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Living Invitations 9

June 25, 20170 Comments

We are posting our weekend messages here on Online Ministry Training as well as our Preaching in Shorts site. In this message I am talking about the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. This sword is both a defensive and offensive weapon. It helps us to stand against the attacks of the evil one and helps us to advance in sharing the Good News to those who are being blinded to the truth. I focus in on the importance of keeping our spiritual sword sharp. We do this by establishing a disciplined Bible reading time in our daily lives, by asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate to us what He wants us to see and by continually memorizing passages of Scripture. We have a very real enemy who would like to see our swords get dull.

You Have the Words of Life Chapter 5

You Have the Words of Life Chapter 5

June 23, 20170 Comments

The almost final editing of my latest book, “You have the Words of Life” continues here on Online Ministry Training:

John Chapter 5

1 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda”, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; 4 for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. 5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.” 9 Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” 11 He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’” 12 Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?” 13 But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.” 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. 20 For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. 22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgement to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him. 24 “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life. 25 Most certainly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God’s voice; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 27 He also gave him authority to execute judgement, because he is a son of man. 28 Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, 29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgement. 30 I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgement is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me. 31 “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid. 32 It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. 37 The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. 38 You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t believe him whom he sent. 39 “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. 40 Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. 41 I don’t receive glory from men. 42 But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 “Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. 47 But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

“Do you want to get well”?

John 5:5-6
5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Sometimes we get so used to the way we are living, even if it is not good, that it starts to seem normal. The bad becomes familiar, and we settle for familiar instead of what is good all the time.

The word translated sick could mean many things; invalid, diseased, weakness. There was something wrong with this man, it had been that way a long time, he was near a place known for healing, but in thirty-eight years he had never been healed. He had a lot of excuses, but his excuses allowed him to continue on in the sick way he had been living.

I love the fact that Jesus saw him. There were a lot of sick people there in all sorts of conditions, but Jesus sees this man and goes to talk with him and extends the Kingdom of God to him by asking him the amazing question – “Do you want to get well”?

What a great question. Do you want to get well? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? To walk away from the familiar? To have faith? To trust in God? To do what He says? Or, maybe, you don’t want to get well, you would just like to feel better? You don’t really want to change. You would just like a better result than you are getting now. Isn’t there something that would allow me to keep doing what I want, but not have these consequences? Do you want to get well? Really? Maybe it is time to stop making excuses.

John 5:7
7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.”

I can’t do it. I am all alone. Someone else gets there first. It’s not fair. It’s too hard. What if it doesn’t work? What if I can’t do it? It’s not my fault. It’s your fault. It’s the world’s fault. I am in pain. Nobody cares. I can’t change. I have tried before. What difference does it make? I will fail.

Jesus didn’t help him to the pool. Jesus didn’t even offer to carry him to the edge. Jesus told him what he needed to do. Get up. Pick up your mat. And walk. And as he did it, Jesus made him well.

If you really want to get well, you need to listen to Jesus, put your faith and trust in Him, and do what He says. It is all about doing the next right thing.

John 5:14
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

The battle ground for life, is played out in the choices we make to do what Jesus says or to do what we want instead. One way leads to life. Real life. Abundant life. Now and forever life. A life of purpose and meaning and mission. The other way leads to a false life, an in-valid life. A life that leaves you alone, afraid, ashamed and constantly looking for something to fill the emptiness or to relieve the pain. Do you want to get well? Jesus wants to help. He extends the Kingdom of God to us.

Living Invitations Part 9 Ministry Chat

June 23, 20170 Comments

On our Online Ministry Training site we include a weekly Ministry Chat to help prepare for the upcoming weekend sermon. This week we are continuing on in our discussions on the armor of God. We will be talking about the sword of the spirit. The sword of the spirit is an amazing piece of armor. It is a combination of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. An amazing spiritual sword that is vital in both offense and defense. We have an enemy who would like to see our swords become dull. We need to keep our swords sharp by reading the Word, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth to us as we read, and taking time to memorize scripture that we can draw on throughout the day.

Leviticus Study Chapter 10

June 22, 20170 Comments

We are continuing our Bible Study in Leviticus here on Online Ministry Training. As I have been teaching through Leviticus I want to keep reminding people that one of the things that should be happening as you read Leviticus is an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for what Jesus has done for us. Since Jesus was the perfect once and for all sacrifice for our sin we are no longer under the Levitical system. The realization of what Jesus has done as our perfect sacrifice should keep us all fully engaged and committed in to living all in for Him. What a mighty God we serve!

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