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  • Mike Harbour
    If you feel you have received this email in error OR if you do not want to receive Mike s Mutterings Please e-mail me at mharbour@fulton-net.com just say
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 2, 2007
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      If you feel you have received this email in error OR if you do not want to receive "Mike's Mutterings" Please e-mail me at mharbour@fulton- net.com just say "delete"

      Please feel free to forward this or send me e-mail address of people who might like to receive “mikes mutterings”

      This is going to leave a “Mark”

      Jesus walked on this rock almost 2000 years ago, but even today people all over the world serve Him. We know this man primarily through four Bible books: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      First-hand acquaintance with these writings will help us understand Jesus and His message.

      As you read each sermon please keep a Bible at your side so that you can verify what you are learning by the Scriptures. You will notice that Mark is divided into sixteen major sections (chapters), each of which contains small divisions (verses). When a notation like 5:12 is used in these lessons, you should look at the fifth chapter of Mark and the twelfth verse.

      A couple of items before we get started: to profit most from these lessons, you need an open heart to receive what Jesus taught and did. Allow His words to direct you as you read. A prayer for God's guidance at the beginning and end of each study is recommended. If you don't understand something please feel free e-mail me

      mharbour@fulton- net.com I'll be happy to answer it if I can.

      Please see my new link for weekly sermons.

       

      http://www.newcreationstudies.org/Audio/MikeHarbour/mikeharbour_index.htm

       

      Mark 9:14-29

      14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.16 And He asked the scribes,

      “What are you discussing with them?”17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.18 “And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.22 “And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

      Everyone walks by faith
      The rationalist puts his faith in science and reason
      Humanist puts his faith in humanity
      Atheist puts his faith in himself
      Agnostic puts his faith on hold
      Evolutionist puts his faith in time and chance
      Fascist puts his faith in the master race


      Returning from the mount of transfiguration.

      The mob - pushing and shoving.
      The disciples - embarrassed, confused, and defensive over their inability to perform a miracle.
      The boy - demon possessed (shows Satan’s real intent - hatred, hurt, murder)


      1. Jesus sees the turmoil of the crowd
      2. The crowd sees the possibility of a miracle
      3. The father sees an opportunity for help

      I. Doubt

      A man lives by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things.
      The Pharisees were excited because the disciples had failed.
      We told you this guy isn’t good news and we were right.

      The Disciples began to doubt the authority.

      "If you can" Dad says....... I just tried these guys and they couldn’t help
      I do believe but help my unbelief.

       
      2. Defensiveness
      The Jews are defensive because they never offered the kind of help Jesus was giving.
      The disciples were defensive because they thought they should have been able to handle this problem.
      The father is defensive because he doesn’t want his son to be anymore of a public spectacle than he already is.
      He is defensive because Jesus Challenges his faith.

      3. Dire Circumstances
      Jesus was His last Hope. He had been everywhere. Tried everything. This was a demon possession.
      Dad says “If you can do anything,”............. Jesus says, “The issue is not whether I can do anything or not, but the real issue is in you—will you believe?”
      If we truly believe in God and in Jesus, we will believe in this book—the Bible. We will commit ourselves to living for the Lord Jesus Christ and living in the power of His Spirit.
      24—“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” This father is an honest man.

      This is an encouragement to all of us. We do not need to think that we are hypocrites because our faith is not perfect. The Devil can work on us. He will keep us in discouragement and defeat, beating ourselves and accusing one another.

      There are two questions that all of us must face—

      1.  Do I believe in the God described in this book, the Bible?

      2.  Do I believe that God will do what He has promised that He will do?

       

      Power comes to the people of God when there is faith. This is exactly what we need. The writer of Hebrews summed this up when he said, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

      “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” (Mk. 9:29).

      Faith must express itself in communication with God and in personal sacrifice.

      Prayer is linking one’s life up with the Eternal God and listening to Him, obeying Him.

       

      Fasting is a matter of self-denial and surrender to the work of God in our lives. If we want to do anything significant for God we are going to have to be willing to spend time with Him and sacrifice some things for Him.

      Most people could do more than they think they can, but they usually do less than they think they can.

      You never know what you cannot do until you try.


      “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

      “Never tell a person that something cannot be done. God may have been waiting for centuries for somebody ignorant enough of the impossible to do that thing.”

      If you devalue your dreams, rest assured the world won’t raise the price.

      If you want to see if you can really swim, don’t frustrate yourself with shallow water.
      That means…GET OUT of the KIDDIE POOL

      “Is life so wretched? ......Is it rather, your hands, which are too small, your vision, which is muddled?

      You are the one who must grow up.”

      Somebody is always doing what somebody else said couldn’t be done.

      You can’t fulfill your destiny on a theory…it takes work.


      Shakespeare said, “Nothing can come of nothing.”
      God doesn’t make apple juice – He makes apples.
      Some say nothing is impossible, yet there are a lot of people doing nothing every day.
      This world is divided into people who do things and people who talk about doing things.
      Belong to the first group…there is far less competition .


      “When we get baptized it’s like we get into a car and let God begin to steer our lives. The only problem is, God doesn’t steer a parked car.”

      “My decision is maybe – and that’s final”
      Too many people are like wheelbarrows, trailers or canoes…they need to be pushed, pulled or paddled.
      You seldom get what you go after unless you know in advance what you want.”
      What do you want… you want revival, you want blessing, you want peace, you want fruit…then you have to decide and go after it.

      God expects fasting to be a regular part of the Christian's life.
      I. FASTING IS A MEANS OF HUMBLING OURSELVES
      TRUE HUMILITY GETS GOD’S ATTENTION
      1 Pet 5:5-6 "be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
      Fasting is a means of truly humbling ourselves
      TRUE HUMILITY MOVES GOD TO ACTION.
      When we face hardship and attacks in our lives, instead of crying, whining and complaining to everyone why not fast and see God work on our behalf.

      God’s way is always the best way!!
      Yet so often, when we come into a difficult situation instead of humbling ourselves we cry, whine, complain, scheme and manipulate to try and change things.
      TRUE REPENTANCE GIVES US POWER OVER THE FLESH.
      Fasting takes it from our head to our heart - it breaks the power of the flesh
      So the spirit becomes stronger than the flesh and the spirit wins out!

      This kind (power over the flesh) cometh only by prayer and fasting.
      We are in a very real spiritual battle and spiritual battles require spiritual weapons!
      Fasting is one of our spiritual weapons
      Jesus said in Mt 6:16 17, "when you fast..." He didn’t say "IF" you fast!
      Most Christians don’t fast because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to them they think, "how is skipping meals going to help me in life? I’ll just get weak, tired, hungry and cranky....how is that going to help anybody?"
      what they don’t realize is....
      FASTING AND PRAYER BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS AND STRONGHOLDS IN THE SPIRIT REALM

      Paul said in 2Cor 10:3&4 "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
      God’s ways are higher than ours...if you wait to fast until you figure out exactly how all of this works, you’ll never do it.

      Some people say, "well that’s just silly to think that by fasting anything is going to change."
      Yes, and they thought Noah was silly for building an ark, they thought Abraham was silly for saying he would be the father of many nations, they thought Mary was silly for thinking her son was the Messiah....they were all just silly enough to believe and act on these things because God said it was so!

      The same God said, "this kind cometh only by prayer and fasting." And I’m just silly enough to believe that it’s true.
      We must be a people of prayer and fasting IF we are serious about seeing God in our lives, in our families, in our churches...our communities...our nation...and our world. JESUS did not say, "if you fast" He said, "when you fast". We must live like Him Who says we must deny our self, take up our cross and follow Him.

    • Betty
      Delete If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it. ... Don t pick lemons. See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 2, 2007
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        Delete


        If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it.


        Don't pick lemons.
        See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.
      • Mike Harbour
        NewCreationStudies.org/ Click on Mike Harbour Audios (sermon Notes too) The Lord of the Harvest Mk.12:1-12 Mark 12:1-12 Then He began to speak to them in
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 30, 2007
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          NewCreationStudies.org/

          Click on Mike Harbour Audios (sermon Notes too)

          “ The Lord of the Harvest” Mk.12:1-12

          Mark 12:1-12

          Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.2 “Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers.3 “And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4 “Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.5 “And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some.6 “Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’7 “But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’8 “So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.10 “Have you not even read this Scripture:

          1 ‘The stone which the builders rejected

          Has become the chief cornerstone.

          11 This was the Lord’s doing,

          And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

          12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

          Isaiah 5:1-7

           

          Now let me sing to my Well-beloved

          1 A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:

          My Well-beloved has a vineyard

          On a very fruitful hill.

          2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones,

          And planted it with the choicest vine.

          He built a tower in its midst,

          And also made a winepress in it;

          So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,

          But it brought forth wild grapes.

          3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,

          Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.

          4 What more could have been done to My vineyard

          That I have not done in it?

          Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,

          Did it bring forth wild grapes?

          5 And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:

          I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;

          And

          break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

          6 I will lay it waste;

          It shall not be pruned or dug,

          But there shall come up briers and thorns.

          I will also command the clouds

          That they rain no rain on it.”

          7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,

          And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.

          He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;

          For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.



          Introduction

          As a child I grew up in a rural area and we lived in a rented house. I had friends who lived as tenants on farms. There were some things that were expected from the landlord from the tenant. These included: 1. Pay the rent 2.)Raise a crop 3.) Maintain the property of the landlord. In this parable of wicked tenants we see many similarities.

          We are in the “vineyard” called life. Maybe we didn’t ask to be here but we’re here none the less and God has expectations of us.
          God is:
          I. LORD v.1
          We see many qualities of the Lord. He is:
          a. Loving – John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
          Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
          If you had been the only person on earth Jesus would have given His life for you. In the “landlord / tenant” analogy He is a good landlord.
          b. Patient
          In this parable He sent several servants to receive fruit
          c. Watching ….not only watching but all knowing “omniscient”
          d. Expectant – God expects a crop. He waits for a great harvest.

          So life (the vineyard) is where we are to produce fruit. To produce fruit we must:
          I. LABOR
          Our purpose in life is to bring people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The vineyard can be a tough place to handle. The most important thing anyone can do in life is to obey Jesus . God wants us to live the abundant life.
          John 10:10 “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. “
          So it is that we see in this parable man as a 1.) Farmer or a )Servant. Which are you?
          A.) Farmer
          a. This represents the nation of Israel and in today’s context represents RELIGION. People don’t need religion today, they need a relationship with Christ!
          Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, in what ways have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.”
          There are many fine church buildings in the world with fine facilities who are robbing God in that they are more concerned with buildings and programs than in producing fruit….new Christians.
          b. Ignoring the plight of downtrodden, hurting people. They are whitewashed “mausoleums” with people who are hurting laying on their steps.
          Matthew 7:21 “ Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
          c. Many churches and Christians lazy, and self serving.

          There are many preachers, elders, deacons, Sunday School teachers, pastors, leaders who are lost as a “turkey in a snowstorm”. They need to have their names written in the lamb’s book of life.

          What we need are the ones who were persecuted in the parable by the tenant farmers…………

          B. Servants – These were represented in the parable by the prophets, and priests who were doing the work of the Lord in a non-self serving way. They were willing to work that the Lord would be lifted up.

          Faithful and true to Christ.

          They may not worship in a “mega church” but they do a “mega work” for the Lord. They are selfless workers.

          Subsequently they know the “abundant life” of victory in Jesus.

          Some of the most unhappy people I know in my ministry are “religious people”

          People need to be more interested in just serving the Lord than in their “church plant “.

          III. LANDSCAPE
          So what about our beautiful church buildings and fountains? I think Jesus wants us to be producers of “wine” and show the beauty and effervescence of Him in our lives. If we live as servants the world will see and want to know Him as their Lord.

          A. We have an awesome responsibility. As believers we face the judgment of Christ concerning what we have done for Him V.9
          Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

          B. Jesus is to be the CORNERSTONE or standard of the church. The “landscape” of churches, family life centers, cathedrals, fountains, is to be tempered by a vision of the risen savior and His name is Jesus. (“God with us”)
          Church is made up of PEOPLE
          Conclusion
          v.11 “…..and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
          Lord give us the heart and the work ethic of a servant

        • Mike Harbour
          www.newcreationstudies.org/ Click on Mike Harbour Sermons Mark 12:13-44 13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 6, 2007
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            Click on Mike Harbour Sermons

            Mark 12:13-44

            13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?15 “Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.”16 So they brought it. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”17 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him

            ............Taxes ........................Jesus says pay them.....................................

            18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying:19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.20 “Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring.21 “And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise.22 “So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also.23 “Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?25 “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.26 “But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?27 “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”

            Death...........

            John 10:10

            10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

            28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.30 ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.31 “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him.

            35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?36 “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:

            ‘The Lord said to my Lord,

            “Sit at My right hand,

            Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

            37 “Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?” And the common people heard Him gladly.

            38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,39 “the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,40 “who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

            41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;44 “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

            Kingdom Matthew 6:33

            33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

            The Butterball Turkey company set up a hotline to answer consumer questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years.
            The operator told her it might be safe if the freezer had been kept below 0 degrees the entire time. But the operator warned the woman that, even if it were safe, the flavor had probably deteriorated, and she wouldn’t recommend eating it.
            The caller replied, “That’s what we thought. We’ll just give it to the church.”

            She was consecrating that Turkey to God, wasn’t she? What she was offering was still good – wasn’t it??? BUT tho’ it may have been “consecrated”… though it still was “good,” it wasn’t going to taste good or smell good.

            I. Offerings to God - that which is consecrated to God - should taste good. They should smell good.
            Lev. 1:9 talked about the Burnt Offering that was to be offered to God. When properly prepared this burnt offering would offer up an “aroma pleasing to the LORD."
            Lev. 2:2 describes the Grain Offering. When properly prepared this grain offering would offer up an “aroma pleasing to the LORD."
            Lev. 3:5 tells us about the Fellowship Offering. When properly prepared this fellowship offering would offer up an “aroma pleasing to the LORD."

            Lev. 4:31 introduces the Sin Offering. When properly prepared this sin offering would offer up an “aroma pleasing to the LORD."

            Ex. 29:18 tells of the sacrifices that were to consecrate the priests for service. You got it: When properly prepared this sacrifices would offer up an “aroma pleasing to the LORD."

            When Noah offered up his sacrifice after the flood, it says that “the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done."

            THAT WHICH IS CONSECRATED UNTO GOD. That which is sacrificed to Him should taste good. It should smell good.

            II. So what can make an offering to God “smell good?” – Appeal to God
            THE KEY is found in Mark 12:41-44

            41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;44 “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

            What’s Jesus doing here? There was something in what is happening in the Temple that was appealing to Him. He has been watching people put their offering into the temple treasury and… WHOA!

            What does that say? It says he was watching people put their money in the offering? I don’t know if I like that! What I put in the plate – no one’s business but my own… isn’t it? Well, obviously not! What we give is important to God. And He does watch.
            Did you know that in the Bible prayer is mentioned 371 times, love 714 times, and giving 2162 times? Where does the Bible put greater emphasis?

            But why should it matter to God what we give? It’s the thought that counts isn’t it? He doesn’t even need my money. AND He shouldn’t need my money to know how much I love Him… should He?
            The Sunday School class teacher in my 6th grade class. One morning she brought a pan of brownies to our class. As the goodies sat tantalizingly over by her chair she gave each child a slip of paper marked with a household expense: house payment, phone bill, credit card bill, entertainment, and so forth. My slip had "car payment on it."
            Before long, the teacher picked up the tray of fresh brownies and began naming the expenses named on the papers. As we gave her our expense slips, she redeemed each one for a brownie from the pan.

            Finally, the last brownie had disappeared. But one boy named Donald still held his unredeemed slip. "God!" called Mrs. Baughman. Donald came forward, hoping the teacher had one more brownie hidden somewhere.
            With a knife, Mrs. Baughman scraped the crumbs from the bottom of the pan into Donald’s napkin. He got a pretty raw deal, I thought - just the crumbs.

            "The brownies represent your money," the teacher explained to us. "If you don’t give God his share right away, he probably won’t get anything at all except maybe crumbs."
            We never forgot that illustration from our 6th grade Sunday School class. It was the day my friend Donald got only brownie scrapings, and I learned that God should have 1st rights to everything I have. In the years since, I have struggled with giving and priorities, but whenever I recall that "crummy Sunday morning lesson", I know who must come first in my life.
            That story illustrates how God must feel with some offerings that He receives. Instead of God getting our 1st thought – He gets our last. He gets what’s leftover… He gets the crumbs. NOW IF YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW DONALD FELT…You’ve a fair idea of how God must feel. It’s true – it is the thought that counts. That’s all because God knows: “Where our treasure is, there our heart is also.”
            Something else here that Jesus does. He tells us what pleases God. Notice that Jesus is more impressed with the widow than with the wealthy. This tells me God is more impressed with the quality of our gift than with quantity.

            This is poor woman. Her offering is probably a day’s wages. IT WAS A sacrifice FOR HER. It was ALL she had.

            In Genesis and Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers - that which gave the offerings to God “an aroma pleasing to the LORD” was that it was a sacrifice. THE RICH – putting in their offering, were not sacrificing anything. That was what Jesus was pointing out here.

            What is it about sacrifice that pleases God??? God knows that I will sacrifice for that which is important to me. If something IS NOT important to me – I won’t sacrifice.
            But when we get to the point where God’s kingdom & His righteousness are valuable enough for you and I to sacrifice something for… God will give us the power to change our world.

          • Mike Harbour
            Recognize God How to Have a Happy New Year Luke 3:15-22 15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 6, 2008
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              “Recognize God”

              How to Have a Happy New Year

              Luke 3:15-22

              15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.17 “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

              21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

               

              Recognize God

              It doesn’t matter what age or stage of life you’re in, the arrival of a new year is a time for reflection and personal evaluation. The usual list for most of us include things like getting in shape, or to stop smoking, or to finally take that trip you’ve been wanting to take for so many years. Since we’re already a week into the new year, have some of those resolutions already be broken?

              At his baptism Jesus is praying – (that’s an important detail when it comes to recognizing God.)

              Then Luke tells us heaven was opened up. Then the Bible says the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form like a dove. In case anyone missed all the other signs, a voice comes from heaven publicly identifying Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22).

              Matthew 28:20 just before he ascended back into heaven, “And lo, I am with you always.”

              But it’s often difficult to recognize God’s presence in the blur our lives can be.

              I know asking you to begin your new year by recognizing God is a difficult proposition at best.

              I know this because I’m a full time Evangelist and my “job” is God. Every morning, every week, in season and out of season my job is to be God’s paid ambassador here on earth promoting, teaching, healing in his name, loving,..... everything in my “bosses” name, God.

              But in the week just ended, the first week of the year, I found myself in a swirl of activity, call it “godstuff” if you will, and even in the midst of that I found myself making decisions without prayer.

              I found myself doing things in my own strength.

              I found myself getting angry and saying things I shouldn’t.

              I found myself being callous and indifferent to situations where I should have been much more sensitive.

              I found myself being far too interested in things that have nothing to do with kingdom work.

              What I’m trying to say is I know it’s difficult for you all to recognize God because it’s so difficult for me and God is my job!

              You have other jobs and commitments I don’t have.

              You don’t have the luxury I do of spending all the time you want in Bible Study and prayer.

              Moses was tending his sheep in the land of Midian when he came upon a burning bush. Moses moved closer to check it out and he heard the voice of God speaking to him about his people and their need to be delivered from the land of Egypt. God told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground............... Moses had been tending sheep in that area for forty years. How many times do you think he’d passed that very spot?

              How many times had he stood in that exact place. And now God tells him the ground is holy?

              Has the ground been holy the whole time and Moses is just becoming aware of it for the first time?

              Do you and I walk on holy ground all the time, but we’re moving so fast or returning so many calls and writing emails that we miss it?

              Remember Jacob’s ladder. Jacob lays down to sleep and he dreams and in his dream he sees a ladder with angels ascending and descending on it. Remember Jacob’s words after his dream? “Surely God is in this place and I wasn’t aware of it.”

              Could it be that God is all around us and we never notice Him?

              Is he trying to get our attention?

              Shouldn’t we do all within our power to recognize God?

              I. LOOK FOR HIM

              Remember “Where’s Waldo?” a series of very busy pictures on each page and somewhere on each one there was a little picture of this character named Waldo.

              You don’t just sit down and immediately find Waldo when you look at the picture he’s in.

              He’s there all right, but it takes patience, it takes slowing down and carefully looking over the picture to find him.

              The same thing applies as we look for God. Moses was probably planning on walking right on by the burning bush, but the Bible says he turned aside to go check out the bush – he investigated it, it was only then when the Lord saw that he had gone over to look that he called to Moses from within the bush (Ex. 3:3-4).

              The good news is that God isn’t hiding – he’s not being coy with us trying to do all he can to remain undetected. Like Waldo, God is there all along, just waiting for us to slow down enough and to look carefully enough to be seen.

              The best way to find Waldo was to look for his distinctive blue pants, red and white sweater and his beanie cap.

              You’ve got to believe God exists in order to find him. Hebrews 11:6 says, “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

              Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But if you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and all your soul.”

              We can’t expect to glance around half-heartedly and find him – we’ve got to seek him with our whole heart.

