Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Paul’s last Message

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

Paul is in a Roman prison:  he has been sentenced to death.   He has a few things to say to Timothy,  who was like a son to him.  Instruction, and testimony.

But notice, when Paul talks about his soon execution,  he talks as if he were waiting on a train to take him away.  

And it is true.   The same second Paul’s body died, he was in heaven, meeting Jesus face to face.  Experiencing the beauty, rest, and love of God.

Paul speaks of being offered;  and he was offered on the altar of hate.  They wanted to be rid of this one who preached Christ,  even though he had done no wrong to the Roman state.

He had no one of importance to stand for him before Caesar.   And as he testified, all men forsook him;  no one stood up for him, because of fear of retaliation from the men around Caesar.

Yet Paul forgives them and asks God to forgive them, too.

2 Timothy 4:16-17 “At my first answer no man stood with me,  but all men forsook me:  I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

                                 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me,   and strengthened me;  that by me the preaching might be fully known,  and that all the gentiles might hear:  and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”

Paul writes Timothy, not just to notify him of his execution,  but to instruct him.

He lets him know that he is ready to go.  That he has finished the Purpose of God for his life.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight,  I have finished my course,  I have kept the faith:”

Paul used these illustrations before,  when talking about his life as a preacher of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 “I therefore so run,  not as uncertainly;  so fight I,  not as one that beateth the air.

                                        But keep under my body,  and bring it in to subjection:  lest that by any means,  when I have preached to others,  I myself should be a castaway.”

As a runner in a race, he was to keep the goal of God in front of him, and finish what he started.  He was to preach salvation to all, and that they were to grow in the grace of God.   

And show them how to do it.

And he was a fighter.  He had real enemies,  he was not fighting the air.

His enemies were from within himself. 

We always need to resist sin.

And from without.  Many sought to kill him,  slander him,  and ruin the simple gospel message; yet he withstood them, often face to face.

But he had fought the good fight.   He had finished his course.

He had kept the faith.  The word “kept” here is “to guard from loss by keeping the eye upon”.

And he had instructed Timothy in his former letter to do the same:

1 Timothy 6:11-12 “But thou,  O man of God,  flee these things,  and follow after righteousness,  godliness,  faith,  love,  patience,  meekness.

                                 Fight the good fight of faith,  lay hold on eternal life,  wherein to thou art also called,  and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Paul also looks forward to what God has promised:

2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:….”

And if he had stopped there,  we would absolutely understand.   Paul had done many things,  suffered many things for Christ Jesus.

But he does not:

“…and not to me only,  but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Any Christian, who loves the appearing of Christ Jesus,  will receive a crown of righteousness.

It is difficult, not to get wrapped up in this world.  It’s anger, greed, and vengeful spirit.   Then we forget to love Jesus, and stop looking to Him.  We don’t “keep” our faith active.

But Paul warns all of us to “fight the good fight of faith”.    And keep our eye on and guard our faith, which will always lead us on, with the Lord.

Yet, if we do love and wait for Him,  there is a crown waiting for us in heaven.

Paul’s last message, was one of instruction and testimony:

“If I, who once was an enemy of Jesus, can be saved and love Him through out my life; in good times, and bad:   So can you.   He stood with me,  and Jesus Christ will stand with you no matter what comes.”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Good Samaritan 

We all know the story Jesus told here.  It was told to a man who wanted to “justify himself” or excuse himself from the responsibility of loving his neighbor.   He wanted to talk of high things,  religious things to other people, but to do what God wants for others,  he was quick to find an excuse:  Who is my neighbor?

Luke 10:30 “And Jesus answering said,   A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho,  and fell among thieves,  which striped him of his raiment,  and wounded him,  and departed,  leaving him half dead.”

Now this poor man who was robbed, was only half dead,  so there was hope for his recovery:    If he could get some help.

Luke 10:31 “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way;  and when he saw him,  he passed by on the other side.”

This priest was no help.  Although they were to offer sacrifices in the Temple;  they were to also help the people draw near to God in understanding and praise. 

Yet he did not take the opportunity to at least see if there was anything he could do spiritually for the man.   

After all the man was wounded, and maybe dying.

Instead, he walked to the other side of the road, and passed by.

