Friday, July 2, 2010
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Eddie Lawrence, D.Min
10 THINGS TO REMEMBER IN A BAD ECONOMY–Sermon Starter
The following is a free sermon outline by Eddie based on Jeremiah 29:10-14 entitled 10 Things to Remember in a Bad Economy. As with all the sermon outlines on this site, it is free for you to use.
10 Things to Remember in a Bad Economy
Ancient Israel found themselves in a severe crisis as a people and a nation. They had been plundered and led away captive. In their disobedience they stood confused about it all. They had been given so many promises, had they lost their value? Had God changed His mind? Was there no hope in their future? Then the Lord speaking through Jeremiah, reminded them of His heart for them and His plans. Read His words:
Jeremiah 29: 10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”(New Living Translation)
There are some truths in the above passage we need to remember in these troubles times as a nation founded on a belief in God and the standard of His Word. An honest evaluation is always healthy.
1. Man’s Sin is Costly – This is just truth. It was Israel’s sin that brought the enemy’s authority into their own borders. There had been blatent rebellion and the serving of idol gods and abandonment of God’s Word on a massive wide scale. The result was the loss of their national security and personal security.
2. God’s Promises are Sure — I am always encouraged by the fact that God is God. He always has the trump card. Heaven never has to meet in an emergency session to try to figure out what needs to be done. I firmly believe the devil is on a leash and God can yank his chain at any moment. Notice v10– "I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised…" Dear friends hang on to the good Word of God. His promises are sure regardless of the circumstances.It sometimes takes time (For Israel it was 70 years), but God will honor what He has spoken.
3.God’s Heart is for Restoration — In v10, He says "I will bring you home again." He did it too. History records for us how Israel came back home to their land. It has happened more than once.
If you are suffering due to a bad choice or decision, please know that God’s heart moves toward repentance. He desires to restore. He specializes in rescuing people from messes.
4. God’s Plans are Good — Notice v11! God states His intentions toward Israel. His intentions toward believers today are clearly spelled out (Rom. 8:28-38). It means so much during crisis to be reminded that God has a plan and it’s intentions are good. Put your stock into the promise of God and bank on the goodness of the heart of God. Everything He does has redemption in it.
5. God Does Not Plot Disaster — Read v11 again. His plans are not to release disaster. Lay that on the devil’s doorstep. God is a good Father and does not plot evil toward His children.
6. God’s Future for You is filled with Hope — When you serve God, you always have something to look forward to. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train!
7. God is Already Planning on Answering Your Future Prayers — v12 This is so encouraging to know especially during times when you don’t even feel like praying or when what you prayed for has not yet happened.
8. God Wants to Be Found by You — v13 His heart is for us to pursue Him and He will let us catch Him. He longs for deep intimate fellowship with us. Seek Him knowing that this is His heart toward you.
9. God will Reverse Circumstances and Restore Fortunes — v14 Wow. What a blessing to know that a comeback is being planned and all the enemy has taken over will be retaken. God will the turn the tables around.
10. God Has a Heart to Gather and Bring Things Together – v14 All through the Scripture you see God gathering things together for His purposes whether its the waters in Genesis One or a nation in Jeremiah 29. God can bring things together for good. We can stake our claim on that!
God's Fathering Tips
by Eddie Lawrence
Let's look at four great tips from the Bible that remind us what God does as our Father and will help us be better fathers as well.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[b] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God is so patient as our Heavenly Father. He withholds His judgement as He waits for people to repent.
-We should be careful about losing our patience with our children.
Following are some of my Facebook postings that I believe can provide ideas for sermons.
SERMON IDEA – MOVING PAST YOUR PAST!
When you are afraid to advance due to past failure, remember that the only path forward is from where you are. You cannot begin where you are "not". Eventually your options are to become frozen, to regress, or to choose to move ahead. It is always where we go from where we actually are that determines our future. Don't live in your past-good or bad. It is today that connects to tomorrow, not yesterday. Live today
SERMON IDEA – OUCH AND OH GLORY!
I love Phil. 1:6 which tells us that the Lord begins the work in us and will bring it to completion. He has an end in view of what He desires to see in our lives and He works toward that end. Sometimes He is very tender, other times very tenacious, but love always is His motive in handling us. So His hard squeezes and tender strokes work together to form Christ in us. So it's Ouch and Oh Glory simultaneously.
THE HARDEST THING YOU'LL EVER DO – FORGIVE
by Mikki Lawrence
The following sermon outline idea is based on one my wife's, Mikki, recent postings. I have included just an excerpt below. Please go to her site to read it in it's entirety at Mikki's Journey.
What are the truths we need to know about forgiveness? I will offer a few today, and I plan to write more on this in the next few days because I can’t possibly cover it all today so know that this is a part one of a series. I offer them as suggestions from a heart that acknowledges my own weakness, my humanness, my Incomplete grade on the course, but I offer them in my own pursuit of wholeness and in the hope and belief that they might help others.
1. Forgiveness is a process. It is complicated. If we are real about the hard stuff, we must all admit that we are unable in our humanness to deal the death blow to offense in one broad stroke. I have said before that we choose to forgive, and yes, that is true. We choose, but truthfully that choice is the beginning step. It is a necessary step, but it is only a beginning step that places us on the track of healing. Great offense requires that we choose again and again and again and again. When our buried alive emotions fly out of their grave, we must choose again to access God’s grace and forgive.
2. When we think of forgiveness, we tend to view it as one person or group or family that has been wronged by another. However, relationships are much more complicated than that. More often than not, both sides carry a measure of the “blame”.
3. There is a difference in a heart that vows never to forgive an offense and a heart that acknowledges its struggle to forgive but desires to. The process of forgiveness can be a real process that is happening in our hearts and coexists with our struggling emotions. God works with us in our weaknesses. Each step towards healing, however incomplete, is important.
4. The process of forgiveness requires us to feel – our losses, our grief, our hatreds – whether they be toward ourselves or others. The process of forgiveness confronts our hearts with our emotions, and this is very important. We are less than truthful when we deny the authenticity of our feelings. Acknowledging those emotions does open the door on the path of allowing healing to come into those places. I was recently troubled by a statement someone made to me about their recent hurt. “It’s really okay,” they said and then they offered their reasons on why it was no big deal. And it was a lie. It was a big deal, but they “needed” emotionally to just push it away, deny its pain. That is inauthentic and distances us from the grace of God which comes to heal us when we are able to admit our pain.
The following are excerpts from a sermon by George Whitefield entitled, Marks of Having Received the Holy Spirit. I have taken the liberty to add some structural elements to make it more outlined. The content is all his.
Marks of having Received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:2, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"
Two different significations have been given of these words. Some have supposed, that the question here put, is, Whether these disciples, whom St. Paul found at Ephesus, had received the Holy Ghost by imposition of hands at confirmation? Others think, these disciples had been already baptized into John's baptism; which not being attended with an immediate effusion of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle here asks them, Whether they had received the Holy Ghost by being baptized into Jesus Christ? And upon their answering in the negative, he first baptized, and then confirmed them in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.
The context of the above verse speaks to a tumultuous time in the last days when tribulation and persecution abounds. In the environment of accusation, betrayal, and rejection, Jesus teaches us that patience will be needed to gain and win the victory over one's soul that will be tempted to cave in and flee. Let's look at the this lesson about patience and see what this truth holds for us.
1. Patience is the means by which our soul is possessed.
2. If you do not possess your soul, your soul will possess you.
The following is a simple sermon outline about praising the Divine names of God. It focuses on the compound Divine names and can be used to teach people about praise, prayer, and the nature of God all in one sermon. Of course, they all point to the Jesus and what He has done for us.
Learn to Voice and Praise God using the various names we find attributed to God in Scripture. They tell us something about His nature and character. They give us insight into what He does for us. The compound names sometimes referred to as the Jehovah names are full of application and meaning for us. They also point to Jesus as He was God come in human flesh.
1. Jehovah Jireh means God will provide.
Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
1.Act on Jesus Word through Prayer.
2. Believe in Jesus Word that He Desires to Fill You.
3. Expect the Holy Spirit to Fill You with Power.
3 Big Questions
by Eddie Lawrence
2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.
1. WHO AM I?
-This speaks to your person.
I actually got this idea from an entry on my wife Mikki's blog (read it for background to this sermon outline). I took the idea and thought it would make a powerful sermon for people to hear and meditate upon.
TEXT: John 4:15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
Here we have a story where Jesus shows us how to reach out to someone who has been checked off most people's list.