Sunday, February 28, 2016

Empowered and Free 8

"5.     Jesus came to save you, give you eternal life and set you free.
Jesus saves you
Romans 10:9-13
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him form the dead, thou shalt be saved.
V10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
V11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.
V12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
V13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 Jesus gives to you eternal life.
John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jesus sets you free.
John 8:32 + 36
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
V36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Just think about these things that Jesus did for you and what this freedom really means.

Sometimes you think of being free in Christ as being free from this or that and it does. 

You are set free from sin
You are set free from the penalty of sin
You are free from the power of sin over your life
You are free from satan’s stronghold
you are free from your past sins
You are free from the law of sin and death

But what Jesus did was more than just set you free from, Jesus set you free to:
You are free to come to the throne of God, boldly
You are free to ask God for anything
You are free to be yourself
You are free to worship God directly, without a mediator
You are free to worship in the spirit, in fact required

you are free from and free to, so that you can be empowered by God for the great things He has before you. 

Think about what Jesus has done for you.  Can you imagine that there is any chance that Jesus:
1.     Would come directly to His people.
2.     receive anyone who will answer His call. 
3.     Fit you to receive all the gifts of the Spirit.
4.     Bless you with everything you need.
5.     Save you, give you eternal life, and set you free
Thinking that you wouldn’t be recognized as children of the living God?

As children of the living God, Jesus wants you to be easily recognized.

Empowered and free is what you are. 

Now you need to go out into the world and let the Shekinah glory of God, that is in you be revealed to others. 

Jesus did what He did for you so that there could be no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are a child of the living God."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Empowered and Free 7

"And that brings us to the fourth thing Jesus did for you.
4.     All of God’s blessings, all of God Himself is given to His children        because of what Jesus did for us.
Luke 7:22-23
“Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
V23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”
  • Jesus wouldn’t come to you
  • Call you out of darkness into the light
  • Fit you for spiritual gifts
And not bless you with everything He created.

God knows that to empower you, He would have to bless you.
God knows what you need to be full of joy.
God knows that He must do it, that you cannot bring your own blessings.
God knows how to give good blessings to His children.
God has prepared this whole universe for you.

You have to be careful and not perseverate on the things you haven’t received from God.  Your hope is not in the things that have passed, but in the things to come.  God’s promises are not for yesterday, but for tomorrow. 
You want to get into the practice of applying your faith to believe to receive all that God has for you.

You are not offended in Jesus.  You are blessed in Jesus.  The name of Jesus sends joy and peace down into your soul.  You call on the name of Jesus because you know that it is this name that sets you free. Do you believe that? 

Note: I know for many good Christian people that they have never experienced with understanding that God, in the person of The Holy Spirit lives inside them. God's home is your soul. If God is that close and cares that much about you and you don't feel it or get it and God seems more like a figurehead for the church to you; have you contemplated why you feel this way? It is because of conditioning from the church. People, not that close to the Lord are teaching people how to get close to the Lord. People having never entered the Holy of Holies are training people how to get into the Holy of Holies. It has always been God and you and it always will be God and you. What are you going to do about that?

And that brings us to the fifth thing Jesus did for you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Empowered and Free 6

"Which brings us to the third thing that Jesus did for you.
3.     God, through Jesus Christ, has fitted us to receive all the gifts   of the Spirit.

Think of it this way.  God is the potter and you are the clay.  Just as God has made each of us with our own signature, thumb print, character, personality, talents and skills, God fits us and fills us with  His gifts as it pleases Him, And it pleases Him to fill you completely, lacking nothing. 

As you open your hearts to Him and let Him have more and more of yourself, God fills you with more and more of Himself, reserving nothing.  God wants His people empowered.  And He made sure that you would be empowered by sending the Holy Spirit to live within you.  This way nobody can get in the way and mess it up.  Nobody can get closer to you than the Holy Spirit already is. 

All of God’s blessings are available to you at all times.  You must believe God for this to happen.  You must lay aside untruths that have confined us to a powerless life.  God has empowered you by abiding in you.

And that brings us to the fourth thing that Jesus did for you."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Empowered and Free 5

"The first thing Jesus did for you, we’ve already talked about.
1.     Jesus came directly to His people, (NO MEDIATOR             REQUIRED).
1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ”

Jesus came to His people personally.  He came to every man and woman and received them openly.  No longer would God trust any religious order to represent Him.  He represented Himself. 

