Saturday, October 18, 2014

Top Three


When American Christians are asked to list the top three needs or concerns in their lives they continually include these as their priorities:
        1. The desire to have a happy marriage.
        2. The hope to raise a healthy family.
        3. The need to be financially secure.

In other words:
·        What can I do to have a happy marriage?
·        What can I do to raise a healthy family?
·        What can I do to obtain and maintain financial security?

Most often the greatest problems we face in life are things that we can do something about. Knowing what to do is one thing, doing it is another.

Today we begin our life lessons from the Bible by turning to Ephesians 5

The usual question I get from those seeking counsel on how to have a happy marriage is not normally centered around: “What can I do to change and be a better wife or better husband?” But rather the usual question concerning marriage problems is aimed at, “What can I do to change my husband or wife so that we can have a better marriage?”

When I do pre-marital counseling I often stress the fact that “Marriage Magnifies .” What do I mean? Whatever good traits and whatever bad traits a person has going into marriage will at some point become exaggerated in the marriage. Marriage will magnify both the things we like about our spouses and those things we don’t like.

If you are entering into a serious relationship imagining that marriage to you will make that person change so that you can tolerate a few of their behaviors which you currently find unacceptable … think again! Marriage does change people but not always in the way we imagined. While we cannot guarantee marriage will change a person for the best, nonetheless there are certainly some steps we can take to give our spouses the greatest room and the greatest reasons to change and therefore give our marriage the greatest opportunity to succeed.

So, allow me to answer the most often asked question: How can I change my spouse?
·        Pray for your spouse
Not just think about, complain about, wish for or argue with …
·        Treat your spouse like the person you hope they will become
People do better when more is expected of them, not less
Raising your level of respect will help you to see them better
People respond to positive encouragement like nothing else
·        Work on yourself in the areas you know will please your spouse
It is important that someone lead the change … so lead it!
A huge ship is turned by a little rudder that just won’t turn back

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

Wait a minute: Did I tell you that Jesus is getting ready to get married? Well He is … and this is the kind of marriage Jesus will have.

26  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
28  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31  "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33  Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Question number two: How can I build a healthy family? This question most often deals with raising children. You know, we are not actually raising children but rather we are raising adults … we only have the opportunity to greatly impact them in their most impressionable childhood years. I’ve heard it said that if you don’t raise your children you will be raising your grandchildren! As a grandparent of 9, I can see arguments on both sides of that issue … I miss those child raising years. Back to the question: How can I build a healthy family? To answer this I offer two familiar concepts, both of which should be done on purpose with dedicated time set aside for each. What are these two concepts?
·        Modeling
·        Mentoring

Again, just like Jesus did, so should we live as examples to those following us and take the necessary time to teach them lessons of life on purpose.

Let me ask:
·        How do you want your child to behave when they are 18?
·        Do you want them to live a responsible and respectable life?
·        How do you hope your children will speak of you and treat you?
·        Do you think it wise for your children to keep their commitments?
·        Would you like for your children to be kind and considerate to others?
·        How would you like for your children to manage their finances?
·        Do you hope your children will have a happy home?

These qualities of life which we hope our children enjoy do not have to be the result of the roll of the dice or just a 50/50 chance for happiness … we can give them a head start and although they will one day be solely responsible for their own choices we can set them up to be so far ahead and have a much better opportunity to succeed by:
·        Modeling the right behavior in front of them
·        Equipping them with the tools to succeed in life

You know what makes life work and what makes life worse … teach your children while they are children and rest assured they will at least know what to do or where to go for help if they ever encounter a need.

Now a word about finances … What can I do to obtain and maintain financial security?

This question is perhaps the easiest to answer of them all … the Bible is so full of wisdom concerning finances. Jesus often said we obtain wealth and maintain wealth by our giving.

Luke 6:38  "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use to give, it will be measured back to you."

The only way we can hope to enjoy any measure of financial security is to honor God with our substance and with the firstfruits of all our increase. Wealth is more than having money in the bank although money in the bank has its benefits. (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

The biggest problem with a dollar is that it only spends one time and saying yes to one purchase may mean saying no to another later. Many times we cannot buy what we want because we bought what we wanted. We can’t always determine how much money we make but we can generally choose how we spend that money. The quickest way to getting a raise is to eliminate a debt. God wants us to be good stewards of His blessings and honor Him with our resources.

In 1976 Brenda and I decided that we would live our lives as tithers. Not only as tithers but also as givers above and beyond our tithes by giving offerings to further support things to which we felt closely connected. Since our commitment, both in abundance and in times of lack, when I had a job and when I was unable to work, when our pockets were full and when they were empty – we have never failed to follow that commitment.

I can testify that over the test of time, I and all whom I have known who have faithfully followed this same course, have seen the hand of God’s blessing on our finances. We have come to believe that 90% blessed by the Lord goes so much farther than 100% at the mercy of the devourer.

The secret to obtaining and maintaining financial security is not in how much you make but rather in how blessed what you make is before the Lord. For this reason I encourage every born again Believer to be a generous giver and faithfully bring their tithes and offerings to the House of the Lord to honor Him and to support the work He has commissioned His Church to accomplish.

Whether in marriage, family or financial matters, Jesus is our example and His Word is our guide. To find out more about how to have a successful marriage, how to raise a healthy family or how to go about obtaining and maintaining financial security, read your Bible on a daily basis and allow the Holy Spirit to talk directly to you. Then … simply obey the Word and trust God for the results.

Sunday Circles - Life Lessons

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: There’s Power in the Blood
Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Lesson: Life Lessons

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of first principle

Character: Esther
First Principle: Destiny neither waits nor depends on any man.
Scripture Reference: Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
You are uniquely designed by God for an intended purpose.
There is something you can do better than 10,000 other people around you who are trying harder.
You may not be the first person whom God asked to do what He will ask of you … hopefully you will be the last.
We should take inventory of our natural, God-given abilities.
Question: List a couple of natural abilities God has given you.  
Follow Up Question: What can you do to sharpen these skills for God’s intended use?
Conclusion: God has a plan and a timetable to complete that plan. God also has a person chosen for every purpose He intends under heaven. When one person or one group of people choose to not obey and fulfill the will of God, then God often chooses another. The Bible confirms this principle in the exodus when the first people God chose to enter the Promised Land refused to obey. God allowed that generation and those families to wander in the wilderness until they died and then God chose someone else. Destiny neither waits nor depends on any man so find and fulfill the will of God.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: There is more to baking a cake than merely reading the recipe.
Scripture Reference:   James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but rather those who do the will of the father.
We don’t work for Jesus in order to get saved. We work for Jesus because we have been saved.
The Bible is more than a history book. It is also an instruction manual.
We should read about God and know what He has done in the past but we should also know Him personally and involve ourselves in what He wants to do next.
Question: What are some ingredients in God’s recipe for the Believer’s life, marriage, finances, and family?  
Follow Up Question: What are some things people can do to ensure these ingredients are included in their lives?
Conclusion: It is not enough to merely read the word of God or know it by heart and even be able to repeat and teach it … we must make application of the word of God to our life for it to have its intended effect. Most likely you already know what to do to make things better now, do it.

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: It may take a sacrifice to move things forward. 
Scripture Reference:   Genesis 8:19-20
Only your best qualifies as a sacrifice.
Nothing moves forward without sacrifice.
Sometimes obedience will require a sacrifice. 
Question: What are some situations in the Bible where God required someone’s best?
Follow Up Question: Does God ever ask people to make a difficult sacrifice?
Conclusion: These precious birds and animals sacrificed by Noah did everything required of them … they obeyed God, boarded the Ark, endured the year long journey, and were candidates to populate a brand new world. However, their first day on this new earth was also their last day. Why were they chosen to be sacrificed? No doubt, because they were the best. Don’t imagine that God chooses less than the best to accomplish His will. So, if you are chosen to participate in God’s plan and it seems like a sacrifice to obey God just remember it’s because you are the best He has.

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse
·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by Ruby Boudreaux

 in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Roman Road


Revelation 3:22  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

In accordance with those things God has been speaking to me as confirmed by so many witnesses around the world, I believe we have entered into a season in which we will witness an increased outpouring of the Holy Spirit and as a result, in the coming months and throughout 2015 an beyond, multitudes of people, from all walks of life, will experience the greatest miracle ever known to mankind.

This same word is being testified by Believers all over the world. People in dark regions of the world who are from all walks of life are having unexplainable encounters with angels and seeing visions, hearing voices and having dreams of Jesus, the Son of God appearing to them and calling them into His kingdom. I am hearing these testimonies from an increasing number of saints telling how the most unsuspecting people are coming to Christ. Invariably these conversions follow a simple and predictable pattern which we see confirmed in the New Testament of our Holy Bible.

What is that pattern? It is found over and over again from the conversion of Cornelius in Caesarea to the one called Saul on the road to Damascus Syria who saw a great light, heard a loud voice and received instructions to go and await further words from someone God was going to send. In the case of Saul of Tarsus as recorded in Acts 9, God sent a Believer who lived in Syria to go and tell Saul the Gospel message of Jesus the Messiah. When Ananias witnessed to Saul, God confirmed the Word in his heart and Saul was born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, changed his name to Paul and became the first Apostle to the Gentile nations of the world. What is that pattern being confirmed 2000 years later even in the same cities of Syria?

The New Testament Pattern
1.   A Holy Spirit encounter by a lost person (That’s God’s Business)
2.   A clear presentation of the Gospel by a Believer (That’s our Business)
3.   A true conversion of a soul by the Holy Spirit (That’s there Business)

Just this week I met with a pastor who recently fled from Damascus in the face of the current persecution of Christians by ISIS, the Islamic Brotherhood, and those radical Sunni backed rebels who are beheading followers of Jesus Christ. We met privately and sat in a room in secret, closed off from the world, in concern that peering eyes and listening ears might reveal the whereabouts of Believers who are in hiding and contribute to their personal torture and the execution of their families. He showed me pictures taken on Wednesday and Thursday of this week showing the horrific deeds being perpetrated against innocent, peace-loving Believers in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior of the World, by these demon forces, all in the name of their god.

I listened with a heavy heart as this pastor told how that for the last few years the Church congregations in Syria and Iraq have had to teach their families, and especially their children, to be very careful about any display of their faith which might provoke others to unleash the demons of hatred against them. One 10 year old boy was recently heard by a friend at school praying over his food before he ate. The friend heard the boy reciting the Lord ’s Prayer and reported him to the teacher. When the teacher asked the boy what he was praying to Jesus and if he was a Christian the boy unashamedly answered that he was.

This teacher drug that 10 year old boy into the classroom, tied his feet and hoisted him up in the air. With this young lad hanging upside down the other children were given sticks and worked into a frenzy against this “infidel” and while they screamed at him and spit on him they all gathered around and beat him until he went unconscious. After school he was cut down by the teacher and left with a warning to never mention Jesus again.

I don’t wish to overdramatize these current events with any of the other accounts I was given and pictures and videos I was shown just to prove the point but I can’t get them out of my mind. Suffice it to say, there is great need in our lost and hurting world today and that need is Jesus.

One video I was shown was a video of several Christian men rounded up and taken into a compound on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey. The video, which was recently shown to our pastors and Church admin staff at the fall gathering of our COTR Churches, showed Christian men being kicked and beaten and brutally tortured by ISIS. The pictures were so horrible that many could not watch and some even left the room in tears. More than one of our staff members has had recurring nightmares since. These things are happening now … and it’s almost unimaginable to believe. Two days ago, in my private meeting with the man who smuggled this video to the US, I asked how it happened that he had a copy. I had heard the testimony but I wanted to confirm it with the source.

One of the members of the ISIS group who was participating in the beating decided he would use his phone to take some video of the torture of these Christian infidels. The beatings were bloody and brutal and just continued with hitting and bludgeoning and kicking to the heads, and faces, and necks and ribs and chests of these men. I can’t begin to imagine how someone could take videos on their phone of such atrocities.

That night the ISIS soldier who had participated and taken the video was sleeping when he had a dream. Jesus appeared to him in the dream and spoke to him and told him to run away and cross the border into Turkey. The young man was awakened and left immediately in the cover of night. The border was not that far and before daybreak as he carefully approached the crossing he was shot by an ISIS sniper hunting for fleeing refugees. He knew his life was over and wondered about the dream.

It so happened that the pastor I was meeting with this week had organized a few teams of pastors and willing church members to stretch out along the border at strategic points and hide in the darkness hoping to assist anyone who need help to get across. One of the pastors saw this man as he was shot and crawled across the border to reach him and drag him back across to safety. The wounded ISIS soldier was taken to a safe house and given medical aid and over the next 3 weeks was nursed back to health before being moved to another location. Each day as he was being taken care of he would ask why he was being helped and the answer he received was because they were Christians and that Jesus told them to love their enemies and do good to those who persecute you.

After recovering this man could no longer bear up under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the prayers which were continually going forth over him for his health and recovery and he asked if he too could become a Christian. He was led in the sinner’s prayer and became a Believer in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the World. His life changed …

A few days went by and this newly converted Believer was being discipled and taught the Word of God in the systematic classes provided by the newly formed Syrian house Church in the city where he had been moved, not far from the border. He came to the pastor I met with this week and asked a serious question. He wanted to know if he could truly be forgiven for his sins and the horrible things he had done against others. When the pastor told him yes and began to encourage him, the young man wanted to share his testimony by way of making a full confession of his sins.

As the pastor listened to him, having heard the same stories from so many others like him who have converted to Christianity in the recent months, the young man produced his phone and showed some pictures and videos which he had taken of the brutal beatings of Christians. While the pastor comforted the new convert and ensured him that God had forgiven him, he realized that these videos might one day be used to help the cause of those who continue to suffer persecution and execution in the current conflict ongoing in this region. As well, it is hoped that the world will see and respond to the terrible atrocities being perpetrated against Christians.

Revelation 3:22  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The Bible records Jesus saying this 7 times, each time Jesus is specifically talking directly to Christians in a difficult place in a difficult time and notably, each and every time Jesus speaks these words, He is addressing Christians who are living inside the country of Turkey and specifically those areas facing growing threats from ISIS today.

Well, what is the Spirit saying to the Church? There is a great harvest of souls coming to the earth in these days the likes of which the world has never seen.

We must consider bold, Holy Spirit led mass evangelism as the answer to the current world need. We must prepare ourselves and prepare others. While people will be coming to Christ all over the world they will also be coming to Jesus in our world. The harvest is plentiful, only the laborers are few. How can you become a laborer? What is there for you to do?

God needs:
·        Goers
·        Stayers
·        Prayers
·        Payers
in the Church for this world harvest plan to have its greatest success.

Everyone is called ‘to go’ on some level even if only called to go next door or to work or school, to the hospital or nursing home, to support a local evangelistic outreach or a sidewalk Sunday school - Therefore everyone needs to be prepared.

This morning I want to close by helping prepare you to lead someone to Christ. God will make their heart ready. All you will need to do is to make a clear presentation of the Gospel. How can you make that clear presentation? Glad you asked! Here is an easy, simple, and well proven way – it is called:

The Roman Road to Salvation

Take your Bible or the note pad in your phone, Ipad, or computer – or if necessary just write it down on the back of a piece of paper for the moment and transfer it to your phone or Bible later. Ready:

1.   Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
2.   Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3.   Romans 10:13  For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

Ephesians 2
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The whole world is experiencing trouble and God is ramping up the Church for a dynamic harvest of souls.

In the current increased persecution of Christians in China, the underground Church of China is seeing an unprecedented 29,000 people being born again each day. God will not be outdone!

Where sin does abound, grace does much more abound.

Two Sundays from now I have invited a pastor and friend from Pakistan, another country dealing with the problems of terrorism and radical ideology, to share a few words with us during our second service.

As well, I want to thank you on behalf of those persecuted and displaced brothers and sisters in Christ from Syria and Iraq who are now living as refugees in Jordan and Turkey. You helped them greatly this week with so many of their immediate needs including safe housing, food, medical and pastoral attention for those recovering from being shot, beaten, raped, and horribly traumatized by the ongoing deeds of a world gone mad. They asked only for your prayers for them, their families, and especially for the souls of their persecutors.

May God bless these courageous saints, protect them, encourage them, and meet their every need, and may their persecutors come to know the saving grace of our Lord and Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pray & Obey


Isaiah 37:3  And they said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah: ’This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.”

Psalms 46
        Martin Luther’s (1483 – 1546) favorite “go to” Psalm in times of trouble and attack. It is from the inspiration of this Psalm, many believe, that he wrote the hymn, “Ein heste Burg ist unser Gott”, translated into English in the mid 1800’s to “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” – in 1529.

Martin Luther, the father of protestant reformation, was 34 when he posted his 95 Theses against the Power and Abuses of Indulgences to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Later in life, as do many maturing saints and sinners alike, he adjusted his earlier thoughts somewhat to reflect a better and more well defined understanding.

Luther changed and refined some of his earlier thoughts somewhat on the ideas of faith and works, revolution, reformation and rebellion, anti-Semitism, life after death, Gnosticism, polygamy and Church structure. However, one thing Luther never seemed to change his mind about or felt need to redefine was his staunch and early belief that Christians do not have to tear down one thing in order to establish another. He believed and strongly taught that Christians should use prayer and the adherence to the Word of God to bring about needed change in themselves and others, including Churches, Governments, enemies and friends.

Perhaps this is one reason he often turned to this Psalm and read or lead others to recite it in prose or in song. Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran Denomination of Churches, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, was sentenced by the courts as one who could be killed in the streets by anyone who wished without fear of reprisal; his books were banned and he lived for a period in hiding expecting at any point to be murdered by Christians, Jews, Turks or pagans whom he had insulted. Luther is not the model we look to when we want to be like Jesus however, he did know where to go when things in life got tough.

Psalms 46
1  God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
2  Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3  Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4  There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the
5  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 ¶  The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7  The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.
9  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
11  The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Let go and let God be God.

Your victory is not in your enemy’s defeat.

Sometimes it’s time to just be still and know that He is God!

What are you struggling with today? Are there pressures surrounding you or problems from your past hunting you and haunting you? What fears do you face for your future?

Can I simply encourage you to take the advice of this Psalmist and of many others who have gone on before you and turn your life over to:
1.   Prayer
2.   Obedience to the Word of God

In other words, Pray and Obey

Additional Notes:

It is believed that Psalms 46 may have been written as a result of the accounts recorded in Isaiah 36 and 37. Perhaps this is true, we cannot know, but we can nonetheless see that the principles do compare.

Isaiah 36
7  "But if you say to me, ’We trust in the LORD our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ’You shall worship before this altar’?"’

  High Places and Altars – a complete misunderstanding of Hezekiah’s intent and acts of tearing down and destroying those places of worship erected and allowed by his forefathers to which worship of false gods and false worship of the True God had been offered. Perhaps as well the lack of spiritual insight to know how God had approved of Hezekiah’s destruction of the brass serpent which had been lifted up by Moses in the wilderness to heal because it had in recent times become a false god in itself and was worshipped.

  (And said to Judah and Jerusalem He had commanded them to worship only in Jerusalem, at the temple. This was in strict accordance with the law of Moses; but this seems to have been understood by Sennacherib as in fact almost or quite banishing the worship of Yahweh from the land. Probably this was said to alienate the minds of the people from Hezekiah, by showing them that he had taken away their rights and privileges of worshipping God where they chose.) (Barnes)

Isaiah 36:10  "Have I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ’Go up against this land, and destroy it.’"

Isaiah 36:21  But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, "Do not answer him."

We cannot get caught up in a war of words with those enemies of the will of our King.

Rather – go to the house of God and pray …

Isaiah 37

4  ’It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’"

6  And Isaiah said to them, "Thus shall you say to your master, ’Thus says the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

14  And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

21 ¶  Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ’Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,

30  "This shall be a sign to you: You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, And the second year what springs from the same; Also in the third year sow and reap, Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
31  And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah Shall again take root downward, And bear fruit upward.
32  For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, And those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

33  "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: ’He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it.

Sunday Circles - Life Lessons

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock

Hymn: There’s Power in the Blood
Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Lesson: Life Lessons

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of first principle

Characters: The 12 Spies
First Principle: Truth is not determined by a show of hands.
Scripture Reference: Numbers 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
Majority may, at times, rule, but that does not necessarily make majority right.
Safety, strength, and security are not always found in numbers.
Standing for God may mean we sometimes must stand with the minority opinion.
Question: Can you recall a time when the majority decision did not reflect your opinion?
Follow Up Question: What should our godly response be when we are outvoted?
Conclusion: Every situation is different and each one demands a prayerful approach before we act. Sometimes there is little we can do except to pray and at other times our voices must be heard not only in heaven but also among our peers on earth. God’s Word is truth and nothing shall ever change that fact.  

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of second principle

Character: Isaac
Second Principle: If it’s bad God is not finished yet.
Scripture Reference:   Genesis 26:1 & 12 There was a famine in the land… Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him.
It’s not over until God says it’s over.
Question: How do you know when it’s really over?
Follow Up Question: Can you think of a time when it paid for you or someone else to keep on keeping on?
Conclusion: God knows the end from the beginning and, at times, requires us to participate in our miracle by going the extra mile, hoping against all hope and continuing to trust in His unfinished work. We can read the end of the book and clearly see that we win. Don’t give up on God.  

Pastor Ron’s remarks and intro of third principle

Character: King Saul
Third Principle: You will never accomplish the will of God by going against the Word of God.
Scripture Reference:   1 Samuel 15:14 & 22 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of sheep in mine ears … Behold to obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of lambs.  
King Saul thought he had a better plan.
We cannot recover through sacrifice what is lost through disobedience.
The ancient Hebrew picture of obedience means to lift up.
Question: How might Satan tempt us to do evil in an effort to accomplish good?
Follow Up Question: How can we best defend ourselves from Satan’s deceptive practices?  
Conclusion: The Apostle Paul posed the question, “If good comes from me doing bad, why then does God judge me for doing the bad?” God is ultimately in charge of the finished product. We, however, have no authority to shape the final product according to our will or our design. Therefore, we are limited by God to simply obeying His Word and leaving the final results to Him. Thou shalt not preempt God’s will by thine own hand!

Pastor Ron’s closing remarks
·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse
·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted by Ruby Boudreaux

 in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.