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

 

Advertisements

Constancey Required – “Rejoyce evermore”

il_340x270.1323271562_ekh1

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

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

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