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JANUARY 2, 2005




   For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.  

INTRO: Many people enter the new year with dread and fear, while others enter the new year with hope and anticipation, what makes the difference?” 

   When we entered 2004 none of us knew what was going to happen and none of us know what 2005 holds. 

   As we enter 2005 are we trusting God or are we relying on the arm of flesh? 

Jeremiah 17:5-6 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  

NOTE: Three things about this person: 

  1. He puts his trust in man.
  2. His strength is in the flesh.
  3. His heart departs from God.

   Jeremiah 42:11, 13-16 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand…But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the Lord your God, Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: and now therefore hear the word of the Lord, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.  

   Compare this now to the one who puts his trust in God and His promises. 

Jeremiah 17:7- 8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.  

   God wants to bless us in 2005, it will depend upon us whether or not we receive the blessings God has planned for us. 

JEREMIAH 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  

NOTE: The blessings of God are not material blessings, they are spiritual in nature, the material or physical blessings we receive are byproducts of God’s spiritual blessing they are not the blessing themselves. 

   We do not seek the physical or material blessings; we must seek the spiritual blessings for they are the ones that are eternal. 


NOTE: We must understand that the Church is more than just the local body of believers; it includes all the “Blood Washed Ones”. 

   There are several promises in ISAIAH 54 the God has for His Church. 


ISAIAH 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.  

NOTE: There are two ways of considering being fruitful:

v      Growing physically.

v      Growing spiritually.

   Too often we are more concerned with what God is doing than learning who He is. 

   There is far too much emphasis put on physical growth, we must first grow spiritual before we can grow physically. 

   We want God to do something for us instead of experiencing His presence. 

   Just because a church grows physically does not mean it is bless of God. 

   What are the signs of spiritual growth or maturity? 

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  

   How do we reach spiritual maturity? (Do you really want God’s blessings?) 

Matthew 5:3-11

BLESSED are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  

BLESSED are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  

BLESSED are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  

BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  

BLESSED are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

BLESSED are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  

BLESSED are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  

BLESSED are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  

BLESSED are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  

   The only way for God’s Church to grow in number it must first grow in spiritual strength. 

ISAIAH 54: 2-3 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 

NOTE: Once we understand how God wants to bless us we will understand that this cannot come from man (the arm of flesh) but must come from God and God alone. 

JEREMIAH 29:12-13 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  

   If we truly want God to bless us individually and as His Church, we must seek His spiritual blessings over physical or material blessings. 

   We need to seek: 

v      Hearts turning to God.

v      Lives being changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

v      Sinner coming to repentance.

v      Believers seeking a closer relationship with God.

v      Lives being delivered from the power of the enemy.

v      Healing taking place, physical, emotional and spiritual.

v      Believers seeking ways to serve God within the church. 

CONCLUSION: In 2005 let us be the individual and church that God longs to bless, remembering His blessings are eternal and not the temporary blessings of this world.


In the next few week we will consider these promises God has given us.






JANUARY 9, 2005





   Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.  

INTRO: No man wants an unhappy bride and God wants His Church to be filled with joy. 

JOHN 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  

   There are many things that rob us of joy.  

   What robs you of your joy, the fear of the future, the difficulties of the present or the shame of the past? 

   God is speaking to His Church that has had a very shameful past. 

   They had sinned and turn away from God.

   They had lost the respect of those around them.

   Their enemies had defeated them.

   God’s blessings were no longer on their lives. 

   When we as an individual, as a church or as a nation allow sin to come into our lives we will lose the joy God wants us to possess. 

   The Christian’s joy is dependant on their relationship with God; the closer the relationship the greater the joy. 

   When we allow sin to enter into our lives our relationship with God is broken and shame and guilt enter in, this in turn will robs us of our joy. 

PROVERBS 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. 

   If we can sin and not feel guilt or shame, there is something desperately wrong in our hearts. 

Genesis 3:7-11 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.  And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?  

ISAIAH 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  


NOTE: It is when we repent of our sins and confess them to God that He takes away the shame of our past. 

1 JOHN 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

PSALM 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.  


ISAIAH 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.  

HEBREWS 10:16-17 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  

ROMANS 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  

ROMANS 8:33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  

NOTE: God does not hide our sins He wipes them totally away. 

Satan loves to remind us of our past and thus robbing us of the joy and peace God want for us. 

When we bring up the forgiven past of someone else or even of ourselves, we are doing the work of Satan. 



2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  

EPHESIANS 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  

PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  

NOTE: Not only did God take away the shame of our sins, He also removed the shame of failures. 

   Let us read Psalm 52 together. 

PSALM 51:1-19 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. 

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.  Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.  O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.  For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.  

CONCLUSION:  Do not allow the sins and failures of your past rob you of the joy of the present and the hope of the future.

JANUARY 16, 2005






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. 

INTRO: There are times in our lives when we are faced with adversities: 

v      Illness

v      Disappointments

v      Conflicts

v      Financial set backs

    Some of these come by way of: 

v      Natural (“it rains on the just & the unjust”)

v      Choices we or someone else has made

v      Satan’s attack

v      God is testing us.

v      They are a form of God chastening us. 

   Chastening has two extremes: 

  1. All difficulties in life are God chastening us for our sins.
  2. God is a God of love and does not chasten Christians.

   We see this carried out in real life, there are parents who are very harsh in the disciplining of their children and there are those who never discipline. 

   Both of these have adverse effect.  


Hebrews 12:5-11 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  

NOTE: The word chasten is the Greek word, pahee-dyoo'-o; to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment) chasten (-ise), instruct, learn, teach. 

   The key to the chastening of God is found in verse 6 for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth 

   The Lord’s chastening is never to condemn and destroy, but to redeem and to save. 

PROVERBS 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  

   The Church as Judah often strays away from God and He will chasten us to bring us back. 

Isaiah 54:7-8 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.  

v      We have served other gods.

v      We have been faithless stewards.

v      We have been at heart callous and cold. 

   God will bring hardship and difficulties into our lives not to punish us but rather to bring us back to Him. 

   There is a difference between chastisement and judgment.   

   Judgment only comes after we fail to heed God’s chastening. 

   If we are not willing to hear God whispers of chastisement we will be forced to hear His thunder of judgment. 


NOTE: God disciplines those He loves; yet the affections are only temporary. 

Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.  

NOTE: The difference between the chastening of the Lord and His mercies and faithfulness. 

   God’s discipline is only a short while; His kindness, love is everlasting. 

Isaiah 54:7-8:  

v      For a small moment have I forsaken thee;

v      But with great mercies will I gather thee.  

v      In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment;

v      But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee,  

Lamentations 3:22-26 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.  

NOTE: Human mercies and human faithfulness has limitations but there is no limitation to the mercies and faithfulness of God. 

v      He sought the lost sheep.

v      He searched for the lost coin.

v      He welcomed back the lost son. 


Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  


ISAIAH 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, 

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  

NOTE: God’s love for us is an everlasting love. 

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  


  … neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed. 

John 16:33 (GW) I've told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you'll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world." 


  … saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee 

Habakkuk 3:2 O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.  

James 2:13 (GW) No mercy will be shown to those who show no mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment. 

Psalm 118:29 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  

NOTE: Forty-one times the phrase, “His mercy endureth forever” appears in the Bible. 

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  

MATTHEW 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  

HEBREWS 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  

CONCLUSION:  In difficult days, we must remain faithful.  In times of testing we must trust. In times of disciplining we must repent and return to Him.  In Him and in Him alone, we have HOPE. Don’t be discouraged by the circumstances or disheartened by the hardship we are going through.                                

   “A faith strong enough to grasp this will light up every forest, and overcome every foe.”W. M. Statham

The Pulpit Commentary: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan: ISAIAH Vol. II, pg. 319


The Pulpit Commentary: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan: ISAIAH Vol. II, pg. 319


JANUARY 30, 2005






And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.  

INTRO: Someone said, “Cloths make a man.” 

   Almost any man looks good in at tux. 

   There is an old movie, Tales of Manhattan, about a special coat that changes the lives of those who ware it. 

   God has promised His Church that He would clothe them in Beauty. 

ISAIAH 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.  

ISAIAH 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.  


NOTE: When Adam sinned he lost the covering that God had provided for him and he found himself naked. 

Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  

EZEKIEL 16:4-5 (NLT) When you were born, no one cared about you. Your umbilical cord was left uncut, and you were never washed, rubbed with salt, and dressed in warm clothing.  No one had the slightest interest in you; no one pitied you or cared for you. On the day you were born, you were dumped in a field and left to die, unwanted.

   Ever since that time man has tried to clothe himself. 

Genesis 3:7 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.  

   But the best efforts fall far to short. 

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  

   Many feel they are able to cover their nakedness through religious efforts. 

Revelation 3:17 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:  

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?  



NOTE: Only God can provide the proper clothing that will allow us to stand before Him. 

Zechariah 3:1-5 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.  

ISAIAH 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.  

NOTE: Ashes speak to us of true repentance and when we truly repent of our sins, God takes the filthy garments of sin and our rages of self-righteousness and exchanges them for garments of His Righteousness.

   He takes the sorrow for our sins and exchanges them for the garments of praise. 

NOTE: Jesus invites us to exchange the nakedness of our sins for the white raiment of His Righteouness. 

REVELATION 3:18 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.  

NOTE: Jesus invites us to come and buy but how can we pay for anything we might need from God. 

Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-9 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.  Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David…

   Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

   Jesus has paid the full price for our salvation. 

   Yet there are those who reject the garment of Salvation that Jesus offers and seek to use their own garment of rags. 

ILL: The Marriage Feast.  MATTHEW 22:1-14 (10-12) 

   So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  

NOTE: The king had provided proper clothing for his guest but this guest rejected that which the king had provided and chose to come in his own garment. 

   There are those who refuse to dress appropriately and say, “If they don’t like the way I dress, let them deal with it.”  This is not said out of humility but out of defiance.  

ZEPHANIAH 1:7-8 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.  And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.  

CONCLUSION: God has provided us with the glorious garment of His Salvation it is up to us to accept that which He hath provided. 

ISAIAH 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.



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