What to watch for below: I hope you have found these video messages to be encouraging and challenging in these past four months. This video worship service will be my last one unless we have to close the church in the future. This has been quite the trying time for us as a church body along with so many other sister churches around the globe. The pandemic is not over, but opportunity for live services and live streaming will arrive next week. You can visit www.calvarybiblechurch.ca for more info before Sunday, July 19th. God bless you as you worship with the videos below. Until we meet again either here on earth or in Heaven! Revelation 4. Keep Jesus the centre of your life!
Sermon Manuscript: Do We Know Him? Does He Keep Us Calm?
The Scriptures used in this message are from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I am experiencing a sad-happy if that makes any sense to you. These online videos and messages from www.gregandluke923.life are coming to an end. I have had some fun with my daughter in creating these videos, but we now are in the process of nailing down the details to live stream our services. I am happy to announce that our live, onsite church services are resuming on July 19th with the capability of live streaming. Live streaming information will be forthcoming next week. A mass email will be sent out with more instruction.
Overall, I praise God that the pandemic in our Lanark county has been kept to a minimum and resuming church services has become a viable option for now. Keep praying about this “new normal.”
I write this message today with a bit of sadness. The sadness, that is in my heart, is based on the truth that we have come to the end of the apostle John’s letter. John’s Holy-Spirit-inspired-letter, which is Holy Scripture to us today, has been a perfect “Word” in guiding us away from false teaching and leading us into the truth about being children of a loving God who sent His Son to bring salvation and eternal life to everyone who believes in Him. 1 John 3:16 is one of the main verses that sums up the purpose of this letter – it reads, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Take the time to reread this powerful letter. As you do so, take note of the times the apostle says, “I write” and be encouraged that no matter what you face in life you can have the assurance of salvation because we serve a living, loving and all-powerful God.
Do you believe in God’s testimony about His Son? Marvel at these following verses and accept them into your heart from 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Do you believe Jesus Christ to be God’s Son? If you want eternal life fall in love with God’s Son and accept Him as your Saviour and LORD today! Pray these words to Him, “Jesus, I love you! Forgive me of my sins! I turn to you now, I deny myself, I take up my cross and follow You (Luke 9:23)!”
Keep Calm and Carry On
My first blog (or personal website post) occurred on March 18, 2020 just as our country went into lockdown and into a state of emergency to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In the midst of the panic and the unknown I was reminded of those black T-shirts or posters that proclaimed “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Here is how I ended my first blog, “It’s like looking at our dark world at night with a LED flashlight and we can see a number of metres ahead of us. We can stumble along if we are not careful, but when the sun comes up in the morning how useful is our flashlight? The Sun out shines the little flashlight and darkness is dispelled around us. The Son of God outshines the little hope or the little faith we have when burdened by the circumstances around us. Let’s keep calm and carry on as we keep Jesus the main Light to our daily experience and marvel at how He loved the Father and how God brought Him through all His challenges right to the resurrection from the grave!” John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
My words above, and John 17:3, are appropriate commentary for the apostle John’s final written words in His first letter to the churches in Asia Minor. Look for the connections in the “we know” statements as you read 1 John 5:18-21, “18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
Let us look at the three “we know” affirmations, as believers in Jesus, and how they can “keep us calm and help us carry on” no matter what comes our way…come hell, high water or a pandemic.
Three “We knows” that Keep us Calm
1. We know to be born of God means not to continue in sin
Verse 18 makes this first affirmation, “18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” As we saw in chapter 1 of John’s letter, a child of God is not immune to sin, but it is no longer their nature to sin habitually. In other words, the born again Christian when he or she sins comes under such heartfelt conviction that they have to repent because they have been freed from the shackles of sin and do not want sin to impede their relationship with God or with others. The devil wants to “keep” the believer in a sin cycle believing that a child of God can be immobilized by the entanglements of sin. However, God affirms here in verse 18 that the One (Jesus) born of God will “keep” (original Greek tereo – watch out for and guard) the children of God from the evil one and bring safety and security to them.
On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley brought fierce destruction to areas of Florida. During the storm, 25-year-old Danny Williams went outside to seek protection under the branches of a 55-year old banyan tree. Friends and family said that the protective branches of the spreading tree had been a favorite peaceful place for the Fort Meyers man. But on that day, his place of safety became a death trap. The tree fell on Williams and killed him.
Sometimes, the places and situations we look to for protection can ultimately be the most harmful. (Source: First Coast News)
If you are born of God, how is your faith doing in the midst of the devil’s temptations? Do you think you can outwit, outplay or outlast the devil? Take my advice and run to safety into God’s fortress of security and protection. When you solely trust in God, He will keep you from harm so that you can carry on.
The second “we know” in this passage that keeps us calm is…
2. We know to be children of God is to be under God’s control not the evil one.
Verse 19 makes this second affirmation, “19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” This verse draws clear lines of identity for the child of God. A child of God is not under the devil’s control. God keeps his children from the control of the devil. This is done by the Holy Spirit continually convicting us of sin, leading us to repentance and warning us of worldly lusts and its trappings (John 16:8-11, Romans 12:1, 2).
Theologian John R. W. Stott (The Letters of John: Tyndale New Testament Commentaries) wrote, “The evil one does not “touch” the Christian, but the world is helplessly in his grasp…Everyone is therefore either of God or under the control of the evil one. There is no third category.”
The apostle Paul agrees with John’s affirmation in his letter to the church in Corinth – 1 Corinthians 10:13, “13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
God will keep you from the control of the devil by always providing a way out. Are you in a difficult situation in life where you might be suffering abuse or under the unhealthy control of someone? Ask God to keep you in His strength and help you to take the way out even if it means separation from an abusive relationship. God wants to bring healing to you and the person or spouse who is trying to control you. Is there someone you can trust and talk to for help? Have a chat with your pastor or a spiritual leader in your church who genuinely cares about you. Freedom from the devil’s control and schemes is John’s second affirmation for the believer.
The third affirmation is…
3. We know the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the true God and eternal life
Verse 20 makes this third and final affirmation, “20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
This affirmation is the most foundational one for a child of God’s faith because it assures him or her that Jesus (the Son of God) has come in the flesh and He has given understanding to know God. The result is we may intimately know Jesus and be included in His relationship with the true God – His Heavenly Father. This brings us back full circle to John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Jesus and God the Father are One.
Do you know Jesus as God’s Son? If so then you have a relationship with God the Father and you have eternal life. This is the best news you will ever here and believe. This truth and affirmation will help you become an overcomer in the heartaches and trials of this world.
The final exhortation John gives to the churches is verse 21, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” God will keep us from the devil’s harm and from his control as we remain in His Son. The best way to remain in His Son, or be kept safe in His Son, is to “keep ourselves from idols.” Can you list some idols the Early Church in John’s day were tempted by? The idols could have been: self-ambition, self-righteousness, sexual immorality, other religions such as Roman or Greek gods and goddesses, power, wealth, materialism, jealousy, drunkenness etc. (Galatians 5:19-21).
19th century Preacher D.L. Moody said, “You don’t have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. (D.L. Moody – in Who said that? By George Sweeting, p. 270).
As we conclude this series on the first letter of John, ask the Holy Spirit to point out any idols in your life and bring them in submission to God so that they will not have a hold on you and give the devil a foothold in your life. Resist the devil in these uncertain times. Draw near to God and the devil will flee (James 4:6-8).
Blessings to you as we see the Day approaching and Jesus, the Son of God, will reign forever and ever. Keep calm and carry on in Jesus! AMEN!
Click the arrow below to pray with Pastor Greg