30 September 2013

MISPLACED AFFECTIONS [PART 2]


John 6:28-38

Esquire magazine carried an article entitled "How to Live Forever." The article said that if all genes that affect the rate of aging are deactivated, if cancer and heart disease are conquered, if genes can be tricked into regenerating organ tissue, and if all causes of old age are eliminated, the median life span will increase to 1,200 years! The fact is that our sinful or fallen bodies were never intended to last forever; and we were never intended to spend eternity on earth.  Jesus told us how we can live forever. We come to an amazing passage that tells us about who God is and what God came to do; but we also see a problem with this passage! Man’s stubbornness and disbelief that leads to misplaced affections. Human misunderstanding, thinking I need to work towards, instead of receiving the gift with thanks-giving. We get front row seats here this morning as we’re about to see this unfold as Jesus confronts the multitudes with this truth about eternal life. Sadly there are many who are trying this today! Sadly there are many who are afraid to grow old! But the simple truth is that there is nothing you can do stop the aging process! Yes, living healthier will definitely help. Exercise regularly, eat healthier and so on ….but we are all going to die one day. Sadly we see people today are trying to attain or work towards spirituality in the church when it comes to eternal life! As one study said “It’s proven that the majority of people who attend church come just for themselves, or for their children and grandchildren to interact. Historically people don’t come to church to watch others, or to be a blessing and to help others grow in their walk with Christ! Most people come to church full of their own motives." this is what you would call “misplaced affections”

We need to always remember that on our worst day physically, emotionally and spiritually……Jesus Christ died on a cross for troubled people like us. Your attendance, serving and tithing don’t make you a Christian any more than getting a face lift to make yourself feel young! Again all those things are wonderful expressions of a changed heart, but they are not what make us Christians! Why do I say all this? These people were confused and misunderstood what Jesus was saying; because they asked Him a question. (v28). They thought they needed to work for their salvation! Again misplaced affections. They misinterpreted what Jesus meant by the word “labour” or “work” there thinking was “I need to do something in order to attain eternal life.” We see the same problem today in the church.
  • Trying to fix our problems in our own strength.
  • Trying to make things better.
  • Trying to out weight the bad with good.
  • Trying to be good and do good to win merits or brownie points with God! 

Don’t get me wrong we should be doing ‘good’ towards one another, but what does your heart say when you do it? Is it out of a love for Christ because He saved you from the bondage of sin and death or is out of a sinful heart motived out of duty to win favour with God? Which in a sense minimizes the need and the finished work of the cross? This will be your answer if you think the way they did in the next verse! (v29). The only “work” required is that people [you and me] believe the Messiah….God who came in flesh. As John previously wrote! “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” John 1:14. 

J C Ryle said “If any two things are put in strong contrast, in the New Testament, they are faith and works. Not working, but believing,….not of works but through faith which are words familiar to all careful bible readers. Yet here the great Head of the church declares that believing on Him is the highest and greatest of all ‘works’! It is ‘the work of God.’ Doubtless our Lord did not mean that there is anything meritorious in believing. Man’s faith, at best, is feeble and defective. Regarded as a work, it cannot stand the severity of God’s judgement, deserve pardon, or purchase heaven. But our Lord did mean that faith in Himself, as the only Saviour, is the first act of the soul which God requires at a sinner’s hand. Till a man believes on Jesus, and rests on Jesus as a lost sinner, he is nothing.”
When we recognize and cast our righteousness aside and simply trusts in His Son…God is well pleased. Without such a faith it is impossible to please God as the Hebrew writer penned in chapter 11. What Jesus is saying is that faith in Him is the root of saving faith, there is no life in a man till he believes. Remember as a child of God we are a blessed people! Why? Because you believe upon the only one who can save your soul from Hell and Judgement.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek o hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
  • Blessed is the one who is not offended by me. [Matt 5:4-11; Matt 11:6; 13;16]
  • Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

Sadly though, these people still didn’t get it! But again, let me remind of what John already wrote! In John 1:10-11 it says “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” Look how they responded to Jesus (v30-v31) “So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?" Did you already forget what I did the day before…..the miracle of the bread and fish? You tell me the story about Moses and your people when they wandered the Desert, but you forget one important truth! Take your eyes of Moses and focus on God who sent the true Bread in the person of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t Moses who supplied the food it was Almighty God [Jehovah], the same one who stands before you now! So here is your sign or proof. (v32-v33). What was there response? (v34) “give us this bread” sadly again this response is get there physical needs to met! This is the same marking of a shallow, temporary follower of Jesus who fills churches, looking for their needs and desires to be met today. There are many churches that accommodate this style of behaviour. As John MacArthur says “they are often the places that draw the largest crowds, but have the lowest percentage of true believers.” So not only did they insist that He give them proof they insisted that he give them what they wanted. This crowd didn’t believe in Jesus, they were still focused on their physical needs meaning they were spiritually blind to their OWN SIN! And as we look at last week misplaced affections lead to selfishness, blindness and separation! Paul warned the church about this “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14.

So how did Jesus respond to their unbelief and dullness of understanding? (v35-v40) Jesus responds with this simple statement! “I’AM the bread of life”Now, we need to stop here for a moment and park the car; because what Jesus is saying will strike a chord with the religious leaders of that day. The term that Jesus refers Himself too “Bread” has great implication in lives of His people then and now. Why? Bread is considered a staple food……… a basic dietary item. A person today can survive a long time on only bread and water. Bread is such a basic food item that it becomes equal for food in general. Bread also plays an integral part of the Jewish Passover meal. The Jews were to eat unleavened bread during the Passover feast and then for seven days following as a celebration of the exodus from Egypt. And we know by (v31) “Bread” was one of the blessings the Jews received when they were wandering in the desert for 40 years. God rained down “bread from heaven” to sustain the nation. Exo 16:4. This is the first of seven “I’AM” statements that we will be looking at over the course of the year! So, we can’t afford to overlook the importance of this statement! Why? This statement is declaring His deity and truth to His people. Just as Jesus who was the Pre-Incarnate Christ who spoke to Moses at the “burning Bush” is the same one who stands before the people here in John’s letter. By saying “I’AM the bread of life”, He’s not referring to Himself as a loaf of Bread you buy in a market…. But that He was the one who nourishes people spiritually and satisfies the deep spiritual longing of their souls. As Jesus said those who trust in Him will never hunger again! Isn’t that statement true in your life and in mine? Jesus came not only for Israel but for the whole world. And He came, not to just sustain life, but to give life! Jesus has satisfied our souls by giving us eternal life in Him and sustaining us as we walk the pilgrim’s way home.

What does it mean to a Christian today [a believer] when Jesus says “I’AM the Bread of Life”? In other portions of scripture it is the Word of God by which man truly lives out his life. Matt 4:4 it says "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." 
  • Which Job treasured more than necessary food - Job 23:12 “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”
  • Which David valued more than gold and fine food - Ps 19:10; 119:72,103:11
  • Which Jeremiah found to be the rejoicing of his heart – Jer 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.”
  • Which causes rebirth, and endures forever – 1 Peter 1:22-25 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever." And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

“I’AM the bread of life” is a very important statement to make to fallen sinners like them and us this morning. What’s beautiful about this statement is that whoever comes to Him will never be cast out. As the hymn song goes “Blessed assurance that Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory Divine.”There is a story about Charlotte Elliott who learned an important lesson about Jesus one sleepless night in 1834. She was woman who had a weak and feeble body, but possessed a strong imagination and a well cultured and intellectual mind…..so when her family held a flea market in Brighton, England to raise money to build a school, she could only watch from afar. That night she was overwhelmed by her helplessness and could not sleep. But her sadness turned to joy when she realized that God accepted her just as she was. And through this truth she penned these words that night "Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee, 0 Lamb of God, I come! I come!" What did Jesus say to these skeptics? (v37) “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” A person should never think that “maybe I’m not chosen by God and therefore Jesus may reject me when I come to Him.” Jesus promises to receive everyone who comes to Him and trust Him for salvation through genuine repentance and faith. That’s why Paul said “…..for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:16. 

Let me ask you a question! Are you completely satisfied in the Bread of Life? Or are you still searching to get your fill of the bread? According to Jesus you must believe in Him alone!  The only one who can satisfy your soul that gives eternal life? Because in the last days we will be raised with Him in the fullness of His glory all because we believed in the bread of Life who came save sinners. “It is told of Sadhu Sundar Singh, a converted Sikh, who became a Christian missionary in India many years ago, was distributing Gospels in the Central Provinces of India and he came to some non-Christians on the railway train and offered a man a copy of John's Gospel. The man took it, tore it in pieces in anger and threw the pieces out of the window. That seemed the end, but it so happened, in the Providence of God, there was a man anxiously seeking for truth walking along the line that very day, and he picked up as he walked along a little bit of paper and looked at it, and the words on it in his own language were 'the Bread of Life'. He did not know what it meant; but he enquired among his friends and one of them said: 'I can tell you; it is out of the Christian book. You must not read it or you will be defiled.' The man thought for a moment and then said: 'I want to read the book that contains that beautiful phrase': and he bought a copy of the New Testament. He was shown where the sentence occurred-our Lord's words 'I am the Bread of Life'; and as he studied the gospel, the light flooded into his heart, he came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and he became a preacher of the gospel in the Central Provinces of India. That little bit of paper through God's Spirit was indeed the Bread of life to him, satisfying his deepest need.” I hope it’s been made plain to you this morning that Jesus is all you need to experience eternal life. There is nothing you can do other than believe that He came to give eternal life to those who come to Him in repentance and faith. The question is: What have you done with Jesus? Have you received Him into your heart and life? Are you secure in your salvation this morning? If you died, where would you spend eternity? Are you only concerned with this life [the physical]? Please, don’t be deceived by misplaced affections, Jesus is the real thing. He’s the Bread of Life. So my question for you is this! Do you know Jesus personally? If not, you can, if you will come to Him right now through genuine repentance and faith. Just as the Apostle Paul said "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." 1 Tim 1:15. Jesus Christ “The Bread of Life"

23 September 2013

MISPLACED AFFECTIONS [PART 1]



John 6:22-27

The Bible says that multitudes followed Jesus. People followed Jesus for different reasons. The same is true today! We need to ask ourselves the question: Why are we following Jesus? This is a question that you need to be able to explain…….young and old! So why are you following Jesus. Don’t settle for a relationship with Jesus that is based on what he can do for you. Remember God will not be fooled or mocked by His creation; God knows those whose motives are wrong and this should cause us to ponder God and His truth this morning. There are good intentional people in the church who are doing the same thing as it was here in John’s gospel who treating the God who gives them breath like a…..
  • ATM machine
  • Genie in a bottle
  • Lucky rabbit’s foot
  • Get out jail free card
  • Only useful for salvation but for everyday living, no so much


See it’s not hard to deceive ourselves and others at times! As J C Ryle said “a little decent outward profession will often go long way. But it is impossible to deceive Christ.”Why? I Samuel 16:7 says “……. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Remember the confrontation that Jesus had with Peter? John wrote “the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.” John 21:17. He knows everything! The same rule applies here when the great number of people were seeking  after Jesus on the other side of the Sea. Though the crowd sought Him out, they were never interested in either worshipping or obeying Him. They wanted their needs being met! They wanted Him to serve them. Again, a convenient ATM machine that is fast and easy….“give me what I want Jesus” And when I get my fill of you and something comes along that is better I will be jumping ship to bigger and better things! The mindset that says “If Jesus doesn’t work out; I always have my back-up.” Sadly the reality is that there is NO BACK UP! It’s Jesus or nothing! In the church and especially in your life.

To some degree we all tend to live for the present, to live for today, to live for the physical world around us. And yet, we are called on, in Christ, to live for eternity. Salvation comes, not through seeking One who can provide physical food, but through coming to One who can and does supply the spiritual bread of life to all who come to Him in repentance and faith. Jesus’ hearers were not satisfied with the true Messiah, but sought one of their own making.  Such is still happening today. The words of Jesus in our passage reveals there are two kinds of food this world seeks! One that perishes and another that endures. First kind seeks their own interest! The other kind seeks the One who gives eternal life freely to those who believe. The question for you [us] is! Which One are you seeking this morning? Is Jesus only useful when it’s convenient for you? Is Jesus only useful when you need something as a last resort?

The problem for these people was their selfish materialistic hearts keep them blind to their spiritual bankruptcy. Look what Jesus says to the multitudes after they found Him on the other side! (v25-v29). It’s not that Jesus doesn’t care about our physical needs or our needs as we just saw previously to why they ventured across the Sea to see Him. Jesus’ major concern was their spiritual life…..because our spiritual life is more important than our physical! They couldn’t see that but Jesus could! Why? He is God and God knows everything. Why did Jesus address this issue of the heart so quickly with the people who crossed the Sea? He knew and wanted to address their motives! Why? He knew what awaits those who chose to follow after their own desires! His eternal Judgement for all eternity. So! What do we learn from this portion as it introduces us to another I AM statement? Why are misleading affections disastrous and harmful to the soul?

It leads to selfish and self-seeking interests. We see things the way we want things to be, so long as I get what I want, when I want mentality. Prov 14:12 speaks about this and the outcome of this type of thinking is destructive. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” A prime example of this is found in the life of Christopher Hitchens “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” But sadly the consequence for that kind of thinking is again destructive. As the way of sin and wickedness does, it promising much carnal pleasure and fun and there is a great deal of company in it! It’s a broad road, and its pleasant to the eyes, and seems right, but it leads to destruction in the end. So is the way of the hypocrite and Pharisee that trusts to his own righteousness, and despises others and even the righteousness of Christ found in the gospel. What does it result in? “….'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Matt 7:23

It blinds you to the truth found in Christ alone. Paul explains this loud and clear to the church of Corinth that it’s impossible to be a follower of Christ and not understand His truth. 1 Cor 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” The bible is very clear about this danger! In Rom 1:18 Paul said “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” “suppress the truth” means either a person who know the Gospel, which is "the truth", and do not profess it openly or if they do profess it, do not live up to it in their lives. Why? In essence they hate the truth but it requires change of life! Paul also wrote to Timothy that we will see this more and more in the church! 2 Tim 4:3-4 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Remember! Not everyone in the church is saved! Again only God can see the heart of conversion found in the gospel. A prime example of Misplaced affections is found in the church of Laodicea. The bible says “…because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Rev 3:17. These people who confronted Jesus on the other side of the Sea are just like this church was only satisfied in getting what they wanted! They could care less about who Jesus truly was and what he really came to do which was to give His life to be a ransom for some “as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matt 20:28

It separates you from the Saviour and the eternal grace found in the gospel. Isa 59:2 “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”“have separated” conveys the idea of division, usually by a curtain or a wall! The problem isn’t with God’s power, His knowledge, or His interest. The problem is with our iniquities. Sin has separated you from your God. This statement is still true for millions of people today! They were coming to Him for eternal life….only what they needed now in the physical. They didn’t care about their sin….they were concerned with the NOW! John MacArthur said “The crowd was not motivated by faith, repentance, or genuine love for Him.  On the contrary, they followed the Lord because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick . . . . They were thrill seekers who failed to grasp the true significance of Jesus’ miraculous signs . . . which pointed unmistakably to Him as the Son of God and the Messiah……They flocked to see His works, but ultimately refused to accept His words.  They sought the benefits of His power in their physical lives, but not in their spiritual lives. It’s a road that leads to destruction as Jesus spoke of in His sermon on the Mount. What keeps an unconverted soul from finding Christ? Their love for sin and their inability or desire to acknowledge they have sinned against a holy God. A God who created every human being in Their image to display the glory of Their splendor. Refusing to repent and walk by the faith given in Christ through the gospel.

These people that came to Jesus and this is happening today! Blinded by our superficial desire of food and miracles, that they [some today] miss the spiritual significance of what Jesus came to do! To give life for sinners. Again listen to the heart of Isaiah "Why do you spend money for [what is] not bread, And your wages for [what] does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat [what is] good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you - The sure mercies of David." Isa 55:2-3. We need to be careful that we don’t get swept away with what Jesus could do for us over what He came to do…….die for sinners! D. A Carson said “Signs and wonders can be performed quite outside the heritage of the God of the Bible.  The Egyptian magicians could match Moses miracle for miracle for quite a while (Exo7:8-8:18).  Paul predicts, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing” (2 Thess 2:9-10).  The second beast in Revelation 13 “performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men”.”

Man’s blindness does not keep God’s grace from working….that’s the beauty of the gospel; but we need to remember He didn’t come to give you your best life now! He came to give you eternal life. As one writer said “There are many reasons to follow Jesus. So often, we can let these be selfish reasons. When many people grow disillusioned with their walk with Christ, they give the excuse that it wasn't "working for them." What they mean is that being a disciple was harder than they though it would be and they weren't getting the obvious "payoff" out of giving their allegiance to Jesus. However, we don't follow Jesus because of what we get out of him, but because of who he is and what he did for us. Sometimes we have to follow regardless of the temporary circumstances. If all we do is follow when we get what we want, then when hardship comes, trials beset us, the evil one attacks us... we're going to give up God and lose everything. Jesus' blessings remind us who he is and where he is from. They point us to God and our home with him. Let's live for him no matter what our temporary circumstances may be.” Why do you follow after Jesus? Is it because you want your carnal desires filled or is it because you desperately need a Saviour because you’re a sinner? Jesus did not come just to make sick people healthy or bad people good, He came to make dead people alive.

16 September 2013

PEACE TO TROUBLED HEARTS


John 6:15-21

There is a story of a dad, who dropping off his daughter a little late to her third-and-fourth grade Sunday School class one morning, walked in just in time to hear one of the nine-year-old students pray, “Dear God, bless our mothers and our fathers, and our sisters and our brothers. And bless the teachers, and the preachers, and the firemen and the rodeo clowns. Oh, and by the way, God, take care of Yourself too. Because if anything happens to You, we’re all sunk! Seriously. Amen.” This morning we’re going to look at seven verses that tell us a story that shows us that Jesus is unsinkable no matter what happens in this life …and that when the storms of life are raging and it seems like Jesus isn’t in sight. Remember this truth! He is always there whether you believe it or not. Isaiah penned these words “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed [discouraged], for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold [maintain, support] you with my righteous right hand.” Isa 41:10. We see this truth in the life of the disciples as they’re faced with yet another challenge in life. A challenge that could cost them their lives. A challenge that will reveal where your faith truly is! These men were in a boat that was being tossed to and fro on the Sea of Galilee. This isn't the Titanic or Sig Hansen’s Northwestern king crab fishing boat on Discovery Channel. This is a boat that is 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide, 4.5 feet high. A boat that is barely keeping these 12 men, of a 15 person vessel, afloat in a storm that possibly could cause the death of these men………..this is a major problem but not uncommon either! And never mind the fact that we they have at least 4 veteran fishermen aboard this boat who are fearful for their lives.

LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION? Seriously, what would you do if it was you on that boat? ME PERSONALLY: I would have been absolutely petrified! I’m not a big fan of water or boats. We tell ourselves and hear all the time that God has everything under control, but that truth is much easier to swallow (or handle) when things are going well in our lives. Isn’t it? See, when the first sign of disaster or trouble creeps in, our attitudes unusually changes, which usually means “all bets are off LORD.” As we read in Matthew’s gospel we see that, when we take our eyes of Christ, even for a second, we have a tendency to making a mess out of our present situation.

What’s amazing is that God will always use these times …to refine, polished and mould us into the image of the Son. Why? So we can face the next storm in our lives with confidence in the Great Shepherd who purchased us with that blood. He refines us so that we can say “I fear nothing that is before me, for my strength comes from the Lord”. Listen to what Jesus said to His disciples “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. John 14:27. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus at all times! Because He is the only reason we’re able to see or get through today and the next. We are all faced with storms, every single one of us: Some are out of obedience (Abraham, Joseph, Job, Hosea and so on). Some are out of disobedience (Jonah, the nation Israel, the disciples). Some are out of bad choices (David, Solomon, Jacob, Peter). I would like for us to look at some biblical truths that we can learn from this passage of Scripture about our lives…..

WORRY WILL NEVER SOLVE THE PROBLEMS WE FACE IN THIS LIFE.

Think back to this past week, month or year! What has worry accomplished in your life as you face a trial or situation? Nothing, other than doubt which diminishes our faith, which brings about fear that makes your stress level rise.
  • We begin to panic and or blood pressure goes up
  • We lose sleep and rest that we need desperately
  • We become irritable and short tempered with other
  • We find it difficult to concentrate on the simplest of tasks daily
  • We lose control and feel like a helpless child.

Anxiety weighs a person down….“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Prov 17:22. Sadly though, in our human nature we want to borrow worry! As Jesus said "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” Matt 6:34. This happens because all we see is the impossible again! But With God all things are things are possible as Jesus said Matt 19:26. We take our eyes off of Christ and all we see is the doubt in our lives. We become like Peter in Matthew’s gospel.
  • Peter did you forget that you were walking on water
  • Peter did you forget about the impossible act I did earlier with the 5 loafs and 2 fishes
  • Peter did you forget the miracles I performed during our journey so far
  • Peter did you forget the comfort that you find in my voice
  • Peter did you forget who I AM?
  • Peter did you forget that I sought you out on the shore that day

We’re no different than Peter! We all have times like these! Just replace Peter’s name for your own! The only way to find victory in our storms is to be completely dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop worrying and trusting in the Living Saviour who conquered all things on the cross for us. Call out to Jesus for help………..Because He is the one who keeps us and sustains us! Jude wrote “Now to Him (Jesus) who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever.” Amen. Jude 24-25. Remember what Paul said…….“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7. As Jesus says here in our text "It is I; do not be afraid." (v20)

IT’S ONLY BY KEEPING OUR EYES FOCUSED ON CHRIST THAT WE’RE ABLE TO WORSHIP HIM IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE.

At that moment their eyes were opened and their hearts were softened as they realized that Jesus was the Son of God! See according to Marks account when Jesus feed the 5000, the disciples didn’t understand, they were confused......Sort of like a deer in the headlights! “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” Mark 6:52
But when the Lord used the storm and then stopped the storm…….they finally understood! In Matthew’s gospel it says…..
  • They never discuss among themselves to what just happened.
  • They didn’t ask Peter to give a testimony or explanation.
  • They didn’t even question Jesus about what He just did.
  • They stood amazed in the presence of God.

With the exception of John’s account the others say they fell down and worshipped Jesus! The word Worship means to: prostrate oneself (reverence and adoration). It also means to fawn or crouch. This is the same meaning to what Paul wrote about to the church at Philippi “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil 2:9-11. They worshipped Him for who He was, the Creator of all things and the Saviour who came to save the lost. The only One who has the power to make things calm again “the stormed ceased” The same One who can make settle your heart to handle the storm that is in your life. See, the only way we can find peace in the midst of battle or conflict is to keep our eyes focused on Him. As Peter said “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7. This passage makes me think! Did Peter have this storm in mind when he penned those words to us?

When we can see through the doubt and fear, we will worship Him the way we were created to worship. Why? Because He is more important than any situation I can face, on a day to day basic.
  • Jesus is the reason we can stand strong and press on.
  • Jesus is the reason we can move forward.
  • Jesus is the reason we can forgive one another.
  • Jesus is the reason we can be secure in our relationship with Him.
  • Jesus is the reason we can find peace in the midst of trouble.

We all face storms in our lives. No one in this room or outside this room is exempt from facing doubt or lack of faith as the disciples did in the boat. So let me ask you! How’s your faith this morning? What has the Lord been teaching this week about Him and His relentless pursuit of you? How are you handling your storms? The only way to find victory is KEEPING our eyes fixed upon Him! Sounds so simple! But hard to do! Remember, He will always give us the right amount of strength and the right amount of faith to see us through our present situation. As Solomon said “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Prov 3:5-6. The late great George Mueller said "The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials." We must empty ourselves and depend upon Him and only Him to see us through each day
  • Job did it
  • The prophets did it
  • Peter did it
  • The early church did it
  • Missionaries around the world are doing it
  • You and I can do it too

So going back to my original question! What would you have done if you were in that boat that day? Would it be filled with doubt, fear and lack of trust? Or would it be fixed upon Jesus the Great I AM [It’s Me. Do not be afraid]MATTHEW HENRY SAID, “When Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better—His PEACE! F B Meyers said “The most conclusive proof that our Lord was no weak fanatic or enthusiast is afforded by the calm temper which refused the eager impulse of the crowds to make Him king. Here the temptation of the wilderness was repeated; and only one who was filled with the unwavering determination to do God’s will, could have refused this short cut to Messianic empire. Notice these withdrawals of our Lord to the calm of nature’s stillness and the bosom of God. If he needed such spaces of undisturbed meditation and communion, surely we do. He knew when he pressed the disciples into the boat, that the night would be full of storm, but He did not hesitate to expose them to its peril; he was conscious of His ability to turn that storm to the highest use by coming to their help. His advent is often delayed, but he always comes. Delays are not denials. He is as near in the storm as though already in the boat. The storm-waves are His pathway. "Be not afraid!”

Church family, if you're in the middle of one of life's storms, open your eyes to see what God’s doing. He believes in you. He knows that if you turn to Him, you’ll be able to make it to the other side of the lake. It could be that the thing that's scaring you the most is the very thing He wants to use to rescue you, and mature you. And so this morning, let Him say to you what He said to His disciples 2,000 years ago “It’s Me. Do not be afraid.” Grab His hand and let Him get into your boat, and see if it doesn't immediately land where you need to go. God’s presence is all that we need, and we should expect it and embrace it … but let’s not only look for it in ways that we’d necessarily expect. Jesus is OMNIPOTENT… and without Him, we’re all sunk. "One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."..........“It’s Me. Do not be afraid.”

Nine Lashes - Get Back

09 September 2013

I HATE TEST TIME


John 6:1-14

I came across a story about a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, "Does anyone here know how to pray?" One man stepped forward and said, "Yes sir, I know how to pray." The captain said, "Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets--we're one short." Isn’t that true of us at times? When were faced with a trial or testing we usually try and solve it in our own strength or we forget about anyone else! The old saying “every man for themselves” We forget about the bigger picture, we forget about were our next breath comes from. Chuck Swindoll reminded me of a truth this week in his book “The Greatest Life of All, Jesus” “God never calls His people to accomplish anything without promising to supply their need….” We all know the passage that Jesus spoke! In Matt 6:25-34 Jesus said "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

We know passages like this one are in the bible! Spoken to us by God, Himself, and yet we fail to believe Him sometimes. Let’s be realists this morning! We’re no different than that captain of that story. I will be the first one to say “I hate tests” always have and always will! In school I despised tests, before I dropped out of High school I hated tests….. especially those pop quizzes! Even when I went to Bible school I dreaded tests; especially my Theology tests, because I knew they would take about 4 hours to complete every time. Don’t you hate that overwhelming feeling of helplessness; you can feel your blood pressure and anxiety levels go through the roof when you’re faced with a test. There is something about that word “test” that sends shivers up and down my spine. But tests are needed to help each and every one of us grow to understand whatever the subject is better! The Christian life is filled with a series of tests!Though they stink at times, they’re to help us grow more and more into the image of the Son as we await His return. But the reality is! Some tests we do well in, and others we fail miserably [I’m speaking from experience]. God this is nothing new to an all knowing and sovereign God who created me for His glory. We come to a passage [a miracle that displayed the glory of God as Sovereign Provider]. A miracle that all 4 gospels thought it was important to witness about, so that we could see not only Jesus the man, but Jesus God in flesh. It’s a time in history that speaks volumes to the soul….saved and unsaved! Especially if you were there that day to witness this amazing event.

