Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Redeeming the time

Ephesians 5:15-16 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

How can we “redeem the time”?

“Redeeming” here, means “to rescue from loss, to improve opportunities”.

Here in Ephesians,….

…(in a book written to explain the privileges we have in Christ…”who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”)

……we have a warning.

We are not to let time slip through our fingers….

….we are, in fact, to rescue each day from the loss of natural pursuits….to the gain of spiritual walking in the Spirit.

Colossians 4:5 “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”

We each have so much time….

Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

This is not asking for the certain number we are going to live…..

……but rather for an understanding that we are created for a purpose.

We all have a “reason” God created us….therefore let us get His wisdom (guidance) to fulfill it.

The Holy Spirit is given us to be our Comforter….Paraclete, or Someone who comes beside to help.

But He comes with grace: the unmerited favor of power….grace which gives us ability, and knowledge, and strength.

Grace He gives us, to use our time wisely.

The saying, “we are in the world, but not of it”….should hold true.

We are not to share in its interests or opinions,….but rather let the Word of God mold us into HIs servants….faithful to Him.

Romans 13:11-13 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light,

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

Here is a picture of a Christian, who having heard the alarm clock of God to wake up….does so.

(How many times has God tried to awaken us! To get us to see the importance of our time. Maybe we think we are of little importance….but God does not think so.

If we gave one person the Word of God….only one person saw the Light and came to Christ….

…now think if that one person was your child, your spouse, your best friend….your neighbor.)

Well, this Christian jumps up out of the chair he fell asleep in….and sees that the light is shining….

…he is late! He best be going! For he is not sure for how long the light will continue to shine….there might be clouds rolling in.

But before he goes, he realizes that he is still wearing yesterday’s clothes….still wearing the muddy shoes from yesterday….

….he needs to change….clean himself up….and prepare himself for the day ahead….

Once he is cleaned up…..he realizes that he is going to do God’s business…..not his, so he better find out how the Lord wants him to dress.

(What is the “armor of light”?

1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”

Our armor is the graces we have acquired under the training of the Holy Spirit.

We are given faith at new birth….but it is a covering for our heart and will….only as we use it to keep close to the Lord….in love to Him.

The Holy Spirit gives us hope (the confident expectation that God will do what He said)….to cover our reasons and thoughts….to keep us thinking….not with the world….but with the Word of God.

Faith, Love, Hope……These are enlightening….Light which shines and illuminates the dark places we must travel in this world.)

Once dressed, the Christian prepares to walk, and work…..in honesty. Determining to do….only what is fit to be seen in the light of day….

…in other words….dress in the character of Christ.

Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

And….he begins to redeem his time….this day….

Ephesians 5:14 “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Are you awake? Or still half-asleep?

Are you prepared with the armor of light? Or still wearing the “clothes” of yesterday?

The days are certainly “evil”….full of hurtful influence to us, who want the Lord’s Will.

Let us awake….open our eyes to Christ and prepare ourselves…by putting on Christ….

…and let us redeem the time the Lord has given us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Everlasting Covenant

Hebrews 13:20 “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,”

The Everlasting covenant was entered into by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit……before He created the world.

Before anything that is, was….God saw all that was going to happen because of sin, to this world….and made provision for the salvation of man in the Everlasting Covenant.

God the Father agreed to draw all the elect to God the Son (John 6:44, Isaiah 54:13). If……

….God the Son agreed to come to earth as man, born of a woman. (Not man and woman…but woman. God made Jesus a body Hebrews 10:5)

Live a perfect life, and die; taking all of our sins upon Himself….to save us from them, and bring us into peace with God.

His precious sacrifice and blood was the price of redemption (John 1:29, Revelation 5:6)…

…Then God the Holy Spirit agreed to come and dwell within us, when we are born again (John 14:16-17)…….molding us into the character of Christ from with in us….to bring us to spiritual liberty from sin and self.

Revelation 3:14 “Unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”

Here it plainly says that Christ Jesus when He came as a Man, (as promised in the Everlasting covenant) was the first act of Creation.

Without the promise of salvation for man, God would not have created.

But He did create…..and our salvation in Christ was “before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9)

He is the Amen. Christ alone can say, “So be it”…..and it will be.

We must say, “If God wills…”

Since He is the Amen….and He has purposed our salvation, and our life with Him, surely He will bring it to pass.

But what He asks….is our willing cooperation in the process….for He has provided the Holy Spirit to guide us, and empower us…..if we will.

He has purposed, that our wills must will with Him.

He does not force His way into our hearts….no, He stands at the door of our lives and knocks…..and speaks, for it is His Voice that we hear…”Open to Me”.

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, if any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

If is always a life, open and receptive to Him, that He claims.

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not by works, lest any man should boast.”

This is how we were born again….by grace, through faith….not of works or of ourselves……lest we boast we helped God, somehow.

It was His gift, through Christ Jesus.

But then He shows us His purpose:

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

His purpose is that we, under the power of the Holy Spirit within, are molded into the character of Christ Jesus….that we might do the good works He has set aside for us to do.

And He has made full provision for them….for when God ordains something, full provision is already made for it.

We are to “walk” in these good works. That means that they are our everyday activities.

That is where He wants us to serve Him,……with Him.

For we should be a willing manifestation of His presence….a positive witness of His presence and power.

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear:”

We should be able to give a reason for why we do what we do….and can’t do what He has said not to do.

(We bow our heads and give thanks over our food; whether at home, in public, or in other people’s houses…we give thanks. They may do it or not, but we do.

We are not loud or commanding others to do this….but we do, because it is what the Lord wants us to do)

(I can not cut my hair….and it was funny when I had chemo and lost my hair….all but two strands. I wore a scarf, but when it would fall off, some people asked me why I did not just cut those off. (It did look funny, as I said)

But I couldn’t. And I told people the “reason”.)

Jesus is the Amen….He will see His Will done in us:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it.”

Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness….seeing how we are…”Peter, lovest thou Me?”. (John 21:15-17). Are we doing out of love for the Lord?

And He sees what we do…..are we doing the good works each day, in fellowship with Him?

Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God….because the first thing God wanted was the salvation of those He created….through the receiving of His Beloved Son.

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

(The first promise ever given in scripture is concerning the coming Christ as Man, to save us:

Genesis 3:15 [Notice the “I will”] “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it will bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”

And the last promise in scripture is concerning His coming again as King, to reign eternally in joy and peace.

Revelation 22:20 “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”)

The Everlasting covenant is about our Salvation….formed before times eternal.

God’s thoughts have always been toward us,….He has given (ordained) provision for us,….let us walk with Him in all the good works He has for us to do and say.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Song of Solomon 3:6 “Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?”

Here is the beginning of the Spirit filled walk of the Christian.

And notice….the verse says….”who is this…”

The Holy Spirit fills people….people who are following Him “..that cometh..”

Are we?

And we all know that Matthew 6:10 is the verse for it.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

If we are ever to see His Will done, it is first to be done in earth, as it is in heaven….in us.

And this in our everyday circumstances.

This is what we are to be empowered for.

We think it is times of special service….a time of “greatness”.

But what God wants, is the greatness of His Spirit to shine through us, each day.

The little trying days, the important decision days, the days of joy, and the days of weeping…..

….in these days, He wants our lights to shine….He wants His life to be seen in mine.

“Cometh out of the wilderness”

The wilderness speaks of this world and all that the world has gotten inside of me….us.

(How much of what the world does (and what we copy) is just “wanderings”?

The world is not going anywhere….the progress of machines, or faster transportation, or communication….

….does it give peace, or joy, or forgiveness of sins, or light for our minds and hearts?

This is sad…..but it is far worse, if we…..who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ follow along with it.)

Cometh out of the wilderness…..this we need to do.

Colossians 1:13 “

As Christians, we have this in Christ…..we are not under the authority of the darkness of this world, anymore. This is given us when we are born again.

Practically, we are delivered, as we are sanctified….set aside to God, by an act of our wills, willing with God.

Delivered from the power of darkness….this is God’s provision….

…will we get it?

We must personally, by an act of our wills, again and again….willingly translate all that we have and are, out of darkness….into the kingdom of His dear Son….into light.

Bring all to the light of Christ….walk in His light, and you will be delivered from darkness…and the power of it.

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Like Pillars of Smoke.

This is supernatural deliverance.

Smoke is such weak stuff….easily,…by a puff of air…to be blown here or there.

But here it is a pillar; a thing of strength….and stability!

And this strength and stability comes from the Holy Spirit’s filling us….as we yield to Him. Less of me, more of His rule, in me.

Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense.

Myrrh speaks of death….it was the spice placed on bodies when they were buried.

It speaks of death, and because of Jesus’ death on His cross….and the power of His death…

….we can die to ourselves, that we might be alive to HIm….through our cross. (Matthew 16:24)

It shows us that to have the Holy Spirit empowering us….we must get out of the way,….deny ourselves…..

Frankincense….costly and given to kings (frankincense owes a deity nigh)…..speaks of the authority of Christ….and His resurrection power…

….first in us, as we are subjects to HIm….

…and then through us, as we are HIs Ambassadors…and we speak for Him.

With all powders of the merchant.

There is nothing we need that we can not get from Christ.

As born again ones, we are to “buy” from Him, by our devotion and obedience to Him.

How many times “fellowship” with Christ is spoken of as the means of having and being what we ought?

Need patience? Love? Zeal?

Then get obedient.

The Lord will never fill with His Spirit, someone who is still arguing about His Will.

The Lord will never fill with His Spirit, one who will only allow Him to rule…..sometimes.

But the Lord will….draw you out of yourself….show you what He will give….and then fill with His loving Holy Spirit, if we will but yield to Him….and keep submitting.

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness?

Are you ready to leave this world’s thinking? This world’s fast emotions? This world’s influence? For Christ, alone.

Well, if you are…..Christ is waiting…with all the fullness of the Holy Spirit you will let in.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Rejoice

Luke 1:14 “And thou shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.”

Rejoice! The word rejoice is not seen in scripture, till Israel is out of Egypt….out of the bondage…into a relationship with God. (Leviticus 23:40)

Rejoice in the Hebrew means to brighten, to gladden.

And what are we to rejoice in?

Psalm 9:2 “I will be glad and rejoice in Thee: I will sing praises to Thy Name, O Thou Most High.”

Psalm 5:11 “But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.”

Psalm 9:14 “….I will rejoice in Thy salvation.”

Psalm 31:7 “I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities;”

We are to rejoice in Him….

We are to rejoice in His salvation…

We are to rejoice in His mercy…

We are to rejoice in His protection….

All of these are summed up in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord….for us.

Isaiah 25:9 “And it shall be in that day; lo, this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He shall save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

But are we rejoicing as we should?

We have been told to:

“Rejoice evermore” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice” Philippians 4:4

We are to allow the Holy Spirit within us to gladden us….in the Lord alway.

For the Holy Spirit within shows us the things of Christ….for us.

Let us rejoice and be glad….

…glad that we are in Christ Jesus

…glad that He has a plan for us

…glad that wherever we are, what ever is going on….He knows and will give us guidance….there.

Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”

Let us prepare our hearts for that great and glorious day when we will be with Him…..forever….

….by rejoicing now in His Will and Way for us.

God sent His Son, that our hearts might come close to Him….and we might rejoice….

….how great and mighty a God we have….that He takes sinners and makes them pure….that we might have that fellowship of rejoicing with Him.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Weapon of All-Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

At the end of listing the pieces of the Christian’s armor, Paul speaks of, what I consider the last “weapon” in our protection…..all-prayer.

Bunyan pictures this as a bag, out of which Christian can take things he needs….

…and he uses it after his battle with Apollyon….to restore his strength.

……but however you picture prayer….it is a weapon we must become intimate with….we must be able to use it aright.

There are prayers which are short and sweet….(Psalm 12:1). “Help, Lord”

And Peter’s “Lord, save me.”(Matthew 14:30)….when he was sinking.

There are prayers which are based on a certain Name of God….prayers of healing (Jehovah Rapha)….the Lord will see to, or provide (Jehovah Jireh Genesis 22:8,14)

To the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10)….when our need outweighs what we can see for an answer.

To the God of all peace….when our boat of circumstances, rocks to and fro, and there seems no peace….then our God is our peace.

(In Romans 15, Paul prays to “the God of patience” (verse 5), “the God of hope” (verse 13), and “the God of peace” (verse 33))

These are prayers….

…..our coming before the throne of grace and laying things out before the Lord…..

….and prayer is also waiting for an answer.

“ and supplication in the Spirit”

This is knowing a need for someone….and relying only on the Holy Spirit’s guidance….seeking the Lord for the supply they need….until it is met.

(Jude 21) “…praying in the Holy Ghost.”

“And watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:”

These prayers are where we bring before the Lord….certain people, certain churches,…..not knowing the full need of these….

….but expecting the Lord to “warn” us….for their good….to pray in a certain way, for what the Lord shows us.

(It is like a watchman on a tower….waiting, ready to be used for the good of the city.

Isaiah 62:6-7 “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day or night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,

And give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”)

Just what is perseverance? to be persistent….to be constantly diligent….to earnestly stay with the means God gives….to see the answer come.

(It is interesting….that perseverance is only used once in scriptures….here, where prayer is concerned.)

God has given us prayer both for fellowship and communion…..

…..and as a weapon against the world, the flesh and the devil…where we and others are concerned.

Let us learn to be used of God in our prayers, whether near or far to those we pray for…..that He might have all the praise.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Are we Profitable Servants?

Luke 17:7-10 “But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?

And will not rather say unto him, make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and after ward thou shalt eat and drink?

Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

To do what was our duty to do, is to be found faithful in all our gifts and callings.

But everything we’ve been called to do; every work He would require at our hands, has been paid for already.

The full price was paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The power and plan to do is given to us, by Him; we have but to follow Him and do.

And when we have done that which was our duty to do, as His faithful servants?

We must say we are unprofitable servants; because what we do is not a matter of merit.

We are accountable to Him for our duty.

How is it then, we minister to His satisfaction? What is it that truly pleases Him?

It is what we become, ourselves, under His training, that pleases Him.

If in the end of our training, we are still arguing about the circumstances, or plan, or way, or anything;……we are not giving much pleasure to Him.

(Think of your child, who does the chores you tell him, but not until you have to yell at him, or practically drag him out to do it. When he is done, you do not have pleasure in the doing, but rather feel it would have been easier for you, to do it yourself.)

We may do what we are told, finally, for some reason. But the pleasure of the Lord in the doing, is that we are identified with Him in it.

That never happens if we are still at odds, in some way, with Him….or the circumstances He has allowed.

What He wants is a love relationship: so He uses the story of a servant who has worked in the field, yet still is to serve Him, in the house.

When we are busy all day, for Christ; we tend to forget (unless we have learned the lesson here),…

….that we also need to Love Christ, personally. (Pictured in the setting before Him the food and drink, personally)

We need to become, under His hand, a loving disciple that will do anything (without thinking of the consequences), to please Him.

(The term, “under His hand”, is another phrase that you used to hear often; but don’t any more.

Let me explain: My husband and I are older,….and we are used to holding hands when walking,…

….or I have my hand at his elbow, or his hand on my shoulder.

Yes, it is good for balance; but also we can communicate with each other by the hands. He squeezes my hand and nods his head toward something…..or I nudge him with my elbow….these are communications without words…

This is the same with the Lord’s hand. His touch, on our eyes, or ears, or shoulder, or elbow to turn us here or there; or away from this or that.

This is by the Holy Spirit.

But as I like my husband’s hand on my arm, so we should like the hand of God on us.)

The mature love of lovers, knows the things that please. So we should grow up: out of ourself life, into Christ’s life for us; and become lovers of God.

You may say that this parable is of a servant. Yes, and I say let us look to who Jesus was giving this to, and for what reason He gave this.

Jesus had been talking to His disciples about offenses.

There are many in this life: many which we do, and many which come to us.

How were they to deal with them?

We are to rebuke the offender, or tell him you were offended: and if he is sorry, forgive him.

And if he turns and does it seven times in a day; yet is sorry seven times, Jesus’ disciples were to forgive him each and every time.

The disciples, feeling totally inadequate (and who isn’t without the power of the Holy Spirit?), said:

Luke 17:5-6 “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto the sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea: and it should obey you.”

Here, then is the setting for the story of the servant: As His servants we are given faith.

Faith is the workhorse of our Christians lives.

It makes God real, and His Word hearable.

So we can know Him.

As His servants, we are to do our duty, Absolutely.

As His love-servants, we are to become more and more in love with Christ; and become all we were created for…..for His pleasure.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Our hearts…..and our lights

Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Our spiritual lives begin, when we are born again, when God gives us light!

It is as the “dawning light”…for it first dispels the black darkness, we were in……

…..and grows brighter and brighter…..till we are at high noon….with the Sun over head…and no shadows between the Lord and us. (The perfect day)

This is the path that the just, or the justified through Christ, are to walk.

And if this is not your case? Then it is time to consider, at what you stumble.

Proverbs 4:19 “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”

The wicked “know not”……but as Christians, we should at least know what we stumble over.

“Stumble” is an interesting word…..it can be as simple, as to waver through weakness…..or as destructive, as to cast down, decay, or be overthrown.

God has promised if we will….”Hear, O my son (daughter)…and receive My sayings;….” (Proverbs 4:10)

That:

Proverbs 4:12 “When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straightened;…” (or be in distress)

“…and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.”

The Lord has given provision for every step….(this is in our walk with Him)

…and even when we need to run….(this is in our ministry race, to finish it)

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

“The issues of life”….what is of real value to you. What really counts where you are concerned? What is hidden in your heart?

These are the issues of life for us.

When I first heard this verse….years ago….it was in a message my husband had….and I thought,

“Sure, I understand it. The things that are important to me….should never take God’s place in my life.”

Simple….but that is not only what it means. It also means, what is stored away….or a hidden part of our hearts.

Why does a memory cause so many regrets….or anger….or resentments?

Why does seeing someone make you bristle….even though you smile?

The “issues” of life…..is what is in our hearts…..and, plainly….they come out in our expressions…..in our attitudes,…..in our words…

Keep…..guard, watch…..over to see, what it is, that you are feeling,….what it is you are expressing…in your tone…..even when the words are right.

Keep your heart from becoming a storage shed….for hurt, mockings, hate….and any of the world’s attitudes.

How?

First we need to understand that our heart is deceitful…..it lies to us.

It will say: “I love God”. (When it will not yield to His promptings, or obey HIs corrections)

It will say: “I have forgiven this one, or that one”. (When what it means is….that as long as they stay away from me, I will not mention their wrongs.)

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

If God left us here…..there would be no hope for us to “keep our hearts”.

But He does not leave us….

Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins (will), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

If a man’s ways are constantly looking toward God, in honesty…..even though there are failures and falls……then, God will give Him abundant help to bring forth the fruit of repentance and righteousness…..and…

…he will be able to “keep his heart” for the Lord.

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts;

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Our hearts….and our lights…..need constant watching, lest we deceive ourselves as to how we truly are…..

…..and let our lights grow dim…..or go out before others.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Centurion’s Faith

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 he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.”

There were very few times the Lord dealt with the Gentiles during His ministry on earth,……but in this instance, He is very pleased with this Centurion’s faith!

Luke 7:9 “When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned Him about, and said unto the people that followed Him,

I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

So let us consider this Centurion’s faith.

First his faith sought out Jesus.

The Centurion had a servant, “who was dear unto him”, who was sick. He wanted him well…..and having heard of Jesus, Who had healed many….this Centurion asked the elders of the city to ask Jesus to “come and heal my servant”.

Then, the Centurion’s faith led him to see,….that Jesus did not need to “come and heal” him…..

….Jesus had but to say in a Word, and it would be done.

But why did he come to this conclusion….surely he knew Jesus was coming to his house to do as he asked…..

….why then, did he change the request to: “but say in a word, and my servant will be healed”?

Was it a challenge….testing if Jesus could heal?

No, for that would not be faith….but trial.

When faith really gets into our hearts….it does two things. It shows us God, His Might and Wisdom…..

….and it shows us….us, in our meanness and lack.

Faith had open the eyes of the Centurion to Christ Jesus as God’s Son….and to himself as “unworthy”…..

…..this alone is amazing faith….for it takes us out of ourselves….and anchors our expectation in God.

But notice the message he sends to Jesus: “…but say in a word,…”

A word….not prayer, sentence, words…..but “a word”.

His faith had come by hearing of Jesus (Romans 10:17).

Then it had shown him Who Jesus was…..which had humbled him. (James 4:10)

Then it had anchored his heart in belief in His Authoritative Word….and so he asks for “a word”.

And he showed Jesus by an example that he understood and believed His authority to speak that Word.

“I am a man under authority…..and I say, “Go…and they go”. I say, “Come, and they come”. I say, “Do this and they do it”.

I understand about the word of authority……my authority is from Rome….because I am under the authority of the Empire.

I understand that Your Word will be done……because You have Authority from God, Your Father.

Speak a Word, and it will be done.”

You will notice that this Centurion did not say….”of Authority”….or “in Authority”…..but “under Authority”.

“For I also am a man set under authority…”

This is a faith that is now set firmly on the Rock…..for this Centurion knew that the Man Christ Jesus spoke for God….even as he spoke for Rome.

And this man’s faith was honored….

……as he honored the Lord Jesus before the elders of the city…..his own servants….and ultimately the crowd that followed the Lord.

The servant was “whole”…..completely healed.

Luke 7:10 “And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.”

What of our faith?

Surely, as we have heard of Christ Jesus, and have believed in Him….we have faith.

But how far have we yielded to this faith?

Have we let this faith show us God…..and ourselves, and been humbled?

James 4:6 “But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Are we founded on Christ…..and His Word…..for us? (Matthew 7:24-25)

At the Centurion’s faith….Jesus “marveled”…..which means in the Greek….He admired it.

Jesus had come to Israel as their Messiah……telling that the kingdom of God has come…

…..they loved His miracles and provision…..and His parables….they loved hearing Him….

…..but faith had not been grasped by most of them….and Jesus Christ had not been honored by them.

“…I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

But the Centurion’s faith was received into the heart….and the results were “amazing”!

Let us, who have faith, yield to the many things it brings to us…..and honor our Lord with it.

(Romans 5:2-5 “By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations (trials) also;

Knowing that tribulations worketh patience;

And patience, experience;

And experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed;

Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”)

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Direction for our Christian Lives

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

This trust is of the heart, not the head. Trust is the hanging on to Jesus Christ.

If we will acknowledge Him in all our ways…He will direct our paths.

And acknowledge here, means that we are to seek Him in everything concerning our lives.

Good things, bad things,….we are to “see” that Christ knows about it and about us, being in this situation.

Then, we are to tell Him about everything in it: our side, and wants concerning it; and the other side as well.

This is, again, for the heart: for this command is for us, if we love the Lord, and really want the Lord’s direction.

To have this direction aright, we must do this in everything, not just the big important things,……but the little everyday things, as well.

Because this is the fellowship that is offered us, as we go along with Jesus.

It is constant fellowship:

And fellowship in the Greek means “a sharer, partnership”.

Are we a partner with Christ in all we do?

We need to lean on Him:

We can “lean on our own understanding” pretty easily. We have intelligence, and we are here in the situation; who better to figure this out?

(We all know how this turns out.)

But to “lean” on the Lord Jesus is to trust Him.

Real direction comes to us by the Holy Spirit within us. That is a matter of the heart, again, not the head.

You ask for direction, then you hear His Voice.

Light comes.

You see what to do.

And if there is anything which clouds the light…..you quickly remove anything that would hinder that light….

That Light brings the knowledge of what pleases Him in this situation; and you do it.

And you also know what displeases Him, and turn away from it.

The gift of wisdom is a great gift from the Lord.

He directs and helps us in our “path”.

Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

There is no place or time He does not know, and does not make preparation for.

Isaiah 42:16 “And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not;

I will lead them in paths that they have not known:

I will make darkness light before them,

and crooked things straight.

These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

(Four times He says He “will”…….and promises to: “not forsake them”…..what more can we ask for our path?)

God sees to us,….our hearts…..our direction…..and to our path,…..as we acknowledge Him….

……Who He is….what He can do for us…..and His partnership with us……..in all the “ways” we go.

And He will not forsake us, ever.

He loves us with an everlasting love.

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.”

Let us acknowledge Him in everything, everyday…..and let Him lead us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Sanctification is not imitating Christ; but Living by Christ’s Life

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

Sanctification is the setting ourselves aside to God.

Sanctification does not require us to fulfill the will of God as He makes it known to us, without the power to do so.

That would be like the Egyptian taskmasters which required Israel to make bricks without straw. (Exodus 5:9-11)

Instead, Sanctification is the growing life of Christ, in our life; whereby we experience by His Holy Spirit, the holiness, patience, love, peace, and power that is in Christ;……over the enemy of our souls.

When Paul said:

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

This is what he meant. That the life he used to live as the self-righteous Pharisee was over. He saw himself dead in Christ’s death.

“Good riddance” was probably his thought, for the life he had before, did not bring him closer to God, though he worked hard at it.

He also saw that now he lived by Christ’s life. That the life of Christ was so powerful that, not only for himself; but everyone who trusted in Christ, could have His character formed in them.

Years ago, after being born again,….my husband prayed about sanctification.

He thought this must be some sort of holiness experience, which we have at some altar; or with some crisis experience in our lives.

Then he heard a man who was teaching a Sunday School class about:

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.”

And, if no one else got the message; he did.

This was the means of being sanctified…..to deny myself.

We think, that when we talk of denying ourself, we mean: just not doing what we want. We think it means denying “things in our life.”

When Jesus speaks of “denying ourself”,…..He means denying our intention to rule our life.

And denying every way it shows up in our lives.

It is not just things, we deny,……but ourselves we deny.

(How many times have we done the Lord’s Will with the attitude…..like children….ok, ok, I will do it….but I will not like it.

For it our attitude toward God’s Will is not changed…..can we say we are really “growing up” into the Lord?

For adult children of God…..set aside their opinions, and see God.

If I wanted to follow the Lord, then I must co-operate with God, when He shows me His will. I must put aside my thoughts in the matter and do what He commands.

I must be honest about my attitude toward what He shows me, and ask for the power to change.

But again, Christ does not demand that we do His Will,…..without His enablement.

Christ has given us His Holy Spirit, not only to indwell us, but to give us the grace and power we need.

That power comes from our Risen and Glorified Christ. He has all spiritual blessings for me in Him, in Heaven.

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

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

They are there in Christ, for us.

But how do we get them down here into us, especially in these circumstances?

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

Notice, it is “in earth”, in us.

This is the means whereby we receive into our lives what Christ has for us.

As we yield to His authority in our lives, we become His servants, in obeying our Master;……His soldiers, in standing with Him;…..and His ambassadors, honoring and speaking for His Kingdom and authority, here.

Sanctification is the setting aside of ourselves….not just

our things of our life…..to God, for sacred use.

It is the practical work of having Christ’s Kingdom come within our hearts, and lives.

Where He rules, there is peace, joy, patience, and all the characteristics of Christ, in our lives, for us…(Hallelujah)……and through us, into our circumstances.