If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. Romans 12:8

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Monday, December 1, 2014

"Thanking starts cranking the engine of faith."
Israel Houghton, Lakewood Church, Saturday 11/29/14


I listened to songs about thanking God over and over as a child.
You can continue thanking God.
"I want my life to be a 24/7 thank you." – Darlene Zschech

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.
It’s easy to remember.
Israel is fascinated when scripture says something twice.
In Luke 10:38-42 Martha has an attitude because Mary’s not working.
Martha, Martha… [Luke 10:41]
I only want God to call my name once.
Why does He say rejoice twice in Philippians 4:4?

REMEMBER TO REJOICE



God knew we needed reminders.
I think He wants us to set reminders to remember to rejoice.
Israel can set reminders on his iPhone.
Israel’s reminders are very detailed.
He’s a musician – not a morning person.
Alarm says "Hey wakeup."
"You’ve got an important meeting today – you should shower."
He hits snooze and the message repeats 9 minutes later.
So Israel sets one for 10 minutes that says, "I’m serious bro, get up, take a shower and brush your teeth."
Because he's forgetful.
Israel has many friends and tries to be good and remember their birthdays.
But he forgets a good friend’s birthday every year.
Israel set an alarm and texted him at 6 am.
His birthday was a week prior.
God sets reminders for us all the time to rejoice.
When we gather together it’s a reminder to rejoice.
HE shows off when He shows us creation.
How faithful He is in the eyes of our children.
How merciful He is when we wake up every morning.
God knows that life gets busy.
Israel writes I-owe-you’s to himself.
I know I need to
We just came through Thanksgiving.
The forgetful people tend to remember random things.
Israel’s mother-in-law was in the hospital fighting for her life.
They started quoting random episodes of The Little Rascals - word for word.
Yet we can forget the important stuff.
[Congregation recited Fresh Prince intro…]
We can forget the important stuff but remember the insignificant things.
I was talking to Pastor Steven Furtick the other day laughing about the random stuff we remember.
It’s such a simple scripture;
Rejoice in the Lord always.
When you remember who He is and what He’s done…
Thanking starts cranking the engine of faith.
Something supernatural happens when we just lift our hands and say thank You.
Even though I’m in the middle of this storm You said we’d get to the other side.
Even though You’re asleep in my boat…
What a rough worship service it would be if we just started quoting what we’re going through…
I know it’s rough.
Say Hallelujah.
Speak above the situation.
Thank God for saving us.
Something supernatural gets unlocked.
Israel loves testimonies.
He loves hearing people’s stories and what God has done in their lives.
It’s about the faithfulness of God.

VIDEO
Marriage Testimony


SONG
Your Love Never Fails


The key is thankfulness.
Gratitude.
Israel grew up in church with his 2 brothers who are here tonight.

 They’re white so when they took family photos people would question it.
Chris said well he’s the oldest.
Evangelists would come to church with amazing stories about people raised from the dead, etc.
They’d come back the next year and tell the same stories.
Sometimes when we go back and remember what God did it stirs up something now.
Remembering what God has done stirs up the engine of faith.
He can never get tired of Ms. Dodie’s healed of cancer story.
He can never hear these stories of faith too much.
If he get immune to them he needs to check himself.
It never gets old.
Every time Pastor Joel asks Israel to speak he asks him to share his story.
Every time?
"People will think I only have one story."
Israel was in bank and could tell the teller wasn’t having a good day until she saw him.
She said “Israel Houghton! I go to Lakewood!”
Her mother flew from New York to visit Lakewood.
Brother John Gray gave the altar call and her Catholic mother stood up with tears in her eyes.
Brother was also Catholic and flew in and Brother John walked up to him and shared the love of Christ with him.
These stories crank up this engine of faith.
She said “I know your testimony! I tell everybody your testimony!”
It bears repeating because you never know what somebody else is walking thru at the time.

ISRAEL’S TESTIMONY
Israel’s mother is white and father is black.
Mother got pregnant at 17, still in High School.
There was a lot of pressure to abort him.
She left her parents’ home.
She was pressured to give him up for adoption because she’d done drugs.
She was walking down the street 8 months pregnant.
Woman crossed the street and said “I don’t know you but You are not forgotten and God loves you.”
Israel is so glad she didn’t say ‘Repent or you’re going to hell.’
When somebody says You’re loved, you’re meant for more, it touches you.
Israel’s mother prayed a very simple prayer of salvation.
She never touched another drug from that moment on.

Israel can always go there because statistically he should never have made it to Day 1.
God deliver me from amnesia.
When you remember, it causes you to rejoice.
When you thank God for things where you can say God rescued me that time;
Something changes.
Lord I never want to become such a professional Christian, so mature, that I forget where You brought me from.
Sometimes Israel will see someone on the side of the road and get that prompting to go help them.
Lord I’ve got a much bigger ministry, I can’t be late for church.
I never want to become so big God can’t arrest my heart so I can help someone like that lady did who crossed the street…
A sign of maturity would seem to be I’m learning something new.
Israel says it’s being fully aware of what we’ve already learned and what He’s done so far.
The bottom floor of Israel’s home was full of $1 presents for his children.
Sonny tore through them.
Mariah took her time and went thru them slowly.
At one point Sonny had a look “Is that it?”
Are you kidding?
You just opened 64 presents.
Because he was looking at somebody else’s blessing, who took time to appreciate each blessing.
Every good gift that You’ve given me is necessary to give thanks.
There’s a joy that wells up and says Hallelujah thank You Jesus.
Your kindness astounds me.
I remember where He found me.
When I hear my mother’s story I remember God being faithful.
You can remember when He saved me.
When I think about the goodness of Jesus!
Sometimes that’s all you have to say.
I thank God for saving me.
There are so many reminders throughout scripture of God’s faithfulness.
So many reminders of who He is.
The greatest reminder we have is the cross.
The night he was betrayed.
Jesus said do this in remembrance of me.
Hung his head and said Father forgive them they don’t know what they’re doing.
In a dismembered state, He gave it all.
Said it was worth it all, for us.
What are you thankful for?
One answer stands out.
I thank God for the cross.

PRAYER
Thank You for the cross, the sacrifice…
It causes us to rejoice.
No one like You Lord.
I am thankful for Your sacrifice for me.
That I could be free in this place.

SONG
We Thank You for the Cross

ALTAR CALL

Disclaimer: These are my personal notes that I share to bless others. I am not affiliated with Lakewood Church other than being a member.

Watch online at http://www.lakewoodchurch.com/pages/watch-online.aspx (while available).


Anointed Messages is the ministry. Anointed Messenger is the person who delivers the messages. God is the Source. Visit my website. AnointedMessages.com

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