1601 South 13th Road · Arlington, VA 22204

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Sermon Archive

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Sat, Jun 23, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 4 secs
Especially on the day we honor fathers, the lessons in this ninth chapter of Genesis are important ones that deserve close attention. First, when God chooses a man to be a father (and God chose Noah to repopulate the earth after the forty-day, forty-night flood) he should step up and take the responsibility seriously. Fathers should recognize that God has called them to partner with Him and avoid distractions, like the drunkenness that Noah succumbed to, that cause them to not live up to their assignment. It is sad, even tragic, when we witness fathers who miss out on the blessing that is fatherhood because they fill their days with misguided, unworthy pursuits. Secondly, the blessed assignment of fatherhood has a generational impact. Distracted, absent, or sinful fathers can cause future generations to live with the burden of their sins and shortcomings. Admirable fathers are courageous enough to admit the error of their ways, be present, and do not relegate their mistakes to children who are not the source of the problem. Admit it, you have seen this happen all around you. Instead of self-reflection and self-correction, fathers (and mothers) sometimes blame their children for their sins, curse them, or even abuse them, instead of owning up to their personal faults. Sometimes the children behave with the discipline and maturity the father lacks. The third lesson we can learn from this passage is that there needs to be balance. When called to be a father, the father should take on full responsibility whenever they fall short. Fathers should never curse their children but cherish and affirm them. Doesn’t every child deserve to be cherished and affirmed? Imagine if all fathers stepped fully into their role without fruitless distractions, gave constant love and encouragement, nurturing their own children and other children in need of a father. Imagine if all fathers recognized that God saw something special in them and decided to bring them into partnership with Him. Just as Jesus’ death on the cross washed our sins away and give us a new life, imagine if fathers focused on reversing harmful cycles, putting their children’s lives on positive trajectories which would most assuredly lead to bright, rewarding futures.
Sun, May 20, 2018
Passage: Acts 2:43-47
Duration: 25 mins 3 secs
In a world where the biggest health crisis is surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, loneliness, this second chapter of Acts gives us a glimpse of the church and the world as it should be. In this chapter there is no envy, there is sharing of resources and taking care of the needs of every living soul. Capitalism is not king. The Lord is King. Being blessed is not measured by the size of the car you drive or the exclusivity of your neighborhood. The apostles understood that the material blessings entrusted to them were meant to be shared with others.

Wouldn’t our world be a better place if that were today’s prevailing attitude? After all, everything that we possess, the Lord provides. God is counting on us to distribute what we have throughout the community. He is counting on us to enter into relationships with others even if it means stepping out of our comfort zones.

We naturally gravitate to those who look like us, share our values and are from the same walk of life. Christian community is loving and praying and developing real relationships with everyone. In God’s community the spirit of God exists, and no one is left out. Relationships are developed, and we not only see but seek to help those around us. The divisive walls people erect come tumbling down and every need is fulfilled and loneliness is no more.

Sun, Apr 29, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
In today’s sermon our Pastor gave us a valuable lesson. He taught us how to tell time. You may be thinking, I learned to tell time before heading off to grade school. Of course our Pastor did not waste our time teaching us something we already know. He did not teach us to read chronos time displayed on digital and analog clocks; he taught us about kairos time, or God’s time. It is important that we understand and operate in God’s time so that we follow His divine order for our lives. Being in lock-step with God assures us that we are not too late, and just as importantly, we are not premature in our actions to fulfill His purpose for our time here on earth.

We learn to tell time by first of all by discerning the season. Kairos time tells us when opportunities are ripe, and we can fulfill our given assignment. When we are faithful in our assignment, God will continue to bless us. We must also be willing to be uncomfortable in carrying out our assignment. When we are willing to obey the Lord even when our obedience cause us to be out of favor with the people around us, we are truly in step with God. He has given us life so that we may bear fruit. The fruit we bear is evidence of our faithfulness.

Don’t be like the fig tree that was cursed by Jesus in this eleventh chapter of Mark. The fig tree displayed full leaves yet bore no figs for a hungry Jesus to eat. To everything there is a season, and we are to be of substance, not just style. Learn to tell kairos time in order to understand the right and critical time to act in a way that pleases God.
Sun, Apr 22, 2018
Passage: Luke 6:37-38
Duration: 25 mins 1 sec
Unlike boomerangs, which return to us when we throw them, most things that leave our hands are never returned. When we are hospitable or friendly, we should not, I repeat, we should not stand in expectation of reciprocity. Generosity and caring may not be subject to the “boomerang effect”. Still the text tells us that because we are forgiven, we are to forgive. In order for us to avoid condemnation, we are not to condemn. Because we have received grace and mercy we are not in a position to look down on a single soul. Disciples of Christ are characterized by forgiving and continuing to give. Retaliation is not a characteristic of disciples. Instead of retaliating we are to be compassionate and generous because we are recipients of the same. We are living in a time in which our nation’s leader is a model of the absurdity and dangers of retaliation. God wants us to give love and turn from hate. The Lord wants us to help others and shower His people with kindness, love and forgiveness. God observes our giving, and when we give generously from the heart, what we give will come back to us even more abundantly. When we are stingy our hearts are not open and we cannot enjoy God’s boomerang effect. We cannot receive the blessings He wants to give us. When we are not compassionate, forgiving and giving, loving and kind, we cannot expect to receive any of those things in return. Truly, the more we bless others, the more we will receive. Open your hands and give, open your heart and receive. Be ready to catch the boomerang.
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.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204