Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Forgive me, O Lord, and Restore a Right Spirit within Me.

In Psalm 51, David pours out his heart to God for forgiveness.

He had sinned terribly, by adultery; and then, the fixed murder of the woman’s husband.

Worse, he had refused to seek forgiveness for it, trying to hide it; until God sent someone to show him that God knew, and was very displeased.

Sin is rebellion against God. It is seeking my will over His Will; seeking to have me as ruler of my life, even in just this one thing.

This is what happened to David. It started innocently enough. He had been home from the war with the Ammonites.

And he wanted to stay home; to have a little more rest and relaxation than God wanted. It was the time for kings to go out to war, and he should have been at the head of his army.

2 Samuel 11:1 “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.”

But instead, he stayed in Jerusalem, and “took time off”. He was sleeping all day, and got up; and went on top of the roof of his house, when he saw Bathsheba.

If he had been at the battle, all the other things would not have happened.

He first lusted after a little more rest. (Was his army “resting”? Did he think because he was king, he could skip his duty?)

Then he lusted after a woman. And when lust was conceived: sin.

Instead of setting it right, he continued in it for months; for Bathsheba told him she was “with child”.

Then, came the choice of a lifetime. David comes up with the plan to dupe her husband into thinking the child was his.

This did not work, so he plans it, that the husband would be killed by the enemy.

2 Samuel 11:15 “And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.”

David, even now was not repentant.

You wonder how a man so close to God, could be so overcome with sin!

But, the truth is, we underestimate the power sin has on our life. It’s power grows as we refuse to deal with it.

Had David stopped, and sought forgiveness after the first sin with Bathsheba; God’s power would have easily overcome the power of the lust; and saved him from continuing on to deceit, and murder. (2 Samuel 12:9)

He went on, till God had to send someone to him. First the rebuke, then the chastening.

David was forgiven; but suffered by illness, and rebellion in his children because of his sin.

He was not paying for his sins; but reaping what he had sown.

Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Though David sinned terribly, yet he repented greatly. True repentance comes, as we come to God,……without merit of any kind from ourselves, to get an answer from God, Himself.

Not to just be satisfied with the seeking of forgiveness; but the word of forgiveness from God, personally,…..and the cleansing of the heart and conscience.

Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”

David calls upon God for mercy.

Mercy presupposes sin. And David had sinned. And he knew it. He had known within his heart for months, and he had known it by the word of the Lord through His servant.

The rebuke brought about the right results. He sought for spiritual mercy.

It is the benevolence and kindness of God to a sinner, who seeks forgiveness, and salvation from their sins.

In God’s mercy, was his only hope, and so David’s faith reached out to that character of God, and cries for God’s mercy.

It is only in God himself that the wiping away of sin could be found. (For the promise of the coming Messiah, who would bring victory over sin, and sin’s consequences, was known. And all who trusted in God, looked forward to Him.)

David could do nothing. There was no sacrifice for the sin he had committed, “else he would give it”

Psalm 51:16 “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offerings.”

The mercy he asks of God was “according to his loving kindness”; according to the character of God.

He did not know whether God would hear his cry; for David had turned a deaf ear to God.

He wasn’t asking because he had earned it,…..even with the repentance.

He was asking God to do according as His character was.

And David spoke plainly concerning his sin.

“Blot out my transgressions”, or “revoltings”. These acts he had committed were not “slips”, or just defective obedience. No, they were acts of rebellion against God.

David had revolted against God’s rule in his life, and wanted to do his own will.

His actions were great perversity; the twisting of God’s grace into sin.

God had given David the kingdom, and great help in all that he had done; and with God looking on, David had misused the grace, and despised His goodness.

What would God do with him?

He wanted forgiveness; he would not be able to come before God without it; but he wanted complete removal of all this defilement within.

To be throughly washed from the mass of his filthiness, and iniquity!

Here is a way we can all test ourselves and “our repentance”.

Are we content if we just ask for forgiveness, and not to seek cleansing?

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

It is forgiveness and cleansing.

