By Pastor Jason Murphy ~ January 12th, 2016. Filed under: General.
If you missed Sunday Morning’s service, here it is for you to watch.
If you missed Sunday Morning’s service, here it is for you to watch.
Certainly, the Lord desires that every Christian grows in their relationship with Him. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2). If we do not evaluate our overall Christian life, we will be as a ship drifting in the sea; where the rudder is turned ever so slightly and the ship ends up wandering completely off course, ending up at the wrong destination. There are definite indicators that you’re maturing spiritually. For instance, you will display grace to others, possess the discernment to speak at the right moments, share your faith wherever you go, and become increasingly homesick for Heaven. Regardless of where you’re currently at in your relationship, you don’t have to remain stagnant. You can move forward and grow!
Jesus declared, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Unfortunately, many have taken hold of the gospel plow, making a profession and starting out strong, but the lure of the world enticed them to return. It is impossible to plow a straight row looking back. As Christians, we are commanded to be steadfast in every aspect of our life (1 Cor. 15:58); in our discipleship, our prayer, and our witness. With numerous issues facing the church today, believers must be unwavering in their daily walk with Christ. The hymn writer, Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922), aptly states:
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.
The book of Psalms reveals the transparency of many servants of God. The chief musician Asaph cried out in sincerity, “I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah” (Ps. 77:3). He served as a godly song leader under the reign of King David, Solomon, and perhaps briefly with Rehoboam. Asaph fervently prayed for the Lord God to deliver from his undisclosed and relentless sore. He expressed his utter anguish with great despair and refused to be comforted. To make matters worse, he began to doubt and question his Creator, being left speechless and without a song.
Nevertheless, he displayed a sudden change of heart. What caused him Asaph to be encourage? He remembered and meditated on the works of the Lord (Ps. 77:11-12). As belivers, we too must remember God’s exploits in the past, His workings in the present, and His promises in the future.
A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is down significantly when compared to the same question asked one year ago. On April 7th, 2012 Rasmussen then released a poll finding that 77% of Americans believed the resurrection of Christ to be historical fact. The difference between the two polls shows a 13% decline in the number of Americans who believe that Christ rose from the dead, since last Easter.
Plainly stated, if you do not believe in the resurrection you don’t believe the gospel, and you can’t be saved. The resurrection is an indisputable fact of prophecy and history. Jesus proclaimed, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:10). There was above five hundred eyewitnesses of the resurrected body of Jesus. To disprove those testimonies, one would have to find a skeleton and prove it was Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection, our preaching and faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15:14). Everything we believe and hold sacred stands or falls on the fact of the resurrection. I am grateful that Jesus is Alive for Such A Time As This!
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). Why does God put such a premium on assembling together? The apostle Paul declares that the last days of the Church age will be marked by apostasy; a falling away from sound doctrine (2 Tim. 3:1-7). An apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the truth of God. Apostasy is a very real and dangerous threat. A number of Christians are talking about the arrival of the Antichrist, yet very few are looking for the apostasy that must come first (2 Thess. 2:3). The Bible gives us the perfect depiction of what the climate will be in the last days of this dispensation. Therefore, believers must cling to sound doctrine and remain unified for the cause of Christ. We are “called-out” to Assemble for Such a Time as This!
I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Tithe if you love Jesus. Any idiot can honk.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. Jesus plainly stated, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Giving is not a matter of feasibility it is a matter of faith. When we give, it makes us more like God (John 3:16) and draws us closer to Him. One of the reasons some Christians choose not to give is because they have been smitten with the uncontrolled desire for stuff. They are gripped by materialism and greed. However, when we give with a cheerful heart and good attitude, the Lord promises to bless. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Trust God and give!
From the beginning, the Devil has attempted to destroy the Nation of Israel; to terminate the blessed seed of the promised Redeemer (Is. 47:4; 48:17; 49:26). However, the Lord God has preserved His people and His seed. Israel is not a perfect nation, but rather a chosen covenanted nation; an unconditionally blessed nation (Gen. 12:1-3). “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zech. 2:8). God has not cast aside Israel indefinitely (Rom. 11:1-3). Regardless of Israel’s past mistakes, the Lord will restore a future remnant to establish His everlasting Kingdom (1 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 89:4). Choose to stand with Israel!
Why is it so imperative that the Body of Christ collectively have a part in the distribution of the word of God? Because every person has a soul; an eternal soul. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). As C.S. Lewis aptly stated, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” The Bible declares that every soul that dies without Christ will spend eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:15). In spite of the conditions around us, the difficulties, dangers, and every excuse we offer, The Great Commission still stands! God still expects His people to take His message to a lost world so that they might hear the wonderful words of life. Are we as a church doing everything we can to find inroads of outreach into the world around us? We have real hope!
When we think about the word surrender in the context of Christianity, many believers become fearful. This word carries with it a subconscious fear of the unknown. However, we are certainly safer in the hands of our loving God rather than fulfilling our wildest dreams. The apostle Paul declared, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20). We do not belong to ourselves. Moreover we were bought with a price, and our bodies are the Temple of the living God. Accordingly, the Lord desires total surrender of His rightful possession. When God gave His plans for the Tabernacle, and later for the Temple, He demanded purity in the materials and construction, otherwise, He would never fill it with His glory. Likewise, our bodies must be presented holy unto the Lord. They must be Surrendered for Such A Time As this.