Thursday, December 6, 2012

Follow The Footsteps of Jesus

Scripture: (King James Version)
1 Peter 2: 21
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

My message is not concerned with the context of this verse of scripture, but rather with a thought that comes to my heart from a few of its words.  Notice the last five words of the above text - "ye should follow His steps."

(original date of this sermon was 12/30/1978)

Once again we are closing out an old year and the Lord willing entering into a new one.  We don't know what 1979 may hold for us as Jesus tarries.  We don't know what tomorrow may hold but we do know who holds tomorrow.  I'm convinced of one thing.....regardless of what may come or go in the year ahead - the best path for us to follow is in His Steps.

The example and the pattern that He (Jesus) sets is the true way of life.  He will never lead us wrong!  If you want to be safe and satisfied as you venture into a new year then Follow His Steps!  I believe the Holy Spirit's work in the life of Jesus is a blueprint or pattern of what He desires to do in all of our lives.
** - Jesus was born of the Spirit.
** - Jesus was baptized in the Spirit.
** - Jesus was led of the Spirit.
** - Jesus moved about in the power of the Spirit.
If everyone of us will follow these steps we will see amazing and powerful things happen in 1979.

But, let's just think for a few moments on the question...
         If we follow His steps where will they lead us?
First of all, if we follow His steps they will lead us to the Cross.  They will lead us to the Crucifixion.  There is no true discipleship without the Cross.  Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  The Cross speaks of Crucifixion.  Until we voluntarily lay down our lives and be crucified with Christ we have not followed in His steps.  Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:...."  Peter in the above scripture text says  - "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps.  The crucified life is a sanctified life. 

#2 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to the place of public worship.  The Holy Bible tells us in St. Luke 4: 16 that it was His custom to be in the Lord's house on the Sabbath day...."And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read."
** -  Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.   Hebrews 10:25
** -  Worship in Spirit and Truth.     St. John 4:24

#3 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to the place of private prayer.  Often we read where Jesus got alone with the Father to pray and commune with Him.  (ex: St. Luke 9:18, Mark 1:35)  If Jesus needed to pray and be alone, how much more you and I need too as well.  

#4 - If we follow His steps they will lead us to witness to others.  In witnessing to the woman at the well in St. John 4:1-42, Jesus leaves us a great example in witnessing.  The scripture says in Verse 4,  "And he must needs go through Samaria."   Those of us who are born again of the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit and who lives are led by the Spirit - "must needs" carry living water (Jesus -John 7:37-38) to the thirsty souls in our world. (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.")

#5 - If we follow in His steps they will lead us on "Errands of Mercy" and works of righteousness.  Jesus teaches us that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the stranger, and visit the sick, we have done it unto Him. (Matthew 25: 31-46)  He says in Mark 9:41, "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verify I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."   The Holy Spirit has been given us to do the works of Jesus!   John 14:12 , "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."   Ladies and gentlemen, when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us we are to do the works of Jesus!

Let me close with one more thought................#6 - If we follow in His steps they will lead us through the portals of Glory.......either by death and a glorious resurrection of the dead in Christ OR by virtue of our Blessed Hope and His soon return and the Rapture of those alive in Christ. 
                                      Oh, what a glorious path His steps take on. 
                                                 I wouldn't follow any other steps for all the world.  
                                                                     How about you?

(Sermon ended with......following in His steps shall we gather around the Lord's table 
                                      in remembrance of Him  - The Lord's Supper.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

God Hears - God Knows - God Delivers

Scripture:  (King James Version)
2 Samuel 5:13-16
"And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.  And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet."
Verse 16 is my text...."And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet."
Today many parents name their children after some popular celebrity or sports hero.  In the Bible days this was not so.  Children were named to be living reminders of some experience with God.  Hidden in the names mentioned in our scripture is a message from God.  This text doesn't mean much without a little research.... but, when you discover the meaning of these names it comes alive.  Many a great truth is missed with only a surface reading and study of the Bible.  We have to read and reread; pray and meditate; study and wait upon God.  The Holy Spirit is the great revealer of truth.  He leads and guides into all truth.  1 Corinthians 2:10 says, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Sprit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."  He helps us to study and search and dig out truths He would have us to know and profit from.

I knew that Solomon meant "peaceful."  But, I was interested in the meaning of Ibhar and found it to mean "whom God chooses."  I thought about the fact that every time David looked upon Ibhar he was reminded that he (David) was chosen and called of God.  He was called to be a leader and King of God's people.  But, to discover the meanings of these 3 names grouped together in the text stirred something in my soul.

Let's translate these names into language we all understand and let the Holy Spirit minister to us.
                     E-lish-a-ma.......means God Hears.
                    E-li-a-da .......... means God Knows.
                    E-liph-a-let........means God Delivers.
Immediately, we get the message.  I praise God for this message.
                                           God hears...God knows...God delivers. 
Realizing that God hears our prayers and knows our needs is one thing...but, it would mean little if He couldn't do something about what he heard and knew.  Thank God He can!  My God is able to deliver!

God met Moses at the burning bush and delivered this same message.  He said in Exodus 3:7-8 "And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians......"
Verse 19 (2 Samuel 5:19) is an illustration of that fact.  David had some great experiences with the Lord.  He knew God hears and answers prayer.   He said in Psalm 109. "They have surrounded me with words of hatred. Spoken against me with a lying tongue.  Fought against me without a cause.  I have loved them yet they are my adversaries.  BUT I will give myself to prayer."  David said in essence              "You can talk about me all you please, but I'll talk about you down on my knees."

David knew that the eye of the Lord was upon him; that God knew all things and had delivered him again and again.....when he faced the bear and the lion, Goliath and Saul.  He thought of Elish-a-ma, E-li-a-da, and E-liph-a-let, his Sons who reminded him of these experiences and victories.  No doubt David praised God many times as he remembered how God hears - He knows - and He delivers.  You and I have a right to rejoice and give praise when we remember God's blessings on us.

David wrote most of the Psalms.  They are full of praise.  David knew the power of prayer.  He knew that God's ears are not heavy that He cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1) Isn't it good to have someone that will listen to us, someone who cares?  The world is not interested in our troubles - but God is.  "Cast all your care upon Him for He careth of you." (1Peter 5:7)  Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there.  What a friend we have in Jesus.  He says "call unto me and I will answer thee." (Jeremiah 33:3)  We have a loving God to go to.  You can depend on God!  If you put your trust in organizations, education, money, fame, material things, you will get what those things can do for you.  But, put your trust in God and you will get what God can do for you.                
                                     All things are possible with God!

David could say to E-lish-a-ma, "Every time I look at you Son, I am reminded that God hears and answers prayer.  David could look at E-li-a-da and remember that God knows.  David could not hide his sin.  No one can.  God knew what David knew.  He knew all about Davids sin of adultery, his lying and the murder.  God sent Nathan the prophet and said to David; "Thou art the man."  David had this Son as a constant reminder that God knows. (2 Samuel 7)
                                 What is there in your life to remind you that God knows?
                         Is it something you haven't repented of and asked God's forgiveness?
                                                            God knows.

Aren't you glad that God knows your needs?  Aren't you glad He knows your sorrows and your burdens?  People don't know your heart.  They don't know what you are going through.  They don't understand.  But, aren't you glad God knows and understands?

Then, there is E-liph-a-let....God delivers.  Verse 19 - he inquired of the Lord.
                                           God hears...God knows...God delivers. 
Isn't it good to know that there is one who see and knows and is willing and able to help us?
                                                                 God delivers!  
God not only knows our needs and hears us when we call on Him - but, He loves us and does something about our needs.  2 Samuel 5:19 - "And David inquired of the Lord, saying Shall I go up to the Philistines?  wilt thou deliver them into mine hand?  And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand."   The Lord said yes.

There is an altar of prayer.  You have God to go to.  You can call on Him and He will hear you.  You can leave this altar and the place of prayer with everything under the blood.  You can leave having peace with God.  You can go singing He set me free, yes He set me free.
          If you are bound by some habit; in chains of moral, mental or physical imprisonment...
                                                     ..Jesus is here to set you free.
                                                  It is the Gospel.  It is Good News.

                 God hears...God knows...God delivers.

David's life is proof of God's great love.  He forgave David and He delivered David.  God will also deliver you.  David said in Psalm 34:6 - "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."
                                   Friends, Jesus is here - right now. 
                                         He knows your needs. 
                                               He hears your hearts cry and will deliver you 
if you will but come to Him and call upon Him.  

                          Won't you call on Jesus today?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The King Is Coming

Scripture:  King James Version
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as  others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
St. John 14: 2-3
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Here in the scripture portion (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18), we have recorded the great message of the Lord's return as written by the Apostle Paul.  His topic....The King Is Coming!  Jesus is our King.  He is the King of Kings...and He is coming again.  There is no message that comes through with more repetition, especially in the New Testament, than the message of our Lord's return; His coming again.
Truly, He is coming again.  The signs are everywhere. (The subject of "the signs of the times" is another sermon of its own.)
Recently someone made the comment and suggested that our Kings return was so close that we needed to stop looking for the signs and start listening for the sound.  The sound of a "shout from Heaven" by our King.  "...The voice of the archangel and the sound of the trump of God."  The Psalmist David said in Psalm 89:15 "Blessed is the people who know the joyful sound...."

The message of our Lords return - "The King Is Coming" is...
**A Great Historic Event.
It will certainly be just that.   Our King is going to make an invasion into time and into history.
When the Bible speaks of "the coming of the Lord", it is not referring to an experience of death or some other mystical experience.  The return of the Lord is not something to be spiritualized.  It is the literal, personal return of the risen Christ.  It will be the same Jesus that was born of the Virgin Mary.  It will be the same Jesus who walked this earth, was crucified, died, was buried and who rose again.  That same Jesus is going to break into the history of this sinful world.  The above scripture states, "For the Lord Himself - (get that) "The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven."  It is going to be a great historical event.  It is going to be the next great love act of our Lord.
Notice also that this message of our Lord's return conveys
**A Great Dramatic Event.
Note -Verse 16
Can you think of anything more "dramatic than that?
Actually, Paul was using terms here that were well understood in his day; military terms.  When a Roman army was asleep at night it took 3 blasts of the trumpet to bring them to order.
1st blast - AWAKE - get up from your sleep.
2nd blast - GATHER around in your respective groups.
3rd blast - ADVANCE.
This whole military concept is revealed here as Paul speaks of "the Shout - the Voice -and the Trump."
The SHOUT - those asleep in Jesus will arise.
The VOICE of the Archangel - assembling of respective groups.  It it not only be the dead in Christ but those that alive and remaining.
The TRUMP of God - they will advance.  " caught up together to meet the Lord in the air..ever to be with the Lord.
                                        What a dramatic event that is going to be!
The message of our Lord's coming again also carries
**A Specific Intent.
What is the specific intention that God's Word is conveying to His people?  Why was Paul given this great message of the Lord's return?  Verse 18 - It is intended for our comfort.  How does this message comfort the people of God?
A - It strengthens our faith.  The fact of Jesus coming again is the greatest faith builder and strengthener in the Bible.  Our King is coming for His people.  He is coming to deliver His people and destroy their enemy.  I sure do not want to miss His coming!  All of our great space exploration deeds that have caused the world to marvel and wonder are nothing compared to what is about to take place....the Great Operation Uplift into the clouds of Glory.  As stated in the scripture above ..." we shall be caught up together."  We will be caught up away from the crime, the drugs, the danger, the sin, sadness, sorrow, pollution, politics, poverty, and the wickedness of this evil world.  Praise God the church, God's people will be caught up and everything will be made right and straightened out.  The King is coming to right this old world.
One of the great English preachers of the past once gave a message about what's wrong with the world.
He talked of the things that were "out of place."  Friends, the believer, the followers of Christ may get out of place, but Jesus is never out of place.  He has every thing well timed, well purposed and planned. When He comes again He is going to set everything right.
B - The message of our Lord's return comforts God's people by stimulating our hope.  The context of the scripture (Verses 13-16) reveals that these words were directed to people who had lost their loved ones.  They had put them in their graves and were sorrowing, saying "now what is going to happen?  We thought Jesus was coming back before they died.  Now they are dead.  Will we ever see them again?"  These people were sorrowing.  Paul said to wait for "the shout."
C - Finally, this message of our Lord's return searches our hearts.   Are we ready for the King to come?  Are we living in such a manner that we will not be ashamed at His coming?
 The King is coming.........

Are YOU ready?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jesus Prays For UNITY - That The World Might Believe

Scripture: (King James Version)
St. John 17: 1-2, 6, 9, and 20-21
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
vs 6 -"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word."
vs. 9 -"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."
vs. 20-21 -"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

I am lifting 5 words from the 21st verse for my emphasis...
                          "that the world may believe...
In addition to these words please notice verse 23 as well, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast love me."

There have been many applications made to this prayer of our Lord.  This was a great prayer of intercession before the Heavenly Father.  Recently I heard a minister put great emphasis on the fact that Jesus says in this prayer (vs.9) "I pray not for the world..."    To isolate those words from the rest of our Lords prayer in this scripture could leave the impression that the world had no place in the heart of the Redeemer; that He was not concerned about the world.  But, I want you to notice that although Jesus was praying for His disciples at this time, He was thinking of the world.  The world was upon His heart!  Jesus desired that the world would believe and know the LOVE of the Father.

Here in this prayer He shows His concern that the church - His followers/disciples - would be in that place where they could win the world for Him; they could be a witness.  As the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth" God's people are the means of showing Gods LOVE and Gods righteousness to the rest of the world.  He has committed a great trust to you and I who know the risen and redeeming Lord.  We need to constantly consider the things that kill our influence.  We must live by truth, commitment and concern.  In verse 15 our Lord prayed not that the body of believers be taken out of the world but that they are kept from the evil or the evil one that is "in" the world.

One of the most potent and powerful ways to draw the world to the Kingdom of Christ is that those within it, manifest the beauty of Gods holiness and righteousness.  Jesus prays that the church be kept from sin.  
   There is power in a pure and holy life!  
We are "in" the world but "not of" the that we might win the that we bring lost souls into the Kingdom of God.   Jesus said, in verse 17, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

A bit further down,  verse 21 Jesus prays for the UNITY of the church.  "That they all may be one....that the world may believe."  This prayer has been so grossly misapplied!  It has been used as reason for ecumenical even when agreement was lacking.  Some organizations like to use the saying, "love unites - doctrine divides."  But, the early church continued steadfast in apostle doctrine.  Jude 1:3 " was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."   It has also been used for deploring the existence of many denominations.  Notice - Jesus was praying for those who were the Fathers possession; born again, those that have received Christ as their Savior and have come out of the world.  These were followers who had been given The Word and received it.  They knew the works of Jesus were from God and that Jesus came from God.  They were filled with His love.  It was this class of people whom He prayed to be "one" in Christ and God.

Notice the qualifying phrases of Jesus prayer, "one even as we are in us."
One as Jesus and the Father are one.  This is the kind and type of "oneness" Jesus is praying in His prayer.  He is praying that all who believe may be unified with the same unity that exists between Him and the Father........."that the world may believe."  The world will not believe until they see the church unified.  The world sees strife - jealousy - bitterness- hatred - criticism, etc.  They see "the Christian" living contrary to what they profess and what the Bible teaches.  This saddens the heart of Jesus!
                What does the world see in us today? 
                            What do those in our community see?
                                 Do they witness UNITY 
           among those who claim to be followers of Christ?  
Are they observing the beauty of Gods holiness and righteousness                
                                   in our pure living?
                  Are they being shown the LOVE of God?  
Do the people we come in contact with each and every day desire to "believe" in our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do they want what we have?
Please study the scripture to understand what God would like to reveal to you through His Word - His truth.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Have Thought On My Ways

Scripture: (King James Version)
Psalm 119: 59-60
"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.  I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments."

Bible trivia....Psalm 119 is the most lengthy Psalm in the Holy Bible.  
The Psalmist David in the above scripture declares, "I have thought on my ways..."
If only people would just stop and "think" more about their ways.  If they would just stop and think about God and eternity.  In fact, the Bible in Isaiah 1:18 tells us, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  
 (sal·va·tion - 
 [ sal váysh'n ]    

  1. act of saving from harm: the saving of somebody or something from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
  2. means of saving somebody or something: somebody or something that protects or delivers another from harm, destruction, difficulty, or failure
  3. deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ: in the Christian religion, deliverance from sin or the consequences of sin through Jesus Christ's death on the cross
Salvation begins with serious consideration.  It begins with giving "thought" to your ways and to the needs of your soul.    If we do our part by giving thought and serious consideration to our ways, God will bring revelation about His amazing and unconditional love for us.  He will reveal  things about Heaven and eternity; the provisions that were made on the Cross for all mankind.  

                             Are you Heaven bound?
                         Have you given "your ways" 
            over to Jesus and asked Him into your heart? 

Hebrews 9:27 reminds us of this fact - "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Let's notice what else the Psalmist says in our text. "...and I turned my feet unto thy testimonies."   When a person truly gives serious consideration to their ways, God and their spiritual needs, it leads to action.                         Serious consideration=action.Remember the story of the prodigal son in St. Luke, chapter 15?  Eventually the son "thought on his ways" and in verse 18 he says, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven,...."       Serious consideration led him to definite action!

Today, many of you reading this may have said to yourself or others, numerous times, "I'm going to change my ways and start living right.  I'm going to become a Christian, get to know God."  But, have you done any more than just talk about it?  As the prodigal son did, you must arise and act upon the conviction that you are feeling within yourself.

The Psalmist David also declares in our text, "I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments."  If you have not taken action on changing your ways, please do not delay any longer!  "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

What is the recap of our scripture in Psalm 119: 59-60 and what is it saying to us today?
1 - STOP and think about our ways.
2 - TURN.  Turn to God.  He is the only one that can make a difference for you and me.
3 - MAKE HASTE.       Don't delay!     Time is running out.
"...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
4 - OBEY.  We must obey the commandments of God.  We must obey the commands of God's Word, the Bible.  We need to read it and carry out it's instructions.  There is no other way but to "trust" God and "obey."
                               "Think" on your ways.
                         Make haste and "turn" to God.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

God's Precious Promises

Scripture:  (King James Version)
2 Peter 1:2-4
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Notice these "words"  from verse four..."whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises."
These subject notes are about God's Precious Promises.  Peter in the scripture above speaks about God's promises as being "exceeding great and precious."  I often wonder many times - do we really value them as such?  Do we realize their importance as they relate to the whole conduct of our Christian life?  Let's stop for a few moments and revalue the importance of the promises of God.  God is a covenant keeping God.  It is His divine nature.  God's promises have to do with a Person.
There is no situation in which we may find ourselves that has not been provided for by the grace of God.  Wisdom, is of course needed to know what our present specific need is and then, by faith we apply God's promises in His Word, for that need.  We used to sing a little chorus with this line...
         "Every promise in the book is mine - every chapter - every verse - every line."
                                         God is a great, miracle working God!
                    I am thankful for the precious promises of God that are given unto us.  Purity.
Think of the many promises relating to God's provisions.  Promises that strengthen us and give assurance.  Promises that give great comfort to the people of God.  Promises to provide our every need as children of God.
Our daily lives are physically draining.  Stress can add to the strain.  As human beings we do get tired.   These bodies of ours can stand but just so much...but thank God for His many promises of healing....and refreshing strength!  Thank God for His quickening touch that revitalizes our mortal bodies as we trust in Him.  Thank God for His promise in Deuteronomy 33:25, "...and as they days, so shall thy strength be."  We all experience material needs, financial needs and certainly spiritual needs.  But, praise God for such great - exceedingly great - precious promises!  In Philippians 4:19 we have another great promise, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." God has promised to provide for the needs of His people.  Again, in St. Matthew 6:33 we are admonished and given the promise..."But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (notice the word...ALL.)

Think with me about all of the promises relating to God's power.   One example, Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection that they would receive divine power.  Acts 1:8 says, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.  Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea. and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Thank God for the indwelling presence and power that is given to us as believers through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit gives us power to live according to the God's plan as well as giving us power to do the work He has called us to do.  He promises  in Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."
There are also promises relating to God's presence.  Psalm 16:11 "Thou wilt shed me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5, "...I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."  The writer of the Hebrew referred to that when he said,  "He hath said;"...."I will never leave thee nor forsake thee (vs 6) "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."  Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  The Psalmist David said, " I will fear no evil for art with me."  Aren't you thankful that as a born again believer you have a friend that sticks closer than a the person of our Lord Jesus Christ?  (Proverbs 18:24)  He is always right by our side!
Some of the greatest promises in the Bible are related to our pardon.  Nothing is more precious than the wonderful truth that God forgives sin and pardons the sinner!  God has promised dear friend, to pardon your sin when you put your trust in Jesus Christ.  Not only are our sins forgiven but they are forgotten.  Hebrews 10:17 says,  "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."  What an exceeding great and precious promise!   Another great promise in 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Doesn't that make you want to shout?   The prophet Micah said in Micah 7:18, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?..."   Again, the Bible says in Isaiah 55:7, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." As I bring this to a close, I'll mention one last promise in Isaiah 1:18 which reads, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Dear friend........there is pardon from God for you.  There is forgiveness for sin and mercy...if you will just call upon Him.   Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross so that you might have forgiveness.  He has power on earth to forgive sins, your sins, my sins.  Won't you call on His name right now?  The Bible says (Romans 10:13) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
                                           God has a plan for your life........HEAVEN.
                                                      He is coming again.......soon.
                            Accept God's promises today!  God's peace and pardon is for all!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time Is Short

Scripture: (King James Version)
Revelation 12:12
"........Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and the sea...for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath...because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Notice these words......"He" (the devil) "knoweth that he hath but a short time."

Jesus is soon coming again!  The Holy Spirit through His body of believers, the church, feels this and with anticipation are saying "Come Lord Jesus."  This is a time of invitation - a time of warning and a time of challenge from the Holy Spirit.
                                                                   Time is short! 
 Time is limited for people to get right with God. Time is limited for unbelievers to repent of their sins.  
                                                         Jesus is soon coming again!

Not only does the Holy Spirit and the church feel the nearness of the coming of the Lord and know the urgency of stepping up operations to win the lost - but, the devil knows that time is short.  If time is short, then the time for everyone following him is short.
The devil knows that Jesus is coming again.  He is on a rampage in these last days.  We see and witness the increased evil and wickedness all around.  The devil is stepping up his evil operations because he knows that time is running out for him and those that are on his side.

St. Matthew 8:28-34 gives us the account of Jesus entering into the country of Gergesenes.  He was met there by two men who were demon possessed.  The demons cried out, "what have we to do with thee Jesus thou Son of God?  Art thou come hither to torment us before our time?"
                                                          Before what time?
* Before the time of Christs reign.
* Before the time of Christs return for His people.
* Before the time when Jesus and His people will rule the earth.
* Before the time when he (Satan) will be bound and later cast into hell.
The devil knows that his time is coming.  He knows that Jesus is coming again!  He knows what the consequences will be .....although he doesn't know the day nor the hour.  He does know that his time is short and therefore he is doing all he can to hinder God's message and destroy precious souls.  He knows his time is near and his opportunities are limited.
The Word of God declares the coming of the Lord.  Jesus promised to come again...the prophets and the angels foretold it...the Holy Spirit affirms it...the resurrection of our Lord from the dead assures it.  Despite the fact that the devil is a deceiver, a cheat, a liar and father of liars - he must confess that Jesus is coming again and that his (the devils) time is short.

The Holy Spirit is stirred over the shortness of time.  He is also stepping up His operations in these last days.  He is pouring out of His Spirit upon all flesh.  The prophet Joel delivered this in Joel 2:28 when he said, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;...." Again in Acts 2:16-17, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:..."

BUT - the shortness of time has also stirred the devil, the enemy.  His evil nature is on fire.  He is pouring out his wrath as never before.  However, it is nothing compared to what it is going to be.  The devil is getting mad.
                                           The devils time is just about over!   

The Book of Revelation 12:12 confirms -   "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."


The shortness of time should stir the hearts of the Christian, the followers of Christ - but it should also be stirring the unbeliever and those who have not yet given their hearts to God.  Just as the devil is on fire with his wrath and evil nature, the church and God's people should be on fire with passion and the power of the Holy Spirit.  We should be full and overflowing with the love of God.  This love should be causing others to come to an altar of prayer.  The devil does not know how to love.  Anger and wrath are the only emotion he is capable of.  The very nature of the Holy Spirit is love.  He does not wish that anyone die and spend eternity in hell.
  John 3:16 - "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."

Those of you reading these sermon notes today - are you ready should Jesus come today?

                                          Does the shortness of time have you stirred up?
                                               If not, what is it going to take to stir you?

                               Please don't wait too long!  
                     Come to Jesus NOW - before it is too late!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Prayer Of The Thief On The Cross

Scripture: Luke 23: 32-33 and then 39-43
"And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.  And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.   And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Contained in this portion of scripture is one of the greatest prayers in the Bible.  The prayer of the thief on the cross.  It is found in verse 42.  It says "...Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."  This prayers reveals something about this dying thief.

#1 - First of all this prayer shows us that he believed in life after death.  This thief believed that Jesus had a kingdom and that he could be a part of that kingdom.
#2 - The prayer of the thief also reveals that he recognized and acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord.  He said, "Lord, remember me...."  No man can expect to enter the Kingdom of God unless they confess Jesus as Savior and Lord.   The Bible tells us in Acts 16:31, "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..."
#3 - Also, this prayer revealed that this man, the thief, believed that Jesus had the power to save him...and he asked Him to do it.  "Lord, remember me."

That's all it took - because he wanted to be saved.  He was sorry for his sin.  He wanted to repent of the things he had done wrong in his life.  He wanted a clean heart.  The theft believed that Jesus could and would cleanse his heart and deliver him from his old life.
It only takes a moment to have Jesus cleanse your heart and help you become a new person.  You must be earnest with God and commit to letting Him be in control of your life, to guide your daily walk with Him.

Now, let's notice Jesus answer to the prayer of the thief.  Jesus said 3 definite things to the thief on the cross.
#1 - First, Jesus gave this man absolute assurance that he would be in paradise.  Verse 43 says, "...Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."  Jesus answered his prayer.  He forgave the man of his sins and assured him that Heaven would be his new home.  Aren't you thankful that there is such a thing as know that we are ready for Heaven?
#2 - Jesus assured this man that he would be with "Him" in paradise.  Think Of That......This thief, robber, by the GRACE of God would spend eternity with the Redeemer.
                                        Oh, how amazing is the GRACE of God!
How wonderful it is to be saved from our sins, to have a clean heart and to spend eternity with Jesus.


To those of us who have given our hearts to Jesus, He says in St. John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  Farther down, in verse 27 -  He continues and says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."   What an assurance!
#3 - Finally... Jesus assured this man that he would be in paradise or Heaven - TODAY.  That day.
The thief on the cross received immediate salvation.  IMMEDIATE.
Did you know that you can be saved and delivered from your sins, TODAY?  
     You can ask Jesus to come into your heart, RIGHT NOW?  
It can happen this very moment....right there, wherever you may be.
 Jesus, who died on the cross; who gave His life on the center cross, He is alive.  He lives - and He is only a prayer away. 
                   Won't you call upon Him right now?

For more inspirational words go to:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Certain Journey


Scripture:  (King James Version)
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

The Bible constantly uses such words as "way" "path" "road" "walk" "run" "go".
All of these words allure to the fact that in life - we are on a journey.

                                                         Life Is A Journey
                                    A Certain Journey.

Our destination - Eternity.  There are only 2 places to spend eternity.  Heaven or Hell.  To arrive at either destination, there is only one way.

 [ júrnee ]   
  1. trip somewhere: a trip or expedition from one place to another
  2. process of development: a gradual passing from one state to another regarded as more advanced, e.g. from innocence to mature awareness
  3. travel somewhere: to travel to a place or over a particular distance

                We are traveling on a journey from where we are to a place where we want to go.
One of most unhappy feelings to experience while traveling is to be uncertain.  Uncertainty about whether or not going we are headed in the right direction - uncertainty of arriving at the destination safely - frustrated and anxious. Many people are uncertain about what they want to be in life, where they want to live, etc.
                                   *No need to be uncertain in the journey of life. 
However, it is imperative that you make sure your journey is certain.
In order to reach your destination successfully - there are some basic decisions you must make.
1 - Decide where you want to go.  To constantly change your mind or put off decisions makes the journey become more dangerous.  You will never accidentally drift to a worthwhile goal.  Heaven should be your ultimate destination and goal - but it won't happen on it's own.  You must decide!   Many people get lost on their journey in the valley of decision.  They wait too long to decide.  Don't let this be you.  One great truth that everyone must face - YOU have to live somewhere forever! 
 2 - Decide today where you won't go.
Once you have made a decision on where you want to go and where you don't want to go -  secure the best map or guide book available.  A wise man studies his charted course that he has decided to follow.  He wants a reliable guidebook (The Bible is reliable!)  In order to reach your destination on your journey to Heaven, The Bible keeps you on the straight and narrow road; the right path; the correct way.   It will keep you from uncertainty and from the frustration of "zig-zagging."

The story goes about an old farmer and his dog.  They had just pulled into town with their horses and wagon.  The dog was exhausted, laid down in the grass and was panting.  The farmer said to those nearby, "It's the road that tires him, it's the zia-zagging.  Me and the team only traveled 10 miles but this poor dog traveled 50.  He had to enter every gate he saw open.  He gave chase to every cat he saw and barked at every dog.  While the horses and I kept to the road, this dog ran all over the countryside."
Don't these farmers words describe a lot of people.?  They borrow needless trouble.  They waste valuable energy and get side tracked on their journey of life.  They become distracted by working hard to make a living, by the pleasures and thrills that bring temporary satisfaction.  The distractions are countless.  Regarding spiritual matters they become easily swayed by doctrines, man's views and denominational differences.
But as a preacher friend of mine used to say,  "I'm making a bee-line for Heaven.  I don't have time for side tracks."
                       "Dear God - help us from zip-zagging on our journey to eternity.
                                Help us to stay with  The Bible - your Word, your roadmap,
                                        so that we can stay on the straight and narrow and see Heaven our home."

Decide where you want to go...Decide where you won't go...Secure the best map for the journey and ...

3 - then - Begin the journey.    Venture forth.    Enjoy!     Invite others to join you.
Planning the trip can be pleasant.  To just talk about and plan about becoming a Christian won't change your heart and make you a born-again believer.  You must decide! 
                                           You must change the uncertainty into certain.
                          Make life's journey a certain one!
 You will never get there if you don't start.  "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

4 - Turn right and go straight..........these are the final directions to your destination.
5 - Continue on your course - keep traveling -until the end!


 For further reading about Moses and a journey - The book of Numbers  - chapter 10