Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Lord is my Shepherd.

Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
(Yes, we can really come to the place in our experience that we can say that.)

I have always loved the picture of Jesus as my Shepherd.
He is holding a small lamb (and I was one of those once—yes it was a long time ago).
Beside Him is a sheep, looking up and following Him. (Now I am one of those.)

As Shepherd, He leads us out; which is to say, He wakes us up with us in the morning and leads us to work, school, or whatever chore or duty we have.
John 10:3 “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

As Shepherd, He guides us. It is into circumstances where we may grow and get stronger in faith. And it is into rest, whether it is a quiet time, or peace amid our busy day. He is there, giving it to us.
Psalm 23:2-3 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

And when there are dangers (and there are many in this life, from others, from temptations); He will guide us away from them, or protect us through them. He does correct us when we are following a wrong way, but always in love, to bring us back to Him.
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steel, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

And when illness and the “shadow of death” come, (for it is a shadow for every born again one. In Death we close our eyes here, and open them in heaven with Him, forever). Then He is there (yes, I know His presence, by experience in illness, and operation).
Psalm 23:4 “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

He is ALWAYS there.

Yes, as His born again ones, we are blessed, and can say:
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

With Him before me, and goodness and mercy behind me; I am covered with His care.



Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Joy of the Lord
Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them, Go thy way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In other words, as they experienced this joy, and yielded to this joy; they would be strengthened in His Might.
This is to “be strong in the Lord and the power of His Might.” (Ephesians 6:10)

The need was great for Israel. They were back in the land, but enemies had and would keep trying to destroy their unity, and commitment to God’s Worship.

But here they had just had a service where the Law and books of Prophesy were read, and interpreted to the people.
They were excited to learn, but also, but saddened by the memory of their sin, which had sent them out of the land.

There is a time to repent; and a time to rejoice in the goodness of God.
Now was their time to rejoice in the goodness of God.

We are called, as Christians, to have Christ’s Kingdom come with in our hearts and lives, now.
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

The inward Kingdom of Heaven is set up in the hearts of all who repent and believe the Gospel.
And that Kingdom is none other than:
Romans14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Now joy is a choice instrument that God uses to work in a believing soul.

Joy and Peace are the true criteria to judge ourselves, spiritually.
When we are right with God, we have peace with God, and ourselves.
Joy follows.
Joy is a considerable help, not only to inward holiness, but also to outward holiness.
It strengthens our hands, to go on working in faith, and to labor in love.
It helps us to fight the good fight of faith; to lay hold on eternal life.

Joy is particularly designed by God to be a balance against the sufferings; inward and out; of our walk of faith.
It is meant to lift up the hands which hang down, and confirm the feeble knees (Hebrews 12:12).
There is a strengthening power in the joy of the Lord.

Therefore, whatever dampens our joy in the Lord, hinders our holiness.
The Devil would “throw water” on our joy, so that he would spoil our enjoyment of the things God gives…and if he could, the use of them too. When we get discouraged, or depressed, we begin to let down our shield of faith. The firey darts of the wicked one get through, when the shield is down.

When we get like that, we need to be exhorted to do, as Israel was told:
Nehemiah 8:10 “And he said unto them, Go thy way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Joy and Happiness are not the same.
Each springs from a totally different source.

Happiness comes from the world around me. It is measured by what is happening to me. It is bound up in either the behavior of other people, to me; or the circumstances in which I will be, or am.

Joy comes directly from the Spirit of the Living God.
This joy springs from the Presence of God in my life. It is not dependent on people, places, or the situations in which I find myself; but rather from the Presence of God with me in any circumstances. (And don’t we find it so, that knowing that the Lord is with us, is a great blessing…always.)

Joy is one of the Attributes of God, which He shares with us. Joy runs like a sparkling river of great goodwill, through His make-up. He is the God of all Joy. He is alive. He is here.
That joy was the dynamic of the early Church.
And that can be the experience of all who truly allow God’s peace to rule in your hearts. When it does, joy follows.
Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Enthusiasm and deep delight in the Lord, are the characteristics of such a person.
There is direction in their duties, no matter how mundane or menial.
There is purpose in every area of their lives.
The Holy Spirit assures me that I am right with God, and because of that, an assurance that all is well even between me and myself, comes into my spirit.

This is to know the joy of the Lord, and it becomes a force in my life to dispel darkness and despair; to energize my life in my walk with God.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. We need it, and He has it for us.



Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

What hinders our growing in Grace?

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”

To hinder is to throw up a roadblock, to stop the flowing of water, to put something in the way of progress.

So, again I ask: What hinders our growing in grace?

What has our Adversary, the devil, used to get us off the Way, or what has he thrown into the flowing stream of the Holy Spirit, to quench Him?

The grace of God flows easily to us, as long as there is nothing that hinders.
(Remember, grace is the unmerited favor of power for our lives, in this situation)

Perhaps the ideas of the world, or worries, or anger, have gotten in to your thoughts.
(Plainly, it is hard to remove them once they are there.)
But confession (1 John 1:9), and getting back to where you were with the Lord, is the first step to receiving more grace.

If you need direction for what is next, if you need strength to get through the day, if you need peace; God’s grace is there to “help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)….but we can not hinder it, or we will not receive it in the fullness He wants us to have it.

Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whither of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

To whom ye yield yourselves?
As we yield to the Holy Spirit through our new nature as born again ones, we begin to feel that “flowing water” removing all that hinders.

John 7:37-38 “In the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirst, let come unto Me, and drink.
He that believeth on Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly (innermost character) shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

And we begin to know the strengthening influence of walking in the Light.
For this is what we are given: light to see honestly, light to see which way to go, light to see how to do.

Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

In the Old Testament, the Commandment was, “Go and do.”

In the New Testament (after Christ has paid the penalty for our sins, and given us His Life), the Commandment is, “Come unto Me.”

Come to be born again, and receive the Holy Spirit.
Come to be given grace.
Come to be shown My Way for you.

It is always, Come to Me.
And perhaps this is the real hinderance to our growing in grace: we have stopped coming to Him for everything.

Wherever you are in your life; you can “Come” to Christ, now.
Ask for the help you need, now; And He will answer you.


Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

God’s Judgement of the First Church

Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

This verse was written toward the end of the Apostolic Age of the church.

The apostles had gone forth into the whole world, preaching the good news of Christ.
Their hearts were so full of love to Him, many suffered persecution and death, to show forth Christ, to a dying world.

But time had past. Some believe the Apostolic Age to have lasted only 100 years, before it was plunged into the persecution of the the ten Caesar’s, where thousands of Christians were beaten and fed to lions, to please the bloodthirsty crowds of Rome.

But before the persecution, there was the error of putting work for Christ, ahead of love to Christ.

The Apostle Paul had warned this Church about such men that would come in and lead them away from what was really important: love to Christ.

Acts 20:28-30 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men rise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

Notice, it is “take heed” unto yourselves.
If you love Christ; what wouldn’t you do for Him?

But if you are doing a work for Christ without great love to Him, what good does it do?
The value of any work, is that it is done out of love to Him: to please and honor Him.
1 Corinthians 13:3 “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing.”

The Problem: Like all of us, that church had become focused on one part of our lives. (It is so easy to do)

Revelation 2:2-3 “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear with them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My Name sake hast labored, and hast not fainted.”

They had become so busy in their responsibilities to others (so they thought), that they had set Christ aside.
He was no longer the reason they did what they did.

They had fallen short in the loving fellowship and devotion to Christ, Himself, for themselves.
And there is no bigger step out of the Way God would have us to go, than this.

Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

Jesus warns them to repent: To turn around and remember their first love; the warmness and sweetness of clinging to Christ, for themselves in everything.

If we do this, we won’t forget others; but they will be in their proper place.
Behind Christ. Christ first, everything else next.

How sweet our lives are as we are walking hand in hand, arm in arm with the “Someone” we love.
Christ calls them to repent: of placing their personal relationship with Him after others, and do “the first works”.

The very first “work” we do, is to look to Jesus, and Believe and Trust Him; opening our hearts to Him, and our lives to Him.

All our lives should be an expression of love for Him. Whatever we are, think or do; it should be out of love to Christ.

Then He promises them to eat of the Tree of Life.
Revelation 2:7 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Life is personal; you can not eat for someone else. You can have it only for yourself.
This is what Jesus is saying: Come and have as much of Me as you want. But it is personal; and I will not take second place, in your life.

When God takes our lives and puts them into His balance:
He puts in one side our love to Him,
And in the other what we do for Him.
The balance only comes out even, if the love we have to Christ is the reason we do what we do.


John, the Beloved Apostle, wrote to warn the church about anything which should take Christ’s place in our hearts. It is short, and inclusive:

1 John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”






Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

God Would Reason with His Creatures

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

“Come now”; don’t wait, but come to Me, and talk to Me, now.

Surely, as I have created you, you are able to respond?
This is something you are required to do.

And the first thing we need to “reason” out with our God is the reason for Him creating me… me.

Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Believe it or not; God wants you to be you. Not in your rebellion, which usually begins with “Why have You made me this way?”.
But in your personality. (We are not speaking of character, which is based on habits, and likes and dislikes.)
Your personality, we believe is your soul.
That inner part of you which is the real you. It always has a place within it, which God should fill.

And when God does not fill this place, we work very, very hard to fill it with other things.

God’s Pleasure or Determination, as the original says; was that we should be here; for His honor and glory, and our blessing.

When we turn away from His honor and glory; we miss the blessing He has for us.
But we all have light as to His Presence within us.

John 1:9 “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

What we do with the light is what our lives are made of: run away from it, into all the other paths of temptations.
Or come, now and reason with Him about what we are to do about it.

Light does show the truth: about ourselves, and about all those things we are looking toward.

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

But when we get honest, and face the Light—the truth about what we are and who we are—grace will be applied.

Grace is the unmerited favor of Power from God.

In other words, when we face the truth He shows us, He then gives us the power to change our lives into a life of blessing.

He came to save His people from their sin—not in their sin.

Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

And He does, as you confess your sin, and with your will, turn from your sin, to Him; His power is applied to you, then. Use it.

If we were drowning; and a life vest was thrown to us? Would we reach out to at least get a hold on it?
Then as we held it, to try and put it on?
The strength it gives us to stay afloat, is saving.
Would you refuse it?

God’s Light, and grace is held out to you, even today.

Come, and Reason with God; and get the blessing He has for you, in your life.


Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Lift up the Hands that Hang Down:
Hebrews 12: 12-13 “Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

God never intends that we go through life miserable.

It is true that we are in a battle with sin, self, and the Adversary, but it should always be a path of Light.

In this part of Hebrews, the writer has just told of heroes of faith (Hebrews 11); and concluded that we are “compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses” in our walk of faith.(Hebrews 12:1)
All those who have gone before, which are in Heaven; and those who are in the world now, are watching, to encourage us, to continue to be faithful to Christ Jesus our Lord.

He goes on to say that in every race, it is to those who lay aside every weight, who will win.
Weights are those things which we carry, which are unnecessary to our walk with the Lord. In fact, they hinder it.
These can be habits we have picked up, which need to be put aside; or acquaintance which we have let get an advantage over us; or ideas from the world which sound right, but are not.
These weights interfere with our race; and hinder our progress in grace.
So, the writer says, you need to “lay aside” these; and run with patience the race that is set before us.
A good way to do this is:
Hebrews 12: 2-3 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradictions of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Jesus Christ our Lord came from His glory, into humiliation for us; that we might have His joy. We are His joy, and satisfaction. (Isaiah 53:11 “He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”)
When we think on this, can we not see how our path through this world is not as awful as we think?
That the things we go through can bring us closer to the Lord?
It is not just His suffering in death, but the “contradiction of sinners”. That was in the unbelief of the people he came to; the anger of the chief priests and Pharisees, who refused to acknowledge Jesus’ authority; and in the face of so many proofs (because He fulfilled every Old Testament prophesy concerning the Christ) rejected Him and sought to make others refuse Him as well.
Yet Christ Jesus went to the cross to die and save all who would come unto Him.

The writer also says to be prepared to be corrected, if you go astray; because your Heavenly Father loves you, and seeks to keep you safe.
The further you are from Jesus; the further out of His Light and Love you go.

Therefore He corrects us.
Hebrews 12: 6-7 “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not.”

He acknowledges that this chastening is not a joyful thing. (Chastening is to correct; to get after the wrong in us, and not let up)

Hebrews 12:11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yeildeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

This “exercised thereby” is like someone who really goes after the goal.
(A group of people all competing for a a role in the games, and the trainer seems to be working them hard. But those who take the bruises, or sore feet, or failures at first; and stay with it….are those that are “exercised thereby”. They go on to the goal.)

So in Spiritual Life:
Our Trainer is the Holy Spirit. He is come to us to bring us on on our Way, in grace.
But we are often slow learners; or frightened; or we plainly do not want to do it this way.
But the Holy Spirit does not give up on us; but rather seeks to point us to Christ; and keeps working in us.
It is sometimes not joyous; but don’t give up, but go on with Him.
Hebrew 12: 12-13 “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”

Lift up the hands which hang down in fear or tiredness.
Strengthen the knees which want to just sit down, and forget it.
Make your paths straight, by:
Trusting in the Lord.
Listening to Him.
And holding on to His love.

He is Always with us, let us stay with Him.
Ask for these to be shown to you, now; and be prepared to be strengthened by His Holy Spirit, in peace and joy.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

To Experience the Call of Christ

Matthew 4: 18-20 “And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”

When Christ Jesus calls someone to follow Him into a work, He says “Follow Me”.
Then He adds the job that He calls you to.

It is of first importance, that we know we are following Him, for He will ever be with us in the work, as He was with His disciples of old.

He empowers us by His Holy Spirit for the work we are given to do; as we follow Him.

His call, first, takes us away from something. They were fishers, and they left their nets and followed Him.
We are not necessarily, to leave the jobs we have; but we are all to leave the lives we have, in ourselves; and follow Him, into the lives He has for us.

This is said many ways in Scripture:
Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Paul said about the same experience:
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

So when these fishermen were called of Jesus; they answered, leaving all their lives: what they had, and did; to be disciples of Jesus.
The call of Christ is away from OUR way of doing things; to obedience and subjection to our Lord.

But it is not just away from our old lives. It is a call to lead you on to something else: your life in Christ, as His servant, and friend.
(Christ Jesus NEVER asks you to “give up” something; without giving you something to replace it.)

John 15:14-17 “Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call ye not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

You can see that a life of faith, is a life of obeying His commandments, in love to our Friend, and Lord, Jesus Christ.

This call from Christ to us, begins a way of discipleship and fellowship.

Matthew 13:17 “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you have seen, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, or ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of the heart.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given us of God.”

The Lord loves for us to be in constant contact with Him. To be listening to His Holy Spirit within, and talking to Him through our day.

We are to learn how to hear aright. We are to learn how to walk in the Spirit; and we are to learn how to love one another, as He loved us.

It is all by fellowship with Christ Jesus, AND maintaining that fellowship; by confession of sins, and being cleansed from the power of them. (1 John 1:9)

They go together: forgiveness, and cleansing.
(What good would forgiving a small child for getting his new clothes into the mud, if you did not cleanse him from it? So, Christ does not just forgive us from sin, but cleanses us from it. And from this cleansing, we learn to love purity, and the right way.)

And then our call leads us to being filled with the Holy Spirit:
We are filled with the Spirit to the degree we are emptied of ourselves.

Ephesians 5:17-20 “Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord:
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

This life is a joyful one, not without trials, or afflictions: but with Power and Strength which comes from the Lord Jesus being present with us in all our days and nights by the Holy Spirit within.

The call of Christ is a call away from the world, and onward to fellowship and joy by the Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is a life of discipleship, and learning. We learn Christ, and that learning will/can go on for all Eternity; for His Life is Endless.

Have you heard His call? Saying, Arise, and follow Me? It may not come in those words, but He will speak to you, your name, for He knows it; He knows you.

John 10:2-3 “But he that entereth by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep heareth his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”

The call of Christ is never away from Him, but a drawing closer and closer to Him.
For that is the life He has for us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Light that lighteth every man.

John 1:9 “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man which cometh into the world.”

Inside every man there is the place of the knowledge of God. It is the spirit of man, a gift given by God to man, when he was first created.

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
God is: God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit: a Trinity.

Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

God formed man of the dust of the ground: his body.
And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: giving him his spirit by the Holy Spirit (the breath of life).
And man became a living soul: a living personality was the result; mind, heart, and will.
Man, created in the image of God, is Spirit, Soul, and Body: a Triunity.

Then, at the first, man’s spirit was Lighted by the Holy Spirit, for fellowship with God.

When Man fell by sin, the Holy Spirit left his spirit, and man’s spirit became darkened, but not destroyed.
The impress of the Light of Life was still there, so there was a knowledge of God; but a hinderance also was there: sin.

Romans 1:21 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; and became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Sin hardens the heart and mind against the Light, because it wants to stay in the darkness, and hide.

John 3:20 “For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Ephesians 4:18 “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated by the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”

Since the fall of man, we have, because of sin; missed the mark (or purpose) for which we were created.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

We have all sinned; we are all sinners; we have all come short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We as sinners, have earned the wages of death; the death which is the separation from God.
The question is will we continue in this death, through all eternity? Or will be receive the gift of God, by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ?

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. This eternal life is a condition of life, now; not just for eternity.
Certainly, those who receive Christ Jesus as Lord, and Savior, will go to Heaven which is the abode of God, but the eternal life He offers is for us now.
He gives us light and life now, for the darkness and death we have lived in.(Ephesians 2:1-3)

At the time of regeneration; when we are born again (John 3:7); the Holy Spirit comes back into our spirits and gives us faith, and Light, and Life.

The Holy Spirit, within our spirits, then begins to bring our spirits into subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Word to us; for our lives. He does this by showing us God’s Will, and influencing our hearts and minds to will after God’s Will. This brings us from being babes in Christ, to grown up children of God.

But we must yield to the Lord’s Will, to have this “growing up” process to continue. This increases our Light.
Our wills are the determining factor:
Philippians 2:13 “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
He works within us, that we might know His Will and Do His Will. That His Light will grow within us, and that we might be blessed of God.

The Lord wants to bless us.
How much do we want to be blessed?





Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Battle of the Ages: Christ must Reign

There are two principles at work in all the Universe.
God’s Principle of Obedience.
And the Principle of our Adversary, the Devil; which is that of Rebellion.

The battle of the ages, for me is: Who will rule in my life?

As Christians we can be obedient to God’s Will by the determining of my will to do it; and the power of the Holy Spirit within.

When we are, we are standing with God in the battle.

2 Timothy 2:6 “The husbandman that laboreth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

This is the first verse the Lord gave me after He called me to preach.

He told me, that before He could require the Word that I preached to others; I must get it into my experience first.

The experience of Spiritual Life is always: first in me, then by me and then through me.
And His power is Life. Life flowing into me, and helping me in everything I do.

His power must be at work in me, before I can see this power used through me, in the calling God has given me to do.

He showed me these verses:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (childish), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

If I am to think God’s thoughts after Him, then His thoughts must prevail.

And for this to happen, our minds must be transformed by His grace; so that our natural and normal way we think, becomes Spiritual.

We are to pull down the strongholds.
These are strongholds of reasoning. They are the reasonings that prevent us from believing God, and acting on what we believe.
Like this:
“That is impossible. Yes, I know God is God…but He just won’t do that for me, even if I thought He would do it.”
“That person will never be saved. There is no use in witnessing to them.”
We are to pull these down by our willed obedience, even when we do not see how God will do these things.


We are to cast down imaginations. Those flights of fancy which come across our minds.
We are not to give them credence, or continue in them.

This is what got a man of God in trouble: He sat down and started thinking of all that he had just done (and it was miraculous) and was killed because, in doing so; he put aside God’s warning to get out of the country immediately!
(1 Kings 13:8-9, 14-22). He was tricked, because he was not thinking as he should; and then he was dead.

We all have thoughts which come into our head: What would I do if….?
But it is what we do with our thoughts, that counts.
Do we bring them to the light of Jesus Christ, or go ahead and fly into fantasy?


And we are to destroy every barrier which is raised against the genuine knowledge of God.
And there are a lot of barriers.

Such as the barrier of:
“I can’t read the Bible, because it is too complicated. I just do not understand everything there. I just let others explain it.
But I am not really sure they are right either.”

This is a barrier which the Holy Spirit can easily destroy. He can give you understanding and light for your path, through the Word of God.

You may not understand in the original language.
But you will understand what the Holy Spirit tells you. He speaks clearly. (Sometimes too clearly for some.)


Taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

This is stop thinking angry thoughts; continuing to be angry, because we want to be right…or are right; and others do not agree.

This is to start thinking that the awful neighbor is not to be hated, but to be prayed for; or ignored. It is to be at peace with them.


All our thoughts lead us to Christ; Or to the world’s way, which is influenced by our Adversary, the Devil.

It is really siding with Jesus about what comes into our heads; And staying with Him, through it all.

This is to stand with Jesus Christ in the Battle of the Ages.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Borrow Vessels, not a Few.

Elisha was a prophet in Israel.
There were many who, though contrary to the “popular religion”, followed God.
They would gather together to hear Elisha, as he traveled the country.

He ministered to the people with the Word of God, and instruction.
Many followed the teachings of God, and they were called the “sons of the prophets”.

Some set themselves aside for ministering, and prayer.
Others had families, and lived for God in there jobs.

A widow of one of these men came to him in dire straights. After her husband had died, things had gotten very tough financially, and they had come into debt.

2 Kings 4:1 “Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.”

This was very serious. Both sons being taken, must have meant a large debt.

But she came to Elisha; he would be able to pray for her, or tell her what she could do by the Word of the Lord.

2 Kings 4:2 “And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in the house?
And she said, Thy handmaid hath not anything in the house,   save a pot of oil.”

At first, it is as if Elisha is not asking the woman at all….but rather praying for direction.
Then, he asks her, according as the Holy Spirit showed him, “What do you have in the house?”

She had nothing to sell, nothing to trade. She only had a pot of oil.

How often we think we need something more, before we can serve God.
More knowledge, more courage, more understanding.

But really, we need to just use what we have, then God will enable us, and He will supply more of what we need.

2 Kings 4:3-4 “Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
When thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee, and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.”

Here was the answer:
She would have to be obedient, and God would supply.

She would have to borrow empty vessels; for the Lord was going to work a miracle for her.
But it was to be for her and her sons. No one else was to be present, or even see through the door.
Elisha was not present. He did not do this.
The Lord did this for her, and her sons; using their obedience.

Did God supply the need?

2 Kings 4:5-6 “So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel.
And he said unto her, there is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.”

Yes, abundantly the need was met. All the vessels they had borrowed, were filled, till there was no more.

God would have us bring our “empty vessels” to Him to be filled with His Spirit, for our everyday needs.
Shutting the door, so we may be alone with God in prayer and devotions is often the means He uses to supply our need for the day.
The oil of joy, and strength, and peace; and increased faith is often given as we close the door on the world, and seek Him.

2 Kings 4:7 “Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.”

After the miracle, she did not get “swelled head” and say, I know what I will do.

No, she came and asked for guidance as what to do next.
Amazingly, the answer was an answer for the rest of her life.

God saw to the need, and more. He gave to her, so that she would be able to live beyond this debt.

That is what God always gives us: life. It is what He supplies, even if He is seeing to a specific need, for now.
Our life as His children, here and now; and every time we need it.

It does not say whether the oil came drop by drop, or poured out fast from the vessel she had.
Only that the oil came, the need was met. He supplied it for her and her son’s life.

Let us look to God to supply the need of our life, bringing our “empty vessels” for His Spirit to fill….that we may have His life for us.