•  
  •  


"Choose Your Side"

We live in an ever changing world. 

The world around us is becoming more and more complexed.

We have enjoyed the opportunity as Christians to sit in the background and profess our faith in a way that has been unopposed.

We have not had to face the persecution of the first century church.

But, I must warn you that privilege is slipping from our hands like sand sifting through our fingers.

There is a time coming in the future where in America it will become dangerous to admit you are a Christian.

Some of us may have experienced this thing in pockets of our lives, where we were the only person in our group of friends that was Christian, and our so called friends turned their backs on us and our fear of being alone or not accepted caused us to place our salvation on the shelf to pick up later.

I must tell you that our fine institutions of education have done a good job in introducing the concept of tolerance!

And because of this fact America has become a nation of toleration verses taking a stance on anything.

We have tolerated sin to the point that it is like a virus and it is affecting and reproducing itself over and over again.

How is it spreading so rampantly, and how did it get here so quickly.

Like any virus, it has to have a way of being carried to the host, this is called a vector. 

The virus enters into a vector waiting for the opportunity to latch onto or enter into a host.

The stages of this virus called sin has increased it aggressiveness by using different routes to get to its host!

Who are the carriers?

In our day-in-age I must say that it has and will always be mass media.

Lyrics enter the spiritual body through music.

Ideas enter the spiritual body through conversations with others.

Our televisions, video games, news outlets, newspapers, magazines, technology and the world wide web.

Things that have been created by mankind to advance itself, have been our down fall!

Why?

It was a time when you could not just put anything on television, we called this censoring.  TV went off at 10:00 at night!  

Not these days, we are constantly bombarded by images and ideas of sin.  Video games brainwashing our kids by deadening their senses towards violence and mischief.

Cartoons full of violence and fighting!

I have been preaching this for a longtime! 

I too must do a better job of censoring what comes through my on home.

We are where we are because we have allowed the enemy to infiltrate our homes, we have invited him in, and we have allowed him to stay.

****My question is do you think it is too late to invite him our of your space?****

At some point in life we will have to choose the Lord or the World!

As a Christian you have to understand that there is no such thing as being popular in the world!

The world has never and will never accept or love Christians, Jesus tells us that the world will hate us because they hated Him.

Why?

Because there is no tolerance for sin when it comes to entering God’s presence!  All sin of all kinds are against the nature of God!

The question then becomes, well what is sin?  What makes it a sin?  And if it is a sin why does it make me feel alive?

The Bible is very clear on what sin is!  

It starts with disobedience to the commands and wishes of God.

The Holy Spirit bears witness to the truth that it is sin when you are exposed to the Biblical Scriptures through preaching, teaching, conversation with your neighbor, or when you read the Bible for yourself, when He convicts your conscience.

When you find yourself up tossing and turning, finding no peace, then you must ask the question, “Is this right or is this wrong?”  

It cannot stop at that point, you have to have a desire to get it right, and have the courage to step out on faith and accept the truth for what it is!

It may mean sacrificing some happiness on this side of the world, however in the end God has promised to reward us!

You must be bold Christian, and know without a shadow of a doubt that you are standing on the truth and allowing the truth to dictate the decisions of your life!

III. Transition

If you have your Bibles turn with me to the book of Joshua 24:13-28

Compare these scriptures with what you know about salvation!

Conlusion, God has given us the gift of salvation.  Like the Israelites receiving the Promise Land without working for it, we have the received the gift of eternal life through the work of Jesus Christ.

We should not forsake the Lord who has forgiven us of sin and we should strive not to follow the dictates and desires of our former nature which is the flesh.

If we follow the flesh then we deny God, if we crucify the flesh and repent of our wicked ways and yield to the desires and will of the Father, then we follow Him.

Which do you choose?  It is your choice, however God gets to judge our actions and determines the consequences He will render.

IV.  Closing

How do you deal with this world and those of the world!  I want you to understand that you have family members who are in the world!

God will do the separating those who are His and those who are not!

My point is to say that we cannot make excuses for them.  They have a choice to make!

We must reconcile in our minds that there is a possibility that we may not be going to the same place, however I have got to make sure I choose the right way. 

What should we do then? (This is a basic list of things to do, but ultimately you must be led by the Holy Spirit)

S-  Share and stand on the truth as it has been revealed to you!  
You must be settled on what you believe God has shown to you. 
Live out these principles in your Christian walk and do not lose heart.

L- Love everybody and treat them with the upmost respect.
There is a time when love has to make some corrections and share the truth.
However, we should not become combative with those who may choose not to believe the way we do.
Love yourself enough to search the scriptures and see if you are following the truth, if so continue, if not repent and move on.

G- Grace, remember that God is giving people the time they need to repent of their ways.  
Because He does not come down right now and judge us immediately is because He is withholding His wrath, but rest assured that it will come without mercy.
All we can do is share the truth, live it out in our lives, and pray that others will yield to the truth as we yield day by day!
People have to choose and we must allow them that choice! 
We do not have to aid them in their choice if it conflicts with our own, and both of us should respect each other’s choice!  
Just pray that God will reveal the truth to them and love the person not their sin! 

***3 Questions that may be in your mind, I pray they are, and if they are not I would like for you to consider!

1 Are you certain who you are serving?
-I would ask you to examine your personal life and ask, what am I really doing for God?
-Then ask yourself, what am I doing for me?
-Do the percentage based on the number of items you list and you will have you answer.
-Do not make an excuse, just use the data and make your adjustments towards either direction, it is your choice!

I Kings 18:21 Elijah asked the people how long will they consider two opinions?  If you serve the Lord, follow Him, if you serve Baal, follow him.

At the end of the day there is not an in-between!

2 Are you willing to make the hard decision of turning your back totally to the world in the spiritual sense?
Are you willing to get rid of the things in your household that would continue to distract you and rob you of gaining a closer relationship with God and your family members that are like minded believers?
Are you willing to let go of the form of entertainment that glorifies sin?
Are you willing to stop justifying allowing yourself, your children, and loves ones to be exposed to sin in your home?

I now the excuse we use, is that we do not want them to be shocked when they get out into the world.  
But at least they will know that there is a difference when they get back home.

3 Have you ever considered that you are the god that God is wrestling against?
Who are what influences your decisions?
Your feelings or emotions?
God’s truth?
Which is more dominant?

I would like you to take time to really consider this thing, and remember the old saying, “you cannot have your cake and eat it too!”

You have got to choose God’s way totally, and where you fail repent and ask for wisdom!

But, I cannot walk this life according to the dictates of the flesh and claim that I am sold-out of God.

If you would, go home and consider the areas of your life that needs to change, talk with your family and reason together to see what needs to be changed in order to get the household in order.

So that at the end of the day you can say, “Choose ye this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house we will strive to serve the LORD!”



Happy Father's Day

June 21, 2015

Message Title: Forgiveness; The Centerpiece of Reconciliation


“Forgiveness: The Centerpiece of Reconciliation”

Lane Chapel

June 21, 2015

I. Prayer of Consecration

II. Introduction

Good morning family, I am glad to see you all here today eager to hear the Word of God. 

I am honored to have my Father celebrating this day with us.

I would like to say that it is a privilege and a blessing to have had a father like mine.  

He has always provided for his family, he taught me how to work, and most importantly he gave me the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and was there to hold me up when I did fall.

He and my mother both have been instrumental in my life.  

Perfection will not be obtained on this side and we are not perfect, but the Word states that love covers a multitude of sins and faults.

This is not to say that we cover up sin, but it is to say that we love regardless of sin.

Some may have wonderful memories of their father, I do understand that some father’s may not have been in our lives, some may have passed away, and some we choose not to associate with, whatever the scenario is, it is possible that we came into today with certain feelings intact.

Some may have children by men who are absent, and you may be upset and you may project your feelings about this individual onto your children.  

I understand that there is a lot to unpack when dealing with our current societal issues of single parenting.  However, I would like you to know that God has always been there, even when we did not visibly see Him.

I would like to give you a little food for thought, we all are products of our own choices, and we must own our personal responsibilities and choose to forgive so that our souls may heal, thus, paving the way for reconciliation in the physical and in the spiritual realm.

Hatred, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, discontent, envy, and any other feelings of ill will only serve to destroy our own peace.

When we find ourselves obsessed with withholding forgiveness from another we only find ourselves falling on our own swords!

You may be asking what are you talking about or why is this important?

What I want to say is that, as Christians we have been given a task to usher in sinners to a place that they can make peace with our Heavenly Father, who has been our father from the beginning and who has never left us alone, even when we ignored Him and rejected His guidance for our lives.

It will be quit a problem if we cannot be the example of this free will grace and mercy.  

In order to be the ambassadors that God has called us to be we must respond to life’s lemons by making lemonade!

III. Transition

I have placed a bit of time in making these statements so that we can gather our hearts and emotions and center them on this moment in time and that is to celebrate our father’s who are doing what they are supposed to and to honor the memories of those who have done well by their children.

Honoring the father is a very critical lesson that each child must be taught.  In a world that has a blatant disrespect for authority, most philosophers contribute this to the lack of fatherly parenting.

They would venture to say that our black culture suffers from poverty, the lack of education, and the fact that the black father is aloft.

In some cases this may be true, but they fail to highlight the good father’s in our culture.  The media looks to assassinate our cultural identity and portray our men as pimps, players, and womanizers.

Very seldom do we see Hollywood painting a picture of the Cosby’s in our day in age.

Our sitcoms praise and overly exposes our minds to the notion that sex without commitment is really living the good life.

Our favorite shows are laced with promiscuity and if that is not enough, it encourages our youth and adults alike, that they can be whatever gender they want to be, and they can sleep with who they want to sleep with, they can marry who the want to marry!

I myself have fallen into the world’s trap and believed the lies that it has told and have found myself contributing to the problem of fatherlessness.

No excuses being made here, but I am a product of the decisions I have made, I must bare the consequences alone.  

How do we stop these atrocities?  How do we battle for the minds of the people we love?

Malachi 4:4-6

Highlight: And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers,”

In proper context this scripture is prophesying the coming of John the Baptist which Jesus confirms in the gospel.

The idea here is that God desires our heart or minds to be devoted towards Him.  

When our hearts are devoted towards Him, only then can we began to honor and serve Him as we are supposed to.

John’s message was clear, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

To repent means to turn away from behavior or thought patterns that separate us from fellowshipping with our Father.

Repentance is the only means that we might be reconciled to God.

Reconciliation is a huge deal! 

Why, you may wonder.

Reconciliation, according to Webster, is to restore a friendship after an estrangement.

We must seek to restore a friendship with a person that we have chosen to shy away from.

What happens in this sense is the next most powerful force in the world, we receive forgiveness and acceptance or we extend these freeing our souls to receive God’s forgiveness and acceptance.

Without these two ingredients, love is just a word.

I remember talking or listening to a person explain how their father was not in their life until recently, this man is in his 50s or 60s and was raised by foster parents.  

He said he had a burning desire in his heart to find his father and he finally got the chance to do so a few years ago.

He said the thing that he desired the most was to be validated, accepted, and affirmed by his father.  

He said the question that he asked his father was, not why were you not in my life, but are you proud of me!  

He asked, "are you proud that I am your son?  He said his father said yes!”

He said, they shared and hug and a few tears of joy flowed from their eyes. 

I can understand this man’s feelings, yes my father was in my life, but we shared the same desire to be affirmed by our father.

This man has a family of his own, but he needed his father’s love to help him make sense of the world.

How does this apply to us today!

To those fathers who have done well I commend you and I pray that you continue to do what you are doing!

1 As estranged fathers, we must turn our hearts to the children and not allow our personal feelings for the mother to get in the way of our affections towards our children.

Mothers we must encourage our children to seek a healthy and meaningful relationship with their fathers, those who are present or absent.

Mothers we must refrain from allowing our words and our own ideas of what a father should be to stand as road blocks to this process.

In other words, if you feel that the daddy is no good, then I would ask that you make an effort to not throw this hatred onto your children.

There are a bunch of reasons for why fathers and son’s and daughter’s are not united, but we cannot allow our past to hinder our future, if we have breath in our body then we still have an opportunity to make impact!

This may come at a personal cost, I say this to that, it will not cause you physical harm, jail time, or death.  

It may cost some emotional stress, personal embarrassment, or a little shame!  But you have much more to gain in the end, a meaningful relationship with a child!

2  Think about how God pursues us.  He desires a relationship with us!  Sometimes we may feel He has dealt us a terrible hand in life, we know that He wants to be in fellowship with us!

Just like we long for the affection of our earthly father we should long for the affection of our Heavenly Father!

We should seek His approval in everything we do.

Turn with me to the book of Ephesians the 6:1-4 verse for the heart of our message today.

The reason we need to encourage fatherly affection, respect, and honor is because without it we will continue to see the downturn of our community.

Laws will not keep crime from happening!  It will not keep sin from running rampant!

The only thing that can do this is that men and women must honor the teachings of their father.

Look at these verses with me starting at verse 1:

Eph. 6:1   Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  

Paul informs us that we should obey our parents that have the mind of Christ.  

This does not mean that we should not obey ungodly parents, it means that when their request is not unreasonable or against the Word of God, we are expected by the Lord to follow their instruction and yield to their will.

This is the first line in learning how to obey the will of God, it is our “practice training” that fortunately helps us out in all areas of life.

If we fail as children to follow this standard we will have to learn it the hard way, through trails and tribulations, through heartaches and despair, but the fact is that eventually we will learn to obey.

Its our choice, we can get it the hard way or take the easy road!

2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)  

Honor here means ti consistently follow their instructions throughout your life on earth.  

Thus, honoring their legacy and memory before people!

You have always heard that term,”you have raised a fine young person.”

Or, in school when you were acting up they said, “act like you got some home training.”

The point is do not do anything that will embarrass your father and mother.

In a larger sense it also carries the weight of honoring your grandparents and ancestry, in other words do not embarrass the family name!

Again, this is practice on how to honor our Heavenly Father, and even though we did not have an earthly father, we are responsible for honoring God.

I must explain that in Biblical times it was a grave offense to dishonor your father with words or actions, they were to respect their fathers and not talk bad about them to others even if they felt that their father was unjust.

What I am saying is that we are responsible to cover our fathers and respect them even when internally we do not want to.

There is a chain of command in all of this, God is the head of our father, our father is the head of us, and we will both have to answer to God for the choices we choose to make.

Because of the circumstances that have lead to the disrespect towards our fathers, this is a reason the world is suffering from the social issues we have today.

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  

There is a promise that God has made to those who obey Godly parents and that is to have a long life.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Before this verse we see the responsibility of the children, (no matter how old we are) and it would seem to give fathers the leeway to gain respect without having to earn to so to speak.

He lays out the responsibility of the father to not provoke the children to wrath.

This is not to say your father cannot make you mad, this is that he or we as fathers, should not neglect to instruct our children in the way of truth.

We should not teach them to do what is contrary to the will of God. 

The word provoke here in an imperative present, meaning as fathers we should continue to guide our children in the way of the Lord, even if they have turned 18 or reached 21.

This is a life long process and will continue until you die, thus, raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  

When does your legal headship and responsibility for the child end?  We they get married!

But, if they have been trained correctly, they will heed your Godly wisdom.

In closing,

If you do not remember anything that has been said today remember these three things.

  1. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes and look to reconcile with your Heavenly Father.
  2. As a person male or female, choose to forgive and if possible choose reconciliation with the individual who has caused you pain and seek a relationship with an estranged father, mother, child, or other relative or friend.
  3. Always choose forgiveness over bitterness!
May God bless you and keep you is my prayer!


Join us for our Sunday morning series of teaching entitled:

Building Kingdom Character

2 Peter 1:1-14
Building Kingdom Character 

Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church
April 19, 2015

I. Prayer of Consecration

II. Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-14

III.  Introduction

Good morning family, I hope you have had a blessed week since I have seen you last.  

Today, I would like to start a series of teaching entitled Building Kingdom Character.

It is my prayer that we embrace these concepts with the understanding that if we are to be effective in our Christian service, if we are to impact a dying world, we must posses the elements that are necessary to affect change in our own lives first, and then those lives that surround us.

We must find comfort in knowing that we have not reached full maturity yet, but God has provided us with Grace as a shelter and the Holy Spirit as our guide.  

In other words, we are in Grace Academy being taught by the greatest teacher the world has never known!

Being students of Grace Academy has afforded us the space for growth and this comes by trial and error, success and failures, but rest assured that God being the Dean of Education will see us through to graduation.

Before we began our lesson today, I must inform you that if you have not received full admission into Grace Academy, that you take a moment to check to see if you have fulfilled all of the admissions requirements.

You must first see our Dean of Admissions Jesus Christ!  If you have not completed this first task, the rest of this course will not benefit you!

Ask yourself have I completed the application (meaning have I considered how I will spend eternity: Life or Death)

Ask yourself have I received my financial aid (meaning have I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior) 

Ask yourself have I paid my portion of the tuition (meaning have I acknowledge my sins and confessed them to Him)

Lastly the pre-requisites, I must ask myself have I joined the church, have I been baptized, and have I received the promise of the Holy Spirit?

If these things are not in place you are not fully admitted, you are on a probationary period until you meet the requirements!

So, my hope is that you would consider internally where you are in this process to make sure you are in the right place!

IV. Transition
  
I am a firm believer that our actions will show the contents of our hearts.  

What we choose to do or not do will illuminate the depth of our relationship with the God we serve.

Its like a student that make C’s and D’s saying I can make all A’s if I want to!  

If you can make all A’s then why in the world would you not?  Answer is, they are willing to just get by with the bare minimum.

It takes energy and time to get good grades, and they would rather spend their energy and time doing something they like to do!

Ask yourself, do I want to be the best person I can be? Or am I satisfied by just going through life just getting by?

Either of these positions is your choice to make, however God is taking notice of how we choose to live our lives and will reward us accordingly.

Let’s shed a little light on rewards, when you choose God by faith in the work of Jesus Christ salvation is granted without repentance!

But we must understand, the energy and time we put into our spiritual growth will be evident to OURSELVES, on how far we have come.

God will reward us according to what we have put into our relationship with Him!

Just for an example to set this thing up in our minds.  Turn to Matt. 25:14-30

The Big Picture Point I Am Trying To Make Is: 

We have to have an expectation that Jesus will return!  Some of us may be here when He gets back or some of us my go see Him before that time.

Either way we must realize that when we see Him, He is going to have a conversation with us about how we spent our time on earth!

For the believer this will contain our actions post-salvation, for the non-believer the life they had lived in rejection of the Gospel!

What did we do with the talents He gave us!  Did we serve others or ourselves!  How did we treat our neighbors!  He knows the resources we have, did we share what we could afford to share, i.e. resources, kind words, feeling of warmth and support, unconditional love, compassion.

We say we can’t help everybody, did you want to help them if you could?  Was it a struggle to say I can’t?

Did you use your talent to serve the church?  Did you find joy or did you do it with an attitude?

God is judging our motives and our actions!

We must have an expectation that at the end of our personal life journey that there will be a judgement of our lives!

Expectation is the most critical aspect of our Faith!

Without expectation we will just wonder around, floating along in life until we die!

Expectation energizes us and propels us to strive for higher heights of the mountain, we can never reach the summit of Mount Jesus on this side, however we continue to climb until He meets us and carries us to the top!


Building Kingdom Character 2

Lane Chapel C.M.E. Church
April 26, 2015

I.  Prayer of Consecration

II. Scripture 2 Peter 1:1-14

III. Introduction

Last week I took a great deal of time to kindle the hope that is inside of us.  My agenda was to reestablish or fortify a spirit of expectations in us.  

That expectation is essential to our pressing on to a deeper relationship with our beloved Jesus and higher levels of Christian maturity and growth.

I would like for you to turn to 2 Peter 1:1-14

Peter contends that our faith is first and foremost, but we must add some other things to our character to be successful in our walk!

Seven Elements
Virtue
Knowledge
Self-Control
Perseverance
Godliness
Brotherly Kindness
Love

In today’s lesson I want to deal with a few. (Start at verse 1)

Read versus 3

“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”

Paul informs us that at the point of salvation the Power of God has granted us the necessities of this life and the ability to live lives that glorify the Father. 

I need you to understand that salvation is a life process that will be completed when you leave this earth, it is not just a one shop stop.

God justifies us and relieves us from the wages of sin, which is to die spiritually, and moves us to the position of sanctification by regeneration.

In other words, after we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and have repented, or turned around from living in sin, what ever that maybe for you or me, God then begins to purify our minds.

The best analogy I can give is like when you take raw chicken out of the pack it still has a little blood in it, you place it in a bowl and you run cold water over it, the water looks cloudy but eventually the water gets clear.

This is similar to what God has to do with our minds.  

The Holy Spirit quickens our hearts and the Word of God is the water that is used to clean our cloudy minds so that we can see more clearly.

We must realize that our minds have been cloudy for a long time, and our current society feeds us news, movies, shows, and music that keep our minds constantly under attack.

With this in mind we have to embrace the fact that this will take a serious amount of time.

Read verse 4

“by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, 

What has God promised us?

A  God has promised eternal life to those who call upon His name

Romans 10:13

“For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

John 11:25-26

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

B  God has promised us His Holy Spirit to comfort us and guides us through our earth’s journey

John 16:13

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; He will tell you of all things to come.”

C  God has promised to answer our prayers that are according to His will.

1 John 5:14-15

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

John 14:13-14

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

D  God has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

F  God has promised that He will furnish what we need.

Matthew 6:25-34 (31-34)

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Popular preaching today will bypass these essential promises and teach you that God wants you to be rich in materialism and money, but God wants us to be rich in joy, peace, mercy, compassion, faith, and love for Him and our fellow brothers and sisters.

How can I be rich and my sister and brother are suffering for their basic needs and necessities, and I be satisfied with life? 

Something must move on the inside of me whether I can help or not, there must be some compassion inside that makes me want to do what I can do!

Now note this, there may be brothers and sisters out there that put themselves in the situation they are in and there are some who happen to fall on hard times and are trying to earnestly help themselves out of their situation.

We must discern what is better, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; or teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.”

But the ultimate thing is, that our brothers and sisters must be open for our help in the form we are able to do it in!

We must pray to God and ask Him what is it that He would like for us to do?

continue 2 Peter 1:4
that through these you may be partakers of that divine nature, 

Meaning that we will take on His likeness or features.

having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Meaning we are no longer controlled by the compulsiveness of our flesh.

We can now think before we act.

We can consider what we are contemplating to do based on what we personally desire and what we know God desires.

However, the ball remains in your court at this point!

verse 5

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control.

These three I will deal with and I will examine the others next week.

Peter understands that faith gives us everything we need to battle against the enemy, however this weapon in no good if the user is unequipped to use it to their advantage.

The user must posses virtue. 

When dealing with this word we understand it to mean to have moral excellence.

It also refers to the power and will of God.  He places this in us at the point of salvation by imparting the Holy Spirit.

As believers we have to cultivate this power and convert it into our own, meaning the Will of God becomes our will!

This will cause us to call a spade a spade and stop making excuses or overlooking things that we know is not glorifying to God.

Our society has done a good job in making us passive when it comes to sin.

We are to love the individual, but we must hate what sin does to our body and to our neighbor.

There is an objective right or wrong when it comes to sins that God has pointed out in His Word specifically, we cannot redefine them and we cannot rationalize them to fit our own choices and desires!

We must accept them as truth and that’s it.  It is what it is!

In response to that we must do all that we can to make sure our lives line up with the Word of God, and in turn help our neighbors as we both help each other!

The next thing Peter says that we should add is knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

We must first fear God, have a healthy respect for His holiness, His power, and His will!

In order to glorify the Father we must know how to please Him.

How do we do this?

We come to sunday school, church, and bible study!

We study the Word of God at home, if there is something I do not understand call someone or get on Blueletterbible.org and look at a commentary.

There are many tools at our disposal to help us understand the Word of God!

We just have got want to use them!

Closing

And finally for today, self-control:

Proverbs 25:28

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit, Is like a city broken down without walls.”

God does not call me to keep you in line or God does not call you to keep me in line!

The Word keeps both of us in line if we want to be kept!

What you and I do for each other, is to teach or remind each other of the truth so that we, individually, can tend to our own lives in regard to what thus says the Lord!

But in the end it is your own personal choice to choose what you will choose.  Free will is at play in this case.

We as Christians must learn the principle of self control; it will help us in the present and the future!

Building Kingdom Character 3

Lane Chapel
May 3, 2015

I. Prayer of Consecration

II. Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:1-14

III. Introduction

On last week we had the opportunity to delve into Peter’s list of qualities that we as Christians must strive for in order to be effective in our earth’s journey.

We will pick the discussion in verse 6.

Verse 6 “to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness” 

Perseverance is the will to continue to do the right thing, even when that situations surrounding you would have you do it the wrong way.  

We have to fight through the ugliness of life and continue to do what we know is right to do, in spite of the negativity coming our way, in spite the lack of recognition or appreciation.

If the enemy can get us to give in every time some resistance comes our way, then is can slow down the progress that we are attempting to make.

I Corinthians 8:56-58

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Galatians 6:7-10

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

James 1:12

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Then Peter urges us to put on godliness.  

This to have a deep reverence towards God.

A respect that fashions our thoughts and guides our actions as children of God.

Sometime as parents we have to remind our children who they are and what our family is all about.

In other words, we have to inform the child that our family name is good and they should protect it by living up to the family name.

I remember growing up and in high school I was one of a few blacks on our baseball team.

You have to understand that even though our school was integrated there remained an unspoken attitude of segregation. 

We had a black prom and a white prom.  We had a black class of 1998 and a white class of 1998.  We had black boy, white boy, black girl, and white girl who’s who.

We even had a black and white homecoming queen.

Thank God it is not like that today.

So, I got to talking to one of the white baseball players about the thoughts and feelings of the KKK.

Now, I don’t know how this subject got started.

He explained that there are a set of white and black people that this organization targets.  

He said now you and your family are considered the good black folks.  Your grandaddy is a well respected figure in the community.

My grandfather was the first african-american elected to the school board of education.  So in there eyes anyone from our family was considered to be ok.

This is what we have to consider when choosing our behavior as we walk before God and other people.

But, this reverence is not a surface deep devotion it begins on the inside and manifest itself outwardly.

The world is watching us and if we are who we say we are, then we must look the part and not just talk the part.

Psalms 24:3-5

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Verse 7  “To godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

Brotherly kindness is to take the position that we are devoted to the Christian race as a whole.

We are of the mindset that we should protect each other at all cost.

I devotion to one another causes us to look out of the betterment of each other.

We support each other, we encourage each other, we make provisions for each other when possible.

Brotherly kindness sometimes leads us to take a backseat to our own way of doing things and yields to others simply for the advancement of the cause.

This does not mean that we cannot contribute to the cause,  but we must rally behind an idea that my not be our own in order to see the body benefits from whatever the idea is.

Fighting against one another will not help our cause, understanding each others perspective and coming to a common ground is more advantageous than going against the grain.

Sometimes, we as people get to the position where we would rather see a thing fail than to use our energy to help it succeed, simply because it is not our idea, or not how we envisioned it.

This is counter productive and dangerous in practice and in the end we all lose.

We are better together!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

And finally, love or charity!

Love is the essence of God’s character in which has placed in us. 

We must practice this love without partiality.

The question is what does this love look like or involve?

First it involves us loving the human race in such a way that we do not want to see it lost to the forces of darkness.

The love compels us to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and to inform the world of the dangers of sin.

We must be anxious to share the truth because we understand the power of the truth that will help those who believe to overcome eternal death and receive eternal life.

To neglect this vital mission, we cannot say that we love God if we are willing to stand by and see people lost!

Second, we must not desire to see anyone harmed by our words or deeds.

There is a line we must evaluate.  Someone may be offended by the by the truth and thus the problem is not with you, rather it is with God.

We have to make sure we do not injure people by our opinion outside of the truth that the Holy Spirit has revealed to us.

Love takes the side of admonishment and encouragement, to see the brother or sisters reaches their full potential and develops a deeper relationship through the practicing of this truth in Jesus Christ.

We must not have a superficial love, but we should have a compassionate love for the world to see them to salvation and to treat them like we would want to be treated.

In closing, Peter reiterates a promise to those who would choose to live their lives according to these principals.

He says in verse 8

8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We will accomplish what God has purposed us to accomplish.

9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

If we decide not to follow this path, then what good was it for us to be saved

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Although, we cannot pay God for this gift let us work hard to share these with others so we can be counted worthy through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, investing in others what He has invested in us.

And by doing so we can have peace knowing that God is pleased with us. Amen