There are many times in scripture that God uses the metaphor of a house as the place where God lives in our lives. V.17 "dwell" means to literally pitch your tent and make your home there. That Christ may settle down and be at home in your life. Christ wants to come into your life and live in you. What you do are like rooms in your life. The Bible talks about the man who built his house upon the sand... and the other man on the rock AND our bodies are to be temples/dwelling places of the Holy Spirit.
The Entryway - Christ comes in and brings light, peace and love. He brings the music of forgiveness and fills you with purpose and fellowship. Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock."
The Study - what magazines and books in your home will Jesus see? He knows your imaginations and thoughts. Would he find a Bible on the coffee table and what pictures will he see on your wall?
The Kitchen - What would he find that is your favorite thing to eat? Jesus said "my meat is to do the will of my Father." Is your favorite money, education, prestige? He gives you a new recipe - make God's will your priority.
The Living Room - the place where you sit and talk with friends. Have a friendly chat with Jesus. It begins great but business, appointments and circumstances take up a lot of your time and you are too busy to go in there. You walk by and notice the door is open and Jesus is sitting there waiting for you to talk with him.
The Work Room - haven't made anything lately. Jesus asks what you are making for God? Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. You will be amazed at what God can do through you.
Recreation Room - "Man Cave" - fun room - don't often invite Jesus into this room, because of the kinds of people who are in there. Jesus wants to give this room a makeover, replacing things that need to be removed and placing new faces, new actions, new joys. Jesus said "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly."
John 15:11 "These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
Upstairs Closet - Jesus smells a bad odor coming from upstairs. It is coming from a small closet - the door is always closed and locked. No one goes in there. It is where bad habits or faults are kept and stored. Don't want Jesus to know about this room or go in. He wants the key to the room to clean all the filth out and replace it with forgiveness. He wants to help us keep our house clean. 1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Jesus is just a guest but He wants to be the owner of your house/life - sign the title deed of your life over to him. He wants to be the owner of all you possess. Give it all to Jesus... let him be Savior AND Lord, not just the guest but also the manager of your life.
There are many different kinds of church members - generational, confrontational, recreational, relational, devotional OR peace breakers (cause conflict), peace makers (seek and promote peace) or peace fakers (words promote peace but actions cause conflict).
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job in the church to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
We find 3 very different church members in 3 John.
1) Gaius- v.1-8 - the first mentioned; may have owned the house where the church met; served others; he was probably the recipient of the letter; personally known by John; called well beloved, whom I love; John rejoiced in his truth, his walk and talk in truth; he was charitable to traveling preachers and missionaries.
He was faithful and generous.
Faithful - v.2 prayed that his physical well being would be as strong as his spiritual well being; believed well consistently; "I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one any day."
Generous - v.5-6 received and entertained traveling missionaries. The example was set here early in the 1st century. There was no organized mission program but for those who couldn't go, they were to support those who did go.
2) Diotrephes - v.9-11 - opposite of Gaius; loved the spotlight on himself; puts self first, refused to receive traveling missionaries; and discouraged others from doing that; would put others out of the church fellowship
3) Demetrius -dutiful v.7-8 , 12 - well spoken of by others; attracts others; went forth and took nothing from Gentiles for God's name and the sake of the gospel; we therefore ought to receive such; Be fellow helpers in the faith and in our offerings.
2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done.
Will you receive a thimble full of rewards or a bucket full?
What is the longest shadow cast on earth? That would be the Solar Eclipse which goes for miles. However, the longest shadow cast on earth is the spiritual shadow - FAITH... time-wise. The shadow of faith lasts for generations. As Christians and grandparents we should be spiritual shadow casters - across the lives of our children and grandchildren.
2 Timothy 1:5-7
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
There are three words that describe Timothy's faith.
1) OUGHT - Faith
Correct or Right faith. V5 - unfeigned means undisguised, clear, transparent. Lois and Eunice had a faith that was undisguised, they did not try to hide their faith. They passed their faith on to Timothy through scriptures. Brother Steve shared that a poll has been taken and 50% of Americans don't believe that the Bible is literally true. They believe that the Bible is filled with fables and stories like all the other beliefs. V5 - dwelt means a place where something lived consistently, not part time, but actually where something was done.
2) A TAUGHT FAITH
2 Timothy 3:14-15 - 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Timothy's faith was a taught and learned faith. His mother Eunice and grandmother Lois taught and lived the principles of scripture in front of Timothy. Timothy's mother Eunice was a believer. ( Acts 16 - Then came Paul to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
His mother, Eunice, was a believing Jewess but his father was a non-believing Greek.
3) A CAUGHT FAITH
Timothy's faith was a CAUGHT FAITH. The faith of Timothy's mother and grandmother was caught by Timothy and stuck with him for the rest of his life, for when Paul met Timothy, (Acts 16), Paul asked Timothy to be Paul's traveling companion on his second missionary journey. Later Timothy became Pastor at Ephesus. Apparently Timothy's Grandmother Lois took the time to tell Timothy about Jesus. She was a spiritual shadow caster of Jesus on Timothy.
May God help us grandparents to all be Spiritual Shadow Casters of Jesus on the lives of our children and grandchildren!
LABOR DAY MESSAGE - DR STEVE JACKSON - SEPTEMBER 3, 2023
IN 1882 - the first labor day parade was held. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a National Holiday, signing it into law.
Three wise choices for us this Labor Day - Make a deposit, Take a picture, Raise a flag
Three Foolish Choices and Three Wise Choices - Luke 12:13-21
Rich man built bigger barns; much goods laid up for some time; eat, drink. be merry.
God said, "Thou fool, your soul will be required of you this very night."
Meaning of fool in scripture - Psalm 14:1; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 14:12; Romans 1:22
A lack of spiritual discernment
As a farmer he worked hard and made good decisions. People look at someone; God looks in someone.
The farmer was lacking in spiritual preparation but good in physical preparations.
1st Foolish Decision - riches were more important than wealth; brother asked for a division of riches equally; Man's life does not consist of the abundances he possesses. Where does real wealth lie? We should worry more about our spiritual portfolio rather than bank deposits.
1st Wise Decision - Make a Deposit in the Bank of Heaven on something money can't buy.
2nd Foolish Decision - provisions are more important than preparation; pulled down barns and built bigger barns, preparing for future because of what he had.
God has provided for us. Don't mistake of having many possessions as being prepared.
2nd Wise Decision - take a picture, a spiritual selfie, visualize taking a picture of yourself doing something good for God; Pass along these memories for children and grandchildren.
3rd Foolish Decision - He was in control of his life and not God. v.19-20 I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; but v.20 God says go ahead and build your barns... "Thou fool, this night thy soul will be required of thee, then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" The time is coming when you must meet your Creator.
3rd Wise Decision - Raise a Flag over the castle of your life; a white flag of surrender to the Lord.
Focus on something money can't buy; Take a picture of doing something for the Lord; Raise the flag of surrender to the Lord.
FORGETFULNESS - DR STEVE JACKSON - AUGUST 27, 2023
Forgetfulness can be a dangerous thing. God knows we forget and helps us.
Verbally - Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.
Visually - The Lord's Supper - This do in remembrance of me.
Does God forget? A Yes B. No C. Yes and No
The first expressions of God remembering is found in
Genesis 8:1 - Noah
Genesis 19 - God remembered Lot and his family
Genesis 30:22 - God remembered Rachel
God remembers all the way through Revelation
The only righteous people at that time were Noah and his family. God told him to build an Ark and Noah asked what is an Ark?
20 feet wider than a football field; 80 feet longer and 4 stories high. It was the first time to float on water. They were on the boat for a year, it stopped raining at 3 months. Did God forget Noah?
Sometimes we feel that God has forgotten us. He has not forgotten but focuses on the appropriate time to remember.
Genesis chapter 8 - wind blows, raven sent out
Isaiah 49 - God does not forget... he has our names on his hands always before him. He sees all and cares. Psalm 139 You have encircled me. God never forgets a promise. God has promised and God cannot lie.
Romans 8 - Whenever we pray, the Spirit is praying alongside us.
Does God forget? C. Yes and No
God forgets our sins Jeremiah 31:34
Satan accuses us; he will bring up the past. God offers to free you from the past.
Isaiah 38:17; Psalm 103:12; Micah 7:19
God has cast all our sin in the sea of his forgetfulness and posted a sign for Satan and for all...
NO FISHING HERE.
SECURITY - DR STEVE JACKSON - AUGUST 20, 2023
A Matter of Security - 2 Timothy 1:12 - " I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." The word "committed" is a financial word = deposit.
3 Questions - Who? Why? What?
1) to Whom is Paul committing something, depositing something, placing his security? Paul said I am placing my trust in God in Jesus Christ who is giving us his life - both in quality, abundant life and in quantity, eternal life.
Paul said I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED... PERSONALLY. I met him on the road to Damascus where I was going to get Christians to persecute. And I was never the same again! 1 Corinthians 15:10 - "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." There is lots I don't know, but I know JESUS! He is my best friend, he loves me, he forgives me. Paul chose Jesus to be the One in whom he would place his life, his most valuable possession.
2) Why Jesus? Because he is able to keep that which I have committed to him. After all, he created from nothing our complex and beautiful world. He has made me into a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things pass away, all things become new. He is able!
to give us sufficient grace - 2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; to Guide us - Ephesians 3:20 - Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think; He gives us strength - Jude 24 - "Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling"; He can save us - Jude 24 - "He is able to save them to the uttermost;" he provides complete security - John 10:28 - "And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
3) What is so precious that Paul trusts Jesus to provide security for it?
Paul said my most valuable possession is my life - my soul. My past, my present, my future. And I give it to Jesus for safe-keeping. Jim Eliot said "He is no fool to give away what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
So, where do you keep your valuables, your precious possessions - the bank, your safe deposit box, under the mattress, or in a jar buried in your backyard? Who has guard over your valuable possessions?
Paul said - "MY SECURITY IS IN JESUS CHRIST!"
REVIVAL - DR STEVE JACKSON - AUGUST 6, 2023
Another wonderful sermon from Brother Steve on August 6 about Revival, from Ezekiel 37.
1) Is a revival needed? Ezekiel was transported by God to a battlefield where there were many bones. They were dry. Once they were alive but now they are dead. He was in despair for he sees that as a picture of his people. They are spiritually dead because of their sin. They had lost their feeling, their remorse of sin. Sin must wound you in order to heal you and it must be healed.
2) Is revival possible? Can these bones live again? Ezekiel replied, "Lord, thou knowest." God can bring life to people who are spiritually dead. I Corinthians 5:17 - if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things pass away and behold all things become new." God changes lives through his Spirit and His Word.
3) How does it happen? A} It starts with one person, me or you. in 1776 1 vote decided what language would be the language of the USA. We speak English rather than German. 1 vote determined that Adolph Hitler would be chancellor of Nazi Germany. One person has awesome power and revival begins with one person, you or me! B} God gives the mission... He told Ezekiel to preach to these dry bones. He has given us his message of hope. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." That message is our mission to share with everyone everywhere.. C} Ezekiel accepted God's mission and preached to those dry bones and they came alive. God told him that these dry bones were the whole house of Israel. Ezekiel was to preach to Israel and God would bring Israel back to life spiritually, and Ezekiel did. God eventually brought the children of Israel back together and promised them that they would live in their own land. It all came true.
For revival to take place, "we must want what God wants, love what God loves, and hate what God hates."
July 23, our pastor, Brother Steve Jackson preached a wonderful message on the Danger of Anger from Ephesians 4:26-32.
"Anger is real and dangerous. We all struggle with anger at various times in our lives. There are 4 kinds of Biblical anger.
1) Sudden or fiery anger... it needs to be controlled. Galatians 5:22-23; Proverbs 14:7; 19:19; 15:18. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for HELP. Will Rogers said, "When you fly into a rage, you seldom make a soft landing."
2) Stubborn or slow or smoldering anger... Needs to be conquered. "Don't let the sun go down on your anger." Replace it with kindness and forgive others. God gave you a 2nd chance, give others a second chance.
3) Sinful or jealous anger... needs to be confessed. Good example is the older brother in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 5. 1 Kings 11:9. When things don't go your way - Jonah 4; 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 18:13; 22:35.
4) Spiritual anger... needs to be dealt with. Sometimes our hearts are hardened. Needs to find right direction and be reminded of our destination. Ephesians 4:26; 1 Kings 11:9; Mark 3:5; Exodus 32; 1 Samuel 11:6
The book of Psalms is a song book for the Hebrews. Psalm 23 was written by David, who was very talented - played the harp, great warrior, great king, and handsome.
In this psalm, David expressed many things that God supplied him with... personal relationship, refreshment, rest, restoration, assurance, pardon, freedom from evil, prosperity, preparation, good. Philippians 4:19 says "God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
"The Lord is MY Shepherd." David was intimate with the Ultimate One.
"I shall not want." David's philosophy of life was that God was good. Dr. Yancey called this David's summary statement. The rest of the Psalm is an explanation of this statement.
"Lie down in green pastures" He provides rest when we are weary and restores our strength. Shepherds had no houses, only the ground as their bed and the sky as their blanket. But one day we will be in God's House "mansions prepared for us"
It is God's nature to "lead us only in paths of righteousness," because that is the very nature of God. He will lead us to do what is morally right.
Verse 4 "walk through the valley of the shadow of death." Jesus leads us to WALK through this valley not to run, because we have no fear because Jesus walks with us.
"He comforts us..." we all experience sorrow over the loss of a dear loved one and he is there to comfort us.
"Prepare a table before us in the presence of my enemies" It is a lavish banquet and our enemies, the enemies of God, can only look on and never experience it.
"Anoint my head with oil because we are special as His children." David was anointed by Samuel as King of Israel, in spite of his moral failures and his sins - murder, adultery. God can forgive anything. He could forgive David and did.
"Cup runneth over" God continues to shower us with his goodness and mercy. God's goodness was shown in David's life forever.
And his eternal home in heaven would be David's reward for placing his faith in God.
Dr Yancey concluded with the description of Angel Martinez, a Mexican/American evangelist, who said this about God's goodness.
God took a candle, the taper of creation, and lit the sun and stars in heaven.
He scooped out the valleys and piled up the mountains and hills.
He threw the carpet of grass down and tacked it in place with the beautiful flowers
And he took the rainbow like a scarf and put it around the shoulders of a dying storm
All to remind us of his goodness and mercy that would walk alongside us all our lives.
It was over 65 years ago when I asked Jesus to come into my life and I really meant it. Maybe it's been that long for some of you. in the 50's, Angel Martinez, a Mexican American Evangelist, came to my home church, FBC, Suffolk, Virginia and led a revival. He preached messages about Jesus that really spoke on my level, as a nine year old boy. He helped me realize that I was a selfish child, always wanting to be first in everything - in line for ice cream at VBS, first in Bible Drills, first in races, in softball, etc. I realized that God didn't want me to be like that, not ever thinking about anyone else but me. During the revival, Angel helped me to understand the need for putting Jesus first in my life even as a young boy, and to do that, I needed to trust Him as my Savior. I was sorry I hadn't thought about others or Jesus so I asked Jesus to come into my life and help me to be more like Him. That night, Jesus did. The next Sunday I was still so broken-hearted that during the invitation hymn, I started crying. I knew something was wrong in my life. Dad looked down at me and asked if I wanted him to walk with me down to the front to make my decision for Jesus public. I did and he did. I have never regretted that day. It has been a long time ago, but I still remember that Jesus died for me as a selfish boy and He could forgive me and help me live the kind of life that I really wanted to live and that He wanted me to live. I didn't understand much except I knew that Jesus could come into my life and change me, and I wanted Him to do that. I would not tell you that I have completely lived that way all my life but He's still working on me and we are getting there. In the meantime, I have learned so much about Him and His Word and am still trying to be more like Him. He is helping me through His Holy Spirit.
Now even though that has been a long time ago, I still believe in the power of Jesus to change lives today. He took away the punishment for my sins and yours on the cross, something we could never do. We could never be good enough to get to heaven. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that "even though we could speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not agape... and have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledege, and have faith enough to move mountains. and have not agape... and give all my goods to feed the poor and give my body to be burned and have not agape, it profiteth me nothing (absolute zero)." We need Him because God says in I John because God Himself is Agapao. It is a self giving, selfless love, expecting nothing in return, always putting God's will and plan first, others second, and yourself last.
My song for you this week is "I believe in a hill called Mt Calvary, I believe whatever the cost, and when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I'll still cling to the old rugged cross." Genuine Christians still believe in the cross and the power Jesus has to change lives today, because He changed us completely and new life is ours. He has gone on ahead of us to prepare a place for us and the angel said He will come again in the same manner as you have seen him go." I still believe that. Do you?
John Newton was born in 1725 to a Puritan mother who died when he was 7. He had a stern seafaring father and his youth was spent in traveling the sea and learning to drink as a salior.
John Newton (1725–1807) wrote the words from an extraordinary encounter with God.
He was what we would call a reprobate, a totally immoral person, corrupt and perverted. He was conscripted into service in the Royal Navy and was so corrupt, he tried to desert. His debased demeanor caused him to be demoted to common sailor. After leaving the service and having no moral conviction, he became involved in the slave trade in the Atlantic. In 1748, God got his attention through a violent storm that battered his vessel off the coast of Ireland during which his ship almost sank. He prayed to God for mercy and God saved him and his ship. He began reading the Bible and was convicted of his sinful lifestyle and repented. He considered this experience with God as marking his conversion to Christianity, but he continued slave trading until 1754 or 1755. Newton began studying Christianity and under deep conviction eventually gave up his slave trade. God caused such a drastic change in his life that 10 years later he was actually ordained into the Church of England(1764). He became priest in a small congregation where he began to write hymns to accompany his messages. With poet William Cowper "Amazing Grace" was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year's Day of 1773. It is unknown if there was any music accompanying the verses; it may have been chanted by the congregation.
It was not until 1788, 34 years after leaving it that he renounced his former slaving profession by publishing a blazing pamphlet called “Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade.” The tract described the horrific conditions on the ships and Newton apologized for making a public statement so many years after participating in the trade: “It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.” The pamphlet was so popular it was reprinted several times and sent to every member of Parliament. Under the leadership of MP William Wilberforce, the English civil government outlawed slavery in Great Britain in 1807 and Newton lived to see it, dying in December of that year.
"Amazing Grace" became a popular song used by Baptist and Methodist preachers as part of their evangelizing, especially in the South in the early 19th century. In 1835, American composer William Walker set it to the tune known as "New Britain" in a shape-note format; this is the version most frequently sung today.
With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, "Amazing Grace" is one of the greatest songs written in Christianity.
God's Grace is Amazing and has no limits!
Jesus had a lot to say about the truth in John chapter 8. He was speaking about Himself... that if someone does not believe that He is the One sent from the Father, that person will die in his sins. John 8:24. He went on to say that if a person would accept the Truth that He is the Son of God, that Jesus would forgive him of His sins and give him a relationship with God. John 14:6.
There are many today that do not accept the many truths found in the Word of God, because they will not accept the relationship that Jesus offers them with the Father. When God created the world, he set certain physical truths in motion... planets moving around the sun... gravity holding us to the earth... becoming a boy or girl when you are born... Humans have human babies. Humans do not have puppies or kittens or baby animals of any other species. That is science!
Eve gave birth to Cain, Abel and Seth, Adam did not. By God's design, men cannot have babies. Every person on earth that has ever lived (except Adam or Eve) has been born of a woman. It is through the union of a man and a woman that a child is conceived. A child... a baby boy or girl. Satan is at war with God and will do everything he can to pervert the truths of God. Indeed, he has tried and found many who would believe his lies.
I find it sad that so many have come to accept the perversions of Satan. The truth is that no matter how many Satan has turned to believe his lies, it still does not change the truths of God.
Would you please tell your children and grandchildren the real truth and where they can find it... in God's Word!? Make them aware that some of their classmates may not know God's Word and may be tempted to doubt the truths found there. Encourage them to tell their friends about the real truth and where to find it!