Not certainly in this entire chapter there is much that could be said. But time would fail us to try to address all the points of revelation that abide here. However, my assignment today is show you from the word of God the importance of prayer, particularly as it relates to this series on becoming Fishers of Men.
Every success in life for the believer is a prayer success first. As a result then, every failure in life is a prayer failure first. We left off last week talking about one of the three things that the devil will use against the man to keep from being in the place where God would desire for Him. WWW. Satan’s end game is to smite the shepherd that the sheep of the flock might be scattered. We know that if a man devotes his life to God, the rest of the family will follow naturally.
1 Timothy 2:8
>This is the heart of God. One of the most important areas that a man could focus on is his relationship with God through prayer.
>Yet what I find by experience is that many men struggle in their relationship with God because of a lack of prayer. In other words, most men prayer is a weakness.
>Oppression, robbery, vexation and wronging were all around and God sought for a man. In your family when injustices take place God is looking for a man in that family to step up in prayer and invite Him into the matter.
>But He found NONE. Man, you have spiritual responsibility as a leader in your family.
>It has often amazed me how many times we can have prayer services in the body of Christ and the men are absent.
2 Chronicles 16:9
>Particularly He is looking for that man to step up and make up the hedge and stand in the gap.
>The sheep being scattered were so because of the absence of the shepherds. Pray therefore…
>Listen to the reason why what is about to occur. This is biblical confirmation as to why we should be Fishers of Men. 93%
>The reason why God chose Abraham in the first place was because he would command his family and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord.
>This is standing in the gap. This is what God was looking for in Ezekiel. This is what Jesus was looking for in Matthew. And it is what They are looking for today!
>This is what a hedge is suppose to look like. And just like God made up a hedge for Job, man is suppose to make up an hedge for his family. ILL>
1 Timothy 2:1-4, 8
>Today I appeal to both men and women concerning the importance of prayer in us becoming Fishers of Men.
>Pray for your man of God. Since satan uses mans wealth, work and women against men, pray for your man of God. Don’t let him be taken. Help him.
>Its for the benefit of all because how the head goes so goes the body.
Do you believe there is power in your praise? God is calling us to a higher level of praise in Him. What is praise? Praise means to commend to applaud, to lift, or to magnify. For the Christian, praise to God is an expression of worship, lifting up, and glorifying the Lord. It’s an expression of humbling ourselves, and centering our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration, and thanksgiving.
Why is it so important to Praise God? In our time of praise we are elevated into His presences and power. The power of our praise ignites the presence of God. When we connect to God through praise and worship we unlock the door to our blessings, He will make our enemies be at peace with us, He will unleash the strongholds, He will bring deliverance, and healing in our lives. God inhabits the praises of his people. In Psalms 22:3 it says; “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Inhabits means to live, abide in, and to dwell in. Let me give you an example of what it means to inhabit or to dwell in. I’m going to use a thermostat for an example or metaphor. What happens when you set your thermostat to a determined temperature in your home? The thermostat sends a signal to the a/c unit, activate the condenser and air handling unit to send either heating/cooling to your home until the thermostat is satisfied by the changing of the atmospheric temperature.
In a similar way, when we as Christians begin to praise and worship the almighty God, our praise is a way of calling God’s manifested presence to be ours and it changes the spiritual atmosphere. It is true that God is omnipresent, but there are certain places and times that His presences is more relevant. In St.Matthew18:20 it says; “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”That such time is when we gather together in God’s house to magnify and to lift up the name of Jesus and to give him perfect praise, we are inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell in the midst of our praise and worship. What we’re doing is setting the tone or temperature to receive the preaching of God’s word.
How do we Praise God? We praise God from the sincerity of our hearts, minds, and souls. God is seeking true worshippers one who wants to give Him unpretentious praise, one who does not mind pleasing God. In St. John 4:23-24 it says 23 “But the hour cometh, and now is¸ when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God want true Praisers that will give him glory, honor, one that heart is pure and filled with love, not to impress or to be more important than God himself.
In St.Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is so far from me.” God doesn’t want or need false praise, or lip service, or one that is praising him out of tradition. He is seeking sacrificial and continual praise. He wants us to have a willingness and desire to praise him. In Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Sometimes we come to church and we may not always feel like praising God, but when we begin to yield ourselves and surrender totally to God. The Holy Spirit will begin to move and we forget about the tiredness in our bodies, or our problems. In Psalms 100:4 it says “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
When should we Praise Him? In Psalms 34:1 it says “I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” We don’t always have to be in the praise and worship mode to praise God. We can praise Him through witnessing to someone or through our testimony, Sharing and lifting up the name of Jesus on how good He’s been in our lives. We should praise him no matter what the situation is or what we’re going through.
If you didn’t get that job or promotion you thought you deserve, praise Him, your children or your spouse is acting up, praise Him, sickness in your body, praise Him, your bills are past due, praise Him, when things are going well, praise Him. Praise Him before storm, Praise Him during the storm, Praise Him after storm. Praise Him in your home, on the job, in the grocery store, and even in the doctor office.
Have you ever just praise God while driving in your car with no radio, or cd playing? Or better yet have you ever had a praise break in the middle of the night while taking a bathroom break? I find that is the best time to give God praise. When I begin to think of the goodness of Jesus and all that He has done for me my soul shouts hallelaluhea!! When I get burden with my problems I begin to bless the Lord, Lord I thank you for bringing me through, Lord I know you’re going to do it. When your problems weigh you down, just begin to say Lord I thank you for working it out. Begin to speak his word back to him, speak what you want God to do: Lord you said in your word I shall have peace, Lord you told me to cast all my cares upon you, Lord you told me to seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto me, Lord you said in your word if I ask anything in your name it shall be done. Lord you said in your word to trust you with all my heart and lean not to thine own understanding. Lord I thank you for saving my children, Lord I thank you for using me, Lord I thank you for being debt free, Lord I thank you for increase in our church. When we praise him and speak his word, it compels God to move on our behalf.
What are the results or the benefits of our Praise? When we praise God it gives us more power to fight off the enemy, it sends the devil running. The devil fears the mentioning of the name of Jesus. Let’s look at 2 Chronicles 20:20-22 it reads “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established: believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 21 “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord¸and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 22 “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
When the children of Judah found themselves outnumbered by the hostile armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, King Jeosphophat, the people sought the Lord for His help. The Lord assured them that this would be His battle. He told them to go against them and He would fight for them. What did the children of Judah do? Being the people of praise, they knew that God would manifest His power through praise. Ahead of their army they declared their praises unto God, “Praise the Lord for His mercy endureth forever” The Lord caused the armies to fight among themselves. They turned against their allies and killed them. How awesome God is!! He did just what He said He would do. God is no shorter than His word.
Let’s look at one more example of the results of our praise. In Acts 16: 23-26. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely. 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Let me give you a brief synopsis of what happened earlier in this chapter. There was a young girl who had the spirit of divination. Divination means the art or practice of attempting to foretell the future events or hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means. Paul was grieved by this spirit and so he commanded the spirit to come out of her. But when her masters saw that their livelihood or gains was gone¸ they became angry and upset. They had Paul and Silas beaten, arrested, and thrown into jail. I can imagine Paul and Silas suffered bruises, cuts, and even shed some blood, and to say the least were in great pain. But at midnight something happened. Paul and Silas prayed and song praises unto God. In spite of what they went through, their circumstances, and pain they began to worship and praise God. The foundations of the prison shook, their bands were loosed, and the doors of the prison were opened. Not only did God freed Paul and Silas because of their praise, the prison keeper received salvation and was baptized.
Just imagine what God will do on our behalf if we just simply praise him. There’s a cliché that says when praises go up blessings come down. I have been through a lot in the past 3 years, but I made up my mind I’m going to praise God no matter what. I’m going to give God my all and I’m going to live so He can use me.
No matter what it looks like, or what it seems like trust God and praise Him for the outcome. Because victory is in your praise!!! In my closing I’m going to read Psalms 150:1-6
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
So the word of God says smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. In Nathan’s prophetic word of correction to King David, the sheep was both a type of a wife and children. Satan knowing this has then has used us against one another since the beginning of time.
I believe it is my assignment today to show you from the word of God that one of satan’s tactics is to plot man against the woman and the woman against the man. The Bible says that we should not be ignorant of his devices. So my hope is that you will leave today with the knowledge and understanding from the Scriptures and thereby be able to avoid being used of the devil to scatter someone’s family.
The ultimate goal of this series is for us as a congregation is to learn from Jesus and let Him make us Fishers of Men. We believe that if we win the man, that the rest of the family will follow. And while we target men we are always and constantly ministering to women and children.
>We left off here last week.
>From the beginning of time the devil has targeted men. Especially if there was some good in and on his life.
>From the children of Adam unto this day, he is looking to destroy men.
>The devil, remembering what God had just said, set out immediately to hunt for and destroy this man’s life.
>God came to the man first. Men will hide from God when they mess up. And men will try to blame women for their own failures and shortcomings.
>…you (the devil) shall bruise “His” heel. So from that moment forward satan has been on a campaign to destroy men’s lives. Particularly those that he could see something special about them.
>Also note that because of this curse, women are going to want to control men (3:16 NLT) and men are going to want to rule (dominate) over women.
>Secondarily, there is specific hatred toward women and satan.
>Set out intentionally to destroy every son. Moses was a prophet, wrote the first five books of the Bible.
>The devil was behind this most evil act because he was looking to destroy the shepherd.
>So He is talking about men that He has asked to follow Him.
>But what I want you to notice are the three categories that are used to keep these men from the greatest opportunities of their life.
>Wealth, Work, Women.
>You cannot curse what God has blessed!
>Balak had hired Balaam to curse the children of Israel.
>Well in the very next chapter we see the children of Israel being affected by a curse. In one day 24,000 people died! How could that be? We just saw that you cannot curse what God has blessed.
>Moses, right before he dies gets instructions to war against the midianites.
>And they slew Balaam?! Why? Didn’t he bless the children of Israel those three times when someone paid him to curse them?
>Come to find out that before Balaam left Balak he had told Balak how you could get Israel off their game and out of the place of God’s blessing for their lives.
>Now please remember that 72.3 percent of every black child born today has a father who played its mother.
>The relativity of this story extends even unto the coming of the Lord. Of which time we are in right now.
>As I have been pondering this series for seemingly months one thing that has stood out in my heart is this. The predominant male population of the church today is that of married men. And the predominant female population of the church today is that of unmarried women. What is happening here?
>Given that satan targets men and uses wealth, work, and particularly women to prevent them from following Jesus as they should, we see a specific, more successful attack against the unmarried men and hence the unmarried women.
>How many married and especially unmarried men today are caught up in situations right now that are preventing them?
>In my appeal to the women of the congregation as we are being made to become fishers of men, don’t allow yourself to be used by the devil to smite the shepherds in your life.
>In my appeal to the men of the congregation as we are being made to become fishers of men, don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the snares and nets. Learn to please your heavenly Father by consecrating yourself to His will.
Wow!! Good evening!! I can’t believe I am up here, Glory to God!!! I’m leaving it in his hands, it’s all on him. He said I could do all things thru Christ that strengthens me, and I BELIEVE THAT!!!
Bow, your heads for prayer!
Okay, well when I first started praying and fasting for tonight. My spirit was flooded, with all this scripture, that I wanted to talk about.. I was all over the place.. So yesterday, I prayed, and I asked, what do you want me to say? Help me!!
So he gave me this scripture: Philippians 2:13 (NLT) For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
So another words, it is God that puts the desire in your heart, and then works in us to bring that desire to manifest and please him.
So if we have all accepted Christ, and God has started to put desires in our heart, and God is giving us the power to do his will. Why, aren’t all Christians doing more to please God?
Could it be that we ourselves, stop the power of God, and do not allow him to manifest the will of God in our lives? So what is holding us back from manifesting the desires God has put in our hearts, if he gives us the power, we should be able to do it. Could it possibly be us, that holds God back, because our fears, because we feel weak, we feel unworthy, we don’t have the time, I am not smart enough to be used by God???
See 4 years ago next month, I came thru the doors for the very first time. I was looking for a church, something was missing in my life, I needed something. So I prayed walked in thru the doors, I looked around, and said okay, I am in the wrong church.. I wanted to turn around and walk out, but two hostesses tackled me at the door, wanting me to sit me in the front row!
Going back I honestly thought God, had made a mistake, I was in the wrong church. You know the devil, will tell you things. Your in the wrong church, you will never be accepted, everybody is looking at you, you are different. Turn around and walk out and never come back.
But, had a plan, God was pulling me here, God was not wrong. I had passed this church up almost every day for 9 months. I got a flat tire almost in front of the church, and fixed my tire, in this tire shop. And, I never saw this church. I had missed all the signs God had given me. We often get so busy with our everyday lives, with bills, with TV, with children, with Football, that we don’t see the bigger picture. I had the desire to seek God, to be used by God, and God was working in me, but I was working against God. I had one life to live and I was living it, and I was missing everything God was telling me.
One day I winded up going to Walmart, and this guy came up to me, and gave me a CD, and invited me to his church. What if that man would have been afraid to give me the CD, what if he would have thought oh she doesn’t look like she needs it. What if he had not made time to go out and pass CDs on that Saturday, afternoon. Thank God for his obedience, and willingness to be used by God. That one CD, that 1 minute encounter, saved my mom, my sisters, my brother in laws, my son, his wife, my grandchildren. That man had no idea, the impact he made on my life, on my family.
A few weeks later after the encounter, I finally, walked in here and heard the best message ever preached by Pastor Stan..
I walked in this church that day defeated, depressed, destroyed, full of strongholds, I was tired of being tired, I was so bored with my life.. And, in Pastor’s message He spoke about
Jeremiah 29:11 Where God says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Go to Proverbs 3:5 God said: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
So that day, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and stayed an listened to the whole message.
See, I didn’t know God, I didn’t know better, I didn’t grow up in Church. I knew my grandmother lit candles and prayed. But I didn’t know God. I didn’t know His power, his love, his benefits, his plans for me, or If he could accept someone as broken as I was, I had no faith, and without faith how could I surrender to a God I didn’t know. How could I even know that I would be able to do anything God asked me to do.
God says it: In Hosea 4:6 He says: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. That is so true!!
God will give us a desire. But, God doesn’t ever force us to do anything; we have to make the choice. We accept Christ, as our savior, we agree then God puts the desires in our heart, and with his power we begin to change, and to believe, and to have faith.
I remember praying for faith.. I didn’t know, how to get faith..
Go to Romans 10:17 (KJV) Here the scripture tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The more you get to know the word of God, the more faith grows in you, the more you start to believe what God says. Those who never have time for the Word, who never read the Word of God, who never listen enough to it, to make a foundation in their lives. God will never force it on them. God wants them to seek him, to ask him, to surrender to him, to depend on him. But he will never force it.
Go to : Hebrews 13:21 It says: The God of peace will make me complete in every good work to do His will, working in me what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ.
See, all God really wants is us to believe his Word. God can do great things thru you, if you allow him to use you. It doesn’t matter to him what your level of education is, where you came from, what your background is, what you have done in the past, what your skills are, God can do unbelievable amazing things thru you if you would just say God, here I am, I surrender, I believe I can do anything you ask me to do.
We often think we need to be someone else, somewhere else, for God to use us. We think we need a certain talent, a certain skill, a certain work for God to be able to use us. We think it’s about the gifts in us and not the God in us. We forget that it’s only by his power that we can do anything.
God has a plan for us, and it’s his plan, not ours. So when God puts a desire in our heart, we need to be open, and surrender to GOD to allow his power to work in us, to manifest his will. God wants to use you. He has a plan for you, an individual plan for each and every one of us. And it involves using us today, exactly as we are, where we are, doing what we do. God knows where you are, and he will meet you right there. If we can’t serve God in this day, in this work, in our brokenness, right now, then when? Lots of times, we feel that we have to get better before God will use us.
I remember when I first started coming to Faith Family. I would get fed really good with the Word, and then leave all fired up for God, and do nothing with His word.. I would say Lord, I’m gonna use what I learned, I’m gonna do what you said to do.. But it would last for a day or two.. One day I was thinking I said I want to do more God, just like I had said every Sunday.. And God brought a scripture to my remembrance: Go to: Luke 6:46 (NLT) which says: So why do you keep calling me Lord, Lord! When you don’t do what I say???
See God is not looking for someone that is perfect; he is looking for someone that is willing. There is a lot of work to be done on this earth; there is many people that need to be saved. And all of you have the power of God. Everyone here has a testimony, a scripture, a victory God has brought you through, that you could go and share with someone and get someone saved.
How good would you feel if you were on the sinking Titanic, and there was another person that had life jackets, that could save you, your children, your spouse, your mother, from drowing in a watery grave. But they keep the salvation to themselves, you and all of your family drowns. When the whole time, they could have saved you, and your family.
That’s you, you are holding the life jackets.. God puts the desire in your heart, God’s not asking you to do it alone, he wants you to be willing to be used.. He will do it, we are just the vessels. It is not us that saves people, but the word of GOD. God says in Isaiah 51:16 (NLT) And I have put my words in your mouth, and hidden you safely in my hand.
See we think things to death, we allow the devil to steal the works from us. We fail to move forward with what God has for us because of fear. We fear rejection, we fear what people might think of us. But Jesus said: they rejected me before they rejected you.
So I hope you understand his message, that you don’t need to be perfect, you don’t need to know it all, you don’t need to have a degree, you don’t even need to know how God will use you. Sometimes if God tells you how he will use you, you talk yourself out of it. That’s why sometimes God, doesn’t tell you. You don’t need to wait, You just have to be willing and accepting to allow God to use you.
I leave you with this in 1 Peter 4:11 (NLT)
Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen
We have talked about our target as a congregation. Jesus said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. 3.5%, 17%, and 93%; that’s real. We noted that Jesus when He was picking His team that would change the world as they knew it, He chose 12 men.
Then we looked again at His Target, and also Her Target. We saw clearly that indeed Jesus targeted men while He ministered to women and children. And the results that followed. When finished with the woman leaving her waterpot and went and told the men specifically, come see a man. You could say that she was the first female evangelist!
Today I intend to show you from the word that the devil targets to attack men specifically while he hates women and children.
>You will have to watch being offended about the things you are hearing or that could be implied in this series, particularly if you are a woman. My intent is not to downplay or disregard women. If it were not for women we would not be here.
>This is a true statement. Smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. The devil knowing this then if he wants to take out a family, he doesn’t have to just do it one by one. Why?
>Peter then as the leader of the bunch speaks up. And sure enough the devil had plotted to take him out.
>Yes, satan hates women but his ultimate target is to take out the man.
>I believe that the devil knows this and therefore looks to bind the strong man in families.
>Peter is talking about following Jesus at this same point in time.
>Look how powerful this truth is. They were absolutely convinced that they would not, but when the shepherd was attacked they scattered.
>Of course we know that Peter and John followed Him further than the others. But notice this…
>These are the ones that followed Him all the way. They were there at the foot of the cross. This should be respected.
>This is also a picture of the church today. Four women to every one man. That’s 20%. Our goal is 33%-40%.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
>After His resurrection His first order of business was to regather the MEN.
>Why? So that could continue to carry out His work in the earth.
>This woman was consistent. Even though Jesus specifically targeted men while He ministered to women. She stayed constant. She was one of those who supported His ministry financially.
>This is one passage that proves in the New Testament that it is possible for God/Jesus to send a message to men through a woman.
>Because of her love she had a manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit when the others didn’t.
>From the beginning of time the devil has targeted men. Especially if there was some good in and on his life.
>From the children of Adam unto this day, he is looking to destroy men.
>The precious life could also refer to those that have an anointing upon their life.
>Specifically to destroy every son.
>The devil was behind this most evil act because he was looking to destroy the shepherd.
Last week I began an all too important series which truly embodies the vision and direction of Faith Family Church. It is so vitally important because to accomplish anything of any significance in this life as a group, it must be done in one accord. So we are taking time to go through the word of God to let God’s word form our thoughts.
We introduced this series with a message titled “Our Target Audience.” Realizing the effect that men have in their families and with reaching multitudes of men women and children with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our God-given strategy as a congregation is to target men. There is a statistic that says that 3.5% probability if a child becomes a Christian; 17% if a woman does; 93% probability that the rest of the family will follow if a man becomes a Christian.
>This is such a profound statement. And for the purpose of this series we are taking this verse literally. We will learn how to catch men.
>We have to imagine that He said the same thing to James and John.
>Make you become implies that there is a process. It’s not automatic. You don’t know how to do this and I am going to teach you how.
>The view here of the same account we could consider is in High Definition compared to the first two.
>Not a generic statement but specifically and based upon His own actions I believe He was telling them what you and I must embrace if we are going to make a significant impact in the world in which we live.
>Jesus reached out to men specifically. One brother told another brother. Another man told his friend. They brought them to Jesus. Jesus operated in the gifts, speaking good things into their lives.
>Have you ever thought about the fact all 12 of the disciples that He had chosen were men?
>So I made and make again this statement: Jesus targeted men while He ministered to women and children.
>Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus never asked one woman to follow Him?
>Peter, Andrew, (James, John), Philip, Matthew, (12 Disciples), One disciple with a dead relative, in general (man), sheep, and the rich young ruler. (6)
>Now we do know that there were women amongst His disciples that followed Him.
>These were all women whom He had ministered to. And because their lives were touched in some significant way or another they of their own volition followed Him and served in His ministry.
>To further illustrate my point let’s look at one situation in particular…
>He targeted men while He ministered to women. Men are His target.
>He ignored her! Why? He targeted men?
>Here a man comes to Him about His son and it doesn’t say that Jesus ignored him! Well, my point is that He targeted men while He ministered to women and children.
>Now this is Bible proof of the effect that men have on their families. Wonder if Jesus knew this!? God is the most efficient being there ever is.
>Here is another Bible example proving simply that Jesus targeted men while He ministered to women.
>Here it is again, “I will come and heal him!” Hol’ up Jesus! We know You are no respecter of persons. So what is going on here.
>Well one thing for sure that can be seen is that He targeted men while ministering to women and children.
>While targeting this man He ministers to Peter’s mother in law.
Matthew 15:23-28; 29-39
>Seems like the disciples had it in for women as well (just kidding).
>It even looks like He insults her but…
>He ends up honoring her above the whole group that He targeted.
>To further illustrate my point however, lets keep reading…
>(Your seed in the hands of Jesus will multiply and return to you in the same measure that you meet. Seven loaves became seven baskets.)
>vs. 38. You mean to tell me that they didn’t even take the time to count the women and children?! His Target.
>Notice several unique things about this passage…
>They left Jesus! John 12:26
>He targeted men while He ministered to women.
>She pointed out that normally they wouldn’t have any dealings and particularly as a woman. But that didn’t bother Jesus, although He targets men, He wants to minister unto women and children too.
>Too often I’ve read this and overlooked the importance of His question.
>When the gifts of the Spirit are in manifestation you may know in advance or you may not know. You may get it while the person is speaking.
>His question reveals His target. And it is a very respectful disposition. RESPECT is BIG with MEN.
>If Jesus had known that she didn’t have a husband you could almost say that He was being deceptive.
>vs. 27. They marveled that He talked with a woman! Marvel? Why would that be a shock. Because He targets men.
>vs. 28. Hear me in this. I especially need the women in the congregation to hear the heart of God in this series because this is not just about men learning to be fishers of other men. This is about all of us learning.
>She specifically said to the MEN… Come and see.
>vs. 39. The Word of the Woman. You can’t tell me that women don’t know how to catch a man. Many of that city believed.
>Notice her target… MEN. You win the man you win the family.
Breakthrough has come to faith family church, we have turned a corner, new people are being added to the family. We have had literally hundreds of visitors come through our doors in only 3.5 short years. Generally speaking when people are looking for a church they visit from place to place and from time to time. Also there are those that come to faith family on a regular basis. I really believe this is a message from the Lord particularly to those that are visitors. I believe I am to show you today from the word of God that every sheep needs a shepherd and how to discover who your pastor is.
>I believe as the Lord sits at the Throne in heaven looking upon the multitudes here in the earth that He is even now moved with the same compassion. >fainted and scattered as sheep having no shepherd… In various translations its says distressed, weary, helpless and scattered. >People are often in the condition that they are in simply because they don’t have a pastor.
>To God we are His sheep. Being such He has given to every one a pastor for a very specific purpose.
>Your pastor is a gift from God who is assigned to feed you with knowledge and understanding. >Matthew 4:4 - Jesus says that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. God uses your pastor to feed you His word.
>Again, your pastor is a gift given to you from God. >And there is a difference between having a teacher and a pastor.
1 Corinthians 4:15
>You can have a lot of ministers that you listen to and have benefited from, but in your life you’ll have very few pastors. >Who is the one who watches for your soul?
>Your pastor is tasked with a very specific assignment and will have to give account to God. >Going to church(es) or watching Christian television is no substitute for having someone in your life that you can obey and submit to. >Your pastor watches for your soul. That’s not something generic, this is very specific.
1 Peter 5:2-4
>Feed and Watch (over-sight) over it willingly, the NLT says. >Notice the term Chief Shepherd indicates that there are under shepherds…
1 Samuel 12:23
>This is my most important job as a pastor is to pray for the sheep.
>Because your pastor is assigned to watch and has to give an account, there will often be certain things that he will require in order for him to be a good steward. >At FFC we ask that you go thru our “membership” class to officially acknowledge that you believe that God has given me to be your pastor. >You knowing who’s your pastor is important, but also him knowing that he is your pastor is important as well.
>It is possible for God to give you a gift and you not recognize it.
>So it’s important then to learn how to discover – Who’s Your Pastor. We know that many that come and visit with us are visiting with friends and family. And many may be looking for a good church home. In either case let me encourage you in this…
1. Ask God for His direction. Proverbs 3:6 2. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Romans 8:16 3. Take your time. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 4. Walk by faith not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7. There are no perfect pastors. But the one God has chosen for you is perfect for you.
The Goal of this series is to show you from the word of God the basis from which we have received vision from the Lord to target men in this ministry. By doing so my hope is that we as a congregation will be on one accord. Being of the same mind and judgment and speaking the same things. The scripture says “because the people are one” there is nothing that they imagine to do that will be restrained from them. Title.
>At the beginning of this year we wrote the vision and made it plain so that we could run with it. We have been given two Spiritual Life Goals for 2014: 1. Become Fishers of Men & 2. Do the Work of An Evangelist.
>When Jesus made this statement I do not believe that it was just in the generic sense. Yes I believe that people in general are the harvest that God has been long-suffering to receive.
>But specifically and based upon His own actions I believe He was telling them what you and I must embrace if we are going to make a significant impact in the world in which we live.
>Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus never asked one woman to follow Him? Or that all 12 of the disciples that He had chosen were men?
>Let me read you an article that revolutionized my thinking about men’s ministry in churches.
>Andrew was Peter’s brother. It is a true statement… 93%.
>Jesus found Phillip. He was very intentional I believe because of the truth He knows. It’s not that He thought less of women; it was not a cultural issue.
>Jesus targeted men while He ministered to women.
>He never asked one woman to follow Him, but there were many men that He specifically asked to follow Him.
>Men are influencers (as are women). Phillip finds Nathaniel. Come and see.
>It is very interesting to note that the group of twelve could have been broken down into 3 sets of brothers and 6 individual men.
>Give me twelve men and we can change the world. Yeah but got 12 men and it doesn’t seem like you’re changing much. Give me 12 men that will follow me and we will change the world!
>The key is to FOLLOW, and it’s also the problem.
>God wants His house filled. Incidentally it appears that these three are men.
>It’s almost as if Jesus were asking Him “Are you sure?”
>Some would say that Jesus was being extremely harsh or mean in this situation. Jesus targeted men and asked them on occasions specifically to follow Him.
>Why? Because He knew if He could get twelve men to follow Him He could change the world.
1 Kings 19:19-21, NLT
>Again you might think these responses are harsh. But they are dealing with men. These are not boys.
>ILL: Follow me
>Think about what I have done to you. There is a calling on your life and the Lord has invited you to participate in His ministry in the earth. Think about what God is doing.
>Think about what you are giving up and for what?
>ILL: Follow me
>If you are going to follow, follow. Women included.
>Yeah but you are not Jesus. If you are waiting for Jesus to show up before you do something by then it will be too late for you to do anything significant for the kingdom. But if you follow me we can change the world.
>FFC has a world wide ministry. Our ministry to the world is to show them how to win men to the Kingdom. People will come from all over the world to find out what are we doing that so many thousands of men are apart of the congregation. We will have the highest percentage of men in attendance in our services in the whole country.
“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”
Tonight, my assignment is to encourage you from the word of God to DON’T STOP BELIEVING because He who promised is faithful.
The topic of tonight’s message is “Our God is a Promise Keeper”
When we think of a Promise Keeper, the words that may come to mind are: reliable, trustworthy, true, dependable, a person word who you can hold to a high regard.
Well, my dear sisters and brothers, that’s our God! He’s reliable, He’s trustworthy, He’s true, He’s dependable, and keeps His word!
When God, the Promise Keeper makes a promise, it could be likened unto the part of a marriage ceremony when vows are exchanged. Each person makes a promise, something like this, I promise to love, honor, respect, and cherish you all the days of my life. At that point, it’s only a promise, but as the couple travels through life together they see the promise that was made at the altar unfold.
This is what God does, He meets us at the altar, at our place of worship or place of sacrifice and says Son/ Daughter, I promise to _______ , you fill in the blank.
As we establish a deeper relationship with Him, we see theses promises come to pass along the way.
Before we explore Abraham’s and Sarah’s promise, let’s establish four infallible truths about Our Promise Keeper.
God does not lie. – Numbers 23:19
God is purposeful – He has an aim and target – Isaiah 55:10 -11 (NKJV)
God is faithful. – 1 Corinthians 1:9 (Amplified)
God is relational – He is interested in a heartfelt relationship with us.- John 3:16
Now that we’ve established these 4 truths: God does not lie, He’s purposeful, He faithful and He is relational; let’s explore the life of Abraham and Sarah and see the Promise Keeper at work.
Genesis Chapter 15:1-6 (NKJV)
a. How do you respond when God shares a promise with you?
i. When God shares a promise with us, the only appropriate response should be: I BELIEVE.
1. Jesus said in Mark 9:23 “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
2. We also see this in the life of Mary, The Mother of Our Lord.
a. Luke 1:34, 38, 45 (NKJV)
b. Your belief in God and what He said he will do is precious.
i. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
ii. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)
c. We must guard our promise, and not be moved by what we, see, feel or hear. The only thing that should move you is what the Lord says (His Instruction).
i. We must remember we have an enemy who walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
ii. His resume reads:
1. I Steal, I Kill, and I Destroy
iii. The devil does not want you to inherit your promise! He will send distractions, frustrations, and anxieties to get you off kilter or for my new Orleans folks “throwed off”
Genesis 16 :1 -6 (NKJV)
a. When we receive a promise from the Lord, we must wait for the next instruction from Him and not try and figure things out on our own. We must trust God and obey HIS instruction. What God has promised, He makes provision for and sustain.
i. Proverbs 3: 5-6
ii. Proverbs 10:22
Genesis 17: 5-6, 15-20 (NKJV)
a. Even when we miss it, we have such a great Father! God is faithful to His word. He comes back to remind of who we are and what HE promised. He does not speak to us according to what the current situation; rather He speaks to who we are. The core, the person who He was created from the foundation of the world.
a. God is so faithful and true to what He said He will do, He even meets us at our point of weakness, disappointment, and unbelief. (Sarah’s Story)
b. Because God is relational and understands us and He knows our thought afar off; He knows how to speak to the core of who we are, He responded to Sarah’s unbelief. (v. 15 YOU DID LAUGH!)
· I submit to you this marked Sarah. God spoke to matters of her heart. She laughed, and then lied about it.
· I can imagine Sarah was pessimistic because she had heard about the promise to Abraham for years and nothing happened. Every time she and Abraham would have an encounter, she would look for something to happen and after years of not seeing it, she grew faint and pessimistic.
· The Bible tells us don’t grow weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap the harvest if we faint not.
- We don’t see it in scripture, where she and her husband did something but we can infer SOMETHING HAPPENED!
· V. 7 “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Dear Sons and Daughters of God, We must stare the enemy of unbelief in the face and say: Is there anything too hard for God? Whatever God has promised you He will deliver in due season. He has not forgotten about you and what He has promised.
I encourage you all to hold fast to your profession of faith without wavering because He who promised is faithful. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:35 “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance (patience), so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”
What will it be said of your because you believed God?
I believe this is what mine’s will read:
By Faith, Auriel was Picked Up and thrown beyond the usual mark because she believed God.
· She was picked up and thrown beyond the usual mark in the things of God!
· She was picked up and thrown beyond the usual mark in her Ministry!
· She was picked up and thrown beyond the usual mark in her Love Walk!
· She was picked up and thrown beyond the usual mark in her Marriage/Family!
· She was picked up and thrown beyond the usual mark in her Career!