Leanna and I offered a Bible study a while back studying from the book of James, on the power of our tongue. I think it's important that we be reminded from God’s perspective on this, because He knows all and He knows us, being our creator. So first, do we all agree that the Bible is true? Every word of it is true? We all agree that the entire Bible was inspired from God? Praise the Lord.
We are going to be searching throughout the Bible for God’s truth, so if you're taking notes, please have your paper and pen handy, as I would like to go to as many scriptures as we can in this short time we have here together.
I want to look first at Proverbs 18: 21. This verse I hear used often, but I wonder if most heed the meaning.
Proverbs 18: 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
What a powerful verse. We can speak death unto someone. We can speak death unto ourselves. You may say, brother Jim, how can I do that? My friend, many do it on a daily basis. Example: My head aches so bad I want to die. Hmmm!!! I hurt so bad, it’s just killing me. Really? Then, there are the words that we can speak to or about others that can leave a scar that lasts for life. I am sure each of you can relate to that in some point in your life. These things should not be.
Mark your place here, but please turn to turn to Genesis 1. We are going to go quickly through some verses here in Genesis, and you all know this, but I want to point something out.
Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
: 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
: 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. Getting a picture here? God spoke, and it was.
:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. : 14-15 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Notice that everything He spoke WAS.
Gen 1:20-24 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
What an Awesome God.
Genesis 1:26-29 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (and look what we have done to it) (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
I don’t want to dwell on this today, but I do want you to notice something. God said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish”. Someone jog my memory. What does replenish mean? We may hit on this during a Bible study. My point on this is God spoke and it was. Verse 26: He created us in His image and likeness. We my friends, can speak to things and they will obey us, if we have the faith.
Let’s go to Matthew 15:18-19.
Jesus speaking here. Matthew 15: 18 and 19 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:
Let’s see what else the Bible says about our hearts by turning to Jeremiah 17:9.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
So my friends, if our hearts are not right, we should not say a thing. You know how when we get frustrated, or angry, we are apt to say things that we shouldn’t, or don’t mean. Has anyone been there?
Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Psalms 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
One thing that really bothers me, and I am sure you have heard it - parents who speak ill words over their children like, “You won’t amount to nothing. Why are you so stupid? You are so dumb”. This doesn’t just hurt at the time it is being spoken. It can leave a scar on that child’s life forever. It also can be spoken into existence.
Ephesians 4:29 KJV. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Okay, so we are to say good things to one another. What kind of words should we speak?
Proverbs 16:24 KJV. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Here is what Jesus said at the mount: Matthew 12:36-37 KJV. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
The amplified version says this: 36 But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
Are we seeing the dangers of speaking negatives towards others or ourselves? What stirred me up to discuss what we speak was we had a sermon playing one night as we always do when we go to bed and I heard a few scriptures that kept going through my mind. You know how a song comes on and you can’t get it out of your head? Sometimes it stays for days? Have any of you been there? Well, I woke up and there were parts of scriptures that I woke up with very early in the morning. So when I came downstairs I looked them up on E-sword. They didn’t seem to go with anything that I was going through, but figured that someone needed to hear them. These are powerful and very important scriptures that I want us to listen to and repeat. Amen?
Joel 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: LET THE WEAK SAY, I AM STRONG.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Ephesians 6:10 KJV Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Later that morning I got a letter from a woman from Cross Roads Fellowship that I know battles from depression and she was tired of stuff and said she felt like ending everything like a friend of hers did a few months back. See how God works? Hallelujah!!!
I replied to her and gave her the scriptures and told her to pin them up all over her house as a reminder and to speak them out. You see, I believe that the Bible is true. I believe there is much power in God’s Word, and when we speak scriptures out we are speaking God’s words.
Hebrews 4:12 KJV 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.
God is the our light and strength by whom and in whom he lives. Praise God! We should therefore let the heart be fixed in Him and the mind stayed upon Him, waiting His deliverance in all circumstances.
Please turn to Proverbs 4 and verse 20. Here is a passage that those who have been joining us have heard me say often, but I feel we should be reminded of often. Praise the Lord.
Proverbs 4:20-23 ASV 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 thy 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.
My friends, when we get into the Bible and meditate on these Words we get our Spirit filled. Let’s all say this verse together.
Psalms 18:32 KJV It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. Again!!! GNB He is the God who makes me strong, who makes my pathway safe. Let’s say it again. He makes me strong. Do we hear our friends saying this?
This is where we need to start changing what we speak. Leanna and I were blessed to have pastors who taught us when someone asks how you are, don’t start in with “Well you know, I’m tired and I’m broke and I.... No, no and no. Say, "I am blessed." When you are a child of God, you are blessed. Speak it out. Leanna and I always say we are blessed when someone asks how we are, even when we don’t feel it. We are blessed, and if you want to go even further, say you are blessed and highly favored from God above. We know we are blessed. We know that God is taking care of all our needs. We know that He is guiding us in the things we do for His Kingdom. Praise God.
Let’s say it again. I am strong in the Lord. He fills me with strength. Remember, there is life and death in the power of the tongue. He makes my path safe. Glory to God!!!!
Psalms 27:1 A Psalm of David. 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? Let’s say it again.
Let the weak say I am strong!! You are not saying your words, you are saying God’s Words. Do we believe there is power in these words?
Psalms 19:14 KJV Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Say this, My God makes me strong!!! Satan wants you to say you are weak. He, little “h” wants you to speak ill of yourself. The Lord is the strength of my life. Again. I am strong. God is the strength of my mind, my body, my emotions. The Lord is the strength of my life. Friends, we need to get this and put our faith in this.
Psalms 29:11 KJV The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Let’s go to Psalms 71. I love this book. So many verses we can use, but let’s look at Psalms 71:16 KJV. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.
Say it with me, I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD. Glory to God. Remember this is what we are told in the Bible. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD. Remember when the enemy comes and says you are too tired to go to church, or to go to work, or whatever. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD.
Psalms 84:7 KJV They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. They go from strength to strength.
Let us all say this........ I’m going from strength to strength.
I will go in the strength of the Lord God.
God is my safe place.
In God I will find my strength.
Philippians 4:13 KJV I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I am strong in the Lord. I am strong in the power of His might.
Brothers and sisters, we went through many scriptures, yet I would highly suggest copying them down and posting them in places where you will see them often. When you see them, keep speaking them out. Not just once or twice, but over and over. These are scripture we should all be saying when we feel discouraged. When we feel like giving up. When we feel like we just can't go on anymore.
In closing, let's turn to Matthew 7:7 and 8 .
Matthew 7:7-8 KJV 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.
Let’s remember to speak good things. Let us remember to speak words that were inspired from God over situations. Let us not talk down other people. It's easier to not say anything if we remember that we are going to be held accountable for the things we say.
I pray that these scriptures spoke to someone today. Our words are more important than most even know. As we read, we are responsible for every idle word we have spoken. It's so easy to let our flesh take over, but I honestly believe, when we are filled up with God's Word each day, it doesn't leave room for the negativity to come in. Praise God.
Good morning friends and family. Does the title of this message make any of you squirm? It does me, as there are some things that God is working on in my life, and I think if each of you was honest, there is still something, maybe many things that need to be given to our Lord. Amen? Please turn to Romans chapter 13: 11.
Friends, I want to look at the problems in the church today. We have lost the hunger for the things of God. We have lost the passion for living for Jesus. We have lost the essence of Biblical Christianity. We have put our faith on everything but God, and yet many think they are in God's will. Before you tune me out, hear what the scriptures say. Amen?
Romans 13:11-14 KJV And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armour of light. (13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
I need you to have a pen and paper ready, as we are going to go through many, many, many scriptures this morning. Did I say many? My friends, we all need to get this. Brothers and sisters, this is where we are going to start today. People playing church. I have done it. I did it for a while not knowing I was playing the game and then I guess if I am to be honest, there was a time I played the game knowing I was playing. No more my friends, and I pray that you are not in the game too. I am going to hit on some tough topics and I hope that no one that hears these words is offended, but hopefully convicted, as I have been convicted.
If we aren’t in fellowship (a relationship) with God, how can He give us anything? We prevent Him from moving in our lives because of lack of trust. Let me ask you a question. Can you trust your possessions to someone you don't know? Can you hand over your wallet or purse to a stranger to hold while you do an errand? No, of course not. But that's how we treat God. We treat Him like a stranger. This is evidenced in the way we live our lives. Do we trust God with our wallet?
Until we understand the Love of God, we cannot receive anything from Him in the amount He wants us to have. So if we haven’t received His love for us personally, we certainly can’t love ourselves, let alone love others. Here is another question. Are you trying to forgive and love? Did you know that all you’re "trying" to forgive and love amounts to "works of the flesh?" Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply forgive and love? Did you know that forgiveness and love brings health? It does, and hopefully we can get there in another teaching.
Let’s look at sin. This is what Jesus came to earth to save us from. Amen? Sin started from the time that Adam and Eve were deceived from the slimy serpent, which slithered into the garden that God had given Adam to watch over. As I have said in other studies, I don’t believe that the enemy came in the garden just one day, but weaseled his way in and possibly made some sort of friendship with Adam and Eve. Then they were tempted and fell into that temptation. Adam and Eve had it made; they were visited by God in the cool of the day and then blew it. Ever since, we have had that sin nature passed down generation after generation. Every man and woman that has ever walked on earth has sinned. Except for Jesus.
I want us to go on another path for a minute. Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 28:1-15 KJV. Bear with me, as this part of the teaching is long, but there are key things we must catch and then I am in hopes in my conclusion to point out something huge that many of you may not know.
Deuteronomy 28:1-15 KJV And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: (2) And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (3) Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. (4) Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. (5) Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. (6) Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (7) The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (8) The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (9) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (10) And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. (11) And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. (12) The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. (13) And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: (14) And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Wow what promises!! But verse (15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
This list is long, and because of time I’m not going to read the whole thing, but I highly recommend that you read it and meditate on it on your own.
Here is a condensed list to point out the curses:
Cursed shall you be in the city.
Cursed shall you be in the field.
Cursed will be your basket and your store.
Cursed will be the fruit of your body.
Cursed will be the fruit of your land (no increase of your herds).
You will be cursed when you arrive.
You will be cursed when you leave.
A pestilence will cleave to you until it has consumed you from off the land.
You will be overcome with fever, inflammation and extreme burning.
You will be smitten with the sword, with blasting, with mildew.
The rain over your land will be powder and dust.
You will be overtaken by your enemies.
Your body will be food for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth.
You will be smitten with the botch of Egypt, with emerods, with the scab, with the itch that cannot be healed.
You will be smitten with madness, with blindness and astonishment of heart.
You will grope in the day and night and you will not prosper in your ways.
You will be oppressed and rotten.
You will marry and another man will sleep with your wife.
Your cattle will be murdered right in front of you so that you will not be able to eat them, your ass will be taken forcibly from you and your sheep will be given to your enemies.
Your children will be given to other people and you will long for them all the day long.
There will be no power in your hands.
Another nation that you do not know will eat up the fruits of your labor.
You will be oppressed and crushed-always.
The Lord will smite your knees, your legs with a sore that cannot be healed, from the sole of your feet to the top of your head.
Wow!! Can you personally relate to any of these? Can you see America suffering from these things? My friends, this is awful and it's still in effect today. Like Adam and Eve, God’s chosen people had the chance to be blessed in everything they did, if…. If they obeyed God. Do we obey God in everything we do? Are we blessed and highly favored in everything we do from God?
Now, here is a big question. Do we do everything for God’s glory? Let’s be honest. Do we honestly love Jesus with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength? I told you I was going to touch on some sticky subjects. The Bible tells us in these three verses to do that very thing.
Mat_22:37 Jesus answered him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Mar 12:30 So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
Let’s get a little more challenging.
Luk_10:27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.' And 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'" Have I struck any nerves? God struck mine. Friends, this is the start of where we must not play church. Remember if a finger got pointed at you, three more are pointing back at me.
Each one of us has a God given conscience. From the time we were little ones, before we told a lie, we knew it was wrong. Before we went to take something that didn’t belong to us, we knew it was wrong. If you think about your conscience and think about the 10 commandments (Exodus chapter 20) I’m sure you all know them, but let’s go through them.
Exodus 20:1-17 KJV And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery. (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Let’s look at some things that God hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Philippians 4:8 KJV Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Hear this, my friends. 2 Peter 1:3-10 KJV According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Let’s go back to the blessings and curses. I want to share something that some of you may not realize. First, I need to answer a question that that someone asked, and I want anyone that who thinks that I might have made a mistake or disagree with something that I may teach, to bring it to my attention. I am human, I am learning also. So please keep me accountable for what I teach. We have been warned of false teachers and I don’t want to be classified as one.
When I pray for healing for others, I use 2 particular scriptures. The first in Isaiah 53:5 KJV But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Now get this, The prophet Isaiah was telling about Jesus’ death, some 7 hundred years before Jesus was born.
The question was “the verse by his stripes ye are healed. If you go to the original Hebrew and Greek it means saved, not healed”? So I went to the concordance. It is H7495 raw-faw', raw-faw' A primitive root; properly to mend (by stitching), that is, (figuratively) to cure: - cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, X thoroughly, make whole.
Then the other scripture is found in 1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Now remember in Isaiah, it said you are healed. Here in 1st Peter it says you were healed. This is after Jesus died and was brought back to Heaven.
Now if we look in the concordance again, we find G2390 ἰάομαι iaomai ee-ah'-om-ahee Middle voice of apparently a primary verb; to cure (literally or figuratively): - heal, make whole.
Good question and I hope this helped. Like I said, listen and if something doesn’t sound right to you, ask me. I do not want to teach anyone wrong. Amen?
Now let’s quickly turn to Galatians 3:13 KJV Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Friends, did you catch the meaning here? Did you get this? I know Leanna has, because we have heard this over again, hundreds of times. All the sickness and diseases spoken in Deuteronomy, Jesus redeemed us from. That is so important for Christians to know and to believe. I didn’t make this verse up. Someone read it for me. I want to make sure that your Bible is the same. This is awesome news. It's great news, but we need to read the next verse.
Galatians 3:14 KJV That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Someone say we. Someone shout Hallelujah. What does this mean? Someone quick, expound on this before we lose the meaning. Glory to God.
Friends, this is a great reason why it is so important to get our hearts right before God. Church, God loves you so much. I don’t think any of us can really fathom the love He has for you and for me.
I want to share something that I used in a Bible study, probably 7 years ago.
Jesus will bear the sin of the Assyrians who gloated over their captives they skinned alive. Jesus will bear the sins of SS troops gunning down women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing burning ablaze. Jesus will bear the sins of child molesters making sure their victims never testify. He will bear the sins of Pharos sacrificing thousands of laboring lives to build a deifying tomb. Jesus took on all of this and more. He was tossed about in the endless storm of enraged fathers beating toddlers to their deaths, pimps seducing runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution, Canaanites burning their children to Moloch. Nice church ladies cannibalizing other nice church ladies over coffee. Impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery. He will bear the sins of Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud while their wives sit in the back of many churches hoping their make-up covers their bruises. Jesus will tumble alone. He will bear the sins of embezzlers, gangsters, bullies, rapists, liars, thieves, the indifferent, sadistic, and self-righteous. It's a scene of unbearable horror, and unspeakable magma. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children, families destroyed by adultery or apathy, civilizations decaying, and wars ravaging.
I pray that this message has first convicted hearts that may have been hardened. Secondly, I pray that it might have inspired everyone who may have heard this message or read it, to start today to love Jesus and to know without a doubt that Jesus loves you, and last, I pray that each of us will from this day forward live a life that is pleasing in all we do for God the Father. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to be more and more like Jesus. Amen?
Good morning family. Thank God we can meet again this week. Thank God that we have the freedom to share our faith here in person and through the internet. It blesses my heart that I can do this, but I keep in my mind always that God gets the glory and that I am responsible for everything I teach.
We have been looking at this title Overcoming Situations That Might Come for a couple of weeks. The first week we looked at some of the things that Moses went through and compared it to what we might face in our life. Last week we looked at the passage found in Mark 4: 35-41 about Jesus rebuking the storm that He and his disciples were going through and again comparing those things with our lives and how Jesus spoke to the storms as we should.
This week I want to look into some of the storms that King David went through and how he overcame some of those storms. You know... the man who God said was after His heart?
Before we start, does anyone want to briefly share about some of the storms that you might have gone through and how God worked through them?
I had a friend share something this week that took me by complete surprise. This person went on about how things were had gotten so bad that to ease the pain, cutting was the solution. I have gone through some horrible things in my life, but I never thought of cutting my arm, or any other part of my body to ease the pain. This isn’t to make fun of those who are reading this that have or still are doing this act. I hear about this often and I just want to hug them and let them know that there is a God that will break this bondage. Ease the pain they are going through. I can’t imagine the pain someone could have to cause more pain.
Please turn to 1st Samuel 16. What I want to point out in this chapter is this. While I say these things, I want you to be praying to have God do the same for you and be listening to God (and He will if you listen and stay in obedience). Whom God appoints, He anoints, and whom He anoints is truly qualified for service. Amen? From what you know of David, was he anointed? Was he qualified? I think he was, though, like we often do, he made mistakes. Great man of God, but made some choices that were not good.
David means “beloved” for he was a type of the Beloved Son. As David was called from the place of obscurity and contempt, David was first anointed by God and later by the people.
1Sa 16:1-7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. (2) And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. (3) And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. (4) And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? (5) And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. (6) And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. (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.
So let’s backtrack a bit. If we were to go back and look at Saul’s life, we would find that though he was a talented king, he stopped obeying God early on. He became selfish and evil. We just read that God told the prophet Samuel he would remove Saul from being the first king of Israel and replace him with a man after his own heart. And we all know because of what the Bible says, and a very common statement- that David was this man after God’s heart. Amen?
When you get a chance on your own, read first Samuel chapters 13, 14 and 15, just so you know what was going on. Saul was King at this time but made many stupid mistakes. Saul’s first mistake was that he was very successful and the successes went to his head. As even with us today, humility gave place to pride. He offered sacrifices which was only for the priesthood at that time to do. Then he had a silly order for the Army to abstain from food, and you’ll find that in chapter 14. You will also see where he tried to have his son Jonathan and his armor bearer foolishly killed, and that is when Saul decided to be a fool to the people.
When we turn to chapter 15, we find that Saul's final mistake is that he deliberately disobeyed God because of this final act. You can read that on your own. Saul was told, "Because you have rejected God, God has rejected you from being king."
Let’s get back to chapter 16. We read that David was anointed. But that anointing could not have been done openly, because at that time Saul would definitely have killed David. And I think the whole purpose was to give David a chance to train himself for the office that he would take and we see in verse 13, that God took David into his care.
I love how we can go to Scripture and find that when God had a plan, that plan was carried out. So many times when we look at the situations that are going on throughout the Bible we might think it is impossible. Yet we know that when God speaks He speaks in faith and with God all things are possible and what He says is done. Praise the Lord!!!
We go back to verse two and we see where Samuel starts questioning God. Samuel says, "How can I go? Saul would hear then he would kill me." God tells Samuel to "Take a heifer with thee and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.'"
1Sa 16:4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
1Sa 16:5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
Notice in verse four it said that the elders trembled at his coming. I think what was happening is, when the elders saw Jesse...and Jesse being an older man, is.... I’m not sure what the dress was back then, but maybe he was wearing clothing that a prophet would have worn back then, but they were afraid. They probably thought he was bringing some kind of word from God of judgment for their sins. They asked Samuel, "Do you come in peace?"
Now we get to where Samuel meets Jesse’s sons. Eliab, who was Jesse’s first son, was the one that Samuel thought that God would choose to be king. Then we find in verse seven, 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 see if not as man see if; for man look at on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.
I wonder how often we do that. How many times do we see somebody who might be applying for a job, or even somebody who signed up for a sport in school when we look at their outward appearance? I think this happens often. In fact too often. How many times in churches does a family come in and they might not be dressed with suits and ties all neatly pressed or a young lady wearing a nice pretty dress with a pretty bow in their hair and they are automatically shunned? I’ve seen it happen, so I know it does. How many times ones come into the church who might not have had a bath for weeks or maybe months and nobody wants anything to do with them? Too often. Yet here we are supposed to have the compassion of Christ. The mirrored image of Christ, who could reach out and put His hands on a leper whose skin was oozing, stinking and rotting and was highly contagious. Oh but Brother Jim, Jesus was God in flesh. Amen!! Yes He was, Praise the Lord. Halleluiah!! And your point? Keep your place in 1st Samuel, but turn to John 14 and 11.
Jesus said in John 14:11-13 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. (12) Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. (13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Mark 16:16-18 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. (17) And these signs shall accompany them that believe: body is, Who? In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Yet we are afraid to get near them? Where is our faith? Church, am I painting a picture? Now, this might not be happening in the church you belong to within the congregation that you belong to, but I guarantee you it is in many.
Let's look at David's appearance. David was a short man and he had a fair complexion. He was said to have been handsome. He had immense physical strength and a great personal attractiveness. He was a man of war. Prudent in speech, very brave, musical and said to be religious. That word religious really bothers me.
We also find in chapter 16 that his fame as a musician was noticed by King Saul. We also find that King Saul at the time didn’t realize that David had been anointed as his successor even before David became Saul’s armor bearer. Can we see how God was working within David’s life? Keeping Him close to King Saul and all the higher-ups? This was all part of God’s way of training David will for his responsibilities when he would become King.
Let’s turn to chapter 17 in first Samuel. Friends, what I want to show here is that David did put his trust in God. Many times throughout the Old Testament you’ll find there were many battles with the Philistines. And we will also find that after many years David was not just a child. His appearance changed and Saul didn’t even recognize him.
And here we are at Socoh we had the Philistines gathered to battle. Saul and his men of Israel at Elah. Here comes Goliath. We all know the story, yes? Here comes this 6’9" giant with heavy armor protecting almost every part of him. And Goliath yells to (Brother Jim’s translation) God’s chosen people, "Send your best warrior to fight with me one on one. If he can kill big old me, haha. The Philistines will be your servants. Now we know that can’t happen because I am the biggest badest dude around. Now, if I kill your best warrior and you know I will, then you will serve us. So I guess, you can try to kill me, but for us bad guys, it’s a win, win situation."
Church, catch this. I added my words there for a reason. Israel has and always will be God’s chosen people. Throughout the Bible that has been. Amen? But what do we see in verse 11? And Saul and all of Israel heard those words of Goliath, and they were afraid. My Bible tells me that fear does not come from God. What about yours? Fear is a spirit that comes from that crooked, legged, slimy, slithering Satan.
Verse 17. Here we find Jesse, David’s dad sends David to this place where the Israelites and Philistines have been feuding for 40 days, to give his brothers a half-bushel of this roasted grain and ten loaves of bread. Verse 18 He also sent ten cheeses to the commanding officer and told David to find out how his brothers were doing an to bring back some kind of evidence that they were well.
Skip down to verse 25. I love this and it shows where David’s heart really was. And here we find the Israelites scared because it is seen Goliath is listening to his threats and they’ve heard King Saul’s promises that the one who kills this giant would receive a giant reward, will be promised Saul’s daughter in marriage, and also that his father’s family would not have to pay taxes. But I love this next verse. David asked the men who were near, "What happens with a man who kills this Philistine and frees Israel from this disgrace?" Then David gets even bolder and he says after all who is this heathen Philistine to defy the Army of the Living God.
Church do we catch this? We have heard hardly nothing from David and right here he’s talking about the true living God. Then go a little further. Now we see his brother putting him down, then we have the soldiers telling king Saul what David had said, then David and Saul meet. Catch this verse 32 David says to the King no one should be afraid of this Philistine. I will go and fight him. And here we go with the stature again. Saul says you’re just a boy. This giant has been a soldier all his life. Then David tells Saul his testimonies about rescuing lambs that have been taken away by bears and lions and how he kills these animals and rescues the lamb. Here is where David’s faith is. David tells Saul, "I have killed lions and bears and I will do the same to this heathen Philistine who has defiled the Army of the living God."
Catch this church. Tell me you can’t see were David’s heart is. Let’s see where his faith is. The Lord has saved me from lions and bears and he will save me from this Philistine. So when Saul agrees to this he gives David his own armor and bronze helmet to wear. David will soon, unknowingly to Saul, takeover his position as king. Look what happens. David is used to carrying all this weight. He’s a shepherd boy. This next part really shows what God does when you put your trust in Him. David strips off all this heavy metal and picks up what he is used to, his shepherd stick and five smooth stones and goes out to meet this giant.
Now let’s look at Goliath’s response. When Goliath gets close enough to see David, the king James says that he disdained him for he was but a youth, and ruddy and of a fair countenance. The good news Bible says and when he got a good look at David he was filled with scorn for him because he was just a nice, good looking boy. We read earlier that when Samuel went to see Jesse to find the one that God would make king, we know that God had already anointed David. This reminds me of when I used to tease a pastor a few years back, I knew I would always hear, "Don’t mess with God’s anointed."
Now I want you to think about these next verses. Some of you who are out there sharing God’s word, whether it be in school, work, home, or even out in your community, have any of you gotten a tongue lashing from those who don’t believe in Jesus?
1Samuel 17:43-46 The Philistine asked David, “Am I a dog that you come to attack me with sticks?” So the Philistine called on his gods to curse David. (44) “Come on,” the Philistine told David, “and I’ll give your body to the birds.” (45) David told the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Armies, the God of the army of Israel, whom you have insulted. (46) Today the LORD will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. And this day I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that Israel has a God.
Again my friends, where is David putting his faith? Friends, this is where you and I need to be. When these storms come, whatever they may be, we have God’s word that tells us what we need to believe. The Bible tells us what we need to put our faith in during the good times and during the bad. And what about praising God? What we read especially from the book of Psalms, David praised God all the time. A man after God’s own heart. And that is what is so great about reading about this great man. Trials? Did David have trials? You bet he did. And we will look into some of those trials next week. But we will also look at how God’s anointed king overcame those trials because of his trust in God.
1Samuel 17:47 Then everyone gathered here will know that the LORD can save without sword or spear, because the LORD determines every battle’s outcome. He will hand all of you over to us.
What faith this David has. Here this young man, this young shepherd, up against this fierce giant. What faith. What trust in an all-knowing, all-powerful, invisible God.
We all know that Goliath was hit in the head with one small stone and fell to the ground where David beheaded him.
Brothers and sisters, the battle is God’s battle. Amen? If our confidence is purely in the power of God, rather than in any armor or sufficiency of our own, we may be certain the world’s utmost might cannot withstand. Friends, God resists the proud and pours contempt upon those who bid defiance to His people, humiliating them by a defeat with the meanest of instruments.
David was annointed to be king and then this soon to be king defeats this boastful champion whom he overcomes in the name of God. When Jesus comes as Lord of Hosts, the anti-Christ will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Amen? The day of the Lord.
So I ask you my friends, what will you do when you face that giant? Or like last week, when those storms come. Will you hide? We lay down and the swept away by the storm, or crushed by the giant? Or will you stand in faith in the all powerful God who loves you and cares for you and who will protect you? Storms are going to come. There will be Giants that we will face.
Message delivered 2/2/14
Good morning my friends and family and welcome to part two of this message overcoming situations that we may go through. We will be basing this message around Mark chapter 4, if you want to please turn there.
I have heard so many people this week giving the devil so much credit for things going on in this world and in their lives. I think we give that slime-bag too much credit. We have choices, and sometimes our free-will choices get us into trouble. When we know what God’s Word says and we purposely go about things that we should or should not do according to what it says, how can we blame the enemy for that? Not that I want to brag any of his doings up, or try to convince you to let up your guard when it comes to Satan.
Let's look at some other situations that we might need to overcome. Amen? I feel with all my being that things are going to change drastically here in the US and it is going to happen so very soon. I have had many conversations this week from those who say that gay life-style is okay and who cares that our children and grandchildren are going to be taught that it is okay for Tom to marry Bruce, or Cindy is marrying Mary. That it is okay to murder babies. It is okay to smoke weed in many states, (catch this) for recreational purposes. Wow!!!
As I said last week, God is in control, but when we look at the things that will happen in the last days, it isn’t pretty. Now I am not trying to scare people into thinking that tomorrow will be the battle of Armageddon, but we do need to prepare ourselves. We need to prepare our hearts and learn how to overcome some of the storms that we may have going on in our lives and those about to come. I believe this message is from the Lord and if we get this into our hearts and act on it, it will make a big difference in your life. Where I am trying to go with all these messages is to build our faith. Amen?
This week I want to look at storms that may keep you from God’s promises, blessings, and maybe even your destiny. Have I got everyone’s attention now? Please turn to the book of Mark, chapter 4.
Mark 4:35-41 KJV And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. (36) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. (37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? (39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
How many off you have been through a major storm in your life? Do you remember how that storm ended? Maybe it is still going on today. We are going to look at many verses that I hope prepares each of us when those storms come.
I want you to know that Satan hates you. He hates your spouse, your children, grandchildren, finances, home, and everything that you have. He wants to destroy everything you have including you life. Satan will do everything he can to steer you away from God’s promises. Does everyone get that? That is the Gospel truth my friends, and I could show you these facts starting from Genesis all the way through. The enemy hates everything about you.
Let's get back to these verses. Notice the disciples were obeying the Lord and yet they were in a storm. Jesus said, "Let’s cross over to the other side,” and they gladly and promptly obeyed. They were doing what the Lord had requested, and they were in a storm. Just because you are experiencing a storm in your life doesn't mean you are somehow out of the will of God. If that was true, the Apostle Paul never was in the will of God, because he experienced storm after storm. Amen? Do we all have a remembrance of some of the things Paul went through? You can be doing exactly what God told you to do and it can seem like everything is going wrong and everything is against you. The circumstances that attack you from every direction, or the winds and waves that come into your life are not a sign that you are out of the will or the plan of God.
We read that a great windstorm arose. It literally means a furious gale. It was not a normal storm that they were in. Some of Jesus' disciples were fishermen who had spent their lives on the Sea of Galilee. They were certain they were going to die. It was beyond their skill or ability to handle. I have used this story so many times because it is a life lesson for all of us. What did the King of kings say to them before they got into the boat? He did not say, "Let’s go halfway across the lake and sink." He said, "Let us pass over to the other side." That was the word of the Lord to them. When God gives us a promise, it's never at the mercy of a storm. Friends, I struggle with this at at times. Storms or awful circumstances cannot overpower the potential of His promises. When God gives a promise, it is, Let’s pass over from lack into ample supply, from sickness into health, and from instability into stability and soundness. Amen? Amen!! Glory to God!
God’s word to you will always be challenged. Between receiving a promise from God and the fulfillment of that promise, there are usually storms. The Holy Spirit may have spoken something to your heart at some time or another, or a promise from the Word had come alive to you. Your heart was encouraged, and then you found yourself in a storm. That is normal. Been there!! And I will be there again and so will you.
Jesus was tired. Before this, He had been dealing with the multitudes for some time. How many times does the Bible say he was being thronged? How many times does it say that there were great multitudes of people? That is thousands of people wanting Jesus and wanting healing. Wanting to be near the Messiah. Wanting to see miracles, because that is how we are. Amen? They had been crowding around Him and pressing Him. Finally Jesus and the disciples had gotten away from the multitudes for a bit.
Church, picture this..... Jesus was tired. He fell asleep on a cushion in the back of a boat. He was not awakened by the storm. The waves, pounding against the side of their boat, lifting them up, and crashing them down and it did not wake Him up. The howling winds and the creaking timbers did not awaken Him. As soon as they touched Him and said, "Teacher", He was aroused. It shows you something of the heart of the Lord. It is like a mother. She can sleep through noisy traffic sounds and train wrecks; but the moment her baby sighs, she is aroused. For the mothers hearing this, or reading, do you get this? Some dads, too? Jesus said in Luke 13:34 KJV O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! The Lord not only has the heart of a father, He also has the heart of a mother. He does hear your cry, and He does know what is going on with you. Praise Jesus! Do we understand this my friends?
Jesus arose, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still". In the Greek language what He said was, "Shut up and be nuzzled". I can't imagine Jesus getting angry at the wind, but when you study that phrase and those words, it is the exact same statement Jesus would make to demons.
I think it is a revelation as to the source of the storm. The Bible refers in one place to our adversary, the devil, as the prince of the power of the air. In the Book of Job, a great storm came and caused the house to cave in and all of Job’s children were killed, and raiders came and stole his wealth and killed his servants. We read in the beginning of the Book of Job that Satan was behind it all. We read this last week.
Here in Mark, Jesus was angry because of the source of the storm, and He rebuked the wind as He would a demon. Then He turned, and to me it was like He scolded His disciples, asking, "Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?" It may be easier for God to calm a storm on the sea than it is for Him to calm a storm in a person’s soul. I think God has a far greater challenge with us in our interior worlds than He does dealing with the elements of the exterior world.
We read in verse 41 that they feared exceedingly. Literally, they feared with a great fear. That fear was not produced by the storm, but by the calm. They only greatly feared after the storm ceased, and they said, "Who can this be? Even the elements obey Him". They asked, "Lord, aren’t You concerned?" He was not. He knew they would get to the other side. When they said, "Teacher, don’t You care? Aren’t You concerned?" It was not a request for help. They were actually astonished that He was able to stop the storm. They did not know at this point that He could do things like that. Then suddenly He rebuked the wind and the waves stopped.
Here is what we all need to understand. When God has given you a promise that you will pass over to the other side (whatever the promise is), you may go through a storm. The enemy may send all things against you. He may stir up the elements, circumstances, the evil hearts of men and women, or the passions of the world to stop the promises and plans God has given you. Be encouraged, my friends. They cannot stop the program of God. They cannot nullify the promise of God. It doesn't matter what happens. When these hearts of ours get all panicky, we need to remember that. That was why Jesus reproved the disciples and asked, "Why are you so fearful? Why don’t you have any faith?" We need to remember, even in the midst of a storm, who gave us the promise and who is in our boat.
Jesus was the Son of God, yet by choice He had become Himself to a body of flesh. The Book of Philippians says that He emptied Himself of His divine rights and privileges and was found in the fashion of a man. Friends, this is so good. In your boat with you, you have the One that rolls the heavens out like a scroll and measures it with the palm of His hand, and He calls the stars by name. He measures the dust of the hills in His balance. He is the Creator of heaven and earth, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is the One who parts the Red Sea and causes water to come out of a rock to quench the thirst of millions. He is the Prince of peace, the everlasting Father, the King of glory, and the captain of our salvation. He is the One who defeated principalities and powers, triumphing over them through the cross. He is the One who poured out His own precious blood on the cross and was raised from the dead on the third day, who ascended into heaven, and who sat down at the right hand of God on high. He is the Savior, the Healer, and the Deliverer. He is the Son of the living God. Glory be to Jesus!! Praise His Holy name.
The disciples had Jesus in their boat as a man. We have Him in our boat as the Savior of the world. The next time your little heart wants to panic in the middle of the storm, you need to say, "Wait a minute. Who told me I was going over to the other side? Who is in this boat? Who is it that lives in me and dwells in me by His Spirit? I am not going to go halfway and sink. Jesus is along for the ride and He is faithful. Praise You Jesus!!!"
The disciples asked, "Who can this be?" I think that is so important for us to grasp. The more we get to know who Jesus is, the more our hearts will come to rest, and the less we will be inclined to panic in times of stress and difficulties. Draw close to the Savior. Find out who He is through prayer, reading His Word, and getting to know others who love Him. As you become acquainted with this wonderful Savior, who laid down His life for us and was raised from death, and who is going to return to bring us home. Friends, as we continue to dig into His Word and persistently be in prayer, you will find you will increase in faith.
Please turn to John 6:16-21 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat and they were afraid. But He said to them, It is I, do not be afraid. Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
Perhaps things are dark for you. You are in the middle of a storm, and you are thinking, "Where are You, Lord?" Anyone been there? They had rowed for three to four miles. I have been there before. In fact, thinking back, often. We need to realize there are some storms that we cannot row our way out of. We cannot escape them through human effort. I have found when I try to rely on myself to overvcome sitiuations, I fail. In fact I usually fail miserably. Trusting others in some situations, again, not always a good choice.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.
Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
Here is where I try to teach people that we don’t have to accept bad news that we may receive. Leanna has a testimony that proves this. There are times when no amount of human intelligence, understanding, or skill can help you, such as when the doctor says, "Nothing more can be done. Get your house in order. There is no hope." Perhaps your financial advisers have said, “You are done. It's over." The circumstances scream out. Your flesh may even scream out. Things will never, ever change for you. You have been rowing and rowing, doing everything you can, and fighting against the wind and it seems like you are getting nowhere.
Jesus says He will never leave us nor forsake us. Friends, Jesus loves you. He wants what is best for you. He wants us to make right choices and is willing to guide us if we heed His voice.
We read in John 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land. If we want divine help, we must willingly receive it. We have to get to the place where we admit that merely rowing in our own strength is not enough, we need to invite the Lord into our boat, and we need to receive help from God. Amen?
Apostle Paul shared his struggles and his difficulties. 2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.
Paul was saying that he did not have the wisdom or strength to cope with the difficulties. He despaired even of life.
1 Corinthians 1:9-10 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.
They put their trust in God.
2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul writes his thoughts behind many of the difficulties that he experienced. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the truths God shared with Paul, which became our New Testament. The message of salvation by grace, through faith, and not of works lest any man should boast.
Paul was planting churches and sharing the good news about Jesus Christ. People wanted to kill him, he got shipwrecked, he was beaten with rods, he was harassed and many other things came against him. The thorn in his side.
Mark 11:22 Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God. Faith is not faith in a principle, faith in yourself, or faith in faith. It is about faith in God. Only God is the One that can make things happen. :23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Friends, the mountain represents a difficulty in your life that you cannot cope with on your own. It is too high to climb and too wide to go around it. God is the One who removes it, but we need to do our part in order for God to do His part. Faith has to do with cooperation with God.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” When you pray, believe you receive, and you will have. How many people are at the point in their lives who say, "When I have it, then I will believe I received it." Jesus says you have to believe you receive it, and then God will see that you have it. The Amplified Bible says, Believe it’s been granted to you when you pray, and you’ll get it.
Hebrews 11:1 So faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Things may not look different, but that does not have anything to do with it. This is about faith in God, the evidence of things not seen. I receive when I pray, and He will see that I get it.
Perhaps it's time for you to stop rowing and time to start receiving. Whatever your mountain is, it may be with your health, your kids, your marriage, your finances, oppression, a situation at work, or something else. God knows, and He cares. Remember, Jesus got a little bit angry because He knew the source of the storm. The Apostle Paul talked about the source behind many of his difficulties. Jesus was harsh when He dealt with it. Why don’t you speak to that mountain and tell it to be moved right now? Admit you can't row yourself out of this one. Invite Jesus into your boat. Talk to Him, and receive some help from God right now. Receive His help by faith. Believe it’s granted to you. You will see it. God is faithful. Amen?
Friends, family, those who may read or hear this at another time, I love you and I want to see storms that may be going on in your life to be calmed. Let's be encouragement to one another. Let’s pray for one another.Amen?