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Are you doing God’s Work for Him? by Pastor Melissa Scott

In Acts 13:2, speaking of the New Testament church: “As they ministered to the Lord….” Do you see it? “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for….” What? “The work whereunto I have called them.”

God is not going to forget His work. What we have forgotten is that He is the Lord of the harvest. I’ve looked at this generation. I’ve heard some say, “Why do we not have miracles like we hear about in our first generation?” Though I think there are many miracles being done, I sometimes wonder if my generation has gotten past the outer court. We start out doing the job for God.

I did a study of the ministry as an assignment for a major denomination. We found out that very few nervous breakdowns in the ministry occur in the first generation of revival, because those men come to God in their inadequacy and their inadequacy drives them to God to drink at the Fount and then they go out to minister. The second generation gets caught up in the work. They swallow the dust and from sun up to sundown they do the work of the Lord and they never get into this place where their strength is renewed.

Start in the inner court, and then the Lord of the harvest will send you forth to do His work.

For a week I’ve said to myself as I prayed, “God, bring this church to a new place of ministry to Thee.”

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Hang Your Body on What God Has Said by Pastor Melissa Scott

“I Am.” This is an expression of God’s nature and I oft say to people that God is not like water that you pour into a bottle: get a little bit of God and a then little bit more and then a little bit more. God is a person and wherever God is He is absolutely there. You are going to have as much of God as you can get when He is there. He is a person as I am a person. Now wherever God is He is absolutely there. You don’t get a little of Him. The way some people talk about “receiving God,” I get the picture that He is climbing into them. Christ is formed in your heart by faith; and when I am filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not so much me getting more of God as it is the God that is already in me getting more  of me. And the tongue, that most unruly member, is the last one to yield, when there is a fuller dimension of His expression through me and a greater possession of me by the Spirit that is come. That is what is involved in the fullness of the Spirit, but God is complete in Himself; and when He comes, He is there.

That means wherever He is He is the same God who said, “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” In your darkness of sickness you can’t change the darkness, but you can trust in the name of the Lord and He will change the darkness; He is the light. You hang your body literally on what He has said, “I am the LORD that healeth you.”

You might say, “But I am still sick.” Sure you are. It is just as real as you think it is, but keep hanging on in faith. He said, “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” In the Bible, some were healed instantly; some were healed as they went, but God provided for His people in this promise.

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God Sends Wagons by Pastor Melissa Scott

Jacob had lost his son Joseph.

And when Jacob’s sons came home after being in Egypt where Joseph ruled, there is a little passage in Genesis where Jacob says that he just didn’t really believe that Joseph was alive until “he saw the wagons.” The wagons that had been sent by Joseph from Egypt convinced him. A very great preacher once preached a sermon on that verse, in which he thanked God for the little wagons God sends along to let us know He is alive. Not balls of fire and mighty wind and the kinds of things that we normally relate to spirituality, just wagons: but the wagons let him know the Son was on the throne. Somebody had to be there to send those wagons.

God is doing things here, and unlike the nine men Jesus healed who did not come back to thank Him, one came back to recognize His power. I can put that into a broader analogy than just healing. I hope as you watch God do things, you are not unaware He is steering and sorting and shaking and separating and putting together that which He needs to do for what He intends to do. The little things are sometimes unnoticed by Christians. There are people who have their ego and their feelings and their history and their identity with traditions and everything else so clouded around their head they cannot see God when He is working. Focus in on the message and you will see God’s hand.

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He Won’t Quench Smoking Flax by Pastor Melissa Scott

Some think Matthew chronicled in Aramaic the sayings and deeds of Jesus as he traveled with Him.  Nobody knows for sure; this might be the hypothetical “Q” document that stands behind and is a common source for the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. But Matthew is a chronicler and ultimately writes his Gospel in Greek. And watching Jesus, his mind spun back to the Old Testament book of Isaiah and he saw in what Jesus did a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, which he quotes in verse 20,

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench.” (Isaiah 42:3)

Nobody knows what the bruised reed is. Whether it was a musical instrument made from the reeds or just the reed growing, it really doesn’t matter. The point is that it was bruised almost to the point of breaking, its usefulness or its life about gone; and the Scripture says, finding that condition, it is Jesus’ nature not to break it.

