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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, August 29, 2015

FINISHING WELL

FINISHING WELL
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).  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS


VIDEO LINKS TO THIS SERMON

“IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS”
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO YOU LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO YOUR NAME”  PSALM 92:1

While traveling along the border of Samaria, Jesus met a group of people suffering from leprosy and miraculously healed them. One of the ten men, a Samaritan, returned and thanked Jesus for healing him:
For a child of God thankfulness is not confined to a day or a season, it is an attitude that we should have everyday and every hour. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  (Luke 17:11-19)
Over fifty years ago the Lord Jesus Christ reached out and forgave me of all my sins, and invited me to become a child of God.  I accepted His forgiveness and became a child of God.  I do not wait until a special day like Sunday or “Thanksgiving” to thank Him and remind Him how much I appreciate His love for me.  I cannot help but say “Thank You” to the Lord for loving me and taking care of me.

There is one sin that is prevalent today, it is the sin of ingratitude. God does so much for us. Our indebtedness to him is enormous and yet we rarely or at least infrequently offer thanks for what He has done. In fact, most professing Christians don’t even offer thanks over their meals much less offer thanks over all that God does in their lives.

There are many more blessings He gives to you and me everyday and we need to be more thankful and show the Lord how much we appreciate His goodness to us.   “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul.  And forget not all His benefits:  Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all our disease.  Who redeems your life from destruction.  Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”  (Psalms 103:1-4).  

I want to give thanks unto the Lord today for you, as I do many times during the week.  “After I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all Christians, I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16).  I cannot help but say “Thank You” to the Lord for you.  I appreciate the love that my friends show me and the prayers they offer up for me.  It is no telling where I would be in my life today if it were not for the precious gift of good friends.  If we are thankful to others, we need to express it in words and deeds.  We need to express it and they need to hear it.  Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.

I thank the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit for their presence in my life. I want to take this day to “just say thanks” for all They have done for me. 

I want to thank God for the wonderful things He has done for me. “Many O LORD my God are Your wonderful works.  Which You have done.  And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order.  If I would declare and speak of them.  They are more than can be numbered”.  (Psalms 40:5).

Thank You Lord Jesus for leaving Heaven and coming to Earth to die for my sins.  “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the Just for he unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but brought back to life by the Spirit.” (I Peter 3:18).  Thank You God for your gift of eternal life.  “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift”.  (2 Corinthians 9:15).  If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you have received a gift so great and wonderful, you will never understand how valuable it is until you step into Heaven.

Thank You Holy Spirit for teaching me about the Love of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26).  God lives inside of our lives through the Holy Spirit and we should always be thankful of His presence.  “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  (I Corinthians 6:19-20). 

There are many ways to say  “thank You” to the Lord.  We can start with our lips.  “By Him, then let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is with the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13: 15).  There is a tremendous difference between simply feeling gratitude and expressing gratitude.

You may not think you have much today to offer the Lord.  You may be “hanging on by a thread”.  But you still have “one thing” more you can do, one more prayer you can pray, and one more promise from God’s Word you can depend upon.  You can be thankful.   You may not be recognized in this life time by others for any great talent or achievement in your service for the Lord Jesus, but when you are thankful, God takes notice and accepts it as a offering to Him.

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you appreciate you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.

Here are the words to a song we sing in Church.  “Thank you Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me, your great salvation so rich and free!”


Friday, August 14, 2015

GOD'S POSITIONING SYSTEM

VIDEO LINKS TO THIS SERMON
GOD'S GPS - PART ONE
GOD'S GPS - PART TWO
GOD'S GPS - PART THREE
GOD’S POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS)
By Pastor Mark Taylor
“Then God said unto Elijah, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice spoke unto him.” (I Kings 19: 11-16). 




The verses above are about a prophet who loved God and lived for God with all his heart. But he allowed fear and anxiety to overcome Him. Elijah was hiding in a cave afraid that the wicked queen, Jezebel was going to kill him. Then God spoke to Elijah in a way that He wants to speak to you and I today - in a “small still voice”.
In today’s technology, we have the GPS (Global Positioning System) to give us physical directions to get from one place to another. And being directionally challenge, I appreciate and use it frequently.  




God has given each of His children a unique way to follow Him. It can also be identified as a GPS system which some have called “God’s Positioning System”. We know that this is the Holy Spirit who is that “still small voice” that guides His children throughout their lives. Even before we accept Him as our Savior, the Lord guides us toward Him. This is also called “grace”. He gives us an internal navigational package that divinely aligns us with people and events that helps us reach our destiny that God has given us.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully made in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 114:13-15) 




There are times when you meet people who change your life. There are times when you choose to drive a different direction and you miss a terrible accident. Something just told you to change directions and go a different direction. When you begin to see these things as God directing your life, you can understand that your life is not an accident at all. You are not just a life full of random events. You are not just “lucky” or “unlucky” in your life.

So, how do we engage this GPS (God’s Positioning System)? 




How do we get it to operate for us? The best way to find the “on” switch is to simply start talking to your Heavenly Father through prayer. You talk to Him the same way you would talk to your father, your grandfather, or your best friend. 

You have His permission to talk with Him about anything. “If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you ask, and it will be done for you you.” (John 15:7). His “words” in you is the programming of your GPS system. You will understand what to ask for and to also pray for God’s will to be done in your requests. “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). 




Prayer is cooperation with God, a consent that opens the way for grace to work. Prayer is not our achieving contact with Him, but is is a gift of Him coming down to us from on height like a meteor, rather than up like a rocket.
Prayer exerts an influence upon God’s action. That is what the word “answer” means. God has chosen a different style of governing the world, a partnership, which relies on human agency and choice. The partnership binds so tight that it becomes hard to distinguish who is doing what, God or the human partner. God seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to you and me. Prayer is the power by which that comes to pass which otherwise would not take place. 




After it is engaged or turned on, listen to the “small still voice”. Often we have loud external voices all around us that overpowers the inner voice of the Holy Spirit. You need to find the volume control of those voices and turn them down, and turn up the “still small voice” within you.

The events in our lives are not random. When we walk with God we have a destiny built in us. God has given us each free will, and it is up to us to program ourselves to find His will for our lives.


 The Holy Spirit will continually place opportunities , events, and people along each of our paths to help get us to where we need to go. But if we sit by the side of the road waiting for our destiny to come to us, nothing will happen. Determining where you want to go in life is your job. As the Cheshire cat said to Alice, In Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). 




We have all been inspired by the children’s book “The Little Engine That Could”. We admire how he reached way down inside himself to find the belief, the commitment, and the persistence to get a train full of toys to children waiting on the other side of the mountain. Many people have become “The Little Engine That Should”. We should be going up the mountain, but we are still at the train station doubting ourselves and God. God has people and events all along our journey positioned to help us get to our destiny. But starting your engine and going forward is part of that “free will” God has given you.

There is a “small still voice” speaking to you as you read this message from the Lord. He is asking you to turn on your GPS (God’s Positioning System) and let the Holy Spirit put people and events in your path. You have “Path Power” and you have choices. 




You can choose the path that leads to destruction or the path that leads to the happy abundant life. Jesus put it this way: “The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14). You need the Heavenly GPS (God’s Positioning System) that God wants to give you. Begin by asking Him for it today, and then allow Him to help you use it. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

(Thoughts and information for this sermon comes from Divine Alignment by Squire Rushnell - A great inspirational book) For more sermons by Pastor Mark go to: www.sermonstotheworld.blogspot.com )

Monday, August 3, 2015

LET YOUR WANTS EQUAL YOUR HAVES

Let Your Wants Equal Your Haves
by Pastor Mark Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

WHAT IS HIS NAME?


WHAT IS HIS NAME?
by Pastor Mark Taylor

We serve a mighty God.  There is no language that can express all of His qualities or begin to understand all of His power.  God is so amazing that one name cannot describe Who He is.  Below are three of His names from the Hebrew language.  May the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit reveal to us a partial list of His Names.

“Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" (Exodus 3:13)

THE LORD WHO PROVIDES – JEHOVAH-JIREH

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

The meaning of “Jehovah-Jireh” is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, “The Lord Who Sees”, or “The Lord Who Will See To It.”  This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met.  One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac's place. For us it is whatever we need.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (Psalms 34:15-16).
From these scriptures and others we can learn several things.  We can learn that God’s provision will come in the time of our greatest need.  Where will He provide?  He will provide for us “in the mount”, that is the place of our trial.  When you cannot see the answer to your need, the Lord will see you and see to your need.  He will be your Jehovah-Jireh.   Jehovah-Jireh will provide for His children:  “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25). “But as it is written: 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).

The Lord That Heals – Jehovah Rapha
“For I am the LORD that heals you!” (Exodus 15:26)

Rapha means “to restore”, “to heal” or “to make healthful” in Hebrew.
Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people, as well as their nation. Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our sicknesses.  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases..” (Psalm 103: 2-3).  
Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our troubles.  “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalms 34:6).  The Lord our God has many ways by which he makes our bitter waters of trouble sweet.  Sometimes he simply changes our circumstances.  At other times the Lord turns our sorrow to joy and makes our bitter waters sweet interjecting something unexpected, which changes everything.  Our Lord Jesus is always present with us in our troubles.  Giving in to the will of God and making our hearts submissive to Him will bring peace to the troubled heart quicker and more effectually than anything else.  “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).

There is healing for your deepest pains and disappointments.  There is healing over addictions, past hurts, and past failures.  There is healing for your body.  If you have become sidetracked by bitter waters in your soul and spirit, the only way to go to find the sweet water is to run to Jehovah-Rapha, The God Who Heals.

El-Shaddai – The Almighty God

“I am the Almighty God (El-Shaddai); walk before me, and be perfect” (Genesis 17:1-3)

God revealed another of His names to Abraham as He promised him that he would be the father of mighty nations.  The name “God Almighty”, or “El-Shaddai” in the Hebrew emphasizes God’s ability to handle any situation that confronts His people.  It literally means that God is “self-sufficient” and adequate to deal victoriously for His people.  When God told Abraham “I am the Almighty God”, He was telling Him, I am bigger than any of your problems, and I’ll fulfill My promises to you despite all the problems, if you’ll turn them over to Me”.  “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble: and He knows them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
We serve the “Almighty God” – “El-Shaddai”.  He is able to meet our every need. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).


Now, when you pray to your Heavenly Father, you can call Him by His Name.  When others ask you about your God, you can tell them His Name.  “I serve and love Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, and El Shaddai”.  Or you can simply say I serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  “Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?” (John 14:9 ) - Who is my Provider, my Healer, and My God.

Friday, July 17, 2015

WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN


by Pastor Mark Taylor

My objective is to help us focus on the reality of Heaven. God wants us to know that death is not something we should fear but look forward to.  It is a place where we and our loved ones will live and enjoy.  “This world is not my home, I am just passing through.”  This sermon can only introduce what a wonderful place Heaven will be.  The Bible reveals a lot about this wonderful place, but our minds can only process a small picture of what we will experience.   “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”                        (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Our Lord Jesus has said that He would immediately be with Him when we leave this world. “Jesus said:  I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in Me, though he were physically dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”  (John 11:25).  To the thief on the Cross, Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you.  Today you shall be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).

I have personally met some people who were clinically dead but came back from the dead and told me and others about visiting with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people have shared with me accounts of loved ones returning to bring a message from Heaven to their loved ones to assure them that they are ok.  There are more cases of “NDE” (Near life Experiences) than the average person may be aware of.  Dr. Elizabeth Ross was awarded 10 Doctor degrees including M.D.'s and PhD's for her 20 years of work, wrote a book titled Life After Death.  Elizabeth devoted her life to proving that an after life did exist. Her work showed that death was really a beautiful experience and the beginning of another life.

Her work showed that death was really a beautiful experience and the beginning of another life.  She showed that this after life was full,of promise and love and meeting those we loved who had died before us.  She studied 20,000 cases of people all over the world who had been who had been declared clinically dead and had returned to life.  She inspired the start of the Hospice movement.  Some awoke naturally, and others had been brought back to life through medical help. 

Dr. Elizabeth Ross states in her book Life After Dearth that “The dying experience is almost identical to the experience at birth.  It is a birth into another experience that can be proved.  "The death of the human body is identical to what happens when the butterfly emerges from its cocoon. “At the moment of this transition you are never ever alone.  You are not alone now, but you don't know it.  At the moment of your transition, your guardian angels, your loved ones who have passed on before you will be there to guide you.  "We have verified this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I say this as a scientist.  There will always be someone to help you with this transition.  Most of the time it is a parent or a grandparent, or a child if you have lost a child.  Sometimes it is people you did not know we're on the "other side" already.  This means that many children who do not have anyone they know on the "other side", see Jesus.”

Other observations that Dr. Ross received from those who had “Near Death Experiences” (NDE’s) was “The time you spend in your physical body is a very, very short time of your total existence.  It is  a very important time because you are here for a very special purpose, which is yours and yours alone.  The question of time is not terribly important; it is a man made artificial concept anyway.  Death is like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.  You know the coat is shabby and you don't want to wear it any more.”  Look at a little seed that we put into the ground, or take a look at a dry looking bulb that some put into the ground.  They look withered and dead, but in the spring we see the flowers and the fruit of the new life.  We shall be changed into the new order of life: our personalities continuing in those bodies that God will prepare for us, which are supernatural.

Dr. Eben Alexander M.D, an academic neurosurgeon for the last 25 years did not believe in “NDE’s” until his own brain was attacked by a rare illness.  The part of the braid that controls thought and emotion.  He was in a coma for seven days.  Then as his doctors considered stopping treatment, his eyes open and he came back to life.  He wrote about his time in Heaven in a book titled PROOF OF HEAVEN.    He said when he initially entered Heaven he both felt and heard three messages:  “You are loved and cherished”,  “You have nothing to fear”, and “There is nothing you can do wrong here.”  He said: “The unconditional love and acceptance that I experienced on my journey is the single most important discovery I have ever made.”  It is no wonder those who have had “NDE’s do not want to return to Earth, but are sent back as an answer to other’s prayers.

Colton Burpo had an emergency appendectomy when he was four years old.  He told his family a beautiful story of his trip to Heaven and back.  His parents retold his story in  a book about his experiences titled HEAVEN IS FOR REAL.  Colton told of meeting people in Heaven like a sister he never met or knew of that had died when his mother had a miscarriage years before his birth.  He described Jesus and the angels, and how “really, really big” God is and how much God love us.

I would encourage you to look up the story of Akiiane Kramarik experiences about Heaven. She was brought up in a family in Lithuania that “never talked about religion, never prayed together, and never went to any church.”  The family was atheist.  Her vision has been seen on many national TV news and entertainment programs.  She had never had a drawing or painting lesson but drew and painted from the age of 4 and at the age of 8 1/2 she desperately wanted to paint  portraits of Jesus who she had seen in another vision of Heaven.   Two of her paintings are “The Prince of Peace.”  and “Father Forgive Them”. She said this was a gift given to her while she was in Heaven.  Many of her paintings, drawings and poems are in a book titled AKIANE .





My prayer for you is that you will begin to think about Life after Death as a wonderful promise that God has given to those who love Him and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.    “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7).   “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

Friday, July 10, 2015

I HAVE FOUND MY HAPPY PLACE


By Pastor Mark Taylor

A "Happy Place" can be a place where your mind takes you before you actually get there.  It can be a pleasant memory of a place you remember.  One of my fondest memories as a child through the time I was an adult was a pond on my grandparent's land that I often went to pray and think during difficult times in my life.  It was a happy place where I could feel God's presence and His peace.

Heaven is a "Happy Place" I think about when I am troubled about all the problems that are going on in this world.  It is a place where my heart and mind goes to think about my great future with God and the Lord Jesus.  I think about being reunited with many people I love who have already left Earth to begin their new life in a wonderful place.  It is a place that has caused me to live my life in a way God's Word has showed me to please Him.

A  FOX News poll finds that more than nine in 10 Americans (91 percent) believe in God and almost as many believe in heaven (87 percent). In addition, 84 percent say they believe in miracles and 79 percent in angels.  We repeat every Sunday in the Apostles Creed that we "believe in the resurrection of the body and  in life everlasting".  

Why is Heaven such an important subject?  For Christians it is one of the central themes of our faith.  That we will be rewarded for a life of following the two greatest commandments:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27).  

Heaven is a real place.  It is a place that God gives us because He loves us.  It is a place worth your time and service to Him and others while you are on His Earth.  It is worth you living a Holy life.  When you find yourself getting discouraged, look ahead for a future in God's home - Heaven. My goal today is to help you to "set your affections on things above and not on things here on Earth" (Colossians 3:2)

We are looking forward to being with our God, and our Savior, "You shall be My people, and I will be your God" (Jeremiah 30:22).   In addition to being with our Lord Jesus. ,we are looking forward to seeing our loved ones that have left us here on Earth.  We are looking forward to a new body that will not experience sickness or death ever again: "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)

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

First of all God promises us a new body.  We cannot be sure exactly what it will look like, but it will be much better than the best human body on Earth. It will not experience physical or emotional pain or death ever again.  We will not be just a spirit floating around, but shall be known as we are known on Earth without remembering our failures   We will given responsibilities and be active beings.         "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:." (2 Timothy 2:12).  "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."  Revelation 20:6

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the first person who had been in Heaven to give us a testimony and documentation that their was life after death.  Some have said if I could prove that their was a  “Heaven”, then I would believe the Bible and commit myself to a relationship with God.  but Jesus said: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16: 31).  But some have heard and believed and look forward to Heaven without fear.  Our Lord told His disciples and tells us today:  “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there you will be also.”  (John 14:1-3).

Heaven is real. Heaven will not be some existence where we float about as spirits without bodies. Why would God take the trouble to create a new earth if there was not going to be anyone to live on it? Why would we be given new bodies if we were not going to live in a material world?  Jesus rose from the dead in His glorified body. He could pass thru walls, but yet he could touch people, sit down and eat.

If we make preparations for our grandchildren’s visit or guests coming to our home for a meal, how much more does a God of love prepare for the time His children will come to His eternal home. The Bible says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). Jesus said, “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3).  If this fallen world in all of its brokenness can be so wonderful, what must heaven be like? Abraham and many of our Spiritual forefathers believed in Heaven.  (Romans 4:20-21)

Heaven is the residence of God. The greatest reward of heaven will be God Himself. Nothing we see or experience will be greater than the fact that we are with God and see him face to face.  Christians can be certain of their future in Heaven because Jesus prays for us. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (John 17: 9-11).

Christians can be certain of their future in heaven because God is for us and not against us.   We can be certain that He will bring His work to a fulfillment. God is not investing in a losing cause!  He proved His love for us on Calvary so we can be certain that nothing, absolutely nothing will keep him from completing His loving plans. Even when you struggle and fail, God still loves you and is still for you.

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

There is nothing in this world worth missing Heaven for. There are many things we do not know about Heaven because it is so much better than  Earth, that there are no human words to explain how great it is.  We will be reunited with our loved ones who loved God and accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior.  We will be rewarded for all of our service and sacrifices in our service for God to meet the needs of others.  Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

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



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)