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“TURN STUMBLING BLOCKS INTO STEPPING STONES!”

Avoiding Stumbling Blocks to Spiritual Growth



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April 6, 2014               Sermon #2 “The Downward Spiral”

Text: Matthew 23:15 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!”

Synopsis:        If our devotion to God is absolute it will lead us to oneness with Him. If our devotion to God is weak it will lead us to perversion!



  • April 13, 2014             Sermon #3 “Behave Yourself and Give!”

Text: Matthew 23:23-24 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.24 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!”

Synopsis:        Our walk with God should guide our GIVING and our BEHAVIOR.



  • April 20, 2014             EASTER “You Can’t Keep a ‘GOD-MAN’ Down!”

Text: John 20:1-31 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb.4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in.6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there,7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead.10 Then they went home.  11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him.15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”).17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.  19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  24 One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”  30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book.31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”

Synopsis: Satan threw everything he had at Jesus – and Jesus still won the victory!  Because of God’s love we can now have fellowship with Him! 



  • April 27, 2014             Sermon #4 “Just Don’t Look Inside!” 

Text: Matthew 23:25-26 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”

Synopsis:        Believers should be more concerned about what we are on the inside than how we look on the outside! 



  • May 4, 2014                            Sermon #5 “Don’t Be An Imposter”

Text:    Matthew 23:27-28 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Synopsis:        The more a person tries to prove they are spiritual by outward appearances they more likely it is that they are NOT spiritual at all.

May 11, 2014           Mother's Day – Sermon Series will continue on May 18.



  • May 18, 2014              Sermon #6 “If I Had it to do Over Again”

Text:    Matthew 23:29-39 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed.30 Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.’31 “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.32 Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started.33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?34 “Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city.35 As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time—from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar.36 I tell you the truth, this judgment will fall on this very generation.” 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.38 And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. 39 For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Synopsis:        Believers should always do their best to do what they say they are going to do. God will hold us accountable for the lives we actually LIVE.