Brokenhearted 0

After the tragedy yesterday in Orlando I sit at my computer truly brokenhearted that 49 America citizens were murdered at the hands of terrorism. As a Christ follower we should be praying for the families who lost their love ones to this cowardly act. My greatest grief is over the fact that since this terrible act happened at a gay nightclub; there are lost souls in hell today.

I made this comment last night at our Sunday night service and a person who was attending took exception that just because a person is homosexual they would not make heaven. I tried to explain that a practicing homosexual cannot go to heaven.

The easy thing to do in this postmodern age, where biblical doctrine and concepts are watered down, is to side step the difficult issues instead of facing them head on. Yet, as Christ followers the Bible was given to us so that we would have the biblical foundation to live righteous and holy lives in order to show God’s glory to the whole earth. We must confront sin with the truth of Scripture and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So the question is, “can a person who says they are a gay Christian get into heaven while practicing this lifestyle?” The simple answer to this question is no.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

MEV

I do not make this statement with glee or some kind of satisfaction, I say it completely brokenhearted and with great sadness. No true Christian hates the homosexual or any other person who is separated from God because of their sinful lifestyle. A Christ follower is not a hater, or bigoted, but desires to see the perishing rescued from the pits of hell.

I believe any person who claims to be saved, but is unrepentant, unregenerate, rebellious, and continues to live a willful sinful lifestyle is not saved; but lost. Now if a person says they are saved, but struggles with sin in their lives, is convicted by their sin, comes before God with a repentant heart and desires to walk in the spirit; God is faithful and just to forgive them of their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness!

So here is the Good News, God has provided a way of escape for all sinners. God desires that everyone make heaven and so He sent Jesus Christ.  Will you receive Him today and turn from your wicked ways?

Admit you are a sinner. “There is no one righteous, not even one … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10,23. (See Romans 5:8; 6:23.)

Ask God’s forgiveness. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Believe in Jesus. (put your trust in Him) as your only hope of salvation. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (See John 14:6.)

Become a child of God by receiving Christ. “To all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 (See Revelation 3:20.)

Confess that Jesus is your Lord. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (See verse 10.)

Traditional Church 0

Recently I went to a conference for pastors and on day one I was having lunch with my Associate Pastor when two other pastors approached our table. One of the pastors said to me, “Oh you are the guy that pastors the more traditional church.” He did not mean it as a compliment. In this postmodern age, where relativism and pluralism are the dominate beliefs in most churches, to be called traditional is really an insult. Since we are a church that still allows the moving of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are present at every meeting we have, what he really was saying is, “Oh you are the pastor of that Pentecostal church.”

Angle Lake Neighborhood Church is such a great church and deserves more than an off handed comment. I find it interesting that a church with significant demographic diversity, with over 15 different ethnic and language groups represented on any given Sunday would be called traditional. I find it interesting that as I look across the congregation, every skin tone and shade the world has to offer can be found; is that traditional?  I find it interesting that a church that has every age group represented and they are involved in leadership and service; can be identified as traditional.

Angle Lake Neighborhood Church is not ashamed of its Pentecostal heritage and we are sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation, as they should be, in every gathering that we have. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the indicator of spiritual growth and disciples are being made as commanded by our Lord, Jesus Christ. Every person is encouraged to seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as soon as they have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. We believe the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues.

On Sunday mornings we still pray for healing, for deliverance, for guidance, for direction, and for help by the laying on of hands and anointing with oil; as called for by the Scriptures. We have very modern music, contemporary music, and hymns when we sing praises to our Lord. Worship is very important at Angle Lake Neighborhood Church and we desire to see the manifold presence of God in our building.  

We believe anointed, Biblical teaching is the catalyst for transformation in individual’s lives and in the church. Preaching the Word of God is the method that God has given to proclaim His truth to a lost and dying world. We are committed to preaching the whole truth and proclaiming the gospel so that people will be saved by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Angle Lake Neighborhood Church believes in evangelism, but the key to evangelism is discipleship; not postmodernism. The postmodern world does not need a postmodern church, but a Pentecostal church; full of the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit. To tell people they must be the culture to win the culture is foolishness; nowhere in the Bible is this commanded or even implied. However, the people of God are commanded to wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to enable them to turn a world upside for Jesus. We promote being God Focused, Spirit Empowered in order to be Evangelically Effective.

