Sunday, December 28, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "How-to have God's divine protection"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 7: HOW-TO Have God’s Divine Protection
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

December 28th – Lori Ulman
January 4th – Lynnette Higgins
January 11th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
January 18th – Walker Spriggs
January 25th – Grace Steadman


WHERE WE ARE AT
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems

† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Handle Stress
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Overcome Despair
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Maintain Hope


Today: How to have God’s Divine Protection







INTRODUCTION

Psalm 91:1-16

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.


Psalm 90 speaks of the wilderness and being lost with all its perils. This Psalm explains the protection of dwelling in obedience to the Lord.

Many scholars believe that this Psalm was written by Moses, because the previous was written by him, and describes the same situation from another perspective.

Where the first speaks of the perils, this one speaks of the protection.

It continues…


2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.


The fowler’s snare is the demonic forces that oppose us. The literal also says ‘rushing calamity’ instead of deadly pestilence, speaking of destruction of everything before it.


4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.


This scripture speaks of the Holy of Holies, where God dwells between the Cherubim and the Mercy Seat.

This is also where the Lord is seated at God’s right hand.

This is also where Jesus makes note as He rose into Jerusalem looking into the city and crying, saying “O, how long have I tried to gather you beneath my wings.”

But Israel would not come.


5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.




7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.


The result of living outside of a relationship with God is obvious.


9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."




Psalm 27:1-5

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.



Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 34:7

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.



Psalm 23:4

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.


The staff is chastisement and correction to guide us, just as a shepherds staff.

The rod is for protecting us from our enemies.


CLOSING


Proverbs 1:33

but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm."

To obtain the protection of God, to receive His angels around you, to live in security regardless of your surroundings, you must belong to the Lord.

This can only take place when we turn to God, confess that we need Him, and that we are sinful and lost without Him, and submit ourselves to Him and His Holy Spirit to dwell within us.

It is only then we can call Him Father, and He can call us His children.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "How to maintain hope"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 6: HOW-TO Maintain Hope
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

December 14th – Grace Steadman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins
January 4th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
January 11th – Walker Spriggs

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE

DATE: December 24th – Wednesday Evening

TIME: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

EVENTS:

Prayer, music, singing & praises.

Close with candle lighting

Fellowship and snacks to follow

WHERE WE ARE AT
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Handle Stress
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Overcome Despair
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Maintain Hope
INTRODUCTION

Romans 8:18-25

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.


I. WHAT IS OUR HOPE?

I Thessalonians 5:8 & 9

1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Psalm 55:22

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.



II. WHERE IS OUR HOPE FOUND?

Romans 15:13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



Matthew 6:34

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.



Psalm 33:18-22

18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.



Psalm 119:114

You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.



III. HOW DO WE OBTAIN OUR HOPE?

Lamentations 3:22-24

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.




Hebrews 6:15, 18-20

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.


CLOSING

What is our hope?
Our hope is the promises of the Lord.

Where is our hope found?
In God’s Word where all of His promises are recorded.

How do we obtain hope?
By reading His Word and accepting the promises He has made.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "How-To overcome dispair"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 5: HOW-TO Overcome Despair
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

December 14th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins
January 4th – Grace Steadman
January 11th – Walker Spriggs

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE

DATE: December 24th – Wednesday Evening

TIME: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

EVENTS:

Prayer, music, singing & praises.

Close with candle lighting

Fellowship and snacks to follow

WHERE WE ARE AT

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Handle Stress
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Overcome Despair

INTRODUCTION

Despair - a state in which all hope is lost or absent; give up hope; lose heart; the feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well;

Can be a noun, or a verb…

Today we will look at what causes despair, what God’s Word says we are to do about despair, and how we can “do” what God’s Word says.

I. CAUSE OF DESPAIR

† Hebrews 13:1-6 – Not obeying the Word can cause despair

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.

2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."

6 So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"

We can not say “YES” to verse 6 if we do not say “YES” to verse 1-5!








† Philippians 4:4-9

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


† Philippians 4:12-13

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


II. FOCUSING ON GOD

† II Corinthians 4:8-9; 13-18

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


† Psalm 103:10-12

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;



III. HIS PROMISE

† Hebrews 6:15

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

We sometimes have despair because we lack patience for the promises of God…

Our despair can cause lack of faith, and that disobedience can prolong our promise.

The promise land was kept from the children of Israel because of this for 40 years.

And we get upset if God does not jump to our requests within the time frame we have allowed Him.

We need to rethink our position in the kingdom, remind ourselves who we are, and remember who God is.

We have despair because we lack faith in Him whom our promise comes.

† Galatians 6:7-10

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

When we sow impatience, when we lack that faith which then causes despair, when we demand of God and have no patience for His promise, we sow sin…

And the scripture promises that what we sow, we shall also reap, as the children of Israel did for 40 years, causing their promise to be held back.

BUT, if we sow to please the Spirit, which means to remember our place in the Kingdom, and that we pray God’s Will be done, not ours…

That attitude will reap eternal life, not destruction.

And let us not get tired of doing what is good.

One who gets tired of doing good, or the right thing is a selfish self centered person, who says, “All I ever do is good and what’s right, when am I going to get what I deserve?”

With that attitude, keep behaving in that manner, and the Bible promises you will get what you deserve…you will reap what your attitude has been sowing.

But to the one who continues to do good, not for reward, but because it is pleasing to the Spirit…the one who does not tire of doing good, even though he receives nothing for his efforts, to him, the scriptures promise, at the proper time he will reap the harvest if he does not give up.

It says in verse 10, therefore, if you have the opportunity to do good, do it! To all people! But especially to the ones who belong to God.








† Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.


CLOSING

† Matthew 11:28-30

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "How to handle stress"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 4: HOW-TO Handle Stress
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins
January 4th – Grace Steadman



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Handle Stress








INTRODUCTION

Medical News Today (www.medicalnewstoday.com)
“Nearly 5% of the US population suffers from persistent depression or anxiety…”

Population in the US - 305,820,894

This is just the “reported cases”, which equal approximately 15,291,045 people!

If you add other mental disorders such as mood, substance abuse/dependency, and impulse control…that 5% jumps to 26.4% … ¼ of our population.

That’s 76,455,224 people who are stressed out.

† National Stress-Out Week November 11-17



#1 USA 26.4%
#2 Ukraine 20.5%
#3 France 18.4%

These are just the reported cases…

Stress and anxiety is the absence of Peace and trust…

In a lot of cases, stress stems from fear, and anxiety from lack of faith.

I. THE LORD GIVES US PEACE AND IN HIM WE CAN TRUST

† John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus leaves us peace through the Holy Spirit.

The world gives false hopes, lies and deceit…But you can Trust in the Lord.

Jesus tells us directly, do not let your hearts be troubled…and do not be afraid.


† Mark 4:37-41

37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

The storms come…and they can strike fear into us in our lives.

But the Lord is in control.

We need to call on Him and have faith and trust in Him.

Jesus tells us that the disciples had fear because they did not have faith.

Fear is the absence of something…faith.

Jesus wants to give you peace, but you have to develop your faith and trust in Him.

And that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17

II. HOW TO RECEIVE PEACE FROM THE LORD

† Philippians 4:4-9

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


† 1 Peter 5:7-11

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.



III. FEAR IS THE OPPOSITE OF PEACE

† Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


† Psalms 23:2-4

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.


† Psalms 46:1-3

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.




† Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


CLOSING

† Matthew 11:28-30

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "Facing Financial Problems"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 3: Facing Financial Problems
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 30th – Grace Steadman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 21st – Lori Ulman
December 28th – Lynnette Higgins



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord

† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Financial Problems








INTRODUCTION

Acts 3:6
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

The Apostles were not rich as some claim.

Jesus did not have many houses across the land like some claim.

The eye of the needle was symbolic of a sewing needle, not the name of a big gate.

When Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass through that eye of a needle that a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, He meant what He said.

This was Jesus response when the rich young man did not want to give up his earthly riches to follow Jesus.

We spoke about our attitude over the last couple weeks with facing spiritual trials and illness, and how God wants us to have a certain attitude that will change our situation around us.

It is the same with any trial.

Our attitude is KEY!


I. THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL

† I Timothy 6:3-11

3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

We do not give to get…


Godliness is not a means to financial gain.

If you do good so you can receive a reward, then you have ruined your chance at that reward you would have received if you gave because it was right.

If you give to get, then you gave for the wrong reason, and you will not be rewarded.

We are to give because it’s right, not so that we may receive financial gain.

If you do for praise of others, to be esteemed by others, the scriptures say you have already received your reward.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.


Why do we consider ourselves rich by the world’s standards?

Why do we follow the Lord in all things except when it comes to money?

We are so quick to serve as long as it doesn’t really cost us.

Are we really having financial problems?

Or, is it we think we are because we are not satisfied with what the Lord has provided us in our lives?

We brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing out.

According to the scripture I just read, godliness with contentment is great gain.

Those are riches we should seek.

Or are we spoiled little kids…no matter what our Father gives, it’s not enough and we want more?



The scripture says that if you are godly, if you have food and clothing you will be content with that.

If you are not content with what the Lord has provided, your focus is wrong.

The scripture says so.

The idea and notion of getting rich, or being rich comes from this capitalist society which teaches riches of financial gain to consider yourself successful.

This wrong teaching is destroying the very fabric of our society.

Why do those who become rich turn to drugs and alcohol? Because they were taught in this country that money solves all your problems. And when they became rich, they found themselves worse off than before.

Why is there so much crime among the poor neighborhoods? Because they have been taught that if you have money, everything will be OK, and so getting money becomes the focus and they rob, cheat and steal to get what they think is the answer to their lives.

Why would the rich young man not follow Jesus?

He obviously was a believer in God, and by his own admission kept the commandments and was interested in getting closer to God by following Jesus…

But there was a problem.

He would not choose the Lord over his riches.

The wealth of this earth was more than the Lord to him.

How many times in our lives do we see otherwise godly people flip in a moment when it comes to their money?

How many times have we seen otherwise godly people throw everything that is important to God out the window when it comes to their riches and finances?

How many times in your life, have you ignored what you know the Lord wants for monetary gain or security of your riches?

How many times have you made Jesus second to your money?


† I Timothy 6:17-19

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

How do you know if someone is putting their hope in wealth?

You will know them because they will disregard God’s law for their gain.

Every time you make a choice for your financial gain at the cost of the Lord…you have shown who your master is, and who you serve.

It’s not our words that show where our heart lies, but where our treasures are.

The rich young man made it clear when he walked away from Jesus’ words to keep his wealth, who his master was.


† Luke 12:15

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."
14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."



† Proverbs 11:28

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.








II. THE GODLY ARE CONTENT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

† Philippians 4:11-13

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.



† Luke 12:22-24

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!



III. GOD SUPPLIES ALL YOUR NEEDS BY HIS RICHES AND GLORY

† Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Are you seeking FIRST His Kingdom and Righteousness?

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be standing for the word in this world when society tells you that sin is OK.

If you are seeking righteousness then you will be making choices daily for HIS KINGDOM.

When times come and you have to make a choice between the word of the Lord and riches…if you are seeking righteousness you will choose the Lord.

The financial problems we face most of the times are not problems at all…

We believe they are problems because we have been conditioned by culture to say what is “doing good” and what is “being poor”.

God says not to focus on these things, not to worry about building your riches on earth, but to build them in heaven, and we do that by choosing righteousness over our personal gain.

How can we say “I have crucified my flesh for Christ…” in one breath, yet choose financial gain for our flesh over the word and truth of the Lord?


† Psalm 34:6-10

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

If you choose the things of the Lord, He will protect and provide.



CLOSING

† Philippians 4:19

…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maturing in Christ - "Facing Serious Illness"

The Great Commission
MATURING IN CHRIST
Part 2: Facing Serious Illness
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs
December 14th – Grace Steadman
December 21st – Lori Ulman



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord
† Maturing in Christ: Spiritual Trials
† Maturing in Christ: Facing Serious Illness



INTRODUCTION

We were created from the dust of the earth, and what makes us “alive” is the spirit of life that God breathed into us.

We were created to live forever in perfection on earth, sustaining our physical bodies by eating of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.
The only other tree mentioned by name in the garden was the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

Why must we die?

Because God said, if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge you shall surely die.

Why?

Because if we ate from that tree, we would sin against God.

When we sin against God we are separated from Him.

God stated a fact that if Adam and Eve sinned against God, they would be separated from Him, which meant they would no longer be in the Garden because of sin.

But that is where the Tree of Life was.

And without the Tree of life, our bodies can not live forever.

Death has now become a part of life, just as God said in the times of Noah, “How long will I allow man to sin against me? I will limit them to 120 years of life”

We, who follow Jesus Christ, have redeemed Spirits, but our flesh is still sinful.

This is why we receive a NEW body after death.

As the scripture describes it, we shall take off the corruptible, and put ON incorruption, and take of mortality and put ON immortality.

We will become in our new bodies, perfect, sinless, and everlasting, our sinful flesh finally dead to us, and nothing left but our spirit, and God’s Holy Spirit.

Knowing the scriptures state that it is appointed to all men to die once, we know our time is coming.

Many will pray for the coming rapture more out of fear of dying than wanting justice.

Many of God’s people have feared the unknown.

Some fear the illness or sicknesses that come with the aged.

Perhaps some of us have had horrible experiences with loved ones passing, and it has painted a very ugly picture of what our fate will be?

But the scriptures promise that we can have victory in life, and that in all situations we should focus on the Lord alone, and His strength will be sufficient.

I. ILLNESS AND THE FACT THAT UNREDEEMED FLESH MUST DIE

Genesis 2:15-17 Warning of death to come

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

God says we will die…meaning both spiritual death, which is separation from God because of sin, and physical death because our flesh can no longer be sustained perfectly by the Tree of Life.

Satan speaks – You shall surely not die. Trying to play on words to convince Eve that she will not die…at least not immediately.


II Corinthians 4:15-18 Do not lose heart when you are wasting away

15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


II. HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IS KEY

Psalm 77:4-14
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
7 "Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"
Selah
10 Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.
13 Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.


Psalm 48:14

8 As we have heard,
so have we seen
in the city of the LORD Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure forever.
Selah
9 Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them to the next generation.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.


Psalm 49:15 – Of the sons of Korah

1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
3 My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the utterance from my heart will give understanding.
4 I will turn my ear to a proverb;
with the harp I will expound my riddle:
5 Why should I fear when evil days come,
when wicked deceivers surround me-
6 those who trust in their wealth
and boast of their great riches?
7 No man can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for him-
8 the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough-
9 that he should live on forever
and not see decay.
10 For all can see that wise men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
11 Their tombs will remain their houses [a] forever,
their dwellings for endless generations,
though they had [b] named lands after themselves.
12 But man, despite his riches, does not endure;
he is [c] like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.
Selah
14 Like sheep they are destined for the grave, [d]
and death will feed on them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning;
their forms will decay in the grave, [e]
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem my life [f] from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.
Selah
16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;
17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.
18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper-
19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of life .
20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.


II Corinthians 5:1-10

1 Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 We live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.


Psalm 104:33-34

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.


Psalm 146:2

2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.





III. WHAT WE SHOULD DO ABOUT ILLNESS


James 5:14-20

14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


II Kings 20:1-7

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.' "
7 Then Isaiah said, "Prepare a poultice of figs." They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.

Some may argue that it was the figs that brought healing…but who are we to say by what means the Lord brings healing? Whether it be miraculous, through medicine or natural means? Do not all things belong to the Lord?

Isn’t everything on earth at His disposal?

Regardless the means, nothing happens without the definitive approval by the Word of the Lord.

Regardless of the means, all praise and honor must go to Him for ALLOWING those means to be successful!


Acts 3:1-8 Peter heals a crippled beggar

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Silver or gold I do not have…..

But what I have I give you…

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Have the Joy of the Lord"

The Great Commission
Part 9 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Have the Joy of the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman
November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
December 7th – Walker Spriggs




WHERE WE ARE AT

† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Have the Joy of the Lord






INTRODUCTION

Joy of the Lord…

JOY of the LORD, not OUR joy!

To have the Joy of the Lord means to KNOW that the Lord is pleased with you, to a point where HE has joy IN YOU.

This is the Joy of the Lord.

We, always thinking of ourselves and our pleasures, think that Joy of the Lord is for US to be happy.


John 15:11-12
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.


As the Father loved me (Jesus), Now (you) remain in my love.

IF you obey my commands, you remain in my love.

I told you this so MY JOY (you obeying commands and staying IN His love) MY JOY may be IN you.

Joy of the Lord is that you Obey His Commands…and thus remain in His love.

AND…that your joy may be complete.

What is OUR JOY??

Our joy is complete in KNOWING that we are obeying Christ’s commands, and in doing so He has joy in us!! And we remain in His love!


Having the Joy of the Lord has to do with pleasing the Lord, not us being happy all the time.

This scripture shows us that OUR joy should be in the fact that the Lord has Joy in us!
Matthew 25:21 – parable of the talents
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.


He was called a faithful servant.

Faithful over the little he was entrusted with.

And because of his obedience, he could share in the Joy of the Lord.

It is obvious, that it is faithfulness here that is being rewarded.

God has NOT called us to be successful, but rather to be faithful.

Faithful means to trust in Him and His Word…obedience to His Commands.

How to have the Joy of the Lord?

When we obey Christ’s commands, He says that we remain in His Love.

This means, if we disobey His commands, we leave His love.

Is obedience important to the Lord?

ABSOLUTELY…

The great commission tells us this!

“Make Disciples (Christ Followers) of all the nations (all nationalities), baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach them to OBEY ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.”

And if you do this, the Lord promises in the next sentence, “And I will be with you always, until the end of the age.”

Our mission, the Great commission, the command from the Lord Himself on what we are to do while we are here on earth is this!

Get people saved, get them baptized, not in the baptism of John, but Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and TEACH THEM TO OBEY ALL THAT CHRIST HAS COMMANDED YOU!


When we obey Christ’s commands, we remain in His love.

While we are in His love, He tells us that His joy in our obedience should be our Joy.

We should be happy we are living pleasing lives for the Lord!

While we are obedient and remaining in the Lord’s Love, we can rejoice and take joy in some wonderful promises!!


Luke 10:20
…rejoice because your names are written in Heaven!


Psalm 45:7
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.


Why do you have joy? Because you lived obediently (righteousness) and hate wickedness (sin in the world) therefore God anoints you with oil (symbolizes the Holy Spirit) with joy.


1 Thessalonians 1:6
6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

When we obey, we remain in Christ’s love.

When we have Christ’s love, the Holy Spirit dwells within us.

When we obey it brings the Lord joy, and when we bring the Lord joy through our obedience, we in turn have joy from the Spirit of God which dwells within us.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Prise the Lord"

The Great Commission
Part 8 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Praise the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

November 2nd – Walker Spriggs
November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman
November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins
November 30th – Deacon Kurt Ulman



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered
† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Praise the Lord



INTRODUCTION




WE ARE SUPPOSED TO PRAISE THE LORD

1 Peter 2:12 – Living Stone & Chosen people called to praise Him
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone," 8 and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

I. WAYS IN WHICH TO PRAISE THE LORD

Psalm 149:1-9
1 Praise the LORD. [Hebrew Hallelu Yah] Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 150:1-6
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.



II. WHEN TO PRAISE THE LORD

Psalm 34:1
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.


Psalm 113:1-3
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
2 Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.



Acts 16:25-34
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."

32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.




Psalm 146:1-3
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.



III. SALVATION COMES THROUGH PRAISE

Psalm 50
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 "Gather to me my consecrated ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for God himself is judge.
Selah
7 "Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
O Israel, and I will testify against you:
I am God, your God.
8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices
or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
16 But to the wicked, God says:
"What right have you to recite my laws
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction
and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him;
you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You speak continually against your brother
and slander your own mother's son.
21 These things you have done and I kept silent;
you thought I was altogether like you.
But I will rebuke you
and accuse you to your face.
22 "Consider this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue:
23 He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
and he prepares the way
so that I may show him the salvation of God."





Jeremiah 33:10-11
10 "This is what the LORD says: 'You say about this place, "It is a desolate waste, without men or animals." Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither men nor animals, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying,
"Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
for the LORD is good;
his love endures forever."
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.



CONCLUSION

Psalm 119:108
Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.


John 7:37-39
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Understand Freedom in Christ"

The Great Commission
Part 7 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Understand Freedom in Christ
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

October 26th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
November 2nd – Walker Spriggs
November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman
November 23rd – Lynnette Higgins




WHERE WE ARE AT

† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered


INTRODUCTION





Isaiah 52:2 – 12
2 Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.

3 For this is what the LORD says: "You were sold for nothing,
and without money you will be redeemed."

4 For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them.

5 "And now what do I have here?" declares the LORD.
"For my people have been taken away for nothing,
and those who rule them mock, " declares the LORD. "And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.

6 Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I."

7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
"Your God reigns!"

8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy.
When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.

9 Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.

10 The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the LORD.

12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.




I. FREEDOM IN CHRIST
o Revelation 22:16 – 17
16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.



o John 8:32, 36
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33 They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.



o II Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.


o Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


o Romans 8:18 – 21
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.





II. NO CONDEMNATION FOR CHILDREN OF GOD
o Romans 8:1-2
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.




III. FREE…BUT SERVE!
o Galatians 5:13
13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.


o James 1:25
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.


o 1 Peter 2:16
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.


o 1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.




IV. SINNING AND LIVING IN SIN

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Growing in the Lord "How-To: Be Christ centered"

The Great Commission
Part 6 – Growing in the Lord
HOW-TO: Be Christ Centered
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

October 19th – Lynnette Higgins
October 26th – Walker Spriggs
November 2nd – Deacon Kurt Ulman
November 9th – Grace Steadman
November 16th – Lori Ulman



WHERE WE ARE AT

† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth

† Growing in the Lord : HOW-TO Be Christ Centered


INTRODUCTION

I. SEEK THE LORD YOUR GOD
† 1 Chronicles 16:8-12

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
11 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
12 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,



† Psalm 63:1-2, 5-7

1 O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.



5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.




II. PRAISE THE LORD CONTINUALLY
† Ephesians 5:19-20

19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


† Psalm 34:1-4

1 I will praise the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.



† Psalm 61:8

8 Then will I ever sing praise to your name
and fulfill my vows day after day.



† Hebrews 13:15-17

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.



III. CHOOSE TO TRUST AND DO
† Colossians 3:16-17

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.




† John 15:14-17

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.



† Romans 13:14

14 … clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.



† Psalm 71:1, 5, 8

1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.

5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.

8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.



† Psalm 62:8

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.



† Isaiah 26:4

4 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

† Luke 9:23-25

23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?



Acts 17:24-31

24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Growing in the Lord "Overcoming Your Mouth"

The Great Commission
Part 5 – Growing in the Lord
OVERCOMING: Your Mouth
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org


ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –
“Seminary Students will be preaching”

October 12th – Lori Ulman
October 19th – Lynnette Higgins
October 26th – Walker Spriggs
November 2nd – Deacon Kurt Ulman
November 9th – Grace Steadman




WHERE WE ARE AT

† Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer
† Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word
† Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship
† Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride
† Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Your Mouth


INTRODUCTION

I. Life and Death are in the Tongue
o Proverbs 18:21 – Life and Death are in the Tongue

The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Everything that is, came to be from the Word which was spoken.

We, created in God’s image, and having the Holy Spirit in us, have the power to speak things as if they were.

If we speak doubt, fear, negativity, we are essentially speaking death into our lives.

If we speak the Word of God, and things which are pure, good and holy, we are speaking life into our lives.



o Proverbs 13:2-3 – Life and Destruction in your words

2 From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things,
but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.
3 He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.



o Luke 6:45 - What you speak is from your heart

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.



o James 3:3-6, 9-11- Blessings and Curses from the same mouth??

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring?

Can pure and tainted water fill the same cup?


II. Do not Speak Evil
o Ephesians 4:29, 31-32 – No Corrupt Speech Only Edifying

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


Our reality is not a perception, but a result of our tongues speaking things into existence.

The seeds in which you sew will bring forth fruit of it’s kind. Just as it were in Genesis, so it is now.

And you will reap whatever fruit that comes from the seed in which you sew.

Are you surrounded in chaos, negativity and death?

Or are you surrounded with hope that never dies, strength to carry on and a will from your Father in heaven that causes you to succeed no matter what the circumstances?

My wife used to be negative, she called it “being realistic”.

But that negativity was really the fruit from the seed called “lack of faith”.

When God grew her faith, she stepped out of that reality, and into the reality that the Holy Spirit gives her no matter what the circumstance, and now she walks in faith and in the Spirit.

o 1 Timothy 6:20-21 - Avoid Profanity & Vain Babbling

20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
o Proverbs 15:4 – Deceit crushes the spirit

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.


o Matthew 12:36 – You are accountable for every idle word

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Life and Death in your words…

What are you speaking in your life?


Motivational speakers all over the world in the past 20+ years have been making a living off teaching simple principles found in the Holy Scriptures.

Positive thinking is simply what the scriptures say when it says to think on things which are holy, pure and righteous.

Speaking positively in your life is what the scriptures have told man to do from day one.

When we sew the seeds of discourse, negativity, hate, anger, sin, anything that is vain or ungodly, we are planting a garden surrounding our feet.

We should be planting seeds of understanding, compassion and love for all, saved and unsaved.

When our garden grows, are we going to be surrounded by lovely fruit of life, or the thorns thistles and poisonous berries of our sin?

We should only speak that which will build and edify others in what they need.

You see, it’s not about us, but others.

We need to stop living selfishly, and start living a selfless life as our Savior did.




III. Speak Good
o Proverbs 16:23-24 – Pleasant words are good for you

23 A wise man's heart guides his mouth,
and his lips promote instruction.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.



o 1 Chronicles 16:9 – Speak of God’s Wonders

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
9 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.



o 1 Peter 1:15 – Be Holy in conversations

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."


o Psalm 50:23 – Watch conversation and God will reveal Salvation





CONCLUSION

James 1:26-27 – If a man seems right, but does not control his tongue…

26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Growing in the Lord "Overcoming Pride"

The Great Commission

Part 4 – Growing in the Lord

OVERCOMING: Pride

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

September 28th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

October 5th – Grace Steadman

October 12th – Lori Ulman

October 19th – Lynnette Higgins

October 26th – Walker Spriggs

WHERE WE ARE AT

Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer

Spending Time with the Lord Reading the Word

Spending Time with the Lord in Fellowship

Spending Time with the Lord, One on One

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING The Carnal Mind

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Satan

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Worldliness

Growing in the Lord : OVERCOMING Pride

INTRODUCTION

TIME magazine October 2008 Issue, “Real Victims in a war of words”

“Because of soaring inflation and food shortages, a loaf of bread in Zimbabwe can cost the equivalent of $150.00”

Revelation 6:5-6

5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages…

I. Pride Always Comes Before the Destruction

a. Proverbs 16:18-19 – Pride before the destruction

18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

b. Proverbs 28:25-27 – The Prideful are fools

25 A greedy man stirs up dissension,
but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

26 He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

c. Jeremiah 13:15-16 – Pride leads to captivity

15 Hear and pay attention,
do not be arrogant,
for the LORD has spoken.

16 Give glory to the LORD your God
before he brings the darkness,
before your feet stumble
on the darkening hills.
You hope for light,
but he will turn it to thick darkness
and change it to deep gloom.

Because of Pride our land is darkened.

If we want our country to be healed…we need to listen to what the scripture says.

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1st we are to humble ourselves.

Pray and seek the Lord.

Repent.

THEN He will forgive our sin and heal our land.

God will continue to allow darkness to fall upon our country as long as we continue to be arrogant and prideful, as long as we go on without praying and seeking the Lord, as long as we do not repent…

Job 38 God is in control!

II. Humility Always Comes Before Closeness with God

a. James 4:6-7, 10 – God resists the proud

6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."[b]

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

b. Psalm 138:4-6 – Prideful are far from God

4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.

5 May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.

6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly,
but the proud he knows from afar.

c. Proverbs 18:12 – Before destruction, before honor

10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;
they imagine it an unscalable wall.

12 Before his downfall a man's heart is proud,
but humility comes before honor.

All those who have their trust in the stock market instead of the Lord…

All those who think because they are rich, they are safe…

Their wealth is their security, which is not security at all.

There were many rich people in the south at the end of the civil war.

All of their riches became filthy rags when the confederate money was declared worthless.

We need to realize that the only strong tower, the only security is in the Name of the Lord and no where else.

Before a man’s downfall his heart is full of pride.

For those who wish Honor from the Lord, we need to do as the scripture says, and humble ourselves.

Pride comes before the fall.

Humility comes before honor.

III. Therefore Be Like Christ

a. Proverbs 27:1-2 – Do not boast

1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your own lips.

b. Matthew 3:1-3 – Bragging about your works

Giving to the Needy

1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Fasting

16 "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,

c. Luke 18:11-14 – The Pharisee prayed and was not justified by God

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

d. II Corinthians 10:17-18 – Do not commend yourself

17 But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

We can talk all day about how great we are…

But unless it is God commending us, it is nothing but prideful boasting.

e. Matthew 11:28-30 – Be humble like Christ

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

CLOSING