Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

All

All is a small word in itself,….yet inclusive to the greatest degree.

These three letters signify the enormity, the magnitude, the numbers, the greatness of power to accomplish….without limits…..for “all” is everything there is.

Mark 9:23 “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

This is an amazing promise….”all things are possible, to him that believeth.”

Are we believing Him in all things? Are we proving His Word in the situations of life?

I know I have failed here, often. We think of the hard, impossible things for which we need God….but “all things”…..really?

Are we looking to Him in “all” things?

Isaiah 45:22” Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

(We all know the about when Peter walked on the water. [Matthew 14:25-31]

We know that Peter was doing fine,…..until….he stopped looking to Jesus, and started looking around at the waves and wind.

Yes, those were the circumstances he was in at that time,……but the waves were high when Jesus bid Peter “Come” to Him;……and the wind was howling as Peter crawled out of the boat, and onto the sea.

It was not the wind or the waves,……but the fact that Peter stopped looking to Jesus, that got him in trouble.

Now for me, that would have told me that Peter should not have asked to come out on the water….but, the Lord did not correct him, then….but corrected his unbelief. “Wherefore didst thou doubt?”)

“All things are possible to him that believeth”

For our salvation, Christ Jesus has reconciled “all things” and made peace by His blood:

2 Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”

Colossians 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

“Reconciliation” means to remove all those things which hinder fellowship with God.

We cannot reconcile ourselves to God, He did that on the cross….but we can come to Him at His invitation, receiving…and continuing to receive His life….and “be made the righteousness of God in Him”:

2 Corinthians 5:17, 19, 21 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

These “all things becoming new” includes faith and light…..which gives us the “sight” we need to navigate in this world.

It includes the Holy Spirit’s ability for us to get honest with the Lord, and come with our hands emptied of excuses. (1 John 1:7, 9)

It includes peace….a peace which passes “all understanding” for both our hearts….and minds.

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

For our spiritual needs, Christ Jesus has blessed us with all spiritual blessings….”all”:

Ephesians 1:3, 2:6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

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

Are we getting them into us?

Paul wrote that he had learned how to abound, and how to be abased

(and if you read what happened to him: being thought a god [Acts 14:11-15]…..being stoned and left for dead [Acts 14:19-20]….a jail opened for him [Acts 16:25-26]….a shipwreck [Acts 27]…..you can see his being abased and abounding!)

……and he testifies:

Philippians 4:11, 13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (And that is reconciliation!)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

That’s Paul, the mighty apostle….but he goes on to say to the church at Philippi:

Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Again, I will ask, are we believing the Lord? Are we being reconciled to Him in everything….”all” things of our life?

Well, He said “all things are becoming new”….will we let Him make this day new in our experience with Him….more peace, more joy, more of His Presence in the wind and waves?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Before

Before David fought and slew Goliath….before David became a leader and soldier….before he had to hide for his life, from Saul….before all these…

…David was a shepherd….who was called of God….to be king of God’s people, ….a man after God’s own heart.

We are going to consider that call. It begins with Samuel, the prophet.

He receives Word from the Lord to stop “mourning” over the fact that God took the kingdom from Saul,…

(Saul lost the kingship because of his disobedience…..and very important…his lack of honesty about his sin, when he was confronted with it.

The kingdom was “rent” from Saul, by the Lord…..”and given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou.” 1 Samuel 15:28)

1 Samuel 16:1 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?

Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons.”

It was time to stop mourning over what Saul had done…..and over what God had done….

…and do what was next in God’s purpose for Samuel, Israel, and the next king.

(There is a time for sorrow for sin,….but then, it is to be put away and get up and go on.)

But before Samuel goes….he speaks of fear.

(I find this unusual for Samuel. He was a lighting-rod for God’s people when the priesthood failed….and had led the people to repentance and revival….

…..but fear is one of those sneaky sins which comes in through our reasonings….or sudden onslaught of emotion.

Samuel felt responsible for Saul…perhaps he should have spoke to him more….perhaps, if he had spent more time with him…things could have been different.

Samuel was mourning (bewailed)….or “crying over spilled milk”…my grandmother would have said. In this emotional state, Samuel was venerable….and fear came.)

But God speaks to him and gives direction….and Samuel gets up and does as he is told. The fear is gone…for he trusts the Lord.

So Samuel, takes a animal for sacrifice…..and goes to Bethlehem. The elders of the town are concerned that he is there because they have done something wrong….

….but Samuel assures them that his coming is peaceable. He tells them to come to the sacrifice.

Jesse and most of his sons, come….and Samuel “sanctifies” them….sets them aside to eat with him.

1 Samuel 16:6, 10 “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.

Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, the Lord hath not chosen these.”

Saul had been head and shoulders above the other Israelites….so looking at the tall men which were Jesse’s sons….Samuel thought that they should have been who the Lord had sent him to anoint as the next king…

But as the Lord told Samuel….

1 Samuel 16:7 “….Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

This time, the Lord would choose a man which would love Him….

1 Samuel 16:11-12. “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remains the yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”

I want to pause here and mention….that the very first description of David is shepherd…”keepeth the sheep”.

God needed a man with a Shepherd’s heart (2 Samuel 24:17)…to do the work of leading His people…..both in battle, and back to Him, in worship.

The second description is: ruddy (meaning a young man, not shaving yet)….

…..a beautiful countenance (meaning that he was a handsome young man, strong)……

…..and goodly (this term was also used for Moses…and means one which was obedient in heart.)

As David came into the feast, Samuel looked on him….and did not see a king….but a boy!

The Lord had to tell him to get up…and do what I sent you here to do!

But the Lord said….”Arise” (Get up Samuel….stop looking for another Saul)

“…anoint him” (Pour the oil of anointing over his head, and I will anoint him in his spirit….with My Holy Spirit)

“…for this is he.” (This is My choice….a man who knows Me, and trusts Me Psalm 89:20-21)

(The Lord first called David….then anointed him….giving him what he needed for the job…the Holy Spirit…..and the Lord does the same for us: He calls us and then empowers us to do.)

1 Samuel 16:13 “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.”

The next king was chosen and anointed for the job….but it would be years and many experiences….before David became officially the king of Israel…to the people.

Yet from the moment he was anointed…..he became the focal point of the next history of Israel.

(Right after this he became the singer and soother of Saul in the court….he took care of his father’s sheep when Saul and his army went to meet the Philistines…..he took food to his brothers who were in Saul’s army….and defeated Goliath.

He became one of the heads of Saul’s army….and slew many enemies of Israel. As Saul’s jealousy grew, he had to run for his life…..

….but the narrative follows him….

….till at last,…..all Israel crowned him king)

2 Samuel 5:1-3 “Then came all the tribes of Israel to David….saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh…..

……thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.

…..and they anointed David king over Israel.”

It is amazing to me…..since they knew this….why did they take so long to make him king?!

But are not we the same way with Christ?

David was a type of Christ.

And is this said of Christ…”The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want”

Are we experiencing His guiding, leading, feeding?

Christ is also King….anointed of His Father for the kingdom of our hearts….and the earth.

Are we anointing Him with the oil of joy in our hearts and lives…..for we know that He has always set His heart on us….

…”before the world began”..or before times eternal (2 Timothy 1:9)

What is holding us back from setting our hearts on Him….and letting Him lead us….into all that we should be?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Diligence

Diligence means to eagerly, earnestly see the business done.

2 Peter 1:5 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;”

We think of effortless Christianity, which it is not. We are to keep our hearts with all diligence

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

And we are to diligently “make sure” of our calling and election:

2 Peter 1:10 “Wherefore the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall:”

Our example is Joash, king of Israel.

2 Kings 13:14 “Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my Father, my Father! The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.”

Here, in this example, the king of Israel is in need. The Syrians were coming against them, and he needed guidance, and victory over them.

He knew if that was to happen, he would have to go and see God’s Prophet, Elisha.

But Elisha was sick, so sick he would die; and in bed.

Still the king was diligent, thus far…….and came into him; weeping over him concerning Israel’s need.

He was in the right place for a blessing, and seeing the right person. If there was any help for Israel, here it was, in the person of this dieing old man.

2 Kings 13:15-17 “And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.

And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the kings hands.

And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.”

The king was told what to do for the deliverance he sought, and had Elisha’s hands on his hands to do it. And the deliverance was promised.

(And a promise is only a promise; until it is obtained)

The king is doing what he is told,……so far so good.

After all, this was a kingly thing to do. Open the window and shoot an arrow eastward; quite kingly.

Maybe he even thought of a Syrian out there, that he was shooting at.

He was receiving the answer he wanted! Victory was promised!

But now the kings diligence, without Elisha, is tested.

After all, the battles were still to be fought; would the king continue in diligence?

2 Kings 13:18-19 “And he said, Take arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice and stayed.

And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: Whereas now thou wilt smite Syria thrice.”

Elisha tells the king to take arrows and hit the ground.

Now this was not a very kingly thing to do.

But the king, just going along with Elisha; for he thought he had the deliverance he came for; just hits the ground three times.

No diligence there.

His arm had already shot the arrow of deliverance (surely he could take credit for it); why did he need to do this beating the ground?

Oh well, he would do it to please the old man, and get on with the Victory.

But the man of God was very angry. Why?

Because a promise is just a promise, till we have obtained, or gotten it from God…….by the means He chooses to use.

And often those means are humbling to us, so that we will not get the idea that the Victory He gives, came by us.

It came to us, by His power,….and means….through us.

The king came, seeking deliverance from Elisha and God; and got it, in promise…a wonderful promise that would have protected men and women in Israel, for generations to come….

….and all he had to do was fulfill the means….and there were several:

1)…with Elisha’s hands on his….an arrow shot.

2)…by himself, with all his might, to beat the ground by the arrows….as though he was beating the Syrians to dust.

Then victory would be given.

But when he had to show diligence toward God’s Word, himself,….he failed.

He also lost part of the promise;…..the part he refused to be diligent in obeying.

(There would be five battles….Israel would win three….but the last two….Syria would win. 2 Kings 13:25)

We are often the same.

We are very enthusiastic for a while;…..especially when we can take part of the credit;……but fail when we are called upon to diligently use means which we find humbling, or not to our liking.

Diligence is eagerly, earnestly, seeing the job done.

God wants to deliver,

wants to supply our needs,

wants to place His hands on ours for the work;

but will we, diligently follow through, just because He says so?

If we will, we will be blessed with the full promises of God.

If we don’t, we will lose a part of the promises God wants to bless us with.

Diligence is eagerly, earnestly, seeing the job done.

And I might add, our promises will be fulfilled completely, when we do all for Jesus sake.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Voice of God: in Wisdom

Proverbs 1:20-21

“Wisdom crieth without; she uttered her voice in the streets:

She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,”

God is saying here that He had sent His Wisdom in the city, into the minds of His People.

And what did Wisdom say?

Proverbs 1:23 “Turn you at My reproof: Behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.”

God’s Wisdom wants us to not only hear the words; but to “turn”.

When God reproves His people, He is trying to get their attention away from the world’s traps, and to turn it on their great calling in Christ Jesus.

He promises great power for our lives, in the promise of the Spirit; “I will pour out My Spirit unto you”.

and in understanding His Word for our lives, today.

Jeremiah 10:23 “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

We were formed from the dust of the ground; and the Lord breathed into man, the breath of life, and we became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Then we were placed upright, on our feet, to walk after God.

But we turned every one to his own way. (Isaiah 53:6)

So God has spoken in a clear voice of Wisdom:

Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ear shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

That is pretty detailed direction, for our everyday life. He knows, and we can know for today what His will is.

God has it for us: if we will walk with Him.

And if we get out of the Way?

The He will send Wisdom to correct us:

Proverbs 1:22 “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love your simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?”

The simple ones here, are those who are not taught in the Word of God. They can not prove all things.

We think simplicity is good, but it is not,…..if we are simply refusing further instruction from Him, wanting to stay where we are because of fear, or lack of trust.

But the scriptures are given for our instruction:

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

And the scriptures are given for examples for us:

1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

Maybe we think that God would never make that happen for me; what is the use of trying, or of praying?

He has promised a lot to those who want His wisdom. Shall we not believe Him?

Proverbs 2:10-11 “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul:

Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:”

Proverbs 3:21b-23 “…keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.”

God is still sending His Wisdom to the streets, the place people gather, to the entering of cities, and in the city, itself.

He is sending it by His Word, His preachers, and by the testimony of His people.

He will not stop…His Voice will go forth.

Will we turn and walk after Him, today?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Our Hiding Place is God

Song of Solomon 2:14 “O My dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let Me see thy countenance, let Me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.”

Here the Lord Jesus is calling…..to a place in the cleft of the Rock. The cleft Rock speaks of Christ’s Sacrifice…..He was “cleft” for us.

So the Lord is speaking….calling us, as believers, to stand in the protection of the cleft Rock….

…..but let the world hear our voice.

What the Lord desires is that the believer should live for Him alone.

“For HIs sake”….should be the reason for every part of our lives….the suffering as well as the hallelujah times.

So He calls us to a place “in the cleft of the Rock”….so that we can see the price of our protection and provision…..and give testimony concerning it in our lives.

The Lord is calling her take her place in His provision…..and to be a living expression of His death and resurrection life.

He calls her to “the secret place of the stairs”.

Psalm 91:1-2 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust.”

Every benefit which we can have from His resurrection life, we already have…..He has given them to us in His Holy Spirit…..

…but at the same time we still carry with us our old man….that which hinders the joy and the grace God gives.

So the question is not how much do we possess of Christ, but the question is how much have we lost of the old man, which hinders us?

Psalm 27:5 “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; he shall set me up upon a Rock.”

These verses describe a secret protection…..a secret supply of help.

Psalm 31:20 “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

It is not secret from us…..but from the enemies we have.

God’s help comes from many places….many different places.

And many different ways.

(In Pilgrim’s Progress….Christian has come in the wicket gate…..and on to the house of the Interpreter (the Holy Spirit)….so He will show Christian some things that will instruct and encourage him, on his journey to the Celestial City.

There, the Interpreter shows him a fireplace, with a blazing fire!

In front of the fireplace, there is one who is throwing water on the blaze, to put it out….this He explains is the devil, who wants to put out our light, and fire.

As Christian looks slightly concerned,….

….the Interpreter takes him around the back of the fireplace and shows him One (our Lord Jesus), who is always pouring oil on the fire, to keep it going.)

This is our secret supply of Help. God is always pouring grace on us, as we use it…..He is always giving us His peace (we have none of our own)….He is always showing us His Will, in His Light….

….He gives us courage, and strength. He gives us ability and guidance.

What need won’t He meet? None.

When I say that our hiding place is God….that does not mean He wants us to hide out from the world….

….but it means that we shelter under His sovereignty, His peace, HIs love, His joy;….and use His courage and grace.

It means that though circumstances may be terrible…

….in Him, we are at rest.

(This rest is not “calm”……I have been calm, like the eye of a hurricane…..where it is deadening….yet waiting for the next part of the storm.

That is calm. I want “rest”…the rest of God, Who has seen the end from the beginning…

…and has enough grace to see me through, if I will take and use it.)

Song of Solomon 2:14-15 “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the Rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines; for our vines have tender grapes.”

Let Me see thy countenance, let Me hear thy voice.

He is our hiding place…..are we being His lights?

So much of what we are and say, is a reflection of our love to Christ.

Is He seen in us? Is He testified by us?

Well, if there are any hinderances to that…..”take us the foxes….the little foxes…..that spoil the vines.”

Christ is calling this loved one (me, you, us)….to remove even the little hinderances to fruit bearing.

Sometimes it is not the “big” things……we know they are wrong.

But it is the little hinderances…..little sins, little grievances, little twists in the truth….that can cause us to loose fruit for Christ.

Let us rejoice that He is our safety…..our joy….our rest.

And let us remove all hinderances to us being seen and heard….”for His sake.”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Power of God unto Salvation

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation of every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

This is Paul writing the Romans. At this time Paul had not visited Rome….but he had heard of the church there, and wanted to instruct them on the basics of doctrine.

Do you believe?

Do you evidence this salvation in your life?

For this power unto salvation is real….and it is what we need, to live in these days.

(Matthew 1:21) “….for He shall save His people from their sins.”

This is the power of salvation….to be saved from our sins,….to be delivered from them.

The salvation God has willed for us….is four fold:

First we are saved from the love of sin…..this is called conviction of the Holy Spirit….where sin begins to loose it’s attraction.

Second, from the guilt of sin….this is being born again.

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Third, from the power of sin….this is sanctification.

Romans 6:16-18 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”

Here is where we really show that we are saved….that we are under new management….the Lord’s.

Fourth, we are saved from the presence of sin….in heaven….by the Rapture, or through death.

How wonderfully complete is God’s salvation for us!

Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Paul was writing the Roman church….showing them the completeness of God’s power.

To take a sinner…and we are all sinners….by being Adam’s children (Romans 5:19)…and our own choices:

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

We have all missed the mark…we are all sinners before God.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In God’s sight, our sin (our works) has earned us wages….and someone must receive those wages.

