MARK 3 COMMENTARY

Verses 1-4  Every time Jesus enters a synagogue, where Jews worship, He is watched and rebuked by the religious leaders, in this case, the Pharisees (see verse 6). According to Jewish law, no one is to do anything on the sabbath — including healing — because God has declared it a day of rest. Here comes Jesus, calling to a man with a withered hand.

When He commanded the man to get up and come forward, the man HAD to come forward, because Jesus said it. Again, when Jesus says something, it must be done. When Jesus speaks to you through these scriptures, you must do what He commands.

Then He questions the leaders. Of course, they can’t override their rules and regulations in order to help someone in need. They can’t even see the need. How long has the man with the withered hand attended their synagogue? And no one has asked God to work through them to heal him, because you can’t heal someone on the sabbath. It’s against the rules. They completely miss the heart of God in the command to observe the sabbath. It is never to override the need to set someone free.

Verse 5 — It grieves Jesus when our hearts are hard toward Him, when He doesn’t fit our idea of who He is, when He doesn’t play by our rules. “Grieved” means distressed, filled with sorrow. He isn’t a weepy Jesus, but once again, the Jews show that they do not recognize God in the flesh, standing before them. How far they are from their God, and they don’t even know it! He is angry, but not in a human way. His is passionate indignation.

Then He says to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man had to stretch it out. Jesus commanded him to do it. The normal hand didn’t need to be stretched out, but it was impossible to stretch out the withered one. But of course, nothing is too difficult for God. So the man stretched out the withered hand, and the hand was healed. He had to stretch it out in order for it to be healed, and he had to stretch it out because Jesus commanded him to do so. Do you see it? You take a little mustard seed of faith, lift it up to Jesus, and then watch Him do exactly what He has said He will do!

Verse 6 — Now the Pharisees conspire to kill Jesus. He is ruining their religious system, and they are both threatened by Him and jealous of Him.

Verse 7-12 — Jesus withdraws, but not in surrender or fear. He simply goes to a place where people will receive Him. He is surrounded  by crowds, because He has healed many — again, this really means “all.” Because of the crowding, He asks for a boat. Other gospels tell us He preached from there. Everyone with afflictions, everyone possessed by an evil spirit, wants to touch Him so they can be healed. You don’t have to wait for Him to touch you You can reach out right now and touch Jesus, and He will heal you. Get close to Him. There are no crowds to push to the side. There were no crowds in my bedroom, on September 1, 2001.

The demons know who Jesus is. The common people know who Jesus is. The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders do not know Him, though they ought to know Him. They study Him all the time in the Old Testament.

Jesus tells the evil spirits not to tell anyone who He is, but they SHOUT it anyway, as they fall down before Him. Why doesn’t Jesus want to be known to everyone as the Son of God? His time has not yet come. When He rises from the tomb three days after being laid there, everyone will know.

Verse 13-19 — An important point. You do not make a decision to receive Jesus. He chooses you. What happened after He chose them? He sent them out to preach and GAVE THEM AUTHORITY to cast out demons. Matthew 10:7-8 is a more complete description of what He told them to do. He is the One who gives us authority — we do not take it upon ourselves to heal, cast out, cleanse and raise from the dead. We do it under His authority and command.

NOTE: The Zebedee brothers are called “Sons of Thunder” because of the incident recorded in Luke 9:54.

Verse 20-21 — Back in Capernaum, crowds surround Jesus and the disciples. There is no room even to eat a meal! Everyone wanted to be set free! But what is the response of His family? They think He has lost His mind.

Verse 22-29 — The scribes are equally blind about Jesus. They say He is possessed by the devil (Beelzebul) and that it is by the devil’s power that Jesus casts out demons.

They have just committed the unpardonable sin — that is, they attribute what God is doing to the devil. They call the Holy Spirit unholy. Jesus explains in Matthew 12:31 that any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people (if they repent and turn to Him), but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. It is an eternal sin, as He says in Mark 3:29.

