Have you truly read and understood all the miracles of the gospels? Have you seen any miracles recently?Continue reading
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Close your eyes for a moment. Allow your thoughts to take you to your happy spot. That could be work or maybe fishing or hiking. Now you are going to be taken away from this, leaving everything behind, have your name changed, give up all your possessions and be a gospel ambassador. This is the point of today’s message.
Luke 5:10-11 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
We continue our series titled “For the One” 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.
Five weeks is behind us. We learn that John the Baptist was put on earth to pave a way for Jesus’ ministry. We learned that Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic before healing to show that the Old Testament beliefs that ailments and sins were not connected. Last week we talked about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. We heard about the metaphor of “Living water”.
We go all the way back to the first week when we learned about Jesus and how he was a teacher, a preacher, and evangelizes. As we study Him, we have learned He spends a lot of time in prayer. He also spent time teaching, healing, and preaching to the thousands that came to see Him.
Jesus also spent a great amount of time with the apostles as well. We must go back to week 4 when we learned about Andrew. Peter was also with Andrew when Jesus says, “Follow me and I will make you fisher of men”.
Verse 10 “Thou shall catch men” translated thou shall catch people referring to bringing them to Jesus. Verse 11 is the point they brought their boats to the shore, left them to follow Jesus.
The inner circle of the apostles consisted of Peter, James, and John. According to Dr. Danny Forshee, Peter was the outstanding apostle. G. Campbell Morgan calls Peter the greatest human who ever lived. You can read the Apostle Peter’s biography by studying the gospels, the book of Acts, as well as the two epistles that he wrote. Though there are some theologians that strongly suggest that Peter, although the subject, did not write them.
Let us go back to the beginning for a minute. The first time Jesus met Peter who was known as Simon Peter was when Andrew, his brother brought him to meet the Messiah.
John 1:40-42 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Jesus spent a tremendous time with Peter shaping him from a piece of clay to a diamond. This was a hot-tempered man who Jesus was patient with although it took some time.
Think about this for a second! Jesus takes a man away from the only environment that he may have known, changes his name, and then starts to change him to be an Apostle.
Walter Liefeld in his commentary on Luke says this beginning is not to be considered separately from the same accounts in the gospel of Matthew & Mark. Luke concentrates on Peter and shows Jesus in a light the other gospels do not. At some point the apostles walk away from their possessions.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus sees an abundance of possessions that is hindering the faith. At this point, He instructs them to get rid of anything that prevents total commitment. For some that meant selling off everything to help the impoverished and for the sake of spreading the good news of Jesus.
Matthew 16:13-20 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Caesarea Philippi is a city about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee, at the base of Mount Hermon and near the source of the Jordan River. This is where Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do they say the Son of Man is?”
The response was some say John the Baptist. Others says Elijah while others claim it to be Jeremiah. Jesus then asks the disciples, “Who do you say the son of man is?”. Peter replied, “ You are the Christ, the son of the living God”.
John 21:15-19 So, when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
We have Jesus questioning Peter’s love and loyalty to Jesus. He asks him three times in this piece of scripture which coincidently is the same number of times that Peter denied Jesus before the rooster crows when he was led away.
We need to take some time to consider some of the things that we learned about the Apostle Peter from his biography.
Leave something unguarded could transform to a weakness
Think about somebody at a casino who is feeding coins into the slot. When starting, there was an amount that would be spent. As you come to the end of that money, you start spending more not guarding your will power and that just became a weakness. Shopping with credit can be another example.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Must Continue to Grow in Grace
If you read the first twelve chapters of the Book of Acts, you will see that Peter was a main character. However, like all of us, we are not perfect and because of that we slip down the ladder once or twice. As pointed in Galatians 2 by Paul to Peter, that men are not justified by works, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Err is Human, forgive is Divine
We all err, it is called sin. And yes, God forgives us.
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
We should all recognize this as part of our Lord’s prayer. Debts here refers to our sins.
Fishermen of Men
Mark 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Jesus was on a journey that had been prepared for him. That journey was left for us to follow in his footsteps.
We need to spend more time in prayer
Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you.
We need to be molded by Jesus
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Get rid of possessions in your way
Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
We should be growing closer to God daily, but we all have our setbacks
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
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Today, we all have our prejudices. Just look at the news and we have some form of “Life matters” to “Have to change that because it offends”. Is this a new term of life here on earth or was this caused by the pandemic, and we had nothing better to do.
We are told to go share the gospel but sometimes it just hard to do that with a certain group of people. We need to be bold like Jesus was in today’s parable of the Samaritan Woman.Continue reading →
This past weekend was the annual recognition day for all Disaster Relief Volunteers. These are the folks that respond to areas after a disaster and assist with recovery efforts through Help Hope & Healing. This is a ministry I am very much involved with. It is also a ministry that when the call come, volunteers leave their homes and families to offer their services to victims of a disaster for sometimes 10-14 days. There is no pay – they do it because God tells them to do it.
What would it take for you to drop what you are doing and just go because you were asked to or told to? Today we will find out how this happened years ago.Continue reading →
You have a family member who has an ailment and the only person that can heal it is in a crowded standing room only building. You can’t get in as there is no more room left. Today we are going to hear about such a man and how he was lowered down from the roof.Continue reading →
If you have accepted Jesus, and / or you have been baptized, you should remember that day forever. At that moment you were born again, and an indescribable calm should have come over you. If you don’t remember that, you might want to check all the boxes to make sure you did everything right.Continue reading →
If you die tonight, will you go to Heaven? How many can say they believe in God? How many of you can honestly say they are true believers?
Word from God
Luke 15:4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he finds it?
We start this new series based on the book For the One by Dr. Danny Forshee. You can get a copy from Amazon for $12-15.00. This will be our basis for this Series.
This series is going to look at people of the bible, how they were equipped to evangelize, but will teach us about ourselves and our road to the Great Commission.
Today’s scripture verse comes from the fifteen chapter of the Book of Luke. There are three parables in this chapter: The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The keynote here being lost and being found.
The phrase “Until he finds it”, when applied to Jesus’ teachings about sinners, it conveys the message that we need to recover the lost. Remember that we are considered dead till we accept Jesus as our Savior, then we are born again.
The book of Ezekiel includes an extended metaphor in which the people of Israel are portrayed as a stray flock of sheep and Yahweh promises to raise up a shepherd for Israel—a proper leader whose focus is the will of Yahweh
Before we can start any mission, we need to plan, we need to understand the mission, and we need to have the tools for the mission. What good is it to show up to a “Back to school” mission without school supplies?
We have the same mission as Jesus did. It has not changed over the past few thousand years. We are still to seek and save the lost, to pursue that one lost soul.
There are different parts to this seek and save the lost. There are those that use any different ways to express God’s love for us starting with finding a connection, or just plainly coming out and asking, “If you die tonight, will you go to heaven”? Then there is the behind-the-scenes players who serve God in many ways that show His love. Responding to a disaster as a volunteer or something closer to home like working in a food pantry or serving the homeless. Most importantly, you must be able to show a life of worship 24/7/365.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Jesus was sent to earth to follow the directions of his father. Jesus distinct role was to follow His Father’s will and plan. It is impossible for Jesus to put himself in opposition to His Father.
We unfortunately can’t be exactly like Jesus, but the plan is still intact that we are to follow the example of the Father. We must remember the main difference between Jesus and us is that we are reminded that even if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and want to follow the mission, we fall short of the glory of God as stated in Romans 3:23.
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
This verse shows a sense of urgence or authority. This was the launching Jesus into His mission and the Great Commission.
This leads us to that question, “ Are you being led by God to accomplish difficult tasks?” If you are not, then maybe you are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 9:35-38 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.
These last few verses of Matthew 9, not only does it summarize His ministry, but it sets up chapter 10 where he sends out his disciples. He also shows compassion because of the lack of leadership. The metaphor here is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.
We saw Jesus’ show kindness and compassion through words, tears, and deeds.
John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
The Shortest verse in the bible.
He showed compassion as outlined in Matthew 9:36-38 we read a few minutes ago.
Can we not show kindness and compassion through words, tears, and deeds. A kind word can make or break someone’s day. When is the last time you said a pleasant word to the mailman even though your mail is late. We don’t know what kind of day he has had. My wife called me out on that.
It never hurt to show your pain for someone else by crying with them. Imagine the hurt going through someone that has just lost their best friend.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jesus was not a sinner, but he associated with such people. When he heard the Pharisees ask why he eats with tax collectors and sinners, his reply from Mark 2 says that the well don’t need doctors but those are sick. He continues that he doesn’t call the righteous but sinners.
We are all sinners, but we need to be with the non-believers so that we heal them with new life. Not only does the bible tell us to do this but Jesus leads us by his example.
We know that Jesus was a person of prayer. It is stated that there are 650 prayers in the bible. Jesus was in forever prayer mode, but it is recorded that Jesus prayed 25 different times during His ministry.
Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
We are told that we are supposed to take all to the Lord in prayer. Effective communications with God take talking (prayer) and listening (reading) repeatedly. Let us take the format “ACTS”. We are to Adore God, ask fro forgiveness, be thankful for our blessings, and to prayer for our needs as well as others. There is the Lord’s prayer, prayer before meals, during church services and the list goes on.
I can honestly say that if you want me to quote book, chapter, and verse, you will be waiting a long time. I can tell you what the bible says however but it won’t be word for word.
Therefore, there are bible reading programs and memory verses to learn. If you are reading the bible regularly you will learn knew things and it is also the answers to our prayers as well.
Jesus knew the scriptures. There are several times in Matthew 4 where we see Him quote from the Old Testament. “It is written” was quoted by Jesus as he quoted from the book of Deuteronomy. Of course, we are referring to the time when Satin tried to tempt Jesus. It is believed that Jesus referenced the Old Testament 160 times referring to 2/3 of the books of the Old Testament.
Q & A
If we are to spread the good news of salvation, we need to create ways to do this. Jesus asked a lot of questions. According to Randy Newman’s book Questioning Evangelism, if Jesus taught us anything about evangelism is that he used different methods for different people.
To accomplish this, we must talk, listen, and repeat. Find a connection, let them tell their story, ask if you can share your story, then share the salvation story. Just remember, you may be the planter, but the seed may not grow till someone else waters it and it may take several waters to get there.
As you can see, Jesus dealt with all types of people from all walks of life with many different issues. This is an area we must remember that no matter the problem or the person, they all need the gospel.
There was no barrier that hindered Jesus from reaching as far as race, religion, and gender. However, Jesus did spend a lot of time with the spiritually needy. He was called a friend of sinners.
Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
We have learned that we are supposed to read our bibles regularly. This is our answers to prayers and situations, but it is also a teaching method with dealing with other people. Marriage counseling comes to mind or a biblical recovery program like the one we just finished.
Jesus also used the scriptures when dealing with people. He quoted the word of God with reverence and respect. As we learned above in Matthew 4, Jesus prefaced the Old Testament with the words “it is written”.
Jesus regarded the scripture as authority when properly interpreted. The pharisees and Satin are just two that tried to use the scriptures for their selfish gain. Matthew 4 supports this.
John 5:39-40 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Jesus used the scripture frequently as He dealt with men and women.
John 4:13-18 Jesus answered and said unto her, whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
Jesus was compassion yet direct.
Luke 9:1-10 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere. Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him. And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
Jesus loved the sinner just not the sin.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Lastly, Jesus was tactful.
Let me summarize what we have learned:
- If you are not a believer, you are considered dead but when you become a believer you are born again;
- We are always sinners, but our sins are paid for by Jesus living a sinless life on earth and dying on the cross to rise again on the third day and sits at the right hand of the Father;
- We are to have God in our lives by talking to him (praying), listening (Reading the scriptures) repeatedly and we are commanded to share the gospel.
- You must be dedicated to sharing the gospel;
- You must be compassionate with people
- Some knowledge of scripture required
- You must be willing to deal with all peoples
Genesis 1:27 So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
We will never be exactly like Him, but this is a formula that will please him.
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Today is the first day of the rest of our life. As we have completed the Twelve Steps, this will be the last message on it. Remember I am always available should you ever need to talk.Continue reading →
Who here can say that an extra set of hands would be great when you need them? I am a person that likes to complete things on my own but then there are times when I could use an extra set of hands.
The same should be for our spiritual walk as well. Sometimes we can do it alone but there will be times when we need an extra set of hand.Continue reading →