WHAT ARE YOU EATING?

[SW208] 11/13/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“What Are You Eating?”

The food  you give your physical body affects your health. And the food you give your spirit affects your spiritual health.

Jesus Christ is returning for a healthy church, and He and I want you to be ready.

Text: Hebrews 5:11-14

Here are some believers who were doing well, but they have gone backwards. They ought to be so spiritually healthy that they are able to instruct others, but instead, they need to be taught spiritual truths all over again.

They need milk — basic spiritual principles. They can’t digest meat — the deeper things of God, the word of righteousness — any more.

Something happened to their spiritual digestive system. They stopped eating meat and went back to milk. Now they can’t digest the meat they need, the meat that will bring them to a place of surrender (Romans 12:1).

Infants must have mother’s milk or formula, but as children grow, they begin to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods. If they return to drinking milk only, their physical health takes a nosedive.

As an adult, you eat things that are good for you. But then you become attracted to junk food — food packed with calories but not nutrition — and your physical health takes a nosedive.

Both of these things were happening spiritually to the Hebrew Christians, and these things are are happening in the church today.

What is the milk that the church is drinking once again? What is the meat that she used to eat? What is the junk food the church devours?

The milk is the elementary principles of Christianity. What are they?

Repentance from sin
Repentance from believing good works get us to heaven
Jesus Christ as Savior from our sins
Eternal judgment
Resurrection of the dead
Healing
Deliverance
God’s blessings

The meat is the word of righteousness. What does that mean?

God calls us to continuously live in a right relationship with Him
Full surrender to God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices
Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire, to purify our hearts and fill
us with God’s own love and holiness
Crucifixion of our sinful nature
Partaking of the divine nature
Deliverance from slavery to sin

What is the junk food that is making the church spiritually sick?
Easy-believism — no mention of sin or repentance.
Jesus just came to do good things
Hypergrace
You can’t help but continue to sin
God is your sugar daddy
God is your Santa Claus
Name it and claim it, regardless of how you are living (disobedience)
God wants to make you successful and very rich
Legalism — all about outward appearance, not about your heart condition

And the list goes on!

At one time, the church ate meat. When I look back at sermons preached by men and women from the birth of the church to the first half of the 20th century, there’s meat there! There is the call to righteousness, to holiness.

And those who ate the meat came into the wonderful rest (Hebrews 4:9) —where we rest from our works and then God works through us — that God has for each of us. Those who eat the meat enjoy holy intimacy with God the Father and God the Son, fellowship through the Holy Spirit!!!

But now:

— The leaders of the church have decided that they will serve milk only. Just the basics.

The meat is too difficult for the congregation to digest. There are infants among the congregation. They won’t understand it. Let’s just talk about Easter.

So the whole church goes backwards. When she finally hears the word of righteousness somewhere, she scratches her head, never having heard it before.

“Rouse yourself out of your spiritual stupor and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God,” Paul had to tell the church at Corinth (see 1 Corinthians 15:34)! They were back on the the milk bottle and had settled down for their afternoon nap.

But if the church repeatedly was taught AND EACH CHRISTIAN MEDITATED DAILY UPON God’s Word, she would see His call to be holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect, and she would grow to the point where she says, “I can’t live this way by my own strength! I must seek to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Then comes FREEDOM and the ability to EASILY walk with Jesus Christ and obey Him. He enlarges your heart so you run in the way of His commandments (Psalm 119:32). Running means it’s easy!!

— Or the church eats popular, ear-tickling preaching, the junk food of this generation.

Her spiritual arteries are so clogged with false teaching that she’s in danger of having a heart attack.

Her spiritual digestive system is a wreck. Again, unless she reads and meditates upon God’s Word, she’ll never detect the junk food. Sounds good, tastes good. but it will kill you.

— Or the church adds the things of this world to that deadly meal. She eats what the world eats, chases after treasures that moth and rust destroy and thieves steal. She clogs her arteries with godless TV programs, violent sports, drugs, alcohol and pornography . . . what are you eating?

Beloved, the writer of Hebrews tells us that God speaks correction and discipline to you because you are His children (Hebrews 12:4ff).

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. That means you have not yet crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).

You have not said, “I can’t be obedient! Lord, purify me, fill me with Your holiness and righteousness, so obedience is natural and easy!”

Strengthen your hands (with which you do things) and your knees (with which you walk)! Seek HIS strength, and it will be easy to do right and walk right!

Pursue peace, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Amen.

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ALONE WITH GOD

[SW205] 10/23/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Alone With God”

Text: Genesis 15, etc.

God does great things through us, when we get alone with Him. But how do you get alone with Him? And how do you hear what He is saying?

We will look at those who got alone with God, and I pray He will show you how they got there and how they heard His voice.

Genesis 15:1ff —

Abraham’s condition:  Childless
Abraham’s action:  He obeyed God in what he knew of God, from Genesis 12 onward. Abraham didn’t have a Bible like you and I do. He had to pray and believe and obey, with an audible word from God Himself.

It is still possible to get an audible word from God, but you don’t have to wait until you hear audibly. You can start reading the Word, just a chapter at a time. Read it out loud, when you are in your room or wherever you find a place. You will hear Him there. Then obey what He says.
The result: God promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and the land that would eventually be Israel.You will be amazed at what happens. You will have many spiritual descendants, like the stars in the heavens. And who knows what else will happen?

Genesis 32:24ff —

Jacob’s condition: Afraid his brother, Esau, will kill him
Jacob’s action: He deceived his father, Isaac, stole Esau’s blessing, and fled to another land Esau couldn’t kill him. When he went back home, he sent all of his possessions and family ahead of himself across the stream called Jabbok, and was alone on the other side of the stream. In verses 11-12, he prayed for God to protect him, and reminded God of His promise. Now he was waiting for God’s response.

A “man” came and wrestled with him. This “man” was really God in the form of a man, but Jacob didn’t know that. Jacob wouldn’t let go until the man blessed him.

The result: God gave Jacob (deceiver, supplanter, schemer) a new name — Israel (strives with God). His character was changed. He followed God faithfully and no longer schemed to get what he wanted.

After you begin to obey God in what you already know of Him, go away to a place where you can be alone. Then He’ll show Himself to you in some way.

And when you wrestle with Him and find He’s far more powerful than you, He’ll change you so much that you’ll need a new name.

Exodus 3:13ff

Moses’ condition: A man with a broken dream to save his people from cruel slavery in Egypt.
Moses’ action: He was alone on Mt. Horeb. He had walked in obedience to what he knew of God. He wasn’t looking for God, but suddenly, he saw the burning bush. It was there, on that holy ground, that God revealed His name and character to Moses, and His plan for Moses to be the one who saved his people from slavery.
The result: All of Israel left Egypt and ultimately entered the Promised Land.
Do you have a noble but broken dream? Go and get by yourself. God will speak to you, and you will learn His character and your role in His plan.

But you must begin by obeying God in what you already know. Stop playing church and start seeking God. He says if you seek Him diligently, you will find Him. It won’t be in a crowd, with your friends, at a party,  or a ball game. It will be when you are alone. Walk in obedience in what you know of God. Go somewhere by yourself.  You will hear from God.

The list goes on! In John 4, the women at the well was shunned because of her sin. She was alone. Jesus came, spoke the truth to her, she was convicted of her sin and Jesus revealed He is the Christ!

In Mark 1:40, the leper was alone. He was an outcast because of his disease. Yet he came to Jesus, and said, “If you are willing, you can make me clean!” And Jesus said, “I am willing!” Immediately he was healed of leprosy, an incurable disease.
Finally, Acts 9

Paul’s condition:  Ignorant regarding God, though he knew the Scriptures. Murderer of Christians (Acts 26:10).
Paul’s action: He obeyed Jesus after God knocked him down and blinded him. The brightness of Jesus Christ blinded him. He audibly heard Him. There were other people in that house on Straight Street in Damascus, but Paul was fully concentrating on God, alone with Him in fasting and prayer.
The result: He received his sight, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and became an evangelist to the world.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Obey God in what you know. Get alone. Get into God’s Word. Cry out to God.
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6).

Seek Him. You will find Him. Ask, seek, knock. (Matthew 7:7).  He will change you —

— from childless and barren to fruitful,

— from fearful deceiver to striver after God,

— from one with broken dreams to one who stands in the presence of God, knows His name, and leads many out of slavery to sin

—from shunned to forgiven and saved

— from diseased outcast to one healed by Christ

— from ignorant murderer to open-eyed, Spirit-filled evangelist.

I testify that when I got alone, Jesus Christ came, and He did all of these things in me! God will do it!

STRENGTH FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT

[SW201] 09/11/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Strength For Your Assignment”

You and I need His power for this hour!

He has an assignment for you and me. What is it?

— To walk as Jesus walked in this world (entirely obedient) (1Jn 2:6)

— To baptize and make disciples, teaching them to obey all He commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20)

— To be His witness (Acts 1:8)

— To love even our enemies with His love (Matthew 5:44)

— To set captives free (Isaiah 61:1ff, Matthew 10:8)

That assignment is absolutely impossible in our own strength. We need His!

Texts: Psalm 84:5-7, 11-12, Isaiah 40:29-31

Psalm 84

How blessed is the one whose strength is in God — literally, to him, strength is in the Lord.

God is the source of strength for him. He knows that apart from Christ, he can do nothing (John 15:5)!

Strength — boldness and power and might! HIS!

Psalm 84:5 Blessed (literally, straight/upright, happy) are you, because this is a revelation from God, just as Simon/Peter received when God the Father gave him the revelation that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:17)!

In your heart is the highway to His presence!

Blessed are you! A way was prepared in your heart when you repented and confessed your sin, just as with those baptized by John in advance of Jesus’ ministry on earth. It is the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8)! You are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Psalm 84:6 And what happens because His presence is in you? As you walk about in the valley of weeping, you make it a spring, a place of fountains of living water. And that valley, now flowing with an endless supply of living water, also sees showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26).

Psalm 84:7 Everyone who seeks and receives God’s strength appears before God (NASB “in Zion”). That is, they stand before Him, in His presence!

Blessed are you if you seek His strength, for surely you will receive it!

Psalm 84:11 He is a sun and a shield — light and protection — He gives such ones grace and His presence within them, and He does not withhold any good thing from you, because they walk with integrity (without blemish, complete, full and perfect before Him)!

Psalm 84:12 O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You, who is confident, sure and bold because it is Your strength that is in him!

How blessed will YOU be if you seek His strength, His power, His might! Then you have the strength to do your assignment!

Isaiah 40:29-31

To the one who understands that he LACKS the might to do God’s works, the Lord increases power —  and that Hebrew word is only used of God’s power, with just a couple of exceptions.

His power comes to those who wait on Him, who entwine themselves with Him. They gain new strength, which literally means they CHANGE ABILITY.

So they exchange their strength for His, and in His power, they fly high, they run and walk without tiredness or weariness!

Those whose strength is the Lord also exchange their faith to His faith (Romans 1:17), their sin nature for His divine nature, their glory for His glory, ever-increasing, from one degree of glory to the next (2Corinthians 3:18)!

When you confess your weakness, your inability to do your assignment and ask Him for His power) —  the world will see Christ’s strength, His power, in you. (2Corinthians 12:9). And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)!

As you go about on your assignment from Him, rivers of living water will flow from your belly (John 7:37-39), and the valley of weeping will become like a valley of fountains, showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26)!

And  you will not hesitate to go, but will go forth immediately and joyfully because you know you are going in His strength, not yours.

But I have some admonitions for the church. Many of you are not going, and thus, not doing your assignment. You are silent. You are afraid. You know you don’t have power nor boldness to testify of Christ. Ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and He will gladly do it!

Many of you are working in your own strength. Some of you have been quite successful in building large churches, in you own strength. But if you are not working in His strength, they will worship you and look to you, and not Him.

Also, you and I have seen that many who work in their own strength have burned out, and many who work in their own strength have had their secret sins uncovered publicly, giving the world more fodder to make a mockery of Christ.

Repent and turn, and He will yet receive you and give you His strength. When you ask Him for His strength, by being filled with the Holy Spirit, He will oblige, and you will begin to work for the glory of the Father and the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

BECOMING THE PROOF

[SW200] 09/04/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Becoming the Proof”

I could tell you the truth about humanity’s condition and their need for a Savior, and with great passion, I could show you why it is true, but it will have no power to change hearts if I myself am not the living proof of it.

I could reason with you, I could show that there is archeological evidence that the Bible is true, I could argue with you endlessly about such things.

But I become living proof when God so changes me inwardly that it is impossible to deny the truth. That’s when the church becomes the church, beloved. When Christians claim the Bible is true but do not live out what it says, the world laughs.

If I am not like Jesus, I can tell you about Him all day long, and you will look at how I live, and scoff at me.

That’s why Jesus told His disciples to wait in the city to be clothed with power from on high. They already had authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons, and they had done so.

But this is a different kind of power. It is the power to live as Christ lived when He was on the earth. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, no longer beside them but IN them. He makes us new on the inside, giving us a new heart, a new nature, and the fruit of Him — His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, and His Spirit controlling us.

It is the power to be His witnesses here, to be people who actually have Jesus inside of them, living through them, showing Himself to the world here and now.

When you are His witness (the original Greek word is the source of our word, “martyr”) because you have died and He lives in you, people will sense Him in you.

It isn’t that you do the Law, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to be sure you act right, but it’s being made right by God dwelling in you.

Then you don’t have to prove anything. He is obviously in you. So when you speak, your hearers  know it is God and they either receive or reject Him and His Christ.

You see, Ephesians 5:8-10 means much more than trying and failing and trying and failing to do what pleases God. When you are filled with God’s Spirit, you BECOME that which pleases God — obedient, and filled with His power and love.

It is great news, but millions in the church have not heard of it. We are happy to be saved, and rightly believe it is instantly done when we repent and believe. But we have a hard time believing that God can change our hearts permanently and totally, in an instant.
There’s plenty of evidence against it — all you have to do is look at how many of us live.
Our actions belie our claim that we are full of God. We act no different than we did before. We still sin, we still willfully disobey God, we still lust, we still covet, we are yet hypocrites.

And so we conclude that it is impossible to do what Christ clearly teaches. We see no evidence of it. There are no witnesses, we say, so it must not be true.

But there are witnesses! Some have offered the Lord their hearts in flames of holy love!

Some have testified, “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!” That was John and Charles Wesley’s testimony, and they were His witnesses.

And even today, some of us have totally abandoned ourselves to God, have received the fullness of His wonderful Spirit, and we are no longer slaves to sin! The chains have fallen off! And we rise and are able to follow, to obey, to live like Christ in this world. Our faces shine with His presence, and we leap and shout and praise His holy name!
We were beggars at Gate Beautiful who had never walked as God walks. We were born lame. And now we can walk!

Now, He works His wonders among us and through us, just as He did when He was on the earth. And just like He promises, we do greater, because now that His Spirit is poured out, those who are filled with Him can be used to fill others!

Will you believe it? If you know you are not living like Jesus, then I am here to tell you that even today, God is still ready and waiting to fill you with His Spirit and change you so profoundly that people will know God is real and He is in you!

