SERMON NOTES APRIL 30, 2016-
TITLE: GOD AND US-OUR NATION-“THE RENEWAL OF OUR NATION”
The Lord has called my wife and I to a ministry that involves traveling our nation and reaching out to his church. Our mission journey is currently being planned to travel the continental United States with a simple purpose – to seek and save the lost. My fear is that many of them are currently sitting in church pews. My concern runs deep, because perhaps for many years, I was one of those.
Reference Sermon 1 and Note about Ezekiel 37:7-10-The Lord told me “This relates to your nation. This is My Church in your Nation.”
So tonight, as much as it pains me, I want to talk about our nation. I don’t think anyone would contest that our nation is broken. While many lay blame at the feet of politicians, our government, big business, the court system or countless others, I believe we need look no further than the Church.
When I talk of the church, I mean the Universal Church that I categorize as the church with capital “C.” It is constituted of churches worldwide - many denominations, doctrines, and theologies. However, it is made up of individuals. As our nation is broken, I hate to say it, but I believe our Lord’s Church is broken, at least in this nation. As I’ve already covered, I don’t believe we can ever expect change until we commit at an individual level. There are millions of us calling ourselves by the name of Christ, but how many are committed completely to his purpose – committed to a relationship with our Lord?
Relationship Insert-I want to caution you about the relationship that I have spoken so much about this weekend. I believe this relationship to be vital. but we must always be wary of worshipping the relationship rather than worshipping God who gives us the relationship. I assure you God will bless you immeasurably, but if we have an attitude of worshipping our Lord-solely giving ourselves to Him with nothing expected in return, God will use this contrite heart for His glory. Our gift has already been received through Jesus on the cross. The relationship is our gift. “Now, Lord, what can I do for you?” I have not stressed this because I truly believe that God will teach us who He is and how we should feel about Him. He will teach us our role, and show us who we are in Him. We must seek Him.
The church with the big C is only as vibrant and effective as all of the individuals that constitute its membership.-the Small “c’s.”
The primary theme of the Mission Journey the Lord has called us to is unity. I’m talking about unity between believers across denominational lines. I understand that there are different theologies between denominations based on biblical interpretations. This is not what I intend to discuss tonight. No, we are here to find unity between denominations through something that is irrefutable truth. The unity we seek is to be found in our Savior Jesus Christ. The unity I speak of is founded on the gospel, the cross, and the resurrection. We can find unity through a commitment to make him our Lord, come into relationship with him, and go about the rest of our life serving him. This is truly nondenominational. Also, I want to set aside some misconceptions about how to obtain unity. Unity is not founded through compromise. Unity is not achieved through tolerance. The unity the Lord commands us to achieve is unity through truth which can only be found through his Holy Scripture. To find Unity, we must come in agreement that the Bible is the Authoritative Word of God.
There are (3) Truths that are Foundational and should provide us with all the Unity we need to change the World:
Our Lord Jesus Christ (as outlined above) (John 14:6)
The Word of God (literally) as inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:15-16)
The Holy Spirit and His role in our day to day lives to Exalt Jesus and transform us to His Likeness. (John 14:17)
John 17:11-That they may be one.
Reference “Evidence That Demands a Verdict”-Josh McDowell- There is an alarming trend in our nation that wants to link unity with conformity or tolerance. Tolerance by definition means “to recognize and respect other’s beliefs and practices without sharing them.” Or “to put up with something not especially liked.” Paul addressed this in 1 Corinth 13:7-“Love endures all things.” If the claims of the Christian Faith are true, this does not make Christians intolerant. It simply means that Christians have embraced Truth. While we are not to conform our beliefs to accept sin, we are called to Love those who have not yet embraced the Truth. How else will they find the Truth without Christians showing them the Love Jesus has showed each of us.
We are in a battle for Truth. We must recognize this and we must be in a continual pursuit of Truth.
To lay the foundation of what I intend to talk about, I want to make it clear how each one of us plays a role in the direction of our nation. I believe it to be God’s intent that the direction of our nation is determined by his church. Who is the church? You are the church. The Unity I speak of between denominations begins with Unity of each and every Child of God with Him. Every single one of us that calls ourselves Christian is the Lord’s church. The Status of the church is determined by each and every one of us. It is our purpose in this ministry to ignite every single member of the Lord’s church to come into relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. This relationship I speak of is not partial-it is 100%-The Lord calls us to be all in.
Reference John 17:20-25-This is about us today.
Reference Note #4 of Supplemental Notes.
Over the last week, The Lord has really laid it on my heart to stress 100% commitment. You see, it may be possible to be saved and not be fully committed. This is not my determination to be made. This judgment sits with God alone. My call for you is to 100%. This is what God desires. I only want to assure you personally based on my own life and journey these last 2 ½ plus years that you will not regret this. Jesus did not die on the cross 10% or even 99%. He gave His all for each of us, and He simply is asking for our all. If we truly want change, it is time for us to quit asking God to do something for us, but it is time to ask “God, what can I do for you?” We need to look at our own lives-our assets, our possessions, our talents, and assess with The Lord’s direction “How can I use all I have to serve You Lord.”
Please take a second to consider what our Nation would be like if every one of us was in a deep, meaningful relationship with Our Lord. What if every one of us were to bear fruit according to God’s Word?
Now, I want to talk about our nation and our relationship with God as a nation. As I have studied the Old Testament, it seems almost eerie the parallels between the Israelites and America. This seems especially true in the history of Judah.
I am here speaking to you tonight because the Lord has given me a message – his message. The message the Lord has given me is twofold. The first part of his message is judgment. Our nation is on a crash course with the Lord’s judgment. As we look back at the last 50 years, it is clear that the direction of our country is away from God rather than toward God. Here are some examples:
Perhaps the Start was Ban of prayer in schools (60’s)
Eliminate Nativity scenes in public places
Pledge of Allegiance taken out of school
Eliminating God’s name from money
Recently legalizing same-sex marriage
Just the other day I heard there is talk to remove Bibles from public libraries
This recent act of the Supreme Court relating to Same Sex Marriage has caused quite an uproar, but in reality, this is just the latest contempt our nation has shown for God and his laws. Actually, what atrocity on this earth could be worse than abortion, which has been legally practiced for 40 years.
We can look to the Old Testament to see how seriously God values the covenant made between him and his people. In the Old Testament, God’s people were descendants of Abraham through Isaac- the nation of Israel. However as a result of Jesus work here on Earth, Christians are adopted into God’s family as his people. With obedience, we gain certain privileges and blessings. As a nation we have been blessed like no other nation on the face of the earth, including God’s chosen people. However, will any of us argue that we have honored God as he has blessed us? Therefore, with disobedience, should we not expect God’s resulting punishment? We read in Matthew 24:7-8 as Jesus speaks of the beginning of the birth pains. As we look around in our nation, we see much turbulence. We have drought, wildfires, flooding, land that doesn’t yield crops, offspring of livestock being cursed, etc. Are some of these not listed specifically as punishment in Deuteronomy. It is my belief based on The Lord’s Words to me that if we don’t repent and turn to Him, we can expect these things to escalate. To be honest, as I have been on this Journey with The Lord almost 3 years, I believe I have seen them escalate.
Ref: Deuteronomy 11:13-17 (Agreement)
Ref: Deut 28:1-2 (Blessings)
Ref: Deut: 28:15-25 (Judgment)
However, the second part of the Lord’s message to me is National Revival. I believe in my heart that God has conveyed to me that this judgment can be at least delayed by this generation. I believe that we are in a season of extended grace. I believe that any delay in the Lord’s judgment is only possible through revival of His Church, and His Divine intervention. Perhaps there is only a remnant, but we have no idea what God will do with a fully dedicated remnant. (Romans 11:5)
Ref: 2 Chronicles 7:14
Ref: Jeremiah 29:11-13
Ref: Joel 2:12-14
Ref: Exodus 15:26 (BE Obedient)
Based on what the Lord has told me, I am convinced there is going to be a move of God. I don’t know how big, how many, or how long it will last. Tonight, I believe the only pertinent question to answer is “Are you going to be a part of it?”
I want to back up a bit, though. When the Lord first started speaking to me about this a couple of years ago, I began to research the history of our nation. What made us so unique? Are we really a Christian nation? Israel is clearly God’s chosen people, but how does America fit in?
I’m no historian, but here’s what I have uncovered. Last night, I shared how I believe our Jamestown settlers made a covenant with the Lord. I believe this is what established us as a Christian nation. I believe that God has prospered us as a nation in order that we might fulfill his divine purpose of spreading the gospel to the world.
In addition, I believe our founding fathers set us up as a nation with Divine intentions. I want to take a moment and lay this out for you and you can draw your own conclusions. I believe this is important because as I said earlier, we are in a battle for Truth. There is a concerted effort toremove God from today, and I believe this extends to removing God from our roots.
OUR NATIONS HISTORY
I am not trying to give a history lesson, but I believe it is pertinent that we understand our relationship with God as a nation. Throughout my life, and especially of late, I hear so much nonsense about our history. I feel led by the Lord to clarify our founding as it relates to God, our purpose according to God’s plan, and the covenant between our Nation and God which God honors, and we continue to disregard, and now begin to even have contempt for.
Our Constitution- because of man’s nature and inherent selfishness, there is no “general will” of the people. Our Constitution was established based on standards of God. To Ensure that the rights of man are separated from the nature of man. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are so important because they establish our rights based on the Will of God
The Declaration of Independence- the Declaration of Independence is a Religious document defining the Will of God as supreme law of our nation. All of our founding documents are geared toward protecting “the rights of man” which are God-given. The government cannot be trusted to defend the rights of man, because it is contradictory to the “nature of man.” As government is run by men, they cannot be trusted to protect men’s rights. The Declaration of Independence is a religious document through and through. It was colonists demanding rights entitled to them by laws of nature and nature’s God, rather than heavy-handed dealings with Britain. Our founding fathers declared to the world that desire for independence from Britain through a written appeal to God.
The American Revolution- America has been the freest most prosperous nation on earth. God has clearly blessed America. Yesterday, we marked what I believe to be the reason for this prosperity – a covenant made with the Lord Jesus Christ at the Jamestown colony settlement. Furthermore, our founding fathers for the most part were God-fearing descendents of Puritans and other colonial Christians. Our revolution was powerfully shaped by a great awakening of the early 1700s and evangelical revival in the colonies. Jonathon Edward was integral to this movement. His sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is of great renown. The Church was heavily involved in our Revolution.
The bottom line is this-Our revolution was spectacularly unique to history, why? Because of God and His involvement-through His Church
We have a chance to change our nation through God’s Church. We can change God’s Church one person at a time. It may seem improbable, but you have an impact. Most importantly, you have indescribable value to God.
God’s role in our Revolution-Certain quotes and writings confirmed God’s involvement in the early stages of our independence.
James Wilson described “the will of God in law of nations.”
The drafters of our founding documents appealed to the supreme Judge of the world – our Creator.
There was a vast quantity of literature and sermons written by Christian ministers discussing our revolution
Quote after quote after quote referred to our need to appeal to God for our independence
The appeal to heaven. Flag that we display tonight was prompted by George Washington on Navy vessels to express our appeal to Almighty God
52 of the 56 signers of the declaration were Orthodox Christians who believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Our revolutionary document was clearly inspired by God
John Adams – Our 2nd president said “the general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, are the general principles of Christianity. I will of bowel that I believed then and now believe that these principles of Christianity are is eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
In summary, all of this is to outline the intricate role that God played in the establishment of our nation. As we have made a covenant with God, we cannot simply accept the prosperity without understanding the terms of disobedience. God’s Word clearly outlines the ramifications for disobedience in Deuteronomy. Our nation cannot continue in disobedience to God without expecting His punishment.
Isaiah 30:1- woe to the obstinate children… Who carry out plans that are not mine.
Vs. 4 Though they have… Even though it seems they can help – they are not the Lord’s plans.
Vs. 8-11 seeking, comforting words rather than the Lord’s counsel
verse 12 – 14: the Lord’s response
verse 15: repentance and rest is your salvation
verse 18: yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you… Blessed are all who wait for him
So why the history lesson. I believe it is vital that we understand that this Nation does not belong to them-those who want to remove God. This Nation does not even belong to us. This Nation belongs to Jesus Christ and Him alone.
I believe Ben Franklin said that our form of government can only succeed with an informed and educated populace. Could not the same statement be true of the Lord’s church? The only way for Christians to become educated and informed is through the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the Word of God.
As I outlined earlier, there has been a concerted effort in our culture to remove God. Of late, this effort seems to be escalating quickly. However, our Nation was founded on the Principles of God. This is how our Freedom has been established. There is not an option to separate God’s laws from Freedom. Paul talks of this Freedom quite often. As a society, as we remove God, we remove Freedom, we remove Morality-we fall to sin. As we remove God, we not only disgrace Him, but we remove the very foundation on which we were built. We become the house built on the sand. Our success as a Nation is directly tied to our relationship with God. They are inseparable-no matter what our culture desires.
Sadly, with this shift from God, the Church has shifted from God. While I truly believe that Christians have resisted this shift, they have inevitably shifted to liberalism and Secular Humanism. God’s standards never shift. God wants to bring His Church back into alignment with Him and His standards. This must not be defined by Society.
This is the very thing He has done with me over the course of my journey with Him. Over my life, I had shifted toward tolerance and conformed to our culture-ever so subtly over time. The alcoholism was the result-Slavery to sin at the Highest level. Yet God pulled me out of alcohol, and began the process of aligning me with Himself and His Standards. This is His desire for every one of His Children. I am no different than anyone-I am only on my Journey toward the Likeness of my Saviour.
In summing up our Nation, we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD-whether we accept it or not. We can remove Him from schools, or books, or even our money. This changes nothing. Whether we embrace it or even accept to believe it is of no consequence. This Nation was founded as ONE NATION UNDER GOD with Jesus Christ as our foundation. We are either in His Blessing or in His Judgment. There is no other option. Where are we now-We are awaiting Judgment. I believe we are in an extended period of Grace-a period that without change will soon come to an end.
So, this brings us back to the church. I don’t believe it’s much of a stretch to assess that the Lord’s church in our nation is in trouble. I don’t intend to debate this. It is my intention to commit everything I have to the Lord’s service in trying to correct this.
Revival of our nation can only come from the Lord’s church. Revival of the Lord’s church must happen first, and will be the result of those calling themselves by his name to be committed to a personal journey with Jesus through a continual ongoing relationship with him. I’m convinced there is no other way. No matter how much we love our nation, we must be Christians first and Americans second.
Reference Note #2 from Supplemental Notes
I hear so much talk of “the direction of our nation needs to change,” or “I can’t believe what is happening in our nation.” I know many of us want a change, but I believe what God is sending me to find out is just how many people are willing to do something about it. I have heard that many –perhaps most people are willing to live with judgment down the road as long as it requires nothing of them today. Is this you? Are you willing to make a commitment for change today? This commitment is a personal commitment to be 100% engaged in a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ.
So let’s talk about revival. I hear about revival – I hear a lot of talk of revival. I believe that revival is in the hearts of many Christians. Most importantly, I believe that revival in our nation is on the heart of God. So how do we attain revival?
We must understand revival – true revival is not a movement based on merely enthusiasm more excitement. I don’t believe it will occur over a weekend. I believe based on what the Lord has told me that true revival begins with a commitment. This commitment begins by making a decision to follow Jesus and serve him. This is day one of our journey with the Lord. True revival is the result of a changed heart that is committed to be in personal, intimate, loving relationship with Jesus Christ. For national revival, there must be a groundswell of personal revival. As we discussed on Thursday, revival of our nation begins with you.
True revival is not the start. True revival is the result of this change. True revival is the result of God’s response to our sincere commitment to him-Commitment to serve him.
I am asking you to make a commitment today that will yield results for the Lord down the road. I assure you, based on God’s Word that the results will be incredible for you personally, and that if enough of us engage in this journey with the Lord, there will also be positive results for our nation.
As Christians, we must believe in a God of the future. We must embrace the results and rewards being down the road. We must not have short-term vision, but I believe it is our call to make a commitment today that will result in change down the road. It may be that our society has gone too far to turn back to God, but even without a dramatic change in our culture, we have the promise of reward that awaits each of us personally.
I often hear much talk of being diligent today for future generations (fiscally, environmentally, etc).Throughout the Bible, we find the great power of God over the generations. The diligence I urge you to consider as you think of your descendents is to give them the gift of a relationship with the Lord as an example. This is a gift that endures.
The Lord has led me to the Old Testament a great deal lately with my Bible study. I have been particularly fascinated by King Hezekiah.
I fear too many of us are like Hezekiah and seem to have short-term focus. (Reference Isaiah 39:5 – 8).
Hezekiah was a good King and served the Lord. However, he was unable to break the cycle of sin in his nation. It is my belief, that he was unable to completely break the cycle of sin in his life. He seemed unable to overcome pride and selfishness. The results became disastrous for Judah after his death.
In our generation, we must stop the cycle of sin. This cycle of sin is personal to me. My life was in a cycle of sin. I could not break the hold that alcohol had on me. I endured the cycle many times to the point of near death. The Lord broke the cycle for me, but I had to give it to him. I’m asking you today to stand up and make a commitment to make a change – a commitment to begin with an intimate relationship with Jesus and take your part in breaking the cycle of sin that our nation finds itself in. This change to our nation can only occur one person at a time. It is our Lord’s desire to change our nation, one heart at a time. You can only change the ground that you walk on. But I assure you, with the Lord’s involvement, the results can be exponential.
As I mentioned briefly earlier, I ask you to entertain a vision for just a moment. This is a vision that the Lord has shared with me as I have undergone the transformation that he can only provide through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit. What if each of God’s people that call themselves Christians were to bear fruit according to his word? Can you imagine a world where every Christian is in relationship with Jesus? To understand this possibility, you must personally experience the transformation in your own life. For me, the power is evident because I have felt the change firsthand. Now, I imagine that transformation in every one of his people. But I have to ask, are you bearing fruit?
God has a plan that veers from the logical to the impossible. God wants you to be apart of His plan!
There is obviously much to be discontent about as it relates to our government. However, we must not look to government to drive the direction of our nation. We want the direction of our nation to be driven by our Lord Jesus Christ through his church, and his people. So again I ask, as it relates to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, are you doing your part?
So let’s look at the church. Jesus gave us His timeless insights into His church in the first three chapters of Revelation. I believe that the Lord’s church in America could fall into any number of these categories. The obvious one is the church of Laodicea, where the Lord speaks of being lukewarm. Our prosperity and comfort has made us lukewarm at best, as a universal church.
Reference Revelation 3:15 – 20
The common thread with the churches seemed to be that they had gotten away from their first love. I believe this is the problem with the church in America. I personally had fallen away from my first love and that led me straight to become an alcoholic. Perhaps you have gotten away from your first love. The only way to change our nation is through a recommitted church. The only way to obtain a recommitted church is through a recommitment of its members – you and me.
So, how do we correct this? The answer is clear in Verse 19- “So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
Rev 3:1-3 “You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake Up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the eyes of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard, obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”
The Lord wants all of his children to come into relationship with him. He calls us to 100% commitment.- PERIOD.
I have heard many times of the church body, and the members functioning as one unit. Some time ago, the Lord inspired me to think bigger than an individual church, or an individual, community of churches. I believe the body God’s word refers to is one world wide-body. Each and every one of us has a function, a role, a creator designed purpose toward God’s overall mission of spreading the gospel to the entire world. I believe it is God’s purpose for me to insider desiring you find God’s specific plan for you. (Comparison to cells of the body)
As we talk of revival, love is the basis. As we receive the Lord’s love, we will also find that we receive his love for others. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. This is how we impact others.
Scripture tells us that Judgment begins with the church – shakeout distractions. I believe God is looking for a remnant. A remnant that is on fire and committed to being in relationship with him and seeking their purpose based on his desire. As one of my brothers often says we need for the true salt to be separated, such that we can be salty again.
Reference note about salt from voice recorder-Additional Notes
With shaking of Church-Judgment will come first to the Church which will leave only those things which cannot be shaken remaining. Metaphor to Salt-I believe The Lord wants to sift the salt so that what such that the salt with no flavor is separated and only the salt which has flavor remains.
Hebrews 12:26 - 29
I am speaking to you tonight because I want you to be part of the remnant.
I suspect that our ministry will not initially add to the number of people in church. Our purpose is to identify the remnant and with this remnant find unity. I suppose you could say we seek quality of commitment not necessarily quantity. Perhaps Quantity comes later with an invigorated remnant.
So to wrap things up, I again go back to my personal journey. When I quit drinking, I always counted the days, and marked where I was physically to determine how far I had to go. Day one was always the toughest-many times I prayed to live through Day 1. However, a little over 2 ½ years ago, I marked day one as my first day in solitude with the Lord. For this group, and our nation, I mark tomorrow as Day One. Today I call Ground Zero – the day you make a commitment to come into a relationship or resume your relationship or rededicate your relationship with the Lord. You should fall into one of those categories. If not, I suggest you examine your heart and determine if you really belong to the Lord. If you seek his input, I believe he will tell you. I truly believe The Lord has something Special coming through His Church. I believe this weekend to be a start-I believe God desires every one of you to be a part of what God has planned. Are you willing to give yourself completely to The Lord, such that you can be intricately involved in what He has planned? Today my prayer is that The Lord’s Church will live as it should-that you will awaken and come alive-and that together we can impact our Nation for God-just as He has called us to do. (Ref: Matthew 16:18) “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not overpower it.”
In Isaiah chapter 31, again we see Judah looking to other nations for assistance rather than God. I’m sure there are several possible reasons why Judah was continually looking for help from others, rather than from God, but I believe most accurately, that they did not want to pay the price of looking to God, which would have required them to repent of their sin. They wanted to hang onto their sin and rely on others to help them. God does not allow this!
Now it is time to determine for yourself – are you going to continue looking everywhere but to God, and continue in your cycle of sin, or are you going to come into relationship with Jesus Christ?
As I said, I believe God is calling each one of us here tonight to die to ourselves and commit to Him fully and completely. He is calling His Remnant. He is calling you! Are you going to respond?
Read 2 Chronicles 7:14-“I will heal their land.” God spoke to me regarding this today. It does not say “things will get better, ”or “you will be better off.” It does not say our actions will result in anything, except that as a result of our actions of seeking Him, HE WILL THEN ACT. This is what we are crying out for.
Friday May 27, 2016
Here are the Sermon Notes from our Revival Meeting on Saturday, April 30, 2016. We are preparing to leave for our initial 30 day Journey with The Lord. It is my intention to begin posting more often as I have more time dedicated to our Ministry-beginning in June (2016). These notes are a rough draft of my thoughts. I pray that The Lord may use them to speak to you even though they are quite rough.
May 2, 2016
As a follow up to our meetings this weekend in New Albany, Indiana, The Lord has put something on my heart that I want to share. We greatly appreciate all of you who supported us this weekend not only in attendance but in your prayers. God's presence was with us in a magnificent way. We look forward to things to come. We are very excited about what God has in store. I will be posting the transcripts from my sermons later this week, and if I can figure out how, I may post the videos on this page or our new Facebook page. I am still in what seems to be the technology Dark Ages.
God has impressed on me our need for sustained change rather than simply weekend waves with great emotion.As I read Isaiah Chapter 58 this morning. In verse 5, God says, "Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself?" I encourage you to read the entire chapter.
This chapter, and particularly verse 5, outline exactly what The Lord has been putting on my heart regarding waves of revival that I see, and particularly emotional movements that Christians are quick to embrace throughout our Nation. If these moves don't produce any real-lasting behavioral change, they are of little value. I believe they are the fasting that The Lord is speaking about. As Christians, it seems we are often moved to embrace these waves that seem to feed us spiritually, but are we moved to embrace real change of ourselves? Are we moved to embrace a commitment to God that requires us to examine ourselves in His light and do what He desires. Are we committed to do what is necessary to stay in the presence of God when the emotion is gone? I fear that as an entity The Lord's Church in our Nation is not. If we want true, sustainable change, each one of us must be willing to commit to change of ourselves that will probably be painful. We must seek something that feeds others rather than seeking that which feeds only ourselves. We must commit to daily time with The Lord that will result in growth each day, and will allow Him to convey His unique plans for each of us. This sustained change in The Lord's Church which is what I refer to as "True Revival." This is the only means we have to impact our society and culture, and take back our Nation for Jesus Christ from those who are intent to steal it from Him. This commitment to growth must be daily, and it must be ongoing.
Friday, June 10, 2016
The Lord told me today that Revival is coming. We leave to begin our Mission Journey today. We will be traveling State to State over the next 2 to 3 years under The Lord's direction to bring Revival to His Church. God tells me great things are in store for His Church and His Kingdom. We hope to see you. We will be hoping to post more frequently as God shares insights with us on our journey. We would love for you to email me with any thoughts or prayer requests.
We held a Series of Revival Meetings in New Albany, Indiana on April 28, 29, and 30, 2016. This was the Kickoff for our Traveling Ministry.
Wake up His Church
SERMON NOTES APRIL 28, 2016-OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Prayer-Lord, let me only speak only truth tonight. Let me only speak words that will stand before you. I ask you tp shine your light to the innermost parts of our hearts, such that anything that separates us from you will be glaringly exposed.
I want to welcome all of you tonight. I appreciate you taking time to be here.
Why Are We Here?
The Lord has called my wife and I to a Nationwide Ministry. God told me a few days ago that this ministry is about discipleship. It is to be geared toward bringing others into the Journey of Growth that The Lord has introduced me to almost 3 years ago. The Lord’s desire is to use us to bring people into a daily growing relationship with Jesus Christ-the very relationship that I have discovered. My hope is that every person who attends our meetings makes a commitment to The Lord – a commitment to a Journey of lifelong Discipleship. The Lord told me He is using me to bring His Church back to Him.
As I begin to speak, I just want you to understand that as I talk about the message The Lord has given to me, I approach this with great reverence and caution. This is not something I have come about frivolously. I have been slow to state it plainly, but I feel I must. God has given me a message, and I feel an obligation to my countrymen and The Lord’s Church as Isaiah did. I feel the need to expose myself spiritually to my brothers and sisters for their sake – for your sake. (ref Isaiah chapter 20)
I am here speaking to you today because the Lord has given me a message. God has conveyed to me a message of judgment relating to our nation of America. We will talk more about this on Saturday. The Lord has also given me a message of revival. The judgment that the Lord has laid on my heart as most crucial is individual judgment. The judgment that concerns me today relates to you. It is personal judgment. Regardless of the future of our nation, which is virtually out of our control as individuals, certain judgment awaits each and every one of us, and this judgment rests firmly in our grasp. It is based on a personal decision. What do I do about Jesus Christ? Do I believe that he is who he says he is and accept his unparalleled gift of salvation, or do I pursue or believe something else. This choice is yours. Nobody controls it, but you. I believe this judgment can be best summed up in one Scripture-
Matthew 7:21- Jesus says “Not everyone who says to me,’ Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day,’ Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
While the Lord has called my wife and I to a mission journey that includes traveling our nation with the hope that God will bring Revival to his Church and our nation, the Lord has planted this Scripture in my heart as a call to his people. Tonight, it is my goal to provoke you to honestly assess through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, where do you stand with our Lord?
I’m not sure how long tonight’s service is going to last. I’m making every effort to keep it manageable. It occurred to me last night that I want to convey everything The Lord has taught me over the last 2 ½ years in on night. What I really desire is that tonight you find your way to The Lord as I have and He will begin to teach you as He has me.
I want to clearly point out that assessing Salvation is not my goal or responsibility. This sits solely with Jesus Christ as Judge. I also want to be clear that I am in no way proposing a salvation by works in any way, shape or form.
Acts 2:21; 17-21 (These may be the very times we are in)
While I know that Salvation is 100% up to The Lord, I also know that Jesus did His part fully and completely. He did everything according to the Will of His Father. Jesus made our path to Salvation clear and easy. It is a free gift-Jesus did all of the WORK!
However, I think it is possible that we have made it too easy. We want to have Salvation and make not changes or expect no change to ourselves. We want to go on business as usual. I believe C.S. Lewis said that when he accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, a major reconstruction began in him that he did not see coming. The Holy Spirit began to overhaul him from the inside out. He was transformed. This is a process-This process is not easy, but this is a product of true Salvation.
We live in a society that wants to embrace everything. We want to be “inclusive.” Inclusiveness as an idea is very dangerous. To be inclusive without truth leads to death/destruction. I don’t know any other way to put it. In our culture , we are in a battle for Truth. Jesus is Truth. The Cross is Truth-The Resurrection is Truth. Truth is discerned with the basis that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. Truth must be the basis for our inclusiveness. We have become a society that does not like the Truth-we have become therapeutic-we want a gospel that makes us feel better about ourselves, rather than transforming us. We don’t need to feel better about ourselves-we are broken. We don’t need therapy-we NEED A CURE. THE RE IS ONLY ONE CURE FOR WHAT AILS US-JESUS CHRIST. Tonight, I urge you to engage in a process of Spiritual inventory with the Holy Spirit. Open yourself up to Him, and let Him lead you. My journey into this mission for The Lord began in the middle of the night with Him leading me to the following Scripture (Ezekiel 37:4-6)
So let’s take a minute and contemplate God. Who is God?
I want you look to around. I like that we are outside with nature where God is so visible. As we look, we can see God everywhere-The intricacy and detail of his hand at work. We can see it in the leaves, the trees, the grass, the birds, the sunrise, the sunset – literally everywhere.
I’m going to assume that you’re here because either you believe there is a God or at a minimum you are curious about Him. It is my goal that tonight you find God in a way that you never have before-perhaps never imagined. My goal extends past tonight to a Hope that you will leave here intent on serving God with all your heart for the remainder of your life.
Now I want you to consider yourself in the grand scope of the universe. Two things always stand out to me in the massiveness of the universe.
How transient we are in the scheme of things – our life here is so brief
Compared to the magnificence of the universe, we are so insignificant as individuals.
This can bring a couple possible feelings. One, you can either be overwhelmed and discouraged; or- two, you can think of a God that create you with unthinkable significance and desires a relationship with you in the midst of this – in fact, he died for you so that you can come to him, and have a relationship.
Sure – to bring you salvation – most if not all of professing Christians get that part. But what is often missed is that he wants to have a deep, meaningful, intimate relationship with you. Now I want you to evaluate the time that you spend with him. Tonight I ask you to think about your life – where you are headed. I would like you to think about the significance of your activities and what motivates you. I want you to evaluate where you are in light of a God that died for you. I want you to give deep consideration to where you stand with him, and your direction as it relates to Jesus Christ desire for you. Bear in mind that the last thing he told his disciples was ”therefore go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15)-“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” I ask you two consider three things (1) surrender, (2) submit, (3) Death to yourself.
To me, the most tragic thing that can happen to us is that we know of God – we believe in God – know much about God – yet, we don’t know God. Our God is an intimate God , yet it seems to me, that in our nation and sadly the Lord’s Church today, this tragedy is everywhere. Have you ever considered how can a country with so many churches be in such a state of defiance against God?
I have said to myself many times, how can this be? Over time, as the Lord has opened my eyes to Scripture, I have found that it was the same throughout Jesus ministry. We read all throughout the Gospels about the masses following Jesus. We find masses of people following Jesus, for a variety of reasons – many personal agendas. We don’t have to look deep into Jesus teachings to find him warning us about this. Jesus speaks of the narrow gate that few will enter (Matthew 7:13). This is a Scripture that always stands out to me.
I want to provoke you to examine yourself.-again a “Spiritual Inventory.” You see, unless we know God personally, the results are disastrous. So how do we get to know God personally? There is only one way – through his Son, Jesus Christ. He came to earth, died, was resurrected, and conquered death for this very reason – so that we may know God. Jesus tells us this. In John chapter 14 (John 14:6- I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.) What God was not to me throughout my life was personal. During this journey of almost three years, God has become personal to me. HE HAS BECOME MY GOD. Jesus Christ has become my Lord. This doesn’t make me special, it simply makes me His servant.
Again, I want to be clear about Salvation. Scripture is clear that Salvation is by Grace through Faith-period. It is a free gift from God Himself. Jesus paid the price for our Salvation- John 3:16 is the Gospel in a nutshell. We cannot work our way into Heaven-we simply are not worthy. There is no way for us to achieve Salvation without Jesus.
However, this does not mean that after Salvation, there is no work involved. Salvation is the beginning of our journey. I call Salvation Ground Zero. We cannot work our way into Heaven, but we are called on throughout Scripture to work until we get there. The lives of others are at stake.
Perhaps the degree of commitment on our part is up to us-perhaps this is a decision that each of us must make -”Will I commit 100% or will I hold back? Perhaps this does not jeopardize our Salvation. However, I know that God wants us committed. I know that the only way to change our nation and our world is through full commitment of God’s people-of Christians. I know that when I committed fully to The Lord almost 3 years ago, The Holy Spirit did exactly what C.S. Lewis described-He went about the business of reconstructing me from the inside out. He has and continues to transform me. I know that I have never once desired to go back-only closer to Him.
Now I’m going to bring it back to something personal. Let me tell you about my journey. As I said, for many years, I knew of God – perhaps I even knew him personally. I believed Jesus was my Savior. I was baptized. I was a Christian (at least I believed it to be so). The uncertainty I find is that I’m not sure He was my Lord.
However, I will tell you emphatically that I did not know him intimately. Was I going to heaven? I don’t know!! So now let me tell you about the change. As I tell you my testimony and talk about what the Lord has done in my life in the last three years and continues to do every day, I want to urge you not to focus on me – the miracle. Many people that followed Jesus were intrigued or even consumed by the miracles he performed, but sadly they missed out on Jesus himself. Knowing about Jesus does not have one bit of impact on your salvation – you must know Jesus- it must be personal. Through my testimony, I want to ensure that you focus on Jesus Christ who is the performer of the miracle and not on me, who is the miracle. As you focus on Jesus, there is a very good chance that the next miracle you see may be you.
I hope I have made it clear how much this relationship with The Lord means to me. I want to share something with you. This week-Monday-during my Bible Study, I read the following Scripture Isaiah 51:22. This Scripture penned by Isaiah thousands of years ago-with so many deep implications about Isaiah’s time, our Saviour, God’s people and even possible future meanings, and yet that Scripture was exactly the Words The Lord spoke to me during my journey about 2 years ago, and He led me to it this very week. Our God is amazing, and there may never have been a statement made that is such an understatement.
HOW DO WE CHANGE OUR NATION-HOW DO WE HAVE AN IMPACT?
LOVE-Now I want to Talk About Love
When I began this journey, I vividly remember in the early stages a question that was clear in my head. It is hard for me to admit, but I was not sure if I truly loved the Lord. I had been a Christian for forty years, and yet I was not sure. I questioned my love for him, because I did not understand. How could I know? How could I be sure?
Perhaps I was like Peter in John 21:15 – 17 when Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him?
I have heard that we show our love for God through obedience. I determined that I could do this. I knew that to be free from the addiction of alcohol, I needed to be obedient. God gave me clear direction to be in relationship with him. He told me with no uncertain terms that under no circumstances was I to compromise my time in solitude with him. Through this commitment of being obedient to the Lord’s call to be a relationship with him, I found my Love for Him. What I found is that the Lord himself gives us this love. His Holy Spirit teaches us to love him. His word teaches us to love him. How is this possible?
Because God gives us a new heart – his heart. When I began to experience this transformation, it was the most radical thing that had ever happened to me.
Reference Ezekiel 11:19
Ezekiel 36:26- “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
These had been words that I had heard and even understood. As I embarked on this journey with The Lord, they became Alive to me.
When we truly accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are indwelt with his Holy Spirit. This is not optional. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and empowers us to a new life, which includes a supernatural love for God and for others.
Luke 2:49 . Jesus tells His Disciples “I am going to send you what my father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Acts 2:38 tells us: Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It is also important that we understand that our love for God grows and our relationship with him grows much like any of our relationships here on earth – through quality time together. The Lord recently told me that the quality of the relationship is proportional to the quality of the time we spend with him. Jesus tells us in Scripture that this relationship is to be tended to daily.
Luke 9:23 - Jesus tells us ”if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
At some point during my journey, I felt my focus shift. I did not stop growing, but God began directing me toward how my growth could help others.
This took on great significance and I began to care more and more for others. I began to Love those I did not even know. I began to feel personally responsible to help others fin d the same relationship with Jesus that I was finding. God gave me Love for you! This is why I am here today.
So, how do I know God exists? I look around and I see him. I see evidence of him everywhere. But this does not make it personal. How do I know personally?
Because he lives in me!! I feel his presence. I have a living relationship with Himjiust like He told me in His Word.
Reference Jeremiah 33:3
Now I ask you. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you feel his presence? Does he live in you? If you don’t know if he lives in you, then we have a problem- you have a problem because your eternity is in jeopardy. I have a problem because I love you too much to let you leave here with any misunderstanding about what Jesus desires. The Lord desires you to be in a intimate personal relationship with him.
You see, if you call yourself a Christian, and are not in relationship with him, we all have a problem because we need you. His Church needs you. We need you committed to this relationship. We don’t need you halfhearted. We already have enough of that in this nation. We can easily look around and see where that has gotten us. I know where that took me personally – I became a slave to alcohol. No, we need you committed to serving Jesus Christ. For your sake, you need to be committed to serving Jesus Christ. I implore you to get off the fence and remove all doubt. I am not necessarily questioning your salvation, I simply want to motivate you to get into a deeper relationship with God. If you truly recognize the need for change in His Church-If you truly desire change in our Nation, I’m asking you to stand up tonight and make a commitment of yourself for this change. This commitment will not only benefit our nation, but I assure you –you will benefit.
I want you to consider something. What if out of the blue, you answered your cell phone and it was a call from President Obama? This call was inviting you - not only for a visit, but to become part of his inner circle? It is an invitation to become one of his friends – political feelings aside, who would not jump at such an opportunity? When you feel the tug or the stir of the Holy Spirit inside you – this is a call from God. Not to your cell phone, but directly to your heart. Not a call from our nation’s president, but a call from God himself – a call from Jesus Christ to become part of his inner circle. This is a call from the creator of the universe – the very God that created you.
My invitation to you today is simple. I ask every person here today to begin their journey. I invite you to be on the journey – the journey is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I have walked with the Lord these last two and half plus years, I’ve said to many people, “I just want people to find what I have found. I just wish they would taste for themselves.” The other day, I came across this verse in Psalms.
Psalms 34:8-taste and see that the Lord is good.
I invite you to taste and see for yourself. I beg of you to taste and see for yourself. I did exactly what the Psalmist tells us to do in Psalms chapter 34.
Psalm 34:4- “I sought the Lord, and he answered me.“ Jesus also reiterated this in Matt 7:7.
If you come with a sincere heart and no ulterior motives, He will answer you too.
Here is the question that haunts me-“ if you are not in relationship with the Lord, are you saved?” The fact is, I don’t know. For myself all of those years, I don’t know. Perhaps maybe you don’t truly know. Is this not exactly what Jesus warns us of in Matthew 7:21 as I read earlier?
Let’s talk about what I do know. What I do know is that if you commit to this relationship, we will both know. Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus will transform you and change your life.
In a moment, we will play a couple of final songs and I am going to ask you to make a commitment. I ask you to either begin a new relationship or renew your relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have never accepted him as your Savior, I invite you to come forward. I’ll pray with you. However, if you believe you have already accepted Jesus as your Savior, I ask you to take this time, and examine yourself. During this time, if God has a desire for change in your life, he will let you know. I urge you emphatically to respond to the stirring of the Holy Spirit.
I am asking each and every one of you to make one of the following decisions. If you don’t, I want to warn you sternly that you do so at your own peril. I Believe that no decision tonight leaves you making a decision that puts you on a pathway to eternity in Hell. I’m sorry to say that, but I assure you I Love you to much not to make that clear. I ask you to make one of the following three commitments:
Begin your Journey tonight. Make Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour and begin your journey
Resume your journey. Perhaps you have slipped off the path slightly in your commitment. Recommit wholeheartedly
Perhaps you are all in much like I am. I ask you to reaffirm to The Lord of your desire for Him to use you as He sees fit. As I believe God has something incredible in store, I assure you He has plans for you. If you are already on this journey with God, I simply ask you to pray to Him for the next step.
I want to be clear about the 100% commitment to The Lord that I speak of tonight. I’m not talking about 100% transformed. This is a lifelong process. I’m talking about being 100% committed to the process of being transformed-committed to the Journey.
As you examine yourself, I ask you to do so in light of the following Scriptures.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the spirit, you’re not under the law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; I idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
John 15:4 – 8
Jesus said, “Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I and him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is my father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
As you have heard my story, and what our Lord Jesus has done, you may be thinking –“that’s great – what the Lord has done for him, but I’m not alcoholic, or you may be thinking or wondering if the Lord can do that for you?
I just want to point out two irrefutable facts for you to contemplate.
The Lord can and will do this for you if you seek repentance and commitment to him with all your heart. The Lord reassured me of this at the very beginning of my journey with the following Scripture
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
You may not be an alcoholic – but if you call yourself a follower of Jesus and are not all in, sin is what is preventing this. You must identify your sin. You must recognize that everyone of us has sin and we all need forgiven. I believe we are all broken – every since the fall. However, Jesus Christ is the cure. Sin is what ails us, and Jesus is the cure to what ails us. My burden has not necessarily become easier as I have learned to walk with the Lord, I just don’t do it alone – I am yoked together with Jesus. You must recognize that the only path to this forgiveness is Jesus through his substitutionary sacrifice. You must repent, which is to not only identify the sin, but to turn from it. You must have faith to believe in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that he offers.
Now, I invite you to examine your heart. Everything comes down to one critical question. Do you believe Jesus Christ is who he says he is? If the answer to that is yes, are you in relationship with him? Do you bear fruit according to his word? I believe CS Lewis wrote “if Christianity is false, it is of no importance, but if it is true, it is of infinite importance. What it must never be, is of moderate importance.”
I’m not asking you to respond to me. You don’t need to explain yourself. I don’t wish to be judgmental or condemning about how you live or how you spend your time. I only urge you not to rationalize to yourself. God knows your heart-even if you don’t. If you don’t spend time with God daily, what could possibly be more important over the course of a day than listening to God?
I am asking you to respond if you feel a stir from the Holy Spirit telling you that you have not fully committed, or if you don’t feel the presence of God inside you at all. My question to you is not will you enter into a relationship with Jesus?, But my question to you is, how could you possibly not?
There is a difference between believing the promise, and making a commitment to the One Who makes the promise. FAITH-Forsaking All I Trust Him! (REF Oswald Chambers)
I promise you that if you make a commitment today to come into relationship with the Lord, your life will never be the same. I ask you – I beg you-in light of all this, let today be your ground zero and let tomorrow be your day one. Tomorrow begin to live.
I heard Charles Swindoll say of our generation-“No generation in history has been so exposed to the Truth and responded with so much indifference.” I ask-No I beg of you-Please don’t be indifferent. Please make a commitment to this journey with The Lord.
If you’re not Saved-You Need to get Saved!
If you are Saved-I’m telling you there is more!
In these past 2 ½ plus years, The Lord has drawn me into a deep, growing relationship with Him, and I yearn for more each day. I am asking you to join me.
I believe that God is calling a remnant of His people ti come to Him with fire, passion, and most importantly with complete willingness to serve Him 100%. Is He calling you? Are you going to respond? (Reference Oswald Chambers)
Nuts and Bolts
The engineer in me tells me I need to give you something practical-What can I do in my daily life to come closer to The Lord?
1.Solitude-Spend time with God
2.Spend time in God’s Word.
I encourage you to commit to doing these things daily. If you do them daily, I encourage you to commit to doing them more.
We want to change our Nation and get headed back to God. That change needs to come through an invigorated Church. The invigorated Church begins with each and every one of you-Today!