The Master’s Class, Summit Church
THE TRAGIC COST OF SIN (2 Samuel 11:27 - 12:3)

THE TRAGIC COST OF SIN (2 Samuel 11:27 - 12:3)

November 22, 2020

The story of David and Bathsheba is a story that is a challenge to each of us as believers, for if a man as great as David could fall into sin, then so could each of us.  It is also a tragic story, because of the tremendous cost of David’s sin.  There will always be consequences when we sin against God. Not just on what we might call the “big” sins, but any sin.  Too many times we get complacent with our sin, because we have rationalized them as “little” sins, or “socially acceptable sins,” and we do not realize the full extent of the cost of that sin in our relationship with God.  There is always a tragic cost of our sin, and that is what I want us to see in our message today.  

But there is also hope.  We can have our relationship with God restored, and that is what I want you to know today, there is hope for us when we fail, even when we fail greatly.  

If you’re living in sin and God is not dealing with you, then do you know what you need to do? You need to get saved.  You need to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  

If you’re living in sin and God is dealing with you, then do you know what you need to do? You need to get right with God.  You need to repent of the sin that is in your life and let God forgive you, and restore you.  

God is serious about your life. He wants you to live a righteous and a holy life.  God loves you and He wants you to be in fellowship with Him.  What is the hope for the child of God who has sinned?  God’s never-ending love for you.  God told David, that “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”  God tells you the same thing, 

1 John 4:10
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
KJV

1 John 4:16
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
KJV

1 John 4:19
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
KJV

Do you want to restore your relationship with God?  Do you want to once again “dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him?”  Then you must repent of your sins and find forgiveness in God’s love for you.

1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
KJV

The promise that God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” is our hope as believers.  

If this message is for you, if you are now walking in sin, it doesn’t even have to be a great big one, like adultery, but any sin, then that sin is impacting your relationship with God.  You need to repent of that sin.  This message is for people who want to live once again in the full love of God.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on the cost of sin, and the hope that the believer has in restoring their relationship with God. 

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.

LET GOD’S DREAM BE YOUR DREAM (1 Chronicles 17:3-4)

LET GOD’S DREAM BE YOUR DREAM (1 Chronicles 17:3-4)

November 1, 2020

I am going to tell you a little secret about me.  When I dream, I am always the hero.  I am the one who saves the damsel in distress.  I am the one who charges into the fire and carries out the little baby, and I am the one who captures the bad guy and puts him into jail.  In my dreams, it’s me who is the one doing everything wonderful.  In my dreams, I am the hero.  Yeah, I know, I have watched way too many John Wayne movies.  

However, in reality, if something bad happened, I know that I could barely save myself.  I would put up a good fight, especially if you threatened my family, and that includes my dogs.  But, I have learned from experience what my limitations are.  No, I know that in real life, when real danger comes, that it is the real heroes of our society that do the saving.  It is the fireman who climbs that ladder to save the damsel while the building is burning all around him.  It is the policeman who puts his life on the line to catch the bad guy and put them into jail, and it is the soldier who stands on the line between tyranny and freedom.  These are the real heroes.  

Now, truth be told, I am really glad we have these heroes because I couldn’t do it.  Not anymore, and probably never could, but that is not what I tell myself in my dreams.  Hey, a man can still have his dreams, right? 

In today’s lesson, we are going to talk about dreams, and what happens in the dreams that God gives us, and who the hero is in God’s dreams.  You see, sometimes God will put a dream in our heart. Sometimes God will lay something on us and give us a vision. 

I firmly believe that God speaks, God leads, and God will plant things down deep in your heart.  But, I want to be clear that when I say the word dreams or vision in our lesson today that I don’t mean that you will see movies in your mind, but I do mean that God will lay things on your heart.  Things that He wants you to do.

I’m also not talking about human schemes, or carnal ambition. I’m talking about things that God lays on us that I believe from my heart of hearts are from Him.  I believe that God gives a dream to everyone, that is, if they’ll listen. God didn’t just put us here to waste time and idle away. God made us for something very wonderful, and the Bible says, 

Eph 2:10
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
KJV

The word workmanship means that we are His work of art, and God built us to work for Him.

Click on the link below to hear a message about a dream that God laid on David’s heart, and how God expounded and expanded that dream beyond anything that David could imagine.  

Amen.

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

HOW TO WORSHIP GOD (1 Chronicles 16:29)

October 25, 2020

Most of the people who read my posts and listen to my audio messages have been Christians for a long period of time.  Some of you, like me, were saved as a child.  Others, were saved at some point later in life, and as we get older, we tend to get set in our ways.  

I say all of that to indicate that we have probably also gotten pretty comfortable in on our method of worshipping God.  We know what we like, and how we like to do it.  Some of us will be more ritualistic and formal than others, some with much less formality.  But we like what we like, and we resist change.  Now, I can hear some of you thinking, “Why bro. Keith this is the way we did it back in the church I grew up in, and that is what makes me happy, and you want me to be happy, don’t you?”  Well, I do and that is real good, because in today’s lesson, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to worship God, and who knows, maybe some of us seasoned citizens might learn a thing or two.  

The title of our lesson today is How to worship God.  Now, that is a pretty big subject, with lots of territory to cover, but we are going to make it short and sweet today, because the Bible is pretty straight forward when it comes to worshipping God.  It is us that makes it difficult, or complicated, not God.  

Do you want to have victory in your Christian life? Do you want to really be used of God? Then, learn to praise the Lord. Praise Him. Praise Him continually.  Praise Him creatively.  Praise Him celebratively, and Praise Him, confidently.  God is such a great God! Some people just don’t understand what real worship is.

Click on the link below to hear a message that tells us that Worship is all that I am responding to all that God is.

Amen.

TO DO A GOOD THING THE WRONG WAY (2 Samuel 6:1-11)

TO DO A GOOD THING THE WRONG WAY (2 Samuel 6:1-11)

October 11, 2020

David was a man that God loved in a special way, and David loved God in a special way, as well.  In our message today, David wants to be the kind of king that God wants him to be.  In order to do that, David knows that he needs God’s power, he needs God’s anointing, and he needs God’s presence. 

Now, if you want to have, and to know, the conscious presence of the Lord in your life, then there is the holy reverence towards God, and the things of God, that you must express.  The reason that some people do not know the conscious presence of God is they have lost a holy reverence for God. We see an example of that in the way that David tried to move the Ark of The Covenant into the city of Jerusalem.   David’s first attempt to bring the ark in was lost because he did not express a holy reverence for the things of God. He became careless in the things of God, and his carelessness led to a great calamity that day.

The interesting thing here is David is following the way of the world rather than following the Lord. Now, God had said clearly, specifically, and plainly, how the ark was to be transported, but rather than transporting it as God had said to transport it, David starts out to do a good thing the wrong way, and what he’s doing is just simply disobeying the Lord.

Now, we can have the presence of God in our church and we can have the presence of God in our lives, but if we do, it’s going to be God’s way, not ours. You know what’s wrong with so many churches today? They’ve learned from the world, and they’re following the ways of the world. In fact, the world is conforming the Church more than the Church is transforming the world. We are being conformed by the world rather than being transformed by the Spirit of God, and it’s amazing how the spirit of this world has crept into so many churches.

When we choose to follow the way of the world, we are disobedient to God.  What follow’s our disobedience of God?  God’s displeasure with us, and then comes discouragement, and then comes defeat.  

Click on the link below to hear a message on how if you want to have the conscious presence of God in your life, then you must have a holy reverence for God, and the things of God.  You cannot lay profane and unholy hands on the things of God by being disobedient to His Word.  We need a reverence for God, for holy things.  We ought to be on our face before the thrice holy God of Israel. We ought to tremble in the presence of God.

Amen.

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

SAUL, THE MAN WHO HAD IT ALL (1 Samuel 26:21)

September 27, 2020

When I look at the life of Saul, it gives me pause, and it challenges me, because what happened to Saul could happen to me, and it could happen to you or anyone.  Today, we are going to talk about the folly of disobedience. We need to learn that fools are not born, they are made, and generally, they are self-made.

Saul, was a man who had it all.  In fact, no man ever had a better start than the man named Saul, and nobody ever had a sadder finish than the man named Saul. When we first meet Saul in the Bible, he was Israel's first king, he is handsome, he is courteous, he is thoughtful, he is humble, he is young, and he is vital, virile, and vivacious.  Yet, when you look at this same man when he becomes older, you see him as a bitter, murderous, envious, wicked, and desperate old man.  You look at him and say, "How could it be? How could someone who started out so well, end so poorly?”

Click on the link below to learn that there can be no success without obedience. Saul failed to obey the Word of God. No matter how much you know; no matter how much you have; no matter how much influence and authority you have, if you do not obey God, then you are going down, because you are practicing witchcraft.  “God says that Disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft.”  

The song says that we are to trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

As I have gotten older, and God has made it plain that I have a lot fewer days ahead of me than I do behind me.  Do you know what my prayer is for me? I want to end well.  I would not be honest with you if I did not tell you that I believe that God has had His hand on my life, and I bless Him for it. I bless Him for these years.  I regret the years that I spent not doing what God wanted me to do, but I rejoice in the days that God has let me teach His Holy Word.  So, my prayer is now that God will let me end well.  

No one is immune to the deceiving and deadening power of sin if he becomes self-willed rather than Spirit-filled.  We will never be over the power of sin in our lives until we are under the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  We cannot defeat sin without God in our hearts.

I don’t care who you are, or what you’ve achieved. I pray God that every one of us will have enough sense not to play the fool. Never a man had a better start, and never did a man end more tragically, than Saul, the man who had it all.

Amen.

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

TO HAVE KINGDOM AUTHORITY (1 Samuel 24:1-7)

September 13, 2020

We live in a world today that is full of rebellion, and it is not just the riots and chaos that we see in our streets.  It is in our families, our churches, and in the places that we work.  People are choosing to rebel against the authorities that God has placed over them.  They stand up and say, “I will not wear a mask because my government tells me that I have to”, or “nobody can tell me I have to shut my business down.”  Even far worse, they take the streets looting, rioting, and burning down the foundations of our country.  The Bible is very clear about Christians who have a spirit of rebellion.

Rom 13:1-2
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
KJV

Now, you might say, "Wait a minute. You don't know the kind of government we have. It is full of a bunch God hating, progressive, socialists."  Well, maybe you don't know the kind of government that existed when Paul wrote this, when Nero was on the throne. Nero was feeding Christians to the lions in his arenas, and he was setting Christians on fire to light the streets of the city.

But you say, "What if I have an unworthy authority? What if my parents are unworthy? What if my husband is unworthy? What if my president is unworthy? What if my mayor is unworthy? What if my councilman is unworthy? What if my teacher is unworthy? What do I do?" That's a wonderful question.  The Bible says that one thing that you don't do, you do not have a spirit of rebellion.  If you wish to live a victorious Christian life, then one of the most important lessons that we can learn is how to live under the authority of God.  This includes those whom God has placed in authority over us.  

Now the phrase kingdom authority means to be able to act with the authority of God in your Christian life.  Let me assure you, it is not God's plan for you to be defeated by the world, the flesh, nor the devil.  Because, when Jesus died and rose again, He gave to His children authority over these things. But, listen carefully to me now, we will never be over those things that God has put under us until we are willing to get under, and stay under, those things that God has put over us. 

However, I want to be clear that to be under authority does not mean that we give in to wickedness.  It does not mean that we approve error.  It does not mean that we blindly obey an ungodly government. The prophets in God's Word preached against the wickedness in the kingdom. Nathan warned King David when he did wrong. Elijah warned Ahab. Eleazar spoke to Jehoshaphat, Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, Moses to Pharaoh, and God forbid that we should have pulpits today that are silent when little babies are being murdered and when wickedness prevails in so many ways. 

One of the most disturbing and reprehensible rebellions that is taking place today is against our police officers, and it breaks my heart to see this occur.  Pastor Adrian Rogers quoted this description of a policeman in one of his sermons, and he says the author is unknown.  It is similar to what Paul Harvey once said about being a policeman, but it is not quite the same.  Every time I read this it moves me. 

"A policeman is many things. He is a son, a brother, a father, an uncle, and sometimes even a grandfather. He is a protector in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow. His job calls for him to be a diplomat, a psychologist, a lawyer, a friend, and an inspiration. He suffers from an overdose of publicity about brutality and dishonesty. He suffers far more from the notoriety produced from unfounded charges.

Too often acts of heroism go unnoticed, and the truth is buried under all the criticism. The fact is that less than one-half of one percent of policemen ever discredit their uniform. That's a better average than you'll find among clergymen. A policeman is an ordinary guy who is called upon for extraordinary bravery for us. His job may sometimes seem routine, but the interruptions can be moments of stark terror. He is the man who faces a half-crazed gunman, who rescues a lost child, who challenges a mob, who risks his neck more often than we realize. He deserves our respect and profound thanks. 

A policeman stands between the lawbreaker and the law abider. It's the prime reason your home hasn't been burned, your family abused, and your business looted. Try to imagine what might happen if there were no policemen around, then try to think of ways to make their job more rewarding. Show them the respect you really have for them. Offer them a smile and a kind word. See that they don't have to be magicians to raise their families on less-than-adequate salaries. We think policemen are great. We thank God for all the little boys who said they would be policemen and all who kept their promise. We hope you feel the same way, and we hope you will show it, so that there will always be enough good policemen to go around."  That is a description of a hero that speaks to my heart.

Click on the link below to learn how to have kingdom authority in a world full of rebellion.

Amen.

THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

THE BLOOD COVENANT (1 Samuel 18:1-3)

September 6, 2020

One of the most important concepts in the Bible is that of the blood covenant. The blood covenant is what the Bible is all about.  In fact, it is the subject of the Bible.  The Hero of the Bible is Jesus, the subject is the blood covenant.

Now, not only is the blood covenant the subject of the Bible, but it is therefore the strength of the believer.  The believer's security, the believer's victory, comes to the one who learns what his covenant rights are.  If you want to live a victorious Christian life, then you want to have the strength that belongs to you because of your covenant rights.  It is no wonder that it is the secret of blessing.  

Why would God show mercy to me? Why would God have mercy on such a person as I am? 

Eph 4:32
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
KJV

Why does God forgive me? Because I am worthy? No, I am under a sentence of death. Because I deserve it? No, I'm a rebel. Because I first loved him? No, I feared him. Why does God forgive me? For Christ’s sake, "Be ye kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." 

It is because of the blood covenant that the Lord Jesus Christ made with God the Father that I am forgiven. We are brought in, not because of what we have done, but because Jesus Christ made a blood covenant for us.  When you understand the covenant, no longer do you become a slave to fears. Sometimes you feel unworthy, but that doesn't make any difference. The covenant is kept no matter how you feel about it, and the Lord will never break his covenant.  Quit living by the tyranny of feeling, just live by the covenant.  It doesn't matter whether you are worthy or not. 

Christianity is not based upon your ability. It is not your responsibility. It is your response to his ability. That's what Christianity is. Jesus cut a covenant for you.  There is no longer any need for you to live like a beggar, and die like a pauper, when you can walk on this earth as one of the king's sons because of the blood covenant. Hallelujah for that. 

Click on the link below to hear a message on how the covenant that David made with Jonathan illustrates the blood covenant that Christ made for us, so that we can have everlasting life.

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.

JESUS ASKS, DO YOU LOVE ME? (John 21:15-25)

JESUS ASKS, DO YOU LOVE ME? (John 21:15-25)

August 16, 2020

The section of verses that we are about to cover is very familiar if you have been a Christian for a while.  They are the verses where Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him.  They are verses with a lot of different messages that can be taught and preached on, but they all deal with the word love.  It is loving Jesus that is the secret of serving our Lord.  

Now, most pastors spend time talking about the differences in the Greek words that Jesus and Peter use for the word love.  Jesus, the first two times He asks Peter if he loves Him, uses the word “agapao” meaning to love deeply, but Peter doesn’t feel worthy to respond using the same word, so he uses the word “Phileo,” which means a brotherly love.  Peter’s deep feeling for the Lord is real, but having failed Him miserably, Peter just cannot bring himself to claim that he loves the Lord deeply.  This feeling in Peter is certainly important because Jesus has come here to prepare Peter for the things to come.  Jesus is here to show Peter what love really is, and to be honest, that is what the gospel of John is all about, love.  God’s love for us, but also what it means for us to truly love Jesus Christ.

Jesus doesn’t ask Peter about whether he believes the Lord’s doctrine.  He doesn’t ask if Peter is obeying His commandments, or if he is giving large sums of money, or what great things he has accomplished.  Jesus looks right at Peter, and He asks, do you love me?  Jesus is asking you that same question, do you love me?

Why does Jesus want you to know this?  Because the secret of serving our Lord is that you must first love Jesus with all of your heart, then you can feed His sheep.  It is love for Jesus that is the secret of service and if you're a teacher in a church, if you're a greeter in a church, if you're on a committee in a church, or if you are on the staff of a church, and if you serve for any other reason than that you love Jesus, then quit that job right now, or get right. You will have a deadening influence if you don't get right with God. You say, "Well, I just love music, I want to sing in the choir." That's not good enough. "I just love playing instruments." That's not good enough. "I just love to teach." That's not good enough. Do you love Jesus? If you love Him, then you can feed His sheep.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the secret of serving the Lord Jesus is that you must first love Him, then you can serve Him by serving others.  

Amen.

JESUS PREPARES HIS FOLLOWERS (John 21:1-14)

JESUS PREPARES HIS FOLLOWERS (John 21:1-14)

August 9, 2020

Today, we come to the last chapter of the gospel of John.  It begins with the same dynamic life of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of the other chapters in the gospel begin with.  Jesus has some unfinished business with His disciples before He ascends into heaven.  He has directions to give them.  Directions that they will need in order to share the gospel message to a dark world that needs to hear the words of eternal life.  But, He needs to speak to Peter most of all.  

Peter was to be the great preacher of Pentecost, the first disciple to reach out to the Gentiles, and the one who will lead this group of men on the trail to share the gospel.  But, at this moment, Peter was a broken man, full of self-doubt.  Jesus had already spoken to him separately, but He had more to say.  The Lord now had to minister directly to Peter's conscience.  Jesus knew the role that Peter would play in the days to come, and so He needed Peter to know that he had been forgiven.  

In each of our lives, there is a place, a time, where something happened, something where we failed the Lord by what we did.  I know that is true of me.  I have hurt those close to me when I sought to please myself instead of the Lord.  If you are a Christian, with the Holy Spirit living in your heart, then these are things that you come to regret with all of your heart, something you would give anything to undo. You wish you could go back and live the incident over again, only doing it differently this time.  You cannot erase the memory. 

Click on the link below to hear Part 1 of a two-part message on how the great physician deals with our own conscience. How he lays even the persistent ghosts of our past to rest.  

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.

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

THE JOB OF A CHRISTIAN (John 20:21)

June 28, 2020

The title of the lesson is “The Job of a Christian,” but I could just as easily have used the title of, "Getting People Ready for Heaven" because that is what Jesus is telling His disciples, and us, about what comes next. The resurrection is real, Jesus is alive, and this is what He wants us to do next.

John 20:21
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
KJV

Jesus didn't come as the great teacher. He didn't come as the great financier, and He didn't come as the great politician. He came to be the Savior of the world. The mandate that the Father sent His Son to do was a mandate of salvation. Our mandate today is the same mandate that Jesus had, and that is the salvation of souls.

Does God want people saved? Of course, He does. Has God put His instructions in the Bible? Of course, He has. What we need to do is to give the simple, glorious, message of Jesus Christ. There are thousands of people out there who will respond to the simple message of the gospel. The gospel is so incredibly simple—not simplistic—but simple, clear, plain, and sweet. You don't have to be a PhD to understand it. God loves common people, and so, what you need to do is to learn the simple, sweet, glorious message of the gospel, and then share it with others.

The world is hungering for this truth. His message is to be our message.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how we need to make a full, total, surrender to Jesus Christ. Learn how to share the gospel. Pray that God will lay some soul upon your heart, or that God will open extraordinary opportunities to you, and then be bold enough to speak for Jesus. Don't be afraid of failure. There can be no failure if you obey. Whether they are saved or not, you will be a success if you share the Lord Jesus. Successful witnessing is sharing Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results with God.

Amen.

THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST (John 19:30)

THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST (John 19:30)

June 7, 2020

Our message today is going to be about a simple phrase. A phrase that contains just three words, and yet they are three words that shook the world then, and they are still shaking the world today. They are “It is finished.”

John 19:30
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
KJV

There is a prayer in my heart about this message today. It is that God would anoint this message with supernatural power. I pray that God would make these words a blessing. I pray that the Lord will speak through me, and as a result, that Christians will be strengthened, and that the unsaved will be convicted, and converted, and drawn to confess Christ as their Lord and Savior. I pray that everything that is said and done here today will glorify and magnify the name of Jesus. That is my prayer for this message today. I hope that is your prayer as well.

Now, I want you to notice that Jesus did not say, "I am finished." Even though all of the demons in Hell were howling in glee and saying, "We got Him, He's gone. He's finished." it is really important for us to see that Jesus didn't say, "I am finished."

Even though the disciples were mournful and brokenhearted because their leader, their Sovereign, their King, was dying there upon a cross. We need to understand that it was not that Jesus was finished. Instead, Jesus said “IT was finished.”

Click on the link below to hear a message on what Jesus meant when He said IT is finished. We will talk about the prophecies that were completed, and the suffering that was completed, but, most importantly, I want to tell you, thank God, God's way of salvation was finished. God's mighty work of redemption was finished. When Jesus died, all that was necessary for you to be forgiven and to be saved was done. There's nothing for you to do but to receive what Jesus Christ has already done, because "It is finished."

That is the difference between any false cult and biblical Christianity. There's nothing for you to do. What you must do is to receive the finished work of Calvary. Jesus Christ said: "It is finished". It is not what you do to be saved, it's what He has done. It's spelled d-o-n-e. "It's finished." Jesus Christ has purchased your salvation. It's paid for.

What I want you to hear in this message are God’s promises to you. When Jesus Christ said “It is Finished, He is telling you that if you want to be saved, you can be saved. If you want God to give you a new life, He'll give you a new life. If you want power over Satan, you can have it. Because "It is finished"

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.

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU-PART II (John 17:14-26)

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU-PART II (John 17:14-26)

May 3, 2020

This is a prayer where Jesus asks the Father to keep and strengthen the Lord’s disciples, both the men who were gathered around Him on this dark night before His crucifixion, and those who would later come to believe on Him throughout the church age.

John 17:11
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
KJV

It is amazing to understand that 2,000 years ago, Jesus, on His way to be crucified, took time to pray for you and me. It is a prayer that has transcended time and space. The Lord’s prayer has impacted every believer that has claimed Him as their Savior since the day He prayed it.

Did you know that you have this ability as well? You do. When you pray to Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, and for the things that Jesus wills for you, then your prayer can transcend time and space just as the Lord’s did. You can pray for people in other parts of the world that you don’t even know. You can pray for your great-grandchildren that have not even been born yet. This is the power of praying to an almighty God. It is a wonderful thing to know and apply in our lives.

What was the Lord praying about for you on that street so long ago? He was praying for our protection, our security, our sanctification, and that we would have the power to do all the things that He has asked us to do. He prayed that we would share the gospel message of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Click on the link below to hear a message on the how the Lord Jesus Christ prayed that you do the things that He has sent you to do, and then, that you would come to be with Him. Heaven is incomplete for Jesus without you. Jesus wants you to be with Him. That is such a wonderful thought to apply in our heart. Jesus wants you to be with Him.

Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU (John 17:1-13)

THE LORD’S PRAYER FOR YOU (John 17:1-13)

April 26, 2020

Imagine this, the Son of the Almighty God, the Creator of all things, stood in a street and prayed for you.

John 17:9
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
KJV

When Jesus says, “I pray for them,” He means that He is praying for those who have believed on Him. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then Jesus is praying for you. That doesn’t mean that the Lord does not love the lost. He so loved the world that He came to die on a cross for their sin. But this prayer was about the people who would take the good news of the gospel of Christ to the world.

What did Jesus pray for?

John 17:13
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
KJV

It was for joy that Jesus endured the cross. Jesus wanted that same joy to fill the souls of his saints. His joy could not be full if their cup was not full too. So, he prayed that "they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves."

Click on the link below to hear a message on what Jesus prays for you. He prayed that you might have everlasting life and to have your cup filled with His joy.

Amen.

THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER (John 17:1-23)

THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER (John 17:1-23)

April 18, 2020

Today’s message is on prayer and it comes from chapter 17 of the Gospel of John. This is a prayer of the Lord Jesus. It is a deep and profound prayer. In times like this, a time when great numbers of people are dying from a disease, a time when great persecution of God’s people is taking place, a time when there is doubt and fear about what is happening in the world, prayer is the most important thing in a Christian’s life. It is prayer that prepares us for anything. It is prayer that allows us to be prepared to face any fear, any tragedy, any persecution. The best preparation for anything is to pray.

The purpose of prayer is that God will be glorified. Prayer prepares us to do what God would have us to do. Then, when we do what God would have us to do, God will be glorified.

If you wish to learn the purpose of prayer in a Christian’s life, then I can’t think of a better way to do it than to eavesdrop on the Son of God when He prays. Imagine that, we get to hear the words of the Son of God as He prays. What a privilege that is.

Click on the link below to hear a message on how prayer can take you through any tragedy, any trial, in order that you might finish the things that God has for you to do.

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.

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (John 16:7-11)

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (John 16:7-11)

March 1, 2020

Like most people, I spent a good deal of my youth getting an education in school. I went through elementary, Junior High, Senior High, and even college, and I learned a good deal in those schools. Not that I remember much of it, but the one thing that has stuck is how to learn. How to learn about a particular subject. How to study, and how to organize my thoughts about that knowledge in a meaningful way.

Now, to be honest, I hated studying while I was in school, and by the time I was done with college, I swore that I would never do it again. If I had to pick up a book to learn about something, I decided I could live with being ignorant. Well, you see how that worked out. I now have a job that requires me to study the federal regulations on such interesting topics as boycott laws, trade sanctions, and import and export laws. I also spend a good share of my time at home studying to teach these lessons. In other words, never tell God that you don’t want to do something that He wants you to do, because He has a way of making sure you do.

One of the other things that I learned in school was that a school cannot teach you many things about how to live in this world, especially about what is right and wrong. This is particularly true when it comes to living a victorious Christian life. There are some things that you will never learn in school. There are things that you will never figure out intellectually. There are things that you will never, never, ever know until you lay your intellectual pride in the dust and let God the Holy Spirit speak to you. In fact, the most important truths that will impact your life for all of eternity can only be known by the Holy Spirit speaking them to you. You won’t learn them in school. You won’t learn them in seminary, and you won’t learn them in the school of hard knocks. Our messages over the next couple of weeks are going to be about three of these tremendous truths.

Now, truth is so very, very important. There are those who are afraid of the truth, afraid of what that truth will mean in their lives. There are those who are willing to accept half-truths, socially adapted truths that allow them to deceive themselves into believing they are religious, or just a good person. Then, there are those who arrogantly think they know all truth. My prayer for you today is that you will have the humility to ask the Holy Spirit to speak the truth to you.

Click on the link below to hear a message on man’s basic problem, the sin of unbelief. Not believing on Jesus Christ is the great sin. That is the mother sin, the father sin, the parent sin, the sin of sins. The greatest sin is not believing. Unbelief does not come out of the head; it comes out of the heart. It is a predisposition against Almighty God. It is not trusting the God who loves you. Refuse the Lord Jesus Christ, and you are condemned because you have not believed. You have refused Him. That is the greatest sin, and with it brings the greatest penalty.

Amen.

Play this podcast on Podbean App