Sunday – June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Esteem the Name Of God from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Which group are you in? Are you standing with those who think it is not profitable to follow God, or do you stand with those who fear the Lord and esteem His Name? It is an important question because no matter how often you go to church, only one group is recorded in the Lord's book of remembrance. Join us Sunday as we continue in Malachi 3:13-18 and see the beautiful people who "Honor Your Heavenly Father." Come for the worship and stay for the fellowship

Word On Worship – June 24, 2012 Download / Print

Malachi 3:16-18
They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

Do you sometimes watch people around you deny God, yet they seem to receive greater blessing than believers and especially you? You would never say it, but you cynically think it in your heart: “What profit is there in serving God? It doesn’t pay!” Here’s the message of Malachi: God records everything. The God who does not change not only records our foolish actions, but God keeps record of all that we do and say in His name. Asaph in Psalm 73 was looking at the prosperity of the wicked and was thinking “It’s a waste of time serving God!” Asaph had honest and painful questions, but when he took them before God he saw their action in terms of eternity. You must keep eternity’s values in view, because in the end we will win!

There is a second group of people found in verses 16 through 18. God calls these people jewels; God’s jewels. “My jewels — they shall be mine.” He gives this beautiful name jewels to those who, in an age of compromise, an age of worldly values, apathy and indifference still speak about the Lord and who fear the Lord. I think these are some of the most beautiful verses in all of Scripture. God says they are a remnant people; true to Him throughout all of time.

Now I want you to note both of these groups, those who were the judges and those who are the jewels, claimed to be among God’s people. What makes the difference? The difference is the jewels feared the Lord. The book of Proverbs tells us “To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” These were people who, in the midst of all that was going on around them, reverenced God and submitted to His authority and no one else’s.  They began to fear God more and fear others less. They feared the Lord, they thought upon His name, and then they spoke often about Him.

Here’s the question out of Malachi’s message for all of us: what do our lips portray about our heart? Do you talk often, one to another, about Him? Don’t miss the fact even in Malachi’s day the remnant kept company together. They encouraged one another and they promoted love and faith in each others hearts. They did not forsake the assembling of themselves together, as the manner of some, as they saw the Day approaching. They kept company with those who were talking about the Lord, thinking on His name and who feared the Lord. Can I give you a bit of advice? Keep company, not only in the assembly, but in your personal private company, with those who talk about the Lord, not about other Christians!

Sunday – June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Honor Your Heavenly Father from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

This Sunday we are continuing in our study in the Book of Malachi, and we will rewind a little and go back Malachi 1 to look at our Heavenly Father, and in particular our response to Him. Our Father is God who is worthy of both our honor and our devotion. Devotion is one we are usually more comfortable with, but honor is a tougher nut for us to get our arms around. Join us with your own dads for worship this Sunday morning at 8:45 as we see how Malachi exhorts us “Honor Your Heavenly Father”

Word On Worship – June 17, 2012 Download / Print

Malachi 1:6-7
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?’ says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, “How have we despised Your name?’ “You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, “How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, “The table of the LORD is to be despised.

Who is your Heavenly Father? We can all agree that being a child of God is the result of His calling.  Each one of us has heard the call of God on our lives — but what is our response to the call of God?  We may feel remorse for sins past or joy for a future with Him. When God reveals Himself to us as Father, when He adopts us as children into His family, what does He intend for us to feel? What is the appropriate response of children to fatherhood of God?

I think the biblical response is twofold. I think God wants a child-like reverence for His power and strength and wisdom coupled with peace and security in His gracious provision for His children. When we put these two together, reverence and trust, we honor our heavenly Father in the same way God said we were to honor our earthly father in Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” And yet how many of us who say the fatherhood of God should motivate us to honor and hold Him in sacred respect?

I see our passage in Malachi as a proper balancing of our response to God for the honor and worship He deserves for His gracious care. The fatherhood of God is brought before the priests to humble them because they have despised the Lord’s altar. The fatherhood of God in our passage is not for the comfort or the security of the priests. The majestic fatherhood of God requires His children to honor and respect Him in reverence and fear.

In our relationship with our Heavenly Father we should always entwine reverence and awe with security and tenderness. When we respond to God properly we see these attitudes dependent on the presence of the other. The psalmist knew this when he wrote Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” Who will rest in the mercy of God? The Scriptures teach us it is the person who bows with reverential fear and honors his majestic Father in heaven.

Sunday – June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

What Ever Happened to the Tither? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Tithing… how old school, Old Testament, old fashion can you get? But before you agree, can you find one passage where Jesus says, "you heard it said give 10%, but I tell you 2% is fine." Or did Paul ban the practice of tithing when he said we should give cheerfully? Or is it easier to say 10% is Old Testament and I want to justify spending my money on me. Maybe it is time to take a look at tithing in the Old and New Testament as see if this is an area we need to reset our hearts, reboot our worship and refresh our relationship with God. Join us Sunday as we continue our study in the wonderful book of Malachi 3 verses 7 to 12.

Word On Worship – June 10, 2012   Download / Print

Malachi 3:7-8
Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from My decrees and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob You

The deeper I get into the book of Malachi, the more it seems he is writing a Top Ten list of problems facing God’s people. And even though this was written nearly 2,500 years ago, God’s people still struggle with these same issues today. The simple message of Malachi is God is unchanging and the human condition is also unchanging. The standards God requires from His people revealed in the Old Testament and man’s sinful fallen nature continue. Stephen’s charge against the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:51 is just as true of us today, “You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

Our problem today is the same problem Israel faced: we do not see our need of God. As far as many Christians are concerned, they have not left God and God has not left them. The disease affecting the church today is one of spiritual delusion. We think repentance is something a person does when they become a Christian and then it can be placed on the shelf to gather dust. A.W. Tozer wrote the church is in the predicament it is in because “ignoble contentment has taken the place of burning zeal.” Just like the priests in Malachi’s day, the Church has a form of godliness but there is no power. We engage in the rituals and ceremonies, but the power of God is not in our motions.

Sometimes God needs to hit us where it hurts to get us to turn around and come back to Him. And where many of us are the most sensitive is in our wallets. Repentance that costs us nothing is worthless repentance. Repentance in the area of finance and stewardship is costly if it is genuine repentance. You can come to church every Sunday, but your checking account will speak more about your spiritual health than your attendance record because our wallets are closer to our hearts than we care to admit.

In Malachi’s time, God spoiled the crops and shut the rain off because of the Israelites’ selfishness. Their excuse not to give was because they had less even though they knew God had promised to bless and care for those who were faithful in their stewardship. God’s own money was not available because the people were so tight-fisted they would not let it go. Consider this: a poll taken by George Barna in 2002 showed only 6% of evangelicals in the United States gave a tithe (10% of their income). A 2010 survey indicated the average church attendee in America gives 3.1% of their income to charities, religious or secular. As the wealthiest and allegedly most Christian nation, the divine message to God’s people remains unchanged, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me.

Sunday – June 3, 2012

June 3, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

The Refiner’s Fire from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Have you ever looked around the church and thought to yourself, “How in the world could God allow such a group of misfit, stumbling, bumbling people into His kingdom? The Bible says heaven will be with out sin, and yet when we look in the mirror we have to honestly say I am certainly not qualified to enter into eternity with God. Take heart, for heaven will be full of people who are neither qualified nor pure enough to enter heaven as we currently are. God is a refiner’s fire, which through the work of His Holy Spirit will prepare and mold and refine the sin which so easily entangles us and will not allow the fire to consume those who are in Jesus Christ entirely. Join us Sunday June 3rd to see “The Refiner’s Fire” from Malachi 2:17 to 3:6 and prepare yourself to say Hallelujah! “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”- Malachi 3:6

Word On Worship – June 3, 2012 Download / Print

Malachi 2:17
You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?

In Malachi’s day Israel has already returned to the land, rebuilt the city walls and restored the Temple in Jerusalem. But Israel, as many would say of our nation, had fallen into complacency. As the people pursued their own agendas and satisfactions, they drifted further and further from God and from the mandates of the Law. The results of such a lifestyle were predictable: religion was at low ebb while wickedness prospered. It is only natural for us to wonder where the righteous justice of God is when the wicked seem to prosper and the people of God are in need?

If we are honest with ourselves, we can fall into the same pit as the Israelites did. When we look around our own personal lives we feel that God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers, or at least doing it in the way that we would like Him to. We’re not seeing God save our loved ones the way we long to see it happen, maybe we haven’t seen God heal us or another in the way that we feel is our right. We feel that we’ve been in the hour of need, and God has said: ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will answer you‘ – but He hasn’t. For so long we have heard so many people, like the Psalmist, saying to us: “Where is your God?” We’re perhaps beginning to say to ourselves as Gideon did, “Where is our God that our fathers told us of? Where are the miracles that they spoke to us of?”

Jesus spoke of the same condition in the Sermon on the Mount, the hearts of people who have become far-sighted. We see the splinter in our brother’s eye but fail to see the plank in our own eye. We are swift to see sin in another and not in ourselves, but the awful terrible truth of this whole book is they are swift to accuse God of apparent injustice without seeing their own sin! They accused God of a lack of holiness, a lack of justice, and can’t see their own sin was the very cause of their lack of blessing. They were ignorant of God’s charge against them, and even question God, not themselves. They question God’s holiness, they question God’s righteousness, and they actually ask the question back to God: “In what way have we wearied You?”

Could it be possible that sometimes our words weary the Lord? Is it a possibility in the church era our songs and even our prayers weary the Lord? I have seen the picture of the church sign which reads, “If you could only hear your prayers, you would sympathize with God.” You might say, “What could weary God in my prayer or worship?” It is simply this: the people were drawing near to God with their mouths, and honoring Him with their lips, but their heart was far from Him! Consider these things in your lives this morning as you prepare for worship, receiving the teaching of the Word and the celebration of the Lord’s Table as see where your heart is this morning.