Is It Rain or Shine?

2 Corinthians 1:18-20

But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.  For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

How do we view our circumstances? Is it rain or shine?

The weather forecast always tells you what the percentage of rain, snow or stormy weather will be for the next day or the next month.  Most people usually consider rain, snow or bad weather as a negative.  We talk about the 40% chance of rain, but what about the 60% chance of sunshine

1 John 5:12-15 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

The promises in His Word establishes, seals us, anoints us and guarantees to us all that He has for us as long as we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.  To be carnal minded is opposed to God’s will.

1 John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Hebrews 1:12 – Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed.  But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”

The message found in these short passages are positive messages from a positive gospel, for His Word is positive.  To be anything else is to be negative.  There are NO grey areas.  His Word is either positive, forever unchanged or it is totally unreliable and untrue and cannot be depended upon.  Which is it for you?  You have to make up your mind.  If it is not reliable and true, then you might as well give up on your faith.  Either He really died on the cross for “whosoever believeth” or He did not.

There will always be naysayers.  There will always be skeptics and doubters.  The Word of God calls that double minded.

Where is my mind when I dwell on “I can’t”, “it’s impossible,” “there’s no way,” “it can’t happen?”

Philippians 4:8 –Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

This passage tells us to dwell on the positive, the good things in life.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Give your doubts to God and believe positive affirmations to what the Word says.

The Old Testament referred to the children of Israel “murmuring” for 40 years in the wilderness.  Do not grumble, but be thankful.  Put a smile on your face and praise God.  All the promises of God are positive.

Farmer Jones drove his big old farm wagon to market with a portion of his bumper crop of potatoes.  Someone complimented him on all the great crop of potatoes he had harvested.  His reply was, “Yeah, but not one rotten one to feed the hogs.” 

Ever hear of that old hymn of the church, “Great is Thy Faithfulness?”  His faithfulness is everlasting!

Believe in the Gospel

Mark 1:15

Mark 1:15 – and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

  • Repent – The word “repent” in the Bible means more than being sorry.  It means “a turning around.”  It involves both turning from our old way of living and turning to God.  Jesus began His ministry with this call to repent.  The reason for this need of repentance (change of living) is that Jesus has come to usher in the Kingdom of God.  A total change of purpose and living would be required to be a part of this kingdom of God. 
  • In order to really repent and be a part of God’s kingdom required belief.  A total and complete confidence in the message of Jesus Christ.  The story of Charles Blondin illustrates what true belief in Jesus Christ is all about.  The story is told that Blondin walked 160 feet above the falls between Canada and the United States.  After crossing to the United States he then returned to Canada pushing a wheelbarrow while blindfolded.  It is said that he asked his audience “Do you beliee I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?”  The crowd enthusiacally shouted “Yes!”  Blondin then asked “Who will get in the wheelbarrow?”  Nobody was willing to do that.  Their faith was not total and complete.  Jesus is asking us to “get in the wheelbarrow” and trust Him to take us safely across.
  • Jesus declared that the time was fulfilled.  The perfect time for the Son of God to come..

Galatians 4:4-7 – But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

  • There are several reasons we might see that Jesus came at this particular time in history.  At that time there was an international language that all the citizens of the empire spoke – Greek.  The Roman Empire had created a great road system and there was peace making travel easy.  Although these are reasons that we might think made this the “fullness of time” ultimately we cannot know for certain why God felt this was the time.
  • God sent Jesus for one purpose – to make us his sons and daughters and to thereby have a relationship with Him.

BUT

  • We must accept that redemption
  • We must believe in the Gospel – the Good News
  • We must believe and receive

Galatians 3:26 – For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

  • Repent and believe in the Gospel
    • Repent – to change one’s way of living; to confess wrong; to change one’s mind or purpose – Turning from sin – turning to God
    • Believe – commit; entrust; agree; obey; persuade; trust; yield

2 Timothy 1:12 – For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Be Faithful

Hebrews 3:12-15

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:  “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

  • Believer

Believe, do not doubt. 

Praise the Lord.  Do not pout.

In Him Trust.  It’s a must.

  • Exhort
    • Lift up
    • Console, strengthen
    • Admonish
    • Beseech, to urge, comfort
    • To call out to a person and offer aid
    • To speak of, recommend, advise
    • Urge forward
    • Call to one’s side

Romans 15:4 – For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

  • Exhort one another DAILY while it is called today.  In other words, do not delay….do it NOW.
  • Why today?  Because now is the day of salvation.  The present time because we have no guarantee of tomorrow. 
  • Be an encourager today because disappointment, discouragement, temptations are all there, ready to deceive. 
  • Be an encourager today because Satan strikes at the Christian to deceive, kill and destroy when they are at their weakest point.  Therefore, always be ready to be an encourager NOW.
  • Endure to the end.  It is not enough to just confess Christ, just to say the sinner’s prayer.  But today, NOW, this hour, this time we must determine in our heart to serve God.
  • Today, if you will hear His voice
  • Do not turn away
    • Do not delay
    • Do not look back
    • Do not stray

Revelation 2:10 – …Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Sons and Heirs

Galatians 3:26-29, 4:1-7

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

SONS OF GOD

John 1:12 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (authority) to become children of God, to those who believe on His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 8:15-17 – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 

Galatians 4:7 – Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

  • Sons through Faith

You are a prized possession of God through your faith in Christ.  You are SPECIAL – SOMEBODY IMPORTANT – BLESSED.   WHY?   You were purchased though His blood.  You as His child are “BORN FREE”.

  • Belief in Christ Jesus

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.

  • Belief on His Name

Romans 10:13 – For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. 

  • Belief in the Power of His shed Blood

Romans 10:9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Ephesians 1:7-8 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence. 

  • No one is treated differently

Romans 10:12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

Acts 10:36 – …The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all.

Ephesians 6:9 – …And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

  • Race – Jew or Greek
  • Status – Slave or Free
  • Gender – Male or Female
  • You are one in Christ Jesus

Romans 12:4-5 – For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Colossians 3:11 – …there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

  • One in Belief

Ephesians 4:4-6  – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one  God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.   

We are all equal at the foot of the cross.  We have all received forgiveness in the same way.  We are all part of the same family.                        

  • One in Acceptance

Romans 5:2 – through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

  • One in Adoption

Romans 8:15 – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’.

HEIRS OF PROMISE

Romans 8:17 – and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…

  • Christ’s through Faith. 

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.

  • Abraham’s Seed.

Galatians 3:17 – Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.