Thank you for taking the time to stop by our blog. Please also visit our website at leverichmemorial.org. Leverich Memorial Church is a non-denominational Bible believing church that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. We welcome all who desire good fellowship and seek to grow spiritually; someone like you. I therefore, extend a heartfelt welcome to you and your family. Please come and visit with us. When you come, please allow me to greet you and your family personally.
1 John 4:7-11- God is Love: In order to know what this thing called love is, we have to know the author of the word and His definition. To know what love is and the definition of love we need to look at God for God is love. We need to see what He does and what He says so that we know what love looks like. God doesn't choose to love because He's trying to be nice or wants something from us. God loves because it is His essence, it is His core. "lf you cut God, He would bleed love.”
God exhibits love because He is love and His every act defines love. If God were able to stop loving, He would no longer be God. He would cease to exist. He would die and be unable to resurrect Himself. But, He CANNOT stop loving. We say, I love if ..., I love you because ..., then in the next breath say I hate your guts. We have a wrong understanding about love.
V10: If we want to know what love is we need to look at God and how He loves. God's love protects and covers us from the life destroying power of sin. God is loves and He loves completely. God can never cease to love, He is eternal therefore He can never stop loving us. We need consider and live our lives with this truth in mind.
V11: The desire of man is to love and to be loved God's way. But if you don't know God you cannot love that way. To be a recipient of God's love, one must be in relationship with Him.
1 Corinthian 13 - The Love Chapter: This chapter informs us that if the love of God is not in us, we are noise makers without substance having nothing; we are empty.
Love always needs another to test and prove its authenticity. That's why God puts us in relationships. This enables us to see how we are exhibiting His love. Often times we find we are not doing a good job at loving. But our first response is to deny it. Yet denial is the worst response we can exhibit. We need to acknowledge our inability and turn to God. Love always seeks to build us up and enables us to touch other lives in a positive way.
V4: Love is not selfish. It is other focused. For God so loved the world he gave His Son for the sins of mankind.
V5: Love does not seek to control but seeks to set the other person free to be the best that they can be.
V5: Love finds a way to support the other person even when the person is unable to or doesn't want to support themselves. We often think of drug addicts and alcoholics but this could be any ordinary person who is not doing the right thing and cannot see it.
V6: Love will never embrace a lie and call it truth. Jesus walked into the temple where they were doing all manner of wrong and He calls them on it. Love will always find a way to enable us to find what is true.
V7-8: Love seeks life and desires others to live. Love does not give up. It always seeks to heal. It always seeks to restore. Love does not give up.
Love is eternal. One day those of us who believe will meet Jesus face to face. Our faith will be made complete and our hope will be fulfilled. And the only thing that will remain as we rejoice and glory in His presence is His every abiding love.
The greatest love act that was ever performed was done here ... sacrifice. Jesus could have said, “These folks mess up everything they touch. Let them die.” But he didn't. He gave himself as a sacrifice for us.
The greatest love attitude ever exhibited ... selflessness. He gave up his position as royalty to live among us so that He might lift us up.
The greatest love action completed… Jesus' steadfast focus on the mission. The mission was our salvation. He let nothing deter Him from completing the mission set before Him.
This is what the table reminds us of. The selfless act he did of sacrificing himself for us. He completed the mission so that we might have the opportunity to have a relationship with the Father.
The question was asked of Jesus because Jesus outed the Sadducees.
The Pharisees now come to question and trap Jesus. The wisdom of the many
cannot succeed the wisdom of God. They all come together against Jesus and
still get beaten.
They come to Jesus having devised a plan to send a lawyer to
ask Jesus the question. The Bible doesn’t say they came to get knowledge but to
test His knowledge of the law. They ask Him what is the greatest law? Jesus
says, (V37) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with
all your soul, and with all your mind.”
To love God with all your mind means opening your mind up to
learn all the ways of God and to gain His understanding.All the laws have been written saying that you
must put God first in your life and it is manifested in the way you treat your
Jesus then asks them if they love God with everything they
have. It’s not about trying to outsmart the next guy. When the truth of God is
spoken we either have to examine ourselves and say thank you Lord or ouch.
How much of the humanitarian work that we do is done because
we love God, because he commands us to? Do we do it because we want to look
good? Because we want cool points with God? We need to be like children who
have no motive but want to give, want to help others.
Our love of God should come from what He has done for us that we could not do ourselves. And our love for God should be shown through our love for others.
Let us thank God today for His grace, mercy and love that He has bestowed on us today and throughout our lives. Let us thank Him for our family, friends, measure of health and strength and blessings. Rememeber that He is why we give thanks.
Last week we saw the disciples in the boat and now they are
on the other side. They learned a lesson while on the boat and now it is back
to reality. It’s time for action.
V28: They reach land and they are greeted by two demon possessed
men. These men come to meet Jesus and they are fierce and violent to the point
that people were afraid to pass the road these men were on. Everyone is afraid
but Jesus. When He got off the boat the demons addressed Him and recognized him
as God asking Him not to hurt them.
V29: The demons want to know why Jesus has come to mess with them.
Why didn’t He go back to the city and heal those people and leave them alone to
terrorize this place. We have to understand that there were demons in these two men not one demon each
but many which is why they are so fierce. These many demons asked Jesus for
mercy. The Word of God, in James, tells us that demons tremble at the name of
Jesus and we see that happening here. Demons don’t just tremble at Jesus but
the Jesus in us.
V30 - 31: Do you notice that Jesus does not answer these demons? The
demons do all the talking. The demons knew that because Jesus is the Son of God
who has come to set us free they knew they could not stay in these two men. The
demons knew that Jesus doesn’t want man to be possessed so they asked to be
cast into the pigs. We have to open our hearts and open the door to allow the
demon in but that is not God’s will. God wants us to be free.
V32: Jesus tells them to go into the pigs. Why would Jesus let
them go into the pig? Pigs have no soul. Demons want to be able to roam free.
Jude 1:6 – The cast out angels was locked in an abyss. This is their chance to
be move free on the earth. They want to roam free but they couldn’t stay in the
men so they chose the pigs and destroyed them over a cliff.
V33: There are people who witnessed this. The tenders of the pigs
saw all that took place. These individuals would have to tell their employer
this story. They went to the town and told them everything; the demons, the
pigs and what happened to the demon possessed men who were now free.
V34: The whole city came out to meet Jesus after the story
was relayed. When they saw Him they begged Him to leave. They wanted Jesus to
go far away. These people focused on drowning pigs and not on the two lives
that were now free. The people of this city did not recognize that the man that
set these possessed men free could set them free and provide them more pigs.
Sometimes we think blessing are supposed to come in pretty wrappings. They
don’t always come that way. Blessings can come out of loss and tragedy.
We need to look for God’s hand in every situation. We need
to look where there is life. We always say “Oh My God” and never look for the
blessing in the tragedy. We always blame God for the wrong when it really is
our own sin that has caused it. We always focus on the negative and death. God
doesn’t focus on death but on life. Therefore our focus like God’s must be on
God dwells in that which brings life. This story shows us
that God is about life. God is cool with us when everything is going right. When
things go bad then we cry out “Where is God?” However, when Jesus is in the
midst blessings are ALWAYS there.
This Thanksgiving season we need to be thankful that Jesus
Christ is in our lives and in our homes. There is no one that blesses like
Jesus and as long as He is in our lives WE ARE BLESSED! Let’s make sure that
our doors are always open to Jesus. Never look towards the death always look
towards the God that brings LIFE!
Jesus in this passage is talking to believers only. This
message is for us.
In this story men who know how to take care of themselves
and are familiar with the seas are scared. Sometimes in life, in what is familiar
to you, trouble comes. Trouble comes because we live in a troubled world. Just
because we are Christians does not exempt us from trouble.
Trouble and tests shows us how weak we are or how strong we
are in our faith. The reason we are given tests is to show how much we know
about what we have learned. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, now, in school
for instance, we are taught how to take tests instead of how to learn and when
trouble comes we are clueless. Everything that is made, boats for example, are
put through tests before they are launched. In the same manner God tests us, to
show us our strengths and weaknesses. If we go through the test and show we are
strong we should not be prideful but thank God they we have passed the test. If
we are shown weak we must still thank God because he has shown where we need to
gain strength and we need to look to Him for that.
V24: In this passage the boat is in the storm and the
disciples are working feverishly to keep it from sinking. Jesus is down in the
boat asleep. This is not normal behavior in a sinking boat. The disciples go to
wake Him up because they fear that they will perish. Jesus asks them why are
they fearful? He probably said this in a soothing tone, calming the disciples.
In a situation that was out of control God was in control.
V25: In this passage we see choice at work. The disciples
could have rested on their skill. They are trying to save themselves here. They
are probably baling water out of the boat and trying to steer it. But they make the decision to go wake up
Jesus. Choice is a beautiful thing. Sometimes when we get in trouble the last
person we think about is God, if at all. Here, in the boat, as the storm is
raging the disciples go to Jesus and say Lord, save us. We must know that God’s
desire is always to save us. We must understand and rest in that truth.
We also see the power of observation. The disciples have had
time to observe Jesus sleeping. We must be observing what is happening around
us so that we can make a choice. When you have time to observe, you have time
to choose. The best choice we can make is to call on the name of the Lord. The
disciples had enough time to observe Jesus sleeping and make a choice to wake Him
V26: Finally, we see God’s intervention. The disciples woke
Jesus and he went into action. When God intervenes we see three things that
is a pause – Jesus got up
always stops death – he stops the storm
introduces life – The lives of the disciples are spared.
When God speaks everyone stops and listens and nature
responds. In the course of this day they see Jesus heal the leper, the servant
of the centurion, Peter’s mother-in-law, the multitude and Jesus tells them the
cost of following Him but they were never in trouble themselves. Now they were
in trouble and they needed Jesus and they marveled at what He had done for not
just others but more importantly for them. That is what God wants in our lives.
He wants us to recognize the things He has done for us and marvel at them so
that we know that we must make the choice for him.
This story is a lesson for us that we must look to God.
Trouble should not be looked at as being something that is uncontrollable. We
need to invite God in. It’s not about the winds and the waves obeying Him but
us obeying Him. This story is for us because we need to allow God into our
lives in good times and times of trouble. When we allow God to take control He
preserves our lives.
We, in our study of Matthew, have seen Jesus heal a leper
(direct ask), the servant of a Roman believer (mediator), and Peter’s mother
in-law (saw the need). This is how God works even now. We can go to Him ourselves, someone can go on our behalf, and God will see and meet our need. God’s mercy endures even today.
In v18, Jesus calls his disciples aside for a little
teaching. Jesus was touching the lives of a lot of individuals. The multitude
was still following him but he shifted the focus to feeding his disciples. He
decides to leave the multitude to go to the other side so that he could explain
to the disciples what is going on. Jesus lets us know that we have to know what
we have gone through and what we have experienced to fully understand its impact and what it means.Jesus needed to have a private conversation
with his disciples to explain everything they have seen and heard.
v19: As they went, a scribe asked if he could join them. He has
written the laws and seen the lives of the Pharisees and now, seeing the life of Jesus
he wants to follow Jesus because he has seen the good things Jesus has
done. We follow things that look good to us but Jesus wants us not to just see
Him but also understand who He is and why He came.
V20: We all want to be followed but instead of Jesus saying come
on He gives this scribe a lesson. He lets the scribe know that following Him
will not be easy. His decision will cost him. The Christian life can be
difficult. It is not always easy. It costs us to follow Jesus.
V21: A disciples then asks to bury his father. The disciple is
starting to consider what Jesus is saying and may be looking for an excuse to get
out of following Jesus. The price that Jesus laid out was too much for him.
Jesus responds by saying that those who are in darkness can take care of those
in darkness. But you have experienced the Light and you need to share that
The decisions we make cost not just us but those around us.
Who we choose as our elected officials, where we work, how we work, who we marry all have a compound effect on our lives and our world. Our decision to sin
cost Jesus His life. But we need to make the decision for Christ. We need to
make the choice to follow God. We need to trust in Him to provide for our
needs, to take care of us so that we can have peace in our heart knowing that
God will provide.
Your decision will always cost. When the rubber meets the
road and we are in dire need its Jesus.
Communion is a time of thankfulness and rejoicing. In the passage
Jesus was facing death. After this supper Jesus and the disciples were to depart to go to the Garden of Gethsemane and then Jesus would be arrested, tried and crucified. After the supper they sang a hymn and then they left the supper
rejoicing, not sorrowful. When we partake of this table it is a time of
rejoicing for what God has done.
Taking of the bread should remind us of the
punishment that should have been ours. We should remember that the punishment
that Jesus received should have been for us. We do suffer today but without
Jesus imagine how much more our suffering would be. Jesus came to destroy his
body so the destruction would stop. He shed his blood so that others blood
might not be shed.
Before Christ came man knew how to kill, how to destroy, how
to die. Jesus offers us life. If we receive it He will change our outlook, our in-look, and our whole life. Even in all the destruction we face we can give God
thanks because he is still on the throne & he still reigns.
Continuing in our our study of Matthew, we see that Peter was married. Many times in the Bible
we see the disciples with Jesus but here we see that the disciples have
families because they are at Peter’s house. When they went to the house Jesus
saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick. Jesus observed that she was not doing
her usually things and she was lying down sick. There is no request here like
the leper and centurion had made. There is simply an observation made by Jesus.
He didn’t wait for a request He just touched her and the fever left. With that
one touch she was healed and not because a request was made.
Jesus' encounter here is two verses long. In our other explorations in this series they are much longer. But here He saw, He touched, and
she was healed. This tells us that Jesus is always watching over us. We can’t
say I have aches and pains all over my body and you only touched my knee. We
forget that God didn’t have to touch us at all. Any touch we receive from God
deserves our praise. We are never out of His sight or far from his touch. The question is, Do we
expect His touch?
Now there where many people here to witness this event, as
in the case of the leper and the centurion where multitudes were following
Jesus. Peter’s mother-in-law was healed in the morning and by the evening
people were bringing those who were demon possessed to Jesus. Jesus cast out
these spirits with a word. Jesus did nothing that was out of line with the
Father that was foretold - Isaiah 53:4.
V17 – Jesus covers it all, no matter what the situation is.
Jesus reached out to the leper. The centurion was not Jewish but he was able to
come to Jesus with a request and have it be fulfilled. He even covers you when
you don’t make the request as with Peter’s mother-in-law. There are holes in
healthcare but there are no holes in Jesus-care.
In our lives this means that no matter what we are going
through, when we feel like an outcast, when other people bring us, when there
is a spiritual need, even when we don’t make the request, God covers us. We may
want things to go right all the time but that doesn’t always happen.
what the future holds God will cover us.
Jesus didn’t come to die for the world but he came to die
for the individuals in the world. He loved the world but died for mankind, for
the world dwellers. It is about saving the people in the world. The world is groaning, waiting for the Lord’s return. It
groans for God’s repair, while we destroy it. Yet and still God seeks to save
V6: In the passage, Jesus is entering Capernaum. The centurion
is waiting for Jesus. He is a high ranking official with status and power in Rome. We
find out that his servant is sick and because of the centurion's status he has
probably gotten doctors to look at him to no avail. His servant was so sick, it was to
the point of them not being able to move.
We must have absolute trust. This is a servant, someone the centurion does not have to
care about. He doesn’t see this person as just a body, he cares about this person's welfare. No one else
can help so the centurion waits for Jesus. He has absolute trust that Jesus can heal his
We need a humble heart. When Jesus arrives, the centurion states his case and Jesus
says I will come and heal him. The centurion says he is not worthy to have Jesus come into
his house. All he asked of Jesus was to speak a word. The centurion lives in a
very nice place but he says that his house is not good enough for Jesus to
come to. The centurion believed that just a word would do.
V10: Jesus is telling us something. A lot of us will sit
down with the law and miss Jesus, miss the Gospel, miss the truth. This is
because you will have a faith that is about the head and not the heart. People
go to church with their head and do not have Jesus in their heart. God gets
tossed out and religion is what we live by.
V11-12: Many people think that they will be going to glory
but Jesus will tell them I don’t know you. Jesus is trying to warn us to
examine ourselves. The centurion had a non-visible acceptance of Jesus. That is what Jesus asks of us, non-visible
acceptance. He didn’t need Jesus to come and do it, he just needed him to
say it. And when Jesus said it the centurion went home knowing it was done.
Faith works when we know and understand its author. God sent
His Son to go and find us and save us. Just like the centurion when himself to
seek Jesus for the healing of his servant. To understand who he is, we must
humble ourselves and know that he is working on our case and give him praise.
He gives us the choice.
If you find a good teacher you will see what they are
teaching next semester. We do that with church as well. If we are motivated by
what is said by Joel Olsteen or T.D. Jakes, etc you will follow them. Here the
temple is empty and the multitudes are following Jesus. The Pharisees are not happy about
this. The people were following them but compared to Jesus they were sorely lacking.
In Matthew 8:1-4, we encounter a leper who is segregated from all others but he positions himself to be in the path so that he could talk to Jesus so he would be healed. He believed that if he could just get to Jesus, if he just positioned himself to be near Him, he would be healed. When we pray do we believe that God is all powerful? Do we position ourselves to talk to Jesus?
Do we believe that he can do anything for us? The leper knew that Jesus could
heal him. The leper knew Jesus could if it was His will. Do we go to God like
that? Do we know that He can?
Jesus says that He will as He is reaching out to touch us. Our
God, no matter what is going on around us and what the world says our shame is,
the Lord is approaching us to touch us and draw us to himself. He wants that one
on one relationship with us.
V3: The multitude is following but this man gets in the way
because he wanted Jesus to change his life. God wants to change our
situation; First, our spiritual situation and then our physical situation. This
leper was waiting for Jesus to pass. How long was he waiting? We don’t know but
he said, if you are willing I am waiting. That is how our attitude must be.
Lord, no matter how long if you are willing, I am waiting.
V4: Jesus tells the man to tell no one. In order to be
restored to society he had to go to the priest. to be declared clean. We often times don’t go back to
where we can be restored. Jesus is saying go straight to the priest to be
declared clean so that you may be restored so that it may be a testimony to
everyone else. What God does for us is a testimony of what he has done and can
do. God was calling him to be an obedient witness.
Where do we stand in the things of our lives? Is our
attitude, Lord if you’re willing I am waiting? Hebrews 11:6 says, it is about faith.
We must continue to read his Word so that we give Him access to our lives. And
we must believe His Word. (Rev 22:18) If our position is that God’s Word has a
flaw then the truth is not in us. Therefore, if we agree with God we need to
pray and ask him if He is willing to fix it. We have to be waiting knowing that He can.
Keep a mind of prayer, knowing that He is willing and worship Him.
The Lord’s Supper is a supper of faith. This supper means
our sins are paid for. If we had to face the punishment for our sins we would
stand guilt and would perish. The cup, representing his blood was shed for us
that our sins would be washed away.
This supper is a practice of faith and is only for
believers. If you don’t belief what just said and has merit then participating
is just going through the motions. This table means being able to live our
lives according to God’s Word and allowing no one to change our minds. This
table is faith.
Jesus was talking to a multitude of people. Young and old,
lazy, enthusiastic, rich and poor and yet they all got a lesson from Him; so
much so that they wanted more.
Jesus is setting them straight. It is not about religion but
relationship.Jesus is not talking to
the Pharisees, the high-falootin’.The
Pharisees would never come to Jesus saying “Lord, Lord”. It is those in the
trenches. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven.
It is not about works or whatever people say it takes to get there. It is about
what God says.
To get on the heaven bound train you need the right ticket
and the ticket is Jesus. Doing God’s will is what gets us heaven bound. People
think about heaven as being in the sky but Jesus is taking about the kingdom of
heaven; becoming a part of the family of God.
Many will say to Jesus at the Day of Judgment, “have I not…”
And HE will say depart I do not know you. Why? Because what is missing is that
they have not walked according to the Will of God. It does not mean that they
have disobeyed the law of this land. You may have lived a perfect life to the
world’s standards but not embraced Jesus Christ which is God’s standard.
Jesus is saying, you are saying the right words but your
allegiance is not with me. God wants us to know why we are here.
As we live our lives for the Lord we need to challenge
people about their lives. No one wants to hear God say, I never knew you.
We must apply these verses to every aspect of our lives. We must examine those we are supposed to trust. Be alert. Keep your eyes open. Watch out for falseness.
Beware of false prophets that come in sheep’s clothing. Be careful when you watch the news on TV and the newspaper. Look for the truth in it but do not take it at face value.
Jesus comes to us talking about an influential group that is strong at this time, the Pharisees. They are making money off of the people. They look good and sound good but they are wolves with rabies. All they want is to rip you apart. We have Pharisees in our world today. They look good but they will destroy you.
The media is bought and paid for. We need to stop letting people persuade us with a lie. The Bible says that Satan will entice you with sweet words. V16 says that we will know them by their fruits. We know it’s an apple because it grows on an apple tree. Don’t just embrace someone who says trust me, look at their lives.
You have to look before you make a decision. V17-18 – Every good tree bears good fruit and every bad tree produces bad fruit. Nothing good can come out of something bad. A good tree means the roots are good. A bad tree means that the roots are bad. A tree produces bad fruit because deep down at the roots something is wrong.
V19: We need to open our eyes to what is going on in our lives at every level. Don’t make excuses for it. You can put a pig in a dress and pearls but it will still be a pig. We need to get rid of the stuff that is bad, that is not profiting us.
Keep your eyes open and be alert because you have to come to a decision. Do not let anyone think for you. Parents are supposed to get their children to the point where they can think for themselves. We never want our children to be dependent on us forever. We have to make sure that we plant in our children the knowledge to survive. That is what God has given to us.
God showed us his credentials. He didn’t have to tell people to trust him. He just said follow me because he had proven Himself faithful and trustworthy.
Keep your eyes open. Remain alert. Let’s be ready to make the judgment call with the right information.
First words people see in this text is
judge not and we think that God is saying not to judge but that is not true. We
make judgments every day.
Webster’s dictionary says
to judge means to form an estimate about something. To judge just means to make a decision. We
are called to make decisions every day. It’s easy to judge a light. Green means
go, red means stop. But stop signs require judgment.
We make judgments at
school, at home, at work. God has made us to make decisions. A sad thing is when one cannot make a decision or makes a decision based on another people’s opinions and not there
The text says the same
meter that you use to judge someone else will be the meter you will be judged
by. Be very careful about how you come to a decision about someone.
All Jesus is doing here
is making it clear; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As you
see the splinter in someone’s eye remember that it’s broken off of the plank in your own eye.
We may not have all the
facts when making final decisions about some one. Jesus is saying make sure you
have all the facts.
We judge things from a
point of prejudice. We take people’s opinions and how we’ve grown up as a frame of reference not
considering that we could make the same mistake. Jesus asks us to put ourselves
in that person’s shoes. We want to look at the person with fresh, open eyes. We
need to take our time. We don’t want to be the jury that finds one guilty only
to find out that they are innocent.
That’s why Jesus called
us hypocrites. We don’t look at it from the other side. We don’t want to be at
the mercy of man.
The first thing we need
to do is look at ourselves, understanding the biases we have. First we must
remove the plank from our own eye. We need to remove anything that would impede
our judgment before we go to help our brother. We have to be willing to take
care of our brother. We come with a quick response of judgment. But its not
about quick response its about making your brother whole. Instead, we condemn.
The Pharisees always came
with condemnation. Jesus came to make us whole again.
An unfair judgment or decision
will come back to bite you. From one extreme to the other can condemn us.
Judgment evaluates before
you come to the conclusion. Once something comes out of your mouth you can’t
get it back. If you come with biases you are not going to get it right. A
Christians we need to realize that judgment calls affect other people's live.
Therefore, we need to use righteous, godly judgment.
God made a judgment call
with Jesus Christ. We were guilty. He could have destroyed the world. God
looked down the road and saw everything that man is doing now and will do. In
that instant he could have destroyed the world but he saved us instead.
Let's do judgment God’s
way so that in the end he is honered.
We don’t want truth. We want to hear what we want to hear,
even if it is a lie. The Bible says, the truth will set you free. We would
rather be bound then be free.
So many people would rather join the group as it is going
along; not thinking, not seeing until it is too late. Running aimless; they
don’t know why and don’t know where they are running to.
To enter the narrow gate you must seek the gate. Then you
have to examine it – where does this road lead me? Then you have to make a
decision. Then you have to follow.
Don’t listen to anyone who says, “trust me” and they have no
track record. Jesus has a track record of his goodness, his kindness, his
faithfulness. He healed the sick. He raised the dead.
The narrow gate must be traversed one at a time. The wide
gate can be passed by a crowd. The narrow gate calls for an individual
decision. It’s a personal invitation.
A lot of people would rather walk the way that is easy but
brings their death then to walk the narrow gate which would be a little harder
but brings life.
The roads that are most frequently used will be paved. The
road less traveled will have the bumps. The less traveled road seems to be the
Christian life. You don’t follow the masses. Life is not going to be easy all
the time. We will experience the same things someone in the world will
experience. As we preserve through these difficulties in the Lord it will lead
us to LIFE. You will recognize that God has brought you through and you can
give Him praise.
The things in our world may not get better but we can KNOW
that God is INCONTROL and He WILL bring us through. He is always concerned for
our welfare and our safety. Pray that our heart will be set to walk the narrow
gate so that we see our values, what we stand for and what we stand on. Lets walk, calling on the name of the Lord not just walking
aimlessly, not looking at what is going on around us.
Let’s be excited about the Word of God. He promises that if
we serve Him, He will give us Life.
Jesus has experienced the pain, hardship, and disappointment
of this world. As we take the bread, God wants us to understand he is not
distant from us. He is with us and understands everything that is going on in
our lives and our bodies. The cup is a new covenant. We are saved, not by the
rituals of other religions but through Jesus Christ’s blood alone. As we take
communion we need to know that He understands EVERYTYHING about us and we are
saved through Jesus Christ.
2:1, 2 – The reason we have a different outlook today is because of Jesus
Christ and that is the only reason. We can look forward to tomorrow only because
God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. We see and know people whose
lives are a mess but they themselves cannot see it or seemingly feel powerless
to change. Paul says our life was once like this and that we were going against
everything God stands for. This world is screwed up. Why? Sin!
GOD….He has changed the world. He took what was messed up and screwed up and
marked for destruction and gives us His righteousness. Yet, the world is seemingly
still screwed up. That’s because God’s righteousness doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
God’s offers each and every person the choice to either receive or reject His
righteous plan of salvation. Parents don’t like to give their children choices.
They are afraid that their child won’t choose them, so they lock them in a box,
(figuratively speaking). But eventually they have to let that child out. That
is not what God does. He is not afraid of our choices. He therefore, gives us the
means to get out of the box. In His Word, the Bible, God gives us the
opportunity to live right, to be an original and not a copy. In today’s world
we see a lot of copies. God wants us to be originals for Him and not copies of
the world. In God we can belong to Him and still be an original, one of a kind
as He has always intended us to be. But in the world we become a copy, always
changing trying to figure out whom to follow next. God’s plans for us are freeing,
He simply enhances who we are and enable us to be who He has designed us to be.
calendar is a perfect example of how Christ has shaped the world. It is based
on the birth of our Lord. The laws that govern our nation are based on the Word
of God. If we take the Word of God out of the justice system we will be at the
mercy of a man.
As we look
at these verses in Luke chapter 24
On the road Jesus is walking with two men and they did not know it was Him
because they did not expect to see Him, they thought He was dead. When we don’t
expect to see something or someone they can be right in front of us and we can
miss it. With God we must learn to expect the unexpected especially when it is
written in the Bible.
They proceed to tell Jesus about what happened to Him still unaware of whom
they are talking to, telling His story as a new reporter reporting an event yet
doubting its veracity.
Jesus asks them why they are surprised, Are the Word of the prophets not true?
Isn’t God’s Word true? God’s Word is 100% true. Always has been, and always
When we sincerely spend a little time with Jesus we are not going to want Him
to leave. We are going to ask Him to stay. We become accustom to and enjoy His
company. Anytime someone sincerely spends time with Jesus, Jesus is going to
change their life. When we spend time with Him we will get to know Him. We will
also get to know our self and realize we are dependent on Him. We need to spend
quality time with God, this happens when we read and study God’s Word, the
Bible. Spending quality time in church is NOT quality time with Jesus. There are things that happen in church that
are not of God. Spending time with God always brings us to a place of
decision. The question asked is, “What will you do with Jesus?”
person who has not accepted Jesus as their Savior, I offer you God’s gift,
Jesus Christ His Son: receive Him, trust Him, get to know Him, He will
illuminate and enhance your life. . For the believer, let us be constant in the
Word of God that we may grow deeper in the knowledge of our Lord.
118:19-21 Christ’s resurrection has (not if, but has) changed the world, how
has it changed your life? His life, death and resurrection had the approval and
acceptance of the One who sent Him, God. If we are doing that which is not acceptable
to God, we are wasting of time.
day God has answered. There was a cry from this land for salvation and God sent
Jesus, His Son. If you have cried out for salvation, has God not answered you? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
If we want access to the Father it is only through Him.
How has Jesus affected you
life? Do you depend on Him for everything? Receive Him today.
means… to receive with pleasure and friendliness into ones company or home; a
order to have the power to welcome one must be the owner of the house, the
store or the body through which the guest comes. You also have to have the
power to welcome someone into our lives. We can welcome someone superficially;
when we are just being, as they say, polite. But welcome means to receive with
pleasure and friendliness. True welcome comes from the heart and not the
presentation of how you welcome the person. For the welcome to be true our
heart must be sincere; we have to want them to be there. Often times those who
we don’t want are the ones that make it their business to be in our business.
Jesus dwelt among us were we welcoming Him or was He extending a welcome to us?
Did the people in the crowd even know what was going on? It only took one in
the crowd to start to the cheer, Hosanna, to get the rest of the crowd going.
But the crowd did not know what was going on. We know this because days later
when the cheer went out, Crucify Him, they cheered then too.
wasn’t triumphant because we were welcoming Jesus but because He was welcoming
us. God says I invite you to be a part of my group. In the Gospels, Jesus says
no longer do I call you disciples but I call you friends. He welcomes us into His
family with pleasure and friendliness. He doesn’t tell us to take our shoes off
at the door. Our sin is not going to change if we take our shoes off at the
door. He tells us to come as we are.When you are ill, when you can’t settle things in your mind, He says just come.
we receive His welcome we must welcome Him into our lives. Many people accept
God’s welcome and walk in but never welcome Christ into their lives. It’s not
about the presentation. The presentation of when God welcomed us was on a
rugged tree, His hands outstretched, spear in His side, bleeding out. He wanted
to open His arms wide and have us run to Him. But instead, it took two nails we
put there because of our sin.
3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
We need to open our hearts and welcome Him in. This Word is powerful,
sharper than any two edge sword. It shows what this world is like and that He
overcomes all that happens in this world.
he wants us to welcome Him because he has welcomed us. As He has welcomed us
with pleasure and friendliness into Him home He wants us to welcome Him with
pleasure and friendliness into ours. Have you welcomed Him in? Will you let Him
Recap: The church should be
watchmen: In our community, in Washington, in our homes, in our schools. We
need to stand on the principles of God. Because we are not, sin is running
rampant in the world. We don’t pray the Word of God or our lives are so shabby
we don’t believe God will answer our prayers. So our prayers hit the ceiling and
do not know how to live, how to walk you will be weak. Paul commends the church
in Colossians for their faith but tells then that in order to remain strong you
have to know what God’s Word is and then you have to receive it. Knowing what
it means to live upright before God.
in control over the philosophies of the world. Christ has preeminence over the
legalism and rules of the church. It is not about what we do but how we come
before the Lord, with humbled hearts.If
what is said is does not line up with God’s Word it must be disregarded.
what you think does not line up with what God says, it is wrong thinking. God
has set the standard of right. It’s not about what we think but about what God
knows. God must have preeminence in our personal lives and in our homes. We
must instill God’s principles in our children. If Christ is not preeminent in our
lives He will not be preeminent in our homes.
We are witnesses for God
lives should show who God is in our lives. We should not need an announcement
that we, the Christian, has arrived. Jesus did not require an introduction yet he
was a King. The testimony of His life was captured in what He did.
says to continue earnestly in prayer. We don’t take time to just talk to the
Lord. We give Him the five minute quickie and then we are Gone. Let’s take
prayer seriously. We need to be vigilant; Watchful, always aware and alert. We
know the Lord, what he does and what he can do so we must always be watching.
We are to be vigilant in prayer.
we read the newspaper or watch the news we need to be praying, we need to take
it to the Lord in prayer. As we hear things we need to watch and pray. We ask,
what good is it going to do? We don’t know but that is what God tells us to do.
So we need to be obedient and let God worry about the rest.
We need to be praying for persecuted Christians, for injustices. We need our
witness to be a light to others. We need to live a life that is right before
God. It is NOT our place to argue
anyone down to accept God’s Word. We are to share God’s Word; that is ALL. When someone gets belligerent with
you just walk away. No one can change your faith and belief in the Lord Jesus
Christ so you can’t change their mind about what they believe. You can’t beat
people with God’s Word because you don’t want to be beat into believing
V6: Let your speech always be with grace. When you speak be it with
favor that people will want to be in your presence. …seasoned with salt. When we speak what we say should preserve life.
… that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
We don’t always have the answer and we don’t always need to have the answer but we need to be gracious and research and find the answer.
Part of our witness is being able to fellowship with one another, being able to
reconcile with one another, being able to grow with your brethren.
Paul says, make sure this epistle is read. God’s Word is key and it must be
read, it must be heard, it must be spoken. Faith comes by hearing and hearing
by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). We grow no other way. It keeps our faith
growing. Without faith we cannot please God. When persecution come what is
going to keep us? The Word of God. This is what empowers us to live for the
Lord. What is going to keep us when people try to take our freedoms away? The
Word of God.
need to be alert because times are changing. This is not to make you afraid but
to be alert, to not be caught off guard. This is so that we as Christian can
sound the alarm. We are the watchmen. If we sleep everyone else will be lost.
Christ MUST be preeminent in our
lives. We are His testimony because we bear His Name.
Paul is writing this letter of Colossians to those who know the Lord; believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Chapter 1, Paul writes: God has preeminence over the philosophies of the world. If it is contrary to God’s Word throw it away.
In Chapter 2, Paul writes: God is preeminent over the Church. If what they say in the Church is contrary to God’s Word throw it away.
Now in Chapter 3, Paul writes: Christ must have preeminence over you.
V1: Seek God. In everything we do, in every aspect of our lives, in every decision we make we must seek God.
V2: Set our mind on things above. It means to focus, especially in a world that is busy. Set your mind, your affections, and your desires on God. You have to want to.
The theme of Colossians is your mind. Changing, renewing, setting your mind on God.
Paul wants us to understand what it means to serve God. He knows it’s not easy but it is possible. The reward is being able to live and fellowship with our Savior.
Paul says in v4, this is not the end; this world is not the end. But, if we set our mind on things above we can exist in a sinful world and still live for God. If we look at God’s Word He by His Spirit places in my heart the knowledge that He will take me through all that is going on with a promise of eternal victory.
V5-11: Paul shows us what our way is, the carnality and things that are not of God. Because we are of God Paul identifies those things that are sinful so that we can be dead to those things. We need to dig a hole, take our sins and bury them in the hole and put a tombstone on it.
God is about life and giving us life. Those things that do not bring us life, we need to put to death or they will kill us. God has freed us from these things. We need to not be a slave to sin. We need to recognize the signs and temptations that lead us to sin. When the world offers temptations we need to ask God for help.
V12-17: Christ must have preeminence over our lives. We need to give all our situations over to Him and let Him deal with it. We were just like all those who are not in Christ until God saved us. It doesn’t matter who you are. Therefore, our goal is to give God glory in everything we do.
V18-25: Christ is Preeminent in the Home. If God is not in charge of your life, forget about Him being in charge or being preeminent in your family. To the degree you allow the Lord into your life that is the degree to which you allow him to have input into your home and family.
God tells wives submit to their husbands in the Lord. We have to pray for our husband and make sure our home is taken care of; always keeping God as our focus.
God tells husbands to love their wives. Love from a husband to a wife carries a sacrifice even to death.
God tells children to be obedient. The price of disobedience can be severe.
God then tells fathers not to provoke their children. A child must always know they are loved. We have to go to the Lord to find the balance for our children.
God tells bondservants to obey their masters. Bondservants are those who have chosen this master. For us, now it is our jobs that we have chosen. We need to pray for them but be obedient. We have to make sure our heart is right.
We are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and our lives are a testimony for him. Whenever we are doing the wrong thing we need to stop, pause and repent. When the Holy Spirit shows me my wrong I need to pause and ask God to help me to honor him.
God then tells masters, be fair because you also have a master in heaven. God is our master. We expect Him to show us grace and mercy and fairness and we in turn should do the same.
Does Christ have preeminence over your personal life? He has come that we might have life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). He is not a kill joy but a joy giver.
outlines the philosophies of the world and he is talking to church folks. He
says, don’t get tangled up in the philosophies of the world. The Church should
not be a copy of the world. People should be able to look at us and see that
there is a difference in us.
first says we must understand the things of God. We MUST know what God says. We
may not understand all of it but we need to know what we can and cannot do. We
know God as we read the Word of God and the Holy Spirit makes clear to us the
things of God. The Word of God is a mystery to those who do not know God. God
doesn’t want his Word to be mysterious to us so he makes provision so that we
can understand the Word of God. God doesn’t want us to be deceived.
rooted in God. We need to have a foundation in the Word of God. If my desire is
to live for God then my foundation must be rooted in Him. No one wants to grow
bent. WE want to grow straight. If you have a good foundation you will grow
straight. If your foundation is wishy-washy you will not. Beware!
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN KNOW THAT
WE ARE FOLLOWING THE WORD IS BY BEING IN THE WORD
says beware of those who would cheat you or give empty promise. We can be
deceived because we don’t know the principles of the Word. I can’t live for God
and be breaking his Word.
God is over all things. If we want to see success in our lives we have to know
Christ is the head of the church and we MUST follow God’s Word. God is not
concerned with the outward appearance but our HEARTS. People turn away from God
because of so many rules (legalism) but we show our relationship with Christ
through a change in our heart. The outward change is not as important as the
inward change. We can live the Christian life through Jesus Christ.
want to be happy in our lives. We want peace in our lives. We want to know that
everything is right between me and God.
NOT about religion. God says talk to
me, directly to me. You don’t need an intermediary the way religion says. God
must have preeminence in the church and over religion. Rules never get you
close to God. It’s about obedience to a God who loves us.
key is that it’s NOT about religion and making up things but about obedience to God. Religion never makes
you do the right thing. The only one who changes our lives, in a way that we
please God and ourselves, is God.
Christ must have preeminence
(control) over everything. We must do it God’s way. When we do God makes sure
that others see us. God wants us to be a standard in the world and not a copy.
wants the Colossian church to grow in the Lord Jesus Christ.
commends the Colossian church for not wavering in their faith in Jesus. He sees
the result of this in their lives. If we have faith in Jesus we should see
fruit in our lives. The test is living God’s Word. It is so easy to look and
read the Word but it’s hard to live it. It starts with reading it though. We
need to be filled with the knowledge of God. It’s not just about knowing God. It’s
what you know about God and what you do with what you know that pushes you
forward. You need to know so that you don’t make stuff up and know when things
are being made up. As Christians we don’t need to be pioneers in the Word of
God. It is right there for us.
need to be filled with the knowledge of God so that we might not sin against
God. It’s a good thing when I want to follow God and its bad when I don’t.
There is something about knowledge that if you follow it, it will help you and
those with you especially when you are the driver. It can also be an awful
spanking when you are doing the wrong thing and don’t want to follow God. That
knowledge will rebuke you. When you have knowledge of God’s Word and choose to
do something else it will get you into trouble.
What God has put together has order yet we will study to prove God wrong. We
have to prove He is wrong because if He is true we must follow Him. When you
allow Jesus to be preeminent a lot of things change. Society says, it’s not what
you know but who you know who gets you to where you want to go. The Bible says,
it is what you know about God that will get you far.
need to walk worthy. We carry the name of Jesus. It is ALWAYS about Christ.
It’s not what you know but what you do with what you know. We need to be a
WORHTYWITNESS in all that we do. If He is in charge we need to live like He is
in charge. We are to fully please him, being fruitful in every good work. We
are to increase in the knowledge of God. We are like gas, we fill our tank and
it gets depleted. All we have to do is spend time in the Word to fill up. As we
grow in the Lord our value increases. It doesn’t depreciate. The more time we
spend in obedience to God’s Word the more he gains preeminence in our lives.
The answers God can give one who doesn’t know Christ is limited but as
believers we have the pass key. KNOWLEDGE
is power but OBEDIENCE brings life.
What we see about Jesus Christ
is true. We are his friends, no longer his enemies. This happens when we allow
Christ preeminence in our lives.
God is a God who sent Jesus for all people. Jesus died for the sins of the world.
Acts the church in Jerusalem was being persecuted. So everyone had to scatter
for their lives. As they scattered they were not ashamed to share the gospel.
When you are on the run you still need to share the gospel on the run. In the
process there is revival.
8:26; An angel of the Lord sends Philip to meet a black (Ethiopian) man on the road. The
Ethiopian is on the road reading the Old Testament on the way home from Jerusalem. He has a divine appointment with Phillip to
receive spiritual guidance. God tells Philip to overtake the chariot and when
God spoke the man of God obeys. Philip asks if the Ethiopian understood what he
was reading and the Ethiopian asked him to explain it to him. There are people
who read God’s Word and are clueless as to what it means. God sends us
alongside them to example that which God has revealed to us.
goes on to explain about Jesus and the eunuch accepts Christ. Along the way, in
the desert, they come to a body of water and the Eunuch asks to be baptized so
Philip does just that. In all we do we must honor God. We become a people who
instead of honoring God we follow the foolishness of the world.
Honor God: As
black people we will tweak God’s Word to fit our lifestyle. God’s Word is true
and he doesn’t apologize for writing it down. God says in Deuteronomy (in the
law) do not change one word or add one word to God’s Word otherwise you will
not be written in the lamb’s book of life. We dishonor him by saying it is
outdated but God says he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Obedience
may not mean not doing it but asking God to help you not to do it. The key is
to honor God in ALL we do.
Respect Yourself: We live
in a society where disrespect for ourselves is high and accepted and
celebrated. Psalm 139:13-18. Nobody has the same DNA you have. Even identical
twins do not have the same fingerprints. You are unique and fearfully and
wonderfully made in the image of God. The difference between ego and respect is
that God is in one and not the other. People dislike themselves to the point of
plastic surgery saying to God you did not do a good enough job. And they always
want more. You become a spectacle.
1:5. The talents we have are not because of our own abilities but because God
has placed that in us. We have to learn how to respect and love ourselves. We
don’t have to be ashamed of ourselves because God gave us a nice sized nose, or
our lips or our figures. We cannot/should not let anyone make us feel ashamed
Heritage: We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; EVERY color,
creed, and nationality. We think silence is good but it is destructive. We need
to instill in our children what is right and let them know that we will not
protect them when they do wrong. The wrong may seem small but doing wrong will
destroy us. Sin will take us as far as we let it. We are no longer enslaved but
slavery is still around subtly. We need to teach our children about the rich heritage that we possess.
God because when we honor God he will fight our battles. When we respect ourselves
others will have to respect us. Own our heritage and just as God loves us, we
can love our God, love ourselves and love our people. He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. Wade
in God’s Word. Satan can’t touch you there. Honor God, respect yourself, and
own your heritage.
He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts. Rest assured this troubador is acting on His part. The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain, for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name, There is love. There is love.
Oh, a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home. They will travel on to where the two will be as one. As it was in the beginning, is now until the end, woman draws her life from man and gives it back again and there is love. Oh, there's love.
Well then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife? Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life? For is loving is the answer then who's the giving for? Do you believe in something that you've never seen before? Oh, there's love. There is love.
He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts. Rest assured this troubador is acting on His part. The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name there is love. Oh, there is love.
Some people love themselves so much they look at themselves in the mirror and don’t move. And think that’s love. That’s not love. Love is other focused.
To love means a leaving of something and a cleaving to. And God is in the midst of it.
Is it love that brings us here or love that brings us life? Both.
Relationships require faith.
1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
What is it, this thing called love?
We always want to see in our relationships, in our friendships that we can care about the person we are in a relationship with; to see that we can have their best interest at heart. Paul puts the love chapter between the chapters on spiritual gifts and prophecy because we need to understand that no matter what we have it depends on how we perform it that matters to God. In the world it’s about size, it’s about position but in chapter 13, we can talk so well that sugar melts but without love that is nothing but noise. If I’m spiritual and serving God I can pray well and know the scripture backward and forward but if I don’t have love I’m useless. I can give to charity or nail myself to a cross but without love it profits nothing. Love is the end because God is love, He is loving because he is love. All that he is comes from love. (v1-3)
Love suffers. Why? This world has become so messed up screwed up we don’t know what love is and have lost the definition of it. We are a selfish world, self-focused, self-absorbed. This is why love suffers. We put out our love-scope and along the way we meet people who won’t receive it.
Love doesn’t just accept anything. It waits.
Love is kind. In the waiting our kindness dwindles as we keep getting knocked down. We want to give it as it’s dished out.
It does not boast, but we parade ourselves and ask, “Don’t I look good?”
Love is not easily provoked. That’s tough. God is a perfect example of the right knid of love. He has justification to destroy us but doesn’t.
Love thinks no evil. We find this difficult when people do us wrong.
Love never fails. We fail, a lot of things fail but love never fails. Love isn’t in us. You hurt me I’ll hurt you more. This love is not God's love.
We want to love the right way and be loved this way. The only way that we can is by God enabling us to do so.
Love is an unconditional decision, sometimes deliberate, sometimes responsive. But it is ALWAYS a decision.
When we walk up and look on the other side of the bed or see friends we have to decide, will I talk to them today. It is a decision to actively care for, build up, be committed to, to be honest with, and to love someone else. Not I love you if, I love you because… It’s just I love you.
Love requires an invitation and a response to be complete. If that’s the case you have to move on. The inviter and the responder have to be self-less and other focused. It’s dangerous when we meet vain, selfish people because there is no real connection there.
There is no such thing as falling in love. You grow into love. We never fall down and say yes, that was great. Falling is not a good thing. We block things out because we love the person and then later on it becomes a big issue.
In the process of loving, what do I have to offer? In friendships and relationship, what do you bring to the relationship? Love is honest, it doesn’t lie. If you see things in a person you love, challenge them on it. You don’t watch someone you love jump off a cliff hoping someone will catch them.
Love doesn’t know everything. We say I know you, I know why you did that. Instead we should be willing to ask why. We feel we are perfect but we are not. We can struggle together to become perfect in God. It takes two in both friendships and relationships. Love says you are of value to me and I want you to blossom as God intended. Flowers don’t water themselves.
Love is mature. We have to be able to say we are wrong. Part of life is about saying you messed up. Its about maturity. We don’t know stuff about ourselves and are unwilling to find out. But we can’t love someone if we are not willing to be self-reflective.
If God is really love, He can lead us to grow in love. When you allow God to touch your life you don’t know how you will touch someone else’s life. God’s love in you will lead others to be touched by you. For if love is the answer… God’s love changes our whole life. It is a healing love and we can begin to love like He loves. The first thing he heals is our souls. It begins with a step of faith. God’s love penetrates any and everything.
There is love, will we allow his love to touch us and to heal us?