“Show Us the Father”
JESUS Series Week 3

John 14:6-11 (KJV)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Today we are going to look at a discussion that Jesus has with Phillip when they were wanting to know how Jesus was going to solve everything that was wrong in their world.
Jesus often spoke of “the Father” because the people with whom He was speaking could not understand how a human being could come from God. So when Jesus in human flesh is referring to the Father – He is talking about the Almighty, Eternal, OmniPresent Spirit that we know is God! That Spirit was what overshadowed Mary, that Spirit is what filled and directed Jesus through life on Earth and that Spirit is the same spirit that we receive when we are filled with the Holy Ghost – and it is that Spirit that will raise us up whether dead or alive to be with Him for eternity!

Jesus explains to Phillip – that if you have seen the person of Jesus Christ…You have seen the Eternal Spirit of God because they are one and the same!
Like Colossians 2:9 says,

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

Jesus had already explained to some Jews in John 10:
30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

 

Phillip says – Show us the Father…
Jesus says – I already have.
The Jews couldn’t understand how a MAN could be GOD
Jesus said -if I don’t do the WORKS of GOD, and you have no evidence or proof that what I am doing is a GOD THING – then don’t believe me – BUT… If I do the WORKS OF GOD and you have evidence and proof that what I am doing is A GOD THING – then believe me!

Our world wants to see a better way…
They want to see GOD…the HOPE beyond this life!…
1 Corinthians 4:14-16 (KJV)
14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Keep in mind that what Jesus told Phillip was accurate – when we see Jesus – we are seeing the only image of the invisible God.
Colossians 1:15-18 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

We know that GOD IS LOVE – Jesus showed us that…in everything He did and every word He said… He was the visible display of LOVE for all to see!

He showed us that God hears and answers prayers – in the many times He healed, delivered, raised from the dead…and even in the delays or seeming denials…He heard and answered!

In one of the parables Jesus spoke He SHOWED us the FATHER and the LOVE OF THE FATHER…it is usually called the Parable of the Prodigal Son (also known as the parable of the Two Brothers, Lost Son, Loving Father, or of the Forgiving Father). I think of it as the parable of the Prodigal (Extravagant) Father!

We spend lots of time and energy discussing the relevance of the brothers..and their actions and reactions – but the focus the whole time is THE FATHER! Jesus was showing the LOVE of the GOD through this illustration of the EXTRAVAGANT (Prodigal) FATHER! I believe Jesus was showing us that GOD loves all of us…and wants all of us to be with HIM in the house…but even though His Love for us is EXTRAVAGANT – ultimately…we CHOOSE whether or not we will be “in the house”!
The parable of the two sons (another parable Jesus tells that directly mentions a father) – has much the same message. One son eventually does the will of his father, the other just claims to…but never does!
GOD GIVES ALL OF US THE OPPORTUNITY – IT ALL COMES DOWN TO OUR CHOICE!

Our World is in desperate need right now. They need to SEE GOD in us! They don’t even understand their need for us to SHOW THEM THE FATHER!

We need someone to step up and give clear direction for children and families in this time that we live in. It’s kind of like our society is saying, SHOW US THE FATHER – and we will be ok!

Church, that is exactly what our world needs. Not someone to be a champion for social justice, not an insurgent or protest rally leader, not a political figure…
This world needs us to SHOW THEM THE FATHER!
They need to see God!
We cannot fix them or what is broken. We can only show them GOD! The choice they make about Him is up to them..but we have to be Jesus to this world. GOD is LOVE, and that is what our world needs like never before!
Not just Love, but GOD’S LOVE!
When we show God’s Love – we are showing them the Father!

How can we show God’s Love this week?

  • By praying for them to return to the Father
  • By going out of our way to show love and kindness
  • Being careful about what we say and post…
  • In being there when they are ready to talk/pray.
  • Treating everyone the same way…without prejudice
  • Welcoming them with joy and excitement when they return

Have you made your choice today? Do you want a Barabbas Life or a Jesus Life?
Today if you will turn from sin, and turn to God – you will receive the peace that only Jesus can give you!
If you will be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ – all the sins and mistakes of your past will be washed away never to be held against you again.
God will fill you with His Spirit and you will have peace that passes any human understanding.
The choice is yours today. Will you get caught up in all the chaos, tension and trouble – or will you choose peace in your life – by choosing GOD!

More Episodes

Lose Your Mind - MIND SET Series Pt 4

June 17, 2020

Lose Your Mind
“Mind Set” – Part 4 (Lose Your Mind)

Text: Philippians 2:5 / 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Get the Mind of Christ, lose the old way of thinking

In order to find your mind in Christ, you first have to TURN TO GOD, and turn away from your old way of doing things. Realizing that there is more to life than what you have currently found, you take a step of faith by Repenting of Sin and Turning to God, then you are baptized in Jesus’ Name to wash away the stains from the past, and God will fill you with His Spirit – the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the prerequisite to having the Mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

 

Romans 12:1-3
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Ephesians 4:17-24
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Lawrence Peter said, “Since the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, does that mean only left-handed people are in their right mind?”

“Yogi” Berra (1925-2015) quipped, “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” In his book, Berra took credit for this one. This quotation is also sometimes rendered as: “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

 

1 Peter 1:13  “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Luke 10:27  “So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

1 Corinthians 15:22  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

Get a FOCUSED MIND – Filling your mind with Christ

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Beware, the god of your imagination is an imaginary god. The Christ of your imagination is not the Christ of the Bible. Make certain you believe on the Jesus of the Bible.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Psalm 119:15-16, 97 “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. . . . Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

 

Chris Kleyn shares the following: “To many Christians think the Bible is like a software license. They don’t actually read it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree’.”

Paul exhorts Timothy, his son in the ministry, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

We have got to LOSE our carnal mind, and fill our mind with Jesus Christ DAILY!

Dr. Walter A. Elwell explains, “By studying the Bible we get to know who God is and what he is like. The Scriptures include over 15,000 references to God and a thorough study of those passages alone could change our lives. So why don’t we take 10-15 minutes a day minimum? Cause the enemy keeps you distracted and you aren’t redeeming the TIME you have!

We should also study the Bible in order to test out what we believe. The world is filled with false ideas about God and His purposes for us. So when we hear someone stating what God’s will is, we ought to check it out for ourselves in His Word, and then reject what is false and keep what is true.

Finally, we need to study the Bible in order to grow spiritually as it encourages us to love and serve God and others, calls our attention to our own sin, and helps us live like Christ.”

The Bible is a Him Book, it is all about Him, Jesus Christ!

Remember the acronym GIGO—garbage in garbage out.

Whatever you feed your mind will fill your mind.

Fix your mind on Christ.

Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Here is what Having the Mind of Christ looks like:

When you have the mind of Christ you have a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

When you have the mind of Christ you have a sober mind.
1 Peter 1:13 – “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

There was a popular song once that said, “. . . whiskey river take my mind”? Do you know what? It will!
Ephesians 5:18 – “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”

We must ask the Lord to take our carnal mind, and give us His mind everyday.

We can only follow Jesus, if we have His mind…
1 Peter 2:21 – “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”

The only way to have revival in our community is for the church to have Biblical unity and this is only achieved when all members have the mind of Christ!

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17)!

Those without the mind of Christ operating in their life are marked by “. . . envy, strife, and divisions. . .” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

Now is the time for us to LOSE OUR MINDS and take on the Mind of Christ! – There is a mind to reject, a mind to receive, and a mind to renew.

Repentance is a change of mind and heart that leads to a change in direction.

Isaiah 1:18 – “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

To gain His, have you lost your mind?

Peace of Mind - MIND SET Series Pt 3

June 16, 2020

Peace of Mind
“Mind Set” – Part 3 (Peace of Mind)

Text: Colossians 3:2-5 / Phil. 4:6-9

Colossians 3:2-5 (NKJV)
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NASB)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [b]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [c]dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

You can’t have a positive life with a Negative mind.