Angle Lake Neighborhood Church a Traditional Church? I do not think that is an accurate description for this body of believers. Angle Lake Neighborhood Church are an exceptional people who love God very much and desire to move from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We are a Bible-believing, Christ-centered, Spirit-driven church where we desire all the fullness of Christ. Believing that the breath of God’s Spirit will fill us, empowering us to move forward into His destiny.

 

Looking For a Bargain 0

Isaiah 55

1 Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.

MEV

Introduction:

For most guys shopping is not something that comes naturally. When my wife asks me to go shopping with her, I don’t jump up off the couch and go YES!!!!

Once we were grocery shopping and she said to me, “Go get a bottle of pancake syrup.” So off I went and I found the aisle where the syrup was and then my problems set in. Before me were what looked like dozens of brands. Dark syrup, light syrup, there was butter lite, there was country, there was light corn syrup there was crystal white fancy table syrup, there was sugar free syrup, there was butter pecan syrup, there was butter pecan sugar free syrup. Stop, stop, where do I get off.

Now I tell you this right now, I have commanded guys in the military, I have been a mid-manager at the state level, I have handle crisis situations where people’s lives have hung in the balance and I believe I’m a very decisive and take charge kind of guy. However, at that moment in time I must have looked like a deer in headlights. Finally, I had to go back to my wife and ask her, “What kind of syrup do you want?” She looked at me and said, “Get our favorite brand.” Now this brings up another problem because as a guy I do not pay that much attention to details. I didn’t have a clue what our favorite brand of syrup was. “What is our favorite brand of syrup dear?” I asked. She said, “Whatever is on sale.”

Turn on your television at any time and you will not have to wait long before there is someone telling you all about their product and how much of a bargain it is.

Now what God is saying here through Isaiah is, “Come and buy without any money.” What a Bargain! Now it really should not come as a surprise that we are told to come and buy without money because with Jesus Christ the gifts offered us are invaluable and no price can be set upon them. Wisdom is that which cannot be gotten for gold. Jesus makes us these proposals, not because He has occasion to sell, but because He has a disposition to give. We understand that the things offered are already bought and paid for. Christ purchased them at the full value, not with money, but with His precious blood. Because of this wonderful bargain we have gained the most precious of all gifts, eternal salvation with heaven as my home. I am forever grateful for Amazing Grace!

In our Scripture text we are presented with something completely different. We are encouraged to come and buy without any money. Now that is what I call a Bargain! Now it should come as no surprise that we are told to come and buy without money because I can tell you right here and right now that with Jesus Christ;

  • The gifts offered us are invaluable and no price can be set upon them. Wisdom is that which cannot be gotten for gold.
  • He makes us these proposals, not because He has occasion to sell, but because He has a disposition to give.
  • That the things offered are already bought and paid for. Christ purchased them at the full value, not with money, but with His precious blood.
  • And because of this wonderful bargain I have gained the most precious of all gifts, eternal salvation with heaven as my home. I am forever grateful for Amazing Grace!

I want you to know that the Lord is sending out an invitation to you to come and be filled with the goodness of His word. And if He is inviting you, you can rest assured that He will pour His word out into your heart to satisfy every longing that you might have.

An Invitation is Extended

Isaiah begins this chapter with not only an invitation, but it is also a declaration of God’s heart for humanity.

God desires a deeper relationship with you right now, so much so that He calls out to all who hear!

Isa 55:1

Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

MEV

 Who is the invitation given to? It’s not for everybody, only to those who are thirsty… The Bible contains stories about people who were thirsty. As Israel wandered about in the desert they often complained about not having enough water to drink. They were physically thirsty.

In John chapter 4 we see Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman at the town well. As He asked her for a drink a conversation was begun and He told her in

John 4:13-14

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”

MEV

Israel and this woman had one thing in common – they were looking for satisfaction in the natural realm. What God wants to offer is satisfaction in the spiritual realm. Have you ever done that? Have you ever searched for satisfaction or meaning to your life by looking to satisfy the natural longings of the body? Isaiah says you should first come to the spiritual waters that the Father has to offer. It is only when you are spiritually filled that you can find true satisfaction.

The purpose of the Invitation is that.

 Isa 55:2-3

Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Listen, so that your soul may live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

MEV

God is establishing a new covenant with His people. This covenant will be made through the One who will sit on David’s throne forever. That’s referring to Jesus. The only way that you may have “life” that is mentioned in verse 3 is through a relationship with Jesus. The question raised by Isaiah is, “Why are you wasting your money and your energy chasing after something that only brings death when God is offering life?”

 Isa 55:4-5

See, I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Surely you shall call a nation that you do not know, and nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

MEV

There is a problem that not only exists in the world today, but also in the church. In the world people are trying to “find themselves” in things or experiences. In the church people know that they need Jesus, but the problem is that they want to pay something for what God offers freely through His Son.

Isa 55:6

6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.

MEV

Complacency and compromise can hurt a people very much, but for the people of God it is devastating. Although there is plenty of opportunity to have fun in our Christian walk, we cannot take lightly our pursuit of Jesus! We must be God chasers!

Jer 29:11-14

11 For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you shall call upon Me, and you shall come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You shall seek Me and find Me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will turn away your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord.

MEV

It may be the hardest thing that some will ever do but seeking the Lord is the best thing anyone could ever do.

 Acts 2:21

21 And whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’[a]

MEV

Isa 55:7

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

MEV

An invitation is given to all who are thirsty, come to the water!

Why?

Have you ever wondered why God does things the way He does? Have you ever said, “If I was God I would have called the smartest, most handsome, gifted speaker, great debater, skilled writer, skinny guy and with wavy hair.

But you see God is not looking for those qualifications, He is looking for those who are thirsty!

Isa 55:8

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.

MEV

This is way we must be people of the spirit, because the closer we come to knowing God and being filled with His spirit, the more we will have the mind of Christ!

Why does God pour out His spirit on you and me? So that the lost might be saved, the sick healed, that the blind might see, that the dead might be raised to life, that the captives might be set free, that the oppressed might be delivered, and that signs and wonders would follow those who believe!

Isa 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

MEV

We live in a day and time where church leaders believe they can control how a worship service will go from the parking lot to the platform and every aspect of how it should be. But I tell you this morning my friends, no one can control the sovereignty of the living God!

The key dynamic to life in any church is its relationship to God the Holy Spirit. We must desire His fellowship, leadership, anointing, and manifestation. The importance of the work of the Holy Spirit cannot be overemphasized. There must be an emphasis upon the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit and the anointing by the Spirit.

1 Cor 2:9-10

But as it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”[a] 10 But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

MEV

Why should we respond to the invitation of God?

A Promise is Made

Everything that we talked about in the previous points is leading up to this.

Isa 55:10-11

10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

MEV

What an amazing promise from God. My word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

In Acts chapter 3 there is one of my favorite stories, because it is very close to me personally. Peter and John are going to the temple at the time of prayer. They see a man who has been lame since his birth asking for money at the Beautiful Gate…

Peter tells Him, “Silver and gold have I none but what I do have I give to you… in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth get up and walk.” The man was healed. You remember don’t you?

 Acts 3

11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the entrance that is called Solomon’s Porch, greatly amazed. 12 When Peter saw it, he answered the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Or why do you stare at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16 And His name, by faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. And faith which comes through Him has given him perfect health in your presence.

MEV

You see, we can’t rely on our faith as the power, but our power is in the One in whom we put our faith. Our faith is the catalyst that releases that power to work on our behalf. It is God who works miracles because of our faith in Jesus’ name.

It is God who heals. It is God who saves. It is God who casts out demons. It is God who delivers. It is God who sets the captives free.

And it happens when those who are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ stand in faith in Jesus’ name and trust God’s word to accomplish what it was sent forth to do.

Isa 55:12-13

12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills     shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

MEV

When every promise that God has given us is put into action and the promise received will tell the world about God’s power that is working in the world today. The results of God’s promises are a testimony to His nature. That is why God confirms His word with signs and wonders – so the world can see His true nature.

Conclusion: Today the Lord is asking: Do you need a healing touch in your body and do you believe that God is able?  Does anyone need a financial miracle and has the faith to trust God for that miracle, call upon the name of the Lord. Do you need emotional healing and have the faith to believe God for it? Do you need to be set free from addictions of any kind and are willing to trust God’s word for it?

Do you trust Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit – or to be refilled for power? Finally- have you trusted God for eternal life and if not are you willing to do so? God’s word is available to refresh today and the Lord is saying, “Come all you who are thirst.”