Of course, it makes no sense that the devil would want to cast his own demons out of people. The devil’s house would be divided against itself. It is absurd. How can Satan cast out Satan? Why would Satan want to do that? I tell you that Satan is finished. It happened on a tree in Calvary. But he’s still around, afflicting those who do not know Jesus, and lying to those who DO know Jesus. Don’t believe a word he says. Believe Jesus.

Verse 30-35 — Outside are the mother and brothers of Jesus, who think He has lost His mind. They want Him to come with them. Jesus says His true mothers and brothers are before Him already! His true mothers and sisters and brothers, His true family, are those who do God’s will. Many claim they are part of the family of God and that Jesus is their Savior, but they disobey God. They are not part of His family at all.

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STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE

[SW181] 04/11/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Steadfast and Immovable”

Steadfast and immovable! Standing firm! Nothing and no one able to sway you or move you from your faith in Jesus Christ and God’s promises!

1Corinthians 15:58   Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Superabounding, excelling in the work of the Lord, proclaiming Jesus Christ! His glorious, powerful, life-giving work!

Going and making disciples of all men, teaching them to obey Christ (Matthew 28:19-20)!

Healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons (Matthew 10:8)!

When you yourself have been filled with the Holy Spirit, laying hands on your fellow believers, so they are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6).

If you are steadfast and immovable, you know without a doubt that this great labor in the Lord is not in vain. You won’t come to Him empty-handed, but bearing the fruit of His works in you and through you!

What rewards there are to those who remain steadfast and immovable?

Revelation 3:8-10 — You have a little power, you have kept His word, you have not denied His name. You are a faithful representative of Him, walking in this world like Him. You have kept the word of His steadfastness. You are steadfast, immovable, always superabounding in this work!

So Jesus Christ puts before you a door for you which no one can shut. It is a door that opens into great and effective work for Him. And false teachers will come and bow down at your feet. Jesus will make them know that He has loved you.

You say, “Jesus loves me, this I know! And you also say, “Jesus knows me, this I love!”

And you will not have to endure what those who reject Him and deny Him will endure. He will keep you, guard you, be a fortress around you! You will be protected from that hour!

And because you remain steadfast and immovable, even if your body dies before Jesus Christ returns, it will be resurrected when that trumpet sounds (1Corinthians 15:50-57)! Death has no victory! Death has no sting!

Therefore, be steadfast, Paul exhorts! Immovable! Against what? Is there something that could move you? What is the “therefore” there for?

Many winds of false teaching swirled around the Corinthians, and swirl around us today.

Great waves are stirred up by these winds, and if we are children and not mature in our faith, we will be tossed here and there, just as some of the Corinthians and Ephesians were (see Ephesians 4:14). But Jesus Christ will change us from children to adults, when we ask Him to make a 24/7 connection between us and the Father and the Son, by the Holy Spirit!

Back in 1Corinthians 15, deceitful teachers tried to convince the Corinthians that there is no resurrection of the dead (15:12).

So, they said, you don’t have to walk as Jesus walked when he was on the earth. Live the way you want to live. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die (15:32).

I tell you, the devil is at work. His goal is to kill you, to steal what God has given you, to destroy you, so you perish with him eternally (see John 10:10). Don’t let him get you!

BECOME steadfast, immovable! How? Ask Him to do it in you!

Christ has come that you may have superabundant life — His life, His eternal life (John 10:10)! Superabundant life that overflows, that becomes a rushing, flood-stage river of living water!

Paul said it was the risen Christ and not human reasoning that motivated him to fight with the demons that were in Ephesus.

He knew without a doubt that when men are delivered and saved, THEY will know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord and that their own resurrection is sure! His labor was not in vain!

But some of the Corinthians were yet children, just as with some Christians today. They continued to live wildly, for which Corinth was world-renowned. Eat, drink and be merry!

Paul warns them and you today, to stop listening to false teachers who say you can do what you want — God’s grace covers you! Hyper-grace! Cheap grace! 

Shall we continue to sin so grace may increase? May it never be (Romans 6:1-2)!

Get drunk, do just as you did before you said “I do” to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Ephesians, “Don’t get drunk with wine! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!”

Ah! That’s the key! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you won’t be a child any more, and the process of becoming more like Jesus will go into hyperdrive!

In Verse 34, Paul tells the Corinthians (and you), to become sober-minded (rouse yourself out of your stupor! Wake up! If some need to become, they are not yet!
They and you need to “become!” Stop sinning!

Those false teachers have no knowledge of God, no intimacy with Him, or they would never teach that you can sin and still be fine with God! Paul spoke it to the shame of those who listened to such ones. And the same goes for you, beloved!

Ask God the Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and He will give you discernment so you will run from the strangers, the hirelings the false teachers who are in it for personal gain. You will hear and heed the voice of the Good Shepherd (see John 10)!

And even when you are filled, continue to grow —

2Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness,  18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

You will ever increase in Christlikeness!

You will remain steadfast and immovable, knowing without a doubt that when you proclaim Jesus (which is your work in the Lord), your work will bear the fruit of deliverance for many!

And you will know without a doubt that you will be with the Lord forever! And ever! And ever! And ever! Amen!

GOD’S GREAT PROVISION

[SW179] 04/03/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“God’s Great Provision”

Text: Genesis 22

A foreshadowing of God’s great, amazing provision — His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!

What better time to contemplate such a thing! It is GOOD Friday, the church’s observance of His crucifixion. Why is it GOOD? Because of what happened three days later! He rose! Hallelujah!

Exegesis of Genesis 22 —

vv. 1-2  The Lord calls Abraham responds immediately. He hears God’s voice and says, “Here I am.” So should it be for all of us!

The Lord gave the command for Abraham to do what seems out of character with God, for it was never in His mind to have children burned as a sacrificial offering to Him (Jeremiah 7:31, 32:35). Only those who worshiped other Gods did such things!

So why did He ask?

He gave this command so Abraham would act out prophecy. Hebrews 11:17-19 reveals the mind of God and of Abraham, as he offered his one and only son, the one who was to continue the promise that Abraham’s descendants would bless the earth (see v. 18). Abraham believed that, even if Isaac was sacrificed, God would raise him from the dead. The Lord’s request and Abraham’s response was a type, a symbol of something.

Go to the land of Moriah, which means, “seen of God.”

And there, offer your son, your one and only Son, whom you love1 God recognizes Isaac as the only seed of Abraham, the one through whose descendants the world will be blessed.

Where have we heard that? John 1:14! John 3:16! For God to make this extreme sacrifice, our need must be great, beloved!

Do you already see the parallel to God the Father offering God the Son — His one and only eternally existent, sinless Son?

vv. 3-4 Abraham made preparations, and began the journey to the place the Lord had shown him when the Lord spoke to him. He saw it in the distance, on the third day.

v. 5-6 Now Abraham and the lad (adolescent, teen) went to worship, leaving his two servants behind. Abraham told his servants that both of them would return. See Abraham’s confidence in God! Note: Isaac carried the wood on his back — he was not a little child, but an adolescent, old enough to carry a large load of wood.

Do you see that Jesus Christ also carried a large load of wood on His back, even His cross?

v. 7-8 “My father!” Isaac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice. There was none. What would they offer?

Abraham didn’t say, “You!” Rather, he said, “God will provide FOR HIMSELF the lamb. Provide — that is see. God will see to it! Abraham was confident of it. He believed God, he knew His faithfulness. And they walked on.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Go to Isaiah 53. God saw to it that this sinless Lamb of God bore not only a cross, but our sin, taking the punishment we deserved! And it pleased the Father to do it!

v. 9-10 Isaac willingly accepted being bound and laid on the altar. Abraham was ready to kill and offer his son. It was the same to Abraham as sacrificing himself, for Isaac was his true seed, the promised son.

The Lamb of God, the Son that the Father promised us, willingly accepted being bound, beaten and mocked, for our sake!

v. 11-12 The angel of the Lord (God’s voice) called from heaven. “Abraham, Abraham!” The obedient Abraham said, “Here I am.” Don’t do it! “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” From Me! It is the Lord who is speaking.

I know you fear God —- literally, I know you are a fearer of God, one who worships, reveres, has confidence in, trusts, and loves (see Easton’s Bible Dictionary).

v. 13-14  A ram, a grown lamb, a sacrifice provided seemingly out of the blue, seen by Abraham as he raised his eyes from the altar on which his one and only son laid. A provision by God! On the mountain of the Lord, the mountain where it shall be seen, Mount Moriah!

Do you see it? Jesus Christ, the grown Lamb of God, the one and only Son of God, offered in place of us, a wrath-bearer, taking upon Himself what we deserved!

And it took place on the mountain called Moriah. Many scholars believe Moriah,  the mountain where Isaac was bound and prepared to be offered, is the very mountain where the Lamb of God was provided by the God the Father!

Do you see Him on the mountain? YHWH yireh, the root of which is of ra’ah, which means to see! If you really see it, you will bow down and worship God the Father and God the Son right now!

v. 15-18  The Lord promises that Abraham’s confidence in Him yields great reward! He repeats His promise from Genesis 12 and 15, but adds that Abraham’s descendants will be as the sand on the seashore, and that they will possess the gates of their enemies.

Beloved, if you believe in and are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a recipient of this promise (see Romans 9:8)!

Why did the Lord promise? Because Abraham obeyed, knowing the Lord so well at this point in his life, and loving Him, that he trusted Him even with his one and only son.

Isaac is not mentioned again until Genesis 24, when Abraham’s servant is sent to bring a wife for Isaac. Well! What a picture of Christ, three days in the grave and risen, and His bride, the church, being prepared now by the Holy Spirit for Him.

So what will you do in response? While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you!
While you were yet hostile toward God, He sent His Son! (See Romans 5:8, 10). He demonstrates His own love for us by doing so.

Do you see the Descendant of Abraham, Jesus Christ, through whom the whole world is blessed, when men and women repent, confess their sins, and receive what He has done?

My brother, my sister, fellow believers, and those who are just now believing, will you respond to this grace of God, this love of God, this sacrifice of God on your behalf, this Son who bore our sins?

Confess your condition, confess your rebellion, confess your sin. He will save you who are just now believing!

And brothers and sisters in Christ, your response is Romans 12:1. Christ’s extreme sacrifice requires your extreme commitment, completely and entirely committing yourself to Him! That’s your part of the deal. Then you are able to speak Galatians 2:22 with the Apostle Paul.

Then Christ will live in you and through you, for the glory of God and the salvation of many! Hallelujah!

ASK FOR RAIN!

[SW177] 03/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Ask for Rain”
Word:  The Lord is setting the stage for revival. It’s time to pray!

Text: Zechariah 10:1ff

Spoken to: The remnant that returned from Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. Zechariah and Haggai prophesied to the rebuilders, encouraging them (Ezra 5:1, 6:4), for their natural AND spiritual restoration!

v. 1 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain — it is spring, as of today!

— Ask rain not from man, but from the Lord! He is the only One who has what we need — His life, His heart, His love and His power in us!

— So if we ask the Lord, He will give us showers of rain

Joel 2:23 NIV    Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.

Showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26)!

— And we who are His people will be fruitful and have abundance once again. What abundance? The Holy Spirit. What fruit? His fruit. When His fruit is manifested, many souls will be saved.

Rain represents blessing and revival. The need to pray for it means something has been amiss between God and us. The next verse tells us what is amiss.

v.v. 2-3a False gods, false shepherds

— We have looked to dead, inanimate things that cannot answer us (Psalm 115:4-8), rather than to the living God. We have listened to ear ticklers, so we are wandering sheep without a shepherd. We have not heeded the voice of the Good Shepherd.

v. 3b But the Lord has visited his flock! He is our true Shepherd!

— Why does He use the past tense? Because in heaven, where He dwells, He sees the end, and He sees the beginning. He sits above time, so He says He has visited, even before we see that He has visited.

— Visit means He will go to see, avenge, care for, deliver to keep, and remember!

When we went astray, He left us to our own devices. But He has not forgotten us. At the appointed time, He returns to us — that’s what “remembered” means.

— He will make us like HIS majestic horse in battle.

— Horses were a superior instrument of warfare battle in those times.

— They were a symbol of swiftness, sure-footedness, power.

— No longer will we trust in men or natural horses. Instead, we will be like the Lord’s horses! Swift. sure-footed, powerful in His power! And He never loses a battle!

v. 4     His Cornerstone —  His Christ
His tent peg — His support
His bow of battle (He trains our fingers for battle, and makes us able to bend               a bow of bronze (Psalm 144:1, 18:34)
His rulers — no longer chosen by men, but by Him

v. 5     We will be as mighty warriors (2 Cor 10:5)
We will tread down the enemy (1John 4:4, James 4:7)
We will fight, for the Lord will be with us (2 Chronicles 20:15, 20)

v. 6    The Lord will strengthen us (make us firm so we prevail against the Enemy)
He will deliver us (save us out of the miry clay we’ve been in)
He will bring us back to Himself
He has racham toward us (tender mercy, like a mother toward her child)!

It will be as though He never rejected us (cast us off, moved us away from Him), though He did reject us when we followed false gods and false shepherds.

Why? Because HE is our God.

He will visited us, go to see  us, avenge us, care for us, deliver us to keep us, and remember us!

v. 9 Our exile from His presence caused us to remember Him, and now, He will remember us.

v. 10 He will bring us back from sin (Egypt).

v. 11 We will cross over and out of the sea of distress (trouble, anguish) and not drown in it.

He will strike the waves in the sea, as in the Exodus, so that even the mightiest waters dry up.

The scepter will depart Egypt — sin will no longer rule us.

Assyria’s (in this case, a typology or symbol of Satan as well as a real kingdom) pride will be cast down, it will fall down, Satan will fall down.

v. 12 Again, He says I will strengthen you in Me.

— Not in our own strength

— And He says, “They will walk in My name,” as representing Me, having My character and nature. He declares it!

We will, indeed, become partakers of the divine nature, and that will permanently repair the rift between us and our God. HALLELUJAH!

Beloved, a warning from the Lord — when He sends the rain, do not try to manage it or manipulate it. Just stand by and let Him work in hearts. Simply rejoice as you watch Him!

And remember, it will no longer be necessary to work real hard to be like Jesus — He will do the heavy lifting. All we have to do is agree with Him as we walk with Him!

Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain! He is coming to visit us once again, to free His people and bring them back to Himself!

Come back to Him even now, this very moment! Cast away your idols and false shepherds to the moles and the bats! Now is the time!

YES AND AMEN

[SW176] 03/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Yes and Amen”

All the promises of God are yes and amen, if you are in Christ Jesus. The question is, do you believe ALL of them?

2Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (KJV)

We receive from God promises from the beginning to the end:

— From the head of the serpent (Satan) being crushed (Genesis 3:15)

— To Jesus Christ’s promise that, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” (Revelation 22:20)

In order to receive ALL of God’s promises, you must understand:

—  the PROBLEM that made His promises necessary,

— the PURPOSE of those promises,

— the PROMISES themselves,

— the PRAYER of Jesus Christ that activated those promises,

—- and the PROOF that those promises have been and are still being fulfilled to all who will believe His promises.

THE PROBLEM THAT MADE HIS PROMISES NECESSARY:

In one word, it is waywardness (backsliding, turning away). This is not a surprise to God. From before time began, He had already prepared the solution (Revelation 11:8).

Here’s what the people of God said (and still say), and the Lord’s response —

Deuteronomy 5:27 (Moses quotes the people) ’Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’

Deuteronomy 5:28   (Moses says) “The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.
Deuteronomy 5:29 ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!”

Speaking the right words isn’t enough. There’s something wrong with our hearts. You and I need a new heart in us, so we will revere and honor and obey the Lord!

Jeremiah 29:11 was spoken to Jewish captives in Babylon who were captives because of their wayward hearts.

Go to Psalm 81:11-13. Just like Israel, you say you will obey, but then you don’t. If you say you never sinned, you do not tell the truth (1John 1:10). We were all born rebels, Adam’s kids who inherited his rebellious nature. So when you hear that oh-so-popular phrase, you may truly say, “I was born that way.” But God says you don’t have to stay that way!

It’s a sickness in your heart, for which only God has the cure — and He will gladly do it!

And you must be healed! Why? Waywardness is deadly, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

But God does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

THE PURPOSE OF HIS PROMISES

The purpose of God’s promises — all of them — is redemption, here and now, AND on the day of judgment (Ephesians 1:14, 4:30).

He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ransom for which you were held captive by Satan, because of your sin.

He offers His marvelous grace — forgiving your sin — through Jesus Christ. That’s a promise many of us celebrate! Your past sins are forgotten by God when you confess them, turn from them, believe in Jesus Christ, and ask the Lord to forgive you.

But beloved, there is more that He promises.

If you don’t believe the “more,” it is because of what you’ve thought, and what you’ve been taught, things that do not match up with the Word of God, beloved.

Many will teach you that your sin nature, your inborn rebellion, doesn’t die until you are on your deathbed.

But what is the good of that? How can you be the witness Jesus promises He will make you, if you wait to be clothed with power from on high (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49)? Being a witness requires you to live and walk and talk!

And why, then, does Paul pray for the Thessalonians to be sanctified through and through (1Thessalonians 5:23), made completely holy on the inside by being filled with the Holy Spirit? If it was only for the deathbed, there would be no need for Paul to pray that way.

THE PROMISES HE MAKES TO YOU

What does the Lord promise He will do with our waywardness?

These promises are throughout the Bible, but go to Ezekiel 36:22-27!

Will you believe it today?

Will you say “Yes” and “Amen” to this promise of God?

Or would you rather pick and choose what you believe God can do?

It is a life and death choice, beloved.

THE PRAYER THAT ACTIVATED THE PROMISE

John 17! Jesus prayed there, and the pivotal heart-changing verse is —

John 17:26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

It is by way of the love of God filling our hearts to overflowing, and by way of Christ Himself in our hearts via the Holy Spirit, that the promise of Ezekiel 36 is fulfilled!

THEN you are His witnesses!

THEN you are set free, indeed —- no longer a slave to sin (John 8:31-36)!

THE PROOF OF GOD’S PROMISE

The Book of Acts! When the day of Pentecost came, the men and women in that upper room were transformed! They no longer argued among themselves about who was the greatest. They were no longer confused about nearly everything that Jesus taught them! They were set free from their selfishness, from their waywardness, once and for all!

Jesus spoke of the Jewish leaders in Matthew 13, quoting from Isaiah 6 —

Matthew 13:15      FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

Is your heart dull, that is, calloused over? Have you stopped up your ears and screwed your eyes shut because you’ve always thought and been taught the promise of a new heart can’t possibly be true?

Then turn today and be healed of your waywardness! You were born that way, but you don’t have to stay that way!

God’s promises say that He will change your heart! Ask Him, and He will do it!

SEEKING HIS HAND

[SW175] 02/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Seeking His Hand”

When someone is in chains, they are totally bound — legs, arms, neck.

But there’s one chain that has a lock on it, and when it’s unlocked, the prisoner is set free from those chains.

I tell you, Jesus wants to set some prisoners free today, and there’s a particular chain the Lord wants to break so all the rest fall to the ground!

Text: Psalm 78:12-33, 40-43

Israel longed for the things of Egypt (Numbers 11:1-6).

They forgot the oppression and the hard master they served there.

They forgot what the Lord had done for them:
— The plagues He set upon Egypt that resulted in their freedom, and
especially, the night the firstborn of Egypt were killed, but Israel’s
firstborn did not die. Death passed over them.
— Deliverance at the Red Sea
— The manna, bread from heaven
— Water from a rock, enough for a million of them
— The pillar cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to lead and protect them
— The promise of the Promised Land

How could they forget? Or more importantly, why did they forget?

