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May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 143 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.


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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”.

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Monday, November 16, 2015


LUKE 15: 1-15

We live in a world of ungrace.  God’s grace is often hard for us to fathom, and so Jesus talked to us about it often.

Although this is often called the parable of the Prodigal Son, the key figure in the parable is the Father. I prefer to call it the Parable of the Loving Father. Jesus is teaching us the God of the Universe is like the father in this story. It’s not enough to believe in God; you must understand the nature of the God Jesus came to introduce. The wonder and beauty of the character of God can been easily seen in this beautiful parable.

Chapter 15 begins with this: “Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’”

This is what prompts Jesus to tell three parables that highlight God’s extreme grace--the Pharisees’ extreme ungrace.  In essence, Jesus is saying, “You think you know God, but you do not. God doesn’t play by your rules. Here is what God is all about.”
In the parable, the father represents God the Father.
And this father had two sons.  One of these boys is called the ‘older’ and the other is called the ‘younger’.

The story of the Prodigal Son, after all, appears in a string of three stories by Jesus—the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son—all of which seem to make the same point. Each underscores the loser’s sense of loss, tells of the thrill of discovery, and ends with a scene of jubilation.

Jesus says in effect, ‘Do you want to know what it feels like to be God? When one of those two-legged humans pays attention to Me, it feels like I just reclaimed My most valuable possession, which I had given up for lost.’” 

In Luke, right before the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus says in verse 10: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The God of the Universe has a message for you today. He is saying to you, “I love you, so you are free to go.” God loves you so much He will never force you to stay in fellowship with Him. So, if you are bound and determined to do something as foolish as walking out on God, He won’t stop you. 
Remember, God doesn’t play by our rules.  Who do we know who might feel too embarrassed to come back home…to return to church?

We, the Church, are the Body of Christ on this earth.  We are to represent God to the world.  We are to play by God’s rules, not our own.  The church should be the place where people aren’t afraid to come back.
We should be the place of celebration.

Starting in verse 17 we get to see a real turning point in this parable.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’  So he got up and went to his father.”

Look at what Paul says to the Christians in Ephesians Chapter 2: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world…All of us also lived among them at one time…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead…it is by grace you have been saved.”

Our God is loving Father, Who does not hold our sins against us, but throws a party when we come to Him for salvation and forgiveness!  And while we are still a long way off, he runs to us!  “When you start home, I’ll meet you more than halfway!”

The father refused to entertain the idea his son would be a servant. You see, even when the son was in the far country, the relationship was intact; it was the fellowship that was broken. Immediately the father commanded his servants to bring the best robe. He took that beautiful robe and lovingly placed it around his son, covering all the filth and dirt of his mistakes. That’s a lovely picture of how God covers our sin with a robe of righteousness.

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law are represented by the older son in this parable who “became angry and refused to go in” to the party.
They didn’t like the fact that God doesn’t play by their rules.  They didn’t like the fact that God rejoices and welcomes ‘sinners’.

So where are we in this parable?  Are we inside the party celebrating?  Or are we standing outside.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Who Is In Control?
By Pastor Mark Taylor
(October 30, 2015)

I watch too much News on TV and listen to too much of it on talk shows on the radio.  I have been getting a little discouraged with what I hear and see regarding our nation and the world.  At times I ask myself: "Who Is In Control?"

Today, God reminded me that He is aware of and is in control of everything that happens on this Earth.  It is not His will that there is world hunger, disease, and wars.  But He has a plan, and He has had that plan since He created the “Heavens and the Earth” in the first chapter of the book of Genesis.

Through the history of mankind, He has shown us that nothing is going to work the way it is suppose to without Him.  It will only work right when He is in Control.  This includes nations, political leaders, and individuals. 

He has temporarily given some of His control to men and women and this is called “free will”.  God has shown us we cannot handle it without Him being present in our lives. Our God is all powerful, all knowing, and is present everywhere.  Our God is omniscient.  Omniscience is the capacity to know everything that there is to know.  Our God is omnipotent.  Omnipotence is the quality of having unlimited power.  Our God is omnipresent.   Omnipresence is the property of being present everywhere.  These qualities of our God convinces the Christian that God is in control.  We may not understand why He allows things to happen on this Earth, but He reminds us of Who He is and who we are.  “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isaiah 55:9).

He has shown us that a perfect environment will not stay perfect without His presence.  In the Book of Genesis, God left man and woman alone for a few hours and they did the one thing He asked them not to do and ended up losing their perfect environment.  By the end of this Book, mankind had lost their freedom and had become slaves to those who neither knew God or cared about His Control.

Later in the Book of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, we see that God gave mankind a set of rules to follow in order to receive His protection and blessings.  After He delivered them from 400 years of slavery, they did not want God’s rules or presence, but rather chose to follow god’s of silver and gold.  This shows us that even if we have good laws, we cannot control ourselves without God’s presence.

What about a nation with a Godly leader.  When we read 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and Judges we see that neither a king nor a country with a Godly heritage could follow God without His presence continuly.  Only when God punished them and reminded them of His Control, would they temporarily return to worship Him.  This reminds me of a scripture that says: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (Psalms 33:12).   Continuing in the Books of Kings and Chronicles we see that when the king was Godly the nation prospered.  When the nation had an evil king and people, God was not present and allowed other nations to over run them.  So Government without God’s presence will fail.

God is in control even when we think the world is out of control.  We often think if we could get rid of one leader and replace them with another, everything would be fine.   "For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: He puts down one, and sets up another." (Psalm 75:6-7).  

In the New Testament we see that “Religion” without God’s presence will put people into both physical and spiritual bondage.  Jesus did not condemn the “sinners” of His day, but He did condemn the religious leaders more than once.  Of course He did not condone sin and reminded his followers that their were consequences for living a life of unrighteousness.  When God came to be present with mankind in the form of our Lord Jesus, His own people rejected Him.  Again we see that another attempt to control ourselves was unsuccessful.

The question is “Who Is In Control?”  What is the answer to our world problems?

Hopefully, if you will study your Bible and World History you will see that it is not a better environment, better rules, better government, or better religious organizations.  It is very simple.  This world will not get better until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ returns to Earth to set up His Kingdom.  This is when He will take back His Control and show mankind how to live right and be blessed.  After that He will take us to Heaven and we will live with Him forever.  That is when we will understand how much He loves us and we will never be separated from Him again by sin.  We need to understand by faith that we have a wonderful future ahead of us if we will love and trust our Savior - The Lord Jesus.

"1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)

Until then, you and I can give God His Control back by living in His presence daily.  We can be blessed in a world that has gone out of control.  You can experience His presence through reading His Word - the Bible -how He talks to you; through prayer which is how you talk to Him; and through loving others which is how we join with Him in making this world a better place until He returns.

May we all allow God to take the steering wheel of our lives.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Little Is Much When God Is In It
By Pastor Mark Taylor

God deserves your best.  You were made for a purpose and He expects you to make the most of what you have been given.  Don’t worry about the abilities you don’t have, instead, focus on the gifts and abilities He has given you.  Most people think that abilities that can be used by God in the church are limited to preaching, singing, and teaching.  But these are only three of many things that God uses. 

 Here is a partial list of gifts and abilities that the Bible lists as spiritual gifts: giving, helps, mercy, hospitality, faith, administration, intercessory prayer, craftsmanship, humor, and leadership.

  • “There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9)

  • "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)

The little lad had the gifts of giving and helps.  The bread and fish didn’t seem like much, but when Jesus blessed it, five thousand men were fed, not counting the women and children.  The poor widow had the gift of giving.  You may not have much to give, but when there is a special offering for hungry or needy people, you can give something.   You may not have the gift of preaching or teaching, but God may have given you the gift of inviting and bringing people to church who may become preachers, teachers, and givers.

God doesn’t want you to be just a spectator, but He wants you to be actively participating in His work on earth.

  • “Let every person prove (find) his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”  (Galatians 6:4).  

God loves to use people who feel they have little to offer.  We think that God only wants to use our strengths, but he also wants to use our weaknesses for His glory.  God has never been impressed with strength or self-sufficiency.  In fact, He is drawn to people who are weak and admit it. 

When you think of the limitation in your life, you may be tempted to conclude, “God could never use me.”  But God is never limited by our limitations.  In fact, he enjoys putting his great power into ordinary people.

  • “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (I Corinthians 1:27).

  • And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Admit your weaknesses, instead of living in denial or making excuses.  Live with the weaknesses in your life you cannot change.  Take opportunities to learn new skills and receive instruction in the areas God has given you gifts and abilities.   We are far more likely to be compassionate and considerate of the weaknesses of others if we know we have weaknesses.  That means other people are going to find healing in your wounds.  Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.

You will never know what you are good at until you try.  When it doesn’t work it is ok, it is your faith that God rewards.  If you try working with teenagers and you don’t “understand” them, try working with children or senior citizens.  If you don’t like working with groups of people, maybe your gifts are working on God’s house and property to make it a beautiful and comfortable place to worship.  If you don’t have much time, give so others can be blessed.

  • “If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11).

Your little can become something great if you allow the Lord Jesus to use it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Things We Cannot Live Without

By Pastor Mark Taylor

I have heard many people talk about things they cannot live without, especially those people under the age of 30.  I have heard them say that they could not do without Air Conditioning, TV, Cell Phones, coffee and coke products, and many other things.  Most of us did without these things for years before they came into our lives. As Christians, there are some things we cannot do without, and Christians before us could not have survived without these things.

First of all we cannot live without the power and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.  “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  Spiritual work is accomplished by Him and through Him.  The forgiveness of sin is because of His death and not our works: “ ..and without shedding of blood is no remission of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).

You and I cannot live the Christian life without Love.  “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).  Love includes many things: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

You and I cannot live the Christian life without Holiness and Chastisement:
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).  If we are truly one of God’s children, and we purposely sin, we will be punished: “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every person whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with children; for what child is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not His children” (Hebrews 12:6-8).

You and I cannot live the Christian Life without Faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  Faith is the oil that keeps the engine running smoothly.  The opposite of faith is fear.  Fear is like sand in an engine that eventually causes it to quit running.

You and I cannot live the Christian Life without Works.  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).  Our works are the only thing that we will take to Heaven with us and we will be rewarded for all of kindness and love toward others. No matter how much stuff and money you acquire in this world, you will leave it behind.

Jesus said: "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). 

 It is true that we are not saved or accepted by God because of our works: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  But Jesus said: "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:17-20).  We are not to judge others, but this verse would be something we could measure our spiritual condition by.  

Today, I hope you will evaluate your lives and see if you have these necessary elements of the Christian Life: Jesus as your Savior, Love,  Holiness, Chastisement when your living wrong, faith, and good works.

If you are missing any of these, ask the Lord to forgive you and restore unto you the “joy of your salvation”.  You have much to gain in this life and the New Heaven and the New Earth to come: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea….And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My child.” (Revelation 21:1, 7-8 ).

Don’t be satisfied with just a “Sunday Morning” religion.  Find a real relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, Friend, and God.  Your eternal destiny depends on how real this relationship is.  Develop a prayer life that communicates with the heart of God and allow Him to lead you each day of your life.

Friday, October 2, 2015


Living a Happy Life In an Unhappy World - Part 3
“Things To Do To Make You Happy”
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”  (John 13:17)
In Part One of this series we look at qualities that a person who is living a life of well-being demonstrates.  This included love, optimism, courage, freedom to choose, and good physical and mental health.  In Part Two we discussed “How to be an Optimist in a World of Pessimists”.  In this message we emphasized the importance of overcoming fear by believing that God can and wants to make your life a happy life.

In this message I would like to give you some practical ways of doing what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told us to do.  I would like to give you a few things He told us to do to be happy.

One of the central teachings of our Lord was this:  “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you have love one towards another.” (John 13:35).  He said it was not just a suggestion, but a command.  “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34).  Love is an action word not just a feeling or a mood.  Here are some ways to “love one another”.

  • One special quality of love that really matters is APPRECIATION.  This is simple,requires little time, and cost you nothing.  A word of kindness not only brings happiness to others, but in turn will increase your happiness because you have shown love in a meaningful way. It may be as simple as being with Christian brothers and sisters at church and telling them that you are glad to see them and spend some time with them.

  • Tell God how much you love Him by your actions of SERVICE TO OTHERS.  Every day we have the opportunity to do something good for someone without expecting something in return. Each of us has God-given talents and abilities we can use to make life better for others.

Another emphasis our Lord both taught and demonstrated was that of FORGIVENESS.  I know this is a difficult thing to do, but it is necessary for happiness.  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).

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.

Your painful memories, which may once have made you feel like a victim, battered and demeaned, can become your greatest motivators and your richest sources of wisdom.  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.  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 to things to His children that are harmful or hurtful.

Another practical way of “Being Happy in an Unhappy World”, is by following the teaching and example of Christ about not worrying.  Our Lord said: “Let not your heart be troubled.” (John 14:1).  “Take no thought about tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take care of itself.” (Matthew 6:34).

One way to overcome worry and fear is gratitude or thanksgiving for what you have today.  When you begin to worry about tomorrow, think of the blessings you have today.  Not only think about them, but write them down.  “Count your many blessings and name them one by one, Count your many blessings and you will see what God has done.”  Take time to focus on things that are going well in your life instead of things you have no control over.  “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy Name, O Most High.” (Psalm 92:1).

You have the power to choose what you think about.  Keep in perspective the blessings you have and how little control you have over the actions and feelings of others.  You have the power to be happy by doing the things that our Lord has asked you to do.  The opposite of “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”  (John 13:17), is that if you don’t do these things you will not be happy.  Doing things or not doing things is your choice, but our Lord wants you to be happy and blessed in this life time and the one to come in Heaven.

This is God’s will for your life now:  “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11).  You can be happy in an unhappy world and it is your choice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Being An Optimist in a World of Pessimists

“Lord, I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)

In this message I hope to continue the series on “Being Happy in an Unhappy World”, by addressing both an enemy of happiness and a great gift from the Lord to fight that enemy.  The enemy is fear, and the gift is “Optimism”.

Our Lord often told those He was going to heal or save from personal disasters to: “Fear Not” (Luke 8:50). Fear is the greatest enemy of happiness.  Fears will keep coming up, but we can rise above them.  Fear fits in to one of two categories:  Fear of not having enough and Fear of not being enough.

In Part One, I wrote about the greatest antidote to fear, and that was love.  You get love for yourself and for others from God.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that does not love, does not know God.”  (I John 4:7-8).  It is unlikely you can be happy in an unhappy world without love, and loves starts with God and ends with God.

These words above were said to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ by a man who asked Him to heal his child.  The Lord had just said to him:  “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23).  With the help of the Holy Spirit today, it is my prayer that your unbelief can be helped by God’s Word and you can believe.

Believe what?  Believe that God loves you and that He wants you to be happy in an unhappy world, and wants to meet your needs. “My God shall supply all your need according to His in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19).

In this message I would like to discuss  “Optimism”.  Optimism believes that God can help you.  It is a positive outlook on your circumstances and problems.  Optimism provides power over painful events.  Optimism gives you power over fear of the future and over regret for the past.  You can learn a set of skills that free you from the tyranny of pessimism and will allow you to use optimism when you choose.  Each of us carries a word in our hearts, a “no”, or a “yes” in deciding how we think of situations.

There are two kinds of people and they look at life in two different ways.  First there is the pessimists.  They live in fear. They say “no” to trying again after a failure. They tend to believe bad events will last a long time and will undermine everything they do, and often blame themselves or others..  Secondly, the optimists, when confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about their misfortune in the opposite way.  They say “yes” to starting over after a failure.  They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback and it is due to circumstances or bad luck..  They perceive their problems as a challenge and try harder.  They have learned what Jesus meant when he told His disciples “Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid. (Matthew 14:27).  He was telling them to be optimistic in the storms of life for He is there with us.

Our Lord wants us to be optimistic in difficult times and even be happy when the world around us is not a happy place.  “In this world, you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; for I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33).  Optimistic people become successes in school, at work, on the playing field and in relationships.  They are successful because of what they do when they feel they have run up against a brick wall.  What one does is the difference between helplessness and success,  They learn how to keep going and do not quit.  The child of God says and believes: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

The way we think about life can actually diminish or enlarge the control we have over it.  The pessimist can become paralyzed by fear and the very thought “Nothing I do matters”, prevents them from acting.  Pessimistic prophecies are self-fulfilling..  One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.  Isn’t it amazing that the Bible told us about this 4000 years ago:  “For as a person thinks in his heart, so is he”  (Proverbs 23:7).  And our Lord Jesus told us how important it is the way we think.  “A good person out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things, and an evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:35).

It is important about what you believe and say to yourself.  It is important the way you explain things to yourself.  If you have a pessimistic conversation with yourself you are more likely to get depressed easily, second, you are probably achieving less in your life than your talents could produce, and third, your physical health is probably not what it should be and may even get worse as you get older.  
Ask yourself: “What good will it do me to dwell on these negative feelings and thoughts?”

The Lord is saying to us all today, to think about how you treat yourself and in turn others.  “You have planted much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough, you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you put clothes on yourself, but there in no warmth;; and he that earns wages, earns wages to put into bags with holes.  Thus says the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”  (Haggai 1:6-7).  This is what happens to people who live a life of pessimism.  Will you “Consider your ways”?

You may say that you cannot help the way you feel, but you can control what you think.  And when you control what you think and what you say to yourself, your feelings will change. 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8).

It is not easy to change, but it is possible.  Happiness is a choice, and a choice that the Lord Jesus desires to help you with. “I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).

Will you be happy in this unhappy world?  It depends on how you talk to yourself and if you will let God help your unbelief.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


By Pastor Mark Taylor

“I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10).

“These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

In the next few sermons, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to all of us the hidden or lost principles of happiness.  There have been many books and articles written on the subject of happiness and it is my desire that the Lord will show us through His Word and the wisdom He has given others, how to “Be Happy in an Unhappy World”.

Millions of people throughout the world have become so used to not being happy that they barely even notice it. They have accepted unhappiness and think it is normal.  Even great men in the Bible, like David found themselves wondering why they were unhappy at times.  “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you troubled within me?  Hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (Psalm 42:11).  But notice David knew it was still possible to find happiness.  Happiness is possible for all of us who love the Lord, because He has desired that quality to be in all of us.  

Happiness is neither a mood nor an emotion.  Happiness is a way of life.  An outlook composed  of qualities such as:  optimism, courage, love, and fulfillment.  It is amazing how quickly people can begin to change, once they start dealing with their whole lives, not just their feelings. 

 “Being Happy in an Unhappy World” requires some understanding and some soul work.  It requires that you ask the same question David did:  “What are you cast down, O my soul?”.  Then it requires that you find some answers.

There is another word for happiness and that is “peace”.  This is a word our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ often used.  “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives to you.  Let not your heart be troubled,neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).

Fear is the greatest enemy of happiness.  Fear fits in to one of two categories:

Fear of not having enough. Fear of not being enough.  There are many faces of fear - perfectionism, obsession, insecurity, shyness, guilt, and many more.  We often try to make sense of our pain by assuming that it is outside forces that are causing our pain.  We blame others, our jobs, the traffic, etc.  It is really some inner turmoil that is causing us to have fears and be unhappy.  We will discuss fear and how to deal with it in another sermon.

Your mind, body, and spirit, working together can make you happy.  Sometimes when our minds and bodies are shattered by life it is only our spirit that can heal us and keep us alive.  

This is why you need to be “born again”, to have the Holy Spirit guiding your spirit to overcome things that are making you unhappy.  “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, who the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things.” (John 14:26).

To begin this journey of “Being Happy in an Unhappy World”, let us look at a few things we can work on to receive the happiness the Lord wants to give us.

 LOVE.  We often think that being loved is the best feeling in the world when the best    
 is loving someone else.  It is the antidote to feat and the first step toward happiness.
 “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12).       
   Isn’t it odd that the Lord had to command us to love?  That would remind us that Love is more than just a feeling, it is an action. Demonstrate your love by actions this week. 

OPTIMISM.  Optimism provides power over painful events.  Optimism gives you power over fear of the future and over regret for the past.  God wants to remind us that he has a great future for those who love Him.  “Eye has not seen, nor has ears heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for them that love Him.”  (I Corinthians 2:9).  Speak words of optimism to yourself and to others this week.

COURAGE.  This is the strongest weapon for overcoming the split second power of the fear system.  It is the quality that allows us to thrive instead of just survive.  We have the same promise that God gave to Joshua.  “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9).  Step out of your comfort zone and make a decision that will make you and others happy this week.

FREEDOM.  Freedom is choice, and choice is what makes us human.  When we choose, we define who we are.  Everyone has the power to make choices, but unhappy people don’t know they have it.  Choice is available to anyone who has the courage to exercise it.  The Lord Jesus Christ living in your life can give you both the desire and courage to choose happiness.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).  Remind yourself that choice is the father of freedom.  Anyone can choose the course of their lives, but only happy people do it.  Happy people turn away from fear and look at their options and act upon upon them. Make a “freedom choice” this week regardless of how little it is.  Choose to "Be Happy".

Saturday, August 29, 2015


by Pastor Mark Taylor

“I Have Glorified You on the Earth.  I Have Finished the Work Which You Gave Me to Do.” (John 17:4)

God wants you and I to “Finish Well”.  He wants us to be able to say as Jesus did: “I have glorified You upon the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4) There is a lot at stake in this matter of serving the Lord.  First of all it is a privilege that you and I have been chosen to be one of God’s children; Jesus said:  “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 whatever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you” (John 15:16).

Most people who read this message will remember their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.  They will remember the day they asked the Lord to forgive them of their sins, save them, and give them eternal life.  Many of these people decided to live a life pleasing to the Lord and become faithful in attendance and giving in a local church.  However, some of these are not “Finishing Well”.  Their lives have become so busy and full of other things, they have very little time for worship of the God who saved them or fellowship with those who are living for the Lord Jesus. 

It is both dangerous and short-sited for you or I to turn back on serving the Lord Jesus after He has done so much for us.  “Now,The Just shall live by faith. But if he draws back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him." (Hebrews 10:38). We will be in danger of losing the blessings and protection that God wants to give us.

 God choose Saul to be the first king of Israel.   After Saul had reigned as King for two years, he committed a great sin against God by taking Samuel’s responsibility of offering burnt offerings before he went into battle.  Listen to what God told a King who He honored and loved:  “And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you…But now your kingdom shall not continue: the LORD has sought him a man after His own heart…because you have not kept that which the LORD commanded you” (I Samuel 13:13-14).  And in another situation Saul disobeyed God again:  “Samuel said unto Saul: for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel” (I Samuel 5:26).  “But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”  (I Samuel 16:14). 

One of the problems we see in Saul’s life is pride.  He became proud of his position and power.  He felt like he could do God’s work better than God. He felt like he did not need God.  Twice God gave him specific instructions and twice he disobeyed them.  When God’s Holy Spirit quits working in a person’s life, there is an empty vacuum.  We can be sure if God held Saul accountable for his sins, He will hold us accountable if we don’t “finish well”.  Serving God is not a game, it is an eternal commitment on your part and on God’s part.

The first way is to know if you are “Finishing Well” is to ask yourself: “Am I keeping His Commandments”.  “And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). There are two important commandments that our Lord Jesus emphasized.   “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:38-39).  Do you really know the Lord and love Him as your God and Savior?  Do you ever tell Him you love Him?  Do you ever show Him you love Him?  Jesus said:  “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15).  Maybe you started out keeping His commandants and loving Him, but what about today?  Are you “Finishing Well”?

Another way to know if you are “Finishing Well”, is to look at your priorities in life.  Do you love the Lord Jesus and His work more than the things of this world?  “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).  Have you asked the Lord Jesus his opinion about the things you are doing and how you are living?  Would you take the Lord Jesus with you where ever you go?  Would you invite Him to hang around your friends and participate in the activities you call fun?  Would you invite the Lord to watch your favorite TV shows with you and look at what you see and write on the internet?  “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, who has sealed you until the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30).   If not, then you are not “Finishing Well”.  Be careful that you do not end up like Saul and lose all the wonderful blessings that He wants to give to you.  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6).

A third way to know if you are “Finishing Well”, is to evaluate how much you love His Church.  “Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it”.  (Ephesians 5:25).  How often do you attend the worship services and Bible studies?  How often do you spend time with other Church members and talk about the Lord and His work?   “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the (Christian) brothers (and sisters). He who does not love his brother (or sister) abides in death” (1 John 3:14). Jesus said: “By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another” (John 13:35).  Just because you had some faith at one time in your life, will not guarantee you will “Finish Well”.  “What does it profit, my brothers and sisters, though someone says they have faith, and they do not have works?  Can faith Save Him?.....Even so faith, if it does not have works is dead, being alone.”  (James 2: 14, 17).

Let us consider all the advantages of “Finishing Well”.  “But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard," nor has it entered into the heart of man, "the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).  If we haven’t been “Finishing Well” then we need to ask for forgiveness and “Finish Well”.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).