The smoking flax referred to the wick on the edge of a Hebrew lamp, almost out, just smoking, with no fire left in it. Matthew applies it to Jesus’ treatment of those in human need: when the spark is almost gone, when there is little if any light left, when it is just smoking, He won’t quench it.

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God Can Strengthen by Pastor Melissa Scott

 

I dare you to diagram the second epistle to Timothy, which he wrote from that prison, and find a single self-pitying line, except for the hint of loneliness, when he says, “Only Luke is with
me,” and, being cold, he asked Timothy for his cloak.

It rings with victory. He said, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ”; apostle means “one
sent.” In that prison? Yes, in that prison.

He says, “the time of my departure is at hand. I’ve fought a good fight, I’ve kept the faith.” He
didn’t crack under the pressure: “I’ve kept the faith.” He might not understand the circumstance, but he understands his Lord. He says, “I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

Human beings that we are, we are prone to think that he was sort of hanging in there on
a promise of Heaven. That is not what Paul is talking about. He is talking about that which God delivered to him. On the Damascus road, God gave him a commission. He has been faithful in keeping that commission. Now with his ministry ended, it looks like nothing has been accomplished. The wheels roll on above his head and the Roman power rolls on and nobody seems to be listening.

He came to Rome to bring the power of God; and the power of Rome threw him in a hole.

Paul might have looked at his circumstance and said, “I’m a goner and it’s all lost.” He didn’t. He said, “I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded, since it is the time of my departure, that He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him.” He gave the commission to me and I was faithful; and I gave it back to Him.

Well, all you have to do is watch the sun come up in Rome to know that God kept it. The Rome of ancient power is rocks and rubble, while the faith that Paul wrote about is
immortalized in church towers all over that city. Paul, from that prison, spoke the truth, “God can strengthen.”

 

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A Good Work by Pastor Melissa Scott

Pastor Melissa Scott continues her teaching on The Potter’s House.

We’ve talked about Romans 8, “To be conformed to the likeness, the image of His Son.” And in Philippians 1:6 “He begun a good work.”  He begun a good work, which He’ll bring to fruition, to completion. But too many times it’s looked over.

I don’t have anything in the equation except faith and trusting Him.  And that’s what all of this boils down to. We can sift all this away and ask the question, Do you trust?

I’m sorry to say it like this and I don’t mean to be blasphemous. But do you trust the one Potter, the one who died for you enough to say, “I commit my life to you”?  And quit trusting the flesh?

I got letters from people this week that made my heart melt. This woman who just loves the teaching, she said, “They kicked me out of the church because I smoked cigarettes.” They kicked her out of the church. And I thought  is this woman going to be turned off on God because of this, because she got kicked out of the church because of that?  And there’s more.

I get many letters from people that say, “I have an alcohol problem. And when my church found out, they kicked me out.” I’m sorry. Somewhere the message is lost for me because my Bible says Jesus came to save that which was lost.

But do you trust the one Potter, the one who died for you enough to say, “I commit my life to you”? And quit trusting the flesh?

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Justification by Pastor Melissa Scott

Now I am somewhat reluctant to do this because I have so much respect for the Giants Of The Faith and God help me to convey this. I am not saying this by disrespect. If we’re all looking in the one place and this eye is fixed on Jesus, that’s our mark, then we can step to the side and this is where doctrinal issues take over and contention can come in.

So I have a commentary on Ephesians, which I want to read to you to make a point. And I say I preface all this by saying with all due respect, this is where we differ.

I’m just going to read you a small portion of this.  It is James Boice from his commentary on Ephesians. We always give credit here to the people we quote. “Since the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, those who follow in the steps of Martin Luther have been strong to assert that justification is by grace, through faith and not by human works. But does this mean that works no longer have any place in Christianity?”

Luther’s doctrine actually led to bad conduct?

Now, I’m going to pause here. Thank God for Dr. Scott laying out in the most simplistic way, explaining words that otherwise probably have left these seminarians and students of the Bible scratching their head for years to come had he not unfolded certain words like “justification.” We need to be careful when people talk about justification. It becomes some, like rocket science. But justification in its simplest definition: He puts on the spectacles of Christ and He looks at me as though I’m just like His Son. Just like Him. Justification. In its simplest meaning. So we have to be careful when we read these things.

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The Potter’s House by Pastor Melissa Scott

Pastor Melissa Scott continues her teaching on The Potter’s House.

I felt compelled to look at this through the eyes of Ephesians 2:10 because I know when people read, “For we are His workmanship,” it makes it sound like I might have made a contribution or I had something to do with it.

But if we understand the principle of the potter’s house, yes it was a national picture. He’s telling Jeremiah this is a national picture.  But I want to make an individual application. Now I’m going to add two new elements to this teaching. They’re not new by any means, but we’re going to add two elements.

Normally you have clay, a potter and the wheel. The clay, which is us, represented by us; the potter, God; the wheel our life circumstance on to which the potter is going to do His work on this crock of clay. But I’m going to add two things today.  Continued . . .

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While We Were Yet Sinners by Pastor Melissa Scott

But, God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” Paul has an ability to weave in, in two verses, verses 2 and 3; his ability to tell you from verse 1 that ”this our condition.”

Now let me tell you your condition. Your condition is verses 2 and 3: the world, the flesh and the devil.” Now.  You may say, ”I’m not that bad.”

Man, I could tell you that I, personally, rationalized.  I would say, “Those people are bad. I’m not bad. I’m basically a good person.” That’s what we do. We rationalize our behavior.

And I’ve been highly criticized for this, “Must you abase yourself?  Yes, because I want Him to elevate me. This is the problem that happens with almost every single religious leader. Except for Dr. Scott, I have yet to hear a person on the platform of any pulpit say as the speaker, “I’m a sinner, being saved by grace.” I’ve yet to hear somebody step forward and say, “Hey, I’m just like you. The only difference is I’m standing up here having to do this work that God charged me to do. But I’m just like you. I’ve got blood in my veins and I can fall just as hard as you.”

Pastor Melissa Scott continues:  You read and you can circle these words in your Bible. They will stand out when you circle them. Circle in verse 2 “the world,” circle “the prince of the power of the air,” that’s the devil and verse 3 circle “the flesh.”

Paul will go on to elaborate it in chapter 6 about “the world, the flesh and the devil.” It says you walked in times past in possession of the world.

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Reading from A History of Christian Thought

Pastor Melissa Scott reads from A History of Christian Thought, by Justo L. Gonzales.

It is a great book for someone who is just going to get an introductory lesson, who just wants to get not too overwhelmed. It’s three volumes. And let me tell you what he was up against, Augustine. I want to read this to show you sometimes we can have an erroneous idea. Somehow Augustine is painted as some demon. No. He did a lot of good, if you understand what he was counterbalancing.

“That Adam was created mortal.” This by the way, because somebody will take me out of context, this is not my opinion. I’m reading from a book. “That Adam was created mortal, for he would have died no matter whether he had sinned or not.” That’s number one.

“That Adam’s sin injured only him and not all of humankind,” number two.

“That the law as well as the Gospels leads to the kingdom.” I swallow deeply every time I read this because, as I’m reading this and some of you are so well taught, you know this is a fallacy. But there are people out there that live in this realm “the law will save you” that “we’re not in Adam.”

“That there were some before the time of Christ who lived without sin. That recently born infants are in the same state as was Adam before his fall. That the whole of humankind does not die in the death or fall of Adam, nor does it resurrect in the Resurrection of Christ. That if we will, we can live without sin. That unbaptized infants attain unto life eternal. “That rich who are baptized will have no merit, nor will they inherit the kingdom of God if they do not renounce their possessions.”

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