I Have a God

 Phil 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Every person has an invisible sign around their necks that says, ‘I have a need.’ 

You have a need, but I have a God. 

We are not in this to lose. I have a God and with His riches in glory, He can supply your need. 

Pentecost was the day of the early church’s beginning. There was a transformation. Human spirits were replaced by God’s Spirit. We have something to give, more than money, more than physical help, we have something supernatural to give. 

In God’s Kingdom, supply and demand are never out of whack. There is always more than enough supply. He has infinite ability to provide. No matter what the situation, God has what you need. 

Believe in the Bible for you, not just for everybody else. There is nothing too hard for our Lord. God enjoys that feeling we have when we feel it is impossible and hopeless. He enjoys the opportunity to ‘wow’ you with His victory. If you’ll open the door for Him, it pleases Him. 

God doesn’t enjoy your pain, He wants you to ask for His help in your situations. Ask Him. Say, ‘I have a need only You can provide.’ It’s a faith thing and it pleases Him when you trust Him. 

Our God is more than enough. He is never without an option. He is never in checkmate. If you have a sinful record, a mess, an impossible situation, God can supply for you! 

God cannot lie and He makes good on His Word. Don’t let go of His Word. Even if it wasn’t true before He spoke it, when He speaks it, it is now true. 

God has an answer to death, fear, alcohol, drugs, pornography, depression. God can supply and will supply. 

God is able.

Sometimes, people ask stupid questions like, ‘Can God make a rock too heavy for Him to lift?’ That’s a stupid question. There are things He can’t do, such as lie. 

Num 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” 

Heb 6:17 “God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.”

If God has said it, you can trust Him to do it. 

There is no situation without a solution. It may not look the way you think it should look, but God still has a solution. 

Disease, strokes, because of bad things happening, we learn a way of thinking that is not of God. We get this Charlie Brown way of thinking, it only rains on him, but if anything bad could happen, it probably will. The thinking is there is no victory for me. 

This isn’t in the Bible, your mind needs to be reprogrammed to think the way God wants you to think. He will provide. He is a Hero. He is the ultimate.

Psalm 104:1-4 “Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: 4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:”

God covers Himself in light. He’s all good. As you approach Him, it’s out of darkness into light. Those things that mess you up are from darkness, He is light. He is a God who is able. He is a God who can fix your marriage, your relationships. 

Satan is a liar. Lying is of the devil. Lying is bad, but if you believe the lie and repeat the lie and start to think like that lie, you are operating under the direction of the devil. 

Instead of telling God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big your God is. Faith! 

Sometimes bad things happen that mess with your faith. ‘I deserve this bad thing that’s happening…’ Although God has healed others, He isn’t going to heal me. You may feel like you don’t deserve something and that may be true, but God loves you. Think His way. Faith! 

God never said, “Pray to Me and I will move the mountain. I said, ‘Speak to the mountain and it will be moved.’” 

Our pastor had ulcerative colitis for two years. There was a woman who suffered for twelve years in Scripture. Then, she touched Jesus’ clothes and was healed. I have a God! 

Build your faith. Trust God and think His way. He is the Way. He is Truth. He is Life. There is nothing too hard for Him. There is no marital situation that is too hard for Him. God can take your past and rewrite your future. Your legacy can be altered. You can be altered. He is a God who transforms lives.  

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What is one miracle story you’ve either heard or experienced recently? 
  2. What does the statement, ‘I have a God’ mean to you? How does this change you?
  3. Read 1 Kings 17:8-24. What miracles occurred in this account? What did Elijah do? What did the widow do? What did God do? How were their lives changed?
  4. What struggles do you have in trusting God? How will you challenge that way of thinking and seek God’s will and way for your life no matter what your circumstances?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Principles of the Garden

Gal 6:7-10 “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”

2 Cor 9:6 “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”

This is mostly speaking about finances as in Luke 6:38 “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Most of the bible was originally written to those living in an agrarian society, people familiar with working the land, managing livestock, and raising crops. The practice of working the ground to gain a harvest is nearly as old as humanity itself. Part of Adam’s curse was that the ground would bring forth thorns and thistles in response to his work and that, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19). Adam understood the concept of ‘you reap what you sow’ both literally and figuratively. 

You ‘harvest’ what you ‘plant’ in farming and in life. As a general principle, it is true that sowing leads to reaping. It’s true in agriculture and it’s true in life choices. So, ‘you’ll reap what you sow’ is Biblical. 

It’s both positive and negative. “Whoever sows to the please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal 6:8). This verse summarizes the principle well. When we are selfish, proud, unjust, sinful, and trusting gin our own ability or worth to save us, we are ‘sowing to the flesh,’ and destruction, disaster, despair await. But when we are selfless, generous, kind, and depending on God’s provision and salvation, we are ‘sowing to the Spirit’ and will reap peace, joy, blessings, and eternal life.

Faith in Jesus and the pursuit of godliness is ‘sowing in the Spirit.’ Sowing to the flesh, depending on ourselves and our ability to find our own way without God’s help, will reap nothing but a dead end. But when we place our trust in Jesus Christ, we reap eternal life. His love is fertile ground. Your choices and actions in life should be considered as seeds. You are planting into the harvest field of life.

What type of choices and decisions are you making? What will grow due to the actions you take and the choices you’ve made? What is growing in your ‘garden’? These are all seeds. What are you doing to protect it?

These concepts are also found throughout the Old Testament. 

Psalm 127:1 “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” 

Hosea 10:13 “Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.”

Prov 1:31 “They will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.”

This is God’s justice.

Principles of Sowing and Reaping:

  1. Sowing and Reaping is a law of the natural world. If you plant an apple seed, you will grow apple trees. Gen 1:12 “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”
  2. Sowing and Reaping is also a law of the Spiritual world. That’s why we shouldn’t be deceived. There are consequences to your actions. Your actions will grow some stuff. There is a law of cause and effect. Every action we choose, we are also choosing the consequences of that action.
  3. God uses and suspends the law of sowing and reaping to bestow His blessing. God’s blessing comes generally to the whole world as He sends sun and rain to the just and the unjust (Mat 5:45). In some cases, His blessing comes more especially to those of His choosing, such as Isaac. Gen 26:12 says that Isaac sowed a crop and received a hundredfold in one season because the Lord targeted him for a blessing. ‘Based upon your faith, you will be healed.’ ‘If my people do this, I will do that.’ God waits on you to plant some stuff. If there’s no planting, there’s no harvest. If there is no action, there is no reaction. However, if you are wicked, you will receive wickedness. Jer 12:13 “They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the Lord.” Because the Israelites were wicked and worshipped idols, they were taken into captivity. Because His people sowed bad things in the Spirit, His people received bad things in the natural. 
  4. Sowing and Reaping imply a wait. Nothing good grows overnight. The farmer must be patient in order to see the fruit of his labors. When the Bible likens the ministry to planting, watering and reaping (I Cor 3:6), it suggests a length of time. God will bring forth fruit to His glory in His time. Until then, we faithfully labor in His field (Mat 9:38), knowing that ‘at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’ (Gal 6:9).
  5. We reap in kind to what we sow. Those who plant apple seeds should expect to harvest apples. If you’re angry and you speak, you’ll give the best speech you’ll ever regret. If you dump all your fear on God, you can’t treat it like faith. If you go to prayer and you expect Him to answer your prayer, you’ll reap that. Without faith, you can’t make God happy. He still loves you but He doesn’t like it when you pray in fear. Sow faith in order to reap the results of faith. Sow fear and you will reap the results of fear. If you sow righteousness, you’ll reap peace. James 3:19 “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” Living a life of carnality and sin and expecting to inherit heaven is similar to planting walnuts and expecting roses.
  6. We reap proportionately to what we sow. The rule is, the more seed planted, the more fruit harvested. In order to have 100 trees, you’ve got to plant at least 100 seeds. The Bible applies this law to our giving. If you want more of God, you’ve got to plant more in your own spirit. Those who sow generously will be blessed more than those who don’t. The principle isn’t concerned with the amount, it’s more about how you give, attitude, heart. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7), and even the widows’ mites are noticed by our Lord (Luke 21:2-3).  
  7. We reap more than what we sow. In other words, the law of sowing and reaping is related to the law of multiplication. Jesus spoke of seed that brought forth ‘a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown’ (Mat 13:8). One grain of wheat produces a whole head of grain. In the same way, one little fib can produce an out-of-control frenzy of falsehoods, fallacies, and fictions. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). Positively, one kind deed can result in a blessing to last a lifetime. 
  8. Sowing and Reaping is used as a metaphor for death and resurrection. When Paul discusses the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, he uses the analogy of planting a seed to illustrate physical death. ‘The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is shown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body’ (1 Cor 15:42b-44a). A seed may ‘die’ when it falls to the ground, but that is not the end of its life (John 12:24). 

Found throughout Scripture, the idea of sowing and reaping is an important principle imparting wisdom for both this world and the next.

While there are the real spiritual principles at work that, if we sow bad things, we will reap bad things, there is also mercy. Graciously, we do not always reap what we sow. God reserves the right to show mercy on whomever He will, as He said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom 9:15). It is because of the mercy and compassion of God that we can have a home in heaven, despite our sin. We sowed iniquity and corruption, and Jesus reaped our punishment on the cross. Understand God is not fair. He reaped what we have sown.

Sometimes, what looks like a harvest is not one. When Job was suffering, his friends considered the trouble as a just punishment from God for some secret sin. Job’s friend Eliphaz said, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:8). But Eliphaz was wrong. Job was not reaping what he had sown. The harvest had not come yet—and it would not come until the end of the book (Job 42:10-17). Experiencing negative circumstances does not necessarily mean we have sown negative things. The principle of reaping and sowing is generally true, but not always at work in every situation in the way we might expect. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What is your favorite flower and why? Have you ever tried to grow something? How did that turn out? 
  2. What examples of sowing and reaping have you experienced in your life both in the natural and in the spiritual? 
  3. Hosea 10:12 “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (KJV). Read this verse in several different versions of the Bible. This is a promise from God. Will you trust and obey Him in this even if you have to wait? What righteousness will you sow today? What ‘fallow ground’ will you break up and seek the Lord? 
  4. Looking at your life today, what have you sown and reaped? What do you want to reap that you have not? What do you need to sow in order to reap good in your life?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Exodus or Egypt

Ex 14:10-12 “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”

480 years Israel knew only bondage. They had a home, but they were captive. They were clothed but confined. They were in anguish but beaten. They had sustenance but were filled with sorrow. They had provisions but no privilege. 

The choice now was to stay in Egypt in bondage or attempt Exodus. To the Hebrew, the wilderness was an unknown. Are there any guarantees? 

We don’t like surprises, but we do like guarantees. God doesn’t work that way. There is uncertainty in this life, but Scripture is filled with certainty. 

This life is a journey into the unknown, uncharted waters.

A seminary boasted that they were seven miles away from any known sin. Of course, it’s not the known sins that usually catch people, it’s the unknown ones. 

The astronauts that flew on the space shuttle Challenger had no idea of the disaster about to happen. No one had any idea about the trade towers about to fall. 

We are afraid of the future because of potential tragedy.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

We are slaves, savagely abused by sadistic taskmasters, but we’re still more afraid of running away into the unknown. 

You may want to take a chance at the new birth and the unknown, but yet you still cling to the familiar, however awful it may be. ‘Change is not coming, but I’m happy.’ 

It’s like the two caterpillars on the branch who see a butterfly flying above. One says to the other, ‘You’ll never catch me in an outfit like that!’ 

God has a way out, but the choice is on you. 

Ex 16:10 “And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.”

Exodus or Egypt? Bondage or Deliverance? Misery or Miraculous? Promised Land or Pain? 

We all want the same thing, but the process and the way to get there is tough.

Phil 3:13-14 “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, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

There is a pressing that you have to do toward the mark. You’ve got to be a nutcase in order to take the leap of faith. 

The tabernacle was ugly on the outside. It was seven feet tall, but the average man couldn’t see inside. All fell short of the glory. Inside, there was the smell of death because of the sacrifices happening. Yet, on the inside, you see the glory of God. 

People say we are in bondage, yet we are free. 

The Israelites were desperate, that’s one thing going for them. Before transformation can happen there must be desperation. Be a student of the Word for yourself. Confirm it for yourself. 

‘God helps those who help themselves,’ is not in the Bible. That was Benjamin Franklin. 

God helps those who need help. He is looking for someone desperate enough to ask Him for help. He will show Himself strong if you will ask Him. 

You’ve got to be desperate for change if you want to finally change. 

Following Jesus is not a spectator sport. If you want to change, participate. 

John wrote in his gospel, trying to show that Jesus was God, not a priest, not a man. He showed that this wasn’t a religion starting, but something much, much more. The stories were all about that. 

John 5:1-9 “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”

Verse 4 is not in some of the modern translations. The people were waiting for God to come down to stir the water so they could get their healing. People hung out there waiting for the opportunity for a miracle. The healthy, cool people didn’t hang out there. The stinky, the messed up were there. 

Jesus went there to the back row to a guy who had been there for 38 years. That man had a mentality that he had been this way for a long time and thought he would be the same for a long time to come. Jesus asked, ‘Wilt thou be made whole?’

Those of you that want a breakthrough usually don’t think about the changes you need internally, like being less selfish. Most people want a change in a situation, more money, better circumstances, other people change. 

The infirm man didn’t answer Jesus’ question. He instead explained the situation for why he was the way he was. 

Is this the quality life that you want for yourself? 

Jesus gave him another chance. Excuses stink more than you do. Even though the water is too far, the water came to him. ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ Go to your exodus. 

John 4 tells the story of a woman from Samaria. She probably had a husband who died or divorced. She had five husbands and was then living with man number 6. Jesus was the 7th man come to change everything. 

John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

If we are going to be the true church, there ought to be transformation in the midst of our services. If I’m going to have an exodus, I’ve got to have a desperate mindset and I’ve got to understand it’s not about the rules of the religious practice that will get me there. It’s not about where or what mountain. It’s not about religion. 

Breakthroughs aren’t about the circumstances, instead, they are about the change that needs to happen IN you. 

Your boat may not make it, but you will. God will get you there. Paul warned them. God sometimes sends storms to bring you to bare bones. Paul said, ‘I believe God.’ Sometimes, God will change you and not the storm around you. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What is your ‘Egypt’? What are you afraid of?
  2. What changes does the Lord need to do in you rather than changing your situation?
  3. Read Romans 12:1-2. What does it mean to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed? What changes do you need to make in your thinking, actions, life? Are there things you need to let go of and are there things you need to grab hold of? Will you do that?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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He Can Hear Your Cry

Ex 3:6-10 “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.”

There’s something that happens to the atmosphere when people praise the Lord. We are made in the image of God. That means that the way we were crafted, created, we have eyes, ears, a mouth, a heart, the way we operate is in the image in the way He is and operates and moves and understands His environment. 

God is not a man, not flesh, not human. The only time was when He was in the body of Jesus Christ. Today, God is Spirit. 

God speaks. His voice created the whole universe. The Word of God is the most powerful thing in the universe. The things that we see are not made with things that appear. Seen things were created with unseen things.

Our voice has power. Something happens when you use your words. Your words can pierce or heal. Your words can build up or tear down. There is something about your voice. The thing that creates motion in the natural world and the little tube and the hairs in the ear, and synopses in the brain and something happens in an unseen place in the unseen world. There is power in words. 

Some words are more powerful than others. There are levels of words, base words, cuss words, carnal words, words designed to cut and to hurt. There are words that bring encouragement. 

Sometimes, you can communicate without words. You can communicate without words at all. There is a place in your spirit that in silence can scream to the Lord. Maybe it’s only a single tear. God hears that cry.

Luke 19:41 “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Jesus wept because the city rejected Him. 

The Lord told Moses that He had seen the oppression. He heard their cry. God knew their sorrows. 

It is heartbreaking to let a newborn just cry it out, especially in the night. 

Something moves the heart of the Father when there’s a disruption upon His children. David cried to the Lord and He heard it and delivered him. God hears your cries and delivers. 

When God hears your cry, He starts to formulate a plan to stop your tears. A parent may not know why their baby is crying, but God knows why you’re crying and He knows how to help you.

There is a list from the devil that causes you to stay in your affliction. 

When Jesus was in the garden before the Crucifixion, His friends fell asleep. 

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

Mark 6:48-49 “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:”

The last watch of the night was the darkest. The disciples saw Jesus, but it creeped them out. They didn’t recognize Him right away. They cried out. 

Sometimes, you read the Bible and something stops you and you have to ask, Why? Jesus was walking towards the disciples and would have passed them by. Jesus was going on His journey. He didn’t need a boat. Jesus was available, but if they didn’t need Him, He would just keep walking. If you want to do it without Me, I’ll just keep going. 

Mat 6:50-51 “For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.”

In your distress, you can cry out and be delivered. 

Over and over the Israelites were in bondage because of sin, when they cried to the Lord, He delivered them. 

Judges 3:15 “But when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.”

God hears your cries in the night. David walked with God, ‘This poor man cried and He heard me.’ 

There is a time even when words can’t be formed. God hears the cry and desperation of your heart. 

Jonah slept in the boat. The last place you want to be when you’re seasick is the bottom of the boat. In the belly of the whale, Jonah cried out. For three days, he didn’t know which direction was Jerusalem. In his spirit, he turned toward God and cried out. 

It doesn’t matter where you are, God wants you to know He hears the cry of your heart. 

A man called Blind Bartimaeus, called that because he was blind. The Son of David was the Messiah. He would open the ears of the deaf and cause blind men to see. He knew that when Jesus came by, he just needed to cry and then God would heal him. 

Mark 10:46-52 “And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. 49And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”

1 Kings 9:3 “And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”

Psalm 145:19 “He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”

Psalm 34:4,6,17 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”

Psalm 18:6 “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”

Psalm 55:17 “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”

Psalm 28:6 “Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.”

Sometimes, it feels like your prayers, your cries hit the ceiling and bounce back and the frustration builds and you cry. That is full of information. People may not understand, but God hears and understands. God is full of glory and power.

James 1:2-4 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

God judged all the gods Egypt worshipped. The Old Testament calls them plagues, the New Testament calls them wonders. The Egyptians used to kiss the Nile River. So, God turned it to blood. The worshipped crocodiles because they kept the frog population down. So, God multiplied frogs everywhere. The frogs didn’t bother the Israelites. Pharaoh asked Moses to ask God to get rid of the frogs. Moses asked when. Pharaoh said, ‘Tomorrow.’ Why wait? 

When do you want your deliverance? Do you want to continue another night with frogs? You have an opportunity for deliverance. 

What causes hunger? Lack of food. Children are honest enough to say to Daddy, ‘Wahhhhh!’ Birds peep. There’s a pain going on causing them to be hungry. When do you want that pain to go away? Your answers are found in the Spirit. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What are some early memories of a parent or teacher or caregiver comforting you? How has Jesus comforted you?
  2. How do you KNOW that God hears you and will deliver you? How can this knowledge help someone else?
  3. Read Philippians 4:6-8. Do you ‘let your requests be known to God’ the way it says in these verses, with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving? How does your outlook on life change as you choose to think in this way and ‘on these things’?   
  4. Knowing that Jesus hears you and will deliver you, how are your thoughts and attitudes changed? What still needs to change? 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Life Lessons I Learned From Mom

 Prov 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Prov 6:20-23 “My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. 21 Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. 23 For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.”

Lesson 29: Bugs are God’s creatures too. 

Prov 6:6 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:” Bugs live in dirty and dark places and play on some of our most inherent fears, but they have a purpose. Some slither, scrunch, sting. If given the chance, bugs can teach us amazing things. There are people who scrunch up to protect themselves. There are people who sting because they’re hurting and defensive, but they’re important too. They can teach us some amazing lessons if given the chance. 

The church is meant to be the place where these kinds of people are given refuge, the ones who the world may consider ‘bugs.’ It may not mean much, but it makes a world of difference to the one you reach out to. 

As Christians, as the church, we should give everyone a chance. 

Mat 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Lesson 257: Some people can’t be stopped. 

Prov 31:17-20 “She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. 18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. 19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. 20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.”

Peter says we have to be ready as Christians. We must be diligent and keep going, guarding our hearts and minds. We must keep pursuing the things of God and God Himself. If we’re to be effective, we must have the attitude that we cannot be stopped. 

Heb 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

Gal 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Lesson 596: Attitude matters. 

A bad attitude does no one any good. There may be times when circumstances are so bad that people would understand a negative attitude, but choosing to have a positive attitude always makes a difference. 

If you have a bad attitude, you’ll reap bad. If your attitude is apathy, then you can’t control what you reap. But, if you have a good attitude, you will reap good. Your attitude affects both your spiritual and emotional life. A poor attitude yields poor results.

Lesson 823: Count your blessings. 

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, count your many blessings. Name them one by one and you’ll be surprised at all that God has done. Don’t be discouraged, God is over all. 

Count your blessings in every circumstance, when things are going great and when things are not going great. 

It’s okay to be happy for what you have, content, but strive to grow and improve. 

Phil 4:11-13 “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Counting your blessings will keep and sustain you when things aren’t going your way.

Lesson 1190: Put others first. 

It’s good to be a giver. Don’t do it because you’re supposed to, but because you’ve got God’s love flowing through you and you genuinely care about people. 

If you want to be successful in winning souls and making real connections with people, you’ve got to put others first and display the love of Jesus. 

What can I do to help you? What can I do to bless you?

Prov 31:20-25 “She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. 21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes. 22 She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. 23Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders. 24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What life lessons has your mom taught you?
  2. Which life lesson from the sermon spoke the most to you and why?
  3. Read Psalm 27:1-5. The church is seen as the ‘Bride of Christ,’ female. How does the church function as our spiritual mom? How are we as members of the church supposed to partner with the Lord in showing the world the love and hope of Jesus?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Micheal Lagle. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Treasure in the Trash

 2 Cor 4:3-10 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

Even though they were brought out of the trash of this world, the Corinthians still needed teaching to understand what they are in Christ. We sometimes teach the sinner and preach to the saint. We should flip that. The devil blinds people’s minds so they don’t see the light of the gospel. They need preaching and the power of God. The saints need to be taught what’s inside of them so that the lost can see the light. 

Jesus has changed you. He has taken you out. He has brought you out of some bad stuff and brought you into some good stuff. But, He’s not done yet!

Sometimes, you don’t realize how much has changed because you’re focused on what still needs to change. Sometimes, you forget the wonderful and beautiful that is within you because of the faults and flaws. There is treasure in you. There is goodness and value in you. 

There is something inside of you that keeps you changing. 

Paul is saying that you have something that will change you, that sets you free from bondage, that will free the people around you.

2 Cor 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

If you will recognize what you’ve got a hold of, people will see it. God has put treasure in you. The treasure is in the vessel—in you. You are the treasure. 

For the value that Jesus saw in you, He bought the whole field, because there’s something the whole world needs that only you can bring.

There are clay pots, cracked pots, that the Lord has put the most valuable thing inside of—His Spirit. He’s put treasure inside of you and you are precious because of it. Jesus chose you to deliver that treasure. 

There is a conflict and struggle inside of this flesh, flesh vs spirit. 

‘We’re troubled on every side’—flesh, ‘but we’re not destroyed’—Spirit. You’re pushed into a corner, but there’s a way out. ‘We are cast down, but not destroyed.’ There is something inside of you that’s wonderful, that will shine through the cracks. Jesus uses trash to display something beautiful.

God said that Job was faithful and perfect. The devil didn’t like that and challenged God that Job would curse Him if the devil messed with him. Though he never cursed God, Job did curse the day he was born. He hit bottom. He didn’t have treasure bubbling always. He had trash coming out too. Even though there was trash there, God saw him as faithful and perfect. When the devil says one thing and God says another, it’s as if God goes back to creation and changes things. 

When God speaks, even if it wasn’t true before He said it, it’s true now. 

Gen 1:2-3 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

Light came up out of the darkness. It’s like salvation. Light came to you. The knowledge of the Lord Jesus is similar to what He created out of the darkness. He didn’t just destroy darkness, He separated it from light. He made a very clear distinction. 

In this earthen vessel, there might be darkness, but God has put light inside as well. That light needs to get out as well. The world needs to see the light and He’s chosen you.

You’ve called yourself trash, the devil has called you trash, but God has chosen you to put treasure into. In that process, He’s made something wonderful out of your earthen vessel. 

When God gets hold of you, He puts meaning and significance and purpose into you. There is majesty in the mundane. There is value there. Even in your deformity, there is deity. 

You may be full of flaws and feel worthless and without value and you get blinded and you forget that treasure that God has put there. The darkness is all there, but there is light as well. There is value and worth in you. God has chosen you! 

God said, ‘Let there be Light!’ Who are you to argue with the value that He gives you? He paid for you. 

When people see that the cost is lower than the value, people will buy. It’s a deal. You wouldn’t give everything you have for something worthless. Isn’t that what Jesus did for you? Don’t disagree with God. 

When you bring home take-out from a restaurant, it’s usually in a 15 cent container. It’s not the container that brings value to the contents, it’s the contents that bring value to the container. It’s the steak that makes those containers valuable. It’s the pizza in the box that makes the box valuable. 

Gangs and prostitution bring counterfeit value to boys and girls. What you think makes you valuable has the right to be your master. If somebody says you’re special, you’ll serve that someone. The devil will deceive you with lies. 

The Lord values souls above everything else. One soul is greater than all that the world has to offer. There is treasure in the Light of the Gospel of Jesus. The knowledge and the excellency of knowing Jesus is the treasure. If you get a hold of this, you will live as someone valuable. 

If you have worthlessness and shame in your mind, it will come out of your mouth and in how you live. If you change your thoughts, you will change your destiny. The Spirit of the Lord is trying to break that process of worthlessness and shame. Those cycles cause habits and being out of line. Jesus says you are more valuable than you can understand. All the junk that’s happening is to make manifest the gospel. There is treasure that is trying to shine out of me. 

‘Let the weak say, I am strong.’ 

Why say, ‘I am strong,’ if you’re weak? Why say, ‘I am rich,’ if you’re poor? Why say, ‘It is well,’ when the mother’s son had just died? Something inside of her said, ‘All together inside of me is not in despair. It’s not over yet.’ The container may be hit, but the treasure is not! There is knowledge in this nobody. There is wisdom in this weirdo. There’s wonder in that woman. There’s goodness in that guy. Thank God for you!

Jesus chose you to save the world, to reach the world. We’re transformed into His image through His Spirit and His Word. 

You are transformed but not by yourself, it’s through the treasure that God put in there. God put His Spirit and His Word in you. 

Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. 

What makes you so valuable to the Lord? 

A pair of converse tennis shoes were signed by Michael Jordan were sold for $100,000. People have paid crazy amounts of money for stuff worn and signed by Elvis. A photo of Jesse James signed by him was worth $52,000. It’s the person who signed it that gives crazy stuff crazy value. 

Has the Lord touched your life and put His signature on you? Has He ever used you? Then, God would tell you, there’s value in you. Jesus says, ‘You’re worth the price.’ The treasure inside of you is worth more than all this world has to offer. 

The Old Violin: The Touch of the Master’s Hand

‘Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”

But, No,
From the room far back a gray-bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.

“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin

A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.

But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.

– Myra Brooks Welch

There is value in your life and the devil is a liar! 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What are some memories in which you felt most fulfilled, most loved, most complete?
  2. In what areas of your life are you insecure? Why?
  3. How did your view of the old violin change as you read the poem? How does your view of yourself change as you read God’s Word? What do you need to add (or change) to your thinking to realize what you’ve been given and your priceless value?
  4. Read 2 Cor 12:9-10. What does it mean, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’? Look up ‘infirmities’ in the Greek: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G769&t=KJV How can you apply these verses to your life?
  5. What is your responsibility in applying these truths to your life? How can you better partner with Jesus’ Spirit in changing your destiny today?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Do You Love?

Deuteronomy 6 – 5And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Matthew 22 – 37Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Mark 12 –…30There is no other commandment greater than these.”; Luke 10:27W

“I love you” holds true to the adage “easier said than done.”  It’s so casually thrown around and watered down, so let’s run it through the strainer and sift out the important things to know about love.

Who?

  • God
  • Your Neighbor (strangers, acquaintances, friends)
  • Brother (someone with whom you are close, or share similar beliefs)
    • 1 John 4 – 20 If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.
  • Family
  • 1 Timothy 5 – 8But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
  • Exodus 20 – 12Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  • Enemies
    • Matthew 5 –44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    • Luke 6 – 35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
  • What?
  • Love in the Greek can translate into four different meanings: 
    • Eros – love that should be reserved for a significant other; romantic love
    • Phileo – what amounts to brotherly love; a love for people with similar thoughts, beliefs, interests; “easy” love
    • Storge – love of community/family; obligatory love
    • Agape –  love that is mature, selfless; love that drives one to go beyond; sacrificial love
  • Agape love is the kind of love Jesus refers to in his command to love our neighbor
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous, boastful, proud, rude, does not demand its own way, is not irritable, keeps no record of being wronged, does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance
  • God is love (twice mentioned in 1 John 4)
  • When/Where?
  • While ministering
  • In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul says that without love: speaking all the languages of earth and of angels, would only be but noise; having the gift of prophecy and understanding all of God’s secret plans and possessing all knowledge, and having enough faith to move mountains, would all be nothing; giving everything to the poor, sacrificing my body, and could boast about it, but would have gained nothing. (NLT)
  • In all things
    • 1 Corinthians 16 –14 And do everything with love. (NLT)
  • At all times
  • Proverbs 17 – 17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  • Why?
  • Because He first loved us
    • 1 John 4 –  9God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 19We love each other because he loved us first. (NLT)
  • Because love eliminates fear
  • 1 John 4 – 18Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (NLT)
  • Because it’s the greatest commandment
  • Because it fulfills God’s law
    • Romans 13 – 8BIf you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law…[All other commandments] are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. (NLT)
  • Because love identifies us with Him
    • John 13:35 says all will know we are His disciples if we love one another, and 1 John 4:7 says love comes from God, so anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 
  • Because it unifies us
  • 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. (NLT)
  • How?
  • As He has loved us
    • John 15 – 12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
  • Without pretense (no strings attached)
    • Romans 12 – 9Let love be without dissimulation [dishonesty, deceit, conditions] 
  • More often than not, we put selfish conditions on love.  Some only love others if the other person is considered socially acceptable to be around, for their possessions or looks, if the relationship is mutually beneficial, or if the other person can meet our needs, even if we cannot meet theirs.  Those kinds of love are not true.  Love, as described in scripture, is pure and unconditional; as Christ loved us.
  • Matthew 9 – As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. 10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners.11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’  For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
  • Church should smell like cigarettes and alcohol.  People who need the church the most are the broken, hurting, hopeless, addicted, shamed, guilty, directionless, bitter, depressed, and needy.  These are the people Jesus loved, ministered to, and associated with, regardless of what anyone thought.  Religious leaders were repulsed by Him.  The crowds had mixed feelings about Him.  Even His own disciples regularly questioned Him.  And yet, Jesus never stopped giving of Himself.     
  • 1 Peter 4 – Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (ESV)
  • With gentleness, humility and kindness
  • Romans 12 – 10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
  • 2 Timothy 2 – 23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
    • “Correcting in love” is a phrase often used to excuse being bossy, copping an attitude and being rude or mean to someone, lording some false sense of superiority over the “offending party.”  Instructing in meekness, as told in scripture, is prefaced by avoiding strife, being gentle, able to teach, and patient.  If you’re just looking for a reason to go off on someone, don’t.  If you cannot think about what you say before you say it, use the opportunity of a mistake to teach in a non-confrontational manner, setting emotion aside, then just don’t.  If you cannot meet those criteria, find a leader who can.
  • Exodus 22 – 21You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
  • Exodus 23 – You must not oppress foreigners. You know what it’s like to be a foreigner, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
  • Zechariah 7 – 9…Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. 10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor.
  • By thinking before you speak/act
    • Ephesians 4 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NLT)
    • THINK.  Is what I’m about to say or do: True? Helpful? Inspiring? Necessary? Kind?
  • By forgiving
  • Colossians 3 – 13Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)
    • If “Forgive and forget” were true, no one would ever truly be able to forgive.  Forgiveness does not mean you pretend to not remember the fact that something happened.  To forget in this context is to stay down after being knocked down.  Forgiveness is letting go of bitterness and a desire for vengeance.  Romans 12:19 says vengeance is the Lord’s, and Psalm 91:8 says only with our eyes will we behold the reward of the wicked.
  • Forgiveness and trust are two separate things.  Forgiveness should come quickly, as to not allow negative side effects to show up in your life.  Trust, however, is rebuilt over time and may not be restored to the point where the same person/people can hurt you again.  You’re only punishing yourself when you don’t forgive; the other party many times doesn’t know/care.  And to think you can harbor unforgiveness and not let it affect your relationships, especially your walk with God, is incorrect thinking.  Jesus doesn’t sugarcoat, using the parable of the servant whose massive debt was forgiven, but that servant couldn’t turn around and forgive someone else with a much smaller debt.  This reveals a misunderstanding we sometimes have of our own need of forgiveness from Jesus.
  • If you’re struggling to forgive, focus on God and His grace and forgiveness in your life, instead of your feelings of guilt for struggling to forgive.  It’s easier to forgive others when you remember how you’ve been forgiven. Try trusting God for forgiveness instead of yourself.  
  • Ephesians 4 – 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
  • 1 John 1 – 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
  • In John 21, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”  It’s possible that He asked three times as a subtle reminder of Peter’s three denials.  Each time Jesus asked, the Greek word used was agape; “Do you agape me?”  Each time Peter answered, he responded with, “I phileo you.”  Jesus was looking for reckless, sacrificial, unconditional love, and Peter was responding with brotherly love.  Jesus wanted Peter to understand the gravity of what was coming – the birth of the church – and what was necessary to handle it – the capacity for agape love toward others.  If you do not have the capacity to agape love God Himself, how can you suddenly have that capacity for anyone else?  If we are to fulfill the greatest commandments (to love God and love others), it must be with agape love.  To fulfill our call to be Jesus to this world, we must learn to love others as Jesus loved us; unconditionally.  First-time visitors should feel just as loved as long-time saints, and the reverse is true as well.  If we are going to be successful in soul-winning and disciple-making, it all starts with unconditional love.   

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. Ice-Breaker: What’s your favorite love song and why?
  2. Did Sunday’s sermon give you a greater understanding of love? In what way?
  3. Pastor Michael used a lot of Scriptures in talking about love. Which one spoke the most to you? Why? 
  4. In 1 John 4:18, John contrasts love with fear. Why? How does that change you and what do you need in order to ‘fully experience His love?’ 
  5. In reviewing the sermon, what aspects of love do you struggle with (fear, loving difficult people, etc.)? What do you need to change? 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Michael Lagle. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Youth Pastor, Mike Lagle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Anchor of Hope

Heb 6:18-19 “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”

Eph 2:12 “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

Hope is not a psychological thing, not a thought, it’s actually theological. It’s not like optimism. Hope isn’t positive thinking. Hope is theological. You can be optimistic. You can positively think your skim milk is really whipped cream, but that doesn’t really work. Optimism works with only things you can control. You can control your attitude. Optimism helps you have a better attitude. Hope is not optimism. 

Optimism says, ‘things are not as bad as they look.’ Hope says, ‘Things are horrible, but I still believe God is able.’ 

Three kinds of hope:

  1. Wishful hope, the kind that makes you play the lottery and hope for stuff you wish for. It’s not real. It’s like wishing on the moon. If you anchor your thinking in that kind of hope, you’ll be disappointed.
  2. Expectant hope, this kind works on the idea that if you work for something, you’ll get expected results. This is based on what you see and observe. Architecture works that way or art. It starts as some idea and then is created. You can expect spring to come or the dishes to come out clean from the dishwasher. You expect that if you eat right, you’ll have good health. This doesn’t have a 100% good results. You can’t base your life this or you will be disappointed. This is like experiencing a miscarriage. Life isn’t always fair. You may do everything right, but things don’t always turn out right.
  3. Blessed Assurance (Hope) in God’s Word, this kind does not have a ‘what if’ attached to it. This kind of hope is based on Jesus’ promises that you can count on. This is an anchor for your soul. It’s non-drifting. 

Heb 6:19 “We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seatwhich sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold,”

Where is your hope? 

When you allow this anchor to work in your life, you might find yourself drifting, but then hope pulls you back to Jesus. 

Driftwood is stuff that is lost, drifting. 

Hope keeps you connected to God. 

An anchor keeps you steady when the waters and storms come, it stabilizes you in unstable circumstances. When the waters rise and storm winds blow, you’ve got something to keep you stable. People who are calm and steady and stable are grounded and anchored in Jesus. Positive thinking and wishful thinking don’t always work. You can have a great attitude and still be in the hospital, but in that hospital, you can still trust God and trust that anchor.

When crazy situations come, you’ll find where you anchor is. 

Jer 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Everything won’t be wonderful. Jesus said trouble would come, but Jesus has overcome the world.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (KJV) “And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”

Faith is stabilized by hope. 

Hope is something that we have to have because storms will come.

Prov 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

When you ask God, ‘Why do You favor him and not me?’ you’ve got your hope in the wrong thing. 

Real hope is based on God’s Word not in your wishes. It’s based on what He said. It’s not based on what your emotions are saying, it’s based on what He wrote in His Word. 

Two things to do to increase hope: study God’s Word and pray. 

Studying the Word is not just going to church, it’s actually reading your Bible and praying for understanding and then basing your life (your thoughts, attitudes, emotions) on what it says. 

God gave Abraham a promise and Abraham waited for that promise. God gave an oath and swore on His own name. There is nothing greater than God’s name. 

You ever notice people who aren’t Christians swear and use Jesus’ name more than Christians? Swearing happens when you appeal to a greater power. You can’t swear on your own name. They are trying to become more powerful and therefore use a greater power. 

Our comfort and hope are that God doesn’t change and He doesn’t lie. If He said it, it’s true and it won’t change. Build your hope on that. You can’t have hope unless you know what He said. You can’t have hope unless you apply God’s Word to your life. You’ve got to apply His Word in prayer to get it in you. Jesus hasn’t changed and He doesn’t lie. God’s promises are ‘Yes!’ and ‘Amen!’ God said it and that settles it! Get that, ‘Amen!’ in your spirit.

Five things that cause hopelessness:

  1. A feeling of loneliness, rejected, abandoned, worthless can cause hopelessness. The #1 cause of fear is loneliness and abandonment. (People are afraid of public speaking because they fear rejection.) This can paralyze you.
  2. Life is out of control. 
  3. Grieving a loss can cause hopelessness. Losing something can cause hopelessness. When you feel like you don’t have time or finances, you might feel hopeless. 
  4. Temptation takes you places where you would never go or a person has done you wrong and you’re there. 
  5. It looks like defeat is all around you. 

Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

You’re either in the Spirit of prayer or losing hope. Understanding prayer and hope will help you. 

Mat 6:9-13 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

That feeling of loneliness is answered in Mat 6:9, Jesus is with us always. He is our father. Life is crazy, but God’s kingdom come, His will be done. Fear of loss, give us this day our daily bread. Temptation—‘And forgive us our debts…lead us not into temptation…’ Defeat—‘For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen!’

If your hope is in Jesus, go to His Word. When you fall, you shall arise! 

Micah 7:8 “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

When feelings come, hang onto that hope and pull on it. If you aren’t going forward, you’ve lost your hope. Hold onto that hope and keep moving forward. What is your hope in? What is your default setting? If God has delivered you from something, don’t go back to it! 

God does not change. If He was good to you yesterday, He will be good to you tomorrow. Get into His Word and pray that and speak it and live and walk it out. Hope is built on Jesus Christ and His victory at Calvary. 

Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Substance means a foundation, setting under, an assurance. Faith is the foundation of what we’re anchored in. Faith is anchored in hope. Hope becomes the anchor of faith. They work together. You put your confidence (faith) in Jesus, this is your hope.

Rom 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

God will fill you with hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Hope keeps you from drifting. God never changes. He never lies. 

Heb 10:39 “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

Your Resurrection Day is coming. Jesus never fails. 

Lam 3:22-24 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. Sunday’s sermon was about hope. What new understanding of hope did you gain and how does this change you?
  2. Was there anything in Sunday’s sermon that you didn’t understand? What further study and prayer will you do in order to understand it? 
  3. Faith is trusting God, hope is about expectation. How do these two work together? What hinders faith and hope? How do regular Bible study and prayer build faith and hope?
  4. Read Lamentations 3:21-26. Why does this author have hope? What is new every morning? What does it mean that, ‘The Lord is my portion?’  Why is it good to ‘both hope and quietly wait for’ God’s salvation?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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I Am Thirsty

Mat 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

John 19:28 “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.”

That the Scripture might be fulfilled, He said, ‘I thirst.’ Jesus was thirsty on the Cross.

Have you ever been thirsty? Have you ever lost your Internet connection? Have you ever left your phone somewhere? Have you ever gone without electricity for a while? 

The human body is 60% water. Water was one of the first things God created. Man cannot live without water. Expelling energy and heat leaves us dry; lack of humidity in the air causes dryness. Stress and fatigue can cause dryness. 

For Jesus, He didn’t sleep much the night before He was crucified. He prayed all night. The Romans devised an excruciating death. It was one of the most distressing circumstances a person could experience. A fever probably raged, insupportable thirst, so much pain. 

A Turkish officer was crucified. Another who watched noted that he begged the people for water. Water was flowing all around him. He complained only of thirst, not the pain, just want for water. 

Jesus was offered a drink on the cross and refused it and later offered a drink again and He took it. Once was mir, to dull the pain, the other was a poison. Jesus spit out the pain killer. He chose to go through the suffering with a clear mind, fully conscious. Jesus endured the full punishment.

Something about Jesus being thirsty made it into the Bible. There was so much that wasn’t included, yet Jesus’ thirst made it. Why? 

One of the cruelties of crucifixion is great thirst. 

Psalm 69:21 “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

Jesus was 100% human and 100% God. Jesus was thirsty. 

The Israelites complained to Moses.

Deut 8:3 “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”

It’s not about surviving with physical things, but we need God’s Word to live. We need not only physical but spiritual. We need God’s righteousness. We’ve got to thirst for God’s righteousness.

In the gospel of John, there’s more about water than in any other gospel. Jesus was baptized, then turned water into wine. Jesus met a Samaritan woman who was sitting at a well. He told her some stuff about water. ‘If you knew who I was, you would ask Me for water.’ 

As good as your momma’s cooking is, you’ll need some more tomorrow. In Jesus, you can have living water that will completely and forever quench your thirst. 

If you understand history, you know that you don’t go to a well at noon. You go in groups in the morning. This woman first was alone and came at an odd time. Jesus knew all of this. 

Jesus talked to her and, in order to help her understand, He needed to touch her where it hurt first.

John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

How would it be if every time you were hungry or thirsty, you could reach into yourself and have those needs met? This is what Jesus offers you. This is the power of the Holy Ghost. You have everything you need all the time, but you’ve got to learn how to tap into it. 

Your number one priority in life is to be saved, get your thirst quenched, but Jesus doesn’t stop there. He gives you an unlimited supply of water. Jesus wants you to be rivers of living water for other people. Everybody is hungry and thirsty. If you receive it from Jesus, you can get so full that the rest of the world will come. He wants you to have a well, for you and everybody around you. 

There was a woman broken. She didn’t even realize the need that only Jesus could satisfy. 

People today look to have their needs satisfied in relationships or food or money or other pursuits, but only Jesus satisfies fully. 

Psalm 63:1 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”

People want to get the shame and misery out of their lives. So, they do drugs or drink alcohol or do other things. You’ve got to crave Jesus like addicts desire their fix. 

My soul looks for the Lord as for water in a desert. 

Jesus said, ‘If any man thirst, let him come to Me.’

First, you must decide why you are here. Israel forgot God and hewed out broken cisterns. They were playing church.

Jer 2:13 “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

God couldn’t even fill those containers because they were broken. Their thirst was in other places. 

Little children sometimes get full on junk food so they aren’t hungry when dinner is ready. Don’t get spiritually filled up on junk food. Beware ‘junk food’ and be willing to wait for dinner. Come to the table hungry.

On Sunday or whenever you read the Bible, don’t snack on the things of the world so you aren’t hungry for the things of God. Don’t forsake God and go after other things. 

Don’t reject the Living Water. 

Tradition and sin will cause you to not be hungry for the things of God. 

When you come to the Lord for fulfillment, it’s clean, it’s good, it lasts longer. It doesn’t allow you to become sick. You’ll be able to take what the world throws at you because you’ve got what you need. You will lack nothing. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.’ I have no lack. 

Jesus said, ‘You’re thirsty, come to Me.’ He gives more than enough. 

The woman at the well left her bucket and went running and told everybody in Samaria about Jesus. She had better water. Philip came to that city later and it was ready for revival. Nothing can replace the hunger and the thirst for Almighty God. 

Isn’t it something, the One who said, ‘I am the Bread of Life’ said, ‘I’m thirsty.’ It was to fulfill Scripture, yet was recorded physically. People lifted up a branch of hyssop and offered Jesus a sip of vinegar. People started to get it. They remembered the prophecy. They used a hyssop branch and spread blood over their doorposts for the first Passover. Jesus became you and you became free. Jesus is thirsty and you are not because He took your place. 

If you are thirsty, you will be filled. Jesus is all-sufficient. He will take it all. He will be thirsty in your place.

We have a need as humans for God. There’s a God-sized hole in your heart only He can fill. It’s cheesy, but it fits. Nothing can quench your thirst like Jesus can. For that woman at the well, she searched and searched to quench that need, to be loved and accepted. Jesus was the One who finally fulfilled that need. He loved her and accepted her and saved her soul. 

You may be looking and trying and experimenting and coming up short every time. 

There is the Song of the Redeemed. It’s the song of Moses. 

Isaiah 12:2-3 “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. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

Jesus is Salvation. You can drink from these waters and never thirst again. There are Word and experience with Jesus. Jesus is that living water. He will quench your thirst.

You can dry out and need to be filled again. God will restore you if you drink. 

You’ve got to be thirsty. Come to Jesus by turning from things that aren’t of Him. You can’t have bitterness in your heart and forgiveness from God. You can’t have both. You’ve got to come to Him and drink.

John 7:37-38 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

There is something about believing and obeying the Word of God that triggers the flow. Obedience coupled with faith causes flow. 

Jesus never called an altar call. If you want to be refilled and the waters of God to flow, seek it now. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
  2. If Pastor Anthony had to give an abbreviated version of Sunday’s message, what two points or ideas would you tell him to include no matter what? Why?
  3. Read 2 Cor 3:5-6 “Yet we don’t see ourselves as capable enough to do anything in our own strength, for our true competence flows from God’s empowering presenceHe alone makes us adequate ministers who are focused on an entirely new covenant. Our ministry is not based on the letter of the law but through the power of the Spirit. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit pours out life.” What is God’s ‘empowering presence’? How does He make us ‘adequate ministers’? How is the new covenant different from the old and what does that mean for your life? 
  4. What hinders the flow of God’s Spirit in your life? What can you do to change that?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He Called Us Out

John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

Jesus said He was the one with the resources and power. If we abide in Him, we’ll have access to those resources and power. 

John 15:16-19 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

In the Old Testament, there was a man named Noah that God called to obey (build a boat). It was bizarre, what God commanded. It had never rained before. 

Gen 12:1 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”

This was a little crazy too. 

Gen 12:2-3 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” 

In order to have this blessing, he had to come out, to obey God. Abraham brought Lot with him and later had to finish obeying. When he finally separated, then he was able to receive the blessing. 

Right now, there is a call to separate. You may not feel it because it isn’t something you want to do. The media says we need to come together. Yet, God calls us to separate from the world. God takes us away from stuff in order to bless us. It’s foreign to our culture.

God calls a man to obey (Noah), to separate (Abraham), to follow Him (Israel). 

Repentance.

Repentance often means to apologize for sin. In the days of the Bible, Jesus said repentance wasn’t just to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ it was also to turn away from, to separate. Repentance is shutting down everything else in this world and aim your thinking to the things of God. Leave the world and enter into His presence. It’s an ‘about-face,’ a complete turning from the ways of the world. It’s a full 180-degree turn. Instead of going one way, you turn and go in the opposite direction.

God has called you out of this world to follow Him. He hasn’t called you away from this world to be a hermit. Instead, He has called you to be different from the world around you, to be Jesus to the world.

Because of your allegiance to God, people will start hating you. Friends will leave you. 

2 Cor 6:14-18 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

God is calling you to change.

Eph 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

God is calling you to change the way you are in order to become something else. He’s changing you from a beast to a beauty. 

God won’t always give you a hug. Sometimes, He will call you to come to Him in repentance and willingness to give up your old ways and instead do things His way. Then, He will hug you and comfort you and love you. 

Don’t fight God’s call. The world’s hold on you is getting weaker and weaker because God is calling you to Him. Don’t fight it. When the call of God is on your life, you start to see things and hear things. He is calling you out. 

Maybe you’ve been in the church for a while and you’re so used to doing what you’re supposed to do that you don’t hear God so well anymore. You’ve got to get out of that worldly rut and seek God. Seek His face, His will, His way, ‘His kingdom come, His will be done.’  

Get an understanding of separation in your spiritual life. Separate from sin and God will bless you. Separate from the world and God will bless you. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
  2. If Pastor Anthony had to give an abbreviated version of Sunday’s message, what two points or ideas would you tell him to include no matter what? Why?
  3. Read Romans 8:1-15. How do these truths change you? How do they challenge you? What does it mean to you to be able to call God, ‘Father?’ 
  4. What resistance do you deal with in answering God’s call? How can you better walk with Jesus and ‘walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh’ depending on His strength and not only on your own?  

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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