Thursday, October 31, 2013

Disciples are Mature Not Immature

Scripture: Ephesians 4:13c & 14a

to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.… As a result, we are no longer to be children, 

Insights: The third positive and negative coupling deals with maturity and immaturity.  Tuesday we learned that disciples are unified and yesterday we learned the key to such unity is knowledge in the Son of God.  This knowledge is developed through a love relationship with Jesus which grows by spending time with Him in Bible study and prayer.  Today we will discover the character trait of those who strive for unity and that trait is maturity.  You will know when you are beginning to mature when your life begins to display the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  This fruit will begin to manifest itself in your life as your grow in your relationship with Jesus (the knowledge we learned about yesterday).  As you mature and know Jesus better you will strive for unity in the Body of Christ because you will be desiring His will and not your own.  The opposite negative character trait is immaturity.  Notice Paul describes these types of believers as children.  Now, let me say this clearly, children are great.  I can’t wait to bring mine home when we finish this adoption process, but they are still children.  Their entire world revolves around one thing—themselves.  It is kind of cliché, but what does a child with a toy do if he/she does not get his/her own way?  They take his/her toy and go home.  This sad truth is often the case in the church.  A person is not growing up in Jesus the way he ought, as a result he is immature in his faith.  Because of this immaturity, he wants his way regarding church decisions and practices.  Jesus, however, has a different plan and the person does not get his way.  Instead of recognizing Jesus work and growing in his relationship with Him, he gets mad and attempts to cause division in the church.  When this effort fails, he gets even madder and leaves the church which causes further division and complication in the life of the congregation.  All of this could have been avoided if those mature Christians had used their spiritual gifts and discipled this immature Christian in his relationship with Jesus.  Beloved, Paul is writing these verses because these issues were just as real in Paul’s day as they are presently.  We must encourage each other to grow in Jesus. 

  1. Does your life exhibit the fruit of the Spirit?
  2. Are you more prone to get upset and leave the church and find another one rather than work through the issues?
Prayer: Father, mature me in Jesus through Your Spirit.  Help my relationship challenges to be worked through because of the maturity You are instilling my life.  As a result of Your life change in me, may You be brought glory. Amen.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Disciples are Knowledgeable Not Ignorant

Scripture: Ephesians 4:13b & 14b

and in the knowledge of the Son of God … tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, 

Insights: The second positive and negative coupling deals with knowledge and ignorance.  Disciples are knowledgeable of the Son of God, Jesus.  I have written this thought before, but it bears repeating.  The Triune God is infinite in being and character.  Many believe that when we get to heaven we will know everything.  I think that notion is an incorrect interpretation of that verse (1 Cor. 13:12).  I think the point Paul is striving to make is that the sin bearer will be removed and we will have the capacity to learn truth about God in and unhindered state.  I bring all of this up to say in eternity we will continue to learn more and more about the character and nature of Jesus because He is infinite.  Until we enter into heaven we have as our primary, and only authoritative, tool for knowing Jesus found in the Bible.  We ought to wake up each morning excited about what we are going to learn from the Word of God that day.  What new truth about Jesus will we discover that will richly impact our intimacy with Him.  The more we know about Him the less the negative aspect will come into play.  It is those who are ignorant of what the Scriptures have to say that are tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.  Before I offend my reading audience, ignorance is not the same as stupidity.  An ignorant person may be very intelligent.  I don’t think, for example, that I am stupid (now I may not be the brightest bulb in the bundle and my elevator may not go all the way to the top floor), but I am ignorant to a great many things.  To further illustrate this ignorance in my life: I know absolutely nothing about automobiles or for that matter anything mechanical.  My father was a mechanic and I did not learn a single thing through being born of his blood and I did not invest the time to learn because I enjoy my blissful ignorance toward the automobile.  Beloved, the primary area in which we must not be ignorant is the personal relationship found in Jesus Christ that is cultivate through a daily abiding with Him and growing in His Word.  Do not let excuses or bad habits prevent you from daily seeking Him out in the Bible.  Grow every day in your walk with Jesus. 

  1. Are you growing in your relationship with Jesus and daily learning more about Him?
  2. Are you easily swayed to believe anything someone tells you?
Prayer: Father, ground me in the knowledge found in the Bible and give me the wisdom to not be easily entangled in the deceptive words of those who would lead me away from Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Disciples are Unified Not Divided

Scripture: Ephesians 4:13a & 14c

until we all attain to the unity of the faith…by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 

Insights: Over the next three days I will be giving a positive side of Paul’s instruction from verse thirteen and the opposite negative side from verse fourteen.  Yesterday we learned that disciples are gifted and the purpose of that giftedness.  Today we see that disciples are also unified and not divided.  Notice in verse thirteen that we are striving to by unified in faith.  Unity does not mean uniformity.  The aspect of faith tells us we are unified under the banner of Christ Jesus and His purposes.  Let me give an illustration from church life regarding unity and division.  A church is in the process of seeking the will of the Lord.  During these initial stages of the conversation the congregants are expressing different opinions and ideas.  Sometimes these thoughts are diametrically in opposition to other peoples perspectives.  Over time, however, a dominant opinion is decided and the church as a whole collectively agrees to walk the direction they sense the Lord Jesus would have them go.  At this point, by faith, those who disagreed with the decision would become unified to this purpose and would be huge supporters of the direction the body of Christ sensed came from the Lord.  This first part of the illustration is the positive and biblically accurate example of unity.  Unfortunately, all too often the negative perspective of division comes into place.  The church has made their decision and instead of being on board with the direction the church senses they ought to go these individuals fall prey to becoming men of trickery and rely on deceitful scheming to undermine and hinder the work the church has agreed to pursue.  These crafty men do this work by getting that wonderful phone line burning up with their divisive words.  In other words, they are rallying their troops to oppose and cause disruptions to the unified purpose the church has stepped out in faith to accomplish.  I believe when we write the truthfulness of these scenarios out it becomes very clear which one of these perspectives of which Lord Jesus would be in support.  Beloved, obviously, the Lord desires unity for His church.  Thursday we are going to learn the trait that those who strive for unity possess and see the negative reciprocal character trait that those who strive for division also possess.  Tomorrow we are going to see the key to that trait which leads to unity.  Beloved, let us be unified in Jesus! 

  1. Would others characterize your life as one of unity or division?
  2. Are you known for stirring the pot or striving for reconciliation?
Prayer: Father, it is so easy to fall into the trap of causing division.  Guard my heart and help me to live in unity with my brothers and sisters.  Be glorified as we display Your love and grace to each other. Amen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Disciples are Gifted

Scripture: Ephesians 4:11-12

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 

Insights: This week’s Thoughts by Scott deal with the subject of disciples.  It is my prayer and blessing that all Christians live these positive characteristics out in their walk with Jesus.  Today’s verses give us the first part of the characteristics that are true of disciples.  If you are truly born again and are redeemed from your sin that so enslaved you, then the Holy Spirit has come to reside in your heart.  When He entered into your life He became your spiritual gift.  He manifests Himself in your life in any manner of giftedness He deems will benefit the Kingdom of God best.  He may manifest Himself in your life with the gift of teaching or intersession, but He Himself is the gift God has given you.  In today’s verses we discover three reasons the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in your life in this kind of fashion.  First, He gives you gifts in order to equip the saints.  Babies in Christ Jesus don’t know their gift mix nor do they know how to obediently serve the Master.  It takes those more mature in their faith to come along side of them and equip them.  They are being equipped for the second reason gifts are given.  Second, God gives you gifts in order to serve Him with good works.  Babies are equipped by more mature believers for the direct purpose of having those babies grow and become servers in God’s Kingdom.  Unfortunately, many “saved” people like being feed spiritual milk from a bottle and do not wish to learn their spiritual gift mix so that they can stay safe and comfortable in the pew.  God, however, did not save us to just sit and be content in doing God a favor by showing up Sunday mornings.  He called us to serve.  The third reason gifts are given helps these babies in Christ to get up and serve and that reason is encouragement.  The body of Christ is being built up by receiving encouragement from other believers.  In this world we face all kinds of troubles and often times we are so beat down by the world we feel as if we are not able to serve God faithfully.  It is at those times the church needs to encourage others.  Beloved, learn your gift mix and obey the Father. 

  1. Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) is/are?
  2. Are you using your gift(s) to impact the lives of those around you?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I am just a pew sitter and not about obediently serving You.  Convict my heart and help me to realize exactly what You desire for me to do and give me the courage to obey You. Amen.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Let Your Hope Be Known

Scripture: Matthew 9:13

"But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Insights: What is needed of you?  Well, first of all you need to know that you can do this!  Those false barriers we looked at this week do not need to hold you back from sharing the love of Jesus to a lost world.  You do not have to be a preacher or Sunday School teacher to tell others about Jesus.  You can use Matthew’s plan for reaching his friends.  What did Matthew do?  He invited people to his home.  He gave them refreshments.  He told them about Jesus and gave his testimony.  He invited them to accept Jesus.  The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is basically asking you to do the same thing.  There are six steps they would ask you to follow.  They are: 

1.      Sign-up to be a Matthew and attend the training sessions.
2.      Look Around and identify friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, and family members who do not   know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
3.      Look Up and pray every day for each person you identified.
4.      Look Out for opportunities to build your relationship with these people.
5.      Look Forward to the event: Invite every person you identified.  Play the DVD of Billy Graham’s crusade.  Share your 3 minute prepared testimony story, and pray for God’s help as you ask your friends if they want the kind of hope that you have—then lead them to Jesus.
6.       Look After those who gave their lives to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. 

Beloved, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has been holding these “My Hope” parties around the world since 2002.  On average two people have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior at each one of these house crusades.  Can you image the impact that a church could have on a community if over half our church members participated in this event and we experienced those same kinds of results?  It is my prayer that we do not let a single excuse hold us back from being like Matthew.  May we all share the love of Jesus with those that desperately need Him. 

  1. Are you willing to be a “Matthew” and partner with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?
  2. If not, what is holding you back from letting your hope in Jesus shine forth to a lost world?
Prayer: Father, bless this crusade with Billy Graham.  Lord, may millions of people come to know Jesus Christ across America as your children let their hope in Your Son become known to other people who do not know Him as Lord and Savior.  May You be brought glory through this ministry opportunity. Amen.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Barrier 4 to Witnessing

Scripture: Matthew 9:13

"But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Insights: The fourth barrier that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has identified is the thought: Some people are too sinful for God to forgive.  In today’s verse Jesus stated the very purpose for which He came to earth—to call sinners.  In the eyes of these Pharisee’s with which Jesus is speaking Matthew is the worst kind of reprobate.  In their minds because Matthew chose to become a tax collector he betrayed his people.  From a certain point of view their judgments were correct.  As a result, these Pharisees would definitely have believed in this fourth barrier.  After all Matthew cheated his own people by collecting too much tax from them in order for him to live a sinful lifestyle.  Jesus, however, loved Matthew in spite of his sinful lifestyle.  God loves this world and does not want them to perish in their sins.  Jesus came to save sinners, period.  In God’s economy there is no scale of sin.  In other words, murder is not a more heinous sin than gossiping.  Both are sin and miss the mark of God’s perfect standard.  One bad thought is all it takes to make one deserving of death in the lake of fire in God’s economy.  It is those of us here on earth that creates the sin scale.  So, you could be a homosexual, abortion performing, adulterous perusing drug addict who is an ex-convict and Jesus still died for you.  There is no such thing as a person too sinful for God to forgive.  His love is amazing and His grace and offer of eternal life is always present because He does not desire for any to perish and spend eternity away from Him and His love.  We in the church do not always do a good job of communicating this reality.  Often times we are more known for what we don’t believe than for what we really do believe.  Beloved, let us go forth into this world today and let the love of Jesus shine forth from our lives.  Let us dispense God’s grace to every one we meet and let the sweet fragrance of Jesus permeate our lives. 

  1. Do you now understand the absolute lie of this final barrier?
  2. Are you grateful for the amazing grace and love God has for you no matter what sins you have committed?
Prayer: Father, I am so unworthy of Your love, yet You give it.  Thank You for forgiving me of my sins.  Thank You for saving me even when I was Your enemy full of rebellion and sin.  You truly are amazing and I am grateful You are my Father. Amen.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Barrier 3 to Witnessing

Scripture: Matthew 9:11-12

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 

Insights: The third barrier that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has identified is the thought: I will be criticized by others or embarrassed of people do not respond.  Matthew was so happy about being a follower of Jesus that he had a party and invited everyone, especially those who needed Jesus.  As we read today’s verses we see that Matthew was criticized, but there were great results.  Just like with Matthew, the same is true of us.  If we look more closely, is it really Matthew who is be criticized and rejected or Jesus?  Jesus was the real focus of the meeting and controversy.  Beloved, I would love to tell you this third barrier did not exist, but it does.  What we need to come to understand, however, is this barrier is not really a barrier at all.  People are facing eternity in the lake of fire separated from the love of God if they don’t come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  If we don’t share, then who will?  Their eternity is at stake.  All that is at stake for you is a little discomfort that will soon pass.  In comparison to these two extremes, I don’t believe there really is a barrier.  The story of Matthew implies that sinners confessed their sins and received forgiveness from Jesus.  Also by inference we can deduce that new believers met other followers of Jesus and were established in their new faith.  What do you think this party did for Matthew’s faith?  I believe he grew spiritually.  One last thought, after Jesus responds to the Pharisees criticism there does not appear to be any more opposition that evening.  In other words, the critics were silenced.  Now it is important to understand that the critics were not silenced by Matthew, but by Jesus.  This same truth is found today as well.  In the end, Jesus will silence every critic who condemns or attempts to embarrass us for sharing the love of Jesus.  Beloved, let me say again, this third barrier is not really a barrier.  Share the love of Jesus lavishly.

  1. Which do you desire more, the temporary approval of your lost friends which will die and spend eternity in the lake of fire or the “thank you” from them if they receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
  2. In other words, are you afraid of their temporary earthly criticism and rejection more than the eternal separation you will experience of they don’t come to know Jesus?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for fearing criticism, rejection and embarrassment.  Increase my faith and grant me boldness to share the love of Jesus in spite of the possible earthly consequences. Amen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Barrier 2 to Witnessing

Scripture: Matthew 9:10

Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.
Insights: The second barrier that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has identified is the thought: I am not trained to tell people about Jesus.  It is too hard for me to do.  Remember these barriers are thoughts people often times presume to be true about witnessing.  The individual that lets this barrier prevent them from telling others about Jesus fall into the mindset of “I wouldn’t know what to say to someone one” or “the other person might ask me a question I don’t know the answer to.”  Luke 12:11-12 states, “‘When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.’”  The way one ought to approach witnesses is the way Matthew did.  He used what he had to introduce others to Jesus Christ: his home, his food, and his relationships.  More than likely you have these three same resources.  You too can invite those relationships over to your house and feed them a meal or even just finger-foods and then put in a DVD of “My Hope with Billy Graham.”  Matthew had Jesus there to answer question, you have a DVD.  Matthew also did not forget his old associates (tax collectors, sinners, family, friends, and neighbors).  He invited every one of them over to his house to hear about Jesus.  You ought to do the same.  One last thought, let’s say you are not participating in “My Hope with Billy Graham,” then you still have the same three resources.  You still have the promise of Luke 12:11-12.  Do what Matthew also did, he shared what he found in Jesus, and it was a powerful witness for Jesus Christ.  You know what Jesus has done in your life.  Now, go and tell other people of the great life change He has made in you.  Beloved, I promise you, the joy, excitement and blessing you will receive for sharing Jesus with another individual is life changing and amazing.  Pray for God to reveal with whom you ought to share Jesus today. 

  1. Are you buying into the lie that you don’t have enough information to tell someone else about Jesus?
  2. Are you willing to repent and start living life Jesus’ way and begin telling others about the gospel?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for not trusting Your Holy Spirit to fill me with the words to say to another individual about Your Son, Jesus.  Please, Lord, grant this request, fill me with boldness and confidence as I share the Good News of Jesus with those around me. Amen.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Barrier 1 to Witnessing

Scripture: Matthew 9:9

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and followed Him. 

Insights:  Little River Baptist Church is participating with “My Hope with Billy Graham” for his final crusade.  This week’s Thoughts by Scott come from a sermon the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) suggested pastors preach to their congregations as a preparation tool for this crusade in November.  The sermon is titled Matthew and Friends.  The BGEA have identified four barriers many people presume to be true about witnessing.  Matthew’s story found in his gospel addresses these barriers.  Barrier 1: People are not interested in the gospel of Christ and will not respond.  Jesus looked deeply into Matthew’s lonely life and spoke to him.  Lost people are lonely whether they have identified this reality or not.  God created them for a relationship with Him and there is a void in their life until He fills it.  That loneliness creates pain and hurt.  Jesus looked past the superficial when He looked at Matthew and saw a lonely individual that wanted to be saved.  This statement is true of most lost people.  Matthew followed Jesus immediately and invited others: the poor, the tax collectors, and sinners.  In today’s verse we see Matthew positively responding to Jesus.  He was truly interested in what Jesus had to say and responded by following Him and leaving his profession.  People try to hide their needs so others do not see them.  But Jesus sees, and He knows how to help those who are hurting.  We are a people that wear masks.  We pretend to the world that everything is fine in our lives, but down deep we are desperately sinking in our sin.  Even Christ-followers fall prey to this vile game of pretend.  Jesus knows that we are still attempting to hide from Him and cover our sin as Adam and Eve did in the garden.  Their fig leaves did not cover up their sin and neither do our masks.  Beloved, because Jesus is the need every human being has, don’t prequalify people and say, “(insert name) is not interested” or “(insert name) will not respond.”  Rather be like Jesus and just invite others to follow Him.  You be the instrument of proclamation and leave the results to the Holy Spirit and His convicting power. 

  1. Have you bought into the lie that people are not interested in the gospel of Christ and will not respond?
  2. Are you willing to repent and start living life Jesus’ way and begin telling others about the gospel?
Prayer: Father, we humans set up all kinds of barriers, excuses or lies as to why will not witness to other people.  Forgive me when I let one of these barriers prevent me from sharing Your love.  Increase my boldness and grant me opportunities to share Your gospel. Amen.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Tears of Heaven

Scripture: Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Insights: Wednesday night Brother Joe preached on The Tears of Heaven found in Revelation 20:10-21:8. He did not have points to his sermon as he had the previous four sermons. Rather he painted this picture with verbal eloquence to help us visualize that horrific event in history future called the Great White Throne Judgment. It is Brother Joe’s theological position, as well as mine, that believers will be called as witnesses against those being condemned. What these believers will do is give testimony as to when they personally shared the love of Jesus with these individuals who rejected the Lord God’s grace. These believers will be present when the Lord Jesus passes judgment and has them cast into the lake of fire which is the second death. In that moment there will be a great deal of pain and sorrow in the heart of the believer. The history future, however, does not stop there—thank the Lord! We then move into chapter twenty-one and the new heaven and the new earth come on the scene. New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven adorned and made ready as a bride for her husband. God then declares that He will dwell with His people and He shall come and wipe away all tears. When the Lord does this gracious act of mercy we are told in today’s verse that death, sorrow, crying and pain will no longer be upon us. It is Brother Joe’s conviction, as well as mine, that when the Lord wipes those tears He is wiping the thought of those loved ones that were sentenced to eternal damnation in the lake of fire from our minds. If the Lord did not perform this love act, could you imagine the pain and sorrow you would experience on a daily basis throughout all of eternity as you thought about those that you loved in everlasting pain? It would be unbearable, but God in His love and mercy wipes those tears away and from that point on we will be consumed with His love and His glory. It would, however, Beloved, be better if you did not have to experience that pain at all. The only way for that to happen is for you to share the love of Jesus with those around you. Unless they hear the Good News, they cannot be saved. Share Jesus today!


1. Are you sharing your faith with those who do not have a relationship with Jesus?
2. Can you possibly imagine the pain and sorrow you will feel at the Great White Throne Judgment for the soul that dies without Jesus because you refused to share Jesus with them?

Prayer: Father, You desire that none should perish, but that everyone have eternal life in Jesus Christ Your Son. Lord, open my eyes to the truth and embolden me to share the love of Jesus with those who do not have a relationship with You. Amen.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Greatest Possible Decision

Scripture: John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. r God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Insights:  Tuesday night Brother Joe preached on The Greatest Possible Decision found in John 3:16-17. 

For God – The Greatest Possible Being
So Loved – The Greatest Possible Emotion
The World – The Greatest Possible Number of People
That He Gave – The Greatest Possible Blessing
His Only Begotten Son – The Greatest Possible Gift
That Whosoever Believeth In Him – The Greatest Possible Solution
Should Not Perish – The Worst Possible Death
But Have Everlasting Life – The Greatest Possible Time 

Verse 17 tells us that verse 16 is the true heart of God.  The Lord God did not desire for a single soul to die and go to eternal damnation in the lake of fire separated from His love.  Rather His love was so great that He sent His only Son to die in your place for your sins.  It is from this truth that we are offered The Greatest Possible Decision.  
  1. Will you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and be saved or will you reject Him and spend eternity in torment and pain?
  2. What is your decision, because it is the greatest decision you will ever make?
Prayer: Father, thank You that You did give Your Son, Jesus, to the world.  Lord, may John 3:16 and its beautiful message spread all across this world.  Be brought glory Lord God as lives are changed by this simple decision to accept Your gift of grace.  Fill me full of Your Spirit and give me the courage to share Your love unashamedly. Amen.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

12 Steps for Revival

Scripture: Acts 2:47

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 

Insights:  Monday night Brother Joe preached on 12 Steps for Revival and he preached from Acts 2:42-47. 

1.      They lived life by the commands of the Bible (vs 42)
2.      They fellowshipped together (vs 42)
3.      They prayed together (vs 42)
4.      They feared (were in awe) of God (vs 43)
5.      They worked in the community (vs 43)
6.      They were unified of purpose (vs 44)
7.      They used their money to meet needs (vs 45)
8.      They emphasized to the world that they were doing the work of the church (vs 45)
9.      They were a visiting church (vs 46)
10.  They were glad of heart (vs 46)
11.  They praised God daily (vs 47)
12.  They had favor with all people (vs 47) 

What was the result of such an obedient walk with the Lord?  God added to their number daily those who were being saved.  It created an upward spiral of excitement, joy, and growth.  The people were excited to see what God was doing.  Because of this excitement they swelled with joy.  From this joy they were compelled to tell others about Jesus and their numbers grew.
  1. Are there any of these 12 steps you are presently not doing?
  2. What is holding you back from doing any of these 12 steps?
Prayer: Father, I understand that revival is a grace gift from You and I am incapable of manipulating You.  At the same time, there are attributes that have been common of every great revival and it seems right we ought to be doing those works with anticipation of Your revival fire falling down on us.  Lord, please send a revival today. Amen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Things God Don't Know

Scripture: Psalm 89:32

Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 

Insights:  Sunday night Brother Joe preached on Things God Don’t Know and he was in multiple texts.  There were five of these things: 

1.      God Doesn’t Know a Sin He Doesn’t Hate (Ps 89:28-33) 

God hates sin because it put His Son Jesus on the cross. Before Jesus came there was no separation between Father and Son, but in Jesus death there was and there is no way we can quantify the pain this must have caused the Father. 

2.      God Doesn’t Know a Sinner He Doesn’t Love (Jn 3:16) 

Because of His love for you, He would have sent His Son even if you were the only human being on earth.  In spite of the pain the Lord God experienced at His Son’s death, His love for you was greater.  He loves every one of His creatures and had Jesus die to save them of their sin. 

3.      God Doesn’t Know Any Other Way by Which One Can Be Saved except through Jesus (Acts 4:12) 

Jesus is the only way to get to heaven.  Your works and efforts will fall short every time.  You can try every religion and cult there is, but in the end if you do not have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, then you will die and spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and his demons. 

4.      God Doesn’t Know Any Better Time than Now for One to Get Saved (Heb 4:7) 

If you hear the voice of God, now is the time of salvation.  You are never promised another chance.  Do not test the Lord God with your eternity.  If you are hearing Him convict your heart, respond with repentance and receptivity to His gracious gift of love.  Receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord right now.  Do not wait, hesitate or postpone this eternal decision. 

5.      God Doesn’t Know Anything that will Make Him Happier than When Someone Gets Rid of Their Sin (Lk 15:10) 

Repentance from sin starts a party in heaven with the angels because they know you are coming home to them.  I do not believe it is a far stretch to use our sanctified imaginations and envision the parties in heaven over a lost soul being redeemed as being better than any earthly party one could ever attend.  God’s parties are the best parties! 

  1. Have you come to recognize that your sin put Jesus on the Cross of Calvary?
  2. Have you come to understand that it is only through this sacrificial act of Jesus that you can get saved?
Prayer: Father, the sacrifice You made in giving humanity Your Son, Jesus, is beyond understanding.  Thank You that You let Him die to take my sin debt from me.  Transform my heart to see the lost around me and give me a joyous celebration when they come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Amen.