Istrouma Baptist Church Podcast

Amazing Grace is perhaps the best loved hymn of all time.  Here are the words to the first verse: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found.  Was blind but now I see.”   The author of the hymn was, by his own admission, a “wretch.”  He was a slave trader, a blasphemer, a rebel, an immoral man, and a torturer.

 

As a boy, John was captivated by the adventure and risk of life on the high seas. When he was eleven, young John Newton launched into that exciting life of voyaging, sailing, and living his dream. But the dream turned out to be a nightmare.

 

Later in life he wrote, “I sinned with a high hand, and I made it my study to tempt and seduce others.” Newton lived a hard life with hard consequences. God got his attention though. In 1748, Newton’s slave ship was nearly wrecked by an intense storm.  Surrounded by crashing waves, ferocious winds, creaking timbers, and the cries of onboard slaves, John fell to his knees and pled for mercy, and for grace.

 

God’s grace, which reaches anyone, anywhere, saved a wretch like John Newton. Newton wrote the song years later while serving as a pastor in Olney, England.  Today, its lyrics still inspire, encourage, and instruct people about the radical reality of God’s amazing grace.  It gives “wretches” like us hope.

 

The summation of Newton’s testimony is this: “was blind, but now I see.”  What was true spiritually of Newton was literally true for a man that we will meet in the Scriptures this morning.  He was blind from birth.  But by God’s grace he was given physical and, more importantly, spiritual sight and life!  God wants to do the same for us.

 

Signs: So You May Believe

“Was Blind but Now I See”

John 9:1-41

 

  1. Sad circumstances
    1. He was blind
    2. He was belittled
    3. He was begging
  2. Supernatural cure
    1. The reason for the cure
    2. The responses to the cure
  3. Saving commitment
    1. Commitment declared
    2. Commitment demonstrated
Direct download: IBC_20170416.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

One of my favorite characters in J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings triology is Samwise Gamgee [show pic].  He is the ever loyal sidekick of Frodo Baggins.  From Samwise comes a saying that has made its way into our vernacular.  I think you’ll know it.  Please finish this familiar expression: “Where there’s life, there’s              .” 

 

Yes.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.

 

The idea is that, no matter how grim the circumstance are, so long as there is life, there is hope for victory. Once death comes, however, all hope is lost.

 

Where there’s life, there’s hope. 

 

But this does not do justice to the good news of Jesus.  The good news goes much further.  The world says, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”  Jesus says, “Where there’s death, there’s hope.”

 

Because of Jesus, even death itself has no claim on believers.  We have hope in this life and after this life!

 

How can we have hope when death comes knocking?  Turn in your Bible to John 11 and we’ll show you the source of our hope.  It is found in him who is the resurrection and the life—Jesus!

 

Read 11:1-7 and 34-44.

 

Pray.

 

Transition to first point: Where there’s death, there’s hope.  This hope is only and wholly because of Jesus.  In our story today we are going learn more about Jesus and how he works in our lives.  Knowing him and his ways better should strengthen our hope, even in the darkest of days.  Now to be sure, there are times when his ways can be mysterious and even frustrating to us.  The first thing that stands out in the story of Larazus is that Jesus waited. . . .

 

 

Signs: So You May Believe
“Where There’s Death, There’s Hope!”
John 11:1-44

Jesus waited
Despite the crisis
Despite the connection
Jesus wept
Because of his emotions
Because of his enemy
Jesus won
Faced the problems
Fulfilled the promise

Direct download: IBC_20170409.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Signs: So You May Believe

“Lessons from the Loaves”

John 6:1-15

 

  1. Go after Jesus

 

  1. Run to him

 

  1. Remain with him

 

  1. Give to Jesus

 

  1. Though it is small

 

  1. Though it is all

 

  1. Get from Jesus

 

  1. The gift of satisfaction

 

  1. The gift of surplus
Direct download: IBC_20170319.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 11:29am EDT

By 1940 WWII was underway in Europe.  The Allied western front in Europe was crumbling before the Nazi war machine.  The Germans drove the Allied forces all the way back to the English Channel.  They felt that they had them trapped.  They had them surrounded and the sea at the Allieds’ back was thought to be an impassable wall. 

 

But the English mounted a daring rescue known to history as the “Miracle at Dunkirk.”  In a few desperate days they rescued 338,226 men from the shores of Dunkkirk.  Pivotal in that effort were the “little ships of Dunkirk.”  More than a thousand small boats manned by fathers and grandfathers came across the channel.  They could navigate the shallow waters of that shoreline and shuttle the soldiers on to larger naval ships that would transport the soldiers back to Dover.

 

It seemed hopeless until help came from home!  And that help, at first glance, seemed insignificant and small.

 

We are going to meet in the scriptures today a man whose condition was hopeless until help came from heaven!  He had been an invalid for 38 years and he had no one to help him until Jesus found him.  That encounter changed everything! 

 

Signs: So You May Believe

“Hope for the Hopeless”

John 5:1-18

 

  1. Jesus confronts hopelessness

 

  1. By his choice of this man

 

  1. By his conversation with this man

 

  1. Jesus confers healing

 

  1. He tells us to stand

 

  1. He tells us to stop

 

  1. He tells us to start

 

  1. Jesus commands holiness

 

  1. His grace to us

 

  1. His goal for us
Direct download: IBC_20170312.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

On April 26, 2003 Aron Ralston set out on a solo hike through Blue John Canyon, in Utah, near the Canyonlands National Park. While he was descending a narrow canyon, a boulder shifted while he was climbing down from it. The 800 pound rock smashed his left hand, and then crushed his right hand against the canyon wall.  Ralston had not informed anyone of his hiking plans, so no one would have been searching for him.

               

Assuming that he would die without intervention, he spent five days slowly sipping his small amount of remaining water, approximately 12 ounces and slowly eating his small amount of food, two burritos, while trying to free his arm. After three days of trying to lift and break the boulder, the dehydrated and delirious Ralston decided to amputate his trapped right arm at a point on the mid-forearm, in order to escape.

 

He lost his arm but saved his life.

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

 

This morning we will meet in John 4:46-54 a desperate man.  His desperate circumstances drove him to action and the action he took brought life to him and his family.

 

Signs: So You May Believe

“Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures”

John 4:46-54

 

  1. Introduction
    1. Desperate times call for desperate measures.’
    2. On April 26, 2003 Aron Ralston set out on a solo hike through Blue John Canyon, in Utah, near the Canyonlands National Park. While he was descending a narrow canyon, a boulder shifted while he was climbing down from it. The 800 pound rock smashed his left hand, and then crushed his right hand against the canyon wall. [7] Ralston had not informed anyone of his hiking plans, so no one would have been searching for him.
    3. Assuming that he would die without intervention, he spent five days slowly sipping his small amount of remaining water, approximately 12 ounces and slowly eating his small amount of food, two burritos, while trying to free his arm. After three days of trying to lift and break the boulder, the dehydrated and delirious Ralston decided to amputate his trapped right arm at a point on the mid-forearm, in order to escape.
    4. He lost his arm but saved his life.
    5. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    6. This morning we will meet a desperate man. It drove him to action and that action brought life to him and his family.
    7. Please turn in your Bibles to John 4:46-54.

So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, (BL)“Unless you[c] see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down (BM)before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants[d] met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour[e] the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, (BN)and all his household. 54 (BO)This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. 

  1. Transition: Desperate times call for desperate measures. The first thing that I want you to see is that, if we are in a desperate situation, we need to show some initiative. The official in our story shows some strategic initiative and it makes all the difference in the world.
  1. Strategic initiative

 

  1. The official is needy

 

When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.

 

  1. He showed initiative because he was needy!
  2. His son was at the point of death.
  • Robert Deffinbaugh and his wife lost their first child to Sudden Death Syndrome when that child was three and a half years old. So he said when their second child became mysteriously ill, he snatched that baby up and raced to the hospital. He paid little to no attention to protocol, niceties, or speed limits. He was desperate.
  1. Surely this father was desperate. He lays aside thoughts of comfort, schedule, and protocol. He makes the trek over the mountains from his seaside villa to the small village of Cana in Galilee.
  2. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

  1. The opportunity is near

 

When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him . . . .

 

  1. What made his initiative strategic is that he seized the opportunity while it was near.
  2. Jesus is near. Who knows for how long! Seize the opportunity.
  • The scripture makes it clear that opportunities come and they go.
    1. In Mark 10 blind Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing his way. He began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The people tried to quiet him.   He would have none of it! He seized the opportunity.
    2. “Jesus said, ‘No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.’” (Luke 9:62 MSG)
    3. 5:16 says, “Make the most of every opportunity.”
    4. Nell felt a little sick on the trip. We had planned to go dog sledding with the grandkids. The day of our trip came and she was wavering. I encouraged her with this thought: “When will we ever be here again? Do it!”
  1. If I could have been there with that Father, I would have said, “When will this opportunity ever come again? Jesus is near. You are needy. Show some initiative! Be strategic. Seize this moment.”
  2. Now, I could say that same to every person here today!
  1. Transition: Desperate times call for desperate measures so show some initiative. Secondly, follow simple instructions. Look again at John 4, now verse 50.

 

  1. Simple instructions

 

  1. The puzzling requirement

 

Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.

 

  1. In this verse we see a puzzling requirement: “Go.” That is puzzling because it is the opposite of what the father requested. In verse 47 we read, “When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.”
  2. The man said, “Come.”   Jesus said, “Go.”
  1. The proper response

 

Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.

 

  1. Significant impact

 

  1. In his heart

 

The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.

 

  1. In his home

 

The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household

Direct download: IBC_20170305.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Three teenage buddies, Kevin, Brian and Randall, had spent a fun evening bowling near Tampa, FL.  As they headed home, they cruised into an intersection and were struck by an eight-ton Mack truck.  All three were tragically killed.

 

They had not been drinking.  They had not been doing drugs.  They had not been texting.  They had done nothing wrong.  But, unbeknownst to the them, someone else had.  Another trio of young friends had been on a vandalism spree of sorts.  Their prank was stealing street signs.  One of the signs that was vandalized was the stop sign that should have marked the intersection where the fatal accident occurred. 

 

Signs can mean life or death.  We need to respect and pay attention to signs. 

 

God’s word contains many signs and we’d do well to pay attention to them.  These signs are not metal; they are miracles.  These miracles are signs that point to a greater reality.  They were recorded to point us to life and life to the full!

 

The book of John in the Bible has a particular focus on life-giving signs or miracles.  From this Sunday through Easter Sunday morning, we are going to look at these miraculous signs and discover more about the abundant life Jesus came to give.

 

Signs:

So You May Believe

John 20:30-31

 

  • The abundance of Jesus’ signs

 

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book” (John 20:30).

 

  • Jesus’ miracles are plentiful

 

  • Jesus’ miracles are personal

 

  • The aim of Jesus’ signs

 

“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31a).

 

  • Generate belief

 

  • Guide belief

 

  • The aspiration of Jesus’ signs

 

“And that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31b).

 

  • A matchless possession

 

  • A matchless person
Direct download: IBC_20170219a.mp3
Category:Signs -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A little boy got a real bow and arrow for his 10th birthday and immediately went outside to practice in his yard. A few minutes later his father stepped outside to check how he was doing and was amazed to see a dozen arrows dead in the center of a dozen different bullseyes that were painted on the trees in the backyard.

 

“That’s astounding, Son! You just got that bow a few minutes ago. How do you manage to hit a bullseye every time?” “Easy, Dad. First, I shoot the arrow. Then, wherever it lands, I paint circles around it!”

 

That would be a convenient way to live life, wouldn’t it?  But God doesn’t want us to live aimlessly then justify it by painting a target around wherever we land.  

 

Zig Ziglar said, “if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.”  God doesn’t want us to aim at nothing.  God has given us, his children, definite targets in life.  He has given us our marching orders. We can see them clearly in his word.”

 

The Core

“On Target”

Matthew 28:16-20

 

  • The statement of our target
    • Jesus declares it
    • Jesus delegates it
  • The strategy toward our target
    • Connect
    • Grow
    • Serve
    • Go
  • The synergy around our target
    • We have a community
    • We have a companion
Direct download: IBC_20170212.mp3
Category:Core -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20170205.mp3
Category:Core -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Valores: semana cinco,  5 de febrero de 2017

Series: valores

IR

“Nuestro lugar en la Tarea”

Hechos 1.6-8

 

  1. Un mandato que debemos conocer

 

  1. Su Poder

      “pero recibirán poder cuando el Espíritu Santo descienda sobre ustedes…” (Hechos 1.8a)

 

  1. Su Pueblo

      “…y serán mis testigos, y le hablarán a la gente acerca de mí en todas partes…” (Hechos 1.8b)

 

  1. Su Plan

      “…en Jerusalén, por toda Judea, en Samaria y hasta los lugares más lejanos de la tierra…” (Hechos 1.8c)

 

 

  1. Un mandato que debemos cumplir

 

  1. Oración enfocada globalmente

“Pídeme, y te daré por herencia las naciones, Y como posesión tuya los confines de la tierra.” (Salmos 2.8)

 

  1. Participación local – global

“¿Cómo, pues, invocarán a aquel en el cual no han creído? ¿Y cómo creerán en aquel de quien no han oído? ¿Y cómo oirán sin haber quien les predique?¿Y cómo predicarán si no fueren enviados?” (Romanos 10.13-15)

 

  1. Ofrendas con sacrificio

“Pues doy testimonio de que con agrado han dado conforme a sus fuerzas, y aun más allá de sus fuerzas,  pidiéndonos con muchos ruegos que les concediésemos el privilegio de participar en este servicio para los santos. (2 Corintios 8.3-4)

Direct download: IBC_Espanol_20170205.mp3
Category:Valores -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20170129.mp3
Category:Core -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT