Thank you for checking out Concord Baptist. Please feel free to always call our office or stop by the church if you have any more questions. Also, under the leadership page you will find direct emails to contact all staff. Blessings!

-Concord Baptist Church Staff

office phone number

(864) 225-4621


worship hours

Sunday Morning: 

9:15: Small Groups

10:30: Worship (Sanctuary) & Children's Worship (Brickhouse)


Sunday Evening: 

5:30: Traditional Worship (Fellowship Hall), Abide (Brickhouse), 


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1012 Concord Road
Anderson, SC, 29621
United States of America


In The Presence of Jesus

Betty Routhieaux

What would it be like to be in the presence of Jesus?  What if He dropped by your house?  Would it change what you watched on TV?  The music you listened to?  What you read? Would it change your conversation?  Probably most of us would agree that it would feel quite a bit different to have Jesus in our presence.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with Him and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Doesn’t that mean if we hear the call of Jesus and open our heart’s door that He/His Holy Spirit literally comes into us?  So, Jesus lives in me?  And in you?  And in all of us who are Christians?  Yes…Check out what the Scripture says…

Colossians 1:27 Christ in you, the hope of glory.

John 14:17 But you know him, for He lives with you and will be in you.

John 15:4  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

So, if God lives in all Christians, when I am in the presence of a Christian I am in the presence of Jesus!  Shouldn’t that affect how I treat fellow believers?

I’ve always liked the verse Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. But let me take it a step further…any time we are entertaining Christians we should be aware that we are entertaining Jesus as we are in His presence as He is in them.  However we would treat Jesus is how we should treat Christians…fellow brothers and sisters…those He’s living in.

So how should we treat non-believers?  How would Jesus treat them?  He’s living in us.  Jesus would always do whatever He could to lovingly draw them to the Father.  Jesus in me will treat them the same way.  To treat them any other way is to refuse to let Jesus live through you.

If He isn’t allowed to live through you, does He really live in you?  As Paul said, Galatians 2:20 I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And He lives in other Christians as well.  Treat them as if you are in the presence of the Lord…you are.


What would it be like to be in the presence of Jesus?  What if He dropped by your house?  Would it change what you watched on TV?  The music you listened to?  What you read? Would it change your conversation?  Probably most of us would agree that it would feel quite a bit different to have Jesus in our presence.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with Him and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Doesn’t that mean if we hear the call of Jesus and open our heart’s door that He/His Holy Spirit literally comes into us?  So, Jesus lives in me?  And in you?  And in all of us who are Christians?  Yes…Check out what the Scripture says…

Colossians 1:27 Christ in you, the hope of glory.

John 14:17 But you know him, for He lives with you and will be in you.

John 15:4  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?

So, if God lives in all Christians, when I am in the presence of a Christian I am in the presence of Jesus!  Shouldn’t that affect how I treat fellow believers?

I’ve always liked the verse Hebrews 13:2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. But let me take it a step further…any time we are entertaining Christians we should be aware that we are entertaining Jesus as we are in His presence as He is in them.  However we would treat Jesus is how we should treat Christians…fellow brothers and sisters…those He’s living in.

So how should we treat non-believers?  How would Jesus treat them?  He’s living in us.  Jesus would always do whatever He could to lovingly draw them to the Father.  Jesus in me will treat them the same way.  To treat them any other way is to refuse to let Jesus live through you.

If He isn’t allowed to live through you, does He really live in you?  As Paul said, Galatians 2:20 I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And He lives in other Christians as well.  Treat them as if you are in the presence of the Lord…you are.

Will He Do It Again?

Betty Routhieaux

Have you ever read Isaiah 53?  “He was despised and rejected by men…He took our infirmities…He was pierced for our transgressions…the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all…like a lamb led to the slaughter He was silent…He was assigned a grave with the wicked and the rich…”  It is one of the most complete synopsis of Jesus’ life ever, and it was written in one chapter.  Amazing thing, it was written some 700 years before Jesus was ever born.

There’s several such prophesies written in the Old Testament.  Isaiah 7:14 tells us Jesus would be born of a virgin. (Not an everyday occurrence.)  Micah 5:2 says He will be born in Bethlehem.  Zechariah 9:9 says He will ride into town on a donkey’s colt. (Highly unusual for a leader.  They rode stallions.)  And Zechariah 11:12 foretells Judas’ 30 pieces of silver.

One writer says that over 400 prophesies from the OT about Jesus were properly fulfilled.  Remember, these aren’t predictions but foretellings.  God wasn’t guessing what would happen but was telling us from His knowledge what was going to happen.

How did He know all this was going to take place?  Simple, He’s God!

In the New Testament we are told that Jesus is coming back.  There will be a rapture of the church and the ‘Dead in Christ will rise first and meet Him in the clouds and then those believers who remain will join them…’ 1 Thess 4:13-18.  In Matthew 24 Jesus says He is coming back to earth after His resurrection.  Rev 20 tells about Satan being bound for 1000 years and then being loosed.  It also tells about those beheaded for the Gospel joining Jesus before the rest of the believers.  We’ll walk streets of gold, etc, etc.

Revelation 20 speaks of books, specifically the Book of Life.  It says those whose names were written there, those who received Jesus as their personal Savior, will enter Heaven.  All others are choosing to go to Hell, the Lake of Fire reserved for Satan and his followers.

For many all this sounds farfetched, unbelievable, it sounds like a fairy tale.  So, what do you think are the chances of the prophesies of the NT coming true?  What are the chances Jesus will come back, the Church will be raptured, and people will be welcomed to Heaven or sent to Hell? 

If every prophesy about Jesus came true in the OT you can count on the ones of the NT coming true as well.  If God said it will happen it will happen.

Many live their lives betting all this is bogus.  400+ prophesies coming true in the OT says to me those made in the NT will come true as well.  It may seem somewhat unbelievable in my feeble mind but I have to realize God’s mind is far superior.  It may not seem right to me but eternity is a long time to be wrong.  He’s written it down, we are to believe it.


Betty Routhieaux

  • Jeremiah 17:13refers to the LORD as the Spring of Living Water.
  • Revelation 7:17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd;

He will lead them to Springs of Living Water.

  • Revelation 22:1Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb


Throughout the Scriptures we read of Jesus being ‘Living Water-River-Stream-Spring’. I see us jumping in the River of Life when we become Christians.  Washed clean, spotless.

I’ve read a devotion on the power of a River.  You literally can’t stop it.  No matter what obstacle a river comes up against it will find a way over, around, under, or through it. Even dams are designed with flood gates.  A River is powerful!

I used to love to take groups white water rafting.  My favorite place was the Ocoee River.  The course actually started at the base of a dam (That the river flowed over.)  The water at the top was calm and peaceful.  They actually let you practice paddling there.  Then you went to the bottom of the dam.  There the river was pretty swift.  Mainly class 2-3, an occasional 4 rapids. (They go to 5) It was always so much fun to maneuver down the river. 

There was a point about ¾ of the way down called the ‘Doldrums’.  It was a stretch of peaceful water where they would actually tell you to jump out of the boat, lay back on your lifejacket, and just peacefully float downstream.

Get that picture-I’m afraid that’s how too many of us live our Christian lives.  We jump in the “River of Life” and enjoy the ride.  But many of us get real comfortable and float down stream.  And Jesus is the Spring…the Source.  The farther we ‘float downstream’ the farther we get from Him.

Unfortunately, the Christian life is not promised to be easy. It cost Jesus His life!  It’s a constant ‘swim’, hard work, to stay near the source.  Otherwise we float downstream enjoying the view.

1 Timothy 6:11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.   12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Flee Evil, certainly, but it’s not enough to just stay on the positive side of the field.  We are to PURSUE RIGHTEOUSNESS. It’s a fight to take hold of the eternal life to which we are called.  Get in the River by all means, but know Jesus expects us to swim upstream, toward Him or we’ll end up far away…and wonder what happened.   I don’t want to be there.

Bill Parnell

Minster of Senior Adults, Older Singles and Missions

"I Can Only..."

Betty Routhieaux

The disciples were apparently hungry as Jesus was teaching.  You’ll remember they came to Jesus and told Him, “Let’s send the people into town to get something to eat…”  Jesus responded, “You feed them.”  ‘We can’t do that, we only have 5 loaves and 2 fish.’  How often do we do that?  Jesus tells us to do something and we tell Him, “I ONLY…” 

Let’s be real, what can we really do for Jesus anyway?  If they’d had a Cromer’s Food Truck or gift cards to the local Golden Corral, they still couldn’t have fed 5000+ people.

So why did Jesus tell them to feed the people?  What He was saying was “I want to use you.”  “You give me what you have and watch what I can do with it. I know you can’t do that but I want to use you in what I want to do.”

So what was it the disciples were really asked to do?  “Give me the little bit you have…tell the people to sit down…and watch what I’m gonna use you to do.”

That reminds me of another Scripture Jesus shared. 

John 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

We tell Jesus what we can/can’t do for Him, what we have/don’t have to work with and He tells us, “Don’t try to impress Me using your own abilities.  You can’t do anything apart from me, anyway.”

Attached to Him there’s nothing we can’t do…apart from Him there’s nothing we can do…since our purpose in life is to attach to and draw others to Him.  We can’t do that on our own.

And by the way, when everyone had eaten their fill, the disciples were asked to do one more thing…collect the ‘leftovers’. Its’ not saying Jesus created scraps. More like when we place things in His hands and trust Him to do what we can’t do…He’ll provide more than we can imagine.

Don’t tell Jesus what you can/cannot do.  Don’t tell Him what you ‘only’ have.  Place it in His hands and let Him do through you what He pleases.  The only ‘only’ we need to be concerned about is that we will be fruitful ONLY when we trust Him, remain in Him, give all to Him.  Never on our own.

When Hate Is Really Love

Betty Routhieaux

Have you seen signs like these around? 


What do you think when you see such signs?

I pretty much understand what they are thinking when I see signs like these…



The sad part about these signs is that they were made/held by a group from a church…Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

In their defense what they mean is God hates sin and that sin is punishable in Hell, but it is pretty obvious why the groups targeted say they are 'hated'.

Let's face it, they can say…

·         Westboro hates them

·         So the church hates them

·         So Christians hate them

·         So God hates them

Which has led to signs such as this


Can you believe that?  'If there was no God there would be no hate.'

Of course if God hates them then Jesus hates them, too.

·         And check this one out

·         So basically if you disagree with a group then you 'hate' them.

And hate is bad. 

We're supposed to love everyone.

So if disagreeing is hating

Then loving must be agreeing…or at least not disagreeing.

So the logic is agree, to show you love them,

So you will be accepted in society

Do you really think people believe like this (that they are hated) or is it part of the agenda/propaganda?

They even love to turn it around to say that Christians who disagree/aka "Hate" their group won't go to heaven

***I think back to when our children were younger.  We would do/say something they didn't like or we would disagree with something they wanted to do and they would come back with something like,

"You hate me!" 

"You never let me do what all the other kids are doing."

"Suzie/Johnny's parents let them do it."

"You hate me!"

Of course they know better than that.  That's just part of the strategy to get you as a parent to say, "No, Honey, I don't hate you.  You just go ahead and do whatever you want to do."

Is that 'logic' correct?  Will we give in and let our children do whatever they want just because they say we 'hate' them if we don't?

"Hey, Dad, will you buy us a keg for our party Friday night?  None of us are old enough and all of my friends want to drink while here."

"I don't think that’s a good idea."

"You hate me.  All my friends drink and they won't want to come to my party/our house if we don't have beer.

Why do you hate me?  All their parents buy it for them."

"Oh, okay.  Since you put it that way.  I sure don't hate you and I want you to have friends.  I'll get you a keg.

Would you prefer me do this at a motel so you all can have a room, too?"

Why wouldn't we do it that way? (By the way, I got this idea from a group of parents in GA when I lived there.  This is what they did for their kids after prom so they wouldn't be on the roads drunk.  In their minds this made them 'responsible' parents.)

I told my kids 'no' plenty of times.  I tried to never be the parent who said, "Because I said so, that's why."

I always tried to give them a logical reason…I tried to always give them a Biblical reason…still my kids didn't always agree with me.

They would still come back with 'You hate me.'

I knew better than that.  They knew better than that.  I knew I didn't hate them.  I loved them more than I loved myself.  I just couldn't give in to their childish wishes because they used the 'hate' word.

And the same is true for me today.

I don't hate people who make immoral decisions.  I have really good friends who are gay, atheist, alcoholic, lost as they can be.  I don't hate them.  I love them like one of my own.

I will never agree with their choices/lifestyles but I certainly don't hate them.

I know it's God's desire that all come to repentance and He will hold me accountable for how I respond to them.

So where does this ‘hate’ language come from?

Kinda like our children, if they say we hate them (When they know we really love them) they hope we will respond as they hope…with agreement to what they are doing.

Or it could come from these verses in John…

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

Maybe it's because deep inside they hate the message of Jesus and they direct it toward the church and its members.

Since they feel hate for us they imply we hate them.

So what's the church to do?

Obviously we aren’t to hate anyone.

I question the technique of Westboro Baptist…

So what are we as a church to do to show love/compassion to all people?  To lead them to Jesus?

Some churches have adopted this campaign…

"God still speaks…"

That sounds reasonable.  God is alive.  He's not dead.  It’s a sure thing that He still speaks to His people.

But the question is, does God change His mind?

Are things wrong for one generation and not for another?

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

It's comparing things to God that makes them right or wrong.  Does His nature change?

If something was wrong in Bible times its wrong today as well.

Check out this comment the Pope made in his attempt to 'love' everyone.

It says, "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and is of good will, who am I to judge him?"

Isn't that right?  Doesn't the Bible say not to judge or we too will be judged. Matthew 7:1?

I'm not to judge.

But if something is plainly contrary to Scripture am I judging to tell someone what the Scripture says?  Or am I to go along with society and agree with what I know the Bible speaks against so as not to 'judge' someone…not to 'hate' them…not to upset them.

To love like this is to love as the world defines it.

***So how are we to love…not hate those whose lifestyle is contrary to Biblical teaching?

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (It must include all three. Are the people evil or are their actions misconstrued? Hate that they have been misled but never hate the person.)

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

But at the same time we can't say we love God/the other person and approve of their sinful lifestyle.

"Well, it's their choice."

It is, but do they know what Scripture says about it?  Do they know why God disapproves?

Are we to let society (Satan) convince them things are acceptable when God plainly says they aren't?

How much can we really say we love someone if we never tell them the truth of God's Word?

Remember this…

And if we are one with God we won't either.

Just be sure your love is God's love, based on His Word.

To compromise the Word of God is not for Him…and not for Him is against Him.

Don’t fall for their language.  We know there is a great difference in stating God's Word and hating someone.  We don't always have to agree to love someone.  You certainly don't always agree.

1 John 4:5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Be ready for opposition.  Those who don't know God will never think like He does.  They will listen to what the world says.  That's why it is so important to boldly share what God feels about certain things.

Standing for God, speaking His word in love will draw opposition…

Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

23 "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.

Luke 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life.

I found this chart the other day and I would like to show it to you…

So you still think homosexuality is sinful and therefore gays shouldn't be allowed to marry?

Answer =no

Congratulations on being part of the civilized society. (Who is eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and deciding on their own what is right and wrong.

Notice the wording 'Still' believe, like 'The world used to believe this way but now they have been enlightened.'

·         Let's begin with far right 'yes': It disgusts me…at least you are honest…like all other answers are dishonest, a cover up for disgust.

·         Because Bible defines marriage as one man/one woman…no it doesn't.

o   Yes it does.  Matt 19:4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'   5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."  7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

o   The TWO…one man/one woman

o   Other marriages have been approved but were never part of God's original plan.

·         God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.  Marriage is no longer to repopulate the earth.

o   Procreation if a by product of marriage, not the purpose.

o   Marriage is to be for oneness between man and woman. 

o   Sex is an expression of that oneness.

o   Not to sound rude but go back and listen to Phil Robinson from Duck Dynasty…he had it right.

o   He created man and woman for marriage. 

o   That's the way He meant it, quit taking license with His design.

·         NT says so.  Are we really to listen to Paul?  He says women shouldn't teach men.

o   Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

o   God obviously had special plans for Paul or He wouldn't have converted him like he did.

o   Should we listen to Paul?  YES!!!

o   Instead of pushing homosexuality under the rug because Paul spoke against women teaching men, we should give more attention to women teaching men.  It's the same yesterday, today, forever.

·         Because OT says so…it says lots of other things too.

o   That is true.  Certain books of the OT are records of the written law of that day.  Do we need to be concerned with some of those things today?  No.

o   But was homosexuality condemned by God in the OT?  Yes!

o   As the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Was homosexuality the only reason Sodom was destroyed?  No.  But look at the story recorded as example of why God destroyed the city.

o   When the 2 angels came to Lot's house…Gen 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.

·         Jesus never uttered a word about same sex marriage. 

o   We could argue that Jesus never spoke to illegal drugs or internet pornography or murder either…but actually He did speak against same sex marriage.

o   Go back to Matt 19:4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'   5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'?

o   He said marriage was to be male and female.  No need to cover other forms.  This is the way it was meant to be…period.

·         Have fun living your _________________ life.

o   I will have joy living under that word of God.  I will share its truth with all I can.  I will love them and pray for them but will not agree with them.

God still speaks, but He doesn't change His mind.

God meant for there to be brotherly love.  Accept that and move on.

The 'Oneness' He is talking about is to be between man and woman as He created them…as He designed them.

I know many don't agree with that.  Take it up with God.  It's His design.



No Low-Fat Christians

Betty Routhieaux

What's the difference between the man on the left and the man on the right? Other than blonde hair and brown hair?

(The shadow on the right is larger than the one on the left.)

It probably starts with eating habits.

Even in this picture the guy on the left is holding a piece of fruit and the guy on the right has a cheeseburger…most likely a bacon cheeseburger…maybe even a double meat, 3/4 lbs bacon cheeseburger.

Let's face it.  We not only like them big but we feed our cows and chickens steroids to make them bigger.

Gary Ross told me the story of coming back to USA from Russia.  In Russia he would go to the store and buy 2 lbs of chicken breast.  He'd bring them home and feed his family of 6.

The first time he went to the store in USA he bought 2 lbs of chicken breast, got them home and realized he only had 2 chicken breasts.

That's the way we do things here.

·         Big portions

·         Lots of fat

·         Lots of calories

·         Lots of sugars

·         And it's always better if it's fried.

We know we shouldn't be eating fried.

We know we shouldn't be eating all the fatty foods we eat.

We know we shouldn't be eating all the sweets we do.

We know we shouldn't be taking in all the calories and bad things we do…but they taste so good.

So we've come up with a solution.  Walk through the grocery stores and what do you see?


·         Lite this

·         Low fat that

·         Reduced calorie

·         2%

·         1%

·         Fat Free

Sounds good, right?

We can still have the foods we want, the taste we want (or at least close)…we can still snack and eat sweets and not feel guilty about it.  We can have the best of both worlds

·         What we want to eat

·         While not doing harm to our bodies

·         As one advertiser says, "All the taste, none of the guilt."

With that in mind, we should be the slimmest, most healthy nation in the world, right?

I saw an article the other day that I found interesting:

"America has been trying to follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet for 40 years, and where has it gotten us?  To being one of the heaviest countries in the world," says David Ludwig, MD, Phd, obesity expert and author of "Always Hungry".  Think about it, "The problem is when you cut back on calories like that, your body tries to fight back with increased hunger and a slower metabolism because it thinks it's going into starvation mode," he says.  "Meanwhile you eventually eat again to satiate the hunger pangs, and likely eat more because, well, you're insanely hungry.  But your metabolism is still operating on that low level, so calories don't get burned fast enough and they get stored as fat."  Ludwig says this cycle continues until you feed your body regularly (he suggests at least three meals and two snacks in between) with REAL FOOD made from real ingredients.  That matters more than the calories it's made up of, so repeat after us, "I will always choose an all-natural version of something over food that's labeled 'low-calorie or low-fat'.

Another article I saw…

Use natural sweeteners like raw, organic honey. Avoid products that are labeled “low calorie,” “diet,” “sugar free,” or “no sugar added” since they all likely contain sugar additives. Drink purified water instead of diet drinks. Do NOT drink tap water because our drinking water has now been contaminated with sucralose. We can’t depend on the government to protect us. It’s vital to be vigilant and actively take responsibility for yourself and your family in keeping this toxic trash out of your body and out of your life.

So why do we do this?  If we know it's best to eat fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods, if it's best to avoid fatty foods and sweets, why do we try every way to 'beat the system'? 

God provided us fruits, vegetables, nuts…all kinds of healthy foods.  He told us it was alright to eat fish, foul, and other kinds of meats.  He gives us milk, juice, water to drink…

Yet we think we can produce foods that are healthier, better than what God has provided.

Why do we think we can make things better than God? Why do we try to have it both ways?  There are things we know are better to stay away from yet we try to alter them and make them okay to eat.

Instead of leaving off the butter we eat low fat butter.

Instead of not eating ice cream we eat low fat ice cream.

Low calories soft drinks.

We have low fat cookies, sugar free candies…the list goes on and on.

We eat yogurt instead of ice cream…you know, instead of 1000 calories we think we are doing good only ingesting 800 calories.

You know the system.  We don't want to give up anything, we just want to find a way to keep on doing it that will make us feel less guilty…may- be even justify our bad habits.

Why can't we just give it up if it's bad for us?  Why do we insist on trying to justify our bad habits?

We want to soothe our consciences about doing things we know we shouldn't be doing.

And this certainly isn't just with our diets.

***We want to justify our sins as well.

We know there are things the Bible warns us against but we try to justify them by not being so blatant with them.

Let’s look at what I’m talking about by looking at the 10 Commandments and certain ideas from the Sermon on the Mount:

From the Sermon on the Mount…

Matt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I have to throw this one in.  We know we're supposed to forgive, no exceptions but that's so hard.

 We first of all try to justify our unforgiveness, "You know what he did to me?..."

But even when we know we are supposed to forgive we give "Forgive" a 'low fat' definition.

To ‘forgive’ means we put it behind us and never bring it up again.  We never try to ‘get back’ at the person. 

Our 'low fat version' is, "We tolerate the other person and claim we’ve forgiven them.  Something like, “I’ll let you slide this time but if you ever hint at doing that again I’ll be quick to let you know I’ll not put up with that again.”

Jesus says forgive…we agree to tolerate.

Matt 6:16 "When you fast”…Jesus said this as if it was an expected thing…’When you fast’.  The closest we usually come to fasting is skipping a meal in order to lose some weight.  How much do we really give up to draw closer to God?

Matt 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry… “I’m not worrying, I’m just being realistic.

Matt 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. We may look around to see what other people in the church are doing, but do we follow God and His Word no matter the cost?  The church and the narrow road are not always the same.

And from the 10 Commandments:

Exodus 20

10 You shall not covet

Covet: To want something that doesn’t belong to you.  We would never do that.  Or would we? Think about how we do things as a church. One church builds a gym, the next church builds a gym.  One church buys a bus, the next church buys a bus. 

Do any of us ever come up with original ideas anymore?

And we hesitate to do anything together with other churches because we are afraid they may end up taking some of our members.

And dare we admit our jealousy of churches who are growing?  Instead of being happy for new kingdom members, we tend to criticize how they were reached.

Why don’t we pray to God and ask what He would have us do in our own churches and be happy for others who are doing well?

We say we are trying to do 'outreach' when really we are just trying to keep up with/out do another church.

9 You shall not give false testimony

Unless it’s to my advantage. 

8 You shall not steal.

But if you can get more from the IRS, if you can convince someone to pay a higher price than we know something is worth…

7 You shall not commit adultery.

There’s enough blatant adultery going on in today’s society but think of the other stuff we justify.

Instead of getting married we just live together.  That way if we get tired of our sex partner we just split and go find another.

Jesus said to divorce and marry again is adultery.  How much do we see that today? (But it's everywhere)

We just give our own definition to adultery.

Matt 5:28 I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Jesus says this.)

I’m not condoning the lust of men, but ladies, don’t make it worse than it has to be.  Think how much skin women show in their attire today.

It says not to look lustfully yet look what we choose to view on TV, in movies, etc.

Committing adultery goes a lot deeper than physically having an affair.  Why don’t we just stay away from it all?

6 You shall not murder.

Again, we would never go out and kill someone, but Jesus said,

Matt 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

We never flinch over anger.  “Everybody gets angry.”

“I’m okay if I fly off the handle.  If they get in my face you better believe I’m getting back.”

And think how we justify killing unborn children.  We’ve even made it legal to do so.

Another 'low fat' definition.

5 Honor your father and your mother

Unless you disagree with them.  After all, they’re being totally unreasonable.

Honor them unless they ask you to do something you disagree with.

4 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Do I really want to go there?  I even get a lengthy explanation why certain businesses are open on Sunday. (It was a Christian book store by the way.  Not a business who even ‘needed’ to be open on Sunday.  Just wanted to make more money.)

Our 'low fat'…4th Commandment is no longer applicable.

3 You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God

As long as I don’t use certain ‘cuss words’ I’m okay.

How about slang uses of God's name, Lord, etc…but I'm not cussing.

2 You shall not make for yourself an idol

Just think the priority we place on possessions today.  And can we really say we don’t make sports an idol in our lives?

We wouldn’t take our jewelry and make a golden calf, but we have plenty that we ‘worship’.

1 You shall have no other gods before me.

And can we really say God has first place in our lives?  Does He guide our lives?  Is His Word what guides us?

Is He really God when we disagree with what's happening?  If He is God, He is God.

My point?  We like to eat the foods we like, knowing they are bad for us.  We just try to make them ‘fat free’, ‘reduced calorie’, etc. just because we like them.

Wouldn't it be better to give up what we know is bad for us and just eat/drink what we know is good?

We try to do the same in our Christian walk.  We know what the Bible says but we try to come up with ‘justifiable’ means of getting around it.  We look around us and do what everybody else seems to be doing and say "It's not so bad…"

If we are serious with our diet we will eat the foods God created.

If we are serious with our Christian walk we will do things the way the Bible says do them.

One other example, we are quick to quote passages like…

1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We are quick to point out that adulterers, prostitutes, homosexual, etc won’t go to heaven.

Others then point out it also says jealousy and selfishness.

So instead of giving up jealousy and selfishness we end up justifying the other.

Eat your fruit and vegetables.  Leave the other stuff alone.

Don’t try to justify or compromise what the Bible says to stay away from.  Stay away from it!

God knows what's best.  Eat/live by His word.

Don't try to justify other means…don't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Looking Like Jesus...

Betty Routhieaux

Went to see Risen Tuesday night.  It is a rather interesting viewpoint of the Crucifixion/Resurrection.  It is viewed from one of the Roman soldiers who was assigned to the crucifixion and the guarding of the tomb.  I've heard several get a little upset because it wasn't 'Biblical' but I thought that part was okay.  It took a made up story and placed it within the Biblical account of the historical crucifixion/resurrection.

I understand now that they have a new movie coming out that speculates about the early life of Jesus.  I think they begin with His childhood and take Him through until he becomes an adult.

Tonight, I would like for us to talk about what the life of Jesus looked like.  Some is spelled out, other parts are implied.

Not a lot is shared about Jesus' childhood so most of this would be implied, but let's talk about what you think the early years of Jesus' life would look like. 

Really, the only Gospel that says much at all about Jesus' childhood is Luke.  So turn with me to Luke Chapter 1.

·         Vs 26 What must it have been like to have an angel come and announce you were going to have a baby…especially when you weren't even married yet and had never had sexual relations.

·         What must it have been like to have Shepherds show up and say an Angel told them to come see the baby…then later on the Magi? (Matthew)

·         2:21 Eighth day He was taken to be circumcised.  Parents were devout Jews who followed customs.  They also named Him Jesus in obedience to what the Angel said.

·         2:41 They went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.

·         2:47 Jesus was in Temple talking to, asking questions of the teachers.

·         2:49 Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house…and He wasn't referring to Joseph's.

o    These happened by the time He was 12.

o    We really don't know much more until His baptism.

From His baptism (Cpt 4) we deduct other traits.

1.     He was full of Holy Spirit, led by HS

4. "It is written…" He had to be a student of the Scriptures

15. He taught in the Synagogues

35. He drove out demons

40. He healed many…

6:6 Healed on Sabbath

7:11 Raised people from dead

7:37 Accepted sinful woman

8:4 Taught in parables where people could understand

8:21 Said fellow believers were His family

8:22 Calmed the storm

9:10 Feeds 5000

9:28 Transfiguration

14:1 Ate with Pharisees

19:1 Ate with Tax Collectors

21:1 Looked on heart instead of money

22:39 Prays (Many accounts of this: In public, in private, early, late, all night…)

22:47 Didn't resist arrest/authorities

23: 26 Was obedient to Father all the way to death

Matthew doesn't say anything about Jesus' childhood but does a good job giving us a glimpse of His adulthood.

3:13 Jesus was baptized

4:17 Preached repentance

His Sermon on Mount lets us see many character traits of Jesus.

5:21 Murder/anger (Don’t settle for lesser…)

5:27 Adultery/lusting

5:31 Divorce/remarriage is adultery

5:33 Let your word be oath

5:38 Turn other cheek, walk second mile, love enemies

6:1 Don't do good to be seen

6:5 When you pray

6:16 When you fast

6:19 Treasures in Heaven

6:25 Don't worry/seek God first

7:1 Don't judge

7:13 Enter narrow gate

7:24 Build on solid foundation

8:18 Hard teachings: let dead bury dead (John 6 says Drink blood/eat flesh)

14:22 Didn’t let physical limits bother Him (Walked on water, calmed storm.)

19:16 Told RYR He must be before possessions.

20:1 Workers in vineyard: His fairness isn't always understood by us.

20:29 Blind men receive sight: Rewarded persistence.

21:12 Angered by Temple not being 'house of prayer' (Holy)

22:34 Greatest command is Love God and when we do we will Love others

23:1 Condemned "Religious" who didn't know God.

24:1 Confidently shared signs of end times but admitted He had no idea when…He trusted God's words to Him but had no control over certain aspects. (As the man Jesus)

John takes a different approach to the life of Jesus.

1:1 Was in the beginning, with God, was God, created all.

2:1 Obeys mom, even when it 'wasn't time'.

4:1 Made time to witness to sinful foreigner (Woman at well.)

6:35 I Am Bread of Life

8:12 I am the Light of the world

8:23 I am from above

8:58 Before Abraham was I Am

10:7 I am the gate

10:11 I am the good Shepherd

10:36 I am God's Son

11:25 I am the Resurrection

14:6 I am way, truth, life

14:10 I am in the Father, Father is in Me

15:1 I am the Vine

Rev 1:8 Alpha/Omega…first/last

With all that in mind, I would like for us to take a few minutes and write what we consider to be some of the characteristics of Jesus' life on the board…

·         He memorized Scripture

·         He quoted Scripture

·         He prayed

·         He obeyed

·         Was led by Spirit

·         …………………………….

***So how much does your life look like Jesus' life?

Why doesn't it look more like Him?

Do you find it hard to live like Jesus?

Think about His own disciples

·         They argued over who was the greatest

·         They lost their temper

·         They didn't understand His teachings

·         They scattered when things got tough

·         They doubted

Notice something very important.  All this happened before Acts 2.

What happened in Acts 2?  Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts 2:1-4)

***Before Acts 2 they were trying to learn and mimic Jesus.  Now He was living within them in the HS.

Jesus had told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the HS.  Check this out…

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; (HS) but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." 

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Recounted in Acts 1 in today's SS Lesson)

You know the story.  They were together at Pentecost and the HS fell on them in a mighty way.

Once HS lived within them they became NEW CREATIONS.

They no longer just tried to follow His teachings and mimic Him, He lived within them.

***As we talked about last week, there's a huge difference in eating from

·         Tree of KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil where we live according to our own understanding.

·         Tree of Life…the Word of God…He within us.

When we rely on our knowledge of Good and Evil we'll mess up.

When we eat from the Word of God, when He is within us, it's totally different.

***So why do we come up so short of looking like Jesus?  Because we are trying to do it on our own, from our own knowledge.

***If He is living within us, if He is living through us, our actions will look very much like His?

How badly do we want to be able to say,

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"  

How do I reach that point?

It's so much more than praying a prayer and getting baptized.

Even His closest disciples didn't get it for a long time.

Here's what He told them…

Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

Matthew 7:21 Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter Kingdom of Heaven.

John 17:26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." 


Looking like Jesus requires a lot more than trying to mimic Him.

It begins with us understanding Jesus said we must "Die" to ourselves.  We must not trust our knowledge of Good and Evil.

We must ingest the Word of God.  Not just 'words' but the Word.

·         When Jesus knocks at our hearts door we must open it.  To keep the door closed keeps Him out.

·         We must understand Jesus is Lord.

·         When we open the door and invite Him in He must become our Lord.  If not, we remain God, not Him.

We must truly desire Him to live within us.

·         If we say we want Him in our lives and never really desire it (RYR, He knows our heart, etc.) He never becomes Lord.

·         He can’t be our Savior unless we let Him be our Lord as well.

We must be careful what we put into our lives.

·         Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

·         Thy Word have I hid in my heart.

o    Its obvious Jesus studied, memorized, placed the Word in His heart.

o    He quoted it, He lived by it.

o    The Word in our hearts changes who we are, not just what we do.

o    2 Corinthians 5:17  Anyone in Christ is a new creation

o    Not just new habits but a new creation


My point tonight, our lives should look like Jesus'.

Being a Christian is giving my life to Him, taking up my cross daily, letting Him make me new and live in me…I no longer live.

***If Jesus is living in me I will look a lot like Him.


1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

1 John 4:13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world.

How would they check to see if you are a true child of your parents?

DNA-Is Jesus' DNA within you? (Given to Him or mimicking?)


I would like to leave you tonight with this prayer Paul offered the Ephesians:

Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


Is Jesus in you?

I got baptized

Is He your Lord

I walked the aisle

Are you one

I prayed a prayer


Anyone in Christ is a new creation…they no longer live but Christ lives within them…their lives look a lot like Jesus.


Is it complete and automatic?  Paul says we "are being saved".

But a live Jesus is living in will look a lot like Jesus.


Invitation: Are you mimicking or does Jesus live within you?

No Other Gods

Betty Routhieaux

David Letterman was famous for his "Top 10" lists.  He would begin with 10 and count back to 1 as we anticipated his #1 answer.

God gave us a Top 10 list and I'm want to see how you do with it…

Ex 20:3-17

1.    "You shall have no other gods before me.

2.   "You shall not make for yourself an idol

3.    "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God

4.   "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5.   "Honor your father and your mother

6.   "You shall not murder.

7.   "You shall not commit adultery.

8.   "You shall not steal.

9.   "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

10.  "You shall not covet

YOU shall have no other GODS before ME

So what does #1 mean? 

·        Who is "you"

o   That of course is us…mankind.  So this verse is meant for everyone.

·        Who are the "Other gods"?

o   Could it mean Zeus?

o   Apollo?

o   Neptune?

Could these be the 'gods' the verse was referring to?  I guess it could be.  We certainly aren't meant to worship any of the Greek Mythological Gods.  But don't you think we are much too intelligent for that today?

I find it hard to believe that the Israelites in Moses' day made an idol (calf) to bow down and worship.  How can an image of gold…or even stone, wood…anything deserve our worship.

What can we possibly get from a 'god' that isn't real?

***So do we not need to be concerned about the first Commandment today?  Are we too smart to worship 'Other gods'?

I don't think God wrote His 10 Commandments for a limited period of time.

Just as I don't accept the explanation given me about the 4th Commandment being no longer relevant to today's society, I don't believe the First Command is no longer relevant, either.

So what are our "Other gods"?

Let's begin by defining "GODS". 

·        A spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc.,

·        A person who is greatly loved or admired

·        A person or thing of supreme value

According to these definitions, could we have 'other gods'?

Let me focus on the third definition at this time…

"A person or thing of supreme value"

If this is "MY GOD" does that mean I get to determine the value? (I would say 'yes'.)

If we value something very highly don't we refer to that as 'worshipping' that object?

·        Could I worship my job?

