Good Morning Beloved Family!
What a glorious gift we've been given!
Another day of precious life..
God of grace and mercy
Grant me wisdom to interpret scripture,
Grant me the courage to always speak the truth
When words are needed, help me find them
When there is call to act, let me humbly respond
When others are putting someone down,
Help me O Lord, to lift them up
Teach me the ways of Your compassion
Above all these give me love for all your people
In Jesus' name
So if you will recall, in my last message, I spoke about relationships and understanding
who you are...
Let's quickly review some of that shall we?
I began by teaching about the need to understand yourself.
Before we can be successful in any relationship, including our relationship with God, we must understand ourselves.
The prodigal son was not successful in any of his relationships until, the Bible says 'he came to himself' and remembered who he really was.
The reason that most people backslide is because they forget who they really are...that is what happened to the prodigal.
They become somebody they are not.
The first part of understanding yourself is to remember who you are, where you came from, and what your purpose is.
You came from God.
You are His prized possession.
You were created for His Glory.
You show His Glory to this world through your testimony.
Today, I want to talk about THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF RESPECT!
All healthy relationships begin with self-respect.
If you don't respect and love yourself, you will have a very hard time respecting and loving others.
If you don't respect yourself, how can you expect others to respect you?
"and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."
The second greatest commandment in the Bible is a command to love others. Notice though, that it has two parts.
Love your neighbor.
How we love our neighbor is contingent upon how we love ourselves.
In other words, if you don't love and respect yourself, how can you love and respect your neighbor.
If your love and respect for yourself is low then your love and respect for others will also be low.
After all, Scripture says, ........ "as yourself."
If Jesus wants us to have this great love for others, and He does, then when he said, "as thyself" He also meant we must have a great love and respect for ourselves.
The two go hand in hand, they are both part of the second greatest commandment.
I think you all understand that I am not talking about a worldly self-esteem tonight, but a godly love for yourself, and an appreciation of the great creation that you are in the sight of God.
You are the prize of His possession!
I am not condoning narcissism, or even talking about thinking that you are 'all that' in this world!
It is one thing to be narcissistic, arrogant and cocky, but it is another thing to be self confident in who God created you to be.
Jesus taught us,
"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
We all too often, we tend to judge ourselves in light of the world around us and what this world can offer us. Jesus said don't look at your life like that, don't compare yourself to this world.
Don't compare yourself to the neighbors, the person at work, even church..
It doesn't matter if you have all this world can give you, if you lose your soul.
Jesus wants you to look at the real reason that you are here...we discussed that last week...to reveal
His Glory to this world through your testimony!
You have something valuable to offer this world.
What you have is more precious than silver or gold.
What you have is something that Hollywood doesn't have.
Your calling is the highest calling on this Earth.
It is a calling more important than the president of the United States.
You can begin to love and respect yourself when you understand your importance in family of His Kingdom.
Can I get a witness?
All of our love comes from God, for God is love.
"We love, because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19
Now, I know some of you like to "turnt up" (laughter)
So let's take it up a notch...
"If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also."
1 John 4:20-21
In other words, you can't love God and hate another...it is impossible. If you do, the Bible says that you are a flat out liar.
If we connect this to the second commandment, we can then say if we don't love ourselves, we can't love others, and if we cannot love others, we cannot love God!
Loving ourselves is directly connected to loving God! You cannot truly love God if you don't love yourself.
It is important to have love and respect toward yourself!
Somebody say, I love myself.
David understood this, for he said, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Whenever David got discouraged he said, I will encourage myself in the Lord.
We have to learn to do that if we want to be successful in God's Kingdom!
The apostle Paul, he got it!
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
This was one of the key's to Paul's success.
He had self-respect.
He knew who he was.
He knew where he came from.
He knew his purpose.
Paul had a positive mental attitude, not in a worldly sense, but a godly understanding that through Christ he could fulfill God's will in his life!
So, why is it that we don't like ourselves?
There can be many reasons..
Maybe it's personal failures...but let me tell you, everyone here today, has messed up.
Or in your past, you might have been criticized or even mentally abused by others.
And for some of you, may be you still are....
It might be that you feel as though others are still not accepting you.
All these can lead to a lack of faith in God.
We begin to convince ourselves that since others feel that way...God must also feel that way.
If others don't want or need me...then God must not have any use for me.
Beloved, those are the LIES of the adversary!
You can not afford to lose your faith in God!
If you lose your faith in God...everything will begin to unravel!
Constantly spiraling downward, an overwhelming feeling that you're sinking!
Why do you think that Satan works so hard to shake or even destroy the faith of believers
and keep those who are unbelieving in darkness???
He always begins his work in your thoughts... then he can work from the inside out.
He sets up camp in your mind, and makes himself a home!
So... now what?
How do we learn to love ourselves?
The first step is to accept God's love...the Bible says that He first loved us...we must accept that.
Then we must begin expressing that love toward ourselves and others!
We must learn to release ourselves from the past!
How do we do that?
This is important!
We begin by accepting God's grace and mercy. We accept His forgiveness.
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."
And whose sins have been covered.
“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."
Listen, none of us deserves to be forgiven....but in his mercy, God chooses to forgive.
God chose to forgive you... you need to accept that!
It is a step of faith to accept and believe that God has forgiven you!
Paul said that faith is counted for righteousness!
It is too often that we want to have a say in God's forgiving process.
God, I promise I won't do this again, if you will just forgive me.
Or God, if you will just take care of this problem, I will do this.
Or God, if you will truly forgive my sin, then I will be able to do what you have called me to do.
Beloved, we can not bargain with God!
We try put so many conditions on God's grace, sometimes, we make it impossible for His grace and mercy to work in our lives because we will only accept it on our terms.
God's grace, God's mercy, God's forgiveness only works on His terms!
His terms are simple just believe and accept Christ and that He has forgiven you!
Your faith in His forgiving power through Christ, is what makes you righteous!
I can never do it for myself, neither can you.
Somebody needs to hear this tonight....
It's God's plan, done God's way.
That fact that you believe that God has forgiven you...is what makes you righteous in God's eye's!
The fact that you believe that God can still use you...is what makes God want to use you!
We think the Lord is keeping score of our sin, when all the while, He just wants you to know that you are forgiven of everything in your past!
Blessed is the man who can trust that God makes everything right in your life!
If you believe that God has made you righteous, then you are righteous in God's eyes!
Somebody give the Lord some praise about that!
Some of you think that just because you messed up, God is not going to use you anymore!
I've got news for you!
His death overcame that obstacle two thousand years ago.
His blood has more power than that!
The Bible says that the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance!
Once he filled you and called you, you are called for life.
The devil wants you to think that your mistakes have put you at odds with God.
Maybe it wasn't the devil, maybe it was some authority in your life that said you have messed up and God will never use you again.
But my Bible tells me, "Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
If you can accept His forgiveness, that makes you righteous.
If you can have faith in His mercy you can make it!
If you can grab hold of His grace, God will use you!
I want to share a story. It's the story Abraham and his wife Sarah, traveling the kingdom of Abimelech.
"Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah."
How many of you remember this...Sarah was a beautiful woman, and when Abimelech saw her, he wanted her.
And since he was the king, he could have whatever he wanted.
Abraham was worried that Abimelech would kill him and take his wife, so he lied and said she is my sister...in other words, Abimelech go ahead and take her and have your way with her.
Abraham, the man of God, the father all of Israel, the faithful one, lied.
Not only did he lie, but he would not even stand up to Abimelech and protect his wife.
Abraham was, what many would call in today's culture, "a low down, lying dirty dog and coward."
Now one would think by him doing these thing, that God would have withdrawn from Abraham, His blessing and His power for this sin.
Because that's what we would do...Am I right?
But look at what God does actually does;
"But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married."
Now just follow along with me down to verses 6 and 7:
"Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours."
Notice what it says..for he is a prophet.
It doesn't say that he was a prophet.
But Abraham the liar is a prophet.
Your position with God doesn't change just because you do something wrong.
The difference between church people and God is that church people throw liars out, but God gives them another chance.
Don't let your failures define you.
You do not lose your calling just because you mess up!
You do not lose your status with God just because you make a few mistakes!
You do not become less than what God called you to be when you fail Him!
Man may make you out to be less than what you were, but not God...the calling is without repentance.
I don't believe that there is anybody in the house tonight who hasn't messed up since you came to God...if you haven't then you are a liar just like Abraham and the rest of us.
For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God!
We are all just a bunch of sinners living under Grace.
We have to believe and accept that God has forgiven us! That is what makes us righteous in His sight!
It is not our righteousness, but His...our righteousness is no better than Abraham's righteousness...Jesus called it filthy rags.
If God can forgive a liar like Abraham.
If God can use a murderer like Moses.
If God can forgive an adulterer like David.
Then God can still forgive you and use you to reveal His Glory to this world.
Now, let's look at what happened next..
"Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife."
God used Abraham, who was a liar to heal Abimelech and all his house.
His gifts don't leave you just because you mess up!
God wants to restore somebody's faith today.
God is reminding somebody right now of their calling.
God has not changed.
God's plans have not changed!
God still wants to use you.
If you will just allow Him to and receive His love.
If you would only receive His forgiveness.
If you would only accept the fact that you cannot change the past.
The past is the past.
Say that with me,
The past is the past!
Beloved, that means we must also forgive those that we have the power to forgive.
We must change those things that you have the power to change, that includes ourselves.
That means forgiving those that have said or done some things that have hurt us.
That means making amends with our parents, our children, our siblings, our neighbors and co - workers!
Then, we must leave the rest up to God!
Won't you receive and accept His love and forgiveness today!
By doing so...
You can be restored today.
You can be healed today.
You can find a new purpose for your life today!
I promise you, He wants to transform your life, as only He can!!
He's ready to do this and so much more in your life.
God will not only put the pieces of your life back together,
but He will do it in front of those who broke you!
He has great plans for you!
But it's up you,you must choose to receive it ...
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes...."
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