Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                        Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Mar 16 2011                                 "Alive by the Word!"
Wed Pm Worship                                       

Text: Acts 15: 36- 16:5   (King James Version)

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                            The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"

James 1:17   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:18   Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James 1:19   Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

James 1:20   For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

James 1:21   Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:22   But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 1:23   For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

James 1:24   For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 

James 1:25   But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

James 1:26   If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

James 1:27   Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.


Let's pray.
Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

A man walks into church late. He says to one of the ushers, "Is the sermon done yet?" The usher answered wisely. He said, "The sermon has been preached, but it has yet to be done."
That was a good answer! The word of God is not just meant to be preached. It's meant to be practiced. It's not just meant to be delivered, it's meant to be done!

 

I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT I PREACH YOU, MY DEAR FRIEND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU HEAR AND RESPONSIBLE TO INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR LIFE.

 

Over the Years I have had the privilege to preach thousands upon thousands of messages but God is saying what good is just another message? People are not acting on what they have already heard week-in and week-out. 

 

We stand here today, and statistics tell us that divorce rates are just as high amongst Born-again Christians as they are among the rest of the population. Other studies show that our moral standards are not much higher than the rest of the world.

James, addresses a very practical issue in the Christian's life, lets first notice..

I. The Demand of God's Word on Our Lives (verse 22)
A. "But be doers" means to "show yourselves to be"
1. This phrase is in the present tense, which means a kind of action.
2. James says we are to continuously keep on showing ourselves to be doers of the Word.
3. We can read a lot of different books, but they do not demand anything of us.
a. Reading a cookbook does not demand you bake a cake or a three course meal.
b. But to the child of God that reads His Word with a teachable, trainable heart, there is a calling by the Holy Spirit of God to respond to His truth.
B. God's Word of truth is not something to be stored away in the back of our minds. But it calls us to a life to be lived.
1. In John 3:21 Jesus said; "But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
2. 1 John 1:6 says; "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."
3. I heard a poem once that said:
It's easier to preach than to practice;
It's easier to say than to do.
Most sermons are heard by the many,
But taken to heart by the few.


In many ways we have become hearers of the word and not doers. We are like the man who knows all the teams, all the players, all the plays and strategies, but hasn't picked up a football in decades.

 

*Someone once said God's Word will keep us from sin or sin will keep us from God's Word

 

Hebrews 4:12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:13   Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

 

Ephesians 2:1   And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:

Ephesians 2:2   Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 2:3   Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Ephesians 2:4   But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5   Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Ephesians 2:6   And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Ephesians 6:11   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:12   For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:13   Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:14   Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Ephesians 6:15   And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Ephesians 6:16   Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Ephesians 6:17   And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

We are in danger of becoming faith spectators rather than faith filled people.

 

James 2:14   What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

James 2:15   If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

James 2:16   And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

James 2:17   Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:18   Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

James 2:19   Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:20   But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:21   Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:22   Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

James 2:23   And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

 

Christianity was never meant to be theoretical, or a spectator sport, Jesus is constantly reminding us that it is not just right belief that saves us but right action.

Saying the sinners prayer does nothing if it doesn't change your life.

The house Luke 6:46-49 (NLT)
Luke 6:46   And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luke 6:47   Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:

Luke 6:48   He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Luke 6:49   But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

 

Faith is indeed a fact However Real faith requires an Act. That act will always be an Act of Obedience unto the Giver if that Faith.

Naaman in the muddy Jordan.

Daniel in the Lions den.

The Three Hebrew boys facing off the furnace.

Noah Building the Ark.

Rahab hiding the spies to the saving of her house.

Abraham to the offering of his only son.

I could go on and on

Joshua unto the walls of Jericho.

 

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

God has Given every man a measure of Faith.

Romans 12:3   For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


Jesus confirmed it when he said in

Mark 11:22   And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Mark 11:23   For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Mark 11:24   Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

 

How do we grow our faith?

Romans 10:17   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

What is God's Heart Beat? The Harvest! The great commission!
Matthew 28:18-20
18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

John 15:1   I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:2   Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:3   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

John 15:4   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:5   I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:6   If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

John 15:7   If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:8   Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

 

Matthew 7:16   Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:17   Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Matthew 7:18   A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Matthew 7:19   Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:20   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7:21   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22   Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not  prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy ame done many wonderful works?

Matthew 7:23   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Often times the picture of poverty that comes to our minds is the single homeless male on the street. The reality is that the true picture of poverty is the woman who has to choose between paying the rent or feeding the kids she was forced to raise alone.