·        Could I worship my house, car, boat, etc.?

·        Could I worship my spouse?

o   How many times have we said, "I worship the ground he/she walks on."?

·        Could I worship my grandchild?

Is there really anything wrong with that?

·        But I love my job.

·        I love my wife

·        I love my children and certainly my grandson.

I place Supreme Value on them.

I would lay down my life for any of them without hesitation.

Is that really wrong?

Didn't Jesus say there was no greater love than to lay down your life for another? (John 15:13)

That is true, but only half the equation.

Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'   38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  

Love that will lead us to lay down our lives for another comes from our love for God and His love for us.

***God wants us to love others enough to lay down our lives for them.  That's how much Jesus loves us…

But that doesn't change the first Commandment.

You shall have no other gods BEFORE Me.

Loving others enough to lay down our lives for them is what God wants.  He just doesn't want us to love them more than we love Him.

We all have 'gods' in our lives…'persons or things on which we place great value.'

We just have to be sure these gods aren't placed before Him.

By the way, who is 'He'?  Who is the "ME" in this command?

Of course it is

·        God

·        Jehovah

·        Yahweh

And who is HE?  There was one more definition for god…

o   The Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

This one is spelled with a capitol G…not a lower case g.

When introducing Himself to Moses He simply referred to Himself as "I Am".

Let's take a look and see who "He Is"!

158 times in the NIV He says "I Am the Lord".

10 times He says I Am God

Check out some of these other 'I Am's" 

Gen 17:1 "I am God Almighty

Gen 26:24 "I am the God of your father Abraham…I am with you;

Gen 35:11 "I am God Almighty

Ex 3:14 "I AM WHO I AM.

Lev 11:45…be holy, because I am holy.

Isa 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

Isa 43:19 I am making a way in the desert

Ezek 13:9 I am the Sovereign LORD.

Mal 1:14 For I am a great king,"

And when Jesus entered the earth He continued the "I Am" statements;

Matt 8:3 "I am willing,"

Matt 9:28 I am able

Matt 11:29 I am gentle and humble in heart,

Matt 28:20  I am with you always..."

Luke 22:70 "Are you then the Son of God?"

He replied, "You are right in saying I am." 

John 6:35  "I am the bread of life.

John 7:29 I am from Him and He sent me." 

John 8:12 "I am the light of the world.

John 8:23 I am from above…I am not of this world.

John 8:58 "…Before Abraham was born, I am!"

John 10:7 I am the gate

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd"

John 10:36 'I am God's Son'

John 11:25 "I am the resurrection and the life.

John 13:13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am."

John 13:20 I am He. (Capital 'H')

John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life.

John 14:11 I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

John 15:1 "I am the true vine,

Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega…who is, and who was, and who is to come…the Almighty." 

Rev 22:20 I am coming soon."

PPT #10 Blank Screen

I love the way John lets us know God and Jesus are the same…

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

We are watching an apologetics video series in TNT on Wednesday nights and a great point was made this past week.

We think we are so smart that we have to explain everything.

We come up with theories of how mankind and the animals came to be.

We come up with theories of how the earth came to be.

We want to be able to explain everything from our own brains.

That reminds me so much of God's question to Job…

Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? "

We try so hard to explain everything when we weren't even there.

Only ONE was…

He created everything.

He set it all into motion.

And He wants a love relation with us.

He knows it is best for us when we don't allow ourselves to have any other gods before Him.

·        He is God

·        He was there

·        He created the earth

·        He sent His only begotten Son to live the sinless life and die in our place.

·        He is the One who inspired the writing of the Bible

·        He IS who He says He IS.

o   When He says He is the Creator He is THE Creator.  There is no other explanation.

o   When He says He is the way, truth, life, He IS the way, truth, life, the means to salvation.  There is no other.

o   When He says He is love, He IS love.  He doesn't love by any other definition…HE IS the definition of love.

We are all Christians in here.  We believe all these things.

·        We would never worship mythological gods.

·        We would never worship Buddha, Mohammed, or any of the other gods in today's world.

·        We certainly aren't like the Hindu that worship 100's of gods.

Our God is 100's of things to us, but He is one God.  Even in the 3 persons of the Trinity He is still one God.

For centuries the Jews have quoted

Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.   5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Jesus even reaffirmed this verse when asked which was the greatest commandment…

Mark 12:28 "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.   30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'   31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." 

Paul confirmed it in…

Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

And in

1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men

Throughout the entire Bible, throughout history, when an "I Am" statement was made it was referring to the One True God…either spoken as the Father or the Son…either way, the same person.  Hundreds of traits…ONE GOD!!!

And we all have hopefully entered a love relation with Him.

So we really don't have to worry about the 1st Commandment after all.  We'd NEVER worship another god above Him.

He loves us too much.

The God of the Universe promises to watch over me and provide for me.  He promises to never leave me…

I Am your shepherd; you'll never be in want.

2 Even though I may make you lie down in green pastures: I'll lead you beside the still waters.

3 I promise to restore your soul: I'll lead you in the paths of righteousness for My name's sake.

4 Yea, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will never have to fear evil: for I Am with you; My rod and My staff will comfort you.

5 I will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies: and anoint your head with oil; your cup will overflow with blessings.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life: and you will dwell in the house of the LORD, in My House, forever.

How could it get any better than that?

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and He will provide everything I need in this life.  And the live to come when I get to spend eternity with Him.

Why would I possibly have any other gods before Him?

We love our families, spouses, children, grandchildren…

We love our church, our Sunday School classes, our Bible studies, our prayer groups…but not more than we do Him.

***We have no other gods before Him!!!

As Lee Corso would say…

Not so fast.

Let me pose one more thing to consider.

What if Jesus told us like He told the Rich Young Ruler?

What if He made it clear to us that we were to sell our house and move somewhere else? Farther away from our grandkids?

What if He told us to take some money we had saved and give it to a needy family?

What if He told us to donate a possession we cherish and support a particular ministry?

Are your possessions a god in your life?

Could they have more meaning to you than God Himself?

***What happens when we pray for a loved one to be healed and they don't?

What if we pray for something very important to happen and God never makes it happen?

Do we question God?

Do we tell God what we will and won't do in life?

