Blog Archives

King Street

A day in a world caught up in a race,
busy streets, polluted air, forlorn face.
Taking a birds eye view, of a complicated world.
a frantic trap waiting to be hurled.

Yet a hand divine displays a picture of God Himself.
through His creation, His endless wealth.
We are so small yet an intricate part of a fabric blend of perfect art.
Though the groaning of our heart, eat away and tare us apart.

He grafts within a wounded soul
His love, His grace, so strong, so full.
To different heights, He gently leads, through desert lands . . .
then mountain weeds.

But each step we take, not alone
for God the Father calls us on . . .
Prodding us, watching us from sunrise to sunset.
His hand of love holding us abreast.

To strengthen, prepare us for what days lie ahead.
breathing life to our dry bones that seem very dead.
So Praise the Lord, whether you are happy or sad.
Remember who is really your Dad.

Be His child, so sweet and so pure.
For not, but rest, in His loving arms.
The days seem weary and you don’t feel strong.
The wait may seem to tarry along.
The end result will be a fruitful song.

“Be still and know that I am God”

Copyright – August 19, 1998
Rebecca Wills-Robinson.

Psalm 66 – Worship

The first time I held my precious, new born grandson in my arms. Oh, what love I instantly felt in my heart for this little new born baby. I couldn’t help but shout out a loud “Praise Jesus” and thank your Lord, when I first heard the news that Lucas had arrived. I looked at this tiny baby that I was holding and felt such awe. He is so perfectly made.
There are so many horrible things going on in this world. Any thoughts of them slipped out of my mind during those moments when I looked at Lucas. I felt such joy and wonder, beyond words really. He brought such a sincere, happy and eventful, time of praise to God. It is easy to praise God in the exciting times. Sometimes the troubles of life and the sadness and evil we see around us steals the thankfulness from within.
It is so interesting to me that only that same week, I had read this psalm of praise and it spoke to my heart. God’s Word has so much to teach us. I love to worship in song. I am on a worship team at a local church. Of course as I read Psalm 66, this is how the words spoke to me: To me the Psalm really teaches us of true worship and praise of Almighty God. Often our praises can become routine songs we sing once in a while. The psalmist tells so much more about praise. Hopefully, you enjoy this psalm as much as I do. I hope it gives some room for thought about how and why we praise our Mighty and deserving God.

Psalm 66
English Standard Version (ESV) http://biblegateway.com
“How Awesome Are Your Deeds
To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.
66 Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
4 All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah
5 Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
8 Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
9 who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
10 For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12 you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
14 that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!”

Theme – Praise and Worship

Introduction
Recognizing the deeds of God and how awesome they are. This psalm is a call to worship God who is worthy of all praise. The introduction to the Choir Master, is called a song and a psalm.

Psalm 66: 1-7
In these verses the psalmist calls upon all people to praise God, all lands, all the earth, all the inhabitants of the world that are capable of praising God, Ps. 66:1.

1. These verses speak of the glory of God and telling us that God is worthy to be praised by all, for he is good to all and furnishes every nation with matter for praise. This shows that all are to praise God, not just a few within the congregation or some people, but all people everywhere. “The duty of man, that all are obliged to praise God; it is part of the law of creation, and therefore is required of every creature. God has always been praised and always will be praised. If man does not praise God then even the rocks and stones will cry out and praise God.”

Luke 19:40 English Standard Version (ESV)
40 “He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

2. Through Jesus Christ we are under a Covenant of love and Grace and Mercy, so how much more should we praise our God and Saviour? Praise to God is of great importance to God. “Let us therefore see God’s works and observe the instances of his wisdom, power, and faithfulness in them (Ps. 66:5), and then speak of them, and speak of them to him”. We speak of God’s works through our worship. We sing of his great works and in doing so glorify God. We sing praise to Him and in doing so show Him our thankfulness and exaltation to God. It shows that we acknowledge that God is greater than all. He alone is praised.
3. In a heartfelt gesture to God, the psalmist encourages a good work of praising God. The psalmist abounds in praising God and wishes that God might have his tribute paid him by all the nations of the earth and not by the land of Israel only. He excites all lands.

