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There are 15 Sermons below

 

Every Sunday is a Memorial Day

1 Corinthians 11:24 - 29

“Memorial Day is an official holiday in most states of the United States. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when for federal employees,, the date was changed to the last Monday in May. With the exception of Louisiana, all states observing Memorial Day adopted the change. It is also known as Decoration Day.

The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war began on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, NY, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate with “flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

After World War I the day was set aside to honor all of the American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery.

Tomorrow we will celebrate this day. Many people see it as just a day off; a 3 day weekend. But for those who have lost someone because of war or military action, it means much more than a day off.

In fact, every American ought to recognize this day out of his patriotic duty to his country and in honor of those who spilled their blood to make America what she is today--free, strong, and a nation worth fighting for.

Because men have died for this country, we have the right to preach God’s word freely. We have the right to live at peace in our own homes. We have the right to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness. Thank God for those who died to make us free.

As we prepare to enter into a day to remember those who died for liberty, it is fitting to remember the one who died to set us free from spiritual tyranny. Jesus fought the armies of Hell that we might have liberty in his holy name.

We celebrate Memorial day once a year to remember those who died for freedom, but every week is a celebration of the Memorial of Christ. Let’s parallel our nations Memorial Day with the memorial day of Christ. For the Christian, every Sunday is a memorial day.

On Memorial Day we: 1-Mourn the Loss

We remember the loved ones who died, wish they were here and not gone; here to share with us, to hold, to talk to and to see. But because of death, we can not.

When people die, we naturally think of the “If Only’s”

“If only I had told him I loved him”;

“If only I had kissed her one last time”;

“If only I hadn’t spoken so harshly”.

We replay those doubts over and over in our minds. But we ultimately know those “If Only’s” would not change a thing.

The Christian must recognize that he is very responsible for His death. “If only we had not sinned he would not have had to die.”

But we are to blame. We must examine ourselves as we meet around his memorial as if we would stand before a mirror and realize the truth in ...

Rom 3:23 “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,”

I am the one to blame. I caused all his shame. He was publicly humiliated, beaten, spit upon, treated as a sinner because I am a sinner.

As we mourn the loss of Christ, realize that we are the guilty ones. And know that if you were the only sinner who was lost, Jesus still would have died. His love is that great.

Matt 18:12-14 "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

We are that lost sheep and Jesus found us.

Mourning the loss is the first thing we must do as we celebrate the memorial of our Lord. This is why Jesus gave us the bread. At communion the first thing you do with the bread as you partake of this memorial is break it. Whether you physically break it with your hands or you chew it, you break the body of Christ. Our sin broke the physical body of Christ.

On Memorial Day we: 1-Mourn the Loss and 2-Remember the Lives

Part of our emotional healing in the process of grief is to remember the lives of the loved one who has passed.

The headstones we put on the graves are a testimony of who those people were. If you take a walk in a cemetery there are some memorials of those who died. Let me share with you some epitaphs found.

Gone So Soon - Beloved Sons - Dear Parents, Though we will miss you much, we know you rest with God - Safe in the Arms of Jesus - Faithful Unto Death - Gone But Not Forgotten - A Tender Mother and a Faithful Friend - At Rest - Asleep in Jesus - The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want.

All of these messages tell us a little about the one who is buried under that headstone. Likewise the epitaph that Jesus left tells us something about him. Inscribed on just about every communion table I have ever saw are the words found in 1 Cor. 11:24 “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me."

What must we remember about Jesus?

1. We are a part of the body of Christ.

If we approach this memorial in the proper attitude we will experience spiritual growth. Just as our physical body grows when fed properly.

On Memorial Day we 1-Mourn the Loss 2-Remember the Lives 3-Are Thankful for the Sacrifice

The old hymn says it best:

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you rest each moment in the Crucified? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean, O be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Are you washed in the blood , in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

If you listen to Phil Goodwin’s prayer around the table just about every time he prays for the cup he refers to this next verse.

Excuses For Not Being Saved and God’s Answer

Text: Rom. 1:18-22

Introduction: Like the song “Excuses” everybody has them. Unfortunately they won’t do any good when they stand before God at the Judgment. This morning we are going to look at some excuses and see what God says about them.

I. THE EXCUSES OF THE ATHEIST

A. There is no God. God’s answer; Ps.14:1

1. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

B. Science has the true answer. God’s answer; 1 Tim. 6:20

1. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

C. Death is the end of man. God’s answer; Heb. 9:27

1. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

II. THE EXCUSES OF THE AGNOSTIC

A. No one knows whether there is a God. God’s answer; Ps. 19:1,2

1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.

B. No on can know whether the Bible is true. God’s answer; Ps. 119:89

1. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

C. No one can know whether there is a Heaven. God’s answer; Mat. 10:32,33

1. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

III. THE EXCUSES OF THE DECEIVED

A. My way is all right. God’s answer; Pro. 14:12

1. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

B. I am living a good life. God’s answer; James 2:10

1. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all

C. I am a church member. God’s answer; John 3:3

1. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

IV. THE EXCUSES OF THE UNCONVICTED

A. I am not lost. God’s answer; Rom. 3:23

1. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

B. I don’t have to believe. God’s answer; John 3:18

1. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

C. I don’t have the feeling. God’s answer; Eph. 2:8,9

1. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

V. THE EXCUSES OF THE CARELESS

A. I am not living good enough to be saved. God’s answer; Mat. 9:12,13

1. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

B. I will become a Christian later. God’s answer; Isa. 55:6

1. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

C. I could not possibly hold out. God’s answer; 2 Tim. 1:12

1. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

VI. THE EXCUSES OF THE IGNORANT

A. I have committed the unpardonable sin. Rom. 10:13

1. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

B. I can’t give up my sins. God’s answer; 2 Cor.5:17

1. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

C. The Christian life is too hard. God’s answer; Pro. 13:15

1. Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

VII. THE EXCUSES OF THE PROCRASTINATOR

A. I will seek the Lord some other time. God’s answer; Pro. 27:1

1. Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

B. I will become a Christian if my family agrees. God’s answer; Mat. 10:29,30

1. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

C. There is plenty of time. God’s answer; Mat. 25:10-12

1. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Conclusion: What is your excuse for not trusting Jesus Christ this morning for you salvation. There is no excuse!

