HIDDEN TREASURE

(Transcript) 8-3-03 Doggett

“…the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” Matthew 13:44

“ A young boy had just gotten his driving permit.  He asked his father, who is a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you.  You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.” After about a month the boy came back and asked his father if they could discuss the use of the car.  They again went to the fathers study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you.  You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”  The young man waited a moment and replied,  “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that.  You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus `had long hair”.  To which his father replied, “Yes, and they walked everywhere they went”.

THE ENLIGHTENED CHURCH “ I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints…” Ephesians 1:18

I read in a newspaper, not long ago, of a beggar who died penniless.  He was accustomed to having nothing, living in condemned buildings and always lacking sufficient food and clothing.  Loneliness and poverty were certainly his continual companions. After his death, the local officials searched the appropriate records in order to notify the man’s relatives. Much to their surprise, they discovered that the man they thought was just a tramp was actually heir to an extremely large sum of money.  Apparently, he never knew it.  He could have had all the good things of life, but instead, he lived and died in squalor and destitution.  This was an awful tragedy.  But there is a tragedy far worse that happens continually.  Children of God, ignorant of the riches of their inheritance, often live like beggars spiritually; slaves to circumstances and sin, when they should be living like kings in the abundant life that Jesus promised. Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth “Now concerning spirituals brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant” (1Corinthians 12:1 )

TREASURE IN A FIELD …”.The Kingdom of heaven is like……..”(Matt 13:44)

It our above scripture it is vitally important that we realize this particular reference to the Kingdom Of Heaven is not just referring to a place that the soul of a believer goes to at the moment of death.  It is referring as well to a spiritual realm of intimacy with God that we can walk in and live in…. right here, right now!

This treasure is in us.  All that the King does and is contained within the seed of God in us. This hidden treasure was initially the revelation of who Jesus is.  Now, this treasure, having been transferred to our hearts, is the ever unfolding revelation of “Who we are in Christ”.

HAVE WE DONE OUR BEST? / UNTAPPED POTENTIAL

Last week’s teaching focused on the “Parable of the Talents” outlined in the book of Matthew chapter 25.  We learned that we have an amount, we must give an account, an dwe must make out life count.  God wants you and me to be all that he has purposed.  The greatest threat to being all you could be is satisfaction with who you are.  There are many individuals who have buried their talent, gifts, and abilities- “yes, just like a real cemetery burial”. They have settled for less than the best what a tragedy!

EXPOSING YOUR GLORY “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)

Our common goal in life is to release the glory that God placed within us.  There is no greater purpose in life than to expose your personal glory.  It is a fact of creation that everything possesses its own glory and exists for the purpose of manifesting that glory.  We must all strive to “be in our glory”.  Last week I noticed that one particular flower in our yard (Rose of Sharon) were in full bloom.  Whether it’s a flower, a bird, a butterfly, we have all experienced their moment of glory. These glories exist in everything andeveryone. The glory of a boy is a man; the glory of a girl is the woman.  Every animal, plant, star, and human being possesses glory consistent with their purpose for being.  Even the Creator Himself is said to be full of glory.

DON’T BURY GOD’S GLORY “…You wicked lazy servant! Matthew 25:26-30

Glory is the full expression of the true nature of a thing. Tragically, many people die and never fully express who they were. The seeds of glory are hidden within us.

The wealthiest spot on earth is not the diamond mines of South Africaor the oil fields ofSouth America, but the cemetery.  Graveyards all over the world are great repositories of lost treasure: unwritten books, unpainted paintings, uncomposed music, unpenned poetry, unrealized dreams, unfulfilled hopes, unexpressed ideas, unreleased potential, and unfinished growth.  Every day thousands of people go to their graves without ever having revealed their true or full glory.  Whether due to poverty, ignorance, oppression, illness, spiritual blindness, procrastination, or just plain disobedience, multitudes of people either fail or never have the opportunity to fully become everything God meant for them to be.  They take their hopes and dreams to the grave and their glory dies with them.

CONTAINERS OF GLORY/ JARS OF CLAY

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But wehave this treasure in jars of clayto show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in ourbody.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-10)

For many of us, our “jars of clay” are very ordinary looking, perhaps even unimpressive; not the kind of vessel in which anyone would expect to find treasure.  It would be like concealing a diamond in a shoebox.  Paul did say –“we have this treasure in jars of clay”to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We must first discover (ascertain, determine and unearth) this great wealth of wisdom and knowledge that is veiled in mystery, hidden deep down in the secret chambers of the regenerated spirit; then we must bring it forth.

“Electricity has always existed, but it had to be discovered.  Gravity, friction, inertia, and the other natural laws of the universe have always existed; but they had to be discovered”.

“Jesus said- “ A good man out of the good treasureof the heart brings forthgood things.” (Matthew 12:35)

We are walking, talking treasure chests, a “casket of Jewels”/ “Bars of bones” full of the diamonds, rubies, pearls of gifts to be brought forth.  This is His glory and God does not want us to take that treasure with us to the grave.  He didn’t place His glory in us for it to end up buried in a cemetery.  God hid His treasure in “jars of clay” but He doesn’t want it to stay there.

GOD’S PURPOSE / HIS INTENT “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10)

The Master Creator and Designer established His purpose for each item in creation and built into each the ability or potential to perform and fulfill that purpose or assignment.

For example, the purpose for seeds is to produce plants, therefore, by design; all seeds possess the ability and potential to produce plants.

This ability to reproduce does not, however, guarantee that the seed will produce a plant.  This is a tragedy of nature.  The destruction of a seed is in essence the termination of a forest.  This principle is applied to all God’s created beings. You were created because there is something that God wants done that demands your presence on this earth.  You were designed and dispatched for destiny. This destiny and purpose is also the key to your ability.  You were created with the inherent abilities, talents, gifts, and inclinations to fulfill this purpose.

YOU ARE GIFTED

Each year thousands travel to the ancient city of Rome to visit historical sites frozen in time. One of the most sought-out sites is the Sistine Chapel.  Tourists come by the busloads to look at and photograph the work of the great master Michelangelo.  The masterpiece painted on the ceiling of this revered chapel has become one of the great wonders of the world and serves as a standard for developing artist. What is this work that generates so much attention and pride?  It is simply the glory of a man.  It is the manifestation of the hidden glory of the artist.  In other words, Michelangelo filled the earth with his glory and left the essence of his life and nature in the earth.

Many people walk around with their masterpiece in their minds, buried under wishful thinking, procrastination, fear, excuses, and intimidation.  What a tragedy!  Suppose Michelangelo had died with these works of art in his mind.  What a waste that would have been.

OUR GOAL IS TO “DIE EMPTY” “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4)

As long as we are alive the possibility exists for us to reach our full potential.  God has endowed us with gifts, talents, and abilities, and He wants us to use them for His glory and for mankind’’ good.  We should strive to freely pour out all that is in us in unselfish service to the world.  If we fully express ourselves in this life, as God desires, we will not take any unfulfilled potential with us to the grave.  Our goal should be to “die empty”.

Your glory is who you really are, The “ultimate you,” the true person hidden inside that no one has ever really seen.  Your full glory is everything you were born to do that you haven’t done yet; everything you’ve dreamed but haven’t accomplished yet.  Once recognized and revealed your full glory will bring your life satisfaction than anything else.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Psalms 19:1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES

(Transcript 12-21-03)  Thomas Doggett

“ Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us”. Hebrews 12:1

This scripture above implies that “The Heroes of Faith”listed in Hebrews chapter 11 are watching us from the grandstands of heaven encouraging us in our faith.  Some preachers used to preach that these witnesses have filled a big heavenly stadium and we are running in a track down here and they’re rooting us on.  The picture here is that they are witnesses to the validity of living faith.

THE GRANDSTANDS

In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. [25] To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. [26] So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadowboxing or playing around. [27] Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. 1 Cor. 9:24-27 (Living)

Many of us have participated in sports at one time or the other, can you remember those days?  Years ago I remember playing high school football, basketball as well as running track.  Here recently, some of our own young men in the Lord were a part of a local little league football team, (ages 5-7) where they won the recognition of City Champions!  Congratulations to all these young athletes. In writing this lesson, I’m reminded of the years past, when running the 440 relay at Courter Technical High, I would scan the crowds to see if any of my friends were watching me, I’m certain these young men did some scanning as well.  Have you ever scanned the crowds to see who was encouraging you as you ran your race? Think back for a moment and reminisce- now take a look through the crowd.  Whose face do you see?  Maybe you see the face of grandma or grandpa, or the face of your mom or dad.  Maybe you see the face of a spouse or mentor. Maybe you see the face of a boss or a schoolteacher or a scout leader or a Sunday school teacher or Pastor cheering you on.  When I look back, I see the face of my mother.  She was the voice of encouragement for me.  She was like a female Moses laying down the law on us rowdy kids.  She told me once something that I will never forget, and that is, “You can accomplish anything in life that you want, with God’s help.” She is there in the crowd.  Who was it that encouraged you to continue in the faith?  Who encourages you today!

DAVID IS IN THE CROWD

“What more should I say? I don’t have enough time to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. [33] Through faith they conquered kingdoms, did what God approved, and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, Hebrews 11:32-33 (GW)

Down towards the front and over to the right is a man standing there who looks like he owns the place, the kind of a man who looks like he never lost a battle, yet he appears somehow humble at the same time. It’s David.  What a race he ran! He learned how to depend on God at an early age while tending sheep.  While he was as shepherd, David and God defeated bears and lions that tried to get David’s sheep.  While still a shepherd David and God defeated the giant Goliath in front of all the armies of Israel and the Philistines.  David was strong in faith and so sure of God was David that David responded to the giant’s taunts with these words: MY God will give you into my hands.

David’s dependence on the trustworthiness of God grew into love for God.  David loved God with all of his heart. David wrote love songs to God. Even in times of despair, of which there were many for David, his love did not wane. For twenty years David was God’s outlaw as King Saul chased him all over the countryside.  Then David became God’s chosen King.  While David was King he lost his footing and involved himself in a plot so steamy that not even soap operas would dare to use it.  It involved an affair with a neighbor’s wife, a murder, a cover –up and the loss of a child.  Yet through it all, David remained God’s man and when he saw he couldn’t hide, David threw himself on God’s mercy.  David ran the whole of his race with God and did it in such a way that he was called a man after God’s own heart.  I want to run my race as David did.  I want to loveGod as David did.  I want to dance before God as David did, not caring who is watching.  I want to cling to God and God’s great mercy even when I fall.  I want to do my life with God, run my race with God, and do great things for God and with God just as David did, How about you?

ONCE OUT BUT NOW IN THE GRANDSTANDS

“ Faith led the prostitute Rahab to welcome the spies as friends. She was not killed with those who refused to obey God.” Hebrews 11:31 (GW)

Rahab grew up apart from God. She didn’t know God. Her people worshipped other gods- small-g kind of gods,rain gods fertility gods and sun gods.  One day two men came to her house seeking a place to stay.  She knew right away who they were.  The strangers were Israelites.  She told them that she knew that God was with them. Although Rahab had grown up without God and lived her life away from God, she recognized God when she saw his work. I will help you, she told the men, if you help me.  She protected the spies, and when the Israelites conquered her city of Jericho, they spared Rahab, her parents, her brothers, her sisters, and all their families because Rahab had helped the two Israelite spies. Rahab had been excluded from the race, but when she saw her chance to get in the race, to be a part of what God was doing, she jumped at the chance and in doing so she became one of the ancestors of Jesus.  I want to run my race as Rahab did.  I want to be a part of what God is doing.  I want to be able to recognize God and choose God.  I want to be used by God to save my family.  I want to run my race as Rahab did how about you?

ABRAHAM’S IN THE STANDS

“Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and go far away to another land that he promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away he went, not even knowing where he was going.”Hebrews 11:8 (Living)

As you look towards the back of the grandstand you will see an old man standing, leaning on his walking stick.  It looks like…..yes, I think it is…it is Abraham.  Seeing him standing there I think back to the race he ran.  It is a strange race for we don’t see Abraham doing anything at all for God until he is in his retirement years.  It was not until after his struggles that Abraham is quiet enough to hear God’s voice.  It was not until after achieving what he thought he could achieve, or at least trying hard to achieve it, that Abraham had time to hear God’s voice.  In this time of quiet for Abraham, God called him and said Abraham I want you to move.  God promised Abraham land and descendants (this was puzzling, because Abraham had no children), and that through him God would bless all the families of the earth. Abraham struggled with God through his retirement years as to how God was going to do all this; but even in the mist of the struggle, Abraham never let go.  Abraham ran his race with God in such a way that his retirement years brought more blessings to more people than all his working years put together. I want to run my race as Abraham did. I want to know that it is never too late to turn to God. I want to know that I’m never to old to be used by God. I want to run my race as Abraham did and have my later years outshine my earlier years.

PETER AND MARY MAGDALENE ARE IN THE GRANDSTANDS

Jesus said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. Matthew 14:29 (GW)

I see Peter, the big fisherman.  I want to run my race as Peter did.  I want to walk on the water with Jesus in the storm, as Peter did, rather than stay in the warm, dry, safe comfortable boatIT TAKES FAITH TO WALK ON WATER. I want to get back up, as Peter did, after I make mistakes.  I want to run my race passionately, from love, as Peter did.  I want to run, as Peter did.  I see Mary Magdalene.  I want to run my race from love as Mary did.  I don’t want to run my race because I have to, or think I should, or fulfill some kind of duty or obligation or responsibility.  I want to run my race passionately, from love, as Mary did, responding to a love from God shown in Jesus unlike any I have ever known before. Like all the rest of the people in those grandstands, I want to run my race in away that makes a difference for now and for all time and encourage those who come after me to run harder and faster and not abandon the race when they hit a wall and think they can’t go on anymore.  For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as we did when we first became Christians, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. Hebrews 3:14 (Living) I want to run my race in such a way that others will want to join me and run the race to.

DON’T GIVE UP! /KEEP RUNNING

“The person who has God’s approval will live by faith.  But if he turns back, I will not be pleased with him.” [39] We don’t belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved.”  Hebrews 10:38-39 (GW)

Others have endured before us, they are our examples of accomplishments. “ All these great people died in faith. They did not get the things that God promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future and were glad. They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13 (NCV) theseall died in faith having not received the promise but seeing them afar off.  We have received better promises. The promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Salvation by faith, deliverance from the powers of darkness, redemption through his blood, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, Heir of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, eternal life and many many more promise.

“ But Christ, as a Minister in heaven, has been rewarded with a far more important work than those who serve under the old laws because the new agreement that he passes on to us from God contains far more wonderful promises” Hebrews 8:6 (Living)

JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) Jesusis our Hero!  He laid aside the weight of worldliness, the weight of negative attitudes and the weight of selfishness.  His mission was one leading to joy.  He brought God’s gift to mankind. and no suffering was going to deter Him from accomplishing the task before him.  Jesus won the race and now he’s enjoying the joy seated on the throne.

ARE YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS?

Are you seeking to grow in your faith?  Do you know Jesus better now than a year ago?  May Paul’s testimony be ours at the end of our lives. “I have fought the good fight. I have completed the race. I have kept the faith. [8] The prize that shows I have God’s approval is now waiting for me. The Lord, who is a fair judge, will give me that prize on that day. He will give it not only to me but also to everyone who is eagerly waiting for him to come again.” 2 Tim. 4:7-8 (GW)- Until then may we say with Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith…….I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14)
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WHY SIT HERE UNTIL WE DIE?

(Transcript 8-9-05) Thomas Doggett valleyoftheson.com

“Now there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates.  ”Why sit here until we die?” they asked each other. 2 Kings 7:3 (Living)

AGGRESSIVELY PURSUING GOD

“From the time of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it. Matthew 11:12 ”

“Hello?  Mr. Doggett This is Mike from Picture-Perfect Window Company.  How are you today?”  Sound familiar?  It always seems as though telemarketers (whether they’re window companies, lawn companies, insurance agents, or credit card companies) call at the most inopportune times.  You would think that cold-calling people would have to be the most unproductive way of drumming up business.  Yet it seems as if my family gets at least three or four of these annoying calls a night—right in the middleof dinner.  Still, companies use telemarketers because they know that if they sit around waiting for more business, they will more than likely not get it.  They have to be aggressive.  Turn Read 2 Kings 7:3-19

The bible tells a story about four men who sat at the entrance of the city’s gate dying with leprosy, an incurable disease which causes terribly visible swelling and sores on the skin, only then to eat inward to the bones.  These lepers sat outside of the city because they were not permitted to live within the city because of this contagious and incurable disease.  These men were faced with a fatal disease, they were outcasts, and they were starving because of a famine in the land.  This type of dark and gloomy life and no perceived future would make the average person throw in the towel and just give up on life – but not these men.

And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”  (II Kings 7:3-4)

Sitting and examining their situation, they realized that just simply sitting and doing nothing would result in having and being nothing, so they asked themselves the question, “Why do we sit here until we die?“  They knew that if they entered the city, they would die because of the famine.  They also knew that if they sat there and did nothing, that they would die as well. What did they do?  They made the decision to ACT. Regardless of their gloomy circumstance, they got up from were they were and decided to do something to change their situation.  They made the choice to face their obstacles and do something different.  They went into the city realizing that difficulties may be ahead, for if the city dwellers spared their lives, they would live, and if not, they would die–but given the situation that they were in, things were not going to just get better.  Our opening verse scripture and its surrounding story focuses on the way the four Samaritan lepers thought and acted on their situation.  They realized that no one was going to offer them food in the midst of a famine, and if they were going to get rid of that gnawing in their stomachs, then they would have to take matters into their own hands.  If they maintained the unchanging status quo, then they were going to get the same results that they had been getting—no food and ultimately death.  They realized that they would have to be aggressive.Illus: Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. — Will Rogers

GOD WILL WORK IN YOUR SITUATION IF YOU MAKE THE DECISION TO ACT

“I will place on his shoulder(Jesus) the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open Isaiah 22:22 (NIV)”

God will open wonderful doors of opportunity for the believer who will obey His word.  He will also close door in situations where the enemy is trying to enter your life  hinder you.

Continuing our story:  Upon entering the city, to their pleasant surprise, no one was there, because God had caused the city dwellers to abandon their tents.  Because of their decision tochange their situationand the decision to act, these hungry dying men when into a tent, and feasted as they ate, drank, and carried off silver, gold, and clothing.  However, it did not end there, after putting away the silver, gold, and clothing, they entered another tent and again met great fortune.

You, just like the lepers, may be in your decision place today.  If you are in a place, or situation that seems lifeless, regardless of where that place may be, or how things look, ask yourself the question, why do I sit here until I die? Take a good look at where you are, and where you want to be.  Then take the necessary steps to find yourself in that desired place.  Because in the midst of misfortune – choice, and then action will find you reaping the great benefits that God has purposed for your life.

PEW WARMERS / VIEW FROM THE PEW

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)

The expression “pew warmer” is a familiar word to most Christians, who have learned over the years some of the ‘Christian’ jargon.  Now many churches don’t even have pews, but they still have ‘pew warmers’.  For the uninitiated, they may be defined as “those who do nothing more for the Lord than sit in church on Sunday” and, sad as it may seem, they are the most common, garden variety Christian in our country today. In a decade of harvest and outreach, at a time of God’s Spirit moving on hearts in a deeper way, they sit, detached and very often critical, guarding their seat lest it be stolen in the middle of a meeting!  The deceiving thing is that they look the same, and sound the same as those serving God, at least until you look a little deeper.  They may sit praising Him; they usually have a comment about how everybody should be doing it.  They very often love God, and are right into positive words, faith, and showing love to the brethren.  So what’s missing?  They are people who refuse to act –Members who sit back to receive without getting up to give. Of course it is tempting to sit back, to take it easy, to let others do the work.  The result however is devastating.  First of all to the church, because there is more work than a few so-called experts can handle.  But also for those who think they can sit back and watch.  Non-involvement means dying for both the church and those members, who unlike Jesus, seek to be ministered unto, rather than to minister.  Why sit here until we Die?

THE COMFORTABLE PEW

Means that the burdens of the ministry are left for the shoulders of a few.  And it will result in quick burn-out.  It will result in, sometimes, severe criticism on the part of those who do nothing.  And that will bring more discouragement to hard workers.  And one more result may be that those who stand back will live on the edge of the church, always in danger of falling over the edge and losing it all. But the Bible has news for us.  Being a member of the church means that you, according to your ability take part in the ministry of the church.  No one is exempt, not even those who think there is nothing they have to contribute.  Every church member has been given at least one gift.  So what we need to do is to: DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS and use them for the glory of God- Why sit here until we die?  Make a contribution to the church- Serve the Lord with gladness!

BODY GIFTS

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. John 17:4 (NIV)”

In 1 Corinthians 12:11, Paul, writing about the Spirit giving gifts, says: “He gives them to each person.” And that gift is a body gift.  By that he means that these gifts are given to the body of Jesus for the work of the church.  It is important for us to think about the fact that together all members form the body of Jesus. And of that body, Jesus is the Head.   What does that imply’?

When Jesus was with us, here on earth, He finished the work that He came to do.  He opened the way to the Father, the way home. He removed the terrible road block formed by our sin.  That however did not mean that nothing remained to be done.  For instance there are children who need to be informed that the way home is open.  They need an invitation to come back to the Father.  They need to be guided.  Furthermore all God’s children need to be prepared for living at home.  They need that simply because they know naturally how to live in this world, but they have to learn anew how to live in the home with their Father.  They need to be integrated into the body; they need to learn about fellowship, and many other aspects of living with and for God. They need to learn how to live in the kingdom; they need to learn how to assist in the coming of that kingdom. So Jesus, when He had to return to heaven, from there to rule His church, sent us the Holy Spirit in His place.  The Spirit came to live in our hearts, to transform us, or sanctify us for living at home. By His very nature, He remains in the background.  He works behind the scenes. There He encourages us to do the work of Jesus, to finish what is still left uncompleted: Gathering all the nations in, calling all men to give God the glory, uniting into the body of Jesus.   No more spectators-No More Bench Warmers- Get in the Game! –Why sit here until we die!

BEING AGGRESSIVE ABOUT WHAT WE BELIEVE / THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4 (NIV)”

I know we all have heard the story about, “The Grasshopper and the Ant.” The grasshopper in the story is considered a lazy insect, while the ant is looked upon as industrious and economical. As the story unfolds, during the summer while the days were pleasant and sunny, the grasshopper would sing and play and have a merry good old time, never thinking about tomorrow!  One day the grasshopper decided to visit the ant. Upon his arrival, to his surprise, he found the ant hard at work.  He said to the ant, “Why do you work so hard? Why don’t you rest and have a good time like me, and enjoy the beautiful summer days?

The ant replied, “I must work in order to be prepared when the stormy days shall come.”

So the grasshopper went away as idle and as unconcerned as before, singing, playing and sleeping the fine sunny day away, while the ant was busy preparing for the chilly winter days that would surely come.  Soon a change began to take place.  Cold winds began to blow, and snow covered the ground.  This stopped the grasshopper’s dancing and singing, it stopped his playing.  For he became cold and he had no shelter, so he went around to see the ant to get some food and shelter from the cold; but the ant said, “Not so, I have but enough for myself, you have spent your time in idleness throughout the summer days, now it is cold, and winter has set in.

It is too late, “The door is shut!” Let me ask you which of these two was the wiser?

I believe we all will agree it was the ant! You will admit that the grasshopper was unwise.   So what is the meaning to this parable?  It is saying to adults, children, and our youth; it is not wise to wait until you become men and women to give your hearts and your time to God.  No it is not wise to play when you should be learning and getting involved in the work.  To the young while you are young, give your hearts and your time to God.  While you are young, give of your best to the Master, give of the strength of your youth, start preparing while you can give Him a full life; I know how easy it is not to take life serious, we all have been young, but remember the lesson of the grasshopper, for sure as there is spring and summer, there will be a fall; and when the fall is over, winter is not far behind!  See Matthew 25:1-13  story of The 10 virgins

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Matthew 25:1-13- Philip. 2:12 (NIV)

Why Sit Her Until We Die? Make your decision today  To Act!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SURELY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE

(Transcript 10-26-03)  Thomas Doggett V.O.S

WHERE EXACTLY IS GOD?

If we could ask a fish where is water and he would tell you water is everywhere. The same would be true if you could ask a bird where is air and he would tell you it is everywhere. The same is true about God, He is everywhere. King David said in Psalm 139:7-12 “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? [8] If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. [9] If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, [10] even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. [11] If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”[12] even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

From our human perspective, it can be difficult to imagine a being that has no size, no dimensions. God does not have to “spread Himself thin” to fill the universe.  He is fully and equally present in all parts of His creation at all times.  However, there are also times in Scripture when God’s presence seems especially localized. Once their sin had been found out, Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God (Gen. 3:8) Later, Cain “went away from the presence of the Lord” after murdering his brother (Gen. 4:16). One of the most striking references to God’s presence is found in Exodus 33.  After being told by God that His presence would go with Israel, and that He would give them rest, Moses communicates that He would not lead the Israelites away from Mt. Sinai unless God’s presence went with them.  “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” Exodus 33:16 (NIV)

WHERE’S GOD?  Where there is love there is God because God is love

Two little boys were best friends at church, but they both had a reputation for getting in trouble.  One Sunday, one of the boys was home sick, but the other boy, not wanting to let his friend down, was twice as bad as normal.  As he was running through the sanctuary after church the Head Deacon grabbed him and angrily said, “Where’s God?! The little boy way frightened and didn’t know what to say. The head deacon continued, “I want you to go home and think about it and I didn’t want you to come back until you can tell me where God is.”  The boy went home and called his sick friend on the telephone.  “Guess what,” he said.  “They’ve lost God, and they’re trying to blame that on us, too.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever” Psalm 16:11 (GW)

We talk about the presence of God, and we sing about it- “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place.” Not long ago I overheard a couple of people discussing a particular meeting they had attended.  The description they gave included this statement,  “God showed up”.  Let me ask you here today in this service, are we merely waiting around, hoping He’ll show up?  Let me ask you, is God here today, Is he here in this class or are we merely waiting around, hoping He’ll show up?  Christian Theology teaches us that God is both “transcendent” and “imminent”- He is outside of us, beyond us, other than us.  He is also very near to us; He is “Omnipresent”- always present everywhere.  Regardless of what you or I may be feeling at this very moment, we are indeed in the presence of God.

WORSHIP IS NOT GEOGRAPHICAL PLACE

Last week we talked about the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4:14 who said to Jesus that the ability to worship was tied to a place. She wanted to know what the best place was to go in order to truly worship God.  Was it Jerusalem or was it Samaria?  She believed that worshipping God was tied to geography. Jesus said to her, yes you are right it is a place but it is not a geographical one.  It is a spiritual place that those who are going to worship Me must get into so that they can truly worship me in Spirit and truth. But say, tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here [at Mount Gerizim], where our ancestors worshiped?”[21] Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. [22] For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship–is our worship spiritual and real? [23] Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us. [24] But you Samaritans know so little about him, worshiping blindly, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes to the world through the Jews.”

John 4:20-24 (Living) “But say, tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here [at Mount Gerizim], where our ancestors worshiped?” [21] Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. [22] For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship–is our worship spiritual and real? [23] Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us. [24] But you Samaritans know so little about him, worshiping blindly, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes to the world through the Jews.” John 4:20-24 (Living)

See JACOB” GEN. 28:10-22 Let’s turn in our bibles and read the account of Jacob.  Many have come here to today and like Jacob wonder if God showed up. —They are not aware of the Lords presence. They have taken the stones (a type of Gods word and they have used them as pillows and they have fallen fast to sleep in Zion (the church).  Jacob was in a place that came to be known as Bethel (House of God).  Have you ever said to yourselves or someone “Where is God? Or I cannot feel His presence- I cannot sense His presence.  If you have you may not have been in the right place-  The Spirit.  When you find the place of His Spirit you will experience the “Place” the environment of His presence for in His presence is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forever.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“OUTBREAK”- CONTAGIOUS BELIEVERS

(Transcript 5-23-04) Thomas Doggett V.O.S Ministeries

“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the Lord’s message may spread quickly, and be received with honour as it was among you;”……… 2 Thes. 3:1 (NJB)

OUTBREAK – Contagious Christianity

“And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also…” Acts 17:6 (KJV)

Outbreak: a sudden, violent bursting out, the outbreak of war; an epidemic or near, epidemic, an outbreak of small pox.  Epidemic: a disease, which becomes widespread in a particular place at a particular time; an occurrence, generally unpleasant, which is widespread or intense.

