Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2016

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

MISSION

Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

VISION STATEMENT

Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

Welcome to our New Site

We welcome you to see our New Website http://sermonstotheworld.org.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM A TRUE CHRISTIAN?

HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM A CHRISTIAN?
By Pastor Mark Taylor


This is a very important question.  If we get this concept wrong, then nothing else in seeking a relationship with God will work.  We can be good moral people and have some knowledge of the Bible.  However, if we do not understand what the Bible says about "salvation", we can go through life deceived and discouraged.  So, Let us look at some basic evidences of knowing that we are true believers.  Because, that is what God wants.  "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son od God."  (I John 5:13)

Jesus has given us specific statements regarding how we must become a Christian and how we can know if we are really “saved” or “born again”.   Many of us have heard the invitation to come to Christ and have given our hearts to the Savior.  We have read and heard the verse Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).    

We know that before a child is born into the world he has eyes, but cannot see, he has ears but cannot hear. Before we are born we cannot breathe. It is only after he is born that he is now capable of hearing and seeing.  When we are “born again” we receive our spiritual eyes and ears. “The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14).  

When we are “born again” God breathes into our soul a spiritual life.  It is that great change which God works in the soul when He brings it into life.  When we are “born again”, our spiritual life begins. Our Lord is reminding us that if we are going to have the kingdom of God in us in this lifetime, and the kingdom of Heaven in the life to come, we must do two things:  “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4).

How can you know if you are “born again”.  There are several ways.  Have you come to Christ and asked for forgiveness of your sins and asked Him to be your Savior?  Is there a change within you that makes you care about spiritual things?  Is there a change in you that makes you want to avoid sin and the pleasures of this world?  “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).  The new birth does not consist in washing the outside of the cup, but a cleaning on the inside, in the inner man.  If you are not changed inside, this child is not born to you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Another way you can know if you are “born again” is that there is a change on the exterior of your life.  Do your friends and family observe a change?  If there is no change in the outward life, there is no change within.  The proof of the Christian is in the living.  When we live in sin and worldly pleasure, and seek our own desires, and not God’s will, and we deceive ourselves.  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-8).


The “New You” should not include the following characteristics. “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”   (Colossians 3:8-9).  

The “New You” should include these characteristics: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.  If anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12-13).

The “New You” has the ability and power from the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. 
“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).

The “New You” has the ability to love others. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8).  “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.   (1 John 4:10-11)

God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).  “We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (1 John 4:19-21).


The “New You” will demonstrate your faith by your good works.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10).  “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

CHASING THE WIND

CHASING THE WIND
By Pastor Mark Taylor


“Better is a handful of peace than two hands full of toil and chasing after wind.”  Ecclesiastes 4:6 (paraphrased).
We are constantly measuring ourself with others to determine if we are "OK"  There is no win in comparison.    “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

We have a tendency to compare what we have with what others have. We want our children and spouses to be better than others.  We want our houses and cars to be better than others.  It is not really about us wanting something better. It is about us, so we can feel better about who we are.  We all know that there is something wrong in our lives, personality, behavior, thoughts.  We try to fix this by comparing ourselves to others.  We say “Well at least I am not as bad as (fill in the blank).”

The problem with this is that as we look to the left and to the right, we will always find someone better, smarter, richer, prettier, and so on.  So we are putting undue pressure on others and on ourselves to be like someone else. Just be the best you can be.

There is no win in comparison.  What am we using for a reference point to determine if we are ok or if we are alright?  Solomon is saying that if you always are looking to the left are right for approval, you will have both hands chasing after the wind.  Are you looking at your father, your mother, your husband or wife to tell you you are ok? it is important to “love yourself” regardless if others withhold words of approval from you.

In Ecclesiastes 4:5. Solomon says “The fool folds his hand and does nothing.”  
He is not saying we are not to be ambitious and have goals in life.  He is not saying that we do not encourage our children and each other to become better.  What he is saying, is that life is meaningless if you can't enjoy what you have in one hand. Take time to smell the roses as you go through life.

Competitive is different than Comparison.   Competitive is when you put your energy into becoming better instead of doing things in seeking someone else's approval.  You do it for you and the team.  You use your gifts and abilities to help others climb up the ladder of success or overcome problems.  You have one hand climbing up and another hand reaching down to help others.  Then you can find the approval from within.   Being competitive is helping you and others.  This is called being a friend or being a family.


What is your mirror that you are looking at to tell you that you are ok? Are you exhausted from trying to keep up with- (fill in the blank)?  Are you broke from trying to keep up with - (fill in the blank)? Are you allowing what others have keep you from enjoying what you have?

Do you enjoy your kids or are you driving them crazy by comparing them to how much other kids have achieved?  Your love and approval should not be based on performance.  Are you comparing your wife or husband to someone else's?   You need to be thankful for the wife or husband God has given you.  Don’t compare them to others.

Who does your Heavenly Father compare you to?  Nobody.  He went to the cross so He could have a personal, one on one, relationship with you.  He does not compare you with His other children. “He demonstrated His love toward you when you were still nobody - someone who didn’t love Him, He died for you.”  Romans 5:8 (paraphrased).

Who’s estimation of you should you use when you evaluate yourself as whether or not you are ok or not?  You should use God's estimation of you above your own estimation of you.  He is going to say "Your fine, because your mine."

He is not done working on you to make you better.  Look to Him for your affirmation and for His approval of you.  He already sees you as His child.  Quite focusing on your weaknesses and focus on your relationship.

Proverbs 14:30 " A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."  If you are always looking at others to receive their approval, you will never have peace, but will be "chasing the wind”.  Envy is wanting what others have and not being satisfied with who you are and what God has given you.

Take your cue about you from how God views you. Psalms 139:14. "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  “For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

What you have is less important than what you do with what you have.  The parable of the talents:  Matthew 25:14-30

What are you going to do with what God has entrusted to you?  Celebrate what God has done for others and use what God has given you.  Use what you have in one hand and don’t waste it trying to chase something you will never have.  Live a life of peace enjoying what God has given you and then He will give you more of what you need.






Thursday, January 4, 2018

Let God Be God

LET GOD BE GOD
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“…Let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4)

I have been working with families a lot on the loss of their loved ones.  Some have been young children, teenagers, and others have been middle aged men and women. I have been involved in the funerals and counseling of their loved ones who leave planet Earth to enter eternity.  It is never easy to say goodbye to those we love, young or old.  In the message below, I would like to give you a Biblical perspective of life after death.

The average life expectancy, according to the Social Security Administration, of a man who reaches the age of 65 lives to be 84.3 and a woman on average to an age of 86.6.  In contrast many of the African countries have average life expectancies in the lower 50’s.  Many die younger because of floods, famines, and disease.  They do not have the medical resources or economic ability to extend their lives.

I have heard from both atheists and devoted believers the same question.   That question can be reduced to one word, which is “Why?”  I have heard it phrased as “If God is a God of love, how could He let my loved one die?”  Or “How can the Christian God allow so much suffering and pain in the world?”  These people are believing a lie about a God who loves them.

Many people have attempted to answer this question of “Why?” from a theological viewpoint, while others have blamed God and have chosen to denied His existence.   Even though I have read many Christian books offering explanations, I have yet to find a simple answer to provide for a family member at the death of their loved one.  There are certainly no answers outside of a God who loves us - regardless of the inability to answer the question "Why?".

If you have chosen to turn away from believing in a loving God, there is little written that can help you.  This is a sad fact because without communicating with Him, you will never find comfort or understanding.  The only true answers will come from the Word of God, The Bible.  If you do not believe or accept the truth of the Bible, then you will never find any spiritual answers to your questions.  “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14).

While comfort and peace can only come from the Holy Spirit, He can use God’s Word to give some meaning to our loss.  But let me say this to those who have accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior, that there are either answers or there is grace to accept the unknown.  In this writing I hope to offer you hope in your loss.  It is probably not anything that someone else has not already said, but it is my attempt at giving you a Biblical perspective of life and death and eternity.

First of all let us examine the truth about “death” and who causes it.  I have heard good Christians ask questions like “ Why did God take my husband (child, parent, etc.)”.  It is very easy to blame God for everything bad and give Him little credit for what is good.  

Could it be possible that other things could have caused death?  Let us at least consider  two possibilities of what God’s Word says.

“The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy.  I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).  Could death be coming from Satan?

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection o the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”  (I Corinthians 15: 21-22)  Could death be coming from sin we inherited from Adam?  If so, we can also inherit eternal life from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, let us examine the brevity of this life on Earth. Today I am 70 years old.  But it seems like it was only a short time ago I was a young man full of energy and goals.  I am sure most people my age and older see life going by very quickly.  God’s Word has something to say about how short our life is:

“…For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away…” (James 4:14).

Finally, God has a plan for our future.  It is not just about living to be a 100 or longer in this life. To be with God is where all of God’s children will be at some point.  All the people Jesus healed and raised from the dead, left Earth at death and are now with our Lord Jesus in Heaven.  Healing here is just temporary at best.

“Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.”  ( Revelation 21:3-4).

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  (Psalm 116:15).

But  God’s view of “death” is not the same as ours.  We do not “lose” our loved ones.  They are just moving from one location to another. Would we feel we had lost them if they moved to another town?   When people leave here they move to His house.  Our Lord said these words: 

‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  (Matthew 22:32)

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that whereI am, there you may be also.”  (John 14: 1-3).

As you are going through your grief, remember that there is a God of love Who has all the answers for you waiting in Heaven.  Even that hard one “Why?”.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9).


Let God be God and trust Him for the safety of your loved one who is in Heaven today.  Don’t believe the skeptics who have no answers or no hope.  Think about your future from God’s viewpoint: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11).  That future is to be reunited with your loved ones in Heaven.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

NO FEAR THIS YEAR

“NO FEAR THIS YEAR”
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear”. (1 John 4:18).

Fear is the opposite of faith.  After forty years in the wilderness, Moses told Joshua and the people of Israel not to fear.  They were going into a new land and face new opportunities.   "Be strong and of good courage, and fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6).  Keep positive about your future.  Remember we were saved by faith and we live by faith.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

To get rid of fear of what might happen this year, get rid of negative thoughts and speech. I would encourage you to cast out your fear by using words of faith.  Instead of complaining and expecting the worst, speak affirmatively about God’s ability and God’s love for you.  “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:19). 

 Read and quote verses from the Bible to yourself. “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Someone has said: “If you always do what you have done, you will always get what you always got”.  Some people get caught up in a cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and they will continue to get the same results.  Some people find themselves in a cycle o  bitterness, and fear.   Forgiveness can break the cycle of blame and pain.  The most common Greek word for forgiveness means, literally, to release, or hurl away, or free yourself.  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear”. (1 John 4:18).

Another thing that will get rid of fear this year is to keep the strife out of your life.  We all have different personalities and temperaments and approach issues in different ways.   Get rid of pettiness, division, and discord.  Make a decision that your are going to make the necessary adjustments so you can live a more peaceful life. “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16).  Removing yourself from strife can improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Remove yourself from the drama that other people are creating around you.

When you are always worried about what someone else is thinking about you, it is a type of fear. Don’t allow others to intimidate you and cause you to fear. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalms 27:1). Most of the time people are not thinking about you and you. Don’t listen to those who want to tell you about how bad things are.

When you compare yourself with others, you are limiting the Lord from using you to your best ability.  You may fear that you are not as good as someone else.  The Bible says this type of thinking is wrong.  “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12).

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.
Overcome fear by planning for a better year.  God has put dreams into all of our hearts.  We have to go beyond just believing things can be better.  We need to start making plans to improve our health, finances, relationships, and spiritual growth.  Your faith needs to move in a positive direction.  Keep your vision in front of you instead of your fear.  Talk to yourself and others about good health, getting out of debt, and better relationships.   Read your Bible more, pray more, read encouraging books, watch positive TV programs, listen to uplifting music, attend church more and you will begin to see the Lord doing amazing things in your life.  “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice” (Psalms 55:17).  

Begin by making a list of your dreams, goals, and aspirations and areas you want to improve in.  Ask the Lord to give you wisdom on how to accomplish them.  “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).  God wants to give you the ability to solve your problems.  He wants you to have peace about your present and about your future.  “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

If you never go through struggles you cannot experience hope or patience.  

If you are not doing anything today for God or your Church, you need to get into a ministry and struggle with others.  It will bring you friends that will last forever.  Struggles and difficulties will show you how God has delivered others and how He uses others to help us when we need help. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10).

One of the greatest things about God is that He continues to work with men and women despite their own limitations and failings.  Too often they do not allow God to complete what He starts within them.  The Lord Jesus wants to finish what He has started in you.  “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”  (Philippians 1:6).
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).
Let us move forward this year without fear.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

THE WONDER OF HIS NAME

THE WONDER OF HIS NAME

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Wonderful

His coming was wonderful. This prophecy was to show us who God is and what He is like in the form of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. He was and is “Wonderful”.  742 years before his birth, Isaiah, God's prophet, foretold the amazing truth that he would be born of a virgin and said His name would be Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14).  700 years before He was born, Micah, God's prophet revealed in Micah 5:2 that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem of Judah. There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament which foretold His coming.  The chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled only eight of the prophecies is 1 in 1017."  That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.  Jesus was not an ordinary man, but God in the flesh.  “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son, from the Father, full of grace and truth”  (John 1:14).  What a wonderful gift from God.

Every ordinary thing He touched became “Wonderful”.  Everyone He touched changed from ordinary into “Wonderful”.  At His presence, the blind would see, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk, and the dead could be raised from the dead.  When Jesus came by, people felt His “wonderful” presence and everyone He touched received something “Wonderful” from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Everything He did was “Wonderful”.  He fed thousands of hungry people with His “Wonderful” miracles.  He ate and fellowshipped with the outcasts and unlovable in His community.  He brought the message of eternal life to all who would hear and receive it.  Everything He said was “Wonderful”.  He talked about living forever with Him in Heaven.  He talked about having rewards for living a good and righteous life.  He talked about forgiveness for all the sins we have committed.  He talked about His love for us and the need for us to love others.

Counsellor

We all need a counselor at one time or another. We need the advice of friends or family.  Jesus has the credentials to be our advisor because he is completely trustworthy and wise.  Jesus provides two things that we’d look for in a great counselor:  He is understanding. – “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)  
He is someone who really cares. – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7).  So when we face any and every decision, this prophecy tells us that Jesus is there to advise us and give us direction. Jesus is our top advisor. He can see every possible outcome, and knows which choice is best. Every time.

Mighty God

This is an expectation of power.  Calling this child “God” is a prophecy regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ. He will be the all-powerful God himself!  Christ is our victorious king who has already triumphed over the evil powers of this world!  Because of that, we can expect Jesus to continue give us victory over our struggles. As a “Mighty Warrior” he will deliver us safely from the wars we wage against the embarrassing temptations we have a difficult time getting under control.  He will deliver us from laziness, bad habits, confrontations with family, and confrontations with people with whom we do business. He is the Mighty God!

The Everlasting Father

This is an expectation of care.  “Everlasting” points to a promise of kingdom that will never end. (Is. 9:7)  “Father” refers to the enduring, compassionate, fatherly care of the Messiah to His people. We can expect Jesus to be our “Provider Forever.”

 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Prince of Peace

This is an expectation of wholeness.  A “Prince” is a leader, military commander or noble.  “Peace” is the world “shalom” which means the absence of strife, completion, fulfillment or wholeness resulting in unimpaired relationships.  He also provides “peace on earth,”  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14). There will be a time of absence of war and social justice on earth. This will happen when the Lord Jesus returns at His Second Coming.  But until then He has come to bring peace into our lives. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27).  This can happen in the part of the world where you live and occupy - within your heart and mind. The Lord Jesus Christ wants to come into our lives and bring us peace.  “For He is our peace”. (Ephesians 2:14).  



Our Lord is more than a baby born in a manger.  He is Wonderful, He is our Counsellor.  He is our Mighty God.  He is our Everlasting Father, He is our Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN

“Unto Us a Child is born, unto us a Son is Given” 
Isaiah 9:6

Our Lord and Savior, was both born and given to us.  He was truly-born as a child as you and I were and became a human.  As Jesus Christ, God’s Son, He was given, begotten of His Father, not made, but of the same substance of His Father.  This is a mystery utterly beyond the understanding of any human being.  As one great preacher, C.H. Spurgeon said: “It would be like a gnat drinking from the ocean for a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God.  A God whom we could understand would be no God.”  

Jesus Christ as a child was born, but Jesus Christ as a Son was not born, but given.  "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).  It is true that “unto us a child is born”.  It is a fact that a child is born.  It is a fact more fully established than any other fact in history, that the Son of God became a man and was born in Bethlehem, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.  The unbeliever may dispute it, but we, professing to be believers in Scripture, receive it as an undeniable truth, that God has given His only begotten Son to be the Savior of men and women.

If this child who we see through the eyes of faith wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem’s manger, is born to you, then you are “born again”. “Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3). For this child is not born to you unless you are born to this child.  Only men and women who are “born again” can claim the babe in Bethlehem as being theirs.

How can you know if you are “born again”.  There are several ways.  Have you come to Christ and asked for forgiveness of your sins and asked Him to be your Savior?  Is there a change within you that makes you care about spiritual things?  Is there a change in you that makes you want to avoid sin and the pleasures of this world?  “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).  The new birth does not consist in washing the outside of the cup, but a cleaning on the inside, in the inner man.  If you are not changed inside, this child is not born to you. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Another way you can know if you are “born again” is that there is a change on the exterior of your life.  Do your friends and family observe a change?  If there is no change in the outward life, there is no change within.  The proof of the Christian is in the living.  When we live in sin and worldly pleasure, and seek our own desires, and not God’s will, and we deceive ourselves.  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:6-8).

If this “Child”, the Lord Jesus Christ is born to you, you must come to Him as a child with faith.  “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4). Do you take God’s Word just as it is, simply because your heavenly Father says it is true?  Can you believe the mysteries of God in the Bible without demanding to have them intellectually explained to you?  Can you say and believe as the Psalmist says: “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants.” (Psalms 119:89-91).

If this “Son” is given to you, you have become a son or daughter of the Heavenly Father.  “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13).  Does the Holy Spirit speak to you about your relationship with Him.  “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”  (Romans 8:15-16).  If “unto us a Son is given”, then we are given to the Son.  "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:39).  The Lord Jesus Christ is praying to the Father for you today if you are His son or daughter.  "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” (John 17:9)


If you receive the gift of salvation from God the Father then you have been born again - “unto you a child is born”,.  If you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior, “unto you a Son is given”.  How is it we give so little to Christ who gave Himself for us?  This Christmas realize the greatest gift you have been given is the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a personal gift that each person has to receive.

Friday, December 1, 2017

GIVE US THIS DAY

GIVE US THIS DAY
By Pastor Mark Taylor
December 1, 2017

“Give us this day, our daily bread”  Matthew 6: 11

This is part of the prayer our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, taught us to pray.  Therefore we need to pay close attention as we learn how to pray.  

In the Old Testament God fed the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness.  He fed them every day.  “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” Exodus 16:4.  

God gave them instructions on how to gather it for one day at a time.  "So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.  This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (about two quarts) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’” Exodus 16: 15-16.

Our Lord also told us that He was the “Bread of Life” that we should desire.  
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”  And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:32-40.

There are many applications we can make from these scriptures in relationship to how we should pray and why we should pray: “Give us this day, our daily bread” 
(Matthew 6:11.).

Our main request from our Heavenly Father should be “Give me more of Jesus, today.”  When we have “The Bread of Life” we will have everything else we need.  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33).  He understands that we have other needs, but He should be our priority.

Our main routine should be early in the morning every day.  When we leave our house to go to work our engaged in our daily activities, our efforts and our energy will be less than it could have been with our “daily Bread”.  Just as our physical body requires nourishment, our souls need spiritual nourishment.  If we feel frustrated and tired in the middle of the day, it is because we have forgotten to ask for and receive our “daily bread”.  It is also important to pray all day long for direction, protection, and sanctification.  Our requests should be “What is it?”  What do you want me to do with what you have given me?

Our main results is that when we are fed we will have enough left over for all those in our tents.  If you will go to our Lord for your “daily bread”, then He will give you enough for all those who have needs that you are responsible for.  Your family needs for you to be strong, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Research has shown that when the mind is full of stress, worry, and fear, it will have a direct affect on the body.  When we are full of our Lord Jesus, there is little room for rest of these things He has told us to get out of our lives.

Let us all start our day with saying the “Lord’s Prayer” and meaning it in our hearts.  It may sound like a ritual, but it is the model prayer that will lead us into a deeper prayer life with our Savior.  If you are uncomfortable about saying the prayer because you feel your prayers should come directly from your heart, then include these things in your prayer:  Praise and Thanksgiving; Provision and protection; His will to be done in your life; and Sanctification - the ability to live a life pleasing to God.