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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

God Is Still Speaking


 
 
Our Bible Class on Sunday was privileged to have Mary as our teacher, and I took notes and present an edited message.

In the beginning God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth and the animals.  He told them to eat of any tree except one; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  We are reminded that Eve listened to the lies of the serpent and yielded to temptation, also giving to her husband of the forbidden fruit. 
 
Eve knew better, but she rationalized in her mind that perhaps God was not being fair and she was missing out.  After all, being like God was something to be desired.  This random act of rebellion caused them to lose everything resulting in the human race to also suffer the loss of Paradise.

Knowing they were naked, they hid from the presence of God, but a person can run from God, but they can never hide.

To cloth them, God slew an animal and made the first sacrifice for sin.  To prevent them from partaking of the tree of Life, it was necessary to remove them from the garden and pronounce upon them the curse of toil and hard work in order to make a living.

A Cherubim with flaming swords was stationed at the garden entrance to prevent anyone from re entering the garden of Eden and to guard the tree of life.

God created man with a Free Will and the ability to make choices; and desired that we would worship Him freely because He loves us.

God spoke directly to Adam and Eve and continues to speak today.

Genesis 12:1-2  Abraham was another one God spoke directly to, giving him a promise that He would make of him a great nation.

Abraham’s wife Sarah was barren and began to consider how to help God fulfill His promise.  She talked her husband into taking her handmaiden and having a child.  Foolish Abraham listened to his wife and from that child has come nothing but trouble to this world.  Hagar was a servant and she knew she had to obey her mistress, so we cannot blame Hagar.

Because man has a free will, it did not take long for everyone to do what seemed right in their own eyes and wickedness became common place.  Men began to make onto themselves idols to worship and they became vile and evil.

God repented that he had made man but Noah found grace in His sight.  God instructed Noah to build an ark to save his family from a flood of destruction coming soon over the earth..

Christ is our shelter in the floods of life.  He preserves us and our household.

We must know personally that God is real and that He desires to walk and talk with us as individuals. 

God made man in His own image and we are to be conformed into the image of Christ.

At Jerusalem the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Jews.  Peter went to the house of Cornelius a Gentile and while there the Holy Spirit was given to Gentiles.

Peter knew that all believers Jews and Gentiles can also have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 15:8-9 (KJV)  And God, which knows the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

God The Holy Spirit dwells in us when we receive Jesus.  He is the one who speaks to us with a still small voice, and we can directly communicate with Him daily.




 

Monday, September 26, 2016

God’s Work and Your Work


God’s Work and Your Work
 
Pastor Allan was reading from Philippians as I took notes and offer his digested sermon.
Philippians 2:12-13  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Paul is speaking in these verses urging the Christians to obey God, even when no one is watching.  He is reminding the believers that although they are saved by the blood of Jesus, that they have a part to do in walking free.  Jesus did a work in their hearts and now they have a part in the work of their salvation. 
There are some lifestyle changes that need to be made, and often some house cleaning in the cupboards, closets and hiding places.
The Word of God will work in us as we begin to daily read our Bible.  There is a washing of the Word that occurs as our thoughts are centered on what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us. 
Our greatest enemy is our own fleshly desires that try to pull us back into slavery.  The Holy Spirit is faithful to convict you, and it is important to understand that He is not there to make your life miserable but to help you to live a Holy life. 
Face up – or Face down, however the Holy Spirit manifests himself for he is our teacher. 
Our work is to have a teachable spirit instead of a prideful and rebellious attitude. 
At times we do stupid things.  The wisest man in the world did some stupid things.  He took women as wives who were not believers and who served other gods.  These ungodly women became the teachers of his rebellious children. 
Everything we have are blessings from the Father God. 
James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning. 
We must become a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.  It is up to us to put aside the things that are weighing us down, and allow God’s Word to wash us clean.
James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and extreme wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 
Verse 26 says: If you seem religious but can’t control your tongue, your testimony is worthless. 
Our Christian walk must be a walk in the Holy Spirit, and we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  The flesh lusts against the Holy Spirit. 
Jesus is watch and praying for you that you don’t fall short, but that you will yield to the Holy Spirit.  His desire is that you stand fast in the liberty that you have been set free and to not to be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 
You have a responsibility to keep moving forward; to keep clean by the Word and by seeking the face of Jesus.  Always seek a higher level in God.  Don’t be satisfied with status quo, but to the best of your ability keep your relationship with Jesus up to date. 
Keep plugged in God's Word, The Holy spirit and your local church; to grow, to mature and to be able to encourage others. 
The Holy Spirit is so important in our lives.  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but love Him and the attention He is giving to you.  The Holy Spirit is here to assist and to guide you in your daily walk. 

