Believe and Live!
In the Beginning

1The God who fashioned the stars and galaxies fashioned you, and the God who holds all matter can sustain your life and keep you from falling apart.

Light and Life to All He Brings

2John’s main job was to bear witness to the light. That’s our job, also. We can’t just be content to have the light and life that Jesus gives us; we must always be pointing people to the light and life that Jesus can give them.

Receive to Believe

3You cannot inherit salvation from your parents.

Full of Grace and Truth

4Grace and mercy are two sides of the same coin. Mercy is God withholding the punishment I deserve and Grace is God giving me what I need instead of what I deserve.

John the Baptist: The Great I AM NOT

5John the Baptist was so humble even he didn’t realize the full extent of how God was using him as the forerunner of the Messiah.

Look to the Lamb of God

6There were two miracles that occurred at Jesus’ baptism.

Jesus: A Man’s Man

7When Jesus looks at you, He sees your spiritual potential.

Jesus Saves the Best for Last

8The same Savior who changed water into fine wine can change a rotten sinner into a blessed saint.

The Third Temple Exists Today

9Have you allowed Jesus to rescue you? Before He can rescue you, you must quit trying to save yourself and trust Jesus to rescue you.

How Many Times Have You Been Born?

10We need a new birth because our first birth put us the family of humanity. We are all sinners by nature and by choice.

Look and Live!

11There are a lot people today who have been snake bitten with a spirit of dissatisfaction.

God’s Love: The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

12God’s love is like sunshine–it’s there–but don’t blame God if you choose to stand in the shade.

The Turning Point of Human History

13In our sinful condition, we are like spiritual teenagers. We don’t want to run into the arms of God. We feel safer hiding away in the bedroom of our self-centeredness.

Bad News–Good News

14To believe in Jesus doesn’t mean to believe facts about Jesus; the word believe means to trust.

Come to the Light

15How do we live as children of light in such a darkened culture?

Attitudes for a Successful Life

16The joy of Jesus shines the brightest when our situations are the darkest.

Three “Musts” You Can Trust

17You can live a life of good works and win fifty Nobel Prizes, but there’s no other way to get to heaven except through the blood of the cross.

Three Strikes and You’re NOT Out!

18The woman at the well was transformed from a sad picture of sin into a beautiful trophy of grace.

Living Water and Loving Worship, part 1

19Living water isn’t some magic potion. In fact, it may surprise you to learn what the living water really is: It is the Holy Spirit living in you.

Living Water and Loving Worship, part 2

20Thousands attend worship on Sunday, but many never enter into the experience of truly worshipping God.

A Dream of Fields

21People expect me to talk about Jesus–I’m the professional salesman. But when you talk about Jesus, you are the satisfied customer.

Believing IS Seeing

22We are by nature, skeptical people and our fallen nature wants to find something tangible so we can say, “Seeing is believing.”

Do You WANT to Get Well?

23As a follower of Jesus, you’ll never accomplish the impossible until you attempt the impossible.

Who is Equal to God?

24Three important principles to understand how to live a life that is surrendered to God.

It’s GOOD to Know the Judge

25There’s a great deal of misunderstanding of what eternal life is. Many of us grew up on the good old King James Version which often translated it “everlasting life.” So it’s easy to get the idea that eternal life is talking about a length of existence. Eternal life really is a quality of life.

Moses Knew About Jesus!

26We don’t know how many miracles Jesus performed, but we do know why He performed miracles. It wasn’t just to perform random acts of kindness to help hurting people. He performed the miracles so we would believe and when we believe, we would experience life.

All You Can Eat…and MORE

27Have you ever noticed that God delights to use small things? God used a little boy named David to kill a giant. God used a teenage girl in Nazareth to give birth to His Son. And God used that baby in a manger to become the Savior of the World.

When Jesus Walks into Your Fears

28If Jesus cared so much for the disciples, why did He let them go out into a storm? And why did I have to go through this terrible struggle? Jesus knew the storm was coming; in fact He MADE them get into the boat. Jesus doesn’t pray for us to avoid the storms, He prays for us to endure the storms.

The Great I AM: The Bread of Life

29Salvation is a miracle from heaven. When you receive Jesus, you are saved. You don’t need to be saved again every day. But, like manna, you do need to feed on the Word of God every day to stay spiritually healthy.

The Wonder of Salvation

30Jesus didn’t come to add years to your life, but to add LIFE to your years! Eternal life is not a quantity of life, it is not how long it is, it’s how deep it is, how wide, how wonderful it is, how good it is.

The Danger of Defective Discipleship

31Judas was one of the twelve disciples chosen to be a part of Jesus’ team. He had the other disciples fooled. He appeared to be a true disciple, but from the beginning, Jesus knew Judas was a deceiver. Judas followed Jesus. He saw the miracles of Jesus, but He never believed. His heart was never changed.

How to Handle Disappointments and Disagreements

32As we continue the moral conversation with our culture, let’s not argue with anybody. We need to have light without heat. We must speak the truth in love. Truth without love is cruelty. Love without truth is cowardice. We need both truth and love.

When Jesus was in a Feast Fight

33God is a lot more interested in the condition of a person’s heart than on what you see on the outside.

The Secret of an Overflowing Life

34There are many empty people—but they aren’t thirsty. The gasoline tank on my car has been empty many times, but it’s never been thirsty. There are people like that. They have a passing interest in the things of God, but there is no burning, blistering thirst of desire to know the deep things of God.

Jesus: The Great Divider

35When it comes to the Body of Christ, the church, there is unity. And we are all ONE in Christ Jesus. But when it comes to how the world reacts to the truth about Jesus, there is always division.

Where Misery and Mercy Meet

36What’s that in your hand today? Is it a rock and you find yourself being obsessed with a sense of always being cynical and hypercritical? You can’t have an open hand of grace as long as you’re holding on to a rock in your fist. The message the Holy Spirit has for some of you today is to drop your rocks.

Jesus: The Light of the World

37Light and life are connected. Where there is light there is life. God arranged our days in a way so there are hours of sunlight to wake and live and then He turns off the light by rotating the earth so we are in the shadow of the sun. He gave us night as a gift so we can sleep and recharge our batteries.

The Truth Will Set You Free; Or It Will Make You Mad

38Growing older in age doesn’t necessarily equate with growing deeper spiritually. There’s no magic pill for spiritual growth. But there are four spiritual disciplines you can practice consistently over a period of time that will result in spiritual growth.

Like Father, Like Son

39There is a difference in just believing in Jesus and truly receiving Jesus. You can believe in Jesus mentally, but still not have received Jesus to dwell in your heart by faith. You can only enter God’s family by being born again. Just as certain people have physical birthmarks, there are at least two spiritual birthmarks of a child of God.

Death Removed

40100% GUARANTEED The hope for immortality continues and will continue through humanity. There are many things you and I share in common, but the primary characteristic is that one day we will face death. Jesus addresses this reality that is coming to all of us, for all of humanity, that life here on earth as we know it will come to an end. It is guaranteed to happen. Not even the richest, nor the poorest, nor our economic or social status matters, because we will face death.

Here’s Mud in Your Eye

41It is true that all suffering is a result of sin. We all suffer from the fallout of the fall of Adam and Eve. And some people do bring about their own suffering, especially in the case of the who suffer from addictions. But according to Jesus, we are wrong when we try to find a cause and effect reason for every person who has a disability or is suffering.

The Night is Coming…

42When it comes to salvation, hesitation can lead to procrastination, which can lead to eternal devastation. Take the opportunity to follow Jesus and express your love to others. Audio: Michael Gossett; Transcript: David O. Dykes.

The Blind Man’s Bluff

43BEASTS OF BURDEN The Pharisees criticized Jesus because He refused to obey the man-made rules about the Sabbath. In the time of Jesus, Jewish rabbis had taken a simple commandment, “remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” And had added hundreds of trivial regulations through the oral law and the Talmud. What God had intended as a Sabbath blessing they had turned into a Sabbath burden.

The Tragedy of Spiritual Blindness

44EARS SHUT, EYES CLOSED, WILL LOSE. I don’t need evidence to believe Jesus is the Son of God, but when you present the evidence of the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, some people refuse to look at the evidence. When you give the irrefutable evidence that over 60 Messianic predictions in the Old Testament were precisely fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth, some people don’t even want to examine the evidence. Their attitude is, “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.” There is none so blind as he who will not see.

Jesus is the Only Gate to Heaven

45Worry doesn’t remove the sorrow of tomorrow; it only robs the joy from today. So when you have trouble sleeping, stop counting sheep. Instead, try talking the Shepherd. He is your refuge and your refreshment.

What’s So Good About the Good Shepherd?

46ONE FLOCK I believe that when we get to Heaven we are going to be surprised with the diversity of people there. We think of America as being a Christian nation, but in Heaven we will make up on a tiny minority of people who have been redeemed through the ages. There will be one flock and one shepherd.

Once His Lamb, ALWAYS His Lamb

47THE ULTIMATE CONFIDENCE When you KNOW you are saved that gives you the confidence and assurance to serve the Lord with gladness. It’s a great blessing to be saved. But it’s a greater blessing to be saved and SURE that you’re saved! Then you can work with confidence knowing that “underneath are the everlasting arms.”

The Transforming Truth About Jesus

48MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE The truth about Jesus isn’t just something to believe. It isn’t a set of facts to INFORM you, it is life-giving truth that TRANSFORMS you. Belief that doesn’t affect your behavior isn’t true belief. If you believe Jesus is God it will affect your relationship with everyone you meet.

God’s Delays Are Not God’s Denials

49I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR PATIENCE! Have you ever asked God for something and you needed an answer right away? Maybe it was for the healing of a loved one, or the resolution of a problem. And although you were needing an answer quickly, you didn’t get it? We sometime struggle when God delays. But we are going to learn that God’s delays are not God’s denials.

Jesus Turns Setbacks into Comebacks

50IF ONLY… Martha experienced an emotional setback because of the death of her brother. To multiply her misery, there was the nagging accusation that this setback could have been prevented: If only Jesus had come when they called for Him.

The Lazarus Lesson

51LIFE OF “DECAYDENCE” With death, comes decay and corruption. And some spiritually dead people are obviously living a life of decay and corruption. But on the other hand, some spiritually dead people seem to be living a good life.

Who’s in Control Here?

52KINGS AND DONKEYS God is in control. He can even use an evil leader like Caiaphas to speak His truth. And if God can use him, that means he can use any of us as well. God used a pagan King like Nebuchadnezzar as his instrument to punish the Jews. God even once used a donkey to deliver His message.

The Fragrance of Pure Worship

53How Mary’s act of anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume is an example of pure worship. Michael Gossett.

The Day Jesus Reigned on Their Parade

54The people lining Jesus’ parade route weren’t really worshiping Him; they were just shouting empty words.

Are You Just Living to Die or Dying to Live?

55If you want to be a true follower of Jesus Christ, then your greatest concern is the glorification of God’s name, not your own. Audio: Michael Gossett; Transcript: David Dykes.

The Magnetism of the Cross

56The cross is like a magnet, because just as objects respond differently to a magnet, people respond to the cross in different ways as well.

The Only Sin God Won’t Forgive

57God has a purpose and a plan for why some hearts are hardened and why others are softened.

Clean Feet in a Dirty World

58SECURITY Once you come to Christ, that relationship is secure forever. God is your Father and you are a child of God. Nothing can change the relationship. But as we walk in a dirty world, we sometimes still stumble into sin. So to stay in fellowship with the Lord we come to Him and regularly confess our sins to Him.

The Danger of Pride and Pretense

59WHODUNNIT? When Jesus said, “One of you will betray me” it wasn’t like eleven sets of eyes darted to Judas. They really didn’t know. They asked, “Who is it?” They suspected Peter, because he was always saying and acting unpredictably.

How to Love Like Jesus Loves

60Part of our confusion about love is we are limited by our English language. We only have one word for love. We are forced to use L-O-V-E for totally different experiences.

God’s Cure for Heart Trouble

61In the midst of so much uncertainty there are some things you can be absolutely certain about: God loves you and Jesus died to give you eternal life.

The Lord Living in Us

62BATTLE CRY Prayer is not a means of asking God to give us things that we want; it is about asking God to accomplish His will through us however He sees fit. Prayer is a battle cry of God’s soldiers who are behind enemy lines.

The Promise of Peace

63BATTLE WEARY Life is a series of battles. Right now we are battling the effects of an invisible enemy called Covid-19. And we’re battling all the side-effects of it. There are emotional, spiritual, and economic side-effects. But as followers of Jesus, we must remember that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

Our Vine Line to God

64LIGHTS OUT Trying to demonstrate the nine expressions of the Fruit of the Spirit on my own is like trying to make lights shine with no power.

How to Enjoy the Joy Jesus Enjoyed

65I have no idea what you’re walking through or are up against, but I know the man who does and his name is Jesus. He has already overcome that mountain all all we need to do is fix our eyes on Him.

How to Treat Your Friends and Enemies

66SACRIFICE FOR A FRIEND Are you willing to lay down your life for your friends? It may not mean that you have to die. It could mean that we lay down our wishes and desires in order to fulfill the wishes and desires of our friends. It means you’d be willing to sacrifice, time, money, and energy for a friend. Jesus is such a great friend that He literally laid down His life for us.

The Holy Spirit’s Job Description

67Righteousness is not something you can earn. It is a gift that God bestows on us when we trust Jesus as our Savior.

Moving from Sorrow to Joy

68BE COURAGEOUS Peace is not the absence of suffering. Peace is being courageous in the middle of suffering. And we only find that when we are in Jesus.

The World’s MVP

69PASCAL’S WAGER Is death the end and there is no afterlife as Dr. Stephen Hawking claimed or as Billy Graham said, is there an afterlife where we may spend eternity with God in a place called heaven? Both of them cannot be correct. And the most important decision in your short life is to decide which position is correct.

What in the World am I Doing?

70Every time we go and share the good news, we are setting people free. This is the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how beautiful are the feet of those who go, because these are beautiful sounds to those who are in captivity, those who are in desperate need of the gospel.

Three Requests Jesus Prayed for You

71The first thing we must understand about Christian unity is that it is an act of the Holy Spirit. We cannot create unity—we can only keep it or kill it.

How to Keep Your Cool in a Crisis

72When Jesus said, “I am,” the mob immediately fell hard onto the ground. There was such power in that matchless name that it was as if Jesus tossed a stun grenade onto them.

Moving from Denial to Restoration

73If you are a human creature, you’re going to fail and make mistakes. The thing that reveals the strength of your character is what you do AFTER you fail.

See You in Court

74Christ was innocent. But he endured the trial because he knew the accusations he took belonged to us. The accusations that sealed Christ’s tomb are the same that gave us our freedom in Christ.

Jesus is the Answer

75 I am Barabbas. You are Barabbas. We are all guilty sinners. And we deserve to receive God’s judgment against sin. But like Barabbas, we have a substitute. Jesus died in our place.

A Cruel Crown on a Sacred Head

76On the surface, we might assume that the crown of thorns was the random idea of some sadistic Roman soldier. But I don’t think it was accidental or incidental. There is a spiritual object lesson for us. Thorns represent the curse of sin.

The Danger of Mob Mentality

77Even if Pilate had released Jesus, Jesus still would have been crucified. He was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. But history would view Pilate very differently.

The Faces at Golgotha

78Have you ever wondered why the Jewish leaders got so upset at what Pilate wrote on the sign at Jesus’ cross? Many scholars believe Pilate was using the acrostic YHWH to shame the Jewish leaders.

The Word Heard Around the World

79SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL When Jesus cried, “Tetelestai!” which is translated, “IT IS FINISHED!” It was the word that was heard around the world. It shook the foundations of Heaven and rattled the gates of Hell.

The Water and the Blood

80The water and the blood represent two types of cleansing. Save from wrath—that’s what the blood of Jesus does. And make me pure—that’s what the washing of the water of the Word does for us.

The Day Death was Buried

81PUBLIC SECRET Maybe you consider yourself a secret disciple because you’re afraid of what others may think of you if you told them. There really isn’t any such thing as a secret believer. Either the secret will destroy the belief, or the belief will destroy the secret. In Nicodemus’s case, his love for Jesus destroyed the secret and he spoke up for Christ.

A Tomb with a View

82Matthew 28 tells us it only took one angel to remove the stone from Jesus’ tomb. Angels are so powerful that I imagine him taking the stone and tossing it away like a Frisbee. But don’t miss this point: the stone wasn’t removed so Jesus could escape: He was already alive. The stone was removed so that all the world could look in and see that the tomb was empty.

Breath of Heaven

83One of the greatest secrets I have learned in fifty years of preaching is that God didn’t expect me to live the Christian life. He only wants me to abide in Jesus and Jesus will live the Christian life in and through me.

My Lord and My God!

84MISSING THOMAS For whatever reason, Thomas spent an entire week missing out on Jesus’ appearance to the other disciples. He missed the peace Jesus had given them. He missed the presence of Jesus and the prayer for them to receive the Holy Spirit. He missed Jesus’ command to go out into the world. In his mind, Jesus was still dead and buried.

Sharing the Lord’s Breakfast

85The disciples’ failure was not a display of their weakness, it was just an opportunity for God’s strength to be seen in greater ways. Because of their failure, God gave them the opportunity to experience His fullness. Audio & Video: Michael Gossett; Transcript: David Dykes.

The Beauty of Restoration

86NO GREATER LOVE When we talk about laying down your life for others, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you die for them. It may mean that you call up that shut in neighbor and offer to bring some groceries. It may mean that you rake the leaves in the yard next to your house.

Believing: Life in His Name

87John’s Gospel account is different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Each of those three writers follows a chronological time line of the ministry of Jesus. But John organizes his story around seven signs, seven miracles. Final message in the John: Believe and Live! series.