Points to be noted:

a. To make a joyful noise to God. Holy joy is that devout affection which should animate all our praises; and, though it is not making a noise in religion that God will accept. For example the praise of hypocrites  who are said to cause their voice to be heard on high. I think this refers to those who praise with their lips and not with their hearts. The stage can be full of musicians and not necessarily worshippers. In other words, God won’t listen to lip service. (Isa. 58:4), yet, in praising God, [1.] “We must be hearty and zealous, and must do what we do with all our might, with all that is within us, with all our hearts, souls, mind and strength.”

b. We must be open and public, as those that are not ashamed of our God. And both these are implied in making a noise, a joyful noise.

c. To sing with pleasure, and to sing forth, for the edification of others, the honour of God’s name, that is, in recognition of all that God has made known, Ps. 66:2. That which is the honour of God’s name ought to be the matter of our praise.

d. To make his praise glorious as far as we can. In praising God we must do it so as to glorify God, and that must be reason of all our praises. It is the highest honour we the creature can offer to God our Creator.

Psalm 66 7- 15

These verses show us how that during the time this Psalm was written that the Israelites recognized the testing that God put them through.

“6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”

They witnessed God’s mighty hand at work when he split the water in two as they crossed through the dry land. Oh how mighty is God. His eyes keep watch on the nations. God knows who is rebellious. God’s testing often reveals the truth of a man or woman’s heart or their motives. We see God’s miracles every day as did the Israelites. How quickly forgotten.  Today, do we take time to praise God. His miracles are all around us. Look at the birth of a baby, oh how wondrous and beautiful and intricate every detail from conception to birth. If we read the journey of the Israelites, we know that there were times when they stopped praising God and at times even began to praise false God’s. People have not changed in that respect. Believers often praise God in the good times, but in the bad times turn from God to other things.

The psalmist tells us to praise Him, don’t stop praising Him even during times of testing. In fact praise God more for those who truly trust in the Lord know that in that testing God is doing something far greater than we can even understand.

“For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.”

When silver is melted down all the impurities come out as is with gold. The things that are impure come to the top. For us when we are tested like silver, our true and impure thoughts and the wickedness within our hearts and the sin nature can be revealed to others and to God through the testing process.

I’m sure every one of us can get up and testify to a time within our life, where we have been tested as silver. You know, because it was during that testing you may have begun to question your faith in God. The doubt, the fear, the rebellion began to boil to the top. Some of us know very well the ugliness within our own hearts, the wickedness within that needs to be scooped from us during that process. The dross (impurities) come to the surface and that impurity needs to be removed. It is a continual process. Some of us might be going through that refiner’s fire right now. If you read the Old Testament, we see time and again the testing of God at work. We see the pattern of failure looming so large. We also see the repentant heart of the Psalmist like David who knew that the impurities could be cleansed by repentance and He praised God for the testing. It made Him a better person; a more trusted observer of the God He loved so much. David was a man who struggled with sin (adultery, murder and so on . . . but he was a man of repentance. We see example after example of God’s forgiveness toward David and the Israelites when they repentant and turned back to God. That is what made David a man after God’s own heart; a man who loved God and understood the love God had for him.

Psalm 66:13 – 15
“13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
14 that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.”

The Psalmist at that time wanted to make amends. He wanted to right the wrongs; he wanted to give to God what he could give.

Psalm 66:16-19
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

The power in this last stanza is powerful. The psalmist reveals the main elements needed to enter into the highest of praise (fear God, cry out to God and remove sin).

Psalm 111:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!”

Proverbs 1:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

a. Recognizing what God has done for each of us, in giving His Son Jesus Christ, in paying that burnt offering for us. No longer to we have to sacrifice burnt offerings as they did in the day of the psalmist. Jesus became that offering and that sacrifice. He was the perfect Lamb of God, without sin. His blood to atone for our sin.
b. A cry of praise to the Lord for what He has done. What did God do for you through His Son Jesus Christ? God the Father gave a gift of Grace and Mercy. What does that mean? Grace – God giving us what we don’t deserve which is atonement for our sins, eternal life and forgiveness. And Mercy – God not giving us what we do deserve, eternal death and destruction.
c. Romans 6:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We should all think about that scripture verse and ask ourselves if we have truly received that gift God offers? As in any gift given, a person has to take hold and accept that gift from the giver.

How much do we want to praise Jesus for this? The psalmist said he cried out and the highest praise was on his lips. How about when we worship? We all need to examine ourselves to honestly know ourselves and where we are in this place of worship to God?

Next take this as literal. Praise him with a song, with your lips to God and to other people. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for by sharing it, you are also praising God and what He has done.

In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to share the gospel of Jesus Christ because world views are changing drastically from what God’s Word teaches. We often want to be peace keepers rather than gospel givers. We choose to compromise the Word of God and in doing so,  we are doing the farthest thing from praising God. In fact when I think about it, is it any different than Peter denying Christ three times when they were about to crucify Jesus? How sad that often, fear in its many forms, can immobilize us and in this battle against evil and sin, our love for self can be stronger than our love and praise to God. How difficult it can be to deny ourselves and take up that cross for Jesus. The testing’s are here and they will increase as the days grow even more dark. However, we have one who is greater than our fear and more powerful than the battle we may be in. He will supply us with the weapons needed to win whatever that battle might be. The key to winning any battle is that we have take the Saviour Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit with us.

d. The psalmist recognized the importance of integrity. Folks, we can’t hang on to the sins we love. If we do then we begin to cherish the sin, more than God. He will not hear our praises.

“8 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.”

4. 19 But truly God has listened, he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”  The psalmist new the need for repentance and also the love of God and the power of God and that God heard his praise and his prayer. Oh what blessed assurance we can have if we take the Psalmist’s example and do likewise – pray, repent and obey the voice of God.

Conclusion of my thoughts on Psalm 66

Let us therefore see God’s works and observe the instances of his wisdom, power, and faithfulness in them (Ps. 66:5), and then speak of them, and speak of them to him.
Praise God in all things, at all times, in all places. Let the praise of the one who deserves all honour glory and praise hear a humble and contrite heart and a heart of worship.

Now is the time to come and worship the King. Do you have a relationship with the Father God through His Son Jesus Christ?
If not come now and ask him to forgive your sins and receive the greatest gift of all – the one who grants God’s grace and Mercy. Pray (talk) to God on a daily basis. Receive and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and given the gift of eternal life.

Praise be to God and our Lord Jesus Christ who is worthy of the highest praise. For even the angels rejoice, twirl and spin when one sinner comes to repentance and saving grace.

Click on Link below and Worship the Lord – Song – Here I am to Worship.

All Scripture from Biblegateway.com ESV version – more information see source commentary notes.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+worship+songs&&view=detail&mid=C3E7CA0FFE86DC527AC4C3E7CA0FFE86DC527AC4&rvsmid=8E81BCA99FD06E6AC5968E81BCA99FD06E6AC596&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV

Lord, Lord

I always struggled with the understanding of these verses which are the topic of this sermon:

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. (Luke 6:46,47,48 ESV)

“But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:49 ESV)

Another reference:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

It makes me wonder how someone could have the power to cast out demons, or give prophecy, or use The Lord’s name and do these things – how they would not actually know Jesus? The words say “lord”. dictionary meaning (lord – means someone or something having power, authority, or influence; a master or ruler: lord of the sea/lords of the jungle/our lord and king.)Many people claim to have a faith in God and many pray to the Lord. The question is – who is that person’s Lord. Lord could be anyone they exult to the level of Christ, The Lord they confess whether or not that lord is the one true God or not. The question in Matthew, asks the question, “does Jesus know them”?

What is lawlessness? Lawlessness – “not governed by or obedient to laws; characterized by lack of civic order.” In this context the word lawlessness would mean breaking any of the written laws, Old and New Testament. Without Christ – they are still in their sin. It would be lawless to mimic Holy Spirit or use The Lord’s name in vein, for personal gain or fame. Also the act of mimicking or replicating the phycological effects of God and attaching The Lord’s name to it. This person may not be a genuine follower of Christ. It is a dangerous thing to say, “Thus sayeth The Lord”, when The Lord did not truly give that prophesy or word of knowledge. Do nothing out of selfish ambition.

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” (Romans 4:7, 8 ESV) Repentance and a relationship with Christ is the only way to have redemption.

The sermon is making me think about these scriptures, in regards to the many experiences and things I’ve witnessed, through a variety of teachings in some gatherings, done in the name of Jesus. Is these scripture references, when they say to The Lord, “Did we not do all these things in your name?”  The saying would refer to –  “In your name” meaning “In Jesus name” or “In the name of Jesus.

At this time in my life, I find myself in a place of questioning some of these things going on, in the name of Jesus, and questioning the teaching I hear from some pulpits. I’m always checking what is being taught with what the bible says. We should all do this. There have been so many times where I have got caught up in the emotional atmosphere, often fuelled by enthusiastic preachers. I enjoy a charismatic atmosphere for worship. Who does not want to experience a deeper move of the Spirit? I’m not saying that emotional responses are false. I’m just saying that it is so easy to be moved by our emotions which can be changing frequently, especially in regards to loyalties, interests and affection toward people, and the situations we are experiencing at certain times. I have gone up for altar calls seeking something more from God. In human understanding, many times faith does not seem enough. We want the manifestation of God whether through a healing, the miraculous sign or by falling down by the power of God (called slain in the Spirit). In fact, where is being slain in the Spirit mentioned in the bible? That is a good topic for research. In some way, do these manifestations strengthen a believers faith? Or does it lead to it a feel good religion or literally, “Man – manifestations”? Are we seeking a feeling of being high (drunk in the spirit)?  “But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.” Acts 2:14 ESV)

I just listened to a song by Tim McGraw called “Drugs or Jesus”. Does Jesus become the replacement drug for some of us? The problem with this is you eventually have to leave the church altar or the retreat and go out into the world. Life in Jesus is not always on a high. When the emotional high is not there, many fall back into the drugs of the world. The joy of The Lord is a totally different sermon which is found in my other blog called “Rejoice”.

I believe I have felt what many Christians call, “the anointing, moving of Holy Spirit”. When this happens anything can be changed in whatever way the Holy Spirit wants to work. Holy Spirit also indwells the true believer and follower of Christ Jesus. That is a promise from God.

Everyone needs to take a step of faith and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need to know the difference between Holy Spirit and Emotional manipulation. The bible does tell us to check the Spirits so that we do not get deceived. I’ve heard many prophesies in the local churches. We must test these words of knowledge or prophecy to make sure they are from God. Do they line up with scripture? I’m still trying to understand this. Sometimes it is hard to know the truth from the fake. Pray for discernment. Instinctively, we want to believe we just had a word from God. For someone coming into a church for the first time, it can be a little intimidating when someone points you out of the congregation and tells you they have a word from God. Does that not make one feel special? I’ve listened to so called prophetic words given to me and also given to my friends, by people with titles given to them; names like apostle or prophet/prophetess. They could be a spiritualist for all I know. I have received “words of knowledge” which have come to pass, while other’s who have prophesied over me have not. One thing I have come to believe, is that, if a prophetic word is given and it is truly from God, it will come to pass and it would not contradict scripture. That is one way of knowing a true prophecy or word of knowledge. I’ve had pastor’s and people in leadership positions ministering to me at an altar call.  In many of these revival meetings, people have yelled in my ear and casting off this and casting off that demon.  I don’t deny that the Holy Spirit can move through others who God has given an authentic gift. One problem is; many times we elevate these prophets, thinking that they have a special in with Jesus, beyond what is available for each one who believes. Jesus said, Holy Spirit would come to each believer. They don’t have a better in with Jesus. Some may have more knowledge or are walking closer with God. Why do we need to ask someone else to talk to The Lord on our behalf, when we can get down on our knees or simply be quiet before Him and listen and speak to the Father ourselves? Jesus often went to a place of solitude and prayed to the Father God. Why wouldn’t we do what Jesus did?

When we seek other’s before we seek Jesus first, we are exulting that person to a level with Jesus. We elevate idols. That is how people like Joseph Smith have been elevated and called a prophet from God (Mormon, Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. People seek to read what he has written in his Book of Mormon, before they read the Holy Bible.)

Another example – (The Jehovah’s Witnesses tradition is a religion founded in the late 19th century C.E. in the United States. Founded by Charles Taze Russell, Jehovah’s Witnesses grew out of the Christian Millerite movement and has since spread worldwide. Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine is grounded in Russell’s teaching that the Second Coming of Christ has already occurred (in a spiritual, invisible form) and the visible form that will follow will include the establishment of Christ’s millennial kingdom here on earth.)

There are some false prophets leading large congregations in the name of Christianity. We can easily seek another person or so called prophet for their wisdom or teachings and believe in them, as from God, when it may not be from The Lord at all. Do we seek the gifts more than the giver? That is also a dangerous place to enter. I have been down that road. While I have experienced a little bit of an elevation in my Spirit from these experiences, I do now wonder if they were legitimate manifestations of the Holy Spirit or simply emotional manifestations? Dare I even say, they could have possibly been a demonic force at work? As seen in (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV) Jesus will judge.

If you ever used a Ouija board, or had your palm read, or spoke to a physic, you may recognize their is another power at work. That power is not from The Lord. He clearly tells us to stay away from mediums. (Leviticus 19:13) We know that Satan is an imitator and a mocker of anything of God. We saw the magicians turn sticks into snakes. (Exodus 7:12) We know that Satan comes to deceive, destroy, and steal away the sheep (John 10:10). Knowing this, should encourage us to be cautious and knowledgable to what is being taught? Now, I’m not trying to scare anyone away from the Church, in fact I encourage everyone to seek God first and a relationship with Christ and His Kingdom, and all the rest will fall into place. Jesus said, he would leave those who believe in Him (followers of Christ) the Holy Spirit, to teach us, lead us through “The Word” (Bible). Thinking about the sermon notes below, I am once again searching the Word and seeking God’s truth in all things. When that day comes when I stand before The Lord, I don’t want to hear those words, “I never knew you.”

Read below and examine this scripture for yourself. Open up your bible and come on the journey.

Recap of verses:
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49 ESV)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Sermon notes:

Jesus asks a crucial question.  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Periodically, everyone who is a follower of Christ should asked themselves, Christ’s question, and examine the way they live their lives to these passages of scripture.

Three things:

1. These people honestly believed they were saved. They are talking like followers of Jesus.

2. There are many of them. A multitude is bigger than a few. This is frightening. Many will say Lord Lord.

3. They claimed that they prophesied, cast out demons. Some people think that if they do a miracle in the name of Jesus they have arrived. This is a side issue. The central issue is whether Jesus knows you.

Think about it. If your pastor was up at the front of the church every week casting out demons, yet when he stands before God, Jesus says to him, “I never knew you”.

The question Jesus confronts us with:

“Is Jesus The Lord of my life? He had just finished preaching the “Sermon on the Mount” to a multitude of people plus the disciples. Also called “The Beatitudes”

The Beatitudes – (Luke 6:20-23 ESV)

And he (Jesus) lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:
*  “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
*  “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.”
*  “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.”
*  “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son    of Man!”
*  “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.”

Summarized bible commentary says:
Contents: Sermon on the Mount, continued. Encouragement to prayer. The two ways. Warnings against false teachers. Danger of profession without faith. The two foundations.

Characters: God, Jesus, disciples and a great multitude 

“And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all. (Luke 6:17-19 ESV)

Jesus uses the simplest words and truths. Some in the crowd shouted amen and agreed, but it had no radical impact on their lives. Some of the truths a preacher speaks can impact our lives. We do our devotions, pray and then we get to the front door and leave what we learned behind. Often we leave our faith at the door of the church. We don’t take it with us through the week to the work place or to those we meet.

Conclusion: True disciples of Christ will be men and women cautious in their judgment of others; conscious of their own faults; confident and earnest in prayer; wary of false teachers and hypocritical profession; building all eternal hopes upon the firm Rock, faith in the Word of God and Christ Jesus.

Key Word: Sermon on the Mount, 5:2. (Two ways, vv. 13, 24, 26.)

Strong Verses: 1, 2, 7, 8, 12, 15, 21, 24.

Striking Facts: v. 22 shows that there will be among those rejected by Christ in the last days, many preachers, so-called soul winners and good moral men, simply because devoid of true faith in Christ who alone is the foundation of salvation. Beware of mere lip-devotion which signifies nothing, either here or hereafter.

How do we get to know Jesus?

It is by spending time with Jesus and building a relationship (strong foundation) with him. What makes a husband your husband? Not a piece of paper. It is in the relationship. We have to work on the relationship. We must qualify. So many people (believers in Christ included) are being taken up on side issues. The side issues are stealing the limelight, so much, that we can even forget to talk about Jesus. Some are consumed by signs and wonders. There are fellowships where people go, just so they can receive a prophesy. The danger is that people can get side-tracked into seeking the signs and wonders more then they seek the Saviour Christ Jesus.

There are many churches calling themselves a prophetic church? Do we need to go to a prophetic church to find out the will of God? or Can we read the word of God, learn and know the will of God for ourselves? Are we becoming lazy Christians and just want to ride on the coat tails of what someone else teaches or says, rather than seek God and His word for His truth and instruction for ourselves? We must seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and communicate with God in that one-on-one relationship through His Son Christ Jesus?

Some in the churches are even going to mediums. The mind is a powerful thing. The devil can use these things to lie to you. There were many false prophets mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible and their were many true Prophets called by The Lord God.

True prophesy within the Old Testament was to tell you what would happen in the New Testament. Many prophesies were fulfilled. There are 1000’s of prophesies which have come to pass. If someone tells you something outside of the Word of God, it is not prophesy. Ex. If someone prophesies saying, “God told me you should leave your wife.” You would have to question that as being from The Lord. Stay in the Word of God. If you start listening to false prophesy you will be lead away from the truth and into that which itches the ears. Be consumed by God and not by tricks of the enemy.

But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Matthew 12:39 ESV)

God does not do signs or miracles to get people to believe. He does miracles for his glory. Just because God does a miracle through the prayers of a person, does not mean that God approves of that person. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (Matthew 7:22 ESV)

* Jesus didn’t say they didn’t do the miracles. He just said, He didn’t know them.
* Jesus calls for decisive action
* Jesus gives illustration of a house built on a rock and a house built without a foundation.

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, (Deuteronomy 13:1 ESV)and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:2-5 ESV)

This being said, within the body of Christ, there are special appointments and gifts from the Holy Spirit. Ex. Missionaries, Evangelists, Teachers. In actuality, followers of Christ, are all called to be Missionaries, Evangelists and Teachers. For some there may be is a special anointing (Where the Holy Spirit divinely moves in that person’s calling or gift. Some are given authority and power.

“And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (Luke 9:1, 2 ESV)

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1-11 ESV)

Here are biblical examples:

* Read story of Balaam – Numbers 22:30-35

“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. (John 11:49, 51, 52 ESV)

* Magician’s prophesied.
* Evil sons of Sheba cast out demons.

Don’t be deceived by those who practice lawlessness (not governed by or obedient to laws or sound doctrines of the Word) yet they claim God to be their Lord. What a thing to have the instruction of God, but deny it and teach and twist scripture and side-track believers.

Jesus is not doing a new thing. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Always, be coming to Jesus. Focusing on Jesus and seeking His will by His Word (scripture).

“A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:5 ESV)

How do you get to know the voice of Jesus?

* Read the bible.
* A mistruth is a lie. There are many believers who get sidetracked. If you are close to the shepherd you are in a safe place. Those on the fringe are the first to be attacked and pulled away.
* Be hearing. Don’t just read about the bible, but get in tune to Holy Spirit.
* Do what Jesus says. Obedience is the key to Christian life. God never asks us to something that is not good for us.
* Knowledge is no substitute for obedience. Obedience is true spirituality.

Jesus talks about the house. All about the foundation you build your faith upon. If the foundation is built right, the rest of the house is easy to complete.
– foundation built on the rock.
– holiness and daily reading
– prayer and fellowship with the body of Christ.
– encourage one another.
– to a casual observer from a distance, both houses look good. When the storms come then we see which house is still standing.

Some have blamed God when their house fell. It is our responsibility to build the strong foundation. Be wise and build your house upon the rock. Don’t be the person who measures their life by the miracles you do or see, but by what God did for each one of us, through His Son Christ Jesus.

To be obedient is to be Holy as He is Holy.

Jesus said there are two commands.
Love The Lord your God with all your Heart soul and mind and love you neighbour as your self.

If we love Jesus we have to keep these commands.

STAND ON THE ROCK

Inspired by sermon notes – Pastor Bryan Vaughan
Hope for Today Fellowship

If you have any questions or comments, direct them to: http://www.hopefortoday.ca

Hope Floats

Hope Floats                                                                                                                                                    Image

I want you to know that I don’t particularly feel qualified to give anyone advice. Many times I have had to bail a boat. My parents had a boat rental business when I was a child. Every time the winds blew and the rains came, meant I had to get that big bucket and sponge to work. In life the storms come and sometimes it does seem like our life boat is sinking. What do we do when that happens? I’m going to give one solution which always has proved to help me keep my life boat afloat.

Speaking here to fellow believers (followers) of Christ Jesus: Sometimes we must get out of our comfort zone. We don’t just  accept The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and then go sit back in the lazy boy for the rest of our lives. Jesus said, “now go and do”.

We all have many things we are good at. As a body of believers we need to all put the buckets in the boat, remove the water, fix the leaks and get all oars rowing in the same direction. So, we figure out what that is and get involved. This morning, is our first attempt at a ladies breakfast. Already, many hands have step forward and helped to put this event together.

You see… Hope Floats with all oars in the Water. I want to encourage the body of Christ to get your oars in the water and get that boat moving for Christ. Share the gospel with as many people as possible. Every part of the Body is necessary for great success. Think of the half empty life boats when the Titanic sank. We the Body represents Christ’s life boats. If we believe what is written within the Bible, we can see the storm is coming. Let each of us offer the HOPE that FLOATS. Have you ever watched that movie called “Hope Floats”? At the end of the movie the mother and daughter are summing up the meaning of life. The mother says, “There are the things we remember from years ago. There is the beginning, the in-between and then there is the future. All good things eventually float to the top.” The topic has nothing to do with the movie. But it did get me thinking about the meaning of Hope.

What is hope?

How do we first receive Hope? By receiving Jesus Christ not only as our Saviour but also The Lord of our lives. Jesus is HOPE.

Once we have that Hope how do we share it with others individually and as a Body of Christ?

1.  By working together with all ores in the water.

2.  By sharing our faith and the truths written within the Bible. That is why it is so important to know scripture, the infallible Word of God”. What are we called by God to do?

Disciples making disciples. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is about. teaching, praying for others for healing and deliverance. Building a relationship and always growing in that relationship with Christ Jesus and at the same time reaching out to the lost or hurting.

3.  We also give hope to others by listening to someone who is struggling and helping them to gain a right perspective.

4.  By doing this we are showing God’s love – Jesus and Holy Spirit manifested through us.

5.  By praying for others and with them. Prayer is a powerful weapon. Prayer is effective in helping to restore those who are struggling to either find or regain the hope. We have an enemy who loves to steal our hope and our joy and our faith.

6.  To be an effective part of the body of Christ, we also need to know the enemy’s schemes and recognize his interference. He likes to make the first ripples in the storm. Often the storms can be calmed quickly before they turn into a category 4 storm. Sometimes the little ripples can cause great destruction within our lives or the lives of others. It might be as simple as recognizing our impatience with our spouse or with other people. How quickly a little snap of the tongue can cause a great wound or a quick reaction in our anger.

7.  Be quick to ask forgiveness from God and from those we may offend. Lord knows we are not perfect. Our hope floats like a lily pad. Sometimes that lily pad has to sit in the weed bed for a while before it get picked and set in a beautiful dish of water on someone’s coffee table.  Also quick to forgive. Quick to focus on the hope of Christ.

Dictionary Definition of Hope

Hope is the combination of expectation and desire, a feeling of trust. To set one’s hope on something or doing something, where there may seem a glimmer of hope. Hoping against all odds, a person or things that give cause for hope.

Bible definition of Hope

As for a Bible definition: Our hope is an absolute assurance. We are to have unwavering confidence in Jesus, who is our Hope, as we patiently wait for His return. Our hope is anchored in the Character of God Himself, who is unshakable, and unchangeable:

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful”.

Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

We read many scripture verses where faith and hope work together. Kind of like two oars in a boat.

Bible definition of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Peace with God Through Faith

Romans 5: 1-5(ESV) “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Where do we find our hope?

Do we put our hope in other things, other people, our security in our jobs or do we put our hope in The Lord Jesus Christ? When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t need to fear or be anxious about anything. That is where faith and hope work together. I think of Jesus and the disciples and their experience or should I say lesson about how hope floats.

Jesus Walks on the Water Matthew 14:22-32 ESV

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[b] from the land,[c] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Also we see another example of disciples literal storm which we can use as a parallel to our personal life storms.

MATTHEW 8:23-27

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great wind storm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

In that storm the waves were almost capsizing the boat and the disciples began to fear that their boat was going to sink. What do we do when we feel like our boat is beginning to sink?

Do we begin to look at the waves capsizing our ship and focus on the problem? Do we react like Peter? or Do we take our eyes off the problem and put them on what floats (Jesus, the one who walked on water and didn’t sink. He is our hope that floats.

I like to watch some movies. Patch Adams. Based on a true story. He tried to overcome depression with humour. While sitting in the insane asylum this genius Mathematician  who was also in the asylum, he asked Patch a question. How many fingers do you see. At first the Mathematician was frustrated because Patch only saw the four fingers. He could only see what was in front of him. But when Patch looked past the four fingers – the problem, he gained an entirely new perspective. He began to see a solution rather than the problem.

In life we all go through the storms. Many people suffer in many different ways. I know of five people within my life time, some family, some friends and a neighbour who committed suicide.

In each case lives where shattered. Their boats capsized by the waves of life. Sometimes many of the waves are caused by many of our own choices and consequences. They didn’t have the Hope that Floats. All they could see was the tangled web (the four fingers) I imagine they could not see any way out of that dark tunnel of despair they were living in. So Sad… Because I know them all quite well, I tend to question if they invited Jesus into that sinking boat. There are so many people out there battling the waves in their own strength. It is a tough way to live life. Even when you are a Christian it can be really difficult at times. We must always remember the Hope that Floats and focus on Him – Jesus Christ.

One of my favourite verses I like to meditate on when my faith is attacked is:

Matthew 6:25-34 ESV “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Sometimes those storms teach us many valuable lessons. I know every storm in my life God has taught me a valuable lesson. These lessons are part of our growth. Our faith grows and with it our Hope grows. When that happens we can walk on water with all ores in the living water.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37, 38 ESV)

As the Body of Christ (similar to the disciples in the boat that day) we put our trust and faith in the Hope that Floats. We are called as a Body of believers and followers of Christ Jesus to work together synchronously with all oars moving in the same direction. A boat full of fishermen or women. We have a job to do. There are many people who desperately need to find that Hope that Floats – Hope that saves and empowers us to keep paddling until we reach that final destination. We only stay in that storm so long. Sometimes self-pity, un-forgiveness, anger, bitterness can keep us shackled to the ores. That is not what God wants. No, he wants us to eventually also get out of that boat and walk on water with him and share that hope of Jesus Christ. My challenge to each one of us is to commit to go and do.

Message written by Rebecca Robinson – ladies breakfast Feb. 15,2014

Place – Hope for Today Fellowship

No Greater Love

No Greater Love – Click here to hear my love song to Jesus.

One might do something nice for a neighbour, a friend, family member or even a stranger. Can you imagine giving up your life for another or giving up your life for someone who hates you? There are heroes, who have done this. Jesus said, “There is no Greater Love than a man lay down his life for a friend.” (John 15:13)

We know that Jesus walked the talk and was the perfect example. He was sinless, yet, He took on the sins of the world. This song is my appreciation to Him – recognition and praise to my Saviour for doing this for me. I too am a sinner. Thank you Father for your perfect son, for your grace and for providing a way of atonement and redemption not only for me, but also for all who receive Your gift of love. I receive your Love and Give back to you my Lord with a heart of gratitude. You, Oh Lord, are worthy of all praise, now and for all eternity.

Love, Rebecca

%d bloggers like this: