ARE YOU STRONG IN THE LORD ?

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Are You Strong In The Lord ?

 

2 Chronicles 25:11   “And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.”

Daniel 10:19 “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.”

 

1. THE LORD PROVIDES STRENGTH WHEN WE ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND UP FOR HIM.

Colossians 1:11 “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”

2 Timothy 4:17 “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”

2. WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR HUMAN WEAKNESS AND TURN TO GOD, WE ARE MADE STRONG BY OUR FAITH IN HIM.

Hebrews 11:34  “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
2 Corinthians 12:10  “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

3. WE CAN LOSE OUR STRENGTH FROM GOD WHEN WE DECIDE TO DO THINGS OUR OWN WAY, AND NOT HIS.

Judges 16:19-21  “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.”

4. GOD PROVIDES THE RESOURCES SO WE CAN BE STRONG.
COMPLETE FAITH IN THE PERSON OF OUR LORD.

Hebrews 6:18  “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”

NOURISHMENT FROM THE WORD OF GOD.

Hebrews 5:12  “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
Hebrews 5:14  “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

POWER FROM HIS SPIRIT.

Ephesians 3:16  “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;”

5. THERE ARE GOOD RESULTS WHEN WE DEPEND ON GOD AND NOT OURSELVES.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Ephesians 6:10  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”

“Are You Strong In The Lord ?”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
030616

 

WHAT WE DO NOT SEE

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What We Do Not See

2 Corinthians 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen  are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1. THE UNSEEN HELP FOR US ALL.

A. BLESSINGS WE NEED.

1 Corinthians 2:9-12 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. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

B. THE PROMISES OF GOD FULFILLED TOTALLY. AN EXAMPLE IS THE PROMISE OF A NEW BODY.

2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

C. THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS. UNSEEN, BUT PRESENT DAILY.
  • HEALING. STIRRED THE WATERS AT BETHSAIDA.  John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
  • MINISTRY TO ENCOURAGE AND LIFT. TEMPTATION OF JESUS. Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
  • PROVIDE FOR OUR NEEDS. ELIJAH—FOOD. I Kings 19:5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
  • BRING JUDGMENT—SODOM. Genesis 19:13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
  • BRING PHYSICAL DELIVERANCE—BRINGING LOT & GIRLS OUT OF SODOM. Genesis 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
  • KEEPING MAN FROM A WORSE FATE. (ACCIDENTS, ETC. ?) KEPT ADAM FROM GARDEN. 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.
  • CARRIED MESSAGES FROM GOD. DANIEL. Daniel 8:15-17 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
  • CARRY OUT DECREES OF JUDGMENT. REVELATION. Revelation 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
  • TO BRING SOULS TO THEIR PLACE OF JUDGMENT. Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; —AND THIS IS FUTURE, TOO.— Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

2. WE MUST HAVE FAITH IN GOD TO ACCEPT THE UNSEEN.

A. WE HAVE NOT SEEN JESUS. He was before our time.

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

B. WE HAVE NOT SEEN THE FATHER.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.

C. WE HAVE NOT SEEN GOD’S WRATH OR THE RAPTURE, BUT WE KNOW IT WILL COME.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

3. WE MUST DEPEND UPON HIS WORD TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNSEEN.

A. THAT IS THE BASIS FOR OUR FAITH.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

“What We Do Not See”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
031316

NOT HEARING GOD’S VOICE

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NOT HEARING GOD’S VOICE

 

WE HAVE STUDIED THIS BEFORE, BUT WHEN PEOPLE ASK, “HOW CAN I HEAR GOD ?”, IT IS A GOOD REMINDER TO REVIEW THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES.

GOD CONSIDERS OUR HEARING HIM TO BE A BIG DEAL.  HE MENTIONS IT OVER AND OVER.

Revelation 3:22  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

1. GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT.

* When you have a lot of screens open on your computer, it tests the capabilities of the machine. When it reaches it’s limit, it cannot hear the commands given by the keyboard or the mouse. It is frozen, cold.

A. TAKE TIME TO MEDITATE. IT WILL BLESS YOU.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.; that thy profiting may appear to all.

B. DON’T ALLOW YOUR LIFE TO BE FILLED WITH UNIMPORTANT THINGS.

Paul sorted things out, and labeled all things that do not profit the Lord.

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,

C. TAKING ON MORE THAN YOU GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE.

*GOD WILL NOT PLACE MORE ON YOU THAN YOU ARE ABLE.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 

2. SQUASH THE DISTRACTIONS.

A. ALLOWING TOO MANY VOICES TO BE HEARD AT ONCE. MUST STOP ALLOWING IT !

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

B. OVERWHELMED BY YOUR OWN VOICE AND GOALS.

ESPECIALLY CONCERNING IS THAT FOR THE CHRISTIAN, THIS IS ALLOWING THE OLD NATURE TO RULE. REJECTED FIRST ANSWER, KEPT ON PLEADING WITH GOD. WAS DISTRACTED BY THE MEN, THE MONEY, AND HIS OWN HEART’S DESIRE. DIDN’T READ GOD’S TRUE WILL CORRECTLY.

