Fairview Baptist Church
Friday, February 23, 2018
Connecting to God, to each other, to the world
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Weekly Messages

   
 
sunday morning message
 
over the last 30-40 years, the "health, wealth, and prosperity gospel" has taken hold of many of our churches, and can be heard in much of the preaching that we encounter.  the hallmarks of this brand of Christianity include the idea that if you just have the right mindset or attitude, you can find good things for yourself.  blessings will come if you simply believe that they will.  this is the "name it-claim it" idea.  if you want to be happy, just keep telling yourself that you're happy, and you eventually will be.  well, despite this movement's best efforts, the statistics don't match up with what they are saying.  studies show that only 33% of Americans claim to be happy.  this means that 2 out of every 3 people in this country are unhappy.  even with all of the advantages, privileges, and freedoms we have, the majority of americans can't seem to find happiness.  one of the main reasons this is true is that we go about looking for it in the wrong way.  If we want to find true happiness and joy, we need to do so in the way spelled out by the lord jesus Christ.  preaching from john 13:1-17, bro. david pointed out the three components that make up jesus' formula for true joy.  these are:
 
1) true joy comes from living a servant's life: in this portion of john's gospel, we find the lord jesus washing his disciples' feet.  while this action may seem odd or off putting to us, in bible times it was a common practice.  but it was always done by a servant.  a master never washed feet.  but that is exactly what jesus does here.  he is their teacher, their leader, and their master, but in this moment he becomes their servant.  he reminds them that, before anything else, they are to serve - they are to serve one another, they are to serve people in the world, and they are to serve the lord.  if you want to find true happiness in life, look for ways to serve.  you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or spend time with the residents of a nursing home.  you could help by driving a church van to get people to and from worship.  you could sign up to teach sunday school or children's church or vBS.  whatever it happens to be, look for those ways to serve each and every day.  they will lead to true happiness.   
 
2) true joy comes from living a separated life: as Jesus washes peter's feet, an interesting exchange takes place.  peter tells jesus, "if you're going to wash my feet, please wash my hands and my head, also."  To which jesus responds, saying, "You don't need me to do that - you're already clean."  here jesus is talking about spiritual cleanliness.  jesus has called peter to be one of his own - thus, he is already "clean."  you could say peter has been "separated" from the world.  when we answer the call of god and are saved, we too are separated from the world.  in that sense, we are a lot like Abraham.  when god first called him, he told him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and that through those descendants the whole world would be blessed.  when we get saved, we become one of the stars in Abraham's sky - we become one of his descendants, and one of god's children.  we then bless those in the world around us by telling them the good news of jesus Christ.  he separated us to save us - and so that we would be a blessing to the world.  and when we bless others by sharing our faith with them, we receive a blessing In return.  do you want to have true joy? tell someone of what jesus has done for you.  
 
3) true joy comes from living a secure life: this follows from one of the things we mentioned in the previous point.  in verse 10, jesus tells peter, "you are completely clean."  when jesus cleanses us from our sins, it is not just for that moment alone, nor does it last for just a while - it is good ... forever!!!  sometimes satan wants to creep in and try to cause us to doubt our salvation.  when he does, we can call to mind the words of Isaiah 43:25, where god himself says, "I am the one who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; I will forget all of your sins."  if you are saved, god no longer remembers any of your sins - he has even forgotten the ones you have yet to commit!  because you are clean, and because he remembers your sins no more, your eternal home in heaven is secure! what a joy it is to know that! 
 
in verse 17, jesus tells us that if we know these things and do them, we will be blessed.  do you want to be happy in this life?  be assured of the salvation only god can grant you.  do you want to be blessed?  find ways to serve, and be a blessing to others by telling them the good news of the gospel.  true joy is out there for all of us - all we have to do is follow Jesus' advice for finding it.  what are you waiting for? 
 
sunday evening message 
 
in his previous message about the holy spirit, bro. david discussed the work done by the spirit.  he looked at 5 broad areas in which the spirit works (creation, revelation, confirmation, regeneration, and sanctification).  in tonight's message, bro. david began to look at how the spirit works specifically in the life of a Christian.  this work in our individual lives begins with the promise of the holy spirit.  the spirit's indwelling of believers is not something that suddenly took place in the church age.  it was promised by the prophet joel, more than 6 centuries before christ.  other old testament prophets also spoke of the promise of the spirit and how he would impact the lives of those he indwells.  bro. david touched on the following passages:
 
1) Ezekiel 36:26-27: god tells us he will quite literally place his holy spirit within us.  at the moment of our salvation, god quite literally reaches into our hearts and takes up residence there.  this indwelling of god leads us to be obedient to god, and empowers us to do anything god has called us to do.
 
2) Ezekiel 39:29:  god No longer hides his face from us.  our sin had separated us from the lord, and marred our image so severely that he could not even look upon us.  but salvation changes all of that.  god can now look on us again, and he comes to live within us. 
 
3) Isaiah 32:14-17: the arrival of the spirit transforms a world of darkness, death, and destruction into a place of peace, prosperity, justice, righteousness, faith, and trust.  every time someone is saved, the spirit comes into their life, transforming them and the world around them.
 
the new testament also speaks to the what the spirit will do for us.  at his last supper with his disciples, jesus tells them that the holy spirit will :
     * live within them     * reassure them he is indeed the promised messiah
     * help them know the truth & avoid error     * convict the world of sin
     * remind them of all THAT jesus taUGHT     * LEAD THEM & EMPOWER THEM
 
THE SPIRIT DOES ALL OF THE SAME THINGS FOR US. BRO. DAVID CONCLUDED THE MESSAGE BY LOOKING AT THE EVENTS OF THE DAY OF PENTECOST, AS RECORDED IN THE 2ND CHAPTER OF ACTS.  THERE WE ARE REMINDED THAT THE GIFT OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN AT THE MOMENT SOMEONE REPENTS, AND IS GIVEN REGARDLESS OF AGE, GENDER, RACE, ECONOMIC STATUS, NATIONALITY, ETC.  GOD SHOWS NO FAVORTISM.  ALL ARE EQUAL IN HIS SIGHT.  NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, WHERE YOU ARE FROM, WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE, OR WHAT PEOPLE MAY THINK OF YOU, TURNTO THE LORD TODAY AND BE SAVED! 
  
worship service attendance
 
morning worship attendance: 99
evening worship attendance: 65