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Traits of a Godly Man.

Key Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)    rather, train yourself to be godly. 

SUMMARY

Apostle Paul talks about the importance of  training(greek:gymnaso) in pursuit of godliness. This sermon is a special teaching to help men train themselves to be godly in a world that attacks the mightiest with its vices.  Taking from the apostle’s instruction to young Timothy, we can learn the secrets of pleasing God through the life we live.

SERMON POINTS

Godly Men!

Our Lord God created man in His own image. There is a big responsibility that we have to live like Christ in this world. Innovation, trends and technology are changing everyday and it’s hard to keep up with the changing times. With its changes we struggle with what we are to follow and hold on to. When we consider the Roman empire and the context Paul wrote this, there was a constant attack from the Judaizers and it was a dangerous identity to be called as a christian. Persecution was raging on. The need was to remain focussed with rigorous training as a roman gladiator. Gymnaso is used in that context.

The world works under the principle of giving to receive and serving for personal gain. Even families are built on this principle. Nobody truly loves or cares anymore. However in such a world God is seeking for men who can love like Him- the Agape love that Christ Jesus has towards His bride, the Church.

Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. This is the pattern of love God expects from godly men; an unconditional love that sanctifies the wife and brings out the best in her.

  

Traits of a Godly man.

  1. Man of Prayer

 1 Timothy 2:8 (KJV) I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

 A godly man is a man of prayer. Prayer is his highest priority and that is the reason behind the blessings in his life. This lifestyle of prayer is followed everyday, everywhere. Let us also give ourselves to prayer. There is nothing greater than being a man of prayer in this generation. Let us let go of anger, egoism and disputes and pursue prayer to be the godly man God expects us to be.

  1. Man of Purpose

1 Timothy 6:11,12 (KJV)  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 God has a purpose for each one of us and it is much greater than what we could ever imagine for ourselves (Psalms 138:8). It’s easy to live a passive life with absolutely no aim or purpose. But the Lord is looking for godly men who lead purpose-driven lives with well-defined desires and passions focussed on the Lord. The question we have to ask today is what are we running for. What makes us do what we do? Timothy here is charged to flee from all unwanted, unprofitable controversies and slander and pursue righteousness, love, faith, godliness and endurance. This should be our purpose too. Let us fight the good fight of faith and flee from sin to be a man who lives to fulfill God’s purposes

 

  1. Man of Purity

 2 Timothy 2:20-22 (KJV)  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 God wants men to be men of purity. Here we see this image of vessels in the house, some used for common purposes and others for noble purposes. The Lord God created man to be useful for noble purposes. That’s why we are called and that’s where a choice lies in our hands.

To be used for the great purpose of God, you ought to be a man of purity running from temptations and evil. Another important thing that contributes to being pure is having fellowship with those pure in heart. Church gatherings, family prayers and daily meditation of God’s word must become our portion. These are mechanisms and systems in place to protect us from godless people and controversies. We need to protect us in a way from ourselves to be pure.

 

  1. Man of Principles.

 A godly man is consistent in the church and also outside when the church doors are closed. Godly men are men of principles. If Proverbs 31 describes the ideal Christian woman then Job 31 gives us how an ideal man of god ought to be.

Job was a man of principle. None of his many afflictions could make him shun what he believed.

Some of the principles we can borrow from his life include: having purity of vision-not look at another woman lustfully (Job 31:1), keeping away from ungodliness, falsehood and deceit (Job 31:5), being blameless in word, deed and thoughts (Job 31:7), fleeing from infidelity in marriage (Job 31:9), not pursuing injustice (Job 31:13), having concern for the poor and needy (Job 31:15), giving generously to those lacking (Job 31:19), trusting not in the riches of the world (Job 31:24), Not covering up sin (Job 31:33).

CONCLUSION.

God is seeking men who will be the epitome of love . Homes are breaking today because of lack of family values: because of lack of godly men to lead them. God wants you to become that person by modeling the Agape love of Christ. We can get this only from the presence of God. Come back to the purpose for which God has called you. God needs you to be the mature, decisive and consistent man that He can rely on to stand for His work in this generation.

Only Jesus

Key Scripture:

Revelation 1:17,18 (KJV)   And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

SUMMARY

The world is under the threat of this pandemic, COVID-19. Everywhere we look we see only information of fear, sickness and death . In such a time of uncertainty, we learn from the word of God to see our blessed Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of it all. This is a sermon that uses situations in the Bible where saints of God saw Jesus Christ in His true light and glory, to help us do the same in the troubled times we are in.

 

SERMON POINTS

Only Jesus!

Apostle John was said to be the youngest and beloved disciple of Christ. As history goes, he was persecuted in various ways unto death, but none succeeded. Finally he was banished to the island of Patmos. It was said to be a very nasty place . No one was there and just like how our world lies today under the threat and spread of the COVID19-, Patmos was a place that was filled with the stench of death, decay and fear.

But at such a time, on the Lord’s day, this apostle condemned to death, sees the Lord Jesus high and lifted up in all His majesty. He sees the Lord Jesus, the Beginning and the End. What is life with all these uncertainties that surround us? These are some of the crucial days where we are not to be afraid of the circumstances we are in but instead, look to Jesus. He is the only one who will stand with us till the end.

There are other instances in the Bible where we read of people of God who saw Jesus in the midst of their extreme situations.

  

Seeing the Lord in the midst of it all.

  1. At the Mount of Transfiguration.

 Matthew 17:8 (KJV) And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

 Peter, James and John witness the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and see Him conversing with Moses and Elijah. Though they travelled with Jesus everywhere and knew Him as well as any of His disciples and friends could, this moment was an eye opener for these three men. They see Jesus radiant as the sun and His clothes dazzling white. They see Moses and Elijah; they see the cloud of glory and the voice of God the Father. These are the days we need to see the Lord in a brighter glory. The pestilence that surrounds us should not pull us away from God but instead our perspective must change for the greater. Let the understanding of His glory outshine whatever challenges you are going through right now.

This incident at the mountain is parallel to what we read happen in Exodus when Moses’ face changed as he too witnessed God in His glory. But soon the voice went away so did Moses and Elijah; the disciples found only Jesus there. In the time of  disasters, even those man-made, we can be sure of the sovereignty of God. May we see Jesus today in the midst of the changes that challenge us.

 

  1. Caught in the act of sin.

 John 8:9 (KJV)  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

 We find here a woman caught red-handed in the act of adultery. She was caught in the very act, she was guilty of breaking the Law of God and her accusers brought her to Jesus to be stoned. A woman in the midst of an extreme situation indeed! All that awaited her was a world ready to stone. The beautiful passage shows Jesus bending down to write on the sand. He straightens and speaks words that neither the sinner nor her accusers expected (John 8:7). Soon one by one those who came to stone left the spot. While the woman found herself alone with Jesus. This, dear friend, became her channel for emotional healing and deliverance from her sinful life. She was released from her bondage and the punishment she was sure to face.

We deserve the punishment that sin brings in our lives and in our nation but thanks be to God that we can appeal to His mercy in prayer. When we repent and see Him alone, there is freedom and deliverance from any punishment and guilt that we ought to bear.

 

  1. Where no one can lend aid.

 2 Timothy 4:16,17 (KJV)  At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

 Apostle Paul suffered so much for the sake of Christ. Here as he writes to Timothy, some of his last words are recorded. He encourages the young disciple by narrating the time when he had to defend himself in Nero’s court. The very lion’s den, no one could help him there. A difficult time, when all those Paul had mentored, helped, raised up couldn’t defend him. In fact everyone deserted him. But Apostle Paul was able to boldly testify that the Lord was with him. He never left his side . The Lord who strengthened Paul that day is able to strengthen us too, as we go through difficult times. We must never forget that God is still with us and He is above all.

 

CONCLUSION.

Jesus Christ is still alive. He is still the mighty God of the Bible. When times get hard and we are devastated because of the state of affairs we are put in, we begin to doubt whether God has abandoned us.

No, this is the time to seek Jesus. We as His children must be able to see Him in the midst of the storms of life. It is now the time to seek our God in prayer. People, nations, laws and rulers will come and go. Everything will pass away. Only Jesus Christ will remain the same yesterday, today and forevermore

Traits of a Godly Woman.

Key Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)    rather, train yourself to be godly. 

SUMMARY

Our Lord God has created and called women with a special purpose. This sermon beautifully captures the very essence of being a godly woman. The Bible tells us of various traits a Christian woman has and how she can use it for the Lord’s glory . Being a Godly woman is never easy but its possible by the grace and calling of God.

SERMON POINTS

Godly Women!

Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

There are many stigmas attached to being a woman. In many societies ,its also dangerous to be one.  Starting from female infanticide to honor killings and rapes, women have always been victimized and considered second grade to man. But the Bible talks about something greater. Our Lord God loves and cares for women all over the world. The greatest guilt that fell on women is that sin entered the world through a woman. However for this very reason the seed of the woman, Our Lord Jesus, redeemed us from every curse that fell.

Through all this danger and stereotyping that surrounds women, God has this great purpose and calling for all women. The early church followed the same practice wherein they treated men, women all the same. There was respect for women wherever the church gathered unlike other social gatherings of that time, where women where only objects intended for sexual pleasure (Colossians 3:11). We see many examples of godly women who influenced the world despite their circumstances. Apostle Paul’s biggest letter addressed to the Romans was sent to the Deaconess Phoebe. Similarly we read of other women who were followers of Jesus including Junia and Lydia.

God’s desire for a woman does not remain within the worldly confines of career, home and children. It’s bigger than that. King Lemuel’s mother gives a poetic rendition, written beautifully, with each line in the successive Hebrew letter of how a Christian wife ought to be in Proverbs 31:10-31.

The wise King Solomon speaks of one finding a wife as one who receives a gift from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14).

That’s the power a woman has she can either make or break the society. Isaiah 3:16,17 talks of why there is judgment on women. With feminism on the rise, we can be easily become haughty and proud, our priorities take on more materialistic outlook and its easy to live only to please others, to get acceptance and approval from everyone. It is here that a godly woman, clothes herself with dignity and humility. We are called to be holy to the Lord. This holiness is reflected in all we do. Our walk, talk, dressing and actions. Many have succumbed to the judgment of God when they fail to carry themselves with humility and holiness.

 

According to Proverbs 31, the Christian wife embodies these qualities:

 

  1. The Christian wife is a fountain head of good to her husband 

A Godly woman is a fountain head of good to her husband. Who can find one is the question. Such wives are sought in prayer moment by moment guided by the spirit. He who finds a virtuous woman for a wife, finds something that is far above rubies. What a beautiful calling to give forth grace and encouragement to one’s husband at every point of life (Proverbs 31:10).

 

  1. The Christian wife is called blessed by her husband and children

This is so important for our family to see God in our lives. A godly woman is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the family. Her hand has a strong place in the children’s upbringing and how she guides her husband with respect to the will of God (Proverbs 31:26)

 

  1. The Christian wife is a counselor whose mouth brings forth wisdom and counsel.

As a godly woman your mouth only beings forth knowledge and not strife. We are called to learn the ways of God and that becomes our source of wisdom. It is the Lord who gives such wisdom to a woman who loves Him with all her heart, walking with the Lord as a friend like Abraham and Enoch, meditating on God’s word and communing with Him. This is how she becomes a blessing to the family.

As a Christian woman may this be your portion, where you build your relationship with the Lord and find out ways to implement His word and will in your family

 

Traits of a Godly woman

  1. Honor Quotient

 1 Peter 3:1 (KJV) Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

 The Bible teaches wives to submit to their husbands. Submission here does not refer to being your spouse’s carpet.

Ephesians 5:21 says it is a culture of honoring one’s husband because you honor the Lord. It’s about respecting his feelings and desires; letting go of our own agendas, to together do the will of the Lord. This is the life God has called women to live, a Christ-honoring lifestyle. Jesus Christ is our role model when it comes to submission, He suffered leaving us an example to follow, not retaliating or threatening which women often tend to when emotions take over them (1 Peter 2:21,22).

Women are truly emotional beings.  That’s how the Lord has created them. But that doesn’t give us license to get possessive. Husbands are the covering of the family. We need to live a respectful, godly life as a family out of reverence to the Lord.

 

  1. Character Quotient

 1 Peter 3:2 (KJV)  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

 A godly woman excels in her character and behavior, so much so that a woman can even bring into salvation her unsaved husband through her behavior without words. That’s the character of a godly woman. As mentioned before women are emotional. Men on the other hand tend to be logical. A woman can be ruled by her emotions and that can create havoc in families. Women must understand that no one can fulfill this emotional need of theirs but the Lord. As we go to the Lord with all our needs, physical and emotional, He is able to fulfill them all. God is watching us and He will judge us according to the purity and reverence we live by.

 

  1. Beauty Quotient

 1 Peter 3:3,4 (KJV)  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 Beauty is not just in the outward physique. Of course we must be mindful of our outward appearance but more than that what adds beauty to a woman, is a gentle and quiet spirit. This is what adorns a godly woman.  It’s a hidden quality but that is what makes you a treasure, in the sight of God a great price. Our bodies will go back to the ground and it corruptible. The hidden man of the heart is however not corruptible.

 

  1. Purpose Quotient

 1 Peter 3:5,6 (KJV)  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

 Women are called with a purpose. We are called to do good (what is right) and be respectful without intimidation. You must take a decision to be a holy woman. This is how godly women before us overcame the world. Women are imperfect in loving at times too, but godly women love their husbands, children and families out of the love they have for God. Daughters of Sara in faith should emulate her character in how she respected her partner.

 

  1. Faith Quotient

 Hebrews 11:11 (KJV)  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

 God has put a seed of faith in the heart of every woman. A kind of faith that is able to bring out physical, material and spiritual blessings from within her to the entire world. The world is not short of notable women of faith who have impacted the world for Jesus.

Such women of faith give rise to a new generation of generals for the Lord. Timothy grew up to be the man of faith he was because of the seed of faith that was in his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). God will strengthen you too to be this woman of faith.

CONCLUSION.

Women play a big role in our world. We can see from 1 Peter 3, how to develop into a godly woman, as we are learning about spiritual training, developing these traits are a major part of training ourselves to be godly.

The Lord has designed us with something much bigger than what the world dictates us to be. If you are able to cultivate the traits of a godly woman, you can influence the world in ways that you could ever imagine. Come into the plan God has for you as a woman and impact the world for the glory of His name.

Train yourself to be Godly.

Key Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)    rather, train yourself to be godly.  

SUMMARY

The Bible stresses on the life of a christian that is countercultural  to the pattern of life this world follows. This is the godly life that Apostle Paul talks about in his letter to Timothy. This sermon helps us understand what it means to be godly and how we can train ourselves into such a lifestyle. Allow God’s word to minister to you and make you reach that perfection in Christ Jesus.

SERMON POINTS

Difference between the Worldly and Godly:

Proverbs 14:12 (KJV)  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

There is this pattern we follow in our everyday life. Life usually revolves around the eating, drinking and being merry (Luke 12:19).. Of course we need money, which leads to the activities of establishing a career, a source of income, to sustain our ‘eat, drink and be merry’ lifestyle. You don’t need any sort of special training to follow this pattern. The very need to achieve standards set by the world is enough to push you into this almost vain routine. Of course, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

This routine brings in divisions and alienation from family lives. At the same time it makes people work, think and act like machines with gadgets and information becoming the top of priorities.

Like the wisest of men says there is a way that seems good to man but in the end it leads to destruction (Proverbs 16:25). This vanity is pretty much what it is to live worldly lives. After all these years of pursuing the best interests in life, we only witness that much evil, sickness, pestilence and war in our world.

Apostle Paul in this epistle talks about living godly lives. If we were to define a godly lifestyle, it begins with the practice and upholding of spiritual disciplines; a life of purity and model that is given completely for the Lord. We live godly lives when our every action and decision is made to please the Lord and not the world. From the time a child of God wakes up in the morning till he goes to bed, every activity is done with the intention to represent the kingdom of God in the realm and place God has kept him or her.

This doesn’t come as easy as living a worldly life. Apostle Paul talks about training ourselves to be godly. Notice how he underlines training ourselves. This means it begins with us and only you can get yourself into that discipline.

The Greek word that Paul uses to explain training is ‘Gymnaso or Gumnaso‘. In ancient Rome, those participating in the Olympics and games, gladiators and soldiers went into a strict diet and training just like how it is today. To get to the best shape they could, focus and importance was given much to training.

Similarly to live godly lives, we are to be given to following strict spiritual disciplines. We ought to understand the seriousness of how important our spiritual lives are. We must plan for it. We cannot dismiss being godly as something only for those in ministry. Some try to confine godliness to the limit and purview of the church. It doesn’t work like that. Apostle Paul talks about living godly lives everyday. You stand as a model to this generation for God. Your life ought to be trustworthy- appreciating and respecting one another. This beautiful life however never happens by chance expect that you plan, take a decision and put the effort to stand by it.

 

Training- How do you train?

Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Training is a continuous process. No one who goes on to undertake training can do it for a day and stop it. It takes a life given to discipline and trying. This is what the apostle means when he tells us to train ourself to be godly. How does one train?

In the book of Hebrews, he talks about the strict training to be godly, wherein you throw off every thing that weighs you and every sin that easily entangle you, focusing upon Christ alone as we run the race of life. This calls for a continuous check on our lifestyle, what we watch, do and think directly influences our spiritual lives. Are you able to turn away from things that don’t please God? If not, then we are on a path that leads to death.

We continuously train ourselves to be godly and keep a check on our spiritual life so that we are not found wanting at the coming of the Lord. As a believer in Christ sometimes we satisfy ourselves with a routine prayer life, a ‘Sunday-holy-day’ life, wherein only on one day of the week we have anything to do with God and the rest of the week we live as we like. Once saved is not always saved, we work our salvation every single day.

Apostle Paul talks about beating his body and bringing into submission so that after having preached to others he himself is not disqualified. That’s the same mentality we ought to carry when it comes to being godly. It requires immense effort to live what can be easy to preach (1 Corinthians 9:27).

This is a great mystery this godliness (1 Timothy 3:16). We cannot do to overlook it. Even physical training is only of some value to us in this world. We spend so much time to groom and fashion our physical body that wears away with time by adopting well-planned diets, exercise regimes and making healthy lifestyle choices. But think of working on our godly living, godliness holds value for both the present age and the age to come; yet we so easily neglect it to our danger. Today let’s come back to the Lord (1 Timothy 4:8,9).

Let us get more God-oriented, living not for the world but for the One who sent you here. Fleeing from all that is causing us to sin; from godless talks and myths that surround us vying for our attention and devotion. Let’s set daily goals and put in the focus and work needed to be more godly and less worldly. We may fail many times before we get it right but it’s a daily process to be godly.

The Blessings of a Godly Life.

Godliness brings a rich culture of blessing with it.

  1. As we train to live godly lives, we begin to have the peace of God reigning over our lives. As you trust, work and pray, you begin to build the kingdom of God by building lives and being a living testimony for the Lord.
  2. We begin to understand your purpose that God sent you on earth and you are pleased to do His will.
  3. The greatest blessing involves the golden principle of the Bible which is having contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-10). You and I begin to stop seeking God only to receive material blessings from Him. We are more faithful and fulfill our responsibility to serve Him here on the earth.

Training in godliness roots out selfishness, love of money and lethargy out of our being. Instead we start seeking God more earnestly and we begin to live testimonial lives for the glory of God.

 

CONCLUSION.

Apostle Paul uses words to help us understand the truth of God’s word by painting a picture in our head. Here while talking about godly training, he brings to mind that of soldiers and gymnasts training for games. He talks about the value being godly adds up to our life even for eternity. How is your fellowship with God today? The Lord is calling us to train ourselves to be godly. Let’s put off everything that hinders our walk with the Lord. Let us become more spiritually sensitive. All of heaven and earth, with its saints and angels are looking at how we are running in this race called ‘Life’. Let us fight the good fight and keep the faith. Make the Lord’s work the priority and you will lead a life of great gain both in this world and the world to come.

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Koinonia! -The Story of the Loaves

Key Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:9 (KJV)   God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 

SUMMARY

We are learning on what it means to have Koinonia or Fellowship in Christ. It is no ordinary relationship, because we who are many become one in Christ. Taking us on a journey of what it means to be part of the Bread of Life, this sermon teaches us what the Lord Jesus tried to teach about having Fellowship with Him by using loaves of bread in His ministry.

SERMON POINTS

One Body In Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12 (KJV)  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Through the fellowship we have by His Son Jesus Christ, we are now part of the Body of Christ with Christ as the head. We lose our individuality and take the corporate identity of being the Body of Christ. As Apostle Paul clearly describes comparing the functioning of the church to the Body of Christ. We are one; we work, serve and glorify God together.

This means that there are no divisions (Colossians 3:11). There are still nations around the world that struggle with racism, sexism and caste systems.  The only solution for such partial treatment of mankind is the Church. A Church, which understands that we all have Christ no matter from where we might be. We become a part of this new creation through Baptism and joining in our thoughts and attitudes of the heart begin to change as well. We begin to put off our old self and seek things above (Colossians 3:1,5,8,10)

Communion or the Eucharist.

1 Corinthians 10:16,17 (KJV)  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Communion is central to our faith. The early church had this fellowship meal every time they gathered. The deacons would even take it to those unable to take part for various reasons. Now the Lord’s Table or the Communion is the symbol of this new creation of God. The Bible teaches us to have it as often as we can. It is our greatest blessing, giving us life and strength to go through this pilgrimage through life. As we give importance to it, we begin to see the One who is represented through it, our Lord Jesus Christ, the true bread of life.

 

What we declare by participating in the communion is that:

  1. We who are intimate with traditions, our cultures, and ourselves lose that identity and find intimacy in Christ, counting as rubbish all that we see as gain.
  2. We also begin loving everyone. Especially with this koinonia, which breaks our differences and traditions. We are all one being called out of an old family into a new one. Jesus inaugurated the first fellowship meal with Judas Iscariot the one He knew would betray Him. That’s the kind of love we share in this fellowship.
  3. We who are intimate with Christ are also intimate with one another to perfect one another in Christ.  One body needs everyone so that each one can contribute to perfect the purpose and mission for which we were created. This is the new perspective we get by becoming the new creation.

 

Jesus and the Bread

The bread at the table of communion is very important. Jesus again and again as recorded in all 4 gospels uses them to stress on how important of a lesson He was trying to teach the people.

Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness and they ate manna the bread that fell from heaven. While this was one of the things highly regarded by the Jews, Jesus wanted to show them that the Heavenly Father has now sent us Jesus Christ as the true Bread of Life that can give life to people and truly quench the hunger in every man.

This theme runs across the chapters.

We will see from the book of Mark, Jesus’ references to the Bread of Life and its meaning to us today as people united in fellowship with Christ.

 

Markan view of Jesus Christ.

Chapters and verses were added to scripture much later to help us locate them easily. Ideally this gospel could have been just a single scroll. We will try to understand by seeing 3 major events that bring out the connection between Jesus and the bread of life.

 

  1. Jesus feeds the 5000. This is only the count of men. The crowd fed was much more and they collected 12 basketful of leftovers. Jesus takes the little boy’s bread, gives thanks (eucharista) and breaks it before we see the multiplication.

After the great miracle, Jesus sends His disciples to the other side while He Himself goes up to pray. Jesus rescues the disciples who encounter a dangerous storm at sea as He comes to them walking on water.

Even after being fed by the miraculous multiplication of loaves, the disciples couldn’t make out that this was the same God who supplied the needs of the His people in the wilderness who was back in action. They couldn’t understand that He was greater than Moses.

What had the loaves got to do with the storm? This implies in Jesus you are not alone. He is with you through the storms of life (Mark 6:37,38,52).

 

  1. In the following chapter, we find Jesus in a Gentile territory. A Syrophonecian woman comes pleading the Lord to heal her daughter. Being the Gentile she was, Jesus refuses her healing, the bread of children cannot be tossed to dogs. The woman’s reply shows her astonishing faith. She says that yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off from the children’s table.

For such a reply we find her daughter made whole. This implies that Jesus, the Bread of Life is for all. He gives life to everyone who puts his or her faith in Him (Mark 7:28,29,30).

The faith the Gentiles had in Jesus, the Jews failed to have; The faith that the crowds had, the disciples failed to have too.

 

  1. We can clearly see that in Mark 8:20,21, as Jesus feeds the 4000 with 7 loves of bread and few fish, people took 7 basketful of leftovers. The crowd was ready to make Him king in Mark 6:14,15 but the disciples failed to make the connection that Jesus is the Bread of Life and that He was initiating a new exodus; Jesus Christ was the one Moses spoke about (Deuteronomy 18:17,18).

 

You and I being part of the Body of Christ sometimes like the disciples can miss out on essential truths we read in these passages. Remember that:

  • Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35)
  • The bread is thanked for (Eucharista), broken and multiplied in His hands. Like our Lord Jesus, we are broken and it is this brokenness that bring multiplication.
  • When you experience the Bread of Life, He won’t forsake you in the storms of life.
  • He is also the Lord of leftovers. Means to say He blesses with enough and more, a blessing that overflows.

 

5 loaves and 2 fish v/s 7 loaves and some fish

 

  1. The feeding of the 5000 is to Israelites within the Promised Land. Thus there are 12 baskets of leftover food symbolising the 12 tribes of Israel. The gospel is taken first to the chosen people. (Mark 6:32-34; Matthew 14:14-21)

 

  1. The feeding of the 4000 is to the gentiles living outside the Promised Land (in the Decapolis) (Mark 7:3). Thus these are 7 baskets of leftover food representing the 7 Gentile nations that once occupied the land of Cannan.

Therefore the significance of the 2 miraculous feeding is clear. The kingdom established by Jesus is Catholic that is to say that it is universal, international, for all people and for all nations. We are one in that loaf of Jesus Christ.

 

This is to say that fellowship in Christ has the following implications:

  • We are never left alone.  As we partake of the Table, we are in fellowship with the Son of God
  • Give much importance to the Eucharist, Communion or the Lord’s Table as it is called. That’s the symbol of us united in Christ.
  • We are to work for unity in the Body of Christ. We were called to function as a unit and not as mere individuals (Ephesians 4:4-6).
  • Take this family as your own by modeling the character of Christ (Colossians 3:12-17).

 

CONCLUSION.

Koinonia means sharing the love and life of Christ as we adore and worship the Lord to be selfless and passionate for Him in this life.

When we come to the Table, we are part of the grand agenda of the new family where we honor the Bread of Life. We begin to regard this family bigger and better than everything else we may have (1 Corinthians 10:8-22). This means we stop being associated with things that are demonic in nature, be it music or arts. We cannot take part of the Lord’s Table and that of demons. It will oppress us. We honor the presence of God and live a life that reflects the fellowship we have with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Koinonia!

Key Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:9 (KJV)   God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

SUMMARY

Fellowship is something we all love to be a part of.  With the changing times, people are afraid even to know what Fellowship is. This sermon helps us understand the beauty of Fellowship, especially the one we have in Christ. It’s a deep truth and should bring a radical change that influences our personal and church life.

SERMON POINTS

King Jesus!

1 Corinthians 1:2 (KJV)  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:

Apostle Paul pens his first letter to the church at Corinth. This was the worst time in history. Tyrants were ruling the world. Oppression and persecution were the lot of Christians all over the world.Paul was imprisoned by one such madman. History records his cruelty and the message that was spreading was that Caesar was the king of the world.

Apostle Paul writes something spectacular introducing Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the King of the universe. In the scripture portion we have chosen for our study, he talks about Jesus the Messiah, almost 8 times highlighting who was the real king who reigned. This is our hope too. The one, which we are called for.

Corinth was a city that was filled with all sorts of wickedness and its pleasures. Much like our surroundings today. To a church established in such a land, Apostle Paul writes to a group made holy by the Lord Jesus Christ. Holiness is the blessed change that comes into us when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fellowship

1 Corinthians 1:4,5 (KJV)   I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

This Church at Corinth was a beautiful fellowship that was started in the home of Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18.

Paul makes a statement of thanksgiving for the grace that they have received in the Lord. When you see your fellow brother and sister in Christ you see not their differences but the grace of God that abounds in their life. A grace that makes us pure. It’s not just the abounding grace of God but in Christ we have been enriched with all spiritual gifts and with the knowledge of God s word.

Most importantly the Apostle highlights his thanks to God for the fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ for which He has called us. This is our great privilege. According to the Mosaic Law, we are outcasts. Yet by His grace and through His Son Jesus Christ we are called to be a part of the family of God.,

The Greek word for fellowship is ‘Koinonia’ which means shared in common. We now have whatever Christ has, through this fellowship.

 

Baptism and the Eucharist-Entry into the Fellowship.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We enter into a new creation through this fellowship with Christ. We, who were once from different cultures and traditions, following all that we thought was right and pleasing, now are brought together in Jesus and ruled by Him as our Head.

This new creation is there since the resurrection of our Lord. We are already a part of it. We become a new creation with our decision to enter into a fellowship with the death of Christ through baptism. Wherein you publicly disassociate with the world and identify yourself as a part of the family of God.

Now there’s no more division based on caste, creed or race. It’s a choice we make either to follow the Adamic old regime or the new one in Christ wherein you are not alone and you move forward in fellowship with others just like you.

Once we are baptised in Jesus, we become a new creation -old things have passed away all things have become new.

1 Corinthians 10:16,17 (KJV) The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

In Corinth, they would celebrate various festivals where foods offered to pagan deities were eaten as part of temple celebrations.

If there is one thing that unites everyone in fellowship it is food. Usually families gather around for a meal. Celebrations are never complete without one.

In the same way fellowship with Christ is brought together at the Lord’s Table. This is the common meal that unites us with the Lord Jesus. The table of Communion is no light thing.

We identify ourselves as one Body of Christ and one family of God by partaking in the Holy Communion. Here there is no Greek or Jew, rich or poor. Christ is in all and all are in Christ. What a beautiful Fellowship to have and hold in Christ Jesus

 

CONCLUSION.

The Jews have always believed that when the Messiah comes, He will bring about a new creation and a new exodus. They are still awaiting one. But Apostle Paul shares a revolutionary statement that this new creation and exodus has already happened through Jesus Christ. To have a Fellowship with Him, all we have to do now is believe and accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and King of our lives. Baptism and the Lord’s Table helps you take part in this blessed Fellowship. Let’s come and join the grand design of God’s plan and family.

Iyun Tefillah

Key Scripture:

Psalm 65:2 (KJV)    O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

SUMMARY

Iyun Tefillah is the Jewish principle of having consideration in prayer. Prayer is not just words but it is the most powerful activity one can do on earth. This sermon explains exactly that and what happens in the realm of prayer. This understanding can help us commune with God better through our prayers.

SERMON POINTS

 Profitable Jewish Principles.

The Bible is a collection of scrolls that were found in various archeological sites. There are many other writings that we can use as references to understand the scriptures better. One such writing is the Babylonian Talmud. We find in this a list of 6 matters that a person enjoys the profits of in this world which is also carried over into the coming age (Shabbat 127A).

The principles are such:

  • Hospitality towards guests
  • Visiting the sick
  • Consideration during prayer I.e. Iyun Tefillah
  • Rising early to the study hall
  • Engaging your sons for Torah study
  • Who judges another favourably

 

Iyun Tefillah!

Everybody prays. In fact every religion has it’s own pattern of prayer regardless of whether it is beneficial or directed to a known God. Much thought and reverence is to go into prayer. For a believer prayer is not a ritual, or formality. It’s an integral and profitable principle, which touches the heart of God.

The Jews take their prayers seriously. No one goes to have a time of prayer unprepared. They take a scriptural text and meditate on it. Iyun Tefillah means having consideration and meditation in prayer. Thinking and praying. Having our faith roots in the Jewish community, our prayers must be a discipline of devotion. It is this meditation ‘kavanah’ that brings us closer to God. Our prayer must come from a place of understanding and that gives us a view into the spiritual reality of the world.

 

  1. Prayer is the realm where God meets our needs

Matthew 6:7 (KJV)  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Our God is a prayer-answering God. He answers every need both spoken and unspoken of. In fact God met the very first need of man of needing a suitable helper by creating the first woman, Eve (Genesis 2:18-21). This indicates that prayer is not measured by words. Though often prayer rises out of a need that surfaces in life, we see God meet every need in the realm of prayer, even before it arises. Jesus teaches us to pray not as the pagans do, thinking we will be heard because of our words. Prayer depends on our intimacy with God rather than its record of words. God’s response to our prayers is not by our wordy explanations but by His knowledge of our real needs. Psalms 139:1-4 says that he knows our rising and waking up. And this knowledge makes us pray more and more. He hears us every time we call (Isaiah 65:24)

 

  1. Prayer is the realm we hear God calling us.

 Ezekiel 22:30 (KJV)  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

 We cannot come into the mighty presence of God without God calling us. Just as how you need an appointment to meet with those superior to you, unless the Lord calls its impossible to come to before His precious presence (Psalms 65:4).

Adam sinned and his guilt made him hide among the trees (Genesis 3:9). But God the creator of Heaven and Earth calls out to Adam. He sought for him. The Lord is seeking for a man today too.

Unless we hear His call to take on the mantle of prayer, we can neither engage in a prayer conversation or persevere in prayer. It’s the Holy Spirit who will cause us to hear that voice of God calling us as we cry, longing for a revival.

Adam who was asked to care for the trees of the garden now needed the trees to care for him, as he stood naked without the presence and communion with God (Genesis 2:14,15).

Sometimes our prayers are made to receive gifts from the Lord and those very gifts become the reasons we fail to pray or hear God calling us in the realm of prayer. May that change from today onwards.

 

  1. Prayer is the realm we receive a sign from God.

 Revelation 22:4 (KJV) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

 When you give Consideration in prayer you are able to receive a sign from God.

Prayer is all about loving the Lord with all your heart. The Jewish Shema prayer explains this (Deuteronomy 6:5).

The thoughts that go on in our head while we pray highly affects the result it brings.

This is clear from the life of Cain and Abel. Cain worked the soil. His name means acquisition or acquire and that was his goal constantly. He was attached to the ground cursed by the Lord (Genesis 3:17). While Abel was tending sheep. His name meant vapor and that was the mentality he carried too. He kept stewarding the blessings of God.

Though we usually pray for the sake of receiving blessing; we can understand that our spirituality is not designed for us to get material benefits.

Our prayers and worship has to please the Lord by capturing the very essence of the heart of God.

Abel gave the best of his flock with readiness to the Lord while Cain brought the leftovers of his produce to offer to God; Not the first fruits.

Cain was extremely angry after his worship because he was not accepted by the Lord. This led to the murder of Abel. He didn’t do what was right that’s why the Lord didn’t accept his worship. Our prayers and worship will fail to receive the sign of God’s acceptance, if not made with reverence, consideration and meditation.

Cain committed the first murder on earth. But God who came seeking Adam sought Cain as well. Punished for his crime, Cain prays asking the Lord to consider how severe his punishment was. This is the first answered prayer in the Bible. God mercifully gives a sign of protection, a mark on his forehead that he will be protected from people and animals.

Prayer is holding God’s hand of mercy. Anyone who prays gets the mark of protection over your life.

In the realm of prayer, we are marked by the blood of the Lamb and therefore we are protected from the attack of the enemy, evil powers and sickness.

 

Your Times of Prayer.

 

  • Your Mentality in Prayer-  Prayer is a privilege and not a burden. It is our spiritual journey from our heart to the heart of God. The key element in prayer is that you come as a servant before the Lord. Prayer is a labor of love. It is awakening the hidden love within your heart until we attain an intimate fellowship with God. Like Abel it is in prayer that we realise we are but vapour (James 4:14), mere grass, and so value the privilege of coming before the Lord in prayer. Prayer is where we see the smallness of man and the greatness of God.

Without consideration in prayer we can easily fall prey to the sin crouching at our doorsteps, ready to master over us. The eyes of our heart have to be enlightened to see what is right and what is not.

 

  • Praying for Others- God asks Cain where is his brother. Cain defends himself implying that he is not his brother’s keeper. God has called us to be a family. We ought to love one another and have a passion to pray for others. Let us flee from slandering others or talking evil. We are responsible and accountable for the souls of those around us. Spiritual relationships are so important when we come to worship. Let’s cultivate that kind of prayer life born out of the love for others (1 John 3:11,12).

 

  • Worldly Ties-  Cain was attached to the Earth, God had cursed.How we detach ourselves from materialism is the key in improving our spiritual lives. Cain’s sin brought on the punishment due for it. He was sentenced to be a restless wanderer.

It is the consideration we give in prayer that makes God answer by fire and look down with favour on our communion with God. We ourselves are made a sign to the world (Ezekiel 24:27).  When we understand the true purpose of praying we are a sign of God’s love and goodness in this hurting world. This is a big calling and it begins with the consideration we give to prayer and keeping the Sabbath holy (Ezekiel 20:20). This begins the beautiful cycle of blessing that leads us to an eternity where we carry the Name of the Lord on our foreheads as a sign forever. What a privilege that is!

 

CONCLUSION.

Prophet Jeremiah longs for his eyes to be pools of tears and his head, water so that he can spend his life praying and interceding (Jeremiah 9:1). This is the passion we ought to have for prayer. Not ones made out of duty but a life committed to pray, having much passion and devotion for prayer, longing to be the very channel of revival and stand for prayer even if you have to do it alone.

Kaf

Key Scripture:

Revelation 1:6 (KJV)   And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

SUMMARY

Christianity finds its roots in the rich culture and history of the Jews. Everything we study from the Bible has several interpretations and for better understanding we need to take a look at the Jewish context . In this sermon we learn of the Hebrew letter ‘Kaf’. We can glean from its meaning the life that God expects us to live as His children.

SERMON POINTS

The Year 2020 and Kaf.

The year 2020 is a year of promise and a year of answered prayers. The Jewish calendar marks this year as 5780, the sum of which is 20 as well. Based on this we are taking up a study on the eleventh letter of the Hebrew language ‘Kaf’ which denotes the number 20. Every Hebrew letter has a number associated with it.

As we learn the meaning of Kaf, we can apply it in our spiritual lives to experience victory in all that we do.

Kaf literally means an open palm, spoon, container and a crown. The word picture of the Hebrew letter “kaf” is the palm of the hand, or when holding up the open hand with palm open. We see several references to this in the scripture.

This also indicates why we use our palms to bless and pray with hands uplifted with our palms facing towards heavens.

 

Kaf represents-

  1. Submission

Among many things, Kaf stands for submission. Surrendering wholly to the Lord, coming before Him as empty handed, we are and humbling ourselves. This is what Kaf suggests.

Scripture talks about the power of submitting to God. As you surrender to the Lord and resist the devil, he will flee from you.

 

  • To God

James 4:7 (KJV)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We submit to God by obeying His commandment. There is no other shortcut to submission. Ask the Lord what you can do today to fulfill His purpose in your life rather than taking things into your own hands.

 

  • To One Another

Ephesians 5:21,22 (KJV)  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

God wants us to submit to one another as well. This is also true in marriage; the Lord wants us to submit to our spouses as we would to the Lord.

This is true in the case of those above you in authority as well. This is how the servant leadership model has come to be too.

Our focus must be on what can I give instead of what can I get when it comes to our interpersonal relationships.

 

  • To Leaders

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Last but not at all the least, the Bible commands us to submit in the Lord to those who lead us spiritually. They are responsible for your soul. It would do well for us when we submit and learn to pay heed to their counsel.

Submission is our greatest mission. Silence is not submission, in fact it is repression. But the submission that the Lord requires of us is the one that is done happily and willingly. That’s where our deliverance is.

 

  1. Suppression

 Luke 10:19 (KJV)  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Mark 16:17 (KJV)  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 Another meaning of Kaf is to suppress, take authority and stand strong. This suppression is directed towards every work of evil brought about in the form of sicknesses, infirmities, curses and demonic powers of darkness. We live in a spiritual world. But the Lord has given us power to trample over every power of the enemy, to heal diseases and overcome the works of the devil.

Not just that we are empowered by the word of God to suppress our feelings as well; in the sense that we are not ruled over by them but instead we take control of our emotions and feelings.

 

  1. Responsibility

 Kaf also represents crown.  Even the articles of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the Table of Shew Bread and the Altar of Incense had a crown or rim of gold on them.

In the Jewish community, they believe in 4 types of crowns that the Lord has rendered to them. As those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, this crown belongs to us and we have a big responsibility towards it

  1. ‘Ketter Torah’ -Crown of the Torah

Exodus 19:8 (KJV)  And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.

The first and the biggest crown of all that the Jews believe to have received from God is the crown of the Torah. The Crown of God’s word. The Talmud refers to how the Lord gave it all the kingdoms of the world but no one would receive it except for the Israelites at Mt. Sinai

The word of God must be given the utmost importance in our lives. We have a responsibility to uphold the commandments of the Lord as recorded in the Bible. Anyone one who is prepared to devote time to the word of God can have this ‘Ketter Torah’

2. ‘Ketter Malkhut’ -Crown of Kingship

2 Chronicles 13:5 (KJV)  Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

The next crown is the crown of kingship that was given specifically to the family line of David.

King David shares how he received this crown of kingship by obeying the commands of the Lord (Psalms 119:56)

The Jews believe that this crown is no more as they have no king but they are waiting on the Messiah who will come and take this crown on himself to redeem them.

3. ‘Ketter Kehuna’ – Crown of priesthood

Leviticus 8:9 (KJV)  And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses.

The same is with the crown of priesthood it is no more. It was given as a specialty to those of the line of Aaron called and anointed to be priests from the family line of Levi.

It was for those set apart to be holy unto the Lord; Those who were given to the praise, intercession and worship of God continually.

4. ‘ Ketter Shema Tov’ –Crown of Good Name

Ecclesiastes 7:1 (KJV)  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Above every other crown the greatest one can receive from the Lord is the crown of a good name. This comes only when you have all the above. This comes with a life that is devoted to please the Lord and not those around us. As you do things that please God, you will find favour in the eyes of all men as well.

 

What crown do you carry?

Revelation 1:6 (KJV)  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This is a precious truth. Apostle John had this in mind as he wrote the Book of Revelation. If we carefully consider- the crown of God’s word has been given to us. We ought to give it utmost importance by meditating, obeying and submitting to the commandments of God written in it.

It doesn’t stop there, the crown of kingship and the holy crown of priesthood that which was lost by the house of David and Aaron has also been given to us by the grace of God.

That’s why we read in the Book of Revelation, that we all are made kings and priests. We have a big responsibility to act as representatives of the kingdom of God right here on earth. The salvation experience has made us kings and priests to carry out the work of intercession and worship on earth as it is in Heaven, living a lifestyle that pleases our Creator. Let us never lose this crown given by the grace of God for the world’s fleeting pleasures.

CONCLUSION.

Each word of the Bible is very important and as we study, the Lord is able to reveal the depth of the truths He meant when He spoke His word.

Using our knowledge of the Word, we are also able to discern the times and the seasons we live in and act accordingly as God expects us to.

May the year 2020, be the year which causes you submit to God and suppress every evil thing in your life. May we live as what we were ordained to be in Christ Jesus- kings and priests for His glory.

Spiritual Check up-Sis Sheba

Key Scripture:

Lamentations 3:40 (KJV)   Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.

SUMMARY

This is a beautiful sermon on how a spiritual examination is important in our lives. No matter how long we have been in the Lord, a timely check in our spirit is good for our spiritual lives.

SERMON POINTS

Examining you.

Philippians 3:10 (KJV)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

The World Health Organization recommends people to go for regular medical screening once they cross they age of forty. These screenings help us to detect deficiencies much earlier and correct them before it costs us dearly.

Similarly we need regular screening of our spiritual lives. Instead of blaming God when something goes wrong, we need to give ourselves a self-examination. We must contemplate as to what is the change we need to make in ourselves and start afresh in your walk with the Lord.

Apostle Paul, the greatest among apostles, after all his missionary journeys and revelations from the Lord, says that he wants to know Him more and take part in His sufferings

Apostle Peter emphasizes the importance of growing in our spiritual life (2 Peter 3:18). There should be progress in our walk with the Lord. The Lord expects such improvement in your spiritual life. You can use these questions to check if you have grown in the Lord through these years.

 

Spiritual Checklist.

2 Peter 3:18 (KJV)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

  • Are you more aware of sin than you were in the previous year?- The Holy Spirit is a gentle person. He convicts us when we do wrong. As you grow in the Lord the convictions become stronger helping us to be holier. As opposed to ignoring the Lord’s corrections which makes us less conscious of sin.

 

  • Are we more forgiving than we were before?- The Bible teaches us that with the measure we use to forgive others  to the same measure we will be forgiven. Jesus was able to forgive those who crucified saying they knew not what they were doing. That’s the way we need to forgive as well.

 

  • Are you more loving than you were in the past?- The trademark of a child of God is in how he/she loves. This love is not only towards the Lord but also to those around us. We need to grow in the love of God

 

  • Are we governed by God’s word or by worldly cultures?- We tend to sway to the tunes played in the world today. Our lives are to be governed by God’s word and our standard is only based on what His word says.

 

  • Is your walk with God making you humble or arrogant?- With spiritual growth comes this pride that we know it all. Sometimes this pride turns into arrogance especially when you start looking down on your fellow brothers and sisters, making assumptions of their walk with the Lord.

 

Transformation from the Life of Zacchaeus.

Luke 19:8,9 (KJV)  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

True transformation or progress in our walk with the Lord is seen in our lives as it happened in the life of Zacchaeus. When Jesus entered his life, he first confessed his mistake. He realized what he was doing wrong in his heart and then accepted it through the confession of his mouth. That conviction led him to act on where he had wronged and make restitution for it even up to four times the damage he originally caused.

This is true growth spiritually. When you can examine yourself in the presence of God, accept your faults, right them and start afresh.

 

Some spiritual disciplines that help us in growing spiritually.

  • Worship in gratitude
  • Prayer- talk to God throughout the day
  • Read the Bible
  • Serving God by serving others
  • Generous to others

 

CONCLUSION.

King David prays asking the Lord to test him and know his heart. This should be the prayer of a believer ever so often. If there is anything in us that is offensive to the Lord, we must be able to throw it away and walk in the path that pleases Him. We serve a holy God, may we become more and more like Him everyday.

Answers to Prayers

Key Scripture:

Psalms 65:2 (KJV)   O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

SUMMARY

Our God is not just the God who hears our prayers, but He also answers us. This sermon is a study on Psalm 65 especially the answers that prayer brings over our lives. As we pray we will see these blessings taking over us.

SERMON POINTS

Psalm 65

Psalms 65:2 (KJV)  O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.

This psalm is addressed to the One who hears our prayers. This is a beautiful title unto the Lord because He hears our cries and answers our prayers. Throughout the Bible we see the Lord God answering the prayers of His people. All we need are at His disposal and prayer is the only key that brings it down from heaven. In this season of your life, make prayer a priority as the answers to all our issues lies in it.

 

Answers Prayer brings.

  1. When we pray, there is the forgiveness of sins. As the Bible tells us if we confess our sins and repent He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every iniquity.

Psalms 65:3 (KJV) Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.

 

  1. As we pray, God chooses us to dwell in His House and feed us by the abundance of the goodness in His House. Good things happen because of the House of God.

Psalms 65:4 (KJV)  Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. 

 

  1. As we pray, there are songs of joy as morning dawns and evening fades. This is the portion of a praying person. God begins to answer us by awesome deeds and acts.

 Psalms 65:5 (KJV)  By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:

Psalm 65:8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy. 

  1. Praying brings His blessings on our workplace, to soften hard ground and give us a harvest in every way. Every uncooperative and unfavorable situation turns to the favor of the one who looks to God in prayer.

 Psalms 65:9-10 (KJV)  Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.

 

  1. When we pray, God answers with abundance in every way in His house. As the psalmist says He crowns the year with good things and fill us with bounty.

 Psalms 65:11,12 (KJV)  Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.

 

  1. The blessing of prayer doesn’t stop with individual requests but the Church is also blessed to be filled with souls. There will an overflow of souls in the church that makes prayer its priority. There will be joy and praise in the House of the Lord.

 Psalms 65:13 (KJV)  The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.

 

CONCLUSION.

“O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.” Psalms 65:2.

Our God is the answer to every prayer. He answers us with abundance and an overflow. Let us begin to call on Him earnestly and seek answers to our pressing needs.