Tag Archives: Advent

Acts 12- Pray Without Ceasing Part 1

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. Acts 12:5-7

Persecution of The Church continued, as we read earlier in the Chapter, James the brother of John, was killed by Herod. The religious leaders were looking to wipe out the Christians, so they had Peter arrested by Herod also. But the religious leaders didnt realize once again, they were not fighting against the Christians, they were fighting against God Almighty.

God sent an angel and rescued Peter from prison. Notice it says “The Church prayed without ceasing for Peter” Prayer works, Prayer matters! One of the failures of the modern day Church is the removal of prayer meetings. Imagine if Christians gathered today daily and prayed together! 

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. Acts 12:8-10

Peter had no idea what was going on, he thought maybe he was dreaming or seeing a vision, but he put his trust in God and was obedient to the angels commands. Little did he realize , this was a real angel in his presence following God’s commands. Often we might not understand God’s will, but we must remain obedient

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. Acts 12:11-14

Notice when Peter got to the disciples house, what were they doing? Praying! , probably praying for Peter, see how that works! Eventually Peter realized what was going on, God had rescued him with a real angel. Can we relate, sometimes God helps us and we have to look back and say “That was God” 

Notice it says “many were gathered together praying” the early Christians prayed for each other without ceasing! The news of Peter’s deliverance was about to be announced, the Church needs to get back to its greatest weapon, prayer! Pray without ceasing, Pray for each other daily, in Jesus name Amen!

Palm Sunday

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9

Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem as our King fulfilling the prophecy from Zechariah. Notice Jesus decided to ride a donkey instead of a horse, this was to show his humility and he is the “Prince of Peace”, many Jews were hoping for Jesus to wage war against Rome but God had a different plan.

During his arrival, everyone laid down palm branches, what did this symbolize? The palm branch in Roman culture symbolized victory. However the Palm branch was symbolic in Egyptian culture to symbolize eternal life. Both meanings are very fitting for Palm Sunday

(Matthew 21:9) “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest”

Hosanna means “Please deliver us” or “I beg you to save”. Everyone was desperately waiting for coming of our Messiah; Jesus fulfilled the promise and prophesies. This is part of what makes Palm Sunday so special and spiritual.

(Psalm 118:26) “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

This is the Psalm the people sang while Jesus entered Jerusalem, everyone knew Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah promised from the Old Testament scriptures.

So this Palm Sunday remember Jesus is coming again soon, lets rejoice and sing in anticipation of our Messiahs return in Jesus name Amen

Lying Vanities

They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. Jonah 2:8

God had a mission for Jonah, to save the city of Nineveh, but originally he refused and decided to go his own way.  But God works in mysterious ways and used a Whale to change Jonah’s mind.  How many of us try to create our own destiny, only to be thrown overboard like Jonah was? But if we put our trust in God and not “lying vanities” we won’t be forsaken, we will be fulfilled by completing our destiny

(Ecclesiastes 1:2-4) “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.”

We go about our daily lives in the “Rat Race” running around trying to complete this and complete that, but when you take step back what is it all for? Don’t waste your life following “Lying Vanities” follow God and his plan for your life.

Our goal here in life should be to prepare people for eternity in Heaven. The only way to get there is thru Jesus. If we waste our time chasing after objects, there useless, and won’t save your life.

(Job 15:31) “Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence.”

Trust not in “Lying Vanities” but trust in God, your creator. Many people believe “vanities” such as money have power, security, and freedom. But money will not save your soul only lose it. Don’t be deceived by the world, you need God.

(Psalm 31:6) “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.”

How much does God hate idolatry?  Very much because our God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) Think of it this way, you’re a parent, your child who you love, decided to ignore you and follow someone else. Doesn’t that make you feel good as a parent? This is the same way God feels toward you, he wants you to love him because he loved you enough to give you life.

Its easy to get caught up in following “Lying Vanities” of this world, but don’t risk forsaking your own mercy, we worship an awesome God and he loves you. Follow him and fulfill your destiny in Jesus name Amen

Through The Wilderness

As we are now officially in the “Lent Season” heading towards Easter, it’s time to reflect upon what is Lent? And how does it pertain to us? So what is Lent season? It’s 40 days before Easter, it’s a time to reflect and prepare for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Typically Lent is symbolic of the 40 days Jesus spent in the Wilderness. (Matthew 4)

Now while Jesus was in the wilderness, he not only fasted but he was tempted by Satan to fall into Sin. Notice how Jesus responded to each temptation, he said “It Is Written” meaning God had already declared and promised Satan’s defeat. Through Christ we already have victory over sin and death.  Also notice the power of the Word of God, as Jesus used it each time to fight off Satan

