MESSAGENOTES

Outlines of Bible Lessons I have recently given.
Building Believers
Make a Difference Discipleship
Make a Difference in a Life
Perils of Lesser Glory
Being God’s Dad
Principal Principles
God’s Record Books
Things I Know About God
Mirror Men
Jesus Loves Crying women with Dirty Hair
What Ails Hagar?
Five Debts We Owe
Giant Killer’s Giant Killers
Things God Calls Foolish
Consider the Consequences
Among the Gods
Winners Commit
Recognizing our Riches
Ant Lessons

BUILDING BELIEVERS

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17).

86% of American Churches are stagnate or in decline. Three main reasons: Internal Politics, Impure living by Leaders/Laity, and/or Apathy of the Leaders/Members

In Ken Folett’s book “The Fall of Giants” a story is told about Russian immigrants who save and sacrifice until they get enough money to buy a ticket to America in order to escape the tyranny and terror of Russia. They board a ship and sail for 10 days until they are told they have arrived one night. They disembark, wait for the daylight, and find the ship’s captain has tricked them and they are in Cardiff, Wale, England instead of in America. Many ended up as virtual slaves in the cold mines of Wales- nothing like what they had anticipated. I know Christians who can relate to this story: They are glad to be saved but the journey is not the joy they had expected and their belief in their belief is strained.

There are many kinds of Believers in the Church today:

1. CONCEITED BELIEVERS: They are so self-absorbed until they are blind to their true condition- Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (Rev 3:17).

2) CHOKED BELIEVERS: Too Busy to be a Blessing: And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:18-19).

3) CONTRIDICTORY BELIEVERS: Their Talk and their Walk does not agree: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:16).

4) CASUALTY BELIEVERS: They have been hurt or disappointed by someone in the Church and now they are afraid to become actively involved- The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? (Proverbs 18:14).

5) CONFUSED BELIEVERS: Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together (Acts 19:32). Many come to church simply to show up, sing up, pay up, listen up, go home. No Worship on Sunday No walk on Monday.

6) COSMETIC BELIEVERS: They Pretty up but you never see the Power of God at work in their life: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5).

Marks of a Bible Believer:

  1. Saved (By Blood)- Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:9).
  2. Sure (By Word)- These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13).
  3. Sound (In Doctrine)- This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (Titus 1:13).
  4. Surrendered (To God)- Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13). The Secret of Surrender is Trust.
  5. Separated (From the World)- Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (2 Corinthians 6:17).
  6. Spirit FilledAnd be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (Ephesians 5:18). The Bible commands believers to be 1) Filled with the Spirit- Eph 5:18, 2) Walk in the Spirit- Gal 5:16, and 3) Demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit- Gal 5:22-23
  7. Singing (Joyful Heart)- Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19).

If you are unsaved you are traveling on the Titanic- no matter how good you enjoy the journey you are headed for disaster.

If you are a Christian God is calling you to become blessed and be a blessing. Give God control of your heart and life today.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE DISCIPLESHIP

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles (Romans 1:8-13).

Why is the church getting smaller and the world getting worse? Why do we teach our children the Bible in Sunday School and then watch in amazement as they so easily abandon those teachings because a college professor “misrepresents the truth”? And the “biggy”; If your church closed today would it make a discernable difference in your community?

In our scripture today Paul shows us 4 traits of “Disciples who make a difference”

I. THEIR TESTIMONY IS KNOWN- vs 8 “Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world”. While a Christian must be willing to be made of “No Reputation” (Phil 2:7) he also knows that the world always matches what we say with what we do and our reputation for holy living will have a tremendous effect on our ability to effectively witness for Christ.

II. THEIR PRAYERS ARE POWERFUL AND CONSISTENT?- vs 9 “Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers”. If we prayed as much about Problems as we do about Profits we wouldn’t have so many disagreements! If the average Christian would spend ONE DAY A WEEK Praying exclusively for Others, it would change them in marvelous ways. If everyone would make it a point to talk to God about a person before they talked to someone else about them it would cut gossip down to a trickle!

Your Prayer time should include praying for Your Enemies (Matt 5:44) as well as the “Eyeless” (Missionaries are out of sight and, all too often, out of mind!).

III. THEY DESIRE AND WORK TOWARD HELPING OTHERS GROW FOR GOD?- vs 10-11 ” For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; “

Satan knows that isolation breeds DEPRESSION, DISTRUST, and DISCORD (Note the example of Elijah- I Kings 19:- First He “requested for himself that he might die” (vs 4) in a bout of Depression, then he proclaimed “I, even I only, am left” (vs 10) showing he Distrusted everyone, and, finally, he was in such a state of Discord with God until he had to be recommissioned with someone to help him).

Do you build bridges to others or wall them out?

IV. THEIR GOAL IS FRUIT FROM, AND FOR, THE FELLOWSHIP- . “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles”. He who aims at nothing hits nothing!

Remember, Christ did not die to save Buildings, he died to save people.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF ANOTHER PERSON

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

One of the greatest inspirations a person can have is the knowledge that they have helped another person to grow and develop. It makes a tremendous amount of difference in our work when we believe what we are doing is a help to someone else. Even pain is endurable if we believe it has a purpose!

We have the Desire to help other people change their conduct but it is often frustrating to find what is needed to actually produce change in a person. Parents want children to do right and live right. Wives want their husbands to be the man they have dreamed about and the father their children need. Employers want employees who work hard and grumble little. What can YOU do to help people live up to their potential? Here are four guidelines that can help make a difference in the lives of people around you.

1) Be an Example FOR them– People mirror the people around them. They follow these examples in language, in prejudice, in actions toward others. Be a good Example and you will be surprised at the impact it will have on those who surround you.

Jesus used this principle- For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

Paul encouraged Timothy to use this principle- Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Tim. 4:12)

2) Be an Instructor TO them– Teach people what you want taught and they will learn what you want them to learn! Do not expect them to “magically” know what to do if they are not instructed what to do. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9)

3) Be an Encourager OF them– Many life changing moments in my own life came when someone encouraged me to keep on going when I wanted to quit. Encouragement is a powerful tool to shape a person’s personality- But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. (Deuteronomy 3:28)

4) Be a Witness ABOUT GOD to them– Realize that only God can truly change a person. The Heart of the matter is the matter of the Heart- People do what they do because they are what they are!

1) Short Term Change can be produced by Disease, Debt, Devotion, Discourse, and Desire. You would probably be amazed if you knew the conduct changes people promise Doctors, Preachers, Judges, and Spouses. But these short term “cycle changes” seldom produce long term results and often produce depression and despair. (Other people can change but something is wrong with me and I cannot change).

2) Long Term change in the Conduct of a person only occurs when the Character of that person is changed; and that is a “God thing”- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). This is the reason we need Bible Preaching and Bible Teaching. If human efforts or examples were all we needed to change people then we would not need the Church and the Bible. We have seen, however, that human education or human riches only change the way a person does wrong. It takes Divine Power to change the human heart into a new creature- A change so drastic until it is called being “Born Again”.

Show People Jesus and marvel at the Change worked by the Spirit of God- But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

PERILS OF LESSER GLORY

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23). The essence of sin is not the badness we do but our failure to be the magnificent person God created us to be!

Please be aware that I am not talking about comparing your glory with someone else’s glory: There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory (1 Corinthians 15:41). For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Let me give you a few examples so you can understand what I’m talking about:

The last days Church is not condemned because of the gross immorality or sinful practices – They are condemned because they settled for the “lesser glory” of Lukewarm Living.

Demas was a worker with Paul. He is not remembered for some act of adultery or thievery; He is remembered as a man who left his post and settled for the “lesser glory” because he began to Love this Present World more than He loved God’s work-For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; (2 Timothy 4:10).

We settle for a “lesser glory” when we try to BE God instead of BELONGING to God (For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s-1 Cor 6:20). Most people do not want to obey God; they want to command God. Like Eve in the Garden, we still want something that will make us gods.

We settle for a “lesser glory” when we trust OUR THOUGHTS over GOD’S TRUTHS. Many people refuse to believe in God because God refuses to see the “reasonableness” of their prayers and desires. How many people do you know who have abandoned serving God because God did not answer their prayer for the healing of a parent of child? It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2). (Even the Body of Christ is smarter than any one part of that body-All of us are smarter than any of us).

We settle for a “lesser Glory” when we compromise with Satan about our real GOAL in lifeAnd the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Luke 4:6-8). Our goal is not to gain the world and lose our soul.

We see God’s glory when we: [The cry of Moses was “Show me thy Glory” Ex 33:18]

  1. seek God continuously: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). We look like who we regularly look at until we not only see His glory but SHARE His glory.
  2. trust God completely- But Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (Acts 7:55). We are saved by Faith and we live by Faith; and keep getting “glimpses of Glory”.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Do not settle in sin and live a life of lesser glory when God calls you to have your sins forgiven so you can be Born Again as a Child of God!

BEING GOD’S DAD Matt 1:18-25

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content
How would you react if God came to you and said, “I want you to raise my Son for me”? That is what happened to Joseph in our scripture. What an overwhelming moment that must have been!

There are many factors that make a person do the things they do:

1. PERSONALITY WE ARE BORN WITH: Men do what they do because they are who they are- Paul realized this when he talked about his own failings- For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not (Romans 7:18).

2. THE PLEASURE WE RECEIVE FROM IT and THE PASSION THAT MOTIVATE US TOWARD IT: Hunting, Golfing, Shopping, Singing, Writing

3. THE PROFIT WE EXPECT FROM IT- Exercise, Dieting, Working.

4. THE PRINCIPLES THAT STIMULATE US TOWARD IT- Morals standards set by self or society.

5. THE PEOPLE THAT ARE PART OF IT- Family, Friends, Foes

6. THE POWER THAT COMPELS US TO DO it- Laws, your job, The Deity in your life.

Salvation instantly changes WHAT you are- from a Child of Satan to a Child of God and WHERE you are headed- Heaven not hell. But it progressively changes WHO you are- You become a new creature in Christ. In the process of accepting God into his family, Joseph shows us what it means to take God into our life and grow into the person God wants us to be.

FEAR: Joseph had to deal with the fear that he could not handle the responsibilities that came with having God in his life every day. That same fear keeps many people from taking the final step of salvation. They need to hear what the Angel told Joseph, “Fear not”.

FAITH IN SUPERNATURAL: The supernatural work of God that brought about the conception of God also had to be accepted by Joseph (“That which is born is of the Holy Spirit” Matt 1:20). Welcoming God into your life is not a mental game you play; it is a supernatural “new birth” performed by the Holy Spirit.

If you want God to come into your life and make you part of His family then you need to follow Joseph’s example, “Then Joseph …did as the messenger of the Lord had bidden him”.

Being God’s Dad does not make you superman! Jesus was put in a manger instead of a crib. Joseph and Mary would probably have been arrested today for child abandonment when 12 year old Jesus was left in Jerusalem (And they did not even know it for a day!). And Joseph’s family had discord as his other children tried to pull Jesus away from His work (Mark 3:31-35); they not believe in Jesus’ ministry (For neither did his brethren believe in him John 7:5); and Jesus on the cross had to give Mary’s care over to one of His Disciples. God does not call us to BE God; He calls us to SERVE God.

You do not have to be “Super” to serve God; you have to be WILLING.

THE PRINCIPAL PRINCIPLES

Rev Mike Jones Back to Table of Content
There are many things a man needs to know and understand (Such as “you never really win an argument with your wife” or “sense does not make sense to a teen ager so there is little value in trying to make sense to them”). Here are seven things, however, that I believe are Principal Principles and need to be Guiding Landmarks in the life of a Christian Man.

You ARE what you BELIEVE- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (Proverbs 23:7).

What you BELIEVE determines how you LIVE: But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).

  1. Jesus called us to be Born Again; not just believe. 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 (John 3:3). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
  2. To try to do the work of God without the Power of God is like trying to empty the ocean with a pitchfork; you will work yourself to death and never make a difference. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6). It is the Sword of the Spirit.
  3. You will never be great as long as you are satisfied being good. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath (Matthew 25:24-29). Lukewarm
  4. God wins but He is not “popular”. Mankind always chooses what they want over what God’s wants. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26).
  5. Your Activities reveal your Feelings about God. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes (Psalms 36:1).
  6. Faith maintains faith even when faith does not appear fruitful. 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 (Hebrews 11:13).
  7. The “End” closes a chapter; not the bookAnd as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27).

GOD’S RECORD BOOKS

Rev Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. (Job 16:19)

God is a busy God. He has to keep up with the over 7.7 Billion people on earth, oversee multitudes of angels, and care for Billions of miles of stars and planets. In order to keep up with everything God has record books. (2019: 1.4 Billion China, 1.3 B India, 328 million USA)

  1. GOD KEEPS A RECORD OF WHERE YOU WERE BORN- The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. (Psalms 87:6). {The place of Jesus’ birth was recorded years before he was born}. God has a place for everyone- Think opportunities you receive because you were born in America. You are not an Accident
  2. GOD’S RECORD BOOKS LIST ALL YOUR BODY PARTS- 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. (Psalms 139:16). My feelings about Abortion: God told Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed in the belly / John the Baptist leaped in the womb when Mary appeared. In Fact, God said even numbers the Hairs of our head- God don’t make no junk. You are important!
  3. GOD’S BOOKS LIST YOUR DAILY JOURNEY and YOUR SORROWFUL TEARS- Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? (Psalms 56:8). The Bible shares the travels of the children of Israel, Paul the Apostle, Christ. Be Careful little feet where you go. Our travels should be ordered by God- Paul to Macedonia. Seek God’s Leadership.
    Your tears are in God’s “Bottle” and one day God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
  4. GOD’S BOOKS RECORD YOUR TESTIMONIES- (Key Verse) Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16). One Person Winning One person per year, and each one who is won then wins one, would equal over ONE MILLIONS SOULS WON in 20 years! Your Talk Matters
    God also holds us accountable for every idle word – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)
  5. GOD GAVE US A RECORD BOOK OF HIS PLAN AND HIS PROGRAM FOR MAN FROM MAN’S CREATION UNTIL HIS DEATH- THE BIBLE. Read it regularly
  6. AS FAR AS WE ARE CONCERNED, GOD’S MOST IMPORTANT RECORD BOOK IS THE BOOK OF LIFE.
    1. Being Recorded there is greatest grounds for rejoicing – Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20) Happy I am saved!
    2. Being Recorded there is the only way into Heaven – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27). Only “Like” that matters!
    3. Not being in this Book is doom forever – And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15). Left off is left out!

THINGS I KNOW ABOUT GOD

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

            Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

            I often ask people, “If you and God were locked in a room for an hour what would you talk about?” Is God some vague “being” to you or do you have a personal relationship with Him? Remember, God can only be known by means of a supernatural revelation of Himself thru the Scriptures- It still holds true that ‘the world by wisdom knew not God’ (I Cor. 1:21). Where Scriptures are ignored, God is “the unknown God’ (Acts 17:23). (An Unknown God cannot be Trusted, Worshipped, or Served Correctly)

            Here are some Bible Principles which will help reveal God’s Character to us:

  1. I know I am special to God: Ps 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. God knows the number of my days and the number of hairs on my head!
  2. I know it is always best to Serve the Lord:  Ec 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:
  3. I know God is Dependable (God never says “Oops”): Ec 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
  4. I Know God can be Trusted: 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 (2 Timothy 1:12).
  5. I know God always has a Plan: we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  6. I know that what I do for God means something in eternity: 1Co 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.
  7. I know Salvation (Accepting God’s Peace and Pardon) is through Faith in Christ: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13). Salvation involves a Conviction Time, A Crisis Time, A Commitment Time, a Confession Time, and a Living Time [I know God expects me to put faith into practice- Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?.]

            Do you Know “about a god” or do you KNOW Jesus as your Savior, God as your Father, and the Holy Spirit as your Comforter, Guide, and Strength?

James 01:21‑25 MIRROR MEN

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

(James 1:21‑25) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. {22} But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. {23} For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: {24} For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. {25} But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

James calls us to be “Mirror Men” who are changed by our Christianity. How does that Change Look?

1) It is a Supernatural Change: VS 21-

  1. Repent- Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness
  2. Receive- receive with meekness the engrafted word
  3. Reborn- which is able to save your souls

2) It is NOT a Superficial Change: vs 22- Hearers and not doers deceive their OWN self.

  1. We deceive ourselves when we dont acknowledge our sins- (1 John 1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  2. You deceive yourself if you do not change your life when you are saved- (1 John 3:7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

3) It must be a Steady Change: Vs 23 Why dont we change? He looks, He sees, He FORGETS.Vs 24- Immediately Forgets. What causes us to forget?

  1. Dull of Hearing- This people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them (Matt 13:15). We “hear without hearing”.
  2. Diverted Hearing- (Mark 4:19) And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. We lose our “focus” and forget what we were trying to do.

What happens if you change what you see in the Mirror? You can make an excuse or you can make a difference.

1) You get Blessed! vs 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

2) You become like Jesus- (2 Cor 3:18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

3) You have assurance of Salvation- (Rom 2:13) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified).

Find a way to show the way to a world that has lost its way.

Luke 7:36-50 WHY JESUS LOVED A CRYING WOMEN WITH DIRTY HAIR

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

This chapter is built around the theme “Unexpected Concern”:

  1. The Centurion requesting healing for his servant and showing the “greatest faith” (vs 9)
  2. The tears of the widow of Nain touching the heart of Jesus resulting in the “great One from God” (16) raising of her son from the dead,
  3. The confusion of John the Baptist resulting in sending disciples to question Jesus and Jesus demonstrating His great power to assuage the doubts of the “greatest Prophet” (28), and
  4. The sinner woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears showing “Great Love” (vs 42-43).

In this Scripture we find someone who responses to the Love of God is such a way until their expression of their love for Christ causes Christ to made her a member of the Family! What was there about her Commitment that Stirred Christ in such a way?

I. It was a PERSONAL COMMITMENT– vs 38 [Not the preacher or the deacon but me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer. I am asking YOU to come humble to Jesus today]

A) Her Tears washed His feet- A repentant heart rained down tears (Repentance)

B) Her Hair dried His feet- Long Hair is a woman’s glory (I Cor 11:15). (Commitment)

C) Her Mouth kissed His feet- Such humility and love. (Adoration)

II. It was a SACRIFICIAL COMMITMENT– Vs 37-38 [What do you own; or what owns you, that is worth going to Hell for?]

A) Her Pride- A women in the city, which was a sinner

B) Her Possessions- This alabaster box of Ointment was probably the dowry this woman was supposed to use when she was married. It is possible it represented a year’s wages (See Mark 14:3-8 where such a box is valued at “300 pence”. In Mark the woman pours the oil on the Head of Jesus in the house of Simon the leper. In Luke the woman pours it on his feet in the house of a Pharisee).

III. It was a SAVING COMMITMENT– vs 40-50

A) She recognized who SHE was- A great Sinner

B) She recognized who JESUS was- A great Savior who cared about great Sinners! His love triggered Her love (see vs 47).

C) Saved by Faith, not Works (Tears and Dirty Hair did not save her but Faith in Christ as the Son of God did save her). Vs 50

Are you one of the Curious Crowd who is more interested in Supper than in Sinners (Vs 49)? Be careful!! You can get a much bigger crowd at church for a fellowship supper or a singing than you can for a feet washing service!

Are you the Pharisee who was more interested in having Jesus in his house than in his heart?

Are you a Sinner willing to humble yourself at the feet of Jesus and ask Him in Love to forgive your sins because you believe He is the Son of God?

Gen 21:9-20 WHAT AILS HAGAR?

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

What do you do when it seems the whole world has turned against you and even God is quarreling with you! This is what Hagar must have felt as she faced one of the most difficult times in her life after feeling she “had it made” and then hearing the angel of the Lord say to her, “What ails thee, Hagar?”

Here are some of Hagar’s struggles:

1) She struggled in a Family Relationship 9-11. God was not consulted in the relationship. Friction developed over children of different parents. Finally, a separation was required.

2) She struggled Financially 12-15. Hagar received very little help when she left one of the richest men in the area. Here are some Money Principles you need to be aware of:

A) More is NEVER enough: He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). I can tell you what the average person in a congregation makes: $25 less than you spend in a month!

B) More REQUIRES MORE: Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven (Proverbs 23:5).. The MORE you have requires MORE to take care of the MORE you have to take care of: Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

C) More CAPTURES and CHANGES People: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Debt discourages you, defeats you, and can defile you (do things you know you should not do because you need money).

D) More can Defeat your RELATIONSHIP with God: He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful (Matthew 13:22). And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24).

3) She struggled to Focusand she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen 21:14). She did not have a Plan or Purpose for her life. Just wandering until she was out of water.

4) She struggled with Hopelessness and DepressionAnd she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept (Genesis 21:16). Gave up on Life and Love.

GOD’S HELP FOR HAGAR: And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink (Genesis 21:17-19).

1) Fear Not: God is still listening to you!

2) Focus on God’s Plan: Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

3) Find where God is at work and then join Him in His work: And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

NO PROBLEM YOU FACE IS BIGGER THAN THE GOD YOU TRUST!

Rom 13:8 FIVE DEBTS WE OWE

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

Paul told the Romans about 5 debts they owed. None of us like to have a debt hanging over our head; especially since Paul also told us (Rom 13:8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Let us see the debts we owe and determine to get them paid.

1. THE SOUL WINNER’S DEBT– ROM 1:14-16 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

People did not seek to win me to Christ because I was “worthy” or showed great potential; they sought me out of Love for a lost soul bound for a Devil’s Hell. The Gospel is not something to keep to yourself; it should be shared as often as possible with as many as possible.

Who do YOU know who needs to hear the Gospel?

Name __________________________
What I plan to do _______________________________

Name __________________________
What I plan to do _______________________________

Name __________________________
What I plan to do _______________________________

2. THE SERVICE DEBT– ROM 4:3-5 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Grace is “Unmerited Favor” so the works we do are not to “pay” for our salvation but to please our God: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). Our debt is to show concern and compassion like our Master: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8).

What act of Service has God put in your heart to accomplish? Remember, it is not your ability but your Faith that will enable you- ___________________________________________

3. THE SPIRITUAL DEBT– ROM 8:11-14 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We have a Debt to be led by the Spirit now instead of being controlled by the desires of the Flesh. We are no longer under bondage to the Laws of Moses but instead enjoy the marvelous Liberty of the Messiah. This Liberty involves God’s command to Walk in the Spirit and be Filled with the Spirit.

What area of your life do you feel is not presently under the control of the Spirit? How can you “mortify the deeds of the Body” that hinder this control? _____________________________________

4. THE SHARING DEBT– ROM 15:25-27 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.

A Debt owed to the Poor Saints- Part of the same family. We have some obligations to the “poor” in general but our primary obligation is to help our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Some guidelines to consider:

  1. Jesus seldom made “long term obligations” to people. He healed the blind and the lame but He did not offer to find them jobs or provide a home in which to live.
  2. Jesus fed people who had been 3 days in the desert with Him (Mark 8:2). He did not feed people who had normal access to food.
  3. Jesus did not look for an excuse to “pass by on the other side” but He did not try to be everything to every person (Healed one of the crowd at pool of Bethesda, etc.)

What guidelines do you follow in giving aid and assistance to others?
1) Example, I almost never give to someone who approaches me in a parking lot unless I can see the need.

2) ____________________________________

3) ____________________________________

5. THE SIN DEBT– ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is a debt we can NEVER PAY; but, Thank God, it has been paid for us by Christ! We have only to claim His gift and the debt is paid. How sad that multitudes of people will spend eternity paying a debt that has already been paid (!) simply because they refuse to believe Christ paid it.

In order to pay your sin debt:

Jesus (God) took on a human body that had the ability to sin but remained sinless in order to save humans– For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Jesus became a “curse” in order to provide us a cure- Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13)

Jesus paid it all in order that all could come and drink of the waters of life FREELY- All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

Your Sin Debt has been paid! Do not pass up God’s “Free Life Giving Water”- The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).

2Sam 21:16-21 GIANT KILLER’S GIANT KILLERS

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

The Bible contains many “linkage lessons”:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: (Genesis 12:3).

For them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed (1 Sam 2:30).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

In the same way, our lives “link” to the people around us. An example of this is David. He was a Giant Killers who raised up Giant Killers. [We could “go negative” on this and talk about the “giant killers” of the Giant Killer: Lust (Bathsheba), Poor Parenting (Children’s rebellions), and Pride (Numbering the people)].

Instead, let’s look at a Giant Killing Leader who surrounded himself with 5 Giant Killers (A Good leader Knows who can be a Giant Killer, Show them how to be Giant Killers, and then Grows them into becoming Giant Killers).

And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. And it came to pass after this, that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was of the sons of the giant. And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant. And when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea the brother of David slew him (2 Samuel 21:16-21).

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear (1 Chronicles 11:22-23 )

1) Abishai killed Ishbibenob to Help David in a time of Weakness

2) Sibbechai killed Saph in the Normal Battles of life (Ruts become long shallow graves)

3) Elhanan killed the brother of Goliath whose speak was like a weaver’s beam (Heavy Lifting)

4) Jonathan killed a giant with 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot (Unusual Situations)

5) Benaiah killed an Egyptian Giant with the giant’s spear (Turn weapons upon them- Woman caught in adultery, “He that is without sin cast the first stone”).

Are the people around you better because they are around you?

Samson was a giant of a man but his last words were, “Let me die with the Philistines” (Jud 16:30). Will you raise up Giant Killers or will you die with the Philistines?

Prov 28.26 THINGS GOD CALLS FOOLISH

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

[Goal of every message: Find God, Follow God, Fellowship with God] IT IS A FOOLISH TO BELIEVE: -Everything on Facebook is true. -You can win an argument with your wife. -Newscasters are “fair and impartial”. -That if you pray your college team will win their game or you will win the lottery! -God’s rules apply to other people but you are “special” and God will make an exception for you.

IT IS FOOLISH TO:

  1. SLANDER OR DEMEAN ANOTHER PERSON: Prov 10:18 He that uttereth a slander is a fool. God makes it plain that using a “superior attitude” to demean the intellect or abilities of a person is a bad thing- But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (Matt 5:22).
  2. REFUSE TO LISTEN TO PARENTAL GUIDANCE: Prov 15:5 Fools despise his father’s instructions
  3. MEDDLE IN OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS: Prov 20:3 Every fool will be meddling. It is always good to remember Proverbs 26:17- He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. How do you let go of that Dog without getting bit!!
  4. LOOK LIKE, OR LUST AFTER, A “WICKED WOMAN”: Prov 7:22 A fool follows the way of wicked women. Looks like a duck, flies like a duck, quakes like a duck; may end up duck dinner!
  5. TRUST IN WORLDLY GOODS: Luke 12:20 When the rich man had decided to build bigger barns God said, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee and then whose will these be? Example of man who gave corpse check for all money! If you believe this why do you spend most of your time trying to make money instead of serving God???
  6. NOT KEEP A VOW TO GOD: Ecc 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. There have been some foolish vows made in this world (Japhthah’s vow to sacrifice first out of house and it was his daughter Judges 11) but God expects men to honor their vows (The Rechabites faithfulness to their vow of not drinking or building houses used by God as example in Jer 35). Many people make a vow to God in sickness, trouble, or sorrow and then failed to follow thru– but God has not forgotten!!
  7. TRUST IN YOUR OWN HEART TO DELIVER YOU FROM SIN’S PUNISHMENT: Prov 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Men can have Defiled Consciences and Seared Consciences- they better trust God’s Word instead of their feelings (Preacher, I feel like I’m alright. After all, I’m as good as most people). Even in matter of assurance- if our heart condemn us God is greater than our heart.
  8. TREAT THE POWER AND PENALTY OF SIN LIGHTLY: Prov 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin. Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned. Ex. of cowboy who asked, “Where is Hell” and died in ten feet when snake scared horse. Sin brings condemnation and consequences.
  9. NOT BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH: Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body (1 Corinthians 15:36-38).
  10. SAY NO TO GOD: Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Some say NO to SALVATION; Others to SERVICE.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE FOOLISH. God has made it easy enough so that even a fool can find the way- Is 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

People need to CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN- Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. (Haggai 1:5-6)

Sin is a horrible thing: It Destroys Lives, Divides Families, Distresses God, and Dooms a person to Hell. Sin causes the UNSAVED to have no relationship with God, No ability to produce meaningful change in their life (No Holy Spirit Power), and No hope of Heaven when they die.

Sin also has consequences for CHRISTIANS: Jesus died to pay our sin debt to God but there is still a cost for the sins you continue to sin. Here are 10 Consequences when a Christian sins:

  1. Loss of Fellowship and intimate Relationship with God. Sin grieves God (Psalm 51).
  2. Loss of Peace (mental and / or physical health). (Isa 48:22 No peace to wicked).
  3. Loss of Blessings FROM God (Haggai 1:5-6)
  4. Loss of Fruit FOR God / Rewards: Sin brings defeat, doubt, and delay in our service. (Holy Spirit has to work ON us instead of THROUGH us).
  5. Possible Loss of Family (David 2Sam 12). Sin impacts those around the sinner
  6. Captivity: One Sin leads to more sins- deeper and deeper you are drawn into its captivity
  7. Sin invites God’s discipline (Heb 12:5-8).
  8. Time spend in sin is forever wasted
  9. Sin blocks my Prayer Power- If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: (Psalms 66:18)
  10. Loss of Reputation Sin will find you out- But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). If you knew some things that people around you think or do you would be shocked and they would be ashamed!

FOUR WAYS TO AVOID SIN

I want to be sinless and I also want to sin less. The Bible describes the need of both- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin [but] If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:7-8). The Bible lists four ways to help me deal with my sin problem.

  1. Remember to whom you belongStand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still (Psalms 4:4). God commands us to be holy because He is holy. Dislike sin because it hinders your walk with God.
  2. Watch your mouthI said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me (Psalms 39:1). A thought before a word can be a sin saver.
  3. Practice living Godly principlesAwake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34). Examine your daily activities. What can you do to produce a more holy life?
  4. Regulate fleshly impulses– Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (Ephesians 4:26). Do not allow a momentary impulse to produce permanent problems.

AMONG THE GODS

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

Easter declares to the world that our God can conquer Death, Hell, and the Grave! It shows that “among the gods” there is none greater than our God- Glory!

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11).

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works (Psalms 86:8).

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods (Psalms 82:1).

The first of the “Ten Commandments” is to make God the PREEMINENT GOD: Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Throughout the Bible God shows that serving other gods was a bad thing: Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation (Jud 10:13-14).

Here are some of those “Other gods”:

  1. This world’s god: 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 (2 Cor 4:4).
  2. Strange gods (Idols): Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: (Genesis 35:2). For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens (1 Chronicles 16:26). Paul preached a sermon about the “Unknown God” to steer people from idols (Ac 17:23).
  3. National gods: For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD (Exodus 12:12).
  4. Self god: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). (In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes Judges 21:25).

Our God is the:

  1. GREATEST GOD: For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: (Deuteronomy 10:17).
  2. FATHER GOD: As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
  3. FAMILY GOD: Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (John 10:34). But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12).

Easter shows we should never allow other gods to occupy place (Thou shall have no other gods before me), power (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 Ephesians 6:12), or passion (love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and body) in our life.

MAR 08:34-38 WINNERS COMMIT

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

Mark chapter 8 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. It is the middle chapter of the gospel of Mark and it contains many vital teachings (Story of feeding the multitude- of the 30 miracles of Jesus this is the only one repeated in every gospel. Pharisees seek a sign /Jesus rebukes disciples. Blind man of Bethsaida healed {Jesus healed blind with No Touch, One Touch (clay, wash in pool), Two Touch} / “Who do men say I am?” Peter rebukes). This is also the chapter where the Ministry and Message of Jesus changes: “Fishers of men” are now called to be full time dedicated disciples.

MAR 8:34-38 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Commitment means “To Pledge to or Bind to”. We live in a society today that shuns real commitment. A Christian, however, is called to commitment because he knows that winners are committed!! Here are 4 things about our commitment to Christ :

1. PERSONAL– “Whosoever will come after me” Daniel Chose to follow God in His Food choices, His trust in God provided wisdom (Idol), and in his dedication to putting God’s laws above man’s laws (Prayer). Sometimes pastors feel like the orchestra conductor who was quite upset over the fact that at every rehearsal at least one member of the orchestra was absent. At the last rehearsal he announced, “I would like to thank our first trumpet player. He was the only member of this orchestra who did not miss a rehearsal.” The first trumpet player stood and bowed as the other members of the orchestra applauded. Then he said quietly, “It was the least I could do, considering I won’t be able to be at the concert tonight.”

2. PERFORMANCE– “Let him deny himself” The pastor, the groom and the best man were out in the hall waiting for the ceremony to begin. The groom was unusually nervous and agitated. He kept pacing and wringing his hands. Finally, the minister became so concerned about him that he asked, “What’s the matter, have you lost the ring?” The Groom replied, “No, sir. I’ve lost my enthusiasm.” If you are in the fight, “Is your Sword Bloody?”

A) Some Lose enthusiasm to Pray: At one time you were a “Prayer Warrior” now you hardly ever Pray.

B) Some Lose enthusiasm to Serve: Once you served Him, now you serve self. The old time lamplighter used to leave a “Trail” of light behind them as they went about their work. Do you leave Light behind you?? Do you Miss more than you come, unwilling to work?

C) Some Lose enthusiasm to be Committed: They started out well a “crisis”, a confrontation, or desire for personal comfort made them stop and “hang their harps on the willows”.

3. PERSISTENT– “Daily take up the Cross.” Not a one time “Conversion” but a lifetime Commitment. Joseph was mocked by his family, sold by his brothers, lied about by his master’s wife, forgotten by the butler but God had a Plan! Just another “Dungeon Day” before God rewarded his life of commitment with the second highest position in the greatest nation of his day.

4. PUBLIC– “Ashamed will be ashamed” With the Heart man believes but with the Mouth man confesses. To Believe in Christ is not simply to believe ABOUT HIM but to TRUST IN HIM, to rely upon Him, to Cling to Him. Roy Mayo did not want to learn Japanese. The Lion is seeking whom he may devour. Do not just “believe” the boat can save you; Get in the Boat!

God calls you to make a Public stand- and if you don’t He’ll keep putting you in situations that require you to make a choice: John 19:38-39 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night,…

IS THIS COMMITMENT??
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
Real service is what I desire;
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord-
But don’t ask me to sing in the Choir.
I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord,
I like to see things come to pass:
But don’t ask me to teach girls and boys, dear Lord-
I’d rather just stay in my class.
I’ll do what you want me to do, dear Lord,
I yearn for the kingdom to thrive;
I’ll give you my nickels and dimes, dear Lord–
But please don’t ask me to tithe.
I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
I’ll say what you want me to say;
But I am busy just now with myself, dear Lord–
I’ll help YOU some other day.

Eph 01:1-3, 18 RECOGNIZING OUR RICHES

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

            She went down in history as “America’s Greatest Miser,” She ate cold oatmeal because it cost to heat it. Her son had to suffer a leg amputation, because she delayed so long in looking for a free clinic that his case became incurable. She was so foolish that she hastened her own death by bringing on an attack of apoplexy while arguing about the value of drinking skimmed milk! She chose to live like a pauper in spite of the fact that she was wealthy: when she died in 1916, “Hetty” Green left an estate valued at over $100 million!

            Hetty Green is an illustration of too many Christian believers today. They have limitless wealth at their disposal and yet they live like paupers. It was to this kind of Christian that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians.

OUR POSITION: SAINTS The Catholic Church says that a Saint is one whose character and conduct are above reproach, who has worked at least Two verifiable miracles, and who is dead!!. Even the dictionary defines a saint as a “person officially recognized for holiness of life”.

            This is NOT what the Bible says. Nine times in the book of Ephesians Paul addresses his readers as Saints and it is clear it is used to simply describe “one who has trusted Jesus Christ as Savior”

OUR POSSESSIONS AS SAINTS:

            God the Father has made us rich in Jesus Christ! When you were born again into God’s family, you were born rich Through Christ, you share in the riches of God’s grace (Eph. 1: 7- 2: 7), God’s glory (Eph. 1:18; 3:16), God’s mercy (Eph. 2:4), and “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). Our Heavenly Father is not poor; He is rich-and He has made us rich in His Son.

            WE INHERIT GOD’S WEALTH BY FAITH AND WE INVEST GOD’S WEALTH BY WORKS. Without this balance, our Spiritual riches do us no good. Too many Christians are either Absence from Church services, Absence from Service for Christ, or only present in Church to be served.

            The believer is made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21); he is accepted in the beloved (Eph 1:6); he is brought near to God in Christ Jesus (Eph 2!3); he is loved as Christ is loved (John 17:16); and he is heard when he prays (John 14:14).

            Christ wrote us into His will, then He died so the will would be in force. Then He arose again that He might become the heavenly Advocate (lawyer) to make sure the terms of the will were correctly followed!!

            When God wrote the “second letter to Ephesus” in Revelation chapter two, He told them (broken heartedly) that they had left their first love. Given all the riches of God, they had begun to live like paupers. Our heart would break for them if we didn’t see the same situation happening in churches today.

Prov. 30:24-28 ANT LESSONS

Rev. Mike Jones Back to Table of Content

God uses many teachers to bring needed lessons to people:

  1. Proclaimers of the Word of God: And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it (Deuteronomy 4:14). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:13-14).
  2. Parents: Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD (Psalms 34:11). See Deut 6:6-9
  3. The Holy Spirit: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26). Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
  4. Nature: Doth not even nature itself teach you,… (1 Corinthians 11:14). We can learn a lot watching animals and nature: But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee (Job 12:7-8).

We are surrounded by animals that God uses to instruct us but we only learn if we contemplate their lessons: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider (Isa 1:3). This is why today we look at “Lessons from Ants”.

A. The weakness of the ant: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer (Proverbs 30:25). These verses teach us that wisdom is not measureable by physical magnitude. A large man may be a little man mentally. A little body may shelter a great soul.

When the Bible says they are not strong it is a relative term. It means they’re not strong compared to a horse because of their size, but they do have strength. An ant can carry 50 times his own body weight for 100 yards. If I could do that I would be able to carry over 5 tons for 17 miles. But the ant is small in size and understands that he can accomplish little or nothing by himself. And so the weakness of the ant causes him to compensate for his weakness by cooperating with other ants. The ant survives because when an ant finds food he eats his little morsel and then communicates his find to the entire colony and they all come. They cooperate together for their mutual survival.

Together they become triumphant. I wish the church could get hold of this [Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10)]. Do you know what synergy is? Synergy means there are two horses and one horse by himself can pull a load of 1,000 pounds. The second horse can also pull a load of 1,000 pounds. But if you harness the horses up to a load then together they can pull 3,000 pounds because of the combining of their energies. When we work together we don’t just get what I can do and just what you can do—we get an explosive synergy of effectiveness! The ant overcomes weakness by teamwork and by cooperation.

B. The work of the ant. Proverbs 6:7 says the ant has ‘no guide, overseer, or ruler.’ In other words, they are self-motivated. They work without anyone telling them what to do. They assume personal responsibility. Each of them knows what his or her job is, and they do it. And they have one focus and only one, which is directed toward taking care of the queen down in the ground in the colony. The queen will, over her lifetime, lay over 200 million eggs if they bring her the nourishment she needs. Now, even if I were an ant, 200 million sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? And this queen is down there dependent on everybody to bring her the nourishment she needs to be able to lay 200 million eggs. And all the energy of every ant in the colony is directed toward meeting the needs of this ant so she can reproduce. In other words, all the energy of the colony is directed toward one thing—reproduction.

That is the work of the church—reproduction. Is this where the church is putting its energy today? His last command should be our first concern ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mk 16:15). The reproduction quota of the queen ant is a lot, but your reproduction can exceed over one million souls in just 20 years if you win one soul a year and teach your converts to do the same. [The Principle of multiplying effort- Each one wins one each year and each one who is won wins one each year equals astonishing results in 20 years].

Soul-winning and evangelism can never slip in priority; the “main thing” must always be the main thing. I know it is important to disciple people and worship the Lord and fellowship but everything depends upon evangelism. When we get used to having services where people do not come to Christ and we get used to using the baptistery as a storage place for Christmas decorations then we miss God’s purpose for our existence. Evangelism must always be our priority-like the ant we must spend our energy toward one goal—reproduction (Bringing people to Christ).

C. The wisdom of the ant. Twice the Bible references the wisdom of the ant. In Prov.6:6 we read Consider her ways and be wise. And Prov.30:24 declares ants “are exceeding wise”. The ant is wise because he prepares a harvest in the summer instead of waiting on the hard times of winter (The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer Proverbs 30:25).

We need wisdom to prepare a “summertime harvest of soul winning”- The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved (Jeremiah 8:20). The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Prov 11:30). Are you wise enough to pick fruit at the right time?

There needs to be a “summertime awareness of Service”- He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame (Prov 10:5). Lazy, lukewarm, Christians allow fruit to “rot in the field” because they wait for a “convenient time” to use their time and talents for the Lord instead of being wise with their time.

The ant is not big comparably speaking with the rest of God’s creation, but for their size they can move a great deal. The thing that is pointed out in this proverb is the fact that they do what they have got to do when it’s time to do it. They know their time of opportunity and they make the best of it. A little proverb that goes along with what is said here: ‘Make hay while the sun shines.’ So much of the time we understand what is being said, but the problem is we don’t do it—which is knowledge without wisdom. I believe we all have a summer and we know what we ought to be doing, but too much of the time we think how it ought to be done, but never get it done.