Program Air Date - 1-5-03



Happy New Year and welcome to our program this morning! As always, it is an honor to have you with us today as we give this time to God. I hope that everyone tuning in will take advantage of this time and participate, so that we all may give God the glory and grow according to His will. At this time, let's talk to our God in prayer!


Isn't it nice to know where you are going or where you need to go. Sometimes the hardest decisions in life deal with trying to figure out the road to take. This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song that tells us about a guide in this life, that can really show us the way. Furthermore, with His help, the decision making process is made so much easier. So, won't you join with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah."

(SONG # 1)


Can you believe it, here we are in the year 2003. Today is January 5th and we are still alive and things are pretty much the same. The fact is, we are all here today, just as we were yesterday and if God permits, just as we will be tomorrow.

When will man ever realize that if he will just turn to God and trust in Him, then nothing else really matters. We can do and accomplish anything in God and with His help, Philippians 4:13. I think our biggest problem as mankind is the false sense of security that comes from thinking we can do things alone. Or that we have accomplished the great things of the day, through our own abilities and greatness, without the help of anyone or anything else. This is not what the Bible teaches!

In 2 Samuel 22:31, we read, "As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." Isn't all of this the truth? God is perfect and has been proven to be true for thousands of years - He has stood the test of time. His Word has been seen as that which could only come from a perfect being, as something which is as perfect as it's giver!

The final part of that verse also says a lot to us about why we should depend on God. Because He is our shield, and protector - to those who trust in Him. So what does this trust involve? Obviously, the ability to trust in God comes from our faith in Him, His Word and His promises. He protects us because He sees our faith in action, as we are obedient to Him through following His Will!

We also know that God not only protects, but He cares for us. In 1 Peter 5:7, we read, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." Jesus cares for us and protects us, just as He promises in His Word.

Finally, we can be confident that the Lord our God provides for us. Jesus himself said, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith," Matthew 6:30? God will provide! Also, notice what Christ further stated in verse 33 of the same passage, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

As followers of God, if we put Him first and His kingdom, and if we strive to do His will as he has asked us to, then He has promised us His protection and care. Furthermore, as we have seen He will give us what we have need of, because He blesses those who follow what He says! Are you receiving these blessings and promises from God? If not, I would ask you why not? Are you living as He asks you to, according to His will? Choose today to truly serve God and He will give you all these things we have discussed!

This morning we will be concluding our decision on the "Cross of Jesus Christ." Our specific lesson of the day will talk about the "Victory we have through it." To guide us in these thoughts this morning, we have a guest speaker with us who has been with us before, Mark McCarty. Brother McCarty is one of our fine deacons at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ, he is a good speaker and a good friend. So, stay with us and in just a few minutes we will return with this discussion from God's Word. Won't you join in at this time as we sing our second hymn of the day, its name, "He Keeps Me Singing!"

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Mark McCarty

Good morning. It's hard to believe that another year has already passed, but here we are at the beginning of a new year. It is my wish this morning that with each day this new year brings that your lives might be filled with joy and prosperity, and that each of us might commit our hearts and our lives to the one and only true and living God and that we might faithfully serve Him each day and enjoy the abundance of His love and His mercy and that we might be filled with His blessings.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 beginning in verse 50, we find the words of the apostle Paul as he tells us that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." It goes on to say that "we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed at the last trumpet..." he says, "for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." In verse 53, he says, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality." And in verse 54, he says, "Death is swallowed up in victory." In verse 55, "Oh death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is law. In verse 57, "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

In Romans chapter 5 beginning in verse 6, we find these words. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." In verse 8, "God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Having now been justified by His blood, we shall now be saved from wrath through Him for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more be reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

In Philippians chapter 2 and verse 8, the apostle says, "And being found in appearance as a man." That is Jesus Christ. "He humbled Himself and He became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Christ died for the ungodly. Our God displayed His love toward us in the death of His son. We are justified by His blood. Enemies of God, yet the opportunity to be reconciled to Him. Saved by the life of Christ Jesus. He humbled Himself, obedient to the point of death, the death of the cross. But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Victory is found in and through the cross of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was prophesied of old that the Messiah would come. His life offered as a sacrifice for the sins of this world. His blood shed to cleanse and to make us pure. It is in His death and His burial and His resurrection that we find hope. The promises and rewards of God found only in and through the cross of Jesus Christ. Our God chose Calvary as the place to offer His son, our Savior. He chose the cross so that we might be heirs of the grace of God and partakers in the promises and rewards of the heavenly kingdom.

This morning, I come to you with a lesson simply titled "The Cross of Jesus- Our Victory Through It." With most any victory, there comes rewards or treasures, if you will. Our victories upon this earth or in this life are often rewarded with trophies of medals or certificates or money, possibly promotions. And the same is true with our victory won in Jesus Christ. "When one is obedient to the gospel of Christ Jesus, when one hears the Word and believes," Romans 10:17 and John 6:45, "when one repents of their sins, that changing of the heart that leads to a changed life," Acts 17:30 and Luke 13:3, 2 Corinthians 7:8-9, "When one confesses Jesus as the son of God," Acts 8:37, Matthew 10:32, "when one is baptized or immersed in water," Acts 2 and 38, Mark 16:16, Romans 6:4, "Our sins removed, raised up to walk a new life, clothed with Jesus Christ, children of God. At that moment, we are partakers in the victory and recipients of the promises and rewards of God." Why? Because of the cross and our obedience through faith to the will of God.

With the few minutes that we have this morning, I'd like to talk to you about a few of the rewards or the promises that we have as a result of our Savior giving His life on the cross of Calvary.

Number 1: Because of the cross, we have access to salvation. "For God so loved the world..." John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

In Ephesians chapter 2, beginning in verse 1, the apostle says, "And you be made alive who are dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked according to the course of this world." In verse 4, he says, "But God who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ. By grace you are saved." In verse 6, and "He raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus that the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Jesus Christ. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves. It is the gift of God." Then down in verse 10, he says, "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works."

In John chapter 1 beginning in verse 1, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." He was in the beginning with God. Verse 14, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory." In verse 29, John the baptizer proclaims Him as "the Lamb of God who come to take away the sins of the world."

In John chapter 19 and verse 25, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother." And in verse 26, "When Jesus saw His mother, He said to her, 'Woman, behold your son.'" And in verse 30, we find Jesus as He spoke His last words and He said, "It is finished. And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." In verse 34, we find "a soldier as he pierced the side of our Savior and immediately there came forth blood and water."

In John chapter 1 and verse 12, "But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God to those who believed on His name."

Because of the cross, we do not have to perish. Because of the cross, there will be everlasting life. Because of the cross, we can be made alive. Because of the cross, we can be alive together with Christ Jesus. Because of the cross, we can sit together in heavenly places in Jesus Christ. Because of the cross, we can be His workmanship. Because of the cross, we have the right, the opportunity, the privilege to become the children of God to be created in Christ. Because of the cross, we are offered the gift of salvation.

Number 2: Because of the cross, we have access to the peace and security of God. In Philippians chapter 4 and verse 1, we find these words beginning in verse 1, we find the recipe for true peace. He says, "So stand fast in the Lord. I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companions, help these women who labored with me in the gospel with Clement also, and with the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men." Verse 6, "Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus."

If we want true peace, we must stand fast in the Lord, being of the same mind, laboring in the gospel, being fellow workers together, rejoicing, being a rejoicing people always, being gentle, being anxious for nothing, going to our God in prayer, making our supplications, making our requests known and being thankful, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding and is beyond our understanding will guard our hearts and our minds through Christ Jesus.

In verse 8 he says, "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. Those things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in Me, these do, and the peace of God will be with you."

Because of the cross, we can stand fast in the Lord. Because of the cross, we can be of the same mind in the Lord. Because of the cross, we can be true companions. Because of the cross, we can labor in the gospel. Because of the cross, we can be fellow workers. Because of the cross, our names are recorded in the book of life. Because of the cross, we can rejoice. Because of the cross, we have access to the throne of God in prayer. Because of the cross, we make supplication. Because of the cross, we can come with thanksgiving. Because of the cross, my friends, our hearts and our minds are guarded through Christ Jesus. Because of the cross, the peace of God Almighty shall surround and protect us.

In Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3, the apostle says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ."

The rewards and the promises of God, the spiritual blessings are found only in the cross of Jesus Christ. God gave us the cross and Jesus Christ marked it with His blood. Because of the cross, all we need is God. Because of the cross, God's grace is sufficient. Because of the cross, God's strength is made perfect in weakness. Because of the cross, we can withstand reproaches of this world. Because of the cross, all our needs are supplied. Because of the cross, we can endure the persecutions of this life.

Allow me to close this morning by saying this. In 1 Corinthians 1 and verse 18, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Won't you come to the cross this morning?

(SONG # 3 - "Standing On The Promises!")


Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to worshiping God in His way!

Now, let me ask you if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Or possibly we could assist you with free Bible materials for further study purposes? No matter what your need is, please feel free to contact us at the following address:

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May God help us to be good decision makers, by depending more on Him and using His Word as the standard. (Program closing)