Sermon Thoughts


The message last week at the church I worship was titled “Sweet Dreams – What Keeps You Up At Night? Am I Making a Difference”? Here is a link to the podcast which is live at 9:30 central time each Sunday morning or viewable at any time or place thereafter at this link:

To make a difference and win the world for Christ, it takes churches that agree on who Christ is and work together. A few ideas may include doing more with less, equipping people to use their gifts, and partnering with each other in reaching people for Christ.

This weekend, share a thought from one of the great sermons in your community or from a podcast.

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About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
This entry was posted in Devotionals, Sermon Thoughts, Teamwork and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sermon Thoughts

  1. Mark, I agree with you that ….”it takes churches that agree on who Christ is…..”

    When Matthias was being appointed to replace Judas as the 12th and final Apostle, Peter said “one of these must become a witness with us of his (Jesus’) resurrection.” [Acts 1:22]

    It’s the Jesus of the Gospels we must follow, not the the “Jesus” of our own imaginations, or the imagionations of others like Muhammad, Paul the Pharisee, Joseph Smith, or a demon claiming to be The Virgin Mary.

    At the Last Supper, after Judas left, Jesus prayed for His 11 faithful Apostles. Then Jesus prayed for US, saying:
    “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through THEIR MESSAGE….” [John 17:20]
    Whose message?
    Paul the Pharisee’s message?
    The message of “The Bible” or “All Scripture”?
    THEIR message, the message of the 11 Apostles who were present at the Last Supper, whom Jesus personally appointed. (Matthias is the 12th Apostle, but he didn’t write anything in the Bible – that was not a qualification for being an “Apostle”. )

    The 3 Apostles who wrote in our Bible are Matthew, John, and Peter. Mark and Luke were obviously written based on eyewitness accounts of a number of people, including the Apostles.

  2. Mantra n. Hinduism.
    A sacred formula believed to embody the divinity invoked and to possess magical power, used in prayer and incantation. (American Heritage Dictionary.)

    When cult members repeat their mantra, it makes them deaf to the voice of God, unable to hear God. Instead, it puts their focus on their one “special man” above all others – his personality, words and teachings, character, life example, feelings, experience, intentions, mind, will, emotions, etc.
    Their cult leader is their hero – he is always right, could never be wrong about anything specific, and he must be obeyed in all things and never questioned. He will give himself a special title, write at least one special book, and claim special authority, with no need for a second witness to back him up.
    Here are 3 examples.

    .1) Fuhrer. The title of Adolf Hitler as the leader of the German Nazis, author of “Mein Kamph” (I think that means my dream). Mantra: “Heil Hitler.”

    .2) The self-appointed Prophet Muhammad, author of The Koran. Mantra: …..”and Muhammad is his prophet.”

    .3) Paul the Pharisee, the self-appointed Apostle to the Gentiles, whose 13 letters comprise one third of what, today, we call the “New Testament.”
    (The first, original “New Testament” was composed by the second century heretic Marcion, and he coined the term “New Testament.” His new “book” contained nothing except 10 of Paul’s letters and an abbreviated Gospel of Luke. There were no other “New Testament” books, and the Hebrew Scriptures were the “Old Testament” which was irrelevant, according to the heretic Marcion.)
    Mantra: “All Scripture is God-breathed….”

  3. I got my Masters Degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. I was attracted to the school because they put Paul’s mantra of “All Scripture is God-breathed” above everything else, and I wanted to heed Paul’s command and “Preach the Word” like Paul….

    This mantra is a misinterpretation out of context of 2 Timothy 3:16. It ignores the previous verse, 2 Timothy 3:15, which clearly indicates that Paul was NOT referring to his own letters when he wrote the words “All Scripture.”

    Paul was probably making reference to some of the Hebrew Scriptures, quite likely including the Law and the Prophets. We cannot be completely certain exactly which “Scriptures” Paul meant in “All Scripture”, and what Paul meant by “God-breathed.” Why can’t we be certain?

