HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

 TO CONTACT PASTOR

for information on the following sermons:

John Jones

email:  pastorhighlandparkbc@gmail.com


 

  SERMON

SUNDAY A.M. -  06/18/2017

“REFLECTIONS FROM A FATHER”

Genesis 48:1-7

INTRODUCTION

The book of Genesis begins with life and ends with death.  It starts with creation and ends with a coffin.  It begins with a living God and ends with a dead man, and all because of the fall…  Every one of the heroes introduced in the book, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph also died in its pages.    Chapters 48 and 49 chronicle the death of the great patriarch Jacob.  He lived for 147 years on this earth, but eventually the hour of his death came.  We do not like to talk about death. It is a subject that we do our best to avoid. Still, death is stalking each of us, and one day, we will leave this world, Heb. 9:27. What we learn as we watch Jacob finish his life can help us as the day of our own death approaches. What we learn here can help us live life knowing that death is coming.

1 “And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.”  Genesis 48:1-7

JACOB REFLECTED ON THE PAST

3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

As Jacob approached his date with death, the past was on his mind.  He remembered three high places that stood out on the landscape of his past.

A. v. 3-4,  He Remembered A Spot – Jacob remembered a night when he met God, He remembered and encounter at a place called Bethel, Genesis 28. Jacob remembered what happened that night. He remembered the covenant the Lord made with him. He remembered the promises God gave to him. Even as he was dying, Jacob remembered the place and the time when he met God. 

Question: Do you have a spot? Do you have a place in your past where you met God? Can you go there in your mind and remember that place right now? You need a spot! That spot will become more and more important to you as the moment of your death draws closer. If you do not have a spot, come and get one today! Let this place, this date, this hour be the spot you remember as the moment you met God and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. 

B. v. 7  He Remembered A Spouse – Jacob remembered the greatest love and the greatest heartbreak of his life. He thought of his beloved wife Rachel.

He remembered…

- How he felt when he saw her 

- Their love 

- How he had to work fourteen years just to have her as his wife

- All the happy years they shared together. 

- How she died

- The love and he remembered the loss

Jacob saw his Rachel as the highpoint of his earthly existence. She has been dead for two decades, but Jacob never forgot her! 

As he looked at Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim standing before him, he was reminded of his Rachel and of her legacy.  Note: Take a moment to think of all the important people God placed in your life. Think of how they shaped you into the person you are today.  Do you have someone special in your past? Do you have some in your life right now? Take the time to tell them what they mean to you. Take the time to praise the Lord for giving you those special people.  

C. v. 16  He Remembered A Spirit – As Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons, he remembers  an Angel.  He remembers a divine encounter with God that forever changed his life Genesis 32.  Jacob wrestled with the Lord one night and when the sun rose on the new day, he walked different for the rest of his life.  He remembers the day that Jacob became Israel.  He remembers the amazing, life-changing work of God His life.  Note: Do you have a place in your past where you surrendered it all?  Do you have a place where you laid it all down and began to walk with the Lord without reservation? I can remember a time when my walk, my talk and my ways changed forever. Do you have such a place? Have you ever had an encounter with the Holy Ghost?  Is there a place where He filled you and changed you forever? If not, make this that place today.

  II. JACOB REFLECTED ON PROVIDENCE

3 “And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.”  Genesis 48:3, 11, & 21

As Jacob was dying, he looked back over the years of his life and remembered the times when God blessed him along the way. Let’s see what he remembered.  I am sure that much of it is similar with our own experiences.

A.  v, 3, 11, 21  He Remembered God’s Providence – Jacob remembered the times God moved in his life to accomplish His will and to lead Jacob in the right path.  Note: I thank God for His providential work in the loves of His people... 

23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”  Psalm 37:23

2 “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”  Psalm 40:2

B.  v. 15  He Remembered God’s Provisions – He spoke of the God “which fed me all my life long unto this day.”  Note: That is the God we serve today.  There have been some lean times along the way, but there has never been a time when the lord failed me.  He has lived up to all His promises in the Word of God… 19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19 

C. v. 2  He Remembered God’s Power – Do you see the transition in verse 2?  At the beginning of the verse he is called “Jacob”. At the end of the verse, he is called “Israel”. “Jacob” means “Trickster, supplanter, heel grabber”. Israel means “Prince with God.” As he lies dying, Jacob takes time to remember the God Who changed his life. He remembers the awesome power of God working in him and through him, changing him from what he was to what the Lord wanted him to become.

III.  JACOB REFLECTED ON THE PRESENT

8 “And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.”  

Genesis 48:8-11

As Jacob was dying he knew that all his blessings were not in the past. The Lord had placed some things right in from of him that reminded him of God’s blessings today.

A.  v. 8-11  The Evidence Of Grace – Jacob embraces the two sons of Joseph. There was a time when he thought Joseph was dead and that there would be no offspring from that son. 

Now, by the grace of God, Jacob not only sees Joseph again, but he also sees Joseph’s two boys. That is grace in action!

A. v. 5-6  The Expansion Of Grace – Jacob adopts the two sons of Joseph and gives them an inheritance among Joseph’s brothers.

He is, in effect, giving Joseph the DOUBLE PORTION of the firstborn. When the inheritance of the nation of Israel was given our many years later, there was no tribe of Joseph, but there were the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim.  The grace that was active in Jacob’s life flowed from him to the successive generations.  In other words, because of the grace of God that was on him, he was able to hand down a heritage, a legacy, to those who followed him. That is what we ought to be doing today.  Just as Jacob handed down his blessings to his grandchildren, we ought to strive to hand down the gifts of God’s great grace to those who are following after us.  I want to have down a legacy of preaching, worship and obedience to God to those who come behind me…

C.  v. 18-20 The Economy Of Grace – In these verses, Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons. But, Jacob gives the blessing of the firstborn to Ephraim instead of Manasseh. Joseph tries to intervene, suspecting that Jacob just couldn’t see what he was doing, v. 18. But, Jacob was carrying out the will of the Lord and he knew exactly what he was doing, v. 14, 19.  In the kingdom years, Ephraim became the most powerful and populous tribe in Israel, with Manasseh being second. God gave the blessing to whom He chose.  Note: That is the way of grace. God blesses whom He will. God uses whom He will. God chooses one over another without explanation. When we see another person being blessed more than ourselves, there is a human tendency to become jealous. We should praise God for the simple fact that He even blesses us at all. We certainly do not deserve it! Any blessing of God on our lives is pure grace. Anytime the Lord uses us at all, it is pure grace. I look around today and I thank God for His grace!

III. JACOB REFLECTED ON THE PROMISES

21 “And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.”  Genesis 48:21

Jacob concludes his reflections on his life by remembering and restating the promises of God in his life and to his offspring.  These promises belong to us as well today…

A. v. 21  Their Heritage – God had a plan for Israel.  He led them into and one day He would lead them out and back to the land of Canaan.  They had a heritage! God had made certain promises to their fathers, and He would keep those promises to His people. 

v. 21  Their Helper – “God will be with you.” Jacob dies by reminding Joseph that God will never forsake His people.  He will walk with them and stand with them until we leave this world for Heaven.  Note: We live with that same promise today…5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

Think about it, God is with you all the time, watching over all you do. He is there to protect you, sustain you, encourage you, bless you and use you.  He is our helper! 

B. v. 21  Their Hope – One day God would visit His people and He would, deliver them from Egypt and carry them home to Canaan. That was their blessed hope, and that was just what God eventually did for them.  Note: We have that promise as well.  Our Lord is coming back for His people.

16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-52

AND

1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 14:1-3

CONCLUSION:

21 “By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.”  Hebrews 11:21

On those staffs were written the Word of God…  Jacob leaned upon the Word of God…  Do we?

- I praise God that I can remember some great things the Lord has done in my life. 

- I praise Him that I can look around today and see His hand at work right now. 

Like Jacob, I can go to my death knowing that I have been blessed by my Lord.

What about you? 

·         Are you saved? 

·         Can you see the providential work of God in your life? 

·         Are you surrounded by His blessings today? 

·         Are you “standing on the promises”? 

(PREACHED SUN.AM, 06/18/2017)

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SERMON

SUNDAY P.M. - 06/18/2017

"WORTHY WORK"

John 6:27

INTRODUCTION

  Have you ever wound up doing something you said you would never do?  Yes…  I never ever thought I would pastor a church…  Have you ever wound up moving to some place you said you never wanted to move to? Yes… Someone once said, “Never say never.” There is wisdom in that… This is especially applicable to those who have gave their lives to Christ. Something changes…  God uses you…  He puts you in places where you otherwise wouldn’t be…

Let’s not forget that…

- God raised Joseph in the desert to use him in a palace…

- God raised Moses in a palace to use him in the desert…

- Zacharias was made dumb so that he could speak…

- Paul was blinded so that he could see…

27 “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” John 6:27

God didn’t save any of us to sit.  Also notice how in this passage there are no qualifications or conditions.  What WORTHY WORK?  Kingdom work. Our Trust in Him, some of our time for Him, and some of our treasure for Him. 

I. WORK WITH ENTHUSIASM

9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”  1 Corinthians 3:9

Those who lack interest and fervor are ineffective in working for God. They give the impression that the Gospel is unimportant.  We must work with divine inspiration. Zeal and enthusiasm brings results when presenting Christ to others.  11 “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” Romans 12:11

II. WORK WITH EARNESTNESS

37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” Matthew 9:27

Many Christians are flippant and unconcerned.  They fail to take their soul-winning responsibilities seriously. We must recognize the importance of winning the lost to Christ.  One soul is worth more than the world.  Effective results come with earnest witnessing. 

III. WORK WITH EXPECTATION

29 “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”  John 6:29

Some Christians lack faith when working for God.  They do not expect results, and they do not receive them.  We must work with confidence.  It takes faith to receive Christ.  It also takes faith to bring others to a saving knowledge of Him. 17 “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”  Romans 1:17

IV. WORK WITH ENDURANCE

10 “For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” 

1 Timothy 4:10

Many Christians take the easy way.  They fail in God’s work when endurance is required.  To be effective we must persevere.  We must endure difficulties and distresses without being overcome. 5 “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5

V. WORK WITH ENJOYMENT

18 “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” 1 Timothy 5:18

Those who work grudgingly are ineffective.  They fail to display the joy of the Lord.  Working happily brings results.  Many are seeking satisfaction and are attracted to happy Christians.  God’s children will be rewarded for joyful service. 

CONCLUSION:  We are expected to GIVE ourselves daily, not occasionally.  It is a lifestyle decision.  The question is…  Do we know this?  Do we realize this?   It goes beyond being put out of having to get out of bed earlier than you would like on Sunday morning to come worship.  It goes beyond being put out of having to be at the church house for Sunday school.  It goes beyond being put out of having to come to evening services on Sunday. 

(PREACHED SUN.AM, 06/18/2017)



 

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