Sunday, August 23, 2015

Growing In Spiritual Power

II Chronicles 27.1-6

Walking steadfastly before the LORD brings spiritual power.

Steadfastly
Established, stable, secure

Being Established 

Being stable

Making your election and calling sure II Peter 2.10

A strong spiritual life means that the Holy Spirit has control of the vessel. Then He can fill it to overflowing. He can send it into the places where He wants it to be and where it will be used in powerful ways.

Many men pray for the power of God.
 
More every year.  Those prayers sound powerful, sincere, godly and
without ulterior motive.  Hidden under such prayer and fervor, however,
are ambition, a craving for fame, the desire to be considered a
spiritual giant.  The man who prays such prayer may not even know it,
but such dark motives and desires are in his heart ... in your heart.
 
Even as men pray these prayers, they are hollow inside.  There is
little internal spiritual growth.  Prayer for power is the quick and
the short way, circumnavigating internal growth.
 
There is a vast difference between the outward clothing of the Spirit's
power and the inward filling of the Spirit's life.  In the first,
despite the power, the hidden man of the heart may remain unchanged. In
the latter, that monster is dealt with.

The path to power used by God in His Kingdom is a pathway of inner spiritual growth.  So if you are desiring to work for God you must first let Him do a work in your own heart.

1. Humble Yourself

Tell Him what you need Him

Realize without Him you can do nothing.

Ask for forgiveness

Give Him all glory for your successes.

Pray

Don't believe your own press.




2. Obey His Word - John 8.31
John 8.31 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples."

Read it.
Regularly 
Have a plan to go through the whole Bible.
Keep your appointments with God.

Hear it.
Every chance you get.

Do what it says.
Obedience to Him out of love for Him is beautiful. Dr Aileen Coleman

Jotham did this.




3. Be a Servant


Follow the example of Christ Jesus as a servant. Philippians 2.5-11
Let this be your attitude.
Let this mind be in you.
Your attitude should be the same of Christ Jesus... Make me a servant.


There is such joy in this.



It is a safe place to be.


There are such blessings.
John 12:26 Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me. 




4. Keep Your Eyes on Jesus Hebrews 12.2

Fix them on Him.
to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.

Pleasure
Fame
Money
Power



5. Run the Race with Perseverance. Hebrews 12.1

steadfastness, constancy, endurance

to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee
to persevere: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ
to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments


Climbing the mountain on the Sugarloaf Trail in New Hampshire

My grandkids who went up this past week are the fourth generation in our family to do this trek into some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. My Dad started it. I remember him leading us up there 50 years ago. When my daughters were about the same age they hiked it. Monday my grandkids, Emma and Jackson join the fellowship of family members who have reached the summit.

Tonya and I kept going because we knew what was ahead. We knew the rewards awaiting us as my son-in-law put it.

The entire Presidential Range with majestic Mount Washington in the center came into view from the summit. We ate lunch, took in the gorgeous view, took some video and pictures then headed back down. At the base of the mountain is a river. Children and adults were frolicking in it. We joined them. I took the ice cold water and threw up into my face. I put my feet in. My grandson, Jackson, joined me. It was so refreshing to our weary bodies and feet.

Our work joins a number of memories already in our minds and gave us a sense of accomplishment.  Our growth in spiritual power comes from our walk with the LORD. The closer we walk the more we make ourselves available to Him.






Sunday, August 9, 2015

The LORD Alone Is Enough

II Chronicles 25.5-12


Our natural inclination when we are confronted with a difficult situation is to try and figure out how we can face it. We naturally lean on our won understanding. We think about ways we can face the challenge in front of us.

Oswald Chambers said that is it not part of the natural man to pray. Prayer is supernatural. It involves looking to heaven rather than to earth or ourselves for resources. It is by faith we pray.

Hebrews 11:1, 6 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. 

In this case of Amaziah the LORD sent a man of God, a prophet to him to get His Word to Him.  

We have His Word today. We ought to be receiving it each day as we walk with the LORD.

Yet we have this treasure in a jar of clay. There are times when we fall short of seeking first His Kingdom.

When that happens we stumble. Seek to have the faith of Abraham!
Romans 4:18-21 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 

We stumble or struggle at the point of faith because we look at the situation and...


1. Our Assessment of the Battles are often incorrect.

We are not going to make it.

I know one day Saul will kill me. -David
1 Samuel 20:3  as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.” 


Its all over.
How quickly we can cash in!
Don't cash in. Cast in!
We have fished all night. Yet at Your word we will...

Amaziah made some big mistakes in planning to work in his own strength. He needed to depend upon the LORD.

2. The LORD is wanting us to depend on Him.

He works in our lives to bring us to that place.
That means our faith will be tested.
II Thessalonians 1:4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 

We have to endure trials.
Romans 15:4-6 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

How do I learn that I can trust God? I must be put to the test. I must be placed in situations where I have to trust Him. We would rather not be in those places. They are uncomfortable, can cause sleepless nights and generally we feel alone in them.

Paul wrote about them in his own life when he wrote to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 




He will not share His glory with another.
Gideon
Judges 7.2-4

Isaiah 42.8 I am the LORD that is my name. I will not yield my glory to another.



3. We can do more with less when we follow the LORD.

That is true with hurry.
Ruthlessly remove hurry from your life. - Dallas Willard

This is often true with money.
Personally
Things, possessions become weights that hold us down.

Dr. Ben Carson, in his speech to the NRA, this week was speaking about his life. He said when people say, "No one has ever done that before," it never bothered him. He has always said, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." And so can you!

We like safety and security. The LORD calls us away from that...
Abraham
Jacob
Joseph
Moses
The disciples
Acts is a book of missions.
Revelation is what you get for serving Jesus!

Names of God -  El Shaddai
 
The name El Shaddai first appears in Gen. 17:1-2 Remember  El is the God of power and might.  Shaddai comes from the word ‘field’, and is also translated ‘breast’. It means provision and abundance.  Ending in ai makes it plural possessive just as Adonai.  We could translate it ‘He who is all sufficient’.  God is more than enough to meet all your needs in any situation. Look at the impossible need in this first revelation of the name.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Watch of the LORD



II Chronicles 23:6 But let no one come into the house of the Lord except the priests and those of the Levites who serve. They may go in, for they are holy; but all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord. 

II Chronicles 23:6 No one is to enter the temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the others are to observe the Lord’s command not to enter. 


guard, function, obligation, service, watch
house of detention or confinement
keeping, preserving
charge, injunction
office, 
(ceremonial)

jail, prison, guard-house
guard, guard post, act of guarding
observance

The spiritual leaders could enter the temple to do their duties. All the other men were to keep watch, be on guard.



Jesus told us about these last days to be on our watch. Mark 13.37

to watch
metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

to arouse, cause to rise
to arouse from sleep, to awake
to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life
to cause to rise from a seat or bed etc.
to raise up, produce, cause to appear
to cause to appear, bring before the public
to raise up, stir up, against one
 i.e. cause to be born
of buildings, to raise up, construct, erect

Paul admonishes us in Romans 13:11-14 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. 

We must be on our watch! We need to keep the LORD's Watch!

We get on public transportation today, LIRR,  the Subway, Cross Sound Ferry and you will hear this announcement,"If you see anything suspicious, a bag left alone, or hear anything, please contact an official..."

This Watch of the LORD is similar yet different. We need to be spiritually vigilant. Yet God sees all. The watch is for our benefit and those we love.


1. Take to Heart These Words we just read.
Many are asleep in the light.

If we have fallen asleep we need to wake up:
* Prayer is a good indicator of our spiriual life. 
What we are praying.
When we pray.
How we pray.
William Booth's one word telegram: Others.

Others are in danger of becoming weary in doing good.
When it comes to matters of the LORD are we dragging, dreading?

God is looking for us to be passionate in these last days.
Staying alert.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

Passionate is about resisting the devil and standing firm in the faith.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Let's pray for the sake of our children and grandchildren.


2.  When you wake up in the middle of the night- Pray!

The LORD may be waking you up.

We are to pray always.

Quiet, good time to pray.

Lift to the LORD what  and who He brings to mind.

There are those...Psalm 134:1-2 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. 


3. We need to pray for our nation and the things which are to come.

Economic Earthquake

Drone Attacks

Terrorist Threats

Spiritual Decline

Moral Confusion

May God use these things to wake us up!

May God give us a nationwide revival. May churches be renewed and communities touched deeply.

4. We need to remember what ultimately we are watching for.
Mark 13

Mark 13:5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you."

Luke 21:34-36 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” 

Mark 13:32-37 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” 



Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Battle is the LORD's

II Chronicles 20:15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'"

The Moabites and the Ammonites were on the other side of the Jordan River about a days journey from Jerusalem on foot. It is about 45 minutes by bus today from Jerusalem to En Gedi but you go around the mountains. They would have come over them. 

Two nations and then some coming against Judah.

I love what Jehoshaphat did. When he got the news he proclaimed a fast. 
What a wise thing to do. Let's humble ourselves before the LORD, seeking His face, seeking His help.
We need to be doing that as a nation.
We need to do that in this fellowship now!

There was a resolve on the part of the king to inquire of the LORD.
There was a coming together of the people to seek help from the LORD.
Are you with me so far?

In verses 5-12 we have the king leading the nation in prayer.

I love what verse 13 tells us. Whole families were there together, even the little children. They stood together before the LORD.
Growing up Family Altar, watched my dad kneel and pray. My Nana QT
Going to church together, sitting next to my Dad, listening to him worship God. 
Praying together before school.
It breaks my heart so many kids have no idea what this about today.

God spoke through the prophet: v.15-17

v.18-19 There was worship, further humbling by the king and praising God on the part of the spiritual leaders.

1. This is a Word for our Church today.

A tale of two churches
Ours
Bellevue Haiti Evangelical Church of God

If we humble ourselves and learn from these brothers and sister of ours there is no telling what God might do.


Brother Andrew "We need to go to the suffering church in third world countries 
so we can learn from our brothers and sisters there."
They can teach us about prayer and suffering and faith that goes through the fire.


Pastor Joes Dream
Elderly lady's dream
We came
Sunday, The hand of my God upon me.

January Pastor Joes: This is an answer to prayer.

What is going to happen if this well goes in! What will happen in September 4-18th 

What will happen if we get desperate with God, if we cry over our church's condition, not just financially but spiritually. We need to see people saved, come into the kingdom, come to know Jesus, rescued from sin and its damaging effects and its damning effects.

Our church's finances come under this category. Are we looking at the battle as the LORDs or ours? Think about Him!

If God closes a door do not attempt to humanly open it. It could be we are headed for the history books, that the final chapter on this church is now but I do not think so.

This is a good fellowship.  C.S. Lewis said You cannot be a good egg very long, either you will hatch or go rotten. God obviously wants us to pray to Him for workers in the harvest field.  Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 

He cares about those broken people, broken hearted people all around us. He wants us to join Him in reaching them and bringing them into the kingdom.

If we seek His Kingdom in this way the finances will take care of themselves.

We have been praying forJanet Hernandez. Let's cry out to God for her and the doors to open to bring her here for medical treatment. Her family needs her. Her husband and their daughters. Her church needs her. She is so young. Join me in prayer now. I dream of bringing her home with us when we come back from Haiti in September. We are moving towards that! Spoke to my son-in-law about her situation yesterday. Anca, Theresa... Watch God work!

Lisa and Gio this week our back.

2. This is a Word for Our Nation this morning.

We have more kids in sports activities on Sunday Morning than in Sunday School and we wonder why we are losing the hearts of the children.
How we need this: Malachi 4:6 And he will turnThe hearts of the fathers to the children,And the hearts of the children to their fathers...

We have killed 55 million babies since 1974 in the US and we wonder why there is no respect for life.

We have attempted to change the Biblical definition of marriage this past month and God is not mocked. We will reap what we sow. Destruction. 

The enemy is spiritually destroying families by nonsense today and many who know better have drank the  Kool Aid.

Psalm 44:3 It was not by their sword that they won the land,nor did their arm bring them victory;it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. 


3. This is a Word for all of us individually.

We are in a spiritual battle.

Much of what we face is attempts of the enemy to take us out or render us useless.
Discouragement is a tool.
Disillusionment is as well.
Depression can paralyze us.

We are in a spiritual battle. Satan would like us to not think so. He is like a roaring loin seeking whom he can devour. How does a lion catch its prey? By being as quiet as possible just before trouncing on it.

We do not see our troubles as we should.
We want our lives to be trouble free- they never will!

Here is the Good News today-

John 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 

We need to be over our heads in grace these days. Swimming in it, immersed in it. Then we can say to people who need Jesus, Come on in the water is great!

Our God Reigns!