Search

Field Notes

Thoughts, musings and directions for shepherds of FFC

“When Jesus Returns” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, December 3, 2017

Advent or “arrival” means to prepare for a noble person’s arrival.
_____________________________________

The story of the return of King Jesus to reign begins in the Garden of Eden. There the immortal words of the triune God are recorded. “Let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness.” Then sin wreaks death and destruction until God, the Creator, returns as God the Savior, the Servant, and the Sacrifice.

On the first Resurrection Day, Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb and finds it empty. She runs and gets John and Peter, and finally, she is left alone outside the tomb.

Opening Scripture:
John 20:14-15  When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

His first encounter with lost mankind was the very same as His final encounter with sinless Adam and Eve. He is found in a garden where life and mankind’s destiny start over.
______________________________________

For two thousand years, we have lived in the in-between, the time of the Second Coming of Jesus.

3 Truths About The Second Coming of Christ:

1) When Jesus returns, the dead will be resurrected.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18   But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

There is nothing more amazing than the dead coming back to life.

Matthew 27:52-53   The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

When Jesus returns in glory, the fact is that those who have died in Christ will again come out of their graves.
_____________________________________

2) When Jesus returns, creation will be restarted.

Romans 8:17-23  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

God’s plan is to redeem creation, not start over.

Revelation 21:1  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

It doesn’t suggest a new creation but a divine redemption of what sin has corrupted.

Isaiah 55:12  For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Psalms 66:4  All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.

Psalms 19:1  The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

The new creation will have California weather, Colorado mountains, and people who act like Texans!
___________________________________

3) When Jesus returns, it will mean judgment.

Revelation 20:11-15   Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

His first appearing was to deal with sin. His second appearing will not be a warning of coming judgment, but a promise fulfilled for those who serve Him.

Hebrews 9:28  So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Are you ready to meet Jesus? Will you greet Him with joy or shrink back in fear?

Until Jesus returns, we are to live simple and holy lives:
– renouncing sin.
– living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
– practicing what Jesus taught when He came the first time.
____________________________________

Questions:

1. How does looking for Jesus’ second coming change how we live our lives each day?
2. How can we make Christmas more about Christ’s return?

Advertisements

“Forgive Thy Neighbor” by Tyler Ferguson, November 26, 2017

We have all had someone close to us that hurt us.

Opening Scripture:
2 Timothy 4:16-18  At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul was facing a criminal trial, and at the time the defense called for friends to speak on his behalf, no one came to stand by him.

We go through life seeming constantly being hurt by people. We would long to have the same response Paul did.

2 Timothy 4:16b  “…may it not be counted against them.”

When it would have made sense to hold a grudge, he made the decision to forgive.

The key to Paul being able to so quickly forgive lies in his maintaining an eternal perspective.

Three Aspects of an Eternal Perspective of Forgiveness:

1) We must have a proper perspective of our past.

2 Timothy 4:17a   “…but the Lord stood by me and strengthened me”

Paul had a choice to make.
– He recognized that he served a God who would never let him down because He had always stood by Him.
– Choosing to follow Jesus means that, you no longer have to define yourself based on what has been done to you.
– When you accepted Jesus, you became a new creation.
– When you chose to follow Jesus, you gave up your identity as a victim of those around you and traded it in for your new identity as a victor under the cross.

Not only did Paul understand that the Lord has stood with Him and rescued Him, but He also acknowledged that he had been given an incredible gift.

Greek for “strengthened” means “having given power.” Paul knew that the Lord had given him the power to not just forgive but to press on in the face of everything that would have come his way by the Holy Spirit.

Just as He poured power into Paul, so He pours power into us.

Acts 1:4  “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait…”

Acts 1:4-5, 8  Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

That same power is available to us. When the Holy Spirit falls on a life, we receive the same power that raised Jesus from the grave and catapulted the church into existence.

Paul was so focused on what God had done for Him that he hardly had time to dwell on what others had done to him.
____________________________________

2) We must have a proper perspective of our present mission.

2 Timothy 4:17b  “…so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed to the Gentiles.”

Paul had an eternal perspective of what he had been charged within the present.

Unforgiveness will suck all of our energy from us, leaving us ineffective at doing what God has commanded us to do. We are commanded to go into the highways and byways to compel the lost into the kingdom

Nehemiah 6:3  “ So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”

Your calling is too important to let anything, including unforgiveness, get you off the wall.
___________________________________

3) We must have a proper perspective of our future.

2 Timothy 4:18  “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.”

The promise he rested on was not that the trials on earth would end, but that one day he would spend eternity with Jesus.

Jesus is coming soon, and that’s the best news we could ever hear!

Paul was able to push through everything that others had to throw at him because his perspective of this life didn’t center on what he was experiencing at the moment. He knew that the sufferings of this present time were not even worth comparing to the glory that was awaiting him.

Forgiveness is all about our perspective. Are we focused on the here and now, burdened down by what is happening to us, or are we concentrated on the One who has never failed us nor will He ever fail us?
____________________________________

Questions:

1. When was a time that you extended forgiveness when it seemed impossible?
2. What barriers keep you from extended forgiveness at times?
3. Who in your life do you need to forgive ?

“The Light Burden” by Pastor James Gallaher, November 19, 2017

Do the holidays stress you out?

Opening Scripture:
Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Jews were overwhelmed with the 10 Commandments that became the 613 ceremonial laws. Rivers of blood from the sacrifices for sin flowed from the temple serving as a constant reminder of their failure. Even though Jesus spoke of rest, the Jews were surrounded by laws. Rest was earned after they prepared for it; it was a symbol of holiness rather than a relief from stress.

They were confused when Jesus talked about getting rest with no one earning it, worthy of it, or deserving of a gift given by the Savior.

Genesis 2:1-3  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Creation was complete, everything God had done was perfect, and there was no need to improve on it. But sin came and everything changed. Man became a slave to the law. But Jesus says there is a redemptive rest, a rest where we cease from the works of the law and trust in the One who redeemed us.

Hebrews 4:9-10  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

How To Receive This Rest:

1) Come

Matthew 11:28   Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

Too often people are unwilling to come because they are concerned about their ability to do for themselves. Instead, they invite Jesus to come and join them rather than them joining Jesus. We ask Him to bless what we are doing assuming He is already for it. And yet, it is He who calls us.

We can do all the right things, say the right stuff, and nothing changes because we are in the wrong place.

We must first be connected to Him.

The call is for the humble of heart, those aware of their need of a Savior.

James 4:6  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
____________________________________

2) Take

Matthew 11:29-30  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We must choose to exchange our burden for His. Christ never said you wouldn’t have a burden, only that it won’t weigh the same.

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

James 1:2-4  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The promise is not for lack of struggle; the promise is for support and direction through it.
___________________________________

3) Learn

Matthew 11:29  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Learning involves ridding myself of preconceived notions about what I am to be taught. We ask for help but already have the solution in mind. We want Jesus to solve our problems, but we want Him to do it our way and in our time.

Matthew 11:25  “…that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

How we approach Him matters.
____________________________________

Questions:

1.  When was a time that you prayed for your own solution instead of praying for God’s solution?
2.  What are some false definitions of rest that the world uses?
3.  What in your life is causing you to be weary or heavy-laden?

“The Covenant Promises of God” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, November 12, 2017

The Spiritual Lesson Jan and I Learned:
Jan had a stem cell transplant 8 years ago as a final hope to kill insidious cancer that had been apart of our lives for nearly 20 years.

First, chemotherapy is given to kill the bone marrow. Before the chemo, the donor’s blood is taken and the stem cells are harvested. For a week, the chemo is carefully given and takes the person to the door of death, because if nothing is done within a few weeks the person will die without the ability to make new blood.

On January 19, 2010, a nurse came into Jan’s room with a baggy of stem cells. As these stem cells entered her body, the nurses brought in balloons and sang “Happy Birthday;” this was the day Jan was born again. This bone marrow brought new life and a slow retreat from death’s door.
_____________________________________

Every person is born with a fatal flaw called original sin that came from the first sin in the Garden.

Opening Scripture:
Ephesians 2: 3  Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The chemo of sin begins its march to destroy the one part of creation that was formed in the very image of the Godhead.

But, there is a divine Donor in the Masterplan of God. When we stop trying to heal ourselves and instead humble ourselves and say, “This sin cancer has beaten me. I can’t live a good life on my own strength. My choice is death or to receive the great gift of life from the Divine Donor, Jesus Christ.”

When you choose Jesus, you are born again. Your life is now Jesus Christ in you; your DNA is Jesus’ DNA. As long as you are following the Great Physicians instructions, the Jesus-nature will overcome the old sin nature.

Luke 22:17-20  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

This New Covenant, new life is given to us through the life-changing blood of Jesus. God fulfills His covenant to give us a new heart.

Jeremiah 24:7  I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

Ezekiel 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Many believers are convinced wrongly that their Christian life is to be a continual uphill battle against sin, and that they will never feel that they are free.

Paul says in Romans 7 this is a kind of bondage.
– A person does what he hates.
– Spiritual freedom has been hammered in by condemnation.
– No escape.
– Feeling that they are not good enough to really serve God
____________________________________

Jesus Christ saved me. He did not save me to leave me. He knew I would need all of His power to live this life. It is the power of the New Covenant. We must understand the truths of what happens when we ask Jesus into our lives.

The Two Covenants

1) The New Covenant

Hebrew 8:8-13  “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 10:16-17  “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

Because we are included in Abraham’s lineage, the New Covenant is God’s pledge of overcoming strength to be “more than conquerors” in any situation.

– The Father’s purpose in the Covenant: Psalm 89:19
– Jesus’ response: Psalm 40:7-8
– The fulfillment of the Covenant began at the Last Supper: John 17:1-4
– The Glory: Psalm 89:26-36

Without this Covenant, the battle against sin and the devil must be fought by me.

But, with this Covenant, the battle against sin and the devil means that all of heaven’s power and authority is aligned with me. It is not me fighting the battle, but the covenant promises of God working through me.

2) The Old Covenant

This Covenant is based on our works, our efforts, our strength.

Exodus 19:5-6  “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

Jeremiah 7:23  But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’

The Commandments of God are given and the Old Covenant requires we obey the Law perfectly.

God commanded a law no one could keep to drive us to Himself, so we could come to the end of ourselves.

When you realize how useless our efforts are on our own, how powerless we are to overcome sin, that is when the Old Covenant has had its full effects.

Paul cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death?”

Philippians 2:13  God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to accomplish the good things you desire to do. (Passion)

The promises:
Freedom from the control of sin
A new heart that desires to follow God
The companionship, power, counsel, and friendship of the Holy Spirit that will never leave you and never forsake you.
____________________________________

Questions:

1. Which group are you living as: those who have accepted but are still living under the Old Covenant or those who believe and have submitted their lives to Him?
2. What are some things that make it difficult for you to embrace life under the New Covenant?

“Led By the Spirit” by Dr. Clem Ferris, November 5, 2017

Opening Scripture:
Galatians 5:16-18  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

John 16:13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

If we allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide, He will lead us down a clear pathway.

The Holy Spirit is a “professional” of the future. Jesus never taught us to follow our heart; our hearts are not designed as the leader.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

2 Thessalonians 3:5  May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

In John 11, Mary and Martha sent an urgent request, an appeal to emotions, to Jesus.
John 11:3  So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

What goes out of the heart is selfishness. Jesus was not led by his heart (emotions) but from the Spirit.

John 11:9-10  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

John 11:15  “And for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

The Jews were waiting for Jesus to come so that they could stone him. Jesus did not move until the Holy Spirit released him. He was not moved by emotions.

Jesus waited to walk in the light being led by the Spirit.
____________________________________

There is light in you. Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.

Guidance from the Holy Spirit doesn’t come externally; it comes internally.

Romans 8:14  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

The Greek text puts us following the Spirit.

We need to be aware of the “inner tug” from the Holy Spirit. It can be so gentle, we can miss it.

There are times when it can be agonizing to be led. When the Spirit is tugging on your heart, to lead you and tell you, but it doesn’t make any sense to your mind. There is a conflict between the mind and the spirit.

Your mind tries to talk you out of it.
____________________________________

How do we begin to move in the gift of prophecy?
Start in church, training, and hearing God.
As you are learning to prophesy, learn to give beyond tithing.
Go and talk to someone in the church.
___________________________________

We watch Jesus being led by the Spirit in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Luke 22:39  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Luke 22:41  And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed.

Jesus is being led by the Holy Spirit to the cross. He has agonized in prayer with drops of blood for sweat. There was a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. Jesus won the victory in the garden.

Luke 22:50-51  And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.

It was imperative that Jesus did this and fixed Peter’s mess. Peter was going to become a major apostle and he had just assaulted a public official. Here Peter was being led by emotion and not by the Spirit.
___________________________________

Luke 22:54  Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.

No one “took” Jesus. All these miraculous demonstrations of power were from the same Spirit that led Him.

The soldiers literally wrapped a rope around Jesus’ neck and led Him like an animal.

Isaiah 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers are silent, so he opened not his mouth.

He was not just being led by those soldiers. He had the power to resist. He was being led by the Spirit of Truth.

But, to be led that night, he had to deal with agony in His soul.

Have you ever had God tell you to do something and it was agony to obey? Your heart knew it, but your head agonized over it. Being led by the Spirit often comes with agony.
____________________________________

Questions:

1. What is the Holy Spirit telling you to do in your life right now? Is it something that is opposed to what your flesh tells you to do?
2. Why is it so difficult sometimes to follow the Spirit rather than our flesh?

“Peddlers of Hope” by Pastor Jarrod Albergaria, October 29, 2017

Hopelessness is being perpetuated by the news that the world puts its faith in.

In order for us to be effective in the topic of touch evangelism, we need to be selling something different than the world. We need to be peddlers of hope.

This hope does not pay attention to the fake news of this world but focuses its attention on the Good News of the Gospel.

Opening Scripture:
Revelation 21:4  “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Matthew 11:28  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

If we wait for the Lord,
We will gain new strength;
We will mount up with wings like eagles,
We will run and not get tired,
We will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

A peddler is someone that moves from place to place selling an item, an idea, or a view.

Jesus provides us example after example in His Word of how He went from place to place and showed people their need for hope that lay only in Him.

In John 5, we find Jesus at a moment in His ministry where He demonstrates a beautiful example of tough evangelism and a moment where He restores hope in the hopeless.

John 5:2-9  Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted. A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.

Profile of hopelessness in this man:
– Ill; weakness in the original text; the man was paralyzed.
– 38 years; longevity breeds hopelessness.
– Alone; I have no one to put me in the water.
– Defeated; he never came in first when the water was stirred; repeated disappointment and defeat.

The world today looks a lot like this broken man.

But, Jesus brought hope to a hopeless situation; it is only in Him that we will see hope in this one.

3 Take-Aways from Jesus’ Interaction:
1.  We have to see people.
– Verse 6 says that Jesus first saw the man.
– Jesus didn’t see a man that was supposed to be lame by a well; He saw a man that was supposed to get up and walk.
– In order for us to bring hope to the hopeless, our lives have to do the same. We have to see the person and not the sin.

2. We have to remove aloneness.
– When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, his response was that he had no one to put him into the pool.
– Why didn’t any of the people in the community help those that were lying waiting to be healed?
– Why didn’t any of the people that sat with this man year after year and were healed go back to help him?

3. We have to tell them the truth!
– Jesus told the man to rise, take up his bed, and walk. What He told him was true because the results were immediate.
– When we tell people about Jesus, we are showing them the Way, the Truth, and the Life they are receiving. (John 14:6)
– We can’t hold back or delay. We have to let them know that they can get up and walk.
– We need to tell people the truth about who they are supposed to be not who they are today.

Peddlers of hope:
– See people.
– Remove their aloneness.
– Tell people the truth; tell people to get up and walk.

Who has God put in your life that needs hope?

If you feel hopeless, you know that:
– Jesus sees you.
– He wants to remove the loneliness.
– He wants you to get up and walk.
– He wants to give you hope!
____________________________________

Questions:

– What would your life look like today if that person had not told you the truth about Jesus?
– Who has God put in your life that needs hope?

“Priceless Salvation” by Pastor James Gallaher, October 22, 2017

Have you ever heard someone tell their testimony where their past sounds so amazing that you wonder why they ever chose to follow God?

Opening Scripture:
Romans 5:1-2  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Let’s contrast “justification” with “regeneration.” Regeneration is death to life and hell to heaven.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is where salvation begins, but certainly not where it ends. Paul introduces this word, “justification;” it deals with our standing before God and our answer to our guilt.

Acts 13:38-39  Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Hebrews 10:17  “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

We should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget.

Philippians 3:13  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

He places to our account the righteousness of Christ.

Philippians 3:9  And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.

It was all done through Christ by the fulfillment of the law on the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 5:1-2  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

vs. 1 We have peace with God. This takes care of our past. We don’t live in fear of what has happened.

vs. 2 This takes care of our future. Not only are we justified, not only has He forgive us, but then He adopts us into His family.

Regeneration changes our nature.
Sanctification changes our standing.
Adoption changes our position.

You become viewed as having been born into the Kingdom of God.

Ephesians 1:5  Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

Galatians 4:4-7  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

My fear is that too many Christians fall short of this understanding of salvation. We got in the door because someone asked us if we wanted to go to hell, and we said no. Unfortunately a lot of people stop there. They never find out the rest.

No discovery is complete until the desire to share it fills our hearts.
____________________________________

How do we share the message of salvation?

One of the best examples is Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. (John 4)

When you share your message:
1. Be intentional
vs. 4  But He needed to go through Samaria.

2. Be relational – the Holy Spirit puts you there
vs. 6  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

3. Be direct
vs. 13-14  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
– With this water, you will thirst again. You’re going to keep coming back to the well of broken relationships over and over.

Part of understanding what I need is becoming aware of what I have.
4. Reveal Jesus
vs. 26  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

5. Close the deal. Do you want to receive Jesus?

Your story is a powerful bridge to the gospel message Unfortunately too many Christians’ stories are lacking an understanding of the value they truly have.

The value of salvation in your life isn’t being withheld, it’s just unrealized. There’s more to it than forgiveness.

Justification is available. Adoption is His choosing of you.

Receive the Spirit of adoption. Close the deal.
____________________________________

Questions:

– What motivates non-Christians towards Christ? Heaven? Salvation? The church?
– What motivated you toward those things?
– How have those motives changed or grown as you have grown?

“Heavenly Truths” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, October 15, 2017

Albert King, one of the greatest blues guitarists of the twentieth-century, was famous for his lyrics, “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die.”

Consequently, Heaven has been relegated to FarSide cartoons, misconceptions, and myths.

To really embrace the desire for evangelism, you’ve got to have a clear goal in mind. That goal is the same as the thief’s goal on the cross next to Jesus.

When the curtain draws on this world and we turn toward eternity, everyone wants their first glimpse to be of Heaven and not hell.
____________________________________

Opening Scripture:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Look at the words used to describe the common attack against the believer, “speculations and lofty things raised against the knowledge of God.” God wants you to know Him and the devil does not. The lies, half-truths, and deceptions against the true knowledge of God keeps people from knowing not just God, but the love of God, the truth of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said this about satan:
John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The first lies that he began to tell were about eternity. Eve repeats what God said, “If you eat from the tree, you will die.” The devil’s response is the first recorded and most devastating lie of all:

Genesis 3:4 

Here is the truth:
Heaven and earth are two distinct locations.You can’t have earth in Heaven, and you will never have Heaven on earth. The greatest counterfeit of Heaven is earth.

The idea of Heaven has become what we can posses here on earth. Our society, which has attained such wealth, comfort, self-indulgence, and sufficiency, has little use for Heaven.

1 Corinthians 2:9  “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

2 Corinthians 12:3-4  Paul was “caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”

That is why the lie is so dangerous and destructive to the truth! If this is all there is, then just keep living a sorry life. But if Eternity with Jesus is just a few short breaths away, doesn’t it make sense to live in such a way that Paradise and Heaven can also be mine someday?

Colossians 3:1-4  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
____________________________________

Truths About Heaven:

1) Isaiah 25:6-12  The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, and Moab will be trodden down in his place as straw is trodden down in the water of a manure pile. And he will spread out his hands in the middle of it as a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, but the Lord will lay low his pride together with the trickery of his hands. The unassailable fortifications of your walls He will bring down, lay low and cast to the ground, even to the dust.

2) Luke 13:29-30  “And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”

3) John 14:2-4  “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”

4) Revelations 7:13-17  Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

5) Revelations 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

6) Revelations 22:3-5  There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

The lies will be done. The curse of sin and death will be over. Creation will be released form the bondage of corruption.

Paul said:
Romans 8:18-19  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Nothing will age. Nothing will be lost. All work will be enduring and productive.

Don’t you want to be with Him in Paradise?

____________________________________

For those that look to Jesus, this world is not your home; you are just passing through.

So, our lives and the way we live point to Heaven where Jesus is, not the earth where the curse and lies live.

Colossians 3:1-7  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
___________________________________

Questions:
– What are some lies, myths, or misconceptions you’ve heard about Heaven?
– Why is it important to know the truth about Heaven in the context of evangelism?
– What excites you about Heaven? Why? (This is important to keep in mind and remember as we go through the struggles, difficulties, rejections, heartbreaks, and persecutions of life. Set your mind on things above; remember this world is not our home.)

“End Times Evangelism” by Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher, October 8, 2017

The signs of the end times are all around us. Do not let the frequency, distance, or 24 hour news cycle put you to sleep.

The disciples wanted to know when the end would come.

Opening Scripture:
Luke 21:7  They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

Matthew 24:3  As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

We are so wrapped up with the economy, politics, radio pundits, tweets, or Facebook posts, we no longer ask the right questions.

All the shiny objects dangled by satan to a naive church have stolen our attention away from the obvious and loving signs the Lord gave.
____________________________________

Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars.
Jesus said there would be earthquakes, famine, and weather.
Jesus said there would be martyrdom.

John 16:2  They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

Matthew 24:9  “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”

Christians are now the most persecuted believers in the world.

Matthew 24:12  Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

Most people’s love, agapē, which is the love of God, will grow cold. The love that seeks to serve and is a choice for the highest good will grow cold.

It is that agape love that is the fuel for evangelism.

Matthew 24:13-14  But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

We have been talking about a new evangelism that sees men and women as alone in need of another and not only sinners in need of a Savior. This is what we call “Touch Evangelism.”

Why? Jesus did more touching than preaching and more comforting than condemning. He touched hearts that were stone cold with loneliness, hearts that were empty with fear, and He did it all because He came to be with us and never leave.
______________________________________

With all these signs more apparent than at any time in history, our indifference to the lost and alone is nothing short of a heart that has grown cold.

We are consumed with our little dysfunctional worlds, to the point where taking the good new to those we know is not even on our radar. It must be because the days are growing short.

Here are two reasons for this:

1) The Battle Between Truth & Lies

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

John 17:7  Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You.

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This Kingdom is most identified by this Word, this God-breathed, Holy Spirit empowered Word that gives light to our path. It is a sword in the hand of the Holy Spirit, and we are to preach it in season and out.

The other reality is the kingdom of hell is defeated but is fiercely fighting in spite of that defeat.

John 8:44  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Jesus said that the ruler of that kingdom has no truth in him. He is a liar and the father of lies.

There is a battle between The Truth and the father of lies. As long as our focus is on the constant noise of this world, you will not tune into the still, small voice of the Defender of Truth, the Holy Spirit.
__________________________________

2) Rebellion Against God

1 Samuel tells the sad story of Saul, the first King of Israel. He was given specific instructions to annihilate the Amalikites. They are a picture of the flesh in the Scriptures. They continually attacked the weak and elderly in the wilderness.

Instead of obeying God, Saul rebels by taking the spoils of the battle. He then defends his actions, wanting credit for emphasizing religion and ritual above obedience.

1 Samuel 15:23  “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Here Samuel tells Saul that his rebellion is equal to witchcraft.
_________________________________

Now, we have the Truth. We have the commissioning to go to the highways and byways and to care for the ones in the ditch. We are told to preach the Good News and to come along side of the lonely to share the love of God.

At what point do we call our lack of evangelism…
– our unwillingness to cross the street.
– our reluctance to share the love of God.
– our phobia of not being liked if we do that.

At what point does not sharing the Truth, Jesus, become sin?
_________________________________

Close:

Matthew 24:25  Behold, I have told you in advance.

The real value of His prophetic warnings is that we would know what to do when chaos, confusion, and the ever-shifting morals of our culture have seemingly taken over.

He tells everyone of us…
– I am coming back.
– Don’t be seduced by the lies of the world.
– “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
– “He who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

There are two concerns at the forefront:
1) Those who have made an excuse out of sinfully neglecting the commissioning of the Lord.

We are calloused and blind to the human tragedies that surround us. At some point, our refusal to obey God is rebellion.

2) Those who have yet to bow their hearts to Jesus.

Those of us who come to Jesus are admitting that we are broken, powerless, and in need of a change we cannot make ourselves.

Matthew 11:28  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
_________________________________

Question:

– What are you allowing to hold you back from sharing the Gospel openly?

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