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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

“Throughout the World The Word of God Can Be Read and Seen in 2015"

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 143 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”.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

WHAT IS HIS NAME?


WHAT IS HIS NAME?
by Pastor Mark Taylor

We serve a mighty God.  There is no language that can express all of His qualities or begin to understand all of His power.  God is so amazing that one name cannot describe Who He is.  Below are three of His names from the Hebrew language.  May the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit reveal to us a partial list of His Names.

“Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" (Exodus 3:13)

THE LORD WHO PROVIDES – JEHOVAH-JIREH

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh”  (Genesis 22:14)

The meaning of “Jehovah-Jireh” is The Lord Who Provides. The name is literally, “The Lord Who Sees”, or “The Lord Who Will See To It.”  This is what we long for when we have a need that is personal and special; One who will see to our needs and provide for us. This is what Jehovah-Jireh means; the Lord Who will see to it that my every need is met.  One Who knows my need because He sees. One Who is able to meet my need in just the right time as He did for Abraham, and One Who can meet it fully. For Abraham, it was the ram caught in the thicket that was offered in Isaac's place. For us it is whatever we need.  “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (Psalms 34:15-16).
From these scriptures and others we can learn several things.  We can learn that God’s provision will come in the time of our greatest need.  Where will He provide?  He will provide for us “in the mount”, that is the place of our trial.  When you cannot see the answer to your need, the Lord will see you and see to your need.  He will be your Jehovah-Jireh.   Jehovah-Jireh will provide for His children:  “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25). “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The Lord That Heals – Jehovah Rapha
“For I am the LORD that heals you!” (Exodus 15:26)

Rapha means “to restore”, “to heal” or “to make healthful” in Hebrew.
Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people, as well as their nation. Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our sicknesses.  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases..” (Psalm 103: 2-3).  
Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our troubles.  “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalms 34:6).  The Lord our God has many ways by which he makes our bitter waters of trouble sweet.  Sometimes he simply changes our circumstances.  At other times the Lord turns our sorrow to joy and makes our bitter waters sweet interjecting something unexpected, which changes everything.  Our Lord Jesus is always present with us in our troubles.  Giving in to the will of God and making our hearts submissive to Him will bring peace to the troubled heart quicker and more effectually than anything else.  “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).

There is healing for your deepest pains and disappointments.  There is healing over addictions, past hurts, and past failures.  There is healing for your body.  If you have become sidetracked by bitter waters in your soul and spirit, the only way to go to find the sweet water is to run to Jehovah-Rapha, The God Who Heals.

El-Shaddai – The Almighty God

“I am the Almighty God (El-Shaddai); walk before me, and be perfect” (Genesis 17:1-3)

God revealed another of His names to Abraham as He promised him that he would be the father of mighty nations.  The name “God Almighty”, or “El-Shaddai” in the Hebrew emphasizes God’s ability to handle any situation that confronts His people.  It literally means that God is “self-sufficient” and adequate to deal victoriously for His people.  When God told Abraham “I am the Almighty God”, He was telling Him, I am bigger than any of your problems, and I’ll fulfill My promises to you despite all the problems, if you’ll turn them over to Me”.  “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble: and He knows them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
We serve the “Almighty God” – “El-Shaddai”.  He is able to meet our every need. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).


Now, when you pray to your Heavenly Father, you can call Him by His Name.  When others ask you about your God, you can tell them His Name.  “I serve and love Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah Rapha, and El Shaddai”.  Or you can simply say I serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  “Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?” (John 14:9 ) - Who is my Provider, my Healer, and My God.

Friday, July 17, 2015

WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN


by Pastor Mark Taylor

My objective is to help us focus on the reality of Heaven. God wants us to know that death is not something we should fear but look forward to.  It is a place where we and our loved ones will live and enjoy.  “This world is not my home, I am just passing through.”  This sermon can only introduce what a wonderful place Heaven will be.  The Bible reveals a lot about this wonderful place, but our minds can only process a small picture of what we will experience.   “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”                        (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Our Lord Jesus has said that He would immediately be with Him when we leave this world. “Jesus said:  I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in Me, though he were physically dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”  (John 11:25).  To the thief on the Cross, Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you.  Today you shall be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).

