Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prayer Life of Jesus

The Great Commission
Part 9 – Prayer life of Jesus
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – :

† The Sermon on the Mount.

† He and his Disciples and Apostles begin to travel from Galilee to Capernaum.

† Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant.

† He then has dinner in a Pharisees home where He was anointed by a sinful woman who had repented.

† Jesus then returns to Galilee preaching along the way.

† Jesus Calms the Storm.

† A Prophet without Honor in His hometown

† Jesus send out the Twelve

† John the Baptist Martyred

† Jesus Feeds 5000

Jesus, having heard of the death of John the Baptist, went into the desert to mourn and be alone.

When the people heard this, they followed Him, and He had compassion on them.

His love was greater than His selfishness.

He put others before Himself in every way.

So He taught, prayed, healed.

And the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 took place.

This is where we are today.

Just after the feeding of the 5,000.


Matthew 14:22 – 23 Jesus goes to pray
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone

This scripture comes from the Book of Matthew, it’s author, who was also called Levi, was the writer of the first of the four Gospels.

The Book of Matthew was written in approximately 50AD, or about 15 years after Christ’s Crucifixion.

We see that Jesus and the disciples at this time have left Nazareth and went into what the Bible calls a solitary place, a deserted area near the mountains.

At this time in Jesus’ ministry, He has been rejected by many.

Many Jews reject Him as the Messiah; the religious leaders have rejected Him, and even His hometown and some of His very own family.

Yet He continued His ministry.

Even during this time of sorrow at the news of John the Baptists death, Jesus continues to have compassion on those in need. Always putting others before Himself.

That is the definition of being a Christ follower, the imitation of Christ is to always put others and their needs before your own, to have compassion on the sick and the sinners.

Jesus said He came to save the lost, have compassion on the sinners, not condemn them for they are already condemned under the covenant of Law.

The covenant of Law, which addresses selfishness.

The scriptures say this is love, that He died for us WHILE we were yet sinners.

Yet we, instead of following Christ and His example, want to condemn every sinner we see.

Pointing our fingers in judgment.

This is why Jesus had to say, pull the plank out of your own eye before trying to help someone with a splinter.

We easily look over our own sin everyday, yet see every sin in everyone else.

Jesus NEVER condoned sin.

Jesus NEVER OK’d sinful life styles.

Yet, Jesus always had compassion for sinners.

Where is our compassion? Where is our love?

The scriptures say that any man who says he loves God yet hates his brother is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest law is, He replied to love God with all of your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Do not call yourself a Christian if you do not love other Christians, or love sinners.

God loved you while you were a sinner.

And it was because of His love you were drawn into the Kingdom.
We are to be the body of Christ!

It is OUR duty at the command of Christ to draw others into the kingdom!

And it is done with love.

We are commanded to love.

We are commanded to follow Christ.

Love your brother (those who are saved), and love your neighbor (sinners).

Or stop saying you are saved.

Because the scriptures say, ANYONE who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar and the truth is not in him.

What is the truth? Jesus Christ.

So Jesus puts aside His pain, hurt, emotional present, and has compassion on the people.

I. Jesus sent the Disciples ahead without him
a. At Jesus’ command they moved
i. Do you hear the Word of the Lord today?
1. Hear the Lord in Reading the Word of God
2. Hear the Lord through teachings & sermons
3. Hear the Lord in Prayer
4. Hear the Lord through other Christ Followers
5. Hear the Lord in your Heart

b. His Word sent the Apostles forth, this being the second time
i. First time was for preaching
ii. This time so He could pray alone
iii. Do you find time to pray alone?

c. They simply obeyed the Word of the Lord
i. Do you question God’s Word continuously?
ii. Do you fight what you think it says?
iii. Do you resist the Holy Spirit’s leading?

II. Jesus went into the mountains to pray
a. For solitude so He could focus
i. We need focus when speaking to the Creator
ii. We need a quiet time with God
iii. We need time with God!

b. Jesus prayed BEFORE something great & after something taxing
i. We need to seek the Father before everything we do
ii. We need to listen to His direction
iii. We need to follow that direction
iv. We need to seek the Father after everything that drains us

c. Jesus prayed often.
i. Matthew 26:36 – Jesus prayed in Gethsemane before Crucifixion

ii. Luke 6:12 – Jesus prayed all night before choosing the Apostles out from the Disciples.

iii. Luke 9:28 - Jesus and the transfiguration

iv. John 17: 9 – 20 – Christ’s High Priestly intercessory prayer

III. Jesus prayed until evening
a. He spent the afternoon with the Father in heaven
i. Spend an evening with God
ii. In solitude speak with Him
iii. Be sure to listen!

b. No multitasking, just praying
i. The scriptures don’t say Jesus was fishing while talking to the Father, they don’t say He was working on His boat, working in His woodshop, chopping wood, or anything other than praying to the Father.
ii. You can still pray to God during those times, but once in a while God needs one on one time, your undivided attention. We owe Him that much, and more!
iii. Try doing that stuff while your spouse or a friend is trying to talk to you about something serious. It doesn’t work.
iv. God wants undivided attention

c. Communication with the Father in heaven IS relationship
i. You can not have a relationship without communication
ii. God can’t speak to you, if you do not speak to Him


Even Jesus, in His perfection, had to pray to the Father in heaven, through the Holy Spirit, for strength before great tasks, and uplifting after difficult missions.

If Jesus needed these things, what makes us think we can make it without them?

Every Wednesday night we meet so that the Father in Heaven can hear our prayers as one body of believers, together.

But that is seeking God as a church; God wants you to seek Him alone.

This is what it means to have a personal relationship with God.

He wants your undivided attention.

If you have never started a relationship with God, it’s simple.

Let’s all bow our heads and pray before the last song.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jesus feeds 5000

Jesus had just sent out the twelve in pairs to preach.

While this was happening, John the Baptist had been beheaded.

News got back to Jesus and the Twelve, and this is where we are picking up today.


Matthew 14:13 – 21
“13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."
16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.
18 "Bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”

a. Jesus heard of John the Baptist’s beheading
i. He went into the desert (solitary place) to grieve

Time and time again we see a glimpse of the human side of Jesus.

We see how times like this troubled Him.

Many times in the scripture we see Jesus’ human qualities.

He hurt, He hungered, He cried, He stressed.

The night before the crucifixion He was so stressed about what was about to take place, that He even asked the Father in heaven if there was any other way.

And of course, the answer was no.
Our separation from God the Father because of sin HAD to be mended.

This could only take place if Jesus paid the price in our place.

So Jesus hurting because of the death of His cousin, His friend and forerunner, John the Baptist, needed time to pray.

ii. Sometimes we need time to gather ourselves before great service to the Lord

The way we do this, is through prayer and time spent with the Father who is in heaven.

How do we spend time with the Father who is in heaven?

Only through the Holy Spirit which dwells within believers.

How do you know if you have the Holy Spirit?

If you are a Christ follower, you have the Holy Spirit.

iii. Many times in the scriptures, Jesus went off to pray and rest in God just before something great and miraculous.

Although Jesus was 100% man and 100% God, Jesus still had to obey the natural laws He set in place from the foundation of the world when He created it.

He created laws that make everything work.

Science has spent their entire existence trying to unlock and discover the rules that the Lord has placed on things.

Gravity, centrifugal force, behavior or atoms, etc…

Jesus had to obey these natural laws while He was here on earth.

We see many times, Jesus was tired, hungry, etc.

The miracles that we see in the scriptures are NOT exceptions to the natural laws, but Spiritual laws that the Lord spoke into existence at the same time He created the Natural laws.

The laws of healing, of receiving from God, the laws of the Holy Spirits indwelling.
These laws exist and coincide with the natural laws.

So Jesus obeyed natural laws, and rested, prayed to the Father in heaven, and prepared to continue His work.

a. When the people heard of where Jesus was, they went to Him
i. True seekers of Jesus Christ WILL find Him

If you are truly seeking Christ, you will find Him!

ii. They had needs and knew Jesus could heal them

They knew He could and would, because He had so for so many others, and the Lord is no respecter of persons, what He does for one He will do for another.

That goes for rewards and punishment.

iii. We too must recognize that we are saved by no other name

I had a friend once that used to tell me all the time he was saved when he was young, so he wasn’t worried about heaven or hell.

During the time this friend was supposedly saved, he was living in the world, sleeping with prostitutes and sinning right along with the world.

Is that an imitation of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ?

Being “saved” is calling yourself a follower of Christ.

Is that the behavior of a Christ follower?

To make it easier to understand, what if I was living like that right now?

Would you say Pastor was a good follower of Christ?

I meet people all the time who have their own idea of what a Christ follower is.

And 9 times out of 10, it’s not biblical.

Do you read about Jesus or the apostles living like the world?

With the exception of Judas.
His love of money caused him to not only live in the world, and for it, but to betray our Lord and savior for the love of money.

You can NOT live like the world, and call yourself a Christ Follower.

Read Romans 1 today when you get home.

So we see that those seeking Christ found Him.

b. When Jesus saw them, He had compassion on them
i. Jesus had compassion because of the peoples needs

ii. He healed those who were sick

iii. Do you have compassion on others?

We dare to call ourselves an imitation of Christ, a Christ follower, yet have no compassion on others.

1 John 3:15
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

1 John 2:9
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

1 John 4:20
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

Ask yourselves today, do you have compassion for others?

That is what Jesus did, and calls us to do.

Galatians 5:13 – 15
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. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Romans 13:9 & 10
9 The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Matthew 22:35 – 37
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

Love of God and others before yourself is the fulfillment of the Law, and the mark of a true follower of Christ.

THAT is being humble, putting others before yourself.

So Jesus had compassion on the multitudes and healed them.

You see, He DID for them even while He was still saddened by John’s murder.

Putting the needs of the people before Himself.

a. Evening came and the disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away because they were in a desert and there was no food.
i. Jesus answers, Feed them.
1. Don’t send them away.
2. Feed them (Speaking of food)
3. They already received Spiritual Food from Christ

They just had church service…

Jesus taught the Word, preached, and healed people.

b. But there were 5000 men, most of whom had families with them.
i. All we have Lord is these 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes.
1. Jesus said, “Bring them to me”
2. Little is MUCH if God is involved!
3. This is an illustration of tithing.

We come to God with little, such as a tithe. And in the hands of the Lord, your trust in Him with what you give is multiplied for the Body of Christ.

The secret is Jesus Christ!


† If you are TRULY seeking the Lord you will find Him!

† When you find Him, He will have compassion on you!

† When you receive Him, He will give you the Holy Spirit

† When you have the Holy Spirit (SAVED) you will live an imitation of Christ, NOT an imitation of the world.

† You will then go out and Love others.

† You will have compassion as Christ does.

† You will love your brother, that is, if God is in you.

† And you will give what you can to the Lord, and He will multiply it for the body of Christ.

† We give out of obedience to God.

† We give because the Lord has given so much to us.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

John the Baptist

Listen to this sermon (MP3)


Mark 6: 14 – 16
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
15 Others said, "He is Elijah."
And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago."
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!"

I. Jesus’ name becomes well known
a. Some thought John the Baptist had been raised from the dead.
i. But it was Jesus really Jesus.
b. Some thought it was Elijah.
i. But it was Jesus.
c. Some thought He was a prophet, like one from long ago.
i. It had been over 400 years since Malachi.
d. Herod believed Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.

We can see from the scriptures that Herod felt troubled, and had a guilty conscience for putting John to death.

But Herod was convinced that Jesus was John the Baptist brought back to life.

II. John the Baptist died serving God
a. Many have died serving the Lord.

There are many accounts of those who have died for serving the Lord.

Their message of God and His saving grace and love, caused their demise.

Millions of Christians died during the Crusades because they were considered enemies to the Pope.

b. Many die even today.

China has martyrs die daily.

Millions of Christians have been murdered in the Sudan, and Darfur, Sudan’s West Region.

c. Yet we are afraid to speak of the only name on which we are saved.

We are afraid…someone may laugh at me.

Someone may not like me any more.

Someone may make fun of me for my beliefs…

Matthew 16:24 - 25
"If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
Does this mean we must die a martyr to be saved? No.

It means that to be a Follower of Christ, you must deny yourself…

† Anything that starts with “I”

I want, I need, I think, I will…

Deny yourself and YOUR WILL.

Jesus says if YOU try to save your life, you are going to lose it.

But if you deny yourself “FOR CHRIST”, for His Names Sake, you will find “LIFE”

Life eternal!

Denying yourself is humility.

BUT, it must be for Christ!

There are many humble people in the world who have sacrificed SELF for the greater good of others. This denying of self that was not done in the name of Christ, although helpful to others, still lead to eternal death.

There are many who live humbly, who give to the needy, who help those around the world.

But this is not what saves people.

None of those “things” removes sin.

Those “works” can not save.

Romans 10:13
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Only what is done in the name of Jesus, counts to Jesus.

And Jesus Himself tells us:
Romans 10:6 – 13
“…righteousness that is by faith says: … "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

We are not put to shame…

That means by God, not man.

We are not to care if man is ashamed by us, but if God is.

A Pastor was once asked what he thought about God.

His answer was, “More importantly, what does God think of me?”

Is the Lord being put to shame because you confess Him with your mouth, but live for the world?

Will He truly say to you on the Great Day of Judgment, “Well done!”

Or will His words ring out through all eternity for you, “Be gone, for I do not know you…”

We do not follow the Lord for fame and honor.

But to serve and worship Him alone.

III. John was hated because of the Truth
a. Jesus says, “They hate me…”

Matthew 10:22
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

We are to expect a cold response from others when it comes to the Word.

b. The Word of God separates bone from marrow.

Hebrews 4:12 – 13
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

c. The Word of God judges.

d. The Word of God is a two edged sword.
i. It condemns.
ii. It sets FREE!

Is Jesus’ name becoming well known because of you?

Are you willing to sacrifice all you are and have to serve Him alone?

John was hated because of his message, are you ready to be hated?

Make that commitment today.
Decide in your heart, right now, that you will Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, your entire mind, and all your soul.

2 Timothy 2:14 – 19
14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

In everything you say and do, be a living testimony of the Power of God.

Make Jesus’ name known everywhere you go.

Show that light that God has given to those who have submitted their lives to Him, and received His Holy Spirit.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jesus sends out the Twelve


The Sermon on the Mount.

He and his Disciples and Apostles begin to travel from Galilee to Capernaum.

Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant.

He then has dinner in a Pharisees home where He was anointed by a sinful woman who had repented.

Jesus then returns to Galilee preaching along the way.

Jesus Calms the Storm.

A Prophet without Honor in His hometown


Mark 6:7 – 13 Jesus sends out the Twelve

7 Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.

8 These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.

10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.

11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them."

12 They went out and preached that people should repent.

13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”



i. God’s First Will – that you are saved.

1Timothy 2:3-5

3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

ii. God’s Second Will – that you share the Gospel

Matthew 18:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

iii. God’s Third Will – How He will enable you to do so

Romans 12:6

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

1 Corinthians 14:12

12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.


i. No one person is the Body of Christ

Romans 12:5

so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

1 Corinthians 12:12

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

ii. God ministers to us through others

Ephesians 4:11-13

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

iii. Gifts of the Spirit to Build & Edify the Body of Christ


i. We are the branch & He is the vine

John 15:1-8

1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

ii. He has the power and authority

Colossians 2:10

and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

Luke 10:19

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

iii. We are His servants, going out in His Name

It is not in our name, power or authority, but in Christ’s!



i. We must follow His lead, not ours

ii. We must follow His instructions

iii. Obey His commands


i. Take nothing with you

ii. Do not build storehouses for yourself

Luke 12:13-21

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."

16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

iii. Jesus said look at the sparrows

Matthew 6:26

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?


i. God’s blessings through His servants

ii. God deals with those who turn against His children

Mark 9:42

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.


a. The Message Jesus taught

i. The Gospel of Jesus Christ

No other message is needed!

What did Christ teach?

b. For men to repent

i. Confess your sinful

ii. Repent of the sin to receive forgiveness

iii. Receive Jesus Christ as your Lord

iv. Be baptized in the Name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit

v. Obey His Commands!

c. Cast out demons, anoint with oil and heal the sick

i. Power of God through His servants


2 Corinthians 5:10

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.

Is Jesus Christ your Lord? Are you Obeying His Commands?