BAALIM.

Numbers 22:12, 19-22. And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.  … Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab. And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

—Simply put, it means that you really don’t want to hear.  You want to do what YOU want to do, and that is what you think you hear from God. The results of this are foretold.

Luke 6:47-49 Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

C. THERE ARE ALWAYS THINGS TO DO.

BUT, DO YOU FULFILL WHAT GOD WANTS FIRST ? DOES GOD GET TOP PRIORITY ALL THE TIME ? IT MAY BE THAT ONE TIME WHEN HE ISN’T MOST IMPORTANT THAT YOU NEED TO HEAR HIM THE MOST.

2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

APOLLOS—Will come at a convenient time. He had other things to do.

1 Corinthians 16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

D. NOT ENOUGH DEDICATION TO STUDY THE WORD.

 

3. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.

A. SOME CANNOT RECEIVE ANSWERS.

Matthew 13:9-12 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest Thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

B. YOU HAVE TO HAVE SPIRITUAL ROOTS TO HEAR.

Matthew 13:19-21 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

C. MUST RECEIVE THE SIMPLE SOUNDS FIRST—LIKE GETTING SAVED.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

“Not Hearing God’s Voice”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
030916

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

SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH

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SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH

 

SIN ATTACKS US EASILY. 

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

WE ARE NOT DOOMED TO FAILURE IN LIFE.   OUR WEAKNESSES CAN BE OVERCOME.   BUT, WE NEED TO CONFESS THEM AND TURN FROM THEM THROUGH THE POWER OF THE LORD.  

Hebrews 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

 

 

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 

 

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

CHRISTIANS ARE AGAINST SIN.   THEY DON’T WANT IT IN OTHERS, AND THEY DON’T WANT IT IN THEMSELVES.   YET, IT EXISTS.   MOST PEOPLE WILL CLASSIFY SOME SINS TO BE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS. 

 ——————————————————————–

IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE SOME SINS THAT HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE AMONG CHRISTIANS IN CHURCH.  THESE ARE NOT CONSIDERED SERIOUS SINS BY THE PEOPLE WHO DO THEM, OR OTHER CHRISTIANS WHO WATCH.

AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE MAN WHO COMMITTED ADULTERY IN 1 CORINTHINS 6.  THE CHURCH ACCEPTED WHAT HE DID AS “NORMAL.”   IT WASN’T, AND IT SET PAUL DOWN ON THEM WITH SOME SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.  

WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, FEW CHURCHES TODAY HAVE ANY STANDARDS THAT THEY ENFORCE AND EXPECT MEMBERS TO ABIDE BY. 

THIS IS WHY SO MANY LOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD FIND CHRISTIANITY COMPLETELY UNINTERESTING.  BECAUSE WHAT THEY SEE FROM CHURCH PEOPLE IS THE SAME THING THEY SEE IN MORAL PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.

 

LET’S EXAMINE SOME OF THE SINS WHICH HAVE BECOME ACCEPTABLE IN TODAY’S CHURCHES. 

 

1. FEAR

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear is a spirit that can overwhelm your life.  

  • AFRAID OF WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN NEXT.
  • AFRAID OF THINGS THAT ARE ONLY ILLUSIONS. 
  • AFRAID TO DEPART OF THE USUAL.
  • AFRAID TO STEP OUT BY FAITH.
  • AFRAID TO TRUST GOD MORE THAN DOCTORS.
  • AFRAID TO SPEAK UP FOR THE LORD.
  • AFRAID TO FAST.
  • AFRAID TO DO ANYTHING THAT LOST PEOPLE MIGHT USE AS AN EXCUSE TO CRITICIZE US. 

 

2. APATHY

Apathy doesn’t necessarily mean the lack of emotions.  It is more a lack of action.   People can get riled up and even furious with some things.  They see needs, and their hearts are emotional about those needs.   But, without action, all of that is nothing but apathy.

Apathy is against the very nature of Christians.  In order to be apathetic, you have to fight the Holy Spirit in you.  That creates real problems for you and others.

It goes against the extremist nature of Christians.  Yes, Christians are extremists.  How can it be otherwise.  Extreme in commitment.

  • EVERY PART OF US SHOULD BE COMMITTED TO CHRIST. 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.

Christians are compelled by other commands which are extreme.

  • EVERYTHING WE DO SHOULD BE FOR THE LORD. Colossians 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
  • ALL THAT WE DO SHOULD BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL, NOT OUR OWN. Colossians 4:12  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

OF COURSE, THE WILL OF GOD INVOLVES REACHING OTHERS WITH THE GOOD NEWS.  SO, APATHY WOULD HAVE IT THAT WE LEAVE THAT TO OTHERS.

 

 3. GREED

This is exposed most clearly when a national election rolls around.   The world talks the pulse of different demographics, and evangelistic Christians is an important group of people.  Without exception, each of the past 8 elections, so-called Christians have chosen who they will vote for on the basis of how the candidate will make them better off financially.  In some cases, they voted for an openly immoral, ungodly behaving person.  In other cases, they voted for a person who promised to promote ungodly principles if they are elected.  But, the large majority of so-called Christians were not ashamed to admit that they voted to better themselves financially rather than voting for the person who stood by good morals.

 1 John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM ARE POLITICS OF GREED.  PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE WAYS OF HELPING NEEDY PEOPLE.  NOT SO.  THE POOR WANT IT BECAUSE THEY WANT THE WEALTH OF THOSE WHO WORKED FOR IT.   

Proverbs 1:14-19  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

 

 

Proverbs 15:27  He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

GREED IS THE REASON WHY SOME CHRISTIANS DO NOT OBEY GOD.   AS A RESULT OF A LACK OF OBEDIENCE, THEY DON’T GET MANY PRAYERS ANSWERED, AND THEY MISS OUT ON MANY BLESSINGS. 

EXCUSES ABOUND.

  • I HAVE BILLS.   (WHO DOESN’T).   PEOPLE WHO TITHE USUALLY HAVE FEWER BILLS BECAUSE THEY LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE ABOUT USING MONEY WISELY.
  • MY WIFE CONTROLS THE MONEY, AND THAT’S WHY I CAN’T TITHE.  (IF YOU ARE THE MAN OF THE HOUSE, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR WIFE DOES, GOD WILL HOLD YOU PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE).
  • I HAVE TO HAVE A CUSHION, AND IF I GAVE WHAT I SHOULD, I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO HAVE IT.  WELL, GOD CAN GET IT REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO KEEP A CUSHION.  BUT, INSTEAD OF BEING REWARDED ONE DAY FOR YOUR FAITHFULNESS, GOD WILL HAVE TO POINT OUT THAT HE HAD TO JUDGE YOU ON THIS EARTH BECAUSE OF YOUR UNFAITHFULNESS.

GREED MAKES A PERSON SUBJECT TO MANY MORE TIMES OF SADNESS, BUT A PERSON WHO GIVES FROM THE HEART IS A HAPPIER PERSON.

2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

4. WORRY

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

What does worry accomplish ?  It does not solve any problems, bring you peace or happiness.  Instead, worry is a villain that takes away all those things.

Worry makes you sick or depressed, or angry.  It does nothing constructive at all.

The great philosopher Van Wilder once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”  That’s right. But Van Wilder isn’t the only one who talked about worry. Jesus said you shouldn’t worry about anything (Matt. 6:25-34). But Jesus wasn’t serious was he? I mean, really Jesus? Anything?

Matthew 6:25-33 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

He was serious. You see, worrying is symptomatic of a larger issue…lack of faith. And for followers of Jesus whose primary mission is to show the glory and nature of God to the world, worrying is a problem.

 

5. FLATTERY & PRAISE

IT WAS THE DOWNFALL OF THE PHARISEES.  

John 12:42-43  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

YOU CANNOT BE A POWERFUL WITNESS IF PRAISE OF MEN IS WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WORK.  Paul and Silas were not praised by anyone.  Instead, they praised God, and He gave them blessings for doing so.  If they had been waiting for a pat on the back, they would not have seen the hand of God work as He did. 

If your identity is tied to man’s praise, you’ll be eternally discontent.

Many people are just plain out fickle. They’re for you one day, against you the next. They love you when you agree with them, dislike you when you don’t.

It’s hard to point people to Jesus if you need their approval.

PEOPLE TODAY WILL DESPISE YOU IF YOU ARE GOOD.   SO, DON’T EXPECT THEM TO LISTEN AND EXALT YOUR REPUTATION.

2 Timothy 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

THEY WILL NOT BE WILLING TO SAY A LOT OF GOOD THINGS ABOUT YOU.

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to point lost people to Jesus if you need their approval. because they are not usually going to give it you.  They are lost because the are not impressed enough with the Lord or their own sinful condition.  So, why would they flatter you when they don’t respect the od you serve ?  Don’t expect flattery from the world, and don’t seek it.

JOHN THE BAPTIST HAD IT RIGHT.

John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.   HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT ABOUT HIM.  HE CARED ABOUT WHAT GOD THOUGHT OF HIM.

 

6. BECOMING TOO COMFORTABLE WITH THE PRESENT… SLUGGISH.

Many in the church are satisfied with doing nothing or very little.  God wants us to use our talents for Him, not the world. 

Consider a man lying in bed with medical tubes in him.  This is understandable if this was a means to getting better.  But, what if the man wanted people to feed him, give him medicines just to feel pleasure, bathe him, wash him, massage him, and he was doing nothing at all ?   Not the Christian life.  Yet, some seem to take comfort in doing that spiritually.  That is what the Bible describes as being a sluggard, or lazy. 

 

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

 

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

 

Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

 

Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

LAZY WITH EXCUSES:

Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

–Some are afraid what people in their own homes might say if they do God’s will.  Afraid of being criticized, afraid of retaliation, etc.   Some have been afraid to come to church at times because family didn’t want them to come, and they they feared what family might do to them. 

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

Proverbs 29:18  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

There is nothing wrong with comfort so long as it comes from God.  God’s comfort can come from God using another person, through God’s Word, or directly by the unmistakable touch of the Holy Spirit.  But, we are talking about another kind of comfort that ruins our relationship with God by leading us to a lifestyle that displeases God. 

Comfort might be the source of the “church approved” sins family. When the church becomes comfortable, Christianity starts to die.

 

PAUL IS PROVEN TO BE A REAL CHRISTIAN BY THE DISCOMFORT THAT HE ENDURED AND OVERCAME. 

2 Corinthians 6:4-10  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;  As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

  

THE CHURCH CAN NOT BE GROWING SPIRITUALLY AND AT THE SAME TIME BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE THEY ARE. 

THE CHURCH CAN NOT BECOMING MORE SPIRITUAL WHILE BEING SATISFIED WITH WHAT THEY ARE DOING FOR THE LORD. 

THESE TYPES OF COMFORT SEEMS ACCEPTABLE TO MOST CHRISTIANS IN MOST CHURCHES. 

 

7. LACK OF LOVE

***People have differing ideas of what love is.  Some say that spanking your child is evidence that you don’t love them.  The Bible says that if you love your child, you WILL discipline them.  Some people say that loving the brethren is proven by praying for them.  Others say that praying is just the beginning, and that actions are important too.  We need a Biblical view of what love is, not our own–or the world’s– definition.

BIBLICAL DEFINITION IS:

1 John 3:17  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?

  –ARE THERE MORE THAN MATERIAL NEEDS ?  YES !   WHAT OTHER NEEDS COULD THERE BE ?  ARE CHRISTIANS FAILING TO VEEN LOOK AT THOSE NEEDS OF THE BRETHREN ? 

OUR ACTIVE PRACTICAL FAITH IS TIED IN WITH OUR ACTIVE LOVE. 

James 2:14-18  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

MOST IMPORTANT IS LOVING GOD.  HOW MANY WOUOLD AGREE WITH THAT ?

THIS IS GOD’S DEFINITION OF LOVE TO HIM–

1 John 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

 

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

 

1 John 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

 

1 John 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

 

Matthew 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

LOVE MUST HAVE PRIORITIES.  YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR OWN CHILDREN MORE THAN OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN.   YOU SHOULD LOVE YOU WIFE MORE THAN YOU LOVE SOMEONE ELSE’S WIFE.  IT IS NOT THAT YOU SHOULDN’T LOVE OTHER CHILDREN OR OTHER PEOPLE.  BUT, THERE IS A PRIORITY.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE SHOULD LOVE GOD.

THEN THE BRETHREN.

THEN THE LOST.

 

8. MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM

PRIORITIES ARE IMPORTANT.  WHEN WE STAND UP FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD, IT IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN STANDING UP FOR A NATION THAT WILL PASS AWAY.

WHAT COUNTRY ARE WE A PART OF ?   WHAT COUNTRY DID ABRAHAM SEEK ?  IS EARTHLY COUNTRY AS IMPORTANT AS THE HEAVENL.Y ONE.   WHEN LOYALTY TO OUR EARTHLY COUNTRY COMES HIGHER THAN LOYALTY TOWARD THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WE HAVE MISDIRECTED PATRIOTISM

When your allegiance is torn between your country and your God, American ideals begin to shape your faith more than God. And you transpose American values onto God, believing God would be an American and think like an American.

Celebrate American values. That’s great. But, at the end of the day, your citizenship is not with America. It’s in heaven.

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Philippians 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:   [“CONVERSATION” literally means “CITIZENSHIP”]

 

9. LYING & GOSSIPING

 A CHRISTIAN’S WORD SHOULD MEAN WHAT IT SAYS.  

Matthew 5:33-37  Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 

2 Corinthians 1:17-19  When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?  But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.

 

SO, LYING IS A DEPARTURE FROM THE TRUTH.  WE ARE CALLED TO SPEAK TRUTH.  IF PEOPLE CAN’T TRUST YOU ABOUT LITTLE THINGS, HOW CAN THEY TRUST YOU ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES OF ALL–SALVATION, FORGIVENESS, FAITH. 

Ephesians 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

GOSSIP IS SPREADING INFORMATION THAT IS NOT BENEFICIAL… EVEN IF IT IS TRUE.              

1 Timothy 5:13  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

1 Peter 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

 Lying is the elephant in the room no one sees. Lying is so socially acceptable, even in Christian circles, that it often goes undetected. We’re desensitized to it.

And here’s why this is dangerous for Christians.

Here’s what Jesus is saying. You should live with such high integrity that your word doesn’t need attachments to make it legitimate. So, typical phrases like, “I promise,” “I swear,” and “I swear on my mom’s grave” should never come from your mouth.

How serious is this? Jesus says anything more than our word is from the evil one, Satan. That’s real.

 

10. SINFUL PRIORITIES.

 PREACHING SALVATION BUT LEAVING OUT ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS.

Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

   

 

Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    WE KNOW WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT, BUT WE DON’T DO IT IN GOD’S ORDER OF THINGS.   WE CHOOSE OUR OWN ORDER.

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

PRIORITY OF SELF.  IF EVERYONE DOES IT, IT IS OK.  *Everyone is different, and therefore will do things differently.  Everyone has their own objectives in life.  Everyone sees things differently.  Everyone loves God in their own way.  Everyone prays in their own way.    –Very few people stop to think about the implications of statements like these.  Do these statements line up with what the Bible says ?  Yet, they are widely accepted and heard in most churches.

Many churches have made these statements more important than the Bible, which commands us to do specific things.

 

WE NEED TO JUDGE OTHERS.   BUT, MANY DO SO WITHOUT JUDGING THEMSELVES FIRST.

Matthew 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

SUBMITTING TO OUR OWN WILL.       SUBMISSION TO GOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SUBMISSION TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE.

John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

WHY DID JOHN SAY THIS ?   IS IT A GOOD REASON FOR US TO FOLLOW THE SAME PRINCIPLE ?

Colossians 3:18  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  

WHEN THE PRIORITY IS YOU, THEN YOUR PURPOSE FOR BEING ALIVE IS LOST.   WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP YOUR HUSBAND FULFILL GOD’S CALLING FOR HIM ?

Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

QUIT SUBMITTING TO YOURSELF OR TO THE WORLD’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A REAL WOMAN IS.  SUBMIT TO GOD’S DEFINITION, AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO PAY A PRICE LATER ON.

1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

 

PRAYER.  DOESN’T GET THE RIGHT PRIORITY.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

 

Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints:

I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN GOD’S LIFE.  PRIORITY OF OUR OWN FEELINGS, NOT THE FEELINGS OF GOD.

Hebrews 12:3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

**AN EXAMPLE IS IF SOMEONE GETS OMITTED FROM AN INVITATION.  IT IS WRONG TO HOLD THAT AGAINST THEM.  OR IF SOMEONE MAKES A COMMITMENT, BUT DOESN’T DO IT BECAUSE THEY FIND OUT THAT THEY WON’T GET THE GLORY OUT OF IT.  (We are supposed to give GOD all the glory !)

WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT ?  Because our Savior’s thoughts are more important than ours.  Our Savior’s feelings are more important than ours.

 

**THE DISCIPLES COULD HAVE BEEN TORN AGAINST EACH OTHER IF THEY HELD THE ATTITUDES THAT SOME CHRISTIANS HAVE.  “How come Peter and John get to spend more time with Jesus than I do ?”   “How come John gets to sit beside Jesus, and I don’t ?”   We should be totally ashamed of ourselves if we ever start thinking about people wounding our sensitive little egos, while not taking into account that all that we do should be for the glory of God.

DISCIPLES ARGUED AMONG THEMSELVES AS TO WHO SHOULD HAVE THE PRIORITY.

Mark 9:34  But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

AFTER THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN ANY MORE.   IF WE RELY UPON THE SPIRIT OF GOD, WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS TYPE OF JEALOUSY AND CONCERN FOR OUR OWN FEELINGS.

IS THE LORD JEALOUS THAT YOU HONOR YOUR OWN FEELINGS MORE THAN HIS ?

Deuteronomy 32:21  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

WRONG PRIORITY TO HAVE FAMILY OVER GOD.   ***What if you stayed at home instead of coming to church ?  You say, “My family would be hurt if i didn’t stay with them..”  Well, isn’t God going to be hurt when you put your family ahead of Him ?

YOUR TIME.

YOUR FEELINGS    — IS GOD THE PRIORITY IN THESE THINGS ?  WHY NOT ?

YOUR PLANS.

NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD !

———————-

“SINS THAT SEEM OKAY TO THE CHURCH”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
February – March 2016

VALLEYS OF LIFE

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1. THERE IS A VALLEY FILLED WITH GIANTS.

THEY ATTEMPT TO BREAK YOU DOWN, INTIMIDATE YOU, MAKE YOU FEEL AS IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE. JUST LIKE GOLIATH TRIED TO DO.

Joshua 15:8 And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:

WHO ARE SOME OF THESE GIANTS ?

  • THE WORLD’S VIEW OF THE NEWS
  • DEPRESSION. CAN BE HORMONAL, HABIT, UNWILLINGNESS TO TURN THINGS OVER
    TO GOD AND LEAVE THEM THERE IN HIS HANDS (LACK OF FAITH).
  • DEFEATS OF THE PAST. THEY COME AND HAUNT YOU, SAYING YOU CAN’T WIN.
  • BLINDNESS. CAN’T SEE ANY HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
  • ANGER AND HATRED. THINGS NOT COMMITTED TO GOD WITH A WILLINGNESS
    TO CHANGE.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

God didn’t leave us here for a lifetime of defeat ! That would be an embarrassment upon His Name, and would be miserable for us ! He gave us power over ALL the power of the enemy, and we need to use what He gave to us !

2. THERE IS A VALLEY FOR JUDGMENT.

GET OUT OF IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT USUALLY HAS SEVERAL CITIES IN IT. GOD SAYS GET OUT OR BE JUDGED WITH THEM. (Modern Law: “Accessory to a crime” “To be convicted as an accessory to a crime, the person must possess an awareness of the crime, either before or after its commission.” ).

A. IT HAS A HISTORY OF JUDGMENT TAKING PLACE.

YET SOME PEOPLE WANT TO DWELL THERE. ABRAHAM KNEW ABOUT IT AND SO HE PRAYED FOR LOT.

2 Samuel 8:13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.

DON’T STAY IN A PLACE WHERE GOD SAYS

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

B. THE SAME VALLEY WILL SPELL THE DEATH OF NATIONS IN THE FUTURE.

Ezekiel 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.

3. THE VALLEY OF UNNECESSARY BATTLES.

GOING INTO WAR AGAINST SOMETHING OR SOMEONE THAT GOD SAID NOT TO DO. JOSIAH WAS ONE OF THE MOST GODLY KINGS, YET HE MADE THE MISTAKE OF TAKING ON BATTLES THAT HE WAS NOT CALLED TO FIGHT.

2 Chronicles 35:22 20-23 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.  But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.  Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

WE HAVE ENOUGH BATTLES TO WAGE THAT GOD GAVE TO US AND THEY ARE IMPORTANT, SO WE SHOULD NOT GO OUT PICKING BATTLES THAT GOD DIDN’T CALL US TO. IT PLACES TOO MUCH ON YOU, AND YOU CAN GET HURT. *Josiah was seeing people turned back to God. He needed to lead a revival among the people, not go and fight physical armies.

4. THERE IS A VALLEY THAT HAS A SCARY SHADOW.

***Heard even younger people speaking about the possibility of death recently. The warning from China to keep away from their newly created islands, the possibility of some unidentified space object crashing down to earth, the diseases being raised out of ancient archeological dig sites, all bring people of all ages to wonder if they will live tomorrow. BUT, GOD WANTS YOU TO KEEP ON WALKING !

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

DEATH FOR THE TRUE BELIEVER IS MERELY THAT–A SHADOW. THERE IS NO DEATH FOR US. WE SIMPLY GO FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.

John 11:24-26 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

5. THE FINAL VALLEY FOR MEN WHO WANT TO RULE THEMSELVES. PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT JESUS TO BE LORD OVER THEM.

Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

 

”Valleys Of Life”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
110115

GETTING HELP FROM GOD

 

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Help for living

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

IF WE ARE TEMPTED EVERY DAY, WE NEED HELP EVERY DAY.  WHAT IS THAT HELP ?

 WE CAN’T BE HELPED WITHOUT A HELPER.  IN OUR CASE, IT IS “THE HELPER..”  THE HOLY SPIRIT.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

[“THE COMFORTER”=3875 παρακλητος parakletos par-ak’-lay-tos]

 

 1. THE HELP THAT COUNTS COMES FROM GOD.

A. OUR HELP DEPENDS UPON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.

IF WE ARE NOT IN FELLOWSHIP, WE DON’T EVEN SEE HELP WHEN IT IS RIGHT THERE. HIS VERY PRESENCE IS HELP INDEED. (THE HOLY SPIRIT).

Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

IF WE DO NOT HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM, WE ARE AT A TERRIBLE DISADVANTAGE IN COMMUNICATING WITH THE LORD. WILL THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US WHEN JESUS HIMSELF WOULD NOT ? WOULD THE HOLY SPIRIT HELP US WITH PRAYER IF THE LORD WON’T EVEN HEAR US ? NO. SO, OUR SINS NEED TO BE DEALT WITH.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

B. OUR HELP DEPENDS UPON US LOOKING UP, NOT DOWN.

Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

C. WE ARE HELPED BY RECEIVING BLESSINGS FROM GOD.

Psalms 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

D. COUNT ALL THINGS AS A BLESSING FROM GOD.

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

***DIFFICULT TIMES ARE MEANT TO SHOW THE STRENGTH OF THE CHRISTIAN’S GOD.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

2. GOD CAN USE A VARIETY OF WAYS TO HELP. EVEN THROUGH PEOPLE.

A. SOMETIMES HE WORKS THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE FAITHFUL.

God delights in using people. But, you have to count on them. If they don’t put God first, they are not dependable, and therefore they are not instruments of God’s help.

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

EVEN THROUGH PRAYER—IT HELPS IN THAT GOD RESPONDS TO THE CRIES OF HIS PEOPLE.

2 Corinthians 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

3. WE OFTEN HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO GET HELPED.

A. I MUST BE CLOSE ENOUGH TO HEAR AND SPEAK WITH HIM.

Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

B. I MUST BE WILLING TO THOROUGHLY RECEIVE HIS INSTRUCTION.

FROM HIS SPIRIT AND HIS WORD. **SOME TRY TO GET BY ONLY WITH WHAT THEY THINK ARE LEADINGS OF THE SPIRIT (BUT IN FACT ARE THEIR OWN EMOTIONS). MUST KNOW THE WORD OF GOD.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

C. I MUST RESPOND CORRECTLY TO HIS HELP. THANKFULLY, NOT ASSUMING.

Psalm 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

  

”Getting Help From God”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
102815

CONQUERING YOUR THOUGHTS

 

Psalms 10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

OUR THINKING REFLECTS OUR MATURITY LEVEL.

1 Corinthians 13:11  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 

1. TO CONQUER THOUGHTS, YOU NEED TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.

SOME PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS ARE MOST OFTEN PRODUCED BY THEIR EMOTIONS. OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS ARE MOST OFTEN ANALYTICAL, AND COME MOST OFTEN FROM A FORMAL LEARNING. OTHERS MOST OFTEN DEPEND UPON THEIR PHYSICAL SENSES, WHILE OTHERS RECEIVE THOUGHTS FROM GOD. WHERE DO THE MAJORITY FO YOUR THOUGHTS COME FROM ?

SOME THOUGHTS ARE CREATIVE IDEAS THAT NEED TO BE COMMITTED TO GOD’S USE.

A. FIND OUT HOW TO ACTIVATE THE THOUGHTS OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE.

Psalms 139:17 How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

B. THE NATURAL THOUGHTS OF MAN ARE NOT GOD’S WAYS.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

WHAT ARE GOD’S THOUGHTS THAT WE SHOULD EXPAND UPON ?

Psalms 92:5 O LORD, how great are Thy works! and Thy thoughts are very deep.

–HIS LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE.

Psalms 139:17 How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

WHAT ARE THOSE THOUGHTS ? “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD”…. “GOD IS NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH”… ETC.

–PEACE TO HIS PEOPLE.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

2. TO CONQUER THOUGHTS, DON’T THINK THEY CAN BE HIDDEN FROM GOD.

THEY NEED TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED AND SEEN FOR WHAT THEY ARE.  GOD KNOWS YOUR THOUGHTS (HE REVEALED THE KING’S THOUGHTS TO DANIEL) SO MAKE THEM GOOD THOUGHTS.

A. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE RESPONSE OF GOD TO YOUR THOUGHTS. CAN THE THOUGHTS OF A MAN PROVOKE GOD ?

Luke 6:8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

Mark 3:5 And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

B. BEWARE OF THOUGHTS THAT ASSUME INSTEAD OF KNOWING.

THOUGHTS BUILT UPON ASSUMING THINGS CAN BE DAMAGING. JUDAH ASSUMED A WOMAN WAS A PROSTITUTE. IT WAS HIS STEP-DAUGHTER. EVEN THOUGH HE PLANNED TO COMMIT A SIN, HIS ASSUMPTION LED HIM TO COMMIT A GREATER SIN.

Genesis 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

C. OUR NATURAL THOUGHTS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE CAN BE DECEPTIVE

AND DANGEROUS. THE BIBLE WARNS AGAINST BEING LED BY THE FLESH. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE LED BY GOD’S SPIRIT. SO, THOSE NATURAL ASSUMPTIONS THAT COME FROM SEEING AND HEARING CAN BE DANGEROUS AND ARE OFTEN WRONG.

John 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

***A man who was a bootlegger and a drug dealer in a small town in Georgia told me a story about this. He didn’t dress up much. He wore blue jean overalls, like a farmer, and he didn’t look very wealthy. But, he had a taste for material things and owned several luxury cars, a couple nice houses, and a coupel stores, in addition to his selling illegal things. He went to buy a car at an Atlanta dealership, and asked for a particular salesman. The saleman he wanted was not available, so another took his place. He told the salesman that he was going to buy a car that day, and wanted the best deal he had on a certain type of luxury car. The saleman took a closer look at the bootlegger, and told him that he needed to buy a used car, something he could afford. The bootlegger insisted on seeing the new luxury cars, so the saleman walked off and never returned. After telling me this story, he pulled out a roll of one hundred dollar bills, and said, “I even brought the money with me to more than pay for the car. ” The salesman assumed that the guy was poor and not capable of buying the new luxury car.

D. ASSUMPTIONS IN OUR THINKING CAN MAKE US THINK SOMETHING IS GOOD WHEN IT IS NOT.

2 Samuel 4:9-10 And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings:

NAAMAN THOUGHT THAT HIS HEALING WOULD COME DIFFERENTLY. WHEN HE WAS REQUIRED TO DO SOMETHING, HE WAS TURNED OFF TO THE IDEA.

2 Kings 5:11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

3. THINKING POSITIVE NATURAL THOUGHTS CAN RESULT IN GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.

A. GOD HAS CALLED US TO FAITH THINKING.

Psalm 49:6-11 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.

B. IF WE THINK SPIRITUALLY, WE KNOW WE NEED GOD’S HELP AND CONSTANTLY NEED TO STEER OUR FEET TOWARD HIM.

Psalms 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies.

–DON’T BE OBSESSED WITH WORLDLY THOUGHTS.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

–DON’T BE OVERWHELMED WITH THE FEAR OF HOW TO TESTIFY. TELL WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU. ITS THAT SIMPLE. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL REMIND YOU.

Matthew 10:19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

–CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS. YOU CAN DO IT !

Philippians 4:8Finally, 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.

Isaiah 55:7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

”Conquering Your Thoughts”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
101415

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

 

HOW CAN GOD USE THAT ?


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“Little is much when God is in it!”

.                       – Kittie L. Suffield

WHO HAD EVER HEARD OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS BEFORE GOD DID SOMETHING AMAZING IN HER LIFE ?   WHO EVER HEARD OF HER HUSBAND TO BE, JOSEPH ?  WHO EVER HEARD OF A LITTLE SLAVE BOY BY THE NAME OF DANIEL BEFORE HE BECAME GREAT THROUGH THE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE ?   WHO EVER HEARD OF A LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY NAMED DAVID UNTIL HE SLEW THE LION AND BEAR ? 

 GOD DELIGHTS IN USING LITTLE PEOPLE.  PEOPLE NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT, TO BLESS HIS KINGDOM AND BRING PEOPLE TO HIMSELF.

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE YOU GO THROUGH DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, THAT YOU CAN’T BE THE VICTORIOUS PERSON GOD WANTS YOU TO BE, OR THAT YOUR LIGHT IS DIMMER THAN MOST BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRIALS ?  GOD USES PEOPLE IN CRISIS TO SHOW HIS POWER AND GLORY.

 PAUL SPEAKS OF IT TWICE TO THE CHURCH AT CORINTH. 

2 Corinthians 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

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.

IF PAUL WAS SOME RICH GUY WHO WAS CHARMING, AND LOVED BY EVERYONE, WE WOULDN’T BE READING ABOUT GOD’S POWER THROUGH HIM.

 

1. GIDEON WAS THE LAST PERSON ANYONE WOULD EXPECT TO BE USED BY GOD IN SUCH A GREAT WAY.

Judges 6:15-16 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.

2. THE LEAST INFLUENTIAL AND THOSE WITH THE LEAST OPPORTUNITIES ARE OFTEN GIVEN GREAT OPPORTUNITIES BY GOD.

SAUL.

1 Samuel 9:21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me ?

BUT, ONCE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN RESPONSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES, GOD EXPECTS US TO USE THEM PROPERLY.  SAUL TOOK THE ROUTE OF THINKING OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE SHOULD.

3. AN INSIGNIFICANT WOMAN, WHOM MANY BELIEVE USED TO BE A PROSTITUTE, CAME TO JESUS.

SHE ACTED UPON WHAT JESUS HAD TAUGHT THEM–THAT HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED. AND SHE ANOINTED HIM. BECAUSE OF HER FAITH, AND BECAUSE SHE ACTED ON IT, SHE IS NOTED IN THE GOSPELS.

Mark 14:7-9 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

4. SAVING FAITH MAY NOT SEEM LIKE MUCH AT FIRST. BUT IT BECOMES A HUGE FACTOR IN OUR LIVES.

Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

5. THINGS YOU DO WHICH SEEM INSIGNIFICANT CAN BRING PEOPLE TO TRUST THE LORD.

MANY TIMES WE DON’T KNOW THE THINGS WHICH WILL MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEIR OPEN WINDOW TO GET TO THE LORD.

Acts 5:15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

6. THINGS YOU DO CAN CHALLENGE OTHERS TO EXERCISE THEIR FAITH AND BE STRONGER IN FAITH.

THE WIDOW WHO GAVE HER ALL FOR THE LORD. SHE WAS AN EXAMPLE TO THE MOST EDUCATED AND MOST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ON EARTH.

Mark 12:42-44 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

7. THE ONE WHO CONSIDERS HIMSELF THE LEAST CAN OFTEN ACCOMPLISH THE MOST.

DON’T THINK YOU ARE LIMITED. IT IS GOD’S SPIRIT THAT DOES THE WORK. YOU SIMPLY SUBMIT TO HIM.

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

8. IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL KNOW THE LORD.

SOME WILL KNOW HIM MORE THAN OTHERS, BUT ALL WILL KNOW HIM.

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

NOW IS YOUR TIME TO KNOW HIM !

YOU MIGHT NOT THINK OF YOURSELF AS BEING IMPORTANT. BUT, YOU WERE IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO GOD FOR HIM TO DIE FOR YOUR SINS. REPENT OF YOUR SINS, AND TRUST HIM TODAY.

”How Can God Use That ?”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams
090615