Sermons

William Walford was blind, but this did not make him worthless. 

Called on to preach from time to time in a rural English church, he composed sermons in his head to deliver on Sundays. He memorized a huge amount of the Bible which he quoted verbatim in his sermons. Some of his folk thought he had memorized the entire Scripture, cover to cover.

Thomas Salmon, a New York native, spent some time in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, where he became acquainted with William. He tells this tale of what happened one day, while he was visiting the blind pastor:

“…He repeated two or three pieces which he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within. “How will this do?” asked he, as he repeated the following lines, with a complacent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he subject himself to criticism. I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil, as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in the Observer, if you should think them worthy of preservation.”

The Observer did consider them worth preserving, and they were published on this day, September 13, 1845, becoming a beloved hymn.

The title in itself determines the condition that Christians today finds themselves in. the sweet hour of prayer has become more of a sweet few minutes of prayer.

Note: Vs 1. “that calls me from a world of care” When we are praying it is like we are at the foot of the throne, not in the world..

Want to spend less time in the world? Spend more time in prayer.
A question that is often ask is “How do I pray?” and God answers this question by FIRST telling you “How NOT to pray”

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Instructions for prayer:

Reverence   (vs. 9)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

Submission, anticipation of the Blessed Hope (2nd coming of Christ) (vs. 10)
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Thanksgiving and Supplication (entreat in favor of) (vs. 11)

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Ephesians 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Confession of the sins of the flesh for the restoration of fellowship. Then to have the heart to forgive others. (vs.12)
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Protection. From both what the world may do unto us and what we are liable to do to ourselves  (vs. 13a)

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

Psalm 7:1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Reverence (vs. 13b)
13b For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Remember Prayer is just talking to God, we Should pray to God through of His Son Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

  • In America, 3500 — 4000 churches close their doors each year. (from the Barna Study — www.barna.org) 2012 statistic
  • That has moved up to 4,000-7,000 estimated in 2014 (Huffington post quoting same survey)
  • Reported periods of 2010-2012 only half of American Churches report ANY new church memberships.
  • Churches lose an estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism. (from the Barna Study — www.barna.org)
  • Usual Sunday church attendance has from dropped from 1,606,000 in 1968 to 881,000 in 2005.  (www.churchsociety.org)
  • Only 21% of Americans now attend religious services every week.
    (www.religioustolerence.org)
  • There are People out there still looking for a Church. Though something may have influenced them to leave, their problem is still there. We must be prepared to help fill the needs of those lost and forgotten souls…

Why Do People come to Church?

  • The Church is not a building. The décor should not be a factor in whether people come to church, a Church needs to grow, but the right ways. We should not use the methods of the world to grow the church.

Let’s look at some reasons Why People come to church

1. Some come to Church for Community.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 Some people just need someone to talk to

Some may lost a spouse, kids are grown, husband is always away at work.

2. Some come to Church because of Calamity.

Sometimes Church is like a spiritual Hospital

September 11th.. Temporary increase in Attendance

3. Some come because of their Children.

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Many parents are seeing the effects of a derogated society and seeking a better way.

Others Simply are looking for a safe haven for their kids.

4. Some come because they are Confused.

2 Timothy 2:15

Some may have sat under doctrine that over time showed itself false.

Others are seeking for a “True” faith… not a generic doctrine…

There is a reason we put the name on the sign….

5. Some come because of a Connection.

There are here because someone invited them to come.

They are here because they saw something in you… that they wanted too.

All good Reasons… But they are all wrong.

The thing that David was Glad to come to Church for is the reason we should be Glad to come to Church: Christ

Psalm 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

He loved it so much because he was spending time with God… and would do anything that was needed to make God’s church a better place for others.

Maybe those who are no longer going to church, are not going there because they went for the wrong reasons.

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Ezekiel 22:23 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.
25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.
26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.
28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.
29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 
30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD. 

When I read these verses the comparison to our state as a society is glaring…

  • Conspiracy of her prophets… they have devoured souls (religious associations)
  • Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. (Scandels, Adultery, Fornication, tax fraud)
  • Her princes (leadership) destroy souls, to get dishonest gain
  • And her prophets… Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. (TV Evangelists)
  • Vexed the poor and needy – Social programs do not build up, educate and empower lives.. Rather they keep them sustained at the status quo.

We indeed live in a time that is seeing the end result of a generation that has tried to build a society without God… and like then God is still looking for a man to stand in the gap.

  • The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
  • On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
  • For Sunday Morning Service almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
  • Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants
  • There are a little more than 2.5 million men in prison today. Compared to under 500,000 in 1980. So roughly were looking at 1 in 20 men are now in jail.

I BELIEVE THAT THE ONE IS RELATED TO THE OTHER.

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

I like to watch documentaries. It something my dad forced me to do as a child and I hated it!
I particularly like to watch documentaries on building bridges and dams. The complexity and engeneering behind such bridges such as:
  • Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia that’s a 410 ft long bridge that wraps around mountains for safe passage
  • Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge, Japan – which is the longest suspension bridge in the world
  • Siduhe Bridge, China – the worlds highest bridge at over 1,600 feet above the rocks below
  • Hoover Dam – took more than 582 miles of 1-inch steel pipe in the concrete circulating ice water through it from a refrigeration plant could produce 1,000 tons of ice in 24 hours. Otherwise the amount of concrete used would generate so much heat it would have taken 125 years to cure 
  • Glen Canyon Dam – endured the great flood of 1983
  • Grand Coulee Dam – 550ft high and nearly a mile long
To build a bridge that will last a long time there has to be some planning behind it, it just not something that’s done on a whim. It’s a commitment.  It requires work.
The foundations must be strong and deep.. Most bridges underwater moorings are larger in mass that the bridge itself.
The dams that hold back trillions of gallons of water do so because the were shaped into form that would redistribute the load.
Bridges span the gap over streams, canyons and rapids allowing people to cross.
While dams place a hedge of protection to those whose lives would be devastated if the waters came through.

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

God is searching for a man that will span the gap, to make a way for the lost to get to him. This man must have his foundations deep and back strong for the load he would carry… He must be able to be the hedge for his family and others.. Knowing for certain that if he ever let go… destruction is certain for those he would protect…

God is looking for a man to stand in the gap. But it takes work.

Presenter Note: Walk to the back of the church and show the gap between the world and the Cross

Take all the men and start at the back door, have them hold hands to span the gap between the world and the cross… there’s a gap

You look across the churches today… and you see men, we are coming just short.

We don’t have enough men that will span the dangerous canyon. To hold back the raging waters.

Remember a dam redistributes the load. As we have men standing here together it good to know that you are not alone… as Christians we build each other up… the Bible says we are to bear on another’s burdens..

So you say this morning.. How do I stand in the Gap..

First are you saved? 

Next, are your foundations planted deep, can you bear the load?  Are you ready to get to work for the Glory of God?

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

What is an Excellent Spirit?

An excellent Spirit is simply someone who is godly.. Insomuch as that is what you are known for. TESTIMONY

How Do I get an Excellent Spirit?

1. Knowledge

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2. Divine Nature – Are You Saved – Are you a New Creature?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If you are saved then you have a Divine Nature

3. The Example: Daniel

Daniel 5:12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.

Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.

4. The Fruits of the Spirit – What are the traits of a Christian?

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Do you have an Excellent Spirit?

Are you ready to take that divine nature for a spin?

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

1. What’s the difference?

If you going to make a difference then what difference are you going to make?

Salvation should be first…

If we truly have compassion, our heart should be to a world that simply does not know of what is coming down the road. We should be warning of a hell to come or a heaven to gain! Think of it this way…

If a car is driving down the road and the bridge is out…

Would you be embarrassed to tell him?
Would you say that you are unqualified to hold the sign because you’re not a bridge engineer..
So I don’t know how to properly tell him…
Would you think that it would be better to entertain him by holding a sign dressed as a clown
or have loud music blaring to keep him amused?
OR would you.. With compassion, not wanting this guy to drive off the cliff,
make a difference in his life by warning him THE BRIDGE IS OUT!

Note: You cannot choose whether or not he keeps driving… but you can warn him.

Next if you are going to make a difference, be a mentor.

HELP someone be a better person, husband, wife, kid, employer, employee

It takes compassion… it takes TIME.

2. Sometimes making a difference requires ACTION

Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Fear what?    

There are those who have never been taught to fear the Lord.

Psalm 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psalm 9:16-17 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
 jump
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Sometimes to make a difference requires getting involved, getting in the car and hitting the brake.
Then walk them to the edge… Show.. Them.. What.. They.. Were.. Saved.. From..

Saving others with fear… still takes compassion.

Ephesians 4:14-15 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

This is a quick lesson done by Lance Brewer

Luke 15:11-32

The Story of the prodigal Son is a well known story.. And rightly so. It speaks of a young man who went to the world and lived a riotous life.. And when he hit rock bottom… he came home. Thus making it a great example of someone getting saved after they had lived a life of sin.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

So that begs the question —— Who Needs Repentance?

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Let me show you a comparison that sometimes gets overlooked in this powerful story.

Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

The other son was the “good son”

  • He was the one in the fields making sure things got done
  • He was the one who made sure the servants we out tending the sheep and cows
  • He was the one who stayed faithful
  • He didn’t take the family fortune and the family name and throw it all away
  • He wasn’t the one who ended up eating the pigs leftovers!

HE WAS THE GOOD SON — Wasn’t He?

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Regardless of how you were raised you still need Christ.

  • I was born into a Christian Home.
  • I have Never tasted of Alcohol
  • I have never cussed or heard my parents cussed
  • I have never taken illegal drugs…

I AM THE OTHER SON!

Yet; I still needed a Saviour!

Proverbs 24:9a The thought of foolishness is sin:

Even though I have not done the big sins of the world… According to the Bible I was a sinner and needed a Saviour…

JUST LIKE YOU…

  • This Morning I ask the question… Which one of the sons are you?
  • Are you the one who came home from the world?
  • Or the “good son” who came in from the fields?
  • Both need salvation.
  • Have you trusted in Christ today?