June 2015


June 7, 2015 – Following God

 Isaiah 30:19 – 22 “…..And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left….. 

 Trouble will come

God knows and God hears

God is not missing from your life.  He has not abandoned you.

He is not hide from you.  You can find Him if you seek Him.  Your eyes will see Him.

Christ will guide you.  Will you follow Him.

As we travel life’s paths we often find ourselves off the pre-printed “Map” of our life.

  • The map your parents made for you.
  • The map your friends laid out for you.
  • The map your bosses prepared for you.
  • The map of your life that you laid out for you to follow through life.

Far too often these paths takes us on pathways that God did not laid out for your life.

  • Sometimes the storms of life push you off the right path.
  • Sometimes peer pressure pulls you onto paths you would not normally travel
  • Sometimes an addiction/hobby/desire changes your direction
  • Perhaps it is a relationship that is diverting your path

Sometimes we need to be very still and listen for Gods still, small voice saying “turn to the right” or “turn to the left” or simply “follow this path”

WE should follow God’s Calling for our life because:

  1. Jeremiah 29:11 – 14 “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.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”  ESV
  2. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
  3. Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.”

1 Kings 19:9 – 15 “There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.  And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus’

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Fasting?     Luke 5:33 – 39

Luke 5:33-39 “And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”  And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?  The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”  He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.  But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.  And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”    ESV

FASTING:  Going without food or drink voluntarily, generally for religious purposes. Fasting, however, could also be done for other reasons. It was sometimes done as a sign of distress, grief, or repentance.

The sacrifice of the personal will, which gives to fasting all its value, is expressed in the old term used in the law, afflicting the soul.

Fasting is a necessary Christian Discipline.  The Flesh is subdued and submitted to God and we open our life to more of God and less of us.

Believers in the Bible are often depicted as spending time in fasting and prayer.  In times of great turmoil, in times of major decisions and in times of commissioning people to send people out to serve God.

 In Matthew 17 the disciples were wondering why they could not bring healing and cast out an illness.  Jesus chastised them for a lack of faith and told them that “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”    

This is the same scripture that Jesus tells us that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

Fasting builds a greater faith. A faith that can do more than move a mountain.  A Faith God is able to use to do GREAT things.  But remember that it is GOD’S Faith to mold.

We should be a people of fasting and prayer.

I am sometimes asked “how much and for how long?”    I cannot answer that for you.  THAT IS BETWEEN YOU AND GOD

  • Fasting for you may mean a few days of no food or a certain activity at all. (Internet, social media, golf, shopping, etc…)
  • Fasting may mean not partaking of a certain food or activity for a set period of time – or forever.
  • All of us need a time of fasting to show Gods control over our flesh, to deny our human desires to seek the desires of God.

We give our APPETITES way to much control over us.

But this text is NOT about fasting.

This Text is about Religion Verses Biblical Christian Faith

Religion “shows off” its religious activities.       “Hey, look at me!  Look how pathetic I look in my sackcloth and ashes!  I am more righteous than you are and therefore BETTER!  Look at Me!”

Biblical Faith shares its faith and love yes, and those around us know we are believers BUT by our love and our life; NOT by our dirty clothes and growling bellies.

Fasting is a Christian Discipline that is between YOU and GOD!  It is no one else’s business.

Because we feel we can control our fasting we try to TAKE CREDIT for our fasting.  It is GOD’S TIME – under GOD’s GUIDANCE

Here what Jesus taught about fasting:    Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  ESV

  • Devote yourself to God.
  • Let everything you do be done to His Glory.
  • Don’t be a CLANGING GONG OF RELIGION
  • Life a Biblical Life of service, humility and character with Faith, Hope and Love.

These Pharisees and Scribes were trapped by their religiosity.  They could not see past a religion that they controlled and a religious tradition that had them trapped.

They were trying to apply Faith in Jesus Christ over the template of their religion.  The 2 are incompatible.

You can’t put a new patch on an old wineskin.

Christians are a NEW CREATION, created in Christ Jesus for the Good Work He has prepared for them.

Fasting is a strange issue for Christians to deal with.  It is not mentioned often in the New Testament, but when it is; it is taught as a very powerful Faith “tool.”

Mark 9:29 – “and He told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [and fasting].”

The Disciples had a distinct honor and advantage:

  • They walked the earth’s soil with Jesus every day
  • They served Jesus directly every day
  • They talked to Jesus directly every day
  • They lived in Unity with Jesus and His church every day

You know:  Maybe WE CAN LIVE THE SAME WAY!

We have our churches and religious system and traditions as well; BUT we need to keep Faith and Biblical Living ahead of religion.

We walk together as HIS CHURCH before we walk together as Southern Baptists.

We need fasting to draw closer to God, yet the closer we are to God the less we need to fast.

When Jesus was before a great multitude that were hungry and seeking help and guidance from Jesus; Jesus did not tell them to fast.  Jesus told the Disciples to feed them with a little bread and a few fishes.

Life is BETTER with Jesus!

Allow Him to break through the hardness of your heart with LOVE not religious rites and requirements.

RGC Community Prayer Breakfast  – June 9, 2015

Colossians 3:12-17 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”   ESV

  • Good VERY EARLY Morning!
  • I am sure glad that y’all are here this morning!
    • I am EXTREMELY glad that y’all CHOSE to get dressed before you came here!
    • Each one of you woke up and PUT ON CLOTHING!
    • No one showed up Nekked
    • Thank You
  • How many of you put any real thought into the clothing you PUT ON?
    • I usually do not
    • Grab and Go
    • Style is not my strong suit
    • Matching clothing is not my strong suit
      • I was raised on a WV farm in jeans
      • CLEAN is good enough
  • Be thankful for what you have to wear
    • Be thankful you are wearing something!
  • How many of us really give much thought to how we are SPIRITUALLY DRESSED for the day?
    • What we wear SPIRITUALLY is of more importance than what we wear physically.
      • A Kind heart is more valuable than an expensive suit
  • Here is a quick list of what God encourages us to PUT ON daily:
    • Compassion
    • Kindness
    • Humility
    • Meekness
    • Patience
    • Forgiveness
    • ABOVE ALL: LOVE
      • Love is what BINDS US TOGETHER
      • Love is like our SUSPENDERS
        • Ties the bottom to the top
    • Peace of Christ
    • Thankfulness
    • God’s Word dwelling inside
    • Worship and Wisdom pouring out
  • Once we are PROPERLY SPIRITUALLY DRESSED
    • We are ready to face the world
    • Not in our strength
    • In God’s Strength
  • Once you are properly dressed in the Righteous Clothing of God
    • ACT LIKE HIS SERVANT
    • Whatever you do
    • In Word or Deed
      • Do EVERYTHING in the name of the Lord Jesus
    • Giving thanks to God the Father though Him.
  • It is very easy to point out the flaws in our political candidates on the national, state, county or municipal levels
    • But we need to remember that THEY COME FROM US
    • We are identifying our flaws.