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AUGUST 7, 2016






SCRIPTURE TEXT: James 4:3 (BBE) You make your request but you do not get it, because your request has been wrongly made, desiring the thing only so that you may make use of it for your pleasure.


INTRO: Prayer is one of the most powerful tool a Believer has


   But sometimes it can be misused and even cause damage


   James warns us of the danger of misusing prayers


·         We pray with selfish motive

·         We pray asking God to jump through hoops

·         We pray sinful prays

·         We pray without faith

·         We pray unwisely


NOTE: This story is found in three locations: 2 Kings 20, 2 Chronicles 32:24-26 and

Isaiah 38






2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.


NOTE: The message was from the Lord


   It was given as a warning not in judgment


·         He was to die, not recover


   We all face the day of death


Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,


   Born once die twice, born twice die once


·         He was to set his house in order


   He was warned to prepare himself for death


   We also face the day of our death, have we set our house in order for that day.




NOTE: When hearing Isaiah’s word, Hezekiah turned to prayer


2 Kings 20:2-3 (NIV) Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.


·         He reminded God of all he had done


o    His faithful walk

o    His heart full of love for God

o    His conduct was righteous


   Whenever we are faced with a difficult situation the first and best thing we can do is pray


   When we pray we open all the resources of heaven


Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:  


·         He was not willing to accept God’s plan for him


   Hezekiah believed in the Love of God, the Power of God, but he doubted in the Wisdom of God.


   He was not willing to say, “Not my will but Thine be done”




2 Kings 20:4-6 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.


   God promised Hezekiah four things:


·         Hezekiah would be healed

·         Hezekiah would once worship in the Temple

·         God would give him 15 more years

·         God would deliver Jerusalem from Assyria


   God moved the sundial back ten degrees


Isaiah 38:7-8 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.


   Hezekiah’s song of thanksgiving: Isaiah 38:9-20


   God healed Hezekiah


Isaiah 38:21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.


NOTE: There are times when God answers our prayers but with it comes a leanness of soul.




NOTE: Three things happened to Hezekiah when God granted his prayer


·         Hezekiah’s heart was lifted up with pride


2 Chronicles 32:25 (TLB) However, Hezekiah didn’t respond with true thanksgiving and praise for he had become proud, and so the anger of God was upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem.


·         Hezekiah revealed all his treasure and weapons to the Babylonian ambassadors


2 Chronicles 32:31 (TLB) However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to find out about the miracle of his being healed, God left him to himself in order to test him and to see what he was really like.


2 Kings 20:13 (GW) Hezekiah was so happy with them that he showed the messengers his warehouse: the silver, gold, balsam, fine olive oil, his entire armory, and everything in his treasury. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and every corner of his kingdom.


·         Manasseh was born three years after Hezekiah’s prayer


2 Chronicles 33:1-2,6 (TLB) Manasseh was only twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But it was an evil reign, for he encouraged his people to worship the idols of the heathen nations destroyed by the Lord when the people of Israel entered the land… And Manasseh sacrificed his own children as burnt offerings in the Valley of Hinnom. He consulted spirit-mediums, too, and fortune-tellers and sorcerers, and encouraged every sort of evil, making the Lord very angry.


CONCLUSION: The secret to successful prayer


1.    Pray with faith


Hebrews 11:6 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.


James 1:6 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.


2.    We must pray according to God’s will not ours.


   Jesus gave us the great example


Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.


   When we pray according to God’s will, and not ours, we will receive the best answer to our prayer.


AUGUST 14, 2016






SCRIPTURE TEXT: 2 Chronicles 34:2


   And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.


INTRO: How often have we judged a person by their home life and up bringing?


   How often to the children following in the footprints of their parents?


   Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah.


   His grandfather was Manasseh; his father was Amon, both who were ungodly.


   Manasseh had repented of his sins before Amon became king; Amon was assassinated, perhaps because he had returned Judea to idol worship.


   Josiah was eight years old when he became king.


   What hope did Josiah have being raised by these ungodly kings?


   Josiah was the last of Judea’s godly kings.


   Of the twenty kings of Judah, only four sought to be fully obedient to God’s Word (Asa, Jehoshaphet, Hezekiah and Josiah).


   Josiah did not waver in his allegiance to God


2 Chronicles 34:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.


NOTE: The Scriptures are silent in regards to the first eight years of Josiah’s reign


   What motivated and inspired Josiah during this time, Manasseh’s repentance, his mother’s influence?


   What is motivating us to serve God with all our heart?


·         The thought of our reward in heaven

·         To escape from hell

·         The positive lifestyle of Christianity

·         Love and appreciation for God


   Josiah did four things that brought God’s blessings into his life.




   At the age of 16, Josiah began to seek the Lord with all his heart.


2 Chronicles 34:3a For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father:


Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;


   Like Josiah, we live in a godless world and unless we seek God with all our heart there is a good chance of allowing the things of this world to come in and corrupt our hearts


Isaiah 55:6-7 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.


   In order to seek the Lord with our whole heart we must get rid of everything that comes between us and God




NOTE: At the age of 20 Josiah began to destroy all the idols


2 Chronicles 34:3b and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.


   Anything that keeps us from loving God with all our hearts is an idol in our lives.


·         Our personal relationships


Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.


·         Our possessions


Mark 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,


John 21:15a So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?




NOTE: At the age of 26 he began to repair the Temple


2 Chronicles 34:8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.


NOTE: I see two ways we can fulfill this example


1.    Taking care of our physical temple (the church)


ILL: Man looking for a church where he doesn’t have to do anything


2.    Taking care of our spiritual temple (our body)


1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; or the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.




NOTE: The Word of the Lord brought conviction to his heart


2 Chronicles 34:19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.


   He committed himself and his people to obey God’s Word


2 Chronicles 34:31-32 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. And he required everyone in Jerusalem and the people of Benjamin to make a similar pledge. The people of Jerusalem did so, renewing their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors.


CONCLUSION: If we want God’s blessings in our life, we must follow the example of Josiah’s four points:


1.    We must seek the Lord with our whole heart

2.    We must free our lives from anything that comes between us and God

3.    We must worship God in sincerity and truth

4.    We must allow the Word of God to direct our life and seek to bring it’s truth to others


AUGUST 21, 2016








   When we were baptized into his death, we were placed into the tomb with him. As Christ was brought back from death to life by the glorious power of the Father, so we, too, should live a new kind of life.


INTRO: What is Water Baptism and what does it represents?


   There are two important things about Water Baptism we must understand:


1.    Water Baptism does not wash away our sins. Only the Blood of Jesus can wash away our sins.

2.    Water Baptism does not guarantee that we will get into heaven


   John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance


Matthew 3:11 (KJV) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:


   If baptism is a baptism of repentance, why did Jesus come to John to be baptized?


Matthew 3:15 (BBE) But Jesus made answer, saying to him, Let it be so now: because so it is right for us to make righteousness complete. Then he gave him baptism.


1)    Jesus’s baptism symbolizes the beginning of His ministry.


Exodus 29:4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.


   When we are baptized into Christ it should mark the beginning of our ministry for Him.


2)    Jesus’s baptism foretold what His ministry was.


·         His death

·         Burial

·         Resurrection




Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?


   It was Jesus’ death on the cross that provided the cleansing of our sins.


Romans 5:9 (GW) Since Christ's blood has now given us God's approval, we are even more certain that Christ will save us from God's anger.


Hebrews 9:14 (GW) The blood of Christ, who had no defect, does even more. Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God and cleansed our consciences from the useless things we had done. Now we can serve the living God.


   It is through repentance that we acknowledge our sins and seek God’s grace.


2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.


   Without the cross, Water Baptism is worthless




Romans 6:4a (GW) When we were baptized into his death, we were placed into the tomb with him…


   It is one thing to acknowledge our sin it is another to repent of our sin.


   Repentance of our sins means being dead to sin and that sin no longer rules over us.


Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.


Romans 6:12 - 13 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.


   Being buried with Christ has made us dead to sin and free from its condemnation.


Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.




Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


   As Jesus was raised in the power of the Holy Spirit, so should we should walk in the power of the Holy Spirit following Water Baptism.


Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.


NOTE: There are three things we need to understand about Water Baptism


1.     We are baptized into Christ not a church


Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?


2.     It is a public declaration of our commitment to Christ.


Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


3.    Water Baptism is by immersion


NOTE: The Greek word used for baptism is “bopitzo” which means “To Immerse”.


Jesus was baptized by immersion


Matthew 3:16 (NKJV) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.


CONCLUSION: Water Baptism is more than a physical act, it is a spiritual experience.


Colossians 2:10-13 (NKJV) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,


AUGUST 28, 2016







   But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.


INTRO: The Christian walk is faced with many different times when we will be tempted to compromise.


   The closer we come to Jesus’s return the temptation to compromise will be stronger.


   Consider the story of Daniel and the three Hebrew Children


   Nebuchadnezzar had come and defeated Jerusalem three times.


   It was following the first invasion that Daniel and others were taken into Babylon.


Daniel 1:1-6 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.  Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Han-a-ni ah, Mish a el, and Az a ri ah:


   Daniel and his friends were in a quandary, why didn’t God deliver them from the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.


   Their first temptation to compromise was why keep on serving God when He failed to deliver them.


   Many times when God does not answer our prayers the way we think He should, Satan tries to get us to compromise our faith.


   Do we have the faith to trust God when things go wrong?


Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.


   Often times God will allow us to go through times of difficulties in order to do a greater work.


ILL: Joseph, Ruth, Esther


   When bad things happen to godly people, we must trust God’s love and wisdom. 


   Daniel and his friends were face with the temptation of compromise


   In the palace of Nebuchadnezzar all the young men faced the temptation to compromise


·         Provided with the best food

·         Lived in luxury

·         Had every imaginable privilege


   Do they yield and compromise or do they stand firm for Jehovah?


   They chose to obey God’s Law instead of compromising with the world.


   We are faced every day to the same choices; do we compromise and partake in the things of the world, or do we stand firm in our commitment to Christ? 


   Compromising is a slippery slope, once you start it’s hard to stop.


   God rewarded they commitment to follow His Word.


Daniel 1:18-21 (GW) At the end of the three-year training period, the chief-of-staff brought all the young men to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked to them and found no one like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah among all of them. So these four men served the king. Whenever the king asked them about things that required wisdom and insight, he found that they knew ten times more than all the magicians and psychics in his whole kingdom. Daniel served the royal palace until the first year of King Cyrus {of Persia}.


NOTE: America is facing the same fate that Judah and Jerusalem faced.


   In a short time America will experience God’s judgment.


   Remember there were godly people that faced the same problems that the ungodly faced.


   Will we stand faithful to God or will we compromise


Luke 18:8b I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?


   If we are compromising now, what will we do when the difficult times come?


Jeremiah 12:5 (BBE) If running with the fighting-men has made you tired, how will you be able to keep up with horses? and if in a land of peace you go in flight, what will become of you in the thick growth of Jordan?


   The disciples faced the same temptation.


Acts 5:28-29 (NLT) “Didn’t we tell you never again to teach in this man’s name?” he demanded. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!” But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.


·         We can compromise to receive the praises of man.


John 12:42-43 (NLT) Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.


·         We can compromise to avoid the ridicule of man.


·         We can compromise in order to gain something.


·         We can compromise to avoid pain and suffering.


CONCLUSION: How do we defeat the spirit of compromise?


1.    We must be committed to be faithful to God no matter what.


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


2.    We must be willing to suffer and even die for Christ.


Matthew 16:24-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.


Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


3.    We must put our trust in God’s love and wisdom


Jeremiah 29:11 (GW) I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.


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