Susan Bliss Memorial 03-21-21

Posted in DefaultTag by facatl on March 23rd, 2021

Welcome & Invocation: Dr. Kevin Goins

Worship: Jennifer Bliss-Criswell, Mike McGuiness, Megan Bliss
  Yes and Amen, Wonderful Merciful Savior, This We Know

Scripture Reading: Sue Burton, Ruth Snell
 Song of Songs 2:10-13 TPT, Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT

Reflections from the congregation

Reflections from the family: Richard Bliss

My Savior’s Love

Sermon: Dr. Kevin Goins

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Benediction: Dr. Kevin Goins

03-07-21 Kevin Goins - The Lie That God Is Silent

“Third Sunday of Lent:  The Lie That God Is silent” 
Psalm 19 
Psalm 19 is a great hymn of praise to God and its first verse has been memorized by most believers.  This Psalm, however, does more than praise God.  It exposes as false one of the most common lies about God prevalent in our world today:  the lie that God is silent.                  

I First, God speaks to us through his p________________ c____________________ (19:1-6).

A. When we see what God has created, it is impossible to think of him as a l_______________________.  When it comes to his power and glory, God is a h_______________________. 

B. “To pour forth” means to bubble up like a s______________ and here it has the idea of bubbling up with p__________________. 

C. The sun, moon, and stars speak by merely b_______________; their e______________________ is their message.

d. David’s description of the sun is p_______________, not scientific, and it is expressed from the point of view of someone who lived in ___________ _____. 

II Is there anything about the universe that speaks to us in a less poetic and more s____________________ way?

A. First, the universe proclaims, in a very powerful way, the message that God i________________, that God e_______________.

1. The most important discovery of the twentieth century is that the universe did have a b________________________.

2. Francis Collins says, “The very fact that the universe had a beginning implies that _________________ was able to begin it.  And it seems to me that someone had to be o___________________ of nature.”

3. Stephen Hawking said, “The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous.   I think there are clearly r___________________ implications.” 

B. Second, the universe proclaims the i________________, the vastness, the greatness of God.

1. Astronomers now believe that in addition to our own Milky Way galaxy, there are another 100 to 200 _______________ galaxies and that each of these galaxies contains up to 100 ______________ stars.

2. The diameter of the universe is the distance light would travel in ______ ___________________ years.

C. Third, the universe proclaims God’s great l__________ and c___________ for human beings.

1. Our universe seems to be precisely designed to support l______________ on e________________.

2. Stephen Hawking, in A Brief History of Time, states, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who i_______________ to create beings like us.”

III Second, God speaks to us through his ___________________.

A. The features of the universe, with its vastness and complexity, reveals God to us, but see him from f____________ a____________.

B. First, in verses 7-9 David praises the different f_________________ of God’s Word and how beneficial they are to us. 

C. Second, in verses 10-11, David talks about how d_______________________ God’s words are.

D. God’s Word gives us guidance so we will not r_____________ our life, or the lives of those around us, and it makes life r____________________.

IV Creation is speaking and God’s Word is speaking, but how do we know that we have heard the message?  We know we have heard if we are being c___________________ by what we have heard. 

02-28-21 Kevin Goins - Lent: Naming our Enemies, The Enemy of Ingratitude

“Second Sunday of Lent:  Naming the enemy of Ingratitude” 
Psalm 22:22-31
Ingratitude is far more than just a mark of bad breeding.  Ingratitude is a vicious enemy of the Christian life.  In our Lenten text today we see why ingratitude is so corrosive to our faith                  

I The Bible identifies Psalm 22 as a psalm of ______________, but for many Christians it is actually viewed as a psalm of _______________.

 A. There are three reasons why Christians do this:

1. The first 21 verses give us a vivid and startlingly accurate description of the ________________________ of Jesus.

2. Christians view this as a psalm of Jesus because Psalm 22 is quoted ______________ times in the New Testament, and most of these references occur in the Gospel accounts of the ________________ of Jesus.

3. Christians view this as a psalm of Jesus because Jesus quoted verse 1 of this Psalm from the ________________.

B. If we limit Psalm 22 to a psalm about Jesus, then we miss out on a great source of s___________________ for us when we find ourselves facing hard times. 

II In our text today, David gives us three reasons why ingratitude is t_______________ to the Christian.

 A. First, ingratitude denies God’s __________________ over suffering (22:22-24).

1. The first 21 verses of this psalm testify to the fact that suffering can make us q___________________ the goodness of God.

2. After describing the worst suffering imaginable, David then launches into the most e__________________ invitation to worship God found anywhere in the Bible.

3. Not only has God not despised the afflicted one – not only has he not turned his face from him and rejected him – David says, he “has l_________________ to his cry for help.”

B. Second, ingratitude denies that God is p________________ with us in suffering (22:25).

1. First, we need to see that David is talking about being in a c___________________ worship service.

2. David says, “God, my ability to give you thanks, no matter how great my suffering, comes from s_________________ your presence in the worship service.

3. No matter what our circumstances, recognizing the presence of God brings about c_______________, not only in us, but sometimes in those around us.

4. Those who refuse to thank God when times are bad are d_______________ the presence of God.

C. Finally, ingratitude denies that God is going to ______________ his creation from all the horrible things happening around us.

1. The point of eschatology is this:  right beliefs and good attitudes can only take you s_________ f_____________.  Eventually, something has got to h______________.

2. It’s simple:  If we believe God will one day make every ________________ right, we should have no problem giving him thanks now.

    -But when we live with ingratitude, we deny that God is going to ______ what he s__________ he would do.

02-21-21 Kevin Goins - Lent: Naming our Enemies, The Enemy of Loneliness

“Lent:  Naming Our Enemies” 
Psalm 25:1-10
Lent is a season of preparation for Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday, but Lent is also the time when the believer is led to confront the enemies of the Christian life.  One of the worst of these enemies is loneliness.  In our text today we see four of the sources of loneliness.  Fortunately for us, however, we do not need to be satisfied with only naming the causes of loneliness.  The message of Lent is that Jesus has defeated all four of these loneliness-producing enemies.                          

I Lent is more than a time of preparation.  Lent recalls how Jesus faced many e_______________ on his way to the cross to win our salvation.

A. Loneliness can so distort our view of life that we begin to see life as meaningless and without any ____________.

B. “The first Sunday of Lent is the time to look the enemies of the Christian life in the face and n____________ them before God.” 

II What is the source of spiritual loneliness?

 A. First, s________________ God for who he truly is makes us lonely (25:1-2).

  1. How can someone who is not at all ___________ us take away our loneliness? 

2. Some try to claim that they are good friends with God, but they do it by bringing God __________ to their level, so that he is ________ them.

3. If you want to get a glimpse of how different God is, consider his ___________________________.

B. Second, the fear of s___________________ makes us lonely (25:3).

1. The Hebrew word translated “shame” in this verse does not refer to an i_______________ feeling but to an o_______________ experience of public embarrassment.

2. Old Testament scholars tell us that verse 3 is a _________________.  David prays that ___________ of God’s people will be shamed, but that __________ who hate God will be shamed.

3. Shame makes us lonely.  It makes us feel that we do not deserve to be part of the _______________ family or the family of ______________.

C. Third, the r______________________ of past sins makes us lonely (25:4-7).

 1. The past cannot always be k____________ in the past.

 2. Whatever we ____________ will one day be harvested.

D. Finally, our failure to k__________ the covenant God made with us makes us lonely (25:8-10).

III The Gospel says that Jesus came to call out these four enemies and to engage them in face to face c_________________.

 A. What did Jesus do to end the loneliness that comes from seeing how different God is?

-He ___________; in the incarnation, in the physical body of Jesus, God became what we are.  He became ______________ to show us who he really is.

B. What did Jesus do to end the loneliness that comes from our fear of shame?

 -He experienced the shame of being n____________ to a c____________.

C. What did Jesus do to end the loneliness that comes from remembering our past sins?

 -He took our sins on h____________________.

D. What did Jesus do to end the loneliness that comes from our failure to keep the covenant?

 -By his death, he created a __________ covenant between us and God.

02-14-21 Kevin Goins - Guarding our Relationships

“Guarding Our Relationships” 
Proverbs 18
Not everyone has a sweetheart, but everyone has relationships.  On this Valentine’s Day 2021 we are going to get help from the Book of Proverbs on how to protect our relationships.                  

I If there is anything we all need help with, it is p_________________ our relationships.

-Relationships can be the greatest source of c___________________ to us, and relationships can be the greatest source of h_____________________.

II First, if we want satisfying and life-giving relationships, we must reject s_________________________ (Proverbs 18:1).

 A. There are m______________ reason why someone might separate himself from others.

B. Solomon says this guy separates himself from people because “he seeks d______________________.”

C. Unfriendliness and a lack of s________________ judgment go hand in hand.

D. Some are alone, and they like being alone because they can devote all their energy to getting what they w_______________.

III Second, if we want satisfying and life-giving relationships, we must be willing to l_________________________ (Proverbs 18:13).

 A.  Why is it we do not listen?

  1. I don’t listen because I’m s__________-c________________________.

  2. I don’t listen because I’m p________________________.

  3. I don’t listen because I’m not interested in r______________________.

  4. I don’t listen because I’m a c________________________ freak.

5. I don’t listen because I don’t want to u________________________ any other point of view. 

B. Not listening is folly and shame – It’s folly because when I don’t listen, I am acting like _________________.

C. Not listening is also shame – It’s a shame because when I don’t listen, I am treating the other person as my i__________________________.

D. Some of us are having problems in our relationships because we simply will not make the effort to listen, but real listening c__________________________ us.

E. Listening has the power to give birth to u___________________________ relationships; not listening has the power to s___________________ the door on any relationship.  

IV Finally, if we want satisfying and life-giving relationships, we must be l____________________ (Proverbs 18:24).

A. Having many friends will not keep you from being hurt, because when it comes to friends, it is not q_________________________ that counts, but q_________________.

B. Having many f__________________ may not save you in hard times, and even a b____________________, depending on the circumstances, may not be willing to help.

C. Job 6:14 says something very convicting:  “A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he f___________________________ the fear of the Almighty.”   

01-31-21 Kevin Goins - The 10 Commandments of Worship, part 2

“The Ten Commandments of Worship” 
Psalm 15
What do you do to prepare for worship?  Before we can ever prepare ourselves for worship, we need to understand what God requires of those who would come into his presence and worship him.  We find these requirements for the worshiper in Psalm 15.                   

I Who is prepared to enter God’s presence and worship?

 A. First, “He whose walk is blameless” (15:2a).
B. Second, the one who can enter the presence of the Lord and worship him is the one who “does what is righteous” (15:2b).
C. Third, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship him is a person “who speaks the truth from his heart” (15:2c).

D. Fourth, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship him must be one who “has no s____________________ on his tongue” (15:3a).

1. The Hebrew word translated “slander” means “to g___ a_________” or “to make the rounds.”

2. We should never forget that the word “d____________” actually means “slanderer.”

E. Fifth, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship him must be a person who “does his neighbor no w___________________ (15:3b).”

 1. We can hurt our neighbor spiritually by being a bad w________________.

2. If our neighbor knows we claim to be a follower of Jesus, then our life will either draw them c_______________ to Jesus or drive them farther a______________.

F. Sixth, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship must be a person who “casts no s______________ on his fellow man” (15:3c).

G. Seventh, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship him must be a person who “d_________________ a vile man but h_______________ those who fear the Lord” (15:4a).

 1. We must not act as if all people live the s___________ kind of life.

 2. When wrong is condoned and defended, it results in two things:

  a. First, it distorts the m_____________ compass of society.

b. Second, it makes it more d__________________ for the wicked to see their behavior for what it is and seek God’s forgiveness.

H. Eighth, the one who can enter God’s presence and worship must be a person who “k_________________ his oath even when it h____________” (15:4b).

I. Ninth, the one who can enter God’s presence and worship must be a person who “lends his money without u______________________” (15:5a).

1. In a non-commercial society, lending only has one purpose:  not to __________ money, but to h____________ a person in need.

2. In a commercial society, lending is done to make money, and it is intended for those who want to satisfy their w______________, not their n____________.

j. Tenth, the one who can enter God’s presence and worship must be a person who does not accept a b______________ against the innocent (15:5b).

II If we want to be on solid ground with our worship, what should we take from these ten commandments?

A. First, God is far more concerned about how we express our love to __________ and to _____________ than he is with our a______________ and our worship s_________.

B. Second, it is i_____________________ to keep all the ten commandments of worship all the time, but there is one who has done it:  _____________ _____________.     

01-24-21 Kevin Goins - The 10 Commandments of Worship

“The Ten Commandments of Worship” 
Psalm 15
What do you do to prepare for worship?  Before we can ever prepare ourselves for worship, we need to understand what God requires of those who would come into his presence and worship him.  We find these requirements for the worshiper in Psalm 15.                   

I What does Psalm 15 have to do with worship?

A. While the temple in Jerusalem stood, pilgrims from o________________ Israel would travel to Jerusalem to worship in the temple.

B. These pilgrims would ask the priest on duty at the entrance to the temple this question:  “Who may e_______________ into the Lord’s temple?”  And the priest would respond by quoting ______________ ______.

C. Verse one asks the question:  “Who can come into God’s presence and worship him?” or “Who is p__________________ to worship the Lord?”

II Who is prepared to enter God’s presence and worship?

 A. First, “He whose walk is b____________________” (15:2a).

1. The Hebrew word translated “blameless” means to be w_____________ or c___________________.

2. If you watch how a pure person, a person with integrity, responds to the demands of life, you will see u_____________, c________________, and w_________________.

B. Second, the one who can enter the presence of the Lord and worship him is the one who “does what is r_____________________” (15:2b).

 1. There are ________ things about this righteousness we need to highlight:

a. First, David sees it in ________________ terms, not in ______________________ terms.

b. Second, doing right is a _______________ tense activity.

2. The question is:  Are the things we are doing consistent with the person God d______________ us to be and are they consistent with the person we c_____________ to be.

3. We do not have enough righteousness in o______________________ to give us the right to enter into the presence of God and worship him.

B. Third, the one who can enter into the presence of God and worship him is a person “who speaks the _____________ from his heart” (15:2c).

1. Sometimes we Christians put all our emphasis on what a person says he ______________, but what we should really notice is how he _______________.

2. If our words do not come from our _______________, then we are not prepared to enter God’s presence and worship.

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

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