The Art of Preaching with David Akers

Part One - The Call

Today’s Art of Preaching episode is the first segment of an interview with Pastor David Akers.  He shares the circumstances surrounding his calling into the ministry of preaching!

If this video has been a blessing to you, then please don’t forget to “Like” and “Share” on your social media platforms!

Philippians on Friday: To be Found in Him!

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

PhilippiansWhat an incredible verse! I want to be found in Him – in His righteousness, not mine! Paul is talking to the Philippians about our standing with God. And that standing comes from what Christ has done not what we have done!

Certainly we are following after holiness. We are to striving to be like Christ – to walk right and do right. We are His representatives to a lost world and we are living our lives as a reflection of Him. But our standing in God does not come from our righteousness it comes from His righteousness.

Paul’s Pedigree

Paul reminded the Philippians that he did all the right things.  He followed the law to a tee. But then on the road to Damascus, Paul had an experience with Jesus. Paul had an eye-opening revelation – none of his own righteousness put him in right standing with God.   Only by trusting in Christ’s righteousness could he be justified. So Paul re-evaluated and re-counted his life. He relabeled all the things he had trusted in to make him righteous. Labels were changed from “gain” to “loss.” All the confidence Paul had put in his own righteousness, were relabeled, “dung.” He counted it all loss and put his trust in what Christ had done.

Oh, to be found in Him:

….not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

When I am found in Him, I enjoy the righteousness of God. Do you want to be found in your own righteousness or the Righteousness of God?  When you are trying to be justified through what you are doing – that’s the righteousness of the Law. And Paul said:

…. for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

Or do you want the righteousness of God? The righteousness of God comes by faith and trust in Christ – in what He has done.

I’ll Never Measure Up!

I’ll never be good enough in of myself. It’s impossible for me to pray hard enough, fast long enough, or sacrifice deep enough to be justified in God’s eyes.  I could never think pure enough or live holy enough to be in good standing before Him.

So I’m going to trust by faith in the righteousness of Christ. Jesus paid the price. I am going to trust in what PhilippiansHe has done and have confidence in His works of righteousness and not my own.

I’m going to trust that when I was born again – baptized in Jesus’ Name and filled with the Holy Ghost – that I put on Christ. I am righteous because of Him not me!

Yes I am striving for holiness! I’m doing by best to live Godly in this present world. I’m pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. But that isn’t where my good standing with God comes from.

If we don’t understand this truth, we will always struggle. We must have faith and confidence that we are ok with God! Our standing with God is based on what Christ has done. Are we in Him?

Condemnation

We’ve been conditioned our whole lives to think our standing with God is based on our performance. So if I’m doing well spiritually then God will love me and accept me. But if I’m not – If I make a mistake, have a bad thought or slip in my prayer life – then God will no longer smile upon me! I’ll no longer be in good standing with God!

People will live in condemnation if they don’t understand Paul’s teaching to the Philippians. We are human. We are flesh.  We’re going to mess up, have bad days and do dumb things. But our justification is in Christ. We are trusting in His work.  We are counting on His righteousness.

Does that mean we shouldn’t follow after holiness? Of course not! We are trying our best to please God and die to sin. But our standing with GOD is not determined by what we do, it’s determined by our faith in what He did!

A Key to Joy

Rejoice! Philippians is a book about joy. Do you know what brings joy to our walk with God? It’s the realization that it’s not our righteousness, but His righteousness that puts us in good standing with God! That is a key to joy.

If you put your confidence in your own works, you will always come up short. And you will always struggle with joy. Why? Because you can’t live righteous enough in your own self to be justified. If you could, there would not have been a need for Calvary or it’s Christ!

People who are trusting in their own righteousness lack joy. They lack joy because they keep failing. They’re always trying to measure up. They’re always trying to measure others up. But there is only One who measures up – Christ! And we can rejoice when we are found in Him!

If you are in Him, then guess what God sees when He looks at you? He sees the perfect, spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness. Oh to be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…”

Let God give you Joy. You’re O.K! You’ve been baptized into Christ thereby putting on Christ. You’ve been made holy by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! So you are in Him – in His righteousness. That is what puts you in good standing with God!

~ Matthew Ball

The Art of Preaching with Joe Osborne: #BOTT17 – Part 3

Part 3

On this final segment of my interview about Because of the Times 2017, Rev. J.H. Osborne shares some insight about the preaching of Pastors Mangun, Williams and TF Tenney.

If the Art of Preaching has been a help to you, then please LIKE and SHARE this video on your social media platforms.  Thanks for tuning in today!

~Matthew Ball

Between the Times

Judges 13:24–25 (KJV) – 24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times…

He was a miracle child.  His mother was barren until an angel of the LORD came with a message from God:

A miracle is going to happen. You will bear a son.

The angel continued:

Your son will not be an ordinary child nor live an ordinary life. You and your husband are to raise him differently than other children. He is to be a Nazarite all the days of his life.

Samson had a rendezvous with destiny. Before he was even born, God ordained that this man, Samson, should be a mighty deliverer for Israel.  The touch of heaven upon Samson didn’t end at his birth:

Judges 13:24 – 24 …..and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

The Lord blessed him as he grew. At some point the Spirit of God moved upon him. It moved upon him in a samsonway that inspires legends and fairytales.

He was walking through a vineyard in the Philistine city of Timnath when a young lion roared against Him. The Spirit of the Lord moved upon him and he grabbed the lion and killed it with his bare hands!

When an army of the Philistines came against him, Samson picked up the jawbone of an ass and with it slew 1000 enemy soldiers.

On another occasion he was sleeping in city of Gaza. The enemy locked the gates of the city hoping to catch him at daybreak. At midnight Samson went to the main city gates and picked them up – posts, hinges, bars and all! He carried the gates up to the top of the hill on his shoulders.

He did those things when the Spirit of God moved upon him.

Meant for More?

You would think by observing his exploits and recalling his miraculous birth that Sampson is a hero for the ages. Be he is not. When you think of Sampson, you think of him succumbing to the temptation of a harlot. You think of him divulging his divine secret to a heathen woman who used it against him. We see him at the end of his life – a captive to the very enemy that God said he was destined to defeat. We see him with his eyes gouged out by the enemy, bound in chains and grinding at mill of the Philistines.

Certainly he found some measure of redemption. In his last act, he destroyed more Philistines in his own death than he did throughout his entire life. He is a testimony that God can bring beauty out of ashes. But you have to conclude: This is not what God intended.

Surely Samson was meant for more. Surely he was destined for more than to fall into the trap of Delilah and die a martyr’s death while the philistines mocked him. Having read the circumstances of his birth and his great exploits in life, you would have hoped for a better ending. What went awry?

Between the Times

The Bible says the Spirit moved on him at times. If the Spirit moved upon him mightily at times, then there were obviously times when the Spirit wasn’t moving on him. And a survey of his life will reveal that Samson’s downfall came from how he handled life when the Spirit was not moving upon Him.  He ran into trouble – not during the times the Spirit moved on him – but between the times!

He didn’t fail God because he couldn’t function properly when the Spirit moved upon Him. When the Spirit was moving on him, he did mighty exploits.  He failed God because he couldn’t live between the times.

When the Spirit wasn’t moving on him is when you find him going to Gaza to spend the night with a prostitute. That’s when you find him disregarding the commands of God. That’s when you find him going down to the valley of Sorek and falling for Delilah. It’s during the time the Spirit wasn’t moving on him that you see him violate his covenant with God.

Samson did fine during the times the Spirit moved upon him. But he lacked the discipline to walk with God during the times he didn’t feel the anointing of God’s Spirit.

Still True Today

Where do most people get off track today? It’s not when the Spirit is mightily moving upon them. It’s between the times that most stumble.

Nobody backslides when the Holy Ghost is moving upon them. When the Spirit is moving upon us we feel invincible. We are determined to do great exploits for God. It’s during the times we don’t feel Him that we waver.

As Spirit-filled believers we certainly have the promise the He will never leave us or forsake us! That doesn’t, however, exempt us from times when we don’t feel Him.

So what are you going to do between the times? That’s when many people have fallen by the wayside. That’s when many have made poor choices or become disillusioned.

I’ve known people who thrived as long as they lived in one continuous Spiritual highlight. As long as the Spirit was moving on them they were fine. But they never learned the discipline of walking with God between the spiritual highlights.

Walk by Faith

The Christian journey is filled with great spiritual exploits and mountaintop experiences. There’s nothing more exhilarating than feeling the anointing of God or sensing the Hand of God upon you. But the entirety of your Christian walk is not a mountaintop experience.

samsonWe must learn to walk by faith and not by sight. We must learn to walk by faith and not by feeling. There will be some times when you don’t feel God or sense His anointing. There will be times when you don’t feel the strength to tear off the gates of the enemy city. Rest assured, there will be times when we won’t understand what God is up to or hear His voice. There will be times when life doesn’t make sense – times when the answers to our prayers haven’t come yet.

What are you going to do? Anyone can serve God when a rushing wind of the Holy Ghost and cloven tongues of fire are sweeping over you. But what are you going to do between the times?

The Desert Test

Every great leader in the God’s story had to pass the desert test. Moses had his desert experiences. So did Joseph, David and Elijah. Even Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness! Paul spent two years in the desert of Arabia before his ministry began in earnest.

God will test you. Before He promotes you, you must demonstrate that you can be faithful and consistent in your walk with him, regardless of what you feel. Anyone can “mount up with wings like an eagle” in those times when upward currents of the Holy Ghost are lifting you to lofty spiritual peaks. But can you walk and not faint between the times. There’s usually a valley between mountain peaks!

Inconsistency Trumps Destiny

Samson’s birth, with it’s miraculous notes, clearly testifies of his great destiny. The angel’s own words remove any doubt. God’s plan for the child was that he grow up to be a mighty deliverer for the Nation.  But Samson’s inconsistency trumped his potential. Samson’s destiny was overcome his unfaithfulness.

Sadly, I’ve watched far too many with great potential unable to seize their destiny because they couldn’t be consistent. I’ve noticed far too many with an obvious anointing never realize their possibilities.  And it all boiled down to an inability to walk faithfully “between the times.” Their greatness was stolen by their inability to be steady.

I’m grateful for momentous spiritual experiences. They are needful. But perhaps more important than having great spiritual experiences is the ability to walk consistently with God through all types of spiritual terrain. Let’s be faithful “between the times!”

~Matthew Ball