Thursday, March 27, 2014

Let's Talk About Jesus Part 1

Jesus said:  “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”  ~ Luke 9:21-24
This is the Holy Season of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s talk about HIM! There are some facts that we see as we read Luke Chapter 3 & 4.  Jesus life as the Messiah begins and it is a powerful beginning. He begins His earthly Ministry with Baptism. At that moment we see the Trinity of God. Jesus was led into the waters of Baptism, His Father God speaking audibly from heaven assuring us that He was the Son of God. The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in a bodily form as a dove. What a moment, as Jesus comes forth and God reveals: “Thou art My Beloved Son; in Thee I Am well pleased!” In this Passage of Scripture there is more information: His Ministry began, as He was about 30 years old.  And it was supposed that He was the Son of Joseph. Immediately Jesus returns from Jordan and is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to ‘overcome’ the devil. For 40 days He fasts, no food, no water. There are three temptations, much like we face today.  He was tempted in His appetite for He was hungry; He was tempted with the things of the world; And He was tempted with power/prestige. Each time He overcame the temptations by the Word of God!  What a powerful lesson we learn here ─ if only we would combat the temptations of the devil with the Word of God. It is so important to see the obedience of Christ because it is what God expects of us also. After Jesus’ temptation, He is even more powerful for we read … “He returned from the temptations in the Power of the Spirit!” Another great example:  When we overcome, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. We must overcome our will and defeat the temptation of the enemy of our soul. The reward is the Holy Spirit strengthens us and we are stronger because we have overcome.  “We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of our Testimony, and we Love Him more then our desires. As we focus on Jesus we note that He was a tremendous Praying Man. He kept close contact with His Father. He withdrew Himself into the wilderness to Pray, unto the mountain to pray, as He faced the Cross He took His disciples aside to Pray. He taught us to Pray. It is a simple Prayer, but so powerful when Jesus is the focus of our life.  Let’s talk about Jesus!   Loving you, Pastor

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Temperance Part 10

The Lenten Season calls for a reflection of our Christianity.  Let’s reflect on the things that we have tried to Practice these last 9 weeks.  How much do we Love the Lord Jesus?  Do we have Joy in serving Him?  Have we noticed the Peace that passes all understanding? How do we handle the precious Longsuffering? Has Gentleness touched us in a special way?  What do we think about God requiring Goodness?  How strong is our Faith?  Do we have our emotions under control until Meekness is seen in our life? And then there is Temperance!  This Fruit of the Spirit is in the midst of an Exhortation concerning walking in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In this Scriptural Exhortation from Galatians Chapter 5 we are reminded about the works of the flesh: Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, drunkenness, raveling, murders. All this is summed up in VS17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”  This is why the Apostle Paul wrote there is a “warring in my members;” it is the war between the flesh & the Spirit of God that lives in us. We are challenged by the forces of darkness, that we might show forth the Power of God’s strength within us.  It would do us good if we just looked up some of these words of darkness to have a greater understanding of what the Lord is talking about to us.  Today we take a look at Temperance. Temperance has several meanings:  Self discipline, moderation, restraint, habitual moderation in the indulgence of appetites or passions, abstinence from the use of intoxicating drink. Much like Meekness, Temperance is having our members under control. In the Greek Temperance is best translated by the word “Mastery.” Which indicates full control over self and the things that one might desire. There are various Passages of Scripture that remind us that we must Practice Temperance. Rom. 13:14“Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” And here is a Powerful thought: 1 Cor. 9:25 “Every man that striveth for the Mastery is Temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”  Loving you, Pastor

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Onament of Meekness Part 9

“…Let it not be the outward adoring; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the Ornament of a Meek & quiet Spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” ~ 1 Peter 3:2-4
As we enter the Lenten Season, we continue to sense the Holy Spirit speaking to our heart concerning the Fruits of His Spirit that He has placed within us.  In the Lenten season we honor our Saviour by reflecting on our Salvation and the Spiritual condition of our personal life. While we daily discipline ourselves in a fleshly discipline, we take on a Spiritual discipline. Perhaps we spend more time in Prayer or in building up ourselves in more of God’s Word. Or perhaps take on a charitable endeavor, but whatever we choose it must interrupt our usual schedule that we might sacrifice for the cause of Christ. In our Message today we explore the “Ornament of Meekness.” Imagine Peter of all the disciples, exhorting on an Ornament of Meekness and quiet Spirit. We know that Jesus had to continually correct Peter, he was boisterous, rude, and often moved in ignorance, even to attempt to correct Jesus. Jesus Words to him was, “I have Prayed for thee, …when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  This has always mystified me, walking with Jesus, serving Jesus, seeing miracles, yet Peter needed to be converted!? Here is a powerful thought, perhaps we need to ‘convert’ our ways that we might grow Spiritually!  After such a conversion in Peter’s life, he writes: “let the hidden man of our heart be an Ornament of a Meek & quiet spirit!”  Meekness is power under control, it is not being easily provoked and never provoking others.  This Ornament of Meekness is: “gentle, endures injury with patience and without resentment.” That was a strong statement from Webster, but as we will see in Scripture there is yet a more powerful witness of such Meekness! You will be interested to know that one of the most powerful men in Scripture is attributed to be ‘above all men upon the face of the earth very Meek. Of course we know Jesus is the most Powerful, yet it was said of this man. May we embrace the Meekness of God’s Fruit within us!
Loving you seeking Meekness, Pastor

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Faith Is - Let's Pactice Part 8

We are now in the 8th week of our study practicing prayerfully the Fruits of God’s Spirit that He has placed within us through the Power of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ!  Let us review: Gal. 5:22-25  “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance: And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. FAITH!?  So much has been said about Faith, multitudes of teachings, mega books written on the subject, probably every day a radio broadcast or a TV episode of an evangelist teaching upon the this powerful subject of Faith. As I begin this message today, I want very much for the ‘hearers’ to hear my heart!  I believe in ‘healing’ but Faith is foremost NOT about healing, it is about Salvation.  Faith is mentioned twice in the Old Testament: The Prophetic utterance of Hab. 2:4 “…The Just shall live by his Faith.”  And in Deut. 32:2 Where God speaks of the Israelites; He said, “I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no Faith.” The knowledge of Faith is found in the New Testament and Jesus introduces it as He performs miracles and heals the sick. When Jesus healed the Lame man, He said to him,  Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more,” again the man lowered down from the roof, “Thy sins are forgiven you,” and to the blind man; Jesus said, “Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.” The manifestation of healing and miracles was to point humanity to the Saviour and Salvation. In today’s message we will go beyond the miracles and healing to see another side of Faith. Faith is many things and we need to see the full picture the Faith that God has granted to His people. Hebrews chapter eleven gives so much insight into what Faith is … It is more than what we see, it is a principle that Jesus has imparted to us; a Fruit of His Spirit that keeps Hope alive until we enter into our Eternal Destiny. Faith holds our Salvation secure through all the trials and temptations, and praying in the Holy Ghost builds our ‘Most Holy Faith.’ It is what we believe! Loving you, Pastor

Oh, How Great is Thy Goodness

Oh how great is Thy Goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy Presence…Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”  ~ Psalms 31:19-20
We are on the seventh message of this series and the more we preach the Fruitfulness of God in our life the more I see how important it is to Magnify Him in this way!  Let us review: Gal. 5:22-25  “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance: And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  Each week as I review for the message, I find great strength in the fruitfulness of God that lives within us; if only we would release this fruit into our lost and dying world! In my many years of preaching and teaching, I have heard this expression, “if I just knew what the Lord expected of me, or what is God’s will for my life?” On and on go such expressions … they can be summed up right here in this passage of scripture: “Bear fruit for the kingdom of God!”  To do this we must have a reality check! Such a check begins here. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh!” I am sure there are many sermons that have been preached on “crucifying the flesh,” let us take the simplest path. If we practice walking in the Fruit of the Spirit of God that lies within us, we will walk in the will of God! Today is the Fruit of Goodness, when is the last time we thought deeply about the Goodness of God in our life?  All through Scripture we are reminded of the “Good Hand” of God. It would seem we are much more concerned about what is going wrong or what is not meeting our expectations than the Goodness of God in our life!  David was a man after God’s own heart because even in his weakness, his desire was to emulate the Fruit of God’s Spirit within his soul! “Have Mercy upon me O Lord according to your Lovingkindness!” My goal today is to inspire the Church to meditate upon the goodness of the Lord in their lives & in our land. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the Goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”   Loving you & praising God for His goodness!