Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL






Revelation PowerPoint Sermons Series               Gospel of Matthew PowerPoint Sermons Series

Acts PowerPoint Sermons Series


Holiday Sermons


Topical Sermons - free PowerPoint

Topical Series


Bible Study Lessons

Bible Study Series



Sales & Instant Downloads


Top Sermons




2007 PowerPoint Sermons 







Get a custom logo like ours for less -

Faith's Attic

They also have many other Christian gifts


Audio / Video     PowerPoint     Text     Recommend     Subscribe     Help

Streaming Video:

[Note: Videos WILL work for those who do the free update. May take a minute to begin!]


[Best viewed on a high speed connection w/ Windows Media  11]

free update

All service songs used by permission.  CCLI #425103


Streaming Audio - AM:

New!  Download mp3 [left click to stream, right click to 'save as' for ipod or CD listening.]

Or, use the controls, below, just like you would a VCR.  Double-click the "Play" arrow to begin.  This page must remain open to continue listening. To browse the internet while you listen, open a new browser window by clicking on "File", then "New", then "Window".

Streaming Audio - PM:

Download mp3 [left click to stream, right click to 'save as' for ipod or CD listening.]

Or, use the controls, below, just like you would a VCR.  Double-click the "Play" arrow to begin.  This page must remain open to continue listening. To browse the internet while you listen, open a new browser window by clicking on "File", then "New", then "Window".


PowerPoint Presentation:
Click here after starting sermon audio to bring up slides and visual aides which go along with the sermon. [May take 1-3 minutes to open.]  Once the first slide appears you can follow along with the message and use the arrow keys to advance the slides. How to edit and use


powerpoint_icon.gif PowerPoint Viewer can be used to view our pps slideshow files if you do not have PowerPoint



Please help keep this ministry free by honoring our system...


Please Choose:

  • Recommend this sermon to others.  [A new window will open.  Rate this sermon from 1 to 5 'stars' with just a click, then close.]
  • Post a brief testimony about Grace Notes at SermonCentral

  • Tell a Friend to Visit
    Once 3 other sermon seekers subscribe, mentioning your name, you get a free sermon series download!

  • Or, do nothing, it's still free!  But many thanks go to those who take a second to advance the gospel message for God's glory!
Help spread the Word by using the recommendation links,'s a proven system that keeps this ministry free!


Grace Notes Sermon Ministry:

Subscribe for free     Learn More


NOTICE!  Our sermons are free to download, copy and paste, edit and use as you see fit...but only our free subscribers get the newest messages, featured sermons, and some gifts we shower on them from time to time!


The Valley of Decision

Joshua 8


Recommend this sermon to others.  [A new window will open.  Rate this sermon from 1 to 5 'stars' with just a click, then close.]


[read vv. 1-3]

The children of Israel are in the process of claiming their Canaan, or Promised Land.  But their biggest challenge is that people already live there, and they are wicked.  God has given them claim to this land, but they have to drive these people out of it, or kill them.  One city at a time. 


They have already had the great victory at Jericho.  But then last week we saw them utterly defeated at Ai because of sin in the camp.  [Achan]


They repented of their sin and now God tells them to go back to Ai and take it by ambush.


Let me sum up the rest of the chapter:  Joshua took about 30k soldiers to the mountains behind Ai.  He took the rest out in front so the people of the city could see them.  When they came out of the city to make war the city was left undefended...and those 30k from the mountains entered in the back way and burned and destroyed it.  When the Ai people tried to go back and defend it they got caught in the middle of a ‘pincer movement,’ a military strategy still used today.


Notice:  God gave both Jericho and Ai to Israel, but He did it in 2 totally different ways.  The methods of God often change.  His character, nature, and His message never change, but His methods do, and so should ours in our changing world!


Some Christians get all bent out of shape if their church doesn’t still do everything the way it was done when they were younger.  But what is important is not HOW God works, but THAT He works.  We want to see Him move and work, Amen?  Like Paul said,

1 Corinthians 9:22
I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

Ill.--One reason our internet ministry has become so successful is because few in our circles were willing to try it.  It’s not that my sermons were so good as much as it was about all there was to choose from!


“We never did it that way before!”  That is a rut we need to keep God’s machine out of.


Jesus opened blinded eyes...but in different ways.  One man he rubbed mud upon the eyes, [“Here’s mud in your eye!”] another man he spit upon them.  Another he simply touched and he began to see.

        Imagine these 3 in a testimony meeting as each one claims to know how God heals.  “It’s this way, no you heretic, it is this way!”  If these 3 guys were Baptists they would have split into 3 new denominations:  the Spittites, the Muddites, and the Touchites. 


God’s methods change, but His character and nature do not.


Here’s 3 elements of God’s character from Joshua 8:


1.     He forgives sin.

7:26b       Aren’t you thankful that He’s a God of the second chance, and third and fourth?!  In God’s economy, failure is not final...


·       Not for Moses when he got in the flesh and killed the Egyptian.

·       Not for David when he committed adultery.

·       Not for Peter when he cursed and denied Christ.


God longs to forgive and forget, but we must first turn to Him in confession and repentance.


Ill.—little boy and his sister went to grandpa’s farm for the summer.  The boy started playing w/ a slingshot, hitting tin cans and such.  One day he aimed it at a goose and knocked it over, dead!  He tried to bury it and cover it over w/ leaves, and he thought he got away with it, but he turned around and there was his sister.  She said, you killed grandma’s goose and I’m gonna tell her.  “No, don’t”.  She said, here’s the deal, I won’t tell, but you’re gonna do whatever I tell you the rest of the summer.  She made his life miserable, having to do all her chores.  At nighttime she would get his dessert.

        It was brutal, and he finally cracked.  He flung himself in grandma’s lap and said I’m so sorry, I have to tell you that I killed your goose.  “I know.”  How do you know?  “I saw thru the window.”  He asked her, why didn’t you tell me?  “I was waiting for you to come and tell me.”


We don’t confess our sins in order to inform God of them.  He already knows all about them.  But we need to level with Him about our sins and be accountable.  He is the Creator and we are the creation who often chooses to do wrong.  But when we do, praise God, it’s in His nature to forgive!


God isn’t finished with you any more than He was finished w/ Moses, David, or Peter!  And don’t use past failure as an excuse not to serve God today.  No looking back!


Israel sinned in Joshua 7, but there is forgiveness and another chance in chapter 8!

Lamentations 3:22
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

2.     He judges sin.

v. 24-26   What a stark contrast between those who repent of sin and those who do not.  The people of the land were unspeakably sinful...and would not repent.


Historians record these people sacrificing their children, hacking off the limbs of innocents for no reason, raping and pillaging, cutting open wombs of pregnant women and hurling their babies into the air, catching them on the tip of their swords for sport!

        Gen 15 speaks of these people hundreds of years earlier saying that God would someday judge them if they didn’t change their ways.  And He did judge them, removing them from the earth like a cancerous tumor.


Israel is forgiven and those of Ai are judged.  One group is pardoned and the other is the same God...and there’s no contradiction.  The God of love is the God of wrath.  But if you reject His forgiveness you will face His wrath!


He forgives sin, He judges sin...


3.     He lets us choose.

Whether we want to be blessed or cursed...He allows us to choose!  Pardoned or punished.  Forgiven or judged!


v. 30-35   It’s an object lesson the people will never forget.  Joshua is doing something he saw Moses do years before.  He takes them to the valley of Shechem.  On one side is Mt. Ebal, very rocky and barren, aka the Mountain of Cursing.  On the other side of this valley [about 500 yards wide] is Mt. Gerizim, aka the Mountain of was very fertile and lush.

        Joshua put half the people on one side and half on the other, and he begins to read all the blessings and curses of the law.


Let’s reenact—this side be the Mt. of Blessing, and this side the Mt. of Cursing.  When I read a blessing you say, Amen, and when I read a curse, you others say, Amen.


From Deuteronomy 27-28

Deuteronomy 28:3
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

“And all the people shall answer and say...Amen!”

Deuteronomy 27:15
Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Deuteronomy 28:4
Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Deuteronomy 27:16
Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deuteronomy 28:6
Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

Deuteronomy 27:17
Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deuteronomy 28:5
Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Deuteronomy 27:19
Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deuteronomy 28:7
The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

We just went back in time!  Imagine the impact this must’ve had on them.  Joshua sets up an altar in the valley, representing the cross of Christ, and says, you can have blessings or curses, it’s your choice...what will YOU say Amen to?

Joel 3:14
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

You can be on the mountain of mercy or the mountain of misery.  Pardon or punishment.  There’s no middle ground.  You WILL make a decision about this today.  To say you are not gonna make a decision is to make a decision.  Jesus said you cannot be neutral.  “He is not with me is against me.”  What is your decision?



Pt. 2

4 Reasons to choose blessings over curses:


You may be thinking, who needs a reason to choose blessing over curses?  Anyone in their right mind would choose that way.  I’m glad that YOU think that way, but obviously many have trouble deciding for Christ.  People aren’t beating our doors down trying to get in!


When I plead w/ someone to receive Christ I feel like I’m begging a starving person to eat.  But they don’t know what we know, so we must tell them the whole story.  We need ammunition to carry with us to help them make their decision, and not put it off.


Also, even after you are saved, you face many choices and make daily decisions which result in blessings or curses, so we do well to consider carefully...


1.     Immediate Joy.

Proverbs 10:22
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

When I see a present under the tree w/ my name on it I don’t want to wait...I want to open it right then and there.

        And when we get saved, we don’t have to wait for heaven to have a better life of joy, which is inward, and not affected by outward things of the world.


We say, you’d better get saved, you may die.  I say, you better get may live!  Lost people don’t really live, they just exist.


Even if there were no heaven or hell [which there are] I would still want to be a Christian for all God does for me in this life.  Why do some think that getting saved is like taking bad it’s a penalty we have to pay for going to heaven?  It’s a wonderful life!


I can have fun and remember it the next day, w/ no regrets or headache!

Joke—preacher closed his message on alcohol saying, “if I had all the beer in the world I’d take it and throw it in the river”...and all the people said, amen!  [wine / whiskey]

        The people were really worked up as he ended the message, and then the songleader stood up and said, let’s sing, “Shall we gather at the river!”


The joy of knowing Jesus isn’t just for the sweet by and by, but for the nasty now and now!


Why wait?  Don’t put off ‘til your deathbed the abundant life of being saved.


Lost people may have furnishings and finery but w/out Jesus, they have no joy.

They may have clothes and cars, but w/out Jesus, they have no joy.


Actual suicide note from a reporter in a NYC hotel: 

“No one is responsible for this except myself.  I have run from house to house, from country to country, from wife to wife, in a vain endeavor to get away from myself.  I have done what I have done because I am fed up w/ the necessity of inventing devices for getting thru 24 hours a day.”  Isn’t it a shame he didn’t know Jesus.


Immediate joy...


2.     Impending Death.

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

The next time someone tells you they will get saved, but ‘not right now’, instruct them to place their fingers upon their own pulse.  Then say this:  that’s all there is between you and eternity.


The Bible tells us how short life is—

·       Like a fading shadow.

1 Chronicles 29:15
...our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

·       Like a flying shuttle.

Job 7:6
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle...

·       Like a hurrying messenger.

Job 9:25
Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.

·       Like a vanishing vapor.

James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

·       Like a blade of grass.

Psalms 103:15-16
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

Ill.—D.L. Moody preached in Chicago one night and felt the Spirit moving strong, but decided not to give an invitation.  He sent them home to think about it and come back and get saved the next week.  The great Chicago fire was that night and many of them died that night.  It so shook him that he made a vow to always give an invitation if he gave the gospel to lost people.


Immediate joy, impending death...


3.     Imminent Rapture.

Matthew 24:44
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

As surely as He came the first time He’s coming again!  And all the saved will be whisked away.  There’s no prophecy unfulfilled keeping Him from returning.  The signs of His coming are everywhere.


A one world movement has been in place for decades, a one world church, a one world economy, and a one world government is right on its heels.  Many Americans rejoiced at the news of Obama’s victory this week, but they weren’t the only ones.  Many more around the world are touting him as the President of the World, a major international healer, bringing all together.  Ahmadenijad sent personal congratulations and said he believes they can work together!


If I wasn’t saved, I believe I’d get saved right now, looking at this world in labor, about to deliver.


Immediate joy, impending death, imminent rapture...


4.     Increasing Hardness.

Psalms 95:7-8
To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart...

Every time a person says no to Christ it makes it harder for them to later say yes to Him. 

Ill.—Pharaoh is our example of a hardened heart, progressively getting harder, until finally it was God hardening his heart for him...he had already made his choice clear!

Some are against leading children to the Lord.  But Jesus was all for it, because of human nature.  We need to mold the clay while it is soft!


Most here are already saved, but we need to be winning lost people while there is time.  And we need to make our choices wisely, recognizing the signs of the times, living each day like it is our last, for it truly could be!


Raise your hand if you know someone who needs to hear this message.


Recommend this sermon to others.  [A new window will open.  Rate this sermon from 1 to 5 'stars' with just a click, then close.]


Grace Notes Sermon Ministry:

Subscribe for free     Learn More


NOTICE!  Our sermons are free to download, copy and paste, edit and use as you see fit...but only our free subscribers get the newest messages, featured sermons, and some free gifts we shower on them from time to time!


Help keep this service free by recommending it

using the links above the sermon


All Sermons and PowerPoint Slideshow Presentations ©Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries® unless otherwise credited.  These resources are yours to use freely, but only in public worship services or private study groups and devotions.  They may not be sold, republished or retransmitted in any form without written permission.