Numbers 11:33-34

Greediness!

They sought His hand and not His face (His presence).

Hey, Lord, I’m hungry. Feed me. But it has to be the kind I desire.

What is this? Manna? You expect me to eat this stuff?

I want meat, like I had in Egypt. I never should have left.

As Richard “Stonefingers” Johnson wrote in a song, “I Want To Go Back:”

I want to go back to Egypt.

That pillar of fire’s light keeps me awake all night.

I want to go back the slavery I once knew, something I can hold on to.

This desert is hot, a picnic it is not, I miss the cool Nile breezes and the shade.

This promised land’s a dream, that I have never seen.

Who does God think He is, to make me live like this, out here with all these scorpions and snakes?

If I was in charge, I’d stop this forward march, and hustle my way straight back to Egypt.

Israel didn’t trust God. They demanded from Him, saying “Fulfill our own desires (Psalm 78:18, Numbers 11:8-20).

Even today, there are pastors who encourage people to complain to God, demand what they want from Him, to seek His hand, to ask for material blessings continually.

But these pastors do not tell them that their hearts are selfish and that, by demanding that God fulfill their desires, they are rejecting what He has already supplied, and rejecting God Himself!

These false teachers feed on greed — the greed of the people who want their ear-tickling message. It even works in underdeveloped countries, which amazed me.

But fallen human hearts are the same everywhere — greedy, selfish, and desperately in need of transformation by God’s Holy Spirit!

May the Lord bring upon them something that will make the ears of all who hear tingle (vibrate, quiver with fear) not tickle (see 1Samuel 3:11, 2Kings 21:12, Jeremiah 19:3).

What is the cure for greed?

2Peter 1:4  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature, having  escaped the  corruption that is in  the world by lust.

Hallelujah! By what has He granted that we become partakers of His nature and escape the corruption and lust of this world?

2Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in  the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

Knowledge — full knowledge, the knower having an experiential relationship with the One whom he knows. He knows God because he has experienced God, by being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Matthew 6:19   “ Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal . . .”

Matthew 6:33 “But  seek first  His kingdom and His righteousness, and  all these things will be  added to you.”

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus say, “Demand what you want from God. He’s here to meet your lusts and desires.”

Romans 5:5 and hope  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Holy Spirit! Father God gives you a new heart when you are filled with the Holy Spirit! He is the One who makes you a partaker of the divine nature. It must be done in you in the same way it was done in Peter in the upper room in Acts 2!

— Father God’s love, the very same love with which He loves His Son! In you, filling your heart!

— Knowing Father God deeply and experientially and intimately because He is in you!

There is no other way to know Him but through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 14:6).

And there is no way to receive unless you are willing to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, for that is your spiritual act of worship (see Romans 12:1). The sacrifice in view here is a whole burnt offering. But you get to live after sin has been burned out of you, after the Refiner has come and purified!

Then you will no longer have greed in your heart, even greed toward God, wanting Him to give, give, give you what you lust for. You will always approach God with your needs, humbly and contritely, but with confidence.

No greed — once that chain is broken, the rest fall to the ground!

As Charles Wesley wrote:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Is that chains that I hear falling, in the name of Jesus?

There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain!

GOD’S COMPASSION

[SW168] 01/17/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

Give thanks to the Lord, for His compassion — His chesed, His mercy, His lovingkindness, His steadfast love — endures forever (26 times in Psalm 136)! And He insists that He must put that same chesed inside you, so you forgive exactly like He forgives.

Look at what God did with Judah, after they were overrun by Babylon and exiled because of their sin against Him:

Jeremiah 31:17-20 —

He tells him there is hope for their future and that their children will return to the promised land!

Why?

He has heard them grieving over their sin. They have said, “We were like untrained calves, going against You continually, and you have punished us. But now, bring us back! Restore us! For we have turned back to You, we have repented. You showed us our sin, and we were ashamed and humiliated. We bore the reproach we deserved, for we were like young and foolish ones.”

His response to their repentance is to remember them, His heart yearns for them, and He has mercy — checed — on them!

Here is why the Lord insists that we must have His chesed . . .

Matthew 18:21-35

v.v. 21-22  Peter thinks a little forgiveness is enough, but Jesus corrects him. Peter must forgive endlessly!

v.v. 23-24 It is time to settle accounts with our King. He finds that you owe Him more than you can fathom.

If a person made $10.00 per hour, working 8 hours a day, the 21st century equivalent of 10,000 talents would be $4.3 BILLION.

You surely cannot pay the debt you owe, and you fully understand how great is that debt!

v.v. 25-26 By all rights, you should be sold into slavery until you can repay, and you know you can never repay Him. Your situation is hopeless!

So you plead with the King — have patience, I will repay! And you fall down before Him.

But this is not just falling to the ground, as my Bible translation says. It is proskuneo, which means, “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch down, to prostrate oneself in homage, to revere and adore, to worship.”

You think the King might give you time to repay the impossible debt if you humble yourself in His sight, bow and worship Him, for He is God the Son.

v. 27 And God the Son has compassion on you, His chesed is poured out to you, His innermost parts are literally moved on your behalf.

And He sets you free and completely forgives your impossibly huge debt!

Remember that the key to His forgiveness is His compassion.
But what do you do with those who owe you? How do you respond to them?

v.v. 28-30 Someone owes you a small debt compared to what you owed your King.

The 21st century equivalent of a hundred denarii is $8,000, compared with the 4.3 BILLION you owed your King.

But you go to the one who owes you this small amount, and you choke him. You’re going to get what he owes you.

The King did not choke you, but your heart is not like the King’s.

Your debtor pleads with you just like you pleaded with the King.

But you are unwilling — literally, you will not. And you punish him by locking him up until he has paid what he owes you.

v. 31 Your fellow slaves report you to your King. And your King summons you.

v. 32 The King rebukes you, calling you wicked — evil, hurtful, derelict, vicious, malicious!

v. 33 The King says you should have shown the same mercy that He showed you.

v. 34 Moved with anger, even enraged by your behavior, He turns you over to the torturers until the impossibly huge debt you owed Him is paid off. Luke 16:28 tells us the place of torture is hell, beloved.

v. 35 Then Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, says His heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you forgive FROM THE HEART. That’s from your innermost being.

I used to say that the reason we don’t forgive one another is that we don’t fully understand the extent to which God has forgiven us, and that when we do, we will forgive. But this slave knew how much he had been forgiven. And so do you, beloved.

Jesus says:

Matthew 6:14 “ For if you forgive  others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But  if you do not forgive  others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

The key is compassion — you are born lacking God’s compassion, His chesed.

You will say, “I lack it, so my situation is hopeless. I can try to forgive like God forgives, but I can’t do it.

“I will not take back my angry words that I have spoken, I will hold my grudges and bitterness, and they will be like a cancer in me (Hebrews 12:15). My bitterness and grudge-holding will devour me and defile, contaminate and taint my fellow Christians, and God will not forgive me because I cannot forgive. I am doomed to hell.”

God would NEVER leave you in that condition! It is not His will for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)!

The New Testament equivalent of chesed is found in Thessalonians 5:23-24 —

1Thessalonians 5:23   Now  may the God of peace  Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your  spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,  without blame at  the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24  Faithful is He who  calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Sanctified entirely, completely, absolutely, perfectly — not just on the outside, not just partly on the inside, but through and through! He will do it if you ask Him:

Luke 11:13 “ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

He will fill you with His Spirit! You will be given God’s actual compassion in your heart, His love in your heart, His divine nature in your heart!

Then you will be able to forgive in the exact same way He has forgiven you, regardless of what anyone does against you, regardless of how you are wrongly attacked, regardless of how your character may be falsely maligned.

If you do not forgive, Father God will not forgive you.

Beloved, this is not humanly possible, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)!

All you have to do is humble yourself, proskuneo toward Him, confess that your heart is not right. He is faithful! He will do it!