Deacons Lead Us Into Acts of Mercy — the Role of Deacons in the Life of the Church 1 Timothy 3:8-13

Deacons Lead Us Into Acts of Mercy -- the Role of Deacons in the Life of the Church 1 Timothy 3 8-13 Anthony R Locke FirstPresTucker ARPChurchSuccessful Deacons lead the chruch into activities of mercy. Only when we are loving through service can the world see us from a distance and know we are real Christians.

Deacons change lives. They stabilize families. Souls are converted as deacons do their job. All of us will find our spiritual confidence grow as the kingdom of God expands through the leadership of our deacons.

Our church has good people serving as deacons. We need to encourage them to lead. To lead us into a redemptive relationship with a lost world. To lead us into effective ministry to others. To lead us into acts of compassion and mercy. And may God give us the grace to follow.

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Elders Lead Us Into the Light — the Role of Elders in the Life of the Church Titus 1:5-2:2

Titus 1 5-22   Elders Lead Us Into the Light -- the Role of Elders in the Life of the Church ARPChurch FirstPresTucker Anthony R Locke ARPThe Apostle’s Creed requires that, in faith, we affirm that a spiritual communion exists between believers. We are connected by the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Christ who removes the darkness through the light of His own person and glory.

We are spiritually born into the light of the Gospel, and it is the mission of the church to lead the world out of darkness and to the Eternal Light of our Lord Jesus.

The Church is light. We are God’s light. Like a city on the top of a hill that enables the surrounding area to see in the darkness.

And the Church needs Godly leaders who can lead and keep God’s family in the light. We need leadership that can choral the disorder of ungodliness in our ranks. We need men who can act like doctors and rightly identify our sickness so that we can get healthy and stay spiritually fit.

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1 John 2:15 — Deacons Lead Us to Love God & Others (Deacons Ordination / Installation Service)

deacons-bannerI have a new favorite catch phrase when parenting.

At night cereal bowls randomly are set out. At one spot is a green bowl, at another spot is a blue, yellow or maybe a red bowl. So in the morning the first person up switches the bowl to get their favorite color. Well, when the other child comes down they are heartbroken that someone is using their bowl.

They come running to me looking for social justice, and I tell them, “I want you to stop caring so much about that sort of thing.” “I don’t really care, and I want you to learn not to care. Grow up.”

This last month my kids bought tablets with their Christmas money. And they will sit for hours staring at them, playing games and such. And when we ask them to put them down we get expressions of extreme anguish that they have to walk away from their tablets.

So as parents we say, “I need you to stop loving that so much. Some day you will look with contempt on that device. You won’t care if it is broken, used by your younger brother, or lost. It won’t matter. You won’t care about it. I want you to start feeling that way about it now.”

That’s what the Apostle John is telling the Church in this verse. He’s saying, “I need you to stop loving the things that are not of eternal value.”

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1 John 2:12-14 — Seasons of Spiritual Maturity (Nathan Ferrell’s Installation Service)

Installation Nathan Ferrell FirstPresTucker ARPChurch Ruling Elder Anthony R LockeYoung Men represents all men and women in the middle of their life when they are working hard for Jesus’ sake. We go to work. We go to the PTA meetings. The Boy and Girl Scout meetings. We are taking the children to their appointments. Keeping our children healthy. Leading our communities. Innovating. Creating.

We are in the building stage of life. Working to expand the kingdom. Teaching Sunday Schools. Expanding ministries in the Church. Working to grow the membership. Praying how to evangelize and then disciple the unchurched.

And John wants us to remember that we are not strong in ourselves, but we are learning to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are getting practice putting on the armor of God and by His Spirit leading an assault on gates of Hell itself. Only the Word of God makes us strong in our life. If we think that we are strong, yet the Word of God is not strong in our life, then we are only strong in the culture of religion. If the Word of God is not our daily diet then wes are malnourished and our strength is carnal.

So many of us are missing out on the real power of God’s Spirit working in our life because we won’t take the time to be strong in the Word and in prayer. It is only after the Word of God takes root in our heart and soul that we become hardened warriors for the Lord’s army.

Nathan, it is your high calling from God in Christ Jesus to lead us in this noble and eternal struggle. Maintain the wonder of a child and always speak of God with a sense of awe that our sins can be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Tell us the stories of God’s faithfulness in your life. Make your boast in the Lord as you weave His story with your life story. Remind us that the best joy of your life has been the fellowship you have maintained with the Father.

And help us to be strong in the Lord. Guide us in the battle for Jesus’ sake. Teach us God’s Word. Teach us to pray. Brother, oh friend, teach us how to speak to God. And help us to swing the Sword of the Spirit, the inerrant Word of God, against the wiles of the Devil.

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1 John 2:7-11 — The Old & New Command to Love

1 John 2 7-11 -- The Old & New Command to Love FirstPresTucker ARPChurch Anthony R LockeMy family enjoys playing board games. Battleship, Blockus, War, Go Fish and other family card games. Those moments are precious because we are together. We are enjoying fellowship and family togetherness. We do not gather around the kitchen table to read and study the rule book and then play to keep the rules. The rules of the game are incidental. Necessary, but not the focus. There is no joy in rule keeping. The joy is in the people we gather around the table.

The moment really isn’t about the game, it’s about the fellowship, and when we take our eyes off the joy of our fellowship the moment is lost. Life is like the board game. God wants you at His table. He calls you to Himself. God gathers you around His table. We all take our turns and enjoy fellowship together. At the end of the day all the money and pieces go back in the box.

The winners are not the ones with the most money, rather the ones who enjoy the company of others the most.

Of course we still need rules, but God isn’t thinking about the rules. God is thinking about how much he enjoys sitting at the table with us and living out the game of life

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1 John 2:3-6 — How Can I Be Sure I Really Know God Personally?

1 John 2 3-6 -- How Can I Be Sure I Really Know God Personally FirstPresTucker ArpChruch Anthony R LockeJohn Calvin explains that we first come to know God in repentance and faith. Then the Light of God touches our soul and makes us alive in Christ. We are forgiven and the blood of Jesus washes away the guilt of our sin.

Then, as we abide in fellowship with God, over a lifetime our life is transformed into an obedient life. As this obedience grows, we come to know that we know God.

An obedience life is what gives us an assurance in our hearts that we are saved.

We know we know God if we live like Jesus who prayed all night in order to stay connected to the Father.

Jesus worked to grow in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man.

Jesus worked hard to live in constant fellowship with the Father. And that provided Him the power to overcome sin. That’s where Jesus got the enabling grace to will and to do all the good pleasure of God.

Our life should be the same

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1 John 2:1-2 — The Fires of God Against Our Sin are Cold: Propitiation

Something in last Sundays sermon upset some folks and I wanted to use it for the introduction into today’s sermon. I said that unlike us “God is not a mix of good and evil, therefore God has no sympathy for our sin. God is never patient or at rest looking at our sin. God is always mobilized and agitated by sin. He is always on the move to deal with it.”

If the truth that God is angry against sin and sinners comes as a shock, then might I suggest we read our Bibles without cherry picking passages. The Scriptures never describe God as weak against sin. God will never get over our sin. God will never just accept us like we are in our sin.

Tolerance for sin is never listed as an attribute of the Divine nature.

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To Live, Move and Have Being

To Live Move and Have Being Firstprestucker arpchurch Anthony R Locke Madison Grace LockeIf women have a right to predetermine the value of the life inside them, then what was wrong with slave owners removing liberty and freedom from a slave baby before it was born?

No one has the right to diminish the value of a life.

God is the source of life. We have person-hood by the power of God. To kill a baby is to kill a child of God.

We are not talking about a political issue or a single item in a list of topics discussed by the moral majority. We are talking about genocide. Abortion is genocide. The genocide isn’t focused on a race or religion. It’s an age based discrimination of the helpless, those without a voice and those without a defender. God is their defender. We need to join with God in the defense of His children.

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Abortion: Can We Wash Our Hands from Our Responsibility?

Lady MacBeth ARPChurch FirstPresTucker Anthony R Locke Abortion Can We Wash Our Hands from Our ResponsibilityThe Penn State disaster with Joe Paterno reminds us all that the knowledge of a crime burdens us with a moral obligation to report the crime. There is a moral mandate to act or we take some of the guilt to ourselves by our inaction.

Like the blood of Abel that cries from the soil, the blood of our children cries out to heaven for justice. And our hands are dirty, even if we didn’t do the deed.

This is the biggest issue of our time. The big elephant in the room. 50 million babies killed every year world wide. Over 1.3 million babies are killed every year in America.

We call Herod a monster for killing thousands of babies while trying to kill baby Jesus. Yet, we vote into office political leaders who support and sustain a monstrous evil. Over a billion babies killed since the Roe Wade decision. Can we really expect God not to judge us as a culture? Can we escape God’s wrath? Probably not.

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1 John 1:5-10 — The Message We Proclaim

The Holiness of God is the main message of the Bible First Pres Tucker Anthony R LockeIt is in my theological DNA to make the end of verse 7 the big idea of this passage. I would be wrong. Most Christians think that the Bible is all about getting us saved, when in fact the Bible is not about us, our felt needs or pending destruction.

That truth doesn’t diminish The blood of Jesus which cleanses us from all sin, but that’s not the biggest truth coming out of the Bible. It’s in the top three big truths of the Bible, but it isn’t the top truth. The revelation about Redemption and the Creation are in the top three. But those don’t cover the biggest truth God wants us to understand.

The primary message of the Bible is about . . .

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