• Last week we talked about 4 things that please God
1. Reading our Bible
2. Obeying our Bible
3. Giving to Missions
4. Living Holy
• Today we are going to talk about 2 more things that please God.
I. ISAIAH 56:7 FOR MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER.
A. Jesus drove the money changers out of the Temple Isaiah 56:7 He said, “You have made it a den of thieves. (Explain about the thievery)
B. II Chronicles 7:14, If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…
C. When Pentecost came, Acts 1:14 they all had “continued” in prayer and supplication and then… the Comforter came Acts 2:1-4.
1. It takes prayer, supplications, faith and patience.
II. PRAYER & FASTING ARE THE KEYS TO VICTORY…
A. Some things only come out by prayer and fasting… If you can’t get victory, stay faithful or overcome sinful habits… maybe you should try fasting and prayer.
1. Mark 9:28-29 - 28) And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
B. The principles of prayer work the world over…
1. Ask, Seek , Knock
• Matthew 7:7-11 - KJV
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
2. Prayer, Supplication, Thanksgiving
• Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
3. Fervent prayers of faith are very effective when prayed by the righteous!
• James 5:15-16 KJV
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
• 1 Peter 3:12 KJV
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
III. THE FOUNDATION OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST IS FAITH.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
A. Believe that He is…
1. The subject of the existence of God has been fodder for the skeptic for years.
2. Believing that God “is” explains the very foundation of our faith.
3. Without the existence of God all our Christianity has to build upon are lifeless doctrines and empty rituals. (a form of godliness)
4. The people of Nazareth were faced with this same crisis! Let’s examine it…
B. Jesus visits His hometown Nazareth and and receives a lukewarm reception. - Matthew 13:53-58 - KJV (Read)
1. Let’s read their words. Matthew 13:54 - “Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked.”
- Intellectually, they KNEW that He could do mighty works.
- Intellectually they REALIZED that His preaching held wisdom and power.
2. BUT…then they said - “’Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at him.” (Matthew 13:55-57a)
- Familiarity has been the downfall of many ministries.
- They admitted that He was powerful and wise but for them to accept Him as “The Messiah” meant that they were going to have to see Him in a different way.
- It made them uncomfortable (The revelation of Jesus will always stir things up)
C. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him…
1. The Church today faces the same challenge that the people faced in His hometown. We say we want revival but when God starts moving we back up because it doesn’t look, sound or feel the way we thought it would.
IV. 1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
A. Jesus is more
1. Jesus is more than a historical, theological figure, a picture on the wall or just a good man.
2. Jesus is more than a great orator, poet or teacher…
3. Jesus is more than a Prophet, Priest and King - JESUS IS GOD!
B. The church today has fallen into the trap of trying to hard to humanize or make Jesus common. (We are so proud that we try to reduce Him...)
1. Jesus was more than a man…
2. The sacredness and respect for who He is has been sacrificed on the altar of commonality.
C. How would we treat Jesus is we treated Him like we really believed He is who He says He is?
1. Would our worship be the same?
2. Would our commitment level change?
3. Long gone would be the days of 30 second prayers, 3 minute devotions and excuses for service.
• Hebrews 4:2 - KJV
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.