We here at Hopewell Baptist Church come together to worship and praise God, demonstrate God's love in ministry, preach God's word in the power of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism. God's word in discipleship, and generate God's harmony in fellowship.
I’m so thankful that in this journey of life God offers to accompany us as His children and to direct us one step at a time into a life of blessing. He promised us in His Word that He would never leave us nor forsake us. So my thoughts this morning is instead of becoming discouraged, depressed, or angry when people disappoint us, which is so easy to do, God wants us to lift up our eyes, look around, and trust Him to lead us into an even better situation. He wants us to look around and count our blessings instead of focusing on what we do not have. The Lord wants us to fix our eyes on Him and not on the work of the enemy because He has plans to bless us. You see, it’s not so much in what we say but it’s in what we do in our actions that binds Satan.
Thank God we are a victorious people in Christ!
How can we as His children exhibit such love, the love of Christ in our lives? The only way is to let Jesus live it through us. This kind of love is the fruit of the Spirit. You see, it’s as we walk with the Lord, talk with the Lord, and learn about our Lord, that His Spirit Produces this kind of love in and through us. Jesus said in (John 15:5) “If you abide in Me, you shall bring forth much fruit.” What fruit? Love! We are the branches and He is the True Vine. What do branches do? They just hang in there close to the Vine. Therefore, as we stay connected to the Vine by getting to know Him and enjoying our fellowship with Him, the fruit will come of its own.
Fruit comes Saints when we continue doing just what we are doing now, spending time with Him, hanging in there week after week, month after month, year after year. It’s as we stay connected to Jesus, more and more of His love will seep through you and me.
What a Savior! What a Lord! What a King! What a God we serve! He is worthy of our worship and praise to Him. Don’t miss spending time with the One who died for you and loved you more than anyone could ever love you. After all, He gave to us eternal life, put us in His family, and prepared a place a home in heaven.
As I’m sitting here this morning looking out over the beautiful ocean I’ve been thinking about the type of relationship we have with our Lord. Not only is there a Father-Son relationship but we have that Shepherd-Sheep relationship for we are His people and the sheep of His pasture and the Lord is our Shepherd. For He is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd, and the Only Shepherd. I’m so glad this morning that He’s leading, guiding, and directing our way.
I like that Bride-Groom relationship, for He is the Groom and we as His children are the Bride and He is coming to get us one of these days and take us home to heaven.
I like that Captain-Soldier relationship for we are His soldiers in His army and our Lord is the Great Captain, for He is the Captain of our Salvation.
When you come to John 15:1-5 here is a another one of these relationship passages. For He is the True Vine and we are the branches. He is the Living Vine, the Eternal Vine and from Him comes eternal life. Just as that branch is nothing without the Vine, so we are nothing without the Lord Jesus Christ.
The only hope saints that branch ever has to bear fruit is, it has got to have a right relationship with the Vine. The only way we are going to be able to live the Christian life and walk by faith and please God is we must abide in Him.
I’m glad I’m hooked up right. I’m glad I’ve been engrafted in the Vine. Aren’t you glad child of God, we’re not on the outside looking in, but we’re hooked up on the inside looking up!
I think I will shout right here! Praise His Holy Name!
In John 15:1-5 let's us know this morning that He's not just any vine, but Jesus is the True Vine. That word Husbandman in (Verse 1) means one that tills the ground or a vineyard keeper.
(Verse 4)is the secret to a spirit filled life and that is to Abide in Him.
If we have been saved and born again we've been regenerated by the power of the Holy Ghost and we belong to God. We are not our own, we've been bought with a price. I'm glad I can say on this Monday morning that "I'm His and He's mine."
I like that Father-Son relationship of the Bible that God is our Heavenly Father and we are His little children. Oh we might be without money, without wealth, without social standing, and even not have good health but we are not without a Heavenly Father. Saints what a blessing it is this Monday morning to start the week knowing "We are part of the family of God no matter what." Well Glory!
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-28 I am reminded what it takes for us to be able to truly worship our Lord in spirit and in truth. Oh how worship is the most important activity in our church services among God's people. Ministry must flow out of worship, otherwise it becomes just busy activity without power and without heart. There may even be results from emotions but they will not glorify God or really last. I'm reminded of the fact that if we're not careful many church services can lack an emphasis on true worship and become more like religious entertainment catering to the appetites of the congregation. Here Paul in these Verses names somethings that make up the worship ministry of the church.
He mentions Prayer in (Verse 17) to pray without ceasing, staying in touch with God so that our prayer life is part of a long conversation that is not broken. I'm so glad that God knows the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4)and He responds to those desires even when our voice is silent.
He mentions Praise in (Verse 18)in which thanksgiving is also a vital element of worship as we express our love and gratitude to our Lord Jesus.
He mentions the Word of God in (Verses 19-21). You see, worship that ignores the Bible is not spiritual. There may be emotion and even commotion but unless there is spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit is not at work.
These three things in these verses go together and help us as His children to understand how the Holy Spirit works in and through us in true worship to Him.
In life itself worry has become part of our everyday lives. Many of us could have on our gravestones "Hurried, Worried, Buried." None of us know what tomorrow holds but I'm glad that we as God's children know who holds each one in His hand. There are times when many of us get to feeling a bit worried about things even though we know the Bible says in (Philippians 4:6) "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God."
Someone once said that "worry is anxiety over the future that dominates the present." It is interesting in (Matthew 6:27) Jesus said, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" In other words, who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his or her life? Think about that. Can we add an hour to our lives by our worrying? No, but worrying may shorten our lives by causing so much stress that it will eventually begin to break down our health.
Jesus also said in (Matthew 6:34)"Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
In other words, don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Why, we've got plenty of trouble right now. Why borrow trouble from tomorrow? Seven things worry does:
*It waste time that could be spent in better ways.
*It focuses on the problem, not the solution.
*It causes us to assume responsibility that belongs only to God.
*It paralyzes us with fear.
*It zaps our joy.
*It drains our energy and it keeps us sidetracked when we could be doing God's will.
Prayer is not only the key to the power of God, it is what moves the hand of God but the whole point of prayer is to ask God to do what we cannot do in our own strength or ability. You see, if we think that we can pull it off ourselves, then we don't feel like we need to pray. Oh, how our Lord often puts His people in impossible situations to display His power and glory. We will find throughout the Bible and even in our own lives as God's Children that nothing is impossible with God. He can do all things!
(Romans 8:31-32) says "What shall we then say to these things? If God Be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
If He did the greatest thing in giving His own Son, He will Now do the relatively smaller things, according to His good and perfect will.
Saints, may we always remember that God in His goodness is willing to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond all that we could ask or think.
May we not be guilty of not having because we haven't asked.
May we not be guilty of not having because we doubt God's ability or His willingness to give.
May we not be guilty of just praying small prayers. Pray Big prayers! You see, it is impossible to ask the Lord for too much.
May we pray for the lost who need Jesus, for others who are hurting and in need, for our churches that God will move in a mighty way through our services, for our pastors and their families for protection from the enemy and as he preaches His precious Word each week, and for ourselves that God would do through us that which is humanly unexplainable that He will get all the glory no matter what.
Right in the midst of being in the will of God and doing the will of God, Paul has a thorn in the flesh that he asked God to remove three times but the Lord said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee."
Why do bad things happen in our lives?
1. Sometimes God sends things into our lives to show us where we need to be and what we need to be doing. It's those times when everything is going so great that if we're not careful we can get lifted up in pride. It's then the Lord will send things to make us appreciate Him and to destroy that pride in our lives. If we want the power of God in our lives we are going to have to get the clay out of the way, the flesh! God will knock the pride out of us to bring us closer to Him.
Why do bad things happen?
2. To drive us to Jesus. In (2 Corinthians 12:8) "Paul besought the Lord" it drove him to the feet of Jesus. David said before I was afflicted I went astray then he used the terminology it was good affliction. You see, it was the kind of affliction that drives us to Jesus.
Why do bad things happen?
3. He wants to use us as a frame to display His goodness. God wants to display His grace in us everywhere we go so that others will see the grace of God displayed in our lives.
Why do bad things happen?
4. God wants to demonstrate His Power. In (Verse 10) it says "therefore" because His grace is sufficient, because He is in control we can take pleasure. You see, his attitude changed because he realized God's grace is sufficient.
Saints, no matter what we have to face or go through even when bad things seem to happen in our lives that we may not understand we can always know His grace is sufficient.
*He is going to give us the Power to take it. God is bigger than anything we could ever face.
*He is going to give us the Power to shake it. To shake it off and keep going.
*He is going to give us the Power to make it.
Oh may we just keep on keeping on for the Lord. What promises we have been given in His Word.
Why do bad things happen in our lives?
In (2Corinthians 12:7-13) God used Paul in a great way to preach the gospel and to establish churches and for three and half years he ceased not day and night to pray. Paul was a prayer warrior and knew what it was like to have the power of God in his life. But right in the midst of him being In the will of God, doing the will of God he has a thorn in the flesh. Paul has something that torments him day and night to the point that it drives him to the Lord Jesus and he prays for God to remove it from his life. We don't know what Paul's thorn was but in Verse 8 the Lord allowed him to just put the words "for this thing" in there which allows you and me, when we read it, to crawl right up next to that passage when we are going through trials, suffering, and heartaches and say I have the same thing and sometimes we may not even know how to label what it is we are going through but we can say "for this thing." Thank God (Romans 8:28) is still in the Bible. Sometimes it doesn't matter how close to God we get or how deep in the Scriptures we get or how much we pray there is going to be things that will come into our lives that we have no control over but God is still on the throne and His grace is always sufficient for us. He will see us through every trial, every difficulty, every heartache, every storm, every Valley, every trouble and problem we face, every burden, and every situation and circumstance. Saints no matter what Jesus said were going to the other side and His grace will see us through each day for we as His children are going to make it! Praise His Holy Name!
To be continued.....