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Melchizedek

Hello Pastor John.

I don’t recall ever hearing it discussed but did Melchizedek only have man’s kind of righteousness? Considering he was the “king of righteousness” and the fact that Abraham paid tithes to him and not much else is known about him. I assume he didn’t have God’s righteousness but I’ve never heard it said, or at least I don’t remember hearing about him specifically.

Robert A. Payne, L. G.

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Hi, Bob.

Thanks for the question.

It was impossible for anyone to possess God’s kind of righteousness before God’s extraordinary Son came and paid the price for it. “King of Righteousness” is the meaning of the name “Melchizedek”; the true King of Righteousness is the Son of God, of whom righteous Melchizedek was only a figure, like Abraham, David, and many others.

Pastor John

Never Understood Before

Hi Pastor John, 

I really enjoyed the meeting this morning and the lesson on Mathew.  In my very limited past with Bible teachings or in any Christian Church service it was never truly explained who Satan is.  I never previously understood what Satan’s role was as it related to the Kingdom of God.  I truly feel blessed by Jesus to have my eyes opened to receiving the Truth.  I also feel blessed and thankful for you as you guide me through these lessons.  As I continue to grow in the Holy Spirit, your words to stay happy and full give me loving comfort and purpose. As Lee Ann acknowledged with her own testimony this week, even when the world around us gets heavy. 

God is good! 

Kevin G

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Hi Kevin!

Knowing the Son is the key, and knowing that he was hidden before the Spirit came.  That keeps us humble while it keeps us full of joy.Thanks for writing.  Good to hear from you.

Pastor John

Inexpressible Gift

2Corinthians 9:

  1. But thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!

Pastor John, 

Is Paul saying inexpressible gift as in speaking in heavenly tongues or that it is such a gift it is beyond being able to express that depth of gratitude? 

Reminded me of my testimony of taking in the words “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

Beth Durham

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Hi Beth.

Paul is saying that the gift of God is so wonderful that its glory cannot adequately be expressed.

Thanks for the question.  God bless.

Pastor John

Stop Thinking!

Morning!

Last night I woke up about 2:30 and had trouble going back to sleep, so I lay there pondering over different things and situations. It was around 4:15 or so before I fell back asleep. When I fell asleep, I dreamed I was in this bright room and there was a man standing there with me. As I looked over at him, he pointed to the book that was standing up on the floor open. Across the pages was written: “Stop thinking! obey God!”

I love that. It reminded me of what we read the other day in 1Samuel where it said, “and [Saul] started thinking” and we all said “uh oh”. We read the results of that thinking. If you think too much, you will miss God.

So good! Thought I would pass that on. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.

Amy B.

Loving Your Testimony

Pastor John,

I was thinking this morning, as I listened to your reading from 1Samuel.  You said something like “If Saul could have just been happy with David killing ten of thousands and him killing thousands, then David would have been his faithful servant all the through the years.”

I had to stop and think about that.  I thought, “That is like someone falling out of love with his own testimony.”  God had done both things; he allowed Saul to kill thousands and David ten thousands.  It didn’t change what God had done in making Saul king.  Through envy of David, Saul just fell out of love with what God had done for him. That’s what your testimony is: what God has done for you!

I want to stay in love with what Jesus has done for me AND others!!

Jammie

Hi Pastor John, 

I just heard one of your testimonies and it was so good to me.

The testimony is the one about flipping a large rock over in the yard and how the ants and other bugs under the rock became frenzied.  The ants carried the undeveloped ants underground and began attacking some of the other bugs that had only seconds earlier been beside them peacefully.  You asked who we would turn on and attack if God disturbed our world?  You said God would be standing over and watching it all.

That hit my heart.  I thought about some of the things going on in the world right now and measured how I feel now versus how I felt before the rock was flipped.  Those spirits and problems were there before, and I felt more compassion for those under it.  I realized today that because my personal safety and comforts feel threatened, I feel differently.  It hasn’t changed; every wrong thought and idea out there still needs Jesus to be made right.  I am thankful for your testimony.  I can just picture God watching to see how I will react to this world when he turns the rock over.  It is easy to feel the tug, here and there.  I am grateful to know Jesus is the answer, and he flipped the rock! 

Beth D.

Matthew 3:3 “His Paths”

Hi John,

I went walking tonight after the Matthew reading, and I was recounting the time when Jesus reached down from heaven and convicted my heart of sin on that Sunday morning, April 15, 2007.  As I was trying to think of the details of what I did in the days after that touch from Jesus, I realized I couldn’t remember much of what happened in those days.  “But I do remember”, I was saying to myself as I walked, that “I began to get my life straight”, “I began the process of repenting”, “I began to have a desire to learn of Jesus”, “I began to make His paths straight”.

I stopped to consider what I had just said.  “I began to make His paths straight.  Hey, that’s what we read tonight.  But His paths?  Not mine?”  I know that this phrase has to do with repenting and seeking God, but what exactly does it mean to make His paths straight? Is it that by seeking God early and doing works of repentance, we are making it easier for Jesus to get to us? Isaiah 40:3 says it this way: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Thanks.  And thank you for tonight!

Vince

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Hi Vince.

Yes, when we repent of our sins, we are preparing a path for Jesus to walk on, into our hearts.  Repentance gets rid of the things that would prevent him from coming to us, and then we invite him in.  I am thankful for the grace to do that.

Pastor John

 

It Really Has Happened to Us

I woke up thanking Jesus for even being a thought in his mind!  That’s a lot to take in!  That the Creator of this universe thought about us!!

I love these stories we read last night (about our big brother, Jesus), and this morning about Samuel, because it’s like you said, “those stories really happened”.  We know they really happened because we all have our own stories of God doing similar things in our lives.  

When we read this morning about Jehovah speaking to young Samuel during the night while he was lying on his bed, I thought about the precious times Jesus has whispered to me while I was lying on my bed.  I had no problem believing that Jehovah had spoken to young Samuel because He has spoken to me! Praise God!!  

Then, I started thinking about our young people, and started praying that they will hear the voice of God when they are lying on their beds at night.  God is still speaking!  He’s still healing!  He’s still alive and well!  Oh Jesus!  Help us to tune into your voice today.  So, so good!

Lee Ann

Pastor John, 

I wanted to let you hear my testimony about how Jesus has changed me.  I have always been a pleaser. Unfortunately I directed my desire to please to the wrong people.  That is until Jesus filled me with the holy Ghost!

I’ve also been a person to obey the rules. Except the ones I didn’t want to obey wink.  Now, with guidance by my wonderful pastor and even more importantly the holy Ghost inside of me, I know to obey Him.

That interview situation we spoke about a couple weeks ago was much more a testimony of how He’s changed me than it was an exploration of a new job.  All along the way it was about obeying him.  I felt a calling to it and perhaps even an opportunity for persecution.  And after we spoke about it, and I searched my heart and prayed on it, it came to me that being a part of the group I would have to be in would not make me happy so when I had my interview I directly asked some questions regarding what the culture of the group was like.  It became clear that anyone with an opinion other than the ones the group had would not be accepted.  And the spirit in me knew the right way was not the way of this group and I wanted no part of that.  I knew that if they wanted me to continue in the process, I was going to say no. Turns out I didn’t have to worry, and they didn’t want to continue the interview process with me.  Thank you Jesus!

The most important part of all of this experience was I put myself in neutral, let Jesus take control, humbled myself to his will, and continually prayed to know what his will was for me.  It was so refreshing not to be in my own head about any of this.  It truly was a godsend and relief to simply know what he wanted me to do and to obey.

Thank you for being my wonderful, guiding pastor.  My heart overflows with gratefulness for you, for Brad, for my family in Christ, and most of all for Jesus doing all of this me.  Now I get to rightly please and obey!

Allison

The Lord Saved My Eyesight

Pastor John,

I want to testify to something that God did for me two years ago, and what He then showed me about it.

I had been restoring an old WWII rifle for some time, bringing it back to a working condition with replacement parts that I could find.  I finally got it to a point where it was ready to test. 

It was a Monday I recall and I had taken the rifle to an appropriate location to test it with the expectation of firing the rifle one time (one time only) just to see if it now fired.  As I set up and was about to pull the trigger, the urgency came over me to go get my safety glasses out of the car, about a minute’s walk away.  I thought to myself “I am only going to fire it one time. Done and gone – no need to get my glasses.”  By the time I had fully formed that thought to rebel against the feeling to get my glasses, by the time I had processed it, I found that my feet were already making the journey toward the car.  So I relented and just went.  I can still recall the moment that I realized my feet were moving at the same time my mind was telling me “no.”

I got the glasses and fired that rifle, one time.  The headspace inside the receiver of the rifle was incorrect by a few hundredths of an inch due to using parts from donor rifles, and the shell casing blew up in my face.  But I had my glasses on. Small fragments embedded in my face and burned my skin, but my eyes were saved because of the glasses on my face.  Fragments from the shell had melted into the plastic lenses of the glasses.  I left there so thankful for that “unction” to go get those glasses. It was the Lord.

During the days that followed, the Lord kept speaking to my heart, revealing to me what had happened.  It was much more than God just saving my eyes by pressing on my heart to go get those safety glasses.  The Lord reminded me of how I had resisted, yet my feet still carried me up the hill to my car.  He reminded me how my mind had said “no,” yet my body obeyed His instruction.

The Lord showed me what really happened.

The weekend prior to the incident on Monday, we had all gotten together for two prayer meetings, and we had experiences with God.  God drew near to us those two days.  We had shouted and sang and prayed in the Spirit and yielded our bodies to the Lord.  And that changed me.  That is what the Lord showed me. Those experiences with God that weekend recreated me into a human being that obeyed when God spoke on Monday, even when my mind was unfruitful.  My mind rejected God’s instruction to my heart to go get those glasses, but my body yielded to the Master.  That recreating of me that God did for me over the weekend saved my eyesight that Monday afternoon.  He turned me into a person that obeyed instead of one that resisted.  That was His work!

That recreating is an ongoing process that keeps happening if we keep yielding.  I yielded to the Lord enough that weekend that I was a subdued person come Monday, enough that I moved when He said “move,” even when my mind was arguing to the contrary.  The subduing of my flesh so that I would move, even when I didn’t understand was contained in those experiences with Jesus the weekend before.  If I hadn’t yielded then, my life would have been changed in a terrible way that Monday, I believe.

I remember that day still.  I remember actually looking down at my feet climbing the hill and realizing that I was already moving and had not been aware of it. That is the creation of God.

Pastor John, you have often told us that we, the body of Christ, can be ignorant of which way to go in life and unaware of what to do in some situations, but we will still make the right choice and end up in the right place.  That is because what God creates yields to God even when our mind is doing something else.

I think the lesson for me is to yield to being recreated.  That is what God is doing every time He shows up!

Jerry

Only Up with God!

Pastor John,

I loved what you said this morning about only going up, with God.  I have spent the morning examining every part of my life since Jesus rescued me.  Every part of my life has only gone up, with God!  I even looked at what some might call out and question, like my relationship with my children….well Praise God, their mama has the holy Ghost!  Jesus lit a path for me right to him, if they ever will cry out for him.  Praise God!  I am happy and full, whether they do or if they don’t!  How good is Jesus to do that!

For the first time in my entire adult life, there is not a delinquent bill out there, waiting for me to do the right thing. 

Some may say we don’t own a home…  We have a sweet home full of peace, laughter, and love.  When Jesus came and got me, it was off someone’s couch!  I wake up happy and ready to work in the mornings.  I used to weep, unable to face the sun coming up, let alone be able to function and work!  My thoughts that used to be so dark are now full of Jesus, and how I can make him happy today.

Look how different my life is since Jesus came!  Couldn’t keep it to myself; it’s too good!  He is too good!

Beth