Hello friends and family and thank you for joining us live here at our home, live on Paltalk, or those reading or listening on all the sites that I share these sermons on. Praise the God of the most High! I need to share how blessed I was at the amount of people last week that tuned in to our room here on Paltalk and stayed while I shared the message. There were many who participated after the message and the fellowship was great.
For those joining us for the first time, welcome. We have been doing a study called "Who Are We In Christ?" and basing it from the book of Colossians. For those who want to read the message from this series, you can visit our website jandlministries.weebly.com to view all the messages of this series and all the others.
If you open your Bibles to Colossians and mark your place at chapter 4, then turn to Matthew 28, and we will read 16-20. Friends, where I feel led is to teach you from God's Word to better your lives with an understanding of what God wants all of us to know and to raise some of you up to be disciples. That is part of the great commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 KJV Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. (17) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
What a commandment brought before you and me, and also powerful promises. Yet the majority sit comfortably. I ask you my friends, without raising your hands, how many of you can honestly say that you give a hundred percent for God? How many can honestly say that they daily share their faith with others in this lost world? Even to those who do not know Christ in your home, place of business or maybe school? I have heard from some that are in their 80's share that they had never heard the salvation message. I am talking about here in the US. Friends, that tells me that people have not been in their Bibles, OR they don't care about the their friends and family.
"Oh boy, brother Jim is going to teach a hard message". My dear friends, I love you and I care about you. I care about all mankind, but there is only so much of me and the few who do have compassion for others to hear the gospel message. If it means bringing out strong verses to light a fire under you, then that is what I need to do. Glory to God!
I want to bring you each up to the Gospel truths so that you are rock solid in your faith. Glory to Jesus. No more wavering. No more stumbling around on what you believe. "What do you mean by that, brother Jim?" What I mean by that is there is a message being taught that it is okay to sin. Not in my Bible.
Some have no idea how they feel about abortion. Is it right or not? The average of those who claim to be Christians are buying into the concept that gay marriage is okay for today's time. The world is changing. Well, if that spoke to you my friends, you need to start digging into your Bibles. God is the same today as He was when He said that sexual sin is an abomination. If He said it was then, it still is today. My Lord and Savior is not a respecter of persons.
Okay, this introduction to this sermon is sure to bring me hate mail, but you know what, we need to cling to His truths. My friends, He is coming back for His spotless church. Will we mess up? Oh yea. But He is quick to forgive us when we repent. That doesn't mean laugh it off and continuing to wallow around in the muck, but to have a renewed mind.
Colossians 4:1 KJV Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
If you joined us last week, we see that Apostle Paul is continuing from chapter 3 which ended with God being a fair and impartial judge and how we are to work at our jobs with honesty and integrity. I asked last week if we were that way in our work place. To be honest, when I worked at a woolen mill, I remember it was a wake-up call for me. Before I graduated from High school, I had worked on dairy farms. Though I worked for someone else, I was on my own most of the time and had good work ethics.
There was a short period, before I joined the army, where I worked at a woolen mill, and what a change that was for me. I was in maintenance and the cheating of hours, the stealing of materials, the language and everything else blew my mind.
Thankfully I was able to transfer to the trucking division, and soon I was driving over the road cross country and was more or less on my own again.
What I want you to think about is, do we stay clear from the evil that happens in the work place? Are we ones who cheat on the time clock adding more time that we didn't actually work? What about taking home things that don't belong to us? Flirting with others behind our spouse's back? God's intentions for us is to be set apart. Not to be like those in the world. There are times that we may have to befriend those who play these dangerous games.
We see in this verse that Paul turns his attention briefly to masters, employers, and tells them to treat those under their charge fairly because they too have a Master in heaven, the ultimate and impartial Judge, Who treats them fairly. Amen?
Colossians 4:2 KJV Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
Church, we see Paul is ending this epistle and repeating some things. In this verse we saw him use a similar part of the beginning of this series in chapter 1. What he is saying is to continue steadfastly, to adhere to, to be devoted to. Paul urges us to be steadfast and continuous in our prayers. We're not to slack in this practice.
Back a year or so ago, I led a study on prayer and someone asked how often we should pray and for how long. I don't think there is any time limit or how many times a day, but the Scriptures are full of the accounts of God and the people praying in all circumstances and at all times of the day and night. Sometimes fasting was included like we are doing on Cross Roads Fellowship. I can't tell you how many times a day that I pray. It depends. There are days that it seems like I log onto a website and hundreds come with their requests. The thing for me is to talk to God throughout the day. It doesn't mean you have to be praying on your face all day long, or even each time you pray. When you start to get in tune with Christ, you will know.
Church, we are to keep alert in prayer and we must be watchful that we do not pay too much attention to the world and thereby neglect this privilege and necessity. We should be thankful in our prayers and that helps us to always puts us in a proper attitude before God because it reminds us of what He has done for us in Christ. Praise Jesus!
Colossians 4:3 KJV Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.
Here we see that Paul is asking the church Colossee to pray for him. There was a time I wondered why Paul, the writer of 2/3 of the New Testament, the mighty apostle would request prayers from other believers. Anyone else ever wonder the same thing? I mean, doesn't his apostleship mean that his requests before God carry more weight? Anyone?
Turn if you will to Proverbs 28:9. I want to take this time to look at a few verses, and I hope they speak to each of us. We have to remember that Paul was human. The same temptations that we face, he faced. Paul was not perfect. Have you been waiting and waiting for a prayer to be answered and it seems like it is floating around in limbo somewhere? There may be several reasons why. I am not saying this next verse is the reason, but I do think that we should look at it.
Proverbs 28:9 KJV He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Now, very soon I want to look at the law and see if we are still to fall under the law, but not today. That is a study of its own.
Turn to James 1:6, please. Suppose Paul had any doubt? Maybe.
James 1:6 KJV But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
What about pride? Let's look at Luke 18:11- 14. Here Jesus was talking about pride. There was a time He was speaking to me, also, as I was very prideful.
Luke 18:11-14 KJV The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased (meaning to behave in a way as to belittle or degrade (someone).) ; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Let's go back to James and chapter 4:3. and also verse 4. Let's see if selfishness might hinder prayers. This verse we are about to look at I hear so often taken out of context.
James 4:3-4 KJV Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (4) 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.
I hear so often people running around saying you have not because you ask not. We just read it. Is that what verse 3 said? Absolutely not. This my friend is why we need to read our Bibles. A young person just starting out in their faith walk might hear "You have not because you ask not," could go on through life asking and asking and nothing happening because their heart was not right. It says because you ask amiss,that that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
People are taking part of a verse and taking it totally out of context. Church, we need to get this. Another way of saying it is that the one praying was praying with wrong motives. Is what they are praying for lining up with God's Word? Will it bring honor and glory to God, or self? Church, get this. When you pray for things, you don't get them because you want them for the wrong reason - for your own pleasure. Do you suppose it may be time to check our hearts and maybe how and why we are praying? Remember friends, if it seems like there is a finger pointing to you, there are the rest pointing back at me.
I know people who put some pastors so high on a pedestal. Some of the preachers on TV and radio people worship like they are God. Friends, it is important for you to know, they are no more influential with God than you. For we are all sinners saved by grace and all our prayers go through Christ. Amen. Some of those TV evangelists are no more Christian than Hitler was.
Please turn to Romans 10:17. Let's look at a verse that those following this ministry probably know by heart. Paul knew the value of prayer and he requests that the Colossian's pray that God would open the door for him to be able to preach and teach the word of truth. Paul's heart is to preach the word of truth so that by it, people would hear, believe, and be saved from the righteous judgment of God.
Friends, this is the prayer request that I ask you to pray for J and L Ministries. That we reach the lost. That we teach and make disciples for God's glory. That we can lay hands on the sick and they be healed. That we can support those who are in need. That through this ministry and other outreaches - Cross Roads Fellowship, that there is a safe place for people from all around the world to come and praise and worship Jesus and learn, pray, and to have fellowship without the fear of someone coming against them. Praise God. And that this ministry's motives be always pure.
Romans 10:17 KJV So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Friends, we will look at one more verse from Colossians and I will close.
Colossians 4:4 KJV That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Wow, wow, wow. If only every preacher got this. Paul desires to speak with the truth and wisdom of God, not from his own wisdom. Only God is the true source of all wisdom and Paul desires that through prayer he might know the proper way to speak to those with whom he is imprisoned, both guards and fellow inmates. Praise God. Thank You Holy Spirit for speaking through this man, Paul.
Lord, I pray that for me also. That I may teach only Words from You. Lord, that the words I speak would be convicting, but in love. Lord, I pray that lives would change and a hunger for You and Your ways would be more in each of them. In Jesus' name. Amen. Glory to God.
So I ask you my friends. From this message today, would you be more responsible in your work place? To work not just for money and the world, but as if you were working for Jesus? Those who might be a boss, would you be willing to treat employees with more respect and not just as a number? Not robbing them of things they have earned?
Might our prayers be with the right heart, not just to gain for ourselves? There were many things to take in today. Things that I know many struggle with on a daily basis. I know a Friend that can help each one of us. You and me, but we need to lay some things at His feet.
Brother Jim, I have heard that so many times but my life never changes. My prayers are never heard. My question to you is, were you sincere? Did you really surrender that problem that bugs you? Many times, and me included, we only give part of it. We think we are ridding ourselves of a problem. We think we gave it all to Jesus, but then as soon as the right opportunity comes, we take it back. Same as forgiveness. We say we forgive, but then when we hear that person or person's name, we get all panicky and we bring those same things back up again.
Lots to think about this week and I hope that each of you may ask God today to reveal those things that need to change. We love you and want to thank each of you for joining today.
I will open this room for questions and comments for the next half hour.
May the Lord bless you.