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harold1990side

God’s Grace to Everyone Under the Sun

After more than 50 years of being a pastor, I have become more aware that Christians
have a blind spot.
It seems to me that that many Christians seem to feel that when they became  Christians,
that they should not experience the same problems and difficulties as those
who are not Christians.

 I have been asked many times why unbelievers are prospering and enjoying  good health,
and, as Christians, they are not.
 Here is how Jesus answers that question in Matthew 5:43-48:
 “ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love  thy neighbour,
 and hate thine enemy.
 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
 do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you,
 and persecute you;
 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:
 for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain
 on the just and on the unjust.
 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even
 the publicans the same?
 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?
 Do not even the publicans so?
 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

 God loves everyone, and He expects every Christian to love people as He He does.
 That is what He has said in Matthew 5: 43-48
.

 God loved Pilate, and He loved Judas.
 God loved the woman at the well whom others stormed.
 God loved the lepers whom others considered unclean.
 God loved all races and people of all nations.
 God loves the very wealthy and the very poor.
 God loves the homeless.
 God loves those who have murdered others and abused others.
 God loves those who other people despise.

 It is God's will that we, as Christians, love everyone also.
 This is not easy for us.
 But we are to be more like Jesus.
 And if, and when, we become more like Jesus we will love the unlovable and the undesireable.
 We will even love those who have abused us and used us.
 Remember, Jesus loved those who cruicified Him.
 
 ll the good gifts and blessings that the entire human race enjoy from God  are the result
of His grace.
Paul asked, "Do you show contempt for the richness of his kindness, tolerance and patience,
not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

All of us must remember that it was the kindness and the amazing grace of God
that led us to Jesus. (Galatians 1:6). 
 

God Is! - Genesis 1:1                
 The first presupposition of the Bible is its claim that God is.
 The Bible does not spend precious time trying to prove the existence of God.
 It simply starts with this great affirmation: God is!
 I want to declare to you in this message that God is!
 God is the Creator behind all creation.
 God is the supreme fact behind all history.
 God is the supreme fact of life, of death, of time, and of eternity. ...
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It All Belongs To God!- John 8:38
God owns you.
He owns you lock, stock, and barrel.
He also owns your liver, your lungs, and your brain.
Every part of you that longs to the Lord.

You can no longer say, " They are my lungs, I'll smoke if I want to."
They are not your lungs.
You cannot say, "They are my eyes, I will see what I want to."
They are not your eyes.
You cannot say, " It is my mouth, I will say what I please."
It is not your mouth.

You have been bought with a price.
You are no longer your own.

God has two claims on every one of His children.
He has the claim of creation, and He has the claim of redemption.
God owns you because He made you and because He bought you.
....
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God Is In Charge!
Deuteronomy 1: 6: " The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying,
ye have dwelt long enough in this mountain
."

The time the people of God spent at Mount Horeb had been an important time.
While they were there they had received the law.
A national constitution had been perfected, and they were a theocracy -- a people subject
to the rule of God.
They had been given a system of worship, a perpetual symbol of their distance from God
because of their sin and how they could approach God with their sacrifices.

Because all this had been accomplished, God who governed them said unto them,
"The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mountain."
They heard the message of God, and obeyed His divine command, and marched
through the terrible experience of the wilderness to come to the land of promise.

Our text was spoken after the experience of 40 years, and it should help us to understand
God's purpose in governing our lives. ... More

God's Sustaining Power   -  Psalm 55:22
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 that God assures us that " My grace is sufficient for thee."
Pain and suffering are difficult to bear, but by God's grace we can do it.
" Cast your burden up on the Lord, and He will sustain you." (Psalm 55:22)

Then, our disappointments and our hurts are burdens we should cast upon the Lord.
It is inevitable as we go through life that we will be hurt by and disappointed in people.
Sometimes, people do things and say things intentionally, and sometimes, unintentionally,
but nevertheless, we are hurt… we are wounded.

Some people become angry, bitter, and resentful toward those who hurt them and in the process
they end up being hurt twice.
Once by the person who wronged them, and again, by their own anger and bitterness.
If you have been hurt by or disappointed in others, I have good news for you.
The Lord can take away that burde
n. ... More

We Are Dependent On God! - Psalm 91
Christians must be aware of how dependent we are on God.
We mention it in our prayers and we sing it in our hymns, and we preach about it often.
Many might be a little suspicious of the psalmist who wrote in the Ninety-first Psalm:
" I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: may God; in Him will I trust."
There are those who believe we must do something about our situations on our own, and maybe
we are too dependent upon God.
For instance, as a student, getting ready to take a final test the next morning, and yet,
has not opened the text book all year.
If that student is totally depending on God, then he is in for a surprise.
Or if you are driving your car 80 to 100 miles per hour, and suddenly, a man is crossing the road
in front of you, and you cannot avoid him, then, you cannot expect God to perform a miracle
and have your car spout wings and fly over the man.

But, if after you have done everything you can in a situation, you depend on God.
You cannot depend upon Him too much, because everything you are and everything
you have or can ever hope to be come ultimately from God.
Everything we are -- our life, our thoughts, and our energies are completely given to us by God.
And whether we like to admit it or not, all of us are utterly dependent upon God.
If you are alive, your life is given to you by God, and at any moment God can take that life aw
ay. ... More

The Abounding Grace of God - Romans 5:1-2,8; 19-21
He told the story of his conversion under the title, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.
These words are reminiscent of Paul's testimony: " Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15)
After Paul's experience on the Damascus road, he would never forget the contrast
between sin and grace.

The entire letter to the church at Rome deals with this theme.
It deals with the contrast between sin and grace -- that depths of sin -- the power
of grace, and the results of God's redemptive love in the life of the believer.

In chapter five of Romans Paul proclaimed the abounding grace of God against
the dark background of abounding sin.
He said, " Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned
in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life
by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Paul stated two facts in this statement: sin abounded and grace abounded.
The gospel is epitomized in the tragedy of sin and the triumph of grace.
The gospel is eternally effective.
Therefore, if Paul were speaking today, he would say,
" Sin abounds, and grace abounds more exceedingly." ..
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In The Hands of God - Romans 9: 20-21
We learn from God's Word that He molds us and makes us and holds us in His hands.
We must learn the importance of the hands of God
God's hands represent His compassion as well as of His power.
God's hands also represents His involvement in human affairs.
God's hands represent His strength.
God's hands represent His presence as well as of His protection.
God's hands represent His action as well as of His authority and His autonomy.

God holds us in His hands.
God shelters us and protects us as He holds us in His hands.
God holds the universe in His hands, and keeps the entire universe in harmony
with His holy will.
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God's Plans  - Jeremiah 29:11  
Jeremiah 29: 11: "For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans for welfare and not for calamity I give you a future and a hope
."

The words of an anonymous poet declare an important teaching of Scripture:
"Things don't just happen to those who love God,
They're planned by His own dear hand
."
Christians, our lives are not haphazard, and they are not just a series of accidents.
A loving God is working in the life of every Christian.
God has His hand upon us.
He shapes our lives, and guides us according to His perfect plan.

The same poet concludes his poem with these words:
"Things don't just happen to those who love God,
To us who are in His hand
No matter the lot, the course, the price,
Things don't just happen, they're planned
."

God's plan is perfect.
It includes just the right proportions of sorrows and joys, and always moves us toward
the perfect goal He has set for us.
We'll understand this more and more as we grow in our understanding of Him.
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A Vision of God Habakkuk 1:2-3; 3:16-19
We need a spirit-given insight into God and His plans for us.
We must go forward with a vision of God.

Habakkuk was one of God's prophets in what was probably a much tougher day than in which we live.
God promised him a vision so that he'd not only survive but also prosper and succeed.
We read in Habakkuk 2: 1, 2: " I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me…"
Then the Lord replied: " Write down the revelation (the vision) and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it
…"

God was going to give Habakkuk a fresh glimpse of Himself, specific and plain, to keep
Habakkuk going and encouraging other faithful ones around him as well.
Habakkuk was a believer just like many of you.

Do you ever feel you stand all alone in this evil world, as if you're such a minority
because you are a Christian, and that you really don't count for much.
Then, you need to become expectant for a vision from God, as Habakkuk did.
You need a fresh word from Him and a sense of plan and direction to motivate you, comfort you,
and to fill you with courage and hope
...
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What God Is Like! - Exodus 34:6-7
Exodus 34: 6-7: " And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God,
m
erciful and gracious, … forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means
clear the guilty
."

This text is one of the most remarkable verses in the entire Bible.
It is remarkable because, way back near the dawn of our religious history, it gives us the essence
of what God is like.
As time went on, and as the face of God was unveiled in the person of His Son, the meaning
of these words stood out in bolder relief.
But even the only begotten Son, from the bosom of the Father, had nothing more final to say than
it is said in the words of our text
. ...More

Your Way Or God's Way - Isaiah 55:8-9 New 12/22/09
"I Did It My Way" is a great song, whose lyrics were beautifully sung by Frank Sinatra.
As Christians, we must contrast that song with the life of Jesus.
When you read Matthew's account of Jesus' baptism which marks the beginning of his ministry,
we see that Jesus rejected the option of doing it "my way."
He chose to live life, God's way.

The song that Frank Sinatra made famous has become such a classic that it is often used at funerals.
This would tell us that many have no clue as to what God wants of us.
By using this song they are saying that the it expresses an accurate description of their lives.
The personal philosophy on which this song is based is the exact opposite to the Christian
who is truly following Jesus.
This is not what we should want to epitomize our lives.
We should want be be known as Christians doing things God's way
. ... More

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