Month: September 2014
The Teen Ministry of First Met has taken the challenge to support hungry families in Haiti through the Peanut Butter for Haiti campaign. Led by Missionaries Lynette & son Nehemiah Francois, the Teen Ministry will collect donations of $4 to purchase jars of peanut butter that will be distributed feed the hungry and show the love of Christ.
The ministry was started by the Lifeline Christian Mission’s 12 years ago, yielding this 12 effort to provide jars of Peanut Butter one of significance. Haitian families have grown to expect and have benefited from the love of Believers in the United States. Over the years, the ministry has “collected and donated over 350,000 jars of peanut butter and countless other items needed in Lifeline’s nutrition clinic in Haiti.” (Lifeline)
Peanut Butter was chosen to back the nutritional efforts of the mission team. Peanut Butter is 1. High in Protein 2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals (particularly vitamins B & E) & 3. High in Calories.
Here are some definitions:
“Preaching is God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit communicating His truth in our world to people in the pews through human instruments in order to change their thinking, bridle their emotions and alter their wills for the purpose of converting sinners, sanctifying saints and preparing people for heaven.” Dennis Prutow
“Preaching is spoken communication with the view to persuade others to Christ.” Pastor A. Louis Patterson
“Preaching is communication of truth about God and the Christ-like way of life under the unction of the Holy Spirit who works with and through the preacher on the heart of the listener.”
“Preaching is the revelation of God.”
“Preaching is opening up the inspired text with such faithfulness and sensitivity that God’s voice is heard and His people obey Him.” John Stott
The word for preach in the New Testament means simply: to herald, or proclaim.
Know this: Jesus was a preacher!
“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” Luke 4:42-44 (NIV2011)
God chose preaching to save the lost.
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. “ 1 Corinthians 1:21 (NKJV)
Faith comes by preaching!
“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NLT)
What is God’s reason for preaching? God’s desire for man is to enter His rest. The writer of Hebrews is reminding his readers of how God wanted this for His people in the Old Testament but they did not enter into it because of their unbelief.
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.” Hebrews 4:1 (NASB)
God’s rest has several meanings: 1) the Sabbath; to cease or desist from exertion; 2) Canaan/the Promised Land which was known as “the resting place.” Deuteronomy 12:9; 3) peace with God through relationship with Christ through faith; and, 4) Eternal life with Christ.
The opposite of rest is restlessness which is the state of an uneasy mind or heart, being agitated, the inability to remain at rest, lack of sleep, unable to relax, or be still, lack of quiet… Synonyms for restless are: edgy, anxious, disturbed, nervous, worry confusion, unsettled and troubled. Can you identify with this state?
When you look at employment, bills, relationships, health, marriage, raising children, taking care of elderly parents, housing, transportation, mental health, uncertainty, problems, trials etc., you know something about being restless.
God has designed it so that the way to a restful life is through preaching. The promise is still open. The problem is one can fail to enter into rest
“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” Hebrews 4:2 (NASB)
The preaching of the Word will be of no benefit if there it is not united by faith when listened to. Just coming to church will not get you into this rest. It’s a start. Just listening to a sermon will not do it. The message has to be listened to, received, and applied (obeyed) in one’s life.
“For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.” Hebrews 4:3-7 (NASB)
One has to perceive that there is a word that God wants you to hear that will bring profit to everyday living. The writer says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Your “today” is every Sunday and/or every time there is a worship service that occurs. You should not and cannot allow your heart to be closed to the message that comes through preaching.
The question to ask yourself is: How much am I forfeiting by my lack of appreciation for preaching or my unbelief?
Jesus offered rest in Matthew 11:28-29:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
There is the rest of:
- Salvation from sin
- Deliverance from some bondage, habit, hang-ups
- Conscience of the guilt of sin
- Sanctification- becoming more like Christ
- Trusting in God
- Renewal of our bodies, souls and spirits
- Healing from sickness and disease
- Encouragement when we are discouraged
- Victory of life’s situations It is incisive and penetrating. It is deep cutting. One commentator put it this way: “It goes through to the soul and spirit of man. It separates a proud soul from a humble spirit. It separates a sinful soul from a righteous spirit. It separates a rebellious soul from an obedient spirit. It separates an unbelieving soul from a believing spirit.”The Life With God Bible by Renovare puts it this way: “It discerns the intentions of the heart, which though hidden from human sight are naked and exposed before God. The Word clarifies our minds incites our hearts and quickens our will.”
Almost 50% of church goers in America attend one Sunday out of the month so there are possible three Sundays where a person or family receive not message from the Lord for their lives. Therefore almost 50% miss God’s message that will rest to their lives three Sundays a month. In addition, think of the percentage that comes more than once a month who don’t mix faith with the word they hear. This month I exhort you to resolve that you’ll come every Sunday (My series: “Let’s Stay Together”) and Wednesdays the 10th, 17th and 24th at 7:30 pm for our WORD ENCOUNTER (Pastor Sonjia Dickerson, Pastor Denny Davis and Pastor Walter August). The preaching will transform your lives!You need preaching to hear a word that you need to obey to enter rest for your now and tomorrow and you need preaching to convict you of a word that you have not obeyed that is keeping you from your rest now and tomorrow!