11-12

Message Scripture:

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” – Mark 1:1–8 (KJV)

 Introduction:

Good Morning CLMNWA Family & Happy Lent!

I am going to attempt to do something that I haven’t ever done…stay on time and on track with teaching series during Lent which will eventually lead, I believe, to us also doing a short series during Holy Week, and so I’m already seeking the Lord for help in finding such a series to get into to countdown to Resurrection Sunday.  For now, however, doing this series is going to help me sacrifice some things so that I’m able to have time every day to write a short message so that we stay on time and on track so that we wrap this and the Easter series in time for Resurrection Sunday.  So, please believe and pray with me that we’ll be able to stay on track and finish everything on time so that we can enjoy our Resurrection Day, Amen!?!

So, I know it’s been a long, long while since I’ve done any kind of teaching series at all, and that’s been by design because I’ve been having to get back into the secular workforce. In addition to that, as many of you know I don’t ever write just to write, and that I’ve also really been focusing more on the spontaneous messages that the Lord leads me to write. I haven’t really had it on my heart to do any kind of teaching series yet here I am not only getting into a teaching series, but a holiday teaching series as well.

So, as I also always do I will ask you to believe with me that the Lord will use my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer that writes only of the oracles of God, and that the Holy Ghost would supply me with the ability to write with boldness, clarity and power that only comes from Him. Let’s also ask the Lord to give us all ears to hear and hearts that will be receptive and responsive to what it is He’s going to speak to us through each message in this series…and most of all that it will cause us to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way…and that we would encounter Him and His presence in a greater way than ever before.  That we would all be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and that we would never be the same again. Let’s ask all of that in Jesus’ name…and finally get into this message appropriately titled “I Am Not Worthy”.

I Am Not Worthy:

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never felt worthy of this calling on my life. I have a very difficult time to this day referring to myself as a pastor.  I have no problem calling myself a father to Lizzie or a husband to Tara or a friend to Daniel, but there’s always a bit of humility that comes from saying “I am a pastor”…because the reality is I’m not only not worthy of that title, but I’m also not worthy of the blood that was shed for me by the One that gave me that title. You see, I’ve never set foot in a Bible School, but I know for sure what my vocation and calling and title are.  Some may never accept it because I don’t have some kind of diploma from a Bible school, but that’s okay because my position doesn’t come from man nor does the mandate to preach the Word in the manner in which I preach it…it comes from God.

Still, I can’t help wondering how long it took Abraham to be comfortable calling himself Abraham which if you look it up means “the father of many nations” especially at his age with a woman at her age that has never even conceived a child the day God told Abram He was changing his name.  You see, it’s wonderful to have people give you a nickname because it often comes as a term of endearment. So, God gives Abram a new name. The Bible says that Abraham believed God, but I’ll bet you it took him a while before he was comfortable introducing himself to people as Abraham the father of many nations when he was childless, and I’m sure he endured lots of ridicule. That wasn’t or isn’t the point of this message, but I feel like some of y’all need to know that some times God has to change your name to get you into the place that He’s called and anointed you to be in.

Can you imagine what it was like for John the Baptist knowing that you were chosen to be the voice in the wilderness telling folk to prepare for the coming of the Savior of the world? We can pretty much draw up a list of people who God called to do things that felt they weren’t worthy or qualified from Moses all the way to Peter…and then today there are many I know in ministry that feel just as unqualified as I do. I remember it was of great comfort the first time God spoke to me that He doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies the called. I remember reading in His Word that I didn’t chose Him, but He chose me before the foundations of the earth for a time such as this to be doing exactly what I’m doing now with the gift and ability to write that He gave me.

I really feel like there are people who need this encouragement today as I’m writing that God has chosen and anointed and qualified YOU. Believe me, I understand how it feels to know you’ve been chosen, and have no idea how or why you have been chosen.  I was in jail when God made it clear to me that He chose me. I made all kinds of excuses and bullet points as to why He had the wrong guy because at the time unlike Abraham or John the Baptist I didn’t believe God had the ability to actually turn me into the person I am today. I wasn’t ever able to see myself as He saw me because I couldn’t stop looking at myself through the lens of the world’s eyes.  However, once I began to see myself the way He saw me, and I began to understand that it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.

Friends. We don’t have to wait to do what God has called and anointed us to do. We just need to start doing it!  Y’all know how difficult my posts were to read in the beginning yet when you look at the boldness, power, and clarity in which I’m writing today it’s clear that God not only gives us the skills and abilities…but He will indeed help us to develop them if we will turn around and surrender the very gifts that He’s given us. Some of you are fantastic musicians that are using that ability to entertain people, but if you’d surrender that to God He would take you from being an entertainer to someone who can help people enter into His presence. Some of you are great artists, but if you’d surrender that to Him turning it into a way to worship Him I bet y’all would become even greater artists than you already are. Some of you, like me are great writers, and if you’ll take the time to ask Him to make your fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer writing only of the oracles of God, and asking for the supernatural anointing of the Holy Ghost to help you become better writers you would be.