Let me ask before we get into this wonderful and amazing miracle! What would you have done if you were one of the disciples that day? How would you have approached this dilemma or test as I like to call it? Let’s get personally this morning! Is God testing you in something this morning, this past week, this past month or year? Remember! The Christian life is a series of tests to help mold and shape us into the children of God. To be perfectly honest, how we approach a problem or situation, and how we respond to it, will determine where our strength comes from! See we all are faced with challenges each and every day. From the time we wake up to the time you go to bed. Usually! The way you respond to your first test of the day will determine the rest of your day! If you don’t believe me, look back at your past week and answer this question! Did you fail more than you passed or did you pass more than you failed, this past week? Remember! Christ often tests us to see what we shall say and do in the presence of overwhelming difficulty!

THE DISCIPLES WERE GIVEN A TEST QUESTION (V5-V9)

The test was your faith at work "by feeding the multitudes" It’s impossible logically to do this with what they had. There is no way that we can do what Jesus is requesting. Look what Philip says to Jesus in (v7) 200 denarii: is about 8 month’s wages. One denarius was a day's pay for the common person. Philip could not see past the logically explanation of it all. He only saw what we see humanly speaking sometimes when we cannot see past the problem. See Philips faith and ours requires us to move forward without understanding and knowing everything all the time. That’s the problem with most of society! That’s the number one problem for most Atheists! If I can’t figure it out and bring it to its final conclusion, than it can’t be right. Richard Dawkins said “faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.” Think about it for a moment! If you knew what the Lord had in store for your life ahead of time, would you continue to follow Him? Would your response be any different than the disciples? Think about that before you answer! We are to walk by faith and not by sight……………..Philip walked by sight, just as we do at times of testing. What Philip should have said was….."OK Lord I will tell the people to sit down as we will bring them food to eat". Or he should have said “I don’t know yet Lord, but I know You’ll think of something.”But he doesn’t! His doubt and lack of faith couldn’t see past the lack of funds. He couldn't see past the human capabilities of the God man (Jesus Christ). Forgetting everything that Jesus has done up to that point in time. Remember it was Peter's faith that upheld him on the water, not humanism or his knowledge of great understanding. It was trusting by faith in a faith God who could not deny Himself. This is God in flesh here! There is nothing to impossible for Him to achieve. See when we doubt our faith becomes weak like Philip and the disciples, just like Peter when he took his eyes off of Christ and doubt set in, in our humanity we tend to do the same at times. In Matt 14:29-33 it says ".... But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" This happens to all of us, doesn't it?We have all taken our eyes off the prize at times when we are faced with testing and trials! We have all said Lord!….
  • You do not understand my problem!
  • If you only knew how I feel at this moment!
  • I have calculated it all up and it’s impossible!
  • I have consulted the authorities, I’ve crunched the numbers and there is nothing I can do!

When things get tough and there is no logical answer to how we can handle the situation or in the disciples case feed these people. We scramble and try to find a way out, panic or better yet throw in the towel. But here is the kicker! Jesus knew what their answer would be, as we see in (v6) Jesus knew that they couldn't solve this problem themselves. Jesus had this situation under control. The same goes for you and me, when we are faced with a test. Jesus wants us to look, rely, seek, and humble ourselves onto Him.

THE DISCIPLES COULDN'T ANSWER THE TEST CORRECTLY (V10-V14)

Their lack of faith lead to fear and helplessness “but what are they among so many?" This little boy’s lunch wasn't enough to feed this amount of people. Jesus knew that! The disciples knew that, but what the disciples forgot was who they were disciples of [The One who created all things for His glory]. Jesus once again had to remind them of His sovereign provision and does the same thing to us on occasions of doubt and lack of faith. Jesus once again had to show them who He was. God almighty in the flesh! Isn't that always the way in our lives? We get all stressed out for no reason, and think things are not going according to our plans and then it happens His way. I've failed at this many times in my Christian walk. Asking those doubting questions
  • Why Lord, why now in my life?
  • What's the hold-up Lord?
  • Why isn't anything happening or changing?
  • There is no way this is going to happen in my life?

The Israelites did the exact thing in the wilderness "why have you brought us out here to die" The disciples did it here in this miracle "but what are they among so many" And sadly, I've done this many times "you’ve got to be kidding me” That's why my wife calls me Peter sometimes, because I have foot in mouth disease! We should never test a holy God, because we may not like the results to our disbelief, impatience and doubt. All things always fall right into place at the perfect time according to God's perfect plan. Not ours! Why? Because He must get the glory. What right do we have to doubt a holy God who….
  • Died for us
  • Rose for us
  • Gave us life eternal

Tests are appropriate to refine us into the children He called us to be. Tests are always for our good and always for His glory. He can always us every situation in your life and use it for His glory as He did by using the disciples even in all their weakness and doubt to distribute the food to the people. He did it here by taking a small lunch and turning it into a feast to remember " they were full'. The only way for this event ever to be pulled off is though the supernatural work of our Lord. Remember! When God displays His glory, He makes it known throughout the land (v14). He does this with us, when things don't seem possible to our understanding or thinking. How? Through our testimony to the world of His wonderful sovereign hand in our lives found in the gospel that saves “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:10-11.

