Monthly Archives: December 2013

Revival – “I will raise up the tabernacle of David”

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Revival   – “I will raise up the tabernacle of David”

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Revival is a bringing or coming back to life or consciousness; restoration to vigor or health; a bringing or coming back to style, use, activity, etc; an awakening or increase of interest in religion. God desires for there to be a revival of worship to Him, and there will be a great revival of worship to Him before He returns. His glory (the manifest presence of God) will be experienced in a greater measure by the  body of Christ (the church) than ever before. The true body of Christ will have a season of refreshing (renewed, restored, made pleasing) before the return of the Lord.

Acts 3:19-21  NKJV    

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

     Before the return of the Lord all the prophesies spoken by the prophets of long ago will be fulfilled.

Amos 9:11-15  NKJV    

“ ‘On that day I will raise up

The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,

And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins,

And rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom,

And all the gentiles who are called by My name,’

Says the Lord who does this thing.

‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,

‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,

And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;

The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,

And all the hills shall flow with it,

I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;

They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them’

They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.

I will plant them in their land,

And no longer shall they be pulled up

From the land I have given them,’

Says the Lord your God.”

Acts 15:16-17  NKJV     “ ‘After this I will return

And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen

down; I will rebuild its ruins,

And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

Says the Lord who does all these things.’ ”

     It is the desire of God that His glory fill the earth.  In the last days when the glory of God is manifest upon His people (the body of Christ) there will be an abundance of provision (material, physical and spiritual) and harvest (souls). However, we have a part to play in seeing that God’s desire is fulfilled. Sin cannot enter into the presence of God. No matter how much someone may say that they want to experience (and stay in) the glory of the Lord, they will not with sin in their life. Man cannot come into God’s presence without going by Jesus. There is a difference between stumbling upon the glory of God and the glory of God staying upon you, just as there is a difference between a visitation of the glory of God and a habitation of the glory of God.

Exodus 3:1-6  NKJV    

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest  Midian.  And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountains of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, a God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father – the God of  Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.’ ”

     What would have happened to Moses if he had not obeyed God when he ‘came upon’ where the manifest presence of the Lord was? God expected something out of Moses in order for him to draw closer to Him. He expected Moses to regard Him and the ground that he stood upon as holy. It was set apart by the divine presence of God for His purpose. Moses was told to remove his sandals possibly as an acknowledgement of God holiness and authority. We too, when we come into the presence of God must acknowledge His holiness and authority and submit to Him.

Joshua 5:13-16  NKJV    

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, ‘Are You for us or our adversaries?’ So He said, ‘No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?’ Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

     Throughout the ages God has manifested Himself over and over. When God shows Himself, He expects something out of us.

Isaiah 6:1-5  NKJV   

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean; lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.’ ”

     When Isaiah encountered the glory of the Lord, he admitted that he was a sinner and sought repentance. Repentance will keep the presence of God upon us and our lives. In the church, as a whole, there are times that God moves in a mighty fashion and His sweet presence (His glory) fills the place. In order for His glory to stay upon us, our lives, and our church we must take His glory home with us! However, God will not share His glory with the world (soulish things or people). When God visits your church (a visitation of His glory), and goes home with you He expects you to do something – He expects you to change. He expects you to go through your house with the Holy Spirit and ask, “Holy Spirit, does this grieve You?” Listen closely for His answer. When He says “Yes,” repent and get ride of it. Don’t keep it around. Every church and home  in America could use an old fashioned “spiritual burning.”

Acts 19:18-20  NKJV    

“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”

     These people showed true repentance and sincerity  by burning (getting rid of) their sinful items. What was happening on the inside of them carried over to the outside. When others saw a real change in the ones that had repented the kingdom of God grew.
Many cry out, “Lord, send the fire,” but they really do not mean it. If they did they would do in the natural what they are asking God to do in the spiritual. Prior to the Passover, the Jewish people would go through their house and search it over from top to bottom for leaven. In the Bible leaven represents sin. If leaven was found, it would be removed. As Christians we need to go through our houses on a regular basis and remove the sin. If we don’t the presence of the Lord will not stay in our homes. The church will be no different than our homes.
I have seen times that God has gripped the heart of young people in a mighty, mighty way only to have it quenched by so called religious adults. Under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit the young people left church services and went home determined to clean out their bedrooms of sinful things. Excited about God they told their parents about what God was doing in their life and what they were going to do. They were going to burn everything they had that could cause the Holy Spirit to grieve. Their sinful (worldly, soulish) CDs, games, tapes, pictures, posters, clothes, books, articles of affection and many other items. More often than not, the parents response was, “No you are not, I paid good money for that.” In order to obey their parents, but still wanting to please God, they would pack the items up in a box and put them in the bottom of the closet or in the back of a drawer somewhere. Time would go by and eventually they would find the box again and begin to take the items back out one at a time. Eventually, the young people were spiritually worse off than they were to start with.

