What road are you on? Have you ever been driving somewhere and inadvertently passed your turn or exit and realized many miles later you were heading in the wrong direction? What was it that got your attention that you were heading the wrong way? Was it the change in scenery? Or the signs on the road? The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Did you catch that? The road to life is a narrow road that is difficult to find and if you're not careful you can begin down that road going in the right direction and after a few dips, turns and miles...find yourself no longer on it because you took a wrong turn or missed your signs, etc. The we find ourselves lost and at a dead end or heading nowhere fast. In the 24th chapter of Matthew Jesus says:
"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. " How do we stay on the straight and narrow road? We must stay in continual communion with our Heavenly Navigator (Jesus Christ) to guide us each step of the way. This process of a believer traveling down the straight and narrow road of life is like a process of sanctification that leads to eternal life. Think about it... Life's dips, turns, scenery and "journey" itself is all part of God's development plan for us. Unfortunately , many of us get on the right road when we get saved, then we get lured away and off that road by the temptations and trials of life. We seize following and hearing Christ and instead wander off and take the exit of: "self interest," "immorality," and rebellion" etc. and we wind up horribly lost alone and shackled in shame. Friends the only thing worse than finding yourself on the wrong road is continuing down that road denying all the signs, scenery and indicators and instead lying to yourself that its okay and that somehow you can still find the way on a different road. The good news is if you realize tonight that you are lost, you will be found tonight if you call on Jesus! Thanks for letting me share and God bless you. Randy Young
2 Corinthians 9:6-13 God loves a cheerful giver! He loves to multiply the gift and bring back a harvest to the giver that will not only be sufficient to meet your needs- but ABUNDANT! Let's look at that word.... a·bun·dant (-bndnt)
1. Occurring in or marked by abundance; plentiful.
2. Abounding with; rich: a region abundant in wildlife.
Why does God return such a blessing to the giver? So the giver can give more to those in need! Those who receive the blessing glorify God because we bring the "confession of the Gospel and a "liberal contribution" which means we really are following Christ's example of meeting the basic needs of the person in real time and feeding the spiritual needs as well.. (they are not mutually exclusive). Suppose you meet a mother who is struggling, can't provide clothes for her child, is 3 months behind her rent and you see her desperation and distress and say "I will pray for you." That is nice... Or you say "Sister, I have a check for 3 months rent and clothes for your children and I would like to pray with you and share how Jesus has blessed me..." That my friends is faith in action! It's saying and doing! Now of course not everyone has the ability to give like that and God knows that. But we can all do something! I am convinced this is why God keeps blessing me financially. Why? Because he pours out his blessing to others through me. As we listen he will lead us to opportunities to bless! We are the ones who are blessed the most when we give! Thanks for letting me share. Randy Young
What thought rises up to betray you? Like a Spiritual TSA agent- we must stand guard protecting the gateway of our mind and be on the watch. For every sin first began with a "harmless" thought. When a thought has time to breed , it manifests its ugly head with words, then deeds and before long it has built up fortification (habits) and ultimately leads to our isolation and even desolation. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10 that though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh! You see, we really need to better understand who our real enemy is! Once we know that it isn't the mean person at the office, or an ex- friend, etc. Then and only then will we have the winning strategy to overcome and walk victoriously! Why? Because we will know how to fight back and resist. In verse 4 of chapter 10 Paul says:" for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely POWERFUL for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds bad habits and patterns) What and who poses our greatest threat as believers in Christ? Well let's see what Paul says: Verse 5: " we are destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, we are taking EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The thoughts are spiritual darts aimed right at our vulnerabilities.. We need to be vigilant in recognizing them and inspecting where they came from before letting them destroy us!
Let's take a moment to read Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Thanks for letting me share. God bless you. Randy Young
Powerless or powerful? I want to encourage you tonight that our Heavenly Father did all the work to empower you and me to live a life of victory! What is victory? It is spiritual harmony and oneness with our creator through an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The affect of such a divine relationship is a miraculous transformation...out of bondage and slavery to sin... to a renewed life on a straight and narrow road that ultimately leads to a place of total regeneration and complete sanctification ( in Heaven) Friends, right now with the help of the Holy Spirit as our divine Counselor we are empowered to live a life of victory over the sins that so easily entangle us. We don't need to be shackled and in the darkness of addiction, immorality, and compromise. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can walk upright with total peace in the midst of chaos, joy in the midst of sorrow, clarity in the midst of confusion, have love for the unlovely, supernatural faith in the face of defeat! Yes we may lose a battle but we know who wins the war! Yet, many of us settle for spiritual mediocrity, we are peasants in the faith! We scrape by all battered, bruised, and tattered and torn having one foot in the world and one in the the kingdom. Some of us look like we are on the losing team! Why? We are divided- there's an internal fight for the wheel of our life! One day you are heading in the right direction because you gave God control, then you took the wheel back and decided to take a detour and bam! You ended back in the desert! I lived many years like this before I finally decided enough was enough! Friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, if this sounds familiar tonight, then make Jesus Christ The Lord of your life! That means you say unequivocally "Jesus you are my all in all! " Jesus not my will but yours be done! Jesus take my life, it's yours to use! Jesus I surrender all to you... No turning back! You see, I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I got saved at age 8, however, it took 30 years later before I made him The Lord of my life! Once I made that decision He has faithfully led me out of shackles of shame and given me victory day by day! I boast in what Jesus has done for me! Will you let him have access to every area of your life? Friends he will bring healing, deliverance and freedom to you no matter where you are tonight. 2 Corinthians 6:16 ...for we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says The Lord. And do not touch what is unclean. And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you. Thanks for letting me share. God bless you! Randy Young
Why is confession good for the soul? It clears the air, squares up the ledger, almost like an internal audit... where we take inventory and stock of our shortcomings and see the great need to be replenished, restored and reconciled. It feels so good once we unload the heavy burden that plagues our conscience. In our relationship with our Heavenly Father there is no doubt that through his divine mercy He made propitiation for our sin stained condition, through his sacrificial lamb; ie: his only begotten son. Jesus Christ provided the way for us to be reconciled to Him for all eternity, if we receive the Gift by believing. This prayer of confession is often referred to as the Sinners Prayer, when we confess our sins and ask God to forgive us and ask Jesus to come into our heart to be our lord and savior and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised him from the dead, etc. we are then saved! it's an amazing transformative prayer that through faith changes us immediately, we don't deserve it, we can't earn it, and it's a fact that God did all the heavy lifting for us! We just need to see our desperate need, confess our sins and accept the Gift. Now does that mean since that work has been done that there is no further need to confess as believers in Christ?There are some televangelists who are teaching that we don't need to confess anything once we are saved. That we are made " righteous " forever once we believe in Jesus and It's all under the blood already so there is no reason to be confessing to God our sins. I actually heard that while visiting a church last weekend. I admit I like the sound of that...and yet it didn't sit well in my soul. I decided to pray and thought I wonder what Jesus thinks.....in Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus teaches us the model of how to pray "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, (sins) as we forgive our debtors.( those who have sinned against us) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Did you catch that? Jesus told us to confess our sins to the Father! Why do we need to confess? It clears the air, introspection, take inventory of our shortcomings and see the great need to be replenished, restored and reconciled. Friends I believe the amazing grace is activated at the bent knee of a repenting sinner who has a broken and contrite heart. That brokenness shouldn't stop as a believer who remains a sinner, should it? Let's look at Luke 18:9-14 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. I see this tax collector as a man who understood his condition, that he was desperate for God. He knew how bad he was and what he deserved. There are some who have a difficulty reconciling the old and new testament covenants, yet Jesus says he didn't come to abolish the old but to fulfill it! Consider this, ever since God first created man he has bestowed on him the most precious gift ...free will. Yes, Free will! What is it? That gift is yours and mine to either accept or reject fellowship with Him by accepting or rejecting Jesus Christ. I do believe that gift of free will affords any of us the right to walk away from the gift by turning away and wondering off. May we never become apathetic or passive luke warm pharisees when dealing with our sinful state. Rather be broken and contrite before our father.
2 Timothy 4:3. Thanks for letting me share. God bless you! Randy Young
Are you still in love? I mean still In "love"with Jesus? Oh that we might fall head over heels for Jesus! I mean have that passion, that hunger for His word, boldness to obey, to be smitten and in love again! Perhaps you've been fighting the good fight as a believer of Christ for many years?Maybe you even serve on a church board or work in the ministry full time... ? Forgive me for asking the obvious...are you in "love" with Jesus? Remember how you were when you first accepted Jesus? What happened? Friends, may we never let the love grow cold! In Rev Chapter 2 Jesus is speaking to the church at Ephesus. This is an amazing church that was doing a lot right! Jesus just finishes telling them how he sees their hard work, their deeds, and perseverance... How he is glad that they endured the difficult trials... that they stand up for him and don't listen to false profits, etc. then He says this... "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Jesus says to you and me tonight, "where is our love? Join me in praying this prayer if you are ready to get back to your first love. Dear Jesus please rekindle the fire, the passion in my heart for you and help me love you more, give me a hunger for your holy Word, forgive me for falling away and letting my love for you grow cold. I love you, I praise you and I need you Jesus! Amen! Thanks for letting me share a message we have all heard before but may need gently reminded of, I know I did. God bless you, Randy Young
God accused His people of committing two great evils... - Jer 2:12-13 Forsaking their God, the fountain of living waters and hewing for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water! A broken cistern in this context is our life out of harmony with God's will. We live a life making choices that we know are wrong and sinful that lead us to pain and eventual torment and despair. Israel foolishly left God for false Gods and today many of us who know the truth of God's Word have rejected it and have taken up our own false gods like materialism, worldliness and other forms of immorality. We want to do better...yet we seem to be stuck in a pattern. What do we need? The healing springs of His holy Living Water to wash us, cleanse us and provide spiritual hydration, yet when we try to draw it out when we most need it...we are empty, parched, and dehydrated, because we are broken cisterns who cant hold the Living Water. I had for many years asked God to bless me and then went my own way, ignoring his Word, disobeying him and living a life out of harmony with him. It was really the equivalent of going to the well and trying to draw water from a bucket with a hole in it! It wasn't until I got serious to make Jesus not only my Savior but make him the Lord of my life that hd then brought me into harmony with His will and delivered me! May the unfortunate example of Judah serve as a warning as to where we can get our "water", and may we ever be open to the invitation extended at the end of the book of Revelation:
"And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears
say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let
him take the water of life freely." (Re 22:17) Tonight, maybe you feel empty inside, dry and parched? Jesus is ready to meet you right where you are and provide you with Living Water! This will quench the thirst once and for all that you and I so desperately need. John 4:14. Thanks for letting me share. Randy Young.