October 2016


October 30th    Hope for the little guy!  When the little things become great things!  God makes MOUNTAINS out of MOLE HILLS

Luke 13:18-21 “He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”  And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”  ESV

One of my frustrations in our politics and in our world is when people attempt to make people look small and weak.

A second one is when a person ALLOWS someone to make them feel small and weak!

Never let anyone push you down or marginalize you!

Most often that is just the efforts of a insecure person trying to build themselves up by making you feel small.

Now, I am not blind.  I am a big guy.  And there are folks who are built smaller than I am.  There are also folks built bigger than I am.  That is Gods business.

We need to understand that it is NOT OUR PHYSICAL SIZE that limits us, NOT is it how big or small others MAKE US FEEL that limits us!

It is OUR FAITH that limits us!

  1. Mustard Seed
    1. Tiny
    2. But not its only scripture reference
  2. Luke 17:5-6 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
  3. A tiny seeds that can produce a HUGE plant when turned over to God
    1. A tiny seed brings a great change
    2. The tiny mustard seed grows to provide shelter for other, larger critters
  4. Leaven
    1. a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it ferment and rise.
    2. a pervasive influence that modifies something or transforms it for the better…..”
    3. Leaven is spread by contact
    4. Leaven is widely diffusive
      1. One little bit of leaven can leaven a whole lump
    5. Leaven changes the particles it comes in contact with into its own nature
    6. A little leaven is a small part but it can bring great change
  5. People will try to tell you or make you feel like a little insignificant person
    1. DON’T LET THEM! Reject the LIE!
    2. Because in God’s Hands a LITTLE THING is capable of GREAT THINGS!
  6. We may feel so tiny when compared to the world or the universe
    1. God has planted us here to make a BIG impact
    2. God has planted us here to do His work
    3. God can use our Little faith and move Big Mountains
      1. I am not sure what MOUNTAIN is obstructing your LIFEPATH right now
        1. But with a little faith take that MOUNTAIN to God and let Him either:
          1. Shrink it
          2. Move IT
          3. Remove it
        2. You may THINK you have little RESOURCES but with a little faith take it to God
          1. Watch God make your resources go farther than you ever thought
          2. Trust God with what you have!
        3. KNOW that when your little GRAIN OF FAITH is multiplied through Jesus Christ YOU BECOME A GIANT!

Philippians 4:13-14 “For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.”  NLT

There is hope for the little guy!  HIS NAME IS JESUS!

Advertisements

October 9                    God is Patient

Luke 13:6 – 9  “ Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’   “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”   ESV

GOD’S PATIENCE – Verses  6-9

Jesus tells a story that could refer to Israel.

  • Israel certainly had failed God.
  • Israel had been sent many prophets, looking for repentance.
  • Jesus himself came and dug around the roots and added fertilizer, so to speak. Jesus KNEADED the Gospel into their lives
  • And yet Israel refused to repent and was destroyed eventually by the Romans.

But I believe this text is also written for us who are living on God’s Green Earth TODAY!

  • A lost person certainly had failed God….ALL have sinned
  • A LOST WORLD has certainly been sent many prophets, preachers, evangelists, teachers and other believers to lead it to repentance. Some good, some bad.  The TRUTH is here!
  • Jesus himself came and dug around the roots of our lives and added fertilizer, so to speak. Jesus WORKED the Gospel into our lost world…..into their lives, into our lives.
  • The HOLY SPIRIT is here rooting out the TRUTH of our lives today, fertilizing, pruning and directing us towards JESUS!.
  • And yet a LOST WORLD refuses to repent and will surely experience destruction soon.
    • Time is certainly RUNNING OUT
    • The SEASON of HARVEST is soon coming!!
    • Are we willing to see our friends and neighbors CUT DOWN and lost forever?
      • When a little work could change their eternity?
    • The lost person deserves judgment, but God, IN HIS PATIENCE, delays judgment, so that the person has more time to repent.

Often you and I would be like the land owner in the story, we think the LOST PERSON should be removed or judged, but God delays. He delays and convicts the guilty people of His Creation.  People like you and I.

Perhaps, if given more time, the person will come to his senses and repent.

God is the God of SECOND CHANCES at REPENTANCE.

    2nd, 3rd, 5th, 874,376,549,587,034 chances to repent and more

In fact the Lord has not returned yet, in order to give more people time to repent. 2 Peter 3:8-10

“ But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”   ESV

So, how does this affect us as Christians?

  • We KNOW the love of God
  • We KNOW that the Lord is coming.
  • There are those who NEED the Lord.
    • We should be hard at work stirring up the hard packed soil of a lost worlds heart and pouring on LIVING WATER
    • We have to WORK IT!
      • We need to SHARE THE WORK
      • We need to SHARE our Story
      • We need to do everything we can to lead them to Jesus SO THEY CAN RISE!!!
    • As long as the Lord is patiently delaying His return, we should be doing two things:
      • Striving to live Faithful, obedient Godly lives.
      • Preparing the HARVEST
        • Praying
          • Time Spent on our KNEES is time well spent
        • Sharing the Gospel

Peter follows up his talk about the judgment with these words for believers. 2 Peter 3:11-14

2 Peter 3:11-14   “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!   But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.   Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.     ESV

Let’s be busy living for the Lord in such a way, that those who need to repent see the need because of us.

God is being patient. We need to be busy.

There is a bunch of work to be done before it is HARVEST TIME!

Love Wins                             10-23-2016

Luke 13:10-17 “Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”   And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites!  Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?  And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”   ESV

  1. Jesus was in church serving on the day set aside for worship
    1. The Sabbath Day
    2. The Lords Day
      1. Where are you on the Lords Day?
    3. There was hurting people present
      1. One was a woman who was disabled
        1. Bent over FOR 18 YEARS!
        2. Can you imagine?
        3. Could not stand straight
          1. Persistent pain is one thing BUT THIS?
  1. Jesus saw the hurt
    1. Jesus called her to Himself
    2. Through Word and Deed Jesus healed to hurting woman
      1. She glorified God
        1. When you are set free from pain and hurt from God you should be glorifying Him
    3. The Temple Elite were LIVID
      1. They became indignant because Jesus healed a broken person in church on Sunday
        1. It brought them and their leaders MUCH GRIEF that this woman was healed
      2. Why did He do this on the Sabbath? Why not Tuesday?
        1. COME BACK ANOTHER DAY!
        2. I kinda doubt this poor woman would have found any help from these RELIGIOUS SNOBS on any day!
      3. Jesus called out their hypocrisy
        1. An actor under an assumed character
          1. They were PRETENDING to be God’s Servants
          2. They really only served themselves
        2. He knew they themselves worked on the Sabbath
          1. They worked their livestock, for example
        3. If they cared for their donkeys on the Sabbath how much more should they care for God’s children?
      4. Great shame came upon the hypocritical Temple Elite
        1. God shamed them
        2. God shamed the haters
      5. The people rejoiced
        1. God HEALED the believers
        2. Jesus did great miracles that day in Church
      6. What does this mean for us today?
        1. We can get to “CAUGHT UP” in the “program” of church or the “OPERATIONAL NEEDS” of presenting a service.
          1. Is the grass cut, pews clean and the AC working?
          2. Do we LOOK and SMELL right?
  • Have we completed enough RELIGIOUS RITUAL to make US HAPPY (not worried about TRUE WORSHIP and PLEASING GOD)
  1. We get so CAUGHT UP in the PROCESS we FORGET THE PURPOSE!
  1. We act more like we are on a CRUISE SHIP than in a SPIRITUAL HOSPITAL
    1. We are HERE TO SERVE – NOT TO BE SERVED!
    2. Church should be a place for healing and hope
    3. Church should be a place that the broken are accepted, the lonely are hugged, the angry are soothed and ALL are brought to Jesus Christ
      1. Not told to come back another day
    4. Many times we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let Jesus do His healing, restorative work in our lives.
      1. No questioning
      2. No wondering why
      3. No complaining because church is encroaching on the 12 Noon football game
    5. LOVE WINS Even on Sunday!

9-25-16            Luke 12:57 – 59          “STOP!  You ain’t the Judge”

Luke 12:57-59 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?   As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.  I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.”     ESV

1 Corinthians 6:1-8 “When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!  So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?  I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?  To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?  But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!” ESV

We have become a litigious society.

We take anyone to court for anything.

  • Coffee to hot?
  • Neighbors windmill irritates you? Sue them.
  • A monkey stole someone’s camera, took a selfie with the camera and the owners of the camera posted the picture online. PETA sued them saying the “selfie” was the monkeys property.
  • Footballs not inflated enough, head to court.
  • Election not going your way…off to court we go.

If we don’t get our way on court we take them to the court of public opinion and poison the world even more.

Somewhere along the way we forgot how to talk to each other and work out our differences.

So much so that sometimes we have to go to court to have the COURT order us to talk to each other – to have mediation.

This is sad.

Wrong and sad.

The reality is that when we drag people to court, especially our brothers and sister, we are saying much more about our character than we are theirs.

When we light that “Facebook Bonfire” we are opening ourselves up to public humiliation and problems.

It all seems so easy while sitting in a private office or alone at your kitchen table in front of a keyboard; but not so easy while being cross examined, having your own failures and garbage thrown back into your face by a defense attorney OR someone who wants to be one on a SOCIAL MEDIA site.

We forget that there are things in our lives or the lives of our family that we are ashamed of and would NEVER want dragged into the public square.

Even if what is said about you is “SPUN,” or HYPERBOLE or TWISTED or an OUTRIGHT LIE, it doesn’t matter – the damage to you is done and a GREAT PRICE will be paid.

We should be MUCH better than this!.

Especially those of us of God’s Church

I love God’s House.  There is just something special about the Church of the Living God.

Sometime I wonder about how the Church works, how we are funded, what we should be doing or how serious we are taking God’s Church.

I think we need to understand the Church.

Gods house

A place for His love

A place for healing

A place for reconstruction

A place for recovery

A place where fences are mended

A house of forgiveness

A place of grace

A place of mercy

A place of peace

A place where we rise from the ashes reborn and better than ever.  Not as a Phoenix, but as Christians

A place of acceptance

A place of listening

A place of encouragement

A house of prayer

A house of learning

A house of truth

A place of strengthening

A place of service

A place of giving

A place of helping

A house of faith

A house of hope

A house of love

Our Daddy’s house.

 

I often wonder how we can so easily take God’s church for granted.

Maybe if I looked at who we really are.

You see I have used the wrong words several times…[place or house}

The church is not the building:         The church is us

Sometimes I think we forget who we are in the big picture.

WE ARE THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD and He has said that not even THE GATES OF HELL can stand against us!

We are VICTORS!

We get so CONSUMED with what OUR rights are or what OUR opinions are that we forget the reality of who we are in the big picture.

So when someone does something objectionable we DRAG THEM TO COURT; even other Christians.

We forget that we are the FORGIVEN FALLEN!

We forget that we are just as GUILTY.

We forget about our HUGE OBVIOUS FAILINGS as we point out the TINY BITS of error in others.

We forget that we do not have to haul a fellow CHRISTIAN before a Court at Law for us to fail.

What right do we have to bring disrespect to our God and shame upon Gods church by bringing lawsuits against our other sin filled brothers and sisters

When we talk bad about our church we are talking bad about a person or people and that reflects on God.

Shame

We are Gods broken, messed up and failing children that disappoint Him on a regular basis.

Stop dragging people through the mud

Stop being Mr or Mrs. “SUPERIOR” or “Betty Better than You”

  • REPENT
  • SUBMIT
  • Humble yourself before God
  • Love God and Love others
  • Serve God and Serve others
  • RE-learn how to COMMUNICATE and deal with problems face to face.
  • Be THE CHURCH of the LIVING GOD He designed you to be!
  • Walk in HIS Victory

The CHURCH – THE PEOPLE OF GOD – are to be a people of grace and mercy – FILLED with Faith, Hope and Love – and the greatest of these is love.

The church is more of a HOSPITAL than a COUNTRY CLUB

The church is more of a MISSION SENDING CENTER than a SELF SERVICE CHECK OUT

The church is a place to GIVE and SERVE

The church is to be ENCOURAGING not tearing down.

YOU ARE THE CHURCH

You Ain’t No Better              October 2, 2016 Luke 13:1 – 5

Luke 13:1-5 “There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way?   No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.   Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem?  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”   ESV

So…Who sinned worse?  The folks murdered by an evil political leader OR the folks killed in a construction accident?

  • We like to believe we are THE BEST.
  • We like to think that WE HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT and no one else is as RIGHT as we are here in our little group.
  • We talk down about others but not about ourselves.
  • We claim to know the deep thoughts and plans of God by saying that any problem or disaster they face are results of their sins.
  • They are WORSE than us!
  • Every natural disaster some “religious” TV person or celebrity claims their moral failure brought their disaster.
  • Remember the messages we heard like this about New Orleans after Katrina.

We are foolish and have “STINKING THINKING”

We FORGET that we are ALL SINNERS and have FALLEN SHORT of the GLORY of God.   (Romans 3:23)

We forget that the sun rises on the evil and the good AND it rains on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)

We forget that we ALL live in faulty perishable bodies while on this earthly plain.

We forget that BAD THINGS do indeed happen to GOOD PEOPLE!

Why?  Several reasons.  Here are four:

  1. Our Fallen, messed up world
  2. Our bad choices
  3. The bad choices of others
  4. For the Glory of God.

You are no better than anyone else.

You have equal chance and opportunity for disaster to strike.

You also have the opportunity TO MAKE A CHANGE for your eternity!

REPENT!

RECEIVE Eternal Life by GRACE alone through FAITH alone in CHRIST alone.

Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”   ESV

Repent or you will PERISH.            Perish = Die ETERNALLY

You are the same as everyone else.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”    ESV

This is the ULTIMATE EQUALITY!  All Lives Matter to Jesus!

We have been taught as Christians how infinitely SPECIAL we are because GOD LOVES US and provided HIS SON JESUS for the forgiveness of our SINS and a COMPOLETELY NEW LIFE

  • We are SPECIAL to Jesus!
  • Specifically, and Individually!
  • He KNOWS YOUR BNAME and HE KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR YOU!
  • Just like EVERYONE ELSE!

Mark 1:14-15 “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  ESV

What is this Gospel Jesus brought?

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”   ESV

In our world today we spend so much time DEALING with the faults of others.

Hilary’s Health                                                                                                                                                Trumps attitudes                                                                                                                                        Whose lives matter more than who’s                                                                                                          Their wrongs                                                                                                                                                   Their failures                                                                                                                                                  Why God is punishing them for sin

What when NEED TO BE DOING is LOOKING INSIDE not outside

What is going on with the PERSON IN THE MIRROR?

REPENT of OUR weaknesses and failings

REPENT of OUR Sins

Repent!