Sunday School Lessons

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is one of those verses that you often see on a coffee cup, or on a t-shirt in a Christian book store. Which is fine, providing we understand the context of the verse.

The verse is in 3 save 4 parts and we will dissect them to be sure we have the correct understanding of this verse, and hopefully the Lord will speak to your hearts today.

  1. Romans 8:28a And we know that all things work together for good…

Too often this is where the verse stops. A statement with no understanding where people look at bad circumstances in their lives and then try to find the silver lining.

Another verse that people often use at the end of a bad day is:

Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

To somehow sound more spiritual, when in truth… we are not promised that our day will be a great day…

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

  1. Romans 8:28b… to them that love God…

In order for the first part of this verse to have any relevance… you must apply the second part: ye must be saved.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

God has no responsibility to bless those who are not saved. Anymore than I have a responsibility to the neighbors kids.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

  1. What am I doing with God?

Romans 8:28c… to them who are the called according to his purpose…

There is a point in your life that, if you are allowing God to work in your life; that you will make choices based of Godly principles rather on the circumstances of the moment.

Examples might be:

  • Reading your Bible because you want to vs being told to.
  • Rearranging your schedule to consistently read your Bible.
  • Coming to Church because you desire to be here to see what God has in store, rather than coming to play.
  • Learning the Bible verses and songs because it is a desire of your heart, not a motivation of the flesh. (motivation of the flesh is seeking a reward for doing what is right)
  • Allowing your testimony to be such that you never have to tell someone you are a Christian. The way you talk and the way you act tells everyone you are a child of God.

One simple verse with a meaning that is stacked…

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

That God will use the circumstances that life puts us through, as Christians; to allow us to have a greater testimony of what he’s done for you.

Example:

  • God allowed my wife to have cancer. At the time it was hard to say that all things work together for good… however, now that we look back we can see:

For the first time in all the years she had been saved, she began to share the Gospel with other women there at the Markey Cancer Center. She was able to lead many women to the Lord who were in the same circumstances she was in, yet without hope. Afterwards she started teaching in Sunday School, helping is different ministries, teaching in a Christian school; the list goes on. God was able to take a bad situation and use it for His glory; making something great out of it.

 

 

 

Genesis 39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

In Genesis 39-41, we see Joseph who was sold into bondage by his brothers. And in worldly terms that would have been the end of the story however, this becomes a lesson where God takes something bad… and uses it for HIS glory.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The Work Ethic of Joseph

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

When we look at having the right work attitude and the proper work ethic.. it needs to be more than words. You will find as you get older that much of who you are is defined by the way you work.

In fact if anyone had a reason to be bitter, to be resistant, to be rebellious; it would have been Joseph. Seeing how he came into captivity he easily could have complained, but instead he chose to make the most of a poor situation.

Joseph became known by his good attitude toward the work he was assigned. So much to the point that he earned favor by those over him.

They began to trust him to the point that they put him in charge of the affairs of the house.

God took a bad set of circumstances and used it for His glory. This outcome became part of the testimony of Joseph.

Genesis 39:5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

The Right Attitude is at times more important that the task getting complete

Ephesians 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

— Things Weren’t Easy for Joseph

Joseph’s story didn’t end there.

Genesis 39:7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.

8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

20 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

–  – –

21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Despite this false accusation, despite this changing everything that was going so well turning so bad… the work ethic and testimony of Joseph took a bad situation and used it for God’s glory.

Chapter 40 deals with the time that Joseph was in prison and how he interpreted through the power of God, dreams that the Pharaoh’s Baker and Butler had while THEY were in prison.

Chapter 41 we find Pharaoh also having a dream that all his spiritual leaders and prophets, could not interpret. It was at this time the butler remembered that Joseph interpreted his dream, and told Pharaoh.

This sets up for the next opportunity that God can use to show His glory and take a bad situation, and make something good out of it:

Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

In the interpretation and account Joseph basically tells Pharaoh that there will be seven years of plenty and then seven of famine; and God was trying to prepare Pharaoh to this famine as God was to use this to supply the needs of His people. At the end of the interpretation Joseph tells him to choose someone that can be appointed over this business.

39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Conclusion:

God was able to take Joseph’s bad situation and show HIS glory however, it took the right attitude, the right work ethic and the right heart toward God.

God can use these tools to make a bad situation, good.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

 

The consumption of alcohol, the lifestyle that surrounds it and the draw that it has on Christians is certainly nothing new. Christians often puff out the “Jesus drank wine” claim as justification of drinking, or even the “all things done in moderation” to even a practical excuse of social drinking. However, if we are serious about our testimony as Christians; we might want to see this from God’s position rather than the justification of our flesh.

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Deception is the way of satan, not God. If God so plainly identifies the facts that a fermented alcoholic beverage that is called wine and/or strong drink, are not something that God’s people should drink; why is it that those who seek to be called Christians work so hard to justify drinking it?

Isaiah 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:

10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

Allow me to pause here on verse 10. There is or SHOULD BE a clear difference between holy and unholy, clean and unclean. There should never be a question from the lost world about the fact that God is clean and Holy and His children are also clean and holy! When we were lost we knew drinking, smoking, tattoos, piercings, cuttings and branding were wrong; yet when we get saved we want to bring those things into our life and body?

Jesus Drank Wine

Lets tackle this with Bible.

Luke 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

John Chapter 2 gives an account where Jesus turned water into wine.. however:

John 2:9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

It does NOT say that Jesus drank wine, nor is it identified as fermented.

Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Note: “but wisdom is justified of her children”, the context of this statement is a contrast to the statement of rather the false accusation that was made; simply… God’s people should know better.

I can elaborate more to deal with “new wine vs fermented wine” but I will say it like this: God’s people should know better. There should be things of the world we stay away from, that we avoid for testimony’s sake if nothing else. But because there are those that like to run to verses to justify their action and their own sin, lets deal with this one too:

As a Medical treatment

1 Timothy 5:23  Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

It is no secret that alcohol, taken properly, can be used in the production of; and use as a medicinal remedy. However, as a medicine is not the gateway or excuse to have a glass of wine with dinner at your favorite restaurant.

Is your testimony something that is important to you? Is your “liberty” more precious to you that a soul saved?

Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Something to consider

When someone meets God there is a change that takes place in their life. The things of the world should not compel a Christian, yet we allow them to. Then we work hard to try and justify them with the highest level of authority we can find. They will point at a Pastor, a public figure, a celebrity and even the Word of God and say see… they say it’s ok; even perverting or changing the words to fit their sin.

Drinking alcohol is no different. The witness of your testimony is as important as the subject matter at hand. One final thing on this topic, I often have said that if you want to know what sin is, you don’t ask a Christian; you ask a sinner. Ask someone who has lost their job, their children their marriage, their home… if a Christian should drink. Remember wine is a mocker…

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

In this time of the year churches celebrate the birth of Christ, oftentimes called: Christmas. As we get started into this season it is important to keep focused on Jesus rather than the distractions of the world.

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Whether you celebrate the time of Christmas or not… it is important to not become the Grinch for those who choose to…

God Sends a Message

When God announces that He has moved forward in the sending of His son to the world for the forgiveness of sin… It is interesting to see that He did not isolate it to one group of people.

In Matthew we see that God appeared to the Kings, in the book of Luke, He appeared to the Shepherds.

The Wise Men

Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

These Wise men followed on a journey to come and find Jesus. The came, as rulers would; to the leader of the land and made inquiry. They did not know Herod’s attitude toward Jesus… but they soon learned.

The Shepherds

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

We see 2 groups of people from different walks of life.

These wise men traveled when they saw the star leaving behind their families and businesses to seek out Jesus.

The Shepherds left the fields and made haste to go and see Jesus.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

This was the beginning of something special. In Mark and John we jump to the ministry of Christ where we see the purpose of Jesus coming to earth…

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

God did this because:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God’s “gift” to us was His only Son (love in action)

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gift: Is something you receive that you didn’t earn.

Wage: A payment for something you do or earn.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • For something to be a gift it has to be given and received

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 1:12 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:

 

A memorial is a object, place or event that bring you to remembrance of something.

Every year, we celebrate Memorial Day. This is 1 of 3 military holidays that most look at as a 3 day weekend or something on sale, but Memorial Day is when we remember those who died in the service of this country.

  • Armed Forces Day = Those Still in Service – Active Duty
  • Veterans Day = Those who have served
  • Memorial Day = Those who never came home

For many of our fallen military heroes their actions became the memorial for others. Their sacrifice is remembered by those who lived. So many soldiers died protecting the innocent, others dove on a hand grenade to save his comrades. We can look back on those men and women and see their lives as a memorial to what we have today.

If it was not for the sacrifices of these heroes we would have seen the brutality of Hitler, the oppression of Stalin, the corruption of communism, or the terror of those who hate all we stand for as Christians; would have never come to pass. There sacrifice allows us to enjoy the freedoms we have as Americans. The ability to come to church, drive from state to state with no soldiers demanding papers.

The K-bar, the Compass and the Flag

When I was going into the military, I was given a few things by my Father. These were a K-Bar Knife, a Compass and an American Flag. He then told me the meaning of these gifts.

  • The K-Bar – This knife can take a life of save one… It all depends on the hand it is in.
  • The Compass – This compass will help to show you the way home, if you know where home is.
  • The American Flag – The Flag is flown where home is.

God sets Himself as a Memorial

Psalms 135:13  Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.

The Word of God becomes the memorial, the object that brings us into remembrance of His love, His Wrath and His forgiveness. Many things we have seen God do in our lives shat must be shared. So many today people today have not seen God work, no memorials have been placed. In the Bible objects like pillars and signs are there so that when someone comes and ask what that is there for… someone can tell what God did there. We must be the ones to tell the stories.

God seen though Moses

Exodus 3:15  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Moses is remembered in the scriptures for what he did, more than who he was. So much that he declares to the children of Israel the he himself, his actions and what God was going to do through him was going to be that memorial to them.

Good seen through the Sacrifice of the Woman

Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

There are accounts in the scriptures that will be told through all eternity as a memorial. Not just for who they were, but for what did through them.

Moses set himself as the Memorial… when you see me (Moses) you should see God…

That should be the desire of every Christian today… to say when you see me you should see God, you should see His wisdom, His handiwork, His mercy and His Son.

Let our life be the marker, the memorial, the reminder to the world of what God has done for us.

To understand where this comparison comes from:

  • I started working at a Mercedes dealership on weekends when I was 13 with my Dad. They also had Volkswagen , Alfa Romeo and Sterling.
  • When I was 17, I took my electronics experience and started a small stereo and custom electronics business.
  • When I graduated high school I started working full time in the parts department.
  • From there I went to work for a small auto parts company until I went into the military.
  • When I came out of the Air Force I worked at One Stop Auto Parts while I went to Trinity Baptist College.
  • After that I moved over to AutoZone as a Store Manager while I attended Bright Light Baptist College.
  • Moving to Kentucky I worked on the Management team for BMW, Volkswagen, Oldsmobile and Honda earning the nations highest dealer level every year I worked there, achieved the top 2% customer satisfaction rating in the country and the highest auto certification available in the nation. I also attended Bible Believers Baptist Academy during this time.
  • When I started my own Advertising company I was also working as a Chaplain for both the Sheriff and Coroner’s offices, attending Chaplains school in Indiana
  • Moving to Florida to serve as Pastor I worked at Advanced Auto as a manager as well.

As you can see… my experience in the automotive industry and the ministry have literally gone hand in hand overlapping over 20 years.

Over the years working in the automotive industry I have seen so many mechanical failures due to a lack of maintenance.

It’s interesting that in my ministry, I noted the same. Having a well maintained car will extend the life of the car, as well as, increase it’s value and usefulness; having a well maintain spiritual life, is the same.

Today we are going to look at having a well maintained Christian life.

In order to know how to best maintain your car you must first read the owners manual.

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

  • The Owners Manual is where you find the specifics for your car, written by those who designed and built the car. Too often people rely on the word of someone who sounds smart, but does not really know what the book actually says. Oil change? Depends who you ask: 3k, 5k, 10k, 15k? Tune up? Fluids like transmission, coolant, brake fluid, power steering, etc… everyone has an opinion; but opinions don’t matter if it’s contrary to the owners manual.

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalms 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 68:11  The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Psalms 119:89  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Just like with cars, there are many opinions on how you might have a victorious Christian life. Some might say that church membership, praise and worship or spiritual ceremonies will make things better; however, would it not be better to read the Bible? The owners manual for the Christian? Written by the God that created us? People’s opinions change based on the day, but God’s world is never changing.

Car repairing

A well maintained car is inspected regularly

2 Corinthians 13:5a  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. 

  • There are parts that wear faster and can lead to failure, but because they are not easily seen we often neglect them until it is too late. (Brakes, Coolant, Tires…)
  • That is why an inspection needs to be done on a regular basis to help reveal those problems before they lead to a break-down.
  • These inspections are done against a perfect comparison so that there is a point of measurement. (example: brake pads are measured against the thickness of a new pad.)

1 John 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

  • When is the last time you inspected your heart? Have you grown to be closer to God today than yesterday? Are you running with optimal performance, or are you always riding the brake?

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Psalms 26:2  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Like a car, a good inspection or examination can reveal problems. Just like a mechanic has a perfect example to compare against, we as Christians have a perfect Saviour to measure ourselves by, to see where improvements must be made. You don’t see a mechanic making a comparison against car that is as old as yours… they measure it against a new one. Why would we compare ourselves to another sinner to determine our condition?

2 Corinthians 10:12  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.

Car repairing

Changing the Oil

One of the things that can cause failure is when someone does not get the oil changed, without changing the oil components will get dry, create friction and cause failure.

Psalms 92:10b…I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

  • This lack of oil will cause a premature breakdown of the components causing them to fail quickly and… at times… catastrophically.
  • Oil in the Bible is a picture of the Holy Spirit. Often times in our Christian lives we have a lot of friction in our lives, because we didn’t get fresh oil. We must renew the oil to keep everything running smoothly…

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Psalms 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

2 Corinthians 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

  • Without the renewing of the spirit, changing the oil… we will become weary, tired… worn out, components begin to fail.

2 Thessalonians 3:13  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Psalms 143:7  Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

Luke 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Conclusion:

To have a well maintained Christian life we must first:

  • Read the Owners Manual
  • Examine ourselves
  • Change the oil.

Sometimes these things are difficult because you are not IN the Car… or IN Christ:

Colossians 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Matthew 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Fear is a natural thing, especially for those things you don’t understand.

In our opening verse Jesus is identifying that we are to preach a message to those of the world that they should fear God… because God has more power than the deeds of the flesh.

Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

– Our message to the world is that they should fear God… THE

  • Creator of the Heaven and the Earth
  • Creator of Light and Darkness
  • Creator of the Waters and the Land
  • Creator of the grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit
  • Creator of the Sun, Moon and the Stars
  • Creator of Birds, great whales, and every living creature that moveth
  • Creator of cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth
  • Creator of man in His own image

A Child of God does not fear the world

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Psalms 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Confidence comes through knowledge

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

The question is who do you fear… The Lord… or the World.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

As we come into the Christmas time, Christmas has become so many things to so many people.

  • For some, Christmas is about time of family
  • For some, Christmas is about time off from school or work
  • For some, Christmas is about season of peace and goodwill
  • For some, Christmas is about giving and receiving presents

For me, it is about a very special gift.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gift: Is something you receive that you didn’t earn.

Wage: A payment for something you do or earn.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • For something to be a gift it has to be given and received

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 Peter 4:10  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Memory Verse

Luke 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

  • This verse speaks of an event, an event that has not taken place yet.

It is a pivotal event that is at the core of our beliefs. It is as important as the fact that Jesus came and that He died for our sins.

  • Sometimes we forget this event in the affairs of this day, we get caught up in life sometimes… sometimes life gets caught up in us.

Have you ever had a bad day? Been sad?

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

He look to this time that will take place for those who are saved. Where Jesus reminds us to not dwell on the things of the day, but rather to not let or allow our heart to be troubled. That He has prepared a place for us that will be joyous and united with Jesus.

We call this event of Jesus coming “the Rapture”

While the word “Rapture”is not in the Bible it is a term we use to identify the event of the Church being taken out to be with Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

As our memory verse speaks about an event, it also talk about being ready…

Luke 12:40  Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Part of sharing the Gospel is often like John the Baptist, who spoke of the coming of the Lord to prepare them for the way of the Lord. We should be the same today declaring to the world the way of Jesus and the path of the Church so that those who are in the world can choose God’s path. This mindset of getting ready:

Be ready by getting Saved

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Be ready by telling others

1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Be ready though our testimony

2 Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Conclusion

The Rapture is a fixed event among others that are yet to be fulfilled along with the Tribulation, the Judgement Seat of Christ, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, The 2nd Coming of the Lord (Armageddon) The Millennial Kingdom, Battle of Gog and Magog and the Great White Throne Judgement. This event is coming very soon, in fact; nothing prophetically is left for this event to come. As a result we should be prepared as a Church making sure that we are prepared, as well as helping others to be prepared as well.

One of the exercises that a good Bible student can do, is to take the different accounts in the 4 gospels and combine them into a single reading. This practice will allow a better understanding of the account rather than flipping back and forth. Below is an example:

Matthew 14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.

Luke 9:12 And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Matthew 14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

Matthew 14:16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,

John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

Matthew 14:18 He said, Bring them hither to me.

Mark 6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

Mark 6:40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

Matthew 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

Matthew 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

John 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

Matthew 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

John 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

Lessons from these passages:

We should have compassion

Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Can I say that having love, having compassion is noble but matter not at all without action. Not that the compassion “moved” Jesus to action. By comparison is Jude where we have compassion… but the action is the “making a difference”. Even in John 3:16 … For God so loved the world that he “gave”… again love in action.

Jesus noted an opportunity to teach the disciples something

  1. Ministry takes money and resources
  2. Part of this is the faith needed that the money and/or resources will be provided

John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

The disciples had with them funds to support themselves on their long journeys. However, they didn’t have enough to fulfill the need before them. Even if they had enough money, they didn’t have the time to go to town, get the resources and come back… In all that was taking place, Jesus worked the circumstances to place the disciples in a position where they couldn’t do it on their own.

(Just because you get taught a lesson, doesn’t mean you learned from it: After the next major event Jesus noted after the storm: Mark 6:52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.)

Little is much

In John’s account we find Andrew noticed a Lad that had a lunch. Now whether he got what Jesus was doing… or was making fun of the situation, Jesus shocked them all by taking the child’s lunch and multiplied it for 5000 people, plus women and children to eat; and not just a snack but full bellies with leftovers!. Now I suspect that the first couple of baskets that they were passing out they were like: “Jesus, I’m out… nevermind…” Then again: “Jesus, I’m out… nevermind…” In my minds eye they were got to a point where they would come up to a group of people… “see my basket is empty… watch this: Jesus, I’m out… nevermind!”

It reminds me of the oil and cruse

1 Kings 17:12 And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.

Conclusion:

This account has so many underlying things to find in these verses.

1. Are you willing to take time to serve? The disciples were tired from ministering with Jesus:

Mark 6:31  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

2. Ministry takes effort, money and resources

3. Are you willing to serve by faith? True faith where you really don’t know the outcome? Where the basket is empty and you expect it to be full?