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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Being Like Jesus


 

Pastor Allan was ministering as I took notes and digested his sermon here for you.

“The last few weeks we have been talking about being Christ like.  The scripture in Acts refers to the Believers first being called Christians at Antioch.  They were called little Christs, because they walked like Jesus, acted in His power, and did miracles like Christ.

What is the church today called?  I see some things I don’t like.  Some attend church regularly, but are not following Christ.  When we hang out on the outskirts, following the worldly crowd, we are not following Jesus.  Do others see Christ in you?

I am not saying we are totally there yet, but we need to shed self righteousness and man made rules of other churches. 

We must become programmed to a life style of repentance.  Yes, we come one time to Jesus for salvation, but we must guard our hearts to remain pure.  Every time we are aware of an attitude that should not be there, we must learn to quickly repent.  We are a people being delivered, healed and set free. 

Jesus set the standard of how we should live, in Matthew chapter 5.

2Jesus opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The poor in spirit will live boldly.  The words of Jesus proclaimed Kingdom living.
He put a stop on Religious living and opened up true Relationship with the Father.
He taught us how to pray and gave us the Golden Rule.

 4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
  8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

As we walk down our streets, we see our world is in turmoil.  Our land is spiritually bankrupt.  We see the precious and the vile, devoid of spiritual riches.  We know that Jesus is the answer to every need.  All we need to do is ask.  The only way to the Father is through Jesus.

The Sanhedrin and the Pharisees were rule keepers, but they had no power.  “Religion” can be very binding.  We preach “Relationship,” and there is a difference.  We receive salvation through Christ.  We realize we were a sinner in need of repentance, “REAL genuine repentance, from the cry of our heart.  David cried, “Don’t take the Holy Spirit from me.”  I need you Lord.

Followers of Christ will produce fruit.  Some are listening to the Holy Spirit, but are not acting on it.  I am talking about swimming upstream.  Jesus said, “I want you to be hungry for more.  Those who hunger shall be filled.”  Taste and see.  Not our own righteousness but more of Jesus. 

Lord show me my heart, and remove the stones, rocks and pebbles, and give me a tender heart.  Guard your heart against the World, allowing your heart to remain pure. 

Shun worldly ways, use caution on the inter-net, TV, and worldly entertainment.  When we compromise our integrity, something is shaved off – little by little. 

If you are tempted to get a “hair cut” – then quit walking by the barber shop.  You get my meaning. 

Moral courage is doing the right thing no matter what others around you are doing.  As we purify our heart, our influence will shake our neighbors.  Be a peacemaker and reconcile with those who have made war with you.  Love your neighbor and enjoy peaceful living and not turmoil.

If you have been in church for a few years, we shouldn’t have to spoon feed you.  It is time to grow up and learn to feed yourself by being daily in God’s word.  Take time to commune with Jesus and develop your relationship with Him.  God does not enjoy taking you to the wood shed, so make those corrections before God finds it necessary to chasten you.

You may be criticized, and even talked about, but the opposition will strengthen you.  Be joyful and happy as this is the reward.  Recognize the secret of a fulfilled life in Christ; The more you press in, the more is received.

God gives us chance after chance and leads us to repentance.  You have been delivered so walk free.

The more we strive to become like Christ, we will realize we are NOT like Him, so keep  pressing in.”

 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Do Wives Always Submit?


 

Our teacher, Linda presented a Bible lesson taken from 1 Peter chapter 3.  I took notes as she brought us the study from God's word and present a summary here.

1 Peter 3   Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (holy behavior) of the wives;  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:  Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 

Note the word says submit “to your OWN husband.”  Not necessarily to other men as they are not your husband.  I once knew a Pastor who thought the congregation should submit to his authority.  If a Pastor is being controlling and not himself submitted to God's word that is a warning signal. 

A look at another translation gives us a deeper breath, about inward beauty.  Notice it is NOT telling woman it is wrong to dress in style, or wear jewelry, but stressing the importance of a gentle and right spirit.

Sara obeyed her husband when he told her to lie, in order to save his life.  The King found out about Abraham's lie, but spared his life. 
 
Husbands should never ask their wives to sin or do anything against their conscience.

We are to be subject to God first, then to the authority of our husband, our boss, or leaders over us.  It is difficult at times to be humble, but our holy conduct will be an example to others.

God is not impressed with pious prayers, even those written out, or memorized.  God is listening for the cry of our heart, and desires us as women to have a gentle and quiet spirit.  Not a person, trying to get attention, but submissive in service first to God, then to rulers, employers, wives to husbands, and youth to their elders.

Honor your husband knowing God has a plan in the background to bring about a good life.  Some things are perishable, but God brings the natural into the supernatural. 

The flesh must die.  This means dying to self or selfishness.  Being willing to put others first, especially your husband.

Notice the duty of the husband to give his wife honor knowing that the two of you are “one.”  He is responsible for her and should treat her with kindness and respect, lest his prayers be hindered.

A husband should be cautious and not take advantage of his place, or be controlling and doctorial with an angry attitude.  He needs to be considerate of his wife's feelings and view her as an equal, not crushing her spirit but allowing her to be her own person. 

Each person in a marriage has their own role and responsibility to each other using common courtesy and showing love from a tender heart.

When Adam saw Eve for the first time, he was happy and desired to please her, which got them into trouble and also us.  The husband must listen carefully what his wife says, and know that the final decision weighs heavily on his shoulders.

Ephesians 5:22-23  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord,  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church. . .

In every area of our life may we seek to please God first and then our husband. 

This honors and pleases our Father God.

 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Become a Vessel God Can Use


 
Pastor Allan remarked there are a lot of new people here today, and I must tell you, “What you see is what you get.”  I took notes as he ministered and present his sermon edited.
 
God is on the move and we are daily changing into His image.  I am thankful that I am not what I was yesterday or yester-year.

It is not so much as hearing His voice but doing what His voice tells us.  At times we get so caught up in the need, that we don’t pay attention to His voice.  Be more aware of his voice and become a doer. 
 
It doesn’t matter our speed, just as long as we move forward.  We pray, Lord send your fire – come Lord and visit me, then His voice gives us a message, but do we obey?

I encourage you to get wrapped up in God’s Word, and then not to fail to listen and obey.

Backing up, I am reminded of a sermon I preached about Peter and John walking in the temple and they saw a lame man.  Peter and John stepped into a realm they had never been before, and there was no turning back.  Many times they had passed by that man, not paying him any attention.  He was a piece of garbage, not worth looking at.  Suddenly they noticed him.

As we preach this, we begin to see the power of the Holy Spirit.  Healing reports of cancers taken away, and rotator cuffs that refused to move, now are active.

We have seen a bunch of knot heads come in and get delivered from addiction, and I am expecting God to continue to move in power.

I must admit that I stepped away from that power for a time, but today I am moving forward.  We don’t want to stifle the Holy Spirit, but we can become discouraged when we have real needs, and nothing happens when we pray.

We ask, “Are we fasting and praying enough? Where are the miracles?”

We haven’t been doing anything wrong, but are our expectations high?

Pastor explained his absence last week saying, "I attended a Healing Conference with Randy Clark as the speaker.  I confess that the first session went over my head, but each session was building line upon line.  What hit me most, was it is not our faith, but it is the Power of God working through us.  We must be available.  Once you are aware that you need Jesus, it is time to repent and begin to live your life with Him.  Jesus desires to heal and deliver, but He is looking for vessels to use." 

It is easy to get caught up in the nonsense of the world, and it is not always popular to be a Man or Woman of God. 

The Prophet Jeremiah said in 2:15,  “Therefore thus says the Lord, If you return, then I will bring you again, and you shall stand before me: and if you take forth the precious from the vile, you shall be as my mouth: let them return unto you; but return not you unto them.”

That day, Peter and John took out the preciousness of the vile.  Their eyes were open to see the need and to see the man as a precious person needing a miracle. 
 
We too must lift our eyes not to see garbage, and filth but taking the precious from the vile, we become God’s mouth.  It is our responsibility to have a relationship with Jesus.  Our church is growing and it is our responsibility to nurture the new ones.

God wants to first take out the trash in us and separate the rubbish from the precious.

I can appreciate a good car show,  We view a beautiful car that has been restored, and are amazed at the before photos showing it was once rusty and disgusting.   The owner saw something in that car that others could not see. 

It is that way with those who seem cast aside, but God sees in them potential. 
 
Here at our church, our job is to show up to worship, and to become equipped to minister.  During the prayer time, go ahead and pray with and encourage those who come forward.

In the game of football, what happens if you go out in the field without your helmet and proper equipment?  We know you will get beat up, so the answer is we must be prepared, rooted and grounded and established. 
 
We don’t want to become a creature of habit but to walk in the Spirit and allow God to make us a vessel fit for His service.
 
 
 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Work Place Situations


 

Our Bible Study teacher opened the lesson on Sunday by saying, “The feeling that comes with the salvation experience is awesome, but it isn’t always there.  Then we take Salvation by faith in God’s Word and Trust. 

Today we were considering persecution in the work place and temptation to do wrong.

In Bible days many households had servants.  Servants might chose this life, of life chooses for them.  Some were captured, others were taken as payment of a debt.  There were some Masters who were cruel and would punish their servants with beatings.  Many times the punishment was undeserved. 

What happens to us when we are asked to lie, cheat or falsify something at work?  Just the other day, a friend of mine was asked by a co-worker to illegally split a commission to avoid taxes.  He refused to do so.

On our job, we may have a better idea, but we are under authority, and should do the work the way our boss wants it done.  Timing is everything.  Present your good idea later in private.  It may help to write it out so your boss can think about it.

Our teacher told a story of an Islamic man witnessed to by an American soldier; who told the man that he was praying for him.  The man said, “I don’t think anyone has ever prayed for me except my mother.”  His heart was softened, and a few days later, he saw a vision; the figure of a man who spoke saying, “I AM the Light of the World, I will show you the way if you will follow me.”

There are many reports of people in other lands, seeing visions of Jesus and many times they secretly receive Jesus as Lord.

1 Peter 2:18-20 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.  For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

Peter was comparing suffering wrongfully with the suffering of Christ.  Jesus was buffeted and reviled, and was innocent, yet He submitted and bore our sins on His body.

1 Peter 2:24  Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - - by whose stripes you were  healed.

Jesus was silent when He was accused, and we must understand that Pilot the governor was just doing his job.  He had authority to release Jesus, but the crowd swayed his better judgment. What if he had listened to his wife and had nothing to do with Jesus?  It was not so, because the death of Christ was ordained to happen.

People can be cruel and stubborn and moved by others who protest.  Anger, hatred caused refusal to accept Jesus as the Messiah, and He was crucified for you and me.

We process things that happen to us and try to avoid situations.  The proper way is to act maturely.

If we are being troubled at the work place, or at school, it is more than sitting back and expecting God to intervene.  We need to pray and expect intervention.

A member of our class commented, “Once burned in a relationship, we are cautious to make friends.

Our Teacher told a story about a well educated man, whose young wife died.  His grief and deep sorrow caused him to make some bad decisions, and to drown his sorrow with the bottle.  He did not know Jesus and took the world’s way to cope.  Later like the prodigal son, he came to himself and changed his direction in life.  God draws the line and says, “No More.” 
 
Peter said, “We continued to stray, going our own way, but we are now returned, (turned around) and going in the direction to the Good Shepherd.”

There are situations in our life and the Holy Spirit nudges us.  We need to ask, “What should I do about this?” 
 
Each situation is different, so keep listening.
 
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Press Forward – No Matter What

A Fourth Man Appeared to Protect Them


Our Sunday Morning service at Open Door Church was blessed with a guest speaker, Rodney Waldrop.  I took notes and present his digested sermon.

“Today we will consider two of my favorite Bible Stories.  Do you have a favorite?  Some would say, Daniel and the Lions Den, or Jonah and the whale, but one of my most favorites is the three Hebrew Children thrown into the heated furnace because they refused to bow down to the Kings image of another god.  A fourth person appeared and protected them so they did not burn. 
 
No matter what they faced, they were true to their God.

These stories encourage us to press forward regardless of what we face in life.  How many brought their Bible to church today?  Always bring your Bible because you will need it as you go to war against the enemy of your soul.

The disciples prayed in Acts 4:29  Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. - -

And with great power they gave person witness of the resurrection.

It is refreshing to be here today and enjoy your worship, for in many churches what they call worship is not really “Worship.”

Have you noticed there are many power words in the Bible?  Some are repeated over and over and it seems like repetition, but it is actually a washing.

Do not fear, Do not be afraid was said often by Jesus.  Be courageous and be bold was not said as often, but it is just as important.

My second favorite story is “The Good Shepherd” portrayed in Psalm 23.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Many even today are facing death because they will not deny Jesus.  Others are grieving because death has visited their home and taken one of their loved ones.

If Jesus had not risen from the dead, we would still be dead in our sins.

Before we come to God’s house, we need to make time to prepare ourselves to receive.

God has prepared a table for us, but we must come so he can restore our emotions and our thinking to align with His will.

“He guides me to walk in paths of righteousness . . .”

There are things ahead that we may not be ready for - - unless we are prepared.  We hold our breath and finally let out a big sigh.

David was hiding in a cave because King Saul was hunting him to take his life.  The king entered the cave to sleep, while David was in the back observing.  David’s men said, “Here’s your chance to kill the King, but David was righteous and said, “I can’t harm God’s anointed King.”  David was a man after God’s own heart.

God is not just ANY God - - He is MY God, and He is MY Shepherd.

God made me just the way I am, and we need to be satisfied who we are.  God loves you and me just as we are, and He is willing to use us for his service if we are willing to submit to the Holy Spirit.  He takes the unqualified, and qualifies you and me.

“Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

We need to believe what God is saying and obey. 

Sometimes when a person is talking to you; your mind is else where and the important message is missed.  This is due to lack of paying attention.  Pay attention to God’s voice and to His Word.

You may know all this and wonder how it applied to you.  Let God re-make you so that you can be used of Him.  What are you afraid of?  The thing we need is to deepen our relationship with God and with one another.  God offers life, love and hope, and He forgives sin.  Our God is bigger than anything, any disease, even cancer.

In the House of God, it is the easiest place to get answers to prayer.  The atmosphere is charged with power as others agree with you.

God’s word is true, so expect miracles, and expect sinners to come to Jesus, expect a radical change in lives.

Can you pray this prayer?  “God use me.  I am not afraid.  Grant me courage and boldness to I step out to obey you. Thank you for anointing me to do your will.”

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Submit to Authority?


Our Bible Study at Open door church opened by reading: 

1 Peter 2:13-14  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Our teacher began by asking; “The government says it is okay to abort babies, and to have same sex relationships, - -  so should we then participate in these laws?

We are to honor the King – the leaders, the police and those who protect the innocent. However we are not obliged to sin just because it is now a law or is freely available.

In history there was a manipulation of the queens to kill the rightful heir so that her son could rule.  Even in the Bible there were wicked queens who killed their own children and grandchildren so they could be the Queen.  Yes there were evil rulers – followed by new Kings who were even more wicked.

We are reminded of Nero who burnt Rome so he could blame it on the Christians and then persecute them.

1 Peter 4:12-16  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: - - If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. - - But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a busy body in other men’s matters.  But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Peter was crucified, and Christians were terribly mistreated.  Early in the ministry of Jesus, his cousin, John the Baptist was executed.

Chapter 13 of Romans, warns us to Make NO provision for the flesh to sin.

Sometimes we try to figure out how much we can get away with doing something we desire to participate in.  “Just once,” we tell our self; or as Eve said, only a “tiny bite.” 

Many have been caught in the trap of telling them selves, I will do this and - - later I will repent and God will forgive me!  

Let me tell you that God is NOT in the business of playing games, and although He is merciful and may forgive you if you are sincere - - there will be a time when He says "That is enough !!"

Always remember; What you sow – you shall reap.  Good decisions bring good consequences, and naturally, Bad decisions will bring bad consequences.

It is sad to say that those we hold dear and their choices will also effect us and our families.

Pray for Grace to stand true to God's Word. 

Titus 3:1-7  Reminds us again to obey magistrates and to be ready to do good to others. 

We may have been foolish in the past, but now we are wise knowing Who we are “IN Christ.”

How do we respond when Christians are looked down upon, at school, in the work place, or even by our families?

What do you do when your boss wants you to back up his lie? 

Conflict will come, but a soft answer turns away wrath.  Be ready to be silent, waiting to speak the right thing. 

Our world is shaken, but it is our responsibility to live Christ like and to Honor Him as Lord and our KING.

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Our Body is Wonderfully Made


Our Body is Wonderfully Made
Jesus is Our Healer and at times He uses doctors

Many times we get sick, and as we pray - - often we are healed.  Other times our body will heal itself as we allow time to do its work.   So what are we to do when we don’t find relief from our pain. 

Our body is wonderfully made.  God put us together with cells, blood and organs to function and keep us well.  We are basically made up of water and mud, and our body has its own electrical system.  Our brain sends impulses to various parts of our body telling them to function as they should.  Sometimes our brain needs reminding to do its work properly.  

Medical Field:  I am not against doctors and they have helped me many times - - but - -

Our modern doctors are taught to prescribe drugs and if that doesn’t help, they add to the first drug more drugs.  The truth is drugs can poison your body and eventually kill you. 

Our old fashioned doctor refused to prescribe drugs for long term; But not our modern doctors as that is what they learned to do in Medical school. 

Is the Medical Field our only hope? 
 
Alternative medicine seeks to use food, vitamins, and other methods to bring relief. 

Chiropractors manipulate the spine to align the body so that poison will drain through the kidneys.  

Other scientists have discovered points in our body that when pressed or massaged, will open up blocked areas to help drain infection. 

Some alternative doctors prescribe exercise within reason.  Here is where you avoid YOGA because its base is from Eastern gods and their spiritual guides.    

Should we jump on the band wagon and accept everything offered?  It is wise to use caution because there are Charlatans out there who are wizards with magic potions that should be avoided. 

I remember many years ago, my jaw locked and I could not open my mouth.  A chiropractor using a manipulation put my jaw back in place.  Another time with my jaw again, my local chiropractor could not help me.  I went to a different chiropractor who advised me to do some simple exercises with my tongue and to tap the top of my head to wake up my brain to use the muscles in my jaw.  That took care of the jaw problem. 
 
After my recent fall and landing on my back, I have two areas that have a swelling (lump)  I need to see a Chiropractor that also does massage as I believe this will help bring relief. 

For the most part, I avoid drugs, but I daily take vitamins and herbs and a baby aspirin. 

Be wise, be aware and let the Holy Spirit be your constant guide, when you need extra help with your health.