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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, May 30 2023

Pentecost 2023

I said last week that we need to stop praying for God to send more of His fullness into our lives and begin to apply what we already have received. We really don’t need to receive more, we need to stir up what is already in us. We can pray for God to send us children’s workers, musicians, men’s leaders, youth leaders, those who will bring folks to church and those who will come and help us go to the next level. But what if we are the very people we’ve been praying for.

2 Timothy 1:6 (New KJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up        (sóphronismos) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. v7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.

Stir up, or sóphronismos means to intensify, to rekindle, to resuscitate, to magnify, and to apply what you already havereceived. If He has made us alive who were dead, what else can He do through the God life He has placed within us.  

Decaffeinated coffee may be good enough for some folks and I drink it even though I’m not crazy about it. Decaffeinated coffee won't wake you up; it won't perk you up; it won't keep you up; it won't get you up; it's just there. It looks like coffee; it smells like coffee; it tastes like coffee; it just doesn't have the “KA-POW”, or the “PICK ME UP” that coffee aught to have. It’s a coffee substitute. Decaffeinated coffee just isn't real coffee! It’s not the real deal!
There is a form of decaffeinated Christianity which has spread thru our culture and we buy into it more than we think. We go through the motions of what it means to be a Christian, but we're a little afraid to get out on the edge, and step into areas we may not be comfortable with. So we have decaffeinated our faith in practice, stayed in our comfort zones where we don’t really need God’s power to show up to make anything possible, then we wonder why there is no supernatural power in our walk with the Lord. Jesus used people who had never done what He was asking them to do before. They were common folks who had done the same old, same old day after day. But when Jesus said “Follow me”, they would never be the same old, same old ever again. 

I was in the phone store to upgrade to a newer phone and as I was waiting, I saw that a number of phones were plugged in and ready to go, so that customers could check them out.  I saw one phone that really caught my eye, so I picked it up to check it out and it was a dummy phone. It looked right, it had all the features, the buttons, the screen, the appearance, but it had no guts to it, no purpose. It was only good to look at but it had no power…

How many go through life, never reaching their potential, and never knowing what it is to be fully alive and fully engaged by the Holy Spirit. And so many, live continually at that level, because they have not stirred up the gift that is in them. 

We need to seriously ask ourselves...What is it in our lives that doesn’t fulfill our greater purpose? There is a butterfly in every caterpillar. But the caterpillar can never transform unless it surrenders in obedience. We never transform as long as there are still things that are not part of ourgreater purpose. So, just like the caterpillar, we must lay aside everything that doesn’t transform into our purpose...

This is Pentecost Sunday, the Sunday which we commemorate the event which turned a room full of caterpillars into butterflies. 120 believers went into an upper room as fearful, intimidated, and vacillating caterpillar people, and they came out as bold witnesses, kingdom warriors, and world changers, filled with the Holy Spirit!

The issue is never how much of the Holy Spirit we have, but the real issue is how much of us, the Holy Spirit has....

Notice what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do when He came.....

John16: 13 “But when He, the Holy Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth, (you will be a truth lover) for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak, (you have a hot line to heaven) and He will show you what is to come. (You have access to things concerning you in the future).14 He will glorify Me, (if you have the Holy Spirit, you won’t blaspheme the name of Jesus or God, or take His name in vain) for He will take from Mine and will demonstrate it to you. (Holy Spirit is always ready and willing to manifest God’s power in us) 15 All things that the Father has are Mine, this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will show it to you (Holy Spirit gives us access to things beyond our own ability, knowledge and capacity).


God created us all to be dreamers and visionaries. God’s spirit is the spirit of revelation which leads, directs and brings us to the appointments and connections which He has set for us. God knows that once you see it, you will be motivated to go after it. So He allows you by His Spirit to see the unseen, and hear the inaudible, so that you can believe the impossible! 

God has a dream, custom made for you. That dream comes to bring you to your destiny and provide a stairway so that you can access your new reality

Down deep inside, if we will take the time to process it, we all know that we are part of something far greater, bigger and more encompassing than ourselves and the niche we find ourselves in at this juncture of our journey…

Many folks say, well, I’ll just live it in front of them and they’ll see my life and they’ll turn to Christ…..How’s that working so far for you? The lost are still lost…jails are full and church seats are empty…                                                                                                What Jesus is telling us is that we must be intentional about allowing the Holy Spirit within us, to bring conviction and truth through us to them. God uses words. The bible is a book of divinely inspired words. Over and over we are told to speak, to declare, to decree... When we are told to be witnesses, it is speaking of demonstrating God’s power, and authority, so they can observe and experience and have a personal God encounter. And as we do, Holy Spirit does the rest. He works and operates on the heart and the mind and uses dreams and memories, and circumstances and events, and words to bring about conversion....

Some boys were in front of the school skate boarding, when we were setting up for church. Winnie was talking to them, and they asked if she was a teacher. She told them that we were setting up to have church on Sunday and asked them if they would like to come. They’re answer confirmed what I’m saying here…. They said they had never ever been to a church! (Wow, that really hit me hard)

Statistics have shown over and over that around 80% of the population doesn’t go to church at all! A big percentage of the population will say they are Christians but don’t practice a Christian life style. If you apply those percentages here, it means that millions of folks do not go to church, and have never come to Christ to receive salvation unless we become the church to them, to get them to church. 

So a good place for all of us to start, is get them into church, where the spirit of truth can touch their hearts and lives because they won’t get it in the world.

A shoe company decided to expand their market into a large population in an area of Africa. They sent a salesman to test the potential market. The man was there two weeks when he wrote the home office and said, “I’m coming home immediately this is a totally lost cause. No one in the entire area wears shoes! I will not waste my time another day!” The company dispatched another salesman who was more experienced to get a second opinion… When the second salesman got there, he discovered the same thing the first salesman had discovered. In only two days, they received an urgent letter and expecting the bad news they had received before, they opened it quickly and read this….“Please send me every shoe * can possibly ship, immediately! This place is a gold mine, and there are opportunities everywhere I go! No one here wears shoes!”

Do we look around and see opportunities everywhere, for the Holy Spirit to work in people’s lives, or are we like the first salesman, who was blind to those same opportunities...

Holy Spirit is here, He has come, to do all the Lord, said He would do.... see the opportunities everywhere. You don’t have to look far to know that everyone needs what you have to give!

2 Corinthians 6:2 “For He says, I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I brought help and relief to you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”.

I believe the Holy Spirit is saying to us now, “Today is the day of a greater move of the Spirit, it’s a day of signs and wonders, and demonstrations of God’s power.” 

If we can hear that, and we believe He’s the same right now today as He was in the book of acts, then things will never be the same again.... 

Oh....I believe the Spirit of God is calling us to step over into the book of Acts again. He wants to glorify Jesus, and give a demonstration and a manifestation of God’s power!

A man named Jonathan was depressed and had been doing drugs every day for 6 months. He heard that his favorite aunt had cancer and she asked him to be praying for him. Well Jonathan hadn’t prayed in a long time, but he prayed anyway, and when he did God spoke to him and told him to go to church on Sunday. He never went to church. But his life was in such a mess that he decided to go anyway. On his way, God spoke to him and said…”Jonathan my love is all around you.” He felt what seemed like electricity go all through him. At the church, the pastor asked for people to come for prayer at the end of his sermon, and he went down. A man came and prayed for him and he was going to leave, when God spoke again and said “don’t be afraid… I’m cleansing you of your past… I’m taking away all of those things that have keep you in defeat.” He began to weep uncontrollably, as that same electricity began to flow through his body. And again the Lord spoke to him and said “Joshua, now you know I am real…you’ve heard about me since you were a kid…I am Jesus…I am the living God”… Jonathan says that his life has never been the same since. All he needed was to give God a chance….                                                           What If We Are The People We’ve Been Praying For God To Raise Up?!!

I believe there are some here, that He wants to speak through prophetically, and some as evangelists, that He wants to use to bring in the end time harvest, and others that He will use to teach, disciple and to train, and others to administrate...oh yes!

Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Us?” And I said: “Here am I, Send me!” 

God is speaking who is listening?… He is declaring His ability, His intentions, His strength in our weakness, and His total knowledge of who we are and how we can be used of Him…. All we have to do is listen and obey, and be available to Him. His job is to go before us and prepare the way, and create the conditions for His plan to succeed. 

Who could have known….that A small North Carolina farming community, which was committed to praying for the Holy Spirit to raise up a voice that would move the nation back to God, would discover that in their little country church was a young boy who would be the answer to that prayer, named Billy Graham… The bible tells us that Esther was just a teenage girl who used her beauty for God, to win the heart of the king of Persia, and save a whole nation of people. What a question God asked her…. “What if you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this” 

Scripture tells us that Ruth was an outsider, from a despised race of people, but God gave her a connection through her mother in law Naomi, who introduced her to Boaz, that would bring generational blessings to the entire world. She was the grandmother of Joseph, the chosen father of Jesus, who was included in the linage of Christ!

Oh, the Holy Spirit does such a wonderous work, when we stir up the gift that is in us and He finds an instrument to flow through!

It never ceases to amaze me how an ordinary day can turn into an extraordinary, supernatural one in just a matter of seconds.

I’ve read this before but it bears repeating.....

A basketball in my hands is worth about $25.00.

A basketball in Stephen Curry’s hands who plays guard for the Golden State Warriors is worth a $215.3 million dollar contract. It depends whose hands it's in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $15.00.

A baseball in Mike Trout’s hands, with the Angels is worth a contract of $36 million a year for the next 8 years. It depends on whose hands it's in.

A tennis racket in my hands might get me hurt...

A tennis racket in Venus Williams' hands is a Wimbledon Championship, and 42 million. It depends whose hands it's in.

A Hockey stick in my hands will make a good toy.

A Hocky stick in Nathan MacKinnon’s hands is worth a 100.8 milliondollar contract, It depends whose hands it's in.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in Jesus' hands will feed 20 thousand people. It depends whose hands it's in.

Nails in my hands might produce a makeshift birdhouse.

Nails in Jesus’ hands will produce salvation for the entire world. It depends whose hands it's in.

We’re just the instrument, He’s in charge of the power....But amazingly, He put His power in our hands. 

When Jesus ascended, He sent the Holy Spirit to operate in the earth as the administrator of this season until He returns. 

We are to pray to the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name, to convict of sin, to raise up righteousness, to convince of Christ, He is in charge of the Harvest, until grace runs out and is no longer extended in the earth at the end of the millennium. 

Tony Campolo, tells the story of a pastor who was trying to motivate a man in his church to become involved in ministry. Finally, the man relented and agreed to be the driver for a group of ladies who wanted to lead a monthly worship service for the residents of a local retirement community.  As the ladies led the service,  one day an elderly man in a wheelchair rolled up beside him and took his hand.  He held it all throughout the worship.  This continued month after month, until one Sunday afternoon, the elderly man didn’t show up at the service.  The man asked one of the nurses, “What happened to the elderly man who was always in service?

“Oh,” she said, “we don’t expect him to live through the night”. He’s just down the hall. Maybe you should go in and visit him. So the man walked down to the room and entered. The elderly man took his hand and held it.As he was led by God’s Spirit, he prayed for him. And when he said, “Amen,” the elderly man gently squeezed his hand. As he was leaving, he bumped into a woman coming in.  She said, “He’s been waiting for you. He said he didn’t want to die until Jesus came and held his hand. I tried to tell him he would see Jesus once he went to heaven, but he said, ‘No. Once a month, Jesus comes and holds my hand, and I don’t want to leave this world without holding his hand once more.” Our greatest challenge is to be Jesus to someone today….That’s what the Holy Spirit allows us to do...

Since it’s Pentecost Sunday, let me share with you what a Spirit filled church was then and is now...

First, A Spirit-filled church is a biblical church, committed to the Word of God. The early church met daily house to house, studying the word with prayer and fellowship. The early Christians devoured the word of God. 

Second, It is a caring compassionate church. The bible says they had all things in common. That tells me that they shared what they had, and they lived in harmony and peace with one another. This is not socialism, this is Christian love. Jesus was at the center of everything they did. 

Third, it is a worshiping church. They were not in a hurry when it came to worship. There was joy, and celebration. We’re told that in one service, it went so long, one guy fell asleep and plummeted out a window and they went down, raised him from the dead, and went on with the worship service.

And fourth, it is an evangelizing church. Everyone went out praying for the sick, caring for their neighbors, doing the works of Christ, and adding to the church such as were being saved. I’m sure, that as folks were being healed and set free, it was natural for them to want to come to church and be a part. They weren’t getting healed and delivered in church, no it was in their own homes and neighborhoods. So they came to church to be taught the word of learn more and apply more of what they learned in their daily lives.  

Pentecost was a contagious epidemic that spread throughout the area and eventually became a shock wave which became a global force.

(review the list of what a Spirit filled church is...)

Let’s come together here in front as we close in prayer....

“Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. I desire to be more sensitive to you so I can follow you more closely. Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me, empower me to be and to do all you desire for me to be and to do! May Your inner working bring greater boldness in me. *........Help me to produce more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.Guide My steps, my thoughts, and my attitudes as I partner with you in faith, in obedience, and in submission. Thank You that you sparked the flame of faith in me and You keep it going by Your power. Continually pour out Your Spirit on me so that I may effectively testify of You to those who need your transforming presence in their lives. Release Your wisdom, discernment, and truth, in greater measures throughout my life, In Jesus name and for His glory. 

Posted by: AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 23 2023

*This month of May has blessings embedded in it..... check it out......                “May your finances be more than enough... May your health be vibrant and miraculous, May your family be loving and strong..... Mayyour friends be loyal and true.... May your worries be removed far from you.... May you increase in every spiritual endeavor.... May the Lord bless and keep you and may His grace and purpose be sustained and fulfilled in you.... May this month of blessing be your launching pad for the year ahead”....

Today, let’s look at “Living Life In The Fullness Of Christ”                                                 When someone tells a someone else, “You’re full of it”... they don’t usually mean Jesus... but I want you to tell someone, “You’re full of it”!!! And let’s change the meaning of that statement!

Colossians 2:9 (NKJT) “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power”.

The New Living Translation says it this way, “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are full and complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

When we are saved, we don’t get a little salvation, we get it all. The whole package. But the problem many struggle with, is understanding WHAT they actually have, so they can apply it in their daily life.  There is no child sized Holy Spirit, or an adult sized Holy Spirit.... ONE SIZE FITS ALL. Again, it’s not about the measure we have received in Christ. It’s about our understanding of what we have received in Christ. 

After reading Colossians 2:9, I wrote this in my notes....”Begin your thinking and your planning and your choices from the point of Jesus’ fullness in your life. Always begin your words, thoughts and actions from the place of the abundance of God! Face life and everything in it from the position of all you have received in Christ”! (I’m going to repeat that for myself!)

I recall the story of the little lad who loved to go down to the country store and stand by the big open barrel of molasses and think what it would be like to have all the molasses he could possibly enjoy.... He would stick his fingers in the molasses and lick them off. One day the owner was upset cause he would do this every time he came in the store, and he walked over to the boy and just shoved his head down into the barrel of molasses.                                          

It was up his nose, It was in his hair, in his eyes, and running down his face onto his shoulders and chest, and the boy ran out to the front porch and stood *there........licking his face and praying loudly...                                                                                      “Lord give me a tongue sufficient for this blessing.”

Our prayer should be “Lord, help me to apply all the fullness that you have given unto me”!! Let’s say it....

When I invite Jesus into my life, He doesn’t give me an arm and a leg. Or a foot and a hand.... I get the whole deal....I get all of Him..... THE SAVIOR AND HIS FULL SALVATION PACKAGE. THE MASTER, THE LORD OF GLORY, THE HEALER, THE DELIVER, THE RESTORER, AND EVERY VICTORY HE HAS WON, IS IN ME.....

Jesus talked about making application and the result would be a fuller and more complete life.....2 John 14:23 “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come into them and make our home with them”. Wow, that means we get to do what He’s doing and go where He’s going!

2 Corinthians 6:16 ”God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” And then look also at....

Matthew 28:20 “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you (and in you) always, to the very end of the age.”  

This is not about how I feel when I get up in the morning, or my feelings after a hard day. What if I got up in the morning, after not sleeping well, and said to Winnie, “are we still married, cause I don’t feel it”!! She would think I had flipped out!! It has nothing to do with how I feel.

We are being told here to trust God, who is telling us that He, in His fullness has moved inside of us, and is residing in us from the moment we received Him as Savior and Lord, and He is planning on being in us until the end of the age....

That is not a feeling, it is trust in His promises to us, and His commitment that as we are working out an understanding of what we have, and learning to apply it to our life situations. He is in us, in the full expression of Himself!

Feelings can betray us and we can’t go by feelings. Feelings are like a faulty fuel gauge. I can be driving my car to Miami, and feel like my tank is full when all I have is enough for 1 more mile. Or I can drive, always feeling like I am near empty and lose all my peace and joy, andall I have to do is check the gas gauge. The word of God is your fullness gauge, not your feelings. Let me repeat that....”The word of God is your fullness guage, not your fickled feelings!”

John 4:14 “But whoever drinks of the water (Holy Spirit) that I will give him shall never thirst, but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up (filled up) unto eternal(never ending) life.”

John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will overflow rivers of living water.”                                                       (You can’t overflow if you’re not full)

Look at the problem we are dealing with when it comes to understanding and applying what we already have in regard to his fullness.

1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know (recognize and accept) them, because they are spiritually discerned”.                                                                                                             You can’t grow in the things of God, if you’re hanging out with foolish people, who don’t care about God....We should be a witness to our carnal friends and neighbors, but if you’re going to ever understand who you are in Christ and what you have, you don’t hang out with bobble heads (folks who are constantly wavering and vacillating . We can be friendly without being friends by participating in their ignorance. Jesus had only a few in his inner circle, then there were the 12, then the 120 and then those outside his circle. But He constantly confronted the bobble headed religious leaders and their ignorance of spiritual things. Satan is constantly trying to get you back to the place you prayed your way out of. Don’t ever go back to Mr. bobble head!  

Romans 8:7 “The carnal mind is the enemy of God.... 9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, because the Spirit of God dwells in you...... 10 And if Christ is in you, the carnal mind is not in charge, but the Spirit now rules, because of righteousness”.

God has unveiled the mystery! We no longer have to call God down, we don’t have to feel saved, if we are saved. We no longer have to feel spiritual, if we are spiritual. The mystery is that salvation is not just about having healing, righteousness, provision, gifts of the spirit, signs and wonders.... It is that we have Jesus, by His spirit in us, so we have all the rest that comes with HIM! 

Salvation, in Christ, is a package deal for the mind, Spirit, and body. It is freedom from the penalty of sin. Jesus took all of that, so we don’t have to....He rose victorious over it and now His victory is living in us!

Hey, Remember how the King told David that if he would go out and fight Goliath, and defeat him, he would get wealth, not have to pay taxes the rest of his life, and get the King’s daughter in marriage.... Well, David  knew if he had the king’s daughter, he had the keys to the kingdom!!! 

And if we have Jesus, we have it all.... That’s what salvation is! Didn’t Jesus tell us that He was giving us the keys to the kingdom!

In all of our lives there are things that try to drain, our joy, our peace, our vitality, and our motivation. It’s like an overflowing sink, and we’re mopping and mopping, with little results. We feel inspired one moment and then we wonder where did it go?

I heard that when a person is in a mental facility, they can tell if he has improved enough for release, by turning on a faucet and letting it overflow the sink, then give the person a mop. If he starts mopping without turning off the faucet, they know he’s not ready to be released yet. Hey! Jesus gives us the fullness so we can not just mop up the mess, but turn off the water and stop the source of the mess !!

Every mom will know that you can’t potty train a child until they’re tired of their mess. A lot of folks haven’t got tired of their mess yet. When that point comes, they are willing to make the changes they weren’t willing to make before.                                                                                                 

So, Jesus is the head over every power and authority on earth, that keeps making a mess in your life. The key to walking in that authority is to be under authority. This is a powerful key to making things happen in your life. 

Matthew 8:5-10 (NASB) “And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 6  and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” 7  Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8  But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9  “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10  Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel”.                                                                                                                                         You have authority as you stay under authority.....God refers to those who refuse to be under authority, as having a lawless spirit. They despise authority and yet expect to have authority. 

So, continuing with what you have already received....The one who is the head over every power and authority on earth, has made mecomplete while I am being completed.... Let me say that again “ Hehas made me complete while I am being completed”.                                                                                         Colossians 2:10 “And you have been made complete in Christ who is the head over every ruler and authority.” 

(You see, The artist sees the complete painting before he ever touches the canvas with the brush) The sculptor sees the outcome of what he’s carving before he puts the chisel to the stone. I am complete in the mind of God, who sees the finished work the moment I invite Him into my life.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Paul describes our completeness in another way in Colossians 2:12 “And having been buried with Christ in baptism, you were raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead”. 

Paul describes water baptism as being buried with Christ. (Have you been baptized?) But more than this, the word, “buried in baptism” in the original language means to be “placed into or joined to” and in this case it is being placed into Christ or joined to Christ..... which has a deeper application than just water baptisim, but it has to do with being placed into and joined to Christ himself. Therefore we are joined to His righteousness, His resurrection, and we are joined to His victory. 

We didn’t have that kind of authority, but Jesus did. And all of the authority of Jesus is now available to us. All of the victory of Jesus is available to us, under His authority. We have been placed into and joined with the authority He brings to the situation. 

A 16 wheeler, could run right over a single cop, standing in the road with his hand up in a gesture to stop. But that 16 wheeler stops, because the entire law enforcement community backs him up. He has been joined to and placed into that level of authority... Praise God!!We’ve been baptized into Christ’s authority and victory! Satan recognizes Jesus in us and must yield, if we understand what we have been given. 

Paul continually prayed that the church would understand this... Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

It’s not about how we feel, it’s about what He says about us....                                                         GOD IS OUR INHERITANCE, and we are His children, and if we are His people, then we are also His heirs. Therefore, all of God’s resources are ours, and as we freely receive them, we are to freely teach and impart them to all those He calls even as He called us.

There are many who know all about God, who have the right theology and doctrine, but they don’t have an understanding of what they really have, even though they are joined to Christ and have access to all He is....So they are constantly subject to Satan, the world, other people, and the cares of life, that keep them below their potential, their power, and their authority in Christ.

However it’s important to understand that this authority demands humility in our lives, so folks won’t mistake our confidence in Christ for fleshly pride. We must always make it about Jesus and not about us. 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS into His marvelous light.”                                                                         I’m reminded of the lady who came to a pastor at the end of a service, and was very outspoken in her gratitude.  She said, “That was the most wonderful sermon I’ve ever heard. That was absolutely fantastic!  It was so powerful, it has changed my life!” Well, what does a pastor say to something like that? This one decided that he had to be very humble about it, so he said, “Oh, thank you madam, but it was not me, it was the Lord!”  And she said, “Oh, please, it wasn’t that good!”

When the light comes on, the darkness has to flee. Jesus said we are the light of the world. Don’t hide it, but put it on a hill, so it can be seen and folks will glorify God....The light we have is Jesus on the inside. Without Him, there is only darkness, and all you have to do is look around and we can all see where that is taking us all. 

*Our answer is not somewhere outside of us, it’s the power that is working within us, right now. If we don’t get that right, no one else is going to be able to give it to us. Know what you’ve got, know how to apply it to your daily life. Stop looking for it somewhere around you, He’s closer than the breath of your nostrils, than the next beat of your heart, than your next thought....

The point is, we must allow Jesus to be central to everything.  If you don’t give Him His rightful place, you don’t have what satisfies the deepest longings and yearnings of our lives.

In closing, Let’s make a declaration together.....

”I declare that I will see the light of a new day at the end of this tunnel. I look up at the dark clouds and see the silver lining, for l know without any doubt that there is a silver lining waiting for me. I declare that God didn’t bring me this far to leave me. He will never leave me or forget about me. I know that all things will work together for my good as I continue to love God and seek His calling and His purpose, because He is the constant and faithful One. He is the unchanging one, and He is not God some of the time, or most of the time. He’s God all of the time.

I will always remember that He called me for what He wants to do through me, not just so I can do what I want and have things go the way I want. He’s not God in some things or most things, He’s God in all things. And I need to remember that this means ALL things. MyGod is not a God who wastes, nor does He do anything without a purpose. He is the ultimate redeemer, so I’m getting ready for my life to improve in extreme, and wonderful, new ways.                                                                                                                                                                  I am ready for the new and improved me, handcrafted by God, who has completed me while I am being completed. 

I will be patient and hold steady as He does His work with a sense of expectancy, and I know that He wants to do amazing things, but He will do it in His own way and in His own time. I trust in Him, I have faith and I believe Him. He is not a man that He can lie. He won’t let me down. He knows the plans He has for me, to give me a future and a hope, for the Glory of God.

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 16 2023

Happy Mother’s Day.... The influence of our moms, is foundational in our lives. We owe so much to our mothers. They were our first love. So much wisdom, we thought they knew everything. Many of us would say that our mothers taught us most of what’s good that we know in our lives.                                                                                                        Mom’s have a logic all their own....For example, how many of you remember your mother telling you.....,                                                                                                                             “If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the store with me.” (you think)                                                                                                                                        Our mothers taught us all about nutrition:                                                                            “You better eat your carrots! You never see a bunny rabbit wearing eyeglasses do you?” (now that’s logic that just can’t be argued)                                                                                                 Many of us remember our mothers teaching us all about taking care of our things: “What’s the matter with you? Were you born in a barn?” (No, I don’t actually remember being born)                                                                                                               Our mothers taught us about justice:                                                                                   “One day you’re going to have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU. . then you’ll see what it’s like!” (I’m surprised I even wanted kids after that)                       And perhaps the most important thing our mothers taught us was the value of life and experience:                                                                                                                                      “When you get to be my age, you will understand why I say the things I say to you.” (I guess I’m still not old enough, and I may never be THAT OLD....)

Today I want to speak about “Raising Eagles in a turkey World”                            The thing about turkeys, is that they’re always looking down at the ground, and scratching and pecking out a living. Though they have wings, they only fly in short spurts. Eagles on the other hand live in the high places, they rise up high in the heavens, so they can see for miles and miles. Turkeys live life as victims, Eagles live life as overcomers....Eagles and turkeys have a whole different perspective of life.

The Bible is filled with many stories of great mothers of faith. Mothers who believed and walked in God’s promises. Mothers who stood in faith for their families. Mothers who listened to what God had to say no matter what their situation in life.

The Bible is very clear that behind every great leader, there was a Godly mother of faith who rose above the worst circumstances. Abraham was known for his faith, and is called the father of the faith, but so was his wife Sarah, the mother of Isaac. They only had one son, when physically it was impossible, but this covenant child became heir to a chosen linageof covenant people.

Mary was certainly a mother of faith. She knew that her son Jesus was going to be a great influence in the earth one day. She probably couldn’t see all the steps ahead of her, but she believed in God’s promise that she would be “blessed among women”. She lived a holy life because generations depended on it.

Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was a great mother of faith, too. In her old age, she was barren but She believed in a God of miracles. Most women wouldn’t know what to think, when their husband came home from church, and couldn’t speak, because he’d had a vision at church that day. And he couldn’t say a word, for the next nine months until John the Baptist was born. That would have shaken most women. But Elizabeth believed, and rejoiced, though she was barren, that she was going to have a special child who would be the forerunner of the Christ. 

The Bible is filled with these stories of mothers of faith. And there are countless other mothers, down through the years, who kept their faith and raised their children, in the way God instructed them. Today we’re going to read an unusual story for Mother’s Day. But I think you’ll see why it’s important.

Exodus 2:1-10 ”Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and hid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Her daughter stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then Moses’ sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”                                                                                                                                                 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” Sothe woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

The story of Moses is so famous that we almost forget about the vitalpart that his mother played. Moses’ mother literally saved his life. If it wasn’t for her faith, and her love, and her willingness to risk everything, we would never have had the Ten Commandments. The people of Israel would never have returned to the God their ancestors knew.

If it wasn’t for Moses’ mom, there wouldn’t have been anyone to listen to the voice of God calling out of the burning bush. There wouldn’t have been anyone to stand up to Pharaoh, and force him to let the people go from slavery. Without Moses’ mother, they wouldn’t have made it past the border of Egypt. They wouldn’t have crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They would not have reclaimed their promised land and fulfilled their destiny. 

All those things depended on a mother’s faith. And probably she never dreamed about what her child would grow up to do. But all she neededto do is what she could do, and God would make up the difference. So if you feel like a basket case, this should give you a lot of hope and faith!                                                                                                     

Moses was a slave. So was Moses’ father and Moses was born under slavery. For 400 years their people had been slaves of Egypt. But somewhere, a long time before, their people used to be free. And even though they had forgotten a lot of their religion during the years of slavery, Moses’ mother Jochabed still knew enough, to put God first, no matter what life handed her, not just when she was in trouble. At the time Moses was born, Pharaoh decided there were too many Hebrews in Egypt. Pharaoh was afraid his people were going to becomeoutnumbered because the Hebrew slaves were having so many babies.. 

Pharaoh told the midwives, who delivered the babies, that they were to kill all the male children the very moment they were born. That’s what abortion is doing now. Moses and all of his generation were supposed to be killed. That was Pharaoh’s law. But it says that the midwives all believed in God. They stood up against Pharaoh’s abortion policies, no matter what the cost.                                                                                                                                               Pharaoh asked, “What are all these Hebrew babies still doing around here? I commanded that they be killed...The midwives in order to save the babies, said, “Oh, sir! These Hebrew women, they’re so strong, they give birth before we can even get there!” So it says God blessed the midwives, and gave them children of their own.                                                                                                                    Moses may have started out as a basket case, but He achieved great things and he was able to reach his God given there’s hope for you.   I hear the Holy Spirit saying, that God always has a waythat will get you out of every situation that tries to destroy you! Resist the devil and he must flee from you. It just may be, that God is doing in a way you hadn’t thought of yet!!!

The little baby basket, was sealed with tar, so it was messy, sticky, and ugly.... Listen God will take messy stuff, that may not be pretty, but it will still bring you forth, preserve your life and take you where God intends for you.                                                                                 He will take what Satan meant for evil and turn it for Good.... The tar that was a symbol of their bondage, became the substance that brought freedom and safety. My God will tuck you into the eye of the storm, when destruction is all around, for they shall be in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him..... Godly moms know that stuff, they know what the eye of the storm looks like cause they’ve been there. 

It was a dangerous thing to put a basket with your baby in it, on the Nile river, because we know that there were crocodiles in the river as well as Pharaoh’s soldiers who were going everywhere, killing babies. There will always be crocodiles and dream killers, trying to prevent the blessings of God from coming our way, and interfering with our destiny, if we give in to them. I have heard it said that the enemy of the best in our lives is not always obvious, but often it is disguised as what looks good, feels good, and it’s comfortable, and satisfies the flesh. 

If we are willing to take a stand, God always has an instrument He can use in the most unusual places. Who would have thought that the very daughter of the one who ordered all babies to be slaughtered, would be the one that brought salvation to this family....He makes a way where there is no way!! Who would have thought that the cross, an instrument of death, would become the means of our salvation. 

The Bible tells us that the King of Babylon, that threw the 3 Hebrewboys in the furnace, ended up becoming their defender when he saw the 4th man in the furnace (may the 4th man be with you) The Lord can make you fireproof!....         God used Joseph’s traitor brothers to sell Joseph to Potiphar who made Him a slave, and then He used two fellow prisoners, to get Joseph to the King, in order to fulfill his destiny....Joseph said, what was meant for evil against me, God intended for good....

The King who ordered Daniel to be thrown in the lion’s den, became a believer when he saw that Daniel using the lions as pillows to sleep on, and when he was spared, he was promoted to a high position in the kingdom...and the Pharaoh became a believer in the Lord Jehovah! He said Daniel’s God is my God.

It was their moms, in each case that nurtured in them, a reverence for God and faithfulness to God. It was their moms who exampled it in front of them, 7 days a the good times and the bad times.

When God intends to bless you, You’re going to get blessed! Not only did Moses’ mom save him, but she got paid to nurse and care for her own son, right under the nose of Pharaoh! Because of this Godly woman of faith, the sentence of *death that Moses was born under, was turned into a sentence of life and blessing instead. In the murder’s own house, she was able to give Godly training to her son. Moses became the adopted grandson of Pharaoh himself!! NOW THAT’S MY GOD! And a mom was at the center of it all!                                                                                 Nothing is ever really lost, until even a mother can’t find it!!!

Listen to what God said to Jeremiah.....Jeremiah 31:28 “I the Lord, will now watch over them to build and to plant,” declares the LORD. 29“In those days, it will no longer be said: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge.’

In Jesus name, I break the generational curse off of your family. I break the cycle of death that has been on your linage. You are beginning a new stream, and it stops right here, right now, with you... No more, no more, no further shall it go. It is broken and can go no further!    

Mothers never know what the outcome of their love and care is going to be. But God has called each and every Mom to oversee the giftings and callings of each child so they can grow up to be profitable to God’skingdom and live a life of service to Him.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”......folks send their dogs to training school to learn appropriate behavior....I’m wondering if we should have those same schools required for this entire population, that needs to knowwhat appropriate behavior actually is.... (But then, I’m just ranting)                                                                                                                                                                            There is a Moses of purpose and destiny in every child that is born to every mother.                                                                                                                                                                                                 (speaking of training) People tell me that they don’t want to force their children to come to church. But if you take them to church, and when they are old enough, they decide to not go anymore, that’s on them, not you, they will answer to God. But if you don’t obey God and don’t take them to church where they can hear the gospel, when they are older and don’t go, it’s on you, and you will give account to God!                                                                                                                                          I tried everything to get out of going to church.... I heard that if you put a copper penny under your tongue and it would give you a fever. I put the penny under my tongue and my mom, just said, we’ll get you to church and get you healed....             (then I felt terrible, that I was faking it with if He didn’t know already!!)

2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that was found first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well”. (Mom’s, you go ahead and be contagious with Godliness).....

Proverbs 29:15 “Applying discipline and correction produces wisdom, but a child that is undisciplined brings shame to his mother”.

I’m sure that Jochabed and Amram, Moses dad, had no idea what Moses was going to do when he grew up. The best thing they had to hope for, was that their little boy would simply be alive. The second bestthing they had to hope for, was that he was going to be like them, a slave. That’s what all the other Hebrew children grew up to be.                                                                                                                          But we believe that God has made some promises to every mom!             Ephesians 3:20 “For He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

Moms, it’s not easy, and most of the time you feel you’re moving upstream against the current, and there is always something happening to derail your plans, But your calling is to raise eagles in a world filled with turkeys. And to believe that God’s plans for them, are greater than all the plans that are against them!  Yes, greater is He that is for us than He that is against us!

Jochabed prayed for Moses, even before he was born, and she prayed every day for him. She prayed for him to survive and thrive and be safe – that’s a prayer that all parents can understand. But She also prayed for him to be free....How many children grow up and do well in the world but they’re not free!                                                              There are many kinds of slavery. Slavery to ignorance. Slavery to materialism. Slavery to addiction. Slavery to low expectations. Slavery of not believing change can happen. There’s also slavery to wrong ideas. Slavery is the opposite of free.

Faith is one of the greatest gifts we can ever pass on to our children. Maybe we can’t leave them that much money. Maybe we can’t leave them a business worth a couple of million dollars. But will we pass on to our children our faith? Will they know the God who leads people to be all they were meant to be, the God who blesses people, the God who lifts people up and shows them grace and mercy?                          Will our children know THAT GOD!!! When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He was certainly addressing moms when He said “Loose him and let him go” or “Loose him to be all he can be”

Will they trust God, and walk with God, every day? Will they have, not just the same faith that we have, but will they have even greater faith?

Remember, we’re not just raising kids. We’re raising eagles. Are we praying and believing for our children to rise even higher than we everdid? For they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint!!! 

Jochabed’s child overcame the odds. Every circumstance, every algorithm said that he would be a slave like them. But through the faith she had instilled, her child beat all the odds, and grew up to be a deliverer of his people. He grew up to be the instrument of miracles. He showed God’s power, in ways people had never seen before. He grew up to confront Pharaoh, his adoptive grandfather, who was the most powerful ruler in the world at that time. He stood before him and said “Let my people go” And He became the voice of God to his generation.Oh, yes, this mom, nurtured, and groomed an eagle in the midst of turkeys! You mom’s will have to stand as a modern deliverer and against all the odds say “Let my children go”....


Being a Mother, is truly one of the greatest ministries any person can have. We don’t give it nearly enough honor and respect. We can never repay all that our moms have done for us. Thank God for mothers who will not settle for less, than children that are filled with hope, rich in love, flowing in the Holy Spirit, walking in the power of God, and leading others in the same. One of the greatest privileges in life is to care for those who have invested so much care into us.                                                                               Proverbs 31:28-29 “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

Congregational prayer......Let’s gather around our moms today and bless them as we pray God’s power and presence on their lives and ministry....

Posted by: AT 01:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, May 13 2023

Let’s talk about Sunday.....Why is Sunday the day Believers meet?         Of course there’s the obvious answer... That’s just the way it is!!

(I wouldn’t be much of a pastor if I left you with that answer)             That might  be satisfactory as a religious answer, but not as a bible answer!   Scripture says that pastors are to equip the church to give an account of what they believe....

All around the world, there are believers who are meeting together on Sunday. In the former Soviet Union – In Russia, and in the Ukraine - believers meet on Sunday. They meet on Sunday in India. They meet on Sunday in China. They meet on Sunday in the Philippines. They meet on Sunday in New Zealand, Australia. They meet on Sunday in the mountains of Ecuador, and among the Incas of Peru. They meet on Sunday in Brazil, in the jungles and in the cities. They meet on Sunday all throughout South America. Believers meet on Sunday even in Israel. How did this happen? Why don’t they all meet on different days? 

Why don’t some of them meet on Thursday, and some of them on Tuesday, and some on Wednesday, and others on Saturday? It’s always been this way, across the length and breadth of the Christian church historically. Has anyone else been getting bombarded with the issue of Saturday or Sunday as the day when the church should meet together?

Well, everyday should be holy, but on Sunday our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave and brought us out from under the law, which condemned us and brought us into the grace which redeemed us. But the truth is that we should praise Him on Sunday and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all week long, because every day is holy through our new life in Christ!                               This is Sunday.... and we always meet here on Sunday, and it didn’t happen by accident.                                                                                                     

It’s not only true here at Eagle’s Rest, but it’s pretty much a pattern in churches everywhere in the United States. It’s been the time-honored practice as I said before, around the world, and it goes all the way back to the New Testament time, when the people of God, the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, have worshiped on Sunday. We now celebrate the day that made it all possible, the day He rose from the dead, and conquered death for all who would follow. 

I remember as I was growing up, none of the businesses in my area were ever open on Sunday. Stores were all closed, even if you were a non-believer, you didn’t open on Sunday because of the “Blue Laws” which were put in place by the early Christian settlers, who required that Sunday be a day of rest. (They called it “blue laws”, because it was posted everywhere on blue paper). There were no businesses open, no alcohol could be sold, no organized events, no sports events, and no planned activities in the community on Sunday. It was recognized that way, by our forefathers in England and in Europe, going all the way back to the time of the Reformation and even back before that.                                                                                                                                                   As a kid, Sunday was the most boring day of the week for me!

Folks have minimized Sunday down to a “tickle your religious spirit hour”, so folks can get on with their day and push God back into the background until Sunday rolls around again.. In the last 25 years or so, they have reduced Sunday to a one-hour non-intrusive experience you can have on your way to the beach. You can wear your bathing suit if you want so you don’t have to waste time putting it on. And now, many churches provide a Saturday night service, so you can have the whole day Saturday and Sunday at the beach, or whatever you want to do, and still fit in a religious break, for conscience sake.

Whatever happened to Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added unto you.”

The danger is that regardless of what day of the week or night of the week, we choose to honor, we begin to make it more and more about us, and not about the one we are supposed to be honoring in all of this!

It’s like Christmas, we give presents and give attention to everyone but the one who was born on Christmas. It’s like going to a birthday party and giving gifts to everyone but the one who is having the birthday!

We need to stop making the day of worship about everyone and everything except the one we are to be worshiping and honoring!!!

Colossians 2:13 “When you were dead in your sins, God made you alive in Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge which sin placed against us, which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them through the cross”.

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 

17 These are a shadow of the things that are to come, the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and worship that is not Christ centered, condemn you. Such a person places their experience above the word of God, they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with Christ the head, from whom the whole body, is held together and develops as God causes it to grow”

In other words where is Jesus in it all.... Is He at the center, is Jesus the reason we do what we do?

Saturday, the seventh day or the Sabbath, was the day that God rested from creation. God blessed that day as a day of rest. Every Saturday that comes along is a good day for us to remember, that God is Creator, a day when you should enjoy His creation, and when you can have recreation.  Have a picnic, or play ball, go fishing, go swimming, enjoy the outside, enjoy the creation of God. That was part and parcel of remembering God as Creator.......

Also, when the Mosaic law with the ten commandments, came along, God ordained a Sabbath day for the people to observe and to obey God, and He put some restraints on them to remind them of their sinfulness. So, every Saturday that comes along, has a two-fold causes us to remember God as Creator, and to remember how sinful we really are, because the law condemns us and finds us guilty....

President Coolidge was the 30th president of our country and a man of few words and one Sunday, he got home from church and his wife Grace, asked, “Well what did that preacher preach about today”? Coolidge said “Sin”.... “Well, what did he say about it’ His wife asked.... “He was against it” Coolidge replied....

That’s why Paul said in Colossians 2:16 “Don’t let anybody hold you to the condemnation of the Sabbath day.”

The law of condemnation has been replaced by the new covenant, and the new covenant has been given a new day to celebrate it!

Hebrews 8:12” For I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By speaking of a new covenant, He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete will soon disappear”.                                                                                                       We have been given a new kind of observation, not just observing God as Creator, not just observing God as law-giver, but under His new covenant,God is defining Himself as Savior, Redeemer, Our sacrifice for sin, giver of new life, and Peace maker between man and God.Because He was the fulfiller of the old covenant that was against us, He was able to usher in a new covenant that was for us!

Here we are, 2,000 years later, and the church is still meeting on Sunday. I would say that it is a good indication that the new covenant of God’s grace has triumphed over the old covenant of condemnation.

Matthew 28:28 takes place the day after Saturday - that would be Sunday...           “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, (Sunday) Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.                                                                         And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.        

His appearance was like lightning, his clothing as white as snow; the guards shook for fear of Him, and became like dead men. “The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you’re looking for Jesus whose been crucified. He’s not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 

Go quickly, tell His disciples He is risen from the dead, and behold, He’s going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, behold, I have told you.’ Then they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.’”

It is daybreak on Sunday morning. This is the Sunday when Jesus arose and appeared to Mary Magdalene, and to Mary the mother of James and He makes it clear...Verse 7: “Go quickly and tell My disciples I have risen from the dead.”

Before this day, Sunday had no place of importance on the Jewish calendar, but after this day, Sunday would never be the same again. If you memorialize the day when the earth was created, and the law was given on Saturday, then certainly you would memorialize and hold as special and sacred, the day when the law was replaced with grace, forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life on Sunday!

In the gospels of Luke and John, it was on Sunday that He ascended into heaven to sprinkle His sacrificial, redemptive blood on the mercy seat in heaven, where it would be an eternal unalterable covering for our sins, if we simply believe and accept it. Hallelujah!

It was on Sunday, when the women rushed to tell the disciples the good news. It was on Sunday, that He met the disciples on the road and revealed Himself to them. It was on Sunday that He came into the room where they were hiding for fear and breathed upon them and gave them the preview of the Holy Spirit. It was on Sunday, a week later, that he told Thomas, put your hand in my side, and your finger in the nail prints, it is Me and no other!!!

On Sunday, He set in motion the great commission that they were to go out and proclaim the gospel. He launched, as it were, the unlimited worldwide mission of evangelism by commissioning His disciples and apostles to take the gospel and proclaim it to the ends of the world. And on that Sunday, as I said, He pledged to them that they would have the power of the Holy Spirit as they went forth.

prior to all this, Sunday had absolutely no significance - none. But from that day on, Sunday took on a completely different meaning. Sundays would never be the same again. Sunday became the new covenant celebration of resurrection day, because God had chosen that day as a marker of redemption, grace, and new life in Christ..

It was our spiritual Forth of July, Memorial Day, and New Year’s, all rolled into one! Because He lives, we shall live also!!!

John 14:16: “I will ask the Father, He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive, because it doesn’t know Him or see Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Literally, “I will come to you in the Holy Spirit,” who is the Spirit of Christ.” Jesus makes this promise John 14, John 15, John 16, again, and again, and again.

The Spirit’s going to come. He’s going to take up residence in you. He is literally going to fill you and give you gifts......spiritual gifts and enablements. He’s going to give you power for evangelism. And the Spirit did come as promised. And fascinating, isn’t it, that it happens on the day of Pentecost? This is when the church was born. This is when the disciples were empowered.

And why am I bringing this into the discussion? Did you ever wonder what day of the week that Pentecost happened? It Just happened to be Sunday; it just happened to be Sunday. According to Leviticus 23:16, the Feast of Weeks – Pentecost - was fordedicating the firstfruits of the harvest of wheat - that would be May and June. It’s called Pentecost, (“pente” meaning five), because it occurred fifty days after the Sabbath, which was before the Feast of Firstfruits.

So, you have a Sabbath, plus 50 days - simple calculation. A Sabbath plus 7 Sabbaths = 49 days – or Saturdays, right? So, 50 would be the first day of the next week. And that makes it Sunday again. 

Pentecost happened on a Sunday”. The empowering of the Church, and the commissioning of the Church all took place on a Sunday.

So we can see that God filled Sunday with the most significant events in the founding of the church, namely the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the empowering by the Spirit of God. The events of the resurrection, and the birthing of the church, the empowerment of the church, and the completion of salvation - these glorious foundational realities are at the very heart of our Identity as the children of God, the redeemed of the Lord, and secured our victory that overcame Death, Hell and the grave!   

There are many who say that the new testament Christians continued to meet on Saturday as they did in the old testament, but The New Testament Christians met on Sunday, to honor all that we have been looking at.                                                  In Acts 20:6 Luke writes that along with Paul, “We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to believers at Troas within five days and stayed there seven days.” v7 “On the first day of the week, (Sunday) we gathered together to celebrate communion” -

We are the people of the New Covenant.... Jesus took away the old and put the new in place. He put the old covenant of condemnation, under the blood of the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. We are not under the Mosaic law anymore. You’re not under the constraints, and ceremonies, and regulations, and restrictions of the Mosaic covenant.

Oh yes, you can still, honor the seventh day, Saturday, as the day that the Lord created everything in six days, and enjoy His creation to the fullest. I think that’s a wonderful thing we shoulddo. You can still be reminded that it was the law of God that exposed our sins, and let us know that in ourselves we could not change it and it’s good to remember that without Christ, we aresinners.

A very wealthy old man was dying and he summoned his doctor and his lawyer. They were flattered, thinking that he would be giving them something in his will, so the Lawyer asked him, what service they could render. The old man said... “Sirs, as I was reading the bible to prepare myself for the end, I discovered that Jesus was crucified between two thieves, so I thought I would go out the same way!!!

Well, I want to Praise God, that Sunday shouts out to everyone.... “He whom the Son sets free, is FREE INDEED! We’ve been set free from the thief who comes to kill, steal and destroy!

The early church was so excited about the new covenant they had been given in Christ, they didn’t just worship on Sunday...which they did do. Acts 2:46: “They continued daily with one mind, in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people.”

Well, eventually this first day of the week became so precious to the church that it got its own Christian name. Turn to Revelation chapter 1 - 

in verse 9 – John is on the isle of Patmos for preaching the Word of God and sharing the testimony of Jesus. He has been exiled there by the enemies of the gospel.                                                                                               And he says in verse 10: “I was in the Spirit on -  “the Lord’s Day” – So, since that time, Sunday has been known as “The Lord’s Day”..... May we all be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and every day!!!

Paul continues to share His vision....“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, the sound of a trumpet.”  He turns around and sees Christ ministering among the candlesticks, which represent His church. This is the Lord of the church serving His church, and John got the vision of the Lord moving in His church on Sunday, on the Lord’s Day. John had a lot of visions in the book of Revelation. None of them is identified with a day, none of them, except this one of Christ and the church.Thank God He’s coming for a glorious church, a New Covenant Church, redeemed, working the works of Christ, filled with the Spirit, and overcoming the forces of darkness, in His name!!!

(Prayer) Father, thank You again for Your Word, for the refreshing of it, the beauty of it, the simplicity of it, and the richness of it, the consistency of it overwhelms us. And even though we study it week after week, year after year, it comes to us with a kind of freshness that brings joy to our hearts. This is Your day. We want to fill it with all the things that focus on You, delighting in You, loving You, loving Your people, loving Your truth. Setting our hearts aside from the things of the world, setting our affections on things above - to be determined, of course, not by what we don’t do, but what we do; to be determined not by what we’re not allowed to do, but what our hearts long to do. This is Your day. May all of our lives be filled with a special, understanding of how wonderful is the weekly reminder of our eternal salvation built in to the Lord’s Day. Give us a love for it because it comes forth out of you. We thank You, in Christ’s name.

Posted by: AT 03:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 02 2023

We Were Created For Blessing

I want us to notice the very first thing God did after He made Adam and Eve, Genesis 1:28-31. “GOD BLESSED THEM”                                         When God breathed the breath of life into man, the word is Ru-ach which means God put His own life in the man. The blessing here is all that God set in motion from that time forth, to benefit mankind...                            It was His intention before He shaped you, before there was anything of you....that you experience His life and continually benefit from His blessings. It has always been so and it will always be so.....                                                                                                   I want us to see that blessing is different than success because it originates with and comes out of God, and not us. It doesn't start with me. It's about His grace which I don’t deserve. It's different than prosperity because it is blessings that are given, so I can bless others. And it's not about showing how blessed I am but instead, it always points to Him. Every blessing points to the BLESSER HIMSELF! It always points to the source....                                                                                                  Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let Us (in the Hebrew language, “God” is never singular) Let Us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in His Own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.                                                                                                                        So what is the first thing you needed to do to be blessed..... Well, according to Just need to be born! God has always desired for you to be blessed and He always will be looking for ways to bless you! 

Because everyone is made in the image of God, every person on the planet matters to God. However, to move forward in our faith, we must go back to the beginning. No building is any better than it’s foundation...Get the foundation right and the building will be strong...    We have an amazing beginning because our God is an amazing God.                                                               Genesis 1:28 “And fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.                       30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 

When God says it, that settles it. He says what He means and He means what He says. 

He is our beginning and He is our origin, we can only befulfilled when we put Him first in our lives. He’s not a side dish, He’s the main course.. He’s not an addition to our lives, He wants to be at the center of our lives.

If the beginning was God’s idea, then everything in between is covered by His plan.

We are created in His image, and our greatest purpose is not to work an 8 to 5 job, or to make money, and have things, Ourgreatest purpose is to reflect, reveal, and represent Him. By the way, most of us don’t own that car we drive, the house we live in, and many other things, we enjoy. Probably the bank does. He who dies with the most toys doesn’t win!!! 

Being made in the image of God involves having a personality, morality, spirituality, and the responsibility to respond to Him, our world and to those who are in it.

Genesis 1:28 “And He said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number”, (This is the part of the blessing we really grabbed onto, saint and sinner, OH, we like this commandment) In spite of the fact that earth’s inhabitants have broken nearly every one of God’s commandments, it’s fair to say humankind has kept at least one of them, which is to “be fruitful and multiply!” We really have been serious about multiplying! Wouldn’t it be amazing if we were as good with all the rest of His requirements as we were about this! The population of our planet has reached 8 billion people! But those are not just numbers, they are eternal souls that will spend all of eternity somewhere.                                                                                

Because we have a soul, a spirit, and a will, we possess dignity and value. Deuteronomy 28:1—_“And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all His commandments, which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high.” (bless, promote, and elevate you)

There is no one like you and there will never be another you. 

Unless we are related to the Creator through the new birth,which Christ made possible by His death on the cross, our lives will lack meaning and purpose and fulfillment.                                                                       If angels exercise their wills against God, they are given no second chance, they are cast out. If people choose against God, the grace of God continues to draw them as long as they have breath. The grace of God is unique to mankind. Scripture tells us we were made higher than the angels, What a blessing is that. We are the recipients of the blessing of His grace and mercy.  

In the words of Saint Augustine, “You have created us for Yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You!” You see, when Jesus died on the cross and rose to present His sacrifice to the Father, His cross became the bridge we can now cross over from the curse to the blessing!

You will never look into the eyes of someone or ever meet anyperson who does not matter to God. 

Something that I would like to jump to and look at, regarding these many blessings, is found in 

Deuteronomy 28:2 “The Lord through Moses said, “And all these blessings shall run after you, and overtake you as you go.”

Location doesn’t matter, age doesn't matter, and there are no time limits on these blessings. Yes, God’s word is saying that the blessings of God will be so abundant, that these blessings will actually chase us down and overtake us in the way that we go. 

That word, overtake, means “to take hold of.” These blessings will come upon and us and take hold of us. In other words, if your faith is anchored in Christ and the Cross, you cannot outrun these blessings. Let that sink in for a moment! If your faith is anchored correctly in Christ and Him crucified, then you cannot outrun the blessings of God! Wherever the obedient, surrendered Christian goes, who’s walking in the word, blessings are sure to follow. God will find someone, somehow to get His blessing to you.                                        

Deuteronomy 28:2, He said that not only will the blessings overtake you, but “you’ll be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. Your family and children will be blessed, and all that belongs to you will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and when you go out and when you get up and when you lay down”.


Hallelujah! What a promise!

When God starts commanding, something’s going to move! No irresistible force, or immovable object can withstand when He commands!                                                                                             Deuteronomy 28:8 says: “The Lord shall COMMAND the blessings TO OVERTAKE AND COMEupon you.”                           How phenomenal is that! At this very moment, if you will believe Him, He is commanding blessings to come your way and settle upon you....... IN OTHER WORDS, YOU BETTER GET READY TO BE BLESSED.....Hallelujah! What a promise!.

A mother had taken her young toddler to the beach. She and her son were having a great time playing on the beach, kicking around the sand, and just have fun exploring. The toddler saw a quarter. She grabbed the shiny object, and put it in her mouth, and tried to swallow it, and she began to choke. Mom, began to panic. “Help me! Please somebody! Help my little baby,” she cried. A man on the beach heard her andgrabbed the toddler by the chest, wrapped his arms around her, and gave a quick squeeze. Out popped the quarter. The mom was grateful and very relieved and She thanked the man profusely, and said, “It’s a miracle! God be praised. Wouldn’t you know he placed a doctor here just so my baby would be saved?” “Oh, I’m not a doctor, ma’am,” he said. “I’m from the IRS. And I’m good at Getting people to cough up money,that’s what I do!” God can even use the IRS to bless you!!!The blessings of God will overtake you wherever you go!

Scripture says, “Give and it shall be given unto you, full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, it shall be given back to you..... The bible is not saying God is trying to get money out of us, but He’s trying to get blessingsto us....

It gets better! Listen to what the Holy Spirit says:                   

Deuteronomy 28:8 “The LORD shall command His blessings upon you in your storehouses, (your bank account your cabinets, your closets, your real estate, and your stocks, bonds and CD’s) and in all that you set your hand unto, (all your efforts and projects) and He shall bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you (the land will be blessed because you are there).”                                                    God is commanding your blessing to get to you!                                                                           I can’t say it any better than what has already been said. If you believe this, then God, right now, at this very moment, is commanding blessings upon you!(Somebody lift up your hand and receive it)

Deuteronomy 28:11 declares, “The LORD will make you plenteous in goods.” He’s saying that we will have plenty of what we need. 

God is not talking about feeding our greeds, but He wants to meet our needs, and that we will be able to be generous to others, just as He wants to be generous to us.

I’ve found that if I take care of God’s business He takes care of my business!.  

If your job sent you on a trip to negotiate a deal for the company, or to attend an important company meeting, you would expect them to pick up the tab, and not expect to pay ityourself. God is saying here that He will cover your expenses, and make sure you’re taken care of when you’re on a mission for Him. That includes your medical, your transportation, your food, and everything else....You would be shocked when you got home, to get a bill for some part of your trip since it was a company trip. 

Deuteronomy 28:12 says ”THE LORD SHALL OPEN UNTO YOU HIS GOOD TREASURE... and you shall lend to many, and you shall not borrow’.

If we could get our head around it, God’s treasure does not diminish, even if millions of people draw out of it... That’s what the next scripture tells us in

Philippians 4:19 ”My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. Notice it didn’t say “out of His riches” but according to His riches. In other words, it’s never going to run out or diminish, no matter what or how much the need.  (can someone say “He said “all my needs”)....                                               I look out my window and the birds are eating. I look out 20 minutes later and they’re still eating. Birds are eating all the time. God feeds the birds, He can feed you.... Birds don’t get ulcers like people do, worrying about what they will eat! You couldn’t afford the doctor, so He kept you well.... You couldn’t afford a car, so He provided you a motor bike....You didn’t have groceries so someone called and took you out to eat....You didn’t have a job, so He provided one.... He’s commanding blessings your way!                         

So, what is raising the dead to life worth.....What is it worth for the lame to walk, or the deaf to hear or the blind to see...What’s that worth? And we haven’t touched on the value of cleansing a leper, or turning a little boy’s lunch into enough to feed 5,000 men plus women and children.... And that is just a few among so many blessings He accomplished... You see, that’s according to His riches, according to His power, “Will He not freely give you all these things”....When he fed the multitude, with a little boys lunch, he had 12 baskets full left over. (tell someone, he wants you to have left over blessings)

Romans 8:32 He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us things? How many are ready for an “All things” blessing?

Who in the world would offer their own son’s life to save someone else’s life? No one...... but God did that, so that we would have access to His supply. 

How many are ready for an “All things” blessing?

That’s about God’s favor.... Grace is the blessing of doors of opportunity that God opens in our lives. Favor is when God makes a way for you in your life where there was no way. You could not have made it happen....but God providing the solution to your problems, when it looked like there was no solution... Grace is the way maker in your life, and Favor is the miracle worker! He’s the light in the darkness when you can’t find your way!

How would your life look if you were surrounded, all day and every day, by God’s grace and favor? How different would things be if doors opened for you, and you walked through each one covered with God’s favor? Would your actions and attitudes in every situation be any different if you knew beyond any doubt that His favor lies ahead, because you are one of God’s favorites? Well friend, if you have received Christ, you Already Have That Kind of Favor.                                   

(Ephesians 2:8)“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the free gift of God’s favor” 

God’s favor covers every area of our lives! We walk in God’s favor by believing His word and trusting His character, that He cannot lie, or He would not be God. If the moment ever came when God was untrustworthy undependable, untruthful, unreliable or unbelievable, He would have to resign from being God.                           Isaiah 26:4 “I will trust Adonai forever, for He is the Rock of Ages.”

His very name “Adonai” means “the unmovable One” or “Rock of Ages”...

the word for trust in the Hebrew language, is “Bitachon”... or the act of placing your expectations, your hopes, your dreams, your desires and your very life into His care....

Joseph found Bitachon in prison and the King put him over all his possessions, so that Joseph was second only to the king. 

Paul found Bitachon in jail, and he and Silas were able to walk out the prison doors and lead the jailer and his family to Christ.

When Abraham had no children at 90 yrs old, God’s Bitachonopened Sarah’s womb gave him and his wife a child.

When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, God’s Bitachon kept the lions from harming him, and he used them for a pillow...

What can trust in His favor do for you today? 

If you want to move up to the graduate level of blessings. Jesus says, "Bless those who curse you." Jesus washed Judas’ feet. Have you ever tried really doing that—and making it a way of life? On our own we can't do that, but Jesus can do that through us. 

God's dream is that we become His blessing factory, that this place, the church with all its damaged goods, broken lives, and incomplete dreams, becomes the church of the blessing because a blessing can change a life forever.

A writer named Mary Ann Bird wrote the following article..

She says she grew up knowing she was different. She was born with a cleft palate. When she started school, herclassmates made it clear how she looked to others. She was the Little girl, with the misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech. When schoolmates asked, 'What happened to your lip?' She'd tell them she had fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than be born different. She was convinced nobody outside her family could love her. But,Then there was a teacher in the second grade we all adored, Mrs. Leonard. Annually we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everybody in the class. Finally, it was Mary’sturn. She knew from past years as they stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper, and we'd have to repeat it back, something like, 'The sky is blue' or 'Do you have new shoes?' Mary waited there for the words. God must have put in the teacher’s mouth those seven words that changed her life. (SEVEN WORDS) Mrs. Leonard said in a whisper, 'I wish you were my little girl.'"Wow, what powerful words of blessing to a young girl that didn’t feel wanted, or needed....

I would like us all to go to someone and in these closing moments, speak a blessing over someone today....I will have the scriptures  of blessing on the screen....for all of us to read together...Tell them “I want to bless you today”.....

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 13:20-21 May the God of peace who raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, keep building yourself up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 and keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy, grace and favor of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:18 May Christ dwell in your heart through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may comprehend the length and width and height and depth of the love of Christ, and be filled with all the fullness of God.…In Jesus name, Amen

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