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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Loving Yourself As God Loves You

LOVING YOURSELF AS GOD LOVES YOU
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

“Jesus said to him, 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 it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” 
(Matthew 22:37-39).


Since Jesus said that we are to “love your neighbor as yourself”, then we can imply that He wants us to love ourselves.  I am not speaking about a selfish love to satisfy your desires or pleasures.  And I am not speaking of a false pride we sometimes call “self-esteem”.  The type of love I am speaking about is the love that the psalmist expressed:

“I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;”  (Psalm 139:14)

It is a truth that those who do not love themselves cannot love others.  Children are not born hating themselves or others, they learn this from others.  The root of hate is fear.   Fear is the opposite of love, for the Bible says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).  Some people are frightened because their own parents scared them into obedience and submission through harsh treatment and shame.  Their parents worshiped a frightening God and believed that it was their duty to punish children harshly to keep them from going to Hell.  

You are to love yourselves just like you are because God made you just like you are.  Your size, your hair, your personality, and your abilities are all gifts from God.  When you do not love yourself as you are, you are saying that God made a mistake in your creation.  You should wake up every morning and thank God that you are the special creation He designed.  

There has never been another you, and there will never be another you, so you need to be thankful that you are so special.  Jesus is proud of you and one day He will present you to His Father as His Friend: “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear, you are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say to you, Whoever shall confess Me before men, the Son of man also shall confess him before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:7-8).

You are to love yourselves because God has accepted you just as you are, with all of your hang-ups and problems: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  Yes, He wants you to become better, but He died for those who had problems: “When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mark 2:17).  You are loved by God and that is something you need to remind yourself of every day.  You should love yourselves, because God loves you.  
You will be able to stand before God one day and understand His love for you: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:16-17).

“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. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

If you have problems with loving and accepting yourself, ask God to forgive you for not accepting yourself, and then ask Him to give you a new love and appreciation for the wonderful creation you are.

You will never be able to love others until you are able to love yourself.  This is a deep emotional issue for many, and may require that you get counseling and prayer to be able to accept this truth.  Start by reading the book of I John in the Bible.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you guidance and courage to “love your neighbor as yourself”.
The Scriptures teach that God intends for you to enjoy life.  You don’t have to let life’s challenges overwhelm you. God wants to help you face life with confidence and enthusiasm. He wants you to be encouraged and He wants you to experience a happy life.

Love the One who loves you.  You will find this is the most important principle in all of your life. Spending time with God is your first priority if you are to stay encouraged in the demands of life. “Jesus said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37).  When you love God, it will become easier to love yourself.

Remember the second part of this is to love others.  Love others as you want them to love you. “Therefore, all things, whatsoever you would that people should do to you, do so even to them.” (Matthew 7:12).  If you do not love yourself, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to love others.  “Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God.  He that loves not, knows not God, for God is love”.  (I John 4:7-8).  Loving others is an expression of who God is and who He wants you to become.

Love and appreciate what you have and give praise to God for it.  Thank God for all the good things you have right now.  Thank God for your health, for your church, for your family, for a place to live, and for the many other blessings He has given you.  Understand that you are chosen by God to be one of His children, and He feels you are worthy and valuable.  Learn to love yourself with your words, your smile, your actions.  The more you love and accept yourself as God has made you, the more others will accept you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Little Is Much When God Is In It

Little Is Much When God Is In It

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

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

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

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; "for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had." (Luke 21:1-4)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Handling Conflicts In Our Relationships

Handling Conflicts In Our Relationships
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”   James 1:19-20
The real question is not whether or not we’re going to have conflicts; the real question is how do we settle them?  Here are some practical ways to handle conflicts in our relationships.

Be Quick to Listen
    • When we listen, we encourage the other person to talk.
    •  Listening also helps us to understand the other person.
    • Reasons many of us do not listen:
      1. We’re defensive.
      2. We assume we already know what they’re going to say.
      3. We’re thinking about what we’re going to say next.
    • How do we listen?
      1. With observation listen not merely with our ears, but listen with our eyes.
      2. With concentration focus on what the other person is saying.
      3. With consideration think about the meaning behind the words without jumping to conclusions.
      4. With clarification think it through until we get it straight.

Be Slow To Speak

  1. Proverbs 10:19  “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
    But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
  2. Proverbs 17:27  “He who has knowledge spares his words,
    And a person of understanding is of a calm spirit.”
  3. Proverbs 21:23  “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
    Keeps his soul from troubles.”
  4. Ecclesiastes 5:3  “For a dream comes through much activity,
    And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.”


E. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7   Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

    • Destructive games we play:
      1. The judge we blame our mate.
      2. The professor we act superior.
      3. The psychologist we assume we understand everything about the other person.
      4. The historian we keep a record; we want every detail correct.
      5. The dictator we want to rule, sometimes by a show of force.
      6. The critic we compare our mate with other people.
      7. The preacher we act “holier than thou”.

Be Slow To Wrath

Ephesians 4:26 - “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

                  How can we be angry and sin not?

Be angry for the right reason be angry only at sin.
Be angry at the right things not at the sinner, but at the sin.
Be angry in the right way our anger should move us to do something about a situation that is wrong.

                           When you have an argument:

Have it at the right time not before a meal or a social event.
Have it in the right tone keep words soft and sweet; you may have to eat them.

Have it on the right turf just the two of you - not in the front of other people, especially your children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

THE NECESSITY OF A REAL VISION

The Necessity of a Real Vision
 
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)


 I. VISION IS: THE ABILITY TO SEE: AWARENESS.

 Webster's definition:   1. The faculty of sight, 2. Unusual foresight, 3. A mental image produced by the imagination, The experience of the supernatural as if with the eyes.

 Joshua and Caleb had a real vision: 
“But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them." (Numbers 14:6-9).  Having a vision is more than just looking on the bright side. It is looking on God’s side. 

II. VISION IS: THE FAITH TO BELIEVE: ATTITUDE
 Satan’s greatest attack on the vision that God gives each of us is our attitude. 

A wrong attitude says "Nobody else cares so why should I." or "Nobody appreciates anything I do so let’s see what they do when I don’t."

The right attitude is demonstrated by Joshua when it came time to make a decision about following God’s vision for him.  "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."      (Joshua 24:15).  

Ask God to give you a positive and believing attitude.


III. VISION IS: THE COURAGE TO DO: ACTION

Faith is the food that visions live on. Without faith, our vision will wither on the vine.  “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 courage of vision is to say "Lord if that is you, let me come to you walking on the water."  Our vision may require us to come out of our comfort zone.

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”         (Matthew 14:25-29).

The courage of vision is to say "If God be for us, who can be against us."

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 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 8:31-39 NKJV)

The courage of Vision is to say "The trials of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory of the next life."


“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”   (Romans 8:16-18)

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.