Pleasing God More and More

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1  

IThessalonians 4 is a chapter dealing with the challenge to please God more and more. The church at Thessalonica was a good church by all accounts without many problems, but even in that, they were being challenged by God to focus on pleasing Him more.

We are to Please God with a Life that is Pure

We are commanded not to defile ourselves in the practices that are vile.

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1Th 4:3)

God commanded them to abstain from fornication. The word translated fornication is a word where we get our English word for pornography.

We need to be reminded in this day of rampant immorality that sexual activity outside of marriage is sin! This needs to be taught to every teen, every young adult, every widow, and divorced person that to please God they must stay morally pure and abstain from fornication.

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (Heb 13:4)

We need to stay pure in this area in obedience to the command

We need to stay pure in this area in obedience as a Christian (vs5)

Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 1 Thessalonians 4:5

We need to stay pure in this area in obedience to a call (vs7)

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

We are commended not to defile ourselves by the proper possessing of our vessels (vs4)

That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (1Th 4:4)

This means taking positive control of our body and spirits to rule over our flesh so we can stay pure.

We are to Please God with a Love that is Powerful

A powerful love is a love taught of God – to despise not (vs8)

He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. (1Th 4:8)

Another way to put is that we are not to be a respecter , or disrespecter of persons.

Because of the  INSTRUCTION of God 

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. James 2:1
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (Jas 2:8-9)

Because of the IMAGE of God 

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen 1:27)

Because of the INCLUSIVENESS of God 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed,and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:28-29)

 

Let’s please God more and more…


Please visit us online – Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

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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

The Blessed Trust – Sin’s Reprieve (part 2) “Sin’s Reward is Loss”

 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jer 17:7-8)

Review: As we look at Jeremiah’s sermon about the sins of his nation and the coming judgment and chastening of God, there shines a light of a blessing available.

In a previous post we saw God tells us that there are only two places we can trust.  We can trust in man and our flesh or we can trust in the Lord.  The blessing of God is for those that put their entire trust in God.

Before He gives us the blessings of trusting in Him, He gives the reasons not to trust the flesh. The first of these reasons was in my last post, “Sin Leaves a Record”.

Let’s now consider the second reason not to put our trust in man and the flesh.

Sin’s Reward is Loss

Satan leads us to believe that sin will bring us profit. The profit of joy, peace, and even financial gain, but just the opposite is true for the child of God.

We experience the loss of our treasures.

O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. (Jer 17:3)

We experience the loss of our heritage

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever. (Jer 17:4)

The idea behind the word “discontinue” is to “fling down” or “remit”.  When we begin to trust in man and fail to keep our trust in the Lord we lose those things that God had planned for us.  We lose the blessings and the special land of rest where He wanted us to take as our possession.

I do not know about you, but I do not want to miss a single blessing that God wants to give me.  Therefore flee sin if you want to keep the heritage God has for you.

We experience a loss of our freedom

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever. (Jer 17:4)
When they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2Pe 2:18-19)

Again, one of the great lies of Satan is that sin brings us freedom. Sin brings us into bondage while trusting and submitting to Christ and His ways bring freedom! TRUE freedom.

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

Beware putting trust in man and our flesh.  This can only lead to loss.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

The Blessed Trust – Sin’s Reprieve

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jer 17:7-8)

In the middle of God’s reprimands to Judah through Jeremiah about how He will and is chastening His people for their sins and rejection of God, He tosses in a jewel, a diamond, a bright light in the midst of the darkness. Even though there are judgments due and coming, there is always a light for the children of God, and He wants us to find hope in Him. As He lists the sins and judgments, there is a joyous light. A reprieve for the oppression of sin.

In the opening verse above, God warns His people that there are only two places to trust. We can put our trust in man and our flesh, or God. God calls the trust in man and the strength of our flesh a cursed trust. No confidence, no hope, no blessings. To trust in God alone is a great joy and blessing. Before He gives us the blessings of trusting in Him, He gives the reasons not to trust the flesh. Here is the first of those reasons.

1. Sins Leaves a Record

The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; Jeremiah 17:1

Somehow we have bought into the belief that we can sin with impunity. This is simply not so. The deeper the sin, the greater the marks. Truly, we can be forgiven of any sin, but sin leaves a mark. David experienced this after the affair with Bathsheba where He said; For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Psalms 51:3

A. Sin leaves its mark on our hearts (vs1)

1. When we sin, we know it, God knows it, the Devil knows it, and our heart feels it.

2. As Adam and Eve learned, every venture into a new area of sin, opens our eyes to the “knowledge” of good and evil and things will never be the same.

3. We see this experienced in the area of physical relations and youth. As one progresses down the path of more and more intimacy in a relationship, the mystery disappears and we are never the same. Stay pure for your future spouse and your heart!

B. Sin leaves its mark on the horns (vs1)

…and upon the horns of your altars;

1. These referees to the places and practice of worship.

2. We all know that the sins of “well known” preachers affects the saints. It taints and sours the body of Christ. It also brings reproach and gives unbelievers another reason to determine that there is no reason to ever listen to Christians describe the joyful and holy life of a believer.

3. We need to be aware that not only the sins of “big Christianity” brings a reproach, but the sins of every Christian is a blot on the name of the Lord and His work. Let us not be the cause of such damage. Flee sin!

C. Sin leaves its mark on our homes (vs2)

Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills. Jeremiah 17:21.

1. We all can remember the atmosphere and lessons learned in the home where we grew. Sins, large and small, affect the children and becomes part of their personality and worldview.

2. Let’s be careful to let our children “remember” holiness, the blessings of serving the Lord in the local church, and forgiveness rather than sinful and cynical attitudes.


Look for part 2 soon.

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church

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

How to Establish and Pass on a Proven Conviction

PersonalConviction

And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever. (Jer 35:18-19)

A conviction only becomes a proven conviction when it is proven. A conviction is not proven until it has been tried.

Over 300 years before, Jonadab had taught his family and taught them to pass along what was TO BECOME a proven conviction. Here is how it happens.

 

It begins as a COMMAND 

But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Jeremiah 35:6

A proven conviction begins with an obedience to a command. It has to be planted. It started with him giving and expecting obedience to a simple COMMAND.

If we want to impart a proven conviction to your children or followers, you start by showing them God’s commands and expect them to obey them, simply because it is a command.

And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. (Deu 32:46)

 

It follows with a CHARGE

Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;  (Jeremiah 35:8)

A command is a beginning, a change is a teaching. He followed the commands with the admonition to teach the same to others in their family and loved ones. Commands without knowledge or understating will not be effectively passed on. We must teach God’s principle and the reasons if we want to establish and pass on proven convictions.

 

It then brings a CONVICTION

The prophet of God had brought them in to his presence and commanded them to drink wine. (Note; It not to have them drink wine, but to prove the strength of their convictions.) These men refused to drink the wine, even though they had been told to do so by the religious leader, because they obeyed and remained true to the convictions delivered to them by Jonadab. The pressure was on and they did not falter. You cannot know the strength of your convictions until your convictions are tried.

Then comes the CROWN.

They were reward for standing by their convictions.

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever…

Summary: to posses and pass along proven spiritual convictions;

  • Accept and teach the commandments of God
  • Learn and communicate the reasons for the commands and take them as a “charge” from God
  • Take the charges to heart making them convictions.
  • Look forward to receiving the crown of rewards for faithfulness.

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