Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2018

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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 152 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”.

Bible Verse

"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

JESUS

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NEW BEGINNINGS BEGIN WITH ENDINGS

“New Beginnings  Begin With Endings”
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”   (John 12:24).

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  (Mark 8:35)

Life is full of changes.  Some are expected, while others are not.  Some are pleasant, while others are not.  The question I would like to help us with today, is “How do we deal with change?” in a way that will help us.  I think the Bible gives us some tried and true strategies to use to move from one point in our lives to a better point.

One of the most difficult steps with new beginnings is being in denial that we need change in our lives.  Other people can see it.  However, it is hard for us to admit it to ourselves that change is needed.  It will will require that we will have to do something in making a change that will help us.  It is easy and comfortable to simply do nothing.  Today I want to talk to those who are willing to make changes and allow God to help you.  To those in denial, just keep this sermon somewhere so you can refer to when you are ready.  “… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before".  Philippians 3:13

The first group of people I want to talk to today are those who need to make a spiritual transition.  That is to those who have never accepted Christ as their personal Savior.

Jesus has given us specific statements regarding spiritual “rebirth”.   Many of us have heard the invitation to come to Christ and have been asked to give our hearts to the Savior.  We have read and heard the verse Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).  Some people try to add Jesus without having a true ending of allowing Satan and their flesh to control them. 

Don't fool yourself.  You are either born again or you are not.  It is not a process or “turning over a new leaf”, it is a transformation by the power of God.

How are you "born again?"   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

There are people that our Lord Jesus can not develop a relationship with because they are not willing to have an "ending" of their old way of life.   They are not willing to 
receive what He has to offer in a new beginning.  We all have to accept "endings" as a way for God to help us have new beginnings. 
The second group of people are those who are born again, but have never understood what you received when you gave your life to our Lord Jesus.   When you start living a life pleasing to God, He will bless you with answered prayer, peace, and the ability to love and be loved.  

Three steps we all go through:  

Letting go of the old ways and the old identity we have. If you have been born again, you are someone special.  Accept yourself as God accepts you.  When Our Lord Jesus enters your heart and life by means of His Holy Spirit, you begin the process of becoming a new creation.     "Therefore if anyone  be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.        (2 Corinthians 5:17).    "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well". (Psalms 139:14)

Going through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully   operational.  We call this time growing in grace and knowledge. This is where prayer, Bible Study, and Christian fellowship are so important. 

Coming out of the old life and making a new beginning.  This is when you develop the new identity, experience the new energy, and discover the new sense of     purpose that make the change begin to work.”

The most difficult step is the first one.  Accepting that there must be an ending before their can be a new beginning. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2).  This can be done through prayer, reading God’s Word, thinking differently, walking by faith, and surrounding ourselves with positive people who love God.  Sometimes this will require spending time with  other dedicated Christians, and in some cases possibly seek counseling or professional help.  God has given people gifts and training to meet these needs for you.

The second step requires waiting on the Lord. “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalms 27:14). We have to plant new seeds and then give them time to grow and produce the good things we have been praying and working toward.  It takes awhile for a seed to die and start its new life and produce fruit.  God can align people and situations in your life to help you make the “transition”, but it has to be in “His” timing.  This is when you develop new patterns of thinking, new attitudes, and living your life according to God's value system.


Finally, “…but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24).  Finding that person who will love us, the job that we love to go to each day, being able to look at the death of our loved ones as temporary, or being able to retire from a lifetime of working to enjoy our family.  This can happen for you.  It is happening for many people who have learned to have “endings” and are giving God time to work.  May God bless you as you allow Him to help you in your “New Beginnings”.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET DISCOURAGED

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET DISCOURAGED

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)

Everyone gets “down” emotionally, physically, and spiritually from time to time. There are times when we do not even understand why we get down. Why am I so sad?  Why am I so troubled?  I will put my hope in God,  and once again I will praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5).

 The loss of a loved one is more difficult and involves going through a grieving process that takes more time.  In these cases, you may need professional help, prescribed medication, or counseling to come through these trying times.

The type of discouragement I am writing about is unexplained feelings that we go through from time to time. the key is to try to get through it as quickly as possible.  

 We are going to discuss today on not why you are down, but how to rise up again.

Micah was a Prophet of God who was struggling with discouragement, but He has something to tell us in Micah 7:7-9.  It is about having an attitude of overcoming.

Therefore I will look to the Lord;  I will wait for the God of my salvation;  My God will hear me.”  (Micah 7:7)

There are a lot of “I wills” in this portion of scripture.  Micah said: “I will fall”, “I will look”,  “I will wait”,  “I will arise”,  “I will bear”, and “I will behold his righteousness”.

First of all, Micah said “I will fall” (Micah 7:8).  All of the Bible characters got down sometime in their lives.  It will happen to you and me. We need to learn how to get up after we fall down.  If you follow the counsel of Micah, you can arise again and keep going.  

When you and I fall, we should say to ourselves: “I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).  The sun will rise again and the clouds will pass away.  Keep serving the Lord while you are waiting. “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalms 40:1-2).

When you and I fall, we should say to ourselves: “I will bear”.  If we are down because of sin, then we need to take our punishment because there are always consequences for sin. “My child, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every one whom He receives" (Hebrews 12:5-6). 

You and I need to be strong Christians and remember, “If you can take it, you will make it”.  Remind yourself that even though Satan may have knocked you down: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).  Also remember that God is there to help you get up: “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).

Prayer is the first step to recovery from discouragement because the Holy Spirit is our comforter and can bring us relief.  Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”  (Psalms 50:15).   He is the only resource that we can depend on to be there to help us day by day. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:1-2).

Speaking to yourself about hope.  “Speak to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).  Consider what you are thinking about.  If you are constantly thinking and saying negative things to yourself and about yourself, you will remain discouraged.  “A person becomes what they think” (Proverbs 23:7).

Fellowship with positive people.  “Do not make friends with angry people”  (Proverbs 22:24).  We often become like the people we spend time with.
“He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”  (Proverbs 13:20).  Attend God’s House for worship regularly.  “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1).

Have a loving and forgiving attitude toward others.  No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes.  Let God handle the injustices of life.   Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”  (Romans 12:19).

Another way to get over discouragement is to quit focusing on yourself and reach out and help others.  When you relieve the suffering and hurts of others, God will lift that burden you have. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Luke 6:38



Saturday, April 7, 2018

THE LORD WHO PROVIDES - JEHOVAH-JIREH

THE LORD WHO PROVIDES – JEHOVAH-JIREH

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh”  (Genesis 22:14)

The meaning of “Jehovah-Jireh” is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, The Lord Who Sees, or The Lord Who Will See To It. This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met. One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac's place. For us it is whatever we need.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (Psalms 34:15-16).

In Genesis 22 we have the account of God telling Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice and burnt offering.  This was a test and God was not going to allow him to complete this assignment.  When Abraham’s adult son asked him, where was the sacrifice, he said: “My son, God will provide (Jehovah-Jireh) himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22: 6-8).  At the time Isaac was going to be offered up, God provided a ram.  “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Genesis 22:10-12).

Abraham believe that even if he had offered Isaac, God was able to raise him from the dead.  “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:17-19).  God provided His Son as a sacrifice for you and me, and raised Him from the dead as he will you and me one day.  Christ has already made provision for your salvation: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  

From these scriptures and others we can learn several things.  We can learn that God’s provision will come in the time of our greatest need.  Where will He provide?  He will provide for us “in the mount”, that is the place of our trial.  When you cannot see the answer to your need, the Lord will see you and see to your need.  He will be your Jehovah-Jireh.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”  (Psalms 34:15-16).

We can learn from this scriptural account of Abraham and Isaac, that God’s provision was spontaneously made.  This was an issue of God’s free grace, and nothing that Abraham had worked for or planned for.  When we have needs, God is Jehovah-Jireh for us.  He can and will provide. “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” 
(Psalms 37:4-5).

We can learn that the provision was made by God Himself. This is a provision that guarantees all other provisions you need. We do not have to interfere with the provision of God.  Do you think that after He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, that you need to try to manipulate circumstances for God to work?  “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).  Jehovah-Jireh is concerned about your needs: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

We can learn that the provision was made effectively.  Isaac did not die, there was no grief, and they went home rejoicing.  You and I were bound on the altar of sin, but Jehovah-Jireh has delivered us and will take us home to Heaven.  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).


Jehovah-Jireh will provide for His children:  “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).

Thursday, March 22, 2018

PALM SUNDAY - BEHOLD YOUR KING COMES TO YOU

“BEHOLD, YOUR KING COMES UNTO YOU”
Zechariah 9:9

Palm Sunday, in the Christian calendar is the Sunday before Easter and the first day of the Holy Week.  The account of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem is one of the few events that are recorded in all four Gospels.  Of the four reports given in the Gospels, only one, John, mentions palms. It has been the custom of all of the kingdoms of the Middle East to cover, in some manner, the pathway of royalty.   

It was a prophecy predicted in Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly; O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King comes unto you: He is just, and having salvation; lowly and riding a donkey, and upon a colt of the foal of an donkey”.  It was fulfilled in Matthew 21: 1-11.  This chapter begins that which is called the passion-week. He had said to his disciples more than once, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and there the Son of man must be betrayed. A great deal of good work He did by the way, and now at length He is come up to Jerusalem.   

This passage of Christ's riding in triumph into Jerusalem, happened five days before his death. The Passover was on the fourteenth day of the month, and this was the tenth; on which day the law appointed that the paschal lamb should be taken up (Exod. xii. 3), and set apart for that service; on that day therefore Christ our Passover, who was to be sacrificed for us, was publicly shown. This was the prelude to His passion, His death, and His Resurrection. 

Palm Sunday pictures the peace-loving King who is going into Jerusalem to die to restore relationships torn by sin by establishing a new covenant in His blood.  In Revelation 19:11 there is the picture of the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” to come and destroy His enemies, Satan, and sin.

There are many applications we can draw from this event.  God uses simple material things like donkeys, to accomplish His purposes.  He said: “The Lord has need of them” (Matthew 21:3). The Lord would like to use you to meet a need in other’s lives.   He also used their cloaks to give Him the red carpet treatment.  Some offered Him their shouts of praise and worship.

 God uses what we have to glorify Him.  Don’t ever think you have nothing to offer the “King of Kings”.  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalms 51:17).
The poor offered Him praise and worship.  “And when He had come near, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, all the multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, saying, Blessed is the King coming in the name of the Lord! Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:37-38)

Jesus was aware that although the common people received Him, the religious leaders did not.  “And some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, Teacher, rebuke your disciples. And He answered and said to them, I tell you that if these should be silent, the stones would cry out. (Luke 19:39-40).

Palm Sunday and Easter are illustrations about your worship of the “King of Kings” and your coming to the foot of the Cross.  Jesus could have marshaled the forces of nature to pound the minds of the masses into submission or taken over my creating a military force, or creating circumstances that would literally force people to follow Him.  But God wanted our relationship with Him to be personal.  Everything He did was for us to find the purpose of His love and grace.  

Christ is God and can be everywhere at the same time, doing trillions of things at the same time, touching trillions of hearts at the same time.  He can do all of this in an individualized, customized, totally personalized, one-on-one way.  Most people consider Christ a great historical figure, but they have no personal relationship with Him.  God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are about you.  Christ knew you before you were born, yet he suffered and died, and rose again so you could be apart of His Kingdom.  

There is a deep emotional work involved in getting to a full relationship with Christ.  Many people don’t want to take that deep a journey.  Their sin prevents them or blinds them to the love and grace existing for them.


Let Him be your “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” today, and He will give you an unexplainable supernatural experience.  It is called being born again, saved, receiving eternal life, becoming a friend of Christ, and a child of the King!  He is coming again.  I hope you will offer your material things, your praises, and your lives to Him this Palm Sunday.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME

“THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME”

By Pastor Mark Taylor 

There are many things we do not know about what heaven will be like, because it is beyond our ability to comprehend. But one thing we can be sure of is that it will fulfill our greatest longings, it will dazzle us with its beauty, it will obliterate our greatest problems with its power and splendor, it will be greater than anything we could imagine or dream, it will be a place where love and joy will reign unspoiled. God is busy preparing all of this for us. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Hm” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

It will be where God will reward His Children for everything they have done for Him: every tear they shed in prayers for others, every person they helped, and every act of kindness done in His Name.  Think about what is really important.  “Only one life, it will soon be past, Only what is done for Christ will last”.  

If we make preparations for our grandchildren’s visit or guests coming to our home for a meal, how much more does a God of love prepare for the time His children will come to His eternal home. The Bible says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). Jesus said, “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).  If this fallen world in all of its brokenness can be so wonderful, what must heaven be like? 

Heaven is the residence of God. The greatest reward of heaven will be God Himself. Nothing we see or experience will be greater than the fact that we are with God and see him face to face. We sing “O how I love Jesus”, “Amazing Grace”, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.  When we get to Heaven, we will see that Friend and enjoy His company forever.  “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). 

How wonderful it will be to be in the presence of God where we will perfectly know him and know that we are perfectly known and loved. John writes in the book of Revelation: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God’” (Revelation 21:3). We will have no greater reward or relationship than being with our wonderful God and seeing Him face to face. 

No matter what you are going through today - it is only temporary.  No one escapes difficulty and disappointment in this world.  Don’t let it drive you away from the God who loves you and wants to help you.  We are headed to a great place where God lives and where we will find true love and acceptance.  
Christians can be certain of their future in Heaven because Jesus prays for us. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (John 17: 9-11).

Christians can be certain of their future in heaven because God is for us and not against us.   What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8: 31-32).  In other words, how can we lose if God is on our side? How can we be kept from future glory if God is for us? Obviously we can’t.  We can be certain that He will bring His work to a fulfillment. God is not investing in a losing cause!  He proved His love for us on Calvary so we can be certain that nothing, absolutely nothing will keep him from completing His loving plans. Even when you struggle and fail, God still loves you and is still for you.

Christians can be certain of their future in Heaven because there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39). 

There is nothing in this world worth missing Heaven for.  There are temptations from Satan to be selfish, to mistreat others, to be actively involved in worldly pleasures that we know go against God’s principles. But I would ask everyone to consider if this wonderful place God has prepared for them that love Him, is worth missing.  Our time on Earth is brief and we can do many valuable and good things for the Lord Jesus while we are here.  He wants to bless us while we are here and then for Eternity.  At the end of your life you cannot take your wealth, your popularity, or your accomplishments with you.  Heaven is all about new things for those who love God and will serve Him in this life time. “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelations 21:5).

There are many things we do not know about Heaven because it is so much better than  Earth, that there are no human words to explain how great it is.  We will be reunited with our loved ones who loved God and accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior.  We will be rewarded for all of our service and sacrifices in our service for God to meet the needs of others.  Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).


I would encourage all of those who have not decided to accept the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior to make that decision, and give their lives to Him so that they might receive the gift of eternal life.  “Jesus said to him:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6).  Heaven is a real place that has been prepared for those that Love God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14: 1-3).

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

YOU ARE SPECIAL

You Are Special

Our Lord Jesus has chosen us and chosen to give us His love. That makes us special.  A couple of verses that reinforces my belief on this are: “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.”  John 15:16 and  “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” John 10:14.  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.

You are special to Him.  Even if you have been away from God, He is looking for you today. 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).  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.  The Earth, the plants and animals, the sun and moon were created for you.

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.
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?

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.  I Kings 17: 8-16   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 was “one” prophet.  At times He felt he was the only one left that was serving God until God showed him there were 7,000 more.  Then there was the “one barrel” and “one cup” of the “one” woman. Before Elijah got to this ladies house, the meal and oil barrels were empty. The barrels were filled by God and never went empty until the famine was over and the rain came.  After she  did what the Lord told her to do, both of them were full.  “For your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8.

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.  

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.

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 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. 

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).

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.

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.


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. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH FORGIVENESS

LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH FORGIVENESS
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is Thy Faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3: 22-23)

FORGIVENESS is another way we can “Love One Another”I know this is a difficult thing to do, but it is necessary in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Forgiveness is not about letting someone else get away with a past hurtful act against you, it is about you letting it go so God can give you happiness.  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Someone has said: “If you always do what you have done, you will always get what you always got”.  Some people get caught up in a cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and they will continue to get the same results.  Some people find themselves in a cycle of lack of forgiveness, bitterness, and fear.   Forgiveness can break the cycle of blame and pain.   “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear”. (1 John 4:18).

Feeling like you are the victim and blaming others for failures in your life will not allow you to put your past behind you. Change your response to failure by accepting God’s power in you to forgive.  To move forward today, you must learn to say good-bye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies, and negative events.

A memory is a memory is a memory - and there is no healthy way to erase it.  It is history and no one can go back and undo it.  You cannot simply talk a problem to death, but the Holy Spirit can teach you how to forgive.  You can rise above your anger by funneling your mental energy into your spirit and intellect.   They can create new meaning out of old memories.  Forgiveness will bless you with an inner security and give you an unexpected sense of personal power.  Our emotions should not be controlled by the actions of others.

Remember you have been forgiven many times for mean things you have done toward God.   You have sinned by sins of commission or by omission, but He has forgiven you.  “This is the covenant that I will make with them...says the Lord.  I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:15-16). 

We need to get the emotional power to forgive, and to stop torturing ourselves with the question: “Why Me?”. Everyone has losses in life.   Many people blame God for things He has nothing to do with.  When there is a great loss in your life through a death, or broken relationship, or loss of a job, God is not responsible. The source of loss is the free will God has given to us and others.  Jesus said:  “Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). 
If you have anger toward God, you need to ask for forgiveness for misdirecting your anger.  God can handle it, but if you continue to blame Him, you will cut your self off of the future blessings and happiness He wants to give you.  God does not do to things to His children that are harmful or hurtful. There is an evil power in this world called Satan who deserves the blame for death, hurt, and loss. 


STRATGIES TO USE IN FORGIVENESS

Stop Hating those who have hurt you. It doesn’t mean you have to become their friends or hang out with them. But wanting revenge is not God’s plan for His children. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto God’s wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)  It is a medical fact that hate or bitterness will cause you mental and physical problems.  Forgiveness benefits you even if others do not accept your apology or attempt to make things right.  It will set you free emotionally and open your heart to receive love.

Stop Thinking about it.  When you begin to think of the person or situation that has caused you to become bitter or angry, change your thinking.  Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and playing the victim card, begin to think of how blessed you are now and focus on how good your future can be.  Tell yourself to change the subject within your mind. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  (Philippians 4:8).  The more you practice this the sooner you will have victory over the negative energy that comes from a lack of forgiveness.

Stop Talking about it.  I often hear people tell me what they have told many other people regarding what someone has done to them.  Repeating  the offense over and over again will never change the past situation or give you any peace in your life. There are many books, sermons, and counselors that can help you to move past your hurt.  The Bible says:  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  (Psalm 19:14)

Stop Forgetting how good has been to you.  Remember how much and how many times you have been forgiven by God and others.  There is a saying:  “To err (make a mistake) is human, but to forgive is Divine.”  Paul had a lot of things to be bitter about, but this is what he said: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13).


Start Believing that you can forgive. Quit saying: “I can’t forgive”. We have to pray with faith that He will give you this ability.  It may not happen immediately, but it will happen.  Everyday thank God that He is giving you the ability to forgive.  “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Matthew 19:26).  “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23).