Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2016

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 144 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

MISSION

Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

VISION STATEMENT

Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

Welcome to our New Site

We welcome you to see our New Website http://sermonstotheworld.org.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

IT IS MERRY CHRISTMAS - NOT HAPPY HOLIDAYS



IT IS “MERRY CHRISTMAS” – NOT “HAPPY HOLIDAYS”
by Pastor Mark Taylor
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
Don’t let “political correctness” keep you from using His Wonderful Name.  Do not be ashamed of His Name during this Christmas Season.  The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most wonderful name on Earth.  "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38)
THERE IS WONDER IN HIS NAME. “Wonderful”
  1. His Birth was wonderful.  “Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20).
B. His Life was wonderful.  “O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isaiah 25:1)
C. His Teaching was wonderful. “And when He had come to His own country, He taught  them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matthew 13:54)
D. His Miracles were wonderful.  “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." (John 3:2)

THERE IS WISDOM IN HIS NAME. “Counselor”
  1. As your counselor He is always available. “For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
B. As your counselor He gives you His undivided attention.  “'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”    (Jeremiah 33:3)
C. As your counselor He comforts you. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
D. As your counselor He guides you in the right way.  “And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”         (Mark 1:22)

THERE IS POWER IN HIS NAME. “Mighty God”

A. Jesus has been given all power in heaven and earth.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)
B. He created it all.  “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
C. Incredible as it may seem: the Child & Son is the Mighty God.  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)

D.  Nothing is too hard for Him. 
“But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27)
THERE IS WORSHIP IN HIS NAME. “Everlasting Father”
  1. Jesus and the Father are one in substance, in their love for you and me.  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. "I and My Father are one." (John 10:27-30)
  2. Even the Angels in Heaven worship Him.  “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire." But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:6-8).

  1. Even those who refuse to worship Him now will publicly worship Him one day.  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”               (Philippians 2:9-11)

THERE IS WELCOME IN HIS NAME. “Prince of Peace”
A. He came to give us rest.  "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
B. He came to give us peace.  "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”     (John 14:27)

C.  He wants you to live with peace in your lives
.  “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15).

While government and civic organizations are trying to take His wonderful name out of the Christmas season, let us remember that He (The Lord Jesus Christ) is the reason for the season.  HIS NAME IS WONDERFUL”

Sunday, November 6, 2016

This World Is Not My Home

“This World Is Not My Home”
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalms 11: 3)

I am writing this sermon two weeks before our presidential election, so I don’t know what the results will be.  I do know that 50 percent of Americans are going to be happy with the results and 50 percent are going to be very unhappy.

The purpose of this sermon is to give the men and women who have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to refocus and get a Christian perspective of where we are and what we should do now.  

Hopefully we have all prayed that “God’s Will” would be done.  Let me assure all of us that He is in control.  

“For promotion comes not from the east, nor the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: He puts down one, and sets up another.”  Psalms 75:6-7

“The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He wills, and sets over it the lowest of men.”  Daniel 4:17, 25, and 5:21

The question today is:  What do we do?  How should we respond to the results of the election whether our candidate won or lost?

The first thing we need to remember is that No matter who is President, Jesus is still Lord.

The second thing is to remember that as Christians this world is not our final home.

“ Jesus answered:  My kingdom is not of this world.”  (John 18:36)

“For our conversation (citizenship) is in Heaven from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 3:20).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” (John 18:36).

How do we go forward if we are discouraged about the election or anything else?

Our Lord gave us five strategies to live the victorious Christian life regardless of external circumstances.

“Fear Not” - “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered, Fear not you are more valuable than many sparrows who are not forgotten by God.”  (Luke 12:6-8).

Fear is the opposite of Faith.  It can cause mental and physical diseases.  It can lead to anger and even hate.  Fear has it’s root in be afraid of not having enough or in not being enough.    “Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the Earth.”  (Colossians 3:2).  There are many good Christian books that can help you in overcoming fear.

“Worry Not” - “Therefore I say unto you.  Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or for your body, what you shall wear…..” Matthew 6:25-34.

The main issue about worry is Do you believe God can take care of you?  Worry is about seeking things of tomorrow.  God wants you to seek Him today.  When you start to worry about tomorrow, begin to participate in God’s kingdom today.  There are things God needs for you to do for others today.

“Sin Not” - “I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over 99 just persons which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7).

 Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.  If God has shown you things that are wrong in your life, you need to stop.  God will forgive you of your past sins.  “And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.

“Judge Not” - “Judge not, that you will not be judged.”  (Matthew 7:1)

Two reasons that we judge other people are that we are either jealous or self righteous.
When we take the plank out of our eyes, we can see clearly to help others to be better to.

“Doubt Not” - “Have faith in God…and doubt not…” (Mark 11:22-23)  

You will never know what God would have done for and through you if you let doubt take you out.  Doubt asks: “Is it true?” and “Is it worth it?”  Those that know our Lord Jesus as their personal Savior should ask as Peter did: “Lord to whom can we go, You have the Words of Life?”. (John 6:68).

I hope this message will encourage you to focus your thoughts on your eternal future instead of the circumstances in our country or society.  We have little or no control over national or global events.  We do have however, control over our relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is our hope.


“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord”  (Psalm 31:24).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

GOING THE SECOND MILE



Going The Second Mile   
by Pastor Mark Taylor
"And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”  (Matthew 5:41)
Many left Jesus after this message because it cut across the grain. Roman law required a Jew to carry a soldiers' pack one mile. Jews marked a mile in all directions from their homes and would go not a step further.  Jesus shocked His hearers It was not NORMAL to be so passive when abused or imposed upon.  Jesus said they were to go another mile!

Today in our society, which speeds down the fast lane, there is a real need to understand and practice this principal. Patience, forbearance and forgiveness have little meaning to many today. Our old nature, called the carnal nature, causes us to have a bent to do things that will harm us all the while seeming to set things right. We as Christians are susceptible to losing our testimony for Christ and failing to show the love of Christ to others when something hurts us.
Parents are often so busy making a living and just living in our fast society have little time for raising their children.  Many seem too busy to take time live by biblical principals or teach them to their children. The matter of teaching the children is left to the school or church.  Teaching takes TIME, and many parents are to busy to be bothered with taking the time. It take both the husband and the wife to raise children to honor the Lord and live by the principles of God's word.  Often, we let other things be more important!  Children often need discipline and a sharp rebuke! But with it they need understanding, patience and a show of love. Sometimes we need to go the second mile with our children and grandchildren to give them our time. "Fathers provoke not your children to anger, least they be discouraged." (Col 3:21).  "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, But bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  (Eph 6:4).

Couples also live nervously and have a shaky relationship in their marriages. That negatively effects the children who need a steady and peaceful home to grow up in. They need an example to follow. It is a fact that most children will grow up and make the same mistakes their parents made. If they grow up in a home where there is little love shown, or where their parents fuss and fight...they will do the same in their families. Many times one partner or the other is ready in a second to express their own "rights".  Real love which is tolerant, and understanding seems to be missing.  Most when they think about it do in fact deeply love their spouse, yet they are irritable, many times they are not happy. We need to go the second mile with those we live with. The husband or wife, who is mistreated is by the Bible is compelled to give patience, and understanding for hurt and rebuff. We are to return good for evil. 

On the job, there are those who are never satisfied and are chronic complainers!  If everything is not just like they want it they, are ready to really bad mouth the company, or fellow employees.  At church, folks sometimes become irritable at other members or even preacher because everything is not done just right or as they think it should be done..  You find folks sometimes being critical of things. This could be done better, or we ought to do it this way.  Basically their not satisfied with anything!  We need to go the second mile with those we work with and worship with.

When we are think we are mistreated, or someone is bothering us, lets ask ourselves whether or not they need our sympathy, our prayers, our understanding, and our patience rather than our cruel and caustic rebuffs. You see this it what Christ is telling us to do....this is godly principle that can bring peace and harmony that everyone wishes they had. This can pave the way for finding solutions to problems and correcting conflicts or difficulties that come up. 

The Lord wants the best for us and He is trying to show us the way to have peace and joy in our lives.   Jesus is saying we need to go the second mile! To show biblical love and have patience, and to slow down and discern really what the situation really is. 

 Our rebuff, or hateful reaction to another, only compounds the problem. Never has a sharp word, brought peace! Never has the letting oneself become frustrated help a situation become better. As a Christians we are to be witness to our mates, children, family, friends, and the world! 

The sharp rebuke to the child alone, never helped teach a child patience. The angry response to the child's irritating us, assures that the problems will happen again. 

 Anyone can lash out and punish and avenge themselves! The fruit of such a response is like what is said about history. Those who ignore the reasons for its failures are sure to repeat them! 
 Christ wants the best for us! It is better to be humble. 
 "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour and life." Prov. 22:4 
"The meek shall inherit the earth: and delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Prov. 37:11 
Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." 
 Matt. 23:12. "Whosoever shall exalt himself shall abased and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." 
"Love (Charity) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up". I Cor. 13:4 
 "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love" (Eph. 4:2) 
  "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of the Lord.”  Eph. 5:21

"Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, humbleness of mind, meekness.”        Col 3:12,

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Getting Through The Valley

GETTING THROUGH THE VALLEY
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“YES, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW
OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME”
(PSALM 23:5)

When you have those experiences when you have a reason to fear or become discouraged, resist it.  Jesus has already come through the same valley you are going through and made it to the other side.  Not only that, He is with you while you are going through your valley.  Jesus often told His disciples to "Fear Not".  The opposite of discouraged is to have courage.  Hopefully this sermon will motive you to ask our Lord Jesus for courage to walk through your valley.

Mountain top experiences are wonderful and we should praise God for each one of them that we experience.  We should remember them and share them with others.  These are times when God has blessed us with His good gifts of love.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).

The danger with mountaintop experiences is that they are so wonderful and so revealing that we don’t want them to end. Many people try to live out their life on the mountaintop. But, life isn’t lived on the mountaintop. It’s lived in the valleys below. After the Lord Jesus‘ transfiguration, He, Peter, James and John came down from mountain and they found people who were hurting and in need. They came back to the reality of every day life. 

Nearly 19 million Americans or about 10 percent of the US populations age 18 or over will suffer some form of depression each year.  This percentage is probably true of people in all countries.  This is a real valley for both Christians and non-Christians.  Other valleys we experience include physical illness, loss of loved ones, loss of a job, the loss of one’s identity and self-worth

The Lord Jesus was also going to face a valley.  He was going to be betrayed by one of His disciples, denied by another one, and forsaken by all of them.  But before this valley, He went to a place to prepare for it.  To a place of prayer and strength.  Let us look at this valley, and see how our Lord “walked through it”.  “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit here while I go and pray over there.  And He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.” (Matthew 26:36-37).  In this chapter, the Lord gives us some ways to walk through our valleys.

Jesus did not isolate Himself.  He kept His friends close by His side as He was experiencing a great spiritual battle with Satan.  Jesus let others in on the sorrow and grief that filled His heart that night. Jesus surrounded Himself with friends.  Too often Christians are imprisoned by themselves because they believe the lie that their depression should be kept as a secret—a deep dark shameful secret that we hide from everyone. When we get depressed we isolate ourselves from other people and try to ‘pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.’  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Galatians 6:2).  Jesus was open and honest about the trial He was facing; He did not let His depression isolate Him from others. Will we follow His example and not isolate ourselves from others? Sharing our depression with someone else is the first step out of the Valley of Gloom.

Jesus not only was with His disciples, but He let them in on the struggle He was going through.  “Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and pray with me."  (Matthew 26:38).  Notice too that Jesus didn’t just tell everyone about His need. Jesus used wisdom about who He shared His need with. Jesus asked His disciples to pray, but then He pulled Peter, James and John aside and shared more openly.  If we are going through a valley we need to get counseling and comfort from those who love us and will pray for us.

Jesus was honest and to the point with His Heavenly Father about His sorrow.  “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:29).  Jesus didn’t hid anything from the Father; instead Jesus was honest and let the Father know exactly what caused His heart to be heavy.  I personally do not believe that the Lord was trying to get out of going to the cross, because He had said many times that that was the reason He had come.  I believe He did not want to experience the temporary separation from His Father on the cross when He took on the sins of the world.

Jesus did not get trapped by bitterness or blame.  On the cross, our Lord said:  “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  (Luke 23:24).  He did not blame the disciples when they fell asleep instead of praying, the Jews, or the Romans.  This is an important step in walking through the valleys we are in.

Jesus prayed more than once about His valley.  God hears us the first time and every time we pray, but we need to hear ourselves pray.  We need to spend time with our Heavenly Father and express our sorrows and difficulties to Him.  Prayer is not trying to convince God to change His mind but to give us strength to get through our valleys.  Paul had the gift of healing, but when He was sick, God chose not to heal him immediately, but promised Him that He would give Him the strength to get through it.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  God answered Jesus and gave Him the strength He needed to endure the suffering, shame and pain he would endure on the cross.  “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43).

Jesus got up from His time in prayer and confronted His difficulty head on. Jesus didn’t run from His problem; He didn’t head for the hills and try to hide. Jesus faced Judas and the soldiers who had come to arrest Him. Jesus was ready to face the agony of the cross with God’s power. 


God will strengthen you to overcome your valleys and move forward with His freedom and liberty. Don’t let depression freeze you in your tracks; let God warm your heart with His love. Move forward with His strength.  “For I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13).

Sunday, September 4, 2016

IF YOU CAN BELIEVE

“If You Can Believe”  
By Pastor Mark Taylor
Mark 9:23


Jesus said this about the impossible: “Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23).  And "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)  

Many of our Lord Jesus Christ’s main teachings were of having faith and believing.  “Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." (Matthew 9:29.  “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  (Matthew 17:20).

Our Lord wants us to open our minds to discover possibilities that might not seem obvious at the time.  For each of us it could be achieving goals that we have.  It requires that we have a vision and faith to reach those goals. The vision needs to be something we can see.  Can you see your vision?  “Where there is no vision, the people perish?” (Proverbs 29:18).  Our Heavenly Father created our Earth out of things that did not exist.  “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3).  God operates by speaking words of faith.

But seeing the vision is only the first part of putting your faith to work.  The second part is to set goals to achieve your vision.  You need to set some short term and long term goals to accomplish your vision.  Is your vision worth taking the time, energy, and money to achieve?  If it is you should begin to inspire yourself to take steps to put your faith to work.  Put your personal vision into words.  “I want to see God accomplish this vision in my life.”  Put that vision in words and begin to speak words of faith and ask the Lord Jesus to give you a way to make it happen.

Your vision and goals need God’s blessing and involvement in order for the vision to become reality.  He is not going to give you anything that goes against His Word and His Will.   In teaching us how to pray and believe He also said: "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 11:2).  If it is not God’s will, then your vision is the wrong one, and even the things you believe you want will not happen because they are not His Will.  For instance, it is not God’s will that we live forever on this earth in this body, so perfect health for now is not going to happen.  Everyone that the Lord Jesus healed and even those He caused to be raised from the dead, eventually died.  The perfect health did happen, when they entered Heaven.  You can still receive healing now, but it will only be temporary.  Our bodies are not designed to live forever.  Our soul will receive a new body that will.

How will you know if it is “God’s Will”?  You won’t unless you are a child of God and you ask Him. “Yet you have not, because you ask not” (James 4:2). You can ask God for peace in your vision.  “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).  If you need something more concrete ask God to give you a “sign” as He did for Gideon in Judges 6:37-40, and as He did for Abraham’s servant Eliezer from Genesis Chapters 22-24.  A prayer I usually pray goes something like this: “Lord, if you want me to do this thing, open the doors so I can go through them.  If it is not Your will, close them, lock them, and do not let me go through them.”  He has honored that prayer many times in my life.  Just understand that He may not let you go through the door even if you want to.

Obstacles In Believing

 “Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23).  

We serve a great and awesome God!!  “O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep” (Psalms 92:5).  He is not only great, but He wants to share His greatness with you and me.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

If “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23), and the Lord wants to bless you with “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11), then why don’t we have the things we want?  The answer is complex and I hope to present to you some obstacles that might be keeping you from really believing and receiving from God.  

You were made by God and given certain abilities and gifts to accomplish your purpose during the time you are here on earth.  You may be unfulfilled in your life because you have not found the purpose God has for you.  We need to understand that it is not God’s fault that our dreams and hopes are not fulfilled.  “It is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).  "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).  God has given us many promises that are waiting for us to receive.

One the first obstacles to receiving what we are “believing”, is that we really haven’t identified what we really want.  We are not sure of the purpose for wanting it, and we are not sure what we are going to do with it when we get it.  God’s will and purpose for your life is not a secret.  "The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will” (Acts 22:14). 


A second obstacle is making sure that the thing we are “believing” for is God’s will.  “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:13-15).  God is not going to give you something that is going to cause you harm or bring dishonor to His Name.  You can trust that He has your best interest at heart.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

A third obstacle is understanding that our “believing” is something that often takes time to receive and often requires action on our part.  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26).  Receiving what we ask for might require a journey and we have to find out if it is really worth the cost we might have to pay to get it. Just wanting something is not “believing”.  "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it  (Luke 14:28-29).  What is the “impossible” thing you are praying for?  The word “believe” is an action word that requires more than a mental exercise.  I “believed” that God would give me the ability to get a college education, but it took me many years of hard work to see it happen.  Noah “believed” God would save him, but he had to build an ark.  Moses “believed” God could and would deliver his people, but he had to lead them across the Red Sea.  We are encouraged to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. (James 5:16).  To have the “things” you are praying for, you have to get with God and identify them as His will for you, and then wait upon Him.  “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).  When the Lord Jesus gives you the direction you are to go, then start running and flying toward seeing your prayer become reality.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

SOWING GOOD SEEDS IN GOOD GROUND



SOWING GOOD SEEDS IN GOOD GROUND
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

What we do with our time, with ourselves, with our friends, and with our attitudes will determine what our future will be.  We will either improve, or we regress.  If we do not improve, we will go backwards.  What we do not use, we lose.  

In Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus compares our lives to farmers who plant seeds.  He spoke of the kinds of ground the seeds were planted in and the results that came from it.  The types of ground represent our hearts and how willing we are to receive the Word of God and apply it to our lives.  At the end of His parable he says this: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matthew 13:9).  It is very important they we listen to what God has to say to us about living successful and happy lives.

Every day of our lives we are planting seeds that will bring forth a harvest at some point in our lives.  God has given us good seed to plant.  But many people choose to find and plant their own seeds.  A kernel of corn produces its own kind.  A seed of doubt, fear, or distrust planted in our minds will produce after its own kind.  A seed of unkindness, criticism, worry, or bitterness will produce fruit that will cause us disappointment and hurt.  For those who choose to plant these kinds of seeds, the Bible has some warnings.  “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7).  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).  Planting seeds of faith, optimism, love, and kind deeds will produce after its own kind.  These seeds will produce what the Lord Jesus wants us to have and that is a joyful and purposeful life. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).

Remember the ground is important too.  When someone gets ready to plant a new crop it is important to remove the weeds and things from the past seasons.  To plant your new crop, start preparing your ground by asking the Lord Jesus to forgive you of the bad seeds that have been planted, and to prepare your heart for the new.  When the ground is ready, we can both receive good seed, and plant new seeds in other people’s lives as well.  "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26).  The good seeds will not grow if your heart is not right.  Make sure you have a real relationship with the Lord Jesus, and that you are not just playing church.  Ask the Lord to “give you a new heart”.

We all need to plant good seeds into good ground.  It does take faith to put the effort, time, and energy into planting these good seeds.  But faith will provide us with a great reward.  For each cup planted, a bushel is reaped.  For every good idea given to another, many shall be given to us in return.  For every act of kindness and love given, a life of love will be returned.  For each seed of encouragement given to another, encouragement will return.  “Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1).  It is always a risk to plant, to give, to love, or to serve.  But the Lord Jesus said this as a promise to you:  "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38).

Do not let springtime pass while you sit idly contemplating the severity of the past winter of life.  Rise up from your comfortable chair and enter into the fields where people need to receive the good seeds you can plant.  Start planning for a good harvest in your life. It will be beneficial for you to read Christian books that will inspire you to live a better life and motivate you to follow our Lord’s teachings. Read the Bible daily.  Listen to uplifting Christian music and watch positive TV programs that will give you the desire to live a holy life.  Avoid venues that send out negative messages.

Each day is given to us a new season to plant good seeds into good ground.  The thoughts, deeds, dreams, and efforts of today will provide tomorrow’s harvest.  To neglect the opportunity given to us today, will delay our better harvest tomorrow.  There will be no better time to begin than at this current moment.

Do not get discouraged if you have not seen your harvest yet.  It is coming.  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10).  The Lord Jesus is going to reward you for all you do for Him and others in His name.  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  We have both the promise of a good harvest in this life and in the one to come.  You cannot out give God, out love Him, or out serve Him.


Examine the gifts and talents the Lord has given you and use them to plant good seed.  Planting seeds should be the most natural thing you do.  It should be easy for you.  The Lord has given you the good seed to plant.  The Holy Spirit will give you the desire, the directions on where to plant, and the courage to live a life that will produce good seed. We are all going to experience a harvest. Some will continue to plant bad seeds while others will plant good seeds.  I hope you plant good seed and that you will plant a lot of it and experience a harvest of blessing and success.