Happy New Years by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Happy New Year and welcome back.  I trust all our listeners had a safe holiday. 

According to my pastor, the top five New Year resolutions are:

  1. Exercise More
  2. Eat healthier
  3. Spend more time with family or friends
  4. Lose Weight
  5. Live more economically

What ever happened in 2021, we cannot rewrite the history for 2021 but as we transition into a new year, it gives us a chance to start with a clean slate.  Maybe get a job, stop using drugs, stop drinking or maybe stop smoking. What is your New Year resolution?

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Impossible Part 1 The Beginning by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

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For the One The Man with a Withered Hand by Crossing Barriers Ministry

No matter where we go today, we see scars, visible and non-visible ones. Those with cancer, disfigured children, ailments that are just on the bridge of a cure being found but just not there yet. The last year we have been dealing with Covid-19 and we are not sure if the vaccinations are fool proof.

Today’s story however deals with a scar of a different type and yes, it is healed. Faith in Jesus was the solution. It reminds us that no matter what scars we are dealing with, our faith in Jesus is the solution. We also remember that our solution may not be his solution.

Luke 6:9-10

Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

We return to our series titled “For the One” after a brief break last week for Remembrance Day. We will do this week and take another break next week for our Thanksgiving message. We will then finish off with our last in this series being the mother of Jesus and then our Christmas message.  We will take a Christmas break and be back January 9th in the New Year.

As we continue this series, may we be reminded that it’s based on the book by Dr. Danny Forshee with the same title. We have been studying characters of the bible and how they were equipped to evangelized. Hopefully we can take these ideas and utilize them today as we follow the direction of the Great Commission.

We started with Jesus being the teacher, preacher, and molder of man.  We looked at John the Baptist, the Paralytic, and the Samaritan Woman. We examined the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, Apostle Phillip, Nathaniel, and Matthew. We studied the Centurion and the Syro-Phoenician Woman. Two weeks ago, we studied the woman in John 8.

On the Sabbath Jesus was in the synagogue. There was also a man there who had a withered hand. Some Pharisees were there who were trying to trap Jesus. They were watching closely to see if Jesus would heal this man’s hand on the Sabbath, which was against their laws. Jesus knew what they Pharisees were thinking, and he became angry with them because they had hard hearts. Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stand up in front of everybody. Then Jesus asked the people what was ok for them to do on the Sabbath, good or evil, to save a life or to kill.

There was no response to Jesus’ questions. Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch it out. When the man did this, his hand was completely healed and looked just the same as his other hand. This angered the Pharisees and the left the synagogue to go plot how they might destroy Jesus.

If you describe a person or a part of their body as withered, you mean that they are thin, and their skin looks old. A withered hand is a hand under bondage. One of the causes of a hand withering spiritually is because of bewitchment or spell. Some cases is a result of transferred evil inheritance. For some persons their parents do not proper because they are under a curse. Biblically to become dry and sapless specially to shrivel from or as if from loss of bodily moisture.

Jesus’ healing of a man’s withered hand serves as a second demonstration of His superiority over the Sabbath. Mark and Matthew also talk about this story in their gospels.

Mark 3:1-6

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

Matthew 12:9-14

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And behold, there was a man who had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, what man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Luke separates his version of this incident from the previous one referring to Luke 6:1-5 by noting that it occurred on a different day, while Matthew more closely connects the events.

So, what do we learn from this story:

Someone in Need

Luke 6:6-8

And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

This is a conflict situation as we are taught that the Sabbath is to be kept holy and attend church.

Exodus 20:8

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Romans 10:17

So, faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Scriptures in this story centers on it being un-holy to help anyone on the Sabbath. But we are told to bring all our troubles to Jesus, and it doesn’t say just every day except the Sabbath. We come to church to worship, and to hear the word but we also come to church to be helped when in need.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let’s add verse 11 to today’s word from God:

Luke 6:11

And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

No matter what the consequences may be Jesus did what was right and that was to help someone in need. If you came across someone that needed help, but it was the Sabbath day, are you going to not help them. No, of course not.

Jesus was not afraid of what they were plotting to have Him arrested and execute. He knew that plan already. Jesus is telling us that the scripture is the right way.

Isaiah 55:11

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Worship while you wait

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The man with the withered hand had dealt with that all his life or we assume a great part of his life. We see here that we are told that while we wait for God to answer our needs, we are still to worship & praise Him.

Negatives become Positives

Luke 18:27

And he said, the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 5:15

The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, who had made him whole.

Everything happens because Christ is in our lives. We have faith and things will get better.

Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

We have all heard this before, I am sure. It appears the naysayers say its not right to do these things on the Sabbath, this is the problem. The solution is that Jesus did these things and that is the solution. Think about John 5:15 above, Not only did Jesus heal his hand but what did the man go and do. That’s right became part of the solution and went and proclaim the gospel.

Confront Man-made Traditions that are unbiblical

How many times in our lives does traditions conflict with scriptures. In this story the tradition appeared to be that you don’t do good deeds on the Sabbath. However, the scriptures say otherwise.

I can think of many traditions today that conflict with scriptures. We need to however make sure we take the side of the scriptures.

Remember Your Mission – For the One

Matthew 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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Remember the Mission – For the One

Remembrance Day 2021 by Crossing Barriers Ministry

2 SAMUEL 1:17-27

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: How are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings: For there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, From the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, And the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death, they were not divided: They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: Thy love to me was wonderful, Passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished!

In the first book of Samuel, Samuel is treated as prophet and judge and Israel’s principal figure immediately before the monarchy, and Saul as king. In 2 Samuel, David is presented as king.

Now David as King, instead of celebrating the death of his enemy, he wrote a passionate expression of grief. David also mourns the loss of his friend Johnathon who was the eldest son of King Saul. Johnathon’s fearlessness, fortitude, endurance, and his faithfulness to David make him one of the most admired figures in the Bible. Jonathan is first mentioned in I Sam. 13:2, when he defeated a garrison of Philistines at Geba.

1 Samuel 13:2

Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

David remembers both men for their valor and strength in battle, calling them as mighty men who accomplished great things for the nation of Israel.

Written in the book of Jashar, also known as a lost scroll. It was considered a lost book, most likely a collection of Israelite poetry. It is also defined as victorious or upright. It is the victory hymn that describes how the sun and moon stood still when the Israelites defeated the Amorites. Just like today, we all have our victory hymns.  Who can forget “Gloria”?

Joshua 10:13

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, Until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

“Glory” in verse 19 refers to Johnathon and Saul. “How the mighty have fallen” is talking about those that have sacrificed their life for the cause. This is repeated three times to emphasize the importance. We see it again in verses 25 & 27.

David doesn’t want the news of Saul’s death spread or published because he couldn’t bear the Philistines celebrating Saul’s death. It didn’t want the residents of Gath or Ashkelon to hear the news because they were two know areas of the Philistines. Today, we publish the names, or the families do, to honor their sacrifices for us.

The author continues with anger against the Gilboa which is where Johnathon & Saul were slain. Gilboa means boiling springs, bubbling fountains, agitated pools, or water bursting from rock. Gilboa is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley to the north and the Jordan Valley to south-east and hills to the west.

1 Samuel 31:1

Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

At some point when we lose a loved one, we also are mad at the world or someone or something. Sometimes we even blame it on our Lord.

Today, we say thanks to those that serve, those that are serving, and those that have lost a loved one that was serving. It is only one day a year and truly that is not enough. This needs to happen every day.

We need to say thanks to those that fight to keep our freedom and protect our country. We need to honor them every day. We need to pray for them in our daily prayers. When we know of a family that has lost a loved one to service, we need to reach out.

But wait a minute, shouldn’t we also do for first responders as well. They sacrifice a lot as well and put their lives on the line to save ours.

The list could go on but the one thing that is common between these two groups is that they sacrifice a lot for all of us. As we say thanks today, we must also remember that we have another person that sacrificed for us as well.

We take nothing from our servicemen. The Lord sent us His only son, who lived here sinlessly, to sacrifice His life by dying on the cross to pay the ultimate price for our sins. We need to thank and worship Him as well. 

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Thanks to those that served, are serving, and for those that lost someone who served, thanks for the sacrifice.

For the One Week Twelve Syro-Phoenician Woman by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Picture this: you, a parent, and you have a loved one who is very ill. The loved one is  struggling with seizures, or a form of mental illness, or bouts of temper. You are at your wits end.  You have run out of options.  Then you hear that a specialist is in the area that is known to have success with these kinds of problems.  You attempt to get an appointment with him but unsuccessful – what do you do?

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For the One Week Eleven The Centurion by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Have you ever been in a situation where you need help and no where to turn to?  It is frightening, all alone in the dark with no light at the end of the tunnel.  Now take that scenario and add in the possibility of someone that could help but you are too afraid or too embarrassed to ask.  Finally, what if the one person in this world that could help you was someone you hated, what would you do?

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