Category Archives: Weekend Talks

In Times Like These: Find Out What Pleases the Lord

My Sunday day message is designed to bring the mind, will, and heart of God to the center of USAmerican life and politic. From my perspective culture isn’t always neutral. Culture may or may not please the Lord. For some time I have been giving thought to understanding culture and how to christianize culture.

Today, let’s simply start by asking God, once again, “Lord, what pleases you?”

In Times Like These: Please the Lord

The United States of America is a democratic and constitutional republic.

In short, democratic includes the rule of the majority, constitutional suggests that the rule of the majority is limited by the Constitution, and republic means that representatives of the people have the responsibility of leadership.

Ephesians 5:10 commands us to “find out what pleases the Lord.”

For all of this to work powerfully together…
1. The majority of those who vote must have a deep desire to please the Lord.
2. The constitution must be interpreted through the lens of “What pleases the Lord?”
3. The elected representatives must also have a total commitment to that which pleases the Lord.

Unfortunately, our democratic and constitutional republic has become “find out what pleases the voter.”

A lord is “a person exercising absolute ownership rights.” Who is the One who exercises absolute ownership rights in the nations of earth? God! Psalm 24:1, 2

Therefore, the question in all matters of national (and personal) importance is, “What pleases the Lord?” Hidden between the lines of this verse is the notion that one already knows what fully displeases the Lord.

Displeases the Lord Rom. 1:18, 19 Pleases the Lord Eph. 5:10
1. Disregard for God and the Bible. 1. God and the Bible are above and in all.
2. Shedding of innocent blood. 2. Righteousness
(Proverbs 6:16-19)

Our secondary text, Proverbs 14:34, reveals that national greatness is not anchored in the economy, military might, influence, population, education systems, or popularity, but true national greatness is founded upon righteousness.

Righteousness lifts one nation (person) higher than other nations. Righteousness lifts up. Sin lowers one nation (person) lower than other nations. Sinfulness brings down.

This week’s assignment is for each of us to honestly evaluate the candidates, judges, and ballot measures and, should you feel that voting pleases the Lord, vote according to your conscience.

MCA Church LIFE Groups

Connecting with One Another

1. Are you making any special plans for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday?
2. Are you especially thankful for something or someone today?

Digging Deeper into the Weekend Lesson

We are investigating the morality, righteousness, and godliness required to fulfill Ephesians 5:10, “and find out what pleases the Lord.”

1. Pastor Kent explained that there are many things in life that receive the wrath of God. Do you see any of these in our world of today? Romans 1
a. Suppress the truth by wickedness. 1:18
b. Know God but don’t glorify him. 1:21
c. Exchange the glory of God for images. 1:23
d. In the sinful desires of their hearts they live in sexual impurity. 1:24
e. Exchange the truth of God for a lie and worship created things. 1:25
f. Live in shameful lusts. 1:26
g. Live with unnatural sexual relations. 1:26
h. Do what ought not to be done. 1:28
i. Filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. 1:29
j. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. 1:29
k. They are gossips, slanderers, God haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil, they disobey their parents, they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 1:31
l. They know it is wrong, but they continue to do these things and approve of those who practice them. 1:32
2. Based upon this Romans 1 list, do you see the possibility that the United States may be a candidate for God’s wrath?
3. In light of this, what do you see in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that would please the Lord?
4. Psalm 15 includes a list of twelve things that please the Lord. Read them and consider how well you are doing on each one and how well our nation is doing.

1. Please pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 for our land.
2. Please pray MCA Church to please the Lord.
3. Please pray for your own life to please the Lord.

In Times Like These: Walk in Authority

My message, “In Times Like These: Walk in Authority,” is designed to assist us in realizing God’s authority was given fully to Jesus following his resurrection from the dead. Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto me both in heaven and on earth.” We represent Him. We walk in His authority to make disciples of all nations.


In Times Like These: Walk in Authority

We are learning to bring our whole self to the Great Assignment. Matthew 28:18-20

The Great Assignment has four “Alls.”

• All authority in heaven and earth
• To make disciples of all nations
• Who obey all God’s commandments
• Jesus is with us all the days

We are learning to bring a fifth all: all of me (my whole self). Today the emphasis is upon bringing all of one’s self under all of His authority and then walking out the Great Assignment in His authority.

The Bible is very clear about Jesus’ authority prior to the resurrection. His resurrection from the dead, and all that goes with it changed the wording from “authority” to “all authority in heaven and on earth.”

Matthew 28 suggests that “all nations” have a level of authority that will resist the disciple-making ministry and the call to obey all of God’s commandments. There seems to be an authority in “all nations” to resist discipleship and live in disobedience. The authority of “all nations” is overcome by the “All authority” of Jesus.

I am to bring my whole self to the Great Assignment with the authority of Jesus Christ, who has been given all authority.

The Authority of Jesus both Before and After His Resurrection from the Dead

• All authority in heaven and earth Philippians 2:10
• Authority over angels Hebrews 1:6
• Authority over all rule, authority, power, and dominion Ephesians 1:21, 22
• Eternal authority Daniel 7:13, 14
• Authority over sickness and disease Matthew 4:23, 24
• Authority over demons Matthew 8:28-33
• Authority over physical elements Matthew 8:23-27
• Authority over life and death John 11:1-27
• Authority to forgive sin Matthew 9:1-7
• Authority over the Church Colossians 1:18

Therefore, “Go and make disciples of all nations!” You are Christ’s Ambassadors. 2 Corinthians 5:20

MCA Church LIFE Groups

Congratulations on being part of the MCA Church growing LIFE Group movement. In this, our first session of the ministry year, we have over 200 raving Jesus fans in the LIFE Groups. Plan on inviting a friend to join a group with you for the next ten-week session starting in January.

Getting to Know One Another

1. Have you ever personally seen the authority of Jesus in one of the ten areas Pastor mentioned in the weekend talk?
2. Do you have a situation in which you are seeking to extend the authority of Jesus?

Digging Deeper into the Message

1. What is an ambassador? What is the work of an ambassador? Under what authority does an ambassador work? In what ways do you live out your life as Christ’s ambassador? 2 Corinthians 5:20
2. Read Luke 10:1-20.
a. In what way is being sent out on mission connected to the authority given by Jesus?
b. Would the disciples have Jesus’ authority without being on mission?
c. Do you have Jesus’ authority if you are not fully on mission?
3. What do you understand Luke 10:23 to mean? What was it that prophets and kings had wanted to see?
4. Is the authority given by Jesus in Luke 10:19 given to you today? If so, what must you do to walk in that authority?
5. It is clear that Jesus has sent you as an ambassador to make disciples of the nations. Make a list of at least five things you can do to bring your whole self to this assignment.

1. Please pray for God’s guidance upon your giving decision for MCA Church Global Outreach.
2. Please pray for the MCA Church connection with mission in El Salvador, for Pete and Vicki as they travel back to Australia, and this Sunday’s emphasis on the children of Burkina Faso.

In Times Like These: Bringing Your Whole Self to the Great Assignment

Following are the notes from my day service talk. The intent of the message is to convince us to bring all that we are to the calling of world wide evangelism. May you and I grow in being “All In” for the cause of Jesus.

In Times Like These: Bringing Your Whole Self to the Great Assignment
2 Samuel 24:18-25

Jesus gave to us His Great Assignment.
o Go, make disciples of all nations
o Baptizing them
o Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

If today were my last day of life, would I be pleased with the degree to which I deployed my heart, mind, strength, talents, skills, and resources for the Great Assignment?

Four common barriers to bringing your whole self to the Great Assignment:
o The extensive demands of the Great Assignment become diluted.
o In pursuit of the Great Assignment I become distracted.
o While pursuing the Great Assignment I become disillusioned.
o Having heard the Great Assignment I am simply disinterested.

The primary text (2 Samuel 24:18-25) was selected because:
o King David didn’t want to bring Araunah’s gift to God. He wanted to bring his own gift.
o King David said, “I insist on paying you for it.” I insist on my whole being, my very best, everything I have be included in this ministry.

I will bring my whole self to the Great Assignment.
o I will bring my whole self to the “preach, hear, believe, call, saved” portion of making disciples. Romans 10:13-15
o I will bring my whole heart to the Great Assignment.
o I will bring my whole mind to the Great Assignment.
o I will bring my whole strength to the Great Assignment.
o I will bring my whole talent and skill set to the Great Assignment.
o I will bring my whole resource base to the Great Assignment.

MCA Church LIFE Groups

1. Please review the MCA Church LIFE Group Covenant.
2. Please review and pray over the MCA Global Outreach Information Sheet.
3. Please pray for each other.


OUR BASIC PURPOSE – Life Groups exist to promote spiritual growth and maturity through the development of significant Christian relationships centered on the study of God’s word. (See Hebrews 10:24-25 and Romans 8:29.)

CONNECT – Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our
CARE – Each week we will learn how to take care of one another as Christ
commanded (see John 15:9 13). This care will take many forms such
as prayer, listening, meeting needs, encouraging, and even challenging one
another as needed.
GROW – Each week we’ll study a portion of God’s word that relates to the
previous weekend’s sermon. Our goal is to learn how to apply and live out our
Christianity in our day-to-day experiences and relationships.

1. Focus on spiritual growth as a top priority. (Romans 8:29)
2. Accept one another in love just as Christ has accepted us. (Romans 15:7)
3. Take care of one another in love without crossing over the line into parenting or taking inappropriate responsibility for solving the problems of others. (John 13:34)
4. Treat each other with respect in both speech and action. (Ephesians 4:25 5:2)
5. Keep our commitments to the group – including attendance, homework and keeping confidences. (Psalm 15:1-2, 4b).

1. Dates and Times – This group will meet on nights for weeks at this time ___________.
2. Children – Group members are responsible to arrange childcare for their children.
3. Study – Each week we will study the same topic(s) covered in the previous weekend’s message.
4. Prayer – Our group will be praying each week for one another and specific requests from the teaching pastor.
5. Homework and Attendance – Joining a Life Group requires a commitment to attend each week and to do the home work .
6. Refreshments – Each group will decide how to handle refreshments.
7. Social and Project – Each group will have one social gathering apart from scheduled Life Group and participate in one service project. Our Social event will occur on _____________. Our service project will be
By signing below, I covenant with God and the other members of this group to connect, care, and grow by submitting to the guidelines for a healthy group experience.

Youth Seminary Lesson Two

My second lesson, “Some things we learn about God in Genesis 1,” was a delight to teach to our Youth Seminary students. Their ideas, questions, and insights clearly show that they are deep thinkers and committed Jesus followers. Following are my notes for the talk.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Genesis
MCA Church Youth Seminary
Lesson 2

Welcome to MCA Church Youth Seminary! All of our study is anchored in the Bible.

“The entrance of thy words giveth light, giving understanding unto the simple.” Psalm 119:130

Class Guidelines

1. Bring a great attitude each week.
2. Bring a Bible each week.
3. Memorize the Bible verses.
4. Never talk while someone else is speaking.
5. Have fun learning God’s word.

Verses to Memorize

1. Psalm 119:130
2. Genesis 1:1
3. John 1:1-3
4. Colossians 1:16
5. Proverbs 9:10
6. Genesis 2:7

Week One’s teaching was that all of life, everything we know, wisdom, and time, space, and matter all find God as their starting point. Last week we emphasized the creativity and importance of your Genesis 1 projects. Today’s talk is about what we can learn about this ‘starting point’ God?

God’s Name
o The word “God” is used 34 times in Genesis 1:1-2:3
o In Genesis 1 and 2 we learn about God through what He did and said.
o Elohim is the name of God in Genesis 1:1-2:3. In Genesis 2:4 YHWY or LORD is used.
o Elohim is used in the singular but it is a plural word. This may be because of a
concept called the “plurality of majesty.”
o God is SO AMAZING that He is referred to in plural form.

God’s Word
o God is separate from creation. The Creator and the creation are not the same.
o God’s nature, character, purpose, and design can be seen in creation.
o God existed before creation.
o God’s word created creation. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26
o “Then God said, Let…” Eight times.
o “God said…” Ten times
o God’s commands created creation

God’s Thoughts
o Five times we see “God called.” Genesis 1:5, 8, 10
o Naming is a very crucial part of Genesis 1. It is in naming that things make sense.
God is helping us through naming to make sense of His creation.
o In Genesis 2:19 God gives the authority of naming to people. Now we make sense of God’s
creation by naming.

God’s Power
o God is fully able to do as He says. He has the power to do anything and everything He
determines to do.
o Two words are used in Genesis 1 for this creative power, 1. Create, and 2. Made. 1:1,
21, 27 and 1:7, 16, 25, 31

God’s Goodness
o Seven times the phrase, “God saw that it was good.” 1: 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31
o Since creation is a reflection of the Creator, God is clearly good.
o Creation is NOT mother-nature! Creation is the visible reality of the goodness of God.

God’s Wisdom
o God’s wisdom knew that His creative actions were completed.
o God’s wisdom is reflected in God’s rest. Genesis 2:1-3
o You and I must rest in God’s wisdom.

Identity: Genuine Followers of Jesus

One of the great pursuits of my life is to live intentionally transparent before God and my family, and honestly with myself. An unintentional, dishonest, and veiled life can not be pleasing to God. Following are my notes for Sunday’s talk. May God be glorified as you read.

Identity: Genuine Followers of Christ

During our study of MCA Church’s Identity, one concept emerged consistently; MCA Church highly values genuineness.

If we are not genuine, all of our identity concepts falter.

Genuine: Actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character.
Actually produced by or proceeding from the alleged source or author
Sincerely and honestly felt or experienced

I am sincerely and honestly being transformed into the image of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18 connects transformation to “unveiled faces.” Transformation ceases when we veil our hearts from God, our closest friends, and ourselves.

You might be wearing a veil if:
• You intentionally report qualities or character that you don’t have
• You intentionally resist the invitation to look honestly behind the veil of your heart,
mind, and behavior
• You can not be sincere and honest about what you are actually feeling or experiencing
• You have a “reason” (excuse) for every unpleasant thing hidden by the veil

Good News! God has the perfect response to everything hidden behind your veil.
• When you approach God with humility, honesty, and respect, you should not be afraid.
• When you approach God with humility, honesty, and respect, remember that He is love,
full of grace, and slow to anger.

I am sincerely and honestly being transformed into the image of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You are not seeking perfection – you are seeking consistent progress.

Genuine Joy
1. Since I am made by God, in His image, and for his purposes, there is the joy of being
pleasing to God. 2 Corinthians 5:9,10
2. There is amazing joy in having a good conscience before God. Acts 23:1
3. The joy of being honest with yourself and God is transformative. Psalm 51:6
4. The joy of having nothing to hide is energizing. 1 Corinthians 13:12

Our sentence, “I am sincerely and honestly being transformed into the image of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit,” requires that we see the gap between who we are and who God is and repent. Acts 3:19

Today, we invite you to the crosses for your personal time of meeting with God. Do you have the need of repentance.? Do you see a gap between what you believe about your self and what is actually true about you? Are you aware of veiled things in your life that long to be exposed to God’s love and grace? Do you deeply long for the joy of ever increasing genuineness?

LIFE Groups

Connecting with each other
1. Name a person with whom you are most likely to be genuine. What do you admire about
that person?
2. What was the best hiding place in the history of your personal “hide and seek” career?

Digging Deeper into the Weekend Talk
1. Why did Moses put a veil over his face? Exodus 34:35
2. Why did Moses keep the veil over his face? 2 Corinthians 3:13
3. Why is Moses’ tendency to hide his experience with God the story of us all? Genesis 3:8
4. MCA Church strongly believes that the most helpful setting in which people transform
into the image of Jesus is a small group. What kind of small group member should you be
so that your co-member can be genuine in the group?
5. Consider Job 31:33, 34.
a. What was his view of the crowd?
b. What was his view of the clans?
c. What did he do with his voice?
d. What did he do with his body?
e. What did he do with sin?
f. What did he do with guilt?
6. How do you design your life group to help people whose experience is something like Job
31:33, 34?

Praying With Each Other
1. Please pray, one on one, for a genuine request from your prayer partner.
2. Please pray for next week’s LIFE Group Covenant.
3. Please pray for MCA Church’s Global Outreach month (October). Please pray for increased
vision, commitment, and understanding of world evangelism.
4. Pray about your role in the Great Commission.