Reaching the unseen

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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

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

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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”.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

DON'T LOOK BACK - LOOK FORWARD


DON’T LOOK BACK - LOOK FORWARD                                                                  By Pastor Mark Taylor
Many of you have given your hearts and minds to The Lord Jesus.  You have asked Him to come into your hearts to give you eternal life.  You have asked Him to forgive you of your sins.  Some of you have serve Him faithfully for a long time.  It is not time for you to quit, but to look forward to your time with The Lord Jesus in Heaven and with those you know who are there with Him.
“Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34).
God wants you and I to finish well.  He wants us to be able to say as Jesus did:  “I have glorified You upon the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).  
Circumstances, emotions, change and other internal messages can cause you to forget to look at the blessings that are awaiting you.
God does not always show us how He is going to bless us.    "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.
Some people get proud when God starts blessing them and feel that they do not need God or His help any more.
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.
Some people get angry and quit when they don't get their way.  
Don’t get angry at God or His Word when your blessing is delayed or not exactly what you wanted.  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.
If you find yourself ready to quit, you need to understand that God is standing by ready to help you.  If you have found yourself in one of the reasons above that people do not finish well, consider these verses:  “Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not” (Jeremiah 33:3).   “For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief” (Proverbs 24:16).
When you feel like quitting, you need to look up.  The Lord is the only resource that you can depend on to be there to help you day by day. 
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:1-2).
Remember "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34).
Your enemy is Satan and he wants you to fall down and stay down, Jesus wants you to finish well. “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).
God wants you to finish well.  “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8).
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).
If you will let Him, He will carry you to the finish line. 
 “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).
“I am confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”  (Philippians 1:6).
When Our Lord preached a serious message on commitment many of those who were following Jesus left Him and went back to their old way of living.  He looked at the remaining 12 and asked them: "Do you want to leave Me too?"  Peter told Jesus "Lord, where can we go, You have the Words of Life."
If you decide to go back or quit, where will you go?  Who will give you the love and care that your Heavenly Father has given you and wants to continue to give to you.
If you decide to go back and leave The Lord, how many people will leave with you?  Will your children, grandchildren, friends, or other Christians leave The Lord with you and miss Heaven?  

Or will you continue to go forward and take many people to Heaven with you?

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