Some of these sermon excerpts are taken from our services within the penal system.
Cry of the Spirit to God’s Remnant people
God’s Remnant People!
“In the same way then, there has also come to be a the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” (Romans 11:5)
Praise God in All Things!
Ephesians 5: 20: says – “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God even the Father.” Always giving thanks – for all things! That’s hard. In the flesh, in our mind, in our circumstances – what have I got to be thankful for? Why should I? Well, let me make it even harder. The Lord gave me the following thought when I didn’t know what Ephesians. 5: 20: said. Praise the Lord in all things, for all things, just the way they are, with no change! Now that hurts. I know because I have been in many situations where I couldn’t change anything, where I was at the mercy of others, and man shows no mercy! That’s why David says in the Psalms, I would rather fall into the hands of God than man because with God the Father there is mercy and grace and forgiveness and redemption and restoration!
I can find this mercy and grace at the cross through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 5: 1 – “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2) for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Brethren, be quick to keep short accounts with the Lord. Your sins – mine – are under the blood of Jesus, only if we confess them and turn away from them. How many times can I come? There is no limit to God’s grace when you ask for it!
But know the difference between condemnation and conviction. You have done what the Word requires of you for repentance and yet you are still under assault in your mind. This comes from the enemy of our soul and it is condemnation and you need not bow to it. The Holy Spirit brings conviction, that when acted upon ushers in the peace of God to let you know that you have been restored to right relationship again with the Father. Acts 3:19-20 – “And on the basis of faith in His name, the name of Jesus …Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that He may send Jesus the Christ appointed for you.”
Brethren, if you can get down to the deepest recesses of your spirit, past your flesh, your thoughts, over the hurdle of your present circumstances, to the place where you can say – Lord, I will praise you even if nothing ever changes for me! Then you are lifted up spiritually and seated in the heavens with Jesus. Romans 8:2 – “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of His people! God lives in our praise and now He can bring about the change we are so desperate for. My attitude, my outlook and my circumstances all bow to the will of God and they are changed. 1Thessalonians 5:16-19 says – “Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; In everything give thanks; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.” So what I am going through right now is Gods will for me? No! His will is that you praise Him in this time of need and He will respond to your cry for His help. Don’t quench the Spirit.
Hebrew 13:15 – “Through Jesus then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips, that give thanks to His name.” The sacrifice of praise – no change! Yet will I praise you, in all things, for all things, just the way they are, with no change! Psalm 50:23 – “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
Psalm 51”17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Father, I submit my will to Yours and anticipate that changes for the good will come – in me and ultimately in my circumstances, In Jesus name. Amen.
See how great a Love
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.” (1John 3:1) And the Amplified Bible says – “what an incredible quality of love that the Father has given, shown, bestowed on us that we should be permitted to be named, and called, and counted as the children of God, and so we are!”
Brethren, God wants you to know how much He really loves you ! He knows your loneliness and even despair. He wants you to know that He hears your heart cry, that you feel so alone in your spirit, even though in the physical, there may be some one beside you. Or you are physically alone – it’s just you. And he has given me this word to tell you that He loves you! To tell you what an incredible quality of wholeness and fullness of love is directed to you this very moment!
I encourage you to remember again your first love for Jesus, and even now to allow that love to rise up again from deep within your spirit.
1John 4:9 – “By this the love of God was manifest in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” God has demonstrated His love for each one of us at the cross of Jesus Christ and He continues to offer His love to us today. But we have to choose to receive it! Brethren, look within yourself for God’s love is in you. Zephaniah 3:17 – “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior as One Who saves!” He will exalt over you with joy. He will be quiet in His love for you – a forgiving love, a deep love – so deep it cannot be expressed by words; a love that found its expression on the cross of Jesus! Jesus opens His arms wide again, not to be crucified once more, but to receive you, to love you and comfort you!
Right now, there may be fears that are consuming you and robbing you of your joy. The fear is so deep you can’t speak of it to anyone. Possibly fear of dying, fear of …… you put the name to this thing that is tormenting your mind to distraction. And God in His love for you says – I love you so much that I gave My Son up for you, so that by believing in Jesus you would not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:26). There is nothing to fear! God has made provision for all our concerns, our needs. 1John 4:18 says – “There is no fear in love; but Perfect Love casts our fear.” Jesus is Perfect Love! It is He who casts our fears! If we let Him, if we turn afresh to Jesus and accept His love anew for us! He will cast out that fear and fill the void with His presence and He will do it by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
It is the cares of the world and busyness of the lives we lead that have distracted us so that we take for granted the wonderful message of God’s love that flows from every page of the Gospels telling of the life of Jesus. Luke 10:38-42 tells us the story of Martha and Mary. Jesus was invited for dinner and Martha was busy trying to get everything ready, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His words. Martha was distracted, bothered, agitated and finally she had enough! Jesus, tell my sister to help me, can’t you see how much work I have to do? And brethren, you may be so busy, hurried, nerves on edge, even busy about the Lord’s work, that you are bothered and agitated in your spirit. I want you to listen to the words that the Lord Jesus spoke to Martha and I suggest that you place your name in place of hers – “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). Pause right here – take a moment – and read the Scripture again with your name in it! ……………….., …………….., you are worried and …….
Face the reality that you have got off track and that you have substituted busyness and doing and that your fast pace of living has caused you to loose your first love for Jesus and no longer stand in awe of God’s overpowering love extended to you. Jesus said – Only a few things are necessary, really only one! As you keep your relationship with Jesus fresh, as you choose the good part, to sit spiritually at Jesus’ feet and to hear His words, then you won’t be bothered and distracted and the reality of how much God really loves you will be a constant in your life and a source of real comfort to you!
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God, and such we are! Receive it now, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Much is little without God
And little becomes much with God!
Delay is not Denial!
Brethren, delay are not denial. We have prayed a long time and yet have not received an answer. It does not mean that God has forgotten you or forsaken you. It is the time of the testing of your faith! Jesus said – Will God delay long over His elect? Will He not speedily answer them? But then Jesus immediately poses this question – But when the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth? It is all about faith! The righteous shall live by faith! If God has called you, then He is able to provide for you. The heavenly Father knows your needs before you do!
Then why do I have to go to the edge before my difficulties are resolved? You do not grow in faith except through the trials. If it were easy as a Christian to get the answers instantly, then everyone would be doing it for the sake of the blessings only. It is through the trials to the blessings! Remain firm in your resolve to follow the Lord Jesus wherever He may lead you and lean not on your own understanding.
Our message for you today brethren, is that the Lord has not failed you! You may be thinking right now that He has not met your needs. You feel like the Lord has let you down; in the very least, you are disappointed with His provision, His care for you. But Psalm 31:19 says – “How great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou have wrought for those who take refuge in Thee…” I would caution you not to take matters in your own hands and try to work out your difficulties in your own strength!
The flesh profits nothing! With God, little becomes much and without Him, much effort and striving is like chaff blown away by the wind! It amounts to nothing. It is the Spirit that brings life! Galatians 3:3 says – “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (4) Did you suffer so many things in vain, if indeed it was in vain? (5) Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do so by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? The Lord would say to you –
Do not let that which began in the Spirit end in the flesh!
Get your priorities in order. Get back to the basics. What is this all about anyways? This battle against you is to rob you of your salvation. The bottom line is – he who endures to the end is the one who will be saved! 2Timothy 4:5 says -“fulfill your ministry. (7) For I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”
Don’t let the worry of this world and its riches choke the Word out of you until it becomes unfruitful, until all you can see is the mountain of difficulties before you. (Matthew 13:22). If you have the readiness to desire the things of God, then you can complete the task before you by the ability the Lord gives you! His calling is His enablement to run the course set before you!
2Corthinians 8:12 “For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have.” Psalm 37:23 – “The steps of a man are established by the Lord and He delights in his way. (24) When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the one who holds his hand.”
Brethren, we are sustained by the Lord’s hand in the time of our difficulties, in the time of waiting for the answer to our prayers. Even in our human frailties and weaknesses, we may stumble a little but we do not crash! God’s provision and care for us are sufficient for every need. Psalm 68:19- “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens” – who daily loads us with benefits! Psalm 66:8 – “Bless our God…sound His praises abroad. (9) Who keeps us, in life and does not allow our feet to slip. (10) Thou hast tried us, 0 God…” – (Why, You even let people lord it over us and put us down – we went through fire and through water – but in the end, Lord, when it is all over – (12) “Thou didst bring us out into a Place of abundance!”
Praise God, delay is not denial! Get your physical eyes off the circumstances and see with your spiritual eyes that your every need is met in the Lord Jesus! Don’t take matters into your own hands; don’t look to others. Remain faithful and true to the calling on your life and wait on the Lord.
Brethren – “God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook you labor and the love which you have shown for His name’s sake in ministering to the needs of the saints as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10). Brethren – “let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober …Putting on faith and love and the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Thessallions 5:6-10).
0 God! Thank You that You have heard my Cry! Thank You that as I trust You and obey Your Word to the best of my abilities, You have undertaken for me. I will tighten my spiritual belt and turn my eyes to the heavenly for the answer is on the way, in Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.