Changing Years by Crossing Barriers Ministry

“I am the resurrection and the life; He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die!”        John 11:25-26

 To hear the complete sermon or the audio version, Click HERE

 As we end one year, but before we start the new year, we need to take a moment and reflect on those that we lost in 2018. Any number lost is one too many. So, let us take a moment and remember those homeless persons that were lost to addictions, weather related, or criminal actions as well as those that died of natural causes, some too early in their life due to being homeless.

Our message comes today from the book of John, Chapter 11. This is a story that takes place in Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem.  Martha and Mary were sisters who were believers.  Their brother Lazarus was a follower of Jesus.

One day, Lazarus became ill and the sisters sent for Jesus. Jesus instead of coming right away stayed where He was for another two days.  By the time He arrived in Bethany, four days had passed, the funeral completed, and Lazarus laid to rest.

Martha rushed to Jesus and we pick up in the scriptures at;

(Vs.21) “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”

Moving forward, we hear Jesus’ response:

(Vs. 25-26) “I am the resurrection and the life; He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die!” 

 Mary comes into the picture and it’s an instant replay of her sister:

(Vs. 32) “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”

 Again, Jesus responded:

 (Vs. 33-34)  “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Where have you laid him?’ he asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied” (vv33-35).

Then comes the amazing statement by the apostle John, the shortest verse in the Bible:

(Vs. 35) “Jesus wept”

We learn several great and important lessons from this piece of scripture today.

WE ALL NEED TIME TO GRIEVE

We need to take time and let our emotions release and we need to allow the tears to come. We need to remember the memories, but we need to allow ourselves the chance to grieve.

JESUS UNDERSTANDS OUR GRIEF

Allow yourself the comfort and realization, that when tragedy strikes, you may not understand how or believe it but not only does God understands our grief, but He grieves with us.

GOD HAS A PURPOSE

Everything God does, He has a purpose.

We see a precious promise here:

Romans 8:28

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

RESOLUTION I: A NEW GODLY ATTITUDE

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

 There are three parts to show a new Godly attitude. They are:

Rejoice:  Show God great joy for the opportunities He gives you

Pray:  Have a talk with God more often – he is there 24/7. Concentrate on confessing your sins, giving praise, and when was the last time you said a prayer for someone else.

Thanks:  Most of all be thankful no matter the circumstances and not just for yourself either. Be thankful for others and what opportunities God has created for them.

RESOLUTION II: DISPOSE OF SINFUL HABITS

I Thessalonians 5:21-22

Figuratively you are doing a New Year’s housecleaning, that is getting rid of the sinful items in your life.

Some obvious sins would be the drugs and alcohol, lying, and cheating. Others may be the company you keep, not willing to change, or not willing to help yourself.

Think you might have problems with some or all of these, then refer to Resolution I. While you are praying, ask God to help you overcome these temptations. Romans 14:23

RESOLUTION III: PUT MORE TRUST IN GOD

Philippians 4:6-7

Before you question this, look at someone else and see what God has done in their life. Stop for a minute, and think about this, you don’t believe in God but it’s God who send the advocates with the clothes, blankets, and food your way.

What has God done for you lately? Remember He is in control no matter what. Consider God’s promises to you: Romans 8:28 / I Peter 5:7 / Matthew 6:31-33

RESOLUTION IV: I WILL DO MORE RIGHT

Galatians 6:9

If you have made it this far then you need to be doing more praying (see # 1 above), you need to give more, you need to serve more, and you need to witness more. So, what’s all that mean? You need to increase your time with God, you need to make sure you put more in the offering plate if you attend church (If you don’t you need to start), you need to get out and offer to volunteer to help others like yourself, and finally you need to tell others about what God has done for you.

To hear the complete sermon or the audio version, Click HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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