AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast
TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
Public Prayer Requests:
Please pray for Sandra New the mother of a brother in Christ. The doctors have found a mass in her abdomen and are currently running tests and deciding treatment. Please pray for God's healing hand on this Sister and on the family. Thank you Family.
SarahJane Noel - Docs think she has TB. Has to get a CT Scan to be sure.
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.
Jehovah Jireh, my provider
His grace is sufficient for me
My God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in glory
He gives his angels charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me,
Jehovah Jireh cares for me
SING A NEW SONG
Sing unto Lord a new song
sing unto the Lord all the earth
For God is great,
and greatly to be praised!
HOLY AND ANOINTED ONE
Holy and Anointed One
Risen and Exalted One
Your name is like honey
on my lips
Your Spirit like water
to my soul
Your Word is a lamp
unto my feet
Jesus I love you
I love you
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Thank you Lord that we have found you, and in finding you, we have found everything we need. Thank you Lord that our searching for meaning, and for peace and hope, have been completely fulfilled in you.
You know, the world is searching. They're looking for something. Some try to find it in a bottle. Some try to find it in a needle. Some try to find it in a bedroom. Some try to find it in the temple of a false God. Some try to find it in their own intellect. And some try to find it in pretending they're not looking for it at all.
But everyone is searching. Everyone is hungry for meaning, for purpose, for a reason "why".
In John 14:6, Jesus says this: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
You see, Jesus IS the Truth. That's why we can rest securely in him, our souls at rest from worry and doubt. He is who he says he is, and he will do what he said he will do. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you until the very end.
And this truth is not just some idea, or even just someone in heaven to whom we can pray. No, the truth is solid and touchable. We can see it, we can hear it, we can read it.
In John chapter 1, verses 1, 3, and 14, we read this:
John 1:1, 3, 14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
3 All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
So we see first of all that the Word of God IS God, then we see that all things were made by the Word. And then in verse 14, we see that the Word became flesh, and the chapter goes on to tell us who this flesh was -- Jesus.
Now, I'd like to make a quick side-note here, because I've heard people say that the Word of God is not the Bible, because you cannot replace all instance of "The Word" in Scripture with "Bible" and have it make sense.
Of course that's absolutely right. The Word of God is not the Bible. However, the Bible IS the Word of God. And just about any time you hear me refer to the Word of God, I'm referring to that which composes the Holy Scriptures.
Now, I don't want to go off on a rabbit trail, but I want to make it clear that I'm not saying the Scriptures are still being written. I believe the cannon of Scripture is complete. The Book of Mormon isn't another testament of Jesus, it's a fraud, except for the portions which are copied word-for-word from the King James Version of the Bible.
But, to get back on track here, I do believe that the entirety of what we call the Holy Bible is God-breathed, and is profitable for sound doctrine and for reproof, as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness;
17 That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
At the time this was written, the Scripture they had was the Old Testment. And yet, it often spoke in physical terms of spiritual matters, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ etched all the way through.
And the New Testament was in the process of being written, the fulfillment in Christ of the things written in the Law and the Prophets.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, "Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill."
So as the New Testament Church read the writings of Scripture known as the Old Testament, they were reading about Jesus, for the law and the prophets were fulfilled in Jesus, in who he is and in what he did.
And the New Testament shows us how he fulfilled these things, and gives us insight into living under the New Covenant, living life in the Spirit, growing to spiritual maturity, and about things that are yet to come.
So Jesus is the truth; Jesus is the Word; the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the Word of God, and are therefore the truth; And the Word is alive, and is able to bring everything in our lives into razor-sharp focus.
Hebrews 4:12 says this:
12 For the word of God is alive, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Outside of the Word of God, things always begin to blur. Even the sharpest focus of the world is confusion and deceit when illuminated by the truth of God's Word and the life of his Spirit.
Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." And 1 Peter 2:9 says that God has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light.
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are set apart, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;"
Do you realize what an incredible gift you've been given? We, who were stumbling in the darkness, often thinking we saw clearly while all the time we were blind, trusting in our own strength and the strength of man; God saw us in our miserable condition, and he loved us. He had compassion on us because we were lost, scattered, and without hope in anything true.
Matthew 9:36-38 says this:
36 But when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
38 Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."
You see, God is not some mean, unapproachable being; he not only sees our condition, sees our blindness, and sees the deceptions in which we are bound; but he cares, and he sent his Word to us, and to take on flesh, die for our sins, and rise from the dead so that we could believe upon him and have everlasting life, and so that in this life we can know the truth and be set free;
John 8:32 says, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
Free from sin. Free from wandering in darkness. Free from the unrest that comes from not having a firm foundation on which to build your life, and a sure, unchanging compass of truth that will always lead you in the right direction.
Now, I realize that we live in a world of relativism, or at least that's how reality is presented to us, and it's the most non-confrontational way to look at life. But if everything is true, then nothing is true, and truth is nothing more than a contradictory series of lies.
But the truth of the matter is that there IS absolute truth. The man or woman who is honest with himself or herself will not look for the truth that best suits their current outlook on life, but will search for the one truth that is true.
Romans 3 verses 3 and 4 say,
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief render the faith of God void?
4 God forbid! Yes, let God be true, but every man a liar...
Just because you do not believe the truth, the truth does not become less than true, no matter how vehemently you deny it.
There is peace in the truth -- not pacifistic non-confrontational politically-correct pseudo truth, but a truth that will make you uncomfortable as it reveals things you don't want to know about yourself, about the world around you, and about what lies after the grave and how your choices affect your eternal destiny.
Yes, the truth is indeed sharper than a two-edged sword. It can hurt, but it hurts the most when you're fighting it. It can either cut away that which destroys you, or it can just offend you.
But there is peace in coming to that place of total surrender to the One who created you and the world around you.
Today, if you don't believe the Bible is the Word of God, and you don't believe Jesus is the Lamb of God who has come to die for your sins and open the only way to God and away from the eternal lake of fire, then I invite you to open your heart and mind to the truth today.
But I believe at least of most you here today already believe these things, and you have given your heart to Jesus and have been born again.
And to you I say this: Stop struggling with your doubts, stop trying to answer all the questions that try to overwealm you from every side, and rest. Rest in the knowledge that God has given you the truth. It is not open to revision or selective acceptance. It is all true. Every single word of it.
He has not left us to wander around in the dark, left to judge truth on the merit of our feelings or our ever-changing and severely inadequate reasoning alone. But he has written it through many hands, and has miraculously preserved it to a level of accuracy untouched by any other ancient document in existence today.
And as he spoke time and time again through the prophets and through his appointed mouthpieces, he was speaking to you. And as he caused those words of life to be written forever, copied, preserved, and translated into a language you can understand, he was making certain you would have something more solid than a feeling, and more authoritative than an idea.
And in this, you can rest. You've already accepted Jesus as the Lord of your life and the Savior of your soul. You already believe the Bible is the Word of God. So don't allow the enemy to steal your peace and rest by entertaining his doubts, his fears, and his endless and biased questions...
Or, maybe I should say, his question. There is one question, and one lie, and they come in many forms and guises.
"Has God said?" He used that one in the Garden of Eden. "Has God said you shall not eat of every tree?"
And his question has not changed. "Has God really said this is true? Has God really said this is right and that is wrong? Has God really said anything at all?"
Adam and Eve's best response might have been, "Shut up, you foul serpent! God gave us authority over every beast of the field, including you, and that type of questioning stops here. Yes, God has said it, and we believe ALL of what he said, not just the part we want to hear, and this conversation is over. Forever!"
But, they didn't say that. They listened. They discussed the issue. And because they entertained the liar's question, they believed the questioner's lie.
His question is, "did God say?" and his lie is, "You can be like God."
When a person questions the goodness of the God of the Bible, they are exalting their own morality above God's. They are exalting themselves above God.
When we choose to not apply part of God's Word to our lives, we are taking on the role of God ourselves, choosing what we accept as truth, making ourselves the arbiter of truth instead of the One who is the author of all things true.
So the message today is this: Don't entertain the question. Don't bite into the lie. Rest in the truth God has given you. It has not changed, and it never will. It will not conform to society, but stays eternally steadfast as the standard to which society is called to conform.
You can be at peace today. Simply come back to the foundation of your Salvation, the Word of God, who became flesh and died for your sins, the author and finisher of your faith, and the Spirit and Gospel of Truth delivered to you in the pages of the Holy Bible.
I know we talk a lot about the Scriptures, but there is too much error and deception floating around today, even inside the Body of Christ. And it causes division. It causes false doctrine. It causes fear and doubt. And it causes unrest.
But you can rest in the truth today. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will be your sword, your buckler, your strong tower, your firm foundation, your everlasting covenant, your light in the darkness, you help in time of need.
Turn to the truth, grasp it firmly, hold on to it with everything that is within you. Hold it so closely to you and there is no room for lying questions, or the questioner's lies. Rest in the truth today, and let the Prince of Peace guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The ministry team can come to the front now.
This altar is open for prayer and ministry. And I'd like invite you to get out of your seats and come to the front. And let your coming forward be a statement to yourself and to God that you will no longer entertain the questions and lies of the enemy, but you will embrace the truth, the Word of God, from beginning to end, letting it pierce the soul and spirit, dividing between the truth and the subtle shades of gray.
And Lord, I ask today that you would spread abroad your peace, as we turn to you and choose to accept your truth. For you ARE truth. Your Word is truth. And we entrust all we have and all we are into your unfaltering hands.
Come, Holy Spirit, and move in our midst. Draw us to turn our eyes upon Jesus, and do a work in our hearts today.
Thank you Lord.
If you need to go, you're free to do so, and if you can stay a bit longer, you're invited to meet us in the room to your left for a time of fellowship.
If you would like someone to speak or pray with you, please instant message someone on the ministry team.
Come, and let's pray.