Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Our Blessings as Christians

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

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

If I am a Christian, I am seated “in” Christ Jesus in the heavenly places; and He is seated “in” our hearts, down here, in the earthly places.

All these Spiritual Blessings we have in Christ Jesus, in the heavenlies.
What we need to do, is get them down here, in the earthlies, in us.

So we ask: How do we get the blessings Christ has for us in heaven, down here in us?

The answer is: Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
His will be done IN me, as it is in heaven.
By the slightest hint of His Will, it is done in heaven.
And so it ought to be done in me.
He is to be our King; not just in name, but in practical application in my life: now.

If He reigns in my life, our lives are elevated into a single goal: What is Your will for me now?
He is in charge, so that also elevates all the circumstances of my life to: The path that I must take.

It is His kingdom coming within us, that matters.
(His kingdom will come one day, on earth; but now His kingdom here, is only found in the lives of His Christians willing to surrender to His Rule. Yes, He is Governor and Sovereign of all things, seen and unseen, but Kingship is personal. It is to choose to be a subject of a King.)

“Who hath blessed us with all Spiritual Blessings.”
The Spiritual Blessings are the means of seeing His Will done in me; that is what they are for. Not to lift me up; and make me SOMEBODY.
But to lift up Christ in me, and to show Him forth in all my doings, sayings, and thoughts.
In other words: to show forth Christ in me.(Colossians 1:27)

Included in these Spiritual Blessings is the fruit of the Spirit, for He works them within us, helping us by these fruits. The practical outworking, of His working them within us.
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Love,
Joy,
Peace,
Longsuffering, or the patience to put up with others,
Gentleness or kindness,
Goodness or not being mean,
Faith,
Meekness or a putting away of pride,
Temperance or moderation in all things.

These are all for us. Ours, when self is denied, and Christ sits on the Throne of our hearts.
We would have Him change our circumstances; but He wants to change us, in our circumstances, and enable us to be all He wants for us.
What a life, so described! We can have it, to the degree we yield to His Kingship.

Ephesians 2:6 “Who hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”
This sets forth Authority.
The Authority He places upon us, when we have made Him our King, practically.

It is Authority for my daily life; in the circumstances of my everyday life.
He endues me with some of His Authority, for here, and now.

It is according to that power that worketh in us, that His Authority is given us for our lives. And it is all a matter of love to Christ our King. (That is why the first gift of the Spirit is love.)

Ephesians 3:19-20 “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US.”

This is the power that works in us, to bring us into subjection to Him.
As we are, in the circumstances we are; we submit.

Paul said, “this power works within me mightily”.
Colossians 1:29 “Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”

Quench not the Holy Spirit within; which wants to work IN us the same way.
But openly, deliberately, lovingly, yield to Him, and His gentle impressions to us.

If we would reverence Him more, as He is; we would find Him to be able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, in our lives.

It is His kingdom come within us.
There is Authority in the voice of the King.
And Christ, our King, wants us to hear Him;
And wants others to hear Him, through us.

The Spiritual Blessings He has for us, are there in Christ.
Will we deny ourselves, and get them into us here, where He can be honored by us.

 

 

 

 

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The “I Want To” of our Christian Experience

It is good to be obedient to the Word of God, by the impressions of the Holy Spirit.
It is better to “I want to”, for Christ’s sake.

Philippians 2:13 ” For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

If the Holy Spirit has not yet created within you a desire for Spiritual Reality, then that is the place to start. This is the “want to”.

We are to come to Him and ask for it, to be placed within us.
It is usually a progressive desire.
We go from lost to born again. But we are babes, needing a whole lot of care. A whole lot of His teaching us His Will and Way.

We go from rebels (yes, this is even as Christians), fighting against God because of our position in the world, our looks, our parents, our circumstances; to yielding to the Holy Spirit, where we throw down these “reasons” against God, and submit.
(2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

We go from stumbling along (because we do not want to do what He asks, or are afraid to find out what He asks), to walking with Him in fellowship.

The way forward, in all of these, is: Yielding, denying self, getting out of the way. There are a lot of terms for the same experience (and it is an experience), of giving in to Christ.
Proverbs 23:26 “My son give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”

Notice it is as we give the Lord our hearts, that we will yield to His ways for us.

Now I believe that when the Bible speaks of our heart, it is speaking of our souls.
That which is uniquely us. Our personality, if you will.
I believe, it is most precious in God’s sight, having sent His Beloved Son to save it.

Give Him your heart, and keep giving it; till you know he has it.

“Let” thine eyes observe my ways. Let it happen. This is an act of your will. Let it.
Stop resisting it; for whatever reason.

Now, plainly, it is the Holy Spirit that works these changes within us:
John 7:38-39 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they which believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

If you don’t have this flowing rivers of living water in you, and through you, then it means you have blocked that flow. That is why the Word says, “let it”.
(But let me tell you, like the water, the Holy Spirit keeps building up, and building up behind the blockage; till it is dealt with)

It is His power and love, that molds us into Christ’s image.
Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

As Christ is our example, we are to follow Him into the experiences of the love of God, our Father; of doing His Will, willingly; of trusting, to the end, on His Word to us; and of living in the Light of His Love.
Jude 21 “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

All of this is by the Holy Spirit working in us:
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Man, Made in the Image of God

Genesis 1:26-28 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over everything that moveth upon the earth.”

God is a Trinity: God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit.
Man is made in the image of God, for we are a Triunity: Body, Spirit, and Soul.

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.”

Body formed from the dust of the ground.
The Holy Spirit was breathed into his nostrils. (Called the breath of Life)
And man became a living soul.

No other creature was made the same way.
We are tied to God in a more personal way than any other creature. His hands made Man, personally.
His breath came into us, supplying us with His Holy Spirit.
His creative power gave us our souls, our personalities, the real us.

And let them have dominion, and subdue.
This Adam was given to do.
But it was lost to man, through the fall, when Adam and Eve sinned.
Though he tries to have dominion, yet he always fails, for he can not even subdue his own soul.

But, for the Christian, there is the fact that he is restored to God, and placed in a position to do what was commanded in the first place: have dominion and subdue.
He is to do it in his own circumstances; and for God’s glory.

Romans 5:17 “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

We “reign” (have dominion, and subdue) in our lives, by Jesus Christ.

And we will have as much dominion in our everyday circumstances, as we have His Image, in our lives, by the Holy Spirit.
It is not that we make others do God’s Will, but that we ARE His Will, in our lives; and then, others see Him through us.

Our lives should be a constant witness for our Lord Jesus.
When He has had the Victory over us, then we can possess our souls in peace.
Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

This means we are no longer at the beck and call to our lusts or desires, our anger or hate, and our attitudes or bitterness. No, we are in charge of our souls.
(Our souls consist of our hearts {emotions}, our minds {thoughts, and attitudes}, and our wills {the action part of our souls. What we will, we do})

We can will for God’s Will, and our emotions won’t come along and have a fit about it, because our hearts wanted to do something else.

We can will for God’s Will, and our thoughts won’t be giving excuses not to do it.

This means freedom of choice. Hallelujah! What a Savior, which gives us so much.
It is liberty of the Spirit, in our lives. It is freedom to be what we ought to be.

This is by His Victory over us.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.
For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
To the one we are a savor of death unto death; and to the other a savor of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”

Isn’t the knowledge of Christ Jesus a sweet taste in our mouths?
And He makes us show that to others, by having the Victory over us.

The Victory Procession Paul is writing about here is Christ’s.
It is pictured after the Victorious Roman Generals; when they had their parades into
Rome.

First in line of march, were the incense bearers, on either side of the march. The smell of it would go out everywhere.
Then it was the banners of the legions of the General.
And then the General, himself on a great white horse.
From his horse were chains leading back to the captives he has brought to Rome.
First, there were kings, and generals he had defeated.
Then, counselors, and leaders; going back to the common people.

All these were brought for Rome’s glory. Some to live, to serve. Some to die.

This is Christ’s Victory Procession. He has had the Victory over all. The Christians to life and service; and the lost(those who refuse His Lordship), to death, spiritual death.

Here the battle is over. But it was a battle.
He is God, and by His Spirit He knows how to place His hand on each tender, and rebellious thing in our lives, so we will yield to Him. For in yielding, there is joy.
It is when we throw down the weapons of our warfare against Him, that He moves in with all the fullness of His grace, peace, and joy.

Once, preaching a message on Christ, standing before the congregation, I felt the shackle of Christ’s Victory around my throat. It was not strangling, as some think working for Christ Jesus to be. I could feel the weight of it setting on my shoulders, but it was such a liberating feeling; I could not explain it, if I tried.

“You belong to Me.”, He said. “I will use you to show Me. My power over your life, My peace in your life, and My Word worked out in your life.”

That is the chains of love, which He uses to bind us to Christ.
Have Dominion, and Subdue. It is to have dominion in our lives, and subdue everything which hinders us, from experiencing His Freedom from sin, and ourselves.

 

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Work of the Spirit of Truth

John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever,
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive; because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you; and shall be in you.”

The first work the Holy Spirit does in us, as Christians, is to come and be with us forever.
This is one of the greatest blessings we have. God is with us, by His Holy Spirit, so that we are never alone, never deserted, never apart from His love and care for us.

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The next work the Holy Spirit does within us, is to teach us things. He brings to mind the Word we have heard, reminding us of what Jesus has said to us; and telling us what we should do.
He teaches us about the circumstances around us; for He gives us His wisdom concerning the people and things of our days.

John 15:26-27 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me;
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.”

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to witness of Christ. We do this in two ways. First, by our lives showing all we come into contact with, that we belong to Christ. There are many who will never get a glimpse of Jesus, except we show Him to them.
Second, by our testimonies about what Christ has done for us.
The Holy Spirit gives us the words to say, and also the enablement to say them.

John 16:13-14 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.”

The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth.
This is personal, private truth; that which you need to know.
How many things we could avoid, if we were more sensitive to Him, and what He is telling us?
And how much more we could have enjoyed other things, if we could have seen that this was what He wanted for us, at the time?

And He will show you things to come.
I’ve been warned by the Holy Spirit within, concerning certain circumstances that were coming up. Warned against being part of them; also warned about what to say.

“He shall glorify Me”, the Lord Jesus said.
As I die to self’s demands, the Holy Spirit lifts up Christ in me. He glorifies Christ by this.

For He shall receive of Mine, and show it unto you. It is His Spirit within us, making all the things of Christ real to us.

The Work of the Spirit of Truth is to guide us into all truth concerning God.

He lives within us , giving us the reality of the truth of God.

He enlightens us, so we can know where to go, and how to go. And with the enlightenment, He gives us power to live the life we have been given to do.

And He shows us Christ. Again and Again and Again, the Holy Spirit brings to our minds and hearts, our dear Lord Jesus, His love, and His peace.
He shows us Christ, as our example, and encourages us to follow Him.

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Let us Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace

Hebrews 4:14-16 “Seeing then we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not a high priest which can not be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

This is written to Christians:
As a child of the our Heavenly Father, we are to come boldly to His Throne, that we may obtain (get into our experience) mercy, and find the grace we need to help.

Mercy shows the inclination of God to relieve the misery of fallen men and women.

His Sovereign mercy is to His elect (the born again ones). It is reserved for the heirs of Salvation, which is passed on to them through Christ Jesus, their Mediator. He appears before God the Father for us.
These Sovereign mercies, are more than the temporal mercies He gives to all men.

Matthew 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
God’s temporal mercies include, as the verse says: sun, rain, ground which produces food, and companions. These are for everyone, no matter whether they are good or evil.

But for His own children; God gives mercy which transforms the heart of the individual, and enriches their lives in spiritual blessings.

Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved);”
It is mercy that quickened them to life in Christ when they were dead in sins.

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
It is mercy that saved them.

1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”
His abundant mercy gives us an inheritance, which is reserved, just for us, in heaven.

2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;”
Unto His own children, God is the Father of Mercies.

Time would fail us, if each Christian would tell of His preserving, supplying, pardoning, and sustaining mercy to them, for we are called the “vessels of mercy”.(Romans 9:23)
God would fill us up with His great mercy. Full and overflowing.

This is the mercy God gives from His throne of grace.

And “grace to help in time of need.”
This grace is enabling grace.
Grace to do what needs to be done. And we are to come boldly to God’s throne to receive it.
We are invited to come, on the merits of our Mediator, Christ Jesus. And invited to bring our requests for mercy, and our needs, to be supplied by grace.

When you think of the Almighty and His Power: He can do anything.
He is Creator. He created the worlds, and heaven of heavens. As David prays: “Create in me a clean heart, O God:”. So God creates within us, by the Holy Spirit, new desires, new hopes, new goals.

He is the Sustainer. Which means He will keep us from trouble by guidance; and if we fall into trouble He will lead us out, and uphold us through it. He sustains us in His Word, and by His Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
He is the Rock on which we should build our lives.

Our circumstances change often. But His love, mercy and grace never does.
We fall, or fail often. But He never fails us, as we seek to keep coming to Him.

Let us come boldly to the Throne of Grace to obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in this time of need.

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

This was our first message.  I am reprinting it, so everyone who reads it will know the reason for this blog.

The Scribe Which Is Instructed Unto the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 13:52 ” Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

We are starting this blog for Christians. To strengthen and encourage God’s people to seek, and trust the Lord.
All given with the prayer that they meet the need of those who read them.

We believe that one of the greatest needs of this Church Age is to understand and Have Christ’s kingdom come within the heart of each of His own.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.”(KJV)

Notice it is “in earth”, not on it.
This is His Personal Kingdom coming with in your life. When you make Him King, and He reigns there.
When we are born again (John 3:3, 7) and “ye must be born again”….we enter His kingdom as His citizens. But it is only when we are obedient to His laws and ordinances that we make Him King in our lives.

If we are still “running the show” ; He is not King, Personally.
“Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done.”
When this becomes a fact in our everyday lives, we are subjects of that Kingdom, and expressions of it:
Our Wills are His, and are then empowered to do His Will.
For it is then, He sits on the Throne of our Hearts.

Not that we make others do His Will….but that WE DO HIS WILL.

Then HIS KINGDOM HAS COME ….WITH IN US.

It is a great feeling to come to the place where the arguments WITH GOD, end; and the Holy Spirit–instead of correcting , empowers to go forward in peace, joy and faith.

AND HOW SHALL HIS KINGDOM COME?
Luke 18:8 “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?”

This is “on the earth”.
There are some who believe that His Kingdom will be brought in, when enough of His Own are praying for it.
I do not know if that is true.
But I do know that readiness for His return will be conditioned by prayer:

Luke 18:1 “And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
Jesus speaks here, of the closing days of the Church Age. Just before He returns. Just how the times will be, and just what we should be doing about it .

Luke 21:28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.”

Everyday we hear and see more of what Jesus said would happen….happen.
And what are we to do about it? Hide our heads….Act out…..wring our hands in fear?
No! That is not it!!
Look up! Lift up your heads!
1st turn your eyes away from the world-system.
2nd be actively seeking the joy and peace of God for each situation you need to go thru, till He comes.

We should rejoice in seeing these come to pass , even as Jesus said they would.
We should be praying. “Amen! Even so Come LORD JESUS”
And we should be “loving His Appearing”. For there is a Crown of Righteousness laid up for all who Love His Appearing! (2 Timothy 4:8)

Luke 18:2-7 “Saying, there was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Tho I fear not God, nor regard man;
Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says.
And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, tho He bear long with them?”

If this were a Roman Judge (the Jews were always in 3’s). He would not care much for the needs of a Jew. Especially one of no importance, like a widow. For she could do him no damage!
But she kept coming back! She was often in his court!

Now he feared not God nor regarded man.
So anything he did , would be on a personal level….without thought of anything or anyone else.
Not because of pressure from someone or something.

But she kept coming! Avenge me of mine Adversary!
This is not a request for punishment of her Adversary.
But for a Decree, issued by this Judge, that would give her PROTECTION from his injustices.
To keep him from harming her.
LIKE A RESTRAINING ORDER ISSUED TODAY

Luke 18:5 “Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

“She weary me”; Literally means. “She give me a black eye”
Her always appearing there , in his court, might ruin his reputation!
People might get the wrong idea about him.

This Judge acted from only self-involved motives.
From this consideration–alone–he thought it best to avenge her.

And our Lord said “Hear what the unjust judge says”
Because the Lord Jesus wanted to show that all the judge’s motives were personal…yet what she sought ; she got.

Then our Lord Jesus contrasts the unjust judge and God. Shall not GOD surely do right?
Shall He not avenge His own elect? From their Adversary?
And how are we to ask?

Luke18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
Faint means to weaken in purpose, or spirit; to languish; TO JUST GIVE UP.

When we pray, we ought to believe that God is going to hear and keep at it until we know He does.

Luke 18:7 “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, tho he bear long with them?”

We are not what we ought to be in this Age; yet He bears long with us.
Wanting us to be other than we are ….to enjoy the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit’s enablement. To get us out from the Adversary’s injustices. To know the power of life (abundant life) as obedient subjects of His kingdom now.
Loving us, rebuking us, and chastening us that we might become full sons.

Luke 18:8 “I tell you (and this is the Lord Jesus speaking) that he WILL avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Yes, He will avenge us…speedily.
“Heavenly Father, Avenge me of my Adversary!”
This is like a restraining order, remember; against our Adversary , the Devil.
To keep him from hurting us.
And we should always ask for such decrees against our Adversary.
He will not only issue such Decrees, He will do so speedily.

Yet , Jesus asked; “shall he find faith on the earth?” Not that He doesn’t know….but to AWAKEN US to the VERY DANGEROUS TIME IN WHICH WE LIVE.

There are temptations, cares, enemies of God, worldly pleasures, evil companions, …..
All of them can be used by our Adversary to “hurt us”.
To keep us from entering into God’s Best for us.

The Devil seeks to defeat every child of God….not in Salvation.
But in Progress.
To keep them children , when they should go on to maturity in the faith.

To keep them self-centered, instead of Christ-centered; That will devour up a whole lifetime of works and attitudes.

Shall He find “faith” on the earth?
This faith here is (in the Greek “pistis”). Conviction of truth or the truthfulness of God. Reliance upon Christ for salvation and CONSTANCY IN SUCH PROFESSION.

Do you TRUST Christ for Salvation, but not for today?
Shall we not all apprehend that for which we are apprehended of Christ Jesus?

Has the Church ever had so much riches as it has today?
With so little results?

Why is it we see so little Reality in a Christian’s Profession?
I don’t know…but I am sure it is a matter of the Heart.

I believe that today many claim the Promise; without having the corresponding experience of that Promise.
They honor the Word, while rejecting the living LORD of that Word.
As Israel of old, they draw near with their lips, to God; but their hearts are far from HIM.
For I believe it is a matter of the heart. Who or What do you love?
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”
What “life” will you have?
1 Peter 1:3 ” According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, thru the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue”
He “hath given”. Then why don’t we have it in practice?
Because the PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST COSTS US . He wants to “COME” and reign in our lives, with that joy and power that comes with HIMSELF.

What takes 1st place in your life?
To what do you give final obedience….for surely this is your God.

Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven”
He is King. But is He my King? Is He your King?
Who sits on the throne of your heart?

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

He stands ready to do. To do for you. And Jesus has said God will issue such Decrees against our Adversary when we cry unto Him.
So where does that place us?
And just what kind of Christians ought we to be; with so much offered?
He is King….Will you make Him your King?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Lord’s Personal Voice to His Sheep

John 10:1-5 “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door of the sheepfold, by climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.”

Here is a very lovely picture of the personal care and guidance of the Christ Jesus our Lord, who is our Good Shepherd.

John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

In the days of Christ, there would be one sheep fold for many flocks. The Shepherd would come to the door: state his name, so the porter or watchman from the night before, would let him in to get his sheep.

Then the Shepherd would go to the door, and call his sheep. (There is always a few older sheep which would follow quite close to the Shepherd, and they would be first to come.) “Come on Nathan, come on Levi, come on Gershom, come on Sarah”
And out they would come behind him.
The other sheep of his flock would then follow, too.

It was their name that brought them out to follow the Shepherd; and so Jesus teaches here, that He calls us by our name, when He calls us to follow Him.

He goeth before them. Christ Jesus always leads us on. So that He meets any obstacle first. He has prepared our way, and He leads us in it.

As a Christian, you should have experienced this already.
His call to follow Him in your everyday experiences. He leads, we follow; it is that simple.
There are enemies. There are dangers. There are also warm days of feeding and following, and resting with Christ.
He leads us through them all; and protects us in these events, as we follow Him.
It is our life here in this world of strife, which is pictured. He has encamped about us; keeping us in His fold, and calling us forth for each days events.

Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

And it is always His Voice which is calling us onward. Have you responded to HIs call to follow Him?
It is an amazing thing, when we as sheep, learn to make each day an adventure with Christ. (And sheep can be pretty stubborn)

Today, is a new day. Yesterday’s failures have been confessed. Yesterday’s successes have been brought to Christ in thanksgiving, and laid aside.
Now, it is today.
And today is the time for more going on with Jesus. We can hear His voice today, and follow into the place He has for us.
Maybe the same people we see everyday, but with new conversations.
Maybe new people. Enemies, or friends, we will let our Shepherd decide. (He only can see their hearts, and intentions.)

John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life, (eternal life is a condition of life now, and throughout eternity) and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

He has made all the provision for our lives. He has saved us. He now calls us to follow Him, today, and the next and the next, as His sheep. Following His Voice, and His leading through all our circumstances.

Are we ready to hear?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

MY Voice

Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.”

And they heard the Voice of the Lord God, walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

What a time of fellowship this could have been! Walking with the Lord God in the garden, talking and laughing.

(I would like to make something very clear to everyone here:
Do not let the Adversary of our souls, the devil, fool you in this.
God has always desired fellowship with His Creation.)

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
“I dwell in the high and holy place”. Of course He does, He is God.

But also “with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit”. Contrite means to bruise, or crush. Humble means to make low, to abase.
In other words, God is with those who have been bruised or crushed under the weight of their sins, and who abase or lower themselves from their pride; to come to Him and get forgiveness, and help.

This is what Adam and Eve should have done.

Genesis 3:8-9 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
And the Lord God called Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”

Now God was not asking Adam where are you hiding? He knew that already.
But, “Where art thou?” in your relationship with Me?
In what shape are you now, in your standing with Me?

It was His Voice, not a thunderclap! It was His Voice, not the ground opening and swallowing them; sending them down to hell immediately.

But it was His Voice, and their day of reckoning.
What would they do? They had already sinned; would they seek His forgiveness? Or let pride get them to excuse themselves.

We sadly know what they chose. And it has been happening to every child of Adam and Eve, since then. Pride rules our hearts, until, when we hear God’s Voice speaking to us in our innermost being, and we give up our pride, and yield to Him.

But now, let me ask you: Where do you stand in the purpose for which you were created?
Are you hiding from the Lord in all the busy ways you can?
“But Lord, you can see I am very busy, covering myself with all sorts of good works. Does it matter that I may not be doing what You want me to?”

Bible Wisdom is of God. It is more than knowledge, it is a Light shining into the circumstances we are in, for us to know how to act; and it includes the power to act.

It is the Voice of God, the Creator, crying out to His creation, to give opportunity to have all that is included in true fellowship with Him.

Proverbs 1:20-23 “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets.
She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gate: in the city she uttereth her words saying,
How long, ye simple ones will ye love your simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at my reproof: Behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.”

“Turn you at My reproof”. When God reproves, it is so we can “Wake up”, and get back into His Way for us.

“Behold!”
Now stop! Take notice of this:
“I will pour out My Spirit unto you.” Notice: it is “unto you”. A very personal invitation to have the Holy Spirit poured into you, bubbling up, for guidance and help.

“I will make known My Words unto you.” Again, it is unto “you”; a personal call.
Will you hear, and have it?

The Voice of the Almighty Creator to His creature, offering wisdom and a personal relationship with Him, by His Spirit. This is His Voice to us, will we hear it?

You must hear Him in your personal circumstances; in your city, in your workplace, in your home.
He is not just in the Heavens, nor just in Church (although we should “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together”. Hebrew 10:25); but He is with us, as Christians, everywhere, all the time.
But have we hidden ourselves from Him?

(There is an old joke about a older couple who were driving along in their car, when they see a young couple: the young woman is seated right next to him in the front seat, while he is driving.
The older woman turned and asked her husband: “Why don’t we sit like that anymore?”
And he replied, “Well, I haven’t moved.”)

If we have hidden ourselves from Him, among any other false refuge; then return unto the Lord, for He abundantly kind. He will forgive.
He may rebuke us, for our foolishly letting other things take first place in our lives; but He will speak, and lead us on with Him. Out of the busy life of self; into the glorious life of Christ’s servant.

Psalms 143:8 “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.”

Will we hear His Voice to us?

 

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Ye are the Salt of the Earth

Salt, in scripture, is the preserving power of active righteousness, and grace.
Salt preserves whatever it is in. It keeps it from becoming putrid and rancid. It kills the germs which would destroy it.
So salt, as Jesus talks about here, is the grace which always seeks the right way of acting and doing. It preserves us from the corrupt policies of the world, and the rotten attitudes and opinions from within ourselves.
It keeps us set aside to God, and His will for us.
In the narrow way, we are helped and maintained by the preserving power of salt.(The empowering of grace, which supports our obedience, each day)

Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt hath lost it’s savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and be trodden under foot of men.”
(Salt works its way into things. If you salt meat on the outside, and let it set; that salt will work its way into the meat, and season all of it.)
Like salt on meat, so the “salt” of active obedience, and grace works its way into our hearts, cleansing and purifying us; so that we can have that strengthening fellowship with our Lord Jesus, that we need.

 

Every sacrifice in the Tabernacle, was to be offered with salt. The nature of man is corrupt; and so it must be “salted”, so the sacrifice unto God would be acceptable.
(Romans 12:1-2). For the salting showed the Covenant of God, who set aside a people to be His, in righteousness, and holiness. The salt symbolized this. The salt for the sacrifice was provided by money which all the people gave. It showed that fellowship with their Holy God, was to be enjoyed, and preserved by the obedience of all the people.

Leviticus 2:13 “And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the Covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thy offerings thou shalt offer salt.”

The salt of grace tests everyone.
Mark 9:49-50 “For everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewith shall ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. ”

Either it will preserve us from the uncleanliness of the world, the flesh, and the devil; Or it will be a fire within us. For the pleasures we secretly desire, and won’t put away; will burn us up.

Salt is good. For all who use it. Grace is the unmerited favor of the power of God in a Christian’s life.
Are we putting to use, the “salty” nature of grace for ourselves?

Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
We are to “season” our conversations with the knowledge of Christ, and grace. We are to use wisdom and grace to answer every man that asks us of the hope that is within us, with meekness and fear.(1 Peter 3:15)

Ephesians 3:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Salt is good. It preserves our hearts, and tongues. Let us use the salt of grace, and have fellowship with Christ Jesus in all we do.
Let us be the salt of the earth, helping to preserve those we come into contact with; by showing forth the righteousness of Christ.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

To Fail of the Grace of God

Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

Grace is the unmerited favor of power. It is a gift from God to His children. God’s grace saves, upholds us, and strengthens us for the work.

So how can we “fail of the grace of God”?

Simply, by not using it.

How many times have we asked for help; and refused it, when it came, because we did not like the way it came?
(“I will not take help from that person, they always think bad of me anyway.” Really? If God has sent that person to help you, so what if you don’t like them? Or even if they don’t like you? Wouldn’t that make the miracle of help, so much better?)

How many times has God sent a trial for us to pass through, and we have refused to do so, because we don’t think we can “handle it”?
When you do this, you are failing of the grace that God wanted to give you to go through this trial.
(He sends us trials to make us stronger in His love, and faith.
1 Peter 1:5-7 “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”)

And how many times have we thought that we are O.K. We don’t need help with this. We have done this many times.
And then, because we have refused to take the fresh supply of God’s grace, we fail: either in our tongues, or in our reactions to something.
(The disciples thought this, when they thought they would go back to fishing, after Jesus was crucified, and had arose.
John 21:3 “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”)

We fail of the grace of God, when we allow the bitterness of resentment to “spring up”.
Hebrew 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

There are resentments which are buried in our emotions. Time has passed, and so we think that they are gone. But they are just gone underground. Someone’s actions may bring them all out again.
They are there, because we have not removed them. It is by the grace of God giving us forgiveness for the person that has hurt us, that removes them.

This is hard, impossible in some situations, without His grace enabling us to do it!
But, if we won’t remove them, they will “trouble you”.

They will “spring up” (This is such a good description of how they suddenly appear.)
A little thing can remind us of these. And once it is in our heads again, it needs to be taken to the Lord.

God’s grace is a gift from our Lord, for now. The grace of this day. The grace for this hour, even.
How much we need it!
Let us seek to RECEIVE all He has for us, and stop failing of the grace of God.
Let us seek to yield to the Holy Spirit within, and receive His revelations of the things which hinder our walk with Him.
And mostly, let us receive all the “power of God through faith unto salvation” (our salvation), for we are kept by it: kept from the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and kept close to Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:5 “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”