Above All These Things – Charity   An Excellent View

CaptureAnd above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Col 3:14)

God, who looks at and into our hearts, places charity (love)  as the measure to determine if our life and our work are of true value.  Note the intensity of the following verse.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1Co 13:1-3)

So God says above all these things (the do’s and do nots of this chapter) we must have charity.


The Prerequisite for Charity Above – A Risen Life (vs1)

1. A risen life has a heavenly focus (vs1-4)

Our aspirations are heavenly

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

Our affections are heavenly

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col 3:2)

Our anticipations are heavenly

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Col 3:4)

2. A risen life has a holiness focus (vs5-10)

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (Col 3:5)

3. A risen life has a humble focus (vs12-13)

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.(Col 3:12-13)

We will be humble in our feelings

….bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…

We will be humble in our forbearing

…Forbearing one another…

We will be humble in our forgiving

…Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, …

Watch the entire service at LBC – Charity

Except the Lord…

build-house_SIA Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)


We are all building a house. We are building our children. We are building our marriages.  We are building our homes.  We are building our church or ministry.  We may or may not be doing well or even devoting any thought at all, but we are building and one day we will have to own the fruit of this building.

Allow me to take a few helpful thoughts from two key points in this pssage as we consider building our homes and children.

First, we will look at the LABOR

It is a required work

Without work – nothing gets built.

Things may pile up, stack up, or fall apart, but nothing really ever gets built without work.

I often say, God can bless our labors, but there must be a labor to bless!

It must be a resolute/round the clock work

The word build is a word that means to “begin to build”.

It is a rewarding work

The children are our reward

When God uses the word “reward” it is refereeing to a payment according to contract or salary.  We are doing the work of building and God says that our children are our salaries.

The children we build are our resource (arrows) for the work and battles before us.

 

The second key is the Lord

The building must be a Labor of the Lord

Except the Lord build it is all vain.

Therefore we must PARTNER with Him

Therefore we must keep Him and His as PRIORITY

Therefore we must seek HIM always in PRAYER

The building must be recognized as a Labor from the Lord

The verse tells us that our children are an heritage from the Lord.  This means they are our inheritance or gift. We do not just get our children by the result of nature, but they are from God and thus we have a responsibly and job to build them.

The building must be a Labor for the Lord

Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (1Sa 1:28)

Let’s give the children to the Lord.  They came from Him and are

 


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Families of Impact

familypicAnd be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph 5:18-20)

There is a great need today for Christian homes to become “Families of Impact”.

This means that both their family is greatly impacted BY God and that their family is having a great impact FOR God.

Before God gets to discussing the rolls of the individual family members in this chapter, He addresses some foundation elements the family of impact will possess.  Here are a few.


A Family of Impact Will Focus on Their Walk

Thier walk will be of one of “Following the Lord” (vs1)

The word fused or “followers” relates to being an imitator.  The family of impact will have its members imitation the life style, attitudes, and actions of our Lord.

Their walk will be a walk in love (vs2)

As in a selfless love – as Christ gave himself

As in a sacrificial love – as Christ made an offering and sacrifice

As in a sweetsmelling love – as God accepted Christ’s sacrifice

 Their walk will be a walk in the light (vs8)

Proving and reproving things of life by the Light of His Word (vs10-13)

The walk will be one on the lookout (vs15)

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (Eph 5:15)

The word translated “circumspectly” means to be exact or watch carefully.  The family of impact will carefully guard their walk.  Inspect it often. Make adjustments to make it “exactly” what God wants.


A Family of Impact Focuses on Their Witness (vs3, 5-6)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; (Eph 5:3)
This not just their verbal efforts to share the Gospel, but what is seen by the world.  It should be only that which  “becometh saints”


A Family of Impact Focus on Their Words (vs4, 12, 20)

They will be careful that the words they use in their homes are TASTEFUL.  They will ensure that the language in their homes is not filthy, shameful, or obscene.  They will endeavor to keep a close watch on even using bi-words that are euphemisms for taking the Lord’s name in vain.


A Family of Impact Focuses on Their Withdrawals (vs5 – 7, 11)

This means that they will watch to see if there are some acquaintances or situations that they may need to dis-associate from for safety and testimonies sake.   These verses admonish us about not being partaking with or fellowshipping with works of darkness.

Let each individual and family in our church seek to become a “Family of  Influence”



Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay 

 

Take Courage

LionAnd from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. (Act 28:15)

The Need for Christians to Take Courage in this Hour

We need to take courage for ourselves

To obey fully God

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:7)

Not to fear people

And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you. — Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. (Deu 31:5-6)

To make the hard decisions

Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it. (Ezr 10:3-4)

We need to take courage for our God

To fully worship Him – Remove idols and renew alters

…And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. (2Ch 15:7-8)

To finish our work for Him

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. (1Ch 28:20)

We need to take courage for others

For the future (blessings) of others

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. (Jos 1:6)

For the faith of others

Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good. (2Sa 10:12)


Watch the entire service HERE

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Mastering the Storms (Acts 27)

Storm-AnchorLetting go the anchors

And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. (Act 27:28-29)

The captain of the ship in Paul’s storm did a great job using his skills and knowledge to get the crew and passengers though a terrific storm.  To be able to master the storms, a seaman must know the tactics available to him and possess the experience  to know when and how to apply them.

Here is a tactic and tool we can use to help up become a master in the storms.

Let Go The Anchors – know your anchors

1. The anchor of duty

One of the best anchor for weathering the storms of life is the simple anchor of knowing and staying committed to doing our duty!

By daily performing and focusing upon the jobs and responsibilities the Lord has given us, we can keep from drifting or being driven far off course in the storm.

Our whole duty

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecc 12:13)

Our daily duty

And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. (2Ch 8:14)

These will include, interceding prayer, studying the Word of God, witnessing, performing our parental and spousal duties, etc.  You get the idea.

Our commanded duty

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luk 17:10)

Here is a might duty and anchor.  It is our duty to do “all those things which are commanded you”.  In other words, if we are not endeavoring to do ALL the things commanded, we are not doing our duty.

2. The anchor of dependence

Depend upon supplication

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)

Depend upon the Scriptures

For light 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

For success

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)

Depend upon the Savior

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Heb 12:2-3)

3. The anchor of delight (Acts 27:22, 25)

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1Pe 1:6-7)
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1Pe 4:13)

Know, use, and depend upon these anchors to keep you secure in the storm!


Watch the entire service HERE

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Getting it Altogether

bringing_it_all_togetherThen Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. (Act 26:28-29)

We have all heard the expression, “They sure have it all together”.  Maybe you have said about yourself, “I need to get it all together”.  As sure as having it “all together” brings peace and order to our lives in general, if we could have our spiritual lives all together we would be more fruitful, joyful, and able to serve the Lord more effectively and consistently.

So we see this state in the life of the Apostle Paul.  As he stood before the king in chains, he said that he wished all that heard him were  “altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”.

How Paul (and ourselves) can spiritually have it “all together”.

He had it altogether because he could answer for himself (Acts 26:1-2) ...because I shall answer for myself this day…

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1Pe 3:15)

He had it altogether because he could think himself happy (Acts 26:2) …I think myself happy, king Agrippa,…

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Pro 23:7)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Php 4:6-8)

He had it altogether because he was sure of his conversion (Acts 26:12-19)

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2Ti 1:12)

He had it altogether because he knew and was sure of the source of his necessary strength

His strength came from the Son of God

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Php 4:12-13)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

His strength came from the grace of God

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2Co 12:9)

He had it altogether because he was secure in his Soul Winning

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Act 20:20-21)

He had it altogether because he had his body under subjection

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Co 9:25-27)

He had it altogether because he was sure of his reward

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2Ti 4:6-8)

He had it altogether because he was stretching for the finish line

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (Php 3:13)


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Est Bay

Watch the entire service HERE

The Trouble Obedience to God Brings and its Blessings

_45826090_hands766And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. (Exo 6:9)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jer 29:11)


Although we know obedience to God is the way to blessings, we know from experience and from the Bible that sometimes, when we are obedient to God, it initially brings trouble. Obey God anyway!

  • Three Hebrew children obeyed God’s command not to worship idols and were cast into the fiery furnace.
  • Daniel praying to God despite king’s commands landed him in the lion’s den.
  • Joseph being obedient to abstaining from fornication was sent to prison falsely accused.

Each of these “troubles” ended as great blessings in the long-term, though at the onset, the obedience brought great troubles.

The obedience of Moses going to Pharaoh to demand he release the children of Israel from Egypt (Exodus 5-6) brought great trouble with the blessings at the end of the story.

After reviewing the following lessons, take the time to reflect on your own experiences where your obedience brought your trouble and how the blessings came.

The Troubles Obedience Can Bring

  1. Being obedient to God often brings more work – vs 9 (Ex 5:7-12)
  2. Being obedient to God often brings more suffering (Ex 5:12)
  3. Being obedient to God often brings more hatred from the world and our enemies (Ex 5:20-21)
  4. Being obedient to God often brings more rejection from our own and the people we are trying to help (Ex 6:9)
  5. Obedience to God often brings more questions for the Lord (Ex 5:22-23)

The Blessings the Trouble from Obedience can Bring

  1. We are blessed to see God work (Ex 6:1)
    • I would not know He could heal unless I was sick
    • I wold not know His protection unless I was in danger
    • I would not know He could comfort unless I was hurting
    • I would not know He could deliver unless I was in distress
    • I would not know He could provide unless I had need I could not meet
  2. We are blessed we can know the God that we see work (Ex 6:3-4) God’s answer to Moses’  why was a resounding WHO!
  3. We are blessed to know the joy of serving the God we see work (Ex 6:6)

Nevertheless, they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. (2Ch 12:8)

If they. had not known the suffering under Egypt’s hand they would not appreciate the rest and peace of serving God.

Trouble may come from obeying God, but obey anyway!


 

Watch the entire service HERE

 

Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay