ASSURANCE IN 2021January 17, 2021 / Matthew 2:1-12 John 14:26-27; Acts 2:16-21 ; Matthew 24:1-14
“ASSURANCE IN 2021”
Today, I will attempt to convince you that you can have assurance in 2021.
ASSURANCE comes by trusting in the Lord.
ASSURANCE: “The inner witness of the Holy Spirit that convinces us that we are justified by God.” (We sense His presence -we sense that God is with us.)
We have to understand what God wants to tell us through His word.
We have to block out the noise, the distractions, and the voices. I Corinthians 14:10
-Many today feel clueless as to what their mandate is.
-So much noise, so much information, so many distractions.
-What is my position? What should I say or not say? How should I react? Should I tell someone what I believe or keep it to myself.
- GOD STILL SHOWS US SIGNS.
TEXT: Matthew 2:1-12
The known will of God is made understandable by the Holy Spirit revealing direction to us.
A. God always confirms His will with signs.
God sent Jesus with a sign. God operates with signs.
God sent Jesus with a sign. Luke 2:2
–There was a sign that the shepherds were told to look for.
-It was a sign in heaven. An angelic host appeared.
–Zechariah talked with an angel. Mary talked to an angel.
-The shepherds heard the angelic host singing.
Matthew 2:6 is a quote from Micah 5:2
-A true prophecy of God is trustworthy. Why? God always provides direction to his people and God always shows His people a SIGN.
-Many people prophesied: DON TRUMP to be president. Those who have admitted their mistake and apologized have my respect and admiration. WHY? -No one gets it right. Many got it wrong.
POINT: I have served God under Ford, Carter, Regan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Trump, Obama, Osama, and my Mama and I will serve God under Biden.
POINT: Everyone has a thought, a judgment, a post about the riots, Trump, Biden, the lockdowns, the masks, the elections, the conspiracies.
-There are more guesses than real truth.
-President Trump has made famous the phrase: “FAKE NEWS.”
-There is a lot of FAKE NEWS out there.
-Facebook, Twitter has more Guesses, and Hunches than real information to guide your life. The vast majority of Facebook, & Twitter posts do not create systemic change. They usually lead to more fighting.
We have learned that everyone having an instant platform for what they think- is not necessarily beneficial.
MARK TWAIN: “It is better to appear stupid rather than opening your mouth and remove all doubt.”
-Social media may even be one of the biggest culprits for the anger and violence in our country.” We would be better off praying more than posting on social media.
-“I truly believe that social media, and all the noise it brings, is actually serving to hinder, and the experiment is largely a failure.
-The only real thing that is going to change hearts and bring healing to the brokenness in our society is the presence of God.
B. Following the noise of the world creates chaos.
-People are scrambling to find out what is true.
The Bible says, “Truth has fallen in the streets.”
Many people watch a news story or a video on a platform and allow that particular spin to decide how you feel.
ILLUS.: What do you think about all this stuff going on?
Well, I guess it will get better. It will all work out.
I Have a hunch….I don’t really know.
-I don’t feel comfortable waiting on someone else to tell me, it’s going to be OK.
-1/3 of the people believe anything they see.
-Another 1/3 don’t know what they think.
-The other 1/3 don’t believe anything.
RE: I am going to get my Bible, and ask God what He wants me to know. God is reliable for assurance! He is there when I need understanding. He is faithful to give direction. Jeremiah 33:3
- GOD SPEAKS ASSURANCE BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT.
-The wise men were living their life in a particular way, because God had spoken to them.
-The Holy Spirit brings direction, assurance, and confidence. John 14:26-2
A. Revelation brings assurance.
-The wise men knew what Bethlehem meant:
PROPHECY ABOUT BETHLEHEM: “House of Bread.”
Jesus was the Bread of Life. Out of this city will come the Bread of Life.
-The Wiseman was seeking. -Herod was guessing.
-Society had a hunch about the savior after so many years without God speaking. All the mommas were naming their sons “Yeshua or Joshua” which means Jesus. They knew something was coming.
RE: 400 years of silence. People were looking for a sign.
What should I do? Should I move or stay in Bethlehem? What about Jerusalem?
In the modern Era, people often ask the question: “What is your sign?” Prior to 1965, most people considered the Zodiac Signs largely witchcraft. (Which, BTW it is.)
People would say: Are you a Leo? A Scorpio? A Taurus? A Virgo? A Cancer? (Who would ever want to admit to being a cancer)
-Going around and asking people are you one of these signs was largely considered unchristian and unspiritual.
Re.: Through the continued bombardment of media, and the press. (Fake News) People’s HORROR-SCOPE is contained as attachments to Newspapers and many periodicals.
-There have been many books written about these things.
B. Everything that God is has a sign attached to it.
-The Rainbow is a covenant with God to the populations of the earth.
The virgin birth was announced in Luke 2:12, “And this will be a sign to you.”
-Matthew 24 is a signpost to the signs of the times.
-Israel is God’s time-piece.
-The Cross is a sign to society that a savior redeemed mankind.
-The devil takes things and converts them to FALSE NEWS.
-God gives us what we need, but the devil loves to give us what we want.
ILLUS.: IN THE BEGINNING The Zodiac symbols originated from the Hebrew calendar.
Nissan: Aries, the lamb. Lyar: Taurus, the bull
Sivan (Shavuot): Gemini, the twins. Tammuz: Cancer, the crab
Av: Leo, the lion. Elul: Virgo, the virgin.
Tishrei: Libra, the scales. mCheshvan: Scorpio, the scorpion
Kislev: Sagittarius, the archer. Tevet: Capricorn, the goat. Shvat: Aquarius, the water-bearer. Adar: Pisces, the fish.
By the end of the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic (stars) into 12 equal “signs“, by analogy to 12 schematic months of 30 days each.
The Babylonians took Jewish young people captive. The Babylonians observed the Hebrew calendar being observed as a lunar and Solar calendar with 12 symbols.
The Babylonians developed the Zodiac calendar which was purely Lunar. They copied it from the Hebrew calendar.
The Hebrew calendar has nothing to do with the
ZODIAC SIGNS or a belt of stars in the heavens.
I believe in looking above this earthly realm. However, I don’t look to a Zodiac sign. A ZODIAC SIGN doesn’t even qualify as a Guess or a Hunch. I look to the one who made the stars.
Psalm 113:4; Psalm 124:8
The known observable universe is 93 Billion Light years, and God said in Genesis 1:16, “He made the stars also.”
The wise men traveled for over 2 years to see the Christ child.
During this time, they passed many people who were buying and selling land. They were busy doing life, but the wise men had a promise, and they believed in the Star over Bethlehem.
ILLUS.: December 21, 2020 we saw the Star of Bethlehem. This was the first visible sighting since March 4, 1226. In the midst of a chaotic world, God sends a message: “I sent my son into the world to save it. When Jesus came and split time and eternity, it was the first time that Divinity came and visited Humanity.”
Elijah prayed, II Kings 6:20
-There are signs available, but they are not automatic.
-There is ASSURANCE available, but it’s not automatic.
-You have to trust when you don’t feel like it.
-You have to speak God’s word when you don’t feel like it.
ILLUS.: Temke’s got another phone call this week. Barrett’s Esophagus- GONE. Make sure it’s really gone.
C. How we live our life determines whether we know what God is saying.
Elisha’s servant could not see into the Spirit-world. He was missing what was available.
II Corinthians 4:18
If you operate in a spirit of negativity, a spirit of criticism, a spirit of self-indulgence, you will become blind to what the Spirit is both saying and doing.
There is a great cost to live your life with negativity, and criticism.
God’s word is life: John 6:63
-Whatsoever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things
ASSURANCE IN 2021 will come from following God’s direction and hearing His voice speak to your heart.
“We have a sure word of prophecy.” Luke 21:25-28
Ultimately…..the Lord is going to come.
Until then we have a job to do. We have an assignment from God.
If we are going to have an understanding of what God’s Spirit is saying in the last days-We will need to pay the price to seek God.
WE NEED A WORD FROM GOD.
- It is easy to repeat someone else’s word.
- It is easy to borrow directly from another source.
- It is easy to jump on the bandwagon of what others are saying.
If you want ASSURANCE in 2021, it’s going to take a lot more time than turning the news on to see if it’s getting any better. It’s going to take a lot more than living our life for what we want.
OUCH POINT: “It takes time to be in the Lord’s presence, and ask Him for direction, as opposed to just watching a video.” Matthew 6:33; Jeremiah 29:13
TONIGHT, THERE IS A PRAYER SERVICE AT 6 PM. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO COME AND PRAY AND SEEK GOD FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FAMILY, AND YOUR COUNTRY.
Spiritual Maturity involves our will, our reasoning, our discipline, and our application to spiritual things. We cannot become a spiritually mature person by sowing to the flesh.
Sowing to the flesh means we are doing what everyone else wants us to do (our family, our friends, our posse’) rather than doing what God wants us to do. Spiritual maturity takes commitment.
*People get hurt, and they pull away from worshipping with God’s people, they stop fellowshipping with God’s people, they stop praying, they stop believing for their miracle.
It matters what you do when you do get hurt. It matters who you are connected to when you go through something.
Are you connected to God’s power and strength?
3. AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD WILL CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR LIFE. Matthew 2: 9-12
-When the 3 wise men finally came to the Christ child, they brought their treasures of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. (representing Jesus being Prophet, Priest and King who would die for the sins of the world)
-All we know about the wise men is they traveled, they brought their gifts and they left. They encountered a revelation from God that changed the direction of their lives.
-It seems that their only assignment was to get on their Camels drop off the Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Herod wanted to know where the child was, but he didn’t have a revelation. He quizzed them. The same star in the sky that directed the 3 wise men went unnoticed by HEROD.
-But then in a DREAM, God spoke to the wise men, and God changed the direction of their lives yet again.
A. An encounter with God is a LIFE-CHANGING experience.
-An encounter with God will change your heart, it will change your mind, it will change the trajectory of your life. It will change how you live and how you treat people.
POINT: When you stop the noise of the world, when you get alone with God, shut off social media, quiet your lives-You hear what God is saying. If you know what God wants, you will live your life with much greater peace.
Acts 2 was a sign of the promise of the Father. It was the 9th hour of the day, and they said: “These men are drunk.” Acts 2:16-21
B. The Holy Spirit being poured out on the New Testament church was a sign.
The sacrifice of Jesus was accepted as completely pure and righteous. Jesus said, “I will go away, but I will also send the promise of the comforter.” I’m going to go……however I am going to send you the Holy Spirit, and you will have an encounter that will change your life.
Matthew 16:3-Jesus, “You know how to discern the weather, but you don’t know how to discern the signs of the times.”
Matthew 24:1-14 – SIGNS OF THE END TIMES.
Many will come in my name and deceive many. I always thought that this scripture would be fulfilled when people would come and say: “I am the Christ.”
It says, “People will come saying, “I am coming in Christ’s name.” Be very careful who and what you align your life with.
People are looking for answers. The best way to overcome deception is to know what God’s word says, to know what God is saying to you, and to know His presence!
ASSURANCE IN 2021 comes from “The inner witness of the Holy Spirit that convinces us that we are justified by God and that He is with us!”