Seven Things the Devil Does Not Want Us to Do

Seven Things the Devil Does Not Want Us to Do!

Ephesians 6:1-20

INTRODUCTION:  HE DOES NOT WANT US TO:

 I. GO TO CHURCH—Hebrews 10:25

He knows at church— 

  1. You will hear the Word of God be preached.
  2. The Holy Spirit will convict you.
  3. You will receive needed encouragement. 

II. PRAY—Luke 11:1-9

He knows that— 

  1. Your Prayer will bring God’s power.
  2. Your Prayer brings greater consecration.
  3. Your Prayer brings you into victory.

III. WITNESS—John 4:28-29

He will— 

  1. Bind you with business so you have no time to witness.
  2. Bother you so your life is not a witness.
  3. Break you from being able to witness.

IV. TRUST GOD—Job 13:15

He knows a trusting soul—

  1. Receives continual eternal life.
  2. Refuses to be defeated
  3. Refreshes the soul with renewal. 

V. READ THE BIBLE—Hebrews 4:12

He hinders us from reading the word because it:

  1. Gives us the mind of Christ
  2. Makes us ready for Heaven.
  3. Separates us from thinking like Hell. 

VI. SEPARATE FROM THINGS OF THE WORLD—Ephesians 5:11

The un-separated life— 

  1. Is unproductive and is fruitless.
  2. Is filled with the works of darkness.

VII. YIELD TO THE SPIRIT—Ephesians 5:18
       The Spirit-filled life— 

  1. Brings us into a fruitful purpose.
  2. Brings God’s powerful gifts.
  3. Brings us into the glory of God.

 

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THE MIRACLE OF A MOTHER

BISHOP’S BLOG

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2012

         TEXT:  JOHN 2:1-11

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The best example of motherhood that I can think of is Mary, the mother of Jesus!   Can you imagine being chosen to bear God’s Son?    I wonder what traits God looked for as He chose the mother of Jesus.  Can you imagine the fear and perplexities of raising God’s son?  Mary had to deal with Jesus’ humanity first and was later the instrument used  to pull forth His divinity by initiating His ministry when she called forth His first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee.

As she dealt with His humanity, she had to bathe him, feed him, diaper him, and probably even spank Him just as any other mother.  After all, she had to discipline him, teach him, train him in all ways, for she was preparing Him to handle the demands of the most important profession ever—the Salvation of the world.   Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, grew up to take our humanity and nail it to the Cross.  Then He gave us the opportunity to receive His divinity as a result of His Death and Resurrection.

When Jesus was 30, the event that began His public ministry was His first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.  Notice that His first miracle is dealing with another first—the first institution that He created—the institution of marriage.    God loves the institution of marriage, the union of one man and one woman, which is the portrayal of Christ and the Church.   Even His last miracle—the Marriage Supper of the Lamb—dealt with the same institution.

The Wedding Feast is representative of Israel.   This particular wedding feast was held on the third day, representative of another third day—Jesus’ Resurrection—when the New Wine was supplied.    When they ran out of wine and needed more,   Mary came to Jesus.   At this time, Israel likewise had run out of what they needed.  Perhaps you too have run out of something you need—such as strength, energy, love, joy.   Mary saw their need, and she knew who could help, so she said to Jesus, “They have no wine.”  –John 2:3

Jesus replied, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?  Mine hour is not yet come.”—John 2:4

This is not the only significant time that Jesus emphasized a certain hour.  He did so again as His earthly ministry drew to a close.  When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to His betrayal by Judas,  He began by saying, “Father, the hour is come.”  –John17:1

When Jesus’ mother called on him to meet the need at the wedding feast, Jesus had to deny His humanity, represented by His earthly mother Mary; He had to deny His flesh produced by Mother Earth in order to fulfill His purpose.  He came to redeem the souls of men, which Satan had taken.  Thus He responded to His mother as “Woman,” for she represented a human relationship–His humanity,

At this wedding feast, we see the power of a mother as Mary reached in to pull the Father from the Son—to pull out His deity.  At this point, His deity was to take over His humanity.   Mary began to pull from Him that which He was sent to do—to glorify the Father.  She reached into His death so that she could pull out His life.  She was reaching into His future—into Eternity.   This is the same thing that we do when we pray.

Mary turned to the servants and said, “Whatsoever he says unto you, do it.” (John 2:5)   Here the Power of the Mother is that she recognized the Power of His mouth.  After all, He is the Word that was in the beginning and always will be.

Then Jesus said, “Fill the water pots with water.” (John 2:7)  These water pots are significant because they were the ceremonial pots used to hold the water that would wash the dust and dirt from the outside but could not cleanse the inside.  Jesus was going to utilize these same ceremonial pots, but the contents would change from water into wine symbolizing that the Water of the Word was not enough.  It must be changed into the Spirit–the New Wine—which would do something from the inside out instead of the outside in.  This shows us that what Jesus did in the beginning in His first miracle is what He came to do in His last hour.

The servants filled the water pots up to the brim and He said, “Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.”  –John 2:8

The governor of the feast marveled when he tasted water that was made wine; he stated to the bridegroom, “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” –John 2:10

Have you ever wondered why God chose this turning water into wine as Jesus’ first miracle?  At times, Jesus referred to Himself as the vine.  The vine, of course, produces grapes, which in turn must be squeezed to produce juice which, after fermentation, turns into wine.  However, water must flow through the vine in order to produce grapes.   This is a lengthy process.  The Miracle of the Mother was her pulling out the creative capacity of the Father from the Son to eradicate what it takes time to produce through the natural process.   In like manner,  keep in mind that whatever you have drunk in life is always worse in comparison to your future, for Christ has saved the best till last for you as well.

Remember:  At the last supper, Jesus served wine and told His followers, “This do in remembrance of me.”   On the Cross, He became poured out wine.  When resurrected, He became new wine.  He wants us today to partake of His new wine—new life.

Thus –“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and his disciples believed on him.” –John 2:11

The Power of a Mother propelled Jesus into His public ministry, and the disciples believed.

POWER IN THE WORD

TEXT:

ACTS 1:3-8 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

ACTS 2:1-3 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. _____________________________________________________________________________________

Have you ever tried over and over to get something from God but have just not been able to make the connection?    Have you wanted to experience the power of God but just did not know how to have that power manifest?    Maybe you have waited for many years for your healing or for some other act of God, but have just not been able to experience it?  Perhaps you can relate to the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.  (See John 5:1-9)

A great company of impotent and afflicted people lay around the pool.  Periodically an angel came down and stirred the water, and the first who stepped into these wavy waters could be healed.  However, many at the pool did not have the ability to get into the miracle.  One such man, paralyzed from the waist down, had dragged himself as close as he could to the cure, so that he could get into the pool first.   This man’s legs did not work, but his arms did; yet he still could not get to the water fast enough.    For 38 years he had tried to receive the benefit from heavenly help but was incapable of doing so because nobody would help him out by getting him in and somebody always jumped ahead of him

But—one day Jesus visited the pool, entered the crowd and encountered this man; Jesus asked, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6)

The impotent man replied, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool:  but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  [That sounds just like us, looking for help from others can keep us handicapped for a long time.]

Jesus said unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” (John 5:9)

And immediately the man was made whole, took up his bed, and walked.

He had finally experienced the POWER he had needed–an encounter with God through the person of Jesus Christ.

Most of us today are no different from this paralytic.   A part of us is working, but some part is not.   We operate as half a man, living half a life, incapable of living the life we need to live, wanting and needing something from God—something that only a personal encounter with Christ can cure.    We need His Power.  We know about the Power of God, but somehow we have not been able to make the right connection.

Without the right connection,  no power can be released;  without expectancy,  stored up energy (Power) cannot be released.  Sometimes this energy—this power—is released with the pressing  of a button, as with a light bulb or flashlight, or by flipping a switch to turn on a light.  However, sometimes a force—a push or a pull– must be used; or a negative and a positive must clash to create this power.

Our lives can never run right if we are not connected to the right Power Source.   God wants us to see the negatives of our lives.  He will allow us to exhaust ourselves of all self-sufficiency until we realize that only our connection to Christ produces that positive power.

The highest power source is a Word. The Word created the light of this world and keeps it continually burning.  The paralytic met the Word, which said, “Arise, take up thy bed and walk.”   The paralytic heard, but that was not enough.  He had to expect–to believe–that he could do what The Word said.   “And immediately the man was made whole.”

God’s Word must break through our minds for us to believe, to expect, the impossible—to expect power to be released.     He has promised us:  “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”   This power is only possible if we make the right connection:  if we wait for God’s power with expectancy and perseverance,

God’s question to us today is the same:  “Wilt thou be made whole?”