Study of Davids Life – 1

My Notes – Sunday School – 5-20-12 – Bro Gary’s Homebuilders Class

1 Samuel 16:16-23  “Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”

  • Grace = unmerited favor
  • There was grace evident in Saul’s life
  • It is easy to think that some people don’t deserve God’s grace. How often do we want to say “God is through with you, get out of my life.” Etc
  • NO ONE deserves God’s grace
  • God called Jesse
  • God is developing the inward man. We have to look inward, not on the outward appearance. God will take care of the external!!
  • Why did the Spirit of God leave Saul?
    • The Holy Spirit can’t leave Christians. This was before Pentacost. So in the Old Testament the believers weren’t actually indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
    • In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit “came upon” people, like Samson
    • The Holy Spirit works differently today. He now indwells believers. That is “being filled” with the Holy Spirit
    • Vs 15-16 –“And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”
      • God gave permission to the demons to come upon Saul. The devil and his demons have to ask permission for everything they do. God will ALLOW us to go through some difficult times, even being tormented and tried, but if we rely on Him, He will provide the grace we need to get through it
        • Saul did not rely on the Lord. He disobeyed. He didn’t listen to Samuel
        • Saul did what he wanted to!
        • Saul ignored Samuel
  • Because of his willful disobedience God removed His anointing and allowed an evil spirit to oppress him.
  • The servants of Saul could see this. They told him to let him command them to go find someone to heal him. God used David to thwart the demonic oppression.
    • This was the grace of God in Saul’s life
    • The servants knew about David
    • It was PROVIDENTIAL – not an accident that David was chosen to play his harp for Saul
    • Be very aware of the people around you. God has placed each of them in your life for a reason. It is no accident who God puts in your life
      • We should share what God does in our life because God may be using you to bring grace to other peoples life
      • Relationships are VERY important!!
      • Be obedient to the Lord
      • Be attentive to the people around us
      • Vs 17-18 “So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”
        • God brought grace to Saul through David
        • God rejected Saul and chose David yet still urged David to show Saul Grace. This shows us that God will choose an unlikely way often to show us His Face.
        • “and the Lord was with Him”
        • A long list of characteristics (vs 18) …. And David was supposed to step into this role. We need to be preparing for developing the character of God for Him to use us.
        • Vs 21 “And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer”
          • David was prepared to minister to Saul
          • God was gracious for giving Saul a heart for David.
          • God will work in the heart of people – even when they stray, He is working in their hearts!
          • David became the armor bearer. He stayed very close to the kings presence. When Saul fled the presence and will of God, God loved Saul and said “you will not run from me” God wouldn’t let him flee. He sent David to be continuously in his presence.
          • Vs 23 the grace of God = David’s life was used to minister when the demons afflicted Saul, David played his harp and Saul was relieved. God was gracious and gave him someone to give him relief
          • Grace = unmerited favor to us from God

1)    Do not overlook the grace of God in our life

2)    We serve a God of grace

3)    Be Grateful!

Godly Leadership

My Sermon Notes – 4-22-12 Sunday Night – Bro Gary

  • In choir, we learned and sang a new song:

By His Grace I am Redeemed

By His Blood I am made clean

And I now can see Him face to face

By His pow’r I have been raised

Hidden now in Christ by faith

I will praise the glory of His grace

By His Grace I am Redeemed

By His Blood I am made clean

And I now can know you face to face

By Your pow’r I have been raised

Hidden now in You by faith

I will praise the glory of Your Grace

 

  • 2 Chronicles 14:1-15 “Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years.  And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor. Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 And Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.11 And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 12 So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah carried away very much spoil. 14 And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.”
  • We need to pray for godly leadership
  • It is crucial for churches, for homes, for countries etc to have a strong leader – especially leadership according to God’s standards
  • We need to thank God for good leadership
  • 2 Chronicles 14:2 “And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.”
  • We ought to rise to be leaders like that!!
    • Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”
    • Our goal in leadership should be to do GOOD and RIGHT in the eyes of God, in order to glorify Him
    • We need to say:
    • I will CHOOSE to glorify God by making wise decisions for Him
    • I will CHOOSE to die to self
    • I will CHOOSE to make decisions based on what He deems as Right, not based on what is convenient or what I would prefer
      • RIGHT = righteous
      • God honors righteousness
      • Sin is a reproach to any people
      • Character is doing right in any situation
      • RIGHT BASED ON GOD’S STANDARDS!!!
      • NOT RIGHT BASED ON OUR STANDARDS!!!
        • In England, abortion is legal up until birth
        • Yale ethics director and professor are pushing for abortion up until age 5. Both people are right in their own eyes. Both are murderers in God’s eyes
        • Shadrak, Meshak and Obendigo chose to do right in God’s eyes even though they were alone and sentenced to die

1)    We need to do GOOD in the eyes of God

2)    We need to do RIGHT in the eyes of God

3)    King Asa took away all the things keeping Isreal from being blessed by God. He destroyed idols. God IS TO BE OUR #1!!

  • We have to get rid of whatever in our life that is an idol
  • Is it an idol? Just ask “If I lost this person/thing/dream, will I consider life not worth living?” If the answer is yes – then it is an idol!
  • If we are to be right with God we have to burn and tear down our idols
  • Idol of Pride says “I always have to be right”
  • Idol of Self Seeking Nature says “What I want is more important”
  • Parent who have children playing a ball game on Sundays – this is teaching your kids that their game is more important than God. Watch your priorities!
  • People are quick to rationalize when we are so willing to substitute Gods rightful place
  • Why are we where we are in life? Is it because we have set up idols?
  • Is there anything in your life that is more important than your relationship with God? NO!!!
  • When you stand up before God at judgment you will realize that there isn’t anything more important!
  • Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
  • People will often make THINGS or PEOPLE their idols
  • God may destroy your idols in order to draw you closer to Him
  • 2 Chronicles 14:4 – Asa “commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment”
  • Asa commanded Judah to seek God, to live for Him
  • They did and they prospered
    • When you decide to do this, your faith will be challenged
    • As soon as Asa got all this together, a million man army came up against Him
    • The enemy doesn’t like it when you are obeying God
    • Asa had an army of 583 men and he was up against 1 million. He felt overwhelmed.
    • Challenges are a part of life
      • God is a majority
      • It is a matter of US getting on God’s side
      • You can face anything if you are on the Lord’s side
      • The faith Asa displayed:
      • Vs 11 “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude.  O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.”
        • Paraphrase: Lord it is nothing for you to bring help. Our eyes are not on you if you bring us help or not. Lord help us! Lord you are God! Our eyes are on You! You are God! I am only man.
          • WHEN WE ARE OVERWHELMED, WE LOOSE PERSPECTIVE
          • In prayer, Asa worked it out. He got his perspective right
          • Asa gave his problem over to the Lord
          • Worry is wrong because it is a waste of time and because it is not trusting God
          • It focuses on the problem and not the solution
          • Action we must take = Let God be on control!
            • Worry assures responsibility when we should let God be in charge
            • It is not your responsibility
              • WORRY PARALYZES US WITH FEAR
              • WORRY SAPS OUR JOY
              • The Joy of the Lord is your strength
              • The worry drains you of your energy
              • When you are emotionally drained, you are tired
              • Worry side tracks you from the Will of God
              • When you are side tracked, you will make wrong decisions
                • 2 Chronicles 20:15 “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehosophat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.
                • Asa experienced a great victory!
                • 2 Chronicles 14:12 “So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.”
                  • God showed up because Asa obeyed
                  • Faith focused on God = God did great things
                  • The enemy was defeated and Isreal was blessed with the spoils
                  • Go not only over comes the enemy but He blesses abundantly
                  • God says “the battle is mine, the victory can be yours, trust me.”

HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?

My sermon notes – 4-22-12 – Bro Gary

  • Bro Gary started with a story: about the first church that he and Ms Michelle attended. On a Wednesday, they were discussing the statistics about older people less often coming to the Lord: the older they get, the fewer get saved. A certain woman was one of the most burdened for her husband’s salvation that Gary has ever seen. She called him on a Wednesda and she said she did like he had preached, and she grabbed the Altar by the horns and said “Lord, I’m not moving until you save my husband.” On Friday, he asked her “what does it feel like when you get saved?” She said “Some people don’t have any emotional response and some people jump pews. Why?” He said “Cause I just asked Jesus into my heart.” God answers prayers! It’s never too late for loved ones.
  • Revelation 5:9-10 “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
    • It is so easy to get lost in your own little corner of the world
    • God knows you individually, and cares about your problems
    • God is working in our lives to prepare us
    • People often get too overwhelmed with trivial things and miss the Big Picture about what God is trying to do in His Kingdom
    • The Lamb that was Slain stands by the throne. He has ALL AUTHORITY and stands before the multitudes of Heaven. Only He could open the scroll
    • The contents of important scrolls were kept safe by seals (in this case 7), to prevent tampering. On the outside was the title and who has the authority to open it.
    • Jesus, the Lamb, has ALL AUTHORITY to the title and deed because He is Lord and it is RIGHTFULLY His because He is the Redeemer, the Son of God
    • ALL of heaven SANG OUT when He took the scroll
    • Oh the importance of making a JOYFUL NOISE to the Lord!!!
    • This also shows the importance of Music in the language of the heart of the Lord
  • Story about Bro Gary’s in laws (Nana & Popi) 50’s anniversary celebration. It was a song service. He said memories flooded. How often when various relatives were at deaths door family would gather around the bedside, talk about the Lord and sing. Hallowing. Worshipful. THAT is music.
  • THOU ART WORTHY! WORTHY IS THE LAMB! is what was sang before the throne.

1)   The WORK of the Redeemer

  1.    Praise the Lamb for sinners slain – He is JUST
  2.    Only by the Blood of the Lord Jesus – He makes a way
  3.    “I’ve come by the way of the cross” song lyrics
  4.    Easter was recently – the work He did on the cross
  5.    The work He did / the cross / Blood is the only way we are Redeemed

2)   The WORTHY POSITION of the Redeemer

  1.     Jesus was fore ordained to die for us
  2.     Only HE could open the scrolls

3)   The IDENTITY of the Redeemed

  1.     God is in the business of saving people
  2.     People from all over the world

4)    The COMMONALITY of the Redeemed

  1.     Christ does the saving
  2.     We all come by the way of the cross
  3.     All are ONLY saved by the blood of the Lamb
  4.     We are ALL sinners in need of a savior
  5.     Jesus came for ALL and made a way for us to be redeemed
  6.     We all come by through the blood

5)   The DIVERSITY of the Redeemed

  1.     Every kindred, tongue, people, nation – ALL around the world
  2.     If you are not going and telling others about Him, you are NOT being obedient
  3.     We are commanded to spread the Gospel
  4.     We have to get the message out
  5.     God is in the business of saving people
  6.     It is not just Baptists –it is EVERYONE of any denomination who claims Christ

i.      Story about the Bibles being printed in the Kurdish language. They are very accepting of Americans since America killed Hussein. They are meeting with people and helping copy the Bible into Kurdish. They take the Bible on horseback and take it into Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Twenty-two people in the past year have been beheaded because they were caught with the Bible. We need to see the world the way God sees it.

6)   The CHALLENGE for the Redeemed

  1.   In the book of Matthew, Jesus said go preach into all the world, then shall the End of the Age Come
  2.    We are told to go and tell so that they can be saved
  3.    Once it is into ALL areas of the world, He will come back
  4.    There are 12,000 different people groups
  5.    There are 6,000 under engaged people groups
  6.    There are 3,000 unreached and under engaged people groups
  • How big is your personal world?
  • What are you doing to advance His Kingdom?
  • How big is the world for our church?
  • People get all bend out of shape over where the offering plates are placed. How TRIVIAL minded!! We can’t be so inwardly focused!!
  • One very carnal minded church only had 14 people. One man stood up to preach. There were 6 people against him preaching and 7 people that were for it. They should have been on their knees begging for God to deliver them from the trouble they were in
  • NOTHING MATTERS EXCEPT JESUS!!!
  • ALL THE REST OF LIFE IS TRIVIAL!!!
  • IT IS NOT ABOUT WHAT WE WANT OUT OF LIFE, BUT IT IS AOBUT WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO!!!

How to Stay Right with God

My Notes from Revival – 4/21/13 – Don Graham

Ephesians 3:14-21 =  “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

  • “That you may be filled with all the fullness of God” – special emphasis
  • Where there is no Brokenness there is no Blessedness
  • Tuesday night message (authors note: I wasn’t able to attend!) was about the Lordship of Jesus. We are to crown Him Lord. No refusal, no retreat – just accepting the Lordship of Christ
  • Tonight is about how to STAY all together right with God
  • This has nothing to do with SIN-LESS-NESS
  • We are NOT perfect!
  • It is the FULLNESS of Christ
  • He has done this so that we can SERVE
  • Ephesians 1:12-14 “so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.”
  • Note the presence of the Spirit in the life of the believer
  • Romans 10:16 “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

1)    You hear the Word

2)    You trust in Christ

3)    Repenting, Praying to accept Him

4)    Making Him Lord, asking Him in

5)    He comes in, through the Holy Spirit

6)    At that moment you receive all of God that there is to receive

  • John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
    • FULL of grace and truth
    • John 1:16 “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
      • FULLNESS we have ALL received!
      • Grace for Grace / Grace upon Grace
      • The invasion of the Spirit of God in all His fullness
      • INDWELT by God
      • Temple of the Holy Spirit
      • Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I know live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
        • Not my own life
        • My life is now to be lived for Christ, who lives in me
        • Colossians 1:15-16 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.”
          • The one by whom spoke the world into existence
          • God don’t make no junk! He said “it is good”
          • God don’t INDWELL junk
          • That makes you somebody to be contended with
          • You can never have a pity party when you grasp that GOD is inside you
          • You have available to you the dynamic power of God who created the universe
          • Realize this will cause you to be braver for God than you have ever imagined possible
          • When you go you go inhabited by God
          • The presence of the Spirit of God in your life – this is the key to living a life ever right with God
          • Ephesians 3:17 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love.”
            • The preeminence of Christ
            • At this point in the letter to the Ephesians, Paul had already established that Christ was in your heart – why would he say it again?
              • In Greek, the word used implies that He would firmly and permanently settle down and BE AT HOME in your heart.
              • Taking Jesus on a tour of your home: You know Him everywhere except ONE room, and you try to rush past that door. That would be not letting Jesus feel at home
              • That would be an area of your heart that you have not fully given over to the Lord
              • Jesus is a courteous guest, and he will not invade! You have to give Him every room
  • How do we make Jesus feel at home?
    • Warmly and sincerely welcome Him in
      • Get saved!
  • Give Him the run of the whole house
    • All of my life, every aspect of it
  • Offer the best of all I have
    • Not hand-me-downs or leftovers
  • Made to feel loved and welcome
    • Don’t make Jesus feel uncomfortable
  • Make Him feel like a member of the family
    • You speak to family
  • Made to feel like everyone like him and takes his advice
    • Every conversation and decision should involve Him
  • Respected as the Divine Host
    • Jesus will host at the wedding feast in heaven
    • We need to let Him be in charge of every aspect of life
  • This has to be done moment by moment – day by day
  • This is a process – not perfected overnight
  • This is an Act followed by an Attitude
  • Pray “Lord fill me with your Spirit”
  • Paul wrote 13 books, only in one of which did he address speaking in tongues (letter to the Corinthians) The church of Corinth is the weakest and most corrupt church. If it was more important to base your faith on “feelings” or in having “an experience” wouldn’t Paul have spent more time on the subject?!
  • Be filled with the Fullness of God! That isn’t a FEELING. It is an ACTION followed by an ATTITUDE! It is a WAY of living!
  • Ephesians 5:18 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit” The Holy Spirit is a PERSON he is not a liquid that can rouse up feelings
    • You need to bring your life under the control of the Holy Spirit
    • That will only happen when we live in the fullness of Christ
    • Be filled with the Spirit – that is a COMMAND in the Imperative mode. It is NOT a suggestion!!!
    • The subject is in the plural – it basically says: “All ya’ll be filled with the spirit” it is for EVERYONE
    • The verb tense – is in the present tense. Continuous action. So it really says something like “All ya’ll go on a-being filled with the Spirit”
    • Don’t be afraid to talk about it or you will NEVER get it
    • It don’t matter how high you jump when you get filled with the Holy Spirit, it matters how straight you walk on the way down
    • Being filled with the Spirit may lead to Crisis because we are in the flesh – but Crisis must follow with a process
    • Don’t be seeking an experience!! He is the small still voice!!
    • IT IS NOT YOU GETTING MORE OF GOD, IT IS GOD GETTING ALL OF YOUR HEART AND LIFE
    • Luke 11:9 “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” How much more will He fill you with the Holy Spirit if you ask Him!
    • You have to ASK

Fellowship with Jesus

My notes from Revival Night #2 – 04/19/12 – Don Graham

Luke 22:31-34 =  “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you like wheat,32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesussaid, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

Luke 22: 54-62 – “Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.”62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”

  • Step 1:
    • Come frankly to admit / see our own sin
    • Sin must be exposed
  • Step 2:
    • Peter ‘had’ Hoof & Mouth Disease = he was always putting his foot in his mouth
    • We can identify with Peter!!
    • We make shortcuts:
      • We make little of penance, repentance, etc
      • Quick to find a way to kill the pain of guilt
      • Story: “Oh God is there any mercy for a sinner like me?” cried out a man one time in his kitchen just after revival. He was a cruel husband. The wife called the preacher to come over. The Revivalist came in the room. The wife of the man said “let him be a while preacher, let the sinner stew.” This was the beginning of a historical revival.

1)   The cock crowing the third time:

  1. IMMEDIATELY after his 3rd denial it crowed
  2. Peter looked into the eyes of Jesus
  3. Jesus TURNED and looked at him, in the eye. Peter was in the shadows lurking.
  4. These led to the Sanctification of Peter

2)   The LOOK of Jesus had 4 Attributes:

  1. a.     The Look of Penetration

i.      He knows you SO WELL – as if someone who you are SO close with can read your thoughts and look straight through you

  1. b.     With Stunning Force

i.      Jesus knew!

ii.      Peter was so stunned with the reality that Jesus knew

iii.      His look was as if He was saying “You don’t know me?! Look in my eyes

and tell me you don’t know me?!”

iv.      In Revelation the message to the 7 churches (Revelation Chapter 2 & 3) “I

know your works”

v.      The Lord knows our works – all that there is of us

  1. c.     Call to Repentance

i.      Jesus says to all of us “I know your works”

ii.      NO matter how secretive, Jesus knows

iii.      His penetrative, searching eyes, looking into our heart

  1. d.    Look of Reproach

i.      The silence of Jesus. He never said a word to Peter.

ii.      Jesus was kind. So kind that He didn’t want to single Peter out. Jesus was

letting God work in Peter’s heart

iii.      Jesus didn’t want to bring further shame

iv.      In the silence, we see the anguish of both Peter and Jesus

v.      We all hurt and have been hurt. We hurt those we love most. We can remember their face when they feel the hurt. So magnificent would be the face of Jesus towards us.

vi.      BREAKING FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD IS A BIG DEAL.

OUR SIN BREAKS OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

ALL SIN BREAKS FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

WE BAPTIST MAKE TOO LITTLE OF THIS

vii.      DON’T GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT

  1. You grieve someone you LOVE, you don’t grieve  when an enemy betrays/hurts you
  2. How many times have you fallen short? How many times have you made empty promises to others or to Him? How many times have you flippantly referred to God? How many times have you referred to God with irreverence? How many times have you referred to God with a lack of loyalty?
  3. You HURT the Lord with sin and irreverence
  4. You GRIEVE the Lord – cause Him pain
  5. Not being obedient, unfeeling – turning off, refusing to give money/time/etc, by refusing to serve, by refusing to forgive = all are ways of grieving God
  6. A Look of Tender Compassion

i.      Jesus could have spoken words and cast Peter off into Hell

ii.      Jesus had no intention of casting him off.

iii.      He wasn’t angry with Peter

iv.      The same love Peter ever saw in His eyes was still there

v.      Jesus had NO INTENTION of casting off Peter when he denied Him

vi.      It was a look of tender pity and restoring love

vii.      It was a look of compassion

viii.      THIS IS HOW HE LOOKS AT US

ix.      Mercy holds our Hope

x.      Peter became someone God could use, once he entered the midnight

of his soul and went through the journey of penance

xi.      Jesus’ eyes still hold the look of tender forgiving mercy to us

xii.      HE IS HOLDING HOPE OUT TO US – HIS EYES DO NOT CONDEMN,

BUT HOLD TENDER MERCY AND COMPASSION FOR US

  1. A Look that Brought Repentance

i.      The typical pulpit never mentions the word “repentance”

ii.      The average Baptist when telling someone about how to come to Jesus

says “Just repeat this Sinner’s Prayer” – BUT YOU CAN’T GET SAVED

WITHOUT REPENTANCE!

iii.      Peter ran out, fell and wept bitterly

iv.      If the average Baptist preacher saw Peter he would say “Oh don’t worry,

here say this prayer, no reason to be so upset, it is all ok now!”

v.      Lack of repentance is why we have churches so full of unconverted

Christians

vi.      Peter was a big ol’ grisly man – he was large, boisterous, Type A, not

prone to crying, BUT HE WEPT BITTERLY, FALLEN, MOURNFUL OVER

HIS BETRAYAL

vii.      The forgiveness of Christ was IMMEDIATE

  • Peter had a broken heart because he knew that he had hurt God, so he was sorrowful over SIN
  • Peter did not get depressed or feel sorry for himself or feel hopeless
  • God deals with each man ALONE
  • We all will stand ALONE at the Judgment Seat of Christ
  • Repentance is a lonely thing
  • You have HURT God PERSONALLY, thus your repentance needs to be personal
  • Don’t short change / short cut the process of repentance
  • Once you have repented, we don’t rush into the limelight telling others about all the bad things we have done, or the dark places we have been
  • We have to learn that it is a very PERSONAL thing
  • YOU HAVE TO BECOME BROKEN, TO COME APART, IN ORDER TO GET ALONE WITH GOD – OR YOU WILL COME APART IN LIFE
  • We like to see response – we like Immediate reactions – we are too much in a hurry
  • Repentance is a sensitive thing
  • We are never more alive/sensitive as when we are repenative
  • God seems to remind us of forgotten sins when we are repenting – when we are broken
  • We first repent over an issue, then God reminds you. Then He is loving and doesn’t overload us, but once we can bear it He gives us a little more to our memory. Things we didn’t previously regard as sin. He does this so we can be set free from the bondage of our sin. He wants to give us abundant life – it can’t be abundant if we are bound in slavery to sin!
  • And Peter remembered – he remembered all that he told Jesus “I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death” Jesus then told him “I tell you , Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
  • Peter remembered
  • Repentance is very intense
  • Sometimes you have to just stand there quietly when someone near you is repenative
  • If you haven’t cried over sin, maybe you don’t know how much you have hurt Jesus.
  • Peter NEVER again denied the Lord – that is because repentance is LASTING
  • We should SHUN any shallow profession of Jesus
  • Repentance is – you will NEVER be the same
  • 1 Peter 2:23-25 “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins on His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”
  • 1 Peter 4:14 “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
  • One look – and he never denied Him again
  • One look and he was REDEEMED AND JUSTIFIED

Spiritual Restoration

Sunday Morning: Revival Message; Don Graham 4-18-12

Easter Sunday

  • It is important to keep in mind the Cross – Salvation – Redemption – as the central focus of our life. Our entire being needs to be geared towards living the Truth of His Agape Love. Chaos will ensue to attempt to divert our eyes away from Jesus. Easter reminds us to stay centrally focused on the Lamb of God, whose blood was shed for our sins in order to JUSTIFY & REDEEM us.
  • Luke 24:15 “While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.”
    • He was known to them in the breaking of bread – some translations say it this way
    • This is the moment when they finally recognized that they were looking at the Resurrected Jesus
    • This passage in Luke 24 is then followed by verses of BEING BROKEN
      • Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to those who are broken”
      • James 4:1-12 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.[d] The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

1)   Admit your Spiritual Alienation:

  • ANY and ALL sin alienates us from God. It breaks our fellowship with God
  • We have to confess “I am altogether not right with God”
  • Any kind of quarrel comes because we do not have our lusts, our deepest desires under control due to our self seeking ways

2)   Uncontrolled Desires:

  • We are to set aside our deepest desires and submit to God
    • To let Him show us His desire for us, and go after it over our own personal desires. We have to let our hearts seek only after what God wants more than what WE want.
    • Our deepest desires can be idols
      • If I have to be without this desire of mine (be it person, item, goal etc) will I feel like life is not worth it anymore? If the answer is yes, then the desire IS an idol!
      • As we become more like Jesus, our desires CHANGE – they becomes the same things that Jesus wants

3)   Uncontrolled Passions:

  • Friends with the world are enemies with God. God wins – ALWAYS. All it takes to be an enemy of God is to be a friend of the world
    • In the way you think, act, talk, etc
    • If you are like the world and go to church on Sundays, then “you are an adulterer”
    • You are nothing more than a whore if you are a friend of the world is more close to the imagery in the original Greek
      • The word adulteress used to be shocking to be heard from the pulpit, now it is laughed at. Oh see how far we have fallen to look like the world!

4)    Unbroken Pride:

  • Vs 6 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
  • This will alienate our fellowship with God.
  • “A proud look” is the #1 of the deadly sins. It is what caused man to fall in the Garden of Eden
  • God HATES pride
  • It is what caused Satan to fall from heaven
  • God RESISTS the proud and gives strength to the humble – say other translations
    • Resists literally means that God sits Himself up in full battle array against the proud.  GOD GOES TO WAR AGAINST THE PROUD!
    • Nebuchadnezzar was so proud and he set himself up to be a god and then in an instant God cursed him to walk on the ground like an animal
    • Herrod in the book of Acts was proud. As soon as he set himself up like a god and in an instant he fell dead and the worms ate his flesh
    • God sets Himself up against you if you are proud!
    • Everyone suffers from pride in some form

5)   Breaking the Bread:

  • This is what was going on when they realized it was Jesus with them
  • It was so to tell us that we have to allow our pride to be BROKEN
    • A) Admit you have a need
    • B) Accept your spiritual obligation
    • Vs 9 “Come to God in utter brokenness”
    • It is not time to laugh, to act like it is all ok – this is the time where we mourn and weep and wail. We are NOT ok. God has set Himself up AGAINST US because of our Pride!
    • TO BREAK – literally to crush, to grind. Imagine corn in a grindstone.
    • In Mark 4 the paralytic was lowered onto the floor to see Jesus
      • They broke up the roof to lower him in
      • IT WASN’T THEIR ROOF!
      • It would have been a GREAT honor for the home owner to host this meeting. Jesus Himself was going to be there to speak. Everyone in the countryside has heard about Jesus. The owner would have been excited. It would have made him a big somebody! His home would have been the very center of the activity. Jesus was there and ALL the neighborhood was gathered together.
      • When the entire roof was “broken up” the man was lowered and healed
      • Your life has to be broken up before you are healed!!
      • You have to be broken sufficiently enough for you to be healed!
      • It means – EVERYTHING. You must be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING
      • Your healing is worth MORE than what you will be giving up!
      • Vs 8 “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

6)    Come with Utter Forgiveness:

  • Vs 11-12 “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
  • If you don’t forgive you are judging others
  • Humble yourself and seek to be reconciled! It is not always possible to reconcile – but make sure your heart is willing to seek reconciliation, and make every possible attempt to reconcile if it is physically possible

7)   Accept Your Spiritual Restoration:

  • Draw near to God AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU
  • That’s EASTER! That’s GRACE! That’s the CROSS!
  • Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
  • If you allow God to break you, you can be right with God
  • If you are a Christian, the Spirit of God dwells inside you. He is fiercely jealous of your allegiance
  • You can be Forgiven of your Pride
  • THE BLOOD CAN NOT COVER WHAT YOU REFUSE TO UNCOVER!!!
  • LIVE IN THE VICTORY OF JESUS

The Central Message of the Cross

My sermon notes for Bro. Gary’s message on Sunday Morning 4-1-12 – Palm Sunday – Passion Week

 

Romans 10:1-13 “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  For Moses writes about  the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven’ (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘who will descend into the abyss?’ (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says ‘Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the  name of the Lord will be saved.’”

  • There has to be a cross to has a resurrection
  • Story of salvation started in Gensis
  • It was ALL pointing to the Cross of Christ

 

1)   Conditions of Salvation (vs 3-4)

A)  Reject our own Self Righteousness

  • Your own goodness and self righteousness
  • “going about to establish” = works
  • Self righteousness is when we feel like we  can give God something or add to what God has done
  • “The worst kind of Badness is human goodness substituting the righteousness of God.”
  • “I have nothing to offer Him!!”
  • Even as Believers we struggle with this
  • “The more I do, God will love m more” is a LIE STRAIGHT FROM HELL. The Lord loves you – INFINITELY. PERIOD.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by Grace are you saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that on one may boast.”
  • It is inherent in us to struggle

 

2)   WE MUST RECEIVE CHRIST RIGHTOUSNESS (vs 4)

  • The law was given to us to show us our sinfulness and how far we are from God
  • No one can ever measure up to the law
  • Embrace and receive Christ’s righteousness
  • He came to end the law
  • It is just a matter of me receiving His righteousness
  • You either have:
    • Your old self righteous ways
      • What you are trying to do
  • The righteousness of Christ
    • What you are allowing God to do

 

 

3)   CONFESSION OF SALVATION (vs 6-10)

  • Where do you find God?
  • Bible says Man is looking for answers, and Man never looks for God
  • The Lord is as close as when you confess Him – when you tell what He has done for you
    • Be grateful for what the Lord has done
      • Broken and Shed his Blood for ME individually
  • Embrace salvation
  • He is as close as when you proclaim Him
  • Vs 9 – we have to confess the Truth of His Resurrection
  • We HAVE to embrace the Truth of His Resurrection
  • The Disciples were willing to die for the resurrection, they were not dying for a dead man
  • We MUST testify of our RELATIONSHIP
  • You need to be WILLING to go further and confess Salvation
  • If you are not willing to confess Jesus, you are not saved

 

4)    THE COMMITMENT OF SALVATION (vs 11-13)

  • The inclusiveness of salvation (vs 11-12)  “For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him.”
  • The inevitability of salvation (vs 13) “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
  • God has to reach down for all of us!

Putting Off the Old

My notes from the young adult Sunday School class on 4-1-12

Ephesians 4:22-24 “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self,created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Question: Think about who are the biggest spiritual influences in your life. What qualities speak most to you?

Answers given: stick-to-it-ness, faithfulness, consistency, sacrifice, giving, dedication to the Word, knowledge of the Word, prayer warrior

Faithfulness – is key!

BIBLICAL FAITHFULNESS =  is seen in Ephesians 4:22-24

  • Put off your old self = which is corrupt/sinfulness
  • Put on the new man = righteousness & true holiness

WE HAVE TO PUT OFF:

1)  PRIDE

  • Proverbs 18:12 “Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.”
  • Avoid a haughty spirit
  • Haughty = not being dependent on God’s help
    •  It is wrong to try to live independent of God’s help
    • To be dependent on God’s help we have to:
      • acknowledge His presence
      • purposefully bring Him in our life
      • acknowledge His presence
  • does not have a teachable spirit
    • which is pride
    • they seem like they do not WANT to learn what God is trying to teach
    • being defensive when someone confronts you on unfaithfulness
    • when a spouse confronts us and we retailiate/point back at them
    • not seeking godly counsel because of “I’m fine!”
    • not wanting ANY advice, not even from spouse
      • Stop being performance based!
      • Be open to grow in the Lord!
    • False appearance of faithfulness
      • Making others think everything

2) SELFISHNESS

  • Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
    • We all deal with selfishness
    • It hurts when we have to acknowledge it in our own life
    •  Its when we prefer to do what WE want instead of what God wants
    • Selfishness is self worship
    • Putting our own needs over the needs of others is selfish too
    • “doing our own thing” when there are SO many needs out there is selfish
    • Sacrifice = when one person gives to make a mark on another person
    • BE LIKE JESUS! Who put Himself on a cross for another

3) IDOLATRY

  • Christians, guard yourself from idolatry!!
  • Be careful what you idolize  in your life
  • The BEST way to tell if something is an idol is to ask “If this person/object/dream/goal/thing was suddenly gone from my life, would I feel as if life was meaningless or not worth living?”
  • God will break down your idols and take them away
  • He will have NO other Gods before Him
  • When God tears down our idols, it can hurt – so we had better learn to not build them up in the first place
  • We have to ask WHO and WHAT do we really love and worship?
  • Man tends to let the devil work in our life by making us form excuses or substitutes for what God says
    • We substitute Gods priorities
    • We substitute His promises
    • We substitute His law
    • Don’t substitute for the totality of forgiveness!!
    • Don’t substitute for the REAL thing of relationship!
    • Beware of what you make an idol

4) SPIRITUAL LAZINESS

  • Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
  • The life of the sluggard vs the life of the diligent
  • God reminds us to be diligent
  • Spiritual Laziness = not wanting to work at being faithful
    • Not doing what you need to do when you know you need to do it!
    • Not wanting to pray
    • Not wanting to read the Bible
    • Not wanting to make any attempt to grow
    • Only doing the VERY minimum of what is required and only it is it not too hard or if he is not too tired
    • Only attending church to “make their presence known” and not to minister to the Body
    • Procrastination
      • “why do today what you can do tomorrow?”
      • Root issue = laziness
      • Spiritual Discipline  says “do it and do it now!”

5) IRRESPONSIBLE

  • Proverbs 25:19 “The poor man and the oppressor meet together; the Lord gives light to the eyes of both.”
  • Irresponsible people tend to have their attention taken quickly by any striking thing
  • Not keeping his word
    • We NEED to be dependable people!
    • Choosing what we want to do not choosing what God wants us to do
    • Wastefulness in time
    • Makes excuses
    • Not thinking about Gods priorities so we keep from doing good works
      • We have to remember that we are ORDAINED to do good works
      • Man pleasing
        • Galations 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval or man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
        • Who are we REALLY trying to please?
        • Outside, everything has to look good
        • External conformity
          • God chastised the Pharisees for their being wrong about the outside appearance
  • Keeping the peace at all costs
  • There is a difference between being kind and considerate vs being a man pleaser
  • Not doing what God says because we want to make other people feel comfortable

STEPS TOWARDS FAITHFULNESS

  • Put on the new self
    • REPENTANCE!!
    • Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be ay grievious way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting!”
    • Pinpoint an area that God has pointed out to see what you can to to be more faithful
      • Get godly counsel about this area in your life
  • Study and meditate on the scriptures
    • Psalm 119:9-11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
  • Praying daily
    • Psalm 12:1-2 “Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.”
  • There needs to be a change in order for the new life to be … new and not the old
    • Planning – how will you be faithful to Gods principals?
      • Romans 13:12-13 “ The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.”
    • Accountability
      • Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Do You Really Believe God?

My notes from Bro. Gary’s sermon on Sunday morning 3-25-2012

John 16:16-33

“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and,‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you,whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”  His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

  • Christians are called Believers
  • But you, Oh Christian, do you REALLY believe?
  • The Disciples are faced with crisis: Jesus was going to the cross. Right there in their crisis, He asked them if they believed
  • Does your life feel like a roller coaster? Does your spirit life feel like a roller coaster? (Up, down, and all over the place)
  • It only takes the turn of events or one short moment to change everything
  • Disciples walked and talked with Jesus, and they still experienced doubts
  • We will all experience moments of doubt while we are on this earth
  • But when we get to heaven we won’t have any more doubts!
  • The disciples saw miracles of all kinds and then suddenly Jesus was telling them that CHANGE is coming – that in just a little while He would leave: Death & Ascension
  • Jesus felt the need to prepare them for the Change – and for the emotional roller coaster
  • Jesus started asking them questions – Do they really believe Jesus
  • Do we really believe God?

1) Do we as Christians believe that Jesus came out of the sorrow of life

  • John 16:20-22 =  20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
  • Jesus said something will happen that
  • we will be very sorrowful
  • We will ALL face time of great sorrow and trial
  • There will be a time of great trial and the world will be rejoicing  – people will oppose us: we will face time of persecution
  • Sorrow can be turned into JOY (example about a mother giving birth – pain/joy)
  • Great tragedy happens to everyone yet God works it for our good = Romans 8:28 ” And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.”
  • We don’t always understand WHY the bad things happen – but we can KNOW that He will turn the sorrow into Joy
  • We all have times were we face difficulties and are faced with imminent threat of trial and difficulties
  • Sorrow and difficulties do NOT always equal an absence of Joy
  • Do you just believe God when things are going well?
  • Do you still have Joy in your heart, resting in the trusting the Lord when things are going badly?
  • We have to believe that “weeping may endure for the moment, but Joy comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5
  • Joy CAN come of sorrow!
  • We need to be reminded of the totality of life but know that this life is but a fraction of all eternity

2) Do you believe that the Lord CAN and DOES answer prayer?

  • John 16:22-24 = 22 “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you,whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
  • Notice the petition to the Father
  • We are to pray to the Father in Jesus Name
  • Ask so your joy may be full!!!
  • This isn’t a way of rubbing the genie lamp to have your wish granted – this is communion with God, this is building a relationship with him: You are bringing your petitions to the Lord and laying them down at His feet, trusting Him, entrusting your deepest heart felt petitions into His care. Trusting God brings Joy.
  • There will be times when we feel we are being bombarded with attacks from the enemy – we have to retaliate by bombarding heaven with prayers
  • Praying in Jesus Name is powerful! It is our warfare against the enemy!
  • It is not just a phrase, but it is the Authority and Character of Jesus
  • We need to pray in harmony with the character and objectives of Jesus – which is to do the will of the Father
  • We must pray with the will to submit to Jesus’s agenda for our life!!
  • Don’t use prayer as a form of procrastination
  • Is your will aligned with Gods will?
  • We go to church, pray, wing and go on with our day – but is our will aligned with God’s will? Are we REALLY willing to YIELD our ENTIRE being/desires/goals/dreams/agenda to His will?
  • Prayer isn’t for us to do our thing but for us to say “Yes Lord” and to surrender to what God calls us to do
  • Is your life surrendered to Gods will for your life?
  • If God makes interruptions in your life – we say “Yes Lord” and to whatever He commands and make whatever changes He directs
  • We have to be broken before God will use us – I am a wretched sinner, totally incapable of being truly good.
  • When you pray, surrender and obey – then prayers get answered and we are filled with Joy. The prayer may not get answered in the way we would prefer, but we can still have Joy knowing that He is in charge and is taking care of things. Anticipate answered prayers!!
  • LACK OF JOY – a sign that we have to get back to the basics and SURRENDER OURSELVES INTO THE LORDS CARE

3) Do you really believe that God loves you?

  • John 16:26-28 = 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
  • This is a declaration of LOVE is given by Jesus – He is saying that GOD LOVES US!
  • Jesus won’t lie!
  • Jesus knew that we would experience doubts about this – that is why He said “the Lord loves you!”
  • The greatest demonstration of Love – Jesus died for us. We who are so undeserving.
  • How deep, bountiful is the Love of God!
  • If you have ANY question about if God loves you – LOOK AT THE CROSS!
  • In the last section here, the disciples said that Jesus was not speaking in parables and they were getting it. Jesus said “Do you believe? … I have overcome the world!”
  • Jesus has DOMINION over the whole world and we are more than conquerors!!! (Romans 8:37  “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”)
  1. Do you believe that Joy can come out of Sorrow?
  2. Do you believe that God CAN and DOES answer prayer?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus and God loves you?
  • Charles Spurgeon fell into depression
  • No one is exempt form sorrow
  • R. A. Torrey (teacher/preacher at Moody Institute) had a 12 year old girl who died of dyptheria. It was a rainey day funeral. His wife said that she was glad that their child wasn’t in that box on such a dreary day but was with the Lord. Torrey felt a brief moment of joy. The next day his depression really hit hard. He cried out to his daughter. Then the Lord hit him with a sudden rush of Joy – and he wrote: “springing up, always springing up  into everlasting life.”
  • Can you trust God in the midst of sorrow to find Joy?
  • Can you trust God to answer your prayer?
  • Can you trust that God loves you?
  • Do we really believe?
  • Even though we may not FEEL that God loves us, we can trust that He does because He said so!!

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