Sunday, November 17, 2013

The "Dove-Like" Nature


Scripture:  John 1:32 (King James Version)
"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him."

The dove is the most beautiful and significant symbol of the Holy Spirit.  Nations and countries have their emblems that express a national ideal.  North America has the Eagle.  England has as their emblem, the Lion.  It seems that physical strength and materials force the worlds ideal of a government.

Jesus Christ set us His Kingdom and adopted His emblem, the dove.  The dove; the ideal of love.  The dove is a type of the Holy Spirit.  It is symbolic of the Spirit-filled life.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you will possess (not profess) the dove-like nature.  Many people profess to be Spirit-filled but "possess" the nature of something else.   For example: Some folks have a Fox nature - they put on a big front, they are sly and they are deceitful.  You've heard the saying, "it's the little foxes that spoil the vine."  Some people have a Elephant nature - they have long noses.  They are into everyone else's business.  Some people have the Dog nature - they growl (complain) all day long.  It's no wonder they are "dog-tired" come evening!  Some folks have a Giraffe nature - they have a haughty and proud spirit.  They arrogantly put their heads high in the air with an attitude of being "holier than thou."  The Hawk nature - they love to fight and argue; cause hate and discontent.  They rob and steal (not giving to the the work of the Kingdom or spreading the good news of the Gospel).  There are even folks who have the Spider nature.  They spend a lot of time making a web and then trying to get others trapped.  Lastly, we have the Opossum nature.  When these  unique creatures are in danger of being shaken out of their hiding place, they will actually "act" dead in order to keep from dying.

How sad it is that sometimes the sweet little "doves" in the believer's circle, when their fur is rubbed the wrong way, seem to display a wildcat nature.  The popular evangelist, Billy Sunday once said, "Some folks say I rub their fur the wrong way.  But, the trouble is that some of you cats are going the wrong way and you need to turn around."
This world we are living in expects the believer, the Spirit-filled person to be different.  
                          They are watching us; how we live, how we act.  
                                                 They are looking for the "dove-like" manifestations.

Is your nature like the dove.
                                           the Fruits of the Spirit….


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Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Shelter From The Storms

Scripture: Psalm 57 (King James Version)
"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overcast.  I will cry unto God most high, unto God that performeth all things for me.  He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up.  Selah.  God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.  My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.  They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digger a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves.  Selah.  My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.  Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp:  I myself will awake early.  I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people:  I will sing unto thee among the nations.  For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.  Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth….."  (for my text - verses 1 and 2)

This sermons is preached with the thought…..A Shelter From The Storms.  I am reminded of the Lord's disciples being in the midst of the sea…..tossed with the waves and contrary winds.  The elements were greatly disturbed.  A storm was raging.  Calamities were all about the sea.  (St. John 6)

There are many kinds of storms that rage on this sea of life.  Economic StormsPolitical StormsSocial StormsSpiritual Storms
The storms of TemptationSorrowSicknessTroublesTrialsPhysical Storms
(the list is long)
The winds of perilous times are here!  The waves and currents of perplexing times are ever threatening!  BUT, as Jesus came on the scene in the fourth watch of the night and performed a miracle for the disciples and Peter, He is still manifesting Himself in this hour to those who trust in Him.

Psalm 57 is one of the psalms of David.  David was a warrior from his youth up.  He was a man of war.  He knew what storms and calamities were.  He lived through one storm after the other.  He went from trial to trial.  But most important, David knew how to trust his God!  He knew where to look in the times of storm and trial.

In verse 1- our text, "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee; yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overcast."- a careful study reveals that…
#1 - David was trusting God and God alone.  On one occasion David cried out, "In thee ONLY do I trust."  God is never pleased nor is it His will for His children to trust in secondary causes.
#2 - God alone deserves our complete trust.
#3 - God has mastery over the elements; mastery over me; mastery over means.  God is the MASTER of every situation!
#4 - God is sovereign.  He is in complete control.  We can trust in Him alone without fear.  David wasn't trusting the hills when he said, "I will look unto the hills from which cometh my help"…..for he immediately said, "For my help cometh from the Lord."

