FirstAndLastAdam

Message Scripture:  1 CORINTHIANS 15:22–28 (NASB)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22-28 (NASB)

Introduction:

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Boy this week has gotten away from me so quickly.  It’s Wednesday, and I’m still trying to get Tuesday’s message written, proofread, and published.  I am so happy that it’s kind of a gloomy day, and that Lizzie is taking what I hope will be a long enough nap to allow me to get as far into this message as possible before I have to focus my attention on her for the remainder of the afternoon.

I love doing these teaching series, but it’s a lot easier when I have to do one message a week instead of one message a day.  I have allowed the devotional messages to kind of take a back seat for now because of this series.  Once we’re finished with this series…then we’ll get back to doing things how we did them before I had the opportunity to go under the knife to fix my hernia.  We’ll undoubtedly have some good teaching material to get into, but we’ll also resume our Daily Devotional messages.

So, by now we know we’re going through Victory: Preparing For Resurrection Sunday by Evangelist Billy Graham.  This is the third of eight messages, and I’m excited that not only are we doing an Easter Countdown Series, but we’re also taking an intimate look at the 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians.  So, let’s not waste anymore time on this introduction, and get right into the message.

Praise And Worship:

For today’s song.  I found a fantastic version of “How Great Thou Art” that I think we’ll all enjoy.  How many of you know it’s okay to go back to these old hymn’s?

Preparing For Resurrection Sunday: All Things Are Under His Feet:

One of my favorite things to say in some of my messages is the fact that the Cross of Christ has an undefeated record!  In this day when we have so many sports teams taking undefeated records into the record books…the Cross is the only thing that can and will never know what it’s like to be defeated…because it is the victory.  The Cross of Christ is where death, hell, and the grave were all defeated by one man’s obedience…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  So, let’s get into this message, and give Billy Graham the opening word of this message, and see what the Lord has to say to us through it. Amen!?!

Who looks forward to turning on the news these days? All we seem to hear about are problems. People are losing jobs and savings. A person can get depressed listening to it all, and many people are fearful. If you are facing hardship during these tough times, my heart goes out to you. Life isn’t always fair or easy.

The news can be a depressing thing to read or watch, can’t it!?!  For me, some times it’s even almost infuriating because of so much lie and deceit and falsehoods in the news today that you can’t even trust the most trusted source for news anymore because the news media has become so political and politically correct that it’s hard to know who is telling the truth.  You have liberal news outlets, conservative news outlets, independent news sources, and all that stuff is just about as frustrating as it can be when no one seems to know anything, and what is reported turns out to be full of inaccurate details.  So, the newspaper and news channels are no longer reliable news sources.  They have become what many churches have become…you have to sift through the trash just to find a few gems of truth that really don’t matter anymore because they’re so muddy and dirty with lies.  We have experts and analysts for everything these days from parenting to sports to politics…and none of them really seem to know what they’re talking about either…do they!?!

The world is full of bad news it seems.  Every where you turn someone has been shot or killed by a drunk driver.  There are wars and rumors of wars.  All those birth pains that Jesus prophetically spoke of in Matthew 24 have been taking place before our eyes it seems for the last several years, and the frequency in which all those things are happening seems to be getting closer and closer together.  I know there are many of you that know about the birthing process, and how there are these things called Braxton Hicks contractions that seem like they’re real…but they’re not.  It seemed like for a while that’s what there was in the world, but now the contractions are real…and the birth of the final act of the world is upon us.  In other words…Jesus is coming soon!

There’s good news, however, in that I believe the contractions in the earth today are the real ones like mothers experience that lets them know it’s time to head to the hospital.  I believe now more than ever that we are very much in the final moments before that trumpet sounds, and the other story Jesus told about two walking in a field with one disappearing leaving the other wondering where the other went is going to happen soon…and very soon.  It’s time to wake up…that trumpet is going to sound and there are going to be a lot of people left here wondering what the neat pile of clothes is all about.  I want us all to be the one that leaves the piles of clothing…not the ones wondering what that neat pile of clothing on the ground is…Amen!?!

You may feel you do not know where to turn. But one of the Bible’s greatest truths is this: God never abandons us when life becomes difficult. He is always with us and wants to help us, even when things seem to be going wrong. He does not guarantee to reverse every misfortune, but if Christ lives in our hearts, we have His promise that nothing “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). What a guarantee!

Prior to becoming a stay at home dad, and becoming more involved in this ministry I was a Route Driver/Merchandiser for our local Krispy Kreme franchise.  I had the task of establishing the first ever route that was exclusive to Walmart, and I was one of those that was effected by the threat of Obamacare.  I went from working nearly 60 hours a week to working 60 hours in a pay period.  It didn’t take long before the pressure of being a new dad, trying to maintain the reputation with Walmart I had established, and the way my company didn’t seem to care about or listen to what I was trying to tell them caught up with me.  To make a long story short…I lost my job because I couldn’t control my tongue, but the beauty of God’s Word has shined through once again as God showed me how He could take things that aren’t necessarily good and work them out for good.

God has not only not abandoned me and my family, but He has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.  No…He didn’t allow us to win the lottery or anything like that, but what He has done goes far beyond financial blessings.  He told me way back before I even started this ministry that if I would take care of His business that He would take care of mine, and I’ll have to be honest it hasn’t always been easy.  I have found myself complaining many times wanting to get back to work so I could help provide for my family, and I had a lot of my own demons to work out as I found myself feeling like I wasn’t really doing anything to contribute to my household even though I was saving us the expense of having to have our daughter put in child care.

The thing of it is, what I didn’t know then that I know now is that God had already had a plan how to turn the situation I found myself in around for good, and so that the only One that could get the glory for how things have turned out is Him.  Today, my daughter absolutely adores her daddy and her daddy adores her too.  The relationship and bond I have with my daughter is something that I’ve never…ever experienced in my life.  I got to catch and witness first steps, first words, the first crawl, the first roll over, and there are so many things that have made every last thing I had to sacrifice worth it because I have a relationship with Elisabeth that’s second to none.  It’s seen when I’m playing worship music while writing these messages, and I see her dancing or trying to sing or lifting her hands in praise to the King of kings and Lord of lords…and it’s humbling because I know that although she may not understand why she’s seen her daddy do it…and so she figures she should too.

God has always shown up for me, friends.  He has proven Himself faithful time and time again.  He has shown that if I will draw near to Him that He will draw near to me, and that’s really what the Cross was meant to accomplish.  It made a way for us to have the kind of relationship with our God that no other religion’s god can…because our God not only made all of the other gods…but our God is the only one Living God!

So, as we give Billy Graham the final word of this message…let’s be thankful that ALL THINGS are under the feet of our God, and because they’re under God’s feet because we’re in Christ…they’re under our feet too!

Instead of being fearful about the future, this Easter we can trust and believe that God is working a purpose in our lives. We can have hope!

Let’s Pray:

Father God, thank You for Your word.  Thank You that You have already fought and won every battle we will ever face.  Thank You for that victory that comes through our faith in what Christ did on the Cross for us.  In Jesus name. Amen

In Closing:

I realize that I’m days behind on this series.  I am committed to finishing this series on time because I believe God has something else for us to get into once the celebration of Resurrection Sunday is over.  So, I am going to do whatever it takes to get this series finished on time.  My wife has returned to work, and so it’s just me and Elisabeth round here these days.  It’s good to have things slowly getting back to normal, but I wish I would’ve had another week or so to prepare for the arrival of Holy Week…but it’s here now and it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to have a daily countdown series as my first series back from surgery and as a stay at home dad again…but it is what it is.  This is the series the Lord wanted us to do…and we’ll get it done.

This series is a little different because it allows me the ability to give y’all something to think about in between messages.  So, the final point of this message is this…

Despite troubles and bad news, are you able to rejoice in the Gospel—the Good News of your salvation in Christ Jesus?

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Blessings & Grace;

Pastor B

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