Christmas Message Series


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If you missed our Christmas series you can view them on demand at the links below.

This Christmas we focused on the fact that God is inviting us to join him in fulfilling His mission. He wants to use us individually in our unique situation. The fundamental reason for the season is the gift of salvation. We must not forget to focus on this fact.

First Sermon  – God Remembers Me: Accepting God’s Invitation – Luke 1:5-24 (Zechariah & Elizabeth)

http://betheltempleofpraise.org/?wpfc_sermon=accepting-gods-invitation-christmas-message-part-1

Second Sermon – Divine Interruption: God wants to interrupt your life for his Glory – Luke 1:26–38 (The Virgin Mary)

http://betheltempleofpraise.org/?wpfc_sermon=divine-interruption-christmas-part-2

Third Sermon – The Wait is over: God is going to reward your faith but not how you imagined it to be – Luke 2:22-38 (Simeon the prophet and Anna the prophetess)

http://betheltempleofpraise.org/?wpfc_sermon=the-wait-is-over-christmas-message-part-3

These three stories surrounded the Christmas story was centered around individuals that possessed certain qualities. They were invited to partner with God to bring salvation to the world. They demonstrated:

  • Faithfulness
  • Devotion
  • Patience
  • Righteousness

The greatest thing that one can be involved in is to be involved in the mission of God. In these stories we saw how God used people who were not in the mainstream of things but those who were on the margin. God saw their heart and desires and invited them to allow him to use their current circumstance to help advance his mission.

Just because you are following God does not means everything is going to be alright or that all your desires will be met or met according to your timing. When your time has come it does not matter where you are or the odds surrounding your success. When God gets ready to use you, after you have been tested and tried, nothing, no one or no circumstance will stop you from getting your invitation.

As we think of Christmas our minds are filled with plans. We are often times consumed with passion that drives us to be centrally focused. Our plans often times do not focus on God’s plans for our lives.

We become preoccupied with the day-to-day plans that we have for our lives. This often resulted in impatience.

I want to challenge us today to see that the God of the universe wants to partner with us to bring salvation to the world. The reason for Jesus entrance into this world and for him to take on the sinfulness of mankind is because he wants to bring salvation to us. In turn he invites those that have tasted this salvation to become the conduit of this message to those who have not yet received it. God used a man, a prophet named Simeon and a prophetess named Anna to help advance the story of Christmas and the message of salvation that has come to the world.

As a child we would often sneak a peek at the gifts to see if we could tell which one was ours and what was in the box. The impatient child was not going to wait until the appointed time but was willing to risk whatever punishment was to come because of their impatient. In this world we live, waiting has become a bad word. Kids are driven with an untamed impatience. The instant gratification is the badge of honor they live by. They want quick money and fame. This is even more pronounced in the popular hollywood sagas. The life of the entertainment world has now become the bench mark of the excellent. In the Christian world we are encouraged to wait on God. Waiting, patient and faith are all words that describe a devout Christian. Unlike the characteristic of the world we are challenged daily to wait on God.

We know that with God there are no time limits. 

Can God Interrupt Your Schedule For His Glory


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Luke 1:26-38

History has demonstrated that God is always seeking to interrupt our lives to accomplish his Divine purpose. In the process of interrupting and us not resisting he releases blessings.  Sometimes these blessings come in ways of miracles. I strongly attest to the fact that when we allow God to use us, even in our broken, busy state, not only does his will manifest but also we are recipients of divine blessings. Just as he interrupted Elizabeth’s bareness and reproach he wants interrupt your bareness.

We should understand that we could be serving faithfully, performing all that is required of us to advance the Kingdom and still not accomplish some of our dearest desires. So many believers are serving God faithfully but are living in the shadows of their unfulfilled dream.  Some persons have given up on hope and have resolved to remain in their position of reproach and unfulfilled dreams.

There are some persons that have resigned from their service to God declaring that they are left alone with unanswered prayers.  They lament how can I serve God when my problems are ever present. It is worth noting that Zechariah was still faithful in his service, he never stopped serving.  In the end a lifetime of barrenness and delayed answers to his many prayers, God showed just in time.  He was going to break his unproductive state to be the father of the forerunner of the Messiah.

Let us not allow our years of living in the valley of unanswered prayers prevent us from walking into the new year of production. Sometimes the length of our unproductive years places us in a state of disbelief.  It has not happened yet why would it happen now?  The reason is this, God is in charge; he will do what He will, in his timing.

God want to also interrupt your productive season as with Joseph and Mary. In this area of your life things are going according to plan. Progress is seen and there is at least momentum. Mary unlike Elizabeth was in the prime of her life.  Her future looked great.  She had a man that loved her and wanted to marry her.  They were in the stage of preparing for this wedding and God stepped in and asked her to help in advancing His mission.

Can God interrupt your period of prosperity?  Can He step into your seasons of hope and expectancy? Can He interrupt your planning and blissful moments?

To some degree it is easy to allow God to step into our barrenness but when things are going good, that is a different story. Let us understand that this was not an ordinary interruption.  What God was asking Mary to do, in her position, means she could loose her life.

God wants to interrupt your period of barrenness and or prosperity, will you let him. When God step into your life, in order to advance his mission, the residual effects is that our lives are forever changed for the better. Will you allow him to use you in order that his mission can be accomplished here on earth?

 

 

 

 

Thank You Pastor


Merry Christmas

I have had the great pleasure of working with pastors from different denominations and diverse theological and doctrinal positions. I have walked away with great admiration for pastors. We have pastors that genuinely care about advancing the Kingdom of God. Pastors are often grouped with a general classification, good or bad. Looking from the outside in, you might not get to see the heart of the pastor. Those pastors I connect with are leading churches of various sizes. In my experience, they are pastors with a passion, commitment, excellence spirit and do not want to fail at their God given assignments. Pastors I connect with love God and love people. They might have different emphasis, but the gospel is at the heart of their ministry.

Throughout my Christian walk, I have come to embrace the David principle, when dealing with pastors—Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed.

We need to recognize that our pastors are humans—Not from a position of excusing and condoning sin but understand that they have needs just like the congregants. I am not encouraging the Rap Industry “bad boy principle”—the more shots, the more prison stays the more impressive the street credibility. I am suggesting there is a need to give pastors a break. We should recognize that our pastors hurt just like anyone in the church, they are not always operating at 100%, and they do need your encouraging words.

The portrait that is on television is not the general portrait of pastors with whom I am connected.

Look to your local pastors as examples, as they follow Christ. If you think they are not examples, pray for and encourage your pastor rather than cut him/her down. Pastors have different leadership styles. I believe most pastors enter the ministry for the right reasons. We should be conscious of the fact that Satan has placed a huge bull’s eye on pastors. Their mistakes and sins are amplified. Respect your pastor and the office of the pastor but do not treat them as gods. Provide a support mechanism for your pastors. LOVE your pastor.

  • When last have you called your pastor and prayed for him/her?
  • When last have you encourage your pastor?
  • When was the last time you spoke against your pastor instead of speaking a word of encouragement to him/her?

During this Christmas season, take a moment and thank God for your pastor. Take a moment and pray for and with your pastor. Make an appointment to see your pastor and surprise him/her by just praying for them, instead of asking for help or counsel.