Tag Archives: trouble

Today’s Society Seeks Protection from Jesus (Part 2)

Today’s message summary of May 7, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

What you say in public can sometimes bring about trouble.  Our society often tries to relegate what is being said (even from the church pulpit) because of how people may respond.

Matthew 14:3-4

For Herod had arrested John, chained him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, since John had been telling him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her!”

John was speaking publicly about Herod and Herodias’ relationship.

It is not unheard of that people today have filed suit for emotional damages over what someone has had to say.  It is today’s societal norm.

Karl Marx once noted that “religion negates all that is dignified in a human being by rendering them like a slave, and more amenable to accept the status quo.

Have we come to a place in today’s society that we accept what is deemed to be the status quo?  Society and government says that we are to accept the status quo.

Jesus informs us that we need to count the cost when we go into ministry.  John the Baptist did not accept the status quo.  He pointed out that Herod and Herodias’ relationship was unlawful before God.

The rule today is that what is popular in society should be acceptable to everyone.

Have we reached a point where there is no room for the teaching of Jesus Christ?  It is hardly a popular view in today’s society.

John 8:36-37

Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill Me because My word is not welcome among you.

Matthew 11:12

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force.

Before Martin Luther, the church was very involved with government.  They were considered one and the same.  The pope had to recognize the king in a kingdom.  In many of today’s Arab countries, the government and the religious group are essentially the same entity.

Modern proponents of the separation of church and state, on the religious side, will fall back on Luther’s doctrine of two kingdoms.  This marked the beginning of the modern concept of the separation of church and state.

Anabaptists took this a step further. They were in agreement with Luther that there were two kingdoms.  They agreed that the two should be separate.  They held that no baptized member of the church should vote, serve in the military, nor hold a public office.  Why?  They were part of God’s kingdom, and the government was the other kingdom.

Ultimately, we don’t need this separation from society.  There is a huge need for believers to be actively involved in the political field.

In the life of the believer, there are two authorities:

First, there is one representing claims made by government.  You can challenge views and prevail or not, or bring about change.

Secondly, God is the one who represents the church.  While the church has authority, God has the highest authority (God’s Word).

Acts 4:19-20, 5:29, 16:4-5

Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God; you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than people.

As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for the people to observe.  So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

Romans 13:1-3

Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God.  So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval.

Churches have found themselves in court. Property, persons hired for employment, church discipline and employees who follow Jesus Christ have been affected in their own workplace.

The kingdom of God is being advanced by force because of the opposition that it faces.  Scripture reminds us of the “good fight” and of the need for “the armor of God.”

Matthew 11:2-6

Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”

Matthew 10:22

You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The verse in Matthew 11:12 about the forceful advance of the kingdom (suffering of violence) notes the ongoing struggle of those who are following Jesus Christ:

  • You, yourself, are grabbing hold of the truth, or to the kingdom
  • You are pulling at it
  • You do so vigorously and energetically–pushing towards the kingdom

Anything that you desire will often require some effort.  You will really have to work at it.  When John the Baptist preached, this is when the real fight ensued between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of the world.

Luke 16:16-17

“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then, the good news of the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently invited to enter it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the law to drop out.”

Are you really running after God and His kingdom? While today’s society will tell you it is not worth your time, press ahead and go after Him.  When you serve Him, He will give you the energy that you need in order to be successful.


Uriah: A Faithful Servant

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

 

Our loyalty and faithfulness belongs to God Himself.

Today we will look as Uriah. We remember him as the person that David had killed in order to get to Bathsheba.

Uriah was a faithful servant. He may have been under-appreciated, but God welcomes your faithfulness in service for Him.

Proverbs 27:19

As water reflects the face,

so the heart reflects the person.

 

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else,

for it is the source of life.

 

Psalm 39:1a

I said, “I will guard my ways

so that I may not sin with my tongue;

I will guard my mouth with a muzzle.”

 

Who is Uriah?

  1. His name means “Flame of The Lord” or “The Lord is Light.” Uriah is going to shine a bright light on David’s life.
  1. He is a Hittite: one of the earliest inhabitants of Palestine.
  1. He became a worshiper of Israel’s God.
  1. Look at the contrast between David, the Lord’s anointed, one brown a Jew, and Uriah, a convert–a man who was not born a Jew but accepted the faith of Israel and chose it for his own.
  1. Uriah is one of David’s “The Thirty” or “Mighty Men” because he was an outstanding warrior (2 Samuel 23:39).
  1. Uriah is fighting on behalf of God and David for Israel (2 Samuel 11:1).
  1. Uriah had to be a person of importance, because he was able to marry Bathsheba, a woman of unusual beauty, and daughter of Eliam (2 Samuel 23:34).

Uriah was faithful to God and the men he served with.

2 Samuel 11:6-11

6 David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house.

10 When it was reported to David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David questioned Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!”

 

Look at the heart of Uriah in his demonstration of loyalty to his fellow soldiers and to God and Israel. He camped out with the Ark of the Covenant for the good of the people. He was being faithful. Where is David’s heart here?

When you heart is involved in sin it is not focused on God. David could not see the faithfulness of Uriah because of his sin. Uriah was focused on nothing but God and His presence. When your focus is on The Lord, there are things that you will deny of yourself to remain focused upon Him.

When your heart is set on God, He will keep you.

David is acting as the enemy; yet, Uriah is the main faithful to his conviction., even after David got him drunk.

2 Samuel 11:12-13

12 “Stay here today also,” David said to Uriah, “and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. He went out in the evening to lie down on his cot with his master’s servants, but he did not go home.

 

2 Timothy 2:3

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

 

Uriah, as a result, shines light on David’s heart.

  1. He carried his own death letter from David to Joab.
  2. What could have been the thoughts of Joab about David from this time?
  3. After Uriah was killed, David only shared “not to let this upset you.

2 Samuel 11:24-25

24 However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it.’ Encourage him.”

 

Uriah died being faithful to both God and David. He didn’t know of the deceitful heart of David, but he knew the loving heart of the God of Israel–the One he truly served.

In living out the life of a Christian, you cannot say “do this the right way,” and live wrongly. Be prayerful to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and to never be a stumbling block before others. You won’t be perfect, but your perfection comes in obedience and faithfulness to Christ.


The Fruits of The Spirit – Kindness

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

In order to minister to other people, you must yield to the Spirit of God to be effective in your ministries.  We have discussed love, joy, peace and patience over the past few weeks, but now we will look at kindness.  Kindness must indeed be a part of your ministry.

Kindness is something people have to learn to do because it requires one to extend oneself–to go that extra mile and do what is necessary.  What we need to realize is that kindness truly reflects the love of God to those who receive it.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”

 

People will often use appearances of a person’s life to make a decision about who one really is, but is it really true?  We have to look underneath the surface to see a person for who he or she is.

If you go deeper, you may see the following:

  • Abuse and/or neglect
  • Family issues/divorce
  • Substance abuse
  • Parent unwilling to participate
  • Truancy/grades/trouble at school
  • Lying/not telling the whole story
  • Gang involvement

What is hidden for these people that has a profound effect on life?  A person in ministry is to study the person and their behaviors in order to perform in the best way as God speaks to you about that person.  We want to see a person grow from these negative experiences and mature into someone who can overcome these issues and, eventually, grow in Christ as his or her life is being transformed.

We don’t fight with God about forgiveness or healing in our lives.  We wind up fighting with Him about the transformation of our lives.  The fight is about the uncertainty of what we will be become.  It can be frightening to some people.

In Galatians 5:22, kindness and goodness is being beneficial for others.  Kindness is responding in love to a person.  It produces benefits, advantages and favors to others.  It is not about whether someone deserves it or is worthy to receive it.  That needs to be removed from any consideration.  If you want to be a blessing to someone else, then there should be a benefit received by the other person from your acts of kindness.

Kindness is the act of contributing to the improvement of a person’s life or condition.

Kindness does not mean you should expect to receive something in return, for sometimes you will not even receive a “thank you” for your actions.  Not receiving something should never keep you from being kind to others.

People do not want to acknowledge this, but you ar either a blessing to others or a curse to others.  Either you build people up or you tear them down.  Consider that your inaction in another person’s life makes no appreciable impact, as well.

God can always make life better, but as Christians, we are also to make life better for others in our ministry; otherwise, there is no room for the Spirit to work in a person’s life.  They must see your kindness in order to see the true presence of Christ and gravitate towards Him.  Jesus came in order for people to not just have life, but the true life–an abundant life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

17 Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.

 

John 10:10

A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.

 

Psalm 25:8

The Lord is good and upright;

therefore He shows sinners the way.

God sets the pace for believers and even for sinners as to the way one is to go.  Your kindness to strangers or to people who may or may not appreciate your actions still have a guideline for instruction.

 

Psalm 25:12

Who is the man who fears the Lord?

He will show him the way he should choose.

 

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.

 

God is kind and even merciful to the ungrateful and the wicked.  This is why you should never stop being kind to others in order that they can see God’s grace and mercy extended to them.  God wants you to see them the way that He sees them–as people who need Jesus Christ in order that they can live the abundant life.  It is up to the person to repent and make a decision, but your kindness leads them towards repentance.

Romans 2:4

Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

 

God’s grace is visible through His kindness.  It is agape love for us.  Our kindness, in turn, is to also come from an agape love for others.

Ephesians 2:6-7

6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

 

We are instructed to put on kindness.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

 

We are to allow the Holy Spirit to clothe us in kindness, as we are unable to do so on our own.

The flesh can bring forth kindness, but it has limitations because that kindness is bound by the flesh and does not have a lasting effect.  Our true response to the Holy Spirit in kindness will have a positive effect and influence that goes far beyond what the flesh can accomplish.

We are to practice our kindness in-house before we go outside.

Ephesians 4:32

And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

 

This command was to the Ephesians church, which was made up of different groups of people, including Jews and Romans, who were normally very hostile to each other.  This was for people within the church to see where there peace was to come from.  We’re all in the same family through the blood of Christ.  We need to see this and practice it in our church today.

Ephesians 2:14a

For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.

 

Ephesians 4:1-3, 27

1 Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, 3 diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.

27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity.

 

If you are going to be a minister of God’s saving grace and be a servant of His, you must be kind to all people.

2 Corinthians 6:4-6

4 But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything:

 

by great endurance, by afflictions,

by hardship, by difficulties,

5 by beatings, by imprisonments,

by riots, by labors,

by sleepless nights, by times of hunger,

6 by purity, by knowledge,

by patience, by kindness,

by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,

 

Prove who you are in Jesus Christ to others.


The Fruits of The Spirit – Peace

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It is the Holy Spirit that ministers to each one of us.  God’s love is vital within that ministry.  Peace is needed throughout the world today.  Many are looking for peace in the world, but unfortunately in many of the wrong places.  Our society is over-medicated and looking for ways to find peace through artificial means; yet, The Lord speaks about peace that comes from Him and overcomes the troubles of this world.  God is not a god of confusion–He is a God of peace.

Peace is missing in the lives of many people today.

You have to want peace, but you need to know where to look for it.

Psalm 34:14

Turn away from evil and do what is good;

seek peace and pursue it.

 

Real peace is only found in the Scriptures

Psalm 119:165

Abundant peace belongs to those

who love Your instruction;

nothing makes them stumble.

 

You search the Scriptures not just because you’re saying you read it and that’s it–you do it because you have a desire to live out what your reading and allowing it to have a positive effect in your life.  God’s Word can bring you peace and understanding.

We should nor settle for a false peace.  You really cannot hear God’s voice in the midst of confusion.

Isaiah 59:8

They have not known the path of peace,

and there is no justice in their ways.

They have made their roads crooked;

no one who walks on them will know peace.

 

Their is a need to learn about the experience of real peace.  It comes from learning the rules within life and being obedient or compliant.  Peace is lost by those who practice disobedience.

Until you learn how to do what is right, you will not have peace.  It is about knowing justice…knowing how to do good.

Until one comes under God’s authority, it will be impossible to experience peace.

We need to listen to good advice in order to learn the ways of peace.  When it comes to Scripture, we need to have “ears to hear.”

Psalm 85:8

I will listen to what God will say;

surely the Lord will declare peace

to His people, His godly ones,

and not let them go back to foolish ways.

 

Proverbs 20:18

Finalize plans with counsel,

and wage war with sound guidance.

 

If you are not living faithfully, God will not speak to you.  (You’re also not ready to hear from Him.)

There is peace within faithfulness.  God will speak to His people.

There is no peace in the midst of foolishness.

Proverbs 12:15

A fool’s way is right in his own eyes,

but whoever listens to counsel is wise.

 

It is important to have peace in your life.  Without peace, certain things cannot take place.

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

 

Peace in Jesus keeps the heart from trouble and removes fear.

You can hear His instruction to help you endure and overcome any obstacles.

John 16:33

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

 

God’s peace guards your heart.

Philippians 4:4-7

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else,

for it is the source of life.

 

Do not let the faults of others be a distraction.

Colossians 3:13-15

13 accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. 14 Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

 

God’s desire is to use you for His purpose.

2 Timothy 2:21

So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

 

God’s wisdom will always bring peace.

James 3:17

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.

 

Our obedience to God brings us peace and gives each of us victory over the enemy.

Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than victorious

through Him who loved us.


Identity: Your Choice–Flesh or Spirit?

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:

A person can say, “Lord, I love you,” yet the heart may be far from Him. We have the choice to walk with Him in the Spirit or walk in the flesh. The unbeliever can only walk in the flesh. Only the Christian can choose to live by the Spirit in obedience of God or in the flesh in disobedience. The war is always ongoing between the flesh and the Spirit. As you live more and more in the Spirit, you will have the power and ability to suppress and overcome the flesh.

Which one will you choose?

Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The list that mirrors the life of people of the world who do not have Jesus falls within four groups:
1.) Sexual sin
2.) False worship (idolatry); drug abuse
3.) Factions; in-house fighting
4.) Appetites–drunkenness; orgies

The acts of the sinful nature are seen by everyone (Galatians 5:19).

Sin changes our character to the degree that it can change how people perceive you. Your behavior will raise red flags before others around you. It is obvious when you are not walking in obedience to The Lord.

Scripture says to flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).

How does one hurt himself? It can be psychological and also physical (there are many diseases that can occur via sexual intercourse that are incurable). These sins can hinder one’s thinking and has a negative effect all relationships unless God does a work in this area.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that there are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases every year. Of those, half are among people between the ages of 15-24.

Ephesians 4:19
They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Adultery and fornication: one or both adults are married. Marriage is a contract, and it means to be legally bound to the vows taken between a man and a woman; for example, two single people cannot commit adultery.

Mark 10:7-8
7 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
[and be joined to his wife],
8 and the two will become one flesh.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Adultery not only hurts one self, but countless others who are aware of the marriage relationship (relatives, friends, etc.)

Fornication: At least one participant is not under the marriage vow contract, or neither person is married. If a relationship of this type ends, there is damage because there was never a true commitment and the emotional side is exposed.

Prostitution is also fornication. A brothel is a place where prostitution takes place. The word ‘brothel’ means ‘wretched person,’ to waste away, go to ruin.

Fornication is always about self-pleasure. It brings about broken relationships and harms the parents’ trust. This is why the unmarried people are to abstain from sex and not participate until after marriage. The relationship between the man and the woman can be irreparably harmed, as well. A woman can experience anger from the deceit that she was used in the relationship. A pregnancy that develops from the relationship also damages the child because he or she was not wanted in the first place. There are psychological consequences because the child does not see himself as wanted or needed within the relationship.

Impurity, uncleanness: dirt, dirty, soiled; ceremonially, spiritually unclean.

Romans 6:19
I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification.

Ephesians 5:3
But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints.

1 Thessalonians 4:7
For God has not called us to impurity but to sanctification.

Romans 1:24
Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.

Ephesians 4:19
They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more.

Colossians 3:5
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.

Those who participate in sexual immorality are not usable by God.


The Body of Christ – Part 2

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:I believe that, in the midst of today’s troubles and conflicts, God is speaking to us.

Job 37:1-13 (HCSB)
1 My heart pounds at this
and leaps from my chest.
2 Just listen to His thunderous voice
and the rumbling that comes from His mouth.
3 He lets it loose beneath the entire sky;
His lightning to the ends of the earth.
4 Then there comes a roaring sound;
God thunders with His majestic voice.
He does not restrain the lightning
when His rumbling voice is heard.
5 God thunders marvelously with His voice;
He does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For He says to the snow, “Fall to the earth,”
and the torrential rains, His mighty torrential rains,
7 serve as His sign to all mankind,
so that all men may know His work.
8 The wild animals enter their lairs
and stay in their dens.
9 The windstorm comes from its chamber,
and the cold from the driving north winds.
10 Ice is formed by the breath of God,
and watery expanses are frozen.
11 He saturates clouds with moisture;
He scatters His lightning through them.
12 They swirl about,
turning round and round at His direction,
accomplishing everything He commands them
over the surface of the inhabited world.
13 He causes this to happen for punishment,
for His land, or for His faithful love.

God has a way of telling us, as a nation, “Listen to me.” I pray that we are listening to Him, and that we acknowledge His presence. There is nothing that takes place that He is not aware of.

What should draw us near to Him is His love for us. He wants to have a relationship us, and He wants us to live in such a way that we remain steadfast in Him and to live according to our purpose for His glory and His praise.

