Jesus Commandments

Posted: 12th April 2018 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Pray for Laborers
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38).

Evangelist Paul Mershon says “…prayer is indeed a power on which the gathering of the harvest and the coming of the Kingdom do in very truth depend.” In America, we live in a time where darkness is expanding. Though we claim to be a “Christian” country, the moral condition of our country continues to grow contrary to God’s standards. We are becoming more self-absorbed, disconnected, and slothful. We desire more governmental assistance and believe that “freedom of speech” gives us the right to criticize anyone and everything. We want “free” stuff at the expense of those who honestly work hard. We are more concerned about our personal comfort than our neighbor’s pain and suffering. Mershon’s point about prayer strikes at the core of Truth. It takes a self-denying, cross-bearing heart to labor in the field of souls. This type of heart eternally sees the horror of “lost souls” and moves into the action of prayer, and willingly offers their body and life to service the Harvest.

Lord Jesus,
Please don’t let me underestimate the importance of this commandment! Work in me, so I may work the field of souls. May I never grow weary in laboring for Your kingdom. Amen.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 8th March 2018 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

“Beware of False Prophets”
“15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:15–16, NLT)

I believe this commandment of Christ is a warning to pastors, preachers, and teachers of God’s word. Here, Jesus gives His disciples the permission to critique the lives and actions of their teachers. Do they bear “good” fruit? Are they seasonal or temporary? Are they sheep or wolves? Does their message bring true, lasting conviction or just momentary happiness? Do the words that they speak measure up to real evidence in their lives?

We must pray for wisdom in order to truly follow our Lord’s commandments. Without it, we are prone to follow a blind, false prophet off a mountain. Despite the Lord’s appeal and prayer for our unity as a church, most of modern Christianity is a religion of disunity. Today, we have a denomination for every disgruntled, selfish, church-hoppin’ complainer. Still, the beauty of it all is God uses it. Just as we are directed to use wisdom and discernment when following a pastor or teacher – we must use the same spiritual intelligence in picking our church membership.

May we never forget that because of His unfailing love, our awesome God specializes in taking broken things and making them “beautiful.” He took the repenting heart of an adulterer, deceiver, and murderer, and made him the greatest King in Israel’s history. Furthermore, He graced him with the ancestral lineage to Jesus Christ.

Thank You Father! You are sovereign! You are slow to anger. You are abounding in love. Thank You for Your mercy and grace! Thank You for Jesus!

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 22nd February 2018 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

“Choose the Narrow Way”
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13–14, KJV)

Several commentaries assert that there is a misconception about what Jesus is telling His followers. I believe most believers understand the road to heaven will be paved with many obstacles, trials, temptations, pitfalls, and traps. Moreover, that God’s grace directs the true disciple’s steps along this narrow path to an even smaller gate. This gate is only assessable through Jesus. Jesus said He was “the Way.” Not, a way, but “the Way.” However, the “broad way” that leads to destruction, many commentators believe is the road paved with “good intentions.” The broad path is clearly marked for deceiving followers into believing it is the way to heaven. You cannot claim Christian discipleship without discipline and self-denial. They are cornerstones from which we make our choices.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 15th February 2018 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

“The Golden Rule”
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

By the majority of people, I believe this is the most remembered of all of Jesus’s commandments. Jesus said it was the “sum (total)” of all the Law. One might think that “empathy” would be required to obey this command, however, “self-awareness” is more important. If you do not know what you like and dislike, what to do and not to do, how could you respond to others, or this commandment? The things you love, you must want for others. If you like to receive, then give to others. If you need prayer, then pray for others. If you desire patience and peace, then respond to others in kind. If you want to be immensely loved, then love others with the same tenacious, intensity.

Remember always, that our Savior loved us with its greatest measurement – His life. He expects no less in return from His followers.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 12th January 2018 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

“Ask, Seek, and Knock”
“7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 NLT)
To me this verse defines “Effective Prayer.” Jesus is commanding us not to give up pursuing our communion with God. Paul even states “we are to pray without ceasing.” In other words, to have constant communion with God through Jesus Christ.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV))

We may not get the answer we want, but if we fervently keep on pressing – we will have the answer we need. God is good! He does not withhold any of His goodness. He causes the rain to fall on the good and the bad, the righteous and the unrighteous. In His great love for us He gave us free will. We make choices that effect the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. The more honest, the more generous, the more charitable, the more loving, gentle, kind and sacrificial our choices, the more freedom and power the Holy Spirit has to work in and through our lives.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 15th December 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Do Not Cast Pearls
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6).

In Matthew 6 Jesus just told us not to judge, yet in this commandment He instructs us for our benefit to discern the receptiveness of the audience with whom we share His gospel. Some people are not interested in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Nor are they interested in anything that relates to the Church. Many years ago, I had a client who said, “Christianity has caused more wars and deaths than any other major institution in history.” Any attempt on my part to share the gospel at that moment would have been a waste of “life-giving” words. Even still, there are others more belligerent. Some of them even become violent at the mention of the name “Jesus.” We must guard what is sacred.

We must always remember. God is in control. We don’t have to orchestrate, manipulate, direct or coordinate any personal effort into saving people. We just need to trust in the power of His Holy Spirit. God does everything! He did it already 2000 years ago on a hill called Calvary – and He is working now!

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 16th November 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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15 The command “Do not judge.”
Matthew 7:1-5 (NLT)
1 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

We cannot wonder about how God will judge us when we stand before him on that awesome day. We already know. Our own standards are the measure. Every Christian’s pitfall is pride. Many times our need to be right, rather than “doing what’s right” is our “undoing.” When I am tempted to judge, I always try to remember the attributes of love as defined by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV):
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If I cannot respond to my neighbor within the perimeters of all these truthful characteristics of love, I have missed the mark and I have embarrassed my Lord’s name.

In our ignorance and evil, Jesus asked for our forgiveness from the Cross. He loved us to death. His standard is a simple choice – believe in Him.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 25th October 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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14 The command “Do not worry!”

  • 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?
  • 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
  • 28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
  • 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
  • 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
  • Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT)

    If we are seeking God’s Kingdom, Jesus assures us that our heavenly Father will take care of all our needs and that we have nothing to worry about.

    Jesus Commandments

    Posted: 18th October 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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    13 The command to “Store Treasure in Heaven”
    19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT)

    An outward sign of faith is demonstrated through humility. Nice cars, boats, planes, big houses, designer clothes, name-brand shoes, fancy vacations, high-priced cellphones, Ultra 4k HD TV’s, and overflowing storage units are sure outward signs of material wealth – but at what cost? Are these real rewards for our hard labor?

    It is not a sin to make a good living and have lots of expensive stuff. However, it will make your faith journey harder. (See the story of Jesus and the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31 and Luke 18:18–30) If you are using your resources, your talents, in full knowledge that “God owns them all!” and your using it for His glory, I believe you are storing up treasure in Heaven.

    Jesus is telling us not to buy into the wealth and attraction of this temporary, carnal world, but to set our hearts, minds, and soul on the real, eternal treasure of Heaven. In order to develop our faith we must believe in the unseen and doubt the seen. We cannot put our trust in comforts provided by our money and position. Jesus is our only hope!

    Jesus Commandments

    Posted: 2nd October 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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    10. The command to “Give in secret.”
    1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)

    11. The command to “Pray in secret.”
    5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. 7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9 Pray like this:

    Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come soon.
    May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today the food we need, 12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. 14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:5-14, NLT)

    12. The command to “Fast in secret.”
    16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:5-14, NLT)

    These three commands build the integrity of our faith. When exercised regularly these disciplines develop the strongest believers. I find it amazing that “fasting” is a highlighted command from Jesus. In today’s culture, giving and praying are still highly emphasized spiritual disciplines. However, “fasting” is avoided. At the surface, the first two (giving and praying) deal with developing our outward faith, where “fasting” deals with developing our inner faith. Jesus refers to this discipline very specifically in another verse which I believe is our call to discipleship in Him and the most difficult discipline to obey. Jesus commands “…, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, NIV)

    Secret giving, secret prayer, and secret fasting are disciplines that need to be practiced daily in order to deny ourselves, carry our cross, and be the light Christ commanded us to be. This faith built from consistent, secluded exercise, empowers us to find the lost, give sight, free captives, raise the dead, heal the hurting, move insurmountable obstacles, but most of all — please God.