Sunday, April 28, 2002

The God Of Peace




Much of the time it seems as though the message preached at church on Sundays is aimed at helping people with problems, hurting people, people who need some help with life. The reason for this can be clearly seen from the passages in the bible which show Jesus ministering to the people of His day.

One day Jesus heard the religious leaders conversing about the type of people He was targeting with His message and ministry. They were complaining about Him spending so much time with what they considered the wrong kind of people. We hear Jesus reply in:

Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Later in Luke 19 when Jesus had gone into the house of Zacchaeus, some murmured and complained that He had decided to sit down and eat with an evident sinner. Jesus responded:

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Jesus has a heart for the hurting and a hope to help them.

This morning is no different. Jesus in here in our midst on a quest to seek out and minister to those who have needs, people with problems, hurting people who will let Him touch their pain, heal their hurt and solve their problems. Jesus is here this morning to bring hope to the hopeless, restore confidence to those who have been betrayed and through forgiveness and acceptance show His love to you.

For those of you who are right now doing fine and have no need of a Savior or Healer, worship with us this morning and thank Jesus for His abundant mercy which has come to your life and family. Testify of His goodness and let His Word sink deep into the good and receptive soil of your life. We know not what tomorrow may bring, but we do know that with Jesus we can be prepared for anything.

For those of you who are going through trials, encountering hardship and/or burdened down with pain, this morning is especially important for you. This morning is your morning to hear what Jesus is willing and able to do for you. Take heart, begin to hope, Jesus has the answer and He is willing to help.

I. Matthew 11:28 Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

A. The first step to getting help from Jesus is to:

* Come To Jesus

Scripture: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

> Get Saved

> Rededicate Your Life

> Refresh Your Commitment

> Sit At His Feet

II. Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; …

A. The second step is:

* Lordship

(His yoke is easy … Lordship is easy & the burden light)

B. The third step:

* Learn About Him

> His Word

> His Will

> His Way

III. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care on Him; for He careth for you.

A. The next step is to:

* Cast Your Care On Jesus

> Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; …

> Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Note: The peace of God will preserve you & the God of Peace will protect you.

> Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Note: The peace of God will stabilize your heart & mind in the middle of a crisis and the God of Peace will defeat your enemies and restore all that the enemy has disturbed & devoured.

IV. Close

A. Have You Come To Jesus

1. Are you saved

2. Have you repented of your sin since you were saved

3. Do you need to refresh your relationship with Jesus

4. Why not make plans to spend some quality time sitting at His feet

B. What About Lordship?

1. Have you given Jesus all the rights to your life?

2. Is He more than Savior?

C. Do You Know Him?

1. Read His Word

2. Seek His Will

3. Walk His Way

D. Have You Given Your Burdens To Jesus

1. Let’s Pray Right Now

2. Jesus Cares

3. He Will Hear

4. He Will Help

5. What Have You Got To Loose Except What You Don’t Want

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

A Study Of The Miraculous - Part XI

A Study Of The Miraculous – Part XI


2 Kings 4:1-7

1 ¶ Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.

6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

v.6 And it came to pass …

*What came to pass?

> The end of the miracle came to pass!

* A miracle is often just the beginning of a work of God, not the end.

* the miracle of breaking the fishes and loaves required work be done afterward to gather up the 12 baskets of fish and loaves, most likely to give to the young lad who had sown the 2 little fishes and 5 barley loaves.

> I have heard it said that some of the so called miracles of the bible were no miracles at all.

* I have heard that the Red Sea was very narrow and shallow at the time of the year that the Israelites would have crossed it. Then the miracle was that all of the Egyptians drowned in only 6” of water.

* I have heard that the loaves of bread were much larger in Jesus day and that when the bible talks of a loaf it could mean something quite enormous. The miracle there is that a lady could have been led to pack five of these large loaves in one small lad’s lunch and that he could have carried them all day following Jesus across the countryside.

* when the vessels were full,

* the miracle does not have to end until all the vessels are full

* she may not have been keeping track but God was and even others around her were.

* At times people with their hands on the miracle are completely unaware of how many they are affecting and filling and how many are left to fill.

* Perhaps her focus, as it should be, was on one vessel at a time

* You ever see people, let me pick on preachers, who love crowds, love congregations, love the masses but dislike individual people … the one on one experience.

* They love crowds but dislike people. (they come out late and leave early and have a protective barrier around themselves as though they should not be touched. I’m not talking about the sanity of reserving some time for yourself and your family … and at times busy in thought, study or engaged in hearing from God for the service, but some get ridiculous)

> there are some who love to preach to the group but will not spend time with the person

> If you don’t have the smell of sheep on you then you are most likely not a shepherd … but that’s ok if you are not a shepherd, but if you are, then one needs to stroke the sheep individually, one sheep at a time.

> The more sheep a rancher has, the more shepherds he needs to employ because sheep need to be touched and treated as individuals and at times feel just a little bit special, as they all are.

* one of the things I love most about God is that He knows me and gives me His personal attention. He makes me feel like I am the only vessel He is focused on for our time together.

v.6 And it came to pass when the vessels were full:

* God has this thing about full

> That My house might be full (Luke 14:23)

> My cup runneth over (Psalms 23)

> John 15:11 (joy full)

> John 21:11 (full net)

> Mark 6:43 (12 baskets full)

> Mat 14:20; 15:37 (baskets full)

* that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel.

* What is the proper response to authority when they have asked for something you cannot do

> Hebrews 3:7 Remember those who … consider … conduct

> Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

> * Teach me, love me, pray with me and walk with me, but do not ask me to violate the Holy Spirit

> not just a violation of personal preferences

Note: I believe it is a dangerous and despicable thing to champion personal desires cloaked in the robe of “God said”

> not a small conviction when a bigger one is at stake

* Romans 13:1-6 Do not resist the governmental authority and their dictates

* Titus 3:1 Obey magistrates

* Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

> learn from your leaders, that’s what they are there for

* good leaders show us what to do

* bad leaders show us what not to do

* both are valid lessons of life

> get educated not frustrated

> do not sacrifice the big picture for some small conviction (most who do this are protecting some personal preference which looks right and sounds right and has some valid points of defense in the eyes of reasonable thinkers but not before the whole counsel of God’s Word and Will)

> an appeal to reason in an effort to outweigh or out maneuver the Word of God is one of the first signs of deception. The devil at work. The serpent used this in the garden of Eden.

> Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

* The same God who said you can have faith and eat meat also said not to eat it if it causes your brother to stumble.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Weapons Of War




This second letter to the Corinthian Church was written somewhere in the late 50’s AD, (AD 56 to AD 59). Paul had just left Ephesus due to the trouble described by Luke in the later half of Acts 19. He journeyed to Troas looking to meet up with Titus and not finding him there, departed for Macedonia. Catching up with Titus in Macedonia’s capital city, Philippi, Paul received the account from him concerning the Church in Corinth and found that they had well received his first letter to them. Also in the account Paul heard that false teachers had endeavored to discredit him among the church members at Corinth and had accused him of not being truly Godly nor personally trust worthy. Some said the Paul’s motives were only to reap personal benefits from his ministry travels.

These new comers to the church at Corinth had not labored as Paul did to birth the church there nor were they on any dangerous field of evangelism at present. From the safety of an established church, they criticized the Apostle as no apostle at all and accused him of possessing a weak disposition. They make a common yet critical error: They mistake Paul’s seasoned kindness, his meekness and gentleness as weakness and a lack of resolve.

While briefly visiting the Philippian Church, The Apostle Paul takes the time and sets himself to write his followers in appreciation of them receiving his earlier counsel and includes a defense of himself and his ministry in the face of the accusations lodged against him. Some suggest that the Apostle takes the pen himself to write this by his own hand. We pick up the story with his defense.

I. 2 Corinthians 10:

1 ¶ Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

7 ¶ Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.

8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.

10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.

12 ¶ For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:

15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.

17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Note: Consider reading chapter 11 as well?

A. v. 4ff The weapons of our warfare:

1. Are Not Carnal (we do not deal in the fleshly arts)

A. the political process in kingdom matters

B. divisive practices among the brethren

C. the sowing of discord

D. the jockeying for position

E. seeking to excel at the expense of others

F. claiming credit for things we did not do

2. But Mighty Through God (weapons God will work through)

A. pulling down strongholds (not build them up against God)

B. casting down imaginations and high things … (not exalt)

C. bringing into captivity every thought (not free thinkers)

B. The basic weapons of our warfare

Note: We see Paul using some weapons over and over again in some of his most difficult and critical times of life.

1. Praise (we saw this with Paul & Silas in the jail in Acts 16 right in the same city where he now writes this letter to Corinth. He had come to Philippi to birth a church in response to a heavenly vision … it was not easy and it took some warfare to get it done … praise was one of the weapons of choice for this battle)

> Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises and the prisoners heard them … and suddenly … the battle was won!

> Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

> Psalms 8:2 Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Note: Perfected praise is the ordained strength of God that the enemies and the avengers might be stopped and made to cease their advances.

2. Prayer (Eph 6:18; Col 1:3; Eph 1:16; 1Th 1:2; 2Ti 1:3; Ph 1:3: Paul was a model prayer and exhorter to prayer)

> Acts 16:25 … (they) prayed and sang praises … (prayer was another weapon of choice for the battle of Philippi)

> James 5:16b … the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Note: The word availeth means to exercise force, the force necessary to overcome the obstacle.

3. Fasting (Paul was given to fasting)

> 2 Corinthians 11:27 … in fastings often …

> Mark 9:29 This kind cometh not out but by prayer and fasting

4. Repentance (to turn from error to God’s way) (Acts 9)

> 2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow works repentance

> James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5 God resisteth the proud but gives grace to the humble

> Proverbs 16:18 (Paraphrase) Pride comes before a fall

> 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourself and God will exalt you

5. Vows (commitments & promises) (committed intent)

Note: Barnes New Testament Notes: A vow is a solemn promise made to God respecting anything. The use of vows is observable throughout the Scripture. Jacob, going into Mesopotamia, vowed the tenth of his estate, and promised to offer it at Bethel to the honour of God, #Ge 28:22

> Deuteronomy 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

> Psalms 76:11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

> Job 22:28 Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee, and the light shall shine upon thy ways.

* Psalms 2:7 I will declare the decree

> The law concerning vows

Numbers 30:

1 ¶ And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.

2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 ¶ If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;

4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.

9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

10 And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath;

11 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

12 But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her.

13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.

15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

16 These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house.

* in authority

* under authority

> New Testament Example:

* Acts 18:18 Paul shaved his head as a part of making a vow to God


6. The Word Of God ( If anyone, even an angel or me tell you different from the Word of God, do not believe them but let them be cursed Gal 1:8)

> Ephesians 6:17 The sword of the Spirit

> This is where we find our:

* hope Hebrews 6:19 (the anchor of the soul)

* trust Proverbs 3:5 (trust in the Lord with all your heart)

* faith Mark 9:23 (all things are possible to him who believes)

* future John 5:39 (in them ye think ye have eternal life)

> Romans 10:10 we possess the Sword/Word in our hearts and minds through faith

> we handle the Sword/Word with our tongues by the profession of our faith

7. Patience ( 2Cor 12:12 the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all patience …)

> Hebrews 6:12 faith and patience you inherit

> Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls

II. The Weapons of Our Warfare

A. Acquire the weapons

B. Activate the weapons

C. Impart the skill to others

1. Your children

2. Your children’s children

3. Those born in your house

III. We will either win or loose at each battle, every race and all temptation.

A. There are no draws, no ties, no do-overs and no time outs.

B. There is only victory or defeat

C. Keep God on the battlefield with you.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

A Study Of The Miraculous - Part X

A Study Of The Miraculous – Part X


2 Kings 4:1-7

v.6 And it came to pass,

* what came to pass? … the end of the miracle came to pass

* what does one do when the miracle stops

* when the miracle is over, the real work begins

* there is plenty to do after a miracle moment

* there is plenty to do after the manna ceases

> Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

* don’t let depression stop you after your miracle

* thank God for it and move on

* there comes a time when the miracle is over

* Acts 19:21 and when these things had ended.

* The test of finished

* It was good while it lasted but what do we do now

* Learning to live in the shadow of a miracle

> missionary blues

> an unwillingness to be spent again

> depression

* the reason for the miracle may be to give you something more productive to do after the miracle

* Miracles

> enable us

> equip us

> position us

* Miracles:

> take us some place, (Acts 8:39-40 Phillip translated)

> give us some thing, (Matthew 17:27 Money in the mouth of the fish)

> show us some thing (Acts 10:10-15 Peter’s roof top vision)

so that we can better accomplish God’s will and purpose.