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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20190901 THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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              Pastor Ray Scott

 

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THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY

SERMON STARTER

 

          Friday morning we in the community were blind-sided by an announcement by the PA DOC that they were closing the SCC, Sharon's Half-Way House. I have worked with SCC for more than 23 years. When my son Larry married and left home in 1996, I was concerned how I would be able to do landscaping and upkeep on the property.

          The Lord led me to volunteers from the Half Way House who were required to do Community Service hours each week. They have been the answer. In sixty days they will be gone. However, the Lord's still in charge of our uncertain future. He has led us through changes and he will do it again.

 

          Prisoners, parolees and ex-felons are the contemporary lepers of culture. The ancient Mosaic communities required lepers to cover their faces and shout "Unclean! Unclean!" when normal people approached them. Today we make lepers out of ex-felons. A minority of self-appointed community leaders have tried for more than a decade to shut down the Half Way House in this community.

          The Sheepfold has been called and set here to aid those former prisoners who are attempting to reintegrate into society. They are NOT all criminals. Many parolees are good people who allowed their addictions to become a danger to themselves or others. Prison is often the ultimate rehab for many, and it saves lives.

 

          According to the U.S. Department of Justice there are currently more than two and one-half million people incarcerated in the United States. Over 10,000 ex-prisoners are released from America’s state and federal prisons every week and arrive on the doorsteps of our nation's communities. More than 650,000 ex-offenders are released from prison every year, and studies show that approximately two-thirds will likely be rearrested within three years of release.

 

          What are the reasons parolees are re-arrested?  Recidivism is caused by a complex series of issues:

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY, cont.

 

1) Lack of community acceptance and support needed for re-integration into culture and society.

2) Missing employment opportunities.

3) Relapsing into substance abusive behavior after being incarcerated, monitored, tested and finally released. One gentleman I worked with as a pastoral counselor has been to thirteen rehabs and still is on the streets using and abusing.

About 50% of the occupants of pre-release half-way houses are there from DUI's and aggressive behavior related to substance abuse.

4) Lack of specialized social workers to bridge dual diagnosis prisoners into mental health services.

5) Lack of health care made available to prisoners attempting to re-enter society.

6) Lacking or missing family support for those returning home with strong addictive histories. The families themselves need support and education on how to encourage their loved ones into healthy life style choices.

          Pray for me as I lead the Sheepfold into a transition in which we can continue to reach out to parolees. Uncertainty wasn't much different back in the days of the early church.

People back then didn’t like change anymore than people now do.

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

 

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September 1, 2019 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY

Living for Christ in an Age of Uncertainty

Matthew 6:25-34

 

"Worry and anxiety are present when faith is missing. Jesus knew the

three basic needs of every man. Food, drink and clothing were needed.

People were often worried and anxious about how to meet these needs.

He urges us not to be anxious or worry."                             Pastor Phil  <><<

 

"The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."     Zephaniah 3:17.

 

10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'    Isaiah 41:10

 

ANXIETY DEFINED - Anxiety is an adrenal response caused by perceiving a threat when there is no threat apparent.

 

IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WE LONG FOR. . .

I.  FREEDOM FROM WORRY - V. 25; 27

25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
         
A. Life's meaning not found in THINGS - Matt. 6:19-21

                    19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust

              destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves

              treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where

              thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your

              heart will be also.

                    1. We spend the first half our life in acquisition

                    2. We spend the last half of our life in divestment

                    3. In the end you own none of it

          B. You worship what you think about continually

                    1. Worry interferes with the Lordship of Christ

                    2. Worry is fretting about doing God's job

          C. Why worry, life is basically an out-of-control experience

                    1. The only individuals truly in control is God and infants

                    2. Control is an illusion, born out of immaturity

          D. A believer finds meaning in RELATIONSHIPS

                    1. Relationship with God

                    2. Relationship with significant people

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY, cont., p.2

 

          E. Life's ultimate meaning is from time spent with and for God

                    1. Reflection and Meditation on God's goodness and His Word

                    2. Enjoyment with His people

IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WE LONG FOR. . .

II.  FREEDOM FROM LACK - V. 25b

25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
          A. Fear is advertising's most deceptive ploy

                    1. The public's fear of not having enough

                    2. We store and save. . .there is never enough

          B. The problem involved in eating an ice cream cone

                    1. By the time you're half finished, your dreading the end

                    2. We always want more. . .

          C. Savings accounts, IRA accounts, real estate values

                    1. Inflation spurred by government over-spending

                    2. Eats up your sense of security

          D. Fretting about lack is inconsistent with faith - Psalm 37:25

                    25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous

              forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

                    1. Ultimately God's in Control

                    2. Your next heartbeat is in His Hands

 

IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WE LONG FOR. . .

