With the launching of our new website and also as we approach the 12 year mark at Faith and Victory Church I thought I would give a nod to the past and propose my top 10 sermons of all time at Faith and Victory Church. Or at least the top 10 recorded ones ;). So lets do the time-warp, have an excellent adventure, and accelerate to 88 miles an hour as we look at my top 10 sermons.
#10. This sermon sparked us on our way to do what God had called us to do. Pastor Butcher reminds us God wants us to do things BIG (Believing in God)
#9. Pastor Matt preaches on knowing the full cost of being a Christian and submitting yourself to God
#8. Pastor Matt wants us to engage in the work of the ministry and not be a hireling.
#7. Pastor Matt preaches that sometimes you just have to pick up your mat and walk
#6. Pastor Crystal reminds us we are not alone. God is with you. Run to God.
#5. Pastor Matt preaches on thankfulness. If you remember this sermon you are old school (2005)
#4. Pastor Jay preaches on God’s judgement.
#3. Pastor Matt preaches on why nobody names their kids Judas
#2. Pastor Matt asks how are we going to respond to the world when they ask if we are with Jesus.
#1. Pastor Matt preaches on going through stuff and how to handle it.
Well that’s my top 10. Did I miss anything? Make sure to post one of your favorite sermons below. Also make sure to share to social media.
One of many verses that gives me hope in times of trial is Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” This passage greatly encourages the child of God when we must endure suffering in this life. God will bring good out of all affliction, trials, persecution and suffering. However this verse is also greatly misused. The good that God works is conforming us to the image of Christ and ultimately bringing about our glorification. Yet, this promise is limited to those who LOVE GOD and have submitted to Him. This also does not mean we will never be tried. This life is full of mountain top and low valley experiences and everything in between. Psalm 66:10 “For You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried, refined, and purified.” We are being perfected through our trials. The “all things” also do not include our sins and negligence; no one can excuse sin by maintaining that “God will work it out for our good”. The end result of suffering for the child of God is VICTORY. We are more than conquerors through Jesus- we can do all things and overcome all things. In time, He WILL deliver you from your trial!
One thing that makes God faithful and trustworthy is the fact that His Word is unalterable. In fact, Jesus testified to this when He answered Satan’s temptation in Luke 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD of God.” Jesus declared that He will live by God’s Word above all else. He testified of the Word as truth and unchanging, regardless of the times or the season. If God’s Word changes, then He changes; and this would make Him a unreliable and fickle god. But, He is not unreliable and fickle, He is FAITHFUL AND TRUSTWORTHY. Every Word of God is pure! Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction. Has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?” He has proclaimed, “My covenant I will not break not alter the thing that had gone out of My lips.” Ps 89:34;119:89 “FOREVER, O LORD, YOUR WORD IS SETTLED IN HEAVEN.” We can FULLY trust His Word, it is inspired and God-breathed; therefore we can have faith in His promises, rely on His EVERY WORD and at the same time heed every warning. God WILL do what He said He would do! What does this mean? KNOW AND LIVE THE WORD!
Sometimes I get frustrated and confused when I listen to other voices about what I should be doing for God and how I should be doing it. Does this ever happen to you? Do you hear the voices that say, “If you’re not doing it my way, you’re doing it wrong?” You’re too hard or too soft, too bold or not bold enough, too loud or too quiet. You’re not serving others MY way, you’re wrong. You’re not teaching MY way, you’re wrong. You’re always too much for someone or not enough for others, and all you hear is “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”! Listen to His voice today- you are uniquely made, with a unique plan and purpose in His mind, therefore your ministry is unique. Jer 1:5 ” Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came out of the womb I sanctified you and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” UNIQUE CALLING. UNIQUE MINISTRY. One serves by building a house, another by buying groceries. Don’t mock others because it’s not your way, and shut out the mocker’s voice that says, “It’s not my way, you’re doing it wrong!” At the end of the day, the only voice that matters is the One who says, “Well done good and faithful servant”. All other’s must be drowned out. You are unique. Listen to and obey Him.
Our Lord tells us that the spirit of fear will be strong and prevalent in the end times. Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring of the tossing of the sea, Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.” Fear is a great tactic of the devil. Satan uses fear to put you in bondage. The devil wants you to rely on man, government, the health care system, etc. Why? Because fear will cause you to turn from God because you don’t trust God to take care of you, you trust in something or someone else who SEEMS more reliable, but in the end it bites. Dear saint, we need to recognize fear and CAST IT OUT! There is no place for fear in your life or the life of the church. Stop looking at what is going on around you! Jesus told us these things were coming! This life is temporary, heaven is eternal. Today, get rid of the fear! Jesus said TRUST HIM to take care of you!
The other day, I ran across a sermon by Pastor Andy Stanley. His sermon really hit home for me. Our country has lost the idea of what stewardship is, in part due to the church (as a whole) not doing a good job of defining and teaching about stewardship but also, like Andy Stanley, stated because of our countries prosperity. His sermon stemmed from the idea of how the United States of America is one of the most prosperous nations in the world. We have abused our prosperity and now we have problems especially in the area of stewardship. His sermon expanded on how we as a nation can recover but I think we can gleam something more from this topic on how we can be better stewards of what God has given to us. It boils down to simply this, we have such an abundance of stuff (money, time, relationships, energy, talents, material goods) that we have never had to do a good job of managing it. Regardless of this abundance, God’s word tells us we, as Christians, are called to be good stewards of everything He has given to us and He owns it all.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it. Amplified Bible
One of the most powerful things I have realized is that EVERYTHING I HAVE IS GOD’S, I AM JUST MANAGING IT. I don’t own any of it! If you can have a heart change, it will drastically change your circumstances and behaviors on how you manage your money, time, relationships, energy, talents, material goods etc. on a day to day basis.
So, now that we have an understanding of how we got here, let’s look into what this prosperity has lead us, Chistians and non-Christians, into; we lack discipline, we are greedy, we have a feeling of entitlement, and we have a failure of nerve.
We lack discipline. I think about my own life. I am really disciplined with managing my money. I download by transactions every day, I keep track of my monthly expenses, I know what baby Baby Step I am (and all the FPU graduates laugh) but that is because I have been intentional about making the time to do this. Kasey and I have grown in this area because we have been disciplined in it. On the flip side, since I have become a Christian I have struggled with reading the bible on a daily basis. Why? I have a million excuses but all the excuses boil down to one thing-lack of discipline. I came to the realization I have not been a good steward of the time God has provided me, the ability to read His word, and the freedom to be able to read the Bible without persecution. Again, all a consequence of prosperity. A few years ago, I started to ask God to provide time for me to read, the desire to read His word daily and to have a fresh understanding of His word. Guess what God told me, you lack discipline. If you want to grow in this area, you must be more disciplined. I have to be intentional about making the time EVERY day, I try to keep track of what I have been reading in the past month and how God’s word has impacted my life (just like I do with my money) and to examine myself if I am growing spiritually (Baby Steps, right?).
Hebrews 12:11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. Amplified Bible
My hope is that this will encourage you to think about an area you lack discipline in and ask God to guide you in that area so you can be a better manager of that which he is entrusted you with. God calls us to be disciplined people in all areas of our life regardless of how much or how little we have.
There is great word picture I have heard so many times (most recently from Dave Ramsey): Think of a pond. Water flows into it, but there’s no outlet. It doesn’t go anywhere. I just sits. What happens? It STINKS. It gets GROSS. Instead of being a place that draws life near it, it becomes something to avoid. So basically…… Don’t be gross. Don’t let stuff flow into you, clutching them so tightly that they don’t dare leave you. On the other hand, think about water than flows. It brings life. It has POWER (it can even erode rock). There is life in generosity and power in what it can do.
Generosity isn’t something that happens when you hit a certain level of income, a certain schedule, a certain place in life. Its a life-long attitude and a discipline that needs to be exercised. There will ALWAYS be excuses to not be generous. I’m too busy. I just can’t with the kids. I didn’t get enough sleep. I haven’t had enough ‘me’ time. This one gets to me. I look at Jesus and the only ‘me’ time he had alone was when he was praying. Yes, there needs to be balance, and yes there needs to be health for your own family. However, it can’t just be an excuse.
Being poor isn’t an excuse to not be generous. I say this from experience. Having no money doesn’t mean you have nothing to give. You are still able to listen, you’re body can still work, you can pray, and you are still able to share what you have. I stayed with a tribe near Arusha, Tanzania, many years ago. We would go do deliveries to families with tons of kids and sick or dead or absent parents. Yet they offered us whatever they had. They didn’t have food stamps or WIC or even a grocery store. Yet shared what they had. I think sometimes when people have a low income, there is a only receiving mentality (even as Christians). After all, the Bible talks about giving to the poor a lot. However, the Bible never says the poor are exempt from everything else- tithing, offering, giving, blessing, working, sacrificing. The poor should be excited at the measure of grace they have received and let it overflow (I’m saying this from living it!).