War Is Coming!

July 16, 2020

Today in our studies we are looking at James 4:1-6. And I want to speak to you about the coming war. I know that we are hearing much today about the end times and nations rising against nations. We are hearing about pestilences and earthquakes, floods and famines. Many are speaking about the coming war – world war 3 or the end of the world war – but today I want to speak to you about a different war. The WAR that is on us right now. The war within – James 4:1-2 But truly as we speak about this war – we need to realize that this is war we speak of today, this war within is where all these other wars come from. They come from the heart. They come from lujuria lust within our hearts, from our dissatisfaction with what we have and the envy we have for what our neighbors have. These wars come from our hearts, grow within our communities and nations until it is all out of control. Prov 21:10-12

As we continue to read James 4:2-3 we see the WEAPONS used in our warfare. James is writing to spiritual people but they are misusing the greatest weapon we have in our war. Prayer. He says 2 things: First, you have not because you ask not. The lack of using our weapon of prayer is our great cause for defeat. Eph 6:11-18 Prayer is the weapon. But secondly, Ye ask amiss. We ask for our own pleasures – remember verse 1. Lord give me what my neighbor has. We seek the wrong things. We seek things for our glory and benefit and not the Lord’s glory or the blessing for the church.

And then James 4:4 we get a closer look at our ENEMIES in this war. He plainly calls us adulterers and adulteresses. We have been guilty of violating the sanctity of our holy relationship with God. We have been unfaithful. We have enganada cheated on God with the world and all that is in it. 1 John 2:15. The world is our enemy yet we spend all our time with the world. Little time with the Lord. We go over to the enemies side.

Another thought in this coming war is our ALLIES in this war. James 4:5 The Scriptures try to help us. Try to teach us and guide us – but James says “in vain”. And the Scriptures try to help our spirit by right – bear fruit – Gal 5:22 stay faithful etc, but instead we are pulled away from God by our lust and desires toward the world.

Finally, where can we find VICTORY in this war? James 4:6 tells us our only hope is GRACE and more grace. In our pride we lift ourselves above God, but pride causes God to resist us. Humility moves God to give us his graces. Rom 5:20; 1 Pet 5:5-6; Friend, let us win the victory in this war. We can win the war within. Humble yourself before God. You will only win with God. Isa 57:15; 66:2

War is coming. War is raging inside you now. James gives us the facts about how to win. Come to the Lord. Tell Him your weakness. Give your life to Him today. Don’t wait too late.

The Commission, Commands, Connections & Communication of Christ.

July 12, 2020

One of the most amazing features of the Gospels, and of the ministry of the Lord Jesus, is the men He chose to be His disciples. If you and I were putting together a ministry team, these are probably not the kind of people we would choose to represent us. Consider these men for just a moment.

    Some were fishermen. One was a former tax collector. A couple of them were quick tempered. One of them was a revolutionary. One was a traitor and not a true believer at all. All were very common men.

    These men were spiritually immature. They were not humble. They lacked faith. They were not committed. They lacked power. These men were always getting into trouble; they had trouble grasping Christ’s teachings; they spoke out to people who were different; saying the wrong thing; they failed to keep their  commitment to Jesus; among other failures and problems.

    In spite of all their weaknesses, the Lord used these men to turn the world upside down for His glory. If He can use them, surely He can use us too! That gives me hope today!

    Jesus called these men to follow Him a good while earlier, Mark 3:13-19. For some time now they have been following Jesus from place to place. They have been listening to Him teach and watching Him perform miracles. Since He called them, they have been training. Jesus has been teaching them so that He could send them out with the message of the Gospel. The passage before us today gives us the details of our Lord’s commissioning of His disciples for their first missionary outreach.
  1. His Commissioning. Mark 6:7; Mat 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; We have this commission. It is the commission of the disciples of the church.
  2. His Commanding. Mark 6:8-9 – Take nothing. Staff. No bag. No bread. No copper. Wear sandals. Not two tunics.
  3. His Connection. Mark 6:10-11 All about faith. Gave them power. (v 7) Shake off the dust.
  4. His Communication. Preaching. Mat 10:7 Repent! What does it mean? “to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins”. It refers to “a change of mind that leads to a change of action.” It can literally mean “be converted”

Conc: Our Savior is in the life-changing, soul-saving business! He desires us to have a part in His ministry. When we hear His call, accept His commission, walk in faith and share His message with a lost and dying world, we can expect Him to honor His Word, Isa. 55:11, and save the lost.

   

Up or Down

July 9, 2020

Up or Down. Above or Below. Heavenly or Demonic? From WHERE is your life directed and instructed? We all have our own worldview. Our worldview is formed from somewhere. As Christians ours should be from the Bible and not from the world around us. This is why our text today is so important. These 6 verses in James 3:13-18 are rich with wisdom and guidance for each of us.

SHOW.
So first we see the need for some self examination. WHO is wise? Understanding? (Hebrews infused it with the much richer meaning of skillfully applying knowledge to the matter of practical living). So this is about us SHOWING (who is truly skilled in the art of living.) Everyone thinks they are living – really living. They say “this is life”. But good conduct is shown by MEEKNESS. (power under control) and WISDOM Eph. 3:10; Col. 2:3). – This is that which can only come from God. So our instruction is to SHOW our works (Matt 5:14-16) And to do those works in meekness and truth.

SELF
The other side of this problem is … that if upon our self examination instead of good conduct we have bitter jealousy and self seeking ambitions then – we lie to ourselves and others about ourselves. Jer 17:9.

SOURCE
It matters where we get our wisdom or worldview. The wisdom mentioned in James 3:14; is in 15 said to have its source earthly – worldly – sensual – demonic. Is this where we want to get our wisdom our worldview? This is the cause of our – because when we are filled with these – the result is confusion and every evil thing.

SPIRITUAL
“But” – James 3:17 the other source is from above. These tow are drastically different. From the other source (satanic) came envy and self seeking – from the spiritual came purity, peace, gentleness and good fruits.

SOWING
We are all right now sowing. We are either sowing things demonic or things spiritual. We who have peace in Christ will help bring peace to others. The source we seek from determines the results in our lives. How we are affected and how we will affect others.

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.