Saturday, May 30, 2020

Are You Hungering After Righteousness?

Scripture:  (King James Version)
Matthew 5:6
" Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
Ephesians 5:18
"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

"Terms such as "The Baptism of The Holy Ghost", 
                            "The Outpouring of The Spirit"
                                 "The Enduement of Power"
denote action on God's part - the granting of a Divine gift.

"Enduement"   (verb)  

to invest or endow with some gift, quality, or faculty.
to put on; assume: 

When we read concerning the early church that they were all filled with The Holy Spirit or that certain believers were full of The Holy Ghost, it denotes supernatural power resting upon them.  This action again, is on God's part.

But, the injunction "be filled" means that as believers we may - we can - and we must do our part.  Our text declares that the individual who hungers and thirsts will be blessed with God's fullness.  
Many of God's promises are conditional.

Notice the spiritual capacity which God demands...
               "They which do hunger and thirst after righteousness".
A person that is hungry, thirsty and has a good appetite for the natural food can't wait to get to the dining table.  The one who is hungry, thirsty and has a good appetite for spiritual food will be anticipating and longing for spending time in the Word of God, praying and communicating with their Lord.  A hungering and thirsting soul will long for a outpouring of God like a starving man longs for food.

God's fullness and blessings are for those who 
eagerly desire them and reach out for them. 
The implication is that our failure to receive 
                             is due to insufficient desire.  
God demands a hunger on our part. 
If we want the blessing, the condition(s) must be met.

Blessed is the one who hungers and thirst after Salvation. 
Blessed is the one who hungers and thirst after the fullness of The Holy Spirit.
No one could hunger and thirst for any greater gifts than these!

Let's notice now the spiritual sufficiency that God declares.....
          "They which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled".
This is a promise of God.  
God says that if you come desiring, you are hungry and thirsty, He will bless you and He will "fill" you with "His fullness".

This word "filled" means here to be stuffed full to the point of overflowing.  
When God fills you, you are full.  You will be stuffed full to the point of complete satisfaction!

God will bless that one whose most passionate desire is to be "full" of "His Spirit".

Desire precedes possession.

How much do we really want God's very best?
How hungry are we?
How thirsty are we?

Those who intensely desire and who urgently seek are not going to go away unblessed.  God declares: "they shall be filled".  All the promises of God can be had by those who will hunger and thirst after righteousness.

To hunger and thirst is not just a passing feeling or a passing desire. 
It is a deep consciousness of a desperate need and it keeps on until it is is satisfied! 
It is not to hunger and thirst after an experience of after a blessing.  
That is not nor should it ever be, our goal. 
But, blessings are the results of a pure motive, a true hungering and thirst after righteousness.

God gives His gifts to those 
who covet His righteousness!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Stand Your Ground

Scripture: King James Version 

2 Samuel 23:12   " But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory."                                 

Israel at the time of our text lived under great fear of the Philistines army.  Every year the Israelites would toil and labor in sowing their crops.  The Philistines would then often come in and steal the harvest.
Friends, the enemy of our souls, the devil loves to steal.  He loves to rob us all all that we work and toil for. (John 10:10)

The Israelites were in the lentil patch (verse 11) again when the Philistines army gathered for battle against them.   As they assembled and swarmed in to take the crop, the Israelites dropped everything and ran for safety.

But this time the enemy, the Philistines, received a surprise.  There was one man by the name of Shammah who refused to run.  
He was a mighty man of valor!

#1 -  Our text in verse 12 says........Shammah stood
 Shammah stood in the midst of the ground. 
 He knew he was outnumbered but knew what was right. 
 He was protecting what belonged to God.
God is looking for people today who will take a stand.
Snakes creep, crawl or slither on the ground and many animals go about this earth on four legs. Man stands!

Paul tells us in Ephsians 6:13 - "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

There are two things that are necessary to STAND.

1st -    Firm Convictions
2nd -   Faithful Courage
Shammah 's conviction would not allow him to turn over to the enemy what was Gods.

#2 -              Shammah fought and defended.
Sometimes in order to stand we have to fight.
We are reminded of the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7 - "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"


There is only one way for God's people to stand.....
        Fight the good fight of faith!

A - Fight with the Word of God.  
     The Word of God is our Sword of the Spirit.        (Ephesians 6:17)
B - Fight with Prayer.      
     "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto         with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;(Ephesians 6:18)
C - Fight being Full of The Spirit.  
     The fruits of The Spirit being love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

#3 -           Shammah was VICTORIOUS!  
Shammah slew the Philistines and the Lord wrought a great victory!

How can you and I be victorious in our battles against the enemy?
**Stay on the Lords side.  
Our text in 2 Samuel 23:12 reveals to us exactly what can happen when just one person will take a stand for our Lord Jesus Christ.

**We must give God all glory.  
                                                 The battle is the Lord's. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

How Then Will The Scriptures Be Fulfilled


Matthew 26:53-54 King James Version (KJV)

"53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 
54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
These scriptures in Matthew give us an account during the time of our Lord's betrayal by Judas.  This was the time that Jesus was given into the hands of those who sought His life.
Jesus refused all resistance and help at this time.  He knew that the hour of God's will, purpose and plan had now come.  
But, at the same time Jesus emphasized the fact that He was never without help when He chose to use it.  He had a Father whom He was able to call upon.  He had a resource of power far greater than the swords of men.  SO DO YOU AND I.  
Jesus is wanting to teach us something here.....Verse 53..."Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father....?"    Friends, there is no predicament in which you or I can not pray!  The door of prayer is always open.  We have a Father that we can go to in time of need.  He loves us!  He cares about us!
We do not have to tremble and fear when we seem to be outnumbered or all the forces of this world seemingly come against us.  May we be reminded that ALL the powers of God and Heaven are greater and at our disposal through Christ and prayer.  The individual who realizes he has such resources behind him can walk into an ambush without fear.  If God be for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31
Jesus is not only wanting to teach us something, He is wanting to show us that there is no limit to the available resources of God that are ours through prayer.                                       A legion of angels is 6000.  12 legions of angels would be 72,000.
Jesus says here that He could pray to the Father and He would give Him....MORE THAN.  "More than" 12 legions of angels.                                                                          
Aren't you thankful we have a Father with unlimited resources and available help when we come to Him in prayer?   
Notice something else here.....Jesus, as He was taken captive said, "thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father and He would right now send thousands of angels?"
 But, He did not need to because He had already just prayed concerning this matter.  
In the Garden of Gethsemane He settled it with "not my will but thy will be done."
There is further thought here....                                                                                             Let us never employ other forces that God Himself does not order us to use!  
Many other forces may be at our disposal but if the are not the fulfillment of His Word they will only hinder His will.  
God's will....God's the best way!
Let's read these verses again, especially noticing Verse 54
" But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"
A single prayer would have wrought our Lords deliverance from His enemies.  "But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  Thus it must be!  
I want us to see our Lord's great respect for the Scriptures.  If the Scriptures were only the writings of man there would be no necessity that they be fulfilled.  But Jesus insisted that they be fulfilled.  Why?  He knew that they were the inspired Words of the Living God.  
He would not truffle with them or differ with them.  
He came to fulfill them.  
He believed in their infallibility.
Jesus knew the Scriptures were the will of God and the will of God must be done!  
Jesus was willing to die rather than the Scriptures be unfulfilled.  He willingly would go to the Cross rather than any one word not be carried out.  
Let me tell you something........  God stood - and still stands behind His Word!  
He did - and He will watch over His Word to perform it.
Come now to the Lord's table with this final thought....the Son of God was willing to be smitten rather than the Word of God fall to the ground.  Jesus would give His life for the Scriptures and their fulfillment.  That's how strongly He was convinced that it was the Fathers will and desired that we be redeemed and that we be healed. 
Oh, how much He loved and cared for you and I.
Jesus could have called down a body guard of thousands of angels......
"But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  
How then would we be able to sing "There Is Power In The Blood?" 
How then would we be able to say, "By His stripes I am healed?"  
How then would we be able to "resist the devil and see him flee?"
Jesus could have escaped being taken away and bound.  He could have escaped the suffering.  
"But, how then would the scriptures be fulfilled?"  

Would you like to be sheltered, protected and kept from all affliction, all sickness, all trouble, all poverty, all sorrow, persecution, etc?  
"But, how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled?"  
How then would we prove Him to be the God of His Word?  
How then could we say, "by His stripes I am healed?" 
How then could we say, "Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ?"
Jesus declined the legions of angels
 so that you and I might claim
 the legions of God's promises.