Good morning friends and I am so happy to have you as part of this message today. I hope last week we learned from the message about being a blessing to others, praying blessings over family members and friends. To not speak curses over others. I know chatting with Tim, he said that he has been working on name calling. It's amazing how when we ask God to search our hearts, He will reveal things to us and then we need to work on those things. Amen? Praise God.
This week I want to go a bit deeper. I will try hard to share this in a manner that we all can understand what God wants us to know. Friends, this is so important for us to understand for our lives and for everyone we meet. Praise Jesus!!
I want to first look into what is the will of God. Anyone want to share their thoughts? Where do we find what the will of God is for each of our lives? We are going to start by turning to some verses we looked at last week. Please turn to Jesus' words in John 6:38-40. I hear often that everything that happens is the will of God. What about you? Do you think everything that happens in your life, lives around you, or in the world is the will of God? It's not, and we will look at some verses that will show this as we go along through scripture today. Praise God! Mark your place in John 6:38 and turn back a few chapters to John 3:3.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
We see here from this one verse that most likely not everyone is going to go to Heaven. We see this, yes?
John 6:38-40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
I did a Google search and did you know that an estimated 2,600 people die here in the US every day? There are close to 150,000 deaths in the world every day. Now, for those who might think that everything that happens must be God's will, think about all these that die every day. And Jesus said in Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at.
How many choose to go the wide gate and broad way? I know I used the word choose, but in many cases, that's what happened. Brother Jim, you are way out of line using that statement. Am I? Let me ask you this question. For those who have carried out the wish of Jesus to share the gospel with the world, how many rejections have you had? How many new cults are rising up every day and drawing thousands in? Here is one that many of you might shake your head at in disbelief. Did you realize that there are many selling their souls to the devil and leaving Christianity to follow the Muslim faith? My mouth probably dropped when I first heard that too, but it's true. They choose the wide way to destruction. How many people can you think of in the next few moments that confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior, yet live more and more like the world? Seriously, think about that statement, yet in the next verse, Jesus said this. Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Yes, I know that there are those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus, and Praise God that's changing every day. Bibles are being brought to places that have never heard of it. I was so blessed in the past couple days to listen to a video series of the Passion event held in Houston, Texas where I heard a testimony of a young lady that converted from Islam to Christianity, and until she was arrested and sent out of Iran, she was sharing the Word of God and there was many conversions. At the Passion 2014 event there was a collection taken and many Bibles are to be sent there, and I pray that God's Army will be also sent to share the love of Christ.
In this time of hatred in that nation, it is very dangerous for any Christian to be sharing their faith. But..... was it not dangerous for Jesus? What about the disciples after Jesus? Praise the Almighty God. I know for a fact that my conversations are being listened to. I'm sure the sites that Leanna and I own are being watched. I'm ready. I know where my faith is, and I pray that you all do, too. I am way off of where I thought today's message was going, but I guess this needed to be heard. Praise God.
Back to the will of God. Please turn to Romans 12:2. About 150,000 people die in this world everyday, and most likely most will not go to heaven, according to Mathew 7:13. Do you think that's God's will? I don't. Or better yet, that everything happens for a reason? This one gets me too.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
So after reading this scripture, is everything that happens the will of God? Let me ask you this. Last week, I said we were driving down the road and a car pulls out in front of you and many would yell out, "You idiot!" and most said that they had done that before. Remember? Yet scriptures that we looked at said we are going to be held accountable for every idle word we speak. Amen? Was that God's will when we shouted out those words? By the way, yelling out you idiot to someone is a curse. That's right, you and I were cursing someone when we did that.
Turn to Thessalonians 5: 18, please. How many of you would say you are thankful? Anyone? How many of you are thankful in all things to God?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Friends, do we see this? When we read our Bibles, we see what is God's perfect will for you and me. When you get a chance, read this whole chapter.
Go back a chapter to 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 GNB For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. (3) God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality. (4) Each of you should know how to live with your wife in a holy and honorable way, (5) not with a lustful desire, like the heathen who do not know God. (6) In this matter, then, none of you should do wrong to other Christians or take advantage of them. We have told you this before, and we strongly warned you that the Lord will punish those who do that. (7) God did not call us to live in immorality, but in holiness. (8) So then, whoever rejects this teaching is not rejecting a human being, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
How much of these things do we see in the modern day church? There are those who say they don't know what the perfect will of God is, but I shared just a few verses.
Hebrews 13:20 GNB God has raised from death our Lord Jesus, who is the Great Shepherd of the sheep as the result of his blood, by which the eternal covenant is sealed. May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do his will, and may he, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases him. And to Christ be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
So my friends, what is the will of God for our lives? How do we find the will of God? Why would we need to take Romans 12:2 serious, if everything that happens is the will of God? Why would we need to transform our minds and not be conformed to this world?
Church, are there things happening in this world that are not the will of God? Of course. From scriptures we just looked at such as: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Do we hear everyone thanking God for what He has done in our lives? No! In fact do we hear a lot of griping? I do. Is that giving thanks to God? No again. We read that fornicating and adultery shouldn't be happening. Is that the will of God? No, no, no. So how can people get off by saying that everything that happens is the will of God? My dear friends, this is not just worldly people, but is going on in the church today.
Please turn to Ephesians 5: 17. Friends, how do you find out what the will of God is in your life?
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
So my friends, here we see we are supposed to know and search the will of God. There are those who would argue this with me, but what scripture can they use? What I mean is this. I claim that I trust in every word in this Holy book. I believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He is not a respecter of persons. So to have a believer argue these things I've mentioned this morning, they have to show me scripture showing me like wise. I have shown just a few verses showing us some of what is God's will and that we're supposed to seek the will of God and understand it. Amen?
Eph 5:17 GW So don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord wants.
Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." Amen? Jesus is our example. But brother Jim, He isn't here for me to talk to, or watch. Well, my friend, you are part right. He is here. You can ask Him the desires of your heart. You can read from His Word. Amen? Jesus is the Word made flesh. Praise God. This probably sounds very simple to most of you, but there are many thay say they are searching for the will of God and won't go to the scriptures to find what the will of God is.
I have a question for you. Have you had others that when you are discussing the Bible with them, and you show them what it says about a particular verse and they say, "Well, I'll believe what I want to believe." Sounds like how many churches split. Have you heard this? You and I need to believe and stick to what the Bible says. If we believe something different, we are not Christ like.
Friends, just like those who are living a gay lifestyle and saying they are a Christian (I know the hate mail will start flowing in now). According to what scripture can they make this claim? Prove it by the Bible and I will look at it. I can show many, many verses where God says it is an abomination. Now if those left that type of lifestyle, profess Jesus as Lord and Savior and repent of that sin, that is totally different. Praise God.
I hear people say they were saved because they were baptized when they were 3 years old. Oh really? Never a mention of admitting that they were a sinner and praying to God and asking Jesus into their hearts, but that they were baptized. Please turn to Matthew 3:6. What does the Bible say about being saved? Is it important? You bet it is. Just before Jesus started His ministry on earth, we see John the Baptist fulfilling prophecy by preparing the way.
Mat 3:6 KJV And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Notice confessing their sins? Please turn to Matthew 28: 16-28 and we'll get ready to close. To know the will of the Father. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, these are the words He spoke.
Mat 28:16-20 KJV Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. (17) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Friends, if you want to know the will of God, you need to be in the Word. Let's all turn to Mark 16:14- 20 and we'll finish.
Mar 16:14-20 KJV Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (20) And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Acts 3:19 says: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Praise the Lord. This is not what I thought I was supposed to share with you today, but God knows, and there must have been someone who needed to hear this for the first time, or be reminded. We all need reminders at times. Praise the Lord.
Good morning friends. So many ideas have gone through my head on what to teach on today. Things like more on the power of our words, or a message about witnessing. I think about some posts that are filled with hate and negativity on some of the other sites I have visited this week and wonder if I should share blessings and curses. The more I have thought and prayed on this, the more at ease I feel about looking at scriptures talking about false teachers. Oh brother Jim, that means you are going to start bashing my favorite TV preacher. Not at all.
I hope you all stay with me during this teaching, as I think there will be many things that might open your eyes and also how we should react to certain things. It is easy in the natural to start cursing things that are against what we have been taught and even the things that don't line up with the Bible. I am not talking about cursing as using swear words, although I have seen that amongst those who claim to be Christians, too.
In the past few weeks, we have been looking at the things we should say or shouldn't say. I want to start today by looking at scriptures telling how we should be watchful of things being taught. For those who are in their bibles on a daily basis and start tuning in to some of these television pastors, it doesn't take long before the red flags start popping up, but should we start bad-mouthing them? No, and we will look at that in a moment.
Are we excited to get started in God's word today? I'm sure I have the attention of some, but there may be others who are a little reluctant because of who they may be listening to during the week. I do hope that you will hear, or read this message all the way through.
Please turn in your Bibles to 2nd Timothy chapter 4 and we will start with verse 1.
This letter to Timothy was sent while Paul had been re-arrested for a makeshift crime. I mentioned this in a study some time ago, but to give you a clearer picture of what was happening, it is worth mentioning again. In the year 64 AD there was a fire that destroyed most of Rome. At that time there was an emperor called Nero and was said to be a inhuman brute. Nero was thought to be the one that started the fire to destroy everything so he could rebuild it and build the best city he could. Christians were blamed for this and were killed in the harshest of ways. Some were crucified. Others were wrapped in animal skins and thrown in a arenas to be mauled to death by dogs or eaten by wild beasts for the citizens to be amused. Some were tied to posts and had pitch poured over them and set on fire to light Nero's gardens. Apostle Paul was one who was blamed for this, yet he never looses faith. Let's read.
2 Timothy 4:1-8 I testify before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, (2) proclaim the word; be urgent in season and out of season, convict, rebuke, encourage, with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; (4) and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables. (5) But *thou*, be sober in all things, bear evils, do the work of an evangelist, fill up the full measure of thy ministry. (6) For *I* am already being poured out, and the time of my release is come. (7) I have combated the good combat, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) Henceforth the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will render to me in that day; but not only to me, but also to all who love his appearing.
The word crown is a symbol of reward in the New Testament. Here is a special reward promised to those who love the truth of Christ’s second coming and work and long for it. Friends, I pray that is you and me. Are we being hearers of God's truth and being doers?
We see in this chapter that Paul is begging Timothy to hold on to God's truths and to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Friends, Paul's time was short, but he didn't give up fighting the good fight. He was warning Timothy of false teachers that would come. Today the church is warned and we see them behind the pulpits, but we either start finger pointing and speaking hateful things towards them, or we turn a blind eye, like everything else.
All eyes and ears are on me now and some are swallowing hard. Mrs. Smith, I think I just heard your sewing needle fall on the floor. It's right there by the chair leg in front of you. Your welcome, Mrs. Smith.
Let's now turn to Acts 20 verse 28. Say Amen when you all get there.
Acts 20:28-32 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, wherein the Holy Spirit has set you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God, which he has purchased with the blood of his own. (29) For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock; (30) and from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them. (31) Wherefore watch, remembering that for three years, night and day, I ceased not admonishing each one of you with tears. (32) And now I commit you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give to you an inheritance among all the sanctified.
Friends, this is talking about many pastors out there. And what did verse 29 say? For *I* know this, that there will come in amongst you after my departure grievous wolves, not sparing the flock;
Jesus said this in Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:24-25 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (25) Behold, I have told you before.
Church, do we see this? They have been around for a while and there is a bunch now and yet thousands and millions are lured in and thinking they are part of the greatest thing since sliced bread.
At some point, I would like to do a study on all the denominations and how they came about and compare it to what the bible says and so on, but that would be a lengthy process and probably a series that I don't think many would even care to listen too. The point I want to get across to everyone is this. There are many preaching as we read earlier from Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3 and 4. For the time shall be when they will not bear sound teaching; but according to their own lusts will heap up to themselves teachers, having an itching ear; (4) and they will turn away their ear from the truth, and will have turned aside to fables.
I have witnessed some of these teachings and some of these false new age goings on. Just this past week, I had a pastor call me and asked what I knew about a certain individual. I shared some things, but told him that he is in my prayers. He then shared some horrible things that this man had said about a few pastors that you and I can see on a daily basis on TV. Within that story the pastor shared with this man that we should not be condemning these people, but speaking blessings over them. Do we remember from the last few weeks what it means to speak blessings over someone?
When we say God bless you, or speak blessings over someone's life. We are saying " I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness." Praise God!!
Now I want to share some things that many have probably never heard before. I am going to give you an example of what probably all of us have done. Ready? You're driving down the road and a car pulls out in front of you. What is your first reaction? Lay on the horn and scream out, "You idiot!!" Been there? I'm guilty. Come on, raise your hand, you know you've done it. Here is another one and I have heard many others do the same thing and I thought we were doing the right thing. You have a bar, tattoo parlor or something like that moves into your community. Anyone know where I am going with this? I had been taught to curse it and tell it to dry up at the root in Jesus' name. Been there before? Anyone? Did you know that is not the right thing to do?
What did we look at before? I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness. That my friends is what we should be saying. We should be speaking blessings over them. I know it sounds unusual, but let me ask you this. The man, or woman that just pulled out in front of you as you were driving. Remember that? The one you just called an idiot? Who made that person? I know his or her mom and dad, but who created that person you just called and idiot? That's right, God. God, who God loved so much that He sent His One and only Son to die on a old rugged cross so that they may have eternal life. God wishes no man perish, including that person you just cursed, calling him, or her an idiot, or worse. Have I raised an eyebrow yet?
Let's look at the definition of idiot, shall we?
1: usually offensive: a person affected with extreme mental retardation
2: a foolish or stupid person
Let's look at some of the synonyms: fool, ass, halfwit, dunce, moron, imbecile, simpleton
Actually, if you study the word idiot out, it is a person so mentally retarded that within some states they were just now allowed to be able to have some privileges. That is the person who is highly educated with a collage degree, that probably is on lunch break, or going home after working a very long day and just happened to not be paying attention for that split second. Now if you were just spoken to, because that is words you use when someone makes a mistake, remember I may have pointed out something you do, or have done, but I have 3 fingers pointing back at me. I have been there.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Are our ears and eyes open? My friends, what we should be saying is something like this to that one who just made that mistake and pulled out in front of us. "Lord, I deliver this man or woman into Your hands. Lord, that the knowledge of the Savoir of the world would enter into this person and that he or she would be the spouse and parent You chose this person to be. That You would pour out blessings into the life of this individual. That he or she will fulfill the calling You have purposed for them. In Jesus name. Amen.
Sounds strange, doesn't it? Please turn to Romans 4:16. I am getting so excited. I have waited for some time to share these things with you. I know I have hinted about them for a few weeks, but now we can touch on some of them. Praise God!!!
Romans 4:16-17 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (17) (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Friends, do we catch what is said here? Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him. Here he and Sarah were in their 90's and God had said that they would have children and Abraham clung to that promise. Faith, my friends. Faith is the important key. Without faith we cannot please God.
Turn, please to Hebrews 11:1. It's the great faith chapter. Praise God!! Say, "I have faith" when you get there.
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Friends, when we get a revelation of this nugget, when we stop cursing others and ourselves, the enemy can't touch us. Our finances get better, our health improves, our relationship with God gets stronger. Our marriages and family come together as a family that God had purposed. Who doesn't want these things? Halleluiah. Glory to God. Do you see why I'm so excited? And most have probably never heard of these principles.
Okay, let's do to the tattoo parlor, or the piercing place, whatever they call them. I heard a pastor give testimony of how he would drive by and curse that place at the root and command it to dry up and close down. Many do the same with bars that might spring up in our neighborhoods. This pastor said that the Lord told him to stop cursing and to speak blessings over it. This pastor was cursing the individuals that had this place. He was told that it is not God's will that any man perish, but come to the saving knowledge of the Son of God. Glory to God.
To make this story shorter, he started speaking blessings, and within weeks it closed. Friends, this is much like the yellow book that I have been sharing with others. Praying effectively for the lost. When we learn key knowledge on how God wants us to do things and act upon them, things change. Remember the verses we have looked at often throughout the year that Jesus said about our words?
Matthew 12:36-37 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, Blessings and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Curses.
I have been doing a search on this word bless and wow, friends. It is a powerful word and when we get an understanding of how to use it and why, our lives and those around us could change forever. Praise God.
Bless, blessed and blessing is used 384 times and in 341 verses. There are many Hebrews and Greek words we could look at, but we are going to narrow it down to just two or three.
A primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration)
to praise, celebrate with praises
to invoke blessings
to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers
to ask God's blessing on a thing
pray God to bless it to one's use
Through the Old Testament, Abraham and others who were the leaders would "bless" a chosen son, who would then receive the control over the tribe. I'm sure there are many different types of blessings throughout the Bible. Now, in the New Testament days, those of us who are saved have the spiritual right to pray a blessing over people, homes, items, etc... Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ honors these prayers from you and me, His saints, and empowers the blessing to be active.
Friends, when we speak blessings over someone, a place or thing, we are speaking a prophetic declaration. When we declare blessings over others it's not the things that they might be doing now, but we are speaking God's full intention over them of what He has planned over them. Oh friends, we need to get this. It will change our lives if we could start right now and put away the cursing like we are accustomed to. My brothers and sisters, we need to start seeing things as God sees them. We need to start speaking the things that God wants us to speak.
Please turn to John 6: 38. I hear this all the time. To do the will of God, or our Heavenly Father. What is God's will for me? I want to look at words Jesus spoke about the will God had for Him and us.
John 6:38-40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (39) And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
In closing, I want to look at one more passage please turn to John 14:6.
John 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (8) Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. (9) Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (11) 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 my Father. (13) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (14) If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (15) If ye love me, keep my commandments. (16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (17) Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (18) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (19) Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. (20) At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Halleluiah!! Jesus is the way—let us follow Him. Jesus is the truth.
Let us build with confidence upon the precious truths of His comforting promises. Jesus is the life. Let us learn to abide in Him, the source of spiritual life, until He comes back to receive us to the prepared mansions above. Praise God.
Friends, we did not even scratch the service of some awesome teachings that we will be looking into, but I hope your eyes have been opened to this teaching.
Friends, start speaking blessings over your children, grandchildren, spouse, mom and dad. Start speaking God's perfect plan for your life, your job, finances and health. Stop saying, "I might as well give up, I was not meant to be successful, I'm too old, too sick", and so on and so on.
Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Church, God made you. He does not make junk. He has an amazing purpose for you and me. Let's start praying God's intentions to be fulfilled in our lives and our families lives. In Jesus' name. Let's stop speaking things lower than God's intention in those lives. It hinders our prayers.
We are going to be reading from Luke 8:40-48 this morning. Today’s message is based from a Bible study that I did a several summers ago. God used it in a powerful way then, and I pray that again this morning He will do the same.
Do you all agree that God is a “wow” God? The true living God of the Bible is a wow God. He is an awesome God. We all, I’m sure have heard and most have sung “You Are Awesome In This Place, Mighty God”. He is an amazing God, and I know all of you know the song “Amazing Grace”. We sing about His amazing love and His amazing might and His amazing miracles. He can do what no one else can do. He can do the impossible.
God says of Himself in Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?
Do you have anything in your life that is difficult? Something facing you that is too difficult for you to handle on your own? I can assure you it’s not too difficult for God. It may seem impossible for you, but for God?
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Amen?
We believe this, right? Jesus is right here. Right here in this room. The Holy Spirit is in the room where you may be listening to this message or right in the room where you may be reading this at a later time. My friends, we are gathered here in the precious name of Jesus. Turn back a chapter to Matthew 18:18.
Matthew 18:18-20 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. :19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven. :20 For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.
These are His promises to us. We all need to get a revelation of this. Amen? I believe that this is going to touch someone’s heart here today. I believe that someone’s faith is going to be strengthened. Let's all I say, "I need a miracle." As we go through today’s message, I want all of us to be thinking of things that we need help with. What is it that you need our Savior to do in your life? What miracle can He do that He would be glorified by? Where are you putting your faith in Jesus today? What are you willing to let go of and say, "Jesus I give You this thing in my life today."
As I have been thinking about these scripture we are about to read, this is only one of the many miracles that Jesus performed in the Bible while He walked on this earth. I am sure there were countless more not recorded. I have been listening to a series “God’s Will to Heal” for some time now and in this sermon the pastor refers to the story of Jesus healing the man with leprosy. Luke 5:12-14 is a great story, and illustrates that it is God’s will to heal, even today. This story in Luke 8 has been nagging at me, if you will, for a couple of weeks. So in saying this, I am relying on God to help me pen this down to teach you and me what He wants us to learn.
Turn please to Luke 8:40. Jesus has just returned from Gadarenes, after casting out a legion of demons from a man. He is now in Galilee.
Luke 8:40-48 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for Him. :41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that he would come into his house: :42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. :43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, :44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. :45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? :46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. :47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. :48 And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
This is such a great story. What a faith building story. I found two discoveries in this and I feel if we can tap into them it will change our lives.
Discovery 1: Everyone encounters problems in life. Not one of us can say that we don’t have a problem in our life. Agreed? For the believer, the enemy throws stumbling blocks in our way to throw us off track and mess us up. Last week was one of those for me. You have problems, I have them, and Adam had them. We all face problems. Job, one of the Godliest men that lived had problems.
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
This woman with the issue of blood had her problems. And I am in hopes to show you a miracle within a miracle. This woman had one main problem that led her to have lots of other problems. Can we relate? She had the issue of blood, but it brought about many other issues. First of all, she had a long-term problem. Her issue had been for twelve years. Some or all of us can relate to long-term problems.
Another thing I just noticed, (and we know that God uses numbers) verses 41 and 42. 41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought Him that he would come into his house::42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. Did you notice? The woman had an issue of blood for 12 years and the daughter of Jairus was 12 years old.
Can you imagine this woman having this problem with blood for twelve years? Losing blood day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I am not familiar with woman things like that, but she had to be weak, sick and so sick and tired of being sick and weak and tired. She had a physically debilitating problem. Anyone here ever felt physically debilitated? To be totally worn out? She also had a shame problem. With me playing scriptures every night when I go to bed, I remembered hearing of God’s laws.
Leviticus 15:25 And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean.
This woman was unclean for 12 + years, and I am not going to try to figure out the math for the total. But also everything she sat on or touched was unclean. She had problems. She also, I would imagine, kept it to herself, as I am sure it was embarrassing and very shameful for her. Some of us might have some of those shameful habits. Alcohol, drugs, porn or gambling addictions and thinking, "I don’t want anyone to know I do that." I have done things I am ashamed of. I am sure she felt isolated. According to the Bible, a person who was unclean could not go to the temple to worship. This woman, if she was married had other problems, I am sure. If she was married, she could not be intimate with her husband. I suppose some of us might have a problem with isolation. Some sort of fear. Depression, maybe? Depression is a devilish problem. I have battled with depression way back in the past and it led me to isolation. I stayed in a basement apartment and most of the time with the lights off, with no windows. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I slept a lot. When I wasn’t sleeping, I hid behind a computer screen, where no one knew me and I could be whoever I wanted to be. Most of the time, people would think I was happy, though I had a lot of things bottled up that kept screaming to come out.
We just read that this woman had spent most of her money on doctors who couldn’t help her.
Mark 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
Sometimes we may go through financial problems. Some of us might be broke right now. Or beyond broke because there is more money that has been borrowed than can ever be paid back. Or because of things not foreseen that come up and drain our savings account. There have been times I have felt that problem. Feel like you are drowning in a sea of red.
How about this problem? Hopeless. I am never going to get better. I will never get out of this bondage. These chains have bound me. Oh, my weight. I am out of shape and will never get back to where I used to be. It’s just hopeless for me and I want to give up. What’s the use? I have been there too. Or, I am addicted to this or that and I will never be able to overcome my addictions. Suppose this woman with the issue of blood felt like this?
Discovery 2: Jesus is able to overcome any problem. Her problem was a bad one. Jesus was able to conquer this problem in Luke 8:48. How long did it take? Immediately!!
This woman came behind Jesus.
Luke 8:44 Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
She touched the hem of His garment. Think about this. She would have most likely had to be practically lying down to touch His hem. This verse amazes me and I think it is a key.
Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went the people thronged him. Looking up thronged in my concordance, I found this: G4862 and G4155; to strangle completely, that is, (literally) to drown, or (figuratively) to crowd: - choke, throng.
This woman with the issue of blood had to be in the perfect place to accomplish this. A huge crowd, and from how the scriptures sound there was pushing and shoving, agreed? It would have been noisy, as it says they; the people of Galilee were excited to see Him. Friends, this gets better. Crowded, like being choked, noisy, she comes up from behind. Everyone is touching Him because they are happy to see Him. She touches His garment and immediately she is healed, after 12 long years.
