Do Better. Be Better

"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 10:14

Christ has done everything that needs to be done for our salvation. Jesus did it all. We can’t be good enough. There’s not enough good deeds we can do that will help us obtain salvation. Jesus paid that cost all on the Cross. Only Jesus gives us salvation. Not Jesus plus my works, or Jesus plus my church membership or Jesus plus my tithes and water baptism gives us salvation.

However, our daily walk with the Lord is our job. God won’t make us obey or choose to live holy. Those are choices we have to make. God wants us to desire to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and desire to spend time in His Word.

  • Hebrews 10:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 

So how do we walk victoriously in Christ? Consider other professions that require their employees to wear a uniform, like nurses, police officers, firefighters, etc. If they were to show up without a uniform, they would be sent home. In God’s Word, the believer is required to wear the uniform of Jesus Christ and put away the uniform of the carnal man.

If we truly are in Christ, we should be changing. We should becoming more and more like Christ. We can’t walk the old lifestyle and the new life in Christ at the same time.

No man can serve two masters.

  • Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Jesus once told a group of people, “You are of your father the devil,” because they were not heeding the Word of God or Jesus’ teachings. We get to choose who we want to serve. We can serve God or the devil, but not both! This word is for people who want to have a SERIOUS walk with the Lord. We all have an “old man”, our sinful flesh, that wants to live again. We must put off the old man (carnal nature) and make him die daily.

There is a cost to walk with the Lord. The cost is paid along the way. There are things that must be put off, that will cost us to put it off. There are things we must put on, that will cost us to put it on. For example it costs us to put on the whole armor of God (Read Ephesians 6).

When the enemy comes in like a flood, God will put up a standard. When the enemy comes at us, we must hold up God’s standard and resist. But for some people, when the tough gets going, they get gone!

  • Colossians 3:1-4 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

We put too much value on things on this earth. God is not going to ask us how well we did on our earthly jobs and possessions. WE MUST SET OUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE!

When we are in the business world, we should operate our business on kingdom principles. Our life and work ethic should point people to Jesus.

The old man has to die when we are born again. We can be the old man and the new man at the same time. We have to put off…

  • Fornication
  • Uncleanness
  • Idolatry (Don’t make family and your children your God. Don’t let what your child says rise above what God says. Don’t let a job, a spouse or even ministry your God. Don’t worship material possessions)
  • anger
  • hatred
  • cursing and dirty language

Colossians 3:5-6 Living Bible – Away then with sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires; don’t worship the good things of life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger is upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world; but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language.

Don’t let your flesh dominate your spirit. Don’t participate in presumptuous sin. Presumptuous sin is sin you plan on doing and maybe even plan on repenting of. That is not true repentance. If you really love God, your love for God will be tested without and within. Your thought life will be tested. That’s where the enemy plants the seed–in your thought life. The enemy knows what you like from observing you and he will lurk until an opportune time to test you.

We must get away from sexual sin. There are so many broken hearts because of sexual sin. God tells us to mortify sexual sin because it hurts us and the others who participate in us with it. Don’t be fooled by late night calls with a pretense of a godly purpose–like a 2 am prayer visit with someone you are attracted to. If we are not careful, instead of running from sin, we will be running to sin.

If we are Christians, why would we play with a person’s emotions if we know we don’t plan on committing to them? If we crush someone’s heart, God will hold us accountable. Also, we will sow what we reap. God is a God of love, but He is also a God of wrath. We can’t be a player in the Body of Christ. There are no Christian players.

If we really want to walk with the Lord, we have to make changes in our wicked ways. That is our part. We have to use the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to put off our sinful flesh. God can deliver us if we submit to His will. Every time we take a step towards obedience, God steps in and helps us.

The enemy is not going to sit back and watch you grow in God without putting up a fight. So fight the good fight of faith because your eternal life with Christ is worth it. We don’t have to be a sitting duck for the enemy. We have to fight every day to hold onto the precious gift of salvation Jesus died for us to have.

  • 1 Timothy 6:12-13 New King James Version – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

Let’s not forget where we came from and judge those who are stumbling harshly. Don’t expect a new Christian to live up to the standard it took us ten years to get to. Pray for them, encourage them in the Word and help them. And, never stop growing in God, we will all have areas that need to be corrected until Jesus comes.

Christians, we have to be on guard against cursing and anger. These behaviors are not acceptable just because they are so common in the world. Even we as Christians, can have wicked ways. Don’t listen to dirty jokes and fill your mind with dirty things. Put off gossiping. Don’t use sharing for the purpose of prayer as an excuse to gossip.

