Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

We will be what we will to be:

Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whither of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

Will is our whole being active. Our minds are in it, our emotions are there, and our wills are the force within each person, which says, “I will do this.”

In this verse, “yield” is the action word.

Here, in Romans (Romans 6:13,16,19) it means: “to be at hand or ready to aid”.

It is a picture of a servant who is at the side of the master, ready to assist in any way.

(As David’s servants said to him,…

2 Samuel 15:15 “And the king’s servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.”)

For as Christians, we have our blessed new nature which was placed within us at new birth. But we also have our old nature which would led us away from God. That makes the struggle (Galatians 5:16-17) we often feel within ourselves.

We forget, sometimes, that we are servants. (Some people think that they can rule their own destiny, but it is a false premise.)

We are all ruled by something, or Someone. For Christians, we should be ruled by Jesus Christ: His Will and His Word.

And this is what Paul is setting forth here:

We are servants of sin,….we choose some sort of sin,….and are under the power of that sin.

Or,

We are servants of righteousness,…..choosing to be obedient to the new life,……Christ’s life within.

And the way to choose His life, or righteousness; is to yield.

We yield to obedience to Him.

We must ask ourselves: Is Jesus Christ really necessary to me? Or could I get along without Him in my life?

Jesus Christ could change anything! But He desires most to change us into His likeness, and character.

He has given us our wills, and He has chosen that we must “yield” or be ready to give Him all the aid He requires to bring His Will to pass in, by and through me.

He would have us to be His servants and become the persons He will mold us into.

He wants heart-servants. Those that love Him.

Those that love to be with Him, in fellowship and in the work. (For He has a work of witness for all of us).

And to do this, we must exercise our wills, and yield.

Empty your Hands

What is that in thine hand?

Have you ever considered what hinders you from doing the work, the Lord wants you to do?

Are you hanging on to something that you need to let go of?

Exodus 4:2 “And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.”

Moses had been a prince of Egypt, a defender of his brethren, a fugitive, and a shepherd.

But now he was called of God to go and bring out the Israelites from slavery, to take them to the promised land of Canaan.

But how was he going to do this?

The Lord first called him, then showed him one of the means he was to use, to do the work….his shepherd’s rod.

Of course, this rod was not the only means, Moses used to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt.

But it was in his hand at the time God called him.

Exodus 4:3-5 “And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared into thee.”

God chose to sanctify the rod for His work: so it was given to Moses for a means of deliverance for the children of Israel.

I remember how often, as a child, a older person would tell me to “empty my hands, so you can pick up that other thing.”

Here, the Lord is telling Moses that it is time to let go of the life he had in Midian, and to do the next work….His work of deliverance.

Now we can not fill our hands with God’s work, if we will not empty them of other things.

Exodus 4:21 “And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.”

“Which I have put in thine hand.”

Only the things God puts in our hands are for His work.

Sometimes they are for a specific work and then to be laid aside. Sometimes they are for our whole life work.

The means are all at God’s disposal, not ours.

Our job is to empty our hands, and fill them with what He puts there.

One of the means we are always to use is His Word. It is always right at hand, and it is for our instruction in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16-17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Another means we are to use is grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of power.

(We think of grace as a New Testament word…but it was first used when God chose Noah to save those who would believe God, from the flood to come. Genesis 6:8)

Zechariah 4:7 “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, Grace unto it.”

(Whatever “mountains” of difficulties are before us; it is God’s grace that can overcome against them.)

Power for what we need in this circumstance. Given by God at the time we need it, as we ask for it. (Hebrews 4:16).

Grace can be strength, courage, words, and /or whatever we need at the time.

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Faith is another means we have. Faith is given to us at new birth; and increased as we follow after Christ in believing obedience. It is to be used: (“I believe, help my unbelief”. Mark 9:23-24).

The means for God’s Work, are God’s.

Our job is to empty our hands, and fill them with what He puts there.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The issues of our lives

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

This is one of my husband’s favorite verses…..for it shows the importance of mastering our hearts…..by giving them to the Lord….and working to keep them there.

How many times have we “put our all” on the altar….and then shortly removed some of it.

The heart in scripture is the soul….made up of our thoughts, emotions, and will.

In our “hearts” lies all that we have become….and is the source of all that affects our life and character.

“The issues of life” are those things that count for time and eternity.

They are what we think is important….what we put first….what we guard.

Now to speak of issues, we must consider…..who we are? And where are we going….and what we were brought into being for?

As Christians, we need to remember that we do not belong to this world,…..we are pilgrims and strangers here…..passing through to heaven.

So the issues of our lives must be looking forward to eternity….What would my Lord want for me, and by me?

Remember Abraham and the testimony he had before God:

Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whether he went.”

As born again ones, we have been called to go out of this world’s system and influence…..following the leading of Christ Jesus, (in the world but not of it)….not always knowing what is next….but following Him.

Hebrews 11:9 “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:”

Abraham did not possess the land that God gave him, yet…..but lived in it, giving a testimony throughout: “thou art a mighty prince among us” (Genesis 23:4-6).

We, too, should live as priests and princes of God here…..seeking the good of our fellow Christians,….and as much as we can…the good of all.

Hebrews 11:10 “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Here is the choice verse:

Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations…..for he knew that everything in this world was sinking sand (Matthew 7:24-27)

He looked and lived each day……by faith…..

….keeping his eye on the promises, and what he should obtain now….and then…..for his place in the inheritance he would have in eternity future.

We are called to do the same…..this world is a snare, and the influence of it corrupts and poisons our souls….

….so we are to “leave it alone”…..

Colossians 2:8, 20-22 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ (free with Him) from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

(Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;)….

Rudiments is to fall into line with the thinking and the ranks of others, of the world.

We are not to do this….

….but what we are to do, is…..by faith…..keep our eye on the promises He has given…..for now, and eternity…….and walk each day in His Will for now.

The issues of life…..which come from our hearts….how can we rule them?

By giving….and keep giving our hearts and lives to the only One who can keep us by His faith.

Christ Jesus made us free…..free to be all that He wills us to be.

To have all that He promises….now and in eternity.

To know….by faith….the foundation beneath us is sure…..for it is Christ, Himself.

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

To keep with all diligence means,…..above all that we guard….guard your heart for God.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

And Yet There is Room

Luke 14:22 “And the servant said, Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ, when He was here on earth, was zealous in His Work,…..so that all would hear the invitation to the Kingdom.

He traveled all over Judea, even ministering to the Samaritans and a Phonecian woman…..delivering from disease and oppression.

The main theme of the messages: The kingdom of heaven is at hand….in the presence of the King, Jesus Christ. “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy ladened” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

He healed many: the blind, saw….the lepers, cleansed….the lame, walked….and the wandering multitude were fed.

They heard again and again His Word…they praised Him for His Works…..they followed Him for what He would give….and sought Him out, for miracles.

The years He went to the feast of Passover:

The first …He drove out the buyer and sellers from the temple. (John 2:13-16). “And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise.”

This was a command from the King….one they refused, for two years later:

The last Passover, He drove out the buyers and sellers, again. (Matthew 21:12-13) “And He said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Having refused His authority and blessing…….this time He quotes the scripture they said they believed….to honor His Father.

Everywhere He went……and when He sent His disciples out, the message was the same: the Kingdom of God is at hand……the people were going to have to make a decision about the King.

Luke 10:1-2, 9 “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come.

Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest.

And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is nigh unto you.”

(During the three years of ministry, Jesus gave two parables of a great supper….one in the personal sense in Luke 14, and the other before multitudes in the temple, a few days before they took Him in Matthew 22.)

Jesus was often invited to homes….several of them, Pharisee’s homes:

In Luke, someone had said, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

Which prompted Jesus to tell the parable of “a certain man” who made a great supper. The man invited many, but when it was time to come, they all made an excuse to refuse to come.

(How many times do we feel we will do anything for God,….but when it comes time to do…..do we do?)

Jesus tells that this “certain man”, after His invitation was rejected, said….”Forget these who gave an excuse…….go out and get all those who are poor, and lame, and blind”. (This certainly describes each of us without Jesus)

And yet the servant came back and said….

Luke 14:22-23 “And the servant said, Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.”

“Compel” here means to make them come in. Now this is what the Holy Spirit will do in the individual,…..as we, the servants….go out and give out the gospel.

(Yes, I was one of those “compelled” by the Holy Spirit. In my younger days, I was not going in His Way….as a matter of fact I had made a decision to leave the church and “do my own thing”. But, Hallelujah, God had other plans. And He would not let me go, and be lost!)

And now, Jesus has given us the charge to:

Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

As Christ’s followers we are to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him, personally. Growing in grace from here, to heaven.

As His disciples, we are to share our knowledge of our King, inviting all who will to enter into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Are we ready to do the work…..in Word and action….that He wants us to do today?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

God has a Purpose for Us.

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

The Book of Ephesians is written to describe Who saved us; How we are saved; and the Purpose for which we are saved….what we are to do since saved.

It is a book of great mysteries, made known, so that we can experience in our day to day life, the Inheritance we have in Christ Jesus.

To briefly explain (Yes, there could be a lengthy exposition on these verses, they are so full of promise!):

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:”

Here we meet our Father God, Who through the work of Christ Jesus, blesses us with “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”

These blessings are, but not limited to: Forgiveness, Joy, Peace, Hope, Love, Patience, Power over sin, and Fellowship with Him.

If you have a spiritual need; He has a blessing for it.

They are “in Christ Jesus” who is now in heavenly places.

So how do we get these blessings down here to us, today, where we need them?

They are brought down to us, as we yield to Him, making Him, King of our lives:

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

God will not bless one who refuses His Presence, for it says….they are in Christ Jesus.

If you just want the blessings He has, and not Him, then your faith is flawed; for it is faith in things……. and not Jesus Christ.

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

Notice again “in Christ Jesus”….how much the Father honors His Blessed Son.

We are “raised up”, when we are born again; and made to sit…in Christ Jesus.

He is there, representing us; and we are in Him.

We are here, representing Him, and He is in us.

And how is He in us?

Ephesians 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,

Which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”

The Holy Spirit is given to abide with us. By Him we are sealed. (His Presence identifies us, as His. Romans 8:15-16)

When we have the Holy Spirit within, we are given a portion of our inheritance: that is Him.

He is an Almighty Helper, and we are given grace (the unmerited favor of power to do)…..by Him, for our lives. He works within us both to will and to do God’s Will.

(Philippians 2:13)

Yes, He really does this. If you are hesitant, He will encourage. If you are wanting something else, and you get honest with Him, He will nudge you toward Christ Jesus, and make you want to please Him.

Now that we know God’s Provision in Christ Jesus, and how God is always with us, and how His power is given unto us; what is the purpose for our salvation?

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

We are created in Christ Jesus. The idea suggested here in the Greek is: to mold into the likeness of Christ.

The Purpose of God for each individual believer, is….to have our character formed into the character of Jesus…….and to walk in those good works which God hath placed in our path…..each day.

“Ordained” means that God has made all the provision for……He has supplied our need (of course He has……He is God Almighty)

He has seen beforehand what we will need, and sets aside exactly what we need.

So when God gives us a “good work” to do, He prepares the ability, strength, courage, whatever we need then, to be given to us, so we can do it.

What is the Purpose of God for us?

To walk along with Him, conscious of the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

Walking along, receiving Him, and the blessings He gives; doing the good works He places before us. (Whether in word or deed)

Walking along with Him, yielding to His kingdom come with in us.

Confident that our King has provided for us……for our everyday life…..for this is what the walk signifies.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Word of the Amen

Amen means “So be it”……and only God can speak and it is done.

All of us can only say…..”amen” after Him…..or say, “If God wills”. (James 4:13-15)

So we need to hear the Word of the Lord, if we want to have what He has for us.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Now, is what you are asking for, according to His will?

Well, if it is….then it rests with the Amen God.

(There are times when what we ask for, is right before us.

But we refuse to see it because it is not what we think it ought to be….or the way it ought to be.

Are we receiving His Word to us?)

Then we are to seek. We seek the means to bring to pass that which we are asking for. How to obtain the promised thing.

Remember king David and the Ark….

1 Chronicles 15:13 “For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought Him not after the due order.”

For that we sought Him not after the due order.

This was a very devotional act…..moving the Ark to Jerusalem. But David did not seek Him after His due order…..but had a meeting of his close associates.

God is a God of order and He always has His due order for us.

And what is His due order for us Christians?

Matthew 21:21-22 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

Believing obedience. He requires us to obey Him…..and believe Him while we obey Him.

This is His due order.

“But if ye shall say unto this mountain”. Mountains speak of things we cannot, of ourselves, do anything about.

And we are to speak …..what He wants said….in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our words are important….they are not to be thrown around….but are to be used to honor the Lord.

Then knock…use His Word, in believing obedience and it shall be opened.

When the Lord Jesus has my will….then He will use my will to bring His Will to pass…because they are One.

I am to stay knocking, until it is indeed opened unto me.

(I want to remind every Christian here,…..that Christ Jesus has knocked on our hearts door for a long time.

He has stood….waiting, for us to open our hearts to Him……and our lives to Him. Revelation 3:20)

Let us then, not be weary in well doing. Not be tired of praying, and thinking we see no results….

….but let us labor on, asking of the Lord….and receiving.

Putting what we received to work by seeking the means of having it.

And then speaking what He wants…..in believing obedience to Him….

….and knock.

Keep using the means until God opens up the door that has been shut before us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and His redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God.”

He is God from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.

If He had not created…..nothing would every have been;

And if He did not uphold….all would soon be nothing again.

He is all-sufficient and therefore….

…..His people need not to hope in any other.

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,…”

Our anchor is in the Word of our Lord to us…..whether through the Bible, a message, a teaching……for that is what hope is:

It is the confident expectation that God will do what He says.

Psalm 71:5 “For Thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth.”

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

Lord, hear my voice:….

If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.

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

My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning:….

Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is plenteous redemption…..”

Hope is produced by the Holy Spirit within us, as we hear God’s Word to us.

Hope then anchor’s us….though we have to wait for the fulfillment of that Word….or there are storms surrounding us….or there is opposition (when God says something….then the devil tries to prove that Word wrong.)

Hope is from the Holy Spirit….but it comes and is strengthened through experience with God.

Romans 5:4-5 “And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Hope says, like the children’s song…..

“If He said it, I believe it….for His Word it can not lie.

If it’s written in the Bible,….I’ll believe it till I die.

Though the mountains be removed…and cast into the sea…

God’s Word shall live forever…throughout eternity.”

We began this, with…..”Thus saith the Lord…”

And to each of us there is His Word for instruction…..His promises to reach out for….His commands for obedience to exercise and strengthen us in faith…….His word of exhortation to awaken us….His words of comfort to enfold us in His love and care…

….but to each of us there is His Word to us…..personally…that we need to hold on to…in hope….and obtain.

We should all say:

Psalm 146:5 “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

God’s hope anchors us in the ocean of God’s Will and love….amid the storms of our lives.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

To Know the Lord

Hosea 6:3 “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

“Then”.

This is time word: not before, but “then”.

“Then” what? We shall we know Lord, “If” we follow on to know the Lord.

This might seem like a revolving door. We will know, if we follow on to know.

But Jesus said the same thing when He was here:

John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My words, then are ye My disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Now these people believed on Him; but they were to continue in His word……..

Then they would know the truth,……and the truth would make them free. (Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6)

You see, we are called to a walk with Jesus. That is taking each step, each day, each forward move: with Him.

And what does He promise those who “follow on”?

“His going forth (with us) is prepared as the morning;”

As certain as this old earth keeps turning, there will be sunrise tomorrow.

There may be clouds, or the day dark and dreary; but the sun will be there: prepared as the morning.

He knows everything that will come to us each day. He is there, preparing in us the grace we need to deal with each thing.

He will rise with us; hit the highway with us; go into our work place, or school with us; and all along the way He will:

“Come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain upon the earth.”

Rain in scripture speaks of His mercy:

This rain was essential for a good harvest in Israel.

You had to have the early rain to soften the ground; and the latter rain to grow the crops.

All this was by the mercy of God.

And He will come unto us: in the circumstances we are in now, today; and “rain” the blessing of grace and mercy for us. (He will be there; guide us, help us, and lift us up; in this time, whatever is going on.)

He wants us to know Him as Lord and Savior.

He wants us to know Him more each day: what He wills for us, and what He will do for us.

He has prepared each grace that we need; “prepared as the morning”—it is that sure.

And He wants us to go with Him, into all our circumstances and relationships; and know more and more of Him: “to follow on to know”.

For “then”, we will know:

And let’s face it: knowing the Lord is: truth, life, and everything we will want.

He fills our hearts and lives with joy: “If” we continue in His word.

The Two Thieves

Mark 15:27 “And with Him they crucify two thieves; the one on His right hand, and the other on His left.”

Matthew 27:41,44 “Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders…..

The thieves also, which were crucified with Him, cast the same in HIs teeth.”

Luke 23:39-43 “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ save thyself and us.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thee kingdom.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”

The two thieves are a picture of every person born.

We are either persuaded of Christ…….as Lord and King…..

….or we are with the crowd which mocks and hates Christ.

You will notice that they were thieves…..men who had stolen something which did not belong to them.

We, too, are thieves….for we have stolen God’s honor from Him….we have usurped HIs throne of authority.

We have chosen to be in control of our destinies…..so that we decide what is “right” and what is “wrong”…..for us.

This is theft in the Kingdom of God…..we have taken from God the honor due HIs Name…

….stolen it for ourselves.

The thieves both mocked Jesus, at first…

….they “cast the same in His teeth”.

Which means they were throwing insults, just like the chief priests and scribes and elders.

They were not good men,…..they were glad to be able to mock the Son of God, the Son of Man…..

….maybe it would make their pain less.

(Of course, it did not….and it does not for us, as well)

But a change came….first innocence was recognized.

Luke 23:39-41 “And one of the malefactors…railed on Him….If Thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

But the other….rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds:…”

Here was a recognition that he was a sinner…..that God judges right!

Though it was a simple confession…..yet anytime we get honest about ourselves…..light is given…..for Truth is Light…..

…..and God’s grace is offered. (John 1:17)

Luke 23:41 “….but this man hath done nothing amiss.”

This, too, was a confession…..only about Christ. He had mocked few minutes ago….

….but now he begins to recognize Christ’s purity and goodness.

(Grace does this….it brings us the ability to see Christ as He is, not as we have thought of Him.)

Luke 23:42 “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.”

I love this,…..”Lord”…..not “king” in a mocking tone…..but “Lord”…..in subjection to Christ, and HIs Will for him.

“Remember me”…..

Psalm 25:6-7 “Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy lovingkindness; for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness sake, O Lord.”

For God to remember someone, is for God to fix that person in His affections.

Is 49:15-16 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands;…”

Christ’s graven palms, speak of His remembering all for whom He died…..the penitent thief…..you, me…..for our names are there where the nail prints are.

Luke 23:43 “And Jesus said unto him, Verily (Truth) I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”

This thief died…..but lived by faith in Christ Jesus.

We all, too, are presented with Christ Jesus.

To some He is nothing more than an object to mock and insult….

To others, they begin to see the goodness and holiness of Christ, and are drawn to Him…being honest about themselves….and receiving Him as Lord and Savior…

….they ask to be remembered of Him.

And He will….always.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Battle of the Ages

1 Corinthians 15:24-25 “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.”

The battle of the ages rages all around us, and we all,….aware or unaware….are part of it.

The battle of the ages is that battle between God and evil….

….it is a battle that God knew would come when He first decided to create.

The Godhead saw by their omniscience the rebellion of Lucifer and the fall of one third of the angels with him.

They saw a perfect earth turned to chaos:

Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Complete destruction of it’s original beauty and perfectness,….then re-creation.

They saw the fall of man and the evil that flowed out, after that…..and the necessity of the flood….yet saved, by grace Noah and his family.

Genesis 6:7-8 “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;….

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

They saw the call of Abraham and the establishing of a Jewish Nation….and their failure to follow Him and His Laws.

They saw me and you….our birth, our call….and our twists and turns in the Way God wants us to walk.

They saw when we followed the world to our hurt….and They saw the price Christ would pay to get us back.

They saw our spiritual steps till now…..

…and they see our end.

And at the beginning of it all….the Godhead saw all these things….yet…

..decided to save us:

God the Father would draw us to God the Son.

God the Son would….at the fullness of time to become the Man Christ Jesus and pay the price of our salvation.

And God the Holy Spirit would become the indwelling instrument of His Eternal life to us day by day….for all eternity.

We are either for God….or against Him…..

….there is no neutral ground….before the Throne of God….

…for that is where we all will be….one day.

For Christians….the Throne of God is a throne of mercy and grace:

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

For unbelievers….the Throne of God is the place they will be judged….for all those things done….in their rejection of Christ….

Revelations 20:11-12 “And I saw a great white Throne, and Him that sat on it , from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

(What an terrible thought….no place before Him, now….no place in His mercy or long-suffering love, now!)

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dad were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

What we must understand, is that the battle is a spiritual battle….yet fought in spirit, soul and body.

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

The body is the Temple of the Lord, for God, in the person of the Holy Spirit indwells us.

People believe that the spiritual life is only in the spirit….they think they can ignore the body.

But the body is an extension of the spirit and soul:

The feet for walking at His direction,

The hands to work HIs Way,

The tongue to speak for Him,

The ear to hear HIs Words,

The eye to look at everything, under His control.

This is how the body…the whole life finds itself under the kingdom of Christ…..we are to bring our body to the Holy Spirit and deny ourselves….

…for our eyes and ears affect the heart.

So when our eyes wander, or our ears are tuned to the world…we have allowed an occasion to the Adversary of our souls…and he has already gained a small victory.

The attack is against our affections, our reasons, our thought life, our anger—past and present, and what we believe.

It is one where we are under attack,…for the sole purpose of getting us to give up on God…..to forsake His Will and way for us….

….to defeat the Lord’s Will in our lives.

Here in Romans, the mercies of God (the kindness of God to sinners)…call us to offer up our bodies in love to the Holy Spirit….that we might be free.

True freedom is to be free from sin.

We are not to be conformed to the world…..or “the age” we find ourselves in.

(Has anyone noticed the sadness, the anger since Covid? Or the frantic seeking for entertainment for the moment….afraid of what’s next?)

We can be transformed…..amazing word….from the natural inclination of “the age”.

We have had our part in it,…..yet again mercy comes with “renewing”….

…producing a order and attitude….in our lives…

….this is the reign of Christ through our bodies.

(This is not just refreshment and strength….but the actual saving us…and the real giving of another temperament for our lives, altogether.)

This is what the Everlasting Covenant was for:

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 (complete) 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.”