Hello my friends and family. I pray that today's message will be a blessing to you. As I get started here, I think this teaching will be a bit different than how I usually teach, but we shall see. I feel we are going to look at more scriptures than we usually do during the hour sessions. Ok, an hour and a half. As I type this, I can see my wife and hear her thoughts saying, "Sometimes hours." Now, I say that, but I have never heard anyone complain.
If I could have everyone please turn to 2nd Corinthians 5:17. Here is a scripture we all need to keep in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
So as we go through today's message, I am going to share many scriptures with you. I don't want us to just read them, but take the scriptures to heart. Amen? Any one of us can speed read through these scriptures, like the first one, but what good does it do us if it isn't in our hearts? If we don't meditate and chew on it and put our 100% faith in it, what good does it do?
Deuteronomy 11:18-23 Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Really catch this one. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture How much of the Word?) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
So, as we go through today's message, as we read through scripture, I want all of us to be thinking who we are in Christ. Amen? Glory to God!
Please turn to Colossians 1, and this is where we will dive in. Who would like to read chapter 1?
Colossians 1:1-29 KJV Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, (2) To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (3) We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, (4) Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, (5) For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: (7) As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; (8) Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. (9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (23) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (24) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: (25) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; (26) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: (27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: (29) Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
I want to stop here and let us digest what we have just read. We see that Apostle Paul is writing to the people in Colosse. as I said, we are going on a different approach today. Usually I teach on a subject, and even though I kind of am, as the title's name suggests, we will be for the next few weeks studying from the book of Colossians, God willing. So are we ready?
In verse one, we see that Apostle Paul starts this Epistle with "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother" We know that when this was written, Paul was in prison in Rome. We will later see that Epaphras, whom was a member of the church in Colosse had come to share things that were happening within the church. There are many things that we can look at that goes outside of this teaching, like Epaphras being arrested when he came to Rome, Philemon 1:23, and also later in this study as we will see Colossians 4:10.
We see Paul greets the church from himself, God and Timothy. Now, was Timothy there? I think so. A while ago, when I thought I was going to do a study on this book, (By the way, this is one of my favorite books of the Bible) there were mixed emotions from theologians on what part Timothy played during this time. Some thought he was the messenger who delivered this Epistle. I think we can find scripture that counts that claim out. There are claims that Timothy wrote this Epistle. There were times that Paul did not write some of the epistles, but had someone write them for him, like the book of Romans. Romans 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. We could go a lot further with the what ifs on this one verse, but when we get to chapter 4, we will see that it was Paul who wrote this book.
"Brother Jim, what does this history and knowledge have to do with who we are in Christ?" Stick with me and I believe you will see. Praise the Lord.
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The other day, I saw a few in chat on Cross Roads Fellowship and I purposely said, "Hello, Saints." I knew that one might come back with a statement when I said that, and he did. So this is where I ask you, "Where are you in Christ?" We see right here in this Epistle, Paul addressed this letter to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ. Many, if you call addressing them as saints, will get all testy and even argue with you when you say that. Let's look up the meaning of being a saint. In Greek the word ‘saints’ is...
One separated from the world and consecrated to God; one holy by profession and by covenant; a believer in Christ.
Church, that is where we, with Christ living in us should be. Separated from the world. Consecrated to God. That is what we are when we become born again. As we will see later, the old man, or woman, should be dead and we are a new creation. Praise the Lord! So we need to act it. We need to speak like it. We need to love like it. We will see as we continue with this lesson in the next few weeks what was entering into the church during that time, just as it has entered into churches all over the world, but not many seem to care.
Church, when we become born again we are considered holy ones. We are set apart to glorify God. Someone shout "Halleluiah!" The Christian is holy because of the blood of Jesus Christ and being justified by faith. Actually, let's go there so you can see for yourself. Rom. 5:1.
Romans 5:1 KJV Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Friends, we belong to the Lord Jesus. We have been bought at a price, and are called to do God’s will. 1 Peter 2:9 KJV But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: We need to get a full understanding of this.
When we read the Bible, it's important to believe in faith that God is true to His Word. It's the proper and necessary food for the soul, which, and when we are hearers and it gets in our hearts, then we are doers of it, it doesn't leave you as it finds you. Friends, when we allow Christ in our lives to mold us into what we were intended to be from before the earth was formed, it happens. The word improves us, causing us to realize our spiritual position in the world. The things of the world are not that important anymore. Friends, do we catch this? Any one excited?
Colossians 1:3 KJV We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Here we see how Paul often started his letters. Thanking God and sharing with the church of Colosse that they were often remembered and prayed for.
I believe that Paul was a praying man. I believe he knew the power of prayer and because of this praying in faith, God moved through him.
This leads me to the last part of today's message. Praying. I often wonder why we don't pray as often as we should, whether it be on our own or especially praying in church. I mean, I understand part of why we don't pray more, but I know that we have the ability to overcome that. I want us to turn to Ezekiel 22:30. Does anyone want to quickly share their thoughts of why we refuse to be in unwavering prayer and praying always for our government, family, brothers and sisters in Christ, the world, and for our own NEEDS? Satan doesn't want you to pray and he hinders those prayers.
Ezekiel 22:30-31 KJV And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. (Notice this. He found no one to pray. Not one. Friends, here in the US and the World, there is such chaos going on and do we earnestly pray without wavering? (31) Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Please turn to Acts 12, and we will start with verse 1. We're going to start seeing our lives with Christ, but we need to understand some of the key lessons. Reading, understanding the verses, and then acting upon them is part of it. Prayer is another big part.
Acts 12:1-8 KJV Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. (2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (3) And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) (4) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (5) Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (6) And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. (7) And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. (8) And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
Praise God. The importance of prayer and believing in what we pray brings miracles, even when it seems impossible. One more verse and then we will end.
1 Timothy 2:1-5 KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Friends, we as Christians are to be men and women who pray. And in our prayers we should have a generous concern for others as well as for ourselves. Amen? Also, as hard as it might be because we may not agree with them, but it should especially be our desire to pray for those in civil authority, that God will turn their hearts and direct them, making use of them for the accomplishing of His purposes. Agreed? Friends, we know that there is a demonic force running wild in the government, but we have God's Word that says:
James 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. This verse is so important for you and me to get and stand on. Praise God!
Friends, when we can get rid of pride, we learn to forgive, we understand that worldly and fleshly lusts are the distemper which will not allow contentment or satisfaction in the mind, and rise up to the exclusion of prayer and the working of our affections toward God. Let the Christian be free from the friendship of the world, and be submitted to God, thus shutting and bolting the door against the devil. Amen? It doesn't mean that we can't enjoy ourselves. I believe God wants us to be happy, but be happy doing the things of God. Making Godly choices.
Wow, we only got through three verses, but I think we leave here this morning with a better understanding of who we are with Christ living in us. Praise God.
Good morning friends and family. What a great time to be alive. What I mean is, we will be right in the midst of what prophecy said would happen during the end of times here on earth. Are you ready? I said are you ready? I pray so.
Turn, if you will to Matthew 6:24. We all agree again today that every word of your Bible is true and from the Lord Himself? He is the same yesterday, today and forever? Praise God! The passage we are going to start with is Jesus' message on the mount. I am blessed that you have all taken the time to be here and learn and fellowship together.
Matthew 6:24-34 KJV No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (25) Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? (26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (27) Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? (28) And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: (29) And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (31) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (34) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
What is Jesus saying in this part of His sermon? There are many lessons we can find and I believe a time is coming in history that this passage is very, very important for us to grasp for our own lives. Praise Jesus!!
OK, I want to read from another translation so that those that have a hard time following along with the KJ might understand better.
Matthew 6:24-34 GW "No one can serve two masters. He will hate the first master and love the second, or he will be devoted to the first and despise the second. You cannot serve God and wealth. (25) "So I tell you to stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothes? (26) "Look at the birds. They don't plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they? (27) "Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying? (28) "And why worry about clothes? Notice how the flowers grow in the field. They never work or spin yarn for clothes. (29) But I say that not even Solomon in all his majesty was dressed like one of these flowers. (30) That's the way God clothes the grass in the field. Today it's alive, and tomorrow it's thrown into an incinerator. So how much more will he clothe you people who have so little faith? (31) "Don't ever worry and say, 'What are we going to eat?' or 'What are we going to drink?' or 'What are we going to wear?' (32) Everyone is concerned about these things, and your heavenly Father certainly knows you need all of them. (33) But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you. (34) "So don't ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
This part of the sermon on the Mount tells me many things. First and probably most important, it tells me to trust in God more than anything else. Amen? We need food. God knows that and He will provide when we trust Him. He knows we need fluids to keep us alive. He will provide again, trust in Him. Clothing? Did He not provide for Adam and Eve after they disobeyed?
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
"So what are you trying to teach on, brother Jim?" Well, I think we will hit on many things. Fear that we all may have, for one thing. Just sharing what I feel the Lord has laid on my heart. Praise His name.
First, I want to ask you all to think to yourselves about where you put your faith. Do we really put our full trust in God? For those with jobs, do you put your trust in God, or the boss and company that you work for to supply the pay check? Now I am not saying to leave your job. We are to work according to the Bible. What about our government? This is a hard question and I am going to ask the question and then zip my lips. Do we put our faith in the government to take care of us?
Moms, dads, any youth that may be hearing us or reading this at a later time, this next question is for you. Who do you put your trust in? The dads that bring the money in to support the family? Maybe in a single mom role, is she who you put your faith in? Many will say they put their faith in family. I am even talking to devout followers of Christ. I bet I raise some eyebrows.
My Bible tells me to put faith in God. Jesus said it many times. We can read in Hebrews that it is impossible to please God without faith. Let's turn there, please.
Hebrews 11:6 KJV But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Let's turn quickly to Habakkuk 2:4. It is one of the greatest declarations of faith to be found in all the Bible. It presents a contrast between those who are arrogantly rebellious, and those who are humbly submissive. It reveals the striking difference between the proud and the just man. The future belongs to the righteous, while the wicked have no future. Wickedness carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. Pride, tyranny and evil cannot last, but the righteous shall live by faith. Actually, let's start with verse 1.
Habakkuk 2:1-4 KJV I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. (2) And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (3) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (4) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Now, someone may still be stewing over not putting faith in family. Usually it is the man. I am not saying don't love your family and not doing your part to keep the family together and healthy, educated and so on. What I really want all families to understand is this. When we put our faith in God for every aspect of our lives and for our families, the rest falls into place. But we shouldn't put our faith in God half-heartedly.
Let's get back to what the Bible says about fear. please turn to Isaiah 41 and verse 10. Church, what we need to get in our brains and in our hearts is that Jesus loves you and me like we cannot fathom. In Him we need to trust. Christ is the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, engaged by the promise of God’s people. In Him help is found. We should be worshiping Him in all His beauty of holiness. Amen? Get this, friends.
Isaiah 41:10 KJV Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Friends, my God is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. He has been in charge since the beginning of time and will be until the end of time. Praise God!!!! Let us therefore depend upon Him as the God sufficient for us in the worst of times. His grace can silence fears, even when there is the greatest cause for them. Do we get this?
We can look at scripture throughout Psalms and find where trust was put in God during good times and times even unto death. When troubles come, do you call out to God, in faith, telling Him you will trust in Him through your circumstance?
Psalms 56:1-4 KJV To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath. Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. (2) Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. (3) What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
Friends, fear is not from God. When we are surrounded on all sides with difficulties and dangers because of enemies, we have but one retreat—the mercy of God. Faith in Him will surely banish fear. God did not give us fear. In fact, let's go to 2nd Timothy 1:7.
2 Timothy 1:7-9 KJV For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
Church, We can see right here in this chapter the 3 reasons Jesus came to earth. First, to abolish death which is the result of sin that you and I were born with and every single person that was ever born, except Christ.
Secondly, to bring to light salvation through His finished work. What work did He finish? Glad you asked. Please turn to John 19: 28.
John 19:28-30 KJV After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. (29) Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. (30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
These were the last words that Jesus spoke in the flesh. This marked the beginning of the New Covenant, Praise God, by which we are now under grace and not under the Old Covenant of the law.
Turn to Matthew 27:59.
Matthew 27:50-51, And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
So much could be taught on just these scriptures, and I urge you to read them on your own. The death of Jesus fulfilled every sacrificial ceremony of the Old Testament. He was the “passover lamb.” As the blood of the Old Testament sacrifice was sprinkled seven times (Num_19:1-10), so there was a seven-fold sprinkling of the blood of Jesus in His crucifixion. 1. Scourged—Joh_19:1. 2. Thorns—Joh_19:2; 3–4. Each hand pierced. 5–6. Each foot pierced. 7. The spear thrust—Joh_19:34. Again, check these verses on your own.
The third reason was to illuminate the subject of immortality, which believers are to have through Him at His return. If Jesus had not arisen in a glorified body, immortality would not have been brought to light.
"So brother Jim, I didn't see this happen. All I have is these books written years ago by people that I didn't know. How do I know it is not made up so that some church can get my money?" That is where faith comes in. I cannot see Jesus, but I know He loves me, died for me and saved me, I know that I will see Him again. You may say, "How can you know, love, or trust what you cannot see?" Hebrews 11:1 KJV Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The effect of faith with God is “good reputation.” Is it any wonder that God cannot be pleased when men are devoid of that trust in His Word and in Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which receives Him as Savior and Lord and impels to obedience and good works?
Someone reading this may say, "I still won't believe anything I can't see." Okay, let me ask you this. Can you see the wind blow? No. You can see things the wind blows around, but you can't see the wind itself. I am filled with Christ. You can't see the man Jesus, but the fruit that He produces through me, you hopefully can see.
My friends, believers of Jesus or not, I urge every one of you to read the whole Gospel of John this week. I would also ask that you pray before you read it and ask God to reveal His mystery to you. I ask that you are serious about that prayer and that you honestly read and study the words you read.
Friends, I feel I went way off track from where I thought this was going, but I am trusting that the Lord had a purpose for this and that it wasn't my will. We love you and thank you for joining with us today. May the Lord bless you.
Good morning church. Leanna and I are blessed to have you join us this morning. We just got back from a week of spending time near the coast of Maine. Although we did not do a lot while we were there, it gave us a chance to relax, read, meet new people and enjoy each others company without distractions and to spend much time with God.
One of the books that I read was Tortured For Christ. It was written by a Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand. I would recommend every believer to read this book and if you are interested, drop me a note and I will see that one is sent to you, or how you can get your free copy. Praise the Lord!!
If we could please turn to Psalms 96.
Psalms 96:1-6 KJV O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. (2) Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. (3) Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. (4) For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. (5) For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. (6) Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Today we are going to look at the importance of you and me to be sharing the gospel. Before we are done, I want to share a verse I found while Leanna and I were on vacation that I had never really noticed before, even though I have read this passage many times.
As we read this passage from Psalms 96, did it speak to anyone? I am going to read the same scripture from the Good News Bible.
Psalms 96:1-13 GNB Sing a new song to the LORD! Sing to the LORD, all the world! (2) Sing to the LORD, and praise him! Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us. (3) Proclaim his glory to the nations, his mighty deeds to all peoples. (4) The LORD is great and is to be highly praised; he is to be honored more than all the gods. (5) The gods of all other nations are only idols, but the LORD created the heavens. (6) Glory and majesty surround him; power and beauty fill his Temple. (7) Praise the LORD, all people on earth; praise his glory and might. (8) Praise the LORD's glorious name; bring an offering and come into his Temple. (9) Bow down before the Holy One when he appears; tremble before him, all the earth! (10) Say to all the nations, "The LORD is king! The earth is set firmly in place and cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with justice." (11) Be glad, earth and sky! Roar, sea, and every creature in you; (12) be glad, fields, and everything in you! The trees in the woods will shout for joy (13) when the LORD comes to rule the earth. He will rule the peoples of the world with justice and fairness.
Those who have come to know Jesus should go to all nations, in His strength, sharing the love and His beauty with all we meet. And to continually praise Him in song, thanksgiving and in being in obedience.
I had the perfect chance this past week to share my faith with a young lady. Where Leanna and I stayed last week, I had seen a sign about the use of a printer in the clubhouse. When I asked the girl at the front desk about it, she said if I e-mailed it to her, she could print it out for me. I said that would be awesome, but on one condition. She asked what was that? I said that you promise to read through it. When I stopped by later, after Leanna and I came back from dinner, I picked up the printed pages and she said that she had read it and hoped I didn't mind that she made a copy from the last page for herself. She also explained that she had a hard time understanding it where I use the King James Version. To make a long story a bit shorter, we talked about her past times in some of the churches she had visited and where she had been hurt because of man-made laws. There was a connection with us, and I knew then and I know now, that God is going to do something amazing with this young lady. Leanna and I bought her a New King James Bible and tabs and she is already digging into it. Praise God.
It doesn't take much effort to get into a conversation about God and the Bible if you allow God to work through you. As I have mentioned, be in prayer for God to be in control. To allow Him to be our mouth piece. When we allow these things to happen, things get done. When we try to do it on our own, most times we mess up. We either explain things and it gets to complicated, or we start getting judgmental, and the list goes on.
Let's look at some more scriptures. Most of these you have probably heard many times, but they are good examples.
Matthew 24:14 KJV And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Matthew 28:19-20 KJV Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15-18 KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So where are we to take the Gospel to? And preach to who?
Now I mentioned a verse that really got my attention this past week. I have mentioned many, many Sundays, and also in chat at Cross Roads Fellowship that if the Lord, through you, leads someone to the Lord, please, please, please get them to a Bible believing church and Bible study. Coach them along, even if it means driving them each week. The enemy is going to try to give them every excuse possible to keep them from going.
Please turn to Mark 4:14. I want to look at one particular verse in the parable that Jesus that Jesus told about the sower. I have read this, I knew it, but when I saw this verse, I was amazed.
Mark 4:14-15 KJV The sower soweth the word. (15) And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Had anyone noticed how plain this verse says how Satan takes away the word of God that you might have just shared with someone?
Mark 4:14-15 AMP The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.
Like I mentioned earlier, I have known this, but didn't really see it here in this verse before. It goes to show you that the enemy does have power. It shows me just how much the enemy hates the word of God and for us to be saved. Amen?
Turn please to Romans 13: 8. Back a few years ago there was something put on my heart and have shared many times and I wonder if anyone ever carried through with it. What had been put on my heart was for this area, but will fit in whatever town, state or nation, if we apply these principles. I pray that someone would grab hold of this and run with it, for God's Glory.
Romans 13:8-11 KJV Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (11) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
"Okay brother Jim, so what are you asking me to do?" you might be asking. Love your neighbor. Pray for them. For many it might mean getting to know them.
What I want to encourage in each of you, is to take back the communities in which we live in from what the enemy has turned them into. For instance, for me it would be taking back Brownville, Brownville Jct, I have to include Milo and all the surrounding towns, just for a start. Colossians 4:2 KJV Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; God has placed you in a sphere of influence for a reason and a purpose. It is not an accident where you live, where you work, and the community in which you find yourself. Begin praying for God to open doors and to use you for His glory where you live.
To start, we need to know our neighbors. What are their needs? Do they know Christ? Are they in need of things that we can bless them with?
James 2:14-20 KJV What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
How can we love people if we are not willing to know them? Most of us are so caught up in our own daily living to pay attention to neighbors needs.
Galatians 6:9-10 KJV And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
If you are only there for people when it is convenient for you, then it's not love. Also don't be doing good deeds for your own pat on the back.
1 Peter 3:14-18 KJV But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. (17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. (18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
As you know people and meet needs, you then are able to share Christ. This is my challenge to you. I would ask each of you to get a notebook and pen. Each day I would ask you to write down the name of a family that lives in your neighborhood and pray for them. Then the next day, write down the name of another family and pray for them and the first family on your list. Each day add a new family and pray for them and the ones from days prior. For those of you prayer warriors, you may want to add 2 or 3 families each day, and that's fine. The important thing is that we do it. Praise God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 KJV Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
Friends, I hear people say that they don't know what the will of God is for their life. We have just looked at some verses sharing God's will. The call of God in each of us is for us to be people of love. To bring heaven to earth.
Philippians 1:9-11 KJV And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Church, God has placed us in our community for a reason and purpose to just love. It's not an accident where we live, where we work, and where we do “life.” We are blessed to live in a beautiful community, but our call is to love. To be the hands and feet of Christ. And how can we love unless we are willing to know the people around us as well as being willing to step out and meet needs? It's not enough to talk about love, but we are called to live a life of love. Imagine the difference we can make together in our community as we just love.
Friends, fellowship with other believers is so important. The friendship and fellowship together of fellow servants in the Lord is a great refreshment under the sufferings and difficulties in the way. It adds much to the beauty and strength of the Gospel ministry when Christ’s servants are loving and condescending toward one another. Let the people of God pray particularly for those over them in the Lord, that God may enable them to speak as they ought to speak and that doors of utterance may be opened. Praise Jesus!!
My dear friends and family, through this ministry that God has blessed Leanna and I with, I hope and pray that we are sowing seeds into your lives. Whether it be what we share on Cross Roads Fellowship, J and L Ministries website, for those who visit in our home on Sundays, or those who join us through Skype on Sundays. We love you and pray for you.
For those who take up the challenge I shared with you, please keep me updated, as I love testimony that brings glory to God.