Weekly Messages

Weekly message notes are placed here to look on during the preaching or review after the preaching to reainforce the message. 

 

Wed 10/16

 

Water Baptism

Mark 16:16 - He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

Scriptural reasons for baptism

Washing away - Acts 22:16 -  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Remission - Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Part of the new birth experience - John 3:5-Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

For salvation - 1 Peter 3:21- The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

 

The Bible states that through baptism there is remission of sins. Remission means to remove; to take away.

Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the low purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission of sins.

 

How were they baptized in the Bible?

 

Acts 8:36-38 – Phillip baptized a Eunich.  It describes them coming out of the water

Colossians 2:12 – states “buried with Him in baptism”.

No scriptural evidence is provided that states sprinkling is sufficient for baptism.

Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 24:47 – And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.

Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 4:12 – Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

At the Altar of Lake Norman we practice baptism by immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ  for the remission of sins based on the above scriptures and others in the Bible.

 

Baptism works because of obedience.  It is not the location, the condition of the water, or what is worn.  Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is a method chosen by God to wash away sins.  He could have chosen anything.  Taking part in this is a matter of faith and obedience. 

 

Please prayerfully consider your baptism experience in accordance to the scriptures.  It is scriptural to rebaptize someone if your experience lacked something– Acts 19:1-5

 

Scripture Bank

 

John 3:3-5

Luke 24:47

Acts 4:12

Acts 19:1-5

Romans 6:4-5

Galatians 3:27

Acts 2:38

The Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)

 John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

 

Initial Outpouring of the Spirit

 

Acts 2:1-4

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

 

Then it continued to take place…

 

  • The Samaritans Acts 8:17-20 / verse 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
  • Cornelius and his family and friends – Acts 10:44-47/  verse 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

             46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

  • Disciples of John – Acts 19:1-6/ verse  6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied
  • Apostle Paul – Acts 9:17-18, I Corinthians 14:18

 

John the Baptist said this would happen, and it did:

Matt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 

Then Jesus said it would happen, and it did:

Acts 1:4-5  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 -For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

Take note that everyone that receive the Holy Ghost in the Bible spoke in other tongues.

 

Why did God choose tongues?  The Bible provides some answers.

  1. God is sovereign – Isaiah 40:13-14
  2. From the heart, the mouth speaks- Matthew 12:34
  3. Chief means of expression – Proverbs 18:20-21, James 3:3-5
  4. The tongue is the most difficult member of the body to control- James 3:5-8
  5. It is an obvious, external, uniform sign – Acts 11:15-17

 

This satisfies the requirement that Jesus mentioned of being born again of the spirit in John 3:5

 

Purpose of the Holy Ghost:

  • Brings rest, peace, and joy – Isaiah 28:11-12/ Romans 14:17
  • Helps us to pray – Romans 8:26 / 1 Cor 14:14-15
  • Gives us power to witness – Acts 1:8/ 4:31
  • Teaches us and guides us in things to come – John 14:26/ 16:13
  • Gives us power over the enemy – 1 Jon 4:1-4/ Luke 10:19-20
  • Opens the door to other gifts of the spirit – entire chapters of 1 Cor 12 and 14

Sunday 10/13/19

My Time Is Coming

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need

  • David was man that was destined to do a great work for God, but he needed some training time. Some proving time. Oh how he must have felt being the runt of the litter. His brothers making fun of him probably on a daily basis. But, oh David, your time is coming my friend; just hang in there.
  • It must have been frustrating for David the day that Samuel was to come and eat supper with his family. What an honor to have a prophet request to have dinner with you. But David you must still tend to the sheep. We will bring something out to you when Samuel is gone O.K. But, oh David, your time is coming; just hang in there.
  • I can just imagine the look on his brothers’ faces when he found out that God had passed up all his brothers just to make him the new King of Israel. David; your time is coming.
  • All of the times that David fled from Saul, he just kept on reminding himself that his time was coming.
  • David said in Psalms 23:5…Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

I I want someone’s cup to run over!

 

Your time is coming for breakthrough

Your time is coming for anointing

Your time is coming for baptism

Your time is coming for the infilling of the Holy Ghost

Your time is coming for next level power

Your time is coming for healing

 

Understand, there is a difference between us waiting on God and God waiting on us.

-If it’s a command and we are not doing it - God is waiting on us.

-If there is a door open - and we have the capabilities - God is waiting on us.

-I am under the persuasion to try the spirits and see whether they be of God.

 

It is past time for husbands to be Godly husbands.

It is past time for young people to step up and step out.

It is past time for those with leadership qualities to begin to use them.

 

  • Abraham and Sara were old when they had Isaac. She must have been devastated when Hagar had a child. But God told her don’t worry, your time is coming. And it was when she was 90 years old she had Isaac. YOUR TIME IS COMING.

 

  • Mark 10:46… And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.  YOUR TIME IS COMING.
  • Esther 4:14…For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?YOUR TIME IS COMING.
  • John 5:5-9…5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

 

This man had waited all his life to be healed. He was not there by accident; God had him right where he needed to be. You are not here by accident; God has you right where you need to be. YOUR TIME IS COMING.

 

  • Acts 10:1-4…1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. CORNELIUS YOUR TIME IS COMING.

 

 I believe God wants us to be spiritually successful ... and yet success is not always obvious. The Chinese bamboo tree does absolutely nothing--or so it seems--for the first four years. Then suddenly, sometime during the fifth year, it shoots up ninety feet in sixty days. Would you say that bamboo tree grew in six weeks, or five years? I think our lives are akin to the Chinese bamboo tree. Sometimes we put forth effort, put forth effort, and put forth effort ... and nothing seems to happen. But if you do the right things long enough, you'll receive the rewards of your efforts. You will reap what you sow! It’s a promise.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

YOUR TIME IS COMING!!!

 

Wed 10/9/19

The Next Step

Faith

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Faith is believing.  It is an act of trust by which we commit ourselves to someone or something.

 

Faith is the element that starts our Christian walk.  Faith is the fuel that gets the motor running for everything else in the kingdom of God.  That’s why Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him. 

 

No Faith

 

“...How is it that ye have no faith?”  (Mark 4:40)  Other gospel writers mentioning this occasion have written “little faith.”  Fear is the absence of faith and here they had put their eyes on their circumstances.  Therefore, it canceled their little bit of faith because they were not looking to Jesus as the problem solver.  He was right in the ship with them and they were still fearful.  Jesus had already told them,  “Let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35)  In this situation they demonstrated “no faith.”  Fear overcame faith.  The fact that they did not demonstrate faith in this situation does not mean that they did not have “the measure of faith” that is given to every man.

 

Little Faith

 

Jesus revealed in Matthew 6:30 that there were those that had “little faith.”  The storm was raging, and the disciples trembling, crying to Jesus for help when he asked, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith.”  (Matthew 8:26)

 

Matthew 14 records the “water walk” of Peter.  Peter gets out of the boat and walks toward Jesus.  Every step of faith will take us toward Jesus.  As he walked he began to look at his circumstances, the wind and the waves.  As he looked at his situation he began to sink. Jesus grabbed him out of the water and rebuked Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”  (Matthew 14:31) He likely sat in the boat shivering from the cold.   The other disciples probably laughed at him but he had done something no one else had dared to attempt; he had walked on water.  Thank God for Peter’s little faith.”

 

Natural/General Faith

 

We exercise natural faith when we turn the light switch on and expect there to be lights.  When we get in an automobile we expect that it will start when we put the key in the ignition.  A farmer believes that when he plants the seed it will produce a harvest.  Natural faith is much like natural wisdom. 

 

Every man is given the “measure of faith.”  (Romans 12:3)  Every human acts on a measure of faith every day.

 

We all probably start on the same level of faith.  However, all people do not have the same level of faith.  Every Christian has this general faith and it can be increased through the Word of God.  It is through general faith that we are able to receive the answer to most of our prayers.  We all want our faith to increase.  In Luke 17:5 the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith.  Faith is a muscle.  If you use it, your faith will grow.  If you don’t use it, you lose it!

 

Romans 10:17 tells us how we can increase our faith.

 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

 

Saving Faith

 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:8)

Through the grace of God, and saving faith that is increased through the hearing of the Word of God, we are lead to salvation.  Saving faith allows us to realize that we are sinners, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and moves us into obedience to the plan of salvation.  This becomes the obedient faith that brings salvation.  Saving faith motivates a person to repent, be baptized in Jesus name, and receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16) 

 

Great Faith

 

Jesus expressed to the centurion, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10)  What prompted Jesus to say this?  This man had a servant who was sick.  He came to Jesus and explained the problem.  This man did not feel worthy of having Jesus in his home.  He said, “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”  (Matthew 8:8)  He went on to say that he was a man who had authority who could command others to “Go and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.”  (Verse 9)  This truly did demonstrate “great faith.”

 

Fruit of Faith

 

This is only received after the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  As we become mature Christians we start producing the fruit of faith (Galatians 5:22).  The Greek word is also translated “faithfulness.”  This is a fruit that grows in the life of a Christian that enables him to have a strong, spiritual life and character.

 

 

Mustard Seed Faith

 

The mustard seed has living faith.   Its faith is shown in its obedience to the laws of God.  It acknowledges the law of God that says that what is sown will reap.  It has no mind of its own and is willing to die in order to produce.  The mustard seed will grow up to 15 feet (4.6 meters).  Rabbis in the days of Jesus Christ used the mustard seed as a symbol of anything that is tiny.   

 

“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  (Luke 17:6)

 

Full of Faith

 

The disciples asked Jesus in Luke 17:5 “Lord, increase our faith.”  Jesus immediately launched into the illustration of the grain of mustard seed.  Our faith can grow progressively, when exercised to the point that we will be “full of faith.”  This is not an impossibility for us since a deacon in Acts 6 is described as being a man “full of faith.”  (6:5,8) Some refer to it as “progressive faith.” 

When we exercise the faith that we have, it begins to grow.  The mustard seed does not stay a little seed forever.  It grows into a plant that can reproduce on its own.

 

Gift of Faith - Supernatural Faith

 

This is one of the gifts of the Spirit.  This type of faith will be discussed in another lesson.

 

What type(s) of faith do you have?  I trust you are not like Martha who said, “Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  She had faith; faith in the past.  Later she confessed,  “I know my brother will rise in the last day; the resurrection.”  She now had faith in the future.  However, Jesus is a God of right now.  He spoke to stinking Lazurus; already four days in the tomb and commanded; “Lazurus, Come forth!” 

 

 

How to Move to a Higher Level of Faith

 

We can move to a higher level in faith by listening to the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and then by acting on the Word that we have heard.  We need to put the Word to work.  In Malachi 3:10 God said to “prove me...if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”  We can also move higher in faith by “asking” for more faith.  James said, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.”  (James 1:17)

 

Faith is like a Muscle;

It must be exercised for it to grow!!

 

The Next Step

Repentance

 

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

 

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:1-2).

 

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).

 

 

What is repentance?

 

Repentance involves turning from sin to the Lord. It is a turning point in life. An individual walking one way, the sinful way, makes an “about-face” and starts walking in the opposite direction toward God.

 

An inward change of ATTITUDE leading to an outward change of ACTION. Unless both of these occur, real repentance has not taken place.

 

The nature of repentance is not only a turning from, but also a turning to. It will cause a person to stop a wrong action and begin a right one.

 

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

 

Why Repent?

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

 

  • Jesus said to do it: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
  • It’s a command: but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).
  • Salvation - “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
  • Prepares for Baptism - Repentance is not complete without baptism. Repentance is a type of death. Death always comes before burial. Baptism is a type of burial. The Bible teaches that we should repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38, Luke 24:47, Mark 16:16).

 

How Do I Repent?

 

  • Confess my sins to God (Luke 18:13).
  • Confess to man if I have wronged him (James 5:16; Matthew 5:23-24).
  • Forsake sin (Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:7).

 

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).

 

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).

 

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire (Matthew 3:11)

Sunday 10/6/19

The Beauty of Being Shaken

Job 16:12

I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.

  • Being shaken denotes being moved, stirred, deeply touched.

Have You Ever Wondered How You Survived growing up?

  • When I was a kid, we rode in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and in the back of a pickup trucks on a warm day doing 55 mph.
  • We eventually learned a better way of doing things.
  • It took us being shaken to change our ways and habits.

Many are:

  • Only partially moved.
  • Lack a hunger for spiritual things.
  • Have no passion.
  • Have become too familiar with the things of God.

I. Partially Shaken

1. God gave Ezekiel a vision of a huge valley full of dry bones.  It happened in 2 stages in Ezekiel 37.

  • 2. “So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, BUT THERE WAS NO BREATH IN THEM.” Ezek. 37:7-8.
  • They had no spiritual life (Breath) in them! They were only halfway there.
  • The unfortunate thing about many people is that that never reach the fullness God has for them.

B. THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IMITATIONS

1. We’ve all seen the imitation Elvis Presleys. They’re not, of course, the real thing.

2. We all know about the imitations in the merchandising world – “knock-offs;” “look-a-like” purses, dresses, shoes, cars, jewelry, etc.

3. The same occurs in the spiritual world. There are those who don’t have the substance of Christianity, but put on the façade, the veneer. Paul said there’s even cheap copies of the Gospel (Gal. 1:6) that won’t save.

6. Many will be surprised they’re not right with Christ on the Day of Judgment. This incomplete formation hinders revival; ½ revived doesn’t equal revival!

II. LACK OF HUNGER FOR SPIRITUAL THINGS

2. Leonard Ravenhill, "The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"

B. WHAT IS HUNGER FOR GOD?

1. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt.5:6). What is meant by hunger? Spiritual hunger is the appetite of the soul panting for spiritual food.

2. Peter said, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word…” 1Pet. 2:2.

  • Spiritual hunger is not reserved only for a few impassioned souls, but should be the normal state of every Christian who is in dependence on God.
  • Doctors consider appetite one of the strongest indicators of your health. Loss of appetite is an indicator of a much deeper problem. If we go without food for a prolonged period, the body can cease to hunger.
  • David developed his hunger for God; “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land, where no water is” Ps. 63:1. “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.” Psalm 143:6.
  • Are we hungry and thirsty for God? Do we long for His presence more than our daily food?
  • Imagine going to a restaurant & letting the waiter read you the menu & describe the food and its taste. Then you go home, not having eaten anything!
  • That’s what many do at church. They hear about God, but never “taste & see that the Lord is good!”

III. NO PASSION

A. DO YOU HAVE PASSION?

2.  DO YOU HAVE PASSION -- FOR GOD? If someone looked at your life, would they say YOU HAVE PASSION?

  • NOT for missions, NOT for ministry, NOT for evangelism –BUT FOR GOD!!!

B. GREATEST COMMAND? BE PASSIONATE!

3. John Bevere tells how when he first met his wife, he thought of her constantly. He’d do whatever to spend as much time with her as possible. He couldn’t help but talk about her. It was a joy for me to do whatever she wished. His affections were set on her.

4. But a few years later, he turned his attention & affection to other things -- the ministry. It became bothersome to do something for her. He only thought of her occasionally. He bought her gifts, not out of love, but obligation.

5. “Our marriage was in trouble. Our first love was dying! Our original love was no longer there, it was difficult even to get along. Then God turned my heart and let me see how selfish I had become and helped me rekindled the flames of our first love and healed our marriage.”

6. This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “You have left your first love.” (2:4-5). If we lose our passion, it matters to Him!

7. When we have our first love. Other people see it.

IV. FAMILIARITY

A. THE PROBLEM

  • Lev. 10:1-10 tells the story of 2 brothers, Nadab &Abihu, sons of Aaron the brother of Moses, who were serving at the Tabernacle. But they were careless in their handling of sacred things and the fire of the Lord burned them up.
  • What was the problem? They became so familiar with God that they became irreverent.
  • It’s so easy to take the Bible, or church, or our relationship with God, or prayer for granted – they can lose their sacredness/ uniqueness in our hearts and be common.
  • It’s easy to think we understand God, have figured Him out. That we have this whole Christianity thing down.
  • But God says, “Among those who approach Me…I will be honored” Lev. 10:3 and “Those who honor me I will honor” 1Sam. 2:30.
  • If we don’t fear Him and tremble at His presence, do we really honor Him?

Wed 10/2/19

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

For us to do things with God we have never done we have to go places we have never been.

  • For us to see new things we have to go to new areas
  • for us to have a deeper sense of his purpose and plan we have to have new experiences.

 

The question assumes that God never has good reasons for suffering.

  1. Suffering is due to the fallen state of creation - Romans 8:19-22

Romans 8:19-22 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

 

  1. Suffering can be a punishment for sin - Judges 2:11-15

Judges 2:11-15 

11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.13 And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.14 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

Though not always - John 9:1-3

John 9:1-3  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

  1. God can permit Satan to inflict it - Job 1-2 “Consider my servant Job”

Job 1:8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

  1. It can drive sinners to repentance - Psalm 119:71

Psalm 119:71 -71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

  1. It can be used to advance God’s kingdom 1 Peter 4:12-19

16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

  1. It can be used to sanctify us (or separate us) - James 1:2-4

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

  1. We have to trust our ways are higher than ours - Romans 11:33-36

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

 

writer Aaron Moss says:

But what if we found the answer? What if someone came along and gave us a satisfying explanation? What if the mystery were finally solved? What if we asked why, and actually got an answer?

 

If this ultimate question were answered, then we would be able to make peace with the suffering of innocents. And that is unthinkable. Worse than innocent people suffering is others watching their suffering unmoved.

 

And so, if we could make sense of innocent people suffering, if we could rationalize tragedy, then we could live with it. We would be able to hear the cry of sweet children in pain and not be horrified. We would tolerate seeing broken hearts and shattered lives, for we would be able to neatly explain them away. Our question would be answered, and we could move on.

 

So keep asking the question, why bad things happen to good people. But stop looking for answers. Start formulating a response. Take your righteous anger and turn it into a force for doing good. Redirect your frustration with injustice and unfairness and channel it into a drive to fight injustice and unfairness. Let your outrage propel you into action. When you see innocent people suffering, help them. Combat the pain in the world with goodness. Alleviate suffering wherever you can.

 

He is waiting for us to do it. That's what we are here for.

In short, will it make you do something.

 

Through everything- God wants us to draw closer to Him. Period.

 

God provides that the choice for good is always present, and continually lifts us up from our pain and our doubt to freedom to live and love again. The real question is, can we trust this? Can we find the good, or at least pursue it, and allow the force of love and life to lift us up? When we do this we can heal and even grow. And this growth is eternal.

Sunday 9/29/19

Open Season on Giants

 

Giant - something larger than its kind

can I say It can be something loud, in your face, difficult to get around

 

1Samuel 17:40  And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

 

Second Samuel 21:15–22 and 1 Chronicles 20:4–8 tell us that there were other unusually tall warriors among the Philistines. The lists are not identical, but putting them together we read that there were four: Saph (also called Sippai), Lahmi, Ishbibenob, and an unnamed warrior. The descriptions are similar to that given to Goliath, noting “great stature” and the dimensions of their weaponry. Unlike Goliath or any of the other named warriors, the unnamed giant is said to have six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot.

 

2 Samuel 21:22  These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

 

We get permission to kill some giants. It’s already been done.  Now it’s open season

All we need to know today is that if he could do it, then we can too. 

 

We actually face many more giants that that today.

 

*I want to encourage someone today.  Not that you have done something wrong, but to face these giants so that they no longer have control over your life. This isn’t as much about right and wrong as it is about a better way.

 

Every day Giants the Lord wants you to destroy today:

  1. insecurity - Moses said “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh”
  • David said in 2 Sam 7:18 - “who am I and what is my house that you have brought me here”
  • There is a vast difference between humility and insecurity.
  • Insecurity is based on the flesh and emotion - it’s a reaction. It comes to you.
  • I preached a message a few weeks ago about being bold because we have to kill that giant of insecurity.
  • Humility is purposed emotion and has control. This comes from you.

Psalm 37:23 reminds us that the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord - the question is, are you a good man? A lot of insecurity comes when we step outside of God’s approval.

  • You have to constantly look over your back because of the lies you’ve told or the manipulation you have over someone.

 

  1. Approval of others - let me remind you - Luke 21:17 - you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
  • Some of us won’t or can’t live for God, even though we know it’s the right thing to do because of what others will think.
  • When I live for other’s approval it has a binding nature
  • When I live according to God’s approval it has a flowing nature
  • Im not going to tell depressed person at work I am going to pray for them because other’s are standing around.
  • Im not going to refrain from drinking because they will think I’m better than I am.

 

  1. Fatigue - weariness - Mark 13:13 - He that endures to the end shall be saved.
  • Paul said to not be weary in well doing.
  • When you survive that’s revenge on your enemy. There is a special anointing that comes along with endurance.
  • Simon let down your nets. Master we have toiled all night. Nevertheless at thy word we will
  • One of the greatest things Ananias said was “Behold, I am here Lord”
  • Someone is saying today, “Pastor, I’m just tired”
  • I have cried tears of physical and emotional pain and I’m tired pastor.
  • The problem is when you feel guilty. 
  • You feel guilty for being weary, yet still coming to church.
  • Its ok, you’re human. Even Moses had to have them hold up his hands at times.

 

  1. Fear - You’re not just afraid of things that go bump in the night but we’re afraid to grow because of the investment to improve ourselves.
  • You’re afraid to step out by faith because of the unknown
  • You’re afraid loved ones won’t come back to God
  • You’re afraid someone won’t accept your faith
  • You’re afraid about bills.  “what if I can’t pay my bills?”
  • What if she’s not healed?
  • What if he doesn’t get breakthrough?
  • Just because we don’t know what’s going to happen doesn’t mean we stop and don’t act by faith.
  • “What if” and “what about” have stopped far too many people from doing the will of God.
  • I am certainly not telling anyone to be foolish
  • but we have act in faith not fear.

 

**Psalm 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

 

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

 

I stand in the face of these giants today and I set to slay them.  They no longer have to have dominion in my life!

 

 

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