Missed Opportunities

July 6, 2020

Jesus is on the move again. That is what I love about the Gospels. Jesus and His disciples were mobile. I remember starting out my career in missions many years ago. I went with the mindset that I had learned in Bible college and also with the examples that I had witnessed over the years. After a short time I re-read the Handbook for Missions. Especially the Gospels and the book of Acts. Suddenly I had a different perspective on what Missions was. I realized I was doing the “traditional” mission work that had been handed down – but I wanted to do the New Testament type of missions. On the move. Mobile. Preaching from village to village, in a circuit.

  1. Following. Mark 6:1-2. Doing what we are supposed to do. They were following Jesus. They went to the sinagouge at the appropriate time. (Sabbath day) He was teaching. Jesus message was heard. The message was admired. They wondered how could this person do this? When we speak God’s word people will wonder about us. They will question if it is legitimate or not. They will question it’s source.
  2. Family. Mark 6:3. A common man as far as they were concerned. He worked with His hands. They knew his family. Mary. His half sisters – never named in the Bible. His half brothers – James, Joses, Judas and Simeon. James leader of the church – Acts 12:17 – first martyred. Jude – wrote the book of Jude. The Scandal of his teaching. They knew he had no seminary degree. They didn’t know where these teachings came from. They were offended. They rejected him.
  3. Familiarity. Mark 6:4 – As a preacher and proclaimer of the truth he was not accepted. They knew him. They knew he didn’t have a recognized position to teach. Here with his relative and hometown friends he received no honor. The sin is not upon Jesus, not upon the preacher, the witness. The sin was upon those who wrongly judged him.
  4. Fettered. Mark 6:5 Think how much Jesus could have done. Think of the miracles. Think of the changed lives that could have been. Think of the judgement to come on those who wrongly judged Him. Jesus wants to do a work in your life and mine. He wants to work in our families and in our communities but Mat 13:58. Is that true in our lives? Are we hindering, limiting or fettering Jesus because of our unbelief. Psa 78:40-42 Are we like Israel?
  5. Faithful. Mark 6:6 The lesson here in these 6 brief verses is that even with all that was against him. Even his family, his friends, in his hometown – he did not let that stop him. He remained faithful. He “marveled” – means Jesus was completely astonished and amazed at Nazareth’s reaction to him, his teaching, and his miracles. They should have believed Him. What a difference could have been made in Nazareth – but they did not. What a difference could be made in our lives if we would BELIEVE. He didn’t let that stop Him. We cannot let the unbelief of others stop us. We must go on. Believe and serve and Go on!

Taming The Tongue

July 2, 2020

James 3:1-12
Today we move to a most important study of the human tongue. Truly the Bible has much to say about the tongue. Many Scriptures warn us of both the dangers and the blessings from our tongue.

WARNING


As we look into this passage we are first confronted James 3:1 with an important message about teachers. Teachers are needed in all areas of life. Good teachers are a tremendous life blessing. Bad teachers cause burdens that must be born through life. Within the church it is the same. It is an important responsibility not to be taken lightly. We need teachers in our churches. All should consider their leadings in this area. Heb 5:11 But verse 1 here gives us a CAUTION. This passage is going to warn us that there is a “test of fitness”. The tongue is a test of our HEART.

WONDERING

Just in case you are wondering – this is a message “to all” and “in many things”. James 3:2 It will help us to determine the level of our maturity. Perfection. This really is the THEME of this lesson to us. So as we progress in this passage let us see some examples to help us know about our tongue and how to tame it.

WRECKING

Just so we know the seriousness of our tongue issues and do not discount them James 3:3-4 gives us two examples: The horse with a bit. (Freno) The ship with a rudder (Timon). These two small things are likened to the tongue and how even being small (James 3:5) It can do great things and create great problems. To know how serious this can be James 3:6 it is described as an instrument or the very fire of hell. And it can destroy the whole body. Matt 12:33-37 This is not a little slip up. This is a BIG matter.

WORKING

In fact it is so BIG that only GOD can tame it. James 3:8) If not controlled it spews poison. It poisons the minds of those who hear (false religion) 2 Pet 2:1-3 It corrupts. It destroys. It CAN BLESS but can also CURSE.

Think of this – “out of the same mouth” James 3:10. How tragic. How sad. How harmful. This affects our children. This affects our churches. This affects our communities – our world. Examples are given – James 3:11-12 –

And we conclude again looking at James 3:10 “these things ought not to be so.” Give your tongue to Jesus to control. Check what is in your heart. What are you filling yourself with? What is in your heart will come out. Col 3:16; Luke 6:45

Oh Lord. Fill my heart with your treasures. Let my tongue only speak good things. May I grow to be a perfect / mature person. Control me by your spirit. Eph 6:18

The Touch Of Faith

June 29, 2020

Introduction:
We have recently in our messages seen Jesus as a Sower and a Sleeper and today as a Healer. (Sanador). Mark 5:21 Jesus has now passed back to the NW shore of Galilee. He was not well received in the Gadarenes. He is now going back where the gospel will be better received.
He is met by a ruler of the synagogue Jairus, who had a very ill daughter. We all care about our children. We want to do anything for them. His religion was worthless to help. His family. His friends, the same. He came to the One he had heard who could help. Mark 5:23 – his faith.
On the way …. Mark 5:24

  1. Reaching To Jesus. The problem of this woman: Mark 5:25-26 She had an incurable issue / disease. She had tried all things. All ways to save herself. (Ophrah Winfrey – many ways to heaven. NOT!) Acts 4:12; John 14:6 – When she heard about Jesus Mark 5:27-28
  2. Renewed by Faith. Her FAITH.
    Her HEALING! Mark 5:29-30 This is how Jesus works.
    IMPORTANT note: She was in a crowd. It is not enough to just be in the crowd or near proximity. She reached out and touched. She reached out in faith. That faith saved her. Mark 5:31-34 – She confessed the whole truth. What a testimony! Luke 12:8-9
  3. Raised by Faith. NOW. Faith on Faith!
    Mark 5:35 – Still work to do.
    Mark 5:36- No Fear. Just Believe.
    Mark 5:37 – Bringing the inner circle. Peter James John. (1st mention)
    Mark 5:38 – Weeping – eastern sign of death.
    Mark 5:39-40 – the world is today laughing and ridiculing all that is Christ and Christian. Churches are closed. Pastors are going against pastors. Churches against churches. etc. Mark 5:41-43 Only Jesus can raise the dead.

Conclusion:
It is time to take your spiritually temperature. Your health. Just as the woman – we all had what was terminal. Nothing else can cure us. We can look to wherever else. Nothing. Only Jesus. Don’t just hang out in the crowd. That won’t help you.

Faith. It is Easy to Say

June 25, 2020

Our study for today is very, very important to all of us. It is about our faith. For many people – especially those of us in churches our faith extremely important. So, if faith is important, what type of faith is the right type of faith? Is your faith real or false? Is your faith living or dead? Is your faith one of form? Is it a faith of fact? Is it a faith of fruit? Are words enough to prove your faith? What do we look for to see if our faith is real? Well all of these questions are important. And all need to be answered. Let us see if we can find some answers:

  1. James 2:14-16 . Is it enough to say we have faith? Can that faith save? What does it profit? verse 14 To have just a “say so faith”. Faith without works has no benefit and nothing. What does it profit. v 16
  2. What is the example given for a working faith? James 2:15-16
  3. A faith like the demons have is no good. James 5:17-20. No Good.
  4. A faith that can be seen. James 2:21-25
  5. A faith that is perfect and complete. James 2:22

So what about your faith? Is it real? Is it like that of those who say be warmed and filled. v 16 Is it better than demons? v 19 Is it like Abrahams’? Justified. Recognized. Verified.

Is it like Rahab’s faith? V25 Is your faith one that is living or dead?
One thing is sure James 2:26; 18
Let us examine our faith right now. Let us begin to show others our faith by our works.
They are watching. God is watching.

A Life Changed!

June 21, 2020

Just following the great display of His power over nature and the disciples declaration of “Quien es esta?” And their realization of His power. Mark 5:1.

