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New Territory
46:46
Leaving Your First Love
49:33
In the book of Hosea, we find a profound illustration of God's unwavering love for His people, despite their unfaithfulness. Hosea, a prophet, is commanded by God to marry Gomer, a woman characterized by her sinful lifestyle. This marriage symbolizes the relationship between God and Israel, a nation steeped in idolatry and rebellion. Through Hosea's life, God demonstrates His relentless pursuit of His people, His readiness to forgive, and His commitment to restoration. Hosea's love for Gomer, despite her repeated unfaithfulness, mirrors God's love for us. We, like Gomer, have been completely in sin, yet through Jesus—our Hosea—we are completely covered by grace and mercy. Our Savior's love is constant, even when we stray. The story of Hosea and Gomer is not just a historical account; it is a present-day reflection of Jesus' love for us, His church. We are reminded that we do not lose our love for God; we leave it. This distinction is crucial. To lose something implies it was accidental and we do not know where to find it. However, when we leave our love for God, we deliberately walk away from the relationship we once cherished. It is a conscious choice to pursue other lovers—worldly desires and pleasures—over our devotion to God. The sermon calls us to examine our personal devotion to Jesus. Have we allowed the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, or the desire for other things to choke out our love for Him? Are we fulfilling our spiritual duties out of genuine love for God, or have we become like the church in Ephesus, doing the right things but lacking love at the core? We are urged to return to our first love, to rekindle the passion and devotion we once had for Jesus. It is a call to repentance, to turn away from the idols of this world and to seek fulfillment in Christ alone. We are purchased by His blood, and nothing can separate us from His love. Key Takeaways: 1. God's love for us is relentless and unconditional. Even when we are unfaithful, He remains faithful. His love is not based on our performance but on His character. We must embrace this truth and allow it to transform how we view ourselves and our relationship with Him. [55:51] 2. We must be vigilant not to confuse losing our love for God with leaving it. Leaving our love for God is a deliberate choice, and it is one that we can reverse by returning to Him with a repentant heart. Our relationship with God is always within reach if we choose to come back. [49:51] 3. Personal devotion to Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. If we find that our devotion has decreased, it is time to take inventory of our lives and remove anything that hinders our relationship with Him. Our love for God should be evident in our daily walk and choices. [01:02:25] 4. Fulfillment in life comes from our relationship with Jesus, not from the things of this world. We must guard against allowing material possessions, status, or other desires to take precedence over our love for God. True contentment is found in Him alone. [01:05:27] 5. Spiritual work should be driven by a passion for God's kingdom and a burden for the lost. Our service in the church and community should stem from a desire to see lives transformed by the gospel, not merely from a sense of duty or obligation. [01:09:39] Pastor Sherwood Lancaster Available on our website, Facebook, and YouTube. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myhighestpraise Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/highest.praisechurch TikTok | https://www.tiktok.com/@hpchurch?_t=8YOWMoX3wjb&_r=1 https://www.highestpraisechurch.com/
Family Playbook
39:25
In our lives as believers, we are called to embody the principles of our faith, not just speak of them. As a leader in your home, it is essential to understand that actions speak louder than words. Our families do not need us to recite mottos; they need us to be models of Christ-like living. It is through our actions that we demonstrate our commitment to God's word, allowing it to guide us and illuminate our path. We must create lives that inspire our families to follow God, to serve Him, and to desire a home that reflects His love and peace. A joyful home is a cornerstone of a faithful life. Ecclesiastes 8:15 teaches us to enjoy life, for joy will sustain us through our labor. Our homes should be havens of joy and love, places where God's presence is felt, and where family members long to return, especially when faced with life's challenges. The world outside can be chaotic and unsafe, but within our homes, we have the power to create an environment of stability, safety, and spiritual growth. Our families must also love the church. It is through the church that we learn God's word and are equipped to live the lives He has called us to live. Prioritizing church attendance and involvement ensures that our families are rooted in a community that grows in faith together. When church is not optional but integral to our lives, we build a legacy of faith that endures beyond our own lifetimes. In our homes, we must foster open communication, rest, laughter, growth, and the making of memories. Our homes should be the soil in which the seeds of our family's lives can flourish. If we cultivate chaos, we will harvest chaos. If we cultivate love, forgiveness, and service, we will harvest those same qualities. The atmosphere we create will determine how our families grow. Lastly, the best gift we can give our families is a healthy marriage. It is the foundation upon which a stable and loving home is built. If necessary, we must seek counseling, attend retreats, or simply spend quality time together to ensure that our marriages remain strong and healthy. Key Takeaways: - Actions are the true measure of our faith. We must live out the teachings of Christ in our daily lives, demonstrating to our families that our faith is not just spoken but lived. This authenticity in our walk with God is what truly influences and shapes our loved ones. [19:18] - Joy within the home is not just a feeling but a spiritual strength. It sustains us and our families through the trials of life. By cultivating a joyful environment, we create a refuge that reflects the love and peace of God, making our homes a place of comfort and spiritual nourishment. [20:43] - The church is not just a building; it is a community that nurtures our faith and supports our spiritual journey. By loving the church and making it a priority, we instill in our families the importance of fellowship, learning, and growing in faith together. This commitment to the church is a legacy that will continue to guide our families even when we are no longer with them. [27:25] - Communication within the family is crucial. It is through open and honest dialogue that we can truly understand and guide our loved ones. By spending quality time with our families and engaging in meaningful conversations, we build trust and impart wisdom that will help them navigate life's challenges. [22:23] - A healthy marriage is the cornerstone of a healthy family. By nurturing our relationships with our spouses, we provide a stable and loving environment for our children. This commitment to marital health is a testament to the sacred vows we made and sets a powerful example for our families to follow. [26:19] Sunday Teaching Family Playbook Pastor Jordan Lancaster Available on our website, Facebook, and YouTube. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myhighestpraise Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/highest.praisechurch TikTok | https://www.tiktok.com/@hpchurch?_t=8YOWMoX3wjb&_r=1 https://www.highestpraisechurch.com/
The Love Of God
39:19
In today's sermon, we explored the profound truths of God's love and the implications of our response to His divine invitation. We delved into the narrative of the Israelites in the wilderness, their disobedience, and the subsequent consequences they faced. Their murmuring and complaints against God, despite their predicament being a result of their own actions, led to a plague of serpents. However, God provided a way out through the bronze serpent lifted upon a pole, prefiguring Christ's redemptive work on the cross. We examined the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus, where Jesus referenced the story of the serpent in the wilderness to illustrate the necessity of being born again to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus, a Pharisee well-versed in the Torah, was challenged by Jesus' declaration that God's love extends beyond Israel to the entire world. This was a radical departure from the exclusive understanding of God's love that Nicodemus held. The sermon emphasized that every person has been bitten by sin, but through belief in Jesus Christ, we can be healed. The venom of sin is potent, but it is the blood of Jesus that serves as the ultimate antivenom, washing away our transgressions. We were reminded that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. Belief in Jesus is not merely an acknowledgment of His existence but a transformative trust in Him as both Savior and Lord. We also touched upon the importance of understanding God's love, not as something He does, but as who He is. Love is the essence of God's character, and it is through His love that we find our value. The sermon concluded with a call to recognize the gravity of God's gift—His only begotten Son—and to respond with faith and obedience. Key Takeaways: 1. The story of the Israelites and the bronze serpent is a powerful illustration of God's redemptive plan. Just as the Israelites were healed by looking upon the bronze serpent, we too are healed by fixing our gaze upon Christ and believing in His power to save. This belief is not a passive glance but an active trust in God's promise of salvation. [53:37] 2. The conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus reveals that God's love is not confined to a select group but is extended to the entire world. This universal love challenges us to expand our understanding of God's grace and to embrace a gospel that is inclusive and transformative for all of humanity. [59:40] 3. It is not the bite of sin that condemns us, but the venom that courses through our veins if left untreated. The blood of Jesus is the only antidote that can neutralize this venom, offering us complete healing and restoration. Our acknowledgment of this truth is crucial for our spiritual well-being. [57:38] 4. God's love is not based on our value; rather, our value is derived from His love. We must resist the temptation to earn God's love and instead accept that we are loved unconditionally. This understanding liberates us from the burden of proving our worth and allows us to live in the freedom of God's grace. [01:03:29] 5. The gift of God's only begotten Son is the ultimate demonstration of His love for us. The price tag of this gift, the life of Jesus, underscores the depth of God's commitment to our redemption. Recognizing the significance of this sacrifice compels us to live lives worthy of such a costly expression of love. [01:10:21] Pastor Sherwood Lancaster Available on our website, Facebook, and YouTube. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myhighestpraise Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/highest.praisechurch TikTok | https://www.tiktok.com/@hpchurch?_t=8YOWMoX3wjb&_r=1 https://www.highestpraisechurch.com/