Sunday, June 23, 2013

Liberty Church Online Sunday Sermon 6/21/13

Liberty Church FB Group

Good morning Liberty Church!

Hope your activism is blessed today, and full of good fruit.   If you're not an activist, I hope your fruit is just as good!  I hope your inner strength is in the peace of God.  Reach out for God and he'll reach out for you :)

I'm pumped for week after week of growing closer to the heavenly Father.  It's a wonderful journey.  As we grow closer to God we start to see the truth more clearly.  We become progressively more moral.  We become wiser.  We become stronger.  Our faith grows and flourishes.  Our inner peace and serenity expands, so we can handle the most desperate situations calmly.  Because one day soon, we may have to.

I see God training a new generation of leaders, through the power of the internet.  These men and women have access to a wealth of information on politics, news, science, and religion.  These people have the need for truth, and desperately seek the truth.  And eventually they find the road leading to the holy Bible.  They come for the word of God, because they see an awful world around them.  

The truth sets us free, inwardly.  When we are free inwardly, we seek to make our external world better.  We seek for true liberty of surroundings.

And it's nice being free isn't it?  Our freedom may be taken away externally, but internally we find freedom from sinful obsession, in the love of Christ Jesus.

John 8:36 NIV
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

I like being free.  We love freedom because it is our natural correct state under God.  God created us with free will, so we could choose freely, whether we do good or evil.  And given a complete and utter choice we tend toward good.  But when laws and rules upon rules are forced upon us, ironically, we often tend toward misconduct, if only to show our own independence.

Godly men founded this nation, the United States.  We know that God blessed this nation, because it has prospered.  Some might teach that the American Revolution was unholy, but if it was, why would it have been blessed by God?  Considering the odds the founders had to face, fighting the greatest army the world had ever known, the British army, how could they have prevailed without God's blessing? 

 Some might say that we should stand at attention before our governments and submit to everything they say.  This isn't what the Bible teaches.  The Bible teaches that we ought to obey, but disobey if it interferes with our service to God.  The Bible doesn't teach us to ignore what our government does.  It doesn't teach us to sit idly by.  Since we have a participatory government, we ought to engage in it.  If we see laws that are unjust we change them, but we need not disobey them, unless they harm others or ourselves directly.

I know this is a hard time to be a Christian.  It's a very hard time to be politically "awake" and to also be a servant of the most high God.  We face ridicule on two different fronts, and probably many more as we proceed forward.  I think of Psalm 3 when I look at the situation in America:

Lord, how numerous are my enemies!
Many attack me.
Many say about me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me;
you are my glory and the one who restores me.
To the Lord I cried out,
and he answered me from his holy hill.
I rested and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord protects me.
I am not afraid of the multitude of people
who attack me from all directions.
Rise up, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Yes, you will strike all my enemies on the jaw;
you will break the teeth of the wicked.
The Lord delivers;
you show favor to your people." 

For several years I was concerned that knowing the United States was starting to resemble, and now very clearly does resemble a modern day Babylon, should I not leave?  The Babylon described in Revelation is often accompanied by pleas to "flee Babylon!"  Should I prepare my family and leave?

It's a tough question.  But I take some solace, that in the Old Testament Babylon conquered Jerusalem.  This was the ancient Babylonian captivity.  Almost a million Israelites were enslaved and taken to Babylon.  Later on, a Persian king conquered Babylon, and allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem.  50,000 Israelites returned to Jerusalem, and God blessed them.  The vast majority chose to stay in the wicked kingdom of Babylon, and God blessed them as well.  

We who remain in the United States can minister to the corrupt masses.  We can wake them up to the truth of Jesus Christ.  And I believe God will bless us on that quest.  

As many have said, there is much work to do.

Let me remind and encourage you to pray.  Pray when you're frustrated by the media cover ups.  Pray when you wish for sleeping people to wake up.  Pray when you feel frustrated.  Pray when you feel lost.  And pray when you're scared for your nation.  

God is not deaf.  God hears us.  God is REAL.  Most importantly, God is love.  He is pure mercy.  He is not the mean monster that you've been told about.  He's a loving God.  A pure God.  A God with you in the room you read this in, right now.  

He's there.  Right now.  Listen for him.  Watch for him.  

I know, it's hard to work through the science brainwashing of public indoctrination, education, whatever you'd like to call it.  Please don't mistake me, science and medicine have assisted us greatly on this journey called life.  Scientists wonder at the power and majesty of the universe.  I deeply respect that.  I deeply respect their search for truth.  I firmly believe however, that God is at the end of that journey.  

Some of us see the presence of God in our experiences.  Some of us see it in the facts.  Neither way is wrong.

So we know what to do, don't we?  Matthew 28:16-20 says "
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The great commission is ours to fulfill.  And we can fulfill it.  We can fulfill it every day.

So please, don't be afraid as you're out there fighting for the truth.  How many times does the Bible tell us to not be afraid?  I know many Libertarians believe the Bible is a work of indoctrination meant to control us.  I don't see that within the actual pages of the Bible.  Maybe that's what is preached at many churches.  But within the actual pages of the Bible, I see a path of true and perfect peace.  I see a path where fear and doubt has no place.  How can such a beautiful teaching of peace be indoctrination?  If it were indoctrination, it would tell me to serve the state as number one, it would tell me to be afraid and to be uncertain.  It would tell me to serve myself, not others.  Instead, it tells of loving and caring for others, for peace and truth, for serenity and love.  This is no work of indoctrination.  Of course interpretation can lead to indoctrination, which is why we must read the Bible for ourselves.  We must see the truth, from our own unique perspective.

Remember, that we have an enemy out there.  That enemy is Satan, and his followers.  They are Satan worshipers, many masquerading as Jews, who quietly control the governments of the world through banks.  I don't have to tell you, most of you already know this.  Don't let this trouble you.  We are to expect great troubles in the world.  But final victory will be ours over these Satanists. 

Revelation 3:9 says "I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you." 

Always remember, while you're out there fighting for the truth, the truth that is God given, and liberty, the liberty that is God given, remember this: You're savior Jesus Christ has already won.  

John 16:33  "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Liberty Church Online Sunday Sermon 6/16/13

Good morning from Liberty Online Church.  We are a Christ-based ministry reaching out to those of all walks of life, including those turned away and condemned by other congregations. We're a church for sinners seeking redemption.  We're a church to help those in need.

If you'd like to find our group on Facebook do a search for Liberty Online Church. We operate on the internet.  We run things from our facebook group where we post sunday sermons, speeches, Bible quotes, and Bible information.  We also offer encouragement to church members through the group.  So if you'd like to be a part of that, please find us on facebook and join up.

And Thank you for being here for our Sunday sermon.  

So before we start, let's go to God in prayer this morning and ask him to join us here:

Jehovah God, my Father, our Father, We ask you to join us today as we get into your word.  We feel your nudges Lord, that push us toward you.  We acknowledge your presence in our daily lives.  Your sons life is a testament to perfection.  Help us to become holy, each day, as we approach the next life.  In Jesus name, Amen.

No one can condemn you but God almighty.  No one else can do that.  No human authority has that right.  Only God has that right. 

And God is right in all things.  And he's just in all things.  He's so full of love.  He's so full of truth.  And he likes you.  He feels something special for you, because you're his special possession.  You're part of his chosen people, if you've chosen to serve Christ in your life.  And please don't be mistaken.  I'm not here to tell you that God's going to serve you, or give you great wealth because you're his.  I'm not going to tell you that love is God and we're all one either.  

God doesn't serve us, we serve him.  We're his creation.  We didn't think the universe into being, God made it with his voice and his hands.  Great wealth is certainly possible for some Christians.  We know God rewarded Solomon with great wealth and prosperity because of his request for wisdom in prayer.  But that's not going to be everyones walk with Christ.  And we don't need wealth of the material anyway.  Because we have wealth in here.  Wealth more than all the dollars floating around the new york stock exchange.  Right here, inside.  

That wealth is peace with God through Jesus Christ.  That wealth is serenity in the storms of life.  That wealth is constant contact with Jehovah our God.  That wealth is the promise of eternal life.

 Today I'd like to talk about passion for this walk with Christ.  2 Samuel 6:14 says
New Living Translation (©2007)
And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.

A lot of the time I've heard church leaders claiming that this was a horrible mistake, and oh, David shouldn't have been dancing like that before the Lord.  In fact David's wife Michal came to him after she saw him doing this and said to him:

How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

I really like how David responded here.  And hasn't that happened with a lot of us?  We go too far in others eyes, and just let free our worship of God.  Like the people at church who lift their hands to God as they sing.  I'm sure a lot of the congregation are thinking, wow, look at how self righteous they are.   And I've heard that a lot.  Like "who are they to do that"  "who are they to break the unspoken rules of how you should act"  I can't stand those taboos personally.  I really can't.  I get nervous sometimes when my family and I pray at a public restaurant like oh what are the other people around here going to think?  Well.. you know, who really cares what they think?  I care about what God thinks.  I care about how he feels about my worship.  If I'm praying really loud, and drawing attention to myself thats one thing, but if I'm praying at a reasonable voice level and just letting out to God, then it's great.  It's fine.  

David's response is great.  It was before JEHOVAH that I danced, not your dad or your family or anyone else.  And then he says I WILL celebrate before the Lord.  And I'm not even done with just dancing, I'll do even more publicly embarassing things to show my God I'm NOT ashamed by him.  And he said in his own eyes he'll feel weird about it, but the people of Israel will know that I'm honorable.

Michal may have been jealous.  And that's fine, that's fine.  But understand David, your husband's heart.  He's a man with passion for God.  Don't step in his way when he lets loose in a difficult way to show his love. 

How do we show our love for God?  Many of us pray and give thanks.  And that's great.  Keep going with that!  But there are other ways we can show our passion for God.  Singing is one we do a lot, at church.  Dancing?  Hey, why not right?  

This walk with Christ is exciting and relevant today.  That's what a lot of modern christians have forgotten.  Depravity isn't required to have a great time or a "cool" time.  There's great honor in this walk with Christ.  Theres great dignity.  There's great joy.  And there is great honor:  1 Kings 3:13 says

New International Version (©2011)
Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--both wealth and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings."

 God granted Solomon wealth and honor because of his request for discernment, wisdom.  When we ask god to search us and make us right within, he in turn grants us honor.  And that goes again back to what we were talking about the last few weeks, self examination in the Christian life.

That's what I try to tell younger people, especially teenage male Christians.  Because I know at that age I thirsted for honor.  I wanted to be a hero.  I wanted to be a chivalrous warrior.  But maybe I'm out of date now.  Maybe this isn't the 90s anymore.  Maybe with the things kids see in the media these days, all they thirst for is to be a gangster, for fame, wealth, women, drugs, and parties.

Heavenly Father, please, say that isn't so.  Say that these young people rising up, men and women a like, still long deep down for an honorable life with their creator.  I hope and pray this is still true in the young people of today.

And I'm sad to say that those are reasonable fears today.  People are good at minimizing the impact media has on their children.  They like to pretend it's not going to impact their children.  How couldn't it?  I know, you don't want to believe that we live in a society that has fallen far from God.  But.. it has.  It's plainly obvious.  It's a hard truth to swallow, but there it is.  And that truth isn't going anywhere.  We can arm ourselves against it, or fall victim to it by conveniently ignoring it.

But you know what?  This may be the truth for some, even many.  But it's not the truth for all.  I see a revival in the church.  It's not something talked about either, and never fulfilled.  It's something happening before my eyes.

  Even in my small area, I see young leaders rising who are getting back to the foundation of the truth, which is the Bible.  They're passionate, you can hear it in their voices.  They love God with a passion that burns strong within.  They're not interested in the old traditions that kept them disconnected from God.  They're interesting in breaking through that, because they did personally, with a push from God.  And now they want to share that.  And seeing those leaders emerging, I want to be a part of that as well.  I thought of the ornate golden temple of the Pope always, when I sat at some churches.  At the new churches I see, I think of Moses in the wilderness, and the tent.  Very meager, very modest, but full of not human power, but of God's power.

God showed us again and again that he doesn't need anything but a willing vessel.  When David killed Goliath he did so with nothing but a sling shot.  Samson slew 1,000 philistines with the jaw bone of a donkey.   Gideon drove back the Midianities with 300 men, a few torches, and a lot of noise.  It doesn't take millions when we have God on our side.  It takes a dedicated few being empowered by God. 

 God himself said it better than I ever could:

Isaiah 55:10-11

New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

As I see it, we have a cover up going on in the modern church.  I wonder, what god are they worshiping?  They seem to treat sinners with contempt, and expel them from their churches.  Christ never allowed this.  He lived and ate with the sinners, they approached him for forgiveness and he gave it.  Not only that, but he would then call them to minister to his purpose, his purpose that is being fulfilled to this day: making disciples of all the world.  I do not see that kind of love in the modern church.  I see condemnation, and I ask, do we have a God, who sees a man or woman suffering, and living in sin, and when they call out to him for mercy and for love, that he would instead condemn them, and turn them away?  I do not know that god you speak of.  I know the one true God, named Jehovah, who loves the world with a mighty power and cares for the world, but not only on such a scale, but he cares for his people individually.  And when his people call out from their place of sin, he delivers them from it.  We see this again and again in scripture, old testament and new.  Why is it so hard to understand?

If you're a conspiracy kind of guy, then this is it!  Because it's the biggest you can imagine: 

You've been lied to about who God, Jehovah, the creator of the universe really is. He's been sold as a angry, cruel, condemning, destroyer. But instead, within the pages of the Bible, you will find he is a loving, gentle, peaceful, and caring God. A God personal to you. A God who came to earth personally in human form to sacrifice himself to rebuild a relationship with his people. That's the God I know, and that's the one you ought to introduce yourself to!

 So knowing that God loves you truly and does care for you.  And seeing that on our own power we have nothing, and everything goes wrong.. Why not turn to him?  And why not, once we've turned to him.. why not help him?  Join me in this revival.  Join us.  Join God in this revival.  

Let's talk about how we do that.  Continuing from the last few weeks when we talked about self examination, and now helping others, I'd like to go over some ways we can effectively minister to others, to our family, friends, and to strangers. 

Alright, so we're gonna go over quickly, 10 steps for ministering to others.  And these are just suggestions, not rules.  Thankfully, there's not four books required reading on ministering to others.  There isn't a manual 300 pages long, and ten pamphlets to go over, and a list of fourty eight rules to obey, and three qualifying interviews with lead staff at the church to make you "ready" to do it.  It doesn't take a year and a half to make you ready, studying this, paying dues, making pledges, ecsetera, ecsetera, ecsetera.  That's where so many churches get it wrong.  They put new leaders through so many books, and interviews, and studies, and sheets to fill out that before they're even halfway through they get frustrated and just pass on it.  And such programs and churches ought to look to John 7:24 which states ": Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards." Those are the words of Jesus to a crowd who were saying Jesus had a demon in him!  Jesus was trying to teach them that it's OK to do miracles on the sabbath.  And for us, it's also OK to minister to others without going through a 16 week training program.

Sometimes I think these rigid, condemning churches are still trying to fulfill the law after two thousand years of ALREADY HAVING IT FULFILLED THROUGH JESUS.  

Of all the people God called throughout the Bible, did any one of them, even one, have to fill out four sheets, go through two one hour interviews, and read six books on evangelism?  That's right, none of them did.  Not one.  God qualified them, God brought them up through EXPERIENCE training, and God set them on the path of ministering to others.  

And all the while, the religious leaders of the various times pointed to these prophets we now revere, and said, "You can't be doing that!  You need to read these four copies of this here, and be ordained by us over here, and bow down before the high priest, and go to school for X amount of years before you can do that!"  But God just said, don't listen to them they're hypocrites, farces.

If God doesn't want you ministering, he probably won't let you.  He'll cut you off from chances to do so, unless someone can learn from the poor example.  And if he does, which I have to believe for most of us, he does, then he'll send you out.  And face you time after time, with chances to spread his good news.  The good news of Jesus Christ.   

And maybe I'm a little upset that I was confronted with church after church that had exhaustive qualifying processes for their leadership programs.  But at least I'm upset because those processes are unbiblical, farcical, and drive away true qualified believers en masse. 

And you know what.  In that fallen world, out there, haven't we been forced through enough stacks of paperwork, work sheets, and literally endless piles of paper full of meaningless garbage that doesn't mean anything?  Ok, ok, ok.. I'll try and take a metaphorical chill pill here so we can get through this...

So.. ten suggestions, backed up by scripture, that may help us minister more effectively.  Once again, just suggestions.  There won't be a quiz later, and I won't be personally interviewing you to make sure you're ready.  God makes you ready, and God declares you ready.  Not me, and not anyone else. 

1. Be Prepared 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

It's important to be prepared when ministering to family, friends, or strangers. Go through the Bible and write down quotes that really touch you. Think about why you've become a better person through faith. Tell them what you like before and then after your faith. Using quotes from the Bible is OK, but remember many strangers you'll approach won't know anything about the Bible. Be sure to start with the basics.

2. Be Polite Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

It's always advisable to be polite. Patience is also extremely important. Don't get angry or disgusted with them. Remember that everyone has trials and tribulations. The person you're approaching may have gone through a lot. Listen and learn about them. Talk to them as a friend would. Use proper language, and be nice!

3. Let God speak through you Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

If you've accepted Christ and are active in your faith, don't worry! God will work through you. I always say a little prayer in my head before I approach someone. I ask God to give me the right words and to speak through me. I recommend saying a prayer before approaching anyone. And once you've finished your dialogue with someone, pray again that they will be curious about the Lord. Don't worry, the holy spirit will guide your actions and words.

4. Show your joy and peace Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Tell them about the changes in your life. Tell them how much better you feel now, with God working in your life. I remember when my grandfather ministered to me about the truth he had a big smile on his face. His body gestures and tone showed a new joy and peace in his life. Don't be afraid to show how peaceful and joyful your life is. You could list examples of how your life has been positively impacted by spiritual pursuits. I remember after I spoke with my grandfather my first thought was: I want what he has!

5. Let your life be an example Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I am a firm believer that showing people by example is extremely powerful. I know that if I see someone who I once thought to be doomed or lost reborn and rejoicing in the Lord that's a powerful experience! People will see the good works you're doing and think "wow, I wish I had that." Be sure to dress properly, but I don't recommend dressing too formerly either. Just make sure you're properly groomed.

6. God loves us all Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved-

I've found that in street ministry a lot of the information about crucifixion and creation can be confusing to new comers. A universal truth that makes sense to everyone is that Love is powerful. Let them know that God loves them unconditionally. There is no condition. God loves us whether we follow him or turn away from him. He still loves us either way. So let them know! Something deep within every human being wants to be loved. Share that truth.

7. Don't judge them James 4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Get off your pedestal immediately before ministering. James 4:12 makes it clear that we are not to judge our fellow man. I know that some verses suggest judging those within the church, but that does not include non-believers. The worst thing you can do is be up on a high horse about how much you know, or how much better you are then them. Be open and be sure to listen to their story intently.

8. Freedom from Sin Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If the person you're ministering to is lost in sin and troubles, let them know that there is a way out of that. As I said earlier, do not judge their actions no matter how terrible, for we are all sinners. Let them know that through a spiritual life with Christ their burdens will lessen. You may want to let them know that God often gives non-believers difficult trials so that they may learn to know the love of God. You may want to tell them that being with God frees us from our addictions and immoral behaviors.

9. Eternal life is yours! Proverbs 11:30-31 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner! Once you've gotten the basics of the faith taken care of and ministered to them about love, hope, freedom, and joy;

Let them know that this life is temporary and our rewards await us in the next life. Many non-believers simply think that there is nothing after death. The way I approach them about this is using a technique I called perfect moments. I tell them about times when I just stop, and look all around me and see just how perfectly everything fits together on earth to allow for the existence of life and civil society. I tell them that in those moments I know that there is more to life than meets the eye. This is an example of just being totally real with them. Don't stand from the pulpit preaching doctrine. Get into the little things that changed your life for the better. Use examples from your life that caused you to believe.

10. Offer resources and invite them to services 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

See?  It's not that complicated is it?  In fact it's pretty simple.  And what we don't know, God works on us.  And adds it to us.  His holy spirit pushes the truth through us.  Isn't that cool?

I wanted to share a story with you.  About a girl I know, a friend of mine, whose been having a lot of trouble.  Shes a young, attractive girl in her mid twenties.  And lately after being sexually assaulted by a friend, shes been struggling.  To deal with the pain of that, she turned to drugs and alcohol.  I've been praying for her, many of my friends have been praying for her, and something very powerful happened recently.  She was down in Madison, and she experienced yet more traumatic events.

She was trying to get back from Madison to here in Wausau to stay with family, but her roommates had been persecuting her.  She found herself with no escape, no one able to come get her out of the terrible situation she was in.

I would say chance happened upon an opportunity. But it was something else entirely.  She was taking a cab from the hospital.  The cab driver noticed she was really upset.  He asked her, "are you ok?"  And she burst into tears, and told him everything that had happened and was happening to her.  She couldnt find a ride home, nowhere to stay, troubled and lost.  And he invited her to stay with him.  Having nowhere else to go, she went there.  And the next day he gave her a ride home, 3 hours back to Wausau, free.

And heres the catcher.  On the ride back, he told her that several years ago he was driving a girl home in his cab.  He could tell the girl was upset, but when she asked him for help he couldn't bring himself to help her.  Later he found out she had committed suicide.  And ever since that day he had been filled with guilt over not helping her.

On that day, God brought a cab driver into a young girls life.  A young girl who needed help.  And a cab driver who needed redemption.

And both were filled.

That's the kind of God we have.  A loving and compassionate God.  A God who answers prayers.

I want to thank you for tuning in for our sunday service.  Have a beautiful sunday, and go in peace.

Group address: Liberty Church Online FB Group

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Liberty Church Online Sunday Sermon 6/9/13

Hi, I'm Justin Steckbauer, Pastor of Liberty Church Online or as we've started calling it "LCO" or "LOC."

Liberty Online Church was an idea I originally had when working on the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign. I constantly struggled with the hard truth I had to endure. I had very little peace of mind in those times. I felt upset at the mainstream media blocking us out. I felt lost by the huge issues in front of me, and the limits of my effectiveness in changing things. One year later, while attending ministry college I decided it would be a good idea to have a place online, where many us are constantly, to support us in the mission of changing the world for the better. That is the primary mission of this church.

Online Church Format: We post Sunday sermons, and would like to get a Wednesday Bible Study, Sunday School, and online counseling services going. As more staff joins we'll get those things going. If you'd like to volunteer please let us know. We strongly encourage church members to have a physical church they attend on Sunday, in addition to being a part of Liberty Online Church. There is no substitute for a physical home church, but this may not always be possible.

Please feel free to discuss anything in the church group, but please be courteous, open, and friendly. We're Christians after all!

Christ-based Ministry: Liberty Online Church, or LOC as we call it, is a Christ-based church. We center on the teaching of the Bible. We try to cut through all the doctrine, non-sense, and systems created by humanity. We look directly to the truth in the Bible for our teaching and application.

Short Term Goals: To build a strong Facebook group and website supporting the FB group to strengthen and empower diverse people and political activists in the movement for Liberty. We aim to provide peace of mind and a perspective of eternal life with Christ to those burdened with the tough reality of this world. This is not a church SOLELY for liberty activists or libertarians. We accept all people who come to us, as long as they come humbly, willing to learn more.

Long Term Goals: We'd like to eventually someday have a physical church in the United States, and build on that bringing the message of Christ to as many as possible.
To theres all the nuts and bolts of what we're trying to do here.  If you're part of the church please invite others, and we can get this all up and going as soon as possible.

 I'd like to personally thank you all for joining in our broadcast.

Before we get started let's pray and ask God to join us.

Heavenly Father, all things come from you, your truth is the truth we want.  We have many questions Father, but we offer you our trust.  We fight everyday to make this world a better place, for all people, but we acknowledge, that the primary concern of our lives must be you and bringing others to you.  Thank you Father, and please work on our hearts and minds.  Liberty, freedom, choice, we know is a gift from you.  Please bless us as we fight for that choice, today, and for all days.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Our God is a wonderful God, a mysterious God, a perfect God, and a God personal to each and every one of us.  He walks with us on dark nights, when we feel upset and stare up at the sky wondering who we are.  He's with us when we cry out to the skies because we just feel lost.  He's with us when we open our eyes in the morning.  He's with us on the ride to work.  He's with us when we feel happy.  He's with us when we feel rushed.  He's with us when we make a terrible mistake.  He loves us at our worst.  And at our best.

Every step of the way God was guiding us to today.  To this very moment.

Our Father, is all powerful.  He can do anything he wishes.  And we are his chosen children.

The God is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is with you.  And he loves you honestly, and perfectly.  Please, join in serving him.

Every day up to this day is something we call the past.  And every day ahead of today is something we call the future.  It hasn't happened yet.  Every day is a new beginning.  Today, right now, is your big chance.  It's your big chance to step into who God wants you to be. 

C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

Don't we all have that inner desire?  It's buried deep within us, but it's always there.  It's a desire for something utterly true, utterly pure, and utterly right.  The Bible is where to find it.  Because we find irrefutable truth within the pages.

I'd like to testify before you, about what God has done for me personally.  Because I used to be a guy out to prove myself.  But you know what?  That didn't end up well.  I couldn't prove myself on my own.  This walk with Christ, under God, is really, deep down a full declaration of dependence.  We need God in all of our affairs.  So I'm no longer out to prove myself, I'm out to prove that Jehovah my God is truly almighty and all powerful.

Because Jesus Christ personally saved my life.  He saved me from an empty death.  Kurt Cobain said that when his parents divorced it shattered his world.  And thats something I can understand, an artist is a sensitive creature.  I'm a sensitive creature.  My parents divorced when I was 14, and it threw my life into chaos.  My intense sensitivity made this very hard to deal with.  My way of coping with it was to stuff the pain from it deep within and pretend I was fine, that I was completely ok with it.  I told that to counselor after counselor.  But my grades got worse and worse, I got more and more isolated.

Around age 18 I turned to marijuana and other drugs to try to fill that empty void in my life.  I had a codependent relationship with my mother and a distorted relationship with my father.  With my mother we depended on each other too much.  There was too much manipulation, from both of us.  For my father, it was a terribly difficult balance.  Because if I opened myself up to him, he would take total control and control my entire life.  So I learned that I had to disconnect completely from him, and that was the only safe way to be.  And that has damaged my personal relationships to this day, because I keep people at arms distance, probably because deep down I'm afraid that if I let people in they'll take advantage of it, and I'll lose myself in them. 

The chaos following the divorce of my parents lasted a full ten years of lots of trouble.  I'm not gonna go into everything that happened, but let me tell you, it was tough.  Really quite, torturous actually.  I was reading through some of my journals from back then a few days ago, and it just came through how painful it was at the time. 

But let me tell you, when I was at my lowest, at rock bottom, I had nowhere else to look and nothing else to try.  It had all been tried.  So I reached up my hand, and called out to God, and he answered.  

Then I gave my life to Christ.  And I think back to who I used to be.. and I don't know that person anymore.  But I see who I am now.  And where that came from, and that came from Jesus Christ.  That came from God almighty, my shield and my deliverer.  And I know it came from God, because at that point I didn't have some sudden surge of self will that pulled me out.  I didn't drag myself up by my boot straps, I didn't suck it up.. Nope.  None of that.  I was ready to die.  God lifted me up, with his hands, and his power, and set me on a course of truth, reconciliation and new life.  All I had to do was follow some directions, and do the things I knew I was supposed to be doing.  Get to groups, go to church, bible study, examine myself, work on myself, make amends, and constantly pray for guidance.

God can do the same thing for you.  And maybe he already has!  If so, great.  If you're still struggling in self, let me encourage you to reach out to your creator and ask for his help.  He is kind and loving, and is not willing that you should be lost.  

There are two primary forces out there that want your soul.  And we start out at a powerful disadvantage, especially if we're raised without the Bible, or raised in a church that fails to deliver the truth of the Bible.  As a human being, my internal reaction is to go for whats easiest, what's fastest, and what provides immediate gratification.  You won't find that in Christianity.  This is hard work that yields fruit of substance.  The easy way, the fast gratification, it yields fruit that makes us sick, and crumbles to dust in our mouths.  We find emptiness has become our lot in life.  

And that force of evil has your soul.  And it can very effectively keep you derranged, depressed, defeated, and empty.  

But theres another force, far more powerful than that evil.  The force of God, the force of good, is alive in us, and beyond all that depravity, and greed and selfishness, theres a desire to do good and be good, and be with good.  Both forces want your soul.

And it's your choice, your free will, to choose either.  And we are so dependent on God that we need his help and guidance just to approach him.  

We can't claim ignorance of the truth anymore.  So let's get right down to it:  Which is it going to be?  Your choice.  

Give it some thought, and if you're already with Christ, then congratulations to you and to God :)

We can trust God, when we give our lives to him.  We can trust him to guide in all the right directions.  Theres plenty of scripture that backs this up:

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Galatians 6:9-10 - And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Philippians 1:6 - And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13 -  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

This is a great one from Psalms:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

It's really that simple.  Once we place our trust in God, we are provided with all we need.  And God has a plan for our lives.  He has a plan for the planet.  God is always in control.  Nothing ever happened, is happening or will happen that he won't know about.  

Some of my old friends would shy away from me, after I gave my life to Christ.  Like somehow they might catch that "God" bug.  Or that by being near me, their sins might be exposed.  Well, I've got a news flash.  They're ALREADY exposed.  Theres no hiding from Jehovah.  He's everywhere.  Best work on your sins, get rid of them.  Join us in this epic adventure.

Because it is an epic adventure.  It will take you places you could've never imagined.  God is loving, and God is good.

So there is God, and his name is Jehovah, and he is on the throne.  We don't have to worry about daily problems because as long as we walk with integrity, he protects us.  He keeps a hedge around us, so nothing can harm us.

People always ask me, "How could God allow this" "Or how could God allow that"  Well, it's ultimately up to us if we want God's help or protection or not.  We can choose to operate outside of God's influence, and then yes, terrible things do happen.  But when we choose to accept God's son Jesus Christ, we come under the direct care of God.  We do all have to die one day, and God is in charge of that, the everyday things, the random stuff, he protects us.  He cares for us, and he directly reassures our minds. 

Everything we do for God, will always be remembered.  And whatever else we do, it will be forgotten.  There is only one King, one master, and it's the only thing that matters, hands down.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

Thank you for joining us today for the inaugural sermon of Liberty Church Online.  Please come around and join us on the group.  And tune in for next week's sermon.  God bless you all, and God bless the revolution.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Father's Love letter

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Saturday, June 1, 2013

ULC Sunday Video Sermon: Passion for Christ and Ministering to Others

Good evening and welcome.
My name is Justin, I Pastor ULC Online Church.  I'm pleased to be coming
 to you from the Christine Center Spiritual Retreat in beautiful Willard, 
I just arrived today, but I'm looking forward to a few days of peace and 
relaxation.  I hope everyone here today is enjoying some peace with 
God on this retreat.  It's a wonderful place isn't it?  I've been here in 
the past and I've always noticed the attuned presence of God on these 
grounds.  We asked the staff here if it would be OK if we record our 
sermon at the chaple this week, and they've generously agreed.  So
 I'd like to thank them for that.  
For our online congregation, I know this is a little different than what 
we usually do.  Our staff at ULC has been looking at new ways to make 
the online experience more engaging, and given that the Christine center's
 chaple is so beautiful, I thought we could engage here today.
Universal Life Church Online is a Christ-based ministry reaching out to 
those of all walks of life, including those turned away and condemned 
by other congregations. We're a church for sinners seeking redemption.  
We're a church to help those in need.

If you'd like to find our group on Facebook do a search for 
Universal Life Church 62648.  That number is our identifier 
within the ULC community.  And that goes into where we 
operate, which is on the internet.  We run things from our 
facebook group where we post sunday sermons, wednesday 
bible studies, and sunday teaching lessons in audio format or text.  
We also offer encouragement to church members through the group.  
So if you'd like to be a part of that, please find us on facebook and join up.

And Thank you for being here for our Sunday sermon.  

So before we start, let's go to God in prayer this morning 
and ask him to join us here:

Jehovah God, my Father, our Father, We ask you to join us today as 
we get into your word.  We feel your nudges Lord, that push us toward 
you.  We acknowledge your presence in our daily lives.  Your sons 
life is a testament to perfection.  Help us to become holy, each day, as 
we approach the next life.  In Jesus name, Amen. 
We feel your presence Father, in all things.  We feel you here today.  
We know you are true and your word is a true representation of your 
love for us.  
God is right in all things.  And he's working in all things.  
He's so full of love.  He's so full of truth.  And he likes you.  
He feels something special for you, because you're his special possession.  
You're part of his chosen people, if you've chosen to serve 
Christ in your life.   
We're his creation.  We didn't think the universe into being, 
God made it with his voice and his hands.  
 We know this walk isn't about material gain, don't we?  
 Great wealth is certainly possible for some Christians.  
We know God rewarded Solomon with great wealth and 
prosperity because of his request for wisdom in prayer.  
But that's not going to be everyones walk with Christ.  
And we don't need wealth of the material anyway, do we?  
Because we have wealth in here.  Wealth more than all the  
money on the planet.  Right here, inside.  

That wealth is peace with God through Jesus Christ.  
That wealth is serenity in the storms of life.  That wealth 
is constant contact with Jehovah our God.  That wealth is 
the promise of eternal life.  Today I'd like to talk about 
passion for this walk with Christ.  2 Samuel 6:14 says
And David danced before the LORD with all his might, 
wearing a priestly garment.

A lot of the time I've heard church leaders claiming that this was a 
horrible mistake, and oh, David shouldn't have been dancing like 
that before the Lord.  In fact David's wife Michal came to him after
 she saw him doing this and said to him:
How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around 
half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar
 fellow would!”

21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me 
rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed 
me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the 
 Lord22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will 
be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of,
 I will be held in honor.”

I really like how David responded here.  And hasn't that happened 
 with a lot of us?  We go too far in others eyes, and just let free our 
worship of God.  Like the people at church who lift their hands to 
God as they sing.  I'm sure a lot of the congregation are thinking, 
wow, look at how self righteous they are.   And I've heard that a lot.  
Like "who are they to do that"  "who are they to break the unspoken 
rules of how you should act"  I can't stand those taboos personally. 
 I really can't.  I get nervous sometimes when my family and I pray 
at a public restaurant like oh what are the other people around here 
going to think?  Well.. you know, who really cares what they think?  
I care about what God thinks.  I care about how he feels about my 
David's response is great.  It was before JEHOVAH that I danced,
 not your dad or your family or anyone else.  And then he says I 
WILL celebrate before the Lord.  And I'm not even done with just 
dancing, I'll do even more publicly embarassing things to show my 
God I'm NOT ashamed by him.  And he said in his own eyes he'll
 feel weird about it, but the people of Israel will know that I'm honorable.
Michal may have been jealous.  And that's fine, that's fine.  
But understand David, your husband's heart.  He's a man with passion 
for God.  Don't step in his way when he lets loose in a difficult way to 
show his love. 
How do we show our love for God?  Many of us pray and give thanks.  
And that's great.  Keep going with that!  But there are other ways we can 
show our passion for God.  Singing is one we do a lot, at church.  Dancing?
  Hey, why not right?  
This walk with Christ is exciting and relevant today.  
That's what a lot of modern christians have forgotten.  
Depravity isn't required to have a great time or a "cool" time.  
There's great honor in this walk with Christ.  Theres great dignity.  
There's great joy.  Solomon went before God in prayer as he took up the rule of Israel 
after King David's death.  And he asked God for discernment in ruling Israel.  
We know from scripture that God was happy with Solomon's request.  
God granted him this request for discernment, but he gave him even more than that.   

1 Kings 3:13 says
New International Version (©2011)
Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--
both wealth and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have 
no equal among kings."

 God granted Solomon wealth and honor because of his request
 for discernment, wisdom.  When we ask god to search us and 
make us right within, he in turn grants us honor.  And that goes 
again back to what we were talking about the last few weeks, 
self examination in the Christian life.
That's what I try to tell younger people, especially teenage male 
Christians.  Because I know at that age I thirsted for honor.  
I wanted to be a hero.  I wanted to be a chivalrous warrior.  
But maybe I'm out of date now.  Maybe this isn't the 90s anymore.  
Maybe with the things kids see in the media these days,
 all they thirst for is to be a gangster, for fame, wealth,
women, drugs, and parties.

Heavenly Father, please, say that isn't so.  
Say that these young people rising up, men and 
women a like, still long deep down for an honorable
 life with their creator.  I hope and pray this is still true
 in the young people of today.

And I'm sad to say that those are reasonable fears today. 
 People are good at minimizing the impact media has on
 their children.  They like to pretend it's not going to impact
 their children.  How couldn't it?  I know, you don't want to
 believe that we live in a society that has fallen far from God.  
But.. it has.  It's plainly obvious.  It's a hard truth to swallow, 
but there it is.  And that truth isn't going anywhere.  We can 
arm ourselves against it, or fall victim to it by conveniently ignoring it.

But you know what?  This may be the truth for some, even many.  
But it's not the truth for all.  I see a revival in the church.  It's not
 something just talked about either, and never fulfilled.  It's something
 happening before my eyes.

  Even in my small area, I see young leaders rising who are getting
 back to the foundation of the truth, which is the Bible.  They're 
passionate, you can hear it in their voices.  They love God with a 
passion that burns strong within.  They're not interested in the 
old traditions that kept them disconnected from God.  They're 
interesting in breaking through that, because they did personally, 
with a push from God.  And now they want to share that.  And
 seeing those leaders emerging, I want to be a part of that as well.
  I thought of the ornate golden temple of the Pope always, when
 I sat at some churches.  At the new churches I see, I think of 
Moses in the wilderness, and the tent.  Very meager, very modest, 
but full of not human power, but of God's power.

God showed us again and again that he 
doesnt need anything but a willing vessel.  
When David killed Goliath he did so with nothing but a sling shot. 
 Samson slew 1,000 philistines with the jaw bone of a donkey.   
Gideon drove back the Midianities with 300 men, a few torches, 
and a lot of noise.  It doesn't take millions when we have God on 
our side.  It takes a dedicated few being empowered by God. 

 God himself said it better than I ever could:
Isaiah 55:10-11
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

As I see it, we have a cover up going on in the modern church. 
 I wonder, what god are they worshipping?  They seem to 
treat sinners with contempt, and expel them from their churches.  
Christ never allowed this.  He lived and ate with the sinners, they
 approached him for forgiveness and he gave it.  Not only that, 
but he would then call them to minister to his purpose, his purpose
 that is being fulfilled to this day: making disciples of all the world.  
I do not see that kind of love in the modern church.  I see condemnation,
 and I ask, do we have a God, who sees a man or woman suffering, and
 living in sin, and when they call out to him for mercy and for love, that
 he would instead condemn them, and turn them away?  I do not know 
that god you speak of.  I know the one true God, named Jehovah, who
 loves the world with a mighty power and cares for the world, but not
 only on such a scale, but he cares for his people individually.  And 
when his people call out from their place of sin, he delivers them from it.  
We see this again and again in scripture, old testament and new.  Why is
 it so hard to understand?
If you're a conspiracy kind of guy, then this is it!  Because it's the biggest 
you can imagine: 

You've been lied to about who God, Jehovah, the creator 
of the universe really is. He's been sold as a angry, cruel, 
condemning, destroyer. But instead, within the pages of the
 Bible, you will find he is a loving, gentle, peaceful, and caring God. 
A God personal to you. A God who came to earth personally in human
 form to sacrifice himself to rebuild a relationship with his people. 
That's the God I know, and that's the one you ought to introduce yourself to!

 So knowing that God loves you truly and does care for you.  
And seeing that on our own power we have nothing, and 
everything goes wrong.. Why not turn to him?  And why not, once 
we've turned to him.. why not help him?  Join him in this revival.  
Join us.  Join God in this revival.  

So how do we join in?  
Well I think it's important that we make sure God is included in our
 daily walk, as we've been discussing, and also that we're openly
 discussing our faith with family and friends.
And thats something you can do today.  That's right, today.  
Thankfully, there's not four books required reading on ministering to
 others.  There isn't a manual 300 pages long, and ten pamphlets to go
over, and a list of fourty eight rules to obey, and three qualifying interviews 
with lead staff at the church to make you "ready" to do it.  It doesn't take a 
year and a half to make you ready, studying this, paying dues, 
making pledges, and so on..  That's where so many churches 
get it wrong.  They put new leaders through so many books, 
and interviews, and studies, and sheets to fill out that before
 they're even halfway through they get frustrated and just pass on it.
 And such programs and churches ought to look to John 7:24 which states
 ": Stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards."
 Those are the words of Jesus to a crowd who were saying Jesus
 had a demon in him!  Jesus was trying to teach them that it's OK 
to do miracles on the sabbath.  And for us, it's also OK to minister 
to others without going through a 16 week training program.
Sometimes I think these rigid, condemning churches are still trying
 to fulfill the law after two thousand years of 
Of all the people God called throughout the Bible, did any one of them, 
even one, have to fill out four sheets, go through two one 
hour interviews, and read six books on evangelism?  That's right, 
none of them did.  Not one.  God qualified them, 
God brought them up through EXPERIENCE training,
 and God set them on the path of ministering to others.  

And all the while, the religious leaders of the various times
 pointed to these prophets we now revere, and said, "You can't
 be doing that!  You need to read these four copies of this here,
 and be ordained by us over here, and bow down before the high 
priest, and go to school for X amount of years before you can do
 that!"  But God just said, don't listen to them they're hipocrates, farces. 
If God doesn't want you ministering, he probably won't let you. 
  He'll cut you off from chances to do so, unless someone can
 learn from the poor example.  And if he does want you ministering
which I have to believe for most of us, he does, then he'll send you out.  
And face you time after time, with chances to spread his good news.  
The good news of Jesus Christ.  It's not bad news.  Its GOOD news.  
The good news that Jesus the Christ died on the cross to restore the connection 
between almighty God and his people. 
So share that.  Share it humbly, share it with scripture to back it up.
  Share it with strangers.  Share it with family.  
Share it with cherished friends.  Share it non-judgementally.  
Share it freely.  Share it kindly.  Study the Bible if you're nervous.  
And if you'd like training, by all means step into that.  
We share the message, plant the seed, and then God waters it.  
God works through us in these situations.  So we don't have to worry.  
And what we don't know, God works on us.  And adds it to us. 
 His holy spirit pushes the truth through us.  Isn't that cool?
We have a loving God.  Out there working in billions of 
lives at this very moment.  Sometimes we hear about 
those stories, sometimes we don't.  But I'd like to share one 
of those stories with you before we close.  It's about a girl I know,
 a friend of mine, whose been having a lot of trouble.  
Shes a young, attractive girl in her mid twenties.  And lately after being
 sexually assaulted by a friend, shes been struggling. 
 To deal with the pain of that, she turned to drugs and alcohol.  
I've been praying for her, many of my friends have been praying 
for her, and something very powerful happened recently. 
 She was down in Madison, and she experienced yet more
 traumatic events.  

She was trying to get back from Madison to here in 
Wausau to stay with family, but her roommates had 
been persecuting her.  She found herself with no escape,
 no one able to come get her out of the terrible situation she was in.  

I would say chance happened upon an opportunity. 
But it was something else entirely.  She was taking a
 cab from the hospital.  The cab driver noticed she 
was really upset.  He asked her, "are you ok?"  And 
she burst into tears, and told him everything that had 
happened and was happening to her.  She couldnt 
find a ride home, nowhere to stay, troubled and lost.
  And he invited her to stay with him.  
Having nowhere else to go, she went there.  And the next day he gave 
her a ride home, 3 hours back to Wausau, free.  

And heres the catcher.  On the ride back, he told her that
 several years ago he was driving a girl home in his cab. 
 He could tell the girl was upset, but when she asked him 
for help he couldn't bring himself to help her.  Later he 
found out she had committed suicide.  And ever since that 
day he had been filled with guilt over not helping her.

On that day, God brought a cab driver into a young girls life. 
 A young girl who needed help.  And a cab driver who needed redemption.  

And both were filled.

That's the kind of God we have.  
A loving and compassionate God.  A God who answers prayers.

I want to thank you for tuning in for our service today.  

Have a great day, go in peace.