Saturday, July 23, 2022

A Lesson from Jesus

Our lesson from Jesus this morning will deal with character. This lesson will involve 2 character traits. One is Humility, and the other Charity.

·        Humility comes when a person realizes they are completely dependent on God.

·        Charity is the kindness we show to others who are less fortunate.

o   More than once God took note of people who were charitable.

You may wish to turn to Luke 14 and catch up with Jesus during the last two weeks of His earthly life and ministry on His way to Jerusalem with His disciples. It is not known the exact city but here is what we do know:

·        There was a synagogue in the city and Jesus and His disciples attended on the sabbath which began Friday evening after sundown.

·        Although Jesus was not from that city, He was nonetheless well-known by the Jews living there and as was the custom, Jesus was asked to teach.

·        As He was teaching, Jesus saw a woman who had an infirmity. She was “bent over and could not raise herself up.”

·        Jesus stopped teaching and “called her to Him” and spoke a healing word to her.

·        Then Jesus laid His hands on her and she was healed, and she glorified God.

·        But the ruler of the synagogue was filled with indignation.

o   He said it was because Jesus performed a healing on the sabbath, which was considered work.

o   But it was really because the ruler of the synagogue could not heal the woman himself.

·        The ruler of the synagogue was filled with jealously and pride and he had no actual compassion on this poor woman who had been in his congregation with this infirmity for 18 years and had just been set free.  

By the time we get to Chapter 14, Church is over – (well is Church ever really over???) – and Jesus is invited to eat and most likely lodge the night with one of the rulers of the Pharisees.

·        This man is not the ruler of the synagogue who was just offended by Jesus healing a woman.

·        This man was one of the ruling council members of the most important Jewish religious group who were well known for controlling almost everything Jewish.

·        He invited Jesus to his house to watch Him closely to see if he could catch Jesus doing or saying something he could use to accuse and condemn Him.

Let’s pick up with our reading this morning from Luke 14. Now remember, Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem where He will be falsely accused, wrongly judged, horribly sentenced, viciously beaten, and cruelly crucified. However Jesus takes this moment to teach some valuable last lessons to us from His heart.

Luke 14 NKJV

1 ¶  Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

7 ¶  So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

11  “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

12  Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.

13  “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.

14  “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

This verse has been one of the guiding principles of our GTCOTR Mission Program. We seek to help those who cannot repay us so that the investments we make as a Church will one day pay dividends for each one of you in heaven.

Some of the last lessons Jesus emphasized before leaving the job to us encourages us to have a very high personal regard for:


·        Realize our dependence on God for everything we have.

·        Humility will help us not to be selfish, jealous, or prideful.

·        We are called by God to humble ourselves. (James 4:10)


·        Showing kindness to those who are less fortunate.

·        The first ministry Jesus said He was called and sent to do was to help the poor.

·        Jesus is our prime example of leaving your comfort zone and reaching out to people who are less fortunate than you.

·        The Gospels constantly show Jesus teaching, praying for, spending time with, and feeding the poor and less fortunate people who gathered around Him because their bellies were empty. (John 6:26)

Matthew 9:36  When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

This morning I want to encourage us all to work on two goals this week which will make you more like Jesus. Twenty-four of us will be representing our Church on a mission field in Kenya this coming week, building, feeding, bringing medical help, sharing the love of God with widows and orphans, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some of the most poor and needy people in all the world.

Others of us will be representing our Church on the mission field in Southeast Texas and elsewhere in the world this coming week, meeting needs, sharing the Gospel, and loving people who cannot pay us back.

Rest assured:

Luke 14:14  “You will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Now let’s all pray for each other to have a fruitful and productive week, dominated by humility and charity.

Saturday, July 16, 2022


 During this past week I came across a list of the top 10 best selling books of all time. It piqued my interest, so I began to search other sources to see if the lists were similar and found they were all pretty much the same. Let me show you a sample of the lists:

Top Ten Best Selling Books of All Time

1 – Don Quixote cc.1605 by Miguel de Cervantes

(500 million copies sold)

2 – A Tale of Two Cities cc.1859 by Charles Dickens

(200 million copies sold)

3 – The Lord of the Rings cc.1954 by J.R.R. Tolkien

        (150 million copies sold)

4 – The Little Prince (142 million copies sold)

5 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (107 million copies sold)

6 – And Then There Were None (100 million copies sold)

7 – The Dream of the Red Chamber (100 million copies sold)

8 – The Hobbit (100 million copies sold)

9 – She: A History of Adventure (100 million copies sold)

10 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe cc. 1950 by C.S. Lewis

        (85 million copies sold)

From 500 million to 85 million copies sold. However most of the Best-Selling lists leave out two top books.

·        The Quran         800 million copies

·        The Bible           6 Billion Bibles currently in print     

The Bible is the undisputed best-selling book of all time. Not only is it the most purchased book in the world but it is also the most read, the most printed, the most gifted, the most quoted verbally and in print, digitally and non-digitally, and the most loved book of all time.

It tops every category on any day or any week of any month or any year. Allow me to share some current statistics. (Sources:; Wikipedia; & various other online sites and articles quoted and/or compiled.)

Bibles Printed Each Year

·        On average there are 100 million Bibles printed each year.

·        In the year 1900, there were 2300 people in the world for every one printed Bible.

·        Today there are 8 printed Bibles for every 10 people in the world, not accounting for digitally accessible Bible.

Bibles Sold Each Year in the U.S.

·        20 million Bibles sold in the U.S. each year

·        1.66 million Bibles each month

·        384,615 Bibles each week

·        54,795 Bibles every day

·        38 Bibles sold each minute

·        1 Bible is purchased on average every 1.5 seconds in America.

In Addition to Bibles Sold in the U.S.

·        115,055 Bibles are given away or distributed everyday

·        59.5 million Bibles were distributed by the Gideon’s in 2016 alone. That is more than 113 Bibles per minute.

·        92% of Americans own at least 1 Bible whether it was purchased by them or given to them.

·        The average Christian in America owns 9 Bibles and wants to buy more.

·        25% of the Bibles printed each year are purchased in the U.S.

·        YouVersion, a top downloaded Bible app for mobile devices, has over 100 million total downloads and counting. It was one of the first 200 apps that were available on iTunes. It’s also been a top 100 free app for 3 consecutive years.

·        More than 66,000 people are using a Bible app at any given second.

·        3 people share a Bible verse on their social network every second.

·        Isaiah 53:5 is the most shared Bible verse on the internet today.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”


·        In 1950 the population of the U.S. was 151 million

·        Today the population is 331 million, a population growth of 119%

·        However, Bible sales during that same period in the US has grown by 140% perhaps indicating a growing interest in God’s Word among Americans since 1950.

·        This sort of flies in the face of what the world wants people to believe.

What a person believes and how they feel will often determine what they do and if they succeed.

God wants you to feel encouraged about Him, His Word, His plan, and the Church, not discouraged. The world has always been a wicked and evil place. It’s not the fault of the Church nor is it God’s fault. Which one of you is wicked and evil? You’re not! Stop being tempted to believe you are.

People make up their own minds. We are supposed to show them they have a choice. And it is plain that God wants you to be strong and full of courage, encouraged … not discouraged and ashamed and weak in faith. God has provided a way for you to start encouraging yourself like David did when everyone else was around him was depressed. (1 Samuel 30:6)

Joshua 1 NKJV

1 ¶  After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:

7  “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8  “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Word of God, the Bible, is:

·        A Rock upon which we stand. Matthew 7:24

·        A strong tower into which we run. Luke 1:38 Proverbs 18:10

·        A lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Psalms 119:105

·        A shield against our enemies. Proverbs 30:5

·        A sword with which we do battle. Ephesians 6:17

·        Healing for our wounds. Psalms 107:20

·        Seeds for our next harvest.  Luke 8:11

·        Faith for our future. Romans 10:10

The Word of God:

·        Saves me 1 Peter 1:23

·        Strengthens me Acts 20:32 Psalms 119:28

·        Separates me from this world Hebrews 4:12

·        Sanctifies me before God John 17:17

·        Secures my eternity Luke 8:12  James 1:21

And I hope all my brothers and sisters in Christ feel just like me. I want to go to war with people who believe they are winners, not losers; strong, not weak; courageous, not afraid; encouraged, not depressed. Don’t give me the 10 spies who could only see with human eyes. Give me men and women, boys, and girls with the high praises of God in their mouths and the two-edged sword in their hands.

The Bible is God’s Holy Word!

Read it

        Or at least listen to it every day … YouVersion Bible App

        Get it into your life; in your mind; in your heart; in your home.

                Thursday Morning Men’s Bible Study at 6:30am

                Tuesday Evening Women’s Bible Study at 6:30pm

                Sunday School for the whole family Sunday 9:30am

                Wednesday evening Bible Study at 7pm

Rehearse it

        Only you can decide what you are going to meditate on

Apply it to your life

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Seeds & Weeds

Matthew 13 NLT

34  Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables.

35  This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.” (The Prophet Asaph from Psalms 78:2)


Jesus shared 7 parables in this setting which wereintended to present truths concerning the kingdom of God. Jesus uses the parables to explain things which have been true since creation but are hidden from plain view. 


Have you ever said, “I don’t understand why God did this. Or “I don’t know why God doesn’t destroy all the evil people in the world.” Jesus gives the answer in parables and then explains them hoping we might understand truths which were established when God began creation.  Let’s begin our study this morning by reading the second parable.


Matthew 13:24 ¶  Here is another parable Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.

• Jesus wants us to understand the truth about His Kingdom. He does not want us believing something not true about Him, His Father, or the Kingdom of Heaven.
• In this parable, Jesus is the farmer. How do we know this? Because Jesus explains the parable later in private with His disciples:


Matthew 13:37  Jesus said, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed.


• The field is the world … How do we know?


Matthew 13:38  The field is the world …


• God only plants good seeds in the world
• What are the seeds? – People! Again, how do we know?


Matthew 13:38b “… the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom


So far, we have learned one of the foundation principles of the Kingdom of Heaven:


Principle #1God fills the earth with good people.


Matthew 13:25  But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.

• As the workers slept … hmmm …
This verse is not intended to make us focus on the workers, but rather on the enemy. Jesus’ statement is not intended to lay blame, but hopes to show the strategy and subtleness of the enemy. Much like that sneaky snake in the Garden of Eden.
The enemy of God chooses his most advantageous time. Most often when people are:
▪ Alone 
▪ Tired
▪ Taking a break
▪ In the dark
▪ Asleep
• Then the enemy slipped in and slipped away without being detected.
• Who is the enemy? The Bible says, “His enemy – the Farmer’s enemy. We don’t have to look far to know the enemy of Jesus.


Matthew 13:39a  The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil.


• What are the weeds?


Matthew 13:38c The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one.


In just one verse, Matthew 13:38, Jesus defines the two opposing sides in the great conflict of this world … Seeds & Weeds! Seeds are the people of the Kingdom of Heaven and Weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 


This brings us to our second Kingdom principle for today.


Principle #2: The devil fills the world with bad people.


Let’s read on … So far God has sown seeds and the devil has sown weeds.


Matthew 13:26  When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

• When the Church and godly people begin to grow and produce more godly people in the world …bad, wicked, and evil people also grow all around us.


Back to verse 25 for just a moment: “While the workers slept …”

• Who are the workers in this parable?
• Jesus clearly explains in Matthew 13:
The Farmer is Jesus
The Field is the world
The Enemy is the devil
The Good Seeds are good people
The Weeds are bad people
The Harvest is the end of the world
The Harvesters are the angels
Who are the workers?
• You are the workers in this parable?


Keep this in mind while we read the rest of the story and discover our last Kingdom principle for today:Remember who Jesus is talking to and who He is talking about.


Matthew 13

27  “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

28  “ ‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “ ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

29  “ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.

30  Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’ ”

43  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!


Principle #3It is God’s will that seeds and weeds grow together until the harvest. 


What are we supposed to do in the meantime?

• It’s called the Great Commission – Jesus explained it to His followers with His parting words … He said:


Matthew 28

19  Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

20  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


• We must do our part so that God can more easily do His.


Added Considerations:


Malachi 3 NKJV

13 ¶  “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’

14  You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?

15  So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ ”

16  Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.

17  “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

18  Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.