Allow The Holy Spirit to be your closest friend.

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What can we learn from the life of Elijah?


 
What can we learn from the life of Elijah?
 
For our Wednesday Prayer meeting, I prepared a lesson to consider what we can learn from The Prophet Elijah.  At times he was bold and at other times fearful and uncertain, we have much to gain by observing him.  God uses imperfect people and He can use YOU.

From the histories revealed in the Bible we find principles that demonstrate the victory in the life of a believer as well as defeat and recovery.

We first meet Elijah in 1 Kings chapter 17, as he makes a declaration to the Evil King Ahab.  “Because of your wicked ways, God is sending a famine and no rain on the land.  Immediately there was a draught in the land, and Ahab sought to kill Elijah because he blamed the prophet and did not take responsibility for his own sins.

God warned and protected Elijah, hiding him by a brook for many days where he was fed by ravens bringing him bread and meat every morning and night. 

After a time, the brook dried up, but God told him to go to a certain place and he would find a widow woman.  Elijah spoke to the widow boldly and declared for her to make him a biscuit. She replied she only had enough meal and oil for one cake for her and her son and then they would die. 

You might think Elijah had no pity, because he told her to make him a biscuit first.  When the woman obeyed what Elijah asked of her, a miracle happened and the barrel of meal and the jar of oil did not run out and the three of them were able to eat for many months.

Know that God is in control even when things look bleak.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and hold fast to God’s Word.

We next see Elijah as the central character in a face-off with the prophets of the false god Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40.)

 
 
Elijah boldly tells the false prophets to build an altar, slay a sacrifice and the God who answers by fire is the True God.”  The prophets of Baal do  this, and call upon their god Baal, dancing and shouting all day long but nothing happens.  Elijah makes fun of them, saying perhaps your god is asleep or on a journey !!  Finally they give up.
 
Then Elijah builds an altar of stones, digs a ditch around it, puts the sacrifice on the top of wood and calls for water to be poured over his sacrifice three times to fill the trench.

Elijah calls upon Jehovah God, and immediately God sends fire down from heaven, burns the sacrifice, the wood, and licks up the water in the ditch. God proved He was more powerful than any false god.
 
It was then that God instructed Elijah and his followers to kill all of the false prophets of Baal.

Elijah is an illustration that it is not the vessel but God IN the vessel that demonstrates power.

After the great victory over the false prophets, Elijah prays and God sends rain once again to fall on the land (1 Kings 18:41-46). However, Elijah hears that Ahab’s wife Jezebel has made a vow to kill him; now Elijah feels sorry for him-self, hides in a cave, is depressed, and even comes to believe that he was the only one left of the prophets of God.
 
He took his eyes off God and looked at the situation.

When Elijah stopped focusing on the fear of what men could do and his feelings of being the only one left, He heard God’s voice, and soon after, Elijah went on to be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind.  (2 Kings 2:1-22)

Just as Elijah did, when the believer focuses on the noise and the tumult of life in this world, we may get our eyes off of Jesus.  However, if we listen for His still, small voice and walk in obedience to His Word, we find victory and reward. Elijah was filled with human frailties yet he was used mightily of God. 
 
You too can be used by God as you allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you.

God has not changed and today we have access to the same power by the Holy Spirit for God to work through us. (2 Corinthians 4:7).

As Elijah did, you can prophesy, make decrees, and expect answers as you pray over your city, over your family and loved ones.

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Golden Lampstand Provided Light

 
The High Priest Kept the Lamp Burning
 
 
Our Bible Study teacher was digging deeper into the Meanings and how The Golden Lampstand relates to us in our day.  I took notes and present a digested message.
Exodus 37:17 reveals the Pure Golden Lampstand, in the tabernacle which provided light for the Holy Place.  It also speaks of symbolism and is a picture of Christ Jesus our Eternal Light, and of us as the burning lights to the world. 
 
The Holy Spirit is the oil that keep us burning and Jesus is the High Priest who trims the wicks (those things that smudge our testimony) so our light is kept bright.
While all the elements inside the tabernacle tent were made of gold, the lampstand alone was constructed of solid gold.  The gold for this sacred furniture was given to the Israelites by the Egyptians, when the Jews fled Egypt (Exodus 12:35).

God told Moses to make the lampstand from one piece, hammering in its details.  No dimensions are given for this object, but its total weight was one talent, or about 75 pounds of solid gold. The lampstand had a center column with six branches extending from it on each side.  These arms resembled the branches of an almond tree, with ornamental knobs, ending in a crafted flower at the top.

Although this object is sometimes referred to as a candlestick, it was actually an oil lamp.  Each of the flower-shaped cups held a measure of olive oil and a flax or linen wick, its wick became saturated with oil, was lit, and gave off a small flame.   Aaron and his sons, the designated priests, were to keep the lamps burning continually.

Because this Holy Place had no windows, the lampstand was the only source of light.
 
Zechariah 3:8  Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.   This was a prophesy about God sending forth the Messiah. 
 
The Prophet Zechariah saw an angel. Zechariah 3:4  So the angel continued to tell those who were standing in his presence, "Remove his filthy clothes." And he told Joshua, "Look how I've removed your iniquity. Now I'm clothing you with fine garments."
 
As we repent and accept Jesus as our Lord, He removes our sin and gives us rest.
This is a supernatural inward change in our hearts and it is entirely from God our Father; not of works should we boast.
 
Zechariah 4:6 Then the angel answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.

The Holy Spirit gently convicts us as He searches our inward heart.
Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Revelations chapter 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightning, thundering, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. (God's attributes are revealed truths of who he is and are shown in scripture through his words and actions.)

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works and glorify our father which is in heaven.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Living Under Authority


Living Under Authority

 
Pastor Rodney was ministering today as I took notes and present his digested sermon.

Some people are happy with what they have, but it is nothing.  They don’t realize there is more available to them.

We come to church to be encouraged, and equipped to go out.  What is it that keeps us steady?  My question for you is “What authority are you living under and ministering in?”

The world wants to shape you into their image.  Things are being turned and twisted toward the world’s system.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We must know our God and know what authority you are under.  Jesus knew His authority and walked in it.

Jesus has authority over demons.  

Matthew 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two men possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Jesus has authority over the storm.

Mark 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Jesus has authority over sickness.  Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, but - - -

Matthew 8:15 Jesus touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him.

Jesus has authority to forgive sins, and He made Religious leaders angry.

Luke 7:48 And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven.

Jesus has authority over water, demons, sickness, sin and even over death.

He gives us this same authority. 

Matthew 10:7-8  And as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Jesus asks us to follow Him.  It is time to consider making that choice.  Don’t fool around thinking you have plenty of time.  Today is the day of Salvation, not later or when it seems more convenient.

Being a Christian does not mean that you never have a problem.  Yes, there are storms in life, but Jesus gives us his authority to navigate the storm.

What are you afraid of; water, demons, or disease?  Jesus had authority over all.

It is so much better to follow Jesus.  There are only two choices.  Eternal Life or eternal death.  Which authority are you living under?

When I came to Jesus, I repented of my sins, and received Jesus into my life.  I received His authority.

Some of you are struggling and need deliverance.  We have the authority to lay aside all those things that bind us.  His authority is in us.

Don’t be comfortable sitting in the ash heap.  God says to get up and walk uprightly.

Look into God’s Word for your strength.  Your children are watching you.  Be for them an example of righteousness.

People don’t like to be told what to do, but today I am challenging you to walk in the authority that has been given to you.  You all have a part in God’s Kingdom.

We need to be hungry and thirsty after God.  Desire a Spiritual change and not just a mind-set of rules and steps. 

I agree that the programs out there are helpful, but it is a change of the heart that will change you.  Jesus has the authority to change you into a different person. 
 
It is important to get under authority of a body of believers and to get into a good Bible study. 
 


The living Word of God is active and alive. Jesus is alive on the pages and we also become alive on the pages.   

Don’t be afraid to use God’s word and share it with others.  Pick up your responsibility to follow Jesus and He will tear down the walls that are in your path.

Be faithful to attend church and support it.  Be ready to step up, to be refueled and to use your authority.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Missionaries


This was presented as a lesson at our meeting to Pray Over Our City.  We are preparing to go out with Bibles and a hand out to present the True Gospel in our Jerusalem. - - -


 

 

Some years back, our Pastor was preaching on Missions and how God wants us to be Missionaries.  The air was tense and one lady raised her hand and said that she would like to volunteer to go to the mission field. The Pastor was very kind as he spoke to this woman as she sat with her five children. 

He said: “Lady, you already have a mission field and they are all sitting with you now.” 

What is a Missionary?  Usually we think of a missionary as one going off to Africa, or some foreign land, and that is a good answer. 
 
However a Missionary can be you right here in your city.  Because of areas in most cities that have different nationalities, and they usually have some grasp of the English Language, we can be a missionary to foreign cultures here in our USA. 

Would you like to go to an Asian Country and share about Jesus?  Well you can do that right in your city if you have a settlement of Mong, Chinese or Asian. 

Would you like to be a missionary on an Indian Reservation?  Well you can do that right here in your city, as most now have Indian housing and Indian Casinos near by. 

Would you like to travel to Africa and be a Missionary to the Africans?  Well you can be a Missionary right here in your city because in various areas in your city there are areas where African Americans dwell. 

 
“Would you like to be happy?”  And of course everyone wants to be happy. 
God says that all who follow Him and His commandments and statutes will be blessed, and those who do not obey God’s Word will not benefit but will have trouble.  It pays to follow Jesus and God's Word.
 
(Acts 1:8).  But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

Jerusalem means: our Home Town, all Judea means: near by communities, and further out including other parts of this world.  (If you can’t go - - pray and help send someone.)

 
 
Got Questions.Org says: 

"What is a Christian missionary?"
A Christian missionary is commissioned by the Lord to make disciples, followers of Christ. Jesus commands all Christians to share the Gospel, the message of His death and resurrection that conquered the penalty and power of sin.
What does a Christian missionary do? A Christian missionary proclaims Jesus as Savior and Lord. Whom do they tell? Jesus made it clear that Christians are to reach out to “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19), especially those ethnic groups without a Gospel witness. Unreached people groups are still waiting for the way, truth, and life found in Christ
 
But Christians at home should be missionaries in their own communities, doing personal evangelism
 

 


 

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Willing Heart


 

Our Bible Study has been focusing on the Tent Tabernacle and the furnishings.  I took notes and present an edited lesson.

When the Children of Israel left Egypt, God told them to borrow from the Egyptians, Gold, silver, precious jewels, incense, spices, expensive cloth and what ever else they could collect of value.  Each household took this from Egypt as a ransom as payment for the years they spent in slavery.

Now they were camped in the wilderness, and God gave Moses instructions in detail how to build a tent tabernacle that could be packed up and move with them as they traveled to the Promised Land. 

When they set up camp, the priest’s tents were to be closest to the tabernacle, with the twelve tribes situated around the sides.  As they prepared to build the tabernacle and its furniture, the people were asked to give with a willing heart from their holdings they had taken from Egypt.

Exodus 35:5 Take from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and bronze,

Each gift was important and all the people were willing to contribute to God’s tabernacle.  The people were no different from us.  As we give offerings to our church, it must be with a joyful and willing heart.  No sacrifice was too small but it was important for the attitude to be freely given.

God gave special wisdom, understanding, knowledge and anointing for some to be skillful with their hands and to be creative in shaping cunning works of art for the furniture for the tabernacle. 

Exodus 35:35  Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.

God filled them with wisdom, to complete each task.

Talented hands were needed to fashion the Priests garments with delicate and intricate embroidery work.

Spices were important to blend with pure olive oil for anointing, and sweet incense to be burnt as an offering in the Holy Place.

Everyone had an opportunity to give something toward the work of the Lord.  No one was more important than the next person and each gave liberally of what they had available.

Finally God said: “We have more than enough and it is sufficient for all of the work.

We are reminded that the Golden Lamp Stand gave light in the dark Holy of Holies.  It represented Jesus as the Light of the World to light the darkness.  Jesus turned and said that we too are to be the Light of the World and to shine in our corner of our world.

It is important that our light be pure and honorable; full of sweet incense and undefiled.

There are a lot of “good lights” out there, but not all are pure Gospel.  They have nice sayings, but are tainted with an unholy background.  Where did they originate and where are they coming from?

Let the pure Word of God be held supreme.  Real inward change comes from a Spiritual Awakening.  We are Spirit, Soul and Body, and we must feed our Spirit and our Soul with Living Water, the Bread of Life, the Meat of the Word and the Wine of the Holy Spirit.

Our teacher brought a small bottle of sweet smelling oil of Frankincense to class and each person put a small drop on their finger and rubbed it in the palm of their hands.
 
This simple illustration was to remind us that God has anointed each of us with His Holy Spirit and we are to come to Jesus with a willing heart; and commit to serve Him all the days of our life.