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Fun music at Uncle Bufe's Northwest Baptist Church in Fresno.  

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Bufe talks about the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (that was the men only.  That didn’t count all he women and children also).  Five barley loaves and two little pickled fish.  He talks about Philip and Andrew and the little boy with the food.   After everybody ate, there were 12 baskets of leftovers.  There were 12 disciples!  The people, of course, thought Jesus was their meal ticket from then on.  But Jesus was calling them to radical, costly discipleship instead.  Why do you follow Jesus?  Do you demonstrate by your life that you are a follower of Jesus Christ?  Bufe talks about writing down your testimony so you can share more easily your testimony with others.  Bufe tells a story at the end about a Christian man struggling with an addiction.

 

John 20:31

John 5 and 6

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1 Peter 2:1-3

Get rid of feelings of hatred, hypocrisy,

Be done with dishonesty and jealousy and talking about others behind their back

Put away all evil, deception, envy and fraud

If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.  Learn how to say something that is good and kind to others.

1 Peter 2:4-10

Christians are the only people on earth today that have a right to feel joy.  Christians are now where God lives.  He lives in us.  We are the temple of God.  This is who we are if we are in Christ.  It’s not who we can be but who we are.  Christ is our foundation, our cornerstone.

We need to learn to stay focused on Jesus, on the Truth.  

As Christians, we need to say something to those who profane the name of Jesus.  “You want to talk about Jesus?  Let me open my Bible and tell you about Jesus.”

Jesus is the only way that people can get to God and have a relationship with God.

Share what you believe and demonstrate what you live.

God chose us.  We are chosen for privilege in Jesus Christ, a new and intimate relationship with God Almighty.  He called us to obedience.  The whole relationship is based on our obedience to Him.  It’s just like families where chaos is in the home because no one knows who is in charge.  He called us to service.  The honor of being chosen is that we can be servants of the most High God.  Without service your life is empty.  

Christians are a people for God to especially possess, to own.  Ownership gives worth.  Bufe closes with a story about Babe Ruth’s glove that is now on display.  It has worth because of its ownership.  We have worth because we have given ourselves to God because of what His Son did.  Once we were less than nothing.  Now we are God-owned.  

Isaiah 28

Ephesians 2

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My cousin, Rick, sings the beautiful song My Tribute written by Andrae Crouch.  Growing up I always admired my talented cousins, both the Karrakers and the Smedes.  Our Grandma Varner would get on the piano and we'd gather around and sing hymns and choruses together.  Wonderful memories.

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Bufe talks about Nehemiah in Bufe’s colorful way.  He talks about how Nehemiah grew into a strong leader by accepting responsibility.  Then he talks about a general named Naaman who asks Elisha for help him by healing his leprosy.  Then he talks about the young slave girl to Naaman’s wife and how she is a key person in the story.  She had 3 necessary items.  First, the slave girl had spiritual boldness.  She witnessed ‘up’.  Many of us witness 'down' but are afraid to witness 'up'.  Some of us even have trouble witnessing to a peer group level.  God used Moses and he had a speech impediment.  Secondly, the slave girl wasn’t filled with self-pity.  Some of us live in self-pity and have no forgiveness in our hearts.  Corrie ten Boom spent time in a prison camp where her sister and mother and father died and when she came out, she forgave the Nazis that held her captive.  Elisabeth Eliot forgave those in the Auca Indian tribe who killed her husband.  Thirdly, the little slave girl had unwavering faith.  In spite of her circumstances, she trusted the Lord.  Do you put conditions on when you will start believing and serving God?  Bufe ends the sermon by sharing a moving story of the unwavering faith of a woman in his church.    

2 Kings 5

Matthew 5

John 1:14

Acts 2, 4

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How focused are you on the holidays?  Bufe talks about being focused at Thanksgiving and being thankful to God.  Focus on the intangibles as well as the tangibles.  Then comes Christmas!  What should you focus on during Christmas?  Will you be consumed by what’s happening around you or will you focus on Jesus during Christmas?  How relevant is the Christmas Story to you?  Bufe talks about setting up a time of personal worship.  Make it the first thing you do each day.  He talks about our personal witness during the Christmas holidays.  Also he mentions we spend money wisely during Christmas time and not get into debt getting caught up in the spending hysteria during Christmas.

2 Corinthians 9:15

 

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My cousin, Rachel Karraker Hagenzieker singing along with Northwest Church Choir.

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Bufe talks about the government and us.  Paul and Peter both write ‘Obey the government’.  Be a good citizen.  If you are irresponsible to the state, you are irresponsible to God and God will hold you responsible.  We should pray for those in authority.  Think about the government that was in charge during the time the New Testament was written.  Nero was in charge.  But always understand our prime responsibility is to bring the good news of Jesus to the world.  

Romans 13:1-7

1 Timothy 2:1,2

Titus 3:1

1 Peter 2:13

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Do you hear the words but miss the message?  Do you set your will against hearing the message and applying it to your life?  Do you know how many people were in Galilee during Jesus’ day?   When was the last time you went to church?  Bufe talks about Jesus reading Isaiah 61 in the synagogue in Nazareth.  Where did doubting Thomas go after Jesus’ death?  What did the crowd try to do to Jesus after he read them the scripture and said what he did?

Luke 4:16-30

Luke 16

Isaiah 61:1,2

John 1

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Bufe talks about birthdays.  We all have birthdays.  Usually someone remembers your birthday.  The most remembered and celebrated birthday is Jesus’ birthday, Christmas.  But many don’t associate Jesus with Christmas.  The paradox of Christmas - the purity of the baby, Jesus, with an unwed mother.   The purity of Mary, an unwed mother.  The purity of Joseph, a man much older than the teenage girl he was going to marry.  The joy of the birth when the law said to stone unwed mothers.  The baby born of a peasant girl and cared for by a blue collar worker in a stable was King of Kings and Lord of Lord.  God in a stable.  He was called Immanuel, which means God is with us.  God left heaven to be with us in the flesh!   

God gives you things that you can’t buy.  Love, peace, joy, etc., the fruits of the spirit.  

2 Corinthians 8:9, Luke 2:11, John 1:12, Luke 2:7, John 14:2, Matthew 2:11, Galatians 3:26, Luke 2:51, Galatians 5:1, Philippians 2:6,7, 1 Peter 5:4, Matthew 8:20, Luke 15:10, Matthew 2:13 and Hebrews 2.

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