This is like an episode of “Where’s Waldo”… He’s right there in front of you, but you just don’t see him yet, because of all the clutter and business in the picture….. The most pivotal event in end time prophecy, which provided a clear marker and time line on the prophetic clock, an event that lets us see and know where we are in the last days count down, was the 6 day war of 1967. The Jewish people took their beloved city back against overwhelming odds. That eventdeclared that our generation will see the rapture, followed by the temple being rebuilt, (for those left behind) and the coming of Christ, 7 years later, with His saints. Matthew 24:32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: (parable is a physical depiction of a spiritual truth) when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. (Israel is the fig tree blossoming) 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away”. Skip back to Matthew 24:30 “And the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, (the rapture) and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. If this is the generation, then the antichrist is already working behind the scenes. In the beginning, the identity of the Antichrist will be a mystery, it would be great if He will wore red tights, or vomited sulphur, or carried a glowing scepter or had a red tail but as the 1st part of the tribulation winds up, who he is will not remain a mystery. Some think that *…..the term “anti-Christ” means against Christ, but it actually means “instead of Christ.” He wants to replace Christ. But until his reveal, he will be a powerful figure who will greatly influence the international economy, politics, the military, religion, and international trade. There is always free cheese in a mousetrap, and there will be many mousetraps. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” I want us to also look at the time line in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 “Concerning the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ and our being gathered (the rapture) unto Him, (we know the gathering or rapture will occur before the coming back because the raptured saints are coming back with Him) v5 Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? v6 And now you know what is holding him (the anti-christ) back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. V7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it (lawlessness) back (the church) will continue to do so till he (the church) is taken out of the way. You have a lot more power than you give yourself credit. Your presence in the earth, as part of the church, is holding back the man of iniquity, the man called the anti-christ. He cannot be manifest until you get out of his face! Sowe clearly see that the rapture will take place before the spirit of lawlessness can culminate in the anti-christ taking his position of influence in the world scene. Because he won’t have the power he needs to do his thing of deception and subtrafuge. WHY MUST THERE BE AN ANTICHRIST? When mankind refuses God’s Christ, our Savior, then there is no alternative but to receive the devil’s christ–– the Antichrist. In other words, if you reject what God offers, then you automatically accept what is left. There is no in between option… If you turn away from the “day,” then the only thing that is left is the “night.” There is no in-between. Either you are a follower of Jesus Christ, or you will be a follower of the Antichrist. We have pushed God to the background of our personal lives and of our total culture. That means we have actually prepared the way for the Antichrist. You see it in our schools; we don’t want God in our schools. You see it in our businesses; we don’t want God in our business dealings. You can see it in our laws; we don’t want God or the Bible or the Church to get involved there. You can see it in families; we don’t want our children to learn the fear of the Lord. So we have set the stage ourselves for the time of the Antichrist. Although the Antichrist will reveal his identity further into the tribulation, there are many people who would like to monitor his activities beforehand and try to identify him. I will share with you some of the qualities I look for when attempting to identify this evil person. The Antichrist is going to be a very charismatic leader. I expect the Antichrist to be capable of exciting large crowds of people into a frenzied zeal…He will Persuade many people to become fanatical followers… He will Persuade world leaders to support his ideas. The cashless society has already begun, chips are being implanted, the pandemic is a drill for population control… More specifically, I believe the level of charisma that the Antichrist will possess could rival or even exceed the level of charisma that Adolf Hitler had at his peak. He took everyone’s guns, took over the media, the banks, confiscated property, and every aspect of the economy.. (isn’t that happening now) Hitler attracted millions with his charisma. The OSS, a World War 2 intelligence agency, described the impact his charisma had on Germans. (I quote the OSS)… “Unquestionably, as a speaker, he has had a powerful influence on the German people. His meetings were always crowded and by the time he got through speaking he had completely numbed the critical faculties of his listeners to the point where they were willing to believe almost anything he said… And somehow he always managed to say what the majority of the audience were already secretly thinking but could not verbalize. When the audience began to respond, it affected him in return. Before long, due to this reciprocal relationship, he and his audience became intoxicated with the emotional appeal of his oratory”. He will be an amazing Problem Solver…. I expect the Antichrist to begin his rise to power as a person who deals with some of the world’s most difficult problems through diplomacy. Revelation 6:2 indicates that the Antichrist may be seen as a messianic type as he is described as the rider of the white horse: Revelation 6:2 “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Jesus will have a sword coming out of His mouth, which is the word of God, not a bow in his hand) The former secretary general of NATO, Paul Henri Spaak, stated, “We do not need another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people and to lift us out of the morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, be he God or devil, and we will receive him.” He will dazzle the world with the prospect of the most perfect government man could ever contrive, the most idealistic, fair, the most equal, the most sharing. It will be like trying to have Christianity without Christ. But of course he will be the superman who will make it all possible, and the world will buy it hook line and sinker. The Mideast is one of the top issues the Antichrist is likely to address. He will work to shape relations between Israel and its neighbors, which will amaze everyone. The peace covenant will be an all-encompassing Mideast peace deal that will allow the third templeto be built and sacrifices to begin as the Jewish people celebrate him as a friend of Jerusalem. According to the Bible, he accomplishes what no one has been able to do before. Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (the 7 year peace plan) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” The world stands in amazement as the “covenant with many” involves not only Israel & its neighbors but brings peace to other national conflicts as well.. Can you imagine the impact as all the warring nation states of Africa, begin to dwell together in harmony. As everyone is celebrating the brilliance of this phenomenal leader during the first half of the tribulation, the balloon is going to burst and it will all go downhill very quickly when all hell breaks loose… His plan is to take over Jerusalem and make it an international city. In fact, according to the Bible, this world dictator of this one-world government, makes Jerusalem the political capital of the world. A Muslim government ruling over a Muslim world… As I have shared on a number of occasions, the Arabs will join with the Jews in building the 3rd temple because their prophecy requires it just as the Jewish prophesies do…. They believe their Mahadi will rise up and declare that He is God in the temple and lead all Muslims to take over the world. It’s a major prophesy in their Koran. So there must be a temple for that to take place. But it will be the anti-christ temple. There will be no glory resting upon the ark of the covenant. The Antichrist will perform miracles that convince many people that he is the Messiah. In 2 Thessalonians, it is said that the coming of the Antichrist be accompanied with numerous signs and marvels. A couple of these miracles may give anyone left behind who knows scripture, the identity of the Antichrist. In Revelation 13, we learn that the beast will cause fire to come down from heaven and that he will survive a deadly wound, to the head. This miraculous return from the dead, will convince many that the Antichrist is actually Messiah come back to earth. Revelation 13:12 And this beast (the image that speaks) exercised all the authority of the first beast and caused the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. 13 And the second beast performed great signs to cause even fire from heaven to come down to earth in the presence of the people. We know that the antichrist is a homosexual….. Daniel 11:37 “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” This clearly indicates that the anti-christ will be a homosexual and have no desire for women…. He will offer religion without a Cross and promote the brotherhood of Man while eliminating the Fatherhood of God. We can know the Antichrist’s Ethnicity Several scriptures indicate that the Antichrist will be Assyrianwhich is the area of modern Iraq and Turkey, located in the fertile crescent which is also the area where the garden of Eden was. How interesting that this is the location where the serpent first encountered Adam and Eve and deceived them…... Isaiah 10, Isaiah 30, and Micah 5 mention the “Assyrian” in a role that describesthe Antichrist. Here are verses from each of the chapters mentioned: Isaiah 10:24 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.” Isaiah 30:30-31 “And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. (31) For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Micah 5:5 “And this man shall establish the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.” So, it’s pretty clear that the antichrist will be from a muslim country and will be of Persian descent…. Let’s move to the next event that is described…. Matthew 24:15 says, “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, who shall stand in the holy place”—(obviously the Jewish temple in Jerusalem)— “whoever reads this, let him understand. Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. The abomination of desolation, many feel, because of the severity of these terms, means that He is going to offer a pig on the altar, which is an unclean, forbidden animal to the Jews, He’s going to set his throne up right there in the temple of God, saying “Worship me”, and then he’s going to set up an image of himself, there in the “holy place” in Jerusalem and command the world to worship it. This event will initiate a time far beyond the worse thing the planet has ever seen. Nothing can compare to it’s destruction and it’s horror. The wrath of God will descend on a sinful planet. But mercy will continue to be extend for all who will receive Christ. The good news is that there will be a great revival during this time. The bad news… if you become a Christian, you can only be saved through a martyrs death….However, how will those who turn from Christ now, because it may cost them friends or a job, turn to Him when it will certainly cost them their lives? Ezekiel 5:11-12 “One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them”. That’s two thirds of all humans on the planet, scripture also tells us that one third of the trees and all the grass, a third of the sea, a third of the sea creatures and a third of all ships at sea will perish. A third of the fresh water on the earth will become poisonous and bitter and a third of the sun, stars, and moon will be darkened. Huge locust will torment people, and water will be turned to blood. Earthquakes will level the cities, islands and mountains will disappear. At the end of the Great tribulation, when it looks like all is lost..this is when Jesus returns with the saints, and defeats the Anti-christ and his vast army at the second coming of Christ to the earth at the battle of Armageddon.. His feet shall touch the mount of Olives and split it, forming a valley which will lead right up to the Eastern Gate, and into the temple, where the idol of the beast has been set up, and where Jesus is going to march into the temple and straighten out who is the real Messiah and King is…. Zechariah 14:3 “Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. 4 On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half the mountain moving to the north and half to the south”. The Devil has finally gotten the world to worship him, but it’s going to leave a very, very bad taste in his mouth, and it’s going to taste like the Sulphur as he is cast into hell with the antichrist and all His followers for 1000 years……. Revelation 19:20 “But the beast (the anti-christ) was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” This ushers in the Mellennial reign of Christ on earth for 1000 years. No more sickness, no dying, and no rebellion. The lion shall lie down with the lamb, and everyone will experience 1000 years of peace under Jesus reign as King and Lord….There will be no rich or poor, for all people will share equally in the earth’s bounty and abundance. Everyone on earth will worship the Lord, whether they want to or not. (remember that many have come through the tribulation without ever receiving Christ, but they have no choice but to serve Him. No one will say “I don’t feel like going to church”, or I just don’t have time…. There will be no other option and mankind will not have a choice about it. Micah 4:2). And the nations shall come, and say, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. The law and the word of the Lord going forth from Zion, means that Jesus Christ will be undisputed King of kings and Lord of lords over the whole earth and over every nation and over every individual and over every aspect of society, His word is the law of the land and all must follow it. Christians in America like to see Christ as friend, buddy, or pal, but we are unfamiliar with being under a king. A king’s word is law and must be obeyed. We who are part of a Democratic society are accustomed to having a say in everything, but with a kingdom, who has a king, that is not how it’s done. The king says come and you come, He says go and you go. Submission takes one more step beyond surrender…. In closing let’s look at Luke 21:36 Jesus also said, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man”. 1967, the six day war was 53 years ago. The fig tree which is the symbol for Israel, blossomed. Jesus said in Matthew, that the generation who saw that, shall see all things fulfilled. Simple math will tell you that if 70 years is a generation as Psalms tells us, then that leaves 17 years left in the generation who witnessed the six day war. Oh yeah, if you subtract 7 years for the tribulation, then the rapture will happen in this 10 year window which we are in right now. The countdown has begun and that clock won’t stop. We need to bring our loved ones into a relationship with Christ, before the trumpet sounds and these things begin to happen on the earth. I don’t want even my enemies to face the things that are coming. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the son of man. Anyone could walk into the ark and be safe. The ark of salvation stands open, and it is the only place of safety…. We need, by whatever means necessary, to bring them in! The king has given us a mandate. May we never find ourselves on that day, when at the Great White throne of judgment, we must watch as our spouse, our children, our grandkids, our life time friends and co-workers, hear the words “depart from me, I never knew you”, as they are cast into eternal hell without Christ. As they look at us and say “I thought you cared, I thought you were my friend, but you never told me, and now it’s too late”. I believe that first, we must repent before God that we haven’t been more faithful with our witness, and second, we need to seize the day, while it is day, for the night is coming when no man will be able….
A father said to his son: You graduated with honors, so I want to give you a car that I acquired many years ago ....
But before I give it to you, take it to the pawn shop and see what it’s worth. The son went to the pawn shop, returned to his father and said, "The pawn shop offered $1,000 because it was a 55 year old car." His dad then told him to take it to the used car lot downtown and tell them you want to sell it, and see how much they offer you.
The son went to the used car lot, returned to his father and said, "They offered me $ 3,000 because it looks well used and has seen it’s best days."
The father asked his son to go to a car club and show them the car. The son took the car to the club, returned and told his father: “Some people in the club offered $70,000 for it, since it is a 1965 classic Corvette Stingray, an iconic car that is sought after by many collectors.
The father said to his son, "I just wanted you to know that the right place and the right people, will always value you the right way." ...
If you are not valued, don’t be angry, it just means that you are in the wrong place, with the wrong people. Those who know your value are those who appreciate you, who see what you’re worth and are willing to help you reach your destiny.
Genesis 47:28 “Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for him to die, he called for his son Joseph”
Jacob’s son Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, second in command under Pharaoh. (Now there’s a guy that most folks never saw his worth for sure)! Joseph was Jacob’s 2nd youngest son, and his favorite. He had given Joseph his coat of many colors, and was so proud of him. But for many years, Jacob thought Joseph was dead; his brothers had tricked their father into believing that Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal. (Satan wants us all to believe something that is not true. If we buy into it, he can get us on the wrong path and steal the blessing from us). Some thirteen years later, (years of sorrow, grief and pain because he believed a lie) Jacob found out that Joseph was still alive, and in a position of great honor. Joseph eventually brought his father and his family to Egypt, gave them a place to live, and took care of all of them, preserving their very lives and the lives of an entire nation!
We know that the turn in Joseph’s story, came about because Godput three people in his life that released his value and worth and elevated him to his destiny. I believe God has these three people behind the curtain in all of our lives, waiting to come forth and be revealed so that each of us can come into our destiny….
Joseph had the baker that he met in prison, who prepared the kings meals. The baker is a person who knows how to bring different ingredients together and make it all work. Joseph met his baker in prison at one of the lowest point in his life. We need someone who can bring things together and make it work….
When we heard that our place at the golf club was for sale, and we had just a couple months to find a place. We were down to the last 2 weeks and nothing in our price range…. Then our baker came forth….Mary told Linda that their niece Jenna had told her of a rental unit that had just come available. (actually that’s 3 bakers, Mary, Linda, and Jenna) Declare and release your baker to come forth to put things together.
We all need a butler like Joseph met in prison. He was the kingspersonal butler, who tasted everything before the king ate it. This man was loyal, if someone tried to poison the king, he would die instead … The butler is someone who makes connections. He knows someone you need to know, and can help you make contact. There in the prison, the butler told Joseph, he would mention him to the king and the next thing, the butler was pardoned and Joseph was standing before the king telling his dream about the coming famine. Call forth your butler….Theperson who can connect you with the right people ……
The third person we all need in our journey is a financier. This is the person God uses to provide the job, the income, the provision, the finances so we can be able to finance the vision….Call forth your financier, in Joseph’s case this was the Pharaoh….
Begin to believe for your baker, your butler and your financier and receive what God has prepared to bring you to your destiny.
Genesis 48:7… Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him… 8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?” 9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father… 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
Like Joseph, you may have given up on a dream, you think it’s been too long, in the pit, in Potiphar’s house of servitude, too long in the prison of addiction, or old habits…. And you’ve accepted that you’ll never get well, meet the right person, start that business, or see the results of what God put in your heart. He’s not only still going to bring it to pass, but it’s going to turn out better than you thought.
Genesis 48:5-10 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will now be reckoned as though they are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine… in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers… 10 … Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them”.
Don’t miss this….Jacob said to Joseph, “Your two sons will be as though they were my sons”…..God is adopting you in spite of what they did or didn’t do. You may feel like you’ve been under a generational curse because of how you were raised; God is choosing you to start a generational blessing. You’re the difference-maker; God is calling you the fore-runner, and the way-maker….you are the one to affect your family line for generations to come and multitudes would be effected by this moment.
it was extremely significant that these boys, adopted by Jacob,were grandsons, not sons; they should have had to wait another generation, forty years, to receive what Jacob was giving them. normally, it would’ve come from their father, Joseph; he would’ve passed down the blessing, inheritance, that was given to him. But Jacob was skipping a generation… they were receiving something that they didn’t have coming to them.
Grace was overtaking protocol and showing us the character of God; there are things that we don’t deserve, we were off course, doing our own thing, but God Who is full of mercy said, “I’m going to reach down in spite of your past, your mistakes, what your family didn’t do, and I’m going to adopt you anyway.” That’s why it’s supernatural! It supersedes the natural…
Paul said in Ephesians 1:5 “The Father planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ” As His children, we are receiving our generational line through Him.
because you’ve been adopted, you’re going to come into blessings that you didn’t earn, favor that you didn’t deserve. your past is not going to limit you. how you were is not going to keep God from blessing you. like these boys’ mother, who didn’t honor God, or make good choices; God is not holding that against you. He says, “I’m adopting you anyway. not as my grandchild but as My own son or daughter.” What a powerful statement that God doesn’t have any grandchildren, only sons and daughters….
The crossed hands blessing is speeding things up….Joseph’s sons shouldn’t have been heirs for another generation, but because of what Jacob did, they skipped a generation. There are things that should take you years to accomplish: get out of debt, break an addiction, set a new standard. but God is going to do for you what he did for these boys; catapult you ahead. You’re going to see things happen faster than you thought; it should have taken you a generation, but God’s going to do a quick work. Because you’re honoring Him, saying, “as for me in my house, we will serve the Lord.” Yes, God is speeding things up. what should have taken you your whole life is going to happen in a fraction of that time.
Amos 9:13 "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.”
Favor is not fair. When God blesses you, don’t be surprised if some people get jealous. When He speeds things up, when you break barriers, some people won’t understand it. They’ll start talking about you; “you don’t deserve it, you’re not talented, you’re just lucky.” it’s not luck, it’s favor, God has decided to shine down on you, making things happen that you could not make happen. Your job is to stay on the high road.
God says in Matthew 20:15 Don’t I have the right to do as I please with what is mine? Are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
You don’t need for everyone to like you. some people can’t handle your faith and your convictions. if they walk away, let them. you didn’t need them; if they left you, they’re not a part of your destiny. don’t waste your valuable time with people that won’t celebrate the blessing that God put on your life. Don’t apologize for it, you didn’t choose it, God chose you, and said, “I’m adopting you, giving you what you don’t deserve, taking you to a new level.” Wear your blessings well; it’s the favor of God on your life.
Genesis 48:13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn…
17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” Like Joseph, when his dad crossed his hands, sometimes we think God has it mixed up, but He’s just doing His Alpha and Omega thing, for He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. Speaking of things feeling like they’re getting all mixed up… A man took his wife to get tested for Covid 19. Several days go by, and he receives a call from the doctor. The doctor tells him, “Due to an unfortunate mixup with the lab, we got your wife’s test mixed up with another woman. We are not sure if your wife has Covid-19 or Alzheimer’ The man, clearly frustrated, asked the doctor, “Well what am I supposed to do with that kind of information?” The doctor paused as though thinking it through and then said, “I recommend you take her for a very long walk and leave her. If she finds her way home, just don’t let her in the house.”
God doesn’t always bless the way we expect. God often bypassesall the tradition, and does something out of the ordinary. When Joseph tried to stop his father, Jacob said in effect, “I know Ephraim was born second, but I’m crossing my arms on purpose, to show him favor that he doesn’t deserve.” (If he deserved it, it wouldn’t be favor) This story is not so much about one family member getting ahead of another, it’s God showing us how He can take people from the back of the line, that don’t have the position, who feel left out, and bring them to the front. God loves to choose people that others say are not qualified, don’t have the talent, don’t come from the right family, or made too many mistakes. Please, don’t believe those lies, God is about to cross His arms, and reposition you in a place that you didn’t earn, you didn’t qualify for, and you weren’t next in line.God’s going to make things happen that you didn’t see coming.
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing that his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man looked for any indication that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the day that he graduated, his father walked up to him and told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful gift wrapped box. Curious, with visions of his dream car, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold.
Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" threw the bible and stormed away, leaving the Bible. Many years passed and he had not seen his dad since that graduation day. While feeling the regret of the separation, he received a *……telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father’s house, sadness and remorse filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the Bible, still new, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father has carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7: 11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?"
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had always wanted. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words....PAID IN FULL.
How many times have we missed God’s blessings because they were not packaged as we expected?
God crossed His hands….Isaiah said “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
You may think that where you are now is where you’re always going to be, you’ve reached your limits. that would all be true, except for one thing; God is going to cross His arms and He will open doors you never dreamed would open, and he’ll promote you even though you weren’t next in line. You’ll think, “how did I get here? I didn’t have the training, experience, connections.” here’s how… It’s already been paid in full!
we can all come up with an excuse to justify living below the blessing. “I don’t have the training, connections, confidence, talent, size, personality.” God says, “I know all that. I created you, you don’t feel like you have what you need to go further; don’t worry, God has crossed His hands, to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.
Turn your worry into worship and watch God turn your battles into blessings…..If you could see the measure of the blessing God has coming for you, then you would understand the intensity of the battle you’re facing that’s trying to keep you from it….
God has things in store for you that you don’t see coming. This amazing story of the grace of God as Jacob crosses his hands, reveals that He has unexpected favor for His people, He’s going to do things that we could never earn or receive in the natural realm.And there are so many more….
Judges 6:15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you.”
Gideon is threshing his own wheat by night, and hiding for fear that the Philistines will see him. God said, “You’re a mighty man of valor, Gideon, I know you’re not qualified, not next in line, but I’m going to cross My arms, take you from the background to the foreground, give you influence and ability that you’ve never had.”
Samson could have said, “God, I don’t deserve Your goodness. You gave me supernatural strength and I blew it, I kept giving in to temptation. now I’m blind, bound, grinding at the mill, and it’s all my own fault.” God said, “Sampson, I knew every mistake you would ever make, and My mercy is bigger than anything you’ve done wrong. yes, you should die defeated, feeling like a failure, but take heart; I’m going to cross My arms.” And God blessed Sampson one more time:
Judges 16:22 “And the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. 27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and even upon the roof were about three thousand men and women, that beheld while they made sport of Samson. 29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. 30 And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the number which he slew were more than they which he slew in all of his life”.
If you have God’s presence, you have His favor, and that can accomplish more than all your striving. You may have a thousand reasons why you can’t accomplish your dreams, or get out of that problem; God is saying, “I’m about to cross My arms, show you unexpected favor, promotion, healing, breakthroughs.” you didn’t see it coming, and you weren’t qualified, but it’s going to happen because it’s just the goodness of God.
You may have some big problems, a lot coming against you, butthe scripture says: Isaiah 59:1 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save.” God wants you to know that the He has saved the best for last!
Do you think somehow you’re too far back, made too many mistakes, missed too many opportunities….? God’s arm is not too short to deliver, heal, provide, establish and, vindicate you. When He crosses His arms, things are going to fall into place: good breaks, Devine favor, and opportunities are going to chase you down.
In the book of Luke, the angel said: Luke 1:30 “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” “for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! Wow, she didn’t need to have a husband to have a baby! God crossed his arms and bypassed the natural sequence of things…..
God in His mercy crossed His arms, chose to be good to you, turned that problem around that you got yourself into, opened that door that you could have never opened.
On the surface, there are many things that could hold you back, cause you to think, “too bad, this is my lot in life,” but God doesn’t choose the way we choose.
David said: 2 Samuel 7:18 … “Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? Aren’t you glad that it’s not who you are, but who He is….
David was saying, “I’m not the biggest, strongest, most qualified, I didn’t come from royalty, I was a shepherd, working in the fields, minding my own business, and Lord, look where you’ve taken me.” He didn’t have to go after it, it came after him; the prophet Samuel showed up at his house to anoint him king. He didn’t have to chase anyone down to get it.
Remember, it wasn’t the older son, Esau, but it was Jacob who got Isaac’s blessing. And in the same way, the greater blessing passed not to Ishmael the first born son of Abraham, but to Isaac. God has some far and beyond your imagination opportunities that are about to come looking for you.
By blessing Joseph’s sons, God was giving a double blessing to Joseph. There is no Joseph tribe, but Joseph was given two tribes through Ephraim and Manassas. When God crosses His arms there is a double blessing in store…
The double blessing means that the right people are going to track you down. it’s the arm of the Lord reaching down to promote, elevate, and increase you. you’re going to look back and say, “wow, God, I never dreamed You’d take me to this level or do it like that.”
Keep your faith out in front of you. Negative thoughts and vain imagination, will tell you it’s never going to happen; But if you know the blesser, get ready, God’s about to cross His arms. you’re coming into unexpected blessing, things are going to turn around, He’s going to bypass someone that everyone thought should get it, to get to you.
I want everyone to stand and cross your hands. God is going to cross His hands as He blesses you today so that you can impart a double blessing to someone else. It will mean that it’s above what you could ask, think or expect. In a way you could never make happen in yourself. God is rearranging some things, and rescheduling some things. He is causing a shift to take place at some intersections in your future. It was going to go one way, but now, it’s going to go another way. It would have happened one way, but now it’s going to happen another way. Left will now be right, down will now be up, back-ward will now be forward…. It will feel like you’re going back, but it is God’s new forward…..Lord we receive the crossed hands blessing that you have reserved for us according to Your word and because you’re true to your nature, you make us the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, abounding, not just surviving… Lord the baker, the butler and the financier are stepping forth and about to be revealed. In Jesus
Now receive it and begin to thank Him for it, before you see it…..
A little boy was riding his tricycle as fast as he could go, around the block, over and over again. Finally, a policeman who had been sitting there, checking for speeders in the neighborhood, stopped him and asked, "What are you doing?" "I’m running away," the little boy said. The policeman asked, "Then why do you keep going around the block?" The little boy was very frustrated and said, "Because my mom told me I'm not allowed to cross the street." Well, folks try to run from God but they’ll never get away, because that’s a street they cannot cross!
My text for today is Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist UNTIL NOW the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
What exactly is Jesus saying here? The Greek word translated “suffers violence” is biazo, which means to force, to crowd into, or to press against. It is not only talking about something being done to the kingdom, but something the kingdom itself is doing.
The New International Version says, “The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” It was at the most, about 90 years after Jesus made this statement, when the gospel of Matthew was written, and the people were experiencing the forceful advance of the kingdom through out the known world at that time….Light was pushing back the darkness….
The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the first five scrolls or books of the Old Testament. In it, the Greek word biazo is used to translate the Hebrew word paratz.
The word paratz is used in Micah 2:13 where it says, “The one who breaks open [paratz] will come up before them; they will break out [paratz], and pass through the gate, and go out by it.” So we see that this word means to break out, to make a breach, to burst forth, to replace something with something else, or to increase and expand.
So when Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, it’s likely that He was referencing Micah 2:13. He was saying, in essence, “Every since John started preaching, God’s dominion has been breaking forth and gaining momentum. God’s influence over people’s lives is increasing.” Jesus went on to say, “The violent take it by force.” The term “the violent” is the Greek word biastes (the noun form of biazo), which means one who is forceful or energetic. In this verse, it refers to the ones who are breaking forth under the influence of God’s kingdom. Jesus is saying, “The kingdom is breaking forth and the breach is getting wider and wider by the anointed energy of those who are coming under its influence.”
The phrase “take it by force” is the Greek word harpazo (which is the same word translated “caught away or taken out” when talking about the Rapture). This word means to seize, to catch, or to take by force.
God’s champions have the same mandate today… To accomplish Harpazo, we must have an intense desire to personally know God and hear Him on a daily basis….We must fear God more than wefear men or any other power…. We do not seek the praise of men, or we will crumble when we are criticized by men….By faith we must see the victory ahead before we can declare it to others….Wemust be able to keep God’s secret revelations until He says to reveal them….We must be willing to walk away from earthly things and seek for the true prize, the true and lasting treasuresthat are eternal…..
I think of the letter J. Allen Thompson wrote to his daughter in college…Be strong enough to be weak…Busy enough to value time... Wise enough to say, "I don't know"…Serious enough to laugh…Right enough to say, "I'm wrong"…Compassionate enough to discipline… Mature enough to be childlike…Important enough to be last…Be courageous enough to fear God…Great enough to be anonymous… Confident enough to be rejected… Secure enough to cry….Victorious enough to lose….While always leading through sincere service to others.
God wants us to know Him, but just when you think you have Him figured out, He will surprise you. He looks on the inside and not the outer appearance. When He chose the hairy, uncivilized, wilderness man, John the Baptist, He surprised everyone….
John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and was the breach-maker. The one sent to open the gate. He prepared the way. He preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” He saw the people as captives in the prison of sin, but by responding to John’s message of repentance, the power of the kingdom of heaven began to be manifested. God often sends forerunners to open the way for others to follow…The demoniac of Gadara went back and reached his entire community. The woman at the well, who was a prostitute, brought her entire town to the Lord. The kingdom of God is God bringing man under His Divine influence by His great love and His grace. It is the manifestation of the power and presence of God.
When Satan is fighting you, It isn’t really you He’s fighting, it is God’s presence and love and grace …. So instead of trembling and being afraid, You should be saying, Devil, You’re in a heap or trouble…. You picked the wrong one today!!! Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!
That’s why David said to Goliath… "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head.
The real power is in God. Stop overestimating your giant, becausethe Giant could be underestimating you. Your giant could be fully armored but the victory will be won not by what you have on, but by what you have within you, by the Spirit of God. That’s why you will accomplish by the Spirit of God, what you never could in yourself…
You can’t put God in your box, and He won’t fit in your nice little religious slide rule, or social formula…. He has many faces and many forms… He lives outside our time and space and yet He is always on time and in the right place….Let Him be God!!!
People have a tendency to want to remake God in their image.
I heard the story of a white guy and a black guy who were arguing over what color God is. The white guy insisted, "God is white!" The black guy said, "No, He’s black!" They both died about the same time, stood outside heaven's gate, and were still carrying on their argument.
"I'm glad you're here," the white guy said. "Now you're gonna see that I'm right. God is white!" "Oh, no, you're about to see that I'm right," the black guy said. "God is black!"
They asked the angel if they could enter the gate. When they did, they heard a big booming voice say to them, “aloha”…. Oh, Yes, God has a sense of humor, just look in the mirror…..
God is the Ultimate Promise Keeper
One of the books that I use to have in my study is a book called “Every Promise In The Bible”. I’m sure that many of you probably have those little Bible Promise books, or maybe little desk-calendars with a promise from God on each page. Like “Bread for today”….I used to have several of those, but then I found this book, and I figured that it must be the king of all promise books because it was quite thick. So I bought it, and got rid of all of my other little promise books, because “Why keep them when I’ve got the bigger and better and more completepromise book?” Right?
Well, as it turns out, as good as a book like this is, they lied! if you want a book that contains every covenant and promise in the Bible, all you really need…is the Bible. It’s the ultimate promise book, straight from the author Himself! There are promises on every page, and in almost every paragraph of the entire Bible.
When we were kids, we were told about making promises– “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” Right? We do not control the future, we do not control the weather, or the economy, or our health. And so many of us have learned to make less promisesbecause there are too many unforeseeable variables in life.
But here it is, when we come to the Bible, we find promises everywhere! Promises on every page. Promises about every aspect of life. Promises even, about what happens after life. God is not hesitant about making promises. He loves to makes promises. There are thousands and thousands of promises He has made and recorded in the Word of God. Promises to Israel. Promises to kings and prophets. Promises to the church. And yes, even promises to you and to me.
One man, named Dr. Evereck Storms, counted all the promises and found 8,810 promises. Almost 8000 of those were from God to man. Books like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel have over 1000 promises each. Almost every verse in Psalm 37 contains a promise. There are a lot of promises in the Bible.
But do you know what is more amazing than the number of promises which God has made? Even more amazing than the sheer volume of God’s promises is that He always keeps His promises. God is the greatest promise keeper that ever was. He too lives by that rule about not making a promise He can’t keep. God never promises something He can’t follow through on. He always means what He says and He says what He means….. He always fulfills what He promises.
Often when we are dealing with a crisis, or a sickness in our own life, it is not because God is punishing us.. Remember the man born blind in John 9? There too, the disciples thought that this man had sinned, or that his parents had sinned, so that he was punished by God with blindness. But it was so that Jesus could stand where what has been collides with what can be, and declares that neither this man nor his parents had sinned, but so that God could be glorified. This was the same reason that Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was barren – so that the angel stood at the intersection of where they had been, and where they were supposed to be….and her pregnancy allowed God to be glorified. Stop whining and stand firm in the promises of God and believe that the situation willbring glory to God… There's a story of the church deacon who had a parrot that would only say, "Let’s kiss." He tried to teach his parrot other words, but all it would say was, "Let's kiss. Let's kiss." It embarrassed him. After all, he was a very reserved manand a leader in the church.
The church's pastor also had a parrot, and the only thing it would ever say was, "Let's pray. Let's pray." The deacon thought, "That's more like it. That's how the parrot of a good Christian should talk." And the deacon had an idea: "I know what I’ll do. I’ll lend my parrot to the pastor for a while, and his parrot's good manners will rub off on mine."
The pastor agreed. So they put the deacon's parrot in the cage with the pastor's parrot.
Sure enough, the deacon's parrot said, "Let’s kiss, Let’s kiss!"
The pastor's parrot replied, "Thank God, my prayers are finally answered!"
God is not a God of chance. God does not throw the dice or flip a coin. God is the meaning and the purpose behind all coincidences.
A chance meeting with someone is not a coincidence, it is God giving you an opportunity to ignite life changes…. There are no coincidences with God. In fact, the Jews viewed coincidence as the privilege of witnessing “tiny miracles.”
Proverbs 16:33 “We may toss the coin and roll the dice,
but God’s will is greater than luck..”
Zacharias and Elizabeth the parents of John, had been praying and waiting on God for maybe 20 or 30 years to lift her bareness from her. That’s a long time to wait for a promise. But God made that promise around 480 years before, a promise that He took very seriously….it’s found in Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you one with the spirit of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. Jews in that period of history, saw John as the fulfillment of that prophecy…..
It doesn’t matter if a prophecy that describes your situation, occurred 4000 years ago…. It is your promise for your situation… He’s the same yesterday, today and forever, there is no shadow of changing with Him…..God’s word is anointed to perform God’s will in the earth….
He can turn your water into wine…..
John 2:1 “On the third day (the day of double blessing in Genesis) a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” (skip to verse 7) Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water” (that represents our efforts which fall short, but with God it is enough) so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone (until now) brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best until now.”
I call this GOD’S UNTIL NOW MOMENTS. You see, whatever has happened before, God wants us to understand that He has some “UNTIL NOW” moments waiting for all of us. He has saved the best wine for last…. We have a God who saves the best for last…
For every great moment God has planned for you, there are obstacles and barriers to overcome….so we need “Until Now moments” that stand between your barriers and transforms them into your break through!!!
But stand fast, there will be challenges and hurdles to get over…..
A tourist was fishing off the coast of Brazil, and his boat capsized. He could swim, but his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the overturned boat. He spotting an old beachcomber standing on the shore, and he shouted, “Are there any gators around here?”
“Naw,” the man hollered back, “they ain’t been around for years!”
“Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming toward the shore. About halfway there he shouted to the guy, “How did you get rid of the gators?”
“We didn’t do anything,” the beachcomber said. “The sharks got ’em.”
If it isn’t one thing then it’s another. So, just settle it, Slew foot will always have something waiting to stop you or destroy you, but God tells us “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all”…..
There are 891 UNTILS, AND UNTIL NOW moments, recorded in the bible, and each one is an intersection where what was, collides with what will be….when what has been so far, is interrupted by how it will be from now on…..and a new path is laid out, to walk upon….
The parents of John the Baptist were barren and could have no children, but God showed up and they had an “UNTIL NOW” Moment. They were the instruments God used to birth one of the greatest voices for God of his time….
There’s an “UNTIL NOW” For you and me to claim…NO MATTER HOW IT’S BEEN in the past or how it looks right now.
In the book of Ruth, we see this woman and her mother in law, homeless, their husbands had died, in a strange land, they had lost everything and they were gathering left over grain in the field… all they had was left overs. But God had an “UNTIL NOW” waiting for them. And Boaz shows up in the field, He’s the owner of the land and he falls in love with Ruth at first sight, and there is an “Until Now” as he takes her, redeems her future, and this Moabite woman becomes part of the linage through which Jesus is born….
The kingdom suffers violence “until now” Is anyone here ready to step over into an “UNTIL NOW” moment, prepared by God… John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. Did you see that? “that your joy may be complete”…. Until Now moments come to complete what is incomplete, to finish what is unfinished…To move us from lack, to more than enough….From struggle to glorious victory!!!!
The mighty giant Goliath looked unbeatable and the nation stood trembling before him until David had an “UNTIL NOW” moment! The Midianite hordes swept across the land, plundering and taking what they wanted, until Gideon had an “UNTIL NOW” moment! What chance did the hundred and twenty have against their wicked and evil pagan world, until they had an “UNTIL NOW” moment at Pentecost?
The way it’s been isn’t the way it has to be….God’s promises are filled with UNTIL NOW situations. And there’s one for your situation. UNTIL NOW, your life has been a certain way with certain circumstances and limitations. However, it is about to change! Now you are about to move forward.
UNTIL NOW the kingdom suffers violence and the violent take it by force…. Can you say “UNTIL NOW”……Come on now, say it again.. “UNTIL NOW”
I close with John 21:4 "Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. v5 He called out to them, “Friends, do you have any fish?” “No,” they answered, we have caught nothing (I’m adding Until Now). v6 Then He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish".
I believe this account of Jesus and the disciples tells us that the answer is closer than we could ever imagine. Again, let's remember that their miracle was just 8 to 10 feet away!!! It is as close as our willingness to obey and do what God is asking.
All that you ever dreamed is closer than you might think, and it's not only about distance, it's about dimensions. In the very place of emptiness, there is also a dimension of abundance. In the very place of sickness and disease, there is also a dimension of wholeness and healing. In the very place of lack and barreness, there is also a dimension of more than enough....
Right where you are is the launching pad which God will use to take you where you need to be, on the other side.
PRAYER….. Lord of ALL seasons, Your word declares “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” And on this day, I stand on the promise of your word that YOU have plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future, and today, I accept that YOUR plans will prevail in my life. I acknowledge that I have been anxious sometimes and I have wasted time and I have missed Your timing… But today is a NEW day and on this NEW day, I pray that my life will come into agreement with your divine schedule. I pray that my life would be about sowing and reaping in the rhythm of your time and the cycle of Your seasons.
For I am confident of this very thing, that the good work You have begun in me will be performed, until the day that all things are made complete.
I know that, whatever You are doing Lord, shall be forever and nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. For when it is you that is doing it,it shall be marvelous in our eyes. THIS IS MY TIME to surrender in greater measure to Your WORD, Your WILL, and Your WAY. THIS IS MY TIME to walk by faith and not by sight. THIS IS MY TIME to love and to live like I know You would have me live and love. THIS IS MY TIME to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.
THIS IS MY TIME to be steadfast, and unmovable, always abounding in thework of the Lord, forasmuch as I know that my labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Lord, in all my ways, I desire to acknowledge You, for as I do, I know that You shall direct my paths. THIS IS MY TIME to not be wise in my own eyes, and do the right thing as You are showing it to me now in this moment. You are the God of ALL time past, present, and future and You are concerned about every direction and outcome in my life.
Thank You lord, that You know how to prepare me for this season as I place it in YOUR hands. You are the ONE Who makes ALL things NEW and who has created me for THIS time and created THIS time for me, and in Your name, I believe and reap the harvest of blessings You have ordained for me. Lord, I agree and declare that It is so. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Luke 3:22 As He came up out of the water, the voice of God spoke audibly from heaven saying, "You are My beloved Son, I am well pleased with You" Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan (His baptisim) and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Most of us, given a choice, would actually resist going into a barren, empty, romote wilderness, yet that is exactly what God chose for His Son.
Often, new levels of Spiritual growth and insight are followed bybeing ushered into a wilderness experiences…. This will be true as we enter each new level of blessing in this year ahead. God goes beyond “show and tell” and moves us into the realms of “reveal and experience”….
Jesus embraced this barren setting as a positive process in His ministry, rather than a negative experience to be dreaded.
The question we are asked in all of this is…. ”will we allow God to use our time spent in the wilderness as a means of empowering us in a greater measure”?
We are continually faced by great opportunities that are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems….
Jesus Continually Returned To The Wilderness to prepare Himself and draw strength and wisdom from the Father…
Luke 5:15–16 “But so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed”
The greater the demands on His life, the more Jesus headed for the treasures only found while in the wilderness.
The Bible, gives us many examples that illustrate what God can accomplish in our lives through the wilderness experiences.
When Israel was held captive in Egypt, God said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say, ‘Let my people go three days’ journey into the wilderness’” (Exodus 3:18).
Little did they know that it would become a place of incredible times in God’s presence and His miraculous provision for them. Here they would experience God’s glory and His might as He fought for them and gave them one great deliverance after another.
To avoid the wilderness, is to avoid experiencing the supernatural…
Exodus 14:3 “Gather together the chariots and the weapons because we are going after them. They are entangled in the land, the wilderness has shut them in (trapped them)” That’s what the Devil always wants us to believe and wrongly interpret what God is doing through the wilderness…what Pharaoh thought would destroy them, only strengthened and equipped them!
GOD REVEALS THAT HE IS JEHOVAH JIRAH, OUR PROVIDER, IN THE WILDERNESS
Exodus 16:15 “And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna (we’ve never seen anything like this) for they didn’t know what it was……..” We must trust God in the wilderness, because we usually don’t know how to interpret what He is doing in our lives…
Jesus fed the multitudes in the wilderness…. It is a place of weaning us from other dependencies that are not of Him. In the wilderness, He wants us to once again, rely upon Him as our main source… The greatest hindrance to faith is self reliance…The wilderness strips you of self reliance and demands that you lean on the everlasting arms….
The wilderness IS A PLACE OF TRAINING FOR BATTLE. God is teaching you to bring down your giants that want to separate you from the blessing, and steal your promise through the wilderness training….
1 Samuel 17:37 The same LORD who delivered me from the Paw of the lion and the bear (in the wilderness) will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" Deal with your monkeys and God will give you a gorilla!
God Establishes Us In The Wilderness
David was hiding for his life, in the wilderness, at Ziklag, it says….
1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly troubled. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. Another version says “iron entered into his soul’
It was in the wilderness that the Apostle Paul was established in the Christian faith, and was equipped and anointed by God…
Listen to Paul… Galatians 1:17 (After my conversion) I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into the wilderness of Arabia and later returned to Damascus. Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.
GOD USES THE WILDERNESS TO BREAK STRONGHOLDSfrom off of our lives…
The nation of Israel cried out for release from Egypt’s bondage, and their deliverance came to them, walking out of the wilderness, In the form of Moses…who was shaped and prepared by the wilderness for such a time…
Psalm 74:14, tells us that the spoils of victory (the crushing of the head of Leviathan) will be given to the people of the wilderness.
GOD WILL BRING HIS WORD TO YOU IN THE WILDERNESS
You can coast along on the Logos word, but you begin to dig down for the Rehma word (the specific God breathed, word for your specific situation) when you begin your walk in the wilderness…When Moses went up to the mountain of God, he was needing a Rehma, God breathed word, and he received a word etched in fire, by God’s own finger!
THE LORD’S BRIDE (the believers in Christ) WILL BE FOUND, COMING OUT OF THE WILDERNESS, To be gathered unto Him…
Psalms 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. V.6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, (dry, barren wilderness place) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. V.7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
I want to share the testimony of a young man in the bible. A fine, vibrant, young man who has kept himself unspotted from the world. He was a young prophet with a promising career! He dedicated himself to serving the Lord….. Hosea had reached the time in his life that the Lord had carefully prepared him for marriage. And the Lord said unto him, "All right Hosea, (his name means deliverance), I have a wife for you!" Hosea says, "OOOOh boy, which one Lord?" "Is it that pretty thing over there?" “No” "Mary?" "Sally?" "No?" “is it sweet Caroline” “No”… it’s " Bertha the stripper”? "....say that again, Lord… "You want me to go where?" "Lord, that's the red-light district!" "That's the worst neighborhood in the city!" "What is my wife doing there?" "OK, OK, OK, Lord, I'll go, I'll go, Lord!" "But, this better be good!"
Hosea 1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hascommitted great whoredoms, departing from the LORD.(something is happening that is bigger than Hosea, or Gomer, or the circumstances they find themselves in)
Hosea 2:14-16 Therefore, behold, I will draw her with that which she cannot resist, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards in the wilderness, and the valley of Achor (the place of trouble) for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, says the LORD, that you shall no more call me Baali, but you shall know me as Ishi.
You know, when we live clean, and try to be separate, and keep ourselves for God’s purposes and plan, we think that God will take the thorns off of all the roses in our lives….. So, Hosea says "Which one Lord?" "Her?" "Why, she's a... a... uh...(choke, cough)...a loose woman, a harlot, a tramp, you don't want me to marry her….(is there anyone else up there I can hear from)?" "What are all the other prophets going to say?" "I'm going to be disfellowshipped, what about my reputation, Lord?!"……..
Hosea, is about God taking you out where you would never have chosen to be, if you were doing the choosing! This is about God revealing himself to Hosea and how he feels about compromising Christians….
And the real miracle is not that he married her. He did marry her, but that’s not the miracle! That was obedience, that was submission and subjection! That was saying yes to God! But the miracle was when HE SAW HER HE LOVED HER! "Oh God, I never thought I could feel this way!" "If you would have told me that I could have feelings for somebody like her I would have said “get thee behind me devil........" When’s the last time you went to bed weeping for sinners, and groaning out of love for souls?
"I'm thinking about her all the time, she's on my mind!" "Everybody says I'm crazy, they don't want me to marry her, and they say she won't be a good wife for me! "She’s messed up, but I love her!" "Gomer......Gomer...... your name means complete, but you have never really been complete!" "My name, Hosea, means deliverer, and I have come to make you complete!" "Take my ring and come on over to the house of deliverance!
He loved her. Love will make you put up with things that you never thought you would put up with!
God was trying to get somebody to understand what It’s like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, to love what He loves, and to weep over sinners, and those who may even hate you! He was trying to get us to understand what He had gone through to reach out to the unwanted and unloved, and He used Hosea as an illustrated sermon to make us to know the height, depth, and the breadth, and the length of the love of God!
Have you ever been in a place where your promise was also your problem? Nobody could know it, because you put on the face, and you look like you should look! Gomer here, represents God’s people who are not truly committed to the Lord….and there’s a conflict going on in her spirit! She is restless, Hosea has been good to her, she feels guilty, she's trying to stay in the house, where she knows she belongs, but she is restless! She even had several children while she’s with him, but she was restless!
*…She started disappearing for long periods and coming back with weak explanations! She kept staying away longer and longer, and he was taking care of the kids and doing the things that she should have been doing. Then Hosea began to notice that the kids didn't even look like him! Later the test will tell us that they were children born of her wanderings, her meanderings, her affairs! The first was named, “He’s probably mine”, the second was named “I think he’s mine”, and the third was named “I know he’s not mine”! And yet he still took care of them like they were his own!
How many things have you birthed that God didn't have anything to do with? But He still took care of them because they were yours! How many choices and decisions have you made that God didn't tell you to make and yet he blessed you even though it did not look like Him?
Then, One day, Gomer went out and she didn't come back! Mrs.Complete, Mrs. “all that”, went out and left Mr. Deliverance in the house! What makes the prodigal son end up in the hog pen, the backslider slip, slide back into bondage, and what makes us lose our peace, joy and our fervency, and turn into ordinary,complacent, church folk when we used to be praisers and worshippers and people who had passionate love for God?
"Gomer......Gomer.....you should have been back by now!" Maybe there is somebody you know today, that should have been back by now. They've been gone too long. I know theysay they have many reasons, but they’ve been gone too long! They’ve been making those same excuses for a long time….
Down by the market place he heard Sounds like one of those human auctions. No need to look over there. Just a bunch of pottery and junk and a few sex slaves to be sold.
Jesus said, "You worship what you do not know, but the hour cometh and now is, that they that worship Him must worship in the spirit and in the truth, for the FATHER SEEKETH such to worship him"
The search is on, God is looking for somebody! The Bible saysthat, "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth looking for someone.........."
He is looking for Gomer, her name means complete, and she hasn’t lived up to her namesake yet!
Judas, the one who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, had a name that meant “God be praised”. And Jesus never gave up on him, but he refused to live up to his name, and with all the effort of heaven, he spurned it all… The Father God was so committed to find the wayward children, that He came wrapped up in Mary's womb of flesh, searching for His love! Looking! And searching! "O Jerusalem.............how often would I have gathered you as a mother hen gathers her chicks, but you would not..." “I am come seeking to save that which is lost!
Hosea couldn’t believe his eyes after all he had done for her… "Oh God, she's up on the slave table!" "What happened to her?" "There's mud all over her clothes, her hair is matted, her clothes are torn!" "That can't be the dress that I bought her!" "She looks a mess!" "What is she doing on that slave table?" "That's my wife!" "I know she looks bad, I know she's dirty and muddy, outside and inside, but you don't want her anyway, you don't think she's worth anything, you wouldn't give anything of value for her, but I will! How much does she cost?" "What does it take?"…. "I'll give it everything I have just to hold heronce again!"
I would give anything to hear her say “I love you”, once again!
Hosea was willing to buy something that was already his, and pay more than the asking price, but that's what redemption means, you know!" To re-deem, to buy back, to buy out of the slave market place, to get her again! God is declaring in this story, I want them back! I’m the redeemer.
That's what He did for you and me, and that's what salvation is! When I couldn't get to Him, He came to me! When I couldn't find him, He found me! When I was locked up and tied up in my sins and in my bondage, and I didn't know how to get out, I tried to be somebody else that I couldn't be, but when I blew it He said, "Just be still, I'm coming to get you!"
He said, "I'm going to raise you up." You’ve been down low, but I'm going to raise you up! I know all about you, and nothing is hidden from me but I'm going to bless you anyway! I know you been unfaithful, but I love you! I saw it all, but I still love you!I'm going to raise you up!
That's what makes a real worshipper, into a worshipper! When you understand that God knows all about you, and He loves you anyway, and He says He is going to wipe your tears away from your eyes! He’s going to lift you back up again! He’s going to clean you up, He’s going to raise you up! He’s going to be your deliverer and set you free!
Well Hosea, paid more than she was worth, and came up close beside her and he lifted her off of the auction block and he took her away from those who did not see her potential and her possibilities!
"There have been times when You couldn't find your way out of this, but He has said, I’m going to take you by the hand, and pull you out...."
God will pull you out! When you’re down, He will pull you out! When nobody will help you or make an effort, He will! Your identity is not your circumstances, you are not a slave, you are more than your habit, you are more than your childhood, more than your pain or problems, and God has sent a deliverer! The deliverer is going to make you complete! When you were what you were…and you were less than…. He called you complete, when you felt like a nothing and a reject, before you saw any change, the deliverer came to make you complete! He pulled usout!
Hosea said, "Is this how you feel about me, God?" "You mean you’ve been loving me like this?" "When I was wrong, andmessed up?" "Lord, I never knew how much you loved me!" "I'm sorry I hurt you!"
Hosea pulled Gomer out of the mess she got herself in….. Just like you and I, did not get out on our own, He pulled us out! Touch someone and say, "He pulled me out!"
When he got her out he said, "I am going to give you the valley of Achor for an inheritance, I am going to restore everything that the devil took away from you!" Achor means calamity transformed to blessing. Trouble turned into joy, and despair into hope.
He told her, " When you were still a mess, I washed you and I cleaned you up, I justified and sanctified you, now I am going to glorify you!"
She looks at him and says, "Alright, you own me, you bought me, I'm yours fair and square, whatever you want me to do, I'm your love slave, I'll do it Baali!" (Baali means; My master) That’sabout obligations, duties and requirements….. So, he says to her, "I didn't buy you to enslave you, so you would just change masters…..I bought you to set you free!" "Woman, thou art loosed!" He said, “you are used to people doggin' you and abusing you!" "I don't want to be your Baali, don't call me Baali, you shall call me Ishi!" (Ishi means; My husband, One I am intimate with) "I am not your master, I am your husband, I am a covenant keeping God!" " I am going to be everything to you!" "Whenever you need me, call me Ishi, for I am your husband, I have intimate knowledge of you!"
When people want to know how you were blessed, tell them Ishi did it! Single ladies, and single again ladies…
You’re not looking for Baali, let me tell you, Ishi is your man! God wants to be known by the ones He created for fellowship… He wants us to know His intensity, His passion, His intimacy, and His power.
Oh the price He paid for us…..He's going to be smitten as a sacrifice for sin and for transgressions. He's going to be wounded, and bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement shall be upon Him, and by his stripes mankind will receive healing.
Some of you have been invited! And you can't figure out what is going on in your life! You have been invited into the miracle of the wilderness! There's some things that you can't get out of a book, a tape, Greek or Hebrew, you just have to go through it. The further you went into it, the more you understood some things about God you would not have understood any other way!
You have become part of His wilderness miracle!
He wanted you to know patience, so He exposed you to problems!
He wanted you to know power, so He exposed you to pain! The only way He could teach you what He needed to teach you was to take you through those things!
This Corona wilderness is a time of amazing opportunities everywhere you look. The things which are happening now, are the greatest creators of open doors so you can present the eternal message of hope and faith. Be vigilant in all of this and seize the day. Every believer has the answers to the questions the world is asking. Start by listening and ask the key question, "Can I pray with you"......
This wilderness you’re in is about moving you from Baali, to Ishi.From “Master” to “My beloved”…. the one who knows you like no one else does and is completely committed to you, and is with you all the way through.
Let me paraphrase some of the 23rd Psalm as I close…
“Yea, though I walk through the wilderness of shadows, You arewith me. You anoint me with your wilderness anointing. You set a banquet table before me with all I will need. You cause my cup to run over. Surely goodness and mercy shall be the angels you set before me, and Your presence will go with me all the way”!
The apostle Paul tells us… “Having done all stand therefore, and see the glory of God!"
Surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of happiness in life is the family. The same surveys tell us that one of the greatest sources of frustration and disappointment in people’s lives is dealing with family problems.
God has designed the family as the basic building block of society. As the family goes, so goes our communities. As our communities go, so goes our states. As our states go, so goes our nations. As our nations go, so goes entire civilizations.
1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers and you are God’s builders. v10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds. v11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, in Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on that foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, or stubble v13 each man’s work will become evident, for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. v14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward”.
Just as books need two book ends to hold them upright so that they don’t fall over, likewise, every child needs a matching set of Mom and Dad book ends to steady them and keep them upright in life!. The titles “Mom” and “Dad” are powerful titles that declare that you are authorized and anointed by God to speak into and influence the lives of your children, no matter what their age, or where they live…The same is true of the title, “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. Let us understand and appreciate the power of these titles which are titles of permission and jurisdiction, used by your children and grandchildren, to release and activate your God-given authority in their behalf....There is powerful leverage in those titles….That bring heaven to earth!!
Olympic gold medalist Darrel Pace was to give an archery exhibition in New York City's Central Park, and the event received coverage by all the news stations. Darrel was shooting steel- tipped hunting arrows, and punctured the bull's-eye from many angles even behind his back with a mirror, without a miss. Then he called for a volunteer. "All you have to do, Is hold this apple in your hand, in front of the bulls eye." A bold volunteer took a step forward and stood there with a small apple in his hand, trying not to shake. Pace took aim from 30 yards away as everyone held their breath. Then suddenly the apple exploded the apple before striking the target. Everybody applauded and the volunteer is still trembling—and the cameraman approached and said, "I'm sorry, my camera was messing up and I didn’t get the shot. Could you do it again?" Aren’t you glad God gives second chances….to get it right! (even if it means you have to end up holding that apple again)
Over the years, there have been numerous studies on how to build strong, healthy families. What does a healthy family look like? (I’m glad you asked that question), because it so happens that it is exactly what I want to talk about ….building healthy families… And if you don’t know what a healthy family looks like, it probably won’t happen, and if it does, you won’t know what you did to get there…
What your kids see you do as they grow up is what you’ll likely see them do, when they’ve grown up. What do your children see modeled before them in your character? Do they see truth, honesty, and integrity in action? Do they have healthy examples of resolving conflict? Do you model and encourage healthy ways of handling pressure and expressing emotions?
The greatest gift you can give your child is who you are. The lifestyle our children see us model daily is much more powerful than what we can ever tell them. Both are important. But there must be solid connections between the talk and the walk.Someone said, “teach them and use words if absolutely necessary!!
In the Hebrew culture, a Rabbi was a life coach and every boy was assigned to a life coach who would be a father figure to them. The word Rabbi is actually based upon the Hebrew word “Ab” or “Abba” which means daddy.
Jesus was the Rabbi or “Abba” Father, who the disciples accepted to mentor them as their life coach. The Rabbi chose those he would mentor, just as Jesus chose the disciples and us, to follow Him. We are chosen by “Abba” and He is our life coach!
One father wrote this in a letter to “Abba” God… “He calls me Dad and I call him Dude, With his faded old pillow and a bear named Pooh. He snuggles up close and says, "I want to be like you" I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight, Trippin' over the toys as I turn out the light, and I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see, He's got a father in God, 'cause he's seen Jesus in me. Lord, I want to be just like You, 'Cause he wants to be just like me. I want to be a holy example, For his innocent eyes to see. Help me be Your living word, Lord, That my little boy can read. I want to be like You, 'Cause he wants to be like me.
Someone has said that the best thing you can do for your children, is to love God, love their mother and love them, totally and completely!
How do you spell love…..
Most children spell love with a *…..T, an *…..I, an *……M and an *……E. That’s right. TIME is how most children spell love. Healthy parents don’t find time, they make time.
One of the greatest choices we will make in life is to follow and be like our “Abba” life coach, Jesus He always has time for us…..
Don’t miss the importance of what it is that you’re building. Input equals outcome…. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder….. In the early days of the building of the United States Capital, when they were still preparing the site. A superintendent asked one of the workmen, what he was doing. He said, “I’m digging a ditch”.. The next worker he asked said “I’m gathering stones to build a wall”… But the third workman he asked, who was mixing mortar, said, “Sir, I am mixing this mortar, because we’re raising up a beacon that will shine to all the nations of the world”
Since this is Father’s day, I would say to Dads, and to everyone, we’re not called to build junk, but we are raising up beacons through the lives of men, women and children which God has placed in our care…
Craig spent many years as a Royal Ranger commander, working with boys. Those boys are now Fathers, and look back fondly on the training they received under Craig.
Allan and Craig both worked with and trained new recruits and cadets in the fire department. And those recruits have been better men and women because of it. Thank you both for your service….
It takes time to build something great….We’re all busy with demands and pressures, and children don’t have the same sense of time that we do. All they know is now!!! I want it and I want it now!!! I remember when Karen was little and I would be working on a sermon and she wanted my attention…. She would say, Dad…Dad…Dad….Hey Chuck! And that would always get my attention. But things worth building take time….
I still recall to this day, at 21/2 years of age, in Spray NC. I had an uncle named John, who was old and grey haired and slow, but several times a week, he would take me for walks and answer all my questions (which were many). He was never in a hurry, and I have kodak moments in my soul, of Old John, holding my hand and answering all my questions in a slow, unhurried way. He gave me the gift of time….
When the angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist, he realized that this was not just another ordinary Jewish child which he was called upon to raise, but a special gift that God was placing in his care…right up front John’s dad was told that he was building a life that would touch the world. What are you building….
Luke1:16 “And he (John) will turn the hearts of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. v17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him (Jesus) in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
There is a saying that children don’t come with instruction manuals, but the truth is that they come with the best instructions ever assembled in the history of the world, it is complete and all encompassing and it is the Word of God!
How foolish to ignore the manual which the creator of every human life, has written to give us guidance as husbands andparents. 4 bachelors came up with a list of what to look for in a companion.. 1st. It is important to find a woman who is good at house hold chores, is a good cook and can take care of the kids. 2nd. It is important to find a woman that you can show off for social functions.
3rd. It is important that she shares the same life goal and common vision as you.
4th. It is important to find a woman who is romantic and loves intimacy with you.
5th It is very important that these 4 women never meet one another.
Hey, If your marriage is in trouble, improve your relationship with the Lord.
Trouble with the children, improve your relationship with the lord.
Trouble on the job, improve your relationship with the Lord.
If nothing seems to work, improve your relationship with the Lord!!!
God doesn’t expect perfection, just a teachable spirit! No man is going to be the TOTAL man or FATHER, but we have the total father in Father God, who will give us wisdom and Holy Spirit counselling as we need it and are open to it!
Chuck Swindoll said, "A family is the place where principles are hammered out and shaped on the anvil of everyday living." One young woman was talking to her counsellor and describing her dream husband… She said, “he has to be handsome, in great shape, funny, entertaining, smart, keeps me interested, romantic, doesn’t interrupt, let’s me be myself, doesn’t expect me to do all the house work, and never insults or belittles me”….. The counselor pauses for a moment and says, “My dear girl, you’re not shopping for a husband, what you’re actually shopping for a 70 inch flat screen TV”!!!
The old saying is that love is blind… God says, “Oh, No… love needs clear vision.” Our love needs discernment or else we will end up loving things we ought not to love—and entering into relationships that are not good for us. While love is our quest, it is never enough without wisdom and discernment. Not every relationship is a good relationship. Not every choice is a good choice, not every man or woman is the one of your dreams, they might be the one of your nightmares.
By the way, I came across the words women need to hear the most.. from men…
I love you, I Do.. I understand, I’m sorry, You’re right, & you’re hired
Jesus came to show us what a father’s heart looked like…
He shared three stories that reveal the Father’s heart. The story of the lost sheep, shows us the length He will go to for just one person who has gone out and become lost and disoriented. (leaving the 99 in search of the one, doesn’t really make sense until you are that one!)
The story of the lost coin, reveals how much the Father cares about any area of lack or lost opportunity we may suffer. And He will be diligent until it is recovered.
The story of the lost son, clearly reveals how the Father’s heart is so connected with every child who is struggling and disillusioned, and will faithfully draw them back to the Father’s heart.
It reveals a God that is approachable, and is not out to condemn us but to continually draw us to Himself.
The bottom line is that it tells us that lost things can be found, they can be recovered and joyfully celebrated!
The old hymn says it so well…. “Just as I am, without one plea, but as Thy blood was shed for me, and as Thou bid’st me come to Thee, oh lamb of God I come, I come”… With all that we’re building, we need to build within our families a deep sense that no matter where we are, in Christ we’re always home. “In the Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you may be also”. As we grew up, I chose to take the path of faith in God, my foster brother chose the ungodly path of my atheist foster dad… the last time we were together, I asked him to promise me he would make peace with God and if I went before Him, I would be looking for him in heaven. If He went before me, I would be expecting to see him when I got there. He died a short time later in his sleep, but he kept his promise…..
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will fellowship with him, and he with Me. v21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to rule with Me on My throne (place of authority), as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. v22 He who has an ear (that is able to hear), let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
The God of all creation, wants to take time to be involved in what we’re building. If He’s willing to give us His time, and He is, are we willing to give Him time to listen, to get His instructions, to allow Him to speak into our plans, our relationships, our marriage, our family, and our journey….
A tightrope was attached from the Canadian side to the American side over the Niagara Falls. The drum roll started and the tight rope walker, began walking over the treacherous part of the falls pushing a wheelbarrow-- blindfolded!! And he makes it across easily. The crowds go wild, and he comes to a spectator and says, " Do you believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it." "No, I mean do you really believe I can do it again?" "Well of course I do, you just did it." "No, no, no," said the Tightrope walker, "do you really, really, really believe I can do it again?" "Yes," said the spectator "I really believe you can do it." "Good," said the Tightropewalker, "then you get in the wheel barrow and let’s go."
The word believe, in Greek means "to live by what you acknowledge as truth"
In the 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses reduced all of God’s law to its essential basics in a statement that is known as the “Shema”.
In verse 4&5 it says It says “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, is one God! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This is the passage that Jesus quoted in Matthew 22:35-40 when he was asked by a lawyer,which was the great commandment of the Law. After quoting it, Jesus added that the second was like it, “You shall love your neighbor (or others) as yourself,” and that the whole “Shema” and the Prophets depended on these two commandments.
This tells us three things for this to happen….
1. The parent or care giver must love the Lord
2. The parent or care giver must teach his children the love of the Lord
3. The parent or care giver must teach by example, what the love of the Lord looks like to his children
So many of those I grew up with basically want nothing to do with the church now. For many of them, a large part of the reason is that either one or both of their parents or many of the other adults in the church failed to actually live out what they claimed to believe. These children came to the conclusion that it was all just a farse, a big sham, and they developed their own moral code of conduct, away from Christ and the church.
How privileged are those children who are raised by parents who have the Word of God in their hearts and who live out every day, what they say they believe. That’s the “Shema”
To love the Lord your God. To teach our children to love the Lord our God, and to live out the love of the Lord our God before them….
When is the best time to do this…. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us…
A. When you sit in your house. B. When you walk by the way.
C. When you lie down. D. When you rise up.
Well, come on, that pretty much covers anytime, all the time!
So I ask us all what I asked at the beginning, Fathers, Mothers, sons, and daughters, do we understand what we’re building?When you understand what you want to build, you get the right tools and you use them with all the skill you can muster, and partner with the one who knows how to do it best and He tells us…
1 Corinthians 13:4 (Would you stand and read it with me) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. v5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. v6 Love does not delight in but rejoices with the truth. v7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. v8 Love never fails”.
(sounds like a pretty good description of a Godly Husband and Father)….I will ask the men to come forward and let’s gather around them a bless them and petition heaven that they may be equipped for this lofty and High calling of God on their lives….Fatherhood…..