Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ministering in Christ Part 4 "Leading of the Lord"

The Great Commission
Part 4: The Leading of the Lord
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


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

February 1st – Grace Steadman
February 8th – Lynnette Higgins
February 15th – Lori Ulman
February 22nd – Walker Spriggs
March 1st – Deacon Kurt Ulman

† Spending Time with the Lord

† Growing in the Lord

† Maturing in Christ

New Series: Ministering in Christ

Committing your life to Christ
The Way to True Service
Light of the World ~ How to be an effective Witness

TODAY’S SERMON: The Great Commission
Part 4: The Leading of the Lord


Proverbs 16:9, 33
A man’s heart plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.

This is one of the reasons it is so important for our hearts to be overflowing with the Good we store up from the Word of God.

Because all of our ways are planned within our heart.

But the Lord directs our paths, if we will listen to the Holy Spirit, and follow His lead.

The Holy Spirit directed Paul on many of his mission trips.

The desire to preach the Gospel and serve the Lord was in his heart, but timing, instruction and leading has to come from the Holy Spirit.



We must belong to the kingdom, if we expect that King to lead us.

† Luke 15:7
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

† II Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

This is the answer to “why” everything continues without God stepping in.

† Matthew 18:11
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

When we belong to the Kingdom, then Jesus Christ Himself will lead us in this world through the Holy Spirit.

God dwells in us in the dimension of the Holy Spirit, and it is through this Spirit that we receive our Spiritual Fruits, and Gifts, and guidance by our Lord and Savior.

When we enter into the Kingdom, Jesus becomes our shepherd, and we His sheep.

It is at this point where the Lord will begin to lead us, and He will begin the moment we belong to Him, and will not stop until we go to be with Him in Glory.

He leads even the non-believer…by calling out to them.

Calling to them to enter the flock.

We can trust His leading. He is God!


† Isaiah 55:8-9
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

It is impossible for us to understand the mind of God.

We can no more understand the thoughts of God than a fish in the lake understand the thoughts of man.

We are ‘incapable’.

So many lose sleep at night trying to understand that which is impossible for us to understand.

But we can “learn” to trust in the Lord, and He will show us His faithfulness.

In everything we trust in Him, He p[roves Himself over and over again.

He is our faithful guide.

† Isaiah 58:11
The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Right now we live in a sun scorched land.

Bans lifted on government funded abortions, $337 million dollars spent last year alone on trying to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Our nations hand extending to a Muslim anti-Christian system of beliefs that are based on hate and intolerance for all those who do not belong to it.

An economy which has collapsed because of the greed of those in power.

So called “human rights” foundations that are nothing more than fronts for socializing the acceptance of sexual sin and immorality.

We are living in the sun scorched land.

BUT, to those who belong to the Lord…He will satisfy your needs in the sun scorched land.

He will strengthen your frame, you will be like a well watered garden, because your spring will never fail…your spring is the Holy Spirit.

† I John 4:1-3
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Many today claim to be of God…

But they deny Jesus Christ, either by word or deed.

† Deuteronomy 32:10-12
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them on its pinions.
12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.

† Isaiah 52:12
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.

† Hosea 12:13
13 The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
by a prophet he cared for him.

† Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.


II Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ministering in Christ Part 3 "The Effective Witness"

The Great Commission
Part 3: Light of the World ~
How to be an Effective Witness
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


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

January 25th – Grace Steadman
February 1st – Lori Ulman
February 8th – Lynnette Higgins
February 15th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
January 18th – Walker Spriggs

† Spending Time with the Lord

† Growing in the Lord

† Maturing in Christ

New Series: Ministering in Christ

Committing your life to Christ
The Way to True Service

TODAY’S SERMON: The Great Commission
Part 3: Light of the World ~
How to be an Effective Witness


So what are acts of true ministering?

The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37

The Samaritan Ministered to the needs of another.

This is the mind we need, that we are here for others, that while we meet their needs, we in turn show them the love of Christ, and their need for Him.

The Wild Game Dinner at Lott Baptist Church

The Pastor meets with the needs of hunters by educating them in the hunt, while at the same time showing them their need for Christ, and how to obtain a personal relationship with Him.

Morning and Evening – Ecclesiastes 11:6

Sew your seed in the morning, and at evening, let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whither this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

I. Show your Light

Matthew 5:14-16
14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Luke 11:33
33 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.

John 13:35
…By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

II. A Prepared Minister

I Peter 3:8-11, 15
8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
"Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
11 He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

II Timothy 2:15-16, 23-25
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.

23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Luke 6:45
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.

II Timothy 4:2
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

III. Bold, Speaking as one with Authority

Luke 12:8-9
8 "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9 But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.

Ephesians 6:18-20
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Luke 21:14-15
14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

II Timothy 1:8-10
8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Romans 1:9, 16-17
9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

IV. The Effective Witness

Luke 15:4-7
4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Proverbs 11:30
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who wins souls is wise.

James 5:19-20
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 his soul from death(thanetos) and cover over a multitude of sins (hamarteeah).

Believers can walk away from following Christ.

And their soul is in danger of Gehenna, hell, unless they are led back.

And if they return from their error, not only are their souls saved once again, but the sins they committed in their absence will be forgiven.

God redeems the lost, and brings back the stray.

Acts 1:8
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Mark 16:15
15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.


In the presidents inaugural address, he states we are not a Christian nation, but …quote from the inaugural address transcripts on the Whitehouse website…

“We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.”

This is the face of the new America of the United States.

And all of these have one thing in common, they need Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ministering in Christ Part 2 "Way to True service"

The Great Commission
Part 2: The Way to True Service
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


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

January 18th – Walker Spriggs
January 25th – Grace Steadman
February 1st – Lori Ulman
February 8th – Lynnette Higgins
February 15th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

† Spending Time with the Lord

† Growing in the Lord

† Maturing in Christ

New Series: Ministering in Christ

Last Week: Committing your life to Christ

TODAY’S SERMON: The Way to True Service


a. One can only minister when God leads
i. I Peter 4:10-11
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever, amen.

b. Only God can equip (ordain) you
i. John 3:27
“…a man can receive only what is given him from heaven.”

c. Desire alone, does not a minister make.

d. What doors the Lord opens can not be shut, and what doors the Lord shut, can not be opened.
i. Revelation 3:7 Jesus speaking
“…These are the words of Him who is Holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens, no one can shut. And what He shuts, no one can open. “

We must all, each one of us, bear our cross and follow Jesus.

Luke 14:27-30; 33
Jesus speaking….
“And anyone who does not carry his cross AND follow me can not be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

Think for a moment about what Jesus is saying, and how it looks when a person accepts Jesus Christ, and is telling everyone, yet has not picked up their cross and followed Him?

We have earthly responsibilities which can not be ignored.

Jesus says, anyone who does not pick up his cross (earthly responsibilities) AND follow me, can not be my disciple.

• If I ignored my business, (books I’ve written, signage I’ve made, the robot parts I sell, sub contracting my engineering services, and now working as an IT advisor for a flooring and landscaping company), I would not get paid.

God has provided for me and my families needs through bringing these opportunities to me, and giving me the ability to do them.

• If I did not get paid, I could not pay my bills (earthly responsibilities)
• If I did not pay my bills, my family would not be taken care of by me.

I would find myself in trouble, not just with man, but God.

God provides for His own, but He does it through people, not a mystical Godly wallet He pulls from His back pocket of His robe, and drops a few hundred to fall to earth to take care of my family.

But sometimes, God has to provide for me and my family through people other than this congregation.

And God does.

I do not preach for money, but the scriptures clearly say that a workman is worthy of his wages, and my earthly responsibilities remain, regardless of what I do for the Lord.

But like Paul, who was in the same situation I am currently in, the congregation could not give more than they already were, so he worked, as I do.

My obedience to God’s command to me to teach His word to His people is not based on financial gain…because I do it, regardless of whether I get paid or not.

In fact, at the First Baptist Church, when I started, I wasn’t being paid at all.

Then over time, they began to pay me $100 per week, than after about a year it went up to $200 per week.

But I obey God, regardless of compensation which IS needed for a man with a family.

I still have earthly responsibilities that do not go away simply because I am preaching God’s word to His people like I was commanded.

The Bible calls us to be faithful in all things!

a. We must provide for our house
i. I Timothy 5:8
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

This makes it clear that I am not relieved of my responsibility of my family, simply because I am a believer who wants to follow Christ and minister to others.

If I abandon my family, if I do not provide for my family, regardless of the reason I come up with…the scriptures say I am worse than an unbeliever and I have denied the faith.

