Unresolved Issues

ap-x-90-395049-unsplashJohn 4:5-8 “Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.”

Jesus sent 12 guys to get lunch. He wanted to be alone, waiting for that woman. It was a bad time to get water because it was so hot.

John 4:9-19 “The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’ 10 Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’ 11 ‘But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,’ she said, ‘and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?’ 13 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.’ 15 ‘Please, sir,’ the woman said, ‘give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.’ 16 ‘Go and get your husband,’ Jesus told her. 17 ‘I don’t have a husband,’ the woman replied. Jesus said, ‘You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!’ 19 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you must be a prophet.”

Issues flow from some source, that issue is unresolved. To ‘solve’ means ‘to find the answer to some issue or problem.’ The word ‘resolve’ is ‘the ongoing process of finding solutions.’ Resolve doesn’t give up.

Issues in your life that are unresolved spring up ugliness and nastiness and trouble until they are resolved. These haunt you if they continue to be unresolved.

Deal with your issues.

What are the issues in your life? How are you working to resolve them?

Just as there are unresolved issues in our lives, the woman of Samaria had some issues that kept her from a deeper walk with God. Unresolved issues need to be addressed because you can’t move on. These issues keep you from that precious deeper walk with God. You must deal with these issues or they will deal with you.

Judas failed and never recovered from it. He never dealt with his issue. Judas paid the bills, but he had money issues. Jesus gave him that job on purpose, giving him the opportunity to deal with it. Jesus knew that either Judas would deal with it or it would conquer him. In the end, the money conquered him.

Jesus will come to you just as He came to that woman of Samaria.

This is not about a vague and general message, God wants to speak to a specific issue in your life and help you deal with it.

How have your issues dealt with you? Are you willing to face them in order to overcome them? Will you allow Jesus to lead you and help you in this? What will you do today?

Study the life of Absalom and you will learn about ‘stupid attacks.’ It was all about unresolved issues. You can cast out spirits (demons), but you can’t cast out issues. You’ve got to deal with them.

Absalom had issues. He had a sister named Tamar. She was a beautiful, virgin lady. She had a half-brother, Amnon. They were all children of David. Unfortunately, David was not a model father. He had several wives and stuff that he never dealt with as well. Amnon loved Tamar and was overwhelmed with attraction for her. There were rules back then pertaining to getting together with your half-sister, but instead of doing things right, Amnon tricked Tamar into his room and raped her. Then, he rejected her, destroying her life. Absalom hated Amnon for doing this and David did nothing.

Why? We don’t know. Two years went by and Absalom did not forgive. So, taking matters into his own hands, he threw a party and got Amnon drunk and killed him. Absalom wanted his hatred to end, so he killed the one he hated. This caused a complete family upheaval. David sent Absalom away in exile for three years. David longed for his son, but he when he finally allowed him to come back, David refused to see him. Absalom had a father who rejected him. This continued to grow the issues. Two more years passed. Absalom wanted to see his father, he wanted affirmation from his dad. He wanted reconciliation.

Prov 17:6 “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Why do you think rejection by parents is so devastating to children? Have you been rejected by your parents? How did you deal with that? Have you rejected your own children? What did you do to reconcile with them?

Absalom was upset at the situation. So, he tried to talk to Joab, one of David’s men. Joab wouldn’t listen, so he set fire to his field. Absalom was desperate to see his father. Finally, Joab listened and came up with a plan. A woman pretended to be someone else and went before David. She told a story about a son who was a murderer and wanted reconciliation. David finally realized that he should see his son. Absalom had the opportunity to see his dad for the first time in five years. Can you imagine the emotion going through Absalom?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the meeting between the Father and the Prodigal son. There should have been hugging and kissing, but what David did to Absalom made things worse. He gave his son only a little peck on the forehead and that was all. Absalom’s dreams of reconciliation were destroyed.

Unresolved issues cause you to walk in a way that God is NOT pleased. You’ve got to deal with your issues.

Sometimes, God says you’ve got to get things right with people before you get right with Him. You can’t graduate to another level until you deal with those issues in your life. It comes to a place where you face that stuff and deal with it and resolve it.

How have your issues kept you from having a richer, deeper relationship with Jesus? Are you willing to face those issues in order to have that relationship with Jesus? After you’ve done all you can do, all that Jesus is asking you to do, will you trust Him with the rest?

Absalom decided David shouldn’t be king, he should. He won the hearts of the people. He secretly got people together and got himself crowned. It was all because David never resolved the issue. Once Absalom was pronounced king, he contacted Ahithophel, the grandfather of Bathsheba (David had murdered Bathsheba’s first husband.) He had issues with David as well. So, he rebelled against David too.

Like spirits find each other.

Absalom found a bunch of angry men to be around, men who also had issues with David. Those issues kept them from rejoicing in the Lord.

When God wants to bless you, you can’t rejoice because of your issues.

Ahithophel gave counsel to Absalom, but he didn’t take his advice. Because of his issues, he was oversensitive and felt rejected. So, Ahithophel hung himself. The end of that unresolved issue was suicide.

Jacob stole his brother’s birthright. He lived in hiding for 20 years. When he finally faced his issues, he wrestled with an angel all night. He was afraid of his brother and his unresolved issue. He had already experienced so many blessings, but he was afraid to deal with that issue. He grabbed that angel and asked that God would change him.

Joseph had issues because of his brothers. They sold him into slavery. Years later, they came to meet him as the second leader in command of Egypt. Somehow, Joseph dealt with his issues and never harbored bitterness. He forgave before they ever asked. In fact, he consoled them.

If you have an unresolved issue, learn the essence and power of Phil 3:13.

Phil 3:13 “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” (NLT) “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,” (KJV) “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (MSG, v12-14)

How long will you allow your past to haunt you? Joseph couldn’t deal directly with his brothers as a slave or in prison, but still, he dealt with those issues and trusted God for the rest. How can you do the same? Do you harbor bitterness and unforgiveness? Will you trust that God will use your situation for your good and to His glory? 

Forget the past. You can’t go forward with the past in front of you. You’ve got to be able to forgive and forget in order to move on and up.

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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One of a Kind

One of a KindHeb 2:14 “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

The phrase ‘one of a kind’ is actually Biblical. We also can say we are all one of a kind. There is no one like any other. We are humankind, mankind. To say that Jesus is one of a kind is really not much more than saying that John or Jane is one of a kind.

The fact remains that Jesus loves you like no one else. Nobody can stop Him from loving you, from knowing you. You can’t earn His rejection. Jesus is truly one of a kind.

Do you realize that you are ‘one of a kind,’ special, unique? How does that make you feel? How does it change your life that Jesus loves you no matter what? 

John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

There is a oneness view, seeing Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as one person.

So, then, who is this ‘only begotten son?’ In the Greek, it is unique, only, like species or kind or race. Jesus is one of a kind, not like most people are one of a kind. This literally means, ‘He’s the only one of the only kind.’

The Bible never says, ‘God the Son died on the cross.’ It says, ‘The Son of God died on the cross.’    

Col 2:9 “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

2 Cor 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

In Scripture, it says, ‘I sought for a man to hold up the hedge.’ God was looking for someone who could cause there to be a separation from sin. God had to do the job that only He could do.

Ez 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

2 Cor 4:4 “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”

Col 1:15 “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,”

1 Tim 3:16 “Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.”

Heb 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:”

Isaiah 45:21 “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.”

Do you recognize that God, Himself, became a man in order to save you from your sins? How does that knowledge change you? What is different about your life (thinking, attitudes, and actions) because of this truth?

Pastor Anthony went to one of the largest Hindi temples. There are over 300 million Hindi gods. You can’t possibly have a personal relationship with that many gods.

If you have a single God, you can have a relationship with Him.

Isaiah 45:22-23 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

There is a union coming here from this ancient God in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

2 Cor 3:17 “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

John 4:24-26 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”

Do you want to have a relationship with God? If you already do, what will you do to strengthen that relationship? How will you allow Jesus into every area of your life and let Him change you?

Rom 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

The woman was deceived, but Adam was not. He was straight up disobedient. Adam was also one of a kind, never born, he was made. He was never a baby. He was created an adult with the ability to talk and communicate. It had all been downloaded or programmed into him.

Jesus was the second Adam. Adam chose to be with his sinful bride and die a sinner. What Adam attempted to do was to join his wife in sin. Jesus caused her to join Him in righteousness. He obeyed, rather than disobeying like Adam, and made a way for sinners to be reconciled to God. Jesus was a mixture of God and man. He was wholly God and wholly man.

Jesus proclaimed to sinners, ‘I am the door.’ In the Tabernacle, there are three doors, the gate into the tabernacle, the veil into the holy of holies, and, before that, there was an entrance into the tabernacle building itself, a door into the holy place. Jesus is that door—blue, purple, and scarlet. Purple was sandwiched between two other colors, (scarlet and red are the same). Red and blue are primary colors, nature provides that. Purple is a secondary color, produced from the mixture of red and blue. Purple is always ascribed to royalty, very expensive to make back then. Blue represents divinity—God. Red is the color of blood and represents flesh—Man. Mixed together you get purple. Jesus was that Purple Door!

Are you willing to walk through that Purple Door? What does that look like in your life? How is your life changed by choosing this?

If there is anything that displays supernatural power, it’s resurrection. Jairus’ daughter was sick and Jesus went with him to see her. On their way, a man came and told them that the girl was dead. The people thought it was impossible to raise the dead. Jesus first put all the people out of the house and then raised her.

Then, instead of saying, ‘Glorify me,’ Jesus said, ‘Give her some food, she must be hungry.’

Jesus cares about not just the big or little things, He cares about all aspects of your life. Jesus knew what it was like to be hungry and thirsty.

Another resurrection is the resurrection of the widow’s son. He was all she had. This boy was already in the casket ready to be buried. She’d already lost her husband and now her son. She was desperately grieving and Jesus saw that and raised that son from the dead. There must have been so much celebration and everyone trying to see the boy, but Jesus said, ‘Bring the boy to his mom.’ He had compassion.

Do you need a ‘resurrection’ in your life? Will you talk to Jesus about it and trust Him to make it happen?

Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

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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When God Gets Sick

Rev 3:15-20 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

You’re not good, even though you think you are. Jesus is knocking on your door.

God never got sick! But, certain things bothered him, ‘How long do I have to be with these people?’

What makes God ‘sick?’ Are there things in your life that might make Him sick? What are you going to do about getting rid of that?

It was beautiful when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee and called His disciples. He walked up to them and asked them to follow Him. At that time, it was a full commitment, meaning that they would copy His very heart. The Call of Jesus Christ caused these men to leave their nets.

Mat 4:18-19 “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

There’s a difference between being called and responding to that call.

Jesus does the calling, you do the coming. It might take some time to get to your calling. The time it takes to get here, stuff needs to take place. You take one step after another. The process includes dropping some stuff. It would be out of order to come without a call. A call gives somebody access and authority to do things they wouldn’t be able to do without God giving them access.

That process changes your life. If it doesn’t change your life, you have not really been answering a call from Jesus. The answer includes dropping some stuff. If you don’t drop some stuff, you can’t truly answer that call.

‘I will abandon it all for the sake of the call.’ This is the cry of the disciple.

The call requires a dropping of the nets, a changing of life.

For instance, a single lady may need to leave the man she can see for the one she can’t see. If you don’t drop some things, you can’t get to your call. The call must include dropping the net.

Peter dropped the net and followed Jesus.

Have you answered Jesus’ call? What have you already dropped? What do you still need to drop? Why haven’t you dropped it yet?

Jesus spent a lot of time on boats. Whose boats were they? Probably Peter’s or James’, isn’t it wonderful that Jesus is willing to help you get rid of those nets?

Peter said he’d follow Jesus and die for Him, but then he denied Him three times. Peter was not totally changed.

After Jesus died, Peter said, ‘I go fishing.’ He picked those nets back up in his discouragement and went back to his past. In fact, he brought others along with him.

Jesus cried from heaven. ‘Turn and repent and come back!’ There was a resurrection coming. If you go too far back, like Judas, it’ll be too late and you’ll miss the glorious resurrection.

If you respond to the call, you have had your life messed up and the Lord is not done with you yet. Don’t forsake that commitment to the call.

Hosea 6:4 “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.”

It’s so short.

Rev 2:4 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

What things in your life cause you to turn back to your past? What keeps you from overcoming? How will you let go and allow Jesus to help you overcome and continue in His will and way?

Your life will get crazy and be totally different from the way you used to be. You may still fish, but fishing for men instead of fish. You may be still aggressive, but it will be bold. You will be free to be who you REALLY are. It is a change to be responding to Jesus.

Have you dropped your nets?

Jesus called more than the twelve, the rich, young ruler refused the call of Jesus. You can’t have both the net and the call.

Jesus let Peter fish. He got on his boat and threw out his net and caught nothing for several hours. He probably got frustrated. He knew how to do this, but nothing was happening. In the morning, guess who was on the shore? Jesus was sitting there—eating fish! He said, ‘How’s that working for you? Cast your net on the other side.’ Peter didn’t think it would work, but he did it anyway.

Peter was trying to catch raw fish, but Jesus had cooked fish on the shore.

You can toil all night or surrender and receive fish without a net.

Why do you choose to go your own way rather than Jesus’ way? How can you change?

Elijah threw his mantle on Elisha. Elisha was busy at the time, plowing in a field with oxen. He was working hard. Yet, what he did is what you and I need to do. He took the yoke of oxen and he killed them and burned them with the wood from the yoke.

He couldn’t go back.

Peter went back. He didn’t cut his ties. Jesus knew this and waited on the shore, ‘Your way or My way?’ That was Jesus knocking on the door.

Jesus wants to give you eyes that can see and white raiment. Repent and come back.

Peter understood what it meant to make mistakes and come back to the Lord.

2 Peter 2:20 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”

It’s too late for you to not know the Lord. You’ve already heard about Jesus. It’s too late to be okay not serving the Lord. You want Jesus to welcome you in, not spit you out. You’ve got to let your net go and serve the Lord. Make up your mind. If you ever leave your first love, Jesus will still stand at the door and knock.

2 Peter 2:21 “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”

It involves surrender, it’s grueling, drop your net. Repent!

You’ve got to be full time, 100%.

You can’t be a Christian on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, but not the rest of the week. It’s a full time thing. Be either hot or cold. Choose!

James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

What ‘nets’ are you still holding onto? Why? Are you 100%? Why or why not? What do you need to change in your way of thinking in order to be 100?

  1. Call to Seek Him, to be with Him.
  2. Call to Consecration. That’s dropping your net. Make a commitment for and to the Lord. When you cast your net down and leave it, you will be on a love walk with God. You will feel Jesus’ power and joy and love.

What makes us lukewarm? What makes God sick?

  1. Fear or doubt, worry, leaving your first love. When you found Jesus, you believed He could do anything. Fear is not of God, perfect love casts out fear! So, why are you doubting God? Because you’ve lost love for Him. The cares of this life are choking out your love for Him. You believed God for anything, but today, you worry about small things.
  2. Sin. Psalm 44:20-21 “If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretch-out our hands to a strange God. 21 Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” Sin causes you to reach for another god. There are many gods in America, self, money, wants, desires. An idol is anything that comes between you and God. Jesus is knocking on your door. Drop that net, let that go. Stop that stuff, because He will get sick! Don’t you think God knows?
  3. Disappointment, Bitterness, and Jealousy. Heb 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” What happened to your fire? Before God spews you out, you have an opportunity to come back. Peter didn’t have sin in his heart, he had bitterness. That anger grows. It’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter what other people do, that’s between them and Him. Focus on yourself.

Jer 6:16 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Father Worth Coming Home To

dad-909510_960_720There is no better father than our Father in heaven. He doesn’t ask us to be perfect. He just asks that we run to Him. Do you want to see Him?

There’s no Father like this Father. He took your shame. He didn’t come to condemn. He came to redeem and save. He’s a Father worth going home to. You don’t have to fear Him. He won’t abandon you. He’s Wonderful!

What is your own father like? Do you see God as your Father? How does the knowledge that God wants to be a father to you change your life?

There are many examples of not-the-greatest fathers in the Bible. David, a man after God’s own heart, was not a good father.

Joshua said, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’

Job 29:12-17, 23 “Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out. 17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. 23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.”

When you turn to God and say, ‘I can’t wait to see you,’ what does that do to His heart? When you lay aside your will and your wants and just look to Jesus, what does that mean to Him?

If you are a father, how does it make you feel when your child crawls into your lap and gives you a hug? How can you do the same for your Heavenly Father? What does that look like? What does that feel like?

Meeting the needs of the hurting and the broken, to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to give to drink those who are thirsty, meeting the needs of those who are weak. Your children are those who are weak. They need direction.

When you look to Jesus and seek Him for direction, He will give it.

Not everybody is blessed with a good dad, but they do exist and there are many. Jesus Christ is your Heavenly Father. He sees your heart, your hurt, your brokenness. He wants to be the Father that you turn to.

The tragedy of our world today is the abandoning of families.

You have to talk to the Father for yourself.

Luke 15:20 “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

Look what that father did!

Luke 15:21-24 “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Even from far away, when you’ve made more mistakes than you can count, when you start to return, Jesus sees that.

Jesus wants a relationship with you. Will you share your life with Him and allow Him to direct your life? What changes in your thinking and habits and actions will be needed in order for that to happen?

Psalm 103:1-18 “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. 14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. 17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;”

The world says a good father gives his kids everything they want, but Jesus forgives sins. He redeems from destruction, He heals. He crowns with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

Jesus loves you. He doesn’t give you what you deserve. He paid that price in your place. God is not a god of wrath. He hasn’t come to make you feel alone. He hasn’t come to destroy or condemn. He loves YOU. He has come to give you HOPE and JOY and PEACE and LOVE.

He remembers you even though you’ve failed. He knows your failures, but He still remembers. He runs to you like a father runs to a child. He’s a Father worth running home to. He hugs you and embraces you and brings His blessings to you.

His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. His righteousness is to children’s children. He’s a Father worth living your life for, worth setting aside your sins, pride, failures, and allow Him to take it ALL. When you turn your face to Him, He’ll run to you.

Will you trust Jesus with your faults and failures and allow Him to help you? What does that look like and how does this change your life?

To those who have been abandoned, Jesus sees your need and wants to meet you where you are at. He is a Father worth coming home to.

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Guest Speaker, Bud Drexel.

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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The Source of My Strength

160808-F-SO188-1088Ex 16:14-21 “And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. 16 This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.”

Supply and Demand of the Kingdom—You have a need, I have a God.

Where does your strength come from? Who or what do you rely on? Why?

Delilah asked Samson, ‘Where does your strength come from?’ It’s very possible that Samson wasn’t a big guy. If Samson was a big guy, people wouldn’t have wondered how he could do all he did.

A man was a bodybuilder and all he did was display his muscles in competitions. He went to Africa and displayed his muscles to a tribe there. The chief asked him, ‘What do you do with that strength?’ He replied, ‘Nothing, just display it.’ The chief replied, ‘What a waste!’

We have the power of God and the answer for the world’s problems. What are we doing with it?

Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 18:1-2 “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Psalm 28:7-8 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.”

Psalm 43:2 “For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

What’s the point of all God’s power? Why are we so weak? What is the purpose of it all? What is the source of the strength in your life?

Isa 43:13 “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?”

There’s a story of a man who was poor and was preparing himself to be a DJ for a radio station. Somebody gave him advice, go get ready for the opportunity right now even if the opportunity isn’t there yet. Go get skills so you can seize the moment. The difference between people who are ready and those who aren’t is simple: HUNGER.

Just as dad gets all the leftovers because he can eat all that and more, God will give you all that you can eat. God’s resources are there only if you are hungry or in need. It’s all about HUNGER.

If you don’t eat it all, God will feed it to the worms. He doesn’t waste.

God is not fair. God is a God of principle, He operates and flows through laws and principles, like gravity and physics, cause and effect.

Fair is I’ve got so many eggs, and we distribute them equally. In Scripture, there’s a parable where a man has three servants, the first he gives one, the second gets two, the third gets five. That’s not fair, but it’s the way God works. When the man came back from his trip, he found that the second and third servants doubled their money. The first guy did nothing with the money. The first guy wasn’t hungry. So, his money was taken away and given to the third guy.

Jesus would pass by the sick if they didn’t ask for healing.

Why do you think God chooses to not be ‘fair’ and why is that a good thing? 

God won’t give more than you can handle, more than your hunger can handle. He will not waste.

God will give power and victory only to those who want it and need it and ask Him for it.

What would you do if you own a business that sells stuff and suddenly there was no demand for it? You would either go out of business or create a demand.

If God has the strength and wants to show Himself mighty and you don’t need Him, He will create demand. If you don’t need a healing, you don’t need a Healer.

Being hungry doesn’t mean you don’t have anything. It’s not about the amount, if the fridge is empty, you will go where there is food if you are hungry.

God has power to display, but who will let it?

What is the source of your strength? Where does your supply come from?

God is a God of principles and laws. If there is no demand, then there is no need for supply and God does not waste.

They that hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.

Some say the source of strength is building resistance, pushing back on struggles. Some would say that knowledge is the source of their strength. ‘A sack of potatoes without potatoes the sack of potatoes will fall.’ It’s what’s inside that causes that sack to stand. If you don’t eat, you’ll get sick or freeze to death or fall over.

Your strength comes from your need for strength. You are weak. You have a need, I have a God. You complain about what you don’t have and the lack is where God shows himself mighty.

2 Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

You don’t get deliverance from this thing because I’ve got grace that will satisfy you. If you want my strength, I need you to be weak.

At the beach, you build a ditch, here’s my need, God fills your ditch full with water.

Your fulfillment comes from emptiness and heartache and God will supply. You’ve got to declare a divine reversal.

What needs have you had in your life that God has filled? What need do you have right now that you will trust Him to fill?

Jesus could walk into this city and if nobody recognized their need for Him, nothing would happen. The physician didn’t come for the healthy, he came for the sick. The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.

You’ve got to confess your need and all of a sudden transformation will take place. You’ve got to present that need to the Lord.

Joseph went through so, so much. He went from slave to prisoner to second in command of all of Egypt. What was the source of his power and authority? There was a famine coming and that would kill God’s people. God wanted to display His power among His people.

Your need is the very reason God’s power is going to be displayed in your life. It is because you are weak that you will be able to say, ‘I am strong!’

They that are depressed and discouraged will receive light and courage. The joy of Lord is your strength!

It’s the divine reversal that gives you strength. It’s the answer to your need.

Strength equals the answer to a need.

Praise and thanksgiving to God is nothing more than demand meeting supply and supply meeting demand. Praise is a satisfied customer. You’ve been brought from darkness to light. I had a need and He came to my rescue and supplied.

Those of you who are weak are working out, you’re in the place where strength is coming. Why else would God provide for you unless there was a need? You have a need? God will provide.

Even when God blesses you beyond what you need, it’s because there’s still a need around you and He’s trusting you to distribute it.

If you are not going to eat, He won’t serve.

God leaves because He’s not needed anymore.

If you’ve figured out a way to handle it yourself, you don’t need God anymore so He won’t stick around.

God promised good land and blessings.

Deut 8:9 “A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.”

You need God to tell you where to dig. If you say, ‘God, I’ll figure it out,’ He’ll say, ‘Okay’ and let you fall flat on your nose.

Gal 3:3 “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

When you finally surrender, God will supply. The source of your strength is your weakness and the source of your supply is your need.

What have you failed to surrender to God and still struggle with?

There is a story of a prophet helping out a needy lady. He told her to get a bunch of pots and God filled them with oil. They sold it and were blessed. When they ran out of vessels, the flow of oil stopped flowing. As long as there was an empty vessel, the Lord would fill it.

You’ve got to bring to God your need. If you’re hungry, God will meet your needs.

Everybody doesn’t get the same amount. There is an economy, a principle God flows in. If you want more and can eat it, you can have it.

God will not waste any room in your need, but He will not waste His provision. If you have a need, God will fulfill your need.

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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Lessons from Psalm 23

schafer-2252308_960_720Psalm 23:1-6 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

No single psalm has expressed more powerfully man’s confidence in God whose purpose alone gives meaning to life from womb to tomb.

What does Psalm 23 mean to you?

This psalm is more from the perspective of the sheep. David was a shepherd, but this particular psalm he wrote from the perspective of a sheep led by, and cared for, by his Shepherd.

More than likely, David wrote this psalm as an adult, not while he was a young man and worked as a shepherd, caring for his father’s sheep. David was chosen to lead the people of Israel and working as a shepherd was part of his training. He couldn’t have written this psalm then, because he hadn’t gone through the stuff mentioned yet. He hadn’t had to run for his life yet.

David, when he wrote this psalm, had made a lot of mistakes, sins, adultery, yet through it all, God was always with him.

David wrote about the sheep and the shepherd relationship in the first four verses. The last two verses are more about a host and a guest.

‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ This doesn’t mean that David didn’t want a shepherd. It means that David doesn’t need anything because God is taking care of him and providing for him.

God is a provider. He always will give you not what you want, necessarily, but He will always give you what you need.

Here in America, the elite and most blessed in the world live here. What we think we need oftentimes, are just wants. If God is your shepherd, you have all that you need. Satan will try to get you to think God is holding out on you, but that is a lie.

Jesus is all you need.

How has God provided for you? Describe a time where you really needed help and God provided exactly what you needed right on time.

It’s not God’s duty to give you riches, but He does enjoy blessing you. Jesus is your Good Shepherd. He will lead you and protect you.

Jesus is an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-caring God. He is more than enough. He will supply all your needs, He is your Provider.

God provided for over a million people for over forty years, food, shoes never wore out, and neither did their clothes wear out. Their clothes didn’t even get old. Their shoes grew with their feet! Forty years their shoes lasted! That isn’t necessarily what they wanted, but they had all that they needed. They had manna every morning, noon, and night.

That was a punishment.

God even blesses when He punishes! When has God given you what you needed but not what you wanted? How did you respond?

When they got to the Promised Land, they were blessed, houses, rivers, grapes, plenty of everything they needed and even desired.

God is a shepherd and you will not want, you will not lack.

Everything was healthy and there was no famine. The land was easy to care for and produced so much. Jesus wants you to have blessing and abundance, but that isn’t necessarily promised. The promise is you will not lack what you need.

Psalm 34:10 “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

Don’t seek the thing, seek the Lord. The good stuff will follow you.

Psalm 23: 2-3 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

God protects and leads (guides).

Sheep are pretty much defenseless. They have no homing devices, they have to follow their Shepherd. The sheep know the voice of their shepherd. Sheep do not relax very easily on their own. They have to have a shepherd. Going to ‘still waters’ is dangerous because that’s where the lions go. Sheep don’t usually lie down unless they feel safe.

When it says, ‘he makes to lie down’ that means, he has caused me to not be afraid. I’m safe.

God has not forgotten you. He is a protector. He will not allow your enemy to overtake you. You will have fear removed from your life and will be able to lie down and relax and rest.

Fear is not of God. Fear is faith in something that God has not given. 

‘Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.’

If you are afraid, you are having faith or confidence in something other than God. He still loves you, but He does get angry if you don’t trust Him. Don’t worry!

Your relationship with God is not genuine if you worry. A genuine relationship with God causes you to relax. Even in the presence of your enemies, there is peace.

What are you afraid of/worried about? How can you let that go and trust the Lord even with that? Will you?

In Israel, there is a place called the Valley of the Shadow. It’s a dangerous place.

‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because thou art with me.’

God never leaves (even when you’ve left!).

Heb 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

When you know there’s trouble in your life, and you hit your knees in prayer, the Holy Ghost comes in and comforts you, know that God is still with you and you can know He is still there with you.

Do you believe these Scriptures? Why or why not? How does this knowledge change your life?

‘Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’

This has nothing to do with being a shepherd. This is about the tradition of serving guests. If God welcomes you into His house, you are a guest of honor.

Saul pursued David and wanted to kill him. David sought comfort and refuge from the Lord.

God welcomes you in the presence of your enemies.

God wants you to know that you are the Guest of Honor in the House of God. You are loved, you are valued. People might fail you, but God will never fail you.

Do you recognize that what Jesus is offering is not more than just circumstantial changes, it’s a change of mind, heart, attitude, and action? Will you trust Him? Will you take this for yourself and allow Him to transform you and your circumstances?

The anointing on your head symbolizes the Guest of Honor.

When God gives, He gives to overflowing.

‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’

Goodness and Mercy are like sheepdogs, guiding you the way of the Good Shepherd. They may seem ‘harsh’ at times, or even painful, but it’s for your good.

Will you trust God’s ways even when you don’t understand them? How does that change your life?

This Bible Study 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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Abide

vinesActs 27:31 “Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.” (KJV) “But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” (NLT)

The church has been compared to a ship with precious cargo. The precious cargo is the people of God.

Do you view yourself as ‘precious cargo’? How do you view other people? Why?

Sometimes, people get frustrated because things aren’t working the way you think they should. Paul says, ‘Abide.’ That means ‘to stay.’

John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”

How do you know you’re abiding? When you obey the Word, then you have the assurance that your soul is at home in God. If you abide in Christ, you are well protected, covered, privileged. You’re a royal priesthood, a peculiar people, special.

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Hold onto your heritage. The best is yet to come. When you abide, you can ask for anything.

Are you obeying God’s Word? Are you trusting what His Word says and applying that thinking to your life? What do you need to change?

Jesus set the man who was a demoniac free. The devil will always attack something important to you. When the demons said, ‘Bid us to go into the swines,’ those people depended on the swine for their economy. 2000 swine died that day. The people’s economy went down. So, the people wanted Jesus to go away. Because you’re abiding, he will not attack you directly. You’ve got to hold onto that Word no matter what is happening.

Those ‘attacks’ are distractions to turn you away from God. The enemy will use financial troubles and relationship troubles to distract you from God, His Word, and His promises.

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

God will always keep His promises. He will keep you in peace if you fix your thoughts on Him.

Psalm 145:13 “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.”

God will never break His promises. If you abide, you can do anything in Jesus. Abiding positions you for the benefits that are in Jesus Christ. Abiding positions for you for divine protection and divine provision.

What ‘attacks’ or ‘distractions’ are you experiencing today? Knowing the devil’s strategy and purpose, how will you handle those situations? How will you trust God in this situation and continue to abide in Him?

When the people went into the Promised Land, God told them to have six Cities of Refuge. Those were for those who accidentally killed someone and needed a place that was safe from the avenger.

No matter where you are, keep your mind on Jesus. At work, at home, at church, at the barbecue, at play, at the grocery store, or even all alone. If you’re abiding, the enemy can’t touch you. Stay in the church. This is your City of Refuge. If you come out of the City of Refuge, the avenger will kill you.

Determine within yourself to have your mind made up fully.

James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (KJV) “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (NLT)

Rom 8:38-39 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 John 2:9 “If anyone claims, ‘I am living in the light,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.”

Are you abiding? How will you check yourself every day, throughout the day? Will you make yourself accountable to other people around you?

After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God knew where Adam was, but He still asked, ‘Adam, where are you?’

Adam hid because he was no longer abiding. He was uncovered because he stopped abiding.

Prov 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”

The Prodigal Son ‘came to himself’ and finally went home. He was at his lowest point. He’d been wishing to eat the food he was giving to the pigs.

In order to be restored, you’ve got to come back with words ready in your mouth, an attitude of repentance. You can’t sneak in. The father was waiting and looking. The father ran to him. If you start moving, God will run to you, but you must recognize your condition, where you are. If you don’t want God, no one can give you God.

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

When the Prodigal reaches the abiding place, there is no telling what God will do for you. He will turn things around in seconds. The Prodigal received a banquet in his honor. He was fully restored.

God is ‘well able.’

When you abide, God is for you.

How do you come back when you realize you’ve sinned? If you’re a Prodigal, what words of repentance do you have ready? Do you trust God to restore you? Will you push aside your fear of rejection and allow Jesus to restore you to Him?

Rom 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

God uses the bad stuff as instruments for blessing when you are abiding. He loves you so much, that when you are positioned, he will still test you, but He is still with you.

You’ve got to go through some stuff, but He didn’t bring you this far to leave you. God is a keeper. He kept Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

Sometimes, you’re in a fire because you must learn to deal with the fire. He is an all-consuming fire. That fire burns all those things that are contrary to God’s ways and will, your attitudes, your habits, your ideas, your thoughts, your feelings.

Know the God you serve. His name is Jesus. Do all in the name of Jesus. When you’re abiding, you’ve got to know your God for yourself. Because there comes a time when no one else is around but you and your God. You have two presences to deal with, the God who is everywhere all the time Presence and the Manifested Presence. You’ve got to invoke His Manifested Presence yourself. You can’t do that if you’re not abiding.

‘Just a closer walk with thee, grant it Jesus, is my plea.’

Is that what you want? How will you pursue a closer walk with Jesus?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Everton Wellington.

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 Everton Wellington, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Life of an Overcomer

istock_000002305803xsmall1 Tim 6:12 “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”

We are to fight in this life. There is a good fight and a bad fight. Don’t fight with people!

People are not their own. There are influences and attitudes that come onto people. It’s foolish to fight another Christian who belongs to the Lord, lest you find yourself fighting with God! Don’t fight a man or woman of God (or a child of God).

But, you are in a Spiritual Warfare. You’ve got to know how to win. You’ve got to do it on purpose.

The battlefield is in your mind.

What battles do you face today? Which battles are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad’? Which battles do you need to fight and which should you let go of?

Phil 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Phil 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Prayer is not so much as asking God to do things for us, but getting on the same page as God. Get that worldliness off and put on, get, the mind of Christ.

1 John 5:4 “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”

2 Cor 6:17 “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”

You’ve got to have your mind renewed!

What part does faith play in renewing your mind? Do you trust God to give you the victory? Does your idea of victory agree with His? Does your idea of how you should think about yourself and your situation agree with His? What do you need to change?

Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Gal 5:17 “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”

Rom 7:21-23 “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.”

The devil isn’t everywhere, but Paul was everywhere Paul went. That sinful nature was always with him. You’ve got to nail that sinful nature to the cross all the time. Paul ‘died daily.’

1 Cor 15:31 “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

James 1:13-15 “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

The lusts of the flesh are never satisfied.

How do you conquer the flesh, your carnal, ungodly, unholy desires? Can you do it with your own power?

Are we tempted by God? No. We are tempted by our own desires. If that temptation is not resisted, conception takes place and brings forth sin and sin brings forth death.

Why does God allow this to happen? Why can’t we conquer it once and for all?

Trials prove the reality of your conversion. You resist where you once fell. Where you once were weak, now you’re strong. This glorifies God. The tests and trials that come against you, when you resist, God is glorified and your conversion is validated.

Trials drive us to prayer. God allows crazy stuff to happen so we’ll come to Him. He won’t destroy you, but He will develop you through the tests and trials of life.

It comes down to ‘Maturity.’

James 1:2,12 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Heb 4:15 “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

What is the purpose of trials? How can you train yourself to see your trials in a positive light?

Jesus was tempted. So, obviously being tempted is not sin.

1 Cor 10:13 “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

The resistance and the pressure seem like too much, but God is cheering you on. He is making you stronger. God always gives a way out so that you can handle it. God will relieve some of the pressure. He gives you a ‘break’ in prayer. Jesus is ALWAYS there.

Prov 3:11 “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 12 For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

How are you handling the Lord’s discipline? Do you reject it? Do you get upset and depressed? Or, do you seek His face and receive the love and correction He has for you?

How to Overcome:

Mat 26:41 “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

You’ve got to be alert. Pray. God will help you, but you’ve got to stay close to Him. Overcoming your flesh only gets hard when you’re not in His Spirit.

There are two dogs inside of you, one Spirit, one flesh, which one will you feed? When you’re only entertaining yourself, not reading God’s Word or praying or going to church, it’ll be harder for you to overcome temptation. When you keep your mind renewed, God’s will, God’s way, it’ll be much easier to overcome temptation.

Feed the right dog every day.

Eph 6:10-20 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Get truth, the Word of God, around your center. Get righteousness (obeying the truth) around your heart. Gospel of peace is walking in the peace of the gospel, you’re prepared for battle, but walking in peace. The shield of faith, (above all means on top, the first line of defense), faith in God, the Bible, in the Truth. Helmet of Salvation, something on your head, protecting your mind, the mind of Christ.

Phil 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

How do we live an overcoming life?

Know the Word, practice the Word, use the Word.

Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Be a prayer warrior, not a prayer worrier. You’ve got to get worry out of your mind, get doubt out of your mind. Doubt is faith in God’s failure. Doubt is not pleasing to God.

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

If you want to please God, get rid of doubt! Build up your faith. God is a provider. He will NOT fail you. Don’t worry. Let God stay up all night!

Don’t focus so much on your body (there is a little profit in being physically fit), but what’s more important is your Spiritual self to be healthy and fit.

You must have the mind of Christ.

When you work out, pray, listen to the Word. Brainwash yourself, wash your mind with the Word of the Lord so you think His thoughts. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Lift the voice of your Spirit out loud. Speak to yourself: You are a champion, You are more than a conqueror! Jesus said it, You’re not nothing!

Rom 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

‘If’ is conditional, ‘IF God is for us, who can stand against you?’ There may be a lot against you, but nothing can stand against God.

If you’re in a tug-of-war with the whole world on one side and you and God on the other, you don’t even have to hold onto the rope! You win!

What new thoughts are you going to let get hold of you today? How will you change to be in line with what God says about you? What thoughts, habits, attitudes, and/or actions do you need to get rid of?

Rom 8:32-35 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

Rom 8:37-39 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We’re not just conquerors, we’re ‘more than conquerors.’ You don’t even have to fight! You can just stand back and watch God work. It’s not about you. It’s the fact that you have God for you.

How do you get God for you? Get God’s Word in you, Believe His Word, Get His armor on you.

2 Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Your weakness is just a situation for God to show Himself strong. He’s not looking for vessels that are filled with their own strength. It’s not by your might or your power, it’s by God’s Spirit and God’s power. He will show Himself sufficient and strong.

You’re not to do anything good or right, just let Him do the work through you.

Worship.

John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

God is pursuing you. What does God want you to do? He wants you to worship Him. Worship Him in Spirit and truth, not in possessions or health or money or position. It’s in the Spirit, not the natural. It’s only your body that you dance to the Lord. You don’t have to feel it first in order to do it, praise Him no matter how you feel!

You worship when things are good and when things are not. There is something in you that is already, always victorious.

Everywhere in the Old Testament where there is a battle, there is a lesson to be learned. God sent Judah first into battle. This was the tribe who worshipped and praised. If you want to enter a battle, start with praising the Lord.

Jer 1:19 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”

Jer 20:11 “But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.”

I win every time. I’m an overcomer!

Isa 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”

Isa 50:7-9 “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 8 For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. 9 Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.”

This Bible Study 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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The Ripple Effect

olivier-fahrni-268660-unsplashGen 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Gen 3:9-12 “ And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

Gen 4:6-7 “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

What life-changing choices have you made? How has your life changed because of them?

There is a word of wisdom and a word of knowledge. The difference between wisdom and knowledge is knowledge is information whereas wisdom is revelation or knowing what to do with that knowledge.

When you pray, you must include a prayer for wisdom. You must understand the power of choice. Those choices you make can alter your life forever and set you on a course for a lifetime.

Some decisions are made hastily and cause a ripple effect affecting many lives. The choices you make are very serious.

Just like a rock bouncing across the water, causing a ripple effect, so are your choices.

Waves come from objects in the water that disturb the calm of the sea. So, are those decisions to the calm of your life.

This effect that took place started in the Garden of Eden, these are the choices Adam and Eve had that affected the world they were creating together. Death was the result of eating from that tree (obedience).

How have the choices you’ve made affected others?

1 Tim 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

Adam answered honestly to the Lord and shifted blame onto Eve. Eve said the devil tricked her, also honest. Adam was in transgression because he knew better and chose to sin.

Adam chose Eve and the sin over God. He knew the sin and the consequences of it. He sinned willfully. His sin was greater. Because of Adam death was passed on to everybody. All who sin are in Adam. He was the originator and a ripple effect took place. It was by one man that sin entered the world.

Rom 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

The greater the disturbance, the farther the reach the wave will go. Adam’s choice still affects us today, over six thousand years later.

What can reverse this cause and effect? How can we fix this? God gives people a choice.

Moses said, ‘I give to you a choice, life or death, blessing or cursing.’ He gave them wisdom as well. He said, ‘Choose life, choose God, serve Him and be blessed.’

All the victories that God wrought for the Israelites in the Promised Land, were based on the choice that was made by those Israelites to serve God. Joshua led the people and they had great victories.

Joshua 24:14-16 “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods;”

Joshua chose to serve the Lord. A ripple effect took place.

How have the choices you’ve made benefited others in the long term?

A woman who was a Moabite chose to follow her mother-in-law and become Jewish. Ruth’s choice caused a ripple effect that changed the lives of people down through the ages.

Ruth 1:16 “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:”

She was given opportunities and more decisions made. Her grandchildren were affected by the choices she made. Jesus came through her line.

The Ripple Effect has no judgment, it just keeps impacting lives.

Rahab made a decision that saved the lives of her entire family. She believed in the Great God of the Jews. She risked her life to keep the spies safe. One choice changed the course of her life. Jesus came through her line too.

Lot made some choices too.

Gen 13:12 “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.”

Lot went eventually in the direction he was looking. He chose to live in an evil place. Because of his bad decision, his daughters became the mothers of the Moabites and the Ammonites. These became the enemies of Israel. Bad choice after bad choice caused these bad results. Abraham should never have taken Lot with him. God told him to separate from his family.

There is a way to reverse the effect of the Ripple Effect.

Jesus gave the disciples a choice. God is giving you a choice today.

John 6:66-68 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

Peter made a choice and stayed with Jesus. This caused a ripple effect that changed his entire life.

A young man made a bad choice and people died in a tragic car accident.

Decisions that are good and bad will have a Ripple Effect.

Make a list of the great decisions that you have made.

Some of those poor decisions can haunt you at night. If you throw a rock into the water and that rock begins to move your boat down the river, how do you get the ripples to move in another direction? Throw another rock! Make a decision to do something better. Find a bigger rock!

The Rock of Ages is waiting for you to pick Him up and make a big splash. Choose you this day. God has given you a choice. The thing that haunts you will be smashed and thrown away.

You can make a decision to change direction and follow Jesus. Jesus will lead you into more good decisions.

If you understand the Ripple Effect on life, you have to understand where you will find wisdom and help.

Will you choose to throw a bigger Rock and see what God will do for you?

Alexander the Great conquered the world so quickly because he never wavered.

James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

Don’t waver.

This Bible Study 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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The Path and the Promise

fire-heart-961194_960_720Jesus came to deliver us from fear, especially fear of death.

Heb 2:14-15 “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”

Why are we still here?

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

There is no greater joy than sharing this hope with someone else. This sets people free. There is nothing more satisfying and more fulfilling and more worthwhile than sharing this precious truth because this has eternal benefits.

What has been your experience in introducing Jesus to other people? How did it make you feel when they received Him for themselves?

Luke 24:49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”

Acts 1:1-5 “In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

This path to Pentecost is very interesting. There are several post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. He showed Himself alive through many infallible proofs that He had raised from the dead. This point was key to the gospel. (1 Cor 15) Every preaching in the book of Acts always included that Jesus came out of the grave and was alive. They were eyewitnesses of this fact. The requirement for Judas’ replacement was having known Jesus from the beginning of His earthly ministry and being a witness to His resurrection.

A man’s word to what he had seen was as valid as any video back then. It was extremely important, the very crux of the message was not just the cross, but the resurrection. That was their focus. Praise God for what He did for us through His death, but He sealed the deal when He came out of the tomb.

Why was it so important that Jesus died for us? Why was it so important that He rose from the dead (also for us)?

Jesus wanted them to know He was raised from the dead. That’s why He stayed around for 40 days. He was giving them the commands, the Great Commission, found in all four gospels and Acts. To understand the completeness of it, you’ve got to know all of them.

Jesus had already appeared to the women at the tomb, then to some disciples on their way home, then that same day at evening He appeared again to ten of them (minus Thomas) in a locked room. They were still afraid. We always attack Thomas for being a doubter, but they were just as fearful and doubted.

John 20:20-21 “As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’”

God never turned His back on Jesus, He was feeling the guilt that everyone else felt for their sins. God was in Christ. God not only spoke the words, He did the works. We have the same promise that the Comforter that was with them would be IN them.

He isn’t just Emmanuel—‘God with us.’ He wants to be the Holy Ghost—‘God IN us.’

2 Cor 3:17 “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Why is it so important that God is not merely ‘with’ us, but IN us? How does being (overwhelmed/baptized) filled with His Spirit change your life?

The Kingdom isn’t located here or there, it’s a Spiritual Kingdom. It is IN you. It will make you and me lively stones, part of His body. God does everything. He is not a one dimensional God. He’s beyond even three or four or ten dimensions. He’s all the dimensions. He has a multitude of purpose for us.

1 Cor 15:4-8 “He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”

Paul made a complete turnaround. He went from having a letter to kill all who called themselves Christians to ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’

There are at least 14 post-resurrection appearances between the gospels and the book of Acts as well as Paul’s explanation in 1 Cor 15.

It’s possible that there were more than 1500 people who saw Jesus after the resurrection. (They counted only the men back then.)

Jesus showed up to Peter on the beach. At the time, Peter hadn’t forgiven himself for denying Jesus and had lost all hope of being able to be used in ministry. So, he went back to fishing. Jesus asked him if he loved Him more than his fishing and what he knew. Peter had a choice and he chose to ‘feed My sheep.’

How has Jesus forgiven and restored you? How has your life been changed as you’ve obeyed Jesus’ call to you?

On May 6, we are at that point, just five weeks away from Pentecost. In the Jewish world, this was a very important time. They were commanded to go to Jerusalem at least once a year. On the day of Pentecost, people from many, many nations were there. It mentions those specific nations because to mention more would fill up chapters. Often, people from far away would come for Passover and stay through Pentecost. So, many of those people saw all that had happened, from Jesus’ death on a cross through to His resurrection and up to the Day of Pentecost. So, at Pentecost, they were given an eye-witness to the purpose of Passover.

We are just one week away from His ascension. We’re thinking about the times He was commanding them and the Great Commission. Jesus didn’t start with ‘Go.’ Matthew 28 and the Great Commission starts with ‘receive.’ It ends with that same thing. You’ve got to receive the Holy Ghost and power in order to have something to give.

He had all power and wanted to give that to us through His Spirit.

Acts 3:6-7 “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”

You’ve got something to give. Freely you have received, freely give! It all began with a commandment to receive the Holy Ghost and then to go. Thank God that the name of Jesus in any language works!

God’s Word has been translated into over 3000 languages. He speaks all languages. His promise is for you and for your children and for all that are afar off!

Jesus commanded His people not to leave Jerusalem until they received that Holy Ghost. It’s the oil that powers the lamp, it’s the fire that lights the lamp, it’s the power that comes from on High!

The people were daily in the temple praising and blessing God. They faithfully were in that temple worshipping, praising, and blessing God. When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were filled with the Holy Ghost. You can only receive with hands lifted focused on Him, praising and blessing God.

Acts 1:2 “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.”

From the front to the back of the house, it was filled.

Acts 1:3-4 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”

Sinai was the birthday of the Jewish people. This was the beginning of the church. God visited in visible signs to fulfill His promises. Everything was prophesied about Jesus. God was showing them ‘this is the fulfillment of the giving of the law.’

Jer 31:33 “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

When we come to that place of repentance, like dying on the cross with Him, our lives become just fuel for fire in His presence. When we lay ourselves on the altar, He can consume us with that fire, Holy Ghost fire in our bones.

Are you willing to come to Jesus daily and allow Him to use you as fuel for His Kingdom to see others saved? What will you change today in order for that to happen?

Jesus still comes. Pentecost is not just one feast day per year. Since that day, it has been made available like a river that flows. Every day you can receive the Holy Ghost. We are living in the days of the Latter Rain, the Greater Glory.

The Holy Ghost is for YOU. It’s for EVERYBODY!

This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Evangelist Monty Showalter. 

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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