Apr 2010

7596 - Dr. Rodney Woo - Following the Call

An interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the departing pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church and the new pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore.

Rodney shares about his 18 years as the pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church, where the church mission statement is “Wilcrest Baptist Church is God’s multi-ethnic bridge that draws all people to Jesus Christ, who transforms them from unbelievers to missionaries!”

This church focus on transforming members to missionaries is church-wide, and now the Lord’s calling to missions has been extended to Rodney as he will be moving with his family to Singapore. There he will be the pastor of another multi-cultural church in an area of the world in great need of evangelism.

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7595 - Honor Before Egypt

Today let’s consider some unlikely visitors who bring unusual gifts for a baby.

We are now engaged in a study of the book of Luke. We find that Luke omits some scenes included by other authors, but that’s true of each writer. Because Luke omits the account of the visit of the wise-men, we turn to Matthew 2 today.

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Polishing SONlight's Sound

One of the things that I have been interested in doing for some months has been to approach KSBJ about playing our 5-minute SONspot messages. It has always been an intimidating prospect, because KSBJ is such a well done and well known Houston radio station. They are frequently winning awards, and they are well known around the world as being one of the premier Christian radio stations.

I have wanted for some time to update the SONlight sound a bit to give it a more contemporary feeling before I approached KSBJ. I felt that for them to want to play our messages we would need to be sure that our messages were well polished and sounding their best. A little like getting a new haircut and shaving before a really crucial job interview.

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7594 - In the Temple

Today we consider the joyous fulfillment of a promise made to an aging man.

God is opening our eyes to some wonderful things in the early chapters from Luke’s Gospel. Many of the events of the first two chapters of this book are not found in the other Gospels, and they give us insight into Mary and Joseph and a glimpse into the scene of the birth of Jesus and his early days.

Today we have arrived at the scene when Jesus is eight days old.

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7593 - Let's Go See

There was nothing particularly special about the group of shepherds in Luke chapter 2, but they saw something no one else ever had or would.

First, let’s consider the words of 1 Peter 1:18-20; they relate to what we’ve been studying in Luke. Listen:
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

What wonderful news. These verses tell us that before Jesus was born people were living empty lives. But God, in His omniscience, knew all this even before Adam was created, so in heaven the plan of redemption was formulated. The beginning of the fulfillment of the earthly dimension of this heavenly plan is the very things we are studying about in these early pages of the Gospel of Luke.

Today we will look at the shepherds who heard this good news one night as they were keeping their flocks safe out in the fields near Bethlehem.

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7592 - Richard Cook - Ministering to Injured Vets

An Interview with Richard Cook about the work that he and the mens group of Bear Creek United Methodist Church are doing with Impact Player Partners.

Every year they have a charity golf tournament to benefit veterans severely wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their desire to minister to these veterans was prompted by the experiences of a young soldier who was a member of their church.

They decided that they would minister to this young man and his family, and then through that they got connected to the charity Impact Player Partners. Now every year they host this golf tournament to benefit this charity.

Picture 1

They are striving to minister in the name Christ by reaching out to the many hurting men and women who have sacrificed much for their country.

To learn more, read Impact a Hero in our Interview section or go to the Impact Player Partners or Impact a Hero websites.

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7591 - 10,000 Talents

Have you ever considered the magnitude of what the Lord has forgiven in the lives of Christians?

This week I was privileged to enjoy a brief lesson on forgiveness that was presented to the AWANA kids club that I volunteer with. Hearing the lesson, it reminded me of something that I want to share with you today.

The passage we will be considering is from Matthew 18:23-35. It is the parable of two servants who each owe a certain amount of money. This is an intriguing passage that with a little bit of insight becomes an incredible example of forgiveness.

The first servant is brought into the king to settle up his debt with the king. He owes 10,000 talents to the king, but yet after an impassioned plea for mercy and forgiveness, the king forgives the debt.

This same servant then leaves the king and directly goes to another servant who owes him 100 denarii and the servant demands this amount be repaid him. The second servant makes a plea that is nearly identical to the plea the first servant made to the king, but the plea is ignored and the second servant is thrown into prison until the debt could be repaid.

Before we continue to the end of the parable, lets look at what the value is of 10,000 talents and 100 denarii. First of all, a talent is equal to 6000 days wages, and a days wage was 1 denarii, that is, one silver coin.

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7590 - The Christ Born as Jesus

The entrance into this world of the Son of God in human form was a humble one.

We have previously discussed how the angel Gabriel had appeared to a young virgin, perhaps around 16 years of age, named Mary who lived in Nazareth, and delivered God’s message to her that she had been chosen to be the human link in bringing God to mankind in human form. Her son would be the Son of God, the Son of the Most High. In faith Mary had responded favorably, in spite of the many possibilities for scandal, harassment and even the possibility of being rejected and stoned to death.

We have also discussed how God sent an angel to the father-to-be, Joseph, and instructed him to take Mary to his home in Nazareth as his wife. The two of them, although man and wife in legal terms, never had union until after Jesus was born.

Today’s passage comes about nine months after the angel appeared to Mary.

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7589 - David Tate - A Year of Service

This message marks my one-year anniversary of full-time ministry with SONlight.

Exactly one year ago, my wife and I began a new and exciting journey in coming here to SONlight.

I thought that in remembrance I would share a bit of testimony about how the Lord has worked in my life and brought me to serve him here at SONlight full time.

My History (read my bio)
Let me back up a few years first. In 2001 I was a fresh graduate from Houston Baptist University with a degree in Business and Speech Communications. I graduated magna cum laude with a great GPA and a good amount of business experience, but I had the hardest time finding a job.

It was a very stressful time, and it was made even harder because I was engaged to be married only a few short months later. Well, I had a few interviews, but nothing really came through until finally I found a job with a computer company doing phone tech support. That job came at the last moment, I started the Monday before our wedding. Just 5 days before I would need to provide for a wife, who was still in school, the Lord provided a job.

In 2005 though, the Lord really began to make it clear that I would be working at SONlight in the future. I started part time in 2005 as the Technical Director and took care of a lot of the behind the scenes needs here at SONlight for several years.

This was a very difficult time for me as I was working full-time during the day, working evenings at SONlight, and then working evenings and weekends as a wedding photographer to help make ends meet in my families budget. It was hard to work three jobs and still be involved with my three young sons, and serve at church.

We struggled and felt lost. I felt like I was in a dead-end job as I had not gotten promoted or received a substantial raise or anything like that. But the Lord always provided, and He was always in control.

Finally last year, 2009, after we had begun to take some positive steps as a family and really get in tune with what God wanted from us He prepared us for what he had next.

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7588 - SONlight Update

Since 1977 SONlight has been sharing the gospel and biblical teaching by radio.

Today we will depart from our usual format of bible studies and interviews to bring you an update on this ministry.

SONlight Overview
SONlight began in January of 1977 with the goal of reaching the many hurting and lost people in the world with the good news of the salvation of Jesus Christ through 60 second radio spots. In each of these radio spots the Gospel is shared through a short conversation between two people. These conversations are about every day life events, and each one shares the need for the salvation of Christ and God’s love for us.

Initially these messages were broadcast on just a handful of stations, but all these years later, these 60-Second SONspot messages are played on nearly 1600 traditional radio stations in English and Spanish. About 85% of the stations are non-christian formats.

We estimate that these Gospel presentations are broadcast through radio waves over half a million times every year. With a combined radio time of over 9000 hours annually. And this does not even consider the thousands of internet radio stations that play our messages, many of them as often as once an hour.

5-Minute SONspot Programs
Over the years we have also had a couple of different formats of longer messages. The program you are listening to now is our longer 5-Minute SONspot program. This program is played on over 60 stations and is comprised of Bible-studies and interviews.

The 5-minute Bible-studies strictly follow scripture and as we are now in Luke, that means that we consider each passage in order without skipping around. Each of these Bible studies are also archived on our website ,sonspots.org, in both audio and text formats in case you might want to listen again, or if you missed a message in the series.

Each of the interviews might be with anyone from a layperson with an inspiring testimony, someone in ministry describing the work they are doing and sharing how the Lord is moving in their area. We try to use this 5-minute program as an opportunity to help these individuals share with a wide audience, what the Lord has placed on their heart.

These two types of messages are played in all 50 US states and in over 20 foreign countries.

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7587 - Instructions for Joseph

Today, let’s look at Joseph, the man who had the difficult task of playing the role of Jesus’ earthly father.

In recent programs we have looked at the details preceding the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke. We have studied the visit the angel Gabriel made to virgin Mary , and not let’s look at Joseph, the man whom Mary was pledged to be married.

Today let’s turn over to Matthew 1, verses 18-25 and read of the struggle which took place in his life.

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7586 - The Parents of Jesus

Today we will take a look at the background of the family of Jesus, primarily Mary and Joseph.

We have been studying through the book of Luke for the past few weeks, and to give us some better understanding of Jesus and his earthly family, we will look at what we know about Mary and Joseph.

From Luke 1:27-28 we can see that Mary was a young girl, a virgin, and was probably in her early to late teen years. Not much is known with certainty about Mary before the time the angel Gabriel appeared to her, but we do know one thing for sure, Mary had found favor with God. We may not be able to determine how Mary had favor with God, but we know she was a very special young woman.

One thing to bear in mind though, some have sought to exemplify Mary as sinless in some way, they have put forth an idea of this “immaculate conception” of Mary, and have tried to say she was born without sin, and died without sin. This idea is not supported biblically, and should not be given any further consideration. The Bible tells us very clearly that everyone except Jesus has sinned.

Mary was a woman. She sinned as we have, but in some way the Lord saw her as being special, and blessed her with the privilege of being the earthly mother of Jesus.

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7585 - Zechariah's Song

Today we will study the first words of a mute man.

At the end of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we find Zechariah’s song of praise. We’ve been studying together through Luke.

Let’s read chapter 1, verses 67-80:
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us - to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.

We should keep in mind that Zechariah was a descendant of Aaron and a priest, serving in the Temple.

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7584 - Birth of John the Baptist

Today we look at the birth of the prophet, John the Baptist.

In our study of Luke’s gospel we have come to verse 57.

Listen as I read Luke 1:57-66:
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."

They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.

To those who have followed this unfolding drama in this chapter, it is no surprise that Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy.

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