Greetings form Pastor Bob and The Encouraging Word!!!!! Wow, I feel like I have been cut off from the rest of the world. My cell phone died the death this past week and I was not able to get any of the numbers that I had stored in ittransferred to the new phone. So I could not call Nathan when I heard about Simeon Rice being let go from the Bucs. I could not get in touch with Scott about the the Super Shuttle job. I could not even call my own mother or my booking agents or any of the members of the church........ I was in the twilight Zone!!!!..


 

So please, please, call me this week so I can get your numbers back in my phone and I will try to actually back them up on a hard copy. Thank you so much!!!! And if you , like me have all your numbers just in the memory of your cell phone you might want to think about copying them over on something that won't vanish into nowhere at the most inopportune time.
 


 

I know many of you are looking for news about my wife, who had surgery last week. She is still recovering but she is going to try to do church this week. She was a lot worse off then I first thought. After getting the tests back her doctor called her back in and she has to go for more tests, but I am confident that everything will work together for the good.But please keep her in your prayers.
 


 

Please also keep Hector in your prayers,  He is really struggling to breath. I thought we were going to lose him the last time he was in church. He started gasping for breath and we all started praying. Talk about getting a group of people to become Pentecostal real quick. Thank God he caught his breath and he is still with us today. I really love and respect that man. He is the kind of man you can look up to as a genuine man of God. So I beg you for your prayers for him. 
 


 

There are a lot of people that need prayer these days, I know you have a few that need to be lifted before the LORD yourself included. So I really would like to do that with you right now. So please indulge me and and pray along with me and feel free to add the people in your life that need to be brought before the throne and we will all join together all around the world and believe for one another.


 

Heavenly Father we come to you today a needy people. But you are a great God. You have created all things and all things are in your hands. You have asked us to be stewards of the things of this world, but there are many things that we really have to turn back over to you. There are many of our loved ones who need physical healing. I lift Hector before your throne and ask that you give him complete healing of this disease that the doctors say there is no cure for. I lift my wife, Debbie to you and ask that you give her a healing from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. I pray for ChuckSeager, I pray for my son Nathan , that you give him his heart's desire. I pray for those who are in financial need right now. I pray for those who are lonely and those who are in need of their relationships restored. LORD, I give you permission to search my heart and discover the people who you have placed there for me to lift up to you. Oh LORD, I pray of your anointing. Your presence in every person who reads these words. I pray for a fresh touch from you today. In Jesus Name!!!!! Amen!!!


 

Thank you for joining with me in that prayer. And I thank you for you thinking of me in prayer.... LORD, knows I need it.
 


 

OK.. I really would love to go on and on with the pre amble ramble but it is real early and I still have lots to do so I look forward to getting your call this week or at least a reply to this E-Mail.... I really do love you all very much...And I know that God loves you even more....


 

With that said,,,, LET"S GET INTO THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 


 


 


 


 

Building a Firm Foundation

 

 

(1 Corinthians 13:13 CEV)  For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.

 

It all started with love. The power that vibrates the atom is love. The voice that spoke into the darkness bringing forth light was love. The thing that sees us through another day is love. That which will bring us into the abundant life eternal is love.

 

As I contemplated the words to write and proclaim I came to the clear conclusion that the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega of it all is love. We started a series on peace last week, but what good is peace without the love which is the foundation of it. It is love that we need more of if we desire peace. It is love that we need more of if we desire health. It is love that we need more of if we desire prosperity. Without love there is no peace. Without love, health and prosperity is vanity. So many people lay themselves down to sleep only to spend a restless night not even knowing what they are missing. And many who are aware of their loss have no remedy for it.

 

Love can not be found in another person. Love can not be purchased. Love can not be taken in a pill. The paradox of love is that many can not find it when it is every where at once.

 

I want to introduce you to a great philosopher that not many people have heard of. I must say that I was first drawn to him because of the fact that his work was banned by the Vatican. His philosophy was along the line of Descartes and Augustine, but went even a little bit further in suggesting that God was the cause and effect of everything.

 

His name is Nicholas Malebranche, He was born in 1638 and died in 1715. His first body of work was entitled; “Search After Truth.” The main reason I introduce you to him today is to open your mind to the idea of how deep and important the foundation of love really is.

 

Malebranche suggested that God was everything and everything was in relation to God. In the same way that our mind and body are united we are also united with the rest of the world around us…“relatives, friends, city, prince, country, clothes, house, land, horse, dog, to the entire earth, the sun, the stars, to all the heavens” (ST V. 2, 342).

 

The problem that the Vatican had with that was the reality of evil in the world. And that is where our free will comes in play. It is our free will to “Love good or evil.” Too often we freely choose to accept long term pain for an immediate short term pleasure.
 


 

It is from the fall of man that we have mistaken the love of physical pleasure for the eternal love of God even though the two are vis-à-vis.(Which is the opposite of vis-a-versa)
 

 

That is where we start calling evil good and good evil.  Malebranche insists time and time again that “all the passions seek their own justification”


 

And so we end up in an internal struggle between what we know is right, and what we have convinced ourselves is right, even though we know it is wrong.. All we need do is to go to the 7th chapter of Roman’s to see this struggle at face value.


 

 (Romans 7:15-19 KJVA)  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

 

Now, I looked at many different translations of this passage but none of them really made it much easier to understand. The thing that Paul is saying here is exactly what we all go through far too often. The things that we deep down inside know is right and we really want to do, we end up not doing. But it is the things that we don’t want to do, those bad habits that we have somehow convinced ourselves that we enjoy, those are the things that we keep doing.

Paul gives us the answer to this age old question in the 8th chapter of Romans, but that is somehow too simple for far too many people. The gospel is too simple for people. Doing what is right is too simple for people. I have to thank God every day for His mercy and grace. And it is that grace, which comes from the very heart of God, that brings us peace.


 

Malebranche put it this way:

“Grace is required to restore the balance of power within our natures. It does so by providing us with a sensible delight in following reason and in the intellectual love of God, which will outweigh the discomfort of resisting the passions.”

 

But I have to stop myself here again and ask, “What does this have to do with love?”

 

What I am trying to do is to build a foundation that we can put our faith and hope upon, for without it we will not be able to have what we are truly seeking, which is peace. In our opening passage of scripture we saw how, right now, we have faith, Hope and love. And the greater of these is love. We can read in the 4th   chapter of 1st John how God is love.
 

 

(1 John 4:7 CEV)  My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God's children, and we know him.

 

(1 John 4:8 CEV)  God is love, and anyone who doesn't love others has never known him.

 

(1 John 4:9-13 CEV)  God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. Real love isn't our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is truly in our hearts. God has given us his Spirit. That is how we know that we are one with him, just as he is one with us.

 

What this is telling us is that real love is in the doing. When the Bible tells us to “Love the LORD with everything in us. It doesn’t just mean to think about love or feel the love. It means to do the love. It means to actually be the love.

 

(Deuteronomy 6:5 KJVA)  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 

What I am saying today is that I agree with Malebranche when he suggest that God is, as Jonathan Edwards puts it “Ens entium,” the being of beings. God has created all things for His good pleasure and all things are held together by Him. And God is LOVE!

 

What proof do I have of this? Scripture my friend, Scripture!

 

(Colossians 1:16 KJVA)  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

 

(Colossians 1:17 KJVA)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

 (John 1:1-3 KJVA)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 

Then let’s go ahead and go right back to the beginning:

 

(Genesis 1:1 KJVA)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 

(Genesis 1:31 KJVA)  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

The question I put to you today is a simple one. Is your life built upon a firm foundation of love, or are you choosing to remain at unrest? Perhaps you really have desired to love and be loved, but for some reason you keep getting in your own way. Maybe you have been like Paul, and all the rest of mankind, and done the things you didn’t want to do and not do the things you really desire to? If you are serious about finding true lasting peace within yourself then open your mind and your heart to the truth. That Philosopher I was talking about spent his whole life searching for the truth and he found it in God. There is no other. And I am sorry if this offends you but there is no other way to God but through His son, Jesus. There is no other way to pay the price for your mistakes. There is no other way for total and complete forgiveness. Without the sacrifice there can be no reconciliation.

 

I have been asking you for years to search for the truth yourself. And I know that many of you have looked and found the truth of God’s love for you through His son Jesus. But I am afraid that there may still be even one who refuses to let go of tradition and religion to discover the truth for themselves. I believe that you might be ready today to ask Jesus into your heart. I believe that today is the day of your salvation. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened. If you have been wavering in doubt, then today you can settle things with God. Today you can start living the real abundant life, free from guilt and shame. Today you can know, really know the resurrection power of LOVE.

 

I am going to pray a prayer and all I ask is that you pray along with me. Pray and believe and be set free:

 

Dear Heavenly Father. We humbly come before you seeking your love. I know and believe that you are LOVE. I also know that I am a sinner in need of a savior. I thank you for making a way for me to be forgiven. I thank you for paying the price for my sin. I believe in my heart of hearts that Jesus died for my sins and rose again to give me eternal forgiveness and life. I accept that forgiveness right now. I accept Your love through Jesus Christ who I make my Lord and savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me the strength to not only receive your love but to spread your love. Thank you LORD for setting me free from the bonds of sin and giving me the strength to overcome temptation. I Love you LORD and declare that I am now a new creation in You!... In Jesus name AMEN!!!!

 

I know that many of the people reading this have been Christians for many years. But I want you to know that you can get a fresh in filling of the Holy Spirit by reaching out to the Father who loves you and has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

 

Today we have built a foundation of LOVE! Upon that you can grow for eternity. God bless you all and always remember that you are loved with an ever-lasing, never-ending supernatural love!!!

 

Your friend;

Pastor Bob