2009-05-17 Joe - Personal Testimony

Sunday May 17, 2009 – Rick opened the morning service asking the audience to join him in praying for more volunteers to minister at the Friday night bible study.  He read Mat 18:21-35:

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”  22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.  26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars  He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

 29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

 31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

If we have received God’s mercy we should be willing to give mercy and forgiveness.  When you ask God for forgiveness as a daily part of your life you will not forget how much he has given you and be more willing to do likewise to your brothers and sisters.

Rick led the boys in prayer asking God to help us be forgiving servants.

Lyndee was absent and in her place a resident of Pegasus, Chris, played piano and led the singing with “As the Deer”, “You lift me Up”, “I can only Imagine”, “You are Holy”, ”The Old Rugged Cross” and “You are all I Need”.  Chris did a great job.  Well done Chris.

Our speaker for the morning was Joe Ramirez who immediately had John Herrera lead the boys in prayer and share what the 23rd Psalm meant to him.  How God is our supplier, the one who gives us true rest of mind and spirit, who refreshes our mind day by day leading us in the paths of righteousness, who provides healing for soul, mind and body, who provides guidance in our daily walk and tests us when we are in the midst of evil encouraging us to stand on his word removing all fear.  It is God who gives us true hope for today and for tomorrow and for eternity.   God wants to bless us with abundance but we have to ask and truly be willing to receive what we need for today, the final reward being our dwelling place in His presence for ever.

After John finished, Joe talked about the boys going to TYC versus Pegasus and there need to get with the program.  Each one has to decide what they want to do with their life.  He pleaded with the boys to make the right decisions and not end up failing Pegasus and ending up in TYC.

His subject for today was PRIDE … excessive self esteem.   There is a difference between the way the world uses pride and God’s way.  There was a time in Joe’s life where no one could tell him anything.  He knew it all!  Drunk with himself, excessive self esteem!  Pride always goes before destruction.  What gives him the right to tell me what to do?  That is pride … pride hates my success!

Joe turned to Mat. 23:12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.  Pride exalts you … making you unable to submit to authority, not willing to listen to advice and in the end destroying you!  Some symptoms of pride are: unable to be taught, don’t like to submit to authority, refuse to submit to wise advice, will not follow orders or the proper order established by those in charge,  demands special treatment, feel like you are better than someone else and will not be corrected.  Pride will knock you down; leave you alone without friends or family.  It destroyed Satan, who wanted to be exalted above God, and it will destroy you.  He pleaded with the boys to give it up before they ended up in TYC.

He turned the remainder of the service over to Mike who gave his personal testimony how Jesus Christ revolutionized his life after spending eight years in prison.  He continued Joe’s subject of pride and how it almost destroyed him.  It was an inspiring testimony.

Ken closed the service with the Lord’s Prayer.