Pastor Rick Mora

Mora in the Word

We Can’t Give What We Don’t Have

We can’t give what we don’t have?

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Imagine the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. He has communion with His disciples and washes their feet. He reveals that Judas is the one who will betray Him. He tells the disciples that He is leaving and they can’t come.

Then, He speaks these words:

 

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

His final words to the disciples had to be very important.

Notice what He said to them was in the form of a command, not a suggestion.

John 13:  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;

Why is it so hard for us today to love other people?

Could it be this simple like the title says, we can’t give what we don’t have?

We must understand that God does not love us because we are lovely.

He does not love us because we read the Bible, go to church, pay our tithes, or do our best.

The truth is that God loves us without conditions.

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s love has never been or ever will be conditional.

He loved you at your worst, and most churches or Believer’s would agree with that.

They believe you are saved by grace through faith, no matter your history, but that is often where grace stops and religion starts.

Religion always puts the emphasis on the external. (Performance)

Once you’re saved, religion says you must live holy, and the evidence of your holiness will likely be judged by the standards of your church, your denomination:

Do you dress the right way, do you say the right things, are you leading people to Jesus, and most important, are you tithing ETC.

That is not how God sees us.

God looks on the heart.

Do you have the appearance of holines?

1Samuel 16:6-7

Samuel was going to choose Eliab to replace King Saul because of the outward appearances.

But God was not looking on the outside.

The church today is judging believers in the same way.

You might carouse/Sin in secret on Saturday night, but as long as you come to church the next morning well kempt and well dressed with a check in your hand, you’re accepted because you have the appearance of holiness.

When you, understand how much God loves you, it becomes easy to love others.

When you love others as He has loved you, your behavior will change toward them. If you would loved your mate the way that Christ loves you unconditionally, you would never commit adultery or sin against your Neighbor.

If you loved your neighbor as Christ loves you, you would never steal from them or bear false witness against them.

How does the world know that we are Disciples of Christ?

John 13:35 says

A Pharisee who was a lawyer asked Jesus this question:

“Which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus answered this in Matthew 22:37-40

The Pharisees wanted Jesus to name the most important “Thou shalt not”

Instead, Jesus spoke “Thou shalt.”

Many believers are still living under the Old Testament Law mentality.

They are trying to earn the love of a God who already made the decision to love them unconditionally.

Once you begin to understand how much God loves you, love will flow out of you toward others like rivers of living water.

John 7:38

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Jude 1:21

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting off the Right PATH!

Getting off the Right PATH!

Wanting the Wrong Things?

Judges 14:8-9

 

After some time, when he returned to get her, he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion.  (9)  He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the carcass of the lion.

 

Have you ever felt that you have walked away from the path that God has for you.

Luke 15:11-

 

The Prodigal son got off the right path as he wanted the wrong things in life.

Many times we are like the prodigal wanting the wrong thing in life.

 

We all sin, at one time or another we all do things that lead us away from the direction that God had intended for us.

We stray from His PATH!

 

Judges 14:8-9

 

When he (Samson) returned later to take her, he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; and behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. So he scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating it as he went.

 

 

This story really seems insignificant on the surface, doesn’t it?

A stroll in the park.

Some bees.

Some honey.

A snack on the way.

 

The other path seems very safe.

Samson turned aside from the initial path.

 

Judges 14:1-3

Samson said in other words “She is right in my eyes.”

 

Exodus 34:16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-4

 

When he first set off on his journey he had a destination, a predetermined path. He knew where he was going. And he knew how he was going to get there. But somewhere along the way Samson got off course.

 

Luke 15:15

Joined himself

 

He strayed from the path or we can say he strayed from the TRUTH.

He turned aside and wandered into temptation.

Judges 14:8-9

 

It’s really no different for any of us.

Turn aside from God’s path and trouble is what you will find.

 

Each of us needs to watch closely to the path that is set before us in the Word of God. Turn aside to other pursuits and you WILL set yourself up for disaster.

 

 

Samson only saw something desirable.

She is right in my eyes.

 

Samson saw only the honey.

 

He didn’t really pay any attention to the carcass of the dead lion.

 

He noticed it.

But he didn’t take it into account.

Otherwise, he would have never eaten the honey.

 

Because of its connection to the carcass, the honey was ceremonially unclean.

 

Samson’s Nazarite vow prevented him from eating anything unclean.

 

That means he either forgot his vow or simply chose to ignore it.

 

Why?

 

Because he saw something desirable, something he wanted.

 

Nothing wrong with Samson’s hunger.

 

Nothing wrong with honey itself.

 

But in this case the honey was connected to something dead.

Luke 15:15

Joined himself

The bottom line?

 

God had said, “no.” But Samson allowed his own desires to overrule God’s word and will for his life.

 

Remember Joseph

Genesis 39:9

 

I believe this is what took place with the Prodigal son.

 

Back to Samson

 

Samson is walking down the road, licking the “unclean” honey from his fingers. Yes, he’s moved back onto the right path.

 

But he’s now taking his sin with him.

 

I think all of us have been guilty of the same error at some point in our own lives.

Rather than leaving our sin on the wayside we try to carry it forward with us.

 

We convince ourselves that no one is perfect, God is full of love and he understands our weaknesses. Samson thought he could sin and just go on living like nothing had ever happened.

 

In time that attitude would prove to be his downfall.

Leave your sin behind you. You can’t keep holding on to it.

 

Have we strayed from the path of God’s plan and purpose for our lives?

 

Have we chosen the temporary pleasures of sin over the lasting consequences that are sure to follow?

 

Are we choosing our desires over His word and will?

Finally, have we bought the lie that we can follow Christ and still hold fast to our sin?

 

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Word Life

Your “Word life”

 

The Value of Words

 

Proverbs 18:1-2

 

 

The words we speak have the power to release either life or death over ourselves and others.

 

Your “word life” with others will make or break you in your own personal relationships with other people in this life.

 

What WORDS come out of your Mouth?

 

If you do not learn how to speak to other people in a positive and godly manner, then sooner or later no one will want to have anything to do with you, and you will eventually find yourself being totally isolated and alone.

 

Proverbs 18:1-2

 

God created everything by speaking it into existence.

 

As humans we were created in His image, we were created in Gods Image.

 

Gen 1:26

 

 

 

Our words also have power. (Say POWER)

 

Our words have the power to release life when we agree with God and death when we agree with Satan,

 

 

 

WHAT ARE YOU RELEASING IN YOUR LIFE AND OVER YOUR FAMILY?

 

 

 

Proverbs 18:20–21

 

The first thing that God is trying to tell all of us TODAY is that we have a certain amount of “power” in our tongues.

 

Our tongue is referring to the verbal words that we speak out of our mouths to other people.

 

When God is using the word “power,” (SAY POWER)

 

He is telling us that every single one of us has a certain amount of power residing in our mouth and in our tongues with the words that we can release to other people.

 

And with this kind of power residing in our ability to release spoken words to other people.

 

What can happen with this kind of power.

 

This power can either be used to bring life or death to the person that we are speaking to.

 

You can either choose to learn how to speak and release positive words of love, encouragement, and edification to other people in your own personal dealings with them, or you can choose to release negative words of condemnation, criticism, coldness, and harshness, and Hatred to the hearer.

 

The choice is yours!

 

Words connect us to God.

 

John 1:1, 14

 

 

 

 

 

Before we were saved, our sin caused a seperation between us and God.

 

God sent His word, Jesus, to be a bridge across that separation.

 

 

 

When we confess with our mouths that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we cross over that bridge to be saved.

 

 

 

Words reveal what is in our heart.

 

Romans 10:8-10, 13

 

Stop and think how good we have felt when someone has released and spoken words of love, encouragement, and edification to us.

 

Words can cut right through a person like a knife, and when those words are positive and constructive, they can have an incredible way of building up your own sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence.

 

Death and Life Are in the Power of the Tongue

 

  1.  “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
  2. “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” (Proverbs 12:18)
  3. 3.  “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:13)
  4. “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, and from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” (Proverbs 18:20)
  5. “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” (Isaiah 50:4)
  6. “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:5)
  7. “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:11)
  8. “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.” (Proverbs 18:4)
  9. “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
  10. “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24)
  11. “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25)
  12. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:1)
  13. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3)
  14. “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23)
  15. “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” (Proverbs 15:28)
  16. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

 

 

 

Notice that some of these verses have two sides to them.

 

On the one side are the positive benefits and blessings one can receive as the result of learning how to speak properly to others.

 

On the other side are the negative things that can occur as a result of not properly expressing yourself to others.

 

 

 

Here is the positive side of the coin:

 

  • The tongue of the wise promotes health
  • The truthful lip shall be established forever
  • A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth
  • Let your speech always be with grace and seasoned with salt
  • The mouth of the righteous is a well of life
  • The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook
  • A wholesome tongue is a tree of life
  • Pleasant words are sweetness to the soul and health to the bones
  • A good word can make someone’s heart glad
  • A soft answer turns away wrath
  • The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly
  • He who guards his mouth preserves his life
  • He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble

 

When you read all of these key phrases one right after the other, you can really start to see how powerful of a thing it really is if you can learn how to properly express yourself to other people in this life.

 

Now here is the negative side of this same coin:

 

  • Keep your tongue from evil and speaking guile
  • Violence will cover the mouth of the wicked
  • A perverse tongue will break the spirit
  • A harsh word stirs up anger
  • He who opens wide his lips shall have destruction
  • The mouth of the wicked pours forth evil

 

These key phrases are telling us that those with big mouths, and those who like to speak harsh words to others can bring sudden destruction down on them and possibly those who may be close to them.

 

Put both sides of this coin right next to one another, and you can see very clearly how the Lord wants us to express ourselves to other people in this life.

 

Let me close by saying this to you.

 

If there is a strain or disconnect in a relationship, it’s usually because words were exchanged. In the same way relationships are broken by words, they can also be mended through words. Any relationship can be healed by these seven words:

 

 

 

I was wrong. Will you forgive me?

 

 

 

Write theses Words down, Now put them in your Heart!

 

 

 

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate yourself in speaking life over the people you love?

 

 

 

One = It’s very difficult; I don’t do it often enough.

 

 

 

Ten = It comes easily; I speak life-giving words often.

 

 

 

Question

 

 

 

Is there someone in your life you have damaged with your words?

 

 

 

Pray for that person.

 

 

 

Ask God to show you the right time to ask their forgiveness.

 

 

 

Psalm 19:14

 

 

 

 

April 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I will heal their backsliding

Pathway to Revival-Getting Back to God

I will heal their backsliding!

Hosea 14:4

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely”

Jeremiah 4:3

“Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns”

Hosea 10:12

 “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteousness upon you”

Jeremiah 4:3

“Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns

The history of Israel and Judah, we see one generation after another backsliding against the Lord. God told Hosea, “My people are bent to backsliding from me…” (Hosea 11:7). In Hebrew, the meaning is, “My people are in the habit of turning their backs and withdrawing from me. They’ve always had this tendency!”

And Jeremiah’s frequent heart-cry was: “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married to you…” (Jeremiah 3:14). “O Lord…our iniquities testify against us…for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee” (14:7). “(Jerusalem’s) transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased” (5:6).

The term backsliding means, simply, “turning one’s back on God.

(Revelation 3:14-22)

The Laodicean church failed to see their need of revival. They had become complacent, comfortable and backslidden. They considered themselves to be abundantly blessed by God, but in reality they were spiritual bankrupt, spiritually blind, and weak in the eyes of God. The Body of Christ is no different for the same shallowness and self-satisfaction is evident everywhere.

(Revelation 3:14-22)

The “rebuke” ought to have led to repentance (:19), but Jesus’ words fell on deaf ears while He remained locked out of the church (:20). There is a desperate and urgent need for revival today.

Know that revival does not come cheaply

(Luke 9:23-24).

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it”

Are we willing to pay the highest cost of revival? How many want Heaven but are unwilling to lose their lives for Christ’s sake? How many desire revival yet not at the cost of the flesh? Commitment to the Lord entails daily taking up the cross and following Him wherever He leads. The cross speaks of sacrifice, separation, sanctification and service. The cost of following Jesus is extremely high, for He demands everything. Revival does not come on the cheap and at a price few are willing to pay. Obedience and holiness is something few want to consider.

Know that revival must be pursued

(Luke 11:9-10).

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”

 

We may have prayed, believed and desired. We may have even laid down our lives for the cause of revival, yet nothing appears to have changed. All the conditions have been met, but it seems that God is unmoved. What next? Should we give up, throw in the towel, and return to the mundane and insipid form of religion that the majority are happy with? Should we press on regardless?

Persistent prayer is a sign of sincerity. God does not mind if we continue to hammer at His door and plead for revival

(Luke 18:1-8). This kind of enduring faith is always hard to find.

We must recognize the urgent need of revival and continue to pray until we receive a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit.

Revival must be pursued until we find it.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

We need faith and action on our part. How desperately do we desire a move of God in our life? Do we desire it to fill our church or for God’s glory? What do we expect God to do amongst us? Are we willing to soften our hearts and allow Him to work? Until we do revival will remain on the pages of history.

“Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns” (Jeremiah 4:3).

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).

 

 

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How deep are you?

How deep are you?

Ezekiel 47:1-12

The different depths represent the levels in which we submit ourselves to God.

What level are you?

We can be knee deep in our relationship with God.

We can be totally immerged in his presence.

If you are knee deep, you can still have both feet on the ground and can wade back or get back to shore, whenever you want to.

Once we go forward and the water is over our head we then must completely surrender to God and were God wants to  takes us.

The place of complete surrender is the place where God will bless us.

“Launch out into the Deep”

LUKE 5:1-7

But God often wants us to move out from our comfort zone because it is in the deep water where the big deep miracles happen.  We, like Peter, have got to step out in faith.  Are you wading in shallow water waiting for a big miracle?  Maybe you need to get out into deep water.  Out in the deep you can’t see the bottom so you have to totally trust the Lord.  It’s less predictable out there, but that’s where God wants you, is out there and He may move you into the deep.  But in the deep, God knows that you will find a new meaning in life.

The water is deep.

Now the fishermen let down their nets into the deep water and way down there in the bottom the fish piled into the nets.  The fishermen up on top did not know that the nets were full.  You can’t see that deep.  You can’t see all the way down there.  You don’t know.  The miracle already took place and they didn’t even know it.  Not until they drew those nets up closer.  They said, “Something is in there.  Those nets are full.  Help!  We need help!”  Only then did they realize that the miracle had taken place.  God had already done the miracle and the text in Ephesians 3:20 says, “God will do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think.”

THE RIVER THAT EZEKIEL SAW WAS FULL OF LIFE verse 8

Everything along it lived vv9-12

Their leaves will not wither, and there fruit will not fade.

Verse 12

They will bear fruit each month.

Why?

Because the water flows from the sanctuary

HOW DEEP WILL YOU ENTER INTO THE RIVER?

We can stand on the banks of the river and watch or we can throw ourselves into the flow of God.

The choice is up to us, we can surrender to the water that is too deep for us and receive the Blessings of the Lord, or we can remain in the shadow edge and stay put and catches nothing.

How far are you willing to step into the presence of the Lord?

If your devotion is shallow,

Your walk will be shallow…

The deeper your devotion, the deeper your walk will be!

Psalm 63:1

God, you are my God. I will earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh longs for you, in a dry and weary land, where there is no water.

So how do we enter, in his presence, he wants to teach us how to flow in the Spirit, when we flow in the Spirit we go deeper in the river and the river carries us where God wants us to go.

Look at Peter

Matthew 14:22-14:36

 

Let’s enter the river through worshipping God with our whole heart.

John 4:23

The father is seeking is seeking such to worship him.

God’s river of life has a flow that we can enjoy!

If we don’t resist against the current, we will stay above the water.

Get totally depended on the Lord, launch out into the deep, and get in the flow where you are no longer in control and completely dependent on God.

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

The Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost

Hide and Seek

 

A pastor phoned the home of some recent visitors to the church. A voice on the other end of the phone answered with a whispered “Hello.”

The pastor asked, “Who is this?.”

The whispered voice said, “Jimmy.”

The pastor asked, “How old are you, Jimmy?”

The voice said, “Four.”

The pastor then asked, “Jimmy, can I please speak to your mom?”

Jimmy answered, “She’s busy.”

“Then can I please speak to your dad?”

“He’s busy.”

“Are there any other adults in your home?”

“The police.”

“Then let me speak to one of the police officers.”

“They’re busy.”

“Jimmy, who else is there?”

“Firemen.”

“Well, can you put one of the firemen on the phone?”

“They’re busy.”

“Jimmy, what are they all busy doing?”

“They’re all busy looking for me!”

One of the major reasons we hide is because we’ve done something wrong.

In the Garden of Eden, everything was originally perfect, and Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. There was full knowing, full disclosure and complete intimacy. There was absolutely no concept of “Hiding”! But with the entrance of sin, that all changed. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God,

He came looking for them and called out to them: “Where are you?”

And Adam whispered “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, and so I hid.”

Sin and hiding are inseparable — they’re the twins of the Fall of humanity.

 

 

 

 

Luke 19:1-5

Jesus has come to find us

He’s curious and wants to see who Jesus is but he doesn’t want Jesus to see him!

5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Zacchaeus had been running but Jesus had chased him. Zacchaeus had been hiding but now Jesus found him. Jesus wasn’t so concerned with Zacchaeus’ occupation or reputation, but was deeply concerned for his salvation because He loved him.

Jesus came to forgive us, to die for us and our sinfulness

Verses 6-7

What was true for Zacchaeus is equally true for us. Our sin — every aspect of it and every sin we’ve ever committed — needs to be brought out of the tree of hiding and into the light of forgiveness. And the only One who can forgive our sin and heal us of our brokenness is Jesus.

That’s exactly what Jesus did for us! He died so that we might live! Not only has He come to Find us but He also came to Forgive us! And there’s not a person here  who doesn’t need the saving, and  for-giving love of Jesus in their life. The reason why is because our sin gets us all tangled up. It binds us and holds us and eventually drags us down to destruction.

That’s exactly what sin does to us. It grabs us and binds us and drags us down and if it’s not dealt with, it can destroy us. And only Jesus can set us free from the powerful tentacles of sin! That’s what He did for Zacchaeus.

 

Jesus came to free us

Verses 8-9

“Today salvation has come to this house

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

Zacchaeus had been lost but now he was found. He had been in sin but now he has been saved. And ultimately, in its fullest sense, that’s what salvation is: it’s freedom from the power of sin.

 

Let me ask you: What are you hiding in today? What’s keeping you from becoming the person that God wants you to be?

That’s what Jesus wants to do with us. He has come to find us, to forgive us and to free us from the power of sin. Are we willing to let Him do that? And having let Him do that, are we then willing to go with Him wherever He wants us to go?

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

God Pursues Us

God Pursues Us

Exodus 3:1-4

John. 6:44

Jesus said: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

Before we were saved, God drew us to Himself. As His children,

He never stops calling us to a deeper walk with Him.

When God calls we must respond,

We must respond. Like David who had a heart after God.

Psa. 27:8.

Isa. 6:8

God longs for us to cry out like to him.

Isaiah said: “Here am I. Send me!”

 

Once we answer God’s call, the discipline, the growth, the discipleship  process begins.

God puts His finger on an area of our life.

He requires us to change.

Paul makes it clear that the right response goes beyond words.

Rom. 6:17

As we grow, God takes us from the warm comfort of His sheltering presence to the burning flame of His consuming fire.

Phil 2:12-13

We must rejoice that something deep within is being transformed.

 

Once this happens, God pursues us anew, afresh,  challenging us to deeper commitment.

Phil. 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Like a seed that is planted in the ground or soil of ones heart.

 

Luke 8:11–15

The Soil Is Prepared

Hosea 10:12

 

The Seeds Are Watered

John 7:38–39

 

The Weeds Are Pulled

a. The Enemy Steals It

b. Immaturity

c. Idolatry (worry about losing riches or consumed by pleasures)

 

Wait time

Luke 8:15

 

Reap of the Harvest

 

The seed is the word of God

The inside out Gospel

Verse 20

They commit to the Word!

They accept the Word

Stable, good heart

 

Our heart is the issue.

Who hears the good word and retains it!

RETAINS IT

Did you know that in 72 hours you will forget everything that you have heard.

It’s important to write it down, it’s important to take notes.

It is said in 3 days you will retain it, if you pursue it, if you want to get a good crop you must pursue and not lack.

The word of God (the seed) is sown in various environments,

 

but will only take root and grow to maturity in those  a good

heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop”

 

To produce a crop: “the soil” is prepared by having a

broken, humble heart before God, the seeds are sown through hearing and

seeking the Word of God, the seeds are watered through the regular

presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and the weeds are pulled.

 

 

Then, like a farmer, we must patiently wait in faith for the seeds to germinate and grow so we can reap a harvest.

 

God promises that He completes what He starts, we will reap the harvest.

But God’s ways are not our own.

 

The “seeds” in our hearts are watered by the presence of God in our lives.

 

God is in the “marinating” and not “microwaving”?

 

 

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Examination and Testing

Examination and Testing

James 1

 

Let begin by saying the genuineness of something valuable is attested or affirmed through a process of examination and testing.

Whether it’s gold or silver or precious metals, whether it’s diamonds, precious stones or money, anything that is in and of itself of intrinsic value is subjected to testing to affirm its true worth.

And the most valuable commodity in all the world is the commodity of eternal salvation.

It is priceless.

It is of highest value.

To have a right relationship with the living God is to possess the most valuable thing in existence. And all those people who believe they have that possession should subject that to a process of testing to determine its validity.

There are people, you know, all over the world who if asked whether they have salvation would reply “yes,” but who are wrong.

True salvation needs to be subject to examination, subject to testing. That is a biblical concept; the testing of salvation is throughout Scripture called for.

Psalm 17:3, “Thou hast proved my heart. Thou hast visited me in the night, Thou hast tested me.” Listen to Psalm 26 verses 1 and 2, “Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity, I have trusted also in the Lord, therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, test my heart and my mind.” And again the psalmist says my relationship to You is subject to testing to determine its validity.

Psalm 139, I would call your attention to a couple of somewhat familiar verses.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139 verses 23 and 24. And here the psalmist actually cries out to God to put his salvation, his relationship to the test.

In Lamentations chapter 3 verse 40, “Let us search and test our ways and turn again to the Lord.” Again the writer is calling for the people to subject themselves to the test of the validity of the their relationship to God.

The prophet Haggai, small book, it says in Haggai chapter 1:5

“Now therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts…listen to this, here’s the Word of God…`Consider your ways.'” Then in verse 7 it says the same thing again, “Thus saith the Lord of host, `Consider your ways.'” Think on your life, examine yourself.

And then over in the New Testament we’re somewhat familiar, I’m sure, with Galatians 6:4 “Let every man prove his own work.” Put it to the test.

2 Corinthians 13:5,

“Examine yourselves whether you are in the faith.” Prove yourselves. Validate yourselves.

Now all of these passages, and others that we could suggest, indicate to us the necessity of self-examination. If, in fact, eternal salvation is the most valuable possession that anyone can have, then it should be subject to a test.

 

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A time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15,

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3

Everything Has Its Time

1 To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

V. 1 – “There is an appointed time for everything.

And there is a time for every event under heaven”

God appoints the times and Seasons

These words are words for every person, in every place, in every circumstance.

God has appointed the times and seasons, the events of our lives, the happy and the sad, the easy and the difficult.

Have you been going through a season of Time?

What season are you in right now in your life?

If we look at these sets of pairs, we notice 14 positives and 14 negatives.

Look up the positives 14

Born, plant,  heal, build up, laugh, dance, gather stones, keep, sew, speak, love, peace.

Look up the negatives 14

Die, pluck, kill, break down, weep, mourn, cast away, refrain from  embracing, lose, throw away, fear, keep silent, hate, war.

Don’t we all wish that life is always on the positive, a time for good laughs and dancing, a time of healing from our life’s wounds and a time to love and be embraced?

Who wants to be in a state of weeping and mourning or a time of tearing down and being uprooted?

Solomon shares with us that life is filled with the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly.

That’s life.  Life is filled with seasons of change.

Again what changes are you going through?

Or let me put it another way, what change are you stuck in like a rut?

Mark 10:46-52

That was his rut. Blind. Begging, Sitting by the road.

For most people such obstacles would be considered inescapable.

Bartimaeus got out!

The purpose of this message is to show you how he did it and how you can get out of your rut as well.

verse 46: “sitting by the road.”

Assume Responsibility For Your Own Life.

Verse 47 says, “And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Notice here that Bartimaeus took the initiative himself to cry out.

That is a very important observation.

Believe You Can Change.

For Bartimaeus, it took some real faith that day to cast aside his cloak, jump up, and move in the direction of the sound of the crowd surrounding Jesus.

Verse 52 says, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Where does faith come from, anyway?

Hebrews 11:1-3

Are we talking about a kind of hopeful “leap in the dark” when we talk of believing you can change?

verse 47, “And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out…”

Clarify What You Really Need.

Notice in verse 51 what Jesus asked Bartimaeus: “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Mark 5:25

 

In Closing today let’s say it your Move!

Make Your Move Now.

Perhaps the most dangerous rut a person can be in is one that leads away from God. With that in mind, let me close with this poem.

I looked upon a farm one day. That once I used to own;
The barn had fallen to the ground. The fields were overgrown.
The house in which my children grew. Where we had lived for years —
I turned to see it broken down. And brushed aside the tears.
I looked upon my soul one day. To find it too had grown
With thorns and nettles everywhere. The seeds neglect had sown.

The years had passed while I had cared For things of lesser worth:
The things of Heaven I let go When minding things of Earth.
To Christ I turned with bitter tears. And cried, “O Lord, forgive!
I haven’t much time left for Thee, Not many years to live.”
The wasted years forever gone, The days I can’t recall;
If I could live those days again. I’d make Him Lord of all.

The Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation.” If you are in a rut that is leading you away from God, today is the day to get out! Do it now!

June 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

DRAW THE LINE IN THE SAND

DRAW THE LINE IN THE SAND

It’s Time to draw the Line in the Sand

Spiritually speaking, we are called upon to draw lines every day.

Jesus drew a line in the sand for all who believe in Him.

John 15:18-23
Matthew 18:7-9

Mark 13:9-13

Luke 12:4-12

Friendship with the world and friendship with God are OPPOSITE to one another.

James draws the line in the sand (4:4): “Do you not know that

friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever

wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Take your pick: Are you married to God or to the world?

Can you imagine a couple that gets married, and a month later the

husband tells his wife, “I’m going out tonight with my old girlfriend”?

“I love you, but I want to keep in touch with her, too!”

Needless to say, that marriage is in big trouble! When you get married,

you vow to forsake all others and be devoted exclusively to your spouse.

In the same way, when you come to Christ as Savior and

Lord, you say goodbye to the world.

It used to be your companion and friend.

You spent many hours running with it. But you can’t bring it into your marriage to Jesus Christ.

You are either friends with the world and an enemy of God, or

friends with God and an enemy of the world.

How frightening to make yourself the enemy of the living God!

 

What does it mean to be a friend of the world?

Friendship with the world means living to please yourself apart from God rather than living to find pleasure in God Himself.

When we think of “worldliness,” we should think of a place called Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the outward trappings of the world.

People are seeking pleasure apart from God.

Seeking good feelings or escape from problems apart from God.

To seek pleasure apart from God.

To gamble is not only to be a bad steward of the money that

God has entrusted to you. It also is to think that having more money and more things would satisfy your soul.

Col. 3:5

God is the ultimate pleasure.  

Psalm 16:11: “You will make known to me the path of life; in

Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Psalm 36:7-9:

Psalm 37:4:

The world is the system that competes with God.

The Five Senses also competes with God

What are they?

It offers you pleasure apart from God. But true, lasting, eternal pleasure is God himself..

Jer. 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that

can hold no water.”

Friendship with the world means trying to satisfy your thirst in man-made, broken cisterns that leak. Every time you go for a drink, they’re dry. Only God is the fountain of living water that satisfies the soul!

1. Site:

2. Smell:

3. Hear:

4. Taste:

5. Feel:

Jesus had power in His touch to bless others, even children.

“Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them. . . . And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13, 16).

Jesus wants us to hear, understand, and believe His words, and to let them change our lives.

Jesus said, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23).

We are blessed when we see the truth about Jesus, that He is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose from the dead, just like the Bible says.

Jesus said, “Blessed are your eyes for they see” (Matthew 13:16).

God’s Word, the Bible, is compared to sweet honey (and that tastes good!).

Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

When we see and hear and taste the truth in the Bible, we will know that we are sinners who need a way to get to God. And Jesus Christ provides that way through His death on the cross. When we trust Jesus, we become children of God and then . . . the Bible says WE become a sweet fragrance–smell–to God and others because of our faith in Jesus.

“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15).

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