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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

We want to meet our King in 2014.

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 141 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, August 23, 2014

JESUS IS MY BEST FRIEND

Video Links To This Sermon




JESUS IS MY BEST FRIEND
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“And the Lord had replied to Moses, “Yes, I will do what you have asked, for you have certainly found favor with me, and you are my friend.” (Exodus 33:17- Living Bible)


God wants you to have a best friend.  And that best friend is His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants to be your best friend and give you His friendship and bless your life.
He wants to be your best friend and give you His friendship and bless your life.

There have been times in my life when I needed a friend.  I needed someone to love me and accept me for who I was and where I was at that point in my life.  I found that friend in Jesus.  There is a Gospel song who's lyrics say:  

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, 
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
I would tell you how
He changed my life completely; 
He did something no other friend could do.

No one ever cared for me like Jesus; 
There's no other friend so kind as He.
No one else could take the sin
And darkness from me; 
O how much He cared for me.

It is only when we know God personally that we can expect to be called His own and receive what He has in store for us.  “Let me live in your favor” was a request from Moses to God.  Once we know God’s ways and know God personally, than the favor of God can and will rest, in and on our lives.  Gods goodness and mercy will follow you, Psalms 23 says "surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life!”

While Moses was spending time with God getting the Ten Commandments and getting instructions on how to worship God. the children of Israel were at the bottom of the mountain worshiping idols.  God told Moses that He would destroy all of them because of their rebellion and sin and give him a new group of people to lead into the promised land.  But Moses asked God to have mercy and He did.  Our Lord Jesus has asked our Heavenly Father to have mercy on us and continue to lead us into our promised land called Heaven.  “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (I John 2:1 - NKJV).

In Exodus 33 verses 1 to 6 we learn that God will send the Israelites off to the Promised Land with an angel instead of going with them. We find that the Lord says that He wouldn’t be with them because of the hardness of their heart.  But again Moses prays to God and asks Him to go with them.  

For Moses had said, “If you aren’t going with us, don’t let us move a step from this place. If you don’t go with us, who will ever know that I and my people have found favor with you, and that we are different from any other people upon the face of the earth?”  And the Lord had replied to Moses, “Yes, I will do what you have asked, for you have certainly found favor with me, and you are my friend.” (v. 15-17 - Living Bible).

God makes a distinction between His people and the rest of the world by showing His pleasure through His divine presence.  He is with us even when we do not feel His presence.


We are created for relationship. God reaches down to us and looks for us. He came eventually, revealing Himself in Jesus. He moves in our direction, and speaks our language. Before we even took a step towards Him, God takes a giant step and moves towards us. He took our form and became a man, so that He can relate to us.

God wants us to be His friend. Not just an acquaintance. Not just one of our fans. Not just part of the crowd, but our friend. If you want to be a friend of God, you need to be a friend to God and get to know Him, up close and personnel.

Friends talk with each other and spend time with each other.  “My sheep (Friends) hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28).  We must both speak to God in prayer and listen to Him through His precious Word - The Bible.  I know it is hard to speak to someone you cannot see.  But Jesus is with you and He can hear you.  He can speak to you through His precious Word - The Bible.  He can hear you sing praises to His name through praise songs and traditional hymns.

Friends do things for each other and with each other.  We must open up to Him, learn to tell him everything, be willing to do what He asks, be concerned about the things He is concerned about, and make friendship with Him our top priority.  "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 heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  (John 15:14-15).  

We obey because we love Him and know He has our best interests at heart. The closer we follow Him the stronger our friendship becomes.  Non-Christians think we obey because we have to, or because we are overcome with guilt if we don’t, or because we are afraid of some celestial punishment. We know, however, we obey because of love.

We are asked to love others, help the needy, live a Godly life, forgive when we don’t want to or feel like it, and lead others to Him.  The closer we get to God, the more we will Care about what He cares about; Grieve over what he grieves over; Rejoice over what brings Him pleasure.  To be a friend of God, we must care about all the people around us God cares about.  “Great opportunities may come once in a lifetime, but small opportunities surround us every day.”

Friends are proud of each other and their friendship. Friends of God tell their friends about God.  “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38).  Let us share with each other and with others “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”.


Jesus is my BFF - Best Friend Forever.  He is inviting you to share that same relationship with Him.  Jesus is a Friend who “ sticks closer than a brother."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ONE THANKFUL MAN



One Thankful Man
By Pastor Mark Taylor

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:17-19).

Giving thanks and the word thanksgiving are mentioned over 140 times in the Bible.  All the people used by God in the Bible had the “attitude of gratitude”.  David said: “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalms 103:1-2).  Daniel gave thanks: “Daniel went to his house. And his windows were open in his roof room toward Jerusalem; and he kneeled on his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before” (Daniel 6:10).  Paul tells us: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

You do not have to wait until a special day like "Thanksgiving" to be thankful.  You do not even have to wait until Sunday when you go to church to be thankful.  You should be thankful everyday and every time God does something special for you.  You should be thankful for the things He has already done for you.  God loves to hear appreciative prayers of thanks from His children.

In this recorded event, Jesus stopped to help 10 seriously ill people even though He had been on a long journey and was probably very tired.  Leprosy was a disease which the Jews thought was a punishment for some particular sin.  Disease and sickness are not always related to sin, but Christ came to take away sin and demonstrated that He has power over sin and disease.  Our physical bodies are not made to last forever on this Earth.  Children of God will receive a resurrected body that will last forever and we will live with God forever: “And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:3-5).

The ten did not ask for a cure for the leprosy, but cried out “Have mercy on us”.  Sometimes we don’t know what to pray for: “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”(Luke 17:14)  When you ask the Lord to help you, He will usually ask you to do something to demonstrate your faith. 

The “One Thankful Man”, took the time to return to Jesus to thank Him.  He started out standing “afar off”, but now he was on “his face at His feet, giving Him thanks”.  He started out asking for mercy, and now he glorified God with a “loud voice”.
Those who have received mercy from God should publish it it others.  Their praise to God may encourage others and lead them to trust Christ.

 Jesus took notice of the grateful return the “One Thankful Man” made.  He also took notice of the ingratitude of those that were sharers of the mercy that did not return to give thanks.
“Where are the nine?”  Of the many that receive mercy from God, there are very few (one in ten) that return to give thanks.

Today, thank our Lord and Savior for the many times He has had mercy on you.  If you are a child of God you have much to be thankful for.  You have Heaven to look forward to.  Jesus told the “One Thankful Man” that his faith had made him whole.
He not only received a physical healing, but a spiritual healing.
He not only received a higher quality of life on earth, but he received “Eternal Life”.  Be one of the 10% that Loves God enough to give thanks to Him today!!!!

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever” (Psalms 30:12).

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Your name, O most High” (Psalms 92:1).

“Praise you the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endures for ever” (Psalms 106:1).

“By Him, then, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).


Sunday, August 10, 2014

TALENTS - USE THEM OR LOVE THEM



YOUR TALENTS – USE THEM OR LOSE THEM
By Pastor Mark Taylor
“Well done, good, and faithful servant” Matthew 25:14-30
When our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ returned to Heaven at His Ascension, He went into a “far country’.  He has promised to return, and He will keep His promise.  He has left you and I with “talents” that He wants us to use.  In the verses above, it states: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country..”  Our Lord is trying to show us what it means to be a Christian today.
In the parable, 5 talents equal about 2.5 million dollars, 2 talents is about a million dollars, and 1 talent is about a half a million dollars.  As you read the parable, you see the first two men double the money of their master, while the third man buried his master’s money.  The first two men were thanked, praised, and rewarded.  The third man lost his relationship with the master and was thrown out of his presence.
What did the man with the one talent do wrong?  He returned his master’s money, so what was the problem.  Some might say that he was lazy and God does not like lazy people.  Another might say he had good intentions, but forgot that he had the talent.  Another might say he lacked self-esteem and was afraid to take the risk that the other two men did.
I think it went well beyond his actions and involved his attitude.  His own words revealed the problem.  “I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not planted.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground”. (v. 24-25).
The truth is that the master was very generous and trusted his servants with a lot of treasures.   He also praised the first two for their accomplishments.  He gave them power and made them rulers over many things.  And he opened up us his house to them and made them a part of his family.  Does this sound like a hard and unreasonable man?
The third man made excuses instead of repenting.  He blamed the master for his failure.  And he accused his master of being unreasonable and expecting too much from him.God has given each of us different talents depending upon what He knows we can do.  He has confidence in us that we can accomplish the tasks He has given us to do.  

Some of us have more than one talent, because the Lord knows we can do more than someone else.  He has given us opportunity to learn from going to school, being successful in a trade, or having a pleasant personality in dealing with people.  Some people can sing, some can speak in front of groups, some can teach children, some can feed the hungry, some can visit the sick, some can be mentors to young people, some can repair broken things, some can add beauty and order to a building or lawn, some can inspire and lead others in new projects, and all can be faithful in attending worship services.
If we all have talents, then why do some people choose to hide their talents like the “wicked and lazy” servant?”  Probably for the same reason he did.  Some people do not see God as a loving, generous, and rewarding God.  They see Him as “hard” and unfair, and are afraid of Him.  They get this idea of God, because they really do not know Him.  God is not going to punish you for trying and failing.
God has made us with different abilities and different personalities.  We are not all designed to serve the Lord in exactly the same way.  But you have been given talents and are responsible for using them for the Kingdom of God.  Not just in the church building on Sundays, but everyday of your life.
This parable states: “After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.” (v.19)  Our Lord has promised us that He will return for us or we will meet Him when we leave this world.  “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12).  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:9-10)  What a wonderful day that will be when we meet the Lord and He will say to us as this lord said to his servants:  “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (v. 21).

The Lord loves you and is encouraging you not to quit.  Don’t bury or hid you talents.  Multiply your talents by investing them into the lives of others “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”                        (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Sunday, August 3, 2014

DON'T WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BLESSING


VIDEO LINK FOR THIS SERMON

Don’t Walk Away From Your Blessing
“And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' "Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.” (2 Kings 5:10-12 NKJV)
God does not always show us how He is going to bless us.  The information given to Naaman about Elisha's power to heal his leprosy was given to him be a little maid that waited on his wife.  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9).  When you are praying for a blessing, do not under estimate the advice or suggestions that is given to you.  God might use something you read or hear that you were not expecting.  You may attend a Sunday evening or Wednesday night service and the Holy Spirit might give you the wisdom you need to receive the blessing you have been praying about.
God does not always use the same method to accomplish His goals and bring blessings to those who ask.  In Naaman’s situation, Elisha did not even go out to meet him but sent his servant to tell him what to do.  This upset Naaman and almost cost him his healing.  This is what he wanted Elisha to do:  “But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:11).  When you receive Godly counsel, you may be told that you have to stop doing some things you are doing or start doing some things you are not doing to receive God’s blessings.  
Pride will keep you from receiving God’s blessings.  “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18).  “For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:16-17). Proud men are the worst enemies to themselves and keep themselves from receiving the blessings of God.
You are more likely to find God’s blessing when you are in God’s territory and with God’s people.   Jordan belonged to Israel's God, from whom he was to expect the cure, and not from the gods of Damascus or their rivers.  It watered the Lord's land, the holy land, and in it held a miraculous cure. The relation of the river to God was much more considerable than the depth of the channel or the beauty of the stream. That Jordan had more than once before this obeyed the commands of omnipotence.  “I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD." (Psalms 122:1).
After taking the advice of his servants, Naaman yielded to make this exercise not one of faith, but of an experiment. He received his blessing and healing because he obeyed the Word of God.  Elisha told him to wash or dip himself in the Jordan seven times and he did it. “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2 Kings 5:14).  God will always honor His Word.  “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.” (Psalms 119:89-90).  “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” (Psalms 119:160).  “It is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:18).  
When Naaman received his blessing he gave God glory and praise.  Of the ten lepers that our Saviour cleansed, the only one that returned to give thanks was a Samaritan.  “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? (Luke 17:15-17)   This Syrian did so, and here expresses himself.  Convinced of the power of the God of Israel he said: “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, "Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant." (2 Kings 5:15).  Can’t we as God’s children give Him praise and honor when He answers our prayers.  “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalms 107:8).


Don’t get angry at God or His Word when your blessing is delayed or not exactly what you wanted.  If Naaman had not turned back to the man of God and obeyed God’s Word, He would have died a leper instead of a great military leader.  Many people have walked away from God’s blessings when they were so close to getting them.  “Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." (Acts 26:28).  Almost is not good enough when you are dealing with God.

Friday, July 25, 2014

SUFFERING AND GOD'S CHILDREN


VIDEO LINK TO THIS SERMON

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 Gods 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 I have had as I ponder that same question and thinking of others who have experienced  great loss.  You may even be angry at God as you read this, but remember that God can handle your disappointments and anger.  He is still a loving God that wants to help you.  It is my desire that the Holy Spirit take this information and speak to your heart about your hurt.
I do not personally believe that all 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 in my opinion 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 another wrong assumption in my opinion.  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 peoples 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 in my opinion is that one of Gods reasons 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 mans 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 Gods 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).

A special song that helps me when I am suffering:

His Eye is On The Sparrow - by Ethyl Waters

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

A special song that I love that helps me during suffering.
HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

Sunday, July 20, 2014

THE LORD WHO PROVIDES – JEHOVAH-JIREH



THE LORD WHO PROVIDES – JEHOVAH-JIREH
By Pastor Mark Taylor

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

There is a lot of uncertainty in our world.  There are wars, violence, hunger, and disease.  But there is also one certainty we can depend on and that is God our Father and that He can and will take care of His children.  The Bible, God's Holy Word is full of examples of how He has taken care of those who love Him over and over again.

The sermon below is not just written to give you more information.  It is written to give you more faith.  As you read the Scriptures, accept them as a personal message from your Heavenly Father to you.  May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ answer your prayers and may our Heavenly Father meet all your need according to His riches by Christ Jesus.

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).

In Genesis 22 we have the account of God telling Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice and burnt offering.  This was a test and God was not going to allow him to complete this assignment.  When Abraham’s adult son asked him, where was the sacrifice, he said: “My son, God will provide (Jehovah-Jireh) Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22: 6-8).  At the time Isaac was going to be offered up, God provided a ram.  “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Genesis 22:10-12).

Abraham believe that even if he had offered Isaac, God was able to raise him from the dead.  “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Hebrews 11:17-19).  God provided His Son as a sacrifice for you and me, and raised Him from the dead as he will you and me one day.  Christ has already made provision for your salvation: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  

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.  “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).

We can learn from this scriptural account of Abraham and Isaac, that God’s provision was spontaneously made.  This was an issue of God’s free grace, and nothing that Abraham had worked for or planned for.  When we have needs, God is Jehovah-Jireh for us.  He can and will provide. “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” 
(Psalms 37:4-5).

We can learn that the provision was made by God Himself. This is a provision that guarantees all other provisions you need. We do not have to interfere with the provision of God.  Do you think that after He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, that you need to try to manipulate circumstances for God to work?  “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?” (Romans 8:32).  Jehovah-Jireh is concerned about your needs: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

We can learn that the provision was made effectively.  Isaac did not die, there was no grief, and they went home rejoicing.  You and I were bound on the altar of sin, but Jehovah-Jireh has delivered us and will take us home to Heaven.  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).


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).

Friday, July 11, 2014

LIVING A LIFE JUST LIKE JESUS




Living A Life Just Like Jesus
by Pastor Mark Taylor
We try to lead our children in a way that will give them the opportunity to live a happy and successful life.  This is what God wants for us.  He wants to protect us from getting hurt as we walk through this difficult and dangerous world.  He has sent His Son to show us how to live this type of life.  
Some may think that living a life like our Lord Jesus Christ would be impossible.  I would like to remind you of what our Lord said about the impossible. “Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23).  It is true that we cannot live a sinless life like our Lord did because He was God. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).  But we can certainly live a life with less sin.  God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.  He wants you to be just like Jesus.  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).  Let us look at some ways we can live a “life just like Jesus”.  
Live like Jesus by loving the people that God has given you to live with and work with.  “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12-13).  Our Lord Jesus knew the feeling of being around the same crew for three years.  They rode in the same boats and walked the same roads and visited the same houses.  He even knew their private doubts and unspoken thoughts.  But Jesus was able to love His disciples.   “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.”    (John 13:12-14).  Grace is the key to being like Jesus.  Relationships don’t get better because the guilty are punished, but because the innocent are merciful.  Certain conflicts can only be resolved with someone humbling themselves and showing grace.
Live like Jesus by being willing to use your hands to be the hand of God touching those in need.  “When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:1-3).  This man needed a touch from God.  The divorced know this feeling and so do the handicapped.  The unemployed and unmarried moms also need a touch from God.  Those in nursing homes, addiction centers, and prisons are the lonely lives that have been rejected by society.  But Jesus wants to use you to be His hands and feet to touch others.
Live like Jesus by spending time with your Heavenly Father. Jesus said 16 times “"He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 11:15).  If we are to be just like Jesus,we are going to have to have ears that hear God’s voice.  Our Lord spent a lot of personal time in both talking and listening to His Father.  “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”  (Mark 1:35).  If we are going to be just like Jesus, we must have a regular time of talking to God and listening to His Word.  “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.”  (Psalms 55:17).  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Romans 10:17).
Live like Jesus by being led by God’s Holy Spirit and His unseen hand.   Clearly, our Lord Jesus Christ did not act unless He was guided by His Father.  “Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”  (John 5:19).  
God desires the same for us today as he did for the Lord Jesus Christ.  He wants you to be just like Jesus and He want the same relationship and love with you that He had with His precious Son.  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 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?”  (Romans 8:28-32).  God’s relationship with us about loving us, helping us, and giving to us all that we need.

What incredibly good news for us.  We are never away from God and He is never away from us, not even for a moment.  “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 8:35-39).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"I WILL GIVE YOU REST"



“I WILL GIVE YOU REST”
By Pastor Mark Taylor

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”  Matthew 11:28-30.

A “yoke” is an instrument used to connect two animals together to get a heavy and hard job done.  The Lord Jesus Christ wants to hook up with you to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
Why is rest so important? For several reasons. One of the most important functions of rest is to allow us to listen to God. We become so busy doing things for Christ that we forget to simply be with Christ. We get tunnel vision, becoming so fixated on completing our list of assigned tasks that we have no time for anything else but work. But somehow, the list of tasks never gets any shorter. For every one we finish, two more rise up to take their place. . We begin to run on autopilot. Instead of being guided by the Holy Spirit, we find ourselves being controlled by emotion; by habit and circumstance.
"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ’Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place." – Mark 6:30-32

One of the striking things about these passages is the fact that Jesus withdrew from the crowds just when he was most in demand. There were thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people waiting for Jesus to heal them, to teach them, to bless them.  The need was great.  Jesus understood that the need was endless. But in order to accomplish the purpose for which God had sent Him, he had to remain spiritually strong. And that required regular times of prayer and meditation, regular times of rest and recuperation. 
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ’Everyone is looking for you!’" – Mark 1:35-36

Not only did our Lord set an example of rest for us, but God the Father did as well.  “So the creation of the heavens and earth and everything in them was completed.  On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work.” (Genesis 2: 1-3)
Time away from our labors helps us to regain our perspective and realign our priorities. It helps us to remember what’s most important. It reminds us that the things of God are eternal, while the things of this life are temporary.

We are not merely the sum of what we accomplish. We are not merely a means of production, cogs in a machine.  Yes, our work has value, but it’s not our work that gives us value. Our value is inherent within us; it comes from the fact that God made us and gave his Son for us.  We have great worth, regardless of how much or how little we accomplish. We have value because God is our Father, and because in Christ we are his children. “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not because you are of more value that many sparrows who are  not forgotten before God?...Not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Heavenly Father being aware of it. (Luke 12:6-7, Matthew 10-29-31).

  Schedule or find a time by yourself and meditate on something relaxing to you. Listen to music.  Free your mind from thoughts of problems or projects.

Just do nothing.  That is difficult for some people, but it is an important part of resting.Take a walk in a park or in your neighborhood. Turn off your cell phone, TV, and other distractions that will keep you from getting the most from your “nothing” time.  Take this time to pray, read a small portion of scripture or a short devotion out of a book like “Daily Bread”.

Remember the source of the healing you will receive from getting rest.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He can speak to you during these times of rest.  He can restore strength to you and give you the desire to be better. “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Moses received some good advice from his father-in law when he saw Moses working from sun-up to sun-down.  “... The thing that you do is not good.  You will surely wear away both you and this people that is with you, for this thing is too heavy for you, and you are not able to perform it by yourself alone.”  (Exodus 18: 13, 17-18).


The Lord Jesus is offering to help you get some quality rest if you will come to Him.