Us….or our Substitute.

Those wages for sin, is death….this is eternal separation from God.

The lost are separated from God, now….it is called “dead in trespasses and sins”in (Ephesians 2:1-3)…..but it will continue throughout eternity….in darkness and agony (Jude 13).

But God has a free gift for us….the gift of Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Life, through Christ….instead of death! This is a marvelous gift!

Now when you are offered a gift; you do one of two things:

You receive it…..

…or you reject it.

When you receive that gift of Eternal Life, by receiving Christ Jesus the Lord…

…it is then you are born again.

This Eternal Life is a life that begins the moment we are born again….and continues throughout Eternity.

It is Christ’s Life, placed within us by the Holy Guest we are given….the Holy Spirit…the third Person of the Godhead, comes within us and abides with us…giving us faith, peace, grace, joy, etc….evidences of Christ’s life within us.

How?

John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

Paul writes the Romans, about this power to change a dying sinner into a living child of God (Romans 8:17):

Romans 10:8-10, 13 “But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

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 with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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

But that power does not stop at being born again….but continues it’s work in us…..and through us.

In us:……giving us (Romans 5:1-5) peace with God, access by faith to stand before Him in rejoicing, power to glory even in trials…for by God’s power they work in us patience (patience is cheerful constancy…amazing power!)…

….and this power works in us experience with God, that we may know, what He will do for us

….and His power gives us hope…that confident expectation that God will do what He has told me.

Romans 5:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.”

And the power of God, through us:….

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.”

This shows our complete salvation….every part of us….our spirit where the Holy Spirit lives…

….our soul where the character of Christ is formed in us, by His power…

….our body where we show that we belong to Christ and not the world…

We are transformed….changed….into a living, walking, breathing, sacrifice…..here on earth,…..for our Lord.

God’s Power unto Salvation, is a full power….seeing all our sins, and all our transgressions….and (hallelujah) saving us to the uttermost, in spirit, soul and body…

….when we come to God, through Christ Jesus.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Thy Kingdom Come.

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

Where is His kingdom to come? Where is His will to be done?

In earth….

….not on earth; but in earth….in us who are made of the earth, and formed by God into a living soul….we are to have His kingdom come “in” us….and have His will done “in” us.

This is the second most important thing we are to pray for…..according to the prayer Jesus Christ taught his disciples. (Matthew 6:9-15)

(The first most important thing is to ask that His Name would be “hallowed” or honored.

We know His Name signifies all that He is….so the first thing we should pray for,…..when we pray, is that God would be honored by us.

That His Name would not be ill-spoken of,…..because of our behavior.)

But the second thing we are to pray for, is that we might have His kingdom come, and His will be done within us….it is that important.

Luke 17:20-21 “And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, Lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The Pharisees thought of “the kingdom” as a place and a time, which would surely include them….because of their lineage.

They did not understand that the kingdom is only where the King is.

And the King, Jesus Christ was standing before them, right then….

….inviting them to come into His kingdom, by believing and submitting to Him.

He is doing the same thing to each of us, today…

There are two principles at work in the universe:

God’s principle of Obedience, and the devil’s principle of Rebellion.

God’s principle of Obedience…..which is to place ourselves at God’s disposal to do, or be what He wants.

This principle was seen in all the children of God, to a decree, down through the ages….

….but especially in His Son, The Son of God/the Son of Man…..Who did always those things that pleased His Father (John 8:29)

Hebrews 5:8-9 “Though He were a Son, yet He learned He obedience by the things which He suffered;

And being made perfect (complete in His Work), He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;”

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, humbled Himself and became man. Many things He did for others, by the power of God….but…

…..He had to be obedient to Mary and Joseph……for eighteen years—from twelve to thirty (Luke 2:49-51)

…..He was tempted for forty days and nights by the devil….yet without yielding (Matthew 4:1-11)

…..He had to wait for others to bring Him food, and ask for water at a well (John 4:6-8)

…..He was silent before His accusers, as a “sheep before His shearers is dumb” (Isaiah 53:7)

Everything He did, here as man,…every act, every word,…..was in obedience to God His Father.

He did everything in obedience, as man….without the indwelling inclination to sin….but as man….

…..an obedient man….worthy in His Person, for Who He was and what He had done….to be the perfect sacrifice for sin.

Taking away the sin of all who would believe in Him.

And the devil’s principle of Rebellion….where we place ourselves against the things of God….against His will and His way.

The devil would persuade us (“wiles”Ephesians 6:11)…..that we can have things our way and God’s….but we can not.

We must choose:

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

(Hell was made for the devil and his angels….not man.

Until the day of Adam’s sin, then it was opened up for those who refuse to believe God, and obey Him.

Matthew 25:41 “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”)

I started this with “Thy kingdom come.”

For every Christian, if we do not have Christ’s kingdom come within our hearts, we are leaving things in our lives open to the devil’s wiles to rebellion.

Christ has made a way for us,….to come to God in peace, and have full access to His grace: the unmerited favor of power (Romans 5:1-2)

….to be led by the Spirit of God and be joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14, 17)

….to come boldly to the Throne of grace and obtain mercy (Hebrews 4:16)

….to be saved from the lusts of the world (2 Peter 1:3-4).

He is the Author and Finisher of our faith:

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”

Christ’s Way, is by His kingdom being set up in our lives. He sits on the throne of our lives….and we occupy the footstool, as HIs servant.

It is the second most important thing we are to ask for: Thy kingdom come.

Are we seeking it for ourselves? Are we acknowledging Him as our King?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Wisdom from Above

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Wisdom is from God and of God. Man gains knowledge, and can get very smart; but wisdom is only from God.

God says that if you don’t have the wisdom for this situation; you can ask Him. He will not rebuke you for not knowing, but will give you the wisdom you need.

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

God gives light, which is knowledge, and understanding. He shines His light on a situation, and the truth is seen. The way it really is; and how it really affects us.

Wisdom is that light so we know what to do, and wisdom also empowers us to do, as we yield to Him.

(I remember a bad situation where I was getting worked up about what I thought was going to happen. I imagined all sorts of scenarios in my head about what I would say in return, and what would ultimately happen. [Not good, I can tell you that].

“Ask the Lord!” It seemed like it was shouted in my ear. When I asked, He simply told me to stop worrying; that I was to stay out of any retaliation; in word, or action! That, in fact, I was to keep my big mouth shut, no matter what the other person said.

It worked! [should I have been surprised?]. God gave me wisdom: to know, and yes, to do…..as unto Him…..and there was peace in it.)

Wisdom for that situation is what we are to do about it, and the power to do it, in peace.

This He gives liberally, or generously. He is not a miser. He wants us to know His Will, and gives us what we need to find it out, and to do it.

James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

Remember this comes from God, to you.

Wisdom is first, pure. There is no mixture of many opinions, but truth, plain and simple.

It is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. It seeks the good of all.

Full of mercy and good fruits. Forgives other people’s mistakes, and would help them set them right.

Without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Does not argue to win; or defraud another.

Proverbs 3:21-23, 26 “My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

This is wisdom; and God gives it to any of His, who want it,…..abundantly.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Will we choose the path where the Lord leads?

Deuteronomy 8:2 “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no.”

All the circumstances which come into our lives….in the path that the Lord leads us in….is laid out…to…

….show us our weakness….and show us God’s faithful might for us…that we might become totally dependent upon Him….leaning on our Beloved through this world.(Song of Solomon 8:5)

We do not know what is in our hearts until certain circumstances come….which show our weaknesses.

Peter truly felt he would never betray Christ…but he did.

He got into circumstances which “pushed” against his fear for his life….and he denied the One he loved. (John 21:15-19)

Paul speaks of this…

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead;”

This trouble came in the path of duty….and the Lord had a lesson in that path.

Because of this trouble….Paul despaired. (Despaired here means that mentality there was no way out…so that it distressed his mind.)

But he learned…. “that we should not trust in ourselves”:

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

When we begin our journey on our path with Christ, we do not know our own hearts.

But as we go further into the path He leads us in,…circumstances are placed in front of us which will bring out of us how we truly are.

True, we love the Lord…..but will we stand with Him in the face of trouble?

Yes, we know the Lord knows everything….but do we trust Him when suddenly things seem to fall apart….now?

◦ The more we see our lack….the more we should stay close to Christ….getting more of His grace for our circumstances.

Sometimes the lessons show us that…..we trust Christ with our hearts…..but not with our bodies. Illness…broken bones….and weakened abilities, often can cause us to look to someone or something else other than Christ.

Sometimes the Lord shows us that we trust Him…for eternity; but fear and doubt Him for our “daily bread”. Are we trusting our own wisdom or schemes then?

Luke 9:23-24 “And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me,…”

(Here is the crux of the matter, will we come after Him, no matter what the situation or circumstances? If you will…then…)

“…let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it.”

We have heard this call before (Matthew 16:24-25)…..but here is added the very telling word….”daily”.

This is an everyday, ongoing thing, until we stand in His presence.

As an old preacher once wrote….”only when we realize we are unable to do without God for a moment….do we find what He is for us, moment by moment.”

I remember many colossal crises in my life….times when the Lamentations of Jeremiah (Lamentations 3:1-25 “…when I cry and shout,…”)……were more my prayers than the praises of the Psalms…but again and again the Lord reminds me….

….”I have led you….I will lead you…do not just “hang on”…..but hang on to Me, and see My hand in it all.”

Sometimes I did not want to….I wanted to see the people or the situations….but He kept lifting my face to His….

“This is the key….this is the answer….deny yourself today, and follow Me…..and I will lead you through.”

His life….think of it as I often do…..His life in mine….here and now….this is what He offers all who will.

Will we choose the path where the Lord leads?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

That Thou Mayest

Revelation 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich,

and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and the shame of thy nakedness do not appear,

and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Now it used to be a favorite correction of my Aunt, to tell me which to use: “May I?”

Or “Can I?”

I would say, “Can I go outside, and play?”

She would say, “I don’t know, do you have legs to take you?”

Of course, she would be stressing what was the proper English. I should have said, “May I go outside and play?”

Can, she would say, denotes ability. May, denotes permission or will.

So Jesus Christ says, “That thou mayest”, He means that He will give permission to open up the windows of Heaven and pour us down the blessings He describes here.

All in Heaven are just looking to Him, and waiting for His permission to give abundant manifestations of His power and presence, to each who will “buy of Me (The Lord Jesus Christ)”.

Malachi 3:10. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

We will speak about the blessing offered by the Lord Jesus to us……..and the means to get these “windows of heaven” opened up to us.

We will start with the last blessing that we “may” have,……for this is the beginning of the rest.

Eyes that really see, by the use of eyesalve. Without this, we are still blind; or with blurry eyes, seeing unclearly.

And what is this eyesalve we are to use?

It is honesty. If we are to see God as He is; then we must see ourselves as we are. They go hand in hand. (Let’s face it, when we are angry at God, He seems like an angry God.)

As we get honest, and let the Lord search our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9-10), we stop losing our way in our emotions; because we can now see the truth.

And anytime truth is faced; grace is given. (Grace is the unmerited favor of power)

John 1:17 “For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

The Lord once said to me: “That if any Laodicean would get a good look at his own heart, he would do something about it immediately.”

White raiment that thou mayest be clothed:

If we are Christians, we must be clothed upon with Christ’s Righteousness.

But Christ’s righteousness, enables us to do righteousness. And this is the garment spoken of here…..our righteous acts done for His glory.

We must determine to have Christ formed in me.

We are told to:

Colossians 3:8-10, 12-13 “But now ye also put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communications out of your mouth.

Lie not one to another, seeing ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Put off the old man; put on the new man created in Christ Jesus. All this you must do, that the shame of your nakedness do not appear.

Gold, tried in the fire.

Gold in Scripture speaks of God in my life.

When it says, “tried in the fire”, it means that it has come through the purifying process, and there is no impurities, in the gold. It is pure gold.

We are truly “rich” in the Spiritual Blessings of love, joy, peace, long suffering, patience, etc.

But pure gold, signifies being filled with the Holy Spirit, by surrendering to Him: giving up my right to rule my life; and yielding my life, moment by moment, to the Holy Spirit’s Presence and Guidance.

I will remind everyone, this begins with losing our blindness.

To be blind in this verse is “opaque, surrounded with smoke”.

And how many “smoke screens” has the devil used to try and come between us and the truth? Or between us and the Lord?

It may be mental or physical.

(In other words, we can blind ourselves. By our imaginations: pretend to be someone we are not. Or we can blind ourselves by the “things” we choose to love.)

There is no cure for blindness; except Truth. Getting honest with God about everything.

When you do, the Lord will open up the windows of heaven and pour you down a blessing.