Be strong in Jesus
SUNDAY SERMON BY PASTOR RAJESH MATHEW, 2 MAY 2021 Mathew 18:20- 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Mathew 14: 27- 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. • Even after a year, we are still experiencing lockdown due to the Corona virus. The Holy Spirit told me that this is the time for you to discern the Presence of God.
- Psalm 91 says that ‘whoever looks to the Lord for safety…” we say all this psalm often but we need to enter into His Presence and experience it! It is important to discern the Presence of God in our lives.
Whether you are in the lion’s den, or in the pit, prison or in the fiery furnace, if we can discern the Presence of God, our protection, deliverance, healing is there in His presence.
- This morning when two or more come together, even if it is digitally, His Presence comes upon us. Pay attention to Jesus. We see in the hospital boards, “For the attention of People”. For your attention, look to Jesus the Pioneer and the Perfecter of your faith. Discern His presence in your life.
What is the presence of God? It is not just theological statements. It is just the conviction and experience that Jesus is with me.
- He is not only near you, not only comes to you but He is in you! Thank Him all those of you who have experienced His presence.
- If His Presence has come upon your life, it is for a reason. In the garden of Eden, God’s presence was with Adam and Eve. I have understood one thing- not everybody can receive this message into their hearts. They have too much knowledge! They are waiting to hear something new.
- The Holy Spirit put in my heart about Encountering God’s presence. Those who have an open heart for it, those who are praying for it, they will most certainly experience visible results of the encounter with His presence.
- Jacob in the Old testament, when he encountered God’s presence, experienced a huge change a result. When you encounter His presence, there are things that gets rebounded into your lives in double speed especially bringing the manifestation of the blessings. Jacob became Israel in that encounter, a nation manifested forth through him. Saul changes into Paul after an encounter on the road to Damascus.
- Even if you don’t know any theology, those who have experienced transformation, deliverance and healing from Jesus are listening to me now. This morning if you have experienced and tasted Jesus or you desire to, open you heart and worship Him. The presence of God will come upon you!
- God can show up in any way. You need to follow some instructions and some demands that God has in order for HIS Presence to show up.
Exodus 34:3- 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even theflocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
You can’t sit still: God said this to Moses, and the mountain shook when His presence showed up. When His presence shows up, if a mountain can shake and smoke come forth, you obviously can’t sit still. Jump up, fall, run, do whatever you need to in God’s Presence. When the presence of God shows up, you can’t sit the same way as before!
Holiness is where a prerequisite for God’ Presence to show up. If God has drawn close an unholy person, that very second he will be transformed into a holy person. This morning, God is taking some of you into such an experience. Take it!
- A lady with 5 husbands had a brief encounter with Jesus (she did not go into a convention or a meeting), and she was changed. She ran her way and became a missionary. She brought an entire Town to Christ.
- Jesus just had a cup of tea in Zacchaeus house. He did not ask him to repent etc. But he repented automatically and promised to give back 4 times of all that he took away from people.
- When you have an encounter with Christ, you will change. Ask Him to fill you with His presence.
- Build a tabernacle
- God told Moses the dimensions of the ark of the tabernacle. That is where His Presence would come. Whoever carried that ark, would be able to part open the Jordan just by stepping into it. No matter what your Jordan is today- maybe it is COVID-19, financial recession etc. If you an are carrier of His presence, the Jordan will part.
- If that ark is placed in Dagon’s temple, the idol of dagon would fall and its head would break into pieces. No matter how strong the demonic strongholds are, they will bow their knees before the Presence of Jesus.
The Lord has placed His Living presence within you. You need to discern and realise it.
- In the Old testament, His presence came down upon a mountain, not because people asked for it. But in the New Testament, it is clearly written that- wherever two or more gather, there His Presence comes down. Another version says, when people with the same faith, same vision, same heart come together, there His Presence comes down. Only if you approach Him, shall He approach you.
When two people who do not have love in their hearts come and call out loudly in Jesus name, nothing happens!
I recently went for a meeting and I just couldn’t preach what I needed to. I knew that the people who were listening were not of the same spirit and heart. They were all in different directions. I preached the same Word with another group of people, and the Word went forth in fire. His presence showed up.
You should agree in spirit when you come together. Two opinions, two perspectives, cannot being the Presence of God, whether it is in the church or within a family.
But in one spirit, one love, one heart and one vision, when you sit together and call on His name, there will be miracles within that house.
How will this happen?
- You don’t need 100 people. Don’t be upset that you cannot go to church. Within your homes, if there are two of you, husband and wife, it is enough! But you got to be of the same heart and same spirit. If one is casual and the other is full of fire, the presence won’t show up, prayer then becomes only a ritual.
- Husbands, do not be bitter towards your wife. Hold her hand, love her, forgive her. This is not theology, it is experience.
- In Genesis 22, Abraham is headed to the mountain to sacrifice Isaac. He asked the servants to wait down while they climbed up the mountain. It may sound unfair because the servants may have worked for three days preparing for this journey and the sacrifice. But the truth is -- Only the one who has heard the voice of God can climb up to the mountain and only the one who has the vision will climb up for an encounter.
Only when the church has a common vision, you will experience the flow of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it will be only information.
Where two or more are gathered in My Name, there He is in our midst. Adam was alone. God said it is not good for him to be alone. Adam became two with Eve’s creation. And then God commanded them both to become one!
