Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

To be Filled with the Spirit of God

John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever;

Even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Ephesians 3:17-19 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love,

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is like a sponge thrown in the ocean. Dried and shriveled, out of the water. Yet it becomes larger and larger; fuller and fuller in the ocean. It can not take in all the ocean, but it takes in more and more; till it is filled to it’s capacity.

When we are born again, we are given the Holy Spirit.

Our dead spirits are enlightened, and made alive by the Holy Spirit of God when He enters our spirits at new birth.

He makes us entirely new. Yet we are babes in Christ.

As babes we are to learn to walk. We stumble often, but we learn, and are soon walking with God.

To be filled with the Spirit of God, is seen in Acts:

Peter and the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost.

(Acts 2:4) “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…”

The Spirit changed these terrified disciples (John 20:19) into men and women which could speak of Christ before a great assembly of people.

Peter, who denied the Lord, now spoke with boldness about him. Boldly telling the crowd that they crucified the Lord of Glory. That in Jesus was salvation; and by none other.

Acts 2:32-33,36 “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses.

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Therefore let all the hosts of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Yet, a while later, when they were taken before the council, beaten and threatened; it says they prayed and then were filled with the Holy Spirit again.

Acts 4:23,29-31 “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them.

And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness we may speak Thy word,

By stretching forth Thy hand to heal;…

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word with boldness.”

Why? because Peter and the disciples did not need the strength and power to stand against persecution, until then.

On the day of Pentecost……he needed the power to stand and speak boldly before a crowd.

Later, it was power to stand before the council.

And now, when things were getting harder, God gives them more of HIs Spirit, to help them.

We are filled with the Spirit, as we are emptied of self; our self-reliance.

Peter, so full of himself, swore he would never deny the Lord; but he did. (Luke 22:33-34)

Peter, emptied of his bluster, and just obedient; waiting on the Holy Spirit, was filled to speak boldly. Three thousand were saved.

Peter, emptied of any thought of being able to stand against persecution, was filled by God’s Spirit to stand against it.

Who knows what our lives will bring? Where will they lead us?

What we can know is: Jesus Christ has made provision for us in His Holy Spirit.

To guide us, to strengthen us, to empower us: just as we need it, and when we need it.

Like the sponge is filled with the ocean; we can be filled with the Holy Spirit of God, as we see our need and yield to Him.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Lukewarm Laodicea makes Me sick!

Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spur thee out of My mouth.”

Years ago, when my husband was going to write a message on Laodicea, he received this title from the Lord:

“Lukewarm Laodicea makes Me sick!”

And right then, he felt sick….almost like vomiting!

That is what the Lord was trying to show him.

This is the way the Lord feels about this church.

Laodicea is the last of the church age, before He comes to meet them in the air….

….and this is just the time that this church should be zealous for Christ and the saving of souls…..

….but they are neither cold or hot, just lukewarm….sickening.

If we were cold…..He could just judge us.

If we were hot…..He would bless us.

Instead we are just sickening to Him.

We are as Israel of old. (Jesus quoted this when He was here about those religious workers. Matthew 15:8-9)

Isaiah 29:13 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men:”

Several things to mention:

First….they say all the right words….all the praises that they should.

Second,….notice it is “removed” their heart far from Me. He does not just say that is is far from Him…..but that they removed it. They chose something other than Him, to set their heart upon.

Third,….the fear toward God is merely taught to be right.

It is something they know because it has been told them……not that they have.

“Fear” here is reverence and awe that the Lord should have as God….and because of the great things He has done for us.

But they do not.

It was not that Israel could not see….for they had enough Light, they could have known their God….but it was that they would not.

In Laodicea, we too, say the right things….we do the right things….but our hearts just aren’t in them.

We draw near with our lips, but our affections are far from Him…..

….to what are they looking?

And we Laodiceans say we reverence God…..but if we did, we would stop congratulating ourselves on our “richness”….and see ourselves as He sees us:

Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

In this last of the Church age, we are “poor”……without the love and fear of God…..in experience.

Head knowledge is necessary…..but heart knowledge of God by personal experience is:

You know a certain Bible truth…..because you have experienced that truth in your life.

2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

They say they are Christians…..that they do believe.

But their lives show they are “denying the power thereof”.

(I want to stress here…..”power”. I know some people misuse this word…..I have heard it too.

But the Holy Spirit gives us grace….the unmerited favor of power in our lives….He gives us power over ourselves…..and power to face a world which hates Christ, cheerfully…….and power to stand in the evil day.

And the Word of God gives us power…..the power to shape our thinking and our attitudes and our choices…..by our reading, praying over it, and thinking upon it….till the power of it changes us.

It is not a word to use lightly…..for real power belongs unto God only….He can give it to any He chooses….

….but it is real. God’s power to us is to change us…..and by that, influence and change others….toward God.)

If we are different, it is by the power of God in our life….and not by something I have done myself.

Lukewarm Laodicea is correct…..it says all the right things…..

….but our hearts are far from Him.

I believe our error is of the heart.

The Lord Jesus when He was here, said about the hearts of those who came to hear Him…..but not to obey Him:

Matthew 13:15 “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Their “hearts” are described as “waxed gross”…..so full of other things, there was no room for Him.

Their “ears” are described as “dull”….only half hearing…..nodding: “Oh, yes, that is good”….but not listening for His Word to them.

Their “eyes” are described as “closed”….they have closed….so they would not see the Truth.

If they had seen, and heard Him, with hearts open to and receptive to Him…..

……they would have been converted (most think of this as salvation, but it means to “turn back again”; it is the same word Jesus used to Peter about his three denials Luke 22:32)

……their hearts would have been turned back to God, by Christ….and they would have been healed.

Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

For those He loves…..He rebukes…..speaks like a Father to correct us (Hebrews 12:5-6)…

….sometimes softly…..sometimes loudly…..

….but then…

….well, must He also chasten?

His promise is understanding, to be turned back to Him, and healing….will be hear, and repent?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Psalms 1:1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor standeth in the way of sinners,

nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

This is an amazing verse…..right at the beginning of the Psalms, God shows us about our walk….

….about our stand in the world….

….and about our friendships.

“Blessed” means twice our happiest moment…..”how happy!”

[I want to talk just for a moment about God blessing us. When I was a child, I used to think God blessed us when we had extra money so we kids could manage to have a treat….after the bills were paid.

Sometimes I think Christians think like this, too. We think of reward…..when God thinks of provision….in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

When God speaks of blessings, He speaks of “all blessings”…..spiritual (the perfections of His character worked within us, for our help and glory)…..

…..and temporal (those things which we need, and want.)

When God blesses us…..He does so that we might know His presence and His care for us…..HIs smile upon us….

……and be satisfied [I would like to emphasis this].

Satisfaction means that our hearts are full…..we do not need or want anything more. God’s blessing,….if we receive them right….. gives us this satisfaction]

The Psalms are an oasis…where we can rest and drink the water of life….learning from the experience and songs of others.

They set forth the experience of every believer.

There are highs….full of praise and deliverance. Promises which we can grab a hold on…..for now and in the future.

There are agonizing cries for deliverance from sin and enemies.

The Psalms show us…that there are ways open, for fellowship with God…in all life’s circumstances….and they encourage the heart.

But at the beginning of all of this…..God sets forth the Way of life, for all who will believe Him….and have His blessing….His true satisfaction.

Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly….”

The first thing is our walk. This is our everyday going out into the world.

We are not to act like the world acts….

….The “counsel of the ungodly”.

Ungodly here means “unsettled”.

They have no purpose….but follow their temptations….wherever they lead.

They walk by no certain rule….but their own wants.

Proverbs 1:10-11, 14-15 “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

If they say, come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:”

We belong to God, and have a great purpose…to love and honor God….to do His Will…

…so the righteous will not,….really can not walk “in their counsel”.

Believers will follow the Word of God,…and walk in the light. (1John 1:7)

This then, is the everyday walk of the blessed.

Proverbs 4:11-12 “I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have lead thee in the right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest thou shalt not stumble.”

We should not stand “in the way of sinners….”

Our “stand” is where we fight our battles……what we think is worth fighting for.

And we should not stand in the way of sinners…..the way of open rebellion against God.

It is true we are all sinners….saved sinners and lost sinners.

But the term here is “criminal”…..meaning a deliberate, open choice to not do God’s Will.

Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, (There is) no God….”

But we should stand against evil…..the Lord’s Way….whether by words of testimony or contending for the faith (Jude 3)….using the Word of God as our foundation.

“..nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

The scornful make a joke of God, and of sin….defying God in it. (Galatians 6:7)

This is a seat we never want to have…..no matter what influence or promotion comes with it.

This “sitteth” means that they have made a settled decision of life, to say,…no God.

But as the righteous, we have a “seat”…..in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:6 “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

We “sit” in Christ in the heavenlies, where is power and authority before the throne of God…..and He is in us, here…manifesting that power and authority in us and through us.

All of these are temptations we come into contact with as Christians…..

But….the righteous man….turns from these.

We are not to take the measure of ourselves , by the world’s scales….

……but measuring ourselves by the Word of God.

Psalm 1:2-3 “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Blessed is the man that makes the Word of God his meditation….

(Meditation means that the Bible is read, prayed over….thought on….till the power of that Word takes hold in our lives.)

Here is counsel that should be followed…..(the Word of God)…

…..a stand in faith (like a tree with roots, holding on to God)….

……a place to stand on (the banks of the river of grace)….

…..and a seat of peace and blessing….in Christ, here and now.

Are we seeking God’s true blessing and satisfaction?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

We must turn our backs to the world

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

It is an old saying,…that we can never go anywhere….without leaving where we are.

We have been part of the world….we have friends there, and relatives there….

…….yet we have been called to separate ourselves from the world…..and those who would seek to draw us back under it’s influence….

….to give up everything contrary to the Will of God for our lives.

1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

This stresses that we follow what we love…..

1 John 2:16-17 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

Two choices are contrasted here (really throughout the Bible)….

….To know and do God’s Will.

….Or to follow the world’s leading.

Colossians 1:9-10 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

(Colossians is an interesting book, in that the Spirit of God is only mentioned once…Colossians 1:8.

And that is because Paul is setting Christ before our eyes…..as the great and marvelous Object to move our our hearts….

….this is our provision for the way we turn our backs to this world….the strength and power we receive by seeing the glory of our Head…..Christ Jesus our Lord.

The main verses of the book are:

Colossians 2:9-10 “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.”)

Our provision for turning our backs on the world is spoken of here….through the merits of Christ.

Colossians 1:12-13 “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:”

This God the Father has done for us,….in Christ….it is done.

He has translated us from the kingdom or “authority” of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son.

He has…..in Christ….delivered us.

We are made children of light….with the peace, joy, and satisfaction that is in the Light of Christ.

“Translated”….means that God has taken us….spirit, soul and body….from the authority of the darkness we were in….

….and by Christ’s merits….we have been placed under the authority of the kingdom of Christ Jesus.

We have new citizenship….new rights and privileges….and new responsibilities.

We have this…..spiritually.

But it rests with us….by an act of our wills….to see these practical privileges entered into….in our everyday life.

What does this mean? It means that those old habits, those old sins, those old attitudes…..do not have authority over you…..they can not control you…….unless you consent to them.

Anything left in the kingdom of Darkness….will give an occasion to the devil….and an open door to the world’s influence.

It needs to be practically dealt with….

….bringing them to the light….and seeing why we have felt or thought the way we do about this.

Then, doing what the Lord says…..confess and forsake, or surrender to the authority of Christ.

(All is light, if we walk in the Light….1 John 1:7…..so it is only by our consent that darkness enters our lives….whether by thinking sin a small thing…..or by “looking back” to the world as Lot’s wife….)

As we deal with these things one by one, we practically take all from darkness to Light…..until all is light.

We need single eyes.

Matthew 6:22-23 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Christ spoke of this when He was here.

What we “look to” is what we feel is important or desire. That is our “eye”.

If our eye is “single”…..which means that we are like doves which see only one thing at a time.

Our eye should see Christ….He is our Savior, Lord, Example,….our Rock, our Shepherd, our Truth, our Glory.

If we keep our eye turned toward Him…..we will be turning our backs to the world.

This is the reason Paul is spotlighting Christ as the Object of Power, Fullness and Light for the Colossians.

For with Christ in our view…..the world’s show and noice, is seen as just that.

We must turn our backs to the world…..

….it is often not a matter of “right and wrong”….

…..but do I see Christ in this?

Is this God’s Will for me?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Hope of His Calling.

Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

Light that we may know the “hope of His calling”.

Hope in scripture is of the Holy Spirit….it is the confident expectation that God will do what He said….it has reference to His Word.

It is not….I hope, I hope, I hope. It is not us, working up our trust.

But the Holy Spirit assuring us……that God is True,….and what He says is sure.

Therefore, when we have hope, we will do what He has said we should do, in confidence,……expecting Him to fulfill His Word.

Psalm 130:1, 5 “Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord.

I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope.”

How many times have we waited for a sure Word from the Lord to us?

And when it came, we rejoiced that He had heard our request, our question, our cry in trouble…..and answered us.

We may not see how it will be as He said, but we know from experience that He will do what He says…..so we rejoice.

Hope causes us to rejoice.

We do not hope, from what we can see, (Romans 8:24-25),……but from the Holy Spirit within.

Romans 5:2 “By Whom also we have access by faith into the grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

It is compared to an “anchor”, for it says, “Do not look at the wind and waves around us……but look to the Lord and what He has said.”

Hebrews 6:18-19 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”

When we, by the Holy Spirit, are anchored in the Lord’s Word,…..we are safe…not tossed around by every wind that blows.

Ephesians 4:14-15 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

(In our Christian life, it is imperative that we can prove all things…..1 Thessalonians 5:21….by the Word,……we need to read it, so we can use it;….for ourselves and others.)

What is the “hope of His calling”?

It is the confident expectation that what He has called us to; He will provide for and lead in…..for it is His calling….we are doing what He wants us to do, to say, to pray.

Not everyone is to preach or teach….but

…all are called as witnesses….of what He has done for us.

All are called to pray…….for ourselves, our family, our church and for Jesus Christ’s coming again.

[Jesus Christ had hope in His Father’s sure Word, about His ministry:

Isaiah 53:11 “He shall see of the travail of HIs soul, and shall see be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. “

Jesus would “see”….

He would be raised from the dead, He would have those people that the Father had given Him,….come to Him, down through the generations……as a reward for His obedience to Him. (John 6:37-40).

We were His joy. (Hebrews 12:2)

His hope was in His Father’s Word…..showing us that we have a “strong consolation” in that Word…for us.]

Hope of the Holy Spirit, takes hold of our hearts, and encourages them to rejoice.

Hope takes hold of our minds, and reminds us of Who said it.

And hope takes hold of our wills, and strengthens them to persevere,…to do the work, ministry, calling that He has given us. We will obey.

1 John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”

“Purifieth” and “Pure” here, means “to consecrate”……to set ourselves aside to the Lord.

Hope is our anchor in this.

We expect God to do what He said, in His time,…..and so we will do what He says, now, rejoicing.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

A Kingdom must have a King

We have been made in the image of God: He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

We are spirit, soul and body…and within each of us there is place where someone rules. Who rules in the kingdom of Mansoul?

(We have often pictured it as a throne in our hearts….Who sits there?)

Psalm 24:9-10 “Lift up, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

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

A King rules…..that is His job. He is at the head of His army….He is directing circumstances for His kingdom,……He is commanding His people. That is what a King does.

He does it according to His due order, and for the good of the Kingdom and His people.

The Lord Jesus Christ is King…..is He our King?

In the beginning, Adam was put under a trial of his faith to God.

Yes, the devil’s wiles, and the temptation through Eve, was part of the trial….but, it came down to: who was Adam going to choose, to rule his life…..himself, or God?

And for each of his decedents, it is the same choice: who will we choose to rule us?

The natural man never chooses God….

Psalm 10:4 “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

Romans 8:7-8 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

So then they that are in the flesh shall not please God.”

The natural man fights against Him in his life, everyday. This man may be religious, go to church, or do charitable works…..but it is always them doing it, their way of doing it, and for their own praise.

But the born again man, will…..by the Holy Spirit within,….be lead into a Narrow Way,…..where trials and choices, will bring us to give our whole life over to the Lord, as King.

Psalm 11:4-5 “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.

The Lord trieth the righteous:….”

If we have faith in the Lord,…..it must be tried….to strengthen it and prove to us that it is real. For faith digs in and holds on to God….faith moves us ever closer to the Lord;…..for the object of real faith is God.

We call this life: A life open to and receptive to Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because we must open up our life in so many areas…..today it may be here, in our guidance.

And tomorrow, or next week, it will be in some other area,….in our friends, and family.

Next, it will be in the area of our health, our finances, our time….and it is amazing how many area’s of our life, we have never really given over to Him….

(I know this was the case with me….until He tried me there, then He said, “Is this Mine?”)

But we must “open to Him”……for we have a tendency to “close Him off” from things in our minds, and affections.

Though in the main stream, we will do His Will,…..yet our eyes look elsewhere, our minds think other plans, and our hearts can yearn after other things.

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

“Thy kingdom come.” Full stop. It is a statement all on it’s own. One which we are to pray for.

Christ’s kingdom will come one day on earth…..and we are to pray for it.

(Revelation 11:15)

But this whole prayer Jesus taught, is practical…..it is for His people, for today. In fact, it stresses the day….this day…

…..the praise and honor for the Father,

….the provision, physically and spiritually for today,

….the forgiving of our sins, and our forgiving others for today,

….the prayer for His keeping us from evil,….today,

….the reason we can pray for these things….because He is King of His kingdom, now….with power and glory….for ever.

So the prayer for His kingdom to come, is for today…..”in earth”…..in us.

We are to be expressions of His kingdom, here, today……because His kingdom has come with in us…..and He reigns as King of my life….remember, a life open to Him,……and receptive to Him, in all that He says.

Luke 11:2-4 “And He said unto them, When ye pray, say,

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

(Let me honor Your name and character)

Thy kingdom come. (In me and let it be shown by me to the sphere of my influence, today.)

Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

(With the joy that all the angels do Your will, let me do it….in me and by me)

Give us day by day, our daily bread.

(Supply my needs, spiritually, and physically)

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.

(Forgive me, Lord, for my sins this day. And as You have forgiven me, I forgive everyone who has injured and sinned against me.)

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

(Help me, Lord, to know the Way to go, this day….keep my steps from slipping, and me from falling….for their is so much to trip me in my walk.)

He calls us to have a life open to and receptive to Him…..will we?

When Jesus is our King, we are always behind Him….protected in His guidance,…..and He is always in us….helping us, cheering us,….and calming our minds….for He is always in charge, where I am concerned.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Now Unto Him

Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

“That is able”….this is the first thing to consider….for without His might to do….

…..our prayers are just wishes,….

…..and His promises are just words.

But He is Almighty, Omnipotent,……Able.

When we pray, we often come before His throne with the attitude that:

He probably could, if He really wanted to…..but….

…..And there always seems to be a “but”,…..in our thoughts, if not in our words.

Able to give us just enough to squeak by?

To somehow make it?

No, that is not what this verse says….able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

And His Word endureth forever.

1 Peter 1:23-25 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away;

But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Endureth…..His Word endures forever.

He meant what He said,…….whether He was speaking Himself, or speaking through another….and He said what He would and could do.

He is Able.

The scriptures prove that……the fact that He saved me, proves that….

…..the fact that each day…..yes, even the terrible days (and we have all had them)….He is with me, by His Holy Spirit…guiding, correcting, encouraging me….proves that.

“exceeding abundantly above”. No where else in the scriptures, is all three of these adjectives found together….except here….

Here, where Paul is talking to us, of coming to know Christ in a more complete and powerful way….”in our hearts”.

This is not salvation, but service he is talking about.

Ephesians 3:16 “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by HIs Spirit in the inner man;”

Paul is talking of a “grant”….”That He would grant you,…”

This is not a gift…..but a grant.

A grant is a favor (money or materials) given for a particular purpose.

It is given to be used,…….just for that purpose.

(If a professor is given a grant to find the many uses of the bark of a certain tree…..he can not use the money for other research…..just the research he got the grant for.)

We are “granted” strength by the Holy Spirit so:

That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith (and remember, faith is essential in overcoming 1 John 5:4)

…..we may be rooted and grounded in love…..

……we may comprehend with all saints the breadth, length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ….

…….we might be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

There is a lot of love spoken of here…..because there can be no real power or strength for service, with out Christ’s love filling us……

……so that our love for Him is spilling over into everything we do for Him….for others….

We are to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37)

When Christ is abiding in our hearts in love…..that is, when His presence is not just for guidance, or correction…..but in a love relationship…..then His Will is our foundation,…

…..and it is a arm in arm walk with the Lord….heart to heart.

“Exceeding abundantly above”,……what a declaration!……”all that we ask or think”…..

God knows our needs, even before we ask….while we are thinking of how to ask,……He knows,…..and is Able.

And what is the amount of the grant, in the Spirit, God will give us, personally….

The amount that He gives us, is: “According to the power that worketh in us,”

According as we let His power work in us…..to bring us to yield to the Holy Spirit within….that much power He will grant us in our asking…..

….”the riches of His glory” is the limit…..for it is “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think”…..

We can become as rich as we want in His grace and love:

We can know more of the wideness of His purpose for us,

We can know more length of peace,

We can know more depth of the scriptures,

We can know more of the heights of glory in His fellowship, here….

Now unto Him that is Able….He is able.

Will we receive the “grant” for His purpose in us? And acquire the riches of His glorious life within us, more and more….

Then let His power, by the Holy Spirit “work” within us…..molding us by His grace….into His character……giving us wideness of life….His life, in us.

Let us make room for Christ.

(“Exceeding” is a favorite term of Paul…..for he gives His testimony of God’s exceeding abundant grace in:

1 Timothy 1:12-14 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who hath blessed me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy,….

And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Paul talks of “…the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward…” (Ephesians 1:19);

“…the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:7)

Peter says “…..ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13)

“….given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:….” (2 Peter 1:4)

Jude 24 says: “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,”

Exceeding means “Over, superior to, to surpass”

For Paul, and for many Christians down through the ages…..what Christ has been,…and given,….and granted them….can only be described as “exceeding”.)

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Matthew 25:1 “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”(page)

This begins the parable of the ten virgins…..

…five which are wise…for they not only brought their lamps….but extra oil for them….”in their vessels”….trying to be prepared for every good work (Ephesians 2:10)…..while waiting for their Bridegroom.

(In scripture, wise means reverent to God and His commandments. Only the Holy Spirit works this awe in us.)

….five which are foolish….for they brought lamps but no extra oil for them….”shining”,…..only looking forward to their reward and happiness forever.

(In scripture foolish means “heedless”….turning a deaf ear to God’s commands….as though they could bypass them. The Lord said, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments”. It is not agreeing with His Will, but doing His Will that shows our love to Him.)

They were all …..full of excitement for the celebration to come….at the first.

They thought that they were all ready to light their lamps when He came!

But the bridegroom tarried. He did not come when expected….so they first sat down…..then they fell asleep….all of them.

But there was a shout, to wake them up….(praise God that He sends some to wake us up! How many awakenings and revivals have come by the voice of….”the Bridegroom cometh!”)

So they all got up….and tried to “trim their lamps”…..

That is, they began to be diligent in the outward forms of religion….Bible study, going to church, praying.

But the error was not in the lamps……in the outward actions……but in the oil (a picture of the Holy Spirit)…..

…..some had Him….some did not.

The wise had extra in their vessels…..for the Holy Spirit is always with us…..and when we yield to Him there is abundant power for enlightening, and courage.

It is true they were guilty…..they did not stay awake and shine for Christ as they should…..but when they were awakened…..they got themselves right with God, yielding to the Holy Spirit……and right with others…..

….standing ready for the Bridegroom’s coming.

But the foolish had none. Why? Did not they have lamps? Yes….there are many which have the outward form of Christianity…..many good works are done by people who love what Jesus stands for….yet who have never given themselves to Christ Jesus the Lord.

Weren’t the foolish prepared at first? No, for they never had a supply of oil….or the Holy Spirit.

Many have a ‘spirit’ of enthusiasm….or a ‘spirit’ of happiness at being part of something larger than themselves….

….but only the wise had the supply of oil (Holy Spirit) that would not run out.

Matthew 25:8 “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.”

You would think this the right thing to do…..but the wise said that they could not provide for them…..

….Only God could…and that is what these foolish refused to do from the first…they would not “go” or submit to God…….for “foolish” is heedless.

Matthew 25:10 “ And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”

Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

Time runs out for every person on earth.

These foolish virgins had let their time of “seeking the Lord” go by…..without doing it….till time had run out.

Like Jeremiah, I often look at our generation and feel:

Jeremiah 8:21, 9:1 “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt;….astonishment hath taken hold on me.

Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”

How many around us need to hear the gospel?

How many we meet, can see the Light of Christ shining in us?

Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead: is there no Physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”

Yes, there is a balm to heal every ailment.

Yes, there is a great Physician to mend and heal every sin…..Jesus Christ the Lord.

Let us awaken…..and…..be wise and receive Him and His Word to us…..and shine as lights in this world.

We can not give the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to others…..but we can sure lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ….before it is too late.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Spiritual Warfare: Our thought Life.

Our thought life is important. We often just think that what we do is important, and it is. But what we think, and what we allow ourselves to think on, is important to God.

2 Corinthians 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: “

Our flesh is our natural self life.

It is what we have become over the years as Adam’s children.

It is our habits, our desires, our plans, and our way of thinking; all of which make us do, and say, and act, the way we do.

This is the flesh.

When we become born again, and Christ’s life is within us by the Holy Spirit, then our flesh fights against the new life; so that it will not have to obey Christ, but can continue to do what it pleases.

A warfare takes place within us:

Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

“The things that ye would”, are those things that Christ leads you in, for you are born again, and want to serve Him.

But, because there is warfare within, it hinders the joy of service, and often the service is marred.

What to do?……..we can not get rid of the flesh, it will always be with us.

But we can win the battles to bring it into subjection to our King, Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

What are these “strongholds”? They are those thoughts that take hold in our minds and do not let go.

They could be a “good” reason; or by the emotions flowing and toward a certain motive.

In the Spirit, we may know it is not right, though we can not tell how; but how ever it comes; if it is not dealt with,…….it builds a fortress in our thoughts.

It could be about the value of a certain thing. Simple in itself; but given power over the thought life by the flesh,…….and built upon again and again, because every time you go to get rid of it;…..and don’t,….it’s value becomes stronger.

(I once knew a Christian who became convinced that there was no hell. He, of course, did not want to think about some of the people he knew who would go to hell, because they were not born again. It became a big snare in his life; and dulled his sense of urgency where dealing with the lost was concerned.)

If you refuse, once, to deal with it; then the Adversary inflates the object with all sorts of affections, or opinions……to keep it.

“Casting down imaginations”. Our imagination is a faculty which brings to our minds, in pictures, the things we are dealing with.

We can let our thoughts “go”, and pretty soon, we are in a world of our own making; no reality; where the truth is what we want it to be.

Dangerous…….because the truth can then be twisted to be what the Adversary wants it to be….into a lie.

Casting down imaginations is tearing them down, to reveal the Truth that is in Jesus for this situation.

It can be a tough fight,…..

But again the fight is not with carnal or natural weapons, but mighty through God, by His Holy Spirit, to cast them down in our affection………. for so that we can be free from the influence of the Adversary through them.

In a world where “virtual reality” is accepted everywhere, we need to be especially careful, if we want to please the Lord Jesus Christ; Who is the Truth.

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Or we may end up like those Paul warned of:

2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

The power of God is mighty to pulling down strongholds with in our minds;…..and to cast down imaginations which have given a alternate view of Reality.

The power of God is through the Holy Spirit….working in our hearts.

“Every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God”.

God will tell you something; through His Word, the preaching and teaching of ministers, or personal communication. Then you hear, “You don’t really believe that do you?”

That is a high thing which is exalting itself against the knowledge of God.

God has said something to you, He is dealing with you about this situation; and the Devil would sent a doubt, and a hesitation, or a “very good reason, not to do what God said”.

What is it that we must do? Try and reason with the Devil? No! Eve tried that and sin was the result.

We can not reason in the flesh, or try and work up affections for God in the flesh; but we can yield to the Holy Spirit within us, and let Him lead us, in bringing every thought and affection, into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

When we do, we will be captives of God’s reasons, And captives of His love.

If ye love me, keep my commandments; Jesus said. (John 14:15). And when we do love Him, we will. This is where God’s power comes in.

His Power is given to us as we bring ourselves into captivity by the Holy Spirit to have His Life.

To have His Light, to see reality.

To have His love shed abroad in our hearts. (Romans 5:5).

To have His peace, shelter us.

To have His joy, make us strong.(Nehemiah 8:10)

We can make ourselves our own lord; and every time we refuse to yield to the clear command of God, that is what we are doing.

But that is bondage of the worst kind. Strongholds, Virtual Reality for Reality, and a form of godliness.

Or we can yield to the Holy Spirit, and have the power of God, which is mighty, working within us, to bring us into captivity to the Life of God.

Which will we have?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Obedience

God is Sovereign…..and He claims His right….His prerogative, to rule.

Sometimes His rule is unseen, with those who are unthankful, and disobedient….for He rules and overrules in all circumstances.

Sometimes His rule is seen, with those whose obedience to His commands bring down peace, love and joy.

Obedience then is the one thing in life that will decide man’s destiny.

In the life of man, to obey God is the one thing needful.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep HIs commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

In our obedience, we “side with” God,…..or in our disobedience, we “side with” the Adversary of our souls, and his principal of rebellion.

(He said to our first parents……“Ye shall not surely die”. Genesis 3:4

“It won’t be like God has warned,…don’t worry….just do what you want…and I will tell you what you want.” So the Adversary tricked Adam and Eve…..and so he has tricked us down through the ages. Are we still listening to him?)

1 Samuel 15:22-23 “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected thee from being king.”

No amount of religious activity can ever take the place of simple obedience…..no matter what it costs you.

To fail to obey is to reject His Word to us……whether it is for a “better” idea, or reason, or just going after our lusts…..to fail to obey God is a rejection of His Word.

Jeremiah 7:21-23 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts,…

For I said not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”

When the Lord first brought Israel out of Egypt, He did not give them a system of sacrifices, at first (actually it was months later, at Sinai)……but He told them to obey Him (Exodus 15:26)

And this is what He requires of us, as well…

…….because we love Him.

◦ John 14:21 “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me:….”

Obedience is our choice to follow Christ…..to give unto Him our hearts and hands….

…not just in words, but in real love, which believes His Word, holds on to it, and does it, though the whole world refuses Him.

Jeremiah 7:28, 9:3 “But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction:…..

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth…..for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the Lord.”

They do not receive correction….and they know not Me, saith the Lord.

One criteria for spirituality…..is to be able to receive correction. (Hebrews 12:5-8)

God corrects those He loves…..for how much we need it! So that we may walk with Him closer,….with more blessing.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The expected end for His purpose for us.

Though His purpose goes through trials, or storms, or corrections, or blessings….He does it to lead us to our expected end:

The Lord’s “well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Will we be obedient and choose Him?