The church is God's amazing masterpiece and it is showing how defeated the devil truly is...when we live in the authority and power God planned for us! Ephesians 3:1 - 4-16
Jesus made a UNITED church possible by His Death on the Cross. Both Jew and Gentile are now included in ONE Exciting Body...because THE GOSPEL HAS NO FAVORITES!
God wants to use the gifts and ministries that He has given us to FURTHER HIS KINGDOM!
Striving for the GOAL of Eph. 4:13 (That we all become Just Like Jesus) - and do things the way that HE would do them.
Have your mind made up - Eph. 4:14...quit being babies and infants - Be Responsible to do what God has gifted you to do!
When we use our gifts/ministries - we display God's powerful church - the masterpiece that it is! (Eph. 3:10)
God's Timing is Always Right
Text: John 11:11-15, 39-44 / Matthew 26:47-50
11These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
39Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
HANG IN THERE
Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl,
One was an optimistic soul
But the other took the gloomy view,
"I shall drown he cried, "and so will you."
So with a last despairing cry,
He closed his eyes and said, "Good-bye."
But the other frog, with a merry grin,
Said, "I can't get out, but I won't give in!
I'll swim around till my strength is spent.
For having tried, I'll die content."
Bravely he swam until it would seem
His struggles began to churn the cream.
On the top of the butter at last he stopped
And out of the bowl he happily hopped.
What is the moral? It's easily found.
If you can't get out--keep swimming around!
--James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 394.
TAKING THE LIMITS OFF
God’s LOVE - Week 3
Texts: Matthew 22:37-39 / John 14 & 15
TEXT: Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself
Most people are not able to Love God and Love Others like they should because they do not yet know how to love themselves.
If you can learn how to love yourself and respect yourself because you see the value and worth God has placed on you - then you will be able to receive the Love that He has for you.
People dislike themselves for all kinds of reasons…some people were born to parents or a parent who degraded them constantly and caused them to feel bad about themselves. Others have been made fun of for physical characteristics that they may or may not have any control over - and so they feel insecure and inadequate.
Many people today live with guilt from things that have happened to them in the past or maybe some life-changing mistakes they have made. They feel like they can never move on from these things because they were “BRANDED” by them. Some have had major failures and setbacks in jobs, careers, education and relationships that have instigated the self-loathing process.
There are so many other reasons why people today have trouble not loving themselves or even LIKING themselves. So seeing this trend in our society - I am very burdened for PEOPLE! It is very easy for us to be judgmental and look down our noses at everyone around us - but what did Jesus do when he came across the same issue in His society? Of all the recorded instances of Jesus meeting people - Did you know that the majority of people that Jesus met didn’t like themselves too much when they first met Him.
We see several instances where people came to theCrossroads in their lives…and at that point - they didn’t love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. So even though this is the FIRST and GREATEST commandment - it is certainly not the first thing that happens.
The woman at the well in Samaria, the woman taken in adultery, Zacchaeus, even some of the disciples…all of these people had issues with themselves when they first met Jesus. Why do we think that everyone has to have it all together? Most times the very thing that brings us to Jesus is the thing that is causing us to dislike ourselves the most!
We come to Jesus weary, worn, and sad…We need Jesus!
What does coming to Jesus do that helps us be able to love ourselves?
When we are in the presence of God - we can see things for how they really are. It is not just our depravity, but it is our worth to Jesus, and the love He and others have for us. - Outside of the presence of God, we not only forget these things, but the devil will try to convince us that there is no way that God could truly love us, not after…
Outside of the presence of God - there is NO TRUE LOVE…because GOD IS LOVE! The world has LUST, and FEELINGS, and EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT - but LOVE IS OF GOD!
That is why there is NO HOPE outside of God and the presence of GOD, because there is no TRUE LOVE! How can I become whole, how can I move beyond the things in my past and the very low self-esteem that I have? Love is the Answer!
Once we have learned how to love ourself and forgive ourself or others for things in the past - we can then move forward. Until we deal with these things, we are just putting off an inevitable breakdown and depression.
If you find yourself in need of healing and wholeness today:
Love is the Answer!
John 15:9-10 (NIV)
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
If you are whole you will be able to love others and treat others the way you want to be treated.
If you are whole, you can accept the love that God has for you and realize that He has already paid the price for everything in your past and you can move forward in His Love.
In John 15:1-11 and Matthew 22:37 we are commanded to Love God… If you are whole, and you have received God’s love - you can love Him in return, because He first loved you!
John 15:12-13 (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
In John 15:12-13 and Matthew 22:39. We are instructed to love each other as we love ourselves and as Jesus loved us. That would simply mean unconditionally! In our humanity, we decide who is and isn’t worthy of love far too often.
So how can we take the limits off of God’s Love?
By LOVING others the way Jesus loves them, and the way we love ourselves. (WHO) - Everybody, Always!
When was the last time you looked at someone you just met and thought to yourself “I Love You”, I love you because Jesus loves you…and I want to be here for you!??
In John 14 and 15 Jesus goes on and on about LOVE. He describes this LOVE as something that will define us and how other see us (as Christians and Jesus’ Followers). Here are just a few highlights of what He describes:
If we truly LOVE, we will:
- BE LOVED IN RETURN (by Him)
- OBEY (Jesus Instructions)
- RECEIVE (the Comforter)
- SERVE (others)
- GIVE (of ourselves freely)
- BEAR FRUIT (making disciples)
Ask yourself right now…are these active in my life?
CLOSING - How can we take the limits off God’s Love?
Repentance brings us into the presence of God…He is Holy and cannot dwell in unclean vessels…we must cleanse…
Be Baptized in Jesus’ Name to wash away every sin and stain..if you have already, ask for cleansing in the Blood!
Receive God’s Spirit and His Love into your life. If you haven’t yet received the Holy Ghost…accept that it is for you and that God does LOVE YOU! If you have HG, then stir up the Gift, with an honest discussion with God about how you LOVE, and get into the presence of God daily to be able to LOVE and Take the LIMITS off of God’s Love every day!
The Way in The Manger
TEXT: Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
In our world today, we find so many people that seem to be confused about what happens after this life. Some believe that there is no after-life, some believe in many different and various versions of after-life. Then, once you categorize all those variations - you have to look at what happens in this life to get them from here to their eternity. Eternal destinations are almost always shaped by what happens in this life - in almost every variation of belief.
If you ask the average “Christian” how to get to heaven - you will get many different answers. Today I want to declare to you that there are not MANY WAYS to get to heaven, or have eternal life with God - THERE IS ONLY ONE! - THE WAY in the manger!
Emanuel God with us is now God IN us through the Holy Spirit!
John 14:6 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
THE WAY in the manger!
DOWN FROM HIS GLORY
TEXT: Colossians 2:6-10 (KJV)
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Philippians 2:7-8 (KJV)
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
This is why Christmas is so special. It has really nothing to do with many of the trappings and traditions we celebrate it with. The real and true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of a God who came DOWN FROM HIS GLORY to have a relationship with and SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS!
The reason He “Came Down from His Glory” was to rescue us and reconcile us. This is made possible by the Holy Spirit. - Here is how it happens:
We acknowledge that we are a sinner and we have broken God’s laws - we REPENT or turn over our lives to God and turn from the life that says we know better than God what is best for our lives. That is where many people get hung up...they are not willing to trust God with their life. They are sorry because they know they have broken God’s laws, but they aren’t willing to start leaning in to God’s way of doing things!
Whoever you are - it is time to REPENT - Turn To God, turn away from SIN!
Our next step after we have died out to our old life and turned from SIN is to bury our flesh in the waters of Baptism in Jesus’ Name. When we are baptized in Jesus’ Name - we are then buried with Jesus Christ and we take on his name. It is washing away our sins, and us taking on the family name of Jesus Christ! (The one who SAVES us from our sins because He came down from His Glory).
Then Jesus places His Spirit inside of us to help us be more like Him. He is reconciling us to Himself. That is why He came - to give us the opportunity to forsake sin and have eternal life.
Why not today, as we celebrate CHRISTMAS!? Let’s do it the right way and honor the ONE who came Down from His Glory!
Powerful Message and Testimony from Missionary Bobby Lewis (Germany) about the fact that God can do Everything - Text: Job 42:2. You will be inspired and uplifted by this message! We are anticipating greater things than we have ever seen - because God can do everything!
Sis. Lewis (Missionary to Germany) testifies and sings about their burden to reach the people of Germany with the Name of Jesus. She sings "What A Beautiful Name It Is" by Hillsong. We do not own the rights to this song...but it is covered by our CCLI to sing in services and archive recordings. She also sings it in German.