Monthly Archives: November 2010

“How to Become a Vessel of Honor” – Pastor J.D.H. Hunter

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At Calvary Baptist Church’s “Vessels of Strength, Pillars of Faith” Women’s of Faith Conference on October 27, 2010, my pastor actually preached when we were just expecting a lecture. Coming from II Timothy 2:15-26, he entitled his sermon “How to be a Vessel of Honor”.

Here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          There is no thrill like the thrill of being used by God.

–          Anybody can be used as an instrument of God.

–          Being a vessel will cause some people to walk away from us.

–          We need to reach to young Timothys and Tiffanys as vessels of God.

–          God uses everything, including demons, to show His power.

–          How to become a vessel of honor we have to build on a Firm Foundation:

  • We’ve been sealed by the Holy Spirit.
    • God knows who His people are.
      • Those who are His must depart from evil.
  • You can’t build without studying.
    • Studying causes us to come from among the world.
    • God leaves us where we are to minister to those around us, but we have to have a Word to witness.
  • You can’t build without purifying and cleansing yourself.
    • When we purify ourselves, God can use us for greater works.
    • If our interior is right, we draw people to us.
  • Every Christian must think of him/herself as a servant.
    • We can’t be God, but we should live in pursuit of His attributes.
      • We have to move from carnal ways.
  • The more we follow what’s good; the more we easily flee from evil.
  • We need to move from preaching to teaching when dealing with those in the wrong.
  • Sinner will forever be slaves to Satan until they repent!
    • We have to pray for forgiveness daily!
  • We have to stay away from senseless controversy.
  • We must know the truth, how to articulate the truth and be able to take injury.
    • Can you handle the rebukes coming back as easily as you can dish rebukes out?
  • Are you capable of being God’s vessel daily?

Snob’s Reflection:

To start our series on sanctification, I thought this sermon was appropriate and timely. One of my favorite songs is “Available to You” by Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers. The chorus says “Lord I’m available to you. My will I give to you. I’ll do what you say do. Use me Lord to show someone the way, and enable me to say: My storage is empty, and I am available to You”. The song is beautiful and moves me every time I hear it, but for the longest time, and even sometimes now, I was singing these lyrics and lying. I wanted God to use me, but not really. I wanted the exaltation, but not the humility. Pastor Hunter’s sermon addresses some serious issues that I have struggled and am still struggling with. The fact that I desire to be God’s vessel doesn’t guarantee perfection, unfortunately. While I desire to be like Him, my flesh blocks me from so much. Even as I mature, I continuously am made aware of my inadequacies, fleshly desires, pessimism, anger, lack of compassion and impatience. How can God use someone like me? I always find myself asking questions like that, but then I’m reminded that God can use anyone and anything. It’s not about the color, shape, size or designs on the vessel that matters to Him, but its usage. The prettiest vessel can be used for evil. I have to continue to allow Him to pour inside of me to do His work to His glory, not other people or the media or societal standards…just Him. As long as I continue to be a vessel of God, He’ll take care of the rest. What are you a vessel of? What’s pouring into you? Have you built on the right foundation? Are you giving Word in your rebuke or just your own unsupported personal convictions? Until we learn to purify ourselves, study and humble ourselves to servanthood, we’ll never be used as a vessel of God.

“A God Worth Thanking” – Pastor Jamison D. H. Hunter

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Ok, unless if God tells me otherwise, this is my last post about praise for a little while. This sermon is from Sunday, October 24, 2010 during Pastor Hunter’s worship series. It’s amazing how it fell. I heard Bishop  Walker’s ridiculously challenging sermon “I’m Too Real to Fake It” based on Acts 17:16-29, then Pastor Hunter actually preached at a funeral (I know, right!) speaking on “A Trip Through the Valley” based on Psalms 23:4. In this sermon, Pastor Hunter dissects the 107th Psalm entitling it “A God worth Thanking”. The format of this sermon is a bit different from most of his other sermons. He gets straight to the point, not killing anytime with flowery introductions or artsy illustrations, but thankfully so. This sermon is so meaty; there wouldn’t have been any room for the last point if he gave a big intro.

Here are the sermon’s highlights:

  1. An Admonition to Give God Thanks
    1. The command: When we consider the benefits and blessings of God, it become logical to give Him thanks.

                                                               i.      Because God’s given us so many blessings we don’t deserve, we must say thank you.

  1. The confession: Our praise ought not to be predicated on the worship leader, but on our relationship with God!
  2. The conditions: We don’t have to wait to get to our destination to praise. Praise Him on your way!
  3. Ample Reasons to Give God Thanks
    1. His character: Shallow praise is based on what He’s done, but deep praise is based on who He is. What type of praise do you offer God?
    2. His compassion: God is not just a God of justice; He’s also a God of mercy!
    3. His covering: There’s no where you can go that God can’t get to.
    4. Adequate Expressions to Give God Thanks
      1. Volition: Worship should be voluntary! Nobody should have to be your hallelujah cheerleader!
      2. Vocalization: We need some “say-so” Christians!
      3. Volume: We need to praise God vocally and boldly.

Snob’s Reflection:

Well…there’s not much to be said on this sermon (surprised?). At first, I felt weird about posting these sermons the way I did, but now I see that God placed this on my heart for a reason. I feel like this sermon is a perfect wrap-up to our worship sequence on Preacher Snob. The previous sermons have outlined how to worship God, the state of the worshippers, the mandate to worship God, and now this sermon wraps it all up with why we need to worship God. Pastor Hunter has done an outstanding job of feeding us with knowledge about worship. It’s now our responsible to actually worship! So, I don’t have any witty comments to add to the sermon, but I will close this blog with this thought:

Worship is a unique opportunity we have as Christians. There is no opportunity in any other religion to interact personally with God. We get to be intimate with the Creator of the universe, the master of master, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Father of all, Mother of all, yet we look at it as an inconvenient obligation. How would you feel if God started looking at blessing us the way we looked at praising Him? Let’s not become guilty of being spoiled brats who just take…take…take without ever giving back. That’s not the standard God’s set. We’ve been given the tools. It’s now time to use them!

“A Perfect Praise” – Pastor Jamison D.H. Hunter

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Clearly God wants this series to continue, because my notes are just full of sermons about praise, so I guess I’ll keep blogging sermons about praise until I run out of them!

Pastor Hunter, in his last sermon of the Worship Series, continued to preach out of the book of Psalms this past Sunday on the topic of “A Perfect Praise” based on the 100th Psalm.

Here are his sermon highlights:

–          Praising God in “your own way” is not pleasing to God.

  • God has already outlined the way He wants us to praise Him, so not following his outline is disobedience.

–          How can you have a bad day when God’s still blessing you?

–          How can you give God praise when praise is not in you? (What’s in you?)

–          How to have a perfect praise:

  1. Your Praise Should be Audible
  • What you say is a reflection of intimacy.
  • Our expression is a reflection of what we have gone or are going through.
  • We have to discontinue our membership to P.A. (Praise Anonymous).
    • Your praise should not be a secret, especially to God!
  1. Your Attitude Should be Positive
  • How can God bless you if people have to beg you to serve Him?
    • Service is a privilege!
  1. You Must Acknowledge His Power
  • Praise has a lot to do with what we know.
  • Since God had the power to create us, He definitely has the power to sustain us.
    • Stop worrying!

–          We need to give thanks at the acknowledgment of His presence (all the time)!

–          Praise is based on who He is and what He’s done!

  1. You Must be Assured of His Promises
  • We will never understand how good He is until we learn the length and depth of His mercy.

Snob’s Reflection:

So I’ve definitely enjoyed Pastor Hunter’s Worship series, and this sermon was definitely his most “real”. All of the sermons have been convicting, challenging and full of confirmations, but I felt like this was the most applicable sermon for our church. While the worshippers need to be equipped to properly worship God, prepared for the haters they’ll gain in the process, and be knowledgeable of the reasons to praise God, the biggest thing for us to realize is that praise is a privilege that’s supposed to be done a certain way. A lot of people struggle with this idea, because they blanket obedience under traditionalism or conservatism. Mature Christians realize that obedience is greater than sacrifice (thanks Veronica), and move beyond doing what they want to do in worship towards worshipping God obediently as outlined in Pastor Hunter’s sermon and throughout the entire Bible: audibly, with a positive attitude, in acknowledgement of His power and with assurance of His promises. Yes, God is glorified through creative praise, but we’re not talking about radical praise, we’re talking about people who don’t praise; those who use the excuse of being introverted to be lazy during worship. Whether you’re a social person or not, we need to give God a whole-hearted worship. This is not to say that you have to dance or lead praise in worship or even leap and shout for joy every Sunday, but you should be an active participant in worship through lifting your hands, encouraging the praise team, clapping your hands, stomping your feet, verbal encouragement of witnesses, encouraging the pastor, and having an overall positive attitude whenever you’re in God’s house (and anywhere else for that matter).

As Pastor Hunter said, praise has a lot to do with what we know. How can you praise someone you don’t know? It’s like giving a eulogy for a stranger…pretty difficult. If we’re not studying God’s word, praying to Him and seeking His guidance in our lives, we’re going to have a hard time worshipping Him. To worship, we have to know Him!

So, overall this sermon was the bomb! I felt like Pastor Hunter really called people out and really challenged us with his points. The most personal point for me was being assured of His promises. While I study His word just about daily, pray often and spend about as much time in His house as I do at home, I still find myself worrying and feeling unfit for His blessings. I’m learning daily how good God really is as He keeps blessing me when I haven’t earned it. The fact that I have what I have, work where I work, am married to who I’m married to and know who I know, is definitely not based on what I’ve done, but what He has for me. So no matter how much I’ve sinned, no matter who I’ve offended, no matter how unqualified I am, how unworthy I am, not matter who says I can’t…God’s still blessing me with promotions, increase, joy and fellowship. For that I’m thankful and wish the same for you. Remember God’s outline: audibly, with a positive attitude, in acknowledgement of His power and with assurance of His promises. Anything but this is not glorifying to Him.

“A Personal Praise” – Pastor J. D. H. Hunter

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Those of you that attend Sunday School should have noticed by now that the entire months of October and November focus on the book of Psalms. In his sermon series, Pastor Hunter has also focused his sermons on the book of Psalms and praise for the month of October. Last Sunday, October 17th, Pastor Hunter preached an awesome sermon out of the 34th Psalm entitled “A Personal Praise”.

Here are the sermon’s highlights:

–          Praise isn’t always a result of happiness.

–          What is your praise predicated on?

–          When there’s anointing on your life, it will be recognized.

  • You can’t hide it!
  • Your anointing makes people uncomfortable.

–          Our predicament shouldn’t predicate our praise!

–          How to mature to giving God intentional praise all the time:

  1. Realize God Delivered Us When He Should’ve Left Us
  • People take positions, but only God can give them power!
  • Do I trust God enough to take me where He said He’d take me?
  • We get in bad places, because we didn’t trust God, but He will deliver us once we seek His deliverance.
  1. He Kept Us in It to Deliver Us Out
  • Can you praise Him before the deliverance comes?
  • When God chooses you, you’ll pick up some haters.
  • Has fear caused you to make stupid decisions?
  • STOP WAITING FOR A SPECIAL DAY TO PRAISE GOD. EVERYDAY’S A GOOD DAY TO PRAISE!
  • Difficult circumstances strengthen our spirit.
  • Praise shouldn’t start on your lips; it should start in your heart and travel to your lips.

 

Snob’s Reflection:

As usual, Pastor Hunter’s sermon was all up in my business! Unfortunately, God’s anointing has brought haters around. It’s sad that someone being blessed causes you to despise and wish evil on them instead of praying for their growth and maybe your potential blessings. However, this is the case of many people. We grow to know a person when they’re sinking and that makes us comfortable because we’re higher than him/her; but when that person starts to grow in the Lord and He starts to bless them, we can’t handle it because it makes us grow. It’s so funny how this post came about. I started this Friday before I left work and couldn’t finish it, because I was taking some of the girls from my church to the movies, then I couldn’t finish it Saturday morning, because I was rushing to get to this conference at Calvary where my pastor was speaking. It was at this conference that we, Pastor Hunter, Sis. Dunklin, Ms. Muriel and I, had this conversation about growth in the church. We were talking about a ministry that’s fallen offline in the past few years, because we weren’t going in God’s direction. We were trying to persuade one of our sisters to manage the ministry, but her response was “I already don’t have that many friends”, and we all laughed, but I thought about that for the rest of the weekend…when God has His hand on you, it makes people uncomfortable, because light exposes darkness, so they can either move away from you into the shadow or they have to get rid of their mess. I struggle with the same issue. I don’t easily make friends, especially in church, and always wondered what I was doing wrong, but now the question may be what are they doing wrong? As God’s anointing continues to manifest in my life, I would imagine that fewer and fewer people not serious about relationship will want to be around me. It’s just like Pas Bryant says, we have to be real and relevant, not religious and pretentious. That’s what I’m gonna be about regardless, real and relevant ministry and if you can roll…cool, but if not, step aside don’t block my way! So…are people comfortable around you as they sin or are you making them uncomfortable? Is your praise personal or is it only for the public to see? As you begin to develop your relationship with God and make your praise more personal, you have to remember that He delivered you even when He should have left you and He kept you or is keeping you in some stuff so you could realize it was He that delivered you out.