Sunday, January 30, 2011

REAPING WHAT WE SOW

Galatians 6:7-10
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

There is a negative and a positive promise in these words. If you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption. However, if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap life everlasting.

God has established an unchangeable law. You will reap what you have sown.
If we are dissatisfied with our present conditions, then what we need to do is be more diligent and faithful in sowing the very thing that we want more of.

If you sow more worry, sadness and grief; then, that is what you are going to get more of.
If you condemn others, they will condemn you.
If you are selfish and self-centered, then you will be more lonely and disappointed.

If you sow more love, kindness and charity; then, that is what you are going to get more of.
If you want more power in your life, you must sow more prayer and fasting.
If you want more understanding, you must sow a more diligent and consistent study of the Holy Scriptures.
If you want more converts in the congregation, you must sow more gospel in the community.
If you want more patience, you must sow more humility and longsuffering in your trials and tests.

THERE IS A LAW OF “REAPING IN KIND” WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN.

If you want people to respect and honor you, then do the same to them.
If you have an enemy, love them and if they are good ground they will love you back.
God does not force people to love Him and you can not force people to love you.
But there is an unchangeable law that says: if you sow love, you will reap love.

Luke 6:27-38
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 11:9-13
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Satan has convinced many people that God is a cruel and hard taskmaster. If you ask for something you need, He will give you something to hurt you. That is a lie of the Devil. God wants to give good gifts to His children. You know how you like to give good gifts to your children,. Are you more merciful and kind than God?

If you do good, will God punish you by sending evil to you?
God never tempts any person. God does not reward evil for good.
God does allow Satan a certain amount of liberty to test and try you to see if you will curse God and turn away from Him. However, God will not allow you to be tempted or tested above that you are able to withstand.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

There are people who are dissatisfied with their spiritual life; and, the reason for their weakness and lack of spiritual fruit is because they have sown so little of the seeds of faith, hope and charity.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Here are two very important factors which influence the kind of seed you are sowing.
If you sow grudgingly, you have corrupted your seed.
If you sow out of necessity, you have corrupted your seed.
God wants you to sow in love, entirely voluntarily, with a desire to do good for the glory of Jesus Christ.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

What are you experiencing in your daily life?
Do you have the peace and power with God that satisfies your soul?
Are you reaping a harvest which makes your heart glad?

If you are not satisfied with your harvest, you must ask God to help you understand what is wrong with the seed you are sowing. Seed always produces “in kind.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011

DO YE NOW BELIEVE?

John 16:29-33
29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The disciples understood what Jesus was saying about Him being the Son of God and returning to His Heavenly Father. They said:
“Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” We understand.
“by this we believe that thou comest forth from God.”
But Jesus knew their hearts and their true understanding and He asked them:
“Do ye now believe?”

Jesus knows you and He knows what you understand and what you truly believe.
Jesus knows all about your doubts and the things you do not understand.
Jesus knows all about your fears and your weaknesses.

Mark 14:50
50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

Matthew 26:55-56
55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

The disciples thought that they had the faith and courage to stand with Jesus and die with him. They said that they would not deny Jesus or run away. They did not know themselves. They did not know the power of the flesh to defend and protect itself.

Do you know yourself? “Do ye now believe?”

Matthew 26:34-35
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

“Likewise also said all the disciples.” Not just Peter, but they all were in agreement that they were ready to die with Jesus. The apostle Paul exhorts us to know what is in our own hearts. He said in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.”

Can we know the truth about anything without the help of the Holy Spirit? What can we discern by our own intellect and intuition? Can we know the thoughts and intents of another person’s heart? Can we judge one another by what we see and hear?

1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

John 7:24
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Righteousness and truth is not discerned or learned by the mere abilities of the flesh. Without God, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will walk in darkness. There are people today who have expressed to me that there is no “sin of ignorance” today because the Bible says God no longer winks at ignorance. It is true that God does not wink at ignorance. He does not overlook it, or dismiss it without correction. In the Old Testament dispensation, there were situations where people sinned and God overlooked it because they did not know or understand. God no longer overlooks unrighteousness. He will correct and chastise His children who transgress His righteous laws by reason of ignorance and a lack of understanding.

Acts 17:29-30
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

There was a time when men made images and idols which they used in their worship of God. There are people today who are making buildings, organizations and good works their idols which they use in their worship of God. What have you created that you use in your worship of God?

Have you built yourself a good reputation and use that to worship God? Is doing good the same as being saved? Good works are very necessary. But we must remember that works do not produce faith. Faith produces works. Your good works will deceive you, if they are not the fruit of a true faith in God which moves God to guide you into all truth.

James 2:22 “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”

Works must come from faith. Faith does not come from our works. Faith is a gift of God, it is not the fruit of our good works.

Be not one of those who base their faith on their good works.
Why do you believe that you are saved? Is the Holy Spirit helping your faith?

DO YE NOW BELIEVE? Are you still operating in the flesh, making decisions based on your own intellect and intuition?

Is the power of God’s love working in you; or, have you created some image which you have called “Holy” and you are hoping that God will approve of your works?

Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Romans 3:21-22, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (i.e. no difference between Jew/Gentile)

You can not go to heaven without the righteousness of God. God’s righteousness can only come from faith in Jesus Christ. Do you believe to the saving of your soul? Is your belief the result of godly sorrow, love of truth and a consecration to be fully obedient to Jesus Christ?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

SEEKING FOR JESUS

How does a person who does not walk with Christ find his way to Christ?
How does a person who does not serve Christ seek after Jesus Christ?
Do sinners seek after Christ without some external influence?
What factors are involved in successfully finding the true Christ?

1 Corinthians 1:17-21
7 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

One of the ways people find Jesus Christ is by the preaching of the cross. The message of the cross is the great love of God which He has shown by sending His Son Jesus Christ who was willing to suffer and die that we might have forgiveness of sins and be adopted into the family of God. Oh what great love, in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for us to pay the penalty for our sins. People must hear about the love of God. People must experience the love of God coming from the family of God which is the church of God.

1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

The word “love” is used 33 times in this short epistle of First John.
If you can not love those around you in this life, you can not love God. God loves those around you. If you love God, you will love like He loves. People will not see the true Christ in you unless they see the love of God in you. The greatest characteristic of God is LOVE. The greatest characteristic of God’s children is LOVE. When the love of God radiates from us, people will find Christ.

Matthew 5:14-16
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

We see when there is light. We can not see when there is darkness. People can see Jesus and find Jesus when we are the light of the world. If we walk in darkness, people will not see nor find the true Christ.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

If we are the children of God; if we are witnesses of Jesus Christ, then people must see the power of His presence in our life.

Luke 5:17
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Jesus sent forth His disciples with the command to heal the sick. Listen closely to these expressions and may your faith take hold of the truth.
Luke 9:1, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”
Luke 10:8-9, “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
Matthew 10:7-8, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

Acts 3:14-15
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Peter and John had gone up to the temple to pray and there they found a man who had been lame since birth. In over forty years, he had never walked. When the man asked for alms, Peter was inspired of the Holy Spirit that God wanted to heal this man for the glory of Jesus Christ. Peter commanded, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Peter and John were witnesses of Jesus Christ, by their preaching, by their love for souls and by the power of God which was present with them to heal. That is how the world will find the true Christ.

John 11:41-44
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

When people are seeking for God and the true Jesus Christ, they will know the people of God when they find a people whose prayers are being answered.

1 John 5:11-15
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

The world will come to Christ when they see our faith producing the works of God.

Believe God’s word when it teaches you that doubting will kill your faith and prevent you from leading people to the true Jesus Christ. James 1:6-7, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

People will find Jesus when they find the disciples of Jesus. The disciples of Jesus have certain characteristics which let people know that they have been with Jesus.

John 13:19
Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

When people seek for Jesus Christ, they will find a people who understand prophecy and can point to its fulfillment. Understanding prophecy is one of the marks of God’s people.

John 17:20-21
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

When people find Jesus, they will find a people who have a unity of the Spirit.

John 14:31
But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.

We must be doers of the word so that the world may know that we love God and are His children. Jesus proved He was the Son of God by doing the works of God. We will prove that we are children of God by doing the works of God.

Can the world around you find Jesus in your life?
If the people can find Jesus in our life, then they will be drawn to Jesus and have the opportunity to know Him for themselves.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Victory Over Death

John 2:19, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

2 Timothy 1:10, “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

What a Mighty King we have who overcame death by His own power that He might give eternal life to all that believe in Him and keep His commandments. They did not take His life. He gave it. They did not destroy Him, they abused Him, pierced Him and crucified Him. He submitted His body to death so that He would reign victoriously over it. He laid down His life and then He resurrected it to prove that all power in heaven and on earth belongs to Him. He is the resurrection. He is the life and light of truth. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Only in Him do we live and move and have our being. In sickness and persecution, we do not fear death for our Lord has conquered all our enemies and is able to deliver us from all the powers of Satan, including disease, persecution and hardships.

Psalms 27:1-6
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

Psalms 103:1-6
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

Pray and seek the grace of God to enable your faith to take hold of these precious promises which belong to every child of God.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WHO IS THIS MAN JESUS CHRIST?

Do we believe in “a Christ” or “The Christ”?

Matthew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Acts 4:10-12, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is a indefinite, alternative way?

Or, do you believe that Jesus Christ is the definite, only way?

Who is this man called Jesus Christ?

Is He a mythical person created in the minds of lesser learned men than we are today?

Men have more knowledge today than ever before in the history of mankind. But that does not make them wiser. The apostle Paul spoke of some people this way in 2 Timothy 3:7, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. Many men and women have much knowledge and no wisdom.

Many ancient historians and religious authors have written about our Lord Jesus Christ. His three and one half year ministry in this world was not done in secret. His presence and teachings were widely published throughout the nation of Israel.
One example of a historical testimony can be found in the writings of Flavius Josephus who was commissioned by Vespasian Emperor of Rome to record the events of Jewish history. In his “Antiquities of the Jews” Book 18, Chapter 3 he states: “Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ: and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Flavius Josephus (b.37-c.a.100 A.D.) begun writing his record shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and finished about 93 A.D.

Our belief in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God is not based solely upon the testimony of the historians or the written word of our Bible. It is also a firm belief and conviction which has grown out of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in our spiritual life. I have prayed to Jesus Christ and to our Heavenly Father and they have answered those prayers with great certainty. I have asked for specific things and those specific things have been given to me. I have prayed the prayer of faith for divine healing and my body and the bodies of others have been healed. I have asked for miracles of creation and those miracles have been given.
Who is this man we call Jesus Christ?

2 Peter 2:1-2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

What kind of Christ will a false prophet and a false teacher introduce to you? They will introduce you to a false Christ. What is a false Christ? It is a Christ who will give you the gift of salvation without you repenting and turning away from all your sins. They will introduce you to a Christ who has no power and no grace. A false Christ is a dead Christ. The apostle Paul had this to say about this subject:

Galatians 1:6-12
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

One of the vital points in Paul’s statement is his testimony that he did not receive the gospel which he preached from man. He received it by revelation of Jesus Christ. I can not give you the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can only lead you to it. I can not give you Jesus Christ. I can only lead you to Him. I can teach you the way, but I can’t put you in it. I can introduce you to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit by preaching, but your relationship to them is between you and them.

Who is this man called Jesus Christ?

He is the Son of God and the Son of Man, who came from Our Heavenly Father to bring us the message of God that God wants to have a personal relationship with you and me, just like He did with Adam and Eve before they sinned. God wants to be the only God in your life. He wants you to be His Child and Him your Father. He wants you to believe in Him, trust Him, obey Him and enjoy the provisions and inheritance which He has planned for you since before the creation of the world.

The Jesus Christ of whom I speak has made promises of:
Answers to prayer blessings cleansing
Comfort deliverance forgiveness
Guidance health long life
Mercy pardon peace
Plenty posterity preservation
Progress protection reward
Safety salvation spiritual gifts
Strength wisdom

The Jesus Christ of whom I speak has made promises to:
The afflicted believers children
The contrite the humble the liberal
The meek the merciful the obedient
Overcomers the penitent the poor
The prayerful the righteous saints
Seekers the tempted the upright
The widows and fatherless workers

Do you know this Jesus?

He is the only way to peace, joy and eternal life.
To reject Christ is to reject truth and the rewards of peace, joy and eternal life.
Jesus Christ will deliver you from all your sins and give you grace to live holy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Righteous Obedience

Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

Have people forgotten how or perhaps never learned the importance of meditating and pondering the things which they believe and the way they choose to live? It seems that many people do not realize how important it is to prove all things. We must know the verity of those things which we believe about God, salvation and eternal life.

The word doctrine means “instruction.” Learning follows instruction. They do not occur simultaneously. Often times instruction must be repetitious before learning occurs. God uses men and women to instruct others; but, enlightenment comes from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said in John 12:35-36, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” Again enlightenment comes from the Holy Spirit. Light comes from the Holy Ghost inspiration and revelation of the truth which you have heard. The child of God is required to walk in the light which God gives to him through instruction and revelation.

Question: Is blind obedience to a pastor a principle found in the Holy Scriptures? Should a true pastor exercise the authority to command obedience to his counsel in the absence of the congregant’s understanding? Does not the revelation and understanding of light precede the command to walk in the light? Are we required to walk blindly in obedience to the commands of another man?

Rather than forced obedience, should not we exercise the duty to teach, instruct and exhort with all longsuffering and patience. How does Paul’s charge to Timothy apply to this subject? 2 Timothy 4:1-2, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine [instruction, taught].”

What is God saying to us when He inspired the words in Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Has God commanded “blind obedience?” Or, has He commanded that we obey those righteous principles which having understood has shed light upon our pathway?
Don’t misunderstand my position. I do not believe that a person should disrespect, despise or carelessly dismiss the counsel of a man of God who has the responsibility of pastoring a local congregation. They do watch for your soul. And, they will give account for the counsel which they give to others. However, obedience without understanding is the door to deception and a detachment from the spiritual directives of the Holy Ghost.

Have we not records and witnesses of men, chosen of God and mightily used in the Kingdom of God, fall from grace and lead their congregations into confusion and some into darkness? Men are not infallible. They can be mistaken. They can make wrong decisions. Sadly, some have erred in judgment and influenced others to follow them in their error.

Righteous obedience is an absolute necessity. Men of God should obey with humility and a love of the truth. Their desire must always be to walk in the light as they receive the light by divine inspiration and revelation from the Holy Spirit.

Emphasizing the necessity of understanding does not make a person independent, stubborn or rebellious. Those who have disrespectful attitudes have not walked in humility or in the light of truth.

2 Timothy 2:14-16, “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

Why do you believe what you believe? Have you pondered and meditated before God, with prayer and fasting, to confirm those things which you have been taught? Have you accepted the judgments and doctrines of others without a personal, diligent search of the Holy Scriptures? No man or woman will be qualified to stand in your defense at the great judgment when all men and women shall give account of the deeds done in this body. You will be judged solely on your own conduct and attitude.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

IF MY PEOPLE WILL.........

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

“If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…..”

“If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…..”

“If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…..”

“I will hear, forgive and heal.”

“I will hear, forgive and heal.”

“I will hear, forgive and heal.”

The first thing we must do is “humble ourselves.” It will do no good to pray if you do not first humble yourself before God. When you have humbled yourself, then you must pray. But you can not stop there, you must also seek the face of God. You must seek His will, His direction and His approval. Now go do that.

This message could end right here. No more is needed to be said to say what we ought to do. If you will humble yourself, pray and seek the face of God, then He will hear, forgive and heal.

If you would go home right now and humble yourself before God and pray and tell God that you have been doing too many things according to your own will instead of His will. If you would go home right now and consecrate yourself to prayer and fasting, seeking and asking the Lord to direct your steps, then He will hear, forgive and heal.

We want God to hear us. We want God to hear our cry, our request and our plea for help. We want God to forgive us of our sins, our transgressions, our mistakes, and our failures. And we want God to heal our afflictions and diseases, our broken hearts, and our relationships.

God has promised that He would do all those things if we would humble ourselves and pray and seek His face. What are we going to do? Are we waiting on God or is He waiting on us?

Do we know how to humble ourselves? Do we recognize where we have put our will above God’s will? Do we see where we have told God to wait until we do a few things for ourselves, our children, our career, our pleasure and our entertainment?

When the Lord says something three times, we better believe that it is vital to our salvation.

Matthew 23:12, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 14:11, “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 18:14, “for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

There is a subtle snare of the devil which causes people to exalt themselves in the belief that they are doing a good work for God; when in reality, they are only doing what they want to do. Just because it appears to you as a good moral thing to do, does not necessarily mean that it is the will of God. God’s work will always be motivated by and founded upon the love of God and compassion for the needs of others. God’s work always involves a crucifixion of the flesh, because the flesh is enmity against God.

The apostle Paul tells us:
1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Has not God said: “If my people will” follow Paul’s example, I will do for them what I did for Paul. I do not have respect of persons.” The song poet said: “What He has done for others, He will do for you.” Do we believe that?

1 Peter 5:5-11
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Do we know how to pray? Not all prayers are acceptable to God. He does not hear the prayer of a sinner, unless it is the prayer of a broken and contrite heart crying out in repentance. God does not answer the prayer which is out of order with His will.

James 5:13-16
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The Lord will not hear a prayer filled with doubt. He will not hear a lukewarm prayer which is spoken out of a sense of duty rather than with a soul burden for the needs of others. Do we think we know how to pray when in reality we may not know how to pray? The Word and the Spirit will teach us all things, including how to pray. If you want to know how to pray, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.

Matthew 7:7-12
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

We have all heard messages on the three-fold responsibility of “ask, seek and knock.” If we ask right, we will receive. If we seek right, we will find. If we knock right, the door will open. You may ask, what is the right way? What righteous principle must we follow. Then answer is right here in verse twelve. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Jesus said it this way:

Matthew 22:37-40
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If you want your prayers to be heard, you must love others like you want God to love you. You want to be saved and make heaven your eternal home. You must want the same thing for your neighbor with the same degree of burden and desire. Your interest and concentration is not on judging and condemning your neighbor but rather teaching, exhorting and laboring to reconcile them to Christ and the church.

“If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…..”

“I will hear, forgive and heal.”

You may humble yourself and pray, but you will not be victorious if you do not put into action the earnest desire to see God’s face. You must desire His approval. You must desire the sure confidence that you are walking in the light of His laws. If Satan can cause you to doubt your relationship with God, you will stumble along in confusion. If Satan can cause you to think unkindly toward your neighbor, you will not gain God’s favor or His blessings. You must be Christ-like. You must live like Christ lived. You must seek to reflect the image of God in your daily conduct so that others can see Christ in you. Jesus said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” When people are seeking after Jesus Christ, they should see Him in us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
God has not changed. He will still be found by all those who seek for Him with all their heart.
Joel 2:11-16
11 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Will you seek God according to His commands? If you do it His way, you will surely find deliverance and victory.

Will you do it this way: “turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God:”

If you will seek God according to His commands, this is what you will find: “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”

If you want to find God, then surrender yourself to His correction and let Him make you into His image. If Jesus Christ is not the Lord over all things in your life, then you will not find Him and you will not see Him.

“If my people will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…..”

“I will hear, forgive and heal.”

In the year 2011, what will God's people do?
What will you do for Jesus this year?
Will you follow after your own ideas, or will you humble yourself and pray and seek the face of God?