Saturday, February 27, 2021

HALL Wesleyan Church 02 28 2021 Message

 What Does Jesus Expect of Us? - 02 28 2021

Mark 8:27-38 (ESV)

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told Him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And He strictly charged them to tell no one about Him.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He said this plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to Him with his disciples, He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Let me ask, what do you think of verse 35?

“For whoever would save his life will lose it. And whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's 

will save it.”

This Very MOMENT OF TIME was the ‘Hinge’. It was the ‘Turning Point’ Of What Was Before and of What Was Coming After. 

SEE - All that has been said and done Before this Moment, Was ONLY the Opening of the Race!

It was the ONLY the Preliminary Work, The Getting Warmed Up!

ALL OF THIS so far – Was ONLY the Preparation FOR … Peter’s Confession.

“You - Are - the - Christ!”

All that Had Occurred - Up to this point Was – Of - The - Kingdom. 

And all that Followed Is – The - Cross.

Prior to this event, the disciples Days Have Been Filled with: Yes – Chaotic Events! And Life was Almost WILD LIKE! As Well As Full of JOYOUS ADVENTURES! 

Oh YES - Wonderful Works of God had been performed – The Hungry were fed by the thousands, The Blind had Sight Restored, The Dumb Could Speak. 

BUT - Can You Picture It? An Emotional Wave Was Just Everywhere! The Hopeless Had Hope; The Kicked Out of Society Were Accepted; The Lost Were FOUND; The Common, The Unchurched, The Churched, even in the Hierarchy of Jewish Leaders And Even into the Disciples, Everyone Had A Purpose In Jesus and They were All Offered a New Home in Him!


This Question Kept Growing!

The Sick are Cured! AND Even the Winds as well as the Waves obey Him? 

BUT - Isn’t He, JUST a carpenter from Nazareth?

Then - in the Quiet Company of his disciples, that Is WHEN the Issue Became REAL!

The Master ASKED, "Who do You think I am?" 

And – You – know IF It Was not for Peter – That Question May Have Gone Unanswered. 

But Peter Saved the Moment – AND SAID "You are the Christ"

Now - Just for a moment, let us Consider What this Confession Truly Meant For Them - Back Then Within Their Environment Where the Disciple’s Lived.  

There was a TOTAL Mixture of Opinions going on Of What – ‘This Jesus’ Was All About.

With the disciples, there was a GROWTH of Continuance – Of a Deepness – Of A Conviction Within Them.

The Disciples Grew from Being the Typical – Everyday Type of Guys; To Even the Special and Hard to Find - Type of Guys; To the Specific - The Precise Being the Set-Apart From others type of guys!

And all-of-this GROWTH Was the Product of Their Choice of Having this Type of Close-Fellowship with Jesus. 

And You Know, This Type of Statement Just Begs to be Asked: “Can We Too Have this type of Change within Our Own Lives?”

And that Answer is – YES! If We Choose it.

Last week – We talked about The Very Beginning of Jesus Ministry. 

And at that Time, as we can guess, the disciples Would Have ONLY Seen, 

Within Jesus, Of Him Just being like the “Ideal” Type of Man.

He was: A Man who had a Level of Great Humanity. He was a Teacher who had Extraordinary Insights as Well as Having the ability of Giving Great Spiritual Gifts. And He was a Man who had A Type of Personality That Drew People of All Kinds to Him. 

But It Did Not Take Long BEFORE Disciple’s Opinions of - Who Jesus Was, Changed. 

They began to See that He Possess A Mysterious Relation to the Entire Human Race. 

His Love - Concern and Helpfulness, Reached out to Everyone 

And His ‘Kingdom Idea’ Told of A ‘New Society’ Which was to Embrace All Humankind. 

But there was Even - Much More. 

The Longer these Disciples were with Him, The Deeper They Sensed - That in – His-Person, there was an Existence Which was SO Unique and SO FAR BEYOND ALL Ordinary Experiences.

Let me try to Explain it this way.

They Felt that Through This – ‘Unseen Touching’ within their lives Which Came from a Product Through Jesus, That They Knew that they ALL might have as Well said, ‘Just to Know HIM – Is to Know God!’

This is Exactly - What Peter Brought Forward and into Focus when he said, "You are the Christ."

BUT - The Matter of: Who Is He? And Where Do We Go from Here? Is not Over Just Yet!

SEE - IF Jesus is the Christ, The-Promised-Savior of the-Human Race, then – What does this mean for us?

What is to be Expected of Those WHO Are His Closest Companions? 

AND TO THAT – What Then - Is Our Task as Being Part of this Community of Christian Believers Today?

Jesus Expects us to see Christianity in the Light of His Person.

For many people today, ‘Religion’ – Means and Is To them Nothing More Than What Can They Get Out of It. 

TODAY, there is a ‘Religion of Self-Centeredness’ and it is Being Published from So Many - So-Called Christian Pulpits as well as broadcasted to the Millions via our Televisions and Internet. 

Maybe you have witness some of these. As for me, this is very upsetting.

They all Give a Sales Talk About expanding Your Confidence in your own self and for you to Seek Out and to Capture Your Fame Which is OWED to you and to Grab Ahold of Your Fortune as Your Reward and Prize!

And you know, even some of those who claim to be most "orthodox", Yes - Even they err in making the Fruits of Religion Something to Take for One's Own Personal Advantage. 

BUT HERE IS THE THING: To TRULY Qualify as a Fellow Traveler with Christ, The Primary Demand from God is to Deny Self. 

Remember Last Week Message Question? What is Your Faith Costing YOU? if there is NO COST Then what you have, Is It Really FAITH?

YOU SEE – Right After Peter’s Confession, Jesus said 

“And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone would come after Me, 

let him deny himself  and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mark 8:34

NO ONE - can put ‘Self at the center’ of his or her Religion nor even within their Life and be a Christian! For Christianity can Never Be Separated from Christ Who Was and Is the Founder! 

Christianity and Christ - Are IDENTICAL!

Let us take a moment and Just Look at a Few other ‘religions.’ The founders of Confucius, Buddha, And Mohammed, they might be able to say that they point towards the truth, or a Version there of. BUT ONLY JESUS CHRIST, He is the Only One Who Can Declare, "I am the Way, The Truth, And the Life."

SEE – It is Those Who Share in His company And in the Fellowship of His Spirit, They, we are the ones Who discovered, that it is In Him, that is Where the Truth is Alive and when They, or When We Accept This, They, or We Find, that it is Through Him, that is the Only Way - To Live!

Jesus expects us to carry His Type of Lifestyle into Our Own Calling. 

One of the Unique Characteristics of Jesus' Lifestyle is the investing of His Life into the training of the 12 disciples. And to this Day, He Continues to do the same within You and Me.

The impact of His Mission Deeply Depends upon them/Us catching His Vision and Igniting within us All a similar Passion. 

This was to be The Seed of the Church, such as, Peter Catching the Vision and Confessing Jesus as Lord. Wherever this was done – with sincerity, the Thinking of Yourself is Eliminated and the Lord of LIFE He becomes the focus of Your Commitment and of Your Devotion. 

In Jesus’ Day, for Jesus, we see that His Expectations ran directly against the Interest of Self and Against the Power Structures of His Day. And I ask, Is there a Difference within our World Today? This is the main reason which Signed Jesus’ ticket for His eventual doom. 

“Deny himself, loses his life for My sake and the Gospel's will save it.”

You know – that sounds tough but let me ask, what do we have here anyway?

The Chief Priests, they were determined upon saving their own Positions and Way of Life. 

The Pharisees, they did not care a hoot for the poor and outcast but were concerned with all the legalistic details so that they could save their own hides. 

The Zealots, they just wanted to Rule Over the Romans and to return to the ancestral power. So, they rejected any and every notion of a Spiritual Kingdom.

You See - All these Parties along with their Reasons, they were eating at the Very Heart of the nation. 

Jesus felt it to be necessary, for the sake of his own people, to live out to the fullest the only lifestyle which could reform and save the human spirit as well As to be an everlasting example before the world. 

"He who would save his life shall lose it ... For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.” v. 36

And this He Still Expects this from everyone, and YES – This Includes You, and me.

Jesus expects us, by sharing In His Life, to reach an understanding of ‘What Our Life Ought to Be. 

It was the late William Barclay who wrote, "God gave us life to spend and not to keep."

There are life hoarders whose eyes are always on personal comfort, worldly status, and financial security. These people build-up around themselves these Walls of protection to keep every Challenge and Trouble – OUT! 

You know – Sometimes, we Can Get So Close but Still Miss the Boat.

Let me share a moment from my past.

This day was going to be a – Go Shopping Day but we were going to swing through our daughter’s place on our way. There seemed to be a chill in the air so the thought of drinking hot chocolate while we traveled seemed good to me. Cheryl always has our powder goods in big glass chairs. This way they stay dry, keeps bugs out and they look nice as well. So, I heated my water, grabbed the hot chocolate mix, and stirred my delicious drink. But Something Was Wrong! My Hot Chocolate tasted flat, weak, and watery. When we arrived at our daughter’s place, she offered more mix for me. Maybe I did not put in enough. But even that did not help.

See, It was not until we got back home when I realized that instead of putting in the Hot Chocolate Mix, I put in the Nestle Quik Mix instead. So, you see if we do not have our eyesight on God, we can mess it all up. 

And that is what is happening to those who Try to Guard their Lives with using Only Their Efforts. 

These Types of People Live their Lives Which are FILLED with Stagnant Waters of Inactivity, Sluggishness, And Ultimately – leading to ETERNAL Death. And This Is So Sad - Because they are totally unaware that, despite of their attempts of Keeping and Saving their Lives, in All REALITY, they are losing the very Life which they have. 

But IF they were to turn away from their Protective Security Plan and IF They would let their Lives, their Talents, and Their Assets Actually - Let it all loose into, and Maybe – onto the World of human need, God would take over. 

And we always talk about HOW God Gives Back in HIS Math, Through God, they in turn, would grow dividends of Self-Fulfillment, Personal Enrichment, and even Inner Satisfaction which no one else can give.

Today, in our world of Science, Space, And Medicine, we have a collected Group of Experts who Have Such A Passion for What They Do that they take Risks, they Work to Exhaustion, and Many Live on the Edge of Burnout, all because – They Understand where They Are Putting Their-Values-In-Life! 

All of These Hard-Working Men and Women, they Live a Life of Passion and a Hunger to pioneer the next Miracle Answer which can fight against and destroy Disease, And Poverty, within this universe. 

These men and women, Daily - Say "No" To Every Type of Temptation which is Telling them to Just Give It Up, and To Quit. 

BUT - Now I Ask You; What of Christianity as Well As of the Servants of its Faith? 

Jesus just told us: "He who would save his life shall lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it."

Do we have within the world of this Christian Faith, DO We Have the Same Investment In Our Time, Our Talents, And all just Like That Of the Secular Scientists Have? 

Is Our Christian Heart – 

Is Our Christian Passion – The SAME as What We see within the Analysts? Within the Inventors? And Even within the Researchers?

Jesus Compels us, He Requires us, He Needs us to Gain that sense of purpose which can Only Come through Our Commitment of Actually – ‘BEING’ of what God wants for His world. 

We need to learn from Jesus as we see Him Today, ‘Crossing that Center-Line of His Ministry’, leaving the Beginning Behind as We begin to Carry His Mission to Calvary. 

T. R. Glover once said, “God could do no better than to be like Christ."

From Christ, we Gain a Clear Perception of the purpose for which we were born.

And, with that, we receive the Vision as Well As the Resources To Fulfill God’s Calling.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

06 28 2020 - HALL Wesleyan Church Message - Pastor Dan - Matthew 10:28-42

HALL Wesleyan Church
1941 N 160th Rd
Delphos KS 67436

The Cost - The RewardMatthew 10:28-42Pastor Dan

Saturday, June 13, 2020

06 14 2020 - HALL Wesleyan Church Message - Pastor Dan - Matthew 9:35-38

Matthew 9:35-38

HALL Wesleyan Church

Pastor Dan

06 14 2020

“Try to pick up this Pencil” exercise.

Verses for Today: Matthew 9:35-38 & on into Chapter 10

Would you agree with me
             That it is Probably Not a Good Idea
o             To speed-read through the Bible?

If you did speed-read the Bible,
             You may get the overall story
o             And you may even improve
             Your comprehension of it
             BUT IF I was a betting man
o             I bet you would miss a Great Deal.

God has put so much into His Word.
             That Even the smallest of the Details
o             Is So Packed with Meaning
o             Which we Need to Understand.

And for Example
The Reading for Today
             Matthew 9:35-38 and On into Chapter 10
o             We find A Great Amount of Details
             And the Least-Of-These
             Are As Important
             As the Whole Story
             Of events themselves.

God Is In The Details!

We Begin with having a Scene
             Where Jesus looks out
o             And His Heart just breaks.

There are just so many
             Way Too Many who need healing!

Vs 36; When He saw the crowds,
He had compassion on them
because they were confused and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.

I believe we all Understand
That the Lord is ALWAYS in Control
BUT right here;
I believe this Is One of those times
When we See Our Jesus
And Anxious.

There are just too many of Us
                Who are Lost and Without HOPE!

Then we hear He speak to the disciples in vs 37:

“The harvest is great,
But the workers are few.
38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest;
ask Him to send more workers into His fields.’”

Right Here – (It Is So B-E-A-Utiful
Jesus - Our Lord - Our God
Is Asking for Help from US!

And then, Jesus went on and
He Commissions the 12 disciples

             And they are Commissioned to do WHAT?
o             To HELP the People!

We don’t see it here too much
But let’s take a look at Luke 6:12-16

6:12 “One day Jesus went up on a mountain to pray.
He prayed all night to God.
13 In the morning He called His followers to Him.
He chose twelve of them and called them. 14 There were…”

Have you Ever Noticed a pattern of Jesus’?
             BEFORE Jesus does ANYTHING,
             He Prays

So, what should we gain from this?

Think About It Some!

I mean,
             Isn’t Jesus the Son of God?
             Isn’t Jesus GOD?

But – Yet – HE PRAYS - FIRST!

Do you believe there May Be a Lesson Here for US?
             Do you think – IF GOD PRAYS FIRST BEFORE…
o             Who are we to Do Anything Different –

BUT – How many of us DO First and then 
             When something Goes Wrong –
o             Then we Pray?

Jesus Prays First
             And Then - He picked the 12 Disciples
o             And they are Named in Chapter 10 for us.

             And in the Rest of Chapter 10 - 
o             It Lists their Instructions for their Mission
o             And their Ministry

             And, as Christians
o             This is Our Instructions for Our Mission
o             And Our Ministry

But when we are reading this –
             What is Our First Reaction?
o             Do we not Read-On
o             Maybe Even in Haste
o             Because:
             We want to hear what happens.
             What are their challenges?
             What are their successes?

BUT – It doesn’t offer us that information,
             Does it?

             All we hear is some lengthy instructions
             And we NEVER-Ever Hear – of what Happens.

And JUST Maybe Even Worse than that,
             Is that We Fail to see
o             What Our Lack of Having Patience
o             Has Really Done to us.

             & CLOSE YOUR EYES

o             TAKE A DEEP BREATH - IN
o             HOLD – IT
o             THEN – LET – IT - OUT

o             BREATH - IN
o             HOLD – IT
o             THEN – LET – IT - OUT

NOW – You can Open your Eyes

SEE - We Need to Slow Down
And Then – We need to look at the details.

"When Jesus saw the crowds,
He had “COMPASSION” for them." (9:36)

Compassion is ‘The Word Of the Week’ in your Bulletins.

The True Meaning of the Word is:
             A suffering with another;
             Painful sympathy;
             Having a Sensation of Sorrow
o             Which is excited by the Distress
             Or Misfortunes of another;
             Having Pity for another;

             It is used a lot these days.

BUT Did You Know,
             Within the New Testament
o             The Word ‘Compassion’
o             Is almost always used
             When explaining a feeling
             Of God (and of Jesus).

HOWEVER - There is One other time (ONLY ONE)
             And that is When it is used
o             To describe another human being
o             And that one -- appropriately enough –
             Is the Good Samaritan.

THIS should Alert us
             It should Tell us
o             That HERE Is an Important Detail.

The Whole Reason for the Mission
             This Ministry
o             Which the disciples are sent out upon
o             Which We are Sent Out Upon
             Is for The “COMPASSION” of the Son of God
And This Is Very Important

God’s Mission,
Always Starts with a
Compassionate Heart!

The Compassionate Heart of God.

"Compassion" in the biblical languages,
             Literally means "to feel in Your innards"
o             To feel in Your Gut,
o             In Your Entrails, or in Your bowels,

But – Today,
             We clean this up some
o             And we say, It is In your Heart!

It Is In The DETAILS Where we find Jesus.
He Has Compassion for His People of Israel
             They are “Confused and Helpless”
o             And He Feels for them,
             He hurts for them,
             He aches for them.

His people are Being:
o             Harassed
o             Confused (NLT)
o             Helpless (NLT)
o             Fainted, (KJV)
o             Scattered (KJV)
o             Troubled (NLV)

And WHY?
WHY Was This?
             Because they were "like sheep without a shepherd."

(Story of the woman in Mexico)

Is this person being Harassed
o             Confused (NLT)
o             Helpless (NLT)
o             Fainted, (KJV)
o             Scattered (KJV)
o             Troubled (NLV)

Of Course NOT!
                But most of the time, these are the people who we think about!

Do these People say they are “In-Need” YES
             Who DOESN’T NEED Something?

             But when you come to the idea of
o             ‘TRUE – NEED’,
             There is a difference.

(Story of the young boy who was at camp)

These are the Ones Jesus is talking about.
             The Ones who have no Hope to reach for.
o             The Ones Who are Truly Lost!

Jesus is talking about those who are:
             And/Or Discouraged!
o             Those Who Are Broken!

They Are the Ones Who Need HOPE!
They Need A Good Shepherd!
             A Good Ruler.
             A Good Master.

This is a
             Much Larger
             And Deeper
             And Even a Much Messier Type of ‘Need’
o             Then what we normally think of
             When we think of ‘The Needy’.

Jesus is speaking of the
             Most Profound Sort of Need
o             Which people have.

And the CURE for such a Profound-Need
             Is NOT
o             A Pay Raise,
o             Or a new health care plan that includes Dental,
o             Or maybe even Therapy,
o             Nor is it time away – on a Fabulous Vacation,

That Isn’t the Cure that Jesus saw.

They needed a True and Good shepherd
And See – It is in the Details
It is Within the Details of His Word.
ALL OF THIS Was Offered within Just One Verse.

We should Never be in a Hurry
             when we Read His Word.
Because, IF we Do,
Then We Will Miss Out on Meeting God
Within His Details in His Word!!!

Is Your ‘Compassion’
“Tuned-in” Correctly?

What happens to our,
             To your Compassion
o             When you are confronted
             By a HUGE NEED?

We All Know What Huge Needs Are:
             Earth Quakes
Now – that Was NOT Very Fair of me.

Those are Not ‘NEEDS’.

Those are some things which can causes
‘Huge Needs’!!!

BUT - Some Great NEEDS are:
             Massive Starvation,
             Displacement & Disfigurement as a result of war,
             High Rates of Divorce
             Out-of-wedlock births,
             But what is even worse – Abortion,
             Out of Control Diseases,
             And a Loss of All Hope – Suicide.

When we speak of these things,
We usually Call them Tragic! or Catastrophic!

But Jesus looks at these types of needs as Opportunities!
"The harvest is plentiful" 9:37

Jesus compares these Great Needs
As to a Bumper Crop!
The Wheat in the Fields is Ripe
And it Needs to be Harvested.


Usually - When We Talk About Missions!
             I Mean –
o             When we Talk about
             Working Outside of the Church!

You Can Usually See
             The Attention,
o             The Interest of the Group - Just Slip Away
             There is the Rolling of the Eyes,
             The Lowering of the Head,
             The Shift in the Posture,
             And The Wondering Looking Around the Room.
I get it.
I hear the Moans For our Attention!
I hear the Groans For our Moneys!
And I hear the Pleas For our Time!

BUT - There are so many Great Causes out there,
             How can we Help Everyone?

And I am not for sure if this is Just a Scam.
             You know, there are just so many out there.

Do You Hear those Voices TO?


Some will become Overwhelmed
             To what is happening!

Some will become Cold Hearted
             And Turn from the Calling!

And some will have their hearts turn “Hard”
             And will walk away!

But for some – They See What Our Lord Sees.
And this Means an Opportunity for them.
             There are people who Need to Hear
o             The Truth of the Gospel!

‘YES – To Those who Sees the Opportunity
             The Harvest is Plentiful.’

SO – What is Needed?
             We NEED MORE WORKERS
o             To Do What?
             To Bring In the Crop.

OK Then - What do you say?
             In your bulletins this week,
o             You will notice a loose...

BUT – Wait a minute!
             This is NOT what Jesus Did!

DID Jesus Ask for Volunteers.

Let us Look More Closely
             And SEE the Details of What Jesus Did.

SEE – There are 3 Main Points Here!

What Did Jesus Say?

37 “He said to His disciples,
‘The harvest is great,
but the workers are few.

38 So, PRAY to the Lord
who is in charge of the harvest;

ask Him to send more workers
into His fields.’”

YES - The Need is Great,
That Is for Sure

So, What Should We do About It?

Pray to God –
             And ASK HIM to Do something about it.

You know,
             This is so - un-American
o             And It Is So Impractical!!!

BUT We NEED to Take Note Here!!!
             WE DO NOT
o             MAKE
o             Or APPOINT OURSELVES
o             Into Being Missionaries
o             Or Into Any Other Co-Worker of God.


We are to ask God To Do It.

This is so Hard for us to Understand!
We Must Remember –
             It is NOT Our Mission!
o             It is God's.
And He-Is-The-One-Who-Is-In-Control!

Do you Ever Find yourself saying something like:
                “All I can do is to Pray?”

Tell Me – What Value
             Do You REALLY
o             Place Upon Prayer?

Have you Ever Wondered
             Why do some people seem to just float through Life?
             I am Not saying that things don’t happen to them.
             Of Course, they do.
             But it Just Does Seem to Affect Them.
             It is almost like water on a duck’s back.

Why do some CHURCHES Grow and others do not?
             We are not saying that within the non-growing churches,
o             That the People don’t pray.
             But for some reason, there are certain Churches
o             That Just seem to continue to be prosper
             In ways that others do not.

Have you Ever Wondered
Of Those WHYS?
NOW - I am sure that there are lots of reasons
             Which we can grab at and use for Reasons,
             That These People PRAY!

Have you ever heard of this saying?
Where there is Little Prayer,
there is Little Mission.

Prayer is what gets our Wants
             In-Line with God's Will.

That is absolutely necessary –
             It Is Essential
o             IF God
o             Is going to give us
             Any Authority over Anything.

#1 is: We Must Pray!

And Here is the 2nd Item which we need to Catch Ahold of!

We Need to Listen!!!

See Jesus is speaking of Laborers, or Workers.

Are Not
             “Laborers” & "Worker",
o             Aren’t They both very “Modest” Words.

But We know from Jesus’s Prayer
that He Did Not Pray For:
             And We Should Not Pray to God to send:
o             The Heroes!
o             The All-Stars!
o             The Experts!
o             Nor the Innovators!

But Rather – He prayed for God
             To send “WORKERS”.

We are often So Quick to Pray for God to ACT
             But we are So Stubborn when it comes to
o             Us Acting on what we Hear from God.

We say things like:
             I am not sure if I heard Him correctly!
             Or – Maybe I miss-understood what He was saying!
             Or – I Just Don’t See HOW I can do what He is asking!

When we Pray –
             We Need to Listen!
o             Of Course –
             You don’t know HOW it will all work.
o             His is God and You Are Not!
o             It is supposed to be that way!

You have 2 Ears for a Reason.

SEE – Way-Too-Often

The Main Reason WHY we fail –
             Is because
o             We are ‘Doing’ the Wrong JOB!

#1 – We Pray
#2 – Then We Listen
#3 – We Need to Follow the Instructions

It just makes since
And IF We Begin with the Wrong Job!
             IF We Take-Up the Wrong Job!
             How Do We Expect to be able to Fulfill it?

We see a Need
             So, we ‘Fill’ that Need!

But The Thing Is:
We May Not Be
o             The Right “PERSON”,
             Who is Best for that JOB!

This is the WHY we get so Confused & Frustrated

It Is Because - We Started Out Wrong!!!

IT Is So Simple –
             ALL TOO Often,
o             We are doing the WRONG JOB!

SEE - We Must Understand:
Jesus Is Not Praying for:

             Those who would Till the Ground.

             Or for those who would Remove
o             All of the Rocks from the fields.

             Or even for those who would Fertilize the Ground.


Jesus Is Not Praying:
             For those who Plant the Seeds.

             Not Even For those who Water the Seeds.

He Is Not Even Praying for:
             Those to come along and Pull the weeds.

But Rather
Jesus is Praying for
             Those Who Will Harvest!!!

That is who Jesus Is Praying For:
             People Who Are Willing to HARVEST for the Lord.

Allow me to break this down some.
Have you ever Heard of this Saying:
             You can lead a horse to water
o             But You Can’t Make Him Drink?

Well, the same is True of Bring People to Christ.

We are called:
             To SHARE our Testimony with others.
             To “OBVIOUSLY” LIVE a Life of God.
             To visit with others Sharing WHAT God is DOING in Your Life.
             To Pray for Them.
             To Invite them.

BUT – We are NOT the Converter!
That is the Holy Spirit’s Job.
He Is Best at That.

We are to Just be their Friend
                And to always have our Door Open to them.

BUT – What Good Is It IF we just hang around those who are Not Thirsty?

10:7 “Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

10:12 “When you enter the home,
give it your blessing.

13 If it turns out to be a worthy home,
let your blessing stand;
if it is not, take back the blessing.

14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you
or listen to your message,
shake its dust from your feet as you leave.

Jesus is telling us –
We are the Harvest Crew!
So, Harvest!
And Harvest Well!!!
Jesus is looking for the Harvest Crew!
             To Drive the Combines.
             To Drive the Grain Carts
             To Walk with those who are Looking for Him
             And to Help and to Love upon those
o             Who are Ready

And when you Begin to do the RIGHT JOB
Hold On – Because God is Ready to Go!!!

#1 Pray

#2 Listen for your Calling –

#3 Follow the Instruction
And then Harvest!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

06 07 2020 - HALL Wesleyan Church Message - Pastor Dan - Part 2 of 2, "False Teachings"

Part 2 of 2 Parts

False Teachings and False Religions

Pastor Dan

Last week: We talked about knowing IF Our Ideas and Actions are of GOD!
And NOW: How do we know IF Our Ideas and Actions Are Not of God?

Our First Scripture:
1)      1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

We should Live our whole lives in the face of God.
Meaning, we should not live it under a Veil of Secrecy or of Darkness.
But rather as it should be done in the full Presence of God! Under the Authority of God! And to the Honor and Glory of God!

2)      Colossians 2:8 ESV
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Possibly, the best sense of the phrase to: “Take you Captive” or to “cheat you
Is to think of it as “leading you away as prey.”

It also includes the ideas of robbing and plundering. Your “goods’ - which Satan wishes to steal IS “Your Salvation” which you have received from Christ.

Satan and his followers, they want to deprive you of these, by perverting your mind, and by leading you off Track from the Truths of Christianity.

3)      1 John 4:1-6 ESV
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus - is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.”

Things Become Very Sneaky HERE! One of the deceptive things about lies is when we think that a false prophet is going to be False in everything he says.

SEE - OFTEN, a false prophet will tell the Truth 90% of the Time! That is what makes them So Deceptive - Misleading. It is because - They talk a lot and much of what they say is the truth. But that 10% is enough to Steal Your Soul!

Listen to Satan’s words when he tempts Eve:  
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
but God said,
‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree
that is in the midst of the garden,
neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

“You will not surely die.
For God knows that when you eat of it
your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil.”

And now, let’s take a look at when Satan tempts Jesus:
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
And “‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

“Again, it is written,
‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

SEE Here – Satan doesn’t only know the Scriptures and he uses it but he also uses them out of context. He twists them around so that they say what he wants them to say.
Beware of false prophets.

BUT - How can we tell who is a false prophet? Basically, it comes down to: What is their witness or testimony of Jesus Christ? And what is the Fruit of their ministry?

There's a lot of false doctrine out there, and there are many of false prophets. And unfortunately, there are a lot of people who ARE and Have Been Led Away by following these Lies and False prophets.

4)      Matthew 7:15 ESV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are Ravenous Wolves.”

There is an abundance of Scripture regarding: False teachers, False prophets, Cults, & the Followings of the devil.

The Scriptures show clearly of just how skillful these can be.

5)      2 Corinthians 11:13 ESV
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising (or transforming) themselves as apostles of Christ.

They Often Appear to be Pure and Holy
·         As well as Looking Really Good on the Outside.

They Often look like True men of God;

However, Jesus tells us that "within (they are) full of Dead men's bones, and of all Uncleanness."

Within, these cults and False Teachings, THEY ARE DEAD And they Lead many of Us to our own spiritual death—I am talking about - hell.

6)      2 Corinthians 11:15 ESV
So, it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

The cults, these False teachers, these False prophets, and These False religions, OH-YES - They look like the real thing. They appear to be ministers of righteousness. BUT – They are Not!

Yes – We started this week’s message by looking at the wonderful Prayer of Jesus as it is record in John 17, and at the close of last week, I was planning on going back to it this week but I was redirected.

It was THE HOE Jesus started His Prayer – That is what haunted me. That is what hung on to me. That is what Broke My Heart this week.

6 “I have revealed You
to the ones You gave Me from this world.
They were always Yours.
You gave them to Me,
and they have kept Your Word.”

I know when Jesus says “and they have kept Your Word”, He is NOT saying that “They Sinned No More”! No, Of Course Not - That would be untrue. But what He Meant by that was that They Kept Trying. He Means – If We are Of His that we keep applying ourselves to His Ways. Meaning: That when we Fail, that We come back and ask for Him to Cleanse Us and then, we continue to walk with Him. But That is NOT What I Always See!

I see way to Many People Who Call themselves Christians, Their Walk Is Not this way!

As I said earlier in this message, we focus on Our Own Victory in God and We Fill Our Glass Up – of what We Want from God! And then – we go on – living like the world.
Let me share an example of this:

I heard a “Christian” woman talking the other day, barely stopping between words, long enough to get another breath but her voice was just full of gossip. However, she did ‘Her Christian Thing”, before starting on a new topic, she would pause, just Long enough to say, God Bless her or him” and then, she would take of running of the mouth as she shared all of the latest juicy tales.
Sometimes, I think we forget that the evil one is out there. He is shaking Hands. And he is Taking Names. And he is Destroying Lives. And many don’t even know of it!

You know, it is hard to grow up without having any of his influence upon us. And one of the most disturbing as well as fast growing cults among our youth and it is just melting across this Great Country of Ours, it is this so-called religion / a Cult called Wicca.

Should this be a concern? YOU tell me.

Let me share some numbers with you so we can get a better understanding of this problem.  
Here are the figures
From 1990 – 2008 = increased 231% in US
From 2008 – 2017 = increased 45% WW;
That is in 2017, ending with a whapping - 3 million!

2014-2015 = increased 93% WW; ending with only 1 million

So, The HOW Sticks out to me.
HOW Does this stuff get it’s start?

Well, let’s take a look at maybe how it started.
Starting in the 50’s, we have: The “Wizard of Oz”, The Good Witch vs. the Bad Witches.

But even Here- Right here at the beginning, do you know how much that movie has influenced our culture? When you see someone running to get out of the rain, what do you often say?
Or what do you often hear being said?

“What’s wrong, - Are you afraid that you are going to melt?”

There are many of these – For many of us - It began with the “Wizard of Oz” then it grew into the “Bewitched” show: Were even just a subtle influence of witchcraft was displayed. And it was a Gigantic Hit – Even with the two Darwin’s.

And Then, – lets Fast Forward our journey to our Today’s World: And this is When the evil one just Seems to Kick it into high gear and he develops an even Richer and Darker side

We have the movies like ‘The Craft’, And TV Shows like: “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”, “Merlin”
And Books that turn into Block Buster Movies such as: The Harry Potter Series.

And have we talked about the Video Games yet? But the evil one just keeps counting up his victories.

He is at work, but – I ask you - Should we be surprised?
Magic – It is Intriguing! Fascinating! It is Interesting! And it is Exciting! And with the word which is almost taboo to say in church - It is Very Sexy!

You know – It is of NO ACCIDENT that the devil is The Top of his game. This is the “WHY” that Our Towns and Cities; The Youth from the Very Heart of America, the once called “Bible Belt”, Where we once were known for the Heart of Our Country’s Christianity, but Now – We Are Different! We have allowed this evil IN Not only our backyards But Even Through our Front Doors of our Homes!

And now – it is becoming so bad that where we live this Once recognized Holy Ground is being known for the evil-one’s Own Playground. Yes – This rather newly formed following of the evil is Called the Worship of Wicca.

You may not know much about the Wiccan following. So, allow me to explain - just a little.

The Supreme Ethical Rule of Wicca is the Wiccan Rede: ‘If it harms none, do as ye Will.’

Now – Tell me – Where and How many times Have you heard Advertisement Campaigns Which uses wordage such as that?

While the Wiccan Rede tries to set this ‘Craft’ apart From the Nasty Notorious Activities of Satanists. The so Called “White” Wiccan And “Dark” Wiccan Worldview, Still Remains the same.

All 3, Satanists, ‘White’ and ‘Dark’ Wiccan teachings Still Stand in Direct Opposition or Disagreement to the Biblical Truths Of Absolute Moral Truth And Exclusive Salvation Through the Lord, Jesus Christ.

With Jesus Christ alone being:
“The Way and The Truth and The Life” (John 14:6)

Finally, we come to what is the attraction. Wiccans practice magick.
It is spelled with a ‘k’ (magick). They do this to separate themselves from the Illusion or Trickery ‘magic’ from the entertainment field.

It’s Magick is in an attempt to manipulate the natural world and to alter Mental and Material Conditions.

As such, Wicca is a mysterious occult practice which is designed to manipulate reality in concert with the Wiccan’s will.

The tools of the Craft include Swords, Spell Books, Chalices, Censers, Cords, and Crystals.

Now – Tell Me: How many of those features are in the video games that our youth play?

Regardless of whether the motivation, whether it is directed towards being compassionate or malicious, the Lord’s Scripture Clearly and Plainly – Condemns all occult practices! They are detestable to the Lord.
(Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Acts 13:6-11; Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:19-21).

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 says, " For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.”

BUT – HERE IS THE THING! Do You See the – “WHY”?
WHY are there so many young people being attracted to this Witchcraft and/or Wicca?

Here are some thoughts from a Christian author Steve Russo.
He has written extensively on this topic and he is suggesting that by us understanding the “WHY” our youth are drawn to witchcraft, that - becomes the “KEY” to addressing this problem.

Our Young people are looking for Power and Fantasy and Wicca is a belief that promises them Supernatural Power Over their environment.

YES - Wicca is the “Problem” BUT It Is NOT the Reason for the Problem!

SEE - ALL TOO Often – Our Youth see you and me, us adults, us Christians – Living a way of Life in which we have: One-Foot-In and One-Foot-Out of or with Our Own Walk with the Lord.

So – Tell Me – Can we blame this upon them? Absolutely – NO!
Tell me if this is not true: For this analogy, you are back in school and you are out for track. Your coach has you down to run the 880 (yards) or as it is now called, the 800 (meters). There are 5 others from your same school who are also signed up to run the same race. You practice with your fellow teammates. Now let’s just say that you are the fastest runner of your classmates and you can run the 880 in 3 minutes flat which is a Good and Above Average time. You feel good about yourself. But then, when you go to your first track meet, you run against
another runner who runs it in 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

Now WHY might be a Good Reason that you lost that Race?

Is It Not because you are used to running Just faster than those whom you practiced with?

But if you practiced with the 2 minute – 35 second runner? Do you not think that your time may have been better? 

See – Our Children watch us more than you know! They watch their parents – Yes, that is True, but they also watch all of us who are around them.
If we cussthey will cuss. If we Cheat othersThey will Also Cheat others.

Often during my marriage counseling, when I have those who choose to “Live Together” before marriage, I explain to them that what they are doing, I call: ‘Playing House’

And now today, I would like to use that same type of reference to our faith.
But – I want to Address those of us Who ‘Just Come to Church’, Just to mark it off our To Do List and by going to church, it has Zero affect Upon us and HOW we live our lives. To Me, this is the same as ‘Just Playing Church.’
But our children are hungry. And JUST – Maybe, They are hungrier than ever before. And if they can’t find Someone to follow or Something to believe in, if they can’t find those around them:
Who Actually – Really - Believe in God
And Who – Actually - Pursue God’s Will,
Then they will look elsewhere.

We are presently – Losing the War with our kids.
But That Can Change! But it will take every – one of us to act.

NOW - Here is a thought that I want to leave you with today!
How many times did Jesus say things like:
“If anyone follows Me, then ….”
“If you Love Me, then ….”
“Just Believe, If not in the Father, Then in the Son. And if not in the Son, then in what the Son has done.”
WHY IS THAT! Why did Jesus Have to say those Words?

Are we not Following Him? Do we not Love Him? Do we not Believe in Him?

Why did Jesus Feel He had to say: “IF ANYONE”, ‘IF YOU”

Do we have One Foot In / And One Foot Out?
Are we a Good Role Model for our youth?
Are we ONLY After what We Want from Christ?

How Deep does Your Faith Run? Are You ONLY Running as fast as the other Fastest Runner?

Yes – Indeed – We are the Reason of the “WHY”.

But it isn’t too late. Not Yet Anyway! Or Is It?