Sunday, January 26, 2020

Go Forward

Exodus 14:15 

"And the Lord said to Moses,
 “Why do you cry to Me? 
Tell the children of Israel to go forward."

Sermon notes.....

1 - Going forward necessitates a high model or pattern...  
"I wish I could pray like John", 
"I wish I could sing like____________"(you fill in the blank), 
"I wish I could speak like Paul,"
or "I had consecration of __________" 

Jesus is OUR Pattern!

2 -  Going forward does not happen without conflict.  There will be struggles!
3 -  Going forward means forsaking the old life!
4 -  Going forward requires action.  You must be constantly employed.
5 -  Going forward requires help......  PRAYER being the most important!
6 -  Going forward requires study.  Knowledge is power!
7 -  Going forward requires FAITH.
8 -  Going forward requires DETERMINATION.
9 -  Going forward requires HOPE.
10 - Going forward requires EXPECTANCY.
11 - Going forward requires GUIDANCE.  Guidance and power from the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Place Of Blessing

Genesis 32: 24-30  (King James Version)

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.  And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.  And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.  And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.  And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

"I am using the last 5 words of verse 29 for my text..."And He blessed him there."  This morning I am preaching on The Place Of Blessing.
Say what you want to about Jacob and his scheming ways but, there is one thing positive we can say.....He wanted the blessings of God upon his life.  
                             God is pleased when anyone desires His blessings.
Of course the life of Jacob teaches us that there is a wrong way and a right way to seek Gods blessing.  In Genesis 27 we find Jacob deceiving his father Isaac so that he might receive the blessing instead of his brother Esau. 
                              Deception is the wrong way to seek Gods blessing!
Here in Genesis 32 we find Jacob seeking Gods blessing in the right way.  He received the blessing because he was in the right place, the place where God desired him be.
Have you ever heard anyone say, "I want to get to that place where God can bless me...where God can use me...where I can be a blessing to others?  How many times have you said it to yourself?
Did you know that God has a "THERE" for every one of us?  It is a place of spiritual attainment.  It's that place of Gods will for us to be.  Until we come to "that place" Gods blessings cannot truly rest upon us.
There is a place of sins forgiven.
There is a place of the emptying of self.
There is a place of the filling of the Spirit.
There is a place of physical healing.
There is a place of usefulness and service.
There is a place of consecration and calling resurrection.
There is a place of rapture and rest.
God told Elijah to go (1 Kings 17) to the brook Cherith and the ravens would feed him "there."  God said to go to Zarapath (Verse 9), dwell there and the a widow woman will sustain thee - "there."   Friends, I do not believe that Elijah would have been blessed had he not obeyed God.
There is a place of Gods Promise                 
There is a place of Gods Purpose
There is a place of Gods Plan
There is a place of Gods Power
There is a place of Gods Provision
There is a place of Gods Protection
There is a place of Gods Peace
There is a place of God Pleasing.
There is also a Place Of Blessing and I am convinced that what it took for Jacob (in the scriptures above) to be blessed is what it will take of you and I, (or anyone else) to be blessed.
Let's notice some things about this "place of blessing."

A Place of Solitude...
Verse 24 (of Genesis 32)- "and Jacob was left alone."     When Jacob was alone he had a meeting with God.  There is an essential truth here.  If we are to have the blessing of God, we must have times of getting alone with Him.  It is not in the crowd or the in the company of close friends where the blessings come down.  It is when we spend time in solitude with  Him.                          

The "place of blessing" is also 
A Place of Struggle...
Jacob was left alone "and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of day."         I can tell you, the blessings of God do not come without a struggle.  Often times getting alone with God is a struggle.  Praying can be a real struggle.....getting to Sunday School or church can be a struggle.  Worshipping and praising God can be a difficult struggle.   Our human flesh likes to have its way and it's not a secret that the enemy of our soul will do all he can to keep us from "the place of blessing".
These struggles are individual.  Your Pastor can not pray blessings down or preach them down.  Each one of us must spend "alone time" with God.  Jacob wrestled and struggled and said to God, "I will not let you go until you bless me.  And He blessed Him "there."

The "place of blessing" is
A Place of Surrender...
The angel of God said "what is your name" and Jacob surrendered.  He confessed.          He said, "my name is Jacob."   In essence he said, "I am a cheat and a deceiver."  Jacob saw himself as he really was and surrendered to God.  When he did, his whole character was changed.  He was filled with new strength and new power.  Power with God and with men.  "And He blessed him "there."
Full surrender brings the blessings of God! 
When God has His way, He always blesses!

The Place of Blessing....
Do you want to get "there" ?
* Get alone with God.
*Get desperate with Him.
The blessing will come with full surrender!

Last preached in Avon, North Carolina 6/23/1979