Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lift Him Up

Scripture: John 12:32-33 (King James Version)
These are the words of Jesus!
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
This he said, signifying what death he should die."

It is crystal clear from the text that Jesus had reference to His death on The Cross as a means of drawing all humanity to Himself.  It was His forecasting of The Cross.  The central thought of these words of Jesus is that it was on The Cross that all the sins of the whole world for all time were laid up and forgiven by Him.   Today, our only salvation is through looking to Him and placing our trust in Him.
There is a magnetic power that surrounds Calvary.  But, it's not The Cross alone or the story of The Cross that draws men.  It is Christ Himself lifted up on The Cross. He said "I" will do it - "I" will draw all men.  And, His power and influence is still the same today because
                                                 He is alive and liveth forevermore.
Our communion service this morning is a memorial to Christ being lifted up drawing all men to Himself by the power of His Holy Spirit.  Not a memorial to a dead Christ but to a living Christ.
                                   He was dead - but He arose - and is alive and is coming again!

But, there is another avenue of truth in this scripture that bids our attention and it is this….We can assist Jesus in drawing others to Himself if we will lift Him up in our own hearts and lives.  This is what witnessing is.  However,  we can not effectively do so without the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.

How else might we lift up Jesus so that others can be drawn to Him?  We can lift Him up in our conversation.  We have the ability to either lift Him up or put Him down through the words we speak.  Complaining, negativity, vulgarity and profanity do not edify Christ and does harm to your witness.  Instead, speak words of praise, admiration, positive proclamations and you will be a witness to the power of your words.

We can also lift up Jesus by talking about Him more.  The Bible says in Matthew 12:34 and
Luke 6:45 that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."  If we are really in love with Jesus we will talk to others about Him.
                      The things we talk about most are the things that lie nearest to our hearts. 
Do you talk about Jesus?  Do you talk to others about their salvation?  Do you talk about the Word of God and things that have eternal value?

Another very important way that we can lift us Jesus is through our conduct.  Have you ever heard that "actions speak louder than words"?  The greatest sermons are the ones that are lived.
                           Your life is the only Bible that some people read. 
It is regrettable when our actions and our conduct speak so loud that others cannot hear our witness!  Nothing will lift up Jesus any more than a professing Christian to live a Christlike life…..emulating the example of Jesus in everything we do and say.
Friends, we must lift Jesus up in our churches.  We must lift up Jesus and give Him preeminence in our pulpits, in our church pews, in our classrooms, our choirs and our congregations.
                                              We must exhalt Him - We must lift Him up! 
Christ is the One who draws others to Himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. Every act of our worship should be one of lifting up Jesus…. our singing, our meditation, our praying, our giving, our preaching, our praising and our invitation to others regarding their salvation.  Like Paul in
1 Corinthians 2: 2 "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.…… (vs 4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

As a church and as individuals, we must lift up Jesus in our communities.  If we really love Him like we say we do we will be concerned about the souls of everyone.  We must take Him at His word and rely on His promise that "If "I" be lifted up I will draw all men unto me."  Understand also -we need the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives!

                         Jesus was lifted up for us….Let us lift Him up for others…
                                                          in our Conversation
                                                               in our Conduct
                                                                    in our Churches
                                                                         in our Communities.

                                       Lift up Jesus!      

Sunday, October 12, 2014

God's New Things

Scripture:  Isaiah 43:18-21  (King James Version)
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.  The people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise."

The first 7 words of Verse 19, where God says: "Behold I will do a new thing
Our topic today is God's new things.
Dear to the heart of every Israelite was the remembrance of their miraculous and supernatural deliverance from the Egyptian bondage and their journey to the promised land.  How God indeed did a new thing for them!  He showed them that He can and will provide all that is needed at a given time or place.  He can make a way in the wilderness where there is no other way.  He can supply river of water in the hot dry desert.  He can and will supply manna and miracle from Heaven.
There are those people, even today, who would try to tell us that God never does a new thing; that there's "nothing new under the sun."  But, I would remind you that Christ brought to us a new likeness of God.  He brought mercy and truth.  He brought love, forgiveness and compassion…a new hope for us all.  How many feel like God has done a new thing in your life of late?  If so, give Him praise for it!
*God is not bound by the past.  He is not shackled by tradition.  He is a God of infinite resources, unlimited variety and power.  

