Sunday Morning Service, 4/11/10
- [ Open The Eyes Of My Heart]
- [ Blessed Be Your Name]
- [ Enough]
- [ Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing]
- [ At The Cross]
- [ God Is Working]
- [ Power Of Praise]
- [ You Are Worthy Of My Praise]
- [ All To You]
> Terrance Taylor II
I’m just glad to be here. God has blessed, and I’m thankful to be amongst the brothers and sisters, to see you grow. Amen.
> Liline Ulysse
I’m so glad to be here, and I’m glad to be in a ministry like Christian Fellowship Church. I’ve been in the ministry here for fifteen years. Most of you know how it is with my family; we’ve been from Haiti to Florida to here. It’s a blessing; God bless you.
> John Hoffman
I was sharing with everybody this morning that we live in a time and a world that really needs ministering. The lady who cuts my hair shared with me that her husband of forty-two years left her for a younger woman. She’s been here before, but maybe this is what she needs to wake her up. This morning I read in the paper that the leader of Poland was killed in a plane crash, so a whole country is without a leader. We live in a world that needs ministering; look around you.
> Jonathan Santiago
What I love about this ministry is that there’s always something to do. When you’re fishing, like out on the base, different things attract different people. Regardless of whether you’re single, married, young, or old, God will allow you to minister to a specific type of people. Holly is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, and I look forward to what God has given us to do.
> Holly Paine
I can just say “ditto.” There are people who are hungry and hurting and looking for answers. I thank God that he’s the answer, even when we haven’t figured out the questions. I’m thankful to have a clear direction in my ministry and my life, and with Jonathan, that we can go and do what God has called us to do.
> Cedric Christian
I was going over a Bible study the other day, and reading a scripture in Jeremiah:
- Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
God really drew me closer in paying attention to what he was saying. He knows each and every one of us, and sees us before we are even born. That blesses me, because I see that truth magnified in my life. Now that I’ve humbled myself to God and seek to his will more and more every day, I see now that I didn’t know what my direction was, but God knows. If you need direction, know that God already has a plan for your life, and he sees you every day that you wake up.
Message: These Things Doth The Lord Hate: Feet That Be Swift In Running To Mischief
> Pastor Ulysse
This is a series that we started and are continuing. Let me remind you the objective of this series is for us to identify the things that God hates, to make sure we don’t have them in any part of our lives. And if we do, we can fix that. We do want to please God, and we do want to hate whatever he hates, amen?
Let us read this together:
- These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
- A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
- An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
- A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
We have seen what a proud look is. It is defined as one who exalts himself or undervalues others. We saw that there were different types of pride. We even have church denomination pride. We saw that there was positive and negative pride. One can be justly proud; we are proud of who we are. We are wonderfully made. We suffer not from too much positive pride, but from too little self-esteem and from too much self-condemnation.
A lying tongue is the practice of telling lies, speaking with intent to deceive. The Bible says that the devil is the original liar. He lied to man about God, then he lied about men to God. That is what he continues to do every day; he takes your trash and tells me about it, then he takes my trash and tells you about it. Lies can do harm to reputation. The Bible says that if we say we have fellowship with (God), we do lie and we walk in darkness. He says “I know him” and walks not in his commandments is a liar. So we lie by our actions.
We went over hands that shed innocent blood. We saw what killing is about: murder starts with the intent of the heart. We read in Matthew that murder proceeds forth out of the heart. There isn’t any greater shedding of innocent blood than abortion. Ninety-three percent of abortions are performed simply out of convenience.
We went over a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations. We defined imagination as the mental power to form images of what has never existed. Most imaginations are lies. For example, you hear a voice on the radio and you imagine what that person looks like; most times that picture is entirely false. We read in the Bible that man’s heart is evil from his youth.
This morning, we are going over feet that are swift in running to mischief. You know, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I remember saying once before at least, that if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, he should not be hard to figure out. If God is the same, we can go to Isaiah and read, and know that what is written is written for our instruction, for our edification, and we should find help in this scripture:
- Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
- But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
- For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
- None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
- They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
- Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
- Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
When you read this scripture, we know that it’s not talking about us. By the context, we know exactly who is it talking about. But if we know that the scriptures are written for our edification, then we should see ourselves in every word of the scriptures. I would want you to read Isaiah 58, and then make sense of chapter 59. This is God telling his prophet to talk to the children of Israel:
- Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
- Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.
- Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.
- Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
- Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
- Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
- Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
- Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
- Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
- And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
- And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
- And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
- If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
- Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
The people were seeking him; they fasted. they called upon the Lord, but nothing happened. They finally got tired; they said “C’mon, Lord. We’re tired. We’re doing too much.” But God said, “You are doing them, but you’re not doing them right. I want you to come and seek within yourself, and get it right. Be sincere; don’t lie to yourselves.”
This morning it is feet that are swift in running to mischief. Who doesn’t know what “foot” means? I looked and found that it is the lower part of the leg below the ankle. It is also the measurement. It is also the lowest part of any thing. It is also the way of life, manner of life, movement to do certain things.
Mischief is a troublesome behavior; it is also a large or disorderly crowd. It is also wrongheadedness. Keep that in mind.
So going through the definition, you can see it is more than what we just read. Having a foot that is swift in running to mischief is having a way of life that is swift to watch, to run toward wrongheadedness and troublesome behavior.
We are not rocks; we have the mind of Christ. We are spiritual men and women; we need to judge everything. So we cannot just go light; we must go deep. We run to do things because we do not take time to think. The more we think, the slower we go and the better it would be. We all know that.
I take the accusers of the adulterous woman:
- Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
- And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
- And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
- They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
- Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
We all know what they had in mind. They were wrongheaded; they wasted no time. They had to go quick! Fast! And they told Christ, “Moses commanded…” Remember what I said last time; if she were taken “in the very act” then there should be two of them.
- This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
Jesus took his time. He wasn’t even in a hurry to give an answer.
- So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Basically, Jesus said “The law says so; we have to obey the law. But whoever has not sinned among you, just cast the first stone. After that, whoever can throw as many as they want.”
- And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
- And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
If only they would take a little time to think, they would not do that. So they were fast to go to mischief, to do the wrong thing. But once Jesus gave them the opportunity to think about it: “Hey, think about it!” They thought about it, and they thought “You know, I am not going to be the first.” and Jesus was the only one. If Jesus had thrown the first stone, then anybody could do it. But Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”
The Bible teaches us that we have to be slow in speaking, but swift to hear.
- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
- For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
You know in Exodus, we saw the practices of public punishment and public execution. The crucifixion started because they wanted to make the punishment as cruel as possible, so that everyone could look and be afraid of doing the same thing. There are some places where they still do this today, and believe me, it works! Once you get an opportunity to think, then you would probably make a decision that, at least, you had taken the time to think about it.
Thoughtlessness is another name for sin. The real problem is presumption. We don’t think, but we presume, and that’s where the problem starts. I don’t have to look too deep to find that; the problem is in my own life. We don’t stop to think; we just do something, and the problem starts. We allow our instant to rule over us. We are being led by our own lusts. That’s how we run into mischief. Our manner of life is just “Go!” Thoughtlessness and presumption is a great wickedness.
David wrote in Psalms:
- Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
- Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Presumptious sin: we presume. We just think that it would be the right thing, and we go ahead and do it. Too late, we find that we are on the wrong path. We have something in front of us, and we are praying for an answer. Even while you are praying, you have something going through your mind. Something pops into your mind, and you say “That’s it!” and you just go do it. I love the scripture where Israel just went against the Philistines into battle.
- And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
So Israel lost four thousand men.
- And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.
They asks the right question. They said, “We got smitten. That means something is not right. Why is that happening?” Spiritual men and women judge every single thing. You have an accident and you say, “God, is there something you are trying to tell me?” Maybe it is just an accident, but there is a lesson there to be learned.
So they asked, “Why is this happening?” But they didn’t even wait for an answer. They said “Let us…” and they came up with their own answer. Of course, in verse 10:
- And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
- And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
All God is asking is to come back to him. The things that he hates, if they are evil, just take some time to think, to meditate. If we are serious about God, we need to take time to think, to ask God a question, and to take time to wait for an answer. Otherwise, we will run to mischief, which God definitely hates. As Christians, we can identify the big things, the killing, the adultery. But as Christians, we should also be able to identify the little things:
- Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
- As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
- If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
Sometimes we take the Bible to read, and we cannot even read the gospels, because we are looking for the difficult things. But as newborn babes, we need to get the milk as often as we can.
- Malice is ill-will, intent to do harm.
- Guile is slyness, cunning, craftiness, indicating ability to deceive or trick by perverting or twisting
- Hypocrisy is pretending to be what you are not.
- Envy is to look upon, to desire what someone else has.
All these are mischiefs.
Now I want to talk about what I think is directly linked to feet running to mischief. I think you will find it everywhere: it is gossip. It’s like there is something, once you hear something, and you have the gossip blood in you, you cannot wait. Sometimes you want to pull apart and send a text message, because you cannot wait. It seems like, as soon as you hear it, your feet just want to run and tell someone. This is mischief. It is important that we know this, because it’s so common. I want to share with you about a small mind and a great mind.
A small mind speaks about evil, gossip. A small mind is really good at that. But a great mind speaks about ideas, ideals, philosophies, events. Think about it, when we are talking. We know everyone, the Bible says, has a problem with the tongue. The Bible even says that if you can control your tongue, you are a perfect man; you are a perfect woman. The Bible says to make sure that your words are few. So it is important, when you are talking to people, to think about what kind of mind you have, whether it is a small mind or a great mind.
Not only God hates this mischief, but it isn’t even good for you and me. When we gossip, not only we sin because our feet rush to it, but we hurt at least three people:
- We hurt ourselves. If I am gossiping to Jay about Paul, I am decreasing myself in front of Jay.
- We hurt the person we are speaking about.
- We hurt the person we are speaking to.
If you are speaking about someone to me, and you are calling them a thief, then you really mess my mind up. You fill my mind with trash, and you can’t just erase that. As a pastor, of course it is important to me to know what is going on. If there is one thing I am good at, it is in reading the attitude of someone who is coming to me to tell me about somebody else. I can tell if it is something that person wants to fix, or if it is something that person wants me to be aware of, or it is something that person just wants to tell anybody about.
How do you make a difference? How do you know? How do you avoid getting involved in that? If you are telling about somebody and you don’t see them around, most likely it is something you don’t want to hear about. If they have to pull you aside, most likely they are running to mischief.
The Bible says God hates these things, and we have to hate what God hates. Search yourself: you know better if you have pride; you know better if you have shed innocent blood; you know better if you have imaginations. You know better if your ways of life are running to do what is wrong in your own mind. God knows that too, but I want you to recognize that it is in the little things. Like in Israel: it is not in having the ark. Like it is not in having the Bible; having the Bible is good, but God wants it to be in our own hearts. Look deep in yourself and see: if they are not in you, then praise God. But if they are in you, then come back to God. God will say, “I am here.” He will always be there for you; you just need to return to him by doing what is right.
God bless you.