Verse 7 - "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise." 
David had a heart fixed on God.  David's complete trust in the Lord was the ground for his plea when he said, "Be merciful unto me, O God."  Why did he have such a plea?  Because - he was trusting completely in the Lord.  David was abandoning all else and trusting ALL his care upon the Lord and His mercy.  David's heart was fixed.  Right now God is asking us to 
                   "Cast ALL of your cares upon Him for He cares for us". (1 Peter 5:7)  
How many people do you know who would say, cast all your cares on me?  (probably none) 
David felt his great need of God's help.  He tells us over and over again in the psalms of the many storms that come his way.  He warns us of the calamities that will come our way from time to time.  BUT, the comforting thing is…that over and over David lets us know that after awhile these storms will be over for the child of God.

In Psalms 23 David says, "Yea THOUGH I walk THROUGH the valley…."
David realized the valleys would come- but, he also knew that God would bring him through.
He said, "Thou art with me."  Goodness and Mercy were on his heels.  Someone once said, "It's good to know that those two fellows are following you around". (ha!)  Again, David said, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want".  Surely with such a shepherd, "goodness and mercy shall follow me….and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".  Notice again the words of the text…."UNTIL these calamities be overpast".  David was saying here - child of God - the storms of life will come.  They are common to everyone.  BUT, Praise God one day they will pass over.  Amen?  
Then, David goes on to say (this is the message of this psalm) - the storms will come and they will pass over - BUT - I want to tell you what to do in the meantime.  I want to tell you how to react in the midst of the storms.  Don't mope around looking lost; don't throw your hands up and say why has this or that happened to me.  David says in the midst of the storms of life I have found a person and place of trust.  "My soul trusteth in thee, yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge".

David pictures the Lord as one who comes between us and the trials and storms of life; between us and the fires of trials and trouble.  It reminds me of the time a farmer's barn had burned to the ground.  As he examined the ruins he came across the charred body of a Mother hen.  He moved her remains aside with his foot - and to his surprise, out scampered some baby chicks.  They had found refuge underneath the Mother hens wings.  She came between them and the flames of trouble.  
The promise of our test is…There is a personThere is a placethat we can trust in and know that we will be kept through the storm.  
To trust means "to have confidence in".
                                       It means to "entrust" or "commit ourselves" to God's trust. 
                                                                                           It means "to abide in" and "rely upon". 
                  In the midst of the storms of life we can have FULL confidence in God.  
                                                        Commit everything to Him. 
                                                                                                  Abide in Him and rely upon Him.  
                   Know that He will see us through. 
                                                             Praise and Trust in God!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's In A Name?


Scripture:  Acts 3:1-10  (King James Version)
"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer; being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said; Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him."
Scripture: Acts 4:5-12 (King James Version)
"And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.  And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, by what power, or by what name, have ye done this?  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means is he made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

"Names are important.  People ask, "What is your name?"  You tell them.  So - from then on, whatever they see in you, that is what your name means to them.  The name represents you.  What does your name mean to others?  The name of Jesus was not some magic formula that Peter used to produce miracles.  When you sign your name on a check, that signature means you have the resources and authority that backs it up.  Peter was saying this is the name and this is the power on whom I am depending…the power and authority and the resources that this name represents.  What's in a name?           ………………...Everything - when that name is Jesus!
When you think of the great preachers of old, Spurgeon, Moody, Finney….great authors, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Tennyson….the great military leaders, Caesar, Napoleon, Washing….sports heroes, Babe Ruth, Dempsey, Rockne…(we could go on and on.)  But - when it comes to salvation - Jesus is the only name!  You could call upon any other name in the world, but there would be no response.  There would be no help for your soul.

BUT, when you sincerely call upon the name of Jesus….something happens!
As the popular song goes, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus……there's something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus…… the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus……..…..let all heaven and earth proclaim.
Kings and kingdoms may all pass away, but there's something about that name."
                                             Oh, the precious name of Jesus.

Another song says this,  "In the name of Jesus we have the victory…
                                         In the name of Jesus demons will have to flee…
                                         In the name of Jesus we have the victory…."

