Sunday, June 9, 2013

Liberty Church Online Sunday Sermon 6/9/13

Hi, I'm Justin Steckbauer, Pastor of Liberty Church Online or as we've started calling it "LCO" or "LOC."

Liberty Online Church was an idea I originally had when working on the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign. I constantly struggled with the hard truth I had to endure. I had very little peace of mind in those times. I felt upset at the mainstream media blocking us out. I felt lost by the huge issues in front of me, and the limits of my effectiveness in changing things. One year later, while attending ministry college I decided it would be a good idea to have a place online, where many us are constantly, to support us in the mission of changing the world for the better. That is the primary mission of this church.

Online Church Format: We post Sunday sermons, and would like to get a Wednesday Bible Study, Sunday School, and online counseling services going. As more staff joins we'll get those things going. If you'd like to volunteer please let us know. We strongly encourage church members to have a physical church they attend on Sunday, in addition to being a part of Liberty Online Church. There is no substitute for a physical home church, but this may not always be possible.

Please feel free to discuss anything in the church group, but please be courteous, open, and friendly. We're Christians after all!

Christ-based Ministry: Liberty Online Church, or LOC as we call it, is a Christ-based church. We center on the teaching of the Bible. We try to cut through all the doctrine, non-sense, and systems created by humanity. We look directly to the truth in the Bible for our teaching and application.

Short Term Goals: To build a strong Facebook group and website supporting the FB group to strengthen and empower diverse people and political activists in the movement for Liberty. We aim to provide peace of mind and a perspective of eternal life with Christ to those burdened with the tough reality of this world. This is not a church SOLELY for liberty activists or libertarians. We accept all people who come to us, as long as they come humbly, willing to learn more.

Long Term Goals: We'd like to eventually someday have a physical church in the United States, and build on that bringing the message of Christ to as many as possible.
To theres all the nuts and bolts of what we're trying to do here.  If you're part of the church please invite others, and we can get this all up and going as soon as possible.

 I'd like to personally thank you all for joining in our broadcast.

Before we get started let's pray and ask God to join us.

Heavenly Father, all things come from you, your truth is the truth we want.  We have many questions Father, but we offer you our trust.  We fight everyday to make this world a better place, for all people, but we acknowledge, that the primary concern of our lives must be you and bringing others to you.  Thank you Father, and please work on our hearts and minds.  Liberty, freedom, choice, we know is a gift from you.  Please bless us as we fight for that choice, today, and for all days.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Our God is a wonderful God, a mysterious God, a perfect God, and a God personal to each and every one of us.  He walks with us on dark nights, when we feel upset and stare up at the sky wondering who we are.  He's with us when we cry out to the skies because we just feel lost.  He's with us when we open our eyes in the morning.  He's with us on the ride to work.  He's with us when we feel happy.  He's with us when we feel rushed.  He's with us when we make a terrible mistake.  He loves us at our worst.  And at our best.

Every step of the way God was guiding us to today.  To this very moment.

Our Father, is all powerful.  He can do anything he wishes.  And we are his chosen children.

The God is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is with you.  And he loves you honestly, and perfectly.  Please, join in serving him.

Every day up to this day is something we call the past.  And every day ahead of today is something we call the future.  It hasn't happened yet.  Every day is a new beginning.  Today, right now, is your big chance.  It's your big chance to step into who God wants you to be. 

C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

Don't we all have that inner desire?  It's buried deep within us, but it's always there.  It's a desire for something utterly true, utterly pure, and utterly right.  The Bible is where to find it.  Because we find irrefutable truth within the pages.

I'd like to testify before you, about what God has done for me personally.  Because I used to be a guy out to prove myself.  But you know what?  That didn't end up well.  I couldn't prove myself on my own.  This walk with Christ, under God, is really, deep down a full declaration of dependence.  We need God in all of our affairs.  So I'm no longer out to prove myself, I'm out to prove that Jehovah my God is truly almighty and all powerful.

Because Jesus Christ personally saved my life.  He saved me from an empty death.  Kurt Cobain said that when his parents divorced it shattered his world.  And thats something I can understand, an artist is a sensitive creature.  I'm a sensitive creature.  My parents divorced when I was 14, and it threw my life into chaos.  My intense sensitivity made this very hard to deal with.  My way of coping with it was to stuff the pain from it deep within and pretend I was fine, that I was completely ok with it.  I told that to counselor after counselor.  But my grades got worse and worse, I got more and more isolated.

Around age 18 I turned to marijuana and other drugs to try to fill that empty void in my life.  I had a codependent relationship with my mother and a distorted relationship with my father.  With my mother we depended on each other too much.  There was too much manipulation, from both of us.  For my father, it was a terribly difficult balance.  Because if I opened myself up to him, he would take total control and control my entire life.  So I learned that I had to disconnect completely from him, and that was the only safe way to be.  And that has damaged my personal relationships to this day, because I keep people at arms distance, probably because deep down I'm afraid that if I let people in they'll take advantage of it, and I'll lose myself in them. 

The chaos following the divorce of my parents lasted a full ten years of lots of trouble.  I'm not gonna go into everything that happened, but let me tell you, it was tough.  Really quite, torturous actually.  I was reading through some of my journals from back then a few days ago, and it just came through how painful it was at the time. 

But let me tell you, when I was at my lowest, at rock bottom, I had nowhere else to look and nothing else to try.  It had all been tried.  So I reached up my hand, and called out to God, and he answered.  

Then I gave my life to Christ.  And I think back to who I used to be.. and I don't know that person anymore.  But I see who I am now.  And where that came from, and that came from Jesus Christ.  That came from God almighty, my shield and my deliverer.  And I know it came from God, because at that point I didn't have some sudden surge of self will that pulled me out.  I didn't drag myself up by my boot straps, I didn't suck it up.. Nope.  None of that.  I was ready to die.  God lifted me up, with his hands, and his power, and set me on a course of truth, reconciliation and new life.  All I had to do was follow some directions, and do the things I knew I was supposed to be doing.  Get to groups, go to church, bible study, examine myself, work on myself, make amends, and constantly pray for guidance.

God can do the same thing for you.  And maybe he already has!  If so, great.  If you're still struggling in self, let me encourage you to reach out to your creator and ask for his help.  He is kind and loving, and is not willing that you should be lost.  

There are two primary forces out there that want your soul.  And we start out at a powerful disadvantage, especially if we're raised without the Bible, or raised in a church that fails to deliver the truth of the Bible.  As a human being, my internal reaction is to go for whats easiest, what's fastest, and what provides immediate gratification.  You won't find that in Christianity.  This is hard work that yields fruit of substance.  The easy way, the fast gratification, it yields fruit that makes us sick, and crumbles to dust in our mouths.  We find emptiness has become our lot in life.  

And that force of evil has your soul.  And it can very effectively keep you derranged, depressed, defeated, and empty.  

But theres another force, far more powerful than that evil.  The force of God, the force of good, is alive in us, and beyond all that depravity, and greed and selfishness, theres a desire to do good and be good, and be with good.  Both forces want your soul.

And it's your choice, your free will, to choose either.  And we are so dependent on God that we need his help and guidance just to approach him.  

We can't claim ignorance of the truth anymore.  So let's get right down to it:  Which is it going to be?  Your choice.  

Give it some thought, and if you're already with Christ, then congratulations to you and to God :)

We can trust God, when we give our lives to him.  We can trust him to guide in all the right directions.  Theres plenty of scripture that backs this up:

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Galatians 6:9-10 - And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Philippians 1:6 - And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13 -  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

This is a great one from Psalms:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

It's really that simple.  Once we place our trust in God, we are provided with all we need.  And God has a plan for our lives.  He has a plan for the planet.  God is always in control.  Nothing ever happened, is happening or will happen that he won't know about.  

Some of my old friends would shy away from me, after I gave my life to Christ.  Like somehow they might catch that "God" bug.  Or that by being near me, their sins might be exposed.  Well, I've got a news flash.  They're ALREADY exposed.  Theres no hiding from Jehovah.  He's everywhere.  Best work on your sins, get rid of them.  Join us in this epic adventure.

Because it is an epic adventure.  It will take you places you could've never imagined.  God is loving, and God is good.

So there is God, and his name is Jehovah, and he is on the throne.  We don't have to worry about daily problems because as long as we walk with integrity, he protects us.  He keeps a hedge around us, so nothing can harm us.

People always ask me, "How could God allow this" "Or how could God allow that"  Well, it's ultimately up to us if we want God's help or protection or not.  We can choose to operate outside of God's influence, and then yes, terrible things do happen.  But when we choose to accept God's son Jesus Christ, we come under the direct care of God.  We do all have to die one day, and God is in charge of that, the everyday things, the random stuff, he protects us.  He cares for us, and he directly reassures our minds. 

Everything we do for God, will always be remembered.  And whatever else we do, it will be forgotten.  There is only one King, one master, and it's the only thing that matters, hands down.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

Thank you for joining us today for the inaugural sermon of Liberty Church Online.  Please come around and join us on the group.  And tune in for next week's sermon.  God bless you all, and God bless the revolution.