*God does not have to do things like He has done in the past.  He can do something entirely different; something unprecedented. 

 *God can and will do things that will stagger the imagination, amaze principalities and powers and cause the world to gasp in wonder at the revelation and manifestation of His glory and power.  

*God is never short of power - and neither is He ever short on new ideas. 

Our God is a great God!  
                                                              There is nothing He cannot do!

God is a God of miracles.  He is the God of the supernatural.
                                               "Behold, I will do a new thing." 
 Every time a soul is born again God does a new thing…"now shall it spring forth."
The Bible says in

2 Corinthians 5:17(King James Version) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

A new thing happens in every life that is baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire.  Who can explain what happens?  It is glorious and is something entirely new in each individuals life.  We should never limit God's power.  Every day that dawns should awaken in us a desire for a new touch of God and His magnificence upon our lives.  On a daily basis God can and will give us a new touch.  He has given me one today!  Moment by moment we can have a new awareness of His divine presence.  Amen?

God can do a new thing as often as we believe for it and expect it.  In fact, He can supersede our expectations and astonish our faith by His abundance, His sovereign and natural supply.  Through the Prophet Isaiah the Lord promised His people, "Behold I will do a new thing."  He brought it to pass in their deliverance from captivity and it will be fulfilled more widely in the millennium.  But, there are also some principles here that certainly apply to all of us today….let's take note of 3 of them.

#1 - There is the new way of life.  God says in Verse 19 of our text. "I will make a way in the wilderness."  Have you ever found yourself in a barren wilderness place?  Have you ever found yourself in the weeds and woods of doubt, discouragement, darkness, despair and loneliness?  Does the devil tell you that there is no way out?  I am here to tell you, right now, that God has made a way out of your wilderness and your confusion.  His mighty touch is transforming and quickening.
By His way, He gave us His new way of life!

Oh Pharaoh, King of Egypt thou art but a noise.  God knows the way through the wilderness.
Today, all you have to do is follow!  He will do a new thing for you right now if you will believe - and expect it.  God can touch you and you will never be the same again.  You may not know how He can do this but, He knows how.  You may not have the slightest idea but God is not short on ideas.  Trust Him for something new in your life, right now - and then walk with Him.

#2 - There is the new source of life.  God says, "I will make rivers in the desert."  Have you ever been in a seemingly dry empty place?  Did God come to you just at the right time and prove Himself to be the source of all true life and joy?  Oh what peace and satisfaction!   In John 7:37-38 we read…. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given,because Jesus was not yet glorified."
God can and will do a new thing as we drink at His foundation.  He can do a new thing…..right here, right now.  God can make you a channel of blessing!  "There is a river of life flowing out from me.  It makes the lame to walk and the blind to see.  You and I can pour in the oil and the wine to those we meet along the Jericho road.  Jesus will do it through us!
God wants to do new things for every one of us.  He wants to bless us and make us channels of blessing like never before.  He has the resources to do it.  We must believe Him and expect Him to use you; to do a new thing for you.

#3 - There is the new expression of life.  God says "They shall show forth my praise. …(Verse 21) "This people have I formed for myself that they show forth my praise."  God has formed us for Himself.  We are created, redeemed, transformed, energized and anointed from above for one great purpose….to show forth God's praise!

This new life…..God has given us - God has done in us - God has done for us.
This new source and resource ushers forth from Him as rivers……ushers in us reaching out to others.  We are to express thanksgiving and praise; joyfully, exuberantly and uninhibited… ALL times!
Listen, people can make light of our enthusiasm, our emotional worship, etc.  They can say it's all hype due to the fast music…..but, our God is worthy of great praise and delights in our rejoicing before Him.  I know why I respond to His presence.  I thank Him for the new life He gives.  I thank Him for the  way He makes for me through the wilderness and the rivers that He supplies in the desert. Won't you thank and praise Him today?

If you do not know what this new life is all about why won't you ask God into your life right now?  He says, " Behold, I will do a new thing…."now it shall spring forth."  If you will believe for it and expect it, God will give you a new thing, a new life.