God had sent a man to rebuke him. This was a great grace, not to let him continue in his rebellion.

God had made David willing to confess, so he asks God to finish the work of grace within him. To forgive and cleanse him.

Psalm 51:9-10 “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

God’s “hiding” His face from our sins, is putting them away. (Psalm 103:12)

So David prays for a new life.

“Create in me a clean heart” cries out for a new heart within him. David realizes that he will revolt again, if God does not give him clean affections. And God needs to create them within him.

Give me a submissive heart, and make me steadfast to You.

Psalm 51:11-12 “Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and up hold me with thy free spirit.”

Do not leave me to my own way.

Do not throw me away; or take away Your Holy Spirit from me.

David had know the joy of God in His life, and he prayed that it would be restored.

And that he would be kept (“lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil”, as the Lord Jesus taught us to pray. Matthew 6:13) from falling into evil again.

To be free from sin is true freedom indeed.

Sin is the worst bondage.

Though some call it “freedom”; it enslaves, by a constant growing desire for “more, more, more”.

With each step forward, the slave is “unknowingly” sinking.

As quicksand does not suck the victim in immediately, but slowly brings him down, till the mire covers his head in death; so sin does the same.

Only God can free us from sin.

First, He brings us to repentance: a “repentance not to be repented of”.

2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

Do we want to be free from our sin, or just the consequences of it?

Second, He leads us to Christ.

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:”

Third, He leads us in the desire for true liberty of Spirit, which is the freeing us from the power of sin over us.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

David’s faith in God, led him to cry to God, for this forgiveness and cleansing.

For he desired to be able to worship, and come near God again.

Is this what we want, as well?

Christ’s Sacrifice is able to cleanse us from all sin.

Will we seek it from Him?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

In the beginning….God

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

Here we meet our Creator…The Trinity…..He was in eternity past….dwelling alone,…complete….

Yet He purposed to create: angels and the universe…and He began the creation by a Covenant:

A covenant is a binding agreement made by two or more persons or parties, where one is promised some particular reward….under obligation to the other of fulfilling some particular thing.

God’s Covenant is called the Everlasting Covenant…..for it was to concern all of creation, eternally.

God the Father agreed to draw to Christ, a people down through the ages……a people to love, serve and honor Him,…

….if Christ would become the Man, Christ Jesus, born, raised, sent forth with a message concerning His kingdom, and to die as the Lamb of God, a sacrifice to atone for the sins of these people….and raised the third day.

….and the Holy Spirit agreed to come and be with these people, forever.

(I stress this covenant a lot, because it is the sole reason for God’s dealing with mankind in mercy, after the fall.

God Purposed……an amazing statement….

….therefore He will have His Savior come….even though Israel, which was to be the nation by whom Christ came, failed.

….therefore the gospel will be preached throughout the whole world as a witness for those who are saved….and as a witness against those who refuse Christ.

….therefore He will, in mercy, send HIs Holy Spirit to dwell with us…and teach us His Way.

….therefore all that He Purposed will come to pass….up to, and including the Everlasting Kingdom of God….eternity.)

All that are ever saved were thought of in the Everlasting Covenant…..saw there and provided for….for time……and eternity.

2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own Purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began;”

In the beginning God….Purposed His Will and Way for His creation….and “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

Ephesians 1:9-12 “Having made known unto us the mystery of His Will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.

In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the Purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own Will:

That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Him.”

In the now,…..God is calling out this people by the Word (written, and preached, spoken by witness of life) and by His Holy Spirit….

….to be His people….subjects of His kingdom….sheep of His pasture.

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

HIs call is still going forth….to all who will.

One day….in the future….all will be silent. There will be no excuses…all will be shown to be as God said it would….

Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what so things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

Before the Judgement Seat of Christ….the born again ones will be judged according to “what sort”(1 Corinthians 3:13-15) of works we have done……

…..whether works of obedience out of love for Christ Jesus……or works we simply thought good.

Before the White Throne Judgement….the lost, down through the centuries will be brought before His Throne….made to bow before Jesus, Whom they could have received….and then judged by the works they have done….then sent into the Lake of Fire for eternity.

We are all guilty under the law. We have all broken His commandments. We have all sinned. We all will be judged according to the Purpose He had for us, in Christ Jesus….and whether we ran the race we were given….or ran away from Him.

(In Esther, there is a telling scene: Esther’s duty for her life and the life of her people [and yes, we all have a “duty” for our life and the lives we are responsible for]….

…..was to go before Ahasuerus, the king….and speak to him about a plot to kill all the Jews.

But she had not been called to see the king for thirty days! And no one could just walk in to see the king (even the queen)….unless they had been called….unless you wanted to die.

But she went….knowing that no one but the King could change the decree of death against herself and her people.

Then something remarkable happened….a miracle…yes….

…the king stretched forth the scepter in his hand….and she came and touched it….giving her clemency from getting her head chopped off…

….and giving her a way to have fellowship with him and get her petitions answered.

God has the scepter in His hand…..which is always stretched out for those who want to come into HIs presence in prayer….for fellowship and to get our petitions answered.

He is God, yet HIs Kingly scepter…….is stretched out for us….will we come?)

God was God in eternity past….

The centuries have not changed Him….He is God, now in eternity present….

…and He will be God….for ever.

Is He our God? Do we come to Him with our duty? Are we having fellowship with the KIng?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

All down through the ages God has spoken in wisdom

Proverbs 1:20,23-24,29-30 “Wisdom crieth without;….

Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand (to protect and care for), and no man regarded;

For they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:

They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.”

All down through the ages God has spoken in wisdom….wisdom that is from above as James states so clearly.

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

This is the way God speaks!

First,…..Pure. There is no admixture….it is simply the truth. He does not try and convince….or bargain….He simply is the Truth….and speaks 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.”

John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus…..If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed;

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

There is nothing so freeing as the truth….for we can never change….or know anything as it really is….unless the truth be seen. (John 1:17)

The Faithful and True Witness has shown the light upon the truth all through history…..are we receiving it?

Then God’s Wisdom is “peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated.”

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

God does not use a baseball bat to get His message across. He speaks…perhaps through a verse….or through circumstances…

…and says, “hey, we need to talk!” “This is the way, walk ye in it…” (Isaiah 30:21).

He does not correct us because we do not know…..but calls us to ask for His wisdom….

“Full of mercy and good fruits”… When we get God’s wisdom, we find it a healthful thing. It strengthens our faith and encourages us.

We know, we see the truth….and we see the great mercy of God in helping us….and this wisdom bears good fruit.

“Blessed are the merciful; for thy shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

We become merciful to others, as God has been to us. The Lord is seen through us.

“Without partiality and without hypocrisy”. This is God’s wisdom….so unlike the world’s.

God sees all the same…..sinners in need of a Savior,….lost sheep in need of a Shepherd to guide and keep them.

God says….”all who come and seek My wisdom may receive, and gain the Truth.”

The world says….”We are smarter, more brilliant than you,….our philosophy, reasons, inventions make us great. No matter the Truth, we lead by our own thoughts about things….we are “wise”.

(Ecclesiastes. 7:29 “Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”)

But no matter what the world says…..they can not see what is ahead….they are unprepared for so many things…..and the wisdom of the world….fails us.

But God is never surprised….never unprepared for even the twists and turns of the circumstances.

The winds blow, the storm appears….yet the Lord…”..Who maketh the clouds His chariot: Who walketh upon the wings of the wind:” (Psalm 104:3)…

….is unconcerned….for their is nothing He has not seen and prepared a deliverance for.

(1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;…”

…and here is why…

……”but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”)

(Later in this chapter in Psalms, The Lord is praised:

“O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches.” Psalm 104:24. If you read this chapter….it is an amazing acknowledgement of God’s control and power in the Universe! He is Wisdom…and He will give us the wisdom we need to do and live.)

James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

God’s wisdom leads to peace within…..a settled knowledge of God’s Hand in and on everything in my life.

Proverbs 1:20, 23 “Wisdom cries without; she utters her voice in the streets:

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 has been sounding out…

….what a promise!

“I will pour out My Spirit unto you…..I will make known My words unto you.”

If you want to know…..Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit within will give you the wisdom you need….for now.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Matthew 13:23 “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word….

….and understandeth it;….

….which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth; some an hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.”

His Word to us, guides us….it is how we get understanding…

….and when we have understanding….we know.

We do not all produce the same amount of fruit….but all that received His Word, produce fruit.

(There are two kinds of fruit: the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23….and the fruit of a Christian, which is another Christian.)

To “understand” is to have experience in the matter:

For instance….what is full surrender?

It is coming to the place that we are not making any conditions to the Lord…

….none.

It is now His Will, HIs Way….whatever comes.

(My husband used to say….”When you come to the place you no longer resist the Lord’s Will….you may not like it, agree with it,….but you will do it….because it is His Will, for HIs sake…that is full surrender.”)

To get here….we need to come to that place that we will let nothing interfere with Christ in my life.

Luke 9:59-60 “And He said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”

This man’s father was not dead,….yet. But rather he was seeking permission to stay home till he died…for he was old…..so that he may do the son’s duty and bury him.

The urgency of the kingdom….the urgency of the call to the kingdom….was what Jesus stressed. HIs kingdom was life…..let him preach that kingdom and life….rather than wait for the dead.

Luke 9:61-62 “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee;…”

If he had stopped there…great.

“…But…”. (How many “buts” do we give to God, when He tells us to do something?)

“….but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home, at my house.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

What would be wrong with going home and saying goodbye?

Well, the Lord must be first….and any consideration that places Him second….is wrong.

Sometimes, it is very reasonable….to our mind…

…or maybe we ought to think about it.

But any “but…” is making conditions. “Looking back”, here, is desiring something other…than what Jesus Christ has said…any work, any way…or another time.

There must be a full surrender to His call….for what He really is asking….is that you give up your rights to yourself……

….to God’s rights as my Lord and King.

When we give way to….”yes,..but”…

…we are yielding to the reservations….or hesitations of reasons or emotions.

There needs to be a act of the will. “I will follow You, Lord.”

There is a old saying: Nothing is ever settled, until it is settled right….and nothing is ever settled right, until it is settled with God.

We may try and “settle” things with ourselves….like trying to talk ourselves into or out of, something.

Or we can come to Christ….and lay everything out to Him…..

…every emotion, every reason, every want….tell it to Him…with the determination to do what He says….

Isaiah 1:18-19 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”

Matthew 13:23 “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth; some an hundred-fold, some sixty, some thirty.”

If you read the parable of the sower….none but the good ground hearer, bears fruit.

The rest have the Word given…..but something interferes with it….in their hearts (for that is what the “ground” typifies….our hearts)….

…are we receiving the Word He is speaking to us…and bearing fruit, for His sake?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

God is Nigh unto them with a Broken Heart.

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart: and saveth such that be of a contrite spirit.”

This is a promise from our God.

Often the broken heart thinks that God is far away….but not so. He is near.

This broken heart is found in all places.

We are broken in heart by our sin and many failures to such a Good God.

We are broken in heart, often, when we are in troubles and afflictions.

We are broken in heart by people’s cruelty, and circumstances which seen out of control.

We are broken in heart as we go through this weary world…..by grief, and loss.

Isaiah 32:2 “And a Man (and that man is Christ) shall be as a hiding place from the wind and a culvert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as a shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

“Broken” here means “burst, to break in pieces.”

But we have a promise: The Lord is near us. I don’t know about you, but the greatest joy of my life, has been His Presence.

I’ve known it since being born again,…..and though I have failed and wavered (often),…….He has not.

He has loved me; and helped me.

Yes, I can say it has not been always the way I wanted.

But I can also say, it has been what I needed.

My broken heart, (by loss, by hate, by hurt feelings, by money troubles, by other troubles) was not always miraculously healed, but always mended.

(And “mended” means “to fasten upon, to strengthen, to cure, repair, make courageous”.)

Ezekiel 34:16a “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which is broken, and will strengthen that which was sick:..”

“And saveth such that be of a contrite spirit.”

When we are broken in heart by our sins, and contrite (bruised)…….when we remember that we have rebelled against our Loving Lord; then God is well pleased….and is more than ready to save us.

Our sin crucified our Lord. He died for me.

Psalm 51:14, 17 “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Jeremiah 30:17a “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord;…”

When our hearts are broken by loss, hurt, or grief; He is not there just to comfort;……but to restore.

He supports us, so we go on through the sorrow, together; and not be overcome.

(He never dismisses our loss; but seeks to hold on to us, through it.)

David felt this way, for he knew many losses, enemies, and troubles; and turned to the Lord:

Psalm 69:2, 20, 29-30 “I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I look for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

But I am poor and sorrowful: let Thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

I will praise the name of God with a song, and I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Christ Jesus has carried our sorrows;……so we can receive His joy and peace.

His joy lifts us up out of the depths of despair.

His peace surrounds us, in His arms.

Isaiah 53:4 “Surely He had borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

He did that for us. Receive His comfort.

Jesus quoted this promise when He was here on earth:

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;

He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,

to preach deliverance to the captives,

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty them that are bruised,

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

He has promised. He will give it. Ask for it.

Look to Jesus, and He will heal your broken heart;…..no matter how it got broken.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Reality, is it for you?

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

This is a real invitation to us from the Almighty God. “Come boldly”: to obtain, or get for us, mercy and grace to help in this time of need. Whatever that need is.

Christianity is an ideology (a body of ideas reflecting the social needs and goals of a group or people).

To a great many people, it is nothing more than that, for they have never been Born Again. It takes the element of faith in Christ Jesus our Lord to make these things of the Bible, real to us.

If it is only an ideology, then we are left up to our own means and power to bring His Will to pass in our lives. That is impossible.

Only by God’s enabling, can we do His Will.

God’s plan for us is the fullness of the Spirit: The Holy Spirit of power.

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

This is how we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit. And His kingdom must first be set up in our personal heart.

If we are citizens of His Kingdom, God is honored and obeyed by us. And that can only be done as we voluntarily submit to His Rule over us, in His personal direction for our lives.

Jesus said, “ If ye love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Hebrews 4:1 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”

Every promise in the Word, and every promise given to you personally is there: ready for you to enter into it by faith. (The Holy Spirit gives you hope: or the confident assurance that God will do what He says. We feel it! Hallelujah!)

There can never be true faith without obedience.

Faith takes us by the hand and guides us to do, what we believe.

God may have given you this promise, and this…and this, but until you have these promises in your experience, they are only promises.

True and Sure; but like money in a bank, sometimes not used.

The writer says “fear” coming short of the promises God gives us.

Fear means to be alarmed! To wake up to what you have in God’s Word, and reach out for it.

In praying, “Thy Kingdom come.”

(And notice it is a complete sentence, all by itself. It is not a part of God’s Will………It is God’s Will: that His Kingdom should come to each and every child of His, and that by it, they will enjoy communion and fellowship as they come into all that God has for them.)

We are to pray for His Kingdom to come within us, and submit to Him. We are praying for the Power and blessing of the Holy Spirit upon the Word; when we hear it, read it, and on the preaching of it.

We are praying that we may understand and know His Will; and willingly do His Will. (Philippians 2:13)

We are praying that the Word of God will be spread abroad by believing ministers, and that their lives will show forth God’s praise. (Matthew 5:16)

We are praying that His Kingdom which has come within us, may go on and influence those around us. That we might be a sanctifying influence to those we come into contact with.

This is the furthering of Christ’s Kingdom here. It always begins with us: getting by faith what God has for us, and sharing Christ and His Word to others.

For this we should come boldly to the throne of grace, God’s Throne, and get mercy (that help to sinners in need) and grace (the power that we need) for this time, and the next time, and the next time….onward.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Death

2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”

Death is closing the door behind us, when we come home.

For we must all pass through this door, unless we are alive at the time of Rapture.

Death is closing our eyes here on earth, and that same moment, opening them in heaven with our Lord. (Death for the Christian is called “sleep”.)

Acts 7:59-60 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, and when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

(Some have likened it to a river we must ford….then let us remember the Jordon crossing by Israel.

The Ark (God’s Presence) went in first, on the backs of the priests….they walked in the overflowing waters…..

……and as they did, the waters above, backed up….the ground beneath dried up….and Israel walked across dry shod.

Christ has gone before us….and has made the overflowing waters of the fears, regrets, and sorrows…..

……back up….back away from us….as we follow Him into this river of death.

Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.”)

(Eighteen times in scripture it is written the “shadow of death”…

of course we all know Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;….”.

Someone has said that when there are shadows, there is always light shining somewhere…..Our Light…..the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit within……will not leave us…we are to walk through death as we walked along with Him, since we were born again….it is just a walk with God.)

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 “So when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our body lies in the ground, but our soul and spirit rise to heaven….until that time when our bodies, too, will rise in resurrection….a glorified body (at the Rapture)….and we will be united again…..in heaven…..for “corruption hath put on incorruption”. (Resurrection always includes the body)

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

This is the Rapture described….the first resurrection.

(There is a second resurrection….when the unsaved dead will rise….only to be judged before God….and sent to the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:10-15

This will be after the seven years Tribulation, and the thousand year Reign of Christ. Revelation 20:7-9)

I believe death is the last trial we will go through. As with all trials, the Lord beckons us to follow Him into it, trusting Him…going through it…..and out the other side….for He has already had the victory.

Hebrews 2:9, 14-15 “But we see Jesus, Who is made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor: that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil;

And deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

There is a verse I love from Daniel…..

Daniel 12:13 “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”

Daniel, had just see a vision of Christ, and heard of the terrible times ahead for his people……..he had been told to “seal the book”….

….then, the Lord told him to….

…”Go on Daniel….finish your work here on earth….for you shall die….”rest” from the work. But then when I come and establish My kingdom……you shall stand in your place before Me.”

And like Daniel…..here and now….we are called to:

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

God’s Promise to all of His…..is to carry us through this life….though death…..into His everlasting Kingdom.

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Christ Jesus has prepared “a place” (residence, a possession for our rest) for us….(think of it!). That we might be with Him forever.

Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

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

This sounds odd: surely, we have our souls, don’t we?

But do you?

Are you a person who has an uncontrollable temper?

Do you have a habit you can not give up?

Do you let your feelings “get the better of you”?

Anytime we, as Christians, let something else but God rule in our hearts, minds and wills; we do not “possess” our souls,…….they are being influenced by the World, our old nature which still wants it’s way, or the Devil.

Our souls are our personality: our mind, heart, and will, are it’s faculties.

What we think, influences our personality. (And how often our way of thinking is shaped by what is around us: at home, at work, or school?)

What we feel, influences our personality. (Hurt feelings, unforgiving anger, or inappropriate affections; often get into our hearts and want to stay)

What we will, really influences our personality; for our wills, are the whole of us active.

From an early age, we decide what we will, whether we can carry out our decisions, or not.

How many times have we thought:

“I will do this, no matter what you think.”

“I won’t, even if you want me to.”

How many children (and some adults, too) have indulged in these thoughts; only to find out that they turn into attitudes, when they don’t even want them to.

Rebellion is really in our make-up (from our first parents: Adam and Eve)

We often choose it, instead of yielding to authority.

And yes, this includes God’s Authority.

But when we are born again, then our wills begin to be trained to yield to God, by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, helping us to yield.

This is when we can truly “possess” our souls, with the freedom which comes from the guidance, peace and power of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:17-19 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

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,

And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,”

Ephesians 5:17-18 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

And be not drunk with wine (don’t place yourself under the influence of wine), wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.(place yourself under the influence of the Holy Spirit)”

1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirt of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Communion means fellowship here. His Presence with us is the help we need at every time.

And as He “helps”, we become more and more able to know, see, act and react in freedom…we can be the personalities we truly are…..freed from the restraints of habits, attitudes we don’t even want, and all that hinders us from coming close to Jesus.

We can possess our own souls, for we will know who we are, and where we are going, with the Lord.

The Lord wants us to “possess” our souls; to be free from the influences of the world, the flesh, and the Devil; and be who He has created us to be.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

A Certain King made a marriage for His Son

Matthew 22:2-6 “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.”

The Lord told this parable about the preparation for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9).

The first servants sent forth were the prophets in the Old Testament….and Israel “would not come”.

God had wanted a Theocracy….where He was their king, but Israel refused to have Him as their king.

The second servants were the disciples which were sent out to preach the kingdom of God is at hand, when Jesus was on earth. (Matthew 10:5-7)

Everything was ready for the kingdom to be set up then….but “they made light of it, and went their ways”….

….”one to his farm”….(farms were quite complete in themselves)….to his own little world, without God.

….”another to his merchandise”….looking for profit from God, not to obey Him.

….”the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them”….John the Baptist was refused, and then beheaded…and he was the forerunner of Christ.

The message having been refused by Israel….God sends Rome against Israel and destroys Jerusalem (70 A.D.) (Matthew 22:7)

God sends other servants to bring in guests to His Son’s marriage supper.

Matthew 22:9-10 “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.”

Some believe this to be the church sent out into the world with the gospel….

2 Peter 3:9, 13-14 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for the new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

….others believe it to be the Jewish believers, sealed and sent out in the Tribulation period….preaching Christ as the true Lord and Son of God, to Israel again.

Revelation 7:3, 9, 14 “Saying, Hurt not the earth,….till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes,…

….And he said unto me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

As the parable says….His servants went out and the “wedding was furnished with guests”.

Now you would think that would be the end of it….but…(and I believe this to be the true message of this parable Jesus is telling, for us today……we are to be ready to meet the King…and there is only one way to be ready.)

There are two calls given by the gospel:

The general call, which is heard by many….who hear it and only respond to the promise of the call….and not to receive Christ.

Then there is the effectual call, which is heard by those who open up their hearts and lives to Christ.

It is termed effectual, because it effects a real change in the Ruler, and direction of our life.

Matthew 22:11-14 “And when the king came into see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him a way, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Are you wearing the wedding garment which is the righteousness of Christ imputed to all who receive Him by faith?

For when you had an audience with a king….a proper garment was provided to you….you did not go in, with your own garments on.

This man, however, appeared before the king without it….representing all who firmly believe they are ready for His kingdom to come….but are not.

There are many good people….yet their goodness does not lead them to faith.

There are many people who have a knowledge of God,….but knowledge does not give us faith.

All our righteousness is as filthy rags….

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

If we trust in our own goodness, kindness, or right living….we certainly will be “taken away” in our iniquities (iniquities is anything unequal to our high calling in Christ Jesus)…

……we can only be “ready” to come before the King if we come to Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior…..and put on Christ.

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

For anyone to be saved, they must turn from their “own ways”, and come to Christ.

Have you heard the call to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and have you come to Him?

Or are you still making excuses and going your “own way”?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Helmet of Salvation

Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:”

Thinking saved.

(Salvation is four-fold: being saved from the love of sin…conviction. Being saved from the guilt of sin….being born again. Being saved from the power of sin…sanctification. Being saved from the presence of sin…Heaven.)

This is not just: I know I am saved…..even though that is a great and grand truth….but the helmet is made for battle…and God never gives the armor to babes.

(2 Timothy 2:3-4 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him Who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

“Entangleth” means to be intertwined as a braid….so you can not move forward.)

He gives HIs armor to full grown children….who have come through the experiences of:

Knowing they are born again, and have the Holy Spirit within them. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Those that recognize that they are seated in the heavenlies, in Christ, and the He is seated in them, here on earth. (Ephesians 2:6)

We are responsible to do the good works God has purposed for us,…to know that He has given us all we need to do them. (Ephesians 2:10)

Knowing that no man’s birth identity is counted in the church….we are all one family….in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:19)….and that we are to keep that unity in practice (Ephesians 4:3)

Knowing we are called to be rooted and grounded in love, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 3:17, 5:18)

Submitting ourselves to God, to each other, to our parents, and to our bosses. (Ephesians 5:21, 6:1-9)

Then:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

It is finally….for God would never cause HIs might to be used by babes in Christ….but by those who have begun to be exercised in their salvation.

That is why the helmet of salvation is so important in the armor.

Our armor is for protection….and nothing protects our minds….our thinking process like having learned to think God’s thoughts after Him.

It used to be preached, that as a man thinketh in his heart….so he is

(Proverbs 23:7)

And it is true.

No matter how much of a smile we have, if we hate….or feel resentment….we are those things.

No matter how much we do, to cover up what we think….perhaps very well…

….still God knows….and the devil does too.

We can not stand in the battle when we are double-minded, or unforgiving, or self-righteous.

The armor is not so we can battle our sins…..

…..the Holy Spirit and sanctification does that….

(yes, that is part of salvation…but by the time we put the armor on, we have learned many of those things.)

The armor is so we can stand, hanging on to the finished work of Christ,…..in us.

The battle that the devil wages is to trick us and wile us….out of our possessions in Christ….into misery, and failure….

….if he succeeds,…..then we have not lost what we had…..but we have lost our enjoyment of them….and our strength, to go on into greater things.

Fear replaces peace….distrust replaces stability….and we begin to thing the Rock is moving beneath us.

When actually,….it is us shaking and trembling…on it.

To think saved….is a helmet that protects us by keeping our eyes focused on what is important….Christ and His Will….and His Word….for our minds must always find time in His Word. (It is our sword)

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; (not as a babe in Christ, who is unsure of God’s Word)

So fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (Useless in the work God has called me to.)

To think saved….is a stability in our thoughts that sees the terrors in the night,…..yet,….is not afraid, for we are looking to the Lord.

Psalm 91:5 “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;”

To think saved is to see your fellow men as sheep without a Shepherd, not just wicked and evil men:

Matthew 9:36 “But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no Shepherd.”

To think saved is to see…now…..that you are never alone,….though the battle is long and hard,…

….He is strengthening you for the next blow, and your Victory:

Micah 7:8 “Rejoice not against me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall arise;

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

To think saved…..is to be in harmony with the things of Christ:

Philippians 2:1-2 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfill ye my love, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

The helmet of Salvation protects His soldiers……so we can walk on in the Way the Lord has sent us,…secure, established in peace and love in God’s Word, in our thought life….for the battles of our life ahead.

(In Pilgrims Progress….a book I love….I have read it at least ten times….and get something new from it every time….

…when Christian leaves the House Beautiful….picturing the Church assemblies….he is given Armor.

That is good, for the next thing he faces is the Valley of Humiliation. He must go down into this valley…and he slips a little, for to humble ourselves is hard.

As he crosses this Valley, he is stopped by Apollyon….(the devil) who try’s to convince him to go back to the life he had….

…which he refuses.

Then, Apollyon starts throwing flaming darts…..but Christian has his armor, and manly fights against them.

But the accusations (the flaming darts) come so fast that Christian is wounded in his head (his thoughts)….his hand (good works), and his foot (peace).

This weakens him,….and Apollyon thinks he has him destroyed….so he comes close, knocks him down

Christian’s sword flies from his hand….and Apollyon is about to do him in….

….when (and I love these words…..for they are for every Christian)…

….”As God would have it”….

….Christian reaches as hard as he could, and his hand finds the sword (Word of God)….and He cry’s…

…”Rejoice not against me, O my enemy. When I fall, I shall arise.

And with that, Christian strikes Apollyon in the chest….which makes him give way….and then Christian says,..

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37,39)

And Apollyon flew away! That battle was over.)

James 4:6-8 “….God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you….”