God can use you. Take a leap of faith.

_being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus_. Philippians 1_6

This is what I got out of church yesterday. You can view the sermon by clicking the YouTube link below:

Sermon January 19th, 2020

God has a exciting plan for your life. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”; John 15:5. We are the vessel and he can do great things through us. It will not be easy, and there will be struggles, but He will never leave us, and we can do all things through Him. He is there always, in our despair. It will be worth it in the end.

One of my residents that I care for has told me that “What you do that is worthwhile is not going to be easy, but in fact challenging.

Don’t give up, in our weakness He is strong. Jesus also says in John 15:5 apart from me you can do nothing. But through Him we can do all things.

It is great to have this strength, and offers hope.

Your disabilities, race, social status, and weaknesses do not matter. Look at Moses in Exodus in chapters 3 and 4. Moses had a speech impediment,  and was a Hebrew of the tribe of Levi, so he was in hiding for 40 years. He was born in a time where the government wanted to kill the Hebrew boys to reduce the population of the Israelites’. His Mother put Moses in the Nile river and he was raised Egyptian, but Pharaoh’s daughter. The Pharaohs enslaved the Hebrews.

God called Moses at the age of 80, to lead the Israelites out of slavery and bondage. Moses doubted himself, but God said “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12.

God accomplished something great through Moses and he can accomplish something great though you. Do not be discourage or give up! Do not doubt your ability. God knows you and your heart. He knows you better than you know yourself.  He knew you before the foundation of the world was made.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[d] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Signs for Moses

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”

“A staff,” he replied.

The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.

“Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”

Moses Returns to Egypt

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go, and I wish you well.”

19 Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.

21 The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.’”

24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses[b] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it.[c] “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

27 The Lord said to Aaron, “Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.” So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about all the signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Love your enemies.

Luke 6:27-36  “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to “sinners”, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your  reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Let’s dive into this powerful scripture:

When Jesus says “love” in this particular scripture, he is talking about “agape” love, which means love out of concern for others and is speaking on unselfish love. Love that doesn’t serve yourself. This love is a choice and an act of the will.  It is universal love or love for strangers.  Extending yourself for the sake of others. Not to be mixed with brotherly “phileo”, which means love between friends. Thus, this is where boundaries come in. You do not have to trust your enemy or love them as you would a friend.

Loving your enemies is having their best interest at heart, and praying for them. They probably need help most in some situations, if you think about it. Praying for them, and find ways to help them. They have rights and deserve respect too. We need God just as much as they do, and we are no better. We need Gods forgiveness just as much as they do.

People that offend may need love the most. God calls us to love, for He is love. Jesus was sent to seek out the lost and the broken. He calls us to do the same without being taken advantage of or falling victim. God loves everyone, but hates evil. You can show God’s love by forgiving and not letting these offences effect you. Pray for them in their trials. You can love them but not like their behavior.

When you have hate in your heart this causes bitterness. God desires something better for us. You cannot live an abundant life that Jesus has set out for us in bitterness. God calls us to a peaceful life, not a vengeful one.

By not acting the same way as those who have wronged you, makes you overcome, and be the “bigger person”. You are overcoming their offence. Being good to your enemies does not mean letting them treat you wrong by no means.  It means you have a boundary where this behavior does not effect you in a vengeful way. “Vengeance is mine thus saith the Lord”. Because God is just. Romans 12:19 We are merely human. You are a conqueror when you do not act vengeful, but rather act out of love. When Jesus says “turn the other cheek”, He is not talking about being a victim of assault, He is speaking on not taking revenge. Let’s be honest, when you take revenge, and act the same way, you are adding fuel to the fire, and going in a vicious circle. There is a better life than this. This accomplishes nothing.

Why does Jesus say “lend to your enemies”! This is where action comes into play. Our actions show if we really mean it. We are supposed to give as though we are giving to God, and meet specific needs. People are more important than money.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you”. Luke 6:31. I love this powerful scripture. Do not treat people how you would not want to be treated. This is a great moral for me. This is otherwise know as the golden rule. We are treating people the way we would want to be treated and not the way we think they should be treated. This is grace. Jesus has shown us grace by dying on the cross for us, to reconcile us with God.

What does Jesus mean when he says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?” Luke 6:32 You show strong character when you choose to have agape love. You show God’s character. You show strength. Agape love does not seek repayment. God will reward us one day. Agape love is God’s character, and we are to be like Him.

Be merciful. God desires us to be like Him. God desires you to forgive since He forgave us. Love others and do not condemn them. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 The people who put Jesus on the cross were ignorant of his accusations. God demonstrates his willingness to forgive sins, and his mercy.

Some other powerful scriptures.

The LORD is on my side; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6 (God will protect you). 

He has overcome the word.  “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”. 1 John 4:4

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

Aim higher. God is greater than this world.

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

― William Shakespeare