In the book of acts we will find that after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of day of Pentecost the church became contagious.  There was epidemic of the word that began to spread throughout the region were Paul and Silas were ministering.  The enemies of the early church Christians stated that the Christians have turned the world upside down.  They were on fire for God. This type of contagious faith spreads because of the powerful presence of God in a person’s life as a result of being infected. and becoming contagious. The were going from house to house spreading the gospel (Acts 20:20)

CONTAGIOUS FAITH: GET INFECTED

“From you the Lord’s Word has spread out not only through the province of Macedonia and Greece but also to people everywhere who have heard about your faith in God.We don’t need to say a thing about it. [9] They talk about how you welcomed us when we arrived. They even report how you turned away from false gods to serve the real, living God [10] and to wait for his Son to come from heaven. His Son is Jesus, whom he brought back to life. Jesus is the one who rescues us from {God’s} coming anger. 1 Thes. 1:8-10 (GW)

In the letters Paul writes to the Thessalonians church we find his description of a people who exhibited a contagious faith. Every Kingdom believer ought to be infected with it, every believer should be incubating it, and the world needs to be infested by it.  Every person here in this meeting can realize the potential to have a heavenly impact on this world when they are filled with a faith birthed in a hunger for God and empowered by His response. Usually when we use the word contagious it describes something that we want to flee from. The reason for that is because when you hear this word contagious being used it is often used as an adjective for sickness, disease, or parasite.  When we say someone is contagious what we’re really saying is that you can “catch”what they’ve got. If they have a cold and they are contagious what we are saying is that the cold virus they have can be easily transferred from them to you.  Most people don’t stick around those who are labeled contagious because people who are contagious will always infect someone else with what they are carrying unless they are quarantined.

The reason why I am using the word contagious is not to say that faith is like a virus or bacteria or parasite but to say that contagious faith has similar characteristics to a contagious virus or bacteria or parasite. Contagious faith (like contagious sicknesses or disease) is caught, grows and spreads.  However there is an important difference- an imposed quarantine is somewhat successful in preventing the spread of contagious sickness or disease but quarantine will never prevent contagious faith!

So, contagious faith is caught (or received)- a person is infected by it; it grows (or increases) – it incubates in its host; and finally, contagious faith spreads (or multiplies)- as it infects others who come in contact.

CONTAGIOUS FAITH IS CAUGHT BY HANGING AROUND A CARRIER

“Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. [6] You became imitators of usand of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit”. 1 Thes. 1:5-6 (NIV)

When people learn that someone has a contagious illness and is sick they avoid contact and keep their distance. Most of us tend to avoid getting too close to those with a contagious cold or flu or disease because we know the risk is greater of catching what they’ve got the more we are in their presence.  If we would think back to the day when we began walking down the path to your salvation. Who was the persons who nudged you in the right direction towards Jesus?  You probably saw something in the person who got close to you and awakened a desire within you that you never had before.  There was something about what they said and more importantly something about the way they lived that infected you.  The Apostle Paul; was a Christian with a contagious faith who infected the Thessalonians church because of his close proximityto them.  The church began to imitate (follow) Paul, Silas, Timothy and Jesus by becoming like the one being imitated and continuing on to being like them infecting everyone they would meet.

That means that Paul and Silas caught what Jesus had and Timothy caught what Paul had and we catch should catch what the early church had.

RECOGNIZE DIVINE APPOINTMENTS ARRANGED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

“An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that leads down to Gaza from Jerusalem—the desert road.” [27] So Philip got ready and went. On the road he saw a man from Ethiopia, a eunuch. He was an important officer in the service of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians; he was responsible for taking care of all her money. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship. [28] Now, as he was on his way home, he was sitting in his chariot reading from the Book of Isaiah, the prophet. [29] The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Acts 8:26-29 (NCV)

It is exciting serving the Master (Jesus). You will find yourself in certain places that you would not have imagined, sharing your faith.  The Lord took Phillip from a large camp meeting in Samaria where multitudes were being delivered and coming to Christ to the desert to meet one man.  God will place you to the path way of others to infect them with the gospel.  Paul preached to eunuch because of the appointment set up by God.

“That night Paul saw in a vision a man from Macedonia. The man stood and begged, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” [10] After Paul had seen the vision, we immediately prepared to leave for Macedonia, understanding that God had called us to tell the Good News to those people.” Acts 16:9-10 (NCV)

MATTHEWS PARTY

[22:1] Jesus again used stories to teach the people. He said, [2] “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. [3] The king invited some people to the feast. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the people, but they refused to come.  [4] “Then the king sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’  [5] “But the people refused to listen to the servants and left to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business. [6] Some of the other people grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. [7] The king was furious and sent his army to kill the murderers and burn their city.  [8] “After that, the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready. I invited those people, but they were not worthy to come. [9] So go to the streetcorners and invite everyone you find to come to my feast.’ [10] So the servants went into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.  [" Matthew 21:10 (NCV)

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, [28] and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.  [29] Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. [30] But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”  [31] Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthywho need a doctor, but the sick. [32] I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:27-32 (NIV)

After Matthew’s conversion he threw a banquet and did the unheard- of.  He invited both his religious and irreligious buddies.  Matthew (Levi) threw a party after he was radically transformed by his encounter with Jesus and as a result had an immediate concern for his friends who were not yet committed to Christ.   His natural desire was to help his friends find what he found.   I believe Jesus is compelling his servants in this passage (contagious Christians) to begin to rub shoulders with the irreligious people and invite everyone who will come to the banquet. It would be great to throw a banquet and invite the spiritual haves (saved) and the have-nots (unsaved). Your religious friends and irreligious friends.  Purposefully invite a mixed crowd- then have a party with a purpose.

Let them know what they are coming to.  Don’t hide your light or put away your salt.  Salt must touch something to have its effect. Contagious Christianity is friend to friend person to person, neighbor to neighbor. There is no need to scheme. Let them in on the details of the banquet.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL BECAME A CARRIER

Then the woman left her water jar and went back into the city. She told the people, [29] “Come with me, and meet a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could he be the Messiah?” [30] The people left the city and went to meet Jesus. John 4:28-30 (GW)

Jesus met a Samaritan woman at Jacobs’s well who came out to draw water.  When Jesus spoke to her and asked her for a drink of water she was alarmed and said to Him that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans- (she was surprised that he would talk to her).  Jesus spoke about the natural well of Jacob and Himself being a spiritual source of living water.  He told her in essence to lower her water pot in him and she would never thirst again. Jesus then began to reveal to her what he knew about her life.  Jesus was contagious, he infected her .  The Samaritan woman had three things going against her: she was a Samaritan, she was a woman, and she was living an immoral lifestyle.  Back then, anyone of these would be enough to disqualify her from being taken seriously by society but Jesus infected her and she became contagious.  She ran into the city to spread these truths to others, and infect them even with her current profile. .

“Many Samaritans in that city believed in Jesus because of the woman who said, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” [40] So when the Samaritans went to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them. He stayed in Samaria for two days. [41] Many more Samaritans believed because of what Jesus said. [42] They told the woman, “Our faith is no longer based on what you’ve said. We have heard him ourselves, and we know that he really is the savior of the world.” John 4:39-42 (GW)

Blessings to all in Jesus! Please send a comment below and partner with us as we study God’s Holy Word

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH

(Transcript 12-28-03) Thomas  Doggett V.O.S

“So what can we say that Abraham, the father of our people, learned about faith? [2] If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag. But this is not God’s view, [3] because the Scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” Romans 4:1-3 (NCV)

I have personally noticed that many who are in the body of Christ are suffering from a complex; a inferiority complex.  They do not feel worthy to come into the presence of God.  I have heard many Christians proclaim “I’m just an ol’ sinner saved by grace.”They have a sinner’s mentality. With this mind set, they bear up under the load and just try to do the best they can.  I have had Christians say to me after I asked how they were doing: “I’m just trying to make it through to the City.” What they meant by that expression was they were doing their best just to make it to Heaven.  Some think that they must struggle and strive just to get to Heaven as if it all depended on them.  They think that if they can perform enough on earth God will be pleased.  If they can do just enough good things they will be righteousness enough to approach God’s Throne.  Are you just a sinner saved by grace? Is your salvation based upon how good you perform or your faith in Christ Jesus? Is there a hesitancy that exists in your heart about approaching God’s Throne?  The consciousness of sin brings condemnation (see Romans 8:1)

As Christians if we see ourselves as sinners, we will shrink down at the thought of standing in the presence of a Holy God.  If we see ourselves as sinners, there is no confidence in us to even approach God’s Holy Throne. No, we are not born into the family of God as sinnersWE WERE SINNERS, BUT NOW WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE.

SIN CONSCIOUSNESS MUST BE DESTROYED IN US

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” 1 Cor. 15:34 (KJV)

As Christians we must come to realize in our consciousness that there is no sin, there is no separation, and there is no barrier that can keep you from being the righteousness of God. Righteousness is not based on mans efforts, but on God’s provision.  Yes Christian’s sin, but if they do, it doesn’t change the fact that they are the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If we sin, we are commanded to come boldly unto the throne of grace to confess our sins knowing that He is Faithful and Just to forgive us of our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness (Hebrews 4:16, 1John 1:9 KJV).  Before you can ever have a proper fellowship with God, that sin-consciousness in you has to be destroyed.  You will never have a proper fellowship with God, and you will never have the joy of God flowing in you as long as you have sin-consciousness.  As long as you are always aware of you sin and weakness and your inability to please God, it separates you from the consciousnessof God.  We must have Faith in the Fact that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus regardless of how we feel.

RIGHTEOUSNESS CONSCIOUSNESS

“You are partners with Christ Jesus because of God. Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God, our righteousness, our holiness, and our ransom from sin. 1 Cor. 1:30 (GW)

What religion has not taught us is the reality of righteousness.  Those who have not experienced God’s righteousness know that they are sinful and do not know how to rid themselves of it.  When we receive the revelation and realization of Kingdom of God redemption and righteousness it releases us from a consciousness of guilt. Once you lose your sin consciousness you will find yourself free from all of the bondages of sin.

  • “So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (Living)

  • “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” 2 Cor. 5:17 (Living)
  • “God made Him ( Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us,so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (NIV)
  • “For just as through the disobedience of the one man[Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus] the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 (NIV)

God has given us His righteousness.  In our carnal mind we have no access to God (Rom 8:7).  How can you have joyous fellowship with God if we have a sin consciousness?  A sin-consciousness will always make you feel inadequate and inferior and unable to approach God, and be unable to be in His presence. What you believe will determine how you live and act in conduct and behavior.  If you believe that you are still a sinner your mindset will be geared toward the fear of failing God.  You will find yourselves then working to try to please God.  We must declare by faith that we are His Righteousness because God says we are His Righteous.

SAVED THROUGH FAITH

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– [9] not by works, so that no one can boast. [10] For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephes. 2:8-10 (NIV)

God says that you and I are His workmanship!  Is God’s workmanship unrighteous?  No!  It is not possible.  His workmanship in us by Christ is a perfect and complete work. The Holy Spirit created you righteous the very moment that you were born again.  YOU WILL NEVER BE MORE RIGHTEOUS THAN YOU WERE THE MOMENT YOU RECEIVED THE LIFE OF GOD IN YOUR SPIRIT THROUGH THE NEW BIRTH! Right standing with God, then is His gift to us. A gift that we are to receive by faith is a gift that walks in it by faith, and grows in our understanding of it by faith.  How can we say that we are just ol’ sinners saved by grace in the light of God’s Word?  Or, after understanding the awesomeness of what He has done for us through Christ, how can we even begin to work or perform good enough to pay for God’s righteousness?  We can not. We simply accept, believe, and walk in the light of this truth by faith.

THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17 (NIV)

Every evil demonic spirit in the universe will try to implant into your mind the lie that the Just shall live by their works of righteousness.  As long as you listen to the accuser of the brethren in your mind you will always be defeated and fall under the accusations.  You don’t have to have any faith in yourself.  You need Faith in Christ. Everything you need is within you. Your spirit is one with His Spirit. Begin to speak the truth from your spirit and watch how quickly revelation will come to you. Apostle Paul said his desire was that Israel might be saved.  He said in Romans 10:2-4 (NIV)  “For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. [3] Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. [4] Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. How do you submit to God’s righteousness? Well, It’s not by having good conduct! You submit to God’s righteousness by believing what God said.  It is that’s simple. Because if you believe what God says you will stand in the righteousness of what the Word says, and you will not listen to the accuser of the brethren.  You see, every lyingdeceiving spirit, will try to convince you that you are not worthy.  And in yourself, your adamic nature you are not worthy, and will never be worthy; but you don’t have to feel inferior if you know the truth, because righteousness is in Christ alone.  Christ in you is the righteous one. We stand upon His merit, upon His righteousness and upon the finished works of Calvary.

BOLD AS A LION

“ The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 (NASB)

When you receive the consciousness of God’s righteousness, you will be as bold as a lion.  You won’t be like the cowardly Lion of Oz that cowered in his approach to the throne. You won’t walk in a hospital room and be timid and afraid that you might offend somebody or that you have got to be careful about talking about Jesus.  The Righteous are as bold as a lion.  If you have the consciousness of being as righteous as Jesus is, that means that there are no demons that can stand in your presence, there is no sickness, and there is no disease that can stand in your presence.  If you will get hold of the fact that you are Now (Now Faith Is) the righteousness of God in Christ, it will forever change your life. No longer will the devil hold you down under the lie of condemnation.  No longer will you hesitate to approach your Fathers Throne. No longer will your prayers go unanswered.  NO LONGER! Praise God!  You will walk as a conqueror in life.  Your fellowship with God will be close and sweet.  The lives of other people around you will be affected positively because you know who you are and who’s you are.  I know what I am saying is true, it may not be our experience but that does not nullify the Word of God.

WALKING IN TOTAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

Kingdom citizens…….. yes, all of you here in this building need to know if not already that your spirit is totally righteous if you are God’s child.  Quit focusing on your shortcomings and sins, begin to focus on His righteousness. Begin to focus on your right standing with God. Walk in the spirit (your inner man) and you won’t fulfill the lusts of your flesh. Focus your life on the inward man who is hooked up with God.  Live yourlife from the inside out, not the outside in.  Many have been focusing on the wrong thing.  Focus on God’s Word!  Look at what God has done for you and is doing in you instead. Look at who God says you are in His Word, not what the world, other people, circumstances or the devil says you are. Renew your mind with God’s Word! (Romans 12:2)

You are created for victory!  Your very nature is the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ! How can you cower down and identify with what you used to be any longer. Rise Up! Take your place in the family.  Start acting like who you really are!  You are God’s very own child!  You have a right standing with your Father! Hallelujah!

You can approach the very Throne of God where nothing is impossible.  You can approach Him because He has made you the Righteousness of God in Christ.  Don’t stay away another minute.  Hold your head high and raise your hands up in praise.  Today and everyday, GOD WANTS YOU TO BODLY APPROACH THE THRONE OF GRACE!  (Hebrews 4:16).  Know that you are the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BY FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS! Praise God Forever! Blessings to all in Jesus!

Partner with us valleyoftheson.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BORN TO PRAISE HIM

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JEALOUSY AND ENVY TWO SIDES OF A COIN

(Transcript Dec 2009)  Thomas Doggett  valleyoftheson.com

As we approach Christmas many begin to turn their focus on “All I want for Christmas” I don’t know about you but Jesus is all that I need for Christmas (He’s my reason for the season He’s my focus) - Philippians 4:19 says “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. There is only one thing I need more than all that I need and that is Jesus – If you have Him as your treasured possession you have it all – In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and we are complete in Him -Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have -We spend all of our lives “looking” for what we think we need; until we realize that it is staring us right back in the faceand that’s Jesus

There are two words I would like for you to keep in mind as I share this message this morning. They are almost-but-not-quite identical. One is the word jealousythe other is the word Envy. One of the characters in Dr. Seuss’s books is the Grinch,a creature who cannot bear the sight of anyone enjoying him or herself without becoming so mad that he bites himself.  A jealous and envious person feels “displeasure and ill-will at the happiness, success, reputation, or the possession of that person.

If you look up both words in the dictionary, you will find definitions that are similar but not identical. Jealousyis the Fearthat you will lose something valuable to you(example: Boy friend afraid someone might take his girlfriend, job, position, a title – You stop loving when you are jealous  (you bite yourself in fear)There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” I John 4:18

Envyis the Anger you feel because someone else got what you wanted (NOW! you bite the person).Jealousy is Fear, Envy is Anger. Two sides of a coin -When you have one; you almost always have the other. Jealousy is usually first with envy trailing close behind.  This will not be a soft message this morning. Across the pulpits of America I’m hearing messages preached that are non-offensive, they don’t want to offend the saints of God. I make no apologies for God’s Word. I cannot help it if your soul gets smitten by the logos (Word) Apostle Paul said in Galatians 4:16 – “Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth”

In Exodus 20:5 bible says God is a jealous God in the positive sense, and his people are to be jealous for the glory of God. A Christian who is not jealous for the Lord is like a dead fish that can only float downstream. We must be alive!We can also be jealous, positively, when we emulate good people. That is what I do. When I see a successful person, I put myself under him and learn from him. Any wise person will do the same. We are not jealous of the person, but we are jealous in the good sense of emulating him. In 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 14:1, 12, and 39 we are exhorted to zealously desire spiritual gifts. Earnestly desire! God is not going to give us spiritual gifts when we do not seek them. God has gifts for his people, but he is not going to give them to those who have no interest in them. We must desire them earnestly, eagerly, and intensely, with singleness of heart. “Seek you first the Kingdom of God”

But jealousy can also have a negative sense. A jealous person will say, “I don’t like that person having such an advantage over me (I’m fearful – that they will do better than me) . It’s a pain for me to see him doing better than me he or she is always number one.” – So he or she bites himself! – Look at her hair she must have gotten it off the dresser this morning –Look at those cheap shoes – I hope she breaks a nail – He can’t preach, the pastor should have let me preach!  Jealousy turns to hared and now you bite the person! Proverbs 4:23 –says we are to keep our heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life!

The Latin word for “envy”is invideo or invider, meaning: “to look with ill-will at someone.”Romans 1:29 tells us that envy is the fruit of a depraved and twisted mind. It is the nature of an unregenerate person. Galatians 5:21 says envy is the work of the flesh, not the fruit of the Spirit, and 1 Corinthians 3:3 says it is a sign of worldliness. Show me an envious person, and I will show you a worldly person who loves to conform to the world in everything while showing no interest in the Kingdom of God. –True Christian believers have the power to live right talk right walk right and the power to conduct themselves in a manner that pleases God in all things – We don’t act like the world we are new creation in Christ Jesus –

Envy Defined

It is the sin no one will confessIn the 40 years of being involved in ministry, I have listened as people have confessed almost every sin known to mankind, including murder, adultery, theft, abortion, and all sorts of sexual deviation. But no one has ever said, Pastor, I want to confess my sin of envy.” Envy is a sin we don’t like to talk about. It is the sin of Exodus 20:17 the Tenth Commandment – “thou shall not covet”

Envy is a sin with no redeeming features. There is nothing good about envy, nothing to justify its existence. If you lust, you may find some momentary pleasure. If you are a glutton, you may eat a big meal. If you are guilty of sloth, you’ll get plenty of rest. And even if you are angry, you’ll get a few moments of psychological pleasure when you blow your top. But envy brings no rewards at all. It is a self-mutilating sin. It has all the beauty of a trapped rat gnawing its foot off in a desperate attempt to escape. ThisSin will take U further than U want 2 go, & cost U more than U want 2 pay

Envy is the sin of moderately successful people. While it is true that anyone can envy, this sin especially strikes those who have made it partway up the ladder of life. You’ve climbed a few rungs up but you still have a long way to go. Envy strikes us when we realize that we’re at least as good as the people ahead of us and many times we’re clearly better than they are (we think), so why are they still ahead of us?

Turn to Proverbs 73 –

Envy is a sin that makes us believe the worst about others. Envy causes us to doubt the motives of those who are kind to us and to attack those who succeed instead of us. It is a cancer of the soul that destroys our ability to see others objectively.

Here’s another simple definition. Envy is unhappiness at the success of others and pleasure at the suffering of others. When we envy, we’re sad when others are glad and glad when they are sad. The values of life are turned upside down. Envy doesn’t love! It Hates!

In Romans 13:13 Paul says envy is a work of darkness. Our Lord’s brother James says it is the work of the devil himself (James 3:14-15) Turn in your Bibles to James. In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus says that envy comes out of an evil heart and makes a man unclean. It is the pus that oozes from an infected wound.

What are the companions of envy?Where there is envy, there will also be hatred, malice, slander, murder, and so on. Malice and envy are within, but slander is the outward manifestation of this inward rottenness.

Jealousy may be passive, but envy is active. So while a jealous person bites him or her self at the success of another, an envious man or woman bites and devours the successful man. He speaks evil of a good man with the intent of killing him by killing his reputation. One way you make a tall man short is to cut his legs out from under him by destroying his reputation

The envious man writes letters, talks on the telephone, sends emails, and uses the Internet, all to destroy the reputation of a good man or good woman. The envious woman would love to take a razor blade and cut and disfigure, if possible, the face of the more beautiful woman in her class. The envious woman will steal the boyfriend of the girl she envies. The envious man would like to set ablaze the more expensive home of the neighbor, if possible. The envious person will try to destroy the better marriage of the neighbor by evil speech or gossip and try to get the other person fired from her better job. -

So envy is active—active in the destruction of the more successful. Jealousy says, “I want to have what the other has.” But envy says, “I want to deprive the other of what he has, and what I don’t have.”Then envy goes further, saying, “I want to kill this other person who is better than myself—if not physically, at least by destroying his or her reputation.” Envy is of the devil.

Envious people are full of selfish ambition. They always put others down and put themselves forward. The envious rejoices in the bad news of others and grieves over the good news. It is the exact opposite of the biblical command given to us in 1 Corinthians 12:26. And in moral theology, envy is a deadly sin. We are told such people will never inherit the kingdom of God Turn and read (Galatians 5:20-21).Satan is the motivating force behind this disobedience

Envious people are always unhappy. It is difficult for them to smile and laugh with sincerity. Envy is the absence of love, for Paul tells us, “Love . . . does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Where there is envy, there is no Holy Spirit.

Because envy still dwells in the hearts of Christians, we can deduce that envy is in the church. Thus, we must be aware of envy and its self- and other-destructive power. Envy is a cancer of the spirit and body that causes the envious person to waste away. The Bible, therefore, exhorts us to rid ourselves of all jealousy and envy (1 Peter 2:1), that we may enjoy spiritual and physical health.

II. Envy Illustrated

Cain and Abel.In Genesis 4:3-7  Listen to the commentary of John in 1 John 3:12-13: “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.” Cain was envious that God accepted his brother’s sacrifice but not his. He was angry and refused to pay heed to God’s counsel to do right. Envy is active. Envy kills, so he killed his brother. The modern day Cains try to kill their spiritual brothers, not physically, but by destroying their reputation.

2. Joseph.Genesis 37:4 tells us, “When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” Verse 8 says: “His brothers said to him, ‘Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?’ And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.” And verse 11 says: “His brothers were jealous of him . . . .”

This is sibling envy. (I talked with a man in his late forties who hasn’t spoken to his brother in 40 years and he cannot remember the real reason why) – We need to rid sibling envy in our homes! The brothers of Joseph hated him for his spirituality and upright moral stance. They hated him because it was God’s plan that he be the ruler. They were ready to kill him for that, but they could not, also because of God’s plan. So they stripped him of his long robe, threw him into a pit, and sold him as a slave. That is what envy does.

3. Saul and David.The classic example of envy is found in 1 Samuel 18. It ripped Sauls heart out when he heard the young women of Israel celebrated Davids great victory - They sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, but David his tens of thousands.” Saul hated that song Then the evil spirit inspired Saul to kill David, so he tried twice to nail him to the wall with his spear. Envy is active. Envy kills. The next time you defeat Goliath and you hear the crowd singing your praises, don’t let it go to your head. Somewhere in the shadows, Saul is listening, too.

5. Two prostitutes and Solomon.I recall the story of two prostitutes who came to the wise King Solomon. These women had given birth to sons, three days apart, but one mother accidentally killed her son. So during the night, she took the dead one and exchanged it for the living son of the other mother. Both women came to wise Solomon to settle the dispute, and he ordered the live baby to be cut in two. First Kings 3 reveals the heart of an envious woman: “The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, ‘Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!’ But the other said, ‘Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!’” (Verse 26)That is the nature of envy. It kills.

6. The Jewish people.Why did the Jewish people hand Jesus Christ over to Pilate to be crucified? In Matthew 27:18 we read: “[Pilate] knew it was out of envythat they had handed Jesus over to him” -Jesus was the Holy One, the Son of God. He was holiness incarnate; there was no sin in him. He went about doing good: healing the sick, cleansing lepers, casting out demons, raising the dead, and teaching the truth of the kingdom of God. Multitudes followed him everywhere, and the authorities—the Sadducees, the Pharisees, the scribes, the Herodians, and the priests—grew envious of him. They could not bear the fact that Jesus was a holy man, superior to them. So they handed Jesus over to Pilate to be killed. The real reason for our fights and divisions is envy.

7. Paul and the Jewish people.What happened to Jesus also happened to Paul. When Paul was preaching on a Sabbath in Antioch, the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. Acts 13:45 says, “When the Jews saw the crowds; they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively.” Where there is envy, there is slander. These Jews could not stand the fact that so many people came to hear Paul. And look at verse 49: “The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their region.” What did Paul do wrong? He merely preached the gospel, as the Lord had commissioned him to do.

The same thing happened in Thessalonica (Acts 17:5). The jealous and envious Jews hounded Paul all his converted life. They tried to kill him several times, but they could not until God’s time came and Paul was beheaded. Envy is active. Envy kills.

Leaders are especially the targets of envious people. Envious people hate a good elder or a good pastor, who will not dilute the gospel; who will not beg and plead for money; who will not be bought and sold; who will not peddle the word of God.

Envious people are like bitter roots. Such people spring up and cause trouble to the community and defile many. They will not rest until they kill. If they cannot kill as Cain killed Abel, they will do the next worst thing and try to kill the other’s reputation.They will speak abusively. They will resort to slander. The envious want to kill good pastors, good elders, and good people of God. Envy is active. Envy kills.

The story is told of two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals. Their stores were across the street from one another, and they spent their days sitting in the doorway keeping track of who had the most customers. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at the other. One night an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers and said, “God has sent me to teach you a lesson. He will give you anything you ask for, but I want you to know that whatever you get, your competitor across the street will get twice as much. Would you like wealth? Ask what you will, only he will get twice as much. Do you want a long and happy life? It is yours, but he will live twice as long. You can be famous, your children can be famous, and whatever you desire. But whatever you get, he will get twice as much.” The man frowned, thought for a moment, and said, “All right. My request is this: Strike me blind in one eye.”

That’s jealousy turned into envy. No wonder Shakespeare called jealousy “the green-eyed monster,” no wonder Dryden called envy “the jaundice of the soul.” Taken together, they are the most corroding of all the vices, coals that come from the pit of hell.

Proverbs 14:30 says A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”

We may be sure we are suffering from envy when

1) We secretly regret that our friends have succeeded where we have not.

2) We use excuses to explain why someone else did better than us.

3) We walk the other way rather than congratulate a friend on her good fortune.

4) We question the motives of those who show kindness to us.

5) We secretly gloat when someone else gets caught because “they had it coming to them.”

6) When we can’t sincerely rejoice with others on their personal successes.

7) We refuse to be friends with someone who excels in our field.

8) We can’t bear to hear our friends complimented in our presence.

Erma Bombeck captured the heart of envy in this humorous prayer: “Lord, if You cannot make me thin, at least make my friends look fat.” Envy causes us to say, “I’ve been treated unfairly and I want my fair share. If I can’t have it, you can’t have your fair share either.” No one can be richer, healthier, happier, more spiritual, or more gifted than we are. Envy is the great equalizer. It allows us to drag others down to the gutter where we live in our misery.

We only envy those we perceive as close to us.Doctors don’t envy dockworkers. Soldiers don’t envy cabinet-makers. Executives don’t envy veterinarians. Likewise, we don’t envy those below us or those clearly above us. But envy hits when we compare ourselves to those we consider in our class and near to us. The success of people close to us can be very hard to take. That’s why husbands and wives sometimes envy each other, or why we can’t get along with our friends, neighbors, relatives, and coworkers. We’re so busying trying to keep score that we don’t have time to develop relationships.

III.  Overcome Envy

What happened to these bible characters can easily happen to any of us. And I would imagine that many of you who are hearing this sermon have struggled with this sin. How can we be set free? He that the Son has set free is free indeed!

In looking for an answer it’s crucial to identify the real problem. When we envy, our struggle is not with the person we envy. Our real struggle is with God. When we envy, we’re saying, “Lord, you made a mistake when you gave that person so many blessings. I deserve some of what you gave him.” More than that, we’re really accusing God of unfairness. The envious man believes that in the game of life, God has rigged the system so that he can never win. Until you come to grips with God, you can never be free of envy.

TGod wills the very best for you. Do you believe this? It all comes back to how big your God really is! Do you believe you have what you need right now? Or do you secretly believe that you need and must have something else in order to be content? God has ordained to give you whatever you need at any given instant in order to serve him with joy. That doesn’t mean you’ll always be happy and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll always have everything you want, but it does mean that God has promised to care for you 24/7, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you envy, you are accusing God of falling down on the job.

How, then, can we be set free? How can I get this envy monkey off my back– how can I get those talons out of me?  Here are five steps that I have found helpful.

A. Admit it.That is, admit that you are an envious person. This isn’t easy. After all, most of us would rather admit an “acceptable” sin like “lack of patience” or “over commitment.” We don’t want to admit that envy has found a place in our heart, but until we come clean we will never be made clean.  – “Ask God to cut it out of you”

B. Confess it.This is a step beyond admitting the sin. Agree with God that envy is wrong and cry out to him to remove it from your life - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us oursins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

C. Pray for the successof those you envy.This step won’t be easy because envy makes us angry at those who possess what we lack. And someone may say, Elder Doggett, how can I pray for someone who is an arrogant jerk.” It’s not that hard, really. Be honest with God. Say something like this: “God, I ask you to bless so-and-so even though he’s an arrogant jerk.” After all, God knows how you feel anyway. But what if you don’t want God to bless him? Fine, then pray like this; “God, I ask you to bless so-and-so who is an arrogant jerk even though I hope you don’t answer this prayer.” Again, God already knows how you feel. On more than one occasion, I’ve prayed for difficult people this way: “Lord, I ask you to bless this person in spite of how I feel about them.” That’s a good prayer because you are asking God to ignore your feelings and bless them in accordance with his divine plan.

D. Thank God for the things you envy in others. This step is helpful because it forces me to admit that what I envy is God’s gift to someone else. Their beauty, their talent, their gift with words, their ability to attract others, their business success, their winsome personality—it all comes from God. Why not try thanking him for his gifts to others?

E. Find someone who needs your help. Nothing will cure envy like getting your eyes off those above you and instead stepping down to wash dirty feet. A few minutes spent helping someone else will end up helping you as your focus shifts from what you think you lack to how you can use what you have been given for the benefit of those less fortunate.

(1 Cor 13:8 – Love does not envy)

1. Envy is not a fruit of the Spirit. It is a work of the flesh. It is of the devil.So Peter says, “Rid yourselves of all malice and envy.” That tells us that Christ has given us the freedom to rid ourselves of all this evil. Otherwise, it is a nonsensical statement. Rid yourselves now of the rotting garbage! Throw it out! Envy is cancer of the bones. Envy causes us to waste away spiritually and physically.

But if you are not a Christian, you cannot do this. So what should you do? Cry out to Christ to save you and give you a new heart and a willing spirit. He will free you from the dominion of sin. He is the “I Am the God of another chance, Imagine this He’s mercy times a million, he is perfect Love!

The Church recruited people who had been starched and ironed before they were washed – Jesus said you must be born again John 3:3

Closing Scripture- But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:14-16- NIV

Shall we pray? Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you. Deliver us from envy. It is not the fruit of the Spirit; it is terrible. It is rot on our spirit. It is cancer of the bones. It causes us to waste away. It causes us to go into our caves and sulk. Have mercy upon us, O Lord. Help us to pay heed to the word we have heard. Help us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that we may bear the fruit of the Spirit. Help us to love and not envy others. Amen.

Visit us at valleyoftheson.com  (as the Lord directs you are welcome to partner with us)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE SACRED COW – GAY UNION

(THE “SACRED COW OF WORLD CULTURE) SHOULD I ATTEND A GAY UNION- TRUE MARRIAGE IS A SACRED UNION – As a citizens of Heaven, as Christian believers we will need to make moral choices when it comes to gay marriage as well as the pain that may accompany our decisions. As Christian believers sooner or later you will be invited to attend a same sex union ( gay union). A wedding ceremony in a believer’s eyes is a sacred event at which those who attend are assigned a duty of BEARING WITNESSS TO THE COVENANT entered into by the groom and the bride. This covenant links a man and a woman together before God. The guests at a wedding are called witnesses of that sacred covenant. They are there to hold the groom and the bridegroom accountable to the vows they heard them make. They are not just passive attenders. YOUR ATTENDANCE AT A WEDDING IS A PUBLIC STATEMENT OF APPROVAL OF THE UNION. It is difficult to see how going to a gay ceremony communicates anything other than your approval “ THE PASTOR SAYS IT THERE IS ANYONE HERE WHO KNOWS ANY REASON THESE OUGHT NOT BE WED LET HIM SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD THEIR PEACE. Those who attend give assent, approval and support of that union. If you attend you endorse a relationship that promotes this sin. PASTORS BE READY TO GIVE UNCOMPROMISED ADVICE TO YOUR MEMBERS – STAY TRUE TO YOUR CONVICTIONS LEAVE THE OUTCOME IN GOD”S HANDS. Leaders must not sugar –coat the advice they give to their parishioners or twist the truth. Let your yes be yes and your know no be no. Tell them to Say No! – But don’t end the conversation there. We cannot isolate ourselves from a fallen world but we can educate them long before they make ungodly decisions. Pull your gay friends aside before the union and tell them that you value your friendship but explain to them why you will not attend the union. Although sometimes reason alone is rarely sufficient to change someone’s heart and head. The cost of being a disciple of Jesus is that our friends take offense at us. And you will be rejected…(Jesus was also rejected) Someone might add that Jesus demonstrated love for sinners; Yes but Love an approval are not the same thing. Out of an act of love Jesus met the woman at the well (woman, a Samaritan, promiscuous) in John chap 4 He showed His love towards her but he never expressed His approval for her lifestyle or behavior. There is a difference between comfort and conscious (it may not be comfortable to engage your friend about their lifestyle but we must step outside of our comfort zone in order to communicate God’s love to this person. Jesus never violated His consciousness or the divine standard of righteousness. He never said or did anything that would be construed as an “ENDORSEMENT OF SIN ”
God’s Word declares that a gay union is a celebration of two people who are living a lifestyle that God declares to be immoral and unnatural ( Rom 1;26-27) Marriage should be honored by all (Heb 13:4) but a gay wedding dishonors marriage by perverting its meaning . A gay union does not qualify as a marriage according to what God declares a marriage to be. A gay union is not a marriage in God’s eyes. How can we ask God’s blessings on a union that He declares to be unnatural? A Christian who attends a gay wedding and indicates that they are supporting only the individuals getting married and not their lifestyle are sending a message of endorsement to others and has become a stumbling block for the weak. The individuals he is supporting are still holding a event that supports their immorality. There is no way around the fact that a gay union doesn’t celebrates their immorality. A gay wedding is a celebration of SIN. We support a alcoholic friend by getting them to refrain from drinking or a friend addicted to pornography by getting them some help not by helping his organize his magazine collection or signing the guest book at a celebration of homosexuality. We don’t help our friends by attending an event where their SIN IS APPLAUDED. Our motivations are mis guided when it comes to attending a gay union. Our goal as believers are not to drive people away from Christ but to stand for righteousness even if the results bring pain, division or hatred ( Luke 12:51-53) John 15:18) If you are invited to a gay wedding as a christian believer it is our conviction to respectfully decline. Pastors don’t allow the government to prevent you from speaking your convictions even at the expense of losing your 510-C3 status- Sometimes the fear of losing members and money out weighs your convictions. Speaking Truth In Love! valleyoftheson.com
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JESUS or BARABBAS ( Choose the Good and Refuse the Evil)

Matthew 27:21,22 says, “The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you? They said Barabbas. Pilate said to them, what then should I do with Jesus who is called Christ? They all said to him, let him be crucified.”

These words of Pontius Pilate and the Jewish leaders are among the most unforgettable words in the Bible. It is the most extraordinary scene ever witnessed in human history. The one who created the universe is standing before a Roman judge in a court of judgment, and this scene will be reversed on the day of judgment when this same Roman judge will stand before Jesus in a judgment situation. Pontius Pilate is one of the most famous men who has ever lived, and his name has become a household word in the homes of Christians for two thousand years. Moreover, I am inclined to think that most people in the world have heard of this famous man. The man has been dead for two thousand years, but the human race cannot forget him. He is gone, but his name lives on in infamy. How shall we account for such undying fame? His name lives on because one day in his life he met Jesus and had a conversation with him. The world would never have remembered that Pilate ever lived except for his encounter with Christ. He was called on to decide whether Christ should live or die. After careful examination he decided that Christ was not only innocent, but he was also a righteous man. When the Jewish leaders demanded that Jesus be crucified, Pilate said, “Why, what evil has He done? I find no fault in Him.” He even took water and washed his hands before the multitude and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. But when he saw that he could not prevail, that a tumult was arising and was threatened to be reported to Caesar, he delivered him to be crucified. For the way He treated Jesus we cannot forget him. Because of the relationship he had with Jesus, his name has been immortalized. He is famous only because of Jesus. On the Day of Judgment, I am inclined to think that Pilate will feel worse than anyone else. He didn’t know Jesus was the divine Son of God and even the Jewish leaders did not believe in Him. Nevertheless, he missed his opportunity. Millions of people on that day will be able say, “I did not know who you were.” The world would never have remembered that a Roman Governor named Pilate lived except for this encounter with Christ.

Pilate is not only one of the most famous men who has ever lived, but he has given to the world perhaps the most famous question that a human being can ask. He coined this famous question after he had made one more desperate attempt to save Jesus. It was the custom at the Passover to release a criminal from prison chosen by the Jews. This was permitted to secure popularity with Jews and give importance to the visit, which Pilate made to Jerusalem. Jews held in high esteem political prisoners who opposed Rome, and to release one of them was most pleasing to the Jews. Pilate thought he might be able to save Jesus by giving the Jews a choice between a notable prisoner called Barabbas and Jesus. Barabbas was involved in a rebellion against Rome and in the confusion had committed murder. Pilate thought surely they would let Jesus go free instead of murderer, but it wasn’t to be so. They screamed out to let Barabbas go free and have Jesus crucified. They chose a murderer over Jesus, and Peter reminded the Jews on the Day of Pentecost of that sinful choice.

When the multitude demanded the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus, Pilate then presented this question to Jewish leaders and all the people, “What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ? But the importance of this question to us is, “What shall each one of us do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate’s place in history was achieved because he asked that question. Pilate was asking a question larger than himself, larger than his time. As long as men live, Pilate will be remembered as the man through whom life’s most important question was issued. This is a question relevant to all people in every century since the first century, relevant to every generation and all age groups who are old enough to know right from wrong. Each and every person must answer this question for himself or herself, and no one can answer it for us. “What will I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate answered that question by turning Jesus over to the Jews to be crucified. That is the question of all questions; whatever may be man’s race, color, religion, or creed. That is the question all people must answer in their lifetime: Jewish people, African, Arabic people, Hindu people, and all other people regardless of their religious belief. In a real sense the entire human race is on trial; they must decide whether Jesus will live or die, and how they answer that question will determine their eternal destiny. Someone might say, “You are making a big deal over this question of Pilate. Is it really so important?”

The reason this question is so relevant in the 21 st century is that Jesus Christ is our contemporary. Someone who is a contemporary is one who lives when we live. Please notice the question comes with the first pronoun “I”. What will I do with Jesus.” Some things about life are inescapable, and Christ is one of them. For over two thousand years Christ has been the central character of human history. Pilate is dead, but Christ is alive, and in a real sense He stands before us all, and we all have to answer Pilate’s question, as did Israel of old. It is an inescapable question. Jesus is the inescapable Christ. No one can get away from Jesus or get around Him. He is a living reality. Before He left this world He said this to His disciples, “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Christ’s biography closes with these words. In some sense Jesus remains in the world, and it is as though

He never left. Explain it as you will, but He said I am with you always. He is among us and in the world. He said of Christians who assemble to worship God and observe the Lord’s Supper, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” He made us, and He is a person every human being must deal with. Because He is at the heart of all human existence, He is on the agenda of every person’s life. Jesus said to John on the Isle of Patmos, “I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of hades and death.” The most obvious truth about Christ is that He cannot be ignored. Across the centuries man has answered the question of Pilate with contempt, scorn, astonishment, and some with undying love. Others have answered with indifference. Those who are indifferent to this question in effect say, “Let Him be crucified.” But all, mind you, have answered this question in one way or another. It is an inescapable question.

My friends, the world must accept the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive. He is not the Hero of some vague fairy tale or a superstitious person invented by His distraught disciples. He is not the memorable character of a sentimental old out of date book called the Bible. He is much more than that He is the world’s greatest teacher. He lives!. Though He preexisted before He came to earth, He is as much at home in Arizona as in Capernaum. The word of God says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever”(Hebrews 13:8). There is no way anyone can intelligently answer this great question of life if one is not convinced that Jesus is alive. The question as to whether Christ will live or die must be answered within the heart of every person. The basic issues that were involved in the crucifixion are at stake today. Christ was not put to death by a group of rabble-rousers. They were, for the most part, ordinary citizens. Among there were the most religious people of the day. Today we stand where they stood. While the details of time and place are different, the basic decisions, which they faced, are the very ones at issue in our lives today. The cross of Christ is inescapable. It raises unchanging choices, which must be faced anew by each generation. .

Finally, this passage of scripture has raised many conflicting views on who bears the most responsibility and guilt for the crucifixion of Christ. Who is to be blamed for this terrible crime of the first century? Shall we put all the blame on Pilate?. No, we can’t put all the blame on this poor Roman ruler. He was a victim of circumstances. He did make several attempts to set Jesus free. The poor man did not know who Jesus was, and the leaders of the Jewish nation rejected Jesus as an imposter. However, we cannot excuse his conduct. He killed an innocent man. He sent a man to the cross whom he believed to be a righteous man. Certainly, Pilate bears some of the guilt for the crucifixion. Furthermore, the religious world has been deliberating for years about the level guilt, which the Jewish race should bear, for the first century crime. Christendom, in general, places most of the blame on the Jewish nation. However, the Jews as a nation should not solely be held accountable, or Jesus was more than a matter of concern for those Jerusalem Sanhedrin. I agree with those who believe that Jesus Christ cannot be made the exclusive business of any age or place. No one doubts that a lot of blame belongs to the Jewish nation in rejecting Christ as their heaven-appointed Messiah, and God did hold them accountable by destroying the city of Jerusalem, by destroying their Temple, and by sending them into Roman captivity in 70 A.D. By crucifying Christ, they themselves brought the Jewish religion to an end forever, for Jesus nailed their religion to the cross. The Jewish religion died when Jesus died. It was indeed the crowning sin of Israel to crucify their Messiah. However, we cannot place all the blame on Israel for the crucifixion of Christ. The one really important question–whether Christ should live or die– was not settled by one passing generation of Jews, occupying a tiny, insignificant corner of the world two thousand years ago. There was more to the death of Christ than the unbelief of a handful of Jewish people in the small nation of Israel two thousand years ago.

Let’s place the major blame for the death of Christ on the people to whom it rightly belongs. Most of the blame for the death Christ falls on the entire human race. It was the sinfulness of mankind from the time of Adam to the time of Christ that sent Christ to the cross. We all crucified Him. The supreme explanation for the death of Christ given in the book of Isaiah 53:4-6: “Surely He has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We have turned, everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” God laid on Jesus the iniquity of all mankind. God allowed all this to happen to Christ that He might offer reconciliation and eternal life to all mankind. The crucifixion of Christ was the crowning sin of the human race. The Bible says Christ tasted death for every man. Christians sing hymns in which they give to themselves a share of the guilt of our Lord’s death. One Christian hymn says: “Alas and did my Savior bleed? And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I have done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity! Grace unknown! And love beyond degree.” Another hymn says: “Shall Crucify the Savior, When for me He bore such loss? Shall I put to shame my Savior? Can I nail Him to the cross?

Twas my sins that crucified Him: Shall they crucify Him yet? Shall I crucify my Savior? Crucify my Lord again? Once O once I crucified Him: Shall I crucify again?” In this hymn we learn that Christians have crucified Him once, and it is possible for Christians to crucify Him a second time. The answer to all the questions in that hymn are, “Yes, its possible.” That hymn is based on a teaching in the book of Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they fall away, (it is impossible) to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame.” We must understand that statement in the light of the context. Because of the Jewish persecution those Jewish Christians were about to give up the Christian religion and go back the Jewish religion. That would not be an ordinary sin, which can be forgiven by repentance and prayer. This sin would be the sin of apostasy, a complete departure from the Christian religion for another religion, a complete break with Christ as their Savior. That would be about the same treatment the people gave Him when He was before Pontius Pilate. Christians can willingly reject Christ who forgave them of a lifetime of sin, but such a sin assault on Christ puts Him to an open shame before the world. If a Christian does that, there is no way back to Christ. As long as a Christian believes in Christ as God’s Son and the Savior of the world, any sin he commits may be forgiven, but to forsake Him and lose all faith in Him as Lord and Savior, there is nothing that can be done for that person. He is gone. The reason given for the doom of such a person is, “It is impossible to renew him to repentance.” May that never happen of any of us We all have crucified Him once by the way we lived before we became Christians, and that’s enough. Peter taught the same truth about the sin of apostasy in 2 Peter 2:20, “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment given to them.”Speaking Truth In Love!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment