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

The Strait, the Narrow, and the Few

crossroads

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

The title of this article presents us a true picture of the life and manner of a dedicated disciple of Christ.

Entering the right and strait gate is a choice.  Continuing along the narrow path is the daily endeavor. Keeping the conclusion (or destination) of our path should always be before us.

Jesus is teaching some important lessons in this passage.  The “Strait and Narrow” principle applies to salvation as well as the Christin life in general.

Regarding salvation, it is obvious that He is teaching us that salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is THE strait gate and the narrow way to heaven. Trying to take any other path only leads to destruction and hell.

As far as living the Christin life, He is teaching us that to find real life and find it abundantly, we must also stay on the strait and narrow.

Here are some areas, based on this passage, where we must stick to the strait and narrow way if we are to have a fully rewarding and righteous life.


Stay on the Strait and Narrow in your Creed (Doctrine) – False Prophets (Matt 7:15-20)

Here God follows up the injunction to enter and stay on the strait and narrow way by warning about the presence and purpose of false prophets.

Do not be tossed about in your doctrine

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1Ti 4:16)

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Rom 16:17)

Do not let your doctrine be tainted with error and division

 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Tit 2:7)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (2Jn 1:10)

Stay on Strait and Narrow in Your Communion – False professors (Matt 7:21-23)

Jesus then proceeds to warn us about those that work for Him, but He does not know nor do they walk with Him.

Have a walk with Christ  and not just a work for Him

 Stay on Strait and Narrow in Your Conduct – False performers  (Matt 7:24-27)

Jesus completes His thoughts about walking the strait and narrow by reminding us how foolish we are if we try to live our lives without obedience to His Word. Let us always be conscious of His sayings and see we build our lives in obedience to them.

Stay on the strait and narrow in purity

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Ti 4:12)

Stay in the strait and narrow in purpose

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat 6:33)



Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church

Watch the service HERE

 

Punctuality

_85378500_clockIt has been said that the scourge of the pulpit is laziness. As true as that may be, today, one of the scourges of the pew is tardiness.  In our Christian school, we have gone to great lengths and efforts to reduce tardiness.  We have even imposed a “Class disruption fee” for habitually tardy students.  We call it this because repeated tardiness not only shows and develops poor character, it is a major distraction and problem for the teacher and fellow students. All work stops while”Tardy Tommy” comes in, gets situated, turns in his homework, and makes a general nuisance of himself.

As inappropriate and annoying as this is in a classroom, it is even more detrimental and disrespectful when done in the church and the work of ministry.  Here are a few thoughts to help us all develop better habits as it relates to being punctual.  Can you image Jesus being late to all events and appointments?  I think not!

Purposes for Punctuality

Redeem the time

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:15-16)

We are all complaining about how we do not have enough time in a day.  Let’s not be a waster of time by missing those precious moments of instruction, work, and even pleasure by being late.

Respect the time of others

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Php 2:3)

When we ar 10 minuets late and 6 people are waiting on us, we have wasted one man-hour of time in total, but six minutes of each persons life.  Let’s not “steal” life and time from others.

Reverence 

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Co 10:31)

When we are late to church or our assigned ministry, we are being disrespectful to God.  We are saying to God, “Your time is not important to me, God.  Your place, God, is to wait on me.”  How irreverent?  We say that with our actions every time we are late to a meeting with and for God.

Retain a good testimony

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. (Ecc 7:1)

No one likes to always wait on the same person.  What is YOUR reputation as it relates to punctuality?

How to be more punctual12625438_f496

Schedule

You must adjust and apply these thoughts as it relates to your own issues.

Make a time-based agenda for the day or that portion of the day.

  1. Know when you are to be there.  (Include time to park, walk, put up coat etc.)
    • A leader should always be 10-15 minutes early.  On time for a leader is late.
  2. Know and add how long it takes for you to shower and dress.
  3. Know and add how long it takes to load all in the car.
  4. Know and add how long it takes to drive to the appointment.
  5. Know and add typical distractions and delays you experience
  6. Add 15 minutes.

Submit to your schedule. Make your calendar your boss

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 9:27)

 


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How to Deal with Disappointments

Then Davidisappointed-1024x683d the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (1Ch 28:2-3)

David was Disappointed in his Desire to Build a Temple for God.

David’s desire emanated from a good and godly heart.  It was a desire for God to get glory through this house.  But in spite of it being a good desire, God told David no.

How we respond to the great disappoints that God permits in our lives determines if it will make us bitter or better, stronger or weaker, confident or cracked.  Let’s look at David’s heart for some guidance on how to stay right, even when our dreams are dashed.

Do not let your Affection for God be Dampened

Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.(2Sa 7:22) 

Too many times we let disappoints and perceived disasters in our lives quench our love for God. David, however, knew God’s goodness, greatness, and care for him was in no way altered by God’s refusal of David’s proposed plan.

Let your Appreciation to God be Deepened (1Ch 28:4-5)

Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (1Ch 28:4-5)

 

Recognize, consider, and thank the Lord for His many blessings and the things He HAS given us and allowed us to fulfill in our lives.  In David’s response, he rejoiced and considered that God had allowed him to be king and God had given him many sons.  Always remember, God is good, all the time.

Do not let your Activity for God be Diminished (1Ch 29:2-3)

Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. (1Ch 29:2)

Although God was not permitting him to build the house, it did not diminish David’s anticipation or love for the work.  If he could not build it, he would help build it by planning and provided the means for its building.

When God says no, let us not quit our service or work for the Lord.

  Do not let your Awe of God Decay 

Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O Lord GOD? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord GOD; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord GOD? (2Sa 7:18-19)

He kept his reverence for God (2Sa 7:18)

He kept his rest in the Providence of God  (2Sa 7:19) 

Let God be God and make sure our hearts remain soft, pliable, and right with God when disappointments come into our lives.


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