Monthly Archives: December 2012

Getting God’s Attention

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Getting God’s Attention

 

Mark 10:46  NKJV    

“Now they came to Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.”

          Bartimaeus was excluded from most of the privileges of social and religious life. Because of his blindness, he was considered unclean. He made a living by begging. Until he encountered Jesus, he did not have a future or any hope of things changing.

One day as Bartimaeus sat by the side of the road in the dirt, he heard voices off in the distance. As the voices grew closer, they sounded excited. Bartimaeus decided that he would risk asking someone about what was going on, and he was told that Jesus was coming down the road.

Bartimaeus did three things when He heard that Jesus was passing by: he recognized who Jesus was, he cried out to Jesus, and he worshipped Jesus. To get God’s attention, we too must do these three things.

I. Recognize Who Jesus Is:

Bartimaeus had heard about Jesus and about His power to heal. He had not seen any miracles because he was physically blind. He had only heard about the miracles. Although blind, Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as his Healer.

II. Cry Out To Jesus:

Battimaeus was desperate for something, he wanted to see, and he knew that if he could get Jesus’ attention that He would help him. He did not want Jesus to pass him by–he was too close! So, Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus! Son of David, have mercy on Me!”

Mark 10:47  NKJV    

“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’”

     The people around Bartimaeus told him to be quiet. But Bartimaeus did not listen, he shouted even louder, “Jesus! Son of David, have mercy on me!”  He did not care what people thought about him or what they said to him. He was desperate.

Mark 10:48  NKJV    

“Then many wanted him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’” 

          When Jesus heard him He stopped. Jesus told them to tell Bartimaeus to come to Him. Then Jesus asked what he wanted. Bartimaeus told Jesus that He wanted to see. Because of Bartimaeus’ faith he was made well- he could see for the first time in his life!

If Bartimaeus had listened to the people he would not have been healed. Bartimaeus was desperate for Jesus so he did not care what his friends or the people around him thought or said about him or to him. He wanted Jesus!

If you want Jesus’ attention, you too will have to come to the point where you do not care what people say about you or to you. You too must cry out, “Jesus! Have mercy on me!”

III. Worship Jesus:

Bartimaeus worshipped Jesus by crying out, “Son of David..” Bartimaeus worshipped Jesus for who He was, not for what He had done. Son of David was a Messianic title. Although Bartimaeus was blind, he had spiritual insight.

Throughout the Bible we see the pattern of worshipping God, then God meeting a need. In Esther, Queen Esther ministered to the king, after that, he asked her what she wanted (what did she need).

Esther 7:1-2    NKJV    

“So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther. And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king  again said to Esther, ‘What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!’ ”

          After Bartimaeus ministered to Jesus, Jesus asked him what did he need.

Mark 10:51  NKJV    

“So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.””

          The same pattern for getting God’s attention holds true today. First you minister to God, then He will minister to you.

Conclusion:

Once Bartimaeus had Jesus’ attention he listened for Jesus’ voice. When we get God’s attention, we need to be quiet and listen for His voice. We need to hear the encouragement and instructions that He will give us.

Mark 10:49  NKJV    

“So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’”

     After Bartimaeus heard Jesus’ instructions, he threw off his garments. He did not want anything to hold him back from Jesus.

Mark 10:50  NKJV    

“And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.”

          Bartimaus was willing to give up all. He throw aside the security that his cloak represented. He was willing to leave his “old ways” behind.

Bartimaus recognized and addressed Jesus as his Master. If we want God to move on our behalf, we must recognize and address Him for who He is.

Mark 10:51-52  NKJV    

“So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”

If you are sick, He is your healer. He is Jehovah Rophe.

If you are in sin, He is your Savior and Redeemer. He is Jehovah Mikaddesh.

If you are in need, He is your provider. He is Jehovah Jireh.

If you are a Christian, He is your master. He is Jehovah Adonia.

If you are in the middle of a storm, He is the Peace Giver. He is Jehovah Shalom.

If you are lonely, He is present. He is Jehovah Shammah.

Whatever you need, it is found in Jesus.

           Are you satisfied with where you are and the way things are in your life? How hungry for God are you? God always hears the cry of a desperate person, The question is “Are you desperate?”

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Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus

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Sitting At The Feet Of Jesus

desperation - Copy 

     As Jesus and His disciples were traveling they stopped in Bethany. Bethany was the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. One day Martha invited Jesus and His disciples to eat and rest at their house.

Luke 10:38  NKJV    

“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.”

     Martha began to prepare the meal. She was very busy cooking and making sure that Jesus and His disciples had everything she thought they needed. Martha was working very hard. While Martha was busy working, Jesus and His disciples were sitting in another room talking. Martha felt that she needed help with the work, so she looked for her sister, Mary. She found Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His every word.

Luke 10:39  NKJV   

“And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.”

     Mary was “soaking up” the presence of the Lord. Mary’s spirit recognized who Jesus was, and her spirit longed to be in His presence. Mary understood Jesus’ passion for her and for all people. She too, had a passion for Him- a passion just to sit in His presence. Mary was hungry for God!

When you have a passion for someone, you have a very strong feeling for them. You have a strong love and desire for that person. God desires to be the object of our love, our desires, our passion. He is looking for people with a passion, not people who are “perfect” in works. God longs for you to be passionate for Him. For who He is, not for what He can do for you or for what you can do for Him.

Luke 10:40  NKJV   

“… Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

     Martha asked Jesus didn’t He care that Mary was not helping her work. Jesus responded to Martha’s complaining by telling her that only one thing is important and Mary had chosen it. Jesus also told Martha that He would not take the most important thing (worship) away from Mary.

