Thursday, March 30, 2017

In The Storms - Believe God!

Acts 27:13-25     King James Version (KJV)
And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete.  But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.  And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.  And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat:  Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.
For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”


I am taking my text from Verse 25….
"Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.”

***Acts 27 gives us the account of Pauls shipwreck.  According the remaining scriptures in Acts 27, the storm lasted 14 days and nights and grew worse day by day.  

I want to call your attention to just three words in Verse 25, “I believe God.”   Believe God!
You know, when it’s all boiled down, this is what FAITH is…
..simply believing God.

I once read a testimony from a Christian teenager who had a wonderful experience and relationship with God.  She loved the Lord, believed and obeyed God’s Word.  The church she attended had just obtained a new Pastor from one of the modernistic seminaries.  When he would deliver the sermon and read the Word of God, he would then say, “Now the Bible doesn’t really mean what it says here…..” 

“It doesn’t really mean a real fire in hell.
The man in hell wasn’t really thirsty.
"He didn’t really ask for literal water."
Then the minister would proceed to give his view (the modern interpretation).
The teen girl had just about all she could stand.  She loved the precious Word of God.  So, Sshe said to the Pastor after service one day, “Pastor, I want to ask you one question.”  He said, “Sure.”  She said, “Pastor, you keep saying when you read Gods Word that the Lord doesn’t mean what He says.  Well, if the Lord doesn’t mean what He says in the Bible, then why didn’t He say what He meant?” 

Friends, you can be sure that God does indeed
 say what He means 
and means what He says!

Paul was persuaded of this and he said, “I believe God.”  Paul had great faith.  Before I explain and talk about the faith Paul had, I want you to think with me about “degrees of faith.”

There is a degree of faith that can not believe – unless there is some type of sign, a great manifestation or feeling.  This kind of faith always looks to something in addition to the Word of God to make you believe.  It wants some other prop on which to lean, some crutch to rely on.  

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen."
This degree of faith is based on signs and feelings has to feel the substance and see the evidence BEFORE it believes.

There is also a greater degree of faith.  There is a faith that can trust God without feeling, without sight, without reason, without signs, etc.  This faith trusts God without any outside help.  It simply takes hold of the Word of God.  This faith claims the promises of God and holds on to them like a turtle waits for thunder.  This faith hold on until the answer comes.  This kind of faith pleases God more than the faith that depends on feelings and signs.

What type of faith did Paul possess?  He had a faith of greater degree than any other.  I am persuaded that the type of faith Paul had, we all need in these last days.  It’s bad enough not to have any feelings or signs at all to lean on and to boost your faith but, it’s even more trying and challenging when there is unfavorable signs and feeling that discourage your faith.  These situations call for great faith.  Great faith that will not take no for an answer.  Great faith that won’t let contrary signs keep you from believing. 

Notice Verse 20 -  “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.”
Here we see Paul’s faith in the face of adverse circumstance.  In this scripture verse Paul is basically saying that all hope was gone.  Their situation is getting worse instead of better.  Therefore, they might just as well give up.  Things sure did look bad for Paul and his crew.  The storm raged on and it looked like the ship, the men and all would be lost in spite of what God said.

Today, the devil may be saying to you…
“God promises you the salvation of your household BUT, they’re worse than ever.”
“God promised healing BUT, you and your family are still sick.”
“God promised _______________BUT_________________.”

Paul, had reached our third degree of faith.  Things didn’t look bad to him because he did not base his faith on looks. He had faith that believes – even with contrary signs.  Paul said, “in spite of all, in the face of this storm, I believe God!

God had promised to save Paul and all those on board the ship. 
God’s promise was more real to Paul than the storm. 
Yes, God kept His Word!  
Everyone was saved.

Folks, many of you have storms that are raging in your lives.  You may be going through a test, a trial, a hard place, a storm of any kind.  But, have faith in God.  Only those that believe God are going to ride them out and make it safe to the other side.  If you are in the middle of a storm, I challenge you to say with Paul, I BELIEVE GOD.   In spite of contrary signs or feelings of doubt, BELIEVE GOD.  He will take care of you and meet your need!


Thank you for reading this anointed sermon from God through my father, Rev. David A. Raynor, Sr.
May we say a prayer for/with you?
Heavenly Father, 
For those experiencing a storm in their lives today, 
please help them to BELIEVE in you, 
to feel your love and presence in an extraordinary way.
We ask Lord for your hand of protection and blessing. 
We ask that you will slow the current, 
quiet the storm, 
and bring a flow of incredible peace in their lives.
Guard their hearts, protect their minds, and wrap them tight in your loving arms.
Father, we know we will have trouble in this world. 
 But, you told us that we will never have to face anything alone. 
Thank you that whatever today may hold, you are more than enough to get us through it. 
In Jesus name we pray. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

His Word Was With Power

Luke 4:31-32     King James Version (KJV)
"And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power."
 Notice these words…His word was with power.
  He was Himself the very Word of God.

In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.  And -                 (John 1:14) the word became flesh and dwelt (a tabernacle) among us.  And we beheld His glory.  The glory as the only begotten of the faith. Full of grace and truth.   
New International Version (NIV)
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

No sooner had the inspired scriptures laid claim to being the Word of God than the man of Jesus appears on the scene and claims the same thing.  This does not mean that we are to accept one and reject the other. This does not mean that we can not have 2 claims to be the same thing. 
 Instead of having competitors we have compliments
The claim of both are solid and valid.
They are not 2 different words from 2 different Gods.
They are not 2 different words from the same God.
They are the same words from the same God!

Turn back the pages of this book and you find the written Word of God.  Turn back the sinless life of Jesus and you find the living Word of God.  Whether it is this thought that is speaking to me or it is the man Jesus or His Holy Spirit. In either case it is the Word of God to me. 
When we give place to Jesus we give place to the Holy Spirit and place to the Word of God!
The written Word of God and the living Word of God 
both came by the same divine process. 
The Holy Ghost came upon a virgin by the name of Mary.  He took her humanity into such unity with Himself and so under His control that there was produced in this world an absolutely sinless man.  The living Word of God and His word was with power. 
The same Holy Ghost that came upon one virgin and produced the living copy of the Word of God also came upon some 40 men and also took their humanity under His control and produced this written copy of the Holy inspired, infallible Word of God.  These holy men of God wrote and recorded that they were moved by the Holy Ghost……and His word was with power.
Oh, the power of the Word of God!

Since this book and this man are in essence the same, 
you will never find this man Jesus 
giving you permission to disobey this book.  
 This Book will never give you permission
 to disobey this man Jesus.  
This man Jesus promises forgiveness and healing to those who repent.   

Whatsoever He saith unto you do it!
 His Word is with power and it is to be obeyed!

Jesus commissioned the church saying all power is given unto men in Heaven and earth.
  "Go ye therefore teaching all nations to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded you. 

Matthew 28:19-20King James Version (KJV)                                                                                           "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

He didn't say store a lot of facts up in your head but, 

 He also said that "signs shall follow them that believe".     (Mark 16:17)

His word was with power.

His word has power to:
and to expel demons and evil spirits
and to inspire.

Yes, it not only instructs, it inspires!

I rejoice in the wWord of my God!   I praise my God for His Word!   His truth has set me free!  
When lived out in any of our lives His Word is spirit and life…….and NOT a dead letter!
It is one thing to handle the Word of God but it’s another thing to let it handle you.  
The purpose of God’s word is not to just to inform or even reform but to transform. 
Jesus Christ has transforming power.  
 It can transform your life!

Believe that the Word of God can cleanse you and heal you! 
May you be inspired.  
Whatever your need is, right now know that His word –  has and is power. 
He can and will meet every need. 

Jesus spoke to Lazarus and said “come forth” and he came forth.  (John 11:43)
He wants you and I to "come forth."   You will find new life!   Jesus can set you free!
He spoke to Peter and said “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets.”  
(Luke 5:4)
Peter obeyed His word and his nets were full. 
"Launch out" in obedience to His word and let down your nets and He will bless you!