Delivered on Jan 1, 2017
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
“If you love Me, keep My commandments”. Its a simple question every claiming christian should be asked. “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. For those who carry the Name of Christ, YES!!! I love the Lord is the most simple answer! But, what about the next part of the the Lords statement, “ Keep My commandments” or “keep My commands”. That is where we all stumble in many ways correct! Saying…I love the Lord is easy. Being obedient is always the hardest.
If you are familiar with your bible, this part of scripture has the heading of “Jesus Promises The Holy Spirit”. The proof of our love fro Christ should not only be a profession in speech, but in living obedience as well. “If you love Me”, the answer very simple, YES!!! “Keep My Commandments”. Woah??? we all go neutral on that part don’t we?
Keeping the Lords commands, will always be hard to those who are still dead. Still living the life of sin, simply because they were never made alive by Christ. That is why Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to those whom He called. ( Go Back to Verse 17) 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The promised Holy Spirit is someone you and I, can never receive on our own. We can never receive this gift by simply just wanting it. Do you remember our bible study on the book of Acts, about “Simon the magician” wanting to BUY the Holy Spirit, Lets look at that real quick…
17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
“You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God”. That is why Jesus had to make that promise from our previous verse. You and I cannot obtain this special Gift from above on our own. “for your heart is not right in the sight of God”. Do you still remember…when you were drawn to His Son? Do you still remember when…Jesus made you “right in the sight of God”. You should! That should be the day you will never forget!
Do You Still Remember Me? Is the title of this message, So…tonight we will be looking at… a self examination if you will, if we still remember why we were called. We will be looking at three parts in our lives that will reveal whether or not we still remember Him?
The first part is our personal walk with Him, have you been saved, have you been forgiven?
The first has to do with your salvation, and eternal destiny. If you have not received this, there is no promised Holy Spirit in your life...
38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Salvation is imperative. Many who are uncertain about eternity will not be able to live an assured life, have I been forgiven, saved I been saved? The thought of losing the soul is a nagging thought. Where will I go when I die? The possibility of ending up in a lake of fire is a scary thought. The presence of the Lord in our lives is very necessary. The Holy Spirit comes into the body of the believer and dwells there forever.
Salvation...being saved, comes with a heart that repents. Total surrender to the will of God. “if you love Me, you will obey my commands”. A fierce battle is fought between the old nature and the new man. There can be no true salvation until the new man is in complete control. Until the Holy Spirit is in complete control!
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Christians are no longer linked with the stain of Adam because of the fall. We should no longer be dominated by the flesh, but under the rule of Christ, because the Spirit that dwells in every believer... one who is called, dwells in the Spirit of Christ!
Separation from the old self is very important for the one who has been made new. For those who still live by the flesh, will always follow the desires of the flesh. There is no such thing as half, Holy Spirit. You have Him or you don’t. You’re saved or you’re not! You’re forgiven, or still condemned! My I remind you of this verse..
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
“Do You Still Remember ME?” Do you still remember why you were called? Do you still love the the innocent Man that took your place on the cross? Do you still remember, that you belong to Jesus?
This is the first part, which is…again the most important part. The second and third part of this message will not make any sense to you if you are not living in the Spirit.
The second part of this message, we will be dealing with your household.
“Do You Still Remember ME?” Even in your household? Is Jesus still Lord even in our household? Most definitely…YES!!!
Let me now talk to husbands and wives… “Do You Still Remember ME?” in your marriage? Answer should be…YES!!!
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
“The two shall become one flesh”. Is that still true to you…is it still true in your marriage? It should be! Especially if both of you are one with Christ. Listen…I am not an expert when it comes to having the perfect marriage. I Have failed my wife many times before Jesus took over our marriage. Can I say that now its perfect? Of course not! We still have our challenges, we still hit our storms here, and there. Even in our marriage, we are being made new everyday. Even in our marriage, we are being transformed to the image of His Son! If God said… “two shall become one flesh”, believe it… its a command! God made you as one!
7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Oh, and by the way, this verse, if you look in your Bible has the warning about getting divorced! You are challenging God. “what God has joined together, let not man separate”. Do you dare challenge God in the area of marriage? “Do You Still Remember ME”. In your marriage? Lets look at what God wants in the Christian household.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Wives…do you remember Jesus in your husband?
Husbands…do you still remember your Jesus in your wife?
It is God that made you as one! Need I say more? Look at Gods commands in our marriage. “Do You Still Remember ME”.
Don’t go out looking for someone else to love. You will never find it. God will never allow it…You will just be going up against God, and you will never win. “what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Children…youths… “Do You Still Remember Me” in your parents?
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
Children…youths of the church also have a responsibility as being disciples of the Lord. Being obedient to your parents pleases the Lord. You may think, we’re not being fair at times, but parents just want whats best for you in the Lord. We are strict, simply because we have our own commands which we received from the Lord on how we should raise you. After all, you are a loan from the Lord. You are a gift from Him, that we are to take really good care of. You belong to Him. As you obey your parents, you are pleasing the Lord. Keep in mind, one day you too will be parents. And hopefully what you have seen and learned from your parents, you will also pass on to your children.
We parents like to share our experiences to you, our children hoping that you will learn from our mistakes. We always have that fear…we always want to protect you from getting hurt. That is why at times it may seem unfair. Remember, again we do have commands from the Lord on how to raise you in the Lord. Parents can be the best parents, godly parents. But eventually you will move out and start your own lives. And I’m sure every parent in here is praying that you stay the path in where God wants you to be. If you choose to go a different route, other than what God has for you, then you are going against God Himself, and just like us will face the consequences.
Let me now turn to our single…Christians here tonight. You still fall under the rules of every believer. You also belong to the, as One with the Savior. But also has rules for you to obey when it comes to having a relationship.
2 Corinthians 6:14-15
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
( Belial, is another name for satan.)
This is something that needs to be taken seriously. After all you are also married to Christ, One with Christ! “If you love Me, keep My commands”. Listen…when it comes to the matters of the heart, who is to tell you not to fall in love with someone? I don’t have that authority. Nobody in here does. If you are praying for a partner, a spouse, make sure that it comes from the Lord, an answered prayer. Keep in mind, that even satan can send someone your way…nice, attractive, claims to be a christian, but a wolf in sheeps clothing, just to make you fall.( If that were possible, if you are truly in Christ.)
Now…if you are single, and having are having an intimate relationship outside of marriage. You are committing sexual immorality, you will be considered, an adulterer, simply because, you are married ti Christ, One with Christ. And again you are going against God. “If you Love Me, keep my commands”. Wait for the the one God wants for you.
We have a lot of married, christian couples in this church. Spend some time with them, have a conversation with them if getting married is already in your mind. Let me tell, even among christian couples…if you ask them if their marriage is perfect, they will say no! My wife, and I will personally tell you we also have to work on our marriage. We, also have to be obedient to the Lord to make our marriage work.
Paul gives us a good lesson on this topic on 1 Corinthians 7. If you are single this should be a good guide for you. 1 Corinthians 7, the whole chapter. It is a long chapter, and I will not read the whole thing, but will show you an important verse.
1 Corinthians 7:16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Please read the whole chapter to get the full content. It is dealing with one who is yoked with an unbeliever. My advise…listen to what God has to say. It is already a challenge for christian couples to make their marriage grow that is pleasing to the Lord. What more if both of you believe in a different god. And not the One True God. Wait…God hears your prayers, He is not deaf to your needs.
We come to the third part of this message. The Church
Strength in the body of church, a local assembly does not come by accident. The church at Jerusalem had it. The rest did not. That is why letters had to be sent to bring the churches back on how it should be.The church has to built by God…God chooses the members that will build the church. Now, I am not talking about a building, a structure. I am talking about a body of believers being formed by Christ Himself. A Body made by Him.
So…how do you find a church, a body where you belong. Again, if you don’t have a relationship with Christ, the second part, and now going into the third will not make any sense to you. You will most likely hate what you will hear.
“Do You Still Remember ME”. In the preaching?
The preaching should be direct and clear. Not a message that will tickle your ear, not a message that has been watered down, just to please you to stay. The message is meant to save you, cleanse you, make you new, give you direction…the right path in which God has laid out for you. Make you hate sin, in order to turn away from it.
2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Preach the Word, preach the Truth, whether the listener likes it or not. In the past, there are some that would come up to me and tell me, that the messages I deliver is harsh, its hard, its offensive. Or they’ll go up to some else in the church and ask them. “is he talking about me?” Listen…I don’t have the power to know who will be attending the services. I don’t know who will be here today to hear this message. I don’t know what the message will be for next Sunday.
My question to you still remains, “ DO YOU STILL REMEMBER ME?” The preaching is suppose to “Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching”.
Is that still true to you, till this day. Or are you done listening? Newsflash…you will be listening to the voice of God for all eternity. If you don’t listen to Him now, you will never after your life is done here on earth. “Do You Still Remember ME”.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This is one of the most important expression in the New testament of the divine inspiration of Scripture. The Bible has been “breathe out” by the Spirit of God… God is the source and ultimate author of Scripture. Though, written by human authors, Scriptures nevertheless has the full weight of His authority. The Bible, from start to finish, down to its very word, is the inerrant word of God. “17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.
“Do You Still Remember ME?” In your body of believers?
Are you a member of the local body of Christ? Some here have a heavenly home, and a Christian home…so why not make this your church home? Some say, "I’m already a member of the ’invisible church’." I can hear God through the TV and radio preachers. Truly, Bible is clear in its command for us to join ourselves to a local assembly. Sadly, those who focus only on the ’invisible church’ a made up church of their own liking, will have an invisible attendance records, give invisible offerings,and accomplish not very much and will not grow spiritually.
And, once you’ve found a home, treat your church experience like a marriage, knowing it won’t be perfect because it’s filled with imperfect people. For better or for worse, through ups and downs, ’til God takes us all home!
Honestly, I have to respect some for not making the commitment. Sometimes it’s because they aren’t committed. We should respect someone like that for being honest, and it’s ok to just attend until you know what you should do. If you know you won’t be able to commit to attending, or supporting this ministry, then don’t let us pressure you to come forward and make some half-hearted statement of partial commitment.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
If God has called you, if you were drawn to His Son, then you are committed to be obedient to His will. To be used for His purpose.
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice just so we can be saved from the torment of hell, due to sin. There will also be a time…when we too should make a sacrifice. Again…like I said earlier, if you don’t have Christ living in you, none of this will matter.
If God has joined you in His body, with a local church, fellowship of believers, and you know for sure that that is where God wants you to be, then you have an important role in His kingdom. When God allowed us to start First Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church. We each made a vow to care for it. “Do You Still Remember ME”? in your attendance? What has stopped you from attending church? I’ve never been too strict when in comes to attendance, I can understand some of you may miss church because of work. Pray that God will fix your work schedule. Keep in mind that you did not make a vow to me. You made it to God Himself.
You have to go out of town, I can understand that. You have families outside of Nevada.
I don’t want to be the advocate in saying, its ok, God understands. But I did not make that vow to God for you, you did. I don’t know where you go, or what you do when you’re not here. But God does! Whatever it is that is ruing your relationship with Him, I guarantee you that He will take it away. “God is a jealous God, Who’s name is jealous”.
You all know that…He said It!
God has blessed the Fil-Am Church with a very nice place to start. God has supplied us with everything that we need. We didn’t have to find a building, start from scratch…in need of supplies. God has provided. But we do not know what God has in store for us in the future. So..we still do have a responsibility when it comes to the finances of His church. I would be in deep trouble with the Lord if I even try to water down His words when it comes to His property.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
7 Yet from the days of your fathers. You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said,‘In what way shall we return?’
8 “Will a man rob God?Yet you have robbed Me!But you say,‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.9 You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
You can say…well that’s Old Testament, and I am not one of Jacobs sons. Fair enough..
You see the key word there in the beginning, “For I am the Lord, I do not change”. I have not seen the Lord change this command in the New Testament. Or God can say this…
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Giving to God should be joyful. After all, He has supplied all of our needs. From salvation through His Son. Provisions for our lifestyle, He has supplied us with work, so that we will not go hungry or homeless. In reality everything we have, or we think we have, all came from Him. Those two verses i just showed you pick one. God is still God in both. He will never change. His words are final, and they are true.
“Do You Still Remember ME?” When I saved you?
“Do You Still Remember ME?” In your marriage, In your homes, In your relationships?
“Do You Still Remember ME?” In the church, as the Head of the body.
Its the beginning of the year. You know three months from now First Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church, will be celebrating her one year anniversary. It is by Gods grace that we made it this far. And It will still be by Gods grace that we can continue. Take today’s message as your first fruit message of the year. Let it be a reminder of why we were called, and why we are here. Don’t forget who you belong to…
“Do You Still Remember Me”?
Delivered on Jan 15, 2017
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
A husband and his wife woke up one Sunday morning and the wife dressed for church.
It was just about time for the service when she noticed her husband hadn’t moved a finger toward getting dressed.
Perplexed, she asked, “Why aren’t you getting dressed for church?”
He said, “Cause I don’t want to go.” She asked, “Do you have any reasons?”
He said, “Yes, I have three good reasons. First the congregation is cold.
Second, no one likes me. And third, I just don’t want to go.”
The wife replied, wisely, “Well honey, I have three reasons why you should go.
First the congregation is warm. Second, there are a few people there who like you.
And third, you’re the pastor! So get dressed!”
If you can still remember what I said in our New Year service…When I mentioned that its 2017, its another year closer to the Lords return. And also another year closer to when we start seeing people fall away. For the past two Sundays…it has been the smallest attendance we have received. Yes, I know…given the fact that there was a holiday,and last week the weather. If you were here on both services, you would be concern. “where is everybody?”
Now…as you all know, ive never been a stickler when it comes to attendance. For whatever reason that you were not able to make it to church that is between you and the Lord. Whatever reason you tell me, I have to believe you, without judgment. After all the Jesus that lives inside you also hears what you are saying to me. It’s a scary thought…thinking that we started at around 50s, and now down to the 30s. in just one year! The reality still stands, this is Gods church, He will add, and He will take away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
The story in our selected text took place on a Sunday. The assembly that gathered together was not much different than what we have here today. In this assembly was a man named Eutychus who ...Sat in the window ...Fell out the window ...Died ...And was revived. That was a long service, it was mentioned there that…Paul “ kept on talking until midnight.”
I want to look at his story and preach on the subject “Falling Away”. You may be thinking …Why are you preaching to us about “Falling Away”? …We are here!!” That is true, and I am glad you are, but there are countless people who are members of this church who were once here every time the doors were opened and are now not attending for whatever reason. You can say that…its pointless, they wont be here to hear this message. That’s true! But since you are here, God wants you to hear it.
I have read a message one time in regards to church attendance. That the church keeps an attendance record…two actually…
1) There is a list of “active members” 2) There is a list of “inactive members”
To me…its kind of weird having two lists. I mean given the fact that we are just a starting church, still small in membership. But two lists? If we were to use that two list attendance, which would you think would be bigger?
Those inactive members, if there is such a thing? Did not wake up one day and say “I think I will just quit going to church”. There will always be a reason why, and God knows each and every one.
As we consider the thought “Falling Away”, I want to look to verse 7 and see…
This is the gathering of Gods people… “7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight”.
Man…that is one long service. Notice if you will that this assembly met on Sunday , “upon the first day of the week”. Sunday is very important, to the New Testament church. Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday Morning. Sunday is “the Lord's day” …the Christian Sabbath.
I remember growing up, weekends, Sundays were chores day. Cut the grass, wash the car, home repair…ahh sports day. You name it, it hardly meant church! Sad but true! But that should only still be true, if you are an unbeliever. If you are here and you are saved you should be in church EVERY SUNDAY! If its work that is keeping you from attending …pray to God to fix your schedule. Don’t wait for the day that God takes that away. “God is a jealous God, Who’s name is Jealous”.
By then… I guarantee you…you will be here every Sunday praying for another job.
There is never a shortage of reasons for missing church but I want you to hear God speak
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The word "Forsaking" means - “to desert”, “abandon” or “leave behind”
There are so many people today, those who carry the name of Christ, who have abandoned…
• The church ( worship )
• Their area of service in the Church
• Their family (parents not taking kids to church) Keep in mind, our kids will also need
to know the Lord, and also grow in their love for the Lord.
• And ultimately the Lord! You are forgetting Jesus Himself. Your commitment to Him,
your Love for Him, your obedience to Him.
If you have done this, then it is a clear violation of God’s Word! This assembly met on Sunday and they had a long winded preacher. Paul was going to leave them the next day, so he preached all the way to midnight. This was his last visit and apparently he had much to say.These disciples met together and had a desire to hear the Word of God! Do you still have that same desire? Do you still desire everything about your God? Have you lost your first love?
We fail to realize what a privilege it is to be able to assemble together and worship the Lord! The time may come that we may be able to this anymore. But until then, meeting together for worship, is pleasing to our Lord. Its a command, there Hebrews 10.
A short story that I read from a message…
One preacher tells a story of an occasion where he preached in Russia. He said: “I walked into the sanctuary and it was completely packed. There were no pews because you can fit more people in the building standing up than sitting down. The interpreter said something in Russian to the congregation and they all began to put on their coats. I was confused as to why this was happening. Then the ushers began to raise the windows and outside the windows were 1,000 people standing in a foot of snow just to hear the Word of God”
Wow!!! I wonder what year this happened. And why the heart of worship changed from then to now? Look… “outside the windows were 1,000 people standing in a foot of snow just to hear the Word of God” Wow…we don’t even have to stand outside to worship. Look at all the seats we have here today. Someday…God willing, He will fill the seats. But for me,ill be happy to see the 50, once again. But…that is in Gods hands.
Going back to our previous text. This group gathered together to hear Paul preach, they had an intense desire to hear from God. But though there were many who were hanging on to every word, there was one who dozed off in the middle of the sermon. In verses 8-9 we see…
8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.
Eutychus literally “fell out of church” The assembly met on the third floor. This is speculation but I believe that the house was full. Or else, why sit on the window sill? This was more than a regular service. It was Paul’s farewell message.
Eutychus was sitting on the windowsill. Verse 7 says “Paul was long in his preaching” - This text is encouraging. If Eutychus could fall asleep during a preaching by the Apostle Paul then I don’t feel so bad about those falling asleep when I preach!
So often we hear “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” ....I despise that statement. Justin Bieber made the same statement in one of his concerts. He said that, “you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, same reason you don’t go to Taco Bell and become a taco”. That statement is an open rebellion against God’s Word! Have you ever seen anyone successfully live for God who doesn’t go to church? Then what body do you belong to?
Do you belong to Christ? Then follow His example. We see in the Gospels that it was important to Jesus that He went to The Father’s House regularly….Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple when he was 8 days old..
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.
Are you still presenting yourselves to the Lord? Here…Jesus when He as twelve…
42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
We all know the story by heart, no one here is a stranger to the story of Jesus. But if you have become a stranger to Jesus, then how did that happen? Jesus will not let you go, or let you forget Him. Worship is important to Jesus.
If it was important to Jesus, shouldn’t we do the same? After all that God has done for us we ought to have a desire to worship him! Right!!!
When people get out of church they begin to decline spiritually. They begin to do things that they once wouldn’t do, they go places that they wouldn’t go, and they wind up out of God’s will and end up in a mess!
When you do not attend church…
1) You miss out on discipleship
2) You miss out on Christian fellowship
3) You miss out on worshiping your God, who gave you His all.
We all have loved ones who are supposedly “saved” and out of church. Just look at their life, remember where they once were and see where they are now. This is clear evidence of what happens when you begin to decline spiritually. Some of you don’t have to look at someone else all you have to do is look in a mirror and you will see one who is declining! You just need to be honest with yourself. See where you are lacking in your relationship with the Lord.
Notice that Eutychus fell “out of the window”. In order to fall out of the window he had to have been leaning out the window. Some of you are already leaning out of the church and it is only a matter of time before you fall.
Now I am not saying that you lose your salvation, if you’re truly saved? But your spiritual condition is basically dead if you don’t have the hunger to worship.
There is no life in it. You are beyond dozing and declining you are now at a point where you become a hindrance to the lost.You have gone from being a witness of Christ to a stumbling block. At this point your witness is damaged. You have no joy of your salvation. Outsiders will look at your testimony…so, that’s a christian, oh, I can do that too!
In the life of church there are some who attempt to attend every possible service. These people are considered the “core” of the church.
These are those who you can depend on to be faithful in:
But what about the ones, who are slowly slipping away? “Falling Away” Should we just let them go? We try to reach out to them still, until they really want nothing to do with you anymore. You just hope and pray that they end up in church where the Lord will use them?
10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
Paul showed him compassion. I mean, of course…the guy just fell out the window, and you wont be concern. Of course you will. And that is how it should be with the church.
Yes…at times we will have a brother or a sister who is in a bad situation. And I really thank God for the Fil-Am church, that we are able to help them in their time of need. So far we have not neglected anyone right? Of course not. Some will need help and encouragement from time to time, and where will they find it? From you and I.
This assembly was delighted in the fact that their brother was restored. They had compassion on him; they loved him and rejoiced when he was brought up! I want you to notice that Eutychus was a priority to these people. It was after midnight when this happened and they remained until the break of day.I look forward to the opportunity to rejoice when those brothers and sisters who have “Fallen Away” come back to church.
So…where are you in your walk today?
1) Are you saved?
2) If so are you gathering regularly with God’s People
3) Maybe you have become apathetic toward church and the things of God.
4) Maybe you are a faithful church member, do you have compassion on those who have
Some of you may be like Eutychus, or know someone like him, who are dozing, declining and dying. Help them back. Some may be hanging out the window and there are some who have fallen. Eutychus was restored after the fall. If you have fallen you can be restored today! Make your walk right with the Lord today, start fresh. Its never too late. What ever it is that hindered your walk…your relationship with Him, make it right. Confess it to Him.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Someone falling out of the window and dying didn’t even shorten Paul’s sermon. After Eutychus was restored they got back to business. This shows how important it is for God’s people to hear God’s Word. That is what needs to happen to many of the churches today.
We all, at one point or another, need to be restored. Join together with God’s people
Rejoice over what God has done, Listen… study and apply God’s Word to your life And remain faithful to the Lord who has saved you.
God’s grace is worth our daily devotion, our weekly attendance, and our financial contributions, our blood, sweat and tears to the work and mission of First Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church. This is the church that God formed. This is the body, and He is the Head of this church. And we are all called to be as One!
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Delivered on Jan. 8, 2017
Blessed is the one, who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff, that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
A young man was learning to be a paratrooper. Before his first jump, he was given these instructions:
1. Jump when you are told.
2. Count to ten and pull the ripcord.
3. In the unlikely event that your chute doesn’t open pull the emergency ripcord.
4. When you get down, a truck will be there to take you back to the airfield.
The young soldier memorised these instructions and climbed aboard the plane. The plane climbed to ten thousand feet and the paratroopers began to jump. When the young soldier was told to jump, he jumped. He then counted to ten and pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. His chute failed to open. So he pulled the emergency ripcord. Still nothing happened. No parachute. “Oh great” he thought, “And I suppose the truck won’t be there when I get down either!”
Have you ever felt like that? Have you experienced failures and disappointments to the point that you just don’t expect anything to go right for you? Sometimes the whole world seems to be against us.
But then there are some people who seem to just breeze through life. They always land on their feet. And success always seems to come their way - almost to the point of being unfair. There’s a feeling of jealously.
What does it take to be a person who always lands on their feet? Well unlike the situation of the young soldier in our story there is hope.
Psalms 1 offers us an understanding of “A Blessed Life” that differs enormously from the way these things are usually understood today. It turns the common perception of being blessed suggests a life of blessing, through successes, wealth, material, fame, and so on…that is so radical that it’s remarkably appealing today.
Being blessed by God…
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in he way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (v1)
The leading thought here is that the believer is blessed by God. God is the one who blesses people who “do not walk in the counsel of the wicked,” who refuse evil advice. It is in God’s law that this person finds their delight. It is the sound of God’s voice and through God’s direction that this person finds “happiness.” In short, the understanding of how life works in this first Psalm is thoroughly God centered.
The “righteous”, person is described by what he avoids. The “righteous” person is described to be someone who loves the law of God…. “if you love Me, you will obey My commands”.
Isn’t this so opposite to the way we often think. Almost without exception we find humanity today centering fulfillment upon oneself. Think about it - to “have a good time” in our society, in our time, almost always means to go out and “enjoy yourself.” Not God, but yourself! Not others, but yourself. We can be so extremely self-centered at times, right??? I just want to do it, I know God will understand.
In this Psalms, true satisfaction involves not enjoying oneself, but taking delight in a real and living relationship with God. This is the secret of a lasting Christian joy. This is important so please listen - the goal of the Christian life is not to enjoy oneself, but to enjoy God - and this is what brings that deeper joy. Far more permanent than mere happiness.
As the saying goes… “you only live ones, enjoy it while you can”. Sure… that saying may be true, if your only focus is this life, and that you know that there is no eternal life waiting for you. So, why not…enjoy this life, its the only one I have. Not so for the Christian.
Let me explain this a little bit further. The goal of life for the writer of the Psalms, and for every believer today, is not found in self-fulfillment but in praising God. For the person in the street “well-being,” or energy for life, comes from within us. But for the believer, “well-being” in life comes from their connection to the source of life - God.
What’s so unsettling about all of this is that what the Psalmist calls “wickedness” is what many people today see as life’s idea goal, “independence.” What generally marks success and maturity in our culture is self-sufficiency…being a self-made success. I made myself successful, I worked very hard for what I have.
Wanting or needing help, whether from others or from God, is taken as a sign of weakness or instability. What is so dumb about this is that we crave to be accepted and admired by others and yet seek it by attempting to “stand on our own two feet.” This independence effectively cuts us off from the very people whose friendship and acceptance we ache for! “I have to make a good first impression”. I have to fit in…I Just want to be accepted, so that I can be happy!
Let me remind you…”Blessed”, is a stronger word for being “happy”.
“Happy is the man, who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked”.
On the are being self happy…trying to fit in to be happy…joining the crowd.
Jesus spoke about this when He said…
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Jesus spoke to two audiences here. “He called the people to Himself, with His disciples also”. Believer, ( disciples ) people, the rest of the crowd, (non believers)
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it”, Let me put it this way…whoever wants to live a happy life…without God will loose it! “You only live ones, so enjoy it while you can”. It is a lost life. “ but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”. Letting go of who we are, and letting God take control. Because happiness in God…Being blessed by God is eternal. Everything that we have here and now is just a temporary fix. Temporary happiness.
What Jesus is saying is that when we place God at the center of our lives, we risk losing every physical thing, fitting in, being accepted, loosing friends, being hated by your family, maybe even life itself. Yet true happiness is only found here…in God and the loss involved is trivial when we compare it with gaining a new and eternal life in His Son.
By failing to trust God and make connections with God as the source of life, we can’t be truly happy. To be blessed, being blessed, the word itself comes from God… To be independent, self-sufficient and so alienated from God and others, in biblical terms, is to “perish.”
Yet to the believer is different. The believer is connected to God and therefore blessed by him. You cannot call yourself blessed, if you don’t recognize where all blessings flow. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below”
Blessed in Christ…
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.
Like this first Psalm, Jesus also promised that his followers would be blessed. His famous Sermon on the Mount begins with that promise - “blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, and so on… ( Matt 5 )
In our Psalm the blessed life is described as a tree planted by a stream. A fruitful tree which provides shade to all who come under it. We read that the righteous person…
“is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers”.
This verse alone should be like a self examination for those who carry the name of Christ. Are you still growing in your walk. Are you still bearing good fruits. It says there, “whose leaf does not wither”. or have you stopped growing? You shouldn’t!
Jesus also drew upon Himself the imagery of a growing plant to describe how His followers are blessed. Jesus said…
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
This is what I meant earlier when I said… “have you stopped growing, you shouldn’t”
Because, Jesus does not stop… “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. Are you still being blessed, by bearing fruit?
The next thought then is that everyone who “remains in” - “follows” Christ is blessed. Take note of the place where the tree has been planted - by streams of water. Jesus and all that he taught us is our life giving stream. People who are open to Jesus and his instruction are like trees planted beside a source of water, they are never without a resource to sustain their lives under any circumstance. No matter how tough life gets, no matter how many dislike you…I don’t fit in, I don’t join in, I avoid the counsel of the wicked… Jesus provides the source of new life.
Everyone who is connected to the True Vine will continue to be blessed. Key word, connected to the Vine…not the world. Now… I don’t know about you, but even though I am convinced that I am firmly planted in Jesus Christ, whatever I do does not “always prosper”, as the psalm suggests it should. My life is not always fruitful and as a result my joy fluctuates. Why? Sin gets the best of me, whether by thought, action, speech you name it. Sin, can…and will always rob you and I of Gods blessings, Gods joy.
Maybe today you’re circumstances have robbed you of your joy. Let me point you back to the voice of God as we hear it in these verses. Let his compassionate word to you today penetrate your mind and heart. Hear his answer, it may not change your circumstances but it will change you. Listen…
Blessed is the one, who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.
What robs us of our Christian joy? Listening to the lies of the world around us. Have we given credit to the advice of the world over the voice and commands of God?
Listen to His voice…“Blessed is the one, who does not walk in step with the wicked”
It’s one thing to hear the advice of the world, it’s quite another to get up and stand in it,. to accept it and act on it. After we have heard it, have we accepted worldly advice to be true and then acted upon it? Maybe this has robbed you of your joy.
Listen to His voice. “or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers”. Are we settled, in worldly wisdom? The first step away from the blessing of Christian joy is to listen to worldly advice. The next step is to act on worldly advice the final step is to own it as the ultimate truth. To sit in it – to rest in it. That is, to adopt a hardened and ungodlike (or unbiblical) attitude? Cut off from the True Vine!
No Joy!!! No Blessings!!!
The progression from walking, to standing to sitting reminds us that even to take that first step away from a Godly… Christ centered thinking will rob us of the blessing of lasting Christian joy.
That is why Jesus said…
“Abide in Me” ( John 15:5 ) Add To Power point!
Jesus and all that He taught us is our life giving stream. People who are open to Jesus and who are willing to follow his instruction no matter what the cost are like trees planted beside a life giving stream, they are never without a resource to sustain their lives under any circumstance.
A short story from a devotional I once read…
I like ferns - I think what it is about them is that they are so easy to grow and that when they sprout a new frond you can see it open up over a period of a few days - you can watch its progress. I actually get excited when I see a new frond appearing.
You may be going through a time like my fern has gone through. My fern was rejected by its previous owner, he said if I could be bothered nursing it I was welcome to have it for nothing. When I first saw it, it was uprooted from the ground and sitting out in the scorching sun without a pot. Most of its fronds were burnt brown - its previous owner didn’t hold out much hope for it - it was worth nothing to him. But I like ferns and I could see the potential in this one.
So I took it home, re-potted it (I bought a pot especially), trimmed all it’s burnt fronds back leaving it with only two and those weren’t too healthy , gave it some quick release fertilizer, placed it in a nice shady spot (They love the shade), and gave it a big long drink. I’ve been watering it about every other day since. In just four weeks it grew three new fronds, and soon after that I cut off the last original frond . It didn’t need that frond any more - the new growth was providing the life it needed now.
How much more does your heavenly Father love you? Maybe you want another chance at life.. then you need to be planted “abide” into his Son. Maybe you have been planted but you… your faith is a bit like this burnt frond, only just alive. You need to trim some old ways to make way for new growth and kingdom fruitfulness.
Notice that the blessed person is “like a tree planted by streams.” This is no wild bush …it was planted intentionally and it has an owner who wants to lovingly tend it and so your heavenly Father wants to lovingly shape you for the best possible life.
Blessed with all blessings…
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.
And what a life it is! Not only is the believer blessed by God, in Christ but also with all blessings. Because, “Whatever he does prospers” What an awesome promise! It’s almost too outrageous to believe it. At least it would be if we were to look for the fulfillment of such a promise with our own eye sight. And not in the eyes of someone else. Because… you know who you are connected to.
This final line of v3 has often been interpreted to mean that following Jesus is materially rewarded in the here and now. Instead to “prosper in all they do” should be viewed through the eye of faith. It’s not outward prosperity that is most valuable. It’s the prosperity of the soul. The everlasting fruit.
Often it is for the health of the soul that we find our income inadequate, often it is for the health of our soul that we suffer grief, often it’s for the health of the soul that our family life is going through storms, often it’s for the health of our soul that we are harassed by life and circumstances. The worst things that can happen to us are often the best. There are often blessings wrapped up in the misfortunes of a righteous person. Often the storms that we go through are lessons for a more fruitful living.
The prosperity that the Psalmist is speaking about is this: “that people who trust God have discovered the resource for sustaining their lives under any circumstance.” They are experiencing life the way it was meant to be. On the surface it may look like the world is falling down around us…on the other hand, the believer is blessed with all blessing.
For a start they are blessed through time and into eternity. Blessed none the less, even through difficult circumstance. Simply because, it abides in the “true Vine”.
Listen to Gods voice, once again… in regards to the wicked.
4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
A godless, self-sufficient life is like chaff, it can be blown away at the slightest breeze. On the other hand a righteous life that relies on God for everything, is like a well placed tree whose stability allows it to live and bear fruit.
Those who honor God and order their lives in all things according to His will are the “congregation of the righteous” which the Psalmist identifies in v5. They have a relationship with God. And they alone experience his presence both now and in the life to come. They alone will be able to stand under the weight of his judgment.
But the self-sufficient life only has itself to rely on, no connection with the True Vine, it will have to sustain itself on the Lord’s day, and sadly it won’t be able to. “You only live once, enjoy it while you can”. That is the life of the wicked.
For those who are in Christ a blessed to the highest degree, listen to the voice of God again…
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
In another translation
Psalms 1:6 (NIV)
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
It’s a high calling, to order you life according to the will of God ,in fact it’s the highest calling! But to this highest calling is attached the highest blessing, eternal life!
What more do want? What else can you ask for?
This tells us that the righteous are at the center of God’s attention. The Lord knows his people intimately, not just intellectually, but through a personal relationship. And the blessing is the assurance that God cares for his own, protects them, and will reward them….
Psalms 37:18 (NIV)
The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
The “blameless, or the righteous” spend their days under the Lords care. That is from now and forever. That is a promise to those who are truly connected to the One True Vine! No amount of free will can break that bond!
What is praised here in the first Psalm is a complete commitment of the whole self to God… Total commitment!
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
That is to give up self-sufficiency and to live under the full control of God. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. Take up your cross and follow Him! When it comes to the word “repent”, it means to “let go, turn away”. even it means, to turn away from the people the can cause you to sin. Keep in mind…”you are the company you keep”.
“Blessed is the one, who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers”, (Psalms 1)
And like our Psalm, Jesus also promised that his followers would be blessed, despite what trouble the world can throw at them. Jesus mentions that if you read the Sermon On The Mount. There’s something appealing about that kind of blessing. It’s supernatural and it’s refreshing in the face of the world’s view of success. I want to encourage you to seek it, to turn away from self-sufficiency, choose the crowd that you are in, and make sure that you are both connected to the Vine, and not a weed that will lead you to sin and death. Open yourselves up to God’s teaching, to sink your roots deep into Him, His instruction and His direction. Is all the blessings you will ever need.
Pastor Richard Santos
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