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Syndication

In August of 2016 a terrible flood hit the greater Baton Rouge area.  The financial impact was catastrophic.  Thousands of homes and businesses were flooded and lives were lost.

 

The people of the United States, through their elected officials, stepped forward to help meet the need.  According to reports, approximately 1.3 billion dollars were granted to Louisiana for restoration efforts.  Nell and I are grateful recipients of some of that money.  I know that many of you have been too.

 

Would anyone care to venture how much of that amount has actually been distributed to needy families?  Approximately $60 million.  That may sound like a lot (and it is); however, relative to the amount allotted.  It is a small percentage.  It is a little less than 5%!  In fact, more money has been spent on administration of the program than has actually been given to those who suffered losses in the floods (see attached jpg).

 

For those who’ve suffered in the flood, you might want to say to the agency , “That money was given to you so that it might be channeled through you to the hurting!  Please pass it on!”

 

We instinctively know that it is not right to hoard resources that have been entrusted to us that were intended to bless others. 

 

But before we get embittered at governmental ineptitude, could it be that we too have been guilty of keeping the blessings of God that have been entrusted to us to ourselves?  Instead of being rivers of blessings, we’ve become reservoirs of God’s bounty.   Instead of being channels of blessings, we’ve siphoned off inordinate amounts for ourselves.

Restore LA chart of disbursement funds.jpg

 

 

Songs of the Summer

“Blessed to Be a Blessing”

Psalm 67:1-7

 

  1. Prayerto God

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us (67:1).

 

  1. This prayer has a progression
  2. This prayer has a precedent
  1. Purpose of God

For that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations (67:2).

 

  1. His purpose is gracious
  2. His purpose is global
  1. Praisefor God

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you (67:3).

 

  1. For gladness(v. 4a)
  2. For governance(v. 4b)
  3. For guidance(v. 4c)
  4. For gifts(vs. 5-6)

 

This morning God will challenge us to lives of greater generosity from Psalm 67 in a message I’m entitling, “Blessed to Be a Blessing.”

Direct download: IBC_20180617.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Canciones que Confortan

 

“Donde abunda el pecado, abunda la gracia”

Salmo 51.1-12

 

  1. Una humilde petición.

Ten piedad de mí, oh Dios, debido a tu amor inagotable; a causa de tu gran compasión, borra la mancha de mis pecados. Lávame de la culpa hasta que quede limpio y purifícame de mis pecados.(51.1-2)

 

  1. La raízde la petición.
  2. La razónde la petición.
  3. Un sincero arrepentimiento.

“Pues reconozco mis rebeliones; día y noche me persiguen. Contra ti y solo contra ti he pecado; he hecho lo que es malo ante tus ojos. Quedará demostrado que tienes razón en lo que dices y que tu juicio contra mí es justo.”(51.3-4)

 

  1. El pecado trae culpa.
  2. El pecado es contra Dios.
  3. Una restauración completa.(51: 12a)

Restaura en mí la alegría de tu salvación.” (51. 12ª)

 

  1. El Señor restaura nuestro testimonio.
  2. El señor restaura nuestra adoración.

 

Direct download: IBC_20180610_Espanol.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”  We probably all recognize that quote and the truth of it, but let me tweak it: “To err is human; to botch the confession is too!” 

 

I can illustrate this with several recent blunders and the gaffes in the accompanying “apologies.”  Let me begin with a relatively insignificant example and then ratchet up to more significant ones.

 

  1. R. Smith crushed the hearts of his teammates and the whole Cavalier nation in an epic error in game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals.  A mental error cost them that game (and maybe the whole series).  Rather than coming clean and admitting that he didn’t know that the score was tied as time elapsed, he stumbled through an incoherent “apology” that actually threw his teammates under the bus! 

 

To err is human; to botch the confession is too.

 

Roseanne Barr, riding a wave of popularity for the reboot of her namesake show, tweets a cruel and widely-viewed-as-racist comment about another lady.  Her “confession” was that she was not really responsible.  It was the Ambien she was taking. 

 

To err is human; to botch the confession is too.

 

In a still more serious example, the governor of Missouri cheats on his wife and gets into all sorts of problems.  He ends up resigning.  Here’s a portion of his speech:

 

"Today I am announcing that I will resign as governor of Missouri . . . . We have accomplished a lot. I am proud of . . . all our work. The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people. This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family; millions of dollars of mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends; legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers. . . .  I know, and people of good faith know, that I am not perfect. But I have not broken any laws or committed any offense worthy of this treatment. . . .  This is not the end of our fight. I will always be a fighter. . . . So for the moment, let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high.  We have a good and a proud story to tell our children. Let's love them and each other every day. May God continue to bless you and to bless the great state of Missouri."

 

To err is human; to botch the confession is too. 

 

In all three of these examples, their “confessions” made their errors worse, not better.  Before we, as erring, sinning humans can get to divine forgiveness, we must learn to confess.  To say it another way, “To come clean, we’ve got to come clean.”  We’ll never be forgiven, unless we learn to confess humbly and genuinely our sins.

 

King David was human.  He erred often and greatly.  But the good news is that his great sins were covered by a greater grace. 

 

Psalm 51 is the account of David’s confession.  God will teach us that we too have to “come clean to come clean.”

 

Songs of the Summer

“Come Clean to Come Clean”

Psalm 51:1-12

 

  1. A humble request

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!  (51:1-2)

 

  1. The backgroundof the request
  2. The basisfor the request
  1. A heartfelt remorse

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment(51:3-4).

 

  1. For our guilt
  2. For our God
  1. A happy restoration

Restore to me the joy of your salvation (51:12a).

 

  1. The Lord restores our witness
  2. The Lord restores our worship
Direct download: IBC_20180610.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Recently I took our grandkids to an ice cream shop.  We got our goodies and sat down outdoors at a picnic table to enjoy them.  Our grandson, Forest, finished his ice cream (stuffed with gummy worms) quickly.  Apparently he didn’t get his fill.  He happened to spot a gummy worm on the ground that someone else had dropped earlier.  He reached down, grabbed it, and was about to eat it when I said, “No!” 

 

It broke his heart.  He welled up with tears and began to cry.  He couldn’t understand it.  There was a perfectly, delicious gummy worm that he had found fair-and-square.  Now here I was, Grumpy Grampa, denying him the delight of eating it!  He didn’t know that it was dirty and covered with germs.   From his preschool perspective, this was grossly unfair. 

 

Little did he know what I had planned.  On the other side of the “no” was a giant “yes.”  I scooped him up in my arms and carried him to the window of the shop for a gift of a whole cup of fresh, clean gummy worms.

 

I think the Lord must look at us much like I looked at Forest that afternoon.  He wants the best for us.  But He sees us digging in the dirt for polluted pleasures.  He must say to Himself, “If only they could grasp what I intend for them!”

 

I also think we tend to view the Lord much like Forest must have viewed me that afternoon.  We think He is aiming to rob us of pleasure, happiness, and joy when the exact opposite is true.

 

Psalm 37 drives these lessons home in an unforgettable way.  Join me there for this morning’s message.

 

Songs of the Summer

“Gummy Worms and God”

Psalm 37:1-4

 

  1. Disillusioned with the Lord

Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb (37:1-2).

 

  1. The cause of disillusionment
  2. The cure for disillusionment
  1. Dependent on the Lord

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness(37:3).

 

  1. Rely on the Lord
  2. Receive from the Lord
  1. Delighted in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (37:4).

 

  1. The command to delight in the Lord
  2. The consequence of delighting in the Lord
Direct download: IBC_20180603.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Canciones que confortan

“Aguas con el agua”

Salmo 37.1-5

  1. Desilusionadoscon el Señor.

 

“No te inquietes a causa de los malvados, ni tengas envidia de los que hacen lo malo. Pues como la hierba, pronto se desvanecen;como las flores de primavera, pronto se marchitan.”(37.1-2)

 

  1. La causade la desilusión.

 

  1. La curapara la desilusión.

 

  1. Depender del Señor.

 

Confía en el Señor y haz el bien;entonces vivirás seguro en la tierra y prosperarás.”(37.3)

 

  1. Confiar en el Señor.

 

  1. Recibir del Señor.

 

  1. Deleitarseen el Señor.

 

“Deléitateel Señor, yél te concederá los deseos de tu corazón.” (37.4)

 

  1. El mandamientode deleitarnos en el Señor.

 

  1. La consecuenciade deleitarnos en el Señor.
Direct download: IBC_20180603_Espanol.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Dwayne Pitre

Direct download: IBC_20180527.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20180520_Espanol.mp3
Category:Canciones que confortan -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Mike Holmes

 

Direct download: IBC_20180520.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

About five years ago a wildly popular song was released.  It is entitled simply, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  You can’t help but smile when you hear the lyrics and the music [may play a snippet].

 

The official video of the song was released on YouTube on November 21, 2013, and, as of March 2018, it has had over 1 billion views.  Maybe its popularity is tied to the fact that everybody wants to be happy.

 

Here in America we’re so committed to the pursuit of happiness that we put it into the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

But in spite of our longing for it and our pursuit of it, happiness so often eludes us. 

 

Here’s an important truth to grasp: “Pursue happiness and it evades you.  Pursue Him--pursue holiness--and happiness comes to you as a by-product.”

 

God’s word never tells us to pursue happiness but it does promise us happiness, real joy, if we will live according to God’s word.

 

These principles are laid out for us clearly in God’s word.  Let’s open our Bibles to Psalm 1 for a message entitled, “Happy

 

Songs of the Summer

“Happy”

Psalm 1

 

  1. Dangers to avoid

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (1:1).

 

  1. Discouraging companions
  2. Downward cycle
  1. Disciplines to acquire

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night (1:2).

 

  1. Prize the word of God
  2. Ponder the word of God
  1. Destinies to assess

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment (1:3-5a).

 

  1. Everyday consequences
  2. Eternal consequences
Direct download: IBC_20180513.mp3
Category:Songs of Summer -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Direct download: IBC_20180513_Espanol.mp3
Category:Canciones que confortan -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT