When Discouraged, Consider the Future

temple_of_jerusalemIn the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: (Hag 2:1-4)

Solomon’s grand temple had been destroyed when God’s people had been taken into captivity.  Now, some 70 plus years later, a number had gone back to rebuild the temple.  Because of opposition, the work had been suspended.  Now with the prompting of the preaching of Haggai, work was recommencing.

The problem was, the older folks that had seen the original temple in all its glory and splendor, could see that this temple was not going to be so elaborate and exquisite as the previous.  They had wept and now were obviously discouraged and discontent with their situation (Ezra 3:10-13).

God gave then a solution to this discouragement.  So let us learn it as well.

Things to CONSIDER when discouraged

Recognize the truth about glory

Glory is more about what is “”inside” than what “it is inside”. (Hag 2:7, 9)

God said that this new temple would be more glorious than the first, because Jesus would enter its doors.

Do not let the past stop you from doing what you should in the present. (Hag 2:3-4)

There were two issues that may have hindered the folks that remembered the original temple. One was remembering the GOOD of the past. Too often our short range vision keeps us from working in the present if we see that today’s will never be as good as the “good old days”.

Secondly, maybe their shame and knowledge that it was because of their sin that the first temple was taken away hindered their willingness to work on the new one.

Let us be sure we do not let the good, or the bad, of our past keep us from doing what we should for today and for the future.

Do not let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can. (Hag 2:8)

They did not have the resources that Solomon had to build like before. God reminded them that He still had it all, but was not at this time going to give it to them.  We need not refuse to do what we can for God because we feel we cannot do all we want to.

She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mar 14:8-9)

Things to BE when discouraged

Be strong and constant (Hag 2:4)

Three times Moses said to Joshua and people to be strong  (De 31:6, 7, 23)

Three times God said to Joshua to be strong  (Josh 1:6-9)

Three times David said to Solomon to be strong  (1 Chron 22:13, 28:10, 20)

Be busy and productive – work (Hag 2:4)

Be sure – operate in faith (Hag 2:4-5)

Considering His presence – that God is with you

Considering His prophecies (Hag 2:6-7)

Be courageous – fear not (Hag 2:5)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist of the East Bay

 

Do Not Let the Hurt, Hurt

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Everyone hurts, it is how we react to those hurts that matters.

An old-time preacher once taught that everyone gets hurt, but it is important not to let the hurt, hurt. In other words, as Christians, we are not to let the hurts and trials that enter our life hurt what God is doing.

We should not let the hurt;

  • Hurt our walk with God.
  • Hurt our relationships with others that are innocent or not related to the cause of our hurts.
  • Hurt the work of the ministries in which we are involved.
  • Hurt our trust in God and His goodness.
  • Hurt our future faith or willingness to be vulnerable and love others.
  • Hurt the … (you fill in the blank where you are apt to let the recent hurt, hurt).

How to keep the hurt from hurting.

1. Crucify the carnal (Gal 5:24-26)

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.(Gal 5:24)

It is impossible to hurt a dead man – Lester Roloff

Too many of our hurts” are simply the flesh and old nature raising its ugly head and complaining we are not getting what we deserve or want. “I” was mistreated, “I” was let down, they did not care about “me”. You get the idea.

2. Cast, do not carry, your care (1Pet 5:7)

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1Pe 5:7)

Cast your hurts onto Jesus. If you cannot kill your hurts, give them to the Lord and leave them with Him.

3. Cultivate contentment (Phil 4:11)

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 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. (Php 4:11-12)

Not getting your “needs” taken care of by others?  Be content.

Not receiving the “so deserved” thanks and accolades? Be content.

Not being appreciated or considered? Be content.

4. Conform to Christ (1Pet 2:21-23)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1Pe 2:21)

Feel hurt? Consider Him and follow His example in responses, prayer, forgiveness, sacrifice, and looking for the joy in the ahead.


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

Keys to Abounding

Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (Act 9:31)

3keysThe churches “multiplied”.  They, being blessed of God, were ABOUNDING.  We all want to be abounding in our lives.  We want our church to abound.  We want our homes to abound.  We want our Christian life to abound.

In this verse we find three keys to abounding.  These  apply to a church, a home, and an individual.  Here are these keys.  Find them in the verse above.

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Key 1 = Find Rest

This rest is not an absence of activity but a lack of strife. A life with peace in our hearts. It is this rest that is the environment that fosters and permits abounding

How to find rest? – Be saved (Heb 4:1-6,  Col 1:20-21, Rom 5:1, Eph 2:14-15)

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, …. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (Col 1:20-21)

How to find rest? – Be spiritual

Be spiritual in your mind

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3)

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom 8:5-6)

Be Spiritual in your manner

– In our dealings with others

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.(Rom 12:17-18+)

– In our purity

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (Isa 48:22)

Be spiritual with your money

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1Ti 6:9-10)

How find rest? –  Be in the Scriptures

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psa 119:165)

How find rest? – Be in supplication

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. (Php 4:6-7)

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Key 2 for abounding – Find Edification (to build up)

We are to lay the foundation and build up

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. (1Co 3:11-13)

Building must be priority

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (1Co 10:23)

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Key 3 for abounding – Find your Walk

Walk in the Fear of the Lord

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Mal 1:6)

Walk in the Comfort of the Holy Ghost

Walk in truth = Spirit of Truth (John 14:6)

Walk in the right way = Led by Spirit (Matt:4, Rom 8:14)

Walk protected and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:13-14)

Walk bold and with our hearts full of the love of God = spread by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5)

Are you abounding?


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Seven Habits of a Thankful Christian

Psalm 105:1-8 

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He Thanks (vs1)

  •  Does everything giving thanks

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Col 3:17)

  •  Gives thanks in all things

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Th 5:18) 

  •  Gives thanks for all things

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph 5:20) 

 He Calls (vs1) 

A thankful Christian will call upon the Lord.  Not to ask for something, but like a thankful guest or friend, “I called just to say thank you…”

 

He Sings (vs2)

And 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) 

  • He sings soberly

  • He sings spiritually (filled with the Spirit) 

  • He sings sincerely (in your heart) 

  • He sings Sovereignly (to the Lord)

 

He Talks (vs2) 

To whom will he talk?

To self –  The word translated “talk” comes from the word for ponder or  converse with oneself!  He will think of all the blessings God has given.

To sinners – When we are thankful for God’s blessing of Salvation, we will want to share it with others.

To saints – We will be always ready with a good word for the Lord in testimony!

He Glories (vs3)

The word for glory means to make a show; to boast; to be foolish; to rave

A thankful Christian will (as the old songs goes) have a shout


Song – Glory Spout

One dreary, Sunday Morning,  
Sitting bored as I could be  
An old grey haired preacher man,  
Started preaching straight at me.  
He opened-up his old black book,  
And took his text at me.  
But he opened up my blinded eyes,  
And now I can see.  
 
Chorus  
(Since), I got the victory,  
Brother I found it out.  
(It’s so), good on the inside  
That the outside has to shout  
(Since) I got my want to fixed  
I’m happy and glad  
(I got) under the spout  
Where the Glory comes out.  


 

He Seeks (vs4)

The thankful Christian will be diligently seeking

  • His Person – the LORD

  • His  power – His strength

  • His presence – His face

He Remembers (vs5)

  • He remembers His works – His works for me and in me!

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Php 1:6) 

  • He remembers His wonders  (miracles)

  • He remembers His Word – (Judgments)


 

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

 

 

Abounding In Spirituality

hopeLike everything else, spirituality and spiritual grow only happens if we purpose, plan and then perform.  Below is a portion of a recent message I preached to the upper grades in our Christian school. It is a good reminder to us all, to always be abounding!

To Spirituality Aboud:

1. Start Early

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (Ecc 12:1)

Number your days

Because you do not know how many you have

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. (Jas 4:14-15)

Because the sooner you start the farther you can go

Because you can never get them back

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:16)

2. Bear the yoke in your youth

(That means now – you are younger today than you will be tomorrow)

Because you are stronger

(see  Ecc 12 for a description of our aging process)

Because habits are hard to break (make some good ones now)

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. (Jer 13:23)

Becuase not to do so is sin

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jas 4:17)

3. Set the Example

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)

In your language – in word

In your lifestyle – conversation

In your love – charity

In your liveliness – spirit

In your leaning – faith

In your liberty – purity

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Gal 5:13)

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Eat Bay

Abounding in Scolastics

studyThe theme for our church this year is “Abounding”.  I recently preached this outline in our Christian school’s upper grades chapel. Since the school year is still new, I thought I would pass along this encouragement to all students.  Also, I think it a good lesson for all Christians regarding the need to be good students of the Word of God.

Abounding in Scholastics

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

The Method – study

It is what students do!

Learn to study – study effectively 

Learn to study effectively.  Do not waste time, but rather “redeem the time”. Too many undisciplined students can cram 1 hour of study into 4.

Labor in study – study

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whitextther thou goest. (Ecc 9:10)

The word “study” used in the text means “to make effort, be  diligent,  labor!

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. (Lam 3:27)

Live to study – now is the time of your life to study

It is your job for now. It is your employment.

For people in school or college, this is the  time of your
training and preparing for life.

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. (Pro 24:27)

The Motives

To glorify God “…approved unto God”

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

That makes our study a spiritual concern. (Something to really consider next class session)

To be equipped – “…approved… a workman…”

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(Eph 4:11-12)

To possess understanding – Rightly dividing…

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Pro 4:5)

To accomplish your desires – …not ashamed… 

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. (Pro 18:1-2)

You must prepare if you wish to be successful in life and reach the spiritual and material goals for you and your family.



Plese visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Abound in Soulwinning 1

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Pro 11:30)

tree-of-lifeThis is the first of some mini-posts about abounding in our soulwinning.  These will be short helps and challenges for every one of us to be better witnesses and soul conscious.

Abound in Soulwinning Friendliness

No one wants to talk to someone that is sour or just “doing the job”.  Be interested in them as an individual.  Be concerned about them personally as Jesus is.  Be their friend as they open the door.

Abound in Soulwinning Fire

We have all seen the people from the cults walking down the street with their cases.  They look like they just lost their job and dinner is not ready at home yet.  Put a spring in your step and have a passion about you.  We have great news and people need to hear it!

Abound in Soulwinning Faithfulness

Be faithful every week in the organized church outreach program.

Be faithful to give the Gospel clearly and passionately.

Be faithful to be a witness everywhere, not JUST on Soulwinning days.

Abound in Soulwinning Follow-Up

Did the Lord give you a good lead?  Follow-up

Did someone express a genuine interest in hearing the Gospel but just then did not have time?  Follow-up

Did you get to share the Gospel with someone but they were not sure or had questions? Follow-up

Did you get a commitment from someone to come to church  Sunday, but they did not come?  Follow-up



Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay