Spread the Good News!

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Luke 24:1-17 (NIV)

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.

Verse 17 still rings true today. I believe Jesus is asking us the same thing today. Why is our communication sad? Don’t we realize we serve an awesome, mighty and LIVING God.

We are distracted by so many things but we have to ask God to help us stay focused… focused on Him.

Where are your thoughts in these last days? Are we consumed more with career aspirations than on souls?  Are we chasing paper instead of pursuing God and His will for our lives? Of course he wants us to be successful and prosperous but not at the expense of our souls.

Look back at verse 5. Are we treating Jesus as if he were dead still?  When we realize we serve the living God, our lives will mirror Him and not the world.

Luke 24:46-49 (NIV)

46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Here we are reminded of our mission as Christians… to spread the Good News! How? By the power we receive from on high.

The world is waiting on us to share the good news of Jesus.  Anyone can make money.  Anyone can attain status. Anyone can obtain degrees, titles but only the children of God can preach the gospel!

Ask yourself, “do I love the Lord?” and if the answer is yes. Ask yourself,  “does my life echo my love for Him?” Let us glorify Him with our lives.

We will be persecuted.  We will be cast away but – SOLDIER PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD! Stop complaining and put on your war clothes and prepare for this battle!

Remember you are not alone in this battle. You have God and all of Heaven backing you when you are doing the will of the Father!

When you remember who and whose you are, no enemy in hell or on earth can stop you. You are a joint-heir with Christ and you are a child of the most high God.

A good soldier prepares for battle. Likewise, we must prepare by being faithful in prayer, praise, meditation on the scriptures and fasting. Lift up your head and spread the good news … our sins have been forgiven because  we serve the true & living God!

The Devil is in the DISTRACTIONS!

Distractions

Nehemiah 4:1-20

1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:

5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,

8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

Here we see Nehemiah working to rebuild the wall and of course, distractions came. Sanballat talked against him, scoffed at him to discourage him.  The enemy often sends someone to laugh at us when we are a mission for God. Don’t be discouraged, get on one accord with God and watch your enemies be embarrassed!

We see God warned Nehemiah about Sanballat as He will always warns us when we are working for Him! When we are caught off guard by enemy attacks, we have taken our focus off God. We can’t get full of ourselves because when we do, the enemy can take us!

Sanballat couldn’t figure out how Nehemiah knew. Your enemies will wonder how you knew they were coming and how you prevailed.

Nehemiah succeeded, the wall went up in 52 days! Because they kept their focus on God, they were able to accomplish something amazing in record time.

HOW TO PREVAIL PAST DISTRACTIONS

1. Be With One Accord
You can’t avoid them by yourself. You need God and sometimes you need someone as well. God often sends people to help us with our tasks.

2. Be Obedient 
Obedience is rewarded by God. Remember God can use anyone to send a message to you. Have your spiritual antenna up so you can recognize His voice regardless of where it comes from. God can’t help us if we won’t listen to Him.

3. Be Prepared
You have to have on the whole armor of God. You have to stay in your Word. God tailors your armor to fit you so you can be prepared for battle.
In Jesus, what we doubt we can do, we can do!

4. Be accountable
We can’t expect to be blessed without be accountable for our own distractions,  actions. We have to recognize our part in what has held us back. Have we brought problems on ourselves because of our sin?

1 Corinthians 3:12-15

12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 

13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 

14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 

15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Many of us are building things that have no quality! It’s not enough to build something pretty and shiny with no value.

What good is it to have spoken eloquently and looked good doing it if your words meant nothing?

5. Pray
We must be diligent in prayer.

THE RESULT – VICTORY

Nehemiah 6:15

15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

 

Real Success, A Real Gift

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Joshua 1:6-9 (KJV)

6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

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

9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lordthy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua had much success,  he had power which God will allow US to have as long as we keep our faith in Him. We can never think our success comes from anything or anyone other than God.

Look at verse 8, our faith in God is what either catapults us into success or hinders us from it. We have to stay strong in Him.

God has something bigger than just careers and jobs for us. He has a ministry for us. We have a calling on our lives. Are we really striving for “good success” as mentioned in verse 8? God’s standards for success are very different from the world’s standards. Success in God is not about money and cars but rather about souls and peace. It’s about reaching OUT not just taking IN!

When you change your idea of success to God’s way, you can finally start to live in peace. God’s success comes without stress. The world’s success comes with bills, headaches, and parasites!

Acts 1:8(KJV)

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

Now there’s where the power to be successful comes from… the Holy Ghost!  The Holy Ghost is the mind of God. He directs us in all truth.

God’s wants us to be prosperous, financially but He doesn’t want us to measure our success by financial prosperity.  Don’t get caught up in stuff. Get caught up in God and in love and things will come inevitably!

Let’s go back to Joshua 1:7,8. Here are some keys to success we can get straight from God’s Word.

1. Obey the laws and commands of God

2. Don’t lose focus. Stay focused on Jesus.

3. Meditate on God and His Word. You can’t just read the Bible as if it were a novel. You must apply it to your life!

*side note: why is it we strive for the one thing,  person, environment that is no good for us? Spiritual maturity leads us to want what is good for us; mind, body and soul!

Spiritual immaturity strives for a piece of the world and a piece of God.

Deuteronomy 30:16 (KJV)

16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

The Lord will bless your obedience! What God is offering is BIG. It’s bigger than things.  What God is offering does not have to be left to anyone in a will. It can not rust or mold. It can not be burned up or destroyed.

God’s way to success is attainable but we can not take shortcuts.  We may have a “red sea” to cross, a “Jericho” to march around and take. We will have some work to do but God will do the hard part!  He’ll part that sea and make that city fall our feet!

Remember, on this journey,  you are NOT alone.

The Harmless Fire, The Harmless Furnace

Daniel 3

3 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,

5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:

6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.

9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.

10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:

11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?

15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.

27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Verse  25, they put three men in the furnace but now they see four! Thank God for the forth man! The son of God is in the furnace with us!  We are never in the furnace alone!

Merely tending to the fire killed the guards but it didn’t even burn the clothes of the Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego!

Everyone of us will go through a fire but we will make it because God is right in there with us!

We can even thank God for the fire! You may have been through the fire but your clothes won’t even smell like smoke! God delivers totally!

The fire that was meant to destroy you will only free you! Look closely at verse 25, they went in bound but now stand loose and walking!

Don’t try to put the fire out,  let it burn and do what God sent it to do!

If the Hebrew boys had not forgiven Nebuchadnezzar, the fire would have consumed them. We have to forgive even our oppressors, enemies, etc.

We determine through our faith in God, rather the fire will free us or consume us.

Which will the fire do to you?

Listen to the sermon here – The Harmless Furnace, The Harmless Fire

Take Care of THE BODY!

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We’ve all heard that we as followers of Christ are “the body of Christ,” but do we really understand what that means? Do we understand our role as one part/member? Do we understand our responsibility to the rest of the body? Paul breaks it down when he talks about this important principle to the church at Corinth. Let’s get into the scriptures of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and see if we’re doing our PART!

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

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

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

When one part of the body is out of place it causes problems in the rest of the body. If the eyes are not working properly, the body has lost its ability to see. It causes the body to rely more heavily on the other parts of the body such as the ears, etc.  This is true in both the natural and the spiritual. 

We may find ourselves coveting a gift (wanting to fulfill the role of another part of the body other than the one to which we were called) but we must remember that God has called the parts as “it has pleased him.” (see verse 18)

Also, we can not care more for one part/member than we care for another, verse  25 teaches “that the members should have to same care one for another.” In other words, we should not treat certain members differently than others

We have got to get to the point where we care so much about the body, that we recognize when the body is down. We must see when other people are hurting, haven’t been acknowledged, haven’t been loved on. We shouldn’t only pay attention when things are a mess, or brothers/sisters have gone astray. We have to stay in tune with the ENTIRE body in order to be as effective as possible.

Ever had a crook in your neck? How about a headache? Well, you feel the pain, but others can’t see the pain. You may not have a cast on your neck or head to signal to others that there is pain present but the pain is still very real and can be debilitating. Sometimes we feel like when something is not seen that it’s not a problem. People can be crying out for help, even when we cannot see a visible problem. We must stop looking down on people, and start being more in tune with the body. We will not always see the problem. But we must be prayerful.

Ask yourself this question, “why does it only matter when I am going through something, but not when others are?” This is a good self-evaluation question! You should be as concerned or perhaps more concerned when others are suffering.

We must do what it takes to take care of the body of Christ.  We can’t rest until we do what has to be done to take care of each other, as the body.We have to be willing to interrupt out brothers/sisters regular program to pray so that they are not lost. We often promise to pay for people, but why not pray right then and there!?!

We all have different roles as the body. Everybody can’t be a prophet, etc. We all have to play a different role/have a different gift. “For the body is not one member, but many” verse 14.

No matter what we think of each other, God has bestowed on us certain gifts that are all important. We need to allow people to move in their gifts. “The foot” cannot wash dishes better than “the hand” We must also recognize our limitations

There’s no room for jealousy in the body of Christ. Verses15-16

If you are sitting around doing nothing, you are causing the church to suffer. All of us must ask God “what is my gift in my church and beyond.”

 

 

 

 

Having Trouble With Your Thoughts?

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If there was ever a time that we needed our minds kept,  it’s now. If we focus on what God is doing and who He is in our lives,  we will stay in peace. The Word of God tells us to think on what’s true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Let’s go to Philippians 4:4-8

4Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 

5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 

6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 

7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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

Here the Word gives us the recipe for peace of mind. Rejoice, don’t worry, pray and focus on the things of God! We will have trouble with our thoughts on our own but with God’s  help, our minds can be kept in peace!

The problem often lies in the fact that we trust man more than God. We trust in things more than we trust in God. We have allowed the world and man’s ways to rule our lives.

Why are our thoughts so important?  Because sin starts there.  Doubt starts there. Fear starts there. We must get our thoughts under control in order to keep our minds, bodies and souls at peace.

A lot of times we go to man (doctors, lawyers, etc.) to fix things that we, ourselves have broken! Going to man for a quick fix is easier than trusting God. For example, changing our diets may prevent the need for certain medications. Observing the laws, speed limit, etc. may eliminate our need for lawyers.

God always warns us but are we listening? Many times, we don’t  seek God until we are deep in our mess! Always seek Him FIRST.  God is THE answer.

Give God your mind and your thoughts will lead to things that will profit your spirit and the lives of others.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

 

When God Seems Silent…

After going through the experience of waiting on God to answer my prayers more times than I can count, I realized something. God had answered me, he had just not responded with the “yes” that I wanted. I realized that many of the prayers that I felt had been left unanswered had actually received answers. Sometimes, God said “no” and sometimes, “not now.”

Remember asking your mom or dad if you could go somewhere or do something when you had not done what you were supposed to do? Perhaps, you asked to go to the mall and your room was a mess. If your mom was anything like my mom, she screamed “no” without saying a word! Her face said it all! That “I can’t believe you have the audacity to ask to do anything with that junky room” face spoke volumes! Well, I believe God’s presumed silence is sometimes the resounding “no” we do not want but need!.

Why doesn’t God always say, “Yes” to us if he loves us? Here are a few reasons:

1. DOUBT

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

2. SELFISHNESS

Proverbs 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

3. UNFORGIVENESS

Matthew 5:23, 24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

4. HE HAS A BETTER PLAN

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

5. SIN/DISOBEDIENCE

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

6. HE IS THE SOVEREIGN GOD

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

Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Yep, the last one is the reason we probably like the least! We won’t understand every “no.” We may be sure we are ready for something now and may not understand God’s “not now” but as believers, we have to trust that the almighty God knows best.

REFLECTION: Take a look at the prayers you have labeled as unanswered and reevaluate your motives, your current relationship with God, your faith, etc. Perhaps God has answered you.

HOLINESS: HAS IT LEFT THE CHURCH?

What is holiness? According to the dictionary:

ho·li·ness (hōlēnis) noun

  1. Sacredness; the state of any thing hallowed, or consecrated to God or to his worship.
  2. That which is separated to the service of God.

Why must we be holy?

  • We want to be like God!

1 Peter 1:13-17 KJV

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. Lev. 11:44

  • We want a committed relationship with God

I John 2:15-17 KJV

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world

James 4:4 NLT

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 NLT

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?

  • It is a requirement for all believers

Hebrews 12:14 NIV

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Revelation 21:27 KJV

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


In summary, we MUST be holy because God is holy. As believers, we should want to be like our father. Holiness demonstrates our dedication to God! And let us not forget, without holiness, we will not see God!

Reflection: Does my life line up with God? Do I pursue holiness in every area of my life?

Challenge: Separate from everyone & everything that is NOT like God.