Monday, July 4, 2016

Standing On the Promises

2 Corinthians 1:20King James Version (KJV)

20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Standing on the Promises
Anyone who grew up in church probably recognizes that refrain...'standing on the promises of Christ my King'....even without knowing all the words, the tune is likely playing in your head now.
As children, we hear these songs and they are just that...songs.  Music we hear at church.  But, as time often does, given enough time, these are no longer songs.  They become reminders to our spirit of the character of God...of the truth of who God is.
Standing on the promises becomes less a refrain and more a way of life.  No, a way to life. God is faithful in His promises.  He speaks clearly and directly and there is no changing or shadow of turning in His character.  He speaks and 'it', whatever 'it' is...is.  It is as He speaks it.  
So it is with the love God has professed for each and every one of us.  'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son' (Jhn 3:16).  Love not only spoken, but demonstrated...paid for even with blood. 
Stand on the promises.  Stand on the ones spoken silently in your heart.  Stand on the ones pronounced to a group that pertain directly to you.  His yea is yea and His nay is nay.  There is no 'second guessing' with God.  His love, His justice, everything about Him is pure and worthy of trust.
Stand on the promises.

John 3:14-21King James Version (KJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.  

Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.comFellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trust

Trust


Mark 10:23-24

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

Trust is a funny thing. Sometimes we give it too quickly.  Sometimes we withhold it too sternly.  It is something we rely on tremendously, because it is strong and yet terribly fragile.  We trust banks with our money, we trust schools with our children....we put our trust in lots of things and people daily.  But when that trust is shattered, we may never go 'that way' again.
I've seen people swear off of foods and restaurants because of one bad experience.  They lost trust in that item or that place.  Relatives can spend years estranged because of a breech in trust.  On the same token, there are people that stay together not because of outside factors, but because they trust one another.
If you live long enough, one of the lessons learned is that trust should be earned and maintained.  Giving trust too freely can be catastrophic.  Losing someone's trust can too.  But, when the effort is made not only to gain but to keep trust, it is a valuable commodity that shouldn't be ignored, but instead should be celebrated and embraced.
Jesus used the opportunity of the rich young ruler to talk about misplaced trust.  The young man wanted to follow Jesus, but his trust was in his own accomplishments and strength and not in the Lord.  It prompted Jesus to share the scripture listed above.  The statement shocked the disciples.  What they heard was if you're rich, you can't get into Heaven.
All these years later, we still hear that.  The riches weren't the problem.  It was the trust.  When we trust solely in temporal things, our trust is built on the temporary.  Strength fails.  Money moves in and out.  Even the intellect that may have been applied to amass wealth can be fleeting.
But, when our trust is built on the incorruptible God, there is no failure available.  Nothing can end God.  He is worthy of our trust because He has earned it and He has maintained it.  He hasn't changed.  He gave first and continues to give.  He has done and continues to do the work to demonstrate that He is trustworthy.  
Beloved, trust in the Lord is never misplaced.   Not only can He not fail, but He will not fail you or I.  
Today, with all the turmoil, rumor, innuendo, and every other known distraction out there...today, put your trust in God through His Son the Lord, Jesus Christ.  He will not fail you.  He cares for you.  
The entire passage is below.  Even with this pronouncement of how difficult it is when one trusts in riches above God, Jesus reminded the disciples that anything is possible with God.  So, even with all that's happened, it is still possible to turn it all over and trust God.

Mark 10:1-27King James Version (KJV)

10 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.
11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.  

Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.comFellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Effectual Fervent Prayer

James 5:13-20 

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Effectual Fervent Prayer
This passage in James is so loaded with direction and instruction on prayer that it could be studied for months.  For today, however,  let's just focus on that often quoted part of verse 16 - The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Effectual - successful in producing a desired or intended result.  effective, constructive.
Fervent - having or siplaying a passionate intensity.  sincere, ardent, fervid, intense, heartfelt
Righteous - morally right or justifiable, virtuous.  good, upright, upstanding, decent.
Effectual prayer has a desired intent.  We cannot say we pray in an effectual manner without intent...what is the point of the prayer if it has no intent?  What is the desired outcome?  Do we come before God with a plan or direction, or are we just talking to be talking?
Fervent prayer is passionate.  We know passion when we hear it and when we see it.  We know when someone is walking through the motions of obligation and duty and when someone is passionate and intense about the things they're doing.  I dare say everyone would prefer a kiss with passion over a thoughtless peck.  They are both signs of affection; they are both kisses by definition.  But the message of the passionate one is much different than the peck.  Fervent prayer, like everything filled with passion and intensity, can be a little messy but is full of meaning.  Like the old song says, if your heart isn't in it....
The passage calls for the prayer of a righteous man.  This tells us that not just anyone can be before God.  And even though our righteousness is as filthy rags before God, we take on a whole new level when we are washed in the blood of Christ...when we have be clothed in His righteousness we are absolutely justified to be before God.  We meet the requirement for audience.  We fit the office and we can operate in the assignment outlined in the first two words described.
Continuing on in the phrase, prayer tells us why.  We are supposed to dialogue with the Father.  I love the word dialogue because the root words, di and logos, mean two words or two speak.  We talk, He listens.  He speaks, we listen.  It's simple. It's pure.  It's intimate.  It's intense, it's passionate.  It's right.  It's intentional.
So, if we want to 'availeth much', we should come before God wrapped in the righteousness of Christ, speak with intent, with a goal and a direction.  Make the presentation with passion before the Father, and more often than not, we should do it on behalf of someone else.  Then, listen.  And see what God will do.  it will be much.
Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.  

Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.com.  Fellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Birthright Matters

Acts 22:24-29

24 The chief captain commanded him to be brought into the castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging; that he might know wherefore they cried so against him.
25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
26 When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.
27 Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea.
28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
29 Then straightway they departed from him which should have examined him: and the chief captain also was afraid, after he knew that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.

Birthright Matters
In Acts 22, Paul finds himself at odds with the people.  He is beaten and dragged away for more beating.  But he challenges the guards with a simple question: "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?"
Every Roman citizen, born and naturalized, knew the rules.  Frankly, every non-citizen in Roman controlled areas knew the rules.  That was the way order was maintained...everyone knowing the rules, particularly the rules concerning the treatment of Roman citizens, helped to keep the order and established a hierarchy.  It was a big deal to become a Roman citizen.  It was a bigger deal to be born one.
We see this issue of birthright throughout the Old Testament for sure, but surprisingly, it is even a part of our modern conversation.  We challenge the national identity of those who may be born of US parents on foreign soil, or those of foreign born parents who are born on US soil.  US citizenship is a coveted status, whether one acquires it through naturalization or is born into it. Birthright, even today, matters tremendously.
I offer all this as a reminder of our birthright in Christ.  When we are born again, we are endowed with the citizenship rights of the Kingdom of God.  Our parenthood changes so our birthrights change along with it.  We become a child of God, and an heir of Christ.  If birthright is laid out in full complexity in the Old Testament, then we should look at the New Testament as fully explaining our own birthright within the body of Christ.
As with all great gifts, there are responsibilities in this new identity.  There are tremendous rewards and amazing expectations.  Child of God, know your birthright.  That way, when you're confronted with an enemy, you can say with assurance "Is is lawful for you to lay hands on a citizen of the Kingdom of God?"  Your enemy knows that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.  Your enemy knows that you are more than a conqueror.  Your enemy knows that the gates of Hell itself will not prevail against you...not because of you or I but because of our birthright in the Kingdom.
Get to know your birthright.  And if you're in Atlanta, Fellowship is a good place to start.

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.  

Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.comFellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What Will You Leave in the Fire?

What Will You Leave in the Fire?


Daniel 3:25King James Version (KJV)

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

This passage out of Daniel is very familiar to those who study the Word.  The three captives of Israel who refused to worship the idol that King Nebuchanezzar made of himself, are faced with capital punishment for their convictions.  They accept with grace and praise and find themselves tossed into a fire expecting death.  Instead, they find life and testimony.
When their sentence was carried out, they were bound, fully clothed.  They were not able to defend themselves in any way other than their faith.  But, the king himself had to testify that when they were in the midst of the fire, they were free.  And, when they came out, not only were they free, but they didn't even have the smell of the fire on them.
What stands out to me today, on this penultimate day of 2015 isn't their escape, but what they left behind. Trials can seem unforgiving and sometimes it's hard to remember that this too shall pass. Sometimes the trial that was designed to destroy us was just the tool to remove our bindings and set us free to worship.
But, when you're a child of the Most High King...when you've been born again, even bad things can be liberating.  When we accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, we were given a promise that He would never leave us or forsake us and that the Father would not leave us comfortless.  We can face the fires, the lions, the storms and everything else life throws at us with these guarantees.  Further, we can expect not only the comfort and company of God Himself, but we can also expect that no matter the situation, it will be to our good (Romans 8:28).  
If 2015 has been a trial, rejoice.  Even what was lost is for your good.  If it was stolen, it will be replaced, many fold.  That's a promise from the Father.  But if it was taken, don't go back looking for it.  It may have been what was holding you back from entering into true worship.
We are about to enter a new year, but today is the new day we've all been given.  Make the most of who you are and who you can be in Christ today.  If you haven't accepted Him, stop fighting and yield.  God loves you too much to give up, so you're going to keep meeting Him, no matter how hard you try to avoid Him.  
If you've accepted Christ but haven't fully given yourself over, stop fighting and yield.  There is so much more available in being sold out in Christ than what you find sitting on the fence being lukewarm.
If you've accepted Christ, are walking in obedience and faith, but still feel like there's something in the way, it's you.  Stop fighting and yield.  God is looking for those who will worship in spirit and in truth...not just in words and deeds.  Quit trying to hold on to the very things that are keeping your worship tied up.  Trust God enough to burn away what's unnecessary so you can dance with Him in the midst of the fire.

Philippians 4:4-13King James Version (KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

New Year's Eve service at Fellowship will be at 8:00 PM on Thursday with breakfast following.  Come join us as we celebrate the goodness of God and thank Him for what He consumed in the fire and for how He polished us up for another year.
God's choicest blessings on you and your family in this new year.  

Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.youarechosen.net) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages.  

Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send an email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.comFellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.