1601 South 13th Road · Arlington, VA 22204

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Sermon Archive

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Sun, Jun 02, 2019
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 19, 2019
Passage: Exodus 20:12
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
On this second Sunday in May, when we honor motherhood, our pastor’s text is taken from Exodus 20:12. He blends for us the word of God and Mother’s Day. Pastor Victor delves into the first of the commandments with a promise, the variety of emotions evoked by Mother’s Day, and the complexity of the parent-child relationship.

While we are commanded to honor our father and our mother so that we may enjoy longevity in the land God has given us, the sermon acknowledges the tension that exists between parent and child. Not all children have been cherished by their parents. They have not experienced easy, secure, empowering nurture and unconditional love. And, we all know that any child can be the source of many sleepless nights.

So how do we follow this commandment when the apple has fallen far from the tree and love is difficult? As parent and child, we need to admit that none of us are perfect, and realize that forgiveness will allow us to let go of our pain. We need to give one another some slack and strive to do our best. We can all admire someone who is striving to do better and doing the best they can. That is what most parents do. They do the best they can.

Honoring this commandment rewards us with the Lord’s gifts and his promise. God is good to us and he keeps his promises. He gives us an anchor, securing us with his love, and promises us that he will provide all we need and more.

Generations to come will not be compromised when we, the young and the old, come together in Christian love. When we build inclusive communities, we are all stronger. Our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son are a perfect model of familial honor, love, respect and admiration. Aspire to this holy model by following this commandment, and even if you fall short you will bask in his love and live fully on his promise.
Sun, May 12, 2019
Passage: Luke 24:28-35
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
In the 24th chapter of Luke we learn of the empty tomb and our risen Savior. Although this is cause for high praise and worship especially on Easter morning, some may have doubt. After all, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate the resurrection. Even the brothers who met Jesus face to face on their way home lost hope of redemption.

So how does one develop an Easter faith when it is so puzzling? Our pastor helps us to resolve this mystery. In order to develop great faith, we must first recognize that there is an opportunity to encounter Jesus when darkness and misery engulfs us. Even then, Jesus is there. We can invite him in to clear our vision and see us out of the muck and mire.

Recognizing that recognition of Jesus happens in repetition develops our faith as well. The grace and the blessings we have already received are our reminders that the risen Christ is real. Remembering him as we eat the broken bread representing his body further develops our faith.

The resurrection of Christ equates to release of whatever is dead in our lives. When Jesus shows up and touches the dead places we are revived. He brings hope for a breakthrough, for better days, for healing, for renewal, for joy.

Finally, developing an Easter faith entails fostering a fellowship based on the word. Faith is increased by knowing the word, keeping it in your heart and in your mind. The word is essential to strong, without a doubt, faith.

If you want to develop an Easter faith for yourself, invite him into your darkest places and remember all that he has done for you, recognizing that his resurrection releases you to have a new outlook and hope. And stay in the word. These are the keys to achieving your own Easter faith.
Sun, May 05, 2019
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
On this Palm Sunday, our pastor took his text from Matthew’s 21st chapter, verses 1 through 7. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, he unexpectedly asks for a donkey and its colt. If the Lord had need for a beast of burden on the road to Calvary, assuredly, the Lord needs us to serve in his kingdom as well. Let us consider how we can fulfill our own purpose for his kingdom.

The pastor focuses on three things that explain what the Lord needs from us. First of all, his word frees us from whatever hinders us from being available and being of value to him. Because of the word we can overcome the ties that bind us to worry, stifling guilt and lack of confidence. The word liberates us to serve a higher purpose, his purpose.

Secondly, there is no greater claim on our lives than being in service to God. His need for our service is exclusive. While others may deem us unfit or unworthy to become a member of their club or even associating with them, the Lord looks beyond our shortcomings and limitations. Although some may find satisfaction in ostracizing and excluding others, all that really matters is what we do for the Lord.

Lastly, our true worth is tied to how valuable we are to the Lord. As Christians, we live to please him and become someone he can use for the uplifting of his kingdom. There is no higher calling than being in service to the Lord. When we are doing his work here on earth, our service is of the utmost value. Serving the Lord is priceless because we are serving royalty. We are serving the King of Kings.

He gave his life for us, and all he needs from us is our faithful service.
Sun, Apr 28, 2019
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
On this fifth Sunday, the last day of Women’s History Month, our pastor took his text from the 4th chapter of John. Can you believe that this Samaritan woman at the well, though of questionable reputation, shared a transformative testimony? As churchgoers, we can learn a lot about being the church, not just going to church, from her simple testimony.

First of all, a testimony that can transform is invitational. After her own encounter with Jesus, she urged the city dwellers to “come see a man”. She did not know everything about the bible or the rituals of religion. She just knew if they could see him, they too could be transformed by this man who knows her at the most intimate level. He knew her heart, her very essence, and he told her all about it.

Transformative testimonies are also Christocentric. They are focused on he who blesses instead of the blessing. Our testimonies may revolve around what we received in the blessing and not Christ Jesus who gave the blessing. A testimony that tells others about the man who can save them, heal them and change their very lives, is more than compelling. Such testimonies render others eager to experience him for themselves.

Lastly, testimonies with the power to transform are exploratory. The question that is posed, “Can this be the Messiah?” is certain to peak curiosity. We want to know the answer for ourselves and say, “Yes, he is the Messiah!” A vicarious faith is barely at faith at all.

No one can tell your story like you can. Your testimony has the power to cause others to come see a man and receive transformation. You must share it with all who will listen.
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
Duration: 25 mins 3 secs
Even when all external appearances indicate that someone has it all, there may be a deep internal longing, a void that only the Lord can fill. That is the place where Hannah was in the 11th chapter of 1st Samuel. This Sunday, the pastor focused on the prayers that we pray when we need the Lord most.

When we are deeply troubled and frustrated like Hannah, when our prayers cannot be articulated in words, just through moans from our hearts and tears from our eyes, we must empty our souls and take our petitions to the Lord. Instead of clinging to whatever it is that denies us dreams fulfilled, we need to let go and pray as empty vessels. Even when those who surround us misjudge us and do not have the capacity to comprehend our pain, God knows what we need most, and he can fill our empty souls.

Generic prayers may sound nice and even poetic; however, they are not the answer when the depth and breadth of our hurt becomes too much to bear. A crushed spirit and feelings of hopelessness call for prayers of specificity. When prayer speaks our truth, our unique experience, identifying our longing and the desires of our heart, God will speak directly to it. He will hear our humble cry. If you need a way out of no way, or more love to see you through, pray for that.

After praying with specificity, as empty vessels before God, our next move is it to put into practice our prayer. God helps those who help themselves. If you are lonely and need companionship, wear your best smile, and be friendly and open. If you need a job, or a better job, don’t just sit and wait for the phone to ring. Prepare yourself, polish up your skills, be proactive.

When you pray out of your emptiness and express your need by its name, the The Lord will not ignore your prayer. Once you add practice to your prayer, wait on him. And by and by, my beloved, you will have an answered prayer.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019
Passage: Acts 16:11-15
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
In the 16th chapter of Acts, we learn what is required to be hospitable. Genuine hospitality is an offer that cannot be refused. The well-established, gentile woman, Lydia, made such an offer to Paul and his companions as they spread the good news of Jesus Christ in Philippi.

The first requirement for hospitality is an open, welcoming heart. In this rage-filled, divided nation, most engage only with others who are most like them, this woman embraces men who are nothing like her. After hearing the word, her heart was opened, and she was transformed into a believer. With a heart wide open she offered residence to these unknown migrants, asking them to accept only if they could see that she was faithful.

Hospitality also requires vulnerability. When someone comes into your home, they can see beyond the façade. When goodness is felt, trust is engendered, and we allow others in. We are only vulnerable with those we know we can trust, and this vulnerability leads to wholeness and generosity.

Hospitality also requires opening your home to others. Your home becomes sacred space because it is a place to rest weary bones, to relax, dine, rejuvenate, to be sheltered from the storm or enjoy the warmth of the hearth. A hospitable home can be a place of creativity, planning, community growth and love. When one enters a house or a church, they instinctively know if they are welcome and if God is in that place.

God is counting on us in our homes and in our churches to be hospitable. True hospitality means God is there, and no one can ever refuse an offer to reside with the Holy.
Sun, Apr 07, 2019
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Sun, Mar 24, 2019
March is Women’s History Month, and on this first Sunday of the month, the pastor promised to focus on some of the Bible’s influential women. So, in the 15th chapter of Matthew, we learn more about the anonymous Canaanite woman, the mother of a beloved, but demonized daughter. This woman’s faith is a lesson in authentic worship. Authentic worship requires you to come into the presence of the divine. The woman from Canaan ignored her detractors and naysayers and pressed her way into the presence of Jesus. In order to truly worship you must first be in the presence of One - the Holy One. Shut out the maddening noise and life’s endless distractions. Let nothing and no one stop you from coming to Jesus. Authentic worship also includes assuming the correct posture. When you worship him by bowing down and falling on your knees, you are demonstrating humility and respect in the presence of Christ. Surrendering yourself to him in worship means it is not about how you define yourself, or who the world says you are. It is about who he is. We are somebody only because of our Savior. He is the living God and we are here to worship him. Once we are in his presence and humble ourselves before him, authentic worship requires a true confession of our need. We keep the faith because we recognize we can do nothing without him. Faith that keeps on worshiping and never giving up is faith that leads to a breakthrough. Even when it seems Jesus has turned away from us, the strength of our faith will get his divine attention. Now isn’t that cause for a great celebration!
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Passage: Acts 16:16-23
Duration: 25 mins 2 secs
Did you know the simplest of prayers and the singing of hymns, even from a prison cell, can possess the magnitude of an earthquake? Now that is powerful. In the 16th chapter of Acts, apostle Paul and his missionary companion Silas prayed and sang their way out of undeserved captivity, liberating other prisoners as well.

Jailhouse bars are wholly ineffective in confining one’s soul. Though a person may be physically held in captivity, the mind and spirit cannot be contained. Prayer is the means to freedom. Even in the still hours of the night, even at midnight, when darkness is all encompassing and lightness feels far away, prayers can make their way to God. In the dark silence when all is calm, that may be when prayer is most earnest. God is listening.

The trials you face and tears you cry have a purpose. They are God’s way of helping you understand that you can always rely on him. While praying for your own breakthrough and liberation, also pray for the concerns of others. Pray for unjust systems, leaders and situations that can only be transformed by the Lord. Prayer can bring a nation together and crumble divisive walls. Whether the sunshine is hiding behind ominous clouds or invisible during the midnight hour, be assured you always have his ear. Just like Paul and Silas, pray until some happens. Pray until all are free.

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Mount Olive Baptist Church

1601 South 13th Road
Arlington, VA 22204