Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Give us a King, like Others

1 Samuel 8:5 “And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

A little background: God had chosen Israel to be His people. A nation ruled and guided by Him and His law.

He was to be their King. He gave them the Tabernacle and the Priesthood, so they could come before Him and remove sins by sacrifice (all pointing to Christ), to get direction, and to joy before Him because of His many blessings.(in the peace offering, the family feasted with the priests, before the Tabernacle, after offering the sacrifice for thanksgiving.)

Some of Israel did. Others refused, choosing rather to follow the idols of the nations round about.

Then God chastened them, and when they repented or cried out to Him, He sent Judges to lead them back into the way. Giving victory over the enemies which had come up against them.

Samuel was the last great judge, appointed by God. He was loved and followed, leading the people for years. But…

1 Samuel 8:1, 3 “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgement.”

This gave Israel the excuse it wanted to ask for a king. But the thing displeased Samuel, so he asked the Lord what to do.

1 Samuel 8:7 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”

The Lord told him to do what they ask, but warn them of all that this king will do, and take from them.

So he did: your sons will become soldiers, and servants to keep his ground. Your daughters will be cooks and bakers. Your fields, your vineyards and olive yards will the king give to his servants.

He will take a tenth of your crops, sheep, cattle, etc.

But they refused to be moved. They would have a king, like the other nations.

1 Samuel 8:19-20 “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

That we may also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”

So God gave them what they asked for: He gave them Saul. A man head and shoulders taller than all. (1 Samuel 10:23-24).

Saul’s reign was filled with all that Samuel said.

At first Saul was humbled by the task, but then became vain and greedy for the honor and applause. So in the end, his reign was full of jealousy and disobedience.

(And the kings after him-some good, following the Lord; others terrible, leading the people into gross sins)

So God told them:

Hosea 13:11 “I gave thee a king in Mine anger, and took him away in My wrath.”

When God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to earth: He presented Himself as their King, to Israel, for three years.

(Mark 1:14-15) “The kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Even up to the last week: (Luke 19:37-38) “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”

Would they receive their true King? Sadly, no.

John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

What about us? Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings: but is He our King?

Jesus says we should pray:

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

The Apostle Paul wrote, about his experience:

1 Timothy 1:15-17 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern which to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.

Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

He is the King. That is fact. But He is only King in our personal experience, if we have made Him so.

Does He rule and reign in your life? Do you come to Him not just for help, but for guidance? Does He fill the void in your heart; or is there something (or someone) else that satisfies, and rules there?

Christ Jesus, today, is still presenting Himself as King. And calling all who will come, to repent of the other “kings” in your life, and follow Him.

The throne we establish in our hearts for Him is one of love, built on the foundation of faith, given us by the Holy Spirit within.

Will we not only proclaim Him as King, but make Him so?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Seek ye the Lord

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Isaiah was a prophet called to prophesy to Judah……he was about one hundred and fifty years before they were carried away captive….

….yet he was called to speak to them concerning the people’s “turning away” from God.

For every backsliding begins personally…leaving the personal relationship with God….for the formal religious appearance….

….and when that does not satisfy (for a mere formal relationship will never satisfy the heart of man)…

….they turn to idols….of some sort.

Isaiah 1:2, 5 “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”

The “ head is sick”….sick here means anxiety. (There is no peace without God’s peace. Isaiah 57:21)

The “whole heart faint”….ready to give up. (Where God’s Will is not our purpose….we are lost)

Without a personal relationship with our God, who are we?

We are one of the masses of people looking for “something”……a statistic only….for we have given ourselves over to seek the world’s goods.

But our personal relationship with Christ elevates us to stand before Him by faith….we are conquerors….and sufferers for His Name sake.

He knows our name….and calls us to deny ourselves and personally follow Him…

Without a personal relationship with our God, we may think we are free from the restraints of serving (for yes, we are called to serve our God)……

….but we are actually just placing ourselves under the bondage of another master….sin.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 30:1, 12-13 “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this Word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.”

And what is the remedy?

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Seek ye the Lord….

The name “Lord” here is Jehovah….the ever existent, ever becoming One.

The Lord was in eternity past, and will be in eternity future….yet He becomes our need, in the now.

This is Jehovah….this is the One they were called to seek.

And we are to “return unto the Lord”.

We are to forsake our way….this is a big deal!

How many of us are seeking “our way” in these days?

How many of us are saying to God…..if You will not do it in a certain way, I will not believe?

“Call ye upon Him while He is near:”

God comes “near” to us….when He warns us of danger. He does not just walk away from His children….but comes near….with His Word, by the Holy Spirit.

God comes “near” to us….when we call to Him in confession for forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9)

God comes “near” to us….when after repeated warnings….we turn away from Him….He comes and “gets our attention”….to try and head us in the right direction.

All this is from His mercy….His kindness to those who are sinners. (And kindness never has anything to do with letting us go on in sin….that which will destroy us.)

If we “return”…..He will abundantly pardon. Forgiveness and cleansing, and restored fellowship and joy! Abundantly!

We all know the Prodigal Son…..filling his days with “riotous living”, till all was spent…then begging for a job with pigs.

What he was going to do, after living in a pig pen for a time?

Luke 15:18-19 “I will arise and go unto my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

And what the Father did, when the Prodigal did return:

Luke 15:22-24 “But the Father said unto his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

For this my son was dead (in sin), and is alive again: he was lost, and is found, and they began to be merry.”

God knows how to do “abundantly”!

But it is “return unto the Lord”. If Christ Jesus is not Lord of our lives….if He is “put up with”, only for our own benefit….

…..then, we have not returned at all.

Isaiah 30:15 “For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:

And ye would not.”

The question is….will we?

Have we gotten caught up in the world’s idols?

Or gone out of the Way seeking satisfaction other than in God?

Return….return ye backsliding children….for He has abundance of pardon for us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Everlasting Covenant and His Everlasting Love

Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

A covenant is an binding agreement where one agrees to give something, if the other agrees to do something.

God the Father agreed to draw and give all the elect, to God the Son:

John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth Me cometh to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”

God the Son, agreed to become the man, Christ Jesus and die for all the elect at the fullness of time:

Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, everyone that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.”

God the Holy Spirit, agreed to be the agency by which faith is produced within us, and to stay with us, as our Comforter:

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The triune God made this Everlasting Covenant before they even created the earth.

For They saw, by their Omniscience, that sin would enter into the world by the man they would create. And that by that sin, man would have to be separated from God, the greatest Good.

All was lost to God. He showed me once, just what a great loss it was to Him.

So They made full provision for the salvation of man: through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

That blood was shed on Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ. He paid the price to redeem us from every sin, for all who come to Him.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

And to make us perfect (complete) in all the works we are to do, by the merits of Jesus. Changing us into the character of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

They made this covenant before the world was created; so that we might be saved. For God loved us before He even created the earth. Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”

Notice how personal His love is…thee(you, me)

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Elijah, and the rain

Elijah came in like a whirlwind, and went out with a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).

Because he honored God and His word, Israel was given new hope.

It begins with Elijah praying for the rain to stop. (James 5:17) But why?

When Ahab the king of Israel married a idol worshipper, Jezebel, she began to run the government. She outlawed all other worship beside her idol of Baal.

She intimidated and slew any who opposed her.

Yet God always has His remnant.

Enter Elijah.

He was torn apart by his country following this horrid idol, and not following the Lord God.

So, claiming a verse God had promised (Deuteronomy 11:14-17), he began to pray that God would withhold the rain, to wake up the people that they should return to the Lord.

(Hasn’t the Lord called us, as Christians, to pray for our country? For an Awakening here…to return to God?)

Rain was essential for any crops. The former and latter rains were needed.

Six months passed. God had honored his prayer, and there had been no rain.

He was told to go to the king, and….

1 Kings 17:1 “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, but according to my word.”

“but according to my word”. Elijah was standing before God in prayer, therefore he was empowered to stand before the king.

He does not say “according to God’s Word”, for that would mean nothing to Ahab, or Jezebel.

And Elijah’s word was God’s word.

All their attention would be focused on Elijah, and his prayers to God.

Would God answer them?

God did. For three more years there would be drought and famine, because Israel had forsaken God.

It was a very bad time. God had said what He was going to do.

But the Lord always leads us through measured trials.

