Delivered on June 26, 2016
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What does “Beatitudes” mean? The term, beatitudes comes from a Latin word, a noun which means “happiness”. What? Look at the context of these verses. How can one be happy? Each Beatitude consists of two phrases, the condition and the result. Blessed...this means more than the emotional state represented by the word “happy”, It includes spiritual well being, having the approval of God, and thus a destiny of delight in communion with the Creator. ( Adlib: Use happy on each verse )
Jesus was a wonderful teacher, and still is. He had the knack of making His teaching on the Kingdom of God interesting and easily understood by the use of graphic pictures. Easily understood, but a little hard to accept. But in reality these are the things that will mold us into His image. Becoming that better person that is approved by God. A new outlook...a new attitude on life, which calls to be “transformed”.
These eight qualities can only be lived out by Christians, one who has been born again. These spiritual standards come about only through total surrender to the Savior. Jesus is not saying, “Live like this in order to be saved.” He’s basically saying, “Live like this because you are saved.” Conduct must flow out of character on every believer.
A Christian is one who embraces and embodies the Beatitudes. Being “happy”, Regardless of circumstance. Again, we can read it and read it, over and over again, we can easily understand what Jesus is teaching, but accepting it is a little hard to accept. Another way to look at it is that if you want to spot a Christ-follower in a crowd, look for these eight character qualities.
The Beatitudes are a package deal, not something to pick and choose from. Along with the Fruit of the Spirit that is to ripen in every believer, a Christian should, and must, display each of these character traits. They are not just for the “spiritual elite,” but are for every believer. In addition, these are not eight separate groups of disciples, some who are meek and others who hunger for God. It’s easy to make the mistake of saying, “I’m just not merciful” or “I’m just not a peacemaker.” Oswald Chambers refers to these words as lovely and poetic, yet their impact is that of “spiritual torpedoes.”
We can’t pick the easy ones and ignore the difficult ones, like being pure and being prepared for persecution. Incidentally, many of the Beatitudes are the exact opposite of what we want to do. Again like i said, “hard to accept” While easy to appreciate, they are difficult to apply. John Stott writes: “The Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though arguably it is the least understood, and certainly the least obeyed”.
We must recognize that the sermon is directed to the disciples and through them the whole body of believers today. The sermon addresses both inward motives, and outward conduct, calling the “adopted sons of God”, to reflect the character of our Heavenly Father. These legitimate demands set the bar so high, that no one except Jesus, the king Himself, can fulfill them flawlessly. We are therefore driven to the grace and mercy of God both for forgiveness, in our failure, and for the Spirit’s strength when our faith and faithfulness grows weak.
A new attitude or outlook on life needs to change. Let us break these verses down one by one, and see if we are able to accept each the truth in how we live our lives, when it comes to being changed. Again...easily understood, but hard to accept. Hence the title, “ Accepting the hard blessings”.
Change of attitude towards self, Verse 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Every human being, except for Jesus is spiritually destitute in God’s sight, but only those who see this poverty, who mourns over sin and thirst for righteousness, will inherit the kingdom of heaven.
Change of attitude towards sin, Verse 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted” The context indicates that these are mourning over sin, and evil, especially their own, and over the failure of mankind to give proper glory to God. Reminder of the verse that says...
“every inclination of the thoughts of a mans heart was only evil all the time”.
One must mourn over his or her weakness when it comes to sin. A new attitude towards sin needs to be applied. It should be hated. “For they shall be comforted” God, by His mercy, and grace, gives comfort to those whom God has drawn to His Son, one who has received Gods forgiveness.
Change of attitude towards meekness, Verse 5:5 “Blessed are the meek,For they shall inherit the earth. This beatitude resembles and is probably based on Psalms 37:11...
But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
This meekness in view is an attitude of humility and submission to God. Our pattern for meekness is Jesus. Same Greek word for “meek”, is “gentle”, One who submits to the Fathers will as mentioned in...
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Now...verse 6-8, tells us of a new attitude towards God, and the things from above, things of God. A new attitude that is upward, A change in desires.
v. 6 This is an insatiable desire for God and the things of God. It’s not the kind of thirst you have after playing ball on a hot day…it’s the kind of thirst you would have after days in the desert without even a drop of water. It’s not the kind of hunger you have when you’ve missed lunch…it’s more like when you’ve gone several days w/out eating! Perhaps better English words to use would be ‘parched’ and ‘starving’.
Jesus says, blessed are those who have that kind of hunger and thirst for God! One of the proofs of a true salvation is that you have a new desire to know God and to make sure you are right with God! We all drift away sometimes, but there’s something that pulls us back when we have this kind of hunger and thirst.
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
This is a hunger that motivates you to action, it demands to be fed, and each meals makes you want another! The person who really wants something doesn’t just sit around waiting for it to come to them…no, they are motivated to ‘make it happen!’ Why? Because they know why, and who it is that they hunger for. This is the kind of hunger only God can fill!
How much do you crave for God? Of course, only you can answer that question. Do you long to please Him, more than living only to please yourselves? Do you desire His applause more than the approval of your friends, or families? If you want God’s blessing more than anything else, you can have it. But first you must want to please Him above everything else. “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all this things will be given to you”. How badly do you want His blessing? After reading the Beatitudes, And knowing that at times we have to be in that state of challenge, and in the end the result of a blessing. Now...how much of that are you willing follow? Better yet, how much are you willing to accept? Cannot pick one from the eight, its a package deal. And the One offers it, is God Himself.
Listen...our heavenly Father loves to give His children gifts, a we call them, “blessings”. The number One proof of that, is by God sending His only Son as a sacrifice for you and I.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
The general sinfulness of humanity is assumed here, since even those who call God “Father”, are said to be evil. Yet, by Gods grace, which flawed human fathers meet their children’s requests in love. How much more will God the Father, who treats even enemies kindly, which includes you and I at one point, answer His children’s prayers.
These gifts from the Father are the things Jesus has been describing as necessary for disciples, righteousness, sincerity, purity, humility, and wisdom. Those who knows their need for them, will ask God for them. Hence the verse 6-8 of the Beatitudes, which we will receive coming from above.
Being “Pure in heart” means “sincere.” It’s being w/out hypocrisy and w/ nothing hidden. No doubt this was for the Pharisees, who were only concerned w/ outward appearance, but Jesus said they were like whitewashed tombs, but inside were dead men’s bones! They were like the cup that’s clean on the outside but filthy inside.
We could think of it as an elegant, fancy restaurant, pristine and spotless in the dining room, but the health dept. comes in and shuts them down because of what they see in the kitchen! To sum up being “Pure in heart” means “What you see is what you get!” What i mean is, if you see a pagan, you expect them to act like pagans. You see a Christian, you expect to see Jesus!
Again...these are things that can only happen, when it comes from above, when one has been given the New Life. You cannot be a good actor, and give your utmost performance and think that you can live your life in that role that you’re suppose to play. No! The real you, will come out. “seek first His kingdom”. And receive that changed life that comes from above.
Don’t hold things in, be frank, be honest, ask questions when you need to, ask God who joyfully gives. This is really doing yourself a favor…you’re keeping a clean slate, making things right with God or others when you’ve done wrong. This helps keep your vision clear, much like wipers to the windshield. Notice the promise... “They shall see God”.
We know this is true as a future event, but I believe it applies to us now. Jesus said to remove the “plank” from our own eye and then we’ll be able to see clearly! And then we can sense His presence like never before, and see Him in more reality than we ever could through the muddy waters that result from an impure heart.
To be pure in heart is to be true to yourself as well. Again, the attitudes of the Beatitudes should reign in our hearts, again its a package deal, cant pick and choose the easy ones, and ignore the hard. It’s a great chance to be honest to yourself and sincere before God. If you already know the things that will disappoint your relationship with God, or ruin the relationship you have with the people around you, then don’t ignore the fact that God will listen, and will move mountains to change you from the inside out.
It’s not enough to just enter the kingdom of God…we need to learn to express it. God will ‘show through’ and give us a new attitude upward, getting right with God, and outward, dealing with others differently, and inward, being true to myself and to God in the inward parts!
Verse 9, of the Beatitudes...
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
A peacemaker tries to eliminate strife. There is a great need for these today in our nation, as we can openly see in the news, social media, and so on...but specifically in our homes and in our churches…why? Because there’s a lot of troublemakers! And troublemakers are counterbalanced by peacemakers.
Listen...as i have mentioned, “in our homes”. Don’t be to quick yo be lead by emotions, what i mean is that don’t be to quick to start a fight, because of a bad day!
James 1:19-20 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Though the Christian community places high regards on the talent of eloquent speech, James places the accent on listening. It is the person who listens to the word of God intently who will progress in godliness.True hearing of the Word must lead to godly actions.
Some people have in their nature, wherever they go, to just be disturbers of the peace, and yes, sadly...even in the church, they want to be the center of the storm, a whirlwind of strife and tension and animosity…but Jesus said not to be a troublemaker…be a peacemaker!
In the church, that is one thing that is hard to control. Why? Well, how do you deal with the trouble maker, when your goal is to build up, and not tear down. Keep in mind, we’re all under construction. Everybody deserves that chance to be changed by God. If not...in my experience, God is always the One removes the threat. God protects His flock. Like i said earlier, you cannot put on act for a long time and not show the real you.
The first sin recorded in the Bible separated man from God. The second sin separated man from man. ( Abel and Cain )Evil towards one another. But when Jesus came it was as the Prince of Peace, helping make man once again right with his God and with his fellow man! Now that I’m saved, and a citizen of God’s kingdom, a child of the King, I ought to be a peacemaker, not a troublemaker.
So... how can I become a peacemaker? I must take a new look at me. There lies, being true to yourself. Hence, “pure heart”. Troublemakers are always exceedingly selfish. It’s always about ‘how will this affect me, what will happen to me, what’s in it for me,is this fair to me, am I getting my rights and my just due?
A peacemaker doesn’t have to let people walk all over him, and cower in a corner, always giving in or backing down. That would be extreme.
A peacemaker doesn’t think little of himself…he doesn’t think of himself at all! They can be active and take charge, but not for selfish purposes, but only for what is right, and for the well being of others. Building each other up.
We must take a new outlook on how things may seem. We have to learn to see others through the eyes of Jesus’. Then and only then, when we find it hard to say, how can they be like that? Why do they do that? The peacemaker knows why…it’s because they are human! And the best of men are still men at best! Still in the flesh, still under construction. The fact still remains, we all make...and will make mistakes.
The reason and outcome of being persecuted for Christ sake...
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It is at this point we must be careful in our interpretation of this passage of Scripture. The blessing and consolation of these verses is not promised to every person who suffers, nor is it for every person who suffers for the sake of religion. Much has been done in the name of religion that has resulted in persecution of some type, that does not necessarily fall within the scope of these verses. Religion does not necessarily mean, being in Christ.
