Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beware of the Angry Watchman

This is a sermon from October 28, 2007 by Carter Conlon at Times Square Church.  It is very timely and needed in this hour. 

We are living in a day of great deception, but the Lord is going to be shaking all that can be shaken in these last hours and those that will have an ear to hear and if they will not allow pride to stop them, God is able to bring them out. 

Even on this very day (May 21, 2011) there are some that have been seduced by a false prophet and when they see their prophecies have not come to pass, the Lord may use it bring them back to their first love.  Let us not be found ridiculing them for their failure, but show them the love of the Lord and help restore them and not condemn.     

Monday, May 09, 2011

The Infinite Fatherliness of God

(The following lesson is taken from the writings of Steve Bray- “The Faith that Prays”)

"Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil {because your heart is naturally self-centered and self-seeking}, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven {with His nature of self-sacrificing love} give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matt. 7:9-11)

Although this parable is simple and easy to understand, it contains a deep spiritual lesson that is often overlooked. The influence of the child’s prayer is directly connected to his relationship with his parent. The child must be living as an obedient member of the family if he wants to exert real influence. The fulfillment of the promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you,’ is dependent upon living in a submissive relationship with our Father.

True love for God is always expressed through obedience. (John 14:21) Jesus said, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” (John 8:29) He set this example to show His disciples how the children of God are expected to live. The child who forsakes his Father’s house, finding no pleasure in obeying his Father, and then expects God to answer his prayers, will be greatly disappointed. God must hide His face from those who are resisting His light of truth.

"Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isa. 59:2)

The childlike privilege of having every prayer answered is directly linked to the necessity of living as a child under the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is what actually qualifies us as a true child of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14, emphasis added) Those who will repent and turn away from their old self-directed way of life so they may be led by the Spirit of God, will come into an intimate relationship with their heavenly Father. As they choose to walk by the Spirit, they will begin to hear from Him and learn of the divine will for their life. This enables them to walk with God, to pray in harmony with His Spirit and receive answers to their requests. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)

Those who will choose to walk in the Spirit as Jesus did can expect to learn of the Father’s will. And each submissive child will discover that Father-like giving is the Divine response to Son-like living. As we walk in the Spirit we can depend on Him to work out all things for our good.

As the child recognizes his own weaknesses, he will learn to depend more and more on his Father. In this dependent faith, where we are fully surrendered to God’s will, an abiding relationship develops. And as we continue to live in harmony with the purposes of our Father, the Son is able to manifest Himself through us. We then find that our weakness does not matter because we are not expected to do anything on our own. Our choice to permit the Son to manifest His life through us makes it possible to bear His divine fruit. He comes to us “according to the power of an endless life.” (Heb. 7:16)

"He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (John 15:5, 7-8)

The Father requires His children to submit to His will and to live by dependent faith in Him. He must have the child’s whole heart. The child who tries to live independent of the Father until he wants something, will be disappointed. But whoever permits God to always be the Father in everything, living by dependent faith in His love, will discover that such a life in God’s infinite Fatherliness will result in continual answers to prayer. “Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matt. 6:6)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Overcomer Is the True Christian

by Robert Thompson

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (Revelation 4:7)

The "face as a man" signifies the beauty of Christ's personality, the beauty of holiness to the Lord. Some are courageous and are willing to serve sacrificially but lose their beauty as a person. They become embittered, or get caught up in building their own kingdom instead of the Kingdom of God.

The fruit of the Spirit is the image of Christ. The true saint always is growing in love, in joy, in peace, in patience, in gentleness, in goodness, in faithfulness, in meekness, in self-control. It is easy for the religiously zealous individual to become distorted in personality. Such go about bringing confusion and death among the believers. They regard themselves as strong Christians but they do not show the face of God's man. They may be spiritual "lions," or "oxen," or "eagles," but they do not have the face of a man, the "face" that is able to dwell in love and union with God.

The face of a man speaks also of the capability of union with God and with one another that is not true of any other creature of God as far as we know. It is possible for the smallest child on earth to be the dwelling place of God through Christ. But no angel, even of the highest rank, has the capacity to be the dwelling place of God.

The "flying eagle" refers to praying and living in the Spirit of God. When we wait on the Lord we "mount up with wings as eagles" (Isaiah 40:31).

The Lord is removing the seals from the Scriptures in the day in which we are living. The truth of the Word is pouring forth on every side. Yet, many of the believers do not understand the importance of prayer and waiting on the Lord.

Our culture is so frantically busy that the believers do not have the time (or take the time) to pray. They come to church after a busy day to enjoy the "service" or because they feel that it is their duty to do so. But they may not be spending enough time seeking the Lord so that they are experiencing His continued Presence.

What bridegroom would be content with a capable, devoted bride who had little time for him? The Lord is not pleased with us no matter how hard we labor if we spend little time waiting on Him. When the congregation does not take the time to wait on the Lord, there will be little of the awe, the Presence of God in the midst. This will be true even though the doctrine and works of the church are according to the Scriptures.

No saint ever will become part of the first resurrection from among the dead until he learns to walk in the Spirit of God, and it is impossible to walk in the Spirit apart from prayer.

By prayer we do not mean positive thinking, we mean some time each day spent alone with God in seeking His face. Our lives are filled with many activities that appear to be essential, but none is as important as prayer.

This is part 8 of and on going series by Robert Thompson.