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Sermon Archive

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Sun, Aug 19, 2018
Passage: 3 John 1:2
Duration: 25 mins 3 secs
In this first chapter and second verse of 3rd John, the apostle wishes for his friend not only a sound spirit but physical health as well. Pious Christians may emphasize and sing songs wishing that all is well with the soul; however, it is just as important to tend to the body. The stronger and more able we keep our physical body, the more fit we are for His kingdom here on earth.

With a healthy body we are able to do good works for the Lord. When striving for not only a healthy soul, but a healthy body, we must first reconsider the body’s status. As Christians many of us are prone to prioritizing the soundness of our souls so that we may dwell in the house of the Lord forever. However, it is important that our bodies are well taken care of too. Wellness means that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. We can live well and appreciate God’s blessings.

We may experience the convenience and exuberance of driving a car or seeing faraway places on our hard-earned vacations. Think of the joy we feel when preparing nutritious and delicious meals, and welcoming others into our homes to dine, converse and laugh with us. Our sound body allows us to do these things.p.

Secondly, reimagine your body as the place where the holy spirit dwells. When we treat our bodies poorly, not exercising, eating foods that are bad for us, we are not giving God our best. Our body is His temple. Being disciplined and maintaining control in the care of our bodies is what He deserves. We benefit by feeling better, looking better and being better.

Lastly, re-envision your body as an instrument for carrying out God’s work here on earth. A strong and healthy body along with a sound soul can accomplish much in His name. God is counting on us to do His work. So, as you study the Word, pray and worship, remember to praise Him with your body as well. Take care of your physical self and let God use you. May all be well with your soul, and your body.
Sun, Aug 05, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 4 secs
In this first chapter of 2nd Timothy, Paul, God’s apostle, his ambassador to the world, is describing to his favored student, Timothy, how to live by his convictions. It is clear, in matters of morality and ethics, convictions are essential and there is no room for compromise. We are greatly disturbed by the lax morality and unethical behavior we are witnessing at this very moment in our divided nation. The harmful effects are being felt not just in our country, but globally.

Alternatively, when we are committed to living by our convictions, we are bold and not ashamed. There is no hesitation in witnessing for the Lord. When things go awry and there is turmoil, we act. We step up, help out, shun passivity, and make our voices heard. Living by conviction can erase injustice and wrongdoing.

Suffering is also a component of living by our convictions. Enduring suffering allows us to experience the Lord’s power for ourselves. His grace brings us through the struggles of life and strengthens our conviction. Hasn’t he healed your body, mended your broken heart, renewed your spirit? Hasn’t he always brought you through?

Finally, living by the power of conviction means we live in His purpose for our lives. A person who dances with beauty and grace is not just dancing. They are dancers. Movement to the rhythm of music can touch the soul and even praise God. Nursing is not just a job, but a calling to nurse others in their most vulnerable state. Consider educators do not just teach. They are teachers, imparting knowledge to help others grow to their full potential and fulfill their purpose. God has a purpose for each one of us, and we who are committed to God know, without any doubt, He will always keep us.

Undertake your personal mission to serve the Lord and commit your life convicted to our Savior. Surely, He will never forsake you, nor leave you alone.
Sun, Jul 15, 2018
Passage: John 2:1-11
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
All invitations we receive we trust are cordial and sincere. In this familiar passage, the wedding invitation extended to Jesus, his disciples and his mother Mary was most assuredly warm and welcoming. The wedding party wanted him there to share in their new beginning and celebration. They had no idea they would witness Jesus’s first miracle. We too should welcome Jesus into our lives, not just for joyous occasions, but for every step of this journey called life.

The benefits of inviting Jesus are plentiful. When Jesus is in the midst there is no telling what he can and will do. We can rest assured that everything will go more smoothly when our Savior is with us. Because Jesus is not limited in what he is able to do, he can do ‘whatever’ he sees fit in any and every situation. Even when we are unaware, Jesus is at work.

There are times in our lives when we are satisfied with the good life we are living. Our current situation is just fine, but don’t you know with Jesus in every aspect our life we can experience more blessings, extravagant blessings. The good becomes even better because he can pour you out a blessing beyond your wildest dreams. Our dreams do not limit Jesus’s ability. That is another benefit of ensuring he is always invited and present.

Being in his presence produces faith, and faith is what we need to see us through. However, being in his presence also affords us the opportunity to witness his great works, his miracles. We are in position to experience him for ourselves. When we witness miracles, we are transformed into true believers. Are you ready to move from faith to belief? Send Jesus a cordial invitation requesting the honor of his presence. Jesus will never send his regrets. His reply will always be yes.
Sun, Jul 08, 2018
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
As people of the faith community, our spiritual genealogy teaches us that at one hundred years old our spiritual father, Abraham, and his elderly, infertile wife, Sarah conceived a son. Because of his demonstrated obedience and allegiance to God, He chose Abraham to not only father Isaac, He made him the father of all nations. Abraham was faithful and knew who he was.

How do we too maintain a strong faith and know who we are, especially given our nation’s current crisis? We do this by knowing our roots. This is what gives us the faith we need to see us through and truly understand who we are. Ancestry research companies are assuredly making millions off people curious to know their ethnic identity. For so many of us whose ancestors arrived in this country on slave ships, the newfound ability to trace our genetic origins is important. However, it is essential that we know our spiritual roots.

That is how we have survived throughout our history, and will continue to survive, and yes thrive, in this country that methodically seeks to deny us, strip us of our dignity, and even our humanity. Nonetheless, this is our home. Knowing our roots gives us authentic faith to move forward, not because of our own abilities, but because of God’s promises.

Authentic faith means that we still have hope in the face of the seemingly impossible. Although reality says we can’t, His promise says we can. When we utilize God-given resources, we can accomplish much. Even if we are hoping against hope it will come to pass.

So, do not be passive and overcome by useless inertia; do something. Move forward with hope in your heart and God will do the rest. Our spiritual genealogy affirms that we can trust God’s promises regardless of the situation. God can and will do anything that He promises.
Sun, Jul 01, 2018
Passage: Luke 4:16-22
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
We are all influenced by where we come from. Whether we recognize it or not, we carry home with us wherever we go. We are grounded and influenced by our places of origin and the places we frequent just as Jesus of Nazareth was grounded and influenced by his home town in distinctive ways. The first influence that impacted him throughout his life was the fact that he was raised in the synagogue. Jesus was fluent in the language of the bible. He knew the Word. In these turbulent times, we too need to know the Word and armor ourselves with its power to face the sinister forces and blatant cruelty that surround us. We need the Word to seep into our souls and reside in our hearts. The Word not only nourishes us; the Word fortifies us.

Jesus’ inspiration to serve others also came from his strong foundation shaped in Nazareth. The spirit of our Lord moved Jesus to serve and should move us to put others before ourselves as well. Where we are from may be judged as the so-called wrong side of the tracks and possess some negative characteristics; however, such places can also be a source of love, kindness, and selflessness. Being in a church environment where caring for others is the norm, we too have the capacity and should be inspired to show compassion and help those in need. We will not turn our backs on the least of all but make it our life’s work to lift them up.

The lessons of Nazareth allowed Jesus to identify himself in relationship to the Word. The world did not define him and nor does the world define us. People of the world cannot tell us who we are or diminish our hopes and dreams. We are a limitless people because we belong to God and He loves us. Let supremacists keep on thinking they are superior. Don’t they know we are somebody because Jesus loves us? It matters not how they try to hold us back. Don’t they know we can do all things through Jesus Christ? He strengthens us.

So never forget where you come from. Where you are from gives you a strong foundation and allows you to go out into the world and fulfill the purpose God has for you.
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.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204