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And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness! (Mark 1:12).
It seemed a strange proof of Divine favor. “Immediately.” Immediately after what? After the opened heavens and the dove-like peace and the voice of the Father’s blessing, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It is no abnormal experience.
Thou, too, hast passed through it, O my soul. Are not thetimes of thy deepest depression just the moments that follow thy loftiest flight? Yesterday thou wert soaring far inthe firmament, and singing in the radiance of the morn; today thy wings are folded and thy song silent. At noonthou wert basking in the sunshine of a Father’s smile; at eve thou art saying in the wilderness, “My way is hid from the Lord.”
Nay, but, my soul, the very suddenness of the change is a proof that it is not revolutionary. Hast thou weighed thecomfort of that word “immediately”? Why does it come so soon after the blessing? Just to show that it is the sequel to the blessing. God shines on thee to make thee fit for life’s desert-places–for its Gethsemanes, for its Calvaries. He lifts thee up that He may give thee strength to go further down; He illuminates thee that He may send thee into the night, that He may make thee a help to thehelpless.
Not at all times art thou worthy of the wilderness; thou art only worthy of the wilderness after the splendors of Jordan. Nothing but the Son’s vision can fit thee for theSpirit’s burden; only the glory of the baptism can support the hunger of the desert.
After benediction comes battle.
The time of testing that marks and mightily enriches a soul’s spiritual career is no ordinary one, but a period when all hell seems let loose, a period when we realize our souls are brought into a net, when we know that God is permitting us to be in the devil’s hand. But it is a period which always ends in certain triumph for those who have committed the keeping of their souls to Him, a period of marvelous “nevertheless afterward” of abundant usefulness, the sixty-fold that surely follows.
Dr John Morgan
JANUARY 22, 2017
1 Thessalonians 5:6
Let us not sleep, as do others.
There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song-
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open-the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them-a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
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Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
God continues to bless Sagemont Church. In the last two Sundays, over 100 people have made public decisions to make Jesus Christ Lord of their life. Pastors Chuck Schneider, Stuart Rothberg, and Jim Hastings have been teaching the scriptures as both the Old and New Testaments prophesy and proclaim that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again to claim and receive His children unto Himself. During the worship services, I am preaching the message and promise of the return of Christ.
One may ask, “Pastor, why do you passionately believe that Jesus is literally going to return to the earth?” These are a few reasons:
Why I Believe in the Return of Christ
- Jesus said He would! John 14:3 “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
- The entire Christian view of history demands it.
- The prophetic signs found in scripture are now clearly being fulfilled.
- Earthquakes all over the globe. Matthew 24:7 – (over 20,000 since 1971)
- Hearts will fail for fear. Luke 21:26 – Suicides are epidemic.
- Great explosions of learning. II Timothy 3:7 – People cannot discern the truth.
- Immorality abounds. Luke 17:26-27 – Like the days of Noah.
Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus will come to save His children and judge the rest.
God and Churchill
I have just completed reading one of the best books that I have read in the last twenty years. God and Churchill, written by one of our newest Sagemont members Jonathan Sandys (pronounced “sands”), great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. Wallace Henley, staff member at Second Baptist Church, Houston, assisted Jonathan in this profound book. The purpose of the book is to make clear “how the great leader’s sense of divine destiny changed his troubled world and offers help for ours.” Tyndale Momentum is the publisher. The book has many profound quotes. However, there is one that has impacted my life more than many others. Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, addressing the Church of Scotland General Assembly in 1988, said “I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come back unless you nurture the roots.”
One of the responsibilities of the Bride of Christ, the Church, is to keep Christianity on track and prevent the derailing of His ultimate purpose. The paganism that is engulfing us today will ultimately destroy us unless we return to the roots of our faith. “Our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” It is on the solid rock we must stand for truly all other ground is sinking sand.
Note: The book God and Churchill is available in the Sagemont Bookstore.
Perfectionism Is a Thief
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Did you know that your performance doesn’t make you any more or less acceptable in God’s eyes?
If you think that God is going to accept you on the basis of your quiet time, your Bible study, or your service, you will fall into a trap of never knowing if you’ve done enough. You’ll never truly feel accepted.
Perfectionism is a thief. It promises rewards, but it steals both joy and satisfaction. Why? Because perfection is an unattainable goal! If you are a perfectionist, you’ve set an impossible goal for yourself, and therefore you will constantly be faced with frustration and failure.
Two things about you are true, without your “performance”–
You are forgiven in Christ.
You are righteous in Christ.
Are you a perfectionist? Ask the Holy Spirit to free you from the fear of failure. Now make a conscious decision that you can be less than perfect and still be loved by God.
For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.
Read and hear each Chapter from the Book of Revelation:
Recommendation: Let your Marriage be a Dance… Choreographed by God!
Please Pray for our Troops that remain in Harm’s Way over-seas;
Please Pray for the Unemployed, the Homeless and the Unsaved around the world;
ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS: Please Pray for the economy in our Great Nation . For Peace, Democracy and Freedom in the Middle East; For a solution to our Immigration Problem; Protection for Jerusalem and Israel; Wisdom, Common Sense and Good Judgment for our World, National, State and Local Leaders; For our Military Men & Women in harm’s-way overseas; For our Police, Fire and EMS Personnel watching over us on a local level; For our Country; that it will turn from its wicked ways and humble itself before God so that He will heal our land! That we will elect the people that God would have us to elect to office. Please Email your Prayer Requests to:
Bob’s Favorite Quotes:
1.) The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith and the end of anxiety is the beginning of Faith. George Mueller
2.) Its not Red, Yellow, Black or White Races; Its the HUMAN RACE! Bob Lewis – June 2, 2011 (You can quote me on that!)
3.) God will NOT do what YOU can do and YOU cannot do what GOD can do!
4.) FAITH MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE… NOT EASY!
5.) GOD is GOD alone; I am NOT GOD;
We should ALL state that to ourselves;
He does NOT need our help, we need His!
Other favorite Verses:
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.
The Lord hath given him rest from all his enemies.
11 Samuel 7:1
Thy remembrance shall endure into all generations.
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.
I rejoice in thy salvation.
1 Samuel 2:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well please.
Blessed is the man who maketh the Lord his trust.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden.
Sleep on now, and take your rest.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
…Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…All things work together for good to them that love God.
…Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
…Not my will, but thine be done.
The Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent, one from the other.
For with thee is the foundation of life: in the light shall we see light.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1 John iv:16
Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.
This is the promise… the life everlasting.
1st Epistle of John ii:25
For of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does!”
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May God Bless the reading of His Word and may He Bless you and your family and let His Favor shine down upon you today in everything you say and do, in Christ’s Name, Amen.
The most important verse in The Holy Bible is: Jesus told Nicodemus: “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have Everlasting Life!” John 3:16
The SECOND most important verse is: Jesus said: “I Am The Way The Truth and The Life: NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME!” John 14:6
From a Subscriber: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
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His Great Commission, as He ascended back into Heaven while on the road to Bethany was:
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