I have personally met some people who were clinically dead but came back from the dead and told me and others about visiting with the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people have shared with me accounts of loved ones returning to bring a message from Heaven to their loved ones to assure them that they are ok.  There are more cases of “NDE” (Near life Experiences) than the average person may be aware of.  Dr. Elizabeth Ross was awarded 10 Doctor degrees including M.D.'s and PhD's for her 20 years of work, wrote a book titled Life After Death.  Elizabeth devoted her life to proving that an after life did exist. Her work showed that death was really a beautiful experience and the beginning of another life.

Her work showed that death was really a beautiful experience and the beginning of another life.  She showed that this after life was full,of promise and love and meeting those we loved who had died before us.  She studied 20,000 cases of people all over the world who had been who had been declared clinically dead and had returned to life.  She inspired the start of the Hospice movement.  Some awoke naturally, and others had been brought back to life through medical help. 

Dr. Elizabeth Ross states in her book Life After Dearth that “The dying experience is almost identical to the experience at birth.  It is a birth into another experience that can be proved.  "The death of the human body is identical to what happens when the butterfly emerges from its cocoon. “At the moment of this transition you are never ever alone.  You are not alone now, but you don't know it.  At the moment of your transition, your guardian angels, your loved ones who have passed on before you will be there to guide you.  "We have verified this beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I say this as a scientist.  There will always be someone to help you with this transition.  Most of the time it is a parent or a grandparent, or a child if you have lost a child.  Sometimes it is people you did not know we're on the "other side" already.  This means that many children who do not have anyone they know on the "other side", see Jesus.”

Other observations that Dr. Ross received from those who had “Near Death Experiences” (NDE’s) was “The time you spend in your physical body is a very, very short time of your total existence.  It is  a very important time because you are here for a very special purpose, which is yours and yours alone.  The question of time is not terribly important; it is a man made artificial concept anyway.  Death is like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.  You know the coat is shabby and you don't want to wear it any more.”  Look at a little seed that we put into the ground, or take a look at a dry looking bulb that some put into the ground.  They look withered and dead, but in the spring we see the flowers and the fruit of the new life.  We shall be changed into the new order of life: our personalities continuing in those bodies that God will prepare for us, which are supernatural.

Dr. Eben Alexander M.D, an academic neurosurgeon for the last 25 years did not believe in “NDE’s” until his own brain was attacked by a rare illness.  The part of the braid that controls thought and emotion.  He was in a coma for seven days.  Then as his doctors considered stopping treatment, his eyes open and he came back to life.  He wrote about his time in Heaven in a book titled PROOF OF HEAVEN.    He said when he initially entered Heaven he both felt and heard three messages:  “You are loved and cherished”,  “You have nothing to fear”, and “There is nothing you can do wrong here.”  He said: “The unconditional love and acceptance that I experienced on my journey is the single most important discovery I have ever made.”  It is no wonder those who have had “NDE’s do not want to return to Earth, but are sent back as an answer to other’s prayers.

Colton Burpo had an emergency appendectomy when he was four years old.  He told his family a beautiful story of his trip to Heaven and back.  His parents retold his story in  a book about his experiences titled HEAVEN IS FOR REAL.  Colton told of meeting people in Heaven like a sister he never met or knew of that had died when his mother had a miscarriage years before his birth.  He described Jesus and the angels, and how “really, really big” God is and how much God love us.

I would encourage you to look up the story of Akiiane Kramarik experiences about Heaven. She was brought up in a family in Lithuania that “never talked about religion, never prayed together, and never went to any church.”  The family was atheist.  Her vision has been seen on many national TV news and entertainment programs.  She had never had a drawing or painting lesson but drew and painted from the age of 4 and at the age of 8 1/2 she desperately wanted to paint  portraits of Jesus who she had seen in another vision of Heaven.   Two of her paintings are “The Prince of Peace.”  and “Father Forgive Them”. She said this was a gift given to her while she was in Heaven.  Many of her paintings, drawings and poems are in a book titled AKIANE .





My prayer for you is that you will begin to think about Life after Death as a wonderful promise that God has given to those who love Him and have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.    “For we walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7).   “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

Friday, July 10, 2015

I HAVE FOUND MY HAPPY PLACE


By Pastor Mark Taylor

A "Happy Place" can be a place where your mind takes you before you actually get there.  It can be a pleasant memory of a place you remember.  One of my fondest memories as a child through the time I was an adult was a pond on my grandparent's land that I often went to pray and think during difficult times in my life.  It was a happy place where I could feel God's presence and His peace.

Heaven is a "Happy Place" I think about when I am troubled about all the problems that are going on in this world.  It is a place where my heart and mind goes to think about my great future with God and the Lord Jesus.  I think about being reunited with many people I love who have already left Earth to begin their new life in a wonderful place.  It is a place that has caused me to live my life in a way God's Word has showed me to please Him.

A  FOX News poll finds that more than nine in 10 Americans (91 percent) believe in God and almost as many believe in heaven (87 percent). In addition, 84 percent say they believe in miracles and 79 percent in angels.  We repeat every Sunday in the Apostles Creed that we "believe in the resurrection of the body and  in life everlasting".  

Why is Heaven such an important subject?  For Christians it is one of the central themes of our faith.  That we will be rewarded for a life of following the two greatest commandments:  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27).  

Heaven is a real place.  It is a place that God gives us because He loves us.  It is a place worth your time and service to Him and others while you are on His Earth.  It is worth you living a Holy life.  When you find yourself getting discouraged, look ahead for a future in God's home - Heaven. My goal today is to help you to "set your affections on things above and not on things here on Earth" (Colossians 3:2)

We are looking forward to being with our God, and our Savior, "You shall be My people, and I will be your God" (Jeremiah 30:22).   In addition to being with our Lord Jesus. ,we are looking forward to seeing our loved ones that have left us here on Earth.  We are looking forward to a new body that will not experience sickness or death ever again: "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." (1 John 3:2)

There are many things we do not know about what heaven will be like, because it is beyond our ability to comprehend. But one thing we can be sure of is that it will fulfill our greatest longings, it will dazzle us with its beauty, it will obliterate our greatest problems with its power and splendor, it will be greater than anything we could imagine or dream, it will be a place where love and joy will reign unspoiled. God has prepared all of this for us. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Hm” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

First of all God promises us a new body.  We cannot be sure exactly what it will look like, but it will be much better than the best human body on Earth. It will not experience physical or emotional pain or death ever again.  We will not be just a spirit floating around, but shall be known as we are known on Earth without remembering our failures   We will given responsibilities and be active beings.         "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:." (2 Timothy 2:12).  "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."  Revelation 20:6

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the first person who had been in Heaven to give us a testimony and documentation that their was life after death.  Some have said if I could prove that their was a  “Heaven”, then I would believe the Bible and commit myself to a relationship with God.  but Jesus said: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16: 31).  But some have heard and believed and look forward to Heaven without fear.  Our Lord told His disciples and tells us today:  “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there you will be also.”  (John 14:1-3).

Heaven is real. Heaven will not be some existence where we float about as spirits without bodies. Why would God take the trouble to create a new earth if there was not going to be anyone to live on it? Why would we be given new bodies if we were not going to live in a material world?  Jesus rose from the dead in His glorified body. He could pass thru walls, but yet he could touch people, sit down and eat.

If we make preparations for our grandchildren’s visit or guests coming to our home for a meal, how much more does a God of love prepare for the time His children will come to His eternal home. The Bible says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). Jesus said, “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3).  If this fallen world in all of its brokenness can be so wonderful, what must heaven be like? Abraham and many of our Spiritual forefathers believed in Heaven.  (Romans 4:20-21)

Heaven is the residence of God. The greatest reward of heaven will be God Himself. Nothing we see or experience will be greater than the fact that we are with God and see him face to face.  Christians can be certain of their future in Heaven because Jesus prays for us. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.  And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.  Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (John 17: 9-11).

Christians can be certain of their future in heaven because God is for us and not against us.   We can be certain that He will bring His work to a fulfillment. God is not investing in a losing cause!  He proved His love for us on Calvary so we can be certain that nothing, absolutely nothing will keep him from completing His loving plans. Even when you struggle and fail, God still loves you and is still for you.

Christians can be certain of their future in heaven because there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love.  “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: 38-39). 

There is nothing in this world worth missing Heaven for. There are many things we do not know about Heaven because it is so much better than  Earth, that there are no human words to explain how great it is.  We will be reunited with our loved ones who loved God and accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior.  We will be rewarded for all of our service and sacrifices in our service for God to meet the needs of others.  Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

I would encourage all of those who have not decided to accept the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior to make that decision and give their lives to Him so that you might receive the gift of eternal life.  “Jesus said to him:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6).  Heaven is a real place that has been prepared for those that Love God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14: 1-3).



