Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Jesus Calling You?


Mark 1:16-20

The public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ had commenced.

He called certain people to salvation and service.

Let us consider the characteristics of His call.

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His Call Is Personal

The Lord Jesus Christ walked up to those boats.

He called 4 specific men in those 2 specific boats.

He called them and dealt with them personally.

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The Lord Jesus Christ called them when they were busy in their works.

This was the second encounter these men had had with Jesus.

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The first time when they met Him (John 1:35-42), they were called to salvation.

Here, they were called into His service.

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His Call Is Private

The call was felt in the hearts of the 4 men who left all to follow Him.

Their hearts were touched.

They felt a strange power drawing them to go after the Lord Jesus Christ.

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His Call Is Public

These men are called upon to make a public stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

They are called upon to publicly line up with Him.

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His Call Is Precious

These men were nothing special.

They were just ordinary fishermen.

But the Lord Jesus Christ chose them.

He called them to be the first of His followers.

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It is a privilege and a blessing beyond comparison!

It is a thing most precious!

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His Call Is Pricey

These men were called upon to make some really expensive choices.

They were called upon to leave their friends, their family, their fortune, etc.

They were to give up everything to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet they determined that the price was worth paying.

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His Call Is Powerful

When the Lord’s call came, these men left their nets and their profession without question.

When Jesus called, they left everything to follow Him immediately!

They stepped out of their ships.

They stepped away from their lives.

They went after Jesus.

And they experienced a powerful change of life.

Their lives were never the same again.

They were walking in His direction, to His destination, at His speed and in His steps.

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His Call Is Profound

All these men knew was the life of a fisherman.

But from now on, they would be angling for men.

They would cast the Gospel net into the sea of humanity.

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The Lord Jesus Christ passed by those boats by the Sea of Galilee that morning.

He called 4 specific men.

And their lives would never be the same again.

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How about you?

Is the Lord Jesus Christ calling you?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Precious Possessions


2 Pet. 1:1-4

5 times in his 2 epistles, the apostle Peter mentions possessions that are precious to the people of God.

Let us go through them and take note of our precious possessions.

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There Are Precious Trials (1 Peter 1:7)

The apostle Peter tells us that the trials of life are very precious things.

They have a way of helping us.

They remove the impurities from our lives.

They bring us closer to the Lord.

We will be reminded of several great truths that we often forget when life is easy.

We will be reminded that :
  • The Lord Jesus is always with us.
  • Our valleys of life are planned by the Lord.
  • Our trials are helping us grow in the Lord.
  • Something better is waiting just down the way
  • Even when times are bad, God is still good.

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The trials and valleys of life are no fun and we would rather be spared having to go through them.

But when we have gone through the valley and come out on the other side, we will know the Lord better than we could have otherwise.

We will be stronger in the faith than we ever could have been.

The valley shows us a side of God we could never see otherwise.

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There Is Precious Blood (1 Peter 1:19)

The apostle Peter tells us that the Blood of Jesus is a precious substance.

It is of great price and is to be held in honor and great esteem.

It is the price of redemption.

It is the proof of God's love for us.

It is the only substance known to God or man that can cleanse away our sins.

It is pure blood that was shed by an innocent man.

And His blood and His death were accepted in place of our own by the Father in Heaven.

The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is precious blood!

His blood, and the blood alone, makes us right with God.

It is precious blood.

We need to cherish, protect and proclaim the blood of Jesus.

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There Is A Precious Savior (1 Peter 2:6-7)

The apostle Peter tells us that the Lord Jesus Himself is precious.

His value to His believers is beyond all human comprehension.

He loves them.

He cares about them.

He understands their needs.

He is always near to help them.

He paid the ultimate price to save them.

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There Is A Precious Faith (2 Peter 1:1)

The apostle Peter tells us that our faith, our system of belief, is a precious thing.

It is the only one that is valid in the eyes of God!

All the people involved in all the other religious systems in the world are being deceived by their false doctrines.

There is one, and only one, means of salvation and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our faith is precious because:
  • It is free.
  • It is open to all.
  • It is complete.
  • It is totally the work of God.
  • It is foolproof.
  • It is eternal.
  • It is something that can be lived.

We must not take our precious faith for granted.

We must cherish our faith.

We must cherish and see the value in the things God has given to us.

We must protect the faith and passing it on to another generation.

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There Are Precious Promises (2 Peter 1:4)

The apostle Peter tells us that there are some promises of God that are valuable and are to be held in great esteem.

There is the promise of His Love.

There is the promise of His Presence.

There is the promise of His Provision.

There is the promise of His Grace.

There is the promise of His Heaven.

There are many promises contained in the pages of the Holy Scriptures.

God will bring them all to pass!

The promises of God are forever!

We can hold onto them for they shall never fail!

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God has indeed given us some very precious and valuable things.

Are we cherishing them as we should be?

Are we guarding the things of God and passing them along to others so that there will be another generation that knows God and will walk with Him?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get Our Lives Out Of The Pit


1 Peter 5:5-10

Life is full of difficulties. But we must be determined to survive.

As Christians, we have a better reason to endure tough times. We live for God. We are assured in His Word that better times are ahead. In spite of the prosperity of the wicked, the righteous will be vindicated.

There are times when we find our lives down in the pits. We lose our desire to go on for God. We just want to give up.

How do we get our lives out of the pits?

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We Must Submit Ourselves To God (5:5-6).

We must surrender our will to God. We must allow God to have the place of pre-eminence in our lives.

We must clothe ourselves with humility. We must seek only to do God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s desire.

We must willingly place ourselves under God. He will lift us up in His own way. He will use us for His glory.

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We Must Send Our Worry To God (5:7)

We must cast all our anxiety to God because He cares for us. We must give them up once for all. We must give them all up. We must have absolute confidence that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is actively involved in caring for us.

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We Must Strengthen Our Walk With God (5:8-9)

We must be serious about the devil's reality. Satan is real! Satan is a devil. He is a slanderer or a false accuser. He is our enemy. He hates us and wants to see us fall.

We must be serious about the devil's ferocity. The devil is like a roaring lion. He is forceful and is far stronger than us. We cannot fight him on our own. The devil is ferocious. He is never satisfied with his conquests. The devil roars to create fear in the hearts of God's children. Fear paralyzes faith! If the devil can get us to listen to his roar, he can keep us from hearing God's Word. If he can paralyze our faith, then he can attack our lives.

We must be serious about the devil's susceptibility. The devil can be defeated by the child of God! The secret to overcoming him is to resist him! We must stand up against the devil! We must be steadfast in our faith, knowing that the Lord has already defeated the devil and that victory for the child of God is found in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us stand against him and see the victory! We can resist him and we can see him defeated in our lives. If we will resist him, he will flee from us. Let us grow in the Lord and strengthen our walk with Him daily through prayer and the study of His Word!

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We Must See The Work Of God (5:10)

One of the greatest incentives to walking in continuous victory is to be able to see the Lord at work all around us!

We must remember that God’s grace is sufficient for us. God would change us in the midst of our difficulty so that we could be successful in our walk with Him. There is grace for every trial and for everything we face as we go through life!

We must remember that we have the Lord’s promise of His Presence and His Promotion. Therefore let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!

We must remember that when the suffering days are over, there are glory days ahead! We are going to a place where troubles and trials can no longer afflict the children of God.

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Are our lives in the pits? If so, there is a way out.

Let us submit ourselves to God.

Let us send our worries to God.

Let us strengthen our walk with God.

Let us see the work of God in our lives.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Reasons to Rejoice


1 Peter 1:1-5 (NIV)

The apostle Peter was writing to Jewish believers in exile.

These people had been forced to leave their homeland.

They had been dispersed into other parts of the world.

And, because of their beliefs and faith, they had been subjected to terrible persecutions and sufferings.

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The apostle Peter was writing this letter to encourage them in the faith.

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Th apostle Peter was reminding them that in the midst of their trials, there were some reliable reasons for rejoicing!

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They Were Saved By Grace (1:2-4)

  • They had been chosen
    - According to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
    - Through the sanctifying work of the Spirit of God.
    - To be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood.

  • In the great mercy of God the Father, through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, they had been given a new birth into a living hope and an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade, and that is kept in heaven for them.

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They Were Sealed By God’s Power (1:5)

Through faith, they were shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

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Since we are saved by grace, sealed by the Spirit of God and secured by the power of the Father, we can be absolutely certain that God’s salvation will last forever!

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Those who are saved by grace have reasons to rejoice.

Let us get our eyes off the troubles and turmoil that is going on in the world today.

Let us rejoice in our salvation.

Let us learn to praise God for who we are, what we have and where we are going!

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When we learn the secret that we can rejoice when we want to, it will make the rest of life far more bearable!

That is why every Christian must learn to rejoice!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Church Elder Is Not Given To Wine


Titus 1:7c

Wine is used as a symbol of joy.

Wine makes glad the heart of man.

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Wine is also used as a symbol of wrath of God against immorality.

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Deacons is not given to much wine. (1Tim. 3:8)

Deacons are permitted to partake of alcohol, but not in regularity, frequency, or quantity.

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Older women are not given to much wine. (Titus 2:3)

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In short, Christians must not be addicted to wine.

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Elder is not given to wine. (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7c)

A church elder is not to be with or near any wine at all.

He is to completely abstain from alcohol.

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Some said, "But Timothy, a pastor and elder, was instructed to drink wine."

But Timothy suffered from a number of internal physical problems.

Paul wrote to him and said, "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities." (1Tim. 5:23)

Paul made an exception because of Timothy's condition.

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Some said, "But Jesus drank wine."

Yes, He did.

He created wine for the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2).

He drank wine with sinners and was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34).

He drank wine with the disciples at the Last Supper.

But He told the disciples during the Last Supper, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." (Matthew. 26:29)

Jesus doesn't drink wine anymore.

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Church elder must completely abstain from partaking any alcohol because of the dangers it presents to him as a spiritual man.

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Usage of alcohol can turn a church elder into one who loses control, clarity, and even consciousness.

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Using alcohol impairs his ability to think logically, make decisions rightly, and hear from God clearly.

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Alcohol tends to make people stupid.

A drunken man staggers in his vomit. (Is. 19:14)

Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)

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Christians are not allowed to get drunk.

And Christians are not to associate with drunkards in the church. (1 Cor. 5:11)

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If we are not in spiritual authority, we do have the freedom to drink a little wine.

But we must make sure we don't make another Christian stumble. (Rom. 14:21)

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It is better not to drink.

No one is going to stumble if we don't drink.

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But just how many of us choose to exercise our freedom instead of walking in love?