Good Morning Beloved Family,
Thank you all for joining us today
Today we are thankful to You
always loving, forgiving in grace and with mercy
for choosing us to be part of Your family
But with that, we know comes also a high demand
in accord with Your standards
So it is, we come with a great deal of conviction in our hearts
as we are always falling short of that higher calling on our lives
so unworthy are we, to walk beside You
Thank You Father, for Your... gentle reminders,
when we've stepped too far out of line
Thank You for straightening us out
Thank You for allowing us to walk along side You
It is incomprehensible that You would desire us to be there
Lord I pray that You will fill us with Your fullness
that we would become able to do exceeding abundantly
above all we can ask or think and so
committing ourselves, to studying Your Word
living it out in our lives
that we might become worthy to walk with You
We pray this in Christ’s precious name,
So today's Message: Yield To Be Healed
let's begin shall we?
"As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him."
How many of you have some sort of membership...
belonging to a gym, some social club or organization?
When you became a member of that organization, I am sure
you also received, some sort of "code of conduct,"
a list of acceptable behavior, expectations or "do's and don't's" as it were
And citizens of the United States, or someone who is desiring to live here we are obligated to uphold certain laws, that govern society, principals and standards.
When we attend school, or become gainfully employed, we are given a "dress code"
what is considered to be acceptable attire, how we are to dress..
And we are made aware, that if we fall out of the line of conformity, we will lose your position, place
or membership privileges with that organization...
Just as if we do not conform to the standards of our government, abiding by the laws the government has set, we will be taken out of the society, and we will then be incarcerated, where you will no longer be able to hinder the ongoing of the function of society.
It’s amazing what great lengths people will go to conform, just to belong.
I suppose, it's just part of the human nature, that we desire to be accepted, to just belong
Yet.... when we translate that into the terms of Church, something goes terribly, horribly wrong.
What we get is people who come, a lot of people who want the blessings, the promises and the rights, and the privileges, and the honors that comes with being a Christian. But somewhere along the line, they never make the commitment to conform to the standards, of being a member of God's family.
When you come to Jesus Christ, you enter His Church, the body, you receive His salvation and He gives you all the rights and honors and privileges that come with being a Christian. And then He says, "I want you to conform to My standards," doesn’t He? In fact, He commands it!
But I suppose, believing, that God is not going to somehow call us on behavior, to be able to enforce His standards, or call us into His office with threats to kick us out, it therefore, doesn’t seem to be nearly as binding.
However, the New Testament tells us, that if anyone in your midst, doesn't conform to these standards, who is living in an immoral manner, to put him out!
We find evidence of this in 1 Corinthians 5, 2 Thessalonians, And in 1 John chapter 5, "There is even a sin unto death," where the Lord literally excommunicates a believer. Not losing salvation, but being put out of the Church fellowship because they are more of a hindrance than a help. Yes, the Lord Himself put people out, if they would not conform or cooperate with the Church, His Church!
And since, it IS His Church, He can set the guidelines, the standards... He makes the rules!
A former boss of mine, and a good friend, once said, "The one with the gold makes the rules."
She has since long gone to be with the Lord..
It is my belief, that if people can make those kinds of commitments to things that don’t matter, do you not imagine that we, as Christians, should make a high-level kind of commitment to walk in the ways that God has asked us to walk within the framework of His own beloved Church? I strongly, in fact very strongly believe that we should, don’t you?
And I believe, that is what the apostle Paul was calling us to do when he wrote,
"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift."
Paul in the first several chapters in the book of Ephesians, is essentially telling us, if you want to be a part of God's Church, here is a list of privileges, rights and honors and in the last few chapters, he says and here are the requirements.
On the day, that you and I entered the Church of Jesus Christ, at the time we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior, we entered into the body of Christ. We became a part of His family.
And as such, as with any family, that comes some responsibilities.
So then, how much higher is the calling placed upon our lives, the responsibilities, of being be part of His Holy family?
We don’t usually yield to God right away.
We don't easily "cry out" to God
as many often did in the early Church
We most generally try to take care of a problem ourselves.
We try to fix the issue within our own abilities.
Our own resources.
Our own talents.
Our own strength.
And it tends to take some ‘bumps upside the head’ before we are willing turn to God
for His help. To yield to Him.
We usually turn to Jesus after we have already done all that we can do, spent all that we have
on the things that we think should help us, but what ultimately makes our situation worse than we were in the beginning. We turn to all kinds of stuff long before we finally in desperation turn to Him.
It's not until we start to feel as though everything we try, is somehow blocked, that we find ourselves saying, "OK God, You win! I can't do this anymore!"
Have you ever stopped to think, that God is blocking your attempts to fix the situation, so that you will turn to Him, surrender to His plan for your life? Rather than to keep pursuing a dead end...
Because He actually is reaching out to You, He desires to have a relationship with you!
And He knows, this may be the only way to get you to come to Him...
There are many examples of people in the scripture who obviously had problems in their lives, big problems, seemingly impossible situations but as they yielded more and more to His presence and His will, He was able to work in their situations. He was able to "fix" their problems!
Here are just a few; The woman with the issue of blood, Luke 8. The man with the withered hand, Luke 6. The leprous men who cried out to Him, Luke 17. The two blind men in our text today... Matthew 20.
But all of these instances had something in common.... each and every single one of them.
That it was not until they reached out to Him that He was able to do something for them!
Did you hear that? Do you understand what I am saying here?
That it was not until they reached out to Him that He was able to do something for them!
If you're struggling, fighting an uphill battle, defeated at every turn... you are just clinging on to a sinking raft... in a storm that you are unable to calm!
I invite you today to turn to Jesus.
I'm not going to stand here and tell you that you will never have another problem, that you won't ever get sick... but I will tell you this, He will be with you every step of the way.
He will make a way, where there is none!
When you think you can't possibly make it through another day, you do!
Because He is working, He sustains you.
And even more, He gives you peace!
Suddenly, you're no longer overwhelmed with frustration and anxiety.
There is calmness.. a "peace that surpasses all understanding."
However, I said earlier, He expects of us to walk worthy of such a calling.
Because this is now who you are. We must learn to walk in accord with that. Live up to that standard. The Lord expects us to act like members of His body!
He expects us to be like Him, to do as He did, act how He acted... LOVE how He loved us.
And does still yet today..
And for all the "perks", the "benefits", is that really so much to ask?
I don't believe it is...
In fact, we should be so grateful, so humble for what He has given, we should offer to do it,
without hesitation, without question.. yet He has to remind us..
As if to say to us, "Hey, now that you're one of mine, start acting like it!"
Beloved, it’s so sad that most Christians don’t walk worthy of their calling...
So very, very sad.
The whole of the Christian life is simply becoming what you are. Progressing toward what you were created to be.. becoming who you are, in Christ. And then, living up to who you are...
That pretty much sums it all up in a nutshell.. Simply become what and who you are, and live it.
And God doesn't want us to conform out of fear, or because He gave us a list, rules and regulations,
but He wants us to conform out of a deep love and affection for Jesus Christ.
That for what He has done for us, and believe me, He does a great deal, that we would want, even desire to please Him..
From the moment a believer calls himself a child of God, they are joined to God’s family, and therefore, belongs to the heavenly Father, and that says something about how we ought to live.
Now, I know some of you, may think to yourselves.. that's a bit much, pastor Brian, let me ask you this; is the same not true of our natural families?
Because our children are "ours", from the time they are "born", we expect them to behave like we want, according to the "guidelines" we have given them, to do their chores, and maintain certain responsibilities because they are a part of our family?
Or as it was said in my childhood, "I brought you into this world and if you don't, I'll take you out."
"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
Do you see it?
Are you getting this?
He made us to be holy, to be blameless. In love, He even predestined us. He adopted us. He made us to the praise of His glory.
He has given us redemption, forgiveness. He’s given us wisdom. He made known to us the mystery of His will... He has made us alive from the dead. He has given us eternal life, He has done a lot for us. Absolutely astonishing and incredible things, things which we are undeserving. But in His incredible, unconditional, amazing and forgiving love for us, He has done it, anyway.
Should we not want to show our gratitude? Our reverence? Our praise? Honor Him for what He has done....always?
Beloved, it's a simple formula to grasp. I'll lay it out for you now..
Duty is always a response to doctrines. Behavior is always a response to precept. Life is always a response to theology.
I have had some people say to me, "You often get so heavy in your teaching the Word..."
Let me just say, I have to do that; that is what God has called me to do.
I'm not called to just stand here and read the Bible, anyone can do that. I'm called to teach you principles, so that you might be able to live by them.
"Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."
I personally know people who for many years, if not their whole lives struggled not only with the personal and physical challenges of their situations, but also the emotional wounds and scars.
All the pain, the suffering, and mental anguish they endured before they finally cried out to God. And some of them, to this day, still have not. They continue to fight life's battles in their own strength.
Frustrated, exhausted... making no progress. I continue to pray earnestly for them all!
Proverbs tells us that you’ll know the wisdom of God when you desire that wisdom like you desire gold, like people search for silver.
Sometimes we are burdened, so overwhelmed with so much, we forget that God wants to lift that burden off of us. He wants to turn our mess into a miracle... He wants us to turn to Him.
Some of you are going in all different directions, doing all kinds of things, trying this and trying that, and even praying for the wrong things, but Jesus is saying, ‘STOP!’ Let me take this!
And yet some of you still haven't surrendered...
That’s another reason why I teach the Word of God, to remind you, there's another way..
There is a way out of what you are going through. But you have to want it, you have to choose it.
I can't do that for you... it's up to you.
I can however, share all the reasons why you should do it, how you can do it, all the glorious rewards and benefits for having done it, but I cannot do it for you.
I know, pastors and teachers who literally weaken the Word of God, they stand before people and exhort them about duty, and they never teach them doctrine, it's principals. They suck the life out of the Living Word of God.
You can get as many people together as you want, and you get them all committed to doing stuff, and yet they haven’t got the faintest idea why they're supposed to do it unless you teach them doctrine.
Right now, we're in Lent. Historically, when we see the number forty, God is at work. God is working in the forty days between Lent and Resurrection Sunday, or Easter.
Without that part of the Easter story, Jesus simply dies and that's it.. the end.
The resurrection represents something just as powerful: the potential for rebirth, salvation, and renewal of faith. After Lent, the season of shedding our bad habits and resisting temptations, Easter is the perfect opportunity for Christians to recommit to their beliefs. It's an opportunity for unbelievers to come to Christ, to begin a fresh, a brand new start.
I often receive messages, that people are coming to Christ. I am thankful the Lord allowed that to happen, that the Lord used me in some small way to accomplish His plans for salvation, but I am especially thankful that the Lord reminded me that I will be accountable for the honor and privilege of His calling on my life.
One of these days, and I believe it will be sooner than many believe, I also believe it will be in my lifetime, that the Lord’s only going to ask me one thing: "Did you feed My sheep My truth?"
First I must get people to listen, then I must show you why you need to operate your life that way.
I am not interested in intimidating you, frightening you into conformity. I have a responsibility to teach God's Word, in Truth. And beyond that, you then have a responsibility to decide whether to obey it... or not. That's not up to me, it's all up you..
The question is, what are you going to choose..
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