We will be challenged at every turn, but...the more we dwell on the challenge...the less we find ourself spending with...God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Vintage message from August 27, 2000.

As we make our statement publicly, before men, that we will love God, we are making a statement that we would make in baptism. A bold, outward, public statement is of great value because then God can speak to our hearts… When we give our lives completely over to the hand of God, He speaks back to us, “I love you, too.” And understand, He’s loved us far longer than we’ll ever love Him. He loved us even before He created us. He knew us when we were also in our mother’s womb. He knitted us together. He brought us to the place of being born, and He has been with us every step… He is looking into each one of our hearts..to see if we…will make a bold statement, “I need You. I need relationship with the God Who created me. I can not do this on my own…”

God does not leave us abandoned. We’ll go through a lot of temptation. We’ll go through a lot of struggle. We’ll go through a lot of pain, but you know what? It doesn’t matter the details of that struggle. What matters is, how have we made it through? Have we trusted God to bring us through that?…

We have an extremely deceitful flesh. We will be tempted an enormous amount in our life. We will be challenged at every turn, but you know, the more we dwell on the temptation, the more we dwell on the challenge, I believe, the less we find ourself spending with and in the presence of God through the power of His Spirit. We need not turn inward because we become bitter, but we need to turn outward and look at Who created us and the fact that He loves us…

So many of us live our lives in lifestyles that bring us to the place where we’re being tempted, and the Holy Spirit is, the whole time, tugging at our shirttails saying, “Come back! Come back!” But we go headlong into our problems… We, too, can overcome. We do not have to find ourself dwelling on or living in the temptation that’s brought to us, but we can move on in life…

Is the gospel of Jesus, is your knowledge of Jesus good news? The things that you share with people around you, are you sharing good news? Or, when people see our lives, do they see lives that are destroyed and broken down and beat up by life?… No matter what we go through in life, no matter how hard life becomes for us, God the Father loves us, and He has sent us One Who will prove that love to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. And Jesus came to them to say that, “Turn to Me. Give Me your attention. Love God the Father, and He will love you because He’s always loved you.” This is the good news. You can have relationship with the One Who created you.

The thing that God stresses to us the most, in all of His commands and His dealings with us, is to love one another, to forgive one another. He has not given us the right to be angry and unforgiving with anyone.

Vintage message from September 3, 2000.

Do you understand that today, as you sit here hearing God’s Word, if you have issues of sin in your life — and believe me, we all have issues of sin buried somewhere, something that God wants to deal with in us — that we can have the issues of our life, those sins that we hide, those sins that we live in, and even if you’re blatantly living in sin, understand, it does not surprise God, and He has the authority, and has also transferred that authority through the power of His Holy Spirit to those of us who have received Him, to forgive sin, because we are commanded to love and forgive one another… This is an important issue. This is something that I believe that if the church would practice more, we would have fewer problems within our society and within the church in particular. The church is divided today because men have left in anger, have divided in anger because we, as a church, do not realize we have the authority and the ability to forgive sins. But it has been given to us, and the thing that God stresses to us the most, in all of His commands and His dealings with us, is to love one another, to forgive one another. He has not given us the right to be angry and unforgiving with anyone…

Our reason for celebrating in our relationship with Christ Jesus is because He has dealt with us in the issues of sin; those things that would cripple us; those things that would hurt us; those things that would hold us back from being able to fellowship and share freely with our brothers and sisters… If you are truly in the business of loving and forgiving, you’re going to have plenty of people around you to love and forgive…

If you are living your life today without Jesus Christ, if you are trying to fulfill your life by any other means than through the will of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, understand, you are not living at rest. You are bound by the laws of the land and the legalisms of those around you, whether they’re laws or not. Oftentimes the law the people will try to bind you to are their own traditions. If you would truly be free, if you would truly find rest, if you would truly understand what forgiveness and love is, you will only find that in growing in and walking in a relationship with Jesus. It only comes through Him…

Two things that we are commanded to do in God’s Word as believers: love and forgive, and if we’re not doing that, we’re not obedient to God’s Word and we are lost in legalism… The thing you can do that will free people the most is share God’s Word and then forgive the people you’re with. God’s Word is love, and if we’re sharing God’s Word the way He meant it to be shared, it would always be shared in a way that lets the hearer know I love you and then brings forgiveness.

You may be sitting there thinking, "Why should I serve God? I'm nothing special. How could God ever use me? I have no special talent." Then you're perfect! You're exactly who Jesus wants!

Vintage message from September 10, 2000.

You may be sitting there thinking, “Why should I serve God? I’m nothing special. How could God ever use me? I have no special talent.” Then you’re perfect! You’re exactly who Jesus wants!

It's in knowing God's Word that strengthens us. It's in studying His Word that we understand what God wants to do in and through us.

Vintage message from September 17, 2000.

Do you guys hear what Jesus has to say to you? When you open the Bible, do you hear God speaking to you? When you spend time in devotion, when you spend time in prayer, do you hear God speaking to your heart? Do you begin to understand what His Word is? This is where I find most of the world today. They do not have their ears open to what Jesus wants to say. They only come out of curiosity to find out what Jesus can do. What can Jesus do for me? How can Jesus affect my life? What miracle can He perform in my life today?…

See, this isn’t about what makes you feel good… Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to have to trust God and revert to His Word, to find our answers simply in what He’s given us to study and to know Him by. We draw closer to Him in our relationship when we’ve spent time studying in His word, when we’ve spent time seeking Him for Who He is in His Word, not seeking the supernatural and the phenomenal that’ll happen around us. Believe me, God will do the supernatural and the phenomenal as you draw closer to Him, but if you’re seeking the supernatural and you’re seeking the phenomenal, all you’re going to get is withered up, thirsty, hungry, and dry… We have the key, we have the understanding, we have all that we need to know God and His power and His authority within His Word. We don’t have to go anywhere else…

It’s in knowing God’s Word that strengthens us. It’s in studying His Word that we understand what God wants to do in and through us.

I'm forgiven? I'm forgiven! Wow! I can forgive you, too! I can love you because I've been loved. I've been blessed, so I can be a blessing to you.

Vintage message from September 24, 2000.

Jesus came to reveal to us who we are, what we are. He came to a lost, decaying, dying planet, to men and women who were lost, completely and totally, in selfish ambition, self desire. They knew nothing but self; wrapped so totally up in their own sin that they failed to see that what they were doing was separating themselves from the God Who loved them. And He came as the Light to reveal in us the issues of sin that keep us separated from God… The only way we will ever enter back into that relationship is when we begin to see inside; when what we are is brought into the open, when we are revealed for who and what we are and can accept that, confess that, then we allow the healing and the growth process to begin… As Christians, we spend a lot of time hiding: hiding the issues of our heart, hiding those things that we’re still struggling with, hiding the issues of sin that keep us separated from God and each other, even though God has gone to great lengths to bring us back into relationship with Him…

I find that I actually only hear those things that I truly want to hear, and I block out the rest. I ignore the rest. I sometimes, even, will run from the rest because I don’t want to hear it! I, just like everybody else, do not like being revealed for who I really am… I sometimes do these things that I know are against God’s Word, and every time I open God’s Word, or every time I find myself in fellowship where we’re discussing and growing in God’s Word, it begins to reveal who I am, and it becomes very uncomfortable. I don’t like it…

Follow the example of God’s Word! And if I happen to be sharing God’s Word, and it touches your heart, follow that. But when you see me, and if you see me stumbling or falling, say, “Dave, I see you stumbling or falling.” God’s Word has revealed that. Thank God! We can be honest with one another. That’s the other thing about God’s Word. It brings us to the place of not having to hide and lie about ourselves any more. We can be honest… [But] we don’t have to be rude and hurtful just because we’re honest… When we’re reading God’s Word and studying God’s Word, understand, that there are some times you may be doing something — living in a way that God’s Word says is wrong. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to hate you. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop fellowshipping with you. It just means that God is revealing to you who you are, and I’m not going to say, “Oh, it doesn’t really say that because, you know, I don’t want your feelings to be hurt.” I’ll let God hurt your feelings, I’ll let God step on your toes, but it doesn’t mean I have to be rude and hurt your feelings and step on your toes. I can simply say, “You know what? God’s Word says this, and if you’re living in this sin, if you have this lifestyle, if you dwell in these thoughts, God knows it, and God wants it dealt with.” And if you don’t confess it, understand, God’s Word will reveal it because that’s what God’s Word is meant for: to expose us… And that can be uncomfortable…

God wants to reveal in us the issues of sin that we have, and this is where we have to consider very carefully what we hear. With the measure that we use, it will be measured to us… If someone comes to me and says, “You know what, Dave? I’m struggling with sin.” If I, then, turn and judge them, if I turn and put them down, if I fail to bring the love and the forgiveness that Jesus has brought to me, understand, then it will be measured back to us. We have to be very careful because Jesus was loving and forgiving, because Jesus was gentle, because Jesus wanted to bring us in to relationship with His Father, then we, too, need to be about bringing people into the relationship with the Father… And as His Word is planted and His Light is shone, then our sin issues will be revealed, and then we can’t turn and judge one another for that because, in fact, the issue of sin has been dealt with on the cross. Jesus came for the express purpose of dying to take away sin once and for all. It is no longer about the issues of sin that we live in. It is about relationship with Father through Jesus Christ…

Don’t allow the measure given to you to be the unforgiveness that you give to others. It will be measured back to you with the measure that you measure it out… Do you realize, the more you grow, the more you love, the more you forgive, the easier it is to love and forgive, the easier it is to receive people in and help them as their issues of sin are exposed. As the Word takes root in their life, as they begin to grow, we can help them through the nurturing and growing process by loving and forgiving and helping them… Why do we find it so difficult to forgive one another? Why do we try to rub people’s noses in their lives that they’ve struggled with when we ourselves have struggled with life? We’re all in the flesh, though we may be indwelt by the Spirit… We are meant, from our very inception as children of God, to begin to understand these concepts. “I’m forgiven? I’m forgiven! Wow, I can forgive you, too. I can love you because I’ve been loved. I’ve been blessed, so I can be a blessing to you.”

What we need more than anything is to find ourselves at a place of rest in Jesus Christ, but to get to that place of rest, we have to do the most terrifying thing of all, and that's give up our own preconceived ideas of Who God is and our self will.

Vintage message from October 1, 2000.

When is it that we come to Jesus? When is it that we turn to Jesus? When the storm is raging around us! When we’re getting ready to sink! Then Jesus becomes the focal point. And, you know what? We don’t go to Jesus and say, “Oh, my good Friend, can we sit down and talk?” It’s, “Oh, God! Don’t You care? My life is a mess!”… So often, when we approach God, we anticipate what the result of our prayer request will be…but Jesus, oftentimes, has other plans…

How often do we tell God [that] He doesn’t care, after all of the amazing things He’s done in our life? Think of our life from this moment going backwards. Let me tell you, from this moment going forward, you will have challenges in your life. You’ll have storms that will arise in your life. But how many times, when you look back on your life was God there to take care of everything? But yet, we still yell at Him, and we still tell Him He doesn’t care, because at this very moment we’re struggling. And God gets up, and He does the phenomenal thing. God always does the phenomenal thing…

Part of the problem we find ourselves in, is we approach God in faithlessness. We have already, generally, worked out the scenario by which we believe we should be saved. We’ve worked out the scenario by which we believe God should use to make us comfortable; to give us what we want. “Well, God, if You did this this way in my life, if You would only give me this, if You would only do it this way, then everything would be fine in my life. So, God, perform a miracle, and give me the things I’m telling You I want, the way I want them, when I want them.” And let me tell you, the things that you want, the things you ask for, if God gave them to you, I don’t necessarily believe would always be a miracle. And oftentimes, the things that we ask for hinder the power and the authority God, and we approach God and ask Him for the things that we want because we do not have faith to trust that God, through the power of His Spirit, through the relationship with His Son, has the ability to work out the details of our lives. And if we didn’t tell Him how to do it, it just wouldn’t get done. The greater faith tells us, dictates to us, that we not worry about the storm… Faith is: let the storm come. We’ll still make it to the other side. But yet, inevitably, we still run to Jesus and yell at Him and accuse Him of not caring, because, “If You truly cared, I would not be uncomfortable the way I am right now…

Sometimes when you have to trust Jesus, when you are asked to trust Jesus, it feels like you’re going to drown. But you know what? Even if you do drown to death, you are still in the hands and in the company of your Creator, of your Lord, of your Savior, and He is only going to do the very best for you. He will only allow to happen to you what is within God’s will for you, but we don’t stop to think about that so often… The next time you find yourself being challenged by a storm in life and you’re fearing it, ask yourself, “Why am I afraid of this? What in the world is there for me to be afraid of? Jesus is laying two feet away from me in the boat, and if He can sleep through this, if He’s not worried about this, then why should I be worried about this?”…

If you truly desire to know who Jesus is, if you truly desire to walk in the power and the strength and the authority of His love, there will be times He will do things that will appear terrifying to you. Not just scary, but terrifying… There are a lot of things that Jesus will ask us to go through in our life, but there is nothing scarier in life that having to trust Jesus, because we do not truly know Who He is… The more you dwell on Who God is, the more terrifying it can become. The more you begin to understand the power of God and the things He might require of you, the more terrifying it becomes. Or, you grow in faith, and you learn that this God Who cares for you, this relationship that you’ve stepped in, can do amazing things in your life, and you never have to worry… What we need more than anything is to find ourselves at a place of rest in Jesus Christ, but to get to that place of rest, we have to do the most terrifying thing of all, and that’s give up our own preconceived ideas of Who God is and our self will. We have to give up us.

The greatest ministry that we can step into, the greatest thing that we can do to further the cause of Christ is to simply share how God has been merciful to us.

Vintage message from October 15, 2000.

The greatest ministry that we can step into, the greatest thing that we can do to further the cause of Christ is to simply share how God has been merciful to us… How many times have you not shared what God has done for you with a neighbor or a friend, a brother or a sister?… How many times have you failed to share because the thought came into your mind that they will not receive this?…

When you stand in faith, when you believe that Jesus can touch you, when you believe that Jesus can heal you, when you believe that Jesus can make a difference in your life, there is real power in that kind of faith…

Sometimes we find ourselves hiding from God, we find ourselves hiding from other people, and we refuse to share what it is that’s hurting us, when God wants to make it a miracle. God wants to use those things that are in our lives that are hurting us to show others that He is a merciful, loving God, and He’ll deal with me…

All it takes is a little faith. Faith to believe that Jesus cares, not faith that Jesus can heal… How many of us today truly believe that Jesus cares about the things in our lives?