Luke 10:41-42  NKJV    

“And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

     Works must come out of  love and intimacy, not duty. What you do out of duty will not be remembered forever. Choosing to worship God will be remembered forever. If you understand the amount of God’s love, you will better love Him and out of that love service will come. Loving God is not the same as working for Him. You must not get so involved with “work” (serving others) that you forget the reason you were created – to have a relationship with God, the very creator of the entire universe! You must chose to live a life of intimacy. Works without intimacy will “burn” you out. You must work with God, not for God.

During the last week of Jesus’ life, He and His disciples went through Bethany where a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Lazarus was sitting with Jesus. At some point during the dinner Mary came in with a large jar of perfume. She kneeled down at the feet of Jesus and anointed His feet with the perfume. Then she wiped His feet with her hair. Mary knew who Jesus was. She longed to worship Him and be in His presence. Mary did not care what the people at the dinner thought. She did not care what her sister or her brother thought. She was desperate for Jesus’ presence. Mary did not care what it cost her (the perfume was worth a lot of money.) She did not let pride get in the way. Nothing mattered but worshiping her Lord. Mary truly surrendered everything to Jesus, out of her love for Him.

Judas was upset because he thought Mary had wasted the perfume. Judas, although he was with Jesus all the time, did not really know Jesus. Judas did not see Jesus for who He was: the King of kings and the Lord of Lords, our Savior, our Lover and our best friend!

Like Mary we must get rid of our pride and forget about what people will say about us. If you want to be in the presence of Jesus you must put a relationship with Him above all else. Just as the perfume (that Mary anointed Jesus with) was, so is our worship to God. True worship is a sweet smelling incense (sacrifice) to God. God loves us and He enjoys our company. God delights in us. Our worship draws us closer to each other. If you worship God with all your heart You Will Get God’s Attention! God’s presence is what it’s all about!

How To Worship God, God’s Way

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desperation - Copy 

Psalm 103    

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tendermercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

     Psalm 103 is a psalm of praise unto God for His mercy, grace, love and benefits. This psalm gives us a glimpse of how to worship God’s way.

We are to:

*use every part of us to worship God

*make time to worship God

*remember the things God has done

*realize how wonderful God is and who He is

*bless the Lord

I.  Use every part of ourselves to worship God / Psalm 103:1

Psalm 103:1  NKJV    

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”

     Your enemy, Satan, doesn’t want you to worship God. He will try to get you to use your mouth, your heart, your mind, your hands, your feet, your eyes, and your ears for anything and everything except to honor God. Remember that God gave you your body and mind so you could use them to worship Him and to give Him glory. Use every part of you – hold nothing back.

* You can use your mouth to praise God by telling Him how wonderful He is and how much you love Him.

* You can use your mind to think about God and His goodness.

* You can use your heart to love God for who He is.

* You can use your hands to play songs of worship to God, or lift them in surrender and worship unto Him.

* You can use your feet to take you places where you can worship God in public and in private, or to dance in His presence.

* You can use your eyes to notice what God has done for you (both spiritual and physical eyes).

* You can use you ears (both spiritual and physical) to hear God’s voice.

II.  Make time to worship God  /  Psalm 103:2-14

In our busy world we must make time to worship God. If we do not make time our enemy, Satan, will keep us so busy that we don’t have time to truly worship God and minister to Him.

Psalm 103:2 NKJV    

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and forget not all His benefits.”

     1 Chronicles 16:29  NKJV     “Give thanks to the Lord, the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”

          You need to remind yourself as David did that you should take time to worship God.  Often people think they are too busy to worship God. Yet God made us to worship Him. They work and play and do lots of other things, and then they don’t have time for God. David knew it would be easy to get “too busy” and forget God’s goodness, but he determined he wasn’t going to do that.

III.  Remember the things that God has done  /  Psalm 103:3-14

We are to spend time musing the things of God. The things that He has done in our lives and the things that He is going to do. Where He has brought us from and where He is taking us. To muse means to be completely absorbed in thought, to ponder or to meditate.

Psalm 39:3  NKJV    

“My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue” 

Psalm 143:5  NKJV    

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all your works; I muse on the work of your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.” 

Luke 3:15 KJV    

“And all the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not”

A. God’s benefits

We must remember and meditate on God’s benefits. Some of the benefits are forgiveness, salvation, healing, protection, lovingkindness, provision, help, patience, correction,  sympathy, and salvation.

1.Forgiveness and Redemption

Through Jesus Christ we have been redeemed. We have been bought back – ransomed. During the times that the Bible was written, a person that had been sold into slavery could be bought back, ransomed for a price. Jesus paid our ransom, our forgiveness and salvation with His own blood.

Psalm 103:3  NKJV    

“Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases”

Titus 2:11  NKJV    

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”

Ephesians 1:7  NKJV     “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

Psalm 103:12  NKJV    

“As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

2. Healing

Jesus provided healing for us through His body. Every stripe that He received was for us – for our healing. The price for our healing has already been paid.

Psalm 103:3  NKJV   

“Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases”

 

James 5:16  NKJV   

“…and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

 

Isaiah 53:5  NKJV    

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.”

3. Protection from danger

Psalm 103:4  NKJV    

“Who redeems your life from destruction…”

     The Lord is our protection (our shield / our refuge) from danger.

2 Samuel 22:31  NKJV  and Psalm 18:30  NKJV    

“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

     A refuge is a place of safety and security. The Lord is our shelter, our protection from danger, trouble. He is our safety and security.

2 Samuel 22:2-4  NKJV    

“And he said: ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress and

The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation,

My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.’ ”

     During times of trouble and danger we can take refuge in God.

Psalm 119:114  NKJV    

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”

4. Lovingkindness

Psalm 103:4  NKJV   

  “…Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”

     The Lord showers us with love and kindness. His mercy to us is new every day.

5. Daily provision

The Lord provides our food as well as many other blessings.

Psalm 103:5  NKJV   

  “Who satisfies your mouth with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”

     Every good gift (and everything we need) comes from the Lord.

James 1:17  NKJV    

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

John 3:27  NKJV   

  “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”

6. Help in opposition 

When the enemy comes (in whatever form) against you, the Lord is there to help.

Psalm 103:6  NKJV   

“The Lord executes righteousness

And justice for all who are oppressed”

     The Lord is ready, willing and able to help those that the enemy is coming against in an attempt to depress and oppress.

Psalm 12:5  NKJV    

“ ‘For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,

Now I will arise,’ says the Lord; ‘I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.’ ”

     Poor could be describe as any number of things. It could mean having a few things or nothing; lacking money or property; needy, not good in quality, lacking something needed, scanty, insufficient, inadequate, lacking ability, inefficient, not satisfactory; frail; needing pity; unfortunate; not favorable; shabby or worn out.

Every person is “poor” in some area of their life and is in need of God’s help and intervention.

7. Patience and correction

Correction is an attempt to change or correct a mistake or error.

Psalm 103:8-9  NKJV    

“The Lord is merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.”

     God is very patient with us and He corrects those that He loves. He desire to help us change our wrong behavior and attitudes.

Deuteronomy 8:5  NKJV    

“You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.”

Hebrews 12:5-11  NKJV     “… ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of Hid holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

     Correction can also be punishment or rebuke. As believers we should be in subjection to the discipline of the Lord. All of God’s discipline is for our good and our benefit. God disciplines us in love because He wants to make us better. He desires for us to be a holy people.

8. Sympathy  

The Lord has sympathy on man. He shares our sorrows and troubles – we are not alone.

Psalm 103:13-14  NKJV    

“As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him,

For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”

     The Lord pities those who fear (respect / reverence) Him. Just as a father feels sorrow for his child’s suffering or distress, the Lord feels for us, His creation.

Malachi 4:2-3  NKJV    

“’But to you who fear My name

The Sun of Righteousness shall arise

With healing in His wings; And you shall go out

And grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked,

For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet

On the day that I do this’

Says the Lord of hosts.”

9. Salvation

Of all the things to remember most, we must remember that a price was paid for our forgiveness. And it was paid out of love. David was especially thankful for God’s promise to forgive his sins. He understood what a wonderful blessing it is to be cleansed and forgiven. God loves you so much that He does not want to be separated from you. Sin separates man from God.

John 3:16-17  NKJV    

“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

     God is a holy God and sin breaks off our fellowship with Him. It is because God wants to cleanse you and forgive you of your sin that He sent Jesus to die on the cross. God requires that blood be shed to pay for sin.

Hebrews 9:22  NKJV   

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

     Only the precious blood of Jesus can cleanse us from our sin and unrighteousness, making it possible for us to have fellowship with our holy God. Jesus shed His blood to pay for the sins of everyone. It is up to each of us to either accept the gift of salvation and forgiveness or to reject it.

1 John 1:7      

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

     You can accept the gift of salvation by admitting that you are a sinner, believing in Jesus, asking Him to forgive you, and turning away from sin (forsake sin.)

a. Admit

Everyone who wants to receive salvation must admit that they have sinned.

Romans 3:23  NKJV    

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 

b. Believe

Everyone who wants to receive salvation must believe in Jesus Christ.

Acts 16:31  NKJV    

“So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ ”

     We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (the deity of Jesus Christ). We must believe that Jesus came to this earth through a virgin  birth. We must believe that Jesus lived a sinless life while here on  earth. We must believe that Jesus died on the cross, and that His blood was shed for the remission of our sins. We must believe that Jesus rose from the grave, that He is alive  in heaven and that He will return to earth again.

c . Confess

Everyone who wants to receive salvation must confess their sin to God. Today we have direct access to God through Jesus, therefore we do not have to confess our sin to a priest or another person. We can go directly to God with our confession.

1 John 1:9  NKJV    

”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

d. Forsake

Everyone who wants true salvation must forsake their sin. Once you have experienced the full knowledge of Christ and His salvation, do not turn back. Knowledge of Christ without obedience to Christ can be very dangerous. It is not enough to know that we are to turn from evil, we must do it. Don’t return to your old (sinful) ways.

2 Peter 2:20-22  NKJV    

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning, For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

     God takes the commitment that we make when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior very serious. Once we become part of the kingdom of God we are not to look back, or to return to our old ways.

Luke 9:62  NKJV    

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

     Everyone that experiences true salvation will be received by God. True repentance is being sorry for doing wrong (for going against God), not being sorry that you were caught doing wrong. If we are truly sorry that we have sinned and we go to Jesus for forgiveness, we will receive forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:14  NKJV   

“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

John 6:37  NKJV    

“All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

IV. Believe the promises of God:  Psalm 103:15-19

David believed in the promises of God. He knew and believed with all his heart that God’s mercy is from everlasting to everlasting.

Psalm 103:15-19  NKJV   

  “As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

On those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

To such as keep His covenant,

And to those who remember His commandments to do them. T

he Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.”

     David remembered all that God had done for him. He also believed that God would do everything that He promised He would. David was thankful for the past things done and the future promises. We too must remember all that God has done for us and all that He has said that He will do. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Hebrews 13:8  NKJV   

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

     God never changes and He always keeps His promises.

2 Peter 3:8-9  NKJV    

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

V. Realize how wonderful God is and who He is  /  Psalm 103:7-21

Moses and David served the same God that we do. A God that performed many miracles. A God that is merciful, a God that is our Father, a God that understands our frailties, a God that is everlasting, and a God that is above all things.

1. Our God is a miracle working God

We serve a God that can and does perform miracles. There is nothing that our God can not do.

Psalm 103:7  NKJV   

  “He made know His ways to Moses,

His acts to the children of Israel.”

2. Our God is merciful

We serve a God that no one could stand before if He dealt with us according to our sins.

Psalm 103:8  NKJV   

  “The Lord is merciful and gracious,

Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.”

     God does not keep a count (record) of confessed sin (things that we have asked forgiveness for.)

Jeremiah 31:34  NKJV    

“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

 

Psalm 130:3-4  NKJV    

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,

O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You,

That You may be feared.”

     God is much kinder toward us than justice requires. He is kinder to us than we could ever dream of or expect. His mercy toward us is truly a blessing.

3. Our God is our Father

Every person that has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is a child of God. They have been born (reborn) into the family of God.

Matthew 23:9  NKJV   

  “…for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

Isaiah 63:16  NKJV    

“Doubtless You are our Father,

Though Abraham was ignorant of us,

And Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O Lord, are our Father;

Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.”

Psalm 103:13  NKJV   

  “As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him.”

 

Deuteronomy 31:6  NKJV    

“Do you thus deal with the Lord,

O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?”

Malachi 2:10  NKJV    

“Have we not all one Father?

Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another

By profaning the covenant of the fathers?”

Matthew 6:14  NKJV    

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 

Luke 6:36  NKJV   

  “Therefore be merciful just as your Father also is merciful.”

4. Our God understands human frailties

God created us and He knows all about us. He knows our strengths and He knows our weaknesses. He understands us and He is patient and full of mercy concerning our human frailties.

Psalm 103:14  NKJV   

  “For He know our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” 

     God’s understanding is without limits, knows no bounds and is extremely great.

Psalms 147:5  NKJV    

“Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”

5. Our God’s mercy is everlasting

Psalm 103:17-18  NKJV    

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

On those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children

To such as keep His covenant,

And to those who remember His commandments to do them.”

     God’s mercy (unmerited favor) and love are forever. There is no end or stopping them.

I Chronicles 16:34  NKJV    

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 52:8  NKJV   

  “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.”

 

Psalm 100:5  NKJV    

“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting

And His truth endures to all generations.”

6. Our God is above all things

Psalm 103:19-21 NKJV    

“The Lord has established His throne in heaven,

And His kingdom rules over all.

Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Who excel in strength, who do His word,

Heeding the voice of His word

Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,

You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.”

     When David thought about God’s greatness, he couldn’t help worshiping Him. To worship means to ascribe worth (value) to someone or something. When we worship God we tell Him how much we love Him , how much He means to us, how much we value Him, and how much we admire Him.

One way to worship God is to tell Him how much you appreciate His beauty and His goodness. Only as you get to know God in an intimate way and yield to the Holy Spirit will you be able to worship Him the way He deserves to be worshiped. God must be worshiped in spirit and in truth.

We must worship God for who He is, and out of love to Him. God gives a special joy to those who minister to Him in worship.

VI.  Bless the Lord  /  Psalm 103:22

Psalm 103:22  NKJV    

“Bless the Lord, all His works,

In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!”

     Like David, we need to bless the Lord. When David remembered all about God, he was so filled with thanksgiving that he felt unable to properly express himself. He called upon the angels and all the other created beings on earth to help him worship God. Worship was not a one time thing with David – he repeatedly offered up thanksgiving, praise and worship. If we do not give praise and worship to God, the rocks and the trees will.

Luke 19:40  NKJV    

“But He answered to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

     Everyone and anyone can offer thanksgiving to God, even someone with sin in their life, but it takes clean hands and clean heart to worship God. You must have an intimate relationship with God to truly worship Him.

If you have not called upon Jesus for forgiveness, you are ignoring God’s goodness to you and you are denying yourself of an intimate relationship with Him. Both in this world and in the one to come.

Romans 10:13  NKJV   

  “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

In The Breaking Of The Bread – Corporate Communion

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Matthew 7:21-23  NKJV    

“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “

         Communion is a special time of spiritual intimacy with God. God desires to know you (to have intimacy with you.) It is truly the most intimate time that you have with God (even when receiving it in a crowd.) God desires to know (have spiritual intimacy) us corporately as well as individually. The early church had fellowship (communion) with God. They were spiritually intimate with Him.

Acts 2:42  NKJV    

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 20:7  NKJV    

“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.”

          They reaped the benefits of corporate communion. There was an anointing upon the church, fresh moves of the Holy Spirit, and a harvest of souls.

Joel 1:9-13  NKJV    

“The grain offering and the drink offering

Have been cut off from the house of the Lord; The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord.

The field is wasted,

The land mourns; For the grain is ruined,

The new wine is dried up,

The oil fails. Be ashamed, you farmers,

Wail, you vinedressers,

For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished. The vine has dried up,

And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree,

The palm tree also; And the apple tree-

all the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourself and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the alter; Come, lie all night in sackcloth,

You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering

Are withheld from the house of your God.”

          When communion (meat and drink offering) is cut off from the people you will find the people (and church) are barren spiritually. When communion is cut off, the manifest presence of God (glory of the Lord) and the anointing is cut off. Churches where the meat and drink offering (communion) have been cut off are barren. The field is wasted, the land mourns, the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up (no fresh moves of the Holy Spirit), the oil languishes (no anointing of God), and the harvest of the field is perished (you can not have a harvest where there is not the presence of God.)

I Corinthians 11:27  NKJV    

“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”

          Paul wrote to the church (to believers) at Corinth about the manner in which they took communion. He warned them (the believers) not to take communion in an unworthy manner.

I Corinthians 11:17-22  NKJV    

“Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”

          The church at Corinth was drinking the communion wine to get drunk and they were eating the bread for food. Paul instructed them to examine (judge) the manner in which they took communion. Where they taking it (as a church / corporately) to remember Jesus or were they taking it to get full and drunk?

I Corinthians 11:31-34  NKJV    

“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are condemned with the world. Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.”

           Communion is a very powerful part of worship to God. It is a time of intimate worship, relationship and fellowship between you and God. It is a time to draw close to God. It is a time to remember Jesus and all that He did for us.  It is a time to enter the Holy of Holies. When you have an intimate relationship with Jesus you can go directly into the Holy of Holies. You do not need the priest (or anyone else) to go in for you.

Hebrews 9:24-26  NKJV    

“For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but in heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another- He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

          Jesus entered into the temple in heaven with His own blood as our sacrifice. He was our perfect sacrifice.  A sacrifice pleasing to God, placed upon the brazen alter gave the priests the right to enter the most sacred place, the Holy of Holies. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice gives us the right to enter the Holy of Holies as priests to minister, fellowship, and commune with God.

Hebrews 10:19-20  NKJV    

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh”

           The body of Christ needs to draw closer to God through communion more than they ever have before. As time draws to a close we need the power that is available to us corporately through communion.

Revelation 2:4-5  NKJV    

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place- unless you repent.”

“There Shall Always Be Fresh Bread”

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“There Shall Always Be Fresh Bread”

 

1 Kings 17:8-16  NKJV    

“Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.’ And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which Hw spoke by Elijah.”

     When the church comes together as a corporate body and ministers unto the Lord, there will always be fresh bread in the house. Like the widow, we sometimes have our own plans and agendas.

1 King 17:12  NKJV    

“….and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

     Ministering to God is not a suggestion or a request- it is a commandment!

1 Chronicles 16:29  NKJV    

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”

1 Kings 17:9  NKJV  

“See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

     Corporately and individually we are to minister to God first, then He will take care of our immediate needs and our future needs.

I. Minister to God first:

Elijah wanted to be taken care of first- he wanted his meal before the widow had hers. He told her, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I might drink…Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” He wanted his needs ministered to first.

When we minister to the Lord first there will be no lack of the Word of God or the presence of the Holy Spirit. God will sustain us until the appointed time that He chooses to pour out the rain of His Holy Spirit.

1 Kings 17:16 NKJV    

“The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.”

      People will agree upon the importance of giving the first of their money, but many of the same people do not realize the importance of ministering to the Lord first. They do not know what true worship is. Obedience in our worship unto God does bring blessings.

1 Kings 17:10  NKJV   

  “….Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 

1 Kings 17:11  NKJV    

“…Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”

     Elijah asked the woman to feed him first, even though he could clearly see her need. Today, God can clearly see the needs of the church and the people that gather each week at church. Could it be that needs go unmet because of our disobedience- we will not minister to God first. God is a jealous god, and He desires (and commands) our worship.

Exodus 34:14  NKJV   

  “(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)”

Psalm 66:4  NKJV    

“All the earth shall worship You

And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.”

     The woman and her son would probably have died if she had not been obedient to Elijah’s request (command.)

Psalm 95:6-11  NKJV    

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God,

And we are the people of His pasture,

And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,

As in the day of trial in the wilderness,

When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.

For forty years I was grieved with that generation,

And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,

And they do not know My ways.’

So I swore in My wrath,

They shall not enter My rest.”

II. God will meet your immediate needs:

In order for the widow to minister to Elijah she had to put aside her plans and her needs, and lay down the sticks in her hand. The widow had to lay aside her knowledge. She knew that there had not been any rain on the land, and that her and her son were starving to death. They needed food. She could clearly see that death was near for both of them. She was a desperate woman.

1 Kings 17:13  NKJV    

“And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but  make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.”

III. God will meet your future needs:

Because the widow fed Elijah first, her household was fed also. They too, had plenty of bread. When we minister to God first not only us but our church family will be fed also. Through obedience our needs and the needs of others will be met.

1 Kings 17:15  NKJV   

  “So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.”

Conclusion:

Could it be….

…that Elijah represents God (or the presence of God)?

…that the gate represents worship?

…that the widow represents the believer (the church)?

…that the bread represents Jesus, the Bread of Life?

…that the oil represents Holy Spirit (or the work of the Holy Spirit)?

…that rain represents the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

Have we left God, the one we love,  standing at the gate  saying, “Please worship me. Please love Me,  Please minister unto Me”?

Like the widow, we too must put aside our plans and our needs. We must lay down everything and minister to God first. We must lay aside our knowledge and what we see with our natural eyes. We may know that there has not been any rain of the Holy Spirit and that things are dry. We may feel like we are starving to death. We too may need food. Through our eyes it may even look like death is near.

Are you desperate like the widow? Do you long for the rain of the Holy Spirit upon your life and church? Do you long for fresh bread? If so, do what she did. Lay aside everything and minister unto the Lord!

Psalm 5:7  NKJV    

“But as for me, I will come into Your house in

the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.”

     When we gather together it is first for God’s benefit, to worship Him, second for our benefit, that we may receive fresh bread, and third for the benefit of others, that their needs may be met also. Elijah was ministered to first, second the widow and her son, and third her household.

There are times that we, like the widow, are filled with self-pity. We know the routine of church so well. We know the schedule and what to do, and at what time to do it. We know that man has allotted only a few minutes for what the church calls “worship.” Comparisons between churches, classes, teachers and even pastors begin to run through our minds. Because of all of this, we sometimes find ourselves whining inside about the situation instead of truly worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Our hearts are far from God. We are no different than the person who makes out and enforces the prearranged schedules. Needless to say, the presence of God does not fill the place. We have not prepared a place for Him nor have we provided for His needs.

When we forget everything we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, when we forget that we know the routine/schedule and purpose in our heart to minister to the Lord, He will see that we do not go hungry.

Psalm 37:25 NKJV    

“I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,

Nor his descendants begging bread.”

     God’s children never go hungry, nor do they have to beg. When we minister unto the Lord first there will always be fresh bread in the house. You can always spot desperate and obedient people in a “dry and thirsty” land. They are the ones that never run out of flour (fresh bread) or oil (the work of the Holy Spirit) in their lives.

1 Kings 17:14-16  NKJV   

  “For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.”

The Lord’s Supper

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          The Lord’s Supper is also referred to as communion. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus gave us “communion” as we know it today.

1 Corinthians 11:25-26  NIV    

“In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is

the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

          The dictionary describes communion as the act of sharing (having in common), an exchange of thoughts and feelings, an intimate time together, fellowship, and a close spiritual relationship. When we receive the communion elements (bread / juice) we enter into a very special (sacred) time with God.

1. Sharing

Share means to use, enjoy, or have something in common with another. Share emphasizes the idea of common possession, enjoyment, and use.

Romans 8:15-17  NKJV    

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”

          Communion is a time to remember that you share an inheritance with Jesus because of what He did for you. We are joint heirs with Christ. Those who have received the salvation that Jesus paid for are the sons of God. They have been adopted into the family of God. Because of  this adoption, they will receive an eternal reward (inheritance). God has already set aside a wonderful inheritance for each believer in heaven.

1 Peter 1:3-5  NKJV    

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

2. Exchange Of Thoughts And Feelings

Exchange is to give one thing for another or to substitute one thing for another. When we exchange something we replace it. Communion should be a time of exchange. During communion we should exchange our mind, will, and emotions for those of Christ.

A.) Mind: Communion is a time of renewing your mind. It is very important for us to have the mind of Christ. When we have the mind of Christ we can resist the temptations of this world. We will also see ourselves as God sees us.

Romans 12:2  NKJV   

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

          When we have the mind of Christ we will strive to be obedient to the Father, just as Christ was obedient to the Father. Obedience comes from having the mind of Christ. Humility will also be part of our life as we take on the mind of Christ. All of our actions begin with a thought (within our minds).

Having the mind of Christ is important for the corporate body as well as the individual believer. As a body we must think and act like Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:6  NKJV    

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”

Romans 8:5-8  NKJV    

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal minded life is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

1 Corinthians 2:14-16  NKJV    

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

        During communion you can exchange your worries and fears for the peace of God. As we keep our focus on God we will be at peace no matter what we see, feel or experience. When we have the mind of Christ we will be at peace. It will be a ‘perfect  peace’, one that comes only from God.

Isaiah 26:3  NKJV   

  “You will keep him in perfect peace,

Whose mind is stayed on You,

Because he trusts in You.”

B.) Will: The power of the mind to decide and do; deliberate control over our thoughts and actions; purpose; determination; what is chosen to be done; a legal statement of a person‘s wishes, feeling toward another.

Communion is a time of exchanging our will, our hopes, our dreams and our goals for those of God.

John 4:34  NKJV  

   “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

          Jesus desired to do the will of the Father, and we too should desire the same. Jesus delighted (desired greatly) and was determined  to do what His Father wished.

Psalms 40:8  NKJV  

   “I delight to do Your will, O my God,

And Your law is written within my heart.”

          Communion is a wonderful time to hear the voice of God as His Spirit teaches and instructs you to do His will.

Psalms 143:10  NKJV   

  “Teach me to do Your will,

For You are my God; Your Spirit is good.

Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

          Communion is a time when we can rededicate our lives to God and renew our commitment to Him. It is a time when we can express our desire to do His will and not our own. Like Jesus, each one of us must come to a point in our lives when we say, “Not my will Lord, but Yours.”

Luke 22:42  NKJV  

  “…Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

C.) Emotions

Our emotions are the tender and sensitive part of us. Feeling, emotion and passion are pleasant or painful sensations produced in a person in reaction to something. Examples of these sensations are: love, joy, grief, fear, hate, anger, excitement, or sorrow. Communion is a time when we should exchange our emotions, our feeling, and our passions for those of Christ.

3. An Intimate Time With God

Communion is a very intimate time with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The dictionary describes intimate as very familiar; known very well; closely acquainted; resulting from close familiarity; close; personal; private; far within; deepest; inmost; a close friend. Communion is truly a very special, personal and private (even when in a corporate setting)  time between you and your very best friend that takes place deep within your inmost being. As we draw close to God (intimate with) He will fill us with living water. There will be a river of living water coming out of those who are intimate with God. It will satisfy not only them, but others may drink from the water and be satisfied.

John 7:37-38  NKJV    

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

          Because of your intimacy with God, He will guide you, satisfy you and strengthen you. It is only natural to want to bless the ones that you are intimate with. The Holy Spirit will satisfy our thirst and produce a fountain flowing out of us for others.

Isaiah 58:11  NKJV    

“The Lord will guide you continually,

And satisfy your soul in drought,

And strengthen your bones;

You shall be like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”

4. Fellowship

Communion is a time when you can experience true fellowship with the Trinity. Fellowship is a condition or quality of being a member; companionship; friendship; a being one of the group; membership; brotherhood.

1 John 1:6-7  NKJV   

  “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

          When you have fellowship with someone you will reflect their character. Our fellowship with God is dependent on walking in the light of God. In God’s light sin can be revealed (by the Holy Spirit). When the Holy Spirit exposes sin we can go to Jesus for forgiveness. Communion can be a wonderful time of forgiveness and restoration.

5. Close Spiritual Relationship

Close: with little space between; near; fitting tightly; tight; having its parts near together; intimate; dear.

          Spiritual: having to do with the spirit or soul; caring much for the things of the spirit or soul. 

          Relationship: connection; condition of belonging to the same family.

          During communion your spirit can connect with the Spirit of God. It is a time to draw near to God.

Empty Wombs or Aborted Seeds?

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Empty Wombs or Aborted Seeds?

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          Many in the body of Christ are crying out in desperation for a deeper relationship (intimacy) with God. For some of these people the question could be asked of them, “What are You doing with the relationship (intimacy) that you already have with Him?” The natural course of intimacy produces something. What are we allowing God to produce through us?

John 14:23  NKJV    

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’ ”

          If a believer loves and obeys the Lord, they will experience true intimacy (fellowship) with God. And that intimacy will produce something, if we do not waste what is planted within us. Are the members of the body (church) today seeking true intimacy or a  “good feeling”? Are they seeking a brief encounter or are they seeking a lifelong commitment of faithful intimacy with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? Are they seeking a brief visitation or a habitation?

          A visitation is an act of visiting; a visit for the purpose of making an official inspection or examination; punishment or reward sent by God.

          A visit means to go to see; to make a call on or stay with for social or other reasons; be a guest of; go or come to see, in order to inspect, examine officially; to stay as a guest; informal talk; chat.

          A habitation is a place where you live; an inhabiting.

          Is the church seeking for God’s presence as a guest on a visit for an informal chat or are they seeking God’s presence living in and through them? During our intimate times with God, He will place something within us- His thoughts, His burdens, His desires, His dreams, His revelations, His visions.  When God places these things within you, what do you do about them and with them? Do you birth them and nourish them or do you abort them?

Many churches today seem to have a revolving door. The people come seeking many different things. Most of all they are seeking to fill that empty place that God has placed within them. God created inside every person a desire to love Him and to be loved by others. Everything in the world revolves around these two desires. All the commandments that God has given us hinge on these two things –  love the Lord and love your neighbor.

Matthew 22:37-40  NKJV    

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’ ”

         Just as these two commandments can be divided into two categories (our love toward God and our love toward other people), so can the ten Commandments. The first four Commandments deal with our love for God, and the last six Commandments deal with our love and responsibilities toward other people. Every person that walks through the doors of every church have a desire deep within them to love God and to be loved by others. If people do not find what they are looking for at church they usually do not stay. If we abound in diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love our churches will not be barren and our ministries will not be unfruitful. If we birth and nourish what God places within us we will fulfill the great commission.

God disapproves of seed being wasted.

Genesis 38:6-10 NKJV    

“Then Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him. And Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.’ But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground, lest he should give an heir to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord; therefore He killed him also.”

          Onan was selfish and unwilling to do what his father had asked him to do. He wasted the seed that should have brought new life. Like Onan, there are people in the body of Christ that does not do what the Father asks them to do. They too, are selfish and unwilling. God does not give us seeds of His thoughts, His burdens, His desires, His dreams, His revelations, or His visions just for us to waste them or to abort them. Are the churches across America virtually empty today because of barrenness or are they virtually empty because of aborted seeds?

Just as a bride/wife has responsibilities we, the bride of Christ (the church / the body of Christ),  have responsibilities also. Six of the Ten Commandments deal with our responsibilities toward others as well as the second greatest commandment.

2 Peter 1:5-8  NKJV   

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

          Diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love are all qualities of a healthy relationship with God. These qualities will assure the fruition of what is placed within us (individually and corporately) by God. When God places His seeds in us we must take special care of them. His seeds are: His thoughts, His burdens, His desires, His dreams, His revelations, His visions. Is the bride of Christ abounding in diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love?

I. Diligence

We must be diligent with the seeds that God lovingly places within us. We must be constant and put forth an earnest effort to accomplish the dreams and visions that God places within us. When we are constant we never stop even when the enemy comes against us.

Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV    

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

          It takes a diligent person to do things over and over again even when they do not see results. As we wait on God during this time He will renew our strength.

Isaiah 40:31  NKJV    

“But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.”

          Diligent people are continuous, incessant, always the same, never changing, faithful and loyal. We must not allow the cares of the world to keep us from being diligent.

Proverbs 12:27  NKJV    

“The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting.

But diligence is man’s precious possession.”

           We must not care for the seeds placed within us in a half-hearted or lazy manner. Lazy people do not finish what they start. We must be diligent – we must follow through to the end. We must care for the seeds in an eagerly and earnest manner.

2 Thessalonians 3:13  NKJV    

“But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.”

II. Faith

We must be faithful with the seeds that God places within us. We must believe God without questioning. We must believe that He will do what He says He will do. Faith is believing without proof.

Hebrews 11:1  NKJV    

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”    

          When we live by faith we know that what God has promised will be fulfilled. We can be confident of things not seen.

2 Corinthians 5:7  NKJV    

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

III. Virtue

We must be virtuous with the seeds that God places with us. Virtue means moral excellence, goodness, a good quality, chastity, purity, power to produce effects.

A. Good behavior

We must be good and our behavior must be of a good quality toward our seeds. Good means having high quality; superior; as it ought to be; right; proper; satisfactory; that does what is right; well-behaved; kind; friendly; desirable; honorable; worthy; just; devout; loyal; reliable; real; agreeable; pleasant; beneficial; effective; valid; sound; more than a little.

1. Everything that God gives us is good.  Every gift that God gives is good and every seed that God places within you is good.

James 1:17  NKJV    

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

John 3:27  NKJV    

“John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.’ ”

2. Everything that we are given is intended to be a blessing (either for us  or someone else or both) and we must treat it in that manner.

1 Peter 3:8-12  NKJV    

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reveling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

For

‘He who would love life

And see good days,

Let him refrain his tongue from evil,

And his lips from speaking deceit.

Let him turn away from evil and do good;

Let him seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

And His ears are open to their prayers;

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ ”

     As we nourish the seeds in a good manner we will be blessed by obtaining the favor of the Lord.

Proverbs 12:2  NKJV    

“A good man obtains favor from the Lord,

But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.”

B. Act in purity

We must treat what is placed within us with purity.

          Purity means freedom from anything impure; clearness; freedom from evil; innocence; not mixed with anything else.

          We must not mix what God places within us with impure motives. We must keep our hands clean – our relationships with people must line up with the Word of God.

Job 22:30  NKJV    

“He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”

C. Act with assurance

We must treat what is placed within us with the assurance that God has the power to bring forth a harvest.   When God places something in us we must act in confidence and in boldness because He will do what He has said He would.

Numbers 23:19  NKJV    

“God is not a man, that He should lie,

Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do?

Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

          When God places something within us it never goes against His Word. It has the power to produce what God intended for it to.  It has the power to have a positive influence and impact for the kingdom of God.

IV. Knowledge

We must be knowledgeable with the seeds that He places within us. We must have God’s knowledge and wisdom, which means that we must seek God for the answers.  Knowledge means what one knows; all that is known; fact of knowing; act of knowing; clear and certain perception; understanding. When a person is knowledgeable they are well-informed, especially about a particular subject. Knowledge applies to the understanding of facts.

Understanding means comprehension; power or ability to learn or know; knowledge of meaning or wishes; mutual agreement. We must not lean on our own understanding. We need the help of the Holy Spirit to give us the knowledge and wisdom that we must have concerning our seed.

Proverbs 3:5  NKJV    

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.”

          When you truly understand what God has placed within you:

1.The meaning of your seed will become clear.

2.You will know how to nourish your seed.

3.You will be informed concerning your seed.

4. You will believe in your seed.

Philippians 1:9  NKJV    

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment”

Colossians 1:9-10  NKJV    

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”

          God will give us the knowledge that we need to nourish what He has placed within us if we ask. If we lack knowledge it is because we have not sincerely asked for it.

James 4:2  NKJV    

“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”

          If we  fail to ask for knowledge concerning our seeds it could cause the seeds to be taken captive by the enemy or to die.

Isaiah 5:13  NKJV    

“Therefore my people have gone into captivity,

Because they have no knowledge;

Their honorable men are famished,

And their multitude dried up with thirst.”

V. Self-control

We must exercise self-control with the seeds that God places with us. Self-control means control of one’s actions, feeling. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can control our thoughts, words, feelings, and actions instead of allowing the flesh to be in control. We must be very careful not to allow our desires, our bad moods, or our emotions to interfere with the seed that is placed within us. We must exercise self-control to effectively nourish the seeds that God places within our body (the body of Christ.)

VI. Perseverance

We must preserve with the seeds that God places within us. When God speaks something to us we must not give up or give in. We must endure and we must not grow weary. The enemy will come against you when God places something in you. You must determine in your heart to persevere.  Perseverance is sticking to a purpose or an aim; a persevering; tenacity.

Galatians   6:9,10  NKJV    

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

James 5:10-11  NKJV    

“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

          When we hold fast to the seeds that God places within us we will produce a harvest. Through perseverance we will see what God has spoken to us come to pass.

VII. Godliness

We must be godly with the seeds that God places within us. We must treat what God places within us with an  awesome respect. Godliness is the quality of being obedient, loving, and fearing God

VIII. Brotherly Kindness

We must be kind with the seeds that God places within us. Kindness is doing that which pleases others; treating others with love and respect. We must treat the seeds with love and respect. We must put the needs of the seeds that are placed in our body above our own.

Philippians 2:3-4  NKJV    

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his interests, but also for the interests of others.”

          We must value our seeds and be truly concerned about them. When we  value our seeds we will we act in a kind way concerning them. We will: do good rather than harm, be gentle and not harsh, speak words of life, not death, and build up, not tear down.

IX. Love

We must be loving with the seeds that God places within us. We can tell someone we love them but unless we put actions to our words the words are hollow and they mean nothing. God has called us to be His hands, arms and feet, not just His mouth. When the seeds that God has given us are sick, hurting, hungry, lonely, or down and we do not go to them and minister to them we eventually abort them from our body. We are to minister to them (not just at church) in the same manner that we would minister to the Lord.

Matthew 25:37-46  NKJV    

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those ion the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Conclusion:

Throughout the Bible we read that physical barrenness and empty wombs were considered a disgrace or a curse. In the eyes of God physical barrenness and empty wombs are not a disgrace, but spiritual barrenness and spiritual empty wombs are. During your intimate times with God, He does place within you seeds. It may be new revelations, it may be a burden for the lost or sick or hurting, it may be a desire to draw closer to Him in worship, Bible reading or prayer, it may be any number of things.

What are you doing with the seeds that God has placed within you? Are you nourishing them or have they been aborted or even sacrificed upon the alter of pleasure? Have you been like Onan and wasted the seeds placed within you because of  selfishness? As a body, we (the church) abort many seeds that God places within us.

As a Christian, what are you doing with the seeds that God has placed in your life?

As a leader, what are you doing with the seeds that God has placed under your leadership?

As a teacher, what are you doing with the seeds that God has placed in your class?

As a pastor, what are you doing with the seeds that God has placed in your church?

         God created a woman’s body in such a way that it can nourish an unborn child within it. It is the responsibility of the women to be a place for an unborn child to grow within her and to care for the baby after it is birthed.

Just a thought…

          There was a man who loved his wife very, very much. He did everything for her that he possibly could do for her. Her every need was meet. She was the apple of his eye. The man and his wife enjoyed wonderful intimate times together. Sometimes they would spend hours and hours lost in the presence of each other. When they were apart, they were continually thinking about each other.  The man desired to have children so very much with the wife that he loved so dearly. Years went by and there were no children to fill the house. Year after year, still no children. Unknown to the man, every time that his wife was pregnant she aborted the baby.

          Can we say that the woman truly loved her husband when behind his back she rejected his seed?

          Are we (the church) like the woman – have we rejected the seeds that God has placed with our body? God will not give us more seeds or spiritual babies than we can, or are willing to take care of nor will He give us fruit when we allow the fruit to fall off the tree and rot.

Personally, I do not believe that the body of Christ is barren, but we have corporately rejected and wasted seed. The is a big difference between unable and unwilling, just as there is a difference between barrenness and abortion.