FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following message was both prepared and preached by "Dad" (Bruce) to the Community Church of Fort Hancock, Texas, on July 17, 1994. This was his first sermon in front of a live audience. In fact his sermonet writing career had only started a few months earlier (see The First Sermonet from March 6, 1994) after he and his son Luis made the move from South Carolina to Texas. You see the Lord had instructed the Hallman family (see Early Beginnings) to pack-it-up and head-on-out to Texas, so thatís what they did on December 27, 1993... well at least two of them did anyway. Because it was his wifeís idea (Annie) that the rest of the family would follow after first selling the South Carolina farm. Now it was after about three months of having been separated from the rest of his children that Dad decided to teach them the Bible through the mail, that is until the wife and children could make-it-on-down to Texas. Well it was very shortly after Dad had given the following sermon at the Community Church that Annie informed him of the fact that sheíd decided not to make the move. And seeing how the Lord had already instructed the Hallman family to "make the move to Texas and donít turn back", Father God was really preparing Dad, through this very same sermon, to make the tough decision that He was going to have to make concerning his family (see sermon #2 The True Word Of God? for more details):
Why Me Lord?
Good Morning. First of all Iíd like to thank all of you for this opportunity. In case you havenít been told, this is my first publicly given sermon. Being separated from the rest of the family, due to our relocating to Texas, I make it a habit to write Annie (who is my wife) and the children a mini sermon every week. These mini sermons address family issues and tell where the answers to these problems are found in the Bible. I have never preached a sermon although Annie says that I preach to her all the time. Please keep it in mind that I am an engineer by profession and that my thought pattern evolves around pictures not words. Iíll try my best to verbalize today since I donít see a chalkboard to draw on.
Iíve chosen for the sermon today, and might I add with much influence from our Heavenly Father, "Why Me Lord?" You see this message was planned ahead. This is not a coincidence that Iím here today. It was all planned and not by me. I first saw this church about three months ago when I was driving around Fort Hancock. I was looking for a prospective farm site for the family and I happened to drive by this church. Well Sunday two weeks ago, Luis and I were watching a Methodist church service on TV when I had a definite stirring of my spirit to attend Fort Hancock Methodist Church. I took a guess at the time of the service and I guessed wrong. We missed the church service but arrived just in time for Sunday School. There was also something very different about the sign out front. It read Community Church not Methodist Church.
Brother Charlie met us outside and invited us in to a very warm and friendly group of folks. After the lesson Brother Charlie asked if we would like to go to the restaurant for some good home cooking. I told him, "no thanks, I have to go write the sermon for the family." Well that was when it happened. Faster than a bolt of lightening Brother Charlie asked, "have you ever preached a sermon? Iím going to be on vacation for two weeks starting next Saturday." That was when it all came to me, ĎWhy Me Lord?í
Before we get into the meat of this message let me tell you an inside secret. I feel God gave me the guidance to put these thoughts on paper. He also reminded me constantly ALL WEEK LONG that this message also applies to Bruce Hallman. Just keep it in mind that Iím preaching to you and me.
I donít know if all of you are born again Christians, but one of the grass roots Bible verses concerning our salvation is Romans 10:9-10. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." I have just read from the King James Bible, but for those who canít understand the wording letís put it into everyday language: If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Matthew Henryís commentary says it very well, "a brief summary of the terms of salvation; that we must give up, to God, our souls and our bodies - our souls in believing with the heart, and our bodies in confessing with the mouth. For whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. He will not be ashamed to own that Christ in whom he trust; he that believes in the heart will not be ashamed to confess with the mouth. He shall not be ashamed of his hope in Christ." In other words we have to speak Jesus, live Jesus, and for all practical purposes be addicted to Jesus. Jesus is all that should matter. He should be overwhelmingly in us. This is true salvation.
Now turn to Galatians 3:26. It reads, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." We receive our salvation by confessing and believing in the Lord Jesus. This faith that he is talking about in Galatians is the same faith that is needed to confess and believe. This faith in Jesus Christ, combined with our confessing and believing in Jesus Christ, allows us to become the children of God.
Reading from Matthew 12:50; Jesus says, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." By the way, since we are on this verse, let me say one thing that is slightly off the subject. The Catholic people are beautiful people, but this verse in itself shows that Maryís connection with the Heavenly Father can only be as great as any other believing Christianís. If we do the will of Jesusí Father (our Heavenly Father), we are the same as Jesusí brother, sister, or mother. There is only one divine parent, our Heavenly Father, the Almighty God. So once again, if we are to be the children of God (brothers, sisters, and mothers to Jesus) we must do the will of our Heavenly Father (Jesusí Father in Heaven). We must obey our Heavenly Father just as we who are parents should expect our children to obey our desires. As children of God, our brother Jesus the Christ has set the example for His brothers, sisters, and mothers. He has set a standard of perfection that we should all follow. That standard is to trust and obey our Heavenly Father when the Holy Spirit prompts us to do Godís will; when He ask us to go on a mission for God. That sounds exciting doesnít it? A mission for God. Thatís the way we should see it. As His children we should be sworn to give our life for the cause of Christ and to continually do Godís will.
How many of you Christians have ever felt an urging by the Holy Spirit to do something for God? I mean something that just the thought of made you uncomfortable. We call this part of the Christian Ďthe fleshí. The flesh is the part of us that is Ďin the worldí and we all know that the world is becoming a terribly corrupted place. The flesh is the part of us that says "Lord I canít witness to anyone about Jesus, I might get embarrassed", the part of us that says "Lord I donít have time to dig deep into the Bible for the Truth", you know the part of us that has a million excuses "why not to". I know how tough it is to do Godís will. Most of the time itís not only inconvenient but downright embarrassing. Now the question, why is it embarrassing?
Letís run through the road map to success one more time. How do you become a child of God and family member with Jesus Christ? There are three steps that we have covered. First, you have to accept salvation by confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart that Jesus died and paid the penalty for all your sins. Second, you have to believe that this faith in Jesus Christ has made you a child of God. Third, becoming a child of God has made Jesus your brother, to be a perfect example for your life. His perfect example shows us to obey only our Heavenly Father. Now, once again, why do we get embarrassed? We are letting the flesh get in the way. The flesh is of the world and Satan has control of the world. If we let the flesh control us, then we are allowing Satan his will. So how can we be obedient to God if we listen to Satan?
Satan is very deceiving and low down. He will use even your closest friend or family to get his way. Let me give you an example of this directly from the Bible. The story is a little biased towards the male gender, but women donít worry. In everyday life it works both ways. Reading from Genesis 3:4, "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." That lying devil. He persuaded Eve to believe that God didnít tell Adam the whole truth. Satan convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Now, who convinced Adam to eat this fruit? Could it have been that Satan used Adamís "help meet" to interfere with Godís desires. We have got to learn that nothing is of more importance than doing the will of God. Nobody in this world, not mother, father, wife, husband, boss, or anybody else of importance should override Godís will.
There is a very good reason why we should always remember what Peter said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men." If we are Godís children and we question our Heavenly Father as to why we should do His will, then we are not obeying Him. Reading from Proverbs 3:11-12, "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." We can say "why me Lord", "not me Lord", "I canít today Lord", but if we disobey Him then we have to be prepared for His chastening.
One of my favorite examples of this, in the Bible, is the story of Jonah. Reading from Jonah 1:1-3, "Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshis from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."
In this story we see a perfect example of "the flesh" overriding Godís will. Jonah is a child of God and his calling is that of a prophet. The Lord assigns him a mission to Nineveh, and like so many of us, he says: "Why me Lord? Iím not the one for this job Lord. Youíll have to find someone else." Jonah tried to run from God by taking a cruise but in verse 4 we see the chastening of the Lord about to start. The Lord sends a storm. Jumping to verse 15, "So they look up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging." On to verse 17, "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."
There are many who donít believe this fish story to be true. Mr. Jack Chick records in one of his publications a similar real life story. In the early 1900ís, on the English Channel, a sailor attempting to harpoon a giant shark lost his footing and fell into the water. Immediately he was swallowed up by the great shark. Two days later this same shark was caught, and, upon cutting him open, the sailors found Charlie. Charlie was still alive! He was a mess no doubt, but still alive. In fact the stomach acids in the sharkís stomach not only removed all of Charlieís hair (permanently) but also discolored and splotched his skin (permanently). I can also imagine the smell of fish that his skin carried for a long time. In fact for the rest of his life the townspeople called him Ďsharkmaní whenever he passed by.
Letís get back to the story of Jonah, and by relating what actually happened to Old Charlie we can get a much clearer picture of Jonahís condition. Jonah was in the great fish three days and three nights whereas Old Charlie was only being digested for two days. Jonahís condition had to have been considerably worse than Old Charlieís. Reading from verse 10 of chapter 2, "And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon dry land. Now Jonah had three days and three nights of extreme discomfort to think about why he said no to God.
Reading chapter 3:1-3, "And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three daysí journey." It appears that God managed to convince Jonah to complete the mission after all. Can you imagine what the people of Nineveh must have thought when they saw this huge fish swim up to land and throw-up this pitiful looking creature. Jonah must have looked as though he was dug up from the grave; no hair, skin discolored, and a definite odor of fish. He was a mess but this time he did as he was told. Traveling through the city he told everyone to repent or be prepared for the wrath of the Lord.
This message should be an excellent example of why we should say "yes Lord". This message was directed to Christians. If what I have said has been of any benefit to you and your life, please give God the glory. This message came from Him.
These altars were made for those who want to admit their failures and ask God for His forgiveness. These altars are also for those who arenít Christians but who are ready to dedicate their life to the Lord.
Now is the time.
The Squirrel And The Promised Land
How many of you know the story in the Bible about Moses taking Godís chosen people (the Israelites) into the Promised Land? The story goes that the Israelites were being held as slaves by the Egyptians. The Egyptian people were very mean to Godís chosen people. God picked Moses to help the Israelites escape Egypt. Moses was to take them to Godís Promised Land. This was a special country that God had prepared just for His chosen people. This land was described "as flowing with milk and honey". Do you like milk and honey? We could say cookies and milk. God wanted to give His children the best. All they had to do was believe in God. Did the Israelites make it into the Promised Land? No, they quit believing in God and they never made it. They feared the giants that were in the Promised Land.
Now let me tell you another true story. This story is about a little squirrel and his Promised Land. It really happened to me last Sunday as I was on my way to church. Crossing the road was a little bushy tailed squirrel. He was coming from the desert side. On the opposite side of the road was a big grove of pecan trees. Do squirrels like pecans? You better believe they do! This little squirrel had almost crossed the road when he saw me coming in my truck. He could have made it to the Promised Land easily but he turned around and ran, all the way back to the desert. Why did he do it? Just like the Israelites who turned and ran because of fear, this squirrel did the same. If we believe in God, He will give us all the cookies, milk, and pecans we need.
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