God is limitless in His power and unwavering in His love for us.

Vintage message from October 22, 2000.

We become so familiar with the “God surroundings:” church, the Bible, the religious speech. All of us know how to speak the Christian jargon; put the bumper sticker on the car. We surround ourselves with everything that is Christian. We become so familiar with God that we forget that He’s God, and that He has real power, and that He has the ability to heal us, and that He has the ability to touch us, and He has the ability to change us, and not only has the ability but also has the desire to do all those things in us, and even takes it a step further because John tells us that He not only has the power and the authority to be God in our life but He also loves us. Imagine that. We spend so much time trying to impress God that we fail to see that God doesn’t need to be impressed by us. [There’s] nothing we can do that’ll impress Him anyway. We can’t work to make Him heal us, we can’t work to make Him touch us, we can’t work to make Him change us because He already wants to do those things in us, but He wants us to have the faith to know that He is the One Who can, will, and wants to do it. It’s because of His love for us, His desire to be in love relationship with us, that He’s done the things that He’s done, and it doesn’t take anything on our part more than just faith, believing that that’s Who He is and what He wants to do. But we get so caught up looking at the religious things around us… We disqualify the power of God because of our misconceptions of Who He is and what He wants to do, because we don’t take the time to get to know Him, to find out how much He loves us and what He can do in our lives…

If we don’t look at God for His power and the love and the strength that He has and the change He wants to bring to this world, then we will miss out on the miracles that He wants to do. We need to give up our own preconceived ideas…and we all…have preconceived ideas of what God should do and how He should do it, and we limit Him in what He can and wants to do in our lives. God is limitless in His power and unwavering in His love for us. We don’t need to limit Him…

The one problem in this world today is that people still need to repent. The illness in this world is not from viruses floating around in the world. The illness in this world is from our own issues of sin that we need to be sorry for, that we need to turn from, and that we need to confess. We need to repent, the world needs to repent, that we need to see the issues of sin in our life changed, and that should be our message to people, “God loves you. [He] can and wants to change your life. All you need to do is give up the issues of sin in your life to Him, and turn from them. But you know what? Not everywhere you go and not everyone you talk to wants to see that change… Your friends don’t always want to know what you believe about in the Lord…

[Do] you want to have a successful…walk with the Lord? You want to feel like you’re growing and succeeding as a believer in Jesus Christ? Set aside the preconceived ideas. Dump the trappings of religion. Stop looking at church buildings and steeples. Stop looking at how people dress. Stop looking at how people talk. And simply step out in the power and the love of the Holy Spirit and simply love those that you come into contact with, regardless of who they are or where they go to church or if they don’t go to church, and pray for them, and minister to them, and love them because God loves them. Be obedient, and the power of the Holy Spirit will move, and there will be results.

I will trust that because You're God You do know what You're doing. I don't need to understand everything.

Vintage message from October 29, 2000.

In our walk with the Lord, in the lives that we live before God, God wants us to display faith. God wants us to look up to Him, and, even if we don’t understand everything about Him, even if we don’t understand what it is that He’s doing, He wants us to look at Him and say, “At least I will trust that because You’re God, You do know what You’re doing. I don’t need to understand everything…”

Once again, leave your expectations behind, and simply trust God to take care of your needs. What a statement that we need today. How many of us spend time worrying about the things that we need to eat, the clothes that we have to wear, the jobs that we have to go to? How are we going to accomplish the things that we have to accomplish? But the key is not in our ability to accomplish them. The key is found here, in taking nothing for the journey except for the very basics and allowing God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, to do what He wants to do in and through us. It’s His power, not our power. It’s His authority, not our authority. But yet, so often, we live our lives as though it is our power and our authority, and we get in the way…

Do we believe and trust what God’s Word says? Do we believe and trust the salvation that comes through His Word? And, by the way, Jesus is the Word, and if we are not seeking salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone, we find nothing but a dead end…

There is, sometimes, no greater statement that you and I can make to another person than to say, “I am sorry. I have made a mistake.” Because none of us are perfect, and none of us are in a position where we should think that we will not make any mistakes any more… How do we respond to people in our lives when we make mistakes, when we do foolish things? Do we try to hide it? Do we try to make people believe that we are more than what we really are?

The most compassionate thing you can do for a friend...is share God's Word with them. Share the truth of God's Word. Share the love of God's Word, teaching them that God's Word is still accurate for today, and is livable for today.

Vintage message from November 5, 2000.

As believers, we, from time to time, need to find a quiet place. We need to find a place where we can just simply sit in the arms of our Creator and rest. We need to go away with Jesus and spend time with Him… Your life will never be successful, your expectations will not be met, if all you’re doing is working day and night to try to make the things in life that you want happen. Our expectations, oftentimes, fail, and the only way to be truly successful in life is to find time alone with Jesus. Do you want to have a strong walk with the Lord? Do you want to have successful ministry? Do you want to be able to raise your kids the way they need to be raised? Do you want to love your neighbor? Do you want to be able to go to work and be effective at work? These are all the questions that I know that are in our lives everyday. “Lord, I want to serve You, and I want to do the things that You want me to do, but, Lord, life gets so hectic, and it’s so hard…” We go through all of these things in our mind that are hectic and wear us out, and we stay exhausted thinking about all that we have to do. “And now, God, You want me to go out and share the gospel with my neighbor? Are You crazy?” You know what? God is crazy… He’s crazy enough to love us. And you know what? He’s crazy enough to want to be alone with us. That’s where we find our strength: in our ability to come away with Jesus by ourselves from time to time and just be alone and rest with Him…

All the time through our life we have things happen that are unexpected, and oftentimes, those things happen at the hands of people that are our friends, that we had expectation of that should have been different: my friend wouldn’t do this, my friend wouldn’t respond to me in this way, my friend wouldn’t say that to me. We build these expectations of how things are supposed to be with our family and our friends and the situations around us. And then, when it doesn’t happen that way, we lash out. But Jesus looks with eyes of compassion… The most compassionate thing you can do for a friend, for a neighbor, for a loved one, is share God’s Word with them. Share the truth of God’s Word with them. Share the love of God’s Word with them. Teaching them that God’s Word is still accurate for today, and livable for today…

Jesus wants those who are going to say, “Yes, Lord. I will trust You,” to lay down our expectations of how things are supposed to happen, and allow Him to be God. And sometimes it’s a very hard thing to do… Jesus says lay down your expectations, give of what you have, and He’ll give the rest…

No matter how much Jesus does, no matter what the miracle is, no matter how much faith we say we have, there are times things don’t happen the way we think they should happen. And instead of allowing our hearts to grow hard because our expectations aren’t met, we need to spend time in prayer. We need to go to the Father and say, “I don’t understand.” We need to let God be God, and we need to be the vessels that He can use… We may not always get what we expect, but we need to be praying that God always gets what He expects, what He desires, and do our desires and our expectations line up with His? We should never find a place where we become bitter and angry at God. If we are truly going to say, “He is Lord,” then we should never find ourself in that place of questioning and saying, “Why are You doing this?”

Allow for God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, to bring you to a place of looking at others with eyes of compassion so that they, too, might come to this place of seeing the love and the forgiveness that comes from heaven through His Word, not from the standard that I've set.

Vintage message from November 12, 2000.

It’s what we think, it’s what we allow to come out, it’s the words that we speak and the lives that we live that, when people look at us, that they can identify us as being unclean. I don’t care how good you might act in front of other people. God knows your heart, and if in your heart you’re secretly cursing those that are around you, condemning those that you look at because they’re different than you, because they have not lived to your traditions… We become judgmental and condemning, and even though it is secret, it is what’s inside that makes us unclean. It’s not the foods. It’s not the things that happen on the outside… It’s the intent and the thought of your heart that God is concerned about…

See how easy it is to become a hypocrite, when we fail to see the condition of life that we have allowed ourselves to fall into? It’s not the onslaught of what’s outside that makes us unclean. It’s what we allow to come from inside: the thought patterns, the way of life that allows for us to put ourselves in the place of God and judge one another, things that we do that cause other people to fall and stumble into sin. It’s the things that we do that are blatant sin against others. And it is also those things that are not so easy to see…

What makes you clean is simply understanding and not being dull in your understanding, and allowing God to be God. Allowing God’s forgiveness and love to wash over you. And allow for God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, to bring you to a place of looking at others with eyes of compassion so that they, too, might come to this place of seeing the love and the forgiveness that comes from heaven through His Word, not from the standard that I’ve set. Let me tell you, if it was by my standard, there would be very few I know that would ever live up to it. My traditions and my standards are sometimes even too hard for me to live…

Jesus came to me and loved me and forgave me and showed me mercy. Therefore, I need to turn and love and forgive and share mercy with those around me, rather than sitting in judgement.

Sometimes the crumbs from the table are far greater than the feast that we can make for ourself. If the blessing that's falling on the floor is from God's Hand, I'd much rather have that crumb than the turkey dinner.

Vintage message from November 19, 2000.

I find, in our society today, we want to be insulted. We want our feelings hurt. We want to be able to react and rebel against those that hurt us, don’t we? I mean, isn’t that the way we respond?… I was insulted because this person did not do what he should have done, or she should have done, to fit within my comfort zone of life. When people do things to me that hurt me or insult me, I respond. I’m not saying you guys do. I’m not accusing you at all, but consider that you might…

I don’t believe Jesus was ever harsh… I believe He’s firm at times, and I believe at times He speaks to us where we need to be spoken to, and sometimes, let me tell you, we don’t like to hear what Jesus has to say to us. No matter how gentle you say it, to hear that you’re a sinner is harsh. None of us like to hear our faults. None of us like to hear that God wants to deal with an area in our life, and sometimes we respond negatively to that…

There are many things in life that we as adults do, that we don’t think anything about. The lifestyles of sin that we step into…that we think, “I’m hurting nobody but myself.” [Do] you know how many people I’ve heard say that to me? “I’m hurting nobody but me.” Well, let me tell you, the things that you do not only hurt you but they hurt the people around you. The decisions you make oftentimes are decisions made that affect the people who are the closest to you…

Jesus has come to show them what the true Spirit of God is: to love and to care and to heal and to teach and sometimes, yes, sometimes even to be “harsh” where our sin is concerned…

Sometimes the crumbs from the table are far greater than the feast that we can make for ourself. If the blessing that’s falling on the floor is from God’s Hand, I’d much rather have that crumb than the turkey dinner… If the blessing that falls from God’s table is on the floor before me, that blessing is worth more than any of the food that we can make for ourself. We can’t do it ourself… Sometimes, just replying to God the way He wants us to reply to Him, showing Him that respect, seeking after Him, He heals us. I look out at a world that’s lost and I see God pouring His blessing out on that world, and He’s waiting for us to go out and tell that world that’s lost and dying, “The things that bless you are from the Hand of God. If you would just turn to Him, you would see it.”

God, You know all things, and You can handle all things. I need not worry. Therefore, I won't.

Vintage message from November 26, 2000.

We don’t want to condemn. You know, it is not my place, it is not your place, to condemn anyone in this room, or anyone outside of this room, for the things that they’re doing. It is our place, like it was Jesus’s place, to come and bring a simple message of God’s love and God’s forgiveness, God’s desire to be in love relationship even with the vilest of sinners, and in no way condemn them for the lifestyle they’ve chosen to live…

You and I need to be very careful about how we approach other people with what we think we know. We can walk with God for years and think we know everything and, just like the disciples, be so far wrong that we’re squabbling over what we have or do not have. I, from time to time, find that I have wrong doctrine. It’s not that I purposely go out and try to deceive people, but from time to time it pops up. And I’ve got to be very careful how I approach other people and what they believe, why they believe, and how they believe, because I…am sometimes very thick-skulled, and Jesus gives me warning, and Jesus speaks to my heart, and especially where it concerns Phariseeism, where it concerns hypocrisy, where it concerns religious works, convincing people that I’m a good person because I go to church. “You can trust me, and you can know all about heaven by looking at me, because you know what? I do good things for God.” How many of us still believe that? That the good we do is what God wants to see? How many of us will tell people still, “You want to know how to get to heaven? Do good things! Stop doing bad things!” You and I are more apt to tell people, “Stop doing bad things. If you want to get to heaven, stop doing that bad that you’re doing, and then you can go to heaven.” Well, you know what? That’s not the criteria for going to heaven. That is wrong doctrine. The only criteria for going to heaven is love Jesus with all your heart, receive Him, and let Him deal with the wrong things you’re doing. I’ve not yet been able to stop the wrong things I’m doing, so how dare I tell you to stop doing the wrong things you’re doing? I can tell you those wrong things can stop, because Jesus can deal with them. He can stop them for you through the power of His Spirit, but it’s not by your strength or by your power, by your good works… You can try to convince God of your own righteousness, but God knows you better…

You and I, so often, are just as dense [as the disciples]. We don’t get it. God does miracles for us, in us, through us, and around us, but yet we come to a situation that we don’t understand, and we cry out to God, “Oh, God, why did you let this happen to me?” It’s not a matter of the circumstances you find yourself in. God can deal with those. He’s dealt with them in the past. We just need to know to trust Him, and if we’re trusting Him, He’ll deal with it… Do we not understand? How many of us, this last week, found ourselves in frustrating situations; this last week found ourselves in circumstances that we didn’t understand? Hard things that we didn’t want to trust God for? I still do. I find myself still in situations where I try to work it out myself, rather than stopping and praying and saying, “God, You know all things, and You can handle all things. I need not worry, therefore I won’t.” I find myself wanting to worry, and I find myself wanting to argue and fight against God and what He wants to do. I find myself facing the circumstances and accusing God, rather than trusting God. And He asks, “Do you still not understand?”

Yes, You are in control. You are the God Who created me. You are the Savior of my soul. You are the Christ! You are the One that I can trust in.

Vintage message from December 3, 2000.

The one thing I’ve learned about God…is He does not violate our will to choose. He’ll let us make the wrong choices. He’ll let us think the stupid things. He will let us destroy our own lives. Even though He indwells us and even though He loves us, He lets us make the stupid choices. And He asks us the question, oftentimes, over and over again, “Do you still not understand?…”

Jesus deals with us based on where He knows our heart is. He comes to us in our vilest, lowest moments and says, “I love you, and I’m willing to be here with you. I’m willing to touch you, and I’m willing to heal you from whatever it is you’re involved in.” Without shame, without regret, He does what He needs to do touch our life. Then He encourages us. But you know what? He doesn’t want us to go back to the crowds that are shouting back and forth and trying to make God into their own image…

Sometimes we, in great boldness…we’ll proclaim the truth of Who God is… We have those moments. We look at Jesus, we look up to heaven, and we say, “Yes, You are in control. You are the God Who created me. You are the Savior of my soul. You are the Christ! You are the One that I can trust in…” [And other times we rebuke Him,] as if Christ does not have the authority to allow us to go through whatever it is that we go through, whatever we face each and every day, and we need to trust Him through it, but yet, like Peter, we find ourselves rebuking God because He didn’t do it our way, and He’s made us uncomfortable. We let Him know how we feel about it, even after such great proclamations we make about Who He is…

What is it that we gain from knowing Jesus Christ? What is it that we gain by coming to church? What is it that we gain by being “religious”? What part does God play in our overall plan for advancing in life? And you know, I know there are people who only use God because it is to their own advantage. But yet, Jesus is saying here, it’s not about our gain. It’s not about what we get out of it. It’s about following Him, trusting Him, even if it means dying for Him. What good is it for us to gain but yet lose our soul? And the only way you gain your soul is by denying and giving up the things of this life… Take whatever blessings God gives you, but trust Him with it, and if He should ask you to walk away from it, be ready… If our gain is not for the gospel sake, if our gain is not the souls of those around us that God has allowed for us to be involved in, what good have we done ourselves? We can gain the whole world, yet forfeit our souls.

Jesus's number one task was not to heal people, but to bring people back into love relationship with God the Father.

Vintage message from December 10, 2000.

Jesus’s number one task was not to heal people, but to bring people back into love relationship with God the Father, because men had been separated for many years because of their arrogance, their pride, and their disobedience… [Jesus] comes to the heart of the matter. It’s no longer about the “touchy-feely, feel good, get healed, and go off and have a good time” anymore. It’s no longer about just coming to church and getting out of church what it is that you want to get out of it, but there is a price that you have to consider paying, and that is submitting your life to the system that God has created within this world for us to submit to… And you can hear Jesus say, “If you will follow Me, deny yourself. Take up your cross…” And by not submitting, by allowing your fear to drive you to a place of separation and argument with those who are opposed to you on this earth, you are denying the very words of Jesus when He tells His disciples and He tells the crowd and He tells us today that it is not about our comfort, it is not about our safety, it is not about our life; it is about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is about the denying of our flesh and our rights and our freedom, even if it means our death. We need to be about His work. We need to be about His business. We need to be sharing His love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that He came for us, to bring us back into love relationship with the Father, because the Father created us for that purpose. He didn’t create us for the purpose of being His slaves. He didn’t create us for the purpose of walking on us and using us and abusing us, and I know there are many people who believe that… God created us to love us, be in love relationship with us, and to walk in a love relationship through all eternity with us… Jesus lays it out clearly. It is not about your comfort. It is not about your rights. It is not about your freedom. He has asked us to do one thing: deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. It’s not comfortable, and it’s not fun, but it is very, very exciting. It’s a great adventure! When you say, “Yes, Lord, come into my life,” that you are stepping into an adventure that will lead you into eternity, and the experiences are overwhelming, and sometimes they are fun, and sometimes they are exciting, but oftentimes they are hard, they are difficult, and they are fraught with disagreements with the people around you…

So it comes to the point, what are we about? What do we desire? What are we looking for? Are we concerned about the eternal condition of our soul? Or are we concerned more about the comfort of our flesh? Filling up our homes, filling up our closets, and filling up our bellies. We can gain the whole world, but what good does it do us?… Why are you following Jesus today? Why do you go to church? Why do you pray? What are the things that you’re praying for? Do they fall in line with the things that Jesus is doing and the things that Jesus desires? Or are we concerned only for what we can get out of Him [and] what comforts we can gain in this life?…

Jesus came to give us life and to give it more abundantly, but the abundance of life does not come with the things that we accumulate. The abundance of life comes with the knowledge that we grow in each and every day in Who He is and what He does for us to bring us to a place of loving a world that we don’t particularly want to love, because He loved it, and He gave His life for it.

It's not about me. It's about Him. It's about what He's called us to. It's not about what I can get out of it.

Vintage message from December 17, 2000.

We, in our hearts, need to be prepared, and we are only prepared by giving up our will and our flesh, …to pray and to fast and to seek God’s heart, to know the Father’s will in this matter… There is a time that we need to take in prayer and fasting and preparation in our heart to face what might be coming to us. Now, most of what we would face each day, the general questions of the day, the minor turmoils of the day, can be handled by just saying, “Lord, I give this day to You.” But there are times in our life, and I believe the Holy Spirit tells us, we’re prompted at times, to know that we need to go a little deeper. We need to do a little more than just crack our Bible for ten minutes, throw up the “Oh, good morning, Lord. By the way, meet my needs today.” We need to take some time, some real time, and give up our flesh and give up our time and spend that with the Father and say, “I don’t know what’s coming, but whatever it is, I want to be prepared…”

Do you know how important it is that we take time alone with Jesus to be taught? That we get away from the crowds and we get away from the hustle and we get away from all of the distractions of life that are around us, so that we can spend time learning from Jesus… He knows. He already knows your thoughts. He knows your heart. There’s no sense in hiding it from Him. He knows where you’re at. He knows what you’re thinking. He knows where you’re hurting, and so you might as well just give it to Him…

There are times that [Jesus] pulls us away from the distractions of the world and the distractions of ministry and the distractions of life itself and says, “Sit here with Me and learn.” And yet, we’re distracted. We’re distracted by, “Well, what am I going to get out of this?” Have you ever thought of it that way? “Well, God, I’m willing to serve You but what am I going to get out of it? And when is it my turn to be served? And, I deserve a break today…” This is what the world tells us, and we buy into it! “It’s my turn.” And every time you find yourself saying that, “It’s my turn. What about me? I’ve given. I’ve helped. I’ve been out on the front lines. Now it’s my turn!” Well, I don’t read anywhere in here that it says that it’s ever going to be your turn! “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Well, that “all” encompasses a lot, and if you truly took this to heart, you would realize that it is never, ever going to be your turn, so when you have those selfish pity parties because things aren’t going your way, understand that Jesus hasn’t called you to have your way. And that’s where we need to come and meet Jesus, and learn from Him, and understand that you know what? It’s not about me. It’s about Him. It’s about what He’s called us to… It’s not about what you can get out of it. It’s about welcoming those who we don’t want to take the time for… He’s talking about that love relationship that the Father wants to have with us.

We should be looking at Christmas from the perspective of the One Who loved us so very much that He was willing to become One of us.

Vintage message from December 24, 2000 by Dave Elkins. (There is a gap where the tape was turned over.)

The one perspective that we should be seeing Christmas for, the one thing that Christmas should mean to us is that [which] it means to God the Father: the day that His Son left heaven and came to this earth in the form of a child, into a world that was gross with sin, separated from Him because of our sin. We should be looking at Christmas from the perspective of One Who loved us so very much that He was willing to become One of us…

But the true meaning of Christmas, the perspective that we should see Christmas from is the perspective of a Father, standing in the door of heaven, looking at a world that’s lost, dying, suffering, and see that Child that He lovingly placed in this earth for us, knowing all the cruelty that would come to His Son because of the sin and the issues of sin that we have in our life. That’s what Christmas became for me as I studied God’s Word and I began to realize what Christmas really was. It wasn’t about Jolly Old Saint Nick. It wasn’t about the Christmas tree. It wasn’t about the family time. It wasn’t about having turkey and ham. It wasn’t about all of the things that we tend to think of and do. It wasn’t about swamping the mall and buying Christmas presents. All of a sudden, Christmas was about knowing that Jesus loved me so much that He left His home in heaven, came to this earth, and lived and died for me, and it wasn’t a pretty picture, and it wasn’t a fun time, but it was a time of obedience to His Father.

Allow His Word to be at work in you. Allow His Spirit to move in you and change you. And then, be at peace with each other.

Vintage message from December 31, 2000. (The end of the message was cut off on the tape.)

There is not one of us that deserves the mercy that Jesus chooses to give. He loves to be merciful, but He simply asks us to come to Him in faith, believing that He wants to be merciful, that He can be merciful, and that He will be merciful…

Jesus’s desire for us is to be at peace, to love one another, to be able to interact with one another in a way that encourages and strengthens one another, not tears us down, not brings each other into our sin, not tries to justify our dismal existence on this planet by saying, “Because I’m living in sin, therefore everybody else should be living in sin because I don’t want to change…”

Receive the things of God. Allow His Word to be at work in you, allow His Spirit to move in you and change you, and then be at peace with each another. Be at peace, not divided…

One of the greatest things I think we can do for ourselves as we come into a new year is to search our hearts and find those areas of selfishness and leave them behind. Serve one another. He’s already laid it out for us… He told us how to live: to allow the Holy Spirit to come in and work in us,…to get rid of the infections that would cause us to sin and draw our brothers and sisters into sin…

I'm not doing good because I'm good. I'm doing good because I'm following the One Who's good. If I'm doing the good on my own, outside of Him, it amounts to nothing.

Vintage message from January 7, 2001.

It is out of hard-heartedness that we live and dwell in sin; that we allow for the things of this world, the pleasures of this world, the cares of this world, to over run us. It’s because of the hardness of our hearts that we refuse to see things God’s way. And it’s because of the hardness of our heart that we will not walk in love relationship with Him. He desires that love relationship…

Do you realize that…in our arrogance we question every little thing that God says? “God, why? Why can’t I go out and do that?… Why can’t I do the things I want to do? Why can’t I be the way I want to be?” Even though God’s Word clearly says do not live in those lifestyles. “But, God, it’s fun. I enjoy it. You must not want me to enjoy life!” You know, I’ve actually heard people say that… There are consequences to everything we do, and God says when we go and live in those lifestyles, it separates us from Him… Serve one another, love one another, be there for one another. If we take that position of humility and forget what we want, but start looking at the needs of those around us and caring for those around us, all of a sudden we realize, life is fun. Life is fulfilling…

It’s not about being able to live good lives. It’s not about being able to impress the people around us. It’s not about going and helping the little old lady across the street. Even though we should be doing the good in society around us, it’s not about that. Are we doing those things because we want to impress God? Or, are we doing good simply because we are following Him, and it is a natural byproduct of following Him that good follows? And then we begin to realize that, you know what, I’m not doing good because I’m good. I’m doing good because I’m following the One Who’s good. If I’m doing the good on my own, outside of Him, it amounts to nothing… And we will only be successful in being good when we are giving up all that we have, all that we are, and following after Jesus. That’s the formula. That’s what most of us lack. Even as a believer, I find that I am not as successful in my walk with the Lord as I want to be, because too often I’m doing things to try to impress God rather than simply doing the things to be obedient to Him…

Go out and try it. Work all your life. Try to impress God. But, let me tell you, it will not be enough. He requires, asks for, and accepts only one thing; that is your receiving Him, believing Him, trusting Him, following Him. It’s about Him. It’s not about me. And until you can come to the place, until I can come to the place of truly saying that and meaning it, it’s about Him! It’s not about me. It’s about what He wants to accomplish in [my] life. It’s not about what I feel I need to accomplish in this life. It’s what He wants me to have. It’s not what I think I want me to have. It’s not about me.

He wants us to cry out, "Have mercy on me!" And when we do, He asks us, "What would you have Me to do for you?" And are we coming to Him as our King? As our God? As our Savior? Or are we thinking of Jesus...as that spiritual Santa Claus in the sky? (Everything I ask, I should get.)

Vintage message from January 21, 2001.

You know, I find, oftentimes when I’m praying, I hear those same words from the Holy Spirit whispering in my heart, “What do you want Me to do for you? What do you want Me to do? How do you want Me to bless you? How do you want Me to work in your life?” And you know what? There are so many of us that have no clue what we want [or] what we truly need. We ask for mercy, but we do nothing in our lives to see anything change. We beg for mercy, but we won’t get off our behind and go out and seek Jesus. We won’t call after Him…

Do you realize there is not one of us sitting in this room that is going through a struggle, that has a problem in our life, that…He is not capable of dealing with? There’s not one of us in this room that can make that claim, “Well, God can’t take care of my problem — it’s too big!” It’s not that your problem is too big. It’s that your heart is too hard. It’s that you refuse to cry out for mercy. The times that I have suffered and struggled the most is not because God was not capable. It was because I wouldn’t let Him. He wants us. He wants us to cry out, “Have mercy on me!” And when we do, He asks us, “What would you have Me do for you?” And are we coming to Him as our King? As our God? As our Savior? Or are we thinking of Jesus…as that spiritual Santa Claus in the sky? Everything I ask, I should get…

Do you realize that every struggle you are having in your life is a simple request? If you’ll bring it before God, there is nothing He can’t handle. Nothing. Physical need, financial need, emotional need. I don’t care what it is. He can handle it.

We are different from one another, and it is...because we can each look at Who Jesus is from a different perspective that we can encourage and build up and lift up one another.

Vintage message from January 28, 2001.

Do you realize that you and I see things from completely different perspectives than the people sitting around us? We look at people, we judge each other, we condemn each other, we talk about each other, because each one of us is different. There are some who are stronger in the Lord, and there are some who are weaker in the Lord… In Romans Paul told us that the stronger are to bear with the weakness of the weaker. We’re to bear with. We are to hold up. we are to love and encourage one another…

You know what? I am different than you guys. I see things differently, I do things differently, and even, from time to time, I have taken heat from my brothers and sisters [in the Lord] because I am different, but God’s Word, the things that He is teaching us, is the same… I believe that the reason that we have trouble understanding God’s Word and growing in God’s Word is because we expect that other believers around us should be cookie-cutter Christians and be just like us… [We think] if you’re not coming to my Bible study, if you’re not coming to my church, and if you’re not doing it the way I’m doing it, then you’re wrong, and you’re in sin, and you’re to be condemned. But we miss the point of what Jesus was teaching…

Who is Jesus to you? What does “Jesus” mean when you hear that term? And, do we have a right to not study? Do we have a right to not dig and research for ourselves to find out Who Jesus is because my neighbor down the street believes that Jesus is something different? Or he may be living as a Christian in a way that is contrary to the way I believe he should be a Christian. And you know what? As ludicrous as that sounds, these are the excuses that I hear people give [for] why the can not succeed, why they can not be the Christian — because I’m different than everybody else, so therefore I can not succeed. Wrong! You don’t succeed because you choose not to succeed because of the hardness of your heart. I have failed many, many times in my life, not because I could not succeed but because of the hardness of my heart, because I did not have right perspective on Who my King was. I, like so many, for much of my walk with the Lord, thought that my King, my Savior, was really my slave and should do everything that I command of Him. “Give me everything I want, when I want it, how I want it, because I want it…” We want things the way we want it, not the way God wants it, and we allow doubt to slip into our lives. We allow unbelief to slip into our life. We start making all of the excuses why we can’t succeed, and the one that I hear the most is, “Dave, it’s because I’m not like you.” Well, praise God you’re not like me!…

So often, our perception of Who Jesus is, is skewed so that when we stand praying, we really stand condemning. We really stand commanding and demanding that Jesus change the people around us rather than changing me. We insist that God do the things in other people. We insist that God make a world perfect so we can live in a perfect world, “But you know what, God? I don’t want You to make me perfect, because I’ve already arrived!”

We are different from one another, and it is the uniqueness of how God created each one of us, it is because we can each look at Who Jesus is from a different perspective, that we can encourage and build up and lift up one another, and even though you may see something about Jesus that I’ve never seen, or you may understand something about Jesus in a way that I do not understand it, does not mean that you’re wrong and does not mean that I have to toss out your testimony, and does not mean that I no longer have to pursue it because there are differences…

The sum total of our faith...is to bring us to one point, and that is to trust Jesus Christ...to forgive us our sin and, in return, for us then to forgive those who have offended us.

Vintage message from February 4, 2001.

The fact is, Jesus died to forgive all of us… The reason that He came was not to give us Cadillacs and not to move mountains from where they were standing and being tossed into the sea, but that we would have an ability to love and to forgive. The greatest miracle, I believe, that we can ever see is accomplished right here in my own heart, because you know what? The hardest thing to accomplish is, when my brother hurts my feelings, to forgive him for it and to move on and then love and care… He wants us to know that His Father in heaven wants to forgive us and, in fact, has forgiven us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, but we hinder that love and that forgiveness by harboring unforgiveness in our own lives… The sum total of our faith that we have, that we’ve been given, is to bring us to one point, and that is to trust Jesus Christ in our lives, to forgive us our sin and, in return, for us then to forgive those who have offended us. We don’t want to do that…or even to forgive ourselves… There is nothing you can do to deserve forgiveness, because we do not deserve forgiveness. We deserve to die and go to hell and be separated from God for all eternity, and the only reason why we can and should be in heaven with God the Father is because He loved us and He forgave us by His own free will, not by anything you and I can do or will do. We can not impress Him. He loves us. We do not have to take what we deserve… So the next time you find yourself trying to justify why you should be able to continue to condemn and rail against the people who have hurt you, understand what you really deserve is not what you’re getting, because God, your Father, has already forgiven you, and we need to be about forgiving. And then, your faith grows…

Do you know that today God is speaking to your heart? Do you know that today God wants to bring changes to you? Do you realize that we have been given, now, the vineyard that God had created, the blessing of God to share with a lost and dying world? That God, in fact, wants to save mankind and wants to love mankind; that we have been given the vineyard and that when the vines are ripe, that when we make the wine, that it is the wine of the Spirit that we are to be sharing with a lost and dying world; that He is simply asking us to be willing to be used to love, to forgive, to allow His power to be displayed through us? But so often we find ourselves in that scenario where we’re saying, “I’ve done this, and I’ve worked too hard to give it over to anybody, especially God, because then He’ll take all the credit… After all, I deserve a little bit of the credit…”

We owe it to Him to give Him every bit of respect, every bit of love, every bit of consideration, and everything that He has given to us, back to Him to use as He wills, because after all, we are still [His servants].

We can either trust God for Who He is and what He says, or we can argue with Him and we can challenge Him at every turn.

Vintage message from February 18, 2001.

[Jesus didn’t] argue with them and deal with the argument on their level. He’s just going to simply point out the truth to them, and you know what? That’s all we need to do to people. Point out the truth to them and walk away from the argument; not allow ourselves to be sucked in and bring division, even if it is with someone who is obviously divided because of what they believe, and we know that they’re wrong…

And this is what it boils down to for us. What is the most important for us to understand about God’s commands? We say we want to love Him. We say we want to obey Him. Okay, then. Which of the commands do we seek after first? “…Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength.” And you know what? If you do that, guys, you will find yourself in a full-time occupation. You will have no time for falling away from God. You will have no time for getting into trouble. You will have no time for seeking after your own self will, your own fleshly desires, because if you are truly doing this, loving the Lord with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength, there is no time for anything else. And so, if you find yourself doing other things, what does that tell you? That you are obviously not doing this…

And then [Jesus] makes a statement that I believe hits the heart of where all of us…live today. “The second is this,” He doesn’t stop with just one great commandment, but He says, “The second is this, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Do you know why we fall short in our walks with the Lord? Do you know why we do not have the victory in our lives as believers? Because we are oftentimes in error; because we do not know the Word of God; we do not know the power or understand the power that God has; the things He can do for us; the things He can do in us; and the things He can do with us. And just like the Sadducees, we want to argue with God. We want to tell God why He’s wrong and we’re right; why He should bow to our will; why He should do things our way, “Because, God, after all, if You only understood what I’ve been through!” We are in error, and if we would find ourselves just spending the time to love the Lord our God and spending the time to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? …Our neighbor is the man who finds himself hurting, laying on the side of the road. The man who would be our enemy… The man that we despise the most is the one who is our neighbor that we are supposed to love as ourselves…

Do you want relationship with Jesus? Do you want relationship with the God Who created you? If you’ve ever had question or doubt about are you truly saved, He makes it plain. To all those who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God. It’s as simple as that. You receive Him and you believe Him, and then you begin to study His Word, and the more you study His Word, the more you walk in His Word, the less you walk in error. The more excuses you make for your life and the more you say, “I don’t have the time to do it,” let me tell you, you begin to walk in error…

We’re all lost in sin, and we’ve been given over to this world because of our sinful desires. We will not ever impress God, but we can walk in relationship with Him, and that’s what He desires from us. That’s what it means to love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength. To come to Him and say, “I am incapable to live this life the way I believe it should be lived… because, God, I am a sinner, and my sin has brought decay and destruction to me. So, God, You do it for me. You take over for me.” And when Jesus comes in, then, then He gives us the power. He gives us the strength, because that’s the other part that we don’t understand; where we’re in error. We not only don’t understand the Word of God, but we don’t understand or believe the power of God. The power of God to heal us. The power of God to change us. The power of God to cleanse us and forgive us. We don’t believe it, so we don’t react to it… We have an opportunity. We can either trust God for Who He is and what He says, or we can argue with Him and we can challenge Him at every turn.

You are my Lord, and I am willing to be here in this situation because I am submitted to You. And if this is what You have for me, then so be it. I will be here and go through this with You.

Vintage message from March 11, 2001.

