Welcome guests - Happy that you are here. Want you to feel welcome and at home. At the conclusion of my message our church family has a habit most Sunday’s of coming to the front. The purpose is to pray with one another. To allow the Spirit of God the opportunity to minister to us.
Why do we do it? We have seen miracles happen, prayers answered, people delivered from things that had them bound, restoration.
God can do in a few minutes what I cannot in a one hour sermon. I can encourage you. He can deliver you.
Red Letters - Being
Red Letters - Being
We are in a series titled Red Letters - Today I want to preach about Being, Jesus had a lot to say about being with Him. So much that we cannot cover it all.
But I have found that more than anything else that can make an impact on my life and how I live. Simply being with Him, being in His Word does more to change me than anything else. Out of that time with Him flows all the joy, peace, serving others, overcoming my own issues.
When I neglect that time, or I choose because I am frustrated with Him or something He has allowed to happen in life - I cannot find what I need. It is in nothing else, and in no one else.
You are only as spiritually strong as your prayer life.
Paul wrote that in himself there was no good thing.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
We acknowledge that there is with in us a warfare that rages. The desire to do what is right, and good. But there is also no ability to accomplish spiritual outcomes from with in our flesh.
Intention and ability are two separate things.
I may intend to run a 4 second 40 yard dash which would set a world record. But my intention and my ability are two separate things.
When it comes to spiritual things most of us have good intentions.
We intend to pray.
We intend to read the Bible.
We intend to know more scripture.
We intend to witness more.
We intend to serve more.
Intention is good. Without ability our intention goes nowhere.
I want to talk to you today about the things that are keeping you from your God given destiny. Hebrews refers to them as weights and sins.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
It is not as challenging as you might think it is. The answer is really quite simple.
When we understand our limitations, the enemy’s plan, and God’s answer. What we must do and can do becomes very clear.
Every few centuries are labeled, being called an age. Bronze age, Industrial age for example. We live in the age of technology. Really it should be called the age of distraction.
Researchers have started to note how distracted workers are by technology. Having a negative impact on performance by 20 percent or higher.
One experiment done by Carnegie Mellon showed the drastic dip in performance when people are interrupted by distraction.
“We expected the Interrupted group to make some mistakes, but the results were truly dismal, especially for those who think of themselves as multitaskers: during this first test, both interrupted groups answered correctly 20 percent less often than members of the control group.
In other words, the distraction of an interruption, combined with the brain drain of preparing for that interruption, made our test takers 20 percent dumber. That’s enough to turn a B-minus student (80 percent) into a failure (62 percent).”
We live in a distracted world. I am not surprised that in this last days generation we would find ourselves in such shape. Satan would like nothing better than to distract you from the very things that would help you become what Jesus Christ has intended for you to be.
Daniel 7:25 description of the antichrist and his attack upon the saints.
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
The word persecute in it’s literal translation is “to wear out”.
John said the spirit of antichrist is already in the world. 1 John 4:3
Satan will wear you out, keep you distracted and away from what you need to be more than the conqueror God wants.
Distraction from spiritual things.
We too easily fall for this ploy. Why do we fall?
You are only as spiritual strong as your prayer life.
Being Christian is more than saying I believe Jesus died for my sins. It is more than praying a sinners prayer and accepting Jesus as your savior.
Being Christian is believing so much that you obey. In in that obedience you experience a New Birth.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Born of the water - Baptism in Jesus name.
Born of the Spirit - Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This is one of the most quoted verses by people in scripture. It’s also one of the most miss understood.
The statement Jesus makes can only be taken in context of the conversation. In other words, the only begotten son is given so that everyone who believes - pistĕuō - trusts, is born of the water and born of the Spirit should have everlasting life.
Notice Jesus says “whoever believes in Him should not perish”. That leaves open there could be some who believe and still do perish. Why? Because belief takes obedience.
Look at what John says:
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
The person who does not believe - apĕithĕō - Does not obey.
Does not obey what Jesus taught - New Birth of water and Spirit.
If you have not obeyed what Jesus and the apostles taught and preached - I want to encourage you to take that step of faith!
If this is the first time you have had it presented to you in this way - I want to show you in scripture the plan God has for every person - ask me, call me, text me, email me. We can do a Biblical study on Gods plan for us.
Once you have experienced a New Birth, being Christian is remaining in Him.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jesus is not talking to two separate groups - believer and unbeliever. He is addressing those who believe Him.
“You are already clean because of the word”
Abide in me - results in producing fruit. What fruit? Spiritual fruit. Souls.
My words abide in you - Ask what you desire “prayer”, and it shall be done.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Abide in my love, keep my commandments - results in Joy that the world cannot give.
Key - Without Jesus you cannot produce any of these things in the flesh. It is spiritual, a relationship, being with Jesus.
You are only as spiritually strong as your prayer life.
I love you. Your pastor loves you. I want you to excel at what He has called you to. I want you to experience every promise. I am going to challenge you.
Have you been neglecting spending time with Jesus? Are you seeking consistency in being with Him each day? Are you abiding in Him, His words abiding in you? Is the fruit there?
What you are looking for is not in anything this world has to offer - temporary peace, temporary joy, temporary freedom.
Branches Church - let’s gather at the front and give the Lord an opportunity to meet our needs.