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January 22, 2018


SERMON HIGHLIGHTS
 
Did You Get It
Isaiah 9:6 Philippians 4:19 Background text 4:12-20


Sometimes we hear things and forget the meaning of the statement or the situation until something brings it to our attention. As I read Is. 9:6, I keep thinking if we missed what that prophecy meant. In my life, have I missed it or did I get?

Isaiah was descriptive of the Messiah 700 years prior to His birth. This prophet describes Jesus with action words: Wonderful; Counselor; Mighty God; Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Did we get that? That’s essential to live a fulfilled or contented life.
Now here we are celebrating 2013 Christmas and I ask the question, "Did you get it?" When Isaiah gave the prophecy it was during times like now, meaning there was darkness and God had promised a light that would shine on everyone living. That’s us church. Darkness looms around us and Jesus is the light of the world!

Did we get the fact that mighty God is all powerful and He is a counselor that loves. Today’s message is intended to offer hope in some hopeless situations because of the birth of Jesus Christ. He can deliver all people from sin. Did you get that or are you struggling with something? Jesus is the answer. Did we get it? If so, why aren’t all our needs being met? Until we get it, we will miss what God has for us.

As we visit our companion scripture, I ask the question, "Are you content or discontent?" Paul was content with much or little. That's because he got it! He drew upon Christ's power and strength. Unless you depend on Jesus' strength and power, you haven’t gotten it. When you learn to rely on Jesus' strength and power, you can be contented in any situation.

Did you get it?

This is Christmas time and so many people fall in the mood of discontent because they can’t give or don’t get what they want. A suggestion: don’t spend what you don’t have and be content with whatever you have to give or receive.

If you are discontent, ask God to remove the desire of discontent and ask Christ to teach us how to be contented in every situation and with what we have. When you get it, you will be like Paul. He was content because he could see life from God’s point of view. He was focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he should have. He had his priorities straight and was grateful for everything God had given him. He detached himself from nonessentials so that he concentrated on eternity.

Don’t get so involved in things that leave you void. Understand contentment has to do with your perspective, your priorities and source of power. Phil 4:13 states, " I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength." With Christ you can face any situation.

I hear Isaiah saying, "Did you get it? I told you 700 years before Jesus was born, and in 2013 I question did you get it? Even then I gave names to describe Jesus, and if you got it your needs would have been met. I told you Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One, and that He was coming. You need to understand the importance of those names I gave Him!"

As Wonderful, that means He is exceptional, He is amazing! As Counselor, is advisor and always gives the right advice! As Almighty God, He is all powerful and doesn't need anyone's help. He can handle things alone. As the Prince of Peace, He can handle Government on any level! He is just and can bring peace like no one else.

I heard Creflo Dollar make a statement that I couldn’t get out of my mind, and I finally thought did we miss it or did we get it? He said we get so involved in situations that we fail to place the order. He said if you go to a restaurant, unless you place an order you do not get the food. I couldn’t stop thinking about that and thought have we missed or gotten that?

Did you get it?

Today I want to suggest if you have a need from the Lord you have to place you order. In verse 19 of Phil., He said he will supply your needs according to His riches in glory. That’s a blanket menu and He can supply any need you have. He promises to meet your needs.
I know there are some needs that need to be met. I have sought the Lord and have anointed some prayer "waiters". Those who have needs come and place your order and we will take your order to the supplier who can meet every need!

God has the power to renew, restore, heal any disease, set you freedom and handle any situation! With the help of Christ, His strength and power, your order will be filled! If you choose to place your order, trust your situation to God and with the help of Christ some healing and deliverance will take place. But it is contingent upon you "getting" that the Messiah, the Anointed, is the source! He is Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty Prince of Peace! The waiters are here to take your order to the supplier! 
 
Bless the Youth and Young Adult
Matthew 18:2-7; 19: 13-15


At this last "Youth and Young Adult Sunday" of 2013, I have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to bless the children. The fact that Jesus, Himself, blessed the children shows the importance Jesus placed upon the youth.

Over the past years more and more crimes target our youth and young adults. There are those who don’t feel safe anywhere. School, at one time, was safe. Not so anymore! This is what prompted me to bless the children. They face so many things today, and it’s time to stop talking. It's time for action.

For the sake of this message, when I think of blessing the youth, I am petitioning, pleading, praying for Divine favor upon them.

Young people, understand parents, grandparents and guardians want you to be blessed. That’s why they petition God on your behalf. Sometimes, while you see them getting on your nerves, they just might be saving your life by asking God to direct you onto the right path.

Parents, grandparents and guardians, time is so important. Don’t get so involved with trivial things that you don’t take advantage of this time. You need to be so close that you are in tune with your child's very heart beat! After all, at some point they must make their own decisions. If there has not been impartation they don’t have what’s needed to make right decisions. Therefore, as parents and guardians we must be the example.

Let’s visit the text.

Sometimes we adults in the church, like the disciples, must have forgotten what Jesus said about children. "Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child (trusting, lowly, loving forgiving) is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives, accepts and welcomes one little childlike in my name is the same as receiving me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to stumble and sin (that is to entice or hinder him in right conduct or thought), it would better (more expedient and profitable or ad-van-tage-ous for him) to have a great milestone fastened around his neck and to by sunken in the depth of the sea. People, that is heavy! Drowning is preferable to steering a child in the wrong direction!

Sacred Zion, I am setting the tone for youth and young adults for 2014. In this text the disciples, and some here, have become preoccupied with the organization of Jesus' earthly Kingdom. Some get so saved that are not a part of the earthly kingdom, having forgotten what you were saved and delivered from. They have lost sight of their divine purpose. Since in 2014 we are focusing on a life of purpose, we need to make sure we set the tone that God has a purpose and plan for everyone! At a young age discover your purpose and walk in it's awesomeness!

The disciples were not seeking a place of service, instead they sought the position of advantage. Sacred, whatever you do let’s not lose our eternal perspective and place focus on promotions or status in the church. Let's focus on our youth. Assist them to identify their gifts and provide opportunities for them to exercise these talents. God has placed everything we need in this house. We must be sensitive and lead by the Spirit. Just watch what God is going to do in this house.
There are some gifts that are wrapped so tight we haven’t seen them, but as you are blessed God is going to un-wrap the gifts and talents and will utilize them in this house. After all, while you are young they don’t always have identification. They may be weak and seeking God for direction.

Youth are dependent with no status or influence. That's why I want to bless them so they recognize what to receive and what to reject. After all, children are trusting by nature. They trust adults and through that trust capacity learn to trust to God.

Sacred Zion, this is a message I hope those who are parenting hear and receive. We are accountable by God for how we affect the lives we touch. We must instill an ability to trust Jesus. He warned the disciples, and we are to adhere to this as well. Anyone who turns little children away from faith will receive severe punishment.
Jesus warned the disciples and it applies to you and I in 3 ways found in verses 7-16.
1. Do not cause to the children to lose faith by tempting them (vs. 7-9);
2. Neglecting or demeaning them (vs.; 10-14) and,
3.Teaching false doctrine (vs. 15-16)

Sacred Zion leaders, we are to help youth, young adults and new believers avoid anything or anyone that would cause them to stumble in their faith and lead them to sin or wrong. Recently, on the news a father had his son and daughter robbing banks. It took a while, but they were caught. That father has to face God and be accountable for the misguidance he gave his children. How about money and goods coming in your house and you know it didn’t come from a job or your paycheck? You are accountable and you are giving them the wrong signal if you allow this behavior.

Today's message will cause someone to say, "In this house we will serve the Lord", and mean it! We must not take lightly the spiritual education and protections of your children. That’s why I want to bless the children as blessed in the companion scripture Matthew 19:13-15. Here the disciples had forgotten just the chapter before. I, like Jesus, want to set the tone that He wanted the children to come because He loves them. I want the youth and young adults to come to the church because Jesus loves them. As Christians we exhibit that same love and attitude to approach God.

This makes a statement that heaven was not only for Children, but that people need a child's attitude of trust in God. Can you imagine that if we have a church of adults with a childlike attitude, there would be so much peace in the house of Lord? That will be a contrast of stubbornness of religious leaders who let their education and sophistication stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus.

Today, with technology there are so many ways of getting information. Like never before we must seek the Holy ‘Spirit for what to receive, reject and communicate.

As we prepare for the blessings, in Mark 10:14 "Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.' And he took them in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them." While I will not take each in my arms, I will lay hands on every youth and young adult that comes to the altar after this prayer:

God, I offer each youth and young adult to you as a gift that you have sent to Sacred Zion. God, unwrap the gifts and talents that you want to use in this house. I ask you to endow and enrich each child with your heavenly grace as they grow and mature spiritually.
Preserve them from evil and harm. Defend them against all harm. Defend them against temptation from peers. Lead them to become personally accountable to hate those things that are wrong and evil. Help them to choose what pleases God. Cover each child by the blood of Jesus from head to toe, in Jesus' name! Amen.
 
 
I Am Looking for a Miracle
Mark 9:23-25

Let’s establish the difference in a healing and a miracle. Healing is recovery with possibility; miracle is recovery with impossibility. Miracle is something God does that is opposed to nature. The qualifications for a miracle are you are to surrender all resources, your supplies are exhausted and your back is up against the wall. The doctor told you there is no solution. Any one need a miracle? Miracles are described as signs, wonders, and works.
When you have faith, God works miracles. Case in point: the end of October, Sharon Alston was in the hospital with heart problems. It was looking serious but she exercised her faith when I visited her at the hospital and guess what? Thursday, Jan 2, 2014, she called me from her cardiologist and her heart is normal. Ashley and Angie were facing surgery. It hasn't’ happened and they believed.

There have been so many illnesses in this house the Holy Spirit reminded me we need a miracle. It was also impressed upon me that lack of faith hinders our miracles. I just believe we are in the last days and God is going to allow some miracles to take place when our faith is right. When we fast and pray, miracles are going to happen before our eyes.

Also God let me know some are not there yet. We are growing in faith. While that is taking place and we mature in faith, we are to witness some miracles. Faith is the key to witnessing miracles. Faith requires action, meaning we go to do something God wants us to believe. We must take a step of faith. Faith action and requires obedience. That means we should have the mindset that
we will do whatever God requires of Him. The Jericho walls didn’t come down until they walked around the walls for six days, and on the seventh day they had to walk around it seven times. When the priest blew the trumpet and the walls came down, it was because they did what God told them to do

Logic gets in the way of miracles. Logic would have decided it didn’t take all that to get the walls to get them down. However, it didn’t come down until they did what God told them to do it. Obedience is necessary to see a miracle.

Sometimes we are locked into what the doctor says and that can block our faith. I am not suggesting not do what the doctor tells you, but consult to the ultimate Doctor Jesus. God's ways are not like our ways, and or His thoughts are not like ours. Logic hinders miracles. I am looking for a miracle. I am looking miracles in 2014. What a better time than today.

Visiting the text, we want to clearly understand that Jesus' Word does not mean we will automatically obtain anything we want. It's on God's time and His way. Logic is when and how I want it to take place.

In this text there was a father who had a demon possessed child. There was belief and unbelief in that setting. Such is in the house today. The father believes that Jesus could restore his son. The father was serious because the disciples hadn’t delivered, so he wanted to know if Jesus would do it.

Let’s be clear. We sometimes feel the same way. You have seen God deliver others, and believe God is able to help, but we are afraid that God will refuse to help us. Don’t allow fear or your feeling to get in your way. You are not worthy of a miracle if get in the way of your miracle.

God doesn’t work that way. Not only is He able to help us, but He also wants to help us. All we have to do is turn to Him in faith. Be clear, we cannot think everything we pray for we receive by magic, but with faith we can have everything we need to witness miracles. Once we have faith, miracles take place. Understand the miracle comes from the power of God

To witness a miracle, trust and confidence must occur. The Bible speaks of belief, or, in Hebrews 11:1-6. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Vs 6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who came to him must believe that he exists and that reward those earnestly seeking him." I am looking for a miracle. Anyone else looking for one?

Faith is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of our selves." it is the gift. You can say, "How how much do I owe you for the gift? Or will you say, "Thank you for the gift." Miracles are gifts of the Holy Spirit.
That person who is ready to experience a miracle will say "Thank you for the miracle." Those verses are about salvation, and I just believe if we must really understood what encompasses salvation. Salvation embraces your past, present and your future. Don't let your past and present hinder your miracle. Salvation is the action of saving and protection from harm. From a theological point of view, it delivers from the power and penalty of sin and redemption.

If you want to witness a miracle, begin with salvation. Understand all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Despite what it looks like, all have sinned. There is a penalty for sin. The wages of sin is death but the gift of the Lord is eternal life. The pay for sin is death, but with the gift of salvation you have eternal life.
"For God so love the world that he gave his only son that we might have eternal life." That's love, receiving in your heart you know He is waiting to perform a miracle. His love was such that God commended his love toward us that while we were doing our own things in some cases, even Tuesday night up to now, He died for us.

So glad that whoever who calls on the Lord shall be saved. If He has no respect of person for salvation, it applies to God’s miracle. The miracle working power rests on this house if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus was raise from the dead. You right now are saved from your past, present and future. and You are available for a miracle

If you want to see a miracle you must realize you don’t have self sufficiency. Your back is up against a wall. You don’t have the resources to make it happen, and you believe that whatever miracle you need you have faith that the power of God will do it.

In this text, beginning verse 14, there was a man whose child was suffering from no ordinary epilepsy. He was dumb and mute. The father also was faced with people who didn’t believe and some who believed. But Jesus immediately corrected that by saying, "Everything
is possible for him who believes."

In closing, hear me church. Unbelief sees impossibility. Faith sees possibilities because faith draws on the unlimited resources of heaven. The Word says there are greater works we will do. Jesus gave an authoratative command to that deaf and mute spirit to come out and it was never to enter again. People, when we come up to the altar, we must activate our faith and see the miracle power at work here. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He caused a deaf and mute person to be set free, and He will set free whatever is going on in your life.

When Jesus commanded that spirit to come out of that child and not to enter again, it left. Granted, that spirit didn’t leave without a fight, but the power of God was greater than the power of Satan. Jesus and His power still works.
There is nothing going on in here today God can’t handle, just exercise your faith. In our text, Jesus said everything is possible for him who believes. That father believed, and then asked to help my unbelief. I am asking the same thing. Lord, exercise your belief in those who don’t believe. Help their unbelief and believe God! 
 
 
God Knows
Jeremiah 29:11


God knows everything. Why don’t we know our purpose and plans? Some years ago Rick Warren wrote a book, The Purpose Driven Life. That book impacted my life. To have a desire to have a purpose, you must be driven and personally seeking God's purpose and plans. This causes me to focus on a " Life of Purpose" for our 2014 Sacred church theme.

A life without purpose is an empty life and causes one to search to fill voids. There are those wandering around in life asking, "What is my purpose?" All you have to do is ask God. He knows!
He has a purpose and plans for everyone. It's time to stop, discover, pursue and start walking in God's plans and purpose for your life. I emphasis that walk in God's given plan for your life.

Sometimes we are looking for your purpose based on what others have said your plans are. All you have to do is ask God. He knows.
Your purpose and plans are so special to God that His plans go beyond personal fulfillment, peace of mind or even happiness. While that is good, God’s purpose and plans go far beyond that. When you really reach the point, finding and walking in God’s plans and purpose for you, it’s going to blow your minds! (Anyone been there blow whistle)

You will find the things that you have experienced in life were a result of God's developing and shaping you for your purpose. After all, He created the heaven, the earth and everything. God, Himself, made it. Guess what? When you were born, He had a purpose and plans for you. He included you in His plans. Following with that thought, God knows your plans, why He placed you in the family you are in, and what purpose and plans He has for you. Each was born for His purpose, and He definitely plans for you. Stop time long enough to ask God, He knows.

He knows
I just believe if more people would take the time to ask God for their purpose in life, there wouldn’t be so much violence. There would be no depression, and life wouldn’t be on an emotional roller coast. There would be no self medication with alcohol and/or drugs. When there is a void, you are constantly trying to meet the need. So you are always searching, and during that time you will try anything. If at that time you would say, " Lord , what are your purpose and plans for me", He will answer. He is the only one that knows.

I have sought God to help someone, hopefully, to get interested or discover the purpose God has for you. I brought the shofar and some whistles. Let's have a Holy Ghost party! When something relates, hits home, is made clear, or makes a special point to you, we will rejoice! When you accept or receive that God has a plan for you or how He is preparing you for His purpose and plan, we will rejoice!
With our 2014 focus on a purpose life, once we receive that God has a purpose for our lives, more kingdom work will be done at Sacred Zion. By the end of this service, the shofar and whistles will be blown as we celebrate because we either discovered, our purpose, or decided to pursue our purpose. I know those who are ready to walk in theirs will be rejoicing!

Tonight, I am here to help someone get started on how to seek for their purpose. It starts with God and moves from what you thought was your purpose or what someone else told you was your purpose. Ask the one who knows, God. During this time you will be asking questions such as, "What do I want to do? What should I do with my life? What are my goals and ambitions? What are my dreams and future?" Any have those questions? If so, blow the whistle.
Those are selfish questions and will hinder you from discovering, pursuing and walking in your purpose. Take a page out of Job’s page found in chapter 12:10 (contemporary version).." every living creature (that is you) is in the hands of God."

Trust me, He knows what He wants to do in your life. He wants to reveal your purpose to you. So if you are seeking your purpose, start with God. Each of us is here for His purpose and His plans for us. God made us. He and only He determines your origin, identity, meaning, purpose, significance and destiny.

Point 2. We must align ourselves with God’s plan for us. By starting with God you begin to see your life from God’s viewpoint. Some adjusting of our thinking has to take place. God has to impart some godly wisdom and replace your way of thinking. You have to transform, that is change from what you are to what God needs you to be to do His purpose and plan.

Romans 12:2 will help us. "And do not be conformed to the world (that is do what the world does)." "Instead be transformed by the renewing of your mind." That means dumping what you have been doing and replace with new thinking.

Keep in mind God knows the purpose and plans for you. God has perfect and pleasing plans for each of us. Doesn't that warrant a praise? He wants us to be new people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Praise God!

Since He only wants what’s best for us, He gave His son, the best, to make new lives possible for us. We should praise God and joyfully volunteer as living sacrifices for His service.

The fact He has a plan and purpose, although He didn’t need us, is amazing. He could have done it all alone. The fact that He will use us in His plan warrants praise. To align with God’s purpose and plan, the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates and redirects our minds to see if we are really transformed.

To have a purposed life there will have to be some tests. He will test our character, our faith, our obedience, our unconditional love, our integrity and our loyalty to see if it’s right to carry out His plan for us. Perhaps some of what you have gone through, or are going through, will help to understand its needed to carry out His plan for you.

Ask Abraham. God tested him by asking him to offer his own Isaac as a sacrifice. God tested Jacob to work extra years to get a chance to marry the love of his life, Rachel. The question is, have you been tested? As God is getting you to walk in your purpose, at some time you will understand why.

In addition to tests, we need trust. Energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships and resources are all gifts from God that He has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards of whatever He has given us. There were some lessons of trust. The assignments He has for you will require trust.

To live a life of purpose you must recognize that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth. The Bible says, " The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord." That is something we must know to have a life of purpose. God knows if you have gotten that message.

So a life of purpose includes a life of tests, trust and temptations. Luke tells us until you are faithful over small matters you are not ready to faithfully handle major matters. God’s purpose and plans are major and He wants you start handling the smaller things He assigns in preparation for His major plans for you.

In our text find comfort in what Jeremiah 29:11 offers. Despite what we have gone through (i.e. despair), we must remember God knows and He remembers He has plans for us. We can be assured that it is designed for His blessings. Tonight,my challenge is to act on that knowledge.

Pray for God’s knowledge and His will for your life and the power to carry His plan for your life. You can do that by:
1. Beginning the process by recognizing we need to seek God for what the plan is and that you can’t do His plan without God in the picture
2. Entrust our lives totally into God's powerful loving hands. Trust God for your plan, He knows your future and His plans for us are good and full of hope.
3. Understand God has special place for us in His overall plans. Grasping that will give us hope for the future. We will no longer wander. Instead, because God knows, ask Him. Follow and be guided by the Holy Spirit.

God knows the future. Flow with His agenda. He provides and is with us. We must fulfill his mission. We can have hope like never before. Although we still may suffer as we go through, knowing God will see you thorough will be a glorious conclusion.

God knows a life of purpose is for each of us.
 
 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2013: Messenger, Bishop Bertha M.Greene
TOPIC: Develop Your Faith and Pass It On
TEXT: Hebrews 11:9-11; 17-19

   (Opening Exercise After Scripture Is Read And Everyone Sits)

    Would everyone please stand again? Now, with your eyes focused  only
    on me, please be seated. Please do not turn around. Just sit.
 
In our Bible Study, we decided we need to sometime  stop at the stop sign and
not go around it.  There are some lessons you need to learn at the stop sign
that are vital with your walk with the Lord. Today, I want to encourage you that
if you are to go pass the stop sign you must develop your faith.  This message
is for parents, especially fathers.
To develop faith we must start at some point. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1
says it is not seen, but HOPED for.  How do you bring to reality something that
is not visible?

As a congregation, we just performed an act of faith. When you sat without
looking to see if a seat was behind you, it was done in faith. There was no guarantee
that you would not hit the floor. You did not see a pew or chair. You actually hoped
it would still be there. You were blessed because no harm came.
 
Our Church themes this year (and we haven’t talked about them for a while)
are generational blessings and past generational blessings. In this text there
are two main experiences in Abraham's life, the father of faith, that are worthy
in establishing a life of generational blessings. We are shown that to pass
generational blessings, we must do it through faith.  That can be done in two
ways:
  1. God challenges us to trust Him for our unseen future.
  2. God challenges us to trust Him to bless our children.
 
We find Abraham was willing to go wherever God told him because he believed
what God promised.  Are you there? Can you trust God's promises with your
future, or over your life and your children?  Are we still trying to figure it
out with our natural mind when God is in the spirit realm?
 
Abraham believed and trusted his life to God and his future.  Key point: he
did not SEE in order to believe, he BELIEVED that he might  see!  He was able to
believe if he just had a glimpse of the future, it would take place. Develop
faith and pass on it on.
 
 Remember
 - He didn’t know and then believe –he believed that he might know.
 - He didn’t possess and then believe.  He believed that he might one day
possess.  
 The very essence of faith is belief based upon who God is, not what we have.

 - Faith moves us forward; faith compels us to look to the future and into
eternity.
 - It compels us to look into the future and believe for God’s best to unfold
before even seeing.  In spite of all the setbacks we might experience so far, we
must believe God in this situation.
 
Faith lays claim on generational blessings.  Is this the missing link?
Parents, let your children's eyes see YOU serving God. Let their ears hear YOUR
prayers  for their success, and prosperity in every way.  Reinforce it with the
WORD! You can and should do all these things in your children’s lives.
 
The word of God states clearly every person has a measure of faith, so we
must nurture and develop it and pass it on.  Developing faith is a process.  We
need to work on that. Each time you take a faith step, God delivers and
increases your faith.
 
You will find faith becomes contagious and influences others around  you. 
Can you see what it would be like if we start influencing others around  us with
faith?  Even today God will show up mightily!
 
Look at Abraham. The first person he influenced was his wife. Verse 11, By
faith Sarah herself received strength to conceive the seed, and she bore a child
when she was past the age, because He was faithful with His promise.
 
When God promises something you can believe it. You see it’s good when the
husband and wife catch the faith and walk together. The one He gave the promise,
He will deliver to. That is God. If He said it, it is so.
 
Has your faith influenced anyone recently? By all means influence your
children. Spread that faith to seed. Cultivate and nurture it.  That is how to
bless future generations.
 
Don’t wait for the opportune time or perfect condition to allow your faith to
touch those you love. Even when it's feeling like you are going through and
everything is going wrong, still develop your faith and pass it on.
 
 - Trust your children to God’s love. Abraham trusted God with his son Isaac
as a sacrifice.  That was a major test from God and God does test us not for
himself but for you to know where your trust level is.  God allowed this to
happen to Abraham for him to discover just how much his faith had grown.  From
moving to a foreign land, now give your son as  sacrifice.  Do you trust Me? 
Some developing had taken place.  So after the sacrifice He was in a position to
pass  faith onto Isaac.
 
- Raising your children requires faith, because you don’t see what God sees
for your children.  That requires you to realize that in spite of your
responsibility as a parent, God is your ultimate protector and provider. That
can be real challenging, but it’s where we must go.  It means letting go so God
can take hold of their lives.  It means giving up what you want as opposed to
what God has for them.  Sometimes we want to protect our children from those
things we experienced for ourselves and that are not in God’s plan for their
lives. You might withhold that very thing that will cause them to grow up and
increase their faith.
 
God did not allow the sacrifice of Abraham's son. Abraham believed God and by
not taking Isaac's life God tested Abraham's faith. Instead of taking his son,
God gave him a nation of descendants through Isaac. Pay attention to Abraham,
who blessed many, inclusive of our generation.
 
Take note! Abraham was willing to give up his son when God commanded him  to
do so in Gen 22:1-19.  God tempted Abraham with a test. It wasn’t to strip him
and watch him fall, but to have a deep capacity to obey God and build character. 
Just as fire refines to get to the precious metal,  God refines us through
wilderness and drought times, and some circumstances.  Sacred Zion, I sense its
refining time, but we will come out like pure gold in our parenting skills if we
follow the Word.
 
Abraham, by one act of faith, learned many lessons about the importance of
obeying God.  Granted, believing God is a struggle because it might require
giving up something we truly want. Don’t expect obedience to God to come easy!
 
Because Abraham was willing to give up everything for God, he received back
more than he could have ever imagined. 
Where you are today people of God, wherever your child is, whatever they are
doing, has done or is about to do, whatever emotional roller coaster they are
on,  entrust your child fully to God. Why?
- God loves your child with everlasting love.
 - God’s purpose for creating your child is going to be fulfilled.
 - Your Child's life is going to count, believe that!
 
Point 2. Never stop believing –never quit trusting God for salvation for your
adult child.  The word says train a child in the way he should go, even when he
is old he will not depart it.  So don’t quit on your children.
 
Look at what happened to Moses when Pharaoh said all Hebrew males were to be
killed, but he was spared.  Look at what happened as a baby. His parents went
past the stop sign and threw their child in the Nile River. 40 years later he
stood as a Hebrew man.  They trusted God to take care of their child, and look
at the results!  God has plans for your children as well.
 
Moses became one of Israel’s greatest leaders.  Are you willing to give your
child totally to God and trust him for their life?  When Moses was born his
people were enslaved. Some of your children were conceived and born enslaved
with alcohol and addictions, but God spared you and them. He still has a plan
for their lives.
 
Point 3. It took faith for Moses to give up his plan for God’s plan, but he
could do that because he saw the fleeting nature of great wealth, popularity,
status and achievements to be blind to the long range benefits.  People of God,
these things get us off course and we miss walking in God’s purpose and plan for
our lives by linking into popularity, wealth, achievement and status. You don’t
need that when you develop your faith.
 
So developing faith and passing it on, and getting where God wants us in the
kingdom, we must look beyond the world's system to see the eternal values of
what God is doing
 
Take time to develop you faith and pass it on to future generations!
 
 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene, Messenger
TOPIC:Go Past the Stop Sign
TEXT: Hebrews 11

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court posted a "Stop Sign" to official
school prayer. On May 20, 2013, an Oklahoma teacher says she,
"Did that thing that a teacher is not supposed to do, I prayed."
She prayed as she covered 4 elementary school children with her own
body, saving their lives from a storm that killed many other students
that day.

This teacher realized that God WILL work miracles in our lives if we go pass
some "Stop Signs" created to block our faith in Him. By man's law, we are
required to stop, hindering our blessings. Today,  I  challenge you to do as
that educator, and those in today's text, did.  To realize victories in our
lives, we must place our trust in the spirit realm, God's Law.

As I sought the Lord about the "Stop Signs" that stand in our way, understanding
came to me that the mind stops us from going past them.  The mind is powerful.
If we set our mind on our past, we see replays of previous experiences. We may
see ourselves as losers, so we stop. We may weigh heavily upon how other people
will judge us, so we stop. WE MAY NOT HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO SURRENDER ALL TO
JESUS, SO WE STOP!

Getting pass "Stop Signs" isn’t easy, even our text tells us that.   Surely,
Noah's neighbors suggested getting some serious counseling for him.  Who would
have remotely considered throwing a baby shower for Sarah? Isaac and Moses would
both have been placed under child protective custody. Abraham was about to kill
his child, while Moses' mother floated him down the Nile alone in a basket!

Fortunately, the ancients had faith... things hoped for, but not immediately
seen.  Unfortunately, what we see this minute becomes our "Stop Sign" and we
refuse to go beyond that point.  When we stop, we miss what God wants to do in
our lives.  People, go pass the "Stop Sign".

I REALLY want some people to get pass the "Stop Sign" today, so allow me to
teach a moment:

A.  Faith sees what others can’t see—it delights in the reality of future
things—that could be your healing, deliverance, being whole, and being set free.
For your healing you must understand by Jesus' stripes you can be healed
regardless of what is going on in your body.

B.  Faith enables believers to understand the power of the Word of God. 

C. Stand on the Word in any situation. God's Word says He will supply your needs
according to His riches in glory.

D. There is nothing too hard, nor impossible, for Him.

Faith enables believers to walk closely with God, pass the "Stop Sign". God
never changes. Enoch walked with the Lord for 300 years in the midst of
wickedness without wavering in his faith. That pleased God. He will be pleased 
if we walk closely with Him, not wavering in our faith despite of what we face.  
If we do this, we are ready to go pass the "Stop Sign".

Faith enables you and I to focus on the danger and destruction of the world. God
told Noah of the future destruction of the world.  He showed him what to do with
his family.  By acting on God’s warning about the flood, Noah went pass the
"Stop Sign" and spent years building an ark to save his family. Those who were
unfaithful and unbelieving ignored God’s warning and went on eating, drinking,
marrying, buying, selling, planting and building, to the day Noah entered the
ark.  That’s the group that stopped at the "Stop Sign" and, unprepared for when
the flood came, were swept away.

Passing the "Stop Sign", Noah and Abraham were blessed abundantly. Getting pass
that "Stop Sign" by faith enables you to receive God’s promises in impossible
situations. Someone needs to get pass the "Stop Sign"...Pass the sign of grief
and depression. Unwrap your mind from what you have decided is impossible. Go
pass the "Stop Sign".

Get pass  that "Stop Sign" of fear and overcome in that area of your life  any
barrier that stands in the way of your victory. Stand on the love that conquers
fear.  You can be victorious like the Israelites who  obtained the strength to
walk through the Red Sea onto dry land.

This next point is where so many are, and that is dealing with difficulties. If
you just go pass the "Stop Sign", reflect again upon  the list of people who had
demonstrated faith in verses 32-39.  It was clear that even Old Testament time’s
faith was not just strict  Mosaic Law.  It was heartfelt trust in our personal
God. It requires going pass the "Stop Sign".  Life has dealt you many
difficulties until you are saying, "I can’t believe things will not change!" 
That’s where Satan wants you be. You are stuck and will not go pass that "Stop
Sign". People then, and now, had to hang in there  by persevering in faith. 
"Lord, I can’t see it but I am going pass the 'Stop Sign' today."

Those who keep the faith in God win His favor in even under what appear to be
impossible situations.  Getting past the "Stop Sign" by faith, we can live a
life of sacrifice considering  mistreatment, torture, and abuse from the world,
and even family and friends, as suffering for Christ’s sake.  To move pass the
"Stop Sign", one must know faith in Christ does not guarantee a carefree life.
However, it does give you peace as you leave behind your past and walk according
to His will for your life. The heroes (read the chapter) all passed their Stop
Signs.  If they hadn’t, they would not have received what God had promised them.

People of God, go pass the "Stop Sign" and walk in your destiny. Purpose to
reclaim what is rightfully yours. Take anything that keeps you where God wants
to use you in the Kingdom.  Get your joy and peace back. Abundant life is yours. 
Carry your health, your emotional stability and your finances pass the "Stop
Sign".

Remember:
1. Knowing faith is believing in God’s character—He is who He says He
   is.
2. Believe in God's promises—He will do what He says.
3. Believe that God will fulfill His promises. Demonstrate faith.
4. Remember those times He took you through a situation.
5. Rely on the Word and believe it.

When trouble hits you hard, do as that teacher did..something without faith you
can't do...GO PASS THE STOP SIGN!

 
 
 
Sunday, October 6, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene, Messenger 
Topic: Setting the Stage for Set Time
Scripture: 2nd Kings 20:1-6

During this anniversary month we will preach about set times.  Set time is God’s
appointed time to do something.  As we enter into year 18, we want God to set
the time: time of conception; time for new things; time to give; time to be on
time; time of protection and time for favor. With those set times God is going
to move mightily at Sacred Zion

This begins the 17th anniversary, and our "DNA" is in healing and deliverance. I
want the focus to be on faith and prayer, essential to set times. Faith and
prayer indeed moves God.  Is there something going on in your life that requires
healing? Healing may be required for spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental
needs. Anything that keeps you from being whole requires healing. Sincere faith
and prayer can turn things around.

Let’s visit the text. Hezekiah was the only faithful king for 100 years. In the
14th year of his 20th reign he was given a death sentence.  Prophet Isaiah
visited him and told him his illness was such he was going to die.

As I prayed and meditated, some of us have had similar visits.  Unfortunately,
Isaiah’s visit was not a comforting visit. No one wants to hear that you are
going to die. That's a grim message to whomever.

There are some messages some have received that have been just as devastating:
when you were diagnosed with Aids; cancer; chronic anxiety or depression; a
bipolar diagnosis; diabetes; an amputation; loss of job; government cutting your
own means of survival; blockage of health coverage; children not getting WIC;
closing Headstarts; children can’t get cancer treatment from NHI. Those are some
grim messages, and you begin to question why and why me?

Some will do like Hezekiah did. He told God how righteous he was. In verse
18:3-9 (Contemporary version), the Word said Hezekiah obeyed the Lord, just as
his ancestor David had done.  He destroyed the local shrines, then tore down the
images of foreign gods and cut down the sacred pole for worshipping the goddess
Asherah. He made a radical change from his father, Ahaz. By faith and commitment
he was courageous enough to stand against Judah’s ungodly ways and put things in
place to rebuild the Kingdom God’s way.  Faith and commitment set the stage for
the set times that would be taking place.

I hear Hezekiah saying, "Lord, I have done all of this for you!" Some of us can
relate to that as well and are saying, "I finally got it right. I am in the
church. I am not ready to hear my illness is due to death. I am not ready for
that news"(in the text during that time death was linked to sins.)

Because Hezekiah had reformed their worship, those who had been worshipping idol
gods thought he was being punished.  Over the 17 years, there have been reforms
at Sacred Zion you liked or didn’t like. For those you didn’t like, you might
have made judgements calls.

Hezekiah raised some questions as to why he was given a death sentence.  As
pastor, I sometime ask why, when reformation takes place, it often brings
opposition. I am, however, determined that in  the future I am going to continue
to do what Hezekiah did, put faith and prayer in action. It works every time!

People of God, we do not always understand why God does what He does. His ways
are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Job, and also Jesus,
had bouts with misfortune and found it was so the work of God might be displayed
and His Son be glorified.

In John 9:2-3, the disciples asked the Master why was the man born blind? Was it
a result of sin, or his parents?  We are quick to come to conclusions why people
suffer.  Jesus set things straight by saying it was to demonstrate the power of
God, or so God’s Son Jesus is glorified.  So there are questions from time to
time when things are not going the way we think they should go and we decide why
it’s happening.

Get out of the driver's seat and watch faith and prayer bring victory over your
enemies. Hebrews 11:33-38 helped me.  Their faith helped the ancients conquer
kingdoms because they did right. By faith they closed jaws of lions, put out
raging fires and escaped from their enemies. Although they were weak, they were
given strength and power to chase armies away. Some women received their loved
ones back from death. Many were tortured, but they refused to give in. Some were
persecuted by being made fun of and beaten with whips. They, you and I
questioned why this and why me. Why must believers suffer? But people, God is
still in control.  Some Christians are persecuted for their faith.

I choose to believe God has an appointed time for certain things to occur in our
lives. It’s His time, not ours.  If you are going through, find comfort in the
fact that righteous Jesus suffered. But the Good News, the Word in Mathew
chapter 28, says Jesus intercedes on our behalf.  Regardless of what you might
be going through, when you get that grim message you will be distressed.  But do
what Hezekiah  did and not what King Asa did. Asa depended on doctors, which is
good. I am not suggesting not go to a doctor. Take me to the doctor while you
are praying. However, Asa didn’t deal with his spiritual man. Hezekiah, on the
other hand, turned his face to the wall and prayed. His answer was his life was
extended to 15 more years

God has a way of confirming things that He does not change. He did that with DIT
Maurice Coles. Last Sunday morning, because of severe pain, he requested to go
to the hospital. His wife got him there and was told if he hadn’t gotten there
that day he would have died one day this week. But praise to God, those twins of
faith and prayer of the saints worked in his behalf as it did for Hezekiah, and
his life was extended!

There was such a rapid response to Hezekiah’s prayer that even before Isaiah had
even left the place he received God's answer. Hezekiah’s life was extended.
Those prayers were rapid for Maurice also, and by Monday night his pressure came
down and he was able to have the surgery he needed.  Tuesday evening he went
home. Today he is here in service, worshipping God!  Any one in need of a rapid
prayer? Take a page out of Hezekiah’s and Maurice’s books.

Hezekiah prayed this prayer to the Lord. "Remember how I always tried to obey
you and please you in everything." Then he broke down and cried.  He dealt with
his sprit man. I know Maurice had a talk with the Lord as well.

In conclusion, if any of those things I identified earlier in the message, such
as Aids, cancer, gall bladder problems, diabetes, mental illness, are crippling
your life, do what Hezekiah, and Maurice, did.
1. Hezekiah acknowledged that the prophet said his illness was to death. 
Maurice acknowledged that pain needed attention and went to the hospital. I
suggest you go a little further and then identify what is killing you
spiritually, physically, emotionally or even mentally. That’s where to start.
Then ask God for your set time, for how your healing will take place
2. Then Hezekiah instituted a sweeping spiritual and political reform. That's
needed sometimes. Hezekiah did self evaluation, or assessment. After  all,
changes and reformation are needed to do Kingdom work and meet the world’s
challenges.  I witnessed Maurice doing some self evaluation.  If reformation is
to be effective, we must have to be honest to ourselves. Have a powerful prayer
life and maintain a consistent personal relationship with God.
3. Come clean with yourself and God. You, better than anyone else, knows what
you need to do to get right with God.  In Hezekiah’s life, although a faithful
king, he had some flaws. If you look at the text you will find he failed TO
TRAIN HIS SON Manasseh who undid the reformation Hezekiah had instituted. 

Sacred Zion, during these set times as reforms are taking place, we need to make
sure  people will be trained to carry them out.  He shared his wealth with the
Babylon messenger and took credit for it.  Aren’t we guilty of taking God's
glory when He uses us? When Hezekiah turned his face to the wall not only did he
tell God how great He was, but he dealt with some flaws as well.  And when he
did, his set time for healing took place and he got 15 more years of life.

That’s what all of us  must do, and Maurice will tell you it did work for him.
He is here to tell his own story. At God’s appointed time, Hezekiah was given 15
more years. God performed a miracle of proof of His promise of life to Hezekiah.
Hezekiah and Maurice during life just might have been troubled by doubt, and
possibly at this point that God may not honor their requests. People of God,
never doubt that God will rescue you. If we pray, are faithful and cry out to
the Lord in prayer, as Hezekiah and Maurice did, God will extend your life,
healing spiritually of the soul, body and mind. God can and will handle it. If
we get this right we will be ready for the upcoming services. We all must
understand God’s set time is His appointed time.
 
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013: E.I.T. Michael Graves (Men's Day)
Topic: Lord Make Me Over
Scripture: Isaiah 64:8
Summary: Remove what is not like God. Recieve a complete makeover! 
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013: Elder Deanna Alsup, Messenger
Topic: A Perfect Mind
Scripture: Phil. 2:5
Summary: God sees and knows motives behind our thoughts, but still loves us. As hard
                  as we try to follow the Holy Scriptures, due to man's carnal and physical states
                  we do not have perfect minds. We, however, have both the ability and capability to
                  have our spiritual life outweigh our carnal existence. Thoughts show where you
                  are in your relationship with God. Christ made the choice to be humble, obedient
                  and to glorify God. He was truly focused on His assighnment.  Learn to control
                  thoughts and actions. Choose to take on the mind of Christ, directing
                  your attentions and responses upon what God is speaking to you.
                  
Sunday, September 8, 2013
: Min. Edythe Poole, Messenger (Seniors' Day)
Topic: This Is How We Do It
Scripture: Psalm 100:4&5
Summary: Christ's Church is defined by Biblical principles. It is unrecognizable if based upon "How
                 'WE' Do IT".    
 
Sunday, September 1, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene, Messenger
Topic: Be Free
Scripture: Psalm 2:1-6

(God took me back to a message I preached not long ago, but He has given a
different twist.)

Today’s message is to set someone free. After the most recent workshop on "Hurt
People Hurt People and How to Handle Anger",  I sense someone still is in
bondage.  Bondage is the practice of being physically restrained as with a
cord/chain or handcuffed or shackled.  You are in bondage when you are at the
mercy of someone or something that you yourself can’t control and are being
controlled otherwise. Those things you have been told that hurt and or angered
you won't allow you to move on (such as no on loves you; you will never be
anything; your life is a failure.)

Today, I want you leaving here knowing that true freedom comes when you realize
what God created you to do and not what someone else told you.  Hurts and anger
inhibit you from walking in God’s design for you.  Never lose sight of the fact
that God has a purpose and plan for each of us. Freedom comes when we let go and
give God control, then we can walk in His plan.

Our Psalm reference (NIV used in preparation of this sermon) addresses rebellion, which
is foolish.  Pride gets in the way of God using you.  Powerful men and women may think
they can do what they like because they are educated, think they "got it going on", do their
own  things and oppose God’s purposes. However, according to verse 4, which reads
from a contemporary version, they are laughed at. "In heaven the Lord laughs as
he sits on his throne making fun of nations." When you do not submit to God's
plan you are being laughed at. Doing our own thing, the laugh is on us.
When we take the path of running from God, we find voids in our lives. As we
look for how to deal with them on our own, we discover that what we thought
would fill the empty spaces has entrapped us. So now I have double trouble. Not
only did I not fill the void, but now I am stuck. I realize freedom comes from
pleasing God, not doing my own thing. 

Let’s talk about being enslaved, chained and in shackles.  On occasion I go to
the courts and when prisoners are brought in they have chains and shackles. 
They are enslaved and can’t go anywhere unless their chains are broken and
shackles removed. They are restricted or limited to move around.  As a believer
you need freedom to move by the Holy Spirit. Freedom comes when chains are
broken and shackles removed.

So it is with Christians. Our freedom comes when we yield to God's purpose and
plan for our lives. Now if freedom is to take place, at some point we must
understand that If God is in charge of the world,  why do we keep doing things
our way?  We are chained and shackled.We need to be set free to do what God
has assigned us to do.  I want to let someone know that your arms are too short to
fight with God.  It is foolish to fight against God’s plan for your life. Some struggles you
encounter are a result of your not doing what God has planned for you. Until you yield to God's
plan, the struggle intensifies.

Now, as we focus on the text, verse 3 says, "Let us break the chains,  and free
ourselves from slavery to God."  Sometimes, rather than be a slave to God we
turn from Him and to another master. In today’s society we don’t want to even
use the word slave based on what it has meant to African Americans.  That is the
root of the anger in African Americans. Some hurts go way back and have rooted
in our souls. The truth is we all are slaves to someone or something. Be it
being enslaved to hurt, and/or that familiar anger that usually originates with
conflict, abuse, injustice and humiliation.  Anger  consists of bitterness,
hatred, and wrath. If we do not include and work God’s plan for our life, we
will remain enslaved with anger and our pain.  I choose if I am going to be a
slave I will be a slave for God.

It took me a while to understand how foolish it was to reject God’s plan for my
own life.  When you reject His plan you will substitute another plan... bad
idea!  More often than not that plan is destructive spiritually and could end up
emotionally and physically disastrous.Let me assure you you can’t get away from God’s
plan. You can’t hide from God and you are miserable trying to avoid His plan for your life.
You will find yourself chained and shackled.  Romans 9:20-21 WHICH IN ESSENCE SAYS,
"Who do you think you are to question God?  Does the clay have the right to say to the
potter why he shaped it the way he did.  Doesn’t the potter have the right to make a fancy
bowl and a plain bowl out of the same lump of clay?" God is in control.That’s a another message,
but that potter process is one that includes getting you to the right consistency, getting on the wheel,
being broken and shattered to get to where He can use you in His plan for you.

Too many people in the body of Christ are chained because they have rejected God’s plan
for their lives. They have delayed the process of getting where God can use them.  Today,
I want some chains broken and shackles removed.  Leave here free today.

The question is how can I be free?
1. It begins with acknowledging that it is foolish to reject God’s plan for your
life.  So spend some time in the presence of the Lord seeking God for His plan
for your life and what stands in your way of walking in His plan.  Be honest
with God and tell Him how you regret how much time you have wasted by
challenging Him and seeking what keeps you from walking in your destiny. Then
agree and get ready to submit to His ways for your life and admit that His ways
are better than yours.
2. Get in tune with God’s plan for your life. Stay there until it’s perfectly
clear what His plan for your life is.  Then accept His help and loving rule for
your life. Get in tune by talking to Him about who hurt you, when and how, what
makes you angry and why you are still angry over something that happened years
ago.  Ask God how are you to use what you have gone through in your assignment. 

3. Then, with your whole heart, turn the situation over to God the Creator. He
is the ultimate planner, who is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful.  He
will set you free to be who He created you to be. 
4. Accept that God knows what He is doing and He will equip you for His
assignment for your life. What you have been going through is equipping you for
God's assignment.  Watch Him blend it and make out a powerful end time ministry.

As I prepare for prayer for freedom, be clear who I want to pray for... persons
who are hurting, are angry and can’t move on...those persons who have been
scared by comments made to you years ago. It doesn’t matter who you are or where
you are, and your positions here  in this church or another church. I am ready
to deal with setting you free.  Regardless of  what has you in bondage, today is
the day to be set free.  This is serious to me. I am prepared to pray for.  This
is time for persons who really want to yield to God’s plan for their life and
accept His healing from hurts and anger, and walk in your destiny
I am talking about people who are ready to be freed to walk in God’s plan for
their life...for those who know there are things hindering them.  The purpose
for prayer today is to position you to follow God’s plan for your life and His
only! There is no greater freedom than knowing you are walking in God’s plan for
your life and being freed of any bondage.
 
 
 
 
Sunday, August 25, 2013: Min. Ashley Torrence, Messenger
Topic: I Am Still Here
Scripture: Romans 8:37
Summary: Your very existence is testimony to obstacles you have overcome.
 
Sunday, August 18, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene, Messenger
Topic: Replace Heaviness with Garment of Praise
Subtopic:  It’s All About Praise
Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19

Tribulation comes our way. Our immediate reaction when faced with a problem is
to try to solve it ourselves.  We allow the heaviness resulting from the
suffering to rest upon us. However, after awhile under the pressure of knowing
you have no control over the situation, you seek God and find that He will
release your heaviness. You will thank God, but that type praise is temporary.
It's for the moment because when another difficult time comes, you forget who
had the answer that gave relief, putting yourself back into the equation. You
need to become invisible. Cover-up with a "Garment of Praise". Never stop
praising Him for what He has already shown He can do!

Let’s look at some situations that bring heaviness. The injustice seen in the
Trayvon Martin/ George Zimmerman case brought a nation to tears.  Injustice,
real or perceived anywhere - in the legal system, corporate world, and even in
the church, carries a heaviness. 

Pain brought about through our own actions are often the heaviest to bear! The
things that you should or shouldn’t have done. Perhaps you invited someone into
your circle you shouldn’t have.  Can you imagine the heaviness of the father who
befriended a man (DiMaggio) who killed his wife and son, and kidnapped his
daughter? God knows what heaviness that parent is dealing with!  Think of
significant others you brought in your house that violated you, your daughters
and sons, and the guilt you feel.

Then there are those who are broken hearted as a result of relationships gone
bad. Some are in mourning for a loved one gone too soon due to social violence.
We worry about children in gangs, the incarcerated, and  dealing with mental
illness in the family. You feel like you can’t get away from heaviness.

I hear the Lord saying, "Enough is enough! You have suffered long enough! God’s
mercy is available to you. Let me replace your heaviness with praise." God
understands and wants to settle your account of heaviness once and for all.  He
wants you to cast your burdens onto him.  Jesus came on this earth and He had a
mission that’s expressed in our text. It reads from LVG translation,
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to
bring good news to suffering and afflicted.  He has sent comfort to the
brokenhearted; to announce liberty to captives and to open eyes of the
spiritually blinded.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of
God’s favor to them that come to all who mourn… he will give beauty for ashes;
instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness."

Replace the heaviness with a "Garment of Praise"! Jesus was anointed to mend
broken hearts and to free you of any bondage. His Holy Spirit can comfort those
who are mourning.  He will even deal with those things that were so tough you
felt you were burned to ashes. He will use that to make powerful and new
ministries. Then you can see the beauty of the ashes.

If you will follow me into the "Heavenly Dressing Room", we can replace
heaviness with "Garments of Praise".

Let’s start with "Yadah Praise". When you think of what caused the heaviness,
despite  what you feel like, just raise your hands to the Lord and gives
thanksgiving!  Psalm 63:4 says, "I will bless you as long as I live; lifting
hands to you in prayer."  Raise your hands and bless the Lord in praise!  Some
heaviness is being released as you do. Praise Him that you are still alive. You
know you could have, or even should be dead! Praise God with lifted hands!

Now,  continue lifting up your hands to the Lord in the "Towdah Praise".  Do
some confessing, and with your hands raised thank God in advance that He will do
what He says in His word.  Make a joyful noise the Lord! Psalm 55:22 instructs
to, " cast your burdens on Him and he will sustain, he will never let the
righteous fall." Thank God for His sustaining power!

Now let's slip into the " "Halal Praise"... that is singing songs in praise!
Come on choir, "A Change Has Taken Over Me"...  just give me a little of that. 
As it's being sung, someone will get excited because the heaviness is being or
has been lifted.  As I look at whom and what I was, at who I could have been,
and what God has done, I can’t do anything but raise my hands in praise, confess
and sing for how the Lord has changed my whole life!

Psalm 34:3 states, "Let us praise the Lord together and exalt the name of the
Lord."  Come on church, let's praise God together.  I am talking about praising
God Almighty who saved and changed my life. 
The "Shaback Praise" to Jesus means praise Him in a loud tone!  It is praise
that is a shout of triumph or cry of desperation. 
Praise him because when I cried out to Him, He heard me from the temple of
Jerusalem.  Praise the Lord all the nations: praise him, all ye people. Can I
get everyone to praise God more than you give to the Ravens or Orioles?

Let’s get real. There are times the heaviness was such our lives were
unmanageable. Friends and family turn their backs on us.  You even start
thinking you are beyond help.  Anyone been there?  But when you look to God for
help and encouragement, He is always ready to be there for you and lift your
heaviness.

Thank God for a shout of praise of triumph .  I hear someone saying when I think
of the goodness of Jesus and all he has done for me, my soul cries out
hallelujah for His goodness and His mercy.  Continue giving the "Shaback Praise"!

Maybe you didn’t raise your hands, sing praises or shout, but there is also
"Barak Praise". Bow down and worship before God with expectation of God blessing
you and relieving your heaviness.  Not begging, but expecting God's blessings. i
hear, "I will bless the Lord  at all times. His praise will continually be in my
mouth." Open your mouth and praise the Lord!

Bishop Morton sings, "Bow down and worship Him." Come on church, let's worship
God! Put on that garment of Barak and let’s worship God. 

If you haven’t experienced heaviness being lifted up with praise yet, put on the
"Zamar Praise" ... praise with instrument.  Come on Minster Poole! Psalm 150
says, "Praise him with the trumpet, praise him with the drums and horns; praise
him with the cymbals, with loud cymbals. 

Then there is one more,  "Tehelliah Praise". This is the one that meets you as
singing flows from the spirit. It is not rehearsed. You might hear someone say,
"My soul loves Jesus, my soul loves Jesus, bless His name.  He is a wonder in my
soul, he is a wonder in my soul!"  Someone might sing in their heavenly
language.  What is coming out of your spirit? I might say, "When I think of the
goodness of Jesus and all He has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah!" 
Then I might  say, "How great God is! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,
how great Thou art, how great Thou art!"

As you exit the "Heavenly Dressing Room", now you are clothed with praise.
Whatever you are facing, or have faced, there is praise for the occasion because
God dressed you with "Garments of Praise." Understand, the garments symbolize
internal changes, a purification which expresses praise.  God has changed me
internally and purified me! I just want to praise God!  Come on church, let's
Praise God in our new garments!
 
 
Sunday, August 11, 2013: Elder Yvonne Jones, Women's Day Messenger
Topic: From Condemnation to Transformation
Subtopic: How You Like Me Now?
Scriptures: Rom. 12:1; 2nd Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1 
Summary: There is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. Your "house" is restored on a firm foundation.
  You are transformed to your original intended state ('Renewal of Mind").
 
 
 
Sunday, August 4, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Restoration is a Process
Subtopic: God Knows the Why Behind the What
Text: Hebrews 4:14-16

On this "Healing and Deliverance"Sunday, I feel the need to visit "Restoration".
After the recent workshops (summer Bible Study substitutions) the Holy Spirit is
letting me know that restoration is needed. Doing the work of the Lord, rigid
schedules, and every day challenges of life, every now and then restoration is
needed.  Restoration is renewal of something to his or her former state; the
state of being reinstated or reconstructed. This requires a series of actions.

The process begins with going down memory lane to see why restoration is needed.
While we might not see a decline, Jesus understands better than anyone why you
need to return to the path of the purpose for which you were created. We have a
tendency to only see what others do, and question why others do what they did
and why they did it.  Focus on you! Jesus knows why we do what we do and the
why.  After all, He was there all the time! He knows and remembers all the
emotional bruises in your past, even those you've suppressed or shared. Yet, He
doesn't alter His plan for your life.    He understands our weaknesses -every
fear, every insecurity, every doubt - all our wrong thinking, He knows why we
need to be restored and why we do what you do.

Let’s be real, today all of us go through dry periods in our lives. During those
times some withdraw, becoming isolated. Some develop unhealthy addictions. These
are coping skills to get through our dry place. 

Feeling alone, we even sometimes try to coerce God through threats.  "Lord, I
can’t take anymore. I can’t do this anymore, this is too much!"  How about, "If
things don’t change I am going back to doing what I was doing before I came to
the Lord. Things were better then." What about " I need a drink" , "I need to
get high", or "I will give you a piece of my mind!"

But what you don’t really understand, it’s during such times God is letting us
know to trust Him so we can go back to the original state for which He designed
us to be. It’s a time for God to prepare you for His purpose and plan for your
life.  God does not change His plan for your life because you are being
stubborn.  He will not stop us from doing what we want to do. However, with a
contrary behavior you will find that you stay in your dry season longer. When
God gets your full attention, you know if things are to change you need
restoration. This is called faith.

By faith, lay claim to everything the enemy has taken from you:
health, finances, employment, family. It's time to take everything back Satan
has taken from you. Speak life into every situation.  During that time you will
recognize you need to be restored.

Next, resist living in condemnation.  Refuse to allow people to put you on a
guilt trip and don’t you put them on one.

Let’s visit our text and understand that Christ Jesus is greater than the Old
Testament priesthood.  The text encourages people to continue holding firm to
the faith they profess in Christ by reminding them of Christ’s pre-eminent
status as a Great High Priest. In other words, we are to hold onto the faith
that we are telling others about. (Have you more faith in situations for others
than for yourself? Can we convince others to have faith over their situation?)
No other high priest, not even Aaron, was ever given the title ‘Great'.  Nor did
another priest have a similar ministry in heaven.  Jesus has this ministry and
holds this title because He alone is the Son of God and the Son of Man.  As
such, He is superior to everyone else in the whole history of creation.  That
must be received if restoration is to take place.

Jesus is like you and me in that He experienced a full range of temptations as a
human being throughout His life. Therefore, we can be comforted with the fact
that He faced them so He can empathize with us, understanding we are tempted.
Even though He was able to not sin, even with His superior status Jesus still
sympathizes with our weaknesses. The good news is because He understands our
situations, He can carry out the duties as a Restorer with mercy, great sympathy
and faithfulness.  He and He alone can do that. Thank God for Jesus the
Restorer!

This restoration is available to all.  In our text the ordinary people would not
approach a high priest for help, but aren’t you glad every one of us can
approach the Great Priest Jesus?  So if you are in that place you want to give
up, if you are in a dry place, nothing is going right, today is the day to turn
things around. Restoration is for you!  Confidently approach the throne of grace
in heaven so that you can receive grace and mercy. Jesus understands the why’s
behind your what’s and His love is unconditional.  He is committed to working
with each of us through of the Holy Spirit—and He does not condemn during the
process.  Jesus can and will give us strength to overcome, and will forgive us
if we fail.

Verse 16 of our text reads, "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need." Anybody
have a need?  If so, prayer is the right approach. Approach is an action word -
you have to come to the throne for yourself! If you want to be restored, you
have to do something.

Go boldly to the throne of grace!  This  is no time to go to God with your head
hung down, afraid to ask Him for what you need.  You are going to the King of
Kings, so go to Him with real assurance that He is your Friend, your Counselor,
and can meet any need you have.
We are approaching the Head, the Great Priest, Jesus Christ!  He isn’t just any
priest, He is one who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He has been
where you are.  He understands and will forgive us when we don’t get it right.
Aren't you glad about that! That’s why we can joyfully go to the throne of grace
and His heart is full of love, even though we don’t deserve it. He will give us
mercy, even though we don’t deserve it. If we approach the throne of grace we
can be restored today!

Right now I challenge you to forget about everyone else and just have a talk
with Jesus as to why you need to be restored.  Tell Him all! Ask for
forgiveness, for a changed heart and a renewed mind. Then agree not to stay in
that dry place any longer.  Also agree when you find yourself in a dry place
again to immediately go to the throne of God and be restored. The throne today
could to be kneeling where you are. You might want to come to the altar. You
might want to lay prostrate, or you might just stand and look to the hills where
Jesus is. All the help you need comes from Him. Go to the throne for whatever
you are in need of for restoration. Bravely come to the throne of God, who is
merciful.  There you will find underserved kindness and the help you need. Today
is the day to be restored with God's purpose for your life in mind.

Lord, in these dry places I know you are working out your plan for my life. But
Lord, my desire today is to be restored to fulfill your purpose in my life. 
Where I am, I am not where I need to be to fulfill your plan for my life.  So
Lord, help me to trust Your hand, the shaping and the molding You are doing in
my life.  Today I choose to be restored for Your plan and purpose. I need to be
renewed because I have been in this place too long. I need restoration today!
I can’t be at a better time to be restored than on Communion Sunday.

I just believe the greatest healings ought to take place at Communion.  Just
think of the price He paid that you and I commune with him.  Allow the God that
gave His only Son on a miserable death on a cross in demonstrating  His love for
us.  Because of that we can be Restored and walk away from here today
spiritually free and physically healed! "God Knows the Why Behind the What."
He will make us WHOLE!
 
Sunday, July 28, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Obedience Brings Blessings
Text: Deut. 28:9-10

With all of the controversy that surrounds us, I dare say that there is no one
here that does not want a blessing.  Agreeing to be blessed has some
requirements, so I want to challenge you today to position yourself to be
blessed.  The blessings I am speaking of are linked to holiness, spiritual
redemptions, divine will, and restoration approved by God.

Blessings are not always by turning around a number of times or because a
messenger says you are going to be blessed.  Since the blessing come from the
Lord we must seek God as to how we can be blessed.  God blesses, but He does
have requirements.

Today, I want to see some people be blessed.  In Numbers 6:24-26 there is a 5
part blessing request to God.  Specifically:
1. Favor and protection (God knows with our street as the war zone we need
protection.)
2. That He is pleased with His people.
3. He will show goodness and mercy. (Aren't you glad that goodness and mercy
are assigned to you!)
4. That God will grant you peace and goodness.
5. That God will show approval.

Does anyone want to be blessed?  The essential for being blessed is obedience. 
We must obey God and adhere to His command in order to receive desired
blessings. There are considerable rewards for obedience.  Let's visit the text.
We need to start with seeking God’s will for us and then do God's will for our
lives. Where should I start? Obey God's Word, the Holy Bible! 

You will find there are several blessings in our text for being obedient. Verse
3 says, "You will be blessed in the city and in the country."  That means in
your professional life when you are obedient God will bless you.  Lev. 26:3-4
lets us know if we obey the laws of God, He will send rain to make crops grow
and your trees produce fruits.  Being fruitful is a blessing, wouldn’t you say? 


Blessings apply to your job, your business and any kind of work that you are
assigned.  Because you obeyed God He will make provisions to ensure you are
productive.  That could be your catering, your sewing -     any job that God
assigns to you.  He will make sure your employers and or employees are a
blessing to you.

In Verse 4 there is another blessing, "... the fruit of the womb will be blessed
and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock- the calves of your
herd and the lambs of you flock." What does that mean in the way of blessings,
Bishop? I hear the Lord saying someone has been wanting to have a child. God is
going to bless your womb.  Along with that, livestock is indicative that God
will provide everything you need. While the text is dealing with farms and
livestock, simply stated God is saying your household, your children, your
grandchildren will be blessed.  All of this is associated with obeying the laws
of God.

In addition, He will bless you by making you successful in battle. He  will
defeat your enemy, making them scatter in all directions if you obey the Word. 
When you obey, you forgive. Showing love to your enemy is a step towards their
possible salvation.

Those who are obedient will delight in their inheritance. David said in Psalm
16:5-6 (LVG), "The Lord himself is my inheritance, my prize.  He is my food and
drink, my highest joy! He guards all that is mine. He sees that I am given
brooks and meadows as my share!" What a wonderful inheritance!

You see that strength and security come from God and we can be recipients if we
just obey.  It is God that can restore us when we are going through difficult
times. Instead of looking to one another,  draw strength and joy from God. He
never disappoints!

If you haven’t yet seen the need to be obedient, let me further explain its
importance. Understand, your land includes the time and space allotted to you by
God.  When we are faithful to God’s commands and manage our territory, God gives
goodness and favor. We can be like Moses and stand in awe of God’s blessed
people because of their relationship with Him.

I believe some of you have witnessed some awesome blessings in your life. You
have the "Key". For others, anyone who wants to have an awe moment as a result
of obeying God, let me recap how you, too, can experience this:

1. Follow and obey the Lord. Doing that ensures that you will be classified as a
special people just as God promised.
2. The favor and blessing will be such that everyone around you will know you
belong to God, and they will be afraid to challenge you!  The blessing will rest
on you and you will get attention. People will know only God has done this
thing.  The power of God on you will make people step back and recognize His
power in your life,
3. By following and obeying God you will be blessed wherever you go -  in the
city or country blessings will overtake you. God will bless entrepreneurs, any
business you have.  Some will follow God’s direction and finally get your
business off the ground. People who are obeying God look for new jobs, look for
promotions, raises, all because they decided to obey God.

However, we can’t be selective. We must decide to obey God's laws and commands
at any cost. God will provide everything you need to be successful. You do this
by:
1. Putting God first ( Matt. 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his
righteous and all things will be added to you.")
2. Following the Word and the laws of God (Joshua 1:7-8,
"Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law that Moses gave
you, don’t turn to the right or left that you may be successful wherever you go. 
Do not let the book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night,
so that you may be careful to do everything within it. Then you will be
prosperous."  Obedience brings blessings
3. Not giving up. (Gal 6:9, "Don't be weary in doing good, don’t get weary in
obeying God laws for at the proper time you will be blessed by reaping the
harvest.")
4. Doing all you do for Christ! (Philippians 1:-21 paraphrased...  if I live, it
will be for Christ and if I die, I will gain more.)

Let me conclude by saying God has given you responsibility for the upkeep He has
trusted in your hands.  People of God, walk in the authority that is available
for those whom obey God's Words and follow them. Walk in your rightful place. 
God has given you territory and is waiting to enlarge it! Our blessings hinge on
obeying and following God's ways.  I have sought God to ask what territory He
has assigned you. I pray you will walk in authority and blessings will overtake
you. I am expecting blessings to take place. Make sure you position yourself to
receive them. I am looking for blessings to rest on this House!
 
Sunday, July 14, 2013 - Messenger Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: "Put Satan Packing"
Text: 1Peter 5:8; James 4:7
Summary: Satan's mission has not changed. Peter says to be watchful of attacks of the enemy.
God has given us Spiritual Authority to overcome Satan. Accept your "Whole Healing" (see 7/7/13).
 
Sunday, July 7, 2013 - Messenger Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic:  Wellness Sunday - ""Do You Really Want To Be Well?"
Text:: John 5:1-9
Summary: Whole Healing is of the Spirit, Mind and Soul. Do not let a "Victim Status" serve as detriment to your total healing.
 
Sunday, June 23, 2013 - Messenger Minister Shawn Torrence
Topic: I'm Still Here!
Text: Job 1:8-12, 20 & 21
Summary: Longevity is not promised. Therefore, live a full life trusting in God.
                     As did Job, learn to PRAISE GOD when your faith is being tested.

 
Sunday, June 9, 2013: Messenger Bertha M. Greene 
Topic: Don’t Ignore the Exit Signs, Pray to Take the Right Exit
Text: 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:1-3

In today’s environment people use MapQuest and GPS for direction.  One finds
that exits are key to getting to your destination timely.  Taking the wrong one,
or ignoring them, causes delays in your travel. 

In public places it is required to have exit signs throughout the building. I
wonder how many of us pay attention to them when we go into buildings, or are
they just ignored?  They are there for a reason.  Should some catastrophe take
place, knowing where the exits are could save your life. 

Exits are escape routes.  Ignoring  means if there is a need to escape you might
not know where to go or what to do.  Today’s message is to alert you to the
importance of exits.  Now I just talked about exit signs that were man’s idea,
and they do work when used properly.  Well if man was smart enough to design
exits that works, the ones that our All-Knowing God designed show the way to
escape from the heat and the dangerous presence of every temptation.

In our text Paul warns about temptation, and I just want to make it relative. 
For the sake of this message, let’s view exits as warnings.  In our Sunday
school we are dealing with warnings. We tend to see things afar off, or "it
doesn’t apply to me", and therefore miss the picture. The Holy Spirit sees the
whole picture so we need to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

For persons who love to shop, you have paid_off all your credit cards and vowed
not to max them out again.  Macy’s has a sale, you go in the store, don’t’ have
any money and see something you want to purchase. The only way to get it is to
charge it.  The exit should be don’t go shopping when you don’t have money to
make purchases.
What about you have a roaming eye or a spirit of lust? You know what things you
watch on T.V that trigger your lust, getting you all stirred up and messing with
your mind.  Your exit is to stop watching those things on T.V! 
 
What if you came out of a lifestyle and you meet up with old buddies, finding yourself wanting to go back to what you have been delivered from.  The warning is to stay clear of certain people.

How about the smoker? You identify those places or things you do that cause you
to have a greater desire to smoke. The exit is don’t go to the places or do the
things that trigger your desire to smoke.
 
The list could go on and on with any addictive behavior. You are attempting to overcome it, and you recognize and give in to "triggers", associating with the same destroying places and people...doing the same thing, getting the same results!

Then you have the exit signs that show up in the form of interruptions, things
that change the climate of the moment. You were getting ready to do something
that you said you wouldn’t do again, knowing you shouldn’t, and the phone rings
or a knock on the door checks your spirit.  Now you are faced with ignoring the
warning or going full speed ahead. That warning was your means to escape.

Hopefully, by now you know what to do. It's time to pray that you stop ignoring the exit signs!

In 1 Cor. 10:13, "No temptation has over taken you except such as is common to
man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you
are able, but temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able
to bear." Here Paul gave encouragement to the Corinthians about temptation and
made several points that will be beneficial to us:  1. Wrong desires and
temptations happen to everyone, so don’t allow Satan to tell you you have been
singled out.  2. Others have resisted temptation and so can you.  3. Any
temptation can be resisted because God will help you through the Holy Spirit to
resist temptation. 

Pastor, how will I know when to look for an exit sign, take the right exit, or
if I have ignored the exit?   Glad you asked! 1.  Do so by recognizing those
people and situations that give you trouble. Your exit alert is likely to be
people and situations.  2. Run from anything you know is wrong. As a child of
God the Holy Spirit lets you know when something is wrong.  3. Chose only to do
what is right, the choice is yours.  4. Pray for God’s help and, 5. Seek friends
who love God and can offer help when you are tempted.  Running from temptation
is your first victory!

2 Timothy 2:22 says, "Flee also youthful lust, but pursue righteousness, love,
faith, peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."  Running
away might sometimes seem cowardly, but wise people see the warning and the
exit, and remove themselves from temptation.  Instead of worrying about being a
coward, be courageous and do what is right. It takes courage to do the right
thing when all signs lead to doing the wrong thing. Be like Timothy, a young man 
warned to run from anything that produced evil thoughts.  How many know it
begins with the thought and moves to the planning before the action?  That means
you have ignored exits and all kinds of warnings.
Someone is saying, "Pastor, you just don’t know this temptation keeps
reoccurring  and it’s something I can’t resist!"  I say to you remove yourself
physically from the situation.  Knowing when to exit is as important in
spiritual battle as knowing when and how to fight.  People of God, Satan is
turning up the heat on men and women of God, and God knows we need to pray!

We are at a time that we must run away from anything that stimulates youthful
lust.   The Word states in I Cor.13:11, " When I was a child, I thought as a
child but when I became a man I put away childless things."  Mature Christians,
it's time to put away childish things. Those things you use to do you should not
be doing them anymore.  Grow up! Stop living out your youthful fantasies.
Instead, follow the exits that make you want to do what is right.  Follow the
emergency exits that say pursue love and love unconditionally. Pursue faith that
moves you beyond what you can’t do to believe God to get you through that
moment.  Decide to be a five star Christian: follow Jesus, serve with
excellence,  have the right attitude toward one another, show genuine concern
toward others, and whatever you do, do it for the glory of God! Take the exit
that says all that I have done has not brought me peace but now I am looking for
peace beyond understanding.  Take the exit that will cause you to enjoy a
companionship of those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

Paul in the text makes it clear we should be aware of the emergency exits,
otherwise we might get caught-up in something or caught in some place we should not
be.  From now on, wherever you go, look for the emergency exit and make sure you
take the right one. Don’t ignore the exits. Hebrews warns against drifting away. 
People were encouraged to listen carefully to the truth. That is the only way
you will not drift away. The Apostle asks what makes you think you can escape if you are indifferent to His salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus Christ
Himself?  In other words church, what makes you think you are the one who will
get by or escape when you are ignoring every warning sign? Look for the right
exit sign!

Let me leave you with this: Stop ignoring exit signs!  James tells us just how
to do it in chapters 4:7-9. We do it by drawing closer to God. How? First we
need to submit to Him. Realize you need the forgiveness of God and a willingness
to follow Him that requires submission.  Secondly, resist the devil. Don't allow
him to tempt or entice you. Third, cleanse your hands and purify your hearts
(that is, lead a pure life; be cleansed from sin replacing it for God’s purity). 
Fourth, let there be tears, sorrow, and sincere grief for having ignored the
exit. So, because you didn’t exit you ended-up messed-up.  In case you don’t
exit, don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for not ignoring or
taking the right exit.  Five- Humble yourself before God and He will lift you up
( 1 Peter 5: 6, "Humble yourself therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he
may exalt you in due time.")

Last point- Someone needs to know that Satan is defeated! Be alerted to the
importance of taking the right exit sign. In Revelation 12:11, the critical blow
to Satan came when the Lamb, Jesus Christ, shed His blood for our sins.  The
victory is already won!  It was taken care of by Christ's death on the cross. 
He in our place paid the penalty so that we would take the right exit.  When you
think of the price He paid, that should make everyone of us think before
ignoring or taking the wrong exit again.

Pray and seek God for what exits you are to take, and the next time you are
tempted or faced with a battle with Satan don’t forget to look for the right
exit and take it. Don’t ignore it!  He needs to know you know what to do. That
will require much prayer when it comes to ignoring the exit signs.

 
Sunday, June 2, 2013: Combined Messengers
A FIVE STAR CHRISTIAN
 
FOLLOWS JESUS: Minister Gary & Elder Edna Reynolds
 Text:: John 3:16 - Most resembles Jesus because He GAVE.
 
HAS THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHERS: Ministers Edythe Poole & Karl Wallace
  Text: Phil. 2:5 - God is LOVE. All who live in love live in God. Praise Him in advance! 
 
IS A SERVANT: Elder-in-Training Mike Graves
  Text: Mark 10:45 - Christ came to SERVE. Seek to be a true servant.
 
IS CONCERNED FOR OTHERS: Ministers Shawn & Ashley Torrence
  Text: John 4:10,21 - Step out-side the box and CARE for others as Christ cares for us.
 
SUMMARY: Bishop Greene
  Text: 1 Cor. 10:31 - DO ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND THE STAGE HAS BEEN SET FOR 
                                  A FIVE STAR CHURCH!  
 
 
Sunday, May 19, 2013: Messenger, Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit: The Evidence
Acts 2:37-41


Today is Pentecost Sunday. It’s when the Holy Spirit came on the early church. 
It is the 50th day after Easter, and 10 days after Christ ascended to Heaven. 
Just prior to His ascension, Jesus tells the disciples to wait for He was
sending the Holy Spirit.  Luke 24:49 reads, " And, behold, I send the promise of
my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued
with power from on high."

Praise God, we no longer have to wait! You see, Jesus knew spreading  God's Good
News of the Resurrection would be overwhelming both then and now. Through the
promise of the Holy Spirit Jesus gave them, and has given us, peace and power to
do all things in His Name.

An "Outpouring" is when something flows rapidly from its main source. The
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit is so important because it was sent directly from
the Resurrected Savior as promised to His Apostles.  Christ's mission was
satisfied and the New Covenant began. 

Joel and Peter speak of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament
Prophet, Joel, spoke  of the universal outpouring of the God’s Spirit (Joel
2:28,29). New Testament Apostle Peter declared the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
on the day of Pentecost was fulfillment of that prophecy (Acts 2:14-16).  He
affirmed, "The promise is to you and to and your children, and to all who are
afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39, NIV).

It was necessary that baptism preclude the Resurrection. Symbolically, John
baptized with water, but foretold that One would come who would baptize with the
Holy Spirit ( Mt. 3:11). Christ gave confirmation of John's purpose in Acts 1:5,
"For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy
Spirit not many days from now."   Don’t just settle with the indwelling, open up
for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit to do what He wants to do in your life.

Christ tells the Apostles in Acts 1:8,  "But you will receive power, after that
the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall witnesses unto both in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to all to the uttermost parts of the world."
So at Pentecost the church received the power to evangelize to the everyone!
When the 120 came down from the Upper Room, they came empowered of the Holy
Spirit.

There was a spiritual awakening that brought joy, ecstasy and miracle working
power. It resulted in confession of sins, repentance towards God, and faith in
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All received the power to witness.  People of
God, the real power of the church is not found in  modern buildings or unique
preaching and teaching. It's not in great wealth, how to get wealth, or even in
church prominence or popularity. The real power is evident in our text. After
Peter’s powerful Spirit-filled message the people were deeply moved and asked,
“What shall we do?” That is a basic question that one must be asked if they
expect the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

Peter's message caused people to do self examinations and asked the all
important question, "What am I to do"?  He assures them that in turning from
sins and entrusting their lives to God they would be forgiven and receive the
powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.  That forgiveness is what sets us free.

Preachers and teachers, our message should be such that that question must be
asked. It should cause one to do a self examination.  Don’t stop there! It is
not enough to be sorry for our sins, we must let God forgive our sins. Then we
must live like forgiven people: accept your forgiveness, then walk in your
forgiveness.

If we are to follow Christ, one must repent and be baptized in an Outpouring of
the Holy Spirit.  That is to turn from sin and change direction of your life
from selfishness and rebellion against God’s laws. Turn to Christ! 

It was evident of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit with Peter. About 3000
people became believers. They were joined with other believers, were taught by
the Apostles, and were included in prayer meetings and fellowship.  Something
else took place...there was breaking of bread (communion service) that was
celebrated in remembrance of Jesus, and patterned after the Last Supper before
his death.

Other believers were recognized as brothers and sisters in the family of God.
They shared all they had so all could benefit from God’s gift. As a part of
God’s spiritual family, we have a responsibility to help one another in every
possible way. God’s family works best when members work together. When the Holy
Spirit is poured over you, you can’t do enough for others.  You look for
opportunities to do something for someone.

When the outpouring is evident a church is healthy, loving and attracts people
to Christ. It will grow. The Jerusalem Church’s zeal for worship and brotherly
love was contagious. 

When I read the prayer from "Primetime with God" yesterday (reprinted at end of
this Message), I came up with what a 5 star Christian should do: 1. Follow Jesus
who gave; 2. serve others with excellence; 3.have a right attitude with those in
our lives; 4.show genuine concern for others, and 5. do all for the glory of
God.

Again, I place emphasis on the fact that believers were increasingly being added
to the body of Christ. Both men and women were being added according to Acts
5:12-14.  As 5 star Christians we will watch God add to this body.

Leave with these thoughts. With the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a community
of believers formed in Jerusalem. It started at home first, then to the
community and to everyone. After Peter’s message the new believers managed to
live together by devoting themselves to four activities: learning from the
Apostles, doing exploits for Jesus, serving one another and sharing their good. 
Their lifestyle was such it attracted others in the faith The new believers were
devoted to fellowship. They were in a friendly partnership.  So we need to move
from being individualist and know we really do need one another as we seek and
serve in worship.

...Acts 2:1 "When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing
mighty wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting, vs. 4 and
they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with tongues, as the
Spirit gave them utterance."
So when there is an outpouring there should be some sign and there should be
fruitfulness.  Just as harvest of first fruits is a tremendous and blessed gift
from God, providing for our physical needs, how much more is the Holy Spirit
which enables us to reap a harvest of righteousness!

Leave here today with this thought in mind: God wants us to know His ways and be
empowered by His Holy Spirit to live holy, bearing much fruit in Him. Ezekiel
says, "and I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes
and be careful to obey Mt rules (Ezek. 36:27). That is the evidence of the
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Is there anyone ready for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Will you allow Him
to do what He wants you to do in your life? If so, where you are... if you
aren’t saved or unsure of your salvation, pray this prayer with me first:

Dear God I know I am a sinner and I repent of my sins. Thank you for your Son
Jesus dying for me and thank you for raising Him from the dead. Now by faith, I
ask Jesus to come into my heart and save me. I accept Jesus as my Savior and
Lord. 

If you really meant that,  say, "Thank you Lord for saving me!"

Perhaps you are saved, but you know there are things going on in your life that
displease God. I am praying this prayer in your behalf
because Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard transgressions in my heart the Lord will
hear not hear."  The Lord hears a sinner asking to be saved. I am praying in
your behalf. Lord your word says if we confess our sins you are faithful and
just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness .  My
brother or sister has confessed their transgressions and repented of their sins.
Thank you forgiving them and thank you for restoring the joy of their salvation
unto them, in Jesus' Name.

You are in position for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If you desire and
have faith that God will outpour his spirit on you, repeat this after me:

Lord you said that if I ask, I would receive. I ask you to fill me with Your
precious Holy Spirit like you did the Disciples on the day of Pentecost, and
they spoke with other tongues as you gave utterance.
So now I receive the Outpouring of your Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit,
and by faith I will now open my mouth and speak with other tongues.

Trust the Holy Spirit and say,  "Thank you Lord for filling me with your
Spirit"' and witness the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
 
 
Sunday, May 5, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Subject: Praise God for His Greatness and Goodness
Scripture: Psalm 145:14-20

Yesterday 17 years ago about the 4PM hour, I became the pastor of Sacred Zion FGBC. After much prayer and planning we had our first service.

Today I have a greater appreciation of God’s greatness and goodness.  Although we didn’t even understand what was taking place, we trusted God to lead us to the process. Isaiah 61:1-3 laid the foundation for the scripture:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to suffering and afflicted.  He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, to announce liberty to the captives and to open the eyes of the blind. To tell those who mourn in Israel he will give beauty for the ashes, joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness"(LVG).

That set the stage for this ministry.  We decided our theme denote what we will do. Tony Pollard submitted Psalm 145:14, "The Lord upholds those who are fallen and raises those who are bowed down."    It wasn’t enough to have people just raise. Our emphasis was to show that God will raise you to stand tall. After much discussion, we selected the theme, "Where the fallen shall be raised to stand."

Even then we had not looked at this Psalm in its entirety. Over the years, I have found Psalm 145 is one of praise for God’s greatness and His goodness. The Psalm ends with the determination to praise everyday in the present and the future. So we ought to always praise God for His goodness and greatness.

IF THERE IS ANYONE WHO MIGHT WONDER WHY WE PRAISE? It's found in verses 1-2.  "I will exhale you my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Everyday I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever"(NIV). His greatness is unsearchable.  His greatness is beyond possible what one can even imagine.  That should cause someone to praise and Celebrate God!

In addition to Him being great, He is also good.  In the text, vs. 6-7 reads, "they tell of the power of your awesome works and I proclaim your good deeds.  They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing your righteousness"(LVG).  Celebrate! We serve righteousness. Praise God and His Almighty power. He is an awesome God.

In vs. 11-13,  praise and celebrate God for God's greatness rules.  Praise Him for His glory and power of God’s kingdom. Therefore, He rules over all the world—even over the entire universe.  So don’t worry about what you see...things that are taking place. With our own eyes we have witnessed His mighty acts and glorious splendor.  

Every time devastations takes place, God's mighty acts are demonstrated.  Case in point: Turkish baby Azra 47 hours after an earthquake was pulled out of the rubbish alive.  That’s a mighty act of God. Often we attribute things to luck. Not true! It is the power of Almighty God! Verse 12 supports the importance of Gods powerful acts, "To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom"(LVG). This warrants praise and celebration.

So despite those who resist God’s rule, who think they are in authority in the nation and in the world, they are only trying to work against God. They better get to know that their authority is temporary. God’s power is everlasting and over all kingdoms. If you visit Daniel:4, when Babylonia had conquered the Jewish people and taken them in exile, the kings seemed as if they were in control only to find out they had limited power.  People of God, those  who think that have power today have limited power as well.  God and His power will prevail.

Not only was God great over the rule, there is underlying goodness in His rule. This leads to our text.  Sacred Zion, when we selected this theme scripture we didn't have the total revelation of the scripture.

The more I meditate on this scripture, God is revealing how great, awesome and good He is. Today powerful people try to show their power by forcing it on others.  But praise God, God’s power is shown in LOVE! That is good news for you and me because there are times when we are oppressed and powerless.  The good news for us is God seeks to lift up the fallen.  Those who truly turn to Him can be comforted in knowing that God is near.


When the charter members were organizing Sacred Zion, little did we know there would be times when we would be burdened down... times it seemed more than we could bear. Praise God the Psalmist stand at the intersection of life when we want to give up, or say it’s too much. He points us toward the Lord, who is the Burden Bearer.
He shows us in the text:
1.  God is greater than discovery in that He is unsearchable.  You will find it’s beyond what you can imagine. Isn’t God great and good?
2.  His mighty acts go beyond where you are, transcending generations to generations.
3. He is glorious. His honor, majesty and wonderful works deserve celebrations and praise.
4.God is compassionate and gracious. He is patient and merciful. God is great and good.
5. When He reaches to us, He does that in tenderness. This is the God who rules over the entire universe and the everlasting Kingdom.  God is great and good.
6. He answers the prayers of those who truly turn to Him.
7.  He listens to our cries and rescues us.  
8. If we are burdened and feel like we are about to fall, turn to God for help.  He is ready to lift you up.
9. His goodness is summed up in verse 17, "The Lord is righteous in all his ways and gracious and loving all he made" (LVG).

In conclusion, join me in celebrating and praising for His goodness and greatness. Thank Him because the wicked, or those who reject God and despise what He offers, cannot last forever. God’s unfailing care is shown to all who seek to serve Him.  

Thank God for our theme scripture that begins and ends with praise.  Praise is a weapon we need to use more.  Praise for your deliverance. Praise for a renewed mind. Praise for a mind fixed on the one that can, or has, delivered.

The whole church ought to be praising! I know God has delivered someone, and there are others who are in need of being delivered from something.  God still perform miracles!  For some in your situations it's midnight, but do what Paul and Silas did. They praised and prayed, and the prison doors were opened!
 
 
Sunday, April 28, 2013 (Youth Sunday): Minister Ashley Torrence
Scripture: Matthew 12: 1-8
Summary: Priests coud not cover (save) men. Christ was the only one who could.
 
 Sunday, April 14, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Green
 Topic:  Watering or Feeding the Weeds
 Scripture: Mark 4:14-20
 14 The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. 15 The seed that
fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan
come at once and take it away. 16 The seed on the rocky soil represents those
who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 17 But since they
don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have
problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 18 The seed that fell among
the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, 19 but all too quickly the
message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the
desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. 20 And the seed that fell on
good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest
of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Today's message is a continuation of last Sunday's message, "Overcoming
Loneliness". If we remain 'rooted and built up in him...' (Col. 2:7), then that
feeling of loneliness is no more than a weed in our garden. It's purpose is to
choke out our connection with the Father. There are other things that I want to
identify as weeds other than loneliness. They are depression, anxiety,
perplexity, doubt and fear, to name a few.  These weeds grow along side, and
take sustenance, from the plant.
 
Having been raised on a farm,  I can tell you firsthand how carefully the
farmer prepares the soil for the seed to ensure healthy growth.  At the same
time, the weed is getting nourishment. So you have to be careful not to water
and feed the weed.  Keep in mind, as long as you water and feed the weed it gets
stronger in your life.

 Once you become a Christian, your soil is enriched. The soil is your heart.
Giving your heart to the Lord, you then begin Bible study. You feed your soul to
prepare your heart to receive the Word of God.   The enemy does not want this
connection to blossom. It wants to make you believe you can't exist without your
weeds! So what does the adversary do? In the attempt to have you doubt the
promises of God, it has you provide nutrition to the weeds, making them grow
stronger to rip nutrition from the soul.
 We must not play into the hand of the foe. DON'T WATER THOSE WEEDS! Never
place doubts on what WE KNOW GOD WILL DO!
 
Let’s look at how we feed and water the weeds.  You water the weeds when:
 - you isolate yourself from other believers.
 - you primarily focus on the weed and not the Power of God.
 - medical assistance has been identified as needed and you refuse it.
 - you whine and complain rather than using your praise weapon.
 - you deny you have weeds.
 - you refuse to study the Word and have a prayer life.
 - you for some reason have fallen and refuse to seek forgiveness,    repent
and receive the chance God wants to give you.
 - your focus is on the weed and not how to overcome.
 
As we visit the text, understand the purpose of sowing is to produce. A part
of that process is feeding, watering and fertilizing the plant. Let’s get
clarity of what I am talking about.  For the sake of this message the soil is
your heart.  Those weeds are in your heart. You have been watering and feeding
them for sometime, so they have deep roots.  To get rid of the weeds, you must
get your heart right!
 
Our text refers to how we react to different phases of life. Are we aware of
why The Master created us? Understand the sower is the witness; the seed is the
Word of God; the soil is your heart.  
 
There are four types of soil:
 1. Hard soil or wayside soil- and the seed falls on the wayside and was eaten
by the birds. Your heart did not receive the Word, so you are still vulnerable
to feeding and watering the weed.
 In this case people hear the message about the Kingdom, but don’t understand.
The weeds come and snatch the message from the heart
 soil.
 2. The Word fell on thin rocky ground. While it started growing,  because the
soil wasn’t very deep, when the sun came up the seed was scorched and dried up
because it didn’t have enough roots.  So the Word has not penetrated to the
heart because the soil was shallow. You are still feeding and watering the weed.
 In this case they readily hear the message and even accept it right away, but
there is no root so the weed will cause it not to stay with you for a long time. 
Because they don’t have deep root, when the weed or the problems come back with
force you give up!
 3. The worldly heart is you planting where there are thorny bushes, and the
seed is choked out. Even though you are feeding and watering the seed ( you hear
the Word), you worry about the "needs" (i.e. material gains) of life.
 4. But praise God, when the word falls on good ground that plant produces
thirty, sixty, or one hundred times more than itself! 
When the Word falls on good ground, you will hear and understand God's plan
for your life. With the weeds destroyed you can become productive.
 
God's will is that you stop watering or feeding the weeds in your life.
However, you decide to receive some messages and reject others. You want to hear
that your future will be blessed, but leave the service  doubting that what you
heard applies to you. If we are to stop watering and feeding weeds, our hearts
have to receive the Word on good ground!  The difference in your response is how
you accept the Word. 
 
If you stop feeding and watering the weeds, this is what you can expect! You
will become a powerful witness for the Lord! As you receive on good soil, you
will see the 100, 60 and 30 fold increases in what you sowed! 
 
Let me conclude with this, the choice is yours!  Decide how you will receive
the Word, or will you continue watering and feeding the weeds of your life.  You
can receive the Word whole heartedly or  pass up the opportunity by denying you
don’t need to stop watering and feeding your weeds. In your refusal to surrender
all to Our Creator, you open yourself up to trials. God sent His Son to carry
those burdens. There is no need for you to pick them back up! 
 
People, allow God to plow your heart (soil) and get rid of weeds. If you
honestly want to stop watering and feeding your weeds, with your spiritual voice
ask Him for help with your prayers, praise and worship. Seek the Lord for deeper
understanding with your mind. Hear Him through your heart. Clearly, He responds,
giving you a new perspective on life!
 

Sunday, April 7, 2013:  Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Secret to Overcoming Loneliness

Scripture: Colossians 2:6-10

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

You might wonder, " Why this message"?  It was prompted by Jesus, and the visual image of Him hanging lonely on the cross.  

So I decided to look at loneliness a little closer and found it is without companionship.  In some cases our mental and emotional states cause us to isolate ourselves. Despite the situation, you are standing or feel alone. Loneliness causes anxiety and is painful. It can exist in marriages, relationships and large families. Feelings of loneliness should be an alert to seek a spiritual connection. How do I make the connection? As Christ did, remaining 'rooted' and 'strengthened' in faith.

There is nothing like being in the midst of many people and feeling alone.  That is where too many people are, even here now.  As Christians, it shouldn’t be.  Yes, there are things going on in our lives that have some in a place they feel alone...Feel as if no one can relate to where we are or what we are going through.  That’s a trick of the enemy!  All have been there and the enemy wants you to remain there because at that time he has you to himself. What is going on in our lives? Things are so overwhelming that we can’t even join in worship! Actually, loneliness inhibits us from worshipping.  As you and I deal with loneliness by getting busy...busy at church...busy in the community...busy joining clubs and organizations...we find that the loneliness still exists.

It gets so serious that we can’t even receive the Word that says in Matthew 28:20," Jesus said I will always be with you always into the end of the age."  One might say, " I don’t feel the presence of Jesus, so how is He with me."  Good question! Jesus was with the disciples until He ascended to heaven and He is with the believer by and with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and He is ever present

Understand, Jesus can relate with loneliness better than you think!  With all the crowds, as He hung on the cross, He felt lonely. Jesus, however, relied on the "Good News" of how to overcome loneliness:

Acts 1:4 speaks to the promise of the Father that was prophesied by Joel 2:28 that said, " and it will come to past afterward that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters will prophesy; you old men will, dream dreams and young men will see visions and also my maidservants and on my maidservant I will pour our my spirit in those days;" People of God, that is inclusive of believers.

Just think about what Jesus suffered on the cross and because of His loneliness we have no reason to be lonely. He handled it for us on the cross. He left the Holy Spirit to comfort us.

So stop using our antidotes for loneliness, and learn from Jesus. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Draw from Him and see how He drew from God the Father, and you too can receive the  flowing source of love, comfort, and hope by drawing from God.  You might ask how I get that.  It's in the word of God. Mark 1:35 states," now in the morning, having got up early before daylight he went out and prayed." That requires self denial.

Jesus took time to commune with His Father. While with your busy schedule you might not find time, it’s necessary to make time. Prayer is the link to you and God the Father. That means you have to steal away from people and talk with the Lord. That even requires getting up very early in the morning, or late night, when there will be no interruptions.

Now while talking with Him, tell Him all about your loneliness, or what you are struggling with. He and He alone knows all about your situation, and He is the one who can work things out in your behalf. He knows the root cause of loneliness or anything that is going on in your life... where it started and what caused it. Who better to talk to about it!

In our text,  Paul (verses 9-10) asserts Christ's Deity, He is divine.  So as a Christian, know that with Jesus there is no reason to be lonely.  We don’t need to seek God by means of other religions, cults or unbiblical philosophies as the Colossians were doing.  We have the real thing in Christianity and we adhere to Christ.

Christ alone has the answers to our needs, even our loneliness needs.  He is the true meaning of life because Christ is life!  Christ is the unique source of knowledge and power of life.  If you need to know something, He has the answer. If you need strength, He has the power. You don’t need anything else other than what Jesus provides. As Christians we are complete in Him. He is our connection! There is no need for loneliness!

So take advantage of your life in Christ. That is, take advantage of being a Christian.  You can do that by:

1.  Committing your life and submitting your will to Him.  Present your body as a living sacrifice to the Lord, stop conforming to the world and be transformed and be renewed in your mind. This is the key to overcoming loneliness or anything going on in your life.
2.  Seek to learn from Him, His life and His teachings.   Col. 3:16 lets us know how:" Let the word dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Stated differently: Let the word spoken by Christ who is the Messiah have its home in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in all its richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom in spiritual things, and as you sing Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs making melody to God with His grace in your heart.  All of this sets the tone to rid loneliness
3. Recognize the Holy Spirit’s power.. Acts 1:8:" But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit upon you. He empowers. Gives courage; boldness and confidence." The Holy Spirit convicts, converts, directs, guides, teaches and protects you;  recognize the fruit of the spirit of love that bears fruit of joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness , goodness faith, meekness , and temperance...that spirit that empowers you to witness effectively.

Last thought: When you accept the realization that your power doesn’t work to bring you out of loneliness, then maybe you can relate with what Paul was saying in this text. Everything we need is not found in and of our self, not even in others, but in Jesus Christ.
The secret in overcoming loneliness or anything is in the power of Jesus Christ

So live in Christ, imitate spiritual living in union with Christ. Doing that, you will never feel alone. In so doing you will get rooted and built- up with Christ. Your faith will be strengthened and you will have an overflowing of thankfulness. There is no room for loneliness.  With the fullness of Christ, there is no room for false doctrine or your little gods. Paul’s says it best in the text, as Christians we are complete in Christ. No other god can meet your needs. There is no reason to be lonely.  God is always with you.

The completeness in Christ will rid you of loneliness and cause you to put off sinful nature.  Spiritual resurrections will take place. You can be forgiven and be delivered from  the spirit of loneliness.  Overcoming loneliness is all wrapped up in Christ
 
2013 LENTEN MESSAGES: BISHOP BERTHA M. GREENE
 
Just Ask

Mark 11:22-25; James 5:14-18

I am on this prayer kick and I think it is essential during this Lenten season.  Preparation requires much prayer.  Our theme during this season was imitating Christ and if that is to take place we must be prayerful.   We must purpose in our hearts to have a prayer life.
This is time for repentance...that is to have a change of heart and mind and go in the opposite direction. As stated by Bishop Jakes, if you make complete turn around you end up back where you were. So we need a 90% turn tonight. Repentance is a feeling of regret, a changing of the mind and heart,or turning from sin to God.

I heard something recently by Pastor Andrew Womack that made some sense to me that could confuse some people.  Repentance is a heart thing.  I.e., if you go through an addiction program those principles deal with you psychologically, and you will start abstaining. You  could believe you have been delivered, or you can become addicted with something else as a substitute.  But if your heart or your spirit man doesn’t change, you can either substitute or justify going back and forth doing the same thing. So I am after your heart and your spirit man to night.

In Mark, he states ask and receive.  Tonight ask and receive.  It is a sad thing to expect from God if you don’t even communicate with Him in prayer. It begins with asking; we have not because we don’t ask.  Matthew 7: 7-8 tells us to keep asking, this is Jesus speaking. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find knock and the door will be opened.

To get your breakthrough, or total repentance, you need to be praying.  In Mark there is a prerequisite for getting your prayers answered. It reads," and when you stand praying, forgive". If you have anything against anyone, come clean tonight and forgive. That's required if you want God to forgive you. 

When we share in the Communion tomorrow night and have your feet washed, you will have gotten things right with others... And you have gotten things right with God. Then you can ask and receive.
Now if that’s the way of getting what you need from the Lord, take a moment and do it. During this time you need to seek God about what you are to do. Go to God first and get your directions and if you need to go to someone do that. It is a wonderful thing to receive from God.  The Word says everyone who asks receives...that is if your channels to God are cleared.  The one He seeks will find and the one who knocks, the doors will be opened. Seek and find. Knock and watch the doors open.

Here Jesus is telling us to persist in pursuing God.  All too often we give up too soon after a half-hearted request and decide God cannot be found... not answering quick enough.  This is where your faith has to kick in. For true repentance to take place we must be persistent. That  requires faith.

James, verse 15, speaks of the prayer of faith.  Understand that this does not refer to faith of the sick person, but the faith of the church.  I am speaking to the church tonight.  God heals and all prayers are subject to the will of God.  But our prayers are part of the healing process.  That’s why God often waits for our prayers of faith before intervening to heal a person.  So you can see the importance of prayer and faith.

Now how you ask could be a problem; James 5:16 says that the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power prayer.  Who are the righteous. Let me help you! No one who doesn’t feel good about themselves or feels God is angry with them.  No one who is fearful or coward or timid or anyone who is double minded. So the question who are the righteous? Prayers are answered by righteous!

Praying is the most powerful resource. It is communion with God through prayer. You will be surprised by what happens when you pray first. Therefore prayer should come first.

James has the answer for those persons. He says confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.  Let’s demonstrate this.  The way it’s done, tonight you must seek God now. What is confessed is not to go to anyone else, and the two of you will pray for each other.

What does that mean, Bishop?  It means ask God who you can share honestly about what you are dealing with or what you are feeling. If that is me, I am available and will agree with you in prayer.  Confess your sins means Christ has made it possible for us to directly go to God for forgiveness, but confessing our sins to one another still is important in the life of the church. This prayer may get you to finally know you have been forgiven

Ministers are available but feel free to go to someone else.  The idea is to leave here free.

Before anyone comes to the Altar,  pray this pray with me:

God thank you for another chance and all those you have given before.  I thank you for forgiving and taking me back during the times of my life when I strayed and was disobedient. I’m so sorry for disappointing loved ones in my life and for mostly disappointing you. Please forgive me. 

Please encourage me and keep be on the straight and narrow path.  I want to stay on the right course with my changed heart and mind with the right attitude and the right desires.  Lord, thank and bless you for Your loving kindness, Your Grace, and Your mercy.  I, with my whole heart, praise you for who you are for even yet another chance

It’s preparation time it’s time to get right with God.  That can be done!

1. If you have sinned go to God first and if you have anything against anyone it’s times to get it right with the person and with God.  Ask and receive forgiveness.

2. If your sin has affected the church you should come to Dec. Will or Elder Deanna or me for prayer, and I assure you it will remain with us and God.

3. If you need loving support as you are struggling with a sin, ask God who you are to go to and they are to support and pray for you.

4. If after confession a private sin still haunts you and you still don’t feel forgiveness has taken place, find someone to confess the sin and allow them to intercede in behalf of you so you can receive your forgiveness

5. Keep in mind in the Kingdom of God every believer is a priest,therefore we must help others to come or return to Christ.
The good thing about this, since all of us are involved, is you don’t have to worry about what is going on.  There are no expectations. What takes place is to remain with you, the person and God.
 Importance of Resurrection; The Sovereignty of God
1 Cor. 1:15-(20)

Since Ashe Wednesday some of us have been abstaining; fasting and praying.  We
have been seeking God for restoration, purification and sanctification.   This
Holy Week we have been in prayer and repentance. Holy Thursday, knowing what He
was facing, He took time to have the last supper with the disciples and through
humility and love, washed the feet of the disciples.

Then Jesus was led to the cross to suffer crucifixion and physical death and
experience separation from His father because of my and your sins.  While on the
cross He dealt with Forgiveness. Salvation and compassion were offered to
everyone. He made a point of staying in the will of His Father,  even if it
required suffering. He thirsted, and with the wine He was given He cried
victory. 

Then, with "it is finished" He makes a statement it is forever done. Lastly, He
in essence said, "Father I put myself in your hands" and He died.  After that
horrible death of Jesus, He was buried, but now here we are Sunday Morning, that
day that Jesus was resurrected.

I dare say there are some that are like the Corinthians that didn’t believe the
resurrection; that’s why I want everyone to understand the importance of the
resurrection.  Primary reason is God is sovereign and He can do what he wants to
do when and how he wants to do it.

Let me assure you that Jesus was horribly crucified; nails in his feet and his
hands, thorns on his head, pierced in his sides and He was crucified with
criminals.  If that wasn’t enough, He was disgraced by being layer in a borrowed
tomb. But because of His sovereignty, they could not keep Jesus in the grave. 
That was okay with Jesus. Purchasing a grave didn’t make sense! He knew he
wasn’t staying there anyway.

His resurrection makes a powerful statement in that it’s the means by faith our
salvation opens the door for Christianity.  How is that, Bishop?—All other
relgions were founded by men but there end ended in the grave.

Praise God! Jesus became a man, died for your and my sins, was buried, but on
the third day He was resurrected. No grave could hold him down.  Yet He still
lives and sits at the right side of God the Father, pleading on our behalf all
because of His sovereignty.

As we visit the text, let’s look at the importance of the Resurrection.  There
are several reasons, and Paul uses these things to convince the Corinthians, who
did not believe in the resurrection.  Just as today there are those who don’t
believe, let’s look at what the Word says about it:

1. Preaching Christ would be senseless
2. Faith in Christ is worthless ( vs. 14 LVG translations) and if He is still
dead, then all preaching is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless
and hopeless. (In other words if Christ wasn’t raised to life, our message is
worthless and so is our faith.)
3. According to verse 15, if the dead won’t be raised to life we have told lies
about God saying the He raised Christ to life, when he really did not.
4. No one would be redeemed from sin (vs. 17) and you are very foolish to keep
on trusting God to save you, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. 
I am so glad Christ was raised because if not your and my faith would be useless
and I would still be living in sin.
5. All former believers would have perished  (vs. 18) in that case; all
Christians who have died after putting their faith in Christ are completely
lost! Lastly,
6. Christians would be the most pitiful people on the earth (vs. 19 )  if our
hope in Christ is good only for life. We are worse off than anyone else.

Is there anyone glad that Jesus was resurrected?  There are some who could
question the resurrection power because once you got saved all has not gone well
with your new life.  That hope Paul offered to the Corinthians is avaialbe to
each of us.  The greatest expression of power was raising Jesus from the grave. 
If God did that (and he did ) can you imagine what he can do for you and any
situation. Just believe it.

I want someone to hear and receive this. If God could resurrect Christ, God can
do anything... hear me, anything! Can you believe for your anything?  Another
point; if God did not raise Jesus from the grave, however, then our God is
powerless; but He did. I serve an all powerful God

In this text, Paul affirmed the truth that Jesus was raised from the dead and in
so doing, also, affirmed the fact we have access to the greatest  power in the
universe—God Himself. But Christ has been raised to life! And He makes it
certain that others will be raised to life.

Bless God that although Christ was not the first to be raised (that was
Lazarus), but bless God He is the only one that never dies again. He went before
us and proves our eventual resurrection to eternal life.

Let me conclude with this: the resurrection is the triumphant and glorious
victory for every believer.  Jesus died, was buried and rose the third day
according to scripture.  And he is coming again!
God had a plan to redeem you and me from the very beginning of time.  He loves
you so much that He came to earth and lived among us.  He took your and my
punishment for everything we have done wrong and everything that we will yet do
wrong, and He executed the deserved punishment upon HIS ONLY SON.  Jesus was the
perfect unblemished Lamb of God, and He was given by God for our sins.

The Holy Spirit spoke through Paul in Romans 10:9, and said if you believe in
your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and if you confess with your
mouth by confessing the truth that Jesus is Lord, then you will be saved. 
Belief begins in the heart and leads to life...that’s right, with God!

Someone is saying that’s too easy; Bishop you don’t know who I am and what I
have done or am doing... but Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and have come
short of the glory of the Lord!  Romans 3:10 also says there is none righteous,
not even one. Even so, there is a price to pay for what we do. Romans 6:23
states the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. What wage
do you want?
He loves you. Romans 5:8... God demonstrated His love for us that while we were
sinners Christ died. Romans 10:10 ...for it is with your heart that you believe
and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are
save.  The real good news is in verse 13, Romans 10, "everyone who calls on the
name of the Lord will be saved."

Nothing would please me more today than that everyone leaves here saved.  More
importantly this week demonstrated how God felt about you and me. He would be
pleased if on this Resurrection Sunday you get or be assured of your salvation.
Experience resurrection power. He got up with all power and wants you be raised
also.
There is a threefold power...God’s power, Acts 2:24; (contemporary version) God
set him free from death and raised him to life 2. Jesus Power, John
10:16...Jesus speaks, " No one takes his life from me. I give it up willingly! I
have power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my
father commanded me to do."
3. Spirits power, Romans 8:11 ...Yet God raised Jesus to life! God’s spirit now
lives in you and He will raise you to life by His spirit.
People of God, understand the importance of the resurrection and its power.  The
power of God is resting on this place! Don't leave here without taking advantage
of it.

Mirroring Jesus

Mirroring Jesus and Blessing Others
2nd Cor. 3:17-18 &Numbers 6:24-26

I can’t find a better time than now for this message.  This is the Lenten season
and Jesus over 2000 years ago was preparing to go to the Cross for your and my
sins.  Shouldn’t we mirror the one who paid such a price? During this time we
are reflecting, repenting and restoring

A mirror produces images by reflections, that means mirroring Jesus the
reflections should be those of Jesus. That's the message and should be our
desire.

For over 48 years I have had a great desire to lead people to Christ, so they
could be transferred to the image of Christ. At the beginning, I didn’t even
understand as I do now the importance of imaging Christ. 

When the Holy Spirit was ministering to Pastor, when I was organizing the
church, I didn’t’ understand when He said people have been preached to but it’s
time for them to be taught. Little did I know that to reflect or mirror Jesus,
people had to be taught to do that.

New members, spiritual growth, discipleship, Bible Study and Sunday school are
the vehicles to get us to mirror Christ.  Through those studies, at some point
it will cause you to look within and do self- examinations

During this process some will decide and back up because they see mirroring
Christ impossible. That’s based on their past and they just can’t see how they
can mirror Jesus.  That causes one to look into how to get started because this
has to be a journey. Somewhere along the way one of those messages that was
preached or a teaching will get your attention and you will stop and listen to
the Word of God. I decided not only was there the need to just to listen, but
need to obey the Word.

Still on the journey while looking in the mirror of the Word, you will not like
what you saw or see. I don’t look right so I need some work to reflect Jesus.
The mirror tells it all!  Some said do I really see the one I really want to
see? The question becomes what must I do, if I am to reflect Jesus?

You first have to come to grips with what I see when I look in the mirror. Do I
mirror Jesus in my thoughts? Do I think like Jesus and love my enemies? How do I
measure up with Jesus in words and deeds,? How about what comes out of my mouth? 
You have to face the facts that our thoughts didn’t operate as Jesus does. Did I
handle this situation as Jesus would handle it?

Will I do good deeds for someone I don’t like,  or only for those in my circle? 
Am I concerned or conscious of what others observe of me?  This is real because
we are on the journey from before getting saved where I was conformed to the
world and this is a new way of doing things.

Mirroring Jesus is a tough act, especially when you are locked into your past.  
But Sacred Zion, mirroring Christ opens the doors to blessings to others. While
it’s a journey, if you hang in there others will be blessed. So begin by
stepping back and ponder about  harboring your souls. Make time to do a self
examination.  Get to know God for yourself and stop living a condemned and
guilty life.  That’s a must!

There is no condemnation. No adjudging guilty of wrong for those who are in
Christ Jesus who lives and walk not by the flesh,  but after by the Spirit. 
This is essential if you are to mirror Christ.

Start by removing the veil.  Remember in Exodus when Moses came down from Mount
Sinai with the 10 commandments? His face glowed from being in the presence in
the Lord.  Have you seen people light up a room when they came in? Look at the
men who came back after the retreat after being in the presence of the Lord. It
was obvious they lit up the house because something on the inside was showing up
on the outside.  When they returned they didn’t have to make an announcement, it
showed.

But in the text PAUL lets us know Moses' veil kept them from seeing the glory
fade away. 

Moses and the veil illustrated the fading of the Old system and veiling of the
people's minds and understanding with pride, hardness of heart and refusal to
repent.  So if you are to mirror Jesus, the veil symbolizes that old things pass
away and things become new.

The veil kept them from understanding Christ in the Scripture.  At some point we
have got to know Jesus of the scripture ourselves, not what someone told us.
That is a must! Move past your past because your past is the veil that keeps you
from being transformed to the image of Christ so you can mirror Him.  Someone
needs to be blessed by you mirroring Christ. See yourself as Jesus sees you, as
wonderfully made and designed for His purpose.

People, it is a critical time in the Body of Christ and if there has ever been a
time that Christians need to mirror Jesus, it is now.  So let me help someone to
get started.  John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the World that He gave his
only begotten son that whosoever believes on him shall have eternal life."That’s
where it all begins; understanding salvation will keep you free from sins and
trying to be saved by laws.  Remove the veil, people, and begin working on
mirroring Jesus.  I believe things in the world would be such better.  The time
for mirroring Jesus is now.  Jesus is soon to return.  His death on the cross
positioned you and me to mirror Him and be prepared for His soon return.

Now you have turned to God and you have received the Holy Spirit.  You are no
longer tied  trying to live by laws and ceremonies, but being guided and lead by
the Holy Spirit.  Remove the veil. It obstructs your spiritual vision.  Get rid
of laws that get saved and receive the package gift of salvation. That is
inclusive of God the father, the Holy Spirit and your big brother, Jesus.

So if we are to mirror Jesus we:
1. Understand and believe we have the nature of God and that unveils our minds.
Titus 1:15 states, " to be pure, all things are pure, but to those who are
corrupt and do not believe—nothing is pure."  In fact both their minds and
conscience are corrupt.  So as you are mirroring Christ, don’t expect the
unbelievers to reflect Christ.  Get off the throne and allow the Holy Spirit to
do the work that he can do.

Some people see good and others see nothing but evil.  Bishop, why is that? Glad
you asked! It's because soul becomes the filter and it perceives goodness and
evil...So that heart that you invited Jesus into learns to see goodness and
purity even in this evil world. That helps you to mirror Jesus.

But understand an unbeliever finds evil in everything because the evil mind and
hearts color even the good.  So stop categorizing believers and unbelievers as
the same.  If you are to mirror Jesus, you must choose what you put in your mind
and in your heart because it indeed affects the way you think and act.
Understand every church member is a true believer and /or saved.

2.  With building a relationship with Jesus you will get to understand how
wonderful God is and what He is really like.  That’s essential because that’s
necessary to reflect Jesus.  As you really get to know Him for yourself, your
knowledge deepens and the Holy Spirit helps to make us change.

3. By now I hope someone will say I am really ready to mirror Jesus because I
realize during this journey and the progression I experienced I have a better
understanding of the meaning of Romans 8:29, " Those who God foreknew he also
predestined to be conformed to the image of his son Jesus that he might be the
firstborn among many brethren." 

I also now know that " all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to his purpose."  You found that the
confidence to know that nothing can hurt God’s people so deeply that God cannot
turn it around for their good.  So receive that and during this time of
reflecting ask God to release you and you release some people that are holding
you back from where God wants to take you.

You realize that God’s ultimate goal for us was to make us like Christ and I
hear this testimony in 1 John 3:2.  My dear friend, we are already children of
God. it reads, " Beloved, now we are children of God ; and it has not been
revealed  what we shall be, but what we do know when He is revealed we will be
like him.."

In conclusion, as we become more and more like Him some for the first time
discover our true selves, the person we were created to be, If you still wonder
how that is to happen do so by spending time in the word of God.

I leave you with these final thoughts, Sacred Zion: that God bless you in five
ways 1. Favor and protections; 2. That God will be pleased with you; 3. Be
gracious. Merciful and compassionate; 4.that you will have God's stamp of
approval and that peace will rest on this house.
My companion scripture, Numbers 6:22-27:" The Lord bless you; the lord keeps his
face shine upon you, and is gracious to you.  The Lord lifts up his countenance
upon you and gives peace."   People of God, let's agree to mirror Christ in our
home, on our job, in the church and the community, and bless the people!

Nevertheless (Is There a "B" Plan)
Matthew 26:38-39; Malachi 3:3-4

During the Lenten season it is a time of praying, preparing and restoration.  It
is a time of introspection.  During such time one will deal with anguish.  It is
a time when you face what you have gone through and what you might be going
through.  You might be dealing with your body deterioration. Some is due to
unemployment or underemployment. You might have to downsize and may be living in
uncomfortable situations...  Might be saying I never thought I would face this
moment!

Some might be dealing with abuse from childhood and or spousal abuse, verbal
abuse. Despite the cause of abuse, all kinds of feelings deal with us
emotionally.  Those things come in all our lives. If I just kept listing, your
name would surely be on a list.  That’s when you have a nevertheless moment:
that is an in spite of moment or a however moment.  Nevertheless defined is that
moment you pray to God the Father... that moment you decide enough is enough,
God what is this about?  I submit to your will in your life.

Things are changing around us so rapidly. People of God, the World around us is
so different than it was 10-15 years ago.  The economy is such that people are
unemployed, underemployed and trying to make it, credit is shot because you
can’t pay bills on time and/or at all. Homes are in foreclosures and some have
lost their homes. You can’t make purchases with poor credit scores.

Behind those type things, some parents abuse their children and in some cases
end- up killing their children; spousal abuse is up; teachers taking advantage
of children; pedophiles exploit our children on the media and however they can. 
My question to the Body of Christ.. will we continue allowing these things
happen or are is this a nevertheless moment or is there a B plan? Isn’t it time
to pray?

As we look at the text,  you find that nothing that we go through compares with
the anguish Jesus was facing in this text. 
Nevertheless, since He is our example, how about following His lead?  He was in
deep anguish over His upcoming physical pain, (being nailed to the cross; thorns
on his head), being separated from His Father, and that He was about to die for
the sins of the world.
Unfortunately for Him the divine assignment, or the course of His life, was set.
But so in the human nature, He still struggled about what was about to happen. 
That’s why He can identify with you and I when we struggle when we are going
through.

Jesus indeed was in great agony as He prepared for His death on the Cross. 
Before the last supper, He had been betrayed and had to deal with denial. He
would suffer, be humiliated going to have to leave His Father in order to do His
Father's will.  What is it that we must do to submit to God’s will for our
lives? Yes you and I will undergo trials, but none compares to what Jesus was
facing. But we too at some point must decide we must obey God for our lives. 
Unfortunately there is no B plan where God is concerned. His way or no way.

If you can stop a minute and look to Jesus and how He obeyed His Father even
though it meant death, we can find sustaining power and encouragement to help us
go through.  Let’s be real... all of us have been or are there.  Looking to
Jesus, you will find that because you know Jesus Christ personally and have a
relationship with Him, He will be with you through whatever you go through.

You will find that nevertheless moment does come in all of our lives and we need
to do what Jesus did. He went to Gethsemane.  I believe this was the place that
He would get away and spend time with His Father. It was a remote place where He
often went for rest, to pray and fellowship with His Father....somewhere there
would be no distractions.

That’s needed when you have a bitter cup such as what He was facing. He talked
with His Father and said, " if it’s possible, let this cup pass from me", or
stated another away, God do you have a B plan? Do I have to go through this?
Can't you change this? Only to find out there is no B plan with God.

At this time, Jesus wasn’t like us going against His Father's will for His life
when He asked that suffering and separation from His father be taken away. 
Instead, He was reaffirming His desire to do God’s will by saying nevertheless
not my will but as your will.  Anybody ready to say not my will but yours Lord?

Here, Jesus felt a desperate need for companionship in prayer. Some things we
face we need to know someone is praying with and for us. But you need to know
who to include. Jesus asked Peter, John and James to support Him in prayer.  Do
you have any people in your inner circle you can call and know they will bombard
heaven in your behalf with the purpose that God's will be done in the situation?
The mere fact He reached out to them to pray made a statement. He  was about to
suffer terribly and His agony was worse than death itself.  As all-knowing, in
His case He knew what He was about to face.  As for you and I, when we are
suffering we sometimes don’t know why or what it is for.  If so, we might better
understand what we are going through. Although He knew what was ahead and knew
the reason, even so He struggled.

When you face things such as He was facing, or the things we face in life, it
brings us to a nevertheless moment.  Let me help you with that moment:

1.  It’s that moment that you are willing and ready to say “Thy will be done”.
Now that it’s not just a head decision it has to be a heart decision.  That
requires trusting in God’s plan and His plans for your life, and a desire to
obey each step to carry out His plan for you for your life.
2. You must get where Jesus was. He was not pleading for His personal agenda,
and He recognized He was talking to Almighty Father.  As children of God, we
have that same privilege to talk to our Father.  So we need to be pleading and
seeking God. What is your will for my life and how will You prepare me for it? 
How is what I am going through going to work in your plan for my life?  I know
your word says all things work together to them that love the Lord and who are
called according to His purpose.
Nevertheless, God works all things—not just isolated incidents for our good;
doesn’t mean all isn’t good, but God can turn it around.  It’s not about making
you happy but fulfilling His purpose.  During those times you might find
yourself saying what Jesus did and seek God for a B plan, one that would not
cause so much suffering. God knows I can relate! That brings you to a
nevertheless moment... No B plan where God is concerned. After all,  God is the
Ultimate Planner and doesn’t need a B plan
3.  At that point, you are ready to submit to the will of the Lord for your
life.  You have gotten to the point you will say not my will but your will. As
was for Jesus, you and I must see that because of Christ’s submission, the
triumph of Calvary was accomplished at the nevertheless moment in the garden of
Gethsemane.  Keep praying until you totally submit. Jesus prayed 3xs asking the
same thing...  And He found that the end result was subjected to the will of the
Father. So it will be with you. There is not B plan. That nevertheless moment
will prepare you to submit to God’s will for your life. If God didn’t change
plans for his only Son,  trust me, His plans for us are set.  The sooner we
submit to His plan, the sooner God will begin to use us for Kingdom work.  That
plan He designed for you.
He has a purpose and plan for each of you and whatever you have or are going
through or those nevertheless moments is preparation. God will blend all of
those situations and use them to be effective when you walk in your God-given
assignment.

God’s way of preparing His people for His service in the Kingdom is His own way
of getting us to the point we will yield and submit to His will. Malachi 3:3-4
speaks to refining and purification. As we are used by Him He wants us to be
righteous and purified
That process is not accomplished until the heat is turned up until you say your
will not my will.   During that time the metal is broken down so it can be
molded and shaped.

Let’s be honest. Those nevertheless moments when we are going through, and once
we get through it, we come out better servants for the Lord.  We come out saying
yes Lord, you are a yielded vessel.  What you have been or are going through was
needed for you to submit to God's will for your life.

Now when you are used by God, you want what you do for Him to be acceptable to
the Him.  By being refined, you get rid of those rough edges and you are a pure
vessel ready to be used by the Lord.  This comes through those nevertheless
moments in prayer that will cause us to submit to God’s will.  Nevertheless
moments serve a purpose.. To get you to understand with God there is no B plan!
 
 
 

 
 
Sunday, March 24, 2013: Youth Sunday Speaker Minister L.J.Macado
Topic: The Set-Back Caused My Victory
Scripture: 2 Cor. 4:7-9
 
Sunday, March 17, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Prayer Appointment WithThe Lord
Scripture: Luke 5:16; Col. 4:2-4
Summmary: Prayer is a priority. Make a prayer appointment with the Lord.

With the Lenten season we need to be in prayer... reflecting, repenting and being restored.  Certainly prayer is needed.  It doesn’t just happen, we must make an appointment and live up to it.  Make prayer a priority.

Most of us live by appointments: our days are planned by what we are to do next. To be honest, we could never get all the things we do if we didn’t have designated times for what we do.  However, prayer appointments are not usually
in our planning.  Just want to remind you...it is very important!  Some of what we face and go through we wouldn’t have gone through had we sought the Lord first.

To get started, I need to dismiss some prayer myths that could keep some from having an effective prayer life and then help you prioritize praying.  The first myth is only believers who have had a long relationship with The Lord have effective prayer lives.  That is not true, it really has nothing to do with your length of time as a believer. It has all to do with our relationship with the Lord, and with making and keeping your prayer appointment with the Lord.

Second myth is if my mind wanders when I  pray, I should stop praying and try when I can concentrate.  That is a trick of the enemy to keep you from praying.  Always keep in mind when you are doing God's work, and praying is God's work. Satan will do whatever he can to stop it. Once you make the appointment, you start thinking about things that will distract you.

Third myth...I should pray about spiritual important things and avoid small and or petty concerns. No! No! No you need to pray about everything! The Word says, " in all your ways acknowledge and he will direct your paths." We should always pray.

These misconceptions keep one from realizing the full benefits of a relationship with the Lord and miss experiencing the abundance of His love and care.  Someone
needs to know that God loves you and cares for you. 

It was demonstrated by God giving His only Son to die on the cross in your and my behalf.  So if God cares for us that much, and even the fact that Jesus prayed, we certainly need to pray. That was demonstrated over 2000 years ago.

Prayer was so important that Jesus demonstrated it in our text.  Luke 5:16 lets us know Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness to pray.  That to me makes a statement He wanted to go where He would not be interrupted.  Crowds
surrounded Him and disciples needed His attentions.  With all those demands, He still made His appointment with God and communing with Him a priority.

Since Jesus is our example, we too need to pray but if it’s to take place, prayer must be in the forefront of our plans.  So I ask the question: is prayer the, first, last, sometimes in the middle of your plans or not in your plans at all?  Those are question that need to be answered because that is so key in making and keeping your appointments.

Keep in mind appointments are time sensitive.Paul tells us in Colossians 4:2 we are to devote ourselves in prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.   In other words, Paul encouraged them to pray diligently and stay alert with your eyes wide open in gratitude.
That next verse places emphasis on the fact we are not to forget to pray... that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ even while  locked in jail.  The gospel message is the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.

We are to continue in prayer that demonstrates our faith that God does answer prayer.  Whatever you do, don’t put time limits on God: remember a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.  Faith should not die because an answer is delayed or not answered on your time table.  Our timetable is usually the instant we live in, but God's is different. 

Even when weary in praying don’t stop praying, understand God is with you. He is listening and always does things in your best interest.  It may not be in ways you had hoped it would be, but in ways that are best for you.

So if you are struggling with a praying, then let me suggest some ways to get it started. (1) Start by setting a specific time to pray. In other words, make an appointment with the Lord. Appointments have a way of reminding us of what we
are to do and when. Jot it down and agree to keep the appointment.To ensure keeping the appointment remember you have made an appointment with Almighty and nothing should interrupt that time, nothing on your agenda should
be more important than that.  Since you know yourself better than anyone else, make it suitable for you.  Are you a morning, mid-day or night person?

Second, you should locate a private place.  Those who are saying I can pray anytime and anywhere.. yes you can, but I dare you select a place and it becomes your personal sanctuary, that place where you and the Lord can communicate. You know that means talking to Him and Him to you.  That does not mean there will not be interruptions; never loose sight of the fact Satan does not want you to
spend time with the Lord. So determine you will not let anything interrupt that time with the Lord.

Thirdly, pray with a definite purpose.  This is so important because without purpose it means you don’t know why you are talking to God, or you don’t have any expectations or you don’t understand the intended result. In which case, 
it's easy to wander off  mentally and think about other things.  It also says something about your faith.  Don’t waste that all important appointment.. have a definite purpose.I don’t want to suggest that your purpose is all about getting from God, but if you are in the right poster you can expect blessings and that He will fulfill
your desires.  He said  He would give you the desires of your heart.

In addition, you are developing a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord.  You will find when you abide in His presence...when you worship Him.. you become more and more like Him.  Don’t you want to be more like Jesus? Well,
spending time in His presence will do that. 

Another factor in developing an effective prayer life is journaling.  When you can look at what you prayed for, and how and when God answers, it will develop a rich prayer life.  You will see the effectiveness of making and keeping your prayer appointment with the Lord.

Another reason to keep your prayer appointment... prayer purifies.  During purification, God changes more than your outlook or external things, He opens your eyes wide open to aspects of your personal life.  You will begin to see
things you really don’t like about you, things that other people had been seeing all along. That brings about a conviction that will cause you to respond to what
you see.  That response will cause you to seek God about how to make appropriate changes in your life.  After all, before spending time in His presence you were not able to even see these things, so you had done nothing to make the change.
But thank God for conviction, it  says I need to change.  This process is shaping and molding your character to be more like Jesus and do work of the kingdom. 

By now you have devolved a passion to obey and adhere to the commands of the Lord.  You are no longer on the throne of your likes, you have given it over to you Lord and Master and given Him control of your life.  So keep your prayer
appointments and once you experience what happens around the throne of God...when you make and keep your appointments with the Lord... you will find you have built an intimate relationship that will cause you to take on larger
kingdom assignments.

Let me close by giving you some questions that require answers: Do you want to be effective and productive in the Kingdom of God? Do you want to reach those around you with His truth?Make and keep your prayer appointment!

Are you ready to be wrapped up in His unconditional love for you?  I hope the answer to those questions is "Yes" because the key to doing either of those things is an effective prayer life.  It starts with making and keeping your
prayer appointment.

There can be no shortcuts, no substitutes when it comes to communing with God.  You will find when you fast and pray and set a specific time to commune with God, select the right location, pray with a purpose and begin journaling, you will move some of the mountains in your life that seem can’t be moved.  You will stop climbing them and tell them with authority to get out of your way.

You will replace worry and anxiety with the peace of God. God will empower you to pray for the sick and see them healed.  You will even be ready to pray for
enemies and those who have wronged you.Going forward, I want to be as Paul in Colossian 1:9-11, "... don’t stop praying
that others be filled with the knowledge of the will of the Lord in all His wisdom and spiritual understanding. Pray to walk worthy of the Lord; fully pleasing Him; being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of the Lord.

People of God, prayer is essential like never before.  We need to be prepared to end time work. Without the knowledge of God, we are not ready for kingdom work

Sunday, February 3, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: What Will You Do To Flip the Script
Scripture: Mark 2:1-12

Message:

Last week we dealt with flipping the script, and concluded that requires making sure Jesus is in the picture. Today,in this follow-up message,I wish to emphasize that to flip the script one must get to Jesus. I want to empower people to be free of the curses, and in position to receive spiritual blessings. I want to see us transfer curses to blessings, and have these blessings flow to future generations in our families. What will you do to get to Jesus, or make
sure someone who needs to flip the script gets to Jesus? 

In the lead-in Youtube presentation,we saw the scripture supported the fact that the father’s sin is passed on to three to four following generations. As we look at Ray Lewis,you heard his father say he had several women pregnant at the time when Ray was born. Ray has children by more than one mother. But thank God he flipped the script and decided it was important that children have fathers in their lives. He recently said he wanted to retire and spend time with
his sons and mentor young men. I am sure Ray reached that point when he invited Jesus into his life. I can't stress the importance of getting to Jesus too much. Jesus is the answer.

The message opened with some things that caused you to be crippled. You thought they were over,only to find they still cause paralysis. I gave some questions to help you identify generational curses,and I am sure you identified some
because they are in every family.

What WILL you do to get to Jesus?  WILL you make sure you get your family members to Jesus? Let me help you!

First, acknowledge that if there is a curse,strong faith is needed to get you from where you are to generational blessings. That’s where we want to go. After acknowledging there are curses,you and/or family members need to turn to, or return to,Jesus. Stay strong! Satan turns up the heat at that point. The last thing Satan wants is for you to get to Jesus and build a relationship with Him.

Once you identify the problem you need to determine what to do about it. That’s important because you will be able to convince others to help you,or you will be ready to help others,get to Jesus.  Getting to Jesus is the answer.

In our text it was obvious this paralytic knew he needed help to get to Jesus, and couldn’t do it for himself.  People,so many of us are where this man was. We are or paralyzed and can’t move. If unsaved and spiritually paralyzed, we will not get to Jesus unless someone else gets us there. Or you might be out of fellowship and the enemy is telling you to stay where you are. Unless someone shows you the need to return to Jesus for restoration,you will remain where you are.

Whatever you do, don’t give into the enemy. All of us are being transformed,some in the beginning, some in the middle some,near the end. Some feel they have made it. If you have made it you ought to have a story and be effective in
leading people to Jesus.

Now as I look at this text,two things are real to me: 1. You need to know you have a problem that only Jesus can handle. Your way hasn’t worked, so you need the help of Jesus; 2. Have the right people as friends in your circle, people
who will be honest with you and are willing to take you where you need to be healed and delivered. People who will tell the truth if you don’t hear it,or it's painful. You need help and you need people who will make sure you get the help.

Even in the church there are those who have physical and spiritual needs. With the "Love Messages" we have been getting, we ought to be looking for needs and
what we can do to help. We need to be concerned to the point we reach out to help a sister or brother. 

In the text there was a human need. He was a paralytic, but praise God he had four friends that were moved by compassion to act on his behalf! What will you do to lead someone to transform from a generational curses to spiritual
generational blessings?  Who in your circle will tell you are spiritually paralyzed?

Some might need a jump start to get to the house of the Lord. Based on their condition,they might need someone to bring them on a stretcher,especially if they have be paralyzed by an emotional devastation (i.e. parents who lost their children in Newtown incident, boy captured from school bus since Tuesday).

Then there are those at the house of God who hear the message, received it,hear God calling but just can't get up to walk down that aisle. They might need assistance, like a hand, or some type help, to get them to make that walk. Are there any in your circle that would do either of those things?

Let me set the stage of what may be required to get a friend to Jesus by revisiting the text. Jesus' ability to heal and deliver preceded him so that there was such a crowd it was almost impossible to get to him, especially a paralytic.  But these friends were determined.  That says something about united faith! They knew if they got him to Jesus he would walk. This makes a statement that you need people on one accord in your circle. 

Homes at that time were stone with flat had flat roofs.  Four men took this man on a stretcher up to the roof.  I can imagine, and see, them struggling on a fire escape with a stretcher, and a man which was dead weight getting up to the roof.  But guess what? That is what they did?  He still was not at Jesus. Once on the roof they started tearing through the roof, through the straw and mud and dug a hole large enough to lower this man to Jesus. He ended up right in front of Jesus. In the text Jesus was teaching when Jesus saw how much faith they had he said to the paralytic your sins are forgiven.That's what faith will do.

My question to you is are there any people in your circle that have the kind of faith that they will do whatever is needed to get to Jesus? Will they lead you to salvation if that’s needed, or to restoration if needed? Or would they say it’s not worth it, or that’s too much work, or the person is not worth the effort?

Tracy, can you tell your story of how you got to Jesus and what has happened since?

(Sister Tracy Wallace shared her personal family "Flip the Script" spiritual encounter with the congregation. She extolled the virtues of those who were determined to get her to her audience with Christ.)

I hope Tracy and I have convinced you that you need to be surrounded by persons who will get you to Christ. Faith is needed. You will find if it’s  physical,emotional or spiritual paralysis, Jesus heals. There is nothing too hard for God. Are you paralyzed in the spirit? Are you crippled mentally and/or emotionally? God can handle it! God works when you are powerless over your situation, when you know you have weak faith in that area. You have been no good
to yourself and others. That’s when you need some friendswho unite in faith and take you to Jesus. Once you get there, be receptive to what Jesus says and block out everything else.  You noticed the first thing Jesus dealt with was the
sin. He told the man, "Your sins are forgiven." Jesus is the one who has the authority to do that. 

While that’s good news to you, there will be others who will have a problem with it. You would think people would have been glad the man’s sins were forgiven, but all knowing Jesus knew the leaders had a problem and were questioning. He asked why did they have a problem with this? They even accused Jesus of blasphemy, which is saying Jesus was doing only what God does. They missed the most important thing.  God the Father,Jesus the Son and The Holy Spirit are
one,so God was in fact forgiving his sin. People,don’t allow what God is doing for you to be blocked by what people will say or do. Walk in your forgiveness and be freed.

I hear Jesus saying, "You just don’t know what I am about to do. This is just a set-up. Watch what will follow!" Interesting, again he dealt with the sin first
and I believe that is the prerequisite for healing and deliverance. Get to the root of the problem. We can’t hide it under the rug, we must deal with it. Mike, we have got to make sure we get through the final rinse. To be raised to
stand, people must first be forgiving for their sins. Then they can standJust as the religious leaders questioned what Jesus was doing, there will be questions about what He will do in your life. Tracy I am sure there have been
some questions about what God has done in your life. I hear Jesus saying, "Talk is cheap. I am going to show you what I really will do. You are concerned about me forgiving sin,it is just as easy for me to tell the paralytic that his sins
are forgiven as to tell him to get up and pick upon his bed and go home."

I hear Jesus saying, "But I can back up what I say." He turned to the man and said,"Get up, take up your bed and, in other words, walk...go home!" Immediately the man got up.   When people saw that, they witnessed an awe moment. That
ignited praise! They had never seen anything like that before. I need some of those in this house. I am reminded of Chris on North Avenue, a paralytic. When he took a couple of steps, praise went up. That’s what happens when Tracy
worships.

In conclusion,if you are crippled spiritually, emotionally or physically,and can’t move without help,use your faith.  Jesus was teaching when He saw how much faith they had. He said to the paralytic, your sins are forgiven. I submit
to you, you need strong faith to transform from generational curses to generational blessings. Be like the man in the text, pick-up situation and push it away. You will go home free today!

Push away those hindrances that keep the blessings away, and let’s have a praise party. On a Super Bowl Sunday,let’s not be so focused on the game that we let someone leave paralyzed. Let"s make sure everyone gets to Jesus. What will you do to flip the script? Will you select who you call friends?

Sunday, January 27, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Flip The Script
Scripture: Exodus 20:5; Matthew 12:44&45
Summary:

Bishop began today's message with the presentation of Ray Lewis'
personal story of how God broke a genrational curse in his family.(Audio Visual http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2A6soA4JEs)


Introduction of Spoken Word:


This is Consecration Month and the Year of Generational Blessings
Generation curse is a negative that is sin, or fault, and it increases and gets stronger as it passes to each generation (i.e. If great-grandmother was angry or a liar and not corrected, grandmother will be angry and will be worse than great-grandmother; your parent will be worse than both of them and if not corrected it passes to you, and you will be worse than they.) So it might be you that has to flip the scripture

Text

- Jesus was describing the attitude of the nation of Israel and the religious leaders.  The point: cleaning or getting rid of a curse or cleaning up one’slife without filling the house with God leaves room for Satan to come back and bring back seven more spirits
- House is clean so Satan knows exactly where to go

Questions to help know how to identify curses

1. Do you recognize your family patterns of failure?
2. Do you exhibit high levels of anger?
3. Are you disrespectful to parents and adults?
4. Is there a history of abuse- emotionally, physically and or sexually?
5. Are there personalities/behaviors prevalent in your family (e.g. control, manipulation, codependency, depression, un-forgiveness, or social isolation?)
These questions help to identify curses
They are in all families and remain until someone flips the script.  Are you the one to flip the script?

Flipping the script opens the door for family blessings
- Must understand flipping the script upsets Satan and he will do all to interrupt you walking in God's destiny for you and receiving the truth
- He does that by making sure the one thing that is most important we can’t past to the next generation ... a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that requires you personally invite Jesus into your heart
o God doesn’t have grandchildren, He has children
o Today we want to interrupt Satan's plan and make clear how all can begin a personal relationship with Jesus

Ways that Satan targets our youth; he knows how badly parents and grandparents who are Christian want their children or grand’s to become Christians:
Ashley how does he distract through discouragements by exploiting—family, weakness, emotional, physical and moral issues and use them to tempt or direct from the truth?

Minister Ashley: Family "secrets", deemed to protect, are actually causes of discouragement. If knowledge is power, why are secrets maintained? Eventually, what is done in the dark comes to life. It is time to break generational curses by discussing the problem, as in-house hurt does not deal with the issue. Clean the house! Destroy yokes! Learn to forgive!

Being a parent, the last thing one wants is them to reject the truth; Satan is targeting our children and grandchildren.
Shawn, how does he do this through media and social media?
 
Minister Shawn: Christian adult supervision in the home develops Christ-like character in our offspring. Media mentors may not be Believers, hence, they may not subscribe to, nor pass-on, Biblical principles. 


All youth and young adults, we want to introduce you to Jesus to begin building your own personal relationship with the Lord (begins with new members; Spiritual growth; discipleship; Sunday school and Bible Study) This will prepare you to flip the script.





Sunday, January 20, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene 
Topic: Reverencing God
Scripture: Psalm 86:1-11

Summary:

Reverencing is to show feeling of deep respect, love, awe and esteem
Today Reverencing God is not on some agendas, why?

- People are dealing with so many personal things reverencing God is put aside
- That’s where Satan wants us to be, diverting our attention from God
- Catastrophes (such as Katrina, Sandy, Newtown, Connecticut) have  a way of
forcing us to reverence and worship God

So we must position ourselves to reverence and worship God

- Start with, Do you know Him yourself?
- Have we even forgotten to reverence God?
- Do we know how to reverence God?
- Does a crisis cause us to get there?

David trusted God in his time of trouble (Text Scripture Theme - Psalm 86: 1-11)

- People all around are in some type trouble
- Troubles bring some to the point of reverencing God
- Vs 2 Contemporary: please protect me and save me because you are my God, I am
your faithful servant and I trust you.  The KJV says preserve my soul
- Significant because our soul houses all of our emotions
- Too often we are driven by emotions, and not the spirit of the Lord,
   (Problem: That doesn’t lead to reverencing and worship of God)

There is a journey to worshipping God. It is essential because:

- We get our God- given assignment when reverencing God
- If you don’t know what it is you are not on your assignment


How to get there

- Get to know God for yourself
- May require going back to basics
-Make sure you know Him- Reverencing God
o He is almighty; All-Knowing; Everywhere; All-Seeing
o He created the everything in the heavens and the earth
o He is unique and there is no one else like Him
o Nothing is too hard for Him
o He is not dead, He is alive;  see the importance of worshiping

As Christians you know God

- We belong to Him, we are His sheep and we should reverence
- He takes good care of us even when we don't deserve it
- He is good and His love endures forever
- We need to seek Him as to how we are to live and please him
- Seek His forgiveness, forgive others, accept forgiveness
   (Please do that right now and  don’t go another day in 2013 with
unforgiveness)

Unforgiveness is a cancer on families, and unfortunate even in the church. How?

Jeremiah 32:38-41 CONTEMPORARY Then they will be my people and I will be their
God.  I will make their thoughts and desires pure. Then they will realize that
for their own good and the good of their children they must worship me
- This  makes a statement that this is a generational thing so we need to get it
right so we can pass it on to future generations
-To really worship we must learn that trusting means radically aligning our
desires and purpose toward God

As you walk down memory lane, remember when Jehovah was there for you:

- Jehovah Jireh, our Provider
- Jehovah Nissi, the One who shows up when we are in warfare
- Jehovah Rophi, our Healer
- Jehovah Shalom, the God of Peace

Psalm 89 6, 8 sealed it for me: the Lord said there is None who lives can
compare to Him.  He is the most fearsome of all who live in heaven   - all
others fear and greatly honor Him. You are Lord God All-Powerful; no one is as
loving and faithful as You.

Let’s put this in action; Reverence: choose how you want to reverence or
worship, but let's do it. We can use our instruments, clapping and raising of
hands, dancing for the Lord... but whatever you do, reverence the Lord!
 
Sunday, January 20, 2013 "Love Message": Minister Jennifer James
Topic: Love, What is Love...Where Can I Find It?

Scripture: John 3:16
Summary: The Greatest Love of All Times is Love of Jesus Christ!
         He Called Me Friend!

Sunday, January 13, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Faith That Moves Mountains
Subtopic: Help Our Unbelief
Scripture: Mark 11:20-26; 9:23-24

In our Bible Study we are studying faith.  Our ultimate goal is that we realign
and/or adjust our belief to totally rely upon God Almighty; that we trust Him in
every situation and get to the point that we believe there is nothing too hard
for Him.

Let’s establish and agree that faith is taking God at His Word. If the Word says
it, then that should settle it.  Get to the point where we stop asking questions
or doubting the Word.  Faith hinges on certainty and confidence that God is Who
He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Nothing is impossible for
Him.  Once we get to that point, I just believe we are going to witness miracles
like never before.  We've got to get that in our spirit.

To reach our goal, we must receive faith by hearing the Word. The Word says faith
comes by hearing the Word of God.  Once we hear, and faith is in our heart and
not just in our head, God will heal and deliver. I am looking for some miracles.
Anything that clogs our hearts must go. We  need to hear the Word for faith to
take place.

In 2013, my greatest desire is two things will take place: 1. This becomes a
house of prayer, and 2. We will be in the right positions for spiritual
blessings.  If we are honest, there are some things going on in our lives and in
our families that warrant some effectual prayer. We are setting the stage for
both to take place.

Some of these things in our lives were hills, but have now reached the point
they are mountains, and if they are going to move we need fervent prayer.  We
need faith and prayer to get rid of curses so we can have room for the blessings
( i.e. When a cup is full, regardless of what’s in it, you cannot put anything
else in it until you make room in that cup.) So by faith and prayer we must 
make room for blessings. Coming with those blessings is fruitfulness for the
Kingdom of God.  Some mountains in our lives canbe a blessing to someone else, 
creating fruitful ministry.

So each of us need to look at the mountains in our lives. Granted, they vary. 
We must work through them by faith and prayer. God will move those mountains and
show how we are to use our experience for the Kingdom of God. How can we glorify
God?

We must build our faith. God wants us to pray for His will to be done in our
lives and that means some mountains must be moved.  He allowed some to be in our
lives.  In the text the mountain moves to the sea, but I just believe if we link
prayer and faith God will move the mountain completely.

By faith we will find that God still has the power to do miracles.  I need and
am looking for miracles.  Don’t forget we are talking about the God of the
impossible.  I happen to believe that a lack of faith hinders God moving the
mountains in our lives.  Instead of climbing, but by faith we should be telling
that mountain to move and it will move.  However, that requires real genuine
faith, not pretense. You must believe what you are praying for and have faith
that the mountain really is going to move.  We must believe ourselves.
Now that means we must get out of the way and acknowledge we are helpless in the
situation and release it to God.

As we move to the text there is something we need to look at closely.  When the
disciples retraced where they went the day before, they saw the fig tree had
dried up from the root.  People, these mountains must be dealt with from the
roots. It is not good to deal with on the surface. If it’s to be moved, the root
must be addressed.  Where did this start? Deal with it from that perspective.
Deal with roots, not symptoms and or behaviors

Jesus cursed that tree and anything Jesus curses will die.  If we pray, God will
curse things that need to get out of our lives.  Jesus used this as a teaching
moment for Peter to let him know this is a faith thing. He let Peter know what
faith in the living God can do. Faith can move mountains. Jesus told the
disciples have faith in God and you must not doubt, but believe in your heart.
We need faith to move mountains of infirmities, family curses, fear and doubt,
un-forgiveness, and any mountain in your life. Faith and effectual prayer are
needed. So let’s get in position to move some mountains in 2013. 

Is there anyone here who is tired of the same thing that has mounted up to where
it is now a mountain? Let’s tell the mountain to move and watch it move. There
is some help in the text that will assist us:

1. The first thing needed is you need to be a believer; Are you saved, or
unsure of your salvation? Right where you are, with your heart, tell God you want to be saved. Invite Jesus into your heart and ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to change your heart and mind, and then with your heart believe that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead, Believing that with your heart that faith is the way to salvation, you are saved.

2. This next thing requires honesty, to your own self be true.  Let go grudges,
it’s in the text. It says whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what
others have done to you, let go that grudge, release it today. If your head said its over, but is still in your heart, let it go.

3. Don’t pray selfishly, all about I, me and mine. Instead, broaden your prayer
life to be inclusive of what God wants to do with you in the Kingdom. It really
isn’t about us. Our prayer really must be Kingdom focused.  That requires having
faith in God and not objects (meaning praying for money) and trusting God to
meet your financial obligations. If your faith is in God, you look to God. If
you look to the object, you may look to the lottery, or you might allude to
robbery.  Have faith in God, the God that provides, heals, delivers, and gives
peace.

In the supporting text we need to have faith like the father whose son was demon
possessed since a child.  The father, like you and I, showed both belief and
unbelief.  This man believed that Jesus could heal, but would He heal his son?
He said to Jesus, " If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. "  
Jesus said everything is possible for him that believes.  The father responded
by saying, "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief."

We have seen God work for others, but question will He do what I am asking; we
sometimes refuse to believe that God will deliver in "my" case. I wondered why,
and think I have the answer. We think we are unworthy, why should God do
this for me? Do understand God is not like people and He works differently. Not
only is God able to help us, but He wants to help us.  All we need to do is by
faith turn things over to God, ask Him for forgiveness and do what we can to
follow what He has revealed to us to do, and God will do the rest.

This isn’t about positive thinking that will cause God to move. It's deeper than
positive thinking; Jesus is saying anything is possible if we just believe; if
we have faith, after all nothing is too hard for God. Faith is essential,
without it it is impossible to please God. We need faith to be saved,and we must
walk by faith

In conclusion, we must have an attitude of faith if we are to move mountains,
and that means we must have the faith described in Hebrews, in that we are
certain, confident and trusting in God.  This leads to action, and we will
experience miracles. Growing faith is a constant process of daily putting our
trust in Jesus. Each step we make by faith increases our faith. Has anyone been
convinced that by faith you can move a mountain in your life? If so, let me
agree with you in prayer.
 
Sunday, January 13, 2013 "Love Message": Minister Tawanda Smith
Topic: Unity

Scripture:
1Peter 5:5 (NIV) In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
 
Summary: Leaders are spiritual mentorsto those assigned to them. Be inclusive, as One, in the Body of Christ. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013 Healing and Deliverance Message: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Generational Blessings (Subtopic-What’s Roosting in Your Family Tree?)
Scripture: Genesis 32:22-28

This is our first healing deliverance service for this year.  2012 had not been
a good year for some, so as we enter another year I want to set the stage for a
turn around.  I want to do that by linking the birth of Jesus to generational
blessings.  Our blessings are linked to the birth of Jesus, whose mother was The
Virgin Mary, the favored one.

In recent years there has been much talk and discussion on breaking generational
curses. That's  a good thing, but there is even better news: there are also
generational blessings. Now that curses are broken, let’s look at what leads to
generation blessings.

There is a book, Blessing The Next Generation, written by Marilyn Hickey and her
daughter, Sarah Bowling, that has truly blessed me (and may be purchased on
Amazon.)  As I prepared for this message, I thought about the significance of
generation.  The importance is in the first book of the bible, generation is
mentioned 21 times.

The first chapter of Blessing the Next Generation intrigued me.  It asks the
question, "What's roosting in your family tree."  That’s a question for all of
us to deal with.  For the blessing to flow through the generations, curses must
be dealt with so we need to know what’s roosting in our family tree.  I thought
of some, and you can add to the list that you are aware of. 

In some families divorces are common. There is poverty, depression, mental
illness, cancer,  children out of wedlock, no fathers in the home, addictions,
anger, bitterness, rejection, incest, and sexual immorality.  What’s in your
family tree? These things mess with families. As I meditated on this, I compared
the family tree to the locust infestations.  When locusts invade, there is
darkness on trees because there are so many locusts on the branches of the trees 
all you see is darkness. They damage the branches and get rid of all the green. 
Those things I just mentioned bring darkness over families. 

What’s roosting in your family tree that is destructive to your family? What
brings darkness and takes all the life from your family?  What dark or family
secrets are causing drama and trauma in your family years later?

So the question is does it matter what is in your family tree, and I say yes it
does.  That has to be dealt with before the blessings flow. That's why it’s
necessary to break curses.  Allow me to share biblical characters that support
the importance of what’s in your family tree and how to deal with it.

One great example of a change in family nature is found in the story in our
text.  Jacob was the twin brother of Esau, his parents were Isaac and Rebecca. 
Jacob meant trickster.  He was named Jacob because at birth he was holding on
the heel of his brother Esau when he was born, the name he would live with until
God made the change. Until then, unfortunately, he lived up to his name.  The first thing he did was convince his Brother Esau to give him his birthright.  Esau was the first born so the birthright belonged to him, not Jacob. Jacob the trickster convinced his brother to give him his birthright. Esau wasn’t innocent. He allowed Jacob to trick him to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup.

As you will see trickery was all in the family. When Rebecca heard her husband
Isaac tell Esau he was going to give him the birthright blessing, she joined in
the trickery. Although it had been told Jacob he would be the leader of the
family, Rebecca decided to "help" God. She pulled out one of her tricks and
brought Jacob in on it. By now by Jacobs’s response you can tell God was dealing
with him.  He said mom how are we going to pull this one off?  Esau is hairy and
I am not. Although Dad has bad sight, when he feels my arms he will know this is
not Esau.  That will bring a curse and not a blessing on me. She said let the
curse fall on me, but he still bought into the trick.She prepared a favorite meal for Isaac and convinced Jacob to wear his brother Esau’s best clothes. Then he put on goatskin on his arm, keeping in mind Esau’s was hairy and the goatskin was to trick Isaac.   Jacob did what his mom told him to do. That resulted in his father giving Esau’s birthright blessing to Jacob.

Jacob had already had tricked Esau into giving up his birthright, now he takes
the blessing associated with it.  Now there were consequences. Jacob had to run
from his homeland because his brother was really upset, and so was his father,
over what had taken place.

While on the run, he ends up at his uncle Laban's, who was Rebecca’s brother and
the master of trickery. Trust me, we are going somewhere with this. There will
be blessings that will go to other generations, but we first need to effectively
deal with the curse or the problem. In this case, it was trickery.

Jacob ends up living with Laban and fell in the love with one of his daughters,
Rachel. He wanted to marry her.  Uncle Laban tricked him by convincing him that
he could marry her. However, he had the marriage at night, so it resulted in not
marrying Rachel, the person he loved. In that night wedding, Laban switched
daughters and Jacob married Leah, thinking he was marrying Rachel.  People, it’s
not  good to do things in the dark. When you really come to your senses you end
up with something other than what you thought you had. 

Now he finds that in order to marry Rachel, the love of his life, he has to do
hard work for another 7 years before he can marry Rachel.  Here the trickster
has been tricked.  You do reap what you sow.

Let's look at what was roosting in this family. Laban and Rebecca were sister
and brother and were tricksters, and Jacob of the next generation was a
trickster. I began to wonder where did it start with this family, how many
generations does this go back to, how deep is the deceit in this family.  You
know it’s at least two generations deep.

How deep or far does this go back? I believe it started before Laban and
Rebecca. What’s in our families and how far does it go back?  I hear the Lord
saying to Jacob someone has to change this thing. This has been going on far too
long, I am tired of this. After all, it takes a lot of energy to be a trickster.
At some point, even the trickster gets tired.   A deceitful person has to try to
keep track of all the lies they told and remember what and to whom you told each
one.  Such was the case with Jacob, and he decides enough of this and took steps
to make a change. I believe at this time he knew a change needed to take place.
Tired of the trickery and deceit, he wanted to change. That’s where it begins
people. Then you open up to how to turn things around.

So he decided to go back home.  With two wives, he had two sets of children from
each wife. He divided them into two groups, one group would go with wife Leah
and the other with wife Rachel, and he stayed back. That was a good move. 
Sometimes you need to be alone with God for God to get your undivided attention
to minister to you. Anyone been there?

He stayed back and in so doing he had a supernatural encounter.  He struggled
with a man all night long and a major thing took place, through that wrestling
match that caused his hip to be out of joint, and he would limp for the rest of
his life.  The key point is that he would not let God go until God blessed him.
That encounter resulted in a name change.  His name was changed from Jacob to
Israel.  Gen. 32:28, " The angel said your name will no longer be Jacob, it is
Israel—one who has power with God, because you have been strong with God and you
prevail with men." 

Here comes the generational blessing: at this encounter Jacob's character
changed.  Once he came face to face with God, his character changed.  Jacob, the
ambitious deceiver/ trickster, had now become Israel and that encounter sets the
stage for generational blessings. There is no way to have a face to face
encounter with God and a change  not take place!

People of God, generational blessings are linked to changing your identity. When
God changed Jacob's name, he changed his identity. That means he didn’t see
himself as a trickster any longer, his character changed. Now he wanted people
know who he was and how he would present himself going further.  Here comes the
blessings: now that he changed, his descendants would now be regarded as blessed
and not deceivers. The trickery/deceit curse was shattered, not just broken but
shattered, never to return again in the future generations!

With the change his identity meant he no longer needed to be a deceiver. He now
could trust God to bless him and his descendants. 
He stopped that deceiver/trickster mentality in the family.  Interested to note,
the descendants of Jacob were not Jacobites but Israelites.  Just look at God
and the blessings associated with that name change! Israelites were people who
would be called God’s chosen people, a blessing indeed.

Now I want to bless some people, so please hear me now. God will never bless
sin, but if you confess your sin He is faithful and just to forgive you of your
sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. After that comes the blessing.
Jacob was blessed after he came face to face with God.  When anyone has a real
encounter with God, you will see yourself what and who you really are. Most will
not like what you see and desire to change their character.

Just as God gave Jacob a new name, He gives you and I one when we accept Jesus
Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our name becomes Christian. That linkage to
Christ opens the door to generational blessings. He gives a new identity when we
renew our fellowship with Him. We are restored. We become new creatures and old
things are passed away.  With that new identity not only comes a new name,
Christian, but we want to  be like Christ. With the new character, we want to
walk in ways that please Christ. We have a new future that is walking in God’s
design for our life.  We no longer walk by popular opinion, but live and abide
by Gods standards.  God’s desire is to change us and generations to come to His
likeness.  We must start somewhere. Now is good a time as any.

Exodus 20:5-6 lets us know that the Lord punishes for their fathers sins for
three or four generations. Some things are deep in our generations, but thank
God He shows love and blessings to those who love God and keep His commandments
for thousands of generations, and the change can take place. 

That’s major in that the punishing is three to four generations. However,
blessings are for thousands of generations. That's a statement! God’s desire is
to bless us! He wants to bless our children and generations to come.  God’s
desire is to create a line of generations who both know His blessings are
determined and are to be passed on.

Today it is my hope that we will buy into buying into generational blessings.
That will by buying into loving and obeying God. God gave a 7 fold generation
that we should model His lead. By Abraham obeying God, we all have been blessed
as a result. So love and obey God.

I conclude by asking you to consider your family tree. What's roosting in your
family tree?  Is there something you need to be doing to make the change in your
family?  Is God showing you something? Is He prompting you to deal with
somethings?  Should that change begin with you? What are you going to do about
it?  I am declaring 2013 the year of generational blessings!

The good news is families can change for better. Granted, bloodlines may be
fixed from generation to generation, but a family can change in character.
Character being who you are, it can change from serving self to serving God. 
Truth, some of us, when we look back at our bloodline and how God is using us in
the kingdom of God, we can’t believe what God is doing in our live. Somebody
flipped the script!

Family, we still can be blessed and be a blessing. One does not have to keep
doing negative things characteristic of your family.  It is you that can decide
to turn things around.  Stop looking for someone else to do something. It is you
that may be the one that changes the negative patterns in your family.


Sunday, January 6, 2013: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Repositioning
Scripture: John 11:43-44; 1Chronicles 14:1,2


New Year's Eve, prior to the message of "Letting Go and Letting God", we had a burial service. We buried those issues from and prior to 2012. Now that the burial is over, two things must take place: there needs to be a resurrection,and we must get rid of the grave clothes.These are requirements to reposition,so we can we can pass on generational blessings to future generations. Repositioning means we need to be in the appropriate (right) place, right setting and right mindset. 

Now when the resurrection took place, Lazarus had been dead for four days and smelled.  Now that your issues have been in the grave for six days, don’t you want to get rid of the stench?  Imagine the stone is being rolled away. Understand the purpose of the stone is to leave you with your issues.  Agree the stone is rolled away today.  According to the text when Jesus spoke and said Lazarus come out, Lazarus got up out of the grave.

However, if we are still wearing grave clothes that we identified New Year's  Eve as issues, we must rid ourselves of them if we are going to pass generational blessings rather than curses to future generations through repositioning.

The behaviors associated with fear are grave clothes. For example,  fear of perception is what people think as opposed to what God says we are. There is also the fear of provision and providence.  We must know that God is a provider and if we seek Him, He will guide us. Get rid of fear. 

Some are in relationships you know are not good, and are your grave clothes.  Some of the people are not good for you, for no one and not even themselves.  Get out while you can.

Then get the clutter in your lives, clothes you can’t wear, items that you hold on to that you will never use. Get rid of them and prepare to bless someone else and be blessed.  For the sake of this message I am identifying those things as grave clothes.

I am certain there are yet other issues that can be identified as grave clothes in our daily lives.

John 11:44 contemporary version reads Jesus told the people, “Untie him and let him go."  Some issues and behaviors associated with the grave clothes have you bound in your mind, affect your hearing and even what you see. You cannot be freed until you get rid of them. You need to be untied.  As in Lazarus' case, Jesus told them to un-wrap him and let him go.  People of God, I am asking God to please remove all grave clothes. Lord let the people go! Untie minds, unclog ears and give Godly views

If you have fear and doubt you can’t walk in faith.  If you are needy and need friendship so badly you embrace and invite wrong people into relationships, you are still wearing grave clothes.  Get rid of them.  You are too special to invite wrong people into a relationship

Repositioning is sometimes misdirected in that we think it’s about money, power, control, jobs, titles and promoting our own attributes. That’s wrong and reasoning why the world is as it is today. These and popular opinions are the driving forces and we have left God out of the equations.  So even the United
States needs to reposition.

Repositioning has all to do with the heart.  It is a byproduct of your character: what you are and what you do that generates from your heart.  Case in point: David committed adultery, he committed murder, had a number of family failures, yet God described him as “a man after God’s heart”. Hopefully, those beating up on themselves because of their pasts will be set free. You can see
that God can and wants to use you in the kingdom if you get your heart right and have a heart for Him.  Right where you are you can tell God you have failed miserably and want to redirect your life, change your heart, renew your mind, align it with God, and point it towards Him.

Although David failed miserably, one thing he did throughout his life was reposition himself.  How did he do it?   In almost every new situation he prayed for guidance. In Psalm 32, he made the point that forgiveness brings happiness. If we ask God's forgiveness of our sins, we will experience real happiness. In Psalm 51, he was asking for mercy, forgiveness and cleansing.  God wants a pure heart. Why? David's new repositioning meant new challenges and new risks, therefore he needed the all-knowing God to guide him, and so do we.  The fact you are repositioning makes the statement we need some direction. In seeking God we can
avoid some pitfalls.

Secondly, don't assume that God’s way of working in your life will work the same way every time.  What you will find as you reposition and seek God is changes will not be threats, but you will see them as opportunities. Let God show you how to work the change to glorify Him and touch people. Changes are good.

Lastly, repositioning has all to do with obedience to Gods for your life.  David did as God commanded and this resulted in God granting him success. He ended up writing most of the Psalms.  His heart was toward God and he praised God.  Look at the Psalms. They were about repentance, and expressed confidence in God’s compassion, forgiveness, thankfulness and trust. If we today do what God tells us and follow David’s lead, we can pass legacies to future generations. Look at what David left that still blesses us

I don’t want to give false hope in that because you have faith and follow a certain formula everything will end as you expect.  Even as we walk in obedience there will be difficulties, but through them all, if you trust God He will use the situations as launching pads for powerful ministry.  David as a child was told he would be king, but he ended as a fugitive running from Saul. He
encountered several adversities before he actually walked in his destiny.

Simple obedience was the key to David’s victory,  and it is the key to repositioning.  In the repositioning, do not buy into God as a “push button” who will act at your beckon and call.  What you will find when you walk in obedience, you can rest assured, is that God will stand with you in the thick and the thin. He will walk you through things. God protected David from the bear
and the lion and empowered him to slay the giant.

So as we look at David’s life, we find David is blessed not for his personal benefit but for the benefit for the people of God.  As we reposition let’s make sure it’s for the people of God.  That’s what will bring spiritual generation blessings.

Because David’s heart was toward God, just look at what happened in verse 1-2 of 1 Chronicle 14. "Now Hiram King of Tyre sent a messenger to David along with cedar logs, stonemason and carpenters to build a palace for him. And David knew
that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been exalted for the sake of his people of Israel." It's about people.This just shows God gave David a positive outcome.  He was blessed so much because God wanted him to give joy to the people.  Sacred Zion, repositioning is how we can bless others, beginning with our own families first.

By repositioning and turning our heart to God, God is pleased. Because of His love for us, He will bless us to be a blessing to others.  Find comfort by repositioning so that we may share generational blessings and be in position to avail ourselves to the outpouring of spiritual blessings. Acknowledge your resurrection. Leave your grave clothes behind.

Agree to reposition.
 
 
2012 New Year's Eve (Watchnight) Message: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Let Go, Let God
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41 (NIV)

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”


Last New Year’s Eve we nailed issues to the cross.  What a moment that was. 
Before we do anything tonight we are going to bury those issues and will deal
with current issues. While symbolic, stretch your faith that the issues are gone
forever.

Last year people were at different spiritual levels.  Depending where you were
when you nailed things to the cross: (1) some really at that moment gave their
issues over to God by nailing them to the cross and leaving them there; (2)
others nailed them to the cross, but as they saw them every time when they
looked at the cross they were reminded of their issues - they really had not let
them go; (4) and there are others who forgot what they nailed to the cross and
that resulted in taking on some other issues. But tonight, we want to show you
how to be freed of issues and release them to God once and for all.

Another view of issues is storms in our lives.  In 2012, you might have
experienced some thunderstorms, hurricanes and even tornadoes - each was more
intense.   Some human issues or storms we faced are health crisis, death of
loved ones, job disruptions, damaged relationships, and tough periods in the
church ... you are asking how long will these storms last? You might even ask
are the storms going to last forever! Others are asking God, "Please rescue me
as you did the disciples by saying to the storm be still"!

So if we are to let go and let God, we must understand the power of God for
ourselves. We need to understand He can handle any issue. For the sake of this
message,  issues are things that we struggle with and/or those things that
hinder us from walking in our God given assignment. There are a number of
reasons why we struggle and why we can’t walk in God’s assignment for our lives.
"What are some, Bishop?"


We could be holding on to things from childhood that we can’t change or let go
of.  Some we talk about most...and I say that because over the last month I have
heard these things mentioned by several preachers; anger, un-forgiveness;
hatred; bitterness. We can see some of these things with just what happened in
Connecticut. Those things rooted are dangerous and can bring devastation.

As we prepare to let go our issues, I just want you to focus on something or
somethings that you need to let go of. Minister Ashley mentioned one yesterday:
Relationships that are not good for you. Attaching to wrong relationships and
wrong people bring about issues.  It might look good initially, but once you
know that’s not good for you, you have a decision to make.

Let go of unhealthy relationships.  Give the control to God and allow Him to
select people who you are to connect with. Trust God to select people who will
support you and God’s assignment for your life.
Let go those things you no longer can wear, those broken things in your house
that have been setting around for years that you have yet to repair. By doing so
you will get rid of clutter and you will create ways for you to prosper. You
will find some of what you are holding on to could be a blessing to someone
else, or bring you some income.  Some of what you see as trash might be of value
to someone else.

Another thing I want you to let go of is fear because that robs us of so much.
Recently, Bishop Jakes said there are three types of fear and they negatively
affect our lives. The first is perception.  This  cripples you because you are
locked into what people think, and not what God thinks and knows about you and
His assignment for you.
2nd is fear of provision,  in which case you are wondering if you have what is
needed to be done or what God is requiring for His assignment.  If God gifted
you, He surely will provide what you need to operate in your gift. 3rd is  fear
of providence, which causes you to question God's guidance. Will God be there
with or for me? Trust God to be with you.  So let go of fear because that causes
us to be more concerned with what people think rather than what God has assigned
to you. 

God promises to provide and will make all of you provisions. God is the ultimate
provider, so there is no need for a fear of provisions. Tonight, let go fear. If
you seek God in all your ways, He will guide you, He will provide, He will guide
you,  and you will be more concerned about what God thinks of you than what
people think.

Another thing I want you to do in 2013 (and this is a big one), let your
business be between you and God. Some of what you share with others is none of
their business. After all, the same people who praise you, appear to love you,
and even give you accolades are the same people that tear you down when you walk
in your God given destiny. I challenge you to let go. So if we are to let go we
must daily turn things over to God and start afresh with a new enthusiasm and a
passion for what God’s assignment for you is.

Granted, on this walk of life we will experience hurts in our lives: lost jobs,
can’t find a job, death of loved ones, children off the hook, parents not being
good parents...  All of these bring about pain. Pain brings issues and storms in
our lives.  But tonight I am seeking God as to how not to take that baggage into
2013.  So Bishop, how is that to take place?

Let me help you! Stop focusing on what went wrong because that can create even
more stress. Let go and let God so He can open the door to healings and
blessings in that area.  Granted, some are results of choices we made, but can’t
undo. However, we can seek God as to how to let it go once and forever, and/or
make lemonade out of the lemon.  Then reflect on the 2012 opportunities and
build a template for 2013 on that.  Focus on what went well.

By focusing on and dwelling on what went wrong, or what someone else did wrong,
we give our power away.  Give the power to the Holy Spirit who can make a
change.  To let go we must move to the now and consciously create a better life
for ourselves and others around.  Let go worry and focus on solutions,
possibilities, and allow God to work a miracle in our life as He did for the
disciples in their storm. In some cases the truth is with some of our issues, we
just need a miracle.

As we visit the text,  the Sea of Galilee was 680 feet below sea level and
surrounded by hills.  Winds were blowing across the land, causing violent and
unexpected storms such as what took place Christmas in Alabama, Mississippi and
even yesterday.  Some of the issues and storms in our lives feel just like that. 
We find ourselves saying, "Where did this one come from?" 

Although the disciples were seasoned fisherman who had spent their lives fishing
in that same place, when this storm came they panicked.  This was a big issue
for them.  I hear some saying, "God, I am your child, I am sure I am doing what
you told me to do. I know that I am doing your work to the best I can.  I have
done all I can to please you, but now I am facing what I never thought I would
face. Lord, where are you? How am I going to get out of this?" 

"Lord, this storm threatens me as the storm did the disciples!" When we are
threatened, we panic.  Just like the disciples, we feel like God is not
concerned with our issues.  They were dealing with a physical storm, but our
storms are the storms in life—those storms that cause anxiety...and when they
come, we have some options. You can worry and assume that Jesus no longer cares,
or you can resist fear and let go and put your trust in God. When panic arises,
tell God you need His help and trust Him to take care of the situation.

People, tonight I pray that we are not like the disciples and underestimate the
power of God. In which case, you will not see  the Power of God applied to your
situation.  That’s where the enemy wants you to be.  He wants you to keep
carrying or dealing with issues rather than releasing them to God. Please don’t
take them into the New Year.

Earlier issues were buried, and I pray you did in fact let them go. Lastly,
having let go of issues its time to begin over. 2013 is the year you can begin
again. Open the door to beginning again by seeking God to empower you and see
the power of the Lord that’s available to your issue.  We need to accept that
God is all-powerful, all-seeing and all-knowing, and that there is nothing is
too hard for Him.

We also see in this text Jesus demonstrated His power over nature...even the
wind and seas obeyed Him! That caused awe among the disciples.  I am looking for
awe moments tonight.   When that occurs, that should strengthen our faith in
Almighty God.  Just as Jesus calmed the stormy sea, He has the power to calm
out- of -control situations in our lives. 

But if that is to take place we must 1. You must put Jesus in the boat, meaning
invite Jesus in your situation. 2 we must not allow fear to grip us to the point
that we are drowning in our issues, speak to the enemy with the authority Jesus
has invested in you, I will not drown i will live and get through this

Acknowledge there is no storm, situation or issue so violent or powerful that
Jesus is unable to calm or handle it.  Cry for help in desperation. Even in the
text the Word said, " Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to
drown?" That sounds like a desperate cry to me.

In this crisis of the disciples,   OiiiiiJesus gets up and speaks to the storm:
He rebuked the wind and commanded the waves to be quiet.  The wind and the storm
immediately obeyed His command.  God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.
Do you have enough faith to believe God can handle your situation?  He will do
for you what Hedid for Noah in Genesis 8:1, which reads: But God remembered Noah
and all wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he
sent the wind over the earth and the waters receded.  Your issues too will be
receded as Jesus remembers you.
As we do what Noah did and listened to and obeyed God’s requests, when our
issues are out of control, as the ark was floating as a result of the flood;
neither are not good situations.  But God did not forget Noah and he will not
forget us.  God will stand by us through our situations.  Keep in mind that when
God remembers his people it’s a good thing, he does so with favor.  Do you
believe that?


Is lack of faith the reason we are still dealing with some issue or storms in
our lives?  Jesus' point was clear in our text: fear hinders faith; though
dangers are real, when Jesus is with us... when Jesus is in the boat and in our
situation we can have perfect peace in the midst of the storms.

Let me leave this with you for 2013, Revelation 3:7-8. Jesus himself said (and
please receive this "Let go and let God" where your issues are concerned and
receive what He said) what He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no man
can open.  "I know your deeds. See, I placed before you an open door, which no
one can shut." So I recommend that you walk through the doors that will be
opened for you and stop worrying about the doors He has shut.  The shut doors
are a part of Him opening doors for blessings.

This was a message to the Philadelphia church that stood firm against satanic
oppression.  Issues are satanic oppressions.  Just like Christ promised the
church protection against the greatest tribulation, and He encouraged them to
persevere, I am encouraging you to let go of your issues and release to God.

Now invite and seek God about what to receive into your life: that is, people,
places and things, and let go anything else. Then seek God as to where you are
to go now.  Ask God what am I to do with my life that glorifies you?  God help
me to take my life to another level of trusting you and and better serve in the
Kingdom.

Let go and let God. Leave all baggage in 2012, because there is some coming your
way in 2013. My hope is you will deal with it differently.
 
Sunday, December 30, 2012: Minister Ashley Torrence
Topic: Putting On My New Swag
Scripture: Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
             Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.


Summary: Set goal to improve circumstances of previous year
             Take Spiritual Inventory
             Forgive
             Create Your Newness
             Wear a New Swag in Your Deliverance

Sunday, December 30, 2012 "Love Message": Minister K.       
                                                 Shawn Torrence
Topic: Show Courtesy One to Another
Scripture: Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
          Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so
that you may know how to answer everyone.

Summary: Love is an action demonstrated as outward appearance of the Hoy Spirit.
It confirms faith in Christ.

 
Sunday, December 23, 2012: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Good News of Jesus' Birth
Scriptures: Matthew 1:1-2; Mark 1:15; Luke 1:1-2;John 3:16

Matthew 1:1-2 (NIV)

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Mark 1:15(NIV)

15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Luke 1-2(NIV)


Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

John 3:16(NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 


Message: 
God has blessed us to soon celebrate another Christmas. As we approach it, I found myself asking these questions: Do we really know the significance of Christmas?  What do we know about the birth of Jesus?  I am of the frame of mind that we need to understand things better. So, we are going to walk through the Gospels and understand the importance Jesus' birth.

As you read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, each makes powerful statements about Jesus. In Matthew,He was a King;in Mark,a Servant;in Luke, the Savior, and in John He was the Son of God.  All of that is Good News for Christians.

To set the stage of His significance, let's visit the Gospels. In Matthew you find the genealogy of Jesus that proved He indeed was a descendant of both King David and Abraham. The importance of this is that at His birth He had come down through 72 generations. The Jews were awaiting the Messiah's appearance. Finally He was born, but the Jews did not recognize Him because they were looking for a different type king.

The genealogy was good news. Why? In His family tree there were all kinds of people. Regardless of who is in your lineage, we still have choices of what’s best for us. Makes no difference what your parents did or did not do, you have a choice to do what is best for you.

With current media there is so much advice about why people have destructive behaviors. Let’s look at Jesus' lineage: In chapter 38 of Genesis,there was incest by Judah and Tamar.  Then there was Rahab,a harlot or a prostitute;there was Ruth, a Moabite who the Israelites wouldn’t associate with.

Still talking about Jesus' lineage, how about David? Although he had a heart for the Lord,he was an adulterer and murderer. Then there was Solomon, who would rather make an alliance with a politician rather than trust God. 

So in His lineage: incest, immorality, murder, rejection and failure to trust God. Now that's some lineage! But He was God! That's true, but He was also a man who had never sinned. By all accounts of Matthew,He was the king that was prophesized by Isaiah in 9:6, For a child will be
born to us, a son will be given and the government will be upon his shoulders and he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God everlasting Father and the prince of peace.

Now as we move to Mark, Jesus became a servant. This book opens up as Jesus was baptized by John. After that,He had a wilderness experience and was tempted by the enemy. That caused Him to move. After fasting and praying for 40 days,Jesus was to serve. His ministry took on shape. 

Jesus came out as a teacher. His first words spoken...The time has come. He said, The kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news. This gives the core of His teaching, that a long awaited Messiah had come to break  the power of sin and begin His personal  reign on earth.  The people who heard this message were people who were oppressed, poor and without hope.  So those words from Jesus' lips were good news. Those words offered freedom, justice and hope. Sounds much like recent events in America to me!

Thank God here comes along Luke, who portrayed Jesus as the Savior. He shows the humanity of Jesus. Our Savior was an ideal man.  While Luke was not an eyewitness of Jesus, nevertheless it was important to make sure that eyewitness accounts were preserved accurately. He wanted things as they really were. You know doctors know the importance of accuracy. Luke was no different. So he made sure the foundation of Christianity and its beliefs were intact and available for future generations.  Thank God for Luke who presented Jesus as the Savior. Understand that as Savior, He is the one that saves,He is the deliverer,a healer and a benefactor. It is he who is there to look out for his own.


John presented Jesus as the Son of God. He made the point that that all who believe in Him would have eternal life.  Here the Word was made Flesh and God knows that is Good News. He shows Jesus was fully human and fully God.  Although He lived as a man,  He never ceased to be eternal God. As such, He existed as the Creator,Sustainer,and Source of Life. Isn’t that Good news?  All came with Jesus.

This Christmas, let’s see the importance of the birth of Jesus and move away from shopping and partying to celebrate His birth. Focus on the point of John's message of belief. Believe the truth that Jesus was born of a virgin. His earthly father was Joseph. He lived on this earth, ministered,died on an old rugged cross, and was buried. Praise God! On the third day,Jesus got up with all power in His hand. That’s Good News, and reason to praise God!

This message is so important in that it is the foundation of truth. No one else made such a sacrifice. If you can’t believe this basic truth, you will surely not have enough faith to trust our eternal destiny to Him. Not to reach that point is sad.  This birth was too important for you to miss that.

That’s why John wrote this Gospel—to build faith and confidence in Jesus Christ so that we would truly believe that He is the Son of God. Let's recap. Matthew was about the genealogy of Jesus; Mark was about Jesus as the servant, and he backed things up by the word of God and with action. He succinctly gave a vivid account of Jesus' ministry. You will find several miracles in the book of Mark. As for Luke, it was important to make sure that facts about Jesus were accurate.

Because of John’s background and his Greek cultural, he focused on worship.  The emphasis was they were worshipping idol gods, but he pointed them to the Almighty God who is superior to those idol gods. Some of us are still worshipping idol gods, such as material things, but today turn your focus to Almighty God and all-knowing- all seeing  God.


John wanted them to know that when God created,He took nothing and made something. That should take away pride -you had nothing to do with it. We need to worship God for the gift of His Son Jesus. Worship the birth of the Savior of the world.  Worship because we exist because God made us just like He wanted us to be... with a purpose.  Worship Him for the special gifts that He gave for His own purpose and plan. Worship because He gave them to you.For those who are sitting on gifts, repent and thank Him for allowing you to now worship Him with your gifts.  Worship God because you were wonderfully made and you are an original design.  Acknowledge without God we are absolutely nothing.

Because of Jesus' birth,although things are difficult,nothing is too hard for God. The God that created the heavens and the earth and everything on this earth surely can handle your situation. We serve a living God and His love is bigger than any problem you face.  Isn’t that Good News! He was a man that can identify with anything you face.  That He came down through 72 generations, so you are included in all of the benefits associated with salvation. He lived on the earth and served, and He is the Savior of the entire world. So just believe with your heart and take advantage of the birth of Jesus

Do something different this Christmas. Move from shopping, partying, and getting into debt, and focus on the real reason for Christmas. Focus on the Good News that the Savior of the world was born!
 
Sunday, December 16, 2012: Elder Vanessa Graves
Topic: Lost But Valuable
 
Scripture: Luke 15:8&9 (NIV) 8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and
loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until
she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors
together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’
 
Summary:
When we get off track spiritually, we are lost. The key points
leading to Spiritual Redemption are:
            1) Surround yourself in an armor of "light" ( or "truth")
            2) Cleanse your "home" (body, temple) of all things not pleasing 
                to God
            3) Diligently seek the thing that is lost for restoration to its
                intended purpose.  
We are capable of withstanding the hand of the enemy!
 
 
Sunday, December 16, 2012 Love Message:  Elder Josephine Dennis
Topic: Our Purpose for His Love

Scripture: John 21:15 (NIV) When they had finished eating, Jesus said    to
Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Summary: The question is do we truly love Christ more? If so, in        
            affirmation we are to move in that love as God              
            has called us to do. Let our characters be defined
            by our outpourings of love to others. Divert attentions
            from self-glory and magnify the Lord.
 
Sunday, December 9, 2012: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic:
Message of Hope: Jesus Came -
A Prophecy fulfilled
Scripture: Isaiah 9: 6-8 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.
The Lord has sent a message against Jacob;
    it will fall on Israel.
 
Today, I sense people are in need of hope. There is so much around us that causes despair. Some feel like things are getting worse, not better. There is no end to trouble, especially if you are listening to the news.

But I want to offer some hope. Find comfort in knowing (and it is a sure thing) that although the Lord may not take you around the trouble, if you follow God whole heartily He will bring you through it.

As we visit the text, the times then are like these of today... there was darkness. God knows times are dark now (crime, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis). In this text He promised a light that would shine on everyone. God knows when there is nothing but darkness light is welcomed. That promised shining light would be both Mighty God—meaning He is all powerful - and Counselor, and as such He is all loving.

This prophecy was fulfilled in the establishment of eternal Kingdom. Jesus was going to be that fulfilled prophecy. He was coming to deliver all people from their slavery of sin. Jesus came! Praise God!  He was coming but for you and me.

Now that He did come, please take advantage of His coming. He came as God, capable of changing or handling any situation one faces. The turnaround for the people in the text was the upcoming birth of Jesus.

In Is 7:14, the Word said in part the Lord Himself will choose the sign –a child will be born of a virgin and he shall be called Immanuel meaning God is with us. People, as Christians God is with us. Why are we stressing? For them that was good news yet to come.  For us, we need to take advantage of that birth.

Although this child would be young, his human attributes would stand out. They were attitudes of wisdom, peace, uprightness and justice, combined with divine qualities that only God possesses - hailed as mighty God and everlasting Father.

So people of God, we must put our hope in God Almighty who is the only one whom we can turn to for deep healings and deliverances. Let’s talk about this hope that results from Jesus' birth. He is always there for us and He is the light that shines on all of us. So let’s take the birth of Jesus serious and understand that:

-He is wonderful, and that means He is exceptional:
-He has no peers, so no peer pressure
-He is distinguished
-He is the counselor. At times like this more and more people are seeking counselors, but I recommend Jesus as your counselor who always gives the right advice every time.
-He is the one who can help us sort through our drama and inner turmoil and guide us to truth. Truth sets us free.
-It is He who moves from fantasy to the real world.

This Counselor knows what we say and if what we say aligns up with our hearts, He knows our thoughts. He is the one you can call at anytime and He is always available. Not only is He available, but He will respond, If you adhere to His advice, that situation will get better. Do you know a better counselor?

Jesus came and He is the Mighty God - meaning He is God Himself. He can and will supply us with power to stay on the right path for our healing and deliverance. Truth is the power of God is needed for staying power and strength for what we are going through. Keep in mind God has a plan and His advice will lead you to fulfill His plan for your life

As the everlasting Father, He loves us so deeply -  even more than an earthly father. That’s love because a real earthly father loves deep, but Jesus' love is even greater. There is no greater love than that of God Almighty.


Find hope in Jesus, the Prince of Hope. He fills our minds with peace and our life with wholeness. You can have perfect peace if your mind is steadfast because He trusts in you. You find peace by making your request known to the Lord by prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, and you will find peace you can’t even understand.

We have hope by allowing God to handle injustice. Some decisions made at the city, state and federal levels oppress the people. They find themselves with their backs against the wall as a result of some bureaucratic decisions being made.


Let me assure you that justice will be served. God is looking over us. Aren’t you glad you belong to him? Despite the fiscal cliff, God will take care of His own. Despite those who think they are in charge, God is going to do something that will let everybody know He is still in control of this universe. Justice will be served .


You might be going through things right now. You can still have peace if you just trust God and give worries, cares, hopes and ambitions to Him. So ask and trust God to see you through.
 
In conclusion let me leave you with this, there is hope in the fact that the prophecy was fulfilled and Jesus came.

1.He is wonderful and no one equals Him. He is mighty and has all power.

2. He is the ultimate Counselor; since He is all-knowing He gives the right and best advice.

3. The everlasting Father. The role of the father is an important role. Jesus as everlasting Father is the source of faith. Jesus is the foundation of our faith and without Him there is no basis for believing.


He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the everlasting redemption for the Father by which we are redeemed. Can anyone join me by saying I am redeemed bought with a price, Jesus has changed my whole life? Thank God I am redeemed as a result of that fulfilled prophecy!


There is hope in the birth of Jesus. Take advantage of it.  All our concerns can be handled by Him. Truth is the only hope we have is in Christ Jesus!
 
 
The only hope we have is in Christ Jesus,  the only one to help us in this world of turmoil. 
Although Satan oppresses us and our hearts are distresssed, but we have this hope in Jesus.
 
The strength we need is found in Christ our Savior - the one who wanted our souls freed.  Despite where we are, or what we are facing, we have the hope in Christ Jesus.  Thank God the prophecy was fufilled! Jesus came and we can have hope! 
 
Sunday, December 2, 2012: Elder Bertha M. Greene
Topic: Advent Season 
Summary:  Shift your focus to worship and praise of God. Trust God. He is available at all times.  Stop flapping and soar! Your reward will be renewed strength. (Also see "Pastor's December 2012 Message -Advent Season")


Sunday, November 25, 2012

("Love Message"): Minister Clarence Poole
Topic:
By Love, Serve One Another
Scripture: Gal. 5:13-14 (NIV)
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Summary: Serving in love will build the church. Don't use freewill moments  to feed the flesh. "Love your neighbor as yourself."
                
(Youth Sunday Message): Minister Kenneth Shawn Torrence
Topic: Drop Everything and Don't Look Back
Scripture: Gen. 19:17 (NIV)
17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
Summary: Keep faith! No Distractions!
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012 (Harvest Day - "Love Message"): Minister Karl Wallace
Topic: God's Loving Kindness
Scripture: Psalm 103: 14-18 (NIV)
 14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.
Summary: Love is the purest evidence of dwelling with the Spirit of God. With love, there is no neutrality, no attitude...we change the way we used to be. Divine nature, beauty, benevolence summed-up in one word is LOVE.
 

Sunday, November 11, 2012:
Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Topic: God Wants To Use You With Your Past
Scripture: Acts 5:12-16 (New International Version)

The Apostles Heal Many

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.


Summary: Every church has a culture and a brand. Sacred Zion’s is healing deliverance. God was clear with me when we He told me that Sacred Zion was to be a healing and deliverance church. He also let me know that while there would be some physical healing, my focus was also to include the mental, emotional and spiritual state of people. With all of the sicknesses and deaths that have visited Sacred Zion, I choose to believe God heals in many different ways and has the last say.

There is major work to be done in the kingdom and God will be using persons who have repented from their past. As He uses them, they will draw others to Christ. There are some here today who can attest that their past is being used for His glory.

Peter's past showed he was extremely egotistical, placing more merit in his own opinions than what Christ spoke. In Matthew 16:22-23, he had the audacity to challenge Jesus' foretelling of the Crucifixion. In Matthew 26:31-35, he was adamant in saying he would not deny Christ. However, he later became one of the most well known Apostles all because he recognized he had been delivered from his past. Peter could have remained a broken man with “egg on his face”, embarrassed by his erroneous contradictions. He accepted forgiveness, allowing the light of Christ to shine from him instead.

As He did with Peter, God will use you if you do not wallow in failure. Understand and accept the root of any problem, then repent and ask God for a change of heart, mind, and new directed life. That power operating in the apostles was so powerful that Peter, who denied, corrected and disputed Jesus, was put in a position to do miracles and wonders as Jesus did.

Guess what? God is going to use some who have a past in a powerful way today! When the stage is set and it's right, we will experience what took place with Peter. People were brought out of the streets, on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow would fall across as he passed by. Talking about the power of God! No laying on of hands, no anointing! The power of God and the atmosphere were such for healing and deliverance people were healed by the power of God just as Peter walked by them!

God wants to use you with your past!

Here at Sacred Zion, or the church of your choice, we are to prepare you to be used in kingdom building. Use the available resources for restoration: New Members' Classes; Spiritual Growth guidance; Discipleship; Bible Study and Sunday School, to name a few. This end time ministry requires and will use hurting people who have been healed to touch the lives of others...those delivered from their pasts.

As we prepare to visit the text, let’s look at how Peter was being positioned to be used by the power of God. Peter, along with the disciples, was being taught groomed at Solomon’s porch. They witnessed miracles and wonders, seeing the power of God at work first hand. Also, there was unity in the community. People of God, there is power in unity. The people gathered regularly at Solomon’s porch.

Sacred Zion, I would like to have such impact on people when they visit this house . It caused them to marvel and not mock. Today, the body of God needs that type of presence. The miracles and wonders did a powerful thing for the early church, and since God doesn’t change he will do the same thing again.

Bishop, what will happen if we have that presence in the house today? Good question!

  1. We will attract unbelievers of all ages. Conversions, healing, and deliverance will take place before our eyes.

  2. We will witness that the teaching Jesus taught the disciples is applicable today, and will be manifested as it was at Solomon’s porch. We will witness miracles and wonders because the power of God, the key ingredient, will be present. Taught by God, you are under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

  3. Those lead by the spirit of the Messiah... the one who died on the cross, the one who was buried but got up on the third day... will be empowered by Him to do the work.

People are looking for a standard in the body of Christ that stands out. When the stage is set and it's right, we will experience what took place with Peter at Solomon's porch. I believe those who God will use with a past will do as Peter and make Christianity attractive again. Sacred Zion, we can have programs, good teaching and preaching, beautiful edifices, large congregations and great fellowship. While all of that is good, in the early church the people were attracted to God’s power being manifested in the miracles and wonders. They appreciated generosity, sincerity, honesty, unity of membership and character of leadership. Hear me, church! We are a healing and deliverance church and must be in line to do the work he has assigned us to do.

Today God wants to position some for your journey of being used in the kingdom. You will witness His healing and deliverance powers. As with Peter, when you accept His total plan God will use you despite of your past.

 
 
 
 
 
Sunday, November 4, 2012: Bishop Bertha M. Green
Topic:
Be Free
Scripture: Psalm 2:1-6 (NIV)
            
1 Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”
     

Summary: Today’s message is for the purpose of setting someone free from
bondage. I like to think of bondage as being at the mercy of someone or
something that controls you.

I want you leaving here knowing that true freedom comes when you do what God
created you to do.  Never lose sight of the fact that God has a purpose and plan
for each of us, and freedom comes when we walk in His plan.

Our topic Psalm addresses our foolish pride.  Powerful men and women may think
they can do what they like because they are educated, got it going on, and
oppose God’s purposes. However, according to verse 4, they are laughed at.

When we oppose God’s plan we have double trouble. (1) We create voids by running
from His purpose; and (2) become entrapped by an inability to deal with the
newfound emptiness. Painfully, we discover doing ones own thing is not the
answer. Freedom comes from pleasing God.

It took me a while to understand how foolish it was to reject God’s plan for my
life.  When you reject His plan you will substitute another master, another
plan...bad idea!  You self-destruct.

On occasion, I go to the courts and observe prisoners escorted in chains and
shackles.  They are enslaved and can’t go anywhere unless freedom is granted by
the presiding authority. Only then are their chains and shackles unlocked. So it
is with Christians. Our freedom comes when we yield to God's purpose and plan
for our lives. Understand, God is in charge! Why do we keep doing things our
way? Your arms are too short to fight with God! 

Romans 9:20-21 in essence asks,  Who do you think you are to question God?  Does
the clay have the right to say to the potter why he shaped it the way he did. 
Doesn’t the potter have the right to make a fancy bowl and a plain bowl out of
the same lump of clay? This does not mean some are worth more than others, but that
the creator has control over what he created. So, people, we have no right to demand anything
from God! Just follow His plan for your life. 

Too many people in the body of Christ are chained because they have rejected
God’s plan for their life.  Today, I want some chains broken and shackles
loosened.  Leave here free today.

The question is how can I be free?

(1) It begins with acknowledging that it is foolish to reject God’s plan for
your life.  So spend some time asking God for His plan for you.  Be honest with
God and tell him how you regret how much time you have wasted by challenging Him
and  His ways, and are ready to submit to Him for your life. His ways are better
than yours.
(2) Get in tune with God’s plan for your life by spending some time in His
presence. Stay there until it’s perfectly clear what God intends for you. Then,
accept His help and loving rule for your life.
(3) Next, with your whole heart, serve God the Creator.  He will set you free to
be who He created you to be. 
(4) Accept that God knows what He is doing and will equip you for His assignment
for your life.

As I prepare for Prayer for Freedom, be clear I want to pray for persons who are
ready and willing to walk in God’s plan for their life; those persons who are
struggling with what God's plan is for them. It doesn’t matter where you are and
your positions. I am ready to deal with setting you free.  This is serious to
me! This is not for someone who was told what they should be doing and God has
not confirmed it. It is not for someone who believes they can do "whatever" better than someone
else. It is not for someone who wants to be in the lime light, or to be glamourous. I am talking
about people who are ready to be freed to walk in God’s plan for THEIR life! For any other
reason, you will be still chained and shackled! 

Today's Purpose is to Follow God’s Plan For Your Life, and His only!
Today's Purpose is to Be Released From Bondage And FREE!
Today, when you leave this service, depart with the knowledge that you Walk In God’s
Plan For Your Life!

Break the chains and remove the shackles!
 
 
Sunday, October 28, 2012:  Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Sermon Topic: After This
Scripture: Isaiah 43:18-19
Summary: Sometimes as adults we don’t appear to understand what young people encounter. I am sure sometimes they feel church is for older persons. Today's message recognizes that all ages have experienced some devastation. In song, Youthful Praise says, however, there is something to be done "After This". Give God glory! 

Is. 43:1-12 says as we are going through, it’s that time many get to know that
there is no other Savior. God is merciful.

Verse 2 speaks of going through the waters of difficulties. They will cause you
to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go on your own strength, you are
likely to drown. If you invite the Lord into your situation you will find He
will protect you. Young people, get to know this is a blessing.

Verses 10-11 show the Israelites had the responsibility to witness about the
goodness of God. We have that same assignment to tell the world who God is and
what he has done. After God takes us through something, we ought to be a more
powerful witness. We must witness as and to youth, young adults, adults and
seniors. We must get the word out that there is no other God other than Almighty
God.  We have a major responsibility of being and preparing others to be
witnesses for the Lord. 

I have personally encountered many wilderness experiences throughout my
lifetime. As did the Isrealites, my "Exoduses" were due to the mercies of God. I
stand before you today as a witness.

Young people, your wilderness season may include bullying, unemployment, friends
being murdered, rejection by parents, and a lack of needed support.  Yet,
through it all God has been with you.

Thank God for His grace and his mercy. Give God glory.  Thank God because by now
you know that God protects His own.

Look back over what you have gone through and how you are still here. When the
enemy was attempting to cause you to lose your mind, you remained sane and are
here to tell the story of how you got through. 

Think about when you didn’t think you would make it.  Remember those times you
just wanted to give up when no one understood what you were going through. They
were the periods God saw you through. Even when everyone gave up on you, God saw
and empowered you at that moment. Doesn't that deserve glory?  Verses 18-19 say
YES! God has plans to do so much more for you. He has already begun a "brand new
thing" in your life.

       ("After This", Youthful Praise)

There will be glory after this; There will be victory after this
God will turn it around, he will bring you out
There will be glory after this

There will be glory after this; There will be victory after this
God will move for you, give him the praise he's due
There will be glory after this

God will move in your situation
He will heal when the doctor's give you up
He provides in the midst of recession
Have faith in him, he'll come through

God specializes in things impossible
He loves to move when all hope is lost
Just so he can show himself strong in your behalf
Don't give up, he'll come through for you

There will be a praise after this; There will be joy after this
There'll be a testimony after this; There'll be glory after this

 
 
 
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Bishop Bertha M. Greene
Sermon Topic: Change Your Thinking and Take Another Dip
Scripture - 2 Kings 5:1-15
Summary: We are missing the move of God because of too much reasoning and thinking. The Word says God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. We must change our way of thinking.
 
In most cases we are operating in fear, doubt, pride, or all three. The energy that is exerted in those three areas keeps one from being humble and obeying God. Take a dip into what God requires of you to get you what you need from him. Your need could be physical, emotional, physical, financial, mental and/or spiritual.

Fear is anxiety caused by approaching danger. It keeps us from moving at all and blocks our understanding of what the spirit is saying. The effects of fear can be demoralizing. In 1st Samuel 13:5-8, when the Philistines came after the Israelites with chariots they became afraid. In a demoralized state we can’t hear what God is saying, nor will we do what He says. The resources we see are inadequate in comparison to the resources of God. Just as the Israelites became terrified and hid, so do we, forgetting who is on our side.

Fear will cause us to operate in defeatism. Caleb, on his spy assignment, (Numbers 13:30, 33) challenged the people to go possess the land. But the Israelites didn’t trust God, seeing victory as an impossibility. Their self-doubt caused them to make decisions that made sense to them, and said we are not able to go up against those people, they are stronger than we. In other words, fear caused them to miss the opportunity to do what God said, and take a dip.

Pride causes you to think that God owes you certain things, or things are to be done a certain way for you because of who you are. To take that dip, at the appropriate time we must take the Word literally that says God has no respect of person. We must be careful not to allow our pride (ego) to edge God out.


Naaman, a commander of the Syrian Army, had won many victories, but could not defeat the leprosy he had incurred. His personal wealth could not buy his healing. It was not until he put aside his natural self and dipped into the Spiritual realm that he found his healing.
 
We may not understand, but must do what God asks of us. God wants obedience from us more than anything else. We need to see and appreciate the sovereignty of God, and watch God move.
 

Sunday,October 14,2012: Bishop Bertha M. Gr
eene
Sermon Topic: Being Yoked to Christ
Scripture: Matthew 11: 27-29
Summary:
Over the past years, the past year, the past months, the past week and even
today, some of us have felt overwhelmed.  When you feel overwhelmed your
thoughts play tricks with you. When will this be over? I can’t take anything
else! Lord what else? Lord where are you?  Such thoughts permeate your thinking.
This type thinking causes you to be yoked to bondage, and not Christ.

I want you to take the position to be yoked to Christ. Think of the benefits of
being yoked to God, the One who created the world in just 6 days!   We can then
stop carrying the burden and live in expectation of God’s help in every
satiation.

As we move to the text, take a closer look at verse 27 which states everything
has been entrusted in me by my Father.  Only the Father knows the Son and the
Father is known by the Son and by those whom the Son reveals to Him.

In the Old Testament the word know means more than knowledge.  It implies an
intimate relationship.  The communion between God the Father and God the Son is
the core of their relationship.  This speaks to two things we have talked about
before: binding our mind to Christ and building Godly relationships.

Being yoked to the mind of Christ requires an intimate relationship. It requires
communing with God.  Right now, church, we must have the mind of Christ.  So to
get to the core of today’s message, we must have the mind of Christ. Use it as
the bases for building Godly relationships and making Godly decisions.

A yoke is a heavy wooden harness placed over the shoulders of two oxen and attached to equipment the animals are to pull. It allows them to walk and plow together.  So when one gets weak, or overwhelmed, they can continue on their journey by being pulled by the other. That makes a statement! A heavy laden animal has a big load that he can’t carry alone, so he needs some help.

The same is true of us when our loads get heavy. Regardless of why, you need
help.  It could be because of various reasons such as sickness, grief, over
worked on job and church...the truth is you are burdened.

Body of Christ, we can learn from this. When we feel weighed down, when we feel
overwhelmed, when we see someone overwhelmed or weighed down, when we feel like
we just want to give up, that’s when we need to take the yoke of Christ.  If you
are a believer, He is attached to every one of us.  If you  are not a believer,
where ever you are say, "Lord I want to be yoked to you, forgive me for my sins,
change my heart and redirect my life." Tell the Lord that you invite Jesus into
your heart, and you believe with your heart that he died and rose again and made
it possible for you to be saved!  If you did that from your heart, you too can
now be yoked with Christ.

Let’s visit Matthew 23:3-4. Here, Jesus tells religious leaders they don’t
practice and follow their own example (ouch). They crush you with impossible
religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden.

1 Timothy 5:3-5 is descriptive of some cause of oppression.  Think of people who
have no health insurance, are at retirement and have no pension, no SS income,
no life insurance and unable to support themselves.  If the church or the
systems don’t come up with solutions, these people are oppressed.  So are the
disabled and poverty stricken. They are in need of spiritual and emotional help.

By now I hope you know the need to be yoked to Christ and are ready to see
the benefits of being yoked to Him.  We begin by casting our care on Him with the 
full knowledge He cares for us, as stated in 1 Peter 5:7.  So we need to give
our worries and cares to Jesus for He cares about what happens to us.  This
requires some humility. It takes humility to recognize that God cares, or to
admit you need help and to even let others know you need help.

God is concerned about your struggles even if you brought them on yourself by
doing your own thing.  Just as soon as you turn them to Him (and if you need
repentance, do it) He will take on the weight of your burden of every struggle
you face.  So please don’t continue being yoked to struggles.  Release the
problem and be yoked to Christ the Lord who can control all circumstances.

Today is the day to come clean with Him and first acknowledge that we are
burdened and we want some help. Acknowledging the load is heavy is the door that
opens up for help. Come to grip with the fact your method of relieving the load
has added a burden, and, "Now I need your help, God!"

Proverbs 14:12 says that before every man lies a wide and pleasant road that
seems right but ends in death.  We got on that road of pleasure to relieve some
pain only to find out that road was wrong for us.  On your own you couldn’t turn
around.

Jesus asks that you come to him and I will give you rest—all you who work so
hard beneath the heavy load.  Wear my yoke—for it’s perfect - let me teach you: 
for I am gently and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls. Agree to
being yoked to Christ and you will be united with Jesus himself.  You will find
when that takes place your decisions will reflect what Christ would do.  He will
direct you. When you follow His direction you will never go wrong

He is saying give it to me and He will carry it for you.  Submit your life and
will to my Jesus. You will find things manageable.  If your life is out of
control, isn’t it time to submit to God?

Understand who God is, and entrust your life into His hands. He loves us and
knows what’s best for us. Be yoked with His son Jesus and you will get some
needed rest.  His yoke is easy to wear and the load the Lord Jesus asks you to
carry is light.  Be yoked to Christ!