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  1. Pain in old age

    I am 59 years old, and for the last 30 years I have been disabled because of surgery that removed part of my left leg.  I praise the LORD, every day, for the pain free life that He has blessed me with “all these years” and continues to bless me with today. I have had a section of my prayer list for years, where I have asked the Lord to keep delivering me from pain and suffering, in specific areas of my body.  And recently as I have been developing some “age related” twinges of pain, I have been unsure as to exactly what, I should be asking the LORD.  A few days ago, I started to reluctantly ask for the Lord to “stop my body from wearing out”: Not doubting that He could do just that, but not being sure that this is how I should be “wording” this request. This morning, I realized that my main issue is “pain”, therefore I should be asking the Lord to deliver me from “the pains of old age”! ------------------------ The reason that this wording is important, is because of Romans 14:23.... “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” It is important that we “speak in faith” and not in doubt.  It is also important that as I take the medications etc., that I take for pain or age related reasons, that I remind the Lord (and myself), that I am not “trusting” in that pill to deliver me from pain, but that I am trusting the Lord to use that pill in my body, to accomplish His will for my life and deliver me from pain and suffering.  
  2. Man’s Dilemma and Its Remedy By: James Foley Text: Luke 21: 5-38 In our text we find mans dilemma. The reading is lengthy, but necessary to show the severity of mans dilemma. The whole world is in turmoil today. In our text we can see the full scope of this world-wide turmoil. Religious turmoil: turmoil of nations: turmoil of nature: turmoil in personal lives and family relationships. Everywhere we look we see this turmoil and the resulting confusion and moral decay it generates. Peace seems to be an elusive dream, often spoken of, but always just beyond our grasp. Why is it that, of all the great minds and great nations of this world, there is not one that is able to bring peace? Not one that can turn back the moral decay and right the wrongs of a society seemingly bent on self destruction? The great minds of our time would shrug their shoulders in response to this question, but there is an answer; there is a remedy to man’s dilemma. But sadly it lies just beyond the grasp of natural man’s ability to comprehend. The short answer to this question is simply that mankind, outside of God, cannot see the root of the prOBlem. We look at people and nations as the source, never once realizing that there is a power behind people and nations and that this power is spiritual, not physical. This power is evil in its very nature and it has been with us from the beginning. It has a name and his name is The Devil, Satan, The Prince of Darkness, The god of this world. He has instituted a masterpiece of deception that dates back to the Garden of Eden. Actually his masterpiece is twofold. The first is the idea that he does not exist. Consider how he appeared to Eve on that fateful day. The whole world is deceived into thinking that he is a fictional character. You are seen as simple minded and gullible if you believe that there is a real Devil. 2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. The second part of his masterpiece is false religion. He perverted Scripture when he approached Eve. Gen. 3:1. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? This second part of his masterpiece is almost impossible for people to see unless they know what to look for. He puts this into play when someone, by God’s Holy Spirit, begins to see some little glimmer of truth and light. It is then that he inserts false religion. Luke 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. This part of his masterpiece is very insidious, it can work in two ways. It can work to keep people from the truth when they hear it, but it can also draw people away from the truth once they have heard it. I have seen this principle at work many times. No sooner than someone says yes to God and becomes saved, then there is some false religion that comes knocking at their door. I have seen this in effect in both personal lives as well as churches in a community. 2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. So then, we have established that there is a very real evil, in the form of a spiritual being called Satan. Having done this it becomes paramount that we understand that both our dilemma and its remedy are on a spiritual plane. This simply means that the reason nations and our great thinkers are at a loss to find a remedy is because they are attempting the impossible; that is; they are using the wrong weapons. They use worldly, physical weapons where only spiritual weapons will prevail. James 4:1-7. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot OBtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Evil cannot be fought against with evil. Mankind, outside of Christ is evil. So then, if we are to fight against evil, it must be with good. Herein lies a prOBlem; do we have any good? Rom. 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Mat. 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? Man, in his natural state is subject to the power of Satan, he is the god of this world. They have no weapons! What are the weapons of spiritual warfare? First we note that the source of our weapons and any strength we might have to wield them is God. Eph.6:10 -11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. In Eph. 6:12 we see the magnitude of our prOBlem. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. This is way beyond our ability to combat in our natural state. Ok, we have seen the enormity of man’s dilemma, now we will look at the remedy for this dilemma. Eph. 6:13 begins with the word “wherefore”, or because of what was said in Ver.12 we need the whole armor of God. Why is it that the Christian can withstand all that the world can throw at him? Rom. 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. It is because it is God that holds him up. When we have done all that we can in our own strength and can do no more, still we can stand with God’s help and weather the storm. Eph. 6:14 And now we get into the actual armor of the Christian. Each piece is indispensable; each has its specific purpose. Here in Ver.14 we have the Christians loins girt about with truth. To have our loins girt about with truth means to put on Christ as a garment, for he is truth. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. This is the only way to God. The breastplate of righteousness is the second piece of armor. It protects our vital parts, such as our heart. It is listed second because without truth, there can be no righteousness. Truth is first and begets righteousness, and this righteousness is not ours, it is the righteousness of Christ. It is interesting to note the order of these pieces of armor. To reverse this order is to reject all that God is. Paul said this about righteousness: Rom 10:3 for they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Back in Ver.1 he prayed for Israel to be saved, which would bring about true righteousness. Putting righteousness before truth, or salvation only results in man’s righteousness, which is not acceptable to God. His order is reversed. At the moment of the acceptance of truth (Jesus) we are covered by righteousness, His righteousness. Phil. 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Eph. 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Once we know the truth and have righteousness is the only time we can prepare to fight the spiritual battle. Notice I said “prepare”, because being newly saved, or born again, we must have preparation. No soldier goes to war without proper training. This is why we have the Bible, so that we might be able to fight the good fight of faith effectively. Paul speaks of this in this way: 1Cor. 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may OBtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to OBtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: Paul strove to fight effectively. Eph. 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Faith is the believer’s most important tool, as well as a vital piece of his armor. It is also the most difficult for him to master. Faith is not an intangible, as the world thinks it is. They speak of blind faith and they envision our faith as being blind simply because they can neither see it or our God, so to them our faith is blind. In reality our faith is solid and immovable if exercised properly. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Here we see two things that the world cannot see and knows nothing of. But we who live by faith can see it and are the recipients of the rewards of living our lives by faith. Two things of note in this verse are that it says that faith is substance and evidence. Let’s read it again. Hebrews 11 is said to be the faith chapter, and so it is. Please take time to read this at home and you will see why it is called the faith chapter. Faith then is our shield, as this verse points out. Faith is what will pull us through when all else has failed. Once again it is needful to point out that the faith we speak of is not our own: Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Eph. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: We cannot hope to help ourselves or others, spiritually speaking, or even begin to fight a fight of faith until we have the helmet of salvation. It is impossible to fight God’s enemies when we are on their side, when we are yet enemies ourselves. Col. 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. And now we come to the only offensive weapon in our list of the armor of God. It is listed here as the sword of the Spirit. As such it is defined in our text as The Word of God. Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Ironically, it is by His word that His enemies become His friends. His word is able to cut through the smoke screen they put up. It is able to see through all the evil thoughts and intents of their heart. All excuses are put aside by it and the reality of their lost condition is brought out into the light of day.
  3. "Oops, I missed a step" Salvation. Romans 8:26-29 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. I was saved at the age of five. To be honest I do not remember a time that I did not believe Christ paid the price of my redemption through His Blood. (Having Godly Missionary parents, and learning to read from the Bible tends to have that effect.) So to be more accurate; At the age of five I made my profession known. And then at the age of 16, I confirmed that faith by being baptized at Gilead Baptist Church in Owosso, MI. We are to make sure our salvation: Philippians 2:11-13  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.12 Wherefore,my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and todo of his good pleasure. I bring this up to tell you that the greatest question I had as a child and as a young man was "Did I miss a step?" This question never came about from an unbelief in Christ or the Bible but from a strong desire to do all that I could to follow as closely as possible God's words for my "salvation".  Now as every Bible Believing Christian knows it is the faith in Christ work which saves us and this salvation is free. The problem though is the "application process" or a set of requirements in order to "qualify" your faith. "Things you must do before this "event" that show you are truly "accepting" salvation "correctly" and things you must do after the event to "prove" you have been "saved". (Sounds harder then doing my taxes in order to get money that is already mine!) Also, each process is fully backed up by random verses which promote their process with a additional caveat that if you ascribe to any other model then you are not correct and are now bound for Hell! If their model is not popular among other Christians they will add the fact that Christ said "few there be that find it". Matthew 7:13-15 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.15 Beware of false prophets,which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. On one small point I appreciate the Catholics because they are honest and say it is all part of a "process of salvation" but for many Baptist (because they play gymnastics with words and separate the process in our minds) will pay lip service to "faith in Christ alone" but then doubt a person's salvation if they failed to complete a "process of sanctification" to which many unconsciously ascribe and link to saving faith. Some Christian Jews had this problem in: Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,ye cannot be saved. Many say some things are needed before true faith can "become available" Some say a various level of repentance or sorriness for your past sins is needed before salvation. Another relies on various levels of hearers knowledge or the presenters accurately voicing the truth; they have to understand the events correctly as presented in the correct bible (1611 KJAV Pure Cambridge Edition only for English speakers or it won't work).  Now we come to the "Free Gift" hopefully you chose the correct "pre-approval process. At this point you have three options (but be careful because if you chose wrong you don't understand salvation and will have to start over or go to Hell!)1. "Ask for salvation" by prayer. 2. Just acknowledge Christ work but don't say anything or it proves you do not believe Romans 3:19. 3. Be baptized by immersion before believers to show your belief. Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Now you are saved but you we're not really saved you did not give God Lordship authority or do not do these following things in six months/rest of your life or when we all discover a mistake in our model. By this time you understand what I'm getting at through my exaggerated examples and may even ascribe to a milder form of one or two points my intent is not to prove or disprove anything but to also share the model I used for salvation. Look. Believe. Follow. Simple desire of the heart words. John 1:33-37 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. What I learned as a young man is that while information, knowledge, physical actions, etc can help me better understand Christ redemptive work and to grow in faith and wisdom, there are no steps, no process, no "things" I can do to pre-approve myself mentally or verbally. Ultimately Salvation is a matter of the Spirit and must be performed through the hearing the Spirit’s call and not from some steps,formula or process. These things will merely amplify what the Spirit has already done in my heart. The Spirit gives the birth and I merely cry Aba! Father! (Galatians 4:6) Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Genesis 4:26c then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [from the heart's true desire] shall be saved. Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Acts 11:15-17 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 For as much then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? At this point many out of concern will perhaps wish to present a step we must keep in mind or risk leading a sinner down a wrong path. Remove that link to head knowledge and let Christ work in the man's heart. Lift up Christ and let Him worry about the steps and you might be surprised that a few extra lost people find the narrow way into heaven without all our extra steps and sign post. We need to learn that: People "being saved" require a process and teachers but people which are saved required only a Saviour. John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; [not head] and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
  4. The Prophecy Of Habakkuk

    I want us to study the whole prophecy of Habakkuk to understand his message to the people of his time, AND to see how his message speaks to us in our day. We will also look at how Paul took up Hab's message of living by faith in his letter to the Galatians. In order to understand the prophetic books we must first consider the context – the time when they were written, & the condition of the people of Israel & Judah that the prophet is addressing. H prophesied around 620-600 BC, in the years before the destruction of Jerusalem & the temple by the Babylonians. He prophesied at about the same time that Jeremiah began his ministry. Josiah had been a godly king who tried to bring the people back to God. It was too little, too late. The priests & people continued in their wicked ways. H doesn’t seem to have been given a message to the people of Israel, instead we read of his private prayer arguments with God about the state of the land of Judah. Zephaniah prophesied at the same time as Hab – it's the next book after Hab. He warned the people of Judah: 1:4 "I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem... to v.14 That is very similar to Stephen's defence in Acts 7, when he was accused by the elders of Israel. Now we will stay in Habakkuk. 1:2-4 is his prayer that God will look at the wickedness of the people and do something about it – to correct & save them. 2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted. God’s reply is that he has had enough of the people who have constantly rejected him & his laws. He has protected & blessed them for 700 years. Now the nation has become utterly corrupt. Judgement has to come. It will come through an invasion by the Babylonians (or Chaldeans). Jerusalem will be captured & the temple destroyed, & many of its treasures were taken to Babylon. That reply horrifies Habakkuk. He argues with God. The Jews were Abraham’s descendants. They had the promises of God. The temple was the evidence of God’s blessing. How could God act against his own people? How could God break his own faithful promises & organise the destruction of the people he has promised to bless? It is as if we prayed: “Britain has been blessed as a Christian country for hundreds of years. We have sent the Bible & the Gospel around the world. Now wickedness is increasing & churches are closing. Our Parliament is passing laws that violate the commandments of God. Please take action & bless us again, Lord.” And God replied: “Britain has rejected the Gospel, so I am bringing in people of other religions to take over. They will take over your empty churches; they will influence the laws your Parliament enacts; they will get rich from the taxes you pay. You believers will suffer with the ungodly when I bring judgment on the whole land. 50 years ago, the Christian West Indians were shocked that England was not the Christian country they expected. In Southall, 40 years ago, we hoped & prayed that the non-Christians coming into England would hear the Gospel, & take the Christian faith back to their own lands. But no – when we look around, we see they bring their pagan religions & gods, & build their own temples & mosques. We live in a country that has rejected it's Christian heritage. We see the rise of godlessness all around us – TV, newspapers, magazines & the internet show the wickedness of our nation. We read the newspapers, & the angry reports about people breaking the law, but do they, do we actually honour & OBey God’s holy laws? As a nation we are OBsessed with sport. The London Olympics were a great success for the nation. We wear the clothing; we wave the flags; but we do not play the sport. We sit back & watch on TV while others run about. Our national Christianity is like that. We claim to be Christians, but we do not live as Christians. Hab prays about the national situation. He hears God’s answer & prays again. He knows he is living in a dangerous situation, where he now expects God’s judgement on the nation, not a revival & blessings. He still argues that God should be more concerned with the wickedness of the Babylonians than of Israel. 2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. He watches & waits for God’s answer. As a prophet, he is God’s watchman for the nation of Israel. We as believers should pray for our nation. We are our nation's watchmen. If we want peace, we should pray for our national leaders. What was Jesus’ command to his disciples about watching? Luke 21:36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. Habakkuk gets his answer: 2:2 Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. 4 "See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith-- God is working to a plan – he knows the end & how he will achieve his purposes. The trouble coming on the nation through the Babylonian invasion is discipline for a few years, & that discipline will pass. God has a greater plan in view. Hebrews quotes v. 4 in a way that shows Christ is the one who is coming! Heb. 10:37 For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. Heb. 11 gives a great list of OT believers who lived by faith. God in Hab. 2 declares a great promise that will be realised by the coming of Jesus Christ & his saving work; his cross & resurrection: 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. He goes on to ridicule the worship of idols, & declare his sovereign greatness: 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. The OT has many prophecies of the coming Messiah. H sees trouble – the Jews he lives with, & the coming destruction. God tells him, “your hope must be in the coming Messiah – I will keep my promises to Abraham. You can trust me.” I want to look closely at 2:4 — but the righteous will live by his faith— The last part of this verse is of tremendous importance. Paul builds his teaching on “justification by faith” on that Scripture in Romans & Galatians. How do we live by faith? What does it mean? There are two aspects to living by faith: (i) Justification by faith, wherby we come as sinners to Jesus, & seek forgiveness because of his saving work on the cross. That faith saves. (ii) A life of faith, trusting God day by day. Through the 70 years of exile, God's care & protection of his people would continue. His saving purposes could not be frustrated. That message of living by faith was believed by Daniel & his friends in Babylonia, and by Esther & Mordecai & others in exile. God further revealed to Daniel that Messiah would complete his saving work in in 70x7 years. After the exile those who returned rebuilt the temple & re-established worship. We read their stories in Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah & Haggai, Nehemiah serving the king in the palace, prayed for the city, pleading in prayer for many months, and was given the privilege of rebuilding the city walls & establishing law & order again. These men of God lived by faith in very troubled times. We have better promises – we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Messiah, and we have promises of a glorious new heaven & new earth, not of an earthly heritage. We too, in our troubled times, need to learn the same lessons. In the course of Hab's prophecy, there is the assurance that God is working to his plan for blessing mankind. Note 2:14 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. That is a wonderful Gospel promise for all nations in all the world, fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ by the Gospel. What was the first promise to Abraham? Gen. 12:3 “... all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." What is the “great commission?” Mat. 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to OBey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." We are living in the Gospel age and we have the message for all nations. H has been complaining to God & arguing with him. God's last verse of Hab 2 ends his complaints & inspires a song of confident prayer. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. Our opening hymn took up that great statement. Habakkuk shows us how to pray & how to live in that situation. God is still God. We must trust him. We must live in our troubled land by faith in our Saviour God. Ch 3 The prophecy concludes with a song of praise & faith. 3:2 H remembers past blessings, & prays that God will renew them is his day. He prays that God will revive his work. The prayer continues with the remembrance of the great works of God in the past. It is very poetic, but alludes to God bringing his people into the promised land. 16-19 H concludes with an expression of praise – he knows his God, & he will rejoice in him, even though he faces a time of suffering. We will sing a version of that song when we conclude the service. We need to look closely at that tremendous statement of faith in 2:4, which Paul develops in Galatians 3:1-14. Paul builds a tremendous building on those 6 words of Habakkuk: The righteous will live by faith. He shows that Christ must be the OBject of our faith, and that faith is by the Holy Spirit of God living & working within us. This is no vague belief that gives salvation without changing our life. The Jews of Hab's time believed they were God's people, & that the temple protected them against the enemy. Within 20 years, the temple was destroyed, & the people taken captive to Babylon. 600 years later, the Jewish leaders of Jesus' time believed the same & rejected their Messiah. Within 40 years, the Romans destroyed the temple & Jerusalem. If you go to Jerusalem today, the stones still cry out in witness of that destruction. I believe that if we are truly saved, we cannot lose our salvation. After all, Jesus saves completely those who come to God through him. But, I believe also that if we are saved, we will not continue in sin. We will live by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews gives very solemn warnings against those who turn away from Jesus – they live under the condemnation & wrath of a holy God. Only in Christ are we righteous. His righteousness is imputed - credited to us when we trust in Jesus for salvation. I preached on that in my last sermon. The prOBlem with the Galatians was that teachers had come among them who taught that they had to become Jews & keep all aspects of the Law, including circumcision to be saved. That was no Gospel at all. If we have to keep all the Law, we are hopelessly lost. We are under the curse of God if we fail to keep the Law in every detail. Under the Law we have the hopeless task of perfect OBedience. The Jewish teachers were still in the Old Cov, still clinging to Moses & his Laws, & all the rituals that no longer had any value now Jesus had finished his saving work. Come to Jesus as repentant sinners; your Christian life begins as you put your faith in him; then live faithfully as his servants & followers whatever trouble we may face in this life. We live with the promise of glory. Amen I’ve written a hymn based on Hab. 3. Blessing - 3:2 LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. - The grace.
  5. Preterist

      They believe the rapture took place before 70 AD. We missed it. 
  6. ...in case you are interested.   Any comments or constructive criticism is welcome: I'm not a professional writer at all, but sometimes, I do like to quickly post something that is on my mind: Its called Kevin's Komments, and for the most part, has to do w/Scriptural notes and thoughts.   http://kevins-komments.blogspot.com/2013/12/merry-christmas.html   Thanks, Kevin
  7. Spiritual Adultery

    Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.   Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Why is it today that so many Christians have no qualms about committing spiritual adultery? They attest that they are married to Christ Jesus, yet they subject themselves to the bed of the Law by insisting they must obey certain of the Mosaic/Levitic Laws? The one who professes faith in Christ will never walk in total victory until that one comes to the realization that if he is in Christ, he is freed from the Law. Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Does this mean we are free to steal, kill, covet, take the Lord's name in vain, etc.? In the words of the Apostle Paul, God forbid! Those who are Christ's have put on Christ. They have no desire to do the things that are evil in God's eyes. They don't want to steal, kill, covet, take the Lord's name in vain, etc.. Rather, they want to do that which is pleasing in His sight.   1 Timothy 1:8-10 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; The Law is for the unrighteous. The righteous have been delivered from the Law for they have put on Christ through faith. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. The Apostle James wrote "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will have less occasion to stumble on your journey through life. If you truly love the Lord, you don't need the Law, for you will not want to do the things that require the judgments for breaking the Law. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His Glory and Grace.  
  8. What And Why

                                                            What and Why?                                                              6/23/02 Today is Sunday It’s the Lord’s day Time to try and protect your soul And worship his name   God must have a plan Something I still must do What, I just don’t know I should have been killed Why that truck hit me on that road I’ve a feeling my task Concerns people living in the street Maybe my poems of street life And hard times Are the key to what I need. This is a new skill I just didn’t know I had I just started writing one day Around my birthday, It’s a puzzle that I have to solve.   It stays in the front of my mind It’s all I think of The Lord will let me know, In His own way All I know to do Is be patient And pray.  
  9. Homeless Blues

    Homeless Blues 3/21/02   When you’ve gotten trampled by the hand life dealt you, at first you cry, why me, oh woe is me.   You wonder why with your mind all boggled, why you were sent all this trouble, you feel forsaken and wish it would stop, maybe God wants to see if you’ll flip or flop.   You learn to make do, learn harsh lessons from the streets, these rules ain’t written in books, some are hard  to conceive.   The sad part is, you get used to the life, you kinda forget how it used to be like, the past seems like a dream, so far away, so you live by three rules to help you make it through each day…   1.Don’t lie, cheat, or steal, this is not the way, your days are much better without this pain.        2. Do onto others as you hope they’ll do unto you,        3.  And keep our Lord as close as you can, and pray. He’ll watch over you.   It’s not very hard to end up this way. More good people are added to the streets each day. Please don’t shun them for being this way, for you are truly closer than you think to being the same.   Thank you, and Good Day.  
  10. Barry's Prayer

    This was written when I was homeless after the first time I got hit by a car. But before the second time that I got hit by a car. I dated my witings to keep track of my feelings.                                                              8/7/02 Traveling through these hard times, when life sent along rough rides Makes you wonder why God wants you to learn how different types of people will try and make you burn. Seems all that you really have are the values learned as a child When growing from small, parents should have taught you right from wrong: how to get along, share and show compassion. Giving tools, praying you will make good decisions.    But you seem to find you spent not the time to learn how to get by when meanness  arrives at your side. Then you are pressed, put into a bind,  you must make snap decisions, to try and survive. I’ve never had the wit to catch evil by surprise. I always end up in a tough bind, usually happy to survive   I’m torn by what to do. My heart would be shattered  if I hurt them like I want to. But I can’t live like this  anymore, I almost died this last time, this is for sure. God, you need to show me what it is you want from me, I need a plan to show  the path I must go !   I feel so lost, so all alone, I know I screwed away much of the life you gave to me. But I’m proud you chose to give me another try   I need a strong helping hand, for alone this quest is as much as dead. My hard-headed ways,  Always  sent me the wrong way. I know in my heart, If left alone in this new start,  we’ll meet sooner  than should be.   There’s too much love left in me to be wasted, not used, especially at this time. Mankind needs all it can find, to survive, Your love, it seems to me, is in great Need. The world is trying to erupt. This is not how we should be. Will You please help us learn the way to live in peace?   Life is very tough for a person like  me I guess wrong  decisions that seemed right at the time,  Not knowing better,  put my life in this bind. So I trudge along each day, praying in my own way, that one day I will find,  love that will satisfy, and make me feel whole.   You know what I need the most. Please help me realize, how to truly open and let you in, I’ve tried, but been denied, the Holy Ghost I need to find,  Before my life reaches the end, Amen.   
  11. Questions About Promises

    “Questions about promises”   From the beginning of our lives we’re taught from our parents,  teachers and mentors, the rules we’ll need to be accepted in society. What bills we must pay, the hours we must work, and how much free  time we’re allowed. Like parts in this great machine, this should make us happy, but Parts break I done as I was taught, Doing and caring for all those around in my life, with little needs or wants for myself. Eighteen years , many fortunes given, Time spent in worry, aggravation and constant pressure for more from those close to me. All good things must come to an end, the free train came to an end. Then you must learn to make your own self happy And content with who and how you are, not how others try and tell you what makes you happy. Listen , learn and obey the laws This will help your travels thru life. And when your life is over, and all is said and done, all that’s left is what was done wrong and what was done right. Then God will judge our life what was done well and what was not. During our time from the End to the Start If along the way you ask Jesus to save and forgive, acknowledging crucifixion was the price He paid for our sin, to get another chance to try and do right My question is, how are you judged after you’ve forgotten your promise, Will God forgive twice?   The answer is Matthew, Chapter 18, verse 22: “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
  12. Pastoral Counsels For A Time Of Tragedy

    The following message was presented in two parts this past Sunday (Morning & Evening), September 8, 2013.  On the Friday evening before, one of our precious Junior High girls was hit by a car and passed unto her eternal home in heaven.  She had certainly placed her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal and eternal Savior.  Therefore, we have the Biblical assurance that she is presently at home with the Lord in heaven.  Although these messages were somewhat personal in relation to our church family, the parents of the girl thought it profitable and granted permission for the messages to be posted online.  At the end of the outline, the two links to the messages on sermonaudio.com are included.     Pastoral Counsels for a Time of Tragedy   1.  Quickly turn to the Lord for comfort.   Psalm 23:4 – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”   Psalm 119:49-50 – “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”   2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”   2.  Continually trust in the Lord . . .            a.  Concerning His good purpose.         Psalm 145:17 – “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.”   Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”         b.  For His gracious enablement.   2 Timothy 2:1 – “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”   2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”   3.  Take time with the Lord for grieving.   1 Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”   Psalm 147:3 – “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”   4.  Give thanks to the Lord for the blessings.   1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”   5.  Commit totally to the Lord to serve Him now.   Hebrews 3:7 – “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice).”   Hebrews 3:13 – “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”   Ecclesiastes 12:1 – “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” ______________________________   Part 1 -- http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=914131344452 Part 2 -- http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=914131354514
  13. New Names In Glory

    Yesterday I took my wife and son out soulwinning for our church's weekly visitation and we had such a great time!  We went around a new neighborhood knocking on doors and giving out the gospel.  We of course had some polite "please go away" interactions and even some scowls, but we also had the opportunity to lead two young men to Christ right there on their front porches.    Praise God that He didn't allow me to get discouraged and kept me knocking.  I'm always encourged and so glad to know that He is still in the business of saving souls!
  14. Childlike Faith!

    Childlike Faith! Mother: Son, I don’t want you to cry when I drop you off at Gramma’s tomorrow. Son: But I don’t want you to go to work! Mother: But I have to go to work, so I can buy you things. Son: I don’t want things anymore Mommy! I JUST WANT YOU! Matthew 18:3 Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.   To have faith as a little child runs much deeper than simplistic thinking and simplistic beliefs. Simplistic thinking and simplistic beliefs just barely scratch the surface of what childlike faith really is; they are actually just the fruit of childlike faith! Childlike faith not only takes God at His Word, and not only trusts and acts upon that trust as a child would his father’s word. Childlike faith not only wants those simplistic things which the father has set aside for the child, but the heart and the mind of childlike faith is…   … LORD! I don’t want things anymore! I just want YOU! (The ancedote is taken from a true conversation between my cousin and her son)  
  15. Just because Jesus did it? Matthew 15: 21Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. MatthewAnd her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Who was she adressing? God. Why do I say that? Because Jesus knew this woman, knew her faith, and knew what she would do after he let her keep BEGGING until He finally implied that she was a dog, and then she admitted she was a dog....he knew all that before she cried out the first time. The point has been made that Jesus, Paul and others were "mean spirited and arrogant". Paul I'm not so sure, but I can promise you that when Jesus says we're dogs, he is not being mean spirited, arrogant, or even sarcastic Arrogance comes from pride, and God has none, ZERO. Jesus is TRUTH. When he says we're as dog, we're a dog, just a fact. Jesus, the KING of Glory, KNEW how great this woman's faith was and how tenacious about it she would be LONG before she uttered the first cry. He didn t just finally "give in". he did it all on purpose. And through it all, those disciples got to MARVEL at her faith and the POWER of God that followed. None of this gives any of us the right to be rude or call people names. After all God can call us a FOOL to our face if He wants to....but WE better not do it to anyone.
  16. Faith Through The Ages

    Faith Through The Ages - Hebrews 11:13 1. Compelling Faith (Forward Looking) 2. Confirmed Faith (Established) 3. Concurrent Faith (Bi-directional) 4. Consummate Faith (Fulfilled) 1. Compelling Faith . Forward Looking . Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 2. Confirmed Faith . Established Faith . Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he OBtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 3. Concurrent Faith . Bi-directional Faith . John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. We look back into the scriptures. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (Note: Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12) We look ahead to Christ’s return. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 4. Consummate Faith . Faith Fulfilled . Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Do you have the faith required by God? Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.