We can want what we want, but God knows what we need. Even today, everyone needs Jesus. But, not everybody wants Jesus. Many people will fit Jesus in (like on standby at the airport) when Jesus makes us a priority. Not only that. Jesus places you in first class. We need Jesus and we need to want Jesus in our life. In the account below, a man was asking for finances, but he really needed something else.
- Acts 3:1-9 New King James Version – 1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. 9
We can learn either of two ways. We can learn by listening to the advice, teaching and lives of others or we can learn by experience. We don’t have to learn every lesson through hardship. The key is to learn from our lessons. We can go through difficulty because “life” is in session, and it’s teaching us a lesson. The key to receiving what we need from God is to get up everyday EXPECTING!
Everybody is expecting something–a job, a healing, a passing grade, et cetera. But Christians should be expecting something good from God. Believers should not be expecting the worst.
Three things to focus on when expecting:
ONE: Expectation learns to ask.
- James 4:2-3 New King James Version– 2 You want what you don’t have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can’t afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you do ask you don’t get it because your whole aim is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
TWO: Believe you will receive it.
Believing is not as easy as it seems. Believing comes with opposition. When you receive what you believe, it will come with responsibility. Believe that God will develop you spiritually so you can handle the what God gives you. We must get used to waiting on the Lord. Patience is required when you are going through the process to receive what you are believing for.
Mark 11:24 New King James Version – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
There is a cost for having a close relationship with the Lord. Jesus is worth every sacrifice. We must believe AND KEEP BELIEVING. Our duty is to stay in faith in spite of the circumstances.
- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New King James Version – 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
THREE: Expectation acts.
When we are expecting something, we should be willing to put forth some effort. Be willing to ignore the mockers and keep putting forth action. EXPECTATION IS AN ACTION. Are you expecting or rejecting. You can reject what God has for you. But if you keep expecting, you will receive God’s promises. And even if you don’t receive it, keep on believing. Even if death comes, die trusting God. God has better for those who die still trusting.
- Hebrews 11:39-40 New King James Version – 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Two great events are coming upon the earth that will affect everyone. One could happen at any moment, and the other will happen as a series of events unfold. Jesus told his disciples about these prophetic events and they wanted to know, “Lord, what will be the signs for these events?”
- Matthew 24:3-8 New King James Version – 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
God needs our availability not our ability. God wants to use us to draw people to Him. We can’t get so busy with our own lives and things of the world that we forget to be kingdom minding. Blessings don’t determine how close we are to God. Our relationship with God is the most important thing for each person living on the planet. Jesus died so all people could be saved from their sins. God needs people to spread the Good News. Don’t take the Word of God for granted–share it as much as you can and obey the Word of God.
- Matthew 24:9-14 New King James Version– 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Fight to get into the presence of God. We must press our way through to stay in relationship with God. Make every effort to finish strong in the Lord and ask God to cleanse your heart if you fall into sin. Be ready to pursue the Lord even if no one else in your family wants to. We must all stand before the Lord as individuals to give an account for how we responded to Jesus’ offer of salvation and how we lived our life on this earth.
The rapture and the 2nd Coming of Christ are often confused:
- The Rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the Church from the earth.
- When the rapture takes place you don’t need to go find Jesus, He will take you away suddenly–faster than a twinkling of an eye.
- The Church represents all believers in Jesus Christ–not in any other God.
- Aliens are not responsible for taking away all the Christians. God Himself is the one who will take those who have received salvation through Jesus Christ off this earth to heaven.
- The Rapture is when Jesus comes to take His believers to heaven. The Second Coming is when Jesus returns with His believers at the end of the seven year tribulation period.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New King James Version – 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
FOCUS ON LIVING A LIFE OF READINESS–always be ready (living for the Lord) for Jesus’ return.
Keep encouraging and warning Christians to be ready for the rapture of the Church and also for the moment of death. No man knows the day or hour of either of those events! They both come suddenly. So we must take our walk with the Lord seriously. Pray and spend time with the Lord. Read the Word of God to stay strong, keep sharing the Word and loving others.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” Ephesians 6:17 New King James Version
Words have power. The tongue can be even more powerful than a double-edged sword. We can cut people down or build them up with our tongue. Watch your words. Words have power. But the Word of God is the most powerful.
Thoughts come to your mind and those thoughts form words. Whenever it is time to hear the Word of God, expect a battle. The enemy will say things like, “Why are you going to church?” “You don’t need to pray” or “A little sin doesn’t matter.” We must fight these thoughts with the Word of God.
The Word of God is part of the whole armor of God. A sword is an offensive weapon as well as a defensive weapon. It can destroy the lies of the enemy and his schemes against us.
- Psalm 138:2 New King James Version – I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
The Word of God is higher than anything on this earth. God watches over His Word to perform it. If it is in the Word, we can believe it and stand on it. It shall come to pass.
POINT ONE – The Word of God is spiritual food.
- Matthew 4:4 New King James Version – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
- Sometimes you are weak because you are not eating spiritual food. Spiritual food gives us strength in the inner man.
- The Word of God can give you power to keep going when life is difficult.
- Psalm 34:8 New King James Version – O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man than trusts in Him.
POINT TWO: The Word is Our Guide.
- Psalm 119:105 New King James Version – Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
- Everyone in life has to deal with problems– no matter what your status in life. Every problem is a wisdom problem.
- Who better to go to for wisdom than God? Every time we read the Word of God we are getting the wisdom of God.
- There is no way we can put all our dependence on God and end up in a ditch. God will lead us to the best direction and the right course of action.
POINT THREE: The Word of God MUST be spoken.
- If we want things to change we must speak life over it. We must speak the Word of God.
- God created everything that exists by the Word from His mouth.
- We are God’s children and we are to imitate God by speaking what we want to see, BEFORE, we see it.
- Hebrews 11:1-3 New King James Version – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
- Mark 11:23 New King James Version – For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
- WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!
POINT FOUR: The Word of God must be hidden in your heart.
- The enemy knows the value of the Word of God. He lurks about waiting to steal the Word of God from us through distraction, deception and lies.
- 1 Peter 5:8 New King James Version – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
- When we know the Word, we cannot be shaken by the lies of the enemy and false doctrine.
- Psalm 119:11 New King James Version – our word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
- The Word of God will keep us from sinning if we want to be kept.
POINT FIVE: The Word of God is living and powerful.
- The Bible is unlike any other book. It is alive!
- Hebrews 4:12 New King James Version – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- We become super strong like super heroes through the Word of God. When we speak the Word and obey the Word, we have access God’s power for the situation.
If we work the Word, the Word will work for us.