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I Remember Jesus



"8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. 10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. 11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;" 
Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's day! We're so glad to have our brothers and sisters from around the world here with us today. Please know, that we continue to lift you up in our prayers. We would like to ask that you would do the same for us. 

A church is established for the generation of those planting it. A witness is for the generation in which the witness is given. Though the results could redound for centuries to come, and, I believe it could even change things now. Imagine, what impact we, as Christians could have if we committed ourselves to pray for the conversion of those coming to our country, saying "Amen," by offering ourselves to evangelize as the Lord gives opportunity. 

I want to make a bold and truthful statement; Jesus Christ IS ALIVE. I believe that it would be rather easy to conclude that many of preachers today have forgotten this truth. As I listen to the messages delivered from many pulpits, it would lead the people in the pews to believe that the speakers really don’t remember that Jesus Christ is alive, if they ever knew it at all. These pulpit speakers talk about man’s heroic struggles to find his place in the world, they speak of philosophy and coping mechanisms to deal with the pressures of life, cultural issues and  the need for greater equality in the world, the social and economic unfairness of privilege, the need for economic parity or a thousand other matters, everything except beside the truth that Jesus Christ IS ALIVE.

It is beyond tragic when professed leaders of the church fail to remember that Jesus is alive, but how much more tragic when we allow ourselves to become so beaten down, that we forget that Jesus is alive. Oh children of God, the Lord our God is on His throne. Christ Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father; and He still rises to receive His beloved child when that child comes home. Beloved, this same Jesus hears and answers your prayers and mine! Yes, Jesus Christ is alive.

Psalm 14:1-3 says  "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one."

I do not claim to know what trials you are facing today; I can tell you that I am facing a number of them myself. I am quite certain that each one of you who are hearing this today is either facing trials now or will face trials in the coming years. I am confident that we who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, will indeed experience trials; the challenges we will face, for which we, in our own ability, lack strength. Will be strengthened through the Holy Spirit. We are cautioned not to be moved by the afflictions we face, knowing that we are all destined for this. I want to assure you that God is on the throne and that He is Mighty on behalf of His beloved child. And you are that beloved child if your faith and hope are in Him.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You again for Your Word, and for the high calling that is ours in Christ. Lord, I pray for this congregation of believers, that You will raise up those who have great courage, great boldness, who will speak the truth. I pray that we all would be honorable and faithful servants, worthy of the privilege of witnessing, sharing the Gospel with others, help us to know those whose hearts are prepared to receive the message, to hear the truth, to believe and receive the gift of salvation. Father, thank You for those who have served before us, who sacrificially gave themselves for the cause of Christ, that we may study and teach Your Word. May it all bring You honor and be for Your glory.
In Jesus' name

Today's Message: I Remember Jesus

Open with me your Bibles to II Timothy 2:8-9.

Some must suffer in order that others might be saved. I do not understand that fully, but that is what the apostle says. He was quite willing, he says, to put up with all the hardness and deprivation of his day, the uncomfortableness of being a prisoner in chains, the lack of adequate food, the loneliness of the many hours, the boredom that he had to face from many weary, waiting days, because there was the absolute assurance that when he was willing to suffer, others were being delivered as a result.  

The great missionary to Burma, who served for nearly forty years, even translating the Bible into Burmese, Adoniram Judson, once said "There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success it is because someone will succeed after.

Elisha walked with Elijah even to the final day of the old prophets walk on earth. Though Elijah had repeatedly tested the younger prophet, Elisha said in II Kings 2:2 "But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you."

He desired the faith and the courage that Elijah possessed. We think of the great lessons demonstrated in the account of Elisha’s blessing. We witness the prophet’s persistence in the face of discouragement. Elijah endeavored to discourage Elisha, however, Elisha refused to leave his side. We all see that.

However, every so often, it feels as though God is no longer on our side and we grow weary and discouraged. It is almost as though God is challenging us to see if we truly want what claim we seek. Charles Spurgeon used to say that faith always gives a double knock at Heaven’s door. The lesson: Don’t give up when the going gets tough. The going will inevitably become challenging for that one pursuing Jesus. Follow hard after Christ.

However, I believe there is another lesson found in that account, that is that the wise follower of Jesus will avoid listening to the conventional wisdom. Whenever the child of God hears the phrase, "Everyone knows..." they must be convinced that heeding such a message leads to senescence, or growing old, ensuring that there can be no advance. The world advances on the discoveries of those who listened to an inner voice urging them to challenge the old frontiers. In the spiritual realm, the child of God hears a Word from behind him saying, "This is the way, walk in it." 

In II Kings 2:3, the sons of the prophets united in saying to Elisha, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?" I believe that Elisha’s response is instructive for us today. Each time he responded,  "Yes, I know; be still."

I believe that truly great men will seek God rather that listening to the conventional wisdom. The believer in Christ, will ask great things of Him, even when it seems as if our prayers are unheard, faith leads us to trust Him and His mercy. Though our senses tell us that God does not hear, true faith leads us to continue in asking.

I remember Jesus' teaching in Luke chapter 11, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs."

Beloved, the issue is not that we don’t pray; our issue is that we fail to ask great things of God. 

Jesus continued in saying "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened."

However, I believe the most important lesson we can draw from this account, the lesson I urge you to learn; is that Elisha did not cease to trust God. Always and ever, Elisha knew that God was alive. Just so, know that God is alive. 

The old prophet began his message by saying, "As the LORD, the God is Israel lives, before whom I stand."  Literally, Elijah said, "Living is Yahweh, the God of Israel before Whose face I stand…" May I submit, that as long as he remembered that God was alive, he was unconquerable. However, when he took his eyes off the Lord, he ran for his life. Now, Elisha had learned this same lesson through the time he had spent pouring water on the hands of Elijah.

I'd like to draw your attention to II Kings 2:9-14 which tells us "When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” He said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and struck the waters and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over."

One of the things that encourages me greatly is that because of the preaching of the truth, the Word of God that has gone out from here, and messages pour int every week from all over the world, telling us of blessing and change, deliverance, freedom and liberty that have come into lives because the Word of God has set people free.

The "gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned."  

Allow me to just remind you, God is alive. The same God Who empowered Paul would stand with Timothy. And the same God Who stood with Savonarola, with Luther, with Spurgeon stands with you today. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. You who are born from above are immortal until He calls you home. Because He lives; you shall also live.

It is a wonderful thing to know the Jesus is alive. However, we sometimes forget that He is very God. Jesus’ final words to His disciples were a charge that is binding on all of His people. This charge continues to this day, though it is too often ignored among the churches of this day.  

In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

Jesus spoke of this authority throughout the days of His ministry. On one occasion, Jesus taught Jewish interlocutors, "Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."

Jesus shared our condition so that He might experience our struggles.

The Gospel of Christ is often buried by the modern tendency to speak of life coping skills. We live as though the purpose of the sermon is to enable complacent people to live more complacent lives. We preachers appear convinced that our goal is to ensure that our listeners are undisturbed in the rush of daily life. Among the homiletic texts I read in years past was a famous book entitled, "Preaching to Felt Needs." The thesis, a concept which seems to predominate in modern homiletical studies, is that we must address felt needs rather than speaking of the genuine needs of a fallen race. Life is found only in Jesus Christ. Remember that the Good News of life in the Beloved Son always begins with the bad news of mankind’s fallen condition.  

We must always remember is that message we carry is destined to succeed. This Gospel will advance, confronting all mankind precisely because the Word of God is not bound. During his first imprisonment in Rome, the Apostle Paul had spoken of what God was doing even while he was in prison. "Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear." A message that God has decreed shall succeed. 

My prayer is Christ’s glory be revealed through our lives.This prayer can only be answered in your life if you know Christ as Lord and Savior. I do not call you to join the church if you have never been born from above. I do not call you to take a stand in baptism if you have never placed faith in Jesus Christ. This Good News of life in Christ, must first be received before you can ever hope to stand. This is the reason I conclude the message week by week with a call for all to believe the message of life.

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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