THIS…is part of my cross I bear. Not my family, but the responsibility of caring for them WHILE I minister to others and teach God’s word.

And I must be faithful to all things, because as we read, all things we have come from God…and we must be faithful with all he gives.

Not just money, but family, ministering and any talent, or ability He has given, whether He allowed us to be born with the talent, or it is a spiritual gift.

b. We must be faithful with what God gives us
i. Luke 16:10-12
Jesus speaking…
“Whoever can be trusted with very little, can also be trusted with very much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”

Everything we have is given by God, and we are to be faithful with it as a testament to Him and our submission to Him as our Master.

c. As for wages, they are not a gift…but an earning
i. Romans 4:4
Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

I know pastors who, right now are months behind in pay because the congregation thinks ministry is some kind of blessing for the Pastor to do in itself.

It’s not that the church has no money…rather, they assign where their tithe goes, first to building fund, then to ministries in other countries, and so on…and at the bottom of the list, is their Pastor…

Right now this Pastor is black topping driveways to feed his family.

ii. Regardless of whether or not preaching is someones life long dream (which it’s not…but being obedient to God’s calling), dreams do not pay bills or feed your family.

I heard a great saying once, wishing is for fairies.

We can not sit around wishing our family was taken care of…but we must do something about it.

I know people who love God, a couple I’m thinking of specifically, who have been called by God and shared that calling with me…yet never do it.

They never put faith to action.

If your faith is not active…it is worthless.
The scriptures say, faith without works is dead…


So what are acts of true ministering?

The Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37

Morning and Evening – Ecclesiastes 11:6

Sew your seed in the morning, and at evening, let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whither this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

I praise and thank God for allowing my seed sewing AND my labors with MY hands to do equally well.


If you are one who feels God has called you to a specific ministry, then you can come forward for prayer and strength that you may obey God’s calling on you in your life, while bearing your cross and following Him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ministering in Christ Part 1 "Commit your life to Christ"

The Great Commission
Part 1: Commit your life to Christ
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

There will be a Memorial Service tonight for Grace’s Brother who passed away. All are invited to come and there will be a dinner afterwards, so if you come, please bring a dish to pass.

January 4th – Lynnette Higgins
January 11th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
January 18th – Walker Spriggs
January 25th – Grace Steadman
February 1st – Lori Ulman

† Spending Time with the Lord

† Growing in the Lord

† Maturing in Christ

New Series: Ministering in Christ

SERMON: Commit your life to Christ


What is commitment to the Lord, and how do we obtain salvation and the freedom which is promised from the bondage of sin?


Romans 10:8-15
8 But what does it say? "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."

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

NEXT WEEK: The Way to True Service

John 6:47-58 Explains Communion
47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."

Luke 13:1-9
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
8 " 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "



Grace is what God gives to those who are seeking Him. It is time to repent from your sins. It is a time of overlooking for things you do not yet understand, and it is yours as long as you continuously seek the Lord, to grow in understanding and relationship with Him.


James 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

This who humbly seek the Lord, will receive the Lord’s Grace!


Titus 2:11
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

This Grace FREES us from the bondage of sin…allowing us to grow closer to the Lord, regardless of our own lives and sins which otherwise would prevent us from approaching God.

This Grace comes from Christ and His sacrifice, which blots out our iniquities, making us Holy in God’s sight, and able to commune with the Father in heaven.

Because of Christ, when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, His grace is poured out on us, and we are freed from bondage to run to the Lord.

II Peter 3:9, 18
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!

James 4:1-10
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Romans 6:22-23
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Revelation 3:19-21
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.


Matthew 10:32, 38-42
32 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

† We disown Christ by not loving Him…we can only love Him by obeying His commands.
† The Sword is the Word of God.
† If you are truly committed to Christ, you will love Him more than any other.

NEXT WEEK: The Way to True Service

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Maturing in Christ - "How to find contentment"

The Great Commission
Part 8: HOW-TO Find Contentment
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith – |


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

January 4th – Grace Steadman
January 11th – Deacon Kurt Ulman
January 18th – Walker Spriggs
January 25th – Lynnette Higgins
February 1st – Lori Ulman

† 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
† Maturing in Christ: HOW-TO Have God’s Divine Protection

Today: How to Find Contentment


The Gallup Polls

Contentment in the USA

Family, friends health, religion, romance all rank high on the contentment scale.

But as far as careers, having fun, recreation and money…low contentment.

No surprise contentment with how much money one has is the lowest of all of them, with only 14% content.

1957 69% of the people thought religion was an important influence in an Americans life.

Today, it’s 27%

Contentment over the years has dropped, right along with the people’s belief that religion is an important part of an Americans life.

Since the 50’s, we have been slowly removing God from everything as a country, and our social, financial and moral decay is evidence that America is on a downward spiral.

I believe that this is directly related to our belief in God and how many there are serving Him in this country.

The Gallup polls also show that church attendance across the US has not gone up since all of the problems hit the US, loss of jobs, lay offs, lack of finances, oil prices, generally this would have gone up during this time…instead, there was no change.

The people are saying, “We do not need God”.

Right now, contentment is the lowest it has been in this country since ’92.


Philippians 4:4 – 7. 11 – 13

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.

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.

† Contentment is not feeling great because you have or are getting everything you want, but feeling great regardless of your outward circumstances.

† Verse 4 – Rejoice ALWAYS tells us this.

† Do not be Anxious about anything – If it is God’s will, it will happen…when He says it will happen.

† If we pray to God about our concerns, WITH THANKSGIVING…this means we are thankful to God for what we DO have, and where we are at, not praying to Him complaining about what we don’t have and what we want.

† God is not our personal Jeanie who grants our every whim and request simply because we think we should have something we don’t.

In Matthew 7:8-9 when Jesus was telling the disciples how to pray, He said this about asking from God our Father in heaven…

8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?

The point Jesus is making here is, God’s children will receive what they ask for…BUT

Only what is good for them!

God will only do good to us, His children.

If you ask for bread, He will not give a stone.

Jesus says, everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and whoever knocks the door will be opened…

What is He talking about? SALVATION!

If you ask for bread, you will not receive a stone…

Bread symbolized Christ and the Word of God…stone represents the false gods and idols who are not alive and cannot save.

The fish (ichthus) - Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma
Stands for Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter
Or Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

And what does the snake represent? The serpent…Satan.

This scripture is used so many times to give the impression we get everything we want if we pray…

But what Jesus is saying here, is anyone who comes to the Lord for salvation, will not be denied.

Anyone who seeks the Lord will find him.

Anyone looking for the bread of life will find a LIVING GOD…not a false stone idol.

Anyone looking for the ichthus, will not find Satan.

It’s not about God granting our every wish…it’s about praising Him for making a way for our salvation, which is the most important thing to have in this life!

When Jesus was tempted in the desert, and had fasted for 40 days, the scriptures say He was hungry…

Why didn’t He pray for bread for God to give to Him?

As Jesus was reminded…’If you are the Son of God, turn this stone into bread…’

And Jesus, reminded Satan about what the Word REALLY says…

Not that we get everything we want just by praying…but that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Jesus was focused on heavenly things, walking in the Spirit…not the things of this world…as the devil was trying to move Jesus’ focus from heaven back down to His flesh.

You see, as long as we stay focused on our flesh, our selves, our so called needs…which are really nothing more than wants…

We are walking in our flesh, not the Spirit…and as long as we are walking in the flesh…we are weak.

That is right where the devil wanted Jesus…self centered, focused on Himself and His flesh being hungry, and to take His focus off heaven, and that is also right where the devil wants us as well.

You may ask yourself…what about the earthly needs of God’s people?

Those in need of food and clothing, those who have bills or are orphans and widows…and what about the church, and the Pastor and the needs there?

Won’t God supply those needs???

He does, and the Word of God tells us that God works through His people.

Jesus instructs His people…

‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesars, and to God what is Gods…’

2 Corinthians 9:12
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

God works through His people, and if His people are not obedient, then others will suffer.

I will do another sermon on our part within the Kingdom and listening to God’s call for us to be obedient, not just in giving of money, but of time and love and services to others.

So what is the secret to contentment???

Isaiah 26:3-4

3 You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Remember…Love doesn’t mean you have feelings towards the Lord, Jesus tells us, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.”

So when the scripture says for those who “love the Lord”, it is talking about those who are obedient to the Word of God.

So, if you are obedient, all things will work to good…

I Timothy 6:6-10

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.


Genesis 18:25 – Abraham poses this rhetorical question…

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Trust in Him, focusing on heaven, walking in the Spirit, being thankful in all situations and God will supply your needs.

If it would be for your good.