Tag Archives: serve

Church and Salvation: Reaching Outward

Today’s message summary of October 8, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Church and salvation goes with evangelism, which is reaching out to other people.  It is to be understood, then, that one who wants to evangelize must be willing to “go.”

You will only practice what you truly believe.  If you don’t believe that there is a world of people who are lost, you won’t go out and speak with them about the gospel.

If we, as a church, are to be taken seriously of our desire to reach people for Jesus, it must begin by being believable first to ourselves, and then to others.  Next, we must ask how successful have we been in teaching the Bible to adults in such a way that they believe the Word of God to be true–to the extent that it influences behavior.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Lord told us not to “go” and save people, but to go and teach others.  You are taking a journey.  In the journey, you will discover what God is doing for you.  In the going, the teaching will make disciples of other.  The teaching is beneficial for the teacher, as well, in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Being a disciple is like being an apprentice.  All apprentices have to have a master teacher.  All learning takes place upon receiving instruction from the one who is leading you.

You have to be willing to “go.”  There’s no specific direction that you are being given, but you at least need to go and step out into areas where you have never been before.  Either way, you can’t be obedient to God by just “staying put” (John 20:19, 26).

You are, as a servant of Christ, both a priest and a teacher.  You are being equipped by the Holy Spirit to learn and be able to serve Him in these ways.

A new believer in Jesus Christ must prepare to serve Him.  He is not ready to teach immediately.  He has to learn what it is to serve and minister to others.  Over time, he can share his experiences with others in giving instruction.

Mark 16:14-17

Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected. Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 1:3-5

After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

You can’t do anything in the flesh that will bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ, but when you go in the power of the Holy Spirit and speak the gospel, the name of Christ will be proclaimed, and that is whether the hearers of the Word choose to respond or not.

The “go” indicates a willingness to go.

John 3:17

For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Luke 5:27-32

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him. Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests with them. But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

In His going, Jesus met Matthew.

  • He went out and saw a tax collector (see the tense of the word “went” from “go”).
  • Matthew saw Jesus as being observant–giving careful attention.
  • Levi had a banquet for Jesus and invited his friends (Jesus’ disciples were also there. They were learning by observing Jesus’ behavior).
  • The Pharisees saw them as sinners.
  • Jesus is not blind or ignorant of their lives. He knew the depravity of their lives (immoral people).

What did Jesus do?

  • He loved and welcomed them into His life.
  • He offered them a refuge–a safe place.
  • Jesus is going after the real person–the one that was hidden behind the tax collector and sinner (the word used by the Pharisees).
  • Jesus is going after that person who is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:14).

The people of the church are to look at people in this same way.  To see people in the world, beneath their facades and protection, and help them to see Jesus Christ.

How many of you are studying the needs of your community?  You want to understand the community’s basic human needs, and how the details of their lives correlate into their lifestyle.

To serve, we must open our eyes to the people around us and know their needs. Think about what is important to them and how might the message of Jesus intersect with their needs.

Our community is a target for service.

The word “target,” according to Webster’s Dictionary, refers to one or a group who are to be changed or influenced by action or an event; therefore, we target our community to manage the perception of a person or group (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).  Paul is saying that all people will not see things in the same manner.  We, as a church, are the ones who change first, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to bring about change.

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Why Should Christians Care About the Church? (Part 2 of a Series)

Today’s message summary of July 23, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Many people think that they have no need of church.  We will explore why we do need it, and why.

The church has transitioned to such a degree where church, here in America, is more of an enterprise.  It is bigger than any corporation or business.  It is not organized as a business would be, but it functions in a similar way.  The product is in high demand, and it is only available through the church.  It is guaranteed for life.

John 3:16

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.

1 Corinthians 12:27-28

Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, various kinds of tongues.

The Holy Spirit is the distributor of information, and the head of it is Jesus Christ.  The priests that go forth on behalf of the church are its members—the body of Christ.  There is no company that exists that can do for you what the church does.

The church teaches how to live a spiritual life that emulates Jesus Christ.  In living such a life, you will see how that means living a sacrificial life for Him.

The church stands on its own.  It stands on the strength of the One who is its head—Jesus Christ.  It stands on its own without government existence.  The church is to raise up leaders that will provide societal leadership.  It provides godly people who can serve in government and society, and that will continue to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.  It provides guidance for generation after generation.

The church is strongest when the entire family is in the church hearing the message and worshiping together.

In the church, we have priests (servants) who lead the people.  They are a group of people that are chosen by God.  They stand with the mindset that is ready to serve God.

Exodus 19:5-6

Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation. These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.

The church is a congregation of priests ready to serve the Lord.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, God has chosen you to represent Him and serve Him.  You are His treasured possession!

Isaiah 61:6a

But you will be called the Lords priests;

they will speak of you as ministers of our God.

God will always provide the finances for His program.  If He wills it, He will fund it.  He knows what it takes to do His work.  God never assigns us to do anything in and of your own strength.  He does not want to open up the occasion where anyone can take the credit for it other than Himself.

1 Peter 2:9-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

The church moves in response to God’s voice speaking to the people, and the people’s actions are those of submissive hearts.

Romans 10:9-10

If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

If you are saved and serve in the church, Jesus Christ is the High Priest that leads you.  It is important for you to stay busy at what God has called you to do in ministry.  Remain faithful where God has called you to be, and work at it.  The High Priest, Jesus Christ, remains on the throne and He meets the needs of the church.

Many people in the church are willingly serving Jesus Christ, but there are still those in the church that largely serve themselves.  A lot of people who attend church do not know the Lord.  They’re not there to serve.

Hebrews 7:24

But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently.

Psalm 110:4

The Lord has shown an oath and will not take it back: “Forever, You are a priest like Mechizedek.”

It is the work of God that has to take place in a man’s heart.

1 Peter 2:4-5

As you come to him, a living stonerejected by people but chosen and honored by Godyou yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

God had chosen the Levites to serve as priests before Him and the Israelites.  Those who were born as Levites were not yet able to serve until they turned age 25.  Until that time, they had to undergo training within the temple.  They had to learn about service before they could serve.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

We are challenged to represent God with holy hearts and a holy mind.  He expects us to live in such a manner as we serve Him.  Your work for Him is your sacrifice unto Him.

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.

When the priesthood is healthy, the church is healthy.  The healthy priesthood has one agenda, and that is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joshua 7:7-8

Oh, Lord God, Joshua said, why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies?

Joshua was praying about the sins of the nation of Israel.  Keep in mind that there will be sin within the midst of the body of Christ, and He will challenge the church to pray.  The sin revealed hurts others and is a distraction to God’s agenda.  He calls for His believers to seek Him in all things and pray about those situations that hinder the work of Christ.

The churches are not all the same, but all believers have different gifts that they are endowed with, and they have their role; for example, in the book of Acts, Dorcas and Lydia lived out their own roles that they fulfilled in their own ministries.

As a priest of God, you have direct access to Him.

Each priest is in charge of his own temple.  He or she is responsible for how to take care of one’s own body.

Today’s priest does not need to offer sacrifices as they did in the Old Testament.  He chose you to serve for Him.

Deuteronomy 7:6

For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be his own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.

John 15:16

You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.

God honors and glorifies His own name.  Believers need to stand up and represent Him with the appropriate service.  Our actions will glorify Him and reflect His goodness as a testimony to others.


Church and Salvation and Church and the Saints

Today’s message summary of June 25, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

If you are in a church, you should be able to see if God is doing something.  Do you hear from Him?  Do you attend church with the desire to seek Him and understand Him?

You should be able to see God, hear Him, and receive from Him something of value.  When you leave church, you should feel fulfillment and blessings.

God has a plan for each one of us.  Your church experience should not be one where you are just moving along with others.

Church and salvation, and church and the saints.  They represent the same thing.  To be a saint in the church because you have been saved and redeemed by Jesus Christ.

Saints are called to serve in the body of Christ.  It’s more than just “walking with Jesus.”  Being called means that you have a purpose to do something in the body of Christ.  You are to be a participant in the body, and not just a spectator.

The church is the meeting place for those who desire to grow in relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not just for those who are saved.  It is for those who are looking for Christ and who are willing to, eventually, make a decision to follow Him in a relationship with Christ.  It began with someone speaking to the person and sharing about Christ.

The church is a group of people who have been drawn together by God to do the will of Jesus on earth, the work of Jesus Christ on earth, and to be His witnesses on earth.

John 6:44-45

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets. And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me.

Your work will testify about the presence of Jesus Christ:

John 5:36

But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about Me that the Father has sent me.

You will do great things in Christ:

John 14:12

I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.

You will be a witness for Jesus Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

You can be a witness for God in your flesh, and it can become a matter of pridefulness.  Your true witness for Him will be when the Spirit is in control.  If you are going to function well within the church and be a witness for Jesus Christ, you will need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Every approach within the church should be to constantly evaluate whether or not the endeavors of the church are glorifying Jesus Christ.

The greatest organization on earth is the Church.  A lot of people do not know this, because sometimes the church doesn’t get it right; however, it is the place where God takes the least of us, and raises them up to do great things in His name.

You may have heard these remarks:

“I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.”

“I don’t want to go to church.”

“The church isn’t doing anything for my spiritual life.”

The counter to these thoughts is that your Christian life is meant to provide works that are worth more than wood, hay or stubble.  To avoid church is to avoid functioning within the body of Christ. To not fellowship with other believers is more of a fleshly love than that of an agape love that Jesus desires for you to have.  Jesus wants you to have the heart of a servant and the desire to serve others, especially in this world where people feel that they are entitled to receive things.

When you come to church, everything won’t always be “nice.” Sometimes, you will need to be exposed to “iron sharpening iron.”  God’s Word is meant to convict and compel you to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate:

“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise.”

The church may indeed be a philosophy, an institution, a culture and an enterprise, but it does not mean that people see it as a place where they desire to seek and follow Jesus Christ.  That was what the original intent of the church, and that is what God desires for His people to see in today’s church.

A church has to function in today’s society in much the same way as a business.  The church is dealing with spiritual matters, but it also takes on a business venture, where its members are willing to undertake new and risky projects and have active participation in projects.

We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).  The church in action is a church that does good works in His name.

You can be a witness of the many things that only God can do if you are a participant in the church.


Understanding that Jesus is Coming

Today’s message summary of December 18, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Most of us conclude that Jesus’ coming is for salvation, but it is actually much more than that.  His coming does mean salvation for those who believe in Him, as He reconciles those who believe to the Father, but He came for a much deeper purpose.  Whether one responds to the gospel or not does not change who He is.

The general conception, which the Rabbis and Israel formed of the Messiah, is different from what was presented by Jesus Himself.

The purpose of Jesus’ coming was to have God speak to the people concerning His relationship with humanity.  He spoke about the desire that He had (and still has) to have a relationship with His people.  Bringing Christ forth was to show everyone who He really is.

Jesus, as God in the flesh, presented the fundamentals of the Christian life, and the final relationship in view of God towards humanity and humanity towards God.

It was a relationship of endearment expressed as follows:

  1. Expressed by the word Father (Matthew 6)
  2. Expressed by the word Servant (Philippians 2:6-7)

By His coming, He joins together the two ideals of the Son and the Servant.

Matthew 20:28

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His lifea ransom for many.

 

Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.”

 

Luke 1:73b-75

He has given us the privilege, since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.

 

As the servant of the living God, Jesus fulfills the threefold office of God.

Samuel fulfilled the offices of prophet, priest and judge.

Jesus fulfilled the office of Prophet (Hebrews 1:2).  He came to speak the words of His Father to us.  They were words of truth.

John 1:16-17

Indeed, we all have received grace after grace from His fullness, for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 

When people do not receive the truth of God’s Word, they don’t know how to live a life pleasing to God.

Truth always gives the people light.

John 1:4, 9

Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.

The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

 

The light, at the time of Jesus’ coming, was not a true light.

Jesus as a Priest:  He became the Priest of all the people.  Israel was without a true priesthood…one that would serve God and the people.  The priesthood was the representation of an intercessor between God and man.  Jesus was the true high Priest.

Hebrews 4:10, 14-15

For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His.

 

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens–Jesus the Son of God–let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 5:9-10

After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him, and He was declared by God a high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

 

Hebrews 7:23-26

Now many have become Levitical priest, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them. For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

 

Hebrews 9:11

But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation).

 

Hebrews 10:11-12

Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

 

Without a godly priesthood—the true servants of God—the world and the people suffer.  The people were without God because the priesthood was without God. They were without God because of their willingness to forsake God; as a result, the world suffered because of its willingness to not obey God.

When there is no true priesthood, we lose teaching (of the law).  Without teaching, there is a lost relationship with God.  Without such a relationship, we lose His blessings and experience the suffering of humanity without the love and knowledge of God.  The teachings of man are inadequate.

Mark 7:6-7

He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.

 

Jesus came to be our King.  He was not just the King of the Jews, but the King of all.  King of all kings.

Matthew 2:2b

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

 

John 18:37

“You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

 

Romans 14:11-12

For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

 

Revelation 17:14

These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

 


Have You Found Eternal Rest in Jesus Christ?

Today’s message summary of November 15, 2015 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

There are many ways to present the gospel. You can befriend someone, speak to people, or even be a street preacher. It can take place in many ways. You can even rap in presenting it.

In Revelation 14:6-13, there are three angels.

  1. Revelation 14:6-7 — The first angel proclaims the eternal gospel all over the earth to call people to repentance in faith of the God of heaven and earth:

Then I saw another angel flying high overhead, having the eternal gospel to announce to the inhabitants of the earth–to every nation, tribe, language, and people. He spoke with a loud voice: “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

God is proclaiming a warning to the people. The messenger is like a street preacher, who is proclaiming to all within the sound of his voice to repent.

The gospel is being proclaimed in the same way it was done in Acts 2 during the Pentecost. This proclamation is the second Pentecost. It is a global evangelism.

There was a need for a gospel from the very beginning:

Genesis 3:14-15

Then the Lord God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this,

you are cursed more than any livestock

and more than any wild animal.

You will move on your belly

and eat dust all the days of your life.

I will put hostility between you and the woman,

and between your seed and her seed.

He will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

 

The angel in Revelation is bring this message when the world is at the brink of judgment. Take this advice…do not wait until the end of your life to heed to the words of the gospel. Don’t take the chance thinking that you have many years to live before making a decision for Christ. Your actions, in disobedience to Christ, could be costly.

If the gospel were presented in the same way as a “How To” video, it would be as simple as following the instructions from the angel:

  1. Fear God.
  2. Give Him glory
  3. Worship Him throughout your life.

There is no need to be fearful of Satan. In the last days, he will present himself as powerful, but God is much more powerful than him. Satan will be defeated.

Revelation 14:8 – The second angel proclaims judgment upon Babylon (the system of the world):

A second angel followed, saying: “It has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, who made all nations drink the wine of her sexual immorality, which brings wrath.”

 

Isaiah 13:9

Look, the day of the Lord is coming–cruel, with rage and burning anger–to make the earth a desolation and to destroy the sinners on it.

 

Isaiah 13:11

I will bring disaster on the world, and their own iniquity, on the wicked. I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant and humiliate the insolence of tyrants.

 

Have you ever had moments of weariness over the sinfulness of the world? Do you long for the perfection of being with the Lord when you depart from here?

2 Peter 3:10

But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed.

 

Revelation 14:9-11 – The third angel pronounces the eternal judgment upon all who worships the beast and receive the mark of the beast:

 

And a third angel followed them and spoke with a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, which is mixed full strength in the cup of His anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the sight of the holy angels and in the sight of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name.

Matthew 13:41-42

The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

For those who worship the beast with the image of the beast on their foreheads are able to buy and sell. For those who do not have the mark, they will not be able to. The rulers of the world will be able to identify who can and who cannot. When that time comes, people will have to make a choice who they will follow. Even today, people have already made such a choice.

Who are you going to serve?

The third angel is proclaiming judgment. The last warning will be declared at that time.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength in that day when He comes to be glorified by His saints and to be admired by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.

 

Hebrews 10:31

It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

 

Revelation 14:12-13 – A call for those who heeded to the warnings of God’s judgment and obeyed the eternal message of the gospel because they will find eternal rest in Jesus Christ:

This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus. 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!”

 

When God pours out His wrath, even at that very moment, He still will desire for those who do not acknowledge Him to be saved.

  • The gospel is eternal.
  • God’s judgment is eternal.
  • Rest in Jesus Christ is eternal.

Isaiah 25:8

He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from every face and remove His people’s disgrace from the whole earth, for the Lord has spoken.

 

Revelation 7:17

For the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

 

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.

 

Application:

  1. Have you heeded to the eternal gospel that will save you from God’s eternal judgment?
  1. Scripture says, “Do not love this world or the things that is in the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Do you love this world and what this world is offering? Or, is your love for the Father who is in heaven?
  1. Who do you pledge allegiance to? Is your allegiance to the Lord or to someone else?
  1. Jesus said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Have you found eternal rest in the Lord?

A Benefit of the Church: The Crown of Glory

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
A pastor of a church is a leader who is called to take on the duties of shepherding the flock, but today’s message is directed to everyone that is involved in ministry.
1 Peter 5:4
And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.The verse acknowledges shepherds or pastors. Look who is writing this letter–it’s Peter.John 21:15-16
15 When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Feed My lambs,” He told him.

16 A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.

The reward that Peter refers to in 1 Peter 5:4 can only be received when Jesus returns. It is a reassurance that He will be here and that we will labor for Him until that time. We do not labor in vain–we labor for His glory and for His praise.

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.

Jesus asks you to trust in Him until He returns. Your labor will be rewarded.

John 14:1-3
1 “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

If the work is done without the joy of Christ as a goal, then the work is futile. Stand firm and stay the course with focus on The Lord. Sometimes, all you can do is trust in The Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Ephesians 6:8
…knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.

Romans 2:10
…but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

The word “glory” in Greek (1 Peter 5:4) also stands for honor and respect. The crown of glory is won by doing something important or of value. They are achievements in life that deserve recognition. These achievements receive honor because they honor the work of Jesus Christ.

We do not seek after our own honor or respect.

Proverbs 25:27
It is not good to eat too much honey
or to seek glory after glory.

A Christian’s life is to live in every way for His glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

God is the one who gives honor and respect.

Job 19:9, 40:9-10
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.

9 Do you have an arm like God’s?
Can you thunder with a voice like His?
10 Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
and clothe yourself with honor and glory.

God does not share His glory with anyone (For example, He created heaven and earth on His own and not with anyone else). He will, however, give us honor and respect for our deeds in service for Him.

Exodus 33:17-23
17 The Lord answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.”

19 He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” 21 The Lord said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”

Isaiah 48:11
I will act for My own sake, indeed, My own,
for how can I be defiled?
I will not give My glory to another.

Jesus Christ will honor us for the way we serve Him. It is exciting to see when God is working and recognize that He is often working through us.

