Pastor Barry/ The Gathering: FEAR NOT #5 (Series Conclusion) ANTICIPATE To watch this video message and others go toand click on the youtube link to subscribe.
Ascension Sunday Acts 1:3-11, Philippians 3:18-21, 1 Peter 1:3-6
Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated in the church on the 40th day after Easter Sunday, in our case the Sunday closest to that time frame which is today! Today we remember Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven as recorded in Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:3-11! Ascension Day reminds us that the glorious and triumphant return of Christ is near. Are you anticipating His promised return today?
Ascension Sunday is a reminder that we are citizens of the of the Kingdom of God which is now within our hearts but will soon be our destination (Philippians 3:18-21). It is a reminder of that great and fulfilled promise of Christ to send the Holy Spirit to His people (John 14:16-17)—who now watches over us, empowers us and protects us as we spread the light of the gospel truth throughout the world Acts 2:1-4). The fact that Jesus was resurrected from the grave and ascended to the right hand (place of honor) of the Father is the great hope of our faith (1 Peter 1:3). We know that those who belong to Christ by faith will one day both see His return on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:3-4) when He defeats His enemies and we will be with Him forever. Are you anticipating that promise today? FEAR NOT this present time of Covid19. FEAR NOT the so called “New Normal!” FEAR NOT the present state of affairs or the future prospect of your health. FEAR NOT what man can do our what man has said—for Christ is risen and has ascended into Heaven and He is coming back again! —And as God’s word proclaims in the last two verses— in the last chapter— of the last book in our Bible— Revelation 22:20-21: He who testifies to these things says, Yes, He is coming soon— Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. And the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Are you one of “God’s people” today?Then FEAR NOT!
As we conclude our short series on “Fear Not” —let me take us through a quick review: God commanded the disciples to STAY where they were and to bring His kingdom to earth rather than to get ready to leave it. Are you with me Church? Make no mistake about it, I’m ready to go— but I am willing to stay and bring God’s kingdom to earth as He so desires, and I will Fear not because He is with me. Stay Church… Fear not, He is with us! While we stay we are told to WATCH & PRAY. We are careful to follow the “real Jesus”, the Biblical Jesus, our “Good Shepherd”— FEAR NOT “little sheep”—Watch and pray— He will lead us in truth. We are to FEAR NOT—What that “Lion”, the Devil intends for evil because God will bring it to good (Romans 8:28). We are to put on the full armor of God (dress for success and read Ephesians 6:10-18). Resist the Devil Church! No weapon forged against us will prosper. Read to the end of the book brother and sister in Christ…Fear Not! Cause’ we’re gonna’ see the VICTORY for the battle belongs to the Lord! Last week we learned to WAIT for the Lord and be patient for Him to bring what He promises. While we wait we are to watch out for bad company and bad things that can take our minds off of our mission. FEAR NOT your anxious thoughts— and stay awake in your righteousness. WAIT for the Lord Church—FEAR NOT and ANTICIPATE the promise of God’s power from on high. Are you anticipating what God has waiting for you and the Church in the days ahead?
Anticipate The Spirit Micah 7:7-9, Hebrews 12:1-3, 1 Corinthians 1: 18, 2:6-10
After Jesus ascended the scripture tells us that the apostles returned to Jerusalem, went upstairs to a room and joined together “constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:12-14) They were anticipating (looking forward with pleasure) the promise of Jesus that they would receive power—especially since many of them were weak and weary from the roller coaster ride of emotions that they had been on in the previous weeks. How about you…are you feeling weak and weary from these past months? Could you benefit from some supernatural power from on high right now? Are you anticipating the promises of God today or are you just barely getting by? Look up Christian… fix your eyes on the Lord! The “Author and perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-3)— and do not grow weary in your waiting!
Proverbs 13:12 says, Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. God wants us to anticipate His promises like the apostles did! The prophet Micah knew this anticipation as he encouraged a broken Israel to hope in the promises of the Lord. His encouragement was to watch, hope and wait for the Lord—He will prevail!
The apostle Paul once said, that his preaching was considered foolishness by those who the world considered wise (1 Corinthians 1:18) but God filled him with the Holy Spirit and that made the difference (1 Corinthians 2:6-10). The rulers of this world are coming to nothing for they refuse to hear or see the work of God. The Church is considered non-essential in this Covid19 pandemic—But we know better—will anticipate and declare God’s wisdom, because we know what He has prepared for we who love Him. These things we will know by His Spirit. The power we will work in is His Spirit. The preaching and teaching and reaching that we will do will be in His Spirit. Power will come upon us when we anticipate His promises. Are you anticipating His promises today?
A New Thing Isaiah 43:18-19
FEAR NOT— the Lord will bring the power as you open up your heart to receive what He will bring! Are you anticipating God’s power? Do you want that power in you? Jesus has ascended into Heaven but He has descended into His children. Are you ready to receive His supernatural power? Anticipate with me— a great revival of the Church is coming and the Holy Spirit will be released anew— God is doing a new thing and fulfilling His ancient promises! (Isaiah 43: 18-19).
Our new series on the Holy Spirit begins next week on Pentecost Sunday. The Church is breaking out with power and I hope you will join with us!