“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ …” - II Cor. 5:20
Christians are God’s ambassadors to this world because the world is at war with God. What are the characteristics of an ambassador and how do they relate to us as God’s ambassadors today?
· An Ambassador must be a citizen of the nation he or she represents. Col. 1:13, 14 – “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
· Ambassadors must be commissioned. John 20:21-b – “ … as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
· An Ambassador represents his ruler and his people.
ü No matter where we are, we represent Jesus Christ and His church. II Cor. 3:2
· An Ambassador doesn’t promote himself or allow his own personal interests to get in the way of his official work. II Timothy 2:4 & II Cor. 4:5 – “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake.”
ü “When the messenger becomes more important than the message, you have the beginnings of a cult; and that is always dangerous.” – Dr. Warren Wiersbe
· An Ambassador is always representing his King. I Cor. 6:19, 20
· An Ambassador always has all of his or her needs provided. Phil. 4:19
· An Ambassador keeps in touch with headquarters. Luke 18:1
· An Ambassador is expected to obey the laws of the land and the orders given to him/her. John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
· An Ambassador is usually called home before war is declared.
ü The Lord Jesus has promised to return to take His people home to heaven. John 14:1-6; I Thess. 4:13-18
Avoid Debt in 2019
“Owe no man anything, but to love one another …” - Romans 13:8
Debt is a scourge in America! Believers as well as unbelievers often spend money like a drunken politician! If we get in a habit of sowing debt, we will reap bondage! “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” - Proverbs 22:7
Carrying a load of debt can increase stress, tension and anxiety in individuals and marriages. Many Christians never learn the joy and blessing of giving to the Lord because of the heavy debt that they have placed among themselves☹ The question for the moment is WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE TO GET BURIED IN DEBT?
· Hardly a day goes by that I do not receive “pre-approved credit cards” in the mail. I treat them as if I received pornography in the mail … it goes to the trash or fireplace.
· The average credit card debt per household in America is over $17K
· In 2007 14.7% of U.S. families had debt exceeding 40% of their income.
· 41% of credit cardholders make only the minimum required payment.
· If our beliefs about finances and spending are what they ought to be we can avoid learning lessons the hard way. Matthew 6:33
· If you believe that highway laws are for promoting safety by preventing crashes and even death, you will respect and honor the highway traffic laws.
· I’m not telling you that using credit cards or borrowing is wrong. I’m simply saying that it is like electricity if you are not aware of its dangers, it can kill you, but if you use it wisely it can make life more comfortable for you.
· Always honor God with your earnings. “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” - Proverbs 3:9
· Learn the principle of contentment. I Tim. 6:8 – “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
· Look at debt the way God views debt. Proverbs 22:7-b
There is a difference between self-love and value as an individual. Romans 12:3 tells us that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we should. This verse talks to us about a sober judgment. What does this mean? I believe that it refers to a realistic appraisal of who we really are. We are both beautiful and beastly, wonderful and terrible, we have great strength along with great weaknesses.
The only true way for us to mirror ourselves is through God’s Word. Scripture gives us so much truth to affirm our worth to our maker and encouragement from Him! We are God’s artwork, the masterpiece of His creation. (Think of this the next time you view the galaxies of the vast universe and all the beauty on this earth!)
Through Christ and His Word we find the answers to all our questions and the longings of our hearts to be loved and accepted UNCONDITIONALLY!) Our spirits should soar as we discover the wonder of what God intends us to become through Christ!
In this New Year try to stay focused on how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. deeply fallen, yet forgiven, eternally loved and greatly blessed! We all have a fallen nature as well as a Divine nature. We are carnal yet spiritual, old yet new, weak yet strong, poor yet rich, dying yet alive in Christ. This year try to always see yourself the way God sees you. If you do, you will always see someone with a beautiful countenance and a bright future!
Happy New Year!
“Serve the Lord with gladness …” – Psalm 100:2-a
There is absolutely nothing in this world that compares to serving our dear Lord! Always remember that ministry is God working through us! Scripture tells us, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” - Phil. 2:13
There are many examples of ministry throughout the Bible. I will give you one of my favorites. In Acts 3:1-9 we are introduced to a man whom Peter and John encountered. This man was unable to walk from the time that he was born. He had to be carried everywhere he went. These verses tell us how he not only was healed but also how he was converted to Christ! As a result of this miracle, God was glorified, they preached the gospel to others and as a result over 5,000 people came to know our Lord Jesus Christ! Acts 4:4
In this story we are given four basic principles of ministering to the needs of others: Acts 3:1-9
· They depended upon GOD’S POWER. V. 6 – “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
· Because of their COMPASSION they acknowledged his needs. V. 4 – “And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him …”
· They allowed the Lord to use them as a channel of His GRACE. V. 6-B – “ … in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
· They were careful to give God THE GLORY FOR WHAT HE DID. V. 8 – “ … entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and PRAISING GOD.”
More importantly they served the Lord with gladness as they rejoiced in God using them to do such great and mighty works! Throughout the year 2019, let’s: “Serve the Lord with GLADNESS!”
Always be willing to Make Changes
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” - Hebrews 13:8
The new year is quickly approaching! Are you willing to make changes for the better in your life? Perhaps the Lord has showed you things in your life that need to change. Are you willing to accept the challenge? Are you willing to discipline your life? Are you willing to give up some things that need to be removed in your life? I heard of a person who dialed a number and heard this recording: “I am not available right now, but I thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.”
Although we need to continually make changes aren’t you glad that we have a God who never changes? He’s never too busy to listen, never too weak to help, and never too unloving to care. He is the same today. Things all around us change every day. Our friends change, our jobs change, politics change, economies change, our bodies change, the weather changes. Our life is full of constant change. But what a comfort to know that God never changes! He is always faithful, always present, and always loving. No matter what trial you face in the coming year, God will be there with you and for you.
God will not leave us in life, and He will not leave us in death. God will be the same for all eternity, and we can rest in His faithfulness. Hebrews 13:5 What a privilege to serve a God who never changes!
“ … they presented unto Him GIFTS; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” - Matthew 2:11
Soon we will gather with our families and exchange gifts. My prayer is that we will remember whose birthday it is that we are celebrating! The wise men surely knew whose birth they were celebrating. Giving was their way of ascribing worth to Christ the Messiah.
They honored him as being a King when they presented Him gold. They acknowledged that he was a Priest by giving Him frankincense, and as a Prophet by giving Him myrrh. They knew that He was the Lord and the Saviour of the world! Please remember that when we give an offering we actually give of ourselves. Also, we say that we are choosing to serve God over money or material gain!
There are others though that are so materialistic that they think that money is more precious than God Himself! As the wise men, we also should celebrate Christmas by giving of ourselves and our material gain to honor the coming of our Saviour. Let’s be mindful of the wise men’s gift of worship. Yes, let’s be faithful to worship Christ during this season. One more thought, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Luke 1:31-33
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” - II Cor. 9:15
Christmas is God giving to the world the greatest gift anyone could ever receive! Isaiah 9:6 says, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is GIVEN …” There are five great truths about His gift.
IT IS AN UNSPEAKABLE GIFT. II Cor. 9:15
· Nothing in this world can describe it or be compared to it.
· Can you think of anything that can compare to eternity with God? No sickness, pain, sorrow, death, grief, crying, separation!
IT IS AN UNVEILED GIFT. John 20:30, 31
· God’s Word unveils the beauty of God’s great gift to mankind!
IT IS AN UNLIMITED GIFT.
· This gift is for everyone! I John 2:2 – “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
IT IS AN UNMERITED GIFT.
· Everything that we have was received one of 3 ways: We earned it, We stole it, We received it as a gift. Titus 3:5 – “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.”
TO MANY IT IS AN UNCLAIMED GIFT.
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:17, 18
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” – II Timothy 2:3
What does it mean to be a Christian soldier? No person becomes a soldier by accident.
A SOLDIER IS ENLISTED.
Whether you like it or not, you were drafted into the Lord’s army when you became a believer in Christ. As soon as Israel was delivered from Egypt they were faced with warfare. Exodus 17:8-16 As a Christ follower it is impossible to be neutral! “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” - Matt. 12:30
A SOLDIER IS ENABLED.
We have no strength of our own, so we must “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” II Tim. 2:1 Moses tried to fight the Lord’s battles without using the Lord’s weapons, and he failed miserably. (Exodus 2:11-14) Eph. 6:10 admonishes us to … “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”
A SOLDIER IS ENLIGHTENED.
The training manual for a Christian Soldier is God’s Word! “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.” - Psalm 119:89 The better that we know His Word, the better we will know and understand our enemy’s strategy and how to defeat him.
A SOLDIER CAN BECOME ENTANGLED.
II Tim. 2:4 tells us, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life …” Our Lord insisted on total commitment and warned, “No man can serve two masters …” Matt. 6:24
A SOLDIER NEEDS ENCOURAGEMENT.
The Christian life is not easy. There are many battles and our enemy is powerful and subtle.
A SOLDIER NEEDS EQUIPMENT.
Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us to put on “the whole armor of God.” The purpose of this armor is to fight the good fight of faith. Remember that for a Christian, this world is not a playground but a battleground!
Growing in God’s Grace #12
God’s Grace Reassures
II Timothy 1:5-9
I. HIS GRACE REASSURES US WITH POWER. II Timothy 1:7-a
· From God. Romans 8:8, 9
· For every burden. I Peter 5:7
II. HIS GRACE REASSURES US WITH LOVE. II Timothy 1:7-b
· A Love for God. I John 4:19
· A Love for Others. Galatians 5:22
III. HIS GRACE REASSURES US WITH A SOUND MIND. II Timothy 1:7-c
· Through Salvation. II Timothy 1:5, 6, 8, 9
· Through the Scriptures. Psalm 119:89
· Through His Second Coming. I Thessalonians 4:13-18
We are Debtors
“I am DEBTOR both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.” – Rom. 1:14
Let me remind you that our salvation is not a debt! Salvation is a free-gift from God!
John 10:28, 29
1. Our Debt to a Lost World. Romans 1:13-17
· Everyone without Christ is lost!
· The real question is this, what are you doing about it?
2. Our Debt to the Holy Spirit of God. Romans 8:11, 12
· Have you ever realized what the Spirit of God has produced?
· In Rom. 7:18 scripture tells us that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing. God’s Holy Spirit in us is the best part of this sinful body!
3. Our Debt to our Government. Romans 13:1-6
· The purpose of government is to protect and reward the good and punish the evil.
· We have many faults, but we are certainly better than the Roman government that Paul and Jesus lived under.
4. Our Debt to Our Neighbors. Romans 13:8-10
· Scripture tells us, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” -Rom. 13:8
· The 1st. commandment is to love God, the 2nd. Is to love your neighbor. Mark 12:31
5. Our Debt to Weaker Christians. Rom. 14:1-15:13
· What is your attitude to others who are not on the spiritual level that you are?
· How do you handle conflict and misunderstandings with young Christians?
6. Our Debt to the Jewish People. Romans 15:25-29
· Former President John Quincy Adams said, “The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation.”
· Mark Twain called Anti-Semitism, “the swollen envy of pygmy minds.” The Bible is a Jewish book, our Savior was a Jew. Scripture commands us to pray for Israel. Enough said!
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” I Cor. 3:9-b
In the New Testament we are given several pictures of our Lord’s church. We are told that the church is the Lord’s Body, it is a Brotherhood, it is also His Building and His Bride. The main thought, though, is that we are not only created and ordained for Him but that we are also IN HIM! If we are His building, what can we learn about this structure?
JESUS CHRIST IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. Ephesians 2:20
He is a Living Stone. I Peter 2:4
He is a Chosen Stone. I Peter 2:6
He is a Precious Stone. I Peter 1:19; II Peter 1:1, 4, 7
He is the Smitten Stone. Exodus 17:1-7; I Cor. 10:4
He is a Dependable Stone. I Peter 2:6
He is the Rejected Stone. I Peter 2:4, 7, 8
JESUS CHRIST IS THE BUILDER. John 14:1-6
There is a huge difference between the church that we see and the church God sees! Remember if a stone in a building gets out of its place it then becomes a stumbling block. The way God builds His church is seen in how He builds His people. Rev. 3:15-17 Remember that before a rock can become a beautiful gem is through heat and pressure. Rev. 3:19
WE AS BELIEVERS SHOULD BE BUILDERS.
We have a relationship with Christ as well as to other believers. The words “edify one another” literally means, “to build up one another.” How can we build up one another?
· We should unconditionally love one another. I Cor. 13
· Be good examples. Romans 14
· Be burden bearers. Romans 15:1
· Through our speech. Ephesians 4:29
· Through our prayers. Colossians 4:12
The Priesthood of the Believer
The last two weeks I have shared with you the blessing of our ability to have access to the very presence of God when we go to Him in prayer. Hebrews 4:14-16 I Have showed you what it took to become a priest in the Old Testament and How they ministered as priests. Last week I showed you how they were to:
1. CARE FOR GOD’S DWELLING PLACE.
2. KEEP THE FIRE BURNING.
3. WASH AT THE LAVER.
4. BURN THE INCENSE.
5. LIGHT THE LAMPS.
6. EAT THE BREAD.
· This was to remind the priests that their physical and spiritual nourishment came from God. John 6:33
7. ENTER THROUGH THE VEIL. Leviticus 16
· This is the veil that was torn from the top to the bottom when Jesus died on the cross.
· The veil led into the holy of holies which represented the very presence of God.
· What was inside? The Ark of the Covenant which symbolized the throne of God. The golden mercy seat and the glory of God.
8. OFFER SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES. I Peter 2:5
· What are the spiritual sacrifices that we should offer? Prayer. Psalm 141:1-3 Praise to God. Hebrews 13:15 Good Works. Hebrews 13:16 Our Tithes & Offerings. Phil. 4:14-18 Our Bodies. Romans 12:1, 2 Our Hearts. Psalm 51:17 Winning the Lost. Rom. 15:16
The Priesthood of the Believer
MINISTERING AS A PRIEST
CARING FOR GOD’S DWELLING PLACE. Numbers 3
· What is God’s dwelling place today? Answer: The Individual Believer. I Cor. 6:19, 20; 3:16, 17
· We should care for our bodies physically, mentally, morally, emotionally and spiritually.
KEEPING THE FIRE BURNING. Leviticus 6:12, 13
· When Moses dedicated the tabernacle, the fire came from God and consumed the sacrifices on the brazen altar. Leviticus 9:22-24
· God wants us to have burning hearts. Luke 24:32 We are not to be lukewarm. Rev. 3:16
· Neglect always puts out fires. I Timothy 4:14
WASHING AT THE LAVER. Exodus 30:17-21
· Their hands and feet got dirty as they ministered. God commanded them to wash their hands and feet and if they didn’t they were in danger of death.
· This is a picture of us regularly coming to God for spiritual cleansing. John 13:1-11
BURNING THE INCENSE. Exodus 30:7-9
· There were two altars in God’s sanctuary. A brazen altar (used for blood sacrifices) and a golden altar (used to burn incense).
· The golden altar pictures the offering up of prayer to the Lord. As the priests burned the incense its fragrance would cling to them.
· As the people smelled the incense upon them they knew that they had been in the presence of the Lord. As WE PRAY there should be a spiritual fragrance upon us!
LIGHTING THE LAMPS. Exodus 30:7, 8
· The seven branched golden candlesticks stood before the veil to the right of the golden altar.
· This spoke of God’s light and truth, shining through the nation of Israel to a dark and sinful world. Matthew 5:14-16
The Priesthood of the Believer
I Peter 2:5, 9
The Priesthood of the believer is a precious truth to every child of God! If you really believe this, you will never allow anything or anyone to come between you and God. We are commanded to come before His presence for worship and petition. Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22
BECOMING A PRIEST: Exodus 29
We were CALLED by God. Exodus 29:1-4
· No stranger or outsider was permitted even to come near the priestly ministry or there would be the penalty of death. Numbers 3:10
· We were born into this privilege. John 15:16
We were WASHED. Exodus 29:4
· We have been cleansed by God. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God.” Rev. 1:5, 6
· Jesus is our eternal sacrifice. Hebrews 9:11-15
We were CLOTHED. Exodus 29:5-9
· Unless they were properly attired, they could not minister in the tabernacle. And if they did minister without wearing these garments, it could cost them their lives. Exodus 28:43
· Jesus was made sin for us (II Cor. 5:21) so that we might wear the robe of His righteousness. Isaiah 61:10
We were ANOINTED. Exodus 29:7
· The Holy Spirited has anointed every believer. I John 2:27
We should be SATISFIED. Exodus 29:22-37
· A faithful priest would never go hungry!!
· The spiritual lesson is simple: as we serve the Lord, He supplies our needs!
“… we are His people, and the SHEEP of His pasture.” - Psalm 100:3-b
ISRAEL IS GOD’S FLOCK.
· When God delivered Israel from Egypt. “Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. – Psalm 77:20
· When God called David to become Israel’s king, He chose an experienced shepherd. Psalm 78:70-72
· When Israel was in decline under King Ahab, the prophet Micah said, “ … I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as SHEEP that have not a shepherd …” I Kings 22:17
· Israel was often a flock that went astray and disobeyed the Lord. “All we like SHEEP have gone astray …” - Isaiah 53:6
THE CHURCH IS GOD’S FLOCK. (Why does God compare His people to SHEEP?)
· Sheep KNOW their Shepherd. John 10:14
· Sheep NEED their Shepherd. Jeremiah 10:23, 17:9
ü They are defenseless, easily frightened, and quickly led astray!
· Sheep FLOCK together. Hebrews 10:24, 25
JESUS IS OUR SHEPHERD. John 10:11, 15
· The GOOD Shepherd. John 10:14
· The GREAT Shepherd. Hebrews 13:20
· The CHIEF Shepherd. I Peter 5:4
JESUS IS OUR ETERNAL SHEPHERD. Revelation 7:17
· We MUST LISTEN to His Voice. John 10:3-5
· We MUST STAY CLOSE to Him. Mark 16:7
· We MUST be USEFUL to Him. John 10:12, 13
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” - Psalms 90:12
I remember many great lessons that I learned while I was serving as a young minister in a country church in Palestine, Texas. What I remember the most was our singing. There was a hymn that the elderly people always requested to be sung entitled, "Wasted Years." Here are the lyrics:
Wasted years, wasted years oh, how foolish.
As you walk on in darkness and fear.
Turn around, turn around, God is calling,
He’s calling you from a life of wasted years.
As you wandered along on life’s pathway.
Have you lived without love, a life of fear,
Have you searched for life’s great hidden meaning,
Or is your life filled with long wasted years.
Search for wisdom and seek understanding,
There is someone who knows and always hears;
Give it up! Give it up! The Load you’re bearing!
You can’t go on in a life of wasted years!
God gave us a promise in Joel 2:25 – “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten … “
Watch Your Words
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” - Ephesians 4:29
In a recent message I taught about Paul having to rebuke Peter to his face over a hypocritical deed that Peter had done. On the surface this may seem harsh for Paul to rebuke the main spiritual leader of the church but as you examine scripture you find that Paul was simply following a very important Bible principle.
Matthew 18:15 admonishes us, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” If this principle is neglected then usually many people are defiled and usually destroyed by cruel, unkind words towards one or both involved in the matter.
There is a word for this type of action and it is called, G☹SSIP. An unknown author wrote these words about this vicious sin:
My name is GOSSIP. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and wreck marriages. I make headlines and headaches. I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartaches and indigestion. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses. I am called GOSSIP.
I am sure that for this reason our Savior spoke these words in Matthew 12:36 – “But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
“Pray without Ceasing.” - I Thessalonians 5:17
Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of omnipotence.” Psalm 119:126 says, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” Anyone should be able to see that what we need today are prayers to move the muscles of God! E.M. Bounds wrote, “What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.”
· Without Divine Intervention, our nation is doomed! Psalm 9:17
· Prayer is the secret to National Revival. II Chron. 7:14
· Two great truths that we must confess: 1. Prayer is essential. 2. Prayer is lacking.
WHAT IS PRAYER?
· True prayer is worship, adoration, praise, confession, communion, fellowship, intercession, petition, pleading, dedication, thanksgiving, blessing and supplication.
· Isaiah 63:7 says: ”I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His loving kindnesses.”
WHO SHOULD PRAY?
· Our Lord taught us to pray! Matt. 6:5-13; Luke 6:28
WHEN SHOULD WE PRAY?
· Early in the morning. Psalm 63:1
· When we need help! I Kings 18:36-39
Begin now to pray!
Remember, James 5:16-b – “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
What We Have in Christ
“In whom we have redemption through His blood; the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” - Ephesians 1:7
A Love that can never be Fathomed;
A Life that can never Die;
A Righteousness that can never be Tarnished;
A Peace that can never be Understood.
A Rest that can never be Disturbed;
A Joy that can never be Diminished;
A Hope that can never be Disappointed;
A Glory that can never be Clouded;
A Light that can never be Darkened;
A Happiness that can never be Interrupted;
A Strength that can never be Enfeebled;
A Purity that can never be Defiled;
A Beauty that can never be Marred;
A Wisdom that can never be Baffled;
And Resources that can never be Exhausted.
Principles for Biblical Living
1. RELATIONSHIPS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN FAME OR FORTUNE. John 15:12
· Our Relationship with God. I John 5:11-13
· Our Relationship with Family. Genesis 2:24
· Our Relationship with our Church Family. Hebrews 10:25
· Our Relationship with our Friends. Proverbs 17:17
· Our Relationship with the Lost. Luke 15:1, 2
2. WHEN GOD CONTROLS MY LIFE, NOTHING OR NO-ONE CAN HARM ME. Romans 8:28
· There is a difference between Hurt and Harm. (A surgeon may hurt you, but he is not harming you … there is a difference😊)
3. IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. Acts 20:35
· Biblical giving Brings Blessings. Luke 6:38
· Biblical giving Assures us of God Meeting our Needs. Philippians 4:19
· Biblical giving Protects our Hearts. Matthew 6:21
4. EVERYONE ON EARTH HAS A DIVINE PURPOSE ON THIS EARTH. Jeremiah 1:5
· To Know God. II Peter 3:9-b
· To Love God. Deuteronomy 6:5
· To Obey and Serve God. Deuteronomy 8:19
· To Love Others. Matthew 19:19
5. HAPPINESS IS A BY-PRODUCT OF FAITHFULNESS TO GOD. Philippians 4:4
· Worry can be overcome by Prayer. I Thessalonians 5:17
· Anxiety can be overcome by Obedience. Philippians 4:6, 7
· Anxiety can be overcome by Right Thinking. Philippians 4:8
Guarding our Gains
“Look to yourselves, that we LOSE NOT THOSE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE WROUGHT, but that we receive a full reward.” II John 8
God’s work is always in jeopardy, and those of us who are leaders must stay alert to the dangers. Sometimes Satan comes to devour, other times he comes as a serpent to deceive. We must always be on guard to protect God’s work!
God’s church is an army fighting evil influences in this world.
Every General knows that he must protect his conquered gains as well as fight the enemy ahead. If he fails to do this, he will lose what he has gained! That is why scripture tells us, “Look to yourselves…” How do we do this? We must know the truth, believe the truth, live the truth, defend the truth, and tell the truth! But, we must never go beyond that truth! That is why the key word in II John is TRUTH! The word TRUTH is found four times in the first four verses.
As your Pastor, I want to see God working in everyone of you to promote God’s work. In order to see growth we must take good care of our flock. We must see that our flock is well cared for, loved dearly, instructed, directed, nourished and nurtured in every area of their lives. This is not an easy task! There is much work for everyone to do. My question for you today is are you helping or hurting, growing or dying, going forward or backward?
Paul prayed, believed, worked and fought the good fight of faith as an example for us to follow. He was inspired by God to write in I Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”