The Gatekeeper

February 25, 2018 • Jason Smith

Title:  "The Gatekeeper" Gatekeeper:  A person that controls access to something.   When we ignore our gate, we put ourselves and those we love in jeopardy. Song Solomon 2:15- "Catch the foxes for us-the little foxes that ruin the vineyards-for our vineyards are in full bloom." Every marriage has a gate that protects, that prevents, and that provides opportunities for the "gatekeeper", which is the husband and the wife, to "catch the foxes" that are destroying our vineyard. Ephesians 5:31-"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." What reason?  The FULLNESS of the vineyard. v.22-Wives:  "submit to your husbands." v.25-Husbands:  "love your wife as Christ loved the church." Genesis 3:1-7 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." Point #1:  REESTABLISH your position at the gate of your vineyard "PROTECT THIS HOUSE" Point #2:  REFUSE to abandon your position at the gate Point #3:  REMEMBER your commitment that you first had to your gate Ephesians 5:21-"Submit yourselves one to another, in the fear of the Lord." Proverbs 25:14- "Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give." 1 Corinthians 15:58- "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." We need to be reminded of that first commitment we made, before we celebrate an anniversary or we are faced with adversity. Romans 13:11- "Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed." Isaiah 52:1- Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean."

The Demonstration

February 18, 2018 • Albert Almore

Title:  THE DEMONSTRATION Romans 5:6-8 "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." NIV Point #1:  We love:  WITHOUT HESITATION "at just the right time, when we were still powerless."  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." NIV He is not waiting for you to get your act right before He will love you.  He knows your act ain't right and yet doesn't hesitate to love you. Point #2:  We love:  WITHOUT EXPECTATION v.7 "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die."NIV Christ died to save us not IN our sins, but FROM our sins. Point #3:  We love: WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION V.8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Sin don't discriminate and neither does the love of God When others are turning their backs on you, know that God is turning his heart toward you. When other people's love is running out, God's love is running over God's love isn't concerned with what you've done or where you've been.  His love is concerned with how you are and where you're going. 1 John 4:7-11 " Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NIV

The Chase

February 11, 2018 • Jason Smith

Title:  The Chase What are you chasing today? -your next high/next buzz -your next companion/or that relationship that only provides a temporary fix -unrealistic expectations that no one can meet -your fulfillment, your peace, your desires, your goals, your objectives -approval, acceptance, and affirmation from someone or something that really can't provide those things Psalm 63:1-8 O God, you are my God;     I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you;     my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land     where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in your sanctuary     and gazed upon your power and glory. 3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;     how I praise you! 4 I will praise you as long as I live,     lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.     I will praise you with songs of joy. 6 I lie awake thinking of you,     meditating on you through the night. 7 Because you are my helper,     I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you;     your strong right hand holds me securely. NLT Why do we continue to chase? POINT 1:  We want WHAT the relationship can give us instead of the relationship itself Where has IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH gone to?  How has TILL DEATH DO US PART turned into- until my needs aren't being met? Some of us need to stop chasing after the BENEFITS of the relationship and focus on the human BEINGS of the relationship. v.1-"O God, YOU are my God; I earnestly "chase" for YOU; My soul thirsts for YOU; my whole body longs for YOU in this parched and weary land where there is no water." Hosea 4:6- "My people are being destroyed because they don't know ME." They are more focused on what they can get from me instead of getting to know ME. We are chasing after wrong things, with wrong motives.  When this happens it's all about me and my needs, my desires, myself and I. So...how do we change the course of our CHASE? 1-Desire more of the person and less of your prerogative Psalm 42:1-"As the deer longs for streams of water,     so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?" NLT Psalm 73:25- "Whom do I have in heaven but YOU?  And I desire nothing on earth but YOU." Desiring the person over our prerogative changes our perspective. 2-Stop comparing and start complementing "comparison can sabotage a relationship commitment" Galatians 6:4-5 "Each of you must examine your own actions.  Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.  Assume your own responsibility." James 3:16- "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." When we are comparing more than complementing, it becomes easier to focus on the benefits instead of the person. Don't compare yourself or the person in your relationship to others or you will find yourself or them becoming someone you may not like. Proverbs 14:30- "A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." This is what comparison does:  it replaces our complements with complaints which in turn creates comparisons. 3 - Remember WHY you fell in love in the FIRST place

Let It Sleep

February 4, 2018 • Jason Smith

Title: Let It Sleep Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4-“Promise me, oh women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.” HCSB Genesis 1:28- “Be fruitful and multiply” Psalm 127: “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of children.” “Both men and women must let love arise in its on and not rush into it or force it to happen. When it’s time, self-sacrificial Love will arose naturally. It is not forcible.” Point 1: The UN-EFFECT a-Un-bridled passion 1 Corinthians 7:9 “But if they cannot exercise self control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”NIV James 1:14 “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” ‭‭NIV b-Un-desired results Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” NIV C-Un-needed problems We create 100% of our problems and we also can create 100% of the results. 2 Timothy 1:7- “For God has given us a Spirit of a sound mind.” James 1:5- “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” ‭‭NIV d-Un-wanted debt “You can lust over things just like you can lust over people.” AB Luke 14:28- “First, sit down and count the cost.” “Not yet doesn’t mean not ever” AB Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” ‭‭KJV Point 2-You’re selling yourself short “Do not awaken love until the time is right.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” ‭‭HCSB 1-Have reasons more than rules 2-Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best 3-Know that you were made for more