Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Faith That Works Series-Faith in the Face of Failure


James 2:17  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

This will be our first lesson in a six-week series entitled “Faith That Works”. Each Wednesday evening we will take the Word of God and answer the two questions:
1.  What should I believe …
2.  What should I do …
… to have faith that works when faced with some very specific problems in life.

The topics will include: Faith that works in the face of:
·        Unanswered Prayer
·        Love
·        Abuse
·        Divorce
·        Fear

This evening we begin our series with:

Faith That Works in the Face of Failure

We don’t have to venture far into the Bible to find examples of people who experienced failure. It begins with Adam and Eve, then Cain, Canaan, Abraham, Sarah, Rebecca, Jacob, Judah, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Samson, Jonah, the 12 Disciples, Paul, Mark, the young rich ruler and so many others. Some recovered, and some didn’t. Some went on to see their greatest day and others allowed their failures to spell their final defeat.

By the way, Failure does not have to spell defeat … It’s what we do in the face of failure that determines the outcome.

In order to fully recover from failures in life we need to know two things:
1.   What should I believe in the middle of my moment … and …
2.   What should I do … What can I do to recover from failure?

Tonight we begin a brief survey of the life of King David. David represents a type of Christ in the Bible. The scriptures tell us that David was a man after God’s own heart. This assures us that the problems David faced were not heart problems, but they were problems nonetheless.

Without respect as to what we may be encountering in life at any moment, chances are we can find a parallel account somewhere in the life of David. In some moments David’s decisions teach us what we should do and in others it he shows us what we should not do. Both of these are valid lessons from the Lord. After all, David was just a man, but he was a man after God’s own heart, and he was chosen at an early age to fulfill the plan and purpose of God. Through it all, God never gave up on David and David never gave up on God.

(Note: Bring to bear the events leading up to David’s failure: 1050BC David’s calling; success; popularity; and his fall from Saul’s grace)

1 Samuel 24
1 ¶  Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.”
2  Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.
3  So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.)
4  Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
5  Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.
6  And he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.”
7  So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.
8  David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down.
9 ¶  And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’?
10  “Look, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’
11  “Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it.
12  “Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.”

·        David was facing serious problems … problems which he did not cause … but they were his problems nonetheless. Saul was jealous …
·        Others were aware of David’s situation with King Saul and David had his supporters.  
·        Everyone takes a side when sides demand to be taken …
·        Trouble polarizes people … it even divides friends, families, nations and the Church.
·        God forbid that our personal problems should bring division …
·        The Bible says God hates those who sow discord and those who cause division among the brethren. (Proverbs 6:19)
·        In David’s case, he had people who loved and cared for him, but they were not helping matters … they imagined themselves right when they counseled David to rise up against King Saul.
·        David, like most people in the middle of a problem, needed no encouragement to be upset, take matters into his own hand, defend himself and go off in the wrong direction.
·        Good people moved by a sad situation can help to make it worse …
·        Sometimes the voice we hear sounds like the voice of God …
·        The devil will at times even use scriptures to deceive us … (Luke 4)
·        The devil will at times use circumstances to deceive us … (Num 22)
·        The devil will at times use supporters to deceive us … (Acts 12:22)
·        Even angels must be tested by the Word - (Galatians 1:8; 1John 4:1)
·        Without regard as to what we think we hear or who says it, We cannot go outside of the Word of God to accomplish the will of God.
·        Violating the Word of God signals a failure on our part …
·        David failed … he failed himself, he failed God and he failed others …

David recovered from this failure both in the eyes of God and in the eyes of man. David recovered because of what David believed and what he did.

1.   David believed that God was right above all else … above hardship, disappointment and failure and, that God would take care of it.
a.   I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard God say, give it to Me … I’ll take care of it.
b.   When we first recognize that what we said or what we did does not line up with the Word, the Will or the Way of God, we need to give it to God. David believed God would handle it.
c.   No matter how bad things are right now … Believe me, you can make it worse. Just give it to God and take your hands off.
2.   Next, David faced up to the fact that he had failed and without excuse he owned his part in the failure and repented.
a.   Change is the litmus test of repentance.
b.   Nothing changes until something changes. Change your mind.
c.   A change in David’s mind produced a change in David’s life. It was not a heart problem, it was a head problem. David had let his situation, thoughts, feelings and friends guide him.

The end of the story is that God did take care of everything in God’s own time. It didn’t turn out like David hoped but the outcome belonged to God.

1 Peter 5 NKJV
8 ¶  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Don’t allow the devil to convince you that God cannot handle your future or your failure or that He has forsaken you or left you because of a failure. God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life.

If you have faced failure God wants to help. Repent for your part, turn it over to God and decide you’ll never do that again. You will recover …

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

One Life

Destiny Church
Mission’s Conference
“Light your World”
Wednesday Evening
January 24, 2018
One Life

In a moment we will be going to Matthew 5 but before we get there I will share with you some points to ponder.

Keep your cell phones handy so you can text a family member or friend something that God is going to say to you tonight.

  • ·        Both heaven and earth choose aggressive decisive and determined individuals to lead the defining battles of life.
  • ·        Your best is not in you. Your best is in a team.
  • ·        You will never be able to lead those whom you are unwilling to lose.

Light Your World

Matthew 5:14  “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

What would you do if you had a copy of tomorrow’s newspaper?
  • One thing I’d do - I’d read the sports section and find out who won …
  • Then I’d bet everything I had on that sure thing …
  • I’d call all my friends and do my best to convince them to bet …
  • I’d borrow everything I could a wager it on that sure thing …
  • What would you be willing to bet on a game that had already been played?

Well, I do have a copy of tomorrow’s news and I have read the last page and found out who wins; and I a betting everything I have and everything I can get my hands on; and I’m telling all my family members and friends and even complete strangers in hopes they too will believe me and make good on their bet.

Jesus is the light of the world … lighting your world requires that you take Jesus to your world. We can only light our world by taking Jesus to our world.

Believe the Bible and refuse to believe what the world has to say about:
·         God
·         The Church
·         The Church of the living God is bigger, stronger, going farther and growing faster, is more powerful and productive than at any other time in history.
·         50,000 people say yes to Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into their heart and be their Lord and Savior every day.
·         No other religion will ever outlast, out live or out perform Christianity.
Don’t believe what the world has to say about
                The future
Don’t believe the argument that:
·         People who don’t hear get to go to heaven …
·         If we believed that … we should burn every Bible and destroy every church and cut the tongues out of every born-again believer because if people don’t hear they get to spend eternity with Christ!
·         However, that’s not what Jesus said.
·         The world lies in darkness and only the Light of the Glorious Gospel of Christ can save!
Don’t say no to heaven for someone else. How can you say no for others? By deciding they don’t want to hear or aren’t ready or won’t understand or are too young or old or bad or whatever …
God is willing to save anyone … they just need to see the light!
Romans 10  
13  For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
14  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
When Jesus was born the world population was between 200 and 300 million. It took until about 1800 for the world to reach the 1 billion mark. In 1930 it doubled to 2 million and then to 3 million in 1960 and by 1970 the population of the world was at about half what it is today.
  • Approximately 370,000 babies are born each day
  • About 150,000 people die every day
Today the world population is approximately 7.5 billion people. The work and the responsibility of the Church expands and grows by about 370,000 souls each day, and every one of them born into sin. The workload of preaching the Gospel to every heart and every home has more than doubled since I got saved and became a part of the Army of the Lord.
By the year 2055 there will be an estimated 10 billion people on planet earth and every one of them in desperate need of the Light, the Life and the Love of Christ.
 I’m proud to tell you that in the year 2017, approximately:
  • 50,000 people are born again each day – and –
  • We need 1,000 new pastor to be trained and released by the Church every day just to keep up with the new born needs
  • Today we are 5,000,000 churches short of the need worldwide just to take care of those who are already Believers in Christ, not counting those who are born again each day.
  • In America there is currently one trained pastor for every 250 people.
  • Outside the US the numbers change: There is approximately one trained pastor for every 450,000 people. (source: Jonathan Shibley, President, Global Advance)
We have but one life in which to reach the world but every person also has but one life in which to hear. We must let our light shine if we are ever going to light our world.
I close tonight with a scripture from:
Luke 11:33  “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”
No one but you knows the race you are running … only God can determine your success.
There are two things we need to keep in the forefront of our minds.
  • ·        What the Holy Spirit is saying to you
  • ·        What the Holy Spirit is saying through you

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Master Plan

Destiny Church
Mission’s Conference
“Light Your World”
Monday Evening
January 22, 2018

                                The Master Plan

God has a plan, He will succeed, and we have a chance to participate.

In a moment we are going to be going to First Corinthians 2 but before that allow me to share some points to ponder:

·       Faith makes things possible; it does not make things easy.

·       Principles before problems.

·       Success is in secondary leadership, even if your name is Jesus.

The Old Testament is a picture of approximately 4000 years, give or take a few, showing what God did to bring Messiah to a lost and hurting world.

The New Testament is a snapshot of only about 40 years (AD 27 to AD 67) and it details what was done by only one generation after God brought Messiah to a lost and hurting world.
·        The New Testament is an account of the adventures of one home group of about 120 people who were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to follow the guidelines of the Great Commission.
·        These 12 boys, minus Judas Iscariot, plus Paul, took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to:
o   Jerusalem; Judea; Samaria; Antioch; Cyprus; Malta; Corinth; Philippi; Laodicea; Thessalonica; Ephesus; Colosse; Thyratira; Pergamos; Patmos; the region of Galatia; Troas; Miletus; Athens and Rome, just to name a few, in only one generation.
o   This little group of a few young boys and girls took the Gospel to their whole known world in only 40 years and not one of them even owned a bicycle!

The New Testament is both a model and a mandate for the work that is incumbent upon the Church in every generation.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

·        God has handled bigger problems and worse people than we face today.

A brief historical perspective of the life and times of the Apostle Paul
o   The Apostle Paul was most likely born around the year AD 5
o   He became a believer in Jesus as Messiah at about 26 or 27 years old when he had his Damascus Road conversion experience.
o   Between 30 and 35 years later, Paul is in his late 50s and early 60s and writes several letters from Rome where he is imprisoned.
§  Including Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and 2 Timothy, which is believed to be written by Paul at the age of 62 just before he was martyred
§  Rome burned in AD64 – Horrific persecutions of Christians
o   About AD 66/67 Paul was beheaded by order of Nero
§  Nero was one of the worst and most depraved men who ever lived
§  A brief synopsis of Nero’s reign
o   Today’s bad guys pale in comparison to Nero and the government of Rome during the time the Apostle Paul was living there and writing these letters.
§  These things were not done in secret – Paul was there!
o   The Church has faced much more horrible governments and political demons throughout history than those we face today and it has grown under every persecution and each problem has been but a light affliction which has worked for us a far more and exceeding and eternal weight of glory … while we look to the unseen!

·        Stay on Point

o   Jesus is the only light of the world
o   If there were no communists, atheists, Buddhists, or other “ists” this, in itself, would not guarantee people go to heaven.
o   We must be more for what we are for than for what we are against
o   Cursing the darkness does not equal lighting a lamp.
o   The Apostle Paul never got distracted but stayed on point.

Acts 19:37 For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.

o   Now there’s a testimony to have after 2½ years of living and ministering in what was arguably the most demonic city in the Roman Empire.
o   Paul kept the focus on Jesus … only the Light of the World can change the world.
o   We are not attempting to make bad men better but rather to make dead men live and only Jesus can satisfy the soul!

·        Preach the Gospel

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

In the year AD100 there were 360 Non-Believers to every 1 Believer. I think if I had lived in the year 100 and was a Believer in Jesus that I could have witnessed to my 360 people. If every Christian could have been that faithful witness the fulfillment of the Gospel would have occurred and it would have been heaven on earth by now. Do you imagine you could have witnessed to 360 people in your lifetime? The Bible does not say we have to get them saved only that they have to be told and given a chance.

In the year AD2018 there are only 7 Non-Believers to every 1 Believer …

·       Light your world

·       Preach the Gospel

·       Stay on Point

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Destiny Church - Closer to Change

Destiny Church
Mission’s Conference
“Light Your World”
Monday Morning 1st Workshop
January 22, 2018

                                Closer to Change

Before we get to the main topic this morning let’s review a few principles that will serve to encourage all of us to be better able to minister the Gospel of Christ.

·        Run to Win - Paul revealed his approach to ministry in that he said he became all things to all people if by any means he might win some to Christ.

1 Corinthians 9 NKJV
19 ¶  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
20  and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
21  to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
22  to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23  Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
24 ¶  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

·        Product Driven
o   It matters less what we say than what people hear and take home.
o   Identifiable Groups Jesus Ministered to in the Gospels
§  5000                 Matthew 5,6 & 7
o   Bless Me; Feed Me; Heal Me
§  70                     John 6
o   Hard sayings
o   They turned and walked with Him no more
§  12                     John 6
o   Where would we go
o   You have the words of life
§  3                      Matthew 16
o   Mount of transfiguration
o   Deeper in the garden
o   Get behind me satan
§  1                      John 19
o   Behold your son … your mother
o   Gave over the care of His family

·        First Grade Teachers Aren’t Stupid!
o   It’s not that they don’t know calculus, rather it’s that they have the good sense not to teach calculus to first graders.

Now for our lesson today, which is the very first lesson God taught us about Him and how He and we should handle the problems we face in life.
Closer to Change …

Genesis 1 NKJV
1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

The first lessons God teaches us about Himself shows that He does not avoid problems. It was His world, His creation, His possession but it needed help. Like me,
·        The world was without form and void and darkness covered the face of the deep!
·        The Spirit of God came down and moved across the waters and God said … Let there be light!
·        This is a picture of the salvation offered to every man!
·        Jesus came down and moved across our lives by His Holy Spirit and gave us the Light of Life!
·        When God has a problem … He gets closer in order to change it!
·        That’s the first lesson God teaches us … we must be willing to get closer to the problem and declare the Light of Life!

We have to get closer to change anything from a flat tire to a hairdo … if we are going to affect real change in the things we have, we must be willing to be more like God and get closer.

Don’t draw away from your problems or the things or even people who need to change. Marriage, family, finances, friends and foes … get willing to get closer.

Question and Discussion Time