Acts 16:22-29
22 Then the mob joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows on them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to keep them securely guarded. 24 Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!”

29 Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

The word glory carries with it the meaning of dignity, elegance, gracefulness and one of good taste. it also provides for the ability to place restraints on oneself when it is needed.

Your life brings forth three elements:

1. Genuine faith
2. Faith that brings praise to The Lord
3. Faith in action that reveals glory and honor for the work of Jesus

In all of this, there must be evidence of a desire to follow a calling to serve Him, the Chief Shepherd.

1 Peter 1:7
…so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:1-7
1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

5 In the same way, you younger men, be subject to the elders. And all of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because

God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble.

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

This glory will not fade away. It will not diminish.

2 Corinthians 3:7-11
7 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the Israelites were not able to look directly at Moses’ face because of the glory from his face—a fading glory— 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory. 10 In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious now by comparison because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

Ecclesiastes 1:11
There is no remembrance of those who came before;
and of those who will come after
there will also be no remembrance
by those who follow them.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities.

Father, we want to praise You and thank You for your loving kindness to us. Help us to grow in our desire to live for you in obedience and faithfulness to be a witness and a servant for You that brings honor and glory to Your Name. Thank you for all that you have done through us that we receive honor and respect because of your wonderful work through us, and that You are glorified because of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The Church is a Benefit in Our Work Ethic

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Today’s church is the one place where people should be able to attend and hear the truth. The truth is sometimes difficult to hear, especially when you hear about sin, obedience and God’s holiness. Nevertheless, the church is the truth that needs to be heard and proclaimed.
1 Timothy 3:15 (HCSB)
But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
In this truth, we learn about work and its value. We are created to work for God, but it is up to us to see the value of work for the Lord.
Malachi 3:18
So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
You can see the love that a person has for God in his or her work. There is a distinction in the person and performance.
Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.
1. Man was put in the garden to work.
Genesis 1:28
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”
Genesis 2:15-17
15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”Work was provided by God to man in an effort to teach obedience. Note that God created Eve only after Adam showed himself to be responsible for his work.
Genesis 2:18
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”After the fall, all work is under a curse.

Genesis 3:17-19
17 And He said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’:

The ground is cursed because of you.
You will eat from it by means of painful labor
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow
until you return to the ground,
since you were taken from it.
For you are dust,
and you will return to dust.”

While all work today is under that same state, our work can be fruitful and evident when believers call on the Holy Spirit to assist in their effort. Any work done in the flesh only manifests itself in the flesh, while work in the Holy Spirit is beneficial for all that rely upon Him. God wants you to shine in your work.

In work, we learn obedience and gain from His training (in order to carry out instruction).

Leviticus 19:23-25
23 “When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, you are to consider the fruit forbidden. It will be forbidden to you for three years; it is not to be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit must be consecrated as a praise offering to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way its yield will increase for you; I am Yahweh your God.

Where Adam failed in his area of obedience, he is giving instruction as to how to be obedient to God.

2. To restore something takes work.

We are called to work for God. It is work done under grace.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.”

Teaching others requires work. When others criticize about the work that they need to do, it is a natural response that has to be overcome because of our fallen, rebellious state.

3. What is the effect of work in our lives?

a. It brings wealth (Proverbs 13:11).

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle,
but whoever earns it through labor will multiply it.

b. It keeps us from breaking the law (Ephesians 4:28).

Ephesians 4:28
The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.

c. It promotes the ability to rule (discipline) – (Proverbs 12:24).

Proverbs 12:24
The diligent hand will rule,
but laziness will lead to forced labor.

d. It causes us to stand before others with confidence (Proverbs 22:29).

Proverbs 22:29
Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand in the presence of kings.
He will not stand in the presence of unknown men.

God desires that work is good for him and it bolsters one’s self-esteem. The church provides instruction about the value of work and how it benefits the individual worker, others, and the church, and how it is exported to other companies and venues–all for the glory of God.