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.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

THE SECRET OF ONE

“THE SECRET OF ONE”
By Pastor Mark Taylor

For most of my childhood and all of my youth and adult life I have believe that God was directly involved in my life.  I know there are millions of believers in this world, but there is no one who is just like you or me.  We were created by our Heavenly Father for a purpose and placed in strategic places in this world to accomplish that purpose. Our Lord Jesus has chosen us and chosen to give us His love. That makes us special.  

One verse that reinforces my belief on this is in John 15:16: “ You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it to you.”

In I Kings 17: 8-16 God has given us an event in the life of the prophet Elijah.  In this event, God choose one person to make a big difference in the life of Elijah.

The Lord told Elijah that He had chosen a poor widow woman who had a young son to take care of him during a famine.  She was probably the most unlikely person to take care of someone else because she could not even take care of herself and her son.

When Elijah arrived at her village she was gathering sticks to cook one last meal for her and her son and then she would be completely out of food.  Elijah asked her for a drink of water, which was also scarce at that time.  The woman turn to go and find him a cup of water, and then Elijah stopped her and ask her for a small amount of bread.

The widow women, told Elijah that she only had enough food for one more meal for her and her son and that the two sticks she had was to build a fire to cook their last meal.

Then Elijah told her if she would do this one act of faith that God would bless her for many days.

There are a lot of “ones” in this message to us from God’s Word.  

First of all, there was “one” prophet.  At times He felt he was the only one left that was serving God. 

“And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (I Kings 19:14). The Lord reminded Him, that he was not alone, that there were seven thousand other people who were still serving Him.

Maybe you feel you are the only one left trying to live right and do right.  The Lord Jesus’ message to you is that is that you are not alone.  “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”   (Matthew 28:20).

Another “one” in this story was the widow woman.  She probably felt she has fail in her life and had fail her son, because they both would soon die of hunger and there was nothing she could do about it.  What she did not know was that God was preparing a way for her to meet her needs. “For your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:8.

Then there was the “one barrel” and “one cup”.  Before Elijah got to this ladies house, they were almost empty.  After she  did what the Lord told her to do, both of them were full.  

You may not think you have much today to offer the Lord.  You may be “hanging on by a thread”.  But you still have “one thing” more you can do, one more prayer you can pray, and one more promise from God’s Word you can depend upon.

The secret of “One” is that you and God are a majority.  You have all the resources of Heaven on your side. You can become God’s partner in accomplishing things on Earth that God wants to do. You are only “one” person, but you can allow God to use you to meet the needs of another person who feels that they are only one.
A young boy went to hear the Lord Jesus speak.  He was not expecting that the little that he had could be used to bless so many.   Even the disciples did not feel he had anything to contribute. He was just one little boy.  “There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9).  The bread and fish did not seem like much, but when Jesus blessed it, five thousand men were fed, not counting the great number of women and children.
The Lord Jesus observed a poor widow giving two of her last coins into the offering at the temple.    “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).
God likes to use individuals.  He likes to take “one” person to accomplish things for His glory and to meet the needs of others.  And when He chooses that “one” person, it is usually the person who others would be dismissed as weak or unable to perform the task.
Think of all the people in the Bible that God called individually to do a job.  One man named Noah decided to live a righteous life, and he saved humanity. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth.. and the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth...But Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  And Noah did  according unto all that the Lord commanded him.” (Genesis 6: 5,7,8, 22). 

One boy named David, killed a giant military  soldier  who was approximately 9’6” tall and changed the history of his country.  David told him: “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied”  (I Samuel 17:45).  
He is drawn to people who are weak and admit it, and who ask for help from Heaven.  “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”   (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The secret of “one” is that God loves you.  You are special to Him.  Even if you have been away from God, He is looking for you today.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  (Luke 15:4-7).