God, through the Father and now in the Spirit comes to you without a mediator. 

Even though God set up His church to have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and others, to:
Administer the sacraments
Preach the gospel
Tell forth the truth
And teach the tenets of faith
No longer would they, (the prophets, pastors, teachers), do this work as a mediator, but as a servant.
God did this so that His people, (you and I), would have a group of servants lifting them up, not the other way around.
God would make sure that this time, His people would have the pre-eminence over His servants.  God wants His people to be empowered and free, not bound and gagged. 

As a child of God, you already have the potential to do mighty things for God, to heal, to prophesy, do miracles or anything else that God will call you to. 

God will give you the education, the power, the passion, the persistence, the ability to do whatever HE has fitted you for.

Is it because you are good enough? No
Is it because you are fully prepared? No
Is it because you are great? No
Is it because you are especially smart? No

Although there is nothing wrong with any of these attributes, God is going to give you what you need because you are here.  Just like Jesus chose His disciples, He chooses you and I.  He came directly to them and He comes directly to you. Jesus has already done that in your life. What did you answer Him when He called you; that's what you should be thinking about." 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Empowered and Free 4

"Now, two-thousand years later and history has repeated itself.  The vast majority of our religious leaders have re-interpreted what Jesus did and made it into a complex and cumbersome religious system.

And because our religious leaders have gone along with this antiquated, and not God ordained system, some of us started to believe in the same thing. 
Do this, do that.
Don’t do this, don’t do that.
Finish this, finish that.
Jump through this hoop, jump through that hoop.
Not until this, not until that can you be close to God.

Again, just like in the past, many in leadership don’t want you and I to know just how free we are.  There is still a fear among church leaders that if you knew how free you were, you would stop doing some things out of duty.  And they are right.

You might stop going to church out of duty.
You might stop helping others out of duty.
You might stop tithing out of duty.
They are afraid that you will leave them.

And they are right.  When Jesus sets you free.
You go to church because you desire to, not because you have to.
You help others because you see God helping you and you want to share what you have.
You give 100% of yourself to God and you give it with a cheerful heart, not 10% out of duty.
And they will leave you because they were never yours in the first place.  They, (you and I) were always of Jesus, not of Pastor such and such.  And not to bash Pastors, because I are one.  But you are God’s children, not mine.

Jesus came to set His people free, and to assure that they would be free, He did five new things. 
And to this day these five things were set in order, so that no longer would there be any reason for anyone not to receive all that God has for them."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Empowered and Free 3

"Jesus rebuked the leaders of His people, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Priest.  Jesus rebuked them for complicating what could have been a simple, trusting relationship with God.

By the time that Jesus came to earth the religious leaders had developed a system with more than 100 sub-laws for every law of God.  The Religious leaders wanted everyone to go through a long and arduous process to get closer to God.  More duty, more rules, more obligations would guarantee that they could hold on to their positions.  Jesus was fed up and changed the world forever.
  • Jesus rebuked them.
  • He re-organized His people
  • Called them the Church.
  • Paid for their sins.
  • Filled them with God.
  • Empowered them to live by faith.
  • And set them free.
Jesus chose a group of men and women to follow Him.
The ones that said yes became His disciples and followers.
Not because they had taught Sunday School for twenty years.
Not because they did all the right things.
Not because they were the prettiest.
Not because they knew the right people.

Jesus called them because they were there.  And the ones that said YES.  They became His people. Are you getting this?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Empowered and Free 2

"When Jesus called the disciples, He called them from different backgrounds, from different levels of intellect, from different characters and personalities. 

Because they were great, intelligent, well studied, faithful in all things, kind and generous??? NO. It was because they were there.  It is obvious that the only pre-qualification needed to have Jesus call you and bless you is that we are here.  God calls you from where you are to where He is.

History has a way of repeating itself.
Let me tell you a little history story.

In Old Testament times, God set up a system for His people that was simple. 
This system was easy to understand and easy to follow. 
The religious leaders started to re-interpret what God had said, and over time, they built their own system that was complex and cumbersome. 
They set up a series of tasks or hoops, as you might call them, that the people would have to jump through in order for God to bless them, i. e., The people. 

It was so complex and cumbersome, that by the time Jesus came to earth, the very ones that were prophesying Jesus’s coming didn’t even recognize the signs of their own prophesy nor did they recognize Jesus Himself."

Empowered and Free 1

"Sermon - Empowered and free

I wish that there was a formula that we could follow that would supply us with the merits so we could come before God and say, “Lord, I’ve completed the course, I have all the documentation together, and here I am, worthy to be empowered and set free."

In our humanness some of us would really like it to work this way.  We do a certain amount of things, follow a certain set of rules and wala, we receive from God.

We want everyone else to go through the same things that we did too.  We want others to have the same experience we had.  We want them to study as much as we have.  We want them to work as hard as we did.

"Lord, I have been working for you for two decades and I haven’t received what they have, and they have just recently been saved."

Some of us think: Why, the thought of someone coming to Jesus, getting saved, getting filled with the Holy spirit and getting blessed without measure is unfair, it’s suppose to take years or even decades.  It did for me!!! 
Let’s see what Jesus has to say about it.
Matthew 20:1-15

Over the years, we have developed a works philosophy.  We have tried to disguise it, but we have started to go the way of the Sadducees and the Pharisees and the Priest.  And yet scripture clearly reveals to us that God calls people from where they are.

 God calls you to:
cleanse you
fill you
empower you
and free you
God calls you to give to you Himself freely.

God gives to the one who has worked one hour the same wages as the one who has worked 12 hours.  That is not how we would do it, but it is how God does it."

Friday, February 12, 2016

Don't Wait 6

"Now you know what to do for others, but what do you do for yourself, if you are one of those who have made excuses and turned away.  This principle doesn’t just apply to salvation, it applies to every phase of your life that God calls you to be His voice and His feet.  

You musn’t wait to say yes when God calls.  
It’s not for God that God wants you to obey Him.  
It’s for you.  
It’s not that God isn’t patient toward you, it’s that God knows that every second you aren’t following Him you are turning away.  

God knows that when you say no, you will be out of God’s will.
If you aren’t in God’s timing you are in for much trouble.

God has been speaking to you everyday, through the word, through music, through teaching, through your friends and family.  The message you must have for others and the message God has for you is Don’t wait.

Don’t wait to say Yes to God.
Don’t wait to call whomever God has put on your heart.
Don’t wait to pray for whomever God has placed in your heart.
Don’t wait to forgive someone.
Don’t wait to ask forgiveness.
Don’t wait to confess to God whatever He is asking of you.
Don’t wait to spend quantity time with your kids.
Don’t wait to love on your wife.
Don’t wait to mend fences.

These are just a few of the things God is speaking to you about.  

By waiting to move on what God calls you to, or making excuses why you can’t come when you are called, you tarnish God’s image.  

If you moved when you were called by God, those who did not come when they were called would have had far less excuse.  If you were answering God’s call to follow Him every time you heard Him:
  • You wouldn’t be without
  • Your bills would be paid
  • You would be helping others when they are in need
  • Those within your sphere of influence would have their needs met
  • Others prayers would be answered
  • Your prayers would be answered
Note: I sense you don't like this last list. Tell me why?
           Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Don't Wait 5

"Matthew 13:18-23
“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 
V19 When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandet it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.  This is he which received seed by the way side.
V20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the a\same is he that heareth the word, a anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it.
V21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
V22 He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word; and care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
V23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Why is it so hard for those who have said no to God to come and say yes  at a later time?  There are three examples Jesus gives us, the excuses are a little different, but the end result is the same

The first example are those who heard the word - The call of God.
They didn’t understand it - satan comes along, tweaks it a little, makes it pallitable and they build a personal religion on it.

Because there was no one there:
discipling them
Teaching them
mentoring them
praying for them
fellowshipping with them
training them

The second example are those who heard the word - the call of God.
They received it with joy for a short time - but tribulation and persecution come along and they are not at all prepared for this.  Non one told them, they were offended and turned away.

Because there was no one there:
discipling them
Teaching them
mentoring them
praying for them
fellowshipping with them
training them

The third example are those who heard the word - the call of God.
But they didn’t want to change anything.  They found out about the sacrifice and discipline and they, like the rich young ruler turned away sad, but turned away.
I’ll bet you can guess where I am going with this.

Because there was no one there:
discipling them
Teaching them
mentoring them
praying for them
fellowshipping with them
training them

So what about those who have been called of God and turned away? What can you do for them?

First let’s be honest with them and tell them the whole story.  Let’s tell them don’t wait any longer, like those who were bidden to dinner and made excuses.

Then let’s:
disciple them
Teach them
mentor them
pray for them
fellowship with them
train them

 Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Don't Wait 4

"Phillipians 3:7-9
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 
V8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
V9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

I know that for a long time we have heard it said, “Just get them saved and God will do the rest.
What about discipling?
What about teaching?
What about mentoring?
What about praying?
What about fellowship?
What about training?
No one is going to follow Jesus for very long unless those who have made the call for God, ie., (those who bring someone to Christ), are following God.  And if you are following God you recognize it is your job, through the grace of God and the empowerment of the Holy spirit to reveal Christ to others.

Why would Jesus tell the rich young man, (and anyone else who has said no to the call), the one thing they didn’t want to hear?
Because Jesus knows what it is that is standing between you and Him.
To follow Jesus you are going to have to let something go and not many want to hear that message.  You can’t hide it from Jesus."

Note: As a society more and more pressure is being applied to keep quiet about Jesus. You can speak of anyone else without even a smirk, but just mention Jesus (even at church sometimes) and you will find that you are not received as being credible. Believe in anyone you want and you will be applauded, but talk about Jesus and even your friends and family will mock you; if not to your face then behind your back. When you are gone from the party they say; "I sure wish he wouldn't discuss his faith. Maybe next time we just won't invite him." Or "Why all this Jesus stuff? I'm a Christian and I don't go around talking about Jesus." I ask you, why not?           
          Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Don't Wait 3

"Let’s look at another example of what happens to those who procrastinate  making a decision for Jesus.

Mark 10:17-22
“Andwhen He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inheret eternal life? 
V18 And Jesus said unto Him, Why callest thou me good?  There is none good but one, that is, God. 
V19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 
V20 And he answered unto Hi, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 
V21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 
V22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

I wonder which it was that disappointed the rich young ruler the most?
Selling his riches and giving to the poor?
Taking up the cross and following Jesus?
But they go hand in hand.
I really admire Jesus for facing this rich young ruler with the truth.  Jesus didn’t preach easy believism to this young man.  Jesus told him the cost.

Here’s what Jesus really said to the rich young man and every one else that fits the category and rejects the call of God.
You’ve done well with your life
You’ve followed the law
You’ve been a good person
And you are obviously a religious man
  • But to follow me, you will have to give up who you are and you will have to trust me for your wealth. 
  • It will take sacrifice and discipline.
  • Those who love you will turn their backs on you.
  • Some of your friends and family will forsake you.
  • The religious will abandon you.
  • Everything you have built will be overturned.
  • You will have to trade in what you think has value for other treasures.
  • The government and the religious will think you are a traitor.
  • You will have to follow me into Jerusalem (anywhere) where I will be crucified for a crime I didn’t commit.
  • After that you will be persecuted, mocked, ridiculed and laughed at.
  • You will have to serve others.
  • You will have to relearn what you have been taught.
  • You will have to change: 
From first to last
From controlling to broken
From religious to righteous
And the rich young man and many others went away sad.

Had the rich young man and everyone else that has said no to Christ, accepted Christ they would have come to know the benefits of following Jesus.  They would have learned of the free gift of salvation and they would have understood that the cost is not to be compared to the benefits.

         Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Don't Wait 2

"That’s why I am sharing this message today.  I want you to feel with me the urgency of answering that call from God. 
Whatever it is:
Whether accepting Christ for the first time
Re-committing your life to Christ
Answering a call from God for a specific purpose in your life
Getting filled with the power of God for service
Or simply telling others about Christ.

Don’t wait.

Here’s why you can’t wait.  You are the voice of God.  You are the feet of God.  You are the closest that anyone will get to God before they are saved.  And the group that God has given you to work with - Those who have been called, those who made excuses and didn’t come, without you they might never seek and find.

The majority of people that you will witness to are of the group that have already been called and rejected Christ. 
The’ve already build a little world of their own
The’ve already designed a religion that works for them
The’ve already proved to everybody that they don’t need anybody
The’ve already become their own God

This group is hardened and prideful - Self-sufficient and quite often religious.  This group is difficult to win for Jesus.  I want you to feel with me the urgency of this personal ministry. 

God calls every person to accept the sacrifice of His Son as the payment for the penalty for our sins. 
But do you know who God uses to make the call? 
God uses you to make the call.  And if they make excuse and don’t come, God uses you to follow up, and if that doesn’t work God uses you to go the extra mile, until through example, persuasion, nurturing, admonition and love - that person says yes to Christ.
         Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Don't Wait 1

There are all kinds of messages that God gives you.
There are uplifting messages
There’s the thus sayeth the Lord messages
There’s teaching messages
And there’s timely messages
This is one of those timely messages

A while back I talked about your getting a call from God.  God calls you and God is satisfied with only one word from you; Yes.
Let's look at two words that God has for you and others concerning the answer of Yes to God, Don’t wait.

If you are serious about your relationship with God you need to get on with it. 
Luke 14:16-24
“Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
V17 And sent His servant at supper time to say to them that were bideen, Come; for all things are now ready. 
V18 And they with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto Him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 
V19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 
V20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 
V21 So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things.  Then the Master of the house being angry said to His servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 
V22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet ther is room. 
V23 And the Lord said unto His servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 
V24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

It has been my experience that God has been very gracious and merciful, generous and patient with each of us, but the message here is clear.  You know from scripture and experience that God offers the gift of salvation to everyone that has breath.  Therefore, theoretically, its never too late to receive Christ, at least until you die.

So why the harsh treatment of those who were bidden, but made excuses and didn’t come when they were called?

I no more asked the question, that I received the answer. 

God knows you.  God knows how hard it is for a man or woman to come to Him, after they have been called and made excuses why they couldn’t come.

It is no small thing to reject the Son of God.  God knows how you are.  He knows that once you say no:
You will fight it with all you have
Your pride swells up, you become;
self-sufficient - self-reliant - self-taught - self-everything
You will grow strong in yourself to the point where you think you
need nothing and no one

It’s one thing to say yes to God when He calls - to confess of your sins, repent and by faith accept Christ. 
But if you say no:
You build a little world of your own
You design a religion that works for you
You prove to everybody that you don’t need anybody
You become your own God
God knows that after you reject Him - to confess of your sins, repent and by faith accept Christ takes one more step.  You have to swallow your pride if you are to make progress with God.  Many people will go to their grave because of pride."

Excerpt from Don't Wait by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mystery or Mastery 10

"Each time you come into the inner court you run the risk of becoming more pure.                 
Each time you come into the inner court, more about who you are is unveiled.

That’s why so many of God's people stop going into the inner court.  They are unwilling to be filled with the presence of God - even though the presence of God is the greatest excellence they have ever encountered.  They stop coming into the inner court when they found out that:
·           They must lay down their titles
·           They must become blind to race
·           They must lay aside their prejudices
·           They must check their baggage at the door - and that isn’t
easy, as most of us rather enjoy dragging it around with us as security in case things don’t work out with God.

At the inner court you become equal with those in whom you rather enjoy holding down - the same ones you think so little of.

At the inner court you are consumed by God and unable to hate or cause distress in others lives.  Forgiveness is mandatory and must be presented at the door. 

You can tell a real encounter this way.  When you leave the inner court, what you left at the door going in, stays there.  It’s the one way you know. 

See we really do prefer mystery over mastery.

Mystery allows you to hide behind the veil.
Mastery tears the veil down.

Mystery keeps secret your indiscretions 

Mastery unveils them and renews you into a "new man"

Mystery looks for loopholes (even in the Word of God) so you
can get away with things, biblically so to speak.

Mastery believes every Word and faces the responsibility to
alter all that is not in alignment with the express will of God

Mystery is endorsed by religion.
Mastery is endorsed by the Holy Spirit.

Mystery is being packaged as spiritual food by those willing to sell anything if there is profit in it.
Mastery is never sold and can only be found by faith.

From now on I want mystery unfolded, even if it means God is unveiling more of me because I also know and trust that God is cleansing me.

From now on I want to master those things that have eluded me in times past.  All for the glory of God.

I am going to Let God be God and get on with my calling.
How about you?

 Excerpt from Mystery or Mastery by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016