“DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!”

Matthew 19:26
 
On the eve of D-Day June 6, 1944 when the allies invaded France in W/WII General Eisenhower briefed his soldiers thus: “There is no victory at bargain prices.” He knew the sandy beaches of Normandy would be sprinkled with the blood and mangled bodies of heroic men.
 
A Hindu said to a Missionary, “Why are you so anxious to see God with your eyes closed? See Him with your eyes open, as you look at the poor, the starved, the illiterate and the afflicted.”
 
John Burroughs said, “The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are.”
God said in Proverbs 17:24, “The eyes of the fool are in the end of the earth.”
 
Sir Winston Churchill said, “The farther you look back, the longer you look forward.”
 
Someone else said, “our hats off to the past our coats off to the future.”
 
Jesus said, “with God all things are possible.”
 
As you look back in the past few months and forward in the future, emotions can run very high. We all need to be thankful for the past and look expectantly to the future.
 
Someone said, “God’s servants, who are serving Him are never far from the burdens of the cross that go with Christian service.”
 
Isaac Watts said, “Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas…others, Lord yes others, let this my motto be; help me to live for others that I may live for Thee.”
 
TOMORROW, we will look at some that faced some IMPOSSIBLE GOALS:

“IF IT DIE, IT BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT!”

Scripture: John 12:20-36
 
According to John, chapter 15, it is very clear that, in order to bear fruit, more fruit and much fruit, we must abide in Christ. The Scripture also teaches that, in order to bear fruit, we must first die to self. In this text, verses 20-22, some Greeks came seeking Jesus, and said, “We would see Jesus.” Then, in verses 23-26, the Greeks and the Jews had seen Jesus glorified as Messiah, and He wanted to teach them that the way to glory is not through is not through triumph and glory, domination or subjection, but through death to self, through service to God, as well as to man. Jesus did basically two things:
 
1. He said His hour was come, but think of this.
His glory was not man’s way, but the way of the cross (this is difficult to understand) – by death. Jesus must die before He can bear the fruit of eternal life, because His teaching in verse 24 is that, if it does not die, it will not bring forth fruit. So the way to have fruit is to die to self.
 
The Christian must give himself whole-heartedly to his Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. We said that Jesus must die before He can bear the fruit of eternal life, because it was the cross that moved God to exalt Jesus. He said His name “is above every name..” – Philippians 2:8-11,
Colossians 1:14, Hebrews 1:8-9, 2:9. Also, it is the cross which moves men to offer themselves as a living sacrifice – Romans 6:10-11, 14:8-9.
 
2. Jesus not only said that His hour was come, but He is also saying that now man’s hour has come.
Man must lose his life to gain eternal life – Mark 8:36, Luke 6:49, 9:23, Romans 8:13. Man must serve and follow Jesus all the days of his life – Mark 10:43-44, Matthew 19:27-29. Look at verse 26 again – the word “follow” is to abide in fellowship with Him, and “serving” is to serve with a labor of love and with a yielded heart. Remember, to live is really to die.
Amen!

“IF I COULD LIVE LIFE OVER AGAIN” CONCLUSION!

Philippians 1:21-30.
 
Now listen to me, If He does not work in me, He cannot work through me.
 
IV. I BELIEVE I WOULD SOUL-WIN MORE.
 
People are perishing by the millions. Do we even care? In 1999 there was a big earthquake in Turkey: 17,000 killed and 500,000 are homeless (later updated amount).
 
Yes, we can always look back and say how we should not have done this or that and should have done something different. We learn a lot of things in life. One of the things we must learn is from our mistakes, as well as what we did right.
 
V. I THINK I WOULD WORK HARDER AT DISCIPLING MORE CONVERTS.
 
Mathew 28 gives us a threefold commission. Win them, bring them, and teach them. We need a proper balance today.
 
Some churches (Christians) work hard at winning souls, but never disciple them. Others work hard at teaching but never win souls. Our converts need salvation, but also to be taught obedience to Christ, such as baptism, church membership, etc. We need to instill in them a deep conviction of right and wrong. But wait a minute before we can teach others we must live a separated life ourselves.
 
Did you ever stop to think what would happen if God made you as sick on Sunday morning as you say you are? If you were as broke and poor as you are during the offering?
 
I believe everybody ought to join the church, give, serve and not sit back. Because your Pastor needs to know that he can count on you when difficult times come. And they always do come.
 
Away with unfaithfulness, away with sipping cocktails, smoking cigarettes, living in immorality, evil thoughts, improper dress, etc. No you cannot live your life over again, but why not live it right the first time around.
 
A. BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN, HUSBAND & FATHER.
B. GET SAVED
C. START SERVING HIM FAITHFULLY
D. WIN SOULS TO CHRIST
F. DISCIPLE THE ONES YOU WIN & FELLOWSHP WITH HIM.
 
THE CHALLENGE IS FOR ALL OF US!

“IF I COULD LIVE LIFE OVER AGAIN” PART 2!

Philippians 1:21-30.
 
Often you hear people say, “Oh, if I could just live my life over again.” There are two reasons people say that:
 
1. They are discouraged with their lives.
2. They are making excuses because they will not change. Verses 25-26, Paul realized they still needed him.
 
You cannot relive your life. You can only start living it properly today. I would not want to go back in time for any reason.
 
In verses 28-30 Let me just say that suffering is a sign of blessing not God turning His face against you. Let me give you some good reasons I would not want to go back.
 
1. Time would not have any meaning; it is just passing by.
2. I would miss seeing Jesus sooner.
3. Because I would not want to face temptation again.
4. I would not want to take a chance and not be saved.
 
So, if I could live my life over again, what would I change or do different?
 
I. I BELIEVE THE FIRST THING IS THAT I WOULD WANT TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN, HUSBAND AND FATHER.
 
II. THE SECOND THING I WOULD DO IS GET SAVED SOONER.
 
I cannot understand a person rejecting Christ for any reason. I can understand a person not being saved, but not rejecting Him. So, the second thing I would do is get saved sooner.
 
III. I WOULD SERVE HIM HARDER.
 
Don’t you feel like shouting “Be patient with me God is not finished with me yet.” Philippians 1:6, 2:13.
 
I thank God for working with me for these many years. But greater yet, thank God for working in me for all these years.
 
CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“IF I COULD LIVE LIFE OVER AGAIN!”

Philippians 1:21-30
 
Most of us reading this have faced a time of near death. I thought about several in my own life this morning, but all these and others made me think, what am I living for, what is life all about for me? What is life? I like what somebody said,
 
1. Life is great, don’t miss it if you can.
2. Just when you think you see your life clearly, somebody changes the channel.
3. In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.
4. I think our number one problem is that nobody wants to take responsibility, but don’t quote me.
5. We have two choices: Ruin the environment with plastic, or use a paper bag and kill a tree.
6. Life isn’t always worth living, but what else can you do with it?
7. You get out of life what you put into it, minus taxes.
8. Life is full of disappointments, nothing ever comes off but buttons.
9. You shouldn’t go through life looking for something soft; you might find it under your hat.
10. I’m not in a hurry to get to heaven. Please tell God He can take His time disposing of my case.
Paul is saying, yes; I can preach to others, but what is it for me. He expresses it very well in verse 21.
 
Notice the Italics: “For me to live – Christ- and to die – gain.”
 
Somebody said, “Gain is more of the same.” So to die is more of Christ.
The most important thing in life is the Reality of Christ. In other words, most Christians want the end but not the means: The means is fellowship with Christ.
 
Paul did not say he was going to make a reservation or that his bags were packed.
 
Verses 22-24; this reminds me of the preacher who asked his people, “who wants to go to heaven?” They all raised their hand, except a little boy. When the preacher asked him why? He said, “I thought you was gettin a load up tonight!”
 
Paul was ready! Are You?
 
CONTINUED TOMORROW!

Psalm 26:1-8.
 
Please review yesterday’s Devotional.
 
Wow, this is really getting difficult. What do we mean when we sing the song? This may surprise some of you but, here it goes: I will _________God. It means what- ever you make it to mean. It could be that you worship, respect, admire, etc.
 
Let me offer some suggestions of meaning of what it is not:
 
Disgrace, discredit, and bring shame to. None of these words appear in the Bible either. You might think, where was God when the Dictionary was written.
 
I believe the English language has slowly but surely gotten away from Biblical words and meaning. We have gotten away from words like: dishonor, sin, and adultery, etc. and have replaced them with more acceptable and politically correct words.
 
Honour is a good, wonderful word, but it is not used the way we would think it is.
 
What are you saying preacher, should we stop singing, “I will honor God.” No, I am not saying that at all, but I believe we ought to sing it with Biblical meaning and application.
 
I. I THINK WE OUGHT TO BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR GOD!
 
II. I BELIEVE WE OUGHT TO SURRENDER (GIVE WAY) ALL TO GOD!
 
But wait a minute, “surrender” is not in our Bible either: we sing “I surrender all,” but do we mean it? Alright surrender means to:
 
III. I BELIEVE WE MUST SUBMIT TO GOD!
 
Surely “submit” is a good Bible word:
 
Psalm 18:44, “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.” (As soon…: Hebrews. At the hearing of the ear). (submit…: or, yield feigned obedience) (strangers: Hebrew: sons of the stranger).
Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

“I WILL HONOR GOD!”

Psalm 26:1-8.

Recently as the choir was singing, “I will honor God” as our introductory song I was caught up and meditated upon the word “honor.” I was so involved in it that I almost forgot to join the rest of the church in the first congregational song. To Honor is to: reverence, admire, respect, worship, praise, esteem and tribute.

Here are some of the things I thought about as I meditated and studied the word “honor.”

Let me first of all say that the word appears hundreds of times in the Bible. Really too many to give one definition, so I thought I would look up another meaning: respect, and found that it was not in the Bible.

Well, I thought I would look up another word for honor: admiration; you guessed it, admire is not in the Bible either.

Alright, I’ll try it one more time: reputation (no); credit (no; give me a break, I finally decided to type the word in my Thesaurus, you guessed it, nothing there either.

I guess I have to leave it to my own interpretation; and here is what I came up with? I think we will all agree that what we mean is we will “worship” God. Yes, you guessed it right; worship is used several hundred times.

But, it still does not give us what we mean when we “honor God.” Does it mean that we will “highly esteem” Him? Well, yes it could, but there is a problem with that too. Because most of the time the word is used when we are to “esteem others better than ourselves.”

CONTINUED TOMORROW!