Archive for First Alliance Church Atlanta

01-17-21 Kevin Goins - How Jesus Taught Us To Pray

“How Jesus Taught us to Pray” 
Matthew 6:9-13
We usually spend the month of January emphasizing the spiritual disciplines, including prayer.  This year we are looking at prayer and worship.  Last week we saw that the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to be begin our prayer with worship.  Today we want to look at the remaining petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.                  

I Last Sunday we saw that Jesus teaches us to pray to the Father “who is in ______________” (6:9).

 A. What is heaven distinguished by?  E_______________ w________________.

B. Jesus teaches us that prayer must begin with ____________________.

II The nest ________ petitions of the Lord’s Prayer go together; they are inseparable: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (6:10).

A. The Kingdom of God is people who treat God as their ____________, and when we treat God as king, we want his ______________ to be done.

B. Those who belong to the Kingdom of God v____________ God’s will so much we pray that his will would be accomplished in us and in our world.

C. When we ask God to grow his kingdom and use us to do his will, we are asking him to make us r________________________ for the cause of Christ.

D. The kingdom of this world is opposed to the Kingdom of God and so those who really care about the advance of God’s Kingdom must be ______________.

III Now we come to the petition with which we often spend most of our time:  asking for our ______________________ needs (6:11).  Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily _________________.”
  
A. Why is this important?

1. It is important, first, because it means that Jesus v______________ bread.

a. It is e___________ for us to focus most of our prayer on physical needs.

B. Jesus says to pray for bread, and bread is not just bread, it is also b________________ and b_________________. 

C. The point is that by teaching us to pray for the physical needs of life Jesus gives d______________ to the physical nature of our existence. 

2. This petition is important, secondly, because Jesus tells us we should pray it d_________________.

3. There is one more thing that is important about this petition:  It is not a p_______________________ request, it is a c___________________ request.

a. How can we pray for our needs and ignore those who are in even w______________ need?

b. But if we do not first ask God to give to __________, we will not have anything with which to meet the needs of ______________.

B. Jesus told us to a____________ and to ask e__________ d______________.

IV Now we come to the fifth petition:  “Forgive us our d______________ as we also have forgiven our d___________________.”

A. Jesus died to pay our debt, so that when we trust in him we can ask God to f__________________ us and, because of _______________, he will.

B. “As” is a comparative and it means “to the s____________ extent that.”  So, what we are praying is:  “God forgive me to the same extent that I have been w____________ to forgive the one who wronged me.” 

c. Our greatest privilege as believers is to confess our sins and ask God to forgive us, but we f_______________ that right when we are not willing to forgive the one who wronged us.

V With the last petition Jesus reminds us that we are in a spiritual b___________________:  “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

 -“Lead us not into temptation” means draw us away from the temptation we do not know is h______________ around the corner, and, when we do encounter temptation, then “_________________ us from the evil one.”

01-10-21 Kevin Goins - How Jesus Taught Us To Begin Every Prayer

“How Jesus Taught us to Begin Every Prayer” 
Matthew 6:9
We usually spend the month of January emphasizing the spiritual disciplines, including prayer.  This year I would like to look at prayer and one of the disciplines we can easily overlook:  worship.  Worship is not only a spiritual discipline, like prayer, but prayer actually depends on the discipline of worship.  What I mean by that is what we see in our text today.                    

I First, prayer must begin with worship because it gives us the opportunity to speak the kind of truth that can c______________ our lives (John 8:31).

 A. Worship is simply t______________ the t____________ about God.

B. When we say God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent, we are not trying to e__________________________ him.  We speak these words, first, because they are w___________ of t_____________. 

C. Speaking the truth about God has the power to s________ us f__________:

1. When we speak the truth that God is unlimited in power, it can free us from the fear of our c_____________________________.

2. When we speak the truth that God is a God of grace, it can free us from our slavery to g_____________ and condemnation.

3. When we speak the truth that God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us, it can free us from the lie that life has no d___________________.

D. By reminding us how God can set us free, worship actually begins to chip away at the l_________ that bind us.

E. Worship itself is the beginning of God’s a__________________ to our prayer.

II Second, prayer must begin with worship because it reminds us that real prayer is concerned about __________ and not just our ___________ (Matthew 6:5).

A. The Lord’s Prayer begins with an effort to get our eyes o______ ourselves by getting our eyes o______ God and his work.

B. The greatest barrier between ourselves and God is our s_____-c_________________.

C. Jesus does not want us to be limited to f____-i___ prayers – he wants us to get serious about praying for God’s g_____________.

D. What kind of relationship can we have with God if our prayers are always about _____ and never about __________?

III Third, prayer must begin with worship because that kind of prayer changes our whole e___________________________ (6:9).
  
A. Why does Jesus want to remind us that the one to whom we pray lives in ____________________?

1. First, the fact that the one to whom we pray is in heaven tells us something about how we ought to a_________________________ him.

 -The breath of ___________ is worship, and so the breath of ____________ should also be worship.

2. Second, getting our minds on where God is as we pray can dramatically change how we v______________ our life.

B. Have you ever prayed and felt like God was far away?  Maybe it is because we are acting like people who are not in God’s p_____________________.

C. If all we want is to pray in the presence of God’s p_________________, then worship is not necessary.  But if we want to pray in the presence of _________, we must pray on holy ground, and on holy ground people ______________.    

01-03-21 Jennifer Bliss-Criswell - The Holiness of God

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Bible, Holiness by facatl on January 11th, 2021

12-27-20 Kevin Goins - What the Wisemen Teach Us About Worship

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Wisemen, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 30th, 2020

“What the Wisemen Teach Us About Worship” 
Matthew 2:1-12
Only Matthew tells us about the wisemen who came to see the newborn King of the Jews.  In many ways these strange visitors are clothed in mystery.  We actually know very little about them.  We do, however, know two very important things:  the wisemen teach us that the good news of Christmas should stir us to worship, and they give us valuable insight into how we can be worshipers.  What do they teach us?                   

I First, the wisemen teach us that to be worshipers we must be people who are ______-sighted, not ________-sighted (2:1-2).

A. Worship calls for a radically d_______________ perspective:  we must take our eyes off ourselves and look far beyond our own i_________________ concerns.

B. “Until __________ gets something out of our worship, we never will. 

II Second, the wisemen teach us that if we are going to be worshipers, we must stand against h__________________ and i_______________ (2:3-8).

A. As worshipers our first challenge is to face the opposition of those who think our worship is i_____________.

B. Our second challenge is to face the greatest enemy of worship we will ever face, and that is o______ o______ indifference.

III Third, the wisemen teach us that worship compels us to _________ something (2:9).
  
A. Nowhere does the Bible depict worship as a restful undemanding activity where you just s_________ and w___________.

B. Worship begins in the _______________, but it does not stop there; it moves to our mouth, hands, and feet.

IV Fourth, the wisemen teach us that real worship is accompanied by j_______________ g____________ (2:10-11).

A. Giving to God may just be the most s________________ form of worship in which we will ever take part.

B. When we give God our money, and we do it with real joy, we are saying that God is w___________ more to us than anything, and to say that is to worship.

V Lastly, the wisemen teach us that worship always c______________ us (2:12).

12-20-20 Kevin Goins Advent 4 Unafraid to Love

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on December 22nd, 2020

Luke 2:15-20
We do not need a degree in psychology to realize that there are people around us who are afraid to love.  Some of these people have good reasons for their fear.  They may have loved in the past but the one to whom they gave their love did not prove faithful.  There are, in fact, many reasons why people might be afraid to take a chance on love.  Regardless of the reason, however, when fear deprives us of love, we are missing out on what God intended life to be.  But there is hope.  What do we need to do to overcome our fear to love?             

I First, we must p________________ love (2:15-16).

A. If the shepherds had not pursued, if they had waited, they would have m____________ it all.

B. To know and love anyone, including Jesus, we must i_______________ our fear, get up, and pursue.

II Second, we must a_____________________ our love (2:17-18)

A. That is what love does:  it publicizes itself; it makes itself k__________________.

B. “I love you” should not be the l___________ thing that is said, it should be the f__________ thing that is said.

III Third, we must t_______________ about our love (2:19).
  
A. It is interesting to see how Mary’s thoughts about her baby d__________________ over time.

1. She thought about what G_______________ said to her, what E_____________ said to her, and now what the s_______________ said to her. 

2. She is h______________ on to these words and now she is taking time to ponder them.

3. Even though Mary was the mother of the Messiah, her brain could not g_____________ it all.

B. Love is one of the greatest truths of life and, for that reason, we need to ponder it, because what we ponder we cannot i________________.

IV Fourth, we must c________________ our love (2:20).

 -We express our appreciation, not just by saying thanks, but by c________________ the way we live in order to glorify Jesus.

12-13-20 Kevin Goins Advent 3 Fearless Joy

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Christmas by facatl on December 14th, 2020

Advent 2021:  Fearless Joy
Luke 2:1-14
Nothing threatens our joy like fear.  Sadly, we live in a time when fears not only multiply like rabbits, but these rabbits are bigger than elephants.  Fortunately for us, Advent tell us that we can have a joy which is stronger than all of our fears.  How can we keep fear from spoiling our joy?      

I First, fear cannot keep us from practicing joy if we truly believe that m______________ and t______________ are not necessary for joy (Luke 2:1-5).

A. If we seek desirable things as the way to bring joy to our life, that can only mean that joy d_________________ on material things.

B. Is the joy God gave to us at Christmas dependent on our ability to buy nice things for ourselves and our family?  If that is true, then our joy can never be s_______________.

II Second, fear cannot keep us from practicing joy if our heart is open to s_________________ (Luke 2:6-7)

A. The Israelites knew how hard the life of an alien or stranger could be, and since God met their needs in Egypt, out of g___________________ to God, they must meet the needs of others.

B. If we are offended by Jesus as a homeless man sleeping on a park bench, how offended are we by Jesus being born in a b________ where the smell of m______________ fills the air?

III Every Advent we talk about how d_________________ the shepherds were in the society of their day (Luke 2:8-12).  

A. They were despised for several reasons:

1. Their close confinement with animals made them literally and religiously u____________________.

2. Their itinerant lifestyle, moving with the sheep from one pasture to another, made people s__________________ of them.

3. Their uncleanness and itinerant lifestyle meant they were never at the Temple or the Synagogue, and so people saw them as i______________________.

B. The angel said this “good news of great joy” is for “all people,” which means that if we e______________ anyone, then it is no longer good news.

C. This brings us to the third truth Luke teaches us:  fear cannot keep us from experiencing joy if our hearts are o________________ to the people of the world.

IV Finally, fear cannot keep us from experiencing joy if we rely on grace rather than our p_________________________ (Luke 2:13-14).

A. The Kingdom of evil promotes the lie that a relationship with God is only for those who can m_______________ u________ to God’s perfect standards.

B. Relying on God’s favor r____________ o__________ our performance.

C. When God’s one and only Son was born in Bethlehem, the whole purpose was to provide p_________________ for condemned people.  

12-06-20 Kevin Goins Advent 2 Do Not Be Afraid to bring Peace

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, peace, Christmas by facatl on December 7th, 2020

Advent 2021:  Bringing Peace
Luke 1:46-55
If there is one word that usually always finds its way into our understanding of the Christmas story, that word is peace.  Whether the observer is Christian or non-Christian, people cannot go very long in discussing the meaning of Christmas without bringing up this word.  Of course, we often have very different understandings of what this peace actually consists.  Fortunately for us, the second most important character in the Christmas story had a clear vision of this peace and she is going to share it with us today.  What exactly is this peace that the Christ child gives?    

I First, the peace this child will bring is p_____________________ peace.

A. Mary says, “My very life, my spirit, the d______________ part of me, the e__________________ of who I am, glorifies God for what he has done for me.”

B. Mary, throughout her life, was treated as a nothing, and that is no exaggeration:

 1. First, she was an u_______________ teenage girl.

 2. Second, she was dirt-_____________.

 3. Third, she was a citizen of an e__________________ nation.

C. Mary says, “God did not call me to be an i____________________ for his child, not a means to an end.  To him I am a v_________________ person.

II Second, this peace is s___________________.  Peace has to do with how we t____________ each other in this world.

A. First, she says, “He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.”  This is a s_____________________ revolution.

B. Second, Mary says, “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.”  This is a p____________________ revolution.

C. Third, Mary says, “He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”  This is an e____________________________ revolution.

1. Some believe that all this attention which Jesus and Luke give to the poor is not about p_______________ poverty; it is about s__________________ poverty.

a. First, Jesus does not say, “Blessed are you who are poor spiritually.”  He says, “Blessed are you p_______________.”

b. Second, remember that most of the people in Israel in Jesus’ day were l______________ poor; they had very, very little to eat.
 -So, if the good news Jesus had for these physically poor people was limited to spiritual bread, then Jesus was being horribly c___________.

2. Some think that what Mary is talking about here refers to the s______________ coming of Jesus.  

a. But how odd that Mary would praise God for the second coming of her son b______________ she has even experienced his first coming.

B. Second, Mary does not speak in the f_____________ tense in these verses.

3. What began with the birth of Jesus has obviously not yet been c_____________________.  

 -Which means that while we look forward to the second coming when all the hungry will be filled and every wrong will be made right, we cannot simply sit back and w______________ for Jesus to do it a_________.  

 
III Third, this peace is s_____________________.
-How does God show mercy “to Abraham and his descendants forever?”  By placing Jesus in the w_____________ of Mary.  In other words, by sending a S___________________.

11-29-10 Kevin Goins - Advent 1 Do Not Be Afraid To Hold On To Hope

Posted in sermon, First Alliance Church Atlanta, Christianity, Dr. Kevin Goins, Advent, Bible, Christmas by facatl on November 30th, 2020

Advent 2021:  Holding on to Hope
Luke 1:26-45 
I (Luke 1:26) “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.’  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”  

 First, we need to be _________ to God’s message of hope.

A. Luke doesn’t say Mary was troubled because an angel spoke to her; what troubled her was the _______________.  Nevertheless, she was open to ___________ the message.

B. That is why when Medieval artists portrayed the Holy Spirit coming to Mary to enable her to conceive the Messiah, they pictured the Holy Spirit, as a dove, entering Mary through her ___________________.

 John 3:8, “The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
  
II (1:30) “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the House of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’”

 Second, we need a ______________ from God.
 
A. Gabriel doesn’t say, “Mary, you are highly ____________________.  He says, “You are graciously ________________.”

B. The message of Christmas is that the gift given to Mary has also been given to ______.

(Colossians 1:27) “It is Christ in you that is your hope of glory.”
(Galatians 2:20) “I have been crucified with Christ.  I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

III (1:34) “’How will this be’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’  The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So, the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.’”  

 Third, we need something to believe in which is _________________ ourselves.

A. People have a hard time with the virgin birth, but their doubt is m__________________ because virgin birth is nothing compared to i________________________. 

B. If Mary had been told that she and her husband Joseph were going to have a child who would be Israel’s Savior, then they would have been forced to believe in ___________________________.

C. There would have been no hope in that message, but only s______________, and w________________, and feelings of i_____________________________.

“‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So, the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God…. For nothing is impossible with God.’”

IV (1:38) “’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.  ‘May it be to me as you have said.’  Then the angel left her.”

 Fourth, we need a willingness to __________________.

A. Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve….”  Like s_________, like m_____________.

B. Selfish desires have ________ power when life seems hopeless, which means hopelessness keeps selfishness in check.  For this reason, God cannot take away our hopelessness until we are willing to a_______________ our selfish way of living.

V (1:39-45) “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed:  ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear.  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.’”  

Fifth, we need h___________________.

A. Mary took the favor God had poured out on her and she did not h________________ it, she poured it out on o______________.

B. Mary was the most favored woman in human history, but she played the part of a w_________________ servant, and that is humility.

VI Would you like to hold on to hope while our world is being severely tested?  Mary shows us how:

 (1)  We must be ___________ to hope.

 (2) We need to understand that hope is __________ something we can create.

(3) We must see that hope is a ___________ and we must receive that gift through _____________.

(4&5) To keep us from becoming proud and self-centered, we need to receive hope as _________________ and we must practice ________________.  

 

 

11-15-20 Dr. Mick Noel - Portraits of Gratitude and Ingratitude

Sermon from Luke 4

11-01-20 Kevin Goins - After 2020 Can We Look to 2021 with Hope? Annual Report

After 2020 Can We Look to 2021 with Hope?
Romans 8:18-30 
I In Romans 8:18-30 Paul gives us ___________ reasons why we should face the coming year with hope.

II First, we ought to hope because only hope can help us see our disappointments in the _________________ way.

 (8:18) “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

 A. What does Paul mean?

  1. First, suffering p________________ us for the glory which lies ahead.

(1Peter 1:6-7) “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

  2. Second, suffering helps us to see things as they ____________ are.

(2 Corinthians 4:17-18) “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

B. Paul reminds us that for a Christian there is far more happening in our lives than what we can _______________.

III Second, we ought to hope because God has built hope into his entire _________________.

 (8:19-23) “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly and as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

 (Genesis 3:17) “Because of your sin, cursed is the ground because of you.”

A. The effect of the physical creation being cursed is that nature is now _____________ _________________.

B. Because the physical world is c__________________ to us, it too is seeking what we are seeking:  It wants God to make things ______________.

(Revelation 21:1) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

IV Third, we ought to hope because our hope does not depend on what we can see with our p_______________ e_________.

 (8:24-25) “For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

 A. Pastor Jennifer Bliss-Criswell (Worship Report)

 B. Paul and Nancy Gieschen (Discovery Class Report)

 C. Margaret Goins (ESL Report and Children’s and Youth Report)

V Fourth, we ought to hope because the one who makes hope possible is the ______________ ______________ who lives within us.

 (8:26-27) “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

VI Finally, we ought to hope because for the Christian, hope is never a __________________.

 (8:28-30) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

VII We have hope as a church because a church is made up of people who know _______________ and everyone who knows __________________ has hope.

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”


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