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.