You either believe God’s Word, trust God’s Word, and obey God’s Word, or you don’t. And you know what? I find there are times I don’t, and because I do know God’s Word, that’s where my heart is called on the carpet. Then I have to come back and say, “Lord, I blew it. I’ve sinned against You. There’s no way around it. There are no loopholes. I’ve sinned against You. Forgive me.” And that’s what God is trying to do in us; is bring us from that place of justifying what we do, to simply knowing His Word and, when we’re wrong, saying, “We are wrong.” Because you know what? He never is. As much as we would like for Him to be, He is never wrong, and we often are. And the only way we know that is by spending the time in His Word studying and seeking Jesus for His heart, and asking the question, and then being willing to receive the answer, even if it’s not to our benefit, because Jesus will always give us the answer that is right for us…

Part of the problem that we have in life is, who is ultimately the authority over us?… When you received Jesus into your life, did He become your Lord and your Master? Your God? Your Creator? Or did He become your convenient person that you call on whenever you find yourself in trouble? Did He become your way out? Did He become your Santa Claus? Did He become your complaining post [that] you go to to share all of your complaints and gripes with? What did Jesus become when you invited Him in?…

The issue of Lordship should be brought up to our hearts. Who and how much do we consider Jesus [to be] our Lord? And if we don’t consider Jesus [our Lord], who do we consider Lord? Who is the ultimate authority over us?… Who are we willing to submit to as Lord? Is Jesus really our Lord, or is He just somebody that we can manipulate? Someone that gives us the things that we think we want, when we think we want them? Is He just that person that every time we get in trouble that we choose to cry out to, or is He truly our Lord and our Master? Is He truly the One that we turn to regardless of what our situation is? Good, bad or ugly, are we turning to Him, and submitting to Him, and especially when we find ourselves in those hard times, saying, “You are my Lord, and I am willing to be here in this situation because I am submitted to You and, if this is what You have for me, then so be it. I will be here and go through this with You.” Is that the statement of our heart?…

Why do we serve the Lord? What are our motives for serving the Lord? Is it so that we’ll get noticed, or is it so that He will be noticed? When we help our neighbor, when we show love to those that are hurting around us, do we make sure that everybody knows it, or do we do it in such a way that our neighbor may not even know where the help came from. No one may know that I did this thing, and it doesn’t matter who knows. That’s not the point. Our motives are revealed in how we expect others to treat us; how we expect others to think about us and, if in any way you think you should be elevated because of something that you’ve done, because of the life you’ve lived, then your motives are wrong…

Watch out that no one deceives you. How do you do that? By a careful and regular study of God's Word. Knowing Him, learning His heart, learning His Word, and the things that He has said.

Vintage message from March 18, 2001.

It is not about buildings. It is not about the magnificent things that we can do for God. It’s about the motives of our heart. He doesn’t look at the things that we build. He looks at the life that we live and how we live it…

Watch out that no one deceives you. How do you do that? By a careful and regular study of God’s Word. Knowing Him, learning His heart, learning His Word and the things that He has said… Are you watching out [so you are not deceived]? Are you studying God’s Word, preparing your heart [so] that you will not be deceived by the winds of doctrine that come passing our way?…

I’m not going to tell you what to believe. I’m going to tell you, don’t be deceived. I’m not going to tell you why or how to believe. I’m going to tell you to study to show yourself approved. Dig into God’s Word and find out what He says…

He’s talking to everyone, “Watch.” If you do nothing else in your life for Jesus Christ but simply watch and have your life ready for the time that He returns, He says, “Do not be found sleeping.” I don’t believe He’s saying don’t go take a nap if you’re tired. He understands how He created the physical body, but you know, there are people who are spiritually asleep… They have no clue Who Jesus really is. They’re asleep.

Jesus will expose our heart. If we truly want to serve Him, if we truly want to love Him, and yet we have wrong motives, He will expose us.

Vintage message from March 25, 2001.

Do you ever ask yourself, when you’re serving the Lord, is anything I do really that significant? Is my life really worth that much? Does anybody really care that I even exist? These are all questions I’ve asked myself many times… And one of the things that we oftentimes forget, especially when we start to criticize what other people are doing around us, that there is plenty of opportunity. We don’t need to criticize anybody else for the things that they’ve done. We don’t need to criticize anybody else for how they serve the Lord…

We will not always understand how and why our brother may choose to serve God and show honor to Him… You know, it doesn’t matter why he’s doing it. If your neighbor, if your brother or your sister is doing something to honor God and worship, don’t criticize him for it… We need to have our hearts right. We need to stop looking at and criticizing…because you do not see into their hearts. Jesus is the only One, through the power of His Spirit, that sees into the heart of a man or a woman to know why and how they’re worshipping…

And He asks each and every one of us in this room, “What have I called you to? And what do you think the benefit should be?”… Are you doing it because you think that somehow you’re going to get recognition? That people are going to rise up and slap you on the back and tell you how great you are? Or are you doing it simply because you love Jesus?…

Jesus will expose our heart. If we truly want to serve Him, if we truly want to love Him, and yet we have wrong motives, He will expose us. We’ll either change or be like Judas and walk away and betray.

The point of history that we should all look at is not the cross that He died on, but the tomb from which He arose!

Vintage message from Resurrection Sunday, April 15, 2001.

Understand, it is not up to us to rebuke those who do not believe. It’s simply up to us to tell those what we’ve seen, what we’ve experienced, what Jesus has done in our life… Jesus has done something in lives. He has done something in my life. He’s done something in your life. If He hasn’t done something in your life, He can do something in your life, and wants to do something in your life. And it is up to us, you and I, to go out into this world and tell those who are lost that Jesus did a significant work in me; that He rose from the dead; that the point of history that we should all look at is not the cross that He died on, but the tomb from which He arose! And it’s because He’s alive and living in me that now I can tell people, “I have, in fact, experienced Jesus Christ.” And if they don’t believe, then it’s up to Jesus to do the rebuking… It’s up to Him. What’s up to me is to tell you that He can, that He’s alive and I’ve seen Him.

Are you sharing with your neighbor? Are you sharing with your family? Are you sharing with the person that happens to strike up a conversation with you in the grocery store line?… Are we going into all the world and preaching the good news? This is good news! Not that Jesus died, but that He rose! He conquered death! Not only death for Him, but death for you and for me. For this world that is lost, He conquered death once and for all. We don’t have to see death! This flesh may pass on, but Paul says this thing is only a tent anyway — something we don’t want to continue to dwell in; but He has a body created for us that Paul likens to a mansion… He just asks us to go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation… It’s not up to us to make them believe. If they believe, they’ll be saved. If they don’t believe, they’ll be condemned. But, are we hindering them from believing by not telling them? We’ve been given a simple command: just simply go and preach. Share the good news. Leave it up to them whether or not they’re condemned or not…

Is there power that accompanies our words, the message we share, or are we not experiencing power in our life, in our walk with the Lord because we are too afraid to open our mouth and say, “There is a point in history that should bring every person to believe: Jesus rose from the dead. Believe it or not, you’re hearing it from my mouth. It’s not up to me to make you believe. But understand, I believe it. I believe Jesus, after a brutal death, rose back to life. He rose, and His tomb is empty today for the simple fact that He loves you, and He loves me.” And that’s all we’ve got to share. That’s the good news. It’s not difficult. It’s not complicated. Jesus loves me, this I know… It tells us in His Word how He loves us, why He loves us.