Overcoming Situations That May Come part 1
message delivered Jan. 26, 2014
Good morning Friends and family and welcome to the first part of this series.
Throughout this week I had been thinking and praying on what topic God would use for today's message. Well, this morning I was reading in Psalms and I think He gave me direction. I also think that this is going to have to be a series, as there have been many thoughts as to where this is going to lead to. I am believing that as this study speaks to me, it will speak to you also. Every living being is going to go through some kind of situation. Amen? Maybe some of you hearing this message or reading at another time are going through something right now.
Friends, when we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the enemy comes to start his attacks. You see, before we are saved, the enemy had us right where he needed us to be. After that he lies to us and he twists things around to make us think that God is not faithful to His promises that we find in the Bible. Satan tries to tell us that God doesn’t love us or He wouldn’t have allowed this or that to happen. You all know where I am going with this. So buckle up, take notes, and let’s tell that slimy devil where he can go. Let’s learn through scriptures, from the Old and New Testaments, how we can overcome these attacks from whatever the source might be.
From conversations with friends on Cross Roads Fellowship and conversations with others on the phone, there have been attacks on so many Christians. Another site that Leanna and I are both members of (Lokey Sisters), again, those attacks have been brutal to some. Church, we all need to know what to do when those attacks come. We do have that power, and Jesus is the name that demons tremble from. Amen? Saints, we need to get this now like never before. Praise the name of Jesus!
Are we ready? I mean....are we truly ready to better our journey with Jesus? I hope so, and that is my prayer for you and me this year. Let’s look at adversity. It may come to you like a nagging pebble in your shoe or like an overwhelming rock slide. No matter how adversity crashes into your life, the question is how will you respond? How does the Bible tell us to respond when attacked? Let’s take a few minutes and think of some adversities that people might go through. Hurtful words spoken to or about us? No money, or lack of it? Here are the big ones that most share with me. Sickness? Maybe for those reading this it is the loss of a job. We can let these things bother us. We can shrug it off knowing that adversity is bound to be a part of every one of our lives. Or we can put our total trust in God like the Bible tells us to. Things are going to happen. You see, sometimes adversity can show up like a nagging pebble in your shoe or it can come crashing down on you like a rockslide. Church, we need to be prepared. God's Word prepares you by showing what adversity is and how you can live through it in faith. Unwavering, persistent faith.
Today we are going to look at the life of Moses. Later in this series, God willing, we will look into King David’s life. I don't know that there's anybody in the Bible who shows us the kinds of explosions that can come into our lives better than the character Moses in the Old Testament. Amen?
If everyone could turn to Deuteronomy chapter 4, and while you are doing that, think of a time that you may have had a pebble in your shoe and when you took your shoe off to find it, you couldn’t? You put it back on and continued to walk and you still couldn’t feel it and figured it must have been just your sock. This happened just recently for me. I felt something, I took my shoe off, shook it, put it back on and continued to walk and decided it was in my sock in my shoe. I remember thinking how uncomfortable it was. When I got home, I found a piece of rock salt in my shoe and couldn’t figure out how it got there. That's what I want to talk with you about today. Not the piece of salt, but when things happen in your life that you don't understand, when trouble comes into your life, what are you going to do about those troubles?
I think as we look at scriptures today and we spend time in the Word of God, we will have better understanding about what happens when adversity comes to our life.
Deuteronomy 4:27-31 KJV (27) And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (28) And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. (29) But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (30) When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (31) (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
I find that extremely comforting, and I hope all of you may also. Praise God!! When I'm in tribulation, some versions use distress, that's the word he uses there, when I'm in distress, I know the Lord is not going to forget me. If you think about the life of Moses and the children of Israel, their lives are like ours in many ways. Think about life in this way: When you learn how to deal with adversity, one of the conclusions you come to almost automatically is that everybody has adversity. Everybody has some sort of trouble. I think we have to all expect adversity to come to our lives.
Sometimes adversity is associated with sin. It comes because of things we've done. David numbered the people, and that was a piece of pride on his behalf. The end result of that was significant trouble in his life. It came because of sin.
Sometimes adversity is the result of simple disobedience. Remember Jonah who ran from God? His disobedience brought all the troubles that came into his life. You might be saying to yourself, "Okay Brother Jim, does that mean when I have trouble in my life that automatically there's sin in my life?" The answer is no, and I hate hearing preachers saying this. For those who have read the book of Job, Job's best friends tried that on him.
I know there are a lot of people who feel this, that if you just had faith enough, if you confessed your sins, there would be no difficulties in your life. But remember Job? Job is a perfect example of a man who was not sinful. He didn't do the things that other people were doing, and yet adversity came to his life just like everyone else. I may do a message on the book of Job soon, because I think there is much to learn from it.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:45 that God sends the rain on the just and the unjust alike. Adversity comes to the just and the unjust, just like the rain does. Just because you're alive means you're going to have trouble. If you haven't found it yet, it's going to happen pretty quickly. You're not exempt because you may be a Christian. There are lots of people who teach and believe that, because you're a Christian, no trouble will ever come to you, God will never let you to be sick or for you to be poor. There are a lot of sick, poor Christians that don't understand why people are teaching this. There are lots of sick and poor Christians in the Bible, but they were godly people. When Paul wanted to encourage the believers of Asia Minor, this is what he said: "We must go through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
Tribulation--for those who are living rightly before God--is a good thing, because it proves you can still live righteously before God. You can be right before God and still face difficulty in your life. Adversity comes to everybody and you should expect it. Right living people are not at all exempt from adversity. Do we get this church? I think maybe the reason Paul understood that principle so well is he had so much trouble in his life. If you ever want to read about the difficulties Paul had, go to 2 Corinthians, chapter 11. In this chapter, you're going to see a whole list of problems faced by the apostle Paul. And do you know what? When you read that chapter, you're not going to know when almost any one of these occurred. But I think Paul understood that adversity will come to every person.
Adversity will come to you regardless of who you are. If you're a Christian today, don't expect God not to allow adversity to come to your life. Going through these situations, when we handle them by trusting in God, makes us stronger. We can't understand that, and I don't claim to understand that. But remember Job? He was the man who lived a life that was good before God and before men. When Satan came to God and said, “You know why Job loves You? You know why Job is living a righteous life? It's because Job is rich. Life is easy for him. You take away those easy things, and Job isn't going to love You so long." God said, "Well, consider my servant, Job. He's yours. You can do anything you want to him, but you can't touch his life."
Here is a man who is a great example of the fact that God will sometimes actually allow adversity to come into your life. Sometimes God allows adversity to come into our lives because the lack of adversity can be a problem for us.
I think sometimes when you don't have adversity, that can be a problem in your life. There's something about all of us that needs a challenge, needs some adversity to rise above. If there were no adversity in your life, you may not be able to enjoy life. God sometimes allows adversity to come to your life. It is also how we build up our faith in God.
Sometimes God uses adversity as an opportunity to help you in your own life. Sometimes God will use adversity simply to bring you to the point where He can bless you. It's evident too, that sometimes God allows adversity in our lives simply because He wants to strengthen our character. Amen? Can anyone relate to this? There are things in your life that God will allow to come into your life because He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what's good for you. In fact, He knows what's best for you. So if God allows adversity in your life, He does so because He knows it will only lead to good for you. Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Praise Jesus!!!
I am going to say something that might not be taken well, but I hope you hear me out with an open mind. I am being spoken to as I type this out. I think if we look back at a situation that seemed devastating to us in our lives, whatever that might be… cancer, bankruptcy, loss of a family member or whatever the case might be, this message might be hard to accept. We should not seek trials, but expect them and accept them when they come. That is hard to say, yes? I know we have the privilege to pray, but I want to get a point across. We almost have to and this next thing I say is very tough to say, but hear me out. “Embrace it”. And that's not your only option. Lots of people get mad at God. They become bitter about their difficulties. But if you do embrace it, if you open yourself up to invite God's grace into your life, you can actually gain from adversity, not lose from it. Does this make sense to everyone? I hope so, because I know there are some who are dealing with trials that might be here this morning, or listening on Skype, or who will read this on the various sites that I share these mesages. There are some who are right in the middle of adversity, so I hope that will be an encouragement to them.
Whatever you're going through in life today, I want you to know that it's not necessarily because of sin in your life. That's not always true. I want you to know whatever you're going through today, that God sometimes allows you to go through it because He has a plan for you that's better than what you have in mind for your life right now. I want you to remember this passage in Hebrews 13. In fact, let's all turn there.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. :6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. :7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. :8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.
Psalms 94:11-14 KJV The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. (12) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (13) That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. (14) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
Church, what I say next, I urge you to dwell on the rest of your life. God is very interested in you, and He will never let you go through adversity all by yourself. It's not until we learn the lessons of adversity that we understand that adversity indeed is necessary in our lives. It's not a necessary evil; it is a necessary thing in our lives.
Not long ago, I saw a post somewhere that had a picture of a caterpillar and it said And like the cocoon, you can't have the butterfly without the cocoon. Friends, you really can't have maturity in your Christian life without the adversity of life. But you know what? Some of us, even those who may be more mature in the Christian faith, sometimes we're about to crack under our adversity. It's good if you have a little hangnail but if you're really hurting, then you need to know that God has not abandoned you during your adversity.
We are reminded that in Psalm 23. The promise is, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me." It's not that God says you won't go through the valley; He says, "I'll go through the valley with you." Amen? Glory to God!! Thank You Father for never leaving us nor forsaking us.
I think the great strength that comes through understanding adversity, that leads to maturity, that leads to our understanding that you can't do certain things is that you can't take adversity away from life and expect life to be as good as it would have been. I think one of the great understandings that comes to us is that when we watch God walk with us through the adversities of life, it draws us closer to Him. Don’t hear me wrong. I'm not crazy; I'm not asking God to give me adversity just so I can understand this or so I can walk closer to Him. I say, "Lord, if there's an easier way for me to walk with You, hey, give me that easier way."
I also learn that adversity will teach me something about myself. I learn a lot about my character when things are tough in my life (I don't learn much about me when things are going well), I learn that I am not sufficient in myself to overcome the adversities of my life.
It's through God's strength that I am strong. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). It doesn't say (I can do all things) and that includes facing the adversity of life. I also learn that adversity teaches me something about my adversaries. It teaches me something about those who would do harm to me. Let's read what Jesus told His followers: Mark 13:9 You will be dragged in the synagogues and into prisons, and you will be accused before kings and governors of being My followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about Me.
Sometimes I don't want adversity to come to my life. But as I mature in my faith, I understand that God allows adversity to come to my life. I also learn that no one is exempt from adversity. You're going to face it, and so am I. The thing that encourages me the most is that I learn nobody ever faces adversity alone, that God always says, "I will go with you through the adversity. I will hold your hand during this adversity. In fact, I will help take this adversity and make something good of it when all you can see is the difficulty of your trials."
When someone hurts us, how do we become compassionate toward them? I struggle sometimes here. They are the adversities in our lives. The easiest thing in the world is to just write them off, or some might say, "Satan, they belong to you. You can have them." But it isn’t the person, but the enemy. The fact of the matter is, as our adversary, or as the adversity in our life, they may be God's tool in our lives and we don't even know it. That doesn't mean they're right. What they're doing to us may be entirely wrong, but what was done to Job was entirely wrong too. They may be God's instrument of bringing compassion to us or God's instrument of maturing us, molding us, shaping us.
How do we deal compassionately with people who don't deal compassionately with us? When someone is our adversary, when they hurt us, how do we become compassionate toward them? The answer is that we can't--unless we learn how to forgive. Amen? And forgiveness may be one of the hardest things for us to learn to do.
The real problem, and we're going to see this later on in this study, is when people hurt us we will either become better or bitter. Most of us, frankly become bitter. We don't want to forgive them because they hurt us so deeply. Compassion, I think, follows forgiveness. Until we get a handle on how to forgive people that hurt us, hurt us deeply, I don't think we'll ever be compassionate toward them.
We're going to learn later in our study about Joseph in the Old Testament. What a wonderful example of a person who had adversity in his life. None of it was his fault, but he had to learn how deal with brothers. He had to learn how to deal with false accusations in his life. There were so many things he had to learn in order to become compassionate, but he had to first learn how to forgive. I think that's the secret to dealing with people who hurt us. We have to learn how to forgive and that's not an easy lesson. Forgiveness tends to be, “well, if you confess your sins, I'll forgive you”, but that's not the biblical definition of forgiveness.
Forgiveness means we turn over to God the hurt that has been done to us. We say, “I don't like this. I don't understand it, but I'm not going to retaliate for it. I'm going to simply give it to You, and let You deal with it in my life”.
Let’s think about someone who may be physically alone. Someone who is in a nursing home, shut-in for health reasons. Maybe someone that is in prison, or for whatever the circumstance might be. Is that promise for them too? What would we say to those who might be struggling? I would say no one is ever really alone as long as you have someone to talk to. And for the person who follows the Lord Jesus, He is always there for us to talk with Him. That's exactly what prayer is all about. You don't have to talk out loud, but you do have to be intimate in your conversation with Jesus. So throughout the day, throughout the night, keep your conversation going. Keep it going in your mind with the Lord Jesus. Let Him in on your life. Tell Him what's on your mind. Tell the Master Jesus what worries you. Then tell the King of kings and Lord of lords to take your fears and your concerns and your worries away from you. Praise You Jesus.
Now let's kind of turn the tables. You're not physically alone, but emotionally you are struggling. Maybe some of you are feeling isolated. Maybe feeling disconnected and alone….what then? I would suggest to them the same thing. When we feel disconnected, when we feel isolated, it's probably because we are. And that means we are not staying in constant and quality contact with the Savior. Again, I think prayer can change all that. Prayer isn't always asking something of God. Sometimes it's just talking with Him. It's asking Him to help us know His presence and to understand just how deeply He loves us. There have been times when I felt alone like this and prayer is a help, but just opening His Word and reading God's instructions to me is a huge help. It's amazing how you find that yourself feeling His compassion and all of these things open the door to our intimacy with God. Rather than saying, “God, You don't care. You're not out there. You don't really care at all what's happening to me," suddenly we find ourselves talking with Him. We find ourselves reading His Word and discovering He really does love us.
In closing, I would like to pray with everyone and especially for those who are going through the things that were mentioned here. We don't have to go through the trials alone. Jesus is right here and I think sometimes instead of calling out to Him, we hold onto the issues in our lives.
Can you think of someone who may be hurting that you might be able to share this with, or invite them to them to come next week? That is the whole purpose of what J and L Ministries is all about…learning and sharing what we learn with others, to help them with their walk with God.
Let us pray.
Message delivered January 19, 2014
Good morning friends and family and it’s a blessings to have you join us this morning. We are continuing on last week's message, as we didn't even start to get into this title. Last week I asked you, like I often do, if you believe the Bible to be true. I asked if you believe that every word was from God. I asked if you believed God is the same yesterday, today and forever and if you believed that He is not a respecter of persons. Amen? Do we all agree with this?
I hear so many contradicting the Bibles truths. I hear many who will say we don't have to worry about what is written in the Old Testament. Oh, really? Yes, it's the truth.
Do we believe that the God who created the universe and everything in it is capable of writing a book? And the God who is perfect is capable of writing a perfect book? The issue is not simply does the Bible have a mistake, but can God make a mistake? If the Bible contains factual errors, then God is not omniscient (having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight) and is capable of making errors Himself. If the Bible contains misinformation, then God is not truthful but is instead a liar. If the Bible contains contradictions, then God is the author of confusion. In other words, if the Bible is not true, then God is not God. How many of you believe that God is the author of confusion? Apostle Paul told us this in 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Friends, the Bible is true. God is true. God sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross. He who knew no sin came to die on a cross to save us from an eternity separated from God. That innocent blood that was shed from Jesus that day at Calvary was shed to wash your sins and mine away when we came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Turn if you will to Hebrews 4 and starting with verse 11. Each message, each week and for almost 2 years, I have shared the importance of all of us reading God's Word daily. I would again ask that each one of you spend time in the Bible and read at least a chapter a day. But I would ask you to read it not because I ask, but because you want to, because you want to seek God's heart. Amen?
Hebrews 4:11-16 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (12) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (14) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Notice the relationship between the heart and the Word. The Word examines and the heart is being examined. When we read in the Bible about our hearts, many times it is not a good prognosis. Someone might say, “Brother Jim, what on earth are you talking about? The doctor says my heart is in great shape.” Well, let's see what the Bible says about heart issues.
Because of times sake, I will read these verses, but I would ask that each of you write these verses down. Amen?
Ezekiel 11:19-20 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: (20) That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Friends, from just these few scriptures that we have read, we find that it’s impossible to save ourselves. Amen? Those who trust in their own righteousness and strength, thinking to get salvation without the merit and grace of Christ, to them are doomed. We will see this when we tap into some of the verses in the New Testament. Let's continue. I love this next scripture and should be each and every one of our goals. Praise God!
Proverbs 4:20-27 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my
sayings. (21) Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. (22) For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (24) Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. (25) Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. (26) Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. (27) Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
Friends, true wisdom from God is the principle thing. It is that which
recommends us to God, which beautifies the soul, which enables us to
answer the ends of our creation, to live to some good purpose in the world and which makes our path brighter and brighter until we get to heaven. Praise the Lord!! We are nothing without God. We were created in His likeness. We were created to have fellowship with Him. He loves us and wants what is good for our lives, yet we turn away from Him every day. Is God speaking to someone? Let's look a few more verses from the Old Testament, then we will go into the new Testament. Glory to God!!
Everyone, please turn to Psalms 34:18. Has anyone listening today, or reading this maybe at a later time, had a broken heart? Maybe a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife left you? Maybe the loss of a family member or close friend? God loves you and me so much to even help us through those times and it is recorded in His Word.
Psalms 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. The Good New Translation says it this way. Psalms 34:18 The LORD is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.
Also in Psalms 147 I would like someone to read this chapter, because I think it is important for us to see God's heart on what He created. Amen?
Psalms 147:1-20 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. (2) The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. (3) He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (4) He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. (5) Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (6) The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (7) Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: (8) Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. (9) He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. (10) He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. (11) The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. (12) Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. (13) For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. (14) He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat. (15) He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. (16) He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. (17) He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? (18) He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. (19) He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. (20) He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
God’s people who share His special favor should concur in His praises and magnify His name together. Upon every fresh occurrence of His mercies, let us renew our praises, thus encouraging others to trust Him. The true and only way to happiness is to walk in the love and favor of God. Amen? One of my favorite passages since I was in high school is: Psalms 34:3-8 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. (4) I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (5) They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. (6) This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (8) O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Brother Jim, you have read many scriptures the last two weeks, but what does that have to do with the title "For It Is Written"? It has everything to do with the title. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. Amen?
Please turn to Matthew 5:8 and let us look in the New Testament at some heart issues and I hope that everyone sees where I am going with this. Praise Jesus.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
From these few words in this verse, we could do a whole sermon. How can you do a whole study on this verse, Brother Jim? It's easy when you study
His Word and look at how the whole Bible is threaded together.
We seem to judge people on their outward appearance. Those who are smart are the ones that many cling to. Amen? 1 Samuel 16:7 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.
Church, those whose minds, motives, and principles are pure, who seek not only to have the external actions correct, but who desire to be holy in heart, and who are, they are the ones that Jesus is talking about, that are pure in heart. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
Matthew 15:18-20 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
You may be saying those are pretty harsh words, Brother Jim. I say to you, those are not my words, but the words of Jesus Himself. I don't know your heart, but Jesus does. Let's look at Jeremiah again. Jer 17:9-10 "Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed. (10) I, the LORD, search the minds and test the hearts of people. I treat each of them according to the way they live, according to what they do.
Heart issues. Why would the Bible point out that our hearts can be deceitfully wicked? Without Christ being the most important thing in your life and us being filled and led by the Holy Spirit, lust, greed, idolatry, hatred and so many other things have room to take over the heart. Sin means nothing to him, or her.
Wouldn't be awesome if we saw brothers and sisters like Jeremiah moving around our communities weeping day and night for this world to come back to God? To be out in the public praying in anguish for people to turn from their wickedness. What about the cupbearer for the King Artaxerxes. But he also was a praying man. Are you getting this church? How often do we pray? How often are we on our knees praying for our families, communities, states country or the world? God is speaking to me now also.
Friends, wherever you are, Jesus needs to be your master. Because I have talked to some of you throughout this week about listening via Skype, there could be people from many states here in the US joining this morning. There could be those from the countries of Bulgaria, South Africa and beyond. The message Jesus wants you to hear is that time is running out. Some of you may have been thinking that you are hiding things from the world. There may be some of you hearing or reading this message that are shackled so tightly in bondage that you think God can never forgive you, or could never free you. Maybe there is someone reading this message that has been battling a disease and have spent every dime they have and are no better, like the woman with the issue of blood that we looked at last week. I tell you Jesus can free you. Come on church. I said Jesus can free you from all these things. Jesus can heal you, but it starts with you.
When is the last time you spent time with God? When is the last time that you honestly read your Bible and meditated on its truths? When is the last time you spent time with God in prayer? When is the last time you asked God to search your heart and point things out that are not right?
Friends, I think God wants to minister today, and the only way He can do that is if we ask and allow Him to, Amen. I would ask that everyone close their eyes and bow their heads and praise the name of Jesus. Let's just take some time and tell God how much we love Him and ask Him into our lives and work on us. Reveal the things that need fixing in our hearts, and after we will pray together that God touches each and every one of us.
Time to minister.
For It Is Written
Message delivered January 12, 2014
Good morning friends and family. It seems good to be writing sermon messages again after taking some time off while we viewed a very powerful series from Pastor Robert Morris on breaking the bondage and truly becoming free. For those who have not watched it, you can see the full series on Cross Roads Fellowship and on Lokey Sisters. I urge everyone to watch it in its entirety.
From the title of today's message, most would probably suggest that we will base the message on the temptations of Jesus after He was baptized. You are partially correct, but I want to go much deeper than that passage.
Please turn, if you will to Matthew 4:1. We are going to pick up just after John baptized Jesus in the Jordon river. From this point on, according to what we know from the Bible, Jesus starts His ministry here on earth. While everyone is turning to Matthew 4:1, I want to ask you all a few questions. Do we believe the Bible is from God? 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Praise the Lord!!
We believe Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Glory to God.
We believe what Peter said in Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. Halleluiah!
Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (7) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (8) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (11) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Church, what a lesson to be learned here when Satan comes subtly to tempt us! Amen? How often do we speak the Word of God against those things that attack us? In the almost two years that Leanna and I have been holding services here at our home, I have suggested numerous times for those who have attended to write or print out scriptures and pin them up in areas where you will see them often during the course of the day and constantly speak them out. Amen? It is also a good way to build up your faith. We believe God's Word to be true, yes?
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Praise Jesus!
What attacks are coming to you by the enemy? It is crucial that we stick to what the Bible clearly says. Whatever we need to know about Satan is contained in the Scriptures. Amen? Satan is the father lies, the Bible tells us. Jesus says in John 10:9-15 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. Church, listen to this next verse. We have all heard it, but do we truly know it? Do we thouroughly understand it? (10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Where I intend to go with this is in our health, finances, our walk with God, our families, and the list is endless. I want to go in a different direction if I can, as I see this issue going on all over the world.
Please turn to Galatians chapter 1, verses 8 and 9. I want us to look at dealing with spiritual thieves, and this is a serious matter. Apostle Paul was a Godly man and tried till his dying day to teach the truth from God's Word. Let's see what he said to the Galatian church.
Galatians 1:8-9 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.
Now if we can go back a couple books to 1 Corinthians 15 and we will read verses 3- 5.
Everyone say amen when you get there.
1 Corinthians 15:2-5 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (5) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
Please go back to the beginning 1 Corinthians and chapter 1. Friends, do we get this? If Christ’s body lies in some nameless grave, there is no hope for the believer, and the Gospel is nothing but emptiness. How do we know His sacrifice for sin was accepted? How can we hope for our own resurrection and immortality? By faith in what this book that lies dusty and unopened in many homes teaches us.
Church, we are not free from false teachers today. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:1-3 There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Look at all the famous people in the word writing their own religious beliefs. Look at all the new religions springing up all over the world. I have shared this many times in the past couple years. Look at all the denominations all over the world. I'm not trying to down any particular church, but did you know that there are over 200 types of Baptist faiths? Let's look at what Paul said to the Corinthian church.
1 Corinthians 1:4-10 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; (5) That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; (6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
This scripture alone is why I will not belong to any organized denomination. Leanna and I have been part of some of them and in all of them they left out or added to what my Bible says.
Okay, let's get off this topic as it is not where I originally felt led to teach, but thought it important enough to touch on.
Let's turn to 1 John 5:3. Friends, we need to get this. Jesus in His death had a double purpose, not only to save us from hell but to cleanse us. We are defiled inwardly by the pollution of sin. Through Him we have “the washing of regeneration.” We are defiled outwardly by the guilt of sin, and by His blood we are separated from sin’s condemnation. Amen?
1 John 5:3-4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (4) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Are you born of God? Friends, I didn't hear you. Are you born of God? Then you are a world over-comer. Glory be to God! Everyone say I am a world over-comer. So when you say I am a world over-comer, you are not overcome by the world. Amen? Then why do we see Christians hurting financially, marital problems, health issues, temptations, stress, worries, and the list goes on and on. Why? Let's look at some of the reasons.
How are we living our lives? Can we say we are living exactly like the Bible tells us to? Some of you may remember the sermon series I did a while back "Having the Compassion of Christ". In that series we discussed many things that many had no idea that they had to live by. I prayerfully hope they got it and turned their lives around. What about you? Are there things that are holding you bondage that might be holding blessings back from being fulfilled?
What about your faith? Your faith has much to do with victory in your life. Amen? Turn to Hebrews 11. I love this faith chapter. If one reads and meditates on this chapter they will find that all throughout the Bible faith was one of the most important things that got these men and women through. Praise God. I mentioned pinning up scriptures all over your house? This could be a first verse to start with.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Some might remember the message I did on the woman with the issue of blood. What faith she had! You find this story in Mark chapter 5. For 12 years she had this issue. She spent all the money she had on doctors and the problem became worse. We find that she made her way through a crowd that was thronging Jesus and touched a piece of His robe and immediately YOU say it. Immediately, she was healed. And what did Jesus say to her? Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Thank You Jesus.
If I can have you turn to Matthew 8:1-4. I have mentioned many times, I have not felt called to preach healing messages even though Leanna and I are walking testimonies of being healed by the Master. I can share how my life has been spared. I can share how many times I was healed months before the doctors said, because of my faith and the faith of those I allowed to lay hands on me and pray. Praise Jesus. In the past few months, we have had more prayers for healing through Cross Roads Fellowship and the J and L Ministries websites. Through the past 10 to 12 years, we have had thousands of prayer requests, and most in healing. We have seen many of those requests come to pass. Praise Jesus! Because of us? Not exactly, but our faith played into it.
Matthew 8:1-4 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. (2) And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (3) And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (4) And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Jesus is the divine Son of God, sovereign over all physical ailments, over all circumstances, over the powers of nature, over the evil missions of Satan and over sin. Faith takes Him at His word and finds rest and deliverance at all times in His Word of power.
Church, are we getting this? Our faith is so important. On healing…do we believe Jesus still heals today? Is that where your faith is? If not, I guess we have to determine do you believe the Bible is still true? Do we believe God hasn't changed? That He isn't a respecter of persons?
Why does God heal some and not others? I know, some of you and most churches determine it must be or is God's will that a person is healed and past experiences. Let me ask you this. Is it God's will that no person perishes? How many unsaved die every day? Does it please Him that people die that are unsaved? No! Think back to these 2 of many passages that we read on healing. Did Jesus say to the woman with the issue of blood, "Daughter, it is because of God's will you were healed"? Or to the man with leprosy, "Sir, this is your lucky day. You picked the right time to beg for me to heal you, because today God said that you could be healed. If you asked yesterday, Well, He might have been too busy.” No, He said, Your faith has healed you, or made you whole.” Where can anyone show in their Bible that Jesus did not heal, when someone asked to be healed? I have studied mine and not once have I found Jesus refusing to heal.
I really would like to go the rest of the morning on this and we will another day.
Let's talk about love. I know, the ladies are getting all tingly and the men are thinking, “Oh no, not the love thing!”
So many do not know the importance of loving others. Forgiveness and unforgiveness is another sour spot with some, yet we can read that love and forgiving is very important in our spiritual walk with Jesus.
Please turn to Colossians 3 :13. For those hearing this message here at our house, live on Skype, or reading this on one of the sites that I post on, we have read many scriptures and haven't even scratched the surface of being in obedience to God, or even how to defeat the enemy with the sword, God's Word. It has been a start, but this message could go on for a month of Sundays and still not learn it all. Amen? For those who might be new, I hope you have heard enough to continue stopping by each Sunday.
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
There are so many scriptures we could look at on forgiving. Why should we forgive? Why does God make such an issue of forgiveness? I think we can answer that question in several different ways. Isn't it God's character? When we forgive, we reflect the Father's Love. Amen? When we say the Lord's prayer it is saying, "Forgive AS He has forgiven you" (from Jim's translation). Forgiveness gives us the opportunity to extend to others what God has extended to us.
Do you remember where you were when Jesus found you? Maybe there were countless times that you ignored or even rejected Him. Some even go as far as doing everything they can do against Him, because of feeling hurt, because of thinking God had abandoned you, or for whatever reason. Even then the Lord reached out to you and offered His forgiveness. And when you received His love He promised He would "remember the past no longer". Praise God. I know I have a past I’m not proud of, but you and I were forgiven when we were saved. When we forgive others we show that His Spirit is at work within us. When we forgive we demonstrate that we have not forgotten where He found us. Glory be to God. I'm not sure about you, but that excites me.
But (you say), "If we forgive, aren't we just letting someone get away with a wrong?" We feel if we "simply forgive" (and there's nothing simple about it) we will be allowing someone to take advantage of us. Shouldn't we make people aware of the wrong they have done?. The Scripture says of a man, 'It is his glory to pass over a transgression.' Proverbs 19:11. It is more honorable to bury an injury than to revenge it. Wrath denotes weakness; a noble heroic spirit overlooks a petty offense.”
But what if the wrong is great? Not forgiving is a greater wrong. In injuring you, he has offended against man, but in you not forgiving him, you offend against God.
Here is a passage that tells us two things. Many are not going to like what these two verses say, but what is the title of this message? For it is Written. Friends, what we have looked at today are some ways that we need to conduct our lives. Do you want to see God work in your life? Then these scriptures need to be followed. There was much more that I wanted to share, but because of time I will finish with these last two verses I was mentioning. Please turn to Matthew 5:23. For those who think that tithing was only for the Old Testament time, here is one of a few verses that says otherwise.
Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift (A what?) to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift (A what?) before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Friends, we need to be a light in this dying world. There is so much that was not included in this message, and hopefully we can look at more in the next few weeks. One of the topics I really wanted to discuss was on love.
Before we take communion, I want you to hear part of a popular Christian song, and it comes from 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
Good morning friends and family and welcome to today’s message. I know that in many churches throughout the country and the world, last week and today, pastors tell their congregations what God said to them about the New Year. I have never heard a phrase that I can say was from God about a new year, not to say this doesn’t happen. What I feel very strong, is we need to change, so that we are that church waiting for the return of Jesus. So that each one of us, and those who we witness to and lead to Jesus will hear on that Day of Judgment, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
So many each year make new year’s resolutions and fail every single year. I would ask all of you if you would honestly from this day forward make up your heart and mind to live your life for Jesus, according to the Bible. Would you make the commitment to spend time in the Bible every day? Pray every day? Share your faith everyday? It sounds hard and time consuming, but I tell you it can be done. I tell you that if you honestly do these things it will soon be a desire, not a chore. Soon you will yearn to spend time with Him. You will see your life changing. You will respond to things differently. God will move through you and your whole outlook on life and people and situations will change. Amen?
2012 and 2013 was a strange year. More natural disasters, more hate crimes, more churches crumbling because of greed, false doctrine being preached. The negative things just kept piling up for the past couple years. I believe, because of what the Bible says that things will not get much better for 2014. I believe we will see more of the earth groaning. I believe we will see more wars and rumors of wars. I believe that we are going to see more crime and it will be getting closer to all of us even here in the sticks of Maine and wherever you maybe hearing or reading this. Wow Brother Jim careful what you speak. Remember the power of your words. I am thinking about the words that are spoken and they were spoken way before my time by the Master, Jesus. Let’s look at some verses in Mark 13.
Mark 13:1 KJV And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2 KJV And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations. 11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Let’s look at some other verses in Luke 21 starting with verse 10.
Luke 21:10-18 KJV Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Friends, these things are going to happen. Church, this is what we need to do. Please turn to Colossians.
Colossians 3:1-3 KJV If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
I would urge everyone to read the rest of this chapter and book.
Friends, I want us to take a drink at the well. Ready? How many of you remember the story of the woman at the well that Jesus spoke to? I want us to look at John chapter 4. If we all remember the story, I want us to skip to an important part for all of us today. Let’s turn to John 4:7. Jesus and His disciples have been in Jerusalem. They're on their way to the north to Galilee, and they're going through Samaria, which is the hill country north of Judea, between Judea and Galilee. Jesus comes to the well of Sychar, which is Jacob's well, and in verse 7, He encounters a woman. This is where we pick up the story.
John 4:7-8 KJV There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
They came to town, they needed some food supplies. The men went into town to buy the food supplies. Jesus comes to the town and a woman shows up. And He says to the woman, “Will you give Me a drink?”
I think that there is something we need to learn…. that there are always going to be differences in the way people look at God. There are going to be differences in the way people view heaven and differences in the way people view how you ought to live your life and how you live a life that pleases God.
This woman had a set of rules by which she lived. She was a Samaritan. Jesus had a separate set of rules by which He lived. Amen? He was a Jew. And so it's going to be true in our lives today. You're going to encounter people you work with who have a totally different view about God than you do.
Jesus is a Jew, and the Jews don't have any dealings at all with the Samaritans.
If we look at verse 9 there, Jews do not share things in common with the Samaritans. She's probably talking about the bucket at the well that she was going to have to let down into the water, draw the water up, so Jesus could have a drink of the water. If a Jew used that bucket, a Samaritan wouldn't. If a Samaritan used that bucket, a Jew wouldn't.
John 4:10 KJV Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
It's not about buckets. It's about the Person who's offering you the gift of water that lasts forever. She missed this entirely. And you know what? When we talk about religion and the difference between religions, I find most miss the point entirely.
The point is not about religion. The point is He's not condemning the woman. He's not saying that your bucket is worse than My bucket, or My bucket is better than your bucket. She's just ignorant of the gift of God. And she's also ignorant of the Person who is offering her this gift.
She doesn't understand spiritually the importance of what Jesus is telling her. I have found recently discussing the Bible with people, I tell them things that God wants them to know, and sometimes they just look at me with this blank stare because they're not spiritually connecting to what I am talking about. Can anyone else relate? Leanna and I have had a couple great guys from the LDS church stop by and have dinner and then spend time in the Bible and in their book. I find things that don't line up with their book and the Bible which is the only book I trust and put my faith in.
I think sometimes I am wasting my breath with some, but it is what we all are called to do, share the Gospel with the world. Jesus is saying to the Samaritan woman, “I'm going to offer you something nobody else can offer you. Look at verse 13.
John 4:13-14 KJV Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
These words must have really stunned this lady. She had probably never heard of this talk and as we will see, she probably was not feeling worthy. And then this talk of water?
John 4:15-16 KJV The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
I love how Jesus handles this next part of the story, because He knows what's on our minds, not what's on our lips. He knows before we say what we're going to say. He knows this woman has a problem. She's had five husbands and the man she's living with is not her husband today.
So He says to her, “I want you to understand fully the value of the water I'm offering you, and you can't in your current spiritual condition, but I don't want you to lose this.” Here is the most important thing this woman does all day. She says in verse 15, “Sir, give me this water.”
She does not fully understand that He's talking about eternal life, not talking about water, but she says, “I have to have the Jesus water. Whatever the water is, You've convinced me it only comes from You, and I have to have it. Church, you and I need to get to the place in our relationship with the God where we understand that this kind of water only comes from the Lord Jesus. And we have to have it if we're going to have a relationship with God.
I think we make things way to hard. We don't have to understand everything. If it took us to understand everything necessary for salvation in order to be saved, none of us would ever get saved. We just have to believe the things that God tells us, and trust Him to be telling us the truth. This is faith. Jesus spoke so much on faith and to the disciples on their lack of faith.
This is from the book of Jim's translation. The woman at the well has just heard Jesus say He can give her water in which she'll never thirst again. She says, “Hey, give me that water.” And He says, “Well, first of all, go call your husband.”
John 4:19 KJV The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
She recognizes there's something different about Jesus. How would He know, being a stranger to this little town of Sychar, how would He know anything about her husband? How would He know that she's had five husbands, and the man she's living with right now is not her husband? How could He possibly know that? There was no National Enquirer in those days. You couldn't get this off the newsstand. There was no email to send to people. No You Tube. None of these exist. How could He possibly know that? And she has the answer. "You've got to be a prophet."
Now at this point, if someone said that to me, I'd say, "Well!" Jesus doesn't even acknowledge that.
Look at her mindset compared to Jesus' mindset. Reminds me of back when there was the prejudice issues between the blacks and whites when I grew up. Her mindset says, “If a Jew uses that bucket, I as a Samaritan can't use that bucket.” Her mindset says, “My religion says worship on this mountain. Your religion says worship on that mountain.”
Everything about her religious experience relates to buckets and places and things and rituals. None of it relates to God. And that is the problem with a lot of the religions of mankind. They relate to rituals. They relate to things you do. Things you say. Places you go. They don’t have a relationship to the loving God who is in control. And that's why seeing what Jesus had to say to her was so important.
John 4:21 KJV Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
What Jesus is doing is slowly bringing this woman away from religious tradition and opening up a whole new relationship with a new life in Christ. This woman shows some insight. verse 25 The woman says, “I know that Messiah, called Christ is coming. And when He comes, He will explain everything to us."
This woman knows that there is a Messiah coming and that He will explain then. Look what Jesus says to her. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am He.” Praise the Lord.
Jesus says, “I'm the Guy.” Amen!! What we're learning about God is God is in control. God sets up the parameters. God sets up the way. God sends the Messiah. God has all this in His control. The problem is nobody wants to believe it. Do we?
We want to control our own lives. We want to have our own Messiah. We want to start our own religion. We want to do our own kind of faith. We'll pick and choose; we'll have a little smorgasbord religion. I mentioned in a message last year that there are over 200 different Baptist faiths.
I am going to get bold here, but I find this in American churches from what I see, read and hear. We put a little Judaism in there. We add a little B'hai, which believes in the spiritual unity of all humankind. Throw in a few things from Islam a lot of eastern religions. We'll make the common religion of America today. And we will miss heaven by a mile as a result of it because we simply haven't obeyed what God had in mind when He sent His Son to be the Messiah. It is so true. There are new cults popping up everyday. Look at the followers that Oprah has and some of the other movie stars.
Here is the point of all of this, and you see it in verse 26. John 4 at verse 26. Jesus says, “I Who speak to you am He. The Great I am.” Praise God!!
Notice first of all that Jesus did not shy away from calling Himself the Messiah. He doesn't say, “You know what? There are lots of messiahs out there and, hey listen, if you'd like to have Me as your Messiah, sign the card and join up. Just come with Me and everything will be hunky dory for you.”
He doesn't do that. Jesus says, "Look, I'm the Guy. There aren't others; it's just Me. I am the Messiah that the Old Testament prophets predicted." He is not at all reticent to say He's the only way. secondly notice this in this verse Jesus was careful to say that the Messiah was talking to this woman. The Messiah is not an idea; not an ideal. You know there are a lot of Jewish people today that think the state of Israel is the Messiah. All the promises of God in the Old Testament are fulfilled in the state of Israel.
There are other Jews in Israel that say the state of Israel is the worst possible thing that could happen because it's sucking off all the promises of God from us. And Jesus says, “Look, the Messiah is not an idol. The Messiah is not an idea. The Messiah is not a religion. The Messiah is a Person, and that Person is talking to you right now.”
Jesus started a relationship with this woman. The relationship being, He's talked to her; talked to her about her needs. Talked to her about her religion. He talked to her about her husbands. He comes in and He says, “Look, let me tell you about your life; and let Me tell you about Mine.”
It's not about worshipping God in that mountain over there as opposed to that mountain in Jerusalem. It's not about who uses this bucket. In fact, it isn't about religion at all. It's about a relationship.
For those who have followed J and L Ministries in the past almost two years, we have looked at verses that shows that He is in control. He does what He pleases. And what He pleased to do was to send His Son to die for you and me because He loves us that much.
What He pleased to do was allow His Son to reveal to you who Jesus is and what He can do for you. It's all written here in God's Word. This Book that very few ever seem to read. Everything God has for you to know about Him, all the ways that God has planned for you, all the good things He has for you, it's all in the Book. It is all in this wonderful unread, dusty Book.
I want to make another bold claim. Here is what you need to know today. God is in control. He's in control of your life. And He sets before you and me life and death. Death is found in religion. Life is found in a relationship with Him.
I don't know what religion you've been following, but it really doesn't matter. The question is, do you have a relationship with Jesus? Jesus said, “I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Friends, whether you are hearing my voice today, or hearing or reading this at another time, if you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior, it may be because you've been trusting your religion.
Religion doesn't get you to God, only Jesus does. I want to invite you right where you are right now to just take a few minutes and pray to God. Use your own words and let it come from your heart. If everyone would close their eyes and bow their heads.
Say to Him something like this. Lord, I know I'm a sinner. I've broken Your law. I deserve the penalty of death. But I'm grateful to You that You provided Your Son Jesus. I believe Jesus died for me and I believe He's the only Savior I have and will ever need. And right now I invite You to be my Savior. Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart. I give You my life. Mold me like the potter’s clay. Be the ruler of my life, because I give it to You from this point forward. Lord, I pray that You fill me with the Holy Spirit to guide me and to strengthen me. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
If you have never asked Jesus into your life, or you have strayed away and you prayed this prayer, congratulations in becoming part of God’s Kingdom. Leanna and I would like to hear from you so we can pray for you and help you get started on your new journey with God. For those who have been saved for some time, remember, salvation is not about religious traditions and being involved in a church and doing all kinds of good things. It is all about knowing Jesus and Him knowing you. It is about a personal relationship with the Master. Amen?