“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” — coming from the pen of shepherd!! It is no coincidence that the latter words “...I shall not want” should follow fast on the heels of the former “The LORD is my shepherd”. The two are intrinsically linked together and the latter proceeds out of the former. It is because the LORD is a shepherd, that the sheep under His watchful care shall lack for nothing!! While the shepherd is near, the sheep have nothing to worry about!! You see, the shepherds of the middle east were different from those we’re perhaps accustomed to in the West. Here in England, we frequently see sheep grazing freely on the rolling hills with no shepherd in sight and without a seeming care in the world! But in Biblical times, in ancient Israel, this would have proven fatal! It was the shepherd’s chief duty to watch over his flock in order to protect them from predators.
In his sermon, we look at the Good Shepherd and take comfort from that 23rd Psalm which down through the ages has proven to be a balm of consolation for countless millions.
Which specialist army unit deploys an inconsistent marksman to take out an enemy target? Which coach puts forward an inconsistent striker to take the deciding penalty? Yet, if we’re honest with ourselves (and I’m speaking of things pertaining to our Christian walk), we leave far too much margin for error in our lives. Inconsistencies which ought to be consistencies, variables which ought to be constants; and yet, when I open the Word of God, I don’t see these margins of error being left us for waver. Instead, I see imperatives (instructional commands) where the expectation is for full compliance!
This sermon is an exhortation for believers to lay hold on God and to press through into a life of consistency.
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 10)
The first recorded song sung in the Bible was the Song of Moses and the last recorded song that will one day be sung is also the song of Moses (Rev. 15:3). Did you know that there are some 185 songs recorded in Holy Scripture, most of which are found in the Book of Psalms? If you were God, would you choose to include in your collection of books, a book solely consisting of songs? Would you choose to make this book the largest book in your collection of books and would you have it contain the longest chapter? What does all of this tell us? It clearly sends a message, telling us that songs are important to God! It has been calculated that there are 283 direct quotations from the Tanakh (Old Testament) found in the New Testament. Did you know that the greatest number of quotes coming from any one book is the Book of Psalms!
One cannot overestimate the role that David played in bringing structured praise into the House of God. In the days of the Tabernacle of Moses, there was no designated place for the worship of God via song and music in the instructions given to Moses on the Mount. However, in the instructions given by David for the construction of the Temple praise and worship played a prominent part. In this tenth teaching part, we take a look at this fascinating book and provide some practical helps that will enable us to better interpret it.
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2 Samuel 23:8-39
As one surveys the annals of history, down through the corridors of time, one will find that history polluted and stained by war. Bloodshed has left its indelible mark upon the human race, the horrors of battle recorded by those who never lived to tell their story in person. If there’s one thing that history bears witness to, it’s this, war is not a thing to be desired!! However, having said that, there is something about the environment of war that is able to accomplish something that a pre-war environment simply cannot do. Brothers and Sisters, it is in the climate of war where heroes are born!! A pre-war generation of peace is known by its cowards, and the generation of war, by its heroes!
This sermon is a heart cry for men to rise up in this critical hour and to give themselves to the fight!! A Church in retreat will never do. Is there one who would say with the shepherd boy David “Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:32)? May the Lord see fit to do such a work of restoration in our day.
Brother Ryan comes with a very strong and timely word to the Body of Christ. Drawing from the life and example of Ezekiel, Ryan brings a practical application to believers in relation to the value we place on our lives and this world.
Who will pick up their cross in this critical hour and live wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ?
The question being asked in this sermon is a question that every Christian must answer honestly before God; Where lies the treasure of your heart? In just three words, our Lord would have us remember; “Remember Lot’s wife” (Lk. 17:32). Her heart was still at home in Sodom, and though her feet were going through the motions of exiting the confines of that wicked city, she brought Sodom out with her! Let me ask you, do you feel at home in this world or are you just passing through?
This sermon is a call for a people to rise up in this day of great evil, wherein it appears, the glory of God is departing from these shores. Is there a soul who of whom it could be said; the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up? Who will give themselves to the Father’s business in order that we might see the Kingdom of God advancing in our day? Even so, Lord may it be!
Here before us in the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, is a Church, to whom our Lord had nothing by way of rebuke to bring. That was of course, not the case for the vast majority of the Churches that He addressed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In my reckoning, there were only two out of the seven Churches addressed, for which our Lord had nothing bad to say and both these Churches shared something precious in common that I believe was key in contributing to this. You say, Brother, what was it? Both found themselves in the midst of persecution and tribulation, amidst great difficulty and affliction for representing the name of Jesus Christ. Both were WEAK in their own natural strength. Whatever we may think of persecution, and whatever discomfort we may feel at the thought of having to go through afflictions and trials —one thing is for sure...IT DOES US GOOD!!
Maybe you’re going through a particular trial of incredible difficulty and you feel as though you can’t go on. Be encouraged dear soul, the God we serve is the God of the little strength Christian. There is grace in abundance to help you through if you will but call upon the Lord.
Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 9)
The last two decades have seen a steady stream of teaching into the Christian Church with a major emphasis on the need for the return to the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. The argument goes as follows: the first Church was Jewish in culture and practice and so what went wrong? What went wrong (they’ll say) is that the Church veered from its Hebrew roots and allowed the influence of Greek philosophy to Hellenise a faith that was once deeply Jewish and what we have been left with a paganised Christianity that is need of desperate reformation! Thus, the general consensus of those belonging to the Hebrew Roots Movement will be an insistence on a return back to Torah observance as a way of life, since this was (they’ll argue) the life that Jesus, the disciples, and the early Church practiced. This includes Sabbath observance (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), abstaining from the consumption of unclean animals (pork, prawns, etc.), observance of the Jewish Feasts, and in some cases, even the practice of male circumcision! The long and short of it (no matter how it may be dressed up) is this; unless you keep the Law of Moses, you cannot be truly saved!
In this teaching, we endeavour to understand what the Torah (the Law) is and in so doing, offer some help on how to interpret it and bring the proper application in light of the New Covenant. This will then lead us to answer the crucial question; are we obliged as New Testament believers, to keep the Law of Moses?
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1 Corinthians 10:1-14
Exhortation abound in the Word of God, calling believers to stand! “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). “…my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord…” (Phil. 4:1), and so we could go on!
In this sermon, a great warning is given for the believers to stand guard against a mind inflated with pride. By looking at the example of Israel’s disobedience and the subsequent judgment that came as a result of this, the believer in Christ I warned so as not to follow suit. May the Lord speak to each one of us.
The saying goes; “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”, and to this, the Word of God agrees. What saith the Apostle Paul when instructing the Corinthian Church to forgive a brother who had once been caught in a grievous sin but had now been brought to true repentance and remorse over the same? “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). Ah, such a statement presupposes many things. In the first, it presupposes that there is such a being as Satan, and in the second, it presupposes the possibility that Satan can gain an advantage over us, though we name the name of Jesus Christ! Brothers and Sisters, there’s no two ways about it, we must be on guard and stand ready to overcome in the day of Satan’s special assault.
In this sermon, we take a look at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, and in so doing, we learn valuable lessons that serve as aids to help us to overcome when we too shall be tempted by the devil.