Reaching the unseen



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


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

Saturday, October 8, 2011


What more could have been done to My vineyard, That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?    Isaiah 5:4

Our Lord has described His relationship with you in many different ways.  He has called you His friend.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”  John 15:13-14.  He has called you to a special position in His service. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In our text verse today, God is comparing you to a place He has invested a lot of time and work to receive something in return.  God is asking a question: “What More Could I have Done for  You, That I have Not Already Done?” to receive something good from you in return.

Many Christians today have disappointed God with the fruits of their lives.  Instead of producing the fruit of the Spirit, they have produced sour grapes in their lives“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23.

Many people have given excuses on why they are not serving the Lord with their whole hearts which is a commandment we have received. "Jesus said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”   Matt.22:37-38.  Many others have failed to show their love for others in deeds and actions.

When God looks at your life, what does He see?  He wants you to know that it really matters to Him.  Actions such as reading your Bible, praying, attending Church, ministering to others in need, are good fruits that a Christian should always produce.

Jesus put it this way:  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.” Luke 6:45.

What more could God have done for you than to give you the desire and ability to bring Him good fruit?

He has provided a way for you to receive forgiveness of your sins through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  “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.  Do you know of anyone else that cares that much for you? “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:7-8.

What more could God do for you than to reveal to you the opportunity to receive eternal life? God has given you clear instructions in His precious Word - The Holy Bible.  “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Romans 10:9-10.  This opportunity is offered to anyone who wants to follow God and will live a life pleasing to Him.  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved” Romans 10:13.

What more could God do for you than to provide you with the ability to communicate with Him?  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  Luke 11:9-10.

What more could God do for you than to give you other Christians to help you learn about the love of God?  “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. I John 1:7.  He has given you a Church, a body of believers who can encourage you to live for God.

What more could God do for you than to give you all the things you need?  He has given you the resources of prayer and protection. “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 8:31-32

What more could God do for you than to provide for you an eternal place to be with Him?   “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.  You will spend eternity some place.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be with God and all those people who love Him and are already with Him?

God has done a lot for you and in return He is expecting to see good fruit for all the time and energy He has put into your life.  A relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is more than just mentally believing that they exist.   It is a relationship.  “But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!  But do you not know, O foolish person, that faith without works is dead?” James 2:18-20.

God has given each of you gifts and abilities that can glorify Him and be a blessing to others.  God has done His part and I don’t know of anything else He can do to show His love for you.  The question then becomes: “God, What more can I do for you?”.  Let that be your prayer and He will show you many ways to receive blessings from Him and be a blessing to others.  Everything you do today for the Lord will count for Eternity.  “Set your affections (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Colossians 3:2

Sunday, October 2, 2011


(The thoughts and words of this message are paraphrased from two messages preached by John Wesley.  “Salvation by Faith” and “The Scripture Way of Salvation”)
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)
It was the free grace that “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7).  Neither your faith, nor your salvation comes from you.  It is the free and undeserved gift of God.  The faith through which you are saved as well as the salvation which He of His own good pleasure and favor gives to you.  Faith and salvation include the substance of the whole Bible, so it is very important that we form a true and accurate picture concerning both of them.
The first question we need to answer is: “What is salvation?”  The salvation which is in our text is frequently understood as “going to Heaven” and having “eternal happiness”.  This scripture might be extended to the entire work of God, from the first dawning of grace in the soul until it is consummated in glory.  But in this verse the Apostle Paul is saying: “You are saved”.  It is not just a blessing which lies on the other side of death, but it is implied you are now “pardoned and forgiven”.  The immediate effects of our salvation are that “the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7), and  “whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)…”you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).  So we can know we have this salvation when we have peace and joy about our present relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also came to save us from the guilt and the power of sin.  “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21).  He will save them from all their sins both original and actual, past and present sins of the flesh and of the spirit. “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the impurity of your flesh, He has made you alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14).  You do not have to live a sinful life.  You now are saved from the power of it.
The second point to consider is since we are “saved” by faith, what is “faith?  The Bible defines it this way: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1).  Faith is a divine evidence and conviction of things not seen or visible; things that are not perceivable either by sight or by any other of the external senses.  It implies both a supernatural “evidence” of God and of the things of God, a kind of spiritual light given to the soul. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).  Our Lord and Savior said of Himself:  "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12).
When we receive Christ and are “born again”, the eyes of our soul are both opened and enlightened so that we see the things which the natural eye cannot see. “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). 
This faith of assurance is the divine evidence that God loves us.  "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  He that believes with the true living faith that is given by God has the evidence and conviction within himself that he is a child of God.  No one has to prove it to him, nor can they take away that conviction.  “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”.  (Romans 8:16).  This is the faith by which we are given our salvation.
The third consideration is if we are saved by faith and not by works, what part do works play in our Christian life.  In coming to Christ God has commanded us to repent or “cease” from doing evil and learn to do good. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;” (Isaiah 1:16-19).
Therefore repentance and good works are in some sense related.  But works or fruits are only necessary if there be time and opportunity for them. A person may receive Christ on their death bed like the thief on the cross.  Everyone that believes is saved and no man is saved until he believes. “For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:13).  Our gift of salvation is called being “justified”.  But everyone who is saved desires to please God and be used of Him.  This is called being “sanctified”.    Both repentance as well as the practice of all good works are necessary to be “sanctified” or to be used of God in His service.  These works include prayer, searching the Scriptures, being baptized and receiving the Lord’s Supper, works of mercy toward others such as feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, and contributing in any manner to saving of souls though their hearing the Gospel message.  This is part of the conviction and assurance we have that we have “been saved by grace, through faith”.


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.



Pastor Mark Taylor                                 Friendship United Methodist Church
                                                     Sunday Morning Worship Service

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord Our Banner
Exodus 17:8-16
While Joshua and the army of Israel fought the Amalekites in the valley below, Moses stood on the top of Mt. Horeb, which is Mt. Sinai, with his hands stretched out before the Lord, with his rod in his hands. The symbolism in this picture is full of instruction. Moses lifted up his hands in prayer to God and held up the rod, which represented God’s omnipotent power, so that all Israel could see it standing erect, like an immovable banner upon Mt. Sinai. But when Moses hands got heavy, the rod he held sagged. When the army of Israel could not see the rod, they wavered and the Amalekites prevailed against them. Aaron and Hur found a stone and put it under Moses to support him. Then they stood by Moses and held up his hands until the going down of the sun. Thus, Israel defeated the Amalekites. We are like those Israelites. At times it seems that our spiritual warfare will surely end in defeat. Like Moses, we get weary. Our legs are feeble. Our hands begin to sag. It appears that we will surely fall to the enemy. But, just when we have no strength, Christ our High Priest, represented by Aaron, and the Spirit of God, represent by Hur, whose name means liberty, inspire us to lift up our hands in prayer to God. Fixed upon Christ, our sure Foundation Stone, we again see the Rod of God, our mighty Savior, exalted and lifted up like a banner before us. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2), we prevail over our enemies. Our exalted Savior gives us assurance that, when the day of our warfare is over, we shall win the victory over our enemies. Our great Commander says to us, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). And by His grace we too shall overcome the world. At the end of the day, "Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi" (v. 15), which means, "the Lord our Banner".*
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH-NISSI, THE LORD OUR BANNER. In the majesty of his person, the efficacy of his work, the merit of his blood, the perfection of his righteousness, the certainty of his triumph, and the glory of his second advent, Christ is the Banner of his Church. Under this Banner we fight and prevail. And to this Banner we rally. In ancient times the banner of a regiment was far more useful than it is today; but we are still familiar with the symbolism. What a nation’s flag is to its people, Christ is to his Church. He is Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner. The banner is lifted up and displayed as the point of union. Countrymen have many things about which they have little quarrels. But let an enemy invade the land and every patriot will rally around the flag. When the chips are down, when liberty and freedom are in danger, all are one. All have one flag as their point of union. Even so, Christ is the point of union for all believers. All rally as one around Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner.*
When it comes to the person and work of Christ, all true believers are one, all true believers rally around and lift up the Banner of the Cross. Those who oppose and fight against the doctrine of Christ, his eternal Deity, effectual atonement, imputed righteousness, free grace salvation, sovereign rule over all things, or almighty intercession in heaven, are our enemies. All who uphold and defend these things are our brethren. In times of war, the banner directs the battle and encourages the soldiers. Moses held up the rod like a banner before Israel. The banner both directed and encouraged the army below. Aaron and Hur took great care to see to it that the banner did not fall to the ground. If it should fall the battle would be lost. Jehovah-Nissi, Christ our Banner, is the One who directs and encourages us in our warfare here below. We have no cause of fear. Though Moses grew weary, He never shall. He who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, will never fail. Child of God, fix your eyes upon him, and you shall never fail.*
There are at least four kind of victory that God will give you if you will let Him be your banner.  He can and will give you victory over sin in our life.  “But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”           (1 John 1:7).  God can and will give us victory over bad habits and addictions.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”       (John 8:36).    God can and will give us victory over sorrow and death. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).  "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"     (John 11:26).  "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4). 




 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.

In Exodus 15:22-26 we have the account of Moses leading the children of Israel from the Red Sea to a place called Marah.  They had been without water for 3 days.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter.  The people murmured against Moses, saying, What Shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet”.  Then the Lord gave them a conditional promise.

“If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not allow any of these diseases come upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you (Jehovah-Rapha).

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).  Because of Adam’s sin, sickness entered into our genetics and lives.  Everyone that Jesus healed eventually died.  But our Lord Jesus is still in the healing business.  God’s prevention of disease ought to be as much a matter of praise as his curing us of it.  God uses medicine and doctors to treat us as he used the tree that was cast into the waters.  The tree had no healing virtue; but God used the tree to accomplish the healing. Paul told Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach disorders (II Timothy 5:23).  James told the sick to use both prayer and the anointing of oil for the healing of their sick bodies (James 5:14-15).  We should thank God for medicine and doctors, but never to attribute praise to them as healing us.  It is God alone who heals.  In every healing we experience, we have a pledge of the resurrection of the body.  He who restores health to our bodies will restore life to our bodies in the resurrection.

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).

Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of our souls.  “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).  Christ is the Tree of Life that removed the judgment of drinking the bitter waters of sin. The tree is a picture of Christ himself on the cross which put away our sins and brought in everlasting life. First, the Lord made the people know how bitter the water was.  Then prayer was made to God before the waters were healed.  The waters were not healed until the tree was cast into them.  Once the tree was cast into the waters, they were completely healed.  When God heals a soul, it is healed forever and completely.

Jehovah-Rapha will do His final healing when we get to Heaven.  “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 shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).

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.




There are many names in the Old Testament that refer to God and each reveal some aspect of God’s character or His relationship with us.  Most versions of the Bible simply translate His name as “God” or LORD”.   But there are several Greek and Hebrew names that contain a wealth of truth about the wonderful God we serve.  We will look at two of these names and begin this wonderful study.

When ever you find the name “Lord” written is small capitals, it represents the name that God revealed to Moses.  This name was Yahweh.  The Jews thought this name was to holy to pronounce when they read the Scriptures aloud, so they pronounced it as Jehovah, which means “Lord God”.  God told Moses that He was the God who always had been , and who always would be.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:13-14).  God told Moses that He was the God who always had been, and who always would be.  He was the eternal God.  There are many things in our world that cannot be seen, touched, or measured with instruments, yet we know they exist.  Likewise, we cannot see, touch, or measure God, but we can see the effects of His activity in our world.  We can see people’s lives transformed when they surrender themselves to Him.  We can see miracles of healing.  We can watch the marvelous cycles of the natural world, which keeps renewing itself and preserving itself year after year.  We know by His revealed Word, The Bible, they are the results of His activity.  Moses had never read one word of Holy Scripture.  He had never heard a sermon, yet he could hear the voice of God.  Because of his faith in God and his obedience to God, he would be able to see God perform mighty miracles before his own eyes. 

We worship the one, true, and living God that can and will work in our lives if we will love Him.

Jehovah-Elohim – The Lord is God.  Elohim is a proper name for the one true God, suggesting His unique nature as the three-in-one God.  “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness..” (Genesis 1:26).  We Christians understand that “us” and “our” refer to the Trinity.  God is speaking of Himself and with Himself in the plural number.. Each person the Father, Son and Spirit are 100% deity so when they appear singularly there is no division of that deity since God is indivisible. The same rule would be for the word God theos, in the N.T.  John was speaking of Jesus when he said: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3).”  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14).  When we worship, serve, and call upon the name of Jesus, we call upon the name of the one true God.  Jesus said He was God.  “Then said the Jews unto Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, “I Am” (John 8:57-58).

If you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior, you have accepted the one and true living God.  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).   The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one.  You cannot have one without having all three.  “And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1 John 5:11-12).  “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).

Next week we will look at two more names of God – El-Shaddai (The Almighty God), and  Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord Will Provide).



Pastor Mark Taylor


Don’t Quit in Difficult Times

 “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Many of us are going through major struggles today.  Some are going through financial, educational, emotional, health, and relational struggles.  Think about your struggles and consider how you made it, and realize you can make it again.  The joy of accomplishment in overcoming struggles is something to glory in.  You cannot glory in quitting or giving up. 

I want you to know that you are not going through struggles because you are a bad person or that you are being punished by God.  He has your best interest in mind and wants the best for you.  "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).  Jesus wants you to have joy in your life even though you have problems.  "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”. (John 15:11)

Many of us can look back in years past and be proud that God gave us the ability to overcome difficulties in our lives.  We can enjoy the fruits of our struggles.  The battles bring victories and the victories bring happiness.  Our nation was born in struggles.  Now we can enjoy freedom because of the struggles that our fathers and grandfathers went through.  Many of you have struggled hard to get a good job, a good education, to raise your children, and to serve God.   God is telling you and me to arise up from our discouragement and keep on going.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13).  Jesus said: “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Tribulation brings patience, and patience brings experience, and experience brings hope. (Romans 5:3-4).  When you go though struggles with others they become your best friends.  If you never go through struggles you cannot experience hope or patience. 

If you are not doing anything today for God or your Church, you need to get into a ministry and struggle with others.  It will bring you friends that will last forever.  Struggles and difficulties will show you how God has delivered others and how he uses others to help us when we need help. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10).

When you come through a struggle, you can see that God is powerful and that He can do it again and again. This is called faith.  ”The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17)   He wants to show you how strong He is:  “For the eyes of the LORD runs to an from throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him”
(2 Chronicles 16:9).

God wants to remind you that if you suffer with Him you will be rewarded.  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:12).  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor in not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

This is why Paul said he could “glory in his tribulations”.  He did not say he enjoyed the struggles, but he said I rejoiced in that I did not quit.  He said: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).  Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ finished His struggle: “I have glorified you on the earth, I have finished the work which you gave me to do” (John 17:4).  He suffered because he knew what the struggle would bring.  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12: 2).

END OF THE SERMON-1 _________________________________________________________________


Pastor Mark Taylor                                           Friendship United Methodist Church   Sunday Evening Worship Service

How Much Faith Do You Have?

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”  (Romans 12:3).

The Bible speaks of a “measure of faith”.  Our Lord responded to one person who asked to be healed: “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).  Let us consider several measures of faith.

No Faith.  Our Lord said unto the disciples at one point “How is it that you have no faith” (Mark 4:40).  Today there are many defeated Christians living without power and victory who have no faith.

Little Faith.  Our lord said unto His disciples:  “O you of little faith”
 (Mathew 8:26).  There are some people who have enough faith to get saved, but do not have enough faith to pray and get things from God.

Weak Faith.  Paul talks about immature Christians who have been saved, but seldom go to church and know very little about the Bible or the Christian life.  “Him that is weak in the faith receive”  (Romans 14:1).

Death Faith.  James is talking about a faith that only talks and never is demonstrated.  “Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead”   (James 2:17)

Great Faith.  Jesus spoke to the gentile woman who sought for crumbs from under the table and said to her:  “I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel”  (Luke 7:9).

I encourage all of you to have great faith.  Pray with faith, Live by faith,  Serve others with faith, read the Bible with faith, wait on the Lord’s second coming by faith.   Great faith begins with small faith and as we learn to trust the Lord, we will see greater and greater things happen in our lives.



Pastor Mark Taylor                                Friendship United Methodist Church

Sunday Morning Worship Service

A Faith That Won’t Let Me Go Back

“Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:38-39)

To go forward, we have to get over the idea of going back.  There is no such thing as “the good old days”.  When things got difficult the children of Israel were always thing about going back to Egypt.  “Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? "Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."
 (Exodus 14:11-12).

Today, I want to assure you that your journey to the “Promised Land” is worth the difficulties during the trip, and returning to a life of sin is a wrong and harmful decision.  There is a “point of no return” when an airplane is in flight to a destination, because there is not enough fuel to return.  Once we commit ourselves by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ and put our lives in His hands, there is nothing to return to.  “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:66-68).

The children of Israel had a misconception that things were better back in Egypt where they had been slaves.  They were so used to living a dysfunctional life, they did not know how to live a life pleasing to the Lord with the blessing of the Lord.  When you turn back, you are enslaving yourself to sin.  “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

You were not just “saved” from hell to go to Heaven.  You were “saved” from sin to live a holy life and to serve God with your good works.  “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:13-14).  Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 5:16)

My faith won’t let me turn back and miss all the things that God has prepared for me.  “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." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9-10).  My faith won’t let me turn back and disappoint the best friend I ever had.  “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24).
Jesus calls you His friends "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:13-14).  My faith won’t let me turn back and miss the Divine protection the Lord Jesus gives me.  "My sheep 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. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. (John 10:27-29)  My faith won’t let me turn back and miss getting my needs met by my Heavenly Father.  "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:9-10, 13)

I encourage you today to keep serving the Lord and don’t turn back.  “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14).



Pastor Mark Taylor                                           Friendship United Methodist Church   Sunday Morning Worship Service

You Have Come Too Far To Turn Back Now

“Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34).
One of the greatest things about God is that He continues to work with men and women despite their own limitations and failings.  Too often they do not allow God to complete what He starts within them.  The Lord Jesus wants to finish what He has started in you.  “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”  (Philippians 1:6).
Family background is not a reliable indicator of accomplishment.  High percentages of great men and women have come from broken homes.  Neither is wealth an accurate indicator of success or poverty a guarantee of low achievement.  Opportunity is a very peculiar thing.  Two people with the similar gifts, talents, and resources can look at a situation, and one person will see tremendous opportunity while the other sees nothing.
To often people allow their circumstances to stop the Lord from putting the finishing touches on their lives.  They allow the bitter disappointments, the trials they are forced to endure, and the very dilemmas of life shape their character in such a way that nothing profitable ever comes of them.  Jesus gave us a warning about looking backwards. "Remember Lot's wife.” (Luke 17:32).  She had escaped the fire and brimstone of Sodom, but failed to follow God’s instructions and lost her life.  The children of Israel, twenty years and older, lost their opportunity to enter into the promise land because of doubt and fear.
Many people get close to receiving God’s salvation and blessings, but turn back.  “Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:16, 21-22).  “Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." (Acts 26:28).  Both of these were “not far from the kingdom of God”, but they missed it.

If you are a Christian, but you have become discouraged, keep on working for the Lord and remember where you are headed. Your blessings could be right around the corner or down the road.  If you turn back, you will never receive them.  God honors one thing above everything else and that is faith.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible….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 11:1,3,6).  Remember "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34).
Abraham Lincoln went bankrupt twice, three of his four sons died before the age of 18, he had a bad marriage, and was defeated in eight state and national elections before he became President.  Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders started franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants at age 65, using $105 from his first Social Security check to fund visits to potential franchisees.  He went to over 200 restaurants before someone bought his idea.  These are examples of men that did not quit and became successful in politics and business.  Just think what we can accomplish for the Lord if we are willing to keep on going in our failures and never let money, age, or negative comments of others affect us.  Many of you may be close to accomplishing something great in your life, but you have doubts about your abilities or resources.  Paul said: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).  
There is even a greater success than gaining wealth and fame. You can overcome sin in your life because that is why Jesus came to save you. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).  He has come to make your life worth living. + “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10). He has come to give you true joy and happiness. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11).
 The creator of the universe was talking to a man who was seeking his creator when “Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34).  God is not far from you if you will look for Him. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8).




Pastor Mark Taylor                               Friendship United Methodist Church   Sunday Morning Worship Service


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

When you were planning a name for your child, you may have looked at many names and the meaning of those names.  God told the prophet Isaiah 740 years before the birth of Christ what His names would be.  Today, I would like to examine one of those precious names of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – “Wonderful”

Why do you think Jesus’ name would be called “Wonderful”?  I am sure there are many reasons, but I would like to express some of the reasons I think His name was and is still called “Wonderful” today.

Every ordinary thing He touched became “Wonderful”.  When He touched water it turned into the best wine and became wonderful.  When He touch ordinary bread and wine, it became the extra ordinary symbols of His Body and His Blood that would be broken and given for us, and it became wonderful.  When His Body touched the “Old Rugged Cross”, it turned a dreadful sight into the wonderful picture of sacrifice and love.  When His Body touched the empty tomb, it became our wonderful symbol for our hope of the resurrection.

Everyone He touched changed from ordinary into “Wonderful”.  At His presence, the blind would see, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk, and the dead could be raised from the dead.  When Jesus came by, people felt His “wonderful” presence and everyone He touched received something “Wonderful” from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus said this about Himself: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." (Luke 4:18-19). 

Everything He did was “Wonderful”.  He fed thousands of hungry people with His “Wonderful” miracles.  He ate and fellowshipped with the outcasts and unlovable in His community.  He brought the message of eternal life to all who would hear and receive it.  He received and ministered to children, tax collectors, demon possessed people, social outcasts, and anyone who would come to Him.  They would have certainly described their time with Jesus as “Wonderful”.

Everything He said was “Wonderful”.  He talked about living forever with Him in Heaven.  He talked about having rewards for living a good and righteous life.  He talked about forgiveness for all the sins we have committed.  He talked about His love for us and the need for us to love others.  His words made  everyone that followed them feel “Wonderful”, as it will for you and me.  He said His words would last forever: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Everything He has planned for our future is “Wonderful”. He has planned on giving you and me eternal life that we would never die.  "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26).  “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:11-12).  He has planned on giving us a “Wonderful” place to live with Him: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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 shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

I hope all of us will not just think about how “Wonderful” He is at Christmas time.  He is “Wonderful” all the time, because that is His name.  If He is living inside of you through the Holy Spirit, you too can live a “Wonderful” life.  He will allow your words, your relationships, and your actions be “Wonderful” to others as you go through this next year.  The next time you hear someone say that you are “Wonderful”, then you can know it is because Jesus is living inside of you.  “His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful”!!




Pastor Mark Taylor                                          Friendship United Methodist Church                                                   Sunday Evening Worship Service

The Coming of the Lord Jesus

Occasionally during this time of year some people talk about seeking the true meaning of Christmas.  Few people seem to be truly interested in what the birth of Jesus Christ means. We should not be alarmed at this because the world has always rejected their Creator. But the birth of Jesus for those who believe and love God has great significance that extends beyond his birth and looks at who He truly is and why He came. The believer in God understands that the purpose of His coming has both present and eternal consequences.

 Luke 2:8-14 tells us His birth was proclaimed by a host of angels. The angels said he was the Savior, which was Christ the Lord.  We must understand that 4000 years earlier in Garden or Eden when man sinned and brought sin and death into the world, this Savior was promised by God. (Gen. 3:15).  2000 years before His birth, God told a man named Abraham, that God would make of him a great nation and that in his seed, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Gen. 12:3, 22:18) .  God fulfilled that promise and Abraham's decedents became the Nation of Israel, the Jews and Jesus was an Israelite of the Tribe of Judah. In approximately 1042 BC King David of Israel was promised that through his descendants, the Savior would come and His kingdom would be eternal. (II Sam. 7:14-17).  742 years before his birth, Isaiah, God's prophet, foretold the amazing truth that he would be born of a virgin and said His name would be Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14).  700 years before He was born, Micah, God's prophet revealed in Micah 5:2 that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem of Judah and in Micah 4:8 that the place would be at the tower of the Flock where the sacrificial lambs were raised that were sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem only 3 miles away.  Daniel even told the exact year that he was to be born about 500 years before his birth. (Dan 9:25).  There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament which foretold His coming.  In Isaiah 53, God said that the coming Messiah would be an offering and that He would bear the iniquities of many.

It was not a coincidence that Jesus was born in Bethlehem – It was a prophecy: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”  (Micah 5:2).  Bethlehem means “house of bread”.  Jesus said: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35).  It was not a coincidence that Jesus was born in a stable with sheep.  John the Baptist said: “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  It was not a coincidence that Shepherds were the first to see Jesus at His birth: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”(Luke 2:15).  Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11). It was no coincidence that kings sent wise men to honor Jesus as King:  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)  “And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (John 19:19 )
The blessings of Christmas are tied to our response to the Christ Child born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. When we read the Christmas story from the Bible, there are at least three ways which we can respond to Him.  One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied.
This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity.  But another response was totally different. It came from an old priest in the Temple by the name of Simeon. He took the Christ Child in his arms and said, "My eyes have seen your salvation."


Pastor Mark Taylor                          Friendship United Methodist Church 
                                                Sunday Evening Worship Service


Today, I would like to remind you that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the true “Virgin Born” Messiah that was prophesied to come to us.  We don’t have to defend the Bible, it defends itself and is without any mistakes.  I would encourage you to trust that God loves you enough and is powerful enough to give you His true and complete message, using men  “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).  Those who are really searching for the “truth” can find it in the Holy Scriptures. Studying fulfilled prophecy is one of those ways. When you don’t understand everything in the Bible it reminds us:
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38).  Here are only some of those prophecies that were given and fulfilled:
The information and thoughts below are from the research and careful study of others.  Today we will look at three of those prophecies:  The Virgin Birth, Bethlehem, and the timing of His birth.

Prophecy                                  Made                           Fulfilled
Born of a Virgin
Isaiah 7:14
Matt 1:23,    Luke 1:30-38
Born in Bethlehem
Micah 5:2
Matt 2:1-6,   Luke 2:1-20
Massacre of Infants
Jeremiah 31:1-15
Matthew 2:16-18
Come from Nazareth
Isaiah 9:12
Matt 2:22-23,   Matt 4: 13-16
Preach in Capernaum
Isaiah 9: 1-2
Matthew 4:15-16
Come out of Egypt
Hosea 11:1,  Numbers 24:8
Matthew 2:14-15
Kings would bow down to Him
Isaiah 49:23
Matthew 2:11
He would be given gifts
Psalm 72:10
Matthew 2: 1, 11
He would live 33 years
Leviticus 12: 1-4
Luke 3:23
Prophecies of the OT Fulfilled in Jesus Christ:
    There have been described in the Old Testament 300 prophecies of the first coming of the Messiah and 500 of the second coming, all of then made hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus and fulfilled to the letter in Jesus Christ, the Messiah.   George Heron, a French mathematician, calculated that the odds of one man fulfilling only 40 of those prophecies are 1 in 10 to the power of 157. That is a 1 followed by 157 zeros. Compare it to this; your odds on winning the state lottery are 14 followed by 6 zeros.  (

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”  Isaiah 7:14


“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:30-38 KJV)


Micah, 735 - 710 B.C., predicts that Christ, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem. It was recognized by all of the early church Fathers that this statement was true.


“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).


The prophecy recorded in Daniel 9:26 predicts that the Messiah would die in Nisan 14, A.D. 33. Since the Jewish religion would have required the Messiah to be at least 30 years of age before He could start His ministry, this means that the Messiah would have had to be born at least 30 years earlier. The gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus was born during the reigns of Caesar Augustus (43 B.C. - A.D. 14) and Quirinius of Syria (3-2 B.C.). Multiple church fathers also indicate that Jesus was born by at least A.D. 1 (Finegan, Jack. Handbook of Biblical Chronology, 519-526). Together, the data indicates that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. He was born early enough to die on the predicted date of Nisan 14, A.D. 33.


Pastor Mark Taylor                                           Friendship United Methodist Church   Sunday Morning Worship Service

                                     The Peace Jesus Brings

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27)

We hear a lot about Peace this time of the year.  One of the most familiar verses that is quoted or displayed is: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).  And certainly this would be wonderful if we had peace and no war on earth.  But this will not happen until the Lord Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom on Earth at His Second Coming.  The Biblical definition of peace is not only the absence of war or conflict with others.   Jesus also said peace is something He gives to us with our new birth and relationship with Him.  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).  Paul speaks of Peace: “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). His peace will “keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. It will keep us from sinning under our troubles, and from sinking under them. It will keep us calm and peaceful, without losing our love for the Lord, and will give us inward satisfaction toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3).  This is the kind of Peace we need on earth and in our lives during this Christmas season.  The Lord Jesus Christ wants to come into our lives and bring us peace.  “For He is our peace”. (Ephesians 2:14). 

But Peace does not come alone or without some pre-conditions.  “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2 Peter 3:13-14)  Righteousness and Peace are married and they come as a pair.  You cannot have one without the other. “Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other”
(Psalm 85:10).  You cannot live a unrighteous life and expect to have Peace.  On the other hand if you live a Righteous life, Peace will automatically come. When you live a life pleasing to God, which is a righteous life, you will have peace.  “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace”  (James 3:18).  
In other words, you cannot live a life of sin and expect the peace of God to be a part of your life.  “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6). 
You cannot live a life in purposeful sin and expect the blessings of God.  "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:45-46).

The gift of peace is from the Holy Spirit and with that gift comes additional gifts: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”             (Galatians 5:22-24)

Before you received Christ as your Savior, you had an old nature which the Bible calls the “old man” that ruled your decisions.  We sometimes call it “human nature”.  When you were “born again”, you received the Holy Spirit to help you with your new life.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  If you will ask the Lord to help you with your new life, He will give you the wonderful gift of “Peace”.  If you want peace then the Bible gives you some things you need to do.  “If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.   (Ephesians 4:21-32).

The Bible assures us if we will allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives, we will have “Peace”.  Not only will we have it, but we will be able to bring peace to those around us.