The Principle of Preparation
Hello everyone and thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Roderick caesar the third on the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york. And I’m so excited that you decided to join me for the full gospel hour right here on global seven. My prayers that you will be blessed. You’ll be encouraged and inspired by this message. Thank you so much for joining and God bless two worthy to be praised how he loves us. So God is such a good God uh, one that loves God, he loves us. And we’re so thankful God. We’re thankful for your love today, thankful for who you are, thankful that you see fit God, you see us where we are, you see us God in darkness and you transfer us from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of your beloved son and who in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. I thank you God because you don’t see us where we are and leave us where you are. But you make the first step the ultimate step, the ultimate sacrifice to bring us close to you because you love us too much to leave us in our sin. Love us too much to see us wallowing and our, our shame love us too much to leave us where sometimes we want to stay God. So we thank you so much for your compassion. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you God for keeping us day after day after day. I pray Lord that as this word goes forth that you would be glorified. We thank you, we praise you, We give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name. We pray amen the men. Amen and Amen. Today we are talking about reset. Uh huh. This is the year for our ministry for Bethel Gospel Tabernacle and those that uh call this ministry their home, this is the year of reset. Um and this reset process will be divided into different seasons. But right now, I I believe that we are in the season of preparation preparing to reset, preparing to reset and in any season preparation is always key. Preparation is always key. Re is is, let’s take a look at the word reset. Re is the prefix is a prefix and it means back or again back or again. Uh and to set is to put something or someone in a particular place or two place in a particular position or posture or to place uh in some relation to something or someone new to set or to put in some condition and to reset then is to set again to be put in position again, to be put in place again. Why do we reset? We reset for a number of reasons as Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. Uh, for those who may not know, we will be 90 years old next year. Okay, next year, yes, that is cause for celebration. That is caused to say hallelujah Lord, you are good. Uh 1932 we were incorporated in my grandfather with the charter members started this ministry in 1932. So next year makes 90 years of ministry for us as a church and it’s a blessing to know that God has, where to see where God has brought us from, to know where God is taking us to. Uh, yes, that’s something to uh, be excited about because I’m, I’m overwhelmed just the longevity of this church and what God has been able to do through our obedience and surrender. But I think it’s also important for us to know that there comes a time that you have to press the reset button to uh, maybe renew your vows, so to speak to once again declare your commitment uh, to take inventory and look and see, okay, this works, This doesn’t work adjust and make necessary tweak so that we can grow as a ministry and I believe that’s the season that God is calling us into as we say, reset. So that’s the why for us as B G T as Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. But what about for us? As a people? What about for us as individuals? I believe as people, it’s important that we do the same thing. So many times we get into a habit, we get into a pattern, We get into a method and because we are creatures of habit. Oftentimes we just stay in that routine and we move along with that routine and everything seems to be perfectly fine and going fine. Uh, and sometimes we can be drained and not realize it, Sometimes we can need a bit of a shift, a bit of a curve ball, a bit of a reset button in our lives and and not even realize it. Uh, and I believe that, you know, for people, we need to do the same thing. We need to evaluate, we need to improve. We need to submit to the process that God has us in for, to become new wine skins to hold the new wine right? Like we talked about last week because God is doing a new thing uh and reset is what we will do. Ultimately, if we’re speaking with us as individuals, whether you’re looking at your marriage, whether you’re looking at your finances, whether you’re looking at your parenting, your uh, you know, wardrobe, your house, whatever the situation is. A reset is something that we can do as individuals. It’s also something that will do as a church. But how many of you, how many of us know that in order to truly reset, we need to prepare for it. We need to prepare for it. Today, we are going to be looking at the principle of preparation. The principle of preparation. Turn with me in your bibles or follow on the screen to the book of Mark. Chapter one vs one through 8. Mark chapter one vs one through eight. The beginning of the Gospel of jesus christ, the son of God, as it is written in Isaiah, the prophet Behold, I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare your way? The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight. John appeared baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and all the country of judea and all the and all Jerusalem. We’re going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan confessing their sins. Now john was clothed, clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate Locusts and wild honey. And he preached saying after me, comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals, I am not worthy to stoop down and untie john has some bars, a little wrapper right there. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the holy spirit. Dear God, I thank you so much for this time, I thank you for your word. I thank you for your word or God. That has the ability to transform, that has the ability to build up, that has the ability to break down that has the ability to cut, that has the ability to bind up, has the ability to heal God. I thank you and I praise you for your word. I pray that as your word is spoken today that would have your desired effect over the lives of your people. I thank you. That we would have hearts that are open to receive the word that would fall on good ground on good soil. Today. We thank you. We praise you. We give you glory. We ask these things in jesus name. Amen. Amen. Last week we talked about, don’t resist the reset. We looked at jesus, speaking about the new wine, the new thing that he wanted to do and how new wine cannot be poured into old wine skins. If that’s the case, the old wine skins will expand to capacity and burst spilling the new wine spilling the blessing spilling. What God wants to do all over the place. But instead, what we see is that new wine must be poured into new wine skins. Right? We said that the new wine was continuing to ferment. Old wine was already fermented, It was done, but the new wine was continuing to ferment continuing to expand and it needed to be put into new wine skins that could expand with the new wine. And we said that’s something that the Lord wants to do is in us. Something the Lord wants to do is through us. And the beauty of what God is trying to do or wants to do is we need to be in a position to be able to receive. We need to be in a position to be able to when the Lord gives us this new thing or when God is trying to expand in us and through us, we need to be in a position to be able to hold what God is doing and instead not burst and make a mess all over the place. We need to be willing to embrace the new thing and to do that. We have to be willing to prepare for it. Now. It’s a nice thing to say. God. I want something new. Lord, give me something new. God. Yes, Lord, I want the new I embrace the new. It’s a beautiful thing to say because it sounds nice, but it’s another thing to live. It’s another thing to be prepared for it because we don’t want to be unable to hold the blessing that God gives us. We don’t want to make a mess of the new thing that God is doing. We don’t want the new thing to be uh, to come crashing down. And so I have a question for us today. Uh, it’s rhetorical. You don’t have to answer it. You can maybe answer it in your own time. But the question is this, are you paying for what you’re praying for? Are you paying for what you’re praying for? Yes. You know, he’s a miracle working God. He’s a miracle Working God. My God is a wonder. My God. It’s a miracle. He’s a miracle. Yeah, he’s a miracle working God. That’s a beautiful thing. There are some things that cannot get done will not get done unless God intervenes, unless God steps in, unless God puts the burden on his shoulders and gets the work, gets the job done, but we have a responsibility as well. There is something that we have to pay, whether it be in being obedient, whether it be in uh go roll away the stone, I’ll resurrect the dead or whether it be the disciples go and cast your net again on the other side. I’ll be the one that supplies the fish. There is something that we have to pay for, there is something that we have to do. There is something that we have to be committed in so that the miracle can take place so many of us we may be praying, praying, praying, praying, praying, But are you paying as well? There’s something that we have to engage in something that we have to do. Are you paying for what you’re praying for? The principle of preparation dictionary defines the principle as an adopted rule or method for application in action and adopted rule or method for application in action or a fundamental primary or general law or truth from which others are derived. So the principle of preparation, a ruler method, I will be prepared. You put this into action and as a result of this truth or this law of okay, if I’m prepared, I’ll be ready when the time comes. There are other principles that are derived from this principle of preparation. So that’s what preparation is. I need you guys to at your homes, wherever you’re watching this finish this thought with me finish. This thought for me. Excuse me. Yeah. Uh you can pay now and play later or you can play now and pay later, right? You can either pay now and play later or you can play now and pay later. How many of you that’s familiar to you? If you guys know that it’s a familiar saying pay now, play later. Play now pay later. The bottom line is this you’re always going to have to pay, you’re always going to have to pay. You’re like, yo I want a free option, don’t we all, don’t we all? But you always have to pay. You can either pay now or later. The choice is up to you. The choice is up to you. You can either pay now or later. But if you pay now then you can play later, you can enjoy the fruits of your paying now. But if you play now later, you’re gonna have to pay for it? You’re always going to have to pay. The real question is when would you rather pay, when would you rather pay? Another question is? At which time will it be more expensive? You have a job to do? You have a job to get it because you’re gonna pay either way. Will the price be more expensive now? Over the price be more expensive later? The cost? I generally think that paying later would be costly. More costly probably because of something that if you’ve ever taken out a loan or done anything, something called interest now interest is if the bank gives you some money over a period of time, there’s interest that’s added to this. So it’s okay, you owe this much. But let’s just, you know, Sprinkle some some dollars and cents over here over a period of time. If you pay this now, it’s taken care of. But if you if you wait that that price becomes to get more and more and more. And the same thing applies when we’re speaking about life, speaking about getting things done. Oftentimes if we get it done now. Yeah, it’s gonna cost us. Yeah, we miss out on some fun here or maybe some fun there. But if we wait and whatever that thing is that you’re thinking about, whatever that responsibility is. If you wait and don’t do what you’re supposed to do in that window in that season and things maybe you forget or time continues to march at the beat of its own drum, not at the beach that you wanted to get done at, at the beat of its own drum. And if that happens, it often comes time with interest because you’ll get back to it and you maybe won’t be in the same season. You’ll have to stress now over something that you had time to do later because procrastination came in and you’re trying to figure out how can I get this done? How can I get this done? How can I get this done? Uh, maybe you’re doing a rushed job because you have a deadline to meet and if you got it done sooner, you wouldn’t have had to rush or maybe you have regrets wishing that things were different, wishing that man if I had only listened and done this sooner, listened and gotten this done instead of waiting years to have this conversation, I heard 1, 1, 1 uh 11 person said it like this. I I could uh either have a 30 minute difficult conversation that can help me in in a relationship or in a situation for the next year. You know, or I can avoid that 30 minute conversation and continue to have stress, continue to have anxiety, continue to have all these different things. So, you know, the thing is what, which time will it be more expensive? I think if you pay later with the interest that that comes up, it often happens to uh add to it and it can be a bit more expensive actor, Jake Gyllenhaal says that there is freedom on the other side of discipline, there is freedom on the other side of discipline and I believe that if we as believers are disciplined enough to prepare, we can enjoy the fruits of our preparation when God has called us to reap Hebrews. Chapter 12: verse 11 says for the moment. All discipline seems painful rather than pleasant. But later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness of those who have been trained by it. I believe the discipline that is spoken about here refers to yes, the discipline of God, but also the discipline. The practice of discipline in our lives. The practice of preparation in our lives, it seems painful to put off fun and get work done. But later on it can reap some uh some fruit that we’re thankful for, because we’ve been trained by discipline to say, you know what? Let’s get this done, let’s prepare for this. Now let’s get this situated Galatians. Chapter 6: verse seven says, do not be deceived. God is not mocked. You read what you saw whatever you sow you reap. God has called us to reap. But in order to reap you got a soul. If you don’t throw seeds down, you’re not gonna see a harvest, you’re not gonna. If you don’t plant anything, you dig nothing. Your hands are not, your hands are perfectly clean. Haven’t gotten them in any dirt. Your manicure is not messed up, everything is perfectly fine. You haven’t planted a thing and yet you’re saying, okay, God, let’s let’s grow this thing. Come on, praying for a miracle. God, grow this. Come on, grow this, But you haven’t sold anything. You haven’t sold anything yet, You’re expecting to reap Ecclesiastes. Chapter 11 and four says he who observes the wind. Well not so and he who regards the clouds will not reap if you’re too busy looking at the wind and looking at all what’s going on and saying okay uh I gotta wait all I gotta wait I gotta wait gotta wait. You gotta wait and never so uh you’re not gonna so but if you were if you regard the clouds and you’re so busy looking at all look at look at what’s happening here and look at what’s happening there. There’s gonna be a time where you’re gonna reap and you’re gonna miss it because you’re paying attention to something else. We have to be prepared. Saints of God texas. Second Corinthians chapter nine verse six says the point is this whoever so sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever souls bountiful we will reap bountiful e if you don’t so you won’t reap so get to work. So get to work people of God so get to work sons and daughters. So get to work Saints of God so get to work get to work prepare and then so don’t so aimlessly. I’m just gonna do this. I’m just gonna do that. I’m just gonna do this, I’m just gonna do that. No no no you have to prepare to so strategically so with purpose so aimlessly. But so with purpose so strategically proverbs. Chapter six. Solomon is writing and he says consider the ant, you slugger, consider her ways and be wise without having any chief officer or ruler. She prepares her bread in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you lie there? Oh slugger. When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber a little folding in the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man. Solomon is warning the reader that yes rest is beneficial, yes rest is good. But if we look at the account of creation, God worked six days rested, one many of us, we have it backwards. Oftentimes we we rest, rest, rest, rest rest and we maybe roll up our sleeves if we have some time left and get some things done but God calls us not to be lazy not to be slugger and sluggish not to be slothful but to rise up and to get to work to roll up our sleeves and get to work. There’s a preparation principle and a principle that in the kingdom, it’s not all about uh God you’re going to do this, so I do nothing. We as believers have to get to work, jesus says look there’s a time coming when no man can work so work now while it is day work now while you can work now while that window of preparation and that window of you being able to engage in hard work is still open and available to you, get the job done, get to work, Saints of God, consider the ant who works and works and works and prepares for the harsh times, prepares for the winter time, consider the ant and get these things accomplished, get these things done, Jesus used preparation jesus prepared Jesus was actually prepared for and this shows us that jesus uh this shows us that preparation is a principal in the Kingdom of God, in the Kingdom of God, preparation is a principle, it’s a kingdom principle. If we visit our text again, Mark Chapter one vs one through 8, the writer is saying in the beginning, this is the beginning of the Gospel of jesus christ is the top of Mark’s Gospel and he says this is the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus christ, the son of God as it is written in Isaiah the Prophet. So Mark starts off by saying this is the account of the gospel of jesus christ and then from there he takes us all the way back to Isaiah, you think he’d go forward, but he said, he goes back, he goes back to Isaiah the Prophet and says what I’m about to tell you, confirms what Isaiah said, there’s a preparation, this isn’t anything that’s brand brand new, but we’re kind of resetting it. This is something that’s been already said, but now it’s gonna look now we’re going to actually see it now, it’s not just gonna be words, it’s going to be in human form, it’s going to be reset behold as written in Isaiah, the prophet Behold, I send my messenger before your face who will prepare your way. The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight the original reader and to us reading this, we’ll say, okay, what, what does this mean? Why this why is Isaiah writing in code and why is Mark? Uh, repeating what he wrote, Mark is saying, look john the baptist is the fulfillment of this text. I send my messenger before your face. There’s a messenger that’s arriving before the face of God, jesus christ comes on the scene and this messenger’s job is to prepare the way this messenger’s job will be, he’ll be one that cries out in the wilderness and he’ll say prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight, john appeared in the wilderness, Jonna pierce. And then the text says that he baptized people in the wilderness and he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, Repentance for the forgiveness of sins, A different baptism. He’s saying, okay, you must repent and have your sins forgiven, not just go and sacrifice a calf, but you have to repent now and have your sins forgiven and be baptized and all of the country and all of judea and all of Jerusalem, this is something that got the ears and the hearts of people, they came out, they were going to john, they were being baptized in the river Jordan, they were confessing their sins and now watch this, Mark goes on to detail what john looked like. John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and he ate Locusts and wild honey. Now this sounds like a deranged person, especially in this time, this wasn’t a regular style of the day, like yeah, you know, I’m on that locus and honey diet, you know it wasn’t, it wasn’t a regular thing. Uh but what we see here is he’s clothed with camel’s hair, wore a leather belt around his waist, ate Locusts and honey. This echoes the prophets of old, this echoes the old testament prophets that we may read about who everyone saw and said something different about you and how much just back away a couple of feet because you’re saying some crazy things and you look kind of out of it. But john is echoing some of this uh of what’s going on here and what Mark is saying is just as the prophets were preparing the way and saying this messiah is coming, this messiah is coming, this messiah is coming right now in jesus time, in his same generation, in his same season, there’s gonna be someone literally right before him that says look, there’s somebody coming and he’s preaching and he’s saying after me after me, which means I am the one laying the groundwork, I’m the one preparing, but there’s somebody coming after me after me comes he who is mightier than I, who is stronger than I who is greater than I here goes john with the bars, the strap of whom? Sandals, I’m not worthy to stoop down and untie boom drop the mic Oh and it’s crazy because he’s realizing, he says, I’m not the guy that you’re looking for. I know you guys are coming to me getting baptized, but I’m not the guy, he’s coming, he’ll be here in a couple minutes, just give him some time, give him some time. That’s my cousin. By the way, you know, we we go way back, but give him some time, he’ll be here. And then he says something else. He says, I’m preparing this way, I’m not worthy to untie him. So he’s greater than I, I’m doing great works, Yes, but he’s going to do greater works than I, I’m just preparing you for what he’s coming to do. And then john says, I have baptized you with water, I have said look, repent and be forgiven, I baptize you with water so you can be cleansed, but he will baptize you with the holy spirit, He will baptize you with fire. He will baptize you with power, he will baptize you with the ability to live right with the holy spirit, jesus says before me, john says, look, I’m before Jesus, I’m older than jesus, he prepared the way prepared the way and this is all always see in this texas preparation, he’s saying, look, I came before jesus, I look like the prophets of old who prepared the way now for me to come and say I’m preparing the way for jesus. So I’m basically rolling out the red carpet, so Jesus has an easier time to do what he’s called to do. Jesus, John was born before jesus, there were cousins and they both had miracle births. Uh john’s mother, Elizabeth being old in age, but yet God blessed her womb and she gave birth to john jesus as we know, being born of a virgin. And they both had miracle births. But they met in the womb, there was a time when mary and moe and and and uh mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time and they come near each, they come near to each other to you know, say hello to give greetings. And both the their Children leaped in the womb to greet one another as if they knew in the womb. They were destined for something great, destined to do something that the Lord had called them to since, as they were formed and as john was formed in the mother’s womb. And so what we realized is, john is older, he was born before jesus and I want us to hear what uh john the book of john who was not written by john the baptist but the book of john says about john the baptist says this, there was a man sent from God whose name was john and he came as a witness to bear witness about the light that all might believe through him, he was not the light but came to bear witness about the light, the true light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world, it’s a lot of light, but God is preparing us for the true light so he sends john and john is bearing witness about this true light that’s coming, john is saying look, I may be a flashlight, but literally the sun is coming to you and it’s gonna burn so bright but I’m coming to bear witness about this light that’s coming, the sun that is coming, I’m not the light, but I’m going to be a witness about the light, the true light, Jesus christ is coming into the world, that’s a beautiful thing. It lays the groundwork for preparation, let us know that Jesus was prepared for literally the miracle, the messiah, the son of God was prepared for, we must prepare as well for the miracles were expecting. But another thing that I wanted to grasp and understand is yes john prepared the way john was there before jesus that’s preparation that’s preparing for the thing that we want to see come but the second thing is john wouldn’t always be there, john wouldn’t always be there Now. In John Chapter three verse 25, a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a jew over purification and they came to john and said to him, Rabbi, he who was with you, across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, look, he is baptizing and all of the, all of, all of the people that were with us are going to him. So they’re basically saying, yo um john we love what you’re doing, baptizing is great and all, but um I want you to see what’s happening here, the people that were once following us are now following jesus, they’re not going to be baptized by jesus, um what’s what’s going on here? And john answers and says, a person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given to him from heaven, you yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the christ, but I have been sent before him, john once again knowing who he is saying, look, I am the preparer, I’m preparing the way I am sent before christ, the one who has the bride, the one who these people are going to is the bride groom remember last week, when we spoke about jesus saying how can they fast if the bride groom is still with them, but there’s gonna be a time when the bride groom is not with them, when I ascend then they will fast, I’m the bride groom, jesus says and john says, look, the one who has the bride, the one that these people are going to, he’s the bride groom or just the groom. I’m the friend of the bride groom. I stand, I hear about this, I rejoice greatly at the bridegroom’s voice, I rejoiced greatly because Jesus is on the scene, I rejoice greatly because people aren’t coming to me, but they’re going to him, that’s what my purpose is for. Therefore this joy of mine is complete and then he says something so key in verse 30, he says, he must increase, but I must decrease. John says that jesus must increase, but I must decrease. So he knows his purpose, he knows and says, look, I’ve come to prepare the way so now I gotta bow out gracefully, he must increase. I must decrease. John said this, but I doubt he knew what it would ultimately mean, that that as we know, john was martyred and beheaded by the king at the time and jesus mourns his death and his disciples. They all mourn, john’s death, but john ultimately decreased and was removed from the picture because this purpose was served and I believe that as we’re looking through this text, john is a representation of preparation, representation of us having the time to be prepared, having the time to get the job done, having the time to say, okay, I’m going to get my things in order, having the time to say, okay, I’m gonna put this here, put this here, I’m going to do the work, I’m going to get the work done so that when it’s when it’s time to do what I know I should be doing, I’m prepared and I’m ready, I’m prepared and I’m good, I’m good, I’ve got this. But if we learn anything from john, it’s that one day, the season of preparation will leave the window of time that we have to prepare will close and the time to perform the time to produce the time to uh show what you’ve been preparing will be before you, will you be ready or not ready or not? Here? I come right, you can hide. That’s what that moment is saying to you, I’m gonna find you, are you ready when that moment pops up? Like hey, what’s up? I’m here. Have you been preparing for me and this, this, this goes in our lives in terms of uh things that maybe we want to accomplish, the things that maybe we have to be prepared for. But it also applies to our walk as believers because the text speaks about jesus coming like a thief in the night, like hey, I’m just gonna pop up uh are you as my bride ready? And jesus has countless parables about people that already and people that aren’t ready. People that are prepared and people that aren’t prepared one day that time should be prepared will close that window to be prepared will be done and we have to say, have we prepared or not? It would all boil down to hey pay now play later play, now pay later. He must increase. But I must decrease one day that prep season of preparation will leave when that window closes and it’s time for you to produce. It’s time for you to show what you’ve prepared. Will you be ready? There’s a kingdom principle of being prepared, being prepared, being prepared for the reset. The question I asked at the beginning of the message was, are you paying for what you’re praying for? Are you paying for what you’re praying for? Say it with me. Type it in the chat. I will put in the work, type it in the chat. If you’re listening, I will put in the work, put in the work, put in the work, put in the work. Saints of God, this cannot be overstated. The will uh, to reset the desire to reset. It’s a beautiful thing. But we need to work for it as I was praying through how to uh wrap this up and conclude. I was like, okay, well, you know, God prepare our hearts, prepare our minds, prepare our uh, hearts prepare our minds, prepare our uh finances and prepare our bodies. And I said, you know what? That’s a wonderful thing to ask God to do it. But we need to be willing to put in the work. So what I want us to write down, I’m going to give us uh four things that were praying for God to prepare for us. But the prayer that I want us to pray is God be with me as we prepare my heart. Mind body and my money. Excuse me, my heart, my mind, my body. The 4th thing is my money um be with me as we prepare my heart. My mind, my body and my money where my finances, we have to put the work in. That’s why I say we prepare because there’s a step that we have to take. It may be a small step, but we need to own it. We need to own 100% of our small step, whatever it is, if we compare what we’re doing, so what God’s going to provide, we need to own 100% of whatever it is, God has called us to be with me. Lord, don’t leave me, don’t forsake me be with me as we prepare my heart. The book of Ezra chapter seven verse 10 Ezra goes hand in hand with Nehemiah. The books were written as one joint book and we realized that Ezra went to go prepare the hearts of the people to be turned back to God right before Nehemiah was building the wall. And the text says in Ezra chapter seven verse 10, Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to do it and teach his statutes and rules in Israel. The new king James version says, Ezra had prepared his heart, prepared his heart to study God to seek God, to study the things of God to chase after God. You can prepare your heart. Many of us were walking into things unprepared, holding on to things, not in a position that’s ready and willing to let go of things were going into God’s presence, saying change me, God, change me God and we’re holding on to things or Lord do something new in my life. God do something new and we’re holding onto things behind our backs as if God can’t see them. But Ezra prepared his heart. We have to work at preparing the ground. We have to work at preparing our hearts to seek and chase after God. How do we do this? We prepare our hearts by allowing God to search our hearts and that can be uncomfortable. There’s no one likes, you know, being being searched. You know when you go through uh fly somewhere, go through a checkpoint or anything like that. They gotta, you know, scan, scan, you know, and then they go through your bag if your bag beeps or whatever and nobody likes that. But if that’s what it takes to get on the plane, that’s what we’re gonna do. So search me God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any grievous or wicked way within me and lead me in the way everlasting. So in order for us to say, God prepare my heart, we have to have God’s search our heart search our hearts and this is where it starts because it applies everywhere else. So we want God to search our heart, prepare our heart. Be with me, God as I prepare my as we prepare my heart, secondly, be with me God, as we prepare my mind, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That by testing you may discern what’s the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect. There’s a way that we have been thinking that God has caused, called us to think no more. There is a way that we have been living as a result of the way we’ve been thinking that God has called us to shift and walk in no more. First Peter says, We must be prepared for action. All of these things are action. God shifting our heart, God resetting our mind God resetting our body. God resetting our finances. Uh, understand that, Peter says, prepare your minds for action. Be sober minded and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you. At the revelation of jesus christ, my hope is built on nothing less than jesus blood and righteousness. The hope and the grace that is brought to us at the revelation of jesus, christ paul writes in Philippians have this mind among yourselves, which is also in christ, jesus, which is yours. In christ jesus, there’s a mind of humility that we can have. We can have the mind of christ. You can stop thinking our own way. Stop doing our own way. Stop leading our own way. Why? Because we’re thinking with ourselves, but we have to so be submitted to the spirit that we have the mind of christ. What would christ do? How would christ move? So Lord I pray that you would be with us as we prepare our minds. Thirdly, we need to prepare our bodies for the reset for what God is doing. Do you not know? Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, You are not your own. You were bought with a price or glorify God in your body. The context of this verse is speaking about sexual immorality and who we choose to join ourselves with or connect with Paul is saying you’re bought with a price. So honor God with your body. Yes, that applies to sexual immorality, but it also applies to what we put into our bodies. It also applies to what we eat. It also applies to if or when or when we work out. It also applies to uh are we relaxing too long? Do we need to get these joints moving? Do we need to uh go into a routine. We need to honor God with our body because this is his temple, My body is his temple, your body is his temple. So we need to honor God with it, Paul writes in first Corinthians again, chapter nine. Every athlete exercises self control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath. But we an imperishable so I don’t run aimlessly. I do not boxes one beating the air, but I discipline my body and keep it under control lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified. Paul says, look, no, sir, not me. He says, look, I’m not being disqualified here. It’s not me, I’m not the one that’s that’s that’s gonna be disqualified. Like I’m gonna make it to heaven, I’m gonna make it through. But it’s going to happen by me disciplining my body. And for many of us uh paul says, I don’t run aimlessly. I don’t box this one just beating the air, you know, like cuba Gooding Jr just swinging like, no, no, no, no. Like I discipline my body, I keep it under control and for us what God is calling us to is to discipline ourselves and to walk in such a way that gives him glory, gives him honor with our body. This isn’t diet and exercise. This is in uh who we uh engage with. This is in our sexual, our sexuality. This is in all these different things? We must honor God With our body. And 4th and finally we must honor God and we must commit to resetting and understand that God can be with us as we prepare our finances, our money. There was a time where they were speaking about taxes, we pay taxes to caesar, should we do this or that? And jesus response? And he says uh he says render to caesar the things that are caesar’s not caesar, me caesar uh the emperor at the end of the day, the emperor at the time, I’m not saying yo give me your money, give me the things that are not in this context here context. People render unto caesar the things that are caesar’s and render unto God the things that our God, excuse me, the I. R. S. Is gonna get theirs right, they come tax time, it’s going to happen, um they’re gonna get theirs. But yeah we leave God like oh you know okay I gotta give gotta pay this, gotta pay these taxes, gotta do X. Y. And Z. But then it’s time to tie them were like you know what God thank you, but you know still praying for that miracle, I gotta save up for that miracle, save up for that miracle. But God is like um what’s going on here. Yeah and so this applies with tithing, but it also applies with you know our spending habits and you know a lot of times I’ll say the last thing to go in your relationship with christ? The last thing that you give up is your wallet you’re holding onto, it’s in your back pocket, you’re like, I’m not giving that away. But what happens when God tells you to uh make some adjustments in your spending, make some adjustments and what you do make some adjustments with what you have, think about the rich young ruler for a second, who came to jesus and said, Lord Lord Rabbi, what must I do to be saved? She just says, oh you gotta follow the commandments. You’ve got to do X, y and Z. You have to, you know, obey your your mother and father, you have to do all these things. And he says it’s easy man, I’m good, I’m straight I’ve done all that since I was a young boy. And jesus says, okay, that’s that’s wonderful. Then take your possessions and give them to the poor, take what you have and give them to the poor. And he’s like uh and the text says adhering this, he walked away bitterly walked away sorrowfully and jesus then remarks and says it’s nearly impossible for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for the rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven, because oftentimes your money has you and you don’t have your money. Often times your money has you? You don’t have your money? So ask yourself the question, another question, does your money have you or do you have your money? Uh if we springboard from that text and and mirror it or compare it to the account of Zacharias who was also rich, but he saw christ and he said okay I want to do whatever it takes to see God to see jesus. He climbs up to this tree and takes a look takes again there sees christ, jesus stops, looks at the kiss and says you were having a house party. I’m coming to your house today. Come down from that tree, Zakia says, wow, this is incredible having a feast, having a party. And Zakia has a true moment of repentance. And in this moment of repentance, he says uh anyone that I defrauded anyone that I was uh you know cruel against with with the money, I’m gonna give them, I’m going to give them their money back uh above and beyond. And I’m giving away a certain amount of money to the poor. And jesus says today salvation has come to this house because he was able to adjust with his money. Does your money? Do you have your money or does your money have you, do you have your possessions or do your possessions? Have you remember I was doing uh missions in, I was in san Francisco with the missions organization and I was doing some submissions that we were doing prayer, walks around the neighborhood and uh we saw this song homeless person uh that was you know begging for some some change and some money and you know as we were praying for them. Uh I was walking off to leave and I felt the holy spirit say give him your sneakers. I said I said what do you say? Hold on what he said, give me your shoes. And that morning I had done a devotion and I’ve really been seeking the face of God for you know just different things and one of the scriptures that the Lord highlighted to me was all right. Uh son of men I believe it’s in the gospels. The son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. And uh when God told me to take my sneakers off and and not only take them off but give them to this man. I said you have got to be kidding me, it’s not happening. So um you know I was about to turn around and and that scripture came back to me, son of man, I didn’t come to to to be served but I came to serve. How are you serving me and what you do for the least of these you also do for me. So I said all right let me take these these jordans off and I took the morass and massage the war and he wore my size. I said God you know what you’re funny? What funny? So I took the sneakers off. I gave them to him and I would not recommend this, but I walked back barefoot in the tenderloin in san Francisco. But I believe that God was trying to show me, can you part with something that you hold dear and be obedient? Do you have your possessions? Do you have your finances? Do you have all these things or do they have and own you? So it may be difficult. Saints of God, But I believe as I close that the prayer that the Lord has called us to pray in this season is God. I pray that you would be with us. As we prepare my heart, prepare my mind, prepare my body, prepare my finances to embrace the new. As I said last week, all of this, to get all of this done. You have to be led by faith, not fear by faith, not fear. The minute you start to overthink this and say, oh, but God, what about what they think? What about? You know what I’m going to leave behind? What about done? Done? I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God. And I believe that God has called us to not be enslaved to fear, but to walk forward in faith in order to embrace the new. We need we need faith. Saints of God and faith without works is dead. So we have to do what put the work in in order to see what God is calling us to do in order to actually be able to press a reset in our lives. We have to be ready and willing to put the work in ready and willing to have faith ready and willing to engage in the principle of preparation so we can press reset. Let’s bow our heads and pray Dear God, I thank you so much for who you are. Thank you for your people. Thank you that you are a good God. A great God. I thank you that you love us. That you want to see us succeed. I want to see us do well. I want to see us thrive. God. I thank you that you have called us Lord to obedience in you. That you have called us to righteousness in you. That you have called us to holiness in you. You have called us to walk out in uh faith and not fear that you have called us Lord as your sons and daughters to be prepared. I thank you God for the time, Lord, that you’ve given us to be prepared the time that you’ve given us to wake up. God. I believe 2020 was a year that you, shook us up, woke us up. His grief pain sorrow God, but you’ve sustained us through it. And God saw as a result of that I pray that we would be awake enough Lord to get things in order and prepare for the reset. I thank you for this message. I thank you for your people. Once again I pray that it would fall on good ground. I pray that we would be willing to pay for what we pray for. We thank you and we praise you, we ask these things in jesus name and everyone said amen, amen, amen if you’re here listening, you’ve heard this message, you realize you don’t know jesus, you do not have a relationship with jesus christ and you say, look if God were to come back crack the sky or if today will be my last day here I know I would not be prepared if that’s you. I want you to text saved to the number at the bottom of the screen saved to the number at the bottom of your screen we have individuals that are willing to uh connect with you at this time and lead you in a prayer uh to jesus christ. Hello again and thank you so much for tuning into the message at Global seven. Once again, my name is roderick CAesar the third, the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. My prayer is that you were blessed and encouraged by the message and if you want to contribute and give to the ministry, you can text B G. T. F. I 277977. Again you can text B. G. T. F. I 277977. We’re so thankful for you and my prayer is that God will continue to strengthen and empower and encourage you. As you listen to this message, We hope you tune again later and God bless you. Thank you so much.