Tag Archives: witness

God Provides and Empowers His Witnesses

Today’s message summary of July 5, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

There will still be some sort of religious ceremony or presentation within Revelation Chapter 11. We will still see that Jerusalem is the center of all activity, just as it is today.

God will provide witnesses for Him and His Name. He will empower them and enable them to glorify His name.

Revelation 11:1-19

Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These men have the power to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.

When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the public square of the great city, which prophetically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And representatives from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will view their bodies for three and a half days and not permit their bodies to be put into a tomb. 10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.

11 But after 3½ days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. So great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment a violent earthquake took place, a tenth of the city fell, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe has passed. Take note: The third woe is coming quickly!

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of His Messiah,
and He will reign forever and ever!

16 The 24 elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, 17 saying:

We thank You, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because You have taken Your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
but Your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to Your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear Your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth.

19 God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

In Revelation 11:1, God is not directing John to measure like a ruler, but to determine the quality, or the standard of what is being presented in the sanctuary. Measure the value of worship. Does it meets God standard? Does it qualify? The worship in the temple in Revelation will be for the Antichrist.

I. God has a standard. You have to be willing to make the sacrifices to be different from the world and be holy. The standard has been lowered so much in this day and time that everyone is made to be comfortable in the church. Well, everyone is welcome to the church, but everyone should not feel comfortable in their sin.

In Revelation 11:2-6, God brings the two witnesses to stand against the Antichrist.

We are challenged to worship the One, true God, and to grow in our relationship with Him.

John 4:23

But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. Instead of lowering our standards of worship, we need to keep them as high as possible. The world has lowered its standard of worship, but we are challenged to worship Him as He cleanses us and equips us to minister to others.

Hebrews 9:14

…how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?

Psalm 51:2

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

II. Christ is the center of our worship–in Revelation 11, that will not be the case.

The gospel message is to be delivered. The gospel message will not be delivered in the temple; furthermore, the wrong style of worship will take place in the temple in Revelation 11.

Titus 3:5

He saved us–not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

God gives the authority and power to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:4-5). He gives them the power to perform their ministry and for their protection. God knew that they would face opposition. He gave them fire to proceed out of their mouths, to hold back the rain and turn water into blood.

Scripture does not reveal who the two men are, but some believe that they are Elijah and Moses. Elijah and Moses performed signs that duplicate what these men will do, and they both appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration.

Matthew 17:3-4

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here! If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Malachi 4:4

“Remember the instruction of Moses My servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

Exodus 7:20

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood.

1 Kings 17:1

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!”

They could strike the earth with a plague whenever they desired (Revelation 11:6).

III. When their ministry is complete, Satan has the power to kill them. (Revelation 11:7-10)

You will finish on time.

Psalm 39:4

“Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am.”

It is OK to stand alone.

2 Timothy 4:17

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

God is with you.

Romans 8:31

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

There will be times in ministry where one needs to stand alone for Him.

There is an appointed time.

Job 14:5-6

Since man’s days are determined and the number of his months depends on You, and since You have set limits he cannot pass, look away from him and let him rest so that he can enjoy his day like a hired hand.

The two witnesses were empowered by God to perform as His witness. In the same way, recognize the power that God gives to you to be His witness for Him while you are able.

The fact that the beast can kill them reveals that they are physical beings. They are killed by the beast, who is also a person.

The two witnesses were killed in Jerusalem. The place is referred to Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified (Revelation 11:8).

Sodom – no morals; rebellion against God (Ezekiel 16:40)

Egypt – idols; captivity of God’s people

IV. God breaks up the party (v. 9-10)

All will see the bodies laying in the streets. Imagine all of the pictures uploaded on the internet and having them broadcast on YouTube!

The witnesses were proclaiming God’s Word, but when they were killed and the word of God was removed from the people, the people were celebrating their demise.

Imagine the terror of the people when they came back to life 3 1/2 days later! (v. 11)

For the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no reason to be ashamed of the gospel. It will require personal sacrifice, but it will be worth it for the testimony that is made before others.

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The Fruits of The Spirit – Self-Control

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.

 

Self-control is the measure of keeping one to remain focused on following Jesus Christ. It is an area that is controlled by the Holy Spirit. A lack of self control comes from being controlled by the flesh. Fleshly control is an opening to demonic influence. The Holy Spirit is present to allow for self control but a person must yield to the Spirit in order to maintain self control.

In Galatians 5, it is noted that the law is present because of sin, but it is the fruits of The Spirit that are beyond the law because you are acting in self control under God’s presence.

Self-control helps to capture all of our emotions. It is the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.

Paul witnesses to Felix:

Acts 24:24-25

24 After some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and listened to him on the subject of faith in Christ Jesus. 25 Now as he spoke about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became afraid and replied, “Leave for now, but when I find time I’ll call for you.”

 

Felix is being addressed because he is in desperate need of exhibiting self-control. He has been through three marriages. He needed to hear from Paul about:

1. Faith in Christ

2. Righteousness

3. Self-control

4. Judgment to come

 

Paul is in control.

Matthew 10:19-20

19 But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, 20 because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.

 

You may feel you have a right to take action against a person for their mistreatment of you.

1 Samuel 24:4-6

4 so they said to him, “Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.’” Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.

5 Afterward, David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “I swear before the Lord: I would never do such a thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed. I will never lift my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.”

 

1 Samuel 26:7-10

7 That night, David and Abishai came to the troops, and Saul was lying there asleep in the inner circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the troops were lying around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has handed your enemy over to you. Let me thrust the spear through him into the ground just once. I won’t have to strike him twice!” 

9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him, for who can lift a hand against the Lord’s anointed and be blameless?” 10 David added, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will certainly strike him down: either his day will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.

 

Self-control is a quality for anyone in leadership.

Titus 1:8

…but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled.

 

Titus 2:2

Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance.

 

1 Timothy 3:2

An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher.

 

1 Corinthians 9:25

Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.

 

Having knowledge of God’s Word helps to build us up in self-control. Training under God’s Word requires it, and it will teach you how to rely more and more on the presence of God in your life to rely upon Him in maintaining self-control.

The value of self-control is perseverance (patience).

 

2 Peter 1:6

…knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness.

 

Self-control can bring you respect (honor). It teaches how to avoid strife.

Proverbs 20:3

It is honorable for a man to resolve a dispute,

but any fool can get himself into a quarrel.

 

Self-control (calmness) brings rest. It provides the ability to work things out.

Ecclesiastes 10:4

If the ruler’s anger rises against you, don’t leave your place,

for calmness puts great offenses to rest.

 

Without self-control, you can only display the flesh at its worst and all of its foolishness.

Proverbs 14:29

A patient person shows great understanding,

but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.

 

2 Timothy 3:3

…unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good.

 

You are being evaluated by others in your words, actions and behaviors to see if you really are who you claim to be–a Christian. The Christian is expected to have self-control. Living a life of carnality will show only a lack of control.

God wants you to be able to have the joy of the presence of the Holy Spirit by operating in self-control. When the characteristics of the fruits of The Spirit are manifested before others, the very presence of God and His power can be experienced by others as you remain faithful to Him.


Give God Thanks

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

To say “thank you” and have people regard you as a messenger of God is something that we need in the world today. We want people to declare that there is a God in this land and that we can say thank you for His presence.

Psalm 137:1-6
By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There we hung up our lyres
on the poplar trees,
3 for our captors there asked us for songs,
and our tormentors, for rejoicing:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”
4 How can we sing the Lord’s song
on foreign soil?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not exalt Jerusalem as my greatest joy!

The songs that the people of Israel were called to sing by their captors were not considered to be songs that could be sung publicly, because they were considered to be sacred, but what the Jews did not realize was that those songs were an opportunity to witness and proclaim God’s holy name. Like the people of Israel at that time, who were on the banks of the river Babylon in captivity, it is the overwhelming circumstances of the world today that make you stop and weep. Yet, you need to remember and understand how God brings us out of the wilderness is what causes you to be thankful. You need to always remember the importance of God’s presence and not take Him for granted.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12
10 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give you—a land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, 11 houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Does this remind you of America today? A nation that was formed and raised up to be a witness of the world. God has called us to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and be thankful for His presence–even if no one else sees a reason to do so. We are to be His witness to the world in the presence of he sin and evil of the world.

Psalm 9:17
The wicked will return to Sheol—
all the nations that forget God.

Psalm 50:22
“Understand this, you who forget God,
or I will tear you apart,
and there will be no one to rescue you.

The world needs to see us praising His name in spite of our troubles and difficulties. They need to know the power of the living God and see His light, and the hope of the world. We have a song of grace, mercy, love and redemption to sing. He showers each of us with his love, mercy, grace and redemption.

Psalm 105:1-5
God’s Faithfulness to His People

1 Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
3 Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
5 Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced.

Psalm 106:1-2
1 Hallelujah!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Who can declare the Lord’s mighty acts
or proclaim all the praise due Him?

In all things, search your heart and seek the One who is worthy of praise and give thanks. Who else can proclaim the works of God and His saving grace? Only God Himself and the ones He has redeemed.

Psalm 107:1-2
Thanksgiving for God’s Deliverance

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe.

Our love for God depends upon our obedience to Him. God wants to show Himself as mighty in your life. The psalmist says “God is good.” It does not matter what you have gone through or are going through.

No one else can tell your own story of how good God has been to you. God has given you life, and you should thank Him for it. Your here because of the grace of God.

We need to be a people that sees the world as if we are passing through. While we are passing through, leave the message as to how God forgives, provides grace, and that He is able.

Psalm 107:8, 19-21, 31-32
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them from their distress.
20 He sent His word and healed them;
He rescued them from the Pit.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

31 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.
32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people
and praise Him in the council of the elders.

If The Lord is not on your side, who is on your side? If The Lord does not help you, who will? Be assured that The Lord will help you and be with you, because He never leaves us nor forsakes us. What has God delivered you from recently. He guides your steps. He cares for you. He gives you the reason to celebrate His presence and give Him thanks.

Always remember the goodness of God. Thank you, Lord, for who you are and for everything You have done!


Spring Break 2013 Seminar Coming This April

Our Annual Relationship Conference Series takes an exciting approach that will not just grow but enhance your relationship with God through Jesus Christ!  You’ll be not just salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), you’ll be–

Seasoning with Brightness!

Presented by Melvin Gaines

A special weekend retreat for everyone where you can rest, relax, renew and recharge!

Now, more than ever, it is vital to grow in your personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ!  Your growth in Christ will help you communicate with Him at a high level, and will also help you to make a greater impact in your daily ministry with others!  We are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), but you can become more seasoned and brighter than ever as you grow into the best relationship with Jesus ever!  We will provide tools to develop effective, daily habits of prayer and meditation to grow and learn much more of what God has in store for you!

With your participation, this relationship seminar promises to be a fun, relaxing and fulfilling experience!  Singles and married couples are welcome!  The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hampton Inn, Stow OH

4331 Lakepointe Corporate Drive   •  330.945.4160

Special room rate for overnight stay only $79.00 plus tax.  When booking your room ask for the Akron Alliance Fellowship Church special rate.  Please book your room reservation by Tuesday, March 20 (maximum of 4 guests per room).  A free hot breakfast is available for hotel guests.  Free internet  •  pool  •  fitness center  •  comfortable amenities  •  newly remodeled  •  restaurants nearby

Availability will go quickly!  Be sure to register today!


Sunday School Today: Witnessing and Winning

Text from today’s Sunday school session:

How can a Christian lead others to Christ? Winning souls to Jesus Christ is one of the greatest occupations in the world today.  Proverbs 11:30.  Although there are no hard and fast rules to insure success in this work, there are some general principles that will prove extremely valuable.  When you witness, it is spiritual warfare.  Before you go into battle put on the whole armor of God one piece at a time from Ephesians 6:11-18.

A. It is of first importance that the soul winner himself be spiritually healthy. He must be constantly feeding on the Word.  He must spend much time in prayer.  He must be yielded to God.  He must confess and abandon any cherished sins.  By thus walking in the Spirit, the Christian will find that the Lord will provide opportunities for effectual witness. This is undoubtedly the Golden Rule of soul winning “Live close to God.” Matthew 4:19. Remember—your life is a continual witness—good, bad or indifferent.

B.  It is a good thing to start each day by asking God to lead us to those whom He wants us to contact.  It is obvious that we cannot speak to everyone we see.  It is also clear that we have no way of knowing by ourselves which souls are “ripe” for salvation, but if we let the Lord lead us, we will work more efficiently and reap more fruit for Him.

C.  Then during the day we should seize the opportunities to speak for Christ. When fellow workers use the Name of the Lord in profanity, for instance, there is often opportunity for a tactful, loving word of testimony.  Religious subjects often come up in conversation—we should make the most of them.  Then again we do not always have to wait for opportunities: we can make them for ourselves.  Worldly men talk freely about politics, the weather and sports. Why should our lips be sealed about Christ, our Redeemer?

D.  Quote the Word of God as much as possible.  Better yet, let them read it.  It is a living Word!  It is the Sword of he Spirit.  Hebrews 4:12.  It has power to reach souls far beyond any words we could ever say.  Every good soldier of Jesus Christ should use this greatest weapon of all. Unsaved men will do everything in their power to stop you from reciting Scripture verses, but don’t stop.  If they say that they don’t believe the Bible, quote more of it.  The Bible teaches sowing and reaping.  There is a time to sow and a time to reap.  It is God that gives the harvest.

If you do not sow there can be no reaping. His Word is the seed, so spread it far and wide. Matthew 13:4-8.

E.  Follow up each contact.  Not many persons are saved the first time they hear the Gospel. Usually they have to be spoken to again and again.  Show a little kindness to them.  Hand them good Gospel literature.  Invite them to attend Gospel meetings with you. Above all, be much in prayer for them.  Do not be discouraged if some are hostile to you.  Opposition is often a sign that they are being convicted by the Holy Spirit, whereas indifference is almost impossible to deal with.

F.  Don’t press for quick decisions.  A false profession is not only worthless, but it may deceive the individual himself, and may do untold harm to the cause of Christ. You be faithful in sowing the seed, and God will be faithful in giving the increase.  John 4:35-38.

G. If you find it difficult to speak to others about the Lord, tell the Lord about it and ask Him to give you strength and courage to witness for Him.  If you really want it, He will give it. Matthew 10:32.

H.  Always carry a good supply of Gospel literature with you.  You can not only pass tracts to those you meet, but can leave them on street cars or buses, in restaurants, or almost any public place.

The rewards of soul winning are tremendous. (1) The present joys of leading a person to Christ are indescribable!  Luke 15:10. (2) How much greater will be the joy in heaven when someone greets you with these words, “It was you who invited me here!” (3) Finally, how incomparable will be the thrill when the Lord Jesus Christ openly confesses you before the assembled hosts of heaven.  Matthew 10:32.

from BBN International, Bible Broadcasting Network



The Church is a Corporate Witness to The World

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
The church witnesses corporately to the world. It is to build up, minister, and encourage one another in Jesus Christ. The world observes what the body of Christ does in its ministry and should be drawn to Christ through its actions.

Acts 4:13-16
13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And since they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in response. 15 After they had ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign, evident to all who live in Jerusalem, has been done through them, and we cannot deny it!

Acts 2:46
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

Ephesians 4:16
From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.

Romans 14:19
So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.

God wants the people of the church to actively minister to the world, and to build up one another. We are to proclaim that God can change lives. When the church acts, the evidence of what has been accomplished is present for everyone to see, whether or not you believe in Jesus Christ.

The church has a tremendous responsibility to minister to the world. A church fails to lead and be a witness by deliberately becoming a secular organization–by not praying and looking to the Lord and by removing the teaching of God’s Word (the Bible).

There has to sincere prayer and God’s Word is to be taught in order for the church to act in accordance to God’s will.

Jeremiah 9:23-26
23 This is what the LORD says:
The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me—
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the LORD’s declaration.

25 “The days are coming”—the LORD’s declaration—“when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”

John 5:39-40

39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. 40 And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life.

Romans 2:21-22
21 you then, who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who preach, “You must not steal”—do you steal? 22 You who say, “You must not commit adultery”—do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob their temples?

1 Corinthians 3:3
…because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?

A church cannot be an effective witness to the world when it is in isolation from the world and withdraws from it.

John 17:15
I am not praying
that You take them out of the world
but that You protect them from the evil one.

Mark 2:15-17
15 While He was reclining at the table in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also guests with Jesus and His disciples, because there were many who were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 When Jesus heard this, He told them, “Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Acts 10:25, 34-35
25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.

34 Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.

A church is an effective witness for the world when it engages the world in “holy worldliness.” God wants us to be Christlike as we live in the world, even though we are not of the world.

John 20:21
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

1 Peter 2:12
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation.

Luke 5:27-32
27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” 28 So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him.
Dining with Sinners

29 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. 30 But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”


Are You a Victim or Victorious in Christ?

A summary of today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:Through God, it is possible that you can be or achieve more than who you believe you are or can be. It is important for you to decide, through life, whether or not you are a victim or a victor…living in victory through Jesus Christ.It is very easy to blame others as to where you are in your circumstances, but the responsibility of moving forward rests with you. God wants each of us to live in victory.

The world defines success as the power to get whatever you need and whenever you need it. For the believer, the definition of success is to contribute to the betterment of others in the name of Jesus Christ. In this, God is glorified.

Christ set the example by giving of Himself in performing good works in order to demonstrate the building up of the body of Christ and, ultimately, to glorify God.

Ephesians 4:11-12
11 And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:16
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace.

1 Timothy 6:17-18
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.

James 2:14-17, 26
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.

26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

The biggest reason why Christians fail and become victims:

Jeremiah 4:22
“For My people are fools;
they do not know Me.
They are foolish children,
without understanding.
They are skilled in doing what is evil,
but they do not know how to do what is good.”

In order to know God, it requires the development of a relationship with Him. It requires time and effort. The more that you know God, the more that you can draw upon your relationship with Him and live victoriously through Him. God wants you to know Him and learn about Him each day, and He gives us instruction, through His Word, on how to live with success in your life.

Some other reasons for failure:

  • A refusal or unwillingness to walk by faith

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Romans 14:23
But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from a conviction (faith), and everything that is not from a conviction is sin.

  • Failure to see the need to succeed (or to improve). Much of this comes from the willingness to settle for less. If you desire to succeed in Christ, you are not willing to only strive for what is best for you.
  • Failure to make the commitment to be successful. There are requirements for success, and it takes a commitment and a focus to “walk by faith and not by sight.”

God wants you to be successful. He wants to be able to use you for His glory. He wants you to be seen as pure and righteous, for you are called to be holy and without fault through Him.

Isaiah 43:10
“You are My witnesses”—
this is the LORD’s declaration—
“and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
and understand that I am He.
No god was formed before Me,
and there will be none after Me.

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.”

Philippians 2:15
so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.

Jeremiah 32:27
“Look, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for Me?

Note these attributes of God that you are to remember in your success through Him:

God is not a liar and He keeps His promises (Isaiah 46:11)

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man who lies,
or a son of man who changes His mind.
Does He speak and not act,
or promise and not fulfill?

God is watching over you and protecting you in your efforts to be successful through Him.

Jeremiah 1:12
The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I watch over My word to accomplish it.”

Psalm 1:6
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Psalm 121:1-8
1 I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.
4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.

5 The LORD protects you;
the LORD is a shelter right by your side.
6 The sun will not strike you by day
or the moon by night.

7 The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life.
8 The LORD will protect your coming and going
both now and forever.

2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil work and will bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

When we surrender to God, He molds us and shapes us to be the person He wants you to be. The only person that prevents you from being successful in Christ is you.

Look up
Look up to God and look to those who are progressing in your faith for your best examples of success.

Give up
Be willing to trust God enough to let something go that is comfortable or familiar to you in order to realize or achieve something that is better for you. This is also part of your growth and improvement.

Show up
Be ready to learn something with the willingness to show up and face the things in the life that are holding you back. When you show up and face these difficulties, God is right there with you.

God did not save you to be a failure. He wants you to live an abundant life in Him. He wants us to be successful in life because we are the servants of the Most High God. Our success comes when we hear God speak to us saying, “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).