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Monthly Archives: October 2012

10/29/12 – “LOVING LIFE AND SEEING GOOD DAYS”

1 Pet. 3:10 For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.
1 Pet. 3:11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.

If you are looking for the “good life” I have your answer on where to find it and how to experience good days. God desires for us to enjoy the life we have been given, and He desires for us to have good days. If this were not so then we would not have such a promise as this in 1 Peter found in the Bible. We all know that life presents its challenges because of the fall of Adam, but that does not mean we can’t experience a life filled with the goodness of God and enjoy what God has for us. The keys are found right here in these two verses of scriptures. We will examine these keys this week as we learn what these scriptures reveal as to what we can do to enjoy good days here on earth.

1. Refrain your tongue from evil.

Prov. 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

I just addressed this issue last week in my Weekly Wisdom article. There are many verses on the tongue and the importance of our words. Here in Proverbs 15:4 we see another verse about our words that talks about speaking wholesome words, not words that are perverse or evil. Wholesome words are a tree of life. This is a reference to a tree that has fruit, which provides life and health through the nutrients that come from its fruit. That is what our tongues are like. When we say things that are godly, filled with the life of God, that is what we feed off of for we hear those words. Our words are either feeding us life or death as scripture reveals life and death are in the power of the tongue.

But when we speak perverse words, words that go contrary to what God’s Word says, then we are speaking that which is evil. Doing so does not build up our spirit man, but in fact breaks us down. Think of any situation where what you or someone else said instantly changed the atmosphere around you. How does one refrain their tongue from evil? James 1:19-20 tells us one of the things we need to do in keeping our tongue from evil. Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and therefore slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

We so often just immediately speak without thinking first of what we are saying and how we are saying it. Doing so often results in saying something that we will then later regret. You must purpose to listen first before you speak, even when you are by yourself. We hear ourselves speak more than anyone else. Speaking things that are contrary to God’s Word does not strengthen our faith; in fact it weakens our faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If we learn to deal with and get control over our words then we are well on the way to a good life. Your words will build you up, or they will tear you down.

Mark 4:24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.

Jesus also teaches us that we must take heed to “what” we are hearing. Whatever the measure is of what you are hearing, that determines what will be measured to you. If you are listening to a lot of things that are not godly, worldly television shows, worldly media, etc., then that is what you are going to speaking. I don’t think Christians often realize how much of what they hear is in fact impacting what they say. You must stop speaking evil with your tongue. To do that you must train yourself to become good at being quick to hear, slow to speak, and pay attention to what you are listening to (feeding on), for what you feed on will come out of your mouth and produce like fruit.

2. Refrain your lips from speaking deceit.

It should be obvious why this would keep us from seeing good days. To speak words of deceit is to say things in which you are trying to mislead people. There are a couple of reasons why this will come back to rob you of a good life. First and foremost you are going to reap what you sow. If you are sowing words that are misleading people, then you are going to reap the same. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7). Often people think that what they do to others they can get away with, but there is coming a payday and when that happens you won’t be happy.

The other reason you need to refrain from speaking deceit to see good days is because this would be an act of sin. Scripture reveals that your sin will find you out. There will be a time when people will begin to recognize your misleading speech. That will not only hurt your reputation with them, but will do so with others as well. You will become someone who is labeled as being untrustworthy. People will know they cannot trust what you say. This will certainly not lead to good days. So you must be careful of what you say. If you are someone who speaks misleading things continually you need to get before God and deal with yourself and your heart. If you heart is not right then your words will not be right either.

3. Turn from evil and do good.

Eph. 4:27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

In this life we will face enough temptations to do evil without even trying, so one thing we should definitely not do is be pursuing evil on purpose. Whenever we do not choose to turn from that which is evil we are giving the devil an opportunity in our life to do harm. Realize that he cannot just waltz into your life and do whatever he wants. He looks for ways to infiltrate our life through weaknesses he can exploit. So to turn away from evil we must also have an understanding of what our weaknesses are. If you obviously have a heart to follow after God then you are not someone who wants to live in willful sin.

One of the most important keys to turning from evil and doing good has to do with who your friends are. Scripture reveals that the righteous choose their friends carefully for even the wicked lead them astray. You see this all the time where wrong associations with the wrong kind of people have a bad effect on the believer. Sinners don’t see the type of “good days” the believer has available to them, for they don’t know God. Knowing God and walking close to Him will certainly have a major impact on how you see your days in this life. When we get to know God we come to know that which is good, God Himself. This begins to influence how we look upon life. It is hard to get close with God and not begin to experience the good life God has for you.

Rom. 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Another key to turning from evil and doing good comes from continually renewing of our minds. James tells us the mind (our soul) is not saved. A mind renewed is a mind subdued. If you keep your mind renewed to the Word of God as Paul states here in Romans 12 then you will prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. You will not turn from evil as you should if you do not take the time to consistently renew your mind. As a man thinks, so is he. A renewed mind brings good days for you get a completely different picture on life through the Word.

4. Seek peace and pursue it.

Is. 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Last but not least to see good days we need to seek peace both for ourselves and with others as well. Isaiah reveals a powerful truth about seeking peace for yourself. Keep your mind stayed on God and He will keep you in perfect peace. When you have the peace of God that comes from within manifested in your life good days will be seen. Peace with God is without a doubt one of the most powerful things we have as a believer.

When we seek peace with one another we are not trying to stir up strife or division. The Bible teaches us that where there is strife and division the first thing that comes is confusion, and then every evil work. Clearly this type of lifestyle will not be a good one. When confusion is present the enemy moves in and there will be no resolve, just more turmoil. We must as scripture teaches choose to walk in love, treating others the way we want to be treated, no matter how they have treated us. Just remember Jesus did not deserve to die, for He had done nothing wrong. When it comes to issues that don’t involve our spiritual outcome in life we need to learn to give up the right to be right. Trying to prove your point will only lead to more strife and division.

So learn to follow these four simple yet powerful truths and you too will love life and see good days. We have a God who desires this for you. Sure life will still present it’s challenges, but when you know God you have all you need to be victorious in this life and see the good days God has for you!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10/22/12 – “DON’T SIN WITH YOUR MOUTH”

James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.

James 3:2 We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. NLT

One of the most important factors that affects our lives is our words. There is no doubt as scripture is quite clear that what we say will have an impact on the direction our life goes. James chapter three addresses this issue revealing that the tongue is like a rudder on a ship. That rudder is going to determine the direction that ship goes. He also relates it to a bridle in a horse’s mouth that determines the direction that horse goes as well.

If we want our lives to go the direction that God has for us, we must learn to speak words of faith. Faith of course is totally based on God’s Word. What many may not know is that when we don’t speak words of faith but instead speak words that oppose God’s Word, we are in fact sinning with our mouths. To better explain this, just realize what sin is defined as.

Sin is missing the mark with God. Think for example of a marksman who has a goal of hitting the bull’s eye on a target. If the goal is to hit the bull’s eye but he misses it, he has missed his mark. If a sailor sets sail from one country and the goal or mark of where he wanted to wind up was in another specific country or port but he winds up somewhere else, he has missed the mark. So it is with sin. The goal God has for us in walking by faith is to hit the mark, which is not just doing what His Word says, but experiencing the kind of life He has for us. But a key factor for that to happen is based on what we are saying.

Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Clearly we see the impact of our words on our life. Death and life are the result of what we are saying. Death could include physical and of course eternal death, but one of the key meanings to death refers to not walking in the God-kind of life, which is what life is really all about. True life means we are not walking separated from God, nor from what God desires for us. This is why our words are so important. There are some who think you are exaggerating the issue when talking about the importance of what we say, but scripture is clear about this subject and if we want to experience life we must stop sinning with our mouth.

Rom. 14:23b Anything that is not done in faith is sin.

Here is why I refer to not sinning with your mouth. Notice here in Romans 14:23b that this clearly states anything that is not done in faith is therefore sin. Remember sin is missing the mark. Does God have a mark He wants us to hit in this life? Absolutely. Does God have goals He wants us to reach? No doubt He does. If we don’t hit that mark or reach those goals that is sin, or missing the mark. The more we hit the mark the more successful we will become as believers.

How do we hit the mark with our words? By declaring the Word of God which Proverbs four tells us is full of the life of God. How do we miss the mark with our words? By speaking things over our life that do not line up with what God’s Word says. The more we do we are turning that rudder the wrong direction, which is going to lead us off course and put us somewhere we don’t want to be. There are several key factors to discuss here about this. The first is the fact that one who walks by faith does not deny the existence of a problem.

Rom. 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

Look carefully at this statement that is made in the latter part of this verse of scripture. God calls those things which do not exist as though they did. This is in reference to God changing Abrams name to Abraham. God told Abraham at the age of 90 that he and Sarah would have a child. She had been barren and therefore unable to have children. God did not deny this fact, but God gave Abraham a word to change this. It was a fact that Abraham was rather old to be having children, and it was a fact that Sarah had been barren and unable to have children, but the truth spoke. There is a difference between a fact and the truth.

Not sinning with you mouth does not mean you don’t ever say what your situation is now. Faith does not deny the existence of a problem, but faith denies it’s right to stay that way when that situation is contrary to what God said is so. Faith therefore is not like Christian Science saying for example that neither sickness nor disease exist, faith simply states a truth from the Word of God that can change that fact. But when you speak in faith you don’t continue to emphasize the problem, you begin to emphasize the truth through your words.

This is what God did with Abraham. When God came to Abraham his name was Abram, God changed his name. When God changed his name to Abraham He did so for a very important reason. Abraham means a father of a multitude. This is exactly what God had said that He (God) would make Abraham. To do so God had to get Abraham speaking forth what God had promised, which is life. Once He got Abraham declaring what God promised, God was then able to work in and through Abraham to bring it to pass. We must first speak God’s Word before God can fulfill it in our life.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

This is another very important truth that has to do with speaking words of faith and not sinning with our mouth. First I want to draw your attention to the last part of the verse. Notice that it says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So when we refer to not sinning with our mouth realize that there are still going to be times when we may in a difficult moment say something we should not say. Because we still have a fleshly nature this is going to happen. The key here in not sinning with our mouth is in what are we saying the most. What is consistently coming out of our mouth? If it is not God’s Word we are not speaking in faith.

It is what we consistently say that is going to have a long-term effect on our life. Someone who in a moment of pain or turmoil says something they should not say this does not mean now your course in life is going to be changed to go that direction. We should never use our flesh to make excuses for areas in our life that we have not done our part to bring that under control. The apostle Paul stated that he died daily. But at the same time a word spoken out of a fleshly moment does not mean that we will not reach our goal of where God wants to take us. If we do get in the flesh for a moment then we simply need to repent and get back on track. If we have carnal fleshly issues to overcome then we need to get into the Word and prayer and overcome them.

James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

So what then is the key to keep from sinning with our mouths? James tells us here in chapter three that no man can tame the tongue. This means we are not going to change what we are saying by only using our minds to try and control what comes out of our mouth. That would be us trying to correct our words by natural means only. The key comes back to something that Jesus said in Luke 6:45.

Notice He talks about a man having either a good treasure or a bad treasure in his heart. Treasure is referring to what you are storing up. You are not going to change your words to line up with God’s Word just through your mind alone. If you are going to change your words you must change what you are storing up in your heart. If you are going to feed on nothing but the things of this world through the different forms of media and through wrong friends, you are treasuring up that which is evil. But if you spend time in the Word of God, God’s house, and around godly friends then you are going to store up that which brings forth faith, God’s Word.

This is why in Proverbs four where scripture reveals that we are to guard our hearts because that is where the source of life comes from it is referring to what we are listening to and meditating on. What goes in your heart Jesus said will come out of your mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. If we are treasuring up the ways of the world and feeding on what the world says that will bring forth evil. We are going to hurt our life by sinning with our mouth. If we treasure up God’s Word in our hearts that will become evident for we will then begin to speak in line with God’s Word in our circumstances and daily life. This will lead to life, as our words are no longer missing the mark. So watch what you feed on. Get God’s Word stored up in your heart and keep doing so. It will cause you to speak in faith and not sin with your mouth.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10/15/12 – “GETTING FED AND REFRESHED IN GOD’S HOUSE”

Psa. 23:2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

The house of God is such a wonderful part of what the Lord has provided for us as a place where we can come and get fed, refreshed, built up, refocused, and blessed by God so we can go forth into the world each day fulfilling what God has for us. The house of God was totally God’s idea and is seen throughout scripture. Last week I talked about getting planted in the house of God, this week I want to cover how to come and get fed and refreshed when you come to God’s house.

In Psalm 23 I want to focus in on verse two revealing clearly that Jesus as our Shepherd wants us to come and lie down in green pastures, being fed the Word of God so that we can grow in our relationship with Him; and He wants us to be refreshed in His presence. These are two very important elements in coming to God’s house that we don’t want to miss out on, especially in these last days. We need to keep hearing the Word of God to grow our faith and get refocused on what is important for our life, and we need to experience the presence of the Lord, His anointing, so that we can continually keep the burdens of life lifted off of us and the yokes of bondage destroyed.

Jer. 3:15 And I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart [in the final time], who will feed you with knowledge and understanding and judgment.

I wanted to share this prophetic verse about the final time, which is the church age we are living in now in which the Lord declares through the prophet Jeremiah that He would give to us spiritual shepherds after His own heart who will feed us with knowledge and understanding and judgment. Realize to be properly fed and refreshed you need to be in a church where the Pastor has been called by God to shepherd His people, for if he has, then he has God’s heart for the church. He is going to feed you the Word of God and not just tickle people’s itching ears. He will, as Paul told Timothy, preach the whole counsel of God’s Word, ready in season and out, convincing, rebuking, exhorting, with all longsuffering and teaching (2 Tim. 4:2). This is what a God-given shepherd does.

1 Th. 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
1 Th. 5:13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

Realize just coming to church does not mean you are feeding on God’s Word, nor getting refreshed in His presence. There are some key factors that are involved. Here in these two verses we are going to see some very important keys to how we get fed and refreshed. The first is to recognize those who are over you in the Lord and teach you. That would be your Pastor, and would include the leadership in your church. To recognize them means you acknowledge them as a gift from the Lord just as Ephesians 4:8, 11 tell us.

Any shepherd who has been given by the Lord to the body has a gift on their life to pastor you. If we do not receive the gift on that person to pastor us we are not going to get fed. Satan works continually to get you to reject the gift Christ has given to you. He will work to get you upset about something he has said or done. You may disagree with a decision he has made, or something he has preached on, but if your Pastor is from the Lord and therefore teaching the Word of God to you, then you need to receive them if you are going to be fed by them.

No believer should think that they are always going to agree with their Pastor. Pastors are people too and they grow just like the rest of the body of Christ should grow. As long as they are not getting off into heresy, teaching doctrines completely contrary to Christ, then you must realize that you won’t always agree with your Pastor. There are times you will come to realize later on that things you may not have agreed with as you grow you will. Remember we are not fully-grown yet spiritually, and that means at times we are going to get challenged from the Word of God. For us to get in the flesh and upset with our Pastor is going to hinder our ability to grow up.

We are also to esteem them very highly in love for their works sake. The body that the shepherd is pasturing is his works sake. Simply put, if you esteem your Pastor highly in love for helping you, then you are not going to make it difficult for your Pastor to shepherd you. You are going to receive God’s Word with gladness, and continue to respect, love, and honor the gift on your Pastors life to shepherd you. Now notice also in the last part of verse 13 above it tells us to be at peace among ourselves. This is another key to being fed every time you come to church.

If you come to God’s house and you are always focused on and upset about what someone else may have said to you, or what someone else may have done to you, you are not going to be attentive to what God is trying to say. Realize that everyone in the body is still growing and dealing with things in their life. It is easy to get judgmental about others when you are not seeing things from their perspective. You have not walked in their shoes, so you don’t even know what they are dealing with.

The devil works continually to get us upset either with our Pastor, or with others in the church. He does so to rob from us. Remember he only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is out to rob you of the green pastures the Lord has awaiting you when you come to church. What you don’t want to do to allow him in robbing you of your feeding time is to get you walking out of love toward others, or being the one who is trying to muddy up the waters at church. If you are coming to the house of the Lord and your conversations with others have to do with what you don’t like, agree with, or talking about other people in the church in a negative way, you are going to not only hinder your ability to be blessed, but you can hinder someone else from getting blessed as well.

1 Cor. 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
1 Cor. 3:2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
1 Cor. 3:3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

To receive the feeding God has for you in His house you need to be able to receive solid food, and not just the milk of the Word. To receive solid food you must not be carnal, or in others words controlled by your flesh. Notice Paul declares here that the Corinthians were not ready for solid food because they were still walking in envy, strife, and divisions. This is still a problem for believers today. Notice he tells them those who do so are behaving like mere men. Once born again we are to grow in God and become more spiritual, no longer dominated by our carnal nature and thus living like mere men.

Realize to come to God’s house and to spend your time talking about someone else stirring up strive and division among church family members over things you don’t like about them, or things they may have done that offended you, this is only going to hinder your ability to be feed the meat of God’s Word. Not only is this going to have a negative effect on you receiving personally, this is also going to have a negative effect on those you get into that same conversation with. Such type of behavior never produces anything good and it is simply a work of the enemy to rob from us what God is trying to feed us with to grow us up.

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,…

One of the most important elements to God’s house is the opportunity we also have to come and get refreshed in the presence of the Lord. Once we are born again this is a part of what we can experience through the presence of the Holy Spirit working in our midst. There are several factors that are key to us coming and getting this refreshing from the still waters in the house of God. One key factor is our drawing near to Him. James said if we draw near to Him, He would draw near to us. The best way to see this is from what Jesus taught us in John chapter 4. He declared the true worshippers would worship God in spirit and in truth. Simply put they worship God from their hearts not their head, and they do so with sincerity desiring more of God.

A second key factor is we need to honor and respect the presence of the Lord. We need to learn to show God the reverence that is due Him so that we do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Remember God’s presence is what scripture calls the anointing. That anointing is what removes burdens from off of our life and destroys the yokes of bondage. We need to come to God’s house with a heart to seek Him, and not grieve the Holy Spirit.

So go to God’s house and get the feeding and refreshing God has for you. Learn to walk in love toward all people, have a heart to hear what God is saying to you through your shepherd. Press in to know God and honor His presence and you will be fed and refreshed every time you go to the house of the Lord!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10/8/12 – “PLANTED IN GOD’S HOUSE”

Psa. 92:13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.  

There is no doubt that God’s desire for us is that we flourish as children of God. To flourish means that we are blossoming, bringing forth godly fruit in and through our lives. One of the most important things in a believer’s life to see that happen is to get planted in the house of the Lord that God has for you. This is why satan has worked at getting people out of God’s house. The last thing that the devil wants is for believer’s to flourish and grow spiritually. So this week I want to talk about what it means to be planted in God’s house, and why this is so important to our spiritual growth.

I realize in addressing this issue you will always have those who will say they don’t need to go to church in order to develop spiritually, but that is not what the Word of God says. People can make up their own beliefs, but that does not change what God’s Word says. Whenever we begin to develop our own belief system that does not go along with the Word of God we are falling into idolatry. We are making a god to fit us. We may still think we are serving God, but as I have heard my Pastor, Dr. Barclay say many times, you can’t serve God the way you want to, you must serve God the way He said to if you are going to serve God.

1 Tim. 3:14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;
1 Tim. 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

The first thing I want to establish is the fact that scripture does speak of the house of God as a place where believers come together. There are also references to the fact that we as individual believers are also God’s house because He lives in us by way of the Holy Spirit, but as the above scriptures reveal we are also suppose to be a part of a local body of believer’s in the “house of God”, which is where we the church come together to build our lives on the truth of God’s Word.  Scripture again is clear that we are to be in God’s house with other believers. Paul was writing to a young pastor, Timothy, who was not only one of Paul’s spiritual sons, but also the pastor of the church of Ephesus. He was addressing the order that should take place within the house of God among the church, God’s people.

Eph. 4:11 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

The first key thing I want to address in how we get planted then in the house of God that the Lord has for us is what we are actually looking for. We are not to look for a church, we are to look for a pastor, a shepherd whom the Lord has anointed with the gift of a pastor to shepherd us and help us in our walk with God. They are not there to take the place of God in our life, nor should we build our faith in them, but they are there to help us look to God and have our faith built in Him.

Clearly in Ephesians 4 Paul points out here the gifts that Jesus gave to the church. Of these five gifts the pastor of course is the one who we are going to have as a shepherd over our life. The word pastor is defined as a shepherd. This is one reason why many are not planted in God’s house because they are looking only at what a church has to offer them. Their focus becomes the kids church, worship, facilities, or programs, instead of looking to the shepherd to find out if that is whom Jesus has gifted to help them. I have done teachings before on how to find your shepherd so I won’t go into that in this teaching, but it is important to know what you are looking for.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Here we have the apostle Paul talking to the leaders of the churches at Ephesus and giving them a stern warning that Paul himself had told them about for three years, warning them with tears. Paul here is clearly referring to the shepherds of these churches as he tells them in verse 28 to shepherd the church, which the Lord had purchased. In this final exhortation that Paul gave them, for he knew this would be the last time they would see him, he tells them to watch; for after his departure two things would happen. The first thing that they would see are wolves coming in among them not concerned at all about the welfare of the church, but they would come in to destroy the church and tear it apart getting people to turn from their leadership and depart from the faith.

The second thing Paul warns them about is that there would be people from among themselves who will rise up and speak perverse things to draw people away with them. This is referring to those who would be led astray by their flesh, or deceiving and seducing spirits to come against the leadership and church that they first knew God had called them too. These people when they leave the church and the shepherd God called them to will in turn try to convince others to go with them.

A key phrase that is used here is the words “rise up”. There are two ways to leave a church. There are those who “rise up” and there are those who are “raised up”. Those who rise up are those who know they were called to the shepherd when they came. They know there is a connection between them and this shepherd, but if they don’t get planted satan is going to work at getting them to rise up and go out. That is not the work of God. There are those in churches who are raised up by the church and then sent out to become connected with another shepherd whom God has called them too, or they after a short season they realize the shepherd they are with is not their shepherd.

No pastor serving God is going to try and keep people that are called to go and get connected with the shepherd God has for them, but there is a problem when people do this over and over again. They need to examine their heart in such a decision and stop listening to their flesh, which scripture clearly reveals is opposed to God. Most people that leave churches don’t do so because they have been raised up and sent out, nor because they have truly found the pastor God has for their life. Most leave churches because they get in the flesh, listen to their flesh, or what others who leave say to them, and they rise up and go out. This is a work of satan to keep people from being planted in God’s house.

Those who rise up and go out either compromise to go somewhere else because someone got in the flesh and then convinced them to go along to a church God did not call them too; or they rise up and go to another church for a while, then another, then another, and some eventually quit going all together. Just remember those who are planted in God’s house will flourish. So if you are going to stay planted in the house of God where He has called you, then you better make the decision to stop listening to man, following after your flesh, and instead choose to fully obey the Word of God. It will always be in your best interest to do so. It is not always easy because the flesh does not want to submit to the will of God.

Eph. 4:14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.
Eph. 4:15 Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Eph. 4:16 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

In verse 14 and 15 above we find more results of being planted in God’s house. We are no longer being tossed around by all the different teachings that are going on. We become stable as a believer. We hold to the truth and become more like Christ, who is the head of the church. Then in verse 16 we see another key to getting planted. Every part of the body should do its share of the work. Church is like a family. Every family member should be involved in helping to do the work that it takes to make a church family function. This helps us get planted by being connected with the body not just coming and receiving, but giving of ourselves as well.

So recognize what we are looking for is a shepherd the Lord has for us. When you find that shepherd your heart is united with you need to make sure you are aware of those inside the body who may leave and those outside as well who will try to draw you away. You need to make sure you are not following the ways of the flesh, and you need to get connected as a part of the body God has for you. Those who stay planted will flourish and grow more and more like Christ Jesus!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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10/01/12 – “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH”

Matt. 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Matt. 16:17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
Matt. 16:18 Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

I think this passage of scripture is often overlooked when you talk about why Jesus came to the earth. Most often we refer to the fact that He came to take upon Himself man’s sin, and man’s punishment, providing the way of relationship back to the Father. Thank the Lord He did all of that and more at Calvary, but I can’t help but look to these verses of scripture where Jesus is asking His disciples who man said that He, the Son of God was. They gave the answers of those of His day, but then He asked them who they said He was. I often wondered how many believers would have a similar answer as Peter’s?

Peter responds declaring that Jesus was the Messiah, which Jesus notes Peter got that by revelation from the Father. Jesus then makes this very important and powerful statement, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”. Is Jesus building His church? The answer would be “yes” because He said He would. That is where I believe we have missed a major revelation in the body of Christ, including in my own walk with God for years. We don’t make ourselves the church, it is Jesus who builds the church and it is done by revelation of who He is. I will get back to that in a moment.

First of all let me address what the “church” really is according to the scriptures. Most believers have been taught that the word for church here in the original Greek language means “The called out ones”. Stop and think about that definition for just a minute. If Jesus is building His church, and the church refers to the called out ones, then would it not be obvious that what He is doing in the lives of the church is calling them out from the world? Anyone who knows scripture would have to say yes because the Bible teaches us that we are in the world but not to be of the world.

There are several reasons why this is true. Once we are born again our lives are to begin a transformation process that is continually being changed from one degree of the glory of God to the next degree of God’s glory. Why would Jesus build a church that would look like, sound like, act like, and continue to walk in the same results as those who are bound by the things of this world? To be a part of the “church” that Jesus is building is to be someone who is in fact becoming more Christ-like and less world-like. When you start talking like this many today claim you are trying to put them into some sort of religious bondage, but if that were true then the picture of the church that Jesus is building would obviously not look like Him. But that is, as we will see that is what scripture teaches us, what we can become.

Part of the problem is the fact that many have not actually like Peter had a true encounter with God, and they have only met the church. They have never truly had a life changing born-again conversion experience. I realize this is not true for everyone, but it is a major problem in what is being called the church today. Far too many don’t realize they have heard stories about Jesus, just as others of Jesus’ day did, but have never had a revelation in their hearts of who He is. This is what Jesus said would be the rock, the foundation stone upon which His church would be built, and in fact that for those who are a part of this church the powers of hell would not prevail against this true church.

Yet if you look at many today who do attend or at least claim to be a part of the church of Jesus Christ, why are there so many lives being ransacked by the devil and his demonic powers? As a Pastor it is difficult to watch people go through such pain that comes as a result of a lifestyle patterned after the world, sinful and destructive. Some get upset when you preach about sin, but the reason we still deal with this subject is because the wages of sin have not changed. There are more reasons as to why there are those who are born again still live in sin than I can address in this one teaching, but what I want to focus in on is the key to Jesus building His church.

John 4:25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything.” (Messiah is the one called Christ.)

The term for “Christ” is translated in our foundation text as “Messiah”. This was used in speaking of Jesus as the Anointed One who would deliver us from our sins. In this account found in the gospel of John, this is where Jesus appears to the woman at the well. He actually confronted her living in sin with a man to whom she was not married too. She did not say He was trying to put some form of religious bondage on her, but in fact she declared that she knew the One who would come and deliver her from such a lifestyle was the Messiah. She did not know until after this statement that He was standing right in front of her. In the next verse Jesus revealed Himself to her and said that it was He.

So those who knew the writings of the Old Testament knew that when the Messiah would come He would tell them everything. In this woman’s life that included how to get free from this lifestyle of sin she was in bondage too. So here we find a vital key to how Jesus would build His church through the revelation of who He is. They would listen to everything He had to say. This is where many are not making the connection with the One who came, not to endorse their worldly lifestyle and ways, for He did not, and not to introduce them to the church for He did not, but to make them the church by way of revelation of Him. To get this revelation of all He has for our life, including how to live a life set apart from the destructive, painful, sin-filled, stress filled, and bondage filled way of the world, WE MUST HEAR HIM!

Luke 9:35 Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One or My Beloved; listen to and yield to and obey Him! AMP

Jesus upon the mount of transfiguration had with Him Peter, James, and John. In the midst of this encounter with Moses and Elijah the heavenly Father speaks and declares to the disciples that they were to recognize Jesus as the Chosen One (Messiah), and they were to listen to and yield to and obey Him! To have revelation from the Word of God that is life changing one must come to the Word and to God’s house with a heart to hear from the Lord Jesus what He is saying to us, and be willing to apply what you hear. If we do not come to the Lord with a yielded heart and a willing vessel then we are not going to walk in the light of who He is.

The “church” that Jesus is building that will not be overcome by the powers of the devil, but will in fact keep satan under their feet where he belongs, are those who want to hear what Jesus has to say to them. They want to not only hear Him, but have a heart yielded to the Lord so that He can reveal more of Himself to them, and then they will continually see their lives transformed through the power of His anointing that brings about a deliverance in our life from the world and it’s destructive ways. The more Jesus works on His church, the more we begin to sound like Him, act like Him, be consumed by Him, and do what He Himself did for we will then begin to learn who we truly are. This is what changed the lives of the early church.

Mark 4:24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.

So we see that Jesus Himself is going to build the church, the called out ones from the ways and bondages of the world, by way of revelation. This revelation of His Word will come to those who, as the Father stated, will listen too, yield too, and obey what His Son has to say. So how important is it then as to what we are listening too? Jesus tells us here in the gospel of Mark we are to take heed to what we hear. The measure of what we are hearing will determine what will be measured to us. If we don’t pay attention to what we are hearing this will affect our outcome in life. I have heard my Pastor, Dr. Mark Barclay say many times, “Whoever has your ear, has your heart.”

It is in our hearts that revelation comes, which in turn will bring about transformation of our lives. Why are so many not seeing this transforming effect of Jesus, the Word of God, building their life? Because if we are giving our ears to that which is not of Jesus what do we expect to receive? As the old saying goes, “Trash in, trash out.” No matter how much you may say you love Jesus, if you don’t pay attention to what you are listening to it won’t be long before you begin to allow things in your life that are not good. What we listen to effects what we believe. Revelation of who Christ is and who He made you to be comes from the heart. One must believe in their heart to walk in the transforming power of the Anointed One.

So make sure it is Jesus who is the builder of your life. Take time to pay attention to who has your ear. What are you listening too? Are you making sure it is a godly influence and not a worldly one? You can’t say it better than our heavenly Father Himself did. “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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