Saturday, November 30, 2019

No Worries


Philippi of Macedonia (Upper Greece)

·        A “Colony” of Rome … explain what this means …

·        Famous for one of the greatest battles of the Roman Empire:

o   October 42 BC

o   Octavian (Caesar Augustus) and Mark Anthony against Brutus and Cassius

§  The supporters of Julius Caesar’s reforms against the supporters of the Roman Republic

§  Decided the fate and future of the Roman Empire

§  Octavian and Anthony won …

·        Death to the Republic

·        Long live Caesar

·        Paul first visited Philippi in about AD51

o   Acts 16

·        Visits again in about AD56

o   Acts 20:6

The Book of Philippians is written from prison in Rome in about the year AD62.

This seasoned Apostle is about 57 years old. By this time it has been over 30 years since he first saw the Light on that Damascus Road. Paul has faithfully served his Lord Jesus with one enduring conviction:

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.

He desires to encourage the Believers in the city of Philippi, the same city where a decade earlier he and his companion Silas were stripped naked in the city center, publicly beaten and thrown into jail for proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to the citizens.

This morning we are going to take a brief look at this Apostle’s heart for those who were a part of the Church in Philippi and imagine how his words are meant by God to apply to our lives today.

In many ways the United States is not unlike the city of Philippi in Paul’s time. It wasn’t popular to be a follower of Jesus, to attend Church or to share the Gospel in an open way. It seemed difficult to see the benefits of following Jesus when those living in sin are doing ok. The economy was going well, and life had so much to offer. What difference does it make that I’m a Christian? Many of my friends claim to be Christians and they don’t act any different than the non-believers.

Paul hoped this letter would provide perspective and supply the strength needed to grow in Christ and experience the difference He can make in our lives and the lives of others around us.

With these things in mind, let’s begin with reading a few verses as we walk through the scriptures in the Book of Philippians. The message today is designed by God to change your life forever.

My job this morning will be to provide extemporaneous commentary and yours will be to catch one or two things the Holy Spirit wants to say to you today.

Philippians 1 NLT

2  May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

6  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

10  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

27 ¶  Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven …

Philippians 2

3  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble …

13  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 3

1 ¶  Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord …

8  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Philippians 4

1 ¶  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord.

4  Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again — rejoice!

5  Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

7  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

13  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

19  And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

20 ¶  Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.

So … which point did the Holy Spirit highlight for you today? Take at least one thing and hold it tightly in your mind while I pray. Open your heart and I will believe God that His Word is planted in your life like a seed.

This Word will grow and produce fruit in your life. It will speak to you, guide you, protect you and bring you peace and increase. Are you ready? Let’s pray …

Now – Don’t worry anymore.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving


This morning we are going to pursue three truths that run the length of God’s Word. Without regard as to where we are or what we may face in life:
1.     It’s not always easy to do God’s will.
2.     Many will work for a paycheck they will never cash.
3.     Yet, we all have so much for which to be thankful.

Before we take a closer look at the points for today, let’s read our text from the Bible. You can find it in the Book of:

Genesis 8 NKJV
15 ¶  Then God spoke to Noah, saying,
16  “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.
17  “Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”
18  So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.
19  Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
20 ¶  Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21  And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
22  “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

For who? Not to be blasphemous or accusatory in any way but only to voice the obvious concern so that we can find the right answer from God’s Word. God is not afraid of you finding out the truth and He always welcomes sincere pursuit.

So, in that vein, after smelling the aroma of the sacrifice God’s heart was touched with compassion for every living thing and He decided to not allow the evil imaginations of man’s heart to destroy life. Then God declared: “Seed time and harvest; Cold and heat; Winter and summer; and day and night shall not cease.” – But for who shall it not cease? Certainly not for those animals who had just been sacrificed! Their life is over … they will never get to enjoy all they worked for.

The account of Noah and the Ark is a moving story of 8 people and a large number of every kind of animal in whose lungs were the breath of life. Each one of them followed the leadership of the Lord and got on a boat. Every kind of bird and animal, 7 pair of the clean, male and female, and 2 pair of unclean, male and female, came to the ark at the inspiration of the Lord and got on the boat. They obeyed. Then Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives followed the same leadership of the Lord and they got on the boat as well.

When Noah and the animals finally got off the boat, one year later, they all had so much for which to be thankful. And, Noah was thankful, as I’m sure were all of the animals that made the arduous journey.

It took one year from the time they all got on the ark until the door opened and they were told they could get off. I can imagine, especially in the early days, the motion sickness; and later on, the smells; every day, the hard work; occasionally, the desperate feelings that go along with being all alone on a vast ocean subject to the wind and waves; the anxieties associated with not knowing what the future will hold and if things will be better or worse; the loss of family, friends, and familiar surroundings. Everyone must have dealt with constant temptations to feel insecure, forgotten, and afraid. But they had made a decision, a life changing decision to do what they felt was best in the moment. And now it was forever too late to change their minds.

Then … just when the decision looked like it was going to pay off and they finally stopped rocking and were told they could get off that smelly boat … Just when things were looking up - - -  it’s sacrifice time! Somebody’s been working for a paycheck they’re never gonna cash. And, you know Noah is not going to sacrifice the skinniest or the ugliest, or the stupidest, or the sickest animals on the boat. No … no way! Noah is looking for the best! 

He wants the fattest, the strongest, the smartest, and the healthiest he can find. Noah wants a leader ... an example … you see, only the best is worthy.

If the animals could have talked what do you think they would have said? “Wait Noah. We obeyed God. He said go and trust Noah and get on the boat and we did. We haven’t caused you any problems. We did everything that was asked of us and now you say we can’t enjoy what we worked so hard to make happen? That doesn’t seem fair.” Well – you can see where I’m going with this. It seems sad that those animals who did everything they were asked were the ones chosen to work the plan and to make the new world a God-blessed place in which to live.

God looked down on their sacrifice and made a new covenant with all living creatures. God still remembers that covenant and because of the sacrifice, He will continue to bless the earth. God remembers the sacrifices we make to follow Him.

The early 1600’s was a tumultuous time in Europe as far as religion and Christianity goes. In the aftermath of the Reformation, the Catholics and the Protestants were virtually at war with one another. Pope Paul III had excommunicated King Henry VIII in 1538 for divorcing and remarrying without the consent of Pope Clement VII. Years later, needing a Bible the general English-speaking people could read and understand, King James I of England commissioned a new translation which would forever bear his name. The Authorized King James Bible was completed in the year 1611.

Not only were there divisions between Rome and England during those years, but there were also great divides within the Protestant groups, none greater than those ongoing in England. At the center of the debates was doctrine. Some wished to relax the religious morals mentioned in the Bible and the authority of the Church while others fought to keep their lives and their congregations pure and separated from sin and the influence of worldliness.

There was a woman named Mary Norris who was born around 1590 in the small town of Newbury, England, the same little town in which Brenda and I lived in the 70’s while serving in the military. Newbury is such a picturesque place with rolling hills and patchwork fields. Some records at hand indicate that Mary was the granddaughter of Sir Henry Norris (Norreys) who was accused of committing adultery with Queen Anne Boleyn and beheaded on Tower Hill in 1538 by her husband, King Henry VIII. It was at that same time and place where King Henry VIII also beheaded Queen Anne. Back to Mary Norris …

Mary Norris was a religious young puritan woman living a separatist lifestyle in Newbury, England. I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to leave there, but she did. It seemed all Europe was embroiled in religious division and the world was creeping into the Church on every front. In 1609 Mary joined a group of religious separatists and left England seeking religious freedom in Holland.

Soon after arriving in Holland, Mary met and married a man from London whose  name was Isaac Allerton. Mary and Isaac had 3 children. A son named Bart; a daughter they named Remember; and a third child, a daughter named Mary.  After a few years this group realized their children were speaking Dutch and had become attached to the Dutch way of life. This worried the separatist since they considered the Dutch frivolous and their ideas a threat to their children's education and morality.

In February of 1620 Mary gave birth to a son who lived only a few days. Life was not what Mary and Isaac expected but they felt compelled to continue seeking the Lord’s will for their family. The group of which they were a part called themselves “saints.” These saints decided to leave Holland and travel to the New World. They arranged for their trip to be financed by a group of English investors. It was agreed they would be given passage and supplies in exchange for 7 years work.

On Sept. 6, 1620, 44 saints, along with 66 others whom they called “strangers,” boarded the Mayflower and set sail from Plymouth, England, for the New World.
The long trip was cold and damp and took 65 days. Since there was the danger of fire on the wooden ship, the food had to be eaten cold. Many passengers became sick and one person died by the time land was sighted on November 10th. It wasn’t until December 21st that they finally reached their destination at Plymouth where a small landing party went ashore. The next day, on December 22, 1620, Mary gave birth to a stillborn son while on board the Mayflower.

The long trip was hard and dangerous and led to many disagreements between the "Saints" and the "Strangers." After land was sighted, a meeting was held and an agreement was worked out, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality and unified the two groups. They joined together and named themselves the "Pilgrims."

That first winter was harsh and devastating to the Pilgrims. The cold sleet and snow were heavy, and they faced continual fear of attack from the local Native American Indians as they tried to build shelter. Of the 110 Pilgrims plus the 30 crew who had sailed the Mayflower that year, less than half survived until spring.

In February of 1621, Marry Norris Allerton died at the age of 30. Her husband and her three children attended that first Thanksgiving in New England that fall. Mary may not have gotten to enjoy all the hopes and dreams she made possible, but she played her part in helping God fulfill His plan for America. She supported her family with her faith and her participation even in hard times.

Isaac Allerton helped weave representative government, popular elections, and the rule of law into the fabric of American society. Bart Allerton returned to England and became the pastor of a congregation in Suffolk; Isaac and Mary’s two daughters, Remember and Mary, began New England’s dairy industry on their farm in Kingston. Little Mary who was only 4 years old when she sailed on the Mayflower married a minister and lived to enjoy another 78 Thanksgivings. Mary was the last living member of the original Mayflower Pilgrims when she died on November 28, 1699 at age 83. It had been almost 100 years since her mother first felt the inspiration of the Lord and left Newbury to follow Him on that faithful journey. Like those on Noah’s Ark and like Father Abraham, Mary had no idea where she was going or what it would take to get there … she just followed Jesus.

Hebrews 11 NKJV
12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude — innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14  For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
15  And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
16  But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Remember our three points for today?
1.     It’s not always easy to do God’s will.
·        Yet everything we do is connected to the plan of God. Not only do our efforts pave the way for others, we also, like Abraham, will see the impact of our lives on those who follow. On that you can depend!
2.     Many will work for a paycheck they will never cash.
·        But history is still being written and our reward will be given to us in heaven. God is faithful and He will not forget our labor of love.
3.     We all have so much for which to be thankful.
·        Count your blessings and be thankful. Someone paid for them all!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Acts 19 – Ephesus


Allow me to remind us all of a little history concerning the ancient city of Ephesus. If you look for the city’s current location, you will find it to be a part of the city of Selcuk which is situated on the central western coast of Turkey. Ephesus was founded about a thousand years before Christ, close to the time of King David. Today it stands as a marvelous example of well-preserved archeological ruins which continue to be available to the general public and serious students of history as well.

The city of Ephesus was the most important trading city in the Mediterranean region for a long period and many generations.

The city of Ephesus became home to the renown Temple of Artemis about 700BC. This temple was one of the largest and most beautiful and costly structures which existed in the world for centuries. People came from everywhere to see its magnificence.

Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, chastity, childbirth, wild animals and the wilderness. She was also one of the most revered Greek deities.

In 356 B.C., a crazed man named Herostratus, who wanted to make a name for himself, burned down the Temple of Artemis. The city fathers refused to allow his name to be spoken so that his hope of fame would never become realized.

In 334 B.C., Alexander the Great defeated the Persians and entered the city. He decided to rebuild the Temple of Artemis himself but the Ephesians did not want to be beholden to the young self-absorbed ego maniac general and so they devised a plan to dis-sway him. It is said Alexander was thanked for his willingness but was graciously asked to reconsider being flattered by the humble thoughts that a god, such as himself, should not lower himself to build a temple to another god.

With this Alexander the Great agreed and left the city intact and well favored until his death a decade later.

The Ephesians eventually rebuilt the temple even bigger. It was estimated to be four times larger than the Parthenon and became known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Anthony and Cleopatra were among those who chose Ephesus as a part time residence and the city grew to more than 250,000 people during the time Rome ruled. As well, one of the largest Churches

Ephesus changed hands a few times from the Egyptians to the Seleucid empire to King Attalos of Pergamon. In 129 B.C., King Attalos of Pergamon left Ephesus to the Roman Empire in his will and the city became the seat of the regional Roman governor. The reforms of Caesar Augustus brought Ephesus to its most prosperous time, which lasted until the third century A.D.  

The modern-day ruins include city streets, a large upper and lower shopping market along with aqueduct supplied running water for the public restrooms, a business district, a large military training area and this magnificent 25,000 seat theater which we read about in Acts 19.

By the time the Apostle Paul arrived in Ephesus, pagan worship at the Temple of Artemis had been in full swing for almost 750 years. Generations had handed down their demonically possessed curious arts and the whole city was given to idolatry. People came and went from Ephesus for nothing more than to learn how to perform exorcisms and make potions and use charms to ward off sicknesses and evil spirits.

There are two things we are going to focus on in the 19th chapter of Acts this evening. The first will deal with the special season of miracles God gave the Ephesians no doubt as a calling card to show that the power of Jesus is greater than any other power on earth.

The second thing we are going to learn from this chapter is that we don’t have to tear down one thing to build up another. In other words, our victory is not in our enemies defeat, rather it is in Christ. With these two things in mind let’s turn our attention to Acts 19.

Acts 19
1 ¶  And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus …
8 ¶  And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
9  But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
10  And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
11  Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,
12  so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 ¶  Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
14  Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15  And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16  Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17  This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18  And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
19  Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20  So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

There are special seasons in which God does special miracles. Verse 21 says that “when these things were ended, there arose in Paul’s spirit a desire to depart unto Macedonia.” Things begin and things end … even special seasons of the miracle power of God being manifest in such a dramatic and wholesale way for the purposes of God.

I believe that we are always in some special season of God. I believe and have experienced seasons of revival in which people come to Christ in masses. We can see throughout history that revivals come to cities and nations and people groups at God’s will and by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Undeniable moments of mass evangelism have swept nation after nation in God’s timing and season.

As well there have been great seasons of healing and miracles in certain places throughout time. From Ephesus in the mid 50’s AD, to the African continent in the early 1900’s. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on country after country sparked everything from the Welsh revivals to Azusa Street, from the Jesus movement to the Catholic Charismatic renewal. God gives us special seasons.

Our task is to know the times and seasons of the Spirit and always be ready to hear a fresh word from God. Things go so much better when we work with what God is doing instead of trying to get Him to bless what we want.

Continuing in the book of Acts, chapter 19, we find that Paul is blamed for destroying a large portion of the economy of Ephesus. The silversmith guild and their president lodge a public complaint against Paul that his preaching and converting so many of the citizens and visitors of Ephesus to become Believers in Jesus has shut down a major industry in the city. It seems that no body wants to buy silver charms and silver idols to aid in the worship of the pagan gods in Ephesus, especially in the temple of the goddess Artemis, called Diana in the Greek language.

The accusations and the turmoil gathered such a crowd that they completely filled that 25,000-seat theater with an angry mob ready to pull Paul apart for putting them out of work. The Bible says that there was such a frenzy that the whole city was affected and some of the mob didn’t even know why they were rioting … they were just caught up in the lawless wave of infused anger.

Paul had been teaching in Ephesus for two and a half years. Special miracles had proved that there was power in the name of Jesus. The church had grown to perhaps 15 to 50 thousand people. Within a few years Timothy would become the pastor of this new powerful Church with up to 65,000 members including the elder Apostle John and Mary the mother of Jesus. John would one day write the Gospel of John from this place. God had big plans for the Church in Ephesus but for tonight, the crowd was ready to physically tear the Apostle Paul apart.

Acts 19
23  And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way.
24  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen.
25  He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade.
26  “Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
27  “So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
28  Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
29  So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.
30  And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him.
31  Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater.
32  Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
33  And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people.
34  But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
35  And when the city clerk had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
36  “Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly.
37  “For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.

One of the great testimonies of the Apostle Paul which should speak loudly to us from this chapter is the fact that in the two and one half years Paul ministered in the city of Ephesus, the most demonically inspired and controlled city in all the Roman Empire, Paul, even with his great success and the special seasons of miracles, Paul never once blasphemed the pagan gods or took anything away from the other temples.

Paul knew the truth. We do not have to tear down the false in order to lift up the true. Victory is not found in the exposure or defeat of false religion, but victory comes when we lift up the name of Jesus.

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

The two truths I hope were revealed this evening from Acts 19 are:
·        God is always doing something special somewhere in the world. We are a body and no matter where God is moving, it always affects us and benefits the generations to come even when it seems disconnected or unrelated or on the other side of the world.
·        Our victory is not in our enemy’s defeat, it is in Jesus. Lift Him up and His light will outshine the darkness around you.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

To Infinity and Beyond!

To Infinity and Beyond!

You can follow along with me this morning in the first book in the Bible, the book of Genesis. Before we begin reading our text, allow me to share a little about the natural resources God has given us to sustain our lives on planet earth

Introduction to natural resources (NR)

Ever since the earth was inhabited, humans and other life forms have depended on things that exist freely in nature to survive. These things include water (seas and fresh water), land, soils, rocks, forests (vegetation), animals (including fish), fossil fuels and minerals. They are called Natural Resources and are the basis of life on earth.

All these mentioned above are natural, and they exist in nature. No human created them. We tap into their supply to survive and also to function properly. Natural resources are all connected in a way. Therefore if one is taken away, it will affect the supply or quality of all others. For example, if water is eliminated from an area, the vegetation, soils, animals and even the air in that area will be affected negatively.

(Production Note: Leave the picture below on overhead until next red note.)

Here is a simple illustration of some great things that we get from some natural resources.

Natural resources can be consumed directly or indirectly. For instance, humans depend directly on forests for food, biomass, health, recreation and increased living comfort. Indirectly forests act as climate control, flood control, storm protection and nutrient cycling. 

Sometimes, natural resources can be used as raw materials to produce something. For instance, we can use a tree from the forest to produce timber. The timber is then used to produce wood for furniture or pulp for paper and paper products. In this scenario, the tree is the raw material.

Every item in your home was made from a raw material that came from a natural resource. The tea mug, electricity at home, bread, clothes, you name them: each of them came from a natural resource.

Natural resources come in many forms. It may be a solid, liquid or gas. It may also be organic or inorganic. It may also be metallic or non-metallic. It may be renewable or non-renewable.

It is safe to say that everything we see comes from the earth and is or was made from a natural resource, even the people around us

With that in mind, let’s begin our study now with the sixth day of creation:

Genesis 1:26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

This morning I am going to introduce two Hebrew words found in the book of Genesis that will help us better understand the eternal truth God wants to share with us today.

The first Hebrew word is: אדם ‘adam aw-dawm’
• This word means “man” or “Adam”
• Adam means:
Red or Reddish
Hebrew “Dam” = Blood

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make “aw-dawm” in Our image …

Now let’s continue with the story of creation by reading about the actual making of “adawm” in:

4 ¶  This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5  before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man (aw-dawm) to till the ground;
6  but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
7  And the LORD God formed man (aw-dawm – adam)of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man (aw-dawm – adam) became a living soul.

Now it’s time for our second Hebrew word - אדמה ‘adamah ad-aw-maw’
• This word means “ground”, like the dirt, the soil, the earth.

Let’s read Genesis 2, verse 7 once again:

7  And the LORD God formed adam of the dust of the adamah, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and adam became a living soul.

8 ¶  The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the manadam, whom He had formed.
9  And out of the groundadamah, the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

19  Out of the adamah the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that wasits name.

It is easy to see that when God created the heavens and the earth that He had man – adam – in mind. God created the earth in such a unique way so as to be the sustainer of mankind. Everything you are and everything you need to live came and still comes from the earth which God created. The earth was created for you …

Psalms 115:16  The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; But the earth He has given to the children of men. (Hebrew: given to the Ben-Adam)

What does this mean and how does this truth affect you today? God created all of the natural resources man would ever need to live on and enjoy planet earth. He gave us plants and animals and minerals and water and raw materials to refine and produce everything imaginable from mud huts to space stations.

We can live off of the earth and enjoy houses and cars and the finest meals and the nicest clothes. We can be warm in winter and cool in summer; sail the oceans and fly the skies; enjoy mountain peaks and tree lined rivers in the fertile valleys; cross continents and build castles; we can catch fish, raise cattle, ride horses, hunt game, hike trails, watch football; we can mass fortunes,feed millions and travel to the moon, all because of the natural resources God created and gave to us for our good. Nothing is beyond us because of what the earth can supply. Nothing that is … except one thing … You can live off of what the earth supplies, but you cannot have life without God. What we read in Genesis concerning the creation of man reveals the key to an eternal supernatural spiritual truth … the greatest truth ever revealed. Let’s read it again:

Genesis 2:7  And the LORD God formed adam of the dust of the adamah …

But man was yet just a dead, lifeless lump of red clay until …

 God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life … then and only then … man became a living soul.

We cannot have life without the Spirit of God. Today you may be living well and making the most of the opportunities you have been given on this earth. Perhaps you own the biggest houses, drive the best cars, sport the latest fashions, wear the most expensive jewelry, eat the finest meals, and enjoy the best money can buy. You may really be living well, but do youreally have life?

I’m not talking about natural life … I’m talking about supernatural life. Not just this mortal life on planet earth, but immortal, everlasting life beyond this temporary existence and throughout all eternity. As the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:34&35 – What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lost his own soul? Or, what would a man give in exchange for his soul?

One day a very rich man asked Jesus how he could obtain eternal life. This rich man was a good man and even a religious man who always tried to do what was right. Nonetheless Jesus answered this young rich ruler by saying: “There is only one thing you lack.” Of course Jesus was talking to this man about the real life; the supernatural, everlasting, eternal life which only comes by the grace of God through faith in Christ. 

More than being children of Adam; more than beingsons and daughters of man; more than just being ahuman made from dirt and surrounded by all of the natural resources in the world – we must be born-again. Every person needs to become a child of God. This happens when a person gives their life completely to God.

Whatever you are going through, good times or difficult times, you can put your trust in Jesus. God wants to bless you and give you a good life on the earth and a great life beyond all the opportunities this worldcan afford.

God has issued an invitation open to every person at any time. The invitation to become a child of God and to turn your life over to Him is the greatest opportunity you will ever receive.

Written in the Gospel of John chapter 3 is the account of Jesus telling Nicodemus, you must be born-again.When you become a child of God, you are given access to unlimited supernatural resources. Your faith in Jesus will make the impossible possible. By faith a child of God can move mountains, receive miracles, defeat demons, overcome sin, death, hell and the grave and live in the blessings of God throughout eternity.

There is more to life than just being human … you have been given an invitation to become super-human … a new creation in Christ Jesus.

If you are not born again today, you can be.

If you already a child of God, let me encourage you to turn your whole life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Why wait any longer? There is a peace and a power that comes from knowing that you are right with God.

• Recognize you need a Savior …
• Turn from your sin …
• Embrace Jesus as Lord today.

There is more to life than natural resources can afford … there’s a trillion years ahead of us and we ain’t seen nothin yet! To Infinity and Beyond!!!