Sunday, August 14, 2016

Keeping the Fire Burning


Keeping the Fire Burning
Leviticus 6:8-13

And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. Leviticus 6:12-13

When I was a boy I was always fascinated with splitting wood... I would beg Dad to allow me to help split the wood but he knew I was too young, so I was made to be content carrying arm loads of wood from the woodpile to the house and into a woodbox beside our old buck stove. One day when I was very young, I went to the splitting log and grabbed the axe... I took a big swing... missed... and split my knee wide open, OUCH!... to say the least! I may be rambling a bit but I've shared this so that I could draw your attention to the fact that every fire must have fuel; wood, paper, oil... there must be something that feeds the fire in order for the fire to continue.

I think one of our greatest failures as Christians is that so many fail to realize that God gives the flame, but it's our responsibility to keep, to tend the flame.

Our Scripture tells us that it was the responsibility of the priests to keep the fire burning on the altar.

They were responsible to remove the ashes, the waste, the old, and the expired and to add new wood. 

Today, it is our responsibility to provide fuel for the fire, it is also our responsibility to get rid of the trash, to get rid of anything that threatens to quench or hinder the flame. 

We have to see to it that every day we provide a fresh supply of wood. 

Q: The Holy Ghost comes to us as a flame that can either grow and develop and become a devouring fire… Or it can remain a small flicker, or he can actually be quenched till he cannot be seen or experienced at all.

Just being in church doesn't stoke your fire; just hearing the preaching of the Gospel does not add any Flame or fuel to your fire.

You can speak Jesus name every 30 seconds and still not have the influence of the Holy-Spirit in your heart & home.

You say how do I keep the fire burning?

1. You have to have the word that’s the kindling
2.You have to pray (pray until the Fire falls and then keep on praying until the flame begins to consume everything in your life) Read the word, study the word, pray, praise, worship)

Oil

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

In times past there were those who were responsible to keep the Kings oil. Whenever the King, or the Kings household needed oil they came to this keeper of the oil, he was in charge of the oil (oil was used for almost everything) oil was necessary for cooking… Oil was necessary for the lamps to keep the lamps burning. 

Well that's what we are: we are keepers of the Kings oil. 

Oil makes the Fire burn; the oil is the fuel of the fire.

Being a keeper of the oil means: 
1. To be sure that there is always oil available
2. To be sure that the oil is always fresh
3. To keep the oil free of contaminants

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 10:1…Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour:…

In other words dead things, carnal things, selfish things, fleshly things make the anointing stink. 

It doesn't matter how saved you are if you have carnality, fleshly things, earthly things (criticism, jealousy, envy, strife, debate, rebellion, anger, selfishness, stubbornness, resentment,) it causes the oil to stink.

The Christian is suppose to produce a sweet aroma: The Spirit of Christ is sweet, and pure, and honest, and precious, and draws people to Christ.

But a carnal, selfish, self-willed, critical, stubborn, argumentive Christian drives people away.

Many years ago kerosene lamps had to be tended to, first of all; they head have kerosene then they had to have the globe cleaned from time to time, because when the wick got burned instead of a beautiful clear light, it would smoke up the globe, and finally, they had to have the wicks trimmed every so often. 

The same is true for us we have to make sure we have oil in our lamps. And we have to keep the wick trimmed we have to cut off and cut out the unnecessary, the unprofitable, the used, the old, the excess. And we have to keep the globe clean so people can clearly see the light in us, and not our fleshly nature.

Paul said… 1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Solomon said by the Spirit of God: Let thy garments always be white and let thy head lack no ointment. Ec 9:8

The garments speak of the life that you live that others can see, the outward expression of the inward possession.

If you claim to have the Holy Spirit living in you: Then your life should show it.

One of the most important ways to keep the anointing in your life is to be in position in the body of Christ.

All of our anointing comes from Christ the anointed one who is the head of the Church; He is the head of the entire body of Christ. Christ means: The anointed One

I would rather sit under a self-taught farm boy who has the anointing, than a seminary professor with more degrees than a thermometer but has no anointing.

Because Jesus said: it is the spirit that quickeneth the flesh profits nothing.
And the apostle Paul said: the letter killeth but the spirit maketh alive

The Bible says the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

That means our light, our fire, is supposed to get bigger and brighter all the time until we are completely consumed, completely on fire for God.

We were created for the fire
We were created to live in the fire
We were created to be creatures of fire
We were created to carry the fire

Conclusion:

Matthew 5:14-16 (Ye are the light of the world... Let your light so shine!)


We are Keepers of The Flame

Years ago my pastor told me of a family who lived in a small cabin nestled in a settlement. This families responsibility was to keep fire for the community... if someone's fire had gone out due to travel or another reason; they could come to this family and get an ember for their own home. History records that this family stayed faithful to be the keepers of the fire for more than 125 years.

Are we keeping the fire burning for our homes, churches and communities? Like it or not, as God's people we are responsible to keep the fire burning! 

Preached by Pastor Chad 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Again... Revive Us

::Bible Study::

Psalm 85:1-7 ... 2 Chronicles 7:14

It is the nature of all created things to wear out and to wind down. It is the nature of a fire, to go out; of sheep, to wander; of love, to wax cold; of the church, to drift; and of people, to forget. 

As a result we need to be revived and restored to the early devotion we had for becoming loyal disciples of Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:19 is a good definition: “…Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

There is a difference between a revival and an evangelistic campaign. An evangelistic campaign is something the church decides to do. Revival is something God does. Revival is a work of GOD!

And as modern evangelism looks more and more like emotionalism we are in more need today than ever for an authentic revival effort.


EXAMPLES OF REVIVAL

There have been examples of extraordinary movements of the Spirit of God throughout history.

One example is the tremendous movement of the Spirit of God in Korea (1906-1910) with 80,000 added to the churches. Since the Korean War, 15 million have come to Christ in a nation of just over 40 million.

Another example is China. There were less than one million Christians in China prior to 1950. Primarily in the last 25 years

the Spirit of God has added 70-90 million believers in a nation that contains one-fourth of the world’s population 

In our nation’s history we have experienced three major revivals:

FIRST: The Great Awakening about 1740 in the time of George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards. All of society was dramatically affected. Thousands came to Christ. The Great Awakening became probably the major unifying factor among the American colonies at that time. Laid the spiritual foundation for the beginning of our nation. 

SECOND: The Second Great Awakening at the beginning of the 19th century. 1785-1820. Taverns were closed, families were reconciled, young people became serious in their pursuit of God. Thousands came to Christ. 

THIRD: The third great period of revival in America took place at the beginning of the 20th century. Immigrants were coming to America from all over the world.

As these immigrants were arriving, God chose to raise up a number of great evangelists like Dwight L. Moody and others to preach the gospel to them. Tens of thousands came to Christ. Beginning of Sunday Schools. Beginning of the American Bible Society. Missionary societies were formed.

But the Church in America in spite of its many activities and apparent successes has no measurable affect in reversing this downward spiral.

Religion is up and morality is down.


THERE IS HOPE! 

Revival is possible as long as God is God. Jonathan Edwards argued that God grants light when the darkness is the greatest.

It was at just such times that revival occurred in America’s history.

When there was disinterest in religion, gross immorality, rampant unbelief, God poured out his undeserved, gracious blessing.


CONDITIONS FOR REVIVAL ON GOD’S TERMS
2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Notice in verse 13 that God says that there may very well be times that He must use trials and uncomfortable situations to get the attention of His people...

1. IF MY PEOPLE WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES

God said... My people... not the government, not the world... but His people!

God has said, "If my people will humble themselves." God will visit us when we reach a point of desperation. When we surrender that pride, when we give up the idea that we can do pretty good on our own, and we get down on our knees and admit things are not as they should be, then God will come to His people. God says that the first thing I am looking for in my people is a spirit of humility.  

David said in Psalm 51:16-17,  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Q: When I was at my lowest, confounded by obstacles, bewildered by the darkness that surrounded us … I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him. Our weakness, in fact, makes room for his power.” -Unknown

James 4:6-10

The next thing we must do to attain revival is that we must pray…


2. IF MY PEOPLE WILL PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE

Are you pretty satisfied with the state of the church today – with the devotion to God in your own heart? Revival will not come that way. God never sends revival to those who don’t want it enough to even bother asking for it in prayer. 

Jonah 3:4-10... Tells of a nation that has a genuine desire to repent of their sins.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Dwight L. Moody, that famous evangelist from Chicago went on vacation to England. He wasn’t planning to do any preaching; he was on a sabbatical. But he met a pastor there who said, "Mr. Moody you’re so well known, would you come and speak at our church?" So he went to preach the next Sunday morning.That afternoon Moody wrote in his journal that they were the deadest crowd he had ever seen and that the only thing worse than preaching to those people was that he had promised to go back that night and preach again. But as he preached he noticed that the atmosphere had changed, he did not know just why. At the close of the meeting, he was led to give an invitation for those who wanted to be saved to stand. Something amazing happened. A great crowd of people stood. He didn’t know what to do. So he said, "Maybe you don’t understand what I am asking. So when we are dismissed if you believe you are unsaved and you need to be saved come over to this little room and meet with me." When the service was over, he went to the room it was packed! He left the next day for Dublin Ireland. Shortly after arriving there, he received a telegram from the church to return, “Come back. Revival has broken out." So Moody got back on the train, went back to that church and preached 10 straight nights. And hundreds of people came to Christ. Not long afterwards, he learned the secret. An invalid lady, who could not attend the church, was praying for a mighty outpouring of the Spirit upon the church. She prayed for months. Once she saw in the papers accounts of some of the Moody meetings in America, and although she had never heard of Mr. Moody before, she began to pray that God would send him to her church in London for a revival. One Sunday morning, her sister returned from the service and informed her of Moody’s presence and his preaching. She spent the whole afternoon in prayer that God would make that night a night of power. And God did! 

Charles Spurgeon said – “Whenever God determines to do a great work, he first sets his people to pray.” 


3. IF MY PEOPLE WILL TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS 

Repentance is not only for the hardened sinner. Repentance is often required of those of us who have accepted Christ and are inside the church. Our Lord said to the church at Ephesus, Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:5 

Real repentance involves confession of sin and turning away from it. 

When Paul preached at Ephesus, the Bible says that "many came, and confessed, and showed their deeds" -and not only that, they turned from their sins, and made a bonfire of those things which should not have been in their homes. 

Our sins need to be confessed, and if we have wronged another person, we need to confess and make restitution.

If we are to be clean we have to renounce all bitterness, wrath, malice, harshness, unforgiving spirits, filthiness, and immorality; in short, anything that would “give the devil a foothold” 
Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.


Conclusion:

R. G. Lee describes revival like this:
If all the sleeping folk will wake up,
If all the lukewarm folk will fire up, 
If all the dishonest folk will confess up, 
If all the disgruntled folk will cheer up, 
If all the depressed folk will cheer up, 
If all the estranged folk will make up, 
If all the gossipers will shut up, 
If all true soldiers will stand up, 
If all the dry bones will shake up, 
If all the church members will pray up... 
Then we can have a revival! 

--R. G. Lee

Dear friend if you find yourself desiring a fresh touch from God then count yourselves blessed... So many are wandering around cold and complaisant not caring to ever really be on fire for God. Run to Him hungry and thirsty and allow Him to fill you once again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Always Abounding (Bible Study)

I Corinthians 15:1-12…50-58

This chapter is a treasure of hope… It is a argument for the resurrection of the body. This is distinctly a Christian teaching. Notice that the Resurrection was primarily not a doctrine but a fact. It is not necessary to argue it, but simply to say that Christ arose, therefore all will arise, because Christ is the Son of man. V. 19 of this chapter says… If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

 As we approach the final verse of this chapter 15, we notice that Paul is giving the people of God instructions on how to be prepared for the end of days. In fact there are 3 truths mentioned that we are to strive for… Let’s look at these truths together, and while we do let’s consider that Satan wants us to be unprepared at the return of our Lord…

 Be Stedfast
 D: STEDFAST; 1. Fast fixed; firm; firmly fixed or established; Constant; firm; resolute; not fickle or wavering.

Acts 2:42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 

-We are trying to figure out every way possible to fight the multiple warfares that Satan wages on us except for getting down in the trenches and getting our knees dirty… one thing that God’s people of days gone by understood that we don't today is the value of prayer… laboring in prayer!

Q:“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men” -E.M. Bounds

Hebrews 3:12-14  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

2 Peter 3:17-18 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Unmovable 
D: UNMOVABLE, adjective That cannot be moved or shaken; firm; fixed.

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Psalm 121:1-3 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Colossians 1:21-23  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

-It seems as though we are all so quick to forget that Christ is our help and our hope, when confusion compasses us… its not then that we should fold and run… but it is then that we should stand firm, unmovable on Christ our Great foundation.

Matthew 7:24-25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Always Abounding
D: ABOUND'ING, participle present tense Having in great plenty; being in great plenty, being very prevalent; generally prevailing. Increase.

Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

-Abounding in what?… The work of the Lord, laboring. while all the while realizing that what you are doing for God matters to God.

Matthew 9:35-38 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, [4] and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Concluding Thoughts: Are we stedfast, unmovable, and always abounding?