“One Thing”

June 17, 2008 by  
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Brent Amato - Last Words and the Last WordI’ve brought with me this morning six individuals: A rich young ruler, a healed blind man, David, Martha and Mary, and Paul. What do they all have in common? They all have come to preach you a sermon this morning!

Consider my dilemma this morning. Unlike your Senior Pastor, Dave, I’ve only got one shot at you. What should be preached with only one opportunity? I can’t really talk about a lot of things. I probably should talk only about one thing.

And when you think about life, aren’t there too many things? Too many things with your family…too many things in your other relationships…too many things around the house…too many things at work…too many challenges…too many responsibilities…too many things to do…too many things to be…And in our spiritual lives, don’t you feel sometimes there are too many things…too many things to do…too many things to be…how many sermons have you heard in the last year with three points, exhorting us to all sorts of applications…no shortage of spiritual input…Too many things.

Did you know that the Bible talks about “one thing”? It’s what links together the six individuals I mentioned.

One of the challenges of life and the spiritual life is priorities. According to Webster’s dictionary, a priority is “something which we give precedence by assigning a degree of importance to it.” One person has observed, “Most people have not settled the issue of what their priorities should be. Among those who do know, too few live according to these priorities.” Someone has once said, “One of the most difficult things to get people to do is do things in the order of their importance.” Wrong or unwise priorities lead to failure and in some cases to moral failures. Priorities involve focus and concentration which unleashes great power.

We’ve been studying the Psalms and I have challenged us to memorize a key verse (Psalm 40:3): “And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord”-Repeat it with me. You should be singing the song that God has given you and when you sing it, it will change you and impact people around you! But let me ask you
Will you hear, learn and remember the song God has given you?
Will you sing the song?
Will you sing the song joyfully?
Will the song cause you to…
Praise God in a new way?
Know God in a new way?
Fear God in a new way?
Trust God in a new way?

That’s my pray for us this morning! Are you with me?
Psalm 100 is a Psalm that take you back to basics:
What we should do every day no matter what
Why we should do it

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“A Time to Be Silent”

June 17, 2008 by  
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Brent Amato - A Time to be Silent“Come and listen…” Did you come this morning to listen to God? But before you can listen, truly listen, you need to be silent. Did you come this morning to be silent before God? Listen to God’s words. Turn to Ecclesiastes 3; verse 1 and a part of 7: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…(verse 7) A time to be silent.”

What if you came to church this morning and the sermon was without words? In obedience to the Book of James, Chapter 1, verse 22, let’s be doers of the Word this morning and “Be silent; silent before God”

Well, how was that? What did you do during that time? Some of you might have dozed off. Some of you might have become distracted, preoccupied with a particular thought, thinking about any of a number of things. Some of you felt uncomfortable, restless.

Do you know what Scripture says about silence?
1. Silence is in part what God deserves from his people
(Habakkuk 2:20) “‘But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.’”
(Zephaniah 1:7) “‘Be silent before the Lord God!’” Hush! Listen! (Zechariah 2:13) “‘Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord….’” Hush! Listen! 2. Silence is in part God’s desire for you
(Psalm 23:2) “…..He leads me beside quiet waters.” Hush! Listen! [Repeat]
3. Silence is an appropriate response to God
After Job’s rather vigorous vocal debate with God, he finally got it and his final response was one of shutting up. (Job 42:3, 5, 6) “I was talking about things I did not understand…I had heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” I suspect this episode was without further word.
4. Silence is linked to God’s blessing
(Lamentations 3:25-26) “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he wait silently…”
(Job 13:5) “‘O that you would be completely silent, and that it would become your wisdom!’”
(Proverbs 10:19b) “He who restrains his lips is wise.”
(Isaiah 41:1) “‘Listen to Me in silence, and let the peoples gain new strength….”

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“A Church Between Senior Pastors”

May 17, 2008 by  
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Brent Amato - A Church Between Senior PastorsIn the past, it was said, “There are two things certain about life: death and taxes.” Can I suggest a third thing that you are certain to encounter in your life? Change.

Change is part of a church’s life as well. Possibly the biggest change a church can face is the departure of its senior pastor. And when the pastor has been around for 21 years, it is change with a capital “C”. MBC in its 50 years has had four senior pastors. Sherrie and I have been attending MBC since the late 70’s and have experienced the departure of Pastor Higgs, Pastor Norris and now Pastor Peacock. Looking back, how have you responded to the departure of Pastor Peacock? We as humans react in a variety of ways (physically, mentally and emotionally) and are, with regard to Pastor Peacock’s departure, on a spectrum from “This is the end of MBC church life as we know it” to “No big deal”. Where are you on that spectrum? How are you reacting? What are you feeling? What are you thinking? What are you saying? What are you doing?

Let me take a different perspective? How do you react spiritually to change? How should you react from a spiritual perspective?

Now, let me change the perspective again-from reacting to preparing. Are you individually ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are we corporately ready for our next Senior Pastor? Are there any “clues” in Scripture about how we should be responding to our current “Senior Pastor-less” circumstances? Individually? Corporately? I believe there are “clues” and that’s where we’re headed

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