Anecdote: A man of God said, “Only after God put Adam to sleep HE brought Eve forth our of Adam’s side. When Eve saw Adam for the first time, she may have shook in shock. Nowadays, we shake in shock each time we see and not just once” ��
Anecdote: An associate pastor got married but couldn’t be involved in ministry. His marriage became a bondage. His wife would distract him with her physical needs just when he would step out for ministry. One day, he took a stand and said ‘no! God’s work first’. And that day in the middle of the meeting where he was ministering, she showed up with torn clothes and blood from her mouth, she accused her husband (the man of God) of mistreating her before stepping out for ministry in front of everyone present at the meeting. About half of the church people left and the others were in shock. She had vowed that she would destroy his life and she went back home and laughed to herself. Of course, her life headed downhill after that incident but the point I am trying to make is—if there is no unity, straightforwardness and oneness in your family and married lives, God’s presence cannot come down.
Surrender your married life to Jesus. May he bless you. May he heal your marriages.
What does it mean to be married? It is to have someone to curl up to when you are feeling cold! When the world is cold, your partner will keep you warm. It is somebody who is concerned about you. Somebody who will check your forehead to see if you have caught a fever. Somebody whose shoulder you can cry on. Someone who covers you with a blanket to keep you warm in the middle of the night. Even before you die and leave this earth, that person should be the last one you can look at and say “Goodbye! I love you.”
If you stay faithful, and of one mind and heart and pray together as one, the presence of the Lord will come. Otherwise, even if you sit fasting and praying for 21 days or 40 days, it is of no use.
In Luke 10, we see that Jesus sent two disciples for ministry. In Amos 2, it says that two is better than one; In Acts 3:1-6- Peter and John prayed together and they went together to the temple. Nothing will be able to stop you if you are one in heart and spirit!
Read Mathew Chapter 14.
- A pastor once told me, there were only three days in the last one year that I did not experience the presence of God. It may be the other way around for us! Lord let there be nothing in my life that will quench your Presence; whether it is my words, actions, thoughts, perspectives. If so, then no harm will befall you or your household.
- The Holy Spirit said: “If the Lord is with you, the winds cannot stop you.” • In Mathew 14, Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. The wind became strong and boisterous. The water began to enter the boat but the Lord did not allow the boat to sink.
This morning the Holy Spirit is saying, you may think that you will sink due to COVID 19, but the Lord will never allow you to sink whether it is in your health or in your finances.
- He will come near you. The disciples were together in boat. They thought they will die. This morning you may have thoughts that you will die but you will NOT! God will not allow that. He will come near your ship. He will not allow your ship to drown.
- Mathew 14:24- the ship was now in the midst of the sea. The wind was contrary. They were mid-way.
In these scary waters and in the storm let your fear go and let the boldness and peace of God come upon you! Let the Presence of the God who walked over the waters in the midst of the storm enter your homes and families. Be of good cheer, it is I said the Lord! Let his presence come.
MID-WAY- in the midst of the COVID-19 storm, Jesus will come to you in the midst of the storm. You will go over the situation by the grace of God.
He will not allow you to go under because He has called you to go over!!
Expect the wind in your journey. But if you are together in one accord, Jesus will show up there.
Why does boisterous wind come? Why does the devil bring them?
- It is to distract you from where you are going- If he can distract you then he can direct you. There you need to pay attention and fix your eyes carefully upon Jesus. “YOU ARE MY GOD”
- It is to make you to lose sight of where you are going- But you keep your vision. 3. It is to create panic and put fear in you
- It is to give you a choice to turn back- I shouldn’t have stepped out, I shouldn’t have started this business.
But faith has no backward steps. The ladder that God places has no downward steps. The Holy Spirit is saying that you will move forward. The Lord is walking over the sea for you!
- My God is the one who silences the waves and the winds; He is the one who walked over the waves. His name is Jesus.
- You have reached mid-way into the sea. You only need as much mind to move forward as much you need to move back! You are half way. Move forward to reach the destiny that God has for you.
Don’t use your last energy to go back but use it to go forward!
The church of God and His children will go forward in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 5. It is to make you think that you have missed something of the Lord in your life.
A person once told his pastor to “please pray as he was passing through trouble”. And the pastor said, “go ahead”. There is nothing to pray. You are only PASSING THROUGH trouble. You are only GOING THROUGH. Just go ahead. Just go ahead. Through I walk through the waters, and the fire, through trouble, God will walk with me and He will bring me out. The Lord walked over those very waves that were scaring you. He is coming towards you.
When the storm comes, look out for Jesus. He is the Master over the troubled waters.
- Behold He is coming near you. If you are together in one accord and one heart, He is coming towards you.
- When I was going through a troubled time, I was asking the Lord, Why ME??? No one else has so many troubles, why me?
Dead hens do not hatch fresh eggs.
- Jesus said to me, “you are alive, people are getting saved through your ministry, people are stepping out of God through you. IN the midst of the troubles I am with you. Do not look at somebody else and question. You are alive. You are hatching eggs.”
- God is doing miracles in the midst of the trouble. Don compare yourself with somebody else.
When the disciples worshipped together, there the presence of the Lord showed up. Acts 16: 31- Paul and Silas worshipped the Lord.
Worship is a sure-shot way to get out of all kinds of dryness in your life. Not watching worship but worshipping, not watching prayer but praying, not sitting in fasting and prayer but fasting and praying. Constantly praying, constantly worshipping and praising God. Soon after this service, pray together in your families. His Holy Spirit will fill your homes.
This morning, the Lord is coming over your troubled waters.