And in the third year, the Lord said, it was enough: He would send rain.

1 Kings 18:1 “And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”

But before the rain is sent; Elijah calls for all Israel to be gathered together to Mount Carmel.

There Elijah wanted to talk to Israel, remind them of God’s Power, and show the falseness of their idol.

1 Kings 18:21 “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

A test was chosen: the priests of Baal, the idol, would choose a sacrifice, and make an altar; But put no fire under the sacrifice.

Their idol would have to send down fire and burn it up.

Elijah would do the same, and God would send down fire and burn up his sacrifice.

1 Kings 18:23-24 “Let them therefore give us two bullocks, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under.

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.”

Well, all morning and all afternoon, the priests of Baal jumped and hollered, and cried, and moaned for fire to come down. They cut themselves and begged.

But nothing happened.

Then Elijah built an altar:

1 Kings 18:32-33 “And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar,…

And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.”

Elijah was making it extra hard: putting water on everything. Because He knew God’s power.

And then Elijah prayed: “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word.

Here me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.”

Then fire fell.

1 Kings 18:38-39 “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, He is the God; The Lord, He is the God.”

And when Elijah prayed again, the Lord sent the rain.

1 Kings 18:45 “And it came to pass in the meanwhile, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain….”

Prayer is the means here. The sacrifice was offered to the Lord, for there had been no sacrifice to God for three years; and prayed that God would bless it. The rain was prayed for.

God was awakening His people that He is a God that answers prayer. And that He was calling them to return to Him.

Although, not all the people came back to God….in fact Ahab and Jezebel continued to worship idols,….but the worship of God was re-introduced to Israel….and they were awakened to God’s claim on their lives….through Elijah.

James said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

(James 5:16)

Elijah was shown a way by prayer to help his people, and he did.

We, too, should help God’s people by our prayers.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

1 Corinthians 12:18, 23, 25 “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.

And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor;…

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

Paul is saying: “We need every member of Christ’s body…..we need them, and God has set it up this way, so we will bond together…..and not become proud in what “we” know….but rely upon the Spirit in the ministry of the church to aid us.

My husband received once, that everyone has a place, a work, a witness….each has the opportunity to be used of the Holy Spirit….in their place.

“It is not a matter of especially gifted members but rather of just normal Christians, each fitted into his or her place in the Body. Each with that particular portion that the Lord has given them.”

2 Peter 1:8 “For it these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When we think of the great power of God, we often think of deeds of valor or mighty acts done in time past in the scriptures;…

….but the greatest revelation of God to the world is through HIs Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1-3 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past…

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son,

Whom He hath appointed heir of all things,

by Whom also He make the worlds;

Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person,

and upholding all things by the word of His power,

when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:”

This revelation of God was first through the earthly ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ; but now as the Lord is seated at God’s right hand, having obtained all authority anew,…

…He now reveals Himself through His mystical Body, His Church, here on earth.

We are to show Him in our lives…..

…..we are to manifest Him in our church, by mercy and love to others…

John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

….we are to manifest Him in the world, both by separation from it’s ways, and by love and holding forth the Word of life.

We show forth Christ when we are in our place in His Body, yielded to the Holy Spirit….for it is the Holy Spirit that lifts up the Lord Jesus in the individual’s life.

The Holy Spirit is the One Who fits you into your place.

First, He shows you the place He has prepared in His Will,…

…then He empowers us for it.

(There was a lady in our services, which was mentally limited. Her words were not eloquent….and sometimes she rambled….but she got up enthusiastically almost every Sunday with a word of testimony about the Lord’s help and comfort. And this woman had a hard time at work sometimes!

There was a time when (shamefully) I thought….why does she get up every time?

But the Lord spoke to me,…..that He wished everyone would stand up and give a testimony….recognizing what He had done for them….with as much enthusiasm.

“Love is not silent…..love acts for Me.”

And soon I had things to praise Him for with enthusiasm, as well )

If the Lord calls you to a work…..whether preacher, teacher, helps, prayer warrior….then He will indeed be the power within you to do it….and He will lift up the Lord Jesus through your life.

John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

By this Jesus spoke of His death…..but also the drawing attraction of the Lord, as He is lifted up through us.

The Holy Spirit does the lifting up of Christ within us…..

…the Father draws men to Christ (John 6:44)…

….but our part is to yield, as a sail ship before the wind.

“The power of the peace of God will enable you to steer your course in the mix up of ordinary life.

None of us have control over our circumstances….

….but we are responsible for the way we “pilot” ourselves in the midst of things as they are. (Not as we wish they were)

Two boats can sail in opposite directions in the same wind according to the skill of the pilot.

The pilot who gets his vessel onto the rocks, says, “I could not help it, the wind was in that direction.”

But the pilot who took his vessel into the harbor had the same wind,…..

…..but he knows how to trim the sails and tack against the wind….

…..so that the contrary wind brought him into the place he wanted.

Never allow the thought that I could not help this or that.

Never say that you reached the desired place….in spite of circumstances….

….we all attain because of circumstances…..and no other way.

It is our cooperating with the Holy Spirit that makes the….”I can’t help it”….into the possible”

(Oswald Chambers)

Launch Out

“The mercy of God is an ocean divine,

A boundless and fathomless flood.

Launch Out in the deep, cut away the shore line,

And be lost in the fullness of God.

But many, alas, only stand on the shore,

And gaze on the ocean so wide,

They never have ventured its depths to explore,

Or to launch on the fathomless tide.

And others just venture away from the land,

And linger so near to the shore;

That the surf and the slime that beat over the strand,

Dash over them in floods evermore.

Oh, Let us launch out on this ocean so broad,

Where the floods of salvation overflow.

Oh, let us be lost in the mercy of God,

Till the depths of His fullness we know.”

Our place, work, words may seem small…..certainly not enough for the glory of God….but any work or word that is done out of love of Jesus is precious and glorious in His sight.

Let us attain to all that the Lord Jesus has for us…..let us yield to the Holy Spirit within…

…and lift up Jesus Christ….that others can see Him in us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The True Vine, and the Husbandman

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”

Here is a beautiful picture of the care of our Heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the blessed Holy Spirit,…for us.

He is the fruitful vine nurturing the branches, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit within……while His Father prunes and cares for these branches, that they might bring forth fruit…and more fruit….and much fruit.

John 15:2 “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

How does the branch bear fruit?

First, we are part of the vine….He has made us so, by being born again. Therefore the same life-giving sap which is in the Vine, runs through the branches.

Second, the branch rests in the place the Husbandman has put it.

More sun, less sun; higher on the fence, or lower; it does not matter.

It rests in the place it is put, and yields.

Our Heavenly Father may come along and purge us. This simply means “to cleanse”.

It is the pruning of excess from us….so that all the flow from the Vine will go into fruit bearing, not merely leaves, which are of no value in the harvest to come.

And how does He “clean” us?

John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

Jesus had said a lot to His disciples…some they “heard” with hearing ears. Others would be brought back to them by the Holy Spirit.

But now He is telling them of the importance of His Words.

John 15:7 “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Are you born again….then you abide in Jesus.

Is the motive of our life, obedience to His Will……then His words abide in us.

(His Words “dwell in you richly” Colossians 3:16)

Then….and this is an amazing promise….we can ask what we will, and it will be done…….unto us.

This is not unto others….but unto us.

This is the Lord’s personal promise to each of us.

Isn’t this wonderful?

His Word is there for us…..to encourage, strengthen, and correct us.

When we read it, the Holy Spirit teaches us,……and, as with His disciples, He will bring it back to mind when we need it.

Again, it is a matter of yielding to this life giving flow, which comes from Christ, through His Word, and is applied by the Holy Spirit.

John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch can not bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

We abide in Him, when we do not resist His Will in anything in our lives.

This is not sinless perfection, but rather our wills, willing after His Will; and bringing ourselves in subjection (with His help) to all His Will.

You may say: “I want His will, but not that way”

Let me explain about resisting His Will:

Resisting is:

Putting it off because you don’t want to do it.

Arguing that you have a better plan.

Complaining because of the people you are forced to work with or around.

Silently giving place to the resentment of: Why me, and not them?

If you do any of these, you are resisting the Lord’s Will for you.

These are natural reactions. But we are not to be “natural” or under the charge of our “old man” any more.

We are to place our wills, and hearts, and minds squarely at the Lord’s disposal; and deny ourselves, and yield to the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

That power is there, but we must yield to it.

Sometimes that seems harder than others, depending on how much we “want” something else; but the way of fruit bearing is the way of yielding.

Yielding, and counting on the Holy Spirit to help us.

This is abiding.

This, Jesus Christ calls His branches to do: to yield and bear fruit.

John 15:5 “I am the true vine; ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”

He is giving us His life, by the Holy Spirit in power:

What will we do?

John 15:6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Notice it is our abiding, which tells our end, because that is where the power for real life is.

We abide, and yield, and live; or we do not abide, and are gathered to be burned.

(1 Corinthians 3:15 “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This is speaking of the Judgement seat of Christ, when all Christians shall be judged.)

We can never fulfill the Purpose of God for which we are called, without abiding in Him…..and He has willed, that we should will with Him in this.

Jesus does not want robots, which are programmed to do…..but willing servants of God, which follow Him because they love Him.

With His life flowing through us, we bring forth fruit: in us by growing in grace; and through us as His servants.

John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Here is the fruit:

Abiding brings yielding to His Word;….

Which brings the prayers we should pray for;….

Which brings the answers being done….”unto you”.

How much the Lord Jesus would do unto us to help us, if we would simply abide in Him.

Again, what will we do?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Patience

How little we think of patience as a grace!

We think of it as being polite…..”Oh, you can go first in line.” Or something like that.

We know we should be patient toward others (1 Thessalonians 5:14)…..though often we are not,…..

……and that we should patiently wait upon the Lord (Psalm 37:7, Psalm 40:1)……His Word, and His time (though, again, we often want things now).

But patience is a mile-marker of spirituality….

Is God developing your patience?

Jesus said to His disciples;…(He had just been talking of persecution for His sake, Luke 21:17-18 “And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake…..but there shall not an hair of your head perish.”)

Then:

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

In other words…..keep a hold of your mind’s thoughts….your emotional well-being….you will’s desire to run and do “something”…..hold on to them with patience.

And Paul wrote Timothy, his beloved son in the faith:

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

Patience is a virtue that enables us to look beyond affections, and opinions….ours and other’s; and to see God behind the scenes,…..working on our behalf.

It is an attitude which says, “I can wait for this (whatever it is), even though I want it now, because I trust my God.”

It is spoken of, with many of the promises God gives us…..for we must inherit them…..obtain or get them:

Speaking of Abraham…..”And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:15)

And the Hebrew’s writer exhorts us:

Hebrews 6:12 “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Now I often think of patience as waiting….(it often includes it)…..but here the writer says….”be not slothful”…..do not just sit around waiting for God to do.

No, the scriptures say,……patience is getting up every morning and doing our duty…for the Lord’s sake……whatever that includes….

…….while we wait for the Lord to work things out….

…either in us, so we are ready for such a blessing…

….or for us……and trusting that He will.

And here are the verses that really shows God’s heart, toward patience in us:

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations(different trials);

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

True patience brings joy and peace to our souls…..for though we do not have what we have been promised……yet….

…..we are at rest in God,…..knowing…..He will.

Therefore we come to the place we “want” nothing….other than what God gives us….and leads us into….

Patience is a grace of comfort…God comforting our hearts in the evil day. It is a grace of strength….for while others worry and wear away…

…those that learn His patience, are at rest….even while beset by problems.

(I must admit here, that I am naturally an impatient person…..I am learning the beauty of this grace…..slowly.

I must also tell of several times, the Lord has shown me the sweetness of His patience…..the Holy Spirit teaching me…..and my yielding to it.

We learn His patience.

What a wonderful God we serve!)

Colossians 1:10-11 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power,

unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;”

The Lord wants to teach us, by His Holy Spirit, to be patient….and to be joyful in the things that we are to be patient in.

Patience is a grace the Lord wants us to have and use (2 Peter 1:6)…that we might receive the promises with joyfulness.

Hebrews 10:36 “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

The Lord is the God of patience and consolation:

Romans 15:5-6 “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Again I ask, are you letting the Lord teach you patience?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Blind Man

Mark 10:46-47 “And they came to Jericho: and as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry, and say, Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Going up to Jerusalem, going toward the end of His ministry here, Jesus goes through Jericho.

