Chris Lawson | Spiritual Research Network
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Syndication

 

The Priority of Not Neglecting Jesus Our First Love

Jesus Rebukes the Church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

Christian ministry and service should never replace our personal love and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. This message is a reminder for each of us to personally consider what priority we individually place on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our obedience to His Word, and whether or not we are neglecting Jesus as our “first love” (Rev. 2:4).

This sermon is not intended to needlessly offend Christians, nor is it an attempt to drive people into more “service” for the Lord. Rather, it is a compelling message intended to encourage believers to remember the goodness of the Lord, to repent from spiritual apathy, and to love Jesus and adore Him, thereby returning to Him as one’s first love - in sincerity and in truth.

Scriptures: Revelation 1:1-2:7; Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18, 24; 2:9; 1 John 5:4-5.

Revelation 2:1-7 (KJV) - 1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 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: 3 and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

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Direct download: The-Priority-of-Not-Neglecting-Jesus-Our-First-Love.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 12:50pm PDT

 

Paul’s Conduct in Ministry and Appeal for Scriptural Separation

Do they see beyond our words?

A practical look at being set apart for the Lord and living for Him so that the Gospel may not be maligned, blasphemed and hindered.

Various topics covered in this message include Paul's sufferings, his personal vindication of his ministry, God's appeal to His church - through Paul - to "be ye separate" from the world, and what true repentance looks like and does.

2 Corinthians 6:1-4 — “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses…”

Scripture:  2 Corinthians 6:1-7:12.

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Purity of Heart, Life and Living

"Perfecting holiness in the fear of God"

A scriptural and practical look at what it means to walk in purity as a Christian.

2 Corinthians 7:1 — “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Selected Scriptures: Leviticus 11:20; 2 Corinthians 11:3-6; Romans 12:1-2; Psalm 119:8,140; James 3:17; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 2:7-15; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Galatians 5:16-26; Psalm 12:6; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:2; 1 John 3:3;  James 1:21; Romans 10:17; James 1:18; 1 Peter 2:1-2; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:111; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

Originally titled “Pure and Holy Living”

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Direct download: Purity-of-Heart-Life-and-Living.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 3:15pm PDT

 

The Godly, The Wicked and The Judgment to Come

Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1-6  -  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Scriptures: Psalm 1; Joshua 1:8; John 17:17; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 2:3, 6-10; Jeremiah 15:16-17

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Direct download: The-Godly-The-Wicked-and-The-Judgment-to-Come.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 10:19am PDT

 

Our Heavenly Country - The Joy of Dwelling With God

Psalm 84

In this audio message the theme of The Joy of Dwelling with God is considered. The necessity of believers finding joy and strength (and spiritual breakthroughs) through the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of life's pleasurable circumstances, is touched upon.

Looking at various historical, prophetic and devotional themes in Psalm 84 - when exiled Jews longed to be back in Jerusalem worshipping in the temple - similar themes are considered for the Christian today - our hope, experience and prayer. Truly our ultimate rest and peace can only be found in and through our Lord Jesus Christ - both now and forevermore.

Scriptures: 2 Samuel 5:17; Psalm 84; Ephesians 3; Hebrews 11

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Direct download: Our-Heavenly-Country-The-Joy-of-Dwelling-with-God.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 9:09pm PDT

 

Humbled, Yielded and Prayerful - From Saul to Paul

The Pharisee Saul Transformed into the Apostle Paul

(Acts 9:1-22)

God chose Rabbi Saul and transformed him into the man - the Apostle Paul. Working in and through Paul by His Holy Spirit, the Lord raised him up to become the greatest preacher and missionary of all time, second only to Jesus Christ. In a day and age when pride, open sin and selfishness are glorified as virtues, this message goes against the grain and extols humility, yieldedness and prayerfulness before God.

