The deacons give them to me. They don’t read them. I read them and I will get back to you okay. We believe God is going to do great things in our lives. Don’t you? We are facing some tough times, aren’t we? But God is there with us. He is going to give us the power to go through and be his people. Okay let’s pray now.

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