Write out your 2 biggest worries…

Really over exaggerating for some…and others of you are like…you left a lot of things off that list!

So let’s talk about WORRY and the MIND, and how you can have PEACE of MIND!

Your life will always move in the direction of your strongest thoughts. This is good if you have your mind SET on GOD and things above…not so good if you are focused on other things!

Any time you’re: Afraid—Anxious—Worried— It Compounds the issues at hand.

We have a little almond shaped portion in our brain called the — Amygdala —Whenever you are afraid, this is in full alert mode.

Amygdala—Helpful Part of the brain Wired for Survival—Responsible for fear.

When your brain senses Danger— the Amygdala kicks in sending strong doses of Adrenalin to your body!

The Problem is that our Amygdala is not objective
—It is hard wired to protect us.

The Amygdala needs help from Prefrontal Cortex—the Logical part of our brain.
Noise at night—Amygdala tells you, you are Going to die—Prefrontal Cortex reasons what it could be.

Jesus didn’t say: Let your hearts be troubled! (Do not…)
Angel didn’t say: Glory God in highest—Stress/anxiety on earth.
Paul didn’t say: Be anxious about everything!

Phil 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

All we can do now is PRAY?

Why is that our LAST OPTION? It should be our FIRST OPTION!!

Prayer is powerful!
Boldly go before throne grace…

Not only does prayer move the heart of God.
Prayer changes the chemistry in your brain.

A few decades ago—Neurologists believed brain didn’t change after adolescence.

Neuroplasticity — We have learned that our brain is continually changing—thoughts change brain.

Neurotheology — Also known as Spiritual Neuroscience

Studies relationship between: Brain & Belief in God.
Prayer changes brain.

“It has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan.” Dr. Caroline Leaf author of Switch On Your Brain

Just as toxic—Negative thoughts—Hurt brain.
– Pre-programming us for unhealthy thinking and living

Prayer heals—Renews the MIND –

Romans 12 – Do not be conformed to the patterns, thought processes or the WAYS of this world, but be TRANSFORMED (be MADE DIFFERENT)…how is that possible – by the RENEWING of your MIND!

God’s Word renews your mind, and Prayer Transforms your thinking about God, about reality and about what is and is not possible!

So then, Why do we worry? Panic? Anxiety?

Many different reasons…we are xperiencing an Amygdala Hijack.

Your brain tells you in the middle of the night…that you have to prepare for the worst case scenario…if you don’t the WORST is going to happen to you, to your family, etc…

Neuroscience would tell you it is an Amygdala Hijack
Paul would say—Mind is dominated by sinful thinking.

What is worry?
Worry is the sin of distrusting the promises and power God?
– It’s saying, God I don’t believe you are good enough to take care of this…I better take care of it without you!
God, I just can’t trust you with this!

Instead of letting my sinful nature control my mind, I will choose to let my brain choose the Truth that the Spirit will direct me to think.

Romans 8:5-6 (NLT)
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

This is why we need to…
Take every thought captive.
So if there is a thought we have that is not consistent with the WORD OF GOD, we take that thought captive and we make it obey and follow what the Word of God tells us! (Obedient to Christ).

When we choose the Word of God…we are allowing the Spirit of God to lead us in our thinking! The Spirit of God is not going to go against the WORD of God.

Prefrontal Cortex grabs the Amygdala and gives every worry to God.

Prayer Box

— STRATEGY —
Do what I can do.
Give God what I can’t do
Trust God no matter what.

Imagine having a true Heart of Peace, Life that is full of Joy, and constantly having true Peace of Mind, because you are totally Trusting in God.

THAT IS possible. And it’s also a choice.

If your life is moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts…Do you like the direction your thoughts are taking you?

If you don’t control what you think
You will never control what you do.

Identify the truth that will MAKE you free from the bondage of fear and anxiety…
Then you —Write it. Think it. Confess. Until you Believe it.

  • Jesus First in my life. My purpose is to serve and glorify Him Alone.
  • Jesus in me is stronger than my sinful desires.
  • I’m getting closer to Jesus every day.
  • Because of Jesus, my family is closer, my body is stronger, my faith is deeper, my brain is sharper.
  • I am victorious—because the Holy Spirit dwells within me.
  • I place my words, thoughts and imaginations under the power of Jesus.
  • I am not a hostage to unhealthy thoughts.
  • The weapons I fight with are not the weapons of this world. I have divine power to demolish strongholds.
  • Worry is not my master. I trust in God alone.
  • God’s peace guards my heart, guards my mind, and guards my soul in Christ Jesus.
  • I am not a slave to habits. I am not a prisoner to an addiction. I have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God’s light.

You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you frame it.

Stop interpreting God through circumstances.
Start interpreting your circumstances through goodness of God. (There is a plan, He’s allowing it for a reason).

Cover everything you do in prayer!

Don’t Believe the LIE (anything that is not consistent with God’s Word, anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…anything that would make your worries bigger than your God)

Embrace the TRUTH. Jesus is Truth, His Word is Truth…His Ways are truth…

And the Truth will MAKE you FREE (Free from Fear, Free from anxiety, free from worry…)

JESUS IS ENOUGH - Jesus Series - June 14, 2020 (Rev. Nate Grace)

June 14, 2020

Jesus is Enough!

 

Text Matthew: 17:1-8

17 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

 

Mount Hermon- Tallest mountain in all of Palestine, over 9000ft tall

Peter, James, and John- the inner circle of the apostles

Luke 9: Traveled, fell asleep, woke up in a start so this story happened at night- One thing to see a bright light, but to see Jesus clothed in garments shining

 

  • English word Behold

Greek word- idou– means Pay attention to this- interpreted- Behold

  1. Matt 17:3-Mosses and Elijah were there- Both had mountain top experiences

    1. Moses received ten commandments up on Mount Sinai in Ex 19
    2. Elijah was up on Mount Carmel, called down fire from heaven and it consumed the sacrifice, and the water
  • Why did God choose Moses and Elijah:

    • Moses- I think it is because Moses represents the Law- wrote first five books of the Bible, often called the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

      • He was considered the giver of the Law
    • Elijah- He was considered the foremost of the prophets
  • So in Moses and Elijah you have both the Law and the prophets
  • Did you know that Jesus was the fulfillment of both the Law and the Prophets
  • Matt 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Then Peter sees Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah and thinks that Jesus is their equal

This is where we see God respond with a voice from heaven

What caused God to speak from heaven?

When Peter suggested that Jesus should share His glory with someone else

Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord that is my name and my glory will I not give to another neither my praise to graven images.

  1. Matt 17:5 God Presence appears in form a cloud- second important thing to notice

Matt 17: While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them:

God uses a cloud several times in the Bible to indicate his presence:

  1. The Exodus from Egypt- cloud by day, fire by night
  2. The inauguration of the tabernacle- Shekinah glory of God
  3. The inauguration of the temple
  4. Ezekiel’s vision 1:5
  5. John’s vision in Revelation chapter
  6. Matt 17: 5b The Voice of God spoke –

Matt 17: While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

This passage tells us three things:

  1. Voiced Divine approval on Jesus- “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased- Approval was not focused on Moses, not on Elijah, But the focus was upon Jesus
  2. Directed authority to Jesus- Hear Ye Him! Not Moses, Not Elijah, but listen to Jesus alone
  3. Called for Obedience to Jesus alone, Not Moses, Not Elijah

You see, the disciples distracted by the presence of Moses and Elijah, they were taught about Moses and Elijah, and they missed the point that was right in front of them! JESUS IS ENOUGH

 

Telegraph Illustration: Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator.

       Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office. The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. 

       Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet.  They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.

       Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.” 

The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”

       The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’

 None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are our ears tuned to His voice??

While others were pre-occupied with other conversations, although worthwhile they may have been, they missed the main message!

  • THE ONES WHO WILL HEAR THE STILL, SMALL VOICE OF JESUS IN THIS GENERATION ARE THE ONES WHO ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS!

WE HAVE ALL HAD PEOPLE SAY SOMETHING TO US AND WE WERE DAYDREAMING, OR OTHERWISE PRE-OCCUPIED.

“The only way I can really understand what someone says is if I am looking directly at them when they speak!”

  • IN ORDER TO HEAR WHAT GOD IS SAYING, WE MUST REMOVE ALL DISTRACTIONS AND KEEP OUR EYES ON HIM!

And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

To put this scripture in context, just a week earlier, Jesus had asked his disciples a question in

Matthew 16:13- Whom do men say that I am?

They had responded in verse 14:

And they said, Some say that thou are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Matt 16:16– And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

It is interesting that in the space of just a week that he forgets that Jesus is the Son of the Living God.

I submit to you that the entire point of the Mount Transfiguration experience is to show the inner circle, Peter, James and John that He is God manifested in the flesh

The Law was necessary for its time but Jesus came to fulfill the law, Jesus is Enough all by himself.

The prophets had a very important function in their day, but the prophets cant save you but Jesus can, Jesus is enough!

I am saying to this church today, God has a job for someone to do!

There is a work to be done, and the position is open, who will fill it?

Who will go and do the work of God in this generation?

  • THE JOB POSITION IS OPEN, AND THE ADVERTISEMENT HAS GONE FORTH!

Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

What is The job you may ask?

Reach the lost at any cost!

The Pay?

Matthew 16:26-27

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

 

The benefits?

Romans 14:17

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 

And a life insurance policy that is out of this world!

And, the applicants have come from near and far, and are sitting in the interview room, waiting for their turn!

 

But, I would say to you today, that it is not the most qualified, not the most well-dressed, not the first on the scene, or not the ones with the most ability that will get the job, but the ones that will get the nod from the Lord of the Harvest are those who will hear his still, small, voice and understand what the purpose of the church is in this day!

 

Those whose attention is not diverted by the other sounds that clamor all around, those who don’t think that they have already arrived and deserve the job because of their superior qualifications, but those who are listening and understanding the voice of God!

We can argue all day long amongst ourselves, and use scripture to back up why we are right, and everyone else is wrong, but while we are crossing theological swords, people are dying and going to hell!

  • THE ONES WHOM GOD WILL WORK THROUGH IN THIS GENERATION ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE ELIMINATED THE DISTRACTIONS IN THEIR LIVES.

 

Not the most educated,

Not the best dressed,

Not the ones with the most impressive pedigree or heritage,

But, those who have eliminated distractions!

If you have Jesus, you have enough!

I truly believe that what God is looking for in this generation is not talent, ability, pedigree, heritage, etc.

I BELIEVE THAT GOD IS SIMPLY LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS!

PEOPLE WHO WILL KEEP THEIR PURPOSE CLEAR, THEIR LIVES UNCLUTTERED, AND FREE FROM THE THINGS OF THE WORLD THAT WILL DIVERT OUR ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE STILL, SMALL VOICE OF GOD!

People that will not only hear, but understand what God is saying.

 

How do I hear and understand the voice of God?

It’s not enough to hear the voice of God; I must understand what God is saying.

Peter heard the voice of God but wanted to build three temples.

It’s one thing to hear the voice, but another to know from where it is coming and what it is saying.

John 10:27

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

The way that I can hear the voice of God is only through prayer, fasting, spending time in the Word and eliminating distractions.

 

Jesus is Enough!

  • When you are fearful, – “His perfect Love Casteth out all fear” Jesus is enough for you
  • Lonely– Matthew 28:20 Jesus said, “Lo I am with you always even to the ends of the earth” Jesus is enough for you!
  • Weary– Matt 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest- Jesus is enough for you!
  • Friendless– He is the friend that sticketh closer than a brother- Jesus is enough for you
  • Healing– Jesus is the healer- he bore stripes upon his back for your healing, he has already paid the price- Jesus is enough for you
  • Salvation: Jesus died on the cross for your sins- Jesus is enough for you!

If you have never repented of your sins, let me tell you that Jesus is enough for you- He died to pay the penalty of your sins

You don’t need to carry it any longer, bring it to Jesus

Bring your hurts to him,

Acts 2:37-39

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

If you have never been baptized in Jesus Name, Jesus is enough for you!

  • Today is your day, we have warm water in the baptistry tank
  • We have robes here,
  • There is a private place to get changed
  • you can be baptized and go home in your dry clothes
  • But most importantly, you can go home with your sins washed away!

SET YOUR MIND - Mind Set Series Pt 2

June 10, 2020

Set Your Mind
“Mind Set” – Part 2 (Set Your Mind)

Text: Colossians 3:2-5

Colossians 3:2-5 (NKJV)
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Psalm 150:1-6
1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

James 3:6
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

2 Chronicles 20:18-22
18And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. 19And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 20And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
21And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. 22And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

Psalm 103:1-5
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

If you want to make the enemy look SMALL, then make God look BIG with your praise.

PRAISE DOESN’T CHANGE GOD’S POWER, IT CHANGES OUR PERSPECTIVE!
(It sets our MINDS on things above)

Magnify the Lord in praise!
Psalm 34:1-4
1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

•YOU CAN SET YOUR MIND THROUGH PRAISE…

If you LAUNCH THE WEAPON OF PRAISE TO GOD – you will live in victory!

THE WORSHIPPER’S ALPHABET (by Raymond Woodward)

•You can talk about your ANXIETIES, or you can praise the Advocate, the All in All, the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the Altogether Lovely, the Amen, the Anointed, the Apostle of our Profession, the Author of Eternal Salvation, and the One who is Alive Forevermore.

•You can talk about your BITTERNESS, or you can praise the Banner, the Bearer of Sin, the Beginning and the Ending, the Beloved, the Buckler, the Branch, the Bread, the Blessed Hope, the Bridegroom, the Bright and Morning Star, and the One who is Before All Things.

•You can talk about your CONCERNS, or you can praise the Captain of our Salvation, the Chief Cornerstone, the Chosen of God, the Christ, the Chief Shepherd, the Cleft of the Rock, the Comforter, the Commander, the Consolation, the Counselor, the Creator, and the Chiefest Among Ten Thousand.

•You can talk about your DEPRESSION, or you can praise the Daysman, the Day Spring from on High, the Daystar to Arise, the Defense, the Deliverer, the Desire of all Nations, and the Dwelling Place.

•You can talk about your EMPTINESS, or you can praise the Elect, the Eternal God, the Everlasting Light, the Ensign, Emmanuel, the Everlasting Name, the Express Image of God, and the Everlasting Father.

•You can talk about your FEARS, or you can praise the Faithful and True, the Finisher of your Faith, the First Begotten of the Dead, the Firstborn, the Faithful High Priest, the Firstfruits of Them that Slept, the Fortress, the Foundation, the Fountain of Living Waters, the Friend of Sinners, the Faithful and True, the Foreordained before the Foundation of the World, and the Friend that Sticketh Closer than a Brother.

•You can talk about your GUILT, or you can praise the Gift of God, the Glorious Name, the Good Master, the Glory of God, God Blessed Forever, God Manifest in Flesh, God Who Avengeth Me, God With Us, God of My Strength, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, the Guiltless, the Governor, the God of My Life, the Great God, the Guide, and the God of My Salvation.

•You can talk about your HABITS, or you can praise the Habitation of Justice, the Head of all Principality and Power, the Head of the Body, the Heir of All Things, the Helper, the Hidden Manna, the Hiding Place, the High Priest, the High Tower, the Holy One, the Hope of Glory, the Horn of Salvation, the House of Defense, and the High and Lofty One who Inhabiteth Eternity.

•You can talk about your INSECURITIES, or you can praise the I Am, the Innocent, Immanuel, and the Image of the Invisible God.

•You can talk about your JEALOUSIES, or you can praise Jesus Christ, the Judge of the Quick and the Dead, the Jasper Stone, the Just One, and the Judge of All the Earth.

•You can talk about your KNOWLEDGE, or you can praise the King of Glory, the King of Saints, the Keeper, the King Eternal, the King Immortal, the Kinsman, the King in His Beauty, the King Forever and Ever, the Kindness and Love of God, the King of Kings, and the King who Cometh in the Name of the Lord.

•You can talk about your LONELINESS, or you can praise the Last Adam, the Lawgiver, the Life, the Lifter Up of Mine Head, the Light of the World, the Lily of the Valleys, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Living Bread, the Lord of Lords, the Living God, the Lord God Almighty, the Lord of Glory, the Lowly in Heart, the Lord God Omnipotent, and the Lamb that was Slain before the Foundation of the World.

•You can talk about your MISERY, or you can praise the Magnified, the Maker, the Man Christ Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, the Manna, the Master, the Mediator, the Meek, the Mouth of God, the Merciful and Faithful High Priest, the Messiah, the Mighty God, the Morning Star, the Mystery of God, and the One who is Marvelous in our Eyes.

•You can talk about your NEEDS, or you can praise the Nazarene, the Nail Fastened in a Sure Place, and the Name Above Every Name.

•You can talk about your OFFENSES, or you can praise the Offering and Sacrifice, the Offspring of David, the Ointment Poured Forth, the Only Potentate, the Omega, the Only Wise God, and the Only Begotten of the Father.

•You can talk about your PROBLEMS, or you can praise the Passover, the Pavilion, the Perfect Man, the Physician, the Place of Refuge, the Portion of Mine Inheritance, the Potter, the Precious Corner Stone, the Preeminence, the Priest of the Most High God, the Prince and Saviour, the Prophet, the Propitiation, the Purifier, and the Prince of Peace.

•You can talk about your QUESTIONS, or you can praise the One who is the Quickening Spirit.

•You can talk about your REASONS, or you can praise the Rain, the Ransom for All, the Rabbi, the Redeemer, the Redemption, the Refiner’s Fire, the Resting Place, the Righteousness of God, the Refuge in Times of Trouble, the Rock of Our Salvation, the Root and Offspring of David, the Rose of Sharon, the Ruler, the Reward for the Righteous, the Riches of His Glory, the Righteous Judge, the River of Water in a Dry Place, the Resurrection and the Life, and the Rock that is Higher Than I.

•You can talk about your SADNESS, or you can praise the Sacrifice for Sins, the Salvation of God, the Seed of the Woman, the Sanctuary, the Saving Strength of His Anointed, the Saviour of the World, the Scapegoat, the Scepter of Israel, the Secret, the Seed of Abraham, the Sent One, the Separate from Sinners, the Servant, the Shadow from the Heat, the Shelter, the Shepherd, the Shield, Shiloh, the Sign, the Son of the Living God, the Star of Jacob, the Sweet Smelling Savour, the Stone which the Builders Rejected, the Strength of my Life, the Strong Consolation, the Stronghold, the Strong Tower from the Enemy, the Sure Foundation, and the Same Yesterday, Today and Forever.

•You can talk about your TRIALS, or you can praise the Tabernacle of God, the Temple, the Testator, the Treasure, the Teacher, the Testimony, the True Bread, the True Light, the True Vine, the True Witness, the Tender Mercy of God, the Truth, and the Tried Stone.

•You can talk about your UNCERTAINTY, or you can praise the Undefiled, the Understanding, the Unknown God, the Unspeakable Gift, the Upright, and the Upholder of All Things.

•You can talk about your VICTIMIZATION, or you can praise the Very Great, the Veil, the Victory, the Very God of Peace, the Vine, the Voice, and the Very Present Help in Time of Trouble.

•You can talk about your WEAKNESSES, or you can praise the Wall of Fire, the Wave Offering, the Wedding Garment, the Well of Living Waters, the Wisdom of God, the Witness, the Well of Salvation, the Wonderful, the Word, the Worthy, the Wise Master Builder, and the Way, the Truth and the Life.

•You can talk about your X-CUSES, or you can praise the One who is X-cellent!

•You can talk about your YEARNINGS, or you can praise the One whose Yoke is easy and His Burden is Light.

•You can talk about your ZEROS, or you can praise the One who is the Zeal of the Lord of Hosts.

•The secret to setting your mind for victory is CONTINUAL PRAISE.

Praise God when you are feeling like it, praise God when you don’t feel like it!

It’s always the right time…so SET YOUR MIND, when you are focused on things above…out of your mouth will come the praises of God which will bring about your victory!

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is it so easy to speak negative and pessimistic things?
  2. What circumstances around you lately have tempted you to complain instead of praising?
  3. What are 3 things that you can praise God for today?
  4. After taking time to praise God for those things and think about the goodness of God – how does your mindset change?

STRONGHOLDS - Mind Set Series pt1

June 10, 2020

“Mind Set” – Part 1 (Strongholds)

Text: Colossians 3:2-5 / 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Colossians 3:2-5 (NKJV)
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Spiritual warfare cannot be fought by just repeating someone else’s actions or phrases; we must understand with our MINDS what we are doing and why we are doing it if we are going to be effective!

Satan has three main weapons against the church:

The most obvious weapon is an active one called SIN.

The second weapon is a passive one called ACCUSATIONS.

Satan is described as the accuser of the brethren (Job 1:6-12, Zechariah 3:1, Rev. 12:10)
Even though Jesus said He would never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b), Satan screams that we have been forsaken because we are too bad for God to love or use.
Hebrews 13:5b (KJV) for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Hebrews 13:5b (AMP) for He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless, nor forsake nor let [you] down, [relax My hold on you]. Assuredly not!

Satan uses accusations to generate anxiety strong enough so that we will come out from under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6) – that’s why Peter admonishes us to cast all our care upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).

1 Peter 5:6-8

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Satan’s objective is to paralyze us like an animal that has fallen into a trap (1 Peter 5:8-9); we know when this weapon has been successful because despair and fear take over.

The third weapon is the most dangerous because it lies dormant until activated!

The church in general is aware of the first two weapons because of Bible teaching and because their effects – spiritual death or paralysis – are visible motivators to get help.

The third weapon – STRONGHOLDSis like an unseen landmine waiting to detonate.

Satan’s treacherous character as a deceiver (John 8:44, Rev. 12:9).
The MIND is the access gate Satan uses to get at your spirit!

Ed Silvoso: “A spiritual stronghold is a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes us to accept as unchangeable situations that we know are contrary to the will of God.”

  • The Bible teaches us to forgive our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) – it’s a must! If you are incapable of forgiving a particular person, you should suspect a spiritual stronghold in your mind.
  • The Bible tells us that he who finds a spouse “finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22) and that we are to become one flesh (Matthew 19:4-6). If you are powerless to change your feelings toward your spouse and feel hopeless, then you should suspect a spiritual stronghold in your mind.
  • The Bible tells us that we must live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15-16). If you are unable to shake the creeping influence of worldly pleasures and priorities then you should suspect a spiritual stronghold.
  • Any time the will of God is clearly spelled out but reality tells a different story in your life and anytime you are powerless to change the reality perceived by your mind and anytime you have accepted defeat because the situation looks hopeless – SUSPECT A STRONGHOLD.

HOW DO HUMAN BEINGS ACT WHEN THERE IS A STRONGHOLD IN THEIR MIND?

Strongholds expose a severe inconsistency between what we SAY and what we BELIEVE.

  • We cope with them by erecting a “partition” which separates our mind into two compartments. (1 Corinthians 10:5 – “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God”)
    On one side is the knowledge of God; on the other side is human speculation. A speculation is a conclusion based on an assumption that cannot be proven!
  • This fragmentation makes us develop what James describes as a “double mind” – instability.
    James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
  • When such believers are convicted they bail out by using rationalizations to defend themselves.
    How can we believe one thing in church and another in the parking lot? A DOUBLE MIND!

THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS THAT A STRONGHOLD HAS

  • Trying to believe God for a breakthrough in their church who cannot forgive a past hurt.
  • Trying to believe God for a miracle in their city who cannot even enjoy their marriage.
  • Trying to believe God for power to witness who do not even have the power to live holy.

AND SATAN SCREAMS, “DON’T YOU DARE BELIEVE IT! LOOK AT YOUR SITUATION!”
When Christians know the will of God and do otherwise, Satan is able to blackmail them.

 

HOW DO YOU PULL DOWN A STRONGHOLD?
Strongholds are to be destroyed, not just repainted or covered up with wallpaper!

There are four steps to be taken to accomplish this, all given in James 4:
James 4:7-10 

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1. SUBMIT TO GOD.
Determine the will of God by God’s Word, then choose to believe it and to obey it.
Tear down the partition that has allowed you to store two opposing truths in your mind.

2. RESIST THE DEVIL.
The most effective way to resist him is to die to your old self, putting yourself out of his reach.
Quote the Scripture to him: “It is written!”

 

3. DRAW NEAR TO GOD = AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.
We need to draw close to Him because our “speculations” have allowed us to drift away.
Cross the threshold of fear and rejection – Jesus promises that He will draw near to you!

 

4. CLEANSE YOUR HANDS = AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS.
Our hands refer to the “outward dimension” while our hearts refer to the “inward dimension.”
A stronghold has been destroyed only when a double-minded person becomes single-minded!

 

LIFEGROUP QUESTIONS:

  1. Why do some Christian’s behaviors not match up with their spoken beliefs?
  2. How would you be able to tell if there is a stronghold in your mind?
  3. What means would you employ to pull down the strongholds in your mind?

SON OF MAN - Jesus Series - Sunday June 7, 2020

June 7, 2020

“Son of Man”

JESUS Series Week 1

What could our lives look like if we pursued Jesus and sought to know Him more than ever before? 

1 Corinthians 2:2 (KJV)

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Philippians 3:10-14 (KJV)

10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

N.T. Wright he states, “Modern western Christians are the same: “We want a ‘religious’ leader, not a king! We want someone to save our souls, not rule our world! Or, if we want a king, someone to take charge of our world, what we want is someone to implement the policies we already embrace…But if Christians don’t get Jesus right, what chance is there that other people will bother much with him?”

Let’s start today talking about what Jesus was trying to accomplish when He walked the earth.

What was His objective? Was it just to come and die so that we could live in Heaven with Him for eternity? 

Could there have been more to Jesus earthly ministry that we might have missed up to this point? 

 

What it looks like when God takes charge on earth as it is in heaven…

Let’s look at Jesus the SON OF MAN through forgiveness and healing:

Mark 2:1-12

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

According to the Gospels it appears that this is one of the first times that Jesus publicly referred to himself as the Son of Man.

Why did He say the Son of Man? Was Jesus trying to identify that He was human, born of the virgin Mary? Or was He referring to the great prophecy in Daniel 7 that was being fulfilled in Jesus the “Son of Man” – vs 14 “was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

In short, Jesus was saying to those who had ears to hear and knew well the prophecies of the coming Messiah…that He was the coming one…and what He was doing was setting up His Kingdom on the earth!

“Forgiveness transforms like nothing else.”

He showed the priority of the Kingdom in that HE FORGAVE FIRST, then HEALED!

Jesus goal in delivering us from SIN and spiritual death is to set up His Kingdom in our lives. Yes, He wants to Heal us, and make us whole…but we will never truly be whole or completely healed if the sickness of sin is allowed to remain. He demonstrates the Kingdom in this forgiveness and healing. 

 

What it meant to the Friends of the Man?

 

What it meant to the Man?

 

What it meant to the crowd…

 

Specifically the homeowner..

 

APPLICATION

What does it mean for us today…what do we learn about Jesus that maybe we hadn’t thought about before?

  • The Kingdom that Jesus was setting up was an everlasting Kingdom…it was establishing things to be on earth just like they were in heaven.
  • Jesus healed people, but the forgiveness and separating people from their sins was His main objective.
  • Through Jesus today – FORGIVENESS is our primary need. We need to forgive, and be forgiven! Only through forgiveness are we truly FREE!
  • If you are paralyzed by fear, anger, frustration or unforgiveness…you need to be in the presence of Jesus.

Don’t Look Back - SHIFT Series - May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020

Don’t Look Back!
SHIFT Series Week 4

Get on the straight and narrow path with Jesus and Don’t Look Back!

On February 19, 1519 the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes set sail for Mexico with an entourage of 11 ships, 13 horses, 110 sailors, and 553 soldiers. The indigenous population upon his arrival was approximately 5,000,000. From a purely mathematical standpoint, the odds were stacked against him by a ratio of 7,541 to 1. two previous expeditions and failed to even establish a settlement in the New World, that Cortes conquered much of the South American continent. What Cortez is reported to have done after landing is an epic tale of mythic proportions. He issued an order that turned his mission into an all or nothing proposition: Burn the ships! As his crew watch their fleet of ships burn and sink, they came to terms with the fact that retreat was not an option.

Luke 9:62 (NASB)
But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

1 Kings 19:19-21 (NASB)
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.

The problem with most of us is that we are too Christian to really enjoy sin, but were way too sinful to completely enjoy Jesus Christ.

We’ve got just enough Jesus to be informed but not enough to be transformed!

Romans 11:29 (KJV)
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

It does not matter what the addiction is from your past, it does not matter what the goal is that God has for your future life… until you burn the ships you can never leave the past.

This was a Elisha’s deciding moment. Elisha wasn’t just buying in. He was selling out. That is how you get on this path of commitment with Jesus Christ! A huge decision followed by dramatic action!

Proverbs 23:23 KJV
““Buy the truth and sell it not.”

Here’s a line for you to remember: I choose to lose!

I choose to lose my life in Christ, so that I might find the greatest life possible.

I choose to lose because losing is winning with God.

If you get back more than you gave up, have you sacrificed anything at all?

The eternal reward always outweighs the temporal sacrifice.

At the end of the day, Judgment Day, our only regret Will be whatever we did not give back to God!
If you have not surrendered your life to God through repentance and water baptism in Jesus’ Name – that is where you need to start today. Turn your life over to Jesus and He will fill you with His Spirit – He wants to give you a better future than you can even imagine right now – but first you must give all of yourself to Him.
When God calls you out of darkness into His marvelous light, He does it for a reason. Whenever He places HIS SPIRIT within you it is not so that you will ever return back to the way things used to be.

Luke 17:32 KJV

Remember Lot’s wife.

We have NO GREATER CALLING OR PURPOSE in our lives than to live to the fullest the LIFE God has called us to. Since He filled us with His Spirit, things will NEVER be the same! We have to make up our minds that we will never go back, and at the same time if there are temptations and strings that would pull us back to PLAN B or cause us to look BACK, we must ELIMINATE those things from our lives.

James 1:8 KJV
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Mark 10:29-30 (KJV)
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

The Devil - Enemies Series - May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020

ENEMIES of the Soul
“Enemies” – Part 3 (The Devil)

Text: JAMES 4:7-10 / 1 PETER 5:8-9

James 4:7-10

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:8-9

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

ORIGIN OF SATAN
 (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:17; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8).

WHAT SATAN IS

The tempter (Matthew 4:3).
A liar (John 8:44).
An accuser(Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Revelation 12:3-9).
A hinderer (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
A murderer (John 8:44; Hebrews 2:14-15; Romans 5:12-21).
The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4 ).
The deceiver (Revelation 12:9; 20:3, 8, 10; 1 Timothy 2:14).
Our adversary (1 Peter 5:8).
The destroyer (Psalms 17:4).

SYNONYMOUS TERMS for SATAN

Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Dragon (Revelation 12:3-17).
Satan (Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9).
Serpent (Revelation 12:9; II Corinthians 11:3).
Adversary (I Peter 5:8; I Timothy 5:14).
Devil (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:11).
The wicked (Ephesians 6;16).

 

THINGS SATAN IS LIKE

A lion (1 Peter 5:8).
A minister of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 14-15; Galatians 1:8-9).
A fowl (Matthew 13:1-19).
An angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
A wolf (John 10:12; Matthew 10:16; Acts 20:29).

2 Major Areas of Focus for us as Christians:
(1) GIVING PLACE TO THE DEVIL & (2) THOUGHTS AND IMAGINATIONS

(James 1:12-16) & (Proverbs 6:27-33).

Failure is within before it is ever exposed to others.

 

SCRIPTURAL METHOD FOR HANDLING THE DEVIL
When God’s method is used Satan flees from the child of God (James 4:5-8; 1 Peter 5:8-9).

  1. SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD
  2. RESIST THE DEVIL, STEADFAST IN THE FAITH
  3. HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU

HOW TO RESIST THE DEVIL
 Four basic ways from the Scripture to resist Satan.

USE OF SPIRITUAL WEAPONS  (Zechariah 3:1-10) (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

USE OF PRAYER AND FASTING  (Matthew 17:14-21)

USE OF THE WORD OF GOD (Matthew 4:1-11).

USE OF THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:13-18).

At our disposal and free for the asking is everything and more that we need to subdue the enemy of our soul. Spiritual failure is not the result of improper and unavailable supplies; we fail because we don’t use what God has provided for us.

“The World” - ENEMIES (The Fight of Your Life)

May 13, 2020

ENEMIES of the Soul
“Enemies” – Part 2 (The World)

Text: 2 Peter 2:20-22
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Today we look at another subtle enemy of the souls of men – the world.

First it is important to identify our subject and focus in on this word from a Bible perspective, since the word “world” covers such broad scope.

DEFINITIONS
Three important terms are used in the Scripture describing the world for us. Distinguishing one meaning from the other and keeping each in context is important.

– KOSMOS – Is a Greek word meaning the orderly arrangement of the world including its inhabitants. Sum total of what God has created. Refers to the fact that the world (kosmos), is the abode of man. The order of things within which humanity moves and of which man is the center. World, in the New Testament, in most places is translated kosmos.

World in the following verses would be properly translated kosmos.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples make with hands.” (Acts 17:24).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

– AION – Is a Greek word meaning a space or period of time, especially a lifetime. Used of one’s time of life or age. It also means a long space of time, eternity, or forever.

An age, perpetuity, a messianic period, present, or future course. World is properly translated aion in the following verses.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“For Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2).
“Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:12).
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22).

– OIKQUMENE – (oy-kou-men’-ay), Is a Greek word for world meaning land, globe, or earth. The literal ground, earth, or scope of God’s creation. The inhabited earth. World would be translated to oikqumene in the following verses.
“And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14).
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” (Luke 2:1).
“And the devil, taking Him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” (Luke 4:5).
“And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.” (Acts 11:28).

OUR ENEMY
Our soul’s enemy is not the land surface described in number three (3). It is not necessarily the universe with its inhabitants described in number one (1). Rather our enemy becomes the age (aion), of number two (2). From each age (aion), there arises a spirit, inventions, allurements, enticements, carnal trappings, places, and events invented by man. Every generation of humanity produces an atmosphere and environment, peculiar to its own day that is destructive to spirituality if you involve yourself in it.

WHAT COMPRISES THE WORLD?
You can pinpoint the elements that the world is made up of regardless of the age or time in which you live. Root causes can be traced to one of the following things (I John 2:15-17).
LUST OF THE FLESH.
LUST OF THE EYES.
PRIDE OF LIFE.

We have desires, ambitions, and strong inclinations to be like our contemporaries and participate in the activities of our own age. Satanic devices, peculiar to our day, must be discerned as such, then shunned, avoided, and removed from our lives.

SCRIPTURAL WARNINGS
God doesn’t alarm us without cause. If no danger existed nothing would be imposed upon us in God’s Word. There are dangers, and we are adequately warned; therefore let’s examine the Word of the Lord on this important matter. Each of these relate to the age (aion), of each generation.

The world has its pollutions (2 Peter 2:20).
The world has its corruption (2 Peter 1:4).
The world has its cares (Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14).
The world has its god (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The world has its course (Ephesians 2:2).
The world has its lusts (Titus 2:12).
The world has its fashion (1 Corinthians 7:31).
The world has its evil (Galatians 1:4).
The world has its wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20; 2:6; 3:18; James 3:15-17).
The world has its spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12).

A SCRIPTURAL METHOD FOR HANDLING THE WORLD
The Biblical method for handling the world is to OVERCOME it.

– OVERCOME – In the original Greek this word meant to subdue, conquer, prevail, or get the victory. Webster’s dictionary defines it as to get the better of in competition,
to master, suppress, prevail over, surmount, or overwhelm.

Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33).
We are to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
There is a victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4-5).
We can overcome because of the force within us (1 John 4:1-4).
If we overcome we will inherit all things (Revelation 21:7).

God has made some glorious promises to the overcomers. Study these seven (7), promises…

PROMISES TO OVERCOMERS

EPHESUS – Eat of the Tree of Life – Revelation 2:7

SMYRNA – Not hurt of Second Death – Revelation 2:11

PERGAMUS – Eat of Manna, White Stone – Revelation 2:17

THYATIRA – Power over the nations – Revelation 2:26

SARDIS – Clothed in White Raiment – Revelation 3:5

PHILADELPHIA – Pillar in the Temple of God – Revelation 3:12

LAODICEA – Sit with ME in MY THRONE – Revelation 3:21

God will never take us out of this world to protect us just because we get saved. Only the rapture will eventually solve this problem of getting His church out of a worldly environment.

While using this world may we never abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). God’s promises are to the overcomers not the conformers (Romans 12:1-2). Your age needs a witness and you are the light of the world, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

The Flesh - Enemies (the Fight of Your Life)

May 6, 2020

ENEMIES of the Soul
“Enemies” – Part 1 (The Flesh)

Text: I Peter 2:11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Reading for Study: Romans 7:18-25; 8:1-13

Three basic areas we will cover in these next three weeks are: The Flesh, The World and The Devil.

DEFINITION
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance we derive the following meaning:
FLESHcomes from the Greek word SARX which indicates human nature with its frailties and passions. It also encompasses carnality and being carnally minded.

ORIGIN
When man fell in the garden of Eden, the LAW OF SIN (Romans 7:18-25), or the SIN PRINCIPLE we might call it, became a part of the human race. This corrupt, defiled sinful nature is automatically transmitted through the procreation process. Humanity’s bloodline not only carries and transmits physical death, but spiritual death as well (Genesis 2:9-17; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19).

We have this treasure in an earthen vessel (II Corinthians 4:7), and we will get a redeemed body when Jesus catches away His church (I Thessalonians 4: 13-18; Romans 8:11). God’s Word calls this the redemption of the body (I Corinthians 15:44; II Corinthians5:1-8; Romans 8:23).

WORKS OF THE FLESH
You can look up the meanings of each of these words in as many sources as are available to you.

1. ADULTERY
2. FORNICATION
3. UNCLEANNESS
4. LASCIVIOUSNESS
5. IDOLATRY
6. WITCHCRAFT
7. HATRED
8. VARIANCE
9. EMULATIONS
10. WRATH
11. STRIFE
12. SEDITIONS
13. HERESIES
ENVYINGS
MURDERS
DRUNKENNESS
REVELLINGS

SCRIPTURAL FACTS CONCERNING THE FLESH

Here are several Scriptural facts relating to the flesh, for your own benefit you can research them further and discover the full scope of what they reveal.

1. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing (Matthew 26:41).
2. The will of the flesh verses the will of God (John 1:13).
3. The flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).
4. The lusts of the flesh are exposed (Galatians 5:16: 1 Peter 2:11; Ephesians 2:3).
5. The filthiness of the flesh is spoken of (2 Corinthians 7:1).
6. The desires of the flesh are mentioned (Ephesians 2:3).
7. The flesh is not to be trusted (Philippians 3:3-4).
8. The flesh, when sown to reaps corruption (Galatians 6:8).
9. The sins of the flesh is noted (Colossians 2:11).
10. The flesh spots our garment of righteousness (Jude 1:23).
11. The flesh is not to be leaned upon (Jeremiah 17:5).
The birth of the flesh versus the birth of the spirit (John 3:6; Galatians 4:23-29).

