“A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63:1).
David’s present physical environment was a perfect picture of how he felt inwardly. Apart from the presence of God in exile — the Ark being left behind in Zion, David purposed with all his heart to not lose the vital reality of his relationship with God!! His soul longed for God! He longed to be in the presence of His God in the tent of His dwelling place.
I don’t know about you, but as a pilgrim walking through this world, I feel so often that I’m treading through a wilderness land. All around me, consumerism flaunts and struts its pomp! The glittering lights, the frills, and the trinkets. I feel like a man in exile — outside the city walls of Zion!! The cares of this life and the business of the day which beckons us on every hand, if we’re not careful, can leave us spiritually parched (I speak for myself). This sermon is a call to return to the fountainhead of life. Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn. 7:37).
Brother Ryan brings a strong word from the heart of God of the cost of following the Lord Jesus. He speaks to the current moral climate of our day and calls the Church of Jesus Christ to repentance and obedience.
For more information about the Ministry of Ryan please visit here:
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).
One commentator, commentating on the above said this: “It is a matter for profound regret that just as Israel refused to accept this salvation when it was offered to them, so the Gentiles have all too often refused to make Israel envious. Instead of showing to God’s ancient people the attractiveness of the Christian way, Christians have characteristically treated the Jews with hatred, prejudice, persecution, malice, and all uncharitableness. Christians should not take this passage calmly”.
Christian, it is our solemn duty, not only to take the gospel to the Jew first by word, through the proclamation of the gospel (Rom. 1:16); it is also our solemn duty to provoke them to jealousy by the gospel of our lives! What did Jesus say?
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16).
Well, the focus of Jewish mission has been the word of the Gospel, but if the vessel through which that word comes contradicts the glory being offered, then the one will be the undoing of the other! Will you rise to the challenge and allow the Lord to make you one such tool of provocation through which the glory of His grace and salvation might shine?
This message was shared at the Messianic Testimony West Midlands Rally, in June 2023. For more information about the Ministry of Messianic Testimony to the Jewish people, please visit here:
“Trowel and hammer, saw and plane are instruments of vanity unless the Lord be the Master-builder”. Charles Spurgeon goes on to say: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Around the wall the sentinels pace with constant step; but yet the city is betrayed unless the unsleeping Watcher is with them. We are not safe because of watchmen if Jehovah refuses to watch over us. Even if the guards are wakeful, and do their duty, still the place may be surprised if God be not there. “I, the Lord, do keep it,” is better than an army of sleepless guards. Note that the Psalmist does not bid the builder cease from labouring, nor suggest that watchmen should neglect their duty, nor that men should show their trust in God by doing nothing: nay, he supposes that they will do all that they can do, and then he forbids their fixing their trust in what they have done, and assures them that all creature effort will be in vain unless the Creator puts forth his power, to render second causes effectual”
Let him that hath an ear, hear.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Brethren, the longer I journey in this Christian walk, the more I’m made to feel my need for grace. What is grace simply defined? The kindness of God! God’s favourable countenance towards those that can’t help themselves! Brothers and sisters, EVER I want to fall within this category!! Now I understand that to the world, weakness is a BAD thing — a thing to be avoided, something to be scorned and ridiculed. From a child up, we’re told to stand firm, stick out our chests, and fight our way through life!! But as one comes to Christ and allows the Word of God to renew their thinking, and the Holy Spirit to transform their mind, one comes to the place of glorying in weakness.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
When the enemy encounters a Christian standing in the armour of God, he knows full well that he can’t just bring him down. He’s too strong!! “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11). What’s he going to do? He will attempt to wear out the Saints of God. If the city is too strong to conquer in one swift effort, wear it down over a sustained period and then go up and take it!!!
When God asks us to trust Him, seldom is it ever convenient for us to do so. As human beings we like things to be smooth and pain-free; we don’t cope too well with being inconvenienced. “So long as what’s being asked of me doesn't threaten my comfort, then I’m happy to consider it”. But when God comes asking in a matter requiring my obedience, nine times out of ten it will come at a personal inconvenience to me. You say, Pastor, why does it have to be on this wise? Why can’t God make it easier for us? My simple answer is...God wants us to trust Him!!!
One day there shall be a new heaven and earth, where the sea shall be no more. One day there shall come down from God out of heaven, a new Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. One day a great voice shall be heard out of heaven saying, “...Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:3). One day God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes and there shall be no more crying or sorrow! One day there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more pain for these former things/earthly things shall pass away. Oh Brothers and Sisters, what precious things shall be ours one day!!
It’s been rightly said, the devil makes work for idle hands, but did you know the devil can be just as much in business as he is in idleness? If he can’t get you one way, he’ll get you another way, and one of his most disguised weapons is placing upon the backs of well-meaning Christians, the burden of false guilt! A true burden from the Lord is a burden to be given back to God in prayer. It has an outflow/release value through which the pressure can be eased. By way of contrast; a false burden has no outflow, it’s a pressure cooker if you like without the release valve!! It is a counterfeit — it’s not a genuine article. It sometimes feels like the real, but alas, it soon reveals itself to be a fraud. The pressure is seemingly there, but upon inspection, instead of a pure conviction, the pressure/burden is tainted with accusatory blame and wave after wave of false guilt. One quickly realises, this is not the life-giving conviction of God the Holy Ghost but rather the life-sucking condemnation of the devil!!
May this sermon be of help to those weighed down with false guilt.
The question posed by the title of this sermon is one of great importance. There are many questions a man can be asked and understandably, there’s an order of importance to each one. “What do you want to eat for dinner?” is a valid question, and whilst it is meaningful, i.e. we do have some feelings about how we answer, we wouldn’t consider the question to be critical. Compare that with other questions, like, “Who do you want to marry?”, or “Who do you want to include in your will”, and I think you get the point I’m trying to make. In enquiring of the Lord, what it was that He would have me to bring to share with you, I have not been able to shake from my thinking a question that has gone round and round in my mind. You say, what’s the question? In six words I give it to you; “Who Is on the LORD’S side?”.