Good Morning Beloved!
It is so heart warming to have all of here with us today!
Thank you all for joining us today..
God is Great, am I right?
Let us pray...
You have given us life
As Your children on the earth
we inhale your grace
We use our breath
to rejoice in life abundant
and complain in our trials
we lift up our voices in praise
and in song
according to the mission for which You have called us
all to spread Your Word
Your love to the world
Lord, empower our voices for Your mission
open the ears of the hearers
that we each may work to build Your church
reach the lost
All for Your glory and increase
In Jesus' name
Today's message I've entitled: Paper Preaching
"And He said to them, "Go unto all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who had believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."
When you look at a blank piece of paper, what do you see?
Some may see a To Do List while others may see a home work assignment or best selling novel
You see, there is an unlimited potential in a blank piece of paper. When I look at a blank page I see an opportunity
An opportunity to share God's Word
a message to teach someone needing encouragement, to inspire, or to give hope to go on.
I see a new opportunity to share the message of the Gospel
with someone who has never heard about the gifts of salvation, forgiveness, mercy and grace.
I see a real opportunity for God to use me
to make a real difference in the life of the hearers.
But I also see a difficult challenge.
Because so many churches today have diluted and perverted the Word of God, with selective preaching, prosperity preaching and failing to teach the whole message of the Gospel.
While painting a picture of the wonderful promises and blessings of abundance finances, health and healing
And all of those things are true!
So I also see the challenges of presenting the realization
that there is more to God's Word than just love and acceptance,
He also requires our obedience to uphold His commandments,
He requires truthfulness and integrity,
Of loving the sometimes unlovable,
forgiving the unforgivable,
to help others, even when we can barely help ourselves
Because Jesus gave us an example, through His own life
what it means to be His disciple.
Beloved, a relationship with Jesus Christ is also a call to action.
It's more than just showing up for an hour or so on Sunday.
Sometimes, it requires suffering.
It's a responsibility!
Being a preacher isn't as easy as some may think.
But it is also the most rewarding responsibility!
It means checking my ego at the door
And understanding that anything with an eternal value cannot be accomplished by me, but through me.
Anything with an eternal value must be accomplished by God.
It is only God who can breathe on a valley of dry bones and cause them to come back to life. It is only God who can cause church growth, and hearts to be receptive to Him.
I truly love what I do even though I am not worthy of His calling
It is with privilege and joy that I do what I do!
I truly enjoy preaching the Word of God, it is both timeless and powerful.
And no matter how the culture changes, the truths in the Scriptures always remain the same.
It has the power to change lives.
I believe the greatest compliment I have even received, was when an elderly lady once told me on the way out of church,
"Pastor, may I say something to you, honestly?"
I said, "Of course, please do."
She continued, "Your preaching brings a side of God's Word I've never heard before, or considered. It really makes me think, you really believe in your heart what you're preaching and that makes all the difference. I've learned a lot about God..and myself. I'm glad you answered His calling. I thank God for you."
The best advice I think I've ever received was when a mentor of mine said to me,
"Preach the Word, with humility. That means obeying the Word of God, doing the Will of God, and always fulfilling the Word of God. Solid preaching opens the door to increase the spiritual intimacy of the hearers"
Sadly, may influential church leaders insist that Scripture is outdated for today's culture, it's irrelevant. They throw out a few quotes from the Bible, and the proceed to entertain the congregation with comedy and music. Speaking more about politics and current events than the Word of God. It truly makes me sad. Today's pulpit is full of crowd gatherers. Admittedly, they are gifted orators, interesting storytellers, entertaining speakers, with larger than life dynamic personalities, and they are shrewd crown manipulators.
Many people are hungry for God's Word, even if they are unaware of what it is they are hungry for, they leave church feeling empty. Preachers should be feeding the flock...feeding and filling them with the Word of God. Unfortunately, the Word doesn't inform their preaching; their preaching informs the Word.
I believe no one can effectively preach with power, if the message does not contain the Power of the Word! No "salt worth" preacher will ever water down, manipulate, distort or perver the message of the Gospel, while proclaiming the Word of God.
It really makes me wonder, wow, what kind of preacher, stands in the pulpit, of Christ's church and doesn't believe himself in the authority of Scripture?
Anyways, I could really go on about this topic, but we're not here for my views, we're gathered for God's Word, so let's begin today's message shall we?
The English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said,
"The pen is mightier than the sword."
"If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he had a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men or depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some bu longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
1 Timothy 6:3-10
"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.
Grace be with you."
I Timothy 6:20-21
Dysfunctional: Abnormal and impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group.
Dysfunctional is the new normal in today's culture.
It has become the norm now to have a husband and wife who are at each others throats.
It has become the norm now for depression, anger and fear and self hate to be a part of our lives
It has become the norm to hate others, to strike out in anger at those we're taught to hate.
This is such part of our life and daily landscape that we have learned to accept it.
You can't pick up the newspaper, yes, there are still some of us who read an actual newspaper, turn on the radio or television, or get online without yet another story about.
It's what I like to call, event, response and outcome, or E.R.O.
Let's face it, every outcome we are experiencing in life, whether it is success or failure, wealth or poverty, victory or defeat, intimacy or estrangement, is the direct result of how we responded to earlier events
The events, no matter how catastrophic or hurtful they have been are not as important as our responses to them.
We can blame our upbringing, the economy, our skin color, our wife, our husband, our job, weather or whatever. Today's culture never seems to run out of things or people to blame! Except themselves!
But everyone of us, has the ability to change our lives.
Because we have a God, Who because of His Word and it's incredible power to change lives through it's truths, through prayer, through our responses to them.
Have you ever been driving and it feels like there is some sort of resistance and then you realize that you left the emergency break on?
It doesn’t matter how hard you push on the gas, you will only go so fast and so far in that present condition until you remove that barrier, but when you do with no extra effort, you go as fast and as far as you want.
The emergency break in our lives, that must be removed is weak or non existent worship and prayer and submission to the Holy Spirit!
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
The apostle Paul, is telling us that our flesh is fighting against our spirit. And the outcome of this battle is dependent upon mastery of control over our lives.
It is dependent upon whether or not we are mastered by the flesh, or by the Spirit.
Our response determines the outcome of that event.
And it is based upon a choice we make.
God gives each one of us the free will to choose.
But whether we acknowledge that choice, we all must choose!
Man was created as a threefold being, body, soul and mind.
God, being a Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and truth.
When the spirit rules over you, you will have fellowship with God.
When your the flesh rules, then your fellowship with God is broken and God will have nothing to do with your flesh. He has one order for the flesh "kill it". Our flesh relates through our senses.
Our flesh relates to the words around us, our spirit relates to God. Bare in mind, the mind is always in the middle. If the flesh is ruling, the mind will be of the flesh, if the spirit is ruling, we will have the mind of the spirit and His spirit will bare witness to ours.
Flesh is death, the spirit is life, satan relates to the flesh, God relates to the spirit.
We will not experience satisfaction in our lives until we have enough spiritual action.
"But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh."
IF WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE PEOPLE'S LIVES... WE MUST ALLOW THE WORD OF GOD TO CONQUER SPIRITS.
"And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
One hundred lightning bolts blast the earth every second. These eight million daily surges of power provide more energy than all of the electric generators combined in the United States.
Even though three-quarters of the bolt’s energy is used up in heat, the surrounding air heats up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, enough energy remains to deliver a full 125 million volts of electricity.
Ironically, lightning is much more than what we see with our eyes.
A lightning bolt traveling at 90,000 miles per second, it’s very difficult for us to realize what is actually happening. The bolt gets its start from channels of pulsing electric energy two inches across, going from the ground to the clouds, not from the clouds to the ground.
Like the physical phenomenon of lightning, there is a tremendous spiritual energy that is released when the prayers of God’s children start pulsating their way upward to Heaven.
"He covers His hands with the lightning,
And commands it to strike the mark."
This is an illustration of how angels carry our prayers upon the wings into the throne room of God, and God is taking those prayers off of their wings, and when He gets ready to answer, He "commands it to strike the mark!"
You may remember, Elijah faced test, trial, temptation, tears but he prayed earnestly and God answered his prayer.
"The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”
The Happy Results
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.
At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight."
Today's preaching, is from a psychology view point, rather than spiritual one.
Now, it may help you feel better about struggles in life, but there is no spiritual value or impact on the hearer at all. That’s a work of the Word and the Spirit.
"And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
If you're struggling in your life, if everything is falling apart, right before your eyes, you're feeling as though you've lost control of your life, why not surrender your life to God.
God has provided each of us with a way to change our lives.
But the power of change depends on you. You can either accept it or reject it?
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
The Word of God has the power to change your thinking, so every thought is obedient to Christ.
The power is not in the preacher, the power is always in the Word because the truth is in the Word.
The power to change your life is not just hearing the message, but acting upon God's Word by applying it to your own life.
Event + Response = Outcome!
It is my prayer, I may not know who I'm teaching this message to, but God does.
He knows that someone reading or hearing this message, needs to rise above their sinking ship, by submitting their life, your struggle to Jesus Christ, today!
He is reaching out to YOU!
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Brian Monzon Ministries