Father we ask for Your anointing on us today. Place Your anointing on me as Your messenger today. God move in our lives. Rip open the heavens and visit Your people today.
Open our eyes so that we may see Your Word. Open our ears so that we may hear Your Word. Open our minds so that we may understand Your Word. Open our hearts so that we may receive Your Word today. AMEN
Our updated mission statement for our church and our plan to carry it out can be summed up in just a few words; Transformation, Healing, Equipping, and focusing on five which is the plan to carry it; Invest and Invite, Word of God and Prayer, Meaningful Relationships, Serving Each Other, and Praise and Worship.
Last week we looked at the first one, Invest and Invite. We learned that it is the responsibility of every child of God, young or old, male or female is to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
There are thousands of people in our area that are ignorant of God and are going to hell because God’s people are not telling them about God’s love. We need to be obedient to God and get the word out to them.
I want you to remember and understand the reason we are spending time on this, the reason we want you to understand our mission statement and plan to implement it is because time is running out. There is an urgency to this. We are running out of time to get the job done
The apostle Paul tells us this in Romans 13:11&12a.
Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah). The night is far-gone and the day is almost here. Romans 13:11-12a
We are living in a critical hour; therefore we need to wake up and begin to live our lives the way God intended us to live.
We know this is a critical hour because Jesus told us that there would signs when time would start running out. In Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Paul told us in 2 Timothy 3
This is the primary mission of the church. To bring transformation into the lives of men and women, young and old, to convert the sinner…
Every relationship you are is in an opportunity to share our convictions and believes. So, why is it that so many Christians spend so much time building walls to keep our faith in and others out?
We need to be obedient to God and Invest in others and Invite them to Christ and to church.
A friend of mine, Sean Dunn, who is an author once wrote, “We need to always be on the lookout for others whom we can invite to higher plains of principle and purpose.” That is what we do when we Invest and Invite.
Today we are going to continue by looking at the second focus area, the Word of God and Prayer.
Transformation, Healing and Equipping will be accomplished through the Word of God and through Prayer.
The Word of God.
The Word of God, the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and it is the only infallible guide and rule of the faith and practice of the people of God.
Look at Psalm 119
This chapter is probably one of the most over looked and under-rated chapters in the Word of God.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and when we look at it we think, “I can’t read that in one setting, it’s too long.” And then once we do read it we think, “This Psalm is saying the same thing over and over again. It is repetitive.”
It is long and it is repetitive. The reason being is that this Psalm talks about the beauty and helpfulness of the Word of God.
It is a unique Psalm in that it is divided into sections, one section for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
David wrote this Psalm when King Saul was pursuing him. It was a major affliction in David’s life. He was being tested. He was stressed out. For David, it had to seem like an impossible situation.
But instead of falling to the pressure David was able to overcome the problem.
David lived with God’s Word as the delight of his life. He had been faced with difficulties in the past. He had been faced with challenges and tests before. And yet every time David faced adversity he was able to move forward and be victorious.
When we live with God’s Word as the delight in our lives then we come to a point in life that we can look back from where we have come and see that with each test, with each challenge and with each difficulty we kept moving forward. What was it that kept us moving forward? It was the hope and encouragement that we found in God’s Word.
David has so much to say in this Psalm about the Word of God.
READ Psalm 119: 1-2, 9-11, 17-18, 30-31, 33-37, 89, 97, 105, 129-130, 133, 137-138.
There are ten important Hebrew words used in this chapter that we need to take special note of. These are all found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
1. The way, from the Hebrew word Derek, which means to proceed, or to walk with the feet. It is found 13 times in Psalm 119.
2. The law, from the Hebrew word torah, which means to direct, to guide, to teach, to make straight or even; to point forward; that which guides, directs, and instructs in the way of righteousness; that which gives the knowledge of sin. It is found 25 times in this Psalm.
It is also the word that is given to the first five books in the Old Testament and means simply, the law.
3. Testimonies, the Hebrew word is aydaw, which means to turn back again, to go over again, or to testify. It is found 23 times in this chapter.
4. Precepts, the Hebrew word is pikkood, which means to take oversight or charge, superintend, hence, it is the mandates enjoined on others in all duties of life and conduct. It is found 21 times in this Psalm.
5. Statutes, the Hebrew word is khoke, which means to mark, hew, cut, engrave, or inscribe, to decree or ordain. They prescribe what life and conduct we are to pursue. It is found 22 times in this psalm and always called "Thy statutes."
6. Commandments, the Hebrew word is mitzvah. It refers to, a command, whether human or divine. It is the law or ordinance. It is found 22 times in Psalm 119.
7. Judgments, the Hebrew: mishpat, which means judgment; regulation; order; sentence; verdict. It is found 18 times in Psalm 119.
8.Words, the Hebrew word is dabar, and it means a spoken word, communication or revelation. It is found 23 times in this psalm.
9. Truth, it comes from two Hebrew words: emuwnah, which means firmness, security, fidelity, and stability; and emeth, which means stability and certainty. It is used four times in this psalm.
10. Righteousness, also comes from two Hebrew words, tsehdek and tsedawkaw which mean, rightness, justice, virtue. It is found six times in this psalm.
They are important because they show how David viewed the Word of God but more importantly because they describe what the Word of God is and what the Word of God has the power to do.
There are at least three things that the Word of God has the power to do. They are the three R’s of the Word of God.
It has the power to Revive.
I will never forget your precepts for by them you have preserved my life. Psalm 119:93
When a person comes to Christ for the first time we tell them that they need to get into the Word of God because it will help them grow. How many believe that is true? The Word of God will help new believers grow.
But what about the people who have been believers for a long time. Did you know that some people who have been believers for a long time are spiritually dry?
The Word God has the power to breathe new life into every person who reads it. We should continually seek to be refilled with the truths of God.
If we are going to be the church God has called us to be then we have to remember that the Word of God and the Spirit of God go together.
When the Word God is in our hearts and minds the Spirit of God will renew us inwardly.
Another word for preserved is quickened and it is used to mean the giving of life. God’s Word is life giving and life renewing.
It has the power to Restore.
Save me, for I am yours; I have sought your precepts. Psalm 119 94
When we get out of the Word of God we get out of fellowship with Him. When we get out of fellowship with God we get out of fellowship with God’s people. We begin to remove ourselves from those places and those times where the Word of God is spoken and taught and the presence of God is felt.
Someone once said, the author is unknown, “The Word will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Word.”
When does a person need the Word the most? When they are struggling with sin. David said when his sin overwhelmed him, he sought the Word of God.
It has the power to Restrain.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. Psalm 119:95
Satan is our enemy and hi number one desire is to destroy the people of God. He will do whatever it takes to get you to die spiritually. He will set snares to destroy your testimony, your family, your joy, and even your life if possible.
The Word of God has the power to restrain the enemy. When we accept Christ into our hearts and get in the Word of God and allow it to be a part of our life we have the assurance that the enemy will be held back from action in our lives. God’s word keeps the enemy under control.
The Word of God is powerful.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
The Word of God is powerful and when you add to the Word of God the second part of the focus, which is prayer, then you have an unbeatable combination.
Persistent prayer is the foundation of all Christian growth. And that is true for both the individual child of God as well as the church as a whole.
Fervent and persistent prayer has always been of utmost importance to God’s people.
It talks about the disciples in Acts 1:14;
”they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” Acts 1:14
They were “continually in prayer”. These men and these women knew the importance of prayer and they devoted themselves to it.
Paul urges his readers in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continually.
George Barna who is an expert on church administration said,
“The call to prayer was the battle cry of the early congregation: it rallied the troops. These people understood the power of prayer. They actively and consistently included prayer in their services, in their events, their meetings and their personal ministries.”
If we are going to be the church God wants us to be and if you are going to be the child of God that you are supposed to be then not only do you need to be into the Word of God but you need to also be a person of prayer.
If you have not already, you need to start a habit of prayer.
When you wake up in the morning. When you go to bed at night. When you are driving in your car. Instead of watching T.V. We are called to pray continually.
When ever this subject comes up the number one excuse why people don’t pray is that they say they don’t know how to pray.
Prayer is simply communication between you and God. That is it. You talking to God and God talking to you. He speaks to you through the Word and through your heart. Prayer is talking to God about everything.
The key is talking to God. Still having trouble understanding how to pray? Use a prayer model. There are many out there. I like the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
Our Father in heaven hallowed be Your name. You start by telling God how great and awesome He is.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done. Then you pray in agreement that God’s will and plan will be accomplished. God is in control and He knows best.
Give us today our daily bread. Next you bring your needs to God.
Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. Always take time to confess your sins to God. Our sins will build barriers between God and us. When the barriers are there it is hard to get a connection.
And also remember that we need to forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. We need to ask God to always help us see the way out when temptation comes our way and we need to remember that at the name of Jesus the demons have to flee.
Prayer is easy, prayer is important.
We need to be persistent in prayer.
Look at Luke 18:1-8.
Jesus taught us that we should pray and not give up.
But why? WHY should we always pray and not give up?
I mean is God deaf? Is it hard to get His attention? Do we have to keep bothering Him until He throws up His hands in disgust and says, "If I don’t grant their request I’ll never get any rest?"
That’s not the issue at all.
READ Daniel 10:12-13. “Since the first day you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”
The minute Daniel began to pray demonic forces rose up (the prince of Persia) and angelic warfare broke out.
Do you know what that means? That means – that when you pray – you turn loose the very powers of heaven. When you pray – you have the power to battle the very forces of darkness. When you pray – angels are willing to fight to answer your prayers
Jesus taught that we should “always pray and not give up” not because God is hard of hearing, not because God needs to be pestered into answering our requests, and not because God doesn’t want to answer us
Jesus taught us to pray not give up because when we pray, our prayers carry weight. Every time we pray we unleash more and more power from the throne of God.
And lastly, Winfield Open Bible must be a house of prayer. If we, as a church body are united in prayer, together we can shake the foundations of hell itself.
The enemy may try to come against a church that prays but he will never be successful. Why? Because when 2 or 3 come together in the name of Christ, the presence of God shows up.
Winfield Open Bible is all about preaching and teaching the un-compromised Word of God and we are all about being a house of prayer.
We are committed to this. So much so that we are open on Tuesday evenings and Thursday evenings for the soul purpose of prayer.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that through reading, studying, and preaching the Word of God, along with prayer we can enter into a deeper relationship with God as well as releasing His presence into our lives.