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Sermons from New Hope Christian Fellowship

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Transforming Sorrow Into Joy

TRANSFORMING SORROW INTO JOY How do you deal with sorrow, when it comes your way? Do you ignore it? Do you find yourself sometimes asking why you have to be a bearer of it? David Brenon, a writer for Our Daily Bread, provides some insight into recognizing what can make us sorrowful. He says: One of my friends was in tears on a beautiful summer day, unable to deal with life’s difficulties. Another could not look beyond the life-altering sadnesses of her past. Still another struggled with the closing of the small church he had pastored faithfully. A fourth friend had lost his job at a local ministry. What can our struggling friends—or any of us—do to find hope? Where do we turn when tomorrow offers no happy promises?[1]

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God's Guide Into All Truth

GOD’S GUIDE INTO ALL TRUTH As I was growing up, I was taught the importance of telling the truth. I was told that telling the truth is always better than lying about something. If you tell a lie, it won’t be long until you have to tell another lie to cover the previous one up. I have observed a number of times on television as well as in life itself that it pays to tell the truth. Unfortunately, the world in which we live does not always give us the truth about situations we face or to the questions we ask. What’s the solution? Is there a truth that we can count on? Is there a truth that will not only enable us to be set free from deception, but will also contribute to our eternal future?!! The Word of God has the answer to this question. The reality is that there is only one source of truth in which we must abide.

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A Healthy Walk With God

A HEALTHY WALK WITH GOD I’d like to begin this message with a brief thought from a devotion written by Bill Crowder concerning a believer’s confidence in serving God. He writes: “While walking through a home-improvement store, I saw a man wearing a bright red T-shirt bearing this melancholy message: “Confidence: The feeling you have just before you understand the situation.” I laughed at this humorous concept, but I also realized that the shirt carried a sane and sound warning. It’s a reminder to all of us who try to get things done through confidence in our own ability or credentials but without consciously trusting in the strength of God. If we think we can accomplish life’s tasks in our own strength, that false confidence will inevitably become our undoing—and we’ll collapse under the weight of our own failings.”[1] Based upon the context of the passage we will be studying today, the disciples were not displaying the greatest confidence in the testimony of Jesus.

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Telling Others About Jesus

Do you ever think about what it must feel like to tell someone about Jesus? I recall a number of opportunities to tell someone about Jesus, and chose to pass up the opportunity. Why would I do that? After all, when you think about it, a person, according to scripture, is separated from God because of his or her sinful state. If that person doesn’t recognize the state he or she is in and make the decision to accept the gospel, they will pass on from this life into utter torment for eternity. However, I have been afraid, at times, to speak due to the possibility of rejection and / or being subjected to verbal abuse. At other times, when I recognize the opportunity and feel fear, I pray that God will give me the courage to share His gospel. The result is God’s enabling me to use the fear to move me to do what I must, and often times God gives me the privilege of leading people to Christ, in spite of my weakness and fear. Fear strikes at the heart of many, when the opportunity to tell others about Jesus becomes available. What is one to do? How can a person have confidence and courage in such circumstances and be willing to boldly share the truth of Jesus with others? Scripture has a powerful answer to these questions.

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The Friends of Jesus

THE FRIENDS OF JESUS What does it mean to be a friend? The Merriam Webster Dictionary on line relates that a friend is defined as “1 a : one attached to another by affection or esteem b : acquaintance; 2 a : one that is not hostile b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group; 3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity); 4 : a favored companion. As noted, a friend is someone who cares about you, and, in many respects, your feelings are mutual. Such friendship normally grows or struggles depending on the degree of contact between friends. A good example of a true friendship is presented in 1 Samuel 18-20. The context of these chapters reveals that Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a strong friendship with David, the son of Jesse. The context also identifies that Jonathan’s friendship with David was so strong, he took action to protect David from being murdered by Saul. Their relationship demonstrates what it means to be a true friend with your fellow man, but what about being friends with God? Is it possible to be friends with the maker of heaven and Earth? What does it mean to be friends with someone you cannot see nor have interactive communication? Our study today in the Gospel of John will enable us to see how we can establish friendship with God. Additionally, we will discover some powerful blessings that await those who actively participate in being friends with God.

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