Sunday, June 28, 2020

Not Gonna Sink My Ship!


I want to go on record this morning to say how blessed we are as citizens of Texas, and specifically Jefferson County, to have the political leaders, the law enforcement officers, the judges and the justices of the peace, the precinct commissioners, the school board members, the Church leaders, none better than our own COTR Eldership, along with so many other sane, fair-minded decision makers, who shoulder the responsibility and care enough to make the tough calls when it comes to our safety, security and continued economic health.

If you have not had the chance to read Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick’s recent letter to the citizens and the media, please take time to do so, even if you do it while I am preaching. You can find it at It may not be popular with everyone but nonetheless, it is a good Sunday morning message in and of itself … and you may want to share it with someone you know. Judge Branick, who is not running for re-election this year, has my respect, my appreciation, and my full support.

Now, let’s get to God’s Word and the message He has for us today.

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

This morning when we talk about:
·        Faith = Our Spiritual Health and Wellbeing
·        Hope = Our Mental Health and Wellbeing
·        Love = Our Social Health and Wellbeing

1.  Faith

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
·        Faith makes us pleasing to God.
·        Trust in God helps us to move the many mountains of adversity we face in life.
·        No one can follow God without faith.
·        Faith makes things happen and turns impossibilities into possibilities.

2.  Hope

Psalms 31:24  Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.
·        Hope gives us Courage
·        Hope strengthens our heart

Three times in Psalms 42 the Psalmist said: “Why are you so downcast o my soul, put your hope in God.”

Hope keeps a smile on my face, joy in my heart, and peace in my mind.

Hope is our anchor in all times. Our hope is in Jesus who loves us, gave Himself for us and is coming again to take us home with Him.

Our hope is found in the message of the Gospel.
·        Soon you will hear the sound of a trumpet and see a great light …
·        The thrill of your soul will be inexplicable and undeniable …
·        You will lift the eyes of your spirit heavenward and the clouds will part …
·        Much like taking off a garment or slipping out of your skin, you will be drawn up and escorted by angels to meet the Lord Himself.
·        The eyes of your understanding will be enlightened, and you will see everything from God’s perspective, and it will all make sense.
·        Friends and loved ones will be waiting with great joy and will celebrate your arrival in heaven where you will enjoy the great wedding supper and participate in the unfolding prophecies yet to occur as written in the book of Revelation chapters 20, 21 and 22.

That is our hope, and Nothing is going to sink my ship, destroy my faith, rob my joy, steal my peace, or make me stop being a witness for Jesus.

Hope encourages me to wait on God to do what only He can do …

I have faith in God, and I am filled with hope for myself and my future is secure! You might question … “What about all the unrest and trouble around us?” To that I reply:

Romans 8
37  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“For, I am determined, to be invincible, until He’s finished His purpose in me. Nothing shall shake me, for He’ll never forsake me. I am determined to live for the King.” And ain’t nothin gonna sink my ship!!!

That brings us to point #3:

3.  Love

1 Corinthians 13
4 ¶  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8  Love never fails.

Faith moves mountains - Hope moves me - Love moves others

1 Peter 1
22  Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

That’s not a suggestion … that’s a command!
23  having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,
24 ¶  because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away,
25  But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
1 Peter 2
1 ¶  Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,
2  as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
3  if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Faith makes things happen
Hope waits for things to happen
Love triumphs over things that have happened
·        Love conquered and triumphed over my sin
·        God so loved the world …
·        If God so loves us, we ought also love our brothers and sisters … and even our enemies.

These are all three present in the “now” moments of life.

Faith in God
Hope for myself
Love towards others

Come on saints … do not let anyone sink your ship, destroy your faith, rob your joy, steal your peace, or make you stop being a witness for Jesus.

We have a job to do that will require us to have hope, faith, and love … and the greatest of these is love!

Show the love of God to others … and pray that Jesus comes quickly!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The End of the Age


The Time: A mid-week evening in the spring of AD30.
The Place: On the Mount of Olives, across the valley from the Temple.
The Setting: In just 2 or 3 days, Jesus will be arrested and crucified.
The Listeners: Jesus sits to enjoy a private moment with His disciples.
The Subject of Discussion: The end of the age.
The Passage: …

Matthew 24
1 ¶  Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
2  And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
3  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

4 ¶  And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

6  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
8  “All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10  “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11  “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12  “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13  “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

14  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

35  “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
36  “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
37  “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38  “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39  “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

As in the days of Noah … this is a very significant sign that points the student of the Bible in several directions. Jesus gives us a clear picture of two important truths about the end times.

1.  What will be happening in the world.
a.   Business as usual with added calamity and chaos
b.   Deception
c.    Lawlessness
d.   Lack of love
e.   Wars and threats of war
f.    Divided nations and kingdoms
g.   Famines
h.   Pestilences
i.     Earthquakes in various places
j.     Offense
k.   Betrayal
l.     Hatred
m. Persecution of the Church

Note: And it is not going to stop … but thank God … Jesus also gives us a picture of what the Believing Church will be doing in that time – speaking of the Church Age (Revelation 2&3).

2.  What will be happening in the Church.
a.   As it was in the days of Noah …
b.   While the world was lying in wickedness and calamity and chaos during Noah’s day, what was Noah, doing?
                                         i.    Noah trusted God in a very uncertain and evil day.
                                        ii.    Noah did not follow the world or adopt worldly ways
                                      iii.    Noah worked on God’s plan for the salvation of mankind
1.   Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah prepared …
2.   1 Peter 3:20 God waited patiently while Noah built an ark to save his household
3.   Saved his household
                                      iv.    Noah believed God was serious about judging the wickedness of the world.
                                       v.    Noah busied himself with God’s work while being a witness to those around him.

2 Peter 2:5  And did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

Noah had only one message … He was a preacher of righteousness. His message: “Get right with God!” before it is too late. God loves you and has a plan for your life, but He is not going to put up with all this chaos and lawlessness and worshipping false Gods and not loving others and hatred and betrayal and persecution forever … the world has a shelf-life.

Good news … Those who have Believed, and Received Jesus as Lord and Savior have already entered in the ark. We are safe from the judgement and the great tribulation which is to come upon all the world. We are already in Christ. We are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Our duty to others and to God is to get others onboard. This goes back to what Jesus said in His explanation of the end times in:

Matthew 24
14  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

45  “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
46  “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

The Conclusion: What should we do in these days of calamity and chaos?
·        Stay focused on God’s plan, not the chaos, hardships and hurt.
·        Keep preaching the Gospel as a witness to all nations until the end.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Fathers, Priests, and Kings


When God could have introduced Himself as anything or anyone, God chose to introduce Himself to us as a Father. Attacks on fathers, father images, the primary roles of a father and the God ordained family structure of life are attacks of the devil on God. When something is said that is intended to slander, belittle, or marginalize fathers in general, or our father specifically, it is wrong.

Fathers are meant to be one our most honored gifts from God. Fathers are intended to fulfill the roles of prophet, priest, and king in God’s family design. The devil attacks them at an alarming rate and sad to say, television and higher education has followed suit.

When we talk about fathers today, we will be including biological fathers, grandfathers, adoptive fathers, foster fathers, spiritual fathers, and historical fathers images from the Bible and from the pages of history.

The only thing God ever wanted was to be a Father and, The one thing God wants from you today is to let Him be the Father you need right now. This will not happen without some personal effort on your part.

The most important Father in the room today is God.

We cannot judge God by the earthly fathers we know.  

Fatherhood equals responsibility for others. Perhaps the most like God a man can be is to be the father of a child and also be a father to the child.

Seeing that our world is in turmoil and godly fathers are in such shortage, let’s begin our message.

2 Chronicles 15
1 ¶  Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded.
·        Azariah = Jehovah has helped; supported
·        Oded = Restorer (Iddo)

2  And he went out to meet Asa …
·        Asa was the King of Judah - from the lineage of King David
o   David – Reigned 40 years
o   Solomon – Reigned 40 years
o   Rehoboam – Reigned 17 years
o   Abijah – 3 years (14 wives; 22 sons; & 16 daughters)
o   Asa – 41 years – about 910 to 870 BC – Asa = Physician 

So, read this with me: This prophet who was had his spiritual roots in restoration and was supported by Jehovah, goes out to meet this King who was called to be the physician/healer of Judah and said to him:

2  And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.”

Listen to me Fathers, Priests and Kings, look for Jehovah and you will find Him. He will be with you as long as you are with Him.

Remember last Sunday we discussed: “God is not thinking like you are thinking unless you are thinking like He is thinking.”

The LORD is with you while you are with him … no guarantees otherwise … well … if you walk away from Him, you will be out there on your own.

Look at verse 5 … why did King Asa need to be reminded about this?

5  “And in those times there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands.”
6  “So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity.”

Years of idolatrous leadership in the nation by the Fathers, Priests and Kings of Judah led the people into great turmoil. It did not matter if you stayed inside or went outside, there was no peace. People were confused and depressed, stressed out and worried, angry, and tearing stuff up.

People were destroying the fabric of society nation by nation, city by city. Why? Because they had walked away from God and were without godly leadership. They were worshipping everything but Jehovah. So, God vexed and confused them and their efforts to live life without Him. How did it get that way? There are three reasons why God removes His blessings from nations and allows them to go without Shalom and live in chaos.

3  “For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law;
·        Without the true God
o   Idols are plentiful in our nation
o   The only God we will serve is one who agrees with our opinion, champions our cause, or destroys our enemies
o   People worship politics, power, and the praises of men
o   God is not divided – why are so many so confused?
·        Without a teaching priest
o   There should be no uncertain sound from our pulpits or in our homes
o   We have ordained commentators to be our priests and we believe and repeat their report
o   We silence and kill the prophets God sends us along with anyone who does not agree with our idol’s agenda
·        Without law – ( The Torah = The first 5 Books of the Bible)
o   As a nation and as a generation, we are there too!
o   Google has become our go-to authority, instead the Bible
o   We rehearse statistics instead of scriptures
o   We share the bad news more than we share the Good News
o   We have abandoned the godly guidelines and embraced personal truth
o   We cannot expect God to stay in our homes or be in our houses of worship if we refuse to let Him be God in our city streets.

It is a fact: Just like Judah in 900BC, our nation is in turmoil, and for the same reasons … But!!!!! God never leaves us without remedy!!! But!!!

4  But when in their trouble they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them.”

That has always been, always will be, and is right now the unchangeable, undeniable, reliable, eternal truth for today! When we turn (return) to the Jehovah Elohim of Israel, and seek Him, we will find Him!!!

Why was the prophet sent to Asa? Because he was the King, he was the one ordained by God to a position of leadership. I see the very same ordained leadership mantle on the fathers of our families. Fathers, today I implore you as though God did beseech you …
·        Seek the true and living God
·        Become a teaching priest
·        Establish the law (Joshua 24:15 As for me and my house …)

7  “But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”

God bless our fathers … they are our greatest hope in Christ. Let’s pray …

Additional Scriptures:

2 Chronicles 14:11  And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”

2 Chronicles 12
12  And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.
13  So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.

Jeremiah 17:5 ¶  Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.”

1 Kings 15:14  But the high places were not removed. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was loyal to the LORD all his days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Life Off the Line


Isaiah 46
9  Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,
10  Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.”

Review: In the first lesson we established that virtually every creation of God experienced a beginning and would also experience an end. Whether angel, human, animal, tree, heaven, earth, satan, hell, space as we know it, and even time as we understand it. We discussed:
·        The limitations built into everything we see and understand
o   Time
o   Space
o   Knowledge
o   Power
o   Authority
o   Creativity
o   Regeneration
o   Reproduction (like-kind with further limitations)
o   God’s allowance of access or restriction thereof
o   Creation is limited as opposed to God Who is unlimited.
·        God exists outside of time and created time for His purposes
o   Declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10)
·        God is not limited by time or space
o   Jesus appeared in locked upper room without warning
o   Gabriel appeared to Daniel, Zacharias, and Mary in private
·        God is not limited to our understanding of the limited law of physics
o   Jesus walked on water and was able to share that ability with Peter
o   Jesus ascended into heaven on a cloud … Elijah & Enoch …
·        Man is limited in ability to see and hear without God’s allowance
o   Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6:16-17 saw the angelic armies
o   The Apostle John in Revelation 1:10 heard a trumpet in heaven
o   Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:3&4, saw a light and heard Jesus speak
o   John saw New Jerusalem coming down in Revelation 21:2
o   God given breakthroughs into life off the line
§  Dreams and visions and angelic intervention
·        Peter and the Joppa vision
§  Prophecies
o   Paul described what he saw in the spirit

2 Corinthians 12
1 ¶  It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord:
2  I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago — whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows — such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
3  And I know such a man — whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows — 
4  how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Paul experienced a glimpse beyond the limitations of this present life. He either saw or stepped off of the line for a moment in time and could not even describe what he saw and heard. There is life beyond what we see.

Jesus humbled Himself and placed Himself on the timeline for a short 33 ½ years and limited Himself as a man in order to show the world the love God has for mankind and to reveal God to us.

John tells us that Jesus was in the beginning with God and that He was God. People can get confused when reading various scripture verses or passages in the Bible if they do not realize the Bible tells only one story. In order to correctly interpret any verse or passage, it must be held in context with the overriding one story and one theme of the Bible. God does not hold back or deny or even shade the ugly facts of human history. It seems important to God for us to remember from where we came and use those markers as evidence and encouragement to grow closer to the goal.

One of the three strengths we use to overcome the world is the word of our testimony and our commitment to die before we repeat the sins or bow to the winds of the past (Revelation 12:11).

God has revealed Himself to us as:
·        God the Father
·        God the Son
·        God the Holy Spirit

He is a Triune God. Three in One as we have heard. Separate but completely unified in every aspect and unable to be fathomed or limited to our understand or definition. Nonetheless, we know God as a triune being, if you will, and we are made in His image: Spirit; Soul; and Body.

The progressive work of God in the life of a born-again believer who has become His child sounds like:
·        I am saved; I am being saved; I will be saved.
·        I am Justified; I am being Sanctified; I will be Glorified.
o   My spirit is saved and living off the line already
o   My life is being cleaned up and pierces the veil at times
o   I will be perfected and receive a glorified body in the future
·        Spirit; Soul; and Body (a glorified, incorruptible, immortal body)
o   We are headed to a fulltime life off the current timeline
o   Eternity is not an infinite amount of time but rather “Timeless”

These things happen because I am a new creature “In Christ”

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

A new creature, spiritually created with eternal properties of life in Christ

Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Living life off the line – Life “In Christ” New Creation Realities
·        In Spirit
o   I am raised and seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6)
o   My citizenship is already in heaven
o   Forgiven and Redeemed
o   I have been spiritually saved
·        In Mind; Will and Emotions – Renewing our minds to life off the line
o   Faith for healing can pierce the darkness of sickness
o   Faith for divine intervention in this life beyond natural limits
o   Faith to move mountains and makes the impossible, possible
o   Believing in the impossible can become first nature
·        In Body – which is to come
o   If this body dies it will be planted as a seed to be raised incorruptible with capacity to live off the line, in Christ.
o   If Jesus comes, this body I now inhabit will be changed in a moment to a glorified body which will have timeless capacity.
o   Until I either die or are caught up in the rapture, I have been given two goals to pursue in Christ.

Our Goals In Christ
1.   Philippians 3:14  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2.   Colossians 1:28  Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Living off the line in this life equals living above the world’s system and not subject to the world’s view of life and limitations. This can only be achieved by stepping out of this world’s confines and stepping into Christ. When we come into Christ by grace through faith, (Ephesians 2:8&9), we are born-again as a brand-new creation in Christ Jesus.
·        Our spiritual DNA is changed
·        Our citizenship and the address of our eternal residence is changed
·        Our new life journey begins
·        Reservations are made for us according to a predestined plan to bring us to the image of Christ. Divine appointments and interventions
·        We are assigned what many refer to as a guardian/ministering angel
o   I cannot say for sure when the angel is assigned to a believer, but a believer definitely has one to serve and attend and escort
o   Hebrews 1:14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
·        We are expected to live in this world but not of this world.
o   The just by live by their faith
o   We do not look at things which are seen … (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Our Destiny In Christ   Fully Living Life off the Line.

John 17
20 ¶  “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
21  “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22  “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23  “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

You must be Born-Again

·        Those who are not “In Christ,” you will die an eternal death
·        Those who are “In Christ,” you will enjoy eternal life

Additional Support Scriptures:

Romans 8:1 ¶  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8
38  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:14  But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Galatians 2:4  And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage),
·        Liberty to not be judged by the law

Galatians 3:17  And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.
·        Confirmed in Christ before the law

2 Corinthians 11:3  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Ephesians 1:10  that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:16  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

2 Timothy 3:12  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

1 Peter 5:14  Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.