The Body of Christ

This month, we will focus on the body of Jesus Christ. It has its purpose in acknowledging that Jesus really did exist as a man. It is proof that He lived as a child that grew into manhood. While some of us may deny His deity, there is no denial of His existence in bodily form.

His body was not different from the body that we had. He experienced hunger and thirst as we did. The difference between Him and us is that He was without sin.

Jesus often spoke in such a way where He showed each of us that we are dependent on something. The body needs food and water, and sustenance in order to live. In comparison, Jesus Christ showed us that our life in Christ required a dependance upon Him. Jesus declares that, without Him, a Christian cannot live the Christian life. He is to be involved in our lives on a daily basis. The food and drink that we take in sustains our bodies. As we take on Jesus Christ, He sustains us.

Matthew 5:6
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled.

John 4:13-14
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”

Matthew 26:26-29
The First Lord’s Supper

26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” 27 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.”

Luke 22:14-20
The First Lord’s Supper

14 When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.

When Jesus broke the bread with His disciples (as He did in Matthew and Luke), He demonstrated that the breaking of bread was a way in which we can have fellowship with Him.

Scripture points out that those who have eternal life with the abundance of the presence of Jesus Christ. Those who do not follow Christ will experience the loss of fellowship with Jesus Christ, and be subjected to the punishment of failing to acknowledge Him.

John 6:53-58
53 So Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. 56 The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”

The bread that Jesus speaks of as a provision by God for His people. God is the one who gives us what we need to live. Don’t miss that our Heavenly Father desires to provide everything that we have need of. In the midst of our rebellion, we often miss God’s provision, and even His protection.

Exodus 12:1-11
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 “This month is to be the beginning of months for you; it is the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they must each select an animal of the flock according to their fathers’ households, one animal per household. 4 If the household is too small for a whole animal, that person and the neighbor nearest his house are to select one based on the combined number of people; you should apportion the animal according to what each person will eat. 5 You must have an unblemished animal, a year-old male; you may take it from either the sheep or the goats. 6 You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter the animals at twilight. 7 They must take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses where they eat them. 8 They are to eat the meat that night; they should eat it, roasted over the fire along with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or cooked in boiling[b] water, but only roasted over fire—its head as well as its legs and inner organs. 10 Do not let any of it remain until morning; you must burn up any part of it that does remain before morning. 11 Here is how you must eat it: you must be dressed for travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in a hurry; it is the Lord’s Passover.

Note that this sacrifice was to be eaten in its entirety. Jesus Christ became, through His unblemished body, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and transgressions. We are to embrace HIm in His entirety as our Lamb of God.

1 Corinthians 6:13
“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food,” but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

John 6:32-35
32 Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always!”

35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

John 6:48-51
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

The flesh that Jesus speaks of is His body, which He gave up for us in order for us to be able to receive eternal life. The Lord’s body was given up for us for the purpose that our bodies to grow and be sustained for His will and purpose. Our bodies are intended to be for The Lord and nothing else. Note what Jesus accomplished for us with His sacrifice on the cross…

2 Corinthians 5:21
He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Man cannot do anything with His own sin. There has to be an atonement for our sin that we cannot achieve on our own. Christ had to be the intercessor for our sin with His body, where He took our sin upon Himself because of His love for us.

Matthew 27:45-46
The Death of Jesus

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

When we take communion, we are to be mindful that all of our sins…past, present and future, are accounted for by the bodily sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

When you look at the goodness and mercy of God, He readily invites you to seek Him and look to Him–first, for eternal life, and then for the abundant life of the believer. He is worthy to be praised for His sacrifice for us.

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!


What Sin Does To You and God’s Response

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

The effects of sin on our lives is very prominent–even if we choose to ignore it. Sin does, nevertheless, have its consequences.

Sin becomes superficial under the influence of a speculative mind.
1. Sin is not practical (it’s not real–it becomes “bad luck” or “good luck”).
2. Willingness to take the risk that sin will not hurt you.
3. To venture out into sin on the chance that you will get what you want without getting caught or paying the price for sin.

Psalm 38:1-22
1 Lord, do not punish me in Your anger
or discipline me in Your wrath.
2 For Your arrows have sunk into me,
and Your hand has pressed down on me.
3 There is no health in my body
because of Your indignation;
there is no strength in my bones
because of my sin.
4 For my sins have flooded over my head;
they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.
5 My wounds are foul and festering
because of my foolishness.
6 I am bent over and brought low;
all day long I go around in mourning.
7 For my loins are full of burning pain,
and there is no health in my body.
8 I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
9 Lord, my every desire is known to You;
my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart races, my strength leaves me,
and even the light of my eyes has faded.
11 My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction,
and my relatives stand at a distance.
12 Those who seek my life set traps,
and those who want to harm me threaten to destroy me;
they plot treachery all day long.
13 I am like a deaf person; I do not hear.
I am like a speechless person
who does not open his mouth.
14 I am like a man who does not hear
and has no arguments in his mouth.
15 I put my hope in You, Lord;
You will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Don’t let them rejoice over me—
those who are arrogant toward me when I stumble.”
17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is constantly with me.
18 So I confess my guilt;
I am anxious because of my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous and powerful;
many hate me for no reason.
20 Those who repay evil for good
attack me for pursuing good.
21 Lord, do not abandon me;
my God, do not be far from me.
22 Hurry to help me,
Lord, my Savior.

I. You allow sin in your life–it’s yours. It’s a matter of acknowledging your own faults–your own sin.
–troubled by my sin (Psalm 38:18; also Psalm 32)
–because of my sin (v. 3)
–because of my folly (v. 5)
–my pain is ever with me (v. 17)
–I have to wait for The Lord to act–your progress in spiritual growth stops (v. 15)
–your choice (Isaiah 59:2)

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have built barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have made Him hide His face from you
so that He does not listen.

Your sin separates yourself from God, and it’s by your choice.

Sin robs you of the confidence of God’s fellowship with you and His promises for you. We are waiting for God to make a new work in us after He has forgiven us upon our repentance of sin.

II. Effects of sin in your life
–You will know God’s discipline (Psalm 38:2-3).
–the pain is in the body–it effects your emotions–your mental state–it can bring about depression. The burden may be heavy and unexpected…it’s more than what you can bear.

Psalm 38:4, 6-10, 13-14
4 For my sins have flooded over my head;
they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.

6 I am bent over and brought low;
all day long I go around in mourning.
7 For my loins are full of burning pain,
and there is no health in my body.
8 I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
9 Lord, my every desire is known to You;
my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart races, my strength leaves me,
and even the light of my eyes has faded.

I am like a deaf person; I do not hear.
I am like a speechless person
who does not open his mouth.
14 I am like a man who does not hear
and has no arguments in his mouth.

III. How others may respond to your sin

People may respond to you in different ways. A spouse may respond in one way, while children or relatives may see it differently. Each of them may see the destructive behavior and will likely choose to avoid you if not wait for you to fall down.

Psalm 38:11-12, 16-20
11 My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction,
and my relatives stand at a distance.
12 Those who seek my life set traps,
and those who want to harm me threaten to destroy me;
they plot treachery all day long.

16 For I said, “Don’t let them rejoice over me—
those who are arrogant toward me when I stumble.”
17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is constantly with me.
18 So I confess my guilt;
I am anxious because of my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous and powerful;
many hate me for no reason.
20 Those who repay evil for good
attack me for pursuing good.

Your sin may bring about others that will sin against you, and there’s nothing that you can say about it. Only righteousness can rebuke sin and sinful behavior.

IV. God’s response to your sin

God provides discipline and correction for our sin because He loves us. It may not seem that He loves us, but He does, and He wants you to know that sin displeases Him. The discipline and correction also affects your sense and awareness of His presence. Remember, however, that He never leaves us (Joshua 1:5-9).

Psalm 38:1-2, 21
1 Lord, do not punish me in Your anger
or discipline me in Your wrath.
2 For Your arrows have sunk into me,
and Your hand has pressed down on me.

21 Lord, do not abandon me;
my God, do not be far from me.

Our sin also will withhold God’s blessings from us.

Psalm 103:10
10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve
or repaid us according to our offenses.

Your own sin brings about your own punishment. It will bring you to a place where the only One that can help and rescue you is God.

The punishment for sin may seem very painful, but God wants you to repent and live a holy, honorable life for Him. He wants you to live a victorious, abundant life.

Jeremiah 2:19
19 Your own evil will discipline you;
your own apostasies will reprimand you.
Think it over and see how evil and bitter it is
for you to abandon the Lord your God
and to have no fear of Me.
This is the declaration
of the Lord God of Hosts.

A cry to The Lord for help from sin:

Psalm 38:22
Hurry to help me,
Lord, my Savior.

The Lord reassures us with His Word that He is our help and our refuge when we seek Him. The most reassuring aspect of His forgiveness is His very presence.

Joshua 1:5-9
5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. 7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. 8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. 9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”