Tag Archives: blessed

Why Was Jesus in Human Form? (Number 3 of a Series)

A message summary of December 24, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

 

Jesus came in human form in His timing, and not ours.

Genesis 3:15

I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring.

He will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

 

Man could not redeem himself…we needed a Redeemer.

God’s purpose is to restore His creation to Himself.  He is out to restore the relationship with mankind as He originally had with Adam.

Man was given the opportunity to redeem himself.  The great powers of the earth could not meet God’s standards.

It is what Scripture says:

Romans 3:10-12

as it is written:

There is no one righteous, not even one.

There is no one who understands;

there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away;

all alike have become worthless.

There is no one who does what is good,

not even one.

 

While man is always in a rush, God is never in a hurry.

 

  1. When the time had fully come, God acted.

Galatians 4:4-7

When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

God has always worked in His time.  When He is ready to act and not at the time which we desire Him to perform.

The fullness of time is when He is ready to act.

Ephesians 1:9-10

He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right timeto bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.

 

God works within your life with one thing at a time.  He is doing a magnificent work—one layer at a time.

He is never out of order.  Everything is always in His order and according to His purpose.

There is an appointed season and a proper time when and where He does His work.

Titus 1:3

In his own time he has revealed his word in the preaching with which I was entrusted by the command of God our Savior.

 

1 Timothy 2:5-6

For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

 

Acts 7:23-25

When he was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian. He assumed his people would understand that God would give them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.

 

Moses made an assumption here that the people would see that he was there as God’s deliverer.  He needed to see God for Himself to understand how it was to be accomplished.

Acts 7:30-34

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he was approaching to look at it, the voice of the Lord came: I am the God of your ancestorsthe God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look.

The Lord said to him: Take off the sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. And now, come, I will send you to Egypt.

It was all to be accomplished in God’s time and in His timing.  God is the One who sends people along and to be His witness.  It’s one thing to go out before others (Matthew 28:19-20), but it is another to be sent before others.

 

  1. In the fullness of time He sent His Son.
  • It shows the pre-existence of Jesus.
  • It reveals the intimacy and confidence the sender has in the one being sent (He was sinless).

John 17:18

As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Jesus describes how He was following the example of His father.  He sent His disciples into the world.

The purpose of His coming:

Romans 8:3-4

What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the laws requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

He came to take the curse from us and represent the curse for us.

Galatians 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.

He tasted death for us.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Jesusmade lower than the angels for a short time so that by Gods grace he might taste death for everyonecrowned with glory and honor because he suffered death.

He came to destroy the one who held death.

Hebrews 2:14-17

Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of deaththat is, the deviland free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it is clear that he does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abrahams offspring. Therefore, he had to be like his brothers and sisters in every way, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in matters pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.

He is our High Priest.

 

  1. He was born of a woman.

Romans 1:1-4

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of Godwhich he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scripturesconcerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was appointed to be the powerful Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection of the dead.

 

Luke 3:31-32

son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David, son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon,

In Luke you see the lineage of Mary.  In Matthew, you see Joseph’s lineage.  Both are within the line of David.

Mary’s role is very important.  Blessed is she would has believed.  To be highly favored is to be given a special honor.  It is what God had decided for her life.

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgins name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you. But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.

Mary asked the angel, How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man? 

The angel replied to her: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabetheven she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.

I am the Lords servant, said Mary. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel left her.

 

Mary knew that Elizabeth, a woman who was barren, was having a child well beyond her child bearing years.

Luke 1:39-45

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariahs house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Marys greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!

God was speaking to Mary and Elizabeth to just believe in Him.

You likely will not understand everything that is happening (Mary didn’t have complete understanding), but Jesus will make it all known to you in his timing.

And you will praise Him for His goodness.

Luke 1:46-55

And Mary said:

 My soul praises the greatness of the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

because he has looked with favor

on the humble condition of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations

will call me blessed,

because the Mighty One

has done great things for me,

and his name is holy.

His mercy is from generation to generation

on those who fear him.

He has done a mighty deed with his arm;

he has scattered the proud

because of the thoughts of their hearts;

he has toppled the mighty from their thrones

and exalted the lowly.

He has satisfied the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering his mercy

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he spoke to our ancestors.

 

When you acknowledge Jesus Christ, you will walk by faith knowing that He will accomplish what He sets out to do.

 

  1. He is to be born under the law.

Luke 2:21-24

When the eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesusthe name given by the angel before he was conceived. And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).

 

His parents were carrying out the law.  They were raising their child according to the law, and it is relevant today in that we are to worship and serve the Lord according to your household because it is the proper thing to do.

 

Luke 2:25-35

There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israels consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lords Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said,

Now, Master,

you can dismiss your servant in peace,

as you promised.

For my eyes have seen your salvation.

You have prepared it

in the presence of all peoples

a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and glory to your people Israel. 

His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposedand a sword will pierce your own soulthat the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

 

Jesus came to fulfill the law.

Matthew 5:17

Dont think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

 

He came to be our Guardian–the Shepherd who watches over our souls.

Galatians 3:23-29

Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus.

For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, heirs according to the promise.

 

He came to do what the law could not do.

Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the laws requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.

John 3:16-17

For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember who Jesus Christ is—the perfect gift for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Not Facing the Second Death (Revelation 20:6)

Today’s message summary of April 16, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

We see death everyday.  Death reigns in this world.  We see this because Adam sinned against God in disobedience, and as a result, all who have followed Adam would pay the penalty of sin, and that is to die.  We all will die eventually.  It is inescapable.

The other dilemma in this is not knowing when it will happen.  It happens to all regardless of wealth or race.  Death is the great equalizer.

Ecclesiastes 9:1-6

Indeed, I took all this to heart and explained it all: the righteous, the wise, and their works are in Gods hands. People dont know whether to expect love or hate. Everything lies ahead of them. Everything is the same for everyone: there is one fate for the righteous and the wicked, for the good and the bad, for the clean and the unclean, for the one who sacrifices and the one who does not sacrifice. As it is for the good, so it is for the sinner; as for the one who takes an oath, so for the one who fears an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: there is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they liveafter that they go to the dead. But there is hope for whoever is joined with all the living, since a live dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead dont know anything. There is no longer a reward for them because the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate, and their envy have already disappeared, and there is no longer a portion for them in all that is done under the sun.

All other religions try to address the problem that death presents.

The question to pose here:  Will we rise again?

The believer who is in Christ will not escape the first death but will escape the second one.

Please make a note of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It was unique in that he was the only one who did not die a second time.  All of the others, according to Scripture, who were raised up also died once again.

Revelation 20:6

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.

For those who were raised in the first resurrection, they were blessed.  There were many blessings of happiness as noted in the beatitudes:

Matthew 5:1-11

When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them, saying:

The poor in spirit are blessed,

for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Those who mourn are blessed,

for they will be comforted.

The gentle are blessed,

for they will inherit the earth.

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,

for they will be filled.

The merciful are blessed,

for they will be shown mercy.

The pure in heart are blessed,

for they will see God.

The peacemakers are blessed,

for they will be called sons of God.

Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,

for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.

I believe that John, in the Revelation text, is conveying that there will be great happiness and joy with the first resurrection.

Revelation 14:13

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”

We will be raised with a sanctified, holy body, and in that resurrection we will be made perfect with a body that will never deteriorate.  Nothing unclean will ever enter the kingdom of God.  The first resurrection is for God’s people.  The second death has no power or effect over them.

What is the second death?  It is an eternal death.  If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you will receive a body that will be suitable for eternal damnation.

Revelation 20:13-15

Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

This means there are some here today that will die and also “die again.”

Revelation 21:8

But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liarstheir share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

The two deaths differ.  The first is physical, and the second is spiritual.  It is eternal and filled with torment.

Revelation 20:10

The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Lord gives a warning to the church about all of this:

Revelation 2:11

Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.

In Revelation 20:6, the passage notes that all who follow Jesus Christ are referred to as priests.  Priests, in the Old Testament, were the ones appointed to speaking and carrying out the duties and responsibilities to the people.  We are all called priests, which was a high calling, as we are saints of God who believe.

It is true that we will be raised again after death, but the question is where will we find ourselves.  Those who believe in Jesus Christ will escape the second death, and will fellowship with Jesus Christ for all eternity.


Critical Conversations

Today’s message summary of March 12, 2017 from Columbus Morgan:

Jesus Christ gave instruction to His disciples as to what was going to take place as He was transitioning to return to the Father:

John 13:1-5

Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariots son, to betray Him. Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.

The washing of the feet had to be a very awkward experience.  The feet were most likely the dirtiest parts of the body because of where people had to go, even when you take into account where sheep would be and places of mud and dirt.  The disciples watched in wonder.

John 13:6-8

He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, Lord, are You going to wash my feet?

Jesus answered him, What Im doing you dont understand now, but afterward you will know.

You will never wash my feetever! Peter said.

Jesus replied, If I dont wash you, you have no part with Me.

 

Jesus told Peter that what He was doing then would not make sense, but later he would understand.  He would experience the ultimate in humiliation, at the hands of the Romans, when He would be crucified.

Psalm 51:1-7

Be gracious to me, God,

according to Your faithful love;

according to Your abundant compassion,

blot out my rebellion.

Wash away my guilt

and cleanse me from my sin.

For I am conscious of my rebellion,

and my sin is always before me.

Against YouYou aloneI have sinned

and done this evil in Your sight.

So You are right when You pass sentence;

You are blameless when You judge.

Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;

I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Surely You desire integrity in the inner self,

and You teach me wisdom deep within.

Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

 

David knew that he needed to be washed by God in order to be clean…not just a physical washing, but a washing of his heart.

Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in order to show them that there was no room for pridefulness in serving Christ.

We are born with a selfish heart and it is rooted within us at birth. We have to put aside our own feelings and desires to be obedient to His will.  Jesus Himself said, “not My will, Lord, but Your will be done.”

This washing was a demonstration of how you and I are able to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Unless Jesus Christ washes you from your sin and transgression, you are unable to have a relationship with Him.

John 13:9-11

Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.

One who has bathed, Jesus told him, doesnt need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you. For He knew who would betray Him. This is why He said, You are not all clean.

Once you are saved, you are already deemed clean.  We are made clean, but we now need to live as if we are clean.

Galatians 2:19-20

For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

What do we need to clean up in our lives?

A lot of us have so much pride in that we do not want to admit to Jesus Christ those areas that need to be cleaned.  The reality is that we cannot do it for ourselves.  He has to do it.

Some of us have anger, pride and bitterness.  What areas of your life need the basin, the pitcher of water, or a general cleansing?  Jesus wants to clean and renew you.

John 13:12-16

When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.

Once Jesus cleanses and renews you, it is now time for you to serve Him.

Philippians 2:5-8

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,

who, existing in the form of God,

did not consider equality with God

as something to be used for His own advantage.

Instead He emptied Himself

by assuming the form of a slave,

taking on the likeness of men.

And when He had come as a man

in His external form,

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death

even to death on a cross.

 

Not just death, but the ultimate humiliation of death on a cross.  Jesus, the creator of the universe, humbled Himself for our sake–because He loves us.

God is the head of the church and is our supreme authority, but He desires for us to live in such a way where we are reaching out to others in service for Him.  He wants you to live in His example before others.

Jesus also wants you to live and thrive before others.  He desires for you to live life to its fullest.

John 13:17

If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

We are to move into a relationship by allowing Christ to wash us, cleanse us, and to work in those areas over time.  Have you allowed yourself to be washed and cleaned up?

Has God placed you into a position of authority where you can reflect God’s love to others?  God has laid on my heart to really go hard for Him, and worship Him before others in the public and in the workplace that does something different…more different than ever before.  Things may or may not work out as they should, but God will be with you as He works with you.

Philippians 1:6

I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It’s hard to praise the Lord when things aren’t going well, but He challenges us to do just that.  We have to lift up the name of Jesus in bad times just as we do when things are going well.


Scrambled Eggs

A message summary of April 10, 2016 from Mr. Paul Buzzi:

This church is blessed with many different things. If you know that you have been blessed beyond belief, then you should share with others.

Today, we are going to talk about scrambled eggs, about life, about death and about living.

(Holding up a bible) What is this? Yes, it is a bible, and it is a Book of Instruction. I was reminded that the Lord has taught me a lot of lessons. You have to be willing to hear His Word and do it. Don’t add a question mark to something where God has a period!

My wife tells me not to brag about anything, but I am willing to brag about what the Lord Jesus has done in my life.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding;

think about Him in all your ways,

and He will guide you on the right paths.

We are all a bunch of Humpty Dumptys. We scramble our eggs, and we don’t know how to unscramble them. Jesus knows how to do it.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for my behavior with my wife and even for the questions I have asked that made known my positions in a selfish manner.

To be forgiven is to experience freedom. When I was called to speak at a church, He told me that I needed to ask that congregation for forgiveness, as well, because of how I felt in my heart.

There is healing that needed to take place. God is the One who unscrambles the eggs.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from Gods Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For

who has known the Lords mind,

that he may instruct Him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

My wife and I are two different people, but we are joined together as one spirit in marriage. God proclaimed it, and it has been very good.

We need the Spirit of God in order to understand His Word; otherwise, it is a mystery. And, we cannot figure it out on our own.

God gave me the gift of evangelism and the gift of prophecy, and I don’t know if I like that! Because where much is given, much is required.

What are the wages of sin? The answer, of course, is death (Romans 6:23).

All of us are sinners, of course.

Once you are dead, you are dead. There are no degrees of dead. It’s all the same.

Thankfully, all of us received grace through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who took away our penalty of death.

I was asked to represent a person who was caught in a bank drive through with stolen checks and was high on meth. I went to the jail where the person was, and I told him that there is not much that I can do for you except tell you about Jesus.

Forgiveness is for both the perpetrator of sin and also the victim. It lifts a burden for both of them when there is complete forgiveness.

Ephesians 5:25-26

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.

When you learn to forgive your wife in the way that Christ forgave those as He was being crucified, you understand how much love you need to give to your wife.

Luke 23:34

Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing. And they divided His clothes and cast lots.

Hebrews 4:11-13

Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.

1 Corinthians 3:19-20

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, since it is written: He catches the wise in their craftiness; and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.

1 John 5:11-12

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesnt have the Son of God does not have life.

He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son is perishing.

He is only the Lord of your life when you make Him Lord.

The fields are ripe with the harvest of those that need Jesus. The devil will tell you that it is too much trouble to witness for Christ. It is a lie from the devil.

One week after I accepted Christ, I was representing a young man who had a long juvenile record who was sent to jail. God spoke to me and told me to go back and speak to him about Me. I hesitated twice because I knew so little about Christ, but I was able to speak to him and he accepted Christ. We were holding hands in prayer in a jail cell and he made a decision for Him.

Psalm 127:3-5

Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,

children, a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

are the sons born in ones youth.

Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them.

Such men will never be put to shame

when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.

If you leave church today alive, you won’t be half-dead. Be sure to share the Bible with everyone you come into contact with–to see people pass from death into life.

Make sure that you leave church today alive in a life for Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is Gods giftnot from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.


The Godly Mother

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

[NBA Star Kevin Durant praises his mother during his MVP award speech.]

Lord, we want to thank you for every mother, and we pray that today will be a blessing to them. Let us also remember the grandmothers, as well. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

While the bible does not speak specifically about single mothers, we know that they were indeed present. We know that there were single mothers and widows because of various circumstances. Today, we are keenly aware of single mothers and the trials of such parenting. We know that mothers are indeed honored by God.

A mother must decide how she is going to live before her children and her family. A mother who follows after God will be blessed according to how God honors and looks after them. A child will often not remember so much what a mother says, but they certainly remember her actions.

A child who has a mother that he is ashamed of will often have to suppress his or her feelings because they are trying to deal with their disappointment. It will eventually surface in a negative way because of all of the hurt that was experienced. Mothers need to be aware of how much their children are affected by what they do. There is a real need today for godly mothers.

What makes a real difference today is a mother who relies upon the Holy Spirit in living life and making decisions.

Can a nation rise or fall based upon motherly counsel? Mothers are to be mindful of what counsel that is provided to daughters and sons about the people they choose in marriage. Unwise counsel can lead to broken homes and marriages.

Mothers have difficult decisions to make today as to who they choose to associate with and how they live. It is important for a woman to not live sexually with multiple partners in the hopes of finding someone who they think will fulfill a family unit. This woman needs to repent and live in holiness under the Spirit and prevent the tragedy of broken families and children being damaged by multiple influences of men who have no desire to be involved with a family.

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

 

It is important that a child is taught how to honor their mother and father, for they need to understand what it means to respect them.

Leviticus 19:3

“Each of you is to respect his mother and father. You are to keep My Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.”

 

Note how the Scripture references the mother first in this passage (unlike the reference in Exodus 20:12). Note the emphasis here on the mother needing to be honored because of everything being accomplished within the family unit. The man typically had the focus in those times of being the head of the family, but God made sure that the mother was highly regarded for what she does for the family.

Moms are the cheerleaders and the encouragers. For all that they do, mom is to be respected.

God can do amazing things to bring mothers out of a bad situation and turn it into something amazing to behold. Note that God does not overlook the sin of the circumstances in the beginning (having children out of wedlock), but He can turn a woman who is sincerely seeking Him into someone that can honor Him with children that honor and respect her, and call her blessed.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For it was You who created my inward parts;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You

because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.

Your works are wonderful,

and I know this very well.

15 My bones were not hidden from You

when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;

all my days were written in Your book and planned

before a single one of them began.

 

Mothers should know without doubt that they are highly favored as vessels of God’s creation. The mother gives of herself to others and reflects God’s grace and mercy in His divine privilege and purpose of nurturing children. The mother is also a teacher and instructor.

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.

 

While the father sets the tone for the household, it is the mother than often has to provide ongoing instruction. Hopefully, the children are learning about godly behavior through His Word.

Mothers need to ensure that the children are properly trained in the same way that God wants His children to be trained and educated. It is the desire of God that persons who are educated and trained up in the Word can eventually be used for Him and His glory.

Acts 16:1-2

1 Then he went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. 2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him.

 

The Jewish woman was learning about Old Testament law and principles. It was additional preparation that led her to a relationship with Jesus Christ. She was able to teach Timothy in the truth of the Word despite the Greek influence within the household.

The faith of a person such as Timothy can be seen in the support of his mother and grandmother. They were the foundation of his sincere faith and love for Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 1:4-7

4 Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy, 5 clearly recalling your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois, then in your mother Eunice, and that I am convinced is in you also.

6 Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

 

The result of this is three generations of people who follow and honor Jesus Christ. Mothers indeed have a huge responsibility in developing and promoting legacies of Jesus Christ within families.

What kind of mother do you want to be? What kind of grandmother do you want to be? You want to set the example where your children will call you blessed.

 


Building Christian Character

Building your Christian character is a measurement of your growth in Jesus Christ. It is distinct from the character of one in the world or of those who practice other religions. The development of Christian character is based upon the beatitudes as written in Matthew Chapter 5 (addressing the Jews) and in Luke Chapter 6 (addressing the Greeks). To be successful is to live successfully in these beatitudes with the grace and blessings of God. One has to die to self and make sacrifices in order to grow in Christ.
Romans 12:3
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.We are not to think too highly of ourselves as far as our standing in Christ; instead, we are to only focus on being His servant.

In Matthew 5, Jesus begins to teach his disciples…

Matthew 5:3
Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Luke 6:20
Then looking up at His disciples, He said: Blessed are you who are poor, because the kingdom of God is yours.

This indicates a healthy attitude in one seeing himself or herself as spiritually poor (or lacking something). It is a spiritual desire to want to seek Christ more and more.

Psalm 73:25
Whom do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but You.

Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.

God has to be the guide in pointing us in the proper direction, but it requires a person declaring that they need God’s help.

Philippians 3:12-13
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.

Romans 7:18
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.

To recognize that you are “spiritually poor” means that you are relying and depending upon Him. It is the contrast to self-sufficiency and living as the world lives.

Revelation 3:17
Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

2 Corinthians 9:8-9
Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. Is God really concerned with oxen?

God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you will not lack in anything…this can only occur, however, when you recognize your dependence upon God.

Another beatitude is to have the ability to mourn, grieve, and deal with loss.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.

Isaiah 61:2-4
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord, to glorify Him. They will rebuild the ancient ruins; they will restore the former devastations; they will renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Only those who have known or experienced loss can have the desire to rebuild. In all of the world, there has been losses…many who are lost need Christ, and it should give us the desire to proclaim the importance of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).

Matthew 23:37
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing!”

John 11:33-35
When Jesus say her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved. “Where have you put him?” He asked. “Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.” Jesus wept.

God was grieved over the sinful state that man was involved with. He loved us enough to take action. He that knew no sin gave up His life for us.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

1 Corinthians 15:3
For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.