Message Scripture:

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)” – Romans 5:17 (KJV)

Introduction:

Greetings & Happy Saturday!

It’s time to bring the “Growing In Grace” by Joseph Prince to an end.  I was hoping to get this done faster, but as you know I don’t write a message unless the anointing is there to write it.  I do believe, however, that we’re going to get this message written and posted today.  I’ve really enjoyed this series, and I think it’s turned out to be pretty good.  I doubt it will rival the 7 Hebrew Words For Praise Series, but I think that we’ve learned quite a bit from it.  It’s time to close this series out…and see what else the Lord would have us to get into.  So, let’s get into this final message of the “Growing In Grace” by Joseph Prince.

Praise & Worship:

This song really doesn’t have much to do with the message, but it’s really been on my heart today.  It’s just a good song about loving Jesus.  How many of you know we could use a whole lot more songs like this…and that it’s okay to just sing about loving Jesus’ face, His kisses, and the fact that we are His beloved, Amen!?!

I challenge you to listen to this song without thrusting your hands in the air, falling to your knees, and just worshiping Jesus with all your heart, all your soul, all your might, and maybe having your eyes be a little weepy too.

Here is Rick Pino’s “I Love Your Face”

The Vast Ocean Of God’s Abundant Supply:

So, here we are the final message of the first teaching series of 2015 by Christlike Ministries NWA.  I am glad that you chose this series because this really is one of the basic teaching points of Christianity as a whole.  I mean.  The Bible says that we’re saved by GRACE through faith, but God’s grace does a lot more than just save us.  Grace isn’t a some thing…Grace is Someone…and that someone is Jesus Christ.  The Bible says:  “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” in John 1:17 (KJV).  So, let’s give Joseph Prince the opening word, and see what the Lord is going to say to us in the final message of this series.

“In Romans 5:17, Paul gives us the key to reigning in life. It is found in receiving the abundance of God’s grace and His gift of righteousness.” – written by Joseph Prince

I once wrote that “everything we are, do and become in the Christian walk comes by grace through faith”, and I still firmly believe that today.  Everything I’ve received in my walk with God has come the same way I received salvation…by grace through faith…and so does everyone else.  Listen, I’ve come to understand that with God everyone is on an equal playing field.  No one is more saved than anyone else, no one is more holy than anyone else, no one is more righteous than anyone else because everyone has the same holiness, the same righteousness, the same salvation, and everyone that receives anything from God is all received the same way…by grace through faith.

Listen you can attend the same church for 30 years, never miss a service, never let a drop of alcohol touch your lips, never light up a cigarette, never watch anything but Christian television, never listen to anything but Christian music, never read anything but your Bible, and have spoken in tongues since you were 6 and you are no more holy than the person that just confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior…because the holiness you have isn’t yours to begin with…it’s Christ’s holiness.  When He comes to dwell within us we receive all the fullness of Who and What Jesus is…and therefore you can live a life like Smith Wigglesworth and it won’t make you any more saved any more righteous or anymore holy than a brand new Christian because God doesn’t see our holiness or righteousness when He looks at us…He sees His Son.

I am no holier than anyone else.  I am no more righteous or sanctified than anyone else.  I’m no better nor am I any worse than anyone else.  WE rank people because of how they live.  WE think that TD Jakes is holier than us, but the truth is he isn’t.  WE think Smith Wigglesworth was holier than we can ever be, but He wasn’t.  Those people are more surrendered to God than we are, those people certainly allow less of the distractions of the world that many of us do, but not even the prince of preachers Charles Spurgeon himself is holier than any of us…He was more submitted and surrendered…and yes they all have holier lifestyles than many of us do…but that doesn’t make them holier and that doesn’t mean they’re higher on God’s totem pole than anyone else.

Remember Jesus when the disciples were arguing about who the greater disciple was…the greatest people in the Kingdom of Heaven are those who serve without taking thought about where they rank amongst everyone else.  It doesn’t matter to me where I rank…what matters to me is that the name of Jesus is exalted and that God is glorified through the work of Christlike Ministries NWA…and that really is all that matters.  Sure, in the natural I would love to have thousands of people following my ministry, I’d love it if hundreds liked every post, and there were dozens of comments and everyone was writing Amen and all that…but the greatest compliment to me is knowing that one day I will hear those coveted “well done, thou good and faithful servant” words from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Something happens when you stop depending on your own efforts, receive the abundance of God’s grace and lean wholly upon it. The moment you surrender and say, “Lord, I cannot, but You can. Today, I rest in Your unmerited favor,” whatever demand that is upon you disappears into the vast ocean of His abundant supply.” – written by Joseph Prince

Do you know that there is never a moment when I think that I’ve arrived?  I’m not trying to toot my horn here, but you will never hear me say that I’ve arrived on some great plateau because I serve the Lord.  In fact, you’ll read just the opposite.  The longer I’ve been doing this the more I realize that I will never know everything there is to know about God, the Bible, His love, His grace, His mercy, His faithfulness, and more.  The longer I do this the more I realize how far I am from being anywhere near where I think I should be, and the longer I do this the more I realize I still have A LOT to learn about what it means to die to self, to surrender to His will, and more.

I mean, there are times that I still lean more on my own efforts, understanding and experience than I do the Lord’s.  I’m just being honest, friends.  There are times I get too distracted by things going on like sports, music, my daughter, stuff on television, and my own fleshly things.  I mean, I tell you guys all the time if you’re looking for a man like Smith Wigglesworth…I’m not him.  If you’re looking for someone who always does his utmost for God’s highest like Oswald Chambers…I’m not that guy…I haven’t even reached the bar I set for myself let-a-lone the bar set by heavyweights of the faith like Oswald Chambers or Billy Graham or Brother Hagin or even my own pastors.  I’ve also come to the place where I understand God didn’t call me to be like anyone else…He called me to be who He is creating and working in me to become…and to bloom where I am planted.

I have certainly come to the place that I recognize I can’t, but God can.  I’ve certainly come to understand that when the anointing to write isn’t there, and I try to write anyways…I can’t.  I’ve come to realize that I can’t do anything apart from Christ.  I can’t be a good daddy, a good husband, a good son, a good employee, a good friend, or a good anything apart from the grace of God.  The majority of the Body of Christ thinks it has a sin problem, but the reality is the Body of Christ has a surrender problem.  In order to live like God wants us to live we have to do like Proverbs 3:5-6 say to do, but the reality is we only really seek Him when the major things happen.  We don’t seek and acknowledge Him in all of our ways.  Many of us only acknowledge Him in a couple of our ways or a few of our ways…but the vast majority of the Body of Christ (at least in my estimation) does not acknowledge God in all their ways…and therefore there the vast majority of us don’t have a sin problem we have a surrender problem.  I am convinced that if we acknowledged God in more of our ways…the Body of Christ would have straighter paths…because He would be directing our steps instead of church board members and elders…we would be lead by the Holy Ghost.  I know I’m about to be shout down there, but it’s the truth.  We have more websites to help pastors write sermons today that they didn’t write and study for than I’ve ever seen.  I don’t want http://www.pastors.com to help me write…I want the Holy Ghost’s help…and I’m okay with sermons that aren’t entertaining.  I’m not here to sugarcoat the Gospel I’m here to preach it!

Look around at the Body of Christ.  Look at all those who think they’re greater than you because they pastor a mega church.  Watch a couple shows on TBN…and then you’ll see what I’m talking about.  My guess is many of them have forgotten what their lives were like before they became famous and before they had all the money they have and before they wrote all the books and before all that.  That’s another thing.  We have more preachers preaching out of someone else’s best-selling book than the greatest selling book of all time…THE WORD OF GOD.  Paul says to PREACH THE WORD in season, out of season, summer, winter, fall, spring, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July…never once did anyone in the Bible say that if you wanted to preach from Joel Osteen’s new book…that signs and wonders would follow…they said when you preach the Word of God that signs and wonders would follow.  But we got folk wondering why they are in churches that have no power or the power they have isn’t the Holy Ghost…but another ghost that has come in through their emotionalism and drumming up some kind of spirit…but it ain’t the Holy Spirit friend…the Holy Ghost only does what the Word of God says…so when you are preaching thus saith Pastor Rick Warren…you might get some really good stuff…but you won’t get the Holy Ghost because the Holy Ghost is under no obligation to confirm Rick Warren’s book with signs and wonders…but friend…if you’ll preach out of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…you’ll have some Holy Ghost fire coming from the pulpits that have lost their power due to preachers preaching from someone else’s book, but God’s.

Let me tell you something.  I may have used Joseph Prince’s devotional on YouVersion to help me write this message, but everything you see in between the quotes is mine, and I will still tell you that the most important thing in these messages isn’t anything I’ve written or anything Joseph Prince has written.  The most important thing in any message I write is the Word of God…everything after that is just me doing what God has called me to do…but the most important thing in every message I write is that section that says “Message Scripture”!

Some of these preachers that are all full of themselves have forgotten what their lives were like before they hit their knees in acknowledgment that they had lived their own way for so long, and that the only answer for their lives was Jesus.  They forgot the years of bondage in drugs or alcohol or lying or stealing or cheating or just simply living like they were a god instead of living for the one true God.  Many of them came to Jesus like me with ugly lives that left them at the end of their ropes just praying and hoping that if there really was a God and if He really did love them like the Bible says He does, and if He really can change their lives like the Bible says He can…we hit our knees in the greatest of despair.  Tears flowing down our faces, snot bubbles in our noses, some of them with guns in their mouths, some of them from broken homes, some of them with child or sexual abuse in their past, and some how they forgot about all the stuff that God brought them out of and they got themselves a Bible degree and started gaining a following and soon the fact that so many were following them their heads got bigger and bigger and before they know it…the ministry is all about them instead of the God that picked them up out of the scrap heap and gave them the life they now enjoy.

I know what I’ve just written is pretty harsh, but it’s the truth.  I’m tired of seeing people ask stuff like “what new novel are you going to be getting material from this Easter?”  Wait…what!?!  How about you get your Easter message from the place it should be coming from…there are four Gospel’s that do a great job of telling the death, burial, and resurrection story…and the gospel is attached to it…and as an added bonus the Holy Ghost will show up in that kind of message.

Let me tell you something.  I have never forgotten where I came from, and I never will.  I didn’t come to the Lord with a spiritual silver spoon in my mouth I came from that valley of dead, dry bones that had no life in them until God breathed into them.  I’m the dust in the ground before God breathed life into it to form the first Adam.  I am nothing apart and without Christ…and that’s not thinking less of myself…that’s just the honest to God’s truth…apart from Jesus I’m the same old Bryan I’ve always been…but there is something that happened when I reached that point of my knee where I came to the end of myself…I found that God couldn’t begin to work in my life until I reached the end of myself and realized that I needed to get out of His way.

I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say that without Christ I am nothing because it is the truth…I am nothing without Christ.  I’ve no problem admitting that I need God’s grace and mercy in my life just as much today as I did when I became a whosoever that called upon the name of the Lord.  I need Jesus.  I need God’s grace and mercy.  I need it all because without it…I’m just Bryan.  Even with it I’m nothing more than just Bryan…and just because God has given me the title of pastor doesn’t mean I’m greater than anyone else…it’s the vocation God gave me before I stepped foot into time.  I’m not anymore special because God calls me pastor…and I’m no better or greater than anyone else.

“Many times, as I’m driving to church on Sunday morning, I feel the demand to preach a good message. The demand is real—tens of thousands of precious people show up expecting to be well fed! That’s when I turn to Jesus and receive His abundance of grace. I say to Him, “Lord, today, You are my guest speaker! I rest in You. You speak. You feed them. You provide! You take over and I will watch You in action!” The moment I let go, His grace and His supply rush in!” – written by Joseph Prince

I don’t have tens of thousands of people to feed the Word of God, but I understand the feel of the demand.  I feel like I’m always trying to compete against the 7 Hebrew Words For Praise Series because with more than 22,000 views it by far is the most popular series, and with over 6,300 of those views being the 7 Hebrew Words For Praise “Tehillah” message…I feel like I may never write anything that widely viewed ever again…and it was one of the first teaching series I’ve ever written. However, I start every message I write asking the Lord to give my readers ears to hear and hearts that will be receptive and respond to what He’s going to say.  Every message I pen I ask the Lord to make my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer…writing only of the oracles of God and only with the supernatural anointing and utterance that comes from the Holy Ghost…and that His voice would be heard and not mine…and that He would receive the glory, honor, and praise that He’s do for all that He’s doing in, with, and through my life and Christlike Ministries NWA.

I didn’t start out being the writer I am today…God has taken what was an okay gift to begin with…and turned it into what you are reading today.  Everything from the message to the formatting to the content of every message…it’s God.  It’s His grace, His mercy, His anointing that allows me to do this, and to write with the ability I have today.  I’ll even tell you my messages in the beginning were hard reads, and I still have messages full of  spelling and grammatical errors…but I’m also writing messages that are imparting and impacting lives…and that’s not because of me…that’s all by the grace and mercy of God.

Every message I write I write by grace through faith…that everyone that needs God to speak to them through what I write will be spoken to, but most of all that He will be glorified because of all that He’s done…all He is doing…and all that He has yet to do in…with…and through my life and through Christlike Ministries NWA.  To God alone be the glory…and to God alone will it belong to always!  Amen!?!

Well, friends it’s time to wrap this message and this series up, and what better way to do that then to give Joseph Prince the last and final point of this message and series…and then pray.  So, let’s give Joseph Prince the last word, pray, and close this message and the “Growing In Grace” by Joseph Prince series to a close.

“The same can happen for you. In every area of need or demand, lean on the Lord’s abundant grace. See Him stepping into your situation with His abundant provision. He will work in and through you to give you results way beyond what your limited strength, wisdom and ability can ever achieve!” – written by Joseph Prince

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your love, Your faithfulness, and most of all Your Word that tells of the wondrous things You did for us.  I ask that You would give us a much grander picture of what You did through the Cross.  So many of us, myself included, have such a small picture of what the Cross did.  We limit it so much because of our limited understanding.  Revel more to us about what the Cross did…and what it’s still doing today.  Help us, Lord, to surrender more of our lives to You, and help us to see more of You at work in our lives.  Thank You for all that You have spoken to us through this message, and this series.  May You always receive the glory and honor You are do.  To You…Lord Jesus…be the honor, the glory, and all the praise.  In Jesus name. Amen

In Closing:

Thank you all so much for picking this series to start 2015.  Thank you all for joining me on this journey.  I’m sorry that it took so long to get through 5 messages, but I think I’ve managed to post every message on time…God’s time anyways.  I’ve gotten a lot of things done with the ministry in this time, though.  I’ve redone the ministry website, I’ve added the Devotional messages, and I think we’re set to do a lot of good stuff again real soon.

As of Thursday (tomorrow) I’m going to undergo surgery to repair a hernia that I’ve had for several years, and started giving me problems since we welcomed 2015.  So, I am going to be taking a short break from everything while I recover, and I’m hoping that when I come back I’ll have most of the cosmetic stuff finished so that I can concentrate on writing more.  I’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re going to be getting into.  I know we have Easter coming so we will probably get into some talk about the Cross, the Resurrection, and perhaps revisit a series we did on Reconciliation.  Reconciliation and Grace are always topics that kind of go hand in hand.

So, we are wrapping up this series, and I’m going to be wrapping up my writing for a couple of weeks.  I would like to ask you to pray for me, my family, and that you would add my mom and dad to your prayers also.  My dad is going to be having back surgery on the 23rd, and my mom will have the task of helping him get better.  So, my dad and I will both be out of commission for a while. My dad worse off than me, however.

Thank you all for following along and for your patience.  Have a blessed couple of weeks.  Be safe, be good, and most of all be blessed!

Blessings & Grace to you,
Pastor Bryan Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you ALL in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Corinthians 16:24 (NASB)

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