On this Memorial weekend, remember those who served/All gave some, Some gave all
How do wehave success? How do we display strength in our life? “ By guarding it according to your word.” Psalm 119:9.
Things of this world will come and go but the word of the Lord will prevail. His word is secured. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11.
God’s Got a Plan For Life
God has a plan in your life of success, power, and wisdom. Finding the path can be a struggle but the Lord provides a known path, His word. “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7.
When we come to God for order, He will NEVER fail us. The good Lord has a design for our life, if we only open up to see His plan for us. “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8.
God knows the number of hairs on our head to the demise of a sparrow fallen to the ground. How much more would He provide for us who follow His word. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.“ Psalm 16:11.
God’s Path For You
Our Lord will shed light on our path for: Salvation-Forgiveness-Right Living-Ministering for the Lord.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105.
God’s Presence With You
We must take time to find the presence of the Lord. Take that time prior to important meetings, discussions, marriage issues, children problems. A helper forever is given to us through the Holy Spirit, thus knowing full well the Lord will not abandoned us “as orphans.” John 14:18. When you are in His presence, the Holy Spirit will comfort us and bring joy as we move forward through daily obstacles. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.
God’s Pleasures to You
Present Time: When we have God’s presence, we have peace. Peace among turmoil. Peace through health issues. Peace in financial shortcomings. What do we experience in that peace? Endurance. Righteousness. Joy. Love. All come with His blessings.
Future Time: We have eternal pleasures. Whether dead or alive, we have a hope when we have God’s presence.
“Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirits, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:11-12.
Jonah, who was a prophet and a disobedient one at that, ignored God’s call to go to Ninevah. Jonah, on his journey to the opposite direction he was commanded to go, encountered a strong storm at sea. The sailors being terrified of this storm, threw Jonah into the sea, which calmed the sea down. Jonah was thus swallowed by a large fish and held there for three days and nights. After being vomited out on the beach, The Lord once again ordered Jonah to Ninveah. At this point, Jonah obeyedGod and proceeded to Ninevah. Once there, Jonah went through the streets with the simple message, “In forty days Ninevah will be Destroyed.” (Jonah 3:4). Thus stating this simple message, all the people, evil king included, repented, and all was forgiven by our Lord.
Having 120,000 people saved by our Lord displeased Jonah. He was angry that the Lord did not punish those in Ninevah. So displeased that Jonah stated, “Now then, Lord, let me die. I am better off dead than alive.” (Jonah 4:3). The biggest revival and Jonah could not accept God’s forgiveness on the people of Ninevah.
Jonah traveled east of Ninevah and found a shelter to pout. “Then the Lord God made aa plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant.” (Jonah 4:6)
By the next day, a worm attacked the very plant God grew for Jonah’s comfort, and it withered away. This made Jonah even angrier than before, stating, “I am better off dead than alive,’ he said.” (Jonah 4:8).
Hearing what Jonah had stated, the Lord said, “What right do you have to be angry about the plant?” (Jonah 4:9). That plant was given by God and God alone. Jonah showed more pity for that plant than the great city of Ninevah where more than 120,000 people did not know their right hand from their left.
This story is about US! We are Jonah. The very people who are struggling with mercy for others. It is not about Jonah, the fish, nor Ninevah. We have to look at this story as one that displays our lack of seeing God’s mercy and forgiveness for those who are lost and how we wish condemnation for those who we think should be condemned.
USE YOUR LIFE. LOVE YOUR CITY.
RESOLVE THE CONFLICT OF THE CALL
-God is in a place to transform us as He did to Jonah.
-When we declare the word of the Lord, we are declaring His truth.
-We have to resolve in what we have to do.
-Jonah decided to flee the presence of the Lord by going to the opposite way the Lord commanded, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it for their evil has come up before me. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1: 2-3)
-What’s in our bag that is drawing us away from God?
-God was calling Jonah to a particular place, Nineveh, but Jonah decided otherwise.
There are three things we must remember:
Called to be Unselfish with God’s Love
Called to be Generous with God’s Blessing
Called to be a conduit for the Blessing of God
RESOLVE YOUR GOD CONFLICT BY SUBMITTING TO GOD
-This is a demonstration of how God works. Knowing Jonah made his own choice, God decided His will on Jonah, “But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.”(Jonah 1:4)
-When we run away from God’s choices on us, we impact others by our behavior. God is so powerful, as stated in Proverbs 16:11 “The Lord wants weights and measures to be honest and every sale to be fair,”
that we cannot ignore His calling. When we have God’s word in our heart, everything will go correctly according to His word.
-We must submit to God’s will, we must resolve to be obedient to what is commanded by our Father.
-The only thing that will resolve our conflicts in life is to submit to God. Not to eliminate, pass off, discard our problems in our way, but must do it in our Lord’s way.
RESOLVE PERSONAL CONFLICT BY SPEAKING TRUTH
-As a child of God, we need to search within ourselves and not run to another direction when conflicts arise in our life. We can settle our conflicts in truth as God would want us to do.
-We must ask for forgiveness when we know we caused conflict. With family and friends, things that are said and done inappropriately, that need to ask for forgiveness must be stated in humility.
-Our world needs hope by speaking truth from every one of us. Humility needs its place by submitting to God’s will.
RESOLVE TO LOVE YOUR CITY
-God loves your city, neighbors, shipmates (as in the boat Jonah experienced with the crew headed to Tarshish). We do not need new laws within our cities, but a revival within ourselves. Isn’t it evident that our world needs our Lord’s love and truth? God can transform us. Shall we go where we want or where we are directed by God?
- G. Lascurain
“Give, and it willbe given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
What we must remember:
-God honors the giver.
-God has given us a treasure, the Gospel of the Lord.
-We are here on earth for a purpose/salt and light, for others to see.
-What you give out is what you get back.
-Love your enemies as God has commanded us. Forgive others as God has forgiven us.
-Jesus loved His enemies even as He hung from the cross.
-When we are provoked, we don’t give back in kind; for as Christians don’t get even, we pray.
-God has built abridge to our salvation so we can walk across, and that bridge is the cross.
-Our sin, guilt, and shame, is what we should give to our Lord. A testimony to what God’s forgiveness as our Savior has given us in a new direction. It is not where we have been but where we are going.
-Being merciful, not judgmental; forgiving and loving to one another, is what God expects from us.
-Pride and ego interfere in what we truly need to give up, our right to get even. We release them to God so He will be the final judge.
-Fear of failure, fear of exposure, the Good News is that Jesus came to release us of our burdens.
So what do we give:
1)Love one another
2)Hope. So we can abound in His hope and use that ability to give to others
3)Message of freedom. Our country is based upon the freedom of worship. A value to be guarded. We are a community of Jesus message of freedom, where we have boldness without fear.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12
We give thanks to God for America’s Christian heritage and pray that God will bless our country and direct its leaders.
Unforgettable-Your purpose in Christ/In review:
COMEBACK-It all starts with coming to Jesus
SITBACK-Take time to know Jesus and His Word
STEPBACK-Step aside and put others first
GIVEBACK-Begin a journey of Generosity
FIGHTBACK-Against the World
As believers, we fight at different levels (when you were saved, your citizenship changed!; the world is no longer your friend; you will need to “fight Back” against the world). We are called to fight the Good Fight. We also must realize what we are fighting against. In believers of Christ, we have a distinct target on our back, we became a new citizen once we accept Christ as our Savior. Thus, the world is no longer our home. We just can’t feel we are home in this world, merely a temporary citizen.
There is a system in this world that wants us to belong to this fallen world. The flesh and the devil are major parts of this conspiracy. When we reject the worldly system, you will instantly have enemies.
-What to do: A) Don’t embrace the world’s values; B) Embrace God’s Word-let it shape you; C) Embrace your new citizenship; and D) Embrace God’s purpose.
Along with these key points in fighting back, you need the church as you FightBack! The church is the closes place on earth to heaven. Remember, the world is decaying as the Lord comes closer to His arrival on earth.
FIGHTBACK-Against the flesh
We are born with a sinful nature. Sin dwells in each of us. We are new creatures when we come to Christ but we still need to do the Good Fight! There is a struggle even though we are Christians. We live in a battle of forces, tension between right and wrong, both pulling on each other in a vicious tug of war.
-What to do: A)Make no provision for the flesh; B)Guard your mouth; and C)Crucify the flesh.
God provides a powerful resource: His Spirit! Evil keeps pulling us down, but His Spirit, will always keep us in check and will raise us above the false path. No greater power than that of God. We can always fall back on that promise and His strength.
FIGHTBACK-Against the devil
Coming to Christ, the devil made war with Christians who are followers of Christ. We are in a war, a strategic war where there are casualties among us every day. Accusations abound as the great deceiver (and accuser) thrives on making us opponents of him and amongst each other. The devil prowls about like a roaring lion, ready to devour us as stated in the Bible. We need to fight back using God’s power. God’s power is infinite, not impressed with Satan’s means and schemes. God is mighty and His protection can give us the armor to ward off attacks. The sword of the spirit, His word can be used to fight back against the wiles of the devil.
-What to do: A)Use God’s resources, not your own; B)He provides defensive armor; and C)He provides offensive weapons.
Submit to God and obey His word, you will fall in safe grounds and company against the devil. God will provide His Grace so you can stand firm. By placing yourself in Christ church, you gather strength through His word and encouragement from others by your attendance. We need to be in the body of Christ.
Comeback- We have to understand our relationship with Jesus. Everything comes to Him, so we must repent.
Sit back- We must take time to learn of Jesus. Take the time, in our busy schedule, to sit at His feet and LEARN.
Step back- Live the “love of Jesus” difference.
Because we are learning of Jesus, He will make a difference in our life. We need the spirit/the love of God in us. We need the SIGNIFICANCE of His presence, then an action will take place in heart/in mind/ and in action.
Step aside- Put others first.
“but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3). Put everything in God’s hands and do for others what God has done for us. Not about me but about others.
Step back- Think like Jesus.
We are called for a greater purpose than ourselves. We must think like Jesus.
Step back- Be a humble servant.
“but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7. A position of humility, not about me but what I have to do for others. Set aside your privileges for church, neighbor, kids, etc. When we see a need, we should seek to fill it. Serving produces an unforgettable outcome. Others will be impacted by our actions.
Step back- Worship Jesus.
It’s all about Him. “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11. Jesus gets the glory because He gave of Himself. It’s not about our life, but His.
Step back- Live unforgettable.
Live your life for what you can accomplish for others. Keep loving others by your actions. Serve others and be “good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Philippians 2:10.
UNFORGETTABLE/Your Purpose in Christ
SITBACK-let Jesus in
Martha gave Jesus and His Disciples an invitation to join her and her sister, Mary, for some hospitality.
Martha was a little different. A bit off the mark. Though Martha and Mary both loved Jesus, Martha was a hard worker, dedicated to her household duties, while Mary saw and did her assignment in another way. And that way was taking Jesus in completely, “Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His Teaching.” Luke 10:39.
SITBACK-it’s not about you
Martha was caught up with chores of serving rather than taking the cue Mary displayed in her actions. Martha approached Jesus complaining of working alone, and this disturbed her. As stated, it’s not about you. Remember, God uses people in different ways.
We have to understand that Jesus brings us to a place we need to be. When you carry your burden instead of giving it to our Lord, it makes it hard to worship our Lord Jesus Christ. When the importance of serving becomes the primary function, serving Jesus AT HIS FEET takes a back seat to what is truly important in our priorities.
SITBACK-get the essentials
“but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42. Take time to listen to His voice among our chores and duties. We need to be in His presence at the beginning of each day.
SITBACK-listen to Jesus
There is something important and revealing about just sitting and listening to Jesus. That importance is significant in being at His presence. It’s absurd to selfishly take time for everything else, when our first priority should be our Savior.
Get thirsty for the love of Jesus! That means slowing down and getting right with our Lord without distractions. Connect with Jesus on a daily basis. And the Holy Spirit will fill you, as stated in Psalm 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he mediates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Do you ever find yourself wondering “what’s the point of all this?”
It just seems like life is the same thing every day, A bunch of routine and mundane activities. Nothing seems to matter or make any difference. As we go through life we mix in a lot of pain, hurt and regret.
We often find ourselves feeling insignificant.
What we find in Gods word is that significance is only found in Jesus the one true God.
Sin makes us feel and makes our life look insignificant but Jesus loves us and values us so much he was willing to die on the cross in our place, for our sins. Jesus thinks we are so significant he was willing to pay the ultimate price that we might have new life!
As we live for Jesus not only do we see how he values us and declares us significant but we now get to live out our lives with purpose. We live for Jesus! We live to help others see what truly matters. We live to help others see that THEY truly matter.
Because of Jesus we can live a life that is truly unforgettable.
Fellowship of Christian Assemblies: It is important to have relationships in the mission field but it is just as important in being strategic. Knowing WE stand behind missionaries in prayers and support, makes it possible for them to do their calling: to train African missionaries to the field.
You invest in Africa when we give. In Tanzania, it is seen as a Muslim country. Your investment is paying off when we initiate Christianity to foreign countries, as Tanzania. There are over 700 Christian churches in Tanzania today and still growing.
In mission schools, candidates are trained how to reach Muslims. For example, a project (construction, new piping, grading, etc.) might be completed as way of showing God’s love for our fellow man.
In Luke chapter 11: 2-4, Jesus tells us how to pray, “He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’” This is in reference to the 3 parts of our needs: material, spiritual, and moral. Remember, receiving all that is in Christ Jesus, that would be the ULTIMATE joy on earth.
We can live in victory doing the will of Christ. How? 1) Doing the will of God. It does not consist of a list but loving God and your neighbor; 2) Doing God’s will is something to be done today; and 3) Read God’s word not for knowledge but for ACTION. If we do the will of God, 3 things will happen: growth, joy, and opportunity.
MCA exists to expose the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ
-The weight of love
There is a more excellent way of love. As stated in 1Corinthians 13: 1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
-The what that love is
It is impossible to truly express the virtues of love without the possession of love. Unless we possess the true nature of love, we are truly lacking in Godly love. When we “fall in love with Jesus,” we will possess the love God would want us to have and give to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
-The win that love delivers
Love NEVER fails. When we have that love of Christ, that love is there for us. When we feel low and turned out, the Lords love is with us. His love is perfect and complete. Love is face to face with our God.
-The run that wins
-The outset/Do we have a cause; a purpose? God first. More important than our necessities of life.
-The outlook/”Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:4-6. God does not want us to live a life of stress but of peace. Not of uncertainty but assurance in God’s love.
-The outreach/”Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
-The outcome/”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
-God’s people many faced obstacles on their way to the Promised Land. Along the way to their destination, God had provided for them. In the process of the journey, the Chosen people built a relationship with God.
-A key point in their travels is the learning to trust in the Lord. We all take journeys in one form or another in the course of a life time; thus, hopefully, a lesson is learned about our own trust in the Lord.
-Israel learned, through many trials, that they can have full trust in what the Lord puts in front of us.
-Another key component is trial and error. We fail, we fall, and we will make mistakes, but we can learn from trusting God through all the ups and downs in daily life.
-Another important point to make is WORSHIP. Worship in the middle of a trial or struggle, in the heat of the moment, is critical. “But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, ‘why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?’” (Exodus 17:3). The people of Israel were quarreling among themselves, feeling hopeless in the midst of their troubles. They failed to take into account all the good the Lord has previously provided for them at this point. They tested the Lord to see if He will come through again. God had provided as always, “The Lord answered Moses, ‘walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’” (Exodus 17:5). We can be a worshipper or a complainer, it’s up to you. Either way, God will address your problems.
-In Israel’s first battle against the Amalekites, Moses told Joshua to find men to fight, while Moses stood on a hill. Israel, with little or no experience in such matters, took the field while Moses held his hands to the heavens. And as long as he did this, with some assistance, the Lord provided the victory. As was exclaimed, “The Lord is my banner.” Remember, in our moments of weakness, as Israel displayed, we need to know we too fight under “the banner of the Lord.” Stay focused and raise those hands in worship.
Blood Works: As with CBC(complete blood count)when our blood is totally analyzed according to our health, the blood of Jesus is as important, if not the most important to our spiritual well-being. Here in the Bible, “ in Him all things hold together”(Colossians 1:17) and “making peace by the blood of His cross”(Colossians 1:20) we hear the significance of Jesus blood for our salvation.
Access granted: As with a computer, you need a password in order to gain access to the system. The code, the password into a relationship with our Lord is made possible with His blood.
Be bold: Be bold and enter a relationship with God. Jesus blood made it all possible for us for that entry. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). He calls us to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”(Hebrews 10:22).
Get the benefits: Receive the benefits when you pour your heart out through all the difficulties we encounter in the daily struggles with life.
Pour out your Heart: What a blessing one receives when we reach out to our creator and state our troubles for “God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalms 62:8)
Cast your cares: God ask us to come and bare out our problems to Him. We live at a different level when we present our cares and concerns to Him. Remember, we are a child of God.
Prayers posted: We need to be people of prayer. Our prayer life should reflect our relationship with our Lord. Can we say we are in a place where God wants us to be?
Sins forgiven: I am redeemed! That’s why we worship God in His house. The blood of Jesus IS SO POWERFUL!
Jesus said: The blood is so precious, so rewarding, that it is inviting to live in a clear conscience of His life. We need not be bound by sin on earth.
CLEAN BABY CLEAN: What can wash away sin, make me whole again, make me white as snow-NOTHING but the blood of Jesus.
Clear conscience: When we receive His benefits, we live in a clear conscience; that strength where we are clean.
The accuser conquered: The deceiver in the world is around where he doesn’t want victory for God’s children. We live in a world of deception, but the accuser has been defeated. As followers of Christ, we speak boldly and righteously about the truth of God. “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb”(Revelation 12:11).
The rescue: “Call on Him as Father” (1 Peter 1:17). Jesus WAS spotless.
Abraham (Genesis 22)
Command Received: There is a battle for our Christian faith, marriage, and belief. There is a battle for our mind as well. Abraham was in a place to hear God’s command. We too should be in a place to hear what God has to say for us. Can we imagine the mindset of Abraham of hearing the news of what he was told to do from our Lord.
The Test and the Task: God will always place a task before us. The biggest challenge as Christians we must take is the task to ACTION. We must go forth to complete the task/the challenge God wants of us in order to see if we are obedient to those commands. True, the task can be difficult, even a sacrifice for us, but His command must be completed.
Command Respected: Many of us have trouble respecting God’s word. Abraham should be our example of preparing for God’s command to be carried out, as stated in Genesis 22:3(“So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac.”)
Planning: Abraham had a plan (with the help of others) and he knew his responsibility of the task.
Problem: The problem, where is the lamb, as Isaac ponders (Genesis 22:7). Abraham said God will provide (Genesis 22:8).
Provision: God will always provide for our necessities. God will always fulfill His promises.
Produce: God produced the means (Genesis 22:9) for the sacrifice to take place.
Command Removed: Our Lord said do not lay a hand on the boy(Genesis 22:12). God created a perfect plan. Abraham was obedient and was blessed for his faith in God.
Command Renewed: We must renew our minds not according to the world standards, but of God’s wishes. It will pay in the end for us to show our faithfulness. Abraham was tested and as Abraham, we need to walk in obedience.
Change of heart: Listen to God from our heart. We need to hear His voice.
Change of mind: You have to change the way you think. We must look at things differently from the love of obedience our Lord would want us to possess.
Change of Action: Most of all, we must have that change of action, instead of leaving it at the wayside.
We have to remember we’re redeemed. His love never fails. God has a promise for us. God calls us by name, stating we are His.
The Redeemer Promise: God will NEVER leave us.
God is LORD-HOLY-CREATOR-KING/Remember, God has us. He can take care of everything. He is in control.
He(GOD) has done it BEFORE. He(God) will do it AGAIN. Remember, “ I(God) will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”(Isaiah 43 v.19)
Not the leftovers: There is something new and fresh that God provides us.
The Supernatural for Intervention: Slaves were bound; stuck and in need of intervention. We need God to intervene on our behalf.
The Supernatural favor: By the blood of Jesus, the first born were saved. God gave them favor.
The Supernatural path: God has a fast track for us. He can give us a path of victory. God opened a way for victory, as Moses crossed the Red Sea.
Supernatural supply: What God has supplied us.
“BEHOLD” Don’t miss it!
I am doing a NEW THING: God wants to do a new thing to spring forward. God will make a way (roads and rivers). When there was no way, God provided one along with direction.