Friday, October 31, 2014

with Brother Rick

John 8: 42
  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Throughout the history of the world, we have pondered and studied the mysteries of the universe. God created and we work to no end to disprove his work. God supplies and we spare no expense to explain it away with man's wisdom or should I say lack of. God gives us in detail the events that will destroy this earth. But that's not good enough, we use global warming as a way to control lives, rob hard working people, and serve a political end. 2 Peter 3: 10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and  the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” That's the end of the story, friend. No need to consult an astrophysicist. God says it and that settles it. But apparently not for the majority.

In the text, Jesus is speaking to the Jews about liberty. He tells them in 8: 32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  The Jews then claimed to be the children of Abraham. But Jesus tells them, “If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man who hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your Father”, John 8: 39- 41. Here's the message, the Jews tell Jesus in verse 41 that they only have on Father, even God. Then Jesus gives them one of the most controversial statements of all time. This flies directly in the face of the wisdom of man. It contradicts the teachings in most Bible colleges. It is heresy to the secular education system as we know it. It has caused the death of millions and will cause many more. Never has one statement affected so many lives as the words of Jesus in two verses. One is John 14: 6, which says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” The other is our text. Jesus says, “If God is your Father, ye will love me”. Try to tell that to your boss. Try to tell that to your college professor. Try to spread that message down at the public school. Jesus tells them that there is no going to heaven, unless you love me. You can't see God, unless you love me. You can't have eternal life, unless you love me. You can't be a child of God, unless you love me. Here's the question of the week, “WHO'S YOUR DADDY?”

This doctrine will be the great separator at the end of this age. Those who have loved Jesus will stand before the Bema Seat, (Judgment seat of Christ). And those who refuse to accept God's Son will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment. That's it, there are no other paths, there are no other ways, it's that simple. 2 Corinthians 11: 3 says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” No need to complicate the issue, it's Jesus or nothing, it's heaven or hell, It's life or death. We will be bombarded even today with devils who claim to be children of God, but hate the thought of having to go through Jesus. Their end is destruction.

I certainly do my best to give truth in these devotions, some say that I come off a bit rough, but the reality is this, I desire to see folks trust in Jesus. I pray that my lost family will trust in Jesus. I pray that my coworkers and those who I spend countless hours with, will trust Jesus. I pray that my church family will make Jesus preeminent in all that they do. It's all about Jesus. The life I once knew is over. I have a new life now, and it hinges on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Savior of the world, the only begotten Son of God, the God-man, Christ Jesus. He is the only way. “If God were your Father, ye would love me”. Some powerful words from our Lord. Do you love him?

If there is one thing that you need to nail down today, it's the fact that God is your Father and Jesus is Lord. That's really all that matters.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

with Brother Rick

John 4: 10, 23
  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
V- 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

In this text, we see Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well. We must first determine that this was not just coincidence that she ran into the Creator that morning. It was not pot luck that brought her in the presence of the Savior of the world. It was a divine appointment. Verses 3, 4 of the chapter says, “He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria.” Jesus knew the woman would be at the well. Jesus knew I would be in Liberty, South Carolina on November 21 1998. Jesus knew my condition when he came to me. The point is this; Jesus came to me. I did not go to him.

In the text, Jesus offers the woman a drink of living water. Jesus offers her something that would change her life. Jesus offers her something that she had never experienced before. Jesus offer her something eternal, something that has substance, something that lasts. Jesus offers her something that is not controlled by money, situations, or circumstances. Jesus offers her something that the world cannot provide. Jesus offers her himself. Unlike the offers of this world, Jesus can give real peace. John 14: 27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Unlike the offers of the world, Jesus makes her an offer that will stand for eternity. 2 Peter 1: 4 says, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Unlike the offers of the world, Jesus offered her a new life.

Our president offered us a new life, how is that working out for you? As we approach another election in our country, we hear the promises of the world. We hear false promises of universal health care, WHAT A JOKE. We hear false promises about immigration reform, and tax budgets, family values, while we marry men with men and sell dope at the local weed stores. It is all a lie. They're sending millions to hell at break neck speed. It's all in vain. It is our duty on Tuesday to put someone in office that will do the godly thing, but we know deep down that the promises made, will not be kept once they are elected. But that should not stop us from doing our part. It is our Christian duty to vote. That was free!!

Enough politics, back to the message. Jesus offered the Samaritan woman a drink of living water, and then he teaches her a lesson in true worship. Worship is adoration of the Savior. We adore Jesus because he gave himself for us. We love him, because he first loved us. We adore him, because he died for us. We worship him, because he is worthy. We worship him, not because of what he can do for us, but because of what he has already done for us. Jesus informs the woman that there are two things that are vital for true worship. We must worship in spirit and in truth. Romans 8: 8 says, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” There can be no true worship until our spirit bears witness with God's Spirit. When you acknowledge that God's Spirit is within you and he is in control, then you are a candidate for true worship. But, that's not all it takes. When the Spirit is in control, the truth of the word of God has to be confirmed within you. When God's words are made preeminent, and our spirit is alive toward God, we are then freed up to worship in spirit and in truth. That's why there can never be true worship in contemporary movements. You cannot mix the world with Spirit and truth and get godliness. NOT GONNA HAPPEN, FRIEND. You can't make chicken soup out of chicken dung. HEY! Listen up!! You can't mix the pleasures of the flesh with spiritual things and expect God to bless it. He will not!

If you take the music out of the new contemporary movement, it will die a natural death in 60 days. I promise you this, music is not a prerequisite for true worship. Friend, we are worshiping right now; no lights, no fog machines, no praise team dancers, no heavy metal Jesus rap. Praise God, its just me and the Lord. Those are the good times, you should try it.

The woman left her water pot and ran to town with a message of hope. Verse 29 says, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that I ever did: Is not this the Christ?”

Jesus deserves our worship. Come see a man, who can change your life.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

with Brother Rick

John 4: 47- 50
  When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
V- 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
V- 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
V- 50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

In the text we see the sovereign mercy of the Lord. The man came to Jesus with a need. He was not Jew. He was not a man of God. He was not a religious man; at least we are not led to believe he was. He was just a stranger looking for some help. John 6: 37 says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”. Jesus is no respecter of persons; he will help anyone who will call upon his name. Romans 10: 13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

Notice in the text that the man came to Jesus in desperation and pleaded with the Lord to come else his child would die. How many of us have ever come to the Lord with this type of passion? How many of us have come to the Lord with this type of assurance? We know from verse 46 that the man traveled from Capernaum to find Jesus. It was about a 20 mile trip. He most assuredly had already consulted the doctors. He had probably done all he could think of to save his child, and now there was nothing left to do but turn to the Lord. The text does not tell us this but we know from history, other stories in the Bible, and personal experience that Jesus is usually the last place we go when we need help, especially for the lost.

There is one thing that we can bank on. When the man left Jesus and went to his home and found his son in good health, he knew he could depend on the words of the Lord. Verse 50 says, “And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way”. Notice one thing, this man believed the word of the Lord BEFORE he confirmed the miracle healing of his child. Can you say that about your relationship with the Lord? Do you believe the words of Jesus despite the outcome?

Do you believe the Lord when he says in Luke 6: 38, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”? Do you believe the Lord when he says in Matthew 6: 33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”? Do you believe the Lord when he says in Matthew 11: 28, “Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest”? Do you believe the Lord when he says in James 4: 8, “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you”? Do you see in all of these verses of scripture, we are required to act first before the blessing comes. In each of these promises from the Lord, we have to make a move toward God and his righteousness in order to receive. God is a God of proportions.

Did you receive a blessing at your church on the Lord's Day? Did the service and the preaching of the word move your heart and challenge your life? I’ll be willing to say that you received exactly what you put into it. If you worshiped with a pure heart and a joyful spirit, I believe that you were blessed beyond measure. But if you had other things on your mind and you were preoccupied, or if you started the day off with a bad attitude because some lost sinner wandered in off the street and sat in YOUR pew, I would be willing to say that you didn't get much from God.

What are you putting into your relationship with the Lord?

The street runs both ways, don’t wait on the Lord to do all the work, trust his word and move in his direction.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

with Brother Rick

John 1: 1, 14
  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
V- 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, ) full of grace and truth.

 John is known in the scriptures as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. He was an eyewitness of the events of Christ and was part of the inner circle with Peter and James. John's presentation of Christ as the divine Son of God is seen in the titles given him throughout the gospel: “The Word was God” (1:1), “The Lamb of God” (1:29), “The Messias” (1:41), “The Son of God”, and “the king of Israel” (1:49), The Saviour of the world” (4:42), “Lord and God)” (20: 28). His deity is also confirmed in the “I am” statements, which was his claim to be the I am-Yahweh of the Old Testament. John's gospel confirms the fact that Jesus Christ the Son of God is God the Son, Jesus is God in the flesh.

In the text, we see that John confirms an indisputable fact. In the beginning before time began, Christ was in existence with God. The “Word” which is defined “Logos” means (word, thought or concept). The Old Testament concept conveyed activity and revelation, and the word or wisdom of God is personified. The Word was with God and the Word was God, that is Jesus. Psalm 33: 6 says, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” John 1: 2, 3 says, “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Both of these scriptures are references to the activity, revelation, and personification of the WORD. And the second part of our text confirms it. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,”

In the first 14 verses of John's gospel, he nails down the deity of Christ, and he also gives us a look at the life changing attributes of the man who changed the world and the lives of those who would believe. In verse 4, Jesus is the life, and the life was the light of man. We have no light outside of the Savior. We see every day how those in our society spend a lifetime and millions of dollars trying to produce light within themselves. They build up organizations which bear their names and provide resources to help the needy, care for the sick, and offer assistance to those who have not, but none of them can bring light to a dark soul. Only the true light can bring life out of death. Verse 9 of the text says, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” We have no light in ourselves, we cannot produce light, and we are only a reflection of the light that lives within us. Jesus is the light. If your light is shining, never forget, it's not your light, it's the light that lives within you. We like to take credit for the light, but in reality, we are in darkness and Jesus is the light.

Now that we know who Jesus is, let me say this before we go on. The deity of Christ has always been a stumbling block for the world and it's system. But never before in this nation, has the name of Jesus been attacked like He is today. Our current administration and leaders have opened the flood gates to persecute and destroy the sanctity of the scriptures and the deity of our Savior. And I pray that you and I will have enough backbone to stand up and defend the doctrine we have talked about this morning. Liberal devils like Annise Parker will use their political position to deny the deity of Jesus and do all she can to destroy the preaching of God's word. Of course we know that she will not prevail in the end, but along the way, she will gain the support of lost souls and pull them away from Jesus. God help those who reject the light!!!

Verse 12 brings us to the applicable portion of the chapter. The text says, “But as many as (received) him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” I say, “PRAISE GOD!!! HALLELUJUAH!!! GLORY TO THE NAME OF JESUS!!! That is me. I have received him, I have the power to become a son. I am in the family of God. I am a joint-heir with Christ. Man, I got it all.

Friend, have you received him? There is no life without Jesus. Matthew 1: 23 says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” This sure comforts my heart, how about you?

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

with Brother Rick

Luke 24: 18, 19
  And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast thou not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
V- 19 And he said unto them, what things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

On the first day of the week, which is Sunday, Jesus had already risen from the grave, left the tomb, shed the grave clothes, left death and hell at the doorstep, and made his way out to find his disciples. Not that he really needed to find them, he knew exactly where they were. As he was walking, he ran into two witnesses of the events which took place at Jerusalem concerning the death of Jesus. The men gave testimony of the legacy that Jesus left behind. It is God's will that you and I leave behind the same legacy. Romans 8: 29 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God's children should do what their heavenly Father does. Jesus did as his Father did. John 5: 19 says, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” We need to learn how to follow the lead of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. We have no problem following god the golf star, god the movie star, god the TV star, god the NASCAR champion, god the bass fisherman, god the deer hunter, and the list goes on and on. Who's lead are you following?

Our text gives us two things that will dictate the effectiveness of our ministry here on earth and will mold our legacy long after we are gone. First, we see in the text that Jesus was mighty in deed and word. His deeds matched his words. He was not just a talker. I know many who talk the talk. They know all the right words in a spiritual conversation. They know the verses backwards and forwards. They know all the best preachers names, ranks and serial numbers. They know about all the local revivals, and who will be singing, but when it comes to knocking on doors, visiting the sick, participating in the nursing home ministry, serving others around the church, they can't be found by the FBI. James 2: 26 says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” A faith that will save you is a faith that will work you. A faith that will get you to heaven is a faith that will motivate service. Jesus was mighty in deed and word. This is the legacy of a true Christian.

Secondly, we see in the text that Jesus was not only mighty in deed and word before God, the text says he was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. So the attitude that we are only worried about doing good before God is not correct. The effectiveness of our ministry here on earth depends on our ability to follow God and keep a good report before all men. Matthew 5: 16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus left a legacy of a man who stood his ground and defended God's word and God's will, and he also left a legacy of a man who healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, preached the gospel to the poor, caused the lame to walk and the blind to see. Jesus cared about people, as he lived in the will of God the Father. Its a mighty tall task, living the true Christian life, but that's the example we are called to follow. How's that working our for YOU?

You and I will leave behind a legacy. It will be something like this; “Rick read his Bible, and was faithful to the church, but his old lifestyle got the best of him in the end.” Oh, what a tragedy. Or, it might go like this, “ Rick knew how to talk the talk, but he was never faithful to his family, he lived two separate lives.” God help me never to stray from God and his word. You will leave a legacy, and may it be one like Jesus. “He was mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” I think we need to get to work on this one, how about you?

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jehovah Shalom - The Lord Our Peace

Judges 6:23-24 – “And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee … Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom.”

In A Wardrobe from the King, Berit Kjos tells this story: Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.

The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled. As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd.

A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.

The man with the vision uncovered the second painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?

A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice; the crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power.

A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil.

The songwriter tells us, “Peace, peace, wonderful peace, Coming down from the Father above! Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, In fathomless billows of love.” Such great peace cannot even be described. We try – in poem – in song – in art – but true peace cannot be expressed in any medium but the feelings of the heart – the very soul. It’s a peace that transcends all language. It’s a peace that only an eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God can give to His child. I know that peace. If you’ve been born again, you know that peace. Men have sought for that peace for centuries, though many not willing to pay the price.

It’s a peace that comes from giving one’s heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “If thou … shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” And that salvation will definitely bring peace to your life – a perfect peace that only He can give.

It’s a peace that comes from giving one’s soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 22:7, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” If you’ll give Him your soul, He’ll take you to heaven to be with Him.

It’s a peace that comes from giving one’s body to the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1, “That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.” If you’ll present your body to Him, you’ll find the “perfect will of God. (Rom 12:2)”

Quote – “Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always.” – Unknown

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord Our Banner

Exodus 17:15 – “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi.”

In the First Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War, Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson was leading the Virginia troops of the Confederacy. When both the right and left flanks of the Confederate Army fell back, Jackson’s troops held firm. General Barnard S. Bee rallied his disorganized men by instructing them to look at General Jackson. "There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!" They did so, and the Confederacy won a decisive and surprising victory at the outset of the war, dashing the Union's hopes for a quick victory. And Thomas Jonathan Jackson was thereafter known as Stonewall Jackson. That day, he was the "banner" for the Confederate troops. Although shots were flying all around them, they saw Jackson, standing before them, as impregnable as a stone wall, and rallied behind him.

In the same way that Jackson was a “banner” for the Confederate troops, something for them to look to and rally behind, so the Lord Jesus Christ is our “banner” – our Jehovah Nissi – the Lord our banner. Let’s look at the context of this verse. Beginning in verse 8, Israel is attacked by the Amalekites, the sons of Amalek, a descendant of Esau. Now there was no love lost between Israel and these distant cousins, perhaps because Esau had sold Jacob his birthright for a pot of pea soup. According to Deuteronomy 25:17-19, as Israel was coming out of Egypt, the Amalekites attacked them from behind, picking off the weaker stragglers. Do you have any enemies that like to attack when you’re down and out – or when your back is turned – or when you least expect it? The old devil, our adversary, attacks in just such a manner.

Well, here in our passage, Israel turned and fought the Amalekites. They were led by Joshua, their great, young general. Moses sat up on a hill and looked down on the battle with his arms uplifted with his rod outstretched as an ensign, a banner, if you will. When the soldiers looked up and saw God’s man there with his arms lifted up, they prevailed against the enemy. But when they looked up and saw that his arms were tired and not lifted up, the enemy prevailed. It was here that Aaron and Hur sat Moses on a stone and stood on either side of him and held his arms up for him. Oh, don’t we need more in our churches who will stand with the pastor and lift his hands up instead of stabbing him in the back with their daggers of malicious talk and gainsaying spirits. But with the help of these men, Moses was able to keep his arms uplifted, and Israel won a great victory over the Amalekites that day. And there Moses built an altar unto the Lord called it Jehovah Nissi, recognizing that it was not he who was the banner of inspiration but God himself.

So Christ is our “banner” – our standard – our inspiration as we fight the Amalekites of our warfare. Paul commands us in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” He is our inspiration; He is our strength. What Amalekites do we face each day? We face the world, the flesh and the devil every day of our lives, and our Jehovah Nissi, the Lord our banner, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is there to help us win the victory. If we’ll look to Him – seek His face daily – follow His guidance – let Him fight for us – give ourselves totally over to His control – live every day for Him, we will defeat all the Amalekites that come at us.

Quote - "The devil trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian on his knees." – Dr. Harold Sightler

Friday, October 24, 2014

with Brother Rick

 Luke 23: 42, 43
  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
V- 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

As Jesus hung on the cross with the malefactors, we see that one of the men had no faith in the Son of God, and we see the other had great faith that Jesus was the Christ. The believer did not beg the Lord to take him off the cross. He did not ask Jesus to look after his family. He did not ask the Creator of the universe to get even with his accusers. He only asked Jesus one thing. He asked the Lord to remember him.

This man found out later that Jesus was a God of his word. Jesus told him that he would be with him in paradise and I believe exactly what the Bible says. So we must conclude that the man saw Jesus in paradise not long after that moment.

We learn from this verse that church attendance does not save a man from a devil’s hell. I think we can say that this man was not a pillar of the community. He was not a faithful member of the local church. He was not a deacon of a local assembly. We also learn from this verse that water baptism is not a prerequisite for entering heaven, despite the heresy that some have spread. We also learn that good works does not determine the eternal resting place of the soul. If it did this man would be in a mess. We do however learn from this verse that Jesus always keeps his promises. If God says it, you can take it to the bank.  Titus 1: 1, 2 says, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” We serve a God that stands on his word. Can the world say that about you? We serve a God who backs up his promises. Can the world say that about you? We serve a God that takes care of his own? Does your family and friends say that about you? We learn in these verses from the thief on the cross that the motions we go through as God’s children are the fruit of salvation, they are not a means of salvation.

In our text we see that the man who hung next to the Lord only asked for one thing, that Christ would remember him when he took his rightful place at the right hand of God the Father. If you could ask the Lord for something this morning, what would it be? 1 John 5: 14 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” Jesus also tells us in Luke 11: 9, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Again I ask, if you could ask the Lord this morning for one thing, what would it be? Would it be a new car? Would it be a handful of sweaty cash? Would it be a new house? Would it be something that has no eternal value? Or would you do as this thief on the cross and ask for God to remember you.

We need Jesus to remember us when he goes before God the Father. We need Jesus to remember our weaknesses in the flesh. We need Jesus to remember our need for provision in this life. We need Jesus to remember that our adversary is only a step behind us waiting to attack at any moment. Thank God for his protection. We need Jesus to remember our lost family. 2 Peter 3: 9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” I need for Jesus to remember my brother Rob. This morning my request to the Lord would be, “Lord, please remember my brother before it is too late.”

God remember us today, we need all the help we can get.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

with Brother Rick

Luke 15: 17- 20
  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger.
V- 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
V- 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
V- 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

The story of the prodigal son has to be one of the greatest examples of the love of God in the scriptures. We could spend an entire month teaching and drawing applicable lessons from this text. First, we must establish the context of the story. The son who asked for his inheritance and desired to go out into the world, was a son while he was at home, he was a son while he was in the world, and he was a son when he came home. He was a covenant son not a converted son. The story certainly can be used to teach God's love for sinners and how he brought us out of the world and saved us. This prodigal son is in the same text as the parable of the man who had one hundred sheep and one was lost. The owner left the ninety nine and searched for the one. It also is in the same text as the woman who had ten coins and lost one. She worked diligently to find it and when she did she rejoiced. All three parables describe a God who loves his own, and desires to keep them close to him. And when they lose their way; and they will. He is there to catch them and restore them. Isaiah 55: 7 says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

Let's look at three things this morning, First, we see the Backsliding in his heart. If we are in fellowship with God, there should never be a time when we want to leave the Father's house, our desire is to be in the Father's house. Friend, if you have a desire to leave God and go back to the world, you are in a mess. Your eyes are blinded and you are walking in darkness. You say, can this happen to Christians, OH YEAH!!! happens every day. How many Christians do you think will be at the Jason Aldean concert coming up? That's right, I know all about that fornicating adulterer who is coming soon to a town near you. Why would someone who serves a holy God want to fellowship with the world and its system? It's Backsliding in the heart. They will take a night off from holiness, waste some of their substance with riotous living, maybe have a drink or two, nothing harmful. Then when the Spirit is grieved, they will find themselves in a spiritual famine.  They will eat with the pigs for a while, and when they have had all of the world they want, they realize that the world cannot provide what the Father has supplied.

Secondly, we see the Battle with the harlots. Verse 30 of the text tells us that the older son rehearses the boy's sinful living. In the text, the older son will never forget his brother's sinful living, and probably will never let the younger son forget it either. Even though the father forgave the younger son, there will always be consequences for his actions. I have family and friends today who are still wary of my salvation, because of riotous living twenty years ago. My battle with the harlots has cost me a lot. How about you?

Lastly, we see the Beauty of the Heavenly. The first thought of the father was not to reprimand the boy. He did not rebuke him for spending his inheritance. He did not chastise him for embarrassing the family. He did not ground him for a month and make him sleep in the barn. The father ran to him and kissed him and welcomed him home. Thank God he welcomes us home, when we come to ourselves. Isaiah 61: 3 says, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Our heavenly Father is a God of restoration.

God is standing in the road looking, waiting and asking,
“Won't you come home?”

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

with Brother Rick

 Luke 12: 47, 48
  And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
V- 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him will they ask the more.
In this text, Jesus teaches a lesson that is unpopular in the religious circles. Religion has come to a place where nothing is sacred, the scriptures are not considered holy, God's house has become a social gathering place and the responsibilities of running the Christian race and performing the work of the church lies squarely on the shoulders of a few. But Jesus contradicts our way of thinking. Until the time of Jesus, that was the way God set it up. God put priests in the office and they went to God for the people. The responsibility of knowing the law and communicating it to the people, was in their hands. But Jesus fulfilled the law and opened the door for all believers to know the law of God and follow it. Yes, you can know just as much about God's word than the Bible scholar with the PHD. You can know about the God that you serve, and Jesus opened the door not only for you to know about him, but you can know him. Galatians 4: 8, 9 says, “Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” I'm glad I know him this morning. But even greater than that; I'm glad he knows me!!!

Here's where the rubber meets the road. Now that you know him, what are you going to do with him? We have a duty to walk as he walked, talked as he talked, and do as he did. There is a reckoning day coming, and we will be judged, of course, by his words. And we will also be judged according to the riches of the free gift that we have been given. Has God given you anything? Anything at all? Has God taught you anything since you believed? If so, you are accountable to be a good steward with the gift. 2 Corinthians 4: 2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” God has given us his Son. What will you do with him? God has given us salvation. What will you do with it? God has given us love, joy, and peace in the Lord. How will you transfer these graces into the lives of others? God has given us power from on high to reject this world's system and live holy lives. Have you used the power yet? It's hard to tell these days who is Christian and who is of the world. We are to be in the world, not of the world.

The text lays the fruit of our salvation at our feet, not the feet of the preacher, not the feet of the deacons, not the feet of paw paw, and maw maw. We are responsible for the gift we have been given. Today's religious crowd wants a Christianity that costs them nothing. We serve when its convenient. We tithe when we have it. We pray when no one is looking. We worship to stir the flesh. We study as if we're terrified of the Bible. We bebop into God's house like we would a night club or a ball game with no reverence to the God of the Bible. We will all stand in judgment over this complacent, carnal attitude into which we have evolved. You and I will not by-pass the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5: 10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” I'm here to tell you this morning, that you have been given much, and God will require it at your hands. God will be looking for fruit. God will be looking for gain. God will be looking for service. God will be looking for faithfulness. God will be looking for evidence that you are a new creature in Christ. Are you a new creature in Christ? Are old things passed away, and have all things become new? Friend, there is more to being a Christian, than just sitting on the pew, and singing in the choir. There is a price to be paid. Jesus paid a debt he didn't owe, because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. WE OWE HIM!!!

I think its time we counted the cost and started pulling our weight. How about you?

Have A Blessed Day!!! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

with Brother Rick

 Luke 7: 20 -22
  When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?
V- 21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
V- 22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John, what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

 In this text, we find John the Baptist in the prison. Herod had shut him up in the prison for preaching the truth. John was a man of conviction. He stood by his beliefs. He was not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. He was a man who believed God's words and would not be moved. He was not like our president, who claims to be Christian, loves the prayers of Islam, sympathizes with the sodomites, denies the precepts of the Bible and despises hard working people who want to get ahead a make a buck. That clown is mixed up as a termite in a yo-yo. That's right, I said it and I ain't taking it back. I saw a bumper sticker the other day, and this girl had all the bases covered. On the back of her car, she had an Ichthys (Jesus fish), and zombie skull, an Obama sticker, and a coexist sticker. She had no idea what she believed. What do you really believe? 2 Timothy 1: 12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Paul was also one of those men who stood firm on his convictions.

Our text reveals the fruit of true Christianity. What do you believe? Your actions will tell on you? Jesus told the disciples of John, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard. Go tell John about the people who follow Jesus. The followers of Jesus love one another. Jesus says in John 13: 35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The followers of Jesus are not walking in darkness, the blind can see, the deaf can hear, the lame can walk. There is evidence of what you believe. There is evidence of who you follow. Let's be real for a minute. If you follow Islam, you hate the infidel, that is anyone who denies the teachings of Muhammad. You can't have it both ways. You can't trust Jesus and Allah. Let the heretics say what they want, the fruit of Islam is war and hate. You know an Islamist when you see and hear them. If you follow religion, you count on the church to get you to heaven. Your works keep you in fellowship with God. Your money will buy your blessings in heaven. Your status will carry you into the presence of God, but it will not. There is evidence when you trust religion.

Jesus told the disciples of John, “Go and tell John what things ye have seen and heard.” Go tell John that the town harlot is now singing in the choir down at the local church. Go tell John that the ex-con is teaching down at the nursing home telling people about Jesus. Go tell John that those who used to chase drugs and stay drunk are now serving Jesus and leading the lost to Christ. Go tell John that the one time pervert who used to look at porn, is now reading his Bible. Go tell John that the man who used to shoplift for a living is now an usher down at the house of God. Friend, there will be evidence of who you follow.

Do those around you know that you are a follower of Jesus? Have they ever heard you mention his name? You should not have to tell others that you are Christian. They should see it in your walk, they should hear it in your talk. They should know that you are different. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is in Acts, chapter 4. Peter and John were preaching in the streets and the religious crowd captured them and took them before the high priest. Acts 4: 13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge  of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Here's the question of  the day. Have you been with Jesus?

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

with Brother Rick

 Luke 1: 1
  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

We begin today in the gospel account of the “beloved physician”, Luke. He was a frequent companion of the apostle Paul, and accompanied him in his missionary work. Luke was an evangelist and he is the author of this gospel as well as the book of Acts. The book was written primarily to the Greek Gentile believers. The theme of Luke's gospel is the humanity of Christ. The key phrase is “Son of man”. The key verse is found in 19: 10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.

Our text deals with the basis of our knowledge of Christ and the foundation of the Christian faith. The men who were moved by God to write the sixty-six books of the Bible, and in this case the first hand accounts of the life of Christ, were witnesses and were inspired by the Holy Ghost to write what they knew to be true. 2 Peter 1: 21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” These men had first hand knowledge of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were witnesses. They knew what they were talking about. If you are called into a court of law and asked to be a witness. They will not accept hear say evidence. You must report the facts as you know them. The court wants to know what you have seen and heard. You will have a hard time leading people to Jesus if you have not actually met the Savior.

Throughout the scriptures, we find people who had first hand knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus, the Son of God. Look at the blind man in John 9. Verse 24, 25 says, “Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: but one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” This man was not an educated man. He was not a pillar of society. He was not the front runner in the political arena. He was not a Theology major. He was an ordinary man, and because of his physical deformity, we was an outcast to the religious crowd. But praise God, Jesus don't call the fit, he fits the call. This man had first hand knowledge of a compassionate God. He met Jesus face to face.

I know a man who was held in the clutches of sin for 34 years, he was a drug addict for 25, he was a liar and a thief. At times, he was homeless and destitute. He had no hope in this world, and lived as a pauper. But praise God, one day he met the Savior. He has first hand knowledge of the power of the Son of God. That's right, it was me!! I know he lives, because I have met him. I talked to him this morning. I had fellowship with him just yesterday, and he spoke to me through his word. I am a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not speaking on hear say, I'm not taking the world's view, I know him personally. I'm not taking maw maw's word for it. I know him for myself. Philippians 3: 9, 10 says, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” I'm glad I know him.

What is your witness of the Savior? Are you riding the coattails of the preacher to heaven? Sorry! You won't make it. Are you trusting in grandpa's salvation to cover you when this life is over? Sorry! That just won't work. Are you trusting in church membership, baptism, or the traditions of religion to get you to heaven? Sorry, friend, that's not the way. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by him. Have you met him? Do you have first hand knowledge?

Don't put it off any longer, get to know the Savior of the world. His name is Jesus, and he IS the dearest friend I ever had.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jehovah Rapha - The Lord That Healeth

Exodus 15:26 – “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

Here’s the next in the series of names that God reveals to His chosen people. These were His special people – the apple of His eye – His chosen bride. These were the people to whom He gave the extra special name of Yahweh – I AM THAT I AM. When Moses asked Him who he should tell Israel sent him to them, God told him, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you (Ex 3:14).” Yes, that was His special name for His people.

But now, after God has performed great things for Israel – He delivered them from the oppression of Egypt and promised them a land flowing with milk and honey – He knows that they are not as committed to Him as He is to them. He leads them into the Wilderness of Shur and puts them to a test. They travel for days and days with no water. Then they finally find water at a place called Mara, and to their dismay the water is undrinkable – it’s bitter – and so are the people. They turn on Moses, or more rightly, they turn on God and grumble and complain. But God has a purpose in bringing them to this bitter water – He has a lesson to teach them – a picture to paint for them.

What does God do for them? He shows Moses a tree and tells him to cut down the tree and cast it into the bitter water. When Moses cast the tree into the water, it became sweet. The water was miraculously healed. That’s just like God. He brings man to the point where he has nowhere to turn, then provides a tree. That tree represents the cross of Calvary. The healing of the waters represents Christ’s healing of mankind on the cross of Calvary. God directs Moses to bring the children of Israel to Mara, and then commands him to provide healing for them. He promises that if they would sell out to Him, He would continually heal their diseases, for He is Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that Healeth.

As Jehovah-Rapha, He heals physically. David, in Psalm 30:2, says, “O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.” He heals emotionally. Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted.” And He heals spiritually, Psalm 41:4, “I said, Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.” And Isaiah tells us in 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

In Psalm 103:3, David says of the Lord, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Spurgeon said about this verse, “When the cause is gone, namely, iniquity, the effect ceases. Sicknesses of body and soul came into the world by sin, and as sin is eradicated, diseases bodily, mental, and spiritual will vanish, till "the inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick." Many-sided is the character of our heavenly Father, for, having forgiven as a judge, he then cures as a physician. He is all things to us, as our needs call for him, and our infirmities do but reveal him in new characters.

‘In him is only good, In me is only ill,
My ill but draws his goodness forth, And me he loveth still.’

God gives efficacy to medicine for the body, and his grace sanctifies the soul. Spiritually we are daily under his care, and he visits us, as the surgeon does his patient; healing still (for that is the exact word) each malady as it arises. No disease of our soul baffles his skill, he goes on healing all, and he will do so till the last trace of taint has gone from our nature. The two alls of this verse are further reasons for all that is within us praising the Lord.”

Quote - "Ye have lost the battle when you come forth bitter." - Dr. Lee Roberson

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide

Genesis 22:13-14 – “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.  And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.”

Here is our first in a series of musings upon some of the personal names of God.  In this passage, Abraham has just been through a terrible yet terrific ordeal.  God has commanded Abraham to take his beloved son, Isaac, to the crest of Mt. Moriah and there offer him as a sacrifice to God.  This was not a foreign concept to Abraham, for he hailed from a land that served many false gods that supposedly demanded the human sacrifice, especially that of children.  But it was a foreign concept in Abraham’s understanding of Jehovah God.  So, to be sure, Abraham’s heart was stirred with a mixture of emotions – confusion – heartbreak – wonder – but he nonetheless set about to do as God had commanded him.

But any who have followed the story know that it was not Isaac that God desired, it was Abraham’s heart – his commitment – his devotion that God wanted.  And He knew that to obtain this devotion, Abraham would have to be called upon to be willing to give up that which he loved most in the world.  But also, Abraham trusted implicitly in this heavenly being he worshiped and followed.   He knew that God, if he required such a sacrifice, would also replace the void that such a sacrifice would leave in the heart of Abraham and Sarah.  So when the lad asked him halfway up the mountain as to where was the lamb for the sacrifice, Abraham confidently replied, “God will provide!” 

And God did provide.  He saw the great faith that Abraham exhibited and stayed his hand from harming the boy, providing a substitute for that day’s sacrifice.  But this was only a precursor for the provision that would be made for the salvation of mankind.  On this same mountaintop, God would provide Himself a lamb for any who would exhibit the same great faith that Abraham had.  And now, any man who would accept the provision, the substitute made by the eternal Lamb of God, would receive eternal salvation. 

Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah Jireh, which means literally Yahweh will see to it orYahweh will provide.  This combines the personal name of God for His chosen people with the promise of His provision.  Praise His Wonderful Name for His Great Provision!

Jehovah Jireh

My feeble hope in miracles had waned,
My faith that He would soon provide was strained,
Then, prompted by His Spirit, my heart cried,
Jehovah Jireh! My Savior will provide.

“My needs were great but greater than my need
Was He—Jehovah Jireh, so quick to heed
And help, to hold, to hide me from the storm
And shelter through the darkest night till morn.
                                         --Charles U. Wagner

Quote – “As soon as the Lord has seen our need, then his provision shall be seen.” – Charles Spurgeon

"Lord, Thank you for your great provision - for it was at Calvary, on that same hilltop where you provided the substitutionary lamb to Abraham, that you provided another substitution - yourself for me. Thank you, Lord. Amen."

Friday, October 17, 2014

With Brother Rick

Mark 10: 15
  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Jesus teaches the disciples to strive to enter into the kingdom of God as a child. As Jesus taught the people, the multitudes brought their children to the Lord that he might touch them. Apparently, the disciples thought it was acceptable for Jesus to touch blind men, leprous men, and men with diseases and sickness. But they rebuked the people for bringing their children to receive a touch from the Lord. But Jesus told them in verse 14, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Why would Jesus tell them to enter in as children. What does a child have that an adult doesn't? Maybe we should ask the question, What doesn't a child have, that adults do have?

First, the children are unlearned and simple. They have not been taught by the philosophies of this world. They have not been influenced by the knowledge of this society. Psalm 119: 130 says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” I'm sure when Jesus told those children about heaven that they believed him. I'm sure if Jesus told those children to follow him, they would have given all. When education and knowledge infiltrate our minds, we tend to reason and question the truths of God's word and frustrate the gospel and the grace of God. Galatians 2: 21 says, “I do not frustrate the grace of  God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Secondly, the children come to Jesus and enter into the kingdom because they come with humility. Not one soul has ever demanded salvation from a holy God. Not one soul has ever entered into the heaven with a prideful attitude. Not one soul has fought his way in or bullied his way into heaven. Every lost soul that has entered into God's presence, has come with humility and innocence as a child. James 4: 10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” 1 Peter 5: 6 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Friend, there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus. John 14: 6 says, “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

If Jesus tells us to come to God as children, that is what we should do. He is telling us that experience in the world will not get us any closer to heaven. Jesus tells us that a doctorate in Bible Theology will not be a ticket into the glory of heaven. Jesus tells us that pride and arrogance will only hinder our entrance into the presence of the Lord. Jesus tells us that a full knowledge of the world's system means absolutely nothing in the presence of God. Jesus tells us that we will not fight our way in, buy our way in, or manipulate our way into the kingdom of God. Jesus says that we must enter in as an innocent child.

Paul says in Philippians 3: 8, 9, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Paul did not enter heaven because he was a Pharisee. He did not base his salvation on his abilities to preach. He did not enter heaven on his college education. Paul understood that he must put all these things behind him and accept God and his word as a child.

Jesus warns us in the text, not to allow the world or its system to interfere with the words of Christ. Enter in as a child, unspotted and clean.

We must look at Christ through the eyes of the word, not the eyes of the world.

Have A Blessed Day!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

with Brother Rick

Mark 14: 13- 15
  And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.
V- 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
V- 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

In this text, Jesus sends two of his disciples into the city to make preparations for the Last Supper. We all know the scene, Jesus brings all of his disciples together for one last meal before finishes the work he came to do. Notice in the story, the first thing that Jesus did was cleanse the group from the traitor. Jesus got rid of the devil. Jesus sent Judas away and then he was free to have true fellowship. 1 Corinthians 5: 6, 7 says, “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”

We have to understand that these men will turn the world upside down after Christ is ascended to the Father. Acts 17: 6 says, “And when they had found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.” Before he can prepare them, the cancer within the group must be cut out. Before Christ can do a work, the sin must go. Before God can use you for his glory, our hearts and minds must be clear to receive the order from headquarters.

Once the group was Purified, then they must Partake. Mark 14: 22 says, “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.” Jesus told his disciples in John 6: 50, 51, “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: If a man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” Verse 54 says, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” These were hard words for the people to hear and understand. But the facts remain. It's more than sitting on a pew. It's more than claiming the name of Jesus. It's more than eating Jesus wafers and drinking wine. It's more than a feeling you get when you give a homeless man a nickle. It's about being one with God, and one with Christ. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot love this world and eat the flesh of Jesus. You cannot partake of the body of Christ and partake of the lusts of this world at the same time. You will love one and hate the other.

Jesus Purified the group, then they were Partakers of Christ, and lastly, Jesus Prophesied his fate. In the next verses, as they
went to Gethsemane, Jesus told them of events that would take place over the course of the next few hours. He told them of his capture, he death, his resurrection and he even told them of their own coming failures. But he does not leave them hopeless. He says in verse 29, “But after I am risen I will go before you into Galilee.” Jesus never leaves us hopeless!!!

This is a pattern for the true Christian life. There must be a Purification to get the world out of our hearts and minds. There must be a Partaking of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is he living in you? If he is, there has to be some evidence. It's not just a feeling, it's a desire to do his will. As my pastor Steven Griffith preached last evening, it is a continual fellowship with Christ that will help you abide in his will. And lastly, we must be confident of the Prophesies of Jesus. Hey friend, he is coming soon to gather his bride. 1 John 5: 13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe in the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” Today, I live in peace, not because of the condition of the world, but because I believe the scriptures. Jesus has saved me, Jesus is with me and Jesus is coming for me. I am confident of that. When the disciples sat down in the guestchamber with Jesus, the scripture says it was furnished and and prepared. Jesus never leaves anything undone.

Do you trust him?

Have A Blessed Day!!! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

 with Brother Rick

Mark 5: 2, 3, 6
  And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.
V- 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
V- 6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.

We all know this familiar story of the Maniac of Gadara. The man who was known for being possessed with many devils. The man who was known by the locals to live in the grave yard and they could often hear him screaming and shouting, The man who constantly tried to mutilate his body and hurt himself. You know the man. He sits at the bar every evening and pours poison into his body looking for release. You know the man, he searches day and night for the next high, the next shot, the next hit, trying his best to find release from his troubles. You know the man, he spends his time, day in and day out, looking for the perfect naked woman on the internet, someone he thinks will pacify his lusts, but he never finds her. You know the man, he wants to fit in, so he mutilates his body with piercings and markings to draw attention, looks like he tripped and fell face first into a tackle box. You know the man, he sits at the table, for hours at a time, watching and counting the cards looking for that one big payout that will solve all his problems. You know the man, he begs and pleads and picks up cans to buy that lottery ticket hoping his ship will come in. Let me say this, have you seen the commercial where the lady talks about the Education Lottery, and tries to tell us to gamble responsibly. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Would you tell a crack head to smoke responsibly? Would you tell a child molester to stalk responsibly? Would you tell a drunk to drive responsibly? I must be missing something, it's insane.

We love to look at the sinners in the Bible and point fingers and think, “What a terrible sin”, or “How could someone get in that position?” But the reality is, if we look hard enough, we will find that we are not as far away from this man's condition as we would like to believe. Hebrews 12: 1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” We don't know this man's background, he may have been a fisherman like Peter. He may have been a tax collector. He may have been a lawyer or a physician. But, we do know that he had friends. Jesus says in Mark 5: 19 says, “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him. Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”

We don't know the event that sent him over the edge. We don't know the sin that so easily beset him. Listen up friend! If you think real hard, you know the sin that so easily besets you. Here's some good advice. STAY AWAY FROM IT!!!!!! Song of Solomon 2: 15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” It won't take much for you to loose your family. One adulterous affair could ruin a lifetime of happiness. It won't take much for you to loose your well paying job. One DUI could wipe it all out. It won't take much for you to loose your status down at the church house. One sin that so easily besets you could ruin your testimony and your ministry. And again I say, “STAY AWAY FROM IT!!!”

The maniac lost his way and ended up in the tombs, but thank God Jesus came by one day. Thank God he didn't leave him in the tombs. Thank God he didn't leave him in the bar. Thank God he didn't leave him at the Mission. Thank God he didn't leave him in the gang. Thank God he didn't leave him trapped in his sin. Jesus set him free. Jesus released him from his bondage. Jesus sent him home, clothed and in his right mind. Aren't you glad Jesus came by one day and released you from the tombs of your sin?

Here's the key, whatever your sin was that sent you to the tombs, STAY AWAY FROM IT!!!

Have A Blessed Day!!! 

"He Knows My Name" - MVBC Young Ladies Trio

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