Tag Archives: Faith

Setting Goals for Souls

I recently preached a message titled ‘We Must Be Soul Reachers’.  Matthew 4:19 states ‘And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’  This verse embodies the vision of the Great Commission.

Mark 16:15-16  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

We have been focusing a lot this year on the subject of Church Growth.  The church must understand that growth is a Godly principle.  We must place growth at the forefront of our thinking and endeavors.  It requires both a personal commitment and a corporate commitment from the church.

In the message ‘We Must Be Soul Reachers’, amongst other things, I discussed the necessity of setting goals.  As we look at other denominations, we see in several of them, a very strategic and organized effort at outreach.  While we must have the proper tools and an effective approach to outreach, none of that matters if we don’t put the process to practice!  Therefore, I am a firm believer in setting goals!

For example, a farmer begins the planting season with a goal of reaping a harvest.  A doctor begins a procedure with the goal of healing the patient.  A baker begins mixing ingredients with the goal of producing a cake.  We work jobs and pay bills with the goal of getting ahead.  We have been given a goal by Jesus Christ, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Goals assist us in setting our focus and heading us in the right direction.  Goals help keep us accountable.  For example, if I say I am going to reach one person today, when I lay my head down on my pillow at night, it makes it harder to come up with the excuse that I didn’t meet the right person!  I hopefully will focus my day on finding someone to reach!

We closed out our service by having each member set some individual goals.  How many people am I going to reach each week the remainder of this year?  How many new Bible Studies am I going to teach this year?  How many first time visitors am I going to plan to bring to church this year?

We are already beginning to the results of the saints stepping out in faith, and saying, I am going to do my part, and plant seeds, and water them.  Now it’s in God’s hands to give the increase!

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Doubting Christians

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I struggle with our struggle to embrace the super-natural.

Mankind always seeks to understand and explain that which cannot always be explained.  From the beginning, with Adam and Eve, the temptation was understanding.  The serpents tempting words to Eve in Genesis 3:5:  “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Science tries to make human sense of creation.  Medicine tries to make medical sense of miracles.  There are times when the only thing that makes sense is Jesus!

The problem with the church today is we struggle to understand and embrace that God performs miracles!  And that God’s desire is to use us to perform miracles!  There is a true shortage of the use of spiritual gifts active in the church.  Why?  I believe the reason is we fear being ‘super-spiritual’ and the ‘weirdness’ of it, and where it will ‘take us’.

We must understand God’s purpose for the church though!

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:17   And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Mark 16:17-18  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not stating we are to tempt God with foolish actions!  But we can be directed, spoken to by, and used by God!  If we aren’t, then are we truly Christians?  If we aren’t being obedient to the commission given us, then we can’t claim to be followers.

We can’t forget about spiritual gifts?  1 Corinthians 8-10  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

We are His church, and He places in us gifts and abilities to be His hands and feet on earth!  When we fail to believe in and utilize those gifts, we can’t claim full obedience to Him.

What brings about this struggle?  I believe a lack of faith!  Faith is put to the test through action.  Think about it…we encounter a lame man…we offer charity, we offer love, we offer prayer…but look at Peter and John and the lame man:  Acts 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

What prevents the church from performing in such a bold manner today?  Remember, Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.  

What is our excuse?  Don’t be like Doubting Thomas.  Don’t doubt God’s ability to come through at the right time.  Exercise the Holy Ghost power we behold!

As a camp preacher declared a few years back…when the devil thinks he has me out on a limb…all I can say is…that’s where the fruit goes!  Go out on a limb…exercise faith…believe in the impossible!  The church of yesterday can still live today!

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Bible Study on Faith

Each week, my wife and I teach a Bible Study 
at an apartment complex for the elderly.  A 
few weeks ago, I taught on faith.  Below are 
my notes from the lesson:

Have-Faith

Matthew 14:28-33  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Peter’s struggle began when he took his eyes off of Jesus, and focused on the waves!

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Man tends to view this passage as a promise of receiving all of our desires, if we just have faith.

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Man should learn to align their desires with God’s desires. The desires of our heart should be for HIS will to be done.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

He knows what is best. Each plan is aligning the future for a glorious outcome!

Matthew 6:10 …Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Aligning Our Faith With His Will

A story is told of a man who pledged to get up each morning and pray before going to work. After some time of doing this, his wife mentioned his prayers were getting shorter. He responded, “It doesn’t take much time to give God His to-do list for the day.”

True Faith is not giving God a to-do list.

True Faith comes from first TRULY KNOWING God.

After one truly knows God, one then TRUSTS God to handle the situation.

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Peter began to sink when he began focusing on the wind and waves, and not on Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ response, “You had too little faith, why didn’t you trust me?”

— Trust in Him…
——-  He knows what is best…
————  He will see you safely through!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

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