Friday, September 1, 2017

IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER - EXCUSES

“IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER”
BY PASTOR MARK TAYLOR

“AND THEY ALL WITH ONE CONSENT BEGAN TO MAKE EXCUSES” LUKE 14:18         

In Luke 14: 16-24 our Lord tells us of a story that He is using compare this incident to the Kingdom of God. In these scriptures we see an invitation from a very good, kind, and generous man to all his friends. Instead of being grateful for this invitation to come to a “great supper”, they all rejected his offer by giving excuses. 
Today, that invitation is given to “many” by the Holy Spirit to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, refreshment, and fellowship. “And the Spirit and the bride says come. And let Him that hears say come. And let him who is thirsty come. And whosoever will let him take of the waters of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17). But many people respond as the people in this story by saying I would come “if it were not for this, and that, and the other..” 
This is certainly a message to all those who have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, “to come”. But it is also an invitation to those who call themselves “friends” of His. In this story these people knew the man very well. This rich and generous man sent His servants to deliver the invitation to specific people who He knew well. You and I are the people of this message. 

The message for you and me is “come, for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17). The Lord Jesus has done everything necessary to provide you the opportunity to come and fellowship with Him and use your gifts and abilities to serve Him. 
The Lord wants you to come and have some great fellowship with Him. But many are saying not now. They are saying “If it were not for this, and that, and the other..” I would read my Bible more, and pray more, and be faithful to the worship services. 
As you listen to the excuses in this story, you will see that they are very weak. One man bought some land that he had not even looked at. After he paid for it, he decided to go see it instead of going to the “great supper” of his friend. Another bought some animals to plow his field that he had not looked at or tested to see if they were able to do the necessary work he needed done. He decided to go see them after he bought them instead of going to the “great supper” of his friend. The third man used the excuse of his family for the reason he could not come. He could have brought his wife to the “great supper’, but instead, he used her as an excuse. 
After this generous man had received all these excuses, he became angry. Have you ever put in a lot of work and effort into something, and no one appreciated it? How did that make you feel? Possibly, angry? 
The Lord Jesus Christ has given you an invitation to come to His house at least on Sunday morning to have fellowship with Him and His other children. He has given you the Bible to study, He has given you open access to Him in prayer, and He has given you many blessings because He loves us. What has been your response to His invitation to “Come, for all things are now ready.” 
The Lord is also giving you an invitation to receive His blessings by living a life that would be pleasing to Him and a blessing to others. “Depart from evil, nd do good, seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of he Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are upon their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil...” (Psalm 34: 14-16). 
Now you and I have a choice. We can follow the Lord and live a life of purpose and blessing to ourselves and others. Or we can make excuses. 
You are invited to produce good works through the power that the Lord has put into your life. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit, He takes it away. Every branch that produces fruit, He purges it (makes it better), so that it may bring forth more fruit.....I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 1-5). 
The sad news of this story is that those who made excuses would no longer have an opportunity to enter the house of this loving and generous man. The excuses they gave kept them from receiving many blessings. “For I say unto you. That none of those who were asked to come shall taste of my supper” (Luke 14:24). 
The good news of this story is that the invitation became open to others. 
If you feel unworthy today to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, He wants you to know you are invited to His Heavenly Home for a “great supper”. The invitation has been extended to “whosoever will”. “Then the master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor, and the crippled, and the disabled, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, t is done as you have commanded and yet there is still room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:21-23). 

Today the Lord Jesus is giving you an invitation to accept Him, to serve Him, and to love Him. Will you say yes? Or will you say “I would, if it were not for this, and that, and the other?” 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WALK ON WATER

Walk on Water 
 Matthew 14:22-33
by Pastor Mark Taylor
In this passage from Matthew's gospel, we hear the story of Jesus walking on water, a miracle indeed. The disciples have just experienced Jesus' miracle in feeding the thousands, and now they are traveling by boat to the other side of the sea, leaving Jesus with some time to pray and to regroup. 

Out on the sea, the winds begin to blow, rocking the boat to and fro. the disciples are nervous and scared. And then, through the raging storm, they see a figure. Someone appears to be walking across the sea! Who is it? A ghost? Who could it be? They don't recognize Jesus at first, not expecting to see anyone walking on water. The image takes them so by surprise that they don't recognize their master coming toward them. But Jesus speaks to them: "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." 

These precious words give Peter some courage, and he tries to join Jesus on the water, a show of his faith.  Soon, however, he is overcome with fear of the storm raging around him. He realizes just what he is doing - trying to walk on water, crazy enough in itself, but doing so in the middle of a terrible storm. It's too much for Peter to handle. He begins to sink, and cries out, "save me!" Jesus catches him, and with disappointment you can hear in His voice, saying, "you of little faith, why did you doubt?" When the winds finally cease, the disciples worship him, calling Him the Son of God.

The fact that Peter eagerly volunteered to join Jesus on the sea suggests that we need not be bound by probability or predictability either. Lord, if it is really you, let me join you. 

Peter, through the eyes of faith, saw himself as an imitator of Christ - even in walking on the water. Later, Jesus would tell all of us that we would be able to do the works that he did and even greater works as we bring glory to God.   With God, the scriptures tell us, all things are possible, and by extension, with God's help, the people of God face no impossibility."   We hear that if we have faith, we can move mountains.  I believe our Lord Jesus is talking about figurative mountains in our lives that seem impossible.  We are not given the power to move literal mountains because of the destruction we would cause, or walk on water because of the pride we would have of doing something others cannot do.   But there is no impossibility in God meeting our needs and giving us the desires of our heart that are from God.  There are times we may desire things that are harmful to us or others, and God will not grant selfish requests. "You ask, and receive not because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3).  We should always pray like our Lord prayed:  "O my Father, it it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."  (Matthew 26:39)

Think of the things that are possible today that were at some point impossible: a one pound baby, born 3 months early, can grow into a healthy child, after a few months of special care. Isn't that a miracle? We can get into an airplane, and be lifted into the air, and travel great distances at great speeds - we can even travel to into space, and land on the moon. Isn't that a miracle? We can type on a computer, hit a button, and have instantaneous communication with someone half way around the world. 

How is it possible? All of these can be explained away by science, technology, and practical reasoning. But the truth is, were it not for the faith and hope of some inventive people, these tools might not be available today. Someone had to believe that lives could be saved despite the odds. Someone had to believe that we could fly, even without wings. Someone had to believe that there was a way to communicate across continents.  These are only the beginning of things that are possible when God is involved.

God reminds us: "Eye has not seen, nor has the ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him."  (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Jesus asks us to believe that in God we have the only resource we need for miracles to happen.  Our miracle may be a healing of the body or the mind. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your inquiry, Who heals all your diseases." (Psalm 103: 2-3).  Our miracle may be that we have lost our way spiritually and need direction from Him.  "Make me to know Your ways, O Lord: teach me Your paths."  (Psalms 25:4)  Our miracle may be that we need financial help. "Behold the fowls of the air...your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:26).   Jesus calls us to have faith, to step out of our boat, to walk on the water, and see what miracles can happen when we believe they are possible. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"Let Your Wants Equal Your Haves"

Let Your Wants Equal Your Haves
by Pastor Mark Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

THOUGHTS ON HEALING AND HEALTH

THOUGHTS ON HEALING AND HEALTH
By Pastor Mark Taylor

Good Health is the True Wealth - Sometimes Not Fully Appreciated Until Lost!
While a surprise to most people, even Biblical scholars, the most prevalent topic of Christ in the New Testament was health!  
"...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and ...he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him.    Acts 10:38
"You were bought at a price [Jesus death on the cross].  Therefore honor God with your body."    1 Corinthians 6:20
"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear [respect] the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 3:7-8
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the Good News is preached to the poor."  Matthew 11:5
"...But I know this, I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25  "Your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Luke 8:48  "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30
How often is Jesus or the Lord described as "The Great Physician" in the Bible?  In fact not even once in the Old or New Testament is Jesus or the Lord referred to as "The Great Physician."  Then how did our Lord become known as the "Great Physician" in a description universally recognized and accepted as fact by those of faith?

In the Old Testament in Exodus 15:26, the Lord told Moses, "...for I am the Lord, who heals you" confirming the role of the Lord as the Great Physician in our health. Laws of hygiene and healthy eating were given in detail to the Israelites by the Lord that are as applicable and valid today as in the time of Moses! 

Did you know the four Gospels in the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - record more instances of Christ healing than of His preaching and teaching?  The point is Christ's ministry was one of preaching, teaching and healing - both the spirit and the body.

Surely He hath borne our sicknesses and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4   ["sickness" derived from kholee, also meaning infirmities; "sorrows" derived from makob, also meaning pains, diseases] 

If you don't watch where you're going, you'll go where you're headed!"  Where are you going with your health today?  If you don't change your lifestyle, where are you headed? 
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise."   Thomas Edison

To Gain Better Health, Relationships and Success, Know Your Life's Mission, Keep Your Focus on the Positive and let Your Life Shine reflecting His Glory!

 Your life goals may need adjusting to focus on the positive instead of the negative!  Go to the light instead of the dark side of life and the Son! Take some quiet moments and assess how you are doing in telling others the message of the Savior, serving God each day, and maintaining or regaining your health in an emotional, spiritual and physical sense.  Happiness and fulfillment depend on your success in these areas:
If you want better health, focus on the lifestyle and knowledge to achieve better health instead of focusing on poor health and illness. 
If you want more loving, committed relationships - focus on being more loving to others and yourself while avoiding dwelling on loneliness, stress and strife. 
If you want more success in your career or work, focus on perfecting your talents, learning new skills, and improving your work habits to do your best in what you are doing, instead of on failures, shortcomings and envy. 

Always keep in mind the end of life on earth is not the end, but the beginning for those who accept Jesus Christ as the risen Savior of eternal life. 

We try to put the "Care" back in healthcare from a spiritual perspective that today is all too often missing.  Let's make our goal prevention - to not get sick - as we acknowledge a healthy lifestyle combined with faith, wisdom and hope yield success in attaining and maintaining a quality life. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

USING WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU

USING WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“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.

I PETER 4:11 “IF ANY ONE MINISTER, LET HIM DO IT AS OF THE ABILITY WHICH GOD GIVES; THAT GOD IN ALL THINGS MAY BE GLORIFIED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, TO WHOM BE PRAISE AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER.  AMEN”

God has given each of us different talents depending upon what He knows we can do.  He has confidence in us that we can accomplish the tasks He has given us to do.  Some of us have more than one talent, because the Lord knows we can do more than someone else.  He has given us opportunity to learn from going to school, being successful in a trade, or having a pleasant personality in dealing with people.  Some people can sing, some can speak in front of groups, some can teach children, some can feed the hungry, some can visit the sick, some can be mentors to young people, some can repair broken things, some can add beauty and order to a building or lawn, some can inspire and lead others in new projects, and all can be faithful in attending worship services.
If we all have talents, then why do some people choose to hide their talents like the “wicked and lazy” servant?”  Probably for the same reason he did.  Some people do not see God as a loving, generous, and rewarding God.  They see Him as “hard” and unfair, and are afraid of Him.  They get this idea of God, because they really do not know Him.  God is not going to punish you for trying and failing.
God has made us with different abilities and different personalities.  We are not all designed to serve the Lord in exactly the same way.  But you have been given talents and are responsible for using them for the Kingdom of God.  Not just in the church building on Sundays, but everyday of your life.

Begin by finding out what your gifts and abilities are.  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 discerning.

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.  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.  In Mark 2:1-5 four men brought a crippled man to Jesus and he was healed and his sins were forgiven.  The four men may have been fisherman or shepherds, but this day they were using their gift of service to help someone they cared about.

The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service.  Just start serving in some way and God will show you the area you fit into.  Try some things you’ve never done before.  Don’t try to figure out your gifts before volunteering to serve somewhere.  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.

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS"

 “JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS”
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and you say, behold a friend of publicans and sinners!”  (Luke 7: 34)

In our age of Facebook, many of us have a lot of FB friends.  Most of our "friends" share common interest and values.  I know it is difficult to be nice to those who are not nice to you.  But our Lord Jesus said: "You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say unto you Love your enemies, bless tham that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.  That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  (Matthew 5: 43-48).  I know this is very difficult and without the power of our Holy Spirit it is probably impossible.  But think about where you were in your life before God started loving you and forgave you.

To be a "Friend of Sinners" does not mean that we have to participate in their sinful activities or condone their sinful behavior.  We are to be a model of what it is to live a life without sin and bring people to the only one who can forgive sin - Our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we don't show them love and compassion they will never see Heaven or how great their lives could be here on Earth.  

I don't think the Lord is saying we are to put our lives in danger by living in or returning to abusive or life threatening situations.  I would think a practical application of our Lord's words would be to feed hungry people or provide medical help without trying to evaluate whether they deserve it or not.  God fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness even when they were disobedient to His instructions.

Think about this for a minute.  Our Lord, until His birth, had never been around sin.  Our Lord had never before been around a sinner.  He fellowshipped with the Father.  He had nothing to do with sinners.  He was ministered to by the angels and praised by the saints in Heaven.

Then suddenly, He was thrown into sin.  He lived with sin, though He never sinned.  His entire life was occupied with sin from Bethlehem, and it will be so until the rapture.  His lips never said a bad word, his mind never entertained an evil thought. yet He choose to come to earth to be with us.

When Jesus choose his disciples, he choose sinners.  Matthew was a tax collector, Peter, James, and John were fishermen.  Others had secular jobs.  None of them were priests, preachers, or scholars.  He choose ordinary people with ordinary problems.

He helped the woman at the well who had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband.    Jesus was a friend of blind Bartimaeus beside the road.  He went to eat with Zacchaeus who was a very unpopular person in the area because he was a tax collector.  He was a friend of a woman caught in the very act of adultery.  He was a friend to the thief on the cross.  He told him  “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Today, we need to be more like Jesus – A Friend of Sinners.  We need to minister to those who are at rescue missions or are homeless.  We need to minister to those in nursing homes.  We need to minister to those that feel that they are not good enough to come to church.  Because Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.

Have we forgotten that we are sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  “There are none righteous, no not one” (Romans  3:10).  We are saved and on our way to heaven because of one reason – Jesus is a Friend of Sinners.  


Reach out to someone today.  Ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” when you see someone struggling with sin.  “He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7 KJV).  Remember that Jesus is a Friend of Sinners and any friend of Jesus is a friend of mine.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

SHOWING COMPASSION

SHOWING COMPASSION
By Pastor Mark Taylor

This past week I was with a group of people who showed compassion.  A group of 30 of us took a week of our lives and paid our ways to the country of Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America.  We were doing what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ did while He was on the Earth.

 "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." (Mark 6:34)

We raised money ahead of time and sent enough down to Honduras to buy over 700 bags of food to deliver to hungry and poor families.  This feed over 5,000 people for several days who would not have had food if it were notifier the compassion of this group.  This group consisted of several teenagers, married couples, single young adults, middle aged and senior citizens who decided this week to show compassion.  The group also took many suitcases of clothes, medicine, and toys to these families.  The money for the food came from a variety of churches and individuals who could not come but wanted to help.  They were as much involved in being a blessing to those we reached as we were in delivering the food.  

“He that has pity upon the poor lends unto the LORD; and that which he has given will He pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17).

We participated in several worship services in which people were baptized and others were encouraged to stay faithful in their service to our Lord Jesus.  We prayed with sick people and gave money toward buying a wheel chair for a person who had a crippling disease.  

in Mark 8:2, we hear Jesus say, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat." It can't be overlooked that while the Lord may be primarily interested in spiritual nourishment for the soul, He was not unmindful of the needs of the body as well.

God blesses us in order that we may be a blessing to others. All of us have been given something that we can share with others. If we don’t take the opportunities we have to be a blessing and squander or hoard these for ourselves, they will eventually be taken from us.  Sometimes we think if we do something for somebody else we will run short ourselves.  Proverbs 28:27 says, “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing.” 

The Lord asks us to give compassion on those who may not deserve it, because we did not deserve His compassion. When a woman is caught in the act of adultery, she is brought before Jesus.  Jesus said “neither do I condemn you.” (John 8:1-11) All of us have asked God for compassion when we have failed Him.  King David prayed in Psalms 51:1 “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions.” He has blotted out our sins by his compassion! “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”  (Psalms 30:18).

The life of a Christian from God’s perspective is to be a life of service, worship, and praise.  We are called to serve.  We will be judged by our willingness to help those less fortunate than we are, those who have been cast down, or have been orphaned by society.  We will be rewarded by willingness to help those who are spiritually, physically and economically handicapped.  God has not called us to focus on ourselves, but has called us to “do unto others, as we would have others do unto us”.  

If only we had known that helping others was helping Jesus. If only we had known that serving others was serving Christ. How differently we would have lived our lives!" 
Well, now you know.”



Thursday, June 29, 2017

THE JOY OF GIVING

THE JOY OF GIVING

by Pastor Mark Taylor

One of the greatest challenges we face is the temptation to live selfishly.  Society has taught us to look out for “number one”.  This is the “me” generation and this attitude can spill over into our relationship with God, our families, and one another.  If we want to experience God’s joy and have Him pour out His blessings in our lives, we are going to have to be interested in other people and their needs.

We Were Created to Give

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:26-27).  God is always giving to us.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Jesus said: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28.)

We Should Look For Opportunities to Give God’s Love

We may not feel we have much to give.  But we have much more than we may realize.  Someone needs your smile today.  Someone needs your love today.  Someone needs a hug and to feel your touch of love. There is healing in your hands and voice.  God wants to use you to bring hope, healing, love and victory into the lives of others.  You can help someone by being a friend and giving them encouragement.  You can give someone a compliment or praise for something they did.  You can visit someone in the hospital or a senior citizen in a nursing home.  You can write somebody an encouraging letter.  The list goes on.  Ask the Lord how He can use you today to give of yourself to others.


Whatever You Give, Will Be Given Back To You

This is a spiritual principle. Jesus said: "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" (Luke 6:38).

This is not just talking about money.  It is talking about service, love, and time.  Jesus said this about giving small things: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).  "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Mark 9:41).

Live To Give

Somebody needs what you have to give.  It may not be your money; it may be your time.  It may be your listening ear.  It may be your arms to encourage.  It may be your smile to uplift.  We need to learn how to be givers and not just receivers.  We need to quit trying to figure out what everybody can do for us and start trying to figure out what we can do for somebody else.  We were created to be givers and we will never truly be fulfilled in our lives until we learn this simple secret of how to give our lives away.  

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Is it not to break your bread to the hungry, and that you should bring home the wandering poor? When will you see the naked and cover him; and you will not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break out as the dawn, and your health shall spring out quickly; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall gather you” (Isaiah 58:7-8).

“He that has pity upon the poor lends unto the LORD; and that which he has given will He pay him again” (Proverbs 19:17).


Give your life to the Lord Jesus today.  He can and will give you the desire and ability to give to others.  He has already given His life for you and to you.  When you do this, you will have real joy.  He loves you today and wants you to be happy now and go to Heaven later.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and become your Savior today.  When you give your life to Him, He will take care of you!!