    Because we must establish a matter by the testimony of two or three witnesses, especially something as important as “What is the Word of God.” No one else in the pages of the Bible besides Paul ever said anything like “All Scripture is God-breathed”. And Paul only said it here, one time, in the middle of a personal letter.

    The Apostle Peter made reference to “Prophecy of Scripture,” not “All Scripture,” and no it’s not the same thing at all. Jesus never said anything like that. And no one, not even Paul, ever said that all Scripture was equal.

    I remember the general approach to the Bible at Dallas being that “every word in the 66 Books is the Word of God”….. and we should interpret it based on “the intended meaning of the author in the historical grammatical context.”

    That is the basic idea of the heavy-duty seminary language we were being trained in. It sounds so right, so intelligent, so professional, so “godly”….. but it is fundamentally flawed.

    When we look at Paul’s teachings and testimony about himself, (in his letters that make up 1/3 of the New Testament,) we should NOT immediately ask ourselves; “what did Paul say, what did Paul mean, and how does this apply to my life?” The fundamental question is NOT “what was in the mind of Paul?” Before any of that, the FIRST question to ask is; “does Paul agree with Jesus, who came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets?”

    Paul contradicted himself, and his teachings and testimony about himself don’t harmonize with the teachings of Jesus (or with Luke’s record of his life.) Let’s not waste our time with endless debates about “what Paul really meant” with his wacky teachings about “baptizing the dead” or “there is neither male nor female.” Paul was wrong. Jesus reminds us from The Law “at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female.” [Matthew 19:4, Genesis 1:27]

    • Mark Shields says:

      It is amazing how much time and money a person has to go through to get a college degree in any field of study. A person has to question if what they teach in colleges today is correct. If you think about it, Jesus and the 12 disciples would not have had enough time to get through all the years required for Seminary today. I’m not trying to be negative about getting a college degree in any field of study but just aware that a degree is only one aspect of a successful career. There is another side of education which can only come from studying on your own, experience, prayer, and asking for help in following God’s will in applying the knowledge receive. Thanks for your thoughts Matthew.

      • I think you’re right, Mark. It’s often said “some things are better caught than taught”, and I remember teaching a youth group about becoming a “Contagious Christian” years ago…..

        It appears to me that Jesus granted unique Apostolic Authority based on proximity to Him during his 3 1/2 years of ministry.
        “He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and…..”
        [Mark 3:14]
        So being with Jesus was first on the list, before being sent out, or preaching, or driving out demons, or evangelism. Matthias and the 11 other true Apostles would be more likely to know “what Would Jesus Do,” or say, WWJD, because they were close eyewitnesses to what Jesus said and did. They had “caught it” as well as being taught it. Matthew, John & Peter had heard and seen for themselves, firsthand, so if I am listening to their accounts of Jesus’ teachings and ministry, that is a way for me to “be with Jesus” so I can apply the knowledge today.

  4. God just revealed something else to me.
    Try comparing the voice of God through the Prophet Jeremiah 9:23-24, which begins with “This is what the LORD says:….let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me…. and ends with …. “‘for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”

    in contrast to Paul’s misquote, [2 Corinthians 10:17] in the middle of several chapters of Paul:
    .1) Justifying himself, his feelings and experience,
    .2) Pressuring the church he abandoned to give money in Paul’s name
    .3) Sending his young out-of-town helper, Titus, as a hireling to do long-term-temporary pulpit supply, so Paul can maintain his position as absentee Boss of the church, and no one locally in the Church in Corinth has any real authority
    ,4) Harshly attacking the ministry of others
    .5) Falsely claiming the he is an apostle, while others are “false apostles.”
    .6) claiming to be super spiritual because he has visions, but “holier than thou” so he can’t share the content with his readers.
    .7) Implying that he is his own second witness if he makes two visits to the church – he doesn’t need another person as a second witness.

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