Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.
“Don’t be a worry wart!” people say… and those of us prone to anxiety promptly begin worrying about worrying too much.
I know the feeling. I worry too. I’m not the “lie awake at night” kind of person. But I notice that when I have a lot on my plate, I give an inordinate amount of attention to little details. Worry consumes me in a variety of ways: I lose patience quickly, I snap at my wife and kids, or I lose my sense of empathy for others. Worry turns my focus to Me.
For a while, I thought that worry was caused by my failure to seek first the kingdom. If I would only fix my eyes on Jesus more, then I would stop worrying. If I would only think about the kingdom more, then anxiety wouldn’t be an issue.
Certainly, those who are seeking the kingdom above all things are not preoccupied with food, and drink, and clothing (as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount). And yes, seeking the kingdom first is a good action plan if we find ourselves worrying.
But seeking first the kingdom comes after we have been sought by the King. The root cause of worry is not misplaced priorities. It’s misplaced faith. It’s a failure to grasp the gospel of a God worthy of our trust.
So worry shows up whenever my view of God is diminished and my view of myself gets too big. I worry because my vision of God is skewed. I rest when my vision is fixed.
“Look at the birds of the air!” Jesus said. “God gives them food, even if they don’t work and earn their way.” There’s more to this parallel than a mere animal-to-human comparison about how much more God will care for us. There’s gospel here. God has given undeserved favor to the birds. He blesses them apart from their merits.
God’s grace and mercy is sustaining us too. Everything we have comes from God’s hand. Salvation belongs to the Lord. And the powerful God who saved us is the loving Father who sustains us.
When I reflect on the gospel of a priceless Savior giving his all for undeserving sinners like you and me, then I am assured that our value in the eyes of God does not shift with the economic tides. Our worth is not measured in what we do for God, but what God has done for us.
This is God the Father who sent his only Son to the cross that we deserved.
This is God the Son who willingly took on flesh, lived among us, and died in our place.
This is God the Spirit who prompts our hearts and brings us back into unending fellowship with our Maker.
It is the costly actions of God that give us our value.
In these difficult times, we – the people of God’s kingdom – need to be reminded of our true citizenship and true identity. The uneasiness of worry surfaces in our hearts when we lose sight of the gospel of God’s grace to the undeserving. Failure to grasp the gospel is what causes us to take our eyes off the kingdom and forget who we are in Christ.
United to Christ, we are part of a royal family. Our older Brother is the King of the world.
Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring,
For his grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.
– John Newton
The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.
2 Kings 13:14–19, Ps 78:19
It’s not over yet!
Jacob was an old man when his son Joseph was taken to Egypt. His boy Joseph had been his dream. Now it looked like Jacob’s dream was dead. But in Genesis 45, we see that his spirit was revived. Joseph was still alive! The old man got his dream back in his old age.
You’re never too old, and it is never too late for God to use you. Moses was eighty years old when he got his assignment, and Caleb was 85 when God gave him his mountain.
If anybody could have retired comfortably, it would have been Abraham. He was wealthy, with vast herds of cattle and sheep. According to some commentaries, he had at least a thousand servants. But then God came knocking. In Genesis 12 we find God telling him to pack up, leave everything behind, and take off on a journey – to somewhere.
I’m sure his wife wondered about his sanity. “Honey, this place represents your life’s work. What do you mean we’re going to start living in tents? Where are we going? What do you mean you ‘don’t know’?
Why would an old guy like Abraham pack up and leave for the wilderness? Let’s look at a few dynamics that are at work here – there is something to learn even if you’re not old.
He had the ability to hear God
He had the ability to believe what God said
The ability to denounce security for the sake of God
The ability to stay focused on the mission
The ability to accomplish the mission
Hearing God – chase Him until you recognize His voice.
Believing God – Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, now knowing where he was going”.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical de- lusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
I pray we would really internalize the word of grace….
Call To Unity – 1 Corinthians 1:10
1 Corinthians 1:10 – I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
I. Agree With One Another
II. Unite In Mind
III. Unite In Thought
I. Agree With One Another
Act 4:32 The whole group of believers was united in their thinking and in what they wanted. None of them said that the things they had were their own. Instead, they shared everything.
John 13:34 “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you.
John 13:35 All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”
Philippians 2:1 Think about what we have in Christ: the encouragement he has brought us, the comfort of his love, our sharing in his Spirit, and the mercy and kindness he has shown us. If you enjoy these blessings,
Philippians 2:2 then do what will make my joy complete: Agree with each other, and show your love for each other. Be united in your goals and in the way you think.
Philippians 2:3 In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.
Philippians 2:4 Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.
Philippians 2:5 In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought.
Philippians 2:6 He was like God in every way, but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit.
Agree with one another in love, don’t ever think you have the most bright idea than anyone else, give in to each other’s idea to fulfill it and not to please yourself.
We are called be one:
1. One In Love – Love like the Lord Jesus loves. No one is above or beneath him, He treated everyone of us as equal.
2. One In Goal – Our goal is evangelism towards unbelievers, and ministry towards believers.
3. One In Mind – Our mind is the mind of Christ, think of the lost souls as He’s thinking about it.
Live like a servant and you can be able to do all these things.
II. Unite In Mind
Ephesians 4:31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.
Philippians 1:27 Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 Show them the highest respect and love because of the work they do. Live in peace with each other.
Our mind is our will, if we will it, it will come to pass, because we share the same authority as Jesus have and much more because He’s in Heaven.
John 14:12 “I can assure you that whoever believes in me will do the same things I have done. And they will do even greater things than I have done, because I am going to the Father.
III. Unite In Thought
Philippians 4:8 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.
Luke 16:15 Jesus said to them, “You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. What people think is important is worth nothing to God.
Whatever is in our hearts, it will come out via our mouth. So it’s important to set our minds only on these thoughts:
1. Praise worthy
Whenever I think of these 7 things that we should think about that needs to come out of our mouth, the only thing that qualifies is God’s love and God’s Words. So think about His Words and you will not be tempted. The battleground between good and evil is our minds, think only on those 7 things and the battle has already been won.
Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.
2 Corinthians 12:1-5
Introduction: Last week, I said the Word of God mentions the word “unspeakable” three times:
– 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:4, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
– 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
I also said that, in these verses, we find God’s unspeakable Gift, His unspeakable Words, and our unspeakable joy.
– God’s unspeakable Gift is Jesus. The fact, that God gave Jesus, leaves us unable to declare its wonder.
– God’s unspeakable Words were too sacred to divulge.
– Our unspeakable joy is joy so full it defies description.
In this message, I wish to emphasize God’s unspeakable words. The story surrounding 2 Corinthians 12:4 is just as amazing as the truth found in it. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:2 that he knew a man above 14 years ago who was caught up to the third Heaven. In this passage, the man Paul knew was Paul himself. What was it that had happened fourteen some odd years before?
The Apostle Paul had journeyed to Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra. There, he ministered the Word of God and performed miracles in the name of Jesus. In particular, Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, had brought healing to a man who was crippled in his feet from birth and had never walked. The Word of God records that Paul “Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” (Acts 14:10) Because of this, Paul and Barnabas were viewed as gods by the people of Lystra. Then, the Bible says in Acts 14:19, “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.”
I believe that Paul was indeed stoned to death, but God performed a miracle, and Acts 14:20 records, “Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” It is a difficult thing to survive a stoning. During this time, Paul apparently visited Heaven, and, just as Lazarus was returned to this earth, so Paul was returned to continue his ministry. Lazarus was dead for four days, and Paul for only a few minutes. Both were brought back to life by the power of God. This is the story Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 12. In these verses, he relates what happened to him when he went to Heaven.
2 Corinthians 12:4 tells us that Paul was told things he could not repeat to anyone on earth, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” In other words, God said to Paul, “I’m going to tell you some things that I don’t want you to tell anyone else.” What did God tell him? We don’t know, because God told him not to tell anybody, and Paul kept God’s secret. These were God’s unspeakable words.
Why didn’t God want Paul to reveal the secrets of Heaven to anyone on earth? Because it wasn’t time yet. It wasn’t until more than 51 years later God revealed to the Apostle John the mysteries of Heaven.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Finding strength to press on only comes from surrendering to God’s will:
Life is full of struggles, difficulties, and problems. Some are bigger than others. But whether the Christian’s trials in life are of the garden variety, or more along the lines of major tragedy, there is but one thing that will overcome them—faith in God.
We must also keep in mind that our enemy, Satan, is always seeking opportunities to defeat us. We must never forget that there is a spiritual battle going on. Satan seeks to destroy us with our trials, while God seeks to develop us with them. The child of God cannot avoid trials. They can however, face those trials in faith toward God, and thwart Satan’s plan to defeat them.
Today we are dealing with one man’s approach to facing serious problems. Hezekiah, King of Judah, rather than letting the enemy put him in fear and frustration, chose to face his dilemma by faith in God. The problem Hezekiah and Judah faced was so enormous that only God could deliver them. And that is where faith comes in. When the problems are bigger than our ability to handle them, that’s our cue to just rely on God.
In this message we will not only see the enormity of Hezekiah’s problem, and how he chose to face it, but we will also see how unwavering faith produced a wonderful victory. One thing becomes clear in this account from God’s Word: God always honors steadfast faith in Him.
I. THE THREAT
II Chron.32: 1 “After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.”
A. The King Speedily Commenced Preparation.
1. He stopped the waters.
II Chron.32: 2 “And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib, was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,
3 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.
4 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
NOTE:  One of the first things I want you to notice here is that Hezekiah did not simply take a passive stance. He responded to this threat by first doing what he knew to be logical to do. That part didn’t take any faith—just common sense.
In 1937 architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a house for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. One rainy evening Johnson was entertaining distinguished guests for dinner when the roof began to leak. The water seeped through directly above Johnson himself, dripping steadily onto his bald head. Irate, he called Wright in Phoenix, Arizona. “Frank,” he said, “you built this beautiful house for me and we enjoy it very much. But I have told you the roof leaks, and right now I am with some friends and distinguished guests and it is leaking right on top of my head.”
Wright’s reply was heard by all of the guests. “Well, Hib, why don’t you move your chair?”
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p.14.
 Hezekiah did what anyone should do when trouble appears imminent—make preparations. The Bible backs up this way of thinking.
Prov.22: 3 “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but
the simple pass on, and are punished.”
 Hezekiah also determined not to give the enemy any unnecessary advantages. That’s why he stopped the waters outside the city. We too need to be careful not to give our enemy, Satan, any unnecessary advantages over us. Stop the devices of deception, delusion, lust, envy, hate, pride, greed recognize what device he is trying to beguile you with and refuse to allow it to over come you within. If something tast good to us we like it, But if something taste bad we don’t like it. Well cocaine saling or smoking is bad, but your receptors will lie and say yes!! this is good as well with all sin he “The Enemy of our soul tries to lure us into. Be on guard and fight strategically with the weapons of our Lord against this fool Of a enemy…
I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
New International Version (NIV)
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
Japanese bonsia trees are truly, perfectly formed minitures. They remain small no matter how old they get. Most are only fifteen to eighteen inches tall. To make a bonsai tree, a young sapling is pulled from the soil. Then, its taproot and some of the feeder roots are tied off. Thus, the growth of the bonsai is deliberately stunted.
In sharp contrast, California sequoia trees grow extremely large. The General Sherman stands 272 feet and measures 79 feet in circumference, If felled, this giant tree would provide enough lumber to build thirty-five, five room homes! The sequoia begins life as a small seed, no larger than the seed of the bonsai. However, its sapling is allowed to be nourished in the rich California soil and sunshine.
Neither the bonsai nor the giant sequoia has a choice in determining how large it will become. But we human beings do! We cannot blame others, including our parents, for what they have done or are doing to us. We have the opportunity to transplant ourselves into a nurturing, positive envoronment.
If others are trying to prune you back today, move away from their shears. Rejoice in who you are and who you can be. Find a new place to put down roots. Know that you don’t have to be toxic like those around you. The choice belongs to you rather you will allow your transformation to be peaceful in every circumstance, rather you will radiate love and positivity. Let your mind be transformed to “Trust” and obedience to “Elohim.” He will change your life, He will capture your roots in His soil of plenty, He will take your heart and make you over, He is your source for everything, he will let you be the head of every situation that once held you bound. Let Him lead and nurture you, get in a good heard of believers and begin to feed on the roots of Jesse.
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
New International Version (NIV)
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
This is a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and try to help themselves find the light. they are described as the kindling for a fire that is surrounding itself with sparks. What does this mean? It means that when we are in darkness, the temptation is to find our own way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him. Instead of allowing Him to help us, we try to help ourselves. We seek the light of the natural way and advice of our friends. We reason out our own conclusions and thereby may be tempted to accept a path of deliverance that would not be of God at all.
The light we see may be the fires from our own kindling, or deceptive beacons leading us towards the danger of the rocks, and God will allow us to walk in the false light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow. I speak from experience, I was stubborn and didn’t believe in the resurrection power of Jesus and was over taken by my sins and all the addictions and pain one can be exposed too. I say thais because my confession of Him as Lord of my life was not being seen as light due to my behavior. My ideas had consequence not relative to my beliefs.
If you are in a dark place at this time I extol and beseech you to stay there until God releases you. His timig is for a reason that only He knows the answer to. A time of darkness and trouble, struggle is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.
Remember, it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light. Stop interfering with God’s plans and with His will. Touching anything of His mars the work. Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time. You may be able to rush the unfolding of some aspects of God’s will, but you harm His work in the long run. You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to Him, without exception. “Not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
God sent me on when I would stay
(‘Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
‘Cross the path where I had stood.
He had me stay when I would go;
“Your will be done,” I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone,
A serpent with a mangled head.
I ask no more the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He does know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
From Sunday School Times
The cultivated Mind Measures the Man.–Never think that you have learned enough and that you may now relax your efforts. The cultivated mind is the measure of the man. your education should continue during your lifetime; every day you should be learning and putting to practicle use the knowledge gained. Remember, The similarity between an uncultivated field and an untrained mind is striking. Children and youth already have in their minds and hearts corruppt seed, ready to spring up and bear its perverting harvest; and the greatest care and watchfulness are needed in cultivating and storing the mind with precious seeds of Bible truths. I speak as one still thirsty to gain ground of information and dynomo power spoken of in Phillipians2:12-17 add this to your cultivating after you read this. Dynomite explodes every where, but the dynomo power is a direct reflection of a continuous connection to Him. reading praying serving expecting believing suffering joy honoring are tools to turn your ground upside down and replentish your new roots. Make it a great day live well my friends and family….