Greetings from Pastor Bob and The Encouraging Word; I have so much to fill you in on and so little time. First of all I want to remind you of the live webcast of our services. All you should have to do is to go to the church web site:
and click on where it says” Click here for live web cast of Service.”
Service times are 11:00 AM on Sunday Morning and 6:00 PM Sunday Evening and 7:00 PM Wednesday Night.
We are still working out some of the glitches so bare with us but it should be up and running this week.
We had a great time camping and canoeing and fishing and eating and eating and eating this past week. We had our first church camping adventure and we deep fried a couple of turkeys on Thanks giving and had about 25 people for Thanks giving dinner. I caught one little tiny blue gill. Twitch caught a Garr Fish and a small Bass. No one fell over board this time and everyone had a great time. I’ll try to get some of the pictures up on the web site.
I am not going to spend much time on the Pre amble Ramble this morning as I hope you will spend the time to read today’s message. It is a hard one but I really believe it is something we all need to glean from and grow.
If there is anything at all that we can pray for you about or do for you please do not hesitate to let us know. And if you are ever in the Tampa Bay area please come by and see us. We love and care about you. Enjoy today’s message as we get into the WORD!!!!
Keep On Keeping On!
(Jeremiah 20:9 KJVA) Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
I knew from the start that today’s word was going to come from the book of Jeremiah, but exactly what, I guess I am still not real sure. I want more than anything for the Spirit of the LORD to take over and give to all of us His Words of encouragement today. One thing I noticed is that the book of Jeremiah can be anything but encouraging at times.
His message was basically “Babylon is coming.” Repent and the destruction won’t be so bad, keep with your wicked ways and there will be complete destruction. And no one listened and the first temple was completely destroyed.
As I read portions of the book this past week I kept seeing the people pleading with Jeremiah to seek God for them and they would do anything God told them to do. So Jeremiah would get the Word of God and give it to them and they would call him a liar and throw him in a pit or in prison or try to kill him.
You can’t blame him for wanting to quit. But sometimes quitting is just not an option. And maybe that is exactly what God is trying to tell you today. Quitting is not an option. Even when things seem certain to be going wrong, it is you who have been call for such a time as this.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest, you must - but don't you quit
Life is queer with its twists and turns
As everyone of us sometimes learns
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow
You might succeed with another blow
Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst, That you MUST NOT QUIT!
by Quinton Howell
It is not as easy as it may seem to just walk away from the things that you believe in. If you believe in something then fight for it. If you believe then “be alive.”
Too often we just bang our heads against a wall and wonder why things never seem to get any better. Let’s look at the real message in the book of Jeremiah. I mean, it is easy for us to pick out the verses we like and miss the whole message. The most well known verse in the book is probably Jeremiah 29:11
(Jeremiah 29:11 LITV) For I know the purposes which I am planning for you, says Jehovah; purposes of peace, and not for evil; to give you posterity and a hope.
And that is a good word and we need to really get that in our understanding. God has great plans for your life. There is greatness within you and your latter days are going to be better than the former. The future is a bright one and God not only gives you the desire to do His will but He also gives you the strength and the power to fulfill it.
(Philippians 2:13 KJVA) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
But you have to get the full message of Jeremiah. He is telling us that we need to change. We need to turn back to God and stop with our personal religion and way of doing things and follow Him. God is a God of change. Right from the very beginning in the book of Genesis we read how God changes things.
(Genesis 1:1-3 KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Paul talks about how we need to change our way of ministering to reach the unchurched.
(1 Corinthians 9:16-24 KJV) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
(1 Corinthians 9:22 KJVA) To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Now that is the message that God has for the church today. We need to not be stuck worshiping our little gods of religion and get back to the God of all creation. We need to be innovative. We need to be searching ways to creatively present the good news of God’s love for all the world, to all the world.
Now for the hard part. This is where it gets personal. Let’s get back to Jeremiah. God gave him instruction to give to the people and if the people had listened to them and followed them, then their lives would have been so much better. God wants you to live the abundant life. But we have got to stop doing things our way and start listening to what God has already spoken to us, and do it. We need to repent. We need to change our minds. We need to trust and obey. Some of you might have financial burdens and have heard the word of the Lord telling you over and over to stop robbing God of the tithes, yet you continue to do things your own way and suffer the consequences. Some of you are suffering physically, yet you have heard the Word of the LORD telling you over and over that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and you need to take better care of it yet you continue to run yourself down and suffer the consequences. Some of you are struggling with relationship problems yet you have heard how you need to forgive one another and love one another and yet you continue to hold onto resentments and grudges and suffer the consequences. Some of you have this empty hole in your hearts yet you have heard how God desires to fill that hole with his love. All you have to do is to let Him in.
Throughout the Torah and the through the prophets and the apostles, God has demonstrated his plan of redemption. He paid the price for all of your sins. We know that there is no way that we can be good enough. We know that there is no way that we can make up for what we have done wrong. But God!!!! But God came to earth and took on the tent of a man and paid the price for all your sins. And He rose again and defeated death and the grave. He over came and so can you. Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and is knocking. Change your mind, open the door and let him in.
I know that many people reading this today are already Christians, but God spoke these words to Christians. Look at them in the book of Revelation:
(Revelation 3:20 KJVA) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
He is speaking these words to the lukewarm Christians. Open your heart and let Him in. Quickly let’s read the verses before this one and heed them.
(Revelation 3:15 - 19KJV) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
(Revelation 3:20 KJVA) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:…..
This is your personal invitation. Do you know where you are going when you Die? Have you been lukewarm at best, with your Christian walk? Have you ever really asked Jesus to wash away all of your sins? Have you asked Him to come into your heart of hearts and be the LORD of your Life. Right now is your opportunity to turn things around. Right now is your moment of change. Ask God to forgive you. Invite Him into your heart and declare that He is LORD. The Bible tells us that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is LORD and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the grave, then you will be saved, made whole and complete. I am going to lead you in a simple prayer. If you will pray this with me, and believe, your live will take a new direction and the future will be so much brighter then you have ever imagined.
Pray with me.
Heavenly Father; Forgive me for I am a sinner. Come into my heart. I give you control and make you LORD of every area of my life. I except the truth that Jesus Christ is the messiah and declare that God raised Him from the grave. I give you my life and ask that you fill me to the over flowing with your Holy Spirit. I am yours. In Jesus Name Amen!!!!!
God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you!