Jesus says that he who rejects Him, rejects the One who sent Him. Jesus was rejected by many who wanted to retain their traditions and political power. He came against all of it, simply by speaking the truth and being the Truth.

And it is the same today. We expect the world to reject Him. But it grieves God that much of the church of today rejects His Spirit and His truth. It is not unexpected, for Paul spoke of it in 2Timothy 3, writing that in the last days, all the lawlessness we see today would come, and that many would have a form of religion while denying its power. That means its power to change human hearts.

God and God alone profoundly changes human hearts. He is still at work. Jesus has not changed. God’s promises are still offered to you. Believe and receive.

ENTWINED

SCAN0038

[SW199] 08/28/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Entwined”

Texts: Psalm 37:3-6, 23-31 and Psalm 40:2, 6

The fulfillment of your heart’s desires comes when you entwine yourself with the Lord.

There is a moment in time when you repent, confess your sin, and believe, and then the Holy Spirit begins to speak to your heart.

But there is also another moment in time when you yield your SELF completely to God!

I will speak what the Lord has shown me in the text, and then speak the rest of what He wants to say. You will need to watch the video of my message for the interpretation of the text. The link is in the right column of my blog.

Now I go on to what He wants to say, beyond the interpretation of His Word.

Jeff and I have been married nearly 38 years. It was a happy marriage, to the point that my brother gave this copyrighted photo, “Entwined,” to us as an anniversary card. But we were still selfish, in it to have our own needs and wants met.

Then, 14 years ago this November, we became entwined with the Lord.

Now we live for Him, walk together with Him, serve Him together, and love each other with God’s actual love. Like Jeff, I’m no longer selfish, centered on I, me, and my. And I am no longer a rebel toward God. I am entwined. Jeff is entwined. We are entwined together with the Lord. It is literally a marriage made in heaven!

In Psalm 37:4, what did I say “delight” means? It means being soft, pliable, and twisted together or entwined.

A steel girder does not bend.

A plank of wood does not bend.

A piece of marble does not bend.

By nature, they are inflexible, but we can bend or shape them into a bend, using fire to bend the steel, heat and water to bend the wood, and a hammer and chisel to make the marble yield to our vision, as a sculpture.

Humans do not bend. By nature we are inflexible. In the Bible, the Lord describes us as having stiff necks, hard hearts, and foreheads like stone or bronze. It is a description of the sin nature that we’re all born with.

How, then, can we be made soft and pliable so we can be entwined with the Lord?
By the same means as with steel, wood, or marble, except God does it!

If you ask Him (Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:13, Matthew 6:33), He will do it in you, using:

His heat (Matthew 3:11)

His living water (John 4:10)

The hammer of His Word (Jeremiah 23:29)

Just as He instantly saved you, He will also instantly fill you with His Holy Spirit, changing your nature so you are soft and pliable, so you become entwined with the Lord, and He takes from you your hardness, your stiffness, your sin nature. He must, for if you continue to sin, you will die.

When He instantly fills you with His Holy Spirit, your heart’s desires will be transformed.

Then, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Because  your desires have been transformed, the only desire of your heart will be to do His will, for His law will be written on the tablet of your heart (Psalm 40:6, 2Corinthians 3:3).

He will fulfill your desire to do His will.

And His promises, in Psalm 37:5-6 and 23-31 will be fulfilled in you.

It is that simple, and perhaps that is the problem. Maybe you think you have to work really hard and study the Word continually in order to prepare yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is wonderful to study God’s Word, but I know many who can recite it and yet do not have an intimate relationship with the Lord — even seminary professors and pastors!

For Jeff and me, I can only say that we knew very little of the Word of God. But we were hungry for all of God, and we sought Him with all that was in us.

He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him, beloved. You receive by asking, seeking, and knocking. You cannot make yourself soft and pliable. You cannot make yourself entwined with Him. You cannot make yourself stop sinning.

Good works won’t work. Look at the Pharisees!

Much study is good for you, but you must ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth that you must be filled. Otherwise, you have knowledge of the Word of God in your brain, but still lack the intimate knowledge of God, and still be a prisoner of sin.

Ask God the Father now! He will make you soft and pliable, entwine you with Himself, His desires will be your desires, and you will no longer be a slave to sin.

UNDERSTANDING SIN

[SW197] 08/07/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Understanding Sin”

If we understand the reality and extent of our sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we will love Him much! This is the very Good News of the gospel!

I am compelled by the love of God to speak of sin (Jeremiah 23:22) because all have sinned and lack the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

I have come to announce that God has the solution — Jesus Christ!

Text: Luke 7:36-50

What did the woman do?

She HEARD Jesus was in her city.

She CAME TO HIM.  Why?

I believe she CAME TO HIM because she knew she was sinning and had heard that He heals and also forgives sin (see Matthew 9:2, the paralytic). She did not need physical healing, but healing of her relationship with God.

She CAME TO HIM intending to worship Him, because she brought an alabaster vial of perfume.

Thus, she HAD FAITH that He was God in the flesh, for only God is to be worshiped, and only God can forgive sin.

She WEPT. As He reclined, she stood at His feet, weeping tears of repentance and gratefulness.

She BROKE ALL THE RULES, letting her hair down in public, to wipe the tears that fell on His feet. With her brokenness, she honored Him.

She WORSHIPED EXTRAVAGANTLY, kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Oh how beautiful are the feet of Him who brings Good News (Isaiah 52:7)!

Thus, she LOVED MUCH, largely, abundantly, greatly.

What did the Pharisee do?

He INVITED Jesus to come to dinner.

He did not welcome Jesus according to custom — there was no kiss on the cheek, no washing of feet, no anointing with oil.

He went out of his way NOT to worship Him.

He did not seek forgiveness.

He did not have faith.

He judged the woman, and he judged Jesus.

He did not weep.

He did not break all the rules.

He did not worship Him extravagantly.

He did not honor Christ.

Thus, he LOVED LITTLE (literally, his love was puny).

You see:

1. If we understand the reality and extent of our sin
2. And we understand the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ
3. Then we love Christ much

I tell you the truth, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by doing #3.

With that gospel, you will love little.

You might say, like the Pharisee, “I am a good person. I do good things. I obey the rules.”

You might even judge sinners by avoiding them. You might say, “Thank God, I am not like them” (see Luke 18:9ff).

You might even judge Jesus when He ministers to sinners. Why is He with THEM?

You might even judge Jesus when He sends someone to speak His truth to you. After all, if you have heard a gospel with no sin and no repentance, then no one has told you that He came to forgive you of your sins, if you repent.

You might even say, “You can’t be speaking for Jesus. He would never speak to me that way. He loves me just the way I am. We are buddies and the Father is my sugar daddy, giving me whatever I want.”

And so, you will love little, like the Pharisee, because you do not understand the reality and extent of your sin.

Who had faith?

Who was forgiven?

Who was saved?

Who went in peace?

The woman who loved much, because she understood the reality and extent of her sin and the availability and extent of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Again, a gospel preached with no sin and no repentance CANNOT cause you to respond to Jesus Christ by loving Him much.

And what is more, a gospel preached without sin and repentance cannot bring you to the truth that Jesus will set you free from slavery to sin, by baptizing you in the Holy Spirit (John 8:31-36). Sin is not mentioned, repentance is not mentioned, and so you do not understand that you are a slave to sin.

But if you repent and ask His forgiveness for your sin, He will not only forgive you, but He will show you that He commands you to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4).

These also are commands, given by the Spirit-inspired Apostle Paul:

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And the result will be inward holiness because the Holy Spirit dwells in you, large and in charge!

And you will be filled with the actual love of God,  you will love Him with His love, and you will not struggle to obey Him, for your heart will be entirely His!

And He will shine forth from you, drawing people to Himself through His presence in you, so they, too may understand the extent of their sin, and the availability and extent of Gods forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and they will love Jesus Christ much!

Romans 10:14   How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?  15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

GLAD SHEEP

[SW196] 07/24/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Glad Sheep”

Sheep always are glad when they hear the voice of their shepherd and see him approaching. They run to him, without delay, and obey his voice!

Jesus Christ looks around even today, and sees that His people were distressed and dispirited; that is, thrown down, a deliberate, extended hurling, a long distance.

And He says, even today, “I AM the Good Shepherd!”

Matthew 9:36   Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

He felt compassion for them. He was inwardly moved, because they were confused by the message that came from the Jewish leaders and priests.

They went through the religious motions as directed, but they continued to struggle with sin.

They were under Roman rule, and many were impoverished, not only by heavy Roman taxes, but false teachers who stole land, even out from under widows, and in the Temple, when offerings were given, they rigged the scales in their favor!

Worst of all,  they were under a yoke no one can bear (Acts 15:10) — a form of religious godliness that denies the power of God to change a human heart (2 Timothy 3:5).

Their teachers were hypocrites, teaching one thing and doing another. They did not enter into life, and did not allow those who were in the process of entering to actually come in. (Mt. 23:13)

What good news He shared! He is the One who will gather them and hold them in His bosom (Isaiah 40:11) — He will enclose them in a holy, intimate way, and He will be IN them!

His announcement is in John 10, right after He healed the man born blind, and His work was rebuked by the Jewish religious ones, the Pharisees.

Verse 1-2 — Highly important, truly, truly! There are thieves and robbers, false shepherds!

They climb up over the protective fence around the flock, to steal the sheep. They are being used by Satan, the chief thief.

But there is a true shepherd!

Verse 3-4 — He leads them out. and the sheep hear His voice. He knows their names, He calls them, and the sheep follow (obey!) because they know, they have intimate experience with, hearing His voice.

Verse 5 — Because they know their Shepherd’s voice they are able to discern a stranger’s voice. And they run from a stranger’s voice, because they do not know or have intimate experience with hearing the voice of that stranger.

Verse 14 — I AM the Good Shepherd, Jesus says, and I know My own and My own know Me intimately and experientially. They have experienced Me.

Verse 27 — My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow (obey) Me!

What good news for sheep who obey the Good Shepherd. Their obedience is evidence that they know Him intimately, by experience.

“But what do I see, even among the flock that is Mine?” That’s what the Lord says today.

Disobedient sheep, who claim to be Mine. They do not follow me. They do not obey My voice.

They climb down onto precarious ledges to eat something that looks good to them! They have gone after ear-tickling messages from thieves and robbers!

Isaiah 65:2      “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts . . .

Many are out on a ledge, unaware of their condition!

When it is dark, the Lord says, you will be afraid and panic because you know you can’t see to climb back up to safety.

I will wait until you are exhausted, when you have no fight left in you.

When you cry out to Me, when you are ashamed and turn from turn from going after what looks good to you, things that thieves and robbers are teaching, I will rescue you.

Then you will know that I AM the Good Shepherd, and you will ask and I will give you a heart to obey Me.

If you refuse —

Isaiah 65:13        Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD,
“Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.
Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.
Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.

14      “Behold, My servants will shout joyfully with a glad heart,
But you will cry out with a heavy heart,
And you will wail with a broken spirit.
15      “You will leave your name for a curse to My chosen ones,
And the Lord GOD will slay you.
But My servants will be called by another name.”

You who are on a precarious ledge, turn now! Repent now! Cry out now!

He will go out of His way to go and get you, when you cry out (Luke 15:1ff)!

Do not wait — the hour is late and the time is short!

Come into the fold of the Good Shepherd, and He will lead you!