LIVING FROM FAITH TO FAITH: A Compilation of Sermons for Spiritual Growth and Inspiration

LIVING FROM FAITH TO FAITH: A Compilation of Sermons for Spiritual Growth and Inspiration

by Dr. Gloria Ann Turner

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Overview

If you are struggling in areas of your life, and it seems like the devil is working overtime to destroy you, let me give you a piece of truth to consider today: Your victory is in the Word of God!
In Isaiah 54:17, we see that "no weapon formed against you shall prosper." It is vital that you live in that knowledge. God created you to live victoriously. His Word is your armor! Jesus said, "I give you the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19). Our fight is the good fight of faith in Christ Jesus!
I pray that these sermons will enlighten, encourage, and strengthen your faith to trust and pursue God in everything you do. Romans 1:17 reads, "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468564365
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 04/23/2012
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

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LIVING FROM FAITH TO FAITH

A Compilation of Sermons for Spiritual Growth and Inspiration
By Gloria Ann Turner

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2012 Dr. Gloria Ann Turner
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4685-6436-5


Chapter One

Sermon One

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

"Life's Journey" Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:13-14

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

One of the greatest American films in history is The Wizard of Oz. As you may recall, the main character is a lonely and sad Kansas farm girl named Dorothy. In the beginning, Dorothy talks about going to a place where there isn't any trouble. She asks her pet dog, "Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto?" She concludes that there must be a place, "over the rainbow," where there are no problems. During a terrible tornado, Dorothy is struck on the head and transported to a land beyond the rainbow.

In this new world called the Land of Oz, she meets several magical characters who give her specific instructions to follow the yellow brick road. This path will lead her to the Emerald City, where the Wizard can assist her in getting home. While traveling down the yellow brick road, she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. During their trip to the Emerald City, she defeats the Wicked Witch of the West. When they arrive at the gates of the Emerald City, they are told that no one can see the great Oz, and that nobody has ever seen the great Oz. By the end of the movie, however, Dorothy and her friends gain access to the Wizard, and he gives them their hearts' desires: the Scarecrow gets a brain, the Tin Man gets a heart, the Lion gets courage, and Dorothy gets to return home to Kansas.

If we look into the scriptures, everyone is on a journey as he or she travels through life, and not just any journey. Everyone is on a spiritual journey that will lead them to an eternal home. Every day, we make choices that will affect the direction we are headed on our spiritual journey. Several people think the roads we can choose to travel are many. That may seem true, but from a biblical perspective, there are really only two roads to travel and you must choose between them.

In Jesus' sermon on Mount Zion, He spoke of two roads. Each road has its own beginning and ending. One road is heavily populated; the other road traveled only by a few. Let's look closely at the text and see how Jesus describes the differences between two gates, two roads, and ultimately, two destinations.

The Two Gates

Jesus opens with the statement, "Enter through the narrow gate." However, He begins the discussion with the wide gate instead of the narrow gate. Jesus continues, "For wide is the gate ... that leads to destruction and many enter through it." This wide gate represents the spiritual journey that leads to eternal death. Evidently, it is described as "wide" because this gate allows many people to enter with no sacrifice on their part. Those entering through the wide gate are not required to give up anything; everything can fit through the wide gate. One is allowed to bring along whatever "baggage" he or she has. This baggage is filled with the lust and wickedness of the world. The spirits of pride, hatred, jealousy, envy, unforgiveness, greediness, and lust are rampant. Every day, television, movies, billboards, newspapers, and magazines bombard us with lustful images. When lustful thoughts become part of our lifestyle, we feel like prisoners to those controlling desires. God does not want us to be a prisoner of lust and evil. The Bible tells us that "Christ has made us free" (Gal. 5:1). "We have assurance from our Lord that He will help us battle lust and the evil things of this world" (Rom. 8:31-32).

The wide gate allows people to believe whatever they want to believe. Most people choose to travel through the wide gate because there are no restrictions concerning belief and behavior. Some believe in witchcraft, palm reading, rabbits' feet, or the Da Vinci Code. It is a wide gate because anything and everything can come through it. Please understand that the more you indulge in sin, the easier it is to access the wide gate. Make no mistake, the wide gate is owned by Satan.

Jesus said, "But small is the gate ... that leads to life and only a few find it." The small gate represents the spiritual journey that leads to eternal life. Why is it small? It is a small gate because it requires us to be obedient to God and to practice self-denial. "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:1). In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Also, the Lord spoke these words in John 10:9, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture." Many people have accepted Jesus as their Savior, but they have failed to establish a relationship with Him that will give them divine directions on how to travel the Christian journey. They continue to lust after earthly goods instead of pursuing the things of God. In Matthew 6:19-21, the scripture clearly says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

The small gate has no room for an unforgiving spirit. The Lord taught an important lesson in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." One must demonstrate a loving, compassionate, and forgiving spirit. The small gate has no room for self-righteousness. In Matthew 6:1, Jesus instructs His disciples to "be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." The small gate is the Lord's gate.

I've discussed the wide and small gates. Let's examine the second point Jesus makes about the broad and narrow roads.

The Two Roads

Jesus says, "... broad is the road that leads to destruction." The broad road allows any performance one desires. There is no need for spiritual reformation or transformation; people do not need to change their sinful lifestyles. The world has a welcome sign for the unbelievers. It says, "Come as you are! No changes necessary! This way is easy!" On this road, people can make up their own rules and regulations. They can promote their selfish ways and thoughts. Many people love this broad road. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah traveled this road, and they were all destroyed. This road gives a false impression that people are "open-minded" and "free" to experience better times. They label themselves as "tolerant" of others. This broad road has unnecessary pain and problems. There is nothing on this road that God has for you. This path is for those who love the things of the world, and it leads to eternal damnation. The Word says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:15-17). However, the good news is that Jesus came so you do not have to travel this road. In John 14:6a, Jesus exerts, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Also in John 10:10b, Jesus states, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."

The small gate directs people to the narrow road that leads to life. The narrow road is not an easy way. It is a path that leads to life, and it is difficult because it requires putting God first and not yourself. For instance, one must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, one not only accepts Jesus, but one begins a lifelong relationship with Him. The path requires holy and righteous living, which means to pick up his or her cross and follow Jesus. It requires knowing the voice of Jesus and being obedient to Him. Jesus illustrates this point in John 10:14-17, when he declares that "He knows his sheep and his sheep know Him." Jesus continues, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27). They will not follow anyone else. As a follower of Christ, we have responsibilities on this narrow road. We must witness to the unsaved about Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection. We must develop a praying spirit, advance in our knowledge of the scriptures, and fellowship with other believers as often as possible. It is a road that requires change. We must change our natural selfishness to unselfishness, change our negative attitudes to positive, and change our abhorrence to love. We need to show the world that we are in this world, but we are not of this world.

As Christians, we are called to love all people, regardless of faith, lifestyle or gender orientation in the same way that God loves all people. He provides guidelines for living as found in the Holy Scriptures and we support those guidelines as a people called to love and obey His calling upon our lives. Jesus invites all people to change their lives and come into His dimension, but not all will come. We are called to model what Christ taught when He prayed that what was in heaven would be manifested on earth through a people known for their love of one another and others. A song writer wrote, "A wonderful change has come over me." Because of its godly requirements, many people choose not to travel this road. They think it's too hard; it's too "confining." But, Jesus tells us to strive to enter through the small gate and travel the narrow road. This is the same road that Jesus traveled and paved the way for us. Jesus gave his life for us on this narrow road. This is a purpose-driven road of joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity. Jesus said, "I came that you may have life and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

The final point that Jesus makes in this passage of scripture is the existence of two destinations: eternal destruction and eternal life.

Two Destinations

Jesus said, "Wide is the gate, broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many go in by it." This destination is one of total devastation, eternal hell. Eternity in hell is reserved for those who reject Jesus Christ and His Gospel. The Bible sums up the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." We have all sinned and cannot live up to God's holiness. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The destination to hell is described in the Bible as a lake of fire burning endlessly. Romans 6:23 tells us the penalty for our sin, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." There is only pain and never relief. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 about the everlasting destruction that is to come. It will come upon those who do not know God—those who have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. It will come upon those who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. John described it as "a lake of fire." This destination is eternal hell. When one enters, one cannot exit.

Thanks be to God that the Scriptures urge us to enter the narrow road that leads to life. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place so we could be spared from Hell. Romans 5:8 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." According to the Bible, we aren't required to subscribe to a religious formula or do more good things than bad ones. God gives His gift freely to all who ask. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:13). This alternate destination is life; it is the "gift of God." God wants everyone on this road that leads to eternal heaven. 1 John 5:11-13 says, "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." Do you know for sure that you will spend eternal life with God in heaven? If not, this is a decision you don't want to put off.

Dorothy knew where she wanted to go and how she needed to get there. She had to follow the yellow brick road. God has laid out a perfect plan for us to follow. He wants us to come to Jesus, receive eternal life, and live an abundant life on earth. We, too, must follow God's yellow brick road which we enter through the small gate that leads to God's narrow path. If people would travel the narrow road, they would experience the blessed life that's promised to us through the covenant of God. PRAISE THE LORD! AMEN.

LET'S PRAY TOGETHER

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for Christ's victory on the Cross that opened the way for us to have a loving and fulfilling relationship with You. Help us to travel our divine journey by faith with the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask You to count us worthy of our calling and to enable us to fulfill Your purposes, through the grace, faith, and authority we have in Christ. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Chapter Two

Sermon Two

CHOSEN BY GOD

"Leadership" Scripture Reading: Numbers 27:15-20

Moses said to the Lord, "May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd." So the Lord said to Moses, "Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar, the priest, and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him."

In our knowledge-driven world, the power to lead is shifting to the power to promote new ideas and better ways based on innovation. Now, the meaning of leadership is simply the successful promotion of new directions. Leaders show the way. This definition of leadership is consistent with market leadership or leadership in sports where one individual, team, or organization "shows the way" for others. Leadership fascinates people. New leadership brings new people, fresh ideas, and different styles which come to the forefront of the product. New leadership brings hope for some and frustration and disappointment for others. Everywhere, people are hungry for power, position, and possession. People will pursue positions of power and authority because they want to be in charge. The power to lead runs deep, and in the wrong hands, it can be dangerous. However, that is not Jesus' idea of leadership. Jesus is not primarily interested in what a spiritual leader accomplishes. He is more interested in the character of the man or woman. Why? The reason is that leaders should set an example of acceptable conduct for others to follow. Leaders stand in the place of Jesus as spiritual shepherds. Jesus is more interested in a man's heart than in all of his activities (1 Sam. 15:22; Hosea 6:6; Matt. 9:13; Matt. 15:17-20). Jesus called the disciples together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:25-28).

The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch. Moses wrote Numbers shortly before his death in 1406 B.C. The name, Numbers, comes from two censuses taken of the Israelites during their thirty-eight years of wandering the wilderness, found in chapters one and twenty-six. The book is divided into three parts, each being related to one of the major campsites of the Israelites: nineteen days in the Sinai wilderness (Num. 1:1-10:10); thirty-eight years between the wilderness and the plains of Moab (10:11—21:35); and roughly five months on the plains of Moab (22:1-36:13). Numbers relates the story of the Israelites' journey from Mount Sinai to the plains of Moab on the border of Canaan. Numbers tells of the complaining, murmuring, rebellion, disobedience, and judgment of the Israelites. Because of their constant disobedience, they were condemned to live out their lives in the desert. Only their children would enjoy the fulfillment of the promise that had originally been theirs. Throughout the years in the desert, one thing became clear to the Israelites: God's constant care for them. No matter what they did wrong, God provided for them. Not only did He meet their needs, but He also loved and forgave His people continually. That's an incredible kind of love. Who wouldn't want to serve a God like that?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from LIVING FROM FAITH TO FAITH by Gloria Ann Turner Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Gloria Ann Turner. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................ix
Introduction....................xi
Sermon One Follow The Yellow Brick Road....................1
Sermon Two Chosen By God....................11
Sermon Three Fight Fear With Faith....................21
Sermon Four I Know A Place....................29
Sermon Five A Changed Life....................37
Sermon Six True Worshipers....................45
Sermon Seven Stay Focused....................53
Sermon Eight Does God Show Favoritism?....................61
Sermon Nine Exercise Your Faith....................69
Sermon Ten The Glory Of Seeking Jesus....................77
Sermon Eleven You Can Have What You Want....................83
Sermon Twelve The Unknown Son....................93
Conclusion....................103
About The Author....................105

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