When Pastor asked me to deliver the Word of God to you today I said,” I’d be happy to, there’s some areas I’d really like to study more so this will give me a good chance to study it and then pass it on to the body…”  That is what my thought was. Until later in the week when the Lord said, “Remember when your were in rehab? And you would ask the counselors there if they were book smart on addiction or had they lived through it? And you only wanted to talk to those who had been through it? I want you to do the same.” 

For those of you that don’t know, the Lord has blessed me with 12.5 years of freedom from drugs, Alcohol, crime, jails and institutions, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, overdoses and so on ……. Understand that I’m not educated with degrees, I’m not from the best of upbringings, I’m not “well read”. I have a masters degree from the school of hard knocks, I’ve done things I’m not proud of and use to be ashamed of, I’ve been called worthless, hopeless, loser, degenerate, criminal, guilty, dirty, a piece of _________, no good, one to “watch out for”,someone to “stay away from”, an idiot, a simpleton, and so on. But that was before I knew the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the Wonderful Counselor, I’m talking about Jesus Christ! And praise God He calls me by a new name, He calls me loved, forgiven, free, chosen, a son, a friend, a priest, a disciple, an overcomer, victorious, a king, royalty, worthy, clean, he calls me His and says he’s the one that loves me the most!! So I overcome because of the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony! 

The reality that I’ve been asked to preach the Word of God today should be witness enough.

  1. I would like to warm us up with a little salad today before we get to the meat, is that ok? This is how I want us to receive the word of God today  ( little house on the prairie)

My reader today is: Jessi Ceiply

Matthew 18:1-4

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Just imagine if Paw told his children he was gonna take them here or there or he promised them this or that, the excitement they must of felt, the trust they had that he was gonna do it. That’s how we should receive God’s Word.

Let’s pray……..

The title of my message today is: ENJOY YOUR GLORY……. FOR NOW

2Corinthians 3:17-18

       17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Let’s focus on verse 18 today 

The First glory:

Romans 3:22-26

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

What a Joy!! How refreshing it was for me to really understand this after a 15 year stretch of Drugs/Alcohol and crime.

What image do you have of God? Who is He to you? Let me show you an image of how i use to picture God..

Now let me show you what God really looks like to me…

Luke 10:16-20

16 Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

**For the first time in my life after coming to Christ I finally felt accepted and knew I had the power of choice over my decisions to drink and do drugs. I can remember my friends asking me on the way to a bar saying, ” are you gonna be cool in here?” And I said,” yeah I’ll be cool” but in my heart I was scared to death. Once the alcohol hit me all bets were off and I had no idea what would happen. I also remember being locked up for 6 months telling myself everyday that I was done using. After being released and getting my ability to choose back, I was high within 3 hours. Powerlessness.

The Intermediate Glories:

Corinthians 13:11-13 NLT

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

The story of Dylan

What are the things that keep us from maturing in our relationship with God?

  1. Choice( you can’t say that sin is what separates us once we’ve come to Christ.)
  2. Self: (sinful nature/flesh)

Let’s go to the beginning and pick up the story when Adam and Eve first disobeyed God:

Genesis 3:6-12

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

God still came down to have relationship with Adam even though he knew he had disobeyed Him. It was Adam’s own shame that swayed him to make the choice to not approach God. Notice that the  serpent/devil was not the one who told Adam he was naked, and in fact, doesn’t say a word when the Almighty comes around!

God is speaking that to somebody today, who told you that you were__________________??

Romans 8:31-34

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

But because Adam and Eve had disobeyed God there had to be “blood shed” for there to be relationship. He made them coverings out of animal skins, just like we see in the parable of the prodigal son when he returns to the father the fattened calf is slaughtered, (bloodshed) and just as we see with Jesus, our savior, “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world by bloodshed.

Why did I tell you all this? Well here’s why, I want you to know that we can approach God as a son approaches His father with total confidence to ask for anything because he understands the love of the father. (Example: Dominic with fishing and hunting things at walmart, they lined up with what I knew was good for him so he received them, the same as it is when we approach the throne of Grace)

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Ephesians 3:12

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him,[a] we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

****The story of Paul and the Rock***

*Has a sinner/unbeliever ever asked you to keep so and so in your prayers for them?? Why would they ask you and not just go to the Father themselves? Is it because they know you can go Boldly to the Father? Maybe.. or is it because they think they can’t because of their shame and nakedness and separation from the father?

Conviction will come, not condemnation but conviction. What’s the difference? Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, condemnation is from the enemy. I would like to give you a couple examples of a good Father’s conviction in my life . Just like the dog collars I was telling you about earlier, God’s voice may start out as just a soft tone, but will then get louder. We can go further and further and keep “getting shocked” because of our choices and our sin. God will allow us to keep getting shocked because we have free will. And if we harden our hearts to His voice we may ultimately die.

-Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

**Do you realize that in this age, you’re choice is more powerful than the word of God? In the sense that you can reject what it says. God fights to win our hearts, it is by choice that we have relationship with Him through Christ, and it is also by choice that we either reject Him or we reject His discipline.

Ephesians 4:21-24

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

  1. How I was treating women even being clean and sober (what fruit did answering yes to the conviction produce?)

5 weeks after I surrendered that struggle over to God, Tonya came into my life, she taught me how to forgive and taught me how to be patient and how to have a conversation with someone without feeling like I’m under attack and showing me that I don’t have to respond from 0-100mph. She also helped lead me to total forgiveness of my father, which is my second point.

  1. Forgiving my father ( what fruit was produced?) 

The Eternal glory:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

New Living Translation

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

John 14:1-4

New Living Translation

Jesus, the Way to the Father

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”