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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

“Throughout the World The Word of God Can Be Read and Seen in 2015"

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.

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”.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

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)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN



Our Father Who Is In Heaven
A Sermon by Pastor Mark Taylor

“After this manner pray: Our Father Who is in Heaven. Holy and Honored shall be Your Name.  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:8-10
Today, in the United States, we celebrate Father’s Day.  The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910.  It is sad that today one out of three children do not have a father living with them in their homes. 

Notice that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He counseled them to relate to God as "Father."  By now, we all understand that prayer is simply the practice of talking with God - it's the vehicle by which fellowship with God can take place in this life. The first lesson from the Lord's Prayer then is simply that God, our Father, wants us to talk to Him. He is a conversationalist; He wants to have that kind of relationship with His children, one where the children take the initiative to discuss the events of their lives, and He wants to be the One who is available to listen and meet their needs.
As human beings we are designed to know God as our Good, Loving, Heavenly Father.  The trouble is we do not see Him clearly... partly because the lenses we wear to look at Him are provided by the experiences of our earthly fathers (and other male authority figures).  If we had or have, a physically absent or emotionally absent father, then at a heart level we may well fear that God will not be close to us... and therefore we find it hard to believe that He wants to draw near and is near!   If you do not have an earthly father present with you today, or if your father does not show you the love you desire, God wants to be your Father.  “When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.” (Psalms 27:10).  

Our Father is our protector.  “A Father of the fatherless, a Defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.” (Psalms 68:5).

Our FATHER is full of forgiveness: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).

Our FATHER is Love:  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”  (1 John 4:7-8).

Our FATHER is all powerful (omnipotent).  There is no limit to what HE can do.  “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalms 147:5). 

Our FATHER is all knowing (omniscient).   He knows your thoughts: “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile” (Psalms 94:11).  “You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off” (Psalms 139:2).

Our FATHER is present everywhere (omnipresent).  Our FATHER is not limited by time or space. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there” (Psalms 139:7-8).

A good Earthly Father should be someone we can go to when we are in trouble or when we are discouraged.  Sometimes all we need is a word of encouragement from him to give us the courage to keep on going when we feel like giving up. Someone to tell us he is for us and on our side.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”  (Jeremiah 29:11-12).   

Your Heavenly Father can meet that need and give you the resources to get back on your feet when you have been knocked down by this world.  “As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:13-14).  Do you need a Father today who can just take you in His arms and tell you everything is going to be ok?  Your Heavenly Father wants to do just that.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, there is no greater gift that you can give to your children and grandchildren, than your time.  There are times when they just need someone to listen to them and spend some time with them.  This is something our Heavenly Father wants to give to His children.  He is a good listener and never too busy to take time for you.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).

"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3).

Our FATHER is full of pity and mercy: “The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him” (Psalms 103:8-11).

On this Father's Day, we will honor our fathers with a gift, a card, a call, a word of appreciation or a hug. Let us also remember to honor our Heavenly Father. We can honor our fathers who have gone to Heaven by transferring that love into an act of kindness to someone else.

We will honor Him by taking time to talk with Him, worshipping Him in Spirit and thanking Him for His faithful provision. We will seek to correct any broken relationships we may have with Him or with others of His children. We will follow His leadership into ways of righteousness and accept His protection from the evil one. We will give Him all the praise and glory due His name.  Make this a Happy Father’s Day for your Heavenly Father.

I hope the God of the Bible is your FATHER. I hope that you have seen the FATHER today.  He wants to be your FATHER.   It is His will that everyone go to Heaven and live with Him forever.   "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." The Father is a king, but a king who does not always get what He wants.  What we need to understand is that He values the free choice of His children - He wants you to come to Him out of love, not coercion or fear.  Let His will be done in you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS


“WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS”
By Pastor Mark Taylor


“I have called you friends.” (John 15:15)

The whole story of the Bible is about God longing to have a personal friendship with human beings.

Facebook is a place where people can share their lives. They can talk with others, post pictures and articles they’d like people to see. And most of this sharing is done between “friends”.  Most of these “friends” you will never meet.  They might not even like you.  For the most part they are just passing through.  If you were sick in the hospital, they wouldn’t come visit you.  If you needed some money to pay a bill, they wouldn’t be there for you.  On Facebook they are called “friends”, but they are not people who love you or care about you.

Today, I want to tell you about a real friend named “Jesus”.  He is not just a “Facebook Friend”.   “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24).  That Friend is Jesus.  I want to tell you about a friend who loves you all the time.  “A friend loves at all times...” (Proverbs 17:17).  That Friend is Jesus.

The Bible is filled with stories of friendship; Moses and Jethro; David and Jonathan; Elijah and Elisha;Paul and Timothy; and Jesus and His twelve disciples. 

Jesus came to this earth with one purpose in mind, laying down His life for us so that we could be His Friend. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).  Our Friend, Jesus was also talking about us having a relationship with God because of His payment for our sins.  

His Friendship involves forgiving our faults and shortcomings.  The love of Jesus is stronger than any failure you may have committed. Jesus loves us in spite of the things that we have done. Jesus not only promises to forgive our sins but He also forgets them. He simply wipes the slate of our lives clean and then refuses to remember what we have done. 
There is nothing that you can do to make Jesus love you any less. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He does right now.   But there is a way to know if you are His friend.  How can you know if you are really His friend?  “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14).

What is it that Jesus wants us to do?  This is my command: “Love each other” (John 15:12). The condition for friendship with Jesus is the simple fact that we follow His example. We are meant to love others as Jesus loves them and as He loves us. The only way to do this is to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

The deepest desire in the heart of Jesus is to call you His friend but the choice is up to you.

He initiates the opportunity for friendship.  Jesus gives us the chance to put our faith in Him. He left heaven, became human, died for your sins, and then conquered death for you – all in an attempt to show you how interested He is in being your friend. He took the initiative!

Now the way you become a “friend” on Facebook is - one person sends out an INVITATION to someone else to be their friend. The other person can then either “CONFIRM” them as a friend or IGNORE you. If you haven’t become a Christian yet… then the question is this   Will you accept his offer, or will you ignore it today.

What Jesus is telling us here is “I invited you to be my friend… you didn’t invite me.”  (John 15:16)  “You did not choose me, but I chose you...”
He invited US to be HIS friend, that He reached out to us because we weren’t worthy to reach out to Him - then we should be humbled that He thought WE were worth His time.

Not only is Jesus my friend, but my friendship with Jesus improves my friendship with others.Jesus said “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)  It’s a repeated command, over and over again throughout the Scriptures.  Why repeat such a command?  Because it doesn’t come naturally to us. We don’t really know how to love until we’ve learned the love of Jesus in our lives.

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, 
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.” 


Jesus loves you today.  It’s good to be loved. God created you to be loved. There’s nothing to compare with loving and being loved. And God is the source of love.  You have an invitation from Heaven to become a “Friend of God”.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"IF THE LORD IS GOD, FOLLOW HIM"


“If The Lord is God, Follow Him”
I Kings 18:21
A Sermon By Pastor Mark Taylor

We learn from the life of Elijah what we need to do for God’s power and presence to be evident in our lives. Do you want God’s help in your life, family, heath, job, church, and relationships? For many of us the question isn’t, do we want God’s help? The question is, are we willing to do what’s necessary to receive God’s help.

Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain. “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit ” (James 5:17-18).  The background of this story is that for 3 ½ years Elijah has been praying that it would not rain in Israel so that the people might realize they have sinned and brought God’s displeasure upon themselves. The drought was to prepare the people to repent. The drought was to awaken their sleeping conscience through the door of human need. God often has to get our attention in the natural, before He can speak to us about the spiritual. We begin to get a picture of man who’s concern for Israel was so great that he didn’t care if they suffered in the natural, if it led to spiritual revival. The text in James doesn’t simply say, "he prayed," but that he prayed, "earnestly." He was so moved by their sinfulness that he earnestly asked God, "do whatever it takes to get this people’s attention."  “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word.”  (1 Kings 18:21).

When Jesus walked on earth He said you are either hot or cold, the middle ground disappeared. “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:30).  If you chose God you are blessed with the refreshing rain of heaven, if not your heart becomes hardened and you wind up committing sins you would have never dreamed possible.  Christian’s are called the "Extreme Right," and the simple fact is we haven’t changed our views on right and wrong, but the left has gone further and further left. 

Elijah repaired the broken altar "And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down." 1 Kings 18:30  Altars symbolize prayer, fellowship with God, dying to self, and yielding to the will of God. The fact that the altar was in a state of disrepair was a powerful symbol in and of itself of how far the people had gotten from God.  Even in Christian families there is very little of what could be called a family prayer altar. What little praying is done is more by the individual rather than a collective effort. The family altar has been broken down. "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Mark 11:17) , was Jesus’ declaration, but of how many churches is that true?

The fire came down.  "Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."  1 Kings 18:38.   Revival is not the fire falling, but that which causes God to respond by sending the fire. Revival is brokenness that God responds to with acceptance. Revival is the fire of God coming down on broken and contrite hearts. When the conditions are right, God will always respond with the fire of His presence.  He will burn up our past mistakes and failures.  Your sins will be forgiven and forgotten.  “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:11-12).

Spiritual restoration lead to earthly and financial blessing;  "And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain." 1 Kings 18:41.   Because of sin there had been no rain for 3 ½ years, imagine the devastation - poverty, famine, unemployment, and sickness; but all that was about to change.  With the repentance came the rain of God, for man and beast alike, and the curse was lifted off of the earth. When men seek first the kingdom of heaven, all these other things will be added to them. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34).  With the coming of the rain, crops were restored, granaries were filled and prosperity and economic recovery came again to Israel.


If you choose to “Follow Him”, the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be filled with His Holy Spirit and will be able to defeat and overcome Satan’s power.  It has been said and it is true that “Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.”

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD"



SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD
 A Sermon by Pastor Mark Taylor

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  Matthew 9:36

We all love the 23rd Psalm. Especially verse one: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  But what about those among us who have no shepherd?

Our Lord and Savior was often “moved with compassion”.  Jesus felt this way when He encountered the sick (Mt 14:14), the blind (Mt 20:34), the demon possessed (Mk 9:22), those who lost loved ones (Lk 7:13), the hungry (Mt 15:32) the lonely (Mk 1:41) and the bewildered (Mt 9:36).  Compassion means “suffering with others”.

Why don’t we begin to see people as Jesus saw them.  When He saw a need in the lives of others coming to Him.  He did not say “Here comes another problem.”; but He said here comes a needing person “with a problem”.  We are so often tempted to look at people that are in need with an attitude of judging them instead of asking ourselves or the Lord “What can I do to help?”.

“Sheep without a shepherd” need to be with other sheep.  Mother Teresa has said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted. That’s what my sisters hope to provide. The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”  

I have always looked at the church as a hospital for those who are sick.  I look at the morning and evening worship service as the emergency room where they can get some treatment.  We would be deeply offended if we went to the hospital or emergency room and the nurses or doctors told us to go home and clean ourselves up first, and then they would treat us.  Speaking on this issue Jesus said:  “They that are whole do not need a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12).

“Sheep without a shepherd” need healing.  Sometimes it is physical and sometimes it is spiritual and sometimes it is emotional.  When sheep get away from the protection of the Shepherd they get hurt.  In the 23rd Psalm we read “You anoint my head with oil..”  This is what the Shepherd did for His sheep who needed healing.  Our Lord tells us that we are to find the lost and hurting sheep and give them healing.  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:13-15).  Can you pray for someone?  Can you read the Bible to someone?  Can you provide them with some words of encouragement?  Can you bring them to Church so others can pray for them?  These are some things you can do for the sheep without a shepherd.

Our Lord wants you to listen to “His voice”.  Listening and following Him will keep you from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd.”  If you are listening and following the “Good Shepherd”, the Lord Jesus, you will never get lost and no one can take you away from God’s love and protection.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.”  (John 10: 27-29).
We have so many distractions and so many things demanding our time and attention we wander away from the Shepherd and become a “sheep without a Shepherd”.  We do not take time to hear His voice.  We need to be careful what and who we are listening to.  If we spend the majority of our time watching violent TV shows and movies and listening to music that promotes thoughts that lead to sin, we are not listening to His voice.
To keep from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd” we must take and make time to listen to our Shepherd. Listen prayerfully while you read God’s Word.  Listen prayerfully as you enter the worship services.  During these times do not allow your mind to think about your problems, about other people’s problems, or what you need to do tomorrow.  Listen, Listen, Listen.
Say silently or aloud "Lord I’m here. Lord...I want to hear your voice.”  A shepherd leads  the sheep, loves the sheep, and protects the sheep.  Are you trying to make an important decision?  Are you grieving over a loss in your life?  Regardless of your need, the Lord Jesus is speaking to you.  You will hear His voice and gain the strength to move forward and be successful.

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


We need to thank the Lord Jesus every day for being our shepherd.  We need to love those who are “sheep without a shepherd” and help them find the “Good Shepherd” which is our Lord Jesus.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

FIVE INDICATORS OF A WICKED AND EVIL HEART

I don't usually post sermons or messages by other people.  But I think this is something every Pastor should read and be aware of.  Pastor Mark Taylor

5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart
Association of Biblical Counselors
Association of Biblical Counselors
2015

As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.
I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes.
The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’ mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19–21). These things are not true of the evil heart.
Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart.  If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.

1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention.
They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information. (Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2–5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35; Jeremiah 18:18; Nehemiah 6:8; Micah 2:1; Matthew 12:34,35; Acts 6:11–13; 2 Peter 3:16)
2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words.
But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors. (Psalms 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4; 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23–26; 26:28; Job 20:12; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 26:59; Acts 6:11–13; Romans 16:17,18; 2 Corinthians 11:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:2–5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).
3. Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference.
They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance. (Romans 2:8; Psalms 10; 36:1–4; 50:16–22; 54:5,6; 73:6–9; Proverbs 21:24; Jude 1:8–16).
4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card.
They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust. (Proverbs 21:10; 1 Peter 2:16; Jude 1:4).
5. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse.
They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14–15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29; Isaiah 32:6; Romans 1:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15)
If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics, it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.

They want you to believe that:

1. Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences.
When they say “I’m sorry,” they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person he or she has harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.
The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10). 
The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people, but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisee’s with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, he or she is eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin (see Zacchaeus’ response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19). 
Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, ‘Sorry, can’t we just let it go?’ You would say, ‘No, that would be an injustice.’ Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required—some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.”1
As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.

The evil person will also try to get you to believe:

2. That if I talk like a gospel-believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk.
Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know, but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.
The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18; Jeremiah 7:8,10; James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8).
If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk, you have every reason to question someone’s relationship with God.
Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we have been trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good, and without discernment we can be easily fooled (Hebrews 5:14).
When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry” or “that he’s changing” when, in fact, he is not.

Daniel says, “[T]he wicked will continue to be wicked” (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?

Friday, May 15, 2015

SAY GOOD-BYE TO YESTERDAY



Video Links To This Sermon
 “Say Good-bye to Yesterday”
By Pastor Mark Taylor
“For a righteous person may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16).  
Christians are not “perfect”.  We are forgiven and we have the presence of God in our lives through the Holy Spirit, but we will all still make mistakes and fail ourselves and others from time to time.
The first step in saying good-bye to yesterday, is to acknowledge to ourselves and to the Lord that we have failed.  “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.”          (Psalms 51:1-3).  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 responsibility.  To move forward today, you must learn to say good-bye to yesterday’s hurts, tragedies, and negative events.
Next, understand that God loves you right now for who you are.  You cannot do anything to make God love you more than He does right now.  I know that it is a hard concept to accept because others do not love and accept us unconditionally, but God does.  “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1).  He demonstrates that love by continually forgiving us and giving us opportunities to start over.  “The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, (Psalms 103:17).
Finally, in this process determine to release the event and move on.  You do not have control over how other people feel about you or what you have done, but you do have power to control your response to the event.  Holding grudges and repeated the event to yourself and others will only prolong the pain.  “but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” (Philippians 3:13).
Many people before you have failed in business, relationships, and in accomplishing personal goals.  The average entrepreneur fails 4 times before they make it in business.  They have learned how to lemons in to lemonade.  Thomas Edison believed “ Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”.
When we don’t what to do, then we need to ask God for guidance, because He does know the solution to our problems and can help us overcome failure.   “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5).  I would like to share a few strategies that successful men and women have learned in overcoming failure.2
  • Reject Rejection.  Do not give up because others think you have failed.  The Lord has not given up on you. “For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6).
  • Don’t blame God and others for your failures.  He is the source of your help, not the source of your problem.   Remember how far you have come and give God glory for what you have.  Remember Job’s attitude about failure. “And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:21-22).
  • See failure as only a temporary problem.  “For a righteous person may fall seven times and rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16).  
  • Keep your expectations realistic and achievable.  Ask for God’s will to be done in your life. “You ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." (James 4:15).
  • Instead of dwelling on your failure, focus on your strengths. God has made you with special abilities and made you for a special purpose. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” (Psalms 139:14).
  • Don’t be afraid to start over.  Fear will bring procrastination and eventually stop you from overcoming failure. If you have the Lord Jesus in your heart, He will help you start over. “But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27).
  • Don’t get used to failure and make the same mistakes over and over again. “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you’ve always gotten”.


A great future is awaiting the children of God in this world and the one to come - Don't Quit – Don’t Give Up.  The Lord is on your side.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

SOMEONE CARES A LOT ABOUT YOU



Someone Cares A Lot About You
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”  (Matthew 10:30)

God cares about you so much that he knew all about you physically, mentally, and emotionally before you were born.  “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalms 139:16).   And He loves you in spite of all your problems you have acquired since you were born. You were made with such care that even the number of your hairs was not by chance.

God knows more about you than you know about yourself.  Not one hair falls from your head without God knowing about it.  If each hair is valued, then our minds and souls must have much more value.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).  

If God numbered your hairs, then He knows you personally and will be there for you when you have 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).

Just because you are thought of with such detail, His love does not exempt you from the trials and difficulties of life.  Our Lord Jesus suffered while He was on this Earth and He warned us that we would to.  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).  No matter how difficult your life is, if you remain faithful to the Lord, you have great rewards waiting for you.  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18).  

No one likes to suffer, but sin has brought chaos and problems into the world.  Sin is an agent of decay.  Once sin comes into a relationship, a community, or an individual it begins to destroy.  Satan’s goal is to undo what God has done by introducing sin into things that God has made “good”.

God cares for you by preserving you in this evil world.  The good news is that God is not just sitting back and watching evil destroy you.  In the book of Genesis, evil had become so widespread that God decided to destroy the whole world, but “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8).  God wants to spare you from the evil of this world because “He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7).  He is helping you fight evil.  “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God cares for you by reversing the chaotic cycle of sin in your life when you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.    “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).  
God cares for you by demonstrating His love to you.  “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8).

God cares for you by providing a plan and purpose for your life.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Because God cares so much for us, we need to care for others.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  (1 John 4:7).


Because God cares so much for us, we need to care for God. “I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116:1-2).