Sabbath 2/7/15 Daytona Beach SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “24-7, 365”

Sabbath 2/7/15 Daytona Beach SDB Church Pastor Wray sermon “24-7, 365” Isaiah 41:8-10

God says “Don’t be afraid because He is our God and He will uphold us with his right hand of righteousness”. Lots of folk are going through difficulties and bad times. As I encounter these people, it reminds me how blessed we are that God chooses us. He chooses us because He loves us and wants us. It is good to feel wanted! We, Christians in the church today are God’s representatives to the world. When Israel turned to idols and disobedience to God, He let them be taken away by their enemies. This pattern is repeated many times in the Old Testament. God’s chosen people would forsake God, then be oppressed, then come to their senses and repent. Then God would deliver them from their tyranny, raise them back up with peace and prosperity. This cycle is repeated over and over again. God showed His love by delivering his people.

One of the most wonderful words in the Bible is the word repentance. Let’s say it together. Repentance. One of the meanings of repentance is guilt. The Greek word for repentance is to think differently or to reconsider as an afterthought. One changes their mind for the better. This is what it means to repent. There is a reality show called Kitchen Nightmares. Chef Ramsey goes to failing restaurants to see what their problems are. Ramsey tastes their food and send it back to them. The owners and cooks get shocked and offended but they have no customers, just empty tables. The owner and cook think they have the best food in town. Chef Ramsey goes thru their refrigerator and finds old rotten food and asks them would they eat this? They say no so then he ask, why do you serve it to your customers? Then he asks them the test question, “How has it been working for them?” Then the lightbulb comes on and they begin to reconsider. Maybe their food is not the greatest after all. The same is with people that we meet every day. Their life is a wreck, their finances are upside down and their relationships are broken. When you ask them if they have been putting Jesus first in their life, they are shocked and offended. They even may be insulted. Then you ask them the test question, “How has that been working for you?” There is not promise that as soon as you become a Christian, everything will turn into a bed of roses. But the Bible says that God said do not be afraid because He is with us. Don’t be afraid because He is our God. God will strengthen us and uphold us with his victorious right hand. It is awesome to know that God is with us 24-7, 365. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year!

A change must take place. Jesus demands lordship over everything in our lives. Jesus warns us that if there is something in our lives-some sin, that we are not willing to give up, we won’t get into the kingdom of Heaven. Don’t try to do it part way because that’s never going to work. The most miserable people I have ever met in my entire ministry are people who straddle the fence. No commitment to either position. There is no joy in hanging halfway onto a new life and still being dragged along by your halfway old life. Can you say amen? Don’t say I will give up some of my sins but I’m still going to hang onto some other parts of my past. Finding peace with God is not only knowing that God is on the job 24-7, 365, it is also making a commitment 24-7, 365 to Him. You are no longer moving away from God but you are moving toward God. You have made your decision, chosen your path and repented of your sins. You are not an outsider looking in. You are moving forward in Faith.

Most people you talk to about their spiritual problem of rejecting God, will tell you it’s because of a theological doctrine or denomination problems. The reason most people don’t repent of their sins is because they don’t want the spiritual responsibility and commitment that goes along with it. Christian life has its demands. Many people are not willing to submit and surrender everything to Christ. We all have our crosses to bear but some suffer more than others. There are disappointments, hardships, sorrows, humiliation, trials and pain. But living by Faith conquers the bad times. Every day we are faced with soul searching decisions. Do I serve God or do I give in to temptation? Do I step out on Faith? The devil wants us to think that if we serve God, we are giving up too much. But none of us have ever been asked to give up as much as Jesus did!

Sooo….we stand at the fork in the road. One road is broad, sparkling with bright colorful lights. Life down this road is filled with power, luxury and comforts. It is filled with riches and the pleasures of this world. This road is familiar to us because we have all been down it before. This road leads to endless destructions and Hell. Then there is another road. This road is narrow and difficult to travel. It is meant to be a one-way street. It is a road of humility where we meet people who are our enemies. Instead of drawing out our swords, we will be asked to love them and to do good for them. Living by Faith will still have some sorrows but there will be victories and triumphs! The Bible says repentance is an absolute necessity. Jesus said in Mark 2:17, we are to prove by the way that we live, that we have really turned from our sins and turned to God. Jesus said repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.

Turn from your sins and turn to God. There is no sin that is too big for God to forgive. This is one of the devil’s first attacks. The devil wants you to doubt God’s word. Satan wants you to think that God won’t hear you and won’t forgive you. The devil will put questions in your mind, asking do you really need to repent. Also the devil will play on your emotions, your pride. The Bible teaches us that repentance doesn’t end with trusting Jesus as our Savior. Repentance continues and grows. We may start out feeling weak at first but the more sin we repent, the stronger we become. The more we pray, the more we grow. The more we worship, the more we grow. The more we fellowship in the church, the more faith itself is shown and manifested. We become 24-7, 365 for God and Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:45, Jesus said “Follow Me”.

God is at work all the time in our lives and He does not forsake us. He is always at work on our behalf. In every circumstance, God does not forsake us. God took a cross, 2 pieces of wood, 3 nails and then He took a borrowed tomb. Then God took you and me. God took death and the power of bondage from the devil and gave Jesus the keys of Hell and Death. Jesus is an encouragement to everybody. When there is someone who will do or say something to encourage us, we are meeting Jesus in them. The Power and Presence of God is 24-7, 365.

Jesus loves us and His blood cleanses us. His Holy Spirit justifies us so it is like we never sinned. Lean on Jesus. Fear not for the Lord is with us 24-7, 365 !!