Are you looking for a miracle like this? Jesus didn’t come with a certain amount of miracles that He could perform that day. Cast the demons out of the man. Raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead. Heal this woman with the blood problem. The Lord healed everyone that came to Him. Nowhere in the Bible can I find where it says Jesus would not heal someone asking. Jesus today is willing to heal us. We have needs right here, and He wants to do a miracle in our lives, but we have to push through some things. You may be saying, "But Brother Jim, God doesn’t do miracles in my life." I am telling you because of things that have happened in my life. I can tell you that He is willing and able because of what the Bible says.
We can learn from this woman how to receive a miracle. First we need to push through the excuses. She could have had lots of excuses. She was unclean and from what I have learned from God’s Word it was risky for her to be with the crowd. She could have said, "Well, maybe I will try to see Jesus tomorrow." Have you done this? I have, and this is Satan’s way of distracting you. God speaks about doing things and coming to Him now. "Well, maybe I will try to do it tomorrow, then the next day." Jesus was going to Jairus’s house. He was the ruler of the synagogue. He was an important figure back then. She knowing that, according to her problem, was a nobody compared to this man. Here this unclean woman is, and here comes Jesus. Rabbi Jesus. The Holy One.
Do you see where I am going with this? Can we all relate to this? This woman had to overcome many issues, many excuses. Overcome the crowd. Even today, we have to get through the crowd. Are we hanging with the crowd? Are we doing what the crowd wants us to do, or what God wants us to do? The crowd wants us to tie on a good one, whether drugs, alcohol, sex, getting in trouble with the law, etc… The crowd wants to rebel, use the Lord’s name in vain. The crowd will hold you back from your miracle and from Jesus every time. Does the crowd want you to go to church or bible study?
Where does Jesus say that most people in this world go? Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: :14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Where are most going? The broad gate. Do we want to follow this crowd? Are we afraid of what some may think of us? Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. This just came to mind... do any of you wonder sometimes if you really are saved? I have to admit I have had these thoughts before, and I end up in prayer before the enemy convinces me otherwise. There may be someone here that may be thinking I gave my heart to the Lord when I was 10 years old and what would others here say if I didn’t think I was saved and came up front for an alter call. I couldn’t do that in front of all my friends. What would they say or think? WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK!!! The main thing is, what does God think. This woman in the story was unclean. She should not have been with the crowd. Here is Jesus, the Holy One of the universe, in a huge crowd. And she knew that if she touched Him in faith she may be healed.
Mark 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. She pushed through, and that is where we all need to be. No matter what obstacles are put in our way, we need to push through, and touch Jesus.
The past year or 2 have been a roller coaster ride. Because of things spoken against in the Bible and what I felt put on my heart is why I have left some organizations. Even though I am totally in agreement with what they stand for, I could no longer listen to the language or schemes amongst some of the members. I left a church that I loved and was very involved with, from the near beginning. These things happen in our lives. Knowing that it was time to go elsewhere, every time that I would pray or think where God would have me be, I kept hearing that small voice saying “Here and let me guide you.” Friends, I struggled with that. I love writing messages. I love learning about God’s heart. I love being used by Him and giving testimony of His goodness. I love watching Him move through people. Even though I left these places, I still love the people and pray for them. We all are going to go through challenges, but we need to think constantly what Jesus would do in these circumstances.
We all have read these verses, but do you struggle with them? Mat 22:36-39 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? :37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. :38 This is the first and great commandment. Then Jesus said this, and this is a lesson that I have to grasp onto. Even though I have that love, I may not show it sometimes. :39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. :40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Friends, when we obey the first two greatest commandments, the rest fall into place. This is why I try to be in God’s Word daily. There are times that I spend 2 0r 3 hours reading and meditating. Am I telling you that you need to spend that much time in your Bible? Absolutely not, unless God puts it on your heart, but I would encourage you to spend some time in it daily. Being in prayer is also very important. I don’t spend as much time in prayer as I probably should. I don’t believe that there is a mathematical number of how much time we need to spend in prayer or reading our Bibles, but I do think He wants some of our time everyday.
In closing, do you have a problem that you can’t overcome on your own? Maybe an addiction, an addiction of whatever, big, small, in-between, I don’t know your heart, but Jesus does. Do you have a problem like mine where everything has to be done a certain way and at a certain time? I struggled with this for many years. I hope that I have gotten better, but I do know that I have a long way to go. I had a big issue with people that wanted to work with me and couldn’t keep up, yet get paid the same. In my mind, I felt I had to do twice as much as anyone else because of my handicap. Was it right for me to expect others to do the same job that I happened to love and did well and took a great interest in? No. Was it right for me to be judgmental of someone that had never been on a dairy farm, nor worked from 3AM to 9PM, nor was used to having to work on holidays? No.
I am telling you that if we all can put the story of this woman to use in our own lives, Jesus will help us. If we keep pressing on and pressing in to the things of Jesus and obey Him, we will see great things happen in our lives, for His Glory. If we keep pushing in and do it in faith, God will deliver us. This woman left all the excuses behind and overcame them all and was healed, and healed immediately. She pushed through the crowd.
This just came to me. Do you know why so many people come to church and leave the same? Because they touch Jesus with a casual touch and with ears not hearing and receiving God’s Word. They sing songs with a casual touch. They follow along the sermon casually. They are not willing to put away the excuses and push through the crowd. They never come to Jesus and say, "Lord I come to You in faith and here is my problem and I bare myself to You now. Jesus, please work mightily in my life, because I believe in You and I can’t do it on my own." Faith isn’t believing God can do something in your life. Faith is believing God will do something in your life.
How do you reach out to the Lord? With just a casual touch? You have your problems and you don’t want anyone to know about them? No one has to know about them but Jesus, and He already does. He is saying to you, "I have a miracle for you if only you would be honest and put away the pride." What the Lord is saying is if you leave all your bitterness, jealousy and unforgiveness at My feet (Jesus), if you and I could come to Him in brokenness and push through the crowd and touch His garment, in faith, He says, "I will do it because I love you. If you would surrender to Me right now, because I can do it and will do it, because I love you and I died on the cross for you." God is the same yesterday today and forever. He is no respecter of persons. This is what God says in the Bible. So in saying that, if He did it for her, He will do it for you and for me. Ask Him.
Let us focus and live our lives for Jesus. Not just in certain areas of our lives, but in everything we say and do.
Friends, look around you. Do you see a big change going on all around the world? Poverty, crime, things happening with nature that didn’t used to happen but once in a while. The news is full of this state is mad at this state and this country is going to destroy other countries. Do we see sicknesses like we never saw or heard happening at such an alarming rate? What about the way people are acting and things that our government says we can or cannot do? Church, these were all things prophesied in the Bible for such a time as this.
Today my friends is when we need to cry out to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and to live our lives for Him. Today is the day we should all say, "Lord, I am Yours and I will follow You no matter where You take me. Today I will spend time conversing with You and studying Your heart." Will you?
A blessed morning to all of you. I thank God for the chance to once again share His Word with you.
Last week, we looked at words spoken being seeds that can sow good fruit or bad fruit. During that message we looked at many verse in the book of James chapter 3, on how our little member (the tongue) can be such a dangerous thing. This week as we continue, I want to look at positive things our tongues say. Amen? We read two verses last week that I want to look at again.
Proverbs 18:21 KJV Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
James 3:2 KJV For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
This week I want to look at the positive words we need to speak, and starting from these two verses. I want everyone to think back on this past week and think back to positive words that you may have spoken to a co-worker, fellow student, maybe a family member, someone at church, or maybe a neighbor.
Does anyone remember what it means when we speak blessings over someone, or say God bless you? Anyone? It doesn’t have to be word for word as I know it is a mouthful. What it means is this: I bless you means I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness. Amen? How many want God’s full intention in your spouse’s life? How many want to speak God’s intentions that He has purposed for your children or grandchildren’s lives? It should be one of our greatest desires.
When we learn these principles, we can speak to things that are not pleasant, or those things that are against God’s will and then expect and watch things change. Faith and works, Amen? I have have seen it work. Praise God.
I also want to comment on how we speak about illnesses, diseases, etc…. You all know by now that my wife, Leanna has been battling with symptoms of diabetes, and is in stage 3 of chronic kidney failure. From day one, I have said that with proper diet, exercise, and because we serve a God that still heals today, she would be fine. I still believe that. I had one doctor that rolled her big eyes when I said that, yet during Leanna’s next visit and after a letter from her doctor saying that she should be expecting to be on dialysis soon, was amazed at the improvements that had been made and made the comment that she, Leanna, could come off, or reduce some of her medications, very soon. Thank You Jesus.
It has been a struggle for Leanna, because first, what she should eat for the sugar issues is not good for her because of the high potassium levels. Secondly, this is all still kind of new to her, as she found out all these things a little over a year ago and she has feelings that are different as months go by. Third, and I’m sure that there is much more, but she has doctors who are not believers in Christ and don't believe that we serve a God that still heals today. She continues to say what won’t kill me for one disease will on the other. I can’t eat anything. Now, this is not pick on Leanna day, as she is my wife whom I love more than anything, other than God. What I want to try to encourage everyone to do when you are going through storms in your life or a family member is, is to speak differently. We need to be aware of the things that we say. Church, what we need to realize is there is power in our words.
Better yet, there is power in the name of Jesus. I think many forget this when they go through storms and I have my hand raised also, as there are times I jump and act on my own when I might be struggling with an issue.
I, as I hope all of you are all children of God. I learn from His word. I read and I study what His word says for my life, my family’s lives and for you that come to our house, join in live via Skype, phone, or for those that read this on another site. Take the Gospel to the world is what Jesus commanded us to do in Mark 16:15. That is what I try to do each week and also for those that I meet throughout the week.
Let’s look at some of the verses discussing Jesus' name and the power in His name. Friends, there is only one Jesus that stands as a mediator between the Father God and humanity. There is only one Jesus who died on the cross and arose victoriously who said ALL power in heaven and on earth now belongs to Me.
There have been messages that I have done where I have asked you to write scriptures down and post them in places you will see and I have asked you to speak them out. I hope that you have been doing that. When you and I use the Name of Jesus in faith, it means knowing WHO it is that stands behind that Name. It is knowing the wealth and the power that is invested in that name. Amen? This is one of the greatest weapons that you and I have in our arsenal to use against the enemy. Let’s turn to Philippians 2:9-11.
Philippians 2:9-11 KJV Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Praise God!!
Friends, the enemy is going to do whatever he can and use many ways to throw you off the path that God has chosen for you. There have been many times that I knew that I knew, I was supposed to ask someone if I could pray with them. It is one thing to pray for someone in your own prayer closet. What I mean is in a place where you are alone, or with your spouse or a close friend, but to pray with someone that you barely know? That takes leaning on God’s strength. It also means not being ashamed.
Don’t allow Satan to make you think, "I tried this before, it just doesn’t work for me." This is not a trick, this is the Word of God. You have got to plant the Word inside your heart and mind and not move off of it, no matter what you see or hear. Church, for this reason I asked you to memorize verses. God tells us in His word, that every word is true and every man (who denies it) is a liar. God is trying to work some miracles out in your life and Satan is trying to block it. But you can be victorious by using the name of Jesus and having faith and confidence in His name. You can trust God’s Word. Amen?
It is very important that we go to the Word of God, the Bible, for all our priorities in life. And all of our understanding about who Jesus is. What the Gospel is. How a person becomes reconciled with God. How a person gets to heaven. The Bible tells us how we should live as Christians. How the Church should function. How and who should lead in the body of Christ. What is our calling in society on this earth. I ask you, what should our message be to the World? If I was to ask everyone, what has God called you to do? You don’t have to answer out loud, for those listening live, but do you have an answer from God? Do you know what your gifts are? I am not trying to attack anyone, but these are things that we should know. We find these things as we spend time in His Word, in prayer and when we are in obedience. He has a perfect plan for each of us. What is yours?
In the past few months, working on the 2 Cross Roads Fellowships sites, I have been looking for gifts that I see within many members. I then send a bit of a teaser out to see if they might bite it. Some take the bait, hook line and sinker and have run with their gifts and have been such a blessing. Others nibble, and I think that might be because they are a bit unsure of themselves and because the 3.0 is completely different from 2.0. But my friends, I see God working through a small group of people. I see activity and members working together. I see new doors being opened up almost everyday. I see things happening on the sites that I thought were only wishes. Praise God.
I know I have gone off-topic from what I thought I was supposed to teach on today, but there must be something that someone needed to hear. If that was you, I would like to hear after this service. If you are reading this and it spoke to your heart, please drop me a message.
Back to words being seed. If everyone can please turn to Matthew 12:32. Whatever is in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth.
Matthew 12:33-37 KJV Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (36) 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.
Good things as well as bad things come into being why? Because of the words we speak. Let’s turn to Matthew 15:10-20. I want us to see what Jesus says in this parable.
Matthew 15:10-20 KJV And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: (11) Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (12) Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? (13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. (14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (15) Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. (16) And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? (17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? (18) 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.
These words from Jesus are to the bad or evil treasure in our hearts that comes out as negative and perverse speech. We have seen in other studies that all through the entire Bible we are given very explicit and detailed instructions about speaking right words. We have looked at many of them in the past couple weeks. Praise God!!!
We are to be witnesses to the world. If we are cursing others, and I don’t mean just swearing, but saying hateful things that down others, is that being a good witness? If others are around us and we are constantly speaking negative things about others, are they going to be learning the ways of God? I think not. Let's turn to a verse we have looked at before. Proverbs 4: 20-24. What I just said goes especially for our children and grandchildren.
Proverbs 4:18-27 KJV But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (19) The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (20) 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.
Powerful words here. Friends, I think the message God is trying to get across to us today is this. We need to be careful with our words. I remember a saying that my mom used to say to my brother, sister and me, and I am sure most of you have heard it too. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Amen? You know the other saying, "Count to 10." Do we want to say things that are going to harm people and then come back to harm us? Think about that for a moment. Remember there is power in our words. We can curse or bless with what we say. Amen?
Romans 12:2 tells us to be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may PROVE what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Once you prove God’s word to be true to yourself the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against it. You will know that you know that it is the truth and no one will be able to steal it from you if you continually guard your heart.
1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (9) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Church, this passage is simple and uncomplicated, but filled with expectation. What we are called to do is to bless and to receive blessings. Discovering the power that is in blessing will open up a whole new world of thinking and living. Blessing and its counterpart, cursing, will set a path for us without our being fully aware of it. It is renewing our mind and we find how to do this in God's Word.
Friends, in closing, please turn to John 8: 31 and 32. We are going to go in a bit of a different direction. I very rarely go a Sunday without mentioning the importance of each of us being in God's Word. Who in John 1:1 does it say is the Word? Jesus! We do believe that?
John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Friends, we being grafted into the family of God are now part of His chosen people. Amen? Do we believe this? Jesus was and is the Light of the world, the image of the invisible God. Those shall have the light of life who follow Him, being guided away from destroying error and damning sin, and having that enjoyment of God which will be to them the light of spiritual life in this world and life everlasting in the world to come. All who will have God for their Father must discover Him through the Light of the world.
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:
For those who are not sure what the blessings and curses are, read the entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28.
I want to leave you with two last scriptures.
Proverbs 21:23 KJV Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
1 John 5:18 KJV We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
With these two verses, should we not want to live our lives for God as best we can? When we totally surrender to Jesus, we can. I would ask you this week to ponder over the verses we looked at. Make them important to follow in your life. For those who don't have a Bible reading plan, will you start today? Could you spend enough time each day to read one chapter a day? For those of you who are on Cross Roads Fellowship, there is now an audio Bible there. Could you spend time listening to that daily to get fed?
Good morning friends and family. Is everyone excited to hear from the word of God? Today’s message is “the power of our words and sowing seeds.”
Now I know when some hear the word sowing, they get antsy, because they think the message is going to be on tithing. "Brother Jim is going to teach on tithing, why did I come this morning"? He hardly ever brings up money issues. Even though I think it is very important that we tithe and that that our tithes and offerings also need to be sown into good ground, and I will do a message on that when I feel led to, but this isn’t a message on God’s money.
No my friends, this message has to do with a different type of sowing, and through this message, we will look at how we spend our time…what we say and what we do, what our reaction is to people when they wrong us. Here is one that some don’t like me to discuss, but it is important. Sharing our faith with others. This topic about sharing the good news of Jesus with non-believers seems to be the least on many people’s agenda, yet Jesus our Savior told us to share the Gospel with the world. Amen? I love to talk about my faith. I love sharing the love of Christ with others. I get all teary eyed hearing testimony of how God worked in peoples lives. To hear how people were delivered from things that you know that you know only God could have done that. These are a few of the things we will look at today.
Is everyone excited? I said, is everyone excited to hear from the Word of God this morning? Praise the Lord. God is so good. His word never fails. His perfect will is always perfect for you and me. Amen?
If you could turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3: 8-10. There is power in these words when we truly grasp the meaning and act on it. I mentioned last week, when Leanna and I are asked from anyone how we are, we say we are blessed. We are speaking God's blessings upon our lives when we do this. I pray that you all might start doing the same. Praise God!
1 Peter 3:8-10 KJV Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (9) Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (10) For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
James 3:8-10 KJV But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (9) Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (10) Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Galatians 6:1-9 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (5) For every man shall bear his own burden. (6) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Friends, the new life in Christ Jesus is not just being good, but of doing good. It manifests itself not by taking a “more holy than thou” attitude, but by bearing the burdens of others and seizing every opportunity to help saints and save sinners. Faith and works is required in our Christian walk. Praise God.
Church, please understand this. The cross which connects us with God separates us from the world, or at least it is supposed to. Having died with Christ, we should therefore be done with the world. Having risen with Christ, we are connected with God in a new life. We cannot glory in the benefits Christ’s cross secures if we refuse the rejection which His cross involves. Amen!! Do we understand this?
Brothers and Sisters, do you know what it means when we speak blessings out to our family members, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even those who are not saved? We are declaring a prophetic message. Did you realize when we speak blessings over someone we are saying, “May the Lord Grant you all of His intentions that He has purposed for you?” Is this awesome or not? When we from the heart say, "God bless you", we are saying, "I declare over you that God’s full intention that He has for your life would come into fullness." Amen?
We started by reading these verses on the power of our tongue. We see that we can sow good seed or rotten seed. I wonder how many listening to this or who may read this later have had good or bad seed sown into their lives? Brother Jim, you act like words are a vegetable. I hope by the time we are done with this message, those who doubt will have a new perspective on the words they use towards others and the words we use about ourselves.
How many times have we been to a store and we see a parent speaking ill words toward a child? Here in Maine, it is a common occurrence. Why? I think a lot has to do with Maine’s economy. I think maybe because to survive here, many have to work multiple jobs. Winters can be harsh and expensive to heat our houses during the winter, and especially this year. Many of the old-timers didn’t have a great education. Whatever the case, I see verbal abuse often. I'm not saying that we shouldn’t correct our children and grandchildren, but we need to be careful of the words we use. Amen? I'm sure wherever you live, whether here in the states, or countries afar, you have heard these ill words spoken to children.
If everyone can turn to the book of James, I want to focus on verses in chapter 3 and starting with verse 1. Many of you know that I use this verse often.
James 3:1 KJV My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. James 3:1 ASV Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.
Teaching was a highly valued and respected profession in Jewish culture, and many Jews who embraced Christianity wanted to become teachers. I have shared in many messages that when Leanna and I knew that it was time for us to leave a church that we helped start and loved and where we should go, and after 2 months of hearing, “Right here and let Me guide you,” we finally did. This is one of the verses that kept going through my mind.
James warned that although it is good to aspire to teach, the teacher’s responsibility is great because their words and examples affect other's spiritual lives. If you are in a teaching or leadership role, how are you affecting those you lead? I hope I'm doing okay in this area. My greatest passion in life is to sow seeds into the lives of those who are lost, not knowing Christ as their Savior and to teach those who have heard a watered down message for so long, that might keep them from being a King’s kid. Amen?
James 3:2-3 KJV For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (3) Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
I shared last week where I almost let the flesh get the best of me. I was put in a position where I really needed to bite my tongue and do that counting to 10 thing. Walking away, knowing that Satan was defeated, I did much praising to Jesus. Friends, what we say and what we don’t say are both important. Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time, but it is also controlling your desire to say what you shouldn’t.
When we look at these two verses it speaks volumes, or should. A few examples of an untamed tongue, (ready for this?) include gossiping (many don’t realize this), putting others down (oops, did that talk to someone?), bragging (that is something that I have had to really work on), manipulating, false teachings, exaggerating (again, me), complaining (at times), flattering and lying. Before you speak, ask , “Is what I want to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” How many did these two verses speak to?
James 3:4 KJV Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
In Gill’s Commentary, he says this. "A small helm", as the apostle here does, and accounts for it how large ships should be moved and steered by it. And so, though the tongue is to the rest of the body as a small helm to a large ship, yet, like that, it has great influence over the whole body, to check it when it is carrying away with the force of its appetites and passions; and so churches, societies, and bodies of Christians, which are large and numerous, and are like ships upon the ocean, tossed to and fro with tempests, driven by Satan's temptations and the world's persecution, and ready to be carried away with the wind of false doctrine, yet are influenced and directed aright by those who are at the helm, the faithful ministers of the word, who say to them, "This is the way, walk in it."
Friends, this is speaking about us right now. We are in that age. James wrote this verse around 45 AD. And John Gill, who was a great theologian and pastor was born November 23, 1697 and died October 14, 1771.
We see these things still being a problem in 2014.
James 3:6 KJV And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire. The tongue’s wickedness has its source in hell itself. The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage. Satan uses the tongue to divide people and pit them against one another. Idle and hateful words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly, and no one can stop the results once they are spoken. We dare not be careless with what we say, thinking we can apologize later, because even if we do, the scars remain. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Before you speak, remember that words are like fire, you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do.
Couples, do we hear this? Moms and dads, grandparents? Business men and women, did we hear this? Friends at school, did you hear this? Words can scar. Oh…church groups, praise and worship leaders, you were being spoken to also. No one is exempt here. It happens, but it shouldn’t. AMEN? I can hear a pin drop now.
James 3:8 KJV But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
What kinds of seeds does the tongue sow? No cunning, persuasion, or influence has ever been able to silence it. Nothing but the grace of God, excision (cutting it out), or death, can bring it under subjection. If no human being can control the tongue, why bother trying? Even if we may not achieve perfect control of our tongues, we can still learn enough control to reduce the damage our words can do. It's better to fight a fire than go around setting new ones. Remember that we are not fighting the tongue’s fire in our own strength. The Holy Spirit will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say, so that when we're offended the Spirit will remind us of God’s love, and we won’t react in a hateful manner. When we are criticized, the Spirit will heal the hurt, and we won't lash out. Am I speaking to someone? My hand is raised.
A few more verses I want to close with.
James 3:9-12 KJV Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (10) Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (11) Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (12) Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
At times our words are right and pleasing to God. Some of us have memorized verses that please God, but then at other times they are violent and destructive to others. Which of these two speech patterns reflects our true identity? The tongue gives us a picture of our basic human sin. God works to change us from the inside out. When the Holy Spirit purifies a heart, he gives us self-control so that the person will speak words that please God. We also should be speaking words that are kind to others. In the series I mentioned, The Power of Blessing, you will find some of these keys.
Friends, again, this will have to be a continuing series. We only started in seeds we sow, and that was only in our speech. For parents hearing or reading this, children pick up on what we say and do. Oh, do I know this from our grandson, Ashton. I have mentioned this before, but it is so worth saying again, as a parent or grandparent may pick up on this.
Leanna and I took care of Ashton most of his infant life because of his parent’s jobs, then separation, to divorce. Ashton had many health issues, his mom was dealing with cancer and they lived about 3 hours away, so it was easier for Leanna and I to have him. During that time we made a commitment to God saying that we would bring him up as Godly as we could. He has heard God’s Word. He praises and worships God with us. He has memorized parts of the Bible. He asks questions about Jesus often. He has even witnessed as best as an 9 year old can to his friends. He has even written a song that we include during our praise and worship time, often.
Beloved, is it important that we sow good seed into our youngster’s lives? Absolutely! If this had been going on in the majority of the families here in the US for the last couple of decades, we wouldn’t be hearing about all the violence, sexual crimes and all the things that are an abomination to God at the alarming rate that we hear of now. One thing I want to say today, and I hope everyone hearing this or reading this will think about all week long… sow the seed of love to everyone you meet. Make it a priority and I pray that it is contagious. We love every one of you.