“I Never Demand My Rights”

18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News. – 1 Cor. 9:18 NLT

1 Cor. 9;14-18 NLT

Paul has gone through all of this to let them know what an apostle could require of them. He also wants them to understand that he has not used any of these rights for his own benefit nor does he want to use them now. Paul is going to preach the gospel, not for pay, but because his love for Jesus compels him to do so. He preaches voluntarily to lay up rewards in heaven. If he or we should do so for any other reason then we are merely fulfilling our duty and there will be little or no joy in doing so. Our salvation cost us nothing, it was paid for at Calvary, we should tell others just because we love Jesus.  If Paul is going to boast about anything it will be that he preaches the gospel without charging anyone for it and thus he will retain his reward. Each of us should feel the same way in using the gift that God has given each of us as a member of His body.

8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.—Matt. 10:8 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“The Message of the Cross”

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. – 1 Cor. 1:18 NLT

1 Cor. 1:13-18 NLT

Paul’s main objective was to preach the Word of God. Yes, he stayed in each new location until he had people in place to take care of the flock, but his heart was always on starting a new work in a new location. Paul isn’t saying new converts don’t need to be baptized, he is saying he has appointed others to do that part of the work. A lot of good pastors have “burned out” by not following Paul’s example and trying to do all the work themselves. A good preacher does not have to be eloquent or powerful in his delivery. What he does have to be, is obedient to the Holy Spirit. In our world today, it is even more apparent that the message of the cross is considered foolishness by those who appear to need it most. The world does not have an answer for Jesus, so they resort to ridicule and abuse of the believers. Jesus said this would happen, so it should come as no surprise to us. But we must remain faithful, knowing that Jesus suffered unto death on a cross.

1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.—John 16:1-3 (NIV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Their Intentions Are Not Good”

17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. – Gal. 4:17 NLT

Gal. 4:17-20 NLT

When Paul came to a new town, it was usually his practice to preach first to the Jews, if any were living there, and then to the Gentiles. This was the case in Galatia. Of course, the newly converted Jews would be under pressure from the religious leaders to turn back to the law and the old covenant. The newly converted Gentiles would be pressured by the local leaders to turn back to their practice of worshiping idols. The leaders were zealous in trying to turn the people back to these old ways but for the wrong reason. Both the religious leaders and the local leaders were dependent on the people for their livelihood. Paul says it is good to be zealous for the right reasons, but they must be strong enough to stand even when he is not with them. Since they were not able to stand alone, he must now treat them again as babies in Christ. Today, we have the same situation because we “go and make converts” and then we leave them to fend for themselves.Jesus said to “go and make disciples”. Receiving Jesus as your Savior without any further instructions is not likely to make many disciples. Mentoring others takes a lot of love, patience, kindness, and time.

Matt. 28:18-20 NLT

The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Preach the Word of God”

2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.— 2 Timothy 4:2 NLT

2Timothy 4 :1-5 NLT

We live in a society that could very easily be described by these verses. People follow their own desires and look for religions and worship centers that confirm their way of life. They do not want to be accountable to anyone. That is why the Name of Jesus upsets them. They don’t want to hear about relationships because having a relationship with someone requires us to know them and be accountable to them. So, the world rejects truth and chases after all the “feel good” religions that pop up. But we are to be clear about our beliefs and stand fast on the Word of God, never wavering. Yes, we will criticized and despised by the world. So was Jesus and He said we (the created) could expect the same treatment that He (the Creator) received. Nevertheless. we are to be “steadfast and immovable” in our faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

1Cor. 15:56-58 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-27-2019

Think the Word, Pray the Word, Speak the Word

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19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” — Acts 4:19

Acts 4:16-31

The council meeting in Jerusalem consisted of all the rulers, elders and teachers of religious law.  It also included the high priest and several of his relatives. They wanted to discredit Peter and John but the miracle of healing the lame man had been seen by too many and was too well known.  They would have preferred some harsh form of punishment but they were afraid that any such action would start a riot. So, they decided to just command them to stop talking about Jesus and never to speak to anyone again in the name of Jesus.  After telling Peter and John this and warning them of more harsh punishment in the future, they dismissed them. Peter and John told them they could not stop talking about everything they had seen and heard.  As soon as they were dismissed, they returned to the other believers and told them the whole story.  As soon as they had heard the story, all the believers lifted their voices and began to pray.  They asked God for boldness to preach His Word and that the preaching of the Word would be confirmed with miracles, signs and wonders.   When they had finished praying, the building where the meeting was taking place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  They went forth and preached the Word with boldness.
When we are rebuked or offended because we mentioned Jesus, what do we do? Do we react with anger and unkind words or do we pray and respond with the love of Jesus?  If we take the time to whisper or even just think a prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us, giving us the Words to speak and the boldness to speak those words.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-29-2018

The Presence of God Sets Us Apart

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15 Then Moses told the Lord, “If your presence does not go with us, don’t bring us up from here. – Exodus 33:15 ISV
 
Oh, to be more like Moses, to come to the full realization that the only thing that makes a Christian different from the world is the presence of God in our lives. Without God, we are nothing and can accomplish nothing of eternal value, with God, we can do all things. Moses refused to rush ahead, even refused to move unless he could be sure the presence of God was with Him.  A great lesson that we need to learn to survive in this hectic, chaotic society based on instant gratification.  We need to learn to wait on God.  Not wait as in sitting in our easy chair, but wait as a military guard waits at his post.  Wait with purpose and vigilance, defending our post from intruders.  A guard is well-trained to defend the home front and to protect those at his position. He has read the manual more than once, knows who and what to look for and what questions to ask. Are we prepared?  Have we read our manual? Do we know the enemy?  Are we prepared to defend our faith?  Can we explain to others why our God is the only true and living God and why the name of Jesus is the only name in heaven and on earth by which a man can be saved?   The Holy Spirit, through Paul, charges us to always be ready to give an answer.

1 I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching— 2 Timothy 4:1, 2 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-01-2018

One God – One Way

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Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. – 1 Tim. 6:3 NLT

In our modern society, we have access to so much information that contains all kinds of doctrines and teachings. We must be aware of deception in every area of our lives. Every message we hear, every word that we read must be crosschecked against Scripture to be sure of its authenticity. Any person teaching the truth will not be offended if you question them on their stance. True Godliness will stand up to any test that man can devise. Every lie has just enough truth in it to make it believable. Every religion offers doctrines and rewards that appeal to the flesh. But Christianity (which is a relationship, not a religion) is the only belief system that claims to have a living God and Savior, Jesus Christ. If anyone preaches any message that offers a different way to get to heaven than through the blood of Jesus Christ, that person is deceived. We preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified as the only way to heaven

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” – John 14:6 -7 NLT

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 04-01-2017

I Love to Tell the Story

even-smaller-bug-light117 “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. 18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. 19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. — Acts 3:17-20 NLT         Acts 3:1-20

Except for Jesus, all humans were born with a sinful nature.  We, including Jesus, were brought into a sinful world.  Before the death and resurrection of Jesus, most of the people could use the excuse of ignorarnce of that fact as a reason not to accept His story.  Even in today’s world of high tech and instant communications, there are still some who can legitmately say that they have never heard the name of Jesus.  Although the Gospel has been preached in every country, it is believed that there are more than 6550 people groups that have never heard the gospel.  There are even more groups who have heard the Gospel but don’t have established Christian organizations to witness to each and every one of the people. Even in our own country and in a lot of our own neighborhoods, there are those who may have heard the name of Jesus but have little or no idea of His story of eternal life. In 2014, the Pew Research Center survey determined that at least 37% of Americans are not “absolutely sure” that God exists. If you are not absolutely sure that God exists, it would be hard to say that you are a Christian. Could one of these 37% be our neighbor? There is a 1 in 3 chance that we have a neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus.
The fields are white with harvest!  Pray that the Lord will send laborers into the fields.
Post 04-02-2016

The Presence of God

even-smaller-bug-light114 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”  15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth. — Exodus 33:14-16 NLT

Oh, to be more like Moses, to come to the full realization that the only thing that makes a Christian different from the world is the presence of God in our lives. Without God, we are nothing and can accomplish nothing of eternal value, with God, we can do all things. Moses refused to rush ahead, even refused to move unless he could be sure the presence of God was with Him.  A great lesson that we need to learn to survive in this hectic, chaotic society based on instant gratificiation.  We need to learn to wait on God.  Not wait as in sitting in our easy chair, but wait as a military guard waits at his post.  Wait with purpose and vigilance, defending our post from intruders.  A guard is well-trained to defend the home front and to protect those at his position. He has read the manual more than once, knows who and what to look for and what questions to ask. Are we prepared?  Have we read our manual? Do we know the enemy?  Are we prepared to defend our faith?  Can we explain to others why our God is the only true and living God and why the name of Jesus is the only name in heaven and on earth by which a man can be saved?   The Holy Spirit, through Paul, charges us to always be ready to give an answer.

1 I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. — 2 Timothy 4:1, 2 NLT
02-04-2016

Wordless Sermons

even-smaller-bug-light11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!  6 “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make: — Exodus 31:1-6 NLT

Not only did God choose these specific men to make all the things needed to fulfill the laws of worshipping Him, but He gave each a special skill.  God is still doing the same thing with those He has chosen.  He has called each one of us and filled us with the Holy Spirit.  Not to sit on the sidelines but to accomplish a specific task for His glory.  If we are unwilling to do that task, whether it be cleaning the bathrooms or preaching the sermon, then the worship service is incomplete.  Most of our sins are those of omission rather than commission.  Our choices of what we do and/or don’t do and the attitude with which we do them preaches a message that is louder than words. That message is seen and heard by everyone we pass by each day.  Does our message draw people closer to Jesus or does it leave them wondering if they even want to be a part of His Kingdom? As we go along life’s journey, are we more like the priest, the temple assistant or the good Samaritan?  Do we soothe and bandage wounds or do we cross the street rather than taking the time and effort to help those who are hurting? (Parable of the good Samaritan- Luke 10:30-37)
Post 02-02-2016