1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold. - Luke 8-5-8
- Today I have been challenged with where I am sowing… Am I sowing on good ground that will produce fruit or am investing into things that will produce nothing and course death….?
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” ~ Galatians 3:1-11
The apostle Paul understood no only who Jesus Christ was but what he had done over 2000 Years ago. He began to develop the doctrine of Crucifixion of the law of Jesus.
· If the law could save a man what was the point of the Cross? What was the point of Jesus leaving his throne, leaving the presence, leaving his place of Glory and living as a man, living amongst such filth and sin?
· In him was fulfilled the righteousness of the law.
Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.
· When Achan sinned under the law both him and his family was stoned to death.
-Everyone has sinned and fallen short just like Achan but thanks be to God for the cross. Because of the cross there is forgiveness, there is GRACE, wholeness… there is a second chance. Jesus Died for Achan too, He died 2000 years later but he died for him too. That is how powerful the cross is. Jesus died for past, present and future sin.
While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses.
· Through the strictness of God he showed them that the law can only convict but only through grace can bring freedom.
· Jesus Had never sinned he never picked up a single stick but he died on the tree to set you free. He took your punishment so that you didn’t have to. – This my friends is love.
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance.
The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah. The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.”
Gareb = Scab. This is where the lepers lived – Lepers Hill.
2 Samuel 3:29
May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”
· When The curse of God is upon you it means God has taken his Mercy away. The only way any curse can be broken is through blood shed.
· Jesus was cursed upon the cross.
· He who knew no sin became sin. We know that sin separates us from God and for a moment Jesus was separated from the father.
· When Jesus died he took upon the unclean, the unlovely and the unaccepted. He literally became sin.
· Because of what he did for us upon the cross, because there was a blood shad there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – The Curse has been lifted.
· God is able to take your sin and curse and exchange it for Grace, freedom and Hope.
he Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up
· The Old Testament God and the New Testament God are the same God, He just deals with you differently.
· Because the son showed up and because of what he did for us on the cross he deals with us differently. Because there is no longer the curse there is mercy!
· God Guided them through the wilderness, Parted the red sea so they could witness his miracles and experience the power of God and his greatness. He was taking them further, Higher and deeper….. He was drawing them closer to himself.
· A Miracle won’t sustain you, yes the Israelites witnessed many Miracles but that didn’t sustain them. “Stuff” won’t satisfy the human soul. The only thing that can satisfy the human soul is JESUS. He is all you need to get you through this life.
The Old Testament
· In Exodus 24 God appeared on Mount Sinai. He came in the smoke and there was fire from the mountain and God said to Moses that if they came up to the mountain that he would kill them.
· You can’t gaze into holiness; you don’t have eyes fit for holiness. The only way you can gaze is through your spirit.
Your Spirit connecting with His Spirit and then because his spirit has connected with yours you can’t help but live a life that is holy and pleasing to the lord.
· The reason why God said to Moses in Exodus 33:22 “When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by” was because there is no way that a human soul can look into the presence of God because it will burn you alive, simply because flesh can’t handle such beauty and intensity.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
· Get your eyes off Dying, decaying and corrupted earth and set your eyes on heaven. Set your affection above and not on earth.
· Hebrews starts out by saying that the angles had to make a choice about the birth of Jesus, if they would accept him as the maker of heaven and earth or would the reject him. – Angles are not perfect. Rev 12 talks about how Satan deceived a third of the angles and lead them astray. God gave Satan honour, taught him wisdom and allowed him to lead all of heaven into worship but he couldn’t handle it, it got to his head.
· God has given us much but we want to walk around in the law. God has got so much more for us, if you let him lift you up out of your flesh and pull you above the things of the earth. If only you would draw near to God, he WILL draw near to you. - He has unlocked your chains stop trying to put them back on.
· Paul said that we have not come to Mount Sinai the mountain of Law but to Mount Zion the mount of Grace. – We can come near! You can now spend more time with him instead of the world.
· The more you draw near to God the more your spirit wins over the flesh, the more you draw near to him the more those 5 fleshly senses have no power, he begins to lift you up to a sense that is higher. You begin to understand the something that is greater and higher than you, he wants you! – In the book of Hebrews it says “There is a new and living way” and it is only found in coming to the cross.
· When we leave this earth we will be in Christ. Satan can’t kill you because of where your life is. Your flesh is kept alive through the spirit of God.
Only Jesus Can bring Salvation, It’s only through him can you experience true freedom and forgiveness. It’s not by works but by faith that we are saved. If you know that you are living under the law than come to him tonight, come to the cross of Jesus. Come and give him your life in exchange for his grace.
There is a story in Matthew 7 and starts off in verse 24. You might know it better as a popular Sunday school song.
The story talks about two men who one builds his house on the sand and the other who builds his house upon a rock. The rains, floods and storms come and The house on the sand did not stand and was destroyed. But the house on the rock stood firm and secure.
You see, when you build your life upon the rock, upon Jesus. The storms can come, the floods can rise but you can go through knowing that you serve a God who goes before you, a God who sustains, a God who is always fighting for us, a God who will never give us more than we can handle.
As you start this year, I encourage you. I urge you. I dare you as I was dared to base your life upon the rock if Jesus, base your life upon the word of God. It will sustain you, heal you and feed you every need. You see, When we base our lives on the word of God instead of the word of man we can withstand any storm and any circumstance!
The biggest international issue of the 21st century is Human Trafficking, which is a form of modern day slavery. Even though Slavery was abolished in Europe in 1833, it is an even bigger problem now in the 21st century than it ever was in history!
- We mustn’t stay silent about violation of human rights.
Imagine if it was YOUR sister, brother, best friend, parent, Neighbor or your own child being forced into prostitution, having to service up to 60 or even 100 men a day, or forced into manual labour, being made to work in factory’s or fields for little or no money. This is the sad reality for 30 million people who are manipulated and forced into this illegal trade of humans for the purpose of human trafficking, of which 79% are exploited via commercial sexual exploitation and 18% through forced manual labour.Children from the ages of four years old are forced into this trade through ways of abduction, threats and the power of vulnerability and are subject to a life of slavery, These little girls are forced to service up to 60 - 100 Men a day.
The root course of Human Trafficking cannot be put down to one specific thing as its different for every situation, county, culture and other factors. Often it comes down to vulnerability, 80% of the world population live in poverty and so this is a huge contributing factor for human trafficking. When people get to the lowest point and become so desperate they do not have the capability to rationalize reality therefore, will do whatever they have to do, for example, some parents live in such poverty that they sell their own children into slavery just so they have enough money to make ends meet.
Countries like Thailand and other Asian countries are corrupt and in some countries the law does cater for Human Trafficking and the risk of getting caught is small. Greece is the human trafficking gateway to Europe and thousands are trafficked in and out yearly. The sad reality is there is a demand in richer countries and urban areas for prostitution and cheap labour and so because of this issue, not only are the people who are using and abusing benefiting from exploiting these humans but so are the traffickers themselves.
It’s important that when buying products that you know where they are coming from and try to buy fear trade. As of right now there’s not a whole lot of action in that area. There are laws but over 23 countries fail to comply with international laws to prevent human trafficking, and some countries refuse to stop their human trafficking. Many countries turn a blind eye so that they can keep their financial agreements with other countries. There are some organizations being formed to help, but they find they sometimes can’t help because traffic victims are too afraid to testify.
What we need to realise is that 30 million is not actually a number but individual human lives who are being abused and taken advantage of, we as fellow humans must take action against this horrific crime. 30 million seems like a huge number but if we go about it as one life at a time we can have an impact, we can see human trafficking abolished. These people deserve freedom, before you go out to the store do some research to see where your products come from and if you see anything that looks like possible trafficking get in contact with authority’s because you may save someone’s life, together we can bring change.
Let me end with a quote from Martin Luther King "Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter."