Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2018

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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 152 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”.

Bible Verse

"Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household." Acts 16:31

JESUS

Friday, August 3, 2018

IF YOU LOVE ME - FEED MY SHEEP

If You Love Me - Feed My Sheep
by Pastor Mark Taylor - August 3, 2018

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (John 21:17)

I am thinking about the many times “feeding” was a part of our Lord Jesus’s ministry.  He began His ministry at a wedding providing an important part of a meal - the wine.
He fed the 5,000 men plus the women and children on a mountain and then another 4,000 plus in a field.  He ate and drank with sinners and in the homes of the religious leaders.  He ate with the disciples daily and prepared them a meal at least twice.  One of the first things we will do as “the Bride of Christ” is to attend a great wedding feast in Heaven.

As you can see, being part of a meal is not just a geographical location or being at the same place every time at the same time.  It is an action that happens when the sheep are gathered.  Our Lord said “where there are two or more gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).  This can be done in small groups in homes as well as in beautiful buildings.  The believers attending are the “church” and the non believers who are guests can easily become part of the family of God.   People were spiritually and physically fed in homes in the early church and there are many “home churches” throughout the world where the sheep are being fed.  Many of the best meals I have had are in the homes of friends and family instead of large restaurants. 

There is more than just the “food” involved in these events.  We often think of preaching or teaching as “feeding” the sheep.  But let’s look at the whole event surrounding the meal.  The meal is the gathering of a group of people who want to feel loved and feel they belong.  We will seldom remember the menu we ate from, but we will never forget the love and fellowship we experience at a special meal.  The words we hear from the Bible are “spiritual food”, but the love coming from the people sharing those words are what will be remembered.

First there is the invitation.  Before we can “feed” our Lord’s sheep, we have to invite them to the Lord’s table.  There are people hungry for being a part of a meal with friends and family.  But most of all we need to invited our Lord Jesus to attend and share during the meal.

Second there is the preparation. The food has been prepared by God Himself in the 66 books of the Bible. But the meal is not just a “one man’s show” where we gather to be entertained by the delivery.   This is a time for a group of people to gather and work together.  We need a place, we need cooks, we need greeters, we need servers, and we people to clean up.  But most of all we need to prepare our hearts for the meal.

Third there is the reason for the meal.  It is not just to eat the meal.  It is a time of fellowship with each other and our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is a time to share and a time to listen.  In the days of the Bible a meal was a time when family gathered and invited guests to join them.  It was a time of joy and a time of remembering the good things surrounding the lives of the people attending the meal.  

Today we go through the fast food windows, get our food and eat in our cars or in our living rooms watching TV.  No one is being “fed” what they really need, and that is a time of belonging and interaction.


If we love our Lord Jesus, then we need to provide them with the whole experience of having a meal centered around love.  “Feed My Sheep”.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

PRAYER REALLY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE


Prayer Really Can Make a Difference 
By Pastor Mark Taylor
One of the greatest things you can do is to pray. Prayer is more than repeating something you have learned, but it is having a real conversation with our Heavenly Father. It can happen at any time and in any place. 
Some people have limited their prayer time to the blessing before they eat or repeating the Lord’s Prayer on Sunday at church. Prayer is more than a formal exercise. 
God has answered all of my prayers whether or not I was aware of the answer or the exact time they were answered. Many times the answer was yes to my requests. I probably did not even take the time to say “Thank You” when many of these prayers were answered. Other times the answer was “no.” I can look back now and see if He had said yes over my objection, the answer would have had a negative consequence in my life. And finally, He has often said “Not now, but later.” I have found out that this was what faith is all about. 
Jesus counted on prayer as a source of strength that equipped Him to carry out a partnership with God the Father on earth. He said:“The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Fa- ther doing, for what things soever He does, these the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). 
Prayer makes a difference in receiving forgiveness for your sins. It is a second chance that is given to you every time you go to your Heavenly Father. 
Prayer is more than a social skill.The main purpose of prayer is not to make life easier, nor to gain magical powers, but to know God. It is more than a useful exercise. God invites a steady and honest flow of communication from you.“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD,“Though your sins are like scarlet,They shall be as white as snow;Though they are red like crimson,They shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). 
Prayer is not just for those who think they are “good people.” It is for those who have problems.“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).There are many examples of this recorded in God’s Word to remind us that He will answer our prayers when we make mistakes. David asked God’s forgiveness after he committed adultery and murder. He prayed: “ Have mercy upon me O God.According to the multitude ofYour tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,and cleanse me from my sin...” (Psalm 51:1-2). Certainly there were consequences for his sins, but his relationship with God was restored and many of his prayers were answered after his prayer of repentance was prayed. 
Prayer makes a difference in what we can receive from God. “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). But that asking should be as a loving child who is asking for things to make him a better person and better serve his Father. 
Some speak to God as he would to a bank manager.We visit Him intermittently, occasionally asking him for a small favor for a overdraft.We come to Him to get ourselves out of difficulty, thank- ing Him for His assistance.We let him know that we will be one of His reliable customers, and will maintain contact if we need Him again.We come to Him as we would an ATM.This is not what prayer is all about. It is about having a relationship with a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. 
We do not pray to tell God what He does not know, nor to re- mind Him of things He has forgotten. Prayer is a cooperation with God, an agreement with Him that opens the way for grace to work. It is a time to listen as well as to talk. God knows the beginning and the end of things that can happen in our lives.We need to ask Him for His wisdom, protection, and presence every day. 
Prayer makes a difference in our relationship with the Creator of the world. I spend time with my closest friends not because of what they can do for me, but for the pleasure of their company. I am sure that our Heavenly Father would like to enjoy our company when we don’t need anything from Him. Just a friendly visit. Prayer that is based on relationship and not transaction. 
Prayer makes a difference in feeling the presence of God in your life. Prayer is not my way of establishing God’s presence, rather it is my way of responding to God’s presence. His presence is a fact whether or not I can detect it.“The eyes of the Lord are on the right- eous and His ears are attentive to their prayer” (I Peter 3:12). 
My feelings of God’s presence, or God’s absence, are not what is important. Prayer means keeping company with God who is al- ready present. 
I was attending a Georgia Bulldog football game with thou- sands of other people. I asked the Lord how in the world could He see or hear me in such a big crowd.Then I looked at a huge screen at the end of the field and saw the camera zoom in on a child who was laughing and enjoying his time with his parents.The Lord spoke to my heart and said as the camera, that man made, can pick out one child in a crowd of thousands, I can zoom in on you and hear your prayer and be in your presence. 
God has time for you.A God unbound by our rules of time has the ability to invest in every person on earth. God has, quite literally, all the time in the world for each one of us.“For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night” (Psalms 90:4). Contact with Him is not our achievement. It is a gift coming down to us from on high like a meteor, rather than rising up like a rocket. God finds ways to communicate to those who truly seek God. I need to think more about God than about myself when I am praying. 
Prayer will make a difference in our lives in increasing our faith. 
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 11:6). The more we pray, the more faith we will have. 
Prayer makes a difference in our relationship as children of God with our Heavenly Father.Apparently God is the kind of friend and Father who rewards friendship and relationship with Him. No one in the Old Testament directly addressed God as “Father,” but Jesus did so at least 170 times. He taught us how to pray. “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). 
Prayer will make a difference in how much and how effective we will be in our service for the Lord. Prayer is more than a reflec- tive time to consider God’s point of view. It is also a time to find a way to accomplish God’s will in the work He calls us to do. 
After entrusting the human species with the gift of free choice, God asks them to act as partners.And as God’s coworkers, we are         encouraged to submit our requests, our desires, our petitions in prayer. 

The answer to the title of this message is: “YES, PRAYER DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE!” 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Our Lord's "N" Commandments

Our Lord’s “N” Commandments
by Pastor Mark Taylor 

The "N" Commandments are not the "Ten Commandments". Most people have broken many of the "ten".  But many more have broken the "N" Commandments.

John 14:21 - “Those that have my commandments and keeps them, it is them that love me, and they that love Me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love Him, and will make myself know to them.”

We all know that our Lord Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

He also said: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12).

But there are also some other things that He told us “Not” to do.  I am calling these the “N” commandments.  I am taking these thoughts from Pastor Andy Stanley who delivered a series on this subject.

Most of us would say “Yes” to the question: “Do You Love Jesus?”.  We know about the 10 commandments given to us in the Old Testament.  But there are some specific things that our Lord Jesus told us not to do.

I hope this message will help you to look at some of our habits and attitudes as unpleasing to the Lord.  We need to ask for forgiveness and begin working on improving the things that the Holy Spirit shows us that do not have to be a part of the Christian life.  We may not even be aware that these are things we can and should change. It will require that you read and re-read our Lord’s Words to us in the Gospels.  It will require that you read more books and listen to more sermons on Faith and Trust. It will require prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord gave us five things “not” to do to live the victorious Christian life regardless of external circumstances.  In a sense they are commandments because He said we are not to do these five things.

“Fear Not” - “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered, Fear not you are more valuable than many sparrows who are not forgotten by God.”  (Luke 12:6-8).

Fear is the opposite of Faith.  It can cause mental and physical diseases.  It can lead to anger and even hate.  Fear has it’s root in be afraid of not having enough or in not being enough.    “Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the Earth.”  (Colossians 3:2).  There are many good Christian books that can help you in overcoming fear.

“Worry Not” - “Therefore I say unto you.  Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, or for your body, what you shall wear…..” Matthew 6:25-34.

The main issue about worry is Do you believe God can take care of you?  Worry is about seeking things of tomorrow.  God wants you to seek Him today.  When you start to worry about tomorrow, begin to participate in God’s kingdom today.  There are things God needs for you to do for others today.

“Sin Not” - “I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over 99 just persons which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7).
 “…Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11).

Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.  If God has shown you things that are wrong in your life, you need to stop.  God will forgive you of your past sins and He has died for your future sins.  But this does not give you a license to sin or exempt you from the consequences of sin.

“Judge Not” - “Judge not, that you will not be judged.”  (Matthew 7:1)

Two reasons that we judge other people are that we are either jealous or self righteous.  When we take the plank out of our eyes, we can see clearly to help others to be better to.

“Doubt Not” - “Have faith in God…and doubt not…” (Mark 11:22-23)  

You will never know what God would have done for and through you if you let doubt take you out.  Doubt asks: “Is it true?” and “Is it worth it?”  Those that know our Lord Jesus as their personal Savior should ask as Peter did: “Lord to whom can we go, You have the Words of Life?”. (John 6:68).

I hope this message will encourage you to focus your thoughts on your eternal future instead of the circumstances in our country or society.  We have little or no control over national or global events.  We do have however, control over our relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is our hope.

These “commands” are meant to help us in our relationship with the Lord, not to condemn us.   For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17.

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord”  (Psalm 31:24).  

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)


Thursday, May 31, 2018

ONE WAS THANKFUL - NINE WERE NOT

One Was Thankful - Nine Were Not
by Pastor Mark Taylor 

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:17-19).

Giving thanks and the word thanksgiving are mentioned over 140 times in the Bible.  All the people used by God in the Bible had the “attitude of gratitude”.  David said: “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” (Psalms 103:1-2).  Daniel gave thanks: “Daniel went to his house. And his windows were open in his roof room toward Jerusalem; and he kneeled on his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before” (Daniel 6:10).  Paul tells us: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

In a list of sins in the last days, observe that being unthankful is one of those sins.  This tells us the things that displeases God.  Hopefully, we will see that being ungrateful is one of those things that we need to remove from our lives as one of His children.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For people shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent (lack of self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”  (2 Timothy 3: 1-5)

Being thankful is not a natural trait.  Ask God to help you to be thankful.  It has to be taught and it has to be practiced.  Watch others who are thankful and see how God blesses them.  Teach others to be thankful with your words and your life.  

You have so much to be thankful for.  You have the freedom to worship.  You have access to the Word of God at your fingertips.  You have a church family that loves you, and to whom you can go for comfort and fellowship.  You have the financial resources to buy food and live in a comfortable home.  You have access to medical care and medicine.  You have family and friends to bring joy into your lives.  Remember the song we sing: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings and see what God has done.”

Think about how much you appreciate your children, grandchildren, friends, and family when they say “Thank You”.  And think about how you feel when you do something for them and they do not say “Thank You” or acknowledge your act of love.  Your attitude about doing something more for them often will be affected by their response or lack of response.  We are created in God’s image, which means He has feelings much like we do.

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”(Luke 17:14)  When you ask the Lord to help you, He will usually ask you to do something to demonstrate your faith. 

The “One Thankful Man”, took the time to return to Jesus to thank Him.  He started out standing “afar off”, but now he was on “his face, at His feet, giving Him thanks”.  He started out asking for mercy, and now he glorified God with a “loud voice”.
Those who have received mercy from God should openly demonstrate it to others.  Their praise to God may encourage others, and lead them to trust Christ.

Jesus took notice of the grateful return the “One Thankful Man” made.  He also took notice of the ingratitude of those that were sharers of the mercy that did not return to give thanks.  “Where are the nine?”  Of the many that receive mercy from God, there are very few (one in ten) that return to give thanks.

Today, you should thank our Lord and Savior for the many times He has had mercy on you.  If you are a child of God you have much to be thankful for.  You have Heaven to look forward to.  Jesus told the “One Thankful Man” that his faith had made him whole. He not only received a physical healing, but a spiritual healing. He not only received a higher quality of life on earth, but he received “Eternal Life”. This man not only appreciated the gift he received, but also the Giver.  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases…” (Psalm 103: 2-3).

Be one of the 10% that Loves God enough to give thanks to Him today!!!!

Below are some ways you can be thankful to our Lord:

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to You, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto You for ever” (Psalms 30:12).

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Your name, O most High” (Psalms 92:1).

“Praise you the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures for ever” (Psalms 106:1).

“By Him, then, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).


What happens when you become thankful?  God listens to you, and will pour out many more blessings upon you.  Other people will be blessed by your words of praise instead of listening to your complaints.  You will begin to see answers to your prayers and feel the presence of God in your lives.  You will please your Heavenly Father.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

TOO MANY EXCUSES

“TOO MANY EXCUSES"
By Pastor Mark Taylor

There are at least five areas that we all to focus on as we carry out His commission:  “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel”.  Each of you are the Church. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27).  You are not just a member of an organization.  We need to focus on these five ministry areas in our lives.  If we are following the will of God, and if our eyes are on Him, we can be excited about what God is doing and what He is going to do for us as individuals and for the Church. Understand that God loves you as you are, but in serving Him, He will make you better, and He has many blessings to give you.  As you bless others with your finances, your abilities, and your time, you will be blessed.

We need to focus on investing and inviting.  We need to focus on the Word of God and prayer.   We need to focus on meaningful relationships. We need to focus on serving others.  We need to focus on praise and worship.

There is one thing stopping us from accomplishing these areas of ministry and that is “Too Many Excuses”.  Because it is going to take commitment, dedication, sacrifice, and tenacity to get it done. It means that we are going to have to stop making excuses.   It seems all of us have strong excuses why we don’t do the things we ought to be doing.  Instead of saying “I can’t,  we need to be saying:  “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

There was one person in the Bible who came up with excuses on why he could not do what God had called him to do.  As many of us do, Moses had many excuses that he gave to God as to why he could not fulfill his calling to rescue the Israelites from slavery.  God has called many of us to do something for Him.  Are you using the same excuses Moses did?

Moses said, “But I am not qualified.”  Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).   All Moses could see was his own unworthiness.  God is calling us to make an impact and God is going to provide the means to fulfill that calling. We are His, we are His sons and daughters and He has qualified us to make an impact. 

Moses said, “But I don’t have the knowledge to do what you are asking me to do.”  “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13). God always gives us the knowledge and the power to do what He asks us to do. 

Moses said, “But others will not believe me.”  Moses, once again doubts himself and his ability to fulfill his mission.  “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” (Exodus 4:1).  We should not worry about what others think of us in relationship to our mission and calling from the Lord. 
Basically Moses is saying they are not going to believe me so I don’t believe in me.   The fear of failure often keeps people from trying to follow the Lord.  God gave Moses convincing proofs and He gives us the Word of God to produce faith in us.  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17).

Moses said, “But I don’t have the right gifts for this mission.”   If God calls you to do something, He will give you the ability to get it done.   “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”   (Exodus 4:10).  God answered Moses and said:  “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:12).   God already knows the inability and shortcomings of those He calls.  But our God is a God of miracles and He can give you what you need to get His job done.  “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).

Moses said, “But I don’t want to!”  But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13).  Moses was done with excuses and showed the real state of his heart. He would rather have God send someone else.  His problem wasn’t really a lack of ability; it was a lack of willingness.  He simply did not want to go.  It may be true with us that we would really rather that God would use someone else.  Send someone else to visit the sick.  Send someone else to invite people to church.  Someone else can pray.  Someone else can give their money and time.  In that case someone else will receive God’s blessings and some other church will grow and take the message throughout the world for the Lord.  God has given us everything we need to do everything He has called us to do.  “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  We need to be more confident in the fact that God is always going to give us what we need to get the job done.  All we have to do is step out in faith and do it.  We have to step out on faith even when we “don’t want to”.

With Moses, we know that He did answer the call and was successful in delivering the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  What about us?  Will we heed the call to use our gifts and abilities for the service of the Lord?  Moses is with the Lord right now enjoying his salvation and rewards for making the right decision.  It is an honor to be called by God and to serve Him.  If you put aside your excuses you will hear Him say to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).


What is God calling you to do this year, this week, today?  I am sure He is speaking to each of us about something.  He has told us we are “the light of the world” and that we are “the salt of the earth”.  This means we are called to do something to make our world better, our church better, and our friends and families better.  Why don’t we all quit making excuses and start doing what God is asking us to do?  When you do something for the “Church” you are doing it for our Lord Jesus.  You are doing it for the body that you are a vital part of.  Let’s find something we can do and complete it for God. Let us all use our money, time, and talents for God.    No More Excuses, please.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

"BEHOLD THY MOTHER"

“Behold Thy Mother”

“When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, "Dear woman, here is your son,"  and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”  (John 19: 26-27)
Mothers have an incredible job w/no pay. No position in the business world compares to the physical, emotional, and spiritual commitment she has in motherhood.  Love her patiently, because she’s tender to your needs.  If anyone you have ever met deserves Honor, it is your Mother.  How much should a “Stay-At-Home Mom” be making?  According to salary.com:  Mom’s salary should be $131,471 a year.

“Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God has given you.”   (Exodus 20:12) 

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world.  Mother’s Day 2018, occurs on Sunday, May 13, in the United States. The American celebration of Mother’s Day was started in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. 

This is an interesting thought about Mothers:  “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.” (Osho).

We can become very sad this time of the year because of not being able to be with our Mothers.  Mothers can be sad because of not being able to be with their children, because of death, broken relationships, or distance.  It is also a sad time for Grandmothers and Grandfathers who cannot be with their grandchildren.  God has given us a way to turn our grief into joy.  “Women, behold your son!”  Son or Daughter “Behold your Mother!”  Grandmother or Grandfather, “Behold all of these children who have no one to love them!”

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

Many of you today have a living Mother while many of us don’t.  I would encourage the first group to “Behold Your Mother”.  Take care of her and spend time with her.  If you have been given a Mother that has taught you about the Love of God, you are very blessed.  If you have a Mother that stayed at home with you while you grew up, you are very blessed.  If you have a Mother living today, you are very blessed.


If your Mother has already gone to be with the Lord,  then there is a word for you.  “When my father and my mother leaves me, then the LORD will take me up....I would have fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD, in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Psalm 27: 10-14). Look around to those women who do not have a son or daughter to give their love to.  Maybe they did not have any children, or have lost them through death, or their relationship has been broken.  

There is someone out there that Jesus is saying to you “Behold Your Mother”.
Jesus identified the Holy Spirit as the one who comforts us.  The person most of us have gone to in our lives for comfort has been our mothers.  She was there to hold us in our emotional hurts and heal us in our physical hurts, and listen to us when we needed someone to talk to.  The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to you and me to provide this “mother’s touch” when our Mother is no longer with us.  He lives within us and is always with us.  When Jesus said I will never leave you He was talking about the Holy Spirit being with us and in us. “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).

Mothers, there is a word for you in this message.  Maybe today you do not have any living children or maybe you have never had any children.  The Lord may be speaking to you to look around and see someone who could use a Mother’s love.   It could be a soldier away from his family.  It could be a little child in Church who doesn’t have a grandmother.  It could be a young lady or man who has been disregarded by society because they have made some mistakes in their lives.  Could it be that there is someone in your path today that needs a hug from a Mother, a word of encouragement from a Mother, or even a home cooked meal from a Mother?

How can you “honor” your Mother today and many other days of the year.  First you can tell her how much she means to you.  What greater words does a Mother want to hear than “I love You”?  The Bible tells us not to just show our love in words, but also in deeds.  Demonstrate your love by some visible action.  One of the greatest gifts we can give anyone is our time.  Slow down, and spend some time with your Mother.  Your Mother will not always be here with you on Earth.

“Jesus answered and said unto him: Who is My mother? and who are my brothers and sisters? (Matthew 12:48)  His answer to His question was “whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in Heaven”.  Let us live like our Lord did by honoring others.  “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do god unto all people, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10).


Remember love is not just a feeling it is an action.  God bless all of our Mothers today both here and in Heaven!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NEW BEGINNINGS BEGIN WITH ENDINGS

“New Beginnings  Begin With Endings”
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”   (John 12:24).

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  (Mark 8:35)

Life is full of changes.  Some are expected, while others are not.  Some are pleasant, while others are not.  The question I would like to help us with today, is “How do we deal with change?” in a way that will help us.  I think the Bible gives us some tried and true strategies to use to move from one point in our lives to a better point.

One of the most difficult steps with new beginnings is being in denial that we need change in our lives.  Other people can see it.  However, it is hard for us to admit it to ourselves that change is needed.  It will will require that we will have to do something in making a change that will help us.  It is easy and comfortable to simply do nothing.  Today I want to talk to those who are willing to make changes and allow God to help you.  To those in denial, just keep this sermon somewhere so you can refer to when you are ready.  “… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before".  Philippians 3:13

The first group of people I want to talk to today are those who need to make a spiritual transition.  That is to those who have never accepted Christ as their personal Savior.

Jesus has given us specific statements regarding spiritual “rebirth”.   Many of us have heard the invitation to come to Christ and have been asked to give 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).  Some people try to add Jesus without having a true ending of allowing Satan and their flesh to control them. 

Don't fool yourself.  You are either born again or you are not.  It is not a process or “turning over a new leaf”, it is a transformation by the power of God.

How are you "born again?"   That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

There are people that our Lord Jesus can not develop a relationship with because they are not willing to have an "ending" of their old way of life.   They are not willing to 
receive what He has to offer in a new beginning.  We all have to accept "endings" as a way for God to help us have new beginnings. 
The second group of people are those who are born again, but have never understood what you received when you gave your life to our Lord Jesus.   When you start living a life pleasing to God, He will bless you with answered prayer, peace, and the ability to love and be loved.  

Three steps we all go through:  

Letting go of the old ways and the old identity we have. If you have been born again, you are someone special.  Accept yourself as God accepts you.  When Our Lord Jesus enters your heart and life by means of His Holy Spirit, you begin the process of becoming a new creation.     "Therefore if anyone  be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.        (2 Corinthians 5:17).    "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well". (Psalms 139:14)

Going through an in-between time when the old is gone but the new isn’t fully   operational.  We call this time growing in grace and knowledge. This is where prayer, Bible Study, and Christian fellowship are so important. 

Coming out of the old life and making a new beginning.  This is when you develop the new identity, experience the new energy, and discover the new sense of     purpose that make the change begin to work.”

The most difficult step is the first one.  Accepting that there must be an ending before their can be a new beginning. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2).  This can be done through prayer, reading God’s Word, thinking differently, walking by faith, and surrounding ourselves with positive people who love God.  Sometimes this will require spending time with  other dedicated Christians, and in some cases possibly seek counseling or professional help.  God has given people gifts and training to meet these needs for you.

The second step requires waiting on the Lord. “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalms 27:14). We have to plant new seeds and then give them time to grow and produce the good things we have been praying and working toward.  It takes awhile for a seed to die and start its new life and produce fruit.  God can align people and situations in your life to help you make the “transition”, but it has to be in “His” timing.  This is when you develop new patterns of thinking, new attitudes, and living your life according to God's value system.


Finally, “…but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (John 12:24).  Finding that person who will love us, the job that we love to go to each day, being able to look at the death of our loved ones as temporary, or being able to retire from a lifetime of working to enjoy our family.  This can happen for you.  It is happening for many people who have learned to have “endings” and are giving God time to work.  May God bless you as you allow Him to help you in your “New Beginnings”.