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Sermon Wrap-up for August 4

Note: 3 years ago this weekend, I preached for the good folks at Almyra for the first time. Most of the folks who came then, still come now. For that I am very grateful. It may be that they’re still waiting to hear a good sermon, but I’m afraid to ask.

We’ll do audio links for morning and evening, then videos, then the outlines.

Morning Audio on James 5:12 is here

Evening Audio on Romans 12:1-2 is here

(Clicking the above links will open a separate window/tab that has the media player in it.)

Morning Video:

Evening Video:


Morning Outline:

Central Idea: Fidelity to Our Word
Theological Idea: God is faithful to His Word


And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.(Declaration of Independence)

On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight (BSA Oath/Promise)

Rather than promises or swearingor any other oath-taking, we should focus onstrengtheningour character to be trustworthy, no matter what words we use on the issue.


1. Jesus said so: James 5:12 and Matthew 5:34-37

2. It echoes the character of God

3. We swear, but we don't control anything beyond our own behavior anyway

How would being honest people affect us? In Family, Friendships, Dating, Marriage, Work, Church....politics?

Family---all portions: parents, children, extended family

Friendships--honesty and fidelity:

Dating--for those of you doing that: why do you need promises?

Marriage--spouses; (add in that a wedding vow is not a vow to the other person. It's a vow to God aboutthe other person)

Work--employer and employee; customer and business

Church--Membership and commitment

Church--leadership and service

and we won't even get into politics

Connects to Matthew 5:34-37

Application Action: Go all week without making promises. Just deliver on what you say. Take "Promise" out of your vocabulary and be a person of integrity.


Because it reflects the integrity of God. In the Scripture, God never promises anything.

He speaks His commitment. We read back into His declarations that they are promises--to the point that in some instances we translate the Hebrew word for speak (דבר DBR daleth-beth-resh) as promise.

How about us?


One of those clear declarations of God is this: "Whosoever would call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13.

Maybe you don't know this...or don't understand it. Perhaps you need to respond right here, right now to this. Why now? Because we are assured of this: "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)

You get this opportunity--then there is only one thing certain. Judgment comes

Evening Outline:

August 4 2013 PM Romans 12:1-2

Training and Transformation

Play the guitar!!


In a bay in Massachusetts, there sits a stone. It's a stone famous for traveling, though it may not be the exact point some people think it is. It may be more famous for its own travels than it should be for human travel.

Tradition holds that, in 1620, a group of passengers disembarked a sailing vessel called the Mayflower near a piece of Dedham granodiorite that came to be called Plymouth Rock. The rock itself, though, isn't from around there any more than the Pilgrims were.

It is what is called a glacial erratic boulder. It was dropped off in Massachusetts sometime as the Last Ice Age ended, and left there. How did come down? Well, glaciers travel somewhere around a few inches a year in most cases. The rock? It may have taken hundreds of years to get to Plymouth, where melting left it where it is.

It took time.

Being the rock takes time.

Development over instantaneous

Transformation through training

Slow development: the world is changed by inches.


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