“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Matthew 12:34-37 KJV
WHEN THE LORD SPEAKS WE SHOULD TAKE NOTICE.
Many people talk just to have something to do. They talk because they are board. They say very little with lots of words. Out of our mouths come 1000s of words a day. Do woman more than men? I know some men who have a lot to say. Talk – Talk – Talk… It can become a habit. We start the day with good morning, this is said without feeling, are the greetings you say sincere. Do you really mean “Drive Safe” ? We will give account of our words. We as Christians need to learn how to talk like we mean it. But talk comes cheep, even in the church. The things that we have to say about what Jesus did for us could mean life or death for those who would listen. Don’t ramble on about junk. Be quick to hear, and slow to speak. Think first, talk after.
1- “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV
2- “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 KJV
3- “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:11 KJV
Have you ever seen so much evil in this world? Killing, stealing, cheating, lying, prideful sinners. The devil is after people and he has full bag of tricks.
Q- Are you covered by the blood of Jesus?
Q- When the devil throws stuff your way what will you do?
We are protected by a hedge that Jesus built. A child of God can stand strong because Jesus is there, so STAND. Be strong in the Lord. Don't just do a lot of talking about it, do it. Don't let the enemy take your blessings.
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
I'm standing on the promises of God.
... What happened next?
Christianity is more than just words.
When all the trials of this life are falling into your lap, what will you be talking about?
Some people start complaining, if you are focused on the goodness of Jesus it will change your outlook. God is good to all of us.
Follow the Lord with the right motive.
“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
Matthew 8:18-20 KJV
1- Put on a new man, one God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Q: Have you changed?
2- Put away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor:
The truth will never steer you wrong. NEVER.
3- Be ye angry, and sin not:
Q: How often to you lose your temper?
4- Let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Settle it. If you don't it will fester.
5- Neither give place to the devil.
Q:What parts of your heart are you not allowing Jesus in?
6- Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs.
Be an example the lost is watching.
7- 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.
Don’t feed your heart junk.
8- Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
When the Spirit prompts listen.
9- Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Don’t feed it.
10- Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Love people, Jesus does.
When we get saved we have responsibilities.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
“Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the Lord said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadesh–barnea. Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh–barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.” Joshua 14:6-13 KJV
We may be the people of God, but we still face mountains and valleys. The devil will throw his stuff in our path to try to trip us up and cause us to look at problems rather then Christ. These things are troublesome but they also cause us to go to the Lord. Look around our world is in crisis and man does not hold the answer. The government does not have the answer. Jesus holds the answer. It is sad but, even in the church there is in crisis. Churches are compromising the gospel and the bible to be seeker friendly. Pastors are falling. Sin is being celebrated, how people live is being overlooked to get good talent. There is a mountain pushing into the church. An avalanche of crushing compromise.
A mountain is something that seriously hampers progress. They slow your assent to greater things, they test your ability to rise, and they give some an excuse to give up. There are mountains that hamper the growth of the church. You can not sanction or condone sin. You cannot live like the devil all week and come into church like you and Jesus are best friends. Jesus cares for you, not just on Sundays, but all week long. There are people who are determined to shut the doors of the church, silence Christians, and remove faith. NEWS FLASH.... The gates of hell will never prevail against the church that stands on truth. But when sin gets in to a church God will not condone it. IT WILL HAMPER GROWTH. Get the sin under the blood of Christ. Stop trying to his it under the rug. Call sin, sin and truth, truth. We all have sinned and all need grace. Stop promoting what the Bible calls sin, and instead promote the salvation of God.
Q: Do you think God blesses those who flaunt sin? If you are not looking for mountains, you will settle for mole hills. Don't let a Jezebel spirit into the church. It is not about who looks the best, or dresses the fanciest, for God looks at the heart, not the hair dew. We are moving forward for the Lord and NO devil can stop what God is about to do.
FIVE KEYS TO POSSESSING VICTORY OVER A MOUNTAIN.
1- Maintain REAL obedience to the things of God.
2- TRUST that God has promised to deliver.
3- Run like we have to recover the mountain.
4- As Christian people, we need to receive our blessing.
5- Remove the enemy from our life styles.
THINGS TO GET RID OF:
Get rid of stinking thoughts.
Get rid of past hurts.
Get rid of defeat-us attitude, Victory is ours.
THINGS TO DO:
Go where we have never gone before.
Do what we have never done.
Believe like never before.
Work like never before.
Fight like never before.
Pray like never before.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.
It is time to put aside our fears and move forward towards what God has for us.
No giants can stop us when we have the anointing of God.
PTA: Pray to God, Think like God, and Act like God.
Pastor Lewis Cushman
Notes by Matthew Law
THE CLUTTERED LIFE.
Pastor Lewis Cushman,
St Cloud Church of God.
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 KJV
LIFE IS LIKE A LOUNGE CHAIR ON THE DECK, SOME PLACE IT TO SEE WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN, SOME WHERE THEYE ARE GOING, SOME TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON, CHARLIE BROWN SAID I CAN'T EVEN GET MINE UNFOLDED.
When life gets cluttered it can overwhelm you.
Like a laundry room, it can get cluttered with stuff.
Fishing stuff in the laundry room. Fishing Poles, rods, reels, and line. It looks like a Tackle room with a washer and dryer in it. The wife has said… “a change is coming.”
You can't even do the laundry because of all the clutter.
Don't let your life be a cluttered laundry room.
A CLUTTERED LIFE AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:
1- A CLUTTERED LIFE WILL BRING BUSYNESS .
Doing doing doing...
Activity is not wrong. There is always stuff to be done. But when all the activity results in neglected relationships it is wrong. Especially if it does not amount to a hill of beans.
Solomon was a busy man. He was searching for things to make him happy. Cars, homes, friends, clothes, money... If we are not carful as Christians those things can kill us.
I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me...
You will never have enough. Never.
The busier the better? Nope. Don't Everest so busy that God is neglected.
Q: What did Solomon gain? Stuff, then more stuff, and more stuff.
Did it help? Nope. He gained so much stuff.
What would it take to satisfy you?
Rockefeller said, "Just a little bit more..."
Things are not the things that make a person happy.
What can make you happy?
What can satisfy?
When you realize that Jesus is the answer then you will be truly happy.
2- A CLUTTERED LIFE WILL GET OUT OF CONTROL.
You can be so scattered that nothing is done properly. Bunches of half done projects. Things started but not many finished. Things bought but not used. This plastic card we have in our wallets gets us in trouble all the time. You can go by this and that as if you don't have to pay. More more more... People lack discipline. Some day the candle burning at both ends will run out. You can't run full throttle all the time and not expect to run out of gas.
Q: WHAT ARE THE SOME CONSEQUENCES OF A LIVING CLUTTERED LIFE?
"Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." Solomon.
That coming from a man who had it all.
He said it is ALL Vanity.
You can get it all and in the end what good is it?
3- WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF A CLUTTERED LIFE?
A- Pointing at yourself. What are you doing? Are you doing for self gain or helping others? What about service? What about paying it forward?
B- A heart that has pushed God aside and placed self first.
Oh look at me, look what I did, look what I got.
Me Me Me, my my my, myself, I, self...
The cluttered life leaves no life for God.
4- WHAT IS THE CURE FOR A CLUTTERED LIFE?
There is a cure, it does not have to be this way. We need to simply begin to clean our life up.
THREE THINGS TO DO:
A- FIND SOLITUDE. Are you listening? Guard your hearts with solitude. Get away from the noise of this life to hear the voice of God. Are you taking time to hear what God wants you to do? There are many distractions that stop you from hearing. Try putting you face into the book God has giving you. The bible is the best Facebook. If you don't come apart, you will become a part. Be still and know that God is God. Stop, listen, and hear.
B- MAINTAIN STEWARDSHIP. You don't own a thing in this life. Be careful with what God has given you in this life. There is too much wasting. We are called to be doers and not just hearers.
C- STAY IN FOCUS. Set your affection on things above and not on things of this world. Where your treasure is, your heart is also. Look to God, He holds the keys.
One day we will give account of all we have done.
How will your account go?
It is time to lay aside the things of this earth and place your life in God's hands. He wants to help you to get the clutter out.
TAKE SOME TIME TO PRAY AND LEAVE YOUR CLUTTERED WITH GOD.
We've been firing some pottery over the last few days. What's the difference between the pot in my hand and the vessels still in the kiln? What went wrong? The one in my hand wasn't willing to go through the fire ...it didn't stand the test that would make it usable. The others did! They were pure - without any impurities that could cause them to break or even explode in the firing and they were willing to endure to the end! See where I'm going? If I take them out too quickly before they cool slowly, they can't take the thermal shock and they shatter... they have to endure to the end.
God's got a plan for you in the furnace, where life's trials try you by fire and purify you and change you...even when it seems to take forever. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Remember this when it gets hard. You can't get out when it heats up either or you'll break - His timing for you is perfect and for your well being! I Peter 5:10 says, And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Don't give up in the middle of fiery trials - endure to the end where you'll find the Potter lovingly and excitedly pulling you out at the perfect time with great joy on His face!
Jason Denning. St.Cloud Church of God.
The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord:
“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor donkey. For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.”
Judges 6:1-6 KJV
Those mean Midianites.... Always causing problems. People are always blaming others for the problems they got themselves into. When Israel turned away from God, thighs would get bad. The enemy would ravage their land.
Great men have been humbled because of sin.
Ministries have fallen because of sin.
Marriages have been ruined because of sin.
Friendships have been lost because of sin.
Do you see the pattern? The wages of sin is death.
Sin brings oppression in people's life.
Sin will take you where you don't want to go.
Q: Why do we wait till we are in trouble before we turn to God.
Don't blame the devil, you probably brought trouble on yourself.
If you keep poking a bee nest you probably will get stung.
If you window shop for things you should not have you will eventually buy something that will cost you more then you can afford. That’s the way of the world. God expects us to live different then the world. We are supposed to live holy. Maybe you’re in the mess you’re in because you are living in sin.
The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
“And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abi–ezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?
But now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
Judges 6:11-16 KJV
Gideon was threshing the wheat in the wrong place. He was hiding from the enemy.
Gideon felt that the Lord had abandoned them, God was still there, Israel was the one who turned away from God. Gideon felt unworthy to be the one God was going to use.
NEWS FLASH! We are all unworthy.
God sees what we can do. God HAS plans for our life to accomplish things for him.
The Lord said... "Surely I will be with thee." You may be weak, but God is strong.
God will use the foolish things to confound the wise. Remember the flash cards we had as kids. Banana, Apple, orange, and a truck. Which one does not belong? That's how Gideon felt. He was feeling weak and not worthy, like he did not belong. How many people feel like we are alone and weak? It might be time to stop threshing wheat in the winepress. Just remember God often uses the weak people. Read the Bible and you will find story after story about the weak people being called to do great things for God. God has a calling for you, do you know what it is?
Take some time and pray that God would show you what he wants for your life.
Go in the strength you have and God will make up the difference.
"Surely I will be with thee."
The people that are with thee are too many.
“Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead.
And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the Lord said unto Gideon,
The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were
three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.”
Judges 7:1-7 KJV
TRUST IN JESUS.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:10 KJV
The action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:1-13 KJV
There is a feeling of uncertainty in the air when a hurricane approaches Florida. Getting ready for a hurricane? Here is a check list: Generator, gas, food, water, batteries, flashlights, medication, some cash, just to name a few. But when a hurricane comes people wait till the last few days and then rush the stores to get supplies. At the local hardware and grocery store are hordes of people acting like a zombie apocalypse is coming. Better get the Twinkies. Randy got Nutty Buddy Bars, got to have them, If only people were prepared. The illustration Jesus told was about people who were not ready for a bride groom. The marriage was an event that gave ample time to get supplies for.
People are always putting things off till the need is urgent.
People often don’t plan ahead for problems.
People often don't seek God until trouble strikes their life.
THREE THINGS TO LEARN:
THE OIL OF GOD IS THE HOLY SPIRIT.
When a Christian trust in God for salvation, the Holy Ghost that Jesus spoke about comes to live within them. It is called being filled with the sprit. In the book of acts there were many things that were signs of when someone was filled with the spirit. They spoke in other tongues, spoke the word of God with boldness, people were healed. The spirit is what brings conviction and comfort in a Christian’s life. When God convicts, then you should turn away.
FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD.
The people looked like they are ready on the outside, but on the inside the lamps are empty. Only half of the people in this story were really ready. The word of God is a lamp to your feet; it is a light to your path. Q: Do you keep your lamp full?
Q: Do you stay in the word? God has many promises found in the Bible. Don't be a just a person who hears the truth of the scripture and forgets, you should live it.
Have you prepared for your service to God. There are those that plan, and those that prepare. When we plan we don't always see what events may cause our plans to fail. If we are prepared for uncertain circumstance then we have a better chance of success. Is there air in your spare tire? We can prepare our hearts by studying the Bible. The Word is a light to our path, if we have it. If we don’t know what the bible says, then we are walking around in the dark. You can't trust in a promise from God if you don't know, or never heard it. Read the bible, hide Gods word in your heart. Meditate on it. Pray about it. If we ask any thing and know it's God's will, then we can have this confidence that God not only hears us but will also grant us the things we ask. We can know his will through His words.
1- BE READY.
Be actively doing what God would have you do for Him.
Q: Are you serving God, or living for self?
A key to Christian readiness is a constant filling of the Holy Spirit.
Don't be motivated by fear, but by love.
Procrastinators rush around in fear trying to get ready when it's late. This often results in a mess.
Q: Jesus is coming are you ready?
2- STAY READY.
Don't wait till you are out of gas to get filed up. If you always drove your car out of gas, you better have a gas can handy. Sometimes you have to stop and fill up. It would be a dumb thing to wait till your out of gas to fill up. Christians need to fill up on the bible so they have enough fuel to make it through life.
Find a church and go regularly, be a part or worship, and study the word, fellowship with other believers. This will keep your spiritual motor running and you can be prepared for what life throws your way.
Message by: Jason Denning.
Notes by: Matthew Law
Pastor Lewis Cushman St. Cloud Church of God.
“And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Luke 9:52-56 KJV
What happened to the disciples that made them fall into a pitfall? Were they just over zealous?
Q What is a pitfall? A pitfall is something very dangerous, it is an unseen danger. People often don't see them till it is too late. They are hard to get out of once you have fallen in. We need to know what's going on, or we might fall in. We are living in the very edge of Christ's return. People are getting chipped... Think about that.
THE PITFALL OF BEING UN COMPASSIONATE.
The church needs to be full of compassion.
It is surprising to hear the hateful things coming from the mouths of Christians.
We are supposed to be like Christ.
How many times have you talked with someone who is not going to church anymore because of a church member hurting them?
Some people won't walk across the street to tell a neighbor about Jesus, but they will drive across town to carry some gossip. Gossip can destroy. Show compassion.
What is compassion?
It is feeling sympathy for someone else.
A selfish person cannot be compassionate to others.
A selfishness person only has pity, compassion for themselves.
A selfish person is cruel in their dealing with others.
JESUS HAD COMPASSION.
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
John 8:3-11 KJV
An intolerant person cannot be compassionate. But we should NEVER tolerate sin. Jesus helped people but told people what was right and wrong. He had strong words for those who lived as Hippocrates. Read the Bible. Jesus was tolerant, but he also said GO AND SIN NO MORE. Tolerance is keeping a smile when someone else's kid act just like yours did.
THE PITFALL OF BEING PREJUDICE.
People came to Jesus that did not fit the mold of religious people.
Jesus said, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” Luke 9:50 KJV
God work is for everyone. When we decide who can come into church based on prejudice we are not serving God. Bring in the people and share Jesus. Who decides who can worship? Let God work in peoples lives.
Three things that should not be in the church.
1- Social prejudice in the church. Your social standing should never be a qualification to be in a church. What kind of car you drive, where you live. Let people in and God can work in the hearts of the people. How much time did God give you to get perfect? ... Not there yet? You better welcome people regardless.
2- Age prejudice. Your people are getting the cold shoulder from the elders. We need to welcome the young people in because they are the life that a church needs. Children are little people. Youth are people too. They may not be as tall, wise, or reserved as us old people.
3- Racial prejudice. Jesus addressed this on several occasions. Jesus loves people regardless of race. God is not prejudice. Jesus is not prejudice. Love people because God loves them not because of what race they are.
STRIVE TO BE GOOD SERVANTS.
The Lord keeps record of what we do and say one day we will give account of our actions.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he could not speak to them about deep things.
Q: How would you like it if the pastor said I have to keep it simple because you guys are a bunch of babies in the Lord? We need to grow in the Lord because if we don't, then we are stagnant.
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 KJV
A carnal state prevents growth.
Things we need to grow I grace:
1- A Prayer life
2- A Spiritual life
3- A witness.
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1 Corinthians 3:4-9 KJV
You will get out of a church service, what you put into it.
How you respond to the worship and word will determine what you get.
Where is your heart and mind when sitting in church?
Are you thinking about lunch? Try eating before church so your stomach aint growling.
Speaking of food… Being part of a church is like being at a restaurant.
One person seats you, one takes your order, another cooks it, someone else cleans up. They all work together so you can enjoy a meal. Church is like that. When we all work together the people are getting what they need to carry on.
Edward Mote wrote a song. 'On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand' this came from 1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
9 THINGS TO BRING SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
1- BUILDING A GOOD FOUNDATION BRINGS GROWTH.
When we listen to the preaching and apply it to our life, we make a good foundation.
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 KJV
The word is dying and the Word can save them.
2- SPIRITUAL FUEL IS NEEDED FOR GROWTH.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
We need to have a good filling of God's Spirit.
Paul said no matter how you got saved; remember Jesus is your savior.
When you are filled with the spirit, it will show through your life, in what you say and do.
If it's in your heart it will come out your mouth.
3- LITTLE THINGS MATTER IN GROWTH.
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”
Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV
Don't let the little things make you stumble.
4- WORKING AND CARING BRINGS GROWTH.
“Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.” 1 Corinthians 4:11-14
5- SHOWING RESPECT TO THOSE THAT ARE ELDERS BRINGS GROWTH.
“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” 1 Corinthians 4:15-16 KJV
6- REMEMBERING WHO GOD IS BRINGS GROWTH.
“Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?”
7- LIVING EVERY DAY SUBJECT TO GOD BRINGS GROWTH.
“And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.”
Mark 1:7-9 KJV
8- FOLLOWING THE BIBLE BRINGS GROWTH.
“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” 1 Peter 3:8-12
9- LIVING FOR JESUS WILL ALWAYS BRING GROWTH.
Strive to be good servants.
“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.” Revelation 3:20
“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32 KJV
Let Jesus in to your heart, and give your life to him.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 KJV
It takes faith to find forgiveness.
It takes faith to get through tuff times.
We can never operate in faith without having total faith in God and his word.
God reveals himself through the word.
It takes a personal revelation of who he is and what he did to have faith.
There are those who know God in the head, but not in the heart.
What is God like?
To find out go to the word.
The word of God reveals that there is a God.
He is not on the cross.
He is not in the tomb.
He is standing at the right hand of the Father.
Develop our faith in God.
1- IN ORDER TO HAVE FAITH IN THE WORD OF GOD,
YOU NEED TO HAVE FAITH IN THE AUTHOR.
He is the God who spoke all things into existence.
What is more crazy, believing you came from a pool of goo, or that God created man?
WE NEED TO:
Speak the word.
Live the word.
Feed on the word.
When God spoke things came into being.
The power of the Holy Spirit has been planted in us.
We are children of God and we should be able to speak in the name of Jesus.
I have faith in the word of God because He has proven himself to be faithful.
Even if you have failed God, he will pick you up and put you on higher ground.
Goes is faithful. He was faithful to the saints of old, and he will be to you.
Look at Abraham, David, and Daniel, those things he did in the Old Testament were done by the same God that we serve. God never ever changes.
Can we be "just a little bit" like God?
Or are we lying, cheating, and failing time and time again?
God's integrity is on the line in the promise he gives to his people.
“Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.”
Jeremiah 1:12 KJV
We have to be careful with every word that comes out of our mouth.
On average 20 people a day are watching you, don't be a stumbling block.
Our names are written in the Lambs book of life, should we not win souls?
Let our light shine everywhere we go.
2- IN ORDER TO HAVE FAITH YOU MUST BE FEEDING ON THE WORD ON A REGULAR BASIS.
You need to feed yourself and not just rely on the pastor to feed you.
Ignorance of God's word breads a spirit of skepticism and doubt.
Q: How much time do you read the Bible vs reading the news?
We must have a menu of the Word of God.
If you only get it on Sunday morning you will be in trouble.
There are too many Christians listening to TV evangelists are saying.
Too many stay home and listen to a TV preacher at home.
That is not fellowshipping or gathering together.
We need to assemble ourselves together.
Take care of your own local church before you give to guy on TV.
If your home church is suffering financially, take care of it first.
Who will preach your family's funerals?
Who will do marriages for your children?
Who will come to visit you in the hospital?
Learn to feed on the Word yourself. Time to grow up.
3- TOTAL FAITH IN THE WORD OF GOD CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
We will confess what God says instead of what man says.
The Word teaches you how to live in this life.
Are you the same as you were before Jesus came into your life?
If that's the case the devil has led you astray.
If you are not growing it is because you are not right.
Do you believe the promises that are found in the Word?
All I ask is to be like Jesus.
Graphic Art and Blog content by Matthew Law, inspired by Pastors and visiting speakers messages.