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Sermon Archive

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Sun, Apr 08, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 3 secs
The old covenant made with the people of Israel required obedience to God’s law. Blessings depended on obeying the commandments. The new covenant is of course spiritually based and promises spiritual blessings. It is essentially an agreement in which followers of Jesus Christ are in relationship with and committed to God. The new covenant is inscribed on the heart. Christians are to love one another as Jesus loves us. Because of the relationship with God we are also partners and ministers of the new covenant. Although we do not don robes and climb the steps to the pulpit, we are nevertheless, ministers.

God loved us, saved us and changed our lives, therefore, we are to minister to and love others, so they too can be saved and transformed. We can grow in to our role as ministers by first knowing ourselves. We must own up to our limitations. Such self-awareness enables us to correct ourselves and attribute our competency to the spirit of the living God.

We must then acknowledge our source. The wisdom and knowledge we impart to others are not our own. Only God can truly heal, save and bring reconciliation. What we learn by living this life, observing all that surrounds us, and even academic accomplishments, are not the source. God is the source and we are to understand Him and His ways.

Lastly we become ministers of the new covenant by the power of grace. His grace is with us always, even when we were unaware. When we did not know to look for grace, grace was looking for us. We are recipients of His grace and we are to share our experience of His grace with others. His grace may have led us to have humble hearts, turning away from arrogance and boastfulness. His grace is amazing. Deep inside His spirit always dwells, just waiting to fill us with its power.
Sun, Mar 25, 2018
Passage: Joshua 1:1-18
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Authors of today’s best-selling self-help books fail to acknowledge that the true path to success lies in obedience to God. The authors’ formula for success is setting a vision, identifying goals, persevering and overcoming failure. They fail to mention the wisdom God shares with Joshua as he takes on the mantle of Israelite leader upon Moses’ death. Instead of filling up the libraries with volumes of advice from numerous know-it-all authors, the road to success that never fails is obeying God’s word.

God guarantees Joshua that he need not fear failure as long as he adheres to His word. Adherence to the word gives us power even when the world seeks to marginalize and persecute us. The power of the word will bring us through the loneliest nights, the darkest days and conquer all of our weaknesses. The word will give us the courage we need to be successful.

Secondly, when we mediate on His word with constancy, the word will become part of our essence. We will no longer be swayed by the distractions and antics going on in the world that surrounds us. We will grow in our relationship with God. When you hold the word into your heart it will see you through.

Lastly, success is not attained, and failure overcome if we simply obey and meditate on the word. We must take the next step and activate the word. Words without action are meaningless, they are empty. Holding the word in your heart and reflecting on His word is not enough. Our behavior must also reflect the power of the word. Achieving success requires His word being reflected in our behavior. We are to love the unlovable, embrace our enemies and live so that God can use us.

Our formula for success is to obey His word, meditate on His word and activate His word. Therefore, your life will be filled with peace, abundance and a clear path to success.
Sun, Mar 18, 2018
Passage: Romans 5:1-6
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
In this fifth chapter of Romans, Paul first speaks of those who have been made right, or justified, by God. He goes on to say because believers are justified they have peace with God as well. That is good news. He then declares something that at first seems counterintuitive. Paul says there is a real benefit from suffering, as suffering leads to endurance. So, upon reflection that is an extremely valuable benefit. We who have faced suffering know from the experience that once we come through it we do have greater endurance.

The endurance Paul speaks of here is not simply persistence to reach a goal. It is the conviction to hold on to God no matter what we’re going through. We will not turn our back on our belief. The struggles we have weathered before are proof that He will see us through. We know that our suffering is only temporary and even in the midst of our struggles we can find joy.

The endurance we develop through our struggles strengthens our character. God’s tests, though they have certainly tried us, do not break us. The strengthening of our character renders us better and gives us virtue. Virtue means we possess a strong faith, and are filled with hope and love.

Needless to say the hope in our hearts flourishes because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will never fail us. The harsh winds may blow and even cause destruction, and our nation is currently being led by a man who knows no virtue and seems to live to demolish hope. However, believers remain in hope because we are justified by faith. We are alright with God and He keeps us safe. The Lord grants us never-ending grace and mercy, and we are fortified for whatever comes into our lives. And we know this without a doubt because our bible, and our experience, tell us so.
Sun, Mar 11, 2018
Passage: Judges 2:6-10
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
In the sixth chapter of Judges, a true crisis has occurred. Israel is without a leader as Joshua has died, and Israel’s young people do not know God for themselves. They have no real appreciation for what the Lord has done. You may assume the youth are the only ones to blame, however, the elders neglected to share their history with them. Today’s youth face the same predicament. They often have a vague knowledge of the battles of our very own people in the United States. They need to know of our ancestors’ struggles, the fight for our rights, and for our justice, dignity and humanity. They need to recognize the very present threats to what has been accomplished and the horrific movement to turn back the clock. An essential element of progress is knowing one’s history.

Reverence for the Lord means we obey Him. Christians are identifiable by their actions, not just by warming the pew or serving in the church on Sunday. Every day acts of kindness, helping others and lending a hand to those in need, are the ways Christians display who they are. Just as the song says, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

We currently see a disappointing lack of respect for the elders in our society. Young people often have no idea what they can gain by just listening to and comprehending what the generation before them has endured so that they can now bask in freedom and enjoy a myriad of choices. The elders have tales of victory over discrimination, injustice and indignities incredulous to young ears. If they take the time to listen carefully, it is apparent that God’s grace led them to victory. Their testimonies are living proof that the same grace is available to them.

Those who have gone on before us must also be remembered. Remembrance leads to a real appreciation of their character and contribution. Recall those who have tragically lost their lives to assassination, violence, and yes, the strange fruit swinging from trees. We must not forget the dangers that still exist. Our awareness is heightened and helpful when we arm ourselves with the power of recall. So, won’t you please always remember not to forget?
Sun, Mar 04, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
The story of David and Goliath never grows old because the power of the giant, even a nine foot, condescending one, is no match for the power of God. Man-made weapons are rendered insignificant when compared to God’s mighty weaponry. The power of the Lord slays giants. Folks who shun peace, keep their minds on war and dominance, cling to their guns, and rely on bully and deceitful tactics to hoping to stay in power, will fall. When God’s people remember that they belong to God and the armor created just for them is enough, they have no need to fear. That is what young David remembered, although those around him forgot.

When we are faithful in our given assignment, no matter how meager, we are being prepared for even greater assignments. When we decide we will no longer accept the unacceptable, change happens. Magnificent things can happen. That is when people step boldly into the grander role God has for them. God can use ordinary people for His glory. David, the good shepherd became the second king of Israel because God not only chose him, He prepared him.

Even the most daunting, unprecedented challenges can be overcome because God will give you the resources, tools and weapons you need. He will not fail you. When you are faced with the giants that dare to challenge you, think of David. Move forward knowing that God will armor you with His power and He will fight your battles. Then you can proclaim with faith and confidence, “Not Today!”
Sun, Feb 18, 2018
Passage: Psalm 90:1-2
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Our history has an undeniable impact on our present. The life we live today is very much a result of our past. Our decisions, our indecision, our actions and inaction have all influenced where we are right now. Being stifled by fear or courageously overcoming our fears has impacted our lives. However, through it all, God is the single constant. Let’s consider the clear implications of God’s permanence.

First of all, in God we have shelter. Shelter is the place that protects us from all harm and danger. No matter what we are faced with, God is our refuge. When the storms of life rage and could destroy us, God is there to protect us. It does not matter what threatens us, we can be comforted knowing that with Him we have a permanent dwelling place, not just a place to stay for a little while. Rest assured, never will we receive an eviction or foreclosure notice from God.

Secondly, He is our help. In stressful, overwhelming situations, all we have to do is call on Him and He will grant us grace and mercy and give us whatever we need. Trials, sorrows, and sickness will certainly touch our lives, but He will be there to help us endure and bring us through.

In this month of February when we are especially focused on Black History, we have clear evidence that just as He abides with us today, without any doubt that same God was there with our ancestors. How else did they survive the middle passage, slavery, and dehumanizing segregation with determination and hope in their hearts for a better tomorrow? Generations before us endured hard labor, unjust, and immoral treatment, yet still they survived and thrived. We must never forget, no matter how bleak and unfit the nation’s current leadership’s not-so-subtle and even blatant tactics against us may be, God is our constant. That will never change.

So, we can live with a sense of peace that surpasses all understanding. We can do that because our unchanging, ever present, constant God was there for our ancestors. He is with us now, and He will be there for the next generation that we hold in our arms, and the generations beyond our precious time here on earth.
Sun, Feb 11, 2018
Passage: Luke 7:11-17
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
This timely and much-needed sermon is all about compassion and what is required to truly see others, not as objects, but to see them as whole. Compassion is the ability to see a person through humane eyes. In the 7th chapter of Luke, Jesus took notice of a woman making her way to the cemetery to bury a loved one. Jesus communicates with her directly and learned of the gravity of her plight. The situation was even sadder than it first appeared because she was a widow burying her only son. Understanding her tragic dilemma, Jesus does not wait for her to ask for his help. He immediately makes himself available to her. The kindest hearts don’t wait to help, they jump right in to be available.

Jesus shuns tradition to help her. Although the son is dead, Jesus speaks to him and tells him to “get up”, and the son does just that. So many situations that surround us today need us to speak life into them. We have the power through our Lord to speak life and encourage others to pick themselves up. We can uplift and help the downtrodden visualize a better future. When we dare to show compassion, we step into seemingly impossible situations. We can spark that glimmer of hope. When we care enough to delve into another’s struggle and help them grapple with their pain, we are demonstrating compassion. Leading with a caring heart helps others ascend from even the darkest places in their lives. We are shining beacons of hope. What the world needs now more than ever is compassion, sweet compassion.
Sun, Feb 04, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Although all humans need to be touched, being touched inappropriately is never acceptable. When a person touches another in this way, they are acting from a position of privilege, crossing boundaries and treating the person without respect. They are using the limited power they possess in a despicable manner and negating the other person’s humanity. In this twentieth chapter of Genesis, while it was clear that King Abimelech took another man’s wife, he had no idea that he was lied to by the woman’s husband, Abraham. He was also lied to by the woman, Sarah, herself. Abimelech was truly fortunate that God warned him of the consequences of taking Sarah. He heeded God’s warning, and his nation was restored. It’s a shame that so many today do not heed God’s warning and follow their conscience. They know better, yet they choose to live immorally. They choose not to keep their hands to themselves. When boundaries are crossed and the powerless are violated by the powerful, the victim may carry unwarranted shame and guilt for a long, long time. They may undervalue themselves for their entire lives.

Illicit behavior has a negative impact beyond the perpetrator and the victim. The victim may never be fulfilled, feel love, or know how to love. They may go on to victimize others. The perpetrator is free to harm additional victims. We see this inappropriate, sinful behavior running rampant in today’s society. It is in our schools, in the work place, and even in churches. Hopefully, the wave of victims we are seeing and hearing speak up today will continue. The victimization that has permeated our society will end. All victims should cry out to God and get the help they need to turn their lives around. By the same token victimizers should get the help they need to turn from their sinful ways and ask God to forgive them. They should remember, He is a forgiving God, and the best news is He is not just a forgiving God. He allowed His son to die on the cross to save us from our sins. God is everlasting salvation. .
Sun, Jan 28, 2018
Passage: Matthew 7:12
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Religion may sometimes resemble a checklist, a list of do’s and don’ts. Checklist religion is more than unfortunate as it diminishes what is most important. What’s most important is our relationship with God. He supplies all our needs and we live in His grace. Since we are His, He will always take care of us and we have no need to worry. The character of being Christian is to rely fully on Him, to worry about nothing, and to love as Jesus loved. Sunday’s sermon was taken from a scripture so universal and true that it is known as the “Golden Rule.” The 12th verse in the 7th chapter of Matthew tells us we are to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” ,

This is not a behavior we have to learn; this behavior is intuitive to us as God’s creatures. We should never stray from or ignore the gift of intuition. Recognizing our own humanity and imperfection, we acknowledge the same humanity in others and treat them as we want to be treated. We will see the needs of other people and place that above all else, valuing them as we value ourselves. We expect nothing in return. No matter one’s station in life or their circumstance, dignity and respect are always deserved. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? Humans treated this way respond in kind. When one receives love and respect, they in turn can give love and respect. Lead with love and honor, and always, always live by the “Golden Rule”.
Sun, Jan 21, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Although this 5th chapter of first Thessalonians tells us to rejoice, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, we can agree that at times life throws us challenges and situations that make it tough to keep our chins up and give thanks. However, there is always much to be thankful for. We can be thankful when we recognize all that we have been given. We can be especially thankful that in this sometimes hateful, inhumane world in which we live, we have what it takes to overcome obstacles and persevere. God is keeping us each and every day, no matter what is thrown at us. We experience and witness grace and true favor. The only reason we have not lost our minds is because we are kept by Him.

When we understand that the challenges with which we are faced are causes for celebration, we can be thankful for the hardships, too. This passage reminds us of an often-sang gospel song that was a staple in this very church. The lyrics of Andre Crouch’s “Through It All” sang by our soul-stirring soloist captured the essence of this sermon. The soloist used to sing from the depths of his heart, “I thank God for my mountains, and I thank Him for my valleys, I thank Him for the storms he brought me through…” Yes, our mountain highs are exhilarating, and for that we are extremely thankful, but the valley lows are incredible blessings, as well. In our direst of situations, we are given lessons from which we can learn a great deal. We grow, progress and become stronger through our trials.

Finally, we should possess a spirit of constant gratitude. Why you may ask? The answer lies in our indebtedness to our God. Our debt is vast, it is limitless. We owe Him for our very lives, for every breath we take, and for all that we are. Therefore, we should always remember to say thank you. Thank you has the power to transform, to change minds, melt cold, cold hearts, and saying thank you is the way that we show our gratitude and recognition that we owe it all to Him.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204