Sermon Titbits

Spirit is the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power. It is the inner quality or nature of a person; the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; or the soul. Living in the Spirit means living as a child of God. Romans 8:14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.”

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Although it is true that God has destined us for greatness, it comes at a cost. Jesus already paid the price to make us great, but we also must pay some of the price in order to attain the greatness that our God has destined for us.      
THE PRICE JESUS PAID: The scriptures provide information on some of the things our Lord went through in order to pay the price for our greatness. Isaiah 53:1-12 details the suffering of our God. In vs. 3-7, we read: "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

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Greatness refers to something of a size, amount, intensity, extent considerably above or higher than the normal or average. Greatness is used to refer to something big, for example, a big dog called Great Dane. Greatness is also used to describe something important, pre-eminent, worthy or most worthy of consideration, for example, Great Britain. Greatness is used to describe something grand, imposing, distinguished, or prominent, for example the Great Lakes. Greatness can also be used to describe a person remarkable in ability, achievement, character or someone outstanding, or someone highly competent or skilled, for example, Alexander the Great or Herod the Great.

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Life is full of many trials and temptations and we will experience a test at some point in our lives. Life’s trials can either promote or destroy us. The question is – How can we always overcome the test of destruction? Prov. 17:3 says The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart” If your faith has not been tested, it cannot be trusted. It is when we go through trials that others will know who we are and whose we are. Joseph knew God's purpose for his life even though he was very young. He was very focused about achieving his life’s purpose. What are some of the secrets to his success in life?

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To activate means to make something active or function. Prophecy means foretelling or predicting what is to come. It is something that is declared by a prophet, especially a divinely inspired prediction, instruction, or exhortation. A promise is a declaration that something will or will not be done or given. The prophet and his people both have responsibilities. The duty of a prophet is to proclaim God’s message faithfully; and the people’s duty is to receive and apply it to their lives. Prov. 3:5 says“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” In Lk. 1:29 - 37 the word of the Lord came to Mary. She received God’s word with humility and faith and said to the angel - let it be unto me according to your word. 

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 We will conclude this message on living for God by discussing the rewards of discipleship. We have said that discipleship is a major key in living for God. We have defined discipline as "putting under control by training in obedience". We also discussed the discipline of discipleship - mental, moral and physical discipline. We talked about how to become a disciple and the cost of discipleship.  In the Bible passage we read today in Mark 10: 17 - 31, Jesus told His disciples and us what it takes to be a disciple. When the rich young ruler came to Him with the question "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"

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The focus of this message is on the Cost of Discipleship. Becoming a disciple of Jesus will cost us something. What then is the true cost of discipleship? There was a time when our Lord wanted to confirm if His disciples knew who He was and if they knew what it would cost them to be His disciples so He engaged them in a crucial question and answer session about His identity in Lk. 9: 18 – 21 The Holy Spirit revealed to Peter the true identity of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus commended Peter for the revelation but He asked the question to prepare His disciples for His next statement.

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We have been discussing about lessons on discipleship. We have learned about who a disciple is and what discipline means. We have learned about different types of discipline ranging from mental, moral and physical. In this message we will learn about how we can become a disciple. It is important because coming to Church or associating with God's people does not make us a disciple. The fact that our parents or siblings are disciples does not make us a disciple. The fact we are even pastors and preachers do not make us disciples of Jesus. The Bible says "Not everyone 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. 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 name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:21-23).

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There are at least 3 types of discipline – mental, moral & physical. We have discussed mental and moral discipline. In this edition we will discuss physical discipline.

3. Physical discipline: this is the discipline that has to do with the body. We are spiritual beings but we live in a body. Our body is what makes life and living on earth possible. Without our physical body, our spirit cannot function by itself on earth. No matter how spiritual we are, we still need to have a body in order to live in the world. The Bible says "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1Cor.6:19 KJV). 

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There are at least three types of discipline – mental, moral and physical. We discussed mental discipline before. In this edition we will discuss moral discipline.

2. Moral discipline: This is concerned with goodness or badness of human character or behavior, or with the distinction between right and wrong. Man is a moral agent because we are capable of moral action. We can distinguish between good and evil and choose between good and bad. Character is defined as the collective qualities or characteristics that distinguish a person or thing. The natural man is an evil being because the Bible says that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9 KJV).

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