Sunday, March 30, 2014

5 Steps of Faith


Mark 5
25  Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,
26  and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.
27  When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."

Five Steps of Faith
·       What we hear makes a difference
·       What we believe makes a difference
·       What we say makes a difference
·       What we do makes a difference
·       What we share makes a difference

Faith makes things possible, not easy …

Mark 5
29  Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"
31  But His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ’Who touched Me?’"
32  And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.
33  But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
34  And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

Someone is hearing the Word of the Lord today. Grab on to it; dare to believe it; tell yourself it’s true; step out and take the first step in faith; and be willing to share your story with others.

Today is your day! Have faith in God today …

Sunday Circles - Building Your Family With Friends

Hymn: Victory in Jesus
Memory Verse: Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. (The New Living Translation)
Lesson: Trust
Bible Character: Job
Background: Job was a blessed and happy man living his life surrounded by a community of believers who were also committed to God. Job not only cared about his relationship with God but also took great pains to insure his children were also right with God. One day when everything seemed to be going well, Job received a message that raiders had stolen all of his animals and killed his farmhands. He received a second message that his sheep and shepherds had been killed. Immediately following, a third messenger arrived and informed him that his camels had been stolen and their keepers killed. Before he could consider anything further, a fourth messenger arrived with news that all of his children had been killed in the sudden collapse of a home. Devastated beyond imagination, Job fell to the ground and worshipped according to what he believed.
Opening Remarks: What we believe will affect
First Principle: … what we are willing to attempt.
Scripture Reference:
Job 1:21
He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
Meaning: Because Job trusted God and believed that God was good and merciful and kind and caring, Job attempted to maintain a right attitude towards God. He acknowledged God and praised His name.  
Question: How can we better coach ourselves through moments of fear?
Conclusion: When we trust God and believe that He is good and merciful and kind and caring, we also will push ourselves into Him in times of trouble and concern.  
Remarks: What we believe will affect
Second Principle: … what w: are able to endure.
Scripture Reference:
Job 2:8-10
Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.
Meaning: Because Job trusted God and believed that God was good and merciful and kind and caring, he attempted to continue living a godly and worshipful life while enduring his grief, the physical pain in his own body, the division in his home, and the accusations of his friends.
Question: What advice would you have given Job and would it have encouraged or discouraged him to trust God?
Conclusion: Job continued to maintain his integrity according to what he believed and not according to his most recent experiences.
Remarks: What we believe will affect
Third Principle: … what we are empowered to overcome. Scripture Reference:
Job 42:10
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!
Meaning: Because Job trusted God and believed that God was good and merciful and kind and caring, he was empowered to overcome the obstacles of life.
Question: What would you attempt if you believed God would help you endure the process and overcome the obstacles?
Conclusion: Job continued to trust God which gave him the power to overcome every obstacle.

Pastor Ron and the Rest of the Story …
         Job 1:22  In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.
What did Job believe that caused him to overcome? His Perspective
Principle before Problem
Job 19  NLT
23 ¶  “Oh, that my words could be recorded. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument,
24  carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock.
25  As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26  And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!
27  I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”

The last two verses of the book of Job give the results of living a life entrusted to God …

Job 42
16  Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren.
17  Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.

Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Power of Release


Abraham and Sarah were chosen by God to become His covenant partners. God promised them a son to which the covenant would pass and whose offspring would inherit all the land of Canaan. Abraham and Sarah journeyed from the Ur of the Chaldees northward up the Euphrates Valley to what is now northeastern Syria with their father, Terah, their brother Nahor and the children of another brother who had passed away named Haran. The children’s names were Lot and Milcah.

The family of Terah settled in a place they called Haran after Abraham’s late brother. Towns and villages were often built up around one prospering family where servants and tradesmen gathered out of proximity and necessity. The town of Haran is also referred to as the town of Nahor; the remaining brother of Abraham’s who was evidently a prosperous man as well. Nahor married Milcah, his niece, and begot Bethuel, the father of Rebekah.

When Abraham was 75 years old the Lord spoke to him a second time and told him to take Sarah and leave his family in Syria and go to the land of Canaan. Abraham trusted God and departed also taking his nephew Lot along with them. God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations and through his seed would all of the world be blessed.

It was after many trials and through difficult journeys that God brought Abraham and Sarah to the place where they experienced the fulfillment of this promise. When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old, after having been married and following God for over 50 years  that God brought about a miracle in that Sarah conceived and brought forth Isaac, the son of God’s promise.

The account of the journeys of Abraham and Sarah are perhaps the greatest stories in the Bible. They reveal and confirm the workings of God in the lives of His covenant partners who follow Him by faith. The New Testament paints a picture of someone trusting God by using Abraham as the backdrop of faith.

Romans 4
18  (Abraham), who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
19  And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Needless to say that Abraham and Sarah lived a wonderful adventure of faith. They lived their daily lives trusting God and although they made many mistakes and had continual temptations to quit believing … they continued and ultimately received the promise of God. Can you imagine Abraham being 100 years old and having a son or Sarah having her first and only child at age 90? Oh how they loved Isaac … he was the answer to their lifelong prayers. Most likely Abraham and Sarah were married over 100 years … think of that! But, as time went on, Sarah’s earthly life came to an end.

Genesis 23: 1  Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.

Abraham was 137 years old and Isaac was 37 … what would they do? Sarah was buried in Hebron where they lived while Isaac cared for the flocks and family assets farther to the south in the Negev desert near a well belonging to his father called Beersheba. Three years later when Abraham is feeling old and finished he calls for his trusted servant, Eliezer, the Syrian. From reading the account we realize that Abraham is expecting to die soon.

Genesis 24
1  Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
2  So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please, put your hand under my thigh,
3  "and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;

Continuing to read the account we find this to be the request of a dying man – his final parting wishes as it were – Abraham’s last will and testimony. Clearly Abraham does not expect to live much longer, certainly not long enough for this mission to be carried out. This is further confirmed by the response from his servant when he asked his master, “What shall I do if …”, and Abraham’s response.

Abraham gave future instructions and a clear contingency plan in the event things did not work out as hoped and he was not around to give further direction upon the servant’s return. Abraham was clearly setting his house in order … no doubt he felt he was finished. After all he had run his race, completed his duty, received his promise and was 140 years old now. Surely this was the end. Most likely his missed his wife and his life and was lonely and perhaps a bit depressed. He probably felt like his greatest day was behind him. He had two sons, one by Sarah and one by her bond servant. Isaac was 40 and the covenant son of promise and Ishmael was 52 and a strong man who carried his father’s determination. Twelve princes would be born to him. The account continues:

Genesis 24: 10  Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.

Some Jewish writers and Christian Scholars as well believe the parenthetical phrase, “for all his master’s goods were in his hand” is an indication that Eliezer carried papers detailing the assets of Abraham which were to be conveyed to his son, Isaac, upon Abraham’s death. In effect, this passage seems to indicate that Abraham also sent along a signed copy of his last will and testament which no doubt included a dowry to be given to the family of the prospective new bride for his son Isaac.

I for one do not believe Abraham expected to still be alive when his servant returned from Syria, however, he was. The journey to Nahor and back took the better part of 6 weeks. When Eliezer returned with Rebekah, Isaac had just come from the south and the last verse of Genesis 24 says:

Genesis 24:67  Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Mission accomplished, Isaac is married, he is comforted after the death of his mother and as Isaac’s story continues to unfold later in chapter 25 we see Isaac and Rebekah moving about 30 miles to the south to live near Beersheba.

So … what happens to Abraham after he has completed his last quest? What happens to father Abraham’s life after he has released his son into God’s hands? Well it seems like the old man finds some new strength and new vision he didn’t realize was there before. In fact, after Abraham releases Isaac to the will of God in the last verse of Genesis chapter 24 … the very next verse in the Bible tells what happened next:

Genesis 25
1  Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
2  And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
3  Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.
4  And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

Abraham wasn’t finished yet!!! In about 500 years his great great great grandson Moses was going to be running for his life, wandering around in the desert of Midian and was going to need a special woman to be his wife … Moses was going to find one of his very distant cousins, Zipporah, a great great great granddaughter of Abraham, who was the daughter of the priest of Midian. She is the woman who circumcised Moses before God and saved his life.

You see, when Abraham released his Isaac into the hand of God and over to the will of God for his life, Abraham was released to his new day as well. Our greatest release comes when we release others to God.

The principle of release works in many areas of life. Parents are challenged to release their children into God’s hands and over to God’s will and when they do, they are also released to pursue a new day in their lives. Pastors are challenged to release other ministers and ministries into God’s hands and over to God’s will and when they do, they are also released to embrace and pursue a new day in their life and ministry.

Each of us is challenged from time to time to forgive others where they have wronged or hurt us. When we forgive, Jesus said we are forgiven. And, when we refuse to release others of their trespasses or debts, that refusal to release serves to keep us bound to the old hurts and pains ourselves.

There is a power of release. Not that the old was always bad or that it needs to be forgotten but rather the fact that God is the God of a new day, every day. God has a greater plan for our lives than we may see from the limited perspective of the past. When all we know or expect is all we have ever known or expected perhaps we are limiting God to being only as smart or as powerful as we see ourselves.

God is so much more powerful and planned out than are we. He has an eternal perspective and He knows the end from the beginning. In order to fully get hold of a new thing sometimes we have to fully let go of the old thing. God is not dead and neither is anyone who has ever served and followed Him. Life, love, laughter and longings will continue to be a vital part of our experience forever and throughout eternity.

Don’t allow your self-assessed limits to limit you! Embrace and experience the power of release …

What or who do you need to release today?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Marriage Made in Heaven


Briefly tell the story of Isaac and Rebekah’s meeting and marriage. (The topic of Sunday Circles – The Extra Mile) – Genesis 24 …

We understand from the scriptures that Isaac is an Old Testament type of Christ while Rebekah is the chosen bride, the Church which is the Body of Christ --- you and me together with all the saints. So … we can afford to take this story personally.

Genesis 24 describes Rebekah. I want to encourage you to read it for yourself but suffice it to say that Rebekah was an exemplary woman. She was:
·       Beautiful
·       Hard Working
·       Adventurous
·       Hospitable
·       Decisive
·       Modest
·       Prayerful
… yet she brought trouble into her home by teaching her son to deceive his father and cheat his brother. (Genesis 27:15ff) The story of Isaac and Rebekah also details:

The Many Facets of a Marriage Made in Heaven
·       The guidance of God
·       The sanction of parents
·       The allure of adventure
·       The strength of consent
·       The power of attraction
·       The propriety of modesty
·       The covenant commitment
·       The feeling of love
·       The comforting hope of a better tomorrow
and finally …
·       The blessing of family

However, even in a perfect marriage, a “marriage made in heaven” if you will, there can still exists some struggles. The Bible tells us that Isaac was 40 years old when he met and married Rebekah. All seemed well with one exception, twenty years later this couple is still without children.  

Genesis 25  NKJV
19  This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac.
20  Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian.
21  Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22  But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.

I find it interesting to note that we can be called to the work of God and doing the will of God and still have struggles with some things others who appear less connected to God never seem to struggle with.

Even in a marriage made in heaven there can be some struggles from time to time. And, sometimes the blessing of God and answered prayer can bring more struggles. Take Jesus for example: He received an answer to His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane but it did not take away the cross.

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find God’s will and at other times it can be a struggle to do His will but, His will is always worth the effort.

What can we do when we face some of the common, or some not so common struggles of life? Exactly what Isaac and Rebekah did, Go to God in earnest prayer. God will hear your cry and He will answer you.

Count on this one thing: God will never leave you in a struggle that does not have a purpose worth your effort.

Especially when it comes to family … Family was worth the Cross of Calvary – a little struggle on our part is not too much for God to ask …

Jesus and the Church … a marriage made in heaven well worth the effort.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sunday Circles The Extra Mile

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: Victory in Jesus

Memory Verse: Philippians 4:6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. (The New Living Translation)

Lesson: The Extra Mile
Bible Character: Rebekah
Background: We see Rebekah willing to go out of her way to help a stranger. God often blesses someone who is willing to be a blessing.
Opening Remarks: Genesis 24

First Principle: The First Mile
Meaning: Our willingness to positively respond to those in need can position us for blessing from God.  
Scripture Reference:
Genesis 24
18 “Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink.
Question: Rebekah was prepared to be able to contribute to the request made of her. How can we ensure that daily we are prepared to meet needs asked of us?
Follow-up Question: Is it equally important to prepare physically as well as spiritually to meet needs?
Follow-up Question: How can we train our family and others around us to be need-meeters?
Conclusion: Rebekah was properly positioned that day by actually being at the well. She was at the right place at the right time, and she had a jug! But as well as being prepared physically she had the right heart and attitude and was prepared spiritually. She was willing to help, to respond positively to what was asked of her.

Second Principle: The Second Mile
Meaning: More than just doing the absolute minimum, Rebekah looked for more she could do to be a blessing.
Scripture Reference:
Genesis 24
19 When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
Question: What do you think motivated Rebekah to go the extra mile?
Follow-up Question: Can you think of any incidents in your life when going the extra mile had positive results?
Follow-up Question: How can we discipline ourselves to look for places where we can be a blessing?
Conclusion: Becoming a blessing to those around us by contributing in abundance and beyond what is asked should be our way of life and not just an occasional occurrence. It should become natural and a pattern of habit in our daily life. In doing so, it positions us to not only be a blessing but to then be blessed.
Genesis 24
67 And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.

Pastor Ron and the Rest of the Story …

Matthew 5:41  "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Hebrews 13:2  Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Sometimes before God can bless us He needs to position us for that blessing and that is often where He needs our cooperation. Work with God!

Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by one of our Elders, John and Fronnie LeBlanc in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Background Notes for SC032314

Genesis 24 picks up with Abraham living in Hebron after the death of his wife Sarah. Isaac was 40 and Abraham was 140. Abraham would live another 35 years up until Jacob and Esau were about 15 years old. He would have many more sons and daughters by his second wife.

The city of Nahor is Haran in Syria by the rivers, approximately 450 miles from Hebron. The trip would normally take about 21 days or 3 full weeks by laden camel.

Rebekah was the daughter of a wealthy man descended from two of Abraham’s brothers. Rebekah’s grandmother was Milcah, the daughter of Haran and wife to Nahor. Milcah’s eighth son was Rebekah’s father. Rebekah’s father was evidently dead and her oldest brother, Laban, was the male head of the family.

Although wealthy, Rebehah was not too proud, spoiled or lazy to hold a habit of doing her part and even going beyond her part to do more.

Rebekah and Isaac were both second and third cousins by birth

Abraham and haran brothers
Abraham and milcah were uncle and niece by birth to haran
Abraham and nahor were brothers
Abraham and milcah were brother and sister-in-laws by marriage to nahor
Isaac and Milcah were first cousins by birth to haran
Isaac and Milcah were nephew and aunt by marriage to nahor
Isaac and Bethuel were second cousins by birth through milcah to nahor
Isaac and Bethuel were also first cousins by birth through nahor to milcah
Isaac and Rebekah were both second and third cousins by birth

The well of Beer Lahai-Roi = The well of the One who lives and sees me and has a vision for my life. This is the well where Hagar talked with God before returning to Sarah and submitting herself. Isaac lived near this well. It is in the Negev, southwest of Beersheba and approximately 12 miles west of Kadesh Barnea.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Priceless Inheritance


Less than a decade before the Apostle Peter was imprisoned at Rome and subsequently executed by order of Nero, Peter was believed by many to have visited the ancient city of Babylon on the Euphrates. This is the city where great kings had ruled the world and where men and women of faith had lived and trusted their lives to God centuries before Messiah was born in Bethlehem. (2 Kings 24; Daniel 2:49)

Believed to be written from this city between AD60 and AD63 by the hand of Peter to those Christians living throughout the provinces of Asia Minor, the book of First Peter continues to serve as a standard to all who have faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world.

This mature Apostle who had walked on earth as a close friend and chosen disciple of Messiah hungered for others to know the love of Christ and the joy and peace available through faith in Him. Peter had witnessed the hardships this world could offer and had at one point bowed to the temptations of the devil and had denied ever knowing Jesus of Nazareth.

Now, late in the season of his life this pillar of the Church is found busy spreading the Gospel of Jesus both in his travels to foreign countries and by way of letters to those in far reaching places where he might never go. This letter which we will read from this morning was written with a special purpose in mind. For near 2000 years now, Peter has continued spreading the Word and Will of God around the world. Today, these words will speak directly to us with the same purpose they’ve carried for centuries.

What is the purpose of his message? Let’s turn to 1 Peter 1 and begin.

1 Peter 1   (NLT)
1  This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2  God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.
3  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
4  and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
5  And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

1.  God chose you before the foundation of the world.
2.  When you say “Yes” to Him, you are eternally cleansed.
3.  Only then can a person live with great expectation.
4.  There is a priceless inheritance beyond the reach of change or decay.
5.  Through faith God’s children are protected until their inheritance is revealed for everyone to see.

God has a family. Some live on earth and some have already gone to heaven. Life is not always easy on earth, even for the family of God. Nonetheless God’s children have a priceless inheritance, an inheritance which is kept in heaven beyond the reach of change or decay.

We are Saved ~ We are being Saved ~ We will be Saved.

You, your children and your children’s children can know the grace and the peace and the eternal provision which God gives His to every member of His family. Are you living with a great expectation of that priceless inheritance?

Have you figured out the purpose of this letter yet? It is found in:

1 Peter 5:12 … My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Family Sunday Strengthening Our Faith in The Gospel


Today is Family Sunday at COTR. Our goal today is to strengthen our families and thereby strengthen the family of God by strengthening our grasps on the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This past Wednesday evening we rehearsed a simple, easy to remember, way to tell someone else the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Before we begin reading our scriptures this morning I want to invite the Children down to the front for a moment. (Production Note: I want to go over this with the children before releasing them back to their seats for Family Sunday.)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ in 4 Easy Steps:
1.   Jesus lived a life we could not live.
2.   Jesus died a death we should have died.
3.   Jesus rose to give us a life we could never have otherwise.
4.   Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.

To further strengthen our faith in and grasp of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let’s turn and begin our scripture reading this morning from:

1 Timothy 3  NLT
14  I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon,
15  so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16  Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.

Paul wanted to impress his son Timothy concerning the importance of the Church and its role in serving and preserving the Gospel of Christ. He did this by making several strong proclamations. Allow me to share my top 7.

1.  The Church is the Pillar and Ground of the Truth

Paul is not saying that the truth sits on the foundation of the Church but rather that the Church sits on the foundation of the truth and upholds and proclaims it.

2.  Without Dispute, Great is the Mystery of Our Faith

He is not speaking about the kind of mystery which is somehow spooky or unable to be comprehended. Rather, that truth which has been hidden through the ages is now revealed. Paul did not intend to allude to doctrine beyond comprehension or unintelligible. He was simply saying that which had been concealed from man is now made known and is of the utmost importance.

Colossians 1:26  The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

3.  God Appeared to Man in Human Form

This is the power of the Gospel … Jesus Christ, is the Son of God and the Son of Man. We cannot preach the Gospel without holding to the fact that Jesus was in the beginning with God. He was, is and forever will be. And He appeared to mankind on earth in the form of a human – He took upon flesh and dwelled among us.

4.  The Incarnate Christ was Proven to be Messiah by the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit furnished the evidence that justified the claims of Christ, that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. From the voice and dove at baptism to the healings and miracles in Galilee, from the Resurrection to Pentecost, every prophecy of Messiah and every claim of Christ were evidence and vindication to the testament of God’s Word concerning our Savior.

This is the doctrine of faith which the Church is held to account.

5.  The Angels of Heaven Witnessed and Testified that Jesus is Lord.

From the Shepherd’s Fields of Bethlehem to the Temptations in the Judean Desert, from the Mount of Transfiguration to the Resurrection and Ascension – Heaven Witnessed and Heaven Testified to the Deity of Christ and the Power of the Gospel. Both heaven and earth watched in awe …

6.  Every Nation has been Included in the Gospel

This was a part of the “mystery” hidden from the ages and from generations. Although unknown and unimagined in wholesale by the Jews to whom Messiah was promised – God always had a plan of redemption for all nations, kindreds, tribes, tongues and peoples all over the world. This Grand Scheme of the Gospel was concealed until the revelation of the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of the Believers in the First Church in Jerusalem and they began to be witnesses to their city, their state, their nation and the uttermost parts of the world.

This again is the heartbeat and the responsibility of the Church and every Christian who holds true to Gospel entrusted to us by faith. The Gospel message of Salvation by the blood of Christ is to:
·        Whosoever will …
·        He who hath an ear …
·        Lest at any time … Gospel message.

7.  The Whole World is a Field Ready for Harvest

“He was believed in throughout the world …”

Refuse to believe what the world says about God, Jesus, the Church, Christians, you or even themselves. “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.” Multitudes from all walks of life, every culture, custom, race and creed sit in the valley of decision each day ripened and ready to be harvested. They will believe if we will only go and share the Gospel.

Go and tell:

1.   Jesus lived a life we could not live.
2.   Jesus died a death we should have died.
3.   Jesus rose to give us a life we could never have otherwise.
4.   Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life.

Might I just share one more Gospel truth this morning: In the part of verse 16, referring to Jesus Paul says:

He was Taken to Heaven in Glory

The great truth and the great power of the Gospel is that we serve a Victorious Risen Savior. And, if that same Spirit that raised Christ up from the dead dwells in you it will also make your mortal bodies alive and you too shall be victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave.

This morning I want to encourage you and encourage you to encourage your family and friends to believe and to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Accept no substitute!

Our Church is pledged to manifest and proclaim this Good News to our generation and to serve and preserve the Gospel of Jesus Christ for generations to come.

We hold to the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and put our trust in the Holy Scriptures. It is my hope that you will teach these powerful life changing truths to your children and to your children’s children, it will change and charge their lives for eternity.

As well, I commission you to serve and support the House of God remembering that the Church is the pillar and the foundation of truth.

Let’s bathe our families in prayer once again.