The Master‘s Class, LifeChange Church Wichita
LEARNING TO LEAN ON GOD (Hebrews 11:21)

LEARNING TO LEAN ON GOD (Hebrews 11:21)

November 20, 2022

LEARNING TO LEAN ON GOD (Hebrews 11:21)

Many of us think that self-sufficiency is a virtue, and at many a high school graduation ceremony, there will be speakers telling young people to learn to be self-sufficient. The truth of the matter is that self-sufficiency is not a virtue; spiritually, it is a vice.  In fact, if you are a follower of Christ, then God is working on you. God is working on each of us, and He will not be finished with us until our total, complete dependency is not on self, but on Him.

In our message today, Jacob tells God, “Lord, I trust you, but …” Have you ever done that? “Lord, I trust you, but, Lord, I don’t trust You completely. And now, Lord, You help me out. But Father, You know, I’ve got to rig this thing first and you just make my efforts work.”  But that is not the way God works.  Did you know that God likes broken things? Men throw broken things away, but God never really ever uses anything until He first breaks it. David said, in the Psalms, “A broken and a contrite spirit thou wilt not despise, O God.” Most of us are not being used of God because we’ve never been broken. 

One of these days, if God breaks you and you become broken bread and poured out wine, God can use you. God took a little lad’s lunch, and broke it, and fed the multitudes. Mary took an alabaster box of ointment, and she broke it, and lavished her love upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among the thorns.” You’ll never have the crop you ought to until you put the plow in, until the old clods are broken. Even the Lord Jesus Christ took that Last Supper and said, “This is my body which is broken for you.” Men throw broken things away. God never ever uses anything or anybody until they’re first broken.

Click on the link below hear a message on how Jacob loved God, and he had to be delivered from his self-sufficiency. He had to learn how to lean on Jesus. 

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

HAS YOUR FAITH BEEN TESTED? (Hebrews 11:17-19)

HAS YOUR FAITH BEEN TESTED? (Hebrews 11:17-19)

October 31, 2022

God is going to give you some trials, some tests, to see if your faith is real.  Not for Him to know anything about your faith, for He already knows all about your faith, but for you to know that your faith is real and that it can be trusted no matter what.  Warren Wiersbe said that “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.”

Tests, and trials, and temptations come in two kinds. The devil solicits us, tempts us to do evil, to cause us to stumble. God tests us to do good in order to cause us to stand.  What God wants to accomplish by testing us is to make our faith strong and pure. How will it be tested?  It will be tested by fire.  Then, what is the purpose of the testing?  God is going to put your faith in the fire to purify it, to make it stand no matter what comes.

God is going to test your faith by asking you to do something that may surprise you—not by giving up the wrong things and the bad things, but by giving up the good things. It would be relatively easy if God asked us to give up the bad things, to give up lying, and stealing, and cheating, and pride—to show that we love Him. But that’s not what God is asking.

There are some things that we give up for the Lord. But the test of faith that God will give you is not what you are willing to give up for the Lord, but are you willing to give back to the Lord of the blessings that you have received.  Are you able to give your blessings back to God? Not, are you willing to give up your sins for God? Are you willing to give your blessings back to God? The test of faith is not primarily between love and hate, but between two loves, those things we love dearly and that which we must love supremely.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how God wants you to be strong in faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please God.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

A DYNAMIC LIFE OF FAITH-PART II (Hebrews 11:8-13)

A DYNAMIC LIFE OF FAITH-PART II (Hebrews 11:8-13)

October 16, 2022

Without faith it is impossible to please God. You will never succeed in your Christian life without believing God.  Faith is the mark of a Christian. Christians were called believers before they were called Christians. It is our chief duty to believe God, and in order to believe God, then you must hear from God.

How can we hear the voice of God?  The Bible tells us that God speaks to us by His Son.  So, how does God do that?  The Bible teaches that we have three things. We have the written Word of God. We have the mind of Christ, and we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Now, the wonderful good news about having these three things to hear from God, is that it gives us such an advantage over what the Old Testament prophets had to hear from God.  You see, these Old Testament characters, before they had the Bible, before they knew what we know by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they had to wait for God to break in with some open revelation, some vision, some ecstasy. We don’t have to do that.

Listen, don’t just miss this Biblical truth by nonchalance. We have the inspired, inerrant written Word of God, and we have the mind of Christ, and we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, all speaking to us and sharing the will of God in our lives.  You have such an advantage today in being able to know the will of God.  You don’t have to guess at the will of God, you can know the will of God.  You can have the confidence to say to God as you pray, “Lord, this is Your will, and I thank You for it, and I stand on it.” 

How can you have this confidence?  You can have it because you have the written word of God, the Holy Spirit of God, and the mind of Christ.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to have a dynamic life of faith that pleases God.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE-PART I (Hebrews 10:38 to 11_6)

THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE-PART I (Hebrews 10:38 to 11_6)

September 4, 2022

How to live a life of faith.  We live in an age where we have a lot of people who are called stars, these so-called movie stars.  We have a lot of people who are called idols, these so-called sports idols. In my humble opinion, we have too many stars, and too many idols, and not enough heroes. I’m going to be talking to you today about heroes, Bible heroes.  

Faith is a confidence that rests in hope. It is not a will-of-the-wisp sort of a thing. It is substance.  When we live by faith, it’s not smoke and mirrors.  There is, substance, there is confidence that rests in hope.  The word “hope” doesn’t mean perhaps. Nor does it even mean wish. Nor does it mean desire. The word “hope,” in the Bible, means “rock-ribbed assurance based on divine revelation.”  For example, the Second Coming of Jesus is called the what? The blessed hope.  Now, is that the blessed maybe? No. It is rock-ribbed assurance based on the promises of the Word of God.  Jesus Christ is coming again, and that is our blessed hope, our rock-ribbed assurance based on divine revelation.

Faith, therefore, is the title deed, the confidence, that what God has said is true, and God will perform it. There is no legitimate faith without hope. And there is no legitimate hope without faith. These cannot be separated. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present, and the invisible as seen.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the Bible says that you are to live by faith, by a confidence that rests in hope.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

PATIENCE (Hebrews 10:32-37)

PATIENCE (Hebrews 10:32-37)

August 28, 2022

In today’s message we are going to be talking about patience.  Oh my, how many times have you heard the saying “Don’t ever pray for God to teach you patience, because He certainly will.”  Patience.  The Bible actually has a lot to say about patience.

Heb 10:36
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
KJV

There is not a one of us that does not need patience.  Now, let me tell you something “With God, timing is more important than time.” So many of us, we want it, and we want it now.  We want instant credit.  We want instant food. Why do you think the fast food industry is so big?  Because we want what we want, and we want it now.  We want instant service everywhere we go.  Nobody likes standing in line waiting on the things we need.  We want instant gratification.  Tomorrow is almost a dirty word in today’s vocabulary. Yet, so many times, with God, there is a time of waiting between asking and receiving. 

The Bible tells us that, if we know the Lord Jesus Christ, our standard of living may change, but our standard of life will not.  You have need of patience, that you might inherit the promises of God.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how to develop patience in your life as you look forward to receiving the promises of God.  First, remember yesterday’s provision. He saw you through then; He’ll see you through again.  Second, resolve today’s patience—not just hunkering down. Remember, it is not patience that solemnly waits in the dark; it is patience that gloriously anticipates the dawn. And then, rest in tomorrow’s promise: “though it tarry, it will come.”  Get a hold of the Word of God and never, never, never let it go. 

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

A CLEAN CONSCIENCE (Hebrews 9:7-10; 14)

A CLEAN CONSCIENCE (Hebrews 9:7-10; 14)

July 24, 2022

A CLEAN CONSCIENCE (Hebrews 9:7-10; 14)

How does the Bible teach us to face the trials of life?  It says that you can face those trials if you have a good conscience, if you have a great hope, and a gracious companion in the Holy Spirit of God.  When the Bible talks about our conscience, it is really talking about our soul, and the worst pollution of all is the pollution of the soul. Now, all pollution is bad, but the worst pollution is not the kind we breathe, and it seems like we’re just being polluted to death.  But, may I tell you that the real ecology problem is that of Satan and of sin, and the real pollution problem is that of sin.

The word uncleanness stands for a state of mind, and a state of soul, and a state of spirit, that is not right with God, and it stands for sin. Sin makes us unclean.  In our study today, God will make the point that death and sin, or death and uncleanness, are inseparably linked together. Sin causes death, therefore, death is the visible sign of sin.

We often pray for the families of people who died, and sometimes we talk about people who die of sickness, and then we talk about other people who die a natural death. May I tell you that there is no such thing as a natural death, for all death is unnatural. It is not what God planned for us. All death is the result of sin.  Now, listen to me carefully, all death is the result of sin, but not necessarily your personal sin. But, had there been no sin, there would have been no death. There was no sin in the Garden of Eden, and as a result, there was no death in the Garden of Eden, until sin came.  Therefore, death is the visible sign, and the object lesson, of sin.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on what the Bible tells us about the causes of our soul becoming unclean.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

TO BE A GROWNUP-PART I (Hebrews 5:7 to 6:1)

TO BE A GROWNUP-PART I (Hebrews 5:7 to 6:1)

June 19, 2022

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for your sins, my sins, the whole world’s sins, and then He rose again so that we might have everlasting life if we will make Him our Lord and Savior.  Jesus stands today, alive, in the Holy Tabernacle of Heaven as our Great High Priest so that our salvation will be a forever, and ever, salvation.  

So, now that you are saved.  Now, that you know all that Christ has done for you, what should your reaction be?  What should your duty to Christ be?  God answers this question with a command, not a suggestion, but a command to grow as a Christian.  To become a grownup Christian.

Heb 6:1
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
KJV

It is one thing to become saved, it is another thing entirely to become a full-grown Christian.  I want to put a thought in your mind, and I pray that it will bother you.  I pray that it will bother you so much that it will spur you into action.  I want you to write this down someplace that, every morning when you open your Bible for your quiet time, it reminds you of something very important.  It says, “When I cease to be better, I cease to be good.”

Click on the link below to hear a message that says, if you have stopped growing, then you have begun decaying. Decay always begins when growth ends. The Bible says we are to go on to maturity.  There is more to life than being born. A Christian is a tree planted, not a post stuck in the ground.  We are commanded to grow. There is a “must” about it.  The Holy Spirit of God has so much more for you to know about the grace of God, the blessings of God, and the work of God, but He cannot tell you these things until you are no longer a baby spiritually.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:13-5:4)

JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST (Hebrews 4:13-5:4)

May 29, 2022

Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest, that is the role that Christ is playing in our lives today.  He has completed His work of salvation, and now He is in heaven as our Great High Priest.  

In the Old Testament, one of the functions of the priest was to hear the confession of sins so that a sacrifice could be made to obtain forgiveness of that sin.  Un-confessed sin was and is a burden upon the person who sins.  However, as a believer that has made Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, in this age of grace, we know that all of our sins have already been forgiven.  We already know that we will not have to face the penalty of our sin, for Christ has already done that for us.  Yet, sin is still a burden on our spirit, and we are certainly told to confess our sins. 

We confess our sins out of obedience and a desire for cleansing.  If we do not acknowledge our sin, it becomes like a malignancy which spreads to consume our energy, our spiritual zeal, and it is always present with us draining our ambition to serve the Lord.  It robs us of the joy of being in God’s will, and for the Christian, being in God’s will is the zone, it is that special place we want to be.

Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
KJV

This is telling us that we can come with great freedom unto the Throne of Grace.  We can speak freely to the Lord Jesus Christ.  We can tell Him things we wouldn’t tell anyone else.  He already knows everything there is to know about us, so why not speak freely with Him.  Christ understands us; He knows all of our weaknesses.  And when we approach that throne of Grace it is so “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We can come with full confidence that He will hear us, and He wants to extend to us His Grace, and Mercy, when we are in a time of need.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the fact that our sin is not a secret, God sees it all, and God expects us to confess that sin.  The message today is about the One who now stands in the office of High Priest, and to whom we must confess.  Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the Supreme High Priest.

This is a live recording of The Master’s Class Bible Study at LifeChange Church Wichita, KS.

Amen.

DISHARMONY IN THE HOME (Proverbs 15:13-22)

DISHARMONY IN THE HOME (Proverbs 15:13-22)

November 7, 2021

When a man and woman are married, there is to be what is called the “The Music of Marriage.” You have the husband, or the father, who is the leader of the band.  It is the father who sets tune in the home. He is the leader of the band.  Now the Music of Marriage requires that there be “Harmony in the Home,” and if there is to be harmony in the home, then husbands and wives must sing the same song, but they sing different parts. That’s what makes it harmonious, and not a mere melody, but wonderful harmony.  

Now, this harmonious Music of Marriage occurs when we play the part that God has equipped us to play. So, husbands and wives are singing different parts of the same song, but hopefully they are singing in the right rhythm, so they sing it together. But, the message today is on this subject: “Disharmony in the Home” I’m really talking about tension in the home, and what can we do to deal with it.  How can we have the harmonious music of marriage that God wants us to have?

As a young man I tried to learn to play the guitar, and I have dabbled trying to play the piano.  I was not successful in either endeavor.  I can’t seem to tap my foot to keep time and play the notes at the same time, and a metronome drives me crazy.  But, playing the guitar did teach me a few things besides having sore fingertips.  I learned that in order for the music coming from the guitar to sound harmonious, each of the strings have to be in tune.  Now, to tune those strings you have to adjust the tension on it.  If the string is not tight enough, then the music is flat and dull.  But, if the string is too tight, then the music is shrill and high-pitched. But if the string is even tighter, the string will snap.    

One of the major obstacles to the harmonious Music of Marriage is tension in the home caused by stress and strife. Stress is related to raising your voice, to raising your pulse, and raising your children. Listen, if you’ve got children, then you have stress just built in, and being in today’s home, the string can get mighty tight, and sometimes it can snap.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how God intends for you to deal with the stress in your home, and how you can have that harmonious Music of Marriage that God wants for your home.  

Amen.

TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE (Proverbs 4:14-27)

TO LIVE A VICTORIOUS LIFE (Proverbs 4:14-27)

May 16, 2021

This message is about a task that God has given to every born-again believer.  That task is to allow the light of Jesus to shine through us to reach a dark world full of people who need to hear the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  What makes this challenging is that we must live our lives in such a way that brings glory to our Lord, and still avoid the sin that is around us.  I believe that is one of the reasons that God has given us the book of Proverbs.  To show us how to live a victorious Christian life, in a world full of sin.

God’s wisdom is the key to living in this dark world that is full of evil.  Satan would like nothing better than to destroy the witness of a child of God.  The world likes nothing better than to see a righteous man fall.  This chapter of Proverbs is giving us the instructions from our Creator to live a victorious Christian life so that we can bring people to Christ and eternal life.

Click on the link below to hear a message on God’s instruction manual for living a life that honors God.

Amen.

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

TO WALK GOD’S PATH (Proverbs 3:23-35)

May 2, 2021

God wants us, as believers, to be free from the bondage of the world so that we might live a life that follows God’s chosen path for us.  But, have you ever asked yourself, how do we walk that path, and what should we expect as we walk that path?  That is the focus of today’s message, what does God’s Word say about what it is like to walk God’s chosen path for each of us.  God wants you to know that it is a peaceful life.  It is peaceful in the good times, and it is peaceful in times of stress. 

God’s path requires that you give the Lord your love and loyalty, and to put Christ first in all that we do. If we do these things, then we will have God’s peace.  As a result, we know that, come what may, all will be well.  There is no greater gift this side of Heaven than to have the peace of God standing watch over our hearts. 

Phil 4:7
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
KJV

When we walk along God’s path for our lives, His wisdom tells us that we can have peace in good times and times of stress because we know the place where faith stands:

Prov 3:26
26 For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
KJV

Faith takes its stand in the Lord.  Never believe that this struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, and truth versus lie, is a mighty battle between equals.  It is not.  It is not even close.  God is the omnipotent, omniscient, Creator of all things.  He has but to speak and all evil is defeated.   

Click on the link below to hear a message on what we should expect when we walk God’s path for our lives. The answer is that God does not ask us to walk that path without His promises to bless us with His wisdom and power to succeed on our course. The key to finding these promises, and to accomplishing His will, is to put Christ first in all things, and to hold dearly to the wisdom that comes with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. 

Amen.

GOD‘S PROMISES (Proverbs 3:11-22)

GOD‘S PROMISES (Proverbs 3:11-22)

April 25, 2021

Over the last couple of weeks we have been talking about a believer’s freedom.  In particular financial freedom, but the same concepts of putting Christ first in our lives, being diligent in our work for God, being generous with the blessings that God has shared with us, living with integrity, and depending on the reliability of God to meet our needs, will give us true freedom in Christ in all aspects of our lives.   When we believe and trust in God, then God will take care of our needs.  To be free in Christ is to be free indeed.  

But does that freedom mean that we will have a life full of happy bliss, free of tragedy or testing?  No, that is not what the Bible promises us.  For example, being faithful to God in our tithing does not guarantee that we will never face trials.  Yet, God does promise that He will give us a way through every trial, every test, and every tragedy.

Without a doubt, the best promise that God makes in His Word is that Heaven is guaranteed to be our eternal future.  If you will make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, then Heaven is guaranteed to be our eternal future.  I do not limit God’s fulfillment of His promises to this life only.  If you do, then you will miss out on the best promise of all, for nothing compares to an eternity in Heaven with our Lord.

Click on the link below to hear a message on God’s promises to those who love Him.  God promises to chastise you when you need it, to give you happiness, to give you a long life, to give you a prosperous life, a peaceful life, and eternal life.  Don’t miss out on God’s promises to those who put God first in all things.  

Amen.

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

WHEN A CHILD OF GOD SINS (2 Samuel 11:1-26)

November 15, 2020

Can a child of God sin?  Yes, they can and do, frequently.  Can a child of God sin a great big sin, like breaking one of the 10 commandments?  Now, before you answer that, I want you to work your way down the list of commandments, and tell me if you can break them and be a child of God?  Yes, of course, they can.  Then, can a child of God sin and not suffer?  Absolutely not.

Today’s message is about a child of God who sinned, and sinned greatly, which makes this a very sad story.  It is sad because a man whom God loved, and who truly loved God, committed not just the sin of adultery, but then he tried to cover it up by committing murder.  Now those are really big sins, and David committed them.

So, not only is this a sad story, but it is also a tragic story because a man who the Bible describes as a man after God’s own heart will have to face the consequences of that sin.  Make no mistake, there is always a consequence to our sin against God, and David was no exception.  First, without a doubt you will suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit of God.  If you sin and you don’t feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit working on you, then you better check your salvation, because a child of God cannot sin and not suffer conviction from the Holy Spirit.  

Now, if we repent of that sin and ask God for forgiveness, then He will forgive our sin.  But, as we will see in this story, we may still have to face the consequences of that sin.  If you are a twice-born child of God, you will not lose your salvation because you sin, even if that sin is adultery or murder, but you will face consequences in this life, and perhaps a loss of rewards in heaven.  

Now, not only is this a sad and tragic story, but it is also a familiar story.  People who do not love God, people who believe all Christians are hypocrites, love this story because it details the failure of a man of God.  Of course, I am sure you know by now that the story in our message today is about David’s sin with Bathsheba. 

Now, I want you to pay attention to this scripture that we are about to cover, and it is going to be a two-part lesson.  This first week, we are going to cover the sin that David committed, and make no mistake it was a terrible sin.  But, the reason I want us to pay attention to this Scripture is that next week we are going to give hope to believers who have sinned greatly.  God wants you to know that no matter what you sin is, there is a way back to fellowship with Him.  This is important because we all sin, even as a child of God we sin, and we need to know that this hope is there for us.  We can be right with God.

Click on the link below to hear a message about a man of God who sinned greatly, and the warning in this message is that if a man as great as David can fall into sin, then so can you.

Amen.

DAVID, A MAN OF FAITH (1 Samuel 17:1-49)

DAVID, A MAN OF FAITH (1 Samuel 17:1-49)

August 30, 2020

The Bible story of David and Goliath is one of the most familiar in the Bible.  You don’t even have to be a Christian to know this story.  There have been books and movies, and even TV shows based on this story.  Michelangelo even depicted the story on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  We are told this story from the time we are a child.  The image of a young man with just five smooth stones and a sling against a giant of a man in full battle armor is iconic in Bible history.  It is a story that reveals more than human bravery.  It reveals that, even as a boy, David had a heart for God. 

The key to this whole story is found in the fact that David didn’t volunteer to fight the giant because his people were being shamed.  No, David fought Goliath because Goliath was defying the armies of the living God!  David, put his faith in God.  He knew that God would deliver the giant into his hands.  David testified to his faith in God telling the giant “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

Powerful words of faith from such a young man.  

David knew that it was not by chance that God had led him to this battlefield.  David could say in his heart that it is not by chance that he was born into Jesse's family. It is not by chance that he had seven older brothers. It is not by chance that he had to fight for his place in the family, not with carnal weapons, but with spiritual ones. It is not by chance that I learned early to love, trust, and obey the living God. It is not by chance that God has become my constant companion and guide. It is not by chance that I learned to play the harp and write great hymns which will be sung by God's people forever. Such things do not happen by chance; they happen by choice. God chose me, and I chose Him.

It is not by chance that I became a shepherd and developed a heart for the flock. It is not by chance that God gave me courage to face the lion and the bear in the wilderness of which you speak. It is not by chance that I have great skill with a sling and a stone. That skill represents hard work and constant practice. And it is not by chance that I am not afraid of Goliath and you are.  And it is not by chance that we are where we are and that we are who we are.

David learned that he could not use the weapons of this world to fight the battle. He had to use his own weapons, his own methods, those in which God had schooled him. The believer today needs to recognize that the world can be overcome only by his faith and confidence in God.  

Amen.

THE SCARS THAT GOD BEARS (John 20:24-29)

THE SCARS THAT GOD BEARS (John 20:24-29)

July 19, 2020

Let me ask you a question, is Jesus God or man? Is Jesus God or man? Well, the answer to that question is yes. He is the God-man. He is God incarnate in man. He is God in human flesh. Now, the fact that Jesus is both God and man is absolutely foundational to our faith. There is no compromise on this fact that allows our faith to be real. The rock our faith is built on is Jesus Christ, who came to this earth as fully God, and fully man. Yet, it is this question that vexes the world, and there are so many false religions, major, world religions, that deny this is true.

The prophet Isaiah said, "Unto us a child is born and unto us a son is given..."

When Isaiah said, "a child is born," he was speaking of Christ’s humanity. When he said, "a son is given," he was speaking of Christ’s deity. Jesus Christ is the God-man. Now, as a child, He was born in Bethlehem. As God, He has ruled from eternity. But, understand this, He did not have His beginning at Bethlehem, only His birth. As a man, Christ was born to die. As God, Christ died for our sins.

Now, as I was preparing this lesson, I had to pause and think about how I envision God in my mind. So, I want you to think of God, and then think of the very first image that comes to mind. Now, notice that I am deliberately using the name God, here. Is the image you have of God, as He is described in the Bible, the baby Jesus there in the manger that we think of at Christmas time? Probably not, I just don’t think of God as a baby. He was, but that is not how I think of Him. Is it the man with white flowing hair sitting on a throne with a light so bright coming from Him that you cannot even look at Him? This is closer, right? When I think of God, I think of Him sitting on His throne. Ok, if that is not your image of God, then is it Jesus as the kind and gentle man that we see in all the portraits? Sometimes, right? But let me ask you, do you draw a distinction in your mind between God and Jesus? God is indeed a triune God, three persons, but there is just One God. All three make up the One God. So, when you think of Jesus, do think of Him as God, just as you would the Father and the Holy Spirit?

Ok, do you have the image of God in your mind, the very first image that comes to mind? Now, in that image, do you think of God, the triune God, as having scars? It just doesn’t seem to fit with our images of God, does it? Yet, those scars in the hands, feet, and side, of Jesus, the God-man, the second part of the triune God, are real, and they tell us so much about God. That is what our lesson is about today, The Scars That God Bears.

Now, it's very important that you understand this—that, as a man, Jesus suffered. When Jesus appeared before Thomas, He invited Thomas to examine those scars. They were a brute testimony to the fact that Jesus, indeed, was pierced with those hideous nails.

There is a great problem in the world today when you try to testify about God. The problem is not primarily science. The problem is not primarily history. The problem is primarily suffering. When you try to tell people about God, they will ask you again and again how can you believe in a God, if there be a God, who allows so much suffering? And this causes great doubt because here's the way the human mind works. "Well, if God is love, and God is all powerful, why does God allow so much suffering?" And so, they think well, perhaps He is a God of infinite love, but He has no power; therefore, He is a weak God. Or else He is all-powerful, but He has no love and so He is a cruel God. Or perhaps He has no power and no love, so He is no God at all.

That's the way people think. But there is a more important question that you should be asking. Not why do men suffer? No, the more important question for us to understand and consider is why does God suffer? That is the most important question that should be in your heart. Not why do we as humans suffer, but those scars tell us that God in human flesh suffered, and so why did God suffer?

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us why God allows suffering in this world, and why God chose to suffer.

Amen.

TO CHOOSE DARKNESS OVER LIGHT (John 19:1-15)

TO CHOOSE DARKNESS OVER LIGHT (John 19:1-15)

May 24, 2020

Jesus came to this earth to reveal the true nature of the sin that is in the heart of every person. He came to show the world that there was a way out of the darkness of sin and into the light of truth and eternal life. But Jesus was judged and condemned to die on a cross by a world that did not want to come out of the darkness to have their deeds reproved. They chose darkness over light.

John 3:19-20
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
KJV

All of us face this timeless challenge and respond one way or another. Salvation, and eternal life in heaven, is not about our works, it is about what we decide to do with Jesus Christ. Just as the men who rejected Christ did, we either cry "Crucify him" or "Crown him." There is no middle ground. You can’t work your way into heaven, pay your way, or be religious enough to be saved. You must decide to crown Him Lord of your heart or crucify Jesus in your heart. Just like each of the men who put Jesus Christ on trial, you must decide to crucify an innocent man, or make Him your Savior.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the Jews and the Gentiles alike rejected the one true Son of God and the free gift of salvation and eternal life that He offered them.

Amen.

WHAT DO YOUR REACTIONS SHOW? (John 18:1 to 11)

WHAT DO YOUR REACTIONS SHOW? (John 18:1 to 11)

May 9, 2020

I want to start by telling you something important, and here it is, the true test of your character is not seen in your actions but in your reactions. Have you ever gone to the doctor? And, when you were there, he was checking you out, and he put you up on the table, and took that little hammer and tapped your knee? He wanted to see if you had a particular reaction. He's trying' to find out something about you. Now, you could sit up there, and he could say, "Lift your knee," and you could raise it up and down like he said. But, he doesn't want to see what you planned to do, or that you can follow instructions. He wants to see the reaction he gets from you when he hits your knee with the hammer, because it is that reaction that is going to tell him something about you.

Now, all of us can control our actions. But, it's our reactions that really count and really show what we are. How you react, what comes out of your mouth, when somebody cuts you off as you are driving down the road, or if you stub your toe, or hit your finger when you are trying to hit a nail, says a lot about what is in your heart.

The difference between our actions and our reactions is really the difference between reputation and character. Somebody once said that reputation is what others think about you. Character is what God and your wife know about you. Sometimes there is a vast difference. But I want us to think today about reactions, and what we can learn about how we should react from how our Lord Jesus reacted to the events leading up to His crucifixion.

Jesus Christ gave himself for us on the cross to pay for our sins, and then he rose again to give himself to us that he might live his life through us. The same Jesus who reacted that way so long ago will react that way in you today, if He is inside of you. If he's not there, if He is not in you, they you are just an imitation of Jesus. But, if he is there, you can say, "The life I now live I live by the life of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me." Isn't that wonderful?

Click on the link below to learn how when we begin to live that way, the joy begins to come, the power begins to come, our loved ones get saved, our friends get reconciled, and God is glorified. That's what I want. That's what we want. We want our reactions to show people who we really are, a twice born person and a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE (John 16:25-33)

YOU ARE NEVER ALONE (John 16:25-33)

April 4, 2020

We are certainly living in a difficult time. We face a deadly enemy. It is silent and invisible. It moves from one person to the next, often without the host even knowing that they are a carrier of this enemy. It appears to randomly select how it will affect each of the people it attacks. Some will have mild symptoms, while others will die within days of the enemy attacking them. Much of the fear it causes is because of the unknown qualities of this enemy. How will I catch it, who will give it to me, and what will it do to me if I catch it? This fear has caused almost a complete shutdown of our worldwide economy and way of life.

We all deal with difficult times in different ways. Some face them head on, and some try to run from them. Some will share their feelings and hardships openly, while others will keep them inside. Some will depend on family and friends for support, while others chose to face these challenges alone.

As Christians we have something that others do not. We have the power and presence of the Holy Spirit of God residing in our hearts and lives. We never have to face these challenges on our own, and we never have to fear them, for we have the almighty Spirit of God to face these difficult times with us. We are never alone. If you have made Jesus Christ your Lord and Master, and then, if you have taken the next step and made the Holy Spirit, not just a resident in your heart, but the President of your life, then you have the strength, the wisdom, and the presence of the Holy God to get you through any challenge, and any trial.

But most of all, we have the knowledge that God determines when we live, and when we die. This enemy is not invisible to God. He sees it plainly. He decides when there is more for us to do to fulfill His purposes, and He decides when it is time for us to come home to be with Him. God is in control. Trust in God, and you will never be alone again.

Click on the link below to hear a message where Jesus tells us not to fear tragedies such as this virus that is attacking our very way of life. He says plainly that we are to be at peace, because He has already overcome the world.

John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
KJV

We have nothing to fear because Jesus has already overcome the world.

Amen.

A LIFE FULL OF JOY (John 15:11)

A LIFE FULL OF JOY (John 15:11)

February 3, 2020

Many people would define the word joy as happiness. So, what's the difference between joy and happiness? Someone once said, “Happiness may give smiles, put laughter on our face, but happiness is just what the word describes. Happiness depends on what happens. Therefore, you call it happiness. If your hap is good, then you're happy. If your hap is bad, then you're unhappy. It all depends upon happenstance and whatever happens.” But joy depends upon the Lord. It is supernatural. It is not natural. And, therefore, because that joy is supernatural, that joy is steadfast. It is not happiness.

For a believer, joy is more than an emotion. It is a strength. It is the power of our Lord Jesus Christ flowing through us. It is a continuous, contagious, and conspicuous, source of strength for the believer to deal with the tribulations and persecutions of this world. When Christ’s joy emanates from you, people see it, and they want what you have. It is what draws people to you to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ’s Joy is a joy that should be a part of every Christian’s life. It is not an automatic gift when you become a Christian, but it is a necessity to anyone wishing to live a victorious Christian life. The problem is that many Christians look for that joy in all the wrong places. They look for it the circumstances they are in. They look for it in their job, their hobbies, the people that they know, such as family members and friends. But those are all the wrong places to find Christ’s joy.

Click on the link below to hear a message on where to find real joy. It is when we abide in Christ that we find the unending love of Christ. It is also where we find true joy, in Christ.

Amen.

A LAST ATTEMPT (John 12:23-36)

A LAST ATTEMPT (John 12:23-36)

September 29, 2019

Have you ever had an event or an experience that you knew was going to be really, really, bad in front of you? You knew it needed to be done, people were depending on you, but you had a few days that you had to get through before it would begin? The waiting, the dreading, the sheer horribleness of it playing on your mind. I can think of things like watching my mother’s last few days on the earth, and the suffering she was dealing with. I knew her death was imminent. I knew it would happen in the next few days. I knew she would be in heaven soon, but I had to steel myself for the emotions that would come.

A soldier facing some kind of really tough battle. He knows the chances were slim that he was going to make it, but he couldn’t let his brothers in arms down. These were men he depended on, and they were the ones who depended on him, so he prepared himself to deal with it.

This is what our next few messages are going to be about for Jesus. He knew this was the reason that He had come to earth. His whole life had been about this coming hour. The entire human race depended on Him completing the work of salvation. He knew that He was about to carry the burden of every sin that had ever been committed and would ever be committed. He knew the ugliness of the world’s worst sins was about to be thrust upon Him and He would have to die as punishment for that sin. He dreaded the hour, but He knew the whole world depended on Him, and so He prepared Himself. There was so much He needed to do before that hour came, but His disciples needed to hear what He had to say. These next several weeks are going to be a study in how much Jesus loved each and every one of us, even the Jews and the Romans who would crucify Him.

Click on the link below to hear a message on what is likely the Lord’s last attempt to convince the Jews that He was the Son of God, the Promised Messiah.

Amen.

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