“But the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Go thy way: for he [Saul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)

1. Pride versus humility (Acts 9:1-9)
2. Humbled and prayerful (Acts 9:10-16)
3. The Power of the Spirit of God (Acts 9:17-22)

 

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Direct download: Humbled-Yielded-and-Prayerful-From-Saul-to-Paul.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 6:52am PDT

 

Famine in the Land Yet God Remains Faithful

Psalm 89

A psalm (Maskil) of Ethan the Ezrahite

Author: Ethan (or one of his descendants) is the author of this Psalm. Ethan is possibly the Levitical leader and one of the head musicians/singers in the Temple (1 Chronicles 6:42; 15:17-19).

Historical context: God had promised to make David the mightiest King on earth (2 Sam. 7;  1 Kin. 8:23; 1 Chr. 17; 2  Chr. 21:7; Ps. 110). In doing so, God would protect David and David’s descendants (2 Sam. 7:13; 16, 18), and ultimately Messiah Jesus would reign from David’s throne  - forever (Luke 1:31-33). Even though Jerusalem was destroyed and no kings were reigning in Jerusalem at this time, God remained faithful and He continues to carry out His promises. God’s promises are - and forever will be - fulfilled through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messianic descendant of David (Matt. 1:1; Luke 3:23-28) and the Eternal Prophet, Priest and King of Israel (Heb. 1:1-10:18). Looking beyond the pale of the author’s personal national dilemma - the apparent total ruin of the Davidic monarchy - the author chooses to focus on the LORD and His greatness, regardless of his own personal circumstances and future. As always, man is humbled, and God is glorified. In one word, with restored confidence in God and His Word, the author closes with, “Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 89:52)

The Lord’s Covenant with David and Israel’s Afflictions (89:1-37)
Praise and remembrance of God’s love and faithfulness (89:1-4).
God’s worthiness to be praise and adored (89:5-14).
God’s covenant blessing and protection upon David (89:15-37).

God’s Seeming Neglect of the Davidic Covenant (89:38-52)
The Psalmists heartfelt cry (89:46-51).
The Psalmists heartfelt distress (89:46-51).

The Doxology - “Blessed be the LORD forever!” (89:52)

Scriptures: Psalm 89; Luke 1:30; Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 26:16; Psalm 135: 1-4; Deuteronomy 14:2; Titus 2:11-15; 1 Peter 2:9; Psalm 89:52.

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Direct download: Famine-In-The-Land-Yet-God-Remains-Faithful.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 1:01pm PDT

 

Shamanism Revived - The Christianizing of Four Occult Techniques

Ministry of the Holy Spirit versus Visualization, Inner Healing, Centering Meditation and Hypnosis

This audio message takes a close look at the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the Christian life versus dangerous Shaman techniques employed by a wide variety of occultists and many well-meaning yet undiscerning Christians.

Part 1 - A brief scriptural review of the person, nature and work of God the Holy Spirit.

  • The Christian being “born from above” (born-again) by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-8).
  • The Christian being regenerated and the indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11-16).
  • The Christian being anointed by God the Holy Spirit to discern spiritual truth versus error (1 John 2:18-27).
  • The Christian being empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God (Acts of the Apostles).
  • The Christian being guided by the Holy Spirit and understanding His personal influence (John 14:15-19, 26; 16:7-15).
  • The importance of a Bible believing churches as they produce Bible believing Christians! 

Part 2 - Four occult Shamanic techniques to avoid:

  • Visualization (guided imagery)
  • Inner healing (healing of memories)
  • Meditation (centering prayer)
  • Hypnosis (altered states)

Mention of occultist/psychologist Carl Gustav Jung and quotes from anthropologist and practicing shaman Michael Harner (The Way of the Shaman), positivism pioneer Norman Vincent Peale (Positive Imaging: The Powerful Way to Change Your Life ), occultist Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), and Christian/occult practitioner Agnes Sanford (The Healing Light; The Healing Gifts of the Spirit).

Scriptures: Daniel 1; John 3:3-8; Romans 8:11-16; 1 John 2:18-27; Acts; John 14:15-19, 26; 16:7-15; Genesis 6:1-5; Jeremiah 2:11-13; Psalm 46:10; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; Galatians 5:22-26.

(Originally titled “Shamanism Revived”)

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Serving Our King With A Loyal Heart

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12)

This topical sermon considers the work of King David - and ultimately Messiah Jesus - and the glorious unity, organization, commitment, and loyalty of heart that they displayed toward God during their time on earth. The purpose of this message is to encourage committed believers in Jesus of Nazareth -the Risen Christ - to consistently offer willing praise and service to God our Father, and to love our brethren, the body of Christ.

General outline of 1 Chronicles 28 and 29
- Solomon Instructed to Build the Temple (1 Chron. 28:1-21)
- Offerings for Building the Temple (1 Chron. 29:1-9)
- David’s Praise to God (1 Chron. 29:10-20)
- Solomon Anointed King (1 Chron. 29:21-25)
- The Close of David’s Reign (1 Chron. 29:26-30)

Considering the goodness and grace of God, and our loving service to the body of Christ.

Scriptures: Romans 12; Matthew 28: 18-20; Ephesians 4:1-6

1 Chronicles 29:10-20 (KJV) - "Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own. I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: and give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.

(Originally titled “Our King Today”)

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Direct download: Serving-Our-King-With-A-Loyal-Heart.mp3
Category:Christian Living -- posted at: 8:43am PDT

 

Satanism, Witchcraft and Halloween

A sober warning about the kingdom of darkness!

This audio message is from a series of lectures on the dangers of Occultism and many practices associated with it. Recorded in the late 1990’s during an outreach in San Luis Obispo, CA - when Chris was serving as a pastor in that same city - the message includes several audio clips from other speakers as well. These clips are not blanket endorsements for these other ministries, but rather, they serve to illustrate the reality of the powers of darkness and the importance of being educated on the subject.

The first illustrative audio clip is from a Christian evangelist who spent 4 hours being educated - by the Los Angeles County Satanic and Occult Task Force - about the reality of satanic activity and crime in Southern California. In the second clip the same author explains how teen suicide is part of the occult revolution. The third illustrative audio clip is a piece from Dr. Walter Martin speaking on the origin of Halloween and the Christian’s responsibility to make every opportunity to proclaim the biblical gospel.

Christians of all sorts need to hear this message, for many are completely ignorant about what truly takes place in the kingdom of the occult, what often times occurs on Halloween, and what witches and Satanists seek to do when they visit Christian churches for non-Christian purposes.

“If you can tear down the prayer foundation of a church then you’ve destroyed that church. And that’s what every witch or Satanist plans to do when they go into a church, is to tear down that prayer foundation, and the rest of the church goes quickly after that.”

- From an ex-Satanist who is now a committed Christian

Topics in this audio:

- Clarification on Satanism versus Witchcraft.
- Re-cap from previous seminar on several components Paganism (Pantheism, Reincarnation, Moral Relativism, Esotericism).
- The global spiritual/cultural phenomenon of snake/serpent worship.
- Who and what Satan is, and what the devil’s goals are.
- Mention of Freemasonry and the occult symbolism on the American dollar bill.
- The activities of Satan.
- Defining terminology.
- Various illustrations on Satanism, Witchcraft, Wicca, occult practices (i.e., Hillary Clinton and Shamanism).
- Disney’s “desensitizing” movies that are full of occult themes (i.e., sorcery, spiritism, shamanism, pantheism, etc.) - Fantasia, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, etc.
- Subliminal occult images in Jehovah Witness Watchtower literature handed out at your front door.
- Extensive listing of terms/techniques employed by New Age spirituality/occult practitioners.
- Warning about Halloween and an exhortation for the Christian to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 13:1-11; 18:9-14; Acts 19.

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Direct download: Satanism-Witchcraft-and-Halloween.mp3
Category:New Age and the Occult -- posted at: 1:39pm PDT

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