FEBRUARY 7, 2010
“SOULS IN PRISON”
SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM
SCRIPTURE TEXT: PSALM 142:7
Bring my soul out of
prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous
shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal
bountifully with me.
INTRO: Note the title of
this Psalm; Maschil of David;
A Prayer when he was in the cave.
What had led up to this Psalm?
He had been anointed king. (Samuel 16:13)
He had slain Goliath. (I Samuel 17)
He had been made the leader of Israel’s army. (I
He was running from King Saul who sought to kill
him. (I Samuel 19:1)
David sought to be free from his prison in order to
praise God as he longed to, and to fulfill God’s
plan for his life.
When our souls are in prison we are unable to praise
God as we ought, and to fulfill God’s plan for our
I. PRISONS OF OUR SOUL.
NOTE: Not all prisons have
David’s cave was his prison.
James Gardner in “Support Your Local Sheriff.”
Many people and even Christians are held in prison
behind invisible bars.
Doubt & unbelief
Unforgiveness (Toward others and to themselves)
Memories of the past
II. THE AFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE.
Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge
crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us
strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily hinders our
progress. And let us run with endurance the race
that God has set before us.
NOTE: All these things can
keep us in a prison without bars and hinder us from
serving God as we ought.
Psalm 107:10 Such as
sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being
bound in affliction and iron;
NOTE: As long as we are in
prison we are unable to move about in the freedom of
NOTE: We live in
Numbers 11:15 And if
thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of
hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let
me not see my wretchedness.
1 Kings 19:4 But he
himself went a day's journey into the wilderness,
and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he
requested for himself that he might die; and said,
It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I
am not better than my fathers.
FEELING OF HOPELESSNESS
Psalm 142:4 (NLT) I
look for someone to come and help me,
but no one gives me a passing thought! No one
will help me;
no one cares a bit what happens to me.
III. SOULS SET FREE FROM PRISON
NOTE: Jesus came to free
the soul from prison.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit
of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath
anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he
hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of
the prison to them that are bound;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall
be free indeed.
Romans 6:18 Being then
made free from sin, ye became the servants of
Romans 6:22 But now
being made free from sin, and become servants to
God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end
Romans 8:2 For the law
of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me
free from the law of sin and death.
NOTE: Christ has set us
free from any kind of prison but too often we fail
to accept that He has either delivered us or someone
ILL: Peter in prison.
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was
made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she
constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said
they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking:
and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they
CONCLUSION: When Christ
opens the prison doors of our life we must do two
We must give Him the praise that is due Him.
…that I may praise thy name…
NOTE: When we are held
prisoner we can not praise God as we should.
2. Make sure we never again enter into prison.
Galatians 5:1 Stand
fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath
made us free, and be not entangled again with the
yoke of bondage.
Psalm 56:13 For thou
hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou
deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before
God in the light of the living?
FEBRUARY 14, 2010
“WHO OR WHAT IS THE LOVE OF
SCRIPTURE READING: JOHN
SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 21:15
So when they had dined,
Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas,
lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him,
Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith
unto him, Feed my lambs.
INTRO: Valentine Day is
all about love.
There is no great feeling than to love someone and
be loved by someone.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
The question is not whether we love or not, for we
all love something or someone, but what do we love
more than anything or anyone else?
Who or what is the most important person or thing in
Often times it is only when pushed into a corner
that we consider what is most important in our
There are times when our value system is turned
One of the things that Paths Out of Poverty is
trying to teach us is how to evaluate our value
When was the last time you evaluated your spiritual
I. THINGS THAT CAN AFFECT OUR SPIRITUAL VALUE
NOTE: Satan will use
anything he can to cheapen our spiritual values.
But your iniquities have separated between you and
your God, and your sins have hid his face from you,
that he will not hear.
Song of Solomon 2:15
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the
vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to
send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly
him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.
B. RICHES AND POSSESSIONS.
NOTE: Many Christians have
allowed their love for God to be replaced with love
for riches and possessions.
ILL: The Rich Young Ruler.
Matthew 13:22 (NLT) The
thorny ground represents those who hear and accept
the Good News, but all too quickly the message is
crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure
of wealth, so no crop is produced.
NOTE: Are the things you
posses in this world more important to you than your
relationship with God.
Matthew 6:24 (NIV) "No
one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the
one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God
Matthew 6:32-33 (NLT)
Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned
about these things? Your heavenly Father already
knows all your needs, and he will give you all you
need from day to day if you live for him and make
the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
II. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD MUST BE OUR NUMBER
Mark 8:36 For what
shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul?
NOTE: Too many are
satisfied with just a casual relationship with God.
We must not long for head knowledge of God but
rather a heart-to-heart intimacy with Him.
ILL: A Test of Love
Augustine once preached a sermon in which he
proposed a kind of self-test to see if we truly love
Suppose God proposed to you a deal and said, “I will
give you anything you want. You can possess
the whole world. Nothing will be impossible
for you…Nothing will be a sin, nothing forbidden.
Your will never die, never have pain, never have
anything you do not want and always have anything
you do want – except for just one thing: you will
never see my face.”
Augustine closed with a question:
Did a chill rise in your hearts, when you heard the
words, “you will never see my face”? That
chill is the most precious thing in you; that is the
pure love of God.
A. LOVEST THOU ME MORE
John 21:15 So when they
had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of
Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He
saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
NOTE: Three times Peter
denied Jesus, three times he fell asleep while Jesus
prayed, three time Jesus ask him, “Do you love Me?”
The question arises, what does Jesus mean by these?
His fishing boat and occupation
His fellow disciples
John 21:15 (GW) After
they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter,
"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than the
other disciples do?" Peter answered him, "Yes,
Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus told
him, "Feed my lambs."
Do you love me more than these other disciples?
Regardless what the word these mean, the question
remains, “Do you love me more than anything or
NOTE: At least five times
we are told to love God more than anything or anyone
Mark 12:30 And thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with
all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 11:1, Matthew 22:37 &
NOTE: When we allow
anything or anyone to come between our love for God
then they become the idols we worship.
Jonah 2:8 (NIV)
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the
grace that could be theirs.”
Jonah 2:8 (NLT)
Those who worship false gods turn their backs on all
CONCLUSION: There may come
a day when our love for God will be tested and it is
my prayer that my love and your love for God will
supersede our love for anything or anyone else.
FEBRUARY 21, 2010
SCRIPTURE READING: MATTHEW
Hebrews 12:2 (GW)
We must focus on Jesus,
the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy
ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and
ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he
received the highest position in heaven, the one
next to the throne of God.
INTRO: “What you see is
what you get.”
When you are plowing a field you must pick out a
point ahead and keep you eyes on it if you want to
make straight furls.
In our Christian walk it
is important that we have singleness of sight if we
are to please God.
This event is written in
three of the four Gospels.
Each Gospel sheds a little different light.
Often times to get a
clearer understand of what God is trying to teach us
though His Word, we must consider the setting of the
event we are trying to comprehend.
Three things happen that
sent this event into action:
Jesus had revived the news of John the Baptist
Matthew 14:13 (NLT)
As soon as Jesus heard the
news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote
area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was
headed and followed by land from many villages.
had just fed 5,000 men plus women and children.
Matthew 14:19-21 (NLT)
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass.
And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up
toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food.
Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the
bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples
gave them to the people. They all ate as much
as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of
leftovers. About five thousand men had eaten from
those five loaves, in addition to all the women and
people wanted to make Jesus king.
Then those men, when they
had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, “This is
of a truth that prophet that should come into the
world.” When Jesus therefore perceived that
they would come and take him by force, to make him a
king, he departed again into a mountain himself
I. WHY WAS THE DISCIPLE IN THE MIDST OF A STORM?
A. THEY WERE IN A STORM BECAUSE JESUS SENT THEM.
Matthew 14:22 And
straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get
into a ship, and to go before him unto the other
side, while he sent the multitudes away.
NOTE: Through-out the Word
of God we see many giants of the Faith facing storms
in their lives.
We experience storms in our lives even though we are
Each storm we face and overcome makes us stronger.
James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face
trials of many kinds, because you know that the
testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The people wanted to make Jesus king of their
John 6:14-15 (NLT) When
the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed,
"Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!"
Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force
and make him king, so he went higher into the hills
They were only concerned
with a natural kingdom.
The disciples could have been easily swayed to
follow the crowd.
This was another temptation from Satan to avoid the
II. WHERE WAS JESUS DURING THE STORM?
Mark 6:46-48 (NLT)
Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to
pray. During the night, the disciples were in
their boat out in the middle of the lake, and Jesus
was alone on land. He saw that they were in
serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against
the wind and waves. About three o'clock in the
morning he came to them, walking on the water. He
started to go past them,
A. HE WAS PHYSICALLY
SEPARATED FROM THE
NOTE: When you are going
through a storm do you long for the physical
presence of Jesus?
Don’t you think the disciples questions why Jesus
wasn’t with them?
Do we cry out, “Jesus where are you” when we are the
midst of a storm?
Psalm 142:4 I looked on
my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that
would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my
Mark 4:38 And he was in
the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and
they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest
thou not that we perish?
B. HE WAS PRAYING
NOTE: Even though Jesus
may not be with us physically He is praying for us.
Romans 8:34 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.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore
he is able also to save them to the uttermost that
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them.
C. HE WAS WATCHING
Mark 6:48a (NLT) He saw
that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and
struggling against the wind and waves…
D. HE WAS COMING
Mark 6:48b (NLT) …About
three o'clock in the morning he came to them,
walking on the water. He started to go past them,
III. HOW DID THE DISCIPLES REACT?
NOTE: How do we react when
storms come into our lives?
Matthew 14:26 (NLT)
When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror,
thinking he was a ghost.
NOTE: Often times when we
are experiencing storms we fail to recognize that it
is God Who is there and we cry out in fear.
When we are faced with circumstances beyond our
control we should not be discourage but put our
trust in God.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet
praise him for the help of his countenance.
42:11, Psalm 43:5)
A. PETER WANTED PROOF IT WAS JESUS.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be
thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And
he said, Come.
B. PETER TOOK A STEP OF FAITH.
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he
walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
C. PETER FAILED TO WALK IN SINGLENESS OF SIGHT.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid;
and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save
Luke 11:34-36 (NLT)
Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets
sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out
the light and plunges you into darkness. Make
sure that the light you think you have is not really
darkness. If you are filled with light, with
no dark corners, then your whole life will be
radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you."
NOTE: When we take our
eyes off Jesus and begin to look at the
circumstances (either good or bad) that surround us,
our eyes sight becomes darken. The more we
look the darker it becomes.
D. PETER TURNED BACK TO JESUS.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and
caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little
faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
CONCLUSION: Even though we
may take our eyes off Jesus in the midst of a storm,
all we need to do is look back to Him.
FEBRUARY 28, 2010
APPLE OF THE EYE”
SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM
Psalm 17:8 (NIV)
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the
shadow of your wings
What is your most prize possession?
How far would you go to protect you most prize
How important do you think you are to God?
This is one of the many
prayers of David found in the book of Psalm.
We do not know the setting of this Psalm but we do
know the condition in which it was prayed.
David was in trouble; David is seeking God’s help to
protect him against those who wish to destroy him.
David asked God to do two things from him:
Keep him as the apple of the eye
Hide him under his wings
We may not be surrounded as David was with physical
enemies but we are under attack from the enemy of
our soul and we too can ask God the same request.
I. WE ARE THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE.
NOTE: Just was does David
mean when he said, “Keep me as the Apple of thine
Of our five senses, eye
sight is probably the one we hold most precious.
He was under attack from all sides and he wanted to
remind God how precious he was to God.
A. WE ARE PRECIOUS TO GOD.
NOTE: We are so precious
to God that He sought us while we were still in our
Deuteronomy 32:10 (NLT)
"He found them in a desert land, in an empty,
howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched
over them; he guarded them as his most precious
[Deuteronomy 32:10 (KJV)
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste
howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed
him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.]
Romans 5:8 But God
commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 Peter 1:19 (NLT) He
paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ,
the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
B. HE WILL DELIVER US IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
BECAUSE WE ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM.
Psalm 72:14 (NLT)
He will save them from oppression and from violence,
for their lives are precious to him.
C. HIS THOUGHTS TOWARDS US ARE PRECIOUS.
Psalm 139:17 (NLT)
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They
Jeremiah 29:11 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.
D. IT BREAKS GOD’S HEART WHEN WE ALLOW SIN
TO DEFEAT US.
Jeremiah 14:17 (NLT)
"Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: 'Night and day my
eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for
my virgin daughter—my precious people—has been run
through with a sword and lies mortally wounded on
E. WE ARE GOD’S MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSION.
Zechariah 2:8 (NLT)
"After a period of glory, the Lord Almighty sent me
against the nations who oppressed you. For he said,
'Anyone who harms you harms my most precious
[Zechariah 2:8 (KJV)
For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory
hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you:
for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his
II. WE CAN FIND SHELTER UNDER HIS WINGS.
NOTE: When you are facing
difficult situations, is there someplace you long to
go to get away.
God longs for us to come to Him during these
Psalm 27:5 For in the
time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in
the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he
shall set me up upon a rock.
God will hide us in His tabernacle of His presence.
Psalm 31:20 Thou shalt
hide them in the secret of thy presence from the
pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a
pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Psalm 32:7 Thou art my
hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
thou shalt compass me about with songs of
NEAR TO THE HEART OF GOD
CCLI Song No. 3276383
2001 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group,
CCLI License No. 3015254
Jesus blest Redeemer
Sent from the heart of God
Hold us who wait before Thee
Near to the heart of God
There is a place of quiet rest
Near to the heart of God
place where sin cannot molest
Near to the heart of God
There is a place of comfort sweet Near to the heart
place where we our Savior meet
Near to the heart of God
There is a place of full release
Near to the heart of God
place where all is joy and peace
Near to the heart of God
NOTE: God will give us
songs in the midst of our circumstances.
ILL: Paul & Silas in prison
Acts 16:25 (NIV) About
midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing
hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening
People are watching how we react when we are faced
Psalm 64:2 Hide me from
the secret counsel of the wicked; from the
insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
When Satan seeks to plan our destructions God will
hide us from his plans.
Psalm 119:114 Thou art
my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.
God’s Word is a place of
safety and assurance, and we can find a hiding place
in the promises of His Word.
Psalm 143:9 Deliver me,
O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide
CONCLUSION: In the sight
of God we are all precious and He longs to bless us
and keep us safe, but not everyone will allow Him to
Luke 13:34 (GW)
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you kill the prophets and
stone to death those sent to you! How often I wanted
to gather your children together the way a hen
gathers her chicks under her wings! But you were not