When God tells you (through His Word or His Spirit) to get rid of something, get rid of it. The item needs to be destroyed. Don’t keep it around, even boxed up somewhere. If you do, you will eventually pick it up again. And, please do not give it to one of your worldly friends or co-workers.
In Biblical times you could not go into the holy place or the holy of holies (the presence of God) without first going by the outer court and then the laver. The priest would offer a sacrifice on the brazen altar then he would go to the laver and wash before going into the holy place. The laver was made out of looking glasses that the women had brought out from Egypt. The laver was a place of reflection and sanctification. The water in it represented the Word of God. No matter how many times the priest went into the holy place he always had to wash his hands and feet before going in.

Exodus 30:17-21  NKJV    

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them – to him and his descendants throughout their generations.’ ”

     As Christians, we too, must continually look into the Word of God to see ourselves. We must examine ourselves on a daily basis (throughout the day) with the Holy Spirit. Then we must repent of any sin. As long as we are alive, we have a continual need for repentance – a continual need for the washing of the Word.

Leviticus 6:12-13  NKJV    

“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offering. Afire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”

     The first step to the refreshing (revival) that God promised is admission. We must humble ourselves and admit that we are asleep (or dead), unhealthy, not useful or disinterested and sinful. We will never be revived if we are too proud to admit that we need it. Just as admission is important to salvation, so is admission important to revival.

Psalm 85:6  NKJV    

“Will You not revive us again,

That Your people may rejoice in You?”

Isaiah 57:15  NKJV     “For thus says the High and Lofty One

Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

‘I dwell in the high and holy place

With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,

To revive the spirit of the humble,

And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’ ”

     God will revive the hearts of people who are genuinely humble and contrite. When we have a humble spirit we will see ourselves as God sees us, know our weaknesses, put others before ourselves and submit to God. When we submit to God, we yield to His power, His control and His authority. Submissive people are obedient people. Obedience is very important to God. When you truly love God you will obey Him.

Repentance is being sorry for having done wrong. It is regretting that you have transgressed against God. It leads to a brokenness in spirit (contrite heart).

Acts 15:16-17  NKJV    

“ After this I will return

And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins,

And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,

Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

Says the Lord who does all these things. ”

     The tabernacle of David was a tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant. The manifest presence of God was seen there. We are to be the earthly tent that houses the manifest presence of God. The people joyfully worshiped God in the tabernacle of David. We too, are to joyfully worship God.

Sacrifices of praise are to be continually offered up from us.

Psalm 95:1-3  NKJV    

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.”

Psalm 100  NKJV    

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.”

     The name “David” is a Hebrew word meaning “beloved.” The tabernacle of David is a type of the worship of the bride of Christ, the church. As the bride of Christ we are the beloved of God and we are the earthly house (tent) that should show forth the glory of God. The church is to joyfully offer up sacrifices of worship, praise, thanksgiving.

Hebrews 13:15  NKJV    

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise

to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

1 Peter 2:9  NKJV    

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.”

     The church , the body of Christ, is to be the restored tabernacle of David, a place where God is worshiped in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24  NKJV    

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

     Worship is a spiritual act, while praise is a physical act. The Bible lists seven types of praise and they are all physical activities. Anyone and everyone can praise God, however only the redeemed can worship God in spirit and in truth. When the church and believers remove the sin from within they will be able to worship God in spirit and in truth. Then they will see the glory of the Lord (the manifest presence of God) in their midst. Then the world around them will see the glory of the Lord in them and they too will seek the Lord.

1 Peter 4:17  NKJV    

“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God…”

     As Christians we must evaluate our lives (our actions, our words our deeds, our attitudes, our thoughts…) and allow the Lord to search us to see if there is anything evil or wicked in us.

Psalm 24  NKJV    

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,

The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the seas,

And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?

Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,

Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord,

And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,

Who seek Your face.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is the King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Lift up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?

The Lord of hosts,

He is the King of glory.”

Why Is Worship Important?

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desperation - CopyWhy Is Worship Important?

Individual Worship :

God designed man to be a worshiper. Everyone worships someone or something. Worship means to ascribe worth unto someone or something. When we worship God we are giving great honor and reverence to Him. We are expressing our love and admiration to Him. In essence, we are giving back part of ourselves to Him (ministering to Him.)

During our worship times we consider (think about) how extremely precious God is and the love that He has for us. It is a very special time between you and God. It is a very intimate time- not a time to be talking to other people, doing other things, fidgeting, complaining, or thinking about other things. It is a time to be talking to God and listening to Him. You can expect to hear from God during worship.

God is worthy of our worship- He is the only one worthy of our worship. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Since God gave everything He had for intimacy with us, should we not do the same. As we enter into worship, let’s clear our minds, cleanse our hearts and begin to worship God for who He is.

Corporate Worship:

Worship brings us into one accord, into the unity of the Spirit. As we worship the Lord with other Christians, we are brought into a unity, a oneness. Instead of concentrating on our differences, we look at Jesus and focus on Him. As we are caught up in the wonder of His Person, those differences fade away.

It is as we look together to Jesus and worship Him that we are drawn closer to Him and closer to each other. It has been said, that Christians are arranged in a circle around God like the spokes on the outer rim of a wheel. As we draw closer to God, approaching the hub (center) of the wheel,  so also we draw closer to each other. Worshipping God brings us into one accord.

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Dear Father,

You are truly worthy of our worship- You are the only one worthy of our worship. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! You gave everything You had for intimacy with us. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we do the same. As we enter into worship may we clear our minds, cleanse our hearts and begin to worship You for who You are. We ask that in and through worship You bring us into one accord, into the unity of the Spirit –  a unity of oneness. Cause we to forget our differences and look directly into Your face and focus on You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

 

 

Sexual Purity – Your Body Is A Temple

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1 Thessalonians 4:1-8  NKJV   

  “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we give you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”

          As Christians, our daily walk should be different than the world. We become a new creation when we are saved and we are to be governed by God standards, not the world’s. Christians are not to walk like the unsaved, instead they are to walk worthy of their calling from God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:4  NKJV    

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” 

Colossians 2:6  NKJV   

  “As therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…”

          Sexual immorality (fornication) was a major problem for the believers of the early church. The pagans (the world around them) condoned and practiced sexual immorality as part of their rituals. Their culture had very few, if any, sexual boundaries. The believers were reminded by Paul that their bodies were the temple of God.  Even though they lived in a sexually orientated society they were to abstain from sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is any illicit sexual activity. It is acting in a wrong or wicked way, especially  thinking or acting in a way that spoils the plan that God gave for physical closeness between a man and a woman.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20  NKJV    

“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

          Our bodies do not belong to us, they belong to God and should be kept holy. God desires for us to keep ourselves from immoral behavior. According to the Bible we are not to keep company with those who claim to be a Christian that are sexually immoral.

1 Corinthians 5:11   

  “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person.”

I. Sexual Immorality Dishonors

Sexual involvement outside of marriage brings dishonor. Dishonor is a loss of honor, reputation; shame; reproach.

A. Dishonors God

Leviticus 20:22-23  NKJV  

   ‘You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.”

          As Christians we are to be different than the world. God has brought us out from Egypt (sin) and we are to walk according to His statutes and laws. God has separated us from sin and we are not to follow after the pattern of the world around us. God abhors sexual immorality therefore we must abstain from it.

Abhor: regard with horror or disgust; hate completely; detest; loathe.

          When we act like the world, talk like the world, and do the things that the world does we bring dishonor to God.

B. Dishonors Your Marriage Partner (or Future Marriage Partner)

God considers marriage as a sacred covenant between you and Him, and between a husband and his wife. The marriage relationship is a symbol of trust, faithfulness and unity.

Exodus 20:14  NKJV    

“You shall not commit adultery.”

          A sexual relationship is much more than just a physical experience. It is a union between a man and woman’s bodies, souls, and spirits. When a person has sexual relationships with someone they are opening themselves up to everything in that persons past.

C. Dishonors You

Sexual immorality (fornication) dishonors you and it is a sin against your own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18  NKJV   

  “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

II. Sexual Immorality Is Prohibited

        1 Peter 3-5  NKJV 

    “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 

          Forbidden (illicit) sexual activity comes in different forms. All forms of immorality will be judged by God.

Leviticus 20:10-16  NKJV   

      “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you. If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall surely kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.”

A. Lust

Lust is a strong sinful desire to satisfy your selfish wants. It can be a strong desire for anything. Referred to in a sexual content, lust is described as a sinful desire for forbidden (illicit) sex, or an excessive sexual desire. Lust leads to sin and sin leads to death (spiritually).

Matthew 5:27-28  NKJV  

   “You have heard that is said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

          Any person that gazes (looks long and steadily) at a person with the purpose of wanting them sexually has mentally committed adultery. They have sinned against God.

B. Adultery

Adultery is the act of breaking the marriage covenant by having sex (voluntary sexual intercourse) with someone other than your husband or wife (extramarital sex). It is also a man and woman living together unmarried as though they were, doing the things together that only a husband and wife should do (sex).

Leviticus 20:10  NKJV   

  “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.”

          When a person commits adultery they are breaking the commitment that they made with God and with their marriage partner. Material infidelity is the same as infidelity with God, because when a person marries someone they are making a vow with God, not just with their marriage partner. When we are unfaithful to God it will cost us our soul.

Proverbs 6:32  NKJV  

  “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.”

C. Incest

Incest is sexual intercourse (sex) between persons closely related (except your spouse). In the Old Testament it was prohibited and the penalty for it was death.

Leviticus 18:6  NKJV   

  “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 20:11-12  NKJV     “The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them.”

D. Homosexuality

Homosexuality is sex with a person of one’s own gender. It is condemned in the Bible ( both in the Old and New Testaments). The Bible tells us that homosexuality (including lesbianism) is an abomination to God. It is something that arouses strong disgust. God detests and loathes homosexuality no matter what label we put on it. God hates the sin of homosexuality, but He loves the sinner. The world calls homosexuality an alternate lifestyle, but God calls it an abomination.

Leviticus 18:22  NKJV   

  “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

Leviticus 20:13  NKJV  

   “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”

          Homosexuality is condemned by God. There are always consequences for our sin. In the early 1980’s the AIDS virus mushroomed as a consequence of homosexual relationships.

Romans 1:26-27  NKJV    

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

Galatians 6:7-8  NKJV  

   “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

          Homosexuality is a sin and will be judged by God. Homosexuality will have its place in the lake of fire along with all other sin. God requires us  to live righteously in order for us to inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9  NKJV   

  “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

E. Bestiality

Bestiality is sex with an animal. The Bible considers this a deviant behavior and is outlawed. It is referred to as a perversion.

Perversion: a turning or being turned to what is wrong; change to what is unnatural, abnormal, or wrong; deviation or abnormality in sexual behavior.

Leviticus 18:23  NKJV  

   “Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is a perversion.”

Leviticus 20:15-16  NKJV   

  “If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall surely kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.”

           The Bible refers to the person who practices bestiality as “cursed.”  In Biblical times bestiality was punishable by death.

Cursed: under a curse, deserving a curse; evil; hateful.

Exodus 22:19  NKJV   

  “Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.” 

Deuteronomy 27:21  NKJV  

   “Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal.”

III. Sexual Purity Is Possible

It is possible for a believer to stay pure in an impure world. Much like the early church, we live in a sexually orientated society. We too, have been instructed to abstain from sexual immorality.

A. Know God’s Word And Live By It

Each one of us must know what God’s Word says concerning sexual purity. In order to live by God’s Word we must know it. We must allow the Holy Spirit to control us and not Satan.

Psalm 119:9-11  NKJV    

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

Your word I have hidden in my heart,

That I might not sin against You.”

          Sexual impurity is a work of the flesh. Works of the flesh are proof that a person is not living under the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:19  NKJV  

   “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbirths of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresis, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practiced such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

B. Make A Conscious Decision

Psalm 101:3  NKJV   

  “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”

          Each believer must make a conscious decision to stay sexually pure. In other words, we must choose for ourselves to stay pure. We are to make a covenant (promise, vow) with ourselves and God.

Job 31:1  NKJV  

   “I have made a covenant with my eyes;

Why then should I look upon a young woman?”

          Believers must bring every thought into captivity and that includes sexually impure thoughts. Our actions reveal our thoughts therefore, we must be very careful about what we think about.

2 Corinthians 10:5  NKJV   

  “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”

C. Avoid Compromising Situations

There are some temptations that are unavoidable, but some temptations should be avoided at all costs. Involvement in certain activities can lead to sexual impurity.

2 Timothy 2:22  NKJV   

  “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

          Each person should know their weakness. When we recognize the areas that we are weak in we can take steps to avoid them. God has made a way for us to escape temptation and part of that way is for us to avoid certain things (people, situations, circumstances…).

James 1:14-15  NKJV    

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

D. Be Filled With The Holy Spirit And Allow Him Control

The best way to overcome any temptation (or sinful desire) is to live in the power of  and under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-17  NKJV   

  “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

          The conflict between our flesh and our spirit is very real. We are made of three parts: body (flesh), soul (mind, will, emotions), and spirit. Our flesh (body) fights against our spirit and our spirit fights against our flesh (body). Whichever one is in control will control our soul, therefore it is very important to allow the Holy Spirit to control us. When we allow the Spirit to control us it will be harder for us to fall into immorality.

Romans 13:13-14  NKJV   

  “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Conclusion:

A Christian must look at the world through God’s eyes and that includes seeing sexual purity the way that He does. Within the confines of marriage, sex is a beautiful gift from God. It is to be enjoyed by a legally married husband and a wife. God has blessed intimacy between a husband and his wife.

Proverbs 5:18-20  NKJV  

   “Let your fountain be blessed,

And rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe,

Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.”

          Outside of marriage sexual impurity is a sin and it can effect you and others for a life time. All fornicators (someone who is sexual impure) will be judged by God.

Hebrews 13:4  NKJV   

  “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

Ephesians 5:3-6  NKJV  

   “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints”

          When a person has failed in the area of sexual purity they can be reconciled unto God. As long as there is life (breath) in their bodies there is hope for reconciliation. Everything in their past can be erased when they come to God for forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17  NKJV    

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new”

          When we confess our sin we are actually agreeing with God that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. In other words, we acknowledge that we have done wrong, that we have broke God’s laws, and that we deserve punishment. When we acknowledge (confess) our sin to God, He will forgive us. God will cleanse all unrighteousness from anyone that asks. When God forgives us of our sins he makes us a new creation.

1 John 1:9  NKJV    

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

          A person’s life should change when they receive forgiveness of their sins. At their salvation they are transformed into the likeness of Christ. Instead of living to please themselves (fulfilling their lusts and desires), they desire to please God.

What Now? Arise and Go

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What Now? Arise and Go

 

         Once we truly experience the glory of God there will be changes within us. As we look at the lives of Moses, Isaiah, and Saul we see that when they experienced the manifest presence of God they recognized the awesomeness of God, they repented, and they went out to do His work. God does not send us His glory just for us to “set and soak” in His presence.

Exodus 3:1-10  NKJV   

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock in the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Here I am.’

Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

And the Lord said: ‘I have surly seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to the Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ ”  

Isaiah 6:1-8  NKJV   

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried, out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King,

The Lord of hosts.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the alter. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.’ Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying

‘Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ ”

Acts 9:1-6  NKJV   

“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ ” 

I. Recognize The Awesomeness of God

God truly is an awesome God. When we come into His presence we are filled with great wonder and reverence, because of His beauty, sublimity (excellence, grandeur, majesty),and power. There is none like God.

Exodus 3:6  NKJV  

“Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Isaiah 6:5  NKJV   

“So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King,

The Lord of hosts.’ ”

 

Acts 9:5  NKJV

“ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ ”

A. Beauty (pleasantness)

Beauty means quality that pleases. God has a pleasant nature. He delights in giving pleasure to His children. Everything He does (or allows to happen) is fair and just.

Psalm 27:4  NKJV   

  “One thing I have desired of the Lord,

That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life

To behold the beauty of the Lord,

And to inquire in His temple.”

Psalm 90:17  NKJV   

  “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,

And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.”

 

Isaiah 33:17  NKJV   

  “Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;

They will see the land that is very far off.”

 

Psalm 29:2  NKJV    

“Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

B. Sublimity

Sublimity means lofty excellence; exalted state; grandeur; majesty. God is superior to man in every way. He is magnificent (splendid, grand, stately, noble, impressive in beauty, brilliance, excellence).

 

Psalm 8:1  NKJV    

“O Lord, our Lord,

How excellent is Your name in all the earth,

Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”

Psalm 148:13  NKJV    

“Let them praise the name of the Lord,

For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth, and heavens.”

All of the universe (everything and everyone in it) is instructed to praise the wonders of God and His majesty.

Psalm 113:1-56 NKJV    

“Praise, O Servants of the Lord,

Praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord

From this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down

The name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations,

His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God,

Who dwells on high

Who humbles Himself to behold

The things that are

in the heavens and in the earth?”

C. Power

Power means  strength or force; ability to do or act; control; authority; influence; right. God is full of power and strength. We are to submit to His authority and come under His control, and we are to praise His power, strength and ability.

Psalm 21:13  NKJV    

“Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”

As we submit to God and His authority, He will fill us with His strength.

Psalm 59:16  NKJV    

“But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense

And refuge in the day of my trouble.”

Believers are to declare the power of God.

Psalm 145:10-12  NKJV    

“All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,

And Your saints shall bless You.

They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,

And talk of Your power,

To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,

And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.”

Even nature, speaks of God’s power. All of creation (everything that was ever created) testifies of God’s great strength, authority and control.

Romans 1:20  NKJV    

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”

II. REPENT

The glory of the Lord brings conviction and repentance. When man comes into the presence of a holy God he will realize just how sinful he is.

Exodus 3:5  NKJV   

  “Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ ”

Isaiah 6:5  NKJV    

“So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!

Because I am a man of unclean lips,

And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King,

The Lord of hosts.’ ”

Acts 9:6  NKJV    

“So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord what do You want me to do?’ ” 

III. GO

Experiencing the glory of God will create a great desire within us to be the hands and feet of God. Our desire to serve others will be greater than ever before.

Exodus 3:10  NKJV    

“ ‘Come now, therefore, and I will send you to the Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ ” 

Isaiah 6:8-9  NKJV    

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying

‘Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?’

Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’

And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people…’ ”

Acts 9:6-9  NKJV    

“So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord what do You want me to do?’

Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither are nor drank.”

Acts 9:17-20  NKJV    

“And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ’Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”

When we are available to God we can be used by God for whatever He desires and wherever He desires. We should feel compassion on those of faith, those who are lost, both the grateful and the ungrateful. 

Colossians 3:23  NKJV    

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”

What Can I Do For You?

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What Can I Do For You?

 

2 Kings 4:8-12  NKJV    

“Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and turned in to the upper room and lay down there. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ When he had called her, she stood before him. And he said to him, ‘Say to her, ‘Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I dwell among my own people.’ So he said, ‘What then is to be done for her?’ And Gehazi answered, ‘Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old.’

          As Elisha traveled through Shunem, he would stop to rest and eat. In Shunem there was a family that would invite (persuade) him into their home for a meal. The Bible refers to the woman of the house as a notable woman. This woman understood and knew in her spirit that Elisha was a holy man of God. She realized that Elisha was set apart for the ministry to God. The Shunammite woman acted upon the knowledge that she had. She asked her husband if they could make a room on the roof (wall) for Elisha. This room would be set apart for Elisha when he would travel through their town (Shunem). The room would provide a resting place for Elisha and his needs could easily be met. The woman wanted to make certain that her family provided the hospitality that was due to a holy man of God. Not because she was a “man pleaser” or out of duty, but because she had a deep respect and reverence for God.

Elisha was thankful and appreciative of the effort and concern that was given to his comfort and needs. He instructed his servant, Gehazi, to go to the woman and find out what special thing could her do for her to repay her for the kindness that had been given to him. Elisha wondered if she needed him to talk to the king for her (favor with the king) or if she needed him to talk to the commander of the army for her (protection). Gehazi went to the Shunammite woman to find out if she had any needs. The woman did not need Elisha to talk to the king or the commander of the army for her. She lived in her own land with her own people. Gehazi went back to Elisha and informed him of the conversation with the Shunammite woman.

Still wanting to do something for the woman, Elisha asked his servant, Gehazi, what could her do for her. Gehazi told Elisha that the woman did not have a son. Elisha called the woman and when she stood before him he told her that she was going to have a son within the year.

The woman had prepared a dwelling (resting) place for the man of God out of respect and reverence and in turn she received what she dreamed of. She was blessed with a son within the year. We too, can and will be blessed beyond our wildest dreams if we will follow the Shunammite woman’s example. We must recognize the holiness of God, prepare a place for Him and minister to Him.

I. Recognize The Holiness Of God

Recognition is a knowing again or an acknowledgment. It also means acceptance. Recognition conveys approval. When we recognize the holiness of God we acknowledge, accept and admit that God is holy.

2 Kings 4:9  NKJV    

“And she said to her husband, ‘Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.”

          Recognition of God as holy is shown through our words, actions and thoughts. A person who claims to know that God is holy, but whose actions do not align themselves up with that knowledge does not truly recognize the holiness of God. It is not enough to just know something, we must act upon what we know. The Shunammite woman recognized the holiness of the man of God and she followed up this knowledge with action. We must recognize the holiness of God and then we must follow up our knowledge of His holiness with action. Acknowledgment, acceptance and admittance that God is holy will be both internal and external. Throughout the Bible we can see where when people truly recognized the holiness of God it was followed up by action. Isaiah recognized that God was holy and he followed that knowledge up with true repentance.

Isaiah 6:1-5 NKJV    

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.’ ”

II. Prepare A Place For God

The Shunammite woman wanted to make a room for Elisha. The room was to be a resting place for the man of God. Elisha represents the presence of God, therefore the room was to be a habitation (a place to live in / a dwelling place) for the presence of God.

2 Kings 4:10  NKJV    

“Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.’ ”

           The first step in preparing a place for God is repentance. A person becomes the temple of God at salvation because the Holy Spirit comes to reside (to live in) the believer.

Ephesians 2:19-22  NKJV    

“Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

            The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) lives within every Christian. We are to be holy because God is holy. If we do not keep our temple clean (holy, pure) the presence of God will not stay. God’s presence will not be where there is sin.

          2 Corinthians 6:14-18  NKJV    

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. And God said: ‘I will dwell in them

And walk among them. I will be their God,

And they shall be My people.’

Therefore

‘Come out from among them

And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean,

And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you,

And you shall be My sons and daughters,

Says the Lord Almighty.’ ”

III. Minister To God

A minister is a person engaged in carrying out a purpose, the will, etc., of another person; to act as an agent (a person that has the authority to act for or in place of another); to be of service or aid; to be helpful. The Shunammite woman was a minister to Elisha. She was helpful to him by providing with what he needed. 

2 Kings 4:10-11 NKJV    

“Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and turned in to the upper room and lay down there.”

           The Shunammite woman met Elisha’s needs first, then He met her need (to have a son). She did not ask for her need to be met, nor did she tell Elisha what her need was.

Psalm 100  NKJV    

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are the people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.”

          When we minister to God, He will meet our needs. Like the Shunammite woman we will not have to tell Him everything that we need in order to receive it. God knows our every need, concern and desire, and He is more than able to provide what we have need of.

Conclusion

When we prepare a place for God, He will come. When we meet His needs out of  respect, reverence and love for Him, He will bless us beyond our wildest dreams. When we align ourselves up in godly order we will have our needs met. First we are to minister to God, then He will minister to us.

As you minister to God out of respect, reverence and love, not out of duty, you will hear a voice deep within asking, “What may I do for you?”

Renewed in the Lord

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Renewed in the Lord

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Isaiah 40:28-31  NKJV    

“Have you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable

He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

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.”

          In this day and age there are many things around us that could cause us to be stressed. Every time you turn on the news or pick up a paper, you are bombarded with “bad” news and situations that you have no control over. When the pressures of life try to close in on you, you must remember that we serve a God that made us, watches over us and helps us. We serve a God that knows us by name. Through Jesus we have found grace in the sight of God, and just as God knew Moses by name, God knows us by name.

Exodus 33:17  NKJV    

“So the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.’ ”

I. God Made Us

We serve a God that is everlasting. He created the entire universe, every single thing was designed and made by Him.

Isaiah 40:28  NKJV   

  “Have you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,…”

          God is the source of all things.

Romans 11:36  NKJV    

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

II. God Watches Over Us

God is with us always. He is by your side no matter what you are going through.

Isaiah 40:28  NKJV    

“…Neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable”

          God is like a shepherd watching over his flock. A good shepherd constantly keeps his eyes on his sheep and their surroundings. God is omniscient. He is all knowing. He understands everything, and has complete and infinite knowledge.

Romans 11:33  NKJV   

  “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

         God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time. There is nothing hidden from His eyes as He watches over you. With God watching over us, what do we have to worry about?

Matthew 6:25-34  NKJV    

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field; which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’”

          God know the days of everyone. He knows our circumstances and provides for our every need, He knows how long we will live, and He knows about our future.

Psalm 37:18-20  NKJV   

  “The Lord knows the days of the upright,

And their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,

And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish;

And the enemies of the Lord,

Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.”

III. God Helps Us

We do not serve a god that only sees our needs. But we serve the Lord God Almighty. A God that is moved with love and compassion toward us. He not only sees our needs, but He does something about them. He is our ever present help.

Psalm 46:1  NKJV   

  “God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.”

Isaiah 40:29-31  NKJV    

“He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

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.”

          God is omnipotent. He has all power. He is the Lord God Almighty. Man is limited in his power but we serve a God that has unlimited power. He will help you and protect you by His great power.

Psalm 91:1- 16  NKJV   

  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler

And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers,

And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,

Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,

Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side,

And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look,

And see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

No evil shall befall you,

Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you,

To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. ‘Because he has set his love upon Me,

therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him,

And show him My salvation.’ ”

          God will not abandon anyone who puts their hope and trust in Him. He never gives up on us or leaves us alone. Promises are never broken by God. He is faithful and worthy of our trust.

Psalm 9:9-10  NKJV    

“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed,

A refuge in times of trouble,

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

          Those who seek Him in times of trouble will find refuge. He will provide shelter and protection from danger or trouble. We can rest when we are in His place of safety and security.

Psalm 32:7  NKJV    

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble;

You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Conclusion

As we rest in God with confident expectation, He will renew us. He will fill us with new strength and vitality. Our God is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord Our Peace. He will give peace to the weary and worn (the tired and stressed). God will send a refreshing to everyone that places their hope and trust in Him. His refreshing will drain away the stresses of life that we face each day as we walk through this life.

Dear Father,

You are an everlasting God. You are the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of the ends of the earth. By Your power You made the entire universe.  I thank-you that You never sleep. Thank-you that You never grow faint or weary. Your understanding truly is unsearchable. Your ways are so much higher than mine. You give power to the weak, and to those who have no might You increases strength. To those who wait on You, O Lord, You renew their strength.  Father, I put my hope in You and You alone. Strengthen and renew me by Your power. Let me mount up with wings like an eagle. Let me run and not be weary. Let walk and not faint.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You Are Salt And Light

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Matthew 5:13-16  NKJV    

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I. SALT OF THE EARTH

Matthew 5:13  NKJV    

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

          In Israel some salt was mixed with other ingredients. When the salt was exposed to (mixed with) these other things, the salt would loose its flavor over time. When this happened the salt was no longer good for (fit for) its intended purpose. It would be thrown out. Many times it was used for coating pathways. As Christians, we are to be the salt of the earth. Like salt, purity (not being mixed with anything) helps us to maintain our flavor. When mixed with the things of the world we loose our flavor and are no longer good for what we were intended for. According to the above verse, when we loose our flavor we are good for nothing. God is serious about our purity and commitment.

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.”

          Salt is a white substance used for seasoning and preserving. Pure salt maintains its flavor. We are to be a seasoning and a preservative for a lost world. There should be something in each one of us that God can use to “season” each other and to preserve the lost.

A. Seasoning –

A seasoning is something that gives a better flavor (makes better). It is also something that gives interest or character. Salt  gives liveliness (full of life and spirit, active, vigorous, exciting, bright, vivid, and cheerful). As the salt of the earth we should affect those around us in a positive way. We should stir up (provoke) good in others – good works and good behavior.

Hebrews 10:24-25  NKJV    

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

B. Preservative –

Preserve is to keep from harm or change, to keep safe, to protect, to keep up, to maintain, keep from spoiling.

Psalm 36:6  NKJV   

  “Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.”

Psalm 121  NKJV   

  “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – 

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;

He who keep you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel

Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;

He shall preserve your soul.

The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in.

From this time forth, and even forevermore.”

              As Christians we have been preserved from the things of this world (evil) and from the things to come (the wrath of God, tribulation, judgment).

Revelation 3:10  NKJV   

  ‘Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

         Should we not desire for others to be preserved also? It is our responsibility to let others know how they too can be saved. When we invest our lives in advancing the kingdom of God we will be rewarded.

     

II. LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Light is a brightness that enables us to see. Light brings understanding or shows the way.

Matthew 5:14  NKJV    

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

            Without light we have no way of seeing in the dark. Without the light of Jesus Christ the world has no way of “seeing” in this dark (sinful) world. We are to be the light of the world.

Colossians 1:12  NKJV   

  “…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

          With every inheritance comes responsibilities. Christians have a responsibility to be a light everywhere they go and in everything they do.

Philippians 2:14-15  NKJV  

   “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

          The light within us (the light of Christ) should penetrate the spiritual darkness around us. We do not have any light of our own. We are the reflective light of Jesus Christ. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it. We are the light of the world as long as we reflect Jesus Christ.

We must make sure that nothing comes between us and the light of Jesus Christ.

III. LIGHT TO THE HOUSE

Not only are we to be a light to the lost in a dark world, we are to be a light to those in the house also.

Matthew 5:15  NKJV  

   “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

          Light indicates deliverance from darkness.  Each Christian has been delivered from darkness. Each one has a testimony and they should be ready to give it. We should never hide what God has done for us. Other Christians are encouraged by our testimonies. The Bible tells us that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Just because a person is a Christian it does not mean that they will not struggle with things. What God has delivered you from can help someone else that is faced with the same thing. Your deliverance can be light to someone else.

CONCLUSION:

Matthew 5:16  NKJV  

   “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

              Everything we do and say should point people to God. When people look at us they should not see us (fleshly man), they should see Jesus living in us.  Just as salt in the natural realm will make a person thirsty, salt in the spiritual realm will make a person thirsty for the living water (the Word of God, Jesus Christ). There are people watching each and everyone of us. May what they see be the salt and the light that they need to created a hunger for God and the things of God.