Without The Resurrection

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Without The Resurrection

 

1. THERE WOULD BE NO HOME FOR OUR SOUL AND SPIRIT.

A. IT IS TRAGIC TO SAY GOD IS WRONG. THERE IS NO HOPE WITHOUT HIS PROMISES.

  • PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION HAVE TO BE SAD, YOU SEE.

Acts 23:8  “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.”

(***Biblical joke… In New Testament times, the Sadducees were a group of religious Jews who did not believe in an afterlife of any kind – that when you die, that is all there is.  Without this hope of eternal life, physical resurrection or even heaven, they must have been “sad, you see”.)

  • GOD MADE THE HOUSE FIRST, AND THEN BREATHED LIFE TO DWELL INSIDE IT.

Genesis 2:7  “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

2. THERE WOULD BE NO WAY TO COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH THAT WHICH IS PHYSICAL.

The rich man could not communicate with those in the body unless he had a body. But, his souls and spirit could feel pain, just like a body does.

Luke 16:23-24  “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

3. THERE WOULD BE SERIOUS DOUBTS ABOUT THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF GOD.

BECAUSE HE PROMISED A NEW BODY. HE SET THE EXAMPLE BY RISING FROM THE DEAD. HE GIVES SPECIFIC PROMISES WHICH WE CAN COUNT ON.

PREACHING FROM JESUS, THE PROPHETS, AND THE APOSTLES ALL SAY THAT THERE IS A RESURRECTION.

  • THE PROPHETS.

Luke 20:37  “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
1 Corinthians 15:12  “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
1 Corinthians 15:13  “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:”

JESUS SPECIFICALLY SAID HE WOULD RISE FORM THE DEAD BODILY.

Matthew 16:21  “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
Matthew 17:23  “And they shall kill Him, and the third day He shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.”

  • THE TOMB WAS EMPTY. IF IT WAS JUST A SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION, THE BODY WOULD STILL BE THERE.

Matthew 28:6  “He is not here: for He is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
Matthew 28:7  “And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

JESUS LEFT US EVIDENCE THAT HIS PROMISES ARE TRUE.

Luke 24:36-40  “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

WHY DON’T CHRISTIANS TODAY DESIRE THE RESURRECTION LIKE EARLY CHRISTIANS DID ?

**THIS DESIRE WAS NOT JUST FOR THAT GENERATION WHICH EXPERIENCED THE LORD WALKING WITH THEM ON THE EARTH. IT IS EXPRESSED BY GOD’S PEOPLE UNTIL RECENT TIMES.

TODAY, PEOPLE ARE TOO BUSY TO WALK WITH HIM. THEY HAVE THEIR KIDS, THEIR GRANDKIDS, THEIR DOCTORS, THEIR GARDENS, THEIR PETS, THEIR HOUSES, AND THEIR JOBS. THEY HAVE TIME TO SPEND WITH THEIR RELATIVES, BUT DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO COME TO KNOW JESUS BETTER. THEY SAY THOSE THINGS KEEP THEM BUSY. THEY DON’T HAVE THE TIME.

BUT THEY MAKE TIME FOR THEIR INTERNET CHATS AND EMAILS. THEY MAKE TIME TO VISIT ONE ANOTHER. THEY MAKE TIME TO SEE DVD’s WHICH ARE NOT MORALLY UPLIFTING. THEY MAKE THE TIME TO SEE DOCTORS, LAWYERS, AND BUSINESSMEN. BUT, THEY CAN’T MAKE THE TIME TO WALK WITH JESUS AS ALL PAST GENERATIONS OF CHRISTIANS HAVE DONE.

YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE TIME ! THEN, THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS WILL BE IMPORTANT TO YOU. IT WILL COMFORT YOU. THAT IS HOW THIS CHAPTER ENDS. BUT, IF WE ARE TOO BUSY TO APPRECIATE WHAT JESUS DID, WE HAVE NO COMFORT AND NO EXPECTATION.

 

“Without The Resurrection”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
032716

GOD’S HELPING HAND

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GOD’S HELPING HAND

 

When God lifts you, He takes you up and away from someplace.  It is always better than where you have been.

I know most people think of God doing that at death.  But, the Bible has many more accounts of God lifting us while we are living our lives right here on earth.

***There are times when we get help by using whatever weak power we have left, and at other times, God wants us to just stop our efforts, and watch as His hand comes down and pulls us up.  –The case off Peter walking on water.  He began to sink.  There was an alternative to that, wasn’t there ?  He could have started swimming back to the ship.  After all, he was a fisherman, raised on the water, and probably knew how to swim.  But, he chose to cry out to the Lord.  It was the right thing for him to do at the time.

 

WHEN TORN BY SPIRITUAL BATTLES–GOD LIFTS US UP.

Psalms 30:1 «A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.» I will extol thee, O LORD; for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

THIS WAS TO BE SUNG AT THE DEDICATION OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID.  IT DEALS WITH THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE, AND THE ENEMIES OF GOD.

 

WHEN HURT BY CONVICTION, GUILT AND SHAME, GOD WILL REACH DOWN AND LIFT US UP.

Psalms 102:10   Because of Thine indignation and Thy wrath: for Thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.

WE ARE CHASTEN OUT OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US.

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

 

THE SPIRIT OF GOD CAN LIFT US TO GREATER UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE.

Ezekiel 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. 

Ezekiel 11:1 Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’S house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.

 

GOD CAN LIFT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN CHASTENED.

1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up.

 

GOD CAN LIFT THOSE IN POVERTY.

1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He hath set the world upon them. 

Psalms 113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 

Psalms 147:6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: He casteth the wicked down to the ground.

 

GOD LIFTS US UP WITH THE BLESSINGS ONLY HE CAN GIVE.

JOY AND PEACE AND A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.

Luke 24:47-53  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  And ye are witnesses of these things.  And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.  And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:  And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

 

HE WILL LIFT PEOPLE TO JUDGMENT.

HE WILL LIFT THEM IN RESURRECTION, BOTH SAVED AND LOST.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.  

THE SAVED TO THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.

THE LOST TO THE WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT.

John 12:34 The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

“God’s Helping Hand”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
030616

FULL TANK FOR THE JOURNEY

Full Tank For The Journey – 1-6-16 Wednesday Evening
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1. FILLED WITH THE RIGHT THINGS…IF WE RECEIVE THEM BY FAITH.

A. IS MY MOUTH FILLED WITH THE RIGHT THINGS ?

Profanity has become an acceptable language for the average person today. But Christians are not average, and profanity does not belong anywhere in their speech. Christians have better things to talk about than damning people and talking about excrement and immoral sex.

Psalms 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise and with Thy honour all the day.

Psalms 104:28 That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good.

–SPEAKING IN A GODLY WAY OFTEN BRINGS THE SCORN OF THOSE WHO ARE UNGODLY.

Psalms 123:4 Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

B. IS MY ENTIRE BEING FILLED WITH THE LORD ?

***HOW DID THEY KNOW THEY WERE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT ?

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

–IT IS A COMMAND FROM GOD FOR US, TOO.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

C. ARE WE FILLED WITH COMFORT OVER DEATH ?

NOT JUST LOSS OF LOVED ONES, BUT LOSS OF THINGS PRECIOUS TO US. OUR COUNTRY HAS DIED. MANY ARE LAMENTING EVERY DAY WHEN THEY SEE THE STENCH OF DEATH OVER WASHINGTON DC. MANY CHRISTIANS FALL BY THE WAYSIDE. DO WE FEEL THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT REMINDING US THAT JESUS IS COMING SOON AND WE WILL HAVE REWARDS FROM HIM ?

2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

D. ARE WE FILLED ENOUGH TO BE DOING GOOD THINGS THAT GET NOTICED.

WE ARE NOT TO BE NOTICED, BUT CHRIST IN US IS. (ACTIONS—ALL CALCULATED TO DO GOOD FOR HIM).

Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

2. WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE THINGS WHICH FILLED US BEFORE.

WE NEED TO HATE THE THINGS THAT WERE IN OUR LIVES PREVIOUSLY. NOT JUST JOKE ABOUT THEM OR SIMPLY RECOGNIZE THEIR PRESENCE.

A. WITH THE DEVICES OF THE SINFUL HEART.

Proverbs 1:30-31 They would none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

B. WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT WE CAN FALL BACK INTO THE WRONG WAYS IF WE DO NOT TREASURE AND MAINTAIN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD.

Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

3. ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES TO BEING ONLY PARTLY FULL ?

*For one thing, you won’t go as far on half a tank as you can with a full tank. If you are working like a bulldozer, you can only get half the work done that God wants before you run out of steam.

A. CONSEQUENCES TO BEING FILLED WITH THE WRONG THINGS.

Haggai 1:6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

B. CONSEQUENCES TO BEING FILLED WITH BAD THINGS LEADS TO MORE BAD ACTIONS.

Luke 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

 

“Full Tank For The Journey”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
010616

WHAT GIFTS WILL BE RECIVED

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GIVING AND RECEIVING ARE SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS OF CHRISTIANS.  WE GIVE THE GOSPEL FREELY.  WE GIVE FORGIVENESS, AND LOVE.   BUT WE MUST ALSO BE TAUGHT HOW TO RECEIVE.

Philippians 4:15  Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

FAITH IS THE KEY TO GOD’S GRACE.  WITHOUT IT, WE GET ONLY JUDGMENT.  

Matthew 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

WITHOUT FAITH, THERE ARE UNPLEASANT THINGS THAT WILL HAPPEN.

Romans 11:8  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

 

1. THE WORLD’S GIFT IS NOT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT.

WE HAVE TO BATTLE AGAINST THE DESIRES OF THE OLD NATURE THAT WANTS TO HAVE THE GIFTS OF THIS WORLD.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

—its’ conversations revolve around the things of this world. We must center our lives—and conversation around the Lord Jesus.

1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

THE GIFTS OF THIS WORLD ARE OFTEN DECEPTIVE. ***Parents bought daughter a cell phone. Soon, she spent much her time on it, and developed relationship with people who finally brought her into the world of drugs and promiscuous sex.

Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

2. WE CAN RECEIVE THINGS FROM GOD, BUT MUST EXERCISE OUR FAITH.

A. THE BLIND MAN WAS NOT FORCED TO SEE. HE WAS OFFERED A GIFT AND RECEIVED IT.

Mark 10:48-52 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

3. WE KNOW THINGS FREELY GIVEN TO US BY GOD.

A. WE CAN RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE WORD, OR JUST HEAR IT AND FORGET IT.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

MORE THAN JUST MENTALLY. DO CHRISTIAN LEARN FROM THE WORD, BUT DO LITTLE ABOUT IT ? How would you classify them ? Strong or weak ? *(But, they almost always put on as if they are strong).

—DO YOU TRULY RECEIVE THE REALITY OF BIBLE PROPHECY ? ***SOMEONE IN A DOCTOR’S OFFICE ASKED THE TIME. THEIR WATCH HAD STOPPED. ONE PERSON SAID IT WAS 1:30. ANOTHER SAID THEIR CLOCK SAID IT WAS 1:00. THEY REPLIED, “I LIKE YOUR TIME BETTER.” DO WE CHOOSE TO ACCEPT WHAT TIME IT IS ?

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

B. WE CAN RECEIVE THE GIFT OF GOD’S POWER.

BUT WHAT IS DONE WITH IT ?  IS IT USED TO GLORIFY GOD ? —purpose is=“TO BE WITNESSES UNTO ME”

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

C. WE HAVE TO OUT-VOTE THE OLD NATURE, AND RECIEVE THE THINGS OF GOD RATHER THAN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

EACH OF US HAS A MINISTRY WHICH CAN BE RECEIVED OR REJECTED. [PAUL RECEIVED HIS. ARE WE BLESSED BECAUSE HE RECEIVED IT ? YES. HOW MANY WILL NOT BE BLESSED BECAUSE YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THE MINISTRY GOD HAS GIVEN YOU. IT MAY BE TEACHING, A MINISTRY OF FINANCES, A MINISTRY OF PRAYER, OF CONSOLATION, ETC.

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

MANY RECEIVE THE OFFER TO BE SAVED, BUT DO NOTHING WITH IT. JUDAS.

John 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

 

“What Gifts Will Be Received”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
122715

THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

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HOW CAN WE OBTAIN BLESSINGS EVEN GREATER THAN THESE ? 

Obedience to God has great rewards.  But, the value of those rewards is undercut in most lives today by a focus on what we can get NOW.  

Psalm 19:11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

 

FRIEND.   John 15:14-15  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.

SERVANT.  Romans 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

FREEMAN.  1 Corinthians 7:21-22  Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.  For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

HEIR–FUTURE.  KING’S KID ?   Galatians 4:1  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

A SON.  Galatians 4:7  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

  

 
1. NO ONE ELSE CAN CARRY THROUGH THEIR PROMISES LIKE GOD CAN.

**Many people make promises, and some they keep, while tohers are never fulfilled.

A. NO ONE CAN DAMAGE US WITH GOD’S SHIELD PROTECTING US.

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

DAVID ALSO SAW IT:

Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy word.

–WHAT ABOUT JOB ? GOD REMOVED THE HEDGE AROUND JOB NOTHING CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT GOD PERMITTING IT. FOR THIS, WE MUST TRUST THE WISDOM OF GOD. SOME THINGS WE CAN’T POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND. BUT WE CAN UNDERSTAND THE PROMISE OF GOD THAT ALL WORK OUT FOR GOOD.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

B. IF WE LOSE THINGS, WE HAVE SOMETHING BETTER AHEAD.

Philippians 3:8 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,

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

2. GOD HAS PREPARED THINGS WHICH GO BEYOND OUR ABILITIES TO UNDERSTAND THEM.

A. A PLACE WITH GOD—WHEREVER HE GOES. (incl. The earth, Heaven, etc.)

John 14:2-3 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

B. PAYDAY IS UP AHEAD, NOT NOW.

WE CAN BE BLESSED BY GOD’S PRESENCE AND A BETTER WAY TO LIVE, BUT THE ACTUAL REWARDS FOR WHAT WE HAVE DONE WILL MOSTLY OCCUR AT THE JUDGMENT. When  I was 11 years old, I folded advertisements for a local grocery store. We lived in the city, and Mr. Silverman wanted them going to thousands of homes. So, we would do this for hours. The fresh ink caused us to get very thirsty, and Mr. Silverman would bring us a bottle of coke as a blessing to keep us going. But, we didn’t get paid until we finished our job. OUR GREATEST REWARDS ARE AHEAD. IF YOU LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR PAYDAY ON EARTH, LOOK TO YOUR PAYDAY IN HEAVEN EVEN MORE…. UNLESS, OF COURSE, YOU AREN’T DOING THE WORK GOD ASSIGNED TO YOU.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.

3. GOD PROMISES A REWARD OF YOUR LABOR.

BUT ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE DONE IT.We MUST consider the future !

A man is told by his boss to move a piece of equipment from one place to another. The employee doesn’t say, “I’ve got other things to do, because moving that equipment doesn’t seem to be very profitable. I can’t see any good coming from it.” Why does he move it ? Because he gets a paycheck on Friday. Sadly, a lot of things that the Lord wants done DON’T get done because people say, I see the benefits of doing that. I don’t see where it is profitable. We obey man because we get a paycheck on Friday, but disobey God because we have to wait a while to get our reward. It is shameful the way some people are far more faithful to their secular employers than they are to the eternal God !

A. JUDGMENT COMING TO THE EARTH VERY SOON.

The lack of forethought to the day of Judgment will bring serious consequences to the world.

Isaiah 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

I WATCHED A COUPLE COURT CASES THIS WEEK, AND NOTED HOW THE JUDGE HAD TO QUESTION THE WITNESSES BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. They thought nothing of lying. They brought harder times upon themselves by doing so. The sentence was more harsh.

B. SOME TO GREAT BLESSINGS, INCLUDING THE COMFORT OF GOD.

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

C. SOME TO TERRIBLE JUDGMENT.

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

 

“The Special Relationship”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
120915

 

THANKS 2015

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Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless His name.

 

WE SHOULD ABOUND IN THANKSGIVING BECAUSE OF OUR FAITH.

Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

OUR THANKS SOMETIMES SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE.

Psalms 116:17 I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

HOW CAN WE GIVE THANKS FOR EVIL PEOPLE ? WHAT DOES IT ACCOMPLISH ?

1. IT SHOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRULY SAVE AND LOST PEOPLE. PEOPLE CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE.
2. PEOPLE CAN SEE THAT TRUE CHRISTIANS HAVE BETTER SENSE AND A BETTER GRASP ON REALITY THAN PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THE LORD.
3. GOD IS SHOWING THAT EVIL PEOPLE DO EVIL THINGS.

GIVE THANKS OVER THINGS THAT PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND.

MANY TIMES CHRISTIANS GIVE THANKS FOR THINGS THAT OTHER TAKE FOR GRANTED. ***THE AIR WE BREATHE., ETC.

1 Corinthians 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

WE ARE TO PRAY A SPECIFIC WAY. THAT INCLUDES GIVING THANKS TO GOD.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful [LIT.=”ANXIOUS”] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

WHAT DO WE HAVE TO BE THANKFUL FOR WHEN WE WATCH ?

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

“Thanks 2015”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
112515

MAKE YOUR ENVIRONMENT PLEASANT

PART 1

1. FILL YOU HOME WITH PLEASANT WORDS.

FOCUS ON GOD’S PLAN FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. ENCOURAGE, CORRECT, BUT ALWAYS KEEP A FOCUS ON THE GOAL.

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

–AVOID STRIFE. SOME PEOPLE PLAN ON IT, SCHEDULE IT, AND EXPECT IT. THIS SHOULD NOT BE.

Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

–LEARNING GOD’S WORD, AND KEEPING IT IN YOUR HEART HELPS YOU TO MAKE DECISIONS AND WILL GUIDE YOUR PATH CORRECTLY.

Proverbs 22:17-18 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

–IF YOU FILL YOUR KIDS ROOMS WITH UNPLEASANT THINGS–DON’T EXPECT THEM TO TURN OUT PLEASANTLY. EXPECT TO FACE TROUBLES. BAD POSTERS AND MUSIC WHICH ADVOCATES REBELLION, SATANISM, MURDER, DRUGS, AND VIOLENCE IS PLANTING SEEDS OF WHAT WILL GROW LATER IN.

2. SING PRAISES TO GOD IN YOUR HOME.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW A LOT OF PRAISE SONGS, READ PSALMS, MAKE UP YOUR OWN, OR SING ALONG WITH A RECORDING OF OTHERS WHO ARE NOT JUST ENTERTAINERS, BUT ARE TRUE WORSHIPERS.

Psalms 147:1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

3. KEEP THE FOCUS THAT GOD WANTS EACH PERSON IN THE FAMILY TO KNOW AND SERVE HIM. YOU CAN’T BE AN EFFECTIVE SERVANT WHEN THERE IS STRIFE.

Psalms 133:1 « A Song of degrees of David. » Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

4. DON’T ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT PLEASANT WITHOUT THE LORD. TRYING TO MAKE IT PLEASANT WITHOUT THE LORD WILL NOT SATISFY.

Isaiah 17:10-11 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

5. SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SUBJECT YOURSELF TO DIFFICULTIES SO THAT YOU CAN GET CLOSER TO GOD AND NOT DEPEND ON THE PLEASANT THINGS TO MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD. LET GOD MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD.

Daniel 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

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PART 2

1. GOD MADE THINGS GOOD. WE CAN EITHER FOLLOW HIS GUIDANCE IN MAINTAINING THEM, OR WE CAN DESTROY WHAT HE WANTED US TO HAVE. .

A. SIN BROUGHT THE FIRST UNCOMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR MEN.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

THE PLEASANT AND HAPPY ENVIRONMENT TURNED INTO DISASTER BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN DECISIONS.

**The attitude of people often is affected by their environment. If their homes are noisy and contentious, and filled with music that is combative, they will be aggressive. ***Even plants are affected by the environment. Is it hollering, screaming, or crying ? Or, is it filled with praise, thanksgiving, and joy ? A quiet home can go either way. It can invite trouble, or it can be peaceful.

B. WHERE GOD IS ABSENT, THE PLACE BECOMES A WILDERNESS.

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

C. WHERE GOD IS NOT THE CENTER OF THE HOME, THE WORDS OF THE HOUSE ARE NOT PEACEABLE AND KIND.

EVEN PEOPLE WHO DON’T USE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN, OR SWEAR SOMETIMES USE THEIR WORDS TO CONDEMN, CUT DOWN, AND CRITICIZE.

Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

D. THE HOME SHOULD BE FILLED WITH PLEASANT THINGS.

*Not monsters, rock star posters, etc.

Joel 3:5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things:

2. PLEASANTNESS CAN BE MANY THINGS.

A. PLEASANTNESS IT CAN BE A FIGMENT OF IMAGINATION.

IT CAN BE RE-DEFINED, AND PERVERTED BY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HAVE PLEASANTNESS SO MUCH, THEY WILL ACCEPT ALMOST ANYTHING.

Isaiah 2:16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

B. IT CAN BE A TIME OF TRIAL OR TESTING; BUT WITH THE LORD, IT CAN BE PLEASANT.

Daniel 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

C. IT CAN BE THE FRUIT OF PERSEVERING PRAYER.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

3. A PLEASANT PLACE CANNOT BE FULLY REALIZED WITHOUT THE LORD JESUS.

A. WE NEED PEACEABLY LIFE INWARDLY.

THAT COMES FROM PERSONAL SALVATION THROUGH FAITH.

B. WE NEED TO BE PEACEMAKERS.

HELP PEOPLE GET RIGHT WITH GOD, AND THEY WILL BE RIGHT WITH YOU. NO BETTER PLACE TO INITIATE THIS PRINCIPLE THAN IN THE HOME.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

C. WE NEED THE PEACEABLE WALK THAT COMES FROM RESPONDING TO PROBLEMS AFTER WE BRING THEM TO THE LORD.

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

”Making Your Environment Pleasant”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
110415

WHAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST

 

There was a man who joined a mail-order wholesale club.  He paid his $99 for the year, and then took advantage of the free shipping on everything he bought.  He saved a lot of money, and was very pleased with his membership.  Then, he got a letter from the club that started off this way– “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE AS A CLUB MEMBER?”  He read on to find out that included in his membership fee was free movies, free recipes, help making travel arrangements, free TV and movies of his choice, free books, and a lot more.  He was shocked.    In the same way, many Christians don’t know all that they have in Christ.

 

 
1. WE HAVE GUARANTEES–THE PROMISES FROM GOD, WHO CANNOT LIE.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us:

Without that absolute faith, we don’t have access to the other blessings. How do we get it ? By learning about Him.

A. WE HAVE THE GUARANTEE THAT WE CAN PARTAKE IN THE DIVINE NATURE. WE HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED

2 Peter 1:4 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.

B. BECAUSE WE ARE GIVEN THESE PROMISES, WE SHOULD RESPOND BY LIVING A BETTER LIFE NOW.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

THE GREATEST GUARANTEE IS ETERNAL LIFE !

2. WE HAVE BENEFITS BY BEING BORN INTO GOD’S FAMILY.

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

**Too many ppl put all their hopes on whatever they can get right now.

Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Matthew 6:19-20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

WHAT ARE THESE BENEFITS ? AN INHERITANCE. WHAT TYPE ?

WHEN ISAAC WAS OLD AND ABOUT TO DIE, WE HAVE THE INCIDENT WHERE JACOB STOLE THE BIRTHRIGHT. IT INCLUDED BLESSINGS OF MATERIAL THINGS AND SAFETY. BUT, ESAU COULD HAVE ALSO HAD A GREAT INHERITANCE. HE CARRIED HIS FATHER’S DNA. HE CARRIED HIS FATHER’S LOVE FOR GOD. HE CARRIED THE TEACHING HE RECEIVED AS A CHILD. HE INHERITED THE EXAMPLE OF GODLY LIVING FROM HIS FATHER. WERE THEY NOT MORE A BLESSING THAN A THOUSAND SHEEP ? GOD PROVIDED IT FOR HIM, BUT IN BITTERNESS HE LEFT IT BEHIND.

***There was a very poor farming family in Georgia. They depended on the profits from the harvest each year to pay for their land and house. One day the father died, and left behind one son. At the funeral, one of his schoolmates was there and tried to comfort him. The friend, after trying to give words of comfort, said, “I’m sorry about your dad not having enough money to help you pay your bills and keep the farm.” The son replied, “My dad left me the greatest inheritance I could get. He taught me how to live and get through troubles and hardship and still be happy. So, I’ll make it with or without the farm.”

WE HAVE AN INHERITANCE THAT YOU CANNOT GET BY HAVING MOHAMED, BUDDHA, OR OTHERS AS OUR FATHER. THEY COULD NEVER GIVE US THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT JESUS GAVE US.

 

3. GOD GIVES US A KNOWLEDGE OF THE FUTURE.

***How important is it to know what is ahead ? If you knew what was ahead, would you take the same school courses you did ? Would you have married the same person you did ? Would you have children ? Would you have received the Lord as your Savior earlier ?

John 16:13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.

***THINK of what you could do if you knew the future—your health, your financial situation, world conditions. In your relationship with the Holy Spirit, God makes you aware of all necessary things.

 

4. WE HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Who provides us opportunities ? God. But, how many go by without us responding, or even recognizing them.

5. WE HAVE SOMEONE WHO CAN GO BEFORE GOD.

BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN STAINED WITH SIN, WE ARE NOT WORTHY TO GO DIRECTLY.  BUT, JESUS NEVER SINNED AND HAS BECOME OUR INTERCESSOR, OR MEDIATOR AND HIGH PRIEST.

Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

6. WE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST).

Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

**To most people, if you told them that, they wouldn’t care.

WHATEVER WE REALLY NEED IS PART OF GOD’S PROMISE

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

  • TO SACRIFICE
  • TO RECEIVE FORGIVENESS—REDEMPTION—NOT JUST FOR SALVATION, BUT BEING BOUGHT BACK FROM THE POWER THAT SNARES US.  

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

  • TO RECEIVE A RENEWED STRENGTH
  • TO MAKE COMMITMENTS

7. WE HAVE A PRIVILEGE TO SERVE GOD.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Put your hand over your heart. Feel it beating. It is beating because God gave you the time you have right now. The minute your time is up, it will stop beating, and you will go to your eternal destination. Every heart-beat you felt was a gift from God. Each one. That makes you indebted to God, because with Him, you wouldn’t have that heartbeat.

 

”What We Have In Christ”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
101815

USING OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOD

1. HOW LONG SHOULD WE PERSIST IN PUTTING GOD FIRST ?

A. WE CANNOT GO BACK AND CHANGE THINGS FROM THE WAY WE DID THEM. BUT, WE CAN LEARN FROM THEM, AND DO BETTER WHEN WE FACE THE SAME OR SIMILAR SITUATIONS.

SOME OPPORTUNITIES NEVER ARE GIVEN AGAIN. SO, BE PREPARED TO ACT IN FAITH TO EACH OPPORTUNITY WHEN IT COMES.

Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. 

This is the only recorded time that Peter was invited to do this. He would never again have the opportunity. Yet, there are many things we have a chance to do again.

WHAT ARE OPPORTUNITIES ? PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS. FOR OUR STUDY TONIGHT, IT IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR A MEANINGFUL AND DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD, AND ALSO OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE HIM THAT ARE NOT JUST CONSIDERED USUAL OPPORTUNITIES.

SOME OPPORTUNITIES, WHEN OBEYED, BRING BIGGER AND BETTER OPPORTUNITIES LATER ON.

John 21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep.

DID THE LORD MEAN THIS TO BE A ONE-TIME EVENT ? FEEDING THE SHEEP ONLY ONCE, AND THEN LETTING GO ? OF COURSE NOT !

OPPORTUNITIES, BY THEIR VERY NATURE, ARE FLEETING. SOME MUST BE REJECTED, AND OTHERS OBEYED.

Hebrews 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

2. SHOULD WE WAIT BEFORE OBEYING GOD ?

A. SOME PEOPLE FEEL INCAPABLE OR UNPREPARED TO USE THE OPPORTUNITIES GOD GIVES THEM. THE FACT IS, SOME THINGS DON’T REQUIRE SPECIAL GIFTS. FOR SOME, HE ABILITIES.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

God does not expect a new Christian to use an opportunities like a mature Christian would. He is understanding and expects us only to use what resources and abilities we have.

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

B. BE PREPARED TO LEAN ON THE LORD FOR ALL SITUATIONS, EVERY DAY

Truly depending on God consciously is not something that comes automatically, but it does become a wonderful habit if we repeat it over and over again consciously.

—YOU CAN DO NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST—YOU CAN DO SOME THINGS WITHOUT SPECIAL GIFTS.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.

C. HOW LONG ARE THE GIFTS AND TALENTS ACCESSIBLE ?

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

D. ISN’T OBEDIENCE AN EXPRESSION OF OUR LOVE FOR GOD ?

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

E. USE YOUR TIME WISELY. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE THE SAME DAY AGAIN.

Did anyone come to the Upper Room the day after Pentecost ? What would they receive ? They could have been called by their family to help fix a window or a roof. They could have been out planting a crop with all intentions of coming there, but they came a day later. Then what ? Will God make a new opportunity for them to experience what those 120 people did ? No.

Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

–DO GOOD TO GOD’S PEOPLE. SOME WILL NOT BE AROUND FOR YOU TO BLESS THEM AT A LATER TIME.

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

3. IS THERE A TIME LIMIT, OR ANY OTHER LIMIT PLACED ON THE COMMAND TO PUT GOD FIRST ?

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

HOW LONG DOES THIS STAND TRUE ?

 

4. HOW SOON SHOULD WE RESPOND TO GOD ? WHEN HE SPEAKS..

–FULL OBEDIENCE TO GOD WHEN HE SAYS TO DO SOMETHING RESULTS IN BLESSINGS.

She was willing to give him some water, but was reluctant to give him bread. God blessing complete obedience, and He blessed her when she obeyed fully.

1 Kings 17:11-14 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

–JONAH. IF LIKE MANY PEOPLE TODAY, HE MAY HAVE SAID IN HIS MIND, “I HAVE TO GET MYSELF SPIRITUALLY READY BEFORE GOING TO NINEVEH. OTHERWISE I WOULDN’T;T BE MUCH USE.

Today, professing Christians sometimes say that God must wait for them to become closer to God, or to become more spiritual, or to overcome certain habits first. Not a good answer.

Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Luke 9:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

”The Purpose Of Jesus Ministry”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
093015

HOW TO BE LESS MISERABLE


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GOD PROMISES JOY

MANY CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE IT.  THAT’S WHY THE TITLE OF MY MESSAGE IS, “HOW TO BE LESS MISERABLE.”  SOME CHRISTIANS ARE MISERABLE PEOPLE, ATTRACTING FEW OUTSIDERS TO KNOW GOD BECAUSE OF THEIR SOUR FACES AND COMPLAINTS ABOUT LIFE.  BUT, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN JOY FROM GOD.

HOWEVER, IF YOU IGNORE SOMETHING LONG ENOUGH, YOU FORGET YOU HAVE IT.

TWO THINGS WEAR THE BELIEVER DOWN–

–THE WORLD NEWS

–MEDICAL CONCERNS

A woman saw the same movie 15 times.  Each time, she cries for 30 minutes or more, and is difficult to be around.  She complained to her husband that the movie always puts her in a very depressed state.  He gives a simple answer:  “Do you want to feel better ?  QUIT WATCHING THE STUPID MOVIE !”

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.  

THIS MORNING, I WANT TO HELP YOUR JOY.

 

1. ACTING IN FAITH ACCORDING TO THESE TRUTHS CAN BRING YOU FULLNESS OF JOY.

A. GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN GOD ENCOMPASSES YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

John 15:11These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

♦ YOU CAN GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED.

John 15:7 If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

♦ YOU CAN BE A DISCIPLE IN MODERN TIMES.

John 15:8 Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.

♦ GOD LOVES YOU, AND YOU SHOULD MAINTAIN YOUR LOVE FOR HIM.

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.

♦ YOU MAINTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD BY DOING WHAT HE SAYS.

John 15:10-11 If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

B. JOHN CONFIRMS THAT THESE THINGS WORK.

Almost 60 years after Jesus ascended into Heaven, John had a chance to see God’s teachings work. So, he once again reminds the Believers of their powerful practical work.

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

WHAT THINGS WAS HE ABOUT TO WRITE TO THEM ? (HE INCLUDED BASICALLY THE SAME THINGS THAT JESUS SAID IN JOHN 15).

♦ WE CAN MAINTAIN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD BY DOING WHAT HE SAYS.

1 John 1:6-7 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:5-6 But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.

♦ YOU CAN MAINTAIN THE LOVE OF GOD BY DEALING WITH YOUR SINS.

1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

♦ YOU CAN BE A DISCIPLE OF SOME DEGREE IN THESE END TIMES.

1 John 1:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

*NOTICE THE SPIRITUAL MATURITY LEVELS THE HOLY SPIRIT IDENTIFIES HERE. LITTLE CHILDREN, YOUNG MEN, AND FATHERS. WHERE ARE YOU ON GOD’S CHART ? YOUR SPIRITUAL MATURITY DETERMINES HOW MUCH YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.

DON’T EXPECT TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS WHEN YOU HAVEN’T MATURED SPIRITUALLY. It would be like a three year old child telling you that he will win the Boston Marathon race this year. The child MIGHT do that later in life, but he has to grow up first. But, they aren’t going to do it later, either unless that child grows up and fills their body with good things that enable it to deal with the stress and heart-pounding exertion of such a race. Same is true with Christians. We need to be filled with all the fullness of Christ !

♦ WE HAVE THE POWER TO BE THE DISCIPLES THAT JESUS WANTS US TO BE.

1 John 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

2. KEEPING OTHER THINGS OUT WILL ALLOW YOUR HEART TO BE FULL

A. LET GOD FILL YOUR LIFE.

HE COMMANDS US TO BE FILLED WITH HIM. HE IS TO TO YOUR GUIDE IN ALL DECISIONS. HE IS TO BE YOUR SECURITY, YOUR SOURCE OF HELP OF ALL KINDS.

The devil tries to reduce the amount of space for God by filling people with other influences. Someone spoke with me about a recent phone call with a senior Christian. The senior Christian spoke of only two things in a two hour conversation unless she was pushed into another subject. Do you know what those two things were ? Medical conditions and how bad the world is.

Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

On the other hand, when we are filled with the Spirit of God, He gives us purpose and a focus that fills us with JOY !

3. YOU CAN’T BE FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD AND BE FULL WITH THE WORLD’S PROPAGANDA AND NEWS, TOO !

THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH INTELLIGENCE, AND ONLY SO MUCH TIME, AND ONLY SO MUCH ROOM IN EACH PERSON’S LIFE.

A. THIS WORLD IS FILLED WITH THE WRONG THINGS, AND IT WANTS TO PUSH THEM DOWN YOUR THROAT, TOO.

The devil’s goal seems to be to bring the world to the same condition it was in right before the Flood.

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

THAT IS FILLING THE THOUGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH THOUGHTS OF NOT DEPENDING ON GOD, OF MAKING MAN’S ANSWERS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOD, PUSHING FEAR AND ANXIETY ON US -YES, EVEN ON BELIEVERS TODAY. WHAT IS THAT ? FILLING THEM WITH THE WRONG THINGS.

Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

B. FILL YOUR MIND AND SOULS WITH THE THINGS THAT GOD SAYS ARE IMPORTANT

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

♦ BRINGING THE GOSPEL TO EVEN ONE PERSON IS LOVELY.
♦ SERVING GOD BY FIXING THINGS AROUND HIS HOUSE IS LOVELY.
♦ USING YOUR TALENTS TO MAKE MONEY THAT CAN KEEP THE CHURCH RUNNING AND REACH SOULS OVERSEAS IS LOVELY.

AS BAD AS SOME PEOPLE THINK THINGS ARE TODAY – THERE ARE SOME VERY IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT HAVE NOT CHANGED.

1. THE PROMISES OF GOD ARE STILL TRUE.
2. THE COMMANDS OF GOD ARE STILL IN EFFECT.
3. YOU STILL HAVE THE POWER OF CHOICE THAT GOD GAVE TO YOU.

RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE EITHER FILLED WITH YOUR OWN SINS, OR YOU HAVE BEEN CLEANSED BY THE POWER OF CHRIST. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO RECEIVE GOD’S CLEANSING, OR KEEP YOUR SINS AND PAY FOR THEM FOREVER.

“How To Be Less Miserable”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
092715