Luke 10:32 “And likewise a Levite,  when he was at the place,  came and looked on him,  and passed by on the other side.”

This is worse:  the Levite came to the man,  looked on his misery, and said nothing.   No comfort, or questions.  He did not ask if he wanted him to contact his family,   nothing.

He just left.

Levites were to help the people who came to the Temple in any way they could.  They were the ones who could explain what God’s Word said for them to do, and would be the ones to help them.   But there was no spirit or action of help here.

He came,  looked at the man,  and left.    On the other side.

Luke 10:33 “But a certain Samaritan,  as he journeyed,  came where he was;  and when he saw him,  he had compassion on him,”

Finally, some compassion!    But wait!   This was a Samaritan.   

The Samaritans were half Jews,  and as such,  unclean to have fellowship with.

Some Samaritans resented this,  but this man did not worry who the wounded man was.       He just helped him.

And what help!  

Luke 10:34-35 “And went to him,  and bound up his wounds,  pouring in oil and wine,  and set him on his own beast,  and brought him to an inn,  and took care of him.

                          And on the morrow when he departed,  he took out two pence,  and gave them to the host,  and said unto him,   Take care of him:  and whatsoever  thou spendest more,  when I come again,  I will repay thee.”

He bound up his wounds,  taking his supplies to do so.   Taking time, in an unfriendly place (who knows whether the thieves would come back).

Then he placed him on his beast, and took him to a inn and took care of him through the night.

He then gave the inn-keeper money:  two days wages,  to care for him.

And promised to pay any other fee for caring for this man. 

The Samaritan did not know this man,  and if they had met on the streets of Jerusalem before this incident,  the man would probably have not even looked his way.

Yet he cared for him as if he were a brother.

Jesus turns to the lawyer, who wanted to justify himself:

Luke 10:36 “Which now of these three,  thinkest thou,  was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?”

The question was meant to awaken his heart to his own responsibility to others.

What would he answer?

Luke 10:37 “And he (the lawyer) said,  He that showed mercy on him….”

(Mercy here is kindness, brotherly kindness.    So he gave the right answer.  But if that is the answer,  what should he be doing!)

“…Then said Jesus unto him,    Go, and do thou likewise.”

You see, it is not just what we say, as Christians, that makes a difference.

It is what we do.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Patience of God:  Come, let us Reason Together

Isaiah 1:18 “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.”

How patient the Lord is with us.

Talking to us, again and again.  

Sometimes, He deals with an individual for a long time before there is the rebuke or the chastening. 

Hebrews 12:5 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children,    My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord,  nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him:”

And it is all to get us into the way of peace.    It is very dangerous to be out of fellowship with our Lord.   This world is under the influence of our Adversary, the devil.  Our only safe refuge, here, is next to Jesus.

Sometimes, He sends messages, or people to say what we are refusing to listen to, from Him.

( I knew a lady, who had asked for some tracts from me.  My ministry led me down that way, at that time.  And she was interested in reading some of them.

So I brought several and gave them to her.

I had not noticed, but on the top was one on gossiping.   I did not know she had this problem,  and paid no attention to her reaction when I gave them to her.

Latter, she came up to me and asked me if I had given that tract to her on purpose. 

I told her, No, I just brought some for you to read.

Well, she then told me that she was a gossip.   And that the Lord had been dealing with her about it—but she had been trying to ignore it.

I told her I did not know that and if I had offended her,  I was sorry;  but if the Lord had spoken to her, that was between her and Him.

Then she smiled, and said,   Yes, she would need to get it set right with Him.)

Sometimes, He makes us feel the darkness of our turning from Him;  giving little hints of His light,  if we would just return to Him.

However He deals with us;  He does it out of love for us.  

“Come, let us…”

Isaiah 1:18 “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.”

This is not one-sided;  it is the believer and their Lord sitting down and reasoning together.

This is a reality that must be of the Holy Spirit sinking deep within your soul.

It requires honesty, to sit still, and tell the Lord why you do not want to do what He tells you. 

What is more important then His Will? 

And as we are honest with Him,  He will show us the truth about the whole thing.   Hallelujah,  what a Savior.  (Isn’t wonderful that He is always saving us from all that would hurt us!)

We are totally dependent upon Him: His light, power, grace, mercy, peace, and joy.    

But He is Almighty.  The Creator and Sustainer of everything.  He is able to help us in all that we come into.  

He says, 

“Come, let us reason together…”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Who Shall Speak for the Lord?

Matthew 28:18-20 ASV

               “And Jesus came to them and spake unto them saying,  All authority hath been given unto Me, in heaven and on earth.

                Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

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

With all the authority of the Risen Son of God, Jesus gave His disciples the mandate to “Go” and “make disciples”.

To make disciples requires effort:  effort in prayer, holding them up to the Lord till Christ be formed in them. (Galatians 4:19)

And effort in teaching them the Word of God.

But if we would pass on spiritual reality, we must have it in our own experience, first.

The disciples had the instruction after three years of following the Lord.

(Even Peter, who had been restored, after he denied the Lord. John 21:15-19)

But they would also need power,  Spiritual power, and for that Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit, which would be given them:

Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power,  after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:  and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem,  and in all Judea, and in Samaria,  and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

They received Him,  and did this.  Trials and persecution came;  but so did blessings and strength;  guidance and fellowship.

As Christians, we have received the Holy Spirit, but to have His fullness and the authority of speaking for Christ, we need to obey Him in our everyday lives.

We need to be in subjection to God’s authority ourselves……then He will show others what He has for them, through us.

Because of the spiritual reality we have in our experience. 

It is not you or me, but the Holy Spirit, through us, influencing them for good.

It is the authority we have yielded to in our own lives, that gives force and power to our words.

When a centurion sent to Jesus to ask that his servant be healed;  he told Him that He did not need to come to his house….but say the word, and the servant would be healed!

Luke 7:8 “For I also am a man set under authority,  having under me soldiers,  and I say unto one,  Go,  and he goeth;  and to another,  Come,  and cometh;  and to my servant,   Do this,  and he doeth it.”

You will notice that the centurion did not say,   “of authority”,  or “in authority”;

But “under authority”.

This centurion was basically saying:

“For I am a man set under the authority of Rome,  all the power of Rome is behind me,  for I do as Rome commands.”

This centurion knew that Christ Jesus spoke for God, even as he spoke for Rome.

We can say the same thing.   We can say that we are set under the power of God, and all God’s power is behind me,  for I do as God commands me.

And The Lord Jesus can send us out, as He did His disciples:

John 20:21 “Then said Jesus to them again,  Peace be unto you:  as My Father has sent Me,  even so send I you.”

We are first seen as children of God, being taken care of, till we grow.

Then we are seen as servants of God, obeying our Master with love.

Then we are seen as soldiers of God, standing with Him in this world.

Then we are Ambassadors of God, with authority from our King to speak for Him, to help reconcile others to Him.

(That does not mean they always listen, or react as we think;  but it does mean that the Holy Spirit uses us to open up their hearts to His Word.)

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 “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.

                                         Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,  as though God did beseech you by us:  we pray you in Christ stead,  be ye reconciled to God.”

Christ Jesus has “committed unto us” the word of reconciliation.

That means He trusts us to obey Him and carry on His work in our lives.

It is always a personal call.  For we must see our personal responsibility to God, then to the person we are talking to.

How can we answer that call?

And how can we be so commissioned?

Always it is His Word to us.   Us hearing Him for ourselves first.  And then to hear His call to a work.

Exodus 3:7-8, 10 “And the Lord said,  I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt,  and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters;  for I know their sorrows;

                               And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey;…

                               Come now therefore,  and I will send thee unto Pharaoh,  that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”

This was Moses’ call.

Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man,  I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:  therefore hear the word at My mouth,  and give them warning from Me.”

This was Ezekiel’s call to the captives in Babylon.

Matthew 4:18-19 “And Jesus,  walking by the Sea of Galilee saw two brethren,  Simon called Peter,  and Andrew his brother,  casting a net into the sea:  for they were fishers.

                                And He saith unto them,  Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

This was the call to Peter and Andrew to follow Him.

Acts 26:14-16, 19 “And when we were fallen to the earth,  I heard a voice speaking unto me,  and saying in the Hebrew tongue,   Saul, Saul,  why persecutest thou Me?   It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks,  

                                 And I said,  Who art Thou Lord?   And He said,  I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

                                But rise and stand upon thy feet:  for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose,  to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.

                                Whereupon,  O king Agrippa,  I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:”

This was the call Paul received to stop fighting against Jesus, and to preach Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The call to obey the Lord is different for each of us…but it is always personal, designed to bring us—you, me—to submit to Him, and enter into a personal relationship with our Risen Lord, which takes us on a path from here, to all eternity.

“And, lo, I am with you alway,  even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Perilous times of the Last days.

2 Timothy 3:1 “This know also,  that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

This “last days” is not  the Tribulation Period, but the last days of the Church Age, which is spoken of here.

And why are they perilous?  In the Greek, “perilous” means to reduce strength, dangerous.

Anytime we are not at full strength to resist the Devil, or combat the temptations of the world;  we are in a perilous situation.

And this is a warning for the Church.

2 Timothy 3:2-5 “For men shall be lovers of their own selves,  covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,  disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 

Without natural affection,  trucebreakers,  false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.

Traitors, heady, high minded,  lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;  

Having a form of godliness,  but denying the power thereof:  from such turn away.”

Paul was warning that there would come into the Church those who would fit right into the times;  but who would not be righteous with God; for they will deny the power of God in their lives to rule and change them.

They will refuse subjection to authority;  though they may praise it  in reguard to others.

The real telling description of these people, is that they are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.”

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”

We all know about forms.   We fill numbers of them out when we send away for something.  Our Taxes.  For Schools.  Etc.

So we know that a form, filled out, gives a lot of information;   which could just be false.

This is here expressed, as a form of godliness.

They have filled in all the blanks.   Said all the right things, to be accepted,  but they are all false;  for they  “deny” the Power of God, in their own lives.

To deny is to refuse.

They refuse to submit to that power, and receive it, for they don’t really want it or Him.

Luke 5:17 “There came to pass on a certain day,  as he was teaching,  that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by,  which are come out of every town of Galilee,  and Judea,  and Jerusalem:  and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”

But  they were not  healed.  Those Pharisees and doctors came to hear Jesus,  and after hearing Jesus,and seeing  a miracle;  they left the very same men.   

They could have been healed of their unbelief,  but refused.

Perilous times will come.   If fact, are here.

And we, as Christians, need to strengthen ourselves in God’s Word for the days ahead.

We need to regain the personal relationship we once had with the Lord Jesus.

God is Almighty.   He has promised to save us to the uttermost.

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.”

Let us receive His Power for our lives.  For He is Able.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Through the Knowledge of Him

2 Peter 1:1-2 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

How much we need grace (the unmerited favor of power), and peace in these days for our individual lives.

It is to be had, in Christ.  

If you are born again, you have access to it by the Holy Spirit within.

But you get it “multiplied unto you”,  through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

(You will notice that our “faith” is through our Savior Jesus Christ;  but the grace and peace multiplied is through  Jesus our Lord.  Is Jesus Christ Lord of your life?)

He is our Savior as we believe and receive Him, through  the faith that is given us by the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12)

He is Lord,    but He is only “our” Lord, by our submitting our wills to Him, in obedience.

And we only do this as we get to know Him, and submit to His character through the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us unto glory and virtue:”

(“According as His divine power”;  It is not according to my miserable ability.  But according to His divine power.  The limitless, and Almighty power of God.)

“Hath given” means they are given us in Christ Jesus.  They are ours to have and use by the Holy Spirit within us.    They are all the things we need to have Christ’s character formed in our everyday lives.  “All things” means all things.

Again, it is through the knowledge of Him.

How important it is that we know Christ, and continue to gain knowledge of Him.

He has indeed called us to “glory and virtue”;  to manifest His glory (His light and goodness), even here in these circumstances, and among the people we know.

And called us to the virtue of His Holy Spirit within us:  The Artea of His power.

Artea means “force”.  He is that force within us, “working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

So we manifest His glory–the glory of His salvation, of His calling, of His love by the force of the Holy Spirit within our spirits; helping us to obey, and joy in it.

2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises;  that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Christ has given us promises….His Word to claim and obtain for yourself; they are ours , but we must get them into our experience. That is what obtain means; to get them for ourselves. 

They are given to us, that you might have the character of Christ, and escape the corruptions (envy, anger, lying)that the world’s system lives in.  We each have our own lusts.  Whether they be spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical;  we lust after what we don’t have.    

Until we make Christ Lord of our lives, and yield to His will and way for our lives.

And the way that happens is to :  Know Christ more and more, for ourselves.

This not to know about Him (although that is not bad), but to know Him.  

It is to know what He requires of me.       

It is to know  the force of the Holy Spirit , and how we are to yield to Him.    

It is to know what He will do for me in the temptations, and trials that I go through.

It is to know Him.  Through the Knowledge of Him, we multiply grace and peace.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Psalm 136: A psalm of praise for the Lord’s Mercy

Psalm 136:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord;  for He is good:  for His mercy endureth forever.”

In this Psalm, every verse ends with the phrase,  “for His mercy endureth forever”.

He is the God of gods, the Lord of lords,  Who alone does great wonders.

Whose wisdom made the heavens, stretched out the earth above the waters.

Who made the sun to rule by day, and the moon and stars to rule by night.

Who redeemed Israel from Egypt protecting under Blood, their firstborn;  while slaying the firstborn of Egypt.

Who brought them through, dry shod, the Red Sea.  

Yet slew Pharaoh’s army when they followed, bringing the same Sea to drown them.

Who lead them through the wilderness, bringing  them into the Promised land.

Who remembered, and remembers (for it is in the continuing sense) us….and here it takes a personal turn.

There is no personal title before:  Israel, His people, His servant, but no “me, we, us”.

But now, when God’s memory is concerned, the personal “us” is used. (Psalm 136:23-24)

And then the personal “redeemed us” from our enemies, is told.

It is good to see and acknowledge…to praise and extoll God for Who He is, and what He has done.

But it is better to know God remembers me, or us.  And redeems us.

How often we are in need of His mercy.   

Mercy is God’s kindness to sinners.  

There is temporal mercy:  He sends the rain on the just and unjust. (Matthew 5:45)

And there is Spiritual mercy, which is only found in Christ for ”us”.

This redemption which is personal Salvation, guidance, and victory.

Let us acknowledge Who God is, and praise Him for it.

But let us make sure we have a personal interest in Christ Jesus, that He is our Redeemer.

We are ever in His memory…ever before His eyes.  

2 Timothy 1:9-10 “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;

                                 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

This seal is set on all the circumstances, people, and paths that comes to “us”:   “His mercy endureth forever.”

His mercy reaches us where we are.

His mercy leads us out of bondage.

His mercy delivers us and gives us the promises. 

His mercy remembers us, and in Christ Jesus, our Lord,  brings us before His throne to get what we need. 

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.”

How much He has for us, if we will but come to Him and get it,  and then with the help of the Holy Spirit within,  use it.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Scribe Which Is Instructed Unto the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Matthew 13:52 ” Then said he unto them,  Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

We are starting this blog for Christians.  To strengthen and encourage God’s people to seek, and trust the Lord.

All given with the prayer that they meet the need of those who read them.

We believe that one of the greatest needs of this Church Age is to understand and Have Christ’s kingdom come within the heart of each of His own.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.”(KJV)

Notice it is “in earth”, not on it.

This is His Personal Kingdom coming with in your life.   When you make Him King, and He reigns there.

When we are born again (John 3:3, 7) and “ye must be born again”….we enter His kingdom as His citizens.  But it is only when we are obedient to His laws and ordinances that we make Him King in our lives.

If we are still “running the show” ;  He is not King, Personally.

“Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done.”

When this becomes a fact in our everyday lives,  we are subjects of that Kingdom, and expressions of it:

Our Wills are His, and are then empowered to do His Will.

For it is then, He sits on the Throne of our Hearts.

Not that we make others do His Will….but that we do His will.

Then His Kingdom has come, within us.

It is a great feeling to come to the place where the arguments with God end;  and the Holy Spirit–instead of correcting ,  empowers to go forward in peace, joy and faith.

And How shall His Kingdom come?

Luke 18:8 “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?”

This is “on the earth”.  

There are some who believe that His Kingdom will be brought in, when enough of His Own are praying for it.

I do not know if that is true.

But I do know that readiness for His return will be conditioned by prayer:

Luke 18:1 “And He spake a parable unto them to this end,  that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Jesus speaks here, of the closing days of the Church Age. Just before He returns.   Just how the times will be, and just what we should be doing about it .

Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.”

Everyday we hear and see more of what Jesus said would happen….happen.

And  what are we to do about it?      Hide our heads….Act out…..wring our hands in fear?

No! That is not it.

Look up!   Lift up your heads!    

1st turn your eyes away from the world-system.

2nd be actively seeking the joy and peace of God for each situation you need to go thru, till He comes.

We should rejoice in seeing these come to pass , even as Jesus said they would.

We should be praying.  “Amen.  Even so Come Lord Jesus.”

And we should be “loving His Appearing”.   For there is a Crown of Righteousness laid up for all who Love His Appearing! (2 Timothy 4:8)

Luke 18:2-7 “Saying, there was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself,  Tho I fear not God, nor regard man;

Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her,  lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said,  Hear what the unjust judge says.  

And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, tho He bear long with them?”

If this were a Roman Judge (the Jews were always in 3’s).   He would not care much for the needs of a Jew.    Especially one of no importance,  like a widow.   For she could do him no damage!   

But she kept coming back!   She was often in his court!

Now he feared not God nor regarded man.

So anything he did , would be on a personal level….without thought of anything or anyone else.

Not because of pressure from someone or something.

But she kept coming!  Avenge me of mine Adversary!

This is not a request for punishment of her Adversary. 

But for a Decree,  issued by this Judge,  that would give her protection from his injustices.

To keep him from harming her.

Like a restraining order issued today.

Luke 18:5 “Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

“She weary me”;  Literally means. “She give me a black eye”

Her always appearing there , in his court,  might ruin his reputation!

People might get the wrong idea about him.

This Judge acted from only self-involved motives.

From this consideration–alone–he thought it best to avenge her.

And our Lord said  “Hear what the unjust judge says”

Because the Lord Jesus wanted to show that:   the judge’s motives were personal…yet what this widow sought ;  she got.

Then our Lord Jesus contrasts the unjust judge and God.      Shall not our God surely do right?

Shall He not avenge His own elect?  From their Adversary?

And how are we to ask?

Luke18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Faint means to weaken in purpose, or spirit;  to languish;  to just give up.

When we pray,  we ought to believe that God is going to hear and keep at it until we know He does.

Luke 18:7 “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night  unto him, tho  he bear long with them?”

We are not what we ought to be in this Age;  yet He bears long with us.

Wanting us to be other than we are ….to enjoy the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit’s enablement.  To get us out from the Adversary’s injustices.  

To know the power of life (abundant life) as obedient subjects of His kingdom now.

He Loves us,   So He corrects us, and even chastens us…that we might become full sons…having His authority in our own life, and speak His Word in power.

Luke 18:8 “I tell you (and this is the Lord Jesus speaking) that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes,  shall he find faith on the earth?”


Yes, He will avenge us…speedily.

“Heavenly Father, Avenge me of my Adversary!”

This is like a restraining order,  remember;  against our Adversary , the Devil.

To keep him from hurting us.

And we should always ask for such decrees against our Adversary.

He will not only issue such Decrees,  He will do so speedily.

Yet , Jesus asked;  “shall he find faith on the earth?”   Not that He doesn’t know what will be….but to Awaken us to the very dangerous times in which we live.

There are temptations, cares, enemies of God, worldly pleasures, evil companions, …..

All of them can be used by our Adversary to “hurt us”. 

To keep us from entering into God’s Best for us.

The Devil seeks to defeat every child of God.

To delay or stop their Progress.

To keep them children , when they should go on to maturity in the faith.

To keep them self-centered,  instead of Christ-centered;  That will devour up a whole lifetime of works and attitudes.    

Shall He find “faith” on the earth?

This faith here is (in the Greek “pistis”).  Conviction of truth or the truthfulness of God. Reliance upon Christ for salvation  and  constancy in such profession.

Do you trust Christ for Salvation,    but not for today?

Shall we not all apprehend that for which we are apprehended of Christ Jesus?

Has the Church ever had so much riches as it has today?

With so little results?

Why is it we see so little Reality in a Christian’s Profession?

I don’t know…but I am sure it is a matter of the Heart.

I believe that today many claim the Promise; without having the corresponding experience of that Promise.

They honor the Word,  while rejecting the living Lord of that Word.

As Israel of old,  they draw near with their lips, to God;  but their hearts are far from HIM.

For I believe it is a matter of the heart.  Who or What do you love?

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

What “life” will you have?

1 Peter 1:3 ” According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, thru the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

He “hath given”.  Then why don’t we have it in practice?

Because the personal knowledge of Christ, costs us.   

He wants to come and reign in our lives,  with that joy and power that comes with Himself.

What takes 1st place in your life?

To what do you give final obedience….for surely this is your God.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven”

He is King.  But is He my King?  Is He your King?

Who sits on the throne of your heart?

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

He stands ready to do.  To do for you.  And Jesus has said God will issue such Decrees against our Adversary when we cry unto Him.

And just what kind of Christians ought we to be;  with so much offered?

He is King….Will you make Him your King?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes


I Live by the Faith of the Son of God

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ live th in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

By faith I am crucified with Christ.  

Yes, when He died there on the cross, I died with Him.


But how do I work this out into my everyday experience?    Are we just to think that we are crucified?

No, thinking will not get the job done…we must die to our old way of life: our self life.  And we must live to our new way of life:  our Christ life.

Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto His disciples,  If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

                                   For whosoever will save his life  shall lose it:  and whosoever will lose his life for My sake  shall find it.”

As I deny myself and take up my cross (not some Roman cross) but my cross.  As the cross was the Will of the Father to Christ,  so our “cross” is God’s Will for me.    It is that which cuts across my will, and demands that I, the creature, bow before the Creator, and obey.

Then, I am following Him into His life for me.

(It is always the will, willing it.  It is not emotional following…though our hearts are present in the act.   Nor is it mental following,  though our minds must understand He is asking us.  It is the will…pushing you into it.  Then the will…taking your arm and walking with you into His Will.    For it is a process.)

He asks our willing cooperation:  siding with Him against ourselves is a great joy to Him.

I must bear my cross till I come to the place where I no longer resist the Lord’s Will in anything.

It is there, my rebellion is ended.

(There are many Christians who say that you can not rebel against God after you are  born again.  

But the experiences of all believers from the first to last show differently.  

We still have our old nature.   Our selfish ways are ingrained in us deeply.  And it is a process which requires God’s great patience to mold us into the character of Christ.)

“And the life which I now live in the flesh,   I live by the faith of the Son of God,  Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The faith of the Son of God is a demanding, sustaining, victorious faith.   It was for Him,  it is in us.

It demands obedience.  It says that we are to move at His direction, under His banner;  leaving behind our old life.

It sustains against trials, sorrows, and change, around us.

It gives a victory within us,  for this faith enlivens us when we are weary;  it orders our thoughts to see Him in all circumstances;  and it never gives up on us.

It gives a victory outside of us,  for this faith guides us through the quicksand of people’s flatteries,  or complaints;  it shows Christ to others, and draws them to Him;  and it holds us up with a power that moves heaven and earth to help us.

And it is ours in Christ Jesus.

Will we have His life?   Then we must lose our self life…..for He has it for us, if we will.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah 

Ruth 1:1 “Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land.  And a certain man of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.”


In the land of Israel, at the town of Bethlehem, there was a famine.

So a man and his wife, with their two sons, left there home there, and went into the near country of Moab.

They thought they would “sojourn” there till the famine was over.

(They could have sought the Lord, for the cause of the famine;  but instead they left that to others,  and in doing so missed a blessing.)

Their “sojourn” turned into ten years!   During that time Naomi’s husband died. Her sons married two women of Moab,  but soon also died, leaving her alone in a strange land, far from her God, and home.

She longed for her country;  and she had heard that the famine was over in Israel…”the Lord had had visited His people in giving them bread.” (Ruth 1:6)

So she “arose”,  always the first move in returning to God.   Arise from where you are, to come home to Him.

She started to leave Moab to return to Bethlehem.  

Her two daughters-in-law followed her;  and how far they went is not told…but after a while, Naomi realized it would be a hardship for them if they followed her.

They had parents they could return to,  for they would certainly take them back.

They could have new lives:  marry and have children among their own people.

If they followed her to Bethlehem, she did not know what would happen there.

For herself, she could at least die among Israelites, back home with her God; but for them…..she could not say whether there would be even a place to lay there head.

Ruth 1:8-10 “And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law,  Go, return each unto her mother’s house:  the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

                      The Lord grant that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband.   Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

                       And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.”

Naomi prays for them here…using the name Jehovah (the Lord) twice.  Seeking for them kindness from the Lord, and in doing so, gives witness that all true good comes from the Lord.

Both had real affection for Naomi.   And both declared that they would continue the journey with her.

An old woman alone, is a sad thing; and they felt her kindness in so speaking to them.

“Surely we will return with thee.”

But again Naomi spoke.  Seeing them as young women, able to live full lives with other husbands, and have families.  She would not have them return with her out of duty, but out of a real determination, having seen the cost to them…and choosing this way into her nation and with the Lord.

She spoke for their benefit, not hers…for she loved them.

Ruth 1:11, 13 “And Naomi said,  Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me?   Are there yet anymore sons in my womb,  that they may be your husbands?

                        Would you tarry for them till they were grown?  Would ye stay for them from having husbands?  Nay, my daughters;  for it greiveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.”

Here Naomi confesses that the Lord had dealt with her  this way.  Her family should have stayed in Israel,  the promised land, and sought unto the Lord for removal of the famine and the reason for it.  

(Israel often followed after other gods, to their hurt. And the Lord often had to use circumstances to awaken them to His voice.  Judges 2:14-16)

Naomi told Ruth and Orpah, that she could not give them a life like they had.   

She again suggests that they go back where you can have an easier life for young women.

Now both had said that “Surely they would return with her”;  but now…..

(There comes a time in each life where we choose the thing we love most.)

For Orpah, though she had affection for Naomi, her choice was her nation, her people, her god.

She wept over the situation, but the decision became easy….she would go no further.

A life of relative ease is what her heart loved most…..and so she went back, and left Naomi.

There are many who have an affection for Christ,  because of Who He is and what He has done.

But who do not love Him enough to go on with Him in all of the sufferings and situations which come, by following Him.

Many, therefore, go back to the world.   For that is where their hearts are.

Ruth 1:14-15 “And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law;  but Ruth clave unto her.

                        And she said,   Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god’s:  return thou after thy sister-in-law.”

But Ruth hung onto her.  What ever would come, she was staying right beside her….to suffer want, or to get by;  Ruth would not leave her.

She would return with Naomi.   

Here she takes Naomi’s God as hers.

And instantly calls upon the Lord to be her witness, of her decision.

(“The Lord” as a name here is very important.   It is Jehovah, the personal name of God.   Jehovah means the ever-existent, becoming One…the Almighty God becomes what we need.

 She was not just acknowledging a god of Naomi’s nation….but she was placing her whole life into the hands of The Lord, Who was Naomi’s God)

Ruth 1:16-17 “And Ruth said,  Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee:  for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

                         Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

Ruth instantly calls upon the Lord, now her God, to be her witness of her decision.

And the two go on together.

Was there hardship?  Yes, for they only  had food by Ruth gleaning the fields…but by doing so, she met a man who first gave her permission to continue after his reapers all the harvest, insuring food for some time. 

And then a blessing; he called upon the Lord to bless her.

Ruth 2:12 “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

This man would become her future husband,  putting Ruth into the genealogy of Christ.   (Matthew 1:5)

She was the great-grandmother of David. (Ruth 4:17)

The lesson here is:   Who or what  do we love enough, to leave everything else for?

Affection for Christ Jesus is wonderful….but usually only leads us so far.

The real determined choice of whether we will continue with Him, in all situations, is the crossroads of our lives.

Temptation, in the form of an “easy life, or normal life”, comes.  And we must choose what we love the most.

Will we like Orpah turn back….

Or will we cling to Christ?     

If we choose the Lord; though there are hardships(and there are),  there will be blessings as well…now and for eternity.