What is a Godly life, and how is it achieved
April 22, 2018, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Blogroll, Christian, Christianity, Church, faith, Family, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Trials, Uncategorized

Titus 2:12
INTRO: These are important questions because as believers, we are called to live sanctified lives that are fully surrendered to Christ.
We know it’s God’s will for us to live Godly & He’s working in our lives to help us to live Godly. But, we also have a responsibility in this. What we habitually do has tremendous influence on whether we will have a Godly life.
There are seven habits that will help us in our pursuit of Godly living. A habit is a recurring pattern of behavior; it comes through frequent repetition & it’s often subconscious.
A Godly life is one that’s no longer seeking satisfaction through a sinful lifestyle but it’s now surrendered to God and His will.
The Six Habits of a Godly Life
1. A Life of Prayer. We learn this example from Jesus.
The disciples and the crowds did not understand why Jesus withdrew when there was so much good He could do. Jesus knew that prayer was an important priority of His life:
Mark 1:35
Prayer that promotes godliness is not merely occasional prayers offered in times of trouble or need; they are a daily conversation with the Father that comes from our love for Him and gratitude for who He is and what He does. It’s not a duty but a delightful time.
Jesus’ disciples saw that His prayers were very different from the ritualistic prayers that were so common in that day.
They saw & heard how He spoke so personally with His heavenly Father. This prompted them to ask Him to teach them how to pray: Luke 11:1.
Because we live in a world filled with temptations, trials, heartaches, burdens, and sin: an intimate prayer life should be a priority because it keeps us connected to almighty God and makes us sensitive to His will.
Whatever we do will be accomplished on our knees as we submit to the Lord, give Him our time, and listen for His instruction.
2. Faith. Psalm 103:19: God controls everything, not only what happens but why and how it happens as well. His sovereignty is our firm foundation for believing and trusting Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6
The only other option to faith is worry. A Godly life is one that steps beyond worry and into trust. Each time a situation causes us to fret, we should stop and remember who’s in charge. If God’s sovereignty rules over all, we have no reason to worry. The evidence of our faith is the absence of worry.
Trust in the Lord also builds a closeness with Him. As we talk and listen to God and respond in obedience, He guides us, and we develop closeness with Him both in our heart and in our thinking.
3. Obedience. Moses told the nation of Israel: Deut. 28:1.
In a similar way, we walk on a higher level than the world when we live in obedience to God. It’s not a matter of looking down on others but choosing to live by God’s standards rather than following the world’s lifestyle.
4. Dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the apostle Paul also tells us to “be filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18. The Greek verb signifies that this is a continuous action of filling. It means to live in obedience to Him, relying on Him to equip, empower, strengthen, teach, and guide us each day.
Only as we depend on the Spirit will we be and do what God desires.
5. Giving to God and others. We have a promise in Luke 6:38:
We can never out give God. But by not giving, we are claiming that we really don’t need Him & we can manage on our own.
Only God can predict and provide for our future needs.

6. Forgiving other people. Forgiveness may not be easy, but it’s what the Lord commands (Eph. 4:32).
Even if someone betrays us, we must forgive and trust God to take care of the situation.
What changes would you have to make to cultivate these six Godly habits?
Which areas are the most challenging for you?
What obstacles will you need to overcome?

The Kind Of People God Is Looking For
April 22, 2018, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Bible, Blessings, Blogroll, Christian, Christianity, Church, faith, Family, God, Jesus

Acts 27: Example, Apostle Paul

I. They Think Prayerfully
A. Vs 9: sailing was dangerous
1. Vs 10: much damage & hurt ahead: lives at steak
2. Vs 14: tempestuous wind =    hurricane like conditions
3. Vs 18: tossed with a tempest
B. Paul saw the storm coming
C. A storm doesn’t last forever
1. Life has its storms; they can get us doubting; afraid;
and sometimes wondering “where is God?”
2. I believe Paul went into this storm prayerfully.
That’s the way we, too, should approach life’s storms .
Whether a storm of bad weather or a storm / a crisis in our lives
D. Notice vs 11: the centurion would not believe the man of God, Paul
1. Sometimes, in haste, people disregard the council of God’s
2. They go around and tell their problems to many folks and
then settle on the advice from someone who has told them
what they wanted to hear.                                                              II. They Have A Childlike Faith
A. Vs 21- 25 (read)
B. Mark 10:14 – this is a simple faith that does not doubt.
1. Faith to believe what the Bible says
2. Faith to act upon what the Bible says
3. Whether it is faith to be saved or faith to live our daily lives for Him
III. They Have Optimism Based On The Word Of God
A. Yes, there is a hell; but, yes, there is also salvation to take us to heaven
B. There is a negative and a positive
C. Vs 22: (be of good cheer)
1. In the midst of life’s storms, you can have that same little childlike faith to believe in the Word of God.
2. You can be of good cheer because of no loss: vs 22
a. Here, no loss of life: we can thank God for His hand of protection on our lives
b. Also, no loss of eternal life.
God saves and He keeps us saved
D. They have mastered their own lives: Proverbs 16:32
(he that ruleth his spirit)
1. Life is a give and take relationship; things don’t always go
your way
2. They take life’s storms (problems) as they arise; they don’t fall apart during the storm
3. Be realistic about the future: no pie in the sky stuff
4. Paul had a grip on himself and he had self-respect.

Conclusion: The way to keep your head in a crises is to be close to the Bible; close to God. Faith in God and in His Word. Don’t follow after every newfangled thing that comes along in the world of religion. Be saved and know it for sure. Stick to the basics of God’s Word and have that childlike faith – it will get you through life a lot better.

Old Testament Survey: The Book Of Joel

Introduction: Joel lived during the time of the Prophet Elisha; approximately 800 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Joash was king.

The Name Joel: Means “Jehovah is God.”  He prophesied mostly about Jerusalem and Judah.

Date: Approximately 800 B.C.

  1. The Plague Of Locust: Chap. 1:11-2:11
  2. Chap. 2:1-11 references to revelation 16:14
  3. This refers to Armageddon
  4. Vs 11: references to Revelation 19:11-21
  5. Joel calls for repentance: 2:12-17
  6. Repentance is a turning back to God as well as a turning from our sin.
  7. The sin that keeps us from Gods blessings.
  8. The sin that hinders our sweet fellowship with the Lord.
  9. The sin that hinders our spiritual progress.
  10. Prophecy 2:28

    “Afterward “= in the last days

  1. “Pour out my Spirit”
  2. This prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 2:15 -21
  3. Acts 2:16: “this is that”
  4. “this” = the happenings of Acts 2:1-14.
  5. The Day of Pentecost begins the “Last Days”, according to this fulfilled prophecy.
  6. The local New Testament Church was empowered on the Day of Pentecost
  7. Acts 2:41: 3,000 souls saved – baptized and added to the local church.
  8. That particular local church was the one in Jerusalem in Acts 1:15.

The Last Days

  1. Afterwards: Joel 2:28 – this is the last days of Acts 2:17
  2. Joel 2:28 was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, therefore, the Last Days began on                             the Day of Pentecost.
  3. This means that we have been living in the Last Days for over 2,000 years
  4. We are living, I believe, in the last part of the Last Days.
  5. We are to LOOK for the return of Jesus Christ.
  6. We are to LIVE for Jesus until His return.

NOTES: Joel 3:14: “Valley of Decision.” The valley in which they are to meet their “determined doom.” The same as “the valley of Jehoshaphat,” that is, “the valley of judgment.”

This is the place where God executes His judgment upon His enemies.

People have decisions to make – to be saved or remain unsaved. Christians also have decisions –

Once we are saved, do I live for the Lord or not. Will I be faithful or remain unfaithful. How long will I serve Him?

Joel tells of the effects of the plagues, past and future. He looks beyond them to plagues of Israel’s enemies to come and calls Israel to repentance. Then, he looks to the end times and God’s triumph over Israel’s final enemies and the promise of God’s blessings upon Israel and the gentile believers.

The Book of Ruth Chapters 3 & 4

Ruth Chapter #3

Introduction: We can look at Ruth as the Gentile Bride of Christ. Ruth is a Gentile who marries a Hebrew and symbolically brings all non-Jews (gentiles) into the lineage of Messiah. This means that the Gospel is for all people.

We can look at her life as a type of a Christian with decisions to make. She makes decisions about serving the Lord; finding rest in the Lord and being rewarded by the Lord.

This is a wonderful story of the grace of God.

Vs 1: Ruth finds rest:

Spiritually = full, abiding, present, eternal rest in the Lord.

Earthly = a place to settle down & live, a home.

The correlation: just like we want & need a place called home, here on this earth, God offers a place in              heaven for all who believe & receive Christ.

Vs 2-7: Ruth decided to be with God’s people and to accept the God of the Hebrew peoples.

  1. Is it just enough to be saved by Christ, & that’s all?
  2. Believers receive the full enjoyment of Christ’s abiding rest.
  3. There is no real rest with the unsaved crowd.
  4. Remember, Boaz is a type of Christ
  5. Vs 4; Ruth comes to him by faith.
  6. Vs 5; she humbles herself before Boaz and surrenders to his will.
  7. In like fashion, Christians are to come to Christ, humble self before Him, and surrender to do HIS will.
  8. Vs 6-7; Ruth follows through, she takes action; obeys.

Vs 8-11: He sees Ruth, vs 8

  1. Vs 9; “spread thy skirt …”
  2. This means: to spread a skirt over one, in the East, symbolical action denoting protection.
  3. Ruth wants Boaz to protect her.
  4. To this day in many parts of the East, to say of anyone that: he put his skirt over a woman, is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus, one part of the ceremony is for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride.

Vs 10-11: Boaz takes Ruth as his bride: (the price he paid is not mentioned).

  1. Jesus purchased all who are saved and made us His bride.
  2. The bride is to prepare for the wedding day.
  3. Saved people are to prepare for the day when we stand before Christ.

Vs 11: Ruth was known by what she did not do as well as what she did do.

  1. Ruth did the right thing, she behaved herself.
  2. Christians need to do the right thing: have a good Christian testimony.
  3. Boaz: “I will do …. all … thou requirest.”
  4. This means he will take her to be his bride.

The rest of the chapter deals with O.T. Law: Deuteronomy 25:5-10

This is symbolic: the Law cannot save.  The Law condemns, it cannot save a soul.

Ruth Chapter # 4

 Introduction: Recap, we find the following brief outline of the Book of Ruth.

  1. Ruth makes a decision = choice: chap. 1.
  2. Her response, serving: chap. 2
  3. Her request: chap. 3
  4. Her reward: chap. 4

Remember, Boaz is a type of Christ.

Vs 1-5: Boaz asks the kinsman to buy or to redeem the land from Naomi &, vs 5, Ruth.

  1. Colossians 1:14 & Ephesians 1:7
  2. Our salvation cost something.
  3. It was bought & paid for by the life & death; shed blood of  Jesus Christ.
  4. Jesus redeemed us.
  5. He bought & paid for you; He paid your sin debt in full: I Corinthians 6:19-20.

Vs 6: The kinsman = the Law, said that he could not redeem Naomi & Ruth.

Acts 13:39;  Romans 8:3

Vs 7-8: “… man plucked off his shoe …”

This was a testimony; that the man who gave the shoe transferred his right to the one who received it.

This was according to God’s Law: Dueteronomy 25:7-9

Vs 9: The elders were witnesses to this action.

Vs 10: Boaz purchased Ruth to be his bride.

  1. Acts 20:28
  2. Ephesians 1:7
  3. Redemption = to pay a ransom in full.
  4. Revelation 21:9 & 19:7

Vs 11-12: Ruth turned her back on Moab & its gods.

  1. She turned to the God of Israel & became a child of God.
  2. This is a typology of a gentile bride who becomes a child of God, by redemption.

Vs 13: Ruth marries Boaz and has his child.

  1. Ephesians 3:6
  2. Romans 10:13

Vs 14-22: We find, from the marriage of Boaz to Ruth, a line to David who becomes King over Israel.

This is prophecy being fulfilled: Luke 1:27 & Matthew 1:17


Conclusion: The Book of Ruth is a wonderful example of the grace of God and that the Law cannot save.

Romans 8:3 tells us that the Law is weak in the matter saving a soul.

Romans 5:17-21 show us how much grace there is.

John 3:18 shows us the one sin that condemns a person to an eternity in hell.

That sin is the sin of rejecting Christ as Saviour.

Old Testament Survey The Book Of Esther

The Book Of Esther

Introduction: This story takes place in the Persian capitol of Shushan. The time frame is between Ezra chapters 6 and 7. Esther was an orphan, the cousin of Mordecai; her name means “star” in the Persian language. This Book tells us how Israel, as a race of people, was saved from extinction.

God had a plan for His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world. In that plan, He protected Israel, His chosen people. Even though Israel had been persecuted; been out of God’s will, God still would not let any nation or tyrant  kill all of them.

Remember, God has a Divine plan for you, just as He has for Israel and had for Esther. God’s plan will not fail. If you refuse to allow God to lead you and make you usable, God will use someone else instead and you will miss all the blessings, rewards and usefulness.

Central message: The providence of God. Even though Israel was out of God’s will, they were NEVER out of God’s hand.  God knew what would happen before it happened, therefore, God arranged the details of history to provide for Israel’s deliverance.

Typologies in the Book of Esther:

Jews = a type of the worldly Christian. They could have left Persia with the other Jews, but chose to remain. They preferred the worldly pleasures of Persia over doing the will of God.

Worldly wisdom made it seem as if to stay in Persia was the “thing to do.”  That decision almost brought the race of the Jews to extinction.

Haman = Plotted the extinction of the Jews: a TYPE of the “man of sin” II Thessalonians 2:3

The Antichrist will be the last and worst enemy of God’s people.

Esther = a type of Christian sold out to God. She was used by God protect Israel. She was willing to obey the Lord and do what was necessary to save Israel from destruction; even if it meant losing her own life.

Mordecai = He represents the Jewish remnant that will be preserved during the Great Tribulation Period.  He would not bow to Haman just as the Israelites will not bow to the beast of Revelation, who is typified by Haman.

Mordecai weeps, fasts and mourns as the Jews will do in the Tribulation before the Second Coming of Christ as their King.

Esther 4:15-17 … vs 16b “… if I perish, I perish.”  OR …  What will I lose by serving God?                                       She took her chances with God. She was willing to die in order to obey God.

She realized that God’s will was more important than her own will.

Esther was willing to “do the right thing” regardless of the consequences.

Old Testament Survey Book Of Genesis

Old Testament Studies by Dr. Charles Bonner

The Book of Genesis

Introduction: Genesis is a Book of beginnings. The human writer: Moses.

The author: The Holy Spirit

The beginning of heaven and earth

The beginning of plants and animals

human life and sin

Genesis is the beginning of everything …. except … God

It is the beginning but has no finality

The beginning of idolatry

The Book of Genesis is quoted over 60 times in the New Testament. The recorded events of the Book of Genesis cover a period of 2,315 years. It begins with Genesis 1:1   “In the beginning God …” and it closes with Genesis 50:26 “… in a coffin in Egypt.”

Genesis has five chief divisions

1. Creation

2. Fall and redemption

3 Cain, Seth and the flood

4. Flood to Babel

5. Abraham to the death of Joseph

Why study the Old Testament? Romans 15:4;  Galatians 3:24

Eight famous men of the Old Testament

1. Adam  2. Abel  3. Enoch  4. Noah  5. Abraham  6. Isaac  7. Jacob  8. Joseph

I. Creation

A. Theistic evolutionists teach God created by means of evolution.

1. this is not Bible theology nor science nor evolution

2. God created  vs 1

3. Notice several verses on God’s creation: God said = spoke

a. vs 3              c. vs 9            e. vs 20      g. vs 26

b. vs 6             d. vs 11           f. vs 24

4. Notice the divisions of days

a. vs 5  “… and the evening and the morning were the first day.”

b. vs 8    c. vs 13     d.  vs 23    e.  vs 31

5. Man – chapter 2:5  refers back to Genesis 1:27

B. The oldest profession 2:5, 15

C. The Garden was “Eastward” in Eden 2:8 or in the Eastern part of Eden.

II. God Makes Abraham A Promise Genesis 12:1-3 and 13:15-16

A. This is an unconditional promise

B. Abraham didn’t have to do anything for God to keep His promise

C. Man’s folly or impatience; lack of faith; disobedience; sin Genesis 16:1-16

D. Ishmael means “God shall hear”

E. Genesis 17:1-8; vs 15-19; vs 8 God gives Abraham & his seed, the land of Canaan

F. the Covenant is with Isaac Genesis 17:20-21

G. symbol of the Covenant – Genesis 17:10-12 – violated with Ishmael vs 25

H. God again confirms the Covenant 18:11-14

I. birth of Isaac 21:9-13

J. Synopsis of the situation

1. God tells Abram that he and his wife will have a son; they are old & she can’t have any

2. Sarai tells Abram to have a child with her maid, Hagar 16:1-2.

a. this is man running ahead of God – not waiting on God

b. this is man trying to do God’s will man’s way

c. this is sin: disobedience, immorality

d. God’s promise follows the legitimate line through Isaac – Genesis 17:21

e. the illegitimate line is Ishmael – the Arab peoples. God still made them great because

of God’s promise to Abram.

f. both peoples trace their lineage back to Abraham. Both claim God’s promise of the

land of Canaan to Abram’s seed 17:8

g. they’ve fighting over the land for centuries

h. the continual fighting and unrest is a product of man’s sin

III. Sodom And Gomorrah  Chap. 19

A. In Chapter 18, God would not destroy them if there were even 10 righteous people in

Them, vs 33. There evidently were not that many there.

B. Chapter 19 – two angels came to Sodom to see Lot. They were most likely two of the

three angels that had met with Abraham in 18:2.

1. Lot treated them hospitable – he also invited them in vs 2

2. vs 4, the men (sodomites) of Sodom, surrounded the house

3. vs 5, they wanted to perpetrate their wickedness upon the men – Lots guests

4. vs 8, Lot offers his two daughters in their place

a. shows Lot’s perversion

b. shows Lot’s disreguard & disrespect for himself, his wife and his daughters as well

as for God

5. vs 9, the sodomites tried to break in Lot’s house

6. vs 10 the men (angels) rescued Lot and smote the queers with blindness

7. vs 13-15, the angels will destroy the wicked city. Shows the power of God’s angels

8. vs 16 Lot lingered – he had become so attached to the sinful place he was living in, he

did not want to leave it.  If Lot had recognized the wickedness of the city, he would

have left it long before this time.

9. vs 16, the angels had to drag Lot and his family out of the city.

10. vs 28 the fate of the cities

11. vs 31-38 the continued sin of Lot and his family

IV. Isaac:  Chapter 25-26

A. God continues His formation of His chosen nation, Israel Chapter 25:11

B. God confirms His covenant to Isaac, that He had given to Abraham 26:3-5, 24

V. Jacob

A. Steals Esau’s Blessing; he deceives his father 27:1-25

B. Jacob receives the blessing reserved for his brother Esau 27:26-46

C. Jacob receives the Abrahamic Covenant 28:3-4; 13-14

D. Esau married into Ishmael family 28:9

E. Jacob’s name changed to Israel 32:28

1. Jacob had 12 sons

2. Jacob’s 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel

The Messianic Line Of Christ – Genesis 49:8-10


!            !           !          !        !          !          !         !          !             !            !           !

Reuben    Simeon    Levi     Judah    Dan   Naphtali    Gad    Asher   Issachar   Zebulon    Joseph   Benjamin

29:32       29:33     29:34     29:35    30:6      30:8      30:13   30:13     30:18       30:20      30:24        35:18


F.  Jacob waits 14 years for his bride – he reaped what he sowed earlier

VI.  Joseph; Genesis 37-50

A. He was the oldest son of Jacob and Rachel;  Gen. 37:3

1. He was the favorite son of his father

2. Because he was favored, his brothers hated him and sold him into slavery into Egypt  Genesis 37:18-36

B. God uses Joseph and brings him to a powerful position in Egypt chapters 37-48

1. He is tested in the house of Potiphar Gen. 39:1-23

2. Joseph does the right thing, yet is framed and goes to prison; vs 7-14, 20,22

3. Pharaoh has a dream chap. 41

a. Pharaoh’s magicians could not interpret the dream; vs 8

b. Pharaoh calls for Joseph, vs 14, to interpret the dream

c. there would be 7 years of plenty and then 7 years of famine, vs 29-30

4. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge over all the land of Egypt 41:40-44

C. Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy corn; chapter 42

D. Joseph tells his brothers who he really is chapter 45

E. God took something evil and made something good from it; Genesis  50:20


Joseph is one of the most complete types of Christ in the Old Testament

                       Similarities                                                       Joseph                        Christ


Both were beloved of their fathers                                      Gen37:3                Matt. 3:17; 17:5

Both were sold by their own                                               Gen. 37:27-28         Matt. 26:15

Both were taken to Egypt                                                    Gen. 37:26              Matt. 2:14-15

Both were falsely accused                                                    Gen. 39:13-15        Matt. 26:59-60

Both had two fellow sufferers,                                             Gen. 40:20-21        Luke 23:39-43

one was saved and one condemned

Both were exalted after suffering                                         Gen. chap. 39-41   Phil. 2:7-9

Anointing of the Holy Spirit

This is a very BRIEF Outline on this subject


The word “anoint” is used a few different ways in the Bible. It was customary to anoint kings, prophets, and priests, on their entering on their office, as a part of the ceremony of inauguration.

Exodus 28:41 & 40:15

Prophets of old were anointed. Isaiah 61:1 & I Samuel 10:1

The word “anoint” is applied also to Christians as being consecrated or set apart to the service of God by the Holy Spirit; a use of the word which is derived from the sense of consecrating, or setting apart, to the service of God.

I John 2:20 & I John 2:27

The word “consecrate = “dedicate;” “to be clean both ceremonially and morally;” “prepare.”

Hebrews 10:20: “dedicate.”

Christians should be concreted or dedicated to the service of the Lord.

“Unction” as used in I John 2:20: anointing, or the enlightening and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.  Here, John reminds them that their anointing; their power etc was from the  “Holy One.”  I John 2:18 – There were, back in John’s day, false or antichrists. These antichrists posed as the equals of or even superior to Christ himself.

Vs 19 – ‘.. they were not of us …” There were, in John’s day, as well as in our day, people who falsely profess Christ as Savior. They were not “true” Christians.

So, John teaches them that what they (true Christians) have, is from God and it is not the same as those who pretend to be Christians.

Vs 21 – what they have from God is Truth.

I John 2:27 – The anointing that they have, they received from God. It abides in them.

The word “abideth:” to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand.

Here we see the promise of Hebrews 13:5 & John 14:16 – 17.

Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit: Psalm 92:10. This is to be understood spiritually of the strength, comfort, and prosperity which God imparts to the righteous through his providence, word, and Spirit.

Those who put their trust in God shall continually receive from Him new strength for the performance of the new services which he requires of them.

Our power comes from: The Holy Spirit; from reading God’s Word, given to us by the Holy Spirit. It also comes from prayer as we speak to God:  strengthened by: Eph. 3:16

Temptation By The devil

Matthew 4:1-11 

Intro: The word tempted  means to:  test  examine  prove

Luke 4:1 tells the  same … But … Mark 1:12 uses the  word “driveth.

The word driveth does not mean that Jesus was compelled forcibly against his will to go there, but that Christ was inclined to go there by the Spirit, or  was led there. The Spirit of God, for important purposes, caused Him to go.

In Luke  4:13 – he (the devil) departed from Him for a season.

Here, we must conclude that he tempted Jesus again. In the Garden,  the devil tempted Jesus to draw back from the Cross.

The devil attacked Jesus through Peter and with the Pharisees

Mark uses only 2 verses regarding the temptation of Jesus. Mark adds the “wild beasts” in the wilderness.

The  wilderness is a lonely – unproductive place. There are many dangers in the wilderness –

snakes – jackals – lions – wolves – The devil through all he has at trying to bring Jesus down.

Hebrews 4:15  (tempted in all points)

Back to Matthew 4 – 40 days – fasting – hungry – the devil waited until Jesus was at His weakest point ….  when He was most vulnerable.

In each instance, Jesus quoted Scripture – Matthew 4:4, 7, 10.   My friends – stick to the Bible

Read it – memorize it – believe it – obey it.

All Christians are tempted in one way or another.

Tempted not to read your Bible – not to pray – to quit – to get discouraged – tempted to stay home from church – tempted in one way or another.

Remember … all temptations are from the devil and not from God … James 1:13

I run into Christians who quit because of what somebody said or did to them or about them.

That’s the devils delight.  Peter denied the Lord and cussed and swore about not knowing Jesus … peter denied Jesus. Jesus was betrayed by a friend – Judas.  Yet … He did not cave in and quit serving the Lord.

Many times, I hear someone say – pastor – you don’t know how that hurt me. They told a lie about me – they hurt my feelings … so … I’m just not to go to church any more – if that’s they way Christians act.

Sad but true … Many Christians act like idiots …. But Jesus Christ is still the same – yesterday – today and forever.

Always remember this … Jesus died in your place on the Cross of Calvary … not some long tongued gossip … not some self proclaimed Pharisee.

I do know how that hurts because I have been there and yet … I have never quit preaching – serving – going to church – praying – reading  my Bible – witnessing  – tithing – giving to missions etc. etc.

Not long ago, the devil attacks by using my kids – he has probably attacked many of you  with family – kids – tearing down … wearing you down.

John was hurt, physically by a faculty member at Bible college. I had to have a go round with them because they  were refusing to take care of the matter.  Said that they would not pay their part of the medical bills for him … etc.

I found out my daughter, living in another state, was in trouble. I went to get her out …. Now she  is safe from the threat of harm and death. Through this – I received death threats and it does play on your emotions and the stress level is high.

Pharisee’s attacked  this church and attacked me and the devil tries to bring harm – to divert me and you from what we should be doing.

I have had, over the years, my life threatened simply for telling folks about Jesus.

Folks have said that I have said things that I never said — I think they call that lies.

Yet, I have trusted in the Lord – read my Bible – made mistakes … like we all have … and when my focus strayed from Christ to people … I confessed that sin and put my eyes back on Jesus.  I turn to the Scriptures and to prayer and just trust the Lord and seek His direction.

Psalms 121

EXAMPLE: (Pastor related to me … Miss Jones … widow … came to church Sun. mornings … about 3 of 4 Sundays. Often called the church, 3-4 times a week, with questions as she  was trying to learn.

Miss Jones  often hosted get together’s for some of her lady friends that she used to work with.

One Friday, as she inventoried her liquid refreshment, she discovered that she needed to order another case.

She called the liquor store … so she thought …. but out of habit, dialed the church. The pastor …. just about to leave … simply answered “Hello.”  Miss Jones said … Hi, this is Helen Jones – I need another case of  ………….. and please deliver it to my house  ASAP.  “Well, Miss Jones, said the pastor, how are you, this is pastor Johnson …..

Miss Jones started yelling into the phone ….. Pastor  Johnson … what are you doing at the liquor store?  She told .. all over town … that her pastor was a customer at the corner liquor store.   Sometimes, that’s how malicious gossip spreads.

The devil uses many things to tempt us …. 25 years ago … when  managing a large furniture and appliance store, in Wisconsin … I was working with smaller churches – helping them – preaching and teaching etc.   was making – then – $52,000 a year.

I reasoned within myself – “I can be a business man and use my $$$ to help struggling Christians – preachers and churches.”  The temptation to drop out of the ministry  to  do what seemed right in my own eyes.

God made me miserable and I went in one day  … after much prayer … and quit my job and took another job in a much smaller store, as manager, for half of  what I was making.

Now let’s get back to the part about Christians being hurt … Pastor, you don’t know how that

hurts …  and yet, I believe I do.

When I was a pastor in Iowa, late 1970’s , God was blessing. A town of 500 – 600 folks and a church of about 25 people.   After 4 years – avg. 126 in S.S. and 175 in church. Souls saved every  week and baptizing almost every Sunday.  Problems surfaced …. the deacons  met with me and told me that it was time to leave. They had a pastor stay for just 2 years . You’ve over stayed your welcome … (they never said anything about a 2 yr time limit to me)  No problems,  just time for another pastor.  I said that God was blessing – souls saved – I would leave when God let’s me know it’s time to go.

They said .. you get new people – they  will get elected to office and we’ll be out. This is our church.  I said “I thought it was God’s”

So … they helped me  along. I received no pay check, ( 2 kids to feed). I got a job and kept preaching. We lived in the parsonage –  they shut off the phone  and electric. No lights,  fridge can’t keep food etc.  It was fall … furnace  don’t work w/o electric.

One deacon – whose dad was not saved – spread all over town, a vicious lie – “The preacher kicked me outta church.”

I asked him why he said that … it was not true … he smiled … a wily smile … “No  one will believe you. I was raised in this town and know almost everybody … they’ll believe me, no matter what I say.

A while later, the church I pastored  before coming to Iowa – said they would move us back there at their expense – and they did.

Before I left … the sin was exposed … much to my surprise. Immorality in the church … adultery – wife swapping – orgies etc.

The  greater harm was done. The deacons unsaved dad, died unsaved; he hated me  as he believed the  lie … a lie that was not true. (All lies are never true).

Most of the folks walked away from that church. One family, to this day, has never darkened the door of any church. That church – to this day – has never run over 30 – They “hire” a pastor for 2 years and he has to leave after 2  years.

Ichabod was written over the door – their testimony for Christ has been ruined.

When someone tells me – Pastor, you don’t know the hurt … you don’t know how it feels to have Christians dump on you … I can say … Yes I do.

Now … every pastor has had similar stories and preachers, today – go through similar things.

Why? The devil tempts – tests – examines them – me and you … he tries to get you and me to quit.

Missionaries have the same problems …. the devil uses people.

Remember … each week … in America … over 150 Baptist preachers quit the ministry because of  “Christians”  fighting with and attacking their pastors. Who wins? The devil.

Preachers have shared with me – how the devil used folks in churches they pastored – to fight them  over stupid stuff. Folks who  want to run the church their way. I never gave  in, one pastor shared with me … “After a while, my carnality takes over and I finally – just tell them off. Be cause that’s all some people will understand.”

Recently a pastor shared with me the church sent him a note, put it in his mailbox, when he was gone. They wouldn’t talk to him face to face, they were cowards. They said that they would no longer pay him his salary.  Why? No apparent reason …. no Biblical reason.

He is hurt by this. The devil has won in that church and souls will not be reached in their area – the Gospel is hindered.

Maybe that’s why preachers seem “tough” when you get to certain areas of the local church …

They guard against the trouble makers … the liars …. those  who are  always negative etc.

You get tempted – in one way – you get hurt – so do preachers. Most preachers have been where  you are and even more so.

The devil gets you – where he believes … is your most weakest point.

Yet …. Jesus Christ died for my sins and for yours – on the Cross of Calvary …. NOT the nay sayers … not the liars … not the trouble makers … not the sowers of discord …. not the Judas’s

Hebrews 12:1-3

Our focus – is to be on Jesus –  not on people – problems – self will –  but on Jesus.

The devil fights every Christian – every church – every family – he tries his best to ruin your testimony and hinder churches from winning souls – from preaching the Gospel.

The devil attacked Jesus Christ – tried to hinder Jesus from doing the will of God, the Father.

Jesus stuck to Scripture. He never gave in.

The devil wants to destroy churches, homes, marriages, lives, etc.

he uses suttle things … gossip … lies …. someone to sow discord …. someone to destroy … someone to tempt you. in various ways.

Never give in.

Be Strong In God’s Grace

Be Strong In Gods Grace

II Timothy 2:1

Intro: God’s grace is a bottomless subject. We will never find the end of it. Man is a sinner & God’s grace is greater than all our sin; read Romans 5:20 “Moreover the Law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

God’s grace is an active principle communicated from God. It is light directing the Christian in how to act & the power to act according to that light. Note the following verses:

John 1:4-5, 17-19; Luke 1:79; Luke 2:32; John 8:12; John 12:35-36; Acts 26:18

I. It is only through God’s grace that the Christian becomes spiritually strong

A.  God’s grace is what helps us to get through hard times  II Timothy 1:3

B. Without the grace of god, it is impossible to win the spiritual conflicts of life

1. As our trials = hard times; testing’s, increase, we have a greater NEED to grow stronger

& stronger in our faith & in the grace of God.

2. Our faith gets stronger

3. Our determination & our love for God & Jesus Christ, will get stronger

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”

4. The opposite of this is the Apostle Peter

a. Matthew 26:35 Peter said he would never deny the Lord

b. This was Peter acting in the “flesh,” his own strength, his self.

c.  Notice what happened: Peter denied Jesus 3 X’s

5. We MUST be strong in the grace of God & not in self = our desires; our thinking, motives; our own way.

6. To get through life & its problems, Christians must be strong in God’s grace.

II. Grace Is For Everyday

A. II Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.”

B. Grow = increase

1. In Christ likeness.

2. The life of the Christian is growth

C. Born again by God’s grace

1. Living by God’s grace

2. Serving by God’s grace

D. Grow in grace & knowledge

1. The two go together

2. This is the grand safeguard against sin.

3. Search the scriptures on a daily basis

4. If you grow in God’s grace, you WILL also grow in His knowledge = have more knowledge of Jesus Christ. The two go together, hand in hand.

5. ONCE the HEART has been established by grace, the Christian now has grace to serve God in a way that is acceptable to God.

Hebrews 13:9   II Corinthians 9:8

III. It All Begins When a person receives Christ into Their Heart, Ephesians 2:8-9

A. We do not deserve salvation but God offers it anyway

B. Our zeal; fervor; good deeds; cannot obtains salvation

C. Salvation is FREE from God for you to receive it by faith; John 1:12

“But as many as received HIM, to THEM He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.”

Will you, right now, receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Ask Him to come into your heart and to save your soul. Ask Him for forgiveness. Jesus will forgive you and He will save you. Your part is to believe & then ask. Pretty simple isn’t it?

If you are already a believer, won’t you depend upon God’s grace and lean upon Him?

He will help you through the greatest problems that you will face, by His grace.

Are you willing to serve the Lord through His grace?  This comes by reading His Word (Bible) on a daily basis (start in the New Testament if you are a beginner at this).  Give Him your cares, worries and problems in a time of prayer. Ask Him for help in your daily routine, etc.

The Grace Of God

Genesis 1:27 & Ephesians 2:8-9

Intro: God created man and put him in a garden paradise. Satan tempted man and man fell into sin.

Genesis 2:8-17 God provides

Genesis 3:1-5   The devil tempts and man falls spiritually

Genesis 3:14-19 The penalty for sin and the provision by God

Genesis 3:7 & 21 God’s grace

Genesis 4:8 The first murder

Ungodliness and sin came into the world by the temptation of satan. Man (Adam & Eve) willingly does wrong; they disobeyed God. This was against God’s Word.  All sin is against God. Man willfully left God out of their decision making.

The history of man from Adam until now, is a history of man depending upon self and living independently from God. There is no mention of anything vile, immoral etc.

In the Garden of Eden, there were no drug pushers; no bars or liquor stores; no pimps and prostitutes etc. and was in a perfect paradise and yet, he still fell into sin and got away from God.

Man basically leaves God out his thinking; doing; and life in general.

Man tends to plan – act & live as if God did not exist = ungodliness.

Genesis 11:4 We see human progress, but it is all for self; all for mans own glory. Man tries to get to heaven his way and refuses God’s way. They did not take God into account; therefore, their work was ungodly & it brought the judgment of God upon them. Romans 1:18 & 21-23.

Look at the world around us; look back at history throughout the centuries. Man lives against God and the things of God. That’s why we have wars; murders; immorality; hatred; and a host of many other crimes.  People that you might even consider to be “good folks,” live as if there was no God.

So, where is God in all of this?

He is watching; observing; working to bring man back to God.

For Adam & Eve – God provided a payment; a sacrifice for their sin.

For Abraham – God provided a sacrifice

For all mankind – God provides a solution, a payment for our sin & it is by His Grace.

Grace is something we do not deserve but God wants us to depend on Him, to love Him & serve Him.

In the Old testament, Leviticus 4:26 (a sacrifice & atonement for sin).

Leviticus 4:35 (atonement for mans sin and forgiveness).

Atonement is basically, a payment.

God provided a way and God paid for that way. Man’s part is to believe by FAITH and obey it = do what He says. Apply it to you.

In the Old Testament, the sacrifices had to be done over & over every year.

In the New Testament we find: Hebrews 9:24-26. Here we find that Jesus went to God in your behalf. He did not offer nor have to offer Himself every year as the Old Testament priest gave their yearly sacrifices. He offered Himself; His own blood in your place.

Hebrews 9:27-28. Because of mans sin, we have an appointment with death. This means that we had better prepare to meet God now.

Christ was ONCE offered to bear our sins; not on a yearly basis, but ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Man’s part: Believe it; obey it & receive it by faith.

You apply it by receiving Christ as YOUR Saviour.

GRACE: When a Christian lives by faith & is disciplined by grace, it brings to mind & soul, the goodness & beauty of God.  We can realize His unfailing love & His providing salvation for everyone: Romans 10:13. Christ died for ALL but the sad part is that not ALL (everybody) will receive Him as their personal Savior.

When the heart sees this and the riches of His grace; the pleasures that this world offers; the “things” that draw us away from God, His Word, His House; living for Him … all those “things” will soon fade away & will no longer attract us. They will lose their “sparkle” & glamour.

Our heart must see the riches of God’s grace. By grace, God calls the saved believer to serve Him. By grace, God supplies the power, drive & determination to the Christian:

II Peter 1:3 tells us that: “According

To His divine power …”

One day, the saved will realize the grace of God to its fullest: Revelation 22:1

Your part: To believe it     To receive it   To apply it to yourself = to do it.

Matthew 27:22,  Pilate asks a very pertinent question, even for today: “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

What will YOU do with Jesus? Will you receive Him as your Saviour?

If you are already saved, will you live your life for Jesus?

If not, on either of these questions, “Why not?”