Saturday, November 28, 2020

Video: 11-29-20 Sermon “FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19 - part 2’

VIDEO: 11-29-20 Sermon "FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19 - part 2’

As we worship together "from house to house," we are thankful for You.  You are with us always.  You are our great provider.  You are our God.

If you cannot join us this Sunday, we invite you to sing along with the worship videos.  We encourage you to take the Lord’s Supper.  In this way, we can take communion together even though we are apart.  Pray for one another.  Watch my message FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19 - part 2.  Respond to the invitation.  Enjoy the bonus video.

WORSHIP





COMMUNION

Read 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭NIV, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Here is a possible communion prayer to say before you take the bread and the juice, “Father, in all circumstances we are grateful for your love.  When we were lost in sin, you loved us.  When we have forgotten that love, you loved us still.  We are forever grateful.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Take the Lord's Supper.

PRAYER

Pray for our spiritual response to COVID-19.  Pray for thankful hearts.

MESSAGE


CHALLENGE

Write down 4 reasons for thanksgiving that seem like troubles but are really blessings.  Testify to someone about the goodness of God in the midst of a trial and tell them why you are thankful for it.  Thank God for all things - good and bad.

INVITATION

It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word at Kenwood Church.  You may want to follow Jesus.  You may want to proclaim your faith.  You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things).  Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I encourage you to speak with me via phone (248-476-8222) or an email (toddlackie@kenwoodchurch.org).  I would be honored to speak with you about what God is doing in your life and try to connect you with a community of faith in your area.

Bonus Video




FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in Age of COVID-19 - part 2 Sermon Outline (a blog post for a video sermon for Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 29, 2020)

FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19  - 11-29-20


INTRODUCTION


Blessing and Curse - a dialogue of redemption


The blessing and the curse in the age of COVID-19


“Your theological perspective might be myopic if unrest in America leads you to talk about the end times but suffering, disease, or famine in parts of Africa does not.”

Esau McCaulley, PhD


What curses are you grateful for?


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭ 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬


“. . . always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6 NLT


I TROUBLE MAY BRING A CORRECTING MINISTRY


Hebrews 12:6 NIV says, "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”  And Hebrews 12:11 NIV tells us, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”


II TROUBLE MAY BRING A DEEPENING DEPENDENCY


Troubles bring us to Jesus so that we might depend more upon Him. The apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh and he said, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

‭‭ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:8-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬


If your trouble causes you to depend more upon God, can't you realize why we are to thank Him for it?


III TROUBLE MAY BRING A CONFIRMING TESTIMONY


Paul knew much sorrow and he said, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

‭‭ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬


If you didn't have tribulation, you wouldn't need comfort and God so graciously gives that comfort. 


IV TROUBLE MAY BRING AN INCREASING MATURITY


God's Son was without sin, but not without suffering.  James 1:4 NIV says, "Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


The words "mature” and “complete" do not mean sinless, it means maturity or reaching full potential.  The word "perseverance" means endurance. You're not going to be mature until you learn patience, and the only way that you can learn patience is to have something to endure. 


“You don't sharpen an axe on a pound of butter.”


V TROUBLE MAY BRING EXCELLING GLORY


1 Peter 4:12-14 NIV says, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”


How would you like the Spirit of glory and of God to rest on you? How would you like to undergo a fiery trial? 


But, you see, it is the fiery trial that brings the Spirit of glory upon you.  Acts 6:5 describes Stephen as "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit."  While he was being stoned, the Bible says that his face was like the face of an angel (see Acts 6:15).


If your trouble causes you to know God's glory, shouldn't we thank Him for it?


VI TROUBLE MAY BRING BAFFLING MYSTERY


Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”


God will give you enough to know to obey Him.  Friends, there are some things we may not understand, and we don't have to understand them in order to thank God.


VII.  TROUBLE WILL BRING ETERNAL VICTORY


Romans 8:18 says, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

‭‭

Paul was not saying the glory offsets the sufferings.  Instead, he was saying that there's no comparison.  What a day that will be when He turns every tear to a pearl! 


And then we understand that He has not forsaken us.


Now since all of these things are true, then can we not give thanks in everything?


For Paula and I, the last 7 years have been very difficult.  God has been greater than our difficulty.  God deserves the glory!


“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to--a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.” 

Helen Keller


CHALLENGE


Write down 4 reasons for thanksgiving that seem like troubles but are really blessings.  Testify to someone about the goodness of God in the midst of a trial and tell them why you are thankful for it.  Thank God for all things - good and bad.


INVITATION


It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word.  You may want to follow Jesus.  You may want to proclaim your faith.  You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things).  Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Possibly, if you have already responded to God’s call in these ways, you would like to become a member of Kenwood Church.  If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I would be honored to speak with you in the upper parking lot following the service about what God is doing in your life.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Video: 11-22-20 Sermon “FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19”

 VIDEO: 11-22-20 Sermon "FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19”

As we worship together "from house to house," we are grateful for all we have, all we did not ask for, and all we do not want.  In your providence you have blessed us and allowed us to experience the curse.  We are thankful for all you provide us whether understandable or not.

If you cannot join us this Sunday, we invite you to sing along with the worship videos.  We encourage you to take the Lord’s Supper.  In this way, we can take communion together even though we are apart.  Pray for one another.  Watch my message FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19.  Respond to the invitation.  Enjoy the bonus video.

WORSHIP




COMMUNION

Read Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  Here is a possible communion prayer to say before you take the bread and the juice, “Father, we overflow with gratitude for all you have given us.  The sacrifice of your Son was more than we could ever ask for.  We thank you for the innumerable other blessings we have been given.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Take the Lord's Supper.

PRAYER

Pray for a positive spiritual response from our world to Covid-19.  Pray for health for those stricken by this disease.

MESSAGE


CHALLENGE

Write down 7 things you are thankful for right now even in the midst of COVID-19.  Share 3 of those reasons for thanksgiving with someone outside of your immediate family.  Share the greatest reason you have for being thankful with a family member or dear friend.

INVITATION

It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word at Kenwood Church.  You may want to follow Jesus.  You may want to proclaim your faith.  You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things).  Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I encourage you to speak with me via phone (248-476-8222) or an email (toddlackie@kenwoodchurch.org).  I would be honored to speak with you about what God is doing in your life and try to connect you with a community of faith in your area.

Bonus Video

FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in Age of COVID-19 Sermon Outline (a blog post for a video sermon for Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 22, 2020)

 FEAST AND FAMINE: Thanksgiving for the Blessing and the Curse in the Age of COVID-19 - 11-22-20


INTRODUCTION


The blessing and the curse in the age of COVID-19


Blessing and Curse - a dialogue of redemption


Blessings

Big and small - meeting together, learning to ration, 


Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, one should "cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously."


“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭106:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭7:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 


Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 


For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭100:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬


"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher


I.  SAY "THANK YOU"


“Thankfulness is a social norm applicable in grateful situation while gratitude is the special manifestation of spirituality, love, and affection.”


A.  Are you grateful (feeling)?

B.  Tell God thanks (action)

C.  Schedule thanksgiving


“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭69:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬


II.  ACT THANKFULLY

A.  Pouting person

B.  How to act thankfully and show gratitude

7 Habits of grateful people - Lindsay Holmes for Huffington Post

1.  Journal

2.  Don't avoid the negative - setbacks are part of the journey

3.  Spend time with loved ones

4.  Mindfully use social media

5.  Know the value of the little things

6.  Volunteer

7.  Get moving

C.  Help someone else


III.  PROCLAIM THANKS

A.  Let others know

B.  Be thankful as a community

C.  Worship with a spirit of thanksgiving


“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.”

‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭95:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬


“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot— come, let us rejoice in him. He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations— let not the rebellious rise up against him. Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you— vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”

‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭66:1-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Rory and Joey Feek (who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the fall of 2015 saw her dad come to Christ about a month before that.  She told a reporter from The Tennessean, "I just cried.  Now all of my family believes.  And all of my family, when we die, we're going to see other again.”  I told dad, “I would go through all of this again, if that meant one person came to Christ because of it. The fact that my daddy did, ‘Dad, I would do it all over.  I'm so proud of you.  When I die, I'm going to be looking for you.  And I want you to know, that after you hug my brother (Justin, who died in a car accident in 1994), I'm going to be next in line.’"  Joey passed in March of 2016 and was reunited with her family.


CHALLENGE


Write down 7 things you are thankful for right now even in the midst of COVID-19.  Share 3 of those reasons for thanksgiving with someone outside of your immediate family.  Share the greatest reason you have for being thankful with a family member or dear friend.


INVITATION


It is our custom to offer an "invitation" following the preaching of the Word.  You may want to follow Jesus.  You may want to proclaim your faith.  You may want to repent (stop doing ungodly things and start doing Godly things).  Perhaps you want to be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Possibly, if you have already responded to God’s call in these ways, you would like to become a member of Kenwood Church.  If you have been moved by the Holy Spirit to make a decision in your life, I would be honored to speak with you in the upper parking lot following the service about what God is doing in your life.