Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Ultimate Reality.

I believe our souls are the most precious thing in all of God’s Creation.

Having lost it through the fall of Adam (Romans 6:18-19); He bought it back again, at such a high price: the sacrifice of His beloved Son.

I believe that our souls are our personalities. They are what makes us unique. No two are exactly alike.

They are what the Bible calls “the heart”.

Our souls are the seat of our personalities….all that makes us, us!

When Christ Jesus was here, He set forth a way of following Him:

Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me. Lose your self-life, that you might find your Christ filled life. (Matthew 16:24-25)

Then He added a verse which often confuses us, but it shouldn’t.

Jesus spoke in terms of profit and loss. Showing the value that Jesus placed on our souls. One soul is worth more than a whole world of things.

The question is: how much do we value our own souls?

Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

What, of all creation could possibly be of more value than our eternal soul?

What will we give in exchange for our souls, in this world?

For that is what Jesus is asking.

Will it be temptations, cares, riches, or pleasures of this life? (Luke 8:13-14)

In Luke, Jesus says:

Luke 9:25 “What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, or lose himself, or be cast away?”

Or “lose himself”;……….for our soul is our personality, our mind, heart and will.

When we are immersed in the world, we are conformed to it, and really lose who we really are.

Come to Christ, and have your soul “saved”….freed from all the entanglements of the world,…..freed to be all He has created you for.

Man is an eternal being. He will exist for eternity in one of two places: we will save our soul, and live for eternity with God in bliss.

Or we will lose our soul, and spend eternity with Satan in torment.

There is no other ultimate reality than this.

People have tried to say that God is too merciful to condemn people to hell.

God is merciful: that is why He saves anybody who comes to Him……because He is merciful.

That is why He sent His Son to save us, by the sacrifice of Himself.

He came and lived a perfect life…becoming the perfect sacrifice.

Not in His Divinity, for He always was and is holy.

But in His humanity. And because there was found no sin in Him (Hebrews 4:15); He could give His life a ransom for all, who will come unto Him.

Here then is what Jesus says we are faced with: our souls must choose.

Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior?

Or some attractions in the world?

Romans 10:9, 13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

In this age for each Christian; to answer the call of Christ, is to come with a life open to and receptive to Him.

This is a continual open door to Christ.

Christ Jesus is still asking all who will follow Him:

Will you bring yourselves to Me? Will you fully surrender your wills that they may be Mine?

Hear My word to you; for My Word is a living Word, it will not return unto Me void. But it will accomplish My purpose in you, if you will yield to it.

I will empower you to do My Will; only get it settled that you will do it.

(And If there is someone faced with that challenge especially at this time; remember time has a way of dimming the value of all things in this world. What we consider “essential”,……….can become sawdust in our mouths,…..though it may not seem like it now.

You can turn your life over to Jesus Christ, and ask Him to make it whole in Him.)

Know the liberty of the Spirit of Christ, in your union with Me.

Hear and your soul shall live.

Only Christ knows the true value of your soul, for He paid the ultimate price to save it,…….He knows you, and loves you.

Amazing love for such as I.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Hold Thou me up

Psalm 119:114-117 “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy Word.

Depart from me, ye evil doers: For I will keep the commandments of my God.

Uphold me according to Thy Word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto Thy statues continually.”

This is a prayer for the keeping power of God to “uphold”, or “hold Thou me up”….in the position that I have obtained through the Holy Spirit.

“There are so many enemies….within me, and temptations in this world….hold on to me, Lord Jesus.

I do not want to fear,….hold on to my peace.

I do not want to be angry,….hold on to my love.

I do not want to go my own way….hold me up by Your Word.”

Christ Jesus taught us to pray: “Lead us not into temptation”. For temptation is dangerous…though we do not often see it’s poison…..

….but dangerous situations call for extra watchfulness and prayers to our God, that He would stretch out His right hand….and help us.

This may not be immediate deliverance;….but His hand…holding us up…out of the mire of this world….

….the attitudes and emotions…the love of money or power…the misery and sorrow of failures (and who does not have them?)…or ingratitude.

Isaiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Psalm 17:5 “Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”

He helps us “hold fast” in His paths….those that are shown us in His Word.

We can not keep from sin, unless we keep to His Word.

Psalm 17:4 “Concerning the works of men, by the Word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.”

When temptations are about…when the world’s siren call comes….and the devil tricks….

…..then we must pray…..hold Thou me up in Thy Word…..

….give me understanding to know….and grace to do……so that we may hold out against these temptations…and find His “way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The Word is what Jesus used, when He was tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:4, 8, 12)

He could have easily used His deity to defeat the devil….

…..but instead….showed us the weapon we should use, when under attack….”It is written”…the Word of God.

The Word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17)….for it is by His reminding us of His Word….and by His power through it…that it is effectual for us….against our enemies…now.

(A few verses that have helped me:

1). Romans 14:22 “Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing that he alloweth.”

What we know we should not do…..we should not do, that our conscience stays yielding to the Holy Spirit.

2). 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort:

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Our testimonies about what God has done for us….though they seem little to us…carry a great deal of weight with the Holy Spirit….they are reality…and He blesses them.

3). Ephesians 5:16 “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Each day brings things we never expected….so be prepared in the Lord…by prayer, before you begin the day.

4). Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

Praise God for this….and I ask for it often….”work in me, Lord”… is both: to will….for I am sometimes “unwilling” in this thing. And to do….for I am often lazy in this thing.

5). Colossians 3:15-16 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts….and be ye thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;…”

We must yield and stand upon His peace,……and HIs Word must be listened to.

6). 1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

In how many scriptures does God call us to stand with Him….in light….in this world?

7). 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

We are to be before Him at all times, wherever we are….then our whole life is in an attitude of pray.

8). Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

One of my favorites…..anytime you think you are drifting from God….pull yourself back….To the one constant in your life….God’s love of us…..even when we are quite unloveable. It is like walking in the sunny side of the street!)

The Psalmist says:

Hold Thou me up…..and I shall be safe…

…my own learning, or experience, or skill will not help in times of temptation…..for we are only tempted by something our hearts are interested in.

James 1:14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lusts, and enticed.”

(Lust is….I want this…and I want it now….whatever this is.)

But Christ Jesus has made a way to escape temptation:

1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Ps 119:114-117 “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy Word.

Depart from me, ye evil doers: For I will keep the commandments of my God.

Uphold me according to Thy Word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto Thy statues continually.”

In His hands we are safe….He holds us up….He is our hiding place….His Word guides and enlightens us….and His Holy Spirit empowers us.

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Give us a King, like Others

1 Samuel 8:5 “And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

A little background: God had chosen Israel to be His people. A nation ruled and guided by Him and His law.

He was to be their King. He gave them the Tabernacle and the Priesthood, so they could come before Him and remove sins by sacrifice (all pointing to Christ), to get direction, and to joy before Him because of His many blessings.(in the peace offering, the family feasted with the priests, before the Tabernacle, after offering the sacrifice for thanksgiving.)

Some of Israel did. Others refused, choosing rather to follow the idols of the nations round about.

Then God chastened them, and when they repented or cried out to Him, He sent Judges to lead them back into the way. Giving victory over the enemies which had come up against them.

Samuel was the last great judge, appointed by God. He was loved and followed, leading the people for years. But…

1 Samuel 8:1, 3 “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgement.”

This gave Israel the excuse it wanted to ask for a king. But the thing displeased Samuel, so he asked the Lord what to do.

1 Samuel 8:7 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”

The Lord told him to do what they ask, but warn them of all that this king will do, and take from them.

So he did: your sons will become soldiers, and servants to keep his ground. Your daughters will be cooks and bakers. Your fields, your vineyards and olive yards will the king give to his servants.

He will take a tenth of your crops, sheep, cattle, etc.

But they refused to be moved. They would have a king, like the other nations.

1 Samuel 8:19-20 “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

That we may also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”

So God gave them what they asked for: He gave them Saul. A man head and shoulders taller than all. (1 Samuel 10:23-24).

Saul’s reign was filled with all that Samuel said.

At first Saul was humbled by the task, but then became vain and greedy for the honor and applause. So in the end, his reign was full of jealousy and disobedience.

(And the kings after him-some good, following the Lord; others terrible, leading the people into gross sins)

So God told them:

Hosea 13:11 “I gave thee a king in Mine anger, and took him away in My wrath.”

When God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to earth: He presented Himself as their King, to Israel, for three years.

(Mark 1:14-15) “The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Even up to the last week: (Luke 19:37-38) “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Would they receive their true King? Sadly, no.

John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

What about us? Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings: but is He our King?

Jesus says we should pray:

Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The Apostle Paul wrote, about his experience:

1 Timothy 1:15-17 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern which to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.

Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

He is the King. That is fact. But He is only King in our personal experience, if we have made Him so.

Does He rule and reign in your life? Do you come to Him not just for help, but for guidance? Does He fill the void in your heart; or is there something (or someone) else that satisfies, and rules there?

Christ Jesus, today, is still presenting Himself as King. And calling all who will come, to repent of the other “kings” in your life, and follow Him.

The throne we establish in our hearts for Him is one of love, built on the foundation of faith, given us by the Holy Spirit within.

Will we not only proclaim Him as King, but make Him so?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Seek ye the Lord

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness 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 was a prophet called to prophesy to Judah……he was about one hundred and fifty years before they were carried away captive….

….yet he was called to speak to them concerning the people’s “turning away” from God.

For every backsliding begins personally…leaving the personal relationship with God….for the formal religious appearance….

….and when that does not satisfy (for a mere formal relationship will never satisfy the heart of man)…

….they turn to idols….of some sort.

Isaiah 1:2, 5 “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”

The “ head is sick”….sick here means anxiety. (There is no peace without God’s peace. Isaiah 57:21)

The “whole heart faint”….ready to give up. (Where God’s Will is not our purpose….we are lost)

Without a personal relationship with our God, who are we?

We are one of the masses of people looking for “something”……a statistic only….for we have given ourselves over to seek the world’s goods.

But our personal relationship with Christ elevates us to stand before Him by faith….we are conquerors….and sufferers for His Name sake.

He knows our name….and calls us to deny ourselves and personally follow Him…

Without a personal relationship with our God, we may think we are free from the restraints of serving (for yes, we are called to serve our God)……

….but we are actually just placing ourselves under the bondage of another master….sin.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 30:1, 12-13 “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this Word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.”

And what is the remedy?

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness 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.”

Seek ye the Lord….

The name “Lord” here is Jehovah….the ever existent, ever becoming One.

The Lord was in eternity past, and will be in eternity future….yet He becomes our need, in the now.

This is Jehovah….this is the One they were called to seek.

And we are to “return unto the Lord”.

We are to forsake our way….this is a big deal!

How many of us are seeking “our way” in these days?

How many of us are saying to God…..if You will not do it in a certain way, I will not believe?

“Call ye upon Him while He is near:”

God comes “near” to us….when He warns us of danger. He does not just walk away from His children….but comes near….with His Word, by the Holy Spirit.

God comes “near” to us….when we call to Him in confession for forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9)

God comes “near” to us….when after repeated warnings….we turn away from Him….He comes and “gets our attention”….to try and head us in the right direction.

All this is from His mercy….His kindness to those who are sinners. (And kindness never has anything to do with letting us go on in sin….that which will destroy us.)

If we “return”…..He will abundantly pardon. Forgiveness and cleansing, and restored fellowship and joy! Abundantly!

We all know the Prodigal Son…..filling his days with “riotous living”, till all was spent…then begging for a job with pigs.

What he was going to do, after living in a pig pen for a time?

Luke 15:18-19 “I will arise and go unto my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

And what the Father did, when the Prodigal did return:

Luke 15:22-24 “But the Father said unto his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

For this my son was dead (in sin), and is alive again: he was lost, and is found, and they began to be merry.”

God knows how to do “abundantly”!

But it is “return unto the Lord”. If Christ Jesus is not Lord of our lives….if He is “put up with”, only for our own benefit….

…..then, we have not returned at all.

Isaiah 30:15 “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:

And ye would not.”

The question is….will we?

Have we gotten caught up in the world’s idols?

Or gone out of the Way seeking satisfaction other than in God?

Return….return ye backsliding children….for He has abundance of pardon for us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Everlasting Covenant and His Everlasting Love

Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

A covenant is an binding agreement where one agrees to give something, if the other agrees to do something.

God the Father agreed to draw and give all the elect, to God the Son:

John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth Me cometh to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”

God the Son, agreed to become the man, Christ Jesus and die for all the elect at the fullness of time:

Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, everyone that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.”

God the Holy Spirit, agreed to be the agency by which faith is produced within us, and to stay with us, as our Comforter:

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The triune God made this Everlasting Covenant before they even created the earth.

For They saw, by their Omniscience, that sin would enter into the world by the man they would create. And that by that sin, man would have to be separated from God, the greatest Good.

All was lost to God. He showed me once, just what a great loss it was to Him.

So They made full provision for the salvation of man: through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

That blood was shed on Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ. He paid the price to redeem us from every sin, for all who come to Him.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

And to make us perfect (complete) in all the works we are to do, by the merits of Jesus. Changing us into the character of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

They made this covenant before the world was created; so that we might be saved. For God loved us before He even created the earth. Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”

Notice how personal His love is…thee(you, me)

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Elijah, and the rain

Elijah came in like a whirlwind, and went out with a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).

Because he honored God and His word, Israel was given new hope.

It begins with Elijah praying for the rain to stop. (James 5:17) But why?

When Ahab the king of Israel married a idol worshipper, Jezebel, she began to run the government. She outlawed all other worship beside her idol of Baal.

She intimidated and slew any who opposed her.

Yet God always has His remnant.

Enter Elijah.

He was torn apart by his country following this horrid idol, and not following the Lord God.

So, claiming a verse God had promised (Deuteronomy 11:14-17), he began to pray that God would withhold the rain, to wake up the people that they should return to the Lord.

(Hasn’t the Lord called us, as Christians, to pray for our country? For an Awakening here…to return to God?)

Rain was essential for any crops. The former and latter rains were needed.

Six months passed. God had honored his prayer, and there had been no rain.

He was told to go to the king, and….

1 Kings 17:1 “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, but according to my word.”

“but according to my word”. Elijah was standing before God in prayer, therefore he was empowered to stand before the king.

He does not say “according to God’s Word”, for that would mean nothing to Ahab, or Jezebel.

And Elijah’s word was God’s word.

All their attention would be focused on Elijah, and his prayers to God.

Would God answer them?

God did. For three more years there would be drought and famine, because Israel had forsaken God.

It was a very bad time. God had said what He was going to do.

But the Lord always leads us through measured trials.

And in the third year, the Lord said, it was enough: He would send rain.

1 Kings 18:1 “And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”

But before the rain is sent; Elijah calls for all Israel to be gathered together to Mount Carmel.

There Elijah wanted to talk to Israel, remind them of God’s Power, and show the falseness of their idol.

1 Kings 18:21 “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

A test was chosen: the priests of Baal, the idol, would choose a sacrifice, and make an altar; But put no fire under the sacrifice.

Their idol would have to send down fire and burn it up.

Elijah would do the same, and God would send down fire and burn up his sacrifice.

1 Kings 18:23-24 “Let them therefore give us two bullocks, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under.

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”

Well, all morning and all afternoon, the priests of Baal jumped and hollered, and cried, and moaned for fire to come down. They cut themselves and begged.

But nothing happened.

Then Elijah built an altar:

1 Kings 18:32-33 “And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar,…

And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.”

Elijah was making it extra hard: putting water on everything. Because He knew God’s power.

And then Elijah prayed: “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.

Here me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.”

Then fire fell.

1 Kings 18:38-39 “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, He is the God; The Lord, He is the God.”

And when Elijah prayed again, the Lord sent the rain.

1 Kings 18:45 “And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain….”

Prayer is the means here. The sacrifice was offered to the Lord, for there had been no sacrifice to God for three years; and prayed that God would bless it. The rain was prayed for.

God was awakening His people that He is a God that answers prayer. And that He was calling them to return to Him.

Although, not all the people came back to God….in fact Ahab and Jezebel continued to worship idols,….but the worship of God was re-introduced to Israel….and they were awakened to God’s claim on their lives….through Elijah.

James said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

(James 5:16)

Elijah was shown a way by prayer to help his people, and he did.

We, too, should help God’s people by our prayers.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

1 Corinthians 12:18, 23, 25 “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.

And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor;…

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

Paul is saying: “We need every member of Christ’s body…..we need them, and God has set it up this way, so we will bond together…..and not become proud in what “we” know….but rely upon the Spirit in the ministry of the church to aid us.

My husband received once, that everyone has a place, a work, a witness….each has the opportunity to be used of the Holy Spirit….in their place.

“It is not a matter of especially gifted members but rather of just normal Christians, each fitted into his or her place in the Body. Each with that particular portion that the Lord has given them.”

2 Peter 1:8 “For it these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When we think of the great power of God, we often think of deeds of valor or mighty acts done in time past in the scriptures;…

….but the greatest revelation of God to the world is through HIs Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1-3 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past…

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,

Whom He hath appointed heir of all things,

by Whom also He make the worlds;

Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,

and upholding all things by the word of His power,

when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:”

This revelation of God was first through the earthly ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ; but now as the Lord is seated at God’s right hand, having obtained all authority anew,…

…He now reveals Himself through His mystical Body, His Church, here on earth.

We are to show Him in our lives…..

…..we are to manifest Him in our church, by mercy and love to others…

John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

….we are to manifest Him in the world, both by separation from it’s ways, and by love and holding forth the Word of life.

We show forth Christ when we are in our place in His Body, yielded to the Holy Spirit….for it is the Holy Spirit that lifts up the Lord Jesus in the individual’s life.

The Holy Spirit is the One Who fits you into your place.

First, He shows you the place He has prepared in His Will,…

…then He empowers us for it.

(There was a lady in our services, which was mentally limited. Her words were not eloquent….and sometimes she rambled….but she got up enthusiastically almost every Sunday with a word of testimony about the Lord’s help and comfort. And this woman had a hard time at work sometimes!

There was a time when (shamefully) I thought….why does she get up every time?

But the Lord spoke to me,…..that He wished everyone would stand up and give a testimony….recognizing what He had done for them….with as much enthusiasm.

“Love is not silent… acts for Me.”

And soon I had things to praise Him for with enthusiasm, as well )

If the Lord calls you to a work…..whether preacher, teacher, helps, prayer warrior….then He will indeed be the power within you to do it….and He will lift up the Lord Jesus through your life.

John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

By this Jesus spoke of His death…..but also the drawing attraction of the Lord, as He is lifted up through us.

The Holy Spirit does the lifting up of Christ within us…..

…the Father draws men to Christ (John 6:44)…

….but our part is to yield, as a sail ship before the wind.

“The power of the peace of God will enable you to steer your course in the mix up of ordinary life.

None of us have control over our circumstances….

….but we are responsible for the way we “pilot” ourselves in the midst of things as they are. (Not as we wish they were)

Two boats can sail in opposite directions in the same wind according to the skill of the pilot.

The pilot who gets his vessel onto the rocks, says, “I could not help it, the wind was in that direction.”

But the pilot who took his vessel into the harbor had the same wind,…..

…..but he knows how to trim the sails and tack against the wind….

… that the contrary wind brought him into the place he wanted.

Never allow the thought that I could not help this or that.

Never say that you reached the desired place….in spite of circumstances….

….we all attain because of circumstances…..and no other way.

It is our cooperating with the Holy Spirit that makes the….”I can’t help it”….into the possible”

(Oswald Chambers)

Launch Out

“The mercy of God is an ocean divine,

A boundless and fathomless flood.

Launch Out in the deep, cut away the shore line,

And be lost in the fullness of God.

But many, alas, only stand on the shore,

And gaze on the ocean so wide,

They never have ventured its depths to explore,

Or to launch on the fathomless tide.

And others just venture away from the land,

And linger so near to the shore;

That the surf and the slime that beat over the strand,

Dash over them in floods evermore.

Oh, Let us launch out on this ocean so broad,

Where the floods of salvation overflow.

Oh, let us be lost in the mercy of God,

Till the depths of His fullness we know.”

Our place, work, words may seem small…..certainly not enough for the glory of God….but any work or word that is done out of love of Jesus is precious and glorious in His sight.

Let us attain to all that the Lord Jesus has for us…..let us yield to the Holy Spirit within…

…and lift up Jesus Christ….that others can see Him in us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The True Vine, and the Husbandman

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”

Here is a beautiful picture of the care of our Heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the blessed Holy Spirit,…for us.

He is the fruitful vine nurturing the branches, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit within……while His Father prunes and cares for these branches, that they might bring forth fruit…and more fruit….and much fruit.

John 15:2 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

How does the branch bear fruit?

First, we are part of the vine….He has made us so, by being born again. Therefore the same life-giving sap which is in the Vine, runs through the branches.

Second, the branch rests in the place the Husbandman has put it.

More sun, less sun; higher on the fence, or lower; it does not matter.

It rests in the place it is put, and yields.

Our Heavenly Father may come along and purge us. This simply means “to cleanse”.

It is the pruning of excess from us….so that all the flow from the Vine will go into fruit bearing, not merely leaves, which are of no value in the harvest to come.

And how does He “clean” us?

John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

Jesus had said a lot to His disciples…some they “heard” with hearing ears. Others would be brought back to them by the Holy Spirit.

But now He is telling them of the importance of His Words.

John 15:7 “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Are you born again….then you abide in Jesus.

Is the motive of our life, obedience to His Will……then His words abide in us.

(His Words “dwell in you richly” Colossians 3:16)

Then….and this is an amazing promise….we can ask what we will, and it will be done…….unto us.

This is not unto others….but unto us.

This is the Lord’s personal promise to each of us.

Isn’t this wonderful?

His Word is there for us… encourage, strengthen, and correct us.

When we read it, the Holy Spirit teaches us,……and, as with His disciples, He will bring it back to mind when we need it.

Again, it is a matter of yielding to this life giving flow, which comes from Christ, through His Word, and is applied by the Holy Spirit.

John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

We abide in Him, when we do not resist His Will in anything in our lives.

This is not sinless perfection, but rather our wills, willing after His Will; and bringing ourselves in subjection (with His help) to all His Will.

You may say: “I want His will, but not that way”

Let me explain about resisting His Will:

Resisting is:

Putting it off because you don’t want to do it.

Arguing that you have a better plan.

Complaining because of the people you are forced to work with or around.

Silently giving place to the resentment of: Why me, and not them?

If you do any of these, you are resisting the Lord’s Will for you.

These are natural reactions. But we are not to be “natural” or under the charge of our “old man” any more.

We are to place our wills, and hearts, and minds squarely at the Lord’s disposal; and deny ourselves, and yield to the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

That power is there, but we must yield to it.

Sometimes that seems harder than others, depending on how much we “want” something else; but the way of fruit bearing is the way of yielding.

Yielding, and counting on the Holy Spirit to help us.

This is abiding.

This, Jesus Christ calls His branches to do: to yield and bear fruit.

John 15:5 “I am the true vine; ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”

He is giving us His life, by the Holy Spirit in power:

What will we do?

John 15:6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Notice it is our abiding, which tells our end, because that is where the power for real life is.

We abide, and yield, and live; or we do not abide, and are gathered to be burned.

(1 Corinthians 3:15 “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This is speaking of the Judgement seat of Christ, when all Christians shall be judged.)

We can never fulfill the Purpose of God for which we are called, without abiding in Him…..and He has willed, that we should will with Him in this.

Jesus does not want robots, which are programmed to do…..but willing servants of God, which follow Him because they love Him.

With His life flowing through us, we bring forth fruit: in us by growing in grace; and through us as His servants.

John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Here is the fruit:

Abiding brings yielding to His Word;….

Which brings the prayers we should pray for;….

Which brings the answers being done….”unto you”.

How much the Lord Jesus would do unto us to help us, if we would simply abide in Him.

Again, what will we do?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes


How little we think of patience as a grace!

We think of it as being polite…..”Oh, you can go first in line.” Or something like that.

We know we should be patient toward others (1 Thessalonians 5:14)…..though often we are not,…..

……and that we should patiently wait upon the Lord (Psalm 37:7, Psalm 40:1)……His Word, and His time (though, again, we often want things now).

But patience is a mile-marker of spirituality….

Is God developing your patience?

Jesus said to His disciples;…(He had just been talking of persecution for His sake, Luke 21:17-18 “And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake…..but there shall not an hair of your head perish.”)


Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

In other words…..keep a hold of your mind’s thoughts….your emotional well-being….you will’s desire to run and do “something”…..hold on to them with patience.

And Paul wrote Timothy, his beloved son in the faith:

1 Timothy 6:11 “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

Patience is a virtue that enables us to look beyond affections, and opinions….ours and other’s; and to see God behind the scenes,…..working on our behalf.

It is an attitude which says, “I can wait for this (whatever it is), even though I want it now, because I trust my God.”

It is spoken of, with many of the promises God gives us…..for we must inherit them…..obtain or get them:

Speaking of Abraham…..”And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:15)

And the Hebrew’s writer exhorts us:

Hebrews 6:12 “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Now I often think of patience as waiting….(it often includes it)…..but here the writer says….”be not slothful”… not just sit around waiting for God to do.

No, the scriptures say,……patience is getting up every morning and doing our duty…for the Lord’s sake……whatever that includes….

…….while we wait for the Lord to work things out….

…either in us, so we are ready for such a blessing…

….or for us……and trusting that He will.

And here are the verses that really shows God’s heart, toward patience in us:

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations(different trials);

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

True patience brings joy and peace to our souls…..for though we do not have what we have been promised……yet….

…..we are at rest in God,…..knowing…..He will.

Therefore we come to the place we “want” nothing….other than what God gives us….and leads us into….

Patience is a grace of comfort…God comforting our hearts in the evil day. It is a grace of strength….for while others worry and wear away…

…those that learn His patience, are at rest….even while beset by problems.

(I must admit here, that I am naturally an impatient person…..I am learning the beauty of this grace…..slowly.

I must also tell of several times, the Lord has shown me the sweetness of His patience…..the Holy Spirit teaching me…..and my yielding to it.

We learn His patience.

What a wonderful God we serve!)

Colossians 1:10-11 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power,

unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;”

The Lord wants to teach us, by His Holy Spirit, to be patient….and to be joyful in the things that we are to be patient in.

Patience is a grace the Lord wants us to have and use (2 Peter 1:6)…that we might receive the promises with joyfulness.

Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

The Lord is the God of patience and consolation:

Romans 15:5-6 “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Again I ask, are you letting the Lord teach you patience?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Blind Man

Mark 10:46-47 “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.

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry, and say, Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Going up to Jerusalem, going toward the end of His ministry here, Jesus goes through Jericho.

On the side of the highway, where he could be seen, sat Bartimaeus. He was a blind man. He was a beggar, and he did not want to miss an opportunity for anyone to give to him.

He heard the crowd passing, and eager to get a coin, he asked what the procession was.

It is interesting to note, that after three years of ministry, Jesus’ name is well known.

As soon as Bartimaeus hears Who is passing by, he knows this is his opportunity for healing.

This is belief. He believed that this Jesus, Who he had heard about, could heal him. He called Him “the Son of David”, for this was one of the titles of the Messiah to come.

The Savior would come as the Son of David, and Bartimaeus believes that Jesus is He.

Mark 10:48 “And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

“Quiet! We are going up to Jerusalem. We have important things to do, we don’t have time for a blind beggar.”


Mark 10:49 “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee.”

But Jesus did have time.

Jesus had waited to give others the opportunity to bring him……to show kindness to a blind Israelite. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

But they only told him to be quiet…..which he wasn’t……he yelled even louder trying to make Jesus hear him….which He did.

Mark 10:50-51 “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

Notice how the blind man, when he knows Jesus calls him; how he throws away his garment (his outer cloak).

He wanted nothing to hinder his step to Jesus. He was sure that the old garment of a beggar, he would wear no more.

“What do you want me to do for you?” (How many times, when we have come to Jesus in prayer, do we believe He will hear, and act for us?)

“Lord” (one of the most important Names of Jesus Christ.

Lord: when you say it, it is almost like you are bowing before Him).

“That I might receive my sight.”

Mark 10:52 “And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

“Go thy way;”. You can go home, you can stay here in Jericho.

But Bartimaeus chose the best way: he followed Jesus.

“Thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Jesus healed because of his faith in Him.

What the blind man had heard of Jesus, caused him to believe that He was the Son of God,… he put his trust in Him to heal.

And that faith led him to cry out to Jesus, and be healed; but also led him to follow Jesus.

The blind man was blind no more; not in eyes…..or in heart.