Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Joy Stealers


-- Christian servants have words without actions;
-- Christian servants become busy without purpose;
-- relationships fail to provide mutual nourishment;
-- Christian servants serve without a Sabbath;
-- spiritual gifts are used without God's power;
-- Christian servants possess great theology without adequate spirituality;
-- Christian servants exercise faith without self-examination and

John Powers

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friends & Family Day Oct. 26

We are excited about Friends and Family day this Sunday! Our apologies again for the postponement, the marathon was a surprise to us, but the good news is the photographer will be here this Sunday and we are planning an outdoor setting! The portraits should be beautiful, but more important than anything, seeing our friends and family coming to Jesus will be the most beautiful!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Boy At The Candy Store...

There was a little boy in a candy story that was staring at the candy.  The owner noticed him and looked at his clothes and realized he was poor and had compassion on him and told him:
"Go ahead and reach your hand in the candy jar and get as much candy as your hand can hold.:"
The boy just kept on staring.
The owner, said "Didn't you hear me?  Go ahead, reach in and get as much candy as your hand can hold and I won't charge you for it."
The boy kept on staring.
Finally, a little exasperated, the owner stuck his hand down in the candy jar and pulled out a great big handful of candy and said "Here!"
The little boy smiled and held out his two cupped hands together and said "Your hand is bigger than mine!"

That is what happened with us!  God reached in with His hand and bestowed upon us riches of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

His hand is bigger than ours!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Where Is The Lamb?

***Notes from "Where Is The Lamb?" message.  These are in rough draft form!

Genesis 22:7  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

Intro:  Do you know where the first time the bible mentions love?  It is in Genesis 22. 
It is when God tells Abraham take thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest….
So we see Abraham taking his son to the top of Mt. Moriah, intended to offer him as a sacrifice to his God.

Man that loved God so much he was willing to sacrifice his son for Him.

As they walk up the mountain, Isaac his son doesn’t know what is going on and asks the question “Where is the lamb?”  Abraham utters his prophetic answer “God will provide Himself a Lamb.”
They get to the top and God stops Abraham from going through with the human sacrifice.
From that moment, the search begins. 
We are looking for a Lamb, one that will be sacrificed for us.
We need a Lamb.
2. Passover
In the time that the Israelites are slaves in Egypt.  God prepares them to be rescued and redeemed.  He sends plagues upon the nation of Egypt, always sparing the Israelites and showing that He was their protector and at the same time warning the Egyptians that they had better take heed.
Finally the last plague was to come.
God tells Moses:
Exodus 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

Every house needs a lamb
Every man needs a lamb

They were to choose the lamb four days before.
The lamb was to be among them, to make sure it wasn’t sick, diseased, or had any broken bones.  But also so that there would be some sort of relationship built.  The kids would play with it, They would feed it, Some say it was even to be In their home and eat and drink at their table.  All so that when they sacrificed that lamb, there would be a connection to it.  That was our lamb, they would understand that that lamb is being slain for us.
They would prepare the meal
·         No bone broken
·         Every father would slay the lamb, so that means every father was a priest to his home
·         Blood placed on the door posts and the lintel
·         Not on the  threshold (to count the blood an unholy thing)
·         Eat it all, get full
·         No matter how religious or how sinful, the only thing that mattered that night was: “Is the blood on the doorposts and lintel?” if it was, they are safe.  They all hid underneath the blood.
·         Can you imagine being the first born?  Watching dad.  Maybe the dad hesitating…Mom beckoning, Are you going to risk your son’s life by inaction?  Do it! 11:30 11:45 finally they do it.
·         Eat the lamb….all are healed…2 million people and not one feeble (sick) among them. 
·         You talk about a mass healing service!!!
·         How much more now, when we partake of the Lamb, (Jesus) in communion (tonight)
·         All were saved by the blood
·         All were healed by the Lamb
3. David
·         Chosen as a shepherd king
·         Moses also a shepherd
·         Israel called God’s flock
·         Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd
·         Shepherd would sleep at the door, he would become the door, of the sheepfold
·         Develop close relationships with the sheep
·         Held them as they were nursed back to health.
·         They would know the shepherd’s voice and only follow him
·         Now David is different
·         Now he has hired someone else to tend his sheep, his flocks
·         Now he has gotten him a name
·         He is famous
·         Rich
·         Proud
·         Distant from God
·         He has lied, cheated, committed adultery, had a man murdered!
·         ***God didn’t give up on him!
·         Sends Nathan the prophet
·         Nathan tells a story
·         Two men, one rich one poor.
·         Poor man had only one little lamb
o   Ate at the same table
o   Drank of the same cup
o   Slept in his bosom
o   As a daughter to him
o   Didn’t have much, but he had the lamb
§  More than we need to give material things to our children, we need to give them the reality of a relationship with Jesus Christ!
§  Fed the Lamb, the influence of the Lamb grew in their house.
§  This is how Christianity is supposed to be
§  Not just a petting zoo on Sunday and then do your own thing, but He is supposed to live with you.
§  The fragrance of the Lamb fills the home
§  Eats at the table
§  Drinks at your cup
§  Decisions are made in the presence of the Lamb
§  Words are spoken in the presence of the Lamb
·         Not Shut up
·         Not I hate you
·         Rich man took the poor man’s lamb and slew it
·         David was infuriated!
·         He shall be put to death
·         He shall restore four lambs for that one!
o   David Did (Four of his children died for the one he killed)
§  Adonijah
§  Absalom
§  Amnon
§  Baby of Bathsheba
·         Thou art the man
·         Poor man had something that David no longer had.  A relationship with the Lamb!
·         Where is the Lamb? David

4. John the Baptist

John 1:36  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
5. Revelation
                Revelation 5:5-6
5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Jesus is our Lamb, slain for our sins.  His blood gives us forgiveness of sins and partaking of His body gives us healing!

Conclusion:Amazing how that hundreds of years later we see the same scene played out.

At the beginning we saw the Abraham loved God enough that he was willing to sacrifice his son for God.  

but now...
At Calvary...

We see God loves man enough that He is willing to sacrifice His son for man!

God has provided Himself a Lamb.  Jesus Christ, the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Ephesians Bible Study Notes 2:14-22

Three divisions in the book of Ephesians
  1. Our position in Christ (Chapters 1-3) SIT
  2. Our Life in the World (Chapters 4:1-6:9) WALK
  3. Our Attitude to the Enemy (Chapter 6:10-24) STAND
The life of the believer always has these three aspects:
  • To God
  • To the World
  • To the enemy
To be useful to God we must be properly adjusted in all three: His position, his life, and his warfare.

We don't begin with Walk, or Stand, but with Sit because Christianity beings not with a big DO, but with a big DONE!

As long as we are struggling to do, we get nothing from God.  We are to live a life of faith.  So until a man says "I can do nothing to save myself, but by His grace God has done everything for me in Christ, I receive it by faith." He is no Christian until then.

Remember God's seventh day was really man's first full day.  Man was created on the sixth day so his first full day was a day of rest!
Man could do nothing himself until he first entered into God's rest and then alone can he work.

***This is a great analogy for the need to pray and start a day with God.  Enter into His rest before you can do anything for Him!

Our life begins with the discovery that all things are now provided.  Think of the invitation to the king's supper given to us in Luke 14:17 : "Come; for all things are now ready."

How do I get the Holy Spirit baptism?  The same way that you received Christ. You didn't work for your salvation, or beg, or plead, you didn't afflict yourself with fastings and etc. You asked and received!  The gift of the Holy Spirit has already been poured out, you just need to receive Him!

Ephesians 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

The law was meant to unite all mankind in a universal guilt, and in man turning to God for deliverance, unite them in a universal salvation.  
Instead, the Jews, used the law as a means of showing they were better than the Gentiles.  Look we have the law!  Even though they didn't fulfill it.  It became a division instead of a tool of uniting.  A wall that separated the Jew and Gentile.

Ephesians 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Jesus, by means of the cross (death, burial and resurrection) tore down the thing that separated the two, declaring all guilty and all having a chance to be part of the one body, the body of Christ, the one faith, Christianity. 

Ephesians 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

The law killed us, He killed the law! We were the gangrenous amputated arm, dead!  Jesus took that arm and attached it to Himself, our sin coursed through His body, killing Him, separating Him from the Father.
But then!!!! He was resurrected and His life coursed through our dead sinful lives and cleansed us from the gangrene of sin and made us who were dead alive! We became one with Him! In Him!

Ephesians 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
Ephesians 2:18  For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

NOT through the law, not through our works or efforts, but through HIM!

Ephesians 2:19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

I am a citizen with rights...and responsibilities.
Not only do I enjoy the rights of an American, but I also have the responsibilities of one.
  • Pay my taxes
  • Jury duty
  • Fight for my country if called upon
  • Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.
So as a Christian I enjoy the privileges of answered prayer, fellowship with God, healing and the Holy Ghost baptism.  I also have responsibilities: To support my church with my tithes and offerings, to fulfill the duties God calls me  to do (prayer, bible reading, soulwinning, serving in the church) and to fight for my Jesus, my leaders, my church!

I am in His household, I am privileged to eat at His table and enjoy the bounty and blessings, but I must also live by His house rules:
  • Dinner time...He wants you at the dinner table! Not hungry?  Doesn't matter, a meal has been prepared for you, your friends are at the table, your Father is there, His command is: BE THERE!
  • Put some clothes on!  Don't represent this family (God's family) be being naked or near naked in the world.
  • Watch who you hang around!  We can't fellowship with those who will destroy or distract us... Come out from the world be ye separate...You are either a friend of the world or a friend of God.  Friends of God don't listen to the worldly music glorifying sex, drinking, killing, going to jail.  You must make a decision, who will you have as a friend? God? or the devil and the world?  Who can help you more?

Ephesians 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Ephesians 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Ephesians 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Now the metaphor changes to us being a building, a place for God to inhabit, a temple, individually and as a group. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

You Can Rise!

​This Invitation card says it all!  We are excited about our Easter service this Sunday.  Not just because of the pretty dresses and new outfits, nor because of the family get-togethers taking place, but we are excited because Jesus made a way for us to RISE!
We have all experienced times where we have been knocked down, or weighted down with the struggles of this life.  Sometimes because of our personal failures, sometimes because of a sudden catastrophe that took place.
The writer Micah in the bible summed it up well when he said  Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I SHALL ARISE;" Micah 7:8
Easter shows that even from the grave there was a "Rising" or a resurrection!  Jesus had been slain by a jealous and hate-filled crowd.  His disciples didn't know what to do in His absence.  The casual followers were gone and it seemed like the dream was over...but then came Resurrection Sunday!
It had only just begun!
Come join us this Sunday and experience your new beginning!
11an at New Testament Christian Church at 1123 Holly Hills Ave, 63111