God commands us to put it off. So just do it. Lie not one to another.

If people could build a house on a lie, how many people would have mansions? Don’t tell lies to each other or on each other. Lying is not of God, it is of the devil. He is called the father of lies. We want to be like God the Father, not the devil!

  • Colossians 3:9-11 Living Bible Don’t tell lies to each other; it was your old life with all its wickedness that did that sort of thing; now it is dead and gone10 You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you. 11 In this new life one’s nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all.

If we refuse to put these wicked ways off, we are proving that we really don’t want to serve God. We all must be taught to tell the truth. We shouldn’t have a desire to sin or run with people who want to stay in sin. If we change our behavior, some people will cut us off. We won’t even have to worry about separating ourselves from them.

If there is no change in your heart and life, ask yourself: “Did I truly give my heart to the Lord?”

If we fall into sin, we don’t stay there. Instead, confess sin to God, repent (stop doing that behavior) and get back up again. Keep serving the Lord. Keep trying to do better and be better–that is our reasonable service to the Lord.

  • 1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

When we die no one can put us into heaven by talking about our accomplishments or good deeds. We must make sure our life of living for the Lord speaks for itself.

  • Revelation 3:21 – To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

KEEP THIS IN MIND: When we’re at our highest point–that’s when the enemy comes. PRAY AFTER EVERY VICTORY AND STAY IN THE WORD. STAY UNDER THE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OBEY HIM. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL GUIDE US TO VICTORY!

The Road to Salvation

If ever a road needed to be filled, it is the Road to Salvation. Instead the road that is filled, is the road to wickedness. We all have friends, family, neighbors and coworkers that need to be saved

  • Matthew 9:37-Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

At many restaurants, you can’t dine in, you have to do carryout because they don’t have enough workers. The kingdom of God has the same problem. Jesus needs laborers for the harvest. God needs someone willing to win souls for the kingdom. Today, we will all learn how to lead someone to the Lord.

If people don’t get saved through Jesus, they will go to Hell. Teach your children about the Lord and get them in church to hear the Word of God while you can. One day it will be their own choice.

Pray that God will send laborers to the harvest. Prayer is God’s way of hiring. Jesus will put in their heart a desire to come to the Lord. All we need to do is to make ourselves available to share the Gospel.

No one can get to God except through Jesus.

  • John 14:6 New King James Version – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

If anyone tells you there is another way, they are lying. Everybody needs Jesus.

God desires fruit in our lives. God wants us to be a fruitful Christian. If an unsaved person walks by us they should see the love of God and the joy of the Lord on us. God expects us to have the fruit of the Spirit in our life and to multiply–bring souls into the kingdom.

  • Proverbs 11:30 New King James Version – The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

We need to pray for a desire to win souls. If you can talk about your favorite movie, you can talk about Jesus. We are supposed to participate in the Gospel. Tomorrow is not promised. People need to get saved today. Today is the day of salvation.

Download an app that will help you lead someone to the Lord. Two good ones are The Four Spiritual Laws and The Roman Road.

The Four Spiritual Laws explain salvation this way:

GOD LOVES YOU.

  • John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD.

  • Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When you reject Christ you will get paid. Those who reject God will get a paycheck of death, hell and then the lake of fire eternally. Those who receive Jesus will get a paycheck of eternal life.

There is no other way to Heaven except through Jesus. Church membership does not put us in right standing with God.

JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS AND ROSE ON THE THIRD DAY.

  • Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-6For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

WE MUST INDIVIDUALLY RECEIVE CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR.

When preachers preach, and teachers teach, they are on an assignment from the Lord to help you. Make sure you pay attention to the Word of God being taught and obey it.

  • John 1:12 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

WE RECEIVE CHRIST THROUGH A PERSONAL INVITATION

  • Revelations 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Receiving Christ involves a change of attitude towards God, trust in Christ, so that He enters our lives and forgives our sins.

THE ROMANS ROAD method uses these scriptures to lead someone to the Lord:

  • Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Romans 10:10 – for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

If you sin after you receive salvation, are you still saved? If you sin after you are saved, the Bible tells us to confess that sin, repent of it and receive forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Live a Life of Readiness by Discerning (Part 2)

The Word of God is not based on reason it is based on faith in God. God told us to walk by faith. An unsaved man cannot understand the things of God.

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 New King James Version – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

In the last days many false doctrines and teachers will arise. We need discernment so we are not deceived. In order to recognize a fake, we must study the real, authentic Word of God. We must be in a place where if we hear someone claiming to be Christ, we know that it is false based on what the scripture says about Christ and His Return for His Church and the 2nd Coming of Christ.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – King James Version 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Consider the wisdom Solomon received from the Lord

1 Kings 3:16–28 recounts that two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to Solomon. One of the babies had been smothered, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own. Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half. Solomon gave the baby to the woman who was willing to give the child up rather than seeing the child destroyed.

We need discernment in marriage, in business, in partnerships and in every area of life. The bible tells us not to believe every spirit that comes along. We must recognize when spirits come that are trying to deceive us. The enemy is not after people he already has. He is trying to steal souls. So we must have godly knowledge to recognize error.

Too many times people make decisions based on their current circumstances. If your back is against the wall and you think you have to make a quick decision, take time to seek the Lord. Don’t look for the easy way out. Look for God’s way. Some people make bad decisions because they are not willing to suffer or wait on the Lord.

-Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14 New King James Version

Discernment sometimes guides us to wait. The Lord wants us to be of good courage while we wait. Because waiting can cause us to be discouraged. The heart can get weak when waiting. The Lord is never late. He is never early. The Lord is always on time. When God decides to move, THAT IS THE RIGHT TIME.

Ask yourself this question, “Why is it so difficult to wait?”

  • We want things to happen in our time.
  • We want to take the easy way out.
  • We look for the quick fix. (But, the quick fix doesn’t last.)
  • We expect God to move a certain way, but we get confused when they don’t.
  • Discernment from the Holy Spirit guides us, but He won’t make us.
  • We come up with a time frame for God to move, instead of just waiting for God to move with a good attitude.
  • When God says something twice like He did in Psalm 27:14, pay attention. God said “wait on the Lord” twice. The Lord means what He said.
  • When Job lost everything, he became discouraged but he decided to wait on the Lord, rather than getting angry at God.

Job 14:14 – New King James Version – If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.

  • Be careful of friends who are always looking for the way out.
  • We must be patient. Patience is different from waiting.
  • Patience is a state of mind. Patience is endurance.

Romans 8:25 New King James Version – But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

  • Don’t put your hand on it. Let the Lord work. Wait on the Lord to work it out.
  • The Lord is wiser and way more loving than we could ever be. His plan is always better than ours.

Discernment will also guide us to abide at times. Abiding is to continue doing what you were told to do.

  • John 15:7 New King James Version – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Sometimes we might lose friends and family members, and people may talk about us, but we must keep on standing in the Lord. We must learn to ABIDE IN OUR FAITH. Jesus is worth the wait. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Don’t entertain the negative thoughts from the enemy.

  • Be careful when people try to pull you away from God or the place where you are growing in the Lord.
  • Stay where God planted you. (NOTE: We are not saying you should abide in an abusive relationship)

Read the account of the Apostle Paul in Acts 27:9-27. God gave Paul discernment to bring him and a ship’s crew through a storm. Paul by the Spirit of the Lord told them not to sail. But they sailed anyway. Nevertheless, Paul prayed for himself and the crew and God spared their lives, though they lost the cargo.

  • How much damage could we have avoided if we had just listened to God?
  • It better to wait for the Lord’s plan, than to move forward with your plan.
  • God sent an angel to tell Paul, “ALL IS WELL.”
  • When God tells you not to be afraid, it is because fear can take you to a place of not trusting God.
  • ABIDE IN FAITH AND KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS.
  • Continue to trust God.
  • Acts 27:25 New King James Version – Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. 
  • How much do you have to go through before you pray?
  • How much will you try to fix it only to see things get worse, before you pray?
  • Acts 27:31 New King James Version – Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men STAY IN THE SHIP (abide), you cannot be saved.”
  • Sometimes the right decision is not the majority’s decision. It is not the popular decision. Instead, it is the decision based on the Lord’s direction.

When you follow the leading of the Lord, you will get the best outcome. Even though the journey may be rough, the destination will be blessed when we do things God’s way.

Living a Life of Readiness with the Aid of Discernment.

Live a life of readiness. In order to do this we must make choices that are different from the world. We can’t do everything the world does. We are living our life on a kingdom system. God’s system is the kingdom of God and it is ruled by His Word. The enemy, the devil, will try to keep you out of the Word. We must be careful not to be too busy–doing things that don’t matter eternally.

If Jesus were to knock on your door right now, would you be too busy? Would you have to change your channel or the radio station? Would you have to hide some magazines that are inappropriate? If you have to clean up and fix up before you let Jesus in, that’s a clue that you are not ready.

Living a life of readiness is not a cliché, it’s lifestyle principle every Christian needs to incorporate into their walk with God.

To live a life of readiness we must have discernment. Discernment is obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. We do not receive spiritual guidance and understanding at birth. Instead we receive spiritual guidance and understanding when we give our heart to the Lord. (That’s also often called being born-again or “saved”.)

Street knowledge is important if you are in that environment or are doing ministry a dangerous urban area. But in the kingdom of God, you must have spiritual knowledge and understanding.

1 Corinthians 2:14 -16 New King James Version - 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

We need discernment in relationships, in business, in ministry and in all aspects of life. Christians should not be unequally yoked in partnerships with unbelievers. Unbelievers do not have the kingdom of God in mind, , nor can they understand God’s ways. As believer’s we must live according to God’s principles, so it is important for us discern who to make alliances with on earth.

  • Not everyone that says they love you, loves you.
  • Not everyone who goes to church has pure motives
  • Not everyone who makes a promise is honest.
  • Some people are false brethren. They can seem like they are a sheep, but they are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Consider this, how many of your friends are striving to live a lifestyle of holiness? How many friends would mind if you pulled out your Bible to read it? Would they stay or would they walk away? Living for God is not boring. Living for God gives you access to real life. SIN IS NOT FUN. IT ONLY SEEMS LIKE IT.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

Proverbs 14:12 New King James Version

The King of Kings is throwing a party. Everyone who comes to His party must be dressed in holiness. This is not to be exclusive and put others down. True holiness is a desire to see everyone receive eternal life and enter the kingdom of God too. Could it be that you are positioned in some people’s lives so you can share the Good News of the Gospel?

If you don’t have discernment, you could be running with a wolf (a deceiver) and thinking that it is a sheep (fellow believer). This happened to the Apostle Paul.

Acts 16:16-18 New King James Version 16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Often times negative thoughts, evil thoughts and doubtful thoughts come from the enemy. There is a evil spirit present speaking lies to our mind. Cast it out. Do not accept those thoughts as your own. Some of these thoughts originate from the spirit realm.

2 Corinthians 10:4-8 New King James VersionFor the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

The enemy is coming against believers, not people who don’t believe in God–he already has them! So be strong and resist every wicked strategy of the enemy. Look out for your brothers and sisters in Christ too. The enemy will try to use Christians against one another by stirring up strife. Pray for yourself and your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Don’t count on being popular if you are a Christian. Be more concerned about being popular with God. Is God pleased with you? His opinion is the one that counts.

2 Corinthians 10:4-8 New King James VersionFor the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christand being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Don’t be afraid of the enemy or evil spirits. God does not want us walking in fear. The Holy Spirit in us is greater than anything we face in the world.

John 14:27 New King James Version – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

Sometimes the enemy will try to make you think that people are talking about you and they are not. That is just a lie being spoken to your mind to get you off track and discourage you. But if you are being gossiped about, REJOICE. If you don’t have some haters in your life you need some, challenges drive us to pray. And prayer, leads to growth. Every challenge you face is allowed to develop your character into the character of Christ. Jesus was talked about, lied on, falsely accused and condemned to death. Through all of it, He loved people and overcame evil with good.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 New King James Version

The purpose of a lie is to get you to act out of character. But with discernment, you can understand what is really going on spiritually and stand your ground in Christ. The enemy tries to bring confusion in families, on the job, and in the church. But with discernment, we can bring peace, love and unity to the situation.

It’s About Time.

IT’S SOUL-SEARCHING TIME!

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” —Ecclesiastes 3:1 New King James Version

Today’s message is about time. Time is passing by every day. We don’t get to recycle the day. Time waits for no one. Whether you are late or early, time is passing by. Be ready at ALL TIMES.

We are leaving this place.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.Romans 13:11 New King James Version

We are sleeping church–spiritually. And time is passing by. The time is so near, please get your house in order. Even a lie can exit you into Hell. A liar will have his place in the Lake of Fire. It’s your choice whether you want to go to heaven or hell. Hell was not made for us. There’s no exit out of Hell. There’s no exit out of Heaven (PRAISE GOD!)

Some people are thriving in their faith while others are departing from the faith. It’s not a time for hopelessness or giving up. Don’t put your trust in yourself, but put it into Jesus Christ. Jesus is our solid foundation. If you have a solid foundation, you will wait patiently on the Lord.

It’s not time to be defeated when you already have the victory. Don’t be attached to the world’s system. The world’s system will not get better–it’s going down. Don’t let your guard down. Be wise. The best is yet to come, but we have not seen the worst yet. God informs His people so we will not be ignorant. God wants us to be prepared. Live a life of readiness.

We will be talked about and persecuted when we live for Jesus Christ. If we suffer with Jesus, we will reign with Him also.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” –Matthew 5:11-12 New King James Version

This is not our home. This earthly life is only temporary. We can have peace in the middle of every trial.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 New King James Version

Jesus will bring us through the trials. Some of our problems come from our own bad choices by not seeking God’s will for direction. We need to seek God before making decisions. Don’t seek your flesh. This is not the time to look to your flesh for answers or strength. Believers need the Holy Spirit to be in control. The Holy Spirit is The Comforter and The Helper. He will help us if we ask Him for help.

Eternal life is our future. As believers trusting and obeying God is key to our relationship with Christ. We may not understand everything God is doing, but we must follow His guidance anyway. God is leading us to a good destiny. God will never lead us astray. God wants us to make it to Heaven.

We must first seek the kingdom of God first, instead of material things or carnal desires.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 New King James Version

Seek God first in relationships, especially marriage. No person will have everything exactly the way you want it. You must learn to communicate and compromise.

Let us rise up and motivate ourselves to do what is right. Church is just not for a quick fix. Get stable in God so you are not having ups and downs like a rollercoaster. Be stable in Christ so you can help someone else. We are here to serve others and not just ourselves.

Let go of worldly music. It doesn’t give you strength. God will not glorify Himself in worldly music. God is holy. If you can’t find satisfaction in spiritual music, check yourself.

What God are you serving if you are down all the time?

Do you leave church and immediately start listening to worldly music? Spiritual music keeps you strong. Worldly music appeals to your flesh. Spiritual music builds your spirit.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14 New King James Version

We must:

  • Humble ourselves
  • Seek God’s Face
  • Pray

Be sure about your salvation. Jesus is soon to come. Death or the rapture can occur at anytime. It’s soul-searching time. Get envy, jealousy, unforgiveness and hatred out of your heart. Let offense go. We must forgive and pray for our enemies. That is God’s will. It’s time to repent and do the work of the Lord. Church work and kingdom work is two different things. If each of us would reach out to a lost soul, think of how many souls will be saved.

Many believers love ministry. They love church. But they do not have a genuine, true love for God. Now is the time to go out in the highways and

  • “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23 New King James Version
  • “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 New King James Version

Death is not a failure IF you die in the Lord. Death for the believer is a graduation to an eternal life of joy with the Lord. Stay with God. Stay in the faith. No matter how hard it gets, stay with the Lord.

The book of Revelation is coming to pass. Make sure you are right with the Lord so you don’t have to be left behind to go through the 7-Year Tribulation period. Read the entire book of Revelation.

13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

Revelation 13:13-18 New King James Version

Keep the FIRE burning!

(Bishop Brown, Senior)

The enemy will try to stop you. He doesn’t want you to do what God has called you to do. He doesn’t want you to be on fire for God. He will set up obstacles. Don’t let the enemy stop you. Stir up the fire in you and shake the enemy off.

-Acts 28:1-20 – New King James Version – Paul’s Ministry on Malta
28 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 BUT HE SHOOK OFF THE CREATURE INTO THE FIRE AND SUFFERED NO HARM. 6 However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. 7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING.

When you are exhausted, weak and confused, stir up the Holy Ghost fire in you and He will comfort you and direct you.

–REVIVE YOUR FIRE FOR THE LORD AND DOING HIS WILL.
–WE DON’T NEED ANYTHING NEW. WE NEED TO STIR UP WHAT WAS ALREADY PLANTED.
–Your life will be determined by what you do with the burning coals of fire.
–The fire of Pentacost has not gone out. The people of God must stir up the fire within us.
–Some people are afraid of the fire of the Holy Ghost because they don’t want to lose control.
–The Apostle Paul understood that the fire must be fed. It will not burn on it’s own.
–I MUST FEED THE FIRE AND STIR UP THE GIFT IN ME.
–No one else will do it for me.
–FEED THE FIRE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT AND WHEN YOU DON’T.

–BE DETERMINED. Don’t wait for nobody else. When you start, someone will join you.
–Don’t worry about what other people say.
–You must prepare the fire.
–Is your heart ready for the fire.
–Is your worship ready
–Is your prayer ready
–Is your expectation ready
–When the altar (you) are prepared, the Lord will show up.
–satan will do anything he can to keep you from being on fire for God.
–He will send critics, persecution, etc.

–When we are in the fire with Jesus, whatever has a hold on us, has to let go.

–Fire of the Holy Ghost will shake off strife, anger, division, depression and discouragement.

–How you respond to the enemy’s attack, determines what happens spiritually.

–When the devil tries to hinder you, and you keep going anyway, God will bless your efforts.
REVIVAL WILL OPEN DOORS.

–WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Shake off the enemy and stir up the gift of the Holy Ghost. Pray for a passion for souls to be saved and people to be delivered and healed.

–SET YOURSELF ON FIRE SO SOMEONE ELSE CAN GET LIT TOO!
–Don’t wait for someone else. You do it!
–GOD IS WAITING FOR US. GOD IS WAITING FOR US TO FEED THE FIRE!
–Jeremiah thought he would stop preaching because no one was changing. But when he stopped it was like a fire shut up in his bones.
–FIRE CHANGES WHATEVER IT TOUCHES

To keep the fire burning, you must feed the fire!
–Don’t focus on the fear. Don’t let fear get into your heart.
–Know that God is greater than anything you are facing.
–If God didn’t withhold his only Son from us, He will surely answer our prayers that are in His will.
–The enemy can’t stick around when the Holy Ghost fire shows up.
–Pray to overcome fear and apathy

–What you think is junk, God sees value in it and can rebuild and restore it.
–What the enemy calls junk, just needs to be restored.

–Tonight is a night to be restored and to rekindle your fire.
–The Word of God will set you back on fire!
–God is a God of restoration.

GET SOME HEAT IN THE SPIRIT…
When the glory of God is in the room, the enemy can’t take it. We have to get to the place is in the room and bubbling out of us.

–See people as worthy of dying for (the way that Christ did)
–Die to yourself and your own desires so people can be pointed to Christ Jesus. Don’t be so caught up in your own troubles or concerns, that you don’t care about helping others.

Use the fire of God to win souls.

“Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Luke 14:23 New King James Version

Built to Last.

My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven. Psalm 89:28-29 New King James Version

Pain was introduced in the Garden. Why do we think when we come to Christ we will not experience pain? In life we will experience some type of pain. Sometimes it’s pain from a broken relationship or physical pain. Just because you are in Christ that doesn’t mean you have to fake it. You can have issues and still walk with God. God will love us through and out of the dirt of life. Kingdom people can see the dirt and still love you. That’s the God-kind of love.

Everyone doesn’t have the God-kind of love, even in church. There could be a hundred people in church and only ten people that are mature in Christ. We must not use prayer as an excuse to gossip. We must walk in spiritual discernment so we can walk in love at all times.

Don’t believe the enemy’s lie–if God really loved you why are you going through so much pain? Why didn’t God answer your prayer? God answers all prayers. The answer is not always yes or according to your liking. But know this:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28, New King James Version

We must endure, knowing that a loving God is still in control, in the middle of pain. We must exercise patience.

  • Endurance means to suffer patiently and tolerate the difficulty until the situation changes.
  • We must outlast the adversity through Christ.

There are things you do with your heart, that is greater than anything you can do physically or mentally. Have you ever heard the expression someone is all heart? We can get strength from the Lord Jesus in our heart through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Make a decision to “Do Better. Be Better.”

Sometimes we move so fast, we don’t appreciate what we do have. Appreciate what you do have and be creative. Sometimes we must endure and do without until the change comes. Don’t be creative in doing wrong. Wait and walk in integrity with the Lord. Righteousness is worth it. Sin reaps a harvest no one enjoys. Instead wait on the Lord’s timing and have joy forever more.

My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.

Psalm 89:28-29 New King James Version

For example, Caleb held on to the promise of God until he was 80 years old. He refused to quit or fall into disobedience. Caleb was built to last. Caleb held onto his faith until he received his inheritance. Don’t doubt or hang around doubters. We can’t afford to let unbelief get into our thinking. We can ask God to help us with our doubts and areas of unbelief.

Instead of faking faith, pray for faith. God will give us what we pray for. Don’t let the opinions of people discourage you and cause you to lose the faith you do have.

After our trial, we will come out better, stronger and more committed. God wants us to last, to endure to the end. God built us to last. God is not building us to give up. God is building us to last.

But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 

Matthew 24:13

This passage is referring to believers during the 7-year Tribulation Period. They must endure without denying Christ or taking the mark of the beast to be saved. They will go straight into the Millennial Reign of Christ without dying.

Endure as a good soldier in Christ now and remain faithful to Him so you will be ready for the Rapture of the Church.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Lead Someone to Jesus Using the “Roman Road”.

We should always be ready to lead someone to the Lord. An easy way to do this is to use salvation scriptures from the book Romans like you would travel down a road that leads to Jesus. Then, lead them in the sinner’s prayer. Download the graphic on the left to your mobile device and be ready to share on the go.

  • ROMANS ROAD:
    Romans 3:10 – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
  • Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
  • Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 10:9-13 – 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you don’t have time to go through all the scriptures because of the setting you are in, lead them in a simple prayer such as this…

“Dear Lord, I admit that I am a sinner and I believe you died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me of my sins and come in to my life as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to live a life that is pleasing to You, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Also, remember to teach your kids how to lead someone to the Lord. Everyone needs to know Jesus, so let’s be ready to make the most of every opportunity.

Continue in God’s Word.

Matthew 18:23 – The good ground represents the heart of a man who listens to the message and understands it and goes out and brings thirty, sixty, or even a hundred others into the Kingdom.”

Don’t fall away from the faith.
Don’t be weary in well doing.
Pray for strength.

–John 8:31-35 New King James Version The Truth Shall Make You Free – 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

–It’s our duty to help draw believers back to God who have drifted. Don’t talk or gossip about them.
–Sometimes you can’t tell you’re drifting (like in the ocean near the shore).
–It happens very gradually.
–You will yield to either God or the flesh. You can’t pursue both at the same time.
–We can only have 1 master.

Signs you’re drifting:
–You don’t want to pray or fellowship with the saints
–Talking about God irritates you
–Pray to do better and be better for the Lord.

GOOD PRAYER TO PRAY. YOU NEVER ARRIVE. KEEP PURSUING GOD AND WALKING IN HUMILITY
–Titles can be dangerous. You can think, now that I have this title, I don’t have to do “—” anymore.
–INSTEAD, IF YOU GET A TITLE, YOU SHOULD BE SERVING MORE!
–There are 2 kinds of disciples for Christ.
–1 group is nominal; they only profess Christ. They discontinue in His Word and they don’t fellowship with God’s people anymore.
–Are you a Christian outside the doors of the sanctuary?
–JESUS HAD 12 DISCIPLES, BUT 1 TURNED BACK.
–You can be chosen by God and backslide.
–We must KEEP FOLLOWING CHRIST.
–You could have won souls and healed people and backslide.
–PRESS INTO GOD AND HIS WORD EVERYDAY.
–Pray for the grace and power to continue in God’s Word.
–Pray for strength when the temptation or challenge shows up.
–We will be faced with battles and challenges to test your faith.
–It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the Lord. We MUST STAY ON GUARD.
–IF WE ARE REALLY JESUS’ DISCIPLES, WE MUST CONTINUE IN HIS WORD.
–The enemy doesn’t want us to get closer to God or read the Word of God.
–If the Word of God gets into your spirit, it will change your life.

The Word of God is so powerful, it changes lives and saves people.
–It can change a drug user into a preacher, a partier to a worshipper, a prostitute to an evangelist.
–Are you more excited on Friday night, than Sunday morning?
–WE SHOULD BE ON FIRE FOR GOD.
–When you notice your fire going down, REKINDLE IT.
–STIR UP THE GIFT IN YOU.
–ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD!
–SPEAK LIFE AND THE WORD OVER YOURSELF.
–REFUSE TO LET YOUR BATTERY DIE. Get with another brother or sister in Christ and charge up through prayer and fellowship.
–Don’t let your battery (life in Christ) go dead.
–God is a prayer answering God.
–Read the Word even if you think you’re not getting anything out of it. Your spirit is getting fed, even if you don’t feel anything.
–If your spirit gets the Word, it will put your flesh in its place.
–Sometimes people will turn on you if things don’t happen the way they expect.
–Your confession for Christ will be tested.

CONTINUE IN GOD’S WORD.
–You will reap if you faint not.
–Matthew 13:1-13 Living Bible – 13 Later that same day, Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, 2-3 where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat and taught from it while the people listened on the beach. He used many illustrations such as this one in his sermon: “A farmer was sowing grain in his fields. 4 As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path, and the birds came and ate it. 5 And some fell on rocky soil where there was little depth of earth; the plants sprang up quickly enough in the shallow soil, 6 but the hot sun soon scorched them and they withered and died, for they had so little root. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns choked out the tender blades. 8 But some fell on good soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as he had planted. 9 If you have ears, listen!” 10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you always use these hard-to-understand illustrations?” 11 Then he explained to them that only they were permitted to understand about the Kingdom of Heaven, and others were not. 12-13 “For to him who has will more be given,” he told them, “and he will have great plenty; but from him who has not, even the little he has will be taken away. That is why I use these illustrations, so people will hear and see but not understand.

–Sometimes you can speak spiritual things to unsaved people and it doesn’t connect.
–It doesn’t connect because they are not born again.
–For instance, unbelievers don’t understand tithing.
–WE HAVE TO PUT GOD FIRST! (You still need to take care of your family, but God will show you how to do that)

YOU CAN GET DISTRACTED FROM THE LORD BY FAMILY
–The enemy doesn’t care who or what it is, as long as it draws you away from the Lord.
–They don’t understand when you fast or rise early to pray and call on the Name of the Lord.
–Pray for ears to hear.
–Don’t multitask so much that you don’t hear the Word.
–The enemy wants to keep you too busy to hear from God.

YOU’RE BLESSED WHEN YOU RECOGNIZE GOD AND CAN HEAR HIS VOICE.
–Matthew 13:14-17 Living Bible – 14 “This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘They hear, but don’t understand; they look, but don’t see! 15 For their hearts are fat and heavy, and their ears are dull, and they have closed their eyes in sleep, 16 so they won’t see and hear and understand and turn to God again, and let me heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. 17 Many a prophet and godly man has longed to see what you have seen and hear what you have heard, but couldn’t.

WE HAVE TO LISTEN AND OBEY THE LORD.
–Matthew 13:18-23 Living Bible – 18 “Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer planting grain: 19 The hard path where some of the seeds fell represents the heart of a person who hears the Good News about the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it; then Satan comes and snatches away the seeds from his heart. 20 The shallow, rocky soil represents the heart of a man who hears the message and receives it with real joy, 21 but he doesn’t have much depth in his life, and the seeds don’t root very deeply, and after a while when trouble comes, or persecution begins because of his beliefs, his enthusiasm fades, and he drops out. 22 The ground covered with thistles represents a man who hears the message, but the cares of this life and his longing for money choke out God’s Word, and he does less and less for God. 23 The good ground represents the heart of a man who listens to the message and understands it and goes out and brings thirty, sixty, or even a hundred others into the Kingdom.”

–HEAR means listen and attend to what was said – OBEY!
–Don’t let the enemy snatch the Word from you.
–The Word you receive will also help someone you know. Be ready to share the Word.
–We can have selective hearing. We remember everything from a movie, but nothing from the sermon.
–The sower is the person that is sharing the Word of God.
–All of us are receiving seed (Word), share the Word with people.
–The kingdom of God is God’s way of doing things.

WAYSIDE HEARERS
–Seed that falls away on the wayside
–If you don’t value the Word when it goes out, the enemy will snatch it away from you. (If you can focus on a Netflix movie, you can focus on the Word of God)

STONY HEART HEARERS
–They receive the Word, but it doesn’t take root.
–We must live a life of endurance.
–PRAY FOR ENDURANCE
–Don’t drop off when tribulation or persecution comes because of the Word
–So the Word of God. Sometimes the seed you sow is a word out of your mouth, not a card you pass out.
–When you run into people, drop a seed.
–GIVE ALL YOUR SEED OUT.

THORNY GROUND HEARERS
–This person hears the Word and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of money/riches chokes out the Word.
–Don’t get caught up in the world.
–Don’t make excuses for not getting into God’s Word
–Sometimes we don’t pass out seed because we don’t want to be rejected or offend anyone.
–Pastor Brown dropped seed on a man for five years before anything happened. The man finally got saved in a rest room on the job. The Holy Spirit met him there!
–Don’t get so caught up in trying to achieve success that you miss God.
–Success is spelled–JESUS!

Only 25 percent of believers are fruitful according to this parable. Pray to be a fruitful Christian.

  1. Hear the Word
  2. Keep the word
  3. Continue in the Word and
  4. Pass on the Word

That’s living a life of readiness.

Homework: Memorize the books of the bible in order.