Come on, friends, none of us is truly worthy of anything that Jesus has done for us, with us, or through us. None of us are worthy of the Cross. None of us are (as John the Baptist states) worthy to unlace or unlatch Jesus’ shoes. We are made worthy by the very One that we feel unworthy of because our worth comes from Him. He’s the One that says that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. He’s the One that formed us in the womb, and He’s also the one that has given us our chosen purpose before we even stepped foot into time.

Abraham was always going to be the father of many nations. John was always going to be the forerunner for Christ. I was always going to be the pastor of Christlike Ministries NWA, and you were always going to be what God has destined for you to be…because He gave us all our roles before we even got here. Yes, it’s true, some never discover their God-ordained roles, and some completely reject God altogether…but each and every person comes into the world for a purpose. None of us are here by accident. None of us are wasted space. We all have something God ordained to do, and we will all always feel unworthy of being called to do it…but that’s the great thing about God is that He already knows that so He made sure to tell us in His Word that we may not have chosen Him, but He chose and ordain us that we might bear fruit.

I’m going to close this message with a few simple questions, and I don’t want y’all to answer them for me. I want you to take these next 40 something days that we’re doing this series to really seek God for the answers not for my sake, but for yours. I don’t need to know what’s between you and God…but YOU DO. So, please don’t pay me any lip service because faking it isn’t going to do anything for any of us. Actually taking the time to do this, however, may change your life and place you in a position that you’ve never been in with God before.  After all, one of the reasons I do this is because I want us all to be impacted in some way by what God is speaking AND what He wants to do in, with, and through our lives…Amen!?!

As we begin this journey toward the Cross and Resurrection, we should ask if our lives are marked with and for Christ. Is he first? Are we known as his in such a way that others see him in us?

In Closing:

As I mentioned I’m going to close with a few questions that come from the devotional on You Version that I’m doing along with this series, and I want you to really take the time to seek God and ask Him to truly reveal what is in your heart’s as you ask Him (and yourselves) these questions…

  • Are we offering our lives to God, saying, ‘Use me as you see fit?’
  • Are we messengers of the greatest news ever given to this world?
  • Are we willing to prepare the way, to be second?
  • Is Jesus first in your life? If not, what keeps you from offering your life as a living sacrifice for him?

Let’s Pray:

Lord, thank you for the message of the good news. I confess that I haven’t always carried your name as I should. Please give me the strength and discipline to make you first, so that the world may see you in me and rejoice! In Jesus’ name. Amen

Final Word from Pastor B

Well, praise the Lord! Did y’all get something out of this message today? Were you encouraged? Can you relate to those in the Bible who felt unworthy of not only what God wanted to use them to do, but knowing what He was going to do?  I mean, all of the forerunners knew that the Messiah was coming, they had an idea that what He was going to do was going to be great, and yet here was God calling them to do things that they felt unworthy of because what He was coming to the world to do. It’s important to know that the truth is none of us are worthy of what Jesus did, but that’s what makes what He did so amazing.

The most important question for us to answer is whether or not we have placed God first in our lives. That’s why so many of us are giving up certain things or pleasures during lent because often those things take a higher priority in our lives than taking the time to find that needful place at His feet. It’s obvious when He isn’t first because many of us don’t look or act any differently than the rest of the world that doesn’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Before we can become messengers of the greatest news ever given we have to take that news, internalize it, and make sure that we have placed knowing Him and being with Him as the greatest priority in our lives.

I’ve closed many a message on Facebook with one simple question and it’s coming to mind again as I get ready to close out this one. That simple, but important question is similar to the one asked here. That question:

What is the most valuable thing in your life?

Thank y’all for your time today. I hope that this message is a good start to this series. I will try to keep these as short as possible, but I will always write until the Lord says that I’ve written enough. I love and appreciate you all, and thank y’all for being a part of the Christlike Ministries NWA Family.  If you have been blessed by this ministry there is an even easier way to give and sow into the ministry to support it…and in return you’ll get the first ever published book “7 Hebrew Words for Praise” by simply going to this link here: https://www.createspace.com/6896095, and purchasing your very own copy.

Well. I hope y’all have a fantastic day, and that you’ll join me here again tomorrow for message 2 of what will be 46 messages as we count down to Resurrection Sunday. For now, this is Pastor B with Christlike Ministries NWA saying Blessings & Grace to you!

Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B

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