• It's All About Him, And Not About Me.
  • Giving And Receiving.
  • What The Bible Says About Communion.
  • The Significance And The Importance Of The Teaching Of Jesus Christ (Parable Teachings)
  • Isaiah 9: 6a.
  • What We Believe And Why - About Water Baptism For Believers.
  • What We Believe And Why - What The Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being United With A Church Ministry.
  • What We Believe And Why - What Should Be One Of The Top Five Priorities.......
  • What We Believe And Why - Worship and Praise
  • What We Believe And Why -  Some Of The Foundational Beliefs And Practices..........
  • What We Believe And Why - What The Bible Teaches About Prayer And Praying To God.
  • Faith, Hope & Love - The Three Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up And Help Us To Overcome
  • How Do We Receive?
  • Moving Forward, Moving Ahead.
  • It's All About Him, And Not About Me.The Significance and the Importance of the Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Jesus Is The Reason For The Season?
  • What We Believe And Why - Learning To Trust In Our God , Who Is In Control!
  • What We Believe And Why - What Does The Bible Teach Concerning A Believer Who Is Truly Saved, About Their Need For Discipleship And Submission Unto The Lordship of Jesus Christ. 
  • What We Believe And Why - What The Bible Says And Teaches About The Gospel.  - 4th /5th Sunday topical series.
  • With God's Help, How Can We Prosper Or Persevere During The Changing Seasons Of Life?
  • With God's Help, How Can We Persevere During The Changing Seasons Of Life? 

Part 1   01-4-2015

As we begin this New Year, as we begin a new season,  you may be surprised to know, we are halfway through this second decade.   For a decade means a period of ten years.    The first decade was from 2000 to 2010.   And this second decade is from 2010 to 2020.   And as you can see, we're halfway through this second Decade now that 2015 has begun.   So what are your expectations for the next five years?

I believe we all have expectations, desires, goals, and dreams of what the next five years will bring.   So then, at the end of five years, what is your life going to be like?   Perhaps you have a five-year plan that you will follow which you believe, will help you to achieve your objectives, your goals, or your dreams.                        An important question, Where is God in your plans?    In your five-year plan.  What do you think God's will is for you?  In these next five years, will it be all about Him, or will it be all about you or me.  Therefore, our subject from the Lord, as we start this new year is,

"It's all about Him, and not about me." or " It is not about me, it's all about Him."  

You know we say that, and we hear that, but do you and I really mean that?  Is it just some kind of christian cliché we are suppose to say to sound spiritual?     Is it another christian slogan that we are to say that sounds good, or sounds like something you should say?  I mean, it sounds good to say, "Well, it's not about me, it's all about Him, praise the Lord!"  But really, do you want the next five years, to be about Him, and not so much about you?   Are you sure is not about you,  and it's really all about Him in all you say, think, or do? 

Think about it, what changes and adjustments, even self-denial and sacrifices, are going to have to be made, and will have to occur, both now and in the next five years, in your life and in my life so that this saying, "It's all about Him, and not about me," can become a reality?  

But if you're ready for a real change, that I'm going to live my life for Him, and not for me.  If  you are seeking a new year's resolution for this year, for the next five years, and for the rest of your days that will change the trajectory of your life from the mundane to the supernatural.   From being self centered to being God- centered.  Then the Holy Spirit has brought you here this morning, to know it is possible to live this way.           It's to be about Him, and not about me or you.

First of all, let's acknowledge that we can't do this by ourselves.  We're going to need divine help to be able to pursue this and to accomplish this.  Next, let's acknowledge also, that there's going to have to be in each of us, a major shift, a change in our attitude, and in way we thinking.  This is going to take some time, but hopefully within the next 12 months, something radically will occur in our hearts with God's help to get us to this point to know, that this is not really about me.

By the Holy Spirit in your life.  By the Word of God learned and applied in your life.  And perhaps by the different trials or tribulations.  Or, even by the different successes and achievements you may experience.  God is going to work all things together for good, for you and I who are serious, committed, and want something more, and that is true transformation and a real change in our relationship with Him, God Himself.

I predict with God's help in the next 12 months when you and I read, study, and apply/practice the bible, something is going to be very different.  You see, when we look at the bible and we are not careful, we tend to personalize the bible so much, that it becomes a book about how to achieve 'my' goals, 'my' objectives, 'my' desires, and how to have 'my' needs met.

I'm telling you, it’s got too be more to it than just that.   It has to be more to this christian walk.  Our spiritual journey with the LORD has got to be more than this being all about me.  

Listen, to live this life totally consumed with my needs, my wants, my desires, my comfort, my will.   To live my entire earthly existence with myself as the focal point, not God, but myself as the focal point, has to be the biggest disappointment ever.  Because you and I will never be satisfied.  But once we began to see that this is not about us, and all it's about Him, something will change for us that has been missing for a long, long time.  I believe, something will begin to change on the inside of us that will give purpose and meaning to everything we say and do.  Because one thing for sure, if it is about us, how empty, you will feel.  Unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and disappointed has a child of God.

However, when it's all about Him, there is a satisfaction to life.   All of a sudden, when I’m doing His will, doing the things that please Him in my life, I can now know contentment.  I can be a blessing to others, and I can experience fulfillment no matter what my circumstances. 

So then, the first thing we want to consider is; the need to humble ourselves.  If you are sure you really want this to be all about Him, and not about you we are going to have to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.     St. John‬ ‭3‬:‭ 26- 30‬                                                                                                      

Now See again St. John‬ ‭3‬:‭ 30.  John the Baptist said this about himself,  "He must increase, but I must decrease."   'He' must increase.   Who is the 'He'?  What Does it mean to increase?  To take over!   But 'I' must Decrease.  Who is the 'I'?  Self, the Individual.  The real you who wants to be first.  What does it mean to decrease?  To move-over!  Again, it has to be more to this christian walk, our spiritual journey with the Lord, than this being all about me to live this life totally consumed with my needs, my wants, my desires, my comfort, my will.   To live my entire earthly existence with myself as the focal point, not God Himself as the focal point, has to be the biggest disappointment ever.  Because you and I will never be satisfied.
 A closing illustration to help us when we feel important and thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought:

In a certain pond lived two ducks and a boastful frog. The frog was always boasting about something he did that day in the pond;  how long he could jump, how fast he could swim or how smart he was.   However, when summer had come, the pond began to dry up.  Soon, the two ducks realized they would have to move to a new pond.  Now, the ducks could easily fly to another pond, but the frog had no way to escape.  The frog had a great idea, if the two ducks would put the two ends of a stick in their bills then the frog could hang in the middle of the stick with his mouth, and the ducks could fly him to the new pond also.  The two ducks listened to the frog's great idea and agreed to help the frog.  But, as they were flying high in the air, a farmer looked up and saw the frog hanging with his mouth in the middle of the stick and the two ducks flying him to the new pond.   The farmer said, "Well, isn't that a clever idea!  I wonder who thought of that?"   The frog could not help himself. He opened up his mouth and boastfully said, "I did!" as he fell hundreds of feet to his own death.   Proverbs 16: 18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

PART 2   01-11-2015

Our Subject From The Lord, As We Continue In This New Year Is,  "It's All About Him, And Not About Me." Or " It Is-Not About Me, It's All About Him."  Focusing On God More, And Focusing Less & Less On Ourselves.  

Now The Purpose And Objective Of This Message.

Like many of you, I believe it is more to this christian walk, our spiritual journey with the Lord than this being all about ourselves.  To live this life totally consumed with my needs, my wants, my desires, my comfort, my will.   To live my entire earthly existence with myself as the focal point,  not God.  But myself as the focal point will be the biggest disappointment ever.   Because you and I can never be satisfied, being self-centered.

But if you're ready for a real change, that I'm going to live my life for Him and not for myself.   If you are seeking to change the trajectory of your life, from the mundane to the supernatural, from being self-centered, to being God-centered.   Then, the Holy Spirit has brought you here this morning to let you know, it is possible to live this way so that it can be all about Him and not about ourselves.

Now the major concern and the divine solution.   First of all, we acknowledged last Sunday, that we can not do this by ourselves.   We are going to need divine help to be able to pursue this and to accomplish this.  Because the changes and adjustments, even self-denial and sacrifices that will be, need it, and that will have to occur in your life and in my life and will demand a major shift, a change in our attitude, and in the way we think. 

Therefore, hopefully in the days ahead something radically will occur in our hearts.  With God's help, a true transformation and real change in our relationship with the Lord Himself!

Now the goal and the direction for this Sunday.  This morning let's continue.  Let's go deeper.  Again, if you want this to be all about Him and not just about you or me.  You and I must see ourselves as, "Disciples of Christ and not just Sunday-morning Christians."  

A Sunday-morning Christian.

First Of All,   I'm not making light of, nor little of what you and I do on Sunday morning at the church we attend.  I am grateful for your support, your attendance and your involvement each week.  But what I'm about to describe is an attitude of some, not everybody, but some.  That for a few hours on Sunday morning, if nothing else comes up, maybe I will give God some of my time.  A little bit of my talent.  And not much of my treasure.

But again, you and I must see ourselves as, "Disciples of Christ and not just Sunday-morning Christians."  

Now,  let's see what a Disciple of Christ is all about.   In fact,  let's contrast this attitude of some we just mentioned earlier by what the Bible says about being a Disciple of Christ, a committed follower.  One who is always available, 24/7.

See Luke 14: 25-27 & 33

Finally, think of the process, and how long it took for transformation to occur in the lives of The Apostles and other Followers Of Christ.   They went from being self-centered, to being God-centered.   From the Gospels to the Book of Acts, you see an amazing change in the lives of these folks from the New Testament.    At first,  you see in the Gospels, certain individuals being totally self-centered.

In fact, in Luke 10: 17-24, other Disciples of Jesus called "The 70", they thought it was all about them when it came to casting out demons.  In Luke 18: 28 -30,  Peter asked the question, "We have left all to follow you, what shall we receive?  In Luke 22: 24- 27,  there was a dispute among the Disciples who should be the greatest.  In Matt. 26: 31-35,  Peter told Jesus, although all men would deny Him, he said that he would never deny Him.   In Mark 10: 35-45,  James and John, along with their Mother asked Jesus, that he would grant them, that one could sit on his right hand and the other can sit on the left hand in the Kingdom.  In Matt. 16: 21-23,  Peter rebuked Jesus, believing that he has a better understanding concerning the Lord's future, than the 3

Part 4   02-1-2015

It's all about Him, and not about me.  Learning to focus on God more and focus less & less on ourselves.  Amen!  Moving from being self-centered to being God-centered, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Understanding that I'm not the center of the universe, but God is.  Accepting the fact that I come from a me-centered culture and only God can help me.  To know this is not about me, it's all about Him. 

Now the purpose and objective of this message:  To know that it is more to this Christian walk, our spiritual journey with the Lord than this being all about ourselves.  To live my entire earthly existence with myself as the focal point, not God, but myself as the focal point will be the biggest disappointment ever because you and I can never be satisfied being self-centered.

However, if you're ready for a real change, that I'm going to live my life for God,   If you are seeking to change the trajectory of your life, from mundane to the supernatural.  From being self-centered, to being God-centered.  Then the Holy Spirit has brought you here this morning to let you know it is possible to live this way so that it can be all about Him and not about ourselves.  And not for myself.

This morning, let's continue.  Let's go deeper.  If we really want this to be all about God and not about ourselves, there are some things that we must know and avoid with God's help that can undermine us from our objective and that is it is not about me, it's all about Him.

In fact, here are a few things that we must know and avoid with God's help.  The first thing that can undermine you and me from our objective, is conceit or being conceited.  Conceit or being conceited will undermine us from our objective and that is it is not about me, it's all about Him.  A definition for conceit or being conceited is have a favorable and excessive opinion of one's self or of one's own ability or importance, etc.  See Deuteronomy 8:14, 16-18.

Now, the next thing that can undermine you and me from our objective is pridefulness.  However, there are two examples were being prideful, "It's about me" was avoided and therefore is a good example for us today.

Joseph is before Pharaoh of Egypt.  See Genesis 41: 14-16.

Daniel is before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  See Daniel 2: 26-28.

Finally, another thing that will undermine you and me from our objective is vainglory or seeking the glory or the praise that only belongs to God.                                                                                                                       See Isaiah 14: 12-14,                                                                                                                                                  See Isaiah 42: 8,                                                                                                                                                        See Matthew 5: 17.

PART 5   02-8-2015

Its all about Him and not about me.  Amen.  I believe it is more to this Christian walk, our spiritual journey with the Lord than this being all about ourselves.  To live this life totally consumed with my needs, my wants, my desires, my comfort, my will.  To live my entire earthly existence with myself as the focal point, not God but myself as the focal point will be the biggest disappointment ever because you and I can never be satisfied being self-centered.

However, if you're ready for a real change, that I'm going to live my life for Him and not for myself.  If you are seeking to change the trajectory of your life, from mundane to the supernatural.  From being self-centered, to being God-centered.  Then the Holy Spirit wants us to know it is possible to live this way so that it can be all about Him and not about ourselves. 

This morning, let's continue.  Let's go deeper.  Question.  To live for, or to live unto someone or something.  What does that mean and what does that look like?  Living for or living unto someone or something would definitely involve serving or being at service for another or others.  To help, to assist, to aid another, to succeed or to be effective in whatever endeavors they might be involved in or with.  Some examples - Parenting, Grandparenting, being a Spouse.

Wherefore, living for or living unto Christ is neither casual, but intentional, it is neither part-time, but full-time.  It is extremely passionate being on fire.  It is life-changing.  It will cause you to be focused, determined, holding nothing back, giving everything you got and more.

Living for or living unto Christ will remove you out from your comfort zone and place you into that which is unpredictable, beyond your control.

Now to live for Christ and not for myself.  What does that look like?  What does that mean?  See Colossians 1: 18.

To live for Christ and not for myself what does that look like?  What does that mean?  See Luke 9: 23.

To live for Christ and not for myself what does that look like?  What does that mean?  See Proverbs 3: 5-6

PART 6   02-15-2015

It's All About Him, And Not About Me." Learning To Focus On God More, And Focus Less & Less On Ourselves.  Amen!

Moving from being self-centered to being God-centered, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Know that it is more to this Christian Walk, Our Spiritual Journey with the LORD than this being all about myself.

This morning, let's finish for now this important subject that the LORD has challenged us  with.   For if I want this to be all about Him,  and not just about myself,  even my prayer life will have to change from being self- centered to being God-centered.

Jesus said in, Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭13‬b, "For thine or yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen". 

Also King David said in, I Chronicles. 29: 10-13B;
10  Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said,  "Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever". 

11  "Thine or yours, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;  thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all". 

12  "Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reign over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all". 

13  "Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. 

 +++++++++++++++++

                "Giving And Receiving, How Do We Glorify God And Be An Example In Both, And How Do We Become A Better Example In Both Areas Of Giving And Receiving?"

This series from the Lord, is designed to help you and me to address our hearts and our attitudes, and even our motives when it comes to Giving and Receiving.

Before you misunderstand or turn off, please try to listen to what God is saying to all of us about this subject. For all we know, in most healthy relationships: husband & wife; parent & child; sibling with sibling; or friend with friend; most healthy relationships are based on a little bit of give and take or receiving.

PART 1   11-3-2014

When I say, Giving and Receiving, what do I mean?   I want to define Giving as, what comes from us to something or someone(s).   Either help or assistance; advice or an opinion; understanding or caring; support or renumeration; involvement or commitment; love or devotion; or any combination of these things mentioned.

Not only that, when it comes to Giving - we should do it Obediently, Sacrificially, Generously, Proportionately, Respectfully, Godly (expecting nothing in return), Cheerfully - glad to do it, thankful for the opportunity; motivated by the Grace of God; never doing it grudgingly with a wrong attitude; nor giving just to get, nor giving to be noticed, or expecting recognition or thanks; for only then are we doing it in such a way, we glorify God, and we become examples.

Next, lets define Receiving as, what comes to us from something or someone.  Again, it can be either help or assistance; advice or an opinion; understanding or caring; support or renumeration; involvement or commitment; love or devotion; or any combination of these things mentioned.

When it comes to Receiving, we should receive it Lovingly (or in love), Thankfully, Graciously, Humbly, Appreciatively, Praisefully  (giving God the Glory); not feeling obligated or that you have to reciprocate; nor feeling that you're too good to receive or need someone's kindness & love; or even knowing at times it's alright to receive, or be helped, or be blessed by the Lord at work in your life: only then are we doing it in such a way, we glorify God and we become an example.

Question: Based on what you just heard about concerning Giving and Receiving; Do you and I really know how to Give?  Do you and I really know how to Receive?

So then, how do you and I improve in this area of Giving and Receiving so that we might glorify God and be an example?

Let's begin first with the area of Giving.  How do you and I improve in this area of Giving - or being a cheerful, generous, obedient giver so that we might glorify God and be an example to my family, to the Body of Christ, even to this world.

Now see II Corinthians 8:1-5

Now notice II Corinthians 8:5.  "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us by the will of God".

"But first gave their own elves to the Lord".  How do you do that?  What does that mean?  What does that look like?

Well, first, to give oneself to the Lord means, "I give my entire self unto the Lord".  Listen, my spirit, soul, and body; I must belong to God at all times.

Next, to give oneself to the Lord means, "I give myself completely, not partially, but completely unto the Lord".  All my heart, my soul or mind, and all my strength or abilities.

Lastly, to give oneself to the Lord means, I give myself fully unto the Lord.  Your time: my personal involvement, being a willing volunteer.  Your talent or spiritual gift or gifts: Certain skills, abilities, talents and/or your spiritual gift or gifts.  Your treasure:  A portion of my income and/or assets.

Closing with Romans 12:1

PART 2   11-11-2014

Now again, before you misunderstand or turn off, please try to listen to what God is saying to all of us about this subject. For all we know, in most healthy relationships: husband & wife; parent & child; sibling with sibling; or friend with friend; most healthy relationships are based on a little bit of give and take or receiving.

We must know how to Give.  And for some of us, we have problems in this area.  We know how to Receive real well, but really don't know how to Give.

Also, you and I must know hot to Receive.  And for some of us, we have problems in this are as well.  We know how to Give real well , but we really don't know how to Receive.

So then, what do we mean by Giving and Receiving?

 I want to define Giving as, what comes from us to something or someone (we are to be like a dam, or a water reservoir when water is being released) and that can be either our help or assistance; advice or an opinion; understanding or caring; support or renumeration; involvement or commitment; love or devotion; or God's Word or the Bible; or any combination of these things mentioned.

Not only that, when it comes to Giving - we should do it Obediently, Sacrificially, Generously, Proportionately, Respectfully, Godly (expecting nothing in return), Cheerfully - glad to do it, thankful for the opportunity; motivated by the Grace of God; never doing it grudgingly with a wrong attitude; nor giving just to get, nor giving to be noticed, or expecting recognition or thanks; for only then are we doing it in such a way, we glorify God, and we become examples.

Next, lets define Receiving as, what comes to us from something or someone.  This time we are to be like a sponge, or towel, or a detailing shammy, that can take it all in, or can absorb real well.  Again, it can be either help or assistance; advice or an opinion; understanding or caring; support or renumeration; involvement or commitment; love or devotion; God's Word or the Bible; or any combination of these things mentioned.

Also, when it comes to Receiving, we should receive it Lovingly (or in love), Thankfully, Graciously, Humbly, Appreciatively, Praisefully - giving God the Glory; even knowing at times its alright to receive or be helped, or even to be blessed by the Lord, Who is at work in your life; we should receive acknowledging and expressing gratitude (a thank you) ; we should receive and never feel obligated or that you have to reciprocate; nor feeling that I'm too good to need someone's kindness & love; for only then are we doing it in such a way, we glorify God and we become examples.

So then, how do you and I improve in this area of Giving and Receiving so that we might glorify God and be an example?

Let's continue to deal with the area of Giving and How to improve in this area when it comes to Giving - or being a cheerful, generous, obedient giver so that we might glorify God and become an example to my family, to the Body of Christ, even to this world.

Now remember, we said, Giving is what comes from us to something or someone(s).  Either help or assistance.

Sometimes we are called upon to give our help or assistance to our family or families, to the Body of Christ, or to a local fellowship that I'm a part of, to friends, colleagues, even to this the world we are a part of.

And if that happens, sometimes we are called upon to give our Time.  Sometimes we are called upon to give our Talent and/or our my spiritual gift or gifts, and/or my calling or ministry.  Sometimes we are called upon to give our Treasure - a portion of my income an/or assets.

And if that happens that our help or assistance was needed, we should do it in such a way we glorify God and we become examples.  We should do it Obediently, To give our help or assistance - one must be Obedient to God's leading.  Sacrificially, to give our help or assistance - one must put others.   Generously, to give our help or assistance - one must do it above and beyond.   Proportionately, to give our help or assistance - is based on one's ability or means.

So then, how do you and I improve in this area when it comes to giving or being a cheerful, generous, obedient giver so that we might glorify God and become an example to my family, to the Body of Christ, even to this the World.

Let God be my example.  Yes. When it comes to giving or just being a cheerful, generous, obedient giver so that we might glorify God and become an example to my family, to the Body of Christ, even to this world, God is my example.

Notice.  God the Father gave the Son to save the world.  See John 3:16 & 17.   Notice God the Holy Spirit gave Himself to enable us.  See I John 4:4. Notice.  God the Son gave up all to provide for us beyond what we could ask or think.  See II Corinthians 8:9.

Lets look at these truths as we close.  He was rich.  Christ's richness can be seen in I Timothy 6:15 & 16.   He became poor.  Christ's poverty can be seen in Philippians 2:5-8.  Finally, we who are in Christ, might become rich.  Our richness because of Christ can be seen in Ephesians 1: 3-14.

PART 3   11-17-2014

"Giving And Receiving".  When it comes to Giving and Receiving - How do we glorify God more, and how do we become a better example , in both?

This series from the Lord, is designed to help me & you to address our hearts, and our attitudes, and even the motives behind our own Giving and Receiving.

Maybe you know how to Receive real well.  But you really don't know who to Give.  Maybe you know how to Give real well.  But we really don't know how to Receive.

For in most healthy relationships:  Husband & wife, Parent & child, sibling with sibling, or friend with friend, or church member with church member.  Most healthy relationships are based on - a little bit of give and take, or Giving and Receiving.  You can't be the one always Giving all the time.  You should know how to Receive.  And you shouldn't be the one always Receiving all the time, you should know how to Give.  We must be balanced when it comes to Giving and Receiving.

So then, how do you & I improve in this area of Giving and Receiving - so that we might glorify God more and become a better example in both?

Let's continue to dealing with first, the area of Giving.  We will deal with shortly, the biblical principles behind Giving or being a giver, and the biblical participation it takes - when it comes to giving, or being a giver.  We talk about those area as well.

But right now, we want to continue to address our hearts and our attitudes, and even the motives behind why do we give (or not), or how should we give and how not to do it in the wrong way.

Now, remember we define Giving as, "what comes from us to something or someone(s).  We are to be like a dam, or a water reservoir when water is being released.  Again, Giving is what comes from us to something or someone(s).

Also, remember we said, that Giving can either be expressed in these seven ways.  Last Sunday, we said that Giving could be expressed in our help or assistance.  This morning, let me briefly touch on the fact that Giving could be expressed in the way we share our advice or an opinion.

Sometimes we are called upon to give our advice or an opinion - maybe to our family, maybe to a brother or sister in the body of Christ, or at the local fellowship that I'm a part of.  Maybe to a best friend, a colleague, or an acquaintance.  Maybe to those who are still caught up into this world. 

Sometimes we are called upon to give our advice or an opinion and when that happens, that our advice or an opinion is needed and wanted, we should do it in such a way we glorify God and we become an example.

Giving should be done by expressing these (eleven) virtues. And last Sunday, we said that Giving must be expressed Obediently, Sacrificially, Generously, Proportionately.  This morning, let me briefly touch on the fact that when it comes to Giving our advice or an opinion, we should do it Respectfully - we are not to be controlling with our advice or our opinion.  Nor are we to be insulting, or belittling, or talking down to that person; treating them like a child.  We should do it respectfully.  Be respectful when Giving your advice or opinion.

Next, we should do it in a Godly manner - expecting nothing in return.  To give our advice or an opinion one should not expect any favors or special kind of recognition or credit.  We should do it in a Godly manor (expecting nothing in return).

Finally, we should do it - being Motivated by the Grace of God to give our advice or an opinion one should be understanding, sympathetic, and compassionate.  We should do it being motivated by the Grace of God.

Now then, how do you and I improve in this area when it comes to Giving or being a Cheerful, Generous, Obedient giver, One that glorifies the Lord more and let's me be an example to my family to the body of Christ even to this the world.

Listen, you and I must learn to be Indiscriminate and not discriminate when it comes to Giving or being a giver.

Yes. When it comes to Giving or just being a cheerful, generous, obedient giver so that we might glorify God an become an example to our families, to the body of Christ, even to this world, learn with God's help to be indiscriminate and not discriminate when it comes to Giving or being a Giver.

First, define indiscriminate and discriminate.  Discriminate: to show partiality or to be prejudiced about or against a thing or a person.  To make a distinction in favor of or against a thing or a person basis on appearance, race, age, gender, size, how they speak or express themselves, or their place of origin.   Indiscriminate is the opposite.  To make no distinction in favor of or against a thing or a person basis on appearance, race, age, gender, size, how they speak or express themselves, or their place of origin.

When it comes to Giving or justbeing a cheerful, generous, obedient giver, so that we might glorify God and become an example to our families, to the body of Christ, even to this the world, learning to be indiscriminate and not to discriminate when it comes to Giving or being a giver is the direction you want to go in.

Let me show this concept of being indiscriminate and not discriminate when it comes to giving or being a giver, in one of the parables of Jesus here in Luke 10: 29-37.

The Samaritan was pretty amazing, a very generous person.  Remember he never met the injured man, he was a total stranger.  The Samaritan doesn't know how he got himself in the condition he was in, and doesn't ask how he got into that condition, it doesn't matter.  All that matters was the Samaritan whose heart was so full of love, when somebody came across his path, itdidn't matter who he was, there was never a question of qualification, there was never a question, "Is he my neighbor or is he not"?  The only issue was how can I love this person to the full extent of his need?  Whether he be a friend or an enemy it had no bearing.  This is about limit-less love.  This is about a man who said I will care for this man with no limit. I will love this man though he is my enemy, a stranger to me.  Whatever it is that this man needs, I will give to this man and there are no limits.

You say, "Well, I saw a stranger one time in need and I gave him some money".  And perhaps you and I have done something very generous like this on an occasion. That's not the issue here.  Because did you ever see a stranger in need, somebody you didn't know, better yet somebody who was an enemy, and you went over to them in their time of need, and ministered to all their needs - gave them everything they needed?  Did you stay with them in their time of need, or took them somewhere, put them to bed, fed them, stayed all night to make sure that they were recovering propriately, then paid their lodging and said if they need more time to stay here, I come back, I'll take care of the bill for them?  Have you ever done that for anybody?

I'll tell you, there's somebody you've done that for you it's yourself.  That's how we are care for ourselves.  Give me whatever I need.  Whatever I need, get me to the best doctor, get me to the best place, get me the best care I can get.  Take care of me as long as I need it.  We buy insurance policies, we do whatever we need to assure ourselves the best care.  Look you might do this for a good friend, or a close family member, because you love them.  But we're not talking about family, we're talking about somebody outside of that.  When it comes to ourselves, we are basically without limit in taking care of ourselves as much as we're capable of.  People will actually go into debt and sometimes bankruptcy in order to make sure they don't deny themselves anything they think they need or want.  We make sure when we have physical problems or any deprivation or are caught in any dangerous situation, we make sure we do whatever we need to, to get the best attention, the best care, have all our needs met.

Now you understand what the Bible means when it says, you have to love your neighbor as yourself.  Anybody in your path, any stranger in your path, even your worst enemy, love them lavishly, sacrificially, generously, tenderly, limitlessly, kindly, for that is the way you and I want to be treated no matter what.

PART 4   11-24-2014

Maybe, you know how to Receive real well, but you really don't know how to Give.  Maybe, you know how to Give real well, but you really don't know how to Receive.

In most healthy relationships; husband & wife, parent & child, sibling with sibling, or friend with friend, or a church member with church member.  Most healthy relationships are based on a little bit of give and take or Giving and Receiving.

Listen, you can't be the one always giving all the time.  You should know how to receive.  And you shouldn't be the one always receiving all the time.  You should know how to give.  We must be balanced when it comes to this area in our lives of Giving and Receiving.

So then, how do you and I improve in this area of Giving and Receiving, again, so that we might glorify God more and become a better example in both?

Well, lets continue dealing with the area of giving first.  And, by the way, as we will deal with the area of Giving, we want to also look at the biblical principles behind Giving, or being a giver.  We'll look at the biblical practices when it comes to Giving or being a giver and we will deal biblically with how we are to participate when it comes to Giving or being a giver. 

But right now, we want to continue to address our hearts and our attitudes, and even our motives behind - Why Do We Give Or Not ?  - How Should We Give?  - And How Not To Give In A Wrong Way.

Now remember, we defined Giving as "what comes from us and it goes to something or someone."  We are to be like a dam, or a reservoir, when the water is being released.  That which comes from us and it goes to something or someone.

Also, remember we said that Giving can either be expressed in these seven ways.  For example, last Sunday we said that Giving could be expressed in the way we share our advice or an opinion.  This morning, let me briefly touch on the fact that Giving can also be expressed in the way we show how we can be understanding or caring.

Sometimes we are called upon to be understanding or caring, maybe, within our family or with a family member.  Maybe, to a brother or sister in the body of Christ, or at the local fellowship that I'm apart of.  Maybe with a close friend, a colleague, or an acquaintance, or maybe with those who are still caught up into this world.  Sometimes, we are called upon to be understanding or caring.

And when that happens that we need to be understanding or caring we should do it in such a way we glorify God and we become an example. 

First, to be understanding or caring, we should be merciful, never judgmental nor condemning .  Remember Luke 6: 36 & 37.

Next, to be understanding or caring we should be empathetic.  Understanding what another is feeling or going through because you have experienced it or something similar, you are able to put yourself in another person's shoes.

Finally, to be understanding or caring, we should be tolerant without compromising our values or standards based on the bible.

But also remember we said that Giving should be done by expressing at least these eleven virtues.  And last Sunday we shared a few more of these eleven virtues, and we said we should do it Respectfully.  Giving should be done respectfully.  Giving should be done in a Godly manner - expecting nothing in return.  And Giving should be always be motivated by the Grace of God.

This morning, however, let me briefly touch on another one of these eleven virtues, that when it comes to Giving that our Giving should be done Cheerfully.   That is thankful for the opportunity - glad to do it, yet never grudgingly with a wrong attitude. When we give, do it cheerfully.  Cheerfully means a readiness of mind combined with a joyous heart .  Cheerfully means my acts or my actions are courteous, friendly, and welcoming to all. 

Now, on the other hand, we should never give grudgingly - with a wrong attitude.  Grudgingly, literally means in Greek, "out of sorrow or pain, or grief or annoyance".  Grudgingly, is to submit to something or someone unwillingly.  Your heart is not in it at all, but you do it anyway. 

So once again, how do you and I improve in this area when it comes to giving or being Cheerful, Generous, Obedient Giver, One that glorifies the Lord more and allows me to be an example to my family, to the body of Christ, even to this the world. 

Listen, in order for you and I to really change when it comes to Giving, or being a giver, we must come to the reality that it is more blessed to give than to Receive.  Yes, when it comes to Giving or just being a Cheerful, Generous, Obedient giver, so that we might glorify God, and become an example to our families, to the body of Christ, even to this world, learning with God's help, that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive is one of the signs of spiritual growth and maturity.  Also, it is one of the signs of a inward transformation and change that is occurring in the life of a child of God.

Let's see this concept from God's Word in Acts 20:35 that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive. Do you think Jesus got it wrong?

In a entitlement mentality culture that we live in many find this these words - unacceptable, unreasonable, and un-American.  Many would say, "Receiving is where it's at".  And, "The more you Receive the better".  Frankly, some think Jesus should had said,  that "it is more blessed to Receive than to Give". 

In fact, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what Jesus said.  Jesus never said, that is more better to Give than to Receive.  Nor did Jesus say that you will be more blessed because you gave than Receive.  And Jesus never said that it is wrong or sinful to Receive either. 

Our Lord uses the word 'Blessed'.   Blessed means 'Happy' or 'Happier' or "Supremely Blest".  Blessed describes a believer in an enviable fortunate position.  One who is receiving God's many provisions and benefits, along with His Favor and Grace.  Simply put, "To be in a good place".  'Happy', "Full of Joy",  "Knowing who deserves in my life all the praise".

Listen, at least two things our Lord makes clear here in Acts 20:35.  First of all, Jesus is simply making known a fact, and not a promise to claim, 

Fact: That as a giver, or when you Give, you are in a good place in your like now.  Fact: You understand, that it's not about getting, it's about giving.  Fact:  It's not about Receiving, it's about sharing.  Fact: It's not about being blessed, it's about being a blessing to someone.  Fact: You can know true happiness and joy, knowing it is not what people can do for you, it is what you can do for others.  Fact: You are to be envied because you are so different than most, you know - contentment.

We said at least two things our Lord makes clear here in Acts 20:35.  Secondly, Jesus is relieving that this is one of the signs of spiritual growth and maturity.  Also, that this is one of the signs of an inward transformation and change that is occurring in the life of a child of God who knows that it is more blessed to give than to Receive.

Again, knowing that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive, this is truly one of the signs of spiritual growth and maturity in your life as a child of God.  Give an example from parenting our children to share or to give without being told.

Listen, if we know that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive, then this should be another sign of that an inward transformation and change is occurring in my life as a child of God.  There is less and less selfishness occurring in my life.  There is less and less of me being materialistic.  And hopefully, this is to be less and less all about me, but more and more about Christ, His Will, and His Glory.

And finally, this morning; so why is it that is more blessed to Give than to Receive?   See Luke 6:38.  Why is it that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive?   See II Corinthians 9: 7 & 8.  Why is it that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive?   See Proverbs 19:17.  Why is it that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive?   See Mark 10:21.  Why is it that it is more blessed to Give than to Receive?

PART 5   03-3-2015

Now again, before you misunderstand,  or become turned off - please try to listen to what God is saying to all of us about this subject.
For we all know,  in most healthy relationships: husband & wife;  parent & child; sibling with sibling;  or friend with friend; or church member with church member, most healthy relationships are based on a little bit of give and take, (Or Giving-and Receiving).   And for a lot of us, we have problems in this area of Giving and Receiving). 

For some of us we know how to Receive real well,  but really don't know how to Give.  And for others, you know how to GIVE real well,  but really don't know how to Receive.  Therefore, we all need help when it comes to this area of Giving and Receiving.

So then, with God's help, let us come back to this area concerning Giving.
How do you & I improve in this area of Giving?
How do you & I become a cheerful & generous & obedient giver?   And what is the purpose, the motive in all of this?  So that I Might glorify God, and be an example to my family, to the Body Of Christ, even to this, The World.

Now remember, we define Giving as "What comes from us and It goes to something or someone(s)."   We are to be like a dam, or a reservoir when the water is being released.  That which comes from us and it goes to something or someone(s)

Also, remember we said, that Giving can be expressed in several different ways:
You can render help or assistance.
You can give advice or an opinion.
You can show understanding or care in a matter.                                                                                                  You canfinancially support, or Give remuneration to someone or something. 
You can Give by way of your involvement or commitment.
You can Give in the way you show love or devotion to someone or something.                                                  Or any combination of these things mentioned.

Not only that,  when it comes to Giving we should do it Obediently, Sacrificially, Generously, Proportionately, Respectfully,  Godly - expecting nothing in return, Cheerfully - glad to do it, thankful for the opportunity, motivated by the Grace of God, never doing it grudgingly with a wrong attitude, nor Giving just to get, nor to be noticed or expecting recognition or thanks,  For only then, are we doing it in such a way, we glorify God,  and we become an example.

 Now when it comes to Giving, we want to look at three important factors:
1.  What is the Biblical principles behind Giving or being a giver?   
2. What are the Biblical practices when it comes to Giving or being a giver?                                                         3. How are we to participate when it comes to Giving or being a giver?
So then, let's consider what are the Biblical practices when it comes to Giving or being a giver.
First, The Giving of an Offering.  You and I prayerfully determining the amount of support we intend to give and for how long.
Next, I'm led by The LORD to be regularly involved in Percentage Giving, or Proportionate Giving,  Dedicated or commitment Giving - simply put, Tithing.  Again,  you and I prayerfully determining the amount of support we intend to give and for how long.
Still another area would be, Free Will Giving, concerning a need, task, or a matter.  This would be above and beyond the regular Tithe or offering normally given.  Again,  you and I prayerfully determining the amount of support we intend to give and for how long.  An Example - See Exodus 35: 21 & 22; 29.  Exodus. 36: 3, 4-7
Finally,  Sacrificial Giving. The willingness to put a cause, or a need, or a matter above your own needs, wants, or desires, knowing that God will make a way somehow for you.  Again,  you and I prayerfully determining the amount of support we intend to give and for how long.  Example - The Widow's Mite.    See Luke. 21: 1-4

Let's close with the Biblical practices when it comes to Giving or being a giver.  To help in some way someone in need.  See Matthew. 6:  1-4

PART 6    03-11-2015

Three things about Giving we are concerned about.
1.   How do you & I change our attitude when it comes to Giving?
2.  How do you & Ibecome a cheerful & generous & obedient Giver?                                                                   3.  What is the purpose, the motive in all of this?

So that I might glorify God and be an example to my family, to the body of Christ, even to this, the world.

Now when it comes to Giving we are looking at three important factors:
1.  What is the biblical principles behind Giving, or being a giver.
2. Currently we are considering what are the biblical practices when it comes to Giving, or being a giver.                                                    
3. How are we to participate when it comes to Giving or being a giver. 
 
So then, let's consider what are the biblical practices when it comes to Giving, or being a giver.  And there are four we are concerned with.
First, the Giving of an offering.  You & I prayerfully determine the amount of support we intend to Give and for how long.


Next, I'm led by the LORD to be regularly involved in Percentage Giving, or Proportionate Giving,  Dedicated or Commitment Giving - simply put, Tithing.   Again, you & I prayerfully determines the amount of support we intend to Give and for how long.

Still, another area would be Free Will Giving concerning a need, task, or a matter.  This would be above and beyond the regular Tithe or Offering normally given.   Again, you & I prayerfully determine the amount of support we intend to Give and for how long. 

Finally,  Sacrificial Giving. The willingness to put a cause, or a need, or a matter above your own needs, wants, or desires, knowing that God will make a way somehow for you.   Again,  you and I prayerfully determining the amount of support we intend to give and for how long.  Example - The Widow's Mite. 

This morning I would like to focus on the biblical practices when it comes to Giving or being a giver, where I'm led by the Lord to be regularly involved in Percentage Giving, or Proportionate giving, Dedicated or Commitment Giving, simply put - Tithing. 

The Biblical Evolution of Tithing. There are four main categories:
The Frst Category is the Patriarchal Period from Abraham to Joseph. Genesis.12-50.
And only Abraham and Jacob practice Tithing as a one-time act, and not as a continuous practice during this time period.   For example, one time in Genesis. 14: 18-20 - Abraham before Melchizedek.   In Genesis. 28: 18-22,  Jacob makes a personal vow to God, based on God's protection and provision that he would be willing to Give a Tithe of all he had.  Yet, throughout the Book of Genesis, you never notice Jacob practicing Tithing on a regular basis.  This appeared to be a one-time act.

The Second Category is under the Law Of Moses.  The books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy from the time of the exodus from Egypt, throughout the 40-years of wandering in the wilderness.  Now, with the establishment of the Tabernacle Worship Center and with it's priesthood.   Israel was required to support the system by Tithing with two different Tithes during the course of the year.  Under the Law of Moses, each adult male, 20 years and older were commanded to Give more than just one Tithe, but Tithes within a year adding up to 20%,  more than just 10%.
The first Tithe that was required was known as the Levites or the Priestly Tithe.  Numbers. 18: 21-28 and Nehemiah 10: 37 & 38.
The next Tithe that was required was known as the place where the Lord has chosen to place His name, sometime known as the Tabernacle or Temple Tithe.  Deuteronomy 14: 22-27.
Finally, there was a third Tithe that was only required every three years.   This was known as the Welfare Tithe to support the Poor and the Needy.  Deuteronomy 14: 28 & 29;  Deuteronomy 26: 12-15.

The Third Category has three parts to it.
1.  During the period of The Kings.  II Chronicles 31:12.
2. During the period of Israel return from captivity.   Nehemiah 10: 12-13.
3. During the Times of the Prophets.  Amos 4,  Malachi 3.

Finally, this the Fourth Category has two parts to it.
1.   During the Ministry of Jesus and only in Luke 18: 12.   Does the Lord speak to the issue of Tithing in a negative way.  Yet in Matthew, Mark, or John, nothing is said as far as Tithing being practiced or being an obligation.
2.   Around the New Testament times.  Only in one book, the Book of Hebrews 7: 1-10.  Yet nothing is said by the other writers of the New Testament such as Paul, James, Peter, Jude, or John.

So then, what do we do?  How much do we Give?  Does it matter? Do we Give 10% or whatever I feel like? How much do you Give?  Proverb 3: 9 & 10.

Finally, where do I Give, if I'm led to Give a portion or percentage of my income on a regular basis?  Is it to support the homeless and the needy?  Is it to my local church?  Is it to any ministry I feel like Giving to?  Where do I Give?  Malachi 3: 8-12.

PART 7   03-15-15

And when it comes to Giving, there are three important factors to be considered.

First.  What are the Biblical Principles behind Giving or being a Giver?  Which in November, 2014 we already covered.

Second.  During the first two Sundays of this month, we have considered, what are the Biblical Practices when it comes to Giving, or being a Giver.

Thirdly,  How are we to participate when it comes to Giving or being a Giver?

This morning, I would like to focus on this third area.  How are we to participate when it comes to Giving or being a Giver.                                                                                                                                                            First of all, my Attitude has to change.  See Corinthians 9: 6-8.                                                                         Next, my Understanding has to change.  See Corinthians 16: 1 & 2.                                                                  Finally, my Perception has to change.  For example, see Job 41:11;  Haggai 2:8,  Psalm 50: 10.  "It all belongs to God anyway".     And  Lastly, I am to be a faithful steward of the Lord.  See Luke 12: 42-48, Luke 16: 10-13.

++++++++++++++++++++

What The Bible Says About Communion

10-2014

This second major half in I Corinthians. 11: 27-32 is more correctional, gives Warning and Consequences.

Unworthily - Most read and interpret this word as if it were 'Unworthy' and not 'Unworthily'.  Suppose that it refers to a person being unfit to partake of something, rather than to the manner in which something is done.

In fact, the Greek word 'anaxios' that is used here, that is translated in some Bibles unworthily is an adverb and not an adjective.  As an adverb it is making reference to the manner in which something is done.  If it were an adjective, it is making reference to personal worthy or fitness in oneself.

Listen, it is true that in ourselves, apart from Jesus Christ, we are all unworthy to approach the table of the Lord to partake.  We are unworthy to be regarded as His followers.  We are unworthy to have received everlasting life. Yet it is in, and through and because of Christ, and by means of The Holy Spirit who brings conversion, that we have placed our personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  We are now justified and sanctified in the sight of God so that our worthiness and our acceptance, has been made possible and is no longer in question, or an issue with God.

However, unworthily means being or acting improperly, making oneself unsuitable for something special.  Unworthily can mean, unworthy in manner or being irreverent.  Unworthily also points to a defiant spirit, or attitude in us that does not care about God's standards, rules, commandments or laws enough to practice them or obey them.  A defiant spirit only wants what it wants no matter the consequences and will demand to be in control of its own needs, wants, and desires.

Notice, I Corinthians 11: 27 & 29.  No wonder the Bible says in v27, "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily (unworthily manner) shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord".   v29. "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (unworthily manner) eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body".

Again, Unworthily - any sinful, habitual, defiant practice, behavior, conduct or lifestyle.  That is against or contrary to God and His Word.  Unworthily speaks of the unworthiness of an act or a lifestyle or behavior that is existing, habitual in ones life.  Where there is no confession to God, nor repentance from that which is sinful and wrong.

What about internal things that are existing habitually in ones life - where there is no confession to God, nor repentance from that which is sinful and wrong.  Attitudes, unforgiving, judgmental, critical, proud, etc.  Desires, immoral motives, addictions, secret sins that nobody know but God.  Compromising, my conviction, my value, my morals, peer pressure, bad habits, smoking, using profanity.

Things that habitual in ones life where there is no confession to God, nor repentance from that which is sinful and wrong.  A defiant spirit, or attitude that des not care about God's standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or obey them.  A defiant spiritonly wants what it wants, no matter the consequences and will demand to be in control of it's own needs, wants, and desires.

God knows the difference between weakness or rebellion in us.  Addictions, secret sins that nobody knows but God.  Compromising my conviction, my value, my morals (peer pressure), bad habits.

When there is weakness and yet willingness to change and seek help.  God shows much grace, mercy, and help to anyone.  But where there is rebellion and a defiant spirit, God will show tough love and divine correction.

Remember I Corinthians 11: 28, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  Examine yourself days leading up to the first Sunday and even during the Communion Service.  Confession to God.  Seeking from God true repentance from that which is sinful and wrong in my life.                                                                                                                                                                                   I make amends where needed.   I apologize.  I take responsibility for my actions.   I'm not blaming or making excuses.   I get up.   I continue to move forward.   I submit myself to God and resist the devil.   I may need a spiritual mentor, to pray with you and for you.  To share the Word with you, being accountable, being disciple.  Prayer and fasting can be very helpful during this time for restoration in your life.

Should you and I partake of Communion?  I Corinthians 11:28. "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup".   Have you examined yourself days leading up to the first Sunday and even during the Communion Service itself?   Have you a confession to God, any and all of your sins?    Have you been seeking from God true repentance from that which is sinful and wrong in my life?    Have you made amends where needed?   Apologized?  Take responsibility for your actions, not blaming or making excuses?   Have you and I submitted myself to God and are resisting the devil?   Are you moving forward or are you stuck, or moving backward?    Are you working with a spiritual mentor, being accountable, being a disciple?   Are you praying and fasting during this time of restoration in your life?

Part 2

This second major half in I Corinthians 11:27-32 is more correctional, gives warning and consequences, therefore, there are four things we ought to consider.  The Warning,  The Outcome or the Reason For. The Consequences.  The Cause.

The Warning.   V27. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily.  V29.  For one that eateth and drinketh unworthily.

Unworthily means, being or acting improperly, making oneself unsuitable for something special.  Unworthily can mean unworthy in manner or being irrelevant.  Unworthily also points to a defiant spirit, or attitude in us that does not care about God's standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or obey them.  A defiant spirit only wants what it wants, no matter the consequences and will demand to be in control of it's own needs, wants, and desires.

Notice I Corinthians 11: 27 & 29.  No wonder the Bible says in v27, "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily ,(unworthily manner) shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord".   v29. "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily (unworthily manner) eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body".

Again, Unworthily - any sinful, habitual, defiant practice, behavior, conduct or lifestyle.  That is against or contrary to God and His Word.  Unworthily speaks of the unworthiness of an act or a lifestyle or behavior that is existing, habitual in ones life.  Where there is no confession to God, nor repentance from that which is sinful and wrong.

The Outcome or the Reason For.                                                                                                                            V27. "...shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.                                                                                        V29. "...eateth and drinketh damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body".

Shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  The word here translated 'guilty' signifies the condition in which a person becomes amenable to punishment.  To come unworthily to the Lord's table is to become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  It would be like to trample a country's flag, for it is not to dishonor a piece of cloth but to dishonor the country it represents.  To come unworthily to Communion does not simply dishonor the ceremony, it dishonors the One in whose honor it is celebrated.  We become guilty of dishonoring His body and blood, which represents Christ's gracious life and His work for us. His suffering and death on our behalf.  We becoming guilty of mocking and treating with indifference the very person of Jesus Christ.

This is why V29 says, "eateth and drinketh damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body".  Damnation in the KJV - rendering is especially unfortunate, the idea here is judgment (krima) or chastisement.  To eat and drink judgment to oneself, since you do not judge the body and the blood rightly.  That chastening comes if one does not judge the body and the blood used in Communion rightly.

The Consequences.   V30.  "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep".   Notice the progression physically and in health.   1st, weak or weaken both physically and in health.    Next, sickly among you.  Chronic ailments that get worse over time.   Finally, many sleep, premature death of the individual.

The Cause.   V32.  "But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world".  The great difference in Paul's use of krima (judgment) in v29 and katakrima (condemned) is seen here in v32, where it is clear that krima refers to discipline of the saved and katakrima refers to condemnation of the lost.

Closing with Hebrew 1: 5-11.

Part 3   12-28-2014

First.  A self-evaluation.  V28a.  "But let a person examine himself."   V31.  "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."                                                                                                                                     Next.  Permission and Grace to fellowship and to participate.  V28b.  "and then so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup."                                                                                                                                        Finally.  An awareness of others and more self-control among the Saints.   V33.  "Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another."    V34.  "And if any many hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.   And the rest will I set in order when I come."

A self-evaluation.  So how do we avoid the consequences of partaking of the table of the Lord in an unworthy manner?   Remember.  What are the consequences of partaking of the table of the Lord in a unworthy manner?    V27b.  "You shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."    V29b.  "You shall eateth and drinketh damnation or judgment to yourself, not discerning the Lord's body."    V30.  "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."   V32.  "But when we are judged, we chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world."

Again.  How do we avoid the consequences of partaking of the table the Lord in an unworthy manner?  Two things to know and two things to do.    V28.  "But let a man (or person) examine themselves."   V31.  "For if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged."

So, the first things to know and the first things to do.  V28a.  "But let a man (person or individual) examine themselves."   Notice it does not say to examine someone else or to compare yourself to someone else.  It says examine yourself.  But what does it really mean to examine yourself?  This word 'examine' is very interesting.  It has several ideas we should consider.  First of all, to examine yourself would mean to test, to prove, or to approve to see whether it is genuine or not.  Examine yourself means, to recognize as being genuine after examination or approve or deem worthy.  Examine yourself means, to scrutinize an item like when shopping for pottery or produce.

Some of the different areas that could be examined in our lives.   In the area of the spirit man or the heart are areas that could be examined in our lives.  In the area of the soul; the mind, your thinking, your emotions, anger, fear, etc.  These are areas that could be examined in our lives:  The body, the Temple of God, are areas that could be examined in our lives.   My attitudes, my conduct, my motives are areas that could be examined in our lives.  My relationships with others, such as family, friends or strangers are areas that could be examined in our lives.  My stewardship of my time, my talent, my treasure, my faithfulness to the service of Christ are areas that could be examined in our lives.  Even my personal relationship with the Father, the Son, and with the Holy Spirit are areas that could be examined in our lives.

So then, what is the purpose of all of this?  And why should we examine ourselves?  Two main reasons.     First, we are committed to being accountable to God on a regular basis.  Romans 14:12.                           Second, to prevent or guard against broken fellowship with God and one another.  I John 1: 3, 6, 7 & 9.

Remember we said, there are two things to know and two things to do.  This is the second thing to know and the second thing to do.  V31.  "For if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged."   Actually, v31 is a parenthesis in the midst of a thought - vs 30 & 32.  Therefore, to judge ourselves would mean to decide, to look closely at, or to be discerning about a matter.  The idea is to search, to explore, to correct and to find anything amiss considering myself.

So, how would we do this?  How do we judge ourselves?    First, we acknowledge our sins are sins against God.  This is the opposite of being in denial, or blaming others.  Psalms 32:5

Next, we confess our sin or sins to God.  This means we are agreeing with God.  I John 1: 9a.  Whatever God says is sin IS sin, no matter what my society, culture, or my feelings say!  Romans 1:26-32.

Finally, we receive from God the repentance that He grants or gives which will enable us to experience true and lasting change and transformation.  II Timothy 2: 25 & 26.

Permission and Grace to fellowship and to participate.   V28.  "and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup."  The Holy Spirit grants permission and the Grace of God encourages fellowship and participation in the Lord's table when we have followed the instructions given for self-evaluation in vs 28a & 31.

An awareness of others and more self-control among the Saints.  V33.  "Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another."   V34.  "And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.  And the rest will I set in order when I come".   We must be aware of our actions and attitudes among the Saints in times of fellowship.   V33.  "Wherefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, tarry one for another."  This could be referring to the Lord's table, or it could be referring to their times of social feasting, a 'potluck'.  See vs 20 & 21.  Either way, we must be aware of our actions and attitudes among the Saints in our times of fellowship with each other.

Finally,  more self-control among the Saints is needed.  V34 says, "And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.  And the rest will I set in order when I come".  Notice v22.

++++++++++++++++++++

The Significance And The Importance Of The Teaching Of Jesus Christ

Part 1   12-7-2014

Luke 8:4-10   Now, here in Luke 8, beginning with verses 11-15.  Our Lord gives us The Meaning, The Interpretation, and The Application of this important parable.   There are four important factors which this parable reveals.      Luke 8: 11;     1st.   The Word of God works (v11).                                                                                                                                                                                                 2nd The condition of your heart will make all the difference in how God's Word works in you and for you.  (vs 12-15).    Do you have an unresponsive heart?  Do you have an impulsive heart?   Do you have a preoccupied heart?   Do you have a well-prepared heart?    3rd.  The wrong response during times of spiritual attack, eternal pressures, and personal temptations can neutralize God's work to you (vs 12-14).

Finally, know this.  Only 1 out of 4 people will experience truth change and spiritual growth when God's Word is shared, received, and believed.

Now Luke 8:11 says, "The seed is the Word of God".

Now, the first of the four important factors which this parable reveals is, the Word of God works.  See Isaiah 55:11.

A honest question.  How do you really feel about the Bible, God's Word?                                                          The Bible, God's Word is, boring.                                                                                                                            The Bible, God's Word is, irrelevant - out of touch with today.                                                                              The Bible, God's Word is, hard to understand.                                                                                                        The Bible, God's Word is, too much to read.                                                                                                          The Bible, God's Word is, too difficult to practice or follow.                                                                                  The Bible, God's Word, I'm just too busy to get into it.                                                                                          The Bible, God's Word, I really have more important things to do.                                                                       The Bible, God's Word, I don't like it.                                                                                                                  Maybe we would never say these things but, maybe your actions show how we are really feeing, don't you think?

My attitude before Salvation and after Salvation about the Bible, God's Word will determine everything.  Whether I'm truly saved or lost.                                                                                                                          Whether I'm walking in freedom or bondage.                                                                                                 Whether I will have hope or despair.                                                                                                                  Whether I will live with insight or confusion.                                                                                                                                                                        Whether I will experience transformation or conformity to this world.

A few things to know about the Bible, God's Word;                                                                                               The Bible, God's Word, where does it come from?   II Timothy 3: 16 & 17; II Peter 1: 20 & 21.                             The Bible, God's Word, what can it do?  See Hebrews 4: 12 & 13.                                                                        The Bible, God's Word, how must we treat it?  See James 1: 22-25.                                                                    The Bible, God's Word, who can it help or guide?  See Psalms 119:105.                                                              The Bible, God's Word, what can take place when it is received?  See Psalms 119:11.

The condition of your heart.  Psalms 119:11 says again, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Remember, the Word of God works like a seed. The Word of God will work.  The only issue is the heart.  The issue is not about the skill of the one preaching or teaching, its the state of a person's heart.

The results of the hearing of the Word always depends on the condition of the heart.  The hearer's heart, will determine the effect of the Word will have on them.  For example, if they hear God's Word or the message of Jesus Christ and turn their back and walk away, that doesn't say anything about the seed nor the sower, that says everything about the soil.  It just reveals where their heart is at.

Part 2   12-14-2015

Now, last Sunday, we considered one of the parable teachings of Jesus Christ in Luke 8:58.  Now, notice verses 5-8.  This is the actual parable that Jesus told.  But here in Luke chapter 8, beginning at vs 11-15, our Lord gives us The Meaning, The Interpretation, and The Application of this important parable.  There are four important factors which this parable reveals.

The first of the four important factors which this parable reveals, which we will consider the last time, was The Word Of God Works.  Notice Luke 8:11.  Jesus said, "The seed is the Word of God."  And the Word of God works.

This morning, let's consider another one of the four important factors which this parable reveals, and that is, The Condition Of Your Heart Will Make A Difference - How God's Word Works In You And For You.

Now in Luke 8: 12-15, Jesus taught us in this parable that;                                                                                    You can have a Defiant or an Uninterested heart.  See v12.                                                                                You can have an Impulsive or Immature heart.  See v13.                                                                                       You can have a Preoccupied or Discontented heart.  See v14.                                                                             You can have a Prepared or Receptive heart.  See v15.

But what is the heart?  It is that part of the soul of man. that is internal, which affects the desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, thinking, passions, and attitudes.  It is that part of us that will commit, engage and be involved in whatever we deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling.  The heart is a place of authority (a seat, or a throne) in which the Lord must govern and not we, ourselves.  The heart is the core, the control center of that individual which needs constant divine supervision.

So then, before you were saved, and after you were saved, know this; see Mark 7: 21-23.                          Before you were saved, and after you were saved, know this; see Jeremiah 17: 9-10.                                    Before you were saved, and after you were saved, know this; see I John 3: 20-21.                                       Before you were saved, and after you were saved, know this; see Ephesians 3:17.                                       Before you were saved, and after you were saved, know this; see Psalm 51: 10-12. 

Now back to Luke 8: 12-15.  Now remember v11.  The Word of God Works.  Like a seed, the Word of God will work.  The only real issue is the heart. The issue is not about the skill or the personality of the one preaching or teaching.  Instead, it's all about the state of a person's heart.

The results of the hearing of the Word always, always depends on the condition of the heart.  The hearer's heart will determine the effect the Word will have on them.  For example, if he or she hears God's Word or the gospel message concerning Jesus Christ and can turn their back and walk away, that doesn't say anything about the seed, nor the sower but that tells you everything about the soil (the heart) and where it's at.

Now let's consider the condition of our hearts before your were saved and after you were saved.    Before Salvation and after Salvation concerning the Bible, God's Word - you can have a Defiant or Uninterested heart.  See Luke 8: 12a.  Jesus says, "Those by the wayside - are they that hear (then cometh the devil) and taketh away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."

Let's look at this first one Jesus calls it, "the wayside" soil.  Before Salvation, this is the soil that was never plowed up because it was that soil that was around the field, that was used as a pathway to walk upon or to ride upon.  It was beaten down and was very hard, like a trail.

This person is the one, on whom seed was sown but it did not penetrate their heart.  This is the hard-hearted person.  This is the stiff-necked person, the resistant person, the belligerent person.  This is the person of Psalms 14:1a, "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God."  This is a Defiant heart. an attitude that does not care about God's standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or obey them.  A Defiant heart only wants what it wants, no matter the consequences.  And it will demand to be in control of it's own needs, wants, and desires.

So, neither the terrors of the Lord are not frightening enough for them to repent from their ways, nor is the love of God winsome enough for them to want to change.  For this heart is unplowed and over the time, like a trail, the heart grows callous and hard because it had never been broken up by the work and ministry or the Holy Spirit.

However, even after Salvation concerning the Bible, God's Word, we can have an Uninterested heart as well.  So likewise, this heart is unplowed and over time, like a trail, the heart grows callous and hard because again, it had never been broken up by the work and ministry of The Holy Spirit.

This could be me or you - the one on whom seed was sown but the Bible, God's Word does not move you, nor interest you any longer.   The Bible, God's Word is for you, boring.                                                              The Bible, God's Word is for you, irrelevant - out of touch with today.                                                                 The Bible, God's Word is for you, too hard to understand.                                                                                    The Bible, God's Word is for you, too much to read.                                                                                              The Bible, God's Word is for you, too difficult to practice or to live out.                                                               The Bible, God's Word is for you, just too busy to get into.                                                                                   The Bible, God's Word is for you, is something to endure or tolerate, maybe depending on who is preaching or teaching, or if they can amuse you or entertain you, or amaze you with their so-called 'signs & wonders'.     See II Timothy 4: 3&4.

Only God, The Holy Spirit, The Third Person on the Trinity is the only one who can intervene upon the heart of man so that the Word of God can have an affect so to bring about conviction, repentance, belief and trust in the Lord.

Here are a few things to know about the work and ministry of The Holy Spirit before Salvation or after Salvation to grant us a heart like Jesus said in Luke 8:15, one thathas been prepared and made receptive the work and ministry of The Holy Spirit.

See St. John 16: 7-11.  This is before Salvation.                                                                                                        See Acts 7:51.  This is both before Salvation and after Salvation.                                                                         See Ephesians 4:30,  This is after Salvation.                                                                                                           See Genesis 6:3.  This is before Salvation.                                                                                                              See Titus 3: 3-5.  This is before Salvation.

Part 3   03-30-2015   

We are returning back to one of The Parables Teachings of Jesus Christ in Luke 8: 5-8.

Notice versus 5-8.  This part is the actual parable that Jesus told.  But in Luke chapter 8, beginning at versus 11-15, our Lord gives us, the Meaning, the Interpretation, and the Application of this important parable.

Now, there are four important factors which this parable reveals.

The First of the four important factors which this parable reveals in which we considered back in December 2014 was, "The Word of God Works".

This morning, let's pick up where we left off last year.  For we were considering another one of these four important factors in which this parable by Jesus reveals, and that is. "The Condition of Your Heart Will Make All The Difference - How God's Word Works In You And For You".  Remember, Jesus said in  Luke 8: 11, "The seed is the Word of God."  And the Word of God works.

Now in Luke 8: 12-15, Jesus taught us in the parable that we can have throughout a lifetime.  At least, one or a combination of these four kinds of hearts;                                                                                                             You can have a Defiant or an Uninterested Heart.  V12.                                                                                       You can have an Impulsive or Immature Heart.  See V13.                                                                                     You can have a Preoccupied or Discontented Heart.  See V14.                                                                           You can have a Prepared or Receptive Heart.  See V15.                                                                                  Notice in Versus 12 and 15, the word 'Heart'.

But what is the 'Heart'?  It is that part of the soul of man that is internal, which effects the desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, thinking, passions, and attitudes.  It is that part of us that will commit, engage, and be involved in whatever we deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling.  The 'Heart' is the core, the control center of that individual which needs constant divine supervision.  Remember Jeremiah 17: 9 & 10.

Now, remember V11, "The Word of God works".  Like a seed, the Word of God will work.  The only real issue is the 'Heart'.  The issue is not about the skill or the personality of the one preaching or teaching.  Instead, it's all about the state of a person's heart'.

Listen, the positive results that can come from hearing the Word always, always, depends on the condition of the 'Heart'.  The hearer's 'Heart' will determine the effect the Word will have on them. 

But, let's consider the condition of the hearts before you were saved, and after you were saved.  Before Salvation and after Salvation - your attitude concerning the Bible, of God's Word.  You could have a Defiant  or Uninterested Heart.  See Luke 8: 12a.  Jesus says, "Those by the wayside are they that hear, then cometh the Devil and taketh away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved".  Wow!

This first one, Jesus called it, "the Wayside Soil".  This is the soil that was never plowed up because it wasaround the field, that which was used as a pathway to walk upon, or to ride upon.  It was beaten down and was very hard, like a trail.  Listen.  Before salvation, this person is the one whom seed was sown but it did not penetrate into their 'Heart'.  This is the head-hearted person.  This is the stiff-necked person.  The resistant person.  The belligerent person.  This is the person on Psalm 14: 1a.  "The fool has said in his heat, there is no God".  This is a Defiant Heart.  An attitude that does not care about God's standards, rules, commandments, or laws enough to practice them or to obey them.  A Defiant Heart only wants what it wants, no matter what the consequences and it will demand to be in control of it's own needs, wants, and desires.  For this 'Heart' is unplowed and over time, like a trail, the 'Heart' grows callous and hard, because it had never been broken up by the work or ministry of The Holy Spirit.

However, even after salvation, concerning the Bible, God's Word, we can have an Uninterested Heart, as well.   So, likewise, this 'Heart' was neglected.  Very little time in the Word, if any.  Nor, was there, the seeking The Holy Spirit when the Word had been read on their own, or preached to them by others.  Listen, this is the one on whom seed was sown, but the Bible, God's Word, does not move you, nor interest you any longer.  The Bible, God's Word, if for you - it is boring.                                                                                                       The Bible, God's Word, if for you - it is irrelevant, out of touch with today.                                                          The Bible, God's Word, if for you - it is too hard to understand.                                                                            The Bible, God's Word, if for you - it is too much to read.                                                                                     The Bible, God's Word, if for you - too difficult to practice or to live out.                                                             The Bible, God's Word, if for you - I'm just too busy to get into.                                                                              Or maybe, the Bible, God's Word for you is just something to endure or tolerate, depending on who is preaching or teaching and if they can amuse you or entertain you, or amaze you with their so-called, 'signs and wonders'. 

Listen, over time, like a trail, the 'Heart' grows callous, hard, unplowed.  Because, for too long, this person's 'Heart' has allowed, nor have they sought the work and ministry of The Holy Spirit to break up and touch and change their 'Heart'.  Only God, The Holy Spirit, The Third Person of The Trinity is The only One who can intervene upon the 'Heart; of man, so that the Word of God can have effect to bring about conviction, repentance, belief, and trust in the Lord. 

Again, see Luke 8: 12a.  Jesus says, "Those by the wayside are they that hear, then cometh the Devil and taketh away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved".   Three things to notice;       1.  The Thief                                                                                                                                                                 2.  The Target.                                                                                                                                                              3.  The Goal, or The Purpose, or The Reason for all of this!    

1st.  The Thief.   Jesus warns.   "Then comes the Devil"  (either, when the Word of God is being read on your own, or being preached to you by another).  Jesus warns, "then comes the Devil, like a thief", because the Devil and his angels will show up unannounced.  They may be unseen, but they are presently waiting patiently for their opportunity to take advantage.  So, what must we do?  Whether saved or unsaved, The Lord is the only One who can help us during this vulnerable time when the Word of God is being read on your own or being preached to you by another.                                                                                                                          * If you are not a true Christian, you are particularly vulnerable, for only by God's Grace and Mercy through the work of The Holy Spirit can you receive, believe, and understand what you must do to be forgiven and saved.  It is truly a miracle how God works in this matter concerning the unsaved.                                                * However, if you know the Lord and are truly saved, we need the Holy Spirit's help in resisting the Devil with his temptations, distractions, and self-desires.  Notice versus 13b & 14b.  See James 4:7.

2ndly.  The Target.   Jesus informs.  "and Satan taketh away".  Or, the verb, meaning, to carry off, or to remove from it's place.  Satan taketh away the Word out of their 'Hearts'.  Or, that which lays on the top, the surface.  Remember the birds in verse 5,   Because the Word has not penetrated yet.  For it's during and after times when you have read yourself, or someone has ministered the God's Word to you, do you own it?  Do you take responsibility of what you have heard and what you have read?  Do you study to understand what God's Word is saying to you?  Do you seek The Holy Spirit's help to break up the fallow ground of your 'Heart' so that the Word might take root so that you might bring and bear fruit?  See Luke 8: 8b & 16-18.

Finally.  The Goal, or The Purpose, or The Reason for all of this!  Jesus exposes. "lest the person should believe and be saved".

Part 4   04-12-2015   

As we are returning back to one of The Parables Teachings of Jesus Christ here in Luke 8: 5-8, now notice e versus 5-8.  This is the actual parable that Jesus told.  Yet, in Luke chapter 8, beginning at versus 11-15, our Lord gives us, the Meaning, the Interpretation, and the Application of this important parable.

Now, there are four important factors which this parable reveals.

This morning, let's pick up where we left off two Sundays ago.  We were considering another one of these four important facts in which this parable by Jesus reveal, and that is, "The condition of your heart will make all the difference- how God's Word works in you and for you."  Remember, Jesus said in Luke 8:11.  "The seed is the Word of God."  And, the Word of God works.

Here in Luke 8: 12-15; Jesus taught us that we can have throughout a life time, or at least, one or a combination of these four types of heart condition.                                                                                              You can have a Defiant or an Uninterested Heart.  V12.                                                                                            You can have an Impulsive or Immature Heart.  See V13.                                                                                     You can have a Preoccupied or Discontented Heart.  See V14.                                                                            You can have a Prepared or Receptive Heart.  See V15.                                                                                  Notice in Versus 12 and 15, the word 'Heart'.

But what is the 'Heart'?  It is that part of the soul of man that is internal, which effects the desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, thinking, passions, and attitudes.  It is that part of us that will commit, engage, and be involved in whatever we deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling.  The 'Heart' is the place of authority.  A seat or a throne in which The Lord must govern and not, we, ourselves.  The 'Heart' is the core, the control center of that individual which needs constant divine supervision.  Remember Jeremiah 17: 9 & 10.

Now, remember v11, "The Word of God works".   Like a seed, the Word of God will work.  The only real issue is the 'Heart'., the 'Soil'.  The issue is not about the skill or the personality of the one preaching or teaching.  Instead, it's all about the state of a person's 'Heart'.

Now, two Sundays ago, we saw in Luke 8:12a, that you can have a defiant or uninterested heart.  Jesus says, "Those by the wayside are they that hear, then comes the Devil and taketh it away, the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved".  Wow!

The first condition of the heart, Jesus calls it, "the wayside soil".   This is the soil that was never plowed up because it was that soil that was around the field that was used as a pathway to walk upon, or to ride upon.  It was beaten down and was very hard, like a trail.

Listen, before Salvation - this is the person upon whom the seed was sown.  Now, remember in v11, the seed is the Word of God and the Word of God works.   Like a seed, the Word of God will work.  The only real issue is the 'Heart'.  And in this case, it did not penetrate into their heart.  This is the hard-hearted person.  This is the stiff-necked person, the resistant person who is not concerned with God's standards, rules. commandments, or laws.  A defiant heart only wants what it wants no matter the consequences.  This kind of heart demands to be in control of its own needs, wants, and desires.  For this heart is unplowed and over time like a trail, the heart grows callous and hard because it had never been broken up by the work and ministry of The Holy Spirit.

And unfortunately, Jesus says in Luke 8 12a "those by the wayside are they that hear, then cometh the devil", either, when the Word of God is being read on their own, or being preached to them by another, "then comes the devil".  Like a thief, the devil or his angels will show up announced.  They may be unseen, but they are present,  waiting patiently for their opportunity, waiting to take advantage.

Even after Salvation, concerning the Bible, God's Word, we who are saved, if we are not wise and careful, we can develop this condition - an uninterested heart.  This is the one on whom seed was sown, that is the Bible, God's Word, but is does not move them, nor does it interest them any longer.  This hear was neglected over time.  Not much time in the Word was invested, nor was there the seeking of The Holy Spirit, either when The Word had been read on their own, or when it was being preached to them by others.  In either case, it did not penetrate into their heart.

And again, unfortunately, Jesus says in Luke 8 12a,  "then cometh the devil", either, when the Word of God is being read on their own, or being preached to them by another, "then comes the devil".  Like a thief, the devil or his angels will show up announced.  They may be unseen, but they are present,  waiting patiently for their opportunity, waiting to take advantage.

Because The Lord cares, He does three important things here in Luke 8:12.  Jesus warns!  Jesus Informs!  And Jesus Exposes!   Jesus warns us about the thief.  Notice in Luke 8:12, "then comes the devil".  Jesus informs us about the thief.    What he wants and what he has targeted in you.  Notice in  Luke 8: 12, "to taketh away the Word out of their hearts."  And Jesus exposes the goal, or the purpose, or the reason for all of this.  Notice in Luke 8:12, "lest they should believe and be saved.'

First, Jesus warns us about a thief.  Notice in Luke 8:12, "then comes the devil".  The devil or his angels or fallen angels that are assigned to harass and rip off the Saved and the Unsaved.  Like a thief, they will show up unannounced.  They may be unseen but they are present, waiting patiently for their opportunity,  Waiting to take advantage.

Next, Jesus informs us about the thief, what he wants and what he has targeted in you.  Notice in Luke 8:12, "to taketh away The Word out of their hearts."   Quickly, two things.  First, the thief, what does he want and what he has targeted in you.  Notice in verse 12, "to taketh away the Word out of their hearts."   The seed is The Word of God.  Second.  Satan takes away.  This verb means, to carry off, or to remove from it's place that which lays on the top. or the surface because The Word has not penetrated yet.  For during and after this time when you have either read yourself, or someone has ministered God's Word to you, if you don't own it, if you don't take responsibility of what you have heard and what you have read., if you don't study to understand what God's Word is saying to you, and if you don't seek The Holy Spirit's help to break up the fallow ground of your heart so that The Word might take root so that you might bear fruit, then the devil or his angels assigned to harass and rip off the saved and the unsaved, like a thief, they will show up unannounced.  They are waiting patiently for their opportunity, waiting to take advantage.

Finally, Jesus exposes the goal, or the purpose, or the reason for all of this.  Notice in Luke 8:12, "lest they should believe and be saved."   The word, 'believe' is the Greek word 'posteuo', a verb.                          'Believe' is to be persuaded based on the evidence about a matter or fact.                                                 'Believe' is to put confidence in someone or to trust someone.                                                                    'Believe' is atrust that leads to action and an expectation or a willingness to remain committed.                      Yet, if we are not prepared your belief can be shaken or tested.                                                                              Notice in Luke 8:13b, "yet they have no root, who believe for a while, but in times of temptation fall away."  More to say about Luke 8:13 next time.

Again, notice Luke 8: 12b.  Our Lord exposes the plot, the goal, or the purpose, or the reason for all of this.  "Lest people should believe and be saved."  Be saved. forgiven, set free, born again, redeemed, given new life, a new destination, a new destiny.  To be Saved is to be delivered from the power, the penalty, and one day, the presence of sin and a sin nature.

Therefore, the plot, the goal, the purpose, or the reason for the devil or his angels these beings that are assigned to harass and rip off the Saved and the Unsaved is to prevent, to stop anyone so they don't believe and be Saved.  See Corinthians 4:3 & 4.

Seems rather bleak, does it?  How is it possible for anyone to be Saved?  Well, with man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

Questions.  How can one believe so that they can be Saved?  Ephesians 2: 8 & 9;  Romans 10:17, then Acts 16: 31 & 32.

And what are the essential facts about Jesus Christ from the Bible that one must believe in order to be Saved?  Romans 10:9;  St John 14:6;  1 John 5: 20;  1 John 5:7;  1 John 2: 1&2.

Part 5   04-19-2015   

As we are returning back to one of The Parable Teachings of Jesus Christ-
here in Luke 8: 5-8.

Now, Notice verses. 5-8.  This is the actual parable, that Jesus told.  Yet, in Luke chapter 8;  beginning at verses. 11-15,  our Lord gives us the Meaning, the Interpretation, and the Application, of this important parable.

This morning we are considering one of the four important factors in which this parable by Jesus reveals and that is, condition of your heart will make all the difference in how God's Word works in you and for you. 
Remember, Jesus said in Luke 8: 11,  "the seed is the Word of God."  And the Word of God works.

Yet, here in Luke 8: 12-15; Jesus taught us that we can have throughout a lifetime, at least, one or a combination of these four types of heart conditions:
You can have a Defiant or an Uninterested Heart.  v12.                                                                                        You can have an Impulsive or Immature Heart.  See v13.                                                                                      You can have a Preoccupied or Discontented Heart.  See v14.                                                                           You can have a Prepared or Receptive Heart.  See v15.                                                                                      

Let's move on to the next heart condition that should concern us, for you and I can have an Impulsive or Immature Heart.   Let's focus on verse.6 & verse.13.   Also, Mark 4: 16 & 17.

Back to Luke 8: 13.  Again, this next heart condition should really concern us, for to have either, an Impulsive
or Immature Heart or both, is a very serious issue of the heart that needs to be addressed.

Now there is a very important observation which is alarming, but needs to be understood.  You can have penetration, but no results. 

In Luke 8: 6 & 7,  the seed has entered the soil.  It has made contact with the soil and begins to produce a result.  Yet, you can have penetration of the seed into the soil and yet have no growth and no fruit, no change and no commitment,  no life and no Salvation.

Unlike before, in Luke 8: 5, when the seed did not penetrate because of the hard surface. The seed just remained on the surface and did not penetrate and was removed.

But in Luke 8: 6 & 7, the seed has entered the soil.  It has made contact with the soil and begins to produce a result.  And, you can have the penetration of the seed into the soil and yet, have no growth and no fruit, no change and no commitment, no life and no Salvation.

Now, we may think that there is something wrong with the seed or the one who sows the seed.  But, the issue is never about the seed, nor about the one who sows the seed.  Always, always, it's always about the person's heart and what kind of heart they have when the Word of God is introduced, either when they read on their own, or someone ministering the Word of God to them.  It's always about the person's heart.

Now, here in Luke 8: 13. Our Lord reveals three things about the Impulsive or Immature Heart.
1st.  This kind of heart enjoys the experience, but never counting the cost.
2ndly. This kind of heart believes superficially, therefore can easily turn to unbelief.
Finally, This kind of heart reveals true intentions and motives when faced with trials, tests, or pressures.

1st. This kind of heart enjoys the experience, but never counting the cost.
Notice in verse 13a.    Also, see Mark. 4: 16.  Impulsive & Immature Heart.  For example, the Multitude Of Jesus' Days.  See St. John. 6: 12-14, 26, 27, 60, 64, & 66.

2ndly. This kind of heart believes superficially, therefore can easily turn to Unbelief.  Notice in verse 13b.
For example, the Impulsiveness & Immaturity of Judas.  The promise of reward but, then the 3rd. prediction of the Lord 's Passion.   See Mark. 10: 28-34.  Then, the distain & unbelief of Judas towards Jesus after that.
See St. John. 12: 3-6.

Finally, this kind of heart reveals true intentions and motives when faced with trials, tests, or pressures.
For example, the Impulsiveness & Immaturity Of Peter.   
In the upper room.  See Luke. 22: 31-34.
In the Garden of Gethsemane.  See Luke. 22: 45 & 46. 
In the courtyard of the home of the High Priest.  See Luke. 22: 54-62.

Part 6   12-06-2015

During this Christmas season, once again, we want to focus on the teaching ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we return back to the one of the parable teachings of Jesus here in Luke Chapter 8.  Part 6.

Read Luke 8: 4-8.

However, beginning at Luke 8, verses 11-15, our Lord Gives us, the Meaning, the Interpretation, and the Application of this important parable.                                                                                                                      

For example:                                                                                                                                                                   V11.  Now the parable is this:  The seed is the Word of God.                                                                                                                                                                                           Remember v5.  A sower went out to sow his seed.  The seed is the Word of God.

Now, from vs 12-15, Jesus reveals that the kind if soil that is mentioned in vs 12-15, really represents the heart condition of that person.

For example:                                                                                                                                                                   V12.  Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

V13. The ones on the rocky soil, are those who, when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.

V14.  The ones that the seeds fell among thorns or weeds are those who when they have heard, go forth and are choked with, or by cares, riches, and pleasures of life and bring no fruit to maturity.

V15.  But the ones that the seeds fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the Word with a noble and good heart, keep it, and bear fruit with patience.

Jesus had so much to say about the heart.

What is the heart?  It is that internal part of the soul of man, which effects Desires, Feelings, Inclinations, Actions, Thinking, Passions, Attitudes, and the Will of that individual.  It is a place of authority like a seat or a throne.  It is the very control center of that individual.

This morning, here in Luke 8: 12-15. Jesus teaches us that whether saved or unsaved, we can have throughout a life time, at least one or a combination of these four types of heart conditions.

Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 12, that we can have a Defiant, or Hard-hearted - an Uninterested heart.     See v 12.                                                                                                                                                                           Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 13, that we can have an Impulsive, or Immature heart.  See v 13.                Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 14, that we can have a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  See v 14.     Jesus said, according to Luke 8:15, that we can have a Prepared, or Receptive heart.  See v 15.

This morning, with God’s help, and your undivided attention, let’s consider the third out of the four types of heart condition that Jesus reveals.

Jesus said, according to Luke 8:14, that we can have a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  See v 14.          The one that the seeds fell among thorns or weeds are those who, when they have heard, go fourth and are choked with or by cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

Basically, Jesus reveals that the condition of your heart will make all the difference in how God’s Word works in you and for you.  Repeat.

Remember, Jesus said in Luke 8: 11, “The seed is the Word of God.”  And the Word of God works.

But the condition of my heart before Salvation and after Salvation about the Bible, God’s Word, will determine everything.                                                                                                                                                         Whether I’m truly saved or lost.                                                                                                                                     Whether I’m walking in freedom or bondage.                                                                                                               Whether I will have hope or despair.                                                                                                                     Whether I will live with insight or confusion.                                                                                                                  Whether I will experience transformation or conformity to this world.

Again, the condition of my heart before Salvation and after Salvation about the Bible, God’s Word, will determine everything.

This next condition that Jesus reveals is, a Preoccupied or discontented heart.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Notice Luke 8: 14.                                                                                                                                                    Now go to Mark 4: 18 & 19.                                                                                                                                           

Jesus reveals that the condition of your heart will make all the difference in how God’s Word works in you and for you.   

Two quick things to note in Mark 4: 18 & 19.  The weeds themselves.                                                                       And what weeds can do to mess things up?  The weeds themselves.                                                                                                                                                                                           Translated in most of our English Bibles as thorns, are actually thorny weeds, or weeds with a thorny top among its foliage.                                                                                                                                                        By the way, every weed is native to the soil that they are part of.  Weeds just grow naturally in whatever kind of ground, never planted, never sowed, they just live there in the ground that they are part of.

However, the seed is alien to the soil that it is placed into, the seed must be planted or sowed, then protected and cared for, and then well-watered.  But weeds on the other hand, they’re at home.  Even if you pull off, or cut off their tops, they’ll get stronger underneath in their root systems.

Two quick things to note in Mark 4: 18 & 19.   The weeds themselves.                                                                     And what weeds can do to mess things up?  As long as a weed can live, it will grow and it will take over.  What else can weeds do to mess things up?  Eventually, weeds will tear and lacerate, and choke the seedlings (the baby plants), causing death to the plant, or causing the plant to be unfruitful.

Notice Mark 4: 18 & 19.                                                                                                                                                                                           V18.  Now, these are the ones, sown among thorns-weeds; who are the one who hears the word.               V19.  But the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things, entering in and choke the Word, the Seed, and in it, the heart of the person who hears the Word, becomes unfruitful.

Three things are mentioned here that are like weeds that enter in and choke off the Word of God, causing the heart of that person to be unfruitful, or spiritually unproductive.                                                                           Or, to bear no fruit for God.                                                                                                                                           Or, to lack evidence that they are what they say they are!                                                                                         For Jesus said, “you will know them by their fruit.”                                                                                                     Where is the evidence that you are what you say you are?

The three things that Jesus said that are like weeds.  Notice Mark 4: 19.                                                                 The cares of the world.                                                                                                                                             The deceitfulness of riches.                                                                                                                                     The lust of desires for other things.

At least one, or a combination of these three things mentioned that Jesus reveals that the Devil will cause against you.

Three things that Jesus said that are like weeds.  Notice Mark 4: 19.                                                                 First, the cares of this world, or the worries of this age, or the anxieties of this age.                                     Explain cares.  The worries, the anxieties, the crisis, the stresses.                                                                             Explain.  This world, or age, or time.

For example:                                                                                                                                                                   A group like Isis, or individuals , or a person who would like to take over the world, by means of terrorism; San Bernardino, California and Paris, France.                                                                                                           Border Security.                                                                                                                                                               Black Lives Matter.  The misconduct if some who are in Law Enforcement.                                                             Race relationships in America.                                                                                                                                 The Immigration or the Refugees problem.                                                                                                                 The Economy.                                                                                                                                                             The 2016 presidential election.                                                                                                                                      Global Warming.                                                                                                                                                       The Global conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East.                                                                  See Luke 21: 25-28; and 34-36.

Part 7   12-13-2015  

This morning, here in Luke 8: 12-15. Jesus teaches us that whether saved or unsaved, we can have throughout a life time, at least one or a combination of these four types of heart conditions.

Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 12, that we can have a Defiant, or Hard-hearted - an Uninterested heart.     See v 12.                                                                                                                                                                           Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 13, that we can have an Impulsive, or Immature heart.  See v 13.                         Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 14, that we can have a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  See  v 14.     Jesus said, according to Luke 8:15, that we can have a Prepared, or Receptive heart.  See v 15.

This morning, with God’s help, let’s consider again the third out of the four types of heart conditions that Jesus reveals.

Jesus said, according to Luke 8:14, that we can have a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  See v14.          This heart condition that Jesus reveals is a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  Now go to Mark 4: 18 & 19.   Jesus reveals that the condition of your heart will make all the difference in how God’s Word works in you and for you.

Notice Mark 4: 18 & 19.  Listen, Jesus lists three specific categories that the devil will try to use against you that are like weeds that will enter in and choke off the Word of God.  And that can cause the heart of that person to be unfruitful or spiritually unproductive,

Or that can cause the heart of that person to bear no fruit for God.

Or, that cause the heart of that person to lack evidence that they are what they say they are.  For Jesus said, “you will know them by their fruit.”  Where is the evidence that you are what you say you are?

Listen, there are three specific categories that the devil will try to use against you.                                     Notice Mark 4: 19.                                                                                                                                                          “The cares of this world.”                                                                                                                                                “The deceitfulness of riches.”                                                                                                                                 "The lust or desires for other things.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last Sunday, we considered the first one.  Notice.  “The cares of this world.”                                                          This morning, let’s consider the second one.  Notice Mark 4:1.  “The deceitfulness of riches.”

Two important words to understand here.

First.  ‘Deceitfulness’ is that which deceives, or fools or tricks.  ‘Deceitfulness’ is to deliberately mislead, or misinform, or misguide someone about something.

2ndly.  The word ‘riches’.  The main idea behind this word is having an abundance or excess.  Having more than enough.  Having large or great quantities of something, either material thigs or personal possessions, or mammon.  Your money, or finances, or income could be included also.

Again, the main idea is, having an abundance or excess.  Having more than enough.  Having large or great quantities of something. 

For example, in biblical times;                                                                                                                             Having children or wives.                                                                                                                                         Having servants.                                                                                                                                                   Having sailing vessels.                                                                                                                                        Having certain animals.                                                                                                                                    Having land.                                                                                                                                                                    Having fruit trees.                                                                                                                                                Having the natural resources in a given area.

In fact, let’s go a little deeper concerning the word ‘wealth’ or ‘riches’.  Two things to notice.

First.  When it comes to riches and wealth, we a have a general perception about riches and wealth.  For example.  When I say wealth or riches, what comes to your mind immediately?

Big homes. Fancy cars,  Nice jewelry.  Expensive clothes.  Eating the best foods.  Traveling anywhere in the world.  Doing whatever you want!

Again, we all have a general perception about riches or wealth.  Now remember, as we go a little bit deeper concerning the word wealth or riches, two things to notice.

2ndly.  There is a possibility, according to God’s Will and purpose in your life that you or I may experience the personal reality of wealth or riches. 

For example.  Because of a good paying job, or business that you have that is doing really good, or that you have sold. 

Because you have talent or a skill, or an ability that is in demand and wanted.

Because of a real estate sale that you own, or that was in your family.  Or, the natural resources that are on that property that you own, or that is in your family.  Natural gas, oil, minerals.  Or, where the property is located at – beachfront, riverfront, lakefront, hillside, countryside, a gate estate community, a major street or corner in a city or country. 

Because of stock investments, mutual funds, annuities that have grown and done well over the ears.

Because of some family member passing, a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandparent, and that person had a significant life insurance policy and you are the beneficiary.

Again, there is a possibility, according to God’s Will and purpose in your life that you or I may experience the personal reality of wealth or riches.

Now, it is all about your net worth.

Your income.  Your disposable income.   Your assets.   Your possessions.   The abundant lifestyle you enjoy. You’re not just keeping up with the Joneses, you are the Joneses now”

Now let’s go a little bit deeper concerning the word, ‘deceitfulness’.                                                           Remember, ‘deceitfulness’  is that which deceives, or fools or tricks.  ‘Deceitfulness’  is to deliberately mislead, or misinform, or misguide someone about something.                                                                                       Listen, the “The deceitfulness of riches” can make you think you will be always happy.

The deceitfulness of riches” can make you think all your problems are solved now.                                      “The deceitfulness of riches” can make you think you are safe and secure.                                                     “The deceitfulness of riches” can make you think that which you have will last forever.                                  “The deceitfulness of riches” will make you feel good about yourself, that you have arrived, you are special, you are important.                                                                                                                                                   “The deceitfulness of riches” will give you a temporary high or a false euphoric feeling, a deceitful form of self-satisfaction.                                                                                                                                                                “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to forget the Lord, Who made all of this possible.                    “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to be unthankful and unappreciative, forgetting where you came from.                                                                                                                                                                        “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to treat others wrongly and unfairly.                                         “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to trust in what you have, instead of trusting in God.                    “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to be dishonest and deceptive.                                                          “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to be very selfish, stingy, a hoarder, instead of being generous and a cheerful giver.                                                                                                                                                “The deceitfulness of riches” may cause you to be discontented, never satisfied, always seeking more, always wanting something else, unable to say in your heart, - it’s enough, I have enough, I’m good!

Remember, ‘deceitfulness’  is that which deceives, or fools or tricks.  ‘Deceitfulness’  is to deliberately mislead, or misinform, or misguide someone about something.

See Matthew 6:24,  See Deuteronomy 8:11-14, & 17.  See I Timothy 6:5.  See I Timothy 6: 9 & 10.

Finally, here is the balance we need, if according to God’s will and purpose in your life, that you or I may experience the personal reality of wealth and riches.  See I Timothy 6: 6-8, 17-19.

The things that the love of money cannot buy!                                                                                                  Money can buy a book, but not a brain.                                                                                                                        Money can buy a house, but not a family.                                                                                                                    Money can buy friends, but not a true companion.                                                                                          Money can buy you dreams, but not memories.                                                                                                          Money can buy you medicine, but not health.                                                                                                  Money can buy you food, but not an appetite.                                                                                                  Money can buy you a bed, but not sleep.                                                                                                          Money can buy you a religion, but not heaven.                                                                                                Money can buy a crucifix, but not a savior.                                                                                                            Money can buy almost anything and make you lose everything, even your soul.

 Part 8   12-13-2015  

As we look again at one of the parables that Jesus taught here in Luke chapter 8.

This morning, here in Luke 8: 12-15; Jesus teaches us that whether saved or unsaved, we can have throughout a life time, at least one or a combination of these four types of heart conditions.

Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 12, that we can have a Defiant, or Hard-hearted - an Uninterested heart.  See v12.                                                                                                                                                                                 Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 13, that we can have an Impulsive, or Immature heart.  See v13.                         Jesus said, according to Luke 8: 14, that we can have a Preoccupied, or Discontented heart.  See v14.      Jesus said, according to Luke 8:15, that we can have a Prepared, or Receptive heart.  See v15.

This morning, with God’s help, let’s consider again the third out of the four types of heart conditions that Jesus reveals.  Notice v14 again.

This heart condition that Jesus reveals is a preoccupied or discontented heart.

Jesus reveals that the condition of your heart will make all the difference - how God’s Word works in you and for you.  Notice mark 4: 18 & 19.

Listen, Jesus lists three specific categories that the devil will try to use against you that are like weeds that will enter in and choke off the Word of God in life. 

And that unfortunately will cause the heart of that person to be unfruitful or spiritually unproductive.

Or, that will cause the heart of that person to bear no fruit for God.

Or, that will cause the heart of that person to lack evidence that they are what they say hear.  For Jesus said, “you will know them by their fruit.”

Where is the evidence that you are what you say you are?

Listen, three specific categories that the devil will try to use against you.  Notice Mark 4: 19.  The cares of this world.  The deceitfulness of riches.  The lust or desires for other things.

Last Sunday, we considered the second one.  Notice Mark 4:19.  The deceitfulness of riches. 

This morning, let’s consider the third one.  Notice Mark 4:19.  The lust or desires for other things.

Two important words to understand are;

First, the word ‘lust’ or ‘desire’.  The Greek word here is Epithumia.  A desire or an eagerness for any kind of inordinate desire or lust, or passionate desire, or strong feelings, or urges.  These can be positive or negative, depending on whether the desire is inspired e God Himself, or Satan.

Next, notice the words, “for other things”

But go back to Luke 8: 14.  Jesus said, “When they have heard God’s Word, go out and are choked, because of or with cares, riches, and pleasures of life.”

The pleasures of life.  This is extremely helpful I interpreting correctly, what Jesus is saying to us in Mark 4:19, “but the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust or desires for other things.”

Question, what are those other things that Jesus is referring to?

What are those other things that get in the away concerning our commitment to the Lord?

What are those other things, lifestyle choices that we make that cause us to be sinful before the Lord, and disobedient to the Word of God?

What are the other things in our lives that you are allowing that hinder a closer walk with God?

Listen.  Jesus said in Luke 8:14.  The pleasures of life, if we do not keep things I check with God’s help.

If we don’t walk in the Spirit and in obedience to God’s Word, the Bible.

If we listen more to this age, this world, than we listen to God.

Then the pleasures of life will be a problem and hindrance to all of us.

For this is one of Satan’s methods he uses regularly to get you off track and separated for God.

Now this phase, “pleasures of life or the pleasures of life”.  What does that mean?  What does that look like?

Our Lord uses a word from the original language to express the kind of pleasure that we should be concerned about.

The Greek word hēdonḗ (from hēdos) can mean pleasurable to the senses, or sensual pleasure.

This Greek work hēdonḗ comes from another Greek word ‘handano’ to please one-self; self-satisfaction or physical appetite.  Referring to pleasure that is made an end, in and of itsself.  That which is enjoyable to the natural physical senses, especially sensuous pleasures; the fulfillment of bodily desires at the expense of other things.

In fact, the Greek word hēdone is at the root of our English word ‘hedonism’ or ‘hedonistic’.

Hedonism, or hedonistic means self-indulgence, self-fulfillment.  It is a philosophy, a lifestyle.  The founder of the Playboy empire, Hugh Hefner is a good example of this philosophy.  The Playboy philosophy.

Here are a couple of examples of the pleasure of life that the devil can use to hinder your life and your walk with God.

Any substance abuse, drugs and alcohol, or food or unhealthy snacks.  Any illicit or unnatural sexual relationships that the Bible declares is wrong.

Close with Ecclesiastes 2: 1-14.

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Isaiah 9: 6a

12-21-2014

V6.  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:"  Just two quick things to point out.   A child is born.  A child is given.

A child is born.  Both as a fulfillment of Bible Prophecy and as the solution to man's problem.

A fulfillment of Bible Prophecy.  Isaiah 7:14.  "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;  Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

The solution to man's problem.  Galatians 4; 4&5.  "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

Again, v6a says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."  A son is given.  Both as a sacrifice and as a gift.

As a sacrifice.  St. John 1: 29.  "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,  "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."  In the Bible, lambs were used for what?  And what was the sacrifice, the shedding of blood all about?  To cover over the people or a person's sin or sins.

As a gift.  St. John 3:16.   "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

An illustration:  A closed hand cannot receive any gift no matter how big or small.  Not until you open up your hand or hands, you cannot receive.

A closed heart cannot receive the gift of God, Jesus Christ.  Not until you open your heart, ask God to touch and change your heart, you can not receive the Savior, nor His Salvation He so freely gives.

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What We Believe And Why - About Water Baptism For Believers

Part 3   03-22-2015

As we come to the conclusion of this very special subject,  we have considered several different areas that are important for us to understand concerning water baptism.  For example, the definition, the significance, the obligation, the mode or method, the administration or who do you go to for baptism.  Finally, this morning we will spend a little time talking about the recipients or who should be baptized.

Unfortunately, throughout church history, this has not been a subject that is clear for a lot of people.  For example, you have people who believe and teach that infants should be baptized, very young children should be baptized, anyone who just attends church and is not a believer but they're seeking, can be baptized. 

What does the say about this?  Who can be baptized?   Let's consider several examples in the Bible to answer this most important question.  See Acts 8:12;   Acts 2: 37&38;   Acts 9: 17&18;   Acts 10: 44-48.   Also, there's one more example we need to consider, and that is the baptism of Jesus Christ.

See Matthew 3: 13-17.   Now, notice verse 15.  What does this mean, "To fulfill all righteousness"?  To do everything that is 'Right' and 'Righteous'.  To do absolutely everything that God required.  Even John baptized because God required it.  In St. John 1:33, John said, "He who sent me to baptize with water said to me......."  John is referring to God.  God had given him His message and God had given him this responsibility.  For God's plan to be perfectly fulfilled, it was necessary for Jesus to be baptized and to be baptized specifically by John.

So, what does it mean to "To fulfill all righteousness"?   To do everything that is 'Right' and 'Righteous'.  To do absolutely everything that God required.   One way Jesus fulfilled all righteousness by submitting to baptism, was by being an example of obedience to His followers to follow.

Another way Jesus fulfilled all righteousness by submitting to baptism, was by His willingness as the sinless Son of God to identify with sinful people and become their Savior.   The sinless Friend of sinners was sent by the Father and baptism was the first step in the redemptive plan that Jesus came to fulfill.  He, who had no sin, took His place among those whose had no righteousness.  He, who was without sin, submitted to a baptism for sinners of the world, took His place among the sinners of the world.

And, one more way Jesus fulfilled all righteousness by submitting to baptism, His water baptism would symbolize His death and resurrection, and therefore it would be true for us, our water baptism symbolizes our death and resurrection.

Let's close with I John 5: 6-8.

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                             What We Believe And Why - What The Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping                                                        And Being United With A Local Church Ministry.

Part 1  04-24-2015

This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

So far, we have covered a few important topics concerning What We Believe And Why.  For example, back in 2014, we considered What We Believe And Why, about "Communion" or the Lord's table.  In the beginning of 2015, we considered What We Believe And Why, about "Water Baptism for Believers".   And in April, 2015, we began to consider What We Believe And Why, about "What the Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry".

This morning, we want to consider again, "What the Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry".

Hebrews 10: 24&25.  Question.  Should you be committed and actively involved regularly with a local church ministry?  Why go to church anyway, does it matter?  Should you and I be a participating member of a local church family?

Unfortunately, we are seeing in our lifetime, the rapid decline and demolition of local church ministries here in United States.  Too many of God's people do not regularly attend church.  Too many of God's people only come to church occasionally.   And too many of God's people do not want to be actively involved with a church.

Unfortunately, the strategy and tactic of our enemy, Satan, is at work and very effective.  He wants to divide and conquer.  He wants to separate us from one another and he wants to deceive us in thinking that we are better by ourselves than being together.  

So then, with God's help, how can I get to attending church regularly?  With God's help.  How can I be more active and involved within the church?  And with God's help, how can I move from coming to church occasionally, just being a spectator, to being a participator in the kingdom work of God?

I believe the Bible gives us some compelling answers and reasons.  I believe the Lord can change your attitude and your thinking.   I believe the Lord can heal the past hurts and grievance you might have because of your last experience within a local church.  And I believe the Lord can help you to be forgiven or to forgive, so you can move on to being useful again within a church.

So then, what the Bible teaches concerning fellowshipping and being uniting with a local church ministry.

Let's first admit that, unfortunately, there's a lot of reasons that are wrong -  why people attended or maybe involved in a local church ministry.  For example:                                                                                                    To do God a favor so that He will do them one.                                                                                                       To take advantage of, or misuse the generosity of a congregation just to socialize or to be sociable.               To be entertained or to watch a performance.                                                                                                          To impress someone how spiritual you are.                                                                                                                To compare.  To find fault.                                                                                                                                          To get your needs met.                                                                                                                                               To be on the hunt for a future mate.                                                                                                                          To be made to feel good about yourself that you're okay, you're blessed, you're a wonderful person.             To showcase your talent or an ability or skill that you have.                                                                                     To gossip or meld.                                                                                                                                                       To control or rule over others in a leadership role.                                                                                                   To keep the peace because I was made to come be an adult (parent).

But again, what the Bible teaches concerning fellowshipping and being uniting with a local church ministry.

First of all, concerning fellowshipping and being uniting with a local church ministry, the Bible teaches us to honor the Lord first in my life by starting my week off right, putting God first.  See Isaiah 58:13.

Next, concerning fellowshipping and uniting with a local church ministry, the Bible teaches us to express praise thanksgiving and worship to our God corporately.  Notice Psalms 111:1   Psalms 95: 1-3, 6&7.

Part 2    05-31-2015

This morning we want to consider again, "What the Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry".

Hebrews 10: 24&25.  Question.  Should you be committed and actively involved regularly with a local church ministry?  Why go to church anyway?  Does it matter?  Should you and I be a participating member of a local church family?

Unfortunately, we are seeing in our lifetime, the rapid decline and demolition of local church ministries here in United States.  Too many of God's people do not regularly attend church.  Too many of God's people only come to church occasionally.   And too many of God's people do not want to be actively involved with a church.

Unfortunately, the strategy and tactic of our enemy, Satan, is at work and very effective.  He wants to divide and conquer.  He wants to separate us from one another and he wants to deceive us in thinking that we are better by ourselves than being together.  

So then, with God's help, how can I get to attending church regularly?  With God's help.  How can I be more active and involved within the church? 

So then, what the Bible teaches concerning fellowshipping and being uniting with a local church ministry.  This morning we want to consider again, "What the Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry", for the Bible teaches that you and I are to exercise and express our God-given spiritual or ministry gifts,  Also, according to the will, purpose, and plan of God, We can be vessels in which God, The Holy Spirit could manifest Himself to meet the needs of others.

First, the Bible teaches that you and are to exercise and express our God-given spiritual or ministry gifts.  But what are our God-given spiritual or ministry gifts that you and I are to exercise and express?  Now, let's see in the Bible the God-given spiritual gifts that you and I are to exercise and express.  Romans 12: 6-8.   Now, let's see in the Bible the God-given ministry gifts that you and I may be called and ordained to serve as.  Ephesians 4: 11-16.  And finally, the Bible also teaches that you and I can be vessels in which God, The Holy Spirit could manifest Himself to meet the needs of others.  I Corinthians 12: 7-11.

By the way, if you notice, I Corinthians 12: 28, there is this brief summary to close out this chapter that mentions only a few of the ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11 as a review.  Then, in I Corinthian 12: 28, as a review, there is mentioned a few ways that you and I can be vessels in which God, The Holy Spirit could manifest Himself to meet the needs of others, like in I Corinthians 12: 7-11.  Then finally, in I Corinthians 12: 28 there are two spiritual gifts mentioned that seemed to be similar to the two spiritual gifts that were mentioned in Romans 12: 7&8.

As you can see, the Bible teaches when it comes to fellowshipping and being uniting with a local church ministry, you and I are to exercise and express our God-given spiritual or ministry gifts.  Also, according to the will, purpose, and plan of God, we can be vessels in which God, The Holy Spirit could manifest Himself to meet the needs of others.

Part 3   06-28-2015

Let's return back to our ongoing series called "What We Believe And Why".  This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

So far, we have covered a few important topics concerning what we believe and why.  For example, back in 2014, we considered what we believe and why about, Communion or the Lord's Table.  In the beginning of 2015, we considered what we believe and why about, Water Baptism for Believers.  And in April 2015, we began to consider what the Bible teaches about Fellowshipping and Being United with a Local Church Ministry.  Read Hebrews 10: 24 & 25.

Question.  Should you be committed and actively involved regularly with a local church ministry?  Why go to church anyway?  Does it matter?  Should you and I be a participating member of a local church family?

Unfortunately, we are seeing in our lifetime the rapid decline and demotion of local church ministries, especially here in the United States.  Too many of God's people do not regularly attend church.  Many of God's people only come to church occasionally and too many of God's people do not want to be actively involved with a church.

Unfortunately, the strategy and tactic of our enemy - Satan, is at work and vey effective.                                The Devil wants to divide and conquer.                                                                                                                    The Devil wants to separate us from one another.                                                                                                 The Devil wants to deceive us in thinking that we are better by ourselves than being together.

Yet in spite of all that the Devil can do, I still believe the Bible gives us some compelling answers and reasons why we should attend church regularly.    I believe the Lord can change your attitude and thinking when it comes to just coming to church occasionally, or just being a spectator if you do come.  I believe the Lord can heal the past hurts and grievance you might have because of your last experience within a local church.  And, I believe the Lord can help you to be forgiving, or to forgive, so you can move on to being useful again, within a local church ministry.

So then, this morning, let's consider what the Bible teaches concerning fellowshipping and being united with a local church ministry.  And, the Bible teaches us to be regularly present and available to receive instruction, teaching, and preaching from God's Word, the Bible.  See Acts 2: 41 & 42, Acts 17: 10 & 11.

Next, concerning fellowshipping and being united with a local church ministry, the Bible teaches us the importance of regular fellowship so you can be built-up and edified, and then we can edify others.  See Acts 20: 32, Ephesians 4: 11 & 12, Romans 14: 19, I Thessalonians 5: 11.

Next, concerning fellowshipping and being united with a local church ministry, the Bible teaches us that we need to learn how important it is to God that we would serve and love others.  See Hebrews 6: 10.

Next, concerning fellowshipping and being united with a local church ministry, the Bible teaches us that we need to learn to work together like a body with other saints.  See I Corinthians 12:20-22, 25 & 26.

Part 4   07-26-2015

Let's Return Back To Our Ongoing Series Called " What We Believe And Why."   This series is a close-up look some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.                   Read Hebrews 10: 24 & 25.

This morning we will finish up, "What The Bible Teaches About Fellowshipping And Being United With A Local Church Ministry."   I believe the Bible gives us some compelling answers & reasons why we should attend church regularly and be involved.

I believe the Lord can change anyone's attitude & thinking if they are willing, when it comes to (just coming to church occasionally, or just being a spectator if you do come.

I believe the Lord can heal the past hurts & grievances anyone might have, if they are willing, because of your last experience within a local church.

And I believe the Lord can help anyone, if they are willing to be forgiving, or to so you can move on to being useful again, within a local church ministry.

Now, concerning "Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry", the Bible teaches us to unite our hearts in prayer with one another, for others.    Matt. 21: 13;  Eph. 6: 18;  James 5: 16

Next, concerning "Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry",  the Bible teaches us to be informed, or to be aware of the needs of others,so we can help and be supportive.   Matthew 25: 35-40;  Acts 4: 32-37

Finally, concerning "Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry",  the Bible teaches us to financially contribute and support regularly God's work and those who serve the body of Christ.   Proverbs 3: 9 & 10.

The word "Honour " is a Verb that means, to be heavy, to make weighty or of great value or importance.  Or to support with ones resources like in Exodus. 20: 12,  Deuteronomy. 5:16, and Mark. 7: 10 - 13.

But how do we honor the LORD? 

1. Proverbs 3: 9asays,  "With thy (or your) substance, wealth, or riches".

2. Proverbs 3: 9b says, "And with the firstfruit...."   The first, in place, time, order or rank, a firstfruit -- beginning, chief(-est), first(-fruits, part, time), principal thing the best. 
Proverbs 3: 9c says, "Of all thine (or your) increase."  Or, income, i.e. produce, fruit, gain, increase, revenue.

This exhortation to self-sacrificing devotion,  by the appropriation and the use of our income, to the service of God.

How do we honor the LORD ?  To value what God values.  To be at a place, that what is important to God is important to me.  Therefore, a portion of my income should be dedicated and used in this way.  For example,  facilities which bear His name.  "The house of God."  See Exodus. 35: 4-29, Nehemiah 10: 39;  Malachi 3: 10,  Luke. 21:  1-4.

Next, how do we honor the LORD ? To value what God values. To be at a place, that what is important to God is important to me. Therefore, a portion of my income should be dedicated and used in this way.  Supporting the poor and the needy.   Deuteronomy. 26: 12-15;  Proverbs 19: 17;  Proverbs 22: 9;                         I Corinthians. 16: 1-3.

Next, how do we honor the LORD ?  To value what God values. To be at a place, that what is important to God is important to me. Therefore, a portion of my income should be dedicated and used in this way. Supporting Widows and Orphans.  Deuteronomy. 14: 28 & 29;  I Timothy. 5: 3-16;    James. 1: 27.

Finally,  how do we honor LORD ? To value what God values. To be at a place, that what is important to Go, is important to me. Therefore, a portion of my income should be dedicated and used in this way.  Supporting those who are called by God into fulltime ministry to serve God's people and others.  Numbers. 18: 21-28,  Nehemiah 10: 37 & 38,  I Corinthians. 9: 7-11,  I Timothy. 5: 17 & 18.

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What We Believe And Why -  What Should Be One Of The Top Five Priorities In                                                  The Daily Life Of A Committed Follower of Jesus Christ

Part 1    08-30-2015

And let's return back to our ongoing series called " What We Believe And Why."  This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

So far, we have covered a few important topics concerning What We Believe and Why.

For example, we have considered What We Believe & Why about, Communion or The Lord's table.

What We Believe & Why about, Water Baptism for Believers.

What We Believe & Why concerning, what the Bible teaches about Fellowshipping And Being Uniting With A Local Church Ministry.

This morning, at the end of August 2015, we want to consider A New topic of What We Believe & Why.

I Want You To Ask You A Question.
"What Should Be One Of The Top 5 Priorities, In The Daily Life Of A Committed Follower Of Jesus Christ?" 
For example: Should one of the top 5 priorities, in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
•Should it be prayer and regularly fellowshipping with God?
•Should it be Bible reading and Bible study?
•Should it be witnessing, or sharing our faith, or ministering to others   who do not know the Lord?
•Should it be walking in the Spirit?
•Should it be worship and praise to God?

I believe that worship and praise to God should be on our list as one of the 5 top priorities, in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
And yet, there is a problem.
Like prayer.
Bible reading and Bible Study.
Walking in the Spirit.
This subject about "Praise and Worship to God," has become superficial, or boring, or meaningless for many of God's people.

Unfortunately, we have lost the meaning and purpose of true praise and worship in our fellowship with God. 
It has become the missing ingredient for us as modern day believers who rather be a spectator, than a participator.

So how do we change?                                                                                                                                
How can praise and worship to God be something we do regularly and not just an event to go to?                
How can praise and worship to God become all that God meant it to be and more?

This morning we want to consider what the Bible teaches about worship and praise, or praise and worship to God.

Let's consider first, the worship we are to give to God.
I believe that the worship of God should come first, then our praise to God.

Now, notice St. John 4: 20-24.

In Jesus’ manifesto concerning the subject of worship, there are at least 7 nuggets of truth that Jesus reveals about worship so that worship to God can be one of the 5 top priorities in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Again notice vs. 21, Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither, on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

At least 7 important facts that Jesus reveals about worship so that worship to God can be one of the 5 top priorities in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

First, worship to God is not bound by man-made traditions.  Notice Jesus said in vs. 21, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem.

Both the Jews and Samaritans of Jesus’ day, believed that under the old covenant, God directed His people to worship Him in a specific location only.

The Samaritans, chose Mount Gerizim only.   The Jews, chose only Jerusalem as the place where God was to be worshiped because of the temple of Solomon, and the temple of Herod.

But Jesus said in vs. 21, the hour is coming, or the time will come when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem will you worship God only.

The worship to God is not bound by man-made traditions.  Listen, worship to God is not about a specific location, or a certain time of the day, or on a certain day of the week.  The worship to God is to be one of the 5 top priorities in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Personally, as an individual, whether morning, noon, or night, or throughout the day, or throughout the week, at church, or away from church. At home, work, or school.  During our play times, fun times vacation time, holidays, recreational times, leisure times, rest times, anytime, anywhere, any place, with anyone, the worship of God is to be a daily priority in my life.

Fortunately, because of Salvation in Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can, and we should not be limited by man-made traditions that neither the Bible says, nor does it teach, when it comes to the worship of God.

By the way, even though worship to God is not about a specific location or a certain time of the day, or on a certain day of the week.
The Bible does teach, in both the old and New Testament, the necessity and the need, for the people of God, to corporately as a group, to come together frequently, and regularly, to a specific location.  At a certain time of the day, and on a certain day of the week for the worship of God.

Explain, a specific location.  In Deuteronomy 14: 23, God instructs his people about their worship practices in His presence, in a certain place called "The Place Where The Lord, Has Chosen To Place His Name."  Listen, there are some places that are to be preferred over others.

Next, the necessity and the need for the people of God, to corporately as a group to come together frequently, and regularly.  A certain time of the day, morning, afternoon, or evening.  In both Old and New Testament times, one day out of the week, in which the whole day, from sunrise to sunset, was dedicated to the Lord for worship and fellowship.

Finally, the necessity and the need for the people of God to corporately as a group to come together frequently, and regularly.   On a certain day of the week.  One day out of the week, was dedicated to the Lord for worship and fellowship. The Sabbath or the seventh day, Saturday. Or, The Lord's Day, Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
 
But Jesus said in vs. 21, the hour is coming, or the time will come, when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, and the idea is ‘only’.  The key for me is, the idea, ‘only’!

Don't be like the Jews and Samaritans of Jesus’ day, imposing their man-made traditions.
Only on this mountain!
Only In Jerusalem!
Only In the place where the Lord, has chosen to place His name!"
Only In the morning or afternoon, or evening!
Only the Sabbath or the Seventh day, Saturday.  Or, the Lord's Day, Sunday,
The first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Remember, the worship of God is one of the ultimate priority in the daily life of a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

And therefore, personally as an individual, whether morning, noon, or night, or throughout the day, or throughout the week, at church, or away from church.  At home, work, or school.  During our play times, fun times vacation time, holidays, recreational times, leisure times, rest times, anytime, anywhere, any place, with anyone, the worship of God is to be a daily priority in my life.

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What We Believe And Why - Worship and Praise

Part 2   09-20-2015          

And let's return back to our ongoing series called "What We Believe and Why."
This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

This morning, we want to consider what the Bible teaches about "Worship and Praise" to God.               
We are considering first, the subject of worship we are to give to God.                                               
I believe that the Worship of God should come first, then our Praise to God.

You and I may agree or disagree with that, I will let you think about that as we work through this series about "Worship and Praise" to God.

Now read St. John. 4: 20-24.

In Jesus’ Manifesto concerning the subject Of Worship, there are at Least seven important facts that our Lord reveals about Worship.  So that Worship to God can be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

For I believe that "Worship and Praise" to God, should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.
Like prayer, Bible reading & Bible study, or being a witness for Christ, or walking in the Spirit, Worship and Praise to God, should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

But before we can get into the actual practice of Worship, our Lord in St. John 4: 21-24, in just four verses,  deals more with the heart of Worship, than the actual practice of Worship.

There are at least seven important facts that our Lord reveals about Worship.  So that Worship to God can be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

And last month, we consider the first of the seven important facts and that was, Worship to God, is not bound by man-made traditions. (Repeat)

Notice.  Jesus said in vs. 21, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem Worship the Father.

Again, Worship to God, is not bound by man-made traditions.

By the way, consider our church website for free downloads on our current subject.  In the menu, you can select Sermon Notes or an audio file you would like.  Then look for subject title or the date the message was shared.

This morning, with God's help, we are considering the Second of The Seven Important Facts, that Jesus reveals about Worship, and that is Worship to God, is never to be done out of ignorance. (Repeat)

Notice Jesus said in vs. 22a, "You Worship what you do not know or understand."                                         Again, Worship to God is never to be done out of ignorance.                                                              

Now, here are few areas we must avoid, as God's people.                                                                                         1st.  Never be ignorant of who God is. (Repeat)
See St John 4: 24a, God is Spirit! 

Two things to point out.
1st. God is Spirit, God is “Uniquely Supreme”.
He is The Creator and Sustainer and Authority over all Spirit Beings.
Humans, we are Spirit Beings also, Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, the Four Living Creatures of Revelation 5.
Satan and Demons.
God is the Creator, and Sustainer, and Authority over all Spirit Beings in this world, above this world, and even under this world.

2ndly. God is Spirit, God is “Uniquely Different” than us.
We are physical, but God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.
We are limited by this three-dimensional world.  But God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.
We are bound by time.  But God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.

Again, never be ignorant of Who God is.
God Is Spirit, but also God is One, there is only One True God.  Deuteronomy 6: 4 and Mark 12:29.
God Is Three-in-One.  Genesis 1:26, and I John 5: 7 (KJV).
God Is Eternal, having no beginning, and having no end, Everlasting. Psalm 90: 2.
God Is Infinite or Unlimited.  Matthew 19: 26.
God Is Holy.  Revelation 4: 8, and Revelation 15: 4.
God Is Love.  I John 4: 8.
God Is Light.  I John 1: 5.
God Is Great. Psalm 145: 3.
God Is Good.  Psalm 136: 1.
The Worship of God, is never to be done out of ignorance of Who God is.

Next, here is another area we must avoid, as a child of God.
Again, St. John 4: 22a, "You Worship what you do not know or understand."
Listen, Worship to God is never to be done out of ignorance.
In other words, never be ignorant of God's standards, or commandments, or rules or His laws, that you would willfully disobey, dishonor, and disrespect the One you say you Worship.

See St. John 4: 20.
Now notice carefully.  St John 4: 16-18; the moral failure of this person.

Again, never be ignorant of God's standards, or commandments, or rules or His laws, that you would willfully disobey, dishonor, and disrespect the one you say you worship.

Also, see Mark 7: 6-7 and 21-23.

Close with Psalms 24: 3-5.

Listen, the most important part of the body for Worship.
It's not your mouth singing or praising.
It's not your hands clapping.
It's not your arms lifted up, nor the dancing of feet.
The most important part of the body for Worshiping God, is your heart!

Part 3   10-25-15

And let's return back to our ongoing series called " What We Believe And Why."  This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.  Part 3

This morning, we want to consider what the Bible Teaches about “Worship and Praise”, to God.
We are considering first, the Worship we are to give to God.

I believe that the Worship of God should come first, then our praise to God.  Now read St. John. 4: 20-24.

In Jesus’ manifesto concerning the subject of Worship, there are at least 7 important facts that our Lord reveals about Worship.  So that Worship to God, can be one of the major priorities in the daily life, of a committed child Of God.

For I believe that “Worship and Praise” to God, Should be one of the major priorities in the daily life, of a committed child Of God.
Like prayer.
Bible reading and Bible study.
Being a witness for Christ.
Walking in the Spirit.

Again, “Worship and Praise” to God, should be one of the major priorities in the daily life, of a committed Child of God.

Now in St. John 4: 21-24, in just four verses, Jesus deals more with the Heart of Worship, than the actual practice of Worship. (Repeat)

Now last month, we consider the second o the seven Important facts, that Jesus reveals about Worship, and that is Worship to God, is never to be done out of ignorance. (Repeat)
Notice, Jesus said in vs. 22, "You Worship what you do not know or understand."

By the way, consider our church website for free downloads on this subject.
In the Menu, select you can select Sermon Notes or the Audio File, and look for the message title or the date.

This morning, with God's help, we want to consider the third of the seven important facts, that Jesus reveals about Worship, and that is Worship to God is to be based on correct Biblical insight from the Bible.
The Worship of God is to be always done, and practice having a correct, and high view of God Himself. 

Notice Jesus said in vs. 22B, "But we know whom we Worship."
In contrast, "You Worship what or whom you do not know or understand."

Now notice what Jesus said, "We know whom we Worship."

Jesus now begins to bring correction and understanding of the subject of Worship by first identify Himself, with a Nation of Israel.  "We know whom we Worship."
What may appear to be, by some, as a racist statement, Jesus in fact, gives a correct and helpful assessment.
Jesus said in vs. 22B, for or because Salvation is of the Jews!  In other words, God's Salvation was revealed to the Nation of Israel first, starting with Abraham and Jacob.

More to be said about this phrase next month.

Finally Jesus said in vs. 22B, "We know whom we Worship."  

The word 'Know', in the Bible can be quite interesting.  For example, the word can mean to be informed, to have understanding, to be made aware of.  But, also the word can mean, to be in a relationship with, to know someone intimately, to be personally familiar with.

The quest for the child of God today is, knowing God better and knowing God more, refusing to be satisfied with a mediocre relationship with God.

Close with Philippians 3:10.

Part 4   11-30-15

And let’s return back to our ongoing series called, “What We Believe And Why.”  This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

This morning, we want to consider what the bible teaches about ‘Worship and Praise” to God.  We are considering first the Worship we are to give to God.

Now read, St. John 4: 20-24.

In Jesus’ manifesto concerning the subject of Worship, there are seven important facts that our Lord reveals about Worship, so that Worship to God can be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.                                                                                                   Like prayer.                                                                                                                                       Bible reading and Bible study.                                                                                                       Being a witness for Christ.                                                                                                                     Walking in the Spirit.

Again, “Worship and Praise” to God should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

Now, in St. John 4: 21-24, Jesus deals more with the heart of Worship than the actual practice of Worship.

Now, last month, we started the third of the seven important facts that Jesus reveals about Worship.   

The Worship of God is to be always done and practiced, having a correct and high view of God and never an incorrect and low view of God.

Notice Jesus said in v22, “You Worship what or whom you do not know or understand because you have an incorrect and low view of God.”   In contrast, but “We know what or whom we Worship, they had a correct ad high view of God for, or, because Salvation is of the Jews.”

What may appear to some as a racist statement by Jesus, instead, our Lord gives a correct and helpful assessment.   Notice Jesus said in v2b, for or, because Salvation is of the Jews!  In other words, God’s Salvation was revealed to the nation of Israel first starting with Abraham and Jacob.   See Romans 4:3, Romans 1:16.

Back to St. John 4:22.

Now, in John 4:22, notice what Jesus said, “We know what or whom we worship.”  Our Lord with that single statement, I believe, gives correction and understanding about the Worship of God that is often overlooked.

Remember, the Worship of God is to be always done and practiced having a correct and high view of God and never an incorrect and low view of God.

Two examples.  First, here is an example of the Worship of God, having a correct and high view of God.  1Chroicles 29:11-13.  Also see Daniel 4: 34 & 35.

Next, here is an example of the Worship of God and having an incorrect and low view of God.  See Exodus 32: 2-6.

Back to St. John 4:22.

Now, Jesus reveals seven important facts about Worship.  Let’s consider this next one, the fourth fact that Jesus reveals about Worship is, “Being Is More Important To God than Doing.”

Notice v23.  “But the hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will Worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to Worship Him.”

Now in v23a, Jesus said, the hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will Worship the Father in spirit and truth.  Stop there!

There are several things that our Lord brings out in v23a that we must consider.                   Change.                                                                                                                                                     Genuineness.                                                                                                                                           Focal point.                                                                                                                                               Motive.

First, Change.  Jesus predicts, “The hour is coming, and now is”.  Jesus predicted that starting with His earthly ministry, until His Second Coming that the Worship of God would not be done by being ritualistic or, superstitious or, being hypocritical.   See Mark 7: 6 & 7.

Part 5   12-27-15  

This morning we want to consider again what the Bible teaches about Worship and Praise to God.

Let’s finish up or look at the worship we are to give to God.

 Now, St. John 4: 21-24.  There have been several important things that our Lord reveals about worship so that the worship of God can be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

For I believe that worship and praise to God should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God; like prayer, bible reading and bible study, being a witness for Christ, walking in the Spirit.

 Again, worship and praise to God should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

This morning, let us finish up this study for not by looking at this important fact based on St. John 4: 23&24 reveals that when it comes to worship as far as God is concerned for us, that being is more important to God than doing.

 Notice vs 23a.  Jesus said, the hour is coming ad now is when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.  Stop there!

Our Lord brings out in v23a several important things that we must consider.                                             Change.                                                                                                                                                                           Genuineness.                                                                                                                                                                   Focal-point, or having the right understanding and the right focus.                                                                       Motive.

The change.  Jesus said, “The hour is coming and now is.”  A change was coming.

Genuineness.  Jesus reveals a kind of person who is genuine or authentic who Jesus called, ‘the true worshippers.”

The focal point, or having the right understanding and right focus.  Jesus reveals that the true worshippers will worship the Father.

Finally, the motive.  Jesus reveals that the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

This morning, let’s consider the second one – genuineness.                                                                               Now remember, as far as God is concerned for us, that being is more important to God than just doing.

Jesus identifies a special group of people called, the “true worshippers.’

Who are they?                                                                                                                                                               Is that you?                                                                                                                                                                  Is that me?                                                                                                                                                                     In fact, according to v23b, notice that Jesus said, for or because the Father seeketh such to worship Him, “true worshipers.”

Remember, as far as God is concerned for us, that being is more important to God than just doing.

Let me introduce you to a few, the true worshipers of God in the Bible.                                                                 For example, the Magi, or Wise Men.  See Matthew 2: 1 & 11.                                                                                     The Samaritan who had leprosy, see Luke 17: 15&16.                                                                                            The Apostle, see Luke 24: 50-53.                                                                                                                               The man born blind that was healed.  See St. John 9: 35-38.

Back to St. John 4: 23.                                                                                                                                                   There are several things that Our Lord brings out in v23 that we must consider.

Next, the focal point.  Jesus declares I whom we are to worship, Jesus said, “the true worshipers will worship the Father.”

In other words, having the right understanding and the right focus.  By the way, there’s nothing unbiblical or wrong for us as God’s people to worship the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  All three are equally worthy of our worship, our praise and our obedience.

Also, see vs 24a.  Jesus said, God is Spirit.                                                                                                                 Two things to point out about this very important statement.                                                                              God is uniquely supreme.                                                                                                                                       God is uniquely different than us.

1st.  God is uniquely supreme.                                                                                                                                God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                            He is the Creator, and Sustainer, and Authority over all spirit beings.                                                            Humans, for we are also spirit beings.                                                                                                                     Angeles, Cherubim, Seraphim, the four living creatures of Revelation 5.                                                         Satan and Demons.                                                                                                                                                       Listen. God is the Creator, and Sustainer, and Authority over all spirit beings in this world, above the world, and even under this world.                                                                                                                                             Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are uniquely supreme.

2nd.  God is uniquely different than us.                                                                                                                          We are physical.  But God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.                                                                          We are limited by this 3-dimensional world.  But God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.                              We are bound by time. But God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not.                                                                See Revelation 4: 2&3, 9-11.                                                                                                                                           Back to St. John 4:22.

There are several things that Our Lord brings out in v23a that we must consider.

Finally, the motive.  Jesus reveals in v23a that the true worshipers will worship “in spirit and in truth.”          And in St. John 4: 24b, Jesus says it again.  “in spirit and in truth.”

But what does this mean both in vs 23&24, “in spirit and in truth.”  Listen.  That which Jesus is revealing concerning motive, both spirit and truth must go together.  It is not spirit or truth!  It is spirit and truth!

First, in spirit is the opposite of that which is external, the outside, fleshy, externalism.                   .                    In spirit, is based on an internal influence coming from within or deeply personal, not superficial.

Next, truth is the opposite of hypocrisy, deceitfulness or pretending. Truth is based on being real and authentic.  Truth based on personal excellence.

Close with Philippians 3:3.

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What We Believe And Why -  Some Of The Foundational Beliefs And Practices For Being A Committed Follower Of Jesus Christ.

Part 1    01-31-2016

This morning, we want to consider what the Bible teaches about praise to God, or praising God.  

We consider first, the subject of worship we are to give to God.  I believe that the worship of God should come first, then our praise to God.

For I believe that worship and praise to God should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.                                                                                                                   Like Prayer,                                                                                                                                       Bible reading and Bible Study,                                                                                                             Or, being a witness for Christ,                                                                                                                 Or, walking in the spirit.                                                                                                                           Worship and praise to God should be one of the major priorities in the daily life of a committed child of God.

This morning, we want to consider what the bible teaches about praise to God, or praising as a majority priority in the daily life of a committed child of God.

Three things stand out to me about this subject.

First, how necessary is all of this?                                                                                                           Secondly, what does this mean, or what is the concept?  And what does it look like?                     Finally, where am I at concerning this subject about praise to God, or praising God.  And where do I need to be?

Let’s consider first, how necessary is all of this?                                                                                   Is praise to God, or praising God, to be a major priority in the daily like of a committed child of God?                                                                                                                                                         Does God, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) really need us to praise Him every day?                           Does God have issues with insecurity that He needs His creatures, His creation to praise Him?   Is our God somehow egotistic or narcissistic that we must build Him up and make Him feel good?

Well, thoughts or ideas like these and many others are first of all, Satanic and Demonic.       Thoughts or ideas like these are Fleshly and Worldly.                                                                         Thoughts or ideas like these are based on spiritual immaturity and Biblical ignorance.

Praise to God, or praising God, as a major priority in the daily life of a committed child of God should be seen as a privilege and an opportunity to look forward too.                                         Praise to God, or praising God, and not as a weight or burden to endure.

Question.  How necessary is all of this?                                                                                                                       Praise to God, or praising God, is a major shift or change from being self-focus to being God-focus.

See Psalm 138: 1-8.

Secondly, praise to God, or praising God.                                                                                                             What does it mean?                                                                                                                                                What does it look like?

1st.  What does Praise to God, or praising God mean?  What is the concept?                                                           Praise to God, or praising God means, or the concept is; the Exultation, the Magnification, the Glorification of One whom you and I would deem as worthy, helpful, and special.

See Psalm 145: 1-21.

What does praise to God, or praising God look like? 

See Acts 16: 23-25.

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What We Believe And Why -  What The Bible Teaches About Prayer and Prayer To God

Part 1  04-24-16

Let's return back to our ongoing series called " What We Believe And Why."

This series is a close-up look at some of the Foundational Beliefs and Practices for being a Committed Follower of Jesus Christ.

This morning, we want to begin to look at "What The Bible Teaches About Prayer, And Praying To God."

A few humorous prayers from young children;

Dear God, we read about Thomas Edison in school who made light.                                                                  But in Sunday School, they said You did it. I bet Edison stole your idea God!

Dear God, it must be super hard, to love all the people in the world, especially my brother. I don't know how You do it.

Dear God, who do I pray to when you go on vacation?

Lastly, Dear God, please take care of my daddy, mommy, sister, brother, my doggy and me.  Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess.

Like many of you, the subject of Prayer has been a life-long pursuit.

When I say this, please do not misunderstand, I am not saying that I have arrived or that I have it all figured out concerning this matter of prayer, and praying to God.

Frankly, I think we all have insecurities concerning the subject of prayer.                                                           For example, do I pray enough?                                                                                                                                   How long should I pray?                                                                                                                                                  What should be my body position when I pray?                                                                                                          May I pray with my eyes open, or only with my eyes shut?                                                                                What should I pray about?                                                                                                                                              Must I pray in tongues?                                                                                                                                          What is praying in the Spirit, am I doing that?                                                                                                          And if I'm asked to pray before a group, or with my family or at church, what do I say, and how do I say it?

Unfortunately, for many of God's children, when it comes to this subject of prayer, either our personal prayer life, or praying publicly, we may feel ashamed, embarrassed, and even guilty because we don't measure up to someone else's standard or methods.

For some of us, prayer has lost it's Intimacy, it's Spontaneity, and it's Enjoyment.                                              For some of us prayer has become, a performance, a duty, an obligation.

Remember earlier, I read to you some prayers, that some young children had prayed to God.             Remember how open and free, how honest and unhindered their prayers were, like they were talking to a person who knew them, and cared about them.

So then, how can you and I recapture that?  How can we re-gain, the intimacy, the spontaneity, and the enjoyment of praying to God on a regular basis?

Fortunately, we have a divine teacher, one who understands this subject of prayer more than anyone else who has ever lived!

Fortunately, we have a divine teacher, who understands the heart and mind of God, in this area like no one else. 

Fortunately, we have a divine teacher, who is willing to teach us and to show us, what prayer is really all about.

So then, who is this divine teacher?  Let me introduce Him to you!

Now See Luke 11: 1-4.

So then, what does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?                                                                   To help us, in the days ahead, we will focus on three primary areas, from the Bible.                                                For example, we will focus on what Jesus said and taught about prayer, and praying to God.

In the days ahead, we will focus on certain parts of the Old Testament, to see what God's Word teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

And finally, we will focus on certain parts of the New Testament, to see what God's Word teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

So then, with the time left this morning, let's begin to focus on what Jesus said and taught about prayer, and praying to God.

Two things I like to show you briefly this morning!                                                                                               First, Jesus practice what He taught.                                                                                                                            Secondly, how approachable Jesus was on such a basic or elementary subject. 

Now, notice Luke 11: 1a.   Now, it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He had ended. Stop there!

I am 100% sure, this chapter begins telling us something very important about Jesus, even though His name is not mentioned throughout this chapter.

I am sure this is about Jesus, because of one of His disciple’s request here, in vs. 1b, which says, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray.

This unnamed disciple, perhaps one of the 12, or perhaps one of the 70, that is mentioned at the beginning of chapter 10 of Luke.

But notice how this person used the term that is translated in most of our English Bibles, the word ‘Lord’, which is actually from a Greek word, κύριος kýrios. Kύριος kýrios. means, One who has the supremacy, and has supreme authority, over everyone and everything.

Notice how this person used the term ‘Lord’ or κύριος in addressing this individual, for he called Jesus, Lord!

But for me, the most compelling reason to believe Luke 11: 1–4, is speaking of our Lord Jesus, is because of the Gospel of Matthew, and chapters 5, 6, and 7, better known as "The Sermon On The Mount."

Particularly, Matthew chapter 6, verses 9-13, for our Lord Jesus is teaching about this same prayer in a more extended way.

So then, what did Jesus say or teach about prayer, and praying to God?

Listen, Jesus himself was an excellent role model, for He practiced what He taught!                                             Jesus never taught anyone to do anything, that He, Himself was not already doing.

For example, Mark 1:35 says, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Matthew 14:23 says, After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.

Luke 6:12 says, And on one of those days, Jesus went out to a mountain side to pray, He spent the night praying to God.

Now See Luke. 11: 1b, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John, John the Baptist or the Baptizer, also taught his disciples.

Finally, let's notice how approachable Jesus was on such basic or elementary subjects.

Again, notice the request, teach us to pray.  Remember this was not a young child, requesting such things.  This was a grown man, an adult, a disciple.

It is interesting to me, that our Lord does not rebuke, chastise, or criticize this man, on such a basic, and elementary subject, prayer!

Jesus could have easily said to him, how long have I been with you, and you still don't know how to pray?  What is wrong with you!

Now, also notice the recognition, "teach us to pray as John the Baptist or the Baptizer, also taught his disciples.

It was very common during the times of Jesus that so-called religious leaders, high priest, rabbis, prophets, synagogue teachers, who had disciples or students, would teach them many aspects of religious life, and especially in the area of prayer.

And apparently, it was well known that John the Baptist, or the Baptizer, taught his disciples in the area prayer.

But, could this really be a cry for help?  Could this be a recognition that I need help because something is lacking within me?

Something wasn't quite right, as far as I'm concerned?

Was this a recognition, that the way you do it Jesus, and the way you say it, is so much different, and far superior than anyone else who's ever prayed, including John?

In fact, not only teach me, but teach us to pray!                                                                                                 Teach this group of men who have committed themselves to you, teach us to pray.

Question? Have you ever asked Jesus to teach you to pray?                                                                                      Have you ever asked your Father in Heaven, to guide you in your prayer time?                                            Have you ever asked God, the Holy Spirit, to show you how prayer is to be done, not your will, but His will be done?

Maybe, this is the main reason why prayer for some has become, meaningless, artificial, self-serving, superstitious, or they think, a way to control God, Himself.                                                                                         Maybe it's all because you and I have left God Out! 

Listen, we may be praying to God, but are we praying with God? 

Therefore, ask the Lord Jesus to teach you to pray! Then, open up your Bible and study certain parts of the Gospels where Jesus taught about prayer and praying?   

Like Matthew 6: 5-13.

Next, ask your Father in Heaven, to guide you in your prayer time.

And let your Father in Heaven be in charge.  Let your Father in Heaven set the agenda each time you come into His presence for prayer.

Let your Father in Heaven determine how long, and where, and even about being still, and alone, and quiet in His presence, so that He might direct your path.

And lastly, ask God, the Holy Spirit to show you how prayer is to be done - not according to your will, but His will be done!

Let the Holy Spirit supervise, lead, guide, and direct, your words, your thoughts, and your heart, no matter what the outcome, or the answer, or the results might be! For is not about me, it's all about Him.

Psalm 19: 14 says, Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer, you are. 

Part 2    05-29-16   5th Sunday

 Let's return back to our ongoing series called "What We Believe and Why."   This series is a close-up look at some of the foundational beliefs and practices for being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

 This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

 To help us, we are focusing on three primary areas from the Bible.  For example, what Jesus said and taught about prayer and praying to God.

 In the days ahead, we will focus on certain parts of the Old Testament, to see what God's Word teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

 And finally, we will focus on certain parts of the New Testament, to see what God's Word teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

Now, read Luke 11: 1-4.                                                                                                                                                              Vs. 1. Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He had ended, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.                                                                                        Vs. 2.  So He said to them, when you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. on earth as it is in heaven.                                                                                                                         Vs. 3.  Give us day by day our daily bread.                                                                                                                        Vs. 4.  And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Now, what did Jesus say and teach about prayer and praying to God.

Here in Luke 11: 1-4, along with Matthew 6: 9-13, our Lord provides a structure for prayer to God. 

Guidelines or talking points, for prayer to God.

A divine pattern to follow, in praying to God.

Yet, our Lord did not teach us a prayer, just to be recited and repeated on a daily basis. 

Our Lord is teaching us, that prayer was designed by God to be the primary method of communication and communion with Him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Now turn to Matthew 6: 9-13.    Vs. 9.  In this manner, therefore, pray:   Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.                                                                                                                                                Vs. 10.  Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                                       Vs. 11.  Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                                                 Vs. 12.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                                          Vs. 13.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Now, here in Matthew 6: 9-13, I would like us to consider a possible outline to help us better understand our Lord's teaching on prayer and praying.                                                                                                                                             Now, Matthew 6: 9-13, can be divided into two sections, and three parts or three divisions. 

First, this teaching of Jesus, can be divided into two sections. 

The first section is made up of verses 9, 10, & 13b. 

 Listen, this means when praying to God, it is all about His place, His position, and His praise & worship. 

See the words, in vs. 9, Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come.                                   Vs. 10. Your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                                       Vs. 13b. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Listen, when praying to God, Jesus is teaching us, it is all about God's place, His position, and His praise and worship. 

Now, remember in Matthew 6: 9-13, can be divided into two sections.                                                                           Now, the second section that Jesus is teaching us, is made up of verses 11, 12, &13 a.

Listen, when praying to God, He is the only one who can meet our needs, hear our petitions, and help us in our situations. 

See the words, in vs. 11, give us this day, our daily bread.                                                                                                     Vs. 12. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                                                   Vs. 13a. Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from the evil one. 

Listen, when praying to God, Jesus is teaching us, that God is the only one who can meet our needs, hear our petitions, and help us in our situations. 

Now, the teaching of Jesus, in Matthew 6: 9-13, can also be divided into three parts or three divisions. 

The first division is in vs. 9 & 10. 

Now, the second division is in vs. 11 & 12. 

Now, the third and final division is in vs.13,

And finally, now the teaching of Jesus, in Matthew 6: 9-13, can be divided into nine distinct phrases when praying to God.

For example, in vs. 9, the first phrase would be "Our Father in Heaven."  This first phrase is also known as the invocation, or the address.

Our English word invocation can also mean the calling upon the name of a deity, or the calling upon the name, or title, or position, of a human leader. 

For example, the reigning Pharaoh, at the time the reigning Caesar, at the time or the reigning Führer, at the time in Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler.

Again, the word invocation can mean, to call upon the name of a deity, or the name, title or position, of a human leader for aid, or help, or protection, or for whatever you have need of at that time. 

Therefore, this first phrase, is the invocation, or the address, to the one, to whom I am;                                                  To call upon!                                                                                                                                                                             To the One, to whom I am to trust In.                                                                                                                                To the One, who can help me!

And our Lord Jesus taught in vs. 9, who that is, in this case, "Our Father in Heaven."    Not just your Father, or my Father, but our Father. 

But this raises two very important questions.                                                                                                                         First question-  If you're not Saved, or you're not sure, how can you know and receive God the Father as your Heavenly Father?                                                                                                                                                       •Second Question-  If you're truly Saved, when you pray, must I only pray to God the Father or our Heavenly Father? 

Let's deal with the first question.  If you're not Saved, or you're not sure, how can you know and receive God the Father as your Heavenly Father?   

See St. John 1: 12 & 13.                                                                                                                                                              Vs. 12.  But as many as received Him (Christ Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.                                                                                                                                                     Vs. 13, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but who were born of God.

Turn to St. John 14: 6.                                                                                                                                                             If you're not Saved, or you're not sure, how can you know and receive God the Father as your Heavenly Father?   

Read St. John 14: 6.  And Jesus said to Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through me, Jesus said.

Turn to Romans 8: 15 & 16.                                                                                                                                                     If you're not Saved, or you're not sure, how can you know and receive God the Father as your Heavenly Father?   

Read Romans 8: 15 & 16.                                                                                                                                                          Vs. 15.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption or the Holy Spirit Who brings about spiritual adoption, by Him we cry out, or are able to say, “Abba, Father.” Why? Vs. 16. The Holy Spirit Himself, bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God.

Part 3   06-26-16

Turn to Matthew 6: 9-13.

This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

Therefore, we want to continue to look at what Jesus said and taught about prayer and praying to God.

Read Matthew 6: 9-13.

Vs. 9.  In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.   Your kingdom come.                                                                                                                                                                      Vs. 10.  Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                        Vs. 11.  Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                                Vs. 12.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                            Vs. 13.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.                                                For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

So what did Jesus say and teach about prayer and praying to God?

Our Lord provides us a structure for prayer to God.                                                                                            Guidelines or talking points, for prayer to God.                                                                                                    A divine pattern to follow when praying to God.

Yet, our Lord did not teach us a prayer just to be recited and repeated on a daily basis. 

Our Lord is teaching us that prayer was designed by God to be the primary method of communication and communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

Now, the teaching of Jesus, here in Matthew 6: 9-13, could be divided into nine distinct phrases, when praying to God. (Repeat) 

For example, in vs. 9, the first phrase, would be "Our Father in Heaven."                                                       And last month we dealt with this first phrase.                                                                                                 By the way, the first phrase is also known as the invocation, or the address.

This month, with God's help, lets deal with an important question.                                                                    If I am truly saved, when I pray must I only pray to God the Father or our Heavenly Father?

Now, turn to I John 5: 7.

Fortunately, the Bible teaches that the God we know and serve, is 3 in 1.  Therefore, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit although distinct, are yet equal and we may pray to either one individually.

Read I John 5: 7,

For there are three that bear witness in heaven:                                                                                                The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

May I give a recommendation for you to consider during your personal prayer time with God?

Spend some of your prayer time praying directly and specifically, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 

Let your prayers move from being self-focus, to God-focus!

In fact, may the majority of our prayer time and our prayers be a time of requesting Your Father's help, Your Savior's help, and Your Comforter's help.

Just like leading up to your salvation, each person of the Godhead was involved in a special way.

God the Holy Spirit quicken you, bringing about in you, spiritual life, conviction, and repentance.               God the Son, makes Himself available to be your personal Lord and Savior when you put your full trust in Him.                                                                                                                                                                     God the Father, is willing to receive and to accept us in Christ, as His spiritual adopted children. 

Therefore, now that you are saved, each person of the Godhead would like you to see your relationship and your involvement with them, in a different way. 

Now, in order to do that, may I direct you to three well known and familiar passages of scripture, that you could use.                                                                                                                                                             Two of them from the New Testament, and one of them from the Old Testament.

However, it is possible that the Lord may lead you in a different direction, when using the Scripture to help you to pray, but please consider these three if they would help.

Turn to Matthew 6 again.

First, when praying to God the Father, consider Matthew 6: 9-13, and use these words from the Bible to express yourself, when praying to our Father.

Use these verses to structure your prayer to God the Father.                                                                           Use this portion of scripture as a guideline or talking points, to express yourself to Your Heavenly Father. 

For example, Matthew 6: 9.

Vs. 9.  Our Father, thank You for being my Heavenly Father because of Christ, for I have been born-again, and spiritually adopted into Your precious family.

Heavenly Father, thank you for each one of my brothers and sisters in Christ, both far and near, thank you for those in Heaven who have made it home, and please help and comfort we who are still on this earth awaiting our turn, for our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, as our Father in heaven, may I continue to set my affections, on things above, and not on the things of this earth, 

For example, may I hallow Your name this day and always.                                                                                For holy and honorable is Your person and Your presence in my life, and I am thankful for that.                    Heavenly Father, the kingdom that is, and is to come, let it be my preoccupation and passion.                     For I continually give my allegiance and my service to my King and Savior Jesus Christ.                      

Who is the King of Glory of Psalms 24?                                                                                                            Who is the King of kings in Revelation 19?                                                                                                            Therefore, may I always and at all times, be an ambassador for Christ.

Vs.10.  Heavenly Father, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and let it first start with me.             Your revealed will that is found only in the Bible.                                                                                              Your personal will for my life.                                                                                                                                I submit and surrender to, not my will, but Your will be done, by me, through me, and within me.

Vs.11.  Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us this day, our daily bread.  For as you provided for Your people in the wilderness for 40 Years.

May You continue to provide for all my needs and the needs of Your people according to your riches in glory, both spiritually and physically.

Vs.12.  Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving us our debts, our sins.                                                             May we always confess and repent of those things by which we sin against You.                                         And therefore, may we always be willing to forgive anyone of anything, no matter how big or small.        For in so doing, we are recognized as being sons of our Heavenly Father, for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good.                                                                                                                                    He sends His rain on the just and on the unjust, Jesus said!

Vs. 13.  Heavenly Father, thank you for Your parental protection.                                                                       I am thankful to You, that You would never lead us, lead me into a test or a trial, to be abandoned or forsaken.                                                                                                                                                                 But Heavenly Father, be my deliverer, my refuge, my fortress, from evil, and the evil one, and all the demonic host.

Heavenly Father,                                                                                                                                                  Yours is the kingdom that I am focused upon.                                                                                                      Yours is the power that I am dependent upon.                                                                                                 Yours is the glory, that I will give to You, for it is not about me, it is all about You.                                          And this will be both now, and forever and forever.  Amen!

Remember Amen, does not mean the end!                                                                                                          Amen, when used after a prayer means, "so be it!"  Or, "may what was prayed be fulfilled by You!"

Now turn to Psalms 23. 

2ndly, when praying to God the Son consider Psalms 23: 1–6, and use these words from the Bible to express yourself, when praying to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, use these verses to structure your prayer to God the Son.                                                                  Use this portion of scripture as a guideline or talking points, to express yourself to Jesus. 

See Psalms 23: 1–6.

Vs. 1.  LORD Jesus, grateful to have You as my Shepherd,                                                                                  Grateful that you are the Good Shepherd of John 10.                                                                                        Grateful that you are the Great Shepherd of Hebrews 13.                                                                               LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, I shall not want. You are my Provider, for in you I live, I move, I have my being.

Vs. 2.  LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, You help me in so many ways.  When I need rest, When I need rejuvenation, help me to have sense enough to trust in You where you lead me, like unto the greenish fields, like beside the quietest streams. 

Vs. 3.  LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, when I am wayward, going astray, disobedient, You still seek me out.  You come to my rescue, You restore my soul, my life, as a testimony of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.

LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, You lead me in the paths that are right for me, that are ordained for me, those paths You have chosen for me, so that Your reputation, Your name, might be praised and magnified.

Vs. 4.  For example, LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, that of heartache or hardship, that of difficulty or danger, that of sadness or sorrow, or that of hopelessness or despair.

LORD Jesus because of You, I will fear no evil or bad tidings; for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me, because you are my protector.

Vs. 5.  LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, you can prepare a table for me, in the presence of my enemies, and nothing would happen to me, because great is thy faithfulness.

LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, because You care for me in such a special way, You anoint my head with oil to protect and repel anything that would hurt or harm me. 

LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, because of You, my cup runs over, for Your generosity, Your abundant Grace is sufficient, is more than enough, more than I deserve.

Vs. 6.  LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, because of You, Your goodness and Your mercy shall follow me, pursue me, and overtake me, every day of my life, thank you Lord.

LORD Jesus as my Shepherd, because of you, I will dwell, remain, abide, as a final destination, in the house of the LORD, in the Fathers house of John 14, in the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21&22.

LORD Jesus as my Shepherd because of you, this will be my permanent and lasting dwelling foreverAmen.

Remember, Amen does not mean the end!                                                                                                        Amen, when used after a prayer means, "so be it!"  Or, "may what was prayed be fulfilled by You!"

Finally, Turn to Romans 12.

3rdly, when praying to God, the Holy Spirit, consider Romans 12: 1-21, and use these words from the Bible to express yourself, when praying to the Holy Spirit.

Again, use these verses to structure your prayer to God, the Holy Spirit.                                                      Use this portion of scripture as a guideline or talking points, to express yourself to the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit.

For example, Romans 12: 

Vs. 1.  Holy Spirit, I beseech you by the mercies of God, that I present myself unto You, my spirit, soul, and body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto You, which is my reasonable service. 

Vs. 2.  Holy Spirit, help me not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

Vs. 3.  Holy Spirit, through the Grace given to me, and to everyone else, help me not to think of myself more highly than I ought to think, but to think soberly, for as You, O God, has dealt to each one, a measure of faith.

Vs. 4.  Holy Spirit, as we are many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 

Vs. 5.  Yet we being many, are one body in Christ, and as individuals, we are still members of one another. 

Vs. 6.  Holy Spirit, because of You we have different gifts that You have given to us, according to the Grace that is needed to function in, therefore, may I be used and useful.                                                      If prophecy, let me prophesy in proportion to the faith that You have given.

Vs. 7.  When I minister or serve, let me glorify You in ministry.                                                                           If called upon to teach, let me glorify You in teaching.

Vs. 8.  If I may exhort, help me to glorify You, in exhortation.                                                                              When giving, help me to glorify You, showing liberality or generosity.                                                            If I am to lead, help me to glorify You, and do it with all diligence.                                                                    When showing mercy to others, help me to glorify You, by doing it cheerfully and lovingly. 

Vs. 9.  Holy Spirit, let me show God's Love without being a hypocrite or phony.                                             Holy Spirit, help me to abhor what is evil, and cling to what is good. 

Vs. 10.  Holy Spirit, help me to be kindly affectionate with the Saints, showing brotherly love.                       Holy Spirit, will you show me how to give honor and give preference to another above myself. 

Vs. 11.  Holy Spirit, help me not to be lagging, slothful, lazy, or indifferent, in my diligence concerning those things that You have called, or gifted me to do.  But please help me, that I maybe at all times fervent in spirit, serving my Lord. 

Vs. 12.  Holy Spirit, teach me at this time, to rejoice in hope, to be patient in tribulation, to be continuing steadfastly in praying to You and with You.

Vs. 13.  Holy Spirit, show me how I can be involved in distributing to the needs of the Saints near and far, even being open too providing hospitality when needed. 

Vs. 14.  Holy Spirit, with Your help may I be able to, bless those who persecute me.                                     Holy Spirit, with Your help may I be able to, bless and do not curse. 

Vs. 15.  Holy Spirit, also with Your help, may I be able to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

Vs. 16.  Holy Spirit, also with Your help, may I be of the same mind, in unity toward others.  Help me not to set my mind on the pride-fullness of this world, but to associate and help with the humble, the lowly whoever they may be.                                                                                                                                        Holy Spirit, never allow me to be wise in my own opinions, that I am no longer teachable. 

Vs. 17.  Holy Spirit, never allow me to repay any one evil for evil.                                                                      Holy Spirit, with your help, may I have regard for the good things, for the right things, in the sight of all men. 

Vs. 18.  Holy Spirit, make it possible for me to depend on You, so that I might live peaceably with anybody. 

Vs. 19.  Holy Spirit, never allow me to avenge myself, but rather give place to God's wrath if He chooses.  For it is written, “vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord. 

Vs. 20.  Holy Spirit, with Your help, may I be able to help in various ways, that person that is in opposition with me.  For in so doing, May You bring about a change in their attitude towards me.  

Vs. 21.  Holy Spirit, never allow me to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good that comes from You.  Amen!

Remember, Amen does not mean the end!                                                                                                          Amen, when used after a prayer means, "so be it!"  Or, "may what was prayed be fulfilled by You!"

Part 4    07-31-16   5th Sunday

This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God. Also, we are looking at what Jesus said and taught especially about prayer and praying to God.

Read Matthew 6: 9-13.                                                                                                                                         Vs. 9.  In this manner therefore, pray:                                                                                                                 Our Father in heaven,                                                                                                                                            Hallowed be Your name.                                                                                                                                        Your kingdom come.                                                                                                                                            Vs. 10. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                        Vs. 11. Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                              Vs. 12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                              Vs. 13. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.                                                    For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

Listen, in our regular, private, informal time of prayer with God, Jesus has given us a pattern to follow that would help us to know what to say and why!

For here in Matthew 6: 9-13, the teaching of our LORD, could be divided into, nine distinct and unique phrases that we could use when we are praying to God. 

For example, in vs. 9, the first phrase, would be “Our Father in Heaven”.  The address,  or, a way we can begin our time in prayer with God.

This morning, let's focus on the next three phrases, starting at vs. 9b,  “Hallowed be Your name”.  That's (1).                                                                                                                                                                             Vs.10. Your kingdom come.  That's (2).                                                                                                                 Vs.10. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  That's (3).

Listen, in our regular, private, informal time of prayer with God, Jesus has given us a pattern to follow that would help us to know what to say and why!

In fact, there are 3 words, that helps me to better understand, what each phrase is directing us to do.     The 3 words are,                                                                                                                                                     Representation.                                                                                                                                                    Preoccupation.                                                                                                                                                      Application. 

For example:                                                                                                                                                         In vs. 9b, the phrase, Hallowed be Your name, reminds me about my Representation, or, how I am to be mindful of whom I represent.

Next, in vs. 10a, the phrase, Your kingdom come, is to be my life-long Preoccupation. 

Finally, in vs. 10b, the phrase, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, is to be my daily Application. 

Now, let's notice the first one in vs. 9b, Hallowed be Your name is to remind Me about my Representation. (Repeat)

Now, Jesus taught us to pray Hallowed be Your name!

First, see the phrase at the end of vs. 9b "Your name."  Who's name?                                                            In fact, which "name" is being referred to here?                                                                                               Answer.  See vs 9.  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name, Heavenly Father.                                  Heavenly Father, Your kingdom come. 

Vs. 10.  Heavenly Father, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                            Vs. 13b.  Heavenly Father, Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen!

Now again, see the phrase, "Your Name."

Usually, in the Bible when it is referring to God and it says, the name, the name of God, or, the name of the Lord, this word can help us to understand at least three things.                                                             ‘Name’ refers to the person themselves, and not just the letters to their name.                                            ‘Father,’ that is God the Father whom Jesus revealed.                                                                                       ‘Name’ refers to the presence or the unlimited presence of this One, God the Father.                                 ‘Name’ refer to the character or the flawless character of this One, God the Father.

Next, what does it mean to ‘hallow’ something, or someone, or someplace? 

Hallowed means to observe or declare something, someone, or someplace sacred or respectful or to be in reverential fear and awe.                                                                                                                                 Or, Hallowed can mean to observe or declare something, someone, or someplace Holy, or set apart.

Finally, Hallowed can also mean to observe or declare something, someone, or someplace to be unique and different, or special.

One particular English translation or versions of the Bible the NLT, says it this way, “May your name be kept Holy.” 

In other words, it is up to the child of God and nobody else, to represent and be mindful each and every day of the person, presence, and character of their Father in heaven. 

Now, in vs. 10a, the phrase, "Your kingdom come," is to be my life-long Preoccupation.                              That is the Kingdom that is, and the Kingdom that is to come.                                                                         The Kingdom that is!

Luke 17: 20&21.                                                                                                                                                 Now, when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘see here!’ or ‘see there!’  For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.

St. John 3: 3& 5.                                                                                                                                                   Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”                                                                                                                                   The Kingdom that is to come!

Revelation 11: 15.                                                                                                                                                    Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! 

Revelation 20: 4.                                                                                                                                                    And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment or rule was committed to them.                            Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. 

And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.                                                                        

Now, in vs. 10b, see the phrase, "Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven," is to be my daily application.

Two things to understand about the will of Your Father in Heaven from vs. 10b!                                              First, His “Revealed Will” given to us in Scriptures, from God's Word, the Bible.

In my prayer time with God, the Father, I can express my gratitude appreciation, and thankfulness for the Scriptures, the Bible in my own language that I can read for myself. 

I can express my gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness for the desire that God gives to read study, understand, and apply His Truth so that I might fulfill His will.

Heavenly Father, Your will that You have revealed in scriptures, Father, Your will be done on Earth by me and through me, as it is done in Heaven.

Secondly, His personal will for your life.

In my prayer time with God the Father, I can again express my gratitude appreciation, and thankfulness for God's personal will for my life was Salvation, and that the Father has done everything possible to bring it to pass.

For Example;                                                                                                                                                          1 Timothy 2: 3-6.                                                                                                                                                     Vs. 3.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;                                                            Vs. 4.  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.                              Vs. 5.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;                    Vs. 6.  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

 And now that I'm truly saved, your Heavenly Father has a purpose and a will for your life!

Part 5   09-25-2016      

This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.
Also, we are looking at what Jesus said and taught especially about prayer, and praying to God. 

Read Matthew 6: 9-13.  
Vs. 9.  In this manner therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come.                                                                                                                                                                Vs. 10.  Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                         Vs. 11.   Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                              Vs. 12.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                        Vs. 13.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. 

Listen, in our regular, private, informal prayer time with God, Jesus has given us a pattern that we can follow that would help us to know what to say, and why!

Also, here in Matthew 6: 9-13, this teaching by Jesus about prayer, could easily be divided into nine distinct, and unique phrases, that we could use, when praying to God. 

Now, this morning let's focus on the next three phrases.                                                                             And the first phrase will begin here in Matthew 6: 11, which says, "Give us this day, our daily bread."

Also, Luke 11: 3, says it a little different. Give us day by day, our daily bread.   

The next phrase, is here in Matthew 6: 12 which says, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”  But Luke 11: 4, says it a little different. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone, who is indebted to us. 

And the third phrase, is here in Matthew 6: 13a that says, "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

Yet, in Luke 11: 4, says it a little different.   And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Now, may I give to you three short statements, that I think could help anyone better understand what each phrase is saying in vs. 11, vs. 12, and vs. 13a.                                                                                         The First statement is a Request’.                                                                                                                       The second statement is a Requirement’.                                                                                                     And the third statement is a ‘Recognition’. 

Here is the point, I truly believe that here in Matthew 6: 11-13a, that these three statements we just mentioned, a Request, a Requirement, a Recognition, can help us better understand what each verse is saying in vs.11, in vs.12, in vs. 13a, is wanting us to receive.

For example, a ‘Request’.  Vs. 11.  Give us this day, our daily bread.                                                                A ‘Requirement’.  Vs. 12.  And, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                            A ‘Recognition’.   Vs. 13a. And, do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Therefore, let's consider this first statement, a ‘Request’!                                                                                   Actually, out of all three verses here in Matthew 6: vs. 11, vs. 12, vs. 13a, I believe that vs. 11, is the only request that is mentioned.

The other two verses are much different.  For example, vs. 12, is a ‘Requirement’ we have and need, concerning our sins before God, and when others sin against us.                                                                     And vs. 13, is a ‘Recognition’ we need to have when we are faced with temptation.                              

Let's consider the first statement, a 'Request", which is the only request that is mentioned here.           See vs, 11.  Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                    Two important things to observe.        

First, the word bread that our Lord use here can represents all the physical necessities of daily life.   Genesis 2.

Secondly (see vs. 11), Give us this day our daily bread is a good reminder for us each day, to request and to depend upon God, as our source, our provider, and the one who will sustain you and me no matter what. 

Now notice in Matthew 6: 31-33.                                                                                                                           Vs. 31. Jesus said, therefore do not worry, saying to yourself, ‘what shall we eat?’                                      or, ‘what shall we drink?’                                                                                                                                      or, ‘What shall we wear?’                                                                                                                                 Vs. 32.  For after all these things the Gentiles seek.    For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.    Vs. 33.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

A daily prayer we can pray.                                                                                                                                 Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us this day, our daily bread.                                                              For as you provided for your people in the wilderness for 40 years.                                                           May you continue to provide all my needs, and the needs of your people, both near and far, according to your riches in glory, all of our physical and spiritual needs and necessities. Amen!

Let's consider the next statement, a requirement we have and need concerning our sins before God, and when others, sin against us.                                                                                                                             See vs. 12, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  

Two important things to observe.                                                                                                                  First, this is a good reminder also for us that each day, to request and receive God's forgiveness for ourselves.

Also, see I John 1: 8-10.                                                                                                                                           Vs. 8.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.                                  Vs. 9.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                                                                                                                    Vs. 10.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Secondly, this is a good reminder for us each day, for us to be forgiving, and to focus not on the wrong that was done.                                                                                                                                             See vs. 12, "as we forgive our debtors."

Also, see Ephesians 4: 31&32.                                                                                                                               Vs. 31.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice.  Vs. 32.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.  How?  Even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5: 1&2.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children.                                                                                 Vs. 2.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

A daily prayer we can pray.                                                                                                                     Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving us our debts, our sins, our trespasses.                                             May we always confess and repent of those things by which we sin against you.                                     And therefore, may we always be willing to forgive anyone of anything, no matter how big or small.      For in so doing, we are recognized as being sons of our Heavenly Father.                                                For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good.                                                                                He sends His rain on the just and on the unjust, (Jesus said)!  For we want to be like You in this area, Amen!

Finally, let's consider the last statement, a recognition we need to have when we are faced with temptation.                                                                                                                                                               See Vs. 13a, and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 

Two important things to observe.   First, the word temptation, that our Lord used here means, a test, or a trial.                                                                                                                                                                           For It does not mean a temptation to sin, or to do evil!

Read James 1: 13-15.                                                                                                                                           Vs. 13.  Let no one say when they are tempted, I am tempted by God.  For God cannot be tempted by evil nor does He, Himself tempt anyone.                                                                                                         Vs. 14.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.                       Vs. 15.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

See vs. 13a.  And do not lead us into temptation.                                                                                               This is a ‘Recognition’, and not a ‘Request’, but a recognition we need to have when we are faced with temptation.

I know and I am certain, that God would never lead us, or lead me into a test, or a trial, that He would allow or permit, only to abandoned or forsaken me!

I recognize that no matter what the devil, my feelings, my flesh, my family, or friends may be saying!         I know and I am certain God will not abandoned or forsake me!

Read Psalms 23: 4.                                                                                                                                           Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;                                               for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.                                                                       Now, see vs. 13a, "But deliver us, (Jesus said), from evil, And the evil one.                                                   But, what does that mean? What does that look like?

I Corinthians 10: 13.                                                                                                                                            Vs. 13 says, no temptation, (a test, or a trial) has overtaken you, except such as is common to man.       But, God is faithful who will not allow you to be (tempted) tried or tested beyond what you are able.     But with (the temptation) test or trial, will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

A daily prayer we can pray.                                                                                                                                   Heavenly Father, thank you for Your (parental) protection.                                                                                I am thankful to You, that You would never lead us, or lead me into a test, or a trial, to be abandoned or forsaken.

But Heavenly Father, thank you for always being my deliverer, my refuge, my fortress, from evil, and the evil one, and from all the demonic host.  Please give Your holy angels charge over me, to keep me, in all my ways, Amen!

11-06-2016  Part 6

This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.   For a while now, we have been looking at what our Lord Jesus said and taught about prayer, and praying to God. 

Show you what I mean!

Now, read Matthew 6: 9-13.                                                                                                                                   Vs. 9.  In this manner, therefore pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.                              Your kingdom come.                                                                                                                                          Vs.  10.  Yours will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.                                                                                  Vs. 11.  Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                              Vs. 12.  And, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.                                                                           Vs. 13.  And, do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.                                                              Or, Yours is                                                                                                                                                              The Kingdom,                                                                                                                                                          and the Power,                                                                                                                                                        and the Glory,                                                                                                                                                    Forever.                                                                                                                                                            Amen.

Listen, in our regular, private, informal prayer time with God, our Lord has given us a wonderful pattern that we can use and follow that could help us to know what to say, and why!

And here in Matthew 6: 9-13, this teaching by Jesus, about prayer, could easily be divided into nine distinct, and unique phrases, that could be useful in our prayer time before God. 

Now this morning, let's finish up Matthew 6: 9-13, and let's consider these last three phrases that ends in vs. 13.

Notice the end of vs 13.                                                                                                                                          For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever. Amen.

Listen, in this final portion of Jesus teaching on prayer can help us to know, a major benefit we receive when spending time before the Lord in prayer. 

For the major benefit, we receive when spending time before the Lord in prayer is,  we can refocus on who is in control, because unfortunately, sometimes we can lose focus.

Or, the major benefit we receive when spending time before the Lord in prayer is, we can stay, or maintain focused upon, what really matters!  

This is so important, because there will be a lot of things that can get us distracted, bothered, upset, worried, and even discourage.

They can be personally, family, relationally, ministerially, economically, racially, socially, politically, or even prophetically.   Or, a combination of these things!

There will be a lot of things that can get us distracted, bothered, upset, worried, and even discourage.

But a major benefit we receive when spending time before the Lord in prayer.  We have the opportunity to refocus if need be.  Or, we can stay or maintain focus upon what really matters! 

Let's first consider the phrase at the end of vs. 13, "Yours is the Kingdom." (Heavenly Father) "Yours is the Kingdom."  

Listen, in our regular, private, informal prayer time before God, we should say, we should reaffirm, what we believe, what we are committed to. 

Remember, in Matthew 6: 10a, the phrase, "Your kingdom come." 

We said that this phrase was a recognition, a prayerful declaration, that the Kingdom of God is already in existence.    For Jesus would not have us to pray about something, if it did not exist!

But also, Your kingdom come in Matthew. 6: 10a is a recognition that the Kingdom of God and it's chosen King, the Lord Jesus Christ, will soon come and replace this kingdom of darkness, along with the Prince of Darkness, and all who follow him.  Amen!                                                                                                       Therefore, Yours is the Kingdom, is what I am to be focused upon and committed to fully. 

Listen, because of Jesus Christ, and because I have been born again by His Mercy and Grace, I am now a Kingdom citizen!  I am now an Ambassador for Christ!

St. John 3: 3&5.  Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God. 

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, they cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Luke 17: 21.  For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.                                                                               But one day, a literal, physical, earthly Kingdom will come, along with it's King!

Revelation 11: 15.  Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,   “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! 

Revelation 20: 4.  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment or rule was committed to them. 

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.  And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Listen, according to vs. 13, (Heavenly Father) Yours is the Kingdom that I am to be focused upon and fully committed to at all times. 

Now, this next phrase herein vs. 13, can help us refocus on who is in control, because unfortunately sometimes we can lose focus.  Or, this phrase here in vs. 13, can help us stay, or maintain focused upon, what really matters!

Because there will be a lot of things that can get us distracted, bothered, upset, worried, and even discourage.

But Yours is the Power.  See vs. 13. 

Heavenly Father, Yours is the Power that I am dependent upon.

In our regular, private, informal prayer time before God, we should say, we should reaffirm, what we believe, what we are committed to. 

See Ephesians 1: 17, 19-23.                                                                                                                                     Vs. 17.  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, (the Father of glory), may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,                                                                                                             Vs. 19.   and what is the exceeding greatness of His Power, (the Father of Glory)                                           Vs. 17.   toward us who believe, according to the working of His Mighty Power,                                            Vs. 20.  which He worked in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,                                                                                                                                 Vs. 21.  far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.                                                                                                Vs. 22.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Heavenly Father, Yours is the Power that I am dependent upon.

Now, this final phrase here in vs. 13.  Can help us refocus on who is in control, because unfortunately sometime we can lose focus.                                                                                                                                 Or, this final phrase here in vs. 13, can help us stay, or maintain focused upon, what really matters! 

Because there will be a lot of things that can get us distracted, bothered, upset, worried, and even discourage.

But Yours is the Glory.  See vs. 13.

Heavenly Father Yours is the Glory, that I will give to You, for it is not about me, it is all about You.

In our regular, private, Informal prayer time before God, we should say, we should reaffirm, what we believe, what we are committed to. 

Yours is the Glory, that I will give to You, for it is not about me, it is all about You.

See I Chronicles 29: 10-13.                                                                                                                                     Vs. 10. Therefore, David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel, Our Father, forever and ever.                                                                                                          Vs. 11.  Yours, O LORD, is the Greatness, the Power, the Glory, the victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven, and in earth is Yours; 

Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. 

Vs. 12.  Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.                                                              In Your hand is Power and might; in Your hand, it is to make great and to give strength to all.                       Vs. 13.  Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.

Finally, at the end of Matthew 6: 13, Jesus said for Yours is,                                                                              The Kingdom,                                                                                                                                                          and the Power,                                                                                                                                                        and the Glory,                                                                                                                                                          Forever. Amen.

See the word ‘forever’, for this I will do both now, and forever and forever.  Do What?

Yours is the Kingdom that I will be focused upon and fully committed to both now, and forever and forever. 

Yours is the Power that I am dependent upon both now, and forever and forever.

Yours is the Glory, both now, and forever and forever that I will give to You.  For it is not about me, it is all about You!

See the word ‘Amen’, remember Amen does not mean the end, or I'm signing off, or goodbye!                   Listen, Amen, when used after a prayer means, "so be it!"  or, may what was prayed be fulfilled by You!"

11-13-2016    Part 7

This morning, we want to continue to look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.    In this series, we have wanted to focus on three primary areas from the Bible.

For example, what Jesus said and taught about prayer, and praying to God?                                          What the Word of God from the New Testament, teaches about prayer, and praying to God.                        And finally, what the Word of God from the Old Testament, teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

Now, last Sunday we completed what Jesus said and taught about prayer, and praying to God from Matthew 6: 9-13.

By the way, you know this was not everything that Jesus said and taught about prayer and praying to God!

In fact, in all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, there is much more on the subject of prayer and praying to God, that Jesus said and taught.

So, may I encourage you to continue your own personal study and search to see what else our Lord said and taught about prayer and praying to God.                                 

And if I can be of any help or show you from the Bible where to start, or where to go!                        Please take the time to get in touch, and let's talk.

However, this morning we are going to move on now.                                                                                      And with God's help let's begin to see from both the Old Testament and from the New Testament, what the Word of God teaches about prayer, and praying to God.

So, what we will do with the time we have this morning, we will alternate back-and-forth, From the New Testament, to the Old Testament, as we learn some basic principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, about prayer and praying to God.

Let's begin first here in the New Testament Ephesians 6: 18.                                                                             Read Ephesians 6: 18.                                                                                                                                    Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the Saints.

So, what are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that can we know about prayer and praying to God?

See Ephesians 6.                                                                                                                                                    First, the Phrase in the middle of vs. 18, in the Spirit. (Briefly explain).                                                               For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

Now, see the phrase at the end of vs. 18, for all the Saints.  (Briefly explain)                                                     For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

Now, let's go over to the Old Testament.  See Psalms 66: 18.                                                                             What does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?                                                                         Read Psalms 66: 18, if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.

What are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that we can know about prayer, and praying to God?

See Psalms 66: The phrase at the beginning of vs. 18, if I regard iniquity in my heart.  (Briefly Explain).   For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

Now see the phrase at the end of vs. 18, the Lord will not hear.  (Briefly explain).                                       For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

Now back to the New Testament. See I Timothy 2: 1-4.                                                                                     So, what does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?  

Read I Timothy 2: 1-4.                                                                                                                                             Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, what are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that we can know about prayer, and praying to God?

See I Timothy 2: 1.                                                                                                                                                   First of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks. (Briefly explain).                     For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

See I Timothy 2: 1&2.                                                                                                                                          Be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority. (Briefly explain).                                                  For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation. 

See I Timothy 2: 2.                                                                                                                                             That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and reverence. (Briefly explain).                For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

See I Timothy 2: 3.                                                                                                                                                 For this is good and acceptable, in the sight of God our Savior? (Briefly explain).                                         For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

See I Timothy 2: 4.                                                                                                                                          Who (God our Savior) desires all men to be Saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.  (Briefly explain).                                                                                                                                                                   For those who are reading this, if you can go to our church website and find the Audio file and the date 11-13-16, you can hear the explanation.

 

11-20-2016    Part 8

This morning, we want to finish up our look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God.   In this series, we have wanted to briefly focus on three primary areas from the Bible.                              

For example, what did Jesus say and taught about prayer, and praying to God?                                    What does the Bible from the New Testament teaches, about prayer, and praying to God?                          And finally, what does the Bible from the Old Testament teaches, about prayer, and praying to God?

Now, last Sunday we began to See from both the Old Testament and from the New Testament what the Bible teaches about prayer, and praying to God?

Now, remember we will be alternating back-and-forth this morning from the New Testament, to the Old Testament, as we learn some of the basic principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, about prayer and praying to God.

Now, last Sunday we ended looking at the New Testament, looking at I Timothy 2: 1-4, learning some of the basic principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, about prayer and praying to God.

Now, let's go over to the Old Testament once again, see Isaiah 59: 1&2. 

So, what does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?

See the phrase in Isaiah 59: vs. 1.  Behold, the LORDs hand or power is not shortened or limited by reach, that it cannot save, or rescue, nor is the LORD’s ear heavy, or has a obstruction or blockage, nor is there any loss of hearing that affects Him that He cannot hear. 

In fact, Jeremiah 32: 17, reminds us, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm there is nothing too hard for You.

Now, in Isaiah 59: 2, see the phrase, but your iniquities have separated you from or caused a divide between you and God; And your sins has He hidden His face from you so that He will not hear you.

In fact, Psalms 66: 18, reminds us, if you or I regard, or consider,                                                                  Or, give attention too,                                                                                                                                           Or, give place to iniquity in our heart, and there is no repentance, the Lord will not hear.

So, what does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?

Read Colossians 4: 2.  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant or watching in the Same, that is in prayer with thanksgiving.

What are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that we can know about prayer, and praying to God?

First, see the phrase in Colossians 4: 2, continue earnestly in prayer.  (Briefly Explain)

Now, see the phrase in vs. 2, being vigilant or watching in the Same, that is in prayer with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is from a Greek word, εχαριστα eucharistía, from G2170; which means gratitude; gratefulness and thankfulness.                                                                                                                         Gratitude is an external showing of appreciation either done verbally or by some physical gesture.         Gratefulness is an internal understanding within oneself, that what was done or given was unmerited and undeserved.                                                                                                                                                             Thankfulness is an ongoing reality or a mindset, that motivates one to be generous, thoughtful, helpful when able.

What does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?

II Chronicles 7: 14&15, the Lord is speaking to King Solomon before the dedication of the Temple of the LORD, that the LORD allowed him to build.                                                                                                     Vs. 14.  If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.                                                                                                                                                                 Vs. 15.  And My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers made in this place.

So, what are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that we can know about prayer, and praying to God?                                                                 

First, see the phrase in II Chronicles 7: 14.  If My people who are called by My name.  (Briefly Explain)

Next, See the phrase in II Chronicles 7: 14,  …will humble themselves and pray and seek My face saith the Lord and turn from their wicked ways.  (Briefly Explain)

Finally, see the phrase in II Chronicles 7: 14&15.                                                                                             Then I the LORD will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.                               And My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers made in this place. (Briefly Explain) 

What does the Bible teach about prayer, and praying to God?                                                                         Read I John 5: 14&15.                                                                                                                                             Vs. 14.  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 15.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

What are some of the important principles from the Word of God and the Spirit of God, that we can know about prayer, and praying to God?

First, see the phrase in I John 5: 14. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (Briefly Explain) 

Now, see the phrase in I John 5: 15, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Listen, God's answer or response to our prayers, or our asking can be summarized in four ways.

I.   Yes! According to God's will, purpose, and timing, God will respond to our request so that His power & glory might be made known.                                                                                                                                 I Kings 18: 36–39; James 5: 17–18; Acts 12: 5–7; Acts 12: 12–17. 

II.   No!  Because I have something else in mind.  According to My will, purpose, and timing, God's response to our request may be no, because He knows what is best and what is right for us.           Daniel 3: 16.

III.   Slow!  Not yet!  Wait! Because I'm working things out! According to My will, purpose, and timing, God's response to our request may be wait, slow down because He knows what is ahead and what is coming.                                                                                                                                                                  II Chronicles 20:5-25; Genesis 16.

IV.  Grow!  For you are outside My will saith the Lord, and you need to repent. God's will, purpose, and timing, to our request may be delayed or denied because of disobedience, immaturity, or self-centeredness that is constant and there is no repentance of these areas in our lives.                     Jeremiah 14: 7; James 4:3.

                                                                           +++++++++++++++++++

Faith, Hope & Love - The Three Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up And Help Us To Overcome

Faith

Part 1    05-03-2015

Our subject from The Lord, Faith, Hope & Love, the three essential pillars that will hold us up and help us to overcome whenever we are faced with problems or circumstances or situations.

Open up by sharing from your heart.  Many of you who are members or who attend regularly our church, how many of you and your families are facing some very different things right now?

And if the truth be known, you've been struggling.  There has been times of doubt and fear.  There has been times of worry and anxiety.  There has been times of frustration and discouragement.  And, for some, there has been moments when you felt like giving up, walking away, quitting.  It's been hard for you.

So then, perhaps you can use some encouragement right now.  Perhaps, with God's help, you can regain your focus.  Or maybe, you just needed to be reminded that there is hope, no matter what.

In the Bible, there are three spiritual virtues from God that are essential (must have), like pillars that will hold us up and that help us to overcome whenever you are faced with problems or circumstances, or situations.

When you are faced with problems, we must have Faith.  For example; a layoff, a health problem, family problem, a financial problem, or any kind of setback.  Yet, Faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help to overcome.

When you are faced with certain circumstances, we must have Hope.  For example; an accident of some kind, any kind of loss or the death of a loved one, or a serious legal or IRS matter, or amajor disaster of some kind.  Yet, Hope is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help to overcome.

And when faced with situations, we, must walk in Love.  For example; a misunderstanding or an argument, or you are being falsely accused or rejected, or misunderstood, or a break down of a relationship.  Yet, Love is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help to overcome.

When you are faced with problems you must have Faith.    Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.                                               When you are faced with circumstances you  must have Hope.   Lamentations 3: 21-26.                              When you are faced with situations you must walk in Love.   1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a.

So then, let's deal with the first of three essential pillars that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem or some kind, or some unfortunate circumstance arise, or you find yourself in some kind of difficult situation with another person.

When you are faced with problems you must have Faith  But what is Faith?

Hebrews 11: 1"Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  This is a description and not a definition.  Hebrews 11: 1 is describing how true biblical Faith works in you, and for you.

Therefore, Hebrews 11: 1 is just one of the many characteristics of true biblical Faithand that is, it is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.  For example, see Romans‬ ‭4‬: ‭17-21‬

Now, remember Hebrews‬ ‭11‬: ‭1 is just one of the many characteristics of true biblical Faith, and that is, it is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.  Go back to verses 17 & 18.

So then, in Romans‬ ‭4‬: ‭17,  we have a God who promises, and a God who is able to perform what He has promised.  Verse 17.  As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of God whom Abraham believed God, who gives life to the dead, and God who calls those things which do not exist as though they did.

And In Romans‬ ‭4‬: ‭18‬,  we have a man (a person) who has Hope, and a man who is willing to believe.  Verse 18. Abraham contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “so shall your descendants be.”

But then, Romans‬ ‭4‬: ‭19asays, "and not being weak in Faith."  But how?  How was it possible for Abraham to have this level of confidence?  Remember Hebrews‬ ‭11‬: ‭1, that true biblical Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

Therefore, Abraham was able to do three important things, and so must we!
1st. Abraham, trusted in what God says and what God is able to do, and not in himself, nor others.

2ndly, Abraham refused to waiver from what God had said and promise, and in that Abraham was able to give glory to God.

Finally, Abraham, was thoroughly convinced, fully persuaded, and had absolute confidence that God could do anything He promised.

1st. Abraham trusted in what God says and what God is able to do, and not in himself, nor others.
Remember Romans 4: 17,  “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of God whom Abraham believed and God, who gives life to the dead, and God who calls those things which do not exist as though they did.  According to Romans‬ ‭4‬:‭ 19b, Abraham did not consider his own body, already dead, since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

2ndly. Abraham refused to waiver from what God had said and promised, and in that Abraham was able to give glory to God.   Notice Romans 4: 20.  Abraham did not waiver at the promise of God through unbelief,
but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.

Finally, Abraham, was thoroughly convinced, fully persuaded, and had absolute confidence, that God could do anything He promised.  Notice Romans 4: 21.  And Abraham being fully convinced that what He had promised, He was also able to perform.

Part 2   05-17-2015

Here in the Bible, there are three spiritual virtues from God that are essential (must have), like pillars.  They can hold you up and help you to overcome whenever you faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations. 

1 Corinthians 13: 3.  Therefore, Faith, Hope & Love are the three essential pillars (must have) that will hold us up and help us to overcome when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations. 

Listen, when faced with a problem or some kind, Faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.  Also, when some unfortunate circumstance arise, Hope is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.  Or, when you find yourself in some kind of difficult situation with another person, we must walk in Love.  Love is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

This morning, let's consider the first of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  "Listen, When Faced With Problems, You Must Have Faith".  But what is Faith?  Hebrews 11: 1;  "Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".   But remember, this is a description of Faith, and not a definition of Faith.  In fact, Hebrews 11: 1 is describing one of the many ways how true biblical Faith works in you and for you.

Therefore, Hebrews 11: 1 is just one of the many characteristics of true biblical Faith, and that is; true biblical Faith is the substance, the reality, the assurance, the confidence of things for true biblical Faith is the evidence, the proof, the conviction of things not seen or have not been made visible, tangible, or have manifest.

But are there other characteristics about true biblical Faith that we need to know?  Absolutely.  Mark 11: 22 & Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.  For here is another one of the many characteristics of true biblical Faith, and that is, "Faith demands an object greater than itself to depend on". 

Let me see if I can explain.  The Faith that we have from God is only adequate and strong when it is placed in God, Himself.  If you have Faith in something other than God, such as money, or man's power of ability, or technology, or medicine, or whatever it is, listen, Faith that is in those kinds of areas will be inadequate and weak when problems, circumstances, and situations arise.  Only Faith in God and trusting in the Lord can hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  Again, Faith demands an object greater than itself to depend on and that would be God.

Now notice Mark 11: 22 and Proverbs 3: 5 &  6.  But who is The Lord?  Who is God?  Listen, this is very important because you can't have Faith or trust in someone that you don't really know well.  For many of God's people, God, Himself, is like a stranger to them.  They know of Him, but they don't know Him for themselves.  They have never really done their own personal Bible study, allowing the Bible to speak or reveal to them about the character, the nature, and the ability or attributes of the God we serve.  Consequently, God, Himself is a stranger to them and you can't have faith or trust in someone that you don't really know well.

So then, with the few minutes we have left, let's take a brief look at God in a way that I hope could be insightful and helpful.  Let's look at God according to scriptures from two important viewpoints.  Let's consider "The Character Of God".  And let's consider "The Ability Or Attributes Of God", and maybe this could be a starting point for your own personal Bible study so you can see for yourself what the scriptures say about the God you serve.

First, let's consider "The Character Of God".  By the way, what do I mean by the character of someone?  what is character all about?  Maybe this would help.  Character has been defined as the moral qualities and the ethical traits that mark a person.  Such as, empathy, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty.  Character is the moral qualities and the ethical traits that determine in a person's life a right response regardless of the circumstances.

So then, what are some of the character traits of God that every believer should know?  What are some of the character traits about God that would help you to know God, so that you could trust and have Faith in God?  Well, here are a few.                                                                                                                                               God's character is such that He is Just - Genesis 18: 25.                                                                                    God's character is such that He is Truthful - Numbers 23: 19.                                                                               God's character is such that He is Merciful - Lamentations 3: 22 & 23.                                                               God's character is such that He is Gracious - Psalms 84: 11.                                                                                God's character is such that He is Long-suffering - II Peter 3: 9.                                                                        God's character is such that He is Faithfull - Psalms 9: 10 and Lamentations 3: 22 & 23.                                      God's character is such that He is Good - Nahum 1: 7.                                                                                           God's character is such that He is Loving - Jeremiah 31: 3.                                                                                   God's character is such that He is Righteous - Psalms 145: 17-19.

Part 3   05-24-2015

Turn to I Corinthians 13: 13.  Our subject from the Lord, Faith, Hope & Love are the three essential pillars that will hold us up and will help us to overcome ,whenever we are faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations. 

Here in the Bible, there are three spiritual virtues from God that are essential (must have), like pillars.  They can hold you up and help you to overcome whenever you faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations. 

Read I Corinthians 13: 13.

Therefore, Faith, Hope & Love, there are three essential pillars that will hold us up and help us to overcome whenever we are faced with problems or circumstances or situations.

Listen, when faced with a problem or some kind, faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.  Also, when some unfortunate circumstance arise, Hope is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.  Or, when you find yourself in some kind of difficult situation with another person, we must walk in Love.  Love is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

This morning, let's consider the first of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  Listen, when faced with problems, "You must have Faith".  But what is Faith?

Well, we talked about the meaning of Faith, it's definition.  In the original writings of the New Testament, there are at least three different words in the Greek language for Faith, compared to our one English word for Faith.  W. E. Vine's Expository dictionary Of New Testament Words is very helpful in understanding the difference of each of these Greek words for Faith.  For example, there is the Greek work 'Pistis'.  There is the Greek word 'Pistos'.  And, there is the Greek word 'Pisteuo'.                                                                                     Faith is to place confidence in, or to be dependent on.                                                                                        Faith is to believe, or to have a belief.                                                                                                                    Faith is to expect having assurance.                                                                                                                         Faith is a firm reliance on the integrity, the ability, and the character of a person or thing. 

The primary meaning behind the Greek words, is to be totally dependent on or leaning upon, or relying on, or trusting in.  The main idea is one of trust, and when it comes to trusting God, one must believe and know that God is upright in character, that He possess the ability, power, and strength to bring to pass whatever is needed.  Yet, the Lord has the wisdom, the knowledge, and the understanding to know what is best, as well as, the integrity to do what is right.

Currently, we are understanding the many characteristics of true biblical Faith.  There are at least, six characteristics of true biblical Faith that every believer should know.   The first characteristics of true biblical faith that every believer should know is; "Faith Is The Substance Of Things Hoped For, And Faith Is The Evidence Of Things Not Seen."  Therefore, Hebrews 11:1 is a description and not a definition.  Hebrews 11:1 is describing how true biblical faith works in you and for you.

2ndly.  Another characteristic of true biblical Faith that every believer should know is;  "Faith Demands An Object Greater Than Itself To Depend On" and that would be God!   See Mark 11:22 and Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.

Question.  But who is the Lord?  Who is God?

Listen, this is very important because you can't have Faith or trust in someone that you don't really know well.  For many of God's people, God, Himself is like a stranger to them.  They know of Him, but they don't know Him for themselves.  They have never really done their own personal Bible Study, allowing the Bible to speak or reveal to them about the character, the nature, and the ability or attributes of the God we serve.  Consequently, God, Himself is a stranger to them and you can't have Faith or trust in someone that you don't really know well.

Let's look at God, according to scriptures from two viewpoints.  Last Sunday, we considered "The Character Of God".  This morning, let's consider "The Ability Or The Attributes Of God".  By the way, an attribute refers usually to a good quality or feature that someone or something has, or some inherent ability or quality that distinguish them and makes them different from others.

What are some of the abilities or the attributes of God that every believer should know?  What are some of the abilities or the attributes of God that would help you to know God, so that you could trust and have Faith in God?  Here are a few:                                                                                                                                           God's abilities or attributes are such that He is sovereign.  See Daniel 4: 34 & 35, Isaiah 46: 9 & 10.           God's abilities or attributes are such that He has a will, or a purpose, or plan in what He does or allows, and what He does or not do, nor allows.  See Genesis 45: 5 & 7,  Genesis 50: 19 & 20.                                         God's abilities or attributes are such that He causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  See Romans 8: 28.                                                          God's abilities or attributes are such that He is in charge and in control.  See Revelations 1: 17 & 18.           God's abilities or attributes are such that He is almighty or omnipotent.  See Revelations 1: 8,  Jeremiah   God's abilities or attributes are such that He is all-knowing or omniscient.  See Romans 11: 33 & 34.               God's abilities or attributes are such that He is all-seeing or omnipresent.  See Proverbs 15: 3,  II Chronicles  16: 9.                                                                                                                                                                             God's abilities or attributes are such that He is upholding all things together.  See Colossians 1: 16 & 17.

Part 4   06-7-2015

Read I Corinthians 13: 13

Therefore, Faith, Hope & Love are the three essential (must have) pillars that will hold us up and that will help us to overcome when faced with problems or circumstances or situations.

Listen, when faced with a problem of some kind, faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.   Also, when some unfortunate circumstance arise, Hope is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars, that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

Or, when you find yourself in some kind of difficult situation with another person, we must walk in love.  Love is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

This morning, let's consider the first of the three essential pillar that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  "When faced with problems, you must have Faith".

But what is Faith?  Two important things to know.
1st. The meaning and the definition of Faith.
2ndly. Understanding the many characteristics of true biblical Faith.
Now, we have all ready talked about the meaning and the definition of Faith.

Currently, we are understanding the many characteristics of true biblical Faith and there are at least six characteristics of true biblical Faith that every believer should know.

The first characteristic of true biblical Faith that every believer should know is; Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and Faith is the evidence of things not seen.  Therefore, Hebrews 11: 1 is a description and not a definition.  Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬  is describing how true biblical Faith works in you, and for you.

2ndly. Another characteristic of true biblical Faith that every believer should know is; "Faith demands an object greater than itself to depend on", and that would be God!  See Mark 11: 22;  Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.

And this morning we want to consider another characteristic of true biblical Faith that every believer should know.  This next characteristic about true biblical Faith is the third out of the six we are considering and that is; "Faith in God gives me and you the courage and the confidence to speak what we believe about God which enables us to leave the outcome up to God"!   See Mark 11: 22-24;    Psalm 62: 6-8. 

Part 5   06-14-2015

Our subject from the Lord, Faith, Hope & Love are the three essential pillars that will hold us up and will help us to overcome whenever we are faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations. 

Read I Corinthians 13: 13.

Therefore, Faith, Hope & Love, there are three essential (must have) pillars that will hold us up and help us to overcome when faced with problems or circumstances or situations.

This morning, let's consider the first of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  "When faced with problems, you must have Faith".

Part 6   07-5-2015

Read I Corinthians 13:13

Therefore, Faith, Hope & Love are the three essential (must have) pillars that will hold us up and that will help us to overcome, when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

Listen, when faced with a problem of some kind, Faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.   Also, when some unfortunate circumstance arise, Hope is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars, that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

Or, when you find yourself in some kind of difficult situation with another person, we must walk in Love.  Love is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

This morning, let's consider the first of the three essential pillar that will hold you up and help you to overcome when you are faced with a problem of some kind.  "When faced with problems, you must have Faith".  And over the last couple of months we mentioned that there are at least six characteristics concerning true biblical faith that every believer should know. 

This morning, we want to begin looking at the sixth characteristic concerning true biblical faith, and that is; "Faith in God requires that we trusting the Lord also.  See Mark 11: 22-24.  However, this is the key.  See I John 5: 14 & 15.

"Faith in God requires that we trust in the Lord also."  see Proverbs 3: 5 &6.  Again, notice verse 5 and the phrase, "trust in the Lord".  Now notice the first work in this 'trust'.  This word translated 'trust' in most of our English bibles is used in the Old Testament over 117 times.

But what is 'trust'?  Trust is a firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.  'Trust' means to have or to place confidence in or to be depended on.  Listen,  And when it comes to God, trusting in the Lord is believing and knowing that the one being trusted is upright in character, possessing the ability and power to bring to pass whatever is needed.  Yet, having the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to know what is best, as well as, having the integrity to do what is right.

Some reminders about trusting in the Lord.  See Psalm 118:  8 & 9.  Psalm 146: 3-6,  Jeremiah 17: 5-8.

Listen, this subject about 'Trust' may be one of the most important subjects to know, study, and practice in all the Bible.  'Trust' and 'Faith' are the foundation for everything.  It is the first step that we make in our walk with the Lord.  and, it will sustain us for he rest of our days.

I believe we were designed by God to be able to trust or have Faith in someone or something other than ourselves. From our birth to our death, we were designed by God to be able to trust or have faith in someone to care for us, to protect us, to support us, to help us in various ways.

Yet there is one major problem when it comes to trust. You and I put ourselves into a vulnerable position to have to rely on someone or something other than ourselves.  And, that could be a problem.  To trust in a person or in people often can lead to disappointment and frustration because no one is perfect.

Nevertheless we were designed by God to be able to trust or have Faith in someone or something other than ourselves.  From our birth to our death, we were designed by God to be able to trust or have faith in someone.

Question: Other than God, name one person that you trust, and think about why?

However, trust can only be established and maintained where there is;
1.  An ongoing relationship with one being 'trusted'.
2. Then, over a period of time, we observe the character of that person.
3. Then ,over a period of time, we are affected positively by the ability of that person.
Listen, only then can trust be established and maintained in that relationship.

So then, the way we have trust in human relationships that is based on,
1.  An ongoing relationship with one being trusted.
2. Then, over a period of time, we observe the character of that person.
3. Then, over a period of time, we are affected positively by the ability of that person.
God is saying to us, do the same with Him. The way we learn to trust in people, is the same way we are to trust in God.

A.  Having an ongoing relationship with God.
How does that start?  Through Christ.  See St John. 14: 6
How does that continue?  Knowing that we are in a Relationship and not just in a Religion.
But talking together, a regular prayer life.
Regularly spending time together, getting to know God by His Word, the Bible.

B.  The way we learn to trust in people,  is the same way we are to trust in God.
Observing and being informed about the character of God by His Word, the Bible.
Here are a few character traits concerning God.
1.  God's character traits are such that He is Righteous.  See Psalm 145: 17
2. God's character traits are such that He is Loving.  See Jeremiah 31:3
3. God's character traits are such that He is Good.  See Nahum 1: 7
4. God's character traits are such that He is Faithful.  See Psalm 9: 10
5. God's character traits are such that He is Longsuffering. See 2 Peter 3: 9
6. God's character traits are such that He is Gracious.  See Psalm 84: 11
7. God's character traits are such that He is Merciful.  See Lamentations 3: 22

C. The way we learn to trust in people, is the same way we are to trust in God.
Being affected positively by the abilities of God.  What are some of the abilities and the attributes of God that would help you to know God so that you could trust and have Faith?  Here are a few:
1. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is sovereign.  See Daniel. 4: 34&35,  Isaiah 46: 9&10

2. God's abilities or attributes are such that He has a Will, Purpose, and a Plan in what He does and what He allows, and what He does not do, or what He does not allow.  See Genesis 45: 5&7;  Genesis 50: 19&20.

3. God's abilities or attributes Are Such, That He God's abilities or attributes are such that He is able to causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  See Romans. 8: 28.

4. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is in charge and in control.  See Revelation 1: 17&18.  For in Revelation 1: 18, keys are a symbol of being in charge and in control.

5. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is, Almighty Or Omnipotent.  See Revelation 1: 8,  Jeremiah 32: 17.

6. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is All-Knowing or Omniscient.  See Romans 11: 33 & 34.

7. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is All-Seeing Or Omnipresent.   See Proverbs 15: 3,  II Chronicles 16: 9.
 
8. God's abilities or attributes are such that He is Upholding all things together.   See Colossians 1: 16 & 17.

9. God's abilities or attributes allows Him to show, His shepherd-like care for you and I.  See Psalm 23: 1-6.

Part 7   07-12-2015

We are currently dealing with the subject of Faith, one of the Essential Pillars.

We mentioned that there are at least (six characteristics concerning true Biblical Faith, that every believer should know.

This morning we want to continue to look at the 6th characteristics concerning True Biblical Faith,  and that is "Faith in God requires that we trust in the Lord also".   Read Mk. 11: 22,  Read Proverbs 3: 5a.

To understand how Faith and trust work together is so very important.   Like a coin that has two opposite sides, one side is different than the other.   Yet the essence of the coin is the same, it's still money.

Although Faith and trust are different, yet they are the opposite sides of same Spiritual Virtue that comes from God, and that God requires of us.   Remember Faith means to believe or believe in, to have confidence in, to be totally convinced or persuaded by.   Trust means, notice Proverbs 3: 5a;  to rely on, to be depended upon, lean on, to wait upon, to surrender or submit to.  

Maybe This Illustration Could Help:
There was a man who attempted to cross the Niagara Falls on a tight rope.  He asked the crowd of spectators before he began his treacherous walk across tight rope over the Niagara Falls, "How many of you have Faith that I can cross the Niagara Falls by walking on this tight rope, without falling?"   The majority of the people raised their hand and chanted saying "yes, we believe you can do it!"   In fact the man did it multiple times. Going back-and-forth across the tight rope over the Niagara Falls.   But on his last attempt, he does something a little unusual.  He brought out a specially design wheel barrel.  The wheel barrel had a special front wheel to keep it firmly on the tight rope.  The wheel barrel also had sort of a seat, in the center of the barrel for a passenger.  Then the man said to the crowd, "does anyone trust that I can take them across the Niagara Falls in this wheelbarrow?   This time, only a few hands went up.   Then the man said something very interesting, he said, "please step forward, and get into the wheel barrel and let us cross together to the other side."  And no one came forth.

Remember, The man said to the crowd, how many of you have Faith that I can cross the Niagara Falls by walking on this tight rope, without falling?"   The majority of the people raised their hand and chanted saying "yes we believe you can do it!"   In fact the man did it multiple times. Going back-and-forth across the tight rope over the Niagara Falls.

Then the man said to the crowd, "does anyone trust that I can take them across the Niagara Falls in this wheelbarrow? This time, only a few hands went up.   Then the man said, "please step forward, and get into the wheel barrel and let us cross together to the other side."   And no one came forth.

And so it is with most of God's people.   You see the illustration is an allegory.   The man who crossed the Niagara Falls, represents the Lord.   The crowd represents us, God's people.

The tight rope across Niagara Falls, represent some challenge or difficulty, or that which causes you and me fear, anxiety, or trouble, or that which just seems impossible to us.

The man crossing the Niagara Falls multiple times, going back-and-forth on the tight rope without slipping nor falling, represents God's ability and strength to do anything He pleases or wills.

The wheelbarrow and the seat in the wheelbarrow, represents God's Grace in whatever we are facing.  That is His willingness to carry us,  to support us, and to help us to get through to the other side.

Finally, when the man said, "please step forward, and get into the wheel barrel and let us cross together to the other side."  That request represents God speaking to you and I, to trust Him by putting ourselves into His care.

Listen, we may have Faith, we believe God can do anything.  But do we trust Him enough to putting our whole self into His care.  As you can see you actually need both, Faith and trust. 

"Faith in God requires that we trust In the Lord also".  Read Proverbs 3: 5&6

Based on Proverb 3: 5&6, trusting in the Lord is not being passive or idle or indifferent or just waiting around for something to happen, nor is it just letting go and letting God.   Trusting in the Lord is a proactive response to whatever problems, situation, circumstances, challenges, disappointment, hindrance or setback.

Listen, trusting God reminds us that no matter what life may bring, to trust God puts you and I in a position to be led directly by the Lord, to an outcome that God has ordained and that He will see us through.

Therefore,  based on Proverb 3: 5&6, trusting in the Lord requires three proactive responses.
First, you are to trust in the Lord, with all your heart.
Secondly, you are to trust in the Lord, by leaning not unto your own understanding.
Finally, you are to trust in the Lord knowing that in all your ways, acknowledge Him.

All three are interdependent and must interlock with one another.                                                                     Trust in the Lord, with all your heart.
Leaning not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him

We don't pick and choose from verse 5 or verse 6 that which is comfortable, easy, or familiar to us.
Vs.5. Trust in the Lord, with all your heart.
Vs. 5. Leaning not unto your own understanding.
Vs. 6. In all your ways, acknowledge Him.

Now, notice Proverb 3: 5, the 1st. of the 3 Proactive Responses we should have when it comes to trusting in the Lord is to, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart."

What is the Heart? The word heart can mean many things in the Bible.  The word heart is used in the old testament 593 times, and in the New Testament 152 times, a total of 745 times throughout the Bible.
First, the word heart referred to the mind or the thinking, or the understanding.   Proverbs. 23: 7
The heart is a place of authority (a seat or a throne) - that part of us that will be engaged, committed, and involved in whatever we deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling, which will need constant divine supervisions.   The heart is the core and the control center - that part of man's soul which effects your desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, passions, and attitudes in which the Lord must govern and not ourselves.  Jeremiah 17: 9&10;, Psalm 51:10.

Finally, with God's help the heart can be a good place.
A place that can bears fruit for God.
A place where we trust, rely on, and depend upon the Lord.
A place within that can be strengthen by the Lord, so that courage and being courageous, resolute, and determine in a matter, can aid us in such times.

Here is a link for more information concerning this subject about the heart.   You may like to do a more in-depth study about this subject.
                                                      About The Heart - Faith Bible Ministries Blog
                                                faithbibleministriesblog.com/2012/07/06/the-heart-and...

Therefore, trust in the Lord with your heart means:  my mind,  my thinking, my understanding is relying on the Lord, depending upon the Lord,  leaning on the Lord, waiting upon the Lord,  surrendering to the Lord, and submitting to the Lord.

Trust in the Lord with your heart means:  The throne of my heart - that part of me that will be engaged, committed, and involved in whatever I deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling. 

Trust in the Lord with my heart means:  whatever I'm engaged in at the time, or committed to, or involved in, or whatever I deed important, necessary, desirable, or fulfilling at the time, all of that must be under divine supervision.

Trust in the Lord with your heart means:  my core, and the control center - that part of my soul which effects my desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, passions, and attitudes.  Trust in the Lord with your heart means: the Lord must govern all those areas, my desires, feelings, inclinations, actions, passions, and attitudes, and not me.

Finally, trust in the Lord with your heart means: with God's help that my heart can become a good place.
A place that can bears fruit for God.  Luke. 8: 15.
A place where I trust, rely on, and depend upon the Lord. Proverbs. 3: 5.
A place within that can be strengthen by the Lord, so that courage and being courageous, resolute, and determine in a matter which can aid me during such times.

Now, notice carefully Proverb 3: 5, trust in the Lord, HOW?  "with ALL your heart!"

The Hebrew word כֹּל kolis used here in vs.5 & vs. 6 which means,  all or the whole, everything, the entire of, or all of it, completely, continually, totally.

Trust in the Lord.  HOW?  "With ALL your heart!" all of it, completely, continually, totally, holding nothing back. Everything, all.

Listen. God would never ask you and I to do something that you were not able to do.  God would never require of us something that is beyond our ability.   Actually, we do this all the time in other areas.  For example, being sinful or sinning!   We hold nothing back, completely, continually, totally, with ALL of your heart.

Two things to know.   All means, your heart must be fully in it.   All means, your heart must be completely right.

1st. Your heart must been in it fully.  Wholeheartedly versus being half-hearted.   See II Chronicles 16: 7-9.  2ndly.  Your heart must be right completely.  See Psalm 119: 10&11;  Psalm 51: 1 0;  Psalm 19: 12-14.

Part 8   07-19-2015

Our Subject From The Lord Is - "Faith In God Requires That We Trust In The Lord Also". 

Read Proverbs 3: 5&6

Therefore, based on Proverb 3: 5&6, trusting in the Lord requires three proactive responses, especially when God is requiring us to wait.
Or, when God is saying no, or closes that door, giving you or me no reason or explanation.
Or, when God is making it clear that I need to grow up, or grow in some area for things to move forward.  (I'm not ready - an issue of spiritual maturity.)
Or, even, when God says yes to my request or prayer, these three proactive responses are still required.

First, vs. 5.  You are to trust in the Lord, with all your heart.
Secondly, vs. 5.  You are to trust in the Lord, by leaning not unto your own understanding.
Finally, vs. 6.  You are to trust in the Lord knowing that in all your ways, acknowledge Him.

Last Sunday, In Proverb 3: 5, we considered the 1st of the 3 proactive responses we should have, and that is to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart."

This morning we want to continue to look at Proverb 3: 5, as consider the 2nd of the 3 proactive responses we should have.   Especially, when God is requiring us to wait.
Or, when God is saying no, or closes that door, given you or me no reason or explanation.
Or, when God is making it clear that I need to grow up, or grow in some area for things to move forward.
Or, even when God says yes to my request or prayer, these three proactive responses are still required.
Trusting in the Lord is that you and I, "Leaning not unto our own understanding."

In the Hebrew Bible it reads, " your own understanding leaning not to or unto".

This word 'Lean' means, that which you depend on, or gives support or security.   It is a word picture of a person where a portion of their body is leaning upon an object, a cane or a staff to help them to stand, sit, or walk or maneuvering on a difficult path, or up or down stairs.

The word (Not) Leaning "NOT"  is a negative reinforcement, an admonishment for something better.

The idea is who or what gives you support, or security, apart from God?   Who or what is like a cane, or a staff that you have become depend on, or are relying upon more than God?

Now notice,  leaning not, "unto your own understanding."  This admonishment it's not against:
having understanding, seeking understanding, wanting understanding, needing understanding, nor, is it a admonishment against: using your brain, being intellectual, or being a thinker, wanting to examine the information or the facts.

The real issue here is found in two words.  'Leaning not unto our own understanding' and the key words are 'your own'.

'Your own' can mean:
1. The way you process and come too a conclusion about a matter.   It is the way you allow your thoughts and your mind to convince you, you're right, you know what's best,  take matters into your own hands.

2.  'Your own' can mean, having your own perception about things.  Being close-minded, unable to see,
or to try another way, not teachable, or not willing to change.

The real issue here is found in two words.  Leaning not unto 'your own' understanding, and the key words are 'your own'.   And, unfortunately, your understanding and mine have been skewed, distorted, or is inaccurate about many things.                                                                                                                                             Perhaps the way you and I were raised, your education, your experiences, your biases, your prejudices, your beliefs and ideas all these things influence your understanding.   Your understanding and mine have been skewed, distorted, or is inaccurate about many things.    

Consequently,  over time you may have become;
"Very logical."
"Things for you (Always) have to make sense."
Or, "things for you must always be reasonable - nothing extreme."

But there are times when God may not do things that are very logical.
There will be times when God may not do things that make sense.
There will be times when God may not do things that are reasonable but, they are extreme in His dealings with you and me.

It is at that point, when God may not do things that are very logical.
There will be times when God may not do things that make sense, when God may not do things that are reasonable but, they are extreme.
Are we going to trust in the Lord and leaning not unto our own understanding?

Isaiah 55: 8&9"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,
sayeth the Lord.  For, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

There are two sets of examples that should be considered and learned from:
1.  Individuals who did not trust in the Lord, but lean unto their own understanding.
2. Individuals who did trust in the Lord, and did not lean unto their own understanding.

Individuals who did not trust in the Lord, but lean unto their own understanding.
Eve & Adam.   Genesis 3: 5&6
Abraham and Sarah.   Genesis 16: 1-3
The rich young ruler.   Mark 10: 21&22

Individuals who did trust in the Lord, and did not lean unto their own understanding.
Joshua.   Joshua 6: 1-6
A Centurion   Luke. 7: 1-9
Paul.   Acts 21: 8-14

Now, here in Proverb 3: 6, we want to consider the 3rd proactive responses we should have, especially when God is requiring us to wait.
Or, when God is saying no, or closes that door, given you or me no reason or explanation.
Or, when God is making it clear that I need to grow up, or grow in some area for things to move forward.
Or, even when God says yes to my request or prayer, these three proactive responses are still required.

Trusting in the Lord is that, "In all your ways acknowledge Him."   In all your 'ways'.   The Hebrew word translated in most English Bibles as 'ways' can mean;
1.   Course of life.
2.  An act or actions taken.
3.  An undertakings or a pursuits.

In Brown-Driver-Briggs, its figurative of, in a course of life, or action, undertaking, such as;  Deuteronomy 28:29.  Compare Joshua 1:8,  1 Samuel 18:14,  2 Samuel 22:33,  Psalm 18:33,  Job 3:23,   Job 8:19,   Job 17:9, Job 22:28,  Job 24:23,  Job 31:4,   Job 34:21,   Psalm 10:5,   Psalm 35:6,   Psalm 37:5,  Psalm 37:7,   Psalm 37:23,   Psalm 91:11,   Psalm 102:24,  Psalm 119:37,   Psalm 128:1,   Psalm 139:3,   Psalm 146:9,   Proverbs 2:8, Proverbs 3:6,23,  Proverbs 11:5,  Proverbs 20:24,   Proverbs 29:27,   Proverbs 31:3,   Isaiah 40:27,  Isaiah 45:13, Isaiah 48:15,   Isaiah 55:8,9,   Jeremiah 2:36,  Jeremiah 10:23,  Jeremiah 12:1,   Jeremiah 23:12,   Lamentations 3:9,11,   Hosea 2:8,   Hosea 9:8,   Hosea 10:13,   Amos 2:7.   Thrice (Chronicles) in summary of a king's life, of Abijah 2, Chronicles 13:22.   Of Jotham, Chronicles 27:7.   Of Ahaz, Chronicles 28:26,  Isaiah 3:12.  Compare also,  Isaiah 30:11 and Isaiah 57:18.  Gain, Isaiah 56:11.  Pleasure, etc. - Isaiah 58:13.

The Hebrew word translated in most English Bibles as 'ways' can mean;
1. Course of life.   Such as, the childhood years, preteen years, teenager years, young adult years, the middle age years, or the senior years of life.
Like a golf course, or a race course, they have something in common, a degree of difficulty and challenge, surprises, or the ups and downs, even times when everything is normal.

2. This word, 'ways' can mean;  an act or actions taken.   For example, to return back to school, to get a driver's license, to relocate to a different city, state, or country.   Seeking medical advice.  Seeking legal advice.

3. This word, 'ways' can mean; an undertakings or a pursuits.   For example,  a promotion, to build or remodel a medical procedure, a relationship, a business opportunity, the raising of kids or children etc.

Listen.  No matter what way you are in at this time in life, we are to acknowledge Him (The Lord).

'Acknowledge.'  Our English word 'acknowledge' can mean, to admit, to be real or true, to recognize the existence of, or the truth of, or the facts of.   To show or express recognition or realization of.   To recognize the authority, validity, or claims of.   To show or express appreciation or gratitude for.   To indicate or make known the One who made it possible.   To take notice of or reply to.

But the Old Testament Hebrew word for 'acknowledge' used here means;
(Qal)  to know
to learn to know
to perceive
to perceive and see, find out and discern
to discriminate, distinguish
to know by experience
to recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess
to consider
to know, be acquainted with
to know (a person carnally)
to know how, be skillful in
to have knowledge, be wise

This Old Testament Hebrew word for 'acknowledge' carries the idea,  "to know that it's because of the Lord and acknowledgement of that fact."

The Young's Literal Translation by Robert Young, who believed in a strictly literal translation of God's Word said this about Proverbs 3: 6 "In all thy ways know you Him, and God does make straight your paths."

Listen. We are being admonished to consider our 'way' before the Lord and at all times, give God the glory, and all the credit for the outcome because we trusted in Him.  The real question now is who gets the credit,  who gets the glory?  The Bible says, "in all your ways, acknowledge Him."  Amen!

And finally, Proverbs 3: 6 ends with this statement, some call it a promise or guarantee.  I'll let you decide. 
And He (God) shall direct your paths.

The first part of this 'couplet', in this case verses 5 & 6ais a directive to apply and follow.
First, You are to trust in the Lord, with all your heart.
Secondly, You are to trust in the Lord, by leaning not to or unto your own understanding.
Finally, You are in all your ways to acknowledge Him.

But the second part of the couplet, in this case, verse 6b, is an expectation, or a predictable outcome that should be recognized.

Verse 6b says, "and He (God), not us, shall direct.  Direct is the Hebrew word Yashar (yaw-shar'), a causative verb, which means, to make.  Verse 6b says, "And He (God), not us, shall make or will do something.
Direct would be better translated,  "to make straight or even; in ethical sense Proverbs 3:6;  Figurative, to be right, pleasant, prosperous. Figurative with, make smooth or straight, i.e. free from obstacles, successful.  Isaiah 45:13;  Proverbs 11:5,  Accusative - Isaiah 40:3,  Isaiah 45:2;

'Paths'   A figurative word which can mean: path, way, of course & fortunes of life.  Proverbs 3:6,  Job 13,27,  Job 33:11,  Job 19:8,  Psalm 139:3,  Psalm 142:4,  Proverbs 4:18,  Proverbs 15:19,  Isaiah 26:7.

Proverbs 3: 6b. (NASB)  "and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3: 6b (HCSB)  "and He will guide you on the right paths."
Or another way I like to say it, "God will be a guide for you."    An example;  An experienced Travel or Jungle Guide.
One who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising.
To assist (someone) in an unfamiliar area to reach a destination.
To travel with, by accompanying or giving directions to the person.
One who serves as a model for others to follow, as in a course of conduct.

Hope

Part 1    10-04-2015

In the Bible, there are 3 Spiritual Virtues from God, that are Essential (must have) like Pillars, that can hold you up and help you to overcome, whenever you are faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

See I Corinthians 13: 13

Faith, Hope & Love are the 3 Essential (must have) like Pillars, that will hold us up and that will help us to overcome, when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

Listen, when we are faced with problems, we must have Faith.  For example; a layoff, a health problem of some kind, a family or marital problem, a financial problem, or any kind of setback or downturn.  Yet, Faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help to overcome.

If you or I were faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, we must have Hope.
For example: any kind of loss, the death of a loved one, some kind of accident or medical crisis. A serious legal matter or IRS matter.  A major disaster or incident of some kind, like a terrorists attack, a mass shooting,  a hurricane or tornado, an earthquake, a fire, or flooding.   Yet, Hope is so important, it is one of the 3 Essential Pillars, that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

Finally, if you or I were to find ourselves in some kind of difficult situation with another person.  For example: a misunderstanding, or an argument.  Or you have been falsely accused, or rejected or misunderstood.  Or, you are dealing with the break-up, or break-down of a relationship.   Yet, Love is so important, it is one of the 3 Essential Pillars, that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

When you are faced with problems, we must have Faith.  Remember Mark 11: 22 & Proverbs 3: 5 & 6.
When you are faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have Hope.
When you are faced with some kind of difficult situation with another person you must walk in Love

So then, let's deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.  Listen, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have Hope.

See Lamentations, chapter 3, (a little background).

Lamentations was derived from a translation of the title as found in the Latin Vulgate (Vg.) translation of the Greek OT, the Septuagint (LXX), and conveys the idea of “loud cries.”
The Hebrew exclamation ‘ekah (“How”, which expresses “dismay”), used in 1:1; 2:1; 4:1, gives the book its Hebrew ‘title’.

Jeremiah wrote Lamentations as an eyewitness (cf. 1:13-15; 2:6, 9; 4:1-12), possibly with Baruch’s secretarial help (cf. Jer. 36:4; 45:1), during or soon after Jerusalem’s fall in 586 B.C.  It was mid-July when the city fell and mid-August when the temple was burned.  Likely, Jeremiah saw the destruction of walls, towers, homes, palace, and temple, he wrote while the event remained painfully fresh in his memory, but before his forced departure to Egypt ca. 583 B.C. (cf. Jeremiah 43:1-7).  The language used in Lamentations closely parallels that used by Jeremiah in his much larger prophetic book (cf. 1:2 with Jeremiah 30:14; 1:15 with Jeremiah 8:21; 1:6 and 2:11 with Jeremiah 9:1, 18; 2:22 with Jeremiah. 6:25; 4:21 with Jeremiah 49:12).”

In the book that bears his name, Jeremiah had predicted the calamity in chaps. 1-29. In Lamentations, he concentrates in more detail on the bitter suffering and heartbreak that was felt over Jerusalem’s devastation (cf. Ps. 46:4, 5).  So critical was Jerusalem’s destruction, that the facts are recorded in 4 separate OT chapters: 2 Kings 25; Jeremiah 39:1-11; 52; and 2 Chronicles 36:11-21.

The prophetic seeds of Jerusalem’s destruction were sown through Joshua 800 years in advance (Joshua 23:15, 16). Now, for over 40 years, Jeremiah had prophesied of coming judgment and been scorned by the people for preaching doom (ca. 645-605 B.C.).

When that judgment came on the disbelieving people from Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army, Jeremiah still responded with great sorrow and compassion toward his suffering and obstinate people.  Lamentations relates closely to the book of Jeremiah, describing the anguish over Jerusalem’s receiving God’s judgment for unrepentant sins.

Read Lamentations 3: 21-26

Now, notice the word ‘Hope’, In Lamentations 3: 21, 25&26.

As you know, there are certain English words that are, "feel good words."  Words like, peace, Love, forgiveness, prosperity, victory, Hope.  These feel good words can help your mood, your attitude and your disposition.

But there is something uniquely different about the word Hope.

It's been said, that we can live 40 days without food.
About 4 days without water.
And only 4 minutes without air or oxygen.
But we cannot live 4 seconds without Hope.

There's a story about a young girl who was trying to imitate her mother in the area of cooking.
She attempted to prepare a recipe that her mother made quite frequently.
As she prepared the ingredients putting them all together, she thought to herself, this is not so hard, following the recipe that her mother used.
However, there was some things that the recipe required that they did not have on hand in the kitchen that was important for the recipe.
But the young girl thought, it should not matter as she continued to prepare the special dish.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disaster.
Not because of what was used, but because of what was missing!
Therefore, every ingredient matters.
And when there is an ingredient missing, it really matters a lot.
I believe Hope is that missing ingredient in most peoples’ lives today.

In Ephesians 2:12 NKJV - “that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no Hope without God in the world.”

Have you noticed lately, how hopelessness seems to have permeated our world today?
Despair and dismays, seems to be at an all-time high.
Discouragement and pessimism seems to dominate most people's lives.
And if we are not careful, even as God's people we too can fall prey to hopelessness.

So, with God's help, if we are faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, we must have Hope.
It is one of the 3 Essential Pillars that will hold you up and that will help you to overcome.

Question, What Is Hope All About?

Our English meaning of the word Hope.
Hope is, an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one's life, or the world at large.

In English, Hope as a verb.  It's definition would include:  To expect with confidence.
For Example, " I Hope to be married in June."
Or, Hope as a verb.  It's definition would include:  A cherish desire with anticipation.
For Example, "We Hope the baby is born healthy!"

Finally, in English, Hope can be wishful thinking or, a wishing for the best.
"I Hope you have a good day!”.  “I Hope my team wins the Super Bowl,”
“I Hope I get that raise.” And yet, there is no guarantee, Hope in this case is wishful thinking.

Here are a few English synonyms for the word Hope: anticipation, confidence, expectancy, expectation, optimism, wish.  Antonyms: despair, disbelief, discouragement, hopelessness, pessimism.

But here in Lamentations 3: 21, 25&26, how does the Bible define the word Hope?

The Hebrew Verb Is (Hiphil), the word Hope can mean: to wait or to tarry, or to wait for or to Hope for.

Biblical Hope is a trustful, faith-filled expectation, or the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God's guidance.
Biblical Hope is a confident expectation or assurance, based upon a sure foundation, for which we can wait with joy and full confidence.
Biblical Hope is the conviction that no matter the circumstances, God's plans for our lives is for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a Hope.
Biblical Hope is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. Hebrews 6: 19a.
Finally, for the Child of God, Hope is “the assurance of things Hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. Hebrews 11: 1.
In the same way, Hope like faith, that cannot be moved by circumstances, nor, by what the eyes may see, because an unseen God is seen in His faithfulness no matter the circumstance.

Next, Hope has a present tense, or, a future tense understanding. (Repeat)
This means, we can have Hope in this present moment, right here, right now.
Also, we can have Hope about the future, the days ahead, or the eternal future that is beyond.
Again, Hope has a present tense, and a future tense understanding, and never a past tense reality.

Question: How do we apply the Hope that God gives when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance?.

Lamentations 3:21a. This, I recall.  Recall means, to bring back, allow to return, put back, draw back, give back, to restore.                                                                                                                                                                   21a. This I recall to my mind.  Not your intellect, your intelligence, nor your understanding.  The better word would be, the ‘Heart, where we reflect on things, the thinking, our memories,  The mind, where inclination, resolution, determination come together and effect and our will.

Next, vs 21 says, This I recall to my mind, therefore I have Hope.  And beginning at vs 22-26, Jeremiah is able to recall to his heart certain things about God, in which God is able to give the Prophet Hope when faced with an unfortunate circumstance.
First, in vs 22. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed.
1.  The Mercy of God is needed when I have done wrong.  Therefore, I’m not consumed!  This I recall to my mind, and God gives me Hope.
2.  And the Mercy of God is needed when things are going wrong. Therefore, I’m not consumed!  This I recall to my mind, and God gives me Hope.

Part 2   10-11-15  

In the Bible, there are 3 Spiritual Virtues from God, that are Essential (must have) like Pillars, that can hold you up and help you to overcome, whenever you are faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

See I Corinthians 13: 13

Faith, Hope & Love are the 3 Essential (must have) like Pillars, that will hold us up and that will help us to overcome, when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

Listen, when we are faced with problems, we must have Faith.  For example; a layoff, a health problem of some kind, a family or marital problem, a financial problem, or any kind of setback or downturn.  Yet, Faith is so important.  It is one of the three essential pillars that will hold you up and that will help to overcome.  When faced with some kind of difficult situation with another person you must walk in Love

So then, this morning with God's help,  let's continue to deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’.

Now read Lamentations 3:21-26

Notice the word ‘Hope’ in Lamentations 3:21, 24&26.

How does the Bible define the word ‘Hope’?

For the child of God, ‘Hope’ is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”,  Hebrews 11: 1.  Listen, in the same way, ‘Hope’, like faith, cannot be moved by circumstances, nor by what the eyes may see, because an unseen God is seen in His faithfulness, no matter the circumstance.

Biblical ‘Hope’ is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. Hebrews. 6: 19a says.

Biblical ‘Hope’ is a heart conviction that one must have, that no matter the circumstance, God's plans for my life is for good, and not for evil, to give me a future and a ‘Hope’.

Finally, ‘Hope’ has a present tense, and a future tense Understanding.  This means, we can have ‘Hope’ in this present moment, right here, right now.   Also, we can have ‘Hope’ about the future, the days ahead or the eternal future that is beyond.  Again, ‘Hope’ has a present tense, and a future tense Understanding, and never a past tense reality.

Question:  how do we apply the ‘Hope’ that God gives, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance?

Lamentations 3:21a. This I recall.  Recall means, to bring back, allow to return, to restore,

21a. This I recall to my mind.   Not your intellect, your intelligence, nor your own understanding.
The better word would be, ‘Heart’ where we reflect on things, the thinking, our memories. The mind, where inclination, resolution, determination come together and effect and our will.

Next, vs 21 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have 'Hope'.”  
And beginning at vs 22-26, Jeremiah is able to recall to his heart certain things about God, in which God is able to give the Prophet 'Hope' when faced with an unfortunate circumstance.
First, in vs 22. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed.
1.  The Mercy of God is needed when I have done wrong.  Therefore, I’m not consumed!  This I recall to my mind, and God gives me 'Hope.'
2.  And the Mercy of God is needed when things are going wrong. Therefore, I’m not consumed!  This I recall to my mind, and God gives me 'Hope'.

Again, how do we apply the 'Hope' that God gives when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance?

Read vs 22-26.

Notice, vs 22b.  Because His compassions fail not.
His Compassions.  Compassion is the translation of the Hebrew word which means, "to give love," "to show pity," "to be merciful," "to spare."

But there are two other words that can help us understand this Hebrew word that is translated ‘Compassions’.
1. "His Loving kindness."  The word is derived from “chacadh”, meaning, "to bend or bow oneself," hence, "to be gracious or merciful."
2. “His Steadfast Love”.   Changeless, dependable, enduring, firm, immovable.
In the English Standard Version, Lamentations 3:22 says, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.”

Psalms 86: 15 says, "But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth."

Vs 22b.  Because His compassions fail not.  
Fail Not.  ‘Fail’ to ‘fall short,’ ‘to be wanting.’  In other words, God's compassions cannot be depleted, nor exhausted.  God's compassions cannot break down because of use, or over-use.

There are two important reasons why God's compassions fail not, or will not break down because of use, or over use.

First, in vs. 23a, "They are new every morning."
New every morning. Something fresh, or a new thing.  The idea is similar to the manna that was given by God in Exodus 16: 15-22.  It was something fresh, or a new thing.
What is new or something fresh, or a new thing every morning that God gives?

First, in Lamentations 3: 22a. It is the LORD’s mercies.
2ndly in Lamentations 3:22b. It is the LORD’s compassions, His loving kindness, His steadfast love, "They are new every morning."

Finally, there are two important reasons why God's compassions fail not, or will-not break down because of use, or over-use.
In vs. 23b, "great is your faithfulness.”
Great is!  Abounding in, numerous, more than enough, abundant in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality.

Thy or Your faithfulness.  Faithfulness: to be loyal to one or committed to them.  To be dependable, reliable and trustworthy.
But in this case, faithfulness also means, firmness, stability, steady.   In other words, the unchangeableness, or the immutability of God.

See 1 Corinthians 10:13

Back to Lamentations 3:22&23

Jeremiah was able to recall to his mind or his heart certain things about God in which God gave the prophet ‘Hope’ when he was faced with an unfortunate circumstance.
First, in vs. 22a. Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed.
2ndly in vs. 22b. Because the LORD'S compassions fail-not.

3rdly, in vs. 23. There are two important reasons why God's compassions fail not, or will not break down because of use, or over use.
1.   In vs. 23a, "They are new every morning”.   Both His mercies and His compassions.
2.  In vs. 23b, "great is your faithfulness”.   The abundance of God's faithfulness that is God's firmness, stability, steadiness.  The fact that God is unchangeable, or immutable, when I have done wrong, or God's faithfulness, when things are going wrong.

It Is God Who gives ‘Hope’ when we are faced with an unfortunate circumstance.

Part 3   10-18-15

 This morning with God's help, let's continue to deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’.

Read Lamentations 3: 21-26

Notice the word "Hope" in Lamentations 3: 21, 24&26.

Question, how do we apply the ‘Hope’ that God gives, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance.
In Lamentations 3: 21, This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have ‘Hope’

And beginning at vs. 22-26, Jeremiah is able to recall to his mind (or heart) certain things about God, in which God is able to give Jeremiah ‘Hope’ when he faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance.

Now last Sunday, we considered vs. 22&23.
This morning, let's consider vs. 24&25.

Read vs. 24&25

Again, Jeremiah is able to recall to his mind (or heart) certain things about God, in which God is able to give Jeremiah ‘Hope’ when he was faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance.
Now notice, vs. 24, the LORD is my portion says my soul; therefore will I ‘Hope’ in him. 

First, the LORD is my portion, says my soul.
This is a conscious choice. 
This is a decision that is premeditated. 
This choice comes deep from within, it is not superficial, it is not based on the circumstances.

Other examples when the soul speaks.
In Psalm 35: 9, Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in His salvation.
In Psalm 103:1, I will Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

But, here in Lamentations 3: 24, Jeremiah said, my soul says, the LORD is my portion.

This phrase, "The LORD is my portion" is a very unique and special recognition by a few of the Old Testament saints concerning God in their lives. 
For example, Psalm 73: 26,  Asaph said, my flesh and my heart may fail: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
Psalm 119: 57,  You are my portion O LORD: I have said that I would keep your words.
Psalm 142: 5  King David said, I cried unto you O LORD:  I said, You are my refuge and my portion, in the land of the living.

The scriptures use many metaphors to describe God, and our relationship to Him. 
God is My Fortress
God is My Refuge
God is My Rock
God is My Portion
God is My Provider
God is My Shepherd
God is My Strength

But one of the most powerful metaphors for God found in the Bible is ‘Portion’. 
Today, we don’t often hear the word ‘portion’ used in the contexts of dieting, "Portion Control."
But in the Bible, Portion is a word rich with meaning.  It occurs frequently in the Old Testament and can refer to someone’s share in a meal, part of a sacrifice, a soldier’s share of the plunder, or someone’s inheritance. 
But when the word is used to describe God, it takes on a whole new depth of meaning.

In Psalm 73, Asaph has been struggling to understand, why the wicked prosper, when righteous suffer.

But with God's help, Asaph realizes that it doesn’t matter how much the wicked prosper, because his inheritance, his portion, is not on this earth.
As he looks around and sees how unfair this world seems to be, Asaph remembers that he is only a pilgrim on this earth.  He has an inheritance a portion that is greater than any wealth the wicked possess.  His portion is God Himself.

Four times in the Psalms, and once in Lamentations, the scripture writers describe God as their portion.  Each time it is a reminder that whatever happens in this world, we have a possession God Himself, who transcends all trial, tragedy, and difficulty.
We live in a world, that is increasingly full of trouble and violence, and it is so easy to become discouraged with the circumstances that we have to face daily. 
But on those days, it is helpful to remember that God is our portion. 
If we have God, we need nothing else.

To be able to say, that Jehovah is my portion, is sufficient. 
You and I may struggling to understand, why the wicked prosper, when the righteous suffer. 
But with God's Help, it doesn’t matter how much the wicked prosper, because our inheritance, our portion is not on this earth.
As we look around and sees how unfair this world seems to be, remember you are only a pilgrim on this earth.  Your inheritance is a portion that is greater than any wealth the wicked will ever possess.  Your portion is God Himself.  

Now here in Lamentations 3: 24, Jeremiah said, The LORD is my portion says my soul; therefore will I ‘Hope’ in Him (the LORD).
Therefore will I ‘Hope’ in Him. (the LORD).

Will I Or I Will. 
This is a statement of Determination. 
This is a statement of Commitment.
This is a statement of Purpose.
There is nothing casual or compromising about a statement,that begins with Will I Or I Will

I will ‘Hope’ or wait or trust in Him. (the LORD).

In the same way, ‘Hope’ like faith requires an object greater than itself to depend on, to trust in, to rely on. 
Listen, Faith in our faith, faith in others, faith in a man, will lead to great disappointment, and a uncertain outcome.
In the same way, ‘Hope’ in ‘Hope’, ‘Hope’ in others, ‘Hope’ in a man, will lead to great disappointment, and a uncertain outcome.
But ‘Hope’ in God is much different.  God Himself becomes the object of our ‘Hope’
God Himself becomes your only ‘Hope’.

In the first Star Wars movie, entitled "A New Hope," the character called Princess Leia is being held as a prisoner by the villain, Darth Vader.  Yet, Princess Leia is able to send a secret message by way of a droid named, R2-D2.  When R2-D2 finally arrives to his destination, an old, but reliable friend, a retired Jedi Master named, "Obi-Wan Kenobi," hears her plea for help, which says, "help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only ‘Hope’."

Question, who is your only ‘Hope’?
Jeremiah said, The LORD is my portion says my soul; therefore will I ‘Hope’ in Him.

The Hebrew word that is translated into our English Bibles, ‘Hope’ can mean a few things. 
To wait, to tarry for, to expect one to show up. (Repeat)

God Himself, who transcends all trial, tragedy, and difficulty, ‘Hope’ in Him, expect Him to show up!
In a world that is increasingly full of trouble and it is so easy to become discouraged with the circumstances that you may have to face, ‘Hope’ in Him, expect Him to show up!
As you look around and see how unfair this world seems to be, ‘Hope’ in Him, expect Him to show up!

The LORD is my portion says my soul; therefore will I ‘Hope’ in Him.

No wonder here in Lamentations 3: 25 Jeremiah said, "The LORD is good unto them,that wait for Him, The LORD is good to the soul that seeketh Him."

The LORD is (good).                                                                                                                        
Psalms 31: 19,  Oh how great is Your Goodness which You have laid up for them that fear You;  which You have wrought for them, that trust in you, before the sons of men!

Psalms 119: 68, You are good, and You doth good; teach me Your statutes.

Nahum 1: 7, The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and God knows them that trust in Him.

The LORD is good unto them that (wait) for Him.
The Hebrew verb is (Qal) as a participle.  And is better translated as, "Waiting."
Psalm 27: 14, Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait I say, on the LORD.

The LORD is good to the soul (The Person) that (seeketh) Him.
The Hebrew verb is (Qal) and is better translated as, to consult, inquire of, to seek of God. to follow, to seek to apply, to seek with care.

In Jeremiah 29: 12-14, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.    I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Part 4   11-1-15

In the Bible, there are 3 Spiritual Virtues from God, that are Essential (must have) like Pillars, that can hold you up and help you to overcome, whenever you are faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

See I Corinthians 13: 13

Faith, Hope & Love are the 3 Essential (must have) like Pillars, that will hold us up and that will help us to overcome, when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations.

This morning with God's help, let's continue to deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’.

Read Lamentations 3: 21-26

Now, notice the word ‘Hope’ in Lamentations 3: 21, 24 & 26. 
Therefore, one of the biblical meanings behind the word ‘Hope’ that is used throughout the Scriptures, is the idea that ‘Hope’ is, a confident expectation or assurance, based upon a sure foundation, God Himself, for which we can wait with joy, and with full confidence. 

Question. How do we apply the ‘Hope’ that God gives when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance.

In Lamentations 3: 21, Jeremiah said, this I recall to my mind, therefore I have ‘Hope’

And, beginning at vs. 22-26, Jeremiah is able to recall to his mind or heart certain things about God.  For example: 
In vs. 22, that the Lord’s Mercies to protect us from being consumed or destroyed.
In vs. 23, that the steadfast love of the Lord for us can never be exhausted, they are new every morning, because great is His faithfulness.
In vs 24, that the Lord Himself is to be our portion and nothing else, or no one else.
In vs 25, that the Lord is good to those who wait upon Him, and the soul that seeks Him. 
And finally in vs 26, always expect the salvation of the Lord.

Listen, Jeremiah was able to recall to his mind or heart certain things about God, in an unfortunate circumstance, in which God was now able to give Jeremiah
‘Hope’

Now, last in Lamentations 3, we consider verses 24 & 25.

This morning, let's consider vs 26.  Always expect the salvation of the Lord.
Jeremiah said, it is good that one should
‘Hope’ and wait quietly, for the salvation of the LORD.

There are 3 things here that are very helpful to know, when it comes to applying the ‘Hope’ that God gives.

The first thing that is very helpful to know, when it comes to applying the ‘Hope’ that God gives, is seen at the beginning of vs. 26, when Jeremiah said,  "It is good!" 
What is good?

This statement follows the former statement in verse 25.
Read vs 25. "The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, and to the soul who seeks Him.

Listen, since God is good to those who wait for Him, then it must be good for them, to
‘Hope’ and wait for LORD as well.  It is both our duty, and to our benefit.  Amen

Now, the second thing that is very helpful to know, when it comes to applying the ‘Hope’ that God gives is seen in vs 26.  Jeremiah said, It is good that a person should ‘Hope’ and wait quietly.

That a person, an individual, or in vs 25 they are called, "The soul who seeks Him."
It is good that a person should
‘Hope’.

The Hebrew word that is translated into our English Bibles, ‘Hope’can mean a few things.  To wait, to tarry for, expect one to show up. (Repeat)

Listen, our God who transcends all trial, tragedy, and difficulty, expect God to show up!

In a world, that is increasingly full of trouble, where it is so easy, to become discouraged by the circumstances that you may have to face, expect God to show up!

Even as you look around, and you see how unfair this world is, expect God to show up!

Now, vs 26 Jeremiah said, It is good that a person should
‘Hope’ and wait quietly (quietly wait).

Quietly.  There are two important ideas behind this Hebrew word.
1st. To be silent, literally to wait in silence, that is to abstain from murmuring and complaining out loud, or among others.
Philippians 2: 14 says, Do all things without complaining and disputing.  Another translation says, do whatever you need to do, but don't be a complainer, or a fault finder leading others into arguments or strife.

2nd. Or, to be still.  Not overreacting, not being quick to speak, having time alone, the need for solitude to be able to think and pray.
Psalm 46: 10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Jeremiah said, It is good that a person should
‘Hope’ and wait quietly (quietly wait).
Wait.  ‘Hope’ in God, and from God, is to be grounded in (patient waiting).
Because, where there is no ‘Hope’ of something or someone, there will be no waiting for it.  
‘Hope’ in God, and from God is of things unseen, or future, or of difficulty, is still possible with God.

Romans 8: 25 says, "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it, with patience.” 

Psalm 61:1 says, Trully, my soul waiteth upon God: from God comes my salvation.

Psalm 37: 7 says, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of the one who prospereth in his way, or because of the man, who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Finally, the third thing that is very helpful to know, when it comes to applying the
‘Hope’ that God gives is seen in vs. 26.  Jeremiah said, It is good that one should ‘Hope’ and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

This word, "Salvation" means to be liberated from someone, something, some place.
Or preserve or kept from some one, some thing, some place.
Or deliver from some one, some thing, some place.
Salvation is deliverance, or a deliverance that comes by God or man. 

Jeremiah said, It is good that one should hope and wait quietly, for the salvation of the LORD.

Notice the spelling or the capitalization of the word LORD. (Yahweh or Jehovah).
And what does this name for God, tell you about God? 
He is the Eternal One.
He is Self-Existent.
He is The Becoming One.  I will be whatever you need me to be.  
Jehovah is God's covenant name, to His people.

Here a few of the compound Names of Jehovah.
Like a compound word, or two separate words join together, to create a new word, like wheelchair, passport, quicksand, graveyard, yearbook tablespoon.
Jehovah-El-yon (Genesis 14:18-20)
- The LORD Most High
Jehovah-Jireth (Genesis 22:14)
- The LORD Shall Provide
Jehovah- Nissi (Exodus 17:15)
- The LORD My Banner
Jehovah-Rophe (Exodus 15:26)
- The LORD (our) Healer
Jehovah- Roi (Psalms 23:1)
- The LORD My Shepherd.

Again, LORD that is capitalized like this in your Bible, is referring to God as the Eternal One, or He is self-existent, or the Becoming One, "I will be whatever you need me to be."

In Habakkuk 3:18, Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD can deliver, liberate, and preserve me from any one, any thing, any place.

In Isaiah 43: 1, I am the Lord, and besides me, there is no Savior.

In Exodus 14: 13 &14, But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. "The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

In Psalm 18:2, The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 
The LORD can deliver, liberate, and preserve me from any one, any thing, any place.

The Norwegian Wharf Rats Study. 
A couple of Psychologist, took these rats, and placed them in a tub of water and continued to spray the rats in the tub with very cold water so that they would not escape.  This group of rats ended up drowning, after just 17 minutes of swimming. 
The Psychologist again, took another set of rats, and repeated the experiment, this time around 16 minutes into the experiment, as the rats were about to drown, the Psychologist removed the rats from their unfortunate circumstance. 
They dried them off, placed them in a cage, fed them, and let them recover for a few days. 
Then the rats were put back in the tub of water, and sprayed with very cold water.
But this time the rats swam for 37 hours before they showed signs that they were giving up.
The Psychologist concluded, that the reason for this extra effort by these rats compared to the first group, was that they had been saved, rescued, delivered and they had
‘Hope’, an expectation that they would experience salvation from the Psychologist.   For the second group of rats in this experiment were able to swim for 37 hours, unlike the first group of rats who only survived seventeen minutes because they had ‘Hope’.

The Bible says, it is good that a person, an individual, should ‘Hope’, and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Yahweh or Jehovah)

The LORD can deliver, liberate, and preserve me from any one, any thing, any place according to His Divine will, plan, and purpose when I am faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance.

Part 5a   11-8-15
This morning with God's help, let's continue to deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’.

Remember, ‘Hope’ has a present tense, or a future tense understanding.

This means, we can have ‘Hope’ in this present moment, right here, right now.  Also, we can have ‘Hope’ about the future, the days ahead, or the eternal future that is beyond.

Again, ‘Hope’ has a present tense, or a future tense understanding, and never a past tense reality.

Therefore, one of the biblical meanings behind the word ‘Hope’ that is used throughout the Scriptures, is the idea that ‘Hope’ is, a confident-expectation or assurance,
based upon a sure foundation, God Himself, for which we can wait with joy, and with full confidence.

In the Bible, ‘Hope’ can mean a few things. To wait, to tarry for, to expect one to show up.

Listen, our God who transcends all trials, tragedies, and difficulties, expect God to show up!

In a world, that is increasingly full of sadness, and loss, where it is so easy, to become-discouraged by the circumstances that you may be facing, expect God to show up!

Even as you look around, and you see how unfair this world is, expect God to show up!

Here in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, we are encourage that even though a love one or a church member, or a friend, or anyone or anyone who is truly Saved passes from this life,
we can still have hope concerning them, and hope for ourselves.

Now read 1 Thessalonians 4: 13, but I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no ‘Hope’.

There are at least five reasons we can be encouraged, even though a love one or a church member, or a friend, or anyone who is truly Saved passes from this life, we can still have ‘Hope’ concerning them, and ‘Hope’ for ourselves.

First, with God's help, work on being spiritually prepared, before the death of someone you care about occurs and you find yourself, unable to cope, having no ‘Hope’. (Repeat)

See vs 13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep or have passed on, that we sorrow not even as others, which have no ‘Hope’.

First, I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren.
To be ignorant means, to be uninformed, misinformed, unaware, or lacking understanding, lacking information, or being uninterested to find out for yourself.

Next, I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep or have passed on.
Do you really know what death is?  See James 2: 26.
Physical death according to the Bible, is the separation of the spirit and soul from the body and not the Annihilation, Reincarnation, Soul Sleep, nor the inhabitation of the spirit of a person being a ghost, in this present earthly realm.

Do you really understand according to the Bible, where people go when they die, whether a believer or the non-believer?
For the believer. See II Corinthians 5: 6-8.
For the unbeliever. See St. Luke 16: 22 & 23.

Back To 1 Thessalonians 4: 13.

I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that we sorrow not even as others.
to sorrow not, or not to be sorrowful, means to grieve, or to be affect with sadness or a heaviness that debilitates, that causes chronic depression, or that causes someone
to give up on living.

The key to understanding this sentence is one of comparison, and not a prohibition towards normal grief, or sadness when someone you love, passes away.
Remember it said in vs 13, that we sorrow not even as others.

At least two groups are in mine.
Group one. Would be a non-Christian, an unbeliever, someone who is not yet come to saving faith in Christ, nor excerpts or believes in the Bible.
Therefore, that person's time of Bereavement, could mean they will be affect with sadness or a heaviness, that debilitates, that causes chronic depression, or that causes someone to give up on living.

Group two.  Would be a true Child of God, a committed follower of Jesus Christ, someone who is Saved and Born Again.  But they are the ignorant brethren of vs. 13,
"I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which have passed on."
Remember, to be ignorant is a personal choice one makes for themselves to be uninformed, misinformed, unaware, or lacking understanding, lacking information, or being uninterested to find out for yourself.
And therefore, that person's time of Bereavement, could mean they will be affect with-sadness or a heaviness, that debilitates, that causes chronic depression, or that causes someone to give up on living.

Vs 13. I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,-
That we sorrow not even as others, which have (no hope).

Again, two groups are in mine.
Group one. Would be a non-Christian, an unbeliever, someone who is not yet come to saving faith in Christ, nor excepts or believes in the Bible. Therefore, that person's-
time of Bereavement, could mean they will be filled with hopelessness, despair, discouragement, and pessimism.

Group two. Would be a true Child of God, a committed follower of Jesus Christ, someone who is Saved and Born Again. But they are the ignorant brethren of vs. 13. 
And therefore, that person's time of Bereavement, could mean they too will be filled with hopelessness, despair, discouragement, and pessimism. To be ignorant, to be uninformed, misinformed, unaware, or lacking understanding, lacking information, or being uninterested to find out for yourself.

For example, what is death?  Physical death according to the Bible, is the separation of the spirit and soul from the body, and not The Annihilation, Reincarnation, Soul Sleep,
Nor the inhabitation of the spirit of a person being a ghost, in this present earthly realm.

For example, do you understand according to the Bible, where people go when they die, whether a believer or the nonbeliever?
For the believer. II Corinthians 5: 6-8.
For the unbeliever. St. Luke 16: 22 & 23.

Part 5b   11-15-15

This morning with God's help, let's continue to deal with the second of the 3 Essential Pillars, when faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’.

Remember here in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 we are encourage that even though a loved one, or a church member, or a friend, or anyone who is truly Saved passes from this life, we can still have ‘Hope’ concerning them, and ‘Hope’ for ourselves.

Now Read 1 Thessalonians 4: 13, but I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no ‘Hope’.

There are at least five reasons we can be encouraged, even though a loved one, or a church member, or a friend, or anyone who is truly Saved passes from this life, we can still have ‘Hope’ concerning them, and ‘Hope’ for ourselves.

Last Sunday, we looked at the first one, which was with God's help work on being spiritually prepared, before the death of someone you care about occurs, and you find yourself unable to cope, having no ‘Hope’.

See vs 13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep or have passed on, that we sorrow not even as others, which have no ‘Hope’.

This morning let's consider the next one, we said there are at least five reasons we can be encouraged, even though a loved one, or a church member, or a friend, or anyone who is truly Saved passes from this life, we can still have ‘Hope’ concerning them, and ‘Hope’ for ourselves.

This will be #2, Because Jesus conquered death by His own bodily resurrection from the dead, He has the power and authority to do the same for others who believe in Him.
                                                                                                                                                       
See vs 14. For if since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, resurrected from the dead.  Even so, God (God the Son, Jesus) will bring with Him those who sleep passed on in Jesus.  See St. John. 5: 21, 25, 28 & 29.

Back to 1 Thessalonians 4: 15.

Next, because of Jesus, Who He is, & What He is going to do, there will be a sequence of events when He returns. First, the dead in Christ will not be overlooked, nor forgotten.
                                                                                                                                                         
See vs 15.  For this we say to you, by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the 2nd coming of the Lord, will by no means,  (cannot happen) precede, (or go first or go before), (to have any advantage over) those who are asleep or passed on.  Why?
See vs 16.   For the Lord Himself, will descend (come down) from heaven.  How?                                                                                                                                                                          With a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, so that the dead in Christ, will rise (be resurrected) first.  See I Corinthians 15: 51 & 52.

Back to 1 Thessalonians 4: 17.

Next, Because of Jesus, Who He is, & What He is going to do, there will be a sequence of events when He returns. (First), The bodily resurrection of the dead in Christ, but then simultaneously, The Rapture, or The Catching Away, or The Evacuation of (both) the bodily resurrected in Christ who were dead, and of the Saints who are alive at that time, are to be evacuated from this earth, and to be with Christ, avoiding the wrath of God to come (Revelation 6-19).
                                                                                                                                                         
See vs 17.  Then we who are alive, and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.   See St. John. 14: 3.

Back to 1 Thessalonians 4: 18.

Finally, because of Jesus, Who He is, & What He is going to do, there will be a sequence of events when He returns.  And therefore, we can infuse one another with the ‘Hope’ that God gives.

See vs 18. Therefore, comfort one another with these words, in (vs 14-17).

The word Comfort (Parakaleō)  means: to be call to one's side, to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation or to infuse with ‘Hope’.  Amen!
Close with I Peter 1: 3.

Blessed be the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to (a lively) or (living) (‘Hope’) (through or because of ) the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 A lively or living ‘Hope’ as an adjective in the Greek means: active, powerful, efficacious, full of vigor, fresh, strong, efficient, not lifeless, nor dead.

Listen, a living ‘Hope’ is a ‘Hope’ that is substantial, a ‘Hope’ that has muscle, that is robust and strong.  This kind of ‘Hope’ can hold you up, and help you to overcome when faced with an unfortunate circumstance.  Amen!

Sometime, after the passing of someone who knew the Lord, who was a committed follower of Jesus Christ, truly Saved and Born Again, maybe not perfect, but forgiven by the grace of God, people will say to you, about that kind of person, I'm sorry for your loss. 
Or, I'm sorry for the loss of your loved one.
Or, sometimes you hear a grieving individual say, I lost my son or daughter.
Or, I lost my husband or wife.
Or, sometimes you will hear a grieving family say, we lost so-and-so to cancer, or some disease.
We lost so-and-so in a car accident.
Or, we lost so-and-so in some kind of violent altercation, a shooting, a robbery, or terrorist attack.
The word loss or lost, when used in this contexts that I just mentioned for a child of God, is incorrect, and misleading, and false.

The word loss or lost, when used in this contexts that I just mention, I'm sorry for your loss, or, I'm sorry for the loss of your loved one.
Or I lost my son or daughter, or I lost my husband or wife.
Or we lost so-and-so to cancer or some disease.
Or we lost so-and-so in a car accident.
Or we lost so-and-so in some kind of violent altercation.
For the Child of God, these statements are incorrect, and misleading, and false.

Why?  Because the passing of someone who knew the Lord,  who was a committed follower of Jesus Christ, truly Saved and Born Again,  maybe not perfect, but forgiven by the Grace of God.

That person is not lost!
We know where they are at, and we know, Whom there are with!
That person is not lost!

You see the word loss implies, missing or unable to find, unable to locate.
Loss implies, hopelessly being abandon or forsaken.
Loss implies, no ‘Hope’ of being reunited, no ‘Hope’ of being found, no ‘Hope’ of being saved.

But for the person who passed, who knew the Lord, who was a committed follower of Jesus Christ, truly Saved and Born Again, maybe not perfect, but forgiven by the Grace of God.

They are not missing, unable to be found or located!
They are with the Lord, they are in Heaven, they are in a better place.

They are not hopelessly being abandon or forsaken!
They are with the Lord, they are in Heaven, they are in a better place.

Finally, there is ‘Hope’, (A living ‘Hope’), that we will be reunited with them some day.
There is ‘Hope’, that I once was lost, but now I am found.
There is ‘Hope’, that by Grace, I have been Saved, through faith, and that not of myself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest I should boast.


That person is not lost!
We know where they are at, and we know, Whom they are with!  Amen!  Amen!  Amen!

A little girl, almost 5 years old, watched over time, her brother die of a very painful disease. 
Her brother was 7 years older than she, and she loved him so much. 
After the brother died, and the funeral was over, the little girl said to her mother, “Mommy, where did my brother go?” 
To which her mother replied, “Your brother went to heaven, to be with Jesus.” 
And the little girl said, “Oh.” Okay mommy, and that seem to satisfy her, and gave her ‘Hope’
After the first month of her brother's passing, the little girl heard her mother, having a conversation with a friend, who came by to visit.
The little girl's mother was weeping, saying, “I’ve lost my son, I’ve lost my son, I’ve lost my son.” 
Later that evening at bedtime, the little girl said, “Mommy, is somebody lost when we know where they are?” 
The mother replied, no, nobody is lost when we know where they are!
Then the little girl, replied to her mother, "Mommy, you have not lost your son, we know where he is.  He went to Heaven, to be with Jesus.”   As they wept and
and comforted one another.

 Part 6   11-22-15

With God’s help, as we finish up our look at the subject of ‘Hope’ for now, I would like to focus on a few more helpful things to remember about biblical ‘Hope’.

First, a summary of what Biblical ‘Hope’ is and what can it do for those who know the LORD?

Biblical ‘Hope’ is the expectation and anticipation for something better; for something promised; for something lasting or eternal.                                                                                                   Biblical ‘Hope’ can transform your attitude and your thinking when despair and disappointment tries to affect you, or tries to change you.                                                                                           Biblical ‘Hope’ will create in you an optimistic or a hope-filled perspective, regardless of the events or the circumstances.                                                                                                                 Biblical ‘Hope’ can hold you up and help you to stand, no matter what.

And here are a few helpful things to remember about Biblical ‘Hope’.

In Psalm 42: 5, Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me:  ‘Hope’ you in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.                        Psalm 42: 11, Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  ‘Hope” you in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.  Psalm 43: 5, Why are you canst down in despairing, hopeless, depressed, upset, sadden, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted, or troubled, or full or moaning within me?  “Hope’ in God:  or I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God.

In Romans 4: 18, Who against ‘Hope”, a natural or man-made ‘Hope’, believed in a divine ‘Hope’ that was given so that Abraham might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall your seed be.

There is a painting of a blind woman in rags playing a harp.  Though her harp had only one string, she made music to praise God.  This act was audacious because the blind woman could have just sat there being miserable and complaining.  Instead, when there seems to be no ‘Hope’, she made the choice to believe that there is indeed ‘Hope’, and that there is indeed a better life ahead that the Lord wanted for her.                                                                                She had the audacity to ‘Hope’.

Listen, and when we look at ‘Hope’ through biblical eye glasses, we will find the joy, the peace, and the strength we have been looking for.  ‘Hope’ provides us the way forward, even when times look bleak and uncertain.                                                                                           Remember, who against ‘Hope’ believed in ‘Hope’ that he might become the father of many nations.  Romans 4:18.

In Romans 15:4,  For whatsoever things were written in the past, were written for our learning that we through patience, a patient enduring or perseverance and comfort of the scriptures, might find ‘Hope’.                                                                                                                                                                     In Psalm 119: 114,  You are my hiding place and my shield: I 'Hope' in your word.                              In Psalm 130: 5,  I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I have ‘Hope’

In Hebrews 6: 19, Which ‘Hope’ we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and that which entereth within the veil.

In Peter 3: 15,  But, sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you the reason of the ‘Hope’ that is in you with meekness and respect.                                                                                                                                                                   Can you think of anyone who has something that you would like to have?                                  Do you think anyone would like to have something that you have?                                       Suppose someone you knew, for whatever reasons, is feeling hopeless and in despair.          Can they see in you that you have something that they do not have?                                        Can they see that you have ‘Hope’, no matter what?                                                                                                                                                                     1 Peter 3: 15 says, and be ready always to give an answer to anyone that ask you the reason of, or for the ‘Hope’ that is in you.                                                                                                           Do you think anyone would like to have that which you have, ‘Hope’?

Finally, in Romans 15: 13,  Now, the God of ‘Hope’ fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in ‘Hope’ through the power of the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                                                                     In Psalm 31: 24,  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen you heart and all you that ‘Hope’ in the LORD.

There is no real ‘Hope’ in the system of mankind,                                                                         Nor, in circumstances that we control.                                                                                             Nor, in any other thing this world can offer.                                                                                          1 Timothy 4:10,  But we have our ‘Hope’ set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

It’s been said, that you can live 40 days without food.                                                               About 4 days without water.                                                                                                             And only 4 minutes without air or oxygen.                                                                                    But, you and I cannot live 4 seconds without ‘Hope’

LOVE

Part 1     4-03-2016   

Read first, I Corinthians 13: 13.  "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

You might recall that in the Spring of 2015, we initiated a new teaching series that we called, "Faith, Hope, & Love, The 3 Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up And That Will Help Us To Overcome, When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. “

Listen, when we are faced with a problem, we must have faith.  For example: a layoff,                 A health problem of some kind,                                                                                                            A family or marital problem,                                                                                                                 A financial problem,                                                                                                                               Or, any kind of personal setback,                                                                                                           Or, downturn.

Please know that faith is so important, it is one of the 3 essential pillars, that will hold you up and will help you to overcome.

Also, if you or I were faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance we must have hope.  For example: any kind of loss.                                                                                                         The death of a loved one,                                                                                                                       Some kind of accident,                                                                                                                           Or, medical crisis,                                                                                                                                     Or, a serious legal matter,                                                                                                                       Or, IRS matter,                                                                                                                                        A major disaster a hurricane, or tornado, an earthquake, a fire or flooding.                                  Or, incident of some kind,  Like a terrorist attack, or, a mass shooting.

Listen, hope is so important.  It is one of the 3 Essential Pillars, that will hold you up and will help you to overcome.  Finally, if you or I were to find ourselves in some kind of difficult situation with another person.   For example: a misunderstanding,                                                                           Or, an argument.                                                                                                                                       Or, you have been falsely accused,                                                                                                   Or, rejected or misunderstood.                                                                                                        Or, you are dealing with the break-up, or break-down of a relationship.                                   Love will be so important at that time.   It is one of the 3 Essential Pillars, that will hold you up and will help you to overcome.

So, once again, let us recap.

When faced with problems - you must have ‘Faith’, or know how to trust in the Lord. 

Remember Mark 11: 22 & Proverbs 3: 5&6.

When faced with some kind of unfortunate circumstance, you must have ‘Hope’, or know what it is to have hope in the Lord.   Remember Lamentations 3: 21-26.

And when faced with some kind of difficult situation with another person, with God's help, you must walk in ‘Love.   Remember Luke 6: 27-38.

Now over the past several months we have systematically looked at the first of the 2 Essential Pillars mentioned in I Corinthians 13: 13 (Faith and Hope).

This morning, let's begin to deal with and understand the third and the final Essential Pillars that will hold us up and help us to overcome.

See again, I Corinthians 13: 13,

Now abide or remains, faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these, is love.

The word LOVE, is a very important 4-letter word to most people, but a word that is so misunderstood, and over-used especially in our modern culture today. 

The word LOVE, has a lot of emotions and feelings associated with it.  And yet, it is a reality that is so hard to obtain, and to experience in this life.

Notice again, I Corinthians 13: 13,

Now abide or remains, faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these, is love, or more literally, "Greater than these is love (or charity)." 

Question, Why in some of our English translations of the Bible, the word ‘Charity’ is used sometimes, and then other times it is replaced by the word love?                                                For Example:                                                                                                                                        And now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

King James 2000 Bible                                                                                                                          And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

American King James Version                                                                                                            And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

American Standard Version                                                                                                                    But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Douay-Rheims Bible                                                                                                                          And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. 

Darby Bible Translation                                                                                                                     And now abide faith, hope, love; these three things; and the greater of these is love.

Webster's Bible Translation                                                                                                                    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Now from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, about the word CHARITY, char'-i-ti , and (Agapē).

In the New Testament the word is apostolic, and appears first and predominantly in the Pauline writings. It is found only twice in the Synoptics (Matthew 24:12; Luke 11:42), and although it is in both places put in the mouth of the Saviour, it can easily be understood how the language of a later time may have been used by the narrator, when it is considered that these gospels were compiled and reduced to writing many years after the spread of the Pauline epistles. The word is not found in James, Mark or Acts, but it appears in Paul 75 times, in John 30 times, in Peter 4 times, in Jude twice and in Hebrews twice. Jesus Christ gave the thing and the spirit in the church, and the apostles (probably Paul) invented the term to express it.

Latin Equivalents:

The Latin Vulgate is a late fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible that became, during the 16th century, the Catholic Church's officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible. The translation was largely the work of St. Jerome, who, in 382, was commissioned by Pope Damasus Ito revise the Vetus Latina ("Old Latin") collection of biblical texts in Latin then in use by the Church. Once published, it was widely adopted and eventually eclipsed the Vetus Latina and, by the 13th century, was known as the "versio vulgata"  (the "version commonly-used") or, more simply, in Latin as vulgataor in Greek as βουλγάτα ("Vulgate"). The Catholic Church made it its official Latin Bible as a consequence of the Council of Trent (1545–63).

When Jerome came to translate the Greek Testament into Latin, he found in that language no word to represent agape. Amor was too gross, and he fell back on dilectio and caritas, words which, however, in their original meanings were too weak and colorless to represent agape adequately. No principle seems to have guided him in the choice of the one word or the other in particular places.

English Translation:

Caritas in English became "charity," and was taken over by the English translators from the Vulg, though not with any regularity, nor as far as can be judged, according to any definite principle, except that it is used of agape only in man, never as it denotes a quality or action of God, which is always translated by "love." When agape is translated by "charity" it means either;

(1) a disposition in man which may qualify his own character (1 Corinthians 8:1) and be ready to go forth to God (1 Corinthians 8:3) or to men. 

(2) an active and actual relation with other men, generally within the church (Colossians 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:5; 4:12; 1 Peter 4:8; 5:14), but also absolutely and usually (1 Corinthians 13). In the earlier epistles it stands first and unique as the supreme principle of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13), but in the later writings, it is enumerated as one among the Christian virtues (1 Timothy2:15;  2 Timothy 2:22; 3:10; Titus 2:2; 2 Peter 1:7; Revelation 2:19). 

As we know, English words over time, the meaning and the definition can change as well.  For example, the English word Gay.

Therefore, word Charity, especially the way we use it today, has a much different meaning than the Latin Vulgate translation. 

However, most of you know in the original language of the New Testament, there were 4 different Greek words, for Love. 

And each word had its own definition and meanings, to express and explain the kind of love, that it was referring to.             

For example, Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē means, sacrificial love, as well as unconditional love.           It's the kind of love that will put another's needs above its own. 

It is a committed love and it is never motivated by emotions or feelings, nor by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed. 

Agápē is an action word.   Never passive, and never indifferent.

Agápē is the primary word that is used constantly throughout the New Testament.

Remember St. John 3:16.  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.

Philia (φιλία philía) means an affectionate love towards someone that you really like a lot, or admire.

It is also a friendship love between equalsteammates, comrades, associates, or individuals of the same religious sect, or racial ethnicity.

Remember St. John 21: 15.  And when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love or (Agape) Me more than these?”                                       Peter said to Jesus, Yes, Lord;  “You know that I love (Philia) You.”                                             And Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My lambs.”

Storge (στοργή storgē) means an affectionate love a parent has for a child or their children. It is also a love for other family members, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins.

Remember II Timothy 3: 2&3.

Vs. 2.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,                                                                                      Vs. 3.  Without natural affection,

Or, (Storge Love), trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good.

Éros (ἔρως érōs) means, a strong intimate physical love between two individuals.  A sexual love or desire for another person. 

This word is never used in the New Testament. 

However, there is nothing wrong with this word in reference to the biblical understanding of human sexuality between a traditional heterosexual married couple.                                         This would be Biblical, natural, and normal in the eyes of God.

Remember I Corinthians 7: 3-5.

Vs. 3.  Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.                                                                                                                                              Vs. 4.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.  And likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.                Vs. 5.  Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Now, because we have only 1 word in English for Love.                                                                       Love can mean a lot of things depending on the context and how it's being used.  

As one preacher said,  I love my dog.  I love my wife.  I love ice cream and I love the Lord.

So if you don't mind, throughout this series when we read or see the word ‘Love’ in the New Testament like here in I Corinthians 13. 

I suggest that ‘Love’ should be spelled with a capital "L". 

To mean true love, Biblical love, Agápē Love that is sacrificial and unconditional. 

The kind of love that will put the needs of others above its own. 

The kind of love that is fully committed, and it is never motivated by emotions or feelings, nor by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed. 

For Agape is an action word (a verb).  Not an adjective, not a noun, for it is never passive, and never indifferent.

Now, notice again, I Corinthians 13: 13.  Now abide or remains, faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these, is love.

So then, with God's help us let's begin this morning by asking a very important question.          "Is Love the greatest?"

 I'm so intrigued and somewhat setback by this statement at the end of vs. 13.                              Is this an exaggeration?                                                                                                                          Is this an overstatement?                                                                                                                        Could this really be true?                                                                                                                        Is Love, the greatest of the three?

Come on now, be honest.   If you and I were on the committee, that was deciding what would be the 3 greatest virtues that one must have and depend on?

And if we were asked to give a list of 3 things, would anybody here this morning, would you have chosen or picked Love to be at the top of their list, or to be the greatest? 

So then, for the next few minutes, let us try to understand why the Bible says that Love is the greatest of the three, Faith, Hope, and Love. 

Now, the first reason why the Bible says with Love with a capital.  Bible "L", true love, Biblical love, Agápē Love, is the greatest of the three is, because Love is the very personification of God Himself. 

See I John 4: 7&8

Vs. 7.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.“

Vs. 8, “He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.“

Also, see I John 4: 16.  And we have known and believed, the love that God has for us.  God is love, and the one who abides in love, abides in God and God in them.

Now, the second reason why the Bible says that Love with a capital "L", True love, Biblical love, Agápē Love, is the greatest of the three is, because Faith and Hope will one day be obsolete, unnecessary, and no longer needed.

You and I may not agree at this point.  I know what I'm saying is very controversial and questionable.  But would you consider this possibility?  For I believe that Faith & Hope are only for this world, and for this life, and for this time. 

For, in the New Jerusalem, in Heaven, or what Jesus called, "The Father's House," that Faith and Hope, will be obsolete, unnecessary, and no longer needed there. 

Perhaps, even in the New 1000 Year kingdom of Christ on earth, called the millennium reign of Christ that both Faith and Hope, will be obsolete, unnecessary, and no longer needed then. 

But love, will always be.  And will always be needed.  And will always be expressed.

Notice again, I Corinthians 13: 8-10.                                                                                               Vs.8.  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease;  whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.                               Vs.9.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.                                                                       Vs.10.  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part, will be done away.

Finally, the third reason why the Bible says that Love with a capital "L", true love, Biblical love, Agápē Love, is the greatest of the three is, because it is the first and great commandment. 

See Matthew 22: 37-39. 

Vs. 37.  Jesus said to the lawyer testing Him, “You shall love the LORD your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.                                                                                   Vs. 38. This is the first and great commandment.                                                                            Vs. 39.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Part 2   04-17-16  

Let's return back to our newest series called, "Faith, Hope, & Love, The 3 Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up-And That Will Help Us To Overcome, When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. 

This morning let's continue to deal with and understand the third and the final Essential Pillar that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is Love. 

Now, read I Corinthians 13: 13, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Now, the last time we learned together, that from the original language of the New Testament, there were four different Greek words, for Love. 

And each word, had its own definition, and meaning to express and explain, the kind of Love, that it was referring to.             

For example, Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē means, a sacrificial love, as well as an unconditional love.  It is a committed love.  Agápē is an action word, and not an emotion or feeling word.

Philia (φιλία philía) means an affectionate love towards someone that you really like a lot, or admire.  It is also a friendship love between equals.

Storge (στοργή storgē) means an affectionate love a parent has for a child, or their children. It is also a love for other family members. 

 Finally, Éros (ἔρως érōs) means, a strong intimate physical love, between two individuals. A sexual love or desire for another person. 

But during the times of the New Testament, during the first century, the word Agape to the Greek or Roman mind, was something unattainable and undesirable. 

In Greek philosophy, as well as for some Greek philosophers, they had a low view, or an opinion, about the Greek word Agape. 

For they believe this kind of love was beyond human ability. Only the gods had the ability or the capacity to love like this! 

That is, to love sacrificially, unconditionally. To be able to love putting another's needs, above your own. To have such a committed love, that you are never motivated by emotions or feelings, nor by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed.   Never passive, and never indifferent.

So, to the Greek or Roman mind, this was something that was unattainable, unlikely, and impossible! No human being could ever love like that, only a god.

Also, many Greeks and Romans, had a very low view, or opinion about the Greek word Agape, because to them it was undesirable. 

For they believe this kind of love was a sign of weakness, inferiority, and foolish. Remember, the Romans and the Greeks we're a proud people, for they were conquerors. 

Agape Love to them was undesirable because you never want to show that kind of love for you might be considered weak. You might be seen as inferior to another.  And You might be called foolish to treat someone like that. 

In fact, for many Greeks and Romans they had a higher view or opinion about the Greek words Éros love, or Philia love, or Storge love, than they did for Agape love. 

Just like today, many people have a higher view-or opinion about Éros love, or Philia love or Storge love, than they do for Agape love.  And it is sad to say, even among some church-going people today, this is true! 

But why?                                                                                                                                                                          I Corinthians 2: 14 says,  But the natural man, does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to them; nor can they know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 1: 27 says,  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of this world, to confound the things which are mighty. 

Listen, if we are not careful as God's people living in the last days, we too can have a higher view, or opinion about Éros love, or Philia love, or Storge love, than we do about Agape Love. 

Or, we too can have a low view, or opinion about Agape, because it is undesirable & unattainable.

•Undesirable, because you & I never want to show that kind of love, for we might be considered weak.        We might be seen as inferior to another. Or, we might be called foolish to treat someone like that.

•Unattainable), for this kind of love is beyond human ability.                                                                                      Only God has the ability or the capacity to love like this!                                                                                            To be able to love fully, unconditionally.                                                                                                                        To be able to love putting another's needs, above your own. 

To have such a committed love, that you are never motivated by emotions or feelings, nor by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed.                                                                                                 Never passive, and never indifferent.                                                                                                                         No human being could ever love like that, only God.                                                                                                 And you know something, if you think about it, that is absolutely right!                                                             Only God has the ability or the capacity to love like this!                                                                                          Sacrificially, unconditionally.                                                                                                                                         To be able to love putting another's needs, above your own. 

To have such a committed love, that you are never motivated by emotions or feelings, nor by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed.  Never passive, and never indifferent.

No human being could ever love like that, only God. 

Therefore, with God's help, for the next few minutes, let's deal with and understand, three important questions, that will help us to change or improve our attitude, our understanding, and our desire, to display and share this kind of love, Agape love.

First question. Who makes it possible to love like this?                                                                                               Philippians 2: 13 says, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Second question.  Where does this kind of love, come from?                                                                                   Romans 5: 8 says, but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Third question.  Can you and I if we choose to, can we be vessels or containers of this kind of Agape Love, to be dispensed, and to be on display for others?  Repeat.                                                                                             Romans 5: 5 says, 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. 

Listen, we can choose to be vessels or containers of this kind of Agape Love, to be dispensed, and to be on display for others?

Absolutely yes, if you're truly Saved, and know God because of a relationship, and not in a religious sense, for it is not our Love anyway, it is God's.

See Galatians 5:                                                                                                                                                             Now, in these 2 verses, 22&23, there are 9 Godly characteristics produced by the Holy Spirit and not ourselves.

There are 9 Godly characteristics produced by the Holy Spirit in the life and in the heart of every true believer, in every committed follower of Christ, no exceptions.

Each one of these 9 Godly characteristics that are mention here, our Lord Jesus Christ, can be seen as the Supreme example of each one of these characteristics!

Now Galatians 5: 22 says, But the fruit of the Spirit, or what the Holy Spirit can produce in us, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,                                                                                             Vs. 23, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” 

Did you notice in verse 22, that this list begins with Agape Love as the first characteristic? 

And could it be, that the rest of these characteristics that are mentioned here, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  vs. 23, gentleness, self-control.

Could all of this be how Agape Love practically manifest itself in a believer's life?                                                    Most of the time, full of joy and joyful.                                                                                                                          Most of the time, at peace & peaceful.                                                                                                                          Most of the time, able to be longsuffering when things are not going right, or going well.

Question.  Could all of this be how Agape Love practically manifest itself in a believer's life?                               Most of the time, there is a kindness in everything they do.                                                                                       Most of the time, goodness is the motivation not selfishness.                                                                                   Most of the time, can show faithfulness in every situation no matter what.                                                               Vs. 23, most of the time, willing to demonstrate gentleness when provoked, or made angry, or treated wrongly.                                                                                                                                                                           Most of the time, willing to show self-control, in every circumstance.

Could all of this, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,                                                           Vs. 23, gentleness, self-control.

Could all of this be, how Agape Love practically manifest itself in a believer's life?                                                  Listen, the more we allow the Holy Spirit to have free reign over our lives. 

Then I believe, the more of these 9 godly characteristics including Agape love will be manifested in us, and can be on display by us.

However, there is an important part we must play, and we must be committed too, in order for these 9 godly characteristics including Agape love to be a reality. 

Now notice this time Galatians 5: 

Vs. 16.  I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, for our flash does not want to cooperate.                                                                                                                                                                   Vs. 17.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you desire.                                                                                       Vs. 18.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.                                                                        Vs. 25.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.                                   Vs. 26. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Again can you and I if we choose too, can we be vessels or containers of this kind of Agape Love, to be dispensed, and to be on display for others?

Absolutely yes.  As long as you and I, cooperate with God the Holy Spirit.   – Galatians 5:16-18.                       As long as you and I, crucify our flesh daily.  – Galatians 5:25 & 26.                                                                  And, as long as you and I will remember whose Love it.  - Romans 5: 5.

Listen, we don't have to be stingy or selfish, when it comes to God's Agape Love, it is not our love anyway!

Instead, let us be generous, gracious, and genuine with this gift to us, and in us.  Agape Love, that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit so that we can also share it with others, no matter what! 

An illustration:                                                                                                                                                                 Let's say you were chosen to be a contestant on a new reality TV Show.

Let's say, Oprah Winfrey, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates gave you, as a contestant up to a half of billion dollars, $500 million to use or spend or to give away however you see fit?                                                        But there is a catch!

You must give it totally away within a month!                                                                                                                You must give, spend, or use, at least a minimum of $100,000 per day or more.                                                  Also! you cannot give to the same person or persons more than once.                                                                 It must be a different person, a different organization, or group, church, ministry, missionary, hospital, orphanage, school, shelter, out-reach program, etc. 

But again, you can never give to the same person, or group or organization, etc, more than once.              Also, you cannot save it.                                                                                                                                               You cannot loan it.                                                                                                                                                            You cannot hide it away.                                                                                                                                               You cannot invest it.                                                                                                                                                        In fact, whatever you don't use in a day, or at the end of that month, you lose it!                                                  Finally, if you spend any of it on yourself personally, you forfeit all of it!                                                                    Listen, it can only be used for others! Remember, is not yours, it belongs to someone else!

Well, in a similar way our God has given to us something of great value, something that money cannot buy, something that the world cannot give. 

And you know what, we don't have to be stingy or selfish, when it comes to God's Love, for it is not our Love anyway.

Instead, let us be generous, gracious, and genuine with this gift to us, and in us, Agape Love, that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit, so that we can also share it, with others, no matter what! 

Close with I John 4: 7, 8, & 20.

Vs. 7.  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.                                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 8.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.                                                                     Vs. 20.  If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother.                                                                                  They are lying; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen.

How can he love God whom he has not seen?

Part 3    05-01-16    

Turn to I Corinthians 13: 13.

Let's return back to our series called,"Faith, Hope, & Love, The 3 Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up And That Will Help Us To Overcome, When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. 

This morning let's continue to deal with and understand the third and the final Essential Pillar, that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is Love.

Now read I Corinthians 13: 13, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love,” or to be more accurate, God's Love.

Now last time, we learned together, that there were these different Greek words for Love, And God had chosen one of those Greek words, that was despised and rejected by most men, during the times of the New Testament.

Yet, our Lord chose one of the Greek words Agape, which best expressed His kind of Love, and that was only made possible by Him, and not man.

For Agápē Love, is that sacrificial and unconditional Love.   It is the kind of Love that will put the needs of others above it's own in a healthy way. 

For it is the kind of Love that is fully committed, and it is never motivated by emotions or feelings. 

Nor is it motivated by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed. 

It is never passive, nor indifferent.  For Agape is an action word (a verb).  Not an adjective, nor a noun. 

Finally, this Agápē Love from God that is given to us who are truly saved, is able to produce in us qualities and characteristics that can be seen, that can be life-changing, that can bring glory to God.

Therefore with God's help, let's begin this morning dealing with and understanding three important areas that are essential to know and to believe.

First.  The Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings.                                                                         Next. The Love that God has for us in Christ as His people, as His children, as His family.                                   Finally, the Love that God has for you and I in Christ as an individual, or a person.

Again, there are three important areas that are essential to know, and to believe about God's Love.

First.  The Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings.  For this, in my opinion is a great mystery.     The Psalmist David, reflected this concern in Psalms 8:4-6.                                                                                        Vs.4. What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?                                           Vs.5. For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.   Vs.6. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.

Some have suggested that the reason why God loves human beings, mankind, humanity, is because we are created in His image and after His likeness,

Genesis 1:26.  And therefore, there must be something  inherently and intrinsically in us, that is the reason why God loves human beings, mankind, humanity.

But see Titus 3: 3-6.                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 3. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.                                                                                                            Vs. 4. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man humanity, mankind, human beings, appeared.                                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,                                                                                             Vs. 6. Whom He poured out on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Next, the Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings is seen in Romans 5: 8And God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Next, the Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings is seen in I John 4: 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation, or the Appeasement, or a well-pleasing sacrifice for our sins.

Finally, the Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings is seen in St. John 3: 16.  For God so loved the world - humanity, mankind, human beings, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. 

This Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings, is in each one of us who know God, and who love God. 

We should truly love and care about all people.  Regardless of color, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, language, dress, stature, education, social economical background, politics, religion or denomination affiliation, beliefs, or ideas.

For I may not agree with, or support, or endorse, some of these areas I mention.  However, with God's help, I want to love the things that God loves, and hate, without being hateful, the things that God hates that is wrong, sinful, and evil. 

And one thing is clear from the Bible, is that God loves people, all kinds of people, from everywhere, and from everyplace.

Listen, the Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings, is not my love, it's His Love.  And I should share it, and demonstrate it, wherever I go.

Matthew 28: 19 & 20 says;                                                                                                                                                  Vs. 19.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                                                  Vs. 20.  Teaching them to observe all things, that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

A reminder of a racist and angry Prophet of God, who was told by God, to go and warn a group of people of God's judgment if they didn't repent, Jonah.

Three important areas that are essential to know and believe about God's Love.

2ndly. The Love that God has for us in Christ as His people, as His children, as His family.                                               I John 4:16-19.                                                                                                                                                                      Vs. 16.  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love, abides in God, and God, them.                                                                                                                                  Vs. 17.  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world.                                                                                                                                                   Vs. 18.  There is no fear in love; the love that God has for us, because the perfect love, the love that God has for us, casts out fear, and this kind of fear is tormenting.  For the one who fears, has not been made perfect in love, The love that God has for us.                                                                                                                                                     Vs. 19.  We love Him because, He first loved us.

Part 4    05-08-16   

Let's return back to our series called, "Faith, Hope, & Love, The 3 Essential Pillars That Will Hold Us Up And That Will Help Us To Overcome, When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. 

This morning let's continue to deal with and understand the third and the final Essential Pillar, that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is Love.

Now read I Corinthians 13: 13, and now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love, or to be more accurate, God's Love.

Now, two Sundays ago, with God's help we discovered there are these three important areas that are essential to know, and to believe.

1st. The Love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings.                                                                            2ndly. The Love that God has for us in Christ, as His people, as His children, as His family.                                  Finally, the Love that God has for you and I in Christ personally, as an individual, or a person.

Now, two Sundays ago, we looked at the first one, the Love that God has for Humanity, Mankind, Human beings.

This morning, let's look at the 2nd important area, that is essential to know and believe concerning God's Love, and that is the Love that God has for us, in Christ, as His people, as His children, as His family. But first, what do we mean, the Love that God has for us in Christ? 

•Is this a different kind of Love than before I was saved?   In other words, does God have a different kind of Love for sinners, (St. John 3: 16), and a different kind of Love for the Saints?                                                                             No! Actually it is the same Agape Love for both.

•Does God really Love me more, now that I'm in Christ, that He did before I was Saved?                                               Actually, God really does not Love you and I more now that we are in Christ, but God's Agape Love can be expressed and shared in unlimited ways, because of Christ in me, and me in Christ.

Now turn to I Corinthian 15: 

This morning let's do a little study here, that is so important, and that will be a help to you, in the days ahead.           I know for some of you, this is very basic, sort of Christianity 101, or Salvation 101.  But we need to ask the question,                                                                                                                                                                            What does it mean, to be in Christ, or to be in Him.  What does that look like?

Now the words, in Christ starting with the Book of Acts, is used 76 times throughout the New Testament.             And the words, in Him starting in the Gospel of Matthew, is used 69 times throughout the New Testament.

Now the phrase in Christ, or in Him, has two basic meanings.                                                                                             First meaning, a place where one abides or dwells or is affiliated with.

The phrase in Christ, or in Him, has a second meaning, it means, something was altered Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially.                                                                                                                                                             Now the phrase, in Christ, or in Him can mean, a place where one abides or dwells or is affiliated with.

See. I Corinthians 15: 21&22.                                                                                                                                             Vs.21, For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.                                                     Vs.22, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Now turn to Galatians 3.                                                                                                                                                           The phrase in Christ, or in Him has a second meaning, it means, something was altered, Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially. 

Now, see Galatians 3:26-28.  Vs. 26, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.                                 Vs. 27, For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.                                                                     Vs. 28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Again, the phrase in Christ, or, in Him, can mean something has happened Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially to us who believe.

And this is a radical transition, or change, or switch, whereby at least four things are made known.                            1. One's Receptivity.                                                                                                                                                                  2. One's Position or Place.                                                                                                                                                      3. One's Identity.                                                                                                                                                                   4. One's Benefits.   

First, Our Receptivity.                                                                                                                                                                To be "in Christ" means Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially,                                                                              We have accepted and received His sacrifice on the cross as full payment for our sin debt. Therefore, no amount of works, or self-cleansing, can make us pure enough to warrant God's forgiveness, nor merit a relationship with a Holy God. 

Only "in Christ" is our sin debt cancelled, and a relationship with God is made possible, and our salvation is eternally secured. 

Turn to Romans 3: 24.                                                                                                                                                                Being justified freely by His Grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

In Christ means Spiritually, Positionally, And Experientially, we have accepted and received His sacrifice on the cross as full payment for our sin debt. 

Only "in Christ" is our sin debt cancelled, and a relationship with God is made possible, and our salvation is eternally secured.                                                                                                                                                                   

At least four things are made known. 

2ndly, our Position or Place.                                                                                                                                                    To be "in Christ" means that Spiritually, Positionally, And Experientially,  A Divine exchange took place at the cross.   Our old sin nature, was exchanged for His perfect one. 

Listen, when we accept His sacrifice on our behalf, and put our personal trust and faith in Who He is, in all that He has done, in all that He is doing, in all that He will do. 

The LORD switches accounts with us. For He exchanges our list of sins, for His Perfect and Sinless Account which is able to please God. 

Turn to II Corinthians 5: 21.  For He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin (or a sin bearer) for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

In Him means that Spiritually, Positionally, And Experientially, a Divine exchange took place at the cross for us.  Our old sin nature, was exchanged for His perfect one. 

The LORD switches accounts with us.  For He exchanges our list of sins for His perfect and sinless account, which is able to please God. 

At least four things are made known. 

3rdly, our Identity.

To be "in Christ" means that Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially, God no longer chooses to see and focus on our sinful past, our present imperfections and flaws, nor our future failures or mistakes.

For He chooses to see and focus on the righteousness that God, the Son has bestowed upon us.

Turn to II Corinthians 5: 17.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

In Christ means that Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially, God no longer chooses to see and focus on, our sinful past, our present imperfections and flaws, nor our future failures or mistakes.

For He chooses to see and focus on, the righteousness that God, the Son has bestowed upon us.

Finally, at least four things are made known, our benefits.                                                                                                   To be "in Christ" means that Spiritually, Positionally, and Experientially, we have become beneficiaries, recipients of God's Favor, Grace, and Goodness. 

Turn to Ephesians 1: 3 & 4.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Vs. 4.  Just as He chose us (in Him) before the foundation of the world, that we should be Holy and without blame before Him, in love. 

In Christ means that Spiritually, Positionally and Experientially, we have become beneficiaries, recipients of God's Favor, Grace, & Goodness.

Part 5    05-22-16

Let us finish up with the are three important areas that are essential to know and believe about God's Love.

This morning, let us continue to look at the 2nd important area that is essential to know and believe concerning God's Love and that is the Love that God has for us, in Christ, as His people, as His children, as His family.

Now, in I John 4: 16-19, let's notice, the Love that God has for us, in Christ, as His people, as His children, as His family.

May I read a paraphrase of I John 4: 16-19.

Vs. 16.  And we have known and believed, the love that God has for us.   God is love, and the one who abides in love, (God's Love) abides in God, and God in them.                                                                                                         Vs. 17.  Love, (God's Love) has been perfected among us in this, that we may have boldness, or reassurance in the day, that God judges everything, and everyone, because as He is, so are we in this world.                                       Vs. 18. There is no fear in love (the love that God has for us), because perfect love (the love that God has for us) casts out, or expels fear, and this kind of fear is tormenting. 

For anyone who has this kind of fear, has not been made, (or become) a recipient of perfect love (the love that God has for us).

Vs. 19. Therefore, we are able to love God, because He first, loved us.                                                                             Next, turn to Ephesians 3.  The Love that God has for us in Christ as His people, as His children, as His family, can be seen in Ephesians 3: 14-19.

Let me read another paraphrase of Ephesians 3: 14-19.

Vs 14.  For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom (the whole family) those in heaven, and those who are yet on the earth, are all named.

Vs 15.  That God would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, for you to be strengthened with might, or power by the Holy Spirit, in your inner man (your spirit).

Vs 16.  And that Christ, may dwell in your hearts, through or because of faith,

so that you being rooted and grounded in love, (God's Love).

Vs 17.  As a result of that, you may be able to comprehend with all the Saints, what is the width, and the length, and the depth, and the height,

Vs 18.  knowing the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge, beyond human comprehension, 

Vs 19.  So that, you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 Now, turn to Hebrews 12.

 Now, remember we said, there are three important areas, that are essential to know and believe about God's Love.

 This 3rd and final area is the Love that God has for you and I, in Christ personally, as an individual, or as a person can be seen in Hebrews 12: 5-11.

Let me read another paraphrase of Hebrews 12: 5-11.

Vs. 5.  Have you forgotten or lost sight of, the exhortation, or the admonishment which speaks to us as the Spiritual Sons, or Children of God?

Therefore, let me remind you my son, do not despise or take for granted, the chastening of the LORD nor, be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him.

Vs. 6.  For whom the LORD loves, He chastens, or trains like in a Boot Camp, and scourges, to bring about corrective punishment, to every son, or child whom, He has fathered.

Vs. 7.  So then, if you endure, or remain under, or accept the chastening, or the training like in a Boot Camp, then God deals with you as being His Child; for what son or child, is there whom a Father would not chasten or train? 

Vs. 8.  Because if you are without chastening, or the training like in a Boot Camp, (of which most) have become partakers, or are veterans or graduates from, then you are illegitimate, your fathering, is in question, doubtful, uncertain, and you are not a son of God or a child of God. Why? Because, you are without chastening (of which most) have become partakers of.

Vs. 9.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers, who corrected us, and we gave them respect, or reverential fear.  Shall we not much more be in subjection, or submission, or in obedience to the Father, or the progenitor of spirits, both human and angelic, so we can live correctly? 

Vs. 10.  For our human fathers for a particular season in our live chastened us, as it seemed best to them and maybe not always with the right temperament or motive, for they were only human.

But your Heavenly Father, unlike your earthly father, for your profit, benefit, and growth, has done these things, so that we may be partakers of His Holiness, and thereby transforming, our conduct and behavior.

Vs. 11.  Truly, no chastening seems, to be joyful, or acceptable in the moment it is being given, for it is painful. Yet, afterward, the chastening we endure can yield or produces, 

the peaceable fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it. 

Now, in light of what you heard read from Hebrews 12: 5-11.

Let me conclude by addressing a serious paradox we face, that must be dealt with and resolved in our hearts, before we can appreciate or receive Love from God, and from one another.

By the way, what is a paradox? 

A paradox is, a statement or position, that sound or seems illogical, unacceptable, or contradictory to what seems to be right, fair, or just.

For example, Jesus gave some paradoxical statements.

"The first shall be last, and the last shall be first!"

"He who loses his life, will gain it, but he who saves his life will lose it."

Therefore, I would like to address, a serious paradox we face, that must be dealt with and resolved in our hearts, before we can appreciate or receive love from God, and from one another.

In fact, the paradox we face are those things which seem to us incompatible with love.

Or, that may cause us to question the love that is being offered, or the love that is on displayed. 

What are those things which seem to us incompatible with love.

Or, that may cause us to question the love that is being offered, or the love that is on displayed?   Some possible examples to consider.

•Pain & love, is a paradox we face that seems incompatible, unacceptable, or contradictory to, what seems to be right, fair, or just.                                                                                                                                                                      Whether it's the pain brought about by God's chastisement.                                                                                             The pain, after the death of a loved one or close friend.                                                                                                     The pain of rejection or betrayal.                                                                                                                                           The way we think and feel.  If there is love, there should be no pain of any kind.                                                               For pain and love are incompatible they don't go together. But is that really true?

•Next, to be disciplined or rebuked and loved, is a paradox we face, that seems incompatible, unacceptable, or contradictory to, what seems to be right, fair, or just.                                                                                                            Listen, should my conduct, behavior, attitude, or mistreatment of another, really matter?

The way we think and feel, if there is love, there should be no need for discipline or rebuke for discipline or rebuke and love are incompatible, they don't go together.  But is that really true?

•Next, having difficulties or hardships and love, is a paradox we face, that seems incompatible, unacceptable, or contradictory to what seems to be right, fair, or just.                                                                                                              Whether it's problems, troubles, trials, test, misfortunes, tragedies, setbacks, failures.

 The way we think & feel, if there is love, there should be no difficulties or hardships for difficulties or hardships and love are incompatible, they don't go together.  But, is that really true?

 •Next, given boundaries or restrictions and love, is a paradox we face that seems incompatible, unacceptable, or contradictory to what seems to be right, fair, or just.                                                                                                             Whether it is something illegal, immoral, abnormal, unjust, sinful, crazy, immature, selfish, harmful, hurtful, or hateful.

The way we think and feel, if there is love, there should be no boundaries or restrictions, for boundaries or restrictions and love, are incompatible, they don't go together. But is that really true?

•Finally, the refusal to cooperate, or to say yes, to all my wants and desires and Love, is a paradox we face, that seems incompatible, unacceptable, or contradictory to what seems to be right, fair, or just.                                            Regardless, how extreme it maybe, or unwise, or unrealistic, or irresponsible, or self-centered it maybe.

The way we think and feel, if there is love, there should be total cooperation, or just say yes, to all my wants and desires.

For to refuse to cooperate, or to say no to my wants and desires, and there is supposed to be love, for many, this is incompatible, they don't go together.                                                                                                                                      But is that really true?

Part 6   06-05-16

Let's return back to our series called, Faith, Hope, & Love, The 3 Essential Pillars, That Will Hold Us Up And That Will Help Us To Overcome, When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. the third and the final essential pillar that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is Love. 

Now, read I Corinthians 13: 13.   

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love, to be more accurate, God's Love.

Now, with God's help last month, we dealt with three important areas that are essential to know and to believe.

The first one was the love that God has for humanity, mankind, human beings.                                              Next.  The Love that God has for us in-Christ as His people, as His children, as His family.                            Finally, The Love that God has for you and I personally in-Christ as an individual, or as a person.

Now, this morning, let's shift the focus from God's Love for us, and let us focus on the Love we should have for God. 

Question, do you and I really love God?                                                                                                             What does that mean?                                                                                                                                           What does it look like?

Is love for God based on feelings or one's emotions at the time?                                                                     Is love for God based on nice sentiments, or joyful gestures we can express?                                                What is loving God all about?                                                                                                                               Perhaps this is an area in our Christian life, that could use some growth and improvement.

Now, again, do you and I love God?

Turn to St. John 21: 15-21.

Here in St. John 21: 15-21, our profession will be tested by the clear teachings of the Scriptures, and by the confirmation or conviction of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Read St. John 21: 15. 

And when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (or Agape) Me more than these? Peter said to Jesus, Yes, Lord; You know that I love (Philia) You. And Jesus said to Peter, feed My lambs.

At least three important insights we learn from Jesus, when it comes to loving God. 

The first insight we can learn from Jesus is, loving God is a growth process for and in each person who is truly Saved. (Repeat)

Perhaps another way to understand this, is to consider the emotional maturity that we go through from childhood to adulthood when it comes to receiving and expressing natural human love and affection.

In the childhood years the emotional maturity, when it comes to receiving and expressing love and affection, is pretty much one-sided.  It's all about receiving love, and not much in the giving of love.

And most parents and family members are okay with that, especially when it is in the early stages of childhood, infancy, toddlerhood, the preschool years, the early elementary years.  Because, the emotional maturity, when it comes to receiving and expressing love and affection, is pretty much one-sided.

However, at some point during the early stages of the adulthood years, preferably, during the pre-adolescence stage.  But most definitely by the adolescent stage.

The emotional maturity when it comes to receiving and expressing, love and affection, there needs to be, some noticeable growth and change.

For the parents or parent, with God's help has been teaching, and modeling so to help this person, to know and understand that love is not to be just one-sided.

And here in St. John 21: 15, among other things we learn from Jesus, and that is loving God is also a growth process for and in each person who is truly Saved.

Now, notice St. John 21: 15. Do you love (or Agape) Me more than these?                                                       Peter said, Yes, Lord; You know that I love (Philia) You.

First, Jesus said, do you love (or Agape) Me more than these? 

Remember, Agápē Love, is a sacrificial and unconditional Love.                                                                      It is the kind of Love that will put the needs of others above its own in a healthy way.                                          For it is the kind of Love that is fully committed, and it is never motivated by its emotions or feelings.         Nor, is it motivated by the behavior or attitude of the One to whom love is being expressed.                       Agápē Love, is never passive, nor indifferent.  For Agape is an action word, a verb, not an adjective, nor a noun. 

Finally, this Agápē Love from God that is given to us who are truly saved, is able to produce in us qualities and characteristics, like the fruit of the Spirit for example, and other things as well, that can be seen, that can be life-changing, that can bring glory to God.

But Peter said to the Lord, yes, Lord; You know that I love (Philia) you.                                                             Philia, (φιλία) means an affectionate love towards someone that you really like a lot, or admire.                 Philia, is also a friendship love between equals, like comrades, or disciples, etc.

For Peter at this time in his life, was only at the spiritual maturity stage of childhood that is Philia love. Which meant an affectionate love towards someone that you really like a lot, or admire.                                Philia, is also a friendship love between equals, like comrades, or disciples, etc.

But that is not what Jesus ask Peter.  Do you Philia, (φιλία) Me?                                                                          Jesus asked Peter, do you love (or Agape) Me more than these? 

(Agápē Love), is that sacrificial and unconditional Love.  Peter is that You?

For it is the kind of love that is fully committed, and it is never motivated by it's emotions or feelings.  Peter is that You?                                                                                                                                                     Nor, is this kind of love motivated by plans or purposes, that are different now, or that have changed.       For this kind of love is still able to express love, (in this case to God), when I don't understand.  Peter is that You?                                                                                                                                                                   For Agápē Love, is never passive, nor indifferent. Agape is an action word, a verb, not an adjective, nor a noun.  Peter is that You?

Finally, this Agápē Love from God that is given to us who are truly saved, is able to produce in us qualities and characteristics, like the fruit of the Spirit for example, and other things as well, that can be seen, that can be life-changing, that can bring glory to God.  Peter is that You?

Remember, At least 3 important insights we can learn from Jesus, when it comes to loving God.

And, here in St. John 21: 15, notice loving God cannot be based on one's personal performance, nor one's accomplishments for God. 

But instead, loving God is based on obedience and submission to the will of God for your life. 

See again St. John 21: 15.  And when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (or Agape) Me more than these? Peter said to Jesus, yes, Lord; You know that I love (Philia) You.

And Jesus said to Peter, feed My sheep and lambs. Not build Me something. Nor organize for Me a new movement.  But instead, loving God is based on obedience, Peter feed my sheep and lambs!

Part 7   06-12-16

Let's continue our focus on the Love we should have for God. 

Question.  Do you and I really love God?                                                                                                                      What does that mean?                                                                                                                                                    What does it look like?

Listen, loving God is not first an external display.                                                                                                        But loving God is an internal transformation which should lead to a proper external display.                                But what is this internal transformation I'm referring to? 

First, on the inside of each person, the spirit and the heart of an individual, must be made right by God in Salvation.

Next, once truly saved, a person must mature, develop, and grow in their love for God.                                        Like Peter in St John 21:15, we must grow from one kind of love for God (Philia) love, to Agape Love for God.

Finally, when Agape Love for God is now our motivation, our greatest desire, then Agape Love will lead to a proper external display.  For example, obedience to God.

(Quote) St. John 14: 15, Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments.                                                          Listen, a way that I know that I love God, a way that I know that you love God, is by one's obedience to God. 

Now read St. John 21: 15.   And when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonah, do you love or (Agape) Me more than these?                                                                                                    Peter said to Jesus, Yes, Lord;                                                                                                                                       You know that I love (Philia) You.                                                                                                                                  And Jesus said to Peter, feed My lambs.

Now, based on St. John 21: 15-22, there are at least three important insights when it comes to loving God that we can learn from Jesus. 

And last Sunday, we considered two of the three important insights when it comes to loving God. 

This morning, here in St. John 21: 17-22, when it comes too loving God, let's consider the third and the final important insight from Jesus. 

Read St. John 21: 17-22.                                                                                                                                                  Vs. 17, And Jesus said to Peter a third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love or (Philia) Me?”                           Peter was grieved, because Jesus said to him the third time, “Do you love or (Philia) Me?”                                    And Peter said to Jesus, Lord, “You know all things; You know that I love or (Philia) You!”                                     Then Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My sheep.”  In other words, instead of going back to your old profession, be obedient, if you love me!

Vs. 18, Jesus continues and says, “Most assuredly, I say to you Peter, when you were younger, you girded yourself, and walked where you wished; or willed.                                                                                                     But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish or will.”

Vs. 19.  This Jesus spoke, signifying by what death Peter would glorify God in.                                                        So when Jesus had spoken this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow Me.”

Vs. 20.  But then Peter turning around, and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, who also had leaned himself near the chest of Jesus at the last supper, and who said to the Lord, that evening, "Who is the one, who betrays You?"                                                                                                                                                                    

Vs. 21. So Peter, was referring to John, one of the disciples, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”

Vs. 22, and Jesus said to Peter, If I Will that John remain until I return, what is that to you? "You Peter follow Me!"

So then, here in St. John 21: 17-22, Jesus is also teaching us that Loving God is revealed, or is made known by one's submission to the Will of God for your life. 

Because remember in St. John 21: 17, When Jesus said to Peter a third time, “do you love or (Philia) Me? “          And Peter was grieved, because Jesus said to him the third time, “Do you love or (Philia) Me?”                            Remember Peter said unto Jesus, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love or (Philia) You!”                    By which, Jesus said unto Peter, “feed My sheep. “Not only obey me Peter,                                                            But submit your Will to me!                                                                                                                                            Be in submission to what I say, not just what you want!

And remember (two times) in St. John 21: Jesus says unto Peter, “Follow Me.”

First in vs. 19, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow Me.”                                                                                                            And in vs. 22, said unto Peter, a second time, "You follow Me!"

Listen, I believe that Jesus is teaching us that once a person is truly Saved, they must mature, develop, and grow in their love for God Like Peter, we to must grow from one kind of love for God, (Philia) love, to Agape Love for God.

Then, when Agape Love for God is now our motivation, our greatest desire, it will lead us to a proper external display.  In this case, submission to the Will of God for your life.

Listen, a way that I know that I love God, a way that I know that you love God, is by one's submission to God.    

But remember, twice in St. John 21: Jesus says unto Peter, “Follow Me.”                                                                   But, in order to follow God, one must be in submission to God.                                                                                •  Are you submitted to God?                                                                                                                                        •  Are you in submission to God?                                                                                                                                  •  Listen, is your Love for God, the motivation for your submission to the Will of God, for your life?

With the time remaining, two questions can challenge us to understand two important matters from the Bible.

•  What does submission mean?                                                                                                                                   •  An what is the Will of God?

First, what does submission mean?

In the New Testament our English word Submit or Submission comes from a Greek word, hypotássō, hoop-ot-as'-so; from G5259 and G5021

Strong's Definitions: Hupotasso ὑποτάσσω means, a subordinate positionally; to submit oneself unto willingly.

Also, outside the Bible the word was used as a military term as well.                                                                       Because Hupotasso could mean, to arrange a troop division in a military fashion, under the command of a leader.                                                                                                                                                                                Hupo means "under or beneath."                                                                                                                                  Tasso means, "to arrange or order."                                                                                                                              This can be wonderful word picture of what it means to submit, or to be in submission to God. 

To arrange oneself, or to live in such a way that you willfully come under the command or the Will, the leadership, the authority of, and in this case God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Rather than, to live in accordance to one's own will or desire, I willfully come under the Will or desire God has for me.

•  Submission to God involves four things:                                                                                                                     1. Total surrender of my will.    God created us with a free will, the right to choose, the willingness to obey.

See Luke 22: 41&42.

And Jesus was away from His Disciples about a short distance, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, Father if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.

 2.  An unwavering commitment, no matter the challenge or challenges.                                                                  3.  An unquestionable dedication to a task, and to the One who has called me for such a task.                            4.  A constant pursuing or following, at any cost.

Two questions.                                                                                                                                                                  • What does submission mean?                                                                                                                                     • What is the Will of God?                                                                             

What is The Will of God?                                                                                                                                                  This is not a theological definition, but more of a biblical definition that is practical and understandable. 

• The Will of God is what God desires or wants.                                                                                                            An example: I Timothy 2:4, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

• The Will of God is what God permits or allows.                                                                                                          • The Will of God is what God causes or does.                                                                                                            • The Will of God is what God supports or maintains. 

Also, when considering the Will of God there are two ways to accept it.                                                                    1.  God's Will revealed in scripture.                                                                                                                                2.  God's Will for you and I personally.                                                                                     

God's Will revealed in scripture, is God's desire, or purpose, or plan, revealed or communicated and imposed.   An example: St. John 3:16.

God's Will for someone personally, is an ordain task, purpose, or destiny, that only that person can receive or fulfill.  An example: Abraham. 

Here are a few things from scripture, that can help us to grow up concerning this subject of the Will of God.

Psalm 40:8                                                                                                                                                                       I delight to do Your Will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.

Psalm 143:10                                                                                                                                                           Teach me to do Your Will, for You are my God; Let Your Good Spirit lead me on level ground. 

Romans 12:2                                                                                                                                                                    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

Hebrews 13:21                                                                                                                                                                 Equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever.  Amen. 

James 4:15                                                                                                                                                                      Instead, you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.

Part 8   07-03-16

Let's return back to our series called, "Faith, Hope & Love, the Three Essential Pillars that will hold us up and help us to overcome when faced with problems, or circumstances, or situations”.

This morning let's continue to deal with and understand the third and final Essential Pillar that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is ‘Love’.

Now, read I Corinthians 13: 13.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love, God's Love.

Now, let's continue our focus on this important area, the love we should have for God.  And, here is what we know so far about this area. 

When the Agape Love in us for God becomes our highest priority, then overtime this kind of love will change us in how we relate to our Heavenly Father, how we relate to our Lord Jesus Christ, and how we relate to our helper, the Holy Spirit.

For example, being obedient.  Over time, more obedience to God, not less.                                             Being Committed.  Over time, more commitment to God, not less.                                                             Being Dedicated.  Over time, more dedication to God, not less.                                                                   Being Submissive.  Over time, more submission to God, not less.                                                               But how does this really happen?

See Matthew 22: 37-40.                                                                                                                                        Vs. 37.   Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who had tested Him.  You shall, love the LORD your God.  How?                                                                                                                            With all your heart.                                                                                                                                              With all your soul.                                                                                                                                             And with all your mind.   

Vs. 38.  This is The first and great commandment.                                                                                            Vs. 39.  And the second is equally important, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.                            Vs. 40.  On these two commandments, hang all that the Law and the Prophets had said. 

This morning I would like us to receive these words from our LORD, as an outline that we should follow.   As an outline that could challenge us greatly.                                                                                                  As an outline that would help us to want to change and be different.

Now, there are two Important Directives from Jesus on how it is we are to love God correctly, and how we are to correctly love another person saved or unsaved. 

From Matthew 22: 37, is the First Directive.                                                                                                     Vs. 37.  Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who was testing Him.  You shall, love the LORD your God.  How?                                                                                                                            With all your heart.                                                                                                                                                With all your soul.                                                                                                                                               And with all your mind.                                                                                                    

From Matthew 22: 39 is the Second Directive.                                                                                               Vs. 39.  And the second is equally important, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

This morning with God’s help let's focus on this first important directive from Jesus on how it is we are to love God correctly.  

For Jesus elevates the love that we are to have for God to be more than just verbal platitudes, or religious acts.

Perhaps, this is an area in our Christian life, that could use some growth and improvement.

I'm sure that our profession that we love God will be tested by the clear teachings of the Scriptures, and by the confirmation or the conviction of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

This morning with Gods help let's focus on this first important directive from Jesus on how it is we are to love God correctly.  

See again Matthew 22: 37.  Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who had tested Him, you shall, love the LORD your God.  How?                                                                                           With all your heart.                                                                                                                                                  With all your soul.                                                                                                                                                 And with all your mind.

In your Bible, or on your device you may have a Cross Reference System, making you aware of other verses in the Bible that relate to what Jesus is saying. 

If you would like to know more, or if need help with your Cross Reference System, give me a call, or text me, or email me, to see how these other verses in the Bible related to what Jesus is saying. 

But, allow me to stay focused here in Matthew 22: 37.

Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who had tested Him, You shall, love the LORD your God, with all your heart.                                                                                                                  With all your soul.                                                                                                                                                   And with all your mind.

Two things Jesus teaches concerning how we are to Love God correctly.  

1. The love that we are to have for God is to be voluntary.                                                                                You shall, not must.  But, you shall voluntarily love the LORD your God.

2. The love that we are to have for God is to be in-totality or completely, nothing held back, 100%.  Not 75%, not 50%, not 25%, but, 100%.

You shall, love the LORD your God, with all your heart.  With all your soul.  And with all your mind.

See I Thessalonians 5:23.                                                                                                                                    Now may the God of Peace, Himself, sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Back to Matthew 22.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 39.  Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the laws of Moses, who had tested Him, you shall, love the LORD your God, how?                                                                                                                              With all your heart.                                                                                                                                                 With all your soul.                                                                                                                                                 And with all your mind.

So what are some of the benefits to us, when loving God this way, and in this manner?

Psalms 91:14-16.                                                                                                                                                     Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.

Romans 8: 28.                                                                                                                                                        And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I Corinthians 2:9.                                                                                                                                                     As it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

Part 9   07-10-16

 This morning with God's help let's return back and focus on this first important directive from Jesus, on how it is we are to love God correctly.  

See again Matthew 22: 37.  Jesus said to the lawyer, or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who was testing Him, you shall love the LORD your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

At least two things Jesus teaches concerning how we are to love God correctly.  

1st.  The love that we are to have for God is to be voluntary.                                                                                     Vs. 37a.  You ‘shall’, not ‘must’, like a couple of English translations say.                                                                   But you shall voluntarily love the LORD, your God.

2nd.  The love that we are to have for God is to be in totality, or completely, nothing held back, 100%.  Not 75%, not 50%, not 25% but, 100%.  With all your heart.  With all your soul, and with all your mind.

Question.  So, who or what is getting in the way?  Who or what is causing you and I from achieving 100%, that is loving God in totality or completely nothing held back, 100%, with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind?

May I make a recommendation, an observation that is hard to admit, hard to accept, but it is at the root of the problem we have.

The problem is Idolatry!

Whether in Old Testament times, or New Testament times.  Whether in the past or the present, God's people of every generation has been, or will be tempted, or tested, by this devil-inspired sin against God.

See I Corinthians 10: 14.  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.                                                                           See I John 5: 21.   Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen.

So what exactly is Idolatry? 

You may be surprised to find out, but idolatry is not just one thing, it is a host of actions or reactions that are against God.                                                                                                                                                                     •Idolatry is whatever you and I,                                                                                                                                     •Idolatry is whatever causes you and I to leave, or be seduced away from a total commitment to God.             •Idolatry is whenever you and I become deceive by, or that enables us to put aside temporarily, or to abandon permanently our first love.

Revelation 2: 4 says, Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

•Idolatry is when God no longer has the preeminence in our lives.                                                                           •Idolatry is when you and I believe and act like we can serve two masters! 

In Matthew 6: 24, Jesus says, no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Now, for the next few minutes let's identify a few areas.

And from these areas I will mention, it may be one, or a combination of these areas that you or I struggle with, that you or I can only overcome with God's help, for they are that powerful.

•First, Self-Idolatry.                                                                                                                                                         Self-idolatry is also known in our day as narcissism, or self-centeredness.                                                             Perhaps, accompanied by Beethoven's 5th or, Number 5 Symphony, could be the soundtrack for some people’s lives.                                                                                                                                                                It could sound like this,                                                                                                                                                  Me Me Me Me!                                                                                                                                                               Me Me Me Me!                                                                                                                                                             Me Me Me Me!

Here is a YouTube link if you're not familiar with Beethoven's 5th. Symphony.                                                     https://www.youtube.com/watchv=fOk8Tm815lE&feature=share

Again, self-idolatry.                                                                                                                                                          See II Timothy 3: 2-4.                                                                                                                                                   Vs. 2.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,                                                                                                                                         Vs. 3.  Unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,                                   Vs. 4.  Traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God.

Turn to Luke 9: 57-62.                                                                                                                                                     Remember it may be one, or a combination of these areas that you or I struggle with, that you or I can only overcome with God's help.

Possessional Idolatry.                                                                                                                                                 Listen, things we have that we put before the Lord!                                                                                                 Or, things we want that we put before the Lord! 

See Luke 9: 57-62.                                                                                                                                                     Vs. 57.  Now, it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.                                                                                                                                                         Vs. 58.  And Jesus said to him, foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.                                                                                                                                             Vs. 59.  Then Jesus said to another, follow Me.  But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father.                   Vs. 60.  Jesus said to him, let the dead, bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.       Vs. 61.  And another also said, Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.                                                                                                                                                                             Vs. 62.  But Jesus said to him, no one having put his hand to the plow, and is looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Turn to Genesis 22: 1&2.                                                                                                                                                 Remember it may be one, or a combination of these areas that you or I struggle with, that you or I can only overcome with God's help.

Relationship Idolatry.                                                                                                                                                    Relationship Idolatry is that inordinate affection or love we can have for someone more than God.                     A family member.                                                                                                                                                             A romantic relationship.                                                                                                                                                 A friendship.                                                                                                                                                                   A mentor or a leader.

See Genesis 22: 1&2.                                                                                                                                                   Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”                           And Abraham said, “Here I am.” Then God said, take now your son, your only son, "Isaac," whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer Isaac there, as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.

See Matthew 10: 37-39.                                                                                                                                                 And Jesus said, the one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.                                       The one who loves son or daughter more than Me, is not worthy of Me.                                                                 And the one who does not take their cross and follow after Me, is not worthy of Me.                                           The one who finds his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life for My sake, will find it.

Turn to I John 2: 15-17.                                                                                                                                                   Remember it may be one, or a combination of these areas that you or I struggle with, that you or I can only overcome with God's help.

Cultural Idolatry.                                                                                                                                                              Certain trends, ideas, beliefs, vices, amusement, or entertainment. 

See I John 2: 15-17.                                                                                                                                                         Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

See II Timothy 4: 10.                                                                                                                                                       For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

Turn to Exodus 20: 3-6.                                                                                                                                                    Remember it may be one, or a combination of these areas that you or I struggle with, that you or I can only overcome with God's help.

Religious or Occultic Idolatry.                                                                                                                                       Being a participant in the beliefs & practices of another religion, or of some occultic practice, or beliefs.

See Exodus 20:3-6.                                                                                                                                                       Vs. 3, You shall have no other gods before Me.                                                                                                         Vs. 4, You shall-not make for yourself a carved image, of any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them, nor serve them. 

For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

See Deuteronomy 18: 9-14.                                                                                                                                          When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.     

Part 10    07-17-16    

This morning let's come back to these two important directives from Jesus. 

The First Directive, Is How It Is That We Are To Love God Correctly.                                                             

Read Matthew 22: 37.  Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who was testing Him, “You shall, love the LORD your God, with all your heart.                                                                                  With all your soul.   And with all your mind”.

And the Second Directive from Jesus, Is On How are we to Correctly Love Another Person, Saved or Unsaved?

Read Matthew 22: 39.  And the second is equally important, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

This morning, let's begin to consider the second directive from Jesus, on how it is we are to correctly love another person, saved or unsaved?

For Jesus elevates the love that we are to have for another person, saved or unsaved, to be more than emotionally accepting, or socially tolerant. 

In fact, what Jesus is teaching here, and along with the rest of the New Testament as well, is very radical. And that is in our relationships with others, whether saved or unsaved, through Agape love and being obedient to the Holy Spirit, you and I over time, and being committed to this challenge, we can be forgiving.                                                                                                                                                                 Not judgmental.                                                                                                                                                       Merciful.                                                                                                                                                               Gracious.                                                                                                                                                               Sacrificial.                                                                                                                                                                 Giving.                                                                                                                                                                   Helpful.                                                                                                                                                                   Humble.                                                                                                                                                                 Patient.                                                                                                                                                                     Kindhearted.                                                                                                                                                         Sympathetic.                                                                                                                                                         Understanding.                                                                                                                                                     Tolerant.                                                                                                                                                               Accepting.                                                                                                                                                               Winsome.                                                                                                                                                               Showing self-control.

But it all starts when you and I can embrace this second directive, this command from Jesus, you shall love your neighbor as yourself! 

Now there are three important questions that to me emerge from Matthew 22: 39, that if we could better understand would help us greatly, in putting into practice what Jesus said on how are we to correctly love another person, saved or unsaved)?

First, what is so equally important about this second command, compared to the first one?                     Notice vs. 39.  "And the second is like it:  that is the first command in verses 37 & 38.                                   Or, it is similar to it, that is the first command.                                                                                                       Or, it is equally important too, the first command. 

Remember the first command, vs. 37, Jesus said, you shall, love the LORD your God,                               With all your heart.                                                                                                                                                  With all your soul.                                                                                                                                                   And with all your mind.                                                                                                                                           In other words, in totality or completely nothing held back, 100%.  Not 75%, not 50%, not 25% but 100%.

Listen, like, or similar, or equally, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, in totality or completely nothing held back 100%.

Three important questions that if we could better understand, would help us greatly in putting into practice what Jesus said on how are we to correctly love another person, saved or unsaved?

2ndly, who is my neighbor?                                                                                                                               See vs. 39.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.                                                                                         But who is my neighbor?                                                                                                                                       Someone from my own race or ethnic group?                                                                                                 Someone from my own community or country?                                                                                                   Someone from my own church or denomination?                                                                                            Someone from my own family or friends?                                                                                                         Who is my neighbor?

See Luke 10:25-37.                                                                                                                                                Vs. 25.  And behold, a certain lawyer, expert on the laws of Moses stood up and tested Jesus, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?                                                                                                     Vs. 26.  Jesus said to him, what is written in the Law?  What is your reading of it?                                        Vs. 27.  So the lawyer answers and said, you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.                                Vs. 28.  And Jesus said to him, you have answered correctly; do this and you will live.

Vs. 29.  But lawyer wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, and who is my neighbor?                               Vs. 30.  Then Jesus answered and said: A certain Jewish man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Vs. 31.  Now, by chance a certain Jewish Priest came down that road.  And when he saw The badly injured Jewish man, he passed by on the other side. 

Remember, who is my neighbor?                                                                                                                         Someone from my own church or denomination?                                                                                          Vs. 32.  Likewise, a Jewish Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 

Remember, who is my neighbor?                                                                                                                         Someone from my own race or ethnic group?                                                                                                   Vs. 33, But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where the man was.   And when the Samaritan saw the badly injured Jewish man, he had compassion or love.                                                                        Vs. 34.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.                                                                                  Vs. 35.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denari, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay or reimburse you.                                                                                                                                                     Vs. 36.  And Jesus said to the lawyer, which of these three men do you think was a neighbor to him, who fell among the thieves?                                                                                                                                          Vs. 37.  And the lawyer had to admit, the Samaritan who showed mercy unto the man.   Then Jesus said to him, go and do likewise. 

Question.  Who is my neighbor?                                                                                                                           Someone from my own race or ethnic group?                                                                                                  No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                                anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                            anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                                we are to be a neighbor or neighborly.      

I know!  Someone from my own community or country?                                                                                  No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                              anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                          anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly.  

Someone from my own church or denomination?                                                                                              No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Someone from my own family or friends?                                                                                                             No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Back to Matthew 22: 39.

Three important questions that if we could better understand, would help us greatly in putting into practice what Jesus said on how are we to correctly love another person, saved or unsaved?

Finally.  Do we do unto others, in the same way we want to be treated?                                                        See vs. 39.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself, or in the way that you already do for yourselves.

Listen, Jesus is not giving a command for us to love ourselves, so that we know how to love others!      Nor, is Jesus promoting a narcissistic approach to life. 

At least two things Jesus is revealing that we need to know about ourselves.

First, on the negative side, our Lord is giving us an indictment that is true for 99.9% of people.                    That we care more about ourselves, than we care about others.                                                                     We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

See again, II Timothy 3: 2-4.                                                                                                                                   Vs. 2.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,                                                                                                                            Vs. 3.  Unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,                                Vs. 4.  Traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God.

Back to Matthew 22: 39.

At least two things Jesus is revealing that we need to know about ourselves.                                                 See vs. 39.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself, or in the way that you already do for yourselves. 

2ndly, on the positive side, I believe what Jesus is also saying, is use that natural self-love you have for yourself, to see others as yourself!                                                                                                                        When I see another person, I should see myself.

See Ephesians 5: 28-31.

Vs. 28.  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. And why is that?                                                                                                                                      Vs. 29.  Because no one ever hated his own flesh or self, but instead we nourish and cherish ourselves, just as the Lord does the church.                                                                                                                        Vs. 30.  For we are members of Christ body, of His flesh and of His bones.                                                  Vs. 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.

Back to Matthew 22: 39.                                                                                                                                       Read vs. 39. You shall love your neighbor as yourself, or in the way that you already do for yourselves. 

(Quote) Matthew 7: 12.  Therefore, however you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Close with Romans 13: 8-10.                                                                                                                                 Vs. 8.  Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another, has fulfilled or kept the Law. 

Vs. 9.  For the last five of the ten Commandments, such as,                                                                               You shall not commit adultery,                                                                                                                             You shall not murder,                                                                                                                                           You shall not steal,                                                                                                                                                 You shall not bear false witness,                                                                                                                         You shall not covet,                                                                                                                                                 and if there is any other commandment in the Old Testament, or New Testament, they are all summed up in this saying, namely,   You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Why?

Vs. 10.  Love does no harm, no ill, no hurt to a neighbor; who is my neighbor?

Someone from my own race or ethnic group?                                                                                                  No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Someone from my own community or country?                                                                                              No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Someone from my own church or denomination?                                                                                              No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Someone from my own family or friends?                                                                                                             No, anyone you could help,                                                                                                                            anyone who's in need,                                                                                                                                        anyone whom God brings across your path that you can minister unto or encourage,                              we are to be a neighbor or neighborly. 

Vs. 10.  Therefore, or because of that, Agape love is the fulfillment, or the doing of the law.

Part 11    07-24-16   

Read Matthew 22: 37-39.

Vs. 37.   Jesus said to the lawyer or an expert on the Laws of Moses, who had tested Him, you shall, love the LORD your God.  How?                                                                                                                                 With all your heart.  With all your soul.  And with all your mind.                                                                       Vs. 38.   This is The first and great commandment.                                                                                          Vs. 39.   And the second is equally important, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Listen, we need Divine help to obey and fulfill this commandment, that is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Romans 5: 5,  Tells us where the Divine help to obey and fulfill this commandment will come from.

Romans 5: 5 says,  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. 

Also, Galatians 5: 22&23 tells us where the Divine help to obey and fulfill this commandment will come from.                              

Vs. 22.  But, the fruit of the Spirit, is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness,                                             Vs. 23.   Goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

There is one more important section in the Bible that can greatly help us and to assist us in this matter of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Listen, the love that we are to have for another person, Saved or Unsaved is to be more than just emotional acceptance, or being socially tolerant.

I believe God's love in us as Believers towards another person, Saved or Unsaved with God's help, and if we cooperate, can modify our behavior and attitudes, our thinking and understanding, our emotions and will.

Read I Corinthians 13: 1-8.                                                                                                                                     Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 

Love, suffers long and is kind; love, does not envy;                                                                                            love does not parade itself, and is not puffed up;                                                                                              does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;                                does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;                                                                                           bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.                                                         Love never fails.                                                                                                                                                      But whether there are prophecies, they will fail;                                                                                               whether there are tongues, they will cease;                                                                                                       whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 

But what is love?                                                                                                                                                     As you saw, throughout vs. 1-8 depending on your translation of the Bible, you kept seeing the word charity or love.                 

Remember we gave this definition, Agápē Love, is a sacrificial and unconditional Love.                              It is the kind of love that will put the needs of others above its own, in a healthy way.                                    For it is the kind of love that is fully committed, and it is never motivated by its own emotions or feelings.  Nor, is it motivated by the behavior or attitude of the one to whom love is being expressed.

Agápē love, is never passive, nor indifferent.  For Agape is an action word, a verb, not an adjective, nor a noun. 

Finally, this Agápē love from God that is given to us who are truly saved, is able to produce in us qualities and characteristics, like the fruit of the Spirit for example, and other things as well, that can be seen, that can be life-changing, that can bring glory to God.

Now, here in I Corinthians 13: 1-8, let's divide vs. 1-8 into two important sections, for us to learn from.       The first section will be vs. 1-3.  What motivates you?  Is it really love or something else?                             The second section will be vs. 4-8.                                                                                                                     The things love will lead us to do, when we are submitted to it.                                                                        And the things love will not lead us to do, when we are committed to it.

Let's consider the first section vs. 1-3.  Question, so what motivates you?  Is it really God's love, because I may be motivated for the wrong reasons?

For example: I may be motivated so that I can influence or be persuasive, drawing attention to myself.       Notice vs. 1.  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.                                                                                                                  I may be motivated so that I can influence or be persuasive, drawing attention to myself.

III John 1: 9-11 says,                                                                                                                                                 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, will not receive us.                                                                                                                                                                             Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, pratting or making accusations against us with malicious words, or trying to influence or be persuasive.

Remember, I Corinthians 13: 1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

Vs. 10 continues to say, and not content with just that, but Diotrephes himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who would like to, by putting them out of the church.                                       Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.                                                                                     The one who does good is of God, but the one who does evil, has not seen God.

Next, you may be motivated for the wrong reasons, so that you can impress, or have people to think very highly of you.                                                                                                                                                           Notice vs. 2.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

In Matthew 6, there is a very important principle that Jesus taught, so that we don't try to impress, nor want people to think very highly of us.

See Matthew 6: 1&2.                                                                                                                                               Vs. 1.  Take heed, listen carefully, that you do not do your charitable deeds, or anything that God has called you to do, gifted you to do, or told you to do.

Take heed, listen carefully, that you do not do, or let me say it another way, your ministry, before or in the midst of people, to be seen by people.  If so, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 

Remember I Corinthians 13: 2.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

Now, Jesus says in vs. 2, Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you, or as you approach, don't try to impress!                                                                                                           Vs. 2.  For this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may have glory from men, or having people to think very highly of them.                                                                       Vs. 2.  And Jesus said, Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  Maybe the motive is for the wrong reason, so that they can impress, or have people to think very highly of them.

Finally, I may be motivated for the wrong reasons, by guilt or trying to please people.                                 Notice Vs. 3.  And though I bestow or sell all my goods or belonging, to feed the poor.                                 And though I give my body to be burned, the ultimate sacrifice, martyrdom, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 

Listen, we can be motivated for the wrong reasons, by guilt or trying to please people!                               Motivated by guilt! 

Last Sunday, with God's help we share some insight about what Jesus taught about the Good Samaritan. 

Please be very wise, and please be very safe.                                                                                                     Here is another important principle that the Holy Spirit reveals when it comes to pleasing people.

Now, Galatians 1: 10.                                                                                                                                             For, do I now persuade men, or God?  Or, do I seek to please men?  For if I still please men, I would not be a bond servant of Christ.                                                                                                                                A paraphrase of Galatians 1: 10 says, for am I now seeking the favor or approval of men, or of God?         Or, am I striving to please men? 

Two good questions!                                                                                                                                              If that's true, if I were trying to please men, I would not be a fit bond servant of Christ.

Part 12    08-07-16   

This morning, as we return back to our special series, I would like to ask a question, a little bit of audience participation.

When I say the words, "Tough Love" what comes to your mind?

I came across this definition you might agree with.                                                                                         "Tough Love," is reactionary and self-protective.                                                                                                  "Tough Love," is a strong uncompromising response, because of some negative or inappropriate conduct, behavior, or attitude by someone you care about, and have a relationship with.

Now, remember last time concerning I Corinthians 13: 1-8, that for study purposes we could divided these eight verses into two important sections for us to learn from.                                                                         Now, we have already considered the first section vs. 1-3.

This morning, let us begin to consider this second and final section vs. 4-8.                                                  For here, in I Corinthians 13: 4-8, I believe we have God's version of "Tough Love!"

For if you notice in your Bible vs. 4-8, these are some of the things that God's Love, Agape Love in us, can lead us to do.

Also, in verses 4-8, these are some of the things that God's Love, Agape Love in us, will not lead us to do.

For I believe that God's Love in us as committed followers of Christ, towards another person Saved or Unsaved, can with God's help, and if we cooperate, will modify our behavior and attitudes,                         our thinking and understanding,                                                                                                                           our emotions and will.

Now, let me read a paraphrase of I Corinthians 13: 4-8, for personally I like the way this paraphrase expresses the modification that God's Love can bring to our behavior and attitudes, our thinking and understanding, our emotions and will.

Now, listen to this paraphrase, vs. 4 says, God's divine love in us as believers towards another can suffer long, and can be kindhearted.                                                                                                                               Vs. 4.  For this kind of love, is never to be envious or jealous.                                                                          Vs. 4.  For this kind of love, will not parade itself, nor be puffed up with pride.                                               Vs. 5.  This kind of love, will not behave rudely, nor is it self-seeking, or selfish.                                              Vs. 5.  It is not easily provoked to anger, nor will it allow itself to think evil, or wrongly, or badly.                   Vs. 6.  For it could never rejoice about iniquity, but it only can rejoice in the truth.                                         For this kind of love, can bear all things, it believes through all things, it gives hope in all things, it will endure all things.                                                                                                                                                     Vs 7.  For this kind of love, can bear all things, it believes through all things, it gives hope in all things, it will endure all things.                                                                                                                                         Vs. 8a.  And therefore, this kind of love, never fails, nor will it let you down, nor become obsolete. 

Again, here in I Corinthians 13: 4-8, we have God's version of "Tough Love!"                                                   In other words, God is getting us ready, imparting to us that which would toughen you and I, spiritually, emotionally and relationally.

To be able to endure the challenges of relationships when they breakdown, or, become dysfunctional, or, become lifeless, or dead, or, unfortunately there is a break-up of that relationship.

Listen, everybody in here is dealing with some kind of relationships.                                                             A spouse.                                                                                                                                                              A child or grandchild.                                                                                                                                             A sibling.                                                                                                                                                                A parent.                                                                                                                                                                A family member.                                                                                                                                                    An ex.                                                                                                                                                                      A friend.                                                                                                                                                                  A romantic relationship.                                                                                                                                          A coworker or boss, an employee.                                                                                                                        A neighbor.                                                                                                                                                              A roommate.                                                                                                                                                          A teammate.                                                                                                                                                          A classmate.                                                                                                                                                           A church member.                                                                                                                                                    Everybody in here is dealing with one or a combination of relationships. 

And God would like to get you ready, to be better prepare than you probably are right now, by imparting to you that which would toughen you to be able to endure the challenges of relationships. 

For example; have you ever see a person put themselves through a lot of pressure & pain in order to be toughen up?                                                                                                                                                           •The Rocky Movie Series.                                                                                                                                       A person will put themselves through a lot of pressure & pain in order to be toughen up to be able to compete, or win. 

•Summer training camp in high school, college, and professional football.                                                     A person will put themselves through a lot of pressure & pain in order to be toughen up to be able to compete, or win. 

With God's help, I would like us to begin to consider the things that God's Love, Agape love in us, can lead us to do.

For God is getting us ready, imparting to us that which would toughen you and I to be able to endure the challenges of relationships. 

Let's consider the first one on this list, that appears here I Corinthians 13: 4a.                                               Depending on your version of the Bible you are using, or the device you're using.                                      Vs. 4 says, Love suffers long and is kind.

•The word "Charity" or "Love" use here, and throughout verses 4-8, is not talking about human love, or a natural love that we are able to do on our own.  But, remember this is a God-given, supernatural love, that was imparted to us who are in Christ by the Holy Spirit because of a personal relationship with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

•Next, this word "suffers long," is very important understand.                                                                             "Suffers long," is actually one word in the original language of the Bible, which meant, "being long in patience when dealing with another person or with people."                                                                          This Greek word μακροθυμω makrothyméō, has an interesting word picture associated with it, for it meant, "to take a long time to boil over."

Turn to Galatians 5:                                                                                                                                               For example, the qualities and virtues the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives is seen in here Galatians 5: 22-23.                                                                                                                                                 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.                                                                                                                                                            And because of such, there is no law needed.

See II Peter 3: 9. The Lord is not slack or tardy concerning His promise, as some count slackness or tardiness, but the Lord is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Now, notice closely I Corinthians 13: 4a,                                                                                                              “Love suffers long and is kind”, Corinthian's words and connecting the two thoughts together as one.    

Listen, someone maybe patient, but they may not be so kind about it.                                                           For the word ‘kind’ in vs. 4, does not mean being a nice guy or gal.  It does not mean being a pushover.  It does not mean being a naïve person. It does not mean letting people take advantage of you.

The word ‘kind’ that is use here implies the opposite of ‘kind’ or showing ‘kindness,’ that is being hurtful, being mean, having a nasty attitude, being insulting, or sarcastic, quick to retaliate, being cruel or a bully.

Listen, someone maybe patient, but they may not be so kind about it.                                                           Listen, the one who allows God's Love to change them, or to be the modifying factor in them, they will frequently be more patient, or able to suffer long, or be long-suffering with another person.                    And, the one who allows God's Love to change them, to be the modifying factor in them, they will be kind about it, not being hurtful, being mean, having a nasty attitude, being insulting, or sarcastic, quick to retaliate, being cruel or a bully.

But it may sound like God wants you to be a doormat and let people walk all over you, taking advantage of me!

Trust me that's not going to happen, for the majority of us in here, this is not a problem,  we are quickly and without mercy, able to set a person straight. 

Question.  For what is the ultimate purpose for being like this?                                                                      To be able to reach another person, for Christ, or for the Glory of God.

A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 9: 22 says,                                                                                                          When I am with those who are weak or being challenge, I share with them for I want to bring them to Christ.  Yes, I will find common ground with anyone, doing everything I can to reach them for Christ.

Finally, let’s look at an example from the Bible, of two individuals who chose not to be patient with each other and kind.                                                                                                                                                     See Acts 15: 36-40.

Vs. 36.  Then, after some time Paul said to Barnabas, let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.                                        Vs. 37.  Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John, who is also Mark.                                      Vs. 38.  But Paul insisted that they should not take with them this one John Mark who had deserted them in the area called Pamphylia, for he had not gone with them and completed the work.                                Vs. 39.  After a while, the contention became so sharp between Paul and Barnabas, that they parted from each other.                                                                                                                                                    So Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus.                                                                                                   Vs. 40.  And Paul chose a man named Silas, and departed, being commended by the brethren to the Grace of God.

Part 13    09-04-16

Turn to I Corinthians 13: 4-8.

This morning, as we return back to our Special Series, called, Faith, Hope, & Love.  The 3 Essential Pillars, That Will Hold Us Up And That Will Help Us To Overcome.  When Faced With Problems, Or Circumstances, Or Situations. 

Read I Corinthians 13: 13.                                                                                                                                        And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

No, we are still focusing on the third and the final Essential Pillar, that will hold us up and help us to overcome, and that is love, God's love.

Also, remember that here in I Corinthians 13: 4-8, we have God's version of "Tough Love!"

Here in I Corinthians 13: 4-8, are some of the things that God's love, Agape love in us, can lead us to do. 1. See vs. 4a, God's love, Agape love in us, suffers long and is kind.                                                              2. See vs. 6b, God's Love, Agape love in us, rejoices in the truth.                                                                    3. See vs. 7, God's love, Agape love in us, bears all things.                                                                              4. See vs. 7, God's love, Agape love in us, believes all things.                                                                            5. See vs. 7, God's love, Agape love in us, hopes all things.                                                                            6. See vs. 7, God's love, Agape love in us, endures all things.                                                                           7. See vs. 8a, God's love, Agape love in us, never fails. 

For God wants to toughen us up to be able to endure and glorifying Him, in the relationship challenges, we are faced with, or that we are dealing with.

Also in vs. 4-6, are some of the things that God's love, Agape love in us, will not lead us to do.                  1. Vs. 4. God's love, Agape love in us, does not envy.                                                                                         2. Vs. 4. God's love, Agape love in us, does not parade itself.                                                                         3. Vs. 4. God's love, Agape love in us, is not puffed up.                                                                                     4. Vs. 5. God's love, Agape love in us, does not behave rudely.                                                                         5. Vs. 5. God's love, Agape love in us, does not seek its own.                                                                         6. Vs. 5. God's love, Agape love in us, is not easily provoked.                                                                           7. Vs. 5. God's love, Agape love in us, thinks no evil.                                                                                           8. Vs. 6a. God's love, Agape love in us, does not rejoice in iniquity. 

 But unfortunately, there are a few mistakes we can make, when considering vs. 4-8.                                    For example,                                                                                                                                                            The first mistake we can make, when considering vs. 4-8, is that vs. 4-8 is a form of poetry reserved for only weddings, or couples renewing their vows.

Another mistake we can make, when considering vs. 4-8, is that vs. 4-8, is like a bucket list for the future that you & I can select from, or pick & choose from, that what we will do, or that what we will not do before we die.

Finally, another mistake we can make when considering vs. 4-8, we can easily allow ourselves to become either skeptical or cynical, that these 5 verses, vs. 4-8, are even possible and practical for today.

Yet, I believe God is getting us ready, by imparting to us that which would toughen you and I to be able to endure and glorifying Him, in the relationship challenges, we are faced with, or that we are dealing with.

Listen, God's love in you and me as committed followers of Jesus Christ, will enable us when dealing with another person, saved or unsaved, and if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, then God's love in us can modify our behavior and attitudes, our thinking and understanding, our emotions and will.

In other words, God wants you and I to be ready and better prepared, by giving to us this kind of love that will toughen us spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

That can enable us to endure the challenges of relationships, when, not if, but when they breakdown,       Or, become dysfunctional,                                                                                                                                 Or, become lifeless, or dead,                                                                                                                                Or, unfortunately there is a complete break-up of that relationship.

Think about it, everybody in here is dealing with, or is involved with some kind of relationship.                 A spouse.                                                                                                                                                              A child or grandchild.                                                                                                                                           A sibling.                                                                                                                                                                A parent.                                                                                                                                                                  A relative.                                                                                                                                                                An ex.                                                                                                                                                                      A friend.                                                                                                                                                                  A romantic relationship.                                                                                                                                       A co-worker or boss, an employee.    A neighbor.    A roommate.    A teammate.   A classmate.   A church member, or a church staff member, or an officer in the church.

Everybody in here is dealing with one or a combination of relationships. 

And God wants you and I to be ready and better prepared, by giving to us this kind of love, that would toughen us spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. And that can enable us to endure the challenges of relationships, when, not if, but when they breakdown, or, become dysfunctional, or, become lifeless, or dead, or, unfortunately there is a complete break-up of that relationship.

Now, this morning to help us, let's consider another area that God's love, Agape love in us can lead us to do.

•Last month, on the first Sunday in August we saw the first one that God's love, Agape love in us can lead us to do, remember vs. 4a, God's love, Agape love in us can suffer long, or help us to be very patient when dealing with people and to be kind about it.

•This morning let's notice the next one for this is another area that God's love, Agape love in us, can lead us to do.

Now notice Vs. 6.  There are two parts for us to consider.

The first part, that, God's love, Agape love in us can lead us to do.   See vs. 6b, God's love in us rejoices in the truth.

The second part that God's love, Agape love in us, will lead us not to do.   See vs. 6b, does not, will not, rejoice in iniquity.

Let's consider the first part, see vs. 6b, that God's love in us rejoices in the truth.                                          Now, remember God is making us ready, and better prepared, that would toughen us spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

And that can enable us to endure the challenges of relationships, when, not if, but when they breakdown,                                                                                                                                                             Or, become dysfunctional,                                                                                                                                 Or, become lifeless, or dead,                                                                                                                                 Or, unfortunately there is a complete break-up of that relationship. 

Now notice vs. 6b, that God's love in us will cause us to rejoice in the truth.                                                But what does that mean?                                                                                                                              What does it look like?

Well, if you allow me for the next few minutes to flush this out, so we can see both the biblical side and the practical side of this matter, then we can be better prepared, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

N