He met a man. Today is father’s day here in the US. We celebrate fathers. We want to uplift men. So much in our day denigrates and diminishes manhood and fatherhood. It is shameful. I considered other possibilities for messages. the Bible has many tremendous passages that uplift, admonish and direct men on Fatherhood. However, since we are presently preaching through the gospel of Mark and as I studied these verses I could not help but allow the truth of this chapter to impact my own life and therefore I want to try to convey what spoke to my heart of this passage. It is about a man. The Scripture doesn’t tell us that he was a father – but all fathers are men before they are fathers. So if we want to come to some truths at the root of men and fathers … let us continue.

  1. Notice where he came out from. “The tombs”. Without doing damage to Scripture I think we could consider where we all come from. We often say, man is not broken. He is dead! We are living dead. Walking dead.
  2. Notice what was within him. “With an unclean spirit”. Luke 9:55. He had not been renewed. Eph 4:23. He had not been renewed yet.
  3. Notice how it affected him. Vs 3-4 Unbound. We think we are free but really we are bound in sin. We are wild. This is the spirit of our age.
  4. Notice what he was doing. Vs 5. Speaking out. Shouting out. No control. Many examples of this in our day and times.
  5. Then Jesus passed by. The point is … the demons recognized Jesus. James 2:19. They recognized His deity. Do you? They recognize their end. Hell. Jude 1:6. Mark 5:10-14 Jesus can take the demons out of your life. He can make you a new man / woman. Heb 7:25. Ezk 36:26
  6. Notice the effect this has upon the man. Mark 5:15 What a great change. Mark 5:16. Others will see the difference. Our homes, our children need FATHERS. It caused concern. They don’t even want Jesus around. (If Jesus returns we will crucify Him again)
  7. The changed man wanted to follow Jesus. Mark 5:19 Do you? Here is what Jesus said. Tell others. We need men who lead their families, their communities. Mark 5:20. Here is what the man did. Decapolis.
    All men did marvel. Want a great fathers day that we all can enjoy – be a changed man. Tell others what Jesus has done in your life.

Equality & The Church

June 17, 2020

We looked at favoritism (favoritismo) in James 2:1 last week. We pointed out 3 thoughts: Relationship “brethren” Royal Law “faith of our Lord of glory” and Respect of Persons. Today we go into James 2:2-13 if we can understand further this issue of racism, equality and other. This problem was evident in the early church in their day and it is in our church and world.

As we begin in verse 2 it will help us to understand things about the church or synagogue of the first century. (The seating of was on benches in the front and around the outside wall. These were for the prominent attenders. Others sat on the floor. And some were definitely discriminated against. So since we are especially speaking to the church, how can we address and pinpoint the problems that bring about respect of persons and inequality.

  1. Distortion – Verse 3 – They would come dressed! Rings on every finger. Bright clothing. According to their position they would be seated and lord over others. There is a distortion about equality. All are equal before God. We all matter to God. All colors. Rich and poor. Young and old. Equal respect is due to all.
  2. Discrimination – Verse 4 – Don’t be like the world. They show their partiality. It shows their true nature. They like to judge others. Their thoughts are evil. Jer 17:9
  3. Dishonoring – Verse 5 – 6 Listen. God is speaking to His family. (“Beloved brethren”) God wants attention. He wants us to know God chose the poor. Luke 6:20; 1 Cor 1:26-31. Rich in faith. Why should we despise those who God chooses? We dishonor God when we oppress them.
  4. Depravation – All humanity is depraved. Not just broken. Dead. James 2:7-10 It shows when we blaspheme the noble Name of the Lord. We break the royal law. Matt 22:37 We oppress the poor. We show favoritism. We commit SIN. We are convicted as transgressors of the law.
  5. Definition – James 2:11-13 We need to be defined as law keepers. Some boast of all the good things they do but want to cover up the things of which they are guilty. We cannot pick and choose our sins.
    We need to be defined by what we speak and by what we do. Bottom line. Be defined by MERCY. It is a time to tell and show the mercy of God to the world.

We have a Spanish ministry. Just like Americans, Spanish speaking people come in all colors and cultures. We need to lead the way for Mercy and acceptance.

What Manner of Man Is This?

June 14, 2020

We have just seen Jesus teaching on letting our light shine and not hiding it under a basket or under the bed. We saw His teaching of the sowing of the seed and the growing of the seed. Then He compared the Kingdom of God growing from the size of the smallest seed to a great tree. Today we come to Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus leaves the great multitudes He has been teaching and healing all day to travel to the other side where the towns are smaller and the crowds will not be so large.

We see Jesus calling them to pass over to the other side to give others the opportunity to hear of salvation. They take Him in the boat, the Bible says, just as He was.

1. TEMPEST We will all come into times in our life when Satan attacks us when troubles comes. These may well be times to try us, to try our faith. Mark 4:37 In the tempest, possibly even a whirlwind or hurricane like storm in this lake surrounded by mountains storms come up quickly. The waves were passing over the boat. It was filling with water. It was beginning to sink. What a picture of many of the storms of life that come our way and seem to sink our boat.

2. TRYING The interesting thing is this: Jesus was in the boat. Jesus was asleep. He was tired from the days activities. He was not awakened by the storm, the winds or the water. This is where we find a great lesson to each of us. Mark 4:38 Does Jesus care? They knew Him, but they didn’t know about His care for them and His power over natural elements. What is your understanding and estimate of Jesus. Philippians 3:10.

But Jesus stood and rebuked the wind and the sea. Mark 4:39 The command was given to both elements and immediately obeyed by both. Nothing can sink the boat if Jesus is in it. An added or extra lesson or thought. Even when Jesus was asleep, they were safe. Even when He was doing nothing He was in control and it is the same in our lives.

So Jesus says to them: Mark 4:40 Why do you lack faith? I think we can all recognize that faith and fear are placed together here in this powerful lesson. Our fear will be in the proportion of our faith. Less faith. More fear. More faith. Less fear.

3. TESTIMONY They had seen Jesus having power over the issues of physical lives. Now they see Mark 4:41 that Jesus has power over nature. And they say What manner of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey his voice. Their understanding of Jesus and their estimate of Jesus is growing through the storm and the way Jesus works. How about yours?

Take Aways:

#1 We need to have absolute confidence in Jesus. He has finished the work for our salvation. He can do anything. #2 We need to trust Him even when He is “asleep” or seeming to do nothing. #3 Make sure Jesus is in you boat. Are you saved? 100% trust in Christ for your eternal life? What about your daily life? Can you trust Him? If you can’t you do not know what manner of Man He is.

All Equal At The Cross

June 11, 2020

As we open chapter 2 of James tonight it is interesting that we providentially come to this verse James 2:1 in the midst of all the social disruption, protests and riots happening now in the US.

The theme of the verses James 2:1-13 is about biblical respect of persons. This deals with racism as it is commonly called by those who distinguish some as inferior or superior to another race or races. This is quite an explosive conversation right now. It should not be that terrible of an issue to discuss and settle, but since it involves those not converted, the natural man, it is very difficult. It should not however be a big issue for Christians since the Bible is clear that we, all the human race, are of ONE RACE. Acts 17:26 That should settle it for all of us. But it doesn’t and that is why God placed many more verses to teach, correct and rebuke us about what is popularly called racism or respect of persons. So it will take us more than this one study to move through this issue of the next 13 verses of our study in James 2. But we begin with this in James 2:1. I want to cover just 3 things in this verse. First …

  1. Relationship. “My brethren” This is addressed to those related in “faith”. We are to have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ – but not with respect of persons. So think about “relationship”. As humans we have already said, and the Bible plainly declares we are all of one race, one blood. Acts 17:26 But verse 1 speaks clearly about another relationship, one that does divide and that is made because of the “faith of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Only one race, the human race. But two types of people in the human race. Those with “faith” and those without. Those who believe in Christ and those who do not. Those who are saved and those who are not saved. Those who will be together in heaven forever and those who will be in hell for eternity. Friend, what about your relationship? Yes, you are related to me – no matter what your color, what your national origin, no matter your language, no matter if you are rich, poor or whatever. We are related. But the BIGGER question is this: What is your relationship with Christ? Only those born again, born into the family of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus are in this relationship with me and others of faith in Christ. That brings us to the second point:
  2. Royal law. Notice the phrase, “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory”. These are majestic words, royal words. Why? First this is royal because it comes from the King of Kings. Also, this points back to all that is glorious in Christ. John 1:14; 2 Cor 4:4-6; Heb 1:1-3. The glory of Christ’s Spirit rests on all who are part of the community of faith. Whether they are poor or rich they are equal. So, the command here is given as royal law that we must obey in order to have unity in the body of Christ. To have equality among all Christians. To disobey this law is inconsistent with our faith. This brings us to the final thought in this study which is about:
  3. Respect of persons. There simply is to be no respect of persons. James 2:9 says it is sin. There are many verses both Old Testament and New Testament to back this up: Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9. These clearly declare there is no partiality with God. And so there should not be any in believers. Colossians 3:25; Acts 10:34-36; 1 Peter 1:17-19. The Great example we are to follow is that of Jesus Christ. Think of Jesus linage how that it passed through even the most unimportant people, people who were not even Jewish, like Rahab the harlot and others. We know He was born in the humble village of Nazareth. Born in a stable, laid in a manger. He did not grow up in palace. He worked in a carpenter’s shop. He was surrounded by the poor not the rich. He ministered to those in Galilee and Samaria from different nationalities that were hated by His Jewish brethren. Ultimately He died between two thieves. I am saying His example loudly rings out “no respect of persons”. As we consider these 3 points we must ask these questions:
    Do you have a relationship with Christ? With the family of Christ? With me and all others in the community of faith who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ? Secondly:
    Are you obeying this royal law mentioned in our text? – No respect of persons.
    Do you have respect persons? There is another royal law by the King of Kings. A new law. John 13:34 -35 and we are to love all others. Spurgeon said: “For us to hate those who are in error or talk of them with contempt or wish ill, or do them wrong, is not according to the Spirt of Christ. You cannot cast out Satan by Satan, nor correct error by violence, nor overcome hate by hate. The conquering weapon of the Christian is love.”
    In the midst of all this turmoil if you are a Christian please do not have respect of persons. Please obey the royal law.

The Religion God Approves

June 10, 2020

We are continuing our studies in James tonight. Last week we saw how important it is for us to continually look into the mirror of the Word, the perfect law of liberty – that which brought our salvation and go forward doing the work of God for our blessing.

Today we want to see James 1:25-26. What a great passage of the word. I like how these verses begin … if you seem to be religious … a worker of righteous work, not a person with a religious facade, or with just words. Not just with a form 2 Tim 3:5 – but if you believe you are (Spanish – cree) then some things will be evident:

First, it is about WORDS. It is about bridling or controlling the tongue. In Spanish it says refraining the tongue. In studies further along we will cover this more in depth but to touch on it look to James 3:5-6. It is little. It is deadly. It is like a fire. It is powerful. Just to name a few things. But we also read that it is uncontrollable. So what are we to do. The key and truth is in the text. Your tongue and mine are connected to our heart. Did you know that? We should. Luke 6:45. You cannot control it without a changed heart. This means God has to control it. So be careful what you say, how you say it, etc – it will show right away if you are truly religious or not. You will judge your own “religion” by what you say. It actually says it is “vain”. Your Christianity is vanity depending on this. Words are important. Proverbs 25:11 and so much more. But to move along we show if our religion is worthwhile by our works.

Secondly, it is about WORKS. “Pure religion and undefiled” Pure our religion should be FIRST positive. Doing the right thing. Then we read “undefiled” (Spanish – not spotty). Lot of spotty religion about. Pure speaks to the issue as to whether our religion is positive ie. In line with the Word of God. Accomplishing things for God’s glory and the blessing to others. “Undefiled” is the negative side. There are some religious who absolutely destroy. False doctrine. (Series about the popes- wickedness) The crusades. So much evil done in the name of religion. Oh we could go on and on here. But we must work our religion positively and compassionately. Some peoples religion is just neutral. Does nothing. But in our text we see this – “to visit the fatherless and widows”. This touches me deeply. Our orphans. Our widows. Haiti. Guatemala. Mexico. This is important to God. Exodus 22:22; Isa 65:8 – like our Father. Helping the most needy who cannot reciprocate. True sacrificial Christian love. True Religion is true work.

Thirdly, it is about WATCHING. Velar “To keep unspotted from the world. We have to keep watch. This will effect the other two areas we mentioned. Our words and or work. Jesus said – Luke 21:36; Mark 13:33-37 X 4 Watch and Pray. Watch for times. We are told what to watch for in our text: the world. James 4:4; 1 John 2:15; 1 Pet 1:19
If we are not careful we will only “SEEM’ to be religious. Is that what your goal is. To seem, to have a form? We need the power of God in our lives and we need to let the Holy Spirit control our lives to have the right, worthwhile religion. The time is getting close. We will stand before God. Keep yourself unspotted. Have a worthwhile religion.

The Power of the Word!

June 10, 2020

Today in Mark 4:26 we want to begin looking at the powerful results of spiritual growth of the word in good soil. We saw this about the sower, the seed and the soil recently in our preaching. Mark 4:3 Here we never see the “fruit” or growth as a problem of the seed. But a problem of the soil. It begs again to ask us what kind of heart we have. On Wednesday I said from James 1 that we need changed hearts. That is again what we are saying.

  1. The SUPREMACY of His Word, the Sovereignty Of the God, and His kingdom.Only Mark records this parable. Whereas the parable of the sower stresses the importance of proper soil for the growth of seed and the success of the harvest, here, the mysterious power of the seed itself is emphasized. The gospel message contains its own power. Heb 4:12; Acts 19:20;Here are some important thoughts from Psalm 119 on the word of God:

SEEK with my whole heart. Psalm 119:2; 10

SOAK my heart in the word. Psalm 119:10-11

SIZE my heart by the word. Psalm 119:32

SEE things by the word. Psalm 119:34

SEIZE truth by the word. Psalm 119:69; 112

STAND in awe of the word. Psalm 119:161 –

The supremacy of the Word has to IMPACT our hearts first.

Holy Bible, Book divine, Precious treasure, thou art mine: Mine to tell me whence I came; Mine to teach me what I am.

  1. The SOWING of the Word of God. Mark 4:26
    How does this work? So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day–go about his other ordinary occupations, leaving it to the well-known laws of nature under the rain, sun and all influences of heaven. This is the sense of “the earth bringing forth fruit of herself,” in Mr 4:27. But let the word of Christ have the place it ought to have in a soul, and it will show itself in a good conversation. It grows gradually: first the blade; then the ear; after that the full corn in the ear. When it is sprung up, it will bring fruit. The work of grace in the soul is, at first, but this is as the day of small things; eventually it will bring fruit, while it is in its growth; but what will there be tremendous results seen when it is perfected in heaven!
    The Word of God, when sown in men’s hearts, produces fruit sometimes slowly but always surely (see 1 Peter 1:23-25).
  2. .The SUCCESSION of the Word of God. Mark 4:27. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear–this is the beautiful illustration to the succession of stages, though not definitely marked time periods, in the Christian life, and generally in the kingdom of God. Eph 4:13 This shows how we grow, step by step through discipleship, following the Lord, learning the Word. Growth 2 Pet 3:17-18; 1:5-9
  1. The SEASON of harvest.
    Mark 4:29. But when the fruit is brought forth–to maturity immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come–This points to the transition from the earthly to the heavenly condition of the Christian and the Church.
    Mark 4:30–34 The main point of this parable is that the kingdom of God seemingly had small beginnings. It was introduced by the despised and rejected Jesus and His 12 unimpressive disciples. But a day will come when its true greatness and power will be seen by all the world.

Is the word working in your heart? Our Dios Soberano is working. When you hear it – it is sown – does it find good ground? Are you sowing it? Is it growing in your life. Do you see the succession. Sequencia? Does it grow? Do you see growth in your life? Love? Joy? Kindness? Peace? Gal 5:22

The Word Is Powerful !!!!!