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 144 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.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

OUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS



OUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS 
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acCeptable in Your sight, O Lord” Psalm 19:14

The words we use come from our  thoughts.  So it is important that the thoughts we have are good thoughts.  The  words we use and the words we hear will often determine the quality of relationships with others.  We can choose to use words that build and strengthen our friends and make them feel loved and appreciated.  They can also be a source of healing for those who are struggling in their lives.  “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.”  (Proverbs 16:24).
As Christians, and children of God, our words and thoughts should  be good words.  Almost every day of our lives is filled with opportunities to encourage and build up the people we love. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things where we may build up one another” (Romans 14:19).
We can give compliments.  Many people are doing things for us that make our lives more enjoyable and easier.  The person who serves us in a restaurant or a store, family members who cooks for us or keeps our house clean, or the child who does something that was good or helpful.  Look for the good and take a few minutes to comment on it.
We can express admiration for those who are achieving  things in their lives through hard work.  When someone completes a goal that we know they have been working on for a long time, we should congratulate them. This can be anything from completing an academic accomplishment to losing weight.
We can tell others how much we appreciate them.  Even though we don’t mean to do it, we often take our friends and loved ones for granted and forget that they need to receive outward expressions of love and appreciation.  Words can motivate people to do more for you and for themselves.
And while we are at it, Our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would appreciate some compliments, thanks, admiration, and words of love from us.  “Oh that people whould praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works toward His children” (Psalm 107:8).
I have heard many people say that it is not easy for them to be a person who openly shows appreciation and love.  If that is true, then you need to pray that the Lord would give you that ability and desire.
How does a person become this positive, complimentary, loving person, who was raised in a completely opposite environment?  In can start with the prayer in our verse above.  

Words are choices.  So we need to ask the Lord to help us chose the words that would please Him as we talk to others.

We need to meditate on things that are positive.  Read books that have uplifting messages in them.  Limit the amount of time you watch TV that has negative thoughts presented in the characters and message they are presenting.  “A good person, out of the good treasure of the heart brings good out good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out evil things”  (Matthew 12:35).  So it is important what we put in the treasure chest of our minds and thoughts.

Loving words strengthen friendships.  Good friends let us know that we are special and why.  We need to learn how to communicate and give positive feedback from time to time to our friends, 

By the way, the Lord Jesus would appreciate some of that positive feedback.  For instance: “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications.  Because He has inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116: 1-2).  

“Friend” is one of the most positive and powerful words ever invented.  To call someone a friend is to give one of the highest possible compliments possible.  That is what the Lord Jesus considers you and me - His friends.  “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants; for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father, I have make know to you.”  (John 15-13-15).  

Let us all begin to look at our thoughts and words and make them a gift to the Lord.  Let’s use our words to bring healing and hope into the lives of others.  “Anxiety in the heart of a person causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12: 25).

Monday, July 11, 2016

REFLECTION OF MY MISSION TRIP


Honduras June 25 - July 3.
A Reflection On My Mission Trip To Honduras and Nicaragua
by Pastor Mark Taylor


I was reminded by our Lord Jesus that I am blessed to live in the United States of America. I am blessed not only because I have all of my needs mets, but that I get the opportunity to share them with other people all over the world.

I am told that Honduras is the poorest country in Central America.  I am returning from my 5th trip since 2004.  Each time I go the Lord shows me different things about myself and others.

On this trip I had different opportunities to interact with individual families and one on one experiences with specific people.  One of the insights I gained from my interpreter, Gabriela was that when ever you ask a really poor person in Honduras what can you give them or do,for them, they will say "whatever you would like".  I thought that was strange that they did not have specific requests.  But Gabby said that they really mean that they do not have anything and "whatever" means anything you can do will help them.  The greatest need is food because they may not have any or only enough for one meal.  When they pray "Give us this day our daily bread.."  it is a prayer of necessity, not one of "vain repetition".  When I said earlier that I was blessed to be able to give of my abundance, my giving made a difference in whether someone ate or didn't eat.  There is no government agency that is going to meet this need and no resources to make money to buy food.  God feeds the birds of the air and brings food to these hungry people by those who are willing to help Him.  The blessing I receive is not always that God repays me in dollars or material things.  But while I am helping those He sends me to, He is helping me with my "whatever" of  problems and prayer requests that I do not have the ability to solve.  Even this week my Lord solved two relationship problems that I have been praying about for several years.  He solved them in one week.  I really believe this timing was the result of my willingness to help Him feed and encourage others that have been praying for what they thought were solutions beyond there control.  During this week we were able to provide food for over 5,000 people in Honduras and Nicaragua with a group of 27 people who had the same desire to help others.  

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.  Thanks to each of you who gave and as important for those who prayed for a safe and successful mission trip.

Another perspective I gained was of how petty were the things I was allowing to bother me.  Before I left for this mission trip I was preoccupied with thinking about political issues like our up coming election.  I was also concerned about decisions I was facing relating to my church. I was spending a lot of time watching news which was all discouraging.  After the first day of meeting with the children we were sponsoring,  I quickly saw that they had real needs that were real and that the things I had been using my mental energy on were out of my control and my thoughts and opinions were not going to change a thing.  But what I came to do in Honduras and Nicaragua would make a great difference.  I was reminded by one of our group members that we had lived through the terms of several Presidents and had not gone hungry or been without employment and the next one would not affect either of us directly.  Our attention needed to be on the hungry children and families we were sent to feed and minister to.  It did not take long before all my problems seemed small when I saw the extreme needs of these people. For instance, the child I would be sponsoring to go to a Christian School and have a hot meal each day had other needs. We went to her house and wondered how she had survived to be 6 years old.  She lived in a house that was less than 500 square feet with 8 other people living in it.  It was built on a side of a mountain on an uneven rock floor which was part of the mountain. In other words they had no floor.  Her house was built from a bunch of rough cut lumber from which you could see the outside from the inside.  But the most immediate need was that the roof was leaking severely.  It was made of scrape pieces of tin with many holes in it.  It did not even have any nails holding it down and strong winds would easily blow it off.   My wife and I and another couple found someone to take the old roof off and we paid to have a new roof on.  I could not go home and watch it rain at my house and not think of this family being wet each time it rained.  We also bought them enough food to last for a couple of weeks and provided them with some water that had to be brought in by a truck.  They had no electricity or water in their home.  There is no government assistance for families like this and there are many families living n these conditions.  But they were happy and very grateful that God had met their need.  I soon forgot my concerns and was reminded of how blessed I am.  My prayer and hope for myself is that I will not revert back to worrying about things that mean so little in the big picture of God's work.  And that I will do what I can for those that God puts in my pathway.  Hellen Keller wrote : "I am only one, but still  am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do."


Thursday, June 23, 2016

TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING ON THE LORD

TO THOSE WHO ARE WAITING ON THE LORD
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles,  They shall run and not be weary,  They shall walk and not faint. 
Isaiah 40: 29-31

Chapter 40 is the beginning of a new section in the book of Isaiah. It is the first chapter which looks beyond the captivity of Israel and on to the brightness of the future God has in store. 

There are always those times when it seems that Satan is getting the best of us. Sometimes it’s a little hard to maintain your faith and trust in God when everything is going against us and we are in the middle of one of the greatest battles of our life. It is in those times that we need the Lord more than ever. It is in those times that our faith and trust in God is really put to the test.

We must not forget that God has promised us that we would “never be tempted above what we are able to bear, but with every temptation, every trial, every test, every trouble, He will make a way for us to escape and win the victory.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God never promised that we wouldn’t have hard times. He never promised that we would sail through life without troubles. What He did promise is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised that He would supply our every need. He promised in Psalms 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain you: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

There is no shortage of God’s power, might, and strength. Our way is not hidden from Him. He has not forgotten about you and I. He will make His strength available to us, if we but trust Him.

Faith says that everything will work out when it seems that everything is crumbling around me.  Faith says that my bills will be paid when I can’t see how they will in the natural sense. Faith says that God will take care of me and that I must force myself to stop being overly concerned with the future. Faith says that I know, that I know, that I know, that somehow, God will work it all out and that when He does, I will be so greatly blessed for having faced all that is happening right now.

Waiting upon the Lord requires true faith. Waiting upon the Lord requires going through the fire sometimes and still trusting God to bring us through.
Waiting upon the Lord requires that we believe in the impossible, look for the unseen answers, hope in the times of hopelessness and know, without knowing why or how, that God will take care of us. , "Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” (Isaiah 59:1)

What does it mean to "wait"? The waiting spoken of here requires faith, trust, patience, hope.  The word “wait" in this instance has to do with faith, not service. It bears the concepts of trust, hope and longing. It is to wait with expectant hope.

What does it mean to "renew"? Don’t we put gas in our tanks only after we have used most of it?  That’s how it is with spiritual strength. Those who have exhausted their strength will have it renewed.  The Lord is not promising an extension of our own natural strength. This strength is supernaturally supplied.  Our batteries are recharged. Our tanks are refueled. Depleted energy is restored. Our power returns when we ask God to send His power.

What does it mean to "mount up”?  This is a simile. It is figurative language intended to paint a picture in our minds. More than our minds, it is designed to inspire our spirits. To soar on wings like eagles is to rise effortlessly.  Great lifting power causes the eagle to fly higher greater lift power in the updrafts of turbulent winds.

Where do we get strength to be patient and encourage?  The child of God gets strength from God’s Word, Prayer, and being around other children of God.  When you don’t feel like going to church is the very time you should go to God’s House to hear a message of hope from Him.

Again and again in the scriptures, God has recorded how He use the weak to become strong.  You have a shepherd boy named David going into battle against a hardened giant of a man with nothing more than a sling and a stone and he is victorious.  You have an inexperienced leader named Gideon facing off against thousands of ruthless warriors with an army of only 300 men and defeated them.

God views those who are waiting as objects of His special love and care and expects other Christians to extend love and concern towards them, as well.  God, Himself, is there to give strength to those who are waiting. God is there to strengthen those who are spiritually waiting on a blessing from Heaven. Be confident when going through a dry season. "God is going to supply all of your needs according to His Riches in Glory". 
(Philippians 4:19).

Today, I hope you will read  God’s Word and believe that He wants to be directly involved in your life today.  He has a plan for you that will take you through this life time of struggles into Heaven.  He will provide you with the strength to keep going if you will begin speaking to yourself words of faith such as “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)


Monday, June 6, 2016

"IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS, AND THAT, AND THE OTHER"



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?” 

Monday, May 16, 2016

BLESS THE LORD

VIDEO LINKS TO THIS SERMON



BLESS THE LORD
by Pastor Mark Taylor

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.”
Psalm 103: 1


We bless God by speaking well of Him, by calling attention to all the things God has done to enrich our lives.  The word “Bless” often carries the synonym of being happy.  David is telling himself to make God happy by thanking Him for His blessings and not forgetting the things He has done for him.  I could imagine when our Heavenly Father looks down on Earth and sees all the crime, corruption, moral depravity, and other sins it makes Him unhappy.  It certainly did in the days of Noah. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.”  Genesis 6:5-6

David had to remind his heart and mind (soul) that God had been really good to him and that He needed to give thanks to Him.  We see that the opposite of praising God is forgetting God’s benefits, overlooking all the great things God has done to enrich our lives. Instead of neglecting God’s blessings, the psalmist stirs himself to remember, to praise God, to bless God.  He wanted to be a person on Earth that could let God know He was loved and appreciated.  He wanted to “Bless” God.
In our busy schedules, we often forget to “Bless The Lord”.  We forget that He appreciates being loved.  This would make Him happy just as a parent would be happy at receiving thanksgiving from their children.  David tells us that we can “Bless The Lord” by not forgetting all His blessings on our lives.  Psalms 103-2-5 gives us a list of things we should thank  and “bless” Him for:
“Who forgives all your sins....” (v.3a).  What a wonderful benefit to “Bless The Lord” for.  Even though others may not forgive you or forget your poor life choices, God is merciful to us.  “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that respect and love Him.  As far as the east is from the west, he has removed our sins from us.  Like a father has pity on his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him.”  (Psalm 103: 11-13).  How about a big “thank you Lord” for continuing to forgive my sins.
“Who heals all my diseases...” (v. 3b).  All healing is divine healing and all recovery from sickness, injury and surgery is the result of the healing properties that God has built into our bodies. Medicine, surgery and therapy are merely extensions of God’s healing ministry.
This verse doesn’t say that God heals everyone’s diseases, but that He heals all diseases. There is no disease or sickness that lies beyond His healing power—not even what we call “incurable.” He is the Great Physician.

“Who redeems your life from destruction..” (v. 4a).  The Lord not only saves our souls from hell, but He also redeems our lives from the clutches of the devil. Satan is bent on damning our souls and destroying our lives.  Many of us have been rescued from death’s door and life-threatening circumstances.  “Satan comes for no other reason, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy you:  I am come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.”  (John 10:10 edited).  Can we say “Bless The Lord” for protecting me and my children, and grandchildren from that accident, that storm,  that home invasion, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, that financial disaster, and so many other situations that could have happened, but did not because of the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father.

“Who crowns you with lovingkindness, and tender mercies..” (v. 4b) This is God’s favor on your life.  He is saying to you, that He is going to listen to your prayers and answer them and help you when you get into difficult situations.  Every time you look in the mirror, visualize a crown on your head that says “God loves me.”  By now your soul should really be shouting “BLESS THE LORD!!”.

“Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (v. 5).  God is concerned with giving you your basic needs and then more.  He wants you to be satisfied  with the many good things you have now and the things He has planned for you in the future.  “Eye has not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.”  (I Corinthians 2:9).  Your youth shall be restored to you when you arrive in Heaven and you get your glorified body.  The last time the disciples saw Jesus, He was a young man about 33 years old.  “Beloved, now are we the children of God, and we cannot see what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. (I John 3:2).  “Bless the Lord, O My Soul” for your new resurrected body.


Your soul is your true person, it is your spirit and your mind.  I would encourage us all to memorize Psalm 103: 1-5 and say it to ourselves as a prayer.  The entire chapter should be read often to remind of us how much God loves us and cares for us.  These verses can lead you into a worshipful time with your Heavenly Father, and He will be blessed and so will you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

HOW TO LOVE YOUR MOTHER





HOW TO LOVE YOUR MOTHER
by Pastor Mark Taylor


“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)
Today in the U.S. we celebrate "Mother's Day".  It is a special day in which we honor our mothers with cards, gifts, and spend time with them.

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.”

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln
1.  Love her verbally.  A woman needs to hear those words, “I Love You!”  Some men would say, I’m just not turned that way…then turn around! “I’m just not comfortable”…then be uncomfortable!  Everyone wants to feel loved and hear those words.  Our Lord Jesus said:  “Whatsoever you would that others should do for you, you do unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12).

2. Love her physically.  When’s the last time you gave her a big hug without her asking for it…or a kiss on the cheek, or a neck rub, or just sat on the couch and held her for a change?

She’s the first person who ever touched you…she wrapped you up in her womb for months, and you came out and first priority was to hold you.  She changed your diapers, potty trained you, and held the Kleenex for you to blow your nose! She wiped food off of your face years longer than she should have had to! 

She constantly touched you! And she may have to hand you off to another, and her life may endure some heavy changes, but she deserves your touch and should never have to give that up completely!

Our Lord physically touched others to bring them healing and love.  “And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.” (Matthew 17:7).

  1. Love her patiently.

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, and no occupation.  Love her patiently. Because she’s tender to your needs is no reason to take advantage of her, it is a reason to be patient and to love her all the more!

God’s Word tells us to be patient.  “Now we encourage you brothers and sisters, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all people.” 
 (I Thessalonians 5:14).  Our mother’s deserve an extra measure of patience from us.


4. Love her attentively.
Mothers listened as you poured out your hear to her when you needed a mother’s ear.  She has had a sympathetic ear, and even as an adult you’ve gone to her when you needed someone who wiould really listen and understand…and have the confidence she’ll always be on your side if you are right, and sometimes even if your wrong.

“Listen to your father..and do not despise (To regard as unworthy of one's interest or concern) your mother when she is old.”  (Proverbs 23:22)

  1. Love her gratefully.  She needs a sincere thank you, and not just today, but from a genuinely thankful heart when least expected!

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts..and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 
 (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Take some time today to give your Mother thanks.

6.  Love her generously.
There’s nothing too good for her, we could never repay her, but we ought to die trying before she does! She didn’t spend on herself unless all your needs were met…she could easily do without, and now it’s time for her to have something she wants!
She clears her schedule so she can run you around…she gives up opportunities so you can have more opportunities!

“So let each one give as they purpose in their heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (2 Corinthians 9:7).  This is not just speaking about money.

  1. Love her honorably.

If anyone you have ever met deserves Honor, it is your Mother.
“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) 


Lord, help us never to be too busy for mom…if you could take time and great effort for your Mother on the cross in your death, help us to love our Mothers while we have her in our life!  For those of us whose Mothers are in Heaven, show us how to love women who need a “Mother’s Love”.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

THE SECRET OF ONE



THE SECRET OF ONE
by Pastor Mark Taylor

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 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, April 22, 2016

HANDS THAT ARE TOO FULL



“HANDS THAT ARE TOO FULL”
BY PASTOR MARK TAYLOR

And they all with one consent began to make excuse. (Luke 14:18)

In Luke 14: 16-24 the Lord Jesus tells us of a king who invited several people to a great supper.  They all begin to make excuses why they could not come.  They were all too busy.  This is a message to us that we can also be too busy and not have the right priorities in our lives.

There are spiritual applications of these scriptures that apply to Salvation.  Everyone is invited to come to the the Lord Jesus for Salvation, but many people have excuses why they can’t come to the Lord right now.  This message is to Christians who are called by the Lord to serve Him with their abilities and talents the Lord has given them, but they make excuses why they can not serve Him.

Suppose a father asks his son to do something for him .  The son replies: "Father I have something in my hands.  When I am finished with what is in my hands I will do what you want me to do."  If the son really cares about His father's needs, He will put down the somethings in his hand.

It is hard for God to find someone who does not have His hands full.  Our hands can only hold so much stuff.  Therefore if there are already things in our hands, we cannot take up new things without putting down the other things.

There will be times when our Heavenly Father asks us to do something for Him within those gifts and abilities He has given us.   It may be something as simple as giving a cup of cold water in Jesus's name - some small act of kindness.  Or it may be something that requires a good deal of effort and energy on our part.  Often the request from Him is something that only we can do, and if we do not do it, it will not get done.

So how do we respond?  Do we do like the young man did, because he had too many things in his hands?  Do we tell our Heavenly Father that we will get around to it when our hands are empty?  Or do we lay down those other things, and there will always be "other things"?  

A person’s strength is limited.  No one has an unlimited supply of mental or physical energy.  A man's emotions are limited.  We cannot continue to use up our emotional strength on things we cannot change.  If a person uses up all their physical strength, emotional strength, and mental energy for causes that mean nothing, then there is nothing left for God when He is in need of your service to Him and others.

We are all here because God has been good to us.  He has given us health.  He has given us good careers, good spouses, children, and friends.  He has given us an abundance of financial blessings to enjoy.  Our Heavenly Father has also put in us gifts and abilities that other people are still trying to develop, or will never develop.

There will be times that you are like a fireman at the fire station.  The Lord wants you to just sit around at the station and learn how to be a better fire fighter, until there is an emergency and then He sends you out on a call.  There are times when He gives you daily assignments to reach out and be the person who encourages others as they go out and fight the fires.  There are times you are the mechanic who makes sure everything is working properly, so when there is a fire, people can get the help they need.  There are times you may be the dispatcher who gets the right information to the people who need to help others.  Regardless, when The Lord needs you, you have to put down those other things that are in your hands to help God accomplish what He wants to do for others.  

If you have ever asked The Lord Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and asked Him to come into your life, you are a child of God.  But you or even more than that.  God does not work on Earth to accomplish His will outside of using His Children.  You or the hands, feet, and mouth of God to your family and friends, and to others God might send into your life.

There are times when our opportunity to walk and talk for God will be an individual task.  At other times God will want you to be part of a group to accomplish His will.    There will be times we can combine our resources, talents , and abilities to make a difference in the lives of others.  This can be done through a church, a club, or a group of concerned people.

God wants to help a lot of people in this world, but He will not do it without people who love Him.  We can limit what God wants to do in the lives of our families, our friends, and others if we do not put down the things in our hands and pick up the things that will help our Heavenly Father.
The important thing for us to remember is that God loves us and has chosen us to serve Him while we have good health and good resources.  There will be times God wants us to relax and renew ourselves, and we should not feel guilty about that.  But there is also a time to give our love and service to others.

Remember you are doing it for your Heavenly Father, not for those who deserve it, or for those who do not deserve your time and energy.  Some people will not say thank you and some may not even accept your offer of love or help.  But that is ok.  God appreciates your obedience and sacrifice.  He will both reward you with blessings from Heaven, and use others to be a blessing to you in your time of need.

At the end of the story that the Lord Jesus told, He expressed that the King was very disappointed and angry towards those who made excuses and were too busy to come to the dinner and fellowship he had provided for them.  One spiritual application of this story is that if you make excuses  on why you cannot serve the Lord, He will find someone else, and you will lose your opportunity  to be  blessed by Him.  Those who are offered Salvation and forgiveness from the Lord and reject it, may also lose their opportunity to receive eternal life and go to Heaven.

What is in your hands today? Are they too full?  Do you have excuses?  Will you put those things down long enough to help your Heavenly Father help others?