"I hate tests" I think you know that by now, but they are for my good, they are for my growth, they are to direct me in the path of His righteousness. Are you facing your tests with the Lord as your shield and strength as David did when he defeated Goliath? Or Are you stressed and doubting the Sovereign Creator as the disciples did here in this miracle? The size of the challenge should never be measured in terms of what we have to offer! It will never be enough. Provision is God’s responsibility, not ours! All He asks of us is to commit what we have to Him..……even if it’s no more than 5 loafs and 2 fish. The Lord can take something that seems impossible and make it possible. Just as he did with this boys lunch. As the Lord said “But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27. All things are possible if Christ is first in our lives and in our decision making. The late great Charles Spurgeon said "If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem be against us, we do not believe Him at all." The disciples forgot that truth and so do we at times. This wonderful event is a reminder that our God much bigger than our problems or present tests in life. As Jeremiah the prophet said ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.  Jer 32:17. I like what Hudson Taylor said "I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." Remember "And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them" and they were full! (v11)
  • Taking the impossible, and making it possible
  • He did this through His miracles
  • He did this through His promises
  • He did this on the cross of Calvary
  • He does it through our lives today

Remember on test day! Don't doubt what you cannot control! Seek the Kingdom and not your own understanding as you face each test of life. It’s for your good and His glory! The Christian life apart from Christ is like trying to feed 5000 people in our own strength...it's impossible! But with God all things are possible. 

The Sovereignty of God

02 September 2013

TERRIFYING TIMES


2 Tim 3:1-17

I grew up in a time when hair bands of the 80 and 90’s ruled the main stage of my life! None of this Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry corporate bubble gum, no talent corporate sell outs! I grew in a generation of talented musicians who could rock like there was no tomorrow! Bands like: Kiss, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Ozzy, and Scorpion’s. Canadian bands like: Helix, Kick Axe, Coney Hatch and Brighton Rock. These were bands that I desperately wanted to be like [sad isn't it?] But I think one of the biggest bands that exploded on music scene during my time was a band called AC/DC. But it didn't take long for tragedy to strike this popular rock band! At the young age of only 33, AC/DC's lead singer Bon Scott, “drank himself to death,” according to the official coroner's report...Bon Scott recorded six studio albums with the rock band AC/DC, beginning with 1974's "High Voltage." It was shortly after the release of the somewhat foreshadowing sixth album, 1979's "Highway to Hell," that Scott died (February 19, 1980). In keeping with his rowdy persona, "Highway to Hell" sold over a million copies during its initial run (it has sold seven million to date) and climbed to place at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. Bon Scott epitomized the role of a God-hating rebel who abused drugs and indulged in sinful living. Scott was found dead in his car after an indulgent binge left his body lifeless and his soul at the reality of the “Highway to Hell” which Bon Scott recorded just months prior to his tragic death. Bon Scott, who wore a Satanic pentagram around his neck, sang in his infamous song entitled Highway to Hell...“Hey Satan, paid my dues, playing in a rockin' band, I'm on a highway to hell.” Our generation and the next generation are still buying into this lie, which comes from the pit of Hell. In light of this past week things are becoming more clear me! 

How much worse can it possibly get? The bible says……“Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the Day of Judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Matt 10:15. Jesus, even went on to repeat this in the following chapter of Matthew. Our society is falling apart and the people [even the church] are falling for this world as I did before Christ came and made me His own. Our culture is still being adapted by what we see, hear and touch, and they're embracing this fallen world as many did then, just as many are doing now. Jesus said “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”.  Matt 24:37-39. So my question for us is this………Are we ready for perilous times? Are we ready to fight back to protect our marriages, our children, our families, our sexual purity from a culture that says there is no absolutes, all sexual types orientation is good, there is no God, the world just evolved, let the professionals teach and train your children, majority knows best, do what makes you happy, climb the corporate ladder, don’t think for yourself, live for self and forget about anybody else. A culture trying to tell us to stay busy, prepare for that freedom 55, and so on! Sadly, our culture is getting more perverse by the minute! Again with this past week in the news and entertainment with Miley Cyrus’s provocative depravity dance! What grieves me most is, this young lady has millions of young girls who look up to her as a role model. Can I tell you young ladies something? She is no role model for you! She is only another Bon Scott of this generation who desperately needs Christ; just as I did when I was your age.She is on a road that only has one off ramp that can save her from those famous words sung by AC/DC! The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So again the question is again! Are we ready for perilous times? Increasingly, we are hearing people talk about “The Last Days” or “The End of the World,” and for good reason, because the wickedness is so horrible nowadays. The news media is filled with so many horrible stories and hatred, and the media has no hesitation about destroying someone's life with their manure spreading as they did with Miley this past week. But can I tell you we are no different that Miley? We're all sinners and depraved! Our society has become ruthless, craving the bloodiest and most horrid stories in the news... give us more, more, and more!
  • Sexual immorality is increasing by the minute around the globe.
  • Decency and morality is being thrown out the window as garbage and old fashion.
  • Young people are giving up their purity so that they can fit into the mold of this generation to find acceptance and love.
  • Having more than 2 children you are considered selfish and overcrowding in an “already crowded world.”
  • Marriage is no longer an institution between two believers under God’s covenant of marriage.
  • Demonic activity is hitting the big screen and taking over the movie box office and the television.
  • Homosexuality and trans-gender is considered a normal sexual lifestyle.
  • A mother killing and drowning her 4 children in a pool is considered murder, but killing a child in the womb is considered “choice”.
  • Helping someone end their life is considered human, but beat or torture an animal is considered barbaric and cruel.
  • The bible is considered hate speech and intolerant, but to be-head someone in the name of “Allah” is considered ok.

Please hear my heart this morning! I don’t mean to wreck your Sunday morning worship, but we really need to open our eyes to what is going on around the world......Might I remind you that Paul wrote this to Timothy some 2000 years ago. On a lighter side, Ray Pritchard has a humorous intro to a not to so funny chapter...You’ve probably heard the old joke about the fellow who was told, “Cheer up. Things could be worse.” So he said, “I did as I was told. I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.” That in a nutshell is the message of II Timothy

Paul said perilous times were coming for the church. This fallen world is falling into a deep depravity, but the church was going to face this sort of thing as well. “Perilous times” means times of great difficulty, grievous, stressful, hazardous or unsafe. It’s like those of public plagues, when death lies at every door, this word is also referring to fierce, violent dangerous, savage times. John MacArthur calls it "demonic times" a time where the church is going to be tested. Paul told Timothy before he was about to be be-headed that doctrine would become compromised by the leaders. Doctrine would be distorted by wolves in sheep’s clothing. The church would be faced with greater trials then their predecessors of old. Isn’t this true! Doctrine has been compromised in the church because we don’t want to offend someone or make them feel uncomfortable. Doctrine has been distorted by many false teachers and many are greatly confused to what truth is and what isn'tThis church age is much worse than the early church! There has been over 100 million Christians martyred for the gospel since the early church was established by the apostles. We are knee or neck deep in “perilous times”

Here is where the good news comes in! In these perilous times, where would we be without Christ and the gospel? Answer! We would be on the side lines cheering and applauding the same young lady who paraded herself last Sunday night as a thing, and not as a person created in the image of God. We would be no better or different than Miley Cyrus! Perilous time is why Christ came! To save sinners like us, to die for the sin of this young girl, to take the punishment of the mother who chose to terminate a life, for the sexual immoral, the disobedient person, child, the church.That’s why the gospel so precious and personal! But we need to understand the church is under attack not just from the outside but also from the inside. (v2-v4)

WHAT DOES A PERILOUS TIME MEAN FOR US [THE BODY OF CHRIST]?

1. Get serious about your relationship with Jesus Christ. In other words, make Him the number one priority in your life.

2. Don’t bury your head in the sand thinking that this will all go away sometime soon! Remove the blinders, perilous times are here to stay and we must push on persevere through them until the Lord`s return.

3. Walk by the Spirit and not by sight. God will make it clear to you what He wants you to do but you must step out in faith and actually start doing it.

4. Separate yourself and your family from this present world system and all it has to offer you. Do not be enslaved to the many enticements and distractions that are in the world today. Find spiritual substitutes, for example, fill your mind with Christian teachings, music, meditation on the word

5.Attend a Bible believing church regularly [meaning more than just Sunday’s] and get plugged in with other believers. As things grow worse in this world this might mean that you will meet much more often than you do now

6. Don't just believe or follow those with their own radical agendas, use discernment and test all things to scripture. There are many false teachers who will try to steer you away from the truth to the lies of this world.

7. Redeem this time wisely for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul said “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:16. He also said “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” Col 4:5

There is an Illustration I came across that speaks volumes to the human soul. “Spurgeon use to tell a story about two men in a boat. They were caught in a very, very severe rapids and they were going to a place where there was a waterfall and even worse rapids and there was really no way, if they ever hit those rapids, that they would ever live. And they began to struggle for their lives. And as they were carried swiftly downstream, they were carried toward the perilous rocks and the falls and some men on the shore saw them and tried to save the two men and they threw a rope out. By this time the men had fallen out of the little boat, were struggling in the current.
One man caught the rope and was saved. At the same instant, said Spurgeon, the other man who could have seized the rope, in the panic of the moment, grabbed onto a log that was floating by and that was a fatal mistake. One man was drawn to the shore because he had a connection with the people on the land. The other clinging to a log was carried down through the rapids and never found again.

Now, you see, what faith does is faith gives you a connection with the shore. Faith gives you a connection to Jesus Christ. Grabbing a hold of anything else is grabbing a log. It doesn't go anywhere but along with you to your doom.” Think of these PERILOUS TIMES we live in as a raging sea. All around us the WINDS of CHANGE are blowing. Off in the distance we can hear the rumblings of an approaching STORM. How tempting it is for you and me to take our eyes off JESUS and focus on all the bad things going on around us. As one preacher said “But let me remind you of a very important truth: The fact that the whole world seems out of control just means the Lord has everything in CONTROL!” This is our culture! They are clinging to that log and its guiding them to their doom.
  • Perilous time’s calls for radical Christians, not spectators!
  • Perilous time’s calls for gospel saturated living, not complacency!
  • Perilous times call’s for selfless love for self-destructive people!

As Isaiah said “…..Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."…Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isa 6:5-8. Despite perilous times, may we go to the Miley Cyrus’s of this world with the gospel that saves to the uttermost parts! Why? They are on a highway to Hell.