June 15, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on Jun 15 at 09:22am

Family Portrait | The Spirit of Fatherhood

1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

“If fatherlessness was classified as a disease, it would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.” – Carey Casey

Impact of Fatherlessness in America

71% of high school dropouts

85% of kids diagnosed with behavioral problems

71% of teenage pregnancies

90% of homeless & runaway children

63% of youth suicides

85% of youth in prison

No man will ever even begin to try to save men unless he first loves them.  – William Barclay

1. Paul’s WORK (1 Thessalonians 2:8-9)

Application: BE PRESENT

2. Paul’s WALK (1 Thessalonians 2:10)


3. Paul’s WORDS (1 Thessalonians 2:11)

Application: BE A TEACHER

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim to low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo

4. Paul’s WITNESS


The only worthwhile legacy of a dad is what he gives away of himself to the mind and heart of a child, which in turn, prepares that child for his or her own life…A good father mentors his children; he walks inside their heads and leaves his footprints on their hearts. Then, when he is gone, they will be just like him. – Howard Hendricks

June 8, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on Jun 08 at 10:39am

Family Portrait | Parenting & Distraction

What am I doing? How did I get myself into this mess? When will I ever get my life under control? How long can I keep this up? Why can’t I manage my time? Why did I say yes to this? How did I get so busy?” I’ve bemoaned my poor planning and poor decision making, I’ve complained about my schedule. I’ve put in slipshod work because there wasn’t time for any other kind. I’ve missed too many quiet times and been too impatient with my kids. I’ve taken my wife for granted and fed important relationships with leftovers. I’ve been too busy to pursue God with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. – Crazy Busy

Luke 10:38-42

1. Busyness squeezes out the opportunity to grow more and more like Jesus — the greatest investment of our time (Luke 10:39)

Purpose of families: know what God says, practice it in the home, and see it modeled for those outside the home.

2. Busyness expends energy in order to controlpeople and moves things to an outcome we desire (Luke 10:40)
3. Busyness produces stress (Luke 10:41)

It’s harder to ruin our kids than we think and harder to stamp them for success than we’d like… “Most moms and dads think they are either the best or the worst parents in the world, and both are wrong.” Could it be we’ve made parenting too complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we are as parents? They will remember our character before they remember our exact rules regarding television and Twinkies. – Crazy Busy

4. Choose the priority of discipleship with your time (Luke 10:42)

A. See time – every second – as not yours to spend but God’s to invest.

B. Take time to watch, listen and learn from Jesus.

C. Be content with where Jesus has placed you.

D. Transfer what you receive from Jesus to others through intentional, relational time with them. This is time well invested.

June 1, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on Jun 01 at 09:38am

Kevin Ezell | Mark 2:1-12

Kevin Ezell (black shirt) Lynette Ezell (blue & white shirts) 2-Mississippi 3-SouthCarolina 4-NewYork 5-NewJersey 6-Canada

May 18, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on May 18 at 09:43am

Family Portrait | The Broken Portrait

Luke 15:11-32

Even though the photographer gets paid to get everyone to smile, everyone knows the smiling to often be a false sense of reality. There is no doubt about it; family is hard. While the family is intended to be a picture of our relationship to God, every since the fall families are broken and hurting, full of pain, regret, and torn by sin. The portrait is not beautiful – it is broken. We are all in need of help. The Father in heaven is the only redeemer of the family.

Where does the brokenness start? Why is the family so messy?

1. The Wicked, Sinful Heart (Luke 15:11-13)

Luke 15:12 is a picture of the root of all sin – pride, selfishness, and entitlement – “Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.” Selfishness and impatience have already corroded his heart.

The father graciously not only met his request, but let him go his own way.

Luke 15:13 is a picture of all of us. We often want to point the fingers here and think it is only referring to some wild college student. No, this is the rebellion of all!

2. Utter Desperation (Luke 15:14-20)

Luke 15:14 – He Lost Everything

Luke 15:15-16 – After going to look for a job and being placed on a pig farm, he became so hungry that he was willing to eat their pig food

3. The Turning Point

Luke 15:17 – He saw his true state

Luke 15:18 – He saw his sin

Luke 15:19 – He was humble

Luke 15:20 – He returned

4. Unbelievable response of the Father! (Luke 15:20-24)

Luke 15:20 – While returning home, the Father saw him with compassion and ran towards him

Luke 15:21 – Confession

The father interestingly does not question the son or bring up the sin

The father not only celebrates him, but honors him

What are they rejoicing in? His salvation!

5. The Sin of the Brother (Luke 15:25-30)

The older brother is actually just as guilty as the younger brother who took his early inheritance and left

The older brother is prideful, selfish, entitled, jealous, and envious. He becomes so angry that he refuses to go in and celebrate

The father again graciously responds to the sin of his son. He father left the party and “entreated him”

6. Redeemer God (Luke 15:31-32)

After the big brother dumps his complaint, the father again graciously reminds the son of his love and provision

The father tells his son why the celebration has occurred

The dead is now alive; the lost has now been found

May 11, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on May 11 at 09:37am

Family Portrait | A Mother’s Day Message

Matthew 15:21-28

1. Acknowledge His power over all circumstances (Matt. 15:21-23)
2. Move from a position of desperation to humble trust (Matt. 15:24-25)
3. Prioritize God’s purposes over human expectations (Matt. 15:26-28)

Motherhood must not be the resting place for women’s tender hopes for wholeness. – Jenell Paris

May 4, 2014 Sermon Notes

Posted on May 04 at 09:48am

Family Portrait | Generations Behind, Generations Ahead

Review | What’s a Family For?

1) Saturate our homes with the Word of God, to know and love God and others.

2) Exercise what we know, to strengthen the community of faith.

3) Remember and respond to grace, to replenish it in the lives of the next generation.

Numerous external forces may shape us, but the family we have grown up in is the primary and, except in rare instances, the most powerful system that will shape and influence who we are

The Emotionally Healthy Church

Exodus 34:6-9

1. The sins of a previous generation shape the families of today and tomorrow

Human and cultural experiences bear this out

Scripture bears this out

Stories of families

Words from God himself

Generational sins are not: A voodoo curse handed down on the innocent because of previous sins

Generational sins are: The consequences and suffering of sin placed on sons and daughters, sins that will continue if the gospel is not applied

Results: A wet blanket is thrown over the grace of God in the home

Unbelievers see no difference between their home and those of believers

Why is it that most people in our churches seem to be radically different on one level from their neighbors — they pray, read the Bible, go to church, give money to church — but on another deeper level, they are similar. – The Emotionally Healthy Church

2. Our natural response is to hide sin and its effects

At stake is the control of our embarrassment, shame, and having to walk down the hard road of rooting out sin

A. If I don’t talk about it–it doesn’t exist

B.  It isn’t nice to bring up things in the past–you just deal with it and move on

C.  Dealing with sin and confessing sin are two different things

D.  My children don’t have to know about my sin or weaknesses because it doesn’t affect them

E.  Talking about sin and mistakes makes me vulnerable and threatens my ability to control and make decisions

F.  My family will use my sin against me

3. The gospel response is to apply grace to our own hearts and to those in the past

A. Identify what has been passed on to me that I am now passing on to others

B. Confess it to God and to others (I John 1:9)

C. Forgive others as we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4:32)

Jesus: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

D. Engage in a path that leads to restoring relationships for the purposes of honoring God

Discipleship: break destructive patterns, pass on constructive legacies at home and in the church

April 27, 2014 | Sermon Notes

Posted on Apr 27 at 09:24am

Family Portrait | What’s a Family For?

Deuteronomy 6

What was God’s design from the start?

1. To find fulfillment in relationships.

2. To fill the earth with people.

3. To represent God’s authority and reflect God’s image on earth.

1. Saturate the home with what God says about himself (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Jesus says this is the first and greatest commandment: to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and might.

Example: phylactery 

Question: What saturates our homes? 

2. Exercise what God says in the community of the home so that it strengthens and advances the community of faith (Deuteronomy 6:1-3)

The home is the laboratory where we are made into the image of Jesus.

If God’s ways aren’t being worked out in the home, it’s not transferring to the church.

Of those 18-29 year-0lds who identify closely with faith and the church, 43% drop out of regular attendance. (Barna Group)

Of those who drop out, 70% drop out between the ages of 18 and 22. (Essential Church)

3. Remind us of God’s grace so that it is recognized by those around us

Deuteronomy 6:10-12 & Deuteronomy 6:20-21

The family is a place where God’s grace is received, exercised, and passed on so that the world recognizes the grace and greatness of God.