March 27. Reading and Leading Up to Easter. John chapter 2.

Monday, March 27               John 2

The Temple that Was and the Temple that Is

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  So says Jesus to the bewilderment of those who heard.  How could this one man build a temple in three days that took a huge work force 46 years to build?  Continue reading

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Christmas 2016. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Morning

Sunday, December 25, 2016

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, we take a moment to reflect on the true treasures of Christmas.  The coming Jesus Christ into the world split history in half.  He intervened to reverse death and pain bringing the promise of eternal redemption.  All this is summarized in a few verses in Matthew 1.

 

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).  Matthew 1:21-23 (NIV)

 

There are three things to consider this morning about Christmas:

 

  1. PARDON. “He will save His people from their sins.”  While Christmas presents are fantastic and we are thrilled to get great gifts, we ought to remember the deliverance Jesus purchased for us.  Christmas is a time for forgiveness.  We remember that this Baby came to be crucified!  He came to live a perfect life for us and die a sacrificial death that all our sins might be wiped away!

 

  1. “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord has said…”  Throughout Matthew, a phrase recurs: “that is might be fulfilled.”  God had already promised through prophecy all the good things He now gives.  We can therefore ask, “What has God promised ME?” He promises us so much.  He has great and wonderful provisions for all our future.  This is the promise of Christmas.

 

  1. PRESENCE. “and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).”  Immanuel is one of the names of Jesus.  GOD WITH US.  No matter how far you run, He will still be there.  No matter what you do, He will still be there.  His presence surrounds you and walks with you in all of life.  Because of this, we can enjoy His presence – His joy, His peace…and so much more.

 

As we celebrate Christmas today, remember how much Jesus has given us all another chance.  He has forgiven us of so much!  Even more, remember the good things He has promised.  The future is as bright as His Word to you.  Lastly, remember His hand on your life.  He has had His eye on you all along.  He goes before you.

 

As we enter a new year, let’s walk in these three powerful truths.  He is ELEVATING everything in your life.

 

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“We Hold These Truths…”

A NATION IN THE BALANCE:

“We Hold These Truths…”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dr. Robert W. Clanton

 

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with these words:

We Hold These TruthsWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—

A similar sentiment was voiced 87 years later (four score and seven years) by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

EQUALITY!

CREATED EQUAL. Continue reading

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“Give Me Liberty…”

Here are the Notes from the message this past Sunday at New Life Community Church, Monroe, Louisiana

A NATION IN THE BALANCE:

“Give Me Liberty…”

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dr. Robert W. Clanton

 

Liberty is a theme that runs throughout human history.  It is a major theme in the Bible.  Here are some verses to get us started.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36 (ESV)

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32 (ESV)

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1 (NASB)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isaiah 61:1 (ESV)

Continue reading

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“We the People…”

Series: A Nation in the Balance, Part 3

Message: “We the People…”

Sunday, June 12, 2016.  New Life Community Church, Monroe, Louisiana

 

 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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“A Time to Remember”

 

Series: A Nation in the Balance, Part 1

Message: “A Time to Remember”

Sunday, May 29, 2016.  New Life Community Church, Monroe, Louisiana

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend.  It is a time for remembering.  We are also beginning a series that will run this month called A NATION IN THE BALANCE.

I believe we are in a very important time in our national and cultural history.  It behooves us to take a moment to find out what God says about all this.  I was in a pastors meeting this past week and we all acknowledged that the old sound bites don’t seem to apply these days.  We are all in uncharted waters politically, culturally, economically, in pretty much every way.

So, in the coming month, we are going to look at our world and ask God what He is doing and saying to us.  If we are called to make a difference in North Louisiana, we need to know the playing field.  If we are called to advance the Kingdom both personally and as a church, we need to know what we’re up against.  We need to know the water we’re swimming in.  So, during June, I and we will look at an incredible picture.  It is a snapshot at our country.  In the words of I Chronicles 12:32, we must be like sons of Issachar. Continue reading

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Is It Christian to Carry a Gun?

To Tote or not to Tote. That is the Question.

What does the Bible say about self-defense? And particularly, is it acceptable for Christians and GunsChristians to carry a gun?

The age-old question is again before us. With the horrible events of recent weeks, legitimate concerns arise about defense against such senseless killings as took place in Charleston, South Carolina (in a church of all places) and now a movie theater in nearby Lafayette, Louisiana. So, what does the Bible say? Continue reading

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Concerning the Supreme Court Decision

Last Friday, June 26, 2015, was a historic day. The Supreme Court decision concerning same-sex marriage will go down as one of the most dramatically pivotal events in the legal and cultural history of our nation.Supreme Court

A host of questions now face us. What does the Supreme Court decision mean to the church and to people of biblical conviction that oppose same-sex marriage? What is going to happen now? What has changed, if anything? I want, in this short blog, to address these and other concerns.

Continue reading

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Our Pilgrimage

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lordwho have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.  The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.  They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.  Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)

Pilgrimage was an important part of Israel’s life in the Old Testament.  Three times a year, every man was expected to travel to Jerusalem “to appear before God” (Ex. 23:17 and Dt. 16:16).Pilgrimage

There is a group of Psalms called the Pilgrim Psalms (Psalm 120-134).  They describe the step by step journey Jews made to Jerusalem and the Temple.  But, they also describe our spiritual journey.

We do not have to travel to Jerusalem.  Ours is a journey of the heart.  We do not go three times a year.  We go every day. Continue reading

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Religious Liberty and Gay Marriage

For the past few weeks, I have watched the furor in Indiana over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  I have watched with a mixture of amazement, concern, and frustration.  I am amazed at how quickly this argument has degenerated into the worst aspects of the Culture Wars“culture wars” – name-calling, threats, and hatred.  I am concerned because in a “war” someone always loses.  I am frustrated because the argument goes crazy and real answers become clouded in rhetoric and confusion.

 

Opponents of the RFRA say it is a cunning endeavor to allow mean-spirited discrimination at all levels of our society.  Proponents say it is a needed defense against forcing anyone to actively participate in ceremonies or religious services that are against their beliefs. Continue reading

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