July 22nd

What to Be Watching For

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

I'm about to tell you something that, if you know me at all, will be very shocking. Ready?

I want you to be part of the in crowd.

Now, I know that I talk a lot about how materialism is the worst, most seductive evil that we face these days. I preach that we've got to be sold out for Jesus enough that we don't worry anymore about what the world wants us to do, that we need to make sure we're accepted by Jesus rather than by the world.

So why am I saying that I want you in the in crowd? It's because I don't want you left behind. Look at our verses today. I love this word in that is mentioned here, and my question is, are you?

The days in which we live are like the days of Noah. What I mean is, Jesus is coming soon, and the days after that get ugly real fast. And when it gets to that day, you're either in or you're out. You can't be playing the fence on this one. The Lord wants you in-in the family, in the fold, in relationship, not just close. Those who were close to the ark did not benefit from the ark. Not just with, but in-committed for life.

I mean you are in Christ and Christ is in you. Your faith is in Christ. Your love is in Christ. Your patient of hope is anchored in Christ, committed in for life. I mean, locked down and locked up. You're in. No way out.

Are you completely in Christ, committed to Christ for life? If not, right now you need to pray to the Lord about this, the most important decision of your life.

Get off the fence. Stop being a spectator. You need in. You need to be part of this in crowd.

Come join the family. Jesus is coming soon.

Prayer Lord Jesus,

Thank You for giving me the chance to come to You before You return! Whatever it takes, I turn to You today so that I will always be found in You alone. Come save me today!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 21st

Slave 2 Saved

Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, It is done!...He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.' Revelation 21:5-8

God's into new. He's huge into new.

You've got to know this. This is his heart, to make all things new. And this is exactly what 2 Corinthians tells us happens when someone becomes a Christian, they become a brand-new creature. They become new. The old things have passed away, behold all things have become-what?-new.

God's into new-new Heaven, new Earth. The old things have passed away. Behold all things become new. I make all things new.

Just look at our verses today. Everything that God has promised will be done! Everything He is, done! This is His heart-to make all things new in our lives and to give us 100 percent of everything He is and has promised! This is a hope for those who believe in Him that can help us overcome anything that life or the enemy throws at us.

But watch out; not everyone is included in this promise. The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars find their end in the lake of fire. They don't make it in. They're dead-doubly dead-spiritually dead and physically dead, dead-dead. They don't become new.

Let me be clear-this is all of us apart from the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus. Or can you tell me that you've always believed God and always put Him first in your life? We're all headed for this double death unless we put our faith in Christ to save us. And when we do believe in Jesus, asking Him to save us from this terrible death, following His leadership, He makes us a promise-to make us new.

And this newness not only exists individually, just for us, but person to person to person to person to person. God is not just going to make us new, but He will make everything-everything!-new, even Heaven and Earth.

God is into new. If you want to become new, He's ready to give it to you today.

Prayer Father God,

Thank You that You make all things new, even me, because I really need to be made new today! I give myself to You and ask You to save me. Make me Your child, and make me new!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 20th

Hope and Healing Are on the Horizon

Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, Son of man, have you seen this?...This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. Ezekiel 47:5-6,8

It was just another of the many incredible experiences in the life of Ezekiel-an angel was talking to him, taking him on a tour of the future temple in the New Jerusalem.

The angel takes Ezekiel to the doors of the temple to show him some water flowing out from under the threshold. Together, they follow this water away from the temple and the farther they go, the deeper it gets.

At first it's just ankle deep. Then it became knee deep. Then it became waist deep. Finally, the river became a river indeed, one that couldn't be crossed. This river is a picture of our relationship with God, so let me ask you-are you ankle deep, or are you in over your head?

Are you in over your head? Are you being swept away in your love for God? Is it a river that cannot be crossed? Is it a force to be reckoned with? Has it grown to that point? Or are you still playing in the shallows?

God is calling all of us deeper where something wonderful awaits us. Climbing out of the river, Ezekiel shares with us something that the angel told him about it, that it flows to the east and enters a sea whose waters it will heal.

Do you know what sea lies east of Israel? The Dead Sea. And do you know why it's called the Dead Sea? Because nothing can live in it! A lot of us are still living dead lives even though we say we belong to Christ. We're still living with pornography. We're still divorcing our spouses as much or more than the world. We're not letting the river of Christ sweep us away and fill us with the life that God has for us. We're not taking that river of life out to the dying world that needs it so desperately.

The journey to life starts with a decision to follow Christ deeper. Don't settle for ankle deep. Get swept away!

Prayer Lord Jesus,

I repent for settling for an ankle-deep relationship with You; please forgive me! I want everything You have for me. Please lead me into the deeper water until I am swept away for You!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 19th

Wrong Way Worship

Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.' 1 Corinthians 10:6-7

I'll tell you something that's really tricky. It is tricky-I mean hard, super hard-to get through this life without idols.

I hear you saying to me, Idols? You gotta be crazy, Bob. Idols are a thing of the past; I don't have any stone or gold statues sitting in my house.

Right, probably not, but those statues are merely an image of something that becomes more important to you than God. I do not believe that Paul would have warned us against idolatry if it was so simple a thing that we could look around our living room and say, I don't have any idols.

We have to look deeper, and here are some questions that will help us:

What is your greatest accomplishment or affection? Maybe your identity is wrapped up in piling up sports accolades or promotions at work. Perhaps you love your hobbies or your friends more than you love God.

What is your greatest fear? If you fear something more than you fear falling short of God's call then you will serve an idol whenever you are forced to choose between the two. When faced with the choice of losing your job or following unethical orders from your boss, which fear wins out?

What is your greatest desire in life? Is it all about God or is it about you? I just want to be accepted. I just have to find a spouse. I just want more kids. I need that new flat screen. These aren't all bad things, but are they more important to you than God?

What is your greatest comfort and joy? Are you just counting off the days until your next vacation or can you recoup in the presence of God right now?

What is your greatest frustration? Idols aren't always things we pursue; sometimes we find them by examining what ticks us off the most. Are those holy soapboxes, or are you just impatient with traffic? Do you trust God with your life, or do politics determine whether things are good or bad?

When you look for idols in your life, don't look around your living room. Take these questions and look around your heart.

Prayer Father God,

You are God above all else! Show me anything in my life that has become more important to me than You. Please help me to keep the right focus and live my life for You!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 18th

Driving in the HOV Lane

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3

Do you have the Holy Spirit in your life?

A lot of people ask me that question for themselves. They want to know if the Holy Spirit is in their life. I always take them to one place-our verses today.

So let's talk about this Holy Spirit for a sec. He's not a cloud, okay? He was likened to a cloud at one point back in the Old Testament, but He's not a cloud. Nor is he fire. Now in Acts 2, He's likened unto fire, but He's not fire. And He's not a ghost. Okay? He's likened to a ghost, but He's not a ghost.

He's not even a dove hanging on a wall. That might get me kicked out of the Calvary movement right there, so you know, but He's not a dove. He is likened unto a dove, likened unto fire, likened unto being a ghost or a cloud, but He's none of those things.

He's a person.

The question is, is this Person a part of your life, not just a cloud or a big super moon or a fire or a dove? Is He in your mind? Is He in your thoughts? Is He a part of your plans? Is He your Helper? Is He real to you in a personal and life-changing way? Do you let Him take the lead? Do you let Him be the nav? Do you allow Him to comfort you and fill you with His power and with His life and with His joy?

Because it all has to happen inwardly before it can happen outwardly.

Bob, I don't know. I just don't know about this. And how do you know if it's really the right Spirit that you get a hold of? I think I feel this energy from time to time.

He's not an energy. Nope. And He's not an aura.

Here's what Paul says: I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed.

What's that mean? It means that if you love Jesus, then the Holy Spirit is in your life. Can you say that Jesus is really Lord of your life? That's the Holy Spirit there to help you say that.

So test it out and you tell me, do you have the Holy Spirit in your life?

Prayer Lord Jesus,

You really are Lord of my life, so I thank You that I have the Holy Spirit. I really want all that You have for me, so please fill me afresh today and lead me into Your plans for my life!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 17th

Crossing the Finish Line

I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles...Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.' Isaiah 42:6,9

What was the first Bible verse that really impacted you? For me, it was the verse that says, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

We all like new things, and especially the idea of becoming new, but what exactly does this mean? I mean, I'm new, but it's still me here. How have they become new? How have things now become what they never were before?

I think actually this is where a lot of people get tripped up on this whole thing called Christianity-telling me you're new. But you're still losing your hair. You're telling me that you're new but I still see that you lose your temper. What type of new are you talking about?

Well, look at our verses today. You can claim that personally. He's saying, Yes, I made the first call. I called out to you. I called you in righteousness.

Maybe you're reading this today and, just to be totally honest with the Lord, you're like, Well, You called me, but I'm not righteous.

But He's called you in righteousness. In other words, He sees you new. He doesn't see you as you see yourself when you look in the mirror. He sees you finished. I don't know if anyone's ever told you this before, or maybe they have and they meant it in a negative way, but I mean it in the most positive ways of what Christ has done for you: You're finished.

Well, I need to prop this up and this up and this up. I need to work on this and go to the gym.

No, you're finished. Can you just relax and enjoy the fact that because of Christ, you're done? You're finished. You're complete. When He sees you, He sees the finished work. He says, I called you in righteousness. It's not something that you can earn, okay? That's only something you can receive. He calls you in righteousness.

If that's not enough then realize this: In the beginning, God's words created everything that now is. And now, by His grace and mercy, even when we weren't righteous, He called us righteous, declaring new things before they yet existed.

If God said it, it's true, and He calls you righteous. Receive that from His hand today.

Prayer Father God,

Thank You for calling me righteous! I could be righteous unless You just transform me, and I receive the truth today that You have made me righteous. I'm finished! The old is gone and the new really has come!

Amen

Horizon Church
July 16th

Beyond Belief

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-21

What are you good for?

I don't mean to be insulting, but I mean the question sincerely. What are you good for? What purpose can you serve? Are you useful for honorable things, or only for dishonorable ones?

Even more important, do you know how to become useful for honorable things?

I want you to examine your life right now and see if you are useful for the Lord. Is your heart still passionate about serving Him and following His direction for your life? Or have you grown dull, consumed by the glamour of success or the tyranny of just scraping by?

We know from God's Word that He honors the people who set themselves apart for His use, but He relegates those who live for themselves to dishonorable things. It's not as though His heart is to treat them dishonorably, it's just that He can't trust them with honorable things. If He gave them honorable things, they would use them for themselves instead of for Him. And when our eternal reward is based on faithfulness with what we are given, He wants to set us up for success and not for failure.

So He only gives honor to those who are submitted to Him, set apart, sold out, ready to serve. These are the ones He can trust to be faithful. These are the ones He will send on the special missions for the kingdom of God. These are the ones He looks for to give them help in their time of need, because He knows their need is because they have been spending themselves for Him-His help is a co-laboring with us, not a bail out!

Have you set yourself apart for God? Are you devoted to His special purposes? Are you trustworthy with His mission? Then you are useful, good for something honorable in the kingdom of God. If you are not set apart, then you are only useful for dishonorable things.

The choice is yours today. Do you want to be good for something? Then set yourself apart.

Prayer Lord Jesus,

I want to be good for something, so I give myself to you wholeheartedly. I hold nothing back today. I am Yours! Please take me, help me, and use me for Your kingdom today and every day for the rest of my earthly life.

Amen

Horizon Church