Scripture Reference: John 20:28 (KJV)
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
It’s taken four messages, but I’m finally getting an earlier start. It’s a challenge to be able to do this and balance family life. Needless to say, I understand the need to cry out for grace and mercy…and let me just say that I covet your prayers. I need God’s help, and I need yours too. So, please add me and my family to your prayer list.
With that…let’s get into today’s message and see if we can’t get it posted before midnight.
Today’s Message: “It Is The Lord!”
Before I get too far, I think I’d just like to say that for the record I might have found myself in Thomas’ shoes more often then I would like to admit, but since I’ve been openly transparent in this series…why stop now, right!?! I understand how it is that you can doubt God even though He told you something you know is from Him. I don’t want to turn this into a dead horse beating, but this blog, for example, is proof that God knew what He was calling me to do…but like Thomas in some ways I needed to see proof.
In the beginning I was literally begging people to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. Day after day I’d see the same small amount, and eventually I am sorry to admit I allowed myself to get suckered by the devil into thinking that’s all the people I was going to reach…Oh, but friends, how many of you know that if you’ll embrace what God wants…He will promote it. God has taken this ministry to a few followers to reaching nearly 140 nations…God’s shown me that if you’ll trust and obey Him…that He’ll do the promoting. The other way you know that you’re doing what God wants is the devil will start working to get you discouraged.
For example, today I was having all kinds of problems with my WiFi, yesterday my daughter was having a really difficult day, and that’s how I know that this is going to be a good series not just for my readers…but for me as well…because the devil has been working to get me to just give up and stop this…but I’m not going to. Now that I know I’m facing opposition…that only fuels my desire to kick Satan’s butt and write this series on time every day. Whether I’m up until midnight or not.
You see, that’s one of the problems is that the devil will try to do two things. He will either try to get you mad and discouraged or he will try to get you busy…and most people when they get attacked like this it’s because the devil doesn’t want you to get the breakthrough that’s coming to you…if you’ll just trust God and stick it out. Hang on…whatever you need is coming.
Anyways, it took a while for people to discover me, and eventually God spoke to me about doing what He called me to do and trusting Him with the results. Since then…I’ve gone from having to beg people to follow to blocking people when they leave. Why block them? Because if you leave that tells me that you don’t really have a heart for me or my ministry; and it also tells me that if you’re offended enough by what I’m saying to leave…then that means you’re willing to compromise.
I am not. This ministry is about seeking God, introducing those who don’t know God to Him, and once they do know God helping them to develop and maintain their relationship with God. The church I attend says it shorter in that the mission is Seeking God, Loving People, and Making Disciples.
I won’t compromise the Word of God. I won’t teach my opinion in place of the Gospel. I won’t withhold things that confront us about sin. I won’t always write things that are going to be popular…but I will ALWAYS endeavor to write what the Holy Ghost anoints me to write…and if that causes you to be offended and leave…then you can stay gone…and I’ll trust God to lead people to my ministry that really want to grow in their walk with God.
So…now that all that’s said…let’s get into this message.
Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink’” (John 4:7). How many of us are expecting Jesus Christ to quench our thirst when we should be satisfying Him! We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know that I pour out my life, I don’t know that I invest my total being, but I do know that I’ve yet to stop drawing from Him. I also don’t know that I want my thirst for the Lord quenched. I understand the point here, but I want to be filled to overflowing, I want to be completely saturated, and still feel like I can’t get enough of God. I want to be satisfied by the water that Jesus provides…but I never want to reach a place where I’m not hungering or thirsting for more of Him. That’s just me. Again, I understand the point…and I’m not saying I disagree with it. I am just saying that I don’t want my hunger or thirst to be satisfied…I want it to always be left just a little bit unfulfilled…so that there’s always a desire for a little more…to go a little deeper…to become a little more intimate…I don’t think that any of us can reach a place where we have too much of a desire to be filled by God.
“You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.
The Social Networks is where I’ve been sent. You know, I am pretty sure that I get more out of what I’m writing then the people who read these posts. Many times, I’ll re-read my messages, and no it’s not to gloat about what a great writer I’ve become…it’s because I want to get into my spirit and feed upon the same things. These messages feed me just as much as I’m hoping they feed my readers. I learn from these messages too.
So, not only is this my service to Him, but it also becomes part of my devotional reading too. I mean, what kind of pastor would I be if I just wrote stuff that I didn’t intend to try to incorporate into my own life to live by them so that I can have a deeper, more intimate relationship with God too. That means I want to put into practice what I write about…or in other words…practice what I preach.
Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?
I will admit to you that my personal time with Jesus has at times been set aside for the service time for Him. My private devotional time has at times suffered due to the cares of the world, and other things…and writing as well. It’s true. It’s easier to serve then it is to crack the Bible open to tend to my walk with God.
I’ve fully admitted that I need God to teach me how to better balance my ministry time, my family time, my personal devotional time, and that I haven’t been doing a very good job with that. I can see why Mr. Chambers says that we need to beware of anything that competes with my relationship with God…and that serving God can be one of those things that gets in the way.
I have time to watch television, but not to pray. I’ve time to check out my Facebook time line, but I’m too busy to read a devotional for my own personal growth. I’ve time to check out a video on YouTube, but I don’t have time to sit and watch a sermon and take notes on it…or watch my church’s messages.
You see…I have to learn to balance everything so that I don’t leave anything out…especially my own time with Jesus…and I’ll be honest in admitting that a lot of times that’s the part of my day that gets left out…and if I’m being truly honest then I have to answer the last question of this message with a “Yes”…and now I realize I need to spend some time with Jesus.
So…with that said…let’s pray and close this message.
Heavenly Father, we come to You in the mighty name of Jesus. Lord we ask You to forgive us when we allow things to compete with our time with You…and keep us from doing that one needful thing You told Martha about. Help us to remember that once we’re full from sitting at Your feet…it’s then that we can get up and serve…but serve from the right heart and right motive…and that service will also be out of that heart of worship to You as well.
God, help us…to learn to balance our lives so that we can not just find, but make that time to spend with You.
I praise You for that word—“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” How I realize that I owe nothing to Your severity but all to Your love. Oh, that Your Love and gentleness and patience toward me were expressed through me to others!\
In Jesus name…Amen & Amen.
Well, praise the Lord. What a message. It even dealt with my heart about how I’ve allowed my service to God to compete with my devotional time with Him. It’s important, friends to remember the two ways the devil comes after us. My pastor says it this way: “If the devil can’t get you mad…he’ll get you busy.”
Busy doesn’t have to mean bad things either. Taking care of your children isn’t a bad thing, but we have to remember that just like Martha…to stop and find time to sit at the feet of Jesus. Whatever it is we do for a living isn’t a bad thing either…it’s good to work, but we have to remember that maybe listening to the morning show isn’t as fruitful as listening to a message by Charles Stanley or David Jeremiah or turning on some worship music. There’s always time available to give to God…we just have to look for it as diligently as we look for time to do other stuff that competes with our time with God.
Friend, if you’re too busy to open your Bible for fifteen minutes…then you’re too busy…and the devil’s not worried about you at all because the moment you get overly discouraged your first thought is going to be; “I tried this God-stuff and it didn’t do anything for me.”. Well, perhaps you should turn off the evening news and open your Bible instead. Perhaps you should turn of Mike and Mike in the morning, and listen to a sermon and some worship music on your commute instead.
Like I said (and I guess this is a bonus message) if you’re too busy to give God fifteen minutes…then you’re not a threat to the devil at all…and in fact…he’s already got you defeated.
So, let’s all endeavor to find 15 minutes of our day to give to God for prayer, worship, and devotional reading. Yes, friends, it is possible to lift your hands in worship to the King, take some time to ask Him to reveal something to you about Him through His Word, read His Word…and then talk to Him some more afterwards.
You might find that fifteen minutes turns into twenty-five minutes…and then it’s forty five minutes, and suddenly you’ve turned it into a whole hour.
My point…if you’re waiting for your schedule to clear up…the devil is always going to make sure there’s something else that comes up to keep time with the Lord from happening.
Friends…we have to discipline ourselves. We can’t wait for time with the Lord…we have to make it…and if we don’t…then we’ll always find an excuse as to why we couldn’t. “The dog needed to go outside”, “I had to cook dinner”, “I don’t feel good.”…something is always going to come up…it’s up to us to find the time…and stick to it. Amen!?!
Well, there’s a bonus message. Make time for Jesus…He made time for us by coming here, living, and then dying on the Cross to prove He wants to spend time with us without anything (like sin) getting in the way.
As He said to Martha in regards to Mary: “She’s found that one needful thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Let me ask you a question…and I promise this is it.
When is the last time YOU sat at the feet of Jesus?
I hope this message has encouraged you to not just find the time…but do like I am going to…and make it. We all know that if we’ll just do it…it’ll be the best time of our day…because I know you all know that can’t nobody do us like Jesus can…Amen!?!
God bless you and thank you for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA family. I truly love and am thankful for all of you.
Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA