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Message: “The Blood of Jesus.”
Books to discuss: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Message: “The Infilling of the Holy Spirit.”
Books to discuss: John and Acts
March 2017 Message: “Forsaking it all to follow Jesus”
Book to discuss: Luke
April 2017 Message: “The Power of the Lord was Present to Heal.”
Books to discuss: Mark and Luke
Outstanding message for 2016
Book of Genesis Meaning: Beginning
Chapters to discuss: 1-12
What is God trying to tell us from these chapters? He is in full control of everything that is happening. Only do the part He told us to do, and let Him do His part He said He was going to do. If we try to do God’s part we will bring nothing but unnecessary pain and constant disappointments upon ourselves. If God does it in His way and at His timing, we will always find everlasting joy and a deep satisfaction regardless of the outcome or how long it takes to receive an answer.
1. For Adam and Eve to exist, He created an incredible universe that still fascinates the most brilliant minds even today. Scientists say if the earth were closer to the sun we’ll all fry to dead. If farther we would freeze to death. In Genesis 8:22, God said, “As long as the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Instead of understanding, accepting, and enjoying what God said about the seasons, many fight against and become depressed in winter. Why?
2. God, who is in full control after everything He made, “… saw that it was good” Chapter 1:4, the light was good. Verses 8-10, the sky, land, sea were, “…good”. The trees, the plants, fruits and vegetables were good, verses 11-12. And so on. Verse 31 ties it all together; “And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good….”
3. God created Adam and Eve in His own image and likeness. He performs the first wedding. He showed two total strangers how to move from single hood to married hood. He also showed them how to qualify and to remain qualified for marriage. 2:18-24.
4. He placed them in a garden He had planted and gave them authority to tend the garden, rule over the air, land, and sea. He blessed them, to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. He told them to eat freely as much as and as often as they wanted. “And it was so.” 1:26-30. Except for one restriction: 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “”you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.””
5. The couple disobeyed. They didn’t give God a chance to finish what He started. They tried to get rid of Him to be their own boss because they believed He wasn’t fair. The devil’s whole goal was to get them to see things from their own limited point of view, instead of seeing the big picture of God to obey His perfect will. Looking from their perspective, they momentarily forgot: “…for when you eat of it, you shall surely die.” They gambled. They lost it all. If they had only played their part, they would have still been living on earth today.
6. “Disobedience or rebellion is very painful and costly. It leads to all kinds of sins and deadly consequences. Obedience is the total opposite. “And Samuel said [to Saul], Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams: For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. 1 Samuel 15:23, 24 The Lord drove them out and banned them from returning. Genesis 3: 23-24. What a sad story! It gets worse.
7. In Chapter 4, their son (Cain) killed his younger brother (Abel), the first murder. In Chapters 5-6, the whole earth was filled with sin. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it grieved the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it grieves me that I have made them.” Genesis 6:5-7. Chapters 7-9 God drowns the whole world after 120 years of warning.
8. There is good news in the middle of the bad news. Before the flood, Adam and Even had another son named Seth. He also had a son named Enosh. Genesis 4:26, says, “…At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.” Noah also found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:9 says, “These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a righteous man [and] blameless in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God. God rescues only Noah and his family. Eight people total. (Genesis 7:13. He used this family to repopulate the earth (Genesis 10:32 “…From these the nations of the earth spread out over the earth after the flood). He made a personal covenant with Noah still visible today (Genesis 9:11-17).
9. The whole world had one language. God told them to scatter and fill the earth. The people decided to establish a city of their choice and build the towel of Babel to commemorate their genius. This was a major project that had not been done before. God had to intervene. Genesis 11:6-8, “And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city.”
10. The call of Abraham, the friend of God. 12:1 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee
The promise. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing (V2).
The bonus: I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I owill curse. And all people on earth will be blessed through you. (V3).
His obedience: So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
The fact or disappointment: “And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite [was] then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” His reaction: “And there built he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.”
Outstanding message for 2015
Message: It is better to agree with God!
Book to study: Genesis
Chapters to discuss: 18-19
We are going to be talking about chapters 18, 19. What is God trying to tell us from these chapters? He is in full control of everything that is happening. He has the final saying in the details of our life and the final word in the city or country no matter how weak or powerful it is. Whatever God says, as children of God, our part is to agree with Him. He tells us what He is going to do and listens to our response and watches our actions.
Chapter 18 starts in an awesome way. God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit seemed to take on human form and visit Abraham. Those of you who read the text, what was Abraham doing, verse 1? When he saw the three “men”, what was his reaction? Vs 2-5. What did the men say to him; last part of V5? Why did God visit Abraham? God visited him to give him a personal and a public message?
What was the personal message? He and Sarah were going to have a son. Was this the first time hearing this promise? No. God told him in Chapters 12, 13, and 15. In Chapter 16, they came up with a different agreement other than the one they had with God. Look at the disaster in the Middle East today! In Chapter 17 God tells him again. In Chapter 18, God came to give them the final good news, personally. When Sarah hear it this time what was her reaction? She laughed in doubt, V12. Did laugh? Yes. He did the same earlier in 17:17. How old was Abraham when God first promised him a son, Chapter 12:4? How old is he now, 17:1? How old was he when he had when he had his first son by Egyptian woman, Hagar, 16:16? What did God say when Sarah laughed, V13-15? He asked her why she laughed. She denied it because she was afraid. He deeply questioned her, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” (V14). He repeated to Abraham what He said in V10, “Sarah thy wife shall have a son”.
While leaving, He told Abraham His second reason for visiting. He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He also told him why He was going to destroy those twin powerful cities or kingdom: “And the Lord said, because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous” V20.
Instead of agreeing with God Abraham tried to change God’s mind. He wanted to know how a just God would destroy the righteous with the wicked. God assured him if He found at least 10 righteous He would spare the city. Do you know why this city is spared? The righteous live here. If God tells you He is going to burn it down, what should be your response? Father, what is your will and what would you like me to do, should be our response.
Can you see why so many prayers are not answered? In Chapter 19 we will see what happens when we pray according to our own will instead of the Lord’s will. We will see what happens when we force God to answer our prayers from our point of view. When He answers us it becomes a disaster. When the men left from speaking with Abraham they entered Sodom. Like his uncle Abraham, Lot saw them and invited them in for the night. Observe:
1.They refused, V2 ending. Why? “The Lord sent to destroy it”, end of V13. No Angelic respec
2.They granted Lot his wish because he insisted: “And he pressed upon them greatly, and the turned in unto him and entered into his house. He made them a feast and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat” V3. This was not part of God’s plan.
3.Lot put his family and the men he forced to come into his house in danger. All the men, young and old were perverted and vile. No townsmen respect for him, family, or guests no matter how long he had lived thereV4-9.
4.Lot was told to bring out whoever and whatever he had and get out of city. His sons-in-law took him for a joke.
5.Having wasted so much time the Lord graciously led lot and his daughters out of the city gave him clear instructions to flee to the mountains. Had he gone the story would have had a different end.
6.Lot again requests to go nearby to a small town. Why? He said he was afraid something bad would happen to him there. Something bad happened in Zoar. He lost his wife.
7.When he got to the mountain it was too late. All the men had escaped when the saw the fire.
8.He became the father of two boys when he slept with his daughters.
Because time is far spent, let us continue next week. Those of you who will be in the prayer meeting on Thursday we will share a bit more about. On Sunday we seem to be in such a big hurry. Like most churches, we try to do it all on Sunday. Why not balance it out on Thursday? We can give much time to pray. If you want to be obedient to God in prayer, grow in your prayer life, or having the elders of the church give special attention to your prayer request, the prayer meeting is the best place to be.
Do you like to pray according to your own human will? Carry on! If Jesus laid down His will for the Father’s, why do we expect to be blessed othewise? Jesus, prayed, “Not my will but thine be done”. Those of you who have learned to see things, hear things, pray for things from your own limited point of view, ask God this 2010 to open your heart and mind to see things the way He see them.
Those of you who have been bone dry from the holidays, this is the time to refresh your soul at this old fashion altar in prayer. If you are in a big hurry, you may quietly leave the building. Just don’t disturb the rest of us who want to pray. If you have little children please make sure they do not run up and down and down in the service. Let us give God our highest respect. Will the elders and deacons of the church please come forward?
Outstanding message for 2014
Message: “God said, I am blessed!”
Chapters to discuss: Genesis 21-33
This month’s message is, “God said that I am blessed” If we let God finish what He started, and agree with Him when He starts something, in the middle of something, and when He finishes, we will find out we are blessed. How do we know we are blessed? Are we blessed because we see the blessing? Are we blessed because we feel the blessing? Whether we see it or feel it, we know we are blessed because God said so.
In Gen 12:3, God said, to Abraham, (who was not a Christian, washed in the blood, filled with the Holy Ghost, or spoke in tongues), “…All people on earth will be blessed through you.” Are you a person? Are you living on earth? Are you washed in the blood, filled with the Holy Ghost? If you are, God says you are blessed. Remember it was in this same chapter 12 that God called him and told him to leave his country and go to a land He had picked out for him and his descendants. At that time Abraham had no children. When he got there, there were people already living on the land worshipping their various gods. Abraham lived among the people yet worshipped and remained faithful to the Only True and Living God. After a while a great famine struck the land. Abraham had to leave to find food in Egypt. Was Abraham blessed? Was he blessed going into Egypt or coming out? He was already blessed going and coming.
In Chapter 20, he went into the land of the Philistines. This is the second time Abraham allowed his fear to control him. What God had told him seemed small and what he was facing, bigger. Abraham thought the people were ungodly they would take his wife away from him and kill him. This is the same mistake blessed people make when we don’t realize we are blessed. Fear makes us accuse innocent people of something they are not guilty of. Listen to the conversation between King Abimelech and God. Chapter 20:1-7. God agreed with the king’s innocence. “…I have done this with a clear conscience and pure hands”. God said, “Yes, I know you have done this with a clear conscience so I kept you from sinning against me. This is why I did not let you touch her. Now give the man back his wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live.”
In Chapter 21, the Bible tells us that about 14 years ago Abraham and Sarah didn’t let God finish what He started They made one bad decision and Ishmael was born. Now Isaac is born. The promise God made to him 25 years ago had come to pass. The bad decision and the promise of God were living together. Bad idea! Some historians say Ishmael not only mocked this kid, the blessing, but was looking for ways to destroy him or it. “They that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8.
From this chapter following, we will see seven things those who know they are blessed will do:
1. Like Abraham, even in distressed, they are willing to obey God and correct their mistakes. 21:8-14. Sarah said,”Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman and her son will never share in the inheritance of my son Isaac. The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him do not be distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to Sarah (hear Sarah out, this time Sarah is right), it is through Isaac that your offspring will be blessed. “When you see Ishmael walking away say to yourself God says I am blessed!
2. The blessed is willing to pass God’s test. They are willing to give the whole blessing back to God. Nothing to lose. Abraham had waited 25 years; they had gotten rid of Ishmael. Then God said, put Isaac upon the altar and sacrifice him unto me. What a test! The thing you are holding on to so tight in your heart. Maybe somebody wronged you so bad and it is holding your heart like a cold stone, God wants you to put it on the altar. Maybe God promised you something and it has come to pass. But the thing is taking more attention from God. But God wants you to free yourself from the whole burden, idea, or plan. To put it all on the altar so He can be more important to you than the blessing. When He tests you and finds out He is more important to you than any person, place, or thing, He will give the blessing back to you. 22:16-18. “I swear by myself because you have done this you didn’t hold back your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore…All nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.”
3. The blessed is willing to pay the full price until the right time. Chapter 23. The land was promised to Abraham. When Sarah died he needed a place to bury her. The locals told him to bury his dead even in any of their tombs for free. Abraham refused! He insisted on paying the full price. Why? Because you are blessed don’t expect everything to be easy for free. Sometimes being blessed will cause you some things.
4. The blessed speak with confidence while others carry it out fully. Chapter 24.1-8
5. The blessed know all the blessings God promised will not all come to pass in their life time. In Chapter 25, Isaac marries Rebecca. She is barren. Abraham dies. Never saw his grand children. Esau and Jacob are born. Hebrews 11:12, “All these people were still living by faith when they died…”
6. Those who are blessed and know they are blessed; other will risk their lives or go the extra mile to bring your blessing to pass. Chapter 27;
7. Those who are blessed some of them remain in the land and reap 100 fold. E.g. Isaac Chapter 26:1-14. Others move abroad and suffer so hard to get their blessings E.g. Jacob. Chapter 27-33. Steals the blessing. Get the blessings and runs away from his brother to meet his uncle, runs away from his uncle to meet his brother. Ten times his uncle cheated him.
Outstanding message for 2013
Message: “Stumbling blocks when God speaks.”
Chapters to discuss: Exodus 5-11
Many people get discouraged when the thing God said and the thing they are experiencing collide. They assume everything God said to them in this fallen world will or should go unchallenged and unhindered. From the dawn of creation every true messenger of God has been and shall be, at some point, buffeted, hindered, tested, and tried to show how s/he stands with God and the Word. While there will be and should always be God’s abiding peace from within, there would most likely be pressure, in various measures, from without. Nothing is wrong with you or with what God told you. It may be a word God has given you against an unjust leader, a corrupt system, bias situation, or a compromising circumstance. Upon speaking you may find yourself a victim. When Moses spoke to Pharaoh, Pharaoh not only rejected what God said, he intensified pressure upon the children of Israel. Having someone outside your trusted circle reject what you said is one thing. To have people in the circle renounce you is quite another.
Have you been rejected by the inner circle? Welcome! Not yet? Maybe you have comforting words for the discomfort. This is the ministry God has given you. Keep it. Respect it. Be faithful in it till death. God will reward you accordingly. Don’t meddle in the affairs of ministers bearing a different mantle. They have a ministry to unease false hopes and ungodly comforts. In the future, if you find yourself clothed with this mantle from above, welcome in advance.