***What if He speaks something to us in a church service, in a Bible study, in our Quiet Time and we refuse to do it?

What if we read 'Turn the other cheek' and we don't?

What if we read the commands of the Bible and refuse them?

What if we read 'not to look lustfully' and we go to a movie we know is going to cause us to 'look lustfully'?

What happens when God does something in our lives or to someone around us we don't agree with and we question God?





The answer is always NO!!!

No Other gods!!!

When we place our logic above His we have become god in our lives.

We are telling Him NO.

Thus we have become a god before Him…we follow our own desires, our own logic instead of His.

When I put my own thoughts and desires above what He tells me I am my own god.

*****So how do we deal with this?

We don't listen!

We don't read God's Word.  "I didn't know that".

Don't you know the Bible is God's instruction book to us?

To know it and not find out what it says is no excuse. It's actually disobedience in itself.

We excuse our actions by comparing them to everyone else.

Doesn't that make THEM your god?

How many have heard the verse, "Be still and know that I am God"?

Do you do it?  If not you have become your own god.

Jesus said, "When you pray, when you give to the needy, when you fast"…do you do it?

To know God's word and not follow it is to be own god.

How about this one…

Ps 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jer 29:11 I know the plans I have for you…

Wouldn't you agree that God has a plan for your life?

Is your effort in finding out His plan for you or are you more content to tell Him what you want Him to do in your life? 

If we're deciding the plans for our own lives…

Who's God?  You or Him?

Are you looking for God?  Listening for Him? Seeking His direction for your life or are you telling Him how you want Him to bless your plans?

One other thing…we don't get to pick and choose the qualities of God we want for our lives.

·        Savior

·        Protector

·        Provider

But He is also

·        Lord

·        Example

·        God

He calls us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses (Instruments of death…die to self and give life to Him) and follow His words, His example, His commands.

Love Him with all your hearts…have no other gods before Him.

Including yourself!


Andrew Barnes

Our world wants so badly to remove Jesus from everything. Not sure why they feel so threatened by someone they say doesn’t exist, or at best is someone who isn’t who He says He is.

But without even realizing it they are promoting His message to the world at Christmas. They don’t want Jesus but want love, peace, harmony, joy…all the things associated with the celebration of Jesus’birth. We live it for His birthday while saying we reject Him.

***And why not? This is the time LOVE took on human form and lived among us. He changes lives…

  • Jesus IS love
  • Jesus IS light
  • Jesus IS life
  • He has the power to bring love and peace to the whole world.

He is controlling the world by showing us peace, love, light, harmony that all comes through Him.

His Son’s birthday brings out the best in our world. No wonder Satan wants Christmas stopped. It changes our world without us even realizing it.

Christmas is about God’s gift to us which should lead toour gift to Him, but we want it to be all about our gifts to each other.

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Andrew Barnes

God Isn’t Fixing This

Their personal attack on prayer and how foolish it is to waste our time praying when we should be making laws.

In a sense they’re right.  We can pray all day long and as long as we  stay the way we are God’s not going to ‘fix this’.

And if He does, we won’t like the answer.

We see time and time again throughout the Scriptures that He ‘fixed’ similar situations by wiping out an entire civilization.

We want Him to ‘fix things’ the way we want.  We don’t see prayer as our going to Him and placing ourselves in His hands.  We just want to tell Him what we want and say He’s not answering if He doesn’t do what we tell Him to do.

We want to be god…yet we know we don’t have control over everything…so we’ll accept Him as God if He’ll do what we say.

They’re right to say He won’t fix things unless His people, called by His name, will humble themselves, PRAY, seek His face, TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, seek His face…if we as a society reach that point, He will fix it…but not until then.

    • Until then you got one group calling on God, pleading for His involvement.
    • You got another group calling on ‘god’ to tell Him what to do.
    • You got another group calling on god/Allah as they rid the world of the infidels.


    • Then you got others who insist they are god and refuse, think it’s awaste of time to call out to anyone but their own superior minds.

    Then we have the audacity to say “HE’s not fixing it…”

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    Andrew Barnes

    What would you say is the purpose of the church?

    Has that purpose changed over the years?

    Is this still how we see church today?

    At least as early as Moses we know that people felt a need to build a special place to meet with God. As a matter of fact, God told them to make a ‘dwelling’ for Him.

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    Andrew Barnes

    You will remember that in Matthew 28, just before Jesus ascended back into heaven, that He gave the Great Commission to His disciples.

    Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go*. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 **Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    (*Keep this in mind, the disciples knew to go to the mountain because they were close enough to Jesus for Him to share this information with them.  Why wasn’t there a huge crowd present to see such an event? Others didn’t get the word to be there.  Could you say His ascension was a ‘secret’?)

    **They were told to go and teach what He had taughtthem to the rest of the world.  We believe this commission is even true for us today.  We are to teach the message of Jesus to the whole world…to everyone. Everything we know about Him we are to teach to others.

    This is certainly good news.  So why would God refer to this ‘good news’ as a ‘Secret’?

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    Andrew Barnes

    As most all of you know Janet and I will be grandparents for the first time in about 2 months.  Lauren and I were talking the other night about how unprepared she felt to raise a new baby.  We agreed that it would be great if babies came with an instruction manual, but that simply isn’t the case.

    I remember when Lauren was born, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Janet was really excited and pleased to have her Mom come up and help us.  There were so many new situations and things we needed help with.  We had so many questions and new things we were supposed to be doing that we weren’t sure about.

    It sure was nice to have someone who knew what she was doing to help.  I know each situation is different and I guess no one’s a real expert, but at least she had raised 3 children by this time and had experienced what we were going through.

    As you can guess, Janet plans to be in Mt. Vernon when Lauren’s baby is born and has offered to stay for a week or so to help Lauren and Gady get started. She has offered her help in any way she can just like her mom offered her.

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    Andrew Barnes

    Of course we all know the 10 commandments as recorded in Exodus 20…

    1 “You shall have no other gods before me.

    2 “You shall not make for yourself an idol

    3 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,

    4 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work,

    5 “Honor your father and your mother,

    6 “You shall not murder.

    7 “You shall not commit adultery.

    8 “You shall not steal.

    9 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

    10 “You shall not covet NIV

    So what does that mean?

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