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Summer Messages

Summer Messages

Title Speaker Date Video Audio Sermon Notes Downloads
Come to Jesus Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 06/10/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
We want to be like the New Testament Christians...sort of Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 06/17/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
The Best Is Yet To Come Les Venable, Pastor Robious Hall Campus 06/24/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
In Remembrance of His Death Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 07/01/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
In the Cave Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 07/08/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
Living for Which World? Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 07/15/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of? 07/22/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
Why This Waste? Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 07/29/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
Celebrating Sixty Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 08/05/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
Blessing Others Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 08/12/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
When Singing is a Choice Travis Coillins 08/19/2012 Watch Listen Downloads
Why was this man born blind? Travis Collins. Senior Pastor 08/26/2012 Watch Listen Notes

“Why was this man born blind?”

John 9:1-4

August 26, 2012

 

The mystery of suffering…and the ways of our Father/Creator…are beyond our human capacities.

 

All suffering is somehow the result of the fall of humankind in Eden. 

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:19-23

 

Jesus was careful not to tie the man’s blindness to anybody’s sin. 

Luke 13…

 

We’re left to struggle with the disciples’ question, and it often is our own.

Here is the translation in the NIV, which, frankly, is essentially what it is in other translations.

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”

 

G. Campbell Morgan insisted on another translation:  “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents.  But that the works of God should be made manifest in him, we must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day.”

 

(There are various valid possibilities when it comes to punctuation.)

 

“So that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body.” 

So God saw that this baby in his mother’s womb who one day would be noticed by Jesus would be blind.  Yet God allowed it.  Did not intervene to correct it.  Chose to allow the man to be born blind.

We can’t get away from that. Nor can we quite get our heads around that.

But He allowed it “so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

 

 

Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them.  But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.  (Exodus 14:3-4)

 

 

So, a paramount goal for followers of Jesus must be:  How can God’s glory (His character) be revealed through this tragedy? 

Hurts and loss, however inexplicable they might be, are windows of opportunity for God to display His unconditional, undeserved unlimited love.

They also provide opportunities for us to reach out to people and make God look good (a loose translation of “glorify God”).

 

 

I pray that you will be courageous enough to willingly walk the hard way, the way of humility.  Humility is the most essential thing for you right now.  This submissive path you must take will actually help you with the wide range of difficulties you face.  The journey, if you allow it, will teach you willingness to learn and to listen.  Even better, this willingness to humbly receive what God has to teach you will eventually smooth out your rough road.  If you choose to resist God (which is the same as resisting humility), you will bear more blame than a lot of other people who have never faced the challenges you have faced.  These challenges are a gift, an invitation into a deep journey.  Don’t squander it… --Francois Fenelon, 17th century priest

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Sodom and Gomorrah Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 09/02/2012 Watch Listen Notes

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.  “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.  Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old—surrounded the house.  They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him  and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.  Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

“Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,  because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” …

Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.  (Genesis 19:1-13, 27-28, NIV)

 

 

… “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion...” (Jude 7, NIV)

 

*****

 

 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50, NIV)

 

 

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God,you people of Gomorrah! …

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening.

Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean.Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless;  plead the case of the widow.   (Isaiah 1:10,15-17, NIV)

 

*****

 

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.  But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”  (Matthew 11:20-24, NIV)

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Increasing Numbers of Transformed Lives Travis Collins, Senior Pastor 09/09/2012 Watch Listen Notes

“The emphasis of ministry is to be placed on the transformation of lives rather than the program of the church.  Transformation is a process of inner change and is the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.”  (Bon Air Baptist Church’s Philosophy of Ministry document, under “Our Philosophy of Church Ministries,” #12, p.2,  approved 1998)

 

“A Transformational Church is not simply a ‘good church’ or a church that does good things.  Neither is it necessarily a big church that offers excellent programming, preaching, and worship.  A Transformational Church focuses stubbornly on the gospel’s ability to change people…A Transformational Church is more than a group of people who believe Christianity is the right choice and that it offers a better way to live.  We found hope in them because they are covenant communities holding to a belief that God will radically change lives and entire communities…The churches we discovered are interested in changing lives more than just the sake of helping people become better.  There are plenty of self-help movements in the world, and the church doesn’t even do that sort of thing particularly well.  Certainly we don’t do it as well as Tony Robbins or Oprah.  But  making well-adjusted and well-behaved unbelievers is not the aim of Christian mission…The hope of a Transformational Church is for a complete change of individual lives and all of culture.”  (Rainer & Stetzer, Transformational Church)

 

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:11-13).

 

“We all have shadows and skeletons in our backgrounds. But listen, there. is something bigger in this world than we are and that something bigger is full of grace and mercy, patience and ingenuity. The moment the focus of your life shifts from your badness to His goodness and the  question becomes not ‘What have I done?’ but ‘What can He do?’ release from remorse can happen; miracle of miracles, you can forgive yourself because you are forgiven, accept yourself because you are accepted, and begin to start building up the very places once torn down.  There is grace to help in every time of trouble. That grace is the secret to being able to forgive  ourselves. Trust it.” (John Claypool, quoted in Ragamuffin Gospel)

 

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