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Get Your Priorities Right!


"11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
II Thessalonians 1:11-12
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We so glad that our brothers and sisters from around the world are here with us today.
We continue to pray for all of you, daily.
If you have prayer requests or concern, please write to our Prayer Wall and let us know. You can share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
We can either share it, with your permission and without your full name if you would like, to have others praying with and for you. Or we can keep it among ourselves, and I will personally pray with and for you.  
It is such a wonderful experience to be able to come together with our beloved brothers and sister, from every land, to worship the Lord. Especially in light of all of the chaos, the confusion, and the wickedness and corruption of the world. If's enough to make one feel like they're drowning in it. True worship, however, is not in how you feel, but in who you praise and adore, that being God the Father, Christ, our Lord and the Holy Spirit.
I do not believe that my jaw can drop anymore in the culture in which we live! I am no longer shocked by what I see and hear, however, my heart is still heavily burdened by the souls of the lost and I'm reminded of the Apostle Paul, he tells us in II Timothy 3:1-9,  I'm sure you are all familiar with it, however, I'll just quickly read it to you now.

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also"
While we are certainly aware of what is happening in the world, however, we cannot dwell on it. We must draw ourselves back to the Word of God, and as Paul says in Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
We must come back to the reality, of what God is up to and Who he really is, and we want to make sure that we share His priorities. 
Let us bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
We are so richly blessed by Your Word, thank You for the blessing it brings to our lives, for the joy it brings to our hearts, to be in worship and praise. Thank You for all those assemble with us today. Thank You for this wonderful reminder that You are Sovereign. Lord, You have somehow, in Your great wisdom, figured out the whole equation. 
Lord, as we prepare our hearts, we ask that You would reveal to us in Your Word the priorities that You have set for us today.
In Jesus' precious name
Today's Message: Get Your Priorities Right!

In my years of both being around and pastoring the church, I have heard many a debate on the subject of prayer, however, there is no debate on praise, for the Bible evidence is so overwhelming that it convinces all that praise is to be perpetual, persistent, and never ending. There may be a limit to how many times you pray to God for something, but there is no limit as to how many times you praise God for something.
Studying the Psalms is like climbing a mountain. There is no straight path upward, for there are valleys to go down into on the way up. There are cliffs to go around, and so the journey to the top takes you up and down, and around, and covers a lot of ground. The Psalms take us into the valleys of lament, through discouragement, and depression, and there are times of despair, when the Psalmist is singing the blues. But in the end he gets to the top of the mountain, and the book of Psalms ends with a series of praise songs, that I believe are unmatched anywhere in the world. This is truly, what I believe, to be the vortex of praise, with Psalm 150 being the grand finale!  

As a footnote, if you are at all superstitious about the number thirteen, Scripture is not. In the short Psalm, the word praise appears thirteen times!

Another thing that Scripture places a heavy emphasis on, is prayer. Prayer, is essential in the life of a believer. What are the priorities of your prayers? Typically, for most believers, it is the physical needs of loved ones, family, friend, perhaps someone at church. Now, I'd like to add, that there's nothing wrong with that, that's very pressing on the hearts of many today. With the pandemic, the complications that often arise, that's a very pressing concern for many people. Of course, we have the elderly, who are often failing in health, cancer, heart issues, diabetes and the like. There are many reasons that health is a priority of the believer.  It is very important that we pray for the right things, with the right motives. There are no secrets with God, He knows your heart, so best your motives be pure when you pray.
That brings us to our text for today. Open with me your Bibles, to the Book of Thessalonians chapter 5, we are looking at the final two verses of this wonderful, instruction epistle from the Apostle Paul to the church in Thessalonica. Verses eleven and twelve. I believe that we will be richly blessed by what the Holy Spirit has for us.

I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read. II Thessalonians 5:11-12.
"To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Having read to you this portion of God's Word, there are a few things that I'd like for you to understand. Something, I believe is very important, the reason why so many believers typically do not share the same priorities that we just read is because they simply do not share the Apostle Paul's sense of urgency. Paul was living in poverty, he was basically homeless. He had been falsely accused, his body was probably hurting from the beatings and abuse that he endured.
However, he was acutely aware of all of the things going on in the churches. He was profoundly aware of all of the struggles that the people had been facing in Thessalonica.  Paul, to say the least, very passionate in prioritizing those issues that relate to the heart. I'd also like you to bear in mind the context here, Paul has just finished explaining to the saints the retribution of Christ, that will occur at the revelation of Christ. He is going to repay those who afflict you. Jesus Christ, is coming, this time as Lord and He is going to deal out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not choose to obey the Gospel. He is reminded of the fact, that there is a horrific judgment that is going to come upon the lost, it burdens his heart. His heart is breaking. 
He is also reminded that the unfathomable glory of Christ that is going to explode when He returns. And, the saints are going to be glorified in and through Him when they are revealed. That is the reason for the beginning of verse 11, when he writes, "To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling." Paul has all these things in his mind. He is in other words saying, in light of these things. Paul is saying by the enabling power of the Spirit of God, live a life that is conformed to the will and the Word of God so that you look like Christ, you manifest his glory in your life.
Make no mistake, beloved, substituting the priorities of God with our own is at the root of every problem that we see occurring in our society today, marriage problems, family problems, church problems, racial problems, financial problems, et cetera. It all comes back to ignoring God's priorities! 
I am very sad to say, that the culture today, is indifferent about the coming judgment and they are apathetic about their own salvation, the condition of their souls. Quite frankly, I find it to be mind boggling! I mean to say, it's like having the cure of an terminal illness, and the recipient saying "No, no. Not for me thanks. I'd rather just die." What sense does that even make?

Churches today are chasing after people, teaching crowd pleasing messages of prosperity and blessing. There is little, if any, about sin or the consequences there of.  In society, confessing Christ, is like winning the lottery. You put very little into, and have a big pay day! Sadly, the day for payment is quickly approaching, the signs are all around us!  It's just a matter of time. When we take our eyes off of God's priorities, we begin to lose sight of Who He really is. In our "Me," oriented society, we have lost sight of the God, as described in the Bible. 
We have substituted Him, with a tailor-made, self-serving version of the original, the One true and living God! Despite what I have heard others claim, He is not "Big Papa," " The Big Guy upstairs," or "Daddy." He is Most High, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Creator of heaven and earth. Because you are unable to rise to His level, you have no right or authority to bring Him down to yours! That is a huge pet peeve of mine. You wouldn't address the Queen of England in this manner, or the President of the United States or any other country. What makes anyone think, that they can reduce Him down to the human level. 
Allow me to draw your attention back to verse 11 for just a moment. Notice Paul says "that our God will count you worthy of your calling." If God is on your same level, why would the Apostle Paul be praying that God would count you worthy of your calling? Just think about that!
There are essentially two aspects of God's calling. Two aspects, let me explain those to you. The first is, what theologians would refer to as a general or a universal call of God, whereby He invites all men to salvation. I'd like you to understand, this call, can and often is, rejected by men, resisted, or refused. That is a moral choice that each man or woman has to make. 
Then, there is what we call an effectual calling, a special calling on you by God. This is an irresistible call, those who are called according to His purposes.  Those Paul mentions in Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  In ways far beyond our human ability to comprehend, God is able to animate the human will so that it freely and it voluntarily chooses to come to Christ for salvation.  I can speak from my own experience here, when God called me to preach, I heard Him, loud and clear. Then, I told Him, it wasn't a good time, I was too busy. I'm still raising my children, taking care of family, working. I just didn't have the time to undertake such a task. 
It demands preparation, countless hours of reading studying, research, you may not think it sounds like it when you hear the message, but I don't just pull it out of a theological hat! I work tirelessly, for God's glory and hopefully your spiritual growth. I love what I do, nor can I imagine doing anything else. I know, as God has so graciously shown me, this is my called purpose. And, try as I might, nothing, would stop it. God didn't consider my schedule, He put me flat on my back, He cleared my schedule, I finally said, "OK, God, You win! I'll do it!" And, do it I did, right then and there. My only regret is I didn't listen sooner, I mean, I would have saved myself, a lot of pain and aggravation, not to mention a few surgeries. I could have easily bypassed that, let me tell you.

Also in verse 11, Paul prays for longings that honor God. Allow me to put it a different way, he is praying that God will help you complete, help you finish something that's already been initiated. This is a very precious and powerful prayer here. Paul is praying that every desire, every purpose, every choice for goodness, will be completed in God. We all know, it's often easy to start something, but bring it to completion, that is more difficult. Paul knew that they had good intentions, he knew their hearts, he knew they willing to suffer for their faith in Christ. However, he also knew how difficult that would be, given not only the many sexual proclivities of the sinful flesh, but also the wicked, morally depraved environment in which they lived. The Apostle Paul is passionately concerned about the way we function given the position we are in.
Look, I often hear many Christians complain about the persecution they're facing in this nation. Let me assure you of something, this isn't the persecution of the Bible, or what many around the world are enduring today, simply because of their faith, their belief in Jesus Christ! I also believe there is a Tsunami coming, a wave of persecution like we have never imagined, right here in this country. Feel free to write that down, if you'd like.  It might not be today, tomorrow or even next year, but it's coming, you be assured of that. We are already witnessing small increments of it today. Pastor being charged with hate speech, social media accounts locked for speaking on sexual sin and corruption. 
In fact, several counties throughout the U.S. have been ordered to turn over their prepared sermons to the local  "government, for review,"  it has to be "approved before preaching." Church members being arrested for singing hymns in public places, such as state capital buildings, keep in mind, I said in front of , not in! You can't sing about the amazing grace of God in public now? That's a form of hate speech? I'm telling you, if this goes on uncorrected, everything in your life, as you now know it, is going to spiral out of control. Beloved, God has taken the initiative in your calling, however, with that comes great responsibility. The responsibility of moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-restraint, self-control. It's up to you and me to control our actions, we are representing Christ to the world! I do not believe that's something we can take lightly.

Many Christians today, have a thirst issue, they thirst little. Jesus taught in John 7:37-38, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water." Beloved, we need to get thirsty, we need to crave Him in ways we have not yet imagined, and when we do, He will satisfy our craving. Our souls need to crave for the life-giving water of Jesus Christ.
In verse 12, Paul writes "so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." This should be our life's goal, this is why we are here on this planet, so that the name of the Lord Jesus will be glorified in and through us and us in Him. "So that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him," that's why we exist, to glorify Him, and us in Him. Paul concludes verse 12, with writing "according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." we are to radiate Christ, our Redeemer’s love to everyone who looks at our faces. 

Are you rejoicing in that? Are you rejoicing that God, in His grace, gave you a life, that has the honor and privilege of honoring Him? If not, I would like to challenge you to carefully examine your life and find out why? Because when we choose to become serious about this, God blesses us in ways we cannot comprehend!

May it be so..

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

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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