                                                  There is power in the name of Jesus.
Power to save;
                        Power to keep;
                                                Power to heal;
                                                                       Power to live a victorious Christian life;
                                                Power to meet ever need you may have.
                                Speak that wonderful name of Jesus!

Something happened in the beggar's life that day; something in that name; the name of Jesus.  Day after day he sat, lame from his mothers womb.  But, one day, he received something money cannot buy, something that caused him to shout and praise God.  A miraculous change came over him, in the name of Jesus, the power and authority, resources of almighty God was behind that name.  The beggar's feet and ankle bones received strength.  He went walking, leaping and praising God…into the house of God, the temple.

We as individual spirit filled believers need to boldly declare and release the power of God, making available to men and women what only God Himself can do in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.  I declare unto you upon the authority of God's word…there is help for you…in the name of Jesus.  Giants fall, mountains crumble, and the seas divide at the name of Jesus.
                         What are your giants?       What are your mountains? 
                    Whatever the need, whatever problems you may be experiencing;
                                                                     they can be conquered in the name of Jesus!                                      
                                                 Won't you call upon His name?"

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In Times Like These

Scripture:  2 Timothy 3:1-5 (King James Version)
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

"Our text is verse 1, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."  Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost spoke these words of prophecy over 1900 years ago.  I am sure that we all agree; we are seeing these things come to pass.  We are now in the last days...perilous times are here.  Times are hard, they are difficult and they are grievous.  Every day we see, hear and read about these things that Paul mentions in the verses above.

The purpose of this message is not to dwell upon these things that are working against us...but, rather to dwell upon those things which are working for us in these last days.  Years ago we used to sing a song entitled "In Times Like These."  It goes something like this..."In times like these you need a Savior;  In times like these you need an anchor.  Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds, and grips the solid rock...This rock is Jesus...yes, He's the one."
In these last days; these perilous and grievous times; in times like these...there is great encouragement for the faithful people of God.  Not only are we experiencing fulfilled prophecy concerning these perilous times, we are also experiencing fulfilled prophecy concerning glorious times.  In Acts 2:17 it states, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...."
                     Today, we see, hear and read about how God is moving by His Spirit.

In times like these we have the Presence of His Spirit.
                                                In times like these we have a Blessed Hope!

In times like these we can be Encouraged.  We don't need to be looking down but looking up.  I'm not looking for the Great Tribulation...but, I'm looking for the Rapture.  I'm not looking for the Anti-Christ but, the Christ.  I'm not even looking for signs...I'm listening for the sound as mentioned in
1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God..."

In times like these we have God to go to.     Friends, there is a God in Heaven.
                                                            He is alive and well.
                         He is a God of all power and all unchanging God.

In times like these we have the Bible.  Paul encouraged Timothy in the last part of this same chapter, verses 14-17.  "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

In times like these we can Pray.
                                          In times like these we can Trust God.

In times like these....
God wants us to have faith.
God wants us revived.
God wants us to be on fire for Him.
      In times like these God wants us to be ready....and in times like these we can be ready!

In times like these Gods people have each other.  God wants us to be at peace with one another and to love one another.  He wants us to be empowered with His Holy Spirit and to work together in victory.  God not only desires that we be born again but commands us to help others find the way of salvation.  We can and need to be worshipping, working, witnessing and winning others to Jesus.  In times like these we can be healed, holy, happy and Heaven bound.  In times like these we can be looking, loving and longing for Christ's return.

In times like these we have an Anchor.  This anchor holds and grips the solid rock.  This rock is Jesus......and yes, He is the only one.  In Him we have all we need....whatever we need.

In these times....

                                        Are you ready?
                       Do you have Jesus as your anchor?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Set Your Spiritual House In Order

Scripture:  Hebrews 9:27 (King James Version)
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...."

"God has laid this text on my heart and I have been moved by God in a very definite way.  He has let me know that there is someone reading this today that is not ready to meet God.  He wants you to sincerely seek God for salvation, because God is soon to call you out to meet Him.  I admonish you not to put off setting your spiritual house in order.  "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...."

Benjamin Franklin once said, "death takes no bribes."  When your time comes all the money in this world cannot buy you one more hour.  All the doctors, the drugs or even a preacher's prayer will be to no avail.

Death also takes no holiday.  It may arrive any day, any hour.  A tombstone on one particular grave said, "I expected this, but, not just yet."  The Psalmist David knew how sudden death could come.  In
1 Samuel 20:3 he states, " the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death."  Death is sudden and death is certain.

But, the Bible says that life does not end with death.  Our text declares: "...after death the judgment."  The Bible makes it very plain that there is a day of judgment.  You may say, "I have done the best that I can.  I have helped my neighbor, paid my debts; never done anyone any harm.  I believe in God, say my prayers and I even to to church.  I haven't committed any serious sins."  All of this may be very commendable, but, the Bible says that one sin will damn you; one sin will condemn you at the judgment seat and one sin will keep you from Heaven.
    John Bunyan said, "One leak will sink a ship and one sin will destroy a sinner."

One sin put Adam out of the garden...
One sin caused Cain to be a marked man...
One sin caused Moses to be barred from the Promised Land...
One sin caused Absalom to lose his life and inheritance...
One sin caused Gehazi to become a leper...
One sin cost Samson his life and rulership...
My friend, if you have not repented and sought forgiveness for your sins...this one refusal and neglect...will keep you from making Heaven your home.

A Christian was seeking to persuade a business man who was not a Christian to attend a Gospel service at his church.  But, the man replied, "I don't go to church and I'm not interested in going.  I spend my time on Sundays settling my accounts."  The Christian very earnestly replied, "So, Sir, on the day of judgment, God will be settling accounts with you."   There is an accounting day coming when all who reject Jesus Christ will have to answer to Almighty God!   The scriptures declare in
Ecclesiastes 11:9, "...walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment."

Yes, there is a judge to face.  The principle of personal accountability runs all through life.  Children are accountable for their conduct and must be disciplined.  Adults are accountable to the law and to their employers.  All of us are accountable unto God.  "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

But, thank God there is hope.  John 3:16 gives us hope when it says, "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."  Romans 5:8 also tells us of Gods love, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  In other words, God wanted to emphasize how much he loves us; therefore, He did not wait until we repented, but provided the Savior in advance.  The only delay in your salvation, your eternal life, is your delay.
                         God will save you the instant, the very moment you ask Him.

The Bible clearly teaches that the only way to Heaven is to ask God to forgive your sins and to have faith that Jesus died for you and paid the full price for your salvation.  You cannot save yourself by keeping laws, helping neighbors, giving money, joining a church or just by being good.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
You must repent of your sins, believe on Christ as Savior and Lord, accept the gift and praise the giver, and turn from sin to the Savior.

You must be saying, "Well, I know all this, but I will give my heart to God later."  Friend, don't wait until the eleventh hour.  Many people have said the same thing, waiting for the eleventh hour...only to die at 10:30.  Delay is dangerous!  Please don't put it off any longer.

Talk to God.  Ask Him to come into your heart and forgive your sins.  Tell Him you are ready to turn from your life of sin and misery and are ready to accept His salvation.

                                                           A Prayer for Salvation
Dear Lord,
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent.  I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me.  I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life; to cleanse me and make me whole. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Jesus.  I accept you and want to spend all of eternity with you.  Thank You Lord for saving my soul!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where To Praise The Lord

Scripture:  King James Version
Psalm 34: 1-3
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."
"My last sermon was from this same scripture; entitled "When To Praise The Lord."  
The answer to the question, where do we praise the Lord is automatically...Everywhere.
The Bible admonishes us, "In everything give thanks." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) If we are praising God in everything then we would have to praise God everywhere.  If the praises of God are continually in our mouth and we bless the Lord at all times then we would have to praise Him everywhere.

In our previous message we said there are two times to praise the Lord....when we feel like it and when we don't feel like it.  We praise Him in pleasant times and we praise Him in painful times.  There are also two places to praise the Lord.  We praise the Lord in private and in public.  Jesus said if you are ashamed of me I will be ashamed of you. (Mark 8:28 and in Luke 9:26)

***Praise to God is worship.  Praise is dedicated gladness...rejoicing before the Lord.  We should thank God and praise Him for His blessings and benefits, but first and foremost we should praise God for Himself.  Thank God for God.  Praise the Lord for Jesus.

We are to praise God in church.  Psalm 135 tells us to "Praise ye the that stand in the house of the Lord."  The psalmist says in Psalm 35:18, "I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people."
We are to praise God at home.  Psalm 149: 5-6 says, "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth."
We are to praise God before the brethren.  Psalm 22:22 says, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee."
We are to praise God before the unbeliever.  Acts 2: 46-47 says, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."  The psalmist said again in Psalm 126:2 "......then said they  among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them."

Paul and Silas praised God in jail at the midnight hour.  The jailer and his whole house were converted to Christ.  Read this amazing story in Acts 16th chapter.

**One of the greatest ways to witness for the Lord is to live a life of praise to God before those who know Him not.  The devil is made happy when Gods people go around complaining, grumbling, growling, fretting, frowning and fussing.  When non-believers take note of this behavior they say "if that's what Christianity is all about and that's the only happiness they have I'll stay the way I am."

We are to praise God before our enemies...even the devil himself.  In 2 Chronicles, the Bible records a great victory that was won by praise.  King Jehoshaphat and Israel had 3 enemy armies moving in on him.  King Jehoshaphat said we don't know what to do but our eyes are upon thee Lord.  God said, "Stand still the battle is the Lords. You won't have to fight in this battle.  Be not afraid for the Lord will be with you." (2 Chronicles 20:15) King Jehoshaphat and his people obeyed God.  They began to worship and praise God.  They stood and praised God with a loud voice and the Bible says the Lord set ambushments against the enemy and they were smitten.  It goes on to say that God's people gathered the spoil and it was so much. (verse 25)

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."( 2 Corinthians 10:4)
Praise is a weapon of our warfare that breaks the strong hold of the enemy.  There is power in praise! God comes down when we praise Him.  Resist the devil and he will flee.  We resist the devil when we praise God and believe Him for victory.

You do not know how God is going to work out your need but believe He is and begin to thank and praise Him for doing it and victory will be yours.     Amen?

Again......Psalm 34: 1-3
" I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord:  the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When Should We Praise God?

Scripture:  (King James Version)
Psalm 34: 1-3
"I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together."

When should we praise God?
The Bible, in our text above answers this question with one word......continually.
David, inspired of God says: "I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

In Psalm 71:6 the Psalmist again says, " praise shall be continually of thee."
Psalm 70:4 - "........and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified."

The writer of the Hebrews in Hebrews 13:15 says, "By him (that is Jesus)
therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."

St. Luke tells us that prior to the day of Pentecost the disciples were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.  (St. Luke 24:53)

Paul writing to the Thessalonians, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said (1 Thess 5:18) 
"In everything give thanks  (continually praise the Lord)  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."


Someone has said there are two times to praise the Lord.  When we feel like it.....and when we don't feel like it.  I would like to rephrase that and say - first of all - we should praise God in the pleasant times.  You may say that everybody does that... It's easy to praise God on the mountain top... It is easy to praise Him when we feel good and everything is pleasant; when seemingly there is no trouble or trials pressing us.
I believe God intends that our life for Him should be a pleasure.  But, many times if we are not careful we can be so taken up with our pleasures that we take them for granted, thus taking the Lord for granted.  We forget that every good and perfect gift is from our Heavenly Father.  In the midst of the pleasant times we most definitely should praise Him.....we should praise our Heavenly Father.

But, we should not only praise Him in the pleasant times but we should also praise Him in the painful times!    "In" everything give thanks!   "In" the midst of pleasant things and "in" the midst of painful situations and circumstances.  "In" the times of feeling good and "in" the times of feeling bad.  Praise God in times of gladness and praise God in times of sadness!  Do this when you are on the mountain top, and do so when you are in the valley!  Amen?

