Don’t Limit God

 by: Reverend Neal Cartin

 

  Good morning. It is a good morning isn’t it? This is a great and glorious day, because our Lord made it and has blessed us in it! Praise God!

 

Bow with me in prayer:

     Father, we humbly come before you this day, with praise and thanks. We give all glory and honor to you Lord, for with out you we are nothing. Father, I ask that you put your words in my mouth and that your message is heard and understood today. Let those who have ears to hear, let them hear your great and glorious Word today. For it is in Jesus name that I pray, Amen.

 

   So, as I was walking in here today, with my ratty jeans and hooded sweatshirt, I watched as most of you passed by just a gawking and I heard the whispering. In fact there is only one child of God that came up to me as I sat in the back pew and greeted me. Thank you sister. You see that there is a greater message to be sought after here. As I drove the 200 miles to get here today, I stopped at a coffee shop and as I was waiting for my coffee, I began talking to those around me about Jesus; I began to witness. Now if I would have walked in there wearing my Sunday best or my nice flashy robe here, do you think that they would have wanted to talk to me? They probably would have thought that I was just a holy roller, worse yet what do you think they would have thought if I walked in there with this nice robe. Now, now…I hear the chuckling going on.

 

   Now, most of you know that I got my start doing the Lord’s work, standing in the back of my pick up truck, wearing clothes just like these here. And God’s word reached many people. You see my friends, these clothes are my battle attire, and this, what I am wearing now, this is my ceremonial attire. In the Navy, I had my working clothes and my dress blues.

 

Now, moving along, the message today goes much deeper than the clothes I am wearing, or the clothes we are wearing. It dives into our hearts, our minds and our attitudes.

 

   I reduce who I can be as a wonderful creation of God, when I limit myself to what others think I should be!

 

   Repeat that with me: I reduce who I can be as a wonderful creation of God, when I limit myself to what others think I should be!

 

   When we limit ourselves, we are actually limiting God! We actually interfere and limit what God can do and wants to do in our lives. God has plans for us, His word tells us so. God wants us to be happy and live with peace and joy, He wants us to have love in our hearts; love for Him, love for ourselves and love for our neighbors. God doesn’t want us to struggle in life, He wants us to prosper. Now don’t get confused, Jesus promises trials and tribulations, persecution and temptation; but these help us to grow as Christians, and if we walk righteously with God and are obedient to Him then He will be there to hear and answer our prayers.

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

   Time and time again, as I travel across this great nation, I hear about people and families in turmoil, in trouble. I hear about people facing persecution, going through trials and tribulation. This isn’t what God wants; God doesn’t give us what He thinks we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given. He wants us to turn to Him, His word tells us so….

 

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

 

   Wow! Can you imagine? The Creator of the universe and all that is in it; God cares for you. He wants to hear your worries and your fears. He wants to help you with what you are going through.

 

   If you are struggling financially, instead of reaching for a hand out, lift both of your hands up…toward heaven and God. Put both of your hands up and pray to God, leave your troubles at the foot of the cross and have faith that God will handle it, because He will! Give God praise and thanks to Him in His house. Enter His courts with thanksgiving in your hearts. If you are struggling financially, how is your obedience in the tithe? If you tell me that you can’t tithe because of your bills, my response is that you need to be reading the book of Malachi, over and over until you get it. Have faith in God, be obedient in your tithe and see if He will not open up the store houses of heaven to you.

 

   At one point in my life my bills amounted to about $4200 a month; that’s not too bad. I was only bringing in about $3000 a month. Out of every pay check the first thing that I did was make out my check for what my tithe was. My bills all got paid, every month! I give Him praise honor and glory in His house. Thank you Father for carrying me.

 

   God wants you to make your problems His problems. God wants it all, the big and the small. God wants that intimacy with you; He wants that personal relationship with you. How quick are you in turning to God and giving your troubles to Him?

 

   Are any among us here today having troubles or are struggling in relationships/ Raise your hands. Thank you. How is your relationship with God? Are you obedient in your walk with God? Are you reading your Bible every day? Are you praying often? How is your walk, are you being obedient to God and the call that He has placed on your life? Or, are you still harboring sin in your life? Saints. If your relationship with God is suffering then all of your other relationships will be suffering as well; regardless if you know it or not.

 

And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31

 

   Have you put God first in your life? Do you spend more time with God each day than your wife, job, or computer games? The Bible teaches us that none of us have been able to do this.

 

And God spoke all these words, saying:
       “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt
, out of the house of bondage.
       “You shall have no other gods before Me.
       “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
       “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Exodus 20:1-7

 

   Have you ever used the Lord’s name in vain? Replacing a filthy cuss word with His holy, holy name? The Lord sees all He hears all and the Lord will not hold him guiltless who uses His name in vain on the day of judgment.

 

   Remember the movie “Fireproof?” The main character had a poor relationship with God; therefore His relationship with his wife suffered. Do you give God the glory in all that you do? The man’s wife in “Fireproof,” was actually in an adulterous relationship with a married doctor.

 

“You shall not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28

 

   In the movie “Fireproof,” Kirk Cameron found out what God already knew!

 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:12-13

 

Eventually, what you are trying to hide from God and others will be revealed. Which brings me now to those who lie and cheat…what does the Bible say?

 

No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:8-10

 

   If your relationship with God is poor, all of your other relationships will suffer as well! The SAME Principle applies to the parent-child relationship, the sibling relationship and all relationships. I could go on, but I think the message is loud and clear here.

 

   One last thing about relationships: When we speak of adultery; our chastity should be as dear as our lives. We should be afraid of what defiles the body as well as what destroys it. Amen? Amen.

 

   Are any of you having medical issues or other issues with your health? Well, God created us, I am quite certain He knows better than anyone how we were put together, how we work. It only makes sense to me that we turn to Him when we are sick and/or injured. GOD CAN HEAL YOU! Ask Him to! Pray to Him, He hears and answers our prayers. Keep in mind that you may not get the answer you want. Remember what God told Paul when Paul was asking God to remove the thorn from his side. “My grace is sufficient for you” was the response.

 

   The Gospels are loaded with examples of faith leading to people being healed. Their faith leading to their healing.  How is your faith? Look at the lady with the bleeding disorder, she just touched the robe of Jesus and was made well. She had faith! How about the Centurion whose son was made well just because of his faith. My favorite is recorded in the book of Luke; the men who carried their friend in to be healed, but when they got to where Jesus was it was too crowded. They cut a hole in the roof and lowered their friend down. Why would anyone do such a thing? Well, because of their faith their friend was healed, he was made well. Where is your faith? If you have faith you too can be healed. So if you are sick and/or injured; then pray to God so He can heal you and have the faith that He will.

 

   You can have faith enough to move a mountain into the sea. God tells you that you can. The Bible says, if you have as much faith as is in a the size of a “mustard seed” the smallest of seeds.

 

   God can heal you! God will heal you! Pray to Him and have faith so that He can heal you!

 

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

 

   God will do His part when you start doing your part; pray and have faith.

 

   I reduce who I can be as a wonderful creation of God, when I limit myself to what others think I should be!

 

   What would I attempt to do if I knew that I could not fail? Or better yet, what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

 

   Years ago I was quite the golfer; practice, practice practice and then I would go play in pro-ams, as an amateur of course. This one tournament I accepted money for my prize and lost my amateur status, so I decided to try out for the PGA tour. I was known as a Monday morning qualifier. That’s where you go play a one day event with 300-400 other guys and if you are in the low four in scores you actually get to go to the PGA tournament.

 

   I practiced everyday, in the rain, high winds and yes sadly enough even in the snow. Needless to say, I was laughed at, mocked; I even had people try to humiliate me. Even my own mother and father mocked me and scoffed at me. I was to short, I was to fat, and I didn’t have a good enough tan or game. Still, I practiced and practiced and I would go to these Monday morning qualifying events; this while I was holding down a 48 hour a week job.

 

   I would go to all of these events and all of the negatives would keep running through my mind. Satan was trying to keep me down. That is until 1 day I woke up and prayed, “Father, help me, not for my glory but for yours. That’s when I found out that God knows how to golf. Up to this point, I allowed others to dictate who I was and what I did.

 

   That Monday I qualified with the low score, so I was finally going to the show, the actual PGA tournament. My dad was with me, imagine his shock, but instead of telling me how proud he was, he just scoffed at me. Instead of practicing any more, I found a local church and spent some time with God. I started the tournament Thursday with, Father, not for my glory but for yours.” Long story short, I took second place overall in the tournament.

 

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

 

 

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENTHENS ME!

Give Him praise in His house! Amen.

 

 

   I stopped allowing people to dictate who I was and what I did, and started to allow God to do just that!

 

   Saints, satan uses this as a trap!

 

   I don’t know if you have noticed, but all of my life I have always been short and heavy…ok fat! All of my life, I was picked last for sports and usually wasn’t allowed to play if I was picked. I stopped questioning God and started giving my all for Him. God created me, He doesn’t make mistakes; God thinks I am perfect, therefore I am perfect! Guess what? God created you, so you are perfect! When you tell yourself or lead yourself to believe that you are what others want you to be …you fall into satan’s trap. Yes I am short and fat; not heavy, not husky, I am fat! I am perfect! God made me, I must be perfect because God doesn’t make mistakes! I use what He gave me to bring Him glory and honor, I’m not going to question God. When it comes to playing softball, I actually make short, fat people look good.

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

 

   I run fast, I jump high, I hit the ball well, and yes I am very successful at diving for pop flies and making catches.

 

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

 

   Thank you Father, thank you for making me in your image and making me perfect! Praise you Father; all praise honor and glory are yours. Amen.

 

 

   I see your Pastor looking at his watch, so I will finish this up with 1 last point. Gratitude. Gratitude, when things are going poorly, give God thanks, when things are going good, give God thanks.

 

 

   Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life that God has given you. Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow!

 

HALLELUJAH!!!

 

   Show God some gratitude right now by standing and shouting to heaven, with your arms raised to Him, thank you Father, Praise you Father! Hallelujah!

 

   Thank you.