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.

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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kool Aid Faith



Kool Aid Faith
by Shanon Serigney 

There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
Proverbs 14:12

There are many different flavors of Kool-Aid and while some of us may have our favorites, others may drink whatever Kool-Aid is put in front of them.  In our world today, there are many flavors for us to choose from and as a matter of fact, we are told that we should be accepting of all the various influences out there and if we don’t then we are seen as arrogant and exclusive.  Unfortunately, the Christian point of view is being silenced by those who are preaching inclusiveness and acceptance of various points of view and various lifestyles.  

The church is being out argued and out publicized and many Christians are bowing down out of fear and “drinking the Kool-Aid” of the world by accepting those things which are not Biblical.  Many Christians hope that they won’t be seen as bigots or having some sort of phobia of those who choose to live their lives in contradiction to the Bible and are willing to bend the Word of God to fit what they think is right.  The biggest and worst twist that I’ve seen is that we should all be loving and accepting of everyone no matter what they choose to do because if we don’t then we are labeled as “haters.” 

The problem is exactly what the verse above says, there is a path that SEEMS right but it leads to death.  This path is a dead end literally and not the one that we should choose to travel on.  The path that many people choose is the “path of least resistance” because it’s easy.  We don’t want hardships, we don’t want arguments, we don’t want anything that is going to make us have to stand up and actually defend the faith that we claim to have.  We adopt the mindset of “live and let live.”  Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that we should actively go out and seek someone to argue with, but instead be prepared to stand for what is right based on God’s Word, not what seems right at the moment or the easy path.

When I was a teenager, it was a popular thing to go to a restaurant and go to the soda machine and fill up your cup with all the different drinks and mix them together.  Interestingly, we called this a suicide which is what happens to our faith when we begin mixing ideas of humans with the Bible.  It is a dangerous thing to start mixing right and wrong, darkness and light.  The prophet Isaiah said, “what sorrow for those who say evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that sweet is bitter and bitter is sweet.”  Our world today is experiencing a great amount of confusion and the simple reason is because we have quit relying on God’s Word and relying on whatever the world wants us to do and say.  Political correctness is very popular right now but I would remind you that Jesus was not politically correct as He challenged many of the customs and ideologies of the day when He walked this earth. 

 Many people want us to think that Jesus was very accepting of all lifestyles but they forget that He told the woman at the well to “go and sin no more.”  Jesus didn’t tell this woman that she was free to do what she wanted because it was a good source of income for her, He forgave her sin but He told her to leave that life behind.  Jesus condemned her sin, He didn’t condone it.  God told Moses, “I AM THAT I AM,” not “I am what you want me to be,” or “I am whatever you think I am.”  God was saying that He is the one and only, the original, cannot be duplicated, all knowing, all powerful God of this world and we must have a relationship with Him on His terms and not ours.   Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” and “no man comes to the Father except by me.”  Jesus didn’t say He was one of many ways or that there were other ways to make it to Heaven, He said He was the one and only way.  Contrary to popular belief, not all roads lead to Heaven.  

The path that seems right, that allows short cuts, requires few sacrifices, and is made up of easy choices is not the right path.  If the path we are on allows us to be lazy, allows us to live a lifestyle that is unpleasing to God, and requires no moral compass, then you are on the wrong path – the path that leads to death.  We as Christians are called to take a different path, one that requires self-sacrifice, one that requires us to make difficult choices, one that requires us to give up those things that would cause us to stray. 

The path that Jesus walked up the hill to Calvary was paved with our sin but He chose to walk it so that we could be free from sin and death.  If there was no such thing as sin then there would have been no need for Jesus to do what He did. Since Jesus made this difficult walk, He can help you make it too.  Don’t get caught up drinking the Kool-Aid of the world, no matter what flavor they are serving.


Friday, July 29, 2016

JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS



Jesus, A Friend of Sinners
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and you say, behold a friend of publicans and sinners!”  (Luke 7: 34)

In our age of Facebook, many of us have a lot of FB friends.  Most of our "friends" share common interest and values.  I know it is difficult to be nice to those who are not nice to you.  But our Lord Jesus said: "You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say unto you Love your enemies, bless tham that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.  That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  (Matthew 5: 43-48).  I know this is very difficult and without the power of our Holy Spirit it is probably impossible.  But think about where you were in your life before God started loving you and forgave you.

I don't think the Lord is saying we are to put our lives in danger by living in or returning to abusive or life threatening situations.  I would think a practical application of our Lord's words would be to feed hungry people or provide medical help without trying to evaluate whether they deserve it or not.  God fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness even when they were disobedient to His instructions.

Think about this for a minute.  Our Lord, until His birth, had never been around sin.  Our Lord had never before been around a sinner.  He fellowshipped with the Father.  He had nothing to do with sinners.  He was ministered to by the angels and praised by the saints in Heaven.

Then suddenly, He was thrown into sin.  He lived with sin, though He never sinned.  His entire life was occupied with sin from Bethlehem, and it will be so until the rapture.  His lips never said a bad word, his mind never entertained an evil thought. yet He choose to come to earth to be with us.

When Jesus choose his disciples, he choose sinners.  Matthew was a tax collector, Peter, James, and John were fishermen.  Others had secular jobs.  None of them were priests, preachers, or scholars.  He choose ordinary people with ordinary problems.

He helped the woman at the well who had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband.    Jesus was a friend of blind Bartimaeus beside the road.  He went to eat with Zacchaeus who was a very unpopular person in the area because he was a tax collector.  He was a friend of a woman caught in the very act of adultery.  He was a friend to the thief on the cross.  He told him  “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Today, we need to be more like Jesus – A Friend of Sinners.  We need to minister to those who are at rescue missions or are homeless.  We need to minister to those in nursing homes.  We need to minister to those that feel that they are not good enough to come to church.  Because Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.

Have we forgotten that we are sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  “There are none righteous, no not one” (Romans  3:10).  We are saved and on our way to heaven because of one reason – Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.  


Reach out to someone today.  Ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” when you see someone struggling with sin.  “He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7 KJV).  Remember that Jesus is a Friend of Sinners and any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.

JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS

Jesus, A Friend of Sinners
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and you say, behold a friend of publicans and sinners!”  (Luke 7: 34)

In our age of Facebook, many of us have a lot of FB friends.  Most of our "friends" share common interest and values.  I know it is difficult to be nice to those who are not nice to you.  But our Lord Jesus said: "You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say unto you Love your enemies, bless tham that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.  That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  (Matthew 5: 43-48).  I know this is very difficult and without the power of our Holy Spirit it is probably impossible.  But think about where you were in your life before God started loving you and forgave you.

I don't think the Lord is saying we are to put our lives in danger by living in or returning to abusive or life threatening situations.  I would think a practical application of our Lord's words would be to feed hungry people or provide medical help without trying to evaluate whether they deserve it or not.  God fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness even when they were disobedient to His instructions.

Think about this for a minute.  Our Lord, until His birth, had never been around sin.  Our Lord had never before been around a sinner.  He fellowshipped with the Father.  He had nothing to do with sinners.  He was ministered to by the angels and praised by the saints in Heaven.

Then suddenly, He was thrown into sin.  He lived with sin, though He never sinned.  His entire life was occupied with sin from Bethlehem, and it will be so until the rapture.  His lips never said a bad word, his mind never entertained an evil thought. yet He choose to come to earth to be with us.

When Jesus choose his disciples, he choose sinners.  Matthew was a tax collector, Peter, James, and John were fishermen.  Others had secular jobs.  None of them were priests, preachers, or scholars.  He choose ordinary people with ordinary problems.

He helped the woman at the well who had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband.    Jesus was a friend of blind Bartimaeus beside the road.  He went to eat with Zacchaeus who was a very unpopular person in the area because he was a tax collector.  He was a friend of a woman caught in the very act of adultery.  He was a friend to the thief on the cross.  He told him  “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Today, we need to be more like Jesus – A Friend of Sinners.  We need to minister to those who are at rescue missions or are homeless.  We need to minister to those in nursing homes.  We need to minister to those that feel that they are not good enough to come to church.  Because Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.

Have we forgotten that we are sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  “There are none righteous, no not one” (Romans  3:10).  We are saved and on our way to heaven because of one reason – Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.  


Reach out to someone today.  Ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” when you see someone struggling with sin.  “He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7 KJV).  Remember that Jesus is a Friend of Sinners and any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

OUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS



OUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS 
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acCeptable in Your sight, O Lord” Psalm 19:14

The words we use come from our  thoughts.  So it is important that the thoughts we have are good thoughts.  The  words we use and the words we hear will often determine the quality of relationships with others.  We can choose to use words that build and strengthen our friends and make them feel loved and appreciated.  They can also be a source of healing for those who are struggling in their lives.  “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”  (Proverbs 16:24).
As Christians, and children of God, our words and thoughts should  be good words.  Almost every day of our lives is filled with opportunities to encourage and build up the people we love. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things where we may build up one another” (Romans 14:19).
We can give compliments.  Many people are doing things for us that make our lives more enjoyable and easier.  The person who serves us in a restaurant or a store, family members who cooks for us or keeps our house clean, or the child who does something that was good or helpful.  Look for the good and take a few minutes to comment on it.
We can express admiration for those who are achieving  things in their lives through hard work.  When someone completes a goal that we know they have been working on for a long time, we should congratulate them. This can be anything from completing an academic accomplishment to losing weight.
We can tell others how much we appreciate them.  Even though we don’t mean to do it, we often take our friends and loved ones for granted and forget that they need to receive outward expressions of love and appreciation.  Words can motivate people to do more for you and for themselves.
And while we are at it, Our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would appreciate some compliments, thanks, admiration, and words of love from us.  “Oh that people whould praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works toward His children” (Psalm 107:8).
I have heard many people say that it is not easy for them to be a person who openly shows appreciation and love.  If that is true, then you need to pray that the Lord would give you that ability and desire.
How does a person become this positive, complimentary, loving person, who was raised in a completely opposite environment?  In can start with the prayer in our verse above.  

Words are choices.  So we need to ask the Lord to help us chose the words that would please Him as we talk to others.

We need to meditate on things that are positive.  Read books that have uplifting messages in them.  Limit the amount of time you watch TV that has negative thoughts presented in the characters and message they are presenting.  “A good person, out of the good treasure of the heart brings good out good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out evil things”  (Matthew 12:35).  So it is important what we put in the treasure chest of our minds and thoughts.

Loving words strengthen friendships.  Good friends let us know that we are special and why.  We need to learn how to communicate and give positive feedback from time to time to our friends, 

By the way, the Lord Jesus would appreciate some of that positive feedback.  For instance: “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.  Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116: 1-2).  

“Friend” is one of the most positive and powerful words ever invented.  To call someone a friend is to give one of the highest possible compliments possible.  That is what the Lord Jesus considers you and me - His friends.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants; for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father, I have make know to you.”  (John 15-13-15).  

Let us all begin to look at our thoughts and words and make them a gift to the Lord.  Let’s use our words to bring healing and hope into the lives of others.  “Anxiety in the heart of a person causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12: 25).

Monday, July 11, 2016

REFLECTION OF MY MISSION TRIP


Honduras June 25 - July 3.
A Reflection On My Mission Trip To Honduras and Nicaragua
by Pastor Mark Taylor


I was reminded by our Lord Jesus that I am blessed to live in the United States of America. I am blessed not only because I have all of my needs mets, but that I get the opportunity to share them with other people all over the world.

I am told that Honduras is the poorest country in Central America.  I am returning from my 5th trip since 2004.  Each time I go the Lord shows me different things about myself and others.

On this trip I had different opportunities to interact with individual families and one on one experiences with specific people.  One of the insights I gained from my interpreter, Gabriela was that when ever you ask a really poor person in Honduras what can you give them or do,for them, they will say "whatever you would like".  I thought that was strange that they did not have specific requests.  But Gabby said that they really mean that they do not have anything and "whatever" means anything you can do will help them.  The greatest need is food because they may not have any or only enough for one meal.  When they pray "Give us this day our daily bread.."  it is a prayer of necessity, not one of "vain repetition".  When I said earlier that I was blessed to be able to give of my abundance, my giving made a difference in whether someone ate or didn't eat.  There is no government agency that is going to meet this need and no resources to make money to buy food.  God feeds the birds of the air and brings food to these hungry people by those who are willing to help Him.  The blessing I receive is not always that God repays me in dollars or material things.  But while I am helping those He sends me to, He is helping me with my "whatever" of  problems and prayer requests that I do not have the ability to solve.  Even this week my Lord solved two relationship problems that I have been praying about for several years.  He solved them in one week.  I really believe this timing was the result of my willingness to help Him feed and encourage others that have been praying for what they thought were solutions beyond there control.  During this week we were able to provide food for over 5,000 people in Honduras and Nicaragua with a group of 27 people who had the same desire to help others.  

The money for the food came from a variety of churches and individuals who could not come but wanted to help.  They were as much involved in being a blessing to those we reached as we were in delivering the food.  Thanks to each of you who gave and as important for those who prayed for a safe and successful mission trip.

Another perspective I gained was of how petty were the things I was allowing to bother me.  Before I left for this mission trip I was preoccupied with thinking about political issues like our up coming election.  I was also concerned about decisions I was facing relating to my church. I was spending a lot of time watching news which was all discouraging.  After the first day of meeting with the children we were sponsoring,  I quickly saw that they had real needs that were real and that the things I had been using my mental energy on were out of my control and my thoughts and opinions were not going to change a thing.  But what I came to do in Honduras and Nicaragua would make a great difference.  I was reminded by one of our group members that we had lived through the terms of several Presidents and had not gone hungry or been without employment and the next one would not affect either of us directly.  Our attention needed to be on the hungry children and families we were sent to feed and minister to.  It did not take long before all my problems seemed small when I saw the extreme needs of these people. For instance, the child I would be sponsoring to go to a Christian School and have a hot meal each day had other needs. We went to her house and wondered how she had survived to be 6 years old.  She lived in a house that was less than 500 square feet with 8 other people living in it.  It was built on a side of a mountain on an uneven rock floor which was part of the mountain. In other words they had no floor.  Her house was built from a bunch of rough cut lumber from which you could see the outside from the inside.  But the most immediate need was that the roof was leaking severely.  It was made of scrape pieces of tin with many holes in it.  It did not even have any nails holding it down and strong winds would easily blow it off.   My wife and I and another couple found someone to take the old roof off and we paid to have a new roof on.  I could not go home and watch it rain at my house and not think of this family being wet each time it rained.  We also bought them enough food to last for a couple of weeks and provided them with some water that had to be brought in by a truck.  They had no electricity or water in their home.  There is no government assistance for families like this and there are many families living n these conditions.  But they were happy and very grateful that God had met their need.  I soon forgot my concerns and was reminded of how blessed I am.  My prayer and hope for myself is that I will not revert back to worrying about things that mean so little in the big picture of God's work.  And that I will do what I can for those that God puts in my pathway.  Hellen Keller wrote : "I am only one, but still  am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do."


Thursday, June 23, 2016

TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING ON THE LORD

TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING ON THE LORD
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths 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 like eagles,  They shall run and not be weary,  They shall walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40: 29-31

Chapter 40 is the beginning of a new section in the book of Isaiah. It is the first chapter which looks beyond the captivity of Israel and on to the brightness of the future God has in store. 

There are always those times when it seems that Satan is getting the best of us. Sometimes it’s a little hard to maintain your faith and trust in God when everything is going against us and we are in the middle of one of the greatest battles of our life. It is in those times that we need the Lord more than ever. It is in those times that our faith and trust in God is really put to the test.

We must not forget that God has promised us that we would “never be tempted above what we are able to bear, but with every temptation, every trial, every test, every trouble, He will make a way for us to escape and win the victory.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God never promised that we wouldn’t have hard times. He never promised that we would sail through life without troubles. What He did promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised that He would supply our every need. He promised in Psalms 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain you: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

There is no shortage of God’s power, might, and strength. Our way is not hidden from Him. He has not forgotten about you and I. He will make His strength available to us, if we but trust Him.

Faith says that everything will work out when it seems that everything is crumbling around me.  Faith says that my bills will be paid when I can’t see how they will in the natural sense. Faith says that God will take care of me and that I must force myself to stop being overly concerned with the future. Faith says that I know, that I know, that I know, that somehow, God will work it all out and that when He does, I will be so greatly blessed for having faced all that is happening right now.

Waiting upon the Lord requires true faith. Waiting upon the Lord requires going through the fire sometimes and still trusting God to bring us through.
Waiting upon the Lord requires that we believe in the impossible, look for the unseen answers, hope in the times of hopelessness and know, without knowing why or how, that God will take care of us. , "Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” (Isaiah 59:1)

What does it mean to "wait"? The waiting spoken of here requires faith, trust, patience, hope.  The word “wait" in this instance has to do with faith, not service. It bears the concepts of trust, hope and longing. It is to wait with expectant hope.

What does it mean to "renew"? Don’t we put gas in our tanks only after we have used most of it?  That’s how it is with spiritual strength. Those who have exhausted their strength will have it renewed.  The Lord is not promising an extension of our own natural strength. This strength is supernaturally supplied.  Our batteries are recharged. Our tanks are refueled. Depleted energy is restored. Our power returns when we ask God to send His power.

What does it mean to "mount up”?  This is a simile. It is figurative language intended to paint a picture in our minds. More than our minds, it is designed to inspire our spirits. To soar on wings like eagles is to rise effortlessly.  Great lifting power causes the eagle to fly higher greater lift power in the updrafts of turbulent winds.

Where do we get strength to be patient and encourage?  The child of God gets strength from God’s Word, Prayer, and being around other children of God.  When you don’t feel like going to church is the very time you should go to God’s House to hear a message of hope from Him.

Again and again in the scriptures, God has recorded how He use the weak to become strong.  You have a shepherd boy named David going into battle against a hardened giant of a man with nothing more than a sling and a stone and he is victorious.  You have an inexperienced leader named Gideon facing off against thousands of ruthless warriors with an army of only 300 men and defeated them.

God views those who are waiting as objects of His special love and care and expects other Christians to extend love and concern towards them, as well.  God, Himself, is there to give strength to those who are waiting. God is there to strengthen those who are spiritually waiting on a blessing from Heaven. Be confident when going through a dry season. "God is going to supply all of your needs according to His Riches in Glory". 
(Philippians 4:19).

Today, I hope you will read  God’s Word and believe that He wants to be directly involved in your life today.  He has a plan for you that will take you through this life time of struggles into Heaven.  He will provide you with the strength to keep going if you will begin speaking to yourself words of faith such as “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)


Monday, June 6, 2016

"IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER"



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?” 

Monday, May 16, 2016

BLESS THE LORD

VIDEO LINKS TO THIS SERMON



BLESS THE LORD
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.”
Psalm 103: 1


We bless God by speaking well of Him, by calling attention to all the things God has done to enrich our lives.  The word “Bless” often carries the synonym of being happy.  David is telling himself to make God happy by thanking Him for His blessings and not forgetting the things He has done for him.  I could imagine when our Heavenly Father looks down on Earth and sees all the crime, corruption, moral depravity, and other sins it makes Him unhappy.  It certainly did in the days of Noah. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”  Genesis 6:5-6

David had to remind his heart and mind (soul) that God had been really good to him and that He needed to give thanks to Him.  We see that the opposite of praising God is forgetting God’s benefits, overlooking all the great things God has done to enrich our lives. Instead of neglecting God’s blessings, the psalmist stirs himself to remember, to praise God, to bless God.  He wanted to be a person on Earth that could let God know He was loved and appreciated.  He wanted to “Bless” God.
In our busy schedules, we often forget to “Bless The Lord”.  We forget that He appreciates being loved.  This would make Him happy just as a parent would be happy at receiving thanksgiving from their children.  David tells us that we can “Bless The Lord” by not forgetting all His blessings on our lives.  Psalms 103-2-5 gives us a list of things we should thank  and “bless” Him for:
“Who forgives all your sins....” (v.3a).  What a wonderful benefit to “Bless The Lord” for.  Even though others may not forgive you or forget your poor life choices, God is merciful to us.  “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that respect and love Him.  As far as the east is from the west, he has removed our sins from us.  Like a father has pity on his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him.”  (Psalm 103: 11-13).  How about a big “thank you Lord” for continuing to forgive my sins.
“Who heals all my diseases...” (v. 3b).  All healing is divine healing and all recovery from sickness, injury and surgery is the result of the healing properties that God has built into our bodies. Medicine, surgery and therapy are merely extensions of God’s healing ministry.
This verse doesn’t say that God heals everyone’s diseases, but that He heals all diseases. There is no disease or sickness that lies beyond His healing power—not even what we call “incurable.” He is the Great Physician.

“Who redeems your life from destruction..” (v. 4a).  The Lord not only saves our souls from hell, but He also redeems our lives from the clutches of the devil. Satan is bent on damning our souls and destroying our lives.  Many of us have been rescued from death’s door and life-threatening circumstances.  “Satan comes for no other reason, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy you:  I am come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10 edited).  Can we say “Bless The Lord” for protecting me and my children, and grandchildren from that accident, that storm,  that home invasion, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, that financial disaster, and so many other situations that could have happened, but did not because of the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father.

“Who crowns you with lovingkindness, and tender mercies..” (v. 4b) This is God’s favor on your life.  He is saying to you, that He is going to listen to your prayers and answer them and help you when you get into difficult situations.  Every time you look in the mirror, visualize a crown on your head that says “God loves me.”  By now your soul should really be shouting “BLESS THE LORD!!”.

“Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (v. 5).  God is concerned with giving you your basic needs and then more.  He wants you to be satisfied  with the many good things you have now and the things He has planned for you in the future.  “Eye has not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.”  (I Corinthians 2:9).  Your youth shall be restored to you when you arrive in Heaven and you get your glorified body.  The last time the disciples saw Jesus, He was a young man about 33 years old.  “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and we cannot see what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. (I John 3:2).  “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” for your new resurrected body.


Your soul is your true person, it is your spirit and your mind.  I would encourage us all to memorize Psalm 103: 1-5 and say it to ourselves as a prayer.  The entire chapter should be read often to remind of us how much God loves us and cares for us.  These verses can lead you into a worshipful time with your Heavenly Father, and He will be blessed and so will you.