Think about the Israelites, when Moses led them from the slavery of Egypt, they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years, (Exodus 14) Again we see that symbolic number of 40, which in the Bible means a “period of testing” Just as Moses delivered the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt, Jesus delivered us from the slavery of Sin and Death (Romans 6:20)

Maybe you’re “Going Through The Wilderness” today? We live in difficult times and many people are struggling mentally and physically. Just remember this, after the Wilderness comes the Cross and then the Empty Tomb. Meaning Jesus has already given us victory because of what he has accomplished, as Jesus declared on the cross “It Is Finished” (John 19:30) You have victory because of Jesus Christ!

So as you’re going through this Lent season, maybe you’re in the Wilderness, remember God is with you and the victory is already yours in Jesus Name Amen!

Mark 3- A House Divided

And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. Mark 3:20-22

Jesus began healing many people, casting out demons, teaching with authority, you would think the people would be impressed, right? His family said “He is out of his mind”, the religious leaders said “he is the prince of the devils” Obviously signs and wonders were not convincing enough for everyone, as many have rejected Christ for different reasons.

When we think about Jesus’ family, think about how difficult this must have been for him to leave his family behind and begin his ministry. Even though Jesus was born to be the Lamb of God and he is Christ, he was also human. He loved his family and grew up with them. And now , except for his mother, they rejected him and called him crazy! Most famously his brother James, who didn’t believe Jesus until after the resurrection, then went on to establish the Christian Church in Jerusalem.

Then you have the religious leader, who had their own agenda. They didn’t seem to care if Jesus was the Messiah, they wanted him killed because he made them look bad. These men were supposed to love God, yet killed his Son to maintain their lifestyles, does that sound familiar today?

And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. Mark 3:23-26

Jesus tried to reason with them “If he was Satan why would he drive out Satan”? The logic of the religious leaders didn’t make any sense, yet they continued to hold to their belief for their own benefit, does that sound familiar today also? Jesus also made another statement “A house divided against itself can not stand”

We wonder why the Church today has so many problems, well because we are a house divided. How can we fight against Satan, when we spend most of our time fighting against each other? Jesus said “Satan doesn’t fight against himself” so why are we the Church fighting against ourselves? Its time to get back to the Law of Christ, Love God and Love your Neighbor

No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house Mark 3:27

Nobody can rob someone’s house who has a loaded shotgun and is standing of the front porch, right? Jesus is saying “Satan can’t overcome the Church if the Church is alert and ready” However when we are spiritually asleep and divided, we become very weakened

The New Covenant has come, Jesus has the power and authority over Satan and all evil, its time for the Church to wake up and come together in Jesus name Amen!

Mark 2- Lord of The Sabbath Part 1

And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? Mark 2:23-25

One of the great debates still in Christianity is the Sabbath, should Christians still keep the Sabbath? Was the Sabbath abolished? Jesus addresses the Sabbath and shows how it pertains to the New Covenant. The first thing to note, is Jesus never commanded us anywhere to “Keep the Sabbath in the New Covenant”. The Sabbath was a sign of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 31:13) Any Christian who says “You need to Keep the Sabbath” challenge them where this is in Jesus or the Apostles teachings!

We see in this story, the Sabbath being broken. The Pharisees try to charge Jesus with breaking the Sabbath, which is ironic because as Jesus reveals to us he is the “Lord of The Sabbath”. Jesus gives an example of David breaking the Sabbath, eating the showbread while he was hungry, which was unlawful in the Torah

Why didn’t the Pharisees condemn David for this? Jesus is trying to show how hypocritical the Pharisees are, they want to condemn Christ but say nothing about David. 

How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath Mark 2:26-28

Was David a High Priest? No therefore he broke the Torah laws yet was never condemned by the Pharisees. But yet they want to condemn Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, is this righteous judgement? No , Jesus also revealed “The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” God created the Sabbath as a sign for Israel to separate from the rest of the world, also to provide physical and spiritual rest. However the religious leaders took this Law and made it a yoke that nobody could  carry or maintain.

Jesus made another statement “The Son of Man is Lord of The Sabbath” How could Jesus fulfill the Sabbath? Easy, he is the Lord of the Sabbath, as he is the Lord of everything! If you want to keep the Sabbath, go ahead but don’t use it as a yoke or stumbling block for other believers. Through Christ we are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

The word Sabbath means Rest, the only way to find Rest is in Jesus Christ! Jesus is your Sabbath , Amen!

Mark 1- A Better Covenant

And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. Mark 1:21-24

The New Covenant is now coming, Jesus is about to demonstrate the power and authority of the New Covenant, as it is a Better Covenant made with Better Promises (Hebrews 8:6) When Jesus began preaching in the synagogue, they were amazed at his teachings, why? Because Jesus is the Living Word of God (John 1:1) What they are hearing is not mans interpretation but directly from God

Second notice the demon addressed Jesus as the Holy One of God, this is a Messianic title, (Psalm 16:10) the demon was actually affirming that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and he affirmed Jesus power and authority by saying “Have you come to destroy us”? The demon knew Jesus is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Christ, the Son of God!

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.  And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. Mark 1:25-27

Jesus rebuked the demon and commanded it to come out of the man, everyone was astonished, why? Because up until this point nobody has exercised a demon before, think about all the prophets of the Old Testament, nobody has ever had power and authority over demons except Jesus, why? Because he is the Lord of Lords, the Christ , the Son of God

I believe this is also a demonstration of the New Covenant, a Better and more powerful covenant , an eternal covenant with better promises! What new doctrine is this? The people asked, its the New Covenant, its the Word became Flesh and living among us (John 1:14)

And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee. Mark 1:28

The gospel of Jesus Christ spread like wild fire, why? Because Christ demonstrated his power over sin, death, and hell. The New Covenant has come, and Jesus has come to set the captives Free Amen!

Mark 1- Baptism of Christ

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:9-11

Often we hear people say “The Bible never mentions the Trinity of God” well here in our gospel story today, we see the Father, Son , and Holy Spirit all coming together at the Baptism of Christ. The Son being baptized in the water, as an example for us, the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on the Son, and the Father declaring “Jesus is his beloved Son”!

One question may arise, why did Jesus need to be baptized? I believe Jesus did this as an example for us, Jesus has never asked us to do anything that he hasn’t already done! The baptism of Christ, is like a kick start to his ministry which would eventually lead to the cross and then the tomb. Everything Jesus did was for a purpose, it wasn’t necessarily done for his benefit, but for our learning and understanding

Just as the Father, Son , and Holy Spirit came together at Creation, they come together at the formation of the New Covenant, to redeem humanity from the penalty of their sin

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.  Mark 1:12-13

Next Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. This was a 40 day period of fasting and testing. Satan tempted The Lord day and night, to try and get him to sin, but the sinless Lamb of God would never submit to Satan and overcame him , just as Christ finally defeated Satan at the cross!

 Finally when Jesus passed his test, he was comforted by the angels. Just as it is written in Psalm 91 “The angels will keep guard over you” (Psalm 91:11) The same scripture Satan tried to use to deceive Jesus , was fulfilled as Satan’s defeat!

The ministry of Christ has now begun, and will deliver us from the slavery of sin and death forever! Amen!

Mark 1- Prepare The Way

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Mark 1:1-3

We begin this gospel with the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah, “Behold God will send a messenger who shall prepare the way of The Lord” This messenger is John the Baptist. Many believed that Elijah would come before the Messiah, but Jesus corrected this “Elijah has come and the disciples understood Jesus was talking about John the Baptist” (Matthew 17:12-13)

The voice of the one crying in the wilderness, was the Prophet John the Baptist, preparing people for the coming of The Lord! How did he prepare them? By instructing them to Repent of their sins and be baptized with water! The turning away from our sinful deeds and the cleansing of our hearts and minds. Are you prepared for the return of Christ?

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 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. 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; Mark 1:4-6

John was called by Jesus “the greatest of all prophets” (Matthew 11:11) yet look how he lived, homeless living in the desert, eating locusts and honey, dressed in camel hair. He didn’t own a 3 piece suite or have a mega Church building, yet he paved the way for Jesus! His non politically correct , non liberal preaching brought the multitudes out to the desert to repent and be baptized. 

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. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. Mark 1:7-8

What did John preach about? He preached about Jesus! He preached about repentance and baptism, he preached about preparing for The Lord! There was no self help clinics or social issue campaigns. It was all about Jesus!

Notice what John says “ There comes one mightier than me who sandal, I’m not even worthy to untie” He glorified Christ and not himself, his goal was to preach Jesus and not about himself. And he revealed Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit, something none of us are capable of doing!

Are you prepared to meet the Lord Jesus? Are you washed in the blood and the water? Are you baptized by the Holy Spirit? Amen!