How to Develop A Heart After God’s (part 1)

heart-for-GodAnd when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

David may be best known among Bible readers as a man described as one after God’s own heart.  In the text below, as an old man, God describes what He did for this blessed man.

Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.  (2Sa 23:1-2)

David was a man promoted and anointed by God BECAUSE he possed a heart after God’s.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (Act 13:22)

Please note God’s testimony about David.  Pay particular attention to the phrase, “I have found David…”.

God did not GIVE David a heart after His so He could anoint him King, but rather FOUND David already had a heart after His, so He made him king!

If we wish to be used by God to the fullest, let us develop a heart for and like His so God can “find us” usable in His service.

How to Develop a Heart for God; (part 1) 

Live a Cause – God!Sling

Make your cause to delight in magnifying God’s reputation (1 Sam 17:45-47)

This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; …that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.
(1Sa 17:46-47) 

In a world of nonbelievers, voices are needed to brag on God and declare His power!

Make your cause to despise the reproaching of God and His people (1 Sam 17:26)

…What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? …he should defy the armies of the living God?  (1Sa 17:26)

Let’s not bring reproach upon God and His people by what we DO in our lives.

Let’s not bring reproach upon God and His people by what we DO NOT do in our lives.

Make your cause to desire the King’s reward (1Sam 17:25)

…and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. (1Sa 17:25)

Desire the reward of the King’s riches …the king will enrich him with great riches, 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (Mat 6:19-20)

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  (Heb 11:26)

Desire the reward of the relationship in the King’s family … will give him his daughter…

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal 4:7)

Desire the reward of the special rights provided by the King  – freedom…make his father’s house free in Israel.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  (Joh 8:36)

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  (Rom 6:17-18)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

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A Church for Which to Thank God (pt2)

power_of_enduring_companies_1536x1536_OriginalThe Enduring Church

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:  (2Th 1:3-4)

Here Paul is thanking God for the church at Thessalonica for two reasons: for their abounding and enduring. Last time we looked at their abounding, today we will look at their enduring.

Remember, we all must be both abounding and enduring if we are going to accomplish and be all God desires for us.

To endure without abounding is boring and is of no lasting value or impact.

To abound without enduring is no more than a flash in pan and of not much more value than fools gold.

Now, let us see their enduring.

The Reason for Endurance – The Kingdom of God (vs5)

The worthiness of entering the Kingdom of God is assessed (vs5, Luke 9:62)

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:  (2Th 1:5)

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luk 9:62)

The wondrousness of the Kingdom of God in its entrance

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that sinners may enter

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  (Mat 21:31-32)

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that suffering is often associated with entering

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.  (Act 14:22)

The entrance of to the Kingdom of God is wondrous in that spiritual rebirth is required for entrance

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:3)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (Joh 3:5)

The Reflection of Endurance – The Glory of God (vs4, 10)

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.  (2Thes 1:10)

As with all things in our lives, the purpose and intent of all we do is to glorify God.  So must the purpose of our endurance be that God be glorified.  Any praise should be “reflected” back to Him!

The Resistance to Endurance – The Opposition to God (vs4, 5, 6)

The blessings and pleasures of persecutions

Therefore I take pleasure in infirnities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  (2Co 12:10)

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  (Mat 5:10-11)

The glories of tribulations

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (Rom 5:3)

The Resolve of Endurance – The Power of God (vs4)

It takes the power of God working in our lives to endure. Patience from God and faith in Him is required to endure through the persecutions and tribulations.

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (2Th 1:4)

The Rest in Endurance – The Judgment of God (vs7)

The many that are troubled can take rest in the fact that God will bring all things to view and judge them righteously  We need not fret nor seek our own revenge.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  (2Th 1:7)

 

Endure!  Keep going for Him!  He is soon returning!


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

A Church for Which to Thank God (pt1)

The Abounding Church

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:  (2Th 1:3-4)

love-and-faithHere Paul is thanking God for the church at Thessalonica. He is not just saying the words, but he is spelling out the reasons he could thank God for them.  We should all desire to be the Christian and the church for which we, and others, can thank God.

The two reasons he was thanking God for them were they were a church that was abounding and enduring.

We all must be both abounding and enduring if we are going to reach the end of our race well and be all God desires for us.

To endure without abounding is boring and is of no lasting value or impact.

To abound without enduring is no more than a flash in pan and of not much more value than fools gold.

First, let us look at where they were commendably abounding and in the next post, we will see how they were enduring.

They were a church Abounding in Faithyour faith groweth exceedingly…

The phrase “growth exceedingly”  means to be ABOVE MEASURE.  The faith referred to here is not a body of beliefs, but rather a “credence given” and a “strong confidence in”.

Let me suggest you begin by knowing your faith

Know first that your faith is the right Person and place.  It must be in Jesus Christ as Saviour and in His Word.  Make sure you are saved.

Then, begin growing your faith.

Faith is buildable and can be, as in this church, abounding!

There is a condition of “No faith” 

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?(Mar 4:40)

Then there is “Small faith”

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (Mat 6:30)

And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  (Mat 8:25-26)

Then some have “Great faith”

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.  (Mat 8:8-10)

 

They were a church Abounding in Love – the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 

It was a commended love

Because God is love

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  (1Jn 4:16)

Because Christ epitomizes a life of Love.

If we are going to be like Him we must love also.

It was a common love

Note the term “every one” – charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth

We can never be a church God wants us to be unless the love of Christ is expressed by “every one” of us.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (Joh 13:35)

Ask God to help you live a life and to be a member of the church for which people are thankful to God.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the Est Bay

 

A Second Continuing Requirement – Pray without ceasing

8ac179844155a1814ce63e352ac85378Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:16-17)

As we approach the second coming of the Lord, God gives us (as He did the church at Thessalonica) some things we need to be found continually doing.

The first was “rejoice evermore”

The second requirement is that we are to “pray without ceasing”

Why should we pray without ceasing?

One reason is that we are always open to temptation.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mat 26:41)

A second reason is that others around us always need our intercession.

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: (1Sa 12:23)

The principles of praying without ceasing

Never stop your prayers

Pray with importunity

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. (Luk 11:8)

Pray without impatience, – not to faint! 

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; (Luk 18:1)

Never suspend your prayers

Never let holidays, vacations, or extra work keep you from your prayers. With time off or extra long work hours, pray MORE not LESS!

Never sacrifice your prayers

By perversion 

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: (Psa 66:18)

By pride

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 18:11-14)

By plotting – by reasoning and deception

Instead of relying on prayer, we resort to cheating, lying, and deception. I call it the Jacob syndrome

The practice of praying without ceasing

Pray in all PLACES  

If I cannot pray there I must not go there.

Pray in all PERFORMANCES

If I am doing something and I cannot sincerely pray in it… or over it, I must not do it!

 

He who prays the most lives the best.


Visit us online at LBCEastBay.com

 

Constancey Required – “Rejoyce evermore”

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Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Th 5:16-18)

As God finishes teaching the church at Thessalonica how to conduct themselves while waiting for His second coming, He gives three groupings of instructions in rapid fire.  They are short statements but carry with them with deep implications.  The three groupings I call “A Christian’s Duties While Waiting”.

The first grouping tells us that while waiting there is a “Constancy Required”.  There are three areas where God requires us to be constantly engaged.  He first commands us to “Rejoice Evermore”

Rejoice EVERMORE

Ever = This tells us that we are to be ever rejoicing.  All the time, every place, in every circumstance.

More = From now on. Increasingly more often.

Important lessons about rejoicing evermore.

It is a repeated command

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.  (Php 4:4)

We always have plenty to do, but this we have always to do – Spurgeon

It is a reasonable command

Because of all He has done for us it is only natural and reasonable that we be a rejoicing people! God puts it best (as always). Read below why we should be rejoicing.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.  (Isa 61:10)
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.  (Isa 12:2)
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  (Isa 12:3)
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  (Luk 10:20)

Even if we have little or nothing in this world, we can, and should, decide to rejoice and find our joy in our Lord!

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Hab 3:17-18)

It is a resourceful command – the Joy of the Lord is our strength!

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is our strength. (Neh 8:10)

It counters depression, discouragement, and despair.  It is hard to rejoice and be depressed at the same time.  Do not wait for rejoicing to come, DO IT!

It is not a carnal joy, a circumstantial joy, or a joy common to man, but it is a work IN us by the Holy Spirit. It grows from the new birth disposition.

It is a revealing command

Our response and obedience to the command to rejoice evermore shows our readiness to God’s service by “approving ourselves as the ministers of God”.

But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, … as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; …. (2Co 6:4-10)

What does our rejoicing (or lack thereof) say of our approving?

Decide to rejoice evermore.  Demand it of yourself.

(Watch for the next continuing expectation)


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay – www.LBCEastBay.com

 

Works of Faith

 

Faith works powerpoint 2Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; (1Th 1:3)

The relationship between faith and work has been preached, taught, and pursued since the time of Abraham and before.  Although there has been much taught and written about the works of faith I believe we are lacking a full understanding. Below is a simple description of the three works of faith.

First – The Works of “Supplying Faith”.

This is the power of faith. It is the work that God does.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: (2Th 1:11)

 It is God in us working the power of faith. We must seek and permit this work of faith of God in our lives if we are to experience power in our faith

Second – The Works of “Supporting faith”.

This is the product of faith. This is the work that we do.

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; (1Th 1:3)

These are the works of faith described in Hebrews 11.  These are the feats of action begun, performed, and completed by acting in faith toward God and His Word.  This is the common work of faith we think of when we seek an expression of faith.

Third – The Works of “Showing”  Faith.

This is the proving of faith. This is the work that faith does.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (Jas 2:14-18)

This is probably the most important and spiritual of the three.  These are the works that flow involuntarily from the child of God that is truly growing in his faith. It is the work of faith that is most Christ-like.

For us to be perfected in our faith, with nothing lacking, we need to ensure we are perfect in all three works of faith.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

This Daniel –  Because He Believed In His God

Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. Daniel 6:23

There was no doubt many men named Daniel in that day, but God three times points out the particular aspects of THIS Daniel. Could God call attention to our lives in the same way and speak so greatly about THIS __________ (put your name in the blank)

I. This Daniel Was Preferred

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Daniel 6:3

Daniel was preferred because of an excellent spirit was IN him. It was not something he put on, something he used as a facade, but it was something that was IN him or a part of him! If we are to be preferred because of an excellent spirit, it will be only if the spirit is true, natural, and part of us.

We all cannot have talent, brains, health, money, or looks,  but we ALL can have an excellent spirt

A. He had a spirit of humility

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days… Daniel 2:27-28

He did I not take the credit for his answer but gave all credit and glory to God.

In Daniel 1:8 Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself but requested of men not to be forced to eat. I believe he would not have eaten if the answer was no, but he still showed a great spirit of humility by kindly asking for an exception. It is true, you draw more flies with honey than vinegar! When have a strong belief in God, humility ,and confidence go other!

B. He had a spirit of faith

Daniel had a practice of putting his life where his mouth was when it came to his faith in his God. Whether it was regarding his habit of prayer or the refusal to eat the king’s meat, he acted on what he said he believed.

II. This Daniel was Persecuted

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Daniel 6:5

A. He was persecuted because of the blessings of God (Dan 6:1-4)

His rivals persecuted him because of God’s blessing on his life made them jealous.

B. He was persecuted because of the Book of God (Dan 6:5)

He was committed to following God’s commands and instructions to the letter as revealed in God’s commands. This will always bring persecution from the enemy.

C. He was persecuted because of his boldness for God (Dan 6:10-11) – He opened the window and prayed!

III. This Daniel was Prospered

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Daniel 6:28

A. Note the time of his prospering

As we consider if we too can believe in OUR God for His preserving and prospering us in our day, let’s consider the time of Daniel when he believed and was prospered by God.

1. It was a time when God’s people were corrupt

2. It was a time when the devil’s people were conquering

3. It was a time when the world was trying to convert God’s people

B. Note the timing of his prospering

Let us evaluate the events that occurred in his life and see his godly actions that all proceeded his prospering. In spite of trials and difficulties, we can expect God’s blessings if we obey and believe God completely.

1. It came after he was taken into captivity. He lived through a frightful calamity

2. It was after forming and following a conviction. (Refusal to take of the king’s meat)

3. It was after a faithfulness confrontation (He was faithfulness to prayer even if it may have meant his life. – den of lions)

Conclusion

Because Daniel believed in his God;

1. He was preferred

2. He was persecuted

3. He was prospered

How much do we believe in OUR God?


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay