Greetings Brothers and Sisters. Are we excited this morning to hear what God has for us today? Oh my friends, it is so good to know that God loves us. Amen? Everyone hold on to your Bibles. These verses come from Psalms 139:14- 18 and I would like for Leanna to read them from the New King James version.
Psalms 139:14-18 KJV I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Praise be to the One true living God. Thank You God for creating us, Lord, and knowing us, even before we were in our mother’s womb. Thank You Lord for knowing what we ask even before our words are spoken. In Jesus’ name. Church, say with me. Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life from the dead. Again. Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life from the dead. Make it more personal. Praise Jesus who paid my debt in full and raised this life from the dead. Praise You Jesus.
What an awesome God we serve. Amen?
This is something that has been put on my heart a while ago 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, all for God's Glory. Praise the Lord!! Amen?
I have a question for everyone. How much love do you have for people? For those who have been with Leanna and I from the beginning, you might remember the series we did called “Having the Compassion Of Christ.” Anyone remember? Do you love all people? Do you love all your family members? Mother-in-laws? What about your neighbors? All of them? Even the one that bad mouthed you a couple weeks ago? What about those who might be in high school? Do you have love for the one that bullied you yesterday in school? What about those who spend many hours on-line? You might have posted a picture on facebook that had a verse from the Bible on it and a so-called friend insulted you because they thought that was dumb. Can you honestly say you love them?
Let’s turn to Romans 13: 8-11. In these verses, Paul mentions many things that we need to pay attention to. We will look at where true believer’s attitudes should be toward civil government. We will also look at the law of love toward others. Jesus told us in Mark 12:29-31 this.
Mark 12:29-31 KJV And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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.
Friends, my compassion….and it should be each of yours, too……is to witness to the lost. Satan has a field day distracting believers from accomplishing this. The enemy puts such fear into people’s minds to prevent them from doing what Jesus told us to do. Let’s look at some starting with Matthew 4:19
Jesus told Peter and his brother Andrew in Matthew 4:19 KJV And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Matthew 28:18-20 KJV And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Did you notice all power has been given to our Savior? Also did you notice that it is in Heaven and on earth?
(19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Please turn to Mark 13:1. We are going to start with verse 1, because I want you see that Jesus spoke about things that we are going through, right now.
Mark 13:1-11 KJV And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! (2) And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5) And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (6) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (7) And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (9) But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. (10) And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Please turn to Mark 16:15, but want I want to point out is when we share the Gospel with others, let us not try to do it in our own words. I remember when I was first saved, I was excited and I tried to share the little bit about the Bible with others and they probably thought I was a nut case. I have found that when I pray for God to give me the words to share and I rely on His strength, people understand much better. God knows each and every heart of all men and women.
Mark 16:15 KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
For some time, I have wanted to see this community that I live in to be saved and lovers of Christ. One might say, “Brother Jim, you live in a oppressed, depressed drug, alcohol, porn-infested area. An area that has so many churches and such a religious spirit and claim they are the only true religion”. Yes, in the natural realm it would seem like it is a lost cause but with God all things are possible.
“So how do you plan on pulling this dream off Brother Jim?” You might be thinking, “How can you start to see your community come to know Christ as their Savior”? Start by just loving our Communities. Start with Prayer. Friends, we can do this. Why? Because it is God’s will for us to succeed in this endeavor. God says in His Word that He wishes no man, or woman perishes. What endeavor? Church, the endeavor I want to talk about today is taking back Brownville, Brownville Junction, I have to include Milo and all the surrounding towns, just for a start for me. The community that those of you who have been so faithful listening on Skype, those who may be listening on the phone and those who read these sermons faithfully on line. Please turn to Colossians 4:2.
I mentioned this over a year ago during a Bible study….get yourself a notebook that you can add names of those that are neighbors to. Start praying everyday for them to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Add those that you might work with or go to school with. Every time you meet someone new, add them to your list.
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 or might go to school, and the community in which you find yourself living. Begin praying for God to open doors and to use you for His glory where you live.
Do we know our neighbors? Should we get to know them?
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? We need to listen to their 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 is not love. Friends, we need to be intentional.
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 and I get to know people and meet needs, we are then able to share Christ. Here are some examples of how you might get to know people in your area. Have a dinner party or barbecue, get involved in the town functions, go to the local coffee shop or general store and sit and have coffee with the gossipers. It may be a good chance to sow seed. Partner with God’s church. I know we are going to see a harvest. I had a friend and sister in Christ tell me a while back, “There is going to be an explosion.” She is right. There is going to be a huge explosion of lost souls coming to Jesus, if we get out of our comfort zones.
Learn to love others. Get rid of all that unforgivness that has kept you from blessings that God has for you.
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.
The call of God 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.
Brothers and Sisters, God has placed us in our community for a reason and a purpose… to just love. Amen? Jesus was born during a very trying time. Then He taught on things that were biblical, but not what the religious leaders were teaching. We are blessed to live in a beautiful community, but our call is to love. We are called 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 their needs?
Church, it is 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 if we just love. The more we love and have that compassion of Christ, the more we will love ourselves. I hear all the time from people, “I don’t know my neighbors.” I remember when I was younger; everyone knew everyone and their business. It was the way of life. Neighbors helped neighbors and money was not the objective. I wish that was still the way. When Leanna and I do things for others now, people’s mouths drop when we don’t ask for anything in return. It is a way of being a blessing to others.
The commandments God gives us are like the banks of a river that controls the ﬂow of the river. When we violate God’s commandments, we cause the river to run over the banks, and thus it loses its power and beauty. If we add commandments not found in the scriptures, we widen the banks of the river so that it becomes slow and stagnant and loses its life and vitality. And within the stream of the river there are numerous decisions that need to be made that cannot be speciﬁed in advance. The Bible does not anticipate every situation we will encounter. We need the Holy Spirit and wisdom to discern what is best to do as different instances arrive in our life. Scripture informs us that love is the guideline. But there is no attempt to calculate in advance what we should do in each circumstance of life. We read the scriptures, pray, seek wisdom, and rely upon the Spirit in attempting to discern God’s will. After saying all this, the lost do not know these things of God. Amen? They know nothing about being saved, lost, blessings and so on.
Friends, I mention almost every Sunday to be in God’s Word. Here are some reasons why. We increase our faith. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I feel it is important to start memorizing scripture. Why? So we can use scripture in our prayers. We learn God’s heart. We learn how to witness. And we learn how we should live our lives to mention a very few.
I led a study back a few years ago on witnessing. We spent many weeks with people using a prepared lesson including DVDs, booklets, posters and tracts. It was really a great teaching tool. Toward the end, we were to go out into the public to witness and use the things that we had learned and practiced for these several weeks. This is sad and really frustrated me to wonder if those who attended really are concerned about their loved ones and good friend’s eternal future. Not one of the ones who attended were willing to witness.
I love to share God’s Word and I hope by the end of today’s message, everyone of you will understand just how important it is for those who don’t Christ to get to know Him, and also how important it is for us to share.
Proverbs 14:25 KJV A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
Jamess 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Acts 26:18 KJV To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Mark 8:38 KJV Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
And we will end with these verses in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
I now look for reasons to pray for people, even in public. I didn’t used to. I was so afraid of rejection. Not what others would think of me because I wanted to pray for them, but that they would just say “no” if I asked if I could pray. I almost always have a t-shirt that has a gospel message on it, and often people will ask me how I dare to wear them. I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I am not ashamed of Christ. It also opens the door for those to ask me questions about the Bible.
Friends, it could very well happen where the freedom to share the Gospel here in the US may no longer be. Laws are already in affect where our military can’t share. Rumors have been floating around that it will be a thing of the past for us to share online. There are rumor upon rumor of things that we won’t be able to do to reach this dying world.
Do you have unsaved loved ones? Start praying and sowing seeds. Want to see God open doors for you to be a witness to this world and to see Him bless you? Start your day in prayer, dying to self, reading and meditating on His word. Ask Him what His plan is for you during that day and go with it. Amen. For those who are interested in a copy of Praying Effectively for the Lost, drop me a note and I will mail you a copy.