 

 

Faithfulness - Fruit of The Spirit

A. In his letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, vs. 22, the Apostle Paul writes, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," This morning we’re going to focus on "faithfulness."

God exhibits & honors faithfulness. Psalm 100:5 says, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

Every time you see a rainbow, remember that God is faithful - He keeps His promises. Every time you pick up a Bible, remember that He said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." [Matthew 24:35].

Every time you gather to worship with brothers & sisters in Christ, remember that He said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

Every time you partake of communion, every time someone answers the invitation, remember that He said, "lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 28:30

And when you stand on the brink of death, remember His promise, "In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And 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. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” John 14:2-4

The songwriter is right:

"Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father...

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

If we allow His Spirit to work within us, then the fruit of faithfulness will be real & evident in our lives, too. The more we yield to His guidance, the less fickle, the less vulnerable to discouragement & temptation we’ll become.

And as we are filled with His Spirit, others will find in us a reliability, a trustworthiness, a staying power through both good & bad, a faithfulness that the world doesn’t understand.

I. A DEFINITION OF FAITHFULNESS

A. If you were going to define faithfulness, as Paul uses it in the N.T., how would you do it? Well, if you looked in the dictionary, you would find a technical definition that says, "To follow through with a commitment regardless of difficulty."

"Faithfulness is love hanging on." It is love saying, "I will not quit. There may be misunderstandings, there may be disappointments, there may be discouragements, but I will not quit." It is love hanging on.

ILL. And if someone says, "I really love the Lord," or "I really love the church," & then is unfaithful, then it’s hard to believe that he really does love the Lord. Because, you see, faithfulness & love always go hand in hand. Faithfulness is love hanging on.

You may get discouraged. You may be disappointed. But faithfulness says, "Even though there is discouragement & disappointment, I will not let go, I will not quit. I will keep on attending & giving & serving, because God has called me to be faithful."

B. Listen to what the Bible says. Here are some of the scriptures that challenge us to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 challenges us to be faithful in stewardship. Ephesians 6:21 talks about being faithful in service. 1 Timothy 5:9 speaks of being faithful in our marriages. Revelation 2:15 speaks of being faithful in witnessing. Romans 12:12 says we are to be faithful in prayer. Colossians 1:7 speaks of being faithful in ministry.

Revelation 17:14 says we are to be faithful in following the Lord. Proverbs 31:26 speaks of faithful instruction. 3rd John 3 says we are to be faithful in the truth. Revelation 13:10 speaks of faithfulness even in times of persecution. Revelation 2:10 says we are to be faithful unto death & then we’ll receive the crown of life.

II. A DEMONSTRATION OF FAITHFULNESS

A. To help us better understand it, let’s look at a demonstration of faithfulness in the Bible. Once again, the example is Jesus, & it is found in the 16th chapter of Matthew.

Vs. 21 tells us that Jesus brings His disciples together, & tells them that He is going to Jerusalem. He tells them, "I know what will happen there. I’m going to be arrested, & beaten, & crucified. But I’m going anyway."

You may remember that in the next verse Peter tries to stop Him. He said, "Lord, don’t go!" But Jesus says, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Now here’s the reason that He called Peter "Satan" - because Satan was using Peter to try to get Jesus to quit, to be unfaithful.

Again & again throughout His ministry Satan tried to tempt Jesus to be unfaithful. "Don’t go to the cross. Don’t die for their sins. Just quit. It’s going to be too tough. There will be too many obstacles, too many difficulties. Just turn around & quit."

Yet here the King James Version tells us that "Jesus set His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem." Jesus was determined that no matter what happened, He would be faithful to the mission God had for Him to do. So "steadfastly" He goes to Jerusalem.

George Muller began praying for 5 of his friends. He prayed 5 years before the first one was converted; for the next one he prayed 10 years; for the third one 25 years; for the fourth nearly 50 years. The last one was converted after 52 years, at George Muller’s funeral. George Muller was faithful, even unto death.

III. HOW DO WE DEVELOP FAITHFULNESS?

A. In order to answer this you need to realize that an apple tree doesn’t stand out in the middle of an orchard saying, "Now how do I develop apples?" An apple tree produces apples because that’s what apple trees do.

And when we are Spirit-led Christians, when we are a branch attached to the vine who is Jesus Christ, then we produce fruit because it’s the natural thing to do. We don’t have to sit around & think about it & analyze it. But we do have to be careful that our branch is never detached from the vine, or that some disease will destroy our fruitfulness.

B. So there are certain things that we need to be careful about.

1. We need to realize that temptations will come. Just as surely as Jesus was tempted to be unfaithful, we will be tempted to be unfaithful - in our marriage, in our relationship with the Lord, & in the church. That’s what Satan does. He will tempt us to be unfaithful.

2. We need to seek the Holy Spirit’s reinforcement & develop regular, positive, spiritual habits. This world is not a Christian world. This nation is not a Christian nation. And we’re being pressured on every side to develop negative habits, tempting us to be unfaithful in church attendance, to be unfaithful in prayer, & in studying the Word of God.

But if we’ll say, "Get thee behind me, Satan," & be determined to serve God faithfully, then people will be able to count on us. We’ll be consistent, & trustworthy, & reliable. We’ll develop these habits so they come automatically. And when Satan tempts us, we will not be severely tempted because we’ve developed the habits of faithfulness, & we will not quit.

3. We need to get back up when we fall or are knocked down.

ILL. Simon Peter is one of my heroes in the scriptures, but not because he always did right. Sometimes he made mistakes, even denying the Lord, & he wept bitterly because of what he had done. But every time he fell down, he got back up again. So when it came time to choose someone to preach the very first gospel sermon on the Day of Pentecost, guess who was chosen?

CONCL. I wonder, are you going through a painful experience? Do you feel that you’ve been knocked down, or maybe that you’ve fallen? Have you been irresponsible? Are you tempted to quit? Don’t stop. Keep pressing on. Hang in there, because faithfulness is love hanging on.

 

 

Father's That Make A Difference

Text: Jude 17 -25

Introduction: The number one way to make a difference in this world is to fulfill the God given responsibility to teach your children the ways of God. Pro. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” God has given us all of the tools that we need to accomplish this. I want to tell you about 5 very special tools.

I. First Tool - Love Your Children In The Way He or She Should Go!

A. The First Commandment Is To Love The Lord. If you do not love the Lord, you can not love your children. Mat. 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment.”

B. Show Them

1. Hug

2. Kiss

3. Act like you love them

4. Give them your time

C. Tell them how much you love them

II. Second Tool – Discipline Your Children!

A. If you love them you will discipline them. If you don’t discipline them you don’t love them. Pro. 13:24

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

B. Love and Discipline Go Together! Like a shovel is one tool but has two separate tools. Pro. 22:15

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

C. There are many other ways of discipline.

III. Third Tool – Lead Them By Example – Not do as I say and not as I do.

A. You can’t expect them to go to church all of their life when you only go on Sunday mornings.

B. You can’t expect them not to smoke when you smoke.

1. Drink

2. Chew tobacco

3. cuss

IV. Forth Tool – Educate Them According To God’s Holy Word!

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Deut. 6:5-9

A. It’s Not the public schools job to teach the Bible or lead them in prayer. It’s your responsibility!

B. To teach the Ten Commandments

1. Sex Education according to God’s Word

2. Morality

C. Don’t Blame the public school system when your children are in trouble with the law.

V. Fifth Tool – Prayer

A. Pray for your children night and day.

B. Pray a wall of protection around them.

C. Watch and Pray!

Conclusion: This church and it’s youth program’s are here to assist you. To give you some tools to help you, the parents and grand-parents.

 

 

Favor With God

Text: Luke 1:26 - 38

Introduction: Just like Mary, you too can find favor or grace with God.

I. Believe and Trust God - v.37

A. Providence of God

B. Trust and Obey

Heb. 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

C. Faith

Heb. 11:6 : But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

II. Be Willing To Be Used By God – v.38

A. Submission

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

B. Allow God To Use You

C. Here am I Lord

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS

A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." This puzzled the farmer. But he liked the young man, and hired him.

A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The young man slept soundly.

The farmer and his wife then inspected their property. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The barn was properly locked. Even the animals were calm. All was well.

The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man’s words, "I can sleep when the wind blows." Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. So when the wind blew, he was not afraid. He could sleep in peace.

There was nothing dramatic or sensational in the young boy’s preparations – he just faithfully did what was needed each day.

III. Obey God’s Word – v.38

A. Keep His Commandments – All Of Them

John 15:10,11 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

B. We Can’t Pick and Choose The Ones We Like and Throw the Rest Away

C. Live Them, Eat Them, and Sleep Them

A school teacher lost her life savings in a business scheme that had been elaborately explained by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and her dream was shattered, she went to the Better Business Bureau. "Why on earth didn’t you come to us first?" the official asked. "Didn’t you know about the Better Business Bureau?" "Oh, yes," said the lady sadly. "I’ve always known about you.

But I didn’t come because I was afraid you’d tell me not to do it." The folly of human nature is that even though we know where the answers lie-God’s Word--we don’t turn there for fear of what it will say. Jerry Lambert

IV. Have You Found Favor With God?

A. Are You Willing to Trust and Obey God’s Word?

 

Finding Encouragement For Life

Text: Jeremiah 29:10-13

INTRODUCTION

1. If you could live your life over, what would you do differently

2. I would give more praise

The power of encouragement

A. What does it mean to encourage?

1. Webster: Encouragement means to be in the state of being encouraged, Encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit or hope, to spur on

2. Flatter me and I may not believe you. Criticize me and I may not like you. Ignore me and I may not forgive you. Encourage me and I may not forget you. Wm. Arthur

3. There is tremendous power in the giving and receiving of encouragement

4. Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize – Elizabeth Harrison

A. The reality of encouragement

1. We all need sources of encouragement

a.) There is not a person living who does not need encouragement

b.) The reality is that we cannot live without being encouraged

2. There are various sources

a.) There is an encouragement that comes from other people

b.) There is an encouragement that comes from God

I. God never leaves you.

A. God will remain with his people

1. God makes the clear promise that He will be with His people

a.) Israel is about to be separated from their home but not their God

b.) The people may have walked away from God but He never walks away from them

2. No matter what we go through in life; God will be with us

a.) Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

b.) It is God who brings the ultimate encouragement in life

B. God promises to restore His people

1. God is faithful to His word

a.) God will bring all of His promises to completion

b.) God does His work in His time – This is where we get frustrated

2. God will bring healing and restoration to His people

II. God has a plan for your life.

A. God has created you for a purpose

1. Psalm 139:13 –16

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

2. Every person is meant to be a part of God’s eternal plan

B. God’s plan is a fantastic plan

1. God wants to bring Prosperity to your life

2. God wants to bring Protection to your life

3. God wants to bring Hope to your life

4. God wants to secure a Future for you

C. There is a condition

1. God cannot make you follow His plan for your life

a.) There is no mistake God has a plan for you

b.) He will not make you do the right thing – he will influence you

2. You have a choice to make

a.) You can follow God and receive the blessings of His plan

b.) You can go off on your own and do your own plan for life

III. God is waiting for your call.

A. God is willing to listen

1. God clearly promises that He is always available for us

a.) God is never out of the office

b.) God never goes to sleep

2. God cares enough about you and your life to listen

c.) There is no limit to God’s time

B. God wants you to find Him

1. God gives us a “map” to find Him

a.) Come: We must go to Him with all that we are and all that we can become – This involves our personal ability

B. God can be found

1. Every person can find God

a.) God states clearly that He can be found

b.) He has made Himself easy to find

2. You can find God

 

CONCLUSION

I. Do you feel like you are a prisoner?

A. What is holding you prisoner? – Bondage away from God

Personal self image

Problems of a painful past

Limitations that have been laid on you

Personal attitudes

Destructive personal behavior

B. God wants more for your life

1. God wants to see you free from the bondage

2. God did not create you to live in bondage

3. God has the power to set you free

II. Do you lack purpose in life?

A. You are of great value

1. God created you

2. God loves you enough to die in your place

B. You have a divine plan

1. God has a purpose for your life

2. God has a plan of blessing waiting for you

C. You need to follow wherever God leads

1. The condition of God’s blessing is that you follow

2. Now is the time to decide to follow God with reckless abandon

III. Do you feel like God has left you?

A. God never leaves us, never

1. If God seems distant guess who moved?

2. God will not leave you: not now, not ever

B. God will not let you down

1. God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him

2. God is always there for us no matter how far we have wandered

 

Fishers of Men

Luke 5:1-11

Jesus, as He was calling out His disciples, said He was going to make them "fishermen of men." He then set out to train & teach them the process of being successful at their calling.

We, who have been called of God in like manner, must be taught and trained to function properly in our calling. I trust this may give us food for thought or "How to be successful Fishers of men."

I. PREPARING THE NETS:

Washing Their Nets: Luke 5:2

a)Our live must be clean.{Isa.52:11, Be ye clean that bear the vessel of the Lord.}

b)Can't be effective soulwinners with unclean nets.{2 Cor.7:1,...Let us cleans ourself from all filthyness of the flesh.}

Mending Their Nets: Mark 1:19

a)Tears, holes and rips represent a spirit of division. Our net must be mended before we can be effective fishers of men.{Jo.17:21, Acts 2:1}

b)Division is carnality, {1 Cor.3:1-7; Rom.8:6-8}

c)People are turning their back on Christ because of divisions among God's people. We must mend our nets.

Casting Their Nets:Mark 1:16

a)Casting represents soulwinning.{Prov.11:30; James 5:20}Fishermen plied their trade daily. It was their living. Are we truly fishers of men on a daily basis???

b)Casting on the right side,{John 21:6}That means doing it His way, not ours.

 

II. HAVING THE MASTER ON BOARD:

Christ must have control

a)The captain of a ship is in control of, not only the vessel but, everyone on board. So must Christ be captain of our vessel. {Jo.15:5} Without Christ leading, we can do nothing as we ought to.

Christ must lead

a)If we let Christ lead us; 1.He knows how to fish, where to fish, and where the hungry ones are.

 

III. THRUST OUR FROM SHORE:

In order to catch big fish they had to get away from shore. We ,too, must thrust out to where the people are.

Today we tend to cloister ourselves in a building expecting the unbelievers to come to us, to our way of doing things. These fishermen did it their way all night and were unable to catch fish. It is so much easier to just invite people to our services than to sit down one-on-one and share Christ with them. We need to thrust out.

Many have a fear of water and trust the security of the shore. Likewise, many have a fear of stepping out on faith to witness one-on-one. We must thrust out.

 

IV. NOT BEING DISCOURAGED BY FAILURE

{Luke 5:5} They caught nothing. How frustrating it must be to labor all night and see no fruit of their labor. Jesus gave them the formula for success and they caught more than they could hold. It was apparrent, they were not doing it the Master's way.

Not only in the world around us, but more so in the church, there is a sense of discouragement. We labor on and on and for the most part, see no results. That discouragement lends to many saying what's the use and want to give up.

Maybe we are trying to hard to do it our way and our way isn't working. Maybe we put to much on others who are not prepared for the task. It may be that we need to examine ourselves and re-think our methods. The Lord said our thoughts are not His thoughts and our ways are not His ways. Maybe we need to depend on His ways which are successful.

 

V. OBEYING THE MASTER:

In Luke 5:5 Peter said, "At thy word we will.." In spite of their frustration by taking heed to the Master they were successful.

The Father, through His word, has commanded us and we must ,as Peter, obey His word if we are to be successful in fulfilling our calling.

 

VI. LAUNCHING OUT INTO THE DEEP:

Jesus said to launch out into deeper waters. He knew what needed to be done. This launching out means to me that we must go beyond our former efforts. {John 9:4; Gal.6:9}Sometimes we must go beyond our former way of thinking. My father use to say to me, " If it is broke, don't fix it. If it is broke, it wont fix itself."

Our system or way of doing things is "broke", but we want to stay with it, thinking it will fix itself. It wont. Our thinking needs to change and that involves the Master to fix it. Let us go beyond and "launch out a little deeper."

 

CONCLUSION

Results:Verses 6-10 show that doing it God's way there is success. They caught fish. That implies if we also fish for men according to the Master,s way we, too, will be successful. I'm not talking about making just church members, but truly leading others to experience new life in Christ.

Purpose of Miracle:Verse 11 gives us the purpose of this miracle. It was to follow the Master. They forsook all and followed Him. Isn't that what He is wanting from us today. To follow Him. Think about that. Our Christianity seems to revolve around our daily lives rather than our daily lives revolving around our Christianity.

We must put Christ first in every area of life if we are to truly forsake all and follow Him.

 

 

Five Keys To A Happy New Year

Text: Phil.3:12-16

Introduction:

1. In verses 1-11, Paul portrays himself as an accountant--Key words "I count"--Paul was saying I have "new values."

2. In verses 12-16-- Pauls present- He portrays himself as an athlete--Key words are "I press". He has a "new vigor."

3. In verses 17-21--Paul's future- He portrays himself as an alien. The key words are "I Look". He has a new vision.

Let's look at five keys to a happy new year:

I. A Dissatisfaction (v.12-13) "Not as though I had already attained."

Paul was satisfied with Jesus but not with His Christian life. Many people are satisfied with their Christian walk because they compare themselves with other Christians. We must be cautioned about a false estimate of our spiritual condition (Rev.3:1).

II. A Devotion (Phil 3:14b)

Paul said, "This one thing I do." He was like Mary, he focused on worshipping Jesus (Lk.10:42). So, many of us are like Martha who was cumbered about many things. Our focus must be on serving God.

III. A Direction (Phil.3:13c)

"Forgetting those things which are behind." The unsaved are controlled by the past, but the Christian looks forward to the future. The word "forget" does not mean a failure to remember, but rather it means that we are not controlled by the past. We need not be controlled by past sins or past failures.

IV. A Determination (Phil.3:14)

The words "I press" means Paul was putting all his efforts in his Christian life. Two extremes we must avoid: 1. I must do all 2. God must do all.

V. A Discipline (Phil 3:15-16)

We can be disqualified for not keeping the rules. There must be discipline in our Christian lives.

 

 

 

FIVE QUALITIES OF A GOOD SOLDIER

2 Tim. 2:3-4; 4:7-8

Intro: This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day. A day first observed on May 30, 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War. Now, on Memorial Day, we honor the memories of all those who have died in the military in the service of the United States of America. We would all do well to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom this morning. There have been hundreds of thousands of great soldiers in this countries history. While we honor the war dead throughout America's history this morning, another great Soldier comes to my mind.

Later, in this service, we will commemorate another memorial service. We will celebrate the Lord's Supper and call to mind the death, resurrection and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus was a good soldier! Even while we honor our war dead and our resurrected Warrior, there is another great group of soldiers that leaps into my mind today.

Let’s remember those in Christ's Army who have died on the battlefields of Faith.

One day, our lives will all be over! One day every person in this room will be just a memory to those living on this planet. When it comes time for you to leave this world, what kind of legacy will you leave behind? When people remember the kind of person you were, will they remember you as a soldier of the

cross?

The time to think about these things is now. After you are gone, it will be forever too late! As Paul neared the end of his life, he was living in a Roman prison. But, from that cell, the great Apostle took steps to ensure that he would be remembered as a good solider of the cross.

He took the time to write to young Timothy and give him the secret for becoming a good soldier. It is that thought that I would like to consider this morning as we think together about the 5 Qualities Of A Good Soldier. Perhaps this will encourage and challenge each of us to become the best soldiers that we can be for the glory of the Lord.

I. HE IS A FOLLOWER - 2:3

A. The first step is to join the army.

B. No one can be a soldier for the Lord until they first get into the army.

C. This is accomplished only through receiving Jesus as your Savior, John 3:3;

D. To refuse to follow orders is treason!

E. When we are in the Lord's Army, we have the obligation of obeying His orders even unto death!

II. HE IS FAITHFUL

A. Can be seen in:

1. 2:3 His Patience - Endures hardship and does not quit.

a. The good soldier realizes that there will be troubles along the way and is not detoured by them.

b. He understands that pain is often part of the Christian experience,

2. 2:4 His Priorities - Seeks to please the Commander.

a. Notice that the good soldier has no higher goal in life than pleasing His Superior.

b. The good soldier knows that anything which interferes with his performance in the military must be done away with.

3. 4:7b His Practice - Guards the truths of the faith.

a. The good soldier takes care of the things delivered unto him.

b. He is determined to do a good job, and he refuses to do anything to bring disgrace and dishonor upon his Superior.

III. HE IS FAMILIAR

(Ill. There are some things that the good soldier knows.

He is familiar with:

A. The Sound Of The Commanders's Voice - The way to get more familiar with the Lord's voice is to spend more time listening to it. You do this by getting in the Word. Do you know Him when He speaks?

B. With The Skill Of Using His Weapons - (Eph. 6:10-18) The good soldier knows that he is engaged in mortal warfare and he knows that the only way to succeed in the fight is to be proficient in the use of spiritual weaponry. You and I would do well to learn the art of spiritual warfare if we intend to succeed for the glory of the Lord.

C. With The Strategy Of The Enemy - (2 Cor. 11:14; 1 Pet. 5:8) The good soldier knows that the enemy is ever active and never rests. The good soldier knows that the enemy is shrewd and ever attacking, but he also knows the Lord is there to help him, Heb. 13:5. He knows that regardless of the trap, God will make a way of escape for him, 1 Cor. 10:13.

IV. HE IS A FIGHTER - 4:7 (Paul makes 3 statements in this verse that describe the good soldier. Notice:

A. He Is Determined - The good soldier does not retreat in the face of the enemy, he does not run from a fight. Instead, he stands his ground and fights the battle until the battle is over!

B. (Many Christian soldiers have dropped out of the battle! I challenge you not be among that number! (1 Tim. 1:19-20)

C. He Is Driven –

D. The good soldier realizes that the battle does not run according to his time frame. He knows that another is in charge of the duration of the battle, but the good soldier is driven to finish. The good soldier is in the battle to the finish. Are you?

E. He Is Dedicated - The good soldier dedicates himself to keeping his oath. He is determined to live for the Lord regardless of the personal cost.

V. He Is A Finisher!

 

Focus On Jesus

Text: Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

I. To Be Saved

A. Author of our Salvation

1. Psalms 3:8 “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people.

B. Finisher of our Salvation

1. 1 Peter 1:5 “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

C. Alpha and Omega

II. To Be Faithful

A. Stay In The Battle

B. Be Steadfast

1. 1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

C. Be Unmovable

D. Always Moving Forward

III. To Be Happy

A. Be A Servant

1. John 13:17 “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

B. Endure Hardness

1. James 5:11 “Behold, we count them happy which endure.”

C. Make Right Choices

IV. How To Focus On Jesus

1. Read Your Bible

2. Pray

3. Read A Devotional

4. Go To Church

5. Serve Others

6. Listen To Christian Music

7. Ask Yourself… What Would Jesus Do?

 

Following After Christ

 

John 14:1-6

Introduction

A long time ago the biblical psalmist cried, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end” (Psalm 39:4). That is a good prayer for our times. For a person to make life’s journey meaningful and worthwhile he must have at least two things in sight: a destination, somewhere to go; and a direction, a way to get there. Jesus speaks of both in our text.

I. The Destination—“to the Father.”

A. Any journey that is worthwhile must have a destination.

1. To depart without a destination is to doom oneself to aimless wandering.

2. One of the great tragedies of our times is that we do not know where we are going. When we move into the future, we leave no forwarding address.

3. We would do well to heed the words of Moses to a people wandering aimlessly in the wilderness, “If only they were wise and would … discern what their end will be!” (Deuteronomy 32:29) “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”

B. A journey that is worthwhile must have the right destination.

1. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12).

2. Not all goals we pursue in life are the right ones. Many of the things we seek most really are not worth the effort.

3. Such, Jesus said, is the case with the man who lays up treasures on earth (Luke 12:13-21).

4. According to Jesus there is only one destination that is truly worthwhile—the Father’s house.

II. The Direction—“no one comes to the Father except through me.”

A. Some people who have the Father’s house in their sights never get there because they get lost on some side street.

1. Some people try to get there by living the “good, moral life.”

2. Some people try to get there by following their own “gospel.”

3. Some people try to get there by being “religious.”

B. But, according to Jesus, there is only one way to the Father’s house.

1. In our pluralistic society we do not like exclusiveness. We like inclusiveness. We like to treat every religion as good, every philosophy as worthwhile.

2. For us the ultimate virtue is toleration. We are quick to brand those who preach the “one way” as bigoted and intolerant.

3. Yet we have these words of Jesus, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

C. The exclusiveness of Christianity comes from its founder.

1. It is not our intolerance, it is His. It is not our narrowness, it is His.

2. Just as we have no right to make the way narrower than He does, we have no right to make it broader than he does.

D. It is the exclusiveness of Christianity that makes evangelism an imperative of the church.

1. It is why Christ commissioned His followers to preach the gospel to every creature.

2. It is why Paul was driven to take the gospel to his world.

3. It is why the church still confronts an often indifferent world and boldly preaches that Jesus saves.

Conclusion

If you get where you are going, where will you be?

Illustrations:

The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."

The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a seaman third class Jones."

Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."

In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest--something almost absurd. But the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our peril.

 

 

Food For The Soul

Text: Proverbs 30:8 Feed Me

Introduction:

I. Jesus Is the Bread Of Life

A. John 6:28

B. Feed your soul with Jesus

II. Feed Your Soul The Bread of Life - God Word

A. 1 Cor. 3:2

B. 1 Peter 2:2

C. Desire

III. Don’t Poison Your Soul

A. TV, Radio, Filth

 

For A Memorial

Text: Exodus 3:15, 12:14, 13:9

 

I. We Are A Memorial – Ex. 3:15 “hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

A. Our Testimony

B. Our Legacy

C. Our Contribution to society

II. Every Sunday Should Be Memorial Day – Ex. 12:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations;”

A. Resurrection Day – Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

B. First Day of the Week – Start you week out right!

C. Keep it Holy

III. The Holy Bible Is A Memorial – Ex. 13:9 “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.”

A. Full of precious memories – History Book – Family Tree

B. Helps us to see where we are going and where we came from

C. We need to pass it on to the next generation

IV. What Memories Are You Passing On?

A. Your Experiences with the Lord

B. Healing

C. Salvation

 

 

FORMULA FOR REVIVAL

2 Chron 7:14 I f my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

INTRODUCTION:

WHAT A REVIVAL IS NOT:

* It is not a schedule meeting that a church has;

* It is not seeing lost people saved (although that is a product of revival)

* It is what God sends down - It is not what we work up.

"What does the word revival mean?" It come from the Latin work Re - again & Vivere - to live. To make alive again.

THE TEXT:

This is the time of Solomon’s reign. David had died. God would not let David build the temple because he was a bloody man. (He was guilty of murdering an innocent man.) He prepared the material and his son erected the temple. It was quite an occasion. He preached to the people - He prayed - they celebrated - THEY OFFERED SACRIFICES {22,000 oxen & 120,000 sheep). No wonder the historian of that day wrote, "What meaneth this endless flow of blood from Israel’s alter."

It was God dwelling with his people in His temple. We are the temple of God. It is a message to the church but only as He dwells individually with each of us. It is when the fire of God is burning in our midst.

Revival is when God’s people have their hearts right so that the living God can move and have his will and way in the midst of them.

I am convinced that you will not find any better formula for revival than you do here in 2 Chron 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

I. THE PEOPLE OF REVIVAL: If my people, which are called by my name,

It is God’s people who needs revival. We need it on a daily basis. It is not lost people who need revival. A revival is not about getting the lost saved. It is about getting the saints living again. A saved person is the temple of God - God does not move into a lost temple.

The great truth is that we belong to God. We are his people. We are called by his name. We belong to him by creation but even more important that. We belong to him by regeneration. The first birth and the second birth.

Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

It is not the people in the bars that need revival.

II. THE PROCESS OF REVIVAL: shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;

PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS A PROCESS:

1. Shall humble themselves

Humility is the total realization that you can do nothing apart from God.

Pride is the opposite of humility. It is the demonstration of a life that testifies by the way they live that they don’t need God.

The Bible says, "Pride goeth before a fall". "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

A VERY REVEALING SCRIPTURE ABOUT HUMILITY:

Deut 8:2 – 3 “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to test thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or not. And he humbled thee, and allouwed you to get hungry so He could feed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

It has been my experience that God is going to humble you. It just depends on how easy you want to make it on yourself. If you are saved and prideful. You have some hard knocks ahead of you.

Matt 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

2. And pray

There is a process to a revived heart. Humility must come before prayer can be effectual.

3. and seek my face

Knowing that we are walking in the presence of our living Savior.

4. and turn from their wicked ways

How can you be right when you’re wrong.

III. THE PROMISE OF REVIVAL: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

1. I will hear (give audience to) from heaven

2. I will forgive their sin

3. I will heal their land.

 

 

Four Principles For Receiving God’s Guidance

Read Genesis 24:1-63

Illustration: A flight attendant spent a week’s vacation in the Rockies. She was captivated by the mountain peaks, the clear blue skies, and the sweet smelling pines. But she also was charmed by a very eligible bachelor who owned and operated a cattle ranch and lived in a log cabin. At the end of this week, Mr. Wonderful proposed. But it had all happened so quickly that the woman decided to return home and to her job, feeling that she would somehow be guided to make the right decision. The next day, in flight, she found herself wondering what to do. To perk up, she stopped in the rest room and splashed some cool water on her face. There was some turbulence and a signin the rest room lit up: PLEASE RETURN TO THE CABIN. She did--to the cabin back in the mountains (Reader’s Digest [1/81], p. 118)

This story does not demonstrate the best way to make decisions in life, but this story does reveal a common dilemma that many people, including Christians, often face. The dilemma I am referring to is the problem of being sure that God is guiding us. In other words, how can you and I be certain that we are in God’s will and that the decisions we are making are the right ones?

This is an important subject for all of us since we all must make important decisions. We all must take various courses of actions and we desire an assurance that God is directing our paths. How can we sure of that divine guidance and direction? This passage in Genesis 24 deals with this subject and problem.

In this chapter we not only see God providing guidance to His people in an important matter but we also see the conditions under which that guidance was provided. These conditions, which could also be referred to as principles, are what I will discuss today. There are four key principles that led to God’s providential guidance found in this chapter. If we follow these principles, I believe we can expect success in receiving God’s providential guidance similar to what Abraham and his servant received.

1. The first principle for receiving God’s guidance is knowing God’s Word.

We must have a thorough knowledge of God’s will and purposes to help direct our actions and decisions. That knowledge of God’s will comes first and foremost from God’s Word. God’s Word reveals God’s plan, principles and purposes. Knowledge of these is essential to even beginning to receive God’s guidance. It is Abraham’s knowledge of God’s word that leads him to make the first step in the right direction in receiving God’s guidance.

Read Verses 1-4

Here we see that Abraham takes steps to see that God’s plan is furthered through Isaac. Isaac must marry and have children for the covenant blessings to be received. Abraham understands this, so he doesn’t sit idly and wait for God’s plan to be fulfilled. He does his part and takes appropriate action; in this case he begins to look for a wife for Isaac. Some people seem to think that receiving God’s guidance means doing nothing. For instance, I’ve known people who are out of work and yet refuse to go look for a job because they are waiting for God to provide a job. Such thinking is unbiblical. God wants us to do our part, but to do it while being guided by the knowledge of God’s Word.

This is what Abraham does! His search for a wife isn’t based on human standards or desires but is rather directed by his knowledge of God’s Word. This is why in verses 3,4 he insists that Isaac’s wife be from his own relatives and not from the local people of Canaan. Why did Abraham insist on this condition? Because he knew enough of God’s Word to know that God wouldn’t bless a marriage to a Canaanite woman. God had never specifically prohibited such a marriage at this point in biblical revelation. God had never given specific directions on whom Isaac was to marry but this did not mean that God’s Word had no direction to give. In earlier parts of Abraham’s life, God had revealed the character (wicked) and future (judgment) of the people of Canaan to Abraham. That alone was enough for Abraham to know that marrying one of them was not even an option.

In essence, Abraham was guided by God’s revealed word. He didn’t have a specific commandment from God’s Word but he did have enough information to make reasonable inferences. In other words, he could apply biblical principles to the situation. Many times we are in a similar situation – we don’t have a specific command from the Bible but we can still apply principles from God’s Word and be assured of being in God’s will. For instance, no specific rule/command from God tells me what to watch and what not to watch on TV in many cases, but I can still receive God’s guidance and make wise decisions by applying biblical principles such as purity, righteousness, etc. to the decision.

Abraham was able to take these first steps in the right direction because he knew God’s word. The same is true for us in receiving God’s direction.

2. The second principle for receiving God’s guidance is commitment to God’s will.

It is one thing to know what God’s will is through His Word and another thing completely to be committed to doing His will without compromise. One of the conditions under which Abraham received God’s providential guidance was his complete commitment to doing God’s will. This story reveals to us that God guides us when we are committed to His will and not our own, no matter how difficult it sometimes is to do God’s will. We will see in the next two verses that Abraham displayed the commitment necessary to being divinely directed.

Read Verses 5-6

In verse 5 the servant wants to know what to do if following the principles of God’s Word doesn’t work out as planned. The servant is basically asking if Abraham will change his mind and commitment to God’s will if it appears that doing things God’s way doesn’t work. Abraham says to his servant that Isaac is not to leave the Promised Land, no matter what! Abraham makes clear that he is totally committed to following God’s will no matter what happens. I hope you respond with the same uncompromising commitment to obeying God when you are confronted with a similar situation. The only way we can be sure of God’s guidance is by being committed to God’s will above our own will. Many other Scriptures also attest to this principle. One of the best known is in Proverbs.

Read Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Many times people find themselves out of God’s perfect will because when it comes right down to it they are not fully committed to His plan for their life. They may pray, quote the Bible, and talk about seeking God’s will but in reality they are seeking God’s approval of their plan. God will work supernaturally in your life to bring about His plans, as He did Isaac and Rebekah, but only when your purpose and total commitment is to do His will!

3. The third principle for receiving God’s guidance is trusting in God’s Ways.

Trust is absolutely essential if you are to be led by God because you will never maintain your commitment to obeying Him and waiting on Him unless you really trust in Him. You must trust that He will provide everything necessary to fulfill His will for your life in His own way. This is what Abraham did. He trusted God to providentially provide a wife for Isaac from outside of Canaan, even though that was extremely unlikely. Abraham’s states his trust in God’s ways in verse 7.

Read Verses 7-9

In verse 7 Abraham recounts that God had made promises that included Canaan Land and offspring. Since God made a promise, Abraham expects God to keep it by supplying a wife for Isaac. His confidence is based on God’s specific word and promise, not on personal desire. Many people express a trust in God, but their trust is that God will provide what they want and desire. God honors trust in His Word!

Abraham believes that God will provide a wife for Isaac on this trip despite how unlikely this is to happen. What are the chances that Abraham’s servant can travel 500 miles, meet a qualified woman from Abraham’s own family, and convince her and her family to let her travel to a distant land and marry a man she or the family has never met? Human insight or understanding would say, “No chance!” Nevertheless, in verse 7, Abraham clearly expects God to do just this by sending an angel to providentially guide and provide. He is not trusting in his own understanding or insight but is rather trusting in God’s ways. This trust is essential to being directed by God as this story attest and the Bible also says in Proverbs.

Read Proverbs 3:5

You will not be directed by God unless you are committed to Him and trust in Him to provide for His will to be fulfilled in you life. Weather the issue is marriage, ministry, or some other life issue, we must trust God to supernaturally and providentially arrange the circumstances at the right time and in the right way.

In verse 8 Abraham acknowledges that it may not happen as he expects. This isn’t a lack of trust in God - just an acknowledgment that God may provide in a different manner that Abraham expects. We know that Abraham still expects God to provide a wife and fulfill the promise of offspring because he restates his commitment that Isaac will not go back to his relatives’ homeland. One way or the other God will provide for His will to be done without His people compromising on His Word!

Under the conditions Abraham stated in verses 5-8 the servant agrees to faithfully fulfill his duties. He takes an oath, to fulfill this commitment, in the culturally acceptable way of that era and location, which was to place his hand under Abraham’s thigh. So far I have shared 3 principles for receiving God’s guidance.

4. The fourth principle for receiving God’s guidance is to pray for God’s Wisdom.

The servant didn’t just assume that he would recognize whom God had provided as a wife for Isaac. He prayed for guidance and wisdom. Let’s read about it in verses 10-14

Read Verses 10-14

I first want you to notice that, after a 500 mile journey on camel, the servant arrived at the perfect place to meet a young, unmarried woman at the very time the women would be coming to the well to draw water. What luck! No, what providence! God had arranged circumstances perfectly for His will to be fulfilled in this situation. Abraham’s knowledge, commitment, and trust were not in vain. God was working behind the scene.

I believe that God will direct our circumstances so that His will is successfully fulfilled in our lives if we do our part of knowing His Word, committing to His Will, Trusting His Ways, and Pray for His Wisdom.

I believe that God’s providence directed me to this church with the intent of day being the pastor. I didn’t plan it this way but God was working through the circumstances. I bet many of you can look back on your life and see evidence of God working and guiding your circumstances in remarkable ways! It is reassuring to see how powerful and wise our God is in directing our paths.

The servant realizes that this is a divine opportunity, so he prays for success and guidance in verses 12-14. Many Christians today miss God’s guidance and divine opportunities because they do not pray. Often we go through life just making decisions based on our own wisdom. We need to recognize that we do not have the wisdom to direct our own paths or to make right choices; we need to pray for God’s wisdom if we are to receive His guidance.

When I am in an unfamiliar city and get lost I don’t just guess, I ask someone who knows what direction to take. When I don’t understand my tax return, I don’t just do my best, I go to someone who knows the right answers. You and I don’t know what decisions to make in life but we can pray to the One who has the answers. We can have divine direction in life, but only when we seek God’s wisdom. We must pray expecting God to really grant us wisdom.

Read James 1:5-7