Matthew Henry, one of the great preachers of the past was once attacked by robbers.  Meditating on his experience he penned these words in his diary..."Praise the Lord because I was never robbed before this...Praise the Lord though they took my purse they did not take my life....Praise the Lord, though they took my purse it could have had a lot more money in it......Praise the Lord that I was the one that was robbed and not the one doing the robbing....Praise the Lord , He has taken crime out of me and put Christ in me."

Psalm 70:4 says, "....let such as love my salvation say continually let God be magnified."
                Let God be magnified "in" all situations, "in" all circumstances and "in" all times!
                                Don't we all have a lot to praise God for today?

    Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exhalt His name together!

There are two kinds of magnification.
There is the microscopic - which makes the little look big.   This is not the kind of magnifying David is talking about because there is nothing little about our God.     He is a great big wonderful God!
Then, there is the telescopic.  This type of magnification brings out the true proportion. It brings the object closer to us.  It makes conspicuous the already big.   This the the type of magnification that David is referring to in Psalm 70:4... magnifying God, exalting God and making Him the great God that He is and showing His true proportions.

The more we continually magnify and praise God the bigger He becomes and the bigger He becomes the smaller our troubles, trials, temptations and needs become.


Today as you are reading this, say out loud, "I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall be continually in my mouth."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jesus Christ - The Same - Yesterday, Today and Forever


Scripture:  Hebrews 13:8 (King James Version)
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

"In today's message I will lift 3 words from this scripture text and link them together.

Note these words..."Jesus Christ today".             Jesus Christ is contemporary!

Definition of CONTEMPORARY

: happening, existing, living, or coming into being during the same period of time
a : simultaneous
b : marked by characteristics of the present period : modern,current
I want you to know my friends that Jesus Christ is existing.  He is living!  
We speak of contemporary this and contemporary that but more important is the fact that 
                                                 Jesus Christ is contemporary!  
This present day world that we reside in would have you believe that Jesus Christ is dead and that His teachings are obsolete.  I have good news..... He was dead...and buried...but, He rose from the dead and lives...and, is alive forevermore.             God's Word is NOT obsolete but is absolute! 

If our text above (Hebrews 13:8) tells us anything it tells us that Jesus Christ has NOT changed and will NEVER change.               He is the same forever!
The Bible declares that the Lord our God changes not...(Malachi 3:6)....that in Him there is "no variableness, nor shadow of turning (James 1:17).   Down through the centuries of mankind, the world has witnessed many changes; its people, its circumstances, customs, etc.
                           But, the Bible says, "Jesus Christ the same...."

All true Christians believe in the Christ of "yesterday."  They believe that He came and lived.  They believe that He loved and did good everywhere He went.  He forgave sins, He blessed little children, He instructed in righteousness, He healed the sick and did all manner of miracles.  They believe He stilled the stormy seas, walked on water and changed water into wine.

                 All things impossible with man yet, all things were/are possible with God.

Likewise, all true believers believe in the Christ of the "future."    They believe and understand that "this same Jesus who went away shall in like manner come again." (Acts 1:11)  Those of you who are reading(listening) to this message today - He, Jesus Christ is coming again!
                 The Bible teaches a resurrection, a rapture, a reunion and a rewarding return.  

But - between what Christ has done for us in the past and what He will do for us in the future lies what He wants to do for us
Christ came...Christ is coming!

                                          Christ is contemporary.  He lives right now.
                       Jesus Christ is the Christ of yesterday...and the Christ of tomorrow.  
                                                         He is the same today.

Jesus loved people while on earth and He loves people today.
He forgave sin then and He forgives sin now.
He healed the sick and performed miracles in His earthy ministry and He does the same today.
What Jesus did in the past is an index of what He can and will do today.  Why?
                                    Because He is the same.  "Jesus Christ the same."

The fact that He is the same however, has requirements and conditions.  John 3: 15-17 says, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."  Won't you believe and ask Jesus into your heart today?  Won't you let Him cleanse you from unrighteousness and live a life pleasing unto Him?

Today - if you have sickness, sorrow, situations beyond the help of man, or if you have unconfessed sin that has not been dealt with, let me encourage you to look to Jesus Christ.  You may have contemporary problems but if you will call upon Jesus Christ who is contemporary, (see definition above) He will forgive you, He will heal you and He will help you.  Be ready for the rapture, be ready for His return and be ready for the glorious reunion.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

God Allows U-Turns

Scripture:  (King James Version)

Psalm 51   (written after Dave had been with Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet comes to him)
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:  that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

2 Samuel - Chapters 11 and 12 -
Please read these two chapters.  They are the account of King David's adultery and later his meeting with Nathan the prophet.  David repents and is pardoned.


"Dear friends, did you notice that after David's sin of adultery - instead of David seeking God, we read where God was seeking David?  We find this scenario also with the Adam and Eve in Chapter 3 of The Book of Genesis.  The Bible tells us in St. Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

God sent His prophet Nathan to preach to David.  David was led to repentance by a sermon.  (Thank God someone preached to me many years ago.)  David listened to the Word...he recognized the truth of everything that was said.  At first he shrugged it off, most likely said, "this isn't for me.....someone else."  But, Nathan was sent by God to speak to a specific individual.  Nathan spoke - David got the message!  The prophet Nathan preached parabolically (told story).

Definition of PARABOLIC

: expressed by or being a parable : allegorical
: of, having the form of, or relating to a parabola <motion in a parabolic curve>
— par·a·bol·i·cal·ly (adverb)

In verse 7 of Chapter 12 (2 Samuel)  it states..."And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.  Thus saith the Lord God of Israel...."    Nathan is letting King David know without any reservations that he is delivering a message directly from God.   You might be thinking to yourself as you read this message that there are other people whom you know that need God....not you.  But, it could very well be that God is pointing His finger at you and saying, "Thou art the one."

David could feel the conviction in his heart.  "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."  (Hebrew 4:12)
When there is preaching and The Word of God is delivered - the "real" Word of God, people who are not living life as they should or those individuals who have never invited God into their hearts; they may "feel" very uncomfortable.  So often  people's feelings are so paralyzed by sin and compromise that they aren't convicted or moved by the truth.  What a dangerous condition to be in!

However, the Word of God and Nathan's message was a revelation to David.  He found that his sin was not against society or against his neighbor.  He realized that his sin did not just affect himself.  His sin affected those around him.  David wasn't just dealing with himself or Uriah or Bathsheba.  He was dealing with the Almighty God.  Sin is against God.  Your sin is against God.  All sin is against God.
                                          Sin is a serious matter!  
Psalm 51:4 - David says, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned...."
and in 2 Samuel  12:13 - "David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord....."

David also received another revelation.  He received a revelation of himself.  (No man "knows himself" until he knows God.  Only God can show us "ourselves").   David realized that sin was deep rooted; it has many consequences.  He realized that sin was the very nature of man and - for everyone - it takes constant communication with God so that we are able to overcome the evil temptations of this life.
David's revelation went a little further.  He realized that God sent the prophet, the preacher, the messenger to deliver the Word; to arouse him, to convict him of the troubles he was experiencing.  The Word said "Thou art the man"......straight to the point, no beating around the bushes.  So it is with you and I today.  God loved David.  God loves you!  God was abounding in mercy for David and it is with you and I.     "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy."  Psalm 103:8
"That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."  John 3:15-17

David was pardoned of his sins because he repented of his sins.   Have you repented of your sins?

Definition of REPENT

intransitive verb
: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
a : to feel regret or contrition
b : to change one's mind
transitive verb
: to cause to feel regret or contrition
: to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Slow Of Heart To Believe

Scripture:  (King James Version)
St. Luke 24:13-17 and Verse 25
"And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.  But, their eyes were holden that they should not know him.  And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as he walk, and are sad?"
"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:"

"Jesus had been crucified and buried here for 3 days.  Later, 2 lonely disciples were trudging on home to Emmaus.  They should have been praising God but, we are told that they were sad.  They had a heartache instead of a Hallelujah.  They had a "spirit of heaviness instead of a garment of praise".  (Isaiah 61:3) They were pouting instead of shouting.  They were sad instead of being glad.
But, notice in Verse 15...It says that as they walked along in this depressed, discouraged and defeated condition...Jesus, Himself drew near.  He was/is there all the time!
How foolish it is when we get cast down in our minds and in our spirits and become slow of heart to believe like these 2 disciples.  Friends, it is during these times Jesus feels for us and draws near to us.  Praise God, He doesn't forsake us in the valley or in the hard places of our lives.  Amen?
Jesus comes and wants to comfort us.  In St. John 14th Chapter, when He went away to be at the Father's right hand Jesus said, "I will send another comforter." (Verse 16) That very promise proves that He, Himself was and is a Comforter.  Never let the devil convince you when you're sad and down in spirit that God has forsaken you!  Instead, know that it is at this very time that He (Jesus) WILL draw near to you.  He hears your groans - He sees your tears - He feels your hurts.  He IS the God of all comfort and consolation.  He loves you!

Notice here how Jesus let the disciples do the talking.  He waited for them to speak.  In our times of sadness and discouragement, Jesus wants for us to seek Him.  He wants us to pray and to call upon Him.  What a wonderful privilege we have - to carry everything to Him in prayer. As the song says, "Let us have a little talk with Jesus."  We can talk to others and perhaps find some relief and consolation, but, when we seek the throne of Grace and talk to Him, relief is certain, relief is for real.  Jesus cares!

Now, let's examine the scripture text where Jesus speaks to the disciples.  Prayer is not a one sided conversation.  When we pray we need to allow Him to talk with us.  Jesus said to the disciples - and to us - "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."
                          SLOW TO HEART TO BELIEVE

In times of sadness and discouragement, many of God's children are like these disciples.  Oh, if we would just stop and "think", instead of giving in to how we "feel".  If these disciples had only "thought" about what all the prophets had said.  If we as believers, at difficult times would recall the Word of God, meditate, believe and stand upon it.  But, they forgot the scripture.  Their vision and their faith was dimmed by their tears and their fears.  The prophets had told them how it would be.  They were told that Christ would not let them down.  Even today, we are quick to believe our God can, but, we are "slow of heart" to believe that He will.  It is one thing to believe God's word, but it is another to ACT upon that belief.  We must not only profess it - we must possess it!  We must not only lip it - but live it.  We must not only believe it - but, we must behave it.  We must preach it like it is and we must live it like it says!  
These disciples were slow of heart to believe because there was so much that all the prophets had said that should have convinced them just as we today are slow of heart to believe because there is so much in the Word of God that ought to convince us.
We not only have precept upon precept but promise upon promise.  All of these are confirmed by the unfailing covenant of our great and all powerful God. 
                    God is a covenant keeping God. 
                                              God is a God of His word. 
                                                                He watches over it to perform it. 
                     It is impossible for Him to lie.  What He says - that will He do.

How often we say I believe every word of this inspired volume.  We say, "I believe my God can"....but, can we say "I believe my God will"...or are we slow of heart to believe?  Jesus not only can save you and deliver you - He will save you and deliver you.  He not only can heal you - He will heal you.  He not only can meet your every need - He will meet your every need!
If you believe Jesus is the Savior, who died for the sins of the world, why not let Him into your heart and cleanse you of your sins?  If you believe Jesus is The Healer and went to The Cross for your healing as well, why not let Him heal you?  If you believe that Jesus is the supplier of every need, why not let Him supply your need?  If you believe Jesus is coming again, why not make sure you are ready for Him to come?
                   BE NOT AFRAID!                          Jesus said, "only believe!    (Luke 8:50)
BE NOT AFRAID!...that God doesn't love you.
                     BE NOT AFRAID!...that God doesn't care.
BE NOT AFRAID!...that your need is too great - or that your need is too small.
                     BE NOT AFRAID!...that you have waited too long.
                            How foolish to be slow of heart to believe!

                               Only Believe!

                     Only believe that God is able.
                                       Only believe that God is willing.
                     Only believe that He is able and willing......NOW to meet your need!

Perhaps, right now, you are sad and discouraged.  Perhaps you are hurting, sick, weak and in need of healing.  Perhaps you are in need of His blessing and His help.  
                               Right NOW - He is drawing near to you.
Recognize His Presence.
                                   Recognize His Power.
              Believe He is able and willing to meet YOUR need.........Right now!"