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Sermons from New Hope Christian Fellowship

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God's Concern Glorified

GOD’S CONCERN GLORIFIED INTRODUCTION When I think about the powerful glory of God being displayed in creation, I often wonder how such glory can be displayed through the efforts of man. Is it possible for man to be an instrument of God’s glory? Let me share with you a couple of examples of God’s glory being observed by man. Moses was God’s choice to lead the Israelite nation out of Egypt, and was also God’s representative to His people. After receiving the Ten Commandments, the Bible tells us in Exodus 34:29-35 that the glory of God shown from the face of Moses. God’s glory showed in such a way that the Israelites were afraid to come near him. The Bible also tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 that, with the coming of Jesus, a new glory was given to man, unlike the glory reflected from Moses that faded away. This glory is provided by the Holy Spirit, God’s glory which does not fade away. Thus, anyone who is a child of God possesses the ability to show His glory to others by simply living in a manner, striving to bring glory to God. This glory can be observed, when the child of God embraces God’s concern for the lost and for His children.

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God's Concern In Action

GOD’S CONCERN IN ACTION INTRODUCTION Miracle survival stories from Haiti earthquake[1] – It’s amazing to see how God works in some of the most difficult situations to permit the rescue of those in desperate need. However, it’s hard to imagine how those who survived the recent earthquake in Haiti are responding to the loss of so many loved ones. The pain has to be hard to bare. They are in certain need of continual prayer. As we begin our study of God’s Word today, let’s take some glimpses of what the Bible says about heartache and sorrow. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 tells us that God is the source of all comfort. Such word is most encouraging in the most difficult times of life. Psalms 55:22 encourages the believer in God to cast all of his or her concerns on the Lord. The Bible also tells those who are struggling to persevere, for there is coming a day when such sorrow will be no more (Revelation 21:3-4). Let me ask you a question. Are you struggling with difficulty and sorrow today over some tragedy in your life? Maybe you’re in the middle of an unbearable struggle at this very moment. Let me assure you that God is aware. He cares and has provided a way for you and me to overcome the pain we are experiencing. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me to John 11. We will be studying verses 17-37. As you turn there, I will provide some background thought.

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God's Concern For You

GOD’S CONCERN FOR YOU INTRODUCTION When I think about the concern God has for me, I think about the testimonial love that the apostle Paul speaks of in Ephesians 5:22-33. Paul speaks of the love a man is to have for his wife and the love the wife is to have for her husband. The relationship is one of love and sacrificial concern. I remember a time in my life, when the importance of my love for the wife God gave me became quite evident. I was serving on Embassy duty in Colombo, Sri Lanka as a detachment commander for the Marine Security Guards serving at the embassy. While serving there, I was forewarned about a virus that could make a person quite sick, even to the point of death. I didn’t think much of it, until my wife contracted it through a mosquito bite. The name of the illness is “Dengue Fever.” When contracted, the virus causes the person to experience a high grade temperature. My wife had a temperature of 105 degrees for a two day period of time. Professional health care was unavailable to us. Besides, it was on a weekend and the medical clinic at the embassy was closed. I was quite worried about my wife’s condition. I was praying and trying to trust God, but I needed help with my unbelief. Then it happened. God brought a potential solution to my mind. I contacted some friends we had met at church who worked for the Canadian Embassy. They had medication that killed the virus. In God’s timing, my wife was returned to me in full recovery! Our text for today brought this memory to mind. God has a genuine concern for those who are His. If you have your Bible with you, turn with me to John 11. We will be looking at the first 16 verses. While you are turning there, I want to share with you some of the context of the passage we will be studying. BACKGROUND The Gospel of John has been revealing some powerful works that Jesus performed, all attributed by Jesus to be the works of His Father. Many lives were dramatically changed through His ministry efforts. However, as John reveals, there were those who refused to believe in Jesus, and thereby, chose to verbally abuse and even, at times, tried to kill Him. If we look back into John 10, we see Jesus testifying about the power He has over life and death (VV. 17-18). Our text for today helps us to see that Jesus has the power to back up His testimony. Let’s take a look at our text.

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The Work Of The Shepherd

THE WORK OF THE SHEPHERD INTRODUCTION Joseph Stowell, a writer for RBC Ministries Our Daily Bread, presents an interesting perspective on how we view God: The word awesome is tossed around a lot these days. Talk about cars, movies, songs, or food—and somebody will say, “That’s awesome!” But if we call earth-side stuff awesome and then call God awesome, we diminish how truly awesome He is. A friend of mine has a rule in her house—the word awesome is reserved only for God. Trivializing God is no trivial matter. He is far more than a companion who will fit into our “buddy system” or a divine ATM responding to our impulses. Until we are stunned by the awesomeness of God, we will be way too impressed with ourselves and lose the joy of the privilege of belonging to an awesome God. A look at the Psalms puts it all in perspective. One psalmist declares, “For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2). And another psalm commands: “Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your works!’ . . . Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men” (Ps. 66:3,5). What could be more awesome than the love that compelled Jesus to go to the cross for us? Put Him in His proper place as the only One who is truly awesome, and praise God for His awesome work in your life![1]

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The Shepherd of Life

Whenever I think of the term “shepherd,” I think of the birth narrative, where an angel of the Lord appeared to a number of shepherds to tell them that Jesus had been born. I also think of someone full of wisdom watching over many who are not quite as smart and who need guidance for life. It is a common understanding that a shepherd is a person who watches over and cares for a herd or flock of animals. The animals are quite dependent upon the shepherd for his or her protection and provision. In modern day thinking, shepherds are still prevalent where livestock is in need of guidance and care. In the corporate world, an example of shepherds would be those who are CEOs or owners of businesses. Those who are mindful of caring about others will take efforts to ensure that both their employees and customers are well cared for. When it comes to life itself, where can a person find a reliable shepherd to care for them, a person who has there for every need? Our culture will tell you that such a person is non-existent. However, the Bible has a different answer for us.

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