III.  FREEDOM LIKE THE BIRDS OF THE AIR - V. 26

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
          A. Birds aren't concerned about their next meal

                    1. We feed the birds on the East side of the house

                    2. They eat wild bird seed mixture, black oil sunflower seeds

          B. Birds are almost totally dependent on our feeder

                    1. Summertime food is everywhere

                    2. Winters birds are almost totally dependent on us

                    3. We are God-like to the birds

          C. Are we any different? Are we more valuable? - Prov. 3:5,6

                    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own

              understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct

              your paths.

                    1. Develop faith: it's like a muscle. . .

                    2. Use it or lose it

                    3. "Faith is either a dull habit or an acute fever."

4. GET THE FEVER!

 

 

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY, cont., p.2

 

IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY WE LONG FOR. . .

IV. GOD TO ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH - V. 33

 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
          A. Present World is under evil, rebellious leadership

                    1. Mankind keeps maintaining their status quo

                    2. Destructive wars. . .Rumors of wars. . .evil continually

          B. Global warming is not the problem

                    1. Human wickedness is abounding

                    2. There is a connection

                    3. The greater the wickedness the more the Uncertainty

                    4. Domestic Terrorism is tied to Nation-wide media publicity

          C. Human evil and Environmental instability are connected

                    1. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. . .

                    2. Tornados, Hurricanes. . .

          D. Before we address human evil in others, what about in us?

                    1. The Rule and Reign of Jesus in our hearts brings certitude

                    2. Jesus said we must be born from above - John 3:3;5

                                        3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you,

                          unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

                        5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born

                          of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

                    3. Born from above, not thru ritual, but relationship

                    4. Invite Jesus into your heart and life

                    5. Step out of the Age of Insecurity

                    6. Do it today!

                   

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JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO THE WORLD'S UNCERTAINTY

 

 

 

THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY

Matthew 6:25-34
25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”           Romans 14:17

 

"The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Jesus Christ in this present age."                                                                                                  John Wimber

 

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)
19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)
17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

 

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

 

Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

 

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

 

Philippians 4:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

John 16:33

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

 

 

 

Breaking the Worry Habit

Matt. 6:24-34

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,   and   all   these things will  be  given  to  you  as  well.  Therefore  do  not   worry  about tomorrow,  for tomorrow  will  worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."      Matt. 6:33,34

 

THE SIX INCONSISTENCIES OF WORRY:

I.  WORRY IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS

          A.  There is only ONE LORD - Ex. 20:5; Matt. 6:24-25

          B.  His Lordship supercedes family - Matt. 10:37

          C. His Lordship is above money - Matt. 6:24

          D. Resign immediately as Lord and Master of the Universe

II. WORRY IS INCONSISTENT WITH MEANING

          A. Life's meaning not found in THINGS - Matt. 6:25

          B. For a believer, meaning comes from RELATIONSHIP

          C. Life's ultimate meaning is from time w/Himself, His people, Word

III. WORRY IS INCONSISTENT WITH VALUE

          A. You are more valuable to God than His creation - Matt. 6:26

          B. If He knows about them, doesn't he know about you?

          C. Your life has value because Jesus dies for you

IV. WORRY IS INCONSISTENT WITH HUMAN ABILITY AND FAITH

          A. Worriers lose the connection between saving faith and living faith

          B. Saving faith forgives our sins / Living faith empowers our present

          C. Apostle Paul was humanly frail, but lived by God's power/might

V. WORRY IS DESTROYED BY MENTAL TOUGHNESS

          A. Mental self-discipline guards against worry - Matt. 6:31

          B. Become aware of what happens psychologically/physically

          C. Reject worry/Refuse to allow worry to possess you

VI. WORRY IS BANISHED BY LIVING IN THE PRESENT

          A. Be where your shoes are / Live in your own body and situation

          B. Faith is trusting God for the future/Obeying Him in the present

          C. Life with a faithful rage for life today

                    1. Sorrow looks back      / Worry looks around / Faith looks up

                    2. "Faith is either a dull habit or an acute fever."

3. GET THE FEVER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA, 724-981-5683

Rev. Phil Roland

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

 

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