Reaching the unseen

REACHING THE UNSEEN IN 2018

...

Logo Design by FlamingText.com

REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 152 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

MISSION

Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

VISION STATEMENT

Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

Bible Verse

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

God Will Show You The Way

“GOD WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY”

By Pastor Mark Taylor

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).

The God we serve is not someone who has left us to guess about important decisions in our lives.  All through the Bible He has given us examples of how he led the children of Israel in specific directions. 

At times others will ask you to help them and you do not have the resources.  When you cannot help them ask God to supply their needs.   "When God's work is done in God's way, God will provide what is needed." Dr. Bob Tyson

“Truly I see that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34).  When obstacles seem to prevent their movement, He moved the obstacles.  “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt” (Joshua 2:10).

“For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you until you had passed over, even as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea which He dried up from before us until we had gone over” (Joshua 4:23).  He will remove obstacles that keep you from serving Him and being happy and successful.

In the New Testament Jesus reminded His disciples that He could make a way for them also: “Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You go, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:5-6).

You and I face many important decisions in our lives.  Sometimes we are not sure which way to turn.  Sometimes we face roadblocks to our dreams and goals.  

I would like to encourage you today to trust the Lord in helping you make a way to accomplish God’s will in your life.

I usually pray this prayer when I am trying to “find the way”:  “Lord if this (thing, goal, desire) is your will for me, open the door and allowed me to go through it.  Give me the wisdom and confidence from the Holy Spirit to know that my desires are in line with your will for my life.  Lord, if this desire is not your will, please lock the door so that I cannot go through it.  Keep me from making a wrong decision that will cause me problems.”  

Sometimes we find ourselves in difficulty and we don't like It.  God allows us to go through these situations to make us a stronger person and increase our faith.  

I don't believe God causes bad things to happen to His children.  They happen for many reasons.  Sometimes because of wrong decisions we make, sometimes because of the free will and sin nature of others, and sometimes it is an spiritual attack from Satan.  Regardless, God uses those things to build us into better people and draw us closer to Him.

Then I pray as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did: “If you would be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42).  

Sometimes the Lord removes it from me, and sometimes He reminds me of what He told Paul when he prayed for healing: “For this thing I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me” 
(2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

As one song put it: “Sometimes He calms the storm, and sometimes He calms me.”

One thing we can count on is that God is with us and wants to lead us and make a way for us to become victorious even in difficult times.  Even if you are suffering from bad relationships, poor financial decisions, or health problems remember His words of encouragement to us: 
“No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Go to God in prayer.  Ask Him to give you the faith to endure your hardship until He makes the way.

Jesus said this about our life on earth: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  

And we are reminded by God’s Word that even when things are going bad for us God will make a way for it to become good: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God has not only made a way for us to make it through this lifetime, but has made a way for us to go to Heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  

If you will give your life to Christ, He will make a way for you to go to a real place, with real people, and experience the real presence of God: “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, "the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

God also wants to use you to make a way for others.  You have been given gifts and abilities you can use in service for God.  “Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).  

Every time you do something for someone else they receive a blessing and so do you.  There are people today that need you today.  It may be something as simple as a kind word or an act of kindness. It may be something that requires your time, money, and talents.  If God lays something on your heart, He is expecting you to do it.  And in many cases, if you don’t do it, it want get done.  


God is going to make a way for you today.  “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).

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SUFFERING AND GOD'S CHILDREN

Suffering And God's Children
by Pastor Mark Taylor

 “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and not receive bad?”
Job 2:10
If you want to believe in God’s goodness and fairness, but find it hard because of the things that have happened to you and to people you care about, I want to write some thoughts as I ponder that same question and thoughts of others who have experienced  great loss.  And remember that God can handle your disappointments and anger.  He is still a loving God that wants to help you.  
I do not personally believe that bad things that happen to us always comes from God.  Many people do.  And I am sure you can find verses that would indicate that they might.  I am not a Bible scholar but based on my thoughts and experiences over 50 years of serving and walking with The Lord Jesus, I have some educated explanations.
 One of those explanations that is central to my understanding of God in my personal relationship with Him is that "God is love."  (1 John 4:8). Therefore I believe that most of the bad things that cause us suffering comes from another source.  I believe some of our suffering is due to poor choices we make.  Another source of our suffering comes from Satan.  My personal belief is based on one verse that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave us:  "The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10::10.  And finally, there is some suffering for which there is no explainable answer this side of Heaven.
The great theme of the book of Job-- and the one for which it is world famous -- is its treatment of the reason for suffering in the Christian life. None of us have a problem when we are told that suffering is sent by God to punish wrongdoers. We have a long list of names that we could present to God of people who deserve this kind of thing. It is eminently just for God to punish wrongdoers with suffering, we think. People who hurt others and are vicious, cruel, and wicked ought to be made to suffer for what they do. Our whole system of justice is built upon that principle. That is why we put people in jail and fine them, because we are trying to carry out justice through punishing wrongdoing. That satisfies our sense of justice -- except when we happen to be the wrongdoers getting punished. Then, of course, it is all very unfair.
But what about the times we are living right and are close to God.  The book of Job teaches us something that should have been obvious to us from our reading of the Gospels, and that is the fact that Jesus suffered. Now, obviously, Jesus did not suffer because he was a wrongdoer, nor did he suffer because he needed to have his attention captured by God. He was always sensitively responsive to the Father's will, and always did that which was pleasing in his sight. Yet his life was filled with suffering from beginning to end -- rejection, misunderstanding, disappointment, cruelty, harsh words, and unjust treatment -- all the way through, so that he merited the description of the Old Testament, even before the cross, that he was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," (Isaiah 53:3).

If we are going to suffer, then the question may arise about “why live a righteous life and follow Jesus?”  The reason is that Scripture speaks in numerous passages about "this slight momentary affliction preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 Corinthians 4:17), and of how "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us," (Romans 8:18). When that day breaks, the one thing for which we will be infinitely thankful, the one thing above all others that will thrill us and cheer us and cause us to glory, is the fact that out of all the created universe we were chosen to be the ones who bore the name of God in the hour of danger and affliction, problem and trial. There is no higher honor than that. That is what Jesus means when he says, "Blessed are you when men persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name's sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your honor before the Father. For so persecuted they the prophets who were before you," (Matthew 5:11-12).  You may feel as I do, and that is that I don't want to suffer.  And I hope you and I are not called to suffer.  But, if and when we do, we need to have some understanding of why it is happening.
Finally, I want to say that there are some questions that we will never know the answer to until we get to Heaven.  Who can explain a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado that sweeps across an area and good Christian people lose there lives or possessions?  Who can explain the evil events such as September 11, 2001 or shootings in elementary schools?  Who can explain why children get terrible diseases such as leukemia  or aids?  I certainly cannot and even though I have read countless books and heard many explanations, I have not found an answer.

There are some obvious explanations for some suffering.  When a person has poor health habits for many years such as excessive smoking of tobacco, use of drugs, or excessive drinking, medical science has told us what the consequences will be.  Law enforcement has told us the consequences for drinking and driving, distracted driving, and not wearing seat belts. Our parents and grandparents have told us of possible consequences for being with the "wrong crowd" and going to the "wrong places".  A reasonable person cannot blame God for the suffering brought on by these poor decisions.

