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We Call Him Father

(Jn. 5:17-18) “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” In the day of Jesus, calling God “Father,” was a shocking statement, because that placed you in the direct family of God Himself. The concept of God having a Son was also foreign to the teaching of the “one God” doctrine of the Jew. However, it was not foreign to the prophesies of scripture concerning the coming of “Messiah,” or the “prince” that shall come (Dan. 9:25-26). 1) Jesus Called God “My Father .”  Only God’s true children can call Him Father. Of course, Jesus was and is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh, (His first born), but today anyone who calls upon Jesus for salvation can now call God Father. (Heb 2:10) “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory...” (Rom. 8:15)”…
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Go And Share The Gospel

(John 4:35) “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” These verses have been used for centuries by Preachers to challenge God’s people to win souls and labor in the world for Christ, but because of our human nature we can grow cold to this calling and forget to think about the eternal souls of the people around us. Then, all to soon comes a funeral or a sickness that causes us to be concerned. In the above verse Jesus challenged his disciples on how to stay focused on the souls of men, for he just witnessed to a woman standing at a well about her eternal soul, and because he did she believed on him and her witness caused an entire town to come out to find him. Therefore, Jesus commanded; 1)Lift up your eyes. In other words, stop being so distracted and place your focus onto what is really important. As Christians it’s very possible to be more focused on our…

The Son OF Man

(John 3:3) “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” The term“Son of man”was not first introduced to us by Jesus Christ, but rather by Daniel in (Daniel 7:13) “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” Speaking of a future time when Jesus Christ returns to this earth a second time, to set up his kingdom after the tribulation period. So, when we speak and preach of Jesus, we speak of the “Son of God” who became “a man.” In (Jn 3:14) 1) “The Son of man was lifted up.” Speaking of his crucifixion and death for the sins of men. (v. 14) says, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness...” so must Jesus have been lifted up “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (15).” 2) “The Son of man came to Save.” (v.18) “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth n…

"Ye Must Be Born Again"

(John 2:23-25) “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” In the above verse the Bible speaks of the “many” that followed Jesus because of what they were seeing, and because of their need for healing, but  Jesus did not “commit himself” to them.  By “commit,” the Bible means that they could not receive the truth of who Jesus was. Why? Because they sought not Christ as it were by faith. Even today “many” people still follow Jesus in a wrong way. In (Jn. 3:3)  one such man came to Jesus by night seeking truth, but Jesus said to him that the only way to find truth was to be “born again.” This man Nicodemus was a religious ruler in Israel, a Pharisee, who came by night fearing his religious colleagues, but the message to him was the same as it is to all men, …

The Wine Made By Jesus

(John 2:10-11) “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”  The above verses record the reaction of men after they saw and heard that Jesus turned water into wine. Unfortunately, over the years this story has been twisted to teach more about the wine making ability of Jesus rather than the reaction of men after they saw this miracle. The verse above says that the “glory” of Jesus was “manifested” and his disciples “believed on him.” How sad it is that these verses have been used to support the view that it’s ok for Christians to drink alcohol, when in context it was to introduce to us his glory. To fully understand what took place with the wine, we first of all would have had to have been there, second it doesn’t say that the wine was alcoholic that Jesus…

Christians Are Called To Be Disciplers

(John 1:37)  “And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” As we move once again into another new year, it’s good to look back and challenge ourselves concerning our service and walk with God. In the above verse we read for the first time in this gospel account the word “disciple.” John the Baptist had disciples and when Jesus came onto the scene the disciples that followed John left him to now follow Jesus. Why, and what is so special about making disciples? 1) We are all called to be disciples of Jesus.A disciple is a “trainee” or an “apprentice.” He or she is someone who is expected to follow the trainer, learn their skills, and then pass them on. If these skills are not passed on, they will die with the trainer. In salvation we are all called to not just be saved but to pass on the skills and truths that we have both learned and practice in Christ. 2) We are called to make disciples. Our job is to seek out disciples through the preaching of the gospel. God is t…

Giving God The Right Present At Christmas

(Matt. 2:11) “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts;...” Christmas is all about the giving of gifts; God gave the world Jesus (Jn.3:16), and here we see the wise men giving gifts as well. I think that in  many ways, gifts are the real reason that the world enjoys Christmas time, but to those of us that understand God’s purpose in sending His Son Jesus, we love this season for a different reason. The Biblical account doesn’t say how many wise men came from the east seeking Jesus, but it does tell us that they gave three different types of gifts; 1) Gold. In Jesus’ day gold was given to honor new kings, and to increase their wealth. Gold also represents the very best that God had to give to us but also the very best man should give to God. 2) Frankincensewas the incense burned in the temple of Solomon. It represented praise, prayer, …

The Dayspring From On High Hath Visited US

(Luke 1:78) “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,” John the Baptist was an important messenger of the Christmas Story because he was the first man to proclaim the great threefold message of Jesus’ coming; 1) To shed light on the knowledge of Salvation. What a great merciful thing it was for God to give man Jesus Christ, but also to state clearly in His Word the way of Salvation and the eternal mercy we have in him, through being “born again,”.2) To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.  What a great peace is given to the lonely, the destitute, and those who are facing the fearful time of death. Jesus places within every believer His Holy Spirit, who not only comforts us with His presence during times of despair and darkness, but who also gives to us an eternal peace and hope that not even death can take away. 3) To guide our feet in the way of peace. God’s Word not only guides us into the way of His salv…

Why John The Baptist Was Sent To Israel

(John 1:6) “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”  Why did God send John the Baptist to Israel before Jesus was introduced to them?  1) To answer the prayer of two faithful people. John’s parents Zacharias and Elizabeth prayed for a child for years, and in their later years God gave them John.  2) He came on a special mission from God. John was full of the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15), and his mission was not to turn Israel back to religion, but rather to turn their hearts back to God, and “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (18). 3) To preach the coming of Israel’s Messiah. Jesus Christ was the “Word that became flesh,” and “John bare witness of him...” Jesus wasGod’s eternal Son, The Word, The Light, and our deliverer, and so John preached as Elijah did of old, foretelling his coming as also Isaiah said to Israel in (Chp.40:3) when he proclaimed “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the LORD, make strai…

Being A Fellowhelper Of The Truth

(3John 1:7)“Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” Above, we are commanded to be “fellowhelpers” to the missions program of God here at WSBC. Another Faith Promise year is upon us, and again we will be taking  pledges for another year. Now before we do, it’s vital that each of us pray and seek God’s leading  before we pledge. The worst thing that we can do is to pledge and not give. Why? Because our missionaries are counting on our money to “fellow help” them in their effort to go to their specific field! When we fail to keep our word, it’s not us that suffers, but them. So, first we need to seek the will of God and then by faith pledge not just our money but our word. Our slogan this year is “Making the gospel fully known in 2020,”(2 Tim. 4:17). In this verse, the Apostle Paul made it perfectly clear that he saw world missions as his personal responsibility.…

Do You Believe God Concerning Your Giving

(2 Cor. 9:7-8)"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (7). (8) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" On the Faith Promise Slips that have been handed out to you is the promise of (verse 8), that cannot happen unless you first obey (verse 7). When it comes to giving to Faith Promise Missions, God never tells us what to give, but He lets us purpose the amount in our heart so that we by faith pledge it for missionary support. His only command is that we give it cheerfully and not because we have to, for then and only then is God free to supply all our needs (8), making sure that we not only have enough money to give what we pledge but also that we have enough for our bills and for anyother “good work” that we decide to give to. Our faith therefore releases God’s promise above (after) our…

Doing Your Part In Making The Gospel Fully Known

(2 Tim.4:17) “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear...”Every believer in Jesus Christ has been called to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Therefore, #1) See your calling Personally. In the above verse the Apostle Paul said, “that by me.” What Paul didn’t do here was push his responsibility to reach the world for Christ on someone else, but rather implied, I’m going to do my part. #2) See your calling Potentially.God has given us the ability to reach the whole world, so that “all the Gentiles might hear:” (1 Tim. 2:4) Tells us that He desires “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God’s vision therefore is to make the gospel “fully known.”#3) See your calling Powerfully. (Acts 1:8) Tells us that “we will receive power after the Holy Ghost comes upon us.” This power to witness is not of the flesh, but rather Christ’s Spirit within us as …

Regret Is A Choice

(Gal. 6:7-8) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Regret is a terrible choice to make, when God’s blessings are also available. In the Bible there are two different types of regret; 1) The Regret of the Unsaved. In the above verse God warns all men that once choices are made, they cannot be reversed. For example,  If someone hears the gospel of Jesus Christ and refuses to repent of his sin and get saved in this life, he chooses to go to Hell himself. Why? Because he refused the salvation of Christ, choosing therefore his own way.  So, as a result forever he will suffer the torment of Hell and  suffer the “regret” of his decision forever.  2) The Regret of the Saved. God gives every saved believer the same opportunities to grow in the Lord, win souls, pray, study their Bibles, and overcome …

Focusing More On Faith Than Fear

(1 Pet.3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”  It’s very easy to focus on fear as a Christian and not stand for the truth when under persecution and trial, and that’s exactly why God needs men and women to focus more on faith than fear. To focus on faith; 1) Sanctify God in your Heart. By“sanctify” in the above verse, God wants all believers to place Him and His Word above any and all fears. Peter does not just use the word “God” above, but “The Lord God,” stressing the importance of placing yourself under a complete obedience to His will. In other words, to solely trust in Him so when trials and persecutions arise, His power  handles them all. 2) Study God’s Word. How can we wisely answer those that ask the reason of our hope and beliefs if we don’t know the Bible? Therefore, we are to “humbly” and “fearfully” (or reverently) use it as we  hold for…

