Posts from August 2015

“Jesus Christ, The Door to Leadership” John 10:11-18

The subject of leadership is one that we cannot take lightly. Leadership plays a central and critical role in life and ministry; leadership guru John Maxwell said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” This is true at a personal level, the family/home level, the community level, the church level, and any governmental level. Leadership is a subject of value since each one of us is a leader; turn to your neighbor and tell them, “You are a leader.”
Today is the third sermon in this sermon series, Jesus Christ the Door. We have focused on Jesus Christ the Door to Light and Jesus Christ the Door to Liberty. Jesus Christ the Door to Leadership opens a way for us to understand what God desires to see in leadership and provides the model of good and godly leadership.

“Jesus Christ: The Door to Liberty” John 10:1-19

John 10:1-19 Ezekiel 34:11-17                                          Madison Baptist

August 23, 2015                                                                   Charles R. Smith

           When we hear the word liberty, many words or images come to mind.   The predominant picture found on Google images for the word “liberty” is the Statue of Liberty. For many, a church or school is our first thought: Liberty University or Liberty Baptist Church. For most, we equate liberty with freedom, a concept that we as Baptists cherish, since it was the Baptists who championed religious freedom in America in the 1700s. We should never take liberty for granted. We often hear or say, “Freedom is not free,” and then reference the many men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms. Our salvation was also bought with a price: the death of God’s Son, so we know that Jesus Christ is the door to liberty.

“Jesus Christ: The Door to Light” John 8:12-20

John 8:12-20                                                                     Madison Baptist

August 16, 2015                                                               Charles R. Smith

Because of the generosity of our Planned Giving Committee and a favorable stock market, Jennifer and I were able to go to South Africa last month. For half a week, we participated in the Baptist Convention of South Africa’s HIV/AIDS ministry; the second half of the week, we attended the Baptist World Congress. Founded in 1905, the Baptist World Alliance is the global organization for Baptists composed of 232 conventions, associations, and unions from 121 countries and territories. The Baptist World Congress meets every five years; there were more than 80 countries represented at the meeting we attended, and the theme of the conference was “Jesus Christ the Door.” On Sunday night, August 30, Jennifer and I will make presentation about our trip and highlight both the mission work and the Baptist World Congress.

In our society, Jesus Christ is often misunderstood; that’s really not a big surprise, since certainly when Jesus walked around Palestine, he was misunderstood. Over the next few Sundays, we will be focusing on “Jesus Christ the Door.” Today our focus is on Jesus Christ: The Door to Light. The next few sermons will examine Jesus Christ as The Door to Liberty; The Door to Leadership; The Door to Listening and Learning; and The Door to Life.

“Partaking of Our Daily Bread” John 6:35, 41-51

John 6:35, 41-51                                                                        Madison Baptist

August 9, 2015                                                                           Charles R. Smith

Before we read the text for this morning, I am going to ask you to do something a little different. I want you to listen to the reading not with a heart of faith, but with a skeptical mind. We have the luxury of reading the Scripture knowing the outcome; we know that Jesus lived, “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried, the third day he arose from the dead,” to quote the Apostle’s Creed. We know how the story ends. But those who listened to Jesus as he spoke these words had no clue as to how his story would end. They had no idea what would transpire later in his ministry. As I read the text, if it helps, imagine that you do not know that Jesus is anything else but a teacher, for that is how the crowd identified him. Imagine that you are in the crowd when Jesus is talking. You have no clue about how his life will unfold. You don’t know what the future holds. You are a first century person who has just been introduced to him. And while you are in the crowd, Jesus says,          [Read John 6:35, 41-51]

Pretty incredible isn’t it for someone to make such claims as being the Bread of Life that has come down directly from heaven. What if later today, you were introduced to someone, and that someone said, “Hi, I am the bread of life. I am the bread that has come down from heaven.” You would look at your friend who just introduced you to this person and you would say, “I’m sorry, what did he just say?” Anyone who seriously made such claims would easily be labeled a kook, a nut, certifiable.