October 11, 2013

“I call to the Stand, your character”

Character- Moral or ethical quality
When we call mankind’s character today to the stand, their attitude and ways are not to serve the LORD. Their objective is to serve the flesh and the things that pertain to this world. But the LORD’s character is flawless; he is a God who is just and isn’t a respecter of persons, neither is he like man, to love you one minute and hate you the next. His judgments are right and true about us, when he calls our character, our attitude, or ways to the stand in the church. The question today is, is your character/integrity where it needs to be? In events, organizations your in? (orange, egg, dvd, seeds, mirror)
2 Corinthians 1- Righteous
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
-In the text, Paul’s character is called to the stand in the midst of trial and suffering. They endured so much heartache and pain that they hated life itself. But Paul and the others didn’t allow what they were going through, to change their character/attitude toward. People sometimes go through things, and because they don’t understand why this happens and that happens, they leave the church, b/c they felt as though God has abandoned them.
- That’s why God will allow us all to come to low places in our life, not to kill us, but to test to see if we are willing to hold strong to the character/morals and integrity of God. When we stand before the LORD on judgment day, he wants us to be blameless and wants nothing more than to say well done, b/c there is an accuser that would dare to hold many charges against us. Paul and others were distressed, but look how he flips it.
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
-B/c of the things they were going through, when they were called to the stand of life, they didn’t throw in the towel; they were not willing to curse God and die, but rather stood on the character of God. Paul’s moral quality/ethics was not to trust in himself, but in the God who not only has delivered us from death, but shall deliver us again and again b/c our trust is in him. He didn’t complain where he was, b/c it was part of the process. (Ex: going to class-So God deals with our character & attitude where we are & sits us down in the classroom & uses that lecture to peel back a layer he needs to deal with called our attitude, character, patience, our gratitude, our appreciation for being able to get an education)
-We didn’t let afflictions change our character/beliefs in what we have been taught. In the days we are living in, the character/integrity of the church has to become greater and stronger than it ever has. We are facing a falling away of the faith, pestilences, earthquakes, and storms now than ever before in history and now the character/integrity of the church of the living God is more important than ever before.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
-When we stand before the LORD, this is the testimony that we should have, that we pleased God. In our everyday life, we should strive to have a character that pleases God with or without people around. (Zechariah 4:10 “10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.’ (NLT) don’t despise where you are, b/c what you have, is more than what someone else has. (Ex: kirk franklin song & 210.00 a week for 1 vs. another)
Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
-God was doing surgery on Paul & the saints. Sometimes he has to do surgery on us, to cut out areas in us that are not like him. Areas that don’t really appreciate the privilege of being able to come into church & praise his name; others don’t have the privilege.
Genesis 18- God
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
-Sodom and Gomorrah was filled with wickedness and God couldn’t take it no more. The LORD who reigns and doesn’t have to answer to no one, before he goes to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, says can I hide this from Abraham? Look at the character and mind of God. Many miss the fact that our God is a loving God wishing that ‘none perish, but all come unto repentance,’ but the people didn’t have a heart to repent. God says this about Abraham b/c in God’s eyes Abraham was upright before the LORD.
-Many people can say a lot of things about you, but none of it is as important as what God has to say about you; why? B/c God sees you in the light and in the darkness. God sees you when no one is around but you and foul conscious. Man looks at the outward, but God judges the heart and his heart was right before, b/c he had a heart for the things of God. If God called you character/integrity/attitude, etc. about things and life what would the verdict be? Our whole objective is to strive to have a character pleasing to God with or without people are; Abraham did just that.
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
-All the nations shall not only be blessed in him, but he shall also be a great nation; why, B/c his moral quality, ethics, ways, are right before God. God goes on to say that I know him that is why God can say this about Abraham. (Jer. 1:6) God knew who you was before you got here, and many people believe that b/c they do nice things, and don’t kill, sell drugs, rob, etc. they are a nice person and deserve a not guilty verdict and should be granted access to heaven. But the prosecution would beg to differ.
-If they were to take an inside look at the hate, the un-forgiveness, the cursing, the fighting, the disregard for the ways of God and his commandments, the gossiping that is in us, it would change the minds of the jurors. If they saw that you really don’t love people the way that you should all the time; that sometimes you really would love to slap this person, and curse that boyfriend out that did you wrong and cut that person. If they called you to the stand and said ‘I want the truth’ this isn’t A Few Good men movie, where we can’t handle the truth, it’s rather, can you handle the truth, about the real you? That God my character isn’t where it needs to be, it’s not. But Abraham’s character/heart was upright before God.
20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.
-This shows how important character is. God was going to destroy two cities for all the wickedness there was, but stopped and remembered that someone’s character their pleased him. Throughout the bible, we always find that one person, God uses to help save and deliver an entire nation of people, a group of people, or people who don’t even know they are on the way to hell.
-Imagine, that b/c your attitude/character was right before God, God steps in and delivers your entire household, not b/c they deserve but b/c you were upright before God. In Mark 2:5 Jesus said ‘When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven.” It wasn’t about the sick person; it was about the faith of his friends, having a heart to be willing to do whatever it takes to see their friend healed. Only Abraham was righteous before God and God saved those in his household, including his nephew Lot.
Acts 5 -Unrighteous
1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
-Many unrighteous try to look righteous b/c of the deeds they do, but really inside something in them is not right. Ananias and Sapphira tried to pretend like they gave as much as other people. The society we live in is all about competition and trying to outperform each other; movie stars, athletes, business people, rappers, etc. are constantly trying to beat each other out. If you have this house and this many cars and this many girls, I’m going to have a bigger house, more cars and more women, no matter what I have to do to get it.
-The heart of man is wicked and foul and is very unrighteous before God. That is how Ananias and Sapphira were; they loved their possessions too much, but didn’t want to be outperformed by other people that were giving to the church, even though this is not a competition; God loves a cheerful giver. We as the church are not to act like the world, lying, cheating and being deceitful in order to show that we are better than our brother/sister in the LORD. Their hearts were wicked, and they thought they could get away with it; yet God called their actions/character to the stand.
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
-The Holy Ghost in Peter discerned their motives and Peter told them why has Satan filled your heart and used you to lie? The land you sold was yours to begin with and you could have just gave what you wanted; you didn’t have to lie, in order to be like everybody else, but be honest and give what you can. Rather you decided in your heart to be deceitful and you don’t realize that you haven’t lied to me, you have lied unto God.
-Many people lie to God everyday and don’t think anything of it. They think that it’s okay to try and look holy, to look righteous on the outside, yet don’t realize God judges the heart. God sees right through our motives, our attitude, and everything else, and he will let you know about yourself even if he has to send a prophet your way. That why your character is so important. (Ex: People caught on camera stealing, yet lie; importance of character I taught students in school)
And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
-Ananias dropped down and died b/c his heart was evil and wicked and God judged him on the spot. My God, this brought fear to many in the church; this type of fear needs to be instilled again in the church today, b/c many people don’t reverence God in the manner that they should. They think God is this weak, nerdy, pathetic God that can’t get his will done. Yet if God started calling more people’s character to the stand on the spot, it would cause many to check their attitudes at the door. But God is merciful and kind to us, and has done so much for us and we should strive to have a heart/character that loves walking right with God. Ananias was like his father the devil and receive punishment for his crime.
And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
-This shows us the mercy of God. Sapphira didn’t know what happened to her husband, and three hours had passed by; she had an opportunity to tell the truth and say we didn’t sell the land for as much as my husband said. Yet many people gamble with their life, by lying, cheating and doing whatever, not realizing that by doing this, it says a lot about your character; it shows how much moral and ethical quality is really in you. How much you really love the LORD.
-Do you care more about what people think about you and how people perceive you, than being real with God? People are always going to love you one minute and hate you the next. People, family, life, society, etc. sometimes will turn their back on you, stab you in the back, take what is yours and leave you on the side of the road to die; yet Jesus will always be by your side through the thick and the thin. His character, his love, and his attitude toward us doesn’t change b/c he is not like man. That’s why we have to be real with God b/c your character is at stake.
Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”
-Sapphira stood by her lying husband and decided to lie before God and he judged her on the spot. The life we live in is all about decisions; someone once said ‘the decisions you make, dictate the life you will lead.’ She made a decision to lie, and the same men that carried her husband out, carried her out too.
-Great fear came upon the church and as many people who heard what happened to these too. You never want to be the example God uses, to show everyone else what not to do. They tested and stepped on the character of God, thinking that the unrighteous/ungodly would stand in the congregation with the righteous. (Psalms 1:5-6 “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. The reason why they will perish is b/c their character/attitude has been called to the stand and found guilty. But God knows the heart of the righteous and people who are striving to be right before God and this should be what we strive for daily.
Acts 8- Man-flesh
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
-Again here is man, i.e. the flesh trying to be like God. The flesh, the unrighteous think that money can allow you to do anything. Simon, was just baptized, but had not received the Holy Ghost, and he saw other people receive it and thought that this gift could be bought with money. (Ex: Scams and gimmicks on television with anointed water/handkerchief)
-The Devil always tries to make a mockery of the things of God. People don’t realize that the things of God, have to come from the LORD and money can’t buy you salvation; a catholic priest/the pope cannot pray you into heaven, neither can he pray your dead family members out of purgatory into heaven, by doing 1,000, 100, etc. hail Mary’s. This shows us the character/mind of man and how wicked this flesh is. Yet Peter checks Simon like he did Ananias and Sapphira.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
-The Holy Ghost in Peter again calls someone else to the stand and lets them know your heart is not right before God. This shows us that we don’t judge by our own selves, but we judge things based on what God’s Word says. God has given us authority to judge according to the Word.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
-God doesn’t strike Simon down, but he has mercy on him. Peter tells him to repent, and pray that God will forgive you for thinking you could buy the spiritual things of God. Peter said I perceive, meaning he discerned, that Simon not only had some type of bitterness in him, but he had some hidden iniquity.
-Iniquity is something ground in, that goes under the radar and takes discernment from the Holy Ghost to call it to the surface. That is why our prayer is that God continue to work on us, b/c we have some ground in stuff in us that we don’t even know that God has to work out of us. Yet Simon’s heart was right in saying, pray for me, that none of what you have spoken comes to pass; that God have mercy on me. This is our prayer, for God’s mercy daily.

I Call Now to the Stand, your character and is it right before 

God? Amen!!!!!

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