Friday, September 14, 2012

The Other Side

(rough draft notes for a recent message)

Mar 4:35  And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

This side was good, we learned, we listened, we grew, but now it is time to go and use what we learned. It is time to put the preaching into practice. 

Old Testament…
Deu. 2:3  Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

They had been circling this mountain, this same mountain, for far too long.

What mountain of a problem have you been circling, staring at, for way too long?
You may be tired of the view, and tired of the travel, but if you are going to get out of this rut, you are going to have to turn!  You can't do the same thing and expect different results!

Next levels don't come by accident,

They come on purpose and by purpose.

Persistence breaks resistance!

You must say I am going up!
I am thankful for what I have learned, but there is something greater.

God has given me a yearning for more and He never teases us with a desire without being willing to fulfill it if we respond.

Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda "Wilt thou be made whole…."
He didn't ask that to tease the man and disappoint him, but to stir up a desire, to fan the flame of faith, to get him thinking about healing instead of handicaps!

Here is the problem..

Next levels, Other sides, new dimensions,  only come by passing through the problem.

You can't grow without the challenge.

You can't increase without a desire and a determination.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

If you want it you have got to be determined to get it.

You can't cut back and go up
You can't slow down and go farther
You can't find Him with half a heart
To go up…you must give up…
It's ok if you want to be mediocre or just plain awful, but to go up you must sacrifice!

He had purpose! Where did that purpose come from?

He had peace in the storm

What made the difference?
Both the disciples and Jesus were on the same boat and dealing with the same storm,

One slept and the other wept (cried)
One rested others restless
One snoozed the others accused

What made the difference?
Faith!  Yes
But where did that faith come from? That power?

When He awoke, He stood and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still!

Be Calm, Be muzzled

He tells us to speak to the mountain…get outta my way…

He tells us we have dominion over sin

He tells us we have power over the enemy

He tells us we are victorious through Christ

He tells us we have a sure future

He tells us we are overcomers

He tells us It's not over till God says it's over!

*(It is not dead until we say it is dead!)

Where does this

Come from?

At the beginning of Jesus ministry, before He did a miracle, before He preached a message,

He was filled with the Holy Spirit!

Here is the good news,

That same Spirit,
That one that created the world
That did the miracles
That has creative and redemptive power
That Spirit that can make something out of nothing, wants and desires to be in you and make His abode, His dwelling, His living space in you!

Then, when we are filled with that same power

We will have a purpose that says I am going over
I am going through
I am going on
I can't turn back
Though none go with me still I will follow

We will have a peace that says worry is of the devil
Worry is faith in the enemy
I won't worry, I will pray I will trust in Him
He has never let me down.
I can sleep in the storm

We will have a power that says get outta my way!
Be healed
Be reconciled
Be forgiven
Be like Jesus!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Isn't that great work by the Printshop?  and even greater work by our God who set us free!

(Joh 8:36)  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Friday, May 04, 2012

On Soulwinning...

In Gipsy Smith's book The Beauty of Jesus, Gipsy Smith told about Peter Apples, a man (during the Civil War) who went into the enemy's territory. Peter Apples did not know much about being a good soldier. He just knew that when his superior officer said, "Charge!" he was supposed to go. And he was the kind of man who never came back until he made contact with the enemy. 

One day his officer said, "Charge!" Peter Apples charged. But they came under such severe fire that the superior officer asked them to retreat, to come back. Peter Apples didn't hear that, so he kept going. He went across "No-Man's Land" and finally into the enemy's territory. He went down in a ditch where the enemy soldiers were lined up one behind the other, took hold of the first one in the ditch, grabbed him by the nape of the neck, drug him out and started back toward home with him.

The enemy soldiers took aim and started to shoot, but since their own soldier was being dragged behind Peter Apples, they couldn't fire. About the time they thought they had a shot, their own soldier would get in the way again. Peter Apples continued to travel with the soldier. Finally he dragged him across "No-Man's Land" and back into his own territory and dropped him at the feet of his superior officer.

The officer looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, "Where in the world did you get him?" He answered, "I got him over there in the ditch. There's plenty of them over there, and all of you could have had one if you had wanted one." 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Quarter At A Time

We think giving our all to the Lord
is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table—
“Here's my life, Lord. I'm giving it all.”

But the reality for most of us
is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters.
We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there.
Listen to the neighbor kid's troubles instead of saying, “Get lost.”
Go to a committee meeting.
Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.

Usually giving our life to Christ isn't glorious.
It's done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time.
It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory;
it's harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.

--Fred Craddock

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Power Will Be On

I read a story recently that I thought was worth passing on: 

The organ in a large church broke down one Sunday morning just before services were to begin. A member of the congregation happened to be a organ repairman and he immediately went to work on the instrument – finding it was a simple electrical problem. When he finally got it fixed it was just about the middle of the sermon. He quietly passed a note to the organist which read: "After prayer - the power will be on."

After prayer!  We always want the crown, but not the cross, we want the power but not the prayer, yet it is still true today, "After Prayer, the power will be on!"

Friday, March 09, 2012

Easter Poster

Jesus as...

Jesus as Priest represents man before God.
Jesus as Prophet represents God before man.

Jesus as man brings compassion, He can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.
Jesus as God brings power, power to fix the brokenness!

Jesus as servant washed the disciple’s feet teaching us humility...
Jesus as King says all power is given unto me! Showing us authority.

Jesus as man hungered...
Jesus as God fed five thousand!

Jesus as Preacher said Repent!
Jesus as Savior made a way for us to repent!

Jesus as Lamb was killed for us...
Jesus as Lion will return to rule and reign!

Jesus as Son of Mary submitted Himself to His Parents...Jesus as Son of God submitted Himself to the Father and the death of the cross.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Circle Maker

Mark Batterson shared this in an article and I pass it along....
.In the first century B.C., there was a drought in Israel that threatened to destroy that generation. It's the inter-testamental period; the prophets had died off 400 years prior, miracles weren't happening; but there was one man who was famous for praying for rain. His name was Honi the Circle Maker, and let me tell you how he got the name. When the Israelites asked him to pray for rain, he did something curious. He used his staff and drew a circle in the sand, then he knelt in that circle and he prayed, "Sovereign Lord, I swear before Your great name that I will not leave this circle until You send rain." And it began to sprinkle.
Now here's the cool thing, Honi wasn't satisfied. He said, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for the rain that will fill pits and caverns and cisterns." Then it starts raining so hard there is a flash flood and people have to flee up to the temple mount. So he's still in his circle and again he says, "Not for such rain have I prayed, but for the rain of Your blessing and favor and graciousness." And it starts to rain in perfect moderation.Well, that's prayer! The Sanhedrin threatened to excommunicate him because they thought it was too bold—as if you can't draw a circle and demand something from God. Finally, some saner minds prevailed and Honi was ultimately honored for a prayer they said saved a generation.
So this is a book about drawing prayer circles, and the basic idea is: God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God. He loves it when we ask Him to do things we can't possibly do ourselves. I believe that's the way God gets the glory, and that is the story in a nutshell.

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Faith Of A Friend

(Luk 5:20)  And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
Intro:  There was a sister in Hawaii whose baby got sick, listless, not even crying, but the mother realized something was seriously wrong and took the baby to the hospital.  The baby was so dehydrated, so sick, it couldn’t even cry.  Its whole life was bound up in the mother noticing the needs of that baby.  The baby was completely dependant on someone else’s compassion!
There are times in our life when we are so down, that we need someone else to help us up.  We are so wounded, so sick spiritually, so messed up in our brains that we can’t think straight, we become almost completely dependent upon someone else noticing our need and bringing us to God!

This was the case of the man in the story of the good Samaritan
a.       He came across some people who had the wrong attitude.
                                                               i.      The thieves said “What is your is mine and I am going to take it.”
                                                             ii.      The priest and the levite said “what’s mine is mine and I am am going to keep it!”
                                                            iii.      The Samaritan said “What is mine is yours and I am going to share it!”
b.      He had Compassion!
c.       If He would not have cared, that man would have died!
d.      He didn’t have an attitude that said
                                                               i.      “good enough for him, he was probably doing something wrong anyhow!” 
                                                             ii.      “If he wouldn’t be hanging around the wrong crowds he wouldn’t get into that mess.”
                                                            iii.      He believed this man is worth it.  He is worth Helping!
                                                           iv.      All men are worth helping!
                                                             v.      Who are we to determine that some just aren’t worth the time?
e.      A church is a hospital
                                                               i.      A hospital is not about the doctors and the nurses and the medical techs
                                                             ii.      The hospital is about the patients!
f.        He had to believe!
                                                               i.      If I can just get him to  a safe place
1.       Church ought to be a safe place
2.       Children ought not to fear other children
3.       Adults ought not to fear what others say etc..
                                                             ii.      A Place where he can be fed
                                                            iii.      A place where he can be nursed to health
                                                           iv.      A place where he can find rest (NOT Turmoil!)
                                                             v.      A place where he can be loved!
g.       He Risked!
Four friends who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus
h.      In all of the gospel accounts it said Jesus saw THEIR faith.
i.         Sometimes God responds to the faith of our friends!!!
j.        Sometimes a broken body can lead to a handicapped faith
k.       A sickness can lead to a diseased attitude
l.         If the man wouldn’t believe, the friends would!
m.    If we can just get him to Jesus, Jesus can make a difference in his life!
                                                               i.      Interesting to note, the first thing Jesus did was forgive his sins.  Maybe that sin was one of the causes of his low or little faith
                                                             ii.      A broken body and a broken faith
                                                            iii.      We believe enough to stir up  the normal
                                                           iv.      To sacrifice our time
                                                             v.      Our pride, to take a risk to bring someone to Jesus!
Jesus Tells Peter
n.      I have prayed for you that your faith fail not
o.      Peter was still shaken
p.      Fear took hold
q.      He denied once, twice, three times
r.        The courage he once boasted of was gone
s.       He went out and wept bitterly
t.        But as he cried, maybe he remembered those words
u.      I have prayed for you!
v.        (Pro 27:10)  Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
He was shaken but not taken!!!
Application:  We can’t stop believing that bringing someone to Jesus can change them.
We need to pray one for another when we have compassion and see the needs of one another.
Conclusion: Loved to Life!; (From Reader’s Digest) The two twins born…As her first baby, a little boy, was born, Ogg caught a glimpse of a floppy, white body. Was that what a preemie should look like? She had no idea. As the team rushed to insert a tube into his lungs, Ogg delivered her second baby, whom they would name Emily. The little girl let out a cry, and for the first time, Ogg realized something might be wrong with the silent boy they’d planned to call Jamie.
The staff worked frantically on Jamie, but he never drew a breath. Finally, one of the doctors turned to Ogg. “We’ve lost him.”
As they handed Kate her baby, she noticed him gasp as if trying to breathe. “It’s just a brain stem reflex,” the doctor told her before leaving the couple to mourn in private. Kate gently unwrapped the blanket that surrounded Jamie and placed his fragile body on the warm skin of her chest. She wanted to get to know him. His future had been snatched from her, and she ached to get him back. For a while, she sobbed. Suddenly, Ogg thought she felt Jamie startle. She looked down and saw his chest move.
“I think he might actually make it,” she said excitedly to David. Again they were told it was a reflex. Then the newborn opened his eyes and seemed to grab for his father’s finger. David hurried to find a doctor, who explained that they weren’t seeing what they thought they were. “But look!” said Ogg, who had moistened her finger with colostrum from her breast. “He’s licking my finger.”
Quickly, the doctor listened to the baby’s chest. By now, Jamie’s lungs were inflated, he was breathing unaided, and he had regained full color. The medical team rushed Jamie to intensive care.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Road To Bethlehem Part 5 "Salvation!"

(Mat 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.
Luk 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luk 2:15  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luk 2:16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luk 2:18  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
Luk 2:19  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Luk 2:20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Intro:  We began this series talking about the great joy the angels had announced at His coming…

Today, as we finish the series, we find we are not disappointed!  It seems that almost everyone in the bible account is rejoicing.

The angels rejoiced and sang
The shepherds
The Wisemen
Mat 2:10  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
I.                   Why were the Angels rejoicing?
a.       This wasn’t about them! 
b.      They had seen the havoc the devil and sin had brought upon mankind
c.       They knew how satan wanted to steal kill and destroy man
d.      They saw how he had lifted himself up and tried to overthrow God
e.       They knew that what God started, He is always able to finish
f.       To God begun, is as good as done…!!!
g.      (Php 1:6)  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
h.      If you started serving God, you can finish by His grace and His help. 
i.        They knew the truth that Nahum had said
j.        (Nah 1:3)  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
k.      Like Elijah praying, when he saw the cloud as a man’s hand, He knew He was on the way!
II.                Why The Shepherds?
a.       Usually when you send out birth announcement of a king you send them to the heads of state, silver engraved announcements to dignitaries
b.      But God announces the birth of His Son, not to dignitaries, but shepherds.
c.       He did send out a star !!!
                                                              i.      To them that look for Him shall He appear!
                                                            ii.      It is still the same today. 
1.      He is here
2.      He is coming
d.      Why?  Maybe because God wanted the shepherds, the ordinary everyday man to know that this is good news for them.  They can be forgiven! They are not forgotten about.
                                                              i.      Sometimes that is how we feel, especially around the holidays
                                                            ii.      Did someone forget you?  NOT GOD!
e.       What did they think when they came in contact with Jesus?
                                                              i.      Questions…I am sure…
                                                            ii.      A king…but in a stable?  A feeding trough for animals? The Savior?  God still confounds the wisdom of the wise.  Sometimes the power of God is in the little crowd, not the big multitude but the faithful few!
III.             Herod….He Got Mad, Not Glad
a.       Wisemen announced the coming of Christ
b.      Where is He that is born king of the Jews?
                                                              i.      Herod inquired and this is what he found out
                                                            ii.      (Mat 2:6)  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
                                                          iii.      Herod didn’t want to give up the leadership, the rulership of the kingdom.
                                                          iv.      Christ is never Co-regent of your life!
                                                            v.      He is never co ruler…He is Lord of All or Not Lord at all
                                                          vi.      Same today…many come in contact with Christ, what should be joyful announcement is a terror to them.
                                                        vii.      They see it as a threat to them and losing control of their life
                                                      viii.      They get mad that someone would tell them what to do and what they have to give up etc and therefore never experience the joy that God intended for them to have!
                                                          ix.      If you love me…Obey my commandments
IV.             Wisemen
a.       They came looking for the king
b.      They came ready to worship
c.       They came ready to give (offer)
d.      They weren’t put off by the humble surroundings!
e.       We have got to meet the king

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Lord is There!

The Lord Is There!

Eze 35:10
(10)  Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there:

Edom was a country that hated Israel.  Though they came from the same lineage, and Esau was actually the brother of Jacob.  Even in the womb they fought one another and they still do today!  Edom not only took advantage of Israel when they were down, but they joined in and piled on.

When Babylon crushed Israel in 587BC, Edom had joined in and helped them, they took advantage of them when they were down. They afflicted the afflicted and kicked the nation when they were down.  But they made one crucial mistake.  When Israel was down and they thought they would invade and take the land to be their own, they forgot, The Lord Was There! 

God may have punished Israel and Judah and He may have the right to correct them, but He did not utterly give up on them.  It is one thing to punish your own child, but woe to the one that comes in to punish your child! 

God said “The Lord Was There…”

He is there!

What makes heaven heaven and hell hell?  Hell is hell because of the lack of the presence of God and heaven because of His Presence!  In His presence is fullness of joy!

In the New Testament Jesus gave the example of a house that was inhabited by devils.  They house was vacated and the devils were looking for a new place to live.  They found none and came back to their original place, they found it empty and swept and brought in more devils and more wicked then before.

The problem?  It was empty!!!!

·        That is repentance without salvation
·        Life alteration but not surrender to Jesus
·        Resolution without Jesus solutions

(EZE 35:10) …As if to say “What in the world are you thinking?  Are you out of your mind?”

It was the presence of God that made all of the difference

How many times the enemy of our soul is like Edom.  If we are down and have stumbled, he wants to pile on. 

If we have failed, he wants to make sure we never get up.

·        He tries to jilt our joy,
·        To mess up our mission
·        To possess our possession
·        Belittle our burden

You may have messed up but God hasn’t given up on you

You may have failed, but it is not final!

                He is there in the battle!!!

·        Isa 59:19(19)  So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
·        Yes We rejoice about God lifting up a standard, telling us to go forward but the greatest part of this verse is “HE IS THERE IN THE BATTLE!”

He is there in the Praises!

·        He inhabits the praises of His people!!!
·        Do you feel distant?
·        When you start praising Him, He is there!!!!
·        You need an answer?  You need some joy? You want your burden for souls renewed?  GET IN HIS PRESENCE BY PRAISING HIM!!!

He is there in the Need!

·        Wedding of Cana
·        They ran out!
·        Mary says “Do what He says”
·        He says “Fill up the water pots!”
·        First you have got to pour in, before you can pour out
·        In their need HE WAS THERE!!!
·        Sometimes it feels as if we are empty, don’t have the money, love, energy, faith etc, but in our need, HE IS THERE!

Closing illustration:  The night that I got saved, there was a battle going on.  The devil was trying to take me out and told me to kill myself.  That it was too late….That the devil had me….But in my distress….I cried unto the Lord.   HE WAS THERE!!!!

One day when this dispensation is over, God said I am going to name that place Jehovah Shammah, THE LORD IS THERE!