Let us pray………..


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let Your Buckets Down!

Scripture:  (Jeremiah 2:13) (King James Version)
"For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
Jesus said to the woman at the well…..
(John 4:13-14)
"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  (speaking of Jacobs well….)
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

Cistern - noun - ('sis-tern).
: an underground container used for collecting and storing rainwater
Fountain - noun - ('faun-ten)
: the source from which something proceeds or is supplied
: a spring of water issuing from the earth
: a reservoir containing a liquid that can be drawn off of as needed


There are some contrasts we would like to take notice of here between Jacobs well (cistern) and Jesus, The Living Fountain.

Between the Natural and the Spiritual.
   It takes the Spiritual to satisfy!  Jesus said, "The water I give is lasting!

Between the Outward and the Inward.
   The Outward has no power.  It has a "form" of godliness.  The Inward is reality and 
   comes from the heart.

Between the Dead and the Living.
   Jacobs well was as a dead cistern.  Cisterns become stagnant because they don't
   flow.  They are inactive and motionless.  A fountain is a spring of water arising from
   the ground….bubbling, fresh at all times. 
 John 7:38 says, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers   of living water."

Between the Measurable and the Immeasurable.
   There comes an end to the natural things of this life.
   There is no limit to the spiritual things in this life.
John 3:34 says, "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.'

Between the Passing and the Permanent.
   Jacobs well dried up a long time ago…..BUT,
   Jesus well flows yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
   He is the Purpetual Fountain!  (perpetual - adjective - meaning "continuing forever.")

 Jesus said "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink."  (John 7:37)
    Did you know...The invitation to "COME" is found in the Bible 642 times!

It is told that at the mouth of the great Amazon River, fresh water flows for miles out of sight of land, just opposite the river.  Many years ago a ship was sailing from Europe to Aouth America had a mishap and lost all of their drinking water.  The crew was literally dying of thirst and the climate was extremely hot.  However, great relief came over the crew when they saw another ship near enough to send a signal to.  It read, "We are dying for want of water."  To their astonishment the message came back, "Water all around you…Let your buckets down!"

This is what I would like to say to you right now….

                             The ocean of Gods love and God's spirit is all around. 
                                        JUST LET YOUR BUCKETS DOWN!

            Isaiah 12:3 "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding Tranquility On Mother's Day - and Everyday

Scripture:  Luke 10: 38-42  (King James version)
"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

"Today being Mothers Day I want to dedicate this message to all of our Mothers.  However, I believe it has a message for every one of our hearts.  We all need these words for the day and hour of which we are living.  Our daily lives are filled with many unique problems, intense pressures and yes, thank God, this life He has given us, also has many bountiful blessings and privileges.

Thinking of Mary and Martha in our scripture reading above we immediately understand two realms of living.  Each and every one of us live in these two realms…..the material and the spiritual.

Anxiety challenges us daily.  Cares and heartaches range from preparing a simple meal to the intense grief that comes when death invades our ranks.  But, just as Christ was there to help Mary and Martha with His presence and words of wisdom, He is likewise here today to help each of us. 
                   Only Christ can grant us the peace and the tranquility that we need!

(The material realm of living) First of all, I believe we must recognize the necessity of material things.  Jesus did.  He knew that man must eat, be clothed and be sheltered.  When He saw the poor, the blind, the sick and the destitute, He was moved with compassion and He relieved their suffering.  Even today His heart goes out to those with physical and material needs.  He cares!

But, our Lord also knew that man does not live by bread alone.  (Matthew 4:4  "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.")

God places priority on those things which are eternal.  He promised that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness the other necessities of life would be added unto us.  (Matthew 6:33  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.")

(The spiritual realm of living)  There is also a necessity of the spiritual in our lives.  With both of these necessities comes the necessity of TRANQUILITY.  Note verses 41 and 42 above - "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
We are living in a day when circumstances are such that it is easy to become anxious and worried, disturbed and in turmoil.  Literally millions of people, on a daily basis turn to tranquilizers to steady and calm themselves.  ***But, friends, let me tell you, true tranquility is NOT found in a pill - but a person.  The person I refer to is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God!
The only pill that will help you is the gospill (Gospel) and that will turn you on to Jesus!***

                              What is the secret to finding tranquility?

First of all it is realizing that tranquility is NOT forgetting our obligations; such as simply ignoring your bills and refusing to think about them.  That kind of tranquility is temporary.  You can rest assured the reckoning day will surely come.  I am quite sure that Mary did not make it a habit to leave all of the household work and chores to her sister.  But, Mary refused to allow herself to become so involved with material things that she would be forced to neglect the things which were most important.

The next secret to tranquility is the ability to live a balance life.  It is learning how to properly balance the material things of this world with the spiritual…the temporal with the eternal.  This is not to imply that we live two lives.  God forbid.  The balanced Christian life is a Christ centered life, a life in tune with pleasing and communing with God.

Another secret of tranquility is recognizing the Lord's presence.  We are to take care of the material necessities of life but, our obligation is to never ignore the presence of Jesus!
                           We must realize that He is present in EVERYTHING we do; 
                                                 He hears EVERYTHING we say.  
                                                      He is with us ALWAYS! 
                                                Without Him we can do nothing! 
Today, we have the same privilege as Mary.  We can sit at Jesus feet and bask in His presence.

The next secret of tranquility is talking with Jesus and listening to Him talk to us.  Prayers and communion with our Heavenly Father are not one-sided!  The conversation between Jesus, Mary and Martha was by no means one sided.  You will also find that when you speak to the Lord, He will speak to you.  If we are in a materialistic frame of mind and wrapped up in the worries of our day, we won't spend time as we should in prayer and reading God's Word.  
Friends, let's live well balanced lives...well proportioned lives…lives that are blessed of God!
It is significant to point out that in the very next verse, we find the Lord Himself praying.   Luke 11:1 ("And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.")

Finally - the secret of tranquility is to always give priority to Jesus and the Word of God.  Mary sat at Jesus feet and heard His word.  Jesus said, "Mary hath chosen that good part." 
            What is Jesus saying, day by day as He evaluates our priorities and our choices? 
                                    Is He saying, "they have chosen the good part?"  

Would you like to find true tranquility today?   

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Go Forward

Sermon Notes…
Scripture: Exodus 14:15 (King James Version)
" And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:"

"Going forward necessitates a high model or pattern.
Ex: "I wish I could pray like…..I wish I could sing like so and so…I wish I could speak eloquently like…"
                          Jesus is our pattern!

Going forward does not happen without a struggle.
There will be opposition.

Going forward means forsaking the old way of living.

Going forward requires action.  You need to be constantly engaged.

Going forward requires help.  It requires PRAYER!

Going forward requires knowledge.  Knowledge is obtained through study.

Going forward requires Faith - It requires Determination and Hope.  Going forward requires an attitude of expectancy.

Going forward requires guidance.  Guidance received from the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit will also give power.)"


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Years

"By God's grace we greet 1971
By God's grace we survived 1970.

As we greet this New Year we don't know what's ahead.
But, for every child of God we do have a promise that will cover anything that lies ahead.

Deuteronomy 33:25

New International Version (NIV)
 The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,
    and your strength will equal your days.

Deuteronomy 33:25

Amplified Bible (AMP)
25 Your castles and strongholds shall have bars of iron and bronze, and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest andsecurity, be.

Deuteronomy 33:25

King James Version (KJV)
25 Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

Deuteronomy 33:25

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

25 May your bolts be of iron and bronze
and your strength last as long as you live.

                        What sort of days can we expect?

Don't take God for granted.
Don't let up in your prayer life.
Every day in the coming year be thankful, be grateful.
In the days ahead give God praise.
Make good use of your days in the coming year.
Be watchful… the days to follow, do not be deceived and 
Do Not Compromise!
Make sure that everything in your life is well…..everyday -everything is in place.

There will be days ahead when things are not clear;
The matters of life will be confusing and uncertain.
There will be days with problems, trials, anxious moments, etc.
In such days we will ALL need Divine guidance, strength and wisdom.

In the dark days, hold to God's promises……they will hold; firm and secure.
Make sure your days are filled with prayer, trust, faith,
consecration and grace.