              II. LEAVE YOUR EXPECTATIONS BEHIND

              Many times we miss God in the world around us because of preconceived notions of who God is, what he might be up to in the world, and where we might find him.

              Unfortunately a lot of people think God is all about rules and regulations (law). They believe God is a kill joy.

              Do this…don’t do that.

              John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!” Abundant, full life is what Jesus is all about.

              The first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding feast. You could say Jesus was the life of the party. Remember what he did?

              Was it

              a) Restored a man’s sight

              b) Fed a big crowd or

              c) Brewed up a few barrels of wine

              We need to leave our expectations behind.

              Jesus’ biggest problem being accepted in his own time was he didn’t do the things folks expected a religious leader – a Messiah – to do.

              If you want to see God, you may have more luck doing so down at the bus terminal in Toledo, where the least, the last and the lost congregate, than you will at some fancy church somewhere. We need to stop being so quick to judge and classify who is “in” and who is “out.”

              If you want to see Jesus, you’ve got to go to the places Jesus himself hung out. God help us in 2008 if we can’t get past stereotypes and somebody else’s’ interpretation of the Word of God. Get in there and dig around yourself and you might be very surprised.

              III. LOSE YOURSELF IN LOVE

              Matt 16:25 “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

              We’ve simply got to get ourselves out of the way if we want to see God.

              It is the difference in a mirror and a window. I mean, let’s admit it, for most of us our favorite topic of all is ourselves.

              Everything we do revolves around us – it’s like we spend our time looking in a mirror at ourselves and our needs.

              Instead, the looking we do must be through a window, specifically the window of God’s love. (parable of the talents)

              We must learn to see the world through his eyes.

              Want to see God? Go to the places you’d least expect God to be, go and express the love of God and just watch, God will show up – actually he won’t “show up,” he’s already there….like Waldo…you’ll just finally be able to recognize him.

              Seek God in 08 seek him and recognize him. Look for him. Leave your expectations behind about him.

              Lose yourself in love, and you’ll see God.

            • Mike Harbour
              how to have a great 08... Believe God John 8:1-11 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 28, 2008
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                how to have a great 08...

                Believe God

                John 8:1-11

                But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.5 “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

                Caught in the act !!

                Guilty ! Don't deceive yourself-- God knows all about YOU also. He knows your deepest wicked thoughts, and he knows every sin you have committed. ..............

                Now, I must make this very clear....... This statement is true, but ONLY if you are not born again.

                If you ARE born again, the first two sentences in this paragraph is a lie.

                Don't deceive yourself-- God knows all about YOU also. He knows your deepest wicked thoughts, and he knows every sin you have committed.

                ..............

                Every preacher who tells you Don't deceive yourself-- God knows all about YOU also. He knows your deepest wicked thoughts, and he knows every sin you have committed. ..............

                is a liar.

                1 John 1:9 was written to the church to Christians

                1 John 1:9

                9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

                What does he do with our confessed sins?

                Psalm 103:12-14

                12 As far as the east is from the west,

                So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

                13 As a father pities his children,

                So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

                14 For He knows our frame;

                He remembers that we are dust.

                GOD CANNOT REMEMBER YOUR SIN.

                NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE, GO AND SIN NO MORE.

                God hates sin.

                God hates guilt.

                Jesus hates guilt.

                It was guilt that made Adam and Eve take action and hide from God.

                God missed his two best friends.

                Genesis 3:8-10

                8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

                9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

                God is calling to you,

                "Where art thou.....?"

                But, you, in shame, are hiding from him.

                Maybe you are hiding in good works. You no longer believe God forgave you of some really wicked sin, so you work and work so God will love you.

                All the time he is wondering where you are.

                Perhaps you are hiding in depression.

                Instead of walking in the cool of the day with your God who loves you, you flee time after time to weep away your shame.

                Maybe some teacher helps keep you feeling guilty by inviting you to imagine that God is still mad at you. Perhaps some religious history.

                Does some "church" have you in such bondage?

                God is waiting to go for a walk with you, and you are hiding guilty and depressed.

                Tell me, can the Blood of Jesus really wash away sin?

                1 John 1:7

                7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

                1 Peter 2:24

                24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

                I think many saints wonder, for years, if they will ever make it into God's perfect will-- into that place of real victory with God.

                Much preaching and teaching drives saints away from the mercy and love of God. experience religion has caused us to wait and wait for that magic moment when some sort of fire falls on each of us. Perhaps even baptism, we may not say that but because of the rest of the culture within the church people come to that idea. .........But then nothing happens..... Why?

                We believe, have faith, repent, confess , burry our sins in baptism contacting the blood of Jesus raise to walk in the newness of life then dig up our sin, refuse to believe the God who gave his only begotten son for us when he says 1 John 1:9

                9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We resign ourselves to the notion that victory is just some magic trick in the mind of God, he is just playing peek a boo with him self. Perhaps you are just playing church.

                Meanwhile; Jesus cannot even remember the sins we keep confessing over and over.

                Jesus waits to just go for a walk with us in the cool of the day. Revival, story book revival, is a myth.

                If you think God is going to possess you, like on some B grade horror movie where some ones will is over ridden by demon possession, if you think God is not looking to go for a walk with you and you are just looking for a carry then get off your lazy but and believe God.

                This moment, right now, is the greatest opportunity you ever will have to be with Jesus.

                He is NOT hanging back.

                Through tears and self-flagellation, some are trying to pay for a little bit of peace of mind, when in fact, JESUS PAID IT ALL.

                Psalm 103:10-11

                10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

                Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

                11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,

                So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

                He is FOR you Christian.

                I recall the story of Japhthah in Judges 11. This man was born a bastard, and he was put out of his family and disinherited.

                Israel shunned the man until one day they were desperate for a mighty leader. They went and asked Japhthah to be their captain. There must have been something about this man that was ominous, and he was a warrior in character and physical visage.

                Japhthah was not very impressed and told the Israelites so. They shunned him all his life-- a bastard who was despised by his father.

                Good for nothing.

                Oooops, but we need your strong right arm now.

                Japhthah set his bitterness aside, took up the cause of God, challenged the enemy, and lead Israel to thrash them.

                He did one very stupid thing though. He promised God that whatever came out of his house first when he came home from victory, he would sacrifice it to God in thanks. To his dismay his daughter was the first thing that came out of his house, singing and dancing and praising God and Daddy.

                Now, we could really use Japhthah to preach a great sermon about stupid talk, stupid pride, stupid sins of rash promises, on and on.

                But, did God keep the folly of Japhthah as his principle memorial of the man? Did God see Japhthah as a fool? Here is where Japhthah ended up:

                Hebrews 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

                Hebrews 11:33-40

                33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

                Whores, fools, liars, pimps, homos, murderers, flakes and fakes of all sorts-- add yourself to the list. Make it as ugly as possible. But, they turned from sin and served God.

                So did you, right?

                Matthew 11:28-30

                28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

                Let me tell you something, and I suspect you have not heard this from many preachers lately.....

                IT IS EASY TO FOLLOW JESUS

                Have you turned lately and looked into the face of your precious Lord Jesus. Once you see the sweet love of God in the face of Jesus Christ, you will find it easy to stay right there with him.

                Look at him there.

                Jesus Christ sits there by the right hand of the Father telling Father what he thinks of you.

                "Father, that is Gladys-- I died for her. Look how pure she is, washed in my Blood.

                Father, I know she sinned yesterday. She is in great doubt, but I died for that sin too.

                She'll catch on pretty soon, and she will win her friend. She has great things to do for me.... She just needs to look at me and see how much you, Father, and I, love her."

                "Father, do you see Mike there.

                I can't remember him before 1980 and there are some real gaps in my memory about him since then but I know I have taken some sin on his behalf as far as the East is from the West.

                Father, Mike is going to raise me up two missionaries and three good godly wives from his children. He is pretty low lately.

                Mike got to thinking about his past sin, and I cannot even remember it.

                How I long to have Mike back in the yoke with me.

                Ephesians 2:4-10

                4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

                You are the trophy of Jesus Christ. All his kids are on eternal display of how much he loved sinners.

                Sin!

                Is that it? Well, whatever it is, down on your knees, and leave it once and for all.

                Stop picking it up over and over and keeping it fresh. God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost DO NOT REMEMBER YOUR SIN.

                YOU are the only one who will not forget it.

                Why do you let your mind, preachers, alleged friends, and whoever, keep coaxing you to confess and fret over the sins Jesus died for and cannot remember?

                Again,

                Romans 8:1-2

                There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

                FREE

                Read the verses again until you BELIEVE you are free from the bondage of sin.

                Now, go get in the yoke with your precious Jesus, and ENJOY.

                BELIEVE GOD...........

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