On the side of the highway, where he could be seen, sat Bartimaeus. He was a blind man. He was a beggar, and he did not want to miss an opportunity for anyone to give to him.

He heard the crowd passing, and eager to get a coin, he asked what the procession was.

It is interesting to note, that after three years of ministry, Jesus’ name is well known.

As soon as Bartimaeus hears Who is passing by, he knows this is his opportunity for healing.

This is belief. He believed that this Jesus, Who he had heard about, could heal him. He called Him “the Son of David”, for this was one of the titles of the Messiah to come.

The Savior would come as the Son of David, and Bartimaeus believes that Jesus is He.

Mark 10:48 “And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

“Quiet! We are going up to Jerusalem. We have important things to do, we don’t have time for a blind beggar.”

But….

Mark 10:49 “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee.”

But Jesus did have time.

Jesus had waited to give others the opportunity to bring him……to show kindness to a blind Israelite. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

But they only told him to be quiet…..which he wasn’t……he yelled even louder trying to make Jesus hear him….which He did.

Mark 10:50-51 “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

Notice how the blind man, when he knows Jesus calls him; how he throws away his garment (his outer cloak).

He wanted nothing to hinder his step to Jesus. He was sure that the old garment of a beggar, he would wear no more.

“What do you want me to do for you?” (How many times, when we have come to Jesus in prayer, do we believe He will hear, and act for us?)

“Lord” (one of the most important Names of Jesus Christ.

Lord: when you say it, it is almost like you are bowing before Him).

“That I might receive my sight.”

Mark 10:52 “And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

“Go thy way;”. You can go home, you can stay here in Jericho.

But Bartimaeus chose the best way: he followed Jesus.

“Thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Jesus healed because of his faith in Him.

What the blind man had heard of Jesus, caused him to believe that He was the Son of God,…..so he put his trust in Him to heal.

And that faith led him to cry out to Jesus, and be healed; but also led him to follow Jesus.

The blind man was blind no more; not in eyes…..or in heart.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

God has shown us Who He is….and how He feels toward us….

Jeremiah 10:10, 12 “But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at His wrath the earth will tremble, and the mountains shall not be able to abide His indignation.

He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.”

Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord hath appeared of old to me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

……let us grow bold in our trust of Him…..and get honest and show Him all we are, and all we need.

Are we showing how we feel about Him?

Luke 8:15 “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Here is the good and honest heart….

…and it is the only one in the parable of the sower, that produces fruit….the other’s are given the Word…..but do not bear fruit….for they let “things” (cares, worry, and pleasures of this life) interfere with the Word’s influence.

But the honest heart….bears fruit. True it is not the same for everyone…..but it is fruit to God….from us.

If we will honestly face ourselves for what we are…..then grace will be applied to us:

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

It is not a matter of meriting His help….or earning forgiveness….

…but it is a matter of the heart before God.

Have you come and talked to God lately…..honestly laying out before Him yourself…..your attitudes,….your thoughts—good or bad,……your angry words,…..or gossip…or idols?

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

When it speaks of the heart in scripture….it speaks of our souls.

The issues of Life?

The “issues” are those things which come out of your heart….into your speech and actions.

Jesus said about the things that come from a natural heart:

Matthew 15:18-19”But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies:

The “issues of life” deal with those things that have been placed within us by the Lord; those things that we are to maintain and show to others……

….to have and manifest Christ.

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

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

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

These are the things which counts for time….and eternity….

And they are of the heart….which we are to “keep”…..hang on to….as valuable.

Many know that Jesus loves them….but are we “rooted and grounded” in this knowledge?…..so that it keeps us in the trials of life….in the dark days of trouble and in the bright days of prosperity?

Jeremiah 9:24 “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

If we are to bring forth fruit to Christ….we need to “abide in Him”…..and from that intimate, personal relationship…..we are to grow in knowledge of what His love means to us…..what it does for us….

……and get honest with Him about everything which comes to us….and how we feel about it.

Above all that we guard….we are to guard our hearts….and keep them for Christ Jesus.

They are His dwelling place…for He will abide with them for ever.

They are His clay….for He will mold them to feel mercy for others, to feel love for others, and to be courageous in the face of our everyday days.

They are His throne on earth….for it is through us that He is shown as King.

He has shown us His love for us, by His Son…..will we get honest with Him and manifest Him to others?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Woman at the Well

John 4:3-4, 6-7 “He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. For he must needs go through Samaria.
Now Jacobs’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.”

Why is the woman at the well important?

  1. the Salvation of every person is important.
  2. She became a light which brought her city to Christ, though she was an adulteress.
  3. Because Jesus lets us know that it is not in a place, or because you are a particular people….but He tells that anyone must worship God in Spirit and in truth.

Jesus is passing through Samaria, and was tired, hungry and thirsty. His disciples went into the city to buy some food. And Jesus sat on the well, waiting.
She had come to the well when no one was around, because of what she was; and yet wanted the truth of God’s Word…..even though she was, what she was.

(I am stressing this, because we all begin our journey with the Lord the same way: We are sinners. Maybe we have never done what she did, but sin places us on the same plain….on the way to death.)

“Why do you a Jew ask a drink of me, a Samaritan?” (John 4:9)

It seemed a good question, for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans,….thinking them defiled.
(The Samaritans were the descendants of the inter marriages of Hebrew and the other nations. Ezra 9:1-2,12)

But Jesus came to save all those who would believe and receive His life.

So, instead of pressing His right to a drink again;…….Jesus speaks to her about “living water”.

John 4:10, 13-14 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knowest the gift of God, and Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Her reply was very practical: “Give me that water so I won’t have to come and draw from this well.”

So Jesus brings her a step further toward real life, by dealing with her real problem: “Go get your husband.”

Would she tell the truth?
She replied, “I have no husband”.

John 4:17-18 “….Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said I have no husband:
For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”

What would she do now? Run away? Spit on Him? Throw water on Him?

But instead she considered the truth, instead of her feelings,….and spoke to this man of something which was on her heart: worship,….for she knew He was a prophet.
She wanted to know, what was right, in God sight.

This is amazing…..she was being shown for what she was….yet…she is drawn out of herself….because she sees He is a prophet (she still does not see Who He is as Lord and Savior)….but she is being drawn toward more of the truth…

Let me say, that Jesus does this within us….He draws us out of ourselves….our circumstances….toward Him.

“Were they right to worship in this mountain, as their fathers did? Or were the Jews right in saying Jerusalem was the only place to worship God?”

Odd conversation for a woman who had been looking for satisfaction in sexual and romantic emotions.

John 4:21-22 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship;…
…But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:….
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Right here, could have been a problem; if she did not really want the truth.
(Maybe this was what she had been searching for in those five husbands she’d had.
But to want the truth,….generally, and to face the truth for yourself, is two different things.)

Yet, here again, she does not back away from getting the truth,……of getting that living water;……even when it came to what He would say about herself.

John 4:25-26 “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will teach us all things.
Jesus saith unto her, I that speaketh unto thee am He.”

Jesus had revealed Himself to very few people; but to this woman who wanted the truth, He did.

This shows us the great value the Lord Jesus puts on truth,….and those that seek it.

(John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
When truth is faced, grace is always given….no matter what our background)

This woman was afraid of people….and how they treated her.
Because of that she had come to the well at this time…..and met Jesus.

But hearing the Truth, and from the Messiah……sent her into that same town, to tell all that she would meet, about Christ Jesus.

John 4:29 “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”

By her witness, many came to believe on Jesus, too:
John 4:39-42 “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified , He told me all that ever I did.
So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that he would tarry with them: and He abode there two days.
And many more believed because of His own word.
And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Notice, she is not afraid of the townspeople, now. They are not different….she is. She has met the Savior….and believed on Him. (John 1:12, Romans 10:8-13)

What of us? How much do we value the truth, especially for ourselves?

Have we hidden lives we do not want to admit to?
Or are we believing in a doctrine, and that is enough?

The truth is, that everyone who comes to Jesus can find the water of life……
……real satisfaction…..and know for themselves that He is Lord and Savior, for themselves….and show Him to others.