Faith Deliverance Ministry really loves you and cares about you soul’s salvation. We care about where you will spend an eternity at after this earthly life becomes expired. God has a desire for you to become saved and remain saved, but doing so is up to you. God will not violate your free will to choose whom you will serve but know ye that there are consequences for everything we do good or bad. The consequences could very well be the deciding factor as to rather you spend eternity in heaven or hell.
Where would you like to spend eternity?
This booklet focus on three aspects of life
LOVE HONOR RESPECT
I encourage you to take the time in reading this booklet so as to where you can fully understand the contents here. Have your Christian bibles out as you read this booklet and look up and study the scriptures for yourself.
I am certain you will enjoy these teachings therefore I wish you happy readings and joyful understandings.
The Cost of Following Jesus
Luke 9:57 – 62
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to him, "Lord, I will follow you wherever you go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head."
59 Then he said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Luke records for us in this passage an account of three men whom Jesus met as he travelled along with his disciples. Two of these men declared that they wished to follow Jesus; to become his disciples. The other was one whom Jesus summoned to follow him. What immediately strikes me is the way in which Jesus handles these inquirers (and I think that this is Luke’s reason for recording the details of these meetings). Most men with a cause are busy trying to recruit as many as they can. Most preachers are busy trying to get as many members for their church as they possibly can (and most have good intentions). I like seeing new members myself! It’s natural. It’s what we expect to see. But Jesus is radically different in his approach.
I read an article where this pastor was saying that we should always endeavor to keep our church as small as we can! That’s strange talk isn’t it?! And that was coming from a man who himself had pastored quite a large congregation. But what he meant was, preach the truth of God’s salvation, and the demands of following Jesus, so clearly that only those who have counted the cost and are ready to give up ALL for Christ will join themselves to you.
It’s my desire to see as many as possible come to Christ. I pray to see them come in their hundreds and even thousands; but I don’t just want to get a crowd . . . that doesn’t interest me at all! I want to see men and women, young people, old people, boys and girls turning to Christ with whole hearts; becoming true sold out disciples of the master. Hallelujah! And so, it’s interesting to read of Jesus’ way of dealing with those who expressed a desire to follow him; he seems to be trying to discourage them. BUT NOT REALLY. In actual fact Jesus’ desire is that people will follow him, but he wants them to think it through first . . . to count the cost involved . . . so that once they do follow him they’ll never turn back. Even as he spells out what is required in such clear, shocking terms, inside he is longing for them to accept it. He’s rooting for them, but the cost is the cost. it’s non-
Look at these three men who Jesus confronted with his demands, and consider "THE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS".
We read of the first man in VERSES 57-
1. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS HAS NO EARTHLY SECURITY.
READ Vs. 57-
It’s quite a bold statement this one makes, isn’t it?! "I will follow you whereveryou go!" Can you say that without any idea of where this Jesus may be headed or what may be involved in the journey?! Perhaps you need some more information first, and then if you’re still willing to follow all well and good. Jesus replies that to follow him "wherever he’s going" will not be an easy road. He’s not one of these "high-
Faith Deliverance Ministry is a true faith ministry. We are not looking to gain large crowds in our churches. If this happens we will certainly welcome it, but we are looking for people who will sell out to God and follow Jesus wherever Jesus leads us. We are not looking for large offerings from the people who come to fellowship with us. We simply teach people to obey God’s word when it comes to finances and their giving’s. Faith Deliverance Ministry teaches the correct way of giving so that people can beware of scams to make the church rich and the individual broke.
When Jesus stepped out of his throne in glory to come to the earth and live and die for us, he left behind all that he had. He exchanged wealth for poverty; out of the ivory palaces into a rude cattle shed. He exchanged rulership for servanthood. He says, "Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head". What an irony . . . the King of glory -
Those who follow Jesus Christ must be prepared for the same road. NO EARTHLY SECURITY. Now note, I haven’t said "NO SECURITY". Oh, there is security in following Jesus all right; but it’s not any earthly security. It’s not the security of possessions, or money, or homes, or such things. Only the security of God’s faithfulness, and a life beyond this one that nothing can take away! Though the Christian have nothing to his name in this life, yet he is more secure than the richest, most powerful of men. But the follower of Jesus has NO EARTHLY SECURITY. If you’re going to follow Jesus and walk his road, it may well cost you everything! So COUNT THE COST! But remember the words of Jesus elsewhere, he said: "WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT!"
Then we read of a second man in VERSES 59-
2. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS HAS NO EARTHLY TIES.
READ Vs. 59 -
Here we have a conversation that has shocked many people; it shocked me when I first read it! Jesus calls this man to be his disciple, but he begs leave to go and bury his father first. Doesn’t this seem like a reasonable request?! You feel sympathy for the man, don’t you, as you read it. BUT JESUS REPLIES: "Let the dead bury their own dead: I’ve called you to preach for me." WOW!
The point Jesus makes here, and let no one mistake it, is that if you’re going to follow Jesus Christ then the claims of his kingdom come before anything and anyone else. Jesus said elsewhere that, "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me". NOW you get the picture of the kind of devotion that he is calling for! He’s not calling for us to dishonor parents, or shirk our responsibility to family, BUT IF WE ARE PRESSED INTO A CHOICE BETWEEN THE TWO, HE COMES FIRST! And indeed, some have had to lose family to follow Christ. The follower of Jesus has no ultimate earthly ties! So, Jesus says: "LEAVE IT BEHIND!" Let me cast a little further light on this conversation perhaps. When this man says, "Let me first go and bury my father", it might help us to have an insight into Jewish funeral procedure. An initial burial took place shortly after a person’s decease. This man is not locked away in ‘mourning’, so we may assume that that burial had already taken place. But then one year later, after the first burial, (and I won’t go into the graphic reasons for it!), the son would return to re-
I hear young people saying, "I’ll follow Jesus later on. I’ve other more important things to attend to right now. My career, my education, my girlfriend, my boyfriend. I’ve go to provide a nest egg for my family first; wouldn’t God want me to be responsible like that?!" If God is calling you to follow him, to commit your life to Christ, or to take up ministry for him, or whatever it may be, HIS CALL COMES FIRST! No excuse must be allowed to hinder you.
The follower of Jesus has no earthly ties. LEAVE IT BEHIND.
Then finally, we come to the third man in VERSES 61 -
3. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS HAS NO EARTHLY DISTRACTIONS.
READ Vs. 61-
Again, doesn’t this seem like a reasonable request? Would you deny a soldier going to war one last chance to bid his loved ones farewell?! But again, Jesus clearly spells out the cost of following him. "Sir, you’ve already declared you are ready to follow me -
When Peter, James and John followed Jesus, they literally dropped their fishing nets to go after him. And right when it looked like business was picking up too! Some have looked back when God called them forward. Let me list some of them for you. LOT’S WIFE. JUDAS ISCARIOT. DEMAS. Is any of them remembered for any good thing? They were not worthy of the kingdom. If you’re going to follow Jesus, there must be no going back. Another reason why we count the cost FIRST!
Another way Jesus put it was like this: "Which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise,when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish". The true follower of Jesus allows NO EARTHLY DISTRACTIONS. We don’t look back for anything or anyone. Jesus’ words are strong, aren’t they?! Here is what it will cost you to follow after Jesus. In short, it will cost you EVERYTHING. He calls for us to commit ourselves completely to him, and hold nothing back. And that is the picture of the authentic Christian.
The follower of Jesus has NOT EARTHLY SECURITY; NO EARTHLY TIES; and NO EARTHLY DISTRACTIONS.
Jesus said to the first man: "COUNT THE COST". He said to the second man: "LEAVE IT BEHIND". And He said to the third man: "DON’T LOOK BACK". What’s he saying to YOU today?! Well, you’ve heard the COST of following Jesus. You might well say, "Who then would ever consider following him?" Well, perhaps to answer that we should briefly consider the COST OF NOT FOLLOWING HIM!
WHY DON’T YOU HONOR ME?
Malachi 1:6 -
1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the father, where is myhonor? And if I am a master, where is my reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise my name. Yet you say, in what way have we despised your name?
1:7 You offer defiled food on my altar. But say, in what way have we defiled you?By saying, the table of the Lord is contemptible.
1:8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offethe lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?Says the Lord of hosts.
1:9 But now entreat God's favor, that he may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, will he accept you favorably?Says the Lord of hosts.
1:10 Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, so that you would not kindle fire on my altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,says the Lord of hosts, nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, my name shall be great among the Gentiles;In every place incense shall be offered to my name, and a pureoffering; for my name shall be great among the nations,says the Lord of hosts.
1:12 But you profane it, In that you say, the table of the Lordis defiled; and its fruit, its food, is contemptible.
1:13 You also say, Oh, what a weariness!And you sneer at it,says the Lord of hosts. And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?Says the Lord.
1:14 But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and takes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemishedfor I am a great king,says the Lord of hosts, and my name is to be feared among the nations.
2:1 And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.
2:2 If you will not hear, and if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to my name,says the Lord of hosts, I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart.
2:3 Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it.
2:4 Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that my covenantwith Levi may continue,says the Lord of hosts.
2:5 My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might fear me; so he feared me and was reverent before my name.
2:6 The law of truthwas in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walkedwith me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.
2:7 For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
2:8 But you have departed from the way; youhave caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,says the Lord of hosts.
2:9 Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base before all the people, because you have not kept my ways but have shown partiality in the law.
WHY DON’T YOU HONOR ME?
Malachi 1: 6
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear (reverence)? Living for God can become a ritual rather than a relationship! A ritual causes a lack of genuine joy and poor quality sacrifices. When it is a relationship we take great joy in sacrificing. God asked Israel a Question:
… it seemed that God wasn’t pleased with either their sacrifices or service. They were giving sacrifices to the Lord, they were attending worship services at the Temple … so what was wrong? It wasn’t just that they gave, it was what they gave … sick diseased animals for sacrifices and ritualistic attendance at the Temple without a genuine joy or thanksgiving in their heart toward God!
They had lost their focus on the purpose of worship.
They had lost their focus on who God is.
God expects the best from us because he always gives his best to us.
I. DISHONORING GOD’S CHARACTER
1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lordof hosts unto you, O priests thatdespise my name. And ye say wherein have we despised thy name?
1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say the table of the LORD is contemptible.
1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick is it not evil? Offer it now untothy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? Saith the Lordof hosts.
1:9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? Saith the Lordof hosts.
1:10 Who isthere even among you that would shut the doors for nought? Neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, Saith the Lordof hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
Their relationship with God slipped into just a weekly commitment to keep at the temple the joy disappeared from worship.
Instead of looking forward to getting to the temple for worship they were looking forward to getting out of temple for home! (Does this sound familiar?)
… Instead of giving their best they gave their worst sacrifices and leftovers!
They were unwilling worshippers!
They were unwilling givers!
In their prosperity they resented what God wanted from them, (The deceitfulness of riches). He wanted their very best and not their leftovers … we tend to give better when we have less than when we have more! They had lost focus on God and got lost in self and the rituals of worship! They had taken pride in calling themselves God’s sons yet did not honor God as a proper father! God asked, 1:6
"If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" They were good at declaring it, but not good at showing it! They still went through the motions, came to temple, brought a sacrifice, said the prayers, did the songs, etc. but their hearts were far from God.
This was evident by the joyless attendance
This was evident by the sickly sacrifices
This was evident by the lousy attitude
God asks them to consider giving the same quality sacrifices to their own governor and see how he likes it!
1:8 "Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you? Says the LORD Almighty." The problem wasn’t a lack of service, it was the quality of service!
1: 11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lordof hosts.
12 But ye have profanedit, in that ye say the table of the Lordis polluted and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 Ye said also, behold, what a weariness is it! And ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lordof hosts; and ye brought that which was torn and the lame, and the sick thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? Saith the Lord.
14 But cursed be the deceiver (Cheat) which hath in his flock a male, and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing for I am a great king, saith theLordof hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Their not honoring God would not keep God from being honored in the world … God will still be honored by the nations in good time!
Their not worshiping God properly would be their loss.
They were at least giving something! They did care about their image, so they did give, but they gave their leftovers!
God would accept a poor sacrifice … if it came from someone who was poor.
They had been blessed, but they held the best for themselves while giving God the worst of what they had.
God identifies the problem "Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord." God calls such a person a "cheat" who can give better sacrifices but chooses not to. They refused to give their best but expected God to continue blessing them.
This can be the attitude of worshippers today too, we want God’s best but don’t give God our best. We sometimes refuse to give anything for God because we are bitter that God hasn’t blessed us better! If we have the ability to give to God good sacrifices and we instead give him poor ones we will not find joy in our relationship with God.
We show the kind of joy we have in our relationship with God by the kind of sacrifices we make to him.
This is why God loves a cheerful giver; because he knows they have joy in their giving. If you are wondering what this message has to do with you consider the way we are serving God. Some people in church only go show up at Easter and Christmas. Some people only come to service when it is convenient to do so, some would rather go to a birthday party than church. Some are very talented and can teach and sing and work in the church but it is too much trouble, just feel good that they show up when they can.
Jesus’ church seeks WORKERS not WATCHERS.
Some pay tithes right down to the last penny $9.42 but want a $200.00 blessing.
II. DISHONORING GOD’S COVENANT
2:1 And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you.
2:2 If ye will not hear and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lordof hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dungupon your faces, even the dungof your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.
2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenantmight be with Levi, saith the Lordof hosts.
2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
God shows his displeasure towards the ones who failed to correct God’s people, the priests! The spiritual leaders should have addressed the problem, but they didn’t! They were too worried about their own popularity rather than God’s honor. They were afraid to confront the people about their giving, instead they chose to just sit back and complain about the portions they got from sickly sacrifice. They were full of resentment over what they got, but not enough to confront the people about their giving! They were cowards in preaching the truth! In the last days when leaders will be afraid to speak the truth and so will teach what itching ears want to hear! It is imperative that we preach the truth … we get the kind of church we preach for! If not challenged, God’s people will wander from the truth.
The role of the priest is not to be popular with man, but with God … and thus he or she must stand in the gap at times and speak the truth in love. No wonder God rebuked the priests of Malachi’s day … they had failed to do this. The results were evident in the life of the nation, people worshipped God out of obligation instead of their heart.
You don’t become popular by telling people what they want to hear, you tell them the truth. A watered down gospel won’t make a preacher more acceptable to the world, it will only show a preacher that he or she is a waste of talent if all we have to say is what the world already says! What really counts in life is that God is pleased with us, the rest comes from respect that others have in knowing we are disciplined enough to follow God’s ways instead of the world.
What would God have to say about your sacrifices?
Do you give him the best … or the leftovers and diseased stuff?
Do you find real joy in worship, or is it just ritual to you?
Do you find yourself wanting to do less and less for God?
Israel gave the worst sacrifices but wanted God’s best -
"You shall not murder." Traditionally, we’ve thought of this commandment as "Thou shalt not kill." That was the older translation, from the year 1611. Of course, then we run into problems, because God actually commands the death penalty for some offenses . . . in other places, he commands war. People are always killed in war, so what does this commandment mean? The problem is solved by understanding "kill" as the word "murder."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the 10 commandments with her 5 & 6 year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor your father and mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Quickly, one of the kids answered, "Thou shalt not kill."
Are you a murderer? Probably not in the "pull the trigger sense." Why God gave this command to not murder another person:
Because we are made in the image of God. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 We are the very top of the creation of God, the very greatest things he created on this earth. We are created with God’s very image stamped on us. That doesn’t mean that God looks like we do – it means that our spiritual being is shaped like his. God has a mind, we have a mind. God has a will, we have a will. God has emotions, and we have emotions. This is the reason you’ll never see a depressed cow! They weren’t created in God’s image. Because God is the giver of life. "He is the God who made the world and everything in it. . . He himself gives life and breath to everything." Acts 17:24-
In the OT, God laid out these laws. Don’t kill. Don’t commit adultery. That’s pretty straight forward. But God is not just concerned with the outside, he’s also concerned with your heart! He’s not just concerned that your body is doing the right actions, he’s concerned that your heart has the right attitudes! Jesus came along and said, "God’s not just interested in whether you kill, he’s concerned with whether you would kill if you had the chance. He’s concerned with your heart – what you would do if you thought you could get away with it."
You understand the difference? Lots of men who would never cheat on their wife would have if they knew no one would ever find out! Lots of men who wouldn’t kill someone have been so angry and full of hate that if they knew no one would find out, they’d do it. God’s not just interested in your outside actions, he’s interested in your heart’s motives – not just what you do, but why you do it. So, Satan doesn’t succeed with many people trying to get them to actually pull the trigger, or stab the knife – but he is always trying to get us to break God’s command in "Heart" ways if he can’t get us to do it in "physical" ways!
Sneaky ways that Satan gets us to break this command:
1. By entertaining ourselves with those who break it. "...knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:32
The word "approve" in Greek means "enjoy or encourage". . . So let’s think about that:
"If a child watches 3-
Have you heard of the movie "Kill Bill?" How about "Texas Chain Saw Massacre?" While I’ve never seen it, I have read of it . . . the idea of the movie comes down to entertaining ourselves with murder!
That’s the reason that I personally have chosen to rarely watch movies . . . it’s not because there’s something evil about the electronics. It’s because if I am holy – a dwelling place set aside for God – then can I really entertain myself with something that God hates?
2. By defining life differently than God does. "You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." Psalm 139:15-
Today, too often, people value life only when the life doesn’t stand in the way of what they want. If the life looks like it may carry away their desires, then it’s time to get rid of the problem – the LIFE! Everyone knows that murder is wrong. So, what happens if the life that is carrying away your desires is a baby growing inside? Well, we get some Supreme Court Justices to say that this baby is not really alive! If it’s not alive, it can’t be murder, right?
3. By harboring anger and hatred for others. "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers’ were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him." I John 3:11-
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, "You fool! Will be in danger of the fire of hell." Matthew 5:21-
Remember, what Jesus did, is move the commandments from just outward actions – "kill" – to inward attitudes and motives – "hate."
So God doesn’t just care that you act right. He cares that you are right on the inside. You see, anger affects everyone. Not just you, but those around you. It’s very contagious! As Proverbs puts it, "Do not make friends with a hot-
SO HOW DOES THIS PREVENT PAIN IN MY LIFE?
Let me explain: If you break God’s commands on the outside, often the pain will be on the outside. (If you pull the trigger and kill someone, they’ll put you in jail.) But if you break God’s command on the inside, like we’ve been talking about in this lesson, guess where the pain comes? That’s right. It’s all on the inside! When you bottle up hatred and anger, when you have a heart to kill, even when your body wouldn’t do it, or when you have an abortion . . . they won’t put you in jail. But it will cause damage and pain and hurt in your heart that only God can heal! So let’s talk about that for a moment. How can I fight Satan’s plan to make me sin on the inside?
Here’s how to fight Satan:
1. Make it right between you and God. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
2. Learn to take God’s attitude toward evil. "You who love the Lord, hate evil!" Psalm 97:10
3. Define life like God does. "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book." Psalm 139:16
4. Instead of harboring hate, let God love through you. "...the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:5