YOUR BODY – THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST
Inside this earthly temple, there abides both the sin-principle and the Holy Ghost when we have been born again (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20)- A veritable treasure according to Paul (2 Corinthians 4:7). Christ wants to be Lord, and Satan wants to be Lord of our lives; herein lies the conflict. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17).

Several synonymous terms describe our condition and position as Christians. Study the contrasts in these seven (7), matters and you will better understand the conflict going on in your life continually.

TWO BIRTHS– Every saint has experienced two separate, distinct births in his life; one natural and one spiritual. With two such experiences, how can we expect less than a struggle?

That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6). We are born naturally: (1) Of blood. (2) Of the will of the flesh. (3) Of the will of man (John 1:13).

That which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). Receiving the Holy Ghost is the birth of the spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 38; 1 Corinthians 12:13 ).

ALLEGORY – Study this allegory (Galatians 4:23-29), closely for insight on this point.
A. ISHMAEL – was born after the flesh.
B. ISAAC – was born after the spirit.

TWO NATURES– Every Christian, by nature of the fact that he is a Christian, possesses two natures, one fleshly and one divine.

We, by natural birth have a human, carnal, earthly nature (1 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 1:26).

Because we have been born again, we are made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Both want to rule. so a fight ensues.

TWO WALKS– Walk in this instance means to order one’s behavior or conduct. Two roads rise to meet us; Jesus said one was narrow and the other broad. Before you choose one, do look at its destiny, because both of these roads lead somewhere.

We can walk in the flesh according to Paul (Galatians 5:16-17; Romans 8:4), or there is an alternate path.

Paul now presents a walk in the Spirit with better benefits than walking in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).

TWO LAWS– Law here is defined as a principle rather than a decree or command.

The law of sin and death refers to the original sin-principle man was possessed with at the fall (Romans 8:1-2).

The Law of the spirit of life delivers and makes us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 7:18-25; 8:1-2).

TWO FATHERS – In Adam we all die, but in Christ we are all made alive. Adam and Christ serve as the federal head of two distinct generations; the Christian has both as a Father. From each we inherit a nature, mind, and will, along with other attributes.

Adam is our father in the flesh when we go to the fountain-head of the human race (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-19).

Christ is our heavenly Father, by and through Him and His word, we are begotten again unto a lively hope (1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-19).

TWO MINDS – Now that we are saved we have the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit to contend with. The intellect, wisdom, and knowledge of both seek to direct our paths (Romans 8:5; Ephesians 2:3; Philippians 2:5; 3:19: Colossians 2:18; 1 Peter 1:13 ).

The carnal mind that is enmity against God seeks to dominate our thought life and give us directions (Romans 8:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 ).

Spiritual mindedness brings life and peace when we walk after the bidding of the spirit and Word (Romans 8:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

TWO MEN – Two different bodies are not existent, but in one body there dwells two different men that Paul describes to us.

The old man is the carnal, sinful, and fleshly man that is born with these tendencies and is called the outward man (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24).

Paul describes the other man as the new man, or the inward man that needs renewing (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; 2 Corinthians 4:16).

Paul tells us what to PUT ON as well as what to PUT OFF of this man (Colossians 2:11; 3:8-14).

THE SCRIPTURAL METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE FLESH

Our Bible is concise and clear on how we are to handle this enemy of the soul. Though unpleasant, the method is surprisingly successful. We are to CRUCIFY THE FLESH, in order to be alive unto God.

CRUCIFIXION – Was a means of death frowned upon by both God and man. Crucifixion is one of history’s most shameful ways to die. God’s Word declares those who are crucified to be cursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). Christ was made a curse for us through His crucifixion (Galatians 3:13). Now we have the responsibility of crucifying the flesh, in a spiritual sense as a means of control.

Our old man is crucified with Him (Romans 6:6).
Paul was crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (Galatians 5:22-25).
A CROSS is the means by which we are crucified to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).

Discipleship has three prerequisites (Luke 9:23-25; 14:26-27).
We are to deny ourselves.
We are to take up our cross DAILY.
We are to follow Him.

Prayer, fasting, Bible study, church attendance, altar work, communion and washing the saints feet, loving our enemies, giving our time and money, and witnessing are a few of the ways we can crucify the flesh.

Every lawful, allowable, human desire, no matter how scriptural, must at some time and place be cured, controlled, and abstained from for a season. This is crucifying the flesh.

If the Oil is Low, You Don’t Go (SHIFT) - May 3, 2020

May 3, 2020

We are excited to be able to “get together” online. You will not want to miss this first message in our new message series called SHIFT - In Position for Change. We will sing two songs “No Longer Slaves” and “Psalm 103 - Everlasting” - the latter of which was written by our own Kate Bond and recorded on the new IBC Live 2020 album (CCLI Streaming License #: CSPL043706).

If The Oil is Low…
You Don’t Go!

TEXT: Matthew 24:37-44 (39) / 25:1-13

We are living in a time when everything is changing. As the scripture puts it…when all that can be shaken – will be shaken. There is a SHIFT that is going on, not just in the natural world and in our society – but in the spiritual world…and only those who TUNE IN will sense the SHIFT.


We read about the similarity to how things were in the days of Noah and the Flood to how things will be in the last days before Jesus returns…in Matthew 24

Matthew 24:39

And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

I would like you to remember that little phrase KNEW NOT… 

There is a similar story in Matthew 25 that immediately follows that is really even more disturbing… let’s read it:

Matthew 25:1-13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

The POINT – If the OIL is LOW…You Don’t GO!

Spiritually, when we are not paying any attention to the meters or warning lights – things can get dangerously low!

We are snappy, critical, grumpy, frustrated, confused…and we wonder where our joy went, where our peace is, and why everything bothers us so much.

If we don’t learn how to have spiritual preventive care maintenance and service – we can easily miss the signs!

Even though things may be running rough – sometimes we blame it on everything else…we need to CHECK OUR SPIRITUAL OIL!!!

Because IF the OIL is LOW – You Don’t Go!

The Bible – uses OIL as a symbol of the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of God in our lives…We need to have the anointing oil of the Holy Ghost topped off in our lives at all times. It is spiritually dangerous for us and those around us if we are not full of the Holy Ghost.

The Wise are Prepared – The Foolish are Occupied with other things, but miss the MAIN THING – THE OIL

The issue that I have to face very soberly are those words – “and the door was shut.” – That is very FINAL…that means If the OIL is LOW, You Don’t GO!

 

THE DANGER OF SPIRITUAL PROCRASTINATION



There is a fable which tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to this earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and to ruin men. The first said, “I will tell them that there is no God.” 

Satan said, “That will not delude many, for they know that there is a God.” 

The second said, “I will tell men that there is no HELL.”

Satan answered, “You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a Hell for sin.” 

The third said, “I will tell men that there is no hurry.” 

”Go,” said Satan, “and you will ruin men by the thousands.” 

The most dangerous of all delusions is that there is plenty of time. 


(William Barclay: The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 317. From a sermon by Matthew Kratz, The parable of the Faithful & Wise Servant, 7/17/2010)

 

In December of 1984 there was a huge crash following a thick fog on the M25 Motorway in England. Early in the morning a truck carrying paper crashed in the fog. The warning lights came on, there were hazard signs, the police were there.

The issue with this crash which I’m about to share with you is very unsettling and keep in mind that there were over 20 people killed.

Here was the issue…Driver after driver traveling along the M25 trying to get to work, ignored the warning lights, ignored the hazard signs, and the fog and drove on.

The policemen, realizing what was happening, became possessed with fear as they could see the destruction and what was happening, and they actually started to pick up traffic cones and throw them at the wind shields to try and stop people and the people wouldn’t stop! They kept driving!
One newspaper report that said this, “One of the policemen had tears running down his face as he threw cones at the drivers who would pay no attention.”

 

YOUR ACTION STEP:

If there is – No Oil – Get Oil (Repent, Be Baptized in Jesus’ Name, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost)

If there is Some Oil – Get Topped Off (Let God renew you, come back to your first love and have a closer relationship with Jesus than ever before.)

If your Oil is Full – Pray for and reach out to someone else this week.

 

“Loving Well” - Stand Firm, Love Well Series - April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Loving Well
The “STAND FIRM, LOVE WELL” Series – week 4

You don’t have to choose STANDING FIRM OR LOVING WELL – Jesus encourages us to do BOTH!

(Galatians 5:6) The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

We cannot ANTAGONIZE and INFLUENCE at the same time!

(John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 Corinthians 13
Without love… All I say is ineffective.

(1 Corinthians 13:1) If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Ephesians 4:15 (NLT) 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

All I know is insignificant.

(1 Corinthians 13:2) If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge… 


All I believe is insufficient.

James 2:19 (KJV) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

(1 Corinthians 13:2) …if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 


 

All I give is incomplete.


(1 Corinthians 13:3) If I give all I possess to the poor… 


All I accomplish is inadequate.


LIFE minus LOVE = 0

(1 Corinthians 13:3) (If I) give over my body to hardship that I may 
boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 


Loving Well
(Daniel 6:1-5) It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel…”

1. Serve them.
(1 Corinthians 9:19) Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

Jesus did this! He could have condemned everyone, but He condemned no one!

Jesus connected before He corrected!

2. Set an example for them.

(Matthew 5:13-16) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
The greatest influence we can have on our world is how we live our lives.

3. Share Christ with them.

If you LOVE WELL, you will have opportunities to SHARE JESUS!!
(1 Peter 3:15-16) But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” – St. Francis of Assisi

How I act is more important than what I say.

Standing Firm - April 22, 2020 - Stand Firm-Love Well Series

April 22, 2020

STANDING FIRM

Stand Firm, Love Well Series

Rev. Nate Grace – April 22, 2020

Text: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. NIV

Exegeting the Scripture: The process of careful, analytical study of biblical text in order to produce useful interpretations of the text.

The apostle Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth and at the end of his letter, he provides concluding exhortations.

 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. NIV

 

The two english words, “stand firm” are transliterated from the one Greek word stēkō, pronounced stā’-kō”

 

The meaning of stēkō is to stand firm, to persevere, to keep one’s standing

 

1 Corinthians 16:14– Do everything in love.

 

The English word love  from this verse is transliterated from the one Greek word agapē

Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love

The concept of standing firm is also exemplified by many God-fearing men and women in the Old Testament.

One such example is found in the book of Daniel.

Standing Firm In A Bow Down World

Daniel 3:1-7

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

 

Standing firm takes COURAGE.

 

(Daniel 3:16) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us.”  

 

– They crave acceptance from PEOPLE rather than from God.

– They do just enough in church to alleviate their GUILT.

– They gauge their spirituality by COMPARING themselves to others.

– They rarely WITNESS about the Lord to others.

– They only GIVE when it doesn’t hurt their standard of living.

– They want the BENEFITS of serving God but no responsibilities.

– They think more about life on earth than about ETERNITY.

– They only turn to God when they are in TROUBLE.

– They ignore any Scriptures that affect their personal LIFESTYLE.

– They are not very much different than the rest of the WORLD.

 

 

Standing firm takes faith

 

(Daniel 3:17-18 TLB) “If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected.”  

 

Standing firm inspires others

 

(Daniel 3:28-30) Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

 

Living a Stand-up Life in a Bow-down World

1.Stand in prayer.

(Ephesians 6:11) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

(Ephesians 6:13-14) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…

 

2. Stand for my purpose.

(1 Corinthians 15:58) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

3. Stand for GOD.

 

When I Stand Firm, Jesus Stands With Me

 

(Matthew 10:32 Message) “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven.”

(Colossians 3:1) …where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

(Acts 7:55-56) But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Love is Why - The Church is Essential - April 19, 2020

April 19, 2020

With all the debate over what is and what is not ESSENTIAL - we are going to explore Love is Why the Church of Jesus Christ is Essential. We sing two songs “Open Up The Heavens” and “Waymaker”. (CCLI Streaming License #: CSPL043706). Thank you so much for joining us online for our Sunday Live experience with theCrossroads - we are so glad to have you.

 

LOVE is WHY – Church Is Essential
“LOVE IS WHY” SERIES

Matthew 16:16-18
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

LOVE IS WHY the CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL!
A building is NOT what Jesus died for – it is not what He redeemed by His blood, and He will not be taking a CHURCH BUILDING to be with Him for eternity.

The Church Jesus established is ESSENTIAL. It was founded by Him, and should remain in His control. It started in Jerusalem – but it was not His will for it to remain in Jerusalem.

After his resurrection Christ appeared to his apostles and said, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in my name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46,47).

Then in Acts 1:8, just before he ascended back to heaven, Jesus said to the apostles, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Observe in this statement that Jesus said the apostles would receive power (power to preach the gospel in all its fullness, resulting in the coming of the kingdom or church) when the Holy Ghost came upon them. In Acts 2:1-4 we find the Holy Ghost filling the apostles and those in the upper room and them being empowered to speak in tongues on the day of Pentecost.

As a result of the Peter’s preaching that day, people were pricked in their heart and asked what to do to be forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:37). They were instructed, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). So the church Jesus established started in the city of Jerusalem in the year 33 A.D. by Christ upon the bedrock foundation truth that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh.
On every occasion after that when people heard of Christ, believed in Him, repented of their sins, were baptized for the remission of their sins and received His Spirit, the Lord added them to his church. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).

WHY?
First of all  – You are a MEMBER OF THE BODY of CHRIST
God desires for his body—his church—to be a public movement who lives for His glory and the good of others (John 17:21-23)

Secondly – Christians are commanded to submit to the leaders of their local church
The pastor of a local church never possess absolute authority. Whatever authority they have is delegated by Gof

Hebrews 13:17 
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (KJV)
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

 

LOVE IS WHY – Jesus Established this ESSENTIAL CHURCH!
Worship – Fellowship – Discipleship – Ministry – Mission
Hebrews 10:24: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
1 Peter 4:10:  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

LOVE IS WHY – Jesus Established this ESSENTIAL CHURCH!
He loved the world enough to establish the church so that people could be saved, delivered, healed, discipled and sent on mission to reach others.

How do you decide on a church family:
The true church is founded upon the REVELATION of who Jesus Christ is…that is where your decision needs to begin.
You need to make sure that your church family you connect to teaches, preaches and believes that Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. That you can have eternal life through obedience to the Word of God which starts with Repentance or turning away from all your sin and turning to God. Followed by Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ (complete immersion in the water) to wash away sin, and then the infilling of the Spirit of God or the Gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in a heavenly language as God’s Spirit gives you the ability to do so.
Pray and seek God through fasting – and don’t wait on “the PERFECT CHURCH” – if you find a church that preaches the TRUTH in LOVE and LOVES YOU and your family – you have probably found the right church. They may not sing the songs you like, or have the ministry for Kids that you think they should, or a multitude of other things…but maybe that is why God is placing you at that church. When you come – it changes the flavor a little more and maybe God will lead you to help with the ministry area that they are currently lacking in.

The Lonely Ember
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.
As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

Rather than asking, “what do I get” out of being connected to my local church ask, what do I give? When we are connected, as the Lord commanded, we give so much to each other. You not only receive, but you are a blessing as you give. Who does it hurt the most when you are not connected? It hurts your church and your pastor – but it hurts you and your family more!

LOVE IS WHY – Jesus Established this ESSENTIAL CHURCH!
He loves you and your family enough to place you with others who are ESSENTIAL in your life and spiritual well being. You are not alone – He has given you a pastor who wants more than anything to see you and your whole family make it to heaven. This is why you need to connect to HIS ESSENTIAL CHURCH!
When you realize how much He loves you and the blessing it is to be a part of His body – it should encourage you to connect more.