Good morning friends and family. Leanna and I would like to welcome each of you who've joined us here at the J and L Ministries room on Paltalk, and for those who may be reading, watching or listening on any of the networks that this sermon message may be posted.
Today's message is titled: "What Truth Are We Holding On To?" and we'll be basing much of it from the book of Jude, though we'll be also looking at some other scriptures that you and I also need to fully understand, like the first two scriptures of this study.
Please turn to John 13:34-35. Praise the Lord Leanna and I can share another message this week with you. I've had so many prayer requests come in from those who have been under attack from Satan. Now I say that, though I know that many things that some are going through come from choices people are making. We can't be living in this world and doing what the world is doing and expect to be protected. Amen? That may sound harsh to some, but when we read His Word, and we read scriptures like this one, our hearts should change.
John 13:34-35 KJV A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
I hear from many and I've had to go through the same issues. We slam our neighbors or say words that aren't kind, and in the next breath we ask God to help us in circumstances that we're going through. Did that just speak to someone?
There are those who think we can hit the bars on the weekends and come to church and say, “Sorry God, I shouldn’t have done that,” then do it again the next week. There are those who've admitted that they have a problem with porn. I can remember a young man living in England who responded to a video that I made about 8 or 9 years ago. That video hit him really hard, and he spilled his guts out. The last I knew, about 5 years ago, after he laid these issues at the feet of Jesus, he was still porn free. Praise God!!
What are some things that you're dealing with? Is there a person that just gets under your skin? Every time he or she is near you just have to hide or start throwing insults at them? Maybe that person just brings out the worst in you. Maybe there's an addiction you're going through. Maybe you have problems using alcohol or drugs, swearing, lying, cheating or something else that might be a downfall that you have.
Maybe you have an issue like one that I have to keep in check all the time; having patience with people, situations or things. These are all heart issues that we need to keep under control.
What about your faith? Most would say, “I have plenty of faith. There's nothing wrong with my faith. Is there?” Every attack the enemy throws at you, you immediately rebuke it in the name of Jesus. Do you praise God during an attack and then remember to praise Him during the awesome times in your life?
We've talked about faith many times. We've talked about our tongue. I've delivered messages about God hearing our prayers. Friends, all these things have to do with our walk with God. We'll be held accountable for every….I said every idle word we speak. We can't be drugging, tipping up the bottle, cursing, staying mad at our neighbor and so on and so on and expect God to be working in our lives. Whatever preacher told you that it's okay is so blindsided to the word of God. Saints, this is one of the reasons you have so many denominations and so many branches off of each denomination.
Our God is an awesome God. He knows what’s best for your life and mine. He didn’t give us the Ten Commandments to make our lives miserable.
Anyone want to share what they are? 1) Thou shalt not have any god’s before me. 2) Thou shalt not make any graven images. 3) Though shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 5) Honor thy mother and father. 6) Thy shalt not kill. 7) Thou shalt not commit adultery. 8) Thou shalt not steal. 9) Though shalt not bear false witness. 10) Thou shalt not covet.
Friends, I've had this discussion many times with many different people. We say we want all God has in our lives. Do we really? Do you truly understand what that means? Do you really want God to do a work in you? To break you completely? Has anyone asked God for that? My hand is raised. We say, “Lord, I'll do whatever You ask of me. Jesus, I surrender my life to You”. Anyone? Has anyone asked that from God? That means a total life change. It means things we used to do need to stop. We can't ask God to be Lord of our lives and then go out and do and say bad things and hang with those who have no clue what living for Jesus is all about. I’m not speaking of being with them to be a witness, but to enjoy doing the things of the world with them.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus wants you and me to develop compassion toward others. I can list many times where we're commanded to love our brothers and sisters. Love our spouses. Love our neighbors. Love our enemies. Turn the other cheek. Do unto others as you would like done unto yourself.
Please turn to the book of Jude. While everyone's turning to this very short book I want to ask a question. How many of you have heard that truth is whatever you make of it? So why hold on to God's truth when everyone else is throwing it away? In the last couple weeks we've looked at how some extra ideas started creeping into the church. Sound familiar within many churches today? How can we cling to God’s Word in a world that's denying truth everywhere we turn? I hope from today’s message from the book of Jude we can find out.
Reading the book of Jude last Friday I thought, how many people realize that Jude is the full brother to James and half brother to Jesus? Yet, look at the first verse of Jude.
Jude 1:1 KJV Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
He identifies himself as the brother of James, but not the brother of Jesus. He calls himself a bond-servant of Jesus Christ. That one verse amazes me. A chance that most people would have tried to get into the spotlight, yet Jude is humble.
Jude 1:3-6 KJV Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (5) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (6) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jude discusses our common salvation, but there was a need in the church for a confrontation with those who had kind of sneaked into the church. I've witnessed many times this happening. In fact, one gentleman I've seen go to other churches and has tried to steer people to go to a false religion. I've seen him do this with three different churches. I see some on different Christian social networks try to convince people into believing crazy stuff, yet there are those who seem to have ears perked up when this new-age garbage is introduced that goes way against what the Bible says. Sometimes it almost sounds scriptural, but something just seems to be wrong.
Please turn if you will to 2 Peter 3:16. In this day and age there are religions that are popping up all over. There are those called doctors, or those that have taken onto themselves to show people, or should I say teach people how they think they should live, yet are unstable in their faith walk.
2 Peter 3:16-18 KJV As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Church, catch what we just read. They were unlearned and unstable. And they what? Wrest, or pervert also the other scriptures unto their own destruction. Sound like ones we want to follow? I think not. Lets continue.
(17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
Let me stop right there. Notice Paul's speaking to true believers. He says, "Seeing you know these things." They know the scriptures and then he says. "Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness." Do we see this, friends? I know in the last few months I've brought you to these verses, but there's a reason.
Jesus warned about false messiah's. He warned us about false prophecy. People so full of pride that they would come to do what they could to fulfill their own lusts. Take a few minutes to look at the Mormon beliefs, or the Jehovah Witness beliefs, and if you're lead by the Holy Spirit, you'll have such a stirring inside of you.
(18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Getting back to Jude. These people Jude is talking about have some of their own experience, they have some of their own understanding, they've read from this person and that person and they haven't spent sufficient time in God's Word to know what the truth is, but they're spreading their own brand of understanding. And Jude says, "You've got to watch those people because they're like clouds without rain." In other words, they make a big splash but there's no substance to what they do. Same as what we just read from from Paul to Timothy.
If were to read on through this Book of Jude, we'd see what happens when sexual sin runs rampant like we see happening now in the US, and from what I've read that is soon to be voted into law, including bestiality and pedophile rights. He describes what's happened to certain people in the church who've followed the way of Cain, or the error of Balaam, or have gone the way of the rebellion of Korah.
Please go to verse 17. I persistently urge all who hear my voice every Sunday here on line, or for those who faithfully have been reading online to be in the Word daily and be in prayer. Amen? I've said that we grow our faith when we're in our Bibles. We find God's heart and we learn decrement. This is what Jude is doing.
Jude 1:17-19 KJV But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jude says, "But you brethren, you beloved. You're not like these who have drifted away from the truth. Remember the words, which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time that would walk according to their own ungodly lusts."
He's saying, “I want you to remember the words that were spoken by the apostles”. Jude is also saying to them and to us, “Read and check out what God has to say”.
He shares that the apostles told them and us that there would be mockers in the last days, people who mock the Lord, people who mock His Word, people who see no reason for you to spend any time reading God's Word. In fact, the last couple of weeks we've seen where Apostle Paul was one of the people who warned that there would be mockers.
Church, there are so many false prophets out there. Some have been easy to pick out, like the ones who tell you a certain date and time that the world will end. Same as there are false preachers teaching a twisted word. Friends, God’s word is incorruptible seed and there are those who have twisted and perverted it. Example, there are those who say that those who don’t speak in tongues are going to hell. Wrong. Unscriptural. I heard this for the first time about 10 years ago and then within the past 5 or 6 weeks I've heard it again, and often. Even in sanctuaries. Standing within 15 feet from me. I've heard the opposite. Those who do speak in tongues are going to hell. I tell you, it’s man’s dumb religion that comes up with that stuff. Where's the scripture that proves either way? Friends, I've become very critical about this. I'll not purposely teach you wrong. I study very hard putting these messages together so that you and I know the truth. There may be a time that I misinterpret scripture. I may say it in a way that you might not get what I'm trying to get across, and if either happen, please, please let me know.
Jude 1:19 KJV These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
In addition to remembering what the apostles taught us, we have to identify the habits of those who slip in subtly, who have very little knowledge of the Bible and certainly haven't had a Calvary experience so we know who we have to minister to. Friends, that also means in the church leadership.
Here are the habits. These are sensual persons and they cause divisions in the church and it's evident that they're not taught by the Holy Spirit.
Now notice that they are, first of all, sensual persons. The word that's used here for sensual is only used twice in the Bible. It's the Greek word psuchikos. The only other time it's used is in James 3:15. What James describes is that wisdom that does not come from above is earthly. It's sensual. It's demonic even. And what he means by that is that kind of wisdom appeals to the senses. Man, is that a big thing in so many churches today!
Jude is warning us to be careful of these sensual people. They get their kicks out of things that appeal to the flesh. Also he says, “These are people who cause divisions in the church”.
Sometimes causing division in the church isn't a bad thing. I know some churches that need some division. I think there are those churches that chastised. Did I say that? Yes I did and Olsten and Warren and many others are among that bunch.
I think also what Jude is saying is that these people who come in and have no scriptural knowledge, possibly unsaved, and those not led by the Holy Spirit, the church gets split wide open. And you see people go in all directions. Leanna and I have experienced that in two churches, and I believe that there's another close by ready to also go down the same path. It seems like the leadership that came in aren't being led by the Holy Spirit, but by their own fleshly lusts. We must be true to the truth. We can't sacrifice truth for the sake of avoiding conflict. That's compromise.
Here's what I think we ought to do. First there needs to be true repentance. Godly sorrow, not being sorry because you got caught. We commit everything to God in prayer. We ask Him to help correct what needs to be corrected. And then we ask the Holy Spirit of God to guide our words and actions so they both please God and benefit people in the church. We pray for those who have drifted from the truth. And after we've done all of those things, to ensure success, we compassionately confront them about what they're saying or doing that's contrary to God's Word, something that's causing division in the church. We do all the right things first before we try to confront.
Jude is a man given to talking about those who have fallen from the truth, but he's writing to those who have not. He's writing to you and me as well. And when you get to the end of this tiny little epistle, he tells you what to do so you don't fall from the truth like the others he's had to write about.
Jude 1:20-23 KJV But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (22) And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
What's he saying here? But you, beloved. See they operate this way, "But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction."
Well, there it is. What do you do to keep from falling from the truth? What's one way that I mention every week to help keep you in check? You read the Bible, one book at a time. You read God's Word every day. You spend some significant time in God's Word, just you and the Lord, and let the Spirit of God teach you because, I have to tell you, the best teacher I have is the Holy Spirit of God. Amen? I should hear Amen’s sounding like a choir. Come on, Saints. Amen?
In verse 20, he says, "Build yourself up." He says, "Pray in the Holy Spirit." Hmmm, yet being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, some say will send you to hell. Really?
In verse 21, he says, "Keep yourselves in the love of God." In other words, keep yourself lovable to God.
Now, the good thing is, God loves you. But He may not always like you. Sound familiar? My wife will say, at times, “I love you, but right now I don’t really like you." God loves me, but when I'm not close to Him, I'm not sure how much He likes me. What I need to do is keep myself to be in a position to be loved by God. Always. And friends, that's not always easy for me. What about you? You know, when the flesh gets in the way. When events happen and you're chomping at the bit to lash out. Or a bill comes in and you didn't order that. I can think of all kinds of examples, but do you catch what I'm saying?
And then finally he says, "Look for the mercy of Christ returned." Be kind to some people because you'll make a difference in the lives of those people. There are some back sliders who simply need you to show them a little compassion. There are some unsaved that say, “No one ever told me about Jesus”. Some have heard about Christ, yet didn’t know how to be saved.
Church, some of these people have sat in a congregation. It boggles my mind what's being taught in some churches. It frustrates me that people are too darn lazy to search on their own what the Bible says.
You know, not everyone who backslides is a heretic. In fact, most people are not heretics, they're just untaught. They're like the vast majority of people in churches today. They just don't know God's Word well enough. We're plagued with Bible illiteracy in the Church of Jesus Christ. Is that sad? Yes, indeed it is sad and that's where you and I have to be, to steer them in the right direction to God’s saving grace. Praise God!!!
Jude says, "Some of those who turned from the truth, they're out there dabbling in some of this strange business, and some of the occult and the readings of people that are probably not very helpful for them. You have compassion on them and you make a distinction in them and you drag them right back in here again and you help them." Amen? Jude is talking to us. God is talking to you and me right at this moment. You know people like this. I know people like this. Friends, I know I've said this before, when God puts someone on your heart, you’d better deal with it. You'd best deal with that tug on your heart. You may be the last chance they have.
Jude 1:23 KJV And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
We read here "others". You can't help but notice the contrast here. Some of them you simply show a little kindness, and by showing a little kindness, you separate them. You make a distinction, you separate them from the rest of the group, and you draw them back into the fellowship. Others however, save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. You may be thinking, “Brother Jim, what on earth does that mean?”
Here's what I think. Jude is suggesting that we make a distinction here. The distinction is, some have drifted a little ways away from the truth and they can be saved through your compassion. Amen?
You can go out and get a brother-in-law who is reading from or listening to some wacko today and getting a little bit away from the truth. You can go out and you can love that brother-in-law back to the center of the truth, or a co-worker. Whoever.
Now, you may have a son or a daughter in college who's renounced the faith because of a godless university professor. You may have a son or a daughter who's living a lifestyle that's absolutely contrary to God's Word. You've shown compassion to them and nothing has changed. What do you do then? It maybe a Pastor, assistant pastor, worship leader.
Jude 1:22-25 KJV And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Here he says there are those who have the compassion of Christ and wanting to see souls saved and living by the truth that the Bible says, yet they do it in love. I hope you see that in me. That's how I see my teaching. I may say some convicting things that really touch your heart on things you may, or may not be doing. That's God. That's the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart. I always try to teach in a loving way but as of late, I need to raise my voice. Friends, I feel the time here for us having the freedom to share God's Word openly like this is coming to a halt. You and I need to have a full understanding of this.
He says in verse 23, Others snatch them with fear, pulling them out of the fire. Some you have to hand over to God. As I say often, God knows their hearts. He knows what needs to be done. It might not be pretty, but sometimes it means they need to hit rock bottom before they see the light. For those that I have sent the yellow book Praying Effectively For The Lost, there are many examples used. There are some that we need to let go of and let God deal with them. God wishes that no man perish.
There are some who are so brainwashed. There are those who are so stubborn. There are those who the enemy has his slimy paws hooked so deeply into, who think that God will never forgive them, so what’s the use. God loves them all, just like He loved you and saved you and me. Christ died for all men and women, but we have to make that choice to give our hearts to Him and follow Him. We can accept Him or deny Him. Simple choice, but both have an ending place. Heaven or hell.
This is a short epistle, but wow, how powerful. Friends, in closing I want you to catch some important things at the end of what Jude has to say.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God [who just happens to be] our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Church, again I have to urge you all to stay in your Bibles. God is the same today, yesterday and forever. He is not a respecter of persons. God does not lie. He cannot lie. At the end of all these tough issues, Jude ends by focusing on Christ. He ends by focusing on the blessing of Christ. The same Jesus can keep us from stumbling today if we pay attention to what He's taught us and what He's shown us through His Word. It's the Bible that can teach us how not to fall away from the truth, but it's the focus on Jesus that brings us joy from reading our Bibles. The Holy Spirit instructs us.
Friends, there are many teachers out there teaching their brand of spirituality at us, but who's telling the truth and who's telling a lie? That's what discernment is all about and that's why you stay in God’s Word. Another thing that I mention often when witnessing to someone, pray. Ask God to give you the words. Lean on His strength.
With some people when you're witnessing, if we show them a little compassion we bring them closer to the truth. Some, however, require a little more drastic action, and the only way for us to deal with that is to tell them exactly what's wrong. And that can be a difficult situation, and for me, I need to lean on the Holy Spirit, because I tend to be more of the gentle type when witnessing. You know that they're blinded by the sensual. They don't operate in the Spirit of God. They've heard some of the Bible, but are blinded by feelings. They hear the truth, but they're unstable in their walk. Sometimes, you might have to just tell them you're concerned about them. Some of them you just have to snatch out of the fire and save. Others you just want to edge them away from the crowd that they may be hanging with and just love on them. Praise the Lord!
I do hope this message helped someone today. Leanna and I thank all those who have joined us here on Paltalk. Those reading, watching, or listening on Cross Roads Fellowship or J and L Ministries on the Weebly platform. Also a shout to those who view these messages on Lokey Sisters, A Far From Normal Faith Ministry, Mylook Online and all the other social networks that they may be on.
We love you, and please let us know if these have been a blessing to you. Till next week. Continue seeking Heavenly places.
Good morning my friends. Today’s message is going to touch on many topics. For those who follow the news, you've probably noticed that there seems to be more trouble in every part of the world, including here in the United States. Before we get started, I want to remind everyone that God still sits on His throne and He's still in control and does what He pleases. Those who've been with us for a while should remember the verses where we found this.
I've found where many non-believers and some who claim to be Christians say that if there truly was a God that He wouldn't have allowed the murders of the Marines to happen just days ago. Shootings all over the world wouldn't have happened if there was really a God who loves us. Have you heard these things? It is hard to explain these things to those who don’t believe in Christ. What about the Christians that are being killed? Where was their God? It’s hard to explain to some who don’t believe in Christ. We do have choices, and you don’t have to look very hard to find that this country has made many wrong choices against God’s will. Yes? Also, the Bible tells us that we'll be persecuted.
I had a dear friend on one of the sites that Leanna and I own post a discussion about an earthquake that was prophesied to be horrible here in the US this summer and though I know she knows this, I reminded her that there are going to be horrific things I believe that we'll see and go through but to not lose site of Heavenly places.
John 15:18-21 KJV If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Today, we're going to look at some of the things that Jesus said would come in the last days.
Please turn in your Bibles to John 16 and we're going to start with verses 1-16. We read in chapter 15 where Jesus warns us about being a follower of Him. The hatred of the world. “If the world hates you, you must realize that it hated me before it hated you”. When we're saved, we are then called to live in a way that is much different than that of society. Get this church!
We're told not to live like the world, but that can be a very hard thing to do when we're right smack dab in the middle of it. We're to look toward Heavenly things and be the reflection of Jesus in the things we say and do.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25 KJV Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
I think of the rich man who asked Jesus what must he do to be saved and after Jesus said to obey all the commandments which this man claimed he had done. Then he was told to sell all he had and give to the poor and he walked away sad.
This is why when a Christian is very much praised by the power of this world and is exalted as a model by all mass-media, it many times is not a good turnout. Jesus said, “If you belong to the world, the world will love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you”.
We have two choices: the world or the Gospel. Which of these two will you choose?
John 16:1-16 KJV These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (5) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (16) A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
When we look through these verses and then look through the history of the church, we find that believers have been persecuted all along. The first disciples of Jesus were persecuted. Doesn’t it seem strange that through all these centuries people would hate people who love God and who are to share their love and their God with the world? It does, until you think about the Gospel message.
A true Christian is loving, peaceful, forgiving and caring. Those who obey Jesus’ words are self-sacrificing, meek and kind. In fact, let's turn to Galatians 5:14 so you can see where I get this from. I want you to see these are not my words, but those of Apostle Paul, led by the Holy Spirit to the church of Galatia.
Galatians 5:14-26 KJV For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (15) But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. (16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (24) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Now, common wisdom tells us it’s not natural to hate those who love you, bless you and pray for you. Rather, people hate only those who abuse, rob and curse them. So why are Christians so hated?
John 15:18-20 KJV If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
The church, and every minister and believer in it, is hated by the world because of its mission. What is our mission? Our mission is much more than telling lost people, “Jesus loves you.” It’s more than trying to accommodate and appease people and I think that's where many churches have failed. Did I say that? Yes I did, and here's why.
You may draw back in surprise when I remind you of what our mission is. Church, to me this is simply put. Our mission as Christians is to take back from the ungodly what's most precious to them: self-righteousness. It is to translate them into a freedom they think is slavery. It is to separate them from damning sins, a blessing they see as only ending in boredom and sadness.
The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness. Think about what I just said. Let me repeat that, because my friends we need to get this. The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness.
He or she has spent his or her whole life forming a good opinion of themselves. Think about yourself before you were saved, or born again. They've built an idol to their good works. He praises himself that he’s really good at heart and kind to others. Simply put, he’s built his own Tower of Babel, a monument to his own goodness. He's sure that he’s good enough for heaven, and too good for hell. That's how so many men and women feel.
This ungodly man has spent years beating down his conscience and searing it. He's taught himself to still every voice of conviction that comes to him. And now he enjoys a false peace. He has become so deceived, he actually believes God admires him!
And now, just when he has shut down the voice of his conscience, you, a Christian, come along. And the truth you bring speaks more loudly than his dead conscience: “Unless you’re born again, you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven.”
And then friends, you've suddenly become a threat in this person's mind. You’re someone who wants to 'deprive him of his assurance that all is well with his soul. All this time, he's thought he's okay. But now you’re telling him that all his good works are as filthy rags. And sadly, this speaks to many that fill the churches here in America. Ouch, that tuned someone out. My dear friends, I know this is a hard message for some to hear, but I love you and I want you to hear the truth.
I tell you, this man doesn’t see you as someone who’s bringing good news. No, in his eyes you’re a tormenter, someone who’s out to take away his peaceful sleep at night. Someone that will change his or her plans for this weekend to party it up.
Sound familiar before you came to know Jesus as your Savior? Maybe some of you still feel like, "Man I wish I still could do the same things I did before." You might be thinking, "I sure miss the bar scene" or maybe thinking, "I miss the movies I used to watch. Why is it so bad to hang out with drug buddies?" Friends, you need to stay away from these things. When the enemy starts putting these thoughts of one more drink won’t hurt you, one little joint I smoke, or a pill to get high and forget about the problems I'm facing isn’t going to bother you. You’d better not fall for that lie. I say, don't fall for that lie from hell. "I just want to go to one porn site, just this one time." Get it out of your mind, because once you have that thought, you're hooked again. Lust of the flesh. My friends, I've been hooked on almost everything I just mentioned. One more leads to many more. As soon as that thought of any of these things come, turn away. Renounce it in Jesus' name.
James 4:4-8 KJV Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (5) Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (6) But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
1 John 4:2-6 KJV Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
Church, we're to be different than the world and in the name of Jesus, that's what I pray for all who attend these services each week, those who'll be joining in the near future. And for the ones who read and listen to these messages every week, we'll be different. We'll fear God. We'll seek God’s face and want to be all that He has planned for us. We'll be His disciples. We'll be world changers. We'll be His light in this dark and dying world. We'll be the ones who share the Gospel with the world. We'll be the ones who pray for the sick.
Now make it personal. I will in the name of Jesus change from the wicked ways that have not pleased God. I will sow GOOD seed into my sons, daughters, grandchildren, husband, wife, nieces, nephews, uncles, Grandparents and friend’s lives who don’t know Jesus as Lord.
I'll start from this day to do all things as if I were doing it for the Lord. I'll read my Bible every day, from this day forward because I want to know God, His ways and what He has planned for me. I'll read my Bible because I want to increase my faith….Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I'll read God’s Word and meditate on it so I know how to be a witness to those that God puts on my heart, who don’t know Him.
Is God speaking to anyone?
I'll read and meditate on it because Proverbs 4:20-23 KJV 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. Halleluiah!! Glory to God!!
I'll be the prayer warrior that I was called to be. I'll be the husband or wife that the Bible speaks of. I'll be the parent that I was called to be. I'll have the love and compassion of Christ to my neighbor, coworker school mates and everyone that I might have had problems dealing with. I'll be more forgiving to those who have hurt me in words and actions. I can do all these things and more because of Christ in my life who strengthens me. Glory be to God!!!
Romans 8:35-39 KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 4:4-8 KJV Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) 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.
These are the things I want for my life and for yours, and we all can have them when we let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus said to Satan when He was tempted in the desert, and we can do the same thing whenever we're tempted against God’s word. Luke 4:4 KJV And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Church, the next time your heart fails you with fear, hurt, loss, loneliness, or a wound, apply the medicine of the LORD. It’s only the well-fed heart and soul that are healthy. Amen?
John 6:63 KJV It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
God’s word has never been more available than it is today. Friends, you can go to Wal-Mart or most book stores and pick up a Bible. You can get a used one at a salvation Army or thrift store. You can even download Bibles free from many sources on-line. I prefer e-Sword and have had it for years now.
Friends, for those who say they don’t have time to spend in God’s Word, you don’t fool me and don’t think for a minute you're fooling God. I was at that place once before. Make time. Soon you'll desire to be in it. Get into God’s Word and God’s Word will get into you and bring His life into your existence and bless you.
Jeremiah 15:15-17 KJV O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. (16) Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (17) I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
If we don’t daily and often ingest His words, we have no one to blame but ourselves for not ingesting them, devouring them, and receiving of their inherent and divine medicinal properties. When we do, healing, joy, rejoicing, restoration, and wholeness will result. Praise God. God’s Word is so powerful and living. I'm amazed at how often scripture that I've read over and over and over teaches me something new. The Bible is alive.
Friends as I close today, I urge everyone this week who's hearing this message or reading it at another time on-line, please, please, please, if you haven't been in God’s Word daily, please start today. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it, because he will try. I guarantee it. Satan is the father of lies and he comes to steel, kill and destroy your life. When we get God’s Word in us, we learn how to sense the enemy when he sneaks in and how to get rid of him.
Friends, this isn't how I thought this message was going to go. I thought it was going to go in a totally different direction, but God had another plan. There's someone that needed to hear or read this. Maybe many. I would ask, if this touched someone’s heart, please contact me so that Leanna and I can pray with you. We do believe in the power of prayer. We've witnessed many prayers answered in others lives. Salvation, healings, jobs and the list goes on. Praise Jesus!!!
Don’t let pride get in the way of asking God for needs in your life, don’t let doubt rob you of a miracle.
Acts 20:20-32 KJV And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, (21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (22) And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (24) But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (25) And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (26) Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (32) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
We want to thank each of you here in the JandLMinistries room here on Paltalk for being with us. We want to thank a Far From Normal Faith Ministry, My Look Online, and Lokeys sisters for allowing us to share these messages. We thank you members of both Cross Roads Fellowship sites for being part of this ministry and also for all of you on Google Plus and U-tube for all your support. As I've said before, J and L Ministries receives no monetary support from our followers, but support from being here with us each week and for your comments and prayers.
We love you and we do hope that you seek God with all your heart this week.
Good morning my friends and family and welcome to part two of this message overcoming situations that we may go through here on Paltalk. We'll be basing this message around Mark chapter 4, if you want to please turn there. We want to thank each of you who've joined us and continue to join us here in the JandLMinistries room on this Paltak platform each week. Also a big thank you for those sites that allow us to share these sermons on their networks. Praise God!
I've heard so many people this week giving the devil too 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 God given 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? Are we ready to get into today's study? I feel with all my being that things are going to change drastically here in the US and it's going to happen so very soon. We see it already happening. A member on Cross Roads Fellowship site has added a message on the recent, to me big event. A blood moon that was only visible to folks here in the US. Seems kind of strange where gay marriage was just voted into play throughout the 50 states.
I've had many conversations this week from those who say that the gay lifestyle is okay and who cares that our children and grandchildren are going to be taught that it's okay for Tom to marry Bruce, or Cindy is marrying Mary. Denominations saying that God won't mind. In fact, I got a news blast saying that former president Carter said God won't mind. These churches and the people who think God doesn't care are reading from a different Bible than I am. There are those who seem to think it's okay to murder babies. It's 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'm 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'll make a big difference in our lives. Where I'm 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 of you have been through a major storm in your life? Do you remember how that storm ended? Maybe it's still going on today. We're 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 your life. Satan will do everything he can to steer you away from God’s promises. Does everyone get that? That's 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.
Church, Just because you're experiencing a storm in your life doesn't mean you're somehow out of the will of God. If that were true, the Apostle Paul was never 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're out of the will or the plan of God.
We read that a great windstorm arose. It literally means a furious gale. It wasn't 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. Do we see this my friends? I've 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 say, "Let’s go halfway across the lake and sink?" No,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 times. Storms or awful circumstances cannot overpower the potential of His promises. When God gives a promise, it's "Let’s pass over from lack into ample supply, from sickness into health, and from instability into stability and soundness." 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. Friends, that's normal. Been there!! And I'll be there again and so will you.
We find in this passage that 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's thousands of people wanting Jesus and wanting healing. Wanting to be near the Messiah. Wanting to see miracles, because that's how we are. Amen? They'd 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 wasn't 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's like a mother. She can sleep through noisy traffic sounds and train wrecks; but the moment her baby sighs, she's aroused. For the mothers hearing this, or reading, do you get this? Some dads, too?
Before we continue, I want to look at another verse. Let's see Jesus' heart.
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's 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 muzzled." I can't imagine Jesus getting angry at the wind, but when you study that phrase and those words, it's the exact same statement Jesus would make to demons. Do we see this church?
As I go through this study, I'll try to refrain from saying Amen too much, as it has bothered a few. I ask Amen to get your attention to what's been said, to see if you understood and and hope to get you involved. Let's continue.
When Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace, be still," I think it's 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. For those who joined us last week, you probably remember this.
Let's read verse 39-41 again. I really want you to catch this.
Mark 4:39-41 KJV 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?
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 wasn't 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. Jesus knew they'd get to the other side. When they said, "Teacher, don’t You care? Aren’t You concerned?" It wasn't a request for help. They were actually astonished that He was able to stop the storm. They didn't know at this point that He could do things like that. Then suddenly He rebuked the wind and the waves stopped.
Here's 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 can't stop the program of God. They can't 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's in our boat.
Friends, I want you to think of a situation where God had put on your heart to do something. Maybe it was praying for an individual or circumstance. Maybe you knew that it was put on your heart to share a testimony, or whatever the case may be. Notice how the distractions come. The enemy always comes to get you away from God's purpose. Just before I typed this paragraph, the very same thing happened and I knew I was supposed to add something. I knew right away that the enemy was trying to pull the very thoughts that God had given me, but he lost. Thank You Jesus!
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 who 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's the Creator of heaven and earth, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He's the One who parts the Red Sea and causes water to come out of a rock to quench the thirst of millions. He's the Prince of peace, the everlasting Father, the King of glory, and the captain of our salvation. He's the One who defeated principalities and powers, triumphing over them through the cross. He's 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's the Savior, the Healer, and the Deliverer. He's 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 a storm, you need to say, "Wait a minute. Who told me I was going over to the other side? Who's in this boat? Who is it that lives in me and dwells in me by His Spirit? I'm 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'll find you'll 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're in the middle of a storm, and you're thinking, "Where are You, Lord?" Anyone been there? They had rowed for three to four miles. I've been there before. In fact, thinking back, often. We need to realize there are some storms that we can't row our way out of. We can't escape them through human effort. I've found when I try to rely on myself to overcome situations, I fail. In fact I usually fail miserably. Trusting others in some situations is 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's 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're done. It's over." The circumstances scream out. Your flesh may even scream out. Things will never, ever change for you. You've been rowing and rowing, doing everything you can, and fighting against the wind and it seems like you're getting nowhere.
Jesus says He will never leave us nor forsake us. Friends, Jesus loves you. He wants what's 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 isn't 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 didn't 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 can't cope with on your own. It's 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?
Good morning friends and family and welcome to the J and L Ministries Paltalk room.
Throughout this week I had been thinking and praying on situations going on all over the world. I've been praying about situations brought up from members on Cross Roads Fellowship, Lokey Sisters and many of the other Christian websites and secular sites. The attacks coming towards the followers of Christ are becoming more evident than I can ever remember.
This morning as I was preparing this message, I was reading in Psalms and was reminded of God's love for us and His promises and is where I was lead to prepare this message. Glory to God! I'm believing that as this study speaks to me, it will speak to you also. Every living being is going to go through some kind of situation. Maybe some of you hearing this message live, today here on Paltalk or reading, watching, or listening at another time are going through something right now.
Here my friends is the verse that I was speaking of.
Psalms 121:1-8 KJV A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Friends, when we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the enemy comes to start his attacks. You see, before you and I were saved, the enemy had us right where he needed us to be. After we come to know Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, Satan comes and he puts those negative thoughts in our minds. He lies to us and he twists things around to try to make us think that God isn't faithful to His promises that we find in the Bible. Satan tries to tell us that God doesn’t love us or He wouldn’t have allowed this or that to happen to us, or our families and friends. So buckle up, take notes, and let’s tell that slimy crooked legged devil where he can go. Let’s learn through scriptures, from the Old and New Testaments, how we can overcome these attacks from whatever the source might be.
Church, we all need to know what to do when those attacks come. We do have that power, and Jesus is the name that demons tremble from. Amen? We need to get this now like never before. Praise the name of Jesus!
Are we ready? I mean....are we truly ready to better our journey with Jesus? I hope so, and that's my prayer for you and me this week and our remaining days.
I have a question for you. Have any of you ever had a pebble in your sock or shoe? Dealing with an artificial foot that ran it's course last week and wearing a foot that was 3 sizes too small for almost a week, it was both painful and I had to think about each step that I took. But this morning, because I'm sure each of you listening have both your feet don't know what I went through, but I bet you've had a pebble in your shoe and as you take each step hurts more and more. The more you walk with that nuisance in your shoe, until you stop and remove it, gets sorer and sorer. Everyone been there?
Let’s look at adversity. Friends, adversity may come to you like a nagging pebble in your shoe or like an overwhelming rock slide. No matter how adversity crashes into your life, the question is how will you respond? Anyone going through one of those storms today? Be real my friends. I have some storms raging within my life, but because of Christ and the faith I have in Him and His Word, they remain distant. Yes, I can sense them still around me, but I don't let those waves crash over me.
How does the Bible tell us to respond when attacked? Let’s take a few minutes and think of some adversities that people might go through. As I speak these suggestions, think about your life and maybe even hurtful words spoken to or about us. Maybe your storm is in finances. No money, or lack of it and the bills are stacking up and there seems to be no way to pay the next list of bills. Here are the big ones that most share with me. Sickness?
Maybe for those reading this it's the loss of a job. We can let these things bother us. We can shrug it off knowing that adversity is bound to be a part of every one of our lives. Or we can put our total trust in God like the Bible tells us to. Things are going to happen. Sometimes adversity can show up like a nagging pebble in your shoe or it can come crashing down on you like a rock slide. Church, we need to be prepared. God's Word prepares you by showing what adversity is and how you can live through it in faith. Unwavering, persistent faith.
Today we're going to look at the life of Moses. I don't know that there's anybody in the Bible who shows us the kinds of explosions that can come into our lives better than the character Moses in the Old Testament.
If everyone could turn to Deuteronomy chapter 4, and while you're doing that, think of a time that you may have had a pebble in your shoe and when you took your shoe off to find it, you couldn’t. You put it back on and continued to walk and you still couldn’t feel it and figured it must have been just your sock. This happened just recently for me, but on my good foot. You know, the one I can and do have feeling in? I felt something, I took my shoe off, shook it, put it back on and continued to walk and decided it was in my sock in my shoe. I remember thinking how uncomfortable it was. When I got home, I found a piece of rock salt in my shoe and couldn’t figure out how it got there. That's what I want to talk with you about today. Not the piece of salt, but when things happen in your life that you don't understand, when trouble comes into your life, what are you going to do about those troubles?
I think as we look at scriptures today and we spend time in the Word of God, we will have better understanding about what happens when adversity comes to our life.
Deuteronomy 4:27-31 KJV (27) And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (28) And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. (29) But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (30) When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (31) (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
I find that extremely comforting, and I hope all of you may also. Praise God!! When I'm in tribulation, some versions use distress, that's the word he uses there, when I'm in distress, I know the Lord is not going to forget me. If you think about the life of Moses and the children of Israel, their lives are like ours in many ways. Think about life in this way: when you learn how to deal with adversity, one of the conclusions you come to almost automatically is that everybody has adversity. Everybody has some sort of trouble. I think we have to all expect adversity to come to our lives.
Sometimes adversity is associated with sin. It comes because of things we've done. David numbered the people, and that was a piece of pride on his behalf. The end result of that was significant trouble in his life. It came because of sin.
Sometimes adversity is the result of simple disobedience. You all remember Jonah who ran from God? His disobedience brought all the troubles that came into his life. You might be saying to yourself, "Okay Brother Jim, does that mean when I have trouble in my life that automatically there's sin in my life?" The answer is no, and I hate hearing preachers saying this.
For those who have read the book of Job, Job's best friends tried that on him. Job's closest friends in the world tried to tell Job that he just had to have sinned against God and at one point they said that his punishment should have been more extreme. Talk about being unwavering in their faith.
I know there are a lot of people who feel that if you just had faith enough. If you might have confessed your sins earlier, there would be no difficulties in your life. But remember Job? What does the Bible say about Job?
Job 1:1 KJV There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
He didn't do the things that other people were doing, and yet adversity came to his life just like everyone else. I may do a message on the book of Job soon, because I think there's much to learn from it.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:45:
Matthew 5:45 KJV That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Just because you're alive means you're going to have trouble. If you haven't found it yet, it's going to happen pretty quickly. You're not exempt because you're a Christian. There are lots of people who teach and believe that because you're a Christian, no trouble will ever come to you, God will never let you be sick or be poor. There are a lot of sick, poor Christians who don't understand why people are teaching this. There were lots of sick and poor Christians in the Bible, but they were godly people. When Paul wanted to encourage the believers of Asia Minor, this is what he said: "We must go through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."
Tribulation--for those who are living rightly before God--is a good thing, because it proves you can still live righteously before God. You can be right before God and still face difficulty in your life.
Friends, adversity comes to everyone and you should expect it. Right living people are not at all exempt from adversity. Do we get this church? I think maybe the reason Paul understood that principle so well is he had so much trouble in his life. If you ever want to read about the difficulties Paul had, go to 2 Corinthians, chapter 11. In this chapter, you're going to see a whole list of problems faced by the apostle Paul. And do you know what? When you read that chapter, you're not going to know when almost any one of these occurred. But I think Paul understood that adversity will come to every person.
Adversity will come to you regardless of who you are. If you're a Christian today, don't expect God not to allow adversity to come to your life. Going through these situations, when we handle them by trusting in God makes us stronger. We can't understand that, and I don't claim to understand that. But remember Job? He was the man who lived a life that was good before God and before men. When Satan came to God and said, “You know why Job loves You? You know why Job is living a righteous life? It's because Job is rich. Life's easy for him. You take away those easy things, and Job isn't going to love You so long." God said, "Well, consider my servant, Job. He's yours. You can do anything you want to him, but you can't touch his life."
Job went to bed one night a very wealthy man. The next morning, he woke up and his children were dead. He lost all his animals and belongings. He was covered with boils from his head to the bottoms of his feet. And friends, this is something that I think you and I need to grasp about Job. You and I have Bibles and the chance to hear messages taught. We all have that benefit. Think about Job. He didn't have these tools. I bet he had no knowledge that there was a devil called Satan. Think about that as we go throughout this study.
Here's a man who is a great example of the fact that God will sometimes actually allow adversity to come into your life. I want you to think about this statement. Sometimes God allows adversity to come into our lives because the lack of adversity can be a problem for us.
I think sometimes when you don't have adversity, that can be a problem in your life. There's something about all of us that needs a challenge, needs some adversity to rise above. If there were no adversity in your life, you may not be able to enjoy life. God sometimes allows adversity to come to your life. It's also how we build up our faith in God.
Sometimes God uses adversity as an opportunity to help you in your own life. Sometimes God will use adversity to simply bring you to the point where He can bless you. It's evident too, that sometimes God allows adversity in our lives simply because He wants to strengthen our character. Amen? Can anyone relate to this? There are things in your life that God will allow to come into your life because He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what's good for you. In fact, He knows what's best for you. So if God allows adversity in your life, He does so because He knows it will only lead to good for you.
Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I'm going to say something that might not be taken well, but I hope you hear me out with an open mind. I'm being spoken to as I type this out. I think if we look back at a situation that seemed devastating to us in our lives, whatever that might be… cancer, bankruptcy, loss of a family member or whatever the case might be, this message might be hard to accept. We should not seek trials, but expect them and accept them when they come.
That's hard to say, yes? I know we have the privilege to pray, but I want to get a point across. We almost have to and this next thing I say is very tough to say, but hear me out. “Embrace it”. And that's not your only option. Lots of people get mad at God. They become bitter about their difficulties. But if you do embrace it, if you open yourself up to invite God's grace into your life, you can actually gain from adversity, not lose from it. Does this make sense to everyone? I hope so, because I know there are some who are dealing with trials who might be here this morning, or listening, or who will read this on the various sites that I share these messages. There are some who are right in the middle of adversity, so I hope that will be an encouragement to them.
Whatever you're going through in life today, I want you to know that it's not necessarily because of sin in your life. That's not always true. I want you to know whatever you're going through today, that God sometimes allows you to go through it because He has a plan for you that's better than what you have in mind for your life right now. I want you to remember this passage in Hebrews 13. In fact, let's all turn there.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. :6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. :7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. :8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.
Psalms 94:11-14 KJV The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity. (12) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (13) That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. (14) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
Church, what I say next I urge you to dwell on the rest of your life. God is very interested in you, and He will never let you go through adversity all by yourself. It's not until we learn the lessons of adversity that we understand that adversity indeed is necessary in our lives. It's not a necessary evil; it is a necessary thing in our lives.
Not long ago, I saw a post somewhere that had a picture of a caterpillar and it said, "And like the cocoon, you can't have the butterfly without the cocoon". Friends, you really can't have maturity in your Christian life without the adversity of life. But do you know what? Some of us, even those who may be more mature in the Christian faith, sometimes we're about to crack under our adversity. It's good if you have a little hangnail but if you're really hurting, then you need to know that God hasn't abandoned you during your adversity.
We're reminded of that in Psalm 23.
Psalms 23:4 KJV Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
It's not that God says you won't go through the valley; He says, "I'll go through the valley with you." Amen? Glory to God!! Thank You Father for never leaving us nor forsaking us.
I think the great strength that comes through understanding adversity, that leads to maturity, that leads to our understanding that you can't do certain things is that you can't take adversity away from life and expect life to be as good as it would have been. I think one of the great understandings that comes to us is that when we watch God walk with us through the adversities of life, it draws us closer to Him. Don’t hear me wrong. I'm not crazy; I'm not asking God to give me adversity just so I can understand this or so I can walk closer to Him. I say, "Lord, if there's an easier way for me to walk with You, hey, give me that easier way."
I also learn that adversity will teach me something about myself. I learn a lot about my character when things are tough in my life (I don't learn much about me when things are going well), I learn that I'm not sufficient in myself to overcome the adversities of my life.
It's through God's strength that I'm strong. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
It doesn't say (I can do all things) and that includes facing the adversity of life. I also learn that adversity teaches me something about my adversaries. It teaches me something about those who would do harm to me. Let's read what Jesus told His followers:
Mark 13:9 You will be dragged in the synagogues and into prisons, and you will be accused before kings and governors of being My followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about Me.
Sometimes I don't want adversity to come to my life. But as I mature in my faith, I understand that God allows adversity to come into my life. I also learn that no one is exempt from adversity. You're going to face it, and so am I. The thing that encourages me the most is that I learn nobody ever faces adversity alone, that God always says, "I will go with you through the adversity. I will hold your hand during this adversity. In fact, I will help take this adversity and make something good of it when all you can see is the difficulty of your trials."
When someone hurts us, how do we become compassionate toward them? I struggle sometimes here. They are the adversities in our lives. The easiest thing in the world is to just write them off, or some might say, "Satan, they belong to you. You can have them." But it isn’t the person, but the enemy. The fact of the matter is, as our adversary, or as the adversity in our life, they may be God's tool in our lives and we don't even know it. Selah...
That doesn't mean they're right. What they're doing to us may be entirely wrong, but what was done to Job was entirely wrong too. They may be God's instrument of bringing compassion to us or God's instrument of maturing us, molding us, shaping us.
How do we deal compassionately with people who don't deal compassionately with us? When someone's our adversary, when they hurt us, how do we become compassionate toward them? The answer is that we can't--unless we learn how to forgive. Amen? And forgiveness may be one of the hardest things for us to learn to do. Is God speaking to someone right now? I need this nudge every once and a while because I was one that lived a life of anger built up within. Most who know me now would never have imagined that, but it's true. Praise God for removing that. I still have times and as I said, there are times that I need to be chastised.
The real problem with many that I've ministered to, and we're going to see this later on in this study, is when people hurt us we'll either become better or bitter. Most of us become bitter. We don't want to forgive them because someone hurt us so deeply. Compassion, I think, follows forgiveness. Until we get a handle on how to forgive people who hurt us, hurt us deeply, I don't think we'll ever be compassionate toward them.
I think if we looked into Joseph's life, we'd see a wonderful example of a person who had adversity in his life. None of it was his fault, but he had to learn how deal with brothers. He had to learn how to deal with false accusations in his life. There were so many things he had to learn in order to become compassionate, but he had to first learn how to forgive. I think that's the secret to dealing with people who hurt us. We have to learn how to forgive and that's not an easy lesson. Forgiveness tends to be, “well, if you confess your sins, I'll forgive you," but that's not the biblical definition of forgiveness.
Forgiveness means we turn over to God the hurt that's been done to us. We say, “I don't like this. I don't understand it, but I'm not going to retaliate for it. I'm going to simply give it to You, and let You deal with it in my life."
Let’s think about someone who may be physically alone. Someone who is in a nursing home, shut-in for health reasons. Maybe someone who's in prison, or for whatever the circumstance might be. Is that promise for them too? What would we say to those who might be struggling? I'd say no one is ever really alone as long as you have someone to talk to. And for the person who follows the Lord Jesus, He's always there for us to talk with Him.
That's exactly what prayer is all about. You don't have to talk out loud, but you do have to be intimate in your conversation with Jesus. So throughout the day, throughout the night, keep your conversation going. Keep it going in your mind with the Lord Jesus. Let Him in on your life. Tell Him what's on your mind. Tell the Master Jesus what worries you. Then tell the King of kings and Lord of lords to take your fears and your concerns and your worries away from you. Praise You Jesus. I think that is where many of us fall short. That intimate relationship that God longs for from each of us.
Now let's kind of turn the tables. You're not physically alone, but emotionally you're struggling. Maybe some of you are feeling isolated. Maybe feeling disconnected and alone….what then? I'd suggest to them the same thing. When we feel disconnected, when we feel isolated, it's probably because we are. And that means we're not staying in constant and quality contact with the Savior.
Again, I think prayer can change all that. Prayer isn't always asking something of God. Sometimes it's just talking with Him. It's asking Him to help us know His presence and to understand just how deeply He loves us. There have been times when I felt alone like this and prayer is a help, but just opening His Word and reading God's instructions to me is a huge help.
It's amazing how you find that yourself feeling His compassion and all of these things open the door to our intimacy with God. Rather than saying, “God, You don't care. You're not out there. You don't really care at all what's happening to me," suddenly we find ourselves talking with Him. We find ourselves reading His Word and discovering He really does love us.
In closing, and I think because I didn't get as far along as I had hoped, we'll continue next week. I really would like to ask each of you to reflect on this message and look into your own life. What storms are you in? Are you going through any of the things that were mentioned here? Family issues? Maybe there's an addiction that you can't break through? Maybe someone said hateful words to you and you just can't get past those words. Maybe it's a financial problem?
Church, we don't have to go through the trials alone. Jesus is right here and I think sometimes instead of calling out to Him, we hold on to the issues in our lives. Because of conversations with some, they think they're just born to be a loser. Ever heard that before? Maybe you're one who thinks that. That's not God's way. That's not His personality. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus says "I have come to give you life and life more abundantly." Praise Jesus.
Our friends, Leanna and I ask you to think of someone who may be hurting that you might be able to share this with, or invite them to them to come next week? That's the whole purpose of what J and L Ministries is all about…learning and sharing what we learn with others, to help them with their walk with God.
We want to thank you all for being with us here in the J and L Ministries room on Paltalk. We want to thank all of you on Cross Roads Fellowship, Lokey Sisters, A Far From Normal Faith Ministry, MyLook Online, Google+ and all the other social networks that read, watch and share these messages.
We love you and do hope that you spend this week in a more intimate way with Jesus and that you do see how good He is and see just how much He loves you.