II Chronicles 7:13-15  

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;   If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

I believe we should be doing something that can change America and bring back God’s blessings upon America again.  I do not think we should be focused on “Make America Great again, but instead our focus should be on God Bless America Again.  God, I believe is removing His hand of blessing off this country and I believe it is the fault of the church, not the government.  Let us look at these verses today and do some examination of the heartbeat of the church in America today.

First consider what is happening in the world today:

  1. Wildfires in Australia and no rain to help put them out
  2. Locust in Africa eating all their crops and they are now in a second go round and they say it is 20 times larger than the first.
  3. Covid-19, a worldwide pandemic that has many “Christians” scared to go out.
  4. Widespread unemployment and people losing their businesses and their jobs
  5. A projected food shortage even here in America
  6. Politician threatening the Jewish and Christian communities to comply or go to jail
  7. A record high number of earthquakes
  8. Politicians who are mocking Christians and saying they hope we get the virus and die
And the list goes on.

Let us take a hard look at this now

  1. God said he would shut-up the rain
  2. God said he would send the locust
  3. God said he would send pestilence
  4. God gives a formula for the healing of the land

If my people who are called by my name – We are the people of God if we are born again

John 1:11-14

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

If my people will humble themselves –

James 4:10

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

If my people will pray –

Isaiah 56:7 

Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Jeremiah 7:11

Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.

If my people will seek His face

Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:   Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Psalm 93:3-7

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.  The sea is his, and  he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.  For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

If my people will turn away from wickedness

  • What culture has the church adopted?
  • Are churches still preaching and teaching the word of God?
  • Do people seek out churches because of the social and entertaining value, or because of the teaching and preaching on “thus saith the Lord”?

If my people will repent

  1. To repent means first, to admit we have strayed away from His word.
  2. To repent means to return to what we know to be right.
  3. To repent means we need to return to our first love.
Revelation 2:2-4

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:   And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love

Then He will hear

I John 5:14-15

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him

Then He will answer

He is bound by his word –

It is impossible for Him to lie

Hebrews 6:18 

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Then He will forgive  

Forgiveness means total restoration
Forgiveness means all our sin has been removed –
Forgiveness means all our sins are forgotten
Hebrews 8: 12

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Then He will heal –

Psalms 103:1-3

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;

he healeth all, but we have seen His requirement

NOTE verse 15-16: NOW

15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

Does Our Community Miss Our Church During This Time Of Lockdown?

Acts 2:42-47

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.   And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.   And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

This is a good time for us to access our relevancy within our community.  I contend that if the community would not, does not even notice that we are not here, then something is wrong within. Ask your self this question?  If every member were just like me what kind of church would your church be? Years ago, “The Mullins” recorded a song by this title.

The song is full of great questions.  Many people have sent me messages during the past month that I am putting too much importance on the church meeting, claiming they don’t need the church to worship God. Well let me ask you some questions then.

  1. If the local church was not important, why out of the 116 times the term is used in the NT, over 110 of these times it refers to a local called out assembly of believers meeting in a particular locality?
  2. Why in Hebrews 10 are we instructed to meet together often?
  3. Why in Acts did they bring their offerings into the church to be distributed as needed?
  4. Why is the term “churches” used by Paul so often?
1 Corinthians 16:1 

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1 Corinthians 16:19

The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

2 Corinthians 8:1 

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;

  • The church needs to teach biblical doctrine
  • The church needs to come together
Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works;  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

  • The church needs to fellowship
I John 1:3-7

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

  • The church needs to meet “material needs” of people who are unable to.
Acts 4:34-35

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,  And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

I Corinthians 16:1-3

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

  • The church needs to evangelize.
Acts 4:33

And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.   And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

  • The church needs unity in doctrine and practice
Acts 1:13-15

  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

  • The church needs to be growing in number
Acts 2:38-41

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

  • The church needs to be growing spiritually together
Galatians 6:1 

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

  • The church needs elders called by God to lead the flock
ACTS 16:21-23

And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Hebrews 13: 7 

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17-18

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

2 Timothy 4:2 

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

He gives us Grace

 II. Corinthians 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 – 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Hear Pastor Tilly’s personal testimony and message of grace

A.  This grace is always enough – 2 Corinthians 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Humility brings about an abundance of this Grace (more and enough to share –

Proverbs 3:34  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 

1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 

I Timothy 1:14-17 –  14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17  Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  Grace produces mercy

Grace is made possible by the longsuffering of God

True Grace always leads to praise on the part of the one who has received that grace

Being a loving member of the Body

I am often challenged by people to not love them. You know what I mean! Those who think their job is to criticize every move you make. They are the “devils” advocate they say. Well, quit!!!! God commands me to love you, so quit trying to make me not. You know, don’t you? You have a few “fellow believers” like that, I know you do. So what do you do? How do you react? LOVE. Drown them in love. That is what God is telling you they need.

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

What if, when your favorite agitator shows up, instead of being combative, you responded in love? I wonder if, over time, you could change an attitude for the better and make someone’s life more meaningful? The key to a really successful church family is love. People need the Lord more than anything else in their lives. The best way to show them Jesus, is to show them love. Learn to look at those who “are hard to get along with” as love projects. Find ways to do random acts of kindness for them. Send them a special gift of candy or flowers or maybe a certificate for a nice restaurant. Invest in their happiness, even at the expense maybe of some of yours.

Our church is filled with people who have been hurt or disillusioned. They are wondering if God is real, or if this Christian stuff is real. They have become estranged from the body and are alone and in need of someone, anyone, to show up and offer them the gift of love. Will you become a gift giver today? I hope you will.

Prayer: Father, I know that there are hurting people within our church. Show me at least one of them who I can reach out the hand of friendship and love. Help me put aside my own comfort and convenience and be your love in action to them, I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.


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