These verses do not say "Blessed are they which are persecuted because they’re obnoxious." These verses do not say "Blessed are they which are persecuted because they were arrogant and abusive in their attempts to witness."These verses do not say "Blessed are they which are persecuted because they had a ‘Im holier type” of attitude." We can bring endless suffering upon ourselves and can create difficulties for ourselves simply because we act foolishly or self-righteously. We can in so many ways, that we can receive persecution. But it does not mean, that we did it for Christ sake. ( See the difference? ) Adlib...I’m Being persecuted. What did you do?
Ohh...I was being an Idiot! Excuse the language, but do you see what i mean?
1 Peter 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
It is not merely those who are persecuted that are blessed, but those who are persecuted for "righteousness’ sake. Verse 15, if one is suffering because, of murder, thief, or being a criminal, then you should face persecution. If you have been already found guilty. To be righteous means to be Christlike. Those are blessed who are persecuted for being like Christ.
Jesus was not persecuted because He was just doing good, but because He was different. There was something about Him that condemned those in the world. His righteousness exposed their unrighteousness and it was their feelings of guilt that brought about their persecution. They hated Him for what He stood for. And that is by doing the Fathers will. The world persecutes Christians today for the same reason they persecuted Christ. It’s because we’re different. We have a completely different nature than that of the unbeliever. At the time of salvation, the believer becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. We begin to live our lives differently. We begin to live and demonstrate a life of righteousness. We don’t compromise with the world and its sinful behavior. We realize that we owe everything to Christ and that we are not our own, but that we were bought with a price, therefore we seek to live our lives for the One who died so that we might live. For this reason we are persecuted. What did Jesus say?
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
The opposition between the world and Gods elect is stated in the strongest terms. The worlds hatred is not due to anything disciples do wrong, but to what we do right. What i mean by doing what is right is...what is right in Gods eyes. God has His standards on right and wrong. Christians are being persecuted because of having that connection with Christ. “He is the vine, we are the branches”.
Beatitudes illustrate the spiritual journey from the time a man realizes he’s lost to the time he begins to develop signs of Christ likeness. We saw first of all that it begins with being "poor in spirit." To be "poor in spirit" means to acknowledge our total spiritual poverty before the Lord and our utter dependence upon Him. From that point, we begin to "mourn" our condition. This mourning is a deep and profound mourning as our hearts are broken before God. It is godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Our poorness of spirit and our mourning lead to meekness which is a broken will and receptive heart before God.
Next comes a hungering and thirsting after righteousness. At this point in the Beatitudes we have been made to see our deep need of a righteousness which we do not possess. It is at this point that we call out to the Lord, placing our faith and trust in Him as Lord and Savior. What follows this initial hunger and thirst for righteousness is a continual desire for the same. The newly converted soul is no longer satisfied with what the world has to offer and begins to hunger and thirst after godly things. After Godly Things.
Church...receiving a blessing from above is and will always be a good thing. Accepting what it is, is always the hardest.
Delivered 6/19/2016 - Father's day
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We are all familiar with this verse, simply of course at one point, God sent a very special messenger to you and I, and told us about Gods love. This verse is commonly used as an encouraging verse for one to be saved, be forgiven of sin. God loves you, believe in His Son, and you shall live forever. All true, all very powerful, and most of all...proven to be true. Because of Gods perfect love, He sent His only Son as a sacrifice for you and I.
Let us focus more on Gods love, some have insisted that God sent His Son, Jesus to die in order to make salvation possible for everyone without exception. However, Jesus makes clear that the salvation of those whom the Father gives Him, Jesus...is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty. All of those whom God has chosen will come to Christ, who has laid down His life only for His sheep and not for those who have not been chosen from the foundation of the world.
The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time, or place, or people, ( meaning just for the Jews ) but applies for the elect from all over the world no matter the era in which they live or ethnicity.
Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes in Christ will not die. Will not be separated from Gods love. Will live in Gods presence forever.
Today, as we celebrate fathers day, this verse is a perfect example of a Fathers Love. . This passage really reveals what the perfect father looks like, because it’s focus is the perfect Father. If you’re a father, this verse will give you an idea of what it means to be a good dad. It will teach us ways our Heavenly Father relates to you and I.
“For God so loved the world”. The moment our children were born, we love them. In fact, we love them even in the womb! I used to talk to my boys through my wife’s belly, Dr’s said, that they can hear that. Did you guys do that? I’m sure most... if not all the dads here has done that! We say silly loving words to them. We touch our wives belly as if we are actually touching them from the outside. We act goofy, because we are already in love with them... we loved them before they were born. The point is this, they haven’t done anything to earn our love, but we love them anyway. Why? Because they’re ours. And we’ll continue to love them, no matter what. Our children might disappoint us at times, but none the less, the love for them never changes.
They make us angry at times and at times, we may want to disown them, to the point where we blame ourselves, “where did we go wrong”. especially when they are going against Gods will, even our children will have their own personal walk with the Lord. But we will always love them. I don’t think I’ve ever met a father who’s said, "I don’t love my children." Even mean fathers love their children, they just raise them the wrong way, they raise them to be mean. Here’s the problem...We don’t always express it. It must be some kind of a guy thing that stops men from saying "I love you." Really! Have you ever noticed that? I’ve heard men say, "My wife knows I love her. I told her once when we got married." And we do that same thing with our children, at some point as they get older, saying i love you begins to fade away. The older they get, the less they hear it. It’s like we assume that our children know we love them because we let them hang around the house and eat up our food and all that good stuff.
Even in the beginning, Our heavenly Father expresses his love to us time and time again. Even in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had sinned, God took care of them...He made clothes for them and covered their nakedness. Throughout scripture God affirms his love for us. We know He loves because He says so. God tells us He loves us, and He shows his love for us. His ultimate act of love was sending His son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins.
Listen, dads...you and I can never compete with that kind of love. But we can learn from, and grasp the Fathers love. See...God holds fathers accountable, we have a very big role in Gods kingdom. God did not give us a family just for the sake of giving gifts. Our family is a gift from God, and we are called to take care of them, love them, and raise them with the same love that we have received from above.
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.
The emphasis in the passage “ love your wives”, is not the husbands authority to govern over the wife, meaning...being a dictator, but his responsibility is to love his wife. Regardless of flaws or differences, whether we approve of certain actions or not. The command is to love. Keep in mind that, two thousand years ago, God showed His love by sending His only Son to the cross for you and I. We were not even born yet, we have not committed any offense against God, and yet God... because of love, sent His Son as a sacrifice for you and I. Like i said earlier, we cannot compete with that kind of love. But we can certainly learn from that sacrificial love. What i mean by sacrifice is...swallowing your pride, giving your time, having patience, and so on...we don’t belong to ourselves anymore. We belong to God...and Gods... commands, made us one with our wives. We are to love our wives, just as “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for her”.
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. 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
As you can see, the last part of the verse is addressed to the fathers. Society has made the women the homemakers and the dads the bread winners of the household. But we are not, and will never be under societies grips. We are under Gods, and that is His commands. Dads, that’s including me...don’t get mad at the wives if our children are doing something that we do not approve. Our wives have their own part given by the Lord, and this is ours... “ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord”. In another translation.. ( discipline and instruction of the Lord )
What kind of instruction? Moral and spiritual instruction? A better way to say this is to teach them the absolute truth. Right from wrong. Good and evil. Heaven and hell. Morality & Immorailty. Does this include the birds and the bees talk? Of course...even more so...our children should be prepared. Don’t let the world shape our kids views on that topic. Let God’s word do that. Arm them by knowing Gods truth. If not, the world will teach them, its ok to live in together without marriage. It’s ok to have pre-marital you know what before marriage. That is what the world will teach our children. Again, like i said earlier, our kids, once they get older and move out to start their own lives. They will have their own walk with the Lord, if any? But its better for them to know the Truth, than to leave, and live their lives in a lie.
As we have briefly looked at these responsibilities, do you see why it is so crucial that Dads be the kind of dads they were meant to be? We have a generation of children who don’t know there right from their left because they had no fatherly influence in their lives who loved them, treated them fairly and taught them right from wrong. Nobody to teach them Gods truth. We have so many young people who have a very distorted view of God because their relationship with their earthly father was so messed up. It is hard for them to see that God is loving and patient and merciful. Because they missed out on seeing that growing up. The fathers did not reflect,Gods perfect love!
Do you know that God loves you and I, with the same love that He has for His One and only Son? Here let me show you through scripture...
23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
This statement brings to light the love of God the Father has for the redeemed, sometimes overlooked because of the emphasis on the love of Christ for them. Although, the Fathers love is the frequent theme in the New testament. Here are some more examples of Gods perfect love...
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That’s how much God loves you and I. As much as he loves his Son Jesus. That means every way he deals with us he deals with us out of love. Even through discipline, its done out of love...Gods Perfect Love!
Being a godly father requires sacrifice on our part. There are some things in life we have to do without because we have a greater obligation, to provide for our children. As a father, there are sacrifices we’ll have to make. In fact, we’ve probably made lots of sacrifices already. They are part of the job description, and part of the joy of being a father. Our children may never fully understand how much we sacrifice for them. Personally, I think that’s the way it should be. We shouldn’t be bragging to them the things that we are suppose to do for them. It’s a God given command to take care of them. Just as what we have read earlier. They should be able to see Gods love in everything that we do for them. So, that when they get older and start their own family, ( hopefully rapture comes before that ) they would do the same exact thing. They would give their family that Godly love that we have given them.
It is not always about being a provider. What if you’re really good at that and miss out on this very important task...called time! We need to be available for them. Not just a good morning when they wake up, goodnight when they go to bed. If spending time with our children isn’t an option, here’s something to keep in mind. Our heavenly father is always available. We can call on him anytime, day or night. We can talk to him about our troubles, our fears, our dreams, and we know that He will listen. He is always available. Easier said than done, i know...its hard. But not impossible. Again, we cannot let society take hold of how we take care of our family. They are much too valuable to ignore. You see, you may not notice, with society keeping you and I busy, its become a trap from the enemy to keep you and I away from our family. Guess what happens next??? Family broken, we failed, enemy rejoices!
A godly father has a responsibility to set the standard for his children.
we must say, "This is the way we live, and nothing less is acceptable."
And of course, it is the father’s responsibility to lead by example. Not a dictator, but by example. A father’s attitude must be "Do as I do", not merely "do as I say." Joshua set the example for all fathers when he said...
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
A father expects his children to act like they belong to him. That they belong to house owned by God. A family who loves God. He doesn’t demand more than they can give, a father doesn’t base his love on his child’s behavior but he does expect the child to do his, or her part in the household.Just like our heavenly Father expects that we do our part: we must believe in his Son, and abide to His will.
A godly father Prepares His Child for the Future.
Jesus said, "...that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
God has created a great future for you and me. He is offering us eternal life. He doesn’t want us to spend eternity without him. He wants us to live in His presence forever, and He provided a way to make that happen. He did this by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die on the cross for our sins. When we put our faith in Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and God gives us eternal life. The very same reason that while we are still here in this world, God has provided godly parents, to raise a godly home, which shall not perish, or should not perish, but be a fruitful household that serves God.
“choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.
Christianity isn’t about man finding his own way to God. It’s about God reaching out to us through his Son. God has a vision for our future.
It’s a future spent in heaven with him forever and He provided a way for you and i, to get there. In the same way, earthly fathers need to do what we can to direct the future of our children in a way that will most benefit the child. Teach them scripture, show them how live, according to Gods standards.
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Our heavenly father has prepared a future for us in heaven. Earthly fathers must help their children prepare for their future here on earth. God gives us a blueprint for fatherhood, because he is the perfect Father. He loves us, he gives to us, He expects us to follow Him, and He prepares a future for us. These are things we can do for our children. Not as a tyrant, but as a gentle, loving, caring father. He loves you, and he will help you experience fulfillment in this life and for all eternity, if you will put your faith in Him.
Gods Perfect Love
I want you to remember this verse when you leave this church tonight...
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are all very familiar with this verse simply because it holds a very personal truth in our hearts. Our salvation is a gift from God, presented freely and not in exchange for anything when we place our faith in Christ. It therefore magnifies God alone, since He is the One that blesses us not because of our good works, but simply because of His goodness.
There is a large controversy between Faith and Works. Many churches say you must have works to get to heaven, others say it is “Faith Alone” that saves. So...which one should we believe? Let us look at James has to say in this matter...
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
By looking at the two books in that we have just read, how can James and Paul contradict each other? They don’t! They actually compliment each other.
When Paul talks about works, he is usually talking about the “works of the law.” in which we know it cannot save anyone. James uses the term works to describe “works of God.” from within.
Paul and James had two different audiences. Paul’s audience was struggling with the Law and Salvation. James’ audience was content with a simple belief with no actions. Paul explains that it is the faith that saves only by the grace of God.
A crippled boy was once hurrying to catch a train. Carrying gifts under his arm, he was struggling with his crutches. Suddenly, a man bumped into him, knocking his parcels in all directions. The man then paused and scolded the boy for getting in his way. Another gentleman, seeing the youngster’s distress, quickly picked up the scattered gifts and slipped a dollar bill into his pocket, saying, "I’m sorry! I hope this makes up for your trouble." The child who couldn’t remember being shown such kindness, called after him, "Mister, thank you! And sir, are you Jesus?" "No," replied the man, "but I am one of His followers."
If our faith in Jesus was put to the test like this, which person would we be? I’m sure we would all immediately align ourselves with the kind gentleman, and say we would help the boy. But, maybe the first man was hurrying to catch his train also, maybe he was rushing to get to church, not wanting to be late? Or, maybe the boy wasn’t paying enough attention to where he was going. In today’s world, these would both pass a valid excuses for most people to simply call out the poor youngster and be on their way. However, the Lord holds Christians to a much higher standard than that. And James very boldly and directly teaches us that our faith in Christ is to be abundantly more than mere words.
The book of James is a pastoral letter concerning the attitudes and actions affecting the spiritual life of the church, and the believer. As the leader of the very first church, in Jerusalem, James felt an enormous responsibility for the spiritual growth of Christ’s followers everywhere. This epistle was written to encourage Christians who were suffering because of their faith, and it was passed around and read in several churches. As we are also learning about them today.
Again, James writing may seem on the surface to contradict Paul’s emphasis on salvation by faith alone. However, it is simply a protest against hypocrisy, of being saved by doing good works. He wants the world to know that faith is a transforming force. “Faith is a transforming force” Salvation by faith results in holy living. This does not oppose Paul’s teaching - it compliments it!! The two teachings are the essence of a well-rounded Christian faith - redemption and holy living. Must be evident. Hence the title “A Working Salvation”.
Let us go back and read verse 14 closely... “14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him”?
Notice - not "...if someone says he has faith..." , but "...if someone says he has faith..." and not have works”
Tremendous difference - remember James is trying to refute those that have begun to abuse the doctrine of justification by faith. I’m sure the situation was similar to any modern churches, and believers today. Many people were undoubtedly professing Christ one day and returning to their usual ways of life the next day with no evidence of God’s grace in their lives whatsoever!!!
Just like the story that we just heard about the boy and the kind man. James uses a very common illustration to drive home his point. Let us now look at verse 15-16... “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” No help or action was given... The answer to his question "what does it profit?" is obvious - nobody. The person has done nothing to show his faith, no evidence, no transformation of a changed life, no reflection from the true Light and the brother and sister are still without food and clothing.
1 John 3:17-18 ( NIV )
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
The most common and innocent sin a Christian can make is “I’ll pray for you, and then we forget”. Again, no action was taken. “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.
Mutual love in the fellowship of believers is evidence of a new, and transformed life. It is based on the love of Jesus Christ, who laid down His life unselfishly, in our place. James further strengthens his case --especially with his Jewish readers-- by sighting Abraham as an example of faith and works, which says...
21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
Combining to compliment each other and result in justification before God. Again we see the idea that faith is shown through works. Again, action took place, and not just mere speech. James concludes with a vivid comparison of faith with the body. Read v.26...
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.
Human beings are made of both body and spirit just as we read in the book of Genesis. Read Gen. 2:7 - the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
Anyone who has been to a funeral can certainly attest to the emptiness of a deceased human body. The emptiness is amplified when the person is someone that they were familiar with. All of the unique characteristics that made up his or her personality are gone.
Without the spirit, a human body is merely an empty, useless shell that once manifested their very being. Likewise, faith devoid of works is empty and useless --or to use James’ choice of words-- dead! Faith in words alone will not save you, we have received faith from our God, by the works of His hands, by sacrificing His only Son on the cross. That is not just by speech, but by action.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
The Apostle Paul now writes to the church of Philippi as a thank you letter for the believers there for their help in his time of need. When Paul tells us to “work out your salvation”, he means that we are to give careful attention to our actions and behavior, making sure that they, or we should well represent the One who saved us. Again, this involves the work from the inside out. “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” ( Verse 13 )
The Lord desires His people to live out what God has already worked within that life when that person trusted in Christ. The purpose is to challenge God’s people to diligently work out what God has worked within in total commitment to the Lord. The word “work out” This is salvation in the fullest redemptive sense with a particular stress on the sanctification of the believer. This is the proof of works from within. The sanctification process calls for obedience to the exhortation of the Holy Spirit.
We are called to work out what God has already worked in. Salvation, you see, is a process. Sometimes we forget that because of the way we use the word salvation, we’re just saved and that’s it, just wait for the return of our Lord. On the other hand, it refers to the fullness of God’s redemption. ( being saved) Salvation begins with regeneration–– we call it being born again. It continues with sanctification––it does not stop from the time that we were drawn to the Son. The process of spiritual maturity whereby we are progressively being conformed to the image of Christ.
GOD WORKS IN A WILLING SERVANT! Keep in mind that God knows those who are His, and those who are His will be an OBEDIENT Servant not a NEGLECTFUL Slacker “Work out your salvation (v. 5) — “Work out” is a word which always has the idea of bringing to completion. Remember, “the author and perfecter of our faith”. It is as if Paul says: "Don’t stop halfway; go on until the work of salvation is fully brought out in you." So what are you to do? While there is a beginning point in our salvation experience, there’s the point of repentance and justification—the time of our faith commitment to Jesus Christ, and this is only the beginning. We are to "work out" our salvation, to grow into maturity, we dont grow onto maturity just by sitting around. Reading our Bible, that involves action. Going to church, having fellowship...all involves action. The Holy Spirit will work in and through us into the full stature of Christ. Everything in the believers life will involve action...works, good works, which is lead again, by the Holy Spirit.
The Philippian Christians had been obedient to the Lord and to His servant Paul in the past . Even though Paul was no longer with them and might be unable to return to them, he wanted them to continue in their obedience. Note that Paul did not say "work for your salvation." We obtain salvation by receiving it as a gift (Eph. 2:8)
The apostle Paul had in mind the present aspect of our salvation, sanctification, in which we are laborers together with God...
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
We work out our salvation by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit who leads us in the will of God. Gal 5:16, reminds us that, “ walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. The working out of this means the realization of the power of God to do His will, victory over sin was done with by Jesus on the cross and the enjoyment of communion with God. They were responsible for living out the meaning of their salvation, for moving toward that goal in obedience and loving commitment to their Lord.
We are called “for His good pleasure”, as we read on our earlier verse... ( Phil 2:13 ) It is comforting that the apostle adds for His good pleasure. Every good is freely given of God; no man deserves any thing from Him. It is for the sake of, and with a view to the execution of God’s good pleasure that God, as the infinite Source of spiritual and moral energy for believers, it causes them to work out their own salvation. This verse gives us confidence that God desires both to motivate and to enable us in all that we, “for His good pleasure”.
There was a little girl, whose father was a pastor. One day, she came to her father and said, "Daddy, can a person go their whole life without sinning?" The father answered, "No, honey, I’m sorry, but that’s just not possible." "What about a year, daddy? Can a person go a whole year without sinning?" She continued. "No, I don’t think that’s possible either." "What about a day, can a person go a day without sinning once?"
"It’s very unlikely, no, I don’t think they can."
"What about one moment, daddy, can a person go one moment without sinning?" "Yes, that is possible." "Then daddy, I want to live my life, moment by moment."
Isn’t that how we should live our lives? It’s hard yes...that’s why scripture said, “with fear and trembling”. So, live life moment by moment, as if this moment where your last one before we reach eternity.
God works through a watchful servant. Meaning, that this is a believer who is careful in his walk with the Lord, always alert in the prompting of the Spirit. Be an ongoing reflection of the Light, and not an outright Whiner as mentioned on (Phil 2:14-16) “Do all things without complaining and disputing” He challenges God’s people not to murmur and complain with one another. He exhorts them to “Shine as lights in the world.”
The word "without" suggests isolation, so Paul was saying that the believer is to be isolated from murmurings and disputing. Murmuring arises in discontented souls. The problem is that many cannot live their lives in being patient and contented with living out your life in the Lord. There lies the work part in our spiritual life, do i continue to do things my way, or let God lead the way? The tragedy is that we are like children at times, but in the wrong sense, in the way that we bicker over nonsense, which again, profits no one.
Paul says that, to be a child of God...to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ, is to quit complaining. We can be discontented with our lives, our circumstances... someone seems to be getting ahead of us, there lies jealously or things are not working out as we planned, there lies selfishness,and as a result we complain. It can easily overtake us, if we are not careful, “a little leaven, leavens the whole lump” and become an on going habit that profits no one.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Here lies again a source of action, and not just in speech. We are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice. One being holy, because being holy is the only thing acceptable to our God. Which has been performed by the unselfish act of sacrifice by His Son.
Our faith in Christ must bring us to the point of abandonment, a willingness to "pour out our lives," become that living sacrifice, believing that we don’t need to, nor can we, control the future. Our future belongs to God, and no one else. As an apostle of the Gentiles, Paul saw himself as the priest presenting to God the Gentiles as an acceptable offering. Paul also saw himself as an offering, a sacrifice on behalf of others. Paul is saying: "our Christian life and loyalty are already a sacrifice to our God, and if death for Christ should come to you and i, we should be willing and glad that our life should be as what God wants it to be. This tells us, that sacrifice and not self-indulgence is the basis of living a life that is pleasing to our God.
In conclusion on Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Paul is comparing his imprisonment to that of a priest in the O.T. who pours out a drink offering. A drink offering was a portion of wine that was offered burned by fire that had an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Paul’s imprisonment was a trial by fire, there was the possibility that he would be put to death. Yet, from Paul’s vantage point, it would be a joyful and willing sacrifice for Christ’s sake on behalf of the church. Sacrifice and service are two qualities that mark a humble, obedient, Christ-like spirit.
Therefore... the Christian life is to be lived in a spirit of joy, obedience, and humility by means of “Incarnation” where the person of Christ lives within us to give us power to live the life that God expects of us. Where our lives as believers are attractive to the lost in a spirit of unity. He has given us all the power to accomplish our purpose here on earth, and that power comes from God.
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Light is a symbol that has been used in through out the Bible in connection with Christ.
Isaiah used it in his great prophecy of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:2 which states, The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, used it when he prophesied of the coming Christ in Luke 1:78-79, as “the Dayspring from on high has visited us; (79) To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry Matthew also makes the connection with the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy when he says, (Matt 4:16) “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
John in writing his gospel declared concerning Christ (John 1:4-5) “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Later in explaining why people are condemned, those who reject the light of Christ, John stated...
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Those who have been drawn to the Son... believed by faith, will never be condemned, because Jesus has already taken their punishment upon Himself. But those who reject Jesus as Savior must bear the full penalty for their sins.
His Claim ( Jesus )To Be The Light.
It is worthy of note that Jesus is not simply saying that he was “a” light to the world or that he was “another” light to the world. Jesus is not saying that He is holding the light or that He has the light or even that He is the way to the light. He is declaring that He is the one and only light of the world.
Light reveals as mentioned in John 3:19-20...Light enables us to see things that were there all along but because of the darkness we could not see them at all. Darkness conceals and light reveals. Without light we can’t see anything. It was C.S. Lewis who said, “I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun. Not only because I see it, but because by it all things are seen.
But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible... By the way, that’s why some people avoid coming to church. Avoid coming into fellowship with the saints.They really don’t want Christ to shine His light on the way they’ve been living. Why? Because they still love the darkness, by coming into the Light will expose they’re way of living, and with that they don’t want to be exposed. They feel ashamed,or maybe even pride comes in, but feeling ashamed at times can be a good thing, it means the person is being convicted. Just like Adam and Eve, when they had realized that they broke Gods command, they hid...embarrassed of what they had done.
The only way to receive the benefits from His light is to follow Him...
1 John 1:6-7
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
John, “the Apostle of love” tends to be very uncompromising in his perspective on the christian walk. Being obedient to God as he says, is not optional, and those who habitually disobey do not know God. Better yet...does not belong to God.
If one strays from the light, he is unable to see because of the darkness. Thus... he falls, with injury or death as a result. Only two groups of people are unaware of the presence of light. Those who are blind and totally unable to see,( non believers ) or those who close their eyes tightly and refuse to see. Meaning...still living in the flesh, still battling its desires. I this particular story, Jesus is also referring to the religious leaders. ( Book of John )
Let me give you a quick rundown of the rest of the chapter of John that resulted with these people rejecting the light. In verse thirteen, the Pharisees challenge his statement, “I am the light.” In verse thirteen and in the next four verses Jesus defends the credibility of his testimony. None of those who heard Jesus, chose to argue the validity of His claims, they wanted to protest over technicalities. In verse twenty-four Jesus asserts, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in you sins; for you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” If you don’t believe, you will die!
In response the Jews again asked Jesus, verse twenty-five, “…Who are You?” They are blind because they refuse to see the “light.” In verse twenty-eight he repeats the same claim, “Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He…Only then will they believe. His crucifixion and resurrection will be the one great and final sign, proving Him to be the Messiah. And indeed, verse thirty informs us, “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.”
Now...You will recall that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told His disciples on Matthew 5:14...Keep in mind, earlier i had mentioned that “Light”, is a symbol that has been used in the Bible in connection with Christ. Here you go...
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
How is it that we can be what Jesus Himself was? The light we have isn’t from ourselves, but from God. Ours is a borrowed light. It is derived from another source. Think of the sun and the moon. The moon has no light of its own; it simply reflects the radiant light of the sun. We have to remember that if anything is standing in the way between us and God, we will not reflect His light. And we still stand in darkness. We should purpose in our hearts to rid ourselves of anything that stands between us and Christ. Of course that is a challenge in its self. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, “are we shinning that light”? Can people around us, “the city on a hill, the light in the house”. See how we shine the True light? Are we reflecting the One True Light?
How do we do that, especially in the world that we live in now. Please forgive me for cramming all those verses that refers to the Light. It is very important that we know why we were called to shine that same Light.
Yes!!! Even in the world that we live in now. If i was to compare our way of living to that of the times of the Apostles, and the disciples after them,which life is easier? Of course that would be hard to answer since we cannot travel back in time to experience what they went through. Other than what we read through scriptures. Let us focus on shining the True Light in our time. How can we do it without having anything distract or block that True Light? How can we let His light shine?
My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life,And peace they will add to you.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,4 And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase.
The world has no vision of how God looks at the system that we live in. Society sees everything totally different than God expects us to look at it.
The world says it is proper to kill unborn babies just because the parents do not want the responsibility of raising them. Society thinks it is proper to condemn, restrict, and ever eliminate a Bible believing and teaching church.
In our time, it is accepted by society for a child to make their own decision as though they were adults. They can choose what is beneficial to them physically, morally, and emotionally. They can even choose a life style that is completely opposed to the family belief system. (Gods Commands)
Our world says any and all sin should be looked at as a choice, while restraining the only freedom to truthfully preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ( Health, Wealth, and a prosperous life, and so on..) Is what the world looks at when one wants to come to Christ. Our world tells us that right may not always be right to everyone and the individual can decide for himself what is right and wrong for him. Totally the opposite of the verses we just read.
It is accepted by our world that religions can be determined by society whether such is legitimate. As long as we are not offending anyone else. As long as its fair for everyone. Its ok to offend God, and not the people.
When we look at our surroundings, current events, media and so on...
Its scary, and at times we can slowly feel it break our hearts. This is what we see daily, and its sad. Thinking that we have to live our lives around that. If we think that its a challenge for us not to go with the flow...just think about our children, they have to face the same challenges. How can they face that battle, when we know that they are not properly equipped? If its a hard battle for us not to go with the flow, its an even harder battle for them. They have to be prepared. We have to prepare them.
One thing we all know for sure is that, everything that we are witnessing is in Gods plans. It should not surprise us anymore. Yes it hurts... yes its sad... but the fact remains, we are called to shine that True Light. We have no business dealing with the affairs of the world. We cant go against Gods plans. But we are part of Gods plans, and that is to let His Light shine, so the world can see, and believe. Remember what Jesus told Peter when he tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross... “Get behind Me satan, you are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Don’t try to stop, or get involved in what God has planned, or you might just hear the same response as Peter did. We have been given our commands, we are just messengers, chosen to shine His Light.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;Fear the Lord and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh,And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,And with the firstfruits of all your increase.
“Trust in the Lord...In all your ways acknowledge Him...Fear the Lord...and Honor the Lord”.
Nothing about getting involved with the affairs of the world...right!
This portion of Scripture tells us that there is a way in which every child of God can live successful and acceptable to God even though the surroundings may not be conceivably acceptable.
Even if the whole world is falling apart we...the children of God, can still live a fruitful life that can reflect the Savior we love. Live a fruitful life that is aimed to please our Creator. Do you acknowledge and commit to the Lord your every course of life or course of action? Is God in control of everything? Perhaps some of you listening to me right now, your very next step in this matter of serving God is to commit to Him your course of life or course of action. You may have nearly done this in the past, and yet held on to just one little string of life that you still wanted to control of. You will never experience living a life of letting His Light shine, letting Him lead the way, and try to avoid being conformed to the world. We cannot have both.
Remember, “in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand, Or whenever you turn to the left.
Think about that, a voice whispering in your ear instructing you where to take every step in life. His direction will lead you to happiness and success. Why? Because it is His Light that guides us. Our direction, our way, will lead farther in what you now have. Which do you want? The sooner each of us realize that we are not capable of making our own decisions the better off we will be. When we make my own decisions and insist on our own way, we always end up confused and sadly, often defeated. Don’t get involved in Gods work unless He is inviting you to join.
1 Peter 3:8-12
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life,And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
“not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling”, When you see the world fighting it own, don’t join. We cannot convince them other wise. By joining in, that you “reviling for reviling”. Let it be, God is in control.
“Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good”. What does this mean? It means... hush, hold your tongue from evil, turn away from doing evil, stop talking evil. Again...we have no power to convince anybody of what we believe in. Evil will always be evil...don’t join in...hush. Let it be, God is in control.
‘Let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”. Let him seek peace, and pursue it...joining in with the mess of the world is the opposite of this verse, you are actually seeking to fight. Seek peace and pursue it. I just love this part here... “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers”. Are on the righteous, you want to join the world and the mess that its in? God will not join you there, he did not invite you there. We are to pursue peace. “And His ears are open to their prayers”. Do you think God will listen to our prayers, if we are trying to oppose His plans? No, of course not! Let it be, don’t join the mess of the world, don’t pick a fight, don’t make any gestures, or comments that can lead to a fight. Pursue peace, let it be...hush. God is in control!
“But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil”. Against those who do evil...there’s your answer if you want to join in the mess that world is so happily doing. The Lord is against it!
You know sometimes...sadly, among Christians, we think that just because the Bible calls us “children of God”, which we are because of Christ. We think that we are so powerful, to think that we have such power to do or say whatever we want. We have none, unless given by Him, our source of Light.
Keep in mind, we died in Christ, we no longer live. It is His Light that needs to shine. It is His Light that the people need to see.
This message is a good reminder for each and everyone of us. ( If you are here tonight, and you want to live in His Light, let me tell you more about it)
The Title of this message is “That You May Believe”. Believe that He is the source of the Light that we carry, believe that...His light is the One that people need to see. And always remember, that God knows all thing. God is in control...That You May Believe!
Pastor Richard Santos
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