Weekly Messages

If you would like to listen to a message from the Archives, please email us at 4lwmchurch@gmail.com and let us know the date and title of the message and we will be happy to email you the MP3 audio file.

Thursday
May312018

June 3, 2018

GOD IS ALWAYS SPEAKING - Psalm 19 

Let take a look at Israel’s iTunes. Let’s start w/history lesson this morning.

The book of Psalms:

-The longest book in the Bible.

-Psalms means songs of praise.

-It has 150 chapters.

-Is divided into five collections: Chps. 1–41; 42–72; 73–89; 90–106; 107–150.

-It was written over a period of one thousand years.

-It was written by people from all walks of life from kings and priests to farmers and peasants.

-It’s said to be the oldest piece of literature in the Bible.

-Psalms is usually the book we turn to in times of trouble.

Psalm 19 is a wisdom psalm.

In Psalm 19 -we’re going to be reminded that God also loves to speak to us. And that he’s always speaking to us. And not just in one way but in two ways.

1. God speaks to us through nature.

Go outdoors tonight and look at the stars. You’ll get a sense of God’s presence. Listen and you’ll hear him.

Because creation exists there has to be a creator. God is always speaking. All of creation points to the Creator. Look at creation and you find the Creator.

“The heavens declare the glory of God.” When David set out to write a song about his God he decided to writeabout the God he knew. A God who spoke to him all the time, everywhere, through nature. But nature is not the only way God speaks.

2. David describes a God who spoke to him personally and privately, through Scripture.

God speaks to us through Scripture. God wrote us a manual, a guide if you will, so we’d know how to live in it. Scripture is God’s special revelation to us. It tells us things we could never know about God unless He did something to reveal them to us.

READ: vs10 - "If you will keep its commands you will avoid a lot of pain. And if you will practice what it tells you to do you will reap eternal rewards." The more you do what Scripture says the closer you will live your lifeto the way God designed it.

Of all the books you’ll read in this life and all the games, instructions and experiences you’ll absorb, only Scripture will endure forever. Scripture gently but firmly tells us what is right and what is wrong and encourages us to do the right thing. It teaches us how to live. God’s advice never loses value. If you have Scripture you can learn how to live a successful life. Scripture is one of our greatest possessions.

If we listen carefully....It’s the voice of God saying, “You don’t really want to do that. It’ll hurt you, and it’ll hurt others. Stay back. Stay away. Stop. Don’t go there.”  Or on the positive side; It will tell you “Be sure and love your neighbor. Be generous. Tithe. Serve. Pray. Invite people to church, invite them to Christ. Be like Jesus. Act like Jesus. Think like Jesus.”

Scripture will transform you into the person that when I get to heaven,  I will hear from the Father “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

God’s always speaking. He’s longing for us to carry on a conversation with Him. Don’t rush through life missing out on growing your relationship w/Him.

Thursday
May312018

May 20, 2018

“Church on Fire” - Acts 2: 1-4

Today is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost was the day God set His Church on fire. The day God sent His Holy Spirit to fill His people.

What are the characteristics of a church on fire?  Read: Acts 2: 1-4

1. A church on fire is: A Church filled with the power of God.

We need power to fulfil God’s purpose. We need God’s power, alone. We can accept no substitute. We cannot depend upon man-made excitement to get the job done or programs, promotions, publicity or a worship full of fluff. We need the power of God -God alone.

I Cor. 2:4-5  “My message and my preaching was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

2. A church on fire is: A church filled with prayer.

Prayer will lead to growth of some kind. Doesn’t always mean growth in numbers...But Spiritual growth!

Eph. 5:18 “…be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your heart to the Lord.”

3. A church on fire is: A church filled with unity.

Worked toward the same goal. Locked arms together toward a common goal. Scripture says: “and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  There was no social status...No church position, no clicks, no looking/judging at each other.

To be on fire for God we must willing to join hands in unity and to serve Him -Through prayer/His power.  Don’t ever minimize your importance to this body of Christ. There is something for all to do. Just be faithful! Always try to be what God intended you to be. It’s not by accident that God set LWM here in Versailles all those years ago. He brought us here to make a difference for Him...be a church on fire for Him - to change lives in the world around us. That’s why we are here! And when we forget that, we lose our fire!

Wednesday
May092018

May 13, 2018

The Path: Dealing with unreachable destinations  Proverbs 13:12

So far in our series on The Path:

1. Your direction determines your destination.

2. Life is a series of course corrections.

3. We shouldn’t trust our hearts

4. Wise people seek counsel.

5. Attention determines direction.

So what do you do when you realize that the destination you’re trying to reach can't be reached. That the dream you had is not going to come true, that the hope you had is going to go unfulfilled. What happens when you find yourself trying to reach a destination that is unreachable? Some destinations are unreachable. Sometimes dreams don’t come true. Some dreams can’t come true. Some destinations become unreachable because of lifestyle choices.

Maybe, If we could stop the clock we might be able to reach any destination we choose. But there aren’t any time-outs in life. The clock is always running. At some point we wake to reality.

Listen to what Solomon’s wisdom is today “The Bible says, Prov. 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick;but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life”

That’s true, isn’t it? When you realize a destination is unrealizable your heart gets sick. It’s the natural first reaction. We ache -we hurt -we wake up gasping in the middle of the night.

What do you do when you can’t reach your destination? You get heartsick. When you are heartsick we either stay there and get bitter or work at it and get better. Your second option is to do what Paul did.

1. Paul prayed fervently 2 Cor. 12: 7-10 - “Three times i pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.”

2. You can listen for God’s voice. Vs 9 “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

3. You can accept reality and find the good in it. Vs 10 - "That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

4. You can use your hardship for God’s glory.  “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

I don’t know a single person who has had all their dreams fulfilled. Or a single person who hasn’t had hardships. Look at the following verses, notice the “buts”:

"In this world you will have trouble. BUT take heart! I have overcome the world." -  Matthew 16:33.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick; BUT a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”Proverbs 13:12.

BUT we know that in all things God works for thecgood of those who love him…” Romans 8:28.

So what do you do when your hope gets deferred?

1. You get heartsick.

2. You can pray fervently.

3. You can listen for God’s voice.

4. You can accept reality and find the good in it.

5. You can use your hardship for God’s glory.

6. You can believe that somewhere along your path, God will do something outrageously good for you.

God loves you and He wants to bless you. He wants you to experience joy. He knows you need hope in your life. The second part of Proverbs 13:12 says, “but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Where do we go from here?

1. Work through the steps of disappointment. When you get up each day this week, talk to God. Spend a few minutes alone with Him either in Proverbs or another passage of Scripture.

2. Create your own rock of remembrance. Remember one specific instance when God has been good to you.-Display the rock so that when people ask you can tell them the story.

Wednesday
May092018

May 6, 2018

THE PATH “LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING” Proverbs 4:25-27

29 times, the book of Proverbs mentions the path or paths we are on.

Proverbs 1:15 “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths.”

Proverbs 2:9 “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.”

Proverbs 3:6: - “In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 4:25-27 - "Let your eyes look straight ahead; Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

Often the things that grab our attention lead to regret. What captures our attention influences our direction.

Attention, direction, destinationThat’s the principle of the path in three words.

Proverbs 4 - "Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Here’s the good news ... You and I do not have to be ruled by things that grab or capture our attention.

The Principle of Choice: You get to choose what you give your attention to.

1. You choose gets your attention.

2. You choose who you give your attention to.

On every path that leads to disaster or destruction there is something powerful that draws us, that grabbed or captured our attention. Which is why Solomon warns:

Make a choice. Choose which direction you will go and then fix your eyes directly on it. What you give your attention to determines your direction. And the direction you head in determines your destination.

What has your attention these days? 

Here’s a second question: What do you want to have your attention?

The Apostle Paul described his approach to life this way:

“Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

The writer of Hebrews says: “We must pay more careful attention, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

“Here’s what you need to do to stay on the right path spiritually.”  “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

Here’s the way Jesus said it: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

You have a choice. You can follow Jesus or you can follow something less. You can let your attention be grabbed by something that feels good for a moment or you can give your attention to the one who will direct you all the days of your life and on into eternity.

Monday
Apr302018

Apr 29, 2018

The Path: Getting Help Along the Way - Proverbs 15:22

We’ve been learning about a very simple formula for getting from where we are to where we want to be. We are learning that our Direction determines destination. That getting from point A to point B is more than hopes and dreams - it involves a path. So far, we’ve learned that life can be a series of course corrections when we see danger. Danger we shouldn’t ignore. We’ve learned that one of the most common mistakes figuring out which fork to take is trusting our hearts, because our hearts often lie to us. (Jeremiah) We’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to make a great decision is to look to future. The big Picture. 

Today, we want to learn another important lesson for success along the path. The lesson has to do with figuring out what you don’t know. How do you do that? How do you discover what you don’t know that you don’t know so that you avoid getting on the wrong path.

Prov. 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

So, how can you know what you don’t know? You get help along the way. You seek advice from “advisers.”

Why we don’t seek advice:

1. We think we already know what we need to know. (Ignorance)

2. It feels better to have people think we know where we’re going than to let them know we don’t have a clue. (Pride)

3. It’s too much work to figure out how to get advice. (Laziness)

So sometimes we make plans without counsel Many times those plans fail. At other times we get counsel but we get inferior counsel because we take it from the wrong people. This is dangerous.

Why we don’t seek advice from wise counselors:

1. It’s easier to get advice from our friends.

2. It’s easier to follow the herd.

3. It’s easier to copy what our parents did.

How do we get good advice along our paths? 

Prov. 1:5“…let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”

The Secret to Getting Good Counsel:

1. Knowing that you will always need good counsel

2. Asking more than one person’s advice.

3. Don’t let pride keep you from admitting what you don’t know.

4. Take counsel from those who have been where you want to go.

Prov. 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice”

Proverbs 12:15....when he says: “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”

You know while Jesus was on earth, the phrase he used more often than any other was “Follow me.”

Let him direct you steps, seek out wise counsel for those forks in the road.

Thursday
Apr192018

Apr 22, 2018

YOUR HEART MATTERS - Proverbs 3:5-12

Why Do We Find Ourselves on the Wrong Path?

Two reasons:

1. Our heart is on a happiness quest, not a truth quest.

2. Our heart chooses the happy-now rather than the happy-later

As smart as we are and as we have been learning that life is connected and that decisions today shape the experiences of tomorrow, We still don’t wake up in the morning with the longing of being on the path God wants us on.

When happiness points in one direction wisdom, truth, integrity and common sense all point in another, that’s when really smart people start doing really stupid things.

Your direction determines your destination. Proverbs 27: 12 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, while the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Proverbs 3: 5-12 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.  Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

How to Get on the Straight Path (vs. 5-6)   

1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  

2. Lean not on your own understanding.  

3. Acknowledge Him in all your ways.

The starting place for a straight path is just what it says on all American money, “In God we trust.”

Place all your confidence all your faith all your hopes all your plans in God.

Jeremiah 17:9  “The heart is deceitful above all things…”

Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things” So Solomon says, “When you find yourself at a fork in the road, don’t trust your heart.....trust God.

Don’t lean on your own understanding, lean on God. Don’t acknowledge your motivations, acknowledge God’s.” If you do this, he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 6:33 -“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

If you could strip away all the deceiving reasons for your actions and be completely honest right now, What path are you on that you know you shouldn’t be, but you chose to be on it because you wanted something more than you wanted God.

Three Action Steps:

1. Don’t be wise in your own eyes.

2. Honor God’s provision for you.

3. Don’t blame God for your pain.

Sometimes you caused what is happening to you. And sometimes God knows we need some correction which he provides like a loving father does.

I’ve heard many people say, “Why did God let this happen to me?” But the truth is, in most cases, God didn’t let that happen to them. God didn’t want that to happen to them. God tried to prevent it from happening to them. He tried to stop it, but he couldn’t stop them. “The Lord disciplines those he loves, like a father does with a son he delights in.”

Saturday
Apr142018

Apr 15, 2018

The Path: Making a Course Correction - Proverbs 27:12

Proverbs 1:2-4  "For attaining wisdom and discipline for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young."   To be prudent means “to know what to do,” “to exercise good judgment,”  or “having common sense.”

Solomon compares prudent people with a second kind of people - a “simple people.” No matter who you areyou don’t want to be a simple person.

Proverbs 19:25 Solomon says, “Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain Knowledge”

Other people, “simple people,” don’t learn that well. Basically simple people let their emotions get the best of them. They get mad and go into a rage. They spout off and complain when things don’t go their way but prudent people know how to control themselves and take things in stride.

Proverbs 14:15 “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps”.

Proverbs 22:3 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty”

The prudent see danger and take refuge. The simple see danger and keep going. Both of them see danger.

One responds by changing direction the other keeps going and hopes that the danger will never arrive.

1. The prudent make course corrections.
2. The simple keep right on going.
3. Prudent people know that it’s not what they see that makes a difference, it’s what they do.
When a prudent person senses that a relationship is moving in an unhealthy direction, they do something. The simple keep going. When a prudent person sees trouble on their financial horizon, they do something. The simple keep spending. When a prudent person realizes that God is the most important thing in their lives, and their relationship with him isn’t growing, they do something about it.

How do you make a course correction? 

 1. You do something.

2. You almost always give up something.

3. You usually suffer embarrassment. 

 4. You will breathe a sigh of relief.

 

As a prudent person you have to take action long before the crisis hits or disaster falls. You may not be able to monitor every aspect of my life. But here are the important ones:

  Top five areas of life to monitor are:

1. Spiritual

     2. Relational

3. Moral

    4. Physical

5. Financial

In that order too. The most important thing in the world is God. The most important thing on earth is relationships.

Remember: It is our direction, not our intentions that will determine our destination. The prudent see danger and take refuge. They will get off the wrong path and get on the right path. They make course corrections. They don’t just think about it or worry about it, they do it.

Saturday
Apr142018

Apr 8, 2018

“The Path: Your direction determines destination” - Proverbs: 7: 6-27

“The Path.” It is based on a book a while back written by Pastor Andy Stanley called, ”The Principle of the Path: How to get from where you are to where you want to be.”

We are going to spend time over the next few weeks doing a study in Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is a book full of wisdom on life. It was a book written primarily by King Solomon who was said to be -one of the wisest men who ever lived.

1 Kings 4:32-34 “He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom”

YOUR DIRECTION DETERMINES DESTINATION. Whatever road, whatever highway, whatever path you are on will determine where you end up.

Principle #1: Your direction, not your intention, determines your destination.  As obvious as that sound when it comes to the rest of our lives whether it be our family our financial life our marriage or dating life, the way we raise our kids our physical fitness or our professional life, the same principle applies.

People may have good goals and many times good intentions. But like the young man in Solomon’s story the paths they choose eventually bring them to a destination that is entirely different from where they intended to be.

Are there differences between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life? Do your intentions and your direction line up? Is where your life’s heading, where God wants your life to be?

The path we choose at critical junctions doesn’t just determine our destination the following year but for the following season of life. This principle of the path operates in your life every minute of every day.

What direction are you headed in today? Spiritually-Morally-Relationally (with your family, with friends)-Financially?

How do you learn to choose the right path?

1. Get wisdom. (Getting wisdom from Solomon-and wisdom from the book of Proverbs).

2. Start making choices based on the long-term, not the short-term. (See your life the way God sees your life-Thinking about it like a path -a series of steps)

Make choices based on what will develop if you do something over a long period of time because that’s the path you’re on every time you make a one-time decision.

-Every decision I make is a new fork in the road. 

-Every decision I make takes me down a new path.

-Lord, help me to choose the right path.

Friday
Mar302018

Apr 1, 2018

Because He Lives - John 20: 19-22; 30-31

Happy Ressurection Sunday!

Have you ever wondered what bunny rabbits/colored eggs/chocolate candy have to do with the resurrection of Jesus. The short answer is — NOTHING. You can call it tradition or whatever but it doesn’t change the fact. All the things that Americans say make Easter have absolutely nothing to do with the resurrection of our Savior.

Let me ask you a question the world asks....What difference does resurrection Sunday make? Does it really matter? Does it impact the way you live your life?  Even people who believe Jesus rose from the grave on the third day sometimes have difficulty figuring out the impact to their lives.

READ: John 20: 19-22; 30-31

Gloria Gather wrote the words to a song....“Because He lives I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He Lives.”

#1 Because He lives we have peace. WE HAVE PEACE. When Jesus appeared to his disciples that first Sunday, the first words out of his mouth were, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19). The peace Jesus spoke of was more than just a sense of calmness in the midst of turmoil.

#2 Because he lives we have purpose. WE HAVE A PURPOSE. I want you to catch the next thing Jesus said. He tells his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). Where was he sending them? Everywhere. In other words, they were going to be ambassadors of Christ. Their mission should they choose to accept it was to spread the word about the cross and the empty tomb. To share the message of Jesus with their friends, neighbors, and relatives.

Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

#3 Because He lives, we have promise. WE HAVE A PROMISE. A promise of Eternal life. At the end of there encounter with the risen Christ, John tells us, “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31 NIV).

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NIV).

John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”

Resurrection Sunday is so much more than candy/colored eggs/cartoon bunnies. Resurrection Sunday is the cornerstone of our faith. The celebration of Jesus rising from the grave conquering death and giving us peace with God, a purpose for life and the promise of heaven.

God loves you and me more than we’ll ever know. He gave his one and only Son so that we could live forever with him. You can experience the power of the Resurrection. You can have His peace  His purpose - His promise.

Thursday
Mar222018

Mar 25, 2018

No Other King - Mark 11:1-11

Today is Palm Sunday   (READ: Mark 11:1-11)

As Jesus rode into the city the people threw Palm branches onto the streets in anticipation of his coming. Thus we get our word Palm Sunday. This day marked a time of celebration where Jesus was the worshipped and praised. The cross is coming. We know that many people in this same crowd will switch from words of praise to words of death.

As we look around our nation we can see that. Many people know what to say, how to say it, even how to act it.  But when the rubber truly meets that road, there is no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. No salvation, just empty words.

How can we have this committed faith? How can we be real and sincere? How can we be Consistent in all that we do…

Keys to just such a consistent faith:

Key #1 A committed faith is not self-centered, it is Christ-Centered

In our passage - the people praised Jesus as He passed by for two reasons. First, because of his miracles. Second, because they saw in Jesus a way to be to be set free from Rome. Their praise was with the attitude of Jesus what can you do for me. For them it was all about Me, Me, Me.

Key #2 is that a committed faith is relationship Driven. 

A committed faith comes only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not one that goes with the crowd (so to speak). One where every day is fresh and new as He personally leads our steps.

Key #3 Is that committed faith is not swayed or blocked by our personal trials and crises. 

Many of us come to Jesus expecting everything to go Good…Then life hits us, when the bottom drops out for us we often ask God Why? Thinking it is not supposed to happen this way. If our faith is based on our situations or circumstances it will never be a committed faith. It will always be casual.  A committed faith takes the good with the bad. Knowing that God is faithful to His word. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. He will stand with us.

God has placed us exactly where we are. We must trust Him. When we trust Him we eventually see that He is using our pressures/trials/difficulties to bring us to a new place in our relationship w/Him. True Contentment comes when we accept what God is doing and thank Him for it.

Ask yourself ......Is my faith casual or committed? No Other King deserves your all. Choose to give it all to him…

Saturday
Mar172018

Mar 18, 2018

A Little Man Meets A Big God - Luke 19:1-10

READ: Luke 19:1-10 

3 points we see in scripture:

I. The Searching Sinner (19:2-4)

II. The Seeking Savior (19:5)

III. The Spectacular Salvation (19:6-10)

1. The Searching Sinner (2-4)

In verse two we see that Zacchaeus was a very important man. He had a good job/wealthy. Even though Zacchaeus is wealthy and successful by the world’s standards he knew something was missing. Scripture doesn’t say that Zacchaeus just wanted to see Jesus. No. He wanted to see who Jesus was. He wanted to figure out what it was that made Jesus different from everyone else. Zacchaeus didn't fully understand what was going on in his heart but he had a desperate need to get to Jesus. 

Zacchaeus had two problems that day....#1-He was a short man. #2-Zacchaeus sins were keeping him from Jesus. Isaiah 59:2 say that “our iniquities (sins) have separated us from God.” verse 4: “So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.” Zacchaeus did not allow anything, not the crowd or his condition to stand between him and his desire to see the Lord Jesus. What about you?  Do you care enough about your relationship with the Lord to do whatever it takes to get to Him. Are you willing to turn from the sin? Are you ready to walk away from the crowd in order to see Jesus? Are you ready to run to Him?

2. The Seeking Savior (5)

Vs. 5 “When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” While He was headed toward the Cross, He stops and ministers to a searching sinner. He knew right where Zack was because He knew all about him and He had compassion on him. Jesus made the first move by coming to zack and offering him life. We would never be able to come to Jesus unless He came to us first.

3. The Spectacular Salvation(6-10)

Verse 6 tells us, “So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.” With all that God has done for us we should be filled with joy as well! Yet too often our faces are fallen, our hearts are heavy, our minds are muddled with cares and concerns. Before Zacchaeus met Jesus his moneyvwas everything to him.vAfter he met Jesus his moneyvtook a back seat. I once heard it said “If you own something that you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.”

The mission of Jesus is very clearHe came to seek and save what was lost. Jesus is still on a search and save mission today. He is seeking out people who need to be saved.

Revelation 3:20 says that, “…If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” He wants to have a relationship with you. Right now, He’s outside the door of your life knocking. Can you hear Him?

Zacchaeus went through 4 stages - which apply to our lives:

  1. Curious. He wanted to get to know who Jesus was.

  2. Considered. He investigated the claims of Christ.

  3. Converted. The searching Savior saved him and forgave his sins.

  4. Changed. His life was radically changed after he met Jesus.

Jesus is calling your name right now. Will you respond? Will you abandon it all for Him?

Come chase after Him.

Saturday
Mar102018

Mar 11, 2018

Close Encounters: Together - 2 Chronicles 5:13

In order to experience a close encounter with God. Lets look back to 2 Chronicles 5. 

Did you catch the key ingredient in the passage. Lets jump forward into the New Testament maybe it will become clear. Don’t just listen to what happens. Listen to find out how it happens.

Let’s try to tie the two passages together. The key in both passages for encountering the power and presence of God was being together -Being in unity. In both passages today, old and new, they made one voice. Perfect harmony. In one accord. If you want profound presence you must have profound unity! If we can get ahold of this principle we will consistently have a close encounter with God.

We think we can be on the outs with one another, not talk to each other, maybe gossip about each other or avoid each other.  But as long as the music is good, As long as the preaching is good, We will have His presence. But the reality is that if we are going against this principle we will not find Him. 

The anointing of God...The Glory of God, is produced by unity and unity alone.

If we will get in harmony, in unity with each other, there will be a blessing in this place that will cause God’s anointing flow. Lives to be changed, marriages will be restored, hurts to be healed and people will be saved.

No unity, no blessing! No unity, no presence. Our unity produces His anointing.

The anointing comes when we dwell in unity. Meaning all of us. God promises us a close encounter where two or three of us are gathered how? Together. What He is really promising is that when we agree on the same things, ask the same things, long for the same things and build the same things...He will show up.

We are to operate on Kingdom principles. We have to understand that this isn’t about me, it isn’t about you, it is about us, it is about them and it is about Him. We must willingly lay down our wants, our own demands , our agendas, our convenience, our own comfort zone and our preferences. That it is when we walk, worship, and work in unison...a close encounter takes place.

We to long for His blessing to overtake us and overtake this place. Let us walk in grace and love with one another. Let us strive for unity. Let us discover our connectedness. Let us bring all of our differences into this place to produce a powerful life-changing anointing in our lives. An anointing where healing can take place. Answers can be found. Breakthrough can occur. Because God is here!

Saturday
Mar032018

Mar 4, 2018

Close Encounters: “The Time” - 2 Chronicles 5: 11-14

We can’t ask God to make holiness fit us but we must fit and live up to His standards.

There is a very crucial element that we must take into consideration if we truly long for and are willing to pursue a close encounter with God. In order for us to have a close encounter with God we must be willing to invest our time in Him.

We face different struggles when it comes to this. We struggle with:

1. What we want - Our struggle is that we are use to desire and even demand convenience. We live life at such a fast pace that we want everything fast immediate and instant.

2. Types of time - Secondly we must understand there are different types of time. Throughout Scripture there are two words used for time. The first is the Greek word “Chronos” from which we get our word “chronological”. This word is about quantity of time. It is the idea of calendar time. The second word for time that is used is “Kairos” which has an entirely different meaning. This word means, “A divine appointment with God.” It’s about the quality of time rather than the quantity of time.

3. The Art of TarryingWe have lost the art/ability of tarrying. In fact, you rarely ever hear that term “tarry” used any more. The truth is that some of you may have never even heard the term used in church. The word “tarry” simply means to wait. We don’t like to wait on God. We want God to wait on us. All through Scripture we see that if you want to have a close encounter with God it requires waiting.

Isaiah 40:31 says “but those who wait in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Are you weak? Are you tired? Are you exhausted? Does it seem like you been failing at everything? Many time we end up that way because we have forgotten the idea of waiting. The idea of tarrying for God.

The challenge to you this week is this: Commit/invest the time to have a close encounter with Him. Get alone with Him all by yourself.

Saturday
Mar032018

Feb 25, 2018

Close Encounters: The Terms - 2 Chronicles 5: 11-14

How do we have a close encounter with God?

What is the process/steps/ingredients that we must combine in order to have this face-to-face daily close encounter with Him?

Key elements in a close encounter. . . The Terms.

Most of us have heard this phrase, maybe used in business situations. It kind of means that we each bent a little gave a little compromised a little a little give and take until we reached an agreement. The first step in moving from an encounter to a close encounter with God is that we must come to terms with Him.

However, the problem is that God doesn’t negotiate. God doesn’t compromise. God doesn’t let us argue or bend a little here or there. In fact, He is very strict when it comes to the terms that must be met in order for us to get close to Him. Our problem is that most of us have grown up in a McDonald's Society that says we have the right and should demand to have it our way. So we carry this mentality over into our relationship with God and we try to demand that He meet us on our terms.

However, I have news for you today . . .Might shock some of you - God isn’t going to agree to let you have your way! He has terms that we must come into agreement with or line up with.

There are three (3) terms we must meet in order to get close to God.

1. Hungry - The very first term or condition that must be met is that we must be hungry. Those that hunger and thirst for Him will be filled.

2. Honest - The second term that must be met is that we must be honest! God never deals with us or allows us to remain dishonest. We must become brutally honest about who we are, who we are not, what we have and what we don’t have.

3. Holy - The third condition for us to have a close encounter is that we must be holy. Holiness is not optional, it is a prerequisite.

Do you really want to have a close encounter? If you answer yes - then you must become hungry. Your appetite must change. Do you want to have contact with Him? Then you must be brutally hones with yourself and those around you. Do you desire more of Him than you have ever experienced before? Then you must approach God consecrated and holy. We must deal ruthlessly with sin and our wickedness to make room for Him.

Friday
Feb162018

Feb 18, 2018

Close Encounters - The Challenge - Ezekiel 44:11-14

There is a huge difference between an encounter and a Close Encounter. Over the next couple weeks, we are going to learn the ingredients that are necessary to have a Close Encounter with God.

Close Encounters can take on different forms. A close encounter may be seeing God at work in your life. A close encounter may be physical evidence of him. Maybe experiencing His healing physically, emotionally, spiritually. But the close encounter we should hold out for is Contact. The daily interaction. Daily communion. Daily presence. Daily relationship....With our God.

On a regular basis we encounter men. We encounter church. We encounter emotional moments. We encounter exhilarating times of worship. But my question today is...When was the last time that you had a close encounter with God?

We must understand that there is a huge difference between an encounter and a close encounter.

I would tell you today -that many churches or Christians -most of us have had an encounter/encounters with God. The problem is we get content to just settle for encounters with God.

But I want to challenge you to want for no to long for More than just an encounter with God. We need a close encounter. Contact!

King Saul had a great anointing. He just didn’t have a close encounter with God. He had no problem with that as long as he could have anointing. As long as the gold was still there. As long as the palace bed was still soft. As long as people still bowed down to him. David is a man after God’s own heart. He had a close encounter with God. All the while Joab his right hand man never has more than an encounter with God. Same environment -same opportunities-same God but different outcome.

The challenge that lies before us as a body and as individuals is whether we will settle for an encounter from time to time? Or will we hold out and hold on for a life changing, world wrecking, city shaking, addiction breaking, marriage restoring, teenager rescuing close encounter with our God?

In order for us to see his happen we have to make a choice and a decision. We have a choice/decision of what kind of church we want and what kind of relationship we want with God.

READ:  Ezekiel 44:11-14

If we are not careful we can be satisfied with doing the business of the King, and never really encountering Him OR we can make up our minds that we want more than that. We have to set our face like flint and fight for a close encounter with Him.

We can have a church where the close encounter is so close that all we can do is stand in awe. We can have a church where the move of God is so profound and so pronounced that Versailles will have to sit up and take notice. That people will flock to find out what is happening, that the starved will find spiritual food as well as physical food, that drug addict will find healing, that the unloved will find the love for which they have so longed.

We have a choice. We can settle for the encounters that have satisfied us for so long or become determined and desperate for us to be an individual where we have such a close encounter with God that stuff will fall off and stay off!

I once heard it said  “A church is not a church until God decides that it will become a place of divine visitation. A building in all its splendor is not a church until God takes up residence there!” We need God to occupy our place. We are nothing without His presence.

So my challenge is; Will you stop at only an encounter? Will you be satisfied with just a little taste here and there? Or will you join us as we pursue/chase after His presence at all costs.

My prayer today is that together we will press in until we have a close encounter with God. Long for something more of God...Long for a close encounter with Him.