The Importance Of Encouragement

(2 Tim. 4:11)“Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”  These words were penned by the Apostle Paul shortly before his death in AD 68,  35 yrs. after the death of Christ, and 20 yrs. after John Mark quit the ministry and went home during Paul’s first missionary journey. Why are these dates important, because the John Mark of 35 years earlier was not the same man of faith in (2 Tim. 4:11). What was different about him?  Maturity! John Mark was used by God after Paul’s death to write the Gospel of Mark, but as a young man he was certainly not qualified. The early John Mark was there at the betrayal of Christ in the garden in (Mark 14:51-52), and like the other disciples of Jesus he too ran in fear, but he also failed the Apostle Paul and quit. So bitter was Paul over his quitting that he refused to take him on his second missionary journey in (Acts 15), however Mark’s uncle Barnabas believed in him and took him with him on h…

The Truth Of The Trinity

(Mark 12:29-30) “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:... In the above verses Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that even though he was a man in flesh, he was still God, the Lord from heaven. This truth is commonly referred to as the “Trinity of God.” The cults deny the Trinity, and therefore dethrone Christ and make him less than God, but the Bible teaches us that God is indeed three distinct and separate persons yet “One Lord.”. 1) All 3 are co-equal in essence. Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” “for it pleased the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell.” (Col. 1:15,19), and The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and Christ. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom. 8:11). 2) All 3 are God. God created the world in (Gen. 1:1). It states that G…

Pay Your Taxes and Tithe

(Mark 12:17) “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” Like the air we breath and the water we drink, the taxing and the giving of money is a part of life. As Christians it’s important that we not hold onto our money too tightly because God requires that we pay both our taxes and our tithes. 1) Taxes.  God ordained and instituted government for our good (Rom. 13:4). Many things are payed for by taxes; our police force and judges, garbage disposal, schools, military, road and bridge repairs, and yes even our politicians. (Rom. 13:6) “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” 2) Tithes and Offerings.  Just as in the O.T. where God required Israel to tithe 10%  of their income to support the Levites who worked and cared for the spiritual welfare of God’s house and ministers, so it is in the N. T. church, that the needs of the Pa…

Life After Death Is Clearly Explained In God's Word

(Mark 12:18,24) “Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; ...” “And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? It has been said that the Sadducees were sad-u-see because they believed not in an afterlife. How sad it is to think that this life is all there is, and then you die. Thank God that the Bible teaches that not only is there an existence after death but a Heaven forever for those that trust in Jesus Christ. In the above verses the Sadducees were upset because Jesus spoke of eternal life through him. So, he clearly said to them that they were in error because of two things; 1) Not knowing the Scriptures. All that man can offer when it comes to knowing what happens to us after death, is just an opinion, or a religion based upon fables rather than truth. The truth of the resurrection is a fact that has been given to man by God in the Word of God. All that God wants man to know …

Salvation Is A Choice Made By Man, Not God

(Rom. 9:11,13) “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Because of the above verses many a Bible scholar have concluded falsely that God choses some men to be saved and others to be damned. Alluding to the fact that He chose Jacob in the above verse over Esau in the book of Genesis, and Israel over Egypt. What a sad commentary to believe that we are nothing more than pawns in the chess game of God, where we have no choice of salvation nor any choice in changing or determining our future and eternity.  Oh listen, the above verses teach us that God is sovereign and that He can do what He wants, but that He also is bound by His Word. God would not teach here that the fate of some is set by God’s will and then tease man later in scripture and say that we do have a choice or freewill in the matter…

Two Important Ingredients To Answered Prayer

(Mk 11:24-26) “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. How important is Faith and Forgiveness to answered prayer in the above verses? 1) Prayer without faith is useless. Preceding the above verses Jesus used a cursed and dried up fig tree to teach on what a prayer life is like without faith, adding also that prayer with faith however brings “whatsoever you desire.” Faith therefore is necessary to “receive” from God.2) Prayer without forgiveness is dead.The prayers of an unforgiving Christian cannot be honored by God. Why? Because God commands that those who seek forgiveness must not harbor unforgiveness in their hearts. Being offended is just a part of life, therefore how…

Are You Willing To Be Used By God?

(Mark 10 43-44)“... but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after they were inquiring about their glory in heaven with Christ. They like most of us did not understand that the purpose of our salvation is not about what we can get out of it but rather what we can do to help others with it. Therefore, to be great in the kingdom of God we must learn to be a “servant of all” first. So, if we truly desire to be used of God, we must; 1) Be willing to “Suffer” all. Jesus asked James and John if they were willing to drink of the cup of his suffering, questioning them concerning their willingness to suffer and even die for all men. Teaching that the blessing of doing so would be great, but also the suffering. 2) Be willing to “Surrender” all.The surrender that Christ alluded to was their willingness to give up their personal will, life, and possessions to serve Ch…

That "One Thing" That Hinders

(Mark 10:1) “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”  The “one thing” that Jesus is talking about above is the very same thing that hinders not only a man’s salvation but also God’s ability to  work in his life. That “one thing” is “faith.”  1) Faith is needed for Salvation.  This rich young ruler was trusting more in his wealth than he was in God. His answer to the above command was to walk away rather than repent and trust solely in Christ. The things of this world can never save; not possessions, not religion, not even good works. So, to be saved a man must humbly place his faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. Nothing of this world ought to be more important.  2) Faith is also needed for Sanctification. The command above is to get saved and then follow Christ. It is very t…