Sunday, October 15, 2017

Jesus is Upset – Very Much




My House is a House of Prayer 

Our Bible Study centered around the story of Jesus upsetting the tables in the temple, but first we considered some words from Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 7:1-11.  God told the prophet to proclaim the Word of the Lord; “God says to repent, amend your ways; You steal, murder, commit adultery and then have the audacity to come and stand before me.  Don’t think you are free to do these abominations and get away with it.” 

In the Psalms, (69:9) David knew that those who opposed him actually opposed God.

Isaiah 56:7 Come to the mountain and worship and you shall be accepted.

Understand that today - - you are the temple.  I Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

With those verses as a foundation we return to John chapter 2.  

After the miracle of water turned into wine, Jesus came to Capernaum, with his mother, his disciples and remained there many days.  

The Jewish Passover was soon, so Jesus went down to Jerusalem.  

The Passover celebration was a time to sacrifice, and many traveled from long distances and planned to purchase a sacrifice once arriving there.  All nations came to worship and sacrifice, but the Gentiles were only allowed in the outside outer court.

Prices for sacrificial animals were inflated as the High Priest was behind all the overcharging.  This was a big money maker and quite a business.  Tables were set up inside the temple with animals available for sale.  The money exchange was also corrupt, with greed, racism; loss of dignity, stealing, deceitfulness reigning high.

Jesus came upon this scene and his anger fumed as He turned over tables and whipped and drove the animals out of the temple.  Jesus cried, “My house shall be called a house of prayer and worship, but you have made it a den of thieves.”

The Jews viewing this remembered the verse in Psalms 69:9  “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

Educated scholars knew prophetic words about the Messiah but their hearts were closed.  Instead the religious leaders criticized Jesus for his outburst and demanded a sign from him.  Jesus remarked, “Destroy this temple and in three days I shall rise again.”  

They immediately considered the building made of stone, but Jesus was speaking of his body being the temple of the Lord.  His disciples remembered this later when Jesus had risen from the dead.

Jesus began to do many miracles and a multitude of people believed on Him and followed him.  Jesus did not advertise himself, because he knew the fickleness of men and the issues of their hearts.

For us today, we must use wisdom to correct our selves when we are tempted to entertain sin in any of its various forms.  

You have a right to protect yourself even in the church if there is something wrong going on.  Use your spiritual eyes and ears to examine your own heart.  Be wise not to take part in wrong even if it is in the church.  Do not fear to speak up and perhaps walk out - - if it comes to that.

Our teacher shared a hand out about the secret place.  Where is the Secret Place?  It is a personal place where you meet with God.  There is only room for you and our Lord.  Where is the most holy place on this earth?  It is your own secret place where you can leave every thing behind and enter into His presence.





Become a Child of God and a Witness

Edited Sermon as I took notes as our guest speaker ministered at our church.



Pastor Gamel from Egypt was our guest speaker.  Pastor Gamel thanked our church for supporting him as he and his wife work for the Orphanage established by Lillian Trasher; “Mother of the Nile.”  

 He reported that the young people in Egypt are on fire for our Lord Jesus, and God answers their prayers.  

Sharing the Word of God must be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.  You can’t do anything with out the Holy Spirit.  Continue to pray for lost souls as we share about Jesus.

John 1:11 He came onto his own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, he gave the right to be children of God.”

Acts 1:8 tells us that you shall receive Power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses.  You are important because you can be a witness for Jesus.

There are two very important things prior to becoming a witness.
1.     Believe on Jesus and you shall become children of God.  You will be a child of God.

This is important because receiving Jesus will bring a change in you; bring you new direction, a new kingdom, and a new family of other Christians.

Jesus told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit.  They were not to leave to go home - - No they were to stay in the upper room and wait, until they received.  

They did not know what to expect, but when the Holy Spirit came with a mighty rushing wind, filling the house and tongues of fire were on each person, they discovered this was a new and mighty experience.  They were all filled with Holy Spirit boldness to be witnesses and to do the works of Jesus.

2.     It is important for you to receive the Holy Spirit as this is the power.

The question is:  Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?
If you have not accepted Jesus, know that today is the day of Salvation.  When you receive Jesus Christ, you become a child of God.  God is your new Father.  When you pray, God listens. You can come boldly into his presence because you are his child.  You are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  He is willing to shed upon you the blessed Holy Spirit and to grant you power to witness.  He has promised you this power to BE.

It is really great to be sons of God, and it is really wonderful to be used of the Holy Spirit. 

God used not just prophets of old, but God desires to use you to share the Gospel.  He will give you the words to say.  You will know the words are from him and will cut to the heart of the listener.  

What is in God’s mind?  He reveals His secrets to you and shares with you.  We can not afford to be absent of the Holy Spirit.  He gives us power and boldness.  How can this be? 

Each of us can experience the Holy Spirit, and He can be in each of us all at the same time, because He is spirit.

Many people have received our Lord Jesus Christ, but fail to enter into the fullness of God’s blessing.

Now the question is; “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you have believed?”

We need to ask God for the Holy Spirit and He is ready to give to you.
Heed his call – come and receive for the promise is for you.

Reminder:  First become a child of God by accepting Jesus into your life. Next ask and receive the Holy Spirit.

There is more God offers as you receive His Holy Spirit.  He has gifts available to you as you move in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor asked those who desire more to come forward and many came to receive.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mary Trusted Jesus

This Post is from notes taken at our Bible Study Sunday Morning at our Church.



The week had been eventful.  Jesus had been baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.  God the Father spoke with a voice and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove.   Now Jesus was gathering disciples as men began to follow him.  

Perhaps it  was time to relax as there was a family wedding in Cana to enjoy.

Mary the mother of Jesus was very involved in the wedding that was occurring.  The wedding feast was to last seven days, and it was incredibly shameful to run out of anything especially the wine.

When Mary mentioned to Jesus they had ran out of wine, his answer seemed a bit rude.  “Woman what have I to do with thee?”  

Actually Mary had no reason to think Jesus could fix the problem, but she spoke to the servants and told them to obey what ever He says to do.  In her heart she knew Jesus would do something about the situation. 

Consider Mary as a young girl; hearing the Angel’s announcement that she was to become the mother of the Savior.  Mary’s encounter with the Holy Spirit took wisdom and understanding as she submitted to the will of God.  She realized there would be public shaming that would follow her, but to obey God would be worth it all.

Luke 1:46-72 Mary exalts the Lord singing praises and she was filled with the Holy Spirit as she submitted to the will of God.  

Mary sang an amazing proclamation of praise, glory and blessing as she visited her Cousin Elizabeth. Family was so important in Jewish culture.  Mary embraced the prophetic scriptures as she carried the Son of God in her womb.  

Mary pondered in her heart about Jesus as he was growing up, and at age twelve, he was found in the temple expounding truth to those listening to him.  Mary was not ignorant of the calling of God upon her son Jesus’ life, and she realized Jesus walked in authority even as a child.  

His time had come and that was now evident. 

As John began his Gospel, he declared that Glory was revealed as the Holy Spirit hovered over the water in creation. 

The Holy Spirit hovered over the water at this wedding as the water turned into wine.

For us, the Holy Spirit offers Spiritual Wine from heaven to cause our hearts to rejoice.
We need to spend time with the Holy Spirit as we become different enough to change our world.  Spirit to spirit changes us; Steam rolling as it were.

Mary trusted Jesus and knew he would do something to solve the problem.  Jesus honored his mother and commanded the servants at the wedding to fill the large jars with water.  Each jar held from 25 to 30 gallons of water.  Then He instructed the servants to carry the “water” to the master of the feast for testing.  

Now the servants knew all that had happened, but they obeyed Jesus trusting him.  This was a God Moment as they encountered the Christ and followed his command. 

The master of the feast could not believe the best wine had been saved to the last of the feast.  This was no ordinary wine, but was wine from heaven; the magnificence of the miracle of water to wine.

We glance at "water" throughout the Bible.  In Egypt water turned to blood.  Moses brought water from a rock and another time, cured water with tree limbs.

Water was used in washing ceremonies, and the water turned to wine reminds us of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Jesus honored his mother and fulfilled her request.  Mary was submitted to His authority and to His Majesty.  Mary trusted Jesus.




Sunday, October 8, 2017

WAIT PATIENTLY

This post is from notes taken during Pastor Allan’s Sermon on Sunday Morning.



How many here are waiting for an answer from God, that hasn’t arrived yet?  (Hands were raised all over the congregation.)

Understand that God hears your cry and he is asking you to ‘Wait Patiently.’

Psalms 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

Are you willing to wait and be patient in your waiting?

We get so caught up in serving that we forget who we are serving.
As we wait, God lifts us up sets our feet on a rock and puts a new song in our heart.

Psalms 40:2,3 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. And he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Understand that God is working behind the scenes and he is listening to your prayers.  In the mean time He is preparing you for His perfect plan.  So I wait.  So I wait patiently, not trying to help God out as some have done. If we are not careful, we can mess things up that God desires to do.

We long for the fire of God to come down on our mountain of trouble.  We yearn to view the supernatural army come to defeat those obstacles in our path.

God says:  “I have a plan, - - Let me bring it to pass as you wait.”

Know that we are in this for the long haul.  God is not in a hurry as we often are.  Our human inclination is to “Want our answer now.”

God asks us to wait with wisdom and patience that He gives.

Psalms 40:4  How blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD and does not seek help from the proud or from liars!

Happy is the person who seeks truth and does not run after liars, but will Trust in the Lord.

Waiting takes trust that God is hearing your cry and is directing traffic.

Our Lord has done great things, and His thoughts toward us are for our good. If we try to count His benefits, they are too many to number.

While we wait, He feeds us and cares for us as we trust in Him.

All the disciples of Jesus were willing to be taught.  We can be taught as we wait patiently.

Many of us are waiting for the restoration of our children or loved ones. 

Besides waiting what else must we do?  The simple answer is to Trust and Obey.

We plant a seed in good soil, but it must be cared for.  We water it and tenderly remove weeds, and wait patiently for it to mature and bring a harvest.

It may turn out that your answer is on its way.  It may arrive tomorrow.


Wait patiently, and trust that it will surely come.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Love God and Love One Another




 

Pastor Allan was speaking, as I took notes and present an edited message:

This has been a hard week of disappointment, hurt and absence of answers.  Pile upon pile it seemed, but the Holy Spirit reminded me: “Keep your eyes on Jesus and it will be worth it all.”

It is time to ignore the distractions of life that pull our eyes off God.  Our eyes often are focused on the tempest instead of He who controls the storm.

We have seen a lot of changes this year.  Some have been alienated by pressure or feelings of loneliness. 

There have been seasons of ministry and then changes.  The outreach to the homeless upset some of our neighbors, because we embrace all people as we offer them the love of God.

There is a new shift in the seasons.  How do we measure success?  This is what Jesus had to say.

Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came, and asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

As a pastor, I need to know more about each of you.  Our relationship with each other and with God is of importance.

Understand what the will of God is and I encourage you to build your relationship with God and with each other, and also with those you associate with during the week.

The second commandment is to love others as much as we love ourselves.  We are to be kind and caring toward all.

We need wisdom to make right choices and to keep our eyes on Jesus.

The test of Fire will remove impurities in our soul, and after the fire comes the cool breeze of the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit.  We are accountable to God as we trust him. 
 
When adversity comes, it is not time to throw up our hands in defeat, but it is time to unite as one.  Let us show our love.


 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Praying Over Our City using our Spiritual Weapons.


This Post is a review of the teaching I gave at our Praying Over our City Meeting.

 
Hannah was Sincere and her Deep Agony caused the Priest to consider that she was drunk ??


Hannah was in deep agony as she prayed asking God for a child.  She was so serious she made a vow that has always caused me concern; because she promised to give away her child after she had weaned him.  In those days the child might have been 4 or 5 years old when she took him to Eli the Priest and declared this is the son I prayed for and he is to be dedicated to the work of the Lord. 

All that time while she was crying out; – God’s plan was in effect and he was waiting for her promise from her own lips. 

Do you always keep your promises to God?  Sorry to say, I have missed a few.   

God has a plan for our City, our State and our Nation.  We are part of that plan and as we pray and intercede he is working behind the curtain setting the stage - - The curtain is ready to be lifted bringing the next scene which is almost ready. 

As we pray over our city, do not hesitate to pray in the spirit and in other tongues.  Tongues are important and should never be down played.  It is the important prayer language that pleads with God with words we cannot know and probably do not fully understand.  We will KNOW somewhat of the thought of what we pray, just not the entire picture.  As we pray in tongues, we pray according to God's Will.

2 Corinthians 10: 3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty in God for the tearing down of strongholds, arguments and rebellious fortresses.  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ - - 

I shared a hand out with a suggested prayer for us to follow today.  Let us read the prayer out loud with our voice and mean it from our heart.
~ ~ ~
(Hand Out)

What is Intercession and Intercessory Prayer?   By Rebecca Barlow Jordan


Have you ever felt an unexplained burden on your heart to pray for the masses, for unnamed others, for your community or the world at large? The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who lifted up others in prayer, and Ephesians 6:18 tells us to: pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying

God has chosen intercession as the primary means in which He releases His power now and forever. Jesus operated in the principle of intercession when He created the earth by speaking the Word to the Father (Genesis 1)). He releases His power now and will rule the nations forever in partnership with His people through intercession.
  • Intercession causes us to internalize God’s Word and changes us.
  • Intercession imparts life (John 6:63).
  • Intercession changes the spiritual atmosphere of cities and nations.

Example Intercessory Prayer

Lord Jesus, I come to you today and thank you for the privilege of praying for others. I've been the recipient of others' prayers so often, I understand how powerful intercessory prayer can be. I ask you first to cleanse my heart and show me if there is any unconfessed sin in my own life so that my prayers for others will not be hindered. I thank you that through your name, I can come boldly before you and pray with confidence, according to your will and know that you hear me.

A Prayer for the Sick

I lift up those in my neighborhood, in my city, and in my church. Begin with those who follow you, and help them influence others for good. Let them be salt and light, pointing others to you. Deepen their love for you and for the people around them. Guard them from hypocrisy or from giving in to temptations that could harm the cause of Christ. Raise up leaders who will serve you faithfully at all costs. Turn the hearts of fathers toward their children, and families toward you. Help them to exemplify your values, and make them bold in their faith. Strengthen my own family and those closest to me, Lord.  May our love for you help us to love and forgive others and make a difference in our world.

I pray for teachers, for students, and for all those in authority and leadership, both locally and throughout the world.   Give them your mind, and surround them with godly counselors who will exercise integrity and work for justice, morality, and freedom. Help them to esteem you, not dismiss you. Send revival, Lord.

I pray for the lost, the hurting, the lonely, the sick, the bereaved, and those who are imprisoned—behind both visible and invisible walls. Send your comfort, your peace, , and your calming presence to those who are without hope. Protect the defenseless, and hold them close to your heart. I pray for laborers to tell the good news of Jesus to people around our world. Jesus, my heart cries out for persecuted believers, too. Make them brave, and give them your powerful protection. I pray you will bring swift justice to those who want to destroy the innocent and those who carry your name. Bind the power of Satan, and strengthen believers everywhere.

So many needs, Jesus, but you are adequate for every need. Your name is powerful, and your power is great. So it's in your name that I pray—and believe.  Amen

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

BREAKING BREAD TOGETHER

Our Bible Study Review from my notes during the Lesson at our Church
 
Breaking of Bread Together

 
As our Bible study began, our teacher set a small glass of grape juice before each member and passed a plate with a large round loaf of bread.  We were to break off a piece of bread as we feasted on the bread and “wine.”
Our lesson resumed with Jesus at the Jordan River, and John bore witness that Jesus was the Son of God. 

After being baptized in the river, Jesus walked away as John’s disciples announced “Behold the Lamb of God.”  John’s disciples began one by one to follow Jesus and wanted to know where He stayed so they could be with him.   It was powerful emotions that drew them to Jesus Christ.
Daniel in the Old Testament, was given a vision and he declared: 
Daniel 7:13-14   I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Jesus began to call different men and said:  "Follow Me."   One such man was Simon the fisherman, to whom He gave a new name, “Peter” meaning a stone. 
 

Follow Me
 
Jesus found Philip who ran to find Nathaniel and told him, “We have found the Christ.”  Nathaniel gave a rude remark saying is there anything good coming out of Nazareth?  However he was willing to come and see.  Nathaniel was a man educated in the Jewish law.  He understood the prophesies concerning the messiah.
As he approached our Lord, Jesus declared, “Behold an Israelite in who is no guile.”  Nathaniel remarked, “How do you know me?”  Jesus made a statement, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree.”  This comment immediately changed Nathaniel’s stance and he declared; “Thou art the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered, “Verily I say onto you, Here after you shall see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man:”
Some believe with almost no effort while others struggle to accept truth.  May the sword of God’s Word cut deep into hearts as truth is revealed?
The first chapter of John takes us from;‘In the beginning was the Word’ to revealing Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Messiah.  The allegiance of John’s followers is transferred over to Jesus as they declare, “This is the King.”
This was a huge shift in their belief to accept Jesus as Lord and to follow Him. 
 
It is not recorded if there were any reactions from their parents, who were entrenched in Jewish Culture and tradition.  Jesus was a New and Living Way as He revealed the Father and the Kingdom of God.
Our Bible teacher reminded us that in the banking system, employees handle real money and learn the feel, the look, the fabric so that when they see the counterfeit, they immediately know that which is false.
John’s disciple’s hearts were open and it took little to convince them that this was real.
Those of us who experience a life changing experience as we receive Jesus as Lord, will always know the reality of our encounter with God.  No person or circumstance can convince us otherwise.