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Monthly Archives : September 2015

Make Me a Servant … 1 Corinthians 9:19
For though I am free from all,  I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  1 Corinthians 9:19 ESV
      As Christians We have been called to serve not to be served.  We have been called to do whatever is necessary to introduce the lost and dying to the Savior.   We must always remember being the church is not about us but rather to bring glory to our Lord and Savior.  When a person comes to know Jesus as Savior, angels rejoice.  “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angles of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 ESV    Never take the focus off the mission of reaching the lost or you could be in danger of appearing to be just another organization and not the church.
     How can you judge for yourself whether you are a servant or just a attendee?  First you must confirm in your spirit that you are exactly where the Lord wants you.  You will never find a perfect church, for the church is filled with imperfect people redeem and saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  When you have determine that you are in the church body which God has lead you to, never look back, roll up your sleeves and go to work.  Being part of the church is not about just attending but working / serving till Jesus comes.   Also servants do not demand their own way or worry about their own feelings but rather find joy in serving.   Will you ever have your feelings hurt or disagree with how a certain thing is done?  More than likely … yes.  Don’t let this cause you to spend your lifetime jumping around looking for the perfect church; you will only be disillusioned and waste much time in the battle for lost souls.
             I wish to reflect upon the greatest servant that ever lived.  For if you never learn from the Master how to serve, I will dare say you will never find godly contentment as a Christian.
 1. We must have the mind of Christ
       Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied himself,  by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Philippians 2: 5-8 ESV   Jesus, submitted himself to the will of his Father as a servant.  It was God’s will that his son would be crucified upon the cross and Jesus willingly submitted. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Never the less, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42 ESV  
2. As Jesus, we must serve with a single focus
     Then Jesus said to him,Be gone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10 ESV
     “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.”  Matthew 6:24 ESV     If we serve as Jesus, we must focus upon God the Father.   Deuteronomy 5:7 ESV makes it clearYou shall have no other gods before me.  If God is the focus of our service, we will cooperate with his will.
3. As Jesus, we acknowledge It’s not about ourselves
     “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 ESV   If you ever start down the slippery slope of the me me me type thinking, you will lose the reflection of Jesus in your life, and  others will not see Him in you either. For with the “me”  lifestyle everything is focused upon yourself.  How might one tell if they have the me lifestyle rather than the service lifestyle.  Are you easily angered when things do not go your way; easily offended; threaten to leave or quit often?  You may be in danger of being  self serving.  How would you over come this if this describes you?  Make a conscience effort to live Philippians 2: 3-4 ESVDo nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others as more important than yourself.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.  (Now refer back to point number one and read verses 5-8 of Philippians 2)
      In closing let me encourage you to make a song written by Kelly Willard the prayer for your life every day.  The Lyrics to the song are as follows:
                                                                                   Make me a servant humble and meek
                                                                                   Lord, let me lift up, those who are weak
                                                                                   And may the prayer of my heart always be;
                                                                                   Make me a servant, make me a servant,
                                                                                   Make me a servant today.
    You can go to youtube.com ~ type in Kelly Willard, Make me a Servant and hear this beautiful song.
     May we as a church become such servants to each other that those watching would say,  “My, how they love each another.”  What a testimony this would be and what a joy it would be to be a part of this type church.   Make it a point to serve someone this week…be purposeful and do something intentionally.
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David 
Doers of the word…James 1: 22-25 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1: 22-25 ESV
   This message is going to sound a lot like a works based faith and that is because it is exactly what this message is about. However, do not confuse works based faith with a works based salvation, for there are no works by which a person can be saved. Clearly in Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV it states; For by GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; It is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. However, the Christian has not been redeemed by the blood of Jesus to go on in life as if nothing ever happened. A redeemed life is a changed life and the result of a life changed by Jesus will be reflected in the testimony of how their life is lived everyday. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV  
   So let us begin by evaluating what it means to be a doer of the word rather than just one who hears. In general a doer is one who works to accomplish the task that is before them. So what is the most important work a person should do? BELIEVE ! There was a crowd of people that was looking for Jesus and when they found Him they asked this question. Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6: 28-29 ESV  
   Believing is so important because what you believe determines how you live. Believing may sound easy until you are in a crises situation, for that is when doubt can set in. In Mark chapter nine a father who had a son tormented from childhood by demons brought him to Jesus pleading with him to help his son. Jesus said to him,“If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9: 23-24 ESV It can be challenging to believe when things are difficult if you haven’t walked and trusted him daily. The people of Israel on the way to the promise land had experience ~ seen God work in the plagues, walked on a dry sea bed, were given food from heaven, water from rocks, guided by clouds and pillows of fire, experienced victories in battle, and his power at Mount Sinai, and yet did not believe he could give them the land. Believing is powerful because it will determine the decisions you make in life. You might say, “If I had experienced and seen all that the people of Israel did, then I would have believed” and maybe you would have. Only two of the twelve spies sent into the land believed they could possess the land, and it was those two that lead the next generation into the land. What did the other ten spies lack; the belief that the God who had done so many amazing things was able to give them the land. Let me remind you that we see and experience something amazing everyday…. the world that God spoke into existence. Belief is faith that God can do all that he promises and acting upon it. This not a “name it and claim it” type faith, rather a faith that lives worshiping and trusting God no matter what. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless. James 2:18-20 ESV Action always speaks louder than words. What actions dominate your time? Claiming to be a Christian is more than going to church; it is living everyday the truth openly that lives inside you. I do believe church attendance is very important as Christians for church was God’s idea, and it is an important step but not the only one. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV This light is the life you live in the world daily showing them the difference God has made in your life. It is not about you but the God who saved you. Being a person of light is not saying, “I said the sinner’s prayer, so at least I’m saved.” It is about the person who has been saved, and works as if it all depends upon them, and lives knowing it is only by his grace. If you worked at your jobs the way you work at being a Christian, would you be fired from lack of accomplishment? (Just a thought) Everything we do should be about bringing Him glory. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV  
Remember these three thing from James 1:25 Be the one ~ “who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and PERSEVERES”…. the one who ~ “being no hearer who forgets but IS A DOER WHO ACTS,” the one who ~ “will be BLESSED in his doing.”
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David
Be Holy, for He is Holy…1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV
But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written,”You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV
      Let me be clear from the beginning; we are holy only because the Holy Spirit  Himself dwells in us as Christians.  There are no works by which we are made holy other than the work of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ.  Holiness is necessary, for without it no one will see God.  
Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  Hebrews 12:14 ESV  Why does the word teach us to strive for holiness if it is impossible to obtain it by ourselves?  It is because it bears witness of He who lives in you….Jesus Christ.  Jesus / the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out other wise we are just white washed tombs. Jesus said it best, “Woe to you,scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside are full of greed and self-indulgence .  You blind Pharisee!  First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Matthew 23: 25-26 ESV    Being a Christian is only possible because of the inside job  the Holy Spirit did in your life.   So let us reflect upon this call and how it is possible to live holy in the world.
    First, you must realize who you are in Christ and the fact that you are the only holy light some people may ever see.  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 ESV 
     The believer is to live their lives out loud… so all the world can see the holy evidence of Christ in you“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to you Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16 ESV  
    Secondly: Recognize and worship the Holiness of God in the present as we will one day in our heavenly home.  As the four living creatures in Revelation 4, we need to recognize him day and night as “Holy, holy,holy, is the Lord God almighty.”   We need not and should not wait for the day when we enter into his kingdom to worship his holiness.  When worshiping His holiness, it will cause us to view God in the light of his holiness thus growing in us the desire to be more like Him. As redeemed, forgiven of all our sins, let us worship him in his holiness and not give ourselves to the former life from which we were saved.  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 ESV 
      Thirdly: Do everything you can to emulate Jesus.  Study how Jesus walked when He became flesh and lived among us.   Live as He lived… in obedience to His purpose….all the way to the cross.  In three of the gospels Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”    
Christian, we must realize that we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and we are not our own. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV  When you glorify God in your body, you will be an example of holiness- not your own but His.
      I know that many will say there is no way a person can live holy in today’s world and you would be correct if you were trying to do so in your own strength.  However, you must remember two things:  For he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  1 John 4:4 ESV…  and…. I can do all things through him who strengthens me  Philippians 4:13 ESV. Live on purpose for God,  You shall be holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16                                     
Because of his Grace ~ Pastor David
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