Losing Your Cutting Edge

Text: 2 Kings 6:1-7
 
“And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.”
 

Introduction: Ever been discouraged? I got a call yesterday from a man, 73 years old, that said he felt, “DOWN in the DUMPS!” I asked him why. He responded, “While watching the news – the decision to open up our communities so soon, really bothered me.” So… we talked, read Scripture, and PRAYED together. Finally, he regained his “CUTTING EDGE” even though he couldn’t control things. In the days of Elisha, a problem occurred but a solution was found. There are (3) ways to get back your CUTTING EDGE:

1. ADMIT we’ve got a problem (v. 5)! – “But as one was felling a beam, the axe head FELL into the water.”
  • It’s hard to admit when we are wrong or when we have a problem!
  • In the end, it’s LIBERATING!
2. After ADMITTING we’ve got a problem, take our PROBLEM to JESUS (v. 6)! – In this case, His man Elisha. “Where fell it!”
  • When did we lose it (fellowship with God, anger and resentment toward people, BAD DECISIONS that effect others)?
  • Where was it lost?
3. Get your CUTTING EDGE back (v. 6-7)! – “And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did SWIM… take it up… and he put out his hand, and took it.”
  • God honors humility.
  • He will make a way.
Conclusion: I love the story of the strong, young woodsman who was hired with a logging firm along with an older man. The younger man was faster and could cut more trees than the older man without stopping to rest, unlike the older man who stopped to rest while SHARPENING his chainsaw. After several days of this, the older man OUT-CUT the younger man – to his surprise. The young man asked, “How can it be? The older man replied, “I learned a lesson from the BIBLE.” 
 
“If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct” (Ecclesiastes 10:10)
 
Love y’all,
Pastor Randy Reese


Calling Doctor Jesus

Text: Luke 8:26-56
 
Introduction: Aren’t you glad that when you call Doctor JESUS, He doesn’t tell you to press #1 to talk to Michael… or #2 to talk to Mary… There are (3) reasons we ought to CALL DR. JESUS:
 
1. When you’ve got a SPIRITUAL problem, it’s not a HOPELESS condition with Dr. JESUS (v. 26-39)!
  • deadly demons destroy
  • divine Deliverer delivers
  • changes to “right mind”
 
2. When you’ve got an EMOTIONAL or PHYSICAL problem, it’s not a HELPLESS case with Dr. Jesus (v. 43-48)!
  • a weary woman who was worn down and worried
  • she reached out and touched Jesus and because of her “faith” she was “made whole”
 
3. When you’ve got an ETERNAL problem, it’s not beyond a HEALING cure for Dr. Jesus (v. 41-42, 49-56)
  • desperate daddy with a dying daughter
  • Dr. Jesus has a cure for sin’s sickness
 
Conclusion: With Dr. Jesus, you don’t have to make an appointment days or weeks in advance! He will not send you to a specialist; since He made us, He knows how to cure us!
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


When the Upright Get Uptight

Text: Luke 10:38-42

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Introduction: Are you UPTIGHT today because of circumstances? Maybe people? Has your mind been racing trying to process all the “stuff” going on? You are not alone. There are (2) LEARNING LESSONS for LOVING & SERVING our LORD:
 
1. Busyness without Brokenness = Barrenness! (Luke 10:38-40)
“Martha received him into her house,” She was…. “cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.”
 
What was Martha’s problem? (I can relate! You?)
Can you hear the Master say, “Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things”(v. 41)?
 
• Martha – INWARDLY ANXIOUS – so much to do
(“cumbered”- distraction from the main attraction) • Martha – OUTWARDLY AGITATED – why want she do anything?
 
2. Busyness with Brokenness = Blessedness (Luke 10:42)
“But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 
 
• Mary worshiped Jesus
• Mary waited upon the Lord (“Sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word”)(v. 39)
 
Conclusion: Doing things are not bad (mover/ shaker -btw- I think Martha learned her lesson – John 12:2), but sometimes we can SUBSTITUTE our DOING (busyness) for our BEING, which leads to “BURNOUT or BLOWUP”!! Been there….. You know it well, “Our ATTITUDE controls our ALTITUDE.” The MAIN THING is to keep the MAIN THING… the MAIN THING!
 
Simply put, JESUS is the main thing!!
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Weathering the Storms of Life

Text: Matthew 7:24-27

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Introduction: A husband and wife of over 50 years woke up in the middle of the night during a tornado… while the roof was being taken off of their home, their bed was lifted up in the air. As they were floating upward, the wife grabbed her husband’s hand and SHOUTED, “Honey. This is the first time we’ve been out of this house together in a LONG TIME!” Jesus gave His disciples (and us today), 3 ways to PREPARE for WEATHERING the storms of life:
 
1. If we are going to WEATHER the STORMS of life, we must BUILD upon a FIRM FOUNDATION! (Matt 7:24-26)
“Whoever heareth these sayings of mine, I will liken him to a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” (v. 24)
• Storms of anxiety come
• Storms of perplexity “
• Storms of adversity “
 
2. If we are going to WEATHER the STORMS of life, we must PREPARE with EXPECTATION! 
” And when the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat against the house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (v. 25)
• Emotional storms come
• Physical storms “
• Relational storms “
 
3. If we are going to WEATHER the STORMS of life, we must listen and do what JESUS says with an AFFIRMATION!
“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:” (v. 26)
• Peter did
• Paul did
• We can
 
Conclusion: Two ladies each planted a garden; One lady left it alone for the bugs, weeds and rain to ruin it. The other lady worked it by pulling out the weeds, and caring for the plants. Which do you think had the best results? The Christian life is all of GRACE but what God WORKS IN, the believer WORKS OUT by participation and cooperation.
 
“WEATHERPROOF your life!”
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Overloading Your Wagon

Text: Psalm 103:1-14
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
 
Introduction: At times do you feel OVERLOADED? Overloaded with care? With family? With bills? (I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!)… With information? Have you ever had a wagon and put too much in it, and OVERLOADED it? What happened? The wheels would not turn. It would eventually be broken! Been there!! What do you do? Think for a minute about (3) ways to get OVERLOADED, and how to get UNLOADED:
 
1. OVERLOADED by Broken FELLOWSHIP with God! (Psa. 103:1-4)
” Bless the Lord, O my soul… forget not his benefits… who forgiveth all thine iniquities… who redeemeth thy life.”
  • OVERLOADED and forget to BLESS the Lord (Hebrew “barak” means to declare God’s origin of success and prosperity) 
  • OVERLOADED and forget His BENEFITS (rewards) 
  • OVERLOADED and forget we are BOUGHT (“redeemed”- haggoel, v. 4… “As far as the east is to the west he ..removed our transgression from us” v. 12)
 
2. OVERLOADED by Broken RELATIONSHIPS with each other! (Psa. 103:13)
” Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
  • God knows our pain (we can’t control circumstances)
  • God knows our name (we can’t control people)
 
3. OVERLOADED by Broken HARDSHIPS in life! (Psa. 103:14)
“For he knoweth our frame; he remembered that we are dust.”
  • God knows our construction (what we are made of)
  • God knows our situation (what we can handle)
 
Conclusion: Just as a 2-ton truck has been TESTED under a load and discovered what it can carry, the GOD who made us, “knows” us – our “frame”; consequently, certain experiences (broken fellowship, relationships, and hardships) can OVERLOAD us.
 
Why not take a LOAD off right now?
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


When Life Gets You Down

Text: Psalm 143:1-12

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.”

Introduction: “Sometimes I’m up, Sometimes I’m down, Sometimes I’m low to the ground!” Do you ever get down? Are you down right now? How can you get up? David got down, but his God got him back up! There are (2) bridges to cross when you get down in order to get back up:
 
1. What do you do WHEN LIFE gets you DOWN?
• Remember to cry out to our Lord (Psa. 143:1). 
” Hear my prayer, O Lord.”
• Remember the devil’s badness (Psa. 143:3).
” For the enemy hath persecuted my soul.”
• Remember God’s goodness (Psa. 143:5). 
” I remember the days of old.”
 
2. Where do you go, WHEN life gets you DOWN?
• You TURN to JESUS (Psa. 143:7).
” My spirit faileth…. like them down in the pit.”
• You TRUST in JESUS (Psa. 143:8).
” For in thee do I trust.”
• You TRIUMPH in JESUS (Psa. 143:11).
“Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name sake.”(“quicken” means revive, make alive)
 
Conclusion: Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to stay down when we get down? I’m praying for those of you who will read this now. Sometimes we need to make CHANGES in our life…. How about you? A man recorded on his answering machine the following message: “I’m away from my phone right now, and making some CHANGES in my life, but leave a message and I’ll get back to you…….{pause}……. by the way, if you don’t get a call back…. you are one of the CHANGES!” 
 
Time to get up!
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Armed for Battle

Text: 1 Samuel 14:1-14

“Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father. And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men; and Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone. And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah. And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few. And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart. Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them. If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them. But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us. And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel. And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him. And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.”
 
Introduction: Are you up against some battles? Battles for the mind, battles with evil forces, all of us are facing battles! We need help fighting these battles! There are (3) steps proven effective in winning the battles:
 
1. Who is your PRAYER PARTNER – “ARMOR-BEARER” (1 Sam. 14:1)?
“Jonathan said unto the young man that bare his armour, come, and let us go over to the Philistines garrison.”
A “garrison” (mat-tsawb) is a military post.
• Jonathan needed an ARMOR-BEARER
• He must be brave and dependable
 
2. Why do we need a PRAYER PARTNER – “ARMOR-BEARER” (v. 4-6)?
“Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines garrison…. and said to the young man that bare his armour…. the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or few.”
• Battles with strongholds
• Taking back the ground the enemy has taken
 
3. What will we – and our “ARMOR-BEARER” believe God to do (v. 7-14)?
“His armourbearer said… do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold I am with thee according to thy heart.”
• Jonathan and his “ARMOR BEARER” pressed forward
• God gave the Victory
 
Conclusion: Just like Jonathan, an “ARMOR-BEARER” (Prayer Partner) is needed to fight and win the battles that are raging all around us. In looking back, Praise God for the battles that have already been won (Jesus our Lord – Prayer Partners)! Yet, it appears on the horizon, there are other battles that will need to be fought & won!!
 
Calling all Prayer Partners!
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


How to Hand Down a Lasting Legacy

Text: 2 Tim. 1:3-6
 
“I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.”
 
Introduction: Don’t you want to HAND DOWN a LASTING LEGACY? Sure you do! You would not be reading this if you didn’t. How can we be assured of accomplishing this God-given task? Paul, writing his farewell letter while awaiting martyrdom, shares his heart to both encourage and challenge his son in the Lord, Timothy. From my own personal devotion, consider these truths that will transform.
 
How can we HAND DOWN a LASTING LEGACY? There are (4) ways:
 
1. By PRAYING for our family and friends (2 Tim. 1:3)!
“I have a remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.”
  • Notice “night and day”
  • Prayer changes not only things, but people and me
 
2. By POURING into our family and friends (v. 4)!
“Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I might be filled with joy.”
  • Enjoying time together
  • Refreshed by laughing and crying
 
3. By POINTING out to our family and friends (v. 5)!
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith in thee… in thy grandmother… and mother, I am persuaded that in thee also.” The word “unfeigned” (anupokritos) means without hypocrisy.
  • I see this in you
  • Good, godly character traits
 
4. By PASSING on to our family and friends (v. 6)!
“Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” The word “stir up” (anazoputein) pictures a bellow blowing air on a fire causing it to ignite with flames brighter and higher.
  • God’s got a GIFT in you
  • I believe in you
  • Keep up the good work
 
Conclusion: Every Christian, whether a dad, mom, son, daughter, grandparent, uncle, aunt, brother, or sister is having an influence on others. So, according to the WORD of GOD… praying, pouring, pointing, and passing on to our loved ones and friends will make a difference.
 
How are we doing HANDING DOWN a LASTING LEGACY?
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese


Unshakeable

Text: Hebrews 12:26-29
 
“Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
 
Introduction: Have you ever been SHAKEN up? How about lately? Has your world been turned UPSIDE DOWN? Between the invisible enemy – the Coronavirus, the plague, and being frightened and tormented by TORNADOES, it seems like everything around us is FALLING apart. But is it? According to the Word of God, there are some THINGS that CANNOT be SHAKEN! That’s why we need to BUILD our lives upon the UNSHAKEABLE:
 
1. God’s going to allow this WORLD to be SHAKEN (v. 26-27)!
“Whose voice SHOOK the earth… I SHAKE the earth only but the heavens.”
  • “Shake” – saleuo – means to agitate as to make INSECURE. Can you relate?
  • Palm trees sink their roots deeper in the ground because of storms.
 
2. While the things of this WORLD may be SHAKEN, GOD’S KINGDOM {to come} is UNSHAKEABLE (v. 27-28)!
“Removing those things that are SHAKEN… that those things which cannot be SHAKEN may remain.”
  • Stocks and bonds, jobs, houses and land, and even health can be SHAKEN!
  • God’s Word is unmovable!
  • Voltaire, the French infidel tried to SHAKE God’s Word, but he died and the Word of God lives on!
“It’s like a Timex watch… it takes a licking, but it keeps on ticking!”
 
3. So what should we do in the light of things being SHAKEN and things which are UNSHAKEABLE?
“We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved… let us have GRACE, whereby we may SERVE GOD acceptably with reverence and Godly fear.”
 
Conclusion: Where are you being SHAKEN? Need security? Why not right now, start BUILDING or REBUILDING your life on our UNSHAKEABLE GOD who has fulfilled His Word in the past, is fulfilling it in the present, and will fulfill it in the future.
 
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese