Ephesians 5:19, 20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Early experiences in life can cause
you to be careful about things you want to encounter only once.
I was a young bride, just
having received my driver’s license, and decided to visit my friend Maude.She lived about three
blocks off one of the main highways in our town, so the trip did not take long.
After a lovely visit, it was
time to leave so I could get home in time to fix supper.
We said our good byes, and
Maude went back into the house, and I jumped into my car.
I turned the key in the
ignition and all I heard was a grinding noise.My car refused to start.
Because I was a fairly new
driver, it had not occurred to me to watch my fuel gauge and sure enough I was
out of gas.
Pulling my wits around me, I
grabbed my purse and took off walking to the main road.
I remembered there was a gas station at the highway, and I was healthy and a walk was good exercise.
When I arrived at the
station, I explained to the kind attendant my problem and he shook his head while biting his lower lip, to
show he understood and felt bad for me.
He walked briskly into the garage area
and returned with a red gas can and put
just enough gas in the can to accomplish the next step.
The gentleman that he was, he
escorted me over to one of the cars near by and showed me how to lift the hood.He explained that after I poured most of the
gas into my tank, I needed to do something else.
“Look right here,” he said,
as he showed me where the carburetor was.You need to pour some gas into the carburetor to make sure your car will
He knew I was just a kid, so
he did not require a deposit on the gas can, but he did tell me to come right back
and return it, and if I had enough money, I
might want to purchase a bit more gas.
The can was not that heavy,
but it did slow me down a bit on my return trip to my car.
After I had poured most of
the gas into my tank, I gingerly pulled the hood release, and proceeded to put
the rest of the gas into the carburetor as instructed.
Putting the can in the back
seat - - making sure it was upright, I headed back to the gas station.
Although I did not have much
money with me, I purchased several gallons of gas, thanked the nice man and drove
home to tell Robert my unhappy, but exciting experience!
Lessons learned can be
painful while the process is going on and I am a fast learner.
To this day, I have never ran
out of gas again.
In life, we often run out of
Spiritual fuel, and when this happens it is time to visit God’s fueling
Our spirit runs on the fire of the Holy Spirit and the living
water from Jesus; and although the fire and water are free, the value is priceless.
So if you are running low, perhaps it is time
to “Fire Up" with a renewed Holy Spirit infilling, and another big drink of the fresh living water - - for it is just a prayer away.
I took notes as Pastor Jerry read from Matthew
Pharisees asked: “Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and
do you test Me, you hypocrites?Show Me the tax money.”So they
brought Him a denarius. And
He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to
Him, “Caesar’s.” And
He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to
God the things that are God’s.” Pastor began his message.At a party or gathering there are certain
topics we avoid; Religion, politics, and sex.Today I want to talk about money. We will see how faith touches our lives and
even our finances. Jesus comes down hard on the Scribes and
Pharisees as they moved to trick Jesus.These men were usually opposed to each other, but now they teamed up in
an attempt to trap Jesus.
They began with flattery saying, “Teacher, we know that
You are true, and teach the way of God in truth;” then they asked their
question hoping to get Jesus in trouble with the Roman Government.
Romans had a lot of taxes; the Temple tax, Land,
tax and the Imperial Tax which was actually a tribute to Rome, for the privilege of being oppressed.
Pastor Jerry quoted Richard
Brant. “We have a duty to support Caesar as long as Caesar is doing what he is
supposed to do.We do not owe Caesar our
total loyalty when Caesar oppresses.
was the coin used to pay this Imperial Tax.It had the value of a day’s wages, and to the Jews the coin was
one side there was a graven image of Caesar, and on the other side an
inscription declaring that Caesar was divine.
“Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes
to Caesar?” they asked Jesus.The Roman soldiers were
standing near by, and a crowd was gathering.Jesus was in a hard place, but he saw through their divisive scheme, and
asked for a coin, the denarius.
answer, “Give to Caesar what is his, and unto God what is His.
tables were turned on the accusers.
is the creator and sustainer of us all.God created us, and we are God’s coin.
belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God?These things are separate.
have nothing to do with religious commitment.The Law is the Law and we have a duty to support our Government.
may be another meaning that we should consider.“No one can serve two masters.”
was not describing the coin, which was clearly against the second commandment.
Who in our story possessed
such a coin?Certainly not the poor
disciples, but it was the rich religious leaders.
The coin was made by
humans.In Genesis we read that God
The Big questions is: Whose
image is on us?
That which bears God’s image
belongs to God.
We must use responsible
wisdom with our finances, and certainly the church needs our support - - but -
The Leviathan Spirit has
many characteristics, but it mainly manifests itself as pride. The very word
"Leviathan" means "to twist."
deceptive because it preys upon very real hurts and wrongs that have happened
Your pain is not
imagined; you were actually wronged, but Leviathan is seeking to make you fix
your gaze solely on your problem; so you never pull back from how you were
wronged and pray the heroic prayer: "Lord, heal
This is a season
of the great reconstruction.
A time when God is building a new force of elite soldiers that will ascend
their mountain of culture but also possess the character to stay on top and
release God's love and healing in a manner that brings glory to Him.
God is purposefully poking
you where it hurts and forcing you to deal with internal issues you've
masqueraded and hid behind for too long.
4 Keys To Confronting Leviathan
1) Come In The Opposite Spirit. At the root of your vulnerability to Leviathan is
authentic hurt and anger. The Bible says we are to be angry but not sin.
Here it is critical that
we acknowledge our anger but intentionally forgive and not give too much energy
to thinking about how we were wronged.
2) Create A Healthy Environment. The old adage is true, "misery loves
company," but during these critical times we can't be surrounded by people
who will "co-sign" and enable our dysfunction.
We need friends that will
hold us accountable and tell us the truth about ourselves even when it hurts.
The Bible says the wounds of a friend are faithful. We don't need fans...we
3) Be Teachable. Leviathan is especially dangerous for leaders and
leader-types, because they are so used to having the answers for everyone's problems
that they struggle with seeking answers for themselves.
Leaders think they always
have to be tough, that they have to appear strong, and those attributes work
against them when they are the ones under God's magnifying glass and in need of
4. Fixate on God’s Promises. God is always good, and Scripture teaches us
everything works together for the good of those that love God and are called
according to His purpose.
We must focus on God's
promises to come at the end of all this reconstruction. We can't get
sidetracked by the pain or how badly we were wronged.
God is working on us to
bring us to a better, more sustainable place. Ultimately He's taking us from
glory to glory, and that must be our main focus.
Excerpt's from the Post by Troy Goode, Senior Pastor
the Sunday Service, I gleaned from Pastor Jerry’s sermon as he read from
was writing from prison, yet even in his situation he was rejoicing in the
In his letter he urged the
Christians to be of like mindedness and not to argue; not to worry or be
anxious, but to present their needs to God in faith believing that they would
receive.Paul also advised them to be
cautious about their thought life.
Philippians 4:8 Finally,
brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is
excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Pastor said there is an old Chinese proverb that says:
“May you live in interesting times.”
Today we worry about many things, terror, disease, our
planet, our health and our family’s health.It only takes a moment to understand crisis that others are going
through here and world wide and it makes our problems seem small.
Pastor mentioned that he had just re-read the classic
book “Grapes of Wrath” set during the great depression, and the incredible
issues and treatment by fellow Americans.
Back to Paul’s letter 62 AD to the Philippians, as he
told them to rejoice in the Lord Always and not to worry.
Jesus also admonished people not to worry or be in
might say, “That is easier said than done.”
Christians all had problems of their own and Paul was in prison, a terrible
dungeon, yet he was able to rejoice in God. He rejoiced nine times in different ways.
Paul received Jesus he was successful, well educated, respected and looked up
to.He was willing to give all that up
to follow Christ Jesus.He counted the
loss of all things as nothing compared to the peace and blessing given to him
by the Lord.
it is difficult to rejoice always.Thankfully we have assurance in the Living Word of God.We can invest our time in prayer and worship
and practice thankfulness.
can’t live in constant anxiety.Do we
want an inner calm?We can learn to put
our mental energy into productive thoughts as we remember the proclamation of
Paul in verse 8.
Maybe Paul is right and
we can mature to discover peace even in tough times.
good intentions to pray, but our mind goes off in all directions as we think of
things we need to do.
encouraged the members to get along with each other, to do good works and to
rejoice, not worry and bring their thoughts into subjection.
important to be concerned and not forget about the needs of the world and of
others close by.There are troubles in
our church as we face the future.
main thing is - - if we excessively worry we fail to feed the poor and go about
doing the things we need to do.
At times we need to read the newspaper or watch the news to at least keep up
with what is going on in our world and in our town so we know how to pray.