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 148 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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

GIVE US THIS DAY

GIVE US THIS DAY
By Pastor Mark Taylor
December 1, 2017

“Give us this day, our daily bread”  Matthew 6: 11

This is part of the prayer our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, taught us to pray.  Therefore we need to pay close attention as we learn how to pray.  

In the Old Testament God fed the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness.  He fed them every day.  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” Exodus 16:4.  

God gave them instructions on how to gather it for one day at a time.  "So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.  This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (about two quarts) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’” Exodus 16: 15-16.

Our Lord also told us that He was the “Bread of Life” that we should desire.  
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”  And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:32-40.

There are many applications we can make from these scriptures in relationship to how we should pray and why we should pray: “Give us this day, our daily bread” 
(Matthew 6:11.).

Our main request from our Heavenly Father should be “Give me more of Jesus, today.”  When we have “The Bread of Life” we will have everything else we need.  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33).  He understands that we have other needs, but He should be our priority.

Our main routine should be early in the morning every day.  When we leave our house to go to work our engaged in our daily activities, our efforts and our energy will be less than it could have been with our “daily Bread”.  Just as our physical body requires nourishment, our souls need spiritual nourishment.  If we feel frustrated and tired in the middle of the day, it is because we have forgotten to ask for and receive our “daily bread”.  It is also important to pray all day long for direction, protection, and sanctification.  Our requests should be “What is it?”  What do you want me to do with what you have given me?

Our main results is that when we are fed we will have enough left over for all those in our tents.  If you will go to our Lord for your “daily bread”, then He will give you enough for all those who have needs that you are responsible for.  Your family needs for you to be strong, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Research has shown that when the mind is full of stress, worry, and fear, it will have a direct affect on the body.  When we are full of our Lord Jesus, there is little room for rest of these things He has told us to get out of our lives.

Let us all start our day with saying the “Lord’s Prayer” and meaning it in our hearts.  It may sound like a ritual, but it is the model prayer that will lead us into a deeper prayer life with our Savior.  If you are uncomfortable about saying the prayer because you feel your prayers should come directly from your heart, then include these things in your prayer:  Praise and Thanksgiving; Provision and protection; His will to be done in your life; and Sanctification - the ability to live a life pleasing to God. 




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

THE WILL OF GOD CONCERNING YOU

“THE WILL OF GOD CONCERNING YOU”

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).

People who love God appreciate all He has done for them and seek to please Him in some type of way. Sometimes we call this “finding God’s will” or using our “gifts and abilities” for the Kingdom of God.

I have been serving the Lord Jesus for over fifty years now in several different ways.  I have worked in the Church as a Sunday School Teacher, a youth director, missionary, an assistant pastor, an associate pastor, and a Pastor.  But, I have also served Him in secular jobs.  I was a school teacher and school administrator for over 32 years, a coach for children’s sports, worked in a grocery store and restaurant, construction, drove a bus, and many other things.  All of these positions were a part of God’s will for my life at the time.  My titles and geography changed, but mission remained the same.  I was actively involved in taking the message of God’s love to people.

One thing I have learned is that you can serve the Lord without having a title in the church.  You can be a minister without being ordained.  You can be a teacher without having a class.  You can be a missionary without leaving your community.  You can please God with your gifts and abilities regardless of your age, income, or education.

If you will start your day with a prayer asking the Lord “What are we going to do today?”, and you follow Him all day long, you will have done the will of God.  If you repeat that tomorrow, the next day, the next month, the next year, and the rest of your life, at the end of your life you will have done “God’s Will”.

Let me tell you what I did this week so that you can do some of these things this coming week. Please do not think I am boasting about these things.  There is nothing here that I did without God’s help and leading.  There is nothing here you cannot do.   I took time to play with a small child; I listened to a teenager’s questions about life; I took time to be a friend to several lonely adults;  I had prayer with a total stranger who had just received bad news about a loved one’s health; my wife and I sent money to an orphanage in Africa for food, and to a Pastor in India for medicine for his wife; I attended a funeral of someone I did not know and carried their family some food and words of comfort;  I visited a nursing home patient and had prayer with them.  I used my ability to make something of value and gave it freely;  I shared the Good News and love of our Lord Jesus with others by giving them CD’s and written messages of hope and love.  I sent the Gospel throughout the world to over 107 countries using the internet which cost me nothing.  I shared messages of hope and love on websites, youtube, and face book.   I hope you can see that you have unlimited ways to serve the Lord and to do “God’s Will”. 

Something I have learned is not to wait until everything is right in your life to start doing “God’s Will”  We cannot wait until others start treating us the way we want them to before we start doing the things God has put in our hearts and given us the ability to do.  We cannot wait until we have someone else’s permission or commission to do His will.

We can count on God to be with us, to find “His Will”,  and to lead us and make a way for us to become victorious even in difficult times.  Even if you are suffering from bad relationships, poor financial decisions, or health problems remember His words of encouragement to us: “No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it” 
(1 Corinthians 10:13).  Go to God in prayer.  If you are going through a difficult time in your life, ask Him to give you the faith to endure your hardship until He makes the way.  The “Will of God” for you in hard times is this: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  (I Thessalonians 5:18).

God is going to make a way for you today.  “He gives power to the weary; and to him with no vigor; He increases strength. Even the young shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).

“God’s Will” for you is not impossible to find. “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek and you will find; knock and it shall be open unto you. For everyone who asks, receives; and everyone who seeks, finds; and everyone that knocks, it shall be opened.

There are great rewards waiting for us if we “do God’s Will”.  We will have resources from Heaven to help us and bless us each day we walk with Him.  “Blessed is the person who walks not with the ungodly...they shall be like a tree planet by the rivers of water, that produces good fruit in its season, its leaf also shall not die; and whatever they do shall prosper.”  (Psalm 1: 1-3).  We will have eternal life with the Lord Jesus if we do “God’s Will”.  “And this world will pass away and all the sin in it: but those that do the will of God will live forever.”  (I John 2:17).

There are people that need you today.  It may be something as simple as a kind word or an act of kindness. It may be something that requires your time, money, and talents.  If God lays something on your heart, He is expecting you to do it.  And in many cases, if you don’t do it, it want get done.  “Give, and it shall be given to you...” (Luke 6:38).

Here is a conversation and a prayer I had with the Lord in April 2011.
Today, I woke up and asked my Lord Jesus: “What will we do today?”
He said: “The first thing we will do is take some time to pray.”
“But,” I said, “there are so many things to do, and Lord we can only do so much.”

My Lord replied: “With a little help from you, there are many people we can touch.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

YOU ARE MORE VALUABLE

“YOU ARE MORE VALUABLE” 
by Pastor Mark Taylor

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."          Matthew 10:29-31

You are more valuable than you think you are.  You are more valuable than others think you are.  You are of great value to the God that created you and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave His live for you.

In our technological world we are seeing the 
de-personalization of our lives. As we go through the day, we feel like a number instead of a person. A statistic instead of a human being. 

Did you ever notice how important individuals are in the Bible?  Individual men and women, with names, and families, and histories, and personalities, and strengths and weaknesses?

He called one man, Abraham to start the nation of Israel. When God brought his people out of slavery in Egypt, He called one man to lead them, Moses. Most important, when the second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, entered into humanity in order to become our Savior and Redeemer, He did it as a man, Jesus.

Our Lord Jesus ministered to individuals. Yes, He taught the multitudes. Yes, He fed the five thousand. But when He healed people, it wasn’t in great masses. If He wanted to, He could have waved his arms and cured hundreds at a stroke. But instead, He placed His hands on them, one at a time, and He healed them, one at a time. In the gospels, we see Christ constantly interacting with individuals, the woman caught in adultery; the rich young ruler; the woman at the well; a demon-possessed man; a paralytic; a blind man; a centurion; and a tax collector. When Jesus saw five thousand people, He didn’t just see a crowd. He saw five thousand individuals, with names and histories and futures. In the same way, when Christ looks at you and me, that’s what He sees; not anonymous faces in the crowd, but his precious, beloved children, whom He knows intimately and cares for deeply. 

God’s plan for each of us is unique.  He loves variety and diversity. God is working in your life differently than He is in mine, or in someone else’s.  It doesn’t mean that He loves you more or less. His plan for you isn’t better or worse than His plan for someone else, it’s just different. 

"Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." – Romans 12:4-6

When you or I go to God in prayer, He doesn’t say to Himself, "Oh, someone is praying." He doesn’t even say, "one of my children is praying." He says, "______ is praying.” (Put your name in the blank)

God’s personal love serves as a model for us to emulate in our love for one another.  We all have our own faith journey to follow, and someone else’s may not look like yours. That’s OK. Let God deal with them as He sees fit.

The fact is that God knows and loves us by name, personally and intimately.  That fact should motivate us to seek after Him, so that we might know and love Him in the same way. Just as we shouldn’t be satisfied with a superficial relationship to one another, we shouldn’t be satisfied to have a superficial relationship with our God. Christ, through His death, has removed every barrier; He has removed every obstacle; He has made it possible for us to truly know God; and He invites us to know Him; and desires that we know Him.

God says, “Don’t be afraid” every time you are afraid. When you are knocked to your face in fear, Jesus reaches down and touches you and says, “Don’t be afraid, it’s going to okay.”

You are loved by God and that is something you need to remind yourself of every day.  You should love yourselves, because God loves you.  You will be able to stand before God one day and understand His love for you.  Until then, understand that you are chosen by God to be one of His children, and He feels you are worthy and valuable.  Learn to love yourself with your words, your smile, your actions.  The more you love and accept yourself as God has made you, the more others will accept you.  “I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14).

Our Lord said to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).  Since Jesus said that we are to “love your neighbor as yourself”, then we can imply that He wants us to love ourselves. God has accepted you just as you are, with all of your hang-ups and problems.   “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  Yes, He wants you to become better, but He died for you with all your problems.

You are more valuable than the mountains, flowers, birds, and planets, that God created.  Use your life to be a blessing to others and to show your love to the God who thinks you are more valuable than any other thing in His creation.   Memorize and say this verse to yourself every day.  “I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are marvelous and my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14).


Saturday, September 16, 2017

THE SECRET OF ONE

“THE SECRET OF ONE”
By Pastor Mark Taylor

For most of my childhood and all of my youth and adult life I have believe that God was directly involved in my life.  I know there are millions of believers in this world, but there is no one who is just like you or me.  We were created by our Heavenly Father for a purpose and placed in strategic places in this world to accomplish that purpose. Our Lord Jesus has chosen us and chosen to give us His love. That makes us special.  

One verse that reinforces my belief on this is in John 15:16: “ You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you.”

In I Kings 17: 8-16 God has given us an event in the life of the prophet Elijah.  In this event, God choose one person to make a big difference in the life of Elijah.

The Lord told Elijah that He had chosen a poor widow woman who had a young son to take care of him during a famine.  She was probably the most unlikely person to take care of someone else because she could not even take care of herself and her son.

When Elijah arrived at her village she was gathering sticks to cook one last meal for her and her son and then she would be completely out of food.  Elijah asked her for a drink of water, which was also scarce at that time.  The woman turn to go and find him a cup of water, and then Elijah stopped her and ask her for a small amount of bread.

The widow women, told Elijah that she only had enough food for one more meal for her and her son and that the two sticks she had was to build a fire to cook their last meal.

Then Elijah told her if she would do this one act of faith that God would bless her for many days.

There are a lot of “ones” in this message to us from God’s Word.  

First of all, there was “one” prophet.  At times He felt he was the only one left that was serving God. 

“And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (I Kings 19:14). The Lord reminded Him, that he was not alone, that there were seven thousand other people who were still serving Him.

Maybe you feel you are the only one left trying to live right and do right.  The Lord Jesus’ message to you is that is that you are not alone.  “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”   (Matthew 28:20).

Another “one” in this story was the widow woman.  She probably felt she has fail in her life and had fail her son, because they both would soon die of hunger and there was nothing she could do about it.  What she did not know was that God was preparing a way for her to meet her needs. “For your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8.

Then there was the “one barrel” and “one cup”.  Before Elijah got to this ladies house, they were almost empty.  After she  did what the Lord told her to do, both of them were full.  

You may not think you have much today to offer the Lord.  You may be “hanging on by a thread”.  But you still have “one thing” more you can do, one more prayer you can pray, and one more promise from God’s Word you can depend upon.

The secret of “One” is that you and God are a majority.  You have all the resources of Heaven on your side. You can become God’s partner in accomplishing things on Earth that God wants to do. You are only “one” person, but you can allow God to use you to meet the needs of another person who feels that they are only one.
A young boy went to hear the Lord Jesus speak.  He was not expecting that the little that he had could be used to bless so many.   Even the disciples did not feel he had anything to contribute. He was just one little boy.  “There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9).  The bread and fish did not seem like much, but when Jesus blessed it, five thousand men were fed, not counting the great number of women and children.
The Lord Jesus observed a poor widow giving two of her last coins into the offering at the temple.    “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,  and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;  for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” (Luke 21: 1-4).
God likes to use individuals.  He likes to take “one” person to accomplish things for His glory and to meet the needs of others.  And when He chooses that “one” person, it is usually the person who others would be dismissed as weak or unable to perform the task.
Think of all the people in the Bible that God called individually to do a job.  One man named Noah decided to live a righteous life, and he saved humanity. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth.. and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth...But Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  And Noah did  according unto all that the Lord commanded him.” (Genesis 6: 5,7,8, 22). 

One boy named David, killed a giant military  soldier  who was approximately 9’6” tall and changed the history of his country.  David told him: “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied”  (I Samuel 17:45).  
He is drawn to people who are weak and admit it, and who ask for help from Heaven.  “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”   (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The secret of “one” is that God loves you.  You are special to Him.  Even if you have been away from God, He is looking for you today.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  (Luke 15:4-7).

Friday, September 1, 2017

IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER - EXCUSES

“IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER”
BY PASTOR MARK TAYLOR

“AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES” LUKE 14:18         

In Luke 14: 16-24 our Lord tells us of a story that He is using compare this incident to the Kingdom of God. In these scriptures we see an invitation from a very good, kind, and generous man to all his friends. Instead of being grateful for this invitation to come to a “great supper”, they all rejected his offer by giving excuses. 
Today, that invitation is given to “many” by the Holy Spirit to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, refreshment, and fellowship. “And the Spirit and the bride says come. And let Him that hears say come. And let him who is thirsty come. And whosoever will let him take of the waters of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17). But many people respond as the people in this story by saying I would come “if it were not for this, and that, and the other..” 
This is certainly a message to all those who have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, “to come”. But it is also an invitation to those who call themselves “friends” of His. In this story these people knew the man very well. This rich and generous man sent His servants to deliver the invitation to specific people who He knew well. You and I are the people of this message. 

The message for you and me is “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17). The Lord Jesus has done everything necessary to provide you the opportunity to come and fellowship with Him and use your gifts and abilities to serve Him. 
The Lord wants you to come and have some great fellowship with Him. But many are saying not now. They are saying “If it were not for this, and that, and the other..” I would read my Bible more, and pray more, and be faithful to the worship services. 
As you listen to the excuses in this story, you will see that they are very weak. One man bought some land that he had not even looked at. After he paid for it, he decided to go see it instead of going to the “great supper” of his friend. Another bought some animals to plow his field that he had not looked at or tested to see if they were able to do the necessary work he needed done. He decided to go see them after he bought them instead of going to the “great supper” of his friend. The third man used the excuse of his family for the reason he could not come. He could have brought his wife to the “great supper’, but instead, he used her as an excuse. 
After this generous man had received all these excuses, he became angry. Have you ever put in a lot of work and effort into something, and no one appreciated it? How did that make you feel? Possibly, angry? 
The Lord Jesus Christ has given you an invitation to come to His house at least on Sunday morning to have fellowship with Him and His other children. He has given you the Bible to study, He has given you open access to Him in prayer, and He has given you many blessings because He loves us. What has been your response to His invitation to “Come, for all things are now ready.” 
The Lord is also giving you an invitation to receive His blessings by living a life that would be pleasing to Him and a blessing to others. “Depart from evil, nd do good, seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of he Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are upon their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil...” (Psalm 34: 14-16). 
Now you and I have a choice. We can follow the Lord and live a life of purpose and blessing to ourselves and others. Or we can make excuses. 
You are invited to produce good works through the power that the Lord has put into your life. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit, He takes it away. Every branch that produces fruit, He purges it (makes it better), so that it may bring forth more fruit.....I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1-5). 
The sad news of this story is that those who made excuses would no longer have an opportunity to enter the house of this loving and generous man. The excuses they gave kept them from receiving many blessings. “For I say unto you. That none of those who were asked to come shall taste of my supper” (Luke 14:24). 
The good news of this story is that the invitation became open to others. 
If you feel unworthy today to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, He wants you to know you are invited to His Heavenly Home for a “great supper”. The invitation has been extended to “whosoever will”. “Then the master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, and the crippled, and the disabled, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, t is done as you have commanded and yet there is still room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:21-23). 

Today the Lord Jesus is giving you an invitation to accept Him, to serve Him, and to love Him. Will you say yes? Or will you say “I would, if it were not for this, and that, and the other?” 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WALK ON WATER

Walk on Water 
 Matthew 14:22-33
by Pastor Mark Taylor
In this passage from Matthew's gospel, we hear the story of Jesus walking on water, a miracle indeed. The disciples have just experienced Jesus' miracle in feeding the thousands, and now they are traveling by boat to the other side of the sea, leaving Jesus with some time to pray and to regroup. 

Out on the sea, the winds begin to blow, rocking the boat to and fro. the disciples are nervous and scared. And then, through the raging storm, they see a figure. Someone appears to be walking across the sea! Who is it? A ghost? Who could it be? They don't recognize Jesus at first, not expecting to see anyone walking on water. The image takes them so by surprise that they don't recognize their master coming toward them. But Jesus speaks to them: "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." 

These precious words give Peter some courage, and he tries to join Jesus on the water, a show of his faith.  Soon, however, he is overcome with fear of the storm raging around him. He realizes just what he is doing - trying to walk on water, crazy enough in itself, but doing so in the middle of a terrible storm. It's too much for Peter to handle. He begins to sink, and cries out, "save me!" Jesus catches him, and with disappointment you can hear in His voice, saying, "you of little faith, why did you doubt?" When the winds finally cease, the disciples worship him, calling Him the Son of God.

The fact that Peter eagerly volunteered to join Jesus on the sea suggests that we need not be bound by probability or predictability either. Lord, if it is really you, let me join you. 

Peter, through the eyes of faith, saw himself as an imitator of Christ - even in walking on the water. Later, Jesus would tell all of us that we would be able to do the works that he did and even greater works as we bring glory to God.   With God, the scriptures tell us, all things are possible, and by extension, with God's help, the people of God face no impossibility."   We hear that if we have faith, we can move mountains.  I believe our Lord Jesus is talking about figurative mountains in our lives that seem impossible.  We are not given the power to move literal mountains because of the destruction we would cause, or walk on water because of the pride we would have of doing something others cannot do.   But there is no impossibility in God meeting our needs and giving us the desires of our heart that are from God.  There are times we may desire things that are harmful to us or others, and God will not grant selfish requests. "You ask, and receive not because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3).  We should always pray like our Lord prayed:  "O my Father, it it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."  (Matthew 26:39)

Think of the things that are possible today that were at some point impossible: a one pound baby, born 3 months early, can grow into a healthy child, after a few months of special care. Isn't that a miracle? We can get into an airplane, and be lifted into the air, and travel great distances at great speeds - we can even travel to into space, and land on the moon. Isn't that a miracle? We can type on a computer, hit a button, and have instantaneous communication with someone half way around the world. 

How is it possible? All of these can be explained away by science, technology, and practical reasoning. But the truth is, were it not for the faith and hope of some inventive people, these tools might not be available today. Someone had to believe that lives could be saved despite the odds. Someone had to believe that we could fly, even without wings. Someone had to believe that there was a way to communicate across continents.  These are only the beginning of things that are possible when God is involved.

God reminds us: "Eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him."  (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Jesus asks us to believe that in God we have the only resource we need for miracles to happen.  Our miracle may be a healing of the body or the mind. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your inquiry, Who heals all your diseases." (Psalm 103: 2-3).  Our miracle may be that we have lost our way spiritually and need direction from Him.  "Make me to know Your ways, O Lord: teach me Your paths."  (Psalms 25:4)  Our miracle may be that we need financial help. "Behold the fowls of the air...your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:26).   Jesus calls us to have faith, to step out of our boat, to walk on the water, and see what miracles can happen when we believe they are possible. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Let Your Wants Equal Your Haves"

Let Your Wants Equal Your Haves
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11)

Did you know you are rich if you decide to be rich?  You can be rich when your “wants” and your “haves” are equal.  If you have a million dollars, but you want two million dollars, you are not rich.  If you want five dollars, and someone gives you ten dollars, you are rich.  If your cup is half full, you are rich.  If your cup is half empty, you feel you are not rich.  That is up to you!!
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6).

“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4).  This verse is not saying that He will give you what you want, but “He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  This is saying He will give you what to want.  If you have everything you want, then you will be content.  But if you want things you cannot have, you will never be content.
So the Lord wants to give you the right “wants”.

We are made to have control over our wants.  We have a free will and we have the ability to choose what to want and what not to want.  I am rich because God has given me my “wants” and I have chosen to be content with them.  Some great principles to keep your “wants” equal to your “haves” is: 

1.  Look at what you have today. Think about others who have less.  Do you have your health, friends, a relationship with the Lord?  Then you are rich.  I have good health, good friends, a great church, a wonderful wife, three healthy children, the Lord in my heart, and enough food to eat today.

2.  Want no more than you have.  That does not mean you don’t plan for the future, it means be satisfied with what you have right now, today.  I have a church with 100 members.  I don’t want a church with 200 members, today.
I wouldn’t be able to minister to that many people right now.  I have a house with 1274 sq ft.  I don’t need a house with 3000 sq ft so why want one.

3.  Look at what you can have some day.  Plan for it, work for it, save for it, and pray for it.  But don’t let your wants for tomorrow make you unhappy today.  Think about why you want it.  Do you really want it or are you trying to impress someone else?  That is the wrong reason and when you do get it, you will not be happy.  There is an old saying: “Be careful what you want, because you might get it”.

4.  Decide to want it when you can have it.  Don’t make something a “want” until you can have it.  When you can have a new car, then “want” it.  When you can have a better job, then “want” it.  If you keep feeling bad about what you don’t have, you will never be happy about what you do have today.

5.  Don’t want it now.  Want it later.  Don’t use up your life to quickly.
Sometimes we give our children and teenagers everything they want, right now.  They don’t have anything to look forward to when they get older. I waited until I was 61 years old to buy myself and my wife a new car that we wanted. We waited to help our children and gave most of our time and money to the ministry, and then the Lord gave us both the “want” and the finances to have what we have today. There are still some things I want to do because I am waiting on the right time and waiting on the Lord to give them to me.

The Lord has always kept me happy and content.  “Rejoice because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20).  I keep my wants equal to my haves by thinking about Heaven.  “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
(Colossians 3:1-2).  Ask the Lord to give you a heart for Heaven and for people.  Then you can really mean this: ““For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11).


Remember what really matters is people in our lives, and the life to come and how we prepare for it. “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (1 Timothy 6:7-9).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

THOUGHTS ON HEALING AND HEALTH

THOUGHTS ON HEALING AND HEALTH
By Pastor Mark Taylor

Good Health is the True Wealth - Sometimes Not Fully Appreciated Until Lost!
While a surprise to most people, even Biblical scholars, the most prevalent topic of Christ in the New Testament was health!  
"...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and ...he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him.    Acts 10:38
"You were bought at a price [Jesus death on the cross].  Therefore honor God with your body."    1 Corinthians 6:20
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear [respect] the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 3:7-8
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the Good News is preached to the poor."  Matthew 11:5
"...But I know this, I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25  "Your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Luke 8:48  "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30
How often is Jesus or the Lord described as "The Great Physician" in the Bible?  In fact not even once in the Old or New Testament is Jesus or the Lord referred to as "The Great Physician."  Then how did our Lord become known as the "Great Physician" in a description universally recognized and accepted as fact by those of faith?

In the Old Testament in Exodus 15:26, the Lord told Moses, "...for I am the Lord, who heals you" confirming the role of the Lord as the Great Physician in our health. Laws of hygiene and healthy eating were given in detail to the Israelites by the Lord that are as applicable and valid today as in the time of Moses! 

Did you know the four Gospels in the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - record more instances of Christ healing than of His preaching and teaching?  The point is Christ's ministry was one of preaching, teaching and healing - both the spirit and the body.

Surely He hath borne our sicknesses and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4   ["sickness" derived from kholee, also meaning infirmities; "sorrows" derived from makob, also meaning pains, diseases] 

If you don't watch where you're going, you'll go where you're headed!"  Where are you going with your health today?  If you don't change your lifestyle, where are you headed? 
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise."   Thomas Edison

To Gain Better Health, Relationships and Success, Know Your Life's Mission, Keep Your Focus on the Positive and let Your Life Shine reflecting His Glory!

 Your life goals may need adjusting to focus on the positive instead of the negative!  Go to the light instead of the dark side of life and the Son! Take some quiet moments and assess how you are doing in telling others the message of the Savior, serving God each day, and maintaining or regaining your health in an emotional, spiritual and physical sense.  Happiness and fulfillment depend on your success in these areas:
If you want better health, focus on the lifestyle and knowledge to achieve better health instead of focusing on poor health and illness. 
If you want more loving, committed relationships - focus on being more loving to others and yourself while avoiding dwelling on loneliness, stress and strife. 
If you want more success in your career or work, focus on perfecting your talents, learning new skills, and improving your work habits to do your best in what you are doing, instead of on failures, shortcomings and envy. 

Always keep in mind the end of life on earth is not the end, but the beginning for those who accept Jesus Christ as the risen Savior of eternal life. 

We try to put the "Care" back in healthcare from a spiritual perspective that today is all too often missing.  Let's make our goal prevention - to not get sick - as we acknowledge a healthy lifestyle combined with faith, wisdom and hope yield success in attaining and maintaining a quality life.