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FEBRUARY 4, 2007



SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 7:14 (KJV)  

   Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  

INTRO: How often do we stop and think why did Jesus come and take on human form and nature? 

   What did it truly involved?    

Philippians 2:1-4 (KJV) If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  

Today is Communion Sunday, what is the difference between open and closed Communion? 

   There always seem to those who think they can dictate who is qualified to come to God and who isn’t. 


John 6:37 (KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  

NOTE:  Jesus had OPENED the door to everyone and therefore His Church must have an OPENED door policy. 

   How has Jesus OPENED the door? 

1.       Jesus set forth the opened door policy by His birth. 

Empty Mangers Saturday, February 03, 2007

by Os Hillman

Proverbs 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

   When Jesus came into this world, He chose to be born in a most unusual place-a manger. It was no more than a livery stable with goats, oxen, and other livestock animals. There is a distinctive characteristic about a place like this. It is filled with odors and dung from the animals. God seems to work best among the unpleasantness of circumstances. In fact, "where there are no oxen, the manger is empty." What is this really saying? I believe it is saying that in order for Jesus to be present, we must invite those things that bring with them "messes to clean up." God works among the messy things in our lives. And from these messes come an abundant harvest. This is what He did with all His highly used servants in the Bible. God is filled with paradoxes. Why can't life be seamless and smooth? Because God likes to show Himself in the midst of the messes of life. This is what brings us into the harvests. So often the bigger the mess, the bigger the harvest.

   When a major road-construction project takes place in a crowded city street, it appears to be absolute chaos. It is inconvenient, slow-moving and tends to get us irritated because it appears we are moving much slower than we would like. It is ugly, and so much of what we see is torn up. But when we look at that same area a few months or years later, we see why the construction was necessary. There was meaning to the mess. It actually made life so much better for those who would use the road.

   It has been through the messiest of times in my business and personal life that God has revealed His power and strength in my life. It was when these "oxen" of hardship have walked into my manger that the greatest harvest was manifest. However, when I have sought to remove the "oxen" and rid myself of the odor and the mess, I have fought the ultimate work of God.

God works in mangers. 

2.       He came to seek and saved the lost. 

Luke 19:10 (KJV) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.  

NOTE: There are several ways in which to be lost: 

·         Do not know where you are going.

·         Do not know where you are.

·         They have been driven away by “Healthy sheep”. 

Ezekiel 34:17-21 (NLT) "And as for you, my flock, my people, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, separating the sheep from the goats. Is it not enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Is it not enough for you to take the best water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? All that is left for my flock to eat is what you have trampled down. All they have to drink is water that you have fouled. "Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. For you fat sheep push and butt and crowd my sick and hungry flock until they are scattered to distant lands.  

·         They are confused where they are.

·         They feel there is no hope. 

3.       He came to call the sinners to repentance. 

Matthew 9:10-13 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  

3.  Those who Jesus sought out. 

·         Zacchaeus

·         Woman at the well

·         The woman caught in adultery

·         Blind Bartimeus

·         Syrophenician Woman

·         Saul of Tarsus

·         Children



2 Peter 3:9 (GW) The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.  

ILL: The seven year old boy who was told he couldn’t come to church with boots. 

   The little girl who was not allowed in Sunday School because she didn’t have a dress. 

   No one has the right to tell someone else that they cannot come to Church because of their dress, race, background or even life style. 

   If we consider someone’s life style to be wrong, then what better place for them, than in Church? 

   The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.    

   Too many people have been kept out of church too long by too many within the church. 


Received from Stories of Encouragement 

   The first time I saw a white man, I was in church in our Alabama parish in the middle of August and it was very, very hot. The preacher rambled on, his fire and brimstone sermon seasoned with an occasional Hallelujah from our sweaty congregation. I was daydreaming about the Sunday feast that we would have after church. This was a reward for sitting through 2 hours of preaching.

   But that Sunday everything changed for me. In the middle of his Bible-thumping, fist clenched exuberance, the reverend stopped. The silence caught me by surprise and at first I thought maybe he knew I wasn't listening. I looked at the pulpit; to see him standing there with an expression of disgust, staring at the back of the church as if the devil himself had just entered...I turned to see.

   There, leaning against the front doors of our church, our pure-black church was a drifter, a skinny, disheveled, white drifter. This man, this invader of our sacred space, stood before us in all his un-holiness. His ragged clothes seemed to hang on him and his face looked pasty and sunken, like a man waiting for death. Worst of all, he had entered our church barefoot, his blistered, bloody feet staining our holy wood floor.

   We were still. He walked down the center aisle with slow, deliberate steps. His legs looked fragile and weak and his hunched back made him look as though he carried the world on his shoulders.

   "Pardon me, Reverend", he said as he removed his hat and seated himself in the front pew. The preacher looked around the congregation and then at Mr. Jackson, our layman, who barely acknowledged the man before turning away. Looking down at the bloody floor, the reverend shook his head. He glanced at the drifter for just a second and with a roll of his eyes, picked up where he had left off.

   The man glanced at the stained floor and bowed his head, ashamed. I was confused by the preacher's reaction. I had never really listened to the Sunday sermons, but bits and pieces I had picked up had taught me that God wanted us to be kind to others. And yet here, in the place that this preacher called "God's house," I was witness to a stranger in need being passed over.

   Then, to my right, Momma rose. Clutching her good Sunday kerchief, she walked straight to the church's christening bowl. The reverend stopped speaking. Taking the pitcher of water that the reverend himself had been drinking from during his sermon, she stepped down to the front pew. "Be not ashamed, my brother," said Momma, kneeling in front of the man. I leaned forward and watched as she filled the christening bowl with the water, and then, dunking her kerchief, she bathed the man's feet. I could see the man's face as he began to cry.

   Engrossed in the miracle that I had just witnessed, I had forgotten about dinner by the time Momma returned to her seat. I had seen Momma through different eyes that day. Like Rosa Parks walking to the front of the bus, Momma had challenged the racism that surrounded her. Like Susan B. Anthony, taking charge when it was necessary, Momma had showed me the strength of a woman's actions. And, like the Good Samaritan helping a stranger in need, Momma had gone to the aid of another in need of kindness.

   That hot Alabama Sunday, Momma showed me not only who she was, but who I was. In one day, she set a lifelong example, paving a road for her only daughter to walk down proudly. As an African American, as a woman, as a Christian.

   This mother taught a lesson by example that could not be taught any other way. Isn't that the way God expects us to teach others. Yes, we use words, but we add conviction and power to the lessons with the way we live our lives.


CONCLUSION:  It doesn’t matter who comes through our doors, we must show them, LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND FORGIVENESS, if we are to be God’s Church. 


FEBRUARY 11, 2007 



SCRIPTURE TEXT: 1 John 1:7 (KJV)  

   But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  

NOTE: Consider the background of Isaiah prophecy to Ahaz.  Isaiah 7:1-9:7, this time period is covered in II Kings 16 & II Chronicles 28

·         Ahaz worshipped false gods.

·         Syria and Israel attacked Judea.

·         God promised to deliver Judea and asked Ahaz go ask for a sign. 

·         Ahaz refused, would rather trust in Assyria.

·         Built the great altar patterned after the altar in Damascus.

·         God promised great judgment because of Ahaz’s sin.

·         God also promised great deliverance. Isaiah 9:1-7

   What does this prophecy have to do with us, some 2,747 years later? 

NOTE: These historical events have tremendous spiritual lessons for us today. 

1 Corinthians 10:6 (KJV) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.  


NOTE: The Church, like Judah, is surrounded by her enemy Satan. 

·         Main line churches are falling away from God’s Word. 

o        Denying Creation

o        Denying the Virgin Birth

o        Denying the miracles

o        Denying the teachings against sin.


·         Church leaders are falling away into sin.

·         Government is denying Christian freedoms.

·         Society is attacking Christian values.

·         There are fractions within the Church.


   The darken clouds of sin; hopelessness and despair are slowly covering the Church. 

   It is easy to get caught up and give up. 

   When we are in the darkness, of things going against what we want or thinks should happen, it is easy to stumble and fall away from God and the Church. 


NOTE: We must walk in the Light. 


2 Corinthians 11:14 (KJV) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  

ILL: Man looking under a street lamp. 

   Whenever we are facing times of darkness, Satan wants us to walk in any light other than the Light of God’s Grace. 

·         Human Resources (Ahaz trusting Assyria) 

Jeremiah 17:5 (NIV) This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

 ·         Human Reasoning (false gods) 

NOTE: Human reasoning wants the easy way out. 

   It seems to be easier on the flesh to follow human reasoning that God’s direction. 

1 Kings 12:28 (NIV) After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt."  

   Human reasoning wants to do away with anything that considers God. 

Job 2:9 (GW) His wife asked him, “Are you still holding on to your principles? Curse God and die!”  

·         The light of religious fluff. 

NOTE: There are those who claim to be Believers but are not. 

   They only want to hear things that are pleasant to the ears. 

   They do not want any demands place upon them. 

Jeremiah 2:13 (KJV) For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.  

Jeremiah 5:31 (KJV) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?  

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


NOTE: God has a double blessing for those who do not put their confidence in the flesh but rather in the Lord. 

Psalms 1:1 (GW) Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people… 

Jeremiah 17:7 (KJV) Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.  

NOTE: When we are experiencing times of darkness, as we all will, it is best to walk in the Light of God Grace. 

Isaiah 9:2 (KJV) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.  

1 John 1:7 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  

Psalms 119:105 (KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  


Isaiah 9:3-7 (ASV) Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of Midian.  For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire. 

NOTE: Four things happen: 

1.      They are blessed with growth.

2.      Their sadness is turned to joy.

3.      They joy in the harvest of souls.

4.      They joy in victory over Satan and sin.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.  

1.      Wonderful

2.      Counselor

3.      Mighty God

4.      Everlasting Father

5.      Prince of Peace

CONCLUSION: There is no need to stumble in the darkness when we can walk in the Light of God’s Grace. 

ELOHIM  The All Powerful One – The Creator 

ADONAI  The Lord our Master 

EL ELYON  God Most High 

EL SHADDAI  Almighty God 

JEHOVAH  The Self-existent One 

JEHOVAH JIREH  The Lord Will Provide 

JEHOVAH ROPHE  The Lord Heals 

JEHOVAH NISSI  The Lord Is Our Banner 

JEHOVAH MEKADESH  The Lord Who Sanctifies You 

JEHOVAH SHALOM  The Lord Our Peace 

JEHOVAH TISDKENU  The Lord Is Our Righteousness 

JEHOVAH ROHI  The Lord Is My Shepherd 

JEHOVAH SHAMMAH  The Lord is There 

EL-ROI  The God Who Sees Me 


FEBRUARY 18, 2007  



SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 10:27 (KJV)  

And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.  

INTRO: The book of Isaiah is often called, “The Gospel of the Old Testament.” 

   Chapters seven through twelve of Isaiah, deals with the story of Ahaz and how his ungodly reign brought destruction and almost total annihilation to the nation of Judah. 

   It is filled with Messianic Prophecies and symbolism.   


1.      Isaiah 7:14 (the virgin birth)

2.      Isaiah 9:1-7 (the birth of Jesus)

3.      Isaiah 10:27 (the defeat of Satan & sin)

4.      Isaiah 11 (the unity found in Christ & His cross, vs. 10 & 12)

5.      Isaiah 12 (the song of deliverance)

   I believe that in symbolism, Jerusalem is a type of the Church and Assyria a type of Satan and sin. 

   Satan seeks to destroy the Church and its people through sin. 

   Many Christians believe that they must sin, they cannot live a day without sinning. 

   We sin when we do longer have the desire to live above sin and we do not yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. 

  It like trying to lose weight, it takes both desire and commitment. 

   But God has given us the power through the Holy Spirit to live a live above sin. 


Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.  

NOTE: It is the yoke that controls the oxen and causes it to pull the heavy load. 

   When sin is in control we are living under a very heavy load. 

   It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from sin, but it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us victory over sin. 

Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  

   Many people try to practice half-hearted conversion.  They want Jesus to be their Savior but they don’t want Him to be their master. 

Matthew 12:43-45 (NLT) "When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, `I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and clean.  Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation."  

   If Jesus cannot be Lord of all, He won’t be Lord at all. 

   The best witness is a holy life. 

   A holy life is not a life not doing this or that, it is a life of doing what God wants us to do. 

   If we are more concerned with what we are supposed to do instead of what we are not supposed to do, our lives would please God much more. 


 NOTE: A holy life is a fruitful life.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law.  


1.      Love

2.      Joy

3.      Peace

4.      Patience

5.      Kindness

6.      Goodness

7.      Faithfulness

8.      Gentleness

9.      Self-control

NOTE: Even though all these fruits may not be mature in our lives, we should be striving to bring them into fruitfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

   Which areas of fruitfulness to you see in your life and which areas are lacking? 


NOTE: There are no drones in the Church of God. 

   God has given each of us tasks to fulfill in His Church. 

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NLT) Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.  


NOTE:  God does not expect us all to have the same gift, but He does expect us to use the gifts that He has given us.


1.      Word of wisdom

2.      Word of knowledge

3.      Faith

4.      Healing

5.      Miracles

6.      Prophecy

7.      Discerning of spirits

8.      Tongues

9.      Interpretation of tongues

ROMANS 12:6-8 

1.      Ministry

2.      Teaching

3.      Exhortation

4.      Giving

5.      Ruling

6.      Mercy


1.      Helps

2.      Hospitality

3.      Administration

4.      Leadership

5.      Service

CONCLUSION:  The Power of the Anointing will break the yoke of sin, produce spiritual fruit in our lives and make us a productive Christian enriching the Body of Christ.


FEBRUARY 25, 2007 



SCRIPTURE TEXT: Isaiah 25:9 (KJV) And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  

INTRO: As we look at the things that are going on around us it is easy to get caught up with fear and uncertainty.  

   The foundations of the world around us are being shaken.  

·         Wars

·         Natural disasters

·         Sickness & diseases

·         Famine

·         Global warming

·         Inhuman treatment towards others.

   Sin is becoming more and more blatant. 

   The Church is coming under greater attack, both within and without.  

   If we only looked on the things we see with our natural eyes we would be filled with anxiety.  

   But a true Christian’s has many reasons to rejoice in spite of what is going on around us. 

NOTE: “We have every reason in the world to rejoice”, no let me rephrase that, We have every reason in GOD to rejoice


Isaiah 25:1 (KJV) O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  

NOTE: The joy we experience depends on who or what we choose to be our god. 

Luke 16:13 (KJV) No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.   

   Those who choose earthly things to be what they worship will never find true satisfaction. 

Ecclesiastes 2:1-17 (17) Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  

   Who is your god, the things of this life or the God of life? 

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  




Isaiah 25:2 (KJV) For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.  

Isaiah 25:5 (KJV) Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.  

Isaiah 25:10-12 (KJV) For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.  

NOTE: These verses not only refer to the fall of physical Babylon under that attack of the Medes and Persians, but it also refers to the fall of spiritual Babylon that is recorded in the book of Revelation. 

Revelation 14:8 (NIV) A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."  


Isaiah 25:4 (KJV) For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.  

·         Strength to the poor

·         Strength to the needy

·         A refuge from the storms

   The problems and struggles that seek to destroy our relationship with God.  

·         A shadow from the heat

   The trials and temptations from Satan in this life. 

Isaiah 25:6-8 (KJV) And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

 NOTE: It was on Mount Calvary that Jesus defeated Satan by paying the price for our redemption. 

·         An abundance of blessings of good things.  (Psalm 103)

Vs. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 

·         The threats and attacks of Satan

·         The sin that separates us from God

·         The penalty of sin, death shall be removed.

Vs. 8a He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces…; 

·         Tears and sorrows will be wiped away forever

Vs. 8band the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. 

·         The reproach against God’s people will be removed

Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  

CONCLUSION: As Children of God we cannot be caught up with looking at the things around us and allowing them to dictate our emotions but rather we must look ahead to what God has planned for us and rejoice in His Grace and Mercy.


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