There are explanations I have heard that I don't agree with even though I have heard good people use them to explain suffering.  Below are what I view as some wrong assumptions that many people have developed as they go through suffering.
1.  One wrong assumption is that bad things are not suppose to happen to good people.  Let us look at a couple of many verses in the Bible that contradict that theory.  "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous But the Lord delivers him out of them all." Psalms 34:18-19.  Even our Lord and Savior let us know that life is full of suffering.  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
2.  Some people have address suffering in every generation by assuming that we somehow get what we deserve and our misfortunes come as punishment for our sins.  This is a wrong assumption.  It creates guilt even where there is no basis for guilt.  Blaming the victim is a way or reassuring ourselves that the world is not as bad a place as it may seem, and that there are good reasons for people’s suffering.   It makes people hate God, and even makes them hate themselves.  And most disturbing of all it does not even fit the facts.  God has provided a payment and forgiveness for all of our sins, and there is no one that is without sin.  “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).  If we all got what we deserve, none of us would be alive.  It is true that there are natural consequences for sin, but that is not why bad things happen to good people.  
This does not take into account that God does chastise His children when we need it. But I personally believe that he does not hurt other people for our sins.  I do not believe that a person who loves God and is trying to serve Him will receive chastisement at the expense of others.  For instance, I do not believe God would take a child or spouse of someone because they did not live up to all the standards they felt were set for them.  Neither do I believe we get diseases like cancer and other things for our shortcomings.  We serve a merciful and loving God and Father and He is a better Father than any of us and we would not punish our children with that severity.  
"For whom the Lord loves He chastens,  And scourges every son whom He receives.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.  Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness."  Hebrews 12:6-10
3.  Another wrong assumption is that one of God’s reason’s to make us suffer is educational.   I have heard people say “Maybe God is trying to teach us a lesson.”  God does not do painful things to us as His way of helping us.  This statement is used to defend God or give Him an excuse for the bad things that happens to His children.  God does not operate this way.  “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.”                (Jeremiah 29:11).  It is wrong to think that the God who loves us and sent His son to die for us would try to teach us lessons by allowing innocent children to die in accidents or through incurable diseases.
3.  Let me give you one final assumption that I think is wrong, even though it may take you awhile to believe it or process it.  “God is all-powerful and causes everything that happens in the world.  Nothing happens without His willing it.”  God is all powerful, but   Just because God is all-knowing does not mean He causes bad things to happen to good people.   “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”   (2 Peter 3:9).  
It is almost impossible to believe that God does not always get His way.  Bad things do happen to good people in this world, but it is not God who wills it.  God would like people to get the good things they deserve in this life, but He will not always arrange it.  God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but sometimes it does not happen the way He wants it to.
Why?  Because He loves you and me and He has given us a license that is called “free will”.  "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). 
 He has temporally abdicated His all-powerful ability to give you the ability to choose to love Him and receive good things from Him.  If we can bring ourselves to acknowledge that there are some things God does not control, many good things become possible.  We will be able to turn to God for things He can do to help us, instead of holding on to unrealistic expectations of Him which will never come about.  Our question should be “God, see what is happening to me. Can You help me?” not “God, why are You doing this to me?”  Where was God when Hitler killed over 6 million men, women, and Children?  He was with the victims and not with the murderers.  Even though He does not control man’s choosing between good and evil, he is sees and feels the tears and prayers and is suffering alongside the people He has created.  “For we have not a high priest who is not able to be touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh; but we have one who has been tested in all points as we ourselves are tested, but without sin. Then let us come near to the seat of grace without fear, so that mercy may be given to us, and we may get grace for our help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:15-16).
God gets back His power when we pray and get strength and comfort from Him.  He puts that power in us to feed the hungry, fight the injustice in our world, heal the brokenhearted, and all the things that He allowed His Son, the Lord Jesus to do, now He can use us.  You become His legs, His arms, His feet, and His mouth.
When bad things happen to good people, God wants to help them.  He wants  those who are hurting to stop hurting themselves.  He wants you to pray and connect with others who have the power to get things from Him.  He wants to comfort you and love you when bad things are happening to you.  He wants you to comfort others when bad things are happening to them.  Prayer will deliver you from many bad things, but not all bad things.  But when bad things happen to God’s people, they can be assured of one thing and that is that He will give you the ability to get through it.  This is called grace.  “And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”                              (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Finally, when bad things happen to good people, they have a choice.  They can allow God to use them to help others or they can become bitter and angry.  You can become better or you can become bitter. I hope you will understand this one thing and that is that the bad things that happen to you are not from God.  They are either from poor choices or Satan Himself.   Our Lord said about Himself and Satan: “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Loving Yourself As God Loves You

LOVING YOURSELF AS GOD LOVES YOU
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

“Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” 
(Matthew 22:37-39).


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

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

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

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

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

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

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Little Is Much When God Is In It

Little Is Much When God Is In It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Handling Conflicts In Our Relationships

Handling Conflicts In Our Relationships
By Pastor Mark Taylor 

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

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

Be Slow To Speak

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


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

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

Be Slow To Wrath

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

                  How can we be angry and sin not?

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

                           When you have an argument:

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

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

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

THE NECESSITY OF A REAL VISION

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask God to give you a positive and believing attitude.


III. VISION IS: THE COURAGE TO DO: ACTION

Faith is the food that visions live on. Without faith, our vision will wither on the vine.  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
The courage of vision is to say "Lord if that is you, let me come to you walking on the water."  Our vision may require us to come out of our comfort zone.

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

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

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 NKJV)

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


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