Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:31-46

31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Same God. Different reward.
Same opportunities. Different mindset.
The attitude of the people involved is what determined the outcome for each of them.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Hebrews 10:19-25

19. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21. And having an high priest over the house of God;
22. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Matthew 25:1-13

1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

All of them knew the bridegroom was coming.
All of them were called.
But regardless, some of them were too lazy to be properly prepared.
Those that were wise had mastered what they had to do to make sure they were ready (McGyver, Swiss army knife, Boy Scout)

Hebrews 6:10-12

10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (tie in with 1st part)
11. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Proverbs 18:9

9. He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Hebrews 11:6

6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Matthew 20:1-16

1. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4. And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7. They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12. Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
13. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
14. Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
16. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Being called.
Working for the reward.
Many called – few chosen.

Proverbs 11:2

2. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Proverbs 29:23

23. A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:9

9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Don’t get caught out. Be ready for the day and regardless of the emotions that well up inside of us, remind ourselves of the promises of God.

Matthew 25:34

34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Still Small Voice

Elijah on the mountain:

1 Kings 19

  • Wind
  • Earthquake
  • Fire
  • distracted from the still small voice (maybe it was always there, but we weren’t listening)
  • Still Small Voice (expounded from the Hebrew
    • a whisper
    • thin, small, fine
    • sound, voice

God has it covered; peacefully, reassuringly.

Remove ourselves from the drama. Stop – be still and listen.

Psalms 4:4
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalms 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Mark 4:39-40
39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis)

Genesis 3: 1-7
1. Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2. And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

Desire to know everything

Human Beings have a desire to know everything. Technology these days has enabled us to be able to get any knowledge at our fingertips whenever we want. We want to know details as soon as they are found out. If we know something that someone else doesn’t we are one better, we have a leg up. The competitive edge! (Cain & Abel)

There is not just knowing the information, but also knowing every single aspect of it.  And despite that, it doesn’t matter because the other person has the wrong opinion anyway !! So it’s not just a battle of information, but opinions  about that information and how persuasive it is or how you can make it!!

All this points to is our lack of being content. It is never enough. We are never satisfied. Our desire for more is insatiable, because when we speak of something new we becoming “popular” and gain attention for the individual.

1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease.

Extremely appealing, but by allowing it (distractions, useless noise & information) into our lives we also become distracted.

So we are consumed by “information” that we have no need for. Knowledge where its main purpose is just to fill our mind. Self satisfying news that serves to push out any useful understanding like “How to live forever!”.

Daniel 12:4
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Competing for our attention

With all the information feeding our thirst for knowledge, our attention gets drawn in this way and that way. Competing and grading for our every second of consumption. And if we allow it to, it pushes out the knowledge of God and so WE can fix everything ourselves with OUR own knowledge.

Romans 1:28
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

What is happening in our life?

Elijah had a series of good runs. These periods of incredible boldness and being used to demonstrate the power and authority of God … but through all this it appears as though he had a thought in his mind that he was “the only one” (that was doing good, being used by good, going through this situation, etc etc) and there came this moment in his life where he was challenged and fear took over. And the result – he ran.

Maybe we can relate to this. Maybe we feel like we are alone and all we are feeling, seeing and experiencing is:
– The wind shaking the world around us
– Earthquakes trying to knock us off our feet
– And fire consuming everything we see

But none of these are God!

The Wind
  • Fierce strong winds can be incredibly damaging flattening buildings & trees, destroys crops
  • Makes it hard to walk and if (as in this case) it starts to moves rocks, it’s not only the wind that causes us difficulty, but the effects of that wind that we have to watch out for.
  • Once again, a light breeze can be hugely beneficial, by moving on bad weather, drying clothes, cools a hot day – but it’s a fine line.
The earthquakes
  • The things we thought were solid and unmovable
  • The noise and fear
  • The damage to things and people and daily life
The Fire
  • Looks spectacular from a distance but when you get to close it burns
  • In a small contained controlled environment it be hugely beneficial (heat, cooking) but that gives a sense of comfort and peace
  • A large fire is out of control, erratic

Maybe God is trying to speak to us, guide us, direct us, but because it’s doing it in such a quiet fashion we miss it over the glamour and glitz of us knowing everything?

… a still small voice …

I’m sure our first response is “well can’t God speak up?!” (aka Show us a sign and it suffices us – Matthew 12:38) but to seek out an answer (to pray) from God, requires us to remove the noise and allow our heart to truly seek Him out.

Matthew 6:6
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Thought:
Saul being made blind when Jesus spoke to him

Maybe part of the blindness was so that he became acutely aware of the voice of God. That it removed his default senses to allow him to actually hear ...

Job 22:21
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.

Psalm 55:16-18
16. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
17. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
18. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

1 Samuel 1:17
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
(to Hannah asking God for a son – Samuel)

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Isaiah 26:3-4
3. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Marriage

Marriage

The only relationship between a man and woman acceptable to God and to The Church.

Genesis 2:24
Ephesians 5:22-33
1 Timothy 5:11-14
Hebrews 13:4

THOUGHTS:
  • TWO become ONE
  • The woman is the rib of the man … she’s my rib, taken from me, part of me
    • Wife elbowing me in the ribs – remember where I came from and what I’m here to do
  • Do it together, a team, a partnership, don’t run ahead (and don’t fall behind)

Continuing Faith in God

Hebrews 11:1

1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith >> seeking the Lord for a victory

Philippians 1:3-6

3. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4. Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5. For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Reminding ourselves that what God starts, He WILL finish

Romans 8:18

18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:23-25

23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Romans 8:26-28

26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:31-21

31. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Reminding ourselves of what is to come, of hope, and with help, God doesn’t hold back

Matthew 7:7-11

7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

If we know how to look after our children, how much more will God look after His children.

Luke 17:11-19

11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13. And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18. There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Act of Faith despite no visible signs of healing

Thanking God (before and after), also not being caught up in thinking we “deserve” this. It was the Samaritan that came back to thank Jesus.

Ephesians 5:20

20.  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Give thanks ALWAYS

Colossians 1:20-23

20. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
23. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Colossians 1:12

12.  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Continue in Faith, being grounded (established) and settled (content), and giving thanks!

James 1:2-8

2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

LET patience …
If we lack, ASK … in faith NOT wavering

Ephesians 3:14-21

14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

HE THAT HAS EARS TO HEAR