Saturday, June 27, 2015

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)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN



Our Father Who Is In Heaven
A Sermon by Pastor Mark Taylor

“After this manner pray: Our Father Who is in Heaven. Holy and Honored shall be Your Name.  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:8-10
Today, in the United States, we celebrate Father’s Day.  The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910.  It is sad that today one out of three children do not have a father living with them in their homes. 

Notice that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He counseled them to relate to God as "Father."  By now, we all understand that prayer is simply the practice of talking with God - it's the vehicle by which fellowship with God can take place in this life. The first lesson from the Lord's Prayer then is simply that God, our Father, wants us to talk to Him. He is a conversationalist; He wants to have that kind of relationship with His children, one where the children take the initiative to discuss the events of their lives, and He wants to be the One who is available to listen and meet their needs.
As human beings we are designed to know God as our Good, Loving, Heavenly Father.  The trouble is we do not see Him clearly... partly because the lenses we wear to look at Him are provided by the experiences of our earthly fathers (and other male authority figures).  If we had or have, a physically absent or emotionally absent father, then at a heart level we may well fear that God will not be close to us... and therefore we find it hard to believe that He wants to draw near and is near!   If you do not have an earthly father present with you today, or if your father does not show you the love you desire, God wants to be your Father.  “When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.” (Psalms 27:10).  

Our Father is our protector.  “A Father of the fatherless, a Defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.” (Psalms 68:5).

Our FATHER is full of forgiveness: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).

Our FATHER is Love:  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”  (1 John 4:7-8).

Our FATHER is all powerful (omnipotent).  There is no limit to what HE can do.  “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalms 147:5). 

Our FATHER is all knowing (omniscient).   He knows your thoughts: “The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile” (Psalms 94:11).  “You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off” (Psalms 139:2).

Our FATHER is present everywhere (omnipresent).  Our FATHER is not limited by time or space. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there” (Psalms 139:7-8).

A good Earthly Father should be someone we can go to when we are in trouble or when we are discouraged.  Sometimes all we need is a word of encouragement from him to give us the courage to keep on going when we feel like giving up. Someone to tell us he is for us and on our side.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”  (Jeremiah 29:11-12).   

Your Heavenly Father can meet that need and give you the resources to get back on your feet when you have been knocked down by this world.  “As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalms 103:13-14).  Do you need a Father today who can just take you in His arms and tell you everything is going to be ok?  Your Heavenly Father wants to do just that.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, there is no greater gift that you can give to your children and grandchildren, than your time.  There are times when they just need someone to listen to them and spend some time with them.  This is something our Heavenly Father wants to give to His children.  He is a good listener and never too busy to take time for you.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).

"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3).

Our FATHER is full of pity and mercy: “The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him” (Psalms 103:8-11).

On this Father's Day, we will honor our fathers with a gift, a card, a call, a word of appreciation or a hug. Let us also remember to honor our Heavenly Father. We can honor our fathers who have gone to Heaven by transferring that love into an act of kindness to someone else.

We will honor Him by taking time to talk with Him, worshipping Him in Spirit and thanking Him for His faithful provision. We will seek to correct any broken relationships we may have with Him or with others of His children. We will follow His leadership into ways of righteousness and accept His protection from the evil one. We will give Him all the praise and glory due His name.  Make this a Happy Father’s Day for your Heavenly Father.

I hope the God of the Bible is your FATHER. I hope that you have seen the FATHER today.  He wants to be your FATHER.   It is His will that everyone go to Heaven and live with Him forever.   "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." The Father is a king, but a king who does not always get what He wants.  What we need to understand is that He values the free choice of His children - He wants you to come to Him out of love, not coercion or fear.  Let His will be done in you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS


“WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS”
By Pastor Mark Taylor


“I have called you friends.” (John 15:15)

The whole story of the Bible is about God longing to have a personal friendship with human beings.

Facebook is a place where people can share their lives. They can talk with others, post pictures and articles they’d like people to see. And most of this sharing is done between “friends”.  Most of these “friends” you will never meet.  They might not even like you.  For the most part they are just passing through.  If you were sick in the hospital, they wouldn’t come visit you.  If you needed some money to pay a bill, they wouldn’t be there for you.  On Facebook they are called “friends”, but they are not people who love you or care about you.

Today, I want to tell you about a real friend named “Jesus”.  He is not just a “Facebook Friend”.   “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24).  That Friend is Jesus.  I want to tell you about a friend who loves you all the time.  “A friend loves at all times...” (Proverbs 17:17).  That Friend is Jesus.

The Bible is filled with stories of friendship; Moses and Jethro; David and Jonathan; Elijah and Elisha;Paul and Timothy; and Jesus and His twelve disciples. 

Jesus came to this earth with one purpose in mind, laying down His life for us so that we could be His Friend. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).  Our Friend, Jesus was also talking about us having a relationship with God because of His payment for our sins.  

His Friendship involves forgiving our faults and shortcomings.  The love of Jesus is stronger than any failure you may have committed. Jesus loves us in spite of the things that we have done. Jesus not only promises to forgive our sins but He also forgets them. He simply wipes the slate of our lives clean and then refuses to remember what we have done. 
There is nothing that you can do to make Jesus love you any less. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He does right now.   But there is a way to know if you are His friend.  How can you know if you are really His friend?  “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14).

What is it that Jesus wants us to do?  This is my command: “Love each other” (John 15:12). The condition for friendship with Jesus is the simple fact that we follow His example. We are meant to love others as Jesus loves them and as He loves us. The only way to do this is to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

The deepest desire in the heart of Jesus is to call you His friend but the choice is up to you.

He initiates the opportunity for friendship.  Jesus gives us the chance to put our faith in Him. He left heaven, became human, died for your sins, and then conquered death for you – all in an attempt to show you how interested He is in being your friend. He took the initiative!

Now the way you become a “friend” on Facebook is - one person sends out an INVITATION to someone else to be their friend. The other person can then either “CONFIRM” them as a friend or IGNORE you. If you haven’t become a Christian yet… then the question is this   Will you accept his offer, or will you ignore it today.

What Jesus is telling us here is “I invited you to be my friend… you didn’t invite me.”  (John 15:16)  “You did not choose me, but I chose you...”
He invited US to be HIS friend, that He reached out to us because we weren’t worthy to reach out to Him - then we should be humbled that He thought WE were worth His time.

Not only is Jesus my friend, but my friendship with Jesus improves my friendship with others.Jesus said “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)  It’s a repeated command, over and over again throughout the Scriptures.  Why repeat such a command?  Because it doesn’t come naturally to us. We don’t really know how to love until we’ve learned the love of Jesus in our lives.

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, 
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.” 


Jesus loves you today.  It’s good to be loved. God created you to be loved. There’s nothing to compare with loving and being loved. And God is the source of love.  You have an invitation from Heaven to become a “Friend of God”.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"IF THE LORD IS GOD, FOLLOW HIM"


“If The Lord is God, Follow Him”
I Kings 18:21
A Sermon By Pastor Mark Taylor

We learn from the life of Elijah what we need to do for God’s power and presence to be evident in our lives. Do you want God’s help in your life, family, heath, job, church, and relationships? For many of us the question isn’t, do we want God’s help? The question is, are we willing to do what’s necessary to receive God’s help.

Elijah prayed earnestly that it might not rain. “Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit ” (James 5:17-18).  The background of this story is that for 3 ½ years Elijah has been praying that it would not rain in Israel so that the people might realize they have sinned and brought God’s displeasure upon themselves. The drought was to prepare the people to repent. The drought was to awaken their sleeping conscience through the door of human need. God often has to get our attention in the natural, before He can speak to us about the spiritual. We begin to get a picture of man who’s concern for Israel was so great that he didn’t care if they suffered in the natural, if it led to spiritual revival. The text in James doesn’t simply say, "he prayed," but that he prayed, "earnestly." He was so moved by their sinfulness that he earnestly asked God, "do whatever it takes to get this people’s attention."  “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people answered him not a word.”  (1 Kings 18:21).

When Jesus walked on earth He said you are either hot or cold, the middle ground disappeared. “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:30).  If you chose God you are blessed with the refreshing rain of heaven, if not your heart becomes hardened and you wind up committing sins you would have never dreamed possible.  Christian’s are called the "Extreme Right," and the simple fact is we haven’t changed our views on right and wrong, but the left has gone further and further left. 

Elijah repaired the broken altar "And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down." 1 Kings 18:30  Altars symbolize prayer, fellowship with God, dying to self, and yielding to the will of God. The fact that the altar was in a state of disrepair was a powerful symbol in and of itself of how far the people had gotten from God.  Even in Christian families there is very little of what could be called a family prayer altar. What little praying is done is more by the individual rather than a collective effort. The family altar has been broken down. "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Mark 11:17) , was Jesus’ declaration, but of how many churches is that true?

The fire came down.  "Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench."  1 Kings 18:38.   Revival is not the fire falling, but that which causes God to respond by sending the fire. Revival is brokenness that God responds to with acceptance. Revival is the fire of God coming down on broken and contrite hearts. When the conditions are right, God will always respond with the fire of His presence.  He will burn up our past mistakes and failures.  Your sins will be forgiven and forgotten.  “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:11-12).

Spiritual restoration lead to earthly and financial blessing;  "And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain." 1 Kings 18:41.   Because of sin there had been no rain for 3 ½ years, imagine the devastation - poverty, famine, unemployment, and sickness; but all that was about to change.  With the repentance came the rain of God, for man and beast alike, and the curse was lifted off of the earth. When men seek first the kingdom of heaven, all these other things will be added to them. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34).  With the coming of the rain, crops were restored, granaries were filled and prosperity and economic recovery came again to Israel.


If you choose to “Follow Him”, the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be filled with His Holy Spirit and will be able to defeat and overcome Satan’s power.  It has been said and it is true that “Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong even if everyone is for it.”

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD"



SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD
 A Sermon by Pastor Mark Taylor

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  Matthew 9:36

We all love the 23rd Psalm. Especially verse one: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  But what about those among us who have no shepherd?

Our Lord and Savior was often “moved with compassion”.  Jesus felt this way when He encountered the sick (Mt 14:14), the blind (Mt 20:34), the demon possessed (Mk 9:22), those who lost loved ones (Lk 7:13), the hungry (Mt 15:32) the lonely (Mk 1:41) and the bewildered (Mt 9:36).  Compassion means “suffering with others”.

Why don’t we begin to see people as Jesus saw them.  When He saw a need in the lives of others coming to Him.  He did not say “Here comes another problem.”; but He said here comes a needing person “with a problem”.  We are so often tempted to look at people that are in need with an attitude of judging them instead of asking ourselves or the Lord “What can I do to help?”.

“Sheep without a shepherd” need to be with other sheep.  Mother Teresa has said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted. That’s what my sisters hope to provide. The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”  

I have always looked at the church as a hospital for those who are sick.  I look at the morning and evening worship service as the emergency room where they can get some treatment.  We would be deeply offended if we went to the hospital or emergency room and the nurses or doctors told us to go home and clean ourselves up first, and then they would treat us.  Speaking on this issue Jesus said:  “They that are whole do not need a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12).

“Sheep without a shepherd” need healing.  Sometimes it is physical and sometimes it is spiritual and sometimes it is emotional.  When sheep get away from the protection of the Shepherd they get hurt.  In the 23rd Psalm we read “You anoint my head with oil..”  This is what the Shepherd did for His sheep who needed healing.  Our Lord tells us that we are to find the lost and hurting sheep and give them healing.  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:13-15).  Can you pray for someone?  Can you read the Bible to someone?  Can you provide them with some words of encouragement?  Can you bring them to Church so others can pray for them?  These are some things you can do for the sheep without a shepherd.

Our Lord wants you to listen to “His voice”.  Listening and following Him will keep you from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd.”  If you are listening and following the “Good Shepherd”, the Lord Jesus, you will never get lost and no one can take you away from God’s love and protection.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.”  (John 10: 27-29).
We have so many distractions and so many things demanding our time and attention we wander away from the Shepherd and become a “sheep without a Shepherd”.  We do not take time to hear His voice.  We need to be careful what and who we are listening to.  If we spend the majority of our time watching violent TV shows and movies and listening to music that promotes thoughts that lead to sin, we are not listening to His voice.
To keep from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd” we must take and make time to listen to our Shepherd. Listen prayerfully while you read God’s Word.  Listen prayerfully as you enter the worship services.  During these times do not allow your mind to think about your problems, about other people’s problems, or what you need to do tomorrow.  Listen, Listen, Listen.
Say silently or aloud "Lord I’m here. Lord...I want to hear your voice.”  A shepherd leads  the sheep, loves the sheep, and protects the sheep.  Are you trying to make an important decision?  Are you grieving over a loss in your life?  Regardless of your need, the Lord Jesus is speaking to you.  You will hear His voice and gain the strength to move forward and be successful.

“He gives power to the weary; and to him with no vigor; He increases strength. Even the young 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 as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).


We need to thank the Lord Jesus every day for being our shepherd.